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The Food Tank, a New Food Think Tank, Launches

The Food Tank, a New Food Think Tank, Launches


Most of what we know about worldwide hunger is wrong, according to Ellen Gustafson.

Her and Danielle Nierenberg, two longtime food activists, have partnered to launch The Food Tank, with the goal of not only educating the public about the real-world realities and implications of hunger and food access, but also gathering both Big Agriculture and local food activists under one roof to discuss ways to provide healthy, sustainable food to the entire world’s population.

"We spend a lot of time looking at hunger as an 'us and them' issue, but the reality is that food issues both in the U.S. and Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, have similar challenges and similar solutions," Gustafson told The Daily Meal. "It’s about building regional food systems, with easier access. The assumption that we’ve figured it out is not only arrogant, it’s wrong."

One of the largest issues the think tank, which will host events across the U.S., will be facing is the fact that the metrics currently used to come up with ideas to change food systems are incomplete at best.

"The question that’s been asked historically has been, 'How can we grow more food?'" said Gustafson. "When in reality what we should be asking is, 'How do we develop agricultural systems to get people to eat healthy? Foods with a low disease rate, a good environmental outcome, and long-term yields."

These answers won’t come easy, but Nierenberg and Gustafson are hoping that by bringing together farmers, businesses, workers, nonprofits, local activists, academics, policy-makers, industry, journalists, community organizations, the funding and donor communities, and everyone else in the food world under one roof and getting the conversation started, steps can be taken toward the end goal of a perfect worldwide food system.

Dan Myers is the Eat/Dine Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @sirmyers.


The Food Tank, a New Food Think Tank, Launches - Recipes

Duration: 1 year, part-time or full-time

Location:Albuquerque, Anchorage, Atlanta, Austin, Baltimore, Billings, Birmingham, Boise, Boston, Bridgeport, Burlington, Charleston (SC), Charleston (WV), Cheyenne, Chicago, Columbus, Denver, Des Moines, Detroit, Fargo, Honolulu, Indianapolis, Jackson, Las Vegas, Little Rock, Los Angeles, Louisville, Manchester, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Nashville, New Orleans, New York City, Newark, Norfolk, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Orlando, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland (ME), Portland (PA), Providence, Raleigh, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Sioux Falls, St. Louis, Topeka, Washington DC, and Wilmington.

We are the food movement and we are growing, organizing, and winning!
Beginning in 2021, Food Tank, the world’s fastest growing sustainable food non-profit, will be visiting all 50 states and every corner of the country to showcase the incredible individuals and organizations that are working to build a more sustainable food system.

All events will be completely free, and participants will hear incredible speakers, sing and dance together, break bread, watch performances, unify, conduct field experiences, and learn about and participate in some of the amazing work happening locally towards building a better food system!

As part of the celebration five visiting aliens from Planet Kepler 4B2b (named Sondazha, Ungayu, Liarra, Velo, and Aiza), brought together an Emmy, Tony, Oscar and Grammy award-winning creative and artistic team, will activate the attendees with a next-level immersive theatrical experience to inspire a revolution in the food system and beyond. The performance will also feature original songs from Rocky Dawuni, a Grammy nominated Ghanaian afro-beats star and United Nations celebrity ambassador. We will be announcing hundreds of global, national and local partners soon!

The Food Tank Summer 2021 City Coordinator will help us lead on the ground with logistics including scouting locations, local partnerships, coordination with food organizations and arts groups, local media outreach, event promotion, event awareness, food and beverage, managing a state-wide Facebook group, writing and research, social media, housing for performers, facilitation, etc.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Demonstrated experience in and passion for the food movement and/or performing arts.
  • Skills in event management.
  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Communications, media, social media experience and work in media and communications field a plus.
  • The work requires attention to detail and creativity.
  • Ability to self-manage and multi-task.

The recruitment process is open until positions are filled. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we will contact only those persons selected for an interview. Food Tank is able to offer $15/hour for this position.

To apply, please send a resume to Bernard Pollack (Food Tank’s Co-Founder) at [email protected] with “Food Tank Summer 2021 – 50 State Tour City Coordinator” in the subject line.

