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12/20/2011: "Eating Alaska 2011-2012"

Beetsoups (61k image)

Questions
What's on your plate? Where did it come from? How do we create a food system where more people have access to safe and healthy foods?
The questions surrounding what we eat and the momentum of good-real food movement are keeping Eating Alaska in use as a tool to provoke conversation and action.

Looking Back--2011
Slow Food, Public Library screenings, conferences, campus screenings, food coops and festivals including:
-The North American Environmental Education Conference in Raleigh, NC
-4th Annual Environmental Film Festival 
Fort Collins, Colorado
-Wenatchee Valley Environmental Film Series
-Carleton College
 Screening as part of a discussion questioning,"Is meat immoral?
-An Earth Day Speaking Ttour in the Midwest at Grinnell, Knox, and University of Madison, WI and other special campus screenings and events from Arizona State to Fairbanks.
-More PBS screenings across the country

Looking Ahead--2012
Discovery Center
January 14, 2012
Ketchikan, Alaska
3 PM

Philadelphia
Jan 23, 2011
Jefferson Hospital Auditorium
5:30 PM (or TBA)

From screenings in Ketchikan, AK to the Slow Film - International Film And Food Festiva in Brazil, We have screenings in the works in Philly, Eugene, New Orleans and possibly another Earth Day tour to college campuses in New England.
Plus we’llbe the plenary speakers at TThe Study of Literature and Environment’'s Symposium, “Environment, Culture, and Place in a Rapidly Changing Northin June.

In the works

The word is Eating Alaska has been part of a movement.

Locally, in Sitka, Alaska, that has meant an increasing number of Farmer's Markets, home gardens and chickens along with fishing, hunting and gathering. We can cheer, but that is done with an understanding that a lot of people aren't eating well and food prices are soaring.

Learn more at : Sitka Local Foods Network.

And this is part of a letter to the editor, that we signed on to:

"Many in Sitka are feeling squeezed not only by rising fuel costs, but also by escalating food costs. The September 2011 Alaska Food Cost Survey, conducted by University of Alaska Fairbanks Cooperative Extension Service, calculated the local weekly food cost for a family of four as $198.41. This is a 44-percent increase since 2006, when the same market basket cost was $138.14. Local food costs in Sitka are 57 percent higher than in Portland, Ore., 37 percent more than in Anchorage and 30 percent more than in Juneau.

Feeding America 2011 statistics report that 11.7 percent of Sitka’s borough is “food insecure.” This translates to 1,030 Sitkans and other Baranof Islanders who sometimes are completely without a source of food on a regular basis."

These combined statistics paint a picture of increasing vulnerability when it comes to securing nutritious food on a regular basis. In the nutrition and public health world, this tenuous access to healthy food is known as food insecurity. So, how can Sitka, collectively and creatively, respond to food insecurity? Sitka can respond by INCREASING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE LOCAL FOOD.

The Sitka Local Foods Network is working towards improving access to nutritious, local foods through five interconnected strategies. Together, these five strategies can move Sitka toward a more food-secure future. They are:

Promoting traditional and customary food gathering and preservation.
Developing a gardening campaign to assist Sitkans in learning to grow some of their own food.
Growing the number of community gardens.
Creating a community greenhouse and promoting commercial greenhouses to increase year-round access to local fruits and vegetables."

What are we (Eating Alaska) going to do in 2012?
Help out the local food network, make a fun short film about chicken coops and do what we can to keep the conversation going.

What is happening in your workplace, campus or community? Let us know!


Ellen Frankenstein, on 12.20.11 @ 13:46AKT