Watch: Health disparities in Charlotte along racial, socioeconomic fault lines

Health and economic mobility are connected, and the burdens of poor health don’t fall equally on different groups in our society. In Charlotte, where you live — along with your race, income and other demographic factors — has a big impact on aspects of health, from access to pharmacies to fresh food and even average […]

Growing peas and finding peace in the Piedmont

The English peas are finished. Given the long spell of mild weather we’ve enjoyed this year, I’d hoped this cool-weather crop might last a bit longer. Alas, they still flamed out in a matter of weeks. English peas (Pisum sativum) are the very essence of a Piedmont spring – sweet and tender and all too […]

Pandemic highlights food chain workers’ precarious and essential positions

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, news headlines have called attention to both “essential workers” in the food system, such as farmworkers and grocery store employees, and extensive job losses for food system workers, primarily in retail and restaurants. There are requests for contributions to virtual tip jars and for customers to buy gift cards from small […]

Eating healthy in a food desert: Mecklenburg leaders seek new solutions

Mecklenburg County leaders are trying to find solutions for a worsening food crisis in the county’s poorest neighborhoods. Nearly 15 percent of the county’s population lives in what the U.S. Department of Agriculture calls food deserts — low-income communities where most residents don’t have access to a full-service grocery store or supermarket carrying nutritious food. […]

Why intermediaries are key to viable local food systems

Growing and buying local food is a business: complex, rich in heritage and culture, essential to health and well-being, consumed by all but understood by few. The Carolinas Urban-Rural Connection A special project from the UNC Charlotte Urban Institute Read the whole project here Introduction: Strengthening ties to revitalize communities A ‘crisis that’s brewing’: How […]

Farm-to-table: A trendy-but-tenuous urban-rural connection

It’s Monday, and farmer Isaac Oliver begins his week at the computer. Out on their 72-acre Harmony Ridge Farms in Tobaccoville, Isaac and dad Kevin raise ducks, harvest eggs and grow produce. At the start of each week, Isaac emails his list of available products to nearly 70 restaurants in Charlotte, Winston-Salem, Greensboro, Raleigh and […]

Charlotte Water wants to harvest fertilizer from your flushes

Wash, brush, flush: As the local population booms, more people than ever are using Charlotte’s water for the daily essentials of life. And all that wastewater swirling down innumerable drains has to be treated – more than 78 million gallons a day, on average. Now, for the first time, Charlotte Water is planning to glean […]

Study: Charlotte region lags in food economy, farmers markets

The Charlotte region lags comparable areas in the robustness of its local food economy across multiple metrics, concludes the draft of a year-long study by the City of Charlotte. The report from consultants KarenKarp & Partners examines the state of farming in the metro region, the landscape of farmers markets in Charlotte, wholesale activity in […]

Crockpot squirrel, beaver pot roast, catfish dip: Spotlighting wild food

Growing up, we had a lot of wild foods – things like persimmon pudding and blackberry pie – which I never realized might be considered wild foods. For the past few years I have been an avid hunter of deer, doves, squirrel and turkey, but this year I’ve expanded my interests into hunting rabbit, grouse […]

Jackson: Sprawling cities, towns may be killing us

Richard Jackson thinks it’s time to stop blaming individuals for the U.S. obesity problem. The problem, he believes, is far more systemic, including the automobile-centric design of modern American life and the ready availability of high-sugar and high-fat foods. He thinks today’s parental fears of child abductions are not realistic and hurt children’s need for […]