Food Tank Research, Event, Advocacy, and Writing Internship

Duration: 3-6 months unpaid, part-time or full-time (minimum 15-25 hours per week).

Research, Event, Advocacy, and Writing Internships with Food Tank are a unique and exciting opportunity to support and participate in research that drives health, nutrition, and environmental policy. The intern will work closely with Food Tank staff on the following: research and fact-checking collecting, organizing, and managing web content organizing resources and contacts providing logistical and administrative support to on-the-ground research assisting with the Food Talk podcast, weekly newsletter, planning and executing live events as well as attending major food conferences and assisting in writing and outreach that will contribute to and help promote ongoing projects. Interns will also have the chance to have their name published on prominent food, nutrition, policy, and environmental websites and in major newspapers and columns around the world.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Excellent research, writing, and communication skills, preferably experience reporting on issues for newspapers, journals, digital media, and other publications.
  • Demonstrated experience in and passion for food and agricultural issues – and for the importance of accurate information and analysis to guide environmental decision making.
  • Coursework reflecting interest and knowledge of communications, media, social media, and website design. Work in media and communications field a plus. The work requires attention to detail and creativity.
  • Skills in event management.
  • Ability to self-manage and multi-task.

The recruitment process is open until positions are filled. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we will contact only those persons selected for an interview.

To apply, please send a resume, cover letter, and writing sample to Elena Seeley at [email protected] with “Food Tank Research and Communications Internship” in the subject line.

Freelance Writer

Food Tank is hiring freelance writers to contribute creative, high-quality, in-depth, and investigative articles and news stories. Professional writers with experience in food justice, food policy, nutrition, and sustainable agriculture are encouraged to join us. This is a unique and exciting opportunity to support and develop groundbreaking research driving health, nutrition, and environmental policy. This is a remote position, and international writers are encouraged to apply.

Payment is determined on a sliding scale pending on the length of article and depth of research.

If interested, please submit the following to Elena Seeley ([email protected]) with “Food Tank Freelance” in the subject line.

  1. Resume
  2. Three linked articles featured in reputable news sources.
  3. Three article pitches

Please provide detailed information in your article pitches, including bullet points on:


by Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson,
Food Tank: The Food Think Tank
www.FoodTank.org

As we start 2013, many people will be thinking about plans and promises to improve their diet and health. But we think a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers, and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system – real changes with long-term impacts in fields, boardrooms, and on plates all over the world. These are resolutions that the world can’t afford to break with nearly one billion still hungry and more than one billion suffering from the effects of being overweight and obese. We have the tools—let’s use them in 2013!

Growing in Cities: Food production doesn’t only happen in fields or factories. Nearly one billion people worldwide produce food in cities. In Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, farmers are growing seeds of indigenous vegetables and selling them to rural farmers. At Bell Book & Candle restaurant in New York, customers are served rosemary, cherry tomatoes, romaine, and other produce grown from the restaurant’s aeroponic rooftop garden.

Creating Better Access: People’s Grocery in Oakland and Fresh Moves in Chicago bring mobile grocery stores to food deserts giving low-income consumers opportunities to make healthy food choices. Instead of chips and soda, they provide customers with affordable organic produce, not typically available in their communities.

Eaters Demanding Healthier Food: Food writer Michael Pollan advises not to eat anything that your grandparents wouldn’t recognize. Try eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods without preservatives and other additives.

Cooking More: Home economics classes have declined in schools in the United Kingdom and the U.S. and young people lack basic cooking skills. Top Chefs Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters, and Bill Telepan are working with schools to teach kids how to cook healthy, nutritious foods.

Creating Conviviality: According to the Hartman Group, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. eat meals alone. Sharing a meal with family and friends can foster community and conversation. Recent studies suggest that children who eat meals with their families are typically happier and more stable than those who do not.

Focus on Vegetables: Nearly two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, leading to poor development. The World Vegetable Center, however, is helping farmers grow high-value, nutrient rich vegetables in Africa and Asia, improving health and increasing incomes.

Preventing Waste: Roughly one-third of all food is wasted—in fields, during transport, in storage, and in homes. But there are easy, inexpensive ways to prevent waste. Initiatives like Love Food, Hate Waste offer consumers tips about portion control and recipes for leftovers, while farmers in Bolivia are using solar-powered driers to preserve foods.

