Farm and Food Bill on the Senate Floor

The Senate began consideration of a farm and food bill yesterday. The biggest issues on the threshing floor of the Senate is separating wheat from chaff between Northern and Southern farmers over safety net programs and the question of costs for the federal food stamp program, which makes up about 80 percent of the $100 [...]

Prescriptions for Produce in Massachusetts

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Doctors at three Massachusetts medical centers are writing “prescriptions” for free fruits and vegetables at local farmers markets. Clinicians look for families of overweight and obese children enrolled in the centers’ exercise and nutrition program that can’t afford and lack access to fresh produce. Whole families are enrolled; the main requirement [...]

On Pesticides and Children

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Agricultural pesticides, long suspected of being especially harmful to children, are receiving additional scrutiny, thanks to three recent studies. And – no surprise here – children who live in agricultural areas turn out to be particularly vulnerable. Scientists are cautious in their conclusions, awaiting results of further testing. But two classes [...]

Boston Gets a Marketplace, Farmers a New Market

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson  A year or so from now, Massachusetts farmers, cheese makers, bakers, and others out to please the palates of locals and tourists alike will have a new outlet for their products. After years of talks, debates, and the occasional argument, the non-profit Boston Public Market Association has nailed down a pledge [...]