June 9, 2009
Growing Power in an Urban Food Desert
by Roger Bybee
Will Allen is bringing farming and fresh foods back into city neighborhoods.
“Growing Power is probably the leading urban agricultural project in the United States,” says Jerry Kaufman, a professor emeritus in urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. “Growing Power is not just talking about what needs to be changed, it’s accomplishing it.” Growing healthy food is part of a larger transformational project that will create a more just society, as Allen sees it. [Allen] also works on the Growing Food and Justice Initiative, a national network of about 500 people that fights what he calls “food racism,” the structural denial of wholesome food to poor African-American and Latino neighborhoods.
The City that Ended Hunger
by Frances Moore Lappé
A city in Brazil recruited local farmers to help do something U.S. cities have yet to do: end hunger.
In just a decade Belo Horizonte cut its infant death rate-widely used as evidence of hunger-by more than half, and today these initiatives [farmers markets, peoples’ restaurants and cost-controlled markets] benefit almost 40 percent of the city’s 2.5 million population. One six-month period in 1999 saw infant malnutrition in a sample group reduced by 50 percent. And between 1993 and 2002 Belo Horizonte was the only locality in which consumption of fruits and vegetables went up.
“I knew we had so much hunger in the world,” Adriana [former manager within the city anti-hunger agency, Adriana Aranha] said. “But what is so upsetting, what I didn’t know when I started this, is it’s so easy. It’s so easy to end it.”
Real Food: What to Eat and Why
by Nina Planck
A great new book about the nutritional and cultural significance of traditional foods.
With a sound mix of savvy and science, Nina Planck discusses what she loosely calls “real food,” that is, food that people have eaten for thousands of years. Her premise is that real, whole foods are better for people and the planet, in terms of nutrition, community, the economy, and the environment. Supporting farmers that raise whole foods is good for you and them.
The End of Food by Paul Roberts
By Paul Roberts
Before delving into the end of food, Roberts opens the first chapters with the story of the beginning.
From the origins of our foraging ancestors, Australopithecus, to the evolution of the modern food economy, a sound understanding of how our current food system came to be may hold the key to averting the titular end.