Lesley Lammers is a freelance journalist focused on the intersection between the environment, food, justice, health and social entrepreneurship. Lammers has written for the New York Times, the Green Chamber of Commerce, Good Life Report, Common Ground Magazine, and EDFish. You can follow her at: @LesleyLammers

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Bi-Rite Market Poster Child for How to do “Small Food”

U.S. grocery retailers are looking to Sam Mogannam, owner of Bi-Rite Market in San Francisco’s Mission District, to stay up to speed on the trend toward a smaller-scale, personal, community-oriented food experience. Bi-Rite seems to be ahead of the curve on exceeding not only consumer demand for more locally produced, sustainable, fresh food, but consumers’ … Continued

Real Time Farms Crowd-Sources to Map U.S. Food System

Founded by Karl and Cara Rosaen, Real Time Farms (RTF) is a new crowd-sourcing online food guide that is every foodie’s dream, acting as a restaurant guide, local farm source map, and food artisan storytelling hub all wrapped up into one. As their website boasts, “As crazy as it sounds, our vision is to collectively … Continued

detainees watched by guard at drug detention center/Photo by HRW

Vietnamese Drug Detention Centers Use Forced Labor for Cashew Processing

A new report released by Human Rights Watch (HRW) entitled The Rehab Archipelago: Forced Labor and Other Abuses in Drug Detention Centers in Southern Vietnam, indicates that drug addicts being detained in government-run “rehabilitation” centers often double as forced-labor camps where detainees process cashew nuts and manufacture other exports in southern Vietnam under harsh conditions … Continued

photo by:  Lesley Lammers

FreshList App Creates Useful Virtual Marketplace for Local Produce

With the burgeoning demand for fresh, local produce and small food producers facing the common challenge of access to marketplaces, the new FreshList app is a welcome tool for both customer and vendor. The app uses the Twilio API (application programming interface) for text messaging which permits people to purchase and sell produce in real … Continued

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Investment Fund Launches to Build Model Local Foodshed

There’s a lot of hubbub these days about developing healthy, thriving local food systems, but who is actually financing this lofty endeavor? Just this past week, one group called Transition Colorado put their money where their mouth is by launching Localization Partners LLC, a $1.5 million fund established to expand local farming and food businesses. … Continued

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FoodCorps Sprouts to Tackle Childhood Obesity

An exciting new national service program called FoodCorps launched this month with the goal of addressing healthy food access for children in low-income communities by recruiting young inspired leaders to commit to a year of public service. These service members have been given marching orders to create and maintain school gardens, provide hands-on nutrition education and offer … Continued

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Farmers Markets Good Source of Jobs Despite Lack of Government Support

If you’ve noticed more farmers markets around in recent years, you aren’t imagining things — local farmers markets in the U.S. doubled from 2,863 in 2000 to 6,132 in 2010 and over 100,000 farmers are selling their products to customers directly. So says an eye-opening report released this month by the Union of Concerned Scientists … Continued

‘Locally Produced’ Defined Differently by Major Grocery Chains

The local food movement has come a long way from what started out as a fringe fraction of the population to grabbing the attention of big box grocery retailers and industrial food giants. The original goals of proponents of the “locavore diet” focused on supporting smaller local farms (and thus the local economy), protecting the … Continued

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Tobacco Farmers in Transition to Sustainability

As the American tobacco industry has fallen with the overwhelming evidence of smoking’s negative health implications, the rise in international tobacco production competition, the mounting social taboo of smoking, as well a shift away from the government’s Depression-era tobacco quota system of subsidies, tobacco farmers have had to come up with new ways to earn … Continued

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China’s Strategic Pork Reserve Produces Consequences

China recently set up a strategic pork reserve (really!) to feed the middle class’ growing hunger for meat and to prevent the kind of crisis in pork supply that occurred after the outbreak of porcine blue-ear pig disease (PRRS) back in 2008. The outbreak required Chinese pig farmers to slaughter millions of pigs and the … Continued

United Egg Producers & Humane Society Team Up on Egg-Laying Hen Legislation

The United Egg Producers (UEP) and the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) have decided to collaborate in order to enact new federal legislation that will affect the 280 million egg-laying hens that produce eggs in the United States. This would be the first federal legislation of its kind to address the treatment of … Continued

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Farmstays Become Summer Vacation of Choice for the Eco-Minded

Many folks itching for an alternative vacation this summer are considering staying on a farm. Farm Stay U.S., the best resource for the curious first-time farm vacationer, was founded by Scottie and Greg Jones of Leaping Lamb Farm with the idea that, “We believe the majority of Americans are hugely disconnected from their food and … Continued

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Earthships Provide Path to Future Self-Sustaining Homes

Rolling up to the Earthships world headquarters in Taos, New Mexico is like stumbling upon an alien planet – a striking, stark desert backdrop with funky colorful bounds dotting the landscape– which as you get closer you soon realize are actual people’s houses. An Earthship is a thermal mass, passive solar home that allows one … Continued

BSR CEO Pushes CSR Envelope at ASQ Conference

This past week I had the privilege of attending the American Society for Quality (ASQ) inaugural Pathways to Corporate Social Responsibility Conference in San Francisco, where the quality side of business broke bread with corporate social responsibility (CSR) gurus to expound upon their synergies and determine how to move forward in unison.