Engaging Youth: Making farming both intellectually and economically stimulating will help make the food system an attractive career option for youth. Across sub-Saharan Africa, cell phones and the internet are connecting farmers to information about weather and markets in the U.S., Food Corps is teaching students how to grow and cook food, preparing them for a lifetime of healthy eating.

Protecting Workers: Farm and food workers across the world are fighting for better pay and working conditions. In Zimbabwe, the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), protects laborers from abuse. In the U.S., the Coalition of Immokalee Workers successfully persuaded some large food retailers to pay the premium of a penny-per-pound to Florida tomato pickers.

Acknowledging the Importance of Farmers: Farmers aren’t just farmers, they’re business-women and men, stewards of the land, and educators, sharing knowledge in their communities. Slow Food International works with farmers all over the world, helping recognize their importance to preserve biodiversity and culture.

Recognizing the Role of Governments: Nations must implement policies that give everyone access to safe, affordable, healthy food. In Ghana and Brazil, government action, including national school feeding programs and increased support for sustainable agricultural production, greatly reduced the number of hungry people.

Changing the Metrics: Governments, NGOs, and funders have focused on increasing production and improving yields, rather than improving nutrition and protecting the environment. Changing the metrics, and focusing more on quality, will improve public and environmental health, and livelihoods.

Fixing the Broken Food System: Agriculture can be the solution to some of the world’s most pressing challenges—including unemployment, obesity, and climate change. These innovations simply need more research, more investment, and ultimately more funding.

Danielle Nierenberg and Ellen Gustafson are the co-founders of Food Tank: The Food Think Tank (www.FoodTank.org). Danielle is based in Chicago, IL and Ellen is based in San Diego, CA.

This entry was posted on Friday, December 28th, 2012 at 5:27 pm and is filed under January 2013. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.


The Food Tank, a New Food Think Tank, Launches - Recipes

Danielle Nierenberg is President of Food Tank and an expert on sustainable agriculture and food issues.

Danielle Nierenberg, a world-renowned researcher, speaker, and advocate, on all issues relating to our food system and agriculture.

In 2013, Danielle Nierenberg co-founded Food Tank with Bernard Pollack, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization focused on building a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters. Food Tank is a global convener, research organization, and non-biased creator of original research impacting the food system.

Food Tank’s Summits, held across the United States and expanding internationally, have hosted hundreds of speakers and sold-out audiences of thousands of participants, with hundreds of thousands joining via livestream reaching millions across social media. The Summits are one of the most important forums bringing together all sides of food issues for critical discussion partnered with major universities and moderated by major food journalists including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, National Public Radio, and dozens more.

Food Tank is also publishing original articles daily and partners with over 70 major organizations including academic institutions like George Washington University and Tufts U.N. organizations like the FAO, UNEP, and IFAD funding and donor community organizations such as the Rockefeller Foundation and the Christensen Fund and global nonprofits such as Slow Food USA and Oxfam America.

Danielle also conducts extensive on-the-ground research, traveling to more than 70 countries across sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. She has met with thousands of farmers and farmers’ groups, scientists and researchers, policymakers and government leaders, students and academics, as well as journalists, documenting what’s working to help alleviate hunger and poverty while protecting the environment.

Her knowledge of global agriculture issues has been cited widely in more than 20,000 major print and broadcast outlets worldwide, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the International Herald Tribune, The Washington Post, BBC, MSNBC, Fox News, CNN, CBS This Morning, The Guardian (UK), The Telegraph (UK), Le Monde (France), the Mail and Guardian (South Africa), the East African (Kenya), TIME magazine, the Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France Presse, Voice of America, the Times of India, the Sydney Morning Herald, and hundreds more.

Danielle speaks at more than 100 events per year, including major conferences and events all over the world. These events include SXSW, TED, The World Food Prize/Borlaug Dialogues, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Conference, James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, Barilla Center for Food & Nutrition’s International Forum on Food and Nutrition, Edible Institute, Milan Urban Food Pact Awards, Aspen Institute Environment Forum, the European Commission, the Chicago Council Global Food Security Symposium, National Geographic’s Food Forum, the Sustainable Food Summit, the Hilton Humanitarian Awards, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Forum and Expo on Family Farming, New York Times Food for Tomorrow, BITE, and many others.

