By Daniel Moss
November 3rd, 2006
What better place to talk about the right to food, land and water than in one of the US's great food capitals, New Orleans? I've just returned from Share our Strength's (http://www.strength.org) annual Conference of Leaders - a remarkable network of restaurateurs and chefs seeking to end childhood hunger, a network with which Grassroots International is honored to collaborate.
Building local, national and international solutions for hunger and the crisis in the global rural economy
Earlier ths week at the Community Food Security Coalition conference in Vancouver, BC, Grassroots and the National Family Farm Coalition debuted a new booklet that we created this summer on food sovereignty.
In the simplest terms, food sovereignty is the belief that communities should have plenty of food that's not only healthy for the bodies, healthy for their way of life and that the communities themselves have control over.
The Nation ran a special "food issue" that addressed America's values with respect to food, farming and policy. The main tenet of the issue is that the U.S. food system is broken. At Grassroots we believe this is true. We take the notion even further: the global food system is broken.
U.S. food and farm policy is foreign policy that shapes agricultural conditions globally. The results are devastating for millions around the world: hunger, environmental degradation and human rights violations.
By Jennifer Lemire
September 13th, 2006
Interview with Ahmed Sourani, PARC-Gaza
September 13, 2006
In New Orleans, today, farmers, fishers, shrimpers and chefs will join the community in a Thanksgiving dinner at the Crescent City Farmers Market. They will give thanks and "celebrate surviving, reinventing and rediscovering the power of community." On our recent trip to the South, Azalia and I had the privilege to experience the power and strength of the Crescent City Farmers Market. We witnessed the endurance of the producers to continue with a long tradition of going to the market, and the customers' relief that they continue to be there.
Corrina and I just returned from a whirlwind three-state tour of the South. Our trip began in Alabama, took us to Mississippi and ended in New Orleans, Louisiana. The landscape was beautiful, the heat and humidity bordering on oppressive, the vowels pronounced long and slowly, the people welcoming and the food delicious.
I generally graze throughout the day - snacking every 20-45 minutes, derive immense joy from sampling oozy, foul smelling cheese, could talk for hours about the braised eggplant with basil at Taiwan Cafe (easily the best eggplant dish in the greater Boston area with only the velvety eggplant appetizer at Lala Rokh coming close), would drive across town in rush hour traffic to get a pork floss bun and a bubble tea from my favorite Korean bakery in Brighton and am frequent reader and occasional poster on www.chowhound.com (the website of all websites for food dorks). Given all of this, sustaining myself on $2/day proved to be an enormous challenge.
I tracked my food labels for 4 days. I had originally planned on doing five days, but it was a very time consuming process. Fortunately, for me it was somewhat easy because I repeated many dishes and ate the same thing for breakfast all week. But it took me a good two hours on the internet doing research on the foods that I ate.
A few years ago I was driving around lost on the Olympic Peninsula. I was in a hurry, trying to make my way to Hurricane Ridge overlook in the Olympic Mountains in time to see the sunset. When I figured out where I'd gone wrong, I made a u-turn and I almost didn't stop at the little farm stand that caught my eyes both times I drove by it, but I decided that maybe the forces of serendipity had sent me on that detour just so that I could try the local fruit.
I bought a few peaches--individually nestled in extra-large egg carton type material--and a pint of cherries, and chatted with the folks on the other side of the table for a few moments, about the growing season (it seemed late for peaches to me), about the other crops they grow, what a lovely day it was, that kind of thing.
Day One–Total Spent: $6.26
Bag of generic oats--$1.99
I am used to cooking the instant oats that come in a package. My plan was to buy a big bag of oats and eat oatmeal for breakfast and dinner. I was very inept at making oatmeal on the stovetop. In addition, I was already at the $2.00 mark so I decided not to buy sugar or butter to add to the oatmeal. This was disgusting and I was unable to eat my oatmeal for breakfast let alone dinner. My plan was to eat oatmeal for breakfast all week. I quickly gave up on this plan completely.