Meredith: The good, the bad and Food Babe

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In my last blog post, I told you about Vani Hari, known in blogger circles as “Food Babe.” I told you about the panel discussion she monopolized at the recent BlogHer Conference and how she forms her very opinionated positions. When she described her crusade against Subway, the Food Babe indicated that it wasn’t just about the bread. “Oh no,” she said. “I wanted to turn the phrase ‘eat fresh’ on it’s head—if people are asking questions about the bread, then maybe they’ll start asking questions about the lettuce, and cheese and meat.” You might be thinking, what makes Food Babe... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Food Babe? More like Food Bully

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Last week, I told you about my conversation (if you want to call it that) with the folks at the ASPCA booth during the 2014 BlogHer Food Conference in Florida. While ASPCA’s very presence was somewhat upsetting to me, what was more curious was an entire breakout session the following day about “Food Activism,” titled: How to Turn Food Ethics into Action. The panelists included Blog Designer, Internet Consultant, and October #Unprocessed founder Andrew Wilder; Food blogger and Sustainable Seafood Blog Project founder Jessie Johnson; Food allergy blogger and Food Allergy Bloggers Conference Founder Jenny Sprague; and last but certainly not... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Isn’t all food 'just' food?

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A few weeks ago I recovered from our Stakeholders Summit in Miami, Florida at the BlogHer Food Conference. Last year, I attended the 2013 BlogHer Food Conference in “Stay Weird” Austin, Texas and had the best time—meeting foodie bloggers, talking about new recipes, perceptions about agriculture and a passion for the written word through blogging. Not that I didn’t have a great time this year in Miami, but BlogHer was a little different. I remember feeling anxious last year, not knowing what the different bloggers would think when they found out I represented the “big bad” agriculture industry—but my fears... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: My factory grandfather

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Last week my grandfather celebrated his birthday—and though I wasn’t able to celebrate with him in person, I thought of him often that day, as I do most days. I’ve been blessed with incredibly involved grandparents on both my mother’s and father’s side. They attended nearly every sporting event, school play, concert, birthday and all my graduations (high school, college and law school!). As a young child, when my parents would travel for business, Grandma Riri and “Bumpa” aka Grandpa Richard would have me stay up at their house in Marinette, Wisconsin, just across the water from Menominee, Michigan. I’ll always remember... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Millennials, the “greener” generation?

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The millennial generation is concerned about “causes” and one of their favorites is having a sustainable environment. Last week, the Clinton Global Initiative, in conjunction with Microsoft, released the results of a poll aimed to identify millennials’ top priorities. The release of the poll results coincided with the Clinton Global Initiative University conference at Arizona State University, where students from across the country gathered to focus on global issues, including climate change, education and food security. According to the poll, millennials say they are more focused on the environment than their parents’ generation, 76% to 24%. More than 66% of millennials... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: Women in ag are "leaning in"

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I’ve been doing a lot of traveling lately, and in an effort to keep from climbing the walls of the airplanes that lack in-flight wifi (Yes, “Hi my name is Emily and I’m addicted to my email”), I’ve been reading some books that have been on my “must read” list for far too long. I dove headfirst into Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead. Sandberg, formerly of Google and now the COO of Facebook, discusses the importance of women in the workforce and how more women must “lean in” and rise through the ranks of corporate... View Expert Column Post »

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Mitigating Millennial Mayhem

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You may have heard that 2014 was declared the “Year of the Family Farmer” by the United Nations. Well, if 2014 is the year of the family farmer, then it’s also the year of the Millennial--as will be 2015, and 2016 and likely 2020. Move over Baby Boomers, the Millennials are taking over. That shift will potentially change the food system as we know it--and it’s a trend that’s here to stay. Millennials, or the generation born between 1982 and 2001, have had (and will continue to have) a profound effect on grocery markets, restaurant trends and food production as we... View Expert Column Post »

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Tackle the tough issues

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It’s time for producers to proactively talk about the things consumers want to know about, even if – or especially – if it’s a sensitive topic. A few weeks ago I spoke at the Missouri Governor’s Conference on Agriculture. I was asked to speak about communications. I told the audience all about the Alliance’s mission to proactively engage with new audiences, and correct misinformation spread by animal rights activists like Paul Shapiro of the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), whom I talked about in my blog post earlier this week. I told the audience that when I get a... View Expert Column Post »

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When your cousin goes vegan

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I started noticing it six, or so, months ago: some particularly “veggie heavy” recipes in the annual family exchange, a few Pinterest posts tagging “Meatless Mondays.” It was a slow build, but soon enough my teenage cousin was visiting my family, sitting at my mother’s Sunday table and refusing bacon: “I’m a vegetarian.” “Excuse me, what?” It’s true, came the reply—she’s sworn off turkey on Thanksgiving, her beloved ham roll-ups, burgers, hot dogs, and of course, bacon. The only silver lining is that she’s still eating cheese (otherwise I don’t know if our home state of Wisconsin would ever forgive her!). My cousin... View Expert Column Post »

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Meredith: My hope for ag in 2014: Christmas Jammies

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My husband has been trying to cheer me up for the last week. You see, I've been pretty much bedridden (after a bad fall — don't worry it's only temporary!) — alone at home; just me, our pug and my laptop. It's been pretty frustrating for a workaholic like me who doesn't like to be kept down. A couple days ago, an email from my hubby pinged into my inbox--inside was a video that had just gone viral. It was of the Holderness Family’s annual Christmas newsletter--done in video form. The video is ridiculous, heartwarming, clever, unique all rolled into one.... View Expert Column Post »

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Emily Meredith
Emily Meredith | Emily Meredith serves as the Communications Director for the Alliance and manages all aspects of the communications strategy. She is responsible for the Issues Management Committee and coordinating effective responses to the issues of the industry.


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