Posts Tagged ‘Gaining Ground’

Hunter Lecture Series Brings Michael Pollan to the Tivoli

March 29, 2012

The George T. Hunter Lecture Series sponsored by the Benwood Foundation in partnership with the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga schedules renowned food advocate and author of The Omnivore’s Dilemma to speak on April 19th, 2012.    Here’s more from the press release:

Environment: Michael Pollan

April 19, 2012 • Tivoli Theater • 7p

This event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 6pm. Seating available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

For the past 20 years, Michael Pollan has been writing books and articles about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect – with a focus on food and agriculture. He is the author of the bestsellers In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals, which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. It also won the California Book Award, the Northern California Book Award, the James Beard Award for best food writing, and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Pollan’s previous book, The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World, was also a New York Times bestseller, received the Borders Original Voices Award for the best non-fiction work of 2001, and was recognized as a best book of the year by the American Booksellers Association and PBS premiered a two-hour special documentary based on The Botany of Desire in fall 2009. His most recent book is Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, which was an immediate #1 New York Times bestseller upon publication; an expanded, illustrated edition of Food Rules will be published in November 2011.

In 2009 he was named one of the top 10 “New Thought Leaders” by Newsweek magazine. His essays have appeared in many anthologies, including Best American Essays (the 1990 and 2003 editions), Best American Science Writing (2004), and the Norton Book of Nature Writing. In addition to publishing regularly in TheNew York Times Magazine, his articles have appeared in Harper’s (where he served for many years as executive editor), Mother JonesGourmetVogueTravel + LeisureGardens Illustrated, and The Nation. Michael Pollan was chosen by Time Magazine for the 2010 Time 100 in the Thinkers category.

Pollan’s lecture is entitled: In Defense of Food: An Omnivore’s Solution. 

Benwood’s Gaining Ground Sponsors Restaurant Week of Local Food

October 3, 2011

Gaining Ground supports local food producers and consumers.    They invite Chattanoogans to enjoy meals from area restaurants serving food harvested within 100 miles of home.   Here’s more about Gaining Ground’s Inaugural Harvested Here Restaurant Week from their facebook page:

It’s here! Enjoy Chattanooga’s first Harvested Here Restaurant Week from October 17-23! Local ingredients will shine at participating restaurants where you can savor a prix-fixe lunch for $15 or dinner for $35.

Current participating restaurants include:

Back Inn Café
The Blue Plate
The Broad Street Grille
Easy Bistro
The Foundry
Lupi’s Pizza Pies
Public House
St. John’s Restaurant
St. John’s Meeting Place
Table 2
Taco Mamacita
Tony’s Pasta Shop & Trattoria
212 Market
Urban Stack Burger Lounge

Please contact each restaurant for reservations and menu details. Restaurant Week menu specials do not include tax, tip, and alcohol. No advance tickets or coupons needed, simply visit the participating restaurants and enjoy your meal!

Harvested Here

September 2, 2011

Reporting:  Rabbit Zielke

Gaining Ground is a local food movement encouraging consumers to purchase locally grown and raised food. To help identify local food a new label is available.  Harvested Here provides a deep green, yellow and white label saying Chattanooga Grown – Within 100 Miles.  Gaining Ground works with farmers and meat producers to complete the paperwork certifying their products are grown or raised within 100 miles of Chattanooga.  Once complete, they can add the Harvested Here label to their products.  Restaurants are also encouraged to support Harvested Here by purchasing local food and alerting customers when menu items include locally harvested or raised food products.  The Harvested Here program is provided free to participating farmers and merchants.  Gaining Ground is an initiative of the Benwood Foundation.


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Chattanooga Celebrates National Farmer’s Week

August 9, 2011

Representatives from the Main Street Farmer’s Market say:

August 22-28 is Farmers Market Appreciation Week

Here is a schedule for the week, which is intended to bring Chattanooga’s farmers markets together for special meetings and gatherings, in the interest of the future sustainability of ALL. Potluck events on Monday and Friday are open to the public. Stay tuned for UPDATES to this schedule as time draws closer…

Monday 22nd

·              Potluck at Crabtree Farms with folks from Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project  6-8pm

Tuesday 23rd

·              Farmers market managers meeting (open to market manager from all around Chattanooga) 9am-12noon

Wed 24th

Thursday 25th

·              Signal Mtn Farmers Market

.              Scenic City Online Market

Friday 26th

·              Fresh on Friday at Miller Plaza 11-1

·              Potluck at Gaining Ground with discussion panel of farmers market representatives 6-9pm

Saturday 27th

·              Brainerd Farmers Market 10am-1pm

·              St Albans Farmers Market 10am-1pm

·              Trenton Farmers Market 10am-1pm

·              Battlefield Farmers Market

Sunday 28th

·          Chattanooga Market 11am-4pm

Chef Nights Promote Healthy Eating in Area Schools

March 7, 2011

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

The Hamilton County Department of Education in collaboration with Coordinated School Health offers Chef Night demonstrations and taste-testings for children and their families from four area schools:

Chef Night is an event where Local chefs will come to selected schools to demonstrate how to prepare healthy food.

