Category Archives: Food Sustainability

Endangered livestock: Heritage Breeds Week

You may not think much about it, but there are endangered breeds of livestock. More than 1,400 of them worldwide. And it’s time to start protecting them.

That’s what  International Heritage Breeds Week is all about.  After all,  agriculture has dramatically changed over the past century in many parts of the world and is still rapidly evolving in favor of speed and efficiency.

Livestock domestication began around 12,000 years ago in southwestern Asia. For most of recorded history agriculture took place small-scale, and at the local level, but over the past century, the same efficiencies used in many other industries have been applied in farming to produce more food, in less time, at lower prices. This consolidation has led to the abandonment and extinction of at least 7% of the currently documented 8,774 breeds worldwide, with an additional 17% now at risk of extinction. The current extinction rate is higher than it has ever been, with at least 99 breeds having become extinct since the year 2000. That results in less genetically diverse livestock, which can lead to vulnerabilities in agriculture.

Our project, Piggy Bank is focusing on creating an open access agriculture with heritage pigs.

Take a look:

And consider a donation during  International Heritage Breeds Week.

Eat What You Want Day? #EatLocal

May 11 is “Eat What You Want Day”.  It was established to allow people to let go of their dieting lifestyle for just one day.

That’s nice, but let’s take it a step further.

What if you choose a cheeseburger to indulge in on this day?

Do you know the impact of that one cheeseburger? Take a look.

Depending on where you get your “Eat What You Want Day”  cheeseburger, it could be hurting the environment.  So instead, choose to indulge by eating local food sources.

And celebrate the day by sharing your awesome food choices with photos and the hashtag: #eatlocal.

We Salute Our Projects Who Make a Difference on National Farm Animal Day

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When we think of animal welfare, we often turn to our pets: mainly dogs or cats. But on National Farm Animal Day, it’s time to take a look at some of the other animals in our lives: the farm livestock, which includes 9 billion chickens, 244 million turkeys, 93 million cows, 65 million hogs and 6 million sheep, among others.

Yet billions are not being treated humanely. That’s why we are saluting some of our amazing projects working to help:

  • Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative –  brings together sustainable farmers, environmental, public health, social and economic justice, and animal welfare organizations to work on systemic change required to establish a sustainable and just animal agriculture system.
  • Change Food – helps individuals change the way they eat by raising public awareness and educating consumers about opportunities to shift the U.S. food supply to a sustainable food system where healthy, nutritious food is accessible by all.
  • Kitchen Table Advisors – provides farmers with business and financial advising and help farmers access the tools, knowledge and resources they need on their path to becoming resilient and viable businesses.
  • PiggyBank – provides an open forum, where the public will have access to information on all heritage breed pigs and access business plans written by other farmers.

Urban Cooling Achievement Award in memory of Art Rosenfeld

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The Global Cool Cities Alliance (GCCA) has established an award to honor the legacy and impact of Dr. Arthur Rosenfeld’s advocacy for cooler buildings, cooler cities, and a cooler planet. Dr. Rosenfeld was a founder of GCCA and a tireless advocate for building materials that improve thermal comfort and make a positive impact on global climate change. The Urban Cooling Achievement Award will recognize leaders who demonstrate Art’s drive, passion, and intelligence to overcome the challenges of excess urban heat.

“Everywhere we work, we meet people inspired by Art who are trying to make their communities cooler, more prosperous, and healthier. I am excited to launch an award to honor their efforts and to highlight Art’s enduring legacy of inspiring positive global change” said Kurt Shickman, Executive Director of the Global Cool Cities Alliance.

Those wishing to donate to support the Dr. Arthur H. Rosenfeld Urban Cooling Achievement Award may do so at https://www.globalcoolcities.org/rosenfeld- award/

T4CI welcomes new staff member

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Please welcome the newest member of our T4CI team: Kristin Fischer, as the human resources director.

In this newly-created position, she not only fulfills the traditional HR role for the organization, but also works as T4CI’s talent developer, capacity-builder, and executive steward of our most important resources – our team members.

Kristin was formerly the director of people operations at Villarreal Hutner PC and oversaw human resources, and support staff management.  Prior to this role, she was the director of implementation services at Eatec Corporation.

Kristin holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from Kenyon College as well as a Grande Diploma in Culinary Arts at Ecole Ritz Escoffier.

A self-proclaimed “Gilmore Girls “addict, she also enjoys hiking, travel, and Wii “Just Dance” competitions with her family.

Join us: Faith, Family Farms, & Food Access Conference

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T4CI program, The Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative, is hosting its fifth annual “Faith, Family Farms, & Food Access” conference on Tuesday, March 21st from 1:30 to 7:30 pm.     

The conference features Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and secular speakers, including Bay Area and national innovators implementing sustainability and food access programs. Presenters also include farmers seeking to partner with local congregations to establish CSA (Community Supported  Agriculture) drop sites and produce stands at faith-based sites.  

Go to www.interfaithfood.org or call (707) 634-4672 for more information.

