Posts tagged food system


An occasional feature of the Sustainable Tompkins Community Blog
By Richard W. Franke, Board Member, Sustainable Tompkins

Lester Brown’s recent (2011) book, World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, contains a number of unexpected “facts” (observations?). I selected a few of them: how many surprised you? Don’t believe him? You can download the entire book free here. Click here for his online documentation of everything he claims below.

  • The actual cost of gasoline in the United States is $15 per gallon
  • In 2009 the number of cars in the US declined for the first time in a century (except for WWII period when cars were not produced)
  • China now has 459 “cancer villages”
  • Between 1994 and 1999 China’s Gobi Desert grew by an area equal to half the state of Pennsylvania
  • If the Greenland ice sheet melts entirely, sea level could rise 23 feet; if the West Antarctic Ice sheet breaks up, seal level would rise another 16 feet
  • Of the one million Hurricane Katrina refugees from New Orleans, 300,000 did not return to their homes
  • The summer 2010 heat wave in Russia was the most intense in 130 years of record keeping; the wheat harvest shrank from 100 million tons to 60 million tons
  • 90% of the original forests of the Indus River Basin are gone
  • Pakistan has 185 million people living on an area equal to 8% of the US land area
  • From 1950 to the present, per person income worldwide increased 4 times while the world economy grew 10 times Read the rest of this entry »


IthaCan is a web-based social network that connects food enthusiasts, supporters of local agriculture, and people with an interest or question about food and sustainability. IthaCan especially focuses on teaching about and supporting the preservation of food at home. IthaCan organizers hosted a number of events in the last year educating people about how to make the most of our local food bounty.


Harvestation is a new online farmers’ market for Tompkins County. Harvestation, designed to accommodate bulk buying and enable farmers and buyers to connect online, was developed by Authentrics, Inc, a local software development firm and co-sponsored by IthaCan, a web-based social network for food preservers in Tompkins County.

Finger Lakes CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training)

Finger Lakes CRAFT (Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training) is a new program developed by Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming. As part of this program, mentor farms work with aspiring farmers to help them develop advanced techniques and expand their knowledge base.

Get Foodie

A new show, ‘Get Foodie’, is sponsored by GreenStar Co-op. Carisa Fallon is the creative energy behind the show, which is carried on the Pegasys Network. In each episode, Fallon and her two daughters visit a local producer or farm, discuss what food is being served or grown, and then she and her daughters return home to prepare a dish using that food. The focus of the show is in teaching local families about the sustainable and delicious food options that are in their backyards. The episodes air locally and can also be found on

Finger Lakes Cheese Trail

The Finger Lakes Wine Country Tourism Marketing Association was inspired by the success of the Finger Lakes Wine Trail to create the Finger Lakes Cheese Trail. The ten cheese makers featured on the trail all make cheeses from the dairy products they produce on their own farms. The marketing association hopes the cheese trail will raise the visibility of both wines and cheeses within the region and promote buying local, thus helping all these local businesses to become more profitable.


Regional chefs now have the opportunity to buy fresh local foods in the quantities they need thanks to FLORA, a new program developed by the Finger Lakes Organics Farm Collective and Regional Access Distributors. With this program, restaurants can buy directly from farms using the extensive FLORA catalogue. FLORA worked with over twenty different farms last season, and is expecting to add more farms from within the region.

Garden 4 Humanity

Gardens 4 Humanity, a project of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County’s Whole Community Project, is a community driven effort to promote sustainability through urban gardening and local farm connections. In the last year, a number of these community gardens have been created, and plans for more community gardens in the city are in the works.

Waffle Frolic

The waffles at Waffle Frolic are made entirely from scratch using local and organic ingredients. Also offered is a full espresso bar, featuring Coffee Labs Roasters coffee which is Fair Trade Certified and Bird Friendly; Coffee Labs maintains an overall commitment to sustainability. Waffle Frolic offers a book exchange program for its patrons.

Neighborhood Pride

Tony and Irene Petito plan to turn the retail building they own on Hancock Street into a neighborhood grocery store. After P&C Markets was sold to Tops, and that chain opted to close the store at this location, the Petitos began looking for a new lessee to operate a grocery. They finally opted to open the new business themselves. The new store will be called “Neighborhood Pride” and will serve as a full service grocery to the North Side community.