According to a report in the Saturday, Jan 12 edition of the Columbia Daily Tribune, the USDA Department of Food and Nutrition Services will issue payments to SNAP clients for February in late January so to avoid problems later next month should the government shutdown continue past January 31, 2019.
The Director of the Missouri Department of Social Services, Family Support Division, Steve Corsi, was quoted as notifying SNAP families that there will not be a payment in February, so their benefits should not be spent immediately. Doing so would put families depending on SNAP to supplement food budgets at risk of running out of benefits before the end of February. Corsi also noted that the Department will continue to process SNAP applications despite the shutdown.
Here is a list of foods often thought to be healthy in retail markets but often have been treated with chemicals in the growing or shipping process to make them look nice:
The Environmental Working Group (EWG) recommends going organic if you purchase these items from retail markets or direct from growers.
The EWG also reports that the following foods have the lowest risk of containing pesticide residue and are therefore the safest to eat when purchased from any source:
Sometimes the foods from the first list above can cost more when you buy organic but, if eating these helps your family avoid health risks such as developing cancers during their lifetime, it is probably worth the expenditure now to avoid often enormous costs later in life. Organic foods are those grown without the use of conventional pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, sewage sludge, ionizing radiation or genetic modification (GMO).
This information is available in more detail from the October issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association from a study of 70,000 subjects.
The new Urban Agriculture park at Clary-Shy Park in Columbia shows significant progress in the initial construction effort. Check out the camera recording of the progress being made at www.buildthistown.org.
The concrete slab for the general purpose building which will provide a permanent home for the Columbia Farmers Market will be put in place very soon and good progress is being made in preparing plots for the CCUA demonstration gardens.
This project, when completed offers a number of benefits to Columbia and the surrounding region. However, one of the more important long-term benefits goes largely unnoticed. That benefit is profiled in a new report (Nourished Planet: Sustainability in the Global Food System, published by Island Press in June of 2018) by Danielle Nierenberg which is presented in capsule form at https://foodtank.com/news/2018/09/nourished-planet-urban-agriculture/.
The point of the volume is to draw attention to the rapid growth of urban areas around the globe as people move from rural areas to urban looking for work and other benefits of urban life often not available in rural areas. According to a recent article in Bloomberg News, America loses about 1 million acres of land annually to urban growth (https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use/). One of the effects of this migration is to rob the population of food producers, especially those producers of nourishing food for our tables, food that undergoes minimal processing and nutrient loss.
The Nierenberg report, however, highlights things that are going on in urban areas where people are learning to grow their own food in innovative ways around the globe. Aquaculture, growing vegetables in empty rice and maize sacks, turning abandoned lots into urban gardens, developing small containers of “micro greens,” and more. The importance of these efforts in feeding people who often must spend up to 80% of their income on food is tremendous, but so is the diminished probability that these urbanizing areas will experience food riots and social disruption as well as reduced health in the population.
The Urban Agriculture Park in Columbia will feature demonstration plots and learning opportunities for local city dwellers to learn how to produce some of their own food, especially those with low incomes and those who just want more nutritious, better tasting foods. Keep an eye on what is happening with the construction on the old Boone County Fairgrounds and be prepared for a wonderful experience in sustainable living.
While you are thinking about this information, consider a donation to the Build This Town project during World Food which is October 16, 2018 and help others enjoy better health and nutrition.
Modern food production practices produce harmful environmental effects. The highly mechanized production system uses about 12 to 14 per cent of the total energy use. According to a 2016 review in PLoS One, agriculture practices, especially the growing meat consumption, are responsible for about 30 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions where methane from animals is a primary contributor. In addition, the same report indicates about 70 per cent of the world’s water use is attributed to agriculture production.
What can you do? Here are suggestions from the Tufts University Health & Nutrition Letter:
"Small flags - like those used to mark the location of underground utilities - were spread over Clary-Shy Park on Saturday, marking the spots for features of a planned urban agriculture park.
The project, known as Clary-Shy Agriculture Park, includes plans for an urban garden, urban orchard, outdoor classroom and a sheltered space for the Columbia Farmers Market.... (read more)"
Averie Gomel and her daughter Ivy, come to the Farmers’ Market in search of nutritious snacks and bona fide Missouri Legacy Beef. Yesterday, she purchased free range franks for $9 using WIC benefit tokens gifted from Access to Healthy Food.
Listen to her and Ivy speak for themselves while they shop at the Market in our FIRST interview podcast. You’ll hear the Gomels wander the Parkade Center in search of an honorary wholesome snack, while taste-testing grass-fed beef and whirling to acoustic instrumentals.