March 25, 2009

Food System Reform–not just for the Elite

Rebecca Klein

Rebecca Klein

Program Officer, Food System Policy Program

Center for a Livable Future

A great article in this morning’s Washington Post profiles Dave Murphy, the founder of Food Democracy Now, and emphasizes the need for strong advocates of food system reform who are from the Midwest. The importance of having advocates who aren’t coastal and who have worked the land (or are related to those who have) echoes Jill Richardson’s recent comments about the media ignoring the food justice side of the sustainable food movement and painting “a picture of the Organic Elite – Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, and big wigs at Stonyfield and Whole Foods – but mak[ing] them seem as though they’ve got their heads in the clouds as they call for tripling what we pay for kids’ school lunches or changing our policy to create decentralized, regional food networks.” As Natasha Chart points out the media can play an important, and often defining, role in establishing (or defeating) a movement, and too often the media just reinforce the status quo. For me, this is another example of the need for the sustainable food movement to come together and agree on some major talking points that encompass the entire movement (while still continuing to work for local and regional change). One voice could help ensure the full spectrum of issues are heard and reported on correctly.

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