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December 2010


  • City Council enacted a new policy whereby city-sponsored events must donate surplus foods to the needy. LATimes
  • City Council unanimously approved plans to restrict new stand-alone fast food eateries from opening within a half-mile radius of another in South L.A., where 70% of current restaurants are fast food. Southern California Public Radio
  • The Hollywood Farmer’s Market is granted a 90-day extension of its vendor permit in order to work out an agreement with the LA Film School in regards to equal access to the school’s facilities and the market. LAWeekly
  • Hollywood Farmer’s Market organizers, including SEE-LA, argue that the loss or down-sizing of their market in order to accommodate parking for the LA Film School would cost them $170,000 per year, which goes towards seven other markets in some of LA’s neediest neighborhoods. LATimes
  • Underground, urban beekeeping burgeons in LA despite being illegal due to a city ordinance and despite the national trend toward unhealthy bee colonies, perhaps an indicator of the unhealthy state of the country’s industrial agriculture industry. The Huffington Post
  • Emily Green writes about how to best pick and pack excess fruit from your garden to donate this holiday season. LATimes
  • The Sustainable City Commission of Long Beach made a unanimous “recommendation to forward a report on Urban Agriculture Ordinances to the appropriate City Council Committee for their consideration.”


  • U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger ruled out delta smelt protections that have cut water shipments to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley, meaning that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will have to rewrite endangered species documents. LATimes


  • Some economists, sociologists, and food scholars argue that the push for ever-cheaper pizza ingredients is hurting the planet and driving small farms out of business and farmers into urban slums. Men’s Health
  • President Obama signed legislation allocating $4.6 billion to settle discrimination claims made by black farmers and allegations that the U.S. government cheated American Indians out of land-use royalties.
  • The Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act adds six cents to school lunch reimbursements, allowing more than 80% of students to qualify for free and reduced meals in some school districts and more local produce to be purchased. Daily Dish, LATimes
  • The federal government reduced its estimate of how many Americans get food poisoning each year, but that does not mean that food poisoning is on the decline or that farms & factories are producing safer food. NYTimes
  • Migrant farm workers experience much the same kind of poverty today as they did in Steinbeck’s novels; the United Farm Workers launched the “Take Our Jobs” campaign this summer to contradict the belief that illegal aliens take jobs away from American citizens. The Economist
  • The House passed the Food Safety Modernization Act, allowing the FDA to regulate food producers before food-borne outbreaks occur, ideally. LAWeekly
  • The Environmental Working Group released a study claiming that the tap water of 31 out of 35 U.S. cities still contains the cancer-causing hexavalent chromium that Erin Brockovich brought to worldwide attention 20 years ago. LAist
  • Scientists have yet to discover obesity drugs with results that outweigh the risks involved, while doctors grow increasingly frustrated and believe the FDA is being too stringent and fail to recognize the risks involved with obesity. LATimes
  • Surveys show that many healthcare professionals have counterproductive attitudes about obese and overweight patients. LATimes
  • Carlos Monteiro asks whether Food Guide Pyramids and the promotion of the intake of breads and starches is responsible for global weight gain. World Public Health Nutrition Association

