Monday, September 26, 2011

Is junk food really cheaper than healthy food?

Mark Bittman of the NY Times has written an excellent article contradicting the notion that junk food is cheaper than healthy food.  Slow Food's recent $5 challenge and the corresponding abundance of delicious $5-10 meal recipes they continue to post also serve to dismantle this claim.  Bittman goes even further, quoting Marion Nestle to point out that the problem is less about eating junk food, and more about not cooking for ourselves.

Bittman is relentless in tackling the barriers to eating well:  food deserts; lack of time (spent watching television instead, for example); thinking of cooking as "work"; the addictiveness of hyperprocessed food; ubiquity of fast-food restaurants (5-to-1 ratio of fast-food outlets to supermarkets), aka "food swamps".

The conclusion is that changes need to happen at the cultural and political levels.  Organizations like Cooking Matters and Fresh Approach work with families and communities, combining education, incentives, and outreach.  Politically, we need to pay attention to the powerful marketing by the fast-food industry, and start to understand the effects of US farm subsidies on our overall agricultural system.

Kudos to Bittman and the NY Times for a great analysis of many of the issues contributing to healthy food access.  At Share | Kitchen, we plan to offer workshops discussing these very topics.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Share | Kitchen

If you have been following our active Twitter stream, you'll know by now that mo foods is evolving.  Our adventures this past year have led us from tapping our local resources to create tasty products, towards becoming one of those very resources for the greater SF Bay Area food community.  In our search for a commercial kitchen with which to expand mo foods and legally sell at the underground markets (SF Underground and New Taste Marketplace), we realized that there currently just aren't very many options.

We'll give a hearty shout-out to those that exist and are already supporting many of our vendor friends:  Eclectic Cookery in the Hunter's Point Shipyard, La Cocina incubating low-income vendors, even the Artisan Kitchen in Richmond has a lovely open warehouse.

Into this mix we add our new project, Share | Kitchen.  This space will be a food community hub, offering a commercial kitchen for rental, pop-up dinners, cooking classes, and food justice workshops.  We are developing relationships with local farmers and hope to be able to house a monthly CSA box distribution site and seasonal ingredient sources for our vendors and chefs, exemplifying the farm-to-table stream.

Right now we're refining our business plan and talking to investors as we look at potential locations.  Would you like to join us on this adventure?  Shoot us an email at mofoods, and stay tuned!