The Swine Flu Crisis Lays Bare the Meat Industry’s Monstrous Power

Mexico swine flu outbreak should alert us to a highly globalized industry with global political clout Mike Davis The Mexican swine flu, a genetic chimera probably conceived in the faecal mire of an industrial pigsty, suddenly threatens to give the whole world a fever. The initial outbreaks across North America reveal an infection already… Read more »

Paint It Green with Recycled, Phony Rhetoric

Market researchers seem to have decided that promoting the “green” attributes of your company or products will resonate with consumers. There was certainly an overabundance of promotions in the lead-up to Earth Day this year. And, in terms of marketing, Earth Day alone is not enough. We now celebrate “Earth Week!” You might think that… Read more »

The City that Ended Hunger

A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger. Yes! Magazine by Frances Moore Lappe “To search for solutions to hunger means to act within the principle that the status of a citizen surpasses that of a mere consumer.” CITY OF BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL In… Read more »

USDA Secretary Nominee Causes Dustup in Organic Industry

Obama Administration Challenged to Clean up Bush’s Organic Mess Mark Kastel The Cornucopia Institute While former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack testified before Congress during confirmation hearings, a controversy was bubbling in the organic food and farming industry concerning his appointment. For the last eight years, Bush administration officials at the USDA have been widely criticized… Read more »

Agriculture Does Not Need ‘Business as Usual’

Chicago Tribune (link no longer available) George Naylor, National Family Farm Coalition I’m sorely disappointed in George McGovern and Marshall Matz’s disturbing commentary piece, “Agriculture’s next big challenge” (Jan. 4), which makes a failed argument to continue with business as usual for industrial agriculture. Our current fossil-fuel based system has led to severe degradation of the… Read more »

A 50-Year Farm Bill

New York Times By WES JACKSON and WENDELL BERRY The extraordinary rainstorms last June caused catastrophic soil erosion in the grain lands of Iowa, where there were gullies 200 feet wide. But even worse damage is done over the long term under normal rainfall — by the little rills and sheets of erosion on incompletely… Read more »

A Change We Can Believe In – Dumping Industrial Agriculture by Jim Goodman As 2009 approaches, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) notes nearly a billion people a day go hungry worldwide. While India supplies Switzerland with 80% of its wheat, 350 million Indians are food-insecure. Rice prices have nearly tripled since early 2007 because, according to The International Rice Research Institute,… Read more »

Obama’s ‘Secretary of Food’?

By NICHOLAS D. KRISTOF Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times As Barack Obama ponders whom to pick as agriculture secretary, he should reframe the question. What he needs is actually a bold reformer in a position renamed “secretary of food.” A Department of Agriculture made sense 100 years ago when 35 percent of Americans engaged in… Read more »

Shoppers Pay While Food Processors Profit

Western Farm Press The release of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for October proves what too many Americans already have learned the hard way: input costs for food processors are way down but the prices they charge grocery shoppers continue to climb. Prices for virtually everything consumers buy — gasoline, airline tickets, clothing — dropped… Read more »

Farmer in Chief

The New York Times Magazine By MICHAEL POLLAN Dear Mr. President-Elect, It may surprise you to learn that among the issues that will occupy much of your time in the coming years is one you barely mentioned during the campaign: food. Food policy is not something American presidents have had to give much thought to,… Read more »