Small-scale farmer circa 1931

Comfood list-serv member Shawn posted a link to this National Archives photo in response to Kansas Senator Pat Roberts's small-farmer insults yesterday. It's by George Ackerman, titled "Farmer reading his farm paper,"  and was taken in Coryell County, Texas, September 1931. Come to think of it, this dude...

“Farmers market, Vegas style — this city’s got no SOLE”

Former SF Chronicle food reporter and Friend o'Ethicurean Carol Ness visited Las Vegas recently and posted this photo, taken in the lobby of the MGM Grand hotel, to her Facebook profile with the headline above as caption. She was quite unimpressed with the city's sustainable, organic, local, and/or ethical...

AgSuck: Looks like Tom Vilsack to head USDA

The New York Times' Caucus blog is reporting that President-Elect Obama has settled on former Iowa governor Tom Vilsack as his Secretary of Agriculture. While just a few weeks ago I wrote that Vilsack didn't seem like the most horrible choice for AgSec, compared to some of the other names being floated...

Getting corny: Video responses to the Corn Refiners’ HFCS campaign

Things have been far too serious around here lately, what with all these petitions and dire reports. Fortunately, a writer on Tufts' Comfood list-serv (yes, we poach lots of good ideas from there) has alerted us to a very fun way to waste some time and laugh, too: the anti-high fructose corn syrup ads that...

Stirring up some shit: New report on federal funding for factory farms’ waste and other programs

Agriculture policy in this country has been geared for 30-odd years toward one goal: the production of ever-cheaper food. But as is by now painfully obvious, cheap food has foisted its real costs onto the environment, public health, workers and animals. Taxpayers bear that burden indirectly in the form of...

Sign this Ag Sec petition: It’s worth a shot

Updated Dec. 12: Nicholas Kristof mentioned this in his NY Times column yesterday, and the number of signers is now over 36,000! If we can get it to 100,000 in the next few days, that would mean serious pressure for Obama to appoint a reformer as Secretary of Agriculture. Sign the petition now > Around...

Happy Thanksgiving from the Ethicureans

I hope all of you are getting ready to enjoy a locally inspired feast, or one with at least a couple Ethicureanish dishes on the menu. I'm a bit sad I won't be cooking at home this year. I'm unfortunately stalled in the airport en route to Scottsdale, AZ, where if the rain lets up I shall be hanging out...

Friday musical interlude: Obama, Wilco at Farm Aid 2005

Here's something to start the weekend off pleasantly: soon-to-be-Ethicurean Debra Eschmeyer posted this Farm Aid 2005 video on Facebook, with Barack Obama first talking about family farmers then introducing the band Wilco — three things I really care about, all together in six minutes. (My iPhone's ringtone...

Do know eVilsack: Former Iowa governor perhaps not such a bad potential Ag Sec?

Last week Friend o'Ethicurean and Rural Policy Organizer Steph Larsen wrote a guest post about the realpolitik choices President-Elect Obama's transition team are reportedly considering for Secretary of Agriculture. Today Steph's colleague at the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska, John Crabtree — a...

Wear your food politics on your chest #2: HFCS nightmares

We got some nice play on BoingBoing a few days ago (thanks Xeni!) for Ali's post on President-Elect Obama's possible food policy, and there's been an influx of new readers. Welcome! One of them, Aaron Beckwith, emailed to say he and sme friends run a sweatshop-free clothing company, Tshirt Insurgency, that...

Review: New documentary “Food Fight” is more of a lovefest

Ethicurean headquarters in Oakland, CA, should have been the home stadium for a preview screening of "Food Fight," the new documentary by Chris Taylor. After all, this "story of culinary revolt" covers the damage wrought by industrialization of the food system and features star players such as Michael...

“Homegrown”: New documentary on Pasadena urban microfarm

Just got an email from the director of "Homegrown," what looks like a cool new documentary. It's about the Dervaes family, who run a microscopic organic farm in urban Pasadena, California. They live on one-fifth of an acre, and their garden takes up less than a tenth of an acre: just 3,900 square feet. From...

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