Just an accounting of the last month of local food, sustainable agriculture, and science/food/safety articles is difficult to produce. Let alone a full understanding of them. One problem with studying the topic is that the proliferation of literature on sustainable ag and its associated elements brings with it sifting and organizing difficulties. It’s a microcosm of the problem of the internet itself – more information leads to more traffic, leading to slower travel. How to make sense of it all?
Here is a quick sampling of some recent literature on what we might call the current “food” movement (which isn’t the same as the local food movement, though it overlaps; which isn’t the same as the sustainable agriculture movement, though it overlaps; which isn’t the same as the safe food movement, though it overlaps….You get the idea.) I don’t seek to make sense of it all here, but hope to offer a benchmark of the current conversation by offering the bibliography below.
In general, along the Organic, Local, & Safe axis:
- “Food Democracy Now,” by Jane Black: Iowan Dave Murphy Is Challenging the Corporate Farming Of America (a good example of someone not from the left or right coast who is leading efforts in non-industrial agriculture and food)
- “Eating Food That’s Better for You, Organic or No,” by the recently popular and, I’d suggest, plausible and persuasive Mark Bittman (with reference to pesticides, organic, and yes, Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle, and Obama)
- “Is a Food Revolution Now in Season?“, by Andrew Martin (yes, with reference to Alice Waters, Nestle, Pollan, and Obama)
- “No Lunch Left Behind,” an Alice Waters op-ed on school lunch in the Times
- Profile of Alice Waters, on 60 Minutes
- “Organic vs Local? Who Cares. Neither is Sustainable,” from Treehugger
- “The Locavore’s Dilemma“: what to do with your CSA haul (guess what, with reference to Pollan, Obama, and Bittman)
- Yes! Magazine‘s recent “Food for Everyone” issue: the table of contents is packed, worth a perusal.
- The March/April issue of Mother Jones, “Let’s Grow America“: like Yes!, it’s a packed TOC (Spoiler alert: you may find some familiar names)
- Article about Michele Obama breaking ground on the White House Garden, by Jane Black
In particular, legislative:
- Summary of current proposed legislation on food and safety and such
- Link to a copy of H.R. 875: Food Safety Modernization Act of 2009
- Marion Nestle briefly noting the current state of food safety issues, over at The Atlantic
- A new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: about Food Safety
- New food labeling law now in place, from msnbc
Quite a bit to deal with. And the growing season is just starting, with our farmer’s market opening this Saturday and a (well considered and beneficial) Local Food Hub all the buzz in Charlottesville.