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Blog #5

Candace Moyer

           Eating on $3/day is a challenging experience. I believe I would eventually be malnourished if that was the only source of food available. The food I purchased was a variety that I usually have on a regular basis: oatmeal, 100% juice, scrambled and hard boiled eggs, garbanzo beans, rice, green peas, and my homegrown, homemade vegetable soup. I could have bought a quart of milk with the $1.55 (I think) that I had left over. However, I wasn’t very hungry, as the news of the death of my advisor’s 27 year old son put a damper on my appetite.

Overall, I felt OK during the assignment. I found myself craving sweets one day and meat the next. The vegetable soup is really what has sustained me for many years. I had some every day for lunch. I have been food insecure since I became single again. What has made the difference for my diet is to have a garden during the summer and make large batches of soup in the fall, with as many vegetable varieties as possible. I make three batches and freeze them in square, plastic, pint (16 oz) containers. Square because they stack well in a limited freezer space. I can add meat, pasta, rice, and other favorites when thawed and heated. It’s really delicious and still has the fresh taste of straight out of the garden!

This experience reinforces how important it is to have access to vegetables. I am middle aged and have no symptoms of the big three chronic diseases: cancer, type II diabetes, or heart disease.  My blood pressure and heart rate are low, my glucose and cholesterol is stable, and my only lack of nutrients has been vitamin D, for which I take a supplement. I attribute this to my regular diet. Processed foods don’t taste that good to me anymore. I focus on whole foods, and try to stay local. Unfortunately, the local food is expensive and there isn’t enough of it to bring the price down. During the off-season local carrots, some greens, and sprouts from Idaho are within range. Sometimes Hutterite chickens are on sale.

Which leads me to my mission for the Gallatin Valley:  to do what I can to raise awareness and create opportunities for more food to be grown locally. With climate change wreaking havoc with California’s weather, food prices are only going to go up. More people will be forced to live on $3/day. That would not be a pretty sight. We need more options for healthy living within this watershed. The Sustainable Food Systems major at MSU has given me the tools for figuring out how to contribute. I look forward to getting started.

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Blog #4

Candace Moyer

3/1/2014

 A practice I find interesting and disturbing has to do with geo-engineering. It involves seeding clouds by releasing silver iodide and/or sulfur into the stratosphere.  One cloud seeding program began in the Lake Tahoe area in the 1960’s, as an option for increasing snowfall, snowpack, and runoff in mountainous regions that supply the watersheds of northern and southern Nevada, and in specific basins of the surrounding areas. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation (USBR) granted the Desert Research Institute (DRI) funding to pay for seeing equipment starting in 1981, and state funding continued through 2009. Other areas of seeding include the Truckee, Carson, Walker, Upper Humboldt, Owyhee, and Reese Rivers, as well as several areas in the Upper Colorado River Basin. The program is quite extensive. The program is also funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

The methods of operation that DRI uses include ground-based generators that burn a solution of silver iodide, sodium iodide, salt, and acetone to release microscopic silver iodide particles. Once these crystals reach the upper atmosphere, they create ice crystals and snow in the winter clouds.

 The other, more controversial method used has to do with airplanes that eject the silver iodide mix as well as sulfur into the atmosphere over populated areas. The streams are known as contrails and are let loose without regulation. In 2010, scientists asserted that “manipulation of climate through modification of Cirrus clouds is neither a hoax nor a conspiracy theory.” It is “fully operational” with a solid sixty-year history. Though “hostile” environmental modification was banned by UN Convention in 1978, its “friendly” use today is being hailed as the new savior to climate change and to water and food shortages. The military-industrial complex stands poised to capitalize on controlling the world’s weather. “In recent years there has been a decline in the support for weather modification research, and a tendency to move directly into operational projects.” (World Meteorological Organization, 2007).

 The benefits for cloud seeding include a measured increase of a few hundredths to two millimeters of precipitation per hour with the ground-based method. That translates into 2%-10% more water annually for the targeted area.

