Atlantic Diet

The Atlantic diet is based, primarily in cooking, grilled, stew and baking rather than frying. The characteristics of the Atlantic Diet are:
• Abundance of seasonal food, local, fresh and minimally processed.
• Abundance of food from plants: vegetables, fruits, cereals, breads and grains, potatoes, chestnuts, nuts and legumes.
• Plenty of fish consumption, shellfish, molluscs and crustaceans, frozen or canned.
• Consumption of dairy products, especially cheeses.
• Consumption of pork, beef and game.
• Consumption of wine, normally with meals and in moderation.
• Use olive oil for dressing and cooking.
• Preferred Culinary preparation: cooking, iron, oven and stew rather than fry.
One of the internationally institutions acknowledged on the subject is the Atlantic Diet Foundation, created in May 2007 by the University of Santiago de Compostela, which was declared “of health interest” by the Xunta de Galicia. In addition, since 2002, it must be mentioned the biannual food and nutrition congress, held in Baiona , that works on the Atlantic diet so as to convert the Atlantic Diet in a global benchmark in healthy eating. Its members say that the pattern of Atlantic Diet should be established taking into account food whose consumption covered traditionally the majority of input energy, nutrients and nutritional components of interest.


Experiences in the Mediterranean

Dynamization of the local economies throught interregional coopertaion in the Mediterranean area. Two case studies: CHORD & INNOVATEMED

Regions from Italy, France, Greece and Spain have joined their efforts to implement two European initiatives co-financed by the European programme MED. The awareness of the strong potential of the Mediterranean basin to overcome traditional problems has been the reason.
Next Thursday 15thSeptember will be take place The Final Conference about these two Mediterranean pilots at the Committee of Regions in Brussels. In this act will be analyzed the results of this projects and how the combination of innovation with traditional and high added value features throught clustering process unlock the development of the tourist sector of these  Mediterranean basin regions.
The main objective of INNOVATE-MED, led by Naples Province, is improving the level of technical development of local and regional SMEs so as to enhance innovation and achieve a higher level of competitiveness in the global market.
On the other hand, CHORD is focused in to develop and experiment a common strategy to govern and implement innovative cultural services and promote initiatives based on the cultural attractiveness and heritage of the Mediterranean area.


Forth Valley Food Links

English: Fish frying at a local food joint.

English: Fish frying at a local food joint. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Forth Valley Food Links came into being in June 2002 with its mission to help develop the local food sector in Forth Valley and realise the concept of local food for local people.
Of particular concern is increasing the availability of locally grown produce, but until the longer-term (but on-going) efforts to encourage more local growing and supply ‘bear fruit’, the project must supplement the currently limited local production with produce from farm shops and wholesalers in the area. However the project continues to encourage farmers to look at ways of supplying more of their existing meat, fish, eggs, dairy and processed farm products to markets and outlets within Forth Valley rather than further afield.
In partnership with a variety of local food producers, suppliers, retailers, community groups, agencies and other organisations throughout Forth Valley the project aims to develop sustainable, community-oriented food growing, distribution and consumption.
The emphasis is on increasing the availability of locally-grown fruit, vegetables, meats and other fresh produce, by encouraging greater diversity of production and seeking ways of channelling more of it directly to local markets and outlets.
A Key part of Forth Valley Food Links work concerns the concept of sustainable food production, distribution and consumption. The remit includes a commitment to try to reduce ‘food miles’ through the projects’ activities.

For more information, please visit FOOD VISION

What is food mapping?

Food for Life distributes food on an internati...

Food for Life distributes food on an international basis produced solely from vegan and lacto-vegetarian ingredients. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Food mapping is an opportunity for policy makers at local and national levels to work with others to develop an evidence base for assessing need, developing action plans and monitoring progress. In doing so, food mapping could help bring about positive change and effectively tackle the interlinking barriers to healthy food access. Food mapping can help inform an appropriate, joined-up and supportive policy framework for improving food access over time” Community Food and Health (Scotland).
Food mapping has been defined as the process of finding out where people can buy and eat food, and what the food needs of local people are. It is a type of needs assessment that aims to identify the geographical areas or communities that have the greatest needs in terms of access to food. This generally relates to access to affordable fresh fruit and vegetables and other healthy foods, however, food mapping may also be used to identify the availability of other specific types of food e.g. local produce or ethnic foods. The area covered by a food mapping exercise could range from a small village or urban estate, to large city or a whole county. Food mapping is one of the first activities that should take place when you are thinking about setting up a food project, and even more so when planning to deliver a programme of different activities to increase access to healthy foods. This is so that you can identify what problems there are with accessing food in an area and then plan initiatives that aim to deal with these problems.

For more information and a toolkit, please visit FOOD VISION

A place for food in pro-development planning?