This event will take place in the school cafeteria with Local Chef’s preparing healthy food. Multiple booths will be set-up with Healthy Education information and, a Dietitian.

Fun games, face painting, and door prizes give away will be available.

The Chef Nights at area schools are made possible by a grant from Gaining Ground, a Benwood Initiative:

The Benwood Foundation seeks to stimulate creative and innovative efforts to build and strengthen the Chattanooga community.

Coordinated School Health is providing the educational component for the Chef Nights collaboration:

“The mission of Coordinated School Health is to improve students’ health and their capacity to learn through the support of families, communities and schools.”

CSH Model:

The CDC’s Coordinated School Health (CSH) model is a systematic approach that ensures that a school community effectively links health with educational success. Although these components are listed separately, it is their composite that allows CSH to have significant impact. CSH is implemented in a way that fits the unique needs and resources of each school community. The eight components of CSH are:

  • Health Education
  • Health Services
  • Counseling, Psychological and Social Services
  • Physical Education
  • Nutrition Services
  • Student, Family/Community Involvement
  • Healthy School Environment
  • Health Promotion for Staff

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Coordinated School Health and School Nutrition Are Teaching Healthy Lifestyle Choices Beyond the Schoolyard

September 13, 2010


The Center for Disease Control has developed a Coordinated School Health Program (CSHP) to encourage healthier lifestyles in the youth of America.  CSHP centers on 8 components which include health education, physical education, health services, nutrition services, counseling and psychological services, healthy school environment, healthy educators and staff, and community involvement.  In Hamilton County, integrating all of these components is the task of Russell Cliche and will depend on collaborations and partnerships within the school system and in the community

The Director of School Nutrition, Carolyn Childs, is working with Cliche to promote improved nutrition by incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables into student diets.  Gaining Ground initiated by the Benwood Foundation is helping to fund this program which includes bringing fresh produce into the classroom and not just the cafeteria.  Students will get to sample fresh produce, learn about the nutritional impact of the food, and also learn how to bring this information home so they can continue to enjoy local fresh produce.

Bringing in the families is crucial to integrating these foods into the home environment.  The Coordinated School Health and School Nutrition offices will be hosting Chef Nights in certain schools across the county to demonstrate how to prepare and cook meals using fresh produce.  Information will also be provided specific to each school location on where to purchase these foods.

According to the Tennessee Department of Education, healthier students perform better academically and these programs are designed to improve student and school performance all across the state.

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Taste Buds Local Food Guide 2010

June 29, 2010

The Chattanooga region’s guide to locally grown and locally crafted foods.

The TasteBuds Local Food Guide connects consumers with farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, food artisans, and others that grow, craft and support local.

Crabtree Farms says this about buying locally-grown produce and meats:

Purchasing food from a local farm is not only a fun experience, it ensures:

  1. You are getting the healthiest food available with more nutrients than food that travels long distances
    On average food travels 1300 miles from farm to table over 7 to 14 days
  2. You are reducing your carbon foot print, by limiting transportation of your food, saving oil and reducing greenhouse gases You are keeping your spending dollars local, helping to grow the Chattanoga economy You are supporting fair farming practices by paying the farmer 100% of the food dollar
    On average farmer’s receive less than 10% of the food dollar

This year’s food guide is supported by a Gaining Ground grant funded by the Benwood Foundation.      The following excerpt from an article by the Chattanoogan highlights Benwood Foundation’s efforts to support local food and our regional economy:

Gaining Ground is helping create and develop a sustainable, vibrant, cohesive and distinctively Chattanoogan foodscape through grants, coordinated efforts and public awareness. Commissioned by the Benwood Foundation to help increase demand for, production and consumption of local food, Gaining Ground is helping our region view food in new ways. For more information, contact:Jeff Pfitzer, program director, Gaining Ground, Benwood Foundation, at (423) 785-4231 or at

Th Ochs Center study is quoted here about the benefits of local food:

In fact, growth of the local food movement has progressed far enough to prompt broader interest in supporting its development both for health and environmental reasons, and for the benefit to the region’s economy. The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, for example, found in a 2008 survey that a five percent increase in consumption of local food would translate into a $100 million impact on the local economy — and help staunch the sad but steady loss of local family farms.