The conference is supported with key funding from: California Department of Agriculture Specialty Crops Block Grant Program and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

Change Food celebrates Brooklyn during fundraisier

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Brooklyn:  once known as a lowly New York City borough, is now a vibrant foodie community of its own.

And that’s why Change Food is celebrating with a special fundraising dinner and auction.

On March 27 at 6:00 PM, the Lighthouse in Brooklyn will be offering a four-course vegetarian/pescetarian dinner to benefit Change Food.

Change Food creates programs, events and resources for individuals and groups changing the food system from the ground up.

Can’t make it? You can still help by checking out the online auction.

For more information, go to: http://www.changefood.org/events/lighthouse-dinner/

Ag Stats: What You Probably Don’t Know

Consider this: just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from American agriculture.

It’s an entire industry dedicated to providing plentiful and safe food for consumption, as well as a wide range of comfortable, fashionable clothing choices. From beef and pork to cotton and corn, agriculture is working harder than ever to meet the needs of Americans and others around the world. (Agriculture is this nation’s #1 export.)

At T4CI, we focus on supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives which do so much for a healthy economy.

What’s sustainable agriculture? In simplest terms, it’s the production of food, fiber, or other plant or animal products using farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, human communities, and animal welfare.

In honor of National Agriculture Month, we are sharing some stats you might not know about agriculture in general.

Want to learn more about a few of our agriculture initiatives which are helping to create a sustainable and just food system? Check out :

  • Animal Agriculture Reform Collaborative –  brings together sustainable farmers, environmental, public health, social and economic justice, and animal welfare organizations to work on systemic change required to establish a sustainable and just animal agriculture system.
  • Change Food – helps individuals change the way they eat by raising public awareness and educating consumers about opportunities to shift the U.S. food supply to a sustainable food system where healthy, nutritious food is accessible by all.
  • Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative – connects faith congregations in Sonoma and Marin counties with local farmers and gardeners to increase community access to healthy food produced in a sustainable, socially just manner.
  • Kitchen Table Advisors – provides farmers with business and financial advising and help farmers access the tools, knowledge and resources they need on their path to becoming resilient and viable businesses.
  • PiggyBank – provides an open forum, where the public will have access to information on all heritage breed pigs and access business plans written by other farmers.

Hungry? Join Piggy Bank for #PigDayOut

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Restaurants across North America today are supporting diners to have a safer, more honest food system in honor of National Pig Day and  “Pig Day Out”.  The event aims to raise awareness about heritage breed pork produced by family farmers, while providing diners with an inspirational night of eating with a purpose.

The proceeds benefit Piggy Bank, a Missouri farm-in-the-making that will help launch new family farms by providing heritage breed piglets and access to business plans. The goal is simple: to ensure family farmers have resources to run successful businesses which raise safe and honest food for generations of children and cooks to come.

“Delicious materials and products from family farms are the building blocks of the dinner table in the future. We must cherish our diversity of species – whether heritage breed animals or heirloom vegetables; they must be preserved,” says Piggy Bank founder Brady Lowe. “‘Pig Day Out’ gives everyone the opportunity to take a break from their busy schedules and celebrate the farmers, chefs and butchers who work to protect our foodways and keep them safe.”

Restaurants include:

  • Blackbelly – Boulder, CO
  • The Blind Pig Supper Club – Spruce Pine, NC
  • Estrella – West Hollywood, CA
  • Haven Gastropub – Orange, CA
  • Hock Farm Craft & Provisions – Sacramento, CA
  • il Porcellino Salumi – Denver, CO
  • Kettner Exchange – San Diego, CA
  • Salt & Time Butcher Shop and Salumeri – Austin, TX
  • Union Restaurant – Pasadena, CA

Launched in 2015, Piggy Bank is creating a farming sanctuary for heritage breed pigs, many of which are endangered. It aims to change the future of food by creating a community in which small farmers can learn about safer, more responsible practices and share genetics, livestock, and the very information needed to thrive as small businesses. Piggy Bank proudly operates as a project of the Trust for Conservation Innovation, a 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization which accelerates impact for initiatives focused on protecting and fostering a healthy, sustainable, resilient, and equitable world. For more information or to donate, visit www.piggy-bank.org or follow @PiggyBankOrg on Twitter. 

Black History Month: Honoring Robert Bullard

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T4CI is saluting some of the most influential African-American environmentalists and sustainability professionals during Black History Month.

Today we honor Robert Bullard.

Robert D. Bullard is Distinguished Professor of Urban Planning and Environmental Policy in the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs at Texas Southern University in Houston, Texas.

He is often described as the father of environmental justice. Professor Bullard received his Ph.D. degree from Iowa State University.

He is the author of seventeen books that address sustainable development, environmental racism, urban land use, industrial facility siting, community reinvestment, housing, transportation, climate justice, emergency response, smart growth, and regional equity.

Professor Bullard was featured in the July 2007 CNN People You Should Know, Bullard: Green Issue is Black and White. In 2008, Newsweek named him one of 13 Environmental Leaders of the Century. And that same year, Co-op America honored him with its Building Economic Alternatives Award (BEA).