Currently Browsing: Food revolt

Life as a give-a-shit-atarian: On loving peas, beets, and Tom Robbins

Self-identification is one of those never-ending challenges that occupy humans. Even highly self-aware people seem to spend a lot of time defending and refining their self-definition. Last week, someone proposed that people who care about climate change be known as "climate hawks." There are the endless...

An artisanal plea from a fed-up foodie

When you find me behind bars, locked up for a fit of lexical rage, please know that it was granola that pushed me over the edge. Not just any granola: "artisan granola." Presumably its makers meant artisanal granola, made in limited quantities using traditional methods, rather than crunchy-buttery-nutty...

Math lessons for Budiansky: Industrial concentration vs. local choice

On Friday, New York Times op-ed contributor Steven Budiansky challenged local food advocates to rethink their math, mainly about food miles. As it happens, I was already doing some food calculations that day -- but not of the sort Budiansky discussed. My numbers included the following: As of Friday, 450...

Battling the bugs—and the temptation to use chemical WMDs

I'm at war with the common stalk borer. As much as I believe in sustainability and chemical-free agriculture in theory, I've never been more tempted to use insecticides as I am right now. For years, the signature for my email has been a quote from the agtivist-scientist Vandana Shiva, "Sustainability begins...

Michael Pollan on the rise of the food movement(s)

Pollan nation: In what is ostensibly a five-book review for the June 10 New York Review of Books, journalist Michael Pollan has an epic essay charting the emergence and character of the food movement. Or, as he puts it, "'movements,' since it is unified as yet by little more than the recognition that...

Words on the street food

A sampler of dispatches from the street-food universe. What this got to do with Ethicureanism? Well, unlike most fast food, good street food is made from fresh, real ingredients by independent sole proprietors. And it fascinates us because it's like the "farming in the middle" conundrum: how can talented...

Big Meat has tantrum over Oct 15 Michael Pollan talk at CalPoly

RIP, academic freedom: Writer Michael Pollan—aka "elitist," and apparently Agribiz Public Enemy No. 1—will now be part of a panel discussion at Cal Poly on Oct. 15 instead of giving a planned one-hour lecture. Harris Ranch Beef Company Chairman David E. Wood wrote to Cal Poly President Warren Baker...

“Food, Inc.” the book: Picking up where the documentary left off

By Joshua J. Biggley Summer blockbusters are often contrived, schlocky representations of the books on which they are based. But the documentary "Food, Inc.," which drew heavily on the nonfiction bestsellers "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and "Fast Food Nation" for its subject matter, has produced an accompanying...

Rich countries gobbling up poor countries’ farmland at truly alarming rates

A recipe for complete and utter world disaster: Rich countries and international corporations, including automakers, are buying up farmland in developing countries at a rate that ought to set off humanitarian alarm bells worldwide. New reports from the United Nations and others estimate that nearly 20...

Welcoming in a new era of flexitarianism

Eat food. Not too much. Mostly…whatever you like: Nice, if rambling, article about how writers like Mark Bittman, Michael Pollan, and new entrant Robyn O'Brien (whose very interesting book, "The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food Is Making Us Sick - And What We Can Do About It," we've just started reading) are...

What the finance meltdown has in common with the industrial food system

Toxic assets: Tom Philpott uses the New Yorker's recent chronicle of the world financial collapse as a mirror for the global food system. But "whereas Wall Street’s leverage was financial, the food industry’s is mostly ecological and social," writes Philpott, before going on to detail all the dire warning...

What two 19th-century cities can teach us about community-based food systems

While compiling this week's (long overdue) Digest, I came across the excellent infographic above in Yes! magazine's April issue, which is all about growing a food revolution. It nicely collects all of the inputs — homegrown seed, clean energy, regional processing plants, grow-your-own programs — that...

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