From January 15, 2015 when the Lopez Community Food Analysis Laboratory held an Open House, until December, 2019, the Lopez Community Land Trust managed a Community Food Lab. This was a collaborative effort formed between Lopez Community Land Trust (LCLT) and BioMedix, a California-based biotechnology company that provides food safety testing systems to food companies and government agencies around the world. The Food Lab started significant conversations on the island, and across the continent. We are very pleased that in 2019, the decision was made for the Food Lab to move to Puerto Rico.
Dr. Claver Bundac, a part-time Lopezian generously gifted the lab equipment to LCLT and he personally trained over two dozen farmers and food producers. Below are some of Claver’s reflections on the lab:
“The story of the Lopez Food Lab turns out to be of two parts. Five years ago the idea about a food producing community being able to verify the safety of its food was born on Lopez Island. It is the idea that inspired the duplication of the same concept in a rural food producing community on Vancouver Island in British Columbia where, to this day, the laboratory provides food safety testing services to the community. While the analytical aspirations of the Lopez Food Lab did not become a reality, its introduction to the island-community stirred up, to say the least, enough curiosity for food safety awareness to become an important conversation among Lopezians. In this sense, the benefit the island received from the existence of the Food Lab can be measured by the enhanced conversations and curiosity about the island’s food safety awareness.
A few days after Christmas 2019, the Food Lab hesitantly said goodbye to Lopez Island and began a long journey to the island of Puerto Rico where the second part of the Lopez Food Lab story will begin. Amidst a rural food producing community on an island that is just recovering from a series of natural disasters (hurricanes and earthquakes), the food lab will be fully utilized in assuring the safety of the community’s food and water sources. The lab may assume a new name in a new place, but one thing will not change, and that is the fact that it is Lopez-born.
My thanks and best regards, Claver.”
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