Food as a Political Weapon

June 13, 2017 Guest Authors 0

If Bittman, et.al., truly believe that “farming should happen in harmony with the environment,” then why are they fighting genetic engineering, which offers tools for growing food in a more environmentally sustainable manner, with fewer pesticides, less nitrogen fertilizer, less tilling, less water and higher yields?

Agvocates: It’s Your Turn to Stop the Mud Slinging

June 12, 2017 Guest Authors 0

Lets’ start this by saying I deplore the use of fear-based imagery in marketing and education. That’s represented in the aforementioned post. But I have also recently called out ‘agvocate’ voices for using hyperbole or bad reasoning in their arguments. When we take sides first and ask questions later, we risk falling on sloppy arguments ourselves. Painting any issue as black or white is a dangerous proposition.

Let’s Stop Burying the Lede in the Organic vs Conventional Debate

June 9, 2017 Marc Brazeau 1

Debunking too often tends to be a team sport and just because it’s inevitable, doesn’t mean it’s not a problem. In food and farm issues, only biotech drives more debunking than the Organic vs Conventional debate. When you are responding to misinformation the “other” side has already defined the terms of the debate and it’s hard to bust out of those frames. Often that means the big picture gets lost.

#Cargillgate Dissonance

April 3, 2017 Marc Brazeau 0

When Cargill announced on Twitter that they had partnered with the Non GMO Project all hell broke lose in the agvocacy community in a way that seemed out of proportion to the crime. The problem may stem from a breach of trust within a coalition than the real world impacts.

Mental Maps and Power Law Distributions in the Food System

December 21, 2016 Marc Brazeau 1

In the organic/conventional debate, you’d think that organic production made up a significant portion of sales and production. In spite of the column inches devoted to discussing organic farming, it only accounts for about 5% of grocery sales, despite two decades of rapid growth. But even that masks how little organic production actually accounts for in the overall scheme of things.

Tales of a Recovering Pollanite

November 18, 2016 Marc Brazeau 7

:::::So I was a chef with left wing politics, a former union organizer and farm worker, and an armchair nutritionist when I started stumbling across various voices from the Food Movement some time around 2005. It’s hard to imagine someone better primed for a message of sustainable agriculture, grassroots activism, local economics, and low income community food security. Being a Massachusetts born union organizer who lived in cities but often worked in rural communities in the South has irrevocably scrambled my cultural allegiances in ways that would eventually play havoc with my loyalties in the debates the Food Movement had started. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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