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Dear Teachers, Parents, and Students,
 
New England has a bold vision of producing at least fifty percent of clean, fair, just and accessible food for all citizens by 2060 (50 by 60). Today it takes an estimated 16 million acres to feed 14.5 million residents, yet the region has just two million acres of active farmland. Roughly 70,000 of these actively farmed acres are in Rhode Island.  Shopping at a local supermarket and reading food labels, it appears most of the produce consumed by Rhode Islanders comes from the West Coast and most of our grain, oil, and meat comes from the Midwest.
 
In fact, looking to the processed food industry and analyzing the information on their product labels, we see mostly Midwest corporations and overwhelming presence of corn and soy ingredients. Over 70 percent of processed foods are made with ingredients derived from these genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), namely corn, soy, canola and sugar (from beets). While the thought of mutated food may not be a concern for some people, the knowledge that these foods contain increasingly toxic levels of pesticide and herbicide residue should raise alarm.
 
The severe die-off of honeybee and bumble bee populations over the past ten years is a clear environmental indicator that the agriculture industry needs to clean up its act.
  Honeybees are responsible for pollinating our apples, peaches, oranges, cranberries, strawberries, melon, nuts, broccoli squash, cucumbers, and so much more.
 
If toxic herbicides and plants engineered to produce pesticides are weakening the immune systems of bees and are partially responsible for the dying off of whole colonies, how are these toxins affecting the entire food web and what are these toxins doing to us and our children?
 
And what does it mean when people who choose to switch to organic and non-GMO products begin experiencing dramatic improvements in health and a reduction in their medical costs?
 
Follow the latest  news articles on food labeling and share your own stories at
Right to Know RI on facebook.

Print out our RIght to Know FAQ tri-fold pamphlet to share with friends and family.

 
With your well-being in mind,
 
Wendy


PROMOTING GOOD HEALTH
THROUGH GARDENING

One in three children are being diagnosed as overweight or obese, and families are looking for help.  This alarming trend is creating demand for more farm fresh food, a need for more farmers, and increasing popularity in home and school gardening.  Read this article about Starting a School Garden.
 

    
     Students thin beans in the Baldwin School garden

  
While some people feel fresh fruits and vege- tables at farmer's markets seem expensive, other people have an appreciation for the value, because they have tried growing their own food.  Many of the local farmers avoid the use of toxic chemical pesticides and herbicides or use a minimum.  As I gaze at all the holes eaten into my cabbage leaves, I wonder how they grow such beautiful organic produce. 
  
As agriculture shifts away from factory farming and back toward a small farm economy, this will create more jobs, and eventually a critical mass will help lower farm fresh food prices.  In the meantime, however, below are some other reasons why it is important to start supporting these trends: start a home garden and buy locally.
 
When is the best time to plant seeds?
Check out this Calendar.


WHY BUY LOCAL?
Did you know that local food, bought fresh or home grown, is more nutritious and better tasting than imported food?
 
And not only is local food better for our health, it is also better for the health of our planet.  At times it may seem expensive, but in the long run, health costs incurred by eating cheap food have proven to be much more costly for individuals, families, businesses, and society.
 
Have you ever considered the energy spent to bring in apples from, say, the state of Washington?  There's the transportation to a processing facility, where the apples get waxed, and then the transportation a distributor on the east coast before delivery to the consumer via the supermarket.  This requires fuel as well as wear and tear on trucks.  Local growers are your best bet for quality affordable organic produce, herbal remedies, and natural skin care products.
  
One of Rhode Island's greatest resources is her rich soil. Rhode Island's vibrant small farm community includes farmers markets, pick-your-own farms, farm stands, and grocery markets that love to feature regional produce.  Consider visiting farms and farmer's markets to gather information about starting your own school, community, or home garden.
Visit farmfreshri.org

 
Content development managed by:

Wendy Fachon, MBA
Health Economist and Elementary Educator

 
WAKE UP PEOPLE
P.O. Box 2221
East Greenwich, RI  02818
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Go twitter with Lil Red. Chicken scratch on the back of a napkin? Creativity goes a long way when you're scratchin' out a living. Dollars and sense go a long way when you use Creativity.
   
  
ARTICLES
Click on any icon below to find an article that answers the question found beneath that icon.
 

 
What can we do to save the bees that are disappearing in such alarming numbers?
 
 

What are GMOs and why are people questioning them?
  
 

Why is important to learn to read ingredient labels?

 

  
WHY does an Apple a Day Keep The Doctor Away?
 

 
What is one of the Sexiest Fruits on earth?
 
 
 
Which Wild Weeds are Edible?




What's the Value of a Chicken Nugget?



How does a Baby Chick Grow into a Chicken?

  

 
How many Thousands of Dollars could you Save if you were a Smoker and you Stopped Smoking?



Why are Nuts Good Brain Food?
 


What are Microgreens and Why are these Tiny Plants so Powerful?


 
What Seven Nutrients are in a Potato?
  

 
Why are Lemons like Grenades in the Battle against Cancer?
  

 
Did you know you can Grow a Garden on your Roof?


  
Why are Tomatoes so Good for your Heart?



Do you know four naturally simple things you can do to prevent or minimize the impact of flu?
 

 
 
Why are Pumpkins Hollow?
 

  


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