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New Season's both supports 49, and moves into new subdivision ?

Interesting blog discussion on New Season's blogs: http://blogs.newseasonsmarket.com/
Why I'm Voting Yes on Measure 49
I'm voting yes on Measure 49 because It's a common sense compromise that will help save our local farms and ranches and protect our food security for years to come.

As local grocers we're constantly in touch with Oregon's agricultural producers. We've heard from most of them, loud and clear, that if Measure 37 goes unchecked we're in for some real trouble in the not too distant future. That's why the well respected Oregon Farm Bureau Federation and 15 farm organizations in Oregon have endorsed Measure 49.

Anyone who shops for groceries has seen that as the price of oil has continued to climb, the costs of our basic every day groceries have rapidly increased. One of the reasons is simply the ever growing expense of transporting products from such long distances. If we lose more and more local farm land to development how will we afford our food in the future? What will the cost of dinner be when a barrel of oil is $100? How about at $200?

And cost aside, we've learned the hard way over the past several months that we can't count on the safety of many imported foods. If the foreign countries that we buy from are unable to put standards into place that ensure that what they're exporting is safe, we're going to need other options. That will make our local farms and ranches critically important to the long term security of our community.

I definitely understand the frustration that many people feel about Oregon's land use rules and why they voted for Measure 37. New Seasons Market experienced some crazy and absurdly expensive zoning problems while opening our stores. Somewhere in between the time that our land use rules were initially put into place and today, our state lost its way. Oregon once was vision driven, but we turned into a place that too frequently has operated by nonsensical, inflexible rules.

Of course, under most circumstances, people should be able to build a second or third house on their property for their aging parents or children. And if that's what Measure 37 actually accomplished, I don't think hardly anyone would be objecting to it. But as we've seen over the last couple of years, Measure 37 really opened Pandora's Box. There's a big difference between allowing a place for your Mom to live on your property and turning thousand and thousands of acres of prime agricultural land into subdivisions and strip malls. Measure 49 is the right first step to fix that problem.

I know that Measure 49 isn't perfect and I imagine that, as a community, we'll be reevaluating and tweaking the rules for many years to come. That's as it should be, since it only makes sense to adjust the guidelines as our world around us changes. If we would have done that all along, it's unlikely that a law as drastic as Measure 37 would ever have been put into place.

But, perfect or not, we can't afford to wait. Because once the concrete is poured and the cul de sacs go in, there's no turning back. That's why I'm going to vote yes on Measure 49. Let's make sure that our children and grandchildren and the generations to come will be able to experience the safety and pleasure of eating Oregon grown food.

This entry was posted on Sunday, October 21st, 2007 at 5:47 pm and is filed under Food Politics. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

12 Responses to "Why I'm Voting Yes on Measure 49"
Paul Says:
October 24th, 2007 at 1:06 pm
"we've learned the hard way over the past several months that we can't count on the safety of many imported foods. If the foreign countries that we buy from are unable to put standards into place that ensure that what they're exporting is safe,"

Why then does New Seasons still carry produce such as frozen vegetables from Woodstock Farms when it is labeled on the back as Produce of China. There is no need to carry Chinese produce when local alternatives are available.

Adam Says:
October 26th, 2007 at 8:59 am
In response to the first response, Woodstock Farms frozen vegetables are all grown domestically. It's the Cascadian Farms products which some of are from overseas, but not all. If New Seasons as a company were to start eliminating every item that some people may not agree with, soon there would be very few items left on the shelves, if any at all (besides local eggs, milk, produce and meat). In such a case, the company would then no longer have the power to enable, educate, and encourage it's customers to vote with their dollars. I for one have seen other customers going to buy non-local products and have encouraged them to buy more locally with the knowledge I have gained as a shopper, and I hope others will do the same. If we all stop buying something, the company most likely will no longer carry it. It's that simple. So next time you're shopping for frozen veggies and see someone picking up something that you KNOW is not up to par as compared with our wonderfully grown local products, let them know which is the better choice!

Eric Says:
October 28th, 2007 at 7:51 pm
I am now holding in my hand a bag of Woodstock Farms frozen sugar snap peas. On the back it says "product of china". It's not the only, there are several others I've noticed.

Eric Says:
October 30th, 2007 at 9:30 am
You're wrong - Woodstock farms sells frozen vegetables wich are grown in China - check the back of the packages! Your argument that eliminating bad or potentially dangerous products is better for consumers is - to me - not a good one. New Seasons should be setting the standard for progressive and responible business practices.

