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In April, 2020, the New York Times ran a story by Michael Corkery and David Yaffe-Bellany about how many of the nation’s largest farms are struggling with this pandemic. It opened the world’s eyes to how farmers who service the restaurant, school, and hotel industies have been forced to destroy tens of millions of pounds of fresh food that they can no longer sell.
Who knew that there were two separate supply chains? One for grocery stores and another for corporate and industrial food. While American’s are struggling to put food on their tables, farmers are dumping thousands of tons of fresh produce, fruits and meat.
The New York Time’s story got picked up in the media all over the country. And after a group of high school friends, who were now home from college because of COVID-19, learned about this waste, they decided to do something about it. These young men and women understood the underlying issues of food insecurity that plague our country from volunteering at local food pantries during their high school years. They saw and see how the number of Americans suffering from food insecurity have grown exponentially during this pandemic.
Max Goldman and his friends started FarmLink, a not for profit organization — to connect these farms, the ones dumping healthy food, with the food banks that sorely need produce to feed their clients.
I first read about FarmLink in a follow-up story by the same reporters in the New York Times. I knew I wanted to interview these kids for the podcast. This was something that I really connected with. For years I have been raising money to purchase produce from small local farmers to donate to local food pantries — listen to my previous episode where I interviewed Robin Peacock of Mend NJ to learn more.
FarmLink was started by college students largely from Brown, Stanford, Cornell, and USC all united by a desire to keep Americans fed and farms in business. Since starting last month, April 2020, the group has diverted 100 of thousands of pounds of produce from being dumped to food pantries in California.
I caught up with Max, who is currently a junior at Brown University and now living back home in California where he grew up. He, and the other founders, went to high school together at St. Matthew’s Parish School in Pacific Palisades.
Please remember, while listening to the following conversation, Max is 19 or 20 years old and not a polished corporate executive with media training. He is a young man, who, along with his friends, started a non-profit grassroots movement helping farms and food banks during this crisis of food instability. They are learning as they go and doing some really great work.
Book to Plate Segment: Listen all about no-knead bread.
Links to FarmLink’s website, social media and other things mentioned in the segment,
New York Times 4/11/20: Dumped Milk, Smashed Eggs, Plowed Vegetables: Food Waste of the Pandemic by Michael Corkery and David Yaffe-Bellany
New York Times 5/2/20: ‘We Had to Do Something’: Trying to Prevent Massive Food Waste by Michael Corkery and David Yaffe-Bellany
Interview with Robin Peacock, MEND NJ
Book to Plate Segment:
New York Times : No Knead Bread Recipe and Video by Mark Bittman
New York Times 12/6/06: No Kneading but some Fine Tuning by Mark Bittman
Lodge 5 qt Cast Iron with Cover
Mark Bittman, How to Bake Everything
Jim Lahey, Sullivan Street Bakery
|Timing Chart For No-Knead Bread|
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(One day Prior to Eating!)
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This episode was hosted by Melissa Goldberg
Special thanks to my Program Director and Producer Shea Gunther
You can learn more about me at www.eatwelltraveloften.net
YouTube: Eat Well, Travel Often Channel