 The justification for cloud seeding is to create more sources for water, but I am not completely comfortable with the practice. There is no regulation and one has to follow the reports online to find out this information, as the national media does not cover the activity.   

 http://www.dri.edu/synopsis

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NUTR351 Blog #3

Candace Moyer

2/15/2014

Sustainably grown organic food is the healthiest way to provide for the planet and population. Locally grown, organic food is available through farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and grocery stores that are not locked into corporate contracts. Small, diverse, organic farms establish themselves near communities that will support them by purchasing their food. Non-conventional methods of soil and water conservation, weed and pest management practices, and organic plant production are used, which creates sustainable closed-loop systems, and enhances the environment rather than degrading it. The local organic foods movement creates jobs, healthy lifestyles, and strengthens communities as people interact and depend on one another for food and commerce. An aggressive program for making local food more affordable redirects people toward support for their local farmers, creates jobs in the food industry, and insures food security for the region.

In the Gallatin County Planning Board’s submission of the April 15, 2003 Gallatin County Growth Policy, the Gallatin County Commission shows support for local food distribution by stating, “The needs of agriculture, industry and business will be recognized in future growth” (Growth Policy, p.3).  Growing, processing, buying and selling of locally grown food and food products fit into this category very well. Under the Growth’s Policy of section 3.15 regarding Agriculture, the first goal stated is to “Preserve Productive Farm and Ranch Lands,” with the following policies:

  • “Use available incentives to encourage continuation of local farming and ranching.
  • Encourage the agricultural community to adopt a rural land use, review program (or model(s)) that identifies productive and potentially productive farm and ranch land, and establish methods and criteria for protecting such lands.
  • Encourage the agricultural community to establish approaches for protection of farm and ranch lands.
  • Promote agricultural land preservation programs, and programs that seek to preserve or maintain soil conditions or improve soil productivity.
  • Develop neighborhood plans and citizen-petitioned 201 zoning districts that support agriculture.” (Growth Policy, p.29)

Food security within the Gallatin River watershed has become an issue of importance by the Gallatin County community, as a response to climate change and for the sake of the health and safety of its citizens. This proposal is to ask for the Gallatin County Commission to support a farming cooperative, by issuing an amendment to the Growth Policy. This amendment would categorize the entity within the Growth Policy, under the Gallatin County Participation Incentive Programs, in the same class or level, as Open Space. This level states:  “The County Participation Incentive Program provides an opportunity for infrastructure cost sharing, waiving certain impact fees, waiving certain regulations, and county support on grant or loan applications” (Growth Policy, p.46). Through an amendment to the Gallatin County Growth Policy, the opportunity is made for a County-led land-leasing program for a Farmer’s Cooperative, to be designated under the same incentive program as open space. The county support on grant or loan applications contribute to the start-up costs of necessary land, buildings, and equipment.  It would be a great way to increase the production level of sustainably grown food in the region.

http://www.gallatin.mt.gov/public_documents/gallatincomt_plandept/Plans&Policies/GrowthPolicyComplete05.pdf

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There is new data on the drought conditions in California. The worst category is called exceptional drought and now covers 11 counties and 9% of the state. It’s the first time that exceptional drought has been recorded since 2000, when these kinds of measurements were established. Extreme drought is the second worst category and has increased this week to 67% of the state, twice the record low of 35% in 2007. In January San Francisco saw 1/100th of an inch of rain, and no measureable rain fell in Los Angeles (the last time this happened was in 1878). The farming belt in the areas of Redding, Sacramento, and Stockton recorded January as their third driest in history (wunderground, recent news 2/1/2014).

What does this mean for the residents of Gallatin County? Most likely we will see higher produce prices this year, if there is anything to buy. Is this a trend of climate change? In its Summary for Policymakers, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports  that this is true. The report states that there will likely be an increase in areas affected by droughts (IPCC Summary for Policymakers, p.8). The ongoing issue of drought, whether cyclical or permanent, presents the issue of food security for everyone. It is time to be finding ways to produce food locally for the population as a whole, not just for select markets. Growing food is an issue and a skill that must be taken seriously and sustainably for the nutritional security of the residents within our watershed.

 

http://www.wunderground.com/news/california-exceptional-drought-first-time-history-20140130

Click to access ar4-wg1-spm.pdf

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NUTR351 Blog #1

Candace Moyer

            The introductory chapter of Community Nutrition in Action presents the framework for the role of practicing community nutrition for all age groups and settings at the local, state, national and international levels. The three arenas that are included for prevention of disease and improvement of health include people, policy, and programs. I like how the World Health Organization uses their definition of health as a guideline for their activities. They say that health is a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being.