Mary Says:
October 30th, 2007 at 3:05 pm
I would like to see NSM eliminate all foods that contain Transfats. Anybody have a justification for seeing these on the shelves at NSM?! Orville Redenbacher's Caramel Corn is the product that comes to mind immediately...

wendie Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 6:28 am
I was about to place my weekly on line order and did not because of this article. This article is so misleading and so inappropriate that I decided tol no longer be a new seasons customer. I'll walk with my dollars. I'm willing to bet that the author has never read M 49. That's understandable because its nearly indecipherable and what some 20+ pages long. I'll bet that almost no one is going to get even a single home for their retirement, their kids, their aging parents under M 49 but that's what is stumped. M49 is misleading and so is this adverstisement by the store CEO. The Measure is more likely than not to return to Oregon's land use system where its impossible to establish a home for oneself, kids and gradparents all on one parcel including those 2, 5 (whatefver) acre parcels zoned for exclusive farm use where exclusive farm use will never occur and everyone knows it. I'll have no part of it. I think its pretty inapporpriate for as a part of a person's on line shopping experience to be confronted with this kind of advertisement. I suppose it is simply best just not to visit the on line store if it offeds me (which it does) or for that matter best to avoid the store itself. Whole foods here I come.

Sarah Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 9:14 am
Mary, I don't think it's New Seasons' responsibility to regulate what we put in our mouths. Transfats are not the devil, and eliminating them is not going to solve America's obesity problem. A plant-based diet, coupled with exercise, is a more sensible (and scientifically proven) approach to those looking to improve their health. Of course, that's not the easy way to do it, is it?

Paul Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 2:29 pm
Adam. Apart from your first line I agreed with everything you said. As Eric suggested, check the packages, many Woodstock Farms products are marked in small print on the back as product of China (although I expect that to disappear soon), at least they had the guts to label it and allow me the choice which many other brands do not. Cascadian as far as I can see doesn't list the source other than to say it has been certified organic in Washington State. As for your last line, I couldn't agree with you more which is why I pointed this out. My recommendation would be to try the Stahlbush Island Farms products ( I have no interest in the company) sold at New Seasons. They at least declare their product "Grown in Oregon" on the front of the package, not skulking in small print on the back. I did notice when they went on sale recently the shelves were cleaned out (please note New Seasons). Personally I think they should make the print bolder. Enjoy.

Adam Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 4:53 pm
I stand corrected. After checking all the Woodstock products on my last visit, I found some of the Woodstock products are grown in China. I had based my prior comment on what was in my freezer at home. Cascadian does list the source, only if not from the US, as in the bleuberries and Chinese Stir Fry Blend. Still, I'd rather buy Stahlbush or Sno-pac, both grown solely in the US.

Mark Says:
October 31st, 2007 at 6:49 pm
Yes on 49? The "yes" vote on 37 was an attempt to treat property owners fairly. Those families who have moved forward with the process would essentially loose the time and money they have spent under what they understood were the new rules if 49 passes. Two critical points astound me that supporters of 49 fail to mention. First, no one is making anyone sell. The farmers you claim who are in an uproar are the same ones who "choose" to sell the property if they see it as in their best interests. Second, despite the pro 49 ad, NO ONE steals anyones water in a larger development. There are no new wells drilled to support the project. They simply bear the expense of hooking-up to public water and sewer... further improving the area. On one hand, New Seasons claims to support progressive changes. From the change of historical streets to the more in vogue use of past civil activists to buying out older properties to make room for more of their retail stores... .but doesn't want to see progress of other property owners. Perhaps New Seasons should actual read 49 and then stick to putting a fake spin on there position to overseas products as they sell them in disguise. Save your uninformed thoughts and hypocrisy for the discussions at home in your Birkenstocks. You lost another famlies business.

mike Says:
November 1st, 2007 at 11:32 am
Brian Iis an idiot Measure 37 was passed to restore property rights to oregon voters. If the only issue was building a house for your aging mother that zoning law was already in effect it it called a hardship permit. you are trying to take the property rights of all oregon people away with your yes on 49 vote. if you own property you skould be able to do what you want with it whether it is to build 5 or 35 houses on it thats why we live in america you COMMUNIST REMEMBER NO ON 49.

Paul Says:
November 4th, 2007 at 7:52 pm
One reason I like living in America is that I am allowed to express my thoughts freely, and I appreciate Brian and New Seasons giving us this forum to share them whether we agree with them or not. I think that Mark and Mike above, while they might have some valid points, are not helping their argument by resorting to name calling. BTW Mike based on your comments I presume that you would never provide support to a communist government and that therefore you don't own anything made in China. I watched prime farmland in the Amish area of Pennsylvania being slowly swallowed by development and would hate to see the same happen to the Willamette Valley. I am as equally concerned to see the orchards and other farms replaced by vineyards. We can't live on wine and grapes alone (although it is tempting). We have already seen what happens when we look toward Gresham, thousands of acres of strawberry farms lost. Lets keep some of what Oregon is known for and not let is start to look like the suburbs of LA.

Lilly Rice Says:
December 1st, 2007 at 9:36 am
Hasn't New Season's just opened a big new supermarket (wholefoods style) store in an area that was once prime farmland ?,I am refering to happy Valley, a sudivison of upwardly mobile home owner's, who want to be close to the country with all the convenience and addictions of the city life. I remember going out to pick up awesome compost from Dr Fred Oerther who had a wonderful permaculture farm out there, i remember how sad he was to be getting pushed out. Hypocrisy hurts...

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