Community Colleges: Affordable Good Food Education

Community colleges enroll almost half of all American undergraduates, and cost an average of about $2,500 per year. Now, they may be the most important place for good food education.

President Obama has made the community college system a centerpiece of his education agenda, pushing for more resources and talking up their benefits. A community college grad myself, I checked in with a few of my community college friends to see how the good food movement is playing out on their campuses. Read more

Seattle’s Asian American & Pacific Islander Voices for Sustainable Food

Seattle is where Asian America intersects with food and environmental justice, as I discovered when I spoke there recently as part of a “Sustainable Growth Summit” convened by the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Seattle embodies the diversity, contradictions and great talent that define our Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community: wealth and poverty, hunger and abundance, access or exclusion based on citizenship and English language proficiency. Read more

When CAFOs Threaten the Past

On the National Park Service website, under the heading, “Things To Do at Minidoka National Historic Site,” you will find this:

Walk through the remains of the entry station, waiting room, and rock garden. Read the names on the plaques. Try to imagine what it must have been like to be brought to this remote area. Look around and compare what you see to your own more comfortable surroundings.

Soon, this contemplative visit to the Minidoka War Relocation Center will have a much different feel–and smell.  After decades of activism to get the former incarceration camp named a national historic monument, an Idaho dairy wants to build a Confined Animal Feeding Operation, or CAFO, just 1.2 miles away. Read more

Finding a Model in Japan’s Young Farmer Corps

We Americans can be notoriously self-centered when it comes to, well, everything. In the environmental and food-justice movements, voices from Europe or Africa struggle to be included in the American discussion. But as a young country, we would do well to learn from other countries who never stopped plowing, harvesting, and eating in a sustainable way.

Recently I joined 200 other young people to participate in a pilot agriculture-experience program in Japan. Read more