A year ago, Wen-Jay Ying was feeling depressed. Her for-profit CSA business, Local Roots NYC, was four years old and looking around the industry, it seemed like there were suddenly many similar businesses who were in talks with investors, getting huge boosts of capital or moving into big warehouses and new markets, creating massive scale. The kind of scale that could have the potential to change, or "disrupt," our entire food system. Ying had never started her business with that kind of scale in mind.
Amid a surreal, at times explosive, election season, food and farming have not been the hot-button topics animating political debates. In fact, they seem to be way down on the agenda of the presidential candidates, if they are mentioned at all. Yet we all eat, so how do we get the candidates to care about the health of the food system?