I love the idea of urban farming. Someone told me that Oregon had passed a backyard farming law, but I googled it and can't find it. Perhaps it's still in the works.
I recently learned the term "food deserts," which I never really thought about too much. I mean I know that there are neighborhoods that only have access to convenience stores, but it never really hit home how that might affect the truly poor. In a lot of cities, you can get to a decent grocery store by bus, but in really large cities, that might be tougher.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before. You can't buy prepared (which apparently means heated) foods with foodstamps. Some guy in Eugene, OR was selling heated food to people for foodstamps and got hit with a hefty fine. His solution was to put out a free microwave for all customers to use so that anything he sold that required heat could be heated by the stamp recipients. Also, a few stores sell uncooked pizzas for one price then add 50c-$1 to heat them. So you can buy the pizza with foodstamps, then pay with currency for the cooking of the product. I haven't seen anyone doing that here in N'Orleans, but once someone figures it out, I'm sure a few will follow. I know why the rules exist, but for the worst off, it can truly hurt. I think fines should be for stores that sell things like alcohol for foodstamps. Better to word the rule that you can't buy restaurant food than to disallow heat.