She has built a worldwide social media and web following of more than 1,200,000 including 350,000 weekly newsletter subscribers from 190 countries 360,000 combined Facebook fans and 600,000 combined Twitter followers, and 31,000 on Instagram.


Food Tank: A Q&A with Danielle Nierenberg

Food Tank calls itself the “Think Tank for Food.” A global community with a robust online platform, their vision works to “push for food system change.” Established in 2013 by President Danielle Nierenberg, the nonprofit offers information-packed newsletters, volunteer opportunities, yearly summits and an upcoming book, scheduled for release later this year. You can also become a member of the organization and engage in solutions-oriented conversations within the sustainable food movement from your desk.

“We try to be as interactive with folks as possible and we’re very open to engaging as much as time allows,” Nierenberg says, and she means it. She takes phone calls from people who have simple questions, like where to start with sustainable agriculture, and spent a lovely afternoon talking with me about Food Tank’s origins, how they stay positive in a “doom and gloom” food industry and what gives her hope—the core tenet of Food Tank—for a future of empowered, engaged and healthy eaters and farmers.

Q: Why did you create Food Tank?

Danielle Nierenberg: I was working for many years at an environmental think tank in D.C. Eventually, when I left I was the director of their food and agriculture program. We were really good at highlighting what wasn’t working and all of the problems. And in so many ways, you have to talk about the problems when you’re talking about the food system.

I was doing a lot of work interviewing farmers, scientists, women’s groups, chefs, nutritionists and policy makers all over the world. What I was hearing was a lot of hope and a lot of innovation that had potential to be scaled up and scaled out but wasn’t getting the investment, research and attention it needed. There were solutions we just weren’t hearing enough about them. That was the real impetus behind it.

And to build a platform for the good-food movement, for different organizations to be highlighted and for them to feel like they can come to Food Tank and find non-biased information, that it can be a resource for everyone—from regular moms and dads to policy makers and business leaders. That platform is really important to us so that people feel like they can be critical, offer suggestions, call us out on things and build a dialogue through our daily articles and research publications.

And then being able to meet in person at our Food Tank Summits, where we’re bringing together unlikely suspects, like executives from McDonald’s and Cargill and Monsanto on the stage with food justice advocates having a real dialogue. There is a lot of demonizing when we talk about food issues. [We want] to really get people to talk to and listen to one another and understand that there is always going to be disagreement but that if we’re not all listening to one another, the things that we care about are never going to come to fruition.

Q: You touch on sustainable agriculture as key to your mission, but what is sustainable agriculture, how is it different or similar to indigenous farming practices and why is it so central to these global food issues?

A: Sustainable agriculture has so many definitions. For me, a sustainable agriculture system is one that is environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. One that is regenerative. It’s not just extracting resources from the land but putting them back in. One that is able to make farmers a fair wage and also provide accessible, affordable food to eaters, and that doesn’t treat farmers, food workers and women as slaves to the food system, but one that treats them respectfully and humanely. And that’s very different from the industrial system of agriculture.

When Food Tank talks about indigenous and traditional practices in other countries what we’re trying to highlight is that there are many of these practices that have a lot of potential, like rainwater harvesting, cover cropping, different irrigation practices that have been forgotten, and natural forms of fertilizing land as opposed to getting artificial fertilizer out of a bag. They’ve been ignored in favor of some technologies that offer a lot of promise but are very expensive.

One of the key things that we try to do is highlight both high and low technologies, and combine big data, which is a term that is being thrown around a lot now because of GPS and drones and all this great information that we’re able to collect. [We’re asking] how can you get it to farmers, whether they’re small and large? Like being able to harness the use of cell phones, which has grown so tremendously across sub-Saharan Africa and places like India, and having farmers being able to have access to data and information about weather systems and markets that they never would have before.

I think there are ways to not ignore the new and fancy things that are coming about, but to combine them with the things that we know already work.

