Up until recently, I naively believed that slavery was a thing of the past, something that was wiped off the face of the planet some time in the last century. Then I started hearing about the tomato pickers in Florida that were virtually slaves, earning pennies a day and chained to their beds at night. I was shocked and appalled when I read this report and vowed to not participate in this by not buying food and other items created by slavery. Which of course is much easier said then done, as it's not always possible to trace the 'slavery footprint' of many items.
Now the non-profit organization Call & Response has developed a way to help us make better choices by determining our slavery footprint with an online survey and phone app.
Eating Halloween candy isn't the guiltless childhood pleasure it once was. Did you know the chocolate industry supports the child slave trade in Africa? Although the major chocolate companies have been pushing off their pledge to change this practice, there is a way you can help spread the word about this important issue.
This fall the School of Journalism at UC Berkeley is offering a 13-week course called Edible Education: The Rise and Future of the Food Movement. It's purpose is to provide a forum to explore the many aspects and challenges that the so-called food movement is facing as it works to change and reform our industrial food system. Developed by well-known writer and UCB professor Michael Pollan and People's Grocery's (Oakland, CA) Executive Director Nikki Henderson, the course is structured around several impressive guest lectures that are being held on the UCB campus. The lectures are also open to the public and are being made available (for free!) on video.
Do you know where the apple you are biting into comes from? Is it sprayed with pesticides? Does it come from a box labeled "organically grown," and are you willing to pay a premium for it?
Chef Brian from Trellis, a restaurant in Kirkland, WA, knows exactly where the bulk of his ingredients come from. Why? Because he grows most of it himself. He planted and tends to a 10-acre farm, a place where farming and cooking practices seamlessly intertwine. Cooking through the seasons, cooking with what's at hand — Brian can inspire us home cooks in all these areas.
Do you believe in the basic tenets of the Slow Food movement (good, clean, and fair food for everyone) but have been put off by the organization's pricey events and elitist reputation? Well, September is is a good time to revisit Slow Food USA as they launch two affordable campaigns: A pay-what-you-can membership drive and the $5 Challenge. Read on for details!
In this past weekend's New York Times, Mark Bittman wrote an op-ed piece entitled "Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables" in which he argues that it's time to take a stand and tax sugary and overly processed foods to save the health of our country and generate billions of necessary tax dollars.
The USDA announced a new food pyramid yesterday: the food plate. Instead of stacking food groups in a pyramid as the organization has done for years, they are now laying it all out on a plate. But besides the design change, a few items are missing. Are you into it?
Last week we talked about the debate around genetically modified vegetables, but what about the food scientists are still trying to engineer: in vitro meat? Animal-rights groups welcome it, but some people wonder if the public can get over its aversion to lab-grown meat.
Can you imagine forking over half your income for basic food with prices rising daily? That's the reality for some Venezuelans. Forbes reports that the poorest one-fourth of Venezuelans spend 45 percent of their income on food.