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Archive for the 'food insecurity' Category

Food prices expected to go even higher

June
2

The rising cost of food has been the subject of more than one post on this blog in the past (See: “How the cost of food can make children less healthy” and multiple posts on Bloggers Unite for Human Rights day.), so I was disheartened last week to see a report about how world food prices were expected to be perhaps even more volatile over the coming decade.moneyegg-2.jpg

The joint report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization contained grim news.

While the focus of the report was world-wide, naturally, it has ramifications all the way down to the most local level. For example:

Compared with the previous decade, the report said average prices from 2008-2017 for beef and pork will rise 20 percent; sugar around 30 percent; wheat, maize and skim-milk powder 40 to 60 percent; butter and oilseeds more than 60 percent; and vegetable oils over 80 percent.

Here’s some of the highlights from the report:

• Both consumption and production is growing faster in developing countries for all agricultural commodities except wheat. By 2017, these countries are expected to dominate trade in most farm products.
• High prices will be beneficial for many commercial farmers both in developed and developing countries. However, many farmers in developing countries are not linked to markets and are unlikely to benefit from the projected higher prices.
• Cereal markets are expected to remain tight as stocks are unlikely to return to the high levels of the past decade.
• Consumption of vegetable oils, both from oil seed crops and from palm, will grow faster than for other crops over the next 10 years. The rise is being driven both by demand for food and for biofuels.
• Brazil’s share of world meat exports is expected to grow to 30 percent by 2017.

So, how have rising food costs been affecting you? Please respond below or e-mail me off the blog; I’d like to write a follow-up post regarding how people are dealing with the increased prices.

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Posted by Amy Vernon on Monday, June 2nd, 2008 at 5:07 pm |
| | 4 Comments »

Back to basics for the picky eater

May
27

Toronto’s Globe and Mail has a good story about going back to basics to get your kids to eat more nutritiously. No magic bullet. Involve them in helping serve the family lots of tasty nutritious food — and keep at it.

Posted by Katie Ryan O'Connor on Tuesday, May 27th, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
| | 1 Comment »

Hunger in the Lower Hudson Valley

May
15

One of the best and worst things about working as a journalist in a small, close-knit region like the Lower Hudson Valley is that you come in contact with representatives from many charitable organizations looking to raise awareness about their cause. Name a problem (affordable housing, hunger, health care and mental health issues, disaster relief, etc.) and chances are good that there is an organization of dedicated volunteers mobilized to try and help residents cope.

Since becoming a mother, however, I find myself getting more emotional when I think about those issues and problems that impact children. It’s especially upsetting to know that children in the Lower Hudson Valley go hungry on a regular basis, and the numbers will only grow as the economy falters. The anguish a parent must experience when they can’t provide this basic need or worry where tomorrow or next week’s breakfast, lunch and dinner will come from. It’s called food insecurity and the people who volunteer at regional food pantries will tell you that it’s much more prevalent than you might think.

foodpantry2.jpg

Food pantries can be a lifesaver, literally. Most of them gladly accept donations of non-perishable foods, money or volunteer time. And they need to keep their shelves stocked all year ’round, not just at Thanksgiving and Christmas, when we traditionally think about food drives. Check the Web site or call for more information. Here are just a few in the region:

Community Center of Northern Westchester, Route 117, Katonah.

Food Bank for Westchester, 358 Saw Mill River Road, Millwood, 914-923-110.

Westchester Coalition for the Hungry and Homeless, 48 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, 914-682-2737.

Gilead Presbyterian Church, 9 Church St., Carmel, 845-225-4586.

People to People Inc., 121 W. Nyack Road, Nanuet, 845-623-4900.

Food Bank of the Hudson Valley, 195 Hudson St., Cornwall-on-Hudson, 845-534-5344.

The Rockland County Department of Social Services posts a list of food pantries and soup kitchens on its Web site.

Make a difference in a child’s life. Pick up an extra box of cereal or a few canned goods and donate today. A family will thank you.

Photo by Kathy Gardner

Posted by Tracey Princiotta on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 9:00 am |
| | 1 Comment »

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Bloggers Unite for Human Rights

May
15

For a few weeks now, some of you may have noticed the badge in our blog’s sidebar that declares today as the day that Bloggers Unite for Human Rights.

