Monthly Archives: November 2011

Guest Author: Mark Winne

I am giving thanks to Mark Winne, the author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty and Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture, who just sent over a timely submission for Thanksgiving!

On The Road

I’ve been on the road for the last two weeks spreading the word about good food. From the San Francisco Bay to the Delmarva Peninsula, from Boston to Bethesda, and Oklahoma to Iowa, I was the itinerant preacher thumping the bible for a just and sustainable food system. I met hundreds of blessed folk along the way, most already converted and no doubt bound for heaven, but some still firmly in the clutches of the devil’s industrial food system. And like preachers everywhere, I tried to embrace them all – sinners as well as saints – in hopes that we all might find a healthy and tasty path to redemption.

Photo by Norah Levine

Maryland’s eastern shore is the heart of Big Chicken country. Here, Perdue and Tyson manage the devil’s workshop where chickens come off the factory line looking like McNuggets with legs. Sharing a pulpit with Baltimore public radio host Marc Steiner, two local farmers, and another journalist, we showed Food, Inc. to a SRO crowd at Salisbury University. As someone who has seen the flick a dozen times, I was surprised that this was its first showing on the Eastern Shore. But I soon learned why. Not only were half the buildings and streets named after members of the Perdue family, rumor was that Perdue executives had asked the University to not screen the documentary. Not only do animals suffer at the hands of Big Ag, so does the First Amendment. (more…)

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You Have No Idea

Many critics of the organic food movement and the local food movement question if we can feed the growing world population with local, organic farms. Instead, they favor embracing science and technology to get higher and higher yields from our farmland. That’s the only way.

Really? This thinking assumes that land or crops or both are infinite; that we can forever keep up with the pace of the growing world population if we just continue to find more sophisticated scientific and technological solutions. Well, the last time I checked our resources were finite. There is only so much land available and only so much we can squeeze out of a seed. And is that really the future we want to head towards? A future where we keep pushing our limits like a risky bet at a casino? I can firmly say I don’t want to find out how much of our land can we turn into farmland to feed billions and billions of people. I like knowing that there are places still untouched by humankind, and I want to keep it that way. (more…)

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