Organic Checkoff Program Advances

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today released a proposal intended to get more organic food onto shopping lists and dinner plates across the country by pooling money from organic farmers, handlers, and processors to promote the sector, educate consumers, and conduct research on organic production methods. Once up and running, the program could invest … Continue reading Organic Checkoff Program Advances

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Bringing the supermarket of the future to the present

The raspberries on the shelves at the South Bay Target recently were uniform in appearance — plump and pink and sealed in tidy plastic boxes. Perched in the middle, however, a simple red-and-white sign pointed out a difference. On the left were pints of berries that had arrived in the Dorchester store that same day, … Continue reading Bringing the supermarket of the future to the present

Invasive Lionfish Coming to a Menu Near You

American seafood enthusiasts have spent years dining on salmon, shrimp, and the occasional mahi mahi. Now a new, rather unexpected fish is starting to creep onto menus and into seafood shelves at supermarkets: lionfish. As a growing number of people become aware of the vast environmental havoc this small fish can wreak, a group of … Continue reading Invasive Lionfish Coming to a Menu Near You

Beyond cheap labor: can prison work programs benefit inmates?

The old cliche is true: prisoners do make license plates. But that’s not all they produce. Across the country, inmates have a hand in building desks, molding dentures, grinding lenses for glasses, stitching flags and upholstering chairs. They run prison laundry rooms and kitchens, transcribe textbooks into braille, and even farm tilapia. That incarcerated offenders … Continue reading Beyond cheap labor: can prison work programs benefit inmates?

How Martha’s Vineyard Has Become a Local Food Haven

The menu at the Scottish Bakehouse bakery and café on Martha’s Vineyard is a veritable map of the island’s farms. The chicken comes, mostly, from The Good Farm, a 10-acre poultry operation across the street. The greens come from neighboring Blackwater Farm and the yogurt is made at Mermaid Farm and Dairy, six tree-shaded miles down … Continue reading How Martha’s Vineyard Has Become a Local Food Haven

Fresh ideas — and foods — at food pantries

GLOUCESTER — Even after a long, brutal winter, Julie LaFontaine loves the cold. To LaFontaine, executive director of the Open Door food pantry, cold doesn’t mean winter; it means the opportunity to help the agency’s 6,000 low-income clients get access to fresh produce, meat, and dairy products. Open Door is among the many food pantries … Continue reading Fresh ideas — and foods — at food pantries