The Berkeley Food Institute is an interdisciplinary research center at the University of California, Berkeley. Through our research, policy, and education programs, we seek to transform food systems to expand access to healthy, affordable food and promote sustainable and equitable food production. We empower new leaders with the capacity to cultivate diverse, just, resilient, and healthy food systems.
SNAP in the Age of Political Chaos
Many individuals eligible for SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, are now fearful of using the program because ever-changing statements about proposed Federal rules put them in fear of their status as legal residents. Fear of retaliation by Washington has hurt children the most. This episode examines those proposed changes in SNAP, the largest part of the Farm Bill, and California's commitment to finding moral high ground. The esteemed Maria Echaveste, a BFI affiliate, weighs in on the obligations of government and its citizenry. Berkeley alum Christina L. Laird describes her experience helping program recipients as a volunteer administrator for SparkPoint Marin, and as a participant.
Small Farms And Land Access - Farm Dreams Deferred
Farmland prices have doubled since 2004. Seventy percent of U.S. farmland is expected to transition to another owner over the next 20 years. Many new farmers and small farmers rent land like other folks rent homes. What happens when their landlord doesn't renew the lease after a season? How can new and aspiring farmers gain access to land they can control long-term for farming? Will new farmers survive the pinch? We delve into these issues and more. UC Berkeley doctoral student Adam Calo and farmer and Berkeley graduate Mai Nguyen discuss.
More than 900 million meals are served to children in California schools each year. Some children consume as much as two-thirds of their calories at school. But school meal programs have suffered over the last 10 years from major budget cutbacks, declining quality of food, and disconnection with community food needs.
Oakland Unified School District, through innovative efforts, is changing how children are nourished. Now other districts are looking toward Oakland’s example.
JustFood - EcoLiteracy: Teaching Children About the Origins of Food
With or without a large kitchen, children can be taught about real food, our food sources—indeed, the complete food system. In a school with as diverse a population as one could find anywhere in the U.S., Mary Schriner, an ecoliteracy instructor at Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland, teaches children about everything from eggs to wheat to cooking it all, with the support of principal Peter Van Tassel and an army of volunteers.
For Those Who Serve: the Restaurant Professionals
We learn that 90% of restaurant workers report experiencing sexual behavior that is scary or unwanted. We find that the system that allows this behavior to fester is rooted in concepts from feudal Europe and slavery. We then learn about solutions, personified in the subjects of our interview.
CalFresh on Campus: Breaking the Stigma of Food Insecurity
California consistently has one of the lowest enrollment rates for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, also known as CalFresh at the state level. This issue of low participation extends to college campuses, where food insecurity levels are disproportionately high. We learn about recent measures taken by the California government and UC Berkeley to get more students enrolled in CalFresh.
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