Here’s more from the same opinion times piece written in December  2009:

Crabtree Farms, one of the area’s first community gardens, also confirms both growing interest in the local food movement and the economic value, in addition to health and environmental values.

Developing the local food industry into a viable, healthy alternative for a larger market area, however, yet requires some organizational aid to local farms to help them meet and match the needs of potential customers.

Toward that end, the Benwood Foundation has recently issued a competitive call for projects that would work to increase the number and capacity of local growers and producers. The foundation, advised by a panel of national food-system reform experts, will award up to $250,000 in grants to individuals or groups over the next three years to advance innovative and collaborative ways to advance the local food economy.

Benwood didn’t come to its grant program without diligent research on the value and potential of a stronger local food industry. The foundation organized focus groups to scope out issues in the local food economy, visits to cities that have established local food industries, and interviews with growers, producers and distributors to learn the needs and potential of a local food movement.

A revived local food industry, Benwood reasonably believes, would have multiple benefits. Foremost, it would reconnect area residents with fresher, healthier foods. That would improve health and simultaneously mitigate the downside of the giant agri-business culture that now stocks grocery stores with foods transported an average of 1,500 miles. Collecting, storing and shipping foods collected from big farms all over the country, and the world, retards freshness, uses immense amounts of fuel and energy, generates immense pollution, and allows more preservatives, chemicals and pesticides to find a way into our foods.

Reporting:  Monessa Guilfoil

Listen to the Story with Crabtree Farm’s Melanie Mayo and Gaining Ground’s Jeff Pfitzer:

2nd Annual New Food Economy Week Celebrates Local Food

June 21, 2010

Main Street Farmer’s Market Manager, Padgett Arnold coordinates this year’s New Food Economy Week which highlights area restaurants, farms, vendors and businesses that provide and support local produce and meats.

The following is taken from the MSFM weekly mail-out about this 2nd annual local food celebration:

New Food Economy Week:
June 23-30, 2010
As we reach the height of the growing season with the Summer Solstice, we would like to acknowledge this exciting time of year with a week of events celebrating local food, local farms & food artisans, and Chattanooga’s community spirit…
Join us this week as we celebrate all of the reasons why Chattanooga’s Local Food Economy is truly special!
Schedule of Events:

Wednesday June 23: Solstice Celebration and Summer Season Kickoff at Main Street Farmers Market, 4:00-6:00pm

Thursday June 24: Local Foods Potluck at Crabtree Farms – Bring a dish and your favorite recipe featuring local ingredients, 5:00pm

Saturday June 26: Area Restaurants Feature Local Specials – Support your Local Food Economy by dining out at 212 Market, St John’s Restaurant, St John’s Meeting Place or Niko’s on the Southside

Sunday June 27: Support Local Farms and Artisans at the Chattanooga Market, 11:00am-4:00pm

Tuesday June 29: Bread, Brats & Beer on Bikes! Enjoy freshly baked bread from Niedlov’s Breadworks and sausages from Link 41 with a bike tour that begins at Link 41 (217 East Main Street) and stops along the way at local breweries, 6:00pm

Wednesday June 30: Local Blueberries are Ripe and Ready! Celebrate this summer favorite at Main Street Farmers Market’s Blueberry Fest 2010, 4:00-6:00pm

Arnold believes that educating local consumers about ways to prepare locally grown meats and in-season produce is a great way to help increase the viability of local farmers and markets and one way to do this, she says is through sharing recipes and preservation techniques with the community.

The new MSFM website, funded in part by the Gaining Ground grant provided by the Benwood Foundation will feature favorite ways to prepare local produce and meats.

The New Food Economy Week’s Potluck on Thursday, June 24th at Crabtree Farms asks attendees to bring their favorite recipes which will become a part of the recipe collection to be featured on the new MSFM cooking page.

Here’s an article from the International Fresh and Frugal Challenge blog entitled, “Sustainable Chattanooga,” touting the Gaining Ground initiative.

Health Scope Magazine explains why Living Green, Going Local is a “win-win” for Chattanooga:

“Local food reduces costs in transporting, packaging, processing, artificial flavors, chemical preservatives and advertising,” explains Susan Baker, marketing director for Greenlife Grocery in Chattanooga. “It also strengthens local economies by protecting small farms and local jobs.”

Crab Tree Farms

Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil

Listen to the Story: