IATP's blog

Making food aid work for those who need it (rather than those who profit from it)

IATP joins many NGOs, academics and policy experts today in celebrating a move that could make U.S. food aid more efficient and responsive to the world’s hungry. Obama’s budget for fiscal year 2014 proposes to shift close to half the food aid budget to procuring food aid from local and regional markets rather than the shipping U.S. grains on U.S. ships halfway around the world. With local and regional purchasing, food aid can get to those who need it faster and cheaper while also building local capacity to deal with an increasingly unstable international food supply. It’s a big move, especially when you consider U.S. food aid makes up more than half of all food aid worldwide.

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The price of perfection is immense food waste

It’s tough not being perfect. Everyone who has ever had a bad hair day knows that. And that’s no more true than for those misshapen, oddly sized fruits and vegetables that Mother Nature inevitably produces. For them, the price of being imperfect is being consigned to a slow death, rotting in the farm field or the landfill, while their cosmetically perfect brothers and sisters head off to a grocery store near you.

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Resilience means taking the long view on climate change

In our final “Climate change, agriculture and resilience” video—the series we’ve been publishing all week in the lead up to the MOSES Organic Farming conference—it’s all about being different.

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Building stability through biodiversity: Facing climate change with Martin and Loretta Jaus

“I think we came in April and it was within a month or two when all the ground was still bare and black and we had one of those two- or three-day blows and I had drifts of soil on my window sills and I'm thinking ‘Hmmm this isn't good.’ That was probably what sparked us to start making some of the changes we did.”

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Raising the minimum wage just the tip of the food justice iceberg

In last night’s State of the Union address, President Obama called for the federal minimum wage to be raised to $9 an hour and linked hereafter to the cost of living, so that it will rise along with inflation. He pointed out that a couple with two children working full time at the current minimum wage are still living below the poverty line. If Congress responds to this call, it will be a step in the right direction for building a just food system in America. Workers in fields, food processing plants, restaurants and supermarkets are among the lowest paid in the country. A higher minimum wage would be an important step toward ensuring that the people who feed our society can also feed their own families.

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Food crisis update: Main drivers of price volatility still not addressed

Last year international food markets suffered their third price spike in five years. The trigger was a terrible drought in the United States—a major agricultural producer and exporter. An unstable climate met low levels of international grain reserves, while U.S. ethanol gobbled up maize supplies. The resulting high and volatile prices struck yet another blow at the world’s already fragile food systems.

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Childcare: Fertile ground for healthy young eaters

When a four year old in our project was asked recently where carrots come from, he pretty well nailed it: “The ground, and farmers water them and pick them and give them to people and bunnies too, and stores.” We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.

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Frozen local: How about it?

As I look at the snow outside my window, I have to admit it: The summer’s bounty of sweet corn and tomatoes is long gone, but the demand for local food keeps chugging along—particularly among K-12 schools that are eager to keep their Farm to School program going even after the snow flies.

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At the intersection of the fiscal cliff, health and the Farm Bill

It’s no secret that many economists believe the nation’s toxic mix of soon-to-expire tax cuts and automatically triggered, across-the-board federal spending cuts could send the economy off a precipice at the beginning of January and into another recession. If that happens, every American taxpayer and industry will be profoundly affected, and agriculture is no exception.

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