September, 2012 
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GLEANINGS: n. 1. That which has been acquired by gleaning. 2. The monthly eNewsletter of CT NOFA. [Glean:v. 1. to gather relevant information or material by patient effort, bit by bit; to find out. 2. to gather grain or other produce (often: left by reapers); to harvest.]
 
From the Board President

Food scares or food security?

By Bettylou Sandy

 

With the frequency of food recalls for salmonella and other contaminants, as well as the awareness of genetically modified organisms (GMO) in foods so prevalent, many people are afraid to buy food in the stores without reading labels carefully and considering the source and packaging of a product.

 

Then, in these times of rising food prices due to transportation costs, I am seeing that more people just do not have enough good food to eat. Food inequity is extremely high. Too many people are buying inexpensive and processed "junk food" for their families; demands are testing food banks' capacity.

 

On the other end of the spectrum, I find more and more people are buying local and organic foods to be sure they are eating safely and nutritiously. By buying locally grown food from farmer's markets or grocery stores, we avoid paying transportation costs and are able to eat fresher food with more nutritional content. The shorter the travel time, the more food value remains in the food. When we buy directly from the farmer, we know who is growing the food and are more confident as to its safety.

 

Another way to be sure of the quality and availability of our food is to grow it ourselves! More and more people prefer to replace part or all of their lawns to grow their own food. For many years I have been teaching people how to incorporate food into their landscapes among their flowers and shrubs. Today, people are just taking out their lawns and planting vegetable gardens wherever there is sun on their property. Condo and apartment dwellers are growing food in containers on their decks, patios, and porches. Community gardens are being started everywhere to allow people to grow food in a safe environment. In my classes at Manchester Community College, fewer people are attending classes about growing flowers and more prefer to learn about growing food!

 

CT NOFA is the oldest and largest organization advocating for local and organic food, farming, and land care in Connecticut. Our work educates residents of Connecticut about their power to make positive changes by buying local and organic food, supporting and encouraging local farmers, helping people to grow food, and being better educated consumers. For 30 years we have been a healthy voice in Connecticut.

 

Please renew your membership or join CT NOFA as a new member to continue your support for our programs and resources.   In these hard economic times, we need to raise $30,000 to keep our programs available. Please consider donating to CT NOFA today to help us to build a healthier and safer Connecticut for another 30 years!

 

Bettylou Sandy is the President of CT NOFA and owner of Bettylou's Gardening in Manchester CT, offering gardening consultations for the do-it-yourselfer and personal gardening skill training. As an accredited Organic Land Care Professional (AOLCP), she teaches many gardening classes at Manchester Community College and manages the community garden on that campus. contact: bettylous.gardening@snet.net