Saturday, January 31, 2009

Update from Urban Roots - Volunteer call

From Urban Roots email -
Hi all,
Just wanted to drop a quick note to to let you know about a couple things.

Feria Para Aprender (para padres, niƱos, and maestros)
We are looking for one or two Spanish-speaking volunteers to represent Urban Roots at this Festival next Saturday, February 7th from 10am-2pm at the Burger Activity Center. We are excited to be at this event, but just realized that our Spanish-speaking staff cannot make it. Please contact us soon if you are able and interested in helping out. Thanks!

VISTA related
Carly Blankenship joined Urban Roots as a VISTA volunteer in mid-December. She comes to us after having served for a year with American YouthWorks’ Environmental Corps. Carly has hit the ground running on many fronts and most recently has gotten us organized for our Farm Intern interviews this weekend. Please help us welcome Carly to Urban Roots!

Kelly Stolpman, our first VISTA volunteer, is just finishing her year of service with Urban Roots and is moving on from Urban Roots. She has been an instrumental part of our first year and we are sad to see her go. (On a happy note, she has accepted a position within YouthLaunch in the No Kidding program as a Program Specialist, so she is staying in the YouthLaunch family).

We are currently in the process of accepting applications for another VISTA. Click HERE for more information. The application deadline is February 19, 2009.

All the best,
Urban Roots

Mailing Address:
7756 Northcross Drive
Suite 203
Austin, TX 78757

Contact Name: Russell Smith
Telephone Number: (512) 342-0424

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Cows With Names Make More Milk

This is awesome. At the very least it shows that there's always more to a story than just numbers:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

$17,000,000 in Organic Agriculture Research funds released

Get your proposals in by March 9, 2009.

This is one of the most exciting things for the Organic industry this year. The USDA has done very little to help the Organic industry and in fact has adopted some measures in the past that have significantly hurt the industry (like making Organic farmers pay a premium for insurance and then only reimbursing them for conventional prices of their crop).

But this is a good step in the right direction. It's still does not come close to reflecting the size of the Organic industry in their support. The USDA spends billions of dollars in agriculture research. Despite Organics being almost 3% of the US food system, the industry received less than .5% of the research dollars. Not fair? Tell me about it.

Here's where you can go to apply for funds (and yes, anyone can apply):

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Texas 4th Graders get too many calories, not enough nutrition

Very interesting study released recently. It's just plain not enough to feed our kids any food available. What everyone should be concerned with is getting real nutrition to them. That means fruits and vegetables! Our food distribution system is currently not adequate for getting nutrition to everyone. There are some great organizations trying to change this including the Sustainable Food Center and Green Corn Project just to name a couple. Greenling hopes that as we grow, we can help build the distribution network necessary to get nutrition to everyone, even low income families. Snipet:

Low Income Fourth Graders Face Heightened Risk of Diabetes from Too Many Calories, Not Enough Nutrients

A Texas team studied the diets, weight, body mass index, and diabetes risk factors for a cohort of 1,402 fourth graders composed of Mexican American (80%), African American (10%), Asian (5%), and non-Hispanic white children (5%). Nearly 75% of the children lived in households with less than $20,000 income.

Almost half lacked adequate calories in their diet, yet 33% were obese and already, in the 4th grade, 7% had high blood glucose levels. Diets were composed of energy- and calorie-dense foods like cookies, chips, and ice cream, and were low in nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables.

The authors concluded that these children faced a high risk of developing diabetes and were in need of substantial dietary interventions, increasing in particular daily intakes of nutrient-dense foods.

Source: Roberto P. Trevino et al., "Diabetes Risk, Low Fitness, and Energy Insufficiency Levels among Children from Poor Families," Journal of the American Dietetic Association, November, 2008: pages 1846-1853

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cool endorsement of Organics from an unlikely source

RealAge seems like one of those internet promotions that's just around to generate traffic, click-throughs and cash for someone. But I was surprised and happy when an old high-school friend, Emily Heckmann, sent this link to me. It's good info on how Organics is not only free of dangerous pesticides, but also contains higher levels of nutrients:

Mason Not just less of the bad, but more of the good in Organic produce -

Inaugural Greenling Tasting Soiree

Come share the joy that is Greenling food!

Event InfoHost:
Party - Dinner Party
Time and PlaceDate:
Sunday, January 25, 2009
7:00pm - 10:00pm
Catarina's House - RSVP for exact address
Contact InfoPhone:

Potluck! Catarina will whip up a few vegetarian dishes and everyone is encouraged to bring a dish (can be omnivore creations, too) made primarily from Greenling Organic food! Greenling will bring some of our new wines that we're carrying too!

Let's mix and mingle and enjoy amazingly nutritious, healthy, and tasty dishes prepared by friends.

Guest list limited to 30 people because of host constraints, but hopefully we'll be able to do this more often.

No theme, dress, or rules this time around. Just good food and good conversation.

This will also be a Greenling tweet-up so if you've been wondering what twitter is, go sign up & we'll talk about it at the party!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Slow Food in Austin

Here's a great video produced by Adrian Tapia: