Friday, December 12, 2008

Obama's Secretary of Food

Nicholas D. Kristoff at the NYTimes discusses plans to have a secretary of food in the new Obama administration. He discusses many of the issues I first became aware of while reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, namely the effect that the federal subsidization of cash crops like corn and soy has had on small scale food producers. Essentially, most farms in the US produce the main ingredients in junk food, soy oil and high fructose corn syrup. The article is showing as the most emailed article at the NYTimes this morning. I am impressed that this subject seems to really be entering the North American consciousness.
I've been thinking a lot about my own awareness of farming issues -- after hearing a really interesting talk by Roger Epp. Epp is the author of Writing Off the Rural West: Globalization, Governments and the Transformation of Rural Communities. In a room in the Chamber of Commerce in downtown Calgary, Epp took the city slickers in the room to task for not paying attention to what is going on in our rural communities. The more I think and learn about food security, the more I realize that it is my responsibility to educate myself about rural realities. Epp pointed out how little value we place on the livelihoods of the people who produce our food, and that by time food security is a real issue for us, most of the urban land in Alberta will be sold to large scale operators or oil, gas and mining interests.
Articles like the one above, however, give me hope that governments and citizens will clue in before it's too late. In Calgary, the newly formed Calgary Food Policy Council has created a wiki to generate some group knowledge around the issue.

1 comments:

ApaulO ARTik Agrinaut said...

Other Calgary Food Policy Council Links...

Calgary Food Links

Calgary Food Policy Wiki... http://calgaryfoodpolicy.wikispaces.com/


Calgary Food Policy Blog... http://calgaryfoodpolicy.blogspot.com/

Calgary Food Policy Facebook Group.... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=23936079065

Calgary Food Charter Facebook Group... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=38897269812

Calgary Food Security Facebook Group... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=43518060231

Calgary Urban Agriculture Facebook Group... http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=18493929306

Calgary Urban Ag Blog... http://calgaryurbanagriculture.blogspot.com/

Urban Ag Wiki on Activist.ca... http://activism.ca/wiki/Urban_agriculture