Food Futures at #SXSWEco, Part 1: Urban Art

By: Saturday October 26, 2013 10:15 am

A recurring theme at this year’s South by SouthWest Eco 2013 in Austin, Texas was the future of food.

Our food supply is both ecologically unsustainable and inhumane. 36 million tons of food waste ends up in landfills annually while people worldwide and in our neighborhoods go hungry. We don’t pay the full cost of our food — not just the time and labor of agriculture, but the expense of transporting that food into urban centers using our dwindling supplies of polluting petrochemicals. As we run out of oil, there are fears that our food prices will increase & the system will collapse. Meanwhile, the poor and minorities of our cities are already suffering not just from the difficulty of affording food but simply finding it. Food deserts are neighborhoods where there is no local grocery store or supermarket, forcing many residents to subsist on unhealthy, fast food and corner store convenience foods.

The Ancestral Values We Inherited: Protecting Indigenous Water, Land, and Culture in Mexico

By: Wednesday September 4, 2013 5:45 am

Within our indigenous community of Xoxocotla, we continue to hold the ancestral values we inherited. It never crosses our mind to leave them behind. Because in daily life we are always in contact with nature, with our lands, with our water, with our air. We live in harmony with nature because we don’t like the way that modernity is advancing, destroying our territory and our environment. We believe technological modernity is better named a death threat.

Without Our Land, We Cease To Be a People: Defending Indigenous Territory and Resources in Honduras

By: Monday August 26, 2013 2:55 pm

We live on the Atlantic coast of Honduras. We are a mix of African descendants and indigenous peoples who came about more than 200 years ago in the island of San Vicente. Without our land, we cease to be a people. Our lands and identities are critical to our lives, our waters, our forests, our culture, our global commons, our territories. For us, the struggle for our territories and our commons and our natural resources is of primary importance to preserve ourselves as a people.

Farmworkers Face Silent Spring in the Fields

By: Friday August 2, 2013 1:05 pm

Some lawmakers in Washington may be losing sleep in the coming weeks as they mull over proposed immigration reform legislation. But many migrant children are haunted at night for a different reason—the quiet nightmare of noxious winds that fill their bedrooms with toxic fumes, a hidden chemical disaster looming over the fields where their parents work.

Why Safer Food Workers Mean Safer Food

By: Sunday June 16, 2013 5:20 pm

Americans these days are nervous about what they eat, and they should be, what with outbreaks of foodborne illnesses, meat pumped with veterinary drugs and genetically modified organisms creeping into our groceries. And in May, when the iconic brand of Smithfield Foods was bought by a Chinese multinational, there seemed to be still more cause for alarm. China seems even more rife with food hazards: rivers brimming with pig carcasses, poisonous baby formula, lakes of toxic waste.

Weeding Corporate Power Out of Agricultural Policies: Communities Mobilize for Food and Farm Justice

By: Monday April 29, 2013 7:15 pm

From the school cafeteria to rural tomato farms, and all the way to pickets at the White House, people are challenging the ways in which government programs benefit big agribusiness to the detriment of small- and mid-sized farmers. Urban gardeners, PTA parents, ranchers, food coops, and a host of others are organizing to make the policies that govern our food and agricultural systems more just, accountable, and transparent. They are spearheading alternative policies on the local, state, national, and international levels.

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Monday April 29, 2013 2:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

Farmworkers Dig Into the New ‘Blue Card’ Plan

By: Sunday April 28, 2013 4:00 pm

Last week, immigrants’ rights groups finally got the papers they’ve been waiting for, an 844-page whopper of a bill that attempts to “fix” the immigration system by promising a little bit to everyone: businesses get workers, workers get jobs and millions of undocumented people get an opportunity to gain citizenship.

How the Poultry Industry Is Grinding Up Workers’ Health and Rights

By: Thursday March 21, 2013 7:03 pm

According to newly published research on Alabama poultry workers by the civil rights group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the business model of the sector has sacrificed health and safety on the factory floor for the Tayloristic efficiency demanded by American appetites.

Tim Huelskamp and the Tale of Two Maps

By: Saturday January 5, 2013 9:11 am

Tim Huelskamp (FarRightR-Brownbackistan01) has been in the news lately for standing up to John Boehner (NotQuiteSoFarRightR). Last month, Boehner kicked Huelskamp off the House Agriculture committee, leaving Kansas without a member of that committee for the first time in 150 years. Note, please, that Huelskamp prides himself on being a farmer first, and Huelskamp’s most favorite map (his vast congressional district) is packed with farms, so this hurts him not just in his ego, but in his ability to deliver for his constituents.

Given another map that’s making the rounds these days, that ought to make his constituents, very nervous, if not very angry.

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