Q: I read you joined the Peace Corps and worked in the Dominican Republic for two years, and you continue to travel the globe interviewing farmers. How has working with people from all over the world, particularly women farmers, influenced your perspectives on real solutions to climate change, obesity, malnutrition and poverty?

A: The thing about women farmers is that they’ve been invisible for so long, whether you’re talking about the United States or the global south. When people think of farmers they think of men, either male farmers tilling fields by hand or sitting on a combine.

They don’t understand that women make up nearly half of all farmers in the world. And in some cases, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, they make up to 80% of the agriculture labor force. Yet they’re denied access to the same resources as men. They don’t get an education and extension services. They often are not allowed to own land. The bankers don’t listen to them, or [women farmers are] afraid to go to the banking and lending institutions.

The real opportunity here is that if we invest in and pay attention to women farmers, data from the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization suggests that we could increase yields by 20 to 30% and lift as many as 100 million people out of hunger. So I think there is a real opportunity we’re missing there.

From my travels and my experiences with the Peace Corps, or I was just in Senegal recently, we really need to listen to the needs of women farmers and make sure they’re not ignored when you’re developing new innovations or new technologies, or when you’re concentrating on some of these more sustainable or traditional practices.

Q: Journalism about sustainable food and farming issues these days can be so mired in the negative. What values do you practice and hold close to help you and your team stay future-focused on positive solutions?

A: Oh gosh, that’s a good question. No one has ever asked me that. I think we try to talk to people who inspire us. When we get article ideas from our fellows and our interns I like to ask, “Who is your hero or heroine, who has inspired you? Why did you want to work here? What kind of person made you want to do this? Did you grow up on a farm, or in a city and always wanted to grow food on a rooftop?” It’s just about being able to get those ideas flowing. You know, there’s so much negativity. I get negative.

But I think because I get this opportunity to work with so many young people who are so passionate and so energetic … we started this fellows program last year to get really keen, excited, smart people on board for three to six months with a stipend. And talking to these candidates for the position yesterday, they’re so energetic and come from so many backgrounds. That’s honestly what keeps me going: having all these young people. I learn from them all the time.

Q: Tell me a bit about the journey of trying to eat well in your own community and what challenges you face as an eater and cook?

A: I love food. I wouldn’t be in this if I didn’t care about food. Food Tank talks so much about food loss and food waste. I have the same tendency that a lot of people have. Like, I see something beautiful at the farmers market or the grocery store, and I’m, like, “I want it,” but because I travel all the time, at least in the past, a lot of food used to get wasted.

So I’ve had to practice what we preach and find different ways to preserve the foods that I want, so making more soups and pickling. That’s been a journey for me, for sure. I want to make sure I’m following the same values that we’re putting out into the world.

Q: Is there a recent experience from your travels and work that makes you smile and have faith in creating, as your mission states, “a global community for safe, healthy, nourished eaters”?

A: There is one I think about a lot, and it happened several years ago now. It is the one that makes me smile the most. I was in Niger with this group of about 50 women farmers who were working with a research institute. They had built a community farm that they themselves ran. They were using solar drip technology to irrigate their crops, because Niger is very dry. They were growing a lot of fruits and vegetables but also ornamental and fruit trees to sell, which you can get a high price for.

One of the questions I always ask anyone I’m meeting is, “How did this innovation change you, what kind of transformation took place?” I was talking to these women and having it translated back to me. They would say things like, “I was able to buy my husband a bicycle so that he doesn’t have to walk to the land where he’s growing food,” or “I was able to send my children to school, because I couldn’t do that before” or “buy books or medical supplies.” And then, one of the women said to me, “We’re fatter now.” And these women are not fat. What they mean is they’re better nourished and eating a more diverse group of foods.

They were making more money. We forget farmers are businesspeople. These farmers were making about a dollar a day before they started this garden. Now each of them is making about $1,500 a year. That’s a huge increase.

And I think that’s what transforms things. Understanding that the food system has to be all of those things mentioned before— environmentally, economically and socially sustainable. And that project, for me, really encompasses all those things, and the fact that these women thought they were fat when they’re really not. They were just eating a lot better.