Several of us here at ice cream is not for breakfast decided to join in, writing about topics that relate to our blog topic, feeding our children.

First off, at 9 a.m., we’ll have Tracey Princiotta writing about food insecurity in the Lower Hudson Valley as the worsening economy puts more families at risk of hunger.

At 11 a.m., Amy Vernon will explain the PB&J campaign and why eating less meat is a good idea not just for your arteries, but for others who are hungry around the world.

At 1 p.m. Marcela Rojas will tell you about Bread Alone, a bakery that a nonprofit in Africa to set up bakeries giving children with HIV/AIDS access to nutritious, whole grain breads.

At 3 p.m., Katie Ryan O’Connor will examine how higher food and fuel costs are forcing school districts around the country to slash critical food programs such as free school breakfasts.

We’ll update this post as the day goes on to hyperlink to each of the aforementioned posts.

Please let us know what you think and I hope we provide you with some (pardon the pun) food for thought.

Posted by Amy Vernon on Thursday, May 15th, 2008 at 7:00 am |
| | 4 Comments »

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About this blog
You make it, they eat it, right?

As most parents soon discover, feeding a family is rarely that easy, whether its nursing a fussy newborn or trying to get a hot meal into a squirming toddler (or attempting both at the same time.) And that's not even the days when work runs late, the main course burns, or your adventurous little sushi eater announces from now on she will only eat food that is pink.

As parents ourselves, we've been there, done that, even learned a few tricks along the way. And we're pretty sure so have you. Maybe together we can make eating together as a family -- gulp! -- fun again.

My site was nominated for Best Parenting Blog!

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About the authors
Hema Easley Hema Easley has been a reporter for The Journal News since July 2002, first covering municipal government and then nonprofit agencies, women's issues and the South Asian and Muslim community in the Lower Hudson Valley. In her previous job, Hema was a correspondent for the Associated Press in South Asia. She lives with her husband and two sons in Orange County.
KatieKatie Ryan O'Connor, a Journal News editor and 35-year-old mother of three, never quite appreciated the work that went into feeding kids until she had to do it herself as a mother. If she had a food-and-kids philosophy it would be something like this: try your best to offer as much healthy food as possible, but sometimes fruits just have to be counted as vegetables and there are far worse things than chicken and spaghetti. Again.
TraceyTracey Princiotta, a 37-year-old mother of one, loves to cook, bake and eat, and is relieved that her son appears to be equally willing to chow down -- even if it's baby food and formula right now. Despite her husband's intense aversion to vegetables, she has high hopes of nurturing a true chowhound who will try everything at least once. And if all else fails, she's not above sneaking veggies into other foods.
Marcela Rojas Marcela Rojas has been a municipal reporter with The Journal News since January 2003. She is a native of Putnam County and grew up eating Peruvian food. She didn't realize until she was 13 that rice did not come with everyone's meal. After several years of living in Los Angeles -- where she grew a fondness for Thai food -- she returned to Putnam County where she now lives with her husband and daughter. Zyla (rhymes with Lilah) just turned 1 in March and, so far (her mother is pleased to note), loves to eat everything.
Swapna Venugopal Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, a Journal News reporter, started her career as a journalist in 1999 after graduating with a master's degree from New York University. Before joining the paper in 2006, Swapna worked as a municipal reporter for the Home News Tribune in New Jersey, and took a baby sabbatical to care for her two children, now ages 7 and 5. She has currently outsourced feeding her children and husband to her mother, who is visiting from India. Her friend and colleague Katie O'Connor, informs Swapna that she wouldn't mind being fed Indian food by her mother, too.
Randi Weiner Randi Weiner has been a reporter with The Journal News since 1989, having covered police, government and schools in Westchester and in Rockland. An Ohio native and 1976 graduate of Bowling Green State University, she worked for daily newspapers in Ohio and Michigan before moving east. She has tended bar and danced in a beledi troup and sat on the boards of two community theaters. She plays mandolin with the Shamrogues, Connecticuts largest Irish band. Randi lives in Connecticut with her husband and has three children.

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