Currently Browsing: Activism

Permaculture pressure: Keeping up with the Jones (Farm, that is)

Though I've been gardening for many years, every season I come up against all the things I don't know and want to learn. Usually I grab a book or talk to a friendly farmer at the local farmers market to see how someone else does what I want to do. But recently, I discovered a list of workshops available at...

English stars get on the real-food bandwagon

Now if we can just get Octo-Mom to eat organic: "Where celebrities are concerned, it seems, food is the new fur," reports the UK press. English A-list celebrities are part of a new seafood-awareness campaign to back the cinematic release of "The End Of The Line," a film about the threat of overfishing....

Running dry: Time to save our nation’s dairy farmers

Did you see that movie "Flash of Genius"? It follows the unlucky Robert Kearns, played by Greg Kinnear, as he spends his life (and his savings) perfecting the intermittent windshield wiper, only to have his idea snared and used without credit by the Ford Motor Company. He pursues lawsuits against Ford and...

The right to bear farms: Severine von Tscharner Fleming, young-farmers champion

Editor's note: Severine von Tscharner Fleming first inspired me back in 2006, when she was just an undergraduate activist at Berkeley. Since then, this wild-haired, scabby-shinned force of nature has been featured in the New York Times several times and elsewhere for her work trying to grow a new crop of...

Ask the Ethicurean: How do I work to change the food system?

We recently received an email from a reader asking for career advice on how best to make a difference in the food system. He has given me permission to post it here with his name removed — I'll call him Reader D instead. Our suggestions follow, and we'd love to hear yours as well. I have been reading The...

WK Kellogg’s Food and Society 2009: Follow the foundation funding

I've just come back from the WK Kellogg Foundation's invitation-only Food and Society conference in San Jose, CA, where I was hanging out on the foundation's dime with about 500 other assorted people working to change the food system — from grassroots activists to nutritionists, school-food administrators,...

There are much scarier food safety bills than HR 875 in Congress

If you care about food and farming and you use the Internet, you've probably received this particular e-mail. The title is something like, "BILL WOULD OUTLAW ORGANIC FARMING!!!!" or "MONSANTO'S DREAM BILL!!!!" It appears, inevitably, in all caps. I have upwards of 30 versions in my inbox. Normally, it would...

While we were sleeping: Score one for the GMO lobby

Updated at 3:10 pacific to include the full language of the relevant section of the bill. Thanks, IM. Things have been busy around here lately, but that's no excuse. We've just been reminded that, like time, Monsanto stops for no man. Yesterday, eliciting not a ripple from the blogosphere, the Senate...

No comment, no say: lend your voice to shaping four big food & ag policies

Photo from Iowa, courtesy of factoryfarm.org. It's easy to get cynical about our ability to influence policy or policymakers - especially when we don't have lots of money or a well-dressed K St. lobby firm to throw around. But I'd venture to say that with all the change-making, democracy-taking action...

After Michelle Obama: a Q&A with Scott Schenkelberg of Miriam’s Kitchen

Mrs. Obama on the line at Miriam's Kitchen; photo courtesy of Choice Photography. Last week, Michelle Obama made news by serving a meal at Miriam’s Kitchen, a DC social service agency. Miriam’s Kitchen feeds 4,000 people each year, mostly from fresh, wholesome ingredients. I caught up with the executive...

Serving meals, shedding anger, at a free lunch program in New England

Toward the end of last year, something happened. I still can’t say what, exactly, I just know it happened almost overnight. For two years, I’d been reading and blogging almost exclusively about food. I’d devoured articles about CAFOs and corn, downer cows and diabetes, subsidies and school lunches. I’d sat...

Ready, set, go change the food system, part 2: More USDA action items

On Friday we published the first half of a list of specific actions the new USDA could undertake in its first six months that could significantly change the food system. After polling a cross-section of groups and individuals, we cherry-picked from their answers to come up with 10 big-picture directives...

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