Conferences [ edit ]

In 2015, Food Tank launched its first Food Tank Summit in Washington, DC. Since then, Food Tank has been holding a series of summits in various cities, each with a different theme within the food system. Γ] Food Tank has hosted summits in Boston, Δ] Chicago, Ε] New York City, Ζ] Sacramento, California, Η] Seattle, ⎖] and Washington, D.C. ⎗] These conferences gather dozens of experts across all sectors of the food industry, including business, government, nonprofit organizations, farmers, unions, and chefs. ⎘]


Food Tank: A Think Tank for Food

Have you heard about Food Tank yet? Co-founded by Ellen Gustafson and Danielle Nierenberg, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank offers "solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity and poverty by creating a network of connections and information for us to consume and share."

They launched less than a month ago, and they've already put out a lot of interesting material. Like 10 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill While Eating Healthier and Are Earth Markets the New Farmers' Markets? My favorite so far is this video they shared by the American Society of Landscape Architects: The Edible City.

They've also got an active Facebook page, so be sure to check them out as well.

Know of any other new organizations we'd be interested in? Share them in the comments section below.


Resetting the Food System: 50 State Food Tank Live Tour

Aug 6 – Aug 30, 2021. The 2021 Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Food Tank was selected to present our interactive immersive original musical about food insecurity called "WeCameToDance" at the world's largest theater festival held in Scotland. Tickets HERE.

Sept 6th - 9th, 2021. Food Tank's "WeCameToDance" will be presented at The Vaults in London. Tickets HERE.

October 2nd, 2021, in partnership with the Julia Child Foundation and the University of California Santa Barbara . Theme: Regenerative Agriculture . Details and registration coming soon!

October 29th, 2021, in partnership with Metropolitan University of Denver and We Don’t Waste . Theme: Re-thinking How to Feed a Nation. A Post-Covid Strategy.". Details and registration coming soon!

January 12th, 2022 in partnership with University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Illinois Tech, Chicago-Kent College of Law, The Hatchery, City Colleges of Chicago and Chicagoland Food & Beverage. Theme: Digitization Across the Food Supply Chain. Details and registration coming soon!

February 24, 2022 in partnership with Duke University. Theme: Economic Justice and the Food System. Details and registration coming soon!

March 14-18, 2022 @ SXSW in partnership with Huston-Tillotson University. Theme: Social and Environmental Justice in the Food System. Details and registration coming soon!

March 31st, 2022 in partnership with Spelman College and Emory University . Theme: A Symposium Themed Around African American Women, Artificial Intelligence, and Food . Details and registration coming soon!

April 2022 in partnership with the University of the District of Columbia , Food Tank will be co-hosting a Summit on campus as well as an event on Capitol Hill.

April 29th, 2022 in partnership with the University of San Francisco - School of Nursing and Health Professions. Theme: Food For Health. Details and registration coming soon!

Oct 2022 in partnership with Ohio State University. Theme: World Food Day 2022.

FALL 2022 in partnership with Wayne State University. Theme: TBD.

FALL 2022 in partnership with Brown University and Roger Williams University. Theme: TBD.

More details and registration information for all these events coming soon!


New sites want you to better understand your food


The two sites have little in common, save perhaps the fact that each was started by a small group of women who have developed deep expertise in their particular field of interest: American Food Roots on the history and evolution of U.S. gastronomy and Food Tank on the contradictory and problematic Western food system.

In early December, four D.C.-area food writers launched American Food Roots, led by NPR contributor Bonny Wolf , who conceived of the project years ago. Wolf recruited three other culinary scribes — Domenica Marchetti, Michele Kaya l and Carol Guensburg — to start building out the site in September 2011.

Together, the quarter have put together a charming and informative site that combines research into the cuisines of all 50 states with features, videos and recipes on all kinds of American cooking, whether the increasingly international flavor of the Thanksgiving spread or the decreasing presence of coddies in Baltimore. Trust me, if you read American Food Roots, you’ll learn something about the meals you eat, like the Christmas tradition of the Feast of the Seven Fishes. (Is it an Italian tradition or an American one?)

“We really felt that there wasn’t anything out there quite like this,” Marchetti tells All We Can Eat. “We really wanted to dig a little deeper. We wanted to explore and tell America’s food stories and tell what people are eating in America’s kitchen.”

