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The Harder They Spin: What USFRA Wants Us to Believe and Why It’s Still Not the Truth

I recently wrote  about attending the Food Dialogues, a national “conversation about food” hosted by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a new trade association funded by some of the biggest players in the food industry—including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dupont, and Monsanto. There have been a number of comments on my post. I wanted to respond to one in particular from Hugh Whaley, USFRA’s General Manager.

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The Delicious Way to Take on Climate Change: Anna Lappé Talks Diet for a Hot Planet

Anna Lappé’s latest book, Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, investigates the intersection between the environmental crisis and the food system in more detail than any book that has come before it. Lappé’s rendering makes us realize the imperative of addressing these issues, and empowers us to do so by demystifying corporate spin, giving thorough examples of people making change, debunking the myths for maintaining the status quo, and more. Lappé talked to me last week about climate friendly farming, policy and the state of the food movement. Read more

Dispatch from the 2nd Annual Southeast Youth Food Activist Summit

When was the last time you went to a conference that followed dinner with a rock, paper, scissors tournament among 150 participants?  At times the 2nd annual Southeast Youth Food Activist Summit (SYFAS) felt more like summer camp than a conference (in a good way).  Don’t be mistaken though; we got down to business.

SYFAS is the first of six Real Food Summits that will be happening over the next two months across the country as part of the Real Food Challenge, a student movement to increase the procurement of real (sustainably grown, fair, humane and local) food on college and university campuses, with the national goal of 20% real food by 2020. Read more

Brooklyn Food Conference Takes to the Streets

On Saturday, 3,000 people gathered at John Jay public high school for the Brooklyn Food Conference, a grassroots, volunteer-organized discussion around the state of our food system, featuring keynote talks by Dan Barber, Anna Lappé, Raj Patel, and LaDonna Redmond.  Along with these talks were 70 workshops throughout the classrooms of the school, on subjects as varied as growing your own food, starting a co-op and the value of breastfeeding.

According to the accompanying bright yellow guide, one of the goals of this event was to “bring Brooklynites together to demand — and participate in creating — a vital, healthy, and just food system available to everyone.” By my assessment, that is just what’s begun to happen. Read more