[Welcome Jill Richardson, and Host Toby Wollin -  bev]jill-richardson-recipe-for-america.thumbnail.jpg

In the universe of blogs, in the world of Left Blogistan, Jill Richardson of San Diego should be embraced as one of our own — a dkos commenter who turned into a blogger (www.lavidalocavore.org), who then got a contract to write the book, Recipe for America.

The new American Dream.

If 2008 was The Year Obama Got Elected and The Year the Economy Imploded, then 2009 must be The Year That Americans Discovered What Shitty Food They Have. Doubt me? Take a look at this recent food related media traffic:

1)      Documentaries such as “Food, Inc.” or “Good Food”,

2)      The First Family putting in an organic garden and the ongoing coverage of production,

3)      Coverage on confinement hog farming and the connection with the swine flu pandemic,

4)       This week’s articles in Time Magazine on the true cost of ‘cheap food’ (when Time discovers the issue of cheap American food not being cheap, you KNOW that the earth has started to move), and

5)      Jill’s new book.

Jill began exploring food-related issues in early 2006 while blogging on DailyKos. In March 2006, she wrote (from her Introduction): “..a post about the issue (of the obesity epidemic in America)…to my shock, my post received over 600 comments!…While I realized that obesity was a result of poor diet, little exercise, and perhaps genetics, I wanted to learn why it have become so prevalent in this country over the past twenty years. After all, it wasn’t like fast food chains like McDonalds, or soft drinks like Coca-Cola were new to the marketplace..”

Jill’s interests are wide ranging – from food safety, school lunches, sustainability and the climate crisis, to food engineering, access to fresh food in urban areas, soil microbiology, farming and farmers.  Corporate influence in promoting non-food “food” to our children in schools and making better and fresher food available in school lunch programs are two very important topics discussed in the book. In other words, Recipe For America covers the entire continuum of what would be called America’s food system, a system which up until several years ago seemed completely dominated by and run for corporate interests from the soil on which and in which the food is raised and grown to the brightly lit displays at the stores in which it is sold (except in areas where people no longer have access except to fast food and convenience stores).

What Jill has found and has written about in her book will confound, enrage, and enlighten readers. At the same time, through her extensive resource section and calls to action (How to Cook Up a Recipe for America), she lays out step by step actions that any one of us can do to make our voices heard at the local, state and federal levels.

As usual, Aunt Toby would like to remind everyone to be on their best behavior, confine your comments and questions to the topic, and keep the language polite.

Please welcome Jill Richardson to our Salon on Recipe For America.