Good Food means food that is:

Healthy - It provides nourishment and enables people to thrive

Green - It was produced in a manner that is environmentally sustainable

Fair - No one along the production line was exploited for its creation

Affordable - All people have access to it

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Eastern U.P. Gets Its Food Summit On!


Farmers, grocers, teachers, restaurateurs and local government leaders from the Eastern Upper Peninsula huddled together Nov. 10 in Sault Ste. Marie to talk local food economy. 

They celebrated the fact that Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties have a long and bountiful agricultural history, and that many new farms are growing in that self-determined land between the Mackinac Bridge and the Sault Ste. Marie International Bridge to Canada.

Putting that past and present together for a future of good food and profitable farming in their rural communities was the topic for the day. They were not the least bit fazed the region's short growing season or sparse population. The sentiment throughout the day was one of: “We're a small community, and we know how to work together.”

Detroit Forms Food and Ag Business Support Network


It was clear at a meeting of Detroit-area food and farm entrepreneurs earlier this month that city and state leaders are beginning to invest in the food and agriculture sector’s potential to grow badly needed jobs and businesses.

Nearly 70 people filled the midtown church meeting hall Nov. 3 to launch the Detroit Ag and Food Business Cluster Network. Among dozens of new and old Detroit food names — such as Aunt Mid’s Produce (est. 1948) and McClure’s Pickles (est. 2007) — sat a full slate of city and state agencies intent on leveraging the job-generating power of Michigan food.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Entrepreneurs, food business innovation go together


It’s widely understood in economic development circles that if you want new entrepreneurs to start up and grow, a good strategy is to bring them together and let the creativity roll.
            A good example is People’s Pierogi Collective, which grew in one year from a startup hot food cart at Detroit’s Eastern Market to contract talks with local and regional grocers and requests to franchise nationwide.


A little help with paperwork can boost farms’ sales


Walt Harris knows how to keep the sweet corn, tomatoes, squash, and other fresh products he grows for local grocers and his own farm market in northern Michigan’s Benzie County safe to eat.
            “I’ve been accused of being downright phobic at times when it comes to keeping things clean,” he says.
But Harris’ attention to food safety detail is not enough to earn him the credentials he will need to sell crops to grocery stores, schools, restaurants, and others. Buyers are increasingly asking farms to produce documents that show they have passed rigorous food safety inspections based on USDA guidelines called Good Agricultural Practices, or GAP. 



Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Make a Regulatory Way for Food and Farm Entrepreneurs

Nayyirah Shariff is on her way to an entrepreneur’s life of making signature products, employing local people, and investing in her home state of Michigan.

The young woman from Flint has her marching orders from customers who have lined up every week to buy her sweet and savory fresh-baked, organic artisan breads. Now she’s putting this test-market experience into planning her business future.

“I’m looking at putting in a commercial kitchen, and whether I want to focus on supplying restaurants or having my own storefront.”

Shariff’s soon-to-be expanding company, Revolutionary Bread, was made possible by some regulatory wiggle room that the Michigan Legislature opened up in 2010 for home-based food entrepreneurs. She says the state’s action made way for her to try out her products and ideas after a professor encouraged Shariff to pursue her business dream.

Top Regulator Explains Michigan Food Law

Michigan Good Food recently talked with state regulator Kevin Besey about the Michigan Food Law. Besey is Director of the Food and Dairy Division at the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development. He heads up everything associated with food regulations in the state.

His current work includes an update of the Michigan Food Law, which the state Legislature will take up soon, and an overhaul of all the forms and web resources available to entrepreneurs, which Besey has made a top priority.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Introduction

Michigan Good Food is a policy initiative centered on the Michigan Good Food Charter. The initiative aims to promote policy changes that will advance "good food" in Michigan - food that is healthy, green, fair and affordable.

Michigan Good Food is pleased to start this blog to provide improved means of communicating new developments in "good food" in Michigan.