Food Justice

I have been inspired lately by going to hear Novella Carpenter, a local urban farmer and author (Food City) and Nathan McClintock, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Geography at UC Berkeley. Check out his work, Cultivating the Commons which inventories and identifies 1,200 acres of potentially available public land that could be used for urban farming. He’s currently taking soil samples of 100 of the most viable lots for contaminants such as lead.

Also, my recent stints volunteering at City Slicker Farms in West Oakland, has given me insight into a growing movement towards a more sustainable food system. There’s mounting evidence that our food system is broken and our government is not actively promoting and enacting polices that insure the safety, security and nutritional integrity of what this country calls food.

A recent film that has nearly gone mainstream is Food, Inc. Robert Kenner takes an in depth look underneath the veil of secrecy that shrouds our current food system. This is a must see film much in the way that An Inconvenient Truth was back in 2006. Kenner combines some compelling footage of mono and polycrops and captures some first-rate interviews. The most compelling and alarming of which is with Carole Morison who tells of her mistrust of the chicken industry that she contracts with to sell her chickens. She sides with her own morality and breaks her contract by letting the chickens see the light of day.

Carole Morison will be speaking at a CUESA sponsored event at the San Francisco Ferry Bldg. on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 begining at 6:30. Michael Pollan, author of Food Rules, In Defense of Food, and The Omnivore’s Dilemma, will introduce the panelists including farmers Norman and Aimee Gunsell of Mountain Ranch Organically Grown, who raise chickens organically on pasture and sell the birds at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

I’ll be adding other upcoming events to my blog that deal with food justice, food security, sustainable agriculture and urban farming among others. And if you hear of some yourself, please drop me a text or email and I’ll be sure to add it to the list.



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