May 15, 2013
Over a hundred years ago, my family lost their coffee farm in Puerto Rico when Hurricane San Ciriaco destroyed the crop and the bank refused an extension on our production loan. On the heels of the U.S. military occupation, it was a land grab (like the ones tearing up the continent today) and it eventually drove my young grandmother to immigrate to New York City. She was part of a large, painful agrarian transition that transformed Puerto Rico—an island of rich soil, abundant water and a 12-month growing season—into a food-dependent nation.
Deciding how America will nourish itself and sustain its farms would seem a top policy priority— yet as the US Farm Bill demonstrates, sustainably grown, healthy food and livable incomes for farmers and workers remain an afterthought in a process controlled almost entirely by agribusiness and a handful of farm-state legislators. Despite strong public opinion supporting local food, farmer’s markets, organic agriculture, food workers’ rights and access to fresh produce, agribusiness and commodity interests continue to dominate food and farming policy.
By Hellin Brink with photo by Elske Fliert
Photo description: A SRI farmer in the village of Dong Tru in Vietnam after the village was hit by a typhoon, holding up one SRI plant (left) and one conventionally grown plant (right) in front of the fields on which they were grown. Where the SRI field is significantly larger and still standing, the conventionally produced field is destroyed.
Agroecology and the Transformation of Agri-Food Systems: Transdisciplinary and Participatory Perspectives
Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems has just published a special issue "Agroecology and the Transformation of Agri-Food Systems: Transdisciplinary and Participatory Perspectives." free online access to the entire issue.
A collaboration for urban farmer-driven community food security in the East Bay
In 10 years California's population will grow from 36 to 46 million people, with 80% concentrated in cities. Over the last decade, urban agriculture has improved access to fresh, affordable and nutritious food in the greater Bay Area – where in many neighborhoods one in three residents are food insecure. As we continue to grow, the San Francisco 9-county Bay Area will need effective urban food production to meet the demand for fresh, healthy, affordable food in low-income communities.
Number 12, December 2012
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Editorial - Migration and Agriculture
Food is essential to life and it is also an expression of our cultures and our societies. The dominant corporate food system takes away the vital and social value of food and reduces it to a commodity; in order to profit from all stages of its intensive production, processing and distribution and ultimately from food speculation in the financial markets.