I’ve been pondering a lot the last three weeks, trying to think outside the box, and trying to proceed as if there is no box at all. Two weeks of conferences in a row, one the Kellogg Foundation Food and Society Conference, the second sponsored by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources. Very different conferences, but a common theme: Food Systems All the Time.
At the UC-sponsored professional conference that I recently attended, I had the opportunity to hear historian James McWilliams speak. I have read some of McWilliams’s work previously and greatly admire his research and work. (He’s also an incredibly likable and humorous man on a personal level). Like me, McWilliams is an historian attempting to use the past to inform current public policy in the nation’s food system. (I like this. We need more historians informing public policy in general, and particularly vis-à-vis food systems). Our research focuses on different areas; we agree on some things, but disagree on others. I will be reviewing his upcoming book, Just Food: How Locavores Are Endangering the Future of Food and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly (Little Brown, June 2009), for this blog. Read more