Dining With Miss Lil: Just Food is Transforming NYers and Our Food Pt. #2

just-food-conf-2014-logo4By Lil Nickelson

The article below is part #2 of the article, to read part #1 please click here.

Last week I outlined how Just Food, a non-profit organization, is building a just and sustainable food system for NYC via CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), farmers’ markets, community chefs and supplying fresh, locally grown food to food pantries.  This week I want to explore their final two programs, Food Justice and Farm School NYC.

Food Justice seeks to educate NYC residents about food and farm issues as well as policies that contribute to a thriving local food system.  Just Food does so through email newsletters, workshops, conferences and training.  There is much concern about what we are feeding our children in schools and Just Food is leading the discussion about developing successful school gardening experiences.  Teaching our youth to have better knowledge and understanding where food comes from will help them develop better relationships with what they are eating.  For me, I am as equally concerned with the quality of food supplied and how it is prepared for our seniors as well.

On Saturday, April 5th, 2014 and Sunday, April 6th, 2014 in conjunction with The Laurie M. Tisch Center for Food, Education & Policy located at Teachers College on the campus of Columbia University Just Food is presenting intensives and workshops aimed at informing and training NYC residents to become more active in making sure we have a thriving local food system.

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Farm School NYC is a two year educational program that trains adults to become experts in the field of urban agriculture which is important to NYC’s future.  We may lack open fields to grow food here in NYC, but we have other resources such as roof tops.  Food costs rise due to higher fuel costs when you have to transport goods long distances, and urban food production is a better solution than what currently happens when manufacturers pick food before it ripens to transport it long distances.

Due to a lack of governmental regulation on disclosure on food labels and farming practices, the quality of what we eat is suspect.  The use of genetically engineered organisms (GMOs) in our food supply is a very important food issue.  Because the USDA does not presently require disclosure we are as well informed as people who live in other civilized countries.  Just Food is informing us of how we can mobilize and get these issues on the front burner in our communities and with the people we elect to represent it on all governmental levels.

So I urge everyone that eats healthy or desires to do so to really look into the programs and services offered by non-profit groups like Just Food.  The conference this weekend is one way to begin to act like you care about what you eat and are feeding to the next generation of leaders, namely our children because they are our future.

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