A program called Healthy People 2020 is an example of community nutrition that has been established within the United States as a plan with a 10 year target for redirecting attention from health care to prevention. I believe it is a really good idea to raise more awareness of nutrition and the quality of food that feeds our population. It is important to address the issues of childhood obesity and the three leading causes of death in the United States: cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. It is my hope that through the Affordable Health Care Act people will not be chastised or fined for not adhering to any “guidelines” for healthy eating, but will use education and incentives as more positive means to facilitate change.

Being an entrepreneur in community nutrition requires creativity and innovation, with a desire to make change. The trends for this country must include sustainable practices, which is where my interest lies. Our food systems are in drastic need of change. With the increase in population, the need for nutritious food, and the environmental impact that conventional farming has been having on this nation’s soils, the time is right to advocate for sustainable farming practices and local distribution systems which supply food to populations, without having to travel thousands of miles.

The second chapter in Boyle describes how to set up a community needs assessment. Uncovering food deserts using the Food Desert Locator and learning how to target groups in need are practical ways of diagnosing food insecurity in a given area.  There is also a resource section at the end of the chapter, to help with gathering data for the assessment. Our society is developed and capable enough to ensure that everyone has access to nutritious and affordable food.  

I was also impressed with the list of the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Boyle, 2013, p.63).

 

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I am a student of Sustainable Foods and Bioenergy Systems at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. This blog has been set up in order to interact with other students in Nutrition 351 for the Spring semester, 2014. My name is Candace Moyer. I am interested in local food security within a given watershed, using sustainable farming practices and marketing locally and affordably. Creating a food system for a population can be a closed loop system. The cycle can start with soil building through crop rotations and green manures, continuing with growing organic produce, marketing to local clients, and ending with composting and tilling in the remnants. Nothing is wasted, and people can enjoy fresh, unpolluted, nutritious food to their diet, their health is improved, and the local economy is supported.

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CSA BLOG

Candace Moyer

8/1/2012

               Today was Towne’s Harvest Garden’s 4th week of its second round of distribution. It was eventful in that we were able to use the new building to set up the market tables, facing west out the large double sliding metal doors. Our new facility is very nice, and eventually the driveway will be finished so clients can drive up with their cars for pick-up, making access easier. There is a well head inside the building for the eventual wash area, with grey water runoff below large grates for a drain. Once tables are set up, vegetables can be washed inside.

               Three tables were set up to accommodate this week’s produce. The tablecloths and pretty baskets held summer squash, garlic, beets, green onions, kale, chard, sorrel, basil, parsley, and sunflowers. On the end of the table, after pick-up was complete, lemonade was available for free. We all wore new aprons with the Towne’s Harvest Garden logo embroidered on the front.

CSA members started arriving at four o’clock and trickled in for the next two hours. They seemed pleased with the quality of the produce, which was very fresh, aromatic, and looked better than anything I’ve seen in the grocery store. The interns and other members of the class were helpful in talking about the different choices, suggesting recipes and ways to prepare them. There were children who were delighting in picking out their share. The atmosphere was light and friendly. We talked about the upcoming year and FLF activities. I did my best to recruit some of the guys to come to the meetings. Hopefully we will have a fun and busy year promoting the program and creating community with other students.

When six o’clock arrived, we put away the food, tables, and equipment, swept the floor, and closed the doors. One of the new doors facing west will not slide closed, because a piece of metal trim at the top of the door frame is not screwed down, so it jams the door and keeps it from closing.

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SFBS445R Community Food Truck Blog

SFBS445R Community Food Truck Blog
Candace Moyer
7/30/2012
On Tuesday, July 24, the first voyage of the Community Food Truck was under way. The produce was loaded up and Marcy Gaston took the wheel and headed over to Three Forks with Lori Christiansen of the Gallatin Valley Food Bank, Towne’s Harvest Garden Marketing Manager Anna Diffenderfer, President of Friends of Local Foods Kara Landolfi, and Internship student Patrick. I drove myself, Henry, and Christer as back-up support and assigned Culinary Marketing and Farm to Table students. When we arrived at the parking lot of the Senior Center in Three Forks, the booth was set up, produce was beautifully displayed, and business was brisk. Those who rode on the truck were handling sales very professionally. They were wearing nametags, everything was priced, a central sign was set up, and the tables were clean and pretty. The prices were half of what Towne’s Harvest charges at the market, which makes for an alluring reason to be outside on a hot summer day. It was nice to have the booth, and there were lawn chairs set up, so people could sit in the shade to visit and do their transactions.
Our job was to hand out recipes that we had printed up from our culinary marketing class. People were interested in hearing about the dishes we had come up with, especially those using the more unusual vegetables, like arugula, kohlrabi, and turnips. It was fun hearing about the customer’s personal farming experiences, and their interest in sustainability (like farming “used to be”). There were surveys that were filled out, inquiring about interest in locally grown produce.
After an hour, the customers dwindled. The Community Food Truck was loaded up and they headed to the Senior Center in Belgrade for the second hour of selling. Christer, Henry, and I headed back to Bozeman, as our part of the assignment was finished. Overall, the experience was a very positive one, and there’s sure to be a larger crowd next week, as the produce was of excellent quality and the price was right.

