Monday, July 6, 2009

Tom Philpott on the media voices of food politics

In this article on, Tom Philpott gives a nice run down of the growth in media attention about our food systems. I thought it was especially relevant to link to his column after my post on Pollan's talk. Tom seems to be wondering if a more diverse discussion can emerge from under the "long shadow" cast by Michael P's work.

Well, just in the last hour I read, aside from Tom's article, two items in the New York Times magazine (I know... this is M.P.'s main vehicle) on Will Allen's Growing Power in Milwakee and another item, with recipes, about D.I.Y.'s in blighted Oakland (curing meats, foraging, and canning). There is some variety after all and these four are good reads. So here are the links and enjoy:

Tom Plilpott

Street Farmer (Growing Power's Will Allen)

Home Sweet (Urban) Homestead

Gut Check, Ezra Kleins new food politics column in the Washington Post

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Swap your excess production a la Forage Oakland

In the latest issue of San Francisco Magazine there is a write up about Asiya Wadud, founder of Forage Oakland, one of my favorite blogs (see blogroll right). I would love to start a gleanig swap right here in San Francisco. Email if you would like to participate and I can schedule a date, time and place to share.

Here is the description of Asiya's work on the Magazine's website. I guess for the full article you'll have to see the issue.

Don’t get stuck with a lemon
You will, if you have a tree that produces more than you can use—an all-too-common embarrassment of riches that inspired Chez Panisse bartender Asiya Wadud to establish Forage Oakland. When she noticed piles of backyard fruit left rotting on the ground all over South Berkeley and North Oakland, she decided to create an online community where people can trade their excess lemons, figs, or anything else. Now, between shifts at the restaurant, Wadud spends her spare time bicycling through Rockridge and Temescal, gathering tree fruit and redistributing it among the group’s 200-plus members,

Now Hear This - Conscience-in-chief, Michael Pollan puts it all together in one talk

Some may say that Pollan over-dominates the issue but no one articulates the principles of the growing food revolution like he does. KQED aired this talk three days in a row and if you missed it, check in to the Long Now Foundation website where it will soon be available as a podcast. It is amazing that Pollan has such a comprehensive view. My favorite, for the moment, point is that of all the ills in the world today (most of which make mortals like me feel overwhelmed) reforming the food systems is empowering. We are the change we want to see by the choices we make when we procure our food.

Here is the program description and link to Long Now Foundation:
Michael Pollan Deep Agriculture (The Long Now Foundation): Deep Agriculture: Re-solarizing the Food System to Fight Climate Change and the Health Care Crisis -- This special program consists of a seminar on long-term thinking produced by The Long Now Foundation and featuring Michael Pollan. Pollan will describe his program to transform American agriculture as a "sun food agenda." Hes the author of In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto and The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals. Pollan is also the director the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism at UC Berkeley. This seminar about long-term thinking is hosted by Stewart Brand and was recorded at the Herbst Theatre on May 5, 2009.