Author Archives: mfsadm

What Do We Know? What Don’t We Know?

download (1)Good information leads to good decisions, right?  Bad information (or lack of information) leads to… well, it depends.

The Research Committee here at The Maine Food Strategy have been busy setting up a scope of work to figure out what we already know, what data and research “gaps” exist, and how we can move forward to leverage the power of good information in service to Maine’s food system.

Check out the full details of what the Research Committee is up to and how you can get involved (if good data is your thing:).

Research Committee page

Communicating About Food Systems & Planning

It’s hard to imagine a topic more complex and all-encompassing as food.  We all eat!  And we all have opinions about how we should be able to get our food and how it’s produced.  Lots of livelihoods are involved as well our cultural stories and behaviors.

Maine Food Strategy team members participated today in a call with folks from all six New England states on how to communicate effectively about food systems planning, given the challenges of this complex terrain.  The call was facilitated by Ellen Kahler from Vermont’s Farm-to-Plate effort.

DSCF3259We heard about convening strategies, communications methods (including, but …

New USDA Rules for “Competitive” School Snack Foods

USDA released Interim Final Rules for competitive foods—the snacks and sodas sold from vending machines and carts outside of federally supported school lunches…The new  standards are tough and will change the food landscape in schools much for the better.”

Maine Delegates to the Recent New England Food Summit

We’re compiling a “highlights” report for all of you, but for now, feel free to track down one of these great delegates from Maine who attended this month’s New England Food Summit in Portland.


Here is a list of the delegates (make sure you look under “Maine Delegates” as well as “Cross-Cutting Delegation”).


Your Feedback Needed by July 31 on the New England Food Vision

IMG_4381Further to our recent post asking “How Will New England Feed Itself?” we are signal boosting this request to get your thoughts about the current iteration of a New England Food Vision.  This version is only a draft and truly represents one vision of how different food futures could play out here in New England.

Whether you are a food producer, consumer, purveyor of food products or have access to land and sea resources that might produce food in the future….it is really worth taking a look and giving feedback by the end of July!  There is …

Maine Law Review Publishes Issue Dedicated to Food Laws and Policy

On February 23, 2013, the Maine Law Review organized a day-long conference in Portland, Maine, devoted to discussing emerging issues in food law and policy.  The event brought together more than a dozen legal scholars from around the country, and an audience comprised of members of the legal community, policymakers, farmers, and community organizers.  It became a forum for exploring the many ways in which people are challenging conventional thinking about U.S. food systems, and the hurdles they face in so doing.

To continue to facilitate the exchange of ideas about these important and relevant issues, the Maine Law Review …

How Might New England Feed Itself?

What might New England’s food production landscape look like if we were to try and grow 50% or even 70% of our food (by calories) by 2060? Over the past two years, an ambitious and creative group of researchers have been building a series of models to examine some potential scenarios. Their work is now available in draft form, and they are welcoming public feedback through July 31, 2013.  You can access the draft of A New England Food Vision and all supporting data here:
On this webpage, you will also find a link to an online survey, where …

What is a “Food System?”

The Food SystemThe term “food system” is used to describe all the activities involved in producing, processing, transporting, storing, selling, and eating food. It also includes “waste management” activities like composting or land-filling food scraps.

Many people describe the food system in terms of five major sectors:

Production – This includes growing and harvesting food such as plant-based foods, livestock, dairy products and seafood.  It can also include foraging wild foods.  Production can be a commercial enterprise or a home, community or school-based activity.

Processing – This is the part of the food system where raw food materials are transformed into finished

News Flash: Seafood is Actually Food (and Part of our “Food System”)

We are delighted to offer this guest post from Monique Coombs, a fisheries-focused member of The Maine Food Strategy team.


by Monique Coombs

IMG_5906Seafood is part of a food system, but it is often not included in local food system discussions, usually simply because it is overlooked, or perceived as not easily accessible.  In Maine, we are trying very hard not only to include it in our Maine Food Strategy, but make it an integral part of the process, planning, and future action around strengthening our food system and food-based economy.

It’s unfortunate that seafood has not become more …

A Steering Committee Emerging

20130531-124814.jpgRight now in Augusta, members of The Maine Food Strategy “Process Design Committee” is meeting to set the stage for the creation of a formal Steering Committee for this project. The group is discussing and re-calibrating goals and values so that the Steering Committee has a foundation from which to build.

How will Steering Committee members be selected or nominated?  Think you or someone you know should be involved?  Get in touch.…