America's good food fight
In the emerging national debate about how America's food should be produced, the sustainability food movement is characterized as uncaring and elitist, laments California rancher Nicolette Hahn Niman in an Op-Ed in the Los Angeles Times.
Hahn Niman, who is the author of "Righteous Porkchop: Finding a Life and Good Food Beyond Factory Farms." writes:
"The controversy is often framed by agribusiness and food companies, heavily invested in maintaining the status quo, claiming that a globalized, industrialized system is the only way to produce enough food to feed the world's growing population, and to do so affordably. Reform advocates working to transform the system to one that's more locally based and isn't dependent on chemicals, mechanization and cheap fossil fuels are pitted against the world's poor, working class and hungry."
She notes that the criticism resonates to an extent because sustainably produced foods are often more expensive.
The challenge, she argues, is making good food available to people at every income level -- and this is where hunger advocates and good food advocates can and should unite to make wholesome food more accessible.
"Individually, farmers and consumers can do little to fix this systemic problem. Collectively, however, we can demand important changes. For starters, our government should immediately stop enabling industrial food producers to shift their environmental and health costs to the public. This means full federal and state enforcement of environmental laws and regulations governing agriculture; federal legislation banning the use of sub-therapeutic antibiotics at agricultural operations; and a redirection of federal farm subsidies away from overproduction of commodity crops and toward environmentally beneficial farming of healthy foods."
Click here to read the column.