The Biggest Thing We Forget When Talking About Food Justice

The food justice movement is one of the most promising political developments of the last generation. It has broadened and deepened environmentalism by knitting together concerns about economic inequality, labor rights, environmental health, and sustainable agriculture.

An Eco-Futurist Miscellany

More on organic farming, trade-offs, energy futures and small-farm definitions in this post. Veritably, it’s your one stop shop for a pick ‘n’ mix of eco-futurism…partly because indeed I have a few addendums to report on recent posts, and partly because despite my flippant recent remarks, I’m a bit too busy on the farm and on other things just now to put together a properly structured post.

Nitrogen Wars

So here I want to take a critical look at the Breakthrough Institute’s line on the necessity of synthetic nitrogen in world agriculture, which is laid out in its agronomic aspects in this post by Dan Blaustein-Rejto and Linus Blomqvist (henceforth B&B), and in its historical aspects in this one by Marc Brazeau.

Food Self-Sufficiency – Does it Make Sense?

After the food price hike in 2007-2008 and in a world that many feel is less secure, there is a renewed interest in food self-sufficiency. Food self-sufficiency is, however, widely critiqued by economists as a misguided approach to food security that places political priorities ahead of economic efficiency.

Land is the Basis of Freedom, Justice, and Equality

I actually grow and produce food. I like to lead by example, and I have found that while there are more conversations about food and food systems, those conversations often lack the voices of real farmers who are typically more comfortable working in the field than attending food conferences and posting on social media.

How Farmers Benefit from Ag Equipment Co-ops

A CUMA is an agricultural equipment co-op that provides farmers the use of large, expensive machinery, and decreases the cost to access up-to-date equipment. As an organization, a CUMA is group of farmers involved in the same sector (grain farming, dairy, etc.), who pool equity based on the type of equipment they need.

Public Goods Mean Private Benefits

A curious consensus has emerged in the debate about how farming should be supported if the UK leaves the European Union. With a few exceptions, everybody, from the Country Land and Business Association to the New Economics Foundation – including the Environment Secretary Michael Gove – is in favour of paying landowners to provide “public goods”.

Super-Size that Commodity

Don’t expect a whole lot of taste when you sit down to a plateful of commodities. That might be a fitting but unintended lesson for foodies who work through the new book by Eric Holt-Giménez. A Foodie’s Guide to Capitalism will reward a careful reader with lots of insights – but it won’t do much for the taste buds. While A Foodie’s Guide is lacking in recipes or menu ideas, it shines in helping us to understand the struggles of the men and women who work in the farms and packing plants.

Do you Dare to Crop Share? #OurField Grows

This past spring, I joined 41 others in the project #OurField, co-invest in a crop. Together with a farmer, we decided what to grow, how to grow it and what we would do with the crop. #OurField is a co-operative grains movement seeking to shift our relationship with food and its production, and working to make the food system a fairer place for farmers.

Are Pigs Eating our Food?

For each person on the planet, about 1500 kcal of plants is used daily to feed animals. In return we get just some 500 kcal per capita per day in the form of animal foodstuffs. The 1000 kcal that is “lost” in this transformation would be enough to feed another 3 billion people. Isn’t it a no-brainer that we rather should eat plants than animals? One could think so. But the reality is a bit more complicated than that.