I just read a very interesting article on www.latimes.com about how to be a smart farmer's market shopper:
I had never thought that much about checking for farmer's market or organic certification at farmer's markets. I had just kind of assumed that it was all local, organic and seasonal, so this was an interesting article for me. I was also intrigued by their last comments on whether organic certification is always the more sustainable option, since my history of though with organic products went something like this: I did some research about organic, tried it out, decided it was more sustainable and made me feel better, and then never looked back.
Of the points he made that questioned whether organic is always better (even though he generally buys organic), I thought that this was the most legitimate: "organic farms generally produce lower yields, requiring more resources, such as fuel and water, with resulting environmental costs." However, when I went organic and started cooking for myself, the labor, extra cost and higher nutritional density of the wholesome, organic food I was preparing for myself actually resulted in me eating less. So theoretically if all farms became organic, the decrease in yield would not necessitate a need for more resource consumption and space to compensate for this, but would simply correspond with a decrease in demand for food.
Another interesting sustainability resource which includes (among many many other things) a list of all the farmer's markets in LA with their times, dates and contact information is the ESLP wiki page:
ESLP (Education for Sustainable Living Program) is a program through the UCLA Institute of the Environment that offers a series of courses each year. I took it this year, and the format always goes as follows: fall quarter they have a 1 credit speaker series for about an hour and a half once a week where speakers from different jobs within the green jobs sector come and share what they do, how it relates to sustainability, and why they do it. The next two quarters you can choose to join an Action Research Team (ART program) that works to make one aspect of UCLA more sustainable for 2 credits each quarter. You probably saw a lot of these groups if you went to the Earth Day Fair (and maybe you saw my group, Sustainable Food Systems). The students worked to put together the ESLP wiki page during fall quarter, and hopefully it is a helpful resource.
These are some other interesting articles I found when I went back through my facebook links (gotta love technology) so they are kind of old, but still worth a look:
This article discusses what is in the future of LA's food policy, featuring one of my favorite politicians, Eric Garcetti:
This article discusses the consequences of corporate monopolies on genetically modified seeds through intellectual property patents, specifically discussing Monsanto, which we will all learn about when we watch "Food, Inc" in class ("The Future of Food" is great for a more detailed and informative account of genetically modified organisms):