At this point, American Food Roots is a “labor of love” for the co-founders, says Marchetti, author of numerous books on Italian cooking, including “The Glorious Pasta of Italy” (Chronicle Books, 2011). In fact, between the four writers, they’ve invested about $10,000 of their own money into the project, Marchetti says. The site is looking for volunteers to provide stories or video anecdotes on foodstuffs close their hearts or even flesh out some of the state culinary histories.

One territory that currently has no food history on the site is, interestingly enough, the District of Columbia. “We’re not dissing Washington,” Marchetti says with a laugh. “We’re leaving the best for last.”

The four founders do have a business plan for American Food Roots, which could involve collaborations and partnerships with other groups, like state tourism bureaus. “If we get the numbers on the site that would entice advertisers, that’s one way we’d go,” Marchetti says.

By contrast, Food Tank: The Food Think Tank, is tackling a far more difficult task: reforming the entire food system, whether reversing the vast amount of waste built into the system or weaning ourselves off the high-yield commodities that dominate our diet (think: soy and corn). The site, which launches on Thursday, is co-founded by Ellen Gustafson and Danielle Nierenberg , two activists whose youth belie their wealth of experience in sustainable agriculture, hunger issues, poverty and nutrition.

As the founders note in the video above, “We’re trying to bridge the major disconnect betweenorganizations that are fighting hunger and organizations that are fighting obesity. The two groups have more in common than they think.”

I asked Nierenberg via e-mail how Food Tank’s mission will differ from other groups fighting the same battle on hunger, obesity and nutrition.

“Our goal is to find ways to bridge domestic and global food issues,” Nierenberg writes. “We want to highlight the need for changing the metrics regarding how food security and nutrition are measured. While yields and calories are important, they aren’t the only measurement of a healthy food system — we also need to consider environmental sustainability, the nutritional quality of food, gender equity, involvement of youth, etc., when measuring whether a food system is ‘successful.’ ”

“We also want to tell stories of hope and success in agriculture and highlight the innovations that are working on the ground to help alleviate hunger and poverty while also protecting the environment and shine a spotlight on these initiatives so they get more attention, more research, and ultimately more funding and investment,” she adds.

How will these lofty goals translate into weekly actions?

“Our biggest goal on a weekly basis is to connect with our readers, share their stories and get their ideas,” Nierenberg says. “Food Tank will be a community of activists, advocates, researchers, scientists, policy leaders, farmers, chefs, food manufacturers, journalists, students, academics, and others who are sharing their experiences with a broader audience.”

“At the same time,” she adds, “we’ll be conducting solid research and analysis — evaluating different food systems, establishing different metrics, putting together reports and presentations — to make sure we’re building a solid, science-based foundation for changing the food system.”

You might be heartened to learn that Food Tank’s budget comes from private funders, collaborations with other non-profits and foundations. ”We’re not accepting corporate funding,” Nierenberg says.


Food Tank

Food Tank: A Food Think Tank, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization founded in 2013 by Danielle Nierenberg, Bernard Pollack, [1] and Ellen Gustafson to reform the food system. [2] Its goal is to highlight environmentally, socially, and economically sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty. [3] Nierenberg is the winner of the 2020 Julia Child Award, [4] which celebrates leaders who are impacting the world through food.

In 2015, Food Tank launched its first Food Tank Summit in Washington, DC. Since then, Food Tank has been holding a series of summits in various cities, each with a different theme within the food system. [5] Food Tank has hosted summits in Boston, [6] Chicago, [7] New York City, [8] Sacramento, California, [9] Seattle, [10] and Washington, D.C. [11] These conferences gather dozens of experts across all sectors of the food industry, including business, government, nonprofit organizations, farmers, unions, and chefs. [12]

The organization's website is a publishing platform for news about the food industry and system, and it also provides research and analysis with the goal of building a science-based foundation for changing the food system. [2] Topics covered include sustainable agriculture, climate change, food waste, urban agriculture, and policy and organizing. [13]

In 2014, Food Tank partnered with the James Beard Foundation to publish an annual "Good Food Org Guide", a comprehensive directory of nonprofit organizations that are working toward a better food system. [14]


Watch the video: Food Think Tank - LAS INSTALACJA