Redesigning Food Systems

Mezcal: Everything but the Worm

It’s nearly the Day of the Dead in Mexico, which gives us the perfect excuse to get familiar with the country’s national spirit: tequila. Or wait, should that be mezcal? And what’s the difference, anyway? In this episode of Gastropod, Cynthia and Nicky travel to Mexico to explore the history and science of distilled agave, and get tangled up in a complex story of controversies, clones, and culture.

Hydrological Restoration of Rangeland and Desert Watersheds

The hydrological restoration of our arid ecosystem is essential to create a secure future for food production and the environment. This course will focus on water harvesting as a vehicle to capture this priceless resource, while controlling erosion of valuable, nutrient-rich soil.

The course prepares participants to create sustainable food production systems as employees earning livable wages or farmers/environmentalists.

UA Helps Bring Seed Library Forum to Tucson

In 1981, the nonprofit seed conservation organization Native Seed/SEARCH hosted the first national grassroots seed conference in Tucson to better meet the community’s need for access to quality seeds.

Thirty-five years later, ensuring community access to seeds remains a vital issue. In order to promote further dialogue and cooperative action, the University of Arizona is among those hosting the first International Seed Library Forum, from Sunday through Wednesday.

The International Seed Library Forum

The first International Seed Library Forum will be held in Tucson, Arizona May 3-6, 2015, in an effort to further coalesce efforts by public libraries, non-profits, universities, and food banks to increase the quality and diversify the means of managing community seed resources with free or affordable access to low-income households.

Please register online at Eventbrite at your earliest convenience.

Award-Winning Sundance Film Offers ‘Innovative Solutions to Mend our Broken Food System’

Sundance Institute premiered the Short Film Challenge today at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. The program “is designed to spark global conversation about solutions to challenges like extreme hunger and poverty,” according to Sundance. Beginning today, the short films will premiere on a variety of digital platforms.

There were 1,387 submissions from 89 countries on, a creative platform “which powered a global call for film entries that used the transformative power of storytelling to generate discussion…

A Tale of Two Views: Gary Nabhan and Joel Salatin

Gary Paul Nabhan and Joel Salatin have become giants in the world of sustainable food concerns, influencing practice, public discourse, and policy. And, while their lives’ work is similar in nature, these two giants couldn’t provide more evidence of the reality that it takes all kinds.

Salatin, agitated and agitating the masses, is confrontational; Nabhan, calm and cultivating understanding, is invitational.

Cowboy Keynote: Speaker urges honest discourse in land disputes

The most contentious disagreements over land management pit ranchers against environmentalists in range wars with endless back-and-forth battles.

But the stakeholders overwhelmingly agree with one another on a majority of issues, according to Gary Paul Nabhan, a professor at the University of Arizona, and this year’s keynote speaker for the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering.

Tucson a model for planning for drier future, author says

Internationally recognized food and farming activist Gary Paul Nabhan says Tucson gardeners do a good job recognizing the importance of harvesting rainwater to grow crops in the desert climate. But on the heels of Tucson’s warmest year on record, Nabhan feels more can be done.

“There’s been a lot of emphasis on things like harvesting water, but not much on the other ways that deal with scarce water and cooling crops,” says Nabhan.

A Tale of Two Foodsheds: Why Slow Money Strategies Matter

It’s been roughly fifteen years since the food localization movement gained ground nationally, but some communities and states have lagged far behind others in recovering or newly building vibrant local food economies.

And yet, many are still grappling with how true democratizing food systems and innovative financing can tangibly make a difference in relieving poverty, food insecurity, and their dark twins of hunger and obesity.

Commit to bringing food security to Tucson

Gary Paul Nabhan wants to put Tucson on the map as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, joining places like Popayán, Colombia, Chengdu, China, and Östersund, Sweden, as outposts of gastronomic excellence. “We’re … prematurely celebrating what I think will be a major international designation for Tucson,” he said.

Nabhan hopes this title will bring recognition to Tucson’s vibrant, multiethnic gastronomy community and to the fact that the city has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the nation. In spite of Tucson’s standing as a city with considerable food diversity, many Tucsonans lack access to sufficient quantities of safe, nutritional food.