Faces & Visions of the Food Movement: Samin Nosrat

Samin Nosrat creates community around food as a cook, writer and teacher in the Bay Area. From Chez Panisse to Tuscany, Piemonte to the northern coast of Iran, she has spent the past 14 years immersed in a life of cooking and learning beside groundbreaking chefs, home cooks, farmers, writers, and artists.  Drawing on this broad spectrum of experience, she brings to her all of her varied work a sense of humor and joy as well as a deep desire to empower and encourage people to find their own comfortable place in the kitchen.  She is currently at work on her first book Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, to be published by Simon & Schuster in Spring 2015. Read more

Faces and Visions of the Food Movement: Leigh Adcock

Leigh Adcock is a powerhouse in the food movement. She has been executive director of Women, Food and Agriculture Network (WFAN) since 2008. Prior to that, she was a board member for the organization for 2 years, and served from 2003 – 2008 as executive director of the Iowa Farmers Union. Leigh has been instrumental in expanding WFAN’s scope to a national level, increasing membership more than six-fold, increasing funding from under $30,000 to $250,000 per year, and creating successful programs such as Women Caring for the Land SM,  a conservation program for women farmland owners, and Harvesting Our PotentialSM, the on-farm apprenticeship program which this grant proposal seeks to expand. She is also co-creator of the Plate to Politics project, a collaboration of WFAN, Midwest Organic and Sustainable Education Service (MOSES) and The White House Project, designed to recruit and train more rural and farm women all over the U.S. to run for public office at all levels, from the community to the White House. She grew up on a 360-acre conventional grain and beef cattle farm in northwest Iowa, which she currently co-owns with her mother. She and her husband and two teenage sons live on an acreage north of Ames, IA. Read more

May 2013 Be a Positive Force: A Civil Eats Year End Story Round-Up

Happy end of 2012! Let’s put all that behind us, shall we?

After a year that included arguably more food mishaps and misdeeds in history, there is clearly no time like the present to voice what we the people really want for our families, friends, and our planet. Corporate greed has gone too far and the need for grassroots, community action is greater than ever.

The time has come, really it has. At the risk of sounding very West Coast, I’d like to quote my yoga teacher the day after the Sandy Hook Elementary shootings: “Now is not the time for you to figure out your purpose,” she said, “It is simply time for fierce love and kind action.”

So what does love and kindness have to do with the food movement? Well, it’s a good place to start. Read more

Faces and Visions of the Food Movement: Adam Brock

Adam Brock is an urban permaculturalist currently serving as Director of Operations at The GrowHaus, a nonprofit food justice center based in a half-acre greenhouse in Colorado’s most polluted zip code. He is a graduate of NYU’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study with a concentration in Ecological Design and has been active as an urban agriculture practitioner and advocate since 2008. Adam is a member of Denver’s Sustainable Food Policy Council and collaborates with numerous sustainability- and social justice-oriented groups in the Denver area.

Adam’s passion for permaculture design extends into creative endeavors, including a sincere effort to create a regionalized cuisine in Colorado and work with hip hop artists to communicate good food ideas.

What issues have you been focused on?

Our work at The GrowHaus is about creating a hub for new ways of relating to our food, particularly in our neighborhood where the food system is pretty much broken. We believe in a holistic model that tackles food production, food distribution and food education simultaneously to rebuild our food system from the ground up.

Permaculture is a big part of our mission and organizational culture – we teach permaculture classes for all kinds of people, and it informs everything from how we grow food to how we relate to our neighbors. Read more

Faces & Visions of the Food Movement: Denise O’Brien

Denise O’Brien is a farmer and community organizer from Atlantic, Iowa. She has farmed with her husband, Larry Harris, for 37 years in the southwest of the state and maintains 16 acres of fruit and vegetable production. Denise also raises turkeys and chickens for market.

For over 30 years Denise has helped develop agriculture policy on the state, national and international level working specifically on local food systems and conservation issues. She is the founder of Women Food and Agriculture Network and recently returned home after a year working as an USDA agriculture adviser in Afghanistan.

Denise has spent years as an activist farmer, raising children and crops, milking cows and being politically engaged. Now, she wants to restore prairie, save seeds, support women landowners and encourage the next generation of women activists. Read more

Untimely Loss of Dairy Activist is Call to Arms

At a time when our nation’s family dairy farmers are in jeopardy of losing their farms and the independent dairy industry is in a state of volatility due to the price of milk paid to farmers, higher feed costs, corporate consolidation in the supply chain–and what many believe is a flawed pricing strategy–it was a huge loss when on August 7, 2012, Bryan Wolfe, a dairy farmer and activist, was tragically killed working his haybine on his farm in Rome Township, Ohio. He was 55.

According to Arden Tewksbury, Manager of the Progressive Agriculture Organization (Pro-Ag), Bryan was a well-known and respected dairy farmer activist who continually worked to obtain a fair price for all dairy farmers. He felt very strongly that a cost of production formula should be developed (like S-1640; the Federal Milk Marketing Improvement Act) to ensure all dairy farmers would have a fair chance to survive this RAT RACE that many dairy farmers are experiencing. Read more

Faces & Visions of the Food Movement: Paul Towers

Recently pesticide manufacturer Arysta LifeScience agreed to stop selling the cancer-causing strawberry pesticide methyl iodide in the United States. It was a tremendous victory for the 200,000+ farmworkers, farmers, rural residents and environmentalists that worked over the past several years to pull a chemical that one scientist called “one of the most toxic chemicals on earth” off the market.

One of the central figures of this battle from the get-go, both behind the scenes and in the media spotlight, has been Paul Towers, Organizing & Media Director for Pesticide Action Network (PAN). Read more