Leah Penniman is co-director and program manager of the 72-acre Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, New York, which is dedicated to training a new generation of black, brown, and indigenous farmers while working to dismantle racism and injustice in the food system. Her new book, “Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm’s Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land,” is a first-of-its-kind guide for farmers of color. (No paywall)
Congress "is falling short when it comes to food policy, showing little progress" this year, says Food Policy Action, established in 2012 as the food movement's voice in Washington. In releasing its annual scorecard of members of the House and Senate, the group said the average score was 49 percent, down from the 57 percent average of the two-year 114th Congress, which ended in 2016.
An amalgam of budget hawks, environmentalists and food movement activists are scheduled to call for reform of U.S. food and ag policy today as Rep. Earl Blumenauer unveils legislation to challenge the farm bill being assembled by the House Agriculture Committee.
If they want to prevent cuts in the food-stamp program in the 2018 farm bill, nutrition and consumer groups need to know the language of crop subsidies, says Kathleen Merrigan, former deputy agriculture secretary. "Start educating yourselves about some other parts of the farm bill," she said, lamenting, "we don't really talk about a lot of these things that the people who really want to go after [food stamps] care about."
With the Trump era dawning, "the most pressing work is to join forces with other progressive groups" to fight for social justice, say four leaders of the loosely aligned food movement in a commentary published by Civil Eats. "This means that important but parochial food issues, such as labeling of GMOs or the formulation of national nutrititional standards, are bound to be overshadowed as the larger fight for social justice becomes more urgent."
An estimated 30 U.S. colleges and universities "have formal interdisciplinary food studies programs that offer degrees or minors," says the Los Angeles Times. "New ones opened this fall at UC-Berkeley, the University of the Pacific and Syracuse University."