Redesigning Food Systems

Santa Cruz National Heritage designation a boon to economy

By: Gary P. Nabhan and Vanessa Bechol
Special to the Arizona Daily Star
Tuscon, Arizona | Published: 12.01.08
PDF Version

A growing number of farmers, ranchers and chefs in our community are working together to bring place-based heritage foods from our borderlands region back to our tables for feasts such as Thanksgiving.

With an agricultural history dating back 4,000 years, longer than most regions in North America, the Santa Cruz Valley is not only rich ...

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Responding to Famine in the Horn of Africa: Learn from Past Mistakes

By: Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: The Huffington Post  / October 1, 2008

In mid-September, John Holmes of United Nations announced that the mounting famine in Ethiopia and other countries in the Horn of Africa may dwarf the severity of similar famines in the 1980s and 1990s. While humanitarian concern and speedy on-ground action are surely justified, we must ask why this famine is being predicted to be more devastating than others in the past, ...

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Where Our Food Comes From – Video

Gary Paul Nabhan weaves together Vavilov’s extraordinary story with his own expeditions to Earth’s richest agricultural landscapes and the cultures that tend them. Retracing Vavilov’s path from Mexico and the Colombian Amazon to the glaciers of the Pamirs in Tajikistan, he draws a vibrant portrait of changes that have occurred since Vavilov’s time and why they matter.

In his travels, Nabhan shows how climate change, free trade policies, genetic engineering, and loss of traditional knowledge are threatening our food supply. Through ...

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Parque de la Papa: Vavilov’s Dream for Potatoes?

For a quarter century, the breed of ethnobotanists I’ve hung with have proposed through countless lectures and publications that crop diversity can best conserved in situ, in the cultural landscapes managed by the traditional farmers who have long been its stewards. Now, in the highlands of Peru, a dream has come true, one that would have made the late Russian seed conservationist Nikolay Vavilov giddy with delight. Vavilov himself visited the Andes some seventy years ago, during an era when ...

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Slow Food Nation – Re-localizing Food

Watch Gary Paul Nabhan, author of Where Our Food Comes From: Retracing Nikolay Vavilov’s Quest to End Famine, at the recent Slow Food Nation celebration in San Francisco. Along with other panelists, Nabhan talked about the challenges re-localizing food, and the social and environmental impacts of a local and global approach to food.

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Renewing America’s Food Traditions: A search for forgotten delicacies

By Gary Paul Nabhan
Published: Eating Well – July/August 2008

I was once asked what I would do if I had to choose to eat just one of America’s distinct heritage cuisines exclusively. Would I head to the Mississippi Delta to try the crayfish, rockfish and gumbo of Creole and Cajun dishes, or to a New England Yankee farmstead to savor one of the region’s many heirloom cider apples, roasted root vegetables, mutton or cheeses? Would I travel ...

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Saving Endangered Species One Mouthful at a Time

NPR – All Things Considered

Time: 6:18 minute audio
Date: May 11th, 2008
Publisher:
NPR

NPR talked to Gary about his new book, Renewing America’s Food Traditions: Saving and Savoring the Continent’s Most Endangered Foods. You can read the entire article, by going to this page.

 

 

 

 

 

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Taking Stock of Successes with Local Foods

It was a wild way to break in the New Year, sharing local game and fish with hunters who donated their venison, pronghorn antelope backstrap and javelina “pork roasts” to their friends at the Cattle Baron in Flagstaff, Arizona. As we were sitting waiting for the first meat to come out of the roasting pit, I began to daydream about whether such an event would have even been “on my screen” some twenty years ago, as the local foods movement was ...

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Deepening Our Sense of What Is Local and Regional Food

Now that Time magazine has done a cover feature article on the local foods movement and a book on the same topic by bestselling author Barbara Kingsolver and her family is poised to climb up the New York Times top-ten non-fiction list, we might want to ask what actually is it that we want to promote by using phrases like “ Buy Fresh, Buy Local”. I can assure you that there will be increasing criticism of the so-called local ...

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Twelve Lessons on Water Conservation from Traditional Farmers of the Colorado Plateau

The cultivation and irrigation of crops adapted to an arid climate began on the Colorado Plateau more than four thousand years ago, as we know from desiccated corncobs found near Zuni, Black Mesa, and Canyon de Chelly. An unbroken chain of some 160 generations has been engaged in rain-fed and runoff-supplemented production of food, fiber, and dyes with seeds and water-conserving practices adapted to the peculiar soils and microclimates of this region. Many environmental conditions and agricultural technologies have changed, ...

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Endangered List Created for Native Foods

NPR

by Ted Robbins

Weekend Edition Sunday , December 18, 2005 · Political boundaries often seem artificial, based on a long-ago treaty or current party registration. The boundaries of North America’s cornbread, salmon and clambake nations are rooted in climate, geography and tradition. But the culinary heritage embodied by those names may be in peril.

Cornbread nation? That’s a construct of the RAFT coalition (Renewing America’s Food Traditions), which came up with a map of North America based on ...

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Endangered List Created for Native Foods

by Ted Robbins
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=5058472

Listen to this Interview

Political boundaries often seem artificial, based on a long-ago treaty or current party registration. The boundaries of North America’s cornbread, salmon and clambake nations are rooted in climate, geography and tradition. But the culinary heritage embodied by those names may be in peril.

Cornbread nation? That’s a construct of the RAFT coalition (Renewing America’s Food Traditions), which came up with ...

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Chefs Collaborative Renews America’s Food Traditions

Food Experts Unite to Realize, Restore and Revitalize Authentically American Foods and Traditions

(Boston, Mass…October 6, 2005) Chefs Collaborative, a national organization of chefs, individuals and organizations dedicated to advancing a more sustainable food supply, has become an influential partner in the new Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT) project. RAFT was launched in the spring of 2005 by seven of the most prominent food, agriculture, education and conservation organizations in the United States as the first nationwide eco-gastronomic campaign. Uniting ...

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How Green Is Our Valley

Networks of local food growers, restaurants, and farmers’ markets promote the joys of regional cuisine: flavor, prosperity, and the family farm.

by Gary Paul Nabhan

One recent Sunday, I ate dinner at a community center on a Navajo reservation in Leupp, Arizona, not far from the Grand Falls of the Little Colorado River. A heavy fog had settled over the Painted Desert, but as we sat down to our meal, the fog lifted, revealing the dusty soil from which the foods we ...

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National Media Coverage and Grant Funding Launches Campaign to Rescue America’s Endangered Foods

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Gary Nabhan, PhD., or Ashley Rood
Center for Sustainable Environments
Northern Arizona University
PO Box 5765
Flagstaff, Arizona 86011-5765
928.523.0637
gpnabhan@email.arizona.edu
ashley.rood@nau.edu
www.environment.nau.edu

NAU’s RAFT Project Sets Sail:

National Media Coverage and Grant Funding Launches Campaign to Rescue America’s Endangered Foods

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz—Renewing America’s Food Traditions (RAFT), a national campaign facilitated by NAU’s Center for Sustainable Environments, was honored by Saveur Magazine as one of the 100 best food stories of 2005. ...

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A lizard’s life among the Seri Indians

Brenda Norrell / Indian Country Today

DESEMBOQUE, Mexico – In the Seri homeland, the blue waters of the Pacific bay reach up and kiss the desert, with its ironwood and medicine plants. Laughing alongside the turquoise water is Amalia Astorga, Seri storyteller and herbalist.

Astorga’s memory is long, like the history of the people here, and when she tells the story of ”Efrain of the Sonoran Desert,” she reaches back to the lizard ways.

The book, ”Efrain of the Sonoran Desert; ...

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