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SFBS445 Week 5 Food Bank and Lab

SFBS445R Blog Week 5
Food Bank, Dehydrating, Freezing, and Vacuum Packing
Candace Moyer
7/30/2012
On Wednesday, July 24, Lori Christianson from the Gallatin Valley Food Bank shared about how the food bank was run, how food was procured and distributed, and how much of an impact it has made for the Gallatin Valley. She began by telling about the amount of food that passes through on any given day, which averages 4,000-6,000 pounds. Of that amount, about 2,000 pounds end up getting dumped. I was interested in this particular figure, because I believe this provides a great opportunity for composting. As it is, many people do come to pick up compost for their animals, which makes for no waste, a prime issue of sustainability.
There are six paid staff at the food bank, and 12-15 volunteers that process all the food that comes and goes. Most of the food is donated, with Walmart and other grocery stores around Bozeman being their biggest donors. Farmers are welcome to donate excess produce from their gardens. There is a garden in the valley that grows just for the food bank, a Christian-based vegetable garden called “God’s Garden.” Lori said that even though the generosity is great, the need has become more in the past few years, since the economic downturn.
The annual operating budget for the food bank is between $75,000 and $100,000. The food bank receives between $60,000 and $70,000 per year through private donations, and one of the challenges they have is how to use the money to purchase overages from producers. They purchase from local merchants, and have been supporting Towne’s Harvest Garden since the garden’s inception to help the program get started. Grocery stores donate their seconds, and through the Good Samaritan Law, can write off their contributions.
The Gallatin County Food Bank blesses many people with their programs. To date, they provide summer lunches for children, who otherwise depend on school lunches, as well as home deliveries for seniors who can’t get to the food bank on their own. People who qualify financially can come to the food bank once a month to pick out enough food that would last them for a week. The average for the food boxes is between 1,300-1,400 households per month. Recently a former restaurant was turned into the Community Café, where people can come and get a free meal. They are open seven days a week, three meals a day, with volunteers helping to serve.
Last week was the first “voyage” of the Community Food Truck, a donated Galavan, retrofitted to carry produce to outlying communities. Along with the AARP, HRDC, MSU, and Towne’s Harvest Garden, the Gallatin Valley Food Bank is traveling to Three Forks and Belgrade to sell produce to senior citizens at a reduced rate. The first trip went well, and the SFBS students look forward to incorporating the Community Food Truck into its program.
On Thursday the class learned how to dehydrate, freeze, and vacuum pack produce. We learned how to follow the acronym FATTOM to prevent bacteria and fungi from forming. FATTOM stands for Food, Acidity (4.5-7.5 pH), Temperature (41-135*F), Time (4 hours unrefrigerated), Oxygen and its removal, and Moisture with its effects. Dehydrating is a great way to process food, which involves removing the water. A dehydrator can cost $300 for an industrial or $80 for an in home unit. It is suggested to buy one that uses a horizontal fan, for even drying distribution. Food that has been dehydrated should be stored in dry airtight containers out of the sunlight, and can be frozen for two days or heated for 15-30 minutes on the lowest oven setting to destroy any insects that may still be alive.
Freezing produce requires blanching first, which condenses and preserves the food for at least six months. Vegetables are dipped in boiling water for a short time, according to the recipe, and submerged in an ice bath to cool things quickly. The food is then drained, set in the freezer on a tray for 30 minutes, packed into containers, and frozen. Fruits can be frozen whole, or mashed and sweetened before storing.
Vacuum packing is done using a Food Saver, a machine that removes the air from the food. It extends the shelf life better than any other process by limiting the growth of bacteria through the elimination of oxygen. Using this system, food can last in the freezer, in the fridge, or on the shelf 3-5 times longer. The only drawback that was noticed in using the Food Saver was that it was tricky to get it to seal correctly. The top of the bag needs to have at least 3” of headspace for it to seal.

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