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Food and Faith is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.

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October 28, 2010

The Right to Food: Security vs. Solidarity

Democracy Now! brings us this report on food security and land grabs, with Olivier De Schutter , United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food and Smita Narula, faculty director of the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice...


October 25, 2010

Food Sovereignty movement brings call for solidarity and systemic change to Community Food Security Coalition Conference

The Food Sovereignty track of activities during the 3-day Community Food Security Coalition gathering in New Orleans looked like the program of a gathering of Via Campesina, the worldwide peasant and family farm movement that first popularized this comprehensive and transformative concept decades ago. Here is a listing of workshops led by or featuring US Food Sovereignty Alliance participants: Credit and Capital for a Just and Sustainable Food System, featuring Ben Burkett, Bob St. Peter and Lisa Griffith of the National Family Farm Coalition and Niaz Dorry of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance. Food Movements Unite! Led by Eric Holt-Gimenez of Food First and featuring Joann Lo of the Food Chain Workers Alliance, Rosalinda Guillen of Community to Community Development.


October 20, 2010

US Food Sovereignty Alliance launched with solidarity action in New Orleans

On Saturday, October 16th the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New Orleans was joined by dozens of grassroots activists from the US Food Sovereignty Alliance (USFSA) in a street protest in front of the well-known Tony Moran’s Restaurant located at 240 Bourbon St. in the French Quarter. Farmers, fisherfolk, farm workers, urban agriculturalists, restaurant workers, indigenous people, and food justice advocates gathered in New Orleans to launch the US Food Sovereignty Alliance on October 16, World Food Day, in solidarity with restaurant workers at Tony Moran’s. The Alliance seeks to “turn the tables” on the broken food system by restoring power to communities to govern their own food systems, limit and regulate corporate control, and stop damaging US foreign policy that undermines the ability of other countries to provide for themselves. The restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest-growing sectors of the New Orleans economy, growing even during the current economic crisis. However, the vast majority of workers in this industry suffer sub-poverty wages and poor working conditions. The USFSA-ROC-NOLA action is intended to highlight the current struggle of fifteen former Tony Moran’s and Jean Lafitte’s servers, food runners, bussers and managers who started a workplace justice campaign and filed a lawsuit in Federal Court in 2009, for wage theft, misappropriation of tips, racial discrimination, being forced to work off the clock and many other egregious acts. The affected group has tried to resolve the matter amicably, but the company has refused to respond to their request. This action is part of a year-long series of weekly actions held by the workers in hopes that the owner would rectify the wrong-doing. The US Food Sovereignty Alliance is committed to supporting food system worker rights and supports ROC-NOLA’s efforts. When the dignity of one food worker is harmed, much less fifteen, we stand in solidarity!


October 8, 2010

monsanto

After asking a class of college kids whether they had heard of Monsanto and none of them had, I asked the same question on the PHP Facebook page and many do know about Monsanto. But, there seems to be a generation gap on this. Many had heard about Monsanto years or decades ago. Like these three FB comments -- "DDT and Agent Orange in the 60's. Monsanto is a poison dealer." "From early childhood. Monsanto had a chemical plant in our town. My father was a Chemical Engineer for Union Carbide and made, among other things, MIC the stuff that was being made in Bhopal." And (sarcasm alert) -- "back in the 70's for dirty dealing and toxic pollution ....great company !!!!" But not all were elders... "Years. But in 90's heard more about ADM - and late 90's early 00's when "supermarket to the world" was sponsoring NPR, it was shocking. Well, not shocking... (It doesn't suprise me about RoundUp; not as many kids are getting their hands dirty in the fields) (for the record, I'm a Gen Xer)" And one commented that it would be "worth doing research into the issue." Indeed. Some articles on Monsanto have just come my way today, and below those are several earlier posts on Monsanto - in case you missed those. To be clear here, the Presbyterian Church USA has nothing against the company. But we do have clear policy supporting family farmers and sustainable farming approaches, and your reading of the following may raise questions about whether Monsanto is always considering these. It's a hodge-podge, but hopefully something for everyone. "...Monsanto finally admitted recently that superbugs, or pests that have evolved to be able to eat the Bt crops, are a real and growing concern." ~from the Grist article below.


October 7, 2010

Seeds

What do food and hunger have to do with agriculture? That's a question I've been asked from time to time, and I can understand why. In the U.S., food doesn't come from the Earth, it comes from a supermarket. We've...