Urban planning, food policy, health and education initiatives – government policy at all levels can contribute to food systems that support the whole community. Learn from leaders in the field as they explore the first steps that governments—from municipal to state and beyond—can take to support and build a sustainable food system- Slow Food Nation
Paula Jones is the Director of San Francisco Food Systems.
Secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture
founder and executive director of the Center for Food Safety,
Andrew Kimbrell runs the Center for Food Safety (CFS) as well as its parent organization, the International Center for Technology Assessment. He got his start working for noted anti-technology zealot Jeremy Rifkin, as a policy director at Rifkin’s Foundation on Economic Trends. At CFS Kimbrell has run campaigns against various food technologies; he has also been on the forefront of the mad-cow scare campaign in the United States. Like most of the anti-food-technology movement, Kimbrell’s efforts have focused on securing mandatory labels for genetically improved foods. In July of 1997 he told readers of the North Coast Xpress (an on-line magazine): “We are going to force them to label this food. If we have it labeled, then we can organize people not to buy it.”
Kimbrell and his legal director (Joseph Mendelson) hold two out of the five seats on the board of the Turning Point Project, which runs its operations out of a Washington, DC office suite leased by Kimbrell. His various organizations get such a large amount of money from the quasi-green-religious Foundation for Deep Ecology that it would be reasonable to think of Kimbrell as Deep Ecology’s East-coast high priest.
At the height of the American mad-cow scare, Kimbrell co-wrote a lawsuit aimed at forcing the federal government to expand its definition of the kinds of animal by-products that could be linked to the then-nascent disease. The lawsuits coincided with an elaborate scare campaign designed to make Americans think that mad cow disease was already present in the United States, in the form of diseased deer in Western states. Despite his bias and activist slant on the subject (or, perhaps, because of it), Kimbrell was one of only four mad-cow “experts” offered to the media by Fenton Communications’ media arm, Environmental Media Services.
Dr. Marion Nestle is professor of nutrition at New York University and author of Food Politics, Safe Food, and the recent What To Eat.
Marion Nestle is Paulette Goddard Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, which she chaired from 1988-2003. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley.
Kimbrell talks about what's wrong with our food system and how we need to re-structure our thinking to bridge the gap. He gives an example that someone with a happy meal wouldn't be happy if they saw the system behind it.
"75% of every animal on the endangered species list is there because of farming or ranching."
Marion Nestle talks about the fact of how we are missing the right policies that support sustainability.
"I mean there's really no one in Washington that looks at the connection between agriculture and public health…So that the current agriculture system is under pressure from agribusiness… And this grew into the policy that it is now, that supports commercial industrial agriculture…"
AG Kawamura talks about the challenges of world hunger.
"It's not so much the ability to feed a planet, it's the ability to have the concurrence and agreement that we will feed a planet. There's plenty of resources to feed the planet but the politics and the will to do is what’s been blocking it for so long."
I think it is important to educate ourselves on the background of where our food products are coming from especially when it comes to the meat we are eating. In watching movies and reading books that bring the abuse and inhumanity of meat packaging plants to life such as Fast Food Nation, it frightens me that we still do not take this subject seriously. I think people need to educate themselves because if they understand what goes on it would shock them enough to want to do something about it. Organic eating is definitely a way to go to improve and although it may be a little more expensive it is worth it to protect our health. With better policies we should be able to improve the food system.