2013 Resolution: Become food literate!

Happy 2013! Yes, I know, it's been quite awhile - my last post was in October! (Yikes!). Maybe it's the hopefulness of a new year or a bad cold that is affording me ample time to blog from the couch, but I'm eager to return to blogging. Let's get started...

I came across this infographic from GOOD.is and Column Five called America's Fresh Food Movement. (Click image to enlarge.)

Some positive facts:

  • 70% of consumers get their fresh fruits and vegetables from farmers' markets.
  • 97% of consumers consider health an important reason as to why they buy fresh fruit and vegetables.
  • 64% of respondents also consider environmentally friendly growing practices and local sources as "very important" factors in their purchase of fresh foods.
  • 89% of survey participants agree that "community should play a role in ensuring locally grown fresh food is accessible to local residents."
So, what does this mean for you and me in 2013? It's time that we continue and improve these positive trends as individuals and as members of our communities. If there's one think I learned in my first year of study in graduate school (shout out to Green Mountain College MSFS community!). But, how? Become food literate, which is easier said than done. One way you can become food educated is to not only participant and become knowledgeable on food politics, issues and stakeholders in your local region but also what is happening on a national and international level.

One such topic: the Farm Bill. Although intimidating at first mention, the Farm Bill is worth discovering and understanding because, well, we all eat! Rather than relying on news briefs from mainstream media sources, there are a few comprehensive, analytical and amazing well-written resources that make the U.S. Farm Bill digestible. Keith Good's FarmPolicy.com is one of my favorites, as well as Daniel Imhoff's "Food Fight" (everyone should own a copy of this book!), the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), the Center for Rural Affairs, Environmental Working Group, and the Farm Bill Budget Visualizer.

Better understanding and investigating the Farm Bill and agricultural policy will certainly be on my list of New Year's resolutions. As a food nerd, I'm excited that my next grad course is on the Farm Bill. I'm hoping to post more of my findings here on SWYF and post more often in order to engage you, my loyal readers.

Have any Farm Bill or food resources you'd like to share? I'll be updating my resource lists, so any suggestions are welcome. Also, do you have any food or farm related resolutions? If so, what are they?