For the food movement to place unstoppable pressure on policymakers and industrial food producers, it needs a very focused set of goals that emerge from a single root crisis that binds us all. Public health is that crisis.
California schools serve nearly 900 million meals a year. When our schools offer California children healthy food grown in California, we help them to learn and grow. At the same time, we help to revitalize our state's economy, reactivate regional food systems and create living wage jobs.
I am glad, in many ways, that organic items are becoming more affordable. Yet, as recent study participants remind us, while our nation tightens its embrace of organics, we should keep a mindful eye on whose interests really are being served.
Food justice is about principles that are firmly rooted in an Islamic ethics that makes it obligatory for Muslims to care for the poor. How can we ensure that the members of our community have access to food that is wholesome and ethically sound?
I got an elated call from Bev Eggleston last spring. The renowned Virginia pig farmer had really big news. The executive team from Chipotle was headed to his farm to source pigs for their growing burrito empire.
Farms selling locally may grow a wider variety of crops, they may pack or process on the farm or use workers to transport and market their products. Regardless, local food has big potential for job creation and economic opportunity.
The rules and institutions governing our food system -- Wall Street, the U.S. Farm Bill, the World Trade Organization and the USDA -- all favor the global monopolies controlling the world's seeds, food processing, distribution and retail.
There is one thing that's still been growing, even during the darkest days of the recession: the organics industry. Sure, we are still small. But the organics industry, at $30 billion a year, is now bigger than the publishing industry.