Candy 1, Produce 0

October 14, 2008

This chart says it all:

Candy and Soft Drinks vs. Fresh Produce

2007 Consumer Expenditures: Candy and Soft Drinks vs. Fresh Produce

Actually, it’s more like: Candy 1, Produce 0.96. But still, the fact that sales of candy, snacks, soft drinks (i.e., liquid candy), and (fergawdsakes) water is beating out sales of produce… well, there’s a ways to go before people are eating well in the USA. I don’t expect that these numbers are terribly different up here. In fact, comparative numbers from around the world would be pretty interesting.

I think that if I had been asked to guess at how these numbers stack up, I would have predicted that produce sales are even lower in comparison to the junk food categories lumped together here.

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$500,000 MacArthur genius grant awarded to urban farming advocate

September 23, 2008

From pro basketball to urban farming… only in America!

One of Wisconsin’s few African-American farmers, Allen, a former professional basketball player in the ABA, founded Growing Power in 1993 in Milwaukee to help teach inner-city kids about the origins of their food. It has expanded to include satellite-training sites in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts and Mississippi.

The group’s high-quality produce and grass-fed meats are sold through farmer’s markets that target inner city neighborhoods in Chicago and Milwaukee, where access to fresh food is often difficult and expensive.

Here’s the link to the Growing Power website.


Produce ranking by concentration of pesticides

July 11, 2008

The produce ranking was developed by analysts at the not-for-profit Environmental Working Group (EWG) based on the results of nearly 43,000 tests for pesticides on produce collected by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration between 2000 and 2005. A detailed description of the criteria used in developing the rankings is available as well as a full list of fresh fruits and vegetables that have been tested (see below).

EWG is a not-for-profit environmental research organization dedicated to improving public health and protecting the environment by reducing pollution in air, water and food. For more information please visit www.ewg.org.

The Full List: 43 Fruits & Veggies

RANK

FRUIT OR VEGGIE

SCORE

1 (worst)

Peaches

100 (highest pesticide load)

2

Apples

96

3

Sweet Bell Peppers

86

4

Celery

85

5

Nectarines

84

6

Strawberries

83

7

Cherries

75

8

Lettuce

69

9

Grapes – Imported

68

10

Pears

65

11

Spinach

60

12

Potatoes

58

13

Carrots

57

14

Green Beans

55

15

Hot Peppers

53

16

Cucumbers

52

17

Raspberries

47

18

Plums

46

19

Oranges

46

20

Grapes-Domestic

46

21

Cauliflower

39

22

Tangerine

38

23

Mushrooms

37

24

Cantaloupe

34

25

Lemon

31

26

Honeydew Melon

31

27

Grapefruit

31

28

Winter Squash

31

29

Tomatoes

30

30

Sweet Potatoes

30

31

Watermelon

25

32

Blueberries

24

33

Papaya

21

34

Eggplant

19

35

Broccoli

18

36

Cabbage

17

37

Bananas

16

38

Kiwi

14

39

Asparagus

11

40

Sweet Peas-Frozen

11

41

Mango

9

42

Pineapples

7

43

Sweet Corn-Frozen

2

44

Avocado

1

45 (best)

Onions

1 (lowest pesticide load)

Note: We ranked a total of 44 different fruits and vegetables but grapes are listed twice because we looked at both domestic and imported samples.

View Full Data Set