Thursday, February 03, 2011

UA Report Looks at State of Southwestern 'Foodsheds'

Unprecedented pressures exist on food security and farming capacity in the U.S. borderland states, according to a new regional food assessment by University of Arizona researchers and their colleagues. The Sabores Sin Fronteras Foodway Alliance has just published "State of Southwestern Foodsheds." Noted agricultural ecologist Gary Paul Nabhan, a research scientist with the UA Southwest Center, said the 36-page collection of essays "is the first assessment of the health and well-being of food systems in the borderlands states." The report includes a number of findings. The rates of hunger and food security in Arizona and New Mexico are rapidly rising at a pace exceeding that of the national average. Based on current U.S. Census data, Arizona is now the second poorest state in the nation and New Mexico ranked third. Both are among the lowest 13 states for food security and among the six worst states for dealing with childhood food insecurity. By discerning where leverage points are for positive change, Nabhan and Fitzsimmons hope to stimulate more innovation, such as encouraging more low-income people to use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to purchase fresh foods at farmers markets, rebuilding meat processing infrastructure or grouping several restaurants to share transportation costs of accessing local produce. At the same time, the food-producing capacity of the desert borderlands is under severe stress...more 

I can't wait to read it. 

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