Restoration Economy

Mexican farmers are trucking produce into an Arizona town—where tons of it gets thrown into landfills

Nogales, Arizona, is the largest inland food port in the world. Much of the fresh produce trucked up the “food superhighway” of Mexico’s west coast comes through there—and a shocking amount of it doesn’t travel much farther, dropping into local landfills instead of being sent to consumers.

It’s a loss to the farmers who harvested the food and to the consumers who would have eaten it…

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…

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.

Tucson, Arizona – An International Culinary Destination

The City of Gastronomy title is a part a UNESCO network of “Creative Cities” working together toward a common mission for cultural diversity and sustainable urban development. Joining the Creative Cities Network as a City of Gastronomy will highlight Tucson’s cultural assets on a global platform. It will also promote Tucson’s diverse cultural products in national and international markets by drawing attention to our…

Sustaining Water

This summer, regional water planners announced a game-changer for Arizona’s economy and already-fragile food security status.

As early as 2017, we are likely to see the rationing of river irrigation water available for Arizona agriculture as a result of the pervasive drought that has plagued the Colorado River watershed for most of the last 15 years.

Blake Edgar interviews Gary Nabhan about his “spice odyssey”

A colleague of mine, ethnobotanist and food historian Gene Anderson, found a remarkable coincidence: an Arab/Persian lamb and garbanzo bean stew recipe that he and colleagues recorded in their Mongolian medicinal cookbook, Soup for the Qan, also made its way half way around the world to Hispanic communities in Northern New Mexico.

Only one ingredient, mastic (which was unavailable in New Mexico at the time), was different.

Eating local isn’t just trendy – it can help stop poverty

It’s been 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson declared war on poverty. Might it be time for our state to figure how to best target its resources for the alleviation of poverty and hunger within our own borders?

That’s the question being asked by a hundred Arizonans — and hopefully answered through novel strategies.