Jennie Schmidt and I met a few years back in New York City. She and her family live in Maryland. Jennie is one of those ladies that you can only hope to be half as talented as and if you accomplish that then you have done alright. She is not only a mom to two teenagers but she farms and knows a thing or two about growing grapes and making wine. I can remember sitting in a NYC Irish pub talking about our families. We were talking about how easy housework can accumulate and she told me words that I will always remember and help me when I feel overwhelmed with keeping a tidy home. “Mounds of laundry and a dirty house will always be there, never miss the opportunity to make memories with your kids to keep a clean house.”
Jennie combines her education as Dietician with her passion of being a farmer and it forms the perfect combination for a Foodie Farmer. Don’t miss her healthy and very tasty Granola recipe at the bottom.
Dietary Guidelines & Sustainability: 25 Years Late To The Party
- satisfy human food and fiber needs.
- enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends.
- make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls.
- sustain the economic viability of farm operations
- enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.”
From what I read, the DGAC did not acknowledge the 25 year old Congressional definition anywhere in the chapter on Food Sustainability and Safety. Instead they offered a modified Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) definition:
“Sustainable diets: Sustainable diets are a pattern of eating that promotes health and well-being and provides food security for the present population while sustaining human and natural resources for future generations.
Food Security: Food security exists when all people now, and in the future, have access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food to maintain a healthy and active life.”
The document continued by offering the following graphic:
|Source: Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Chapter 5, Food Sustainability and Safety|
- Use of commercial fertilizers and pesticides has been declining in recent years, due to improvements in technology.
- Adoption of “best management practices” (BMPs) in fertilizer use (rate, timing and application method to conserve the resource and maximize plant uptake) has increased. A full 35% of all cropland has met ALL 3 nutrient BMPs, and a significant portion of remaining cropland has some BMP practice implemented.
- US Farmers have increase resource efficiency, producing more food on less land with fewer inputs.
- There are 88 million acres of cropland planted in no-till farming systems and that percentage has been increasing over time at a rate of 1% per year (Howard G. Buffet Foundation).
- According to the Conservation Tillage Information Center, 109 million acres of the 239 million acres of US cropland practice conservation agriculture.
- As a result of conservation tillage, soil health has improved. Erosion has declined, microbial life has increased, and we are on track to making continuous quality improvements as a whole.
|Source: The Food & Agriculture Organization|
These statistics were confirmed by the metrics analyzed by the Field to Market report which looks at national sustainability trends in US agriculture (also not referenced by the DGAC). Which perhaps behooves the question: were the experts were not aware that the 1990 Farm Bill defined sustainable agriculture, and why did they not use the plethora of data and statistics on sustainability practices from the agency charged with implementing the Dietary Guidelines (USDA),
|Source: Animal Agriculture Alliance|
|Source: USDA Economic Research Service|
- 4 cups oats
- 1 cup sunflower kernels
- 1 cup pistachio kernels
- ½ cup pine nuts
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ c. Shredded coconut
- ½ tsp salt
- Mix in slow cooker. In separate bowl mix ½ c. Canola oil, ½ cup maple syrup til blended. (Recipe calls for honey, but Im a New Englander and have homemade maple syrup on hand always). Pour mixture over oats and blend. Cook on high for 2 hours, stirring every 20 min. Spread on baking sheets to cool, stir in dry fruit. Mine is going to be 1 cup each raisins and dry cranberries but substitute whatever you prefer. In fact, change up the whole thing however you want. The recipe I saw did not include all those nuts but I got carried away. Its not very photogenic. I blame the steel cut oats which look like saw dust for that but it tastes good! Make sure to store it in an air tight container. Enjoy with yogurt in the morning!