November 2010


  • Lobbyists try to fight fast-food restrictions in Los Angeles by pointing out that they bring employment and managerial opportunities. LA Times
  • Robert Gottlieb and co-author Anupama Joshi have written “Food Justice”- a historical look at global food production, food access inequality, farm worker rights, sustainability, and food production’s toll on the environment. LA Times
  • The Alliance for Healthy and Responsible Grocery Stores, a coalition of 30 community, faith, and labor leaders, issued its first-ever Grocery Chain Scorecard- issuing grades to grocery stores based on food access, store quality, and job quality. Civil Eats
  • SCI-Arc Professor Michael Pinto and 13 students have been collaborating with Mudtown Farms in Watts to establish a sustainable community center and garden, showing more focus on food in community planning and architecture. LATimes
  • Huntington Ranch-a 15-acre project at the Huntington Library- is set to open as an experiment in “food forests”- uncultivated land where food grows like wildflowers. It will not be open to the public, but will be used for programs and classes. LATimes
  • The cost to rent space in community gardens from the city parks department is rising from $25 per year to $120 per year in January due to budget cuts, making it more difficult for people with low access to fresh food to grow it themselves. LATimes
  • Los Angeles Community Action Network has created the Skid Row Community Garden on the roof of a four-story building on South Main Street, between 5th and 6th streets downtown, in an effort to bridge the gap between the hunger on Skid Row and the abundance of fresh produce at the produce market down the street. LATimes blog
  • For nearly 10 years, workers at a day labor center in North Hollywood have plotted a garden where asphalt once was. The result is a high-yield garden that functions as a co-op. San Fernando Sun
  • Warren Olney compares the quality of food people eat in different regions of LA with guests Evan Kleiman and Elliot Petty. KCRW “Which Way, L.A.”


  • California leads the country in devising a system to certify where food is grown, making farmer’s market produce more local. San Luis Obispo Tribune
  • While U.S. food production hits its stride in economic growth, Chino Valley dairy companies struggle with the high cost of feed and low revenues from cheap milk.  Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
  • The USDA paid $8 million in subsidies to farms in Orange County between 1995 and 2009- the bulk of that in the form of Crop Insurance Premium Subsidies; Obama has proposed cutting back billions from subsidies by restricting who can collect. OC Register
  • The California Endowment’s Building Healthy Communities Initiative will commit most of the organization’s grant-giving funds to 14 specific California communities- including Boyle Heights, the South Figueroa Corridor and East Oakland- to improve the lives and health of people in those communities by targeting issues specific to that place. LATimes


  • 15% of U.S. households (roughly 17.4 million families) lacked enough money to feed themselves adequately in 2009. LA Times
  • An insider describes how Wal-Mart’s procurement of local jalapenos demonstrates a win-win-win for the sustainable agriculture effort. The Atlantic
  • Natasha Bowens writes about her experiences searching for black and Latino farmers in the sustainable food movement.
  • Michelle Obama and Sam Kass, Assistant White House Chef, announce plan to place up to 5,000 salad bars in public schools nationwide, despite uncertainties over how local health-inspectors and USDA nutrition-tracking rules might hinder progress.
  • A dairy opening at a prison in South Carolina will be the largest in the state. Inmates at  three prisons in the state work to produce all of the milk, eggs, grits- and some vegetables- that are served to 24,000 prisoners statewide, saving taxpayers $600,000 annually. The Monterey Herald
  • Senate reaches agreement on food safety bill to exempt small farmers (those making less than $500,000 per year) from expensive food safety plans required of larger operations. Huffington Post
  • Food insecurity is a class struggle in America and food, more than fashion or art, is becoming the most pragmatic symbol of social class. Newsweek “Divided We Eat”
  • Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser cite reasons why Senate should pass the food safety bill, including regulation of imported foods, an end to the 5,000 Americans whom die annually from food-borne illness, and mandatory recalls. NYTimes
  • The Senate passed an overhaul of the nation’s food-safety system, giving the FDA new powers to recall tainted foods, increase inspections, demand accountability from food companies and oversee farming. NYTimes
  • Concerns over another global food crisis are the focus of KCRW’s “To the Point;” guests ask whether industrial agriculture is to blame and what the chances are of preventing such a crisis. KCRW “To the Point”

October 2010


  • Los Angeles’ Food Policy Task Force celebrates the unveiling of its Good Food for All Agenda at the Vibiana downtown with local chefs and non-profits. LA Times Daily Dish
  • The Food Policy Task Force established by Mayor Villaraigosa recommends the creation of a regional food system that would increase low-income residents’ access to healthy food and outlets for farmers’ products while keeping more food dollars in the local economy. LA Times
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