By Frances Moore Lappé
October 6th, 2011
The Nation Editor's Note: Frances Moore Lappé's essay below kicks off our forum on the food movement. Raj Patel, Vandana Shiva, Eric Schlosser, and Michael Pollan have contributed replies. [Links to those replies appear below.]
By Carol Schachet
September 8th, 2011
Rwanda is the first nation to sign the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme (CAADP). The CAADP is one of the many weapons deployed in Africa's so-called Green Revolution, designed to produce better yields through investments in agriculture.
Free – but not for you and me: Winners and Losers in proposed Free Trade Agreements with South Korea, Colombia and Panama
With the political extravaganza of the debt ceiling debate now in their rear view mirror, the U.S. Congress will soon vote on “free” trade agreements with Panama, Colombia and South Korea. Despite major concerns raised by legislators and advocacy groups in the US (and in those countries), the majority in the US Congress are expected to approve the three agreements as a means to strengthen a debilitated US economy.
From her humble beginnings, Sayra never imagined the profound impact she would have on the global movement for food sovereignty.
In order to fix the broken food system, we need to de-colonize our minds. What do I mean about "de-colonize"? To understand that, do this short exercise. What comes to your mind, when you hear the word “Agriculture?” Is it a tree, a head of lettuce or vast endless fields somewhere in the US Midwest?
If the first thing came to your mind was a vast field of a single crop (such as endless rows of corn), you are certainly not alone. For decades, both consumers and farmers have been educated to think of agriculture as an industry of monocrops. The end of small, integrated farm plots (i.e. real food) coincided with the advent of industrial agriculture and the launch of the “Green Revolution.”
In the article below, Ronnie Cummins outlines the danges posed by Monsanto's takeover of global food systems, and the mounting resistance occuring across the world. Thousands of Davids -- including the Via Campesina, Millions Against Monsanto, Combat Monsanto and other coalitions -- are rising up to thwart this hulking Goliath.
“Food sovereignty is the right of peoples, communities, and countries to define their own agricultural, labor, fishing, food and land policies, which are ecologically, socially, economically and culturally appropriate to their unique circumstances. It includes the true right to food and to produce food, which means that all people have the right to safe, nutritious and culturally appropriate food and to food-producing resources and the ability to sustain themselves and their societies.” –“Food Sovereignty: A Right For All, Political Statement of the NGO/CSO Forum for Food Sovereignty,“ Rome, June 2002
Bev Bell, a long time Grassroots International ally, recently published the article below, which describes a Learning Exchange program between Brazil and Haiti, supported by Grassroots International. Bev has worked with Haitian social movements, including many of Grassroots International’s partners, for decades. This piece describes the dynamic cross-border collaboration between partners in Haiti and Brazil. Jose Luis Patrola of the Landless Workers Movement puts it well: "We're not here to teach, we're here to learn." He also acknowledged the financial support provided by Grassroots that helped make the Haiti-Brazil learning exchange happen. Perhaps it’s largely true, as noted by Patrola, that social movements have forgotten the concept of internationalism.
Grassroots International joined nearly 500 other organizations around the world in signing the “Dakar Appeal Against Land Grabbing.” The appeal, originally drafted at the World Social Forum in Dakar in February 2011, calls upon governments to immediately cease all massive land grabs and return the plundered land to communities.