By Sophie Wenzlau
Blogs are a dynamic medium to share and learn information about topics related to sustainable agriculture (e.g., rooftop gardening, Farm to School programs, and agricultural policy). Today, Nourishing the Planet recommends five blogs that provide useful information and insightful commentary on current issues in sustainable agriculture in the United States—blogs every food activist should follow.
1. The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition Blog
The National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) is an alliance of grassroots organizations that advocates for federal policy reform to advance the sustainability of agriculture, food systems, natural resources, and rural communities.
NSAC publishes weekly blogs on agricultural policy as it relates to topics such as the U.S. Farm Bill, beginning farmers, Farm to School programs, agriculture appropriations, minority farmers, and organic agriculture. NSAC envisions an agricultural system where “a safe, nutritious, ample, and affordable food supply is produced by a legion of family farmers who make a decent living pursuing their trade, while protecting the environment and contributing to the strength and stability of their communities.”
Recent posts you won’t want to miss include: Strengthening Policy for Soil Health and a Food Secure World, Path to the 2012 Farm Bill: Is a Deal Possible and What Would A Good Deal Look Like?, and What’s at Stake: Energy Savings and Renewable Energy for Producers and Rural Businesses.
2. The Seedstock Blog
Seedstock is an organization focused on innovation and sustainability in agriculture; it promotes agricultural startup companies, university research, urban agriculture initiatives, and farmers employing innovative agricultural techniques.
The organization publishes an informative daily blog on topics related to agricultural innovation and sustainability, current events, and sustainable farms. Recent posts include: National Farmers Market Directory Sees 52 Percent Spike in Winter Listings, Hydroponic Urban Ag Startup Seeks to Create Scalable, Sustainable and Affordable Model to Feed Cities, and N.C. State CEFS Report Lays Out Strategies to Reduce Environmental Impact of Outdoor Hog Production.
3. City Farmer News
City Farmer News, an organization based in Vancouver, Canada, encourages urbanites to plant food gardens in lieu of grassy lawns. The organization believes that “shoemakers, fashion models, computer geeks, politicians, lawyers, teachers, chefs…all city dwellers…can grow food at home after work in back yards, community gardens or on flat roofs.”
The City Farmer blog is a collection of stories about urban farmers from around the world. It is an excellent resource for anyone interested in urban farming and urban agricultural policy.
4. The Environmental Working Group Blog
The mission of the Environmental Working Group (EWG), a lobby and research organization, is to use the power of public information to protect public health and the environment. The organization is perhaps best known for criticizing the continuation of subsidies to big agribusinesses.
The EWG food blog provides a critical perspective on topics like the U.S. Farm Bill, school nutrition, local food, and food system transparency. Recent posts include: Americans Eat Their Weight in Genetically Engineered Food, Dairy’s Downward Spiral a Consequence of Broken Biofuels Policy, and California Boosts Funding Opportunities for a New Generation of Sustainable Farmers and Local, Healthy Food.
5. Civil Eats
Civil Eats is a daily news source for critical thought about the U.S. food system. The organization, founded in 2009, is a community resource of more than 100 contributors who are, “active participants in the evolving food landscape from Capitol Hill to Main Street.” Civil Eats is committed to building socially and economically just communities by promoting sustainable agriculture.
The blog is divided into sub-topics: business and technology, eating culture, energy policy, environment, food access, food policy, grow your own, health, in the kitchen, life on the farm, re-localize, and take action. It also features multiple blog series, such as Young Farmers Unite and Local Eats.
Sophie Wenzlau is a staff researcher with the Worldwatch Institute.