Crazy weather we’ve been having this year: Monster snowstorms across New England, record-breaking freezes in the Midwest, drought, wildfires (in January!), and weirdly hot days in California. For many farmers across the country, and around the world, all this extreme weather—on top of ever-intensifying environmental and economic stresses—is pushing them to their edge. Read more

It is a basic tenet that a community’s food supply should be healthy and accessible for everyone. But the truth is that local communities have very little control over what they eat. Corporate producers dominate the American food system by providing cheap and plentiful food. While this may seem to be a good thing, the food and the processes used don’t necessarily guarantee the nutrition or health they purport to provide. Read more

In his latest book, The Value of Nothing, Raj Patel explores the failures of so-called free market capitalism, and highlights some of the ways people are changing the democratic system. One of the most exciting social movements for Patel is the food movement, where thousands of people are raising the bar for social justice by improving the health and environmental impacts of the food we produce, and the labor practices employed in how we bring food to the table, with the goal of providing a stable food supply for all people.

The title of his book comes from a quote by Oscar Wilde, “Nowadays people know the price of everything and the value of nothing.” I spoke to Patel this week to better understand where our market system went wrong, and how we can begin to reclaim the idea of value from the marketplace. Read more