English: Sustainability chart

English: Sustainability chart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


By Jess Halliday

The launch of the UK’s new draft National Planning Policy has food and environmental groups fearing for the future of the country’s green spaces and town centre, as the coalition government’s idea of ‘sustainable development’ has a strong pro-development flavour.The draft was launched last week and is open for consultation until October.
It is often easiest to understand the implications of policy proposals by listening to groups wearing the goggles of their own interests, giving them an incredible ability to read between the lines:
A framework that slashes back over 1000 pages of policy to just 58 means slicing through bundles of red tape and turning new projects into reality more quickly and more cheaply. Hurrah, say the developers and building companies.
But a growing body of planners, civil society groups, architects and academics who are enlightened to the crucial role of planning in the food system are not celebrating. Such a light-weight framework is too way light-touch, they believe. It is business-, not community-oriented, and it will become much harder to protect prime growing and organic land from development.
Speaking (ahead of the framework’s official publication) at a one-day conference on Food and Spatial Planning organised by Sustain and the Royal Institute of Town Planning (RITP) on 15th July, Friends of the Earth food campaigner Helen Rimmer, called it “an assault on the planning process”.
Suzanne Natelson of Sustain’s Local Action on Food also expressed concern at the pro-development turn and said Sustain “will be working to influence it”. Sustain already published a report on Good Planning for Good Food, and its cooperation with the RITP has led to the latter developing guidelines on food for planners.
A major taking point of draft framework is how it defines ‘sustainable development’. According to Damian Carrington, writing in The Guardian, the definition provided is “heavily weighted on saying yes to all building work and rather light on avoiding harmful developments”.
Carrington picks out the phrase “a presumption in favour of sustainable development”, and reads it as “development plans – houses, supermarkets, roads, business premises and so on – will be given the green light, unless there’s good case made for not doing so”.
Yet even when civil society and community groups keep an obsessive eye on applications to ensure no such good cases pass unchallenged, developers in the guise of big business have huge clout to mount appeals that local authorities, with coffers accountable to the electorate, cannot counter.
Business first?
Call food problematic and many people will reply: “Where’s the problem? We just go to the supermarket”. Sure, the globalised, retail-led food chain has made cheap food available to the masses in a way that it has never been before. Far fewer people fret about going hungry today than a hundred years ago.
Yet it’s more complicated than just hushing the hunger pangs. Supermarkets are the crucial, final link in the globalised, industrial food supply chain that has lifted cities out of their food context, and placed them in a global one that feeds off oil reserves and exploitation of land and cheap labour.
Food may be cheap at the till, but the bleep of the barcode scanner does not show the externalised costs beyond the price tag. The costs of infrastructure to haul food long distances, for example; the cost of countering emissions from transport and processing; of caring for people suffering the health effects of eating cheap food laden with fat, sugar and salt; of disposing of uneaten food and packaging; and so on. These costs are not paid by supermarkets, but by shoppers – not in store, but in their annual tax bill.
That is why feeding the city should never be left to supermarkets as a single, simple solution. Even when they promise to build new brand new apartments or fund a new classroom, the social sweeteners designed to wear down opposition will never be enough to cover the whole, global bundle of externalities.
And however socially-aware they may wish to be seen, supermarkets must make money – and that means having a high profile in places where there’s a demographic fit with their core target shoppers. If no supermarket is able to see commercial value in poorer, run-down areas, a business-oriented planning strategy could end up widening inequalities in our urban areas.
As Carolyn Steel, architect and author of The Hungry City, explained at the Sustain conference, the city’s problems are not viewed through the lens of food, big cities become food desserts, where “the only people that get fed are the rich people”.
In her view, “supermarkets were invented to eradicate the human – to take the human out of the food chain”.
And if you’ve got no humans, how can you have a community?

Source: Sustainable Food Blog

Experiences from the US

The Food Tent

The Food Tent (Photo credit: Jon Person)

Farmers Market: an essential cog in local food network
After various negotiations, the market opened using a small, unmarked paved area adjacent to tennis courts at the city’s East State Street park, near where the Athens Community Center now sits. The first market, held on a summer day in 1972, drew participation from three producers; on the following week, there were five. That summer, market participation peaked at a dozen vendors, mostly vegetable producers.
At the Athens Farmers Market this past Saturday, it proved difficult to count the number of producers and vendors participating in the parking lot of The Market on State mall, where the market relocated to in 1998. It still runs on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. year round, and the same times on Wednesdays except during the cold winter months. In recent years, during the winter, the Saturday market has run on Saturdays with some vendors moving inside the mall.

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The Local Farmers Market – A Lot More Than Just Great Food
In many places across the U.S.A. there is a growing fascination within the local communities that comes with urban gardening and the local food market. This may seem strange at first because the local market is a lot more expensive that going to your local “Super Mart” for your groceries but given a little bit closer of a look, you can see why this is becoming more and more popular.
First of all the quality of the food at the local market is flat out about ten folds better. Not only that, but there is a certain amount of pride invested in the food as it is personally grown or created, and taken care of.

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