Can We Really Afford to Pay For Cheap Food Any Longer?

Boycott?

I found myself on a plane this week to mingle and speak at the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association  (INFFRA) conference in Minnesota. As the great desert gave way to the patchwork of midwestern fields, I was awed by the amount of food being produced beneath me.

The vast quantity of land and resources we have concentrated in this central breadbasket provides an abundance of inexpensive food.

In some ways, our food has never been so cheap, and in other ways, it has never been so expensive. Continue reading

The Evolution of Agriculture – The Case against Cheap Food

Corn FieldThe agricultural revolution began some 10,000 years ago when one of our ancestors planted a seed, watched it grow and ate its fruit. It was time to stop wandering and plant more seeds. This ancestor, let’s call her Neolithia, was the grandmother of agriculture, from her labor sprung not only farming but civilization and industry. From that first seed to the cheap offerings of today, we are in dire need of an evolution of how we produce food. Continue reading

What I learned on Spring Break – Food Matters

Vegetable TartIt was a cold and blustery windy day. The first day of spring had sprung, and Easter had hitherto blossomed. On this windswept afternoon, I did something I seldom do, I committed to sitting down for two hours to watch a moving picture: a movie as my grandparents deemed it, otherwise known as a film. This movie by Michael Moore is his newest and shines a bright spotlight on what life is like in countries that don’t spend an inordinate amount of money on their military. Instead, the wealth of these nations is dedicated to social services, human decency, and happiness, the fair distribution of wealth and of course good food. Continue reading

Organic Matters – Tantalizing tidbits from this week’s food news

NewsIt’s Friday and I am writing to you from beautiful Corvallis, Oregon where I’m attending the 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference. If you aren’t able to be here, remember that the Organic Seed Alliance and eOrganic will be live streaming the sessions. Register here for the live broadcast on Feb 5th and 6th.

I’ve uncovered a plethora of good material this week during my digital treks and nocturnal analyses. It’s a conundrum how Organic continues to flourish while, at the same time, pesticide use is on the rise. The true cost of conventional food production is considered and a look at how climate change is being tackled through agricultural practices in California. Not to be overlooked are GMO labeling initiatives and emerging technologies, both forces changing our food system.

Here are some of the juiciest tidbits from the week: Continue reading

End of Year Yarn: Food Democracy

Washington ApplesThe older I get, the more I regard the seasons as a practice period for everlasting change. The dark turns into night and the Great Spirit reveals itself in its perpetual resurrection of spring into summer and now autumn into winter.  I am no longer young and lithe … but I am alive! I’m also hungry for change. I am elucidated and emancipated and educated enough to know what matters. Food matters! Continue reading