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Food Systems & Policy

Brief Update from the Legislature

Local Banquet | March 18, 2019 | Winter 2019

Brief Update from the Legislature

This past Friday, March 15th, was crossover in the state house - this is the day that bills in policy committees need to get voted out of committee if they’re going to stay on deadline for passing this year. It’s a good indicator of priorities, although some bills do get special extensions and budget items have a later deadline. Given that this is a traditional taking stock moment for legislative work, we checked in with some groups that spend a lot of time in the state house to find out their thoughts on legislation to watch.

Dairy Donations: Finding a Home for Excess Milk

Helen Labun | February 14, 2019 | Winter 2019

Dairy Donations: Finding a Home for Excess Milk

The Vermont Milk Commission recently recommended a path towards supply management in the dairy industry. Supply management is a complicated task that stems from a simple goal: stop creating too much milk. But while we have too much milk in the system overall, we have not enough milk going to some households that want it. Foodbanks on average distribute one gallon of milk per person every year - even though demand is high. How does our "extra" milk get to consumers who want it but can't afford it?  

Farm to Plate Gathering Looks at Progress in Last 10 Years

| November 08, 2018 | Food Systems & Policy

Farm to Plate Gathering Looks at Progress in Last 10 Years

Over 250 members of the Vermont Farm to Plate Network convened November 1-2, 2018 at the eighth annual Farm to Plate Gathering in Killington to discuss work in increasing jobs and economic development in the Vermont Food System. 

Ginseng Season: It's Harvest Time, But Botanists Urge Restraint

Tatiana Schreiber | September 12, 2018 | Food Systems & Policy

Ginseng Season: It's Harvest Time, But Botanists Urge Restraint

In Vermont, the legal season for collecting wild American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) runs from September 1 through October 31, making this a good time to follow up on a 2008 Local Banquet article by biologist Rick Enser, "A Gathering Storm." Wild ginseng populations had fallen to concerning levels when he wrote his piece in 2008, what has happened since? 

What Do Food Labels Really Tell Us?

| September 02, 2018 | Food Systems & Policy

What Do Food Labels Really Tell Us?

Are there too many food labels? There’s certainly a lot of them, although probably that’s been true since commercial food packaging began. There are enough food labels it’s hard to even talk about “food labels” as a general category since that covers everything from allergen warnings to health claims to the particularly fraught world of labels meant to tell us how our food was raised.

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Our stories, interviews, and essays reveal how Vermont residents are building their local food systems, how farmers are faring in a time of great opportunity and challenge, and how Vermont’s agricultural landscape ties into larger questions of sustainability and the future of our food supply. 

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