When I began to cook in the 1960s while getting my Ph.D., I was conscious of doing so in a way that would define me as different from my mother and my mother's life. She cooked Midwestern. I deliberately chose French. She baked apple pies. I composed Tarte Normande aux Pommes.
Although you can get organic wines in Whole Foods and Trader Joes, how can you find out more about them, and who are the champions for drinking the good (organic) stuff? There's not much on that label that tells you what's really in the wine.
2012 was an up and down and altogether historic year for the food movement. In order to succeed in 2013, the movement needs to incorporate more voices from throughout the food chain and think creatively about how to unite across traditional boundaries.
California's labeling fight broadened and emboldened this movement's power base just as we are heading into what looks like a spring 2013 re-authorization battle over the now-expired Food and Farm Bill.
California could have been the first state in the nation to mandate the labeling of genetically engineered foods. The food movement is growing fast, but as a political force, it's still in its infancy.
Too many students leave college without any knowledge of how to cook for themselves. Learning how to microwave instant ramen is not a cooking skill. When we enter the real world, we need to be able to provide for ourselves.
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.
Our country is facing a glut of complex problems that no single politician, political party, or other organization can solve in a lasting way, without help. For shifts of this magnitude, we need social movements and compelling leaders.
Chicago is even closer to beating out the likes of New York and San Francisco in officially resolving to help both the the planet and their citizens by encouraging more sustainable, healthier food options.