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 Eric Holt-Giménez
Microcredit has often been presented as an archetypal tool for addressing rural poverty. By placing small loans directly into the hands of women, proponents have argued that microcredit is able to achieve two feats simultaneously. First, it tackles poverty by unleashing the entrepreneurial abilities of the rural poor. Second, it breaks down patriarchal barriers by empowering women. Portrayed as a simple, progressive and effective development intervention, there seemed little to dislike about microcredit.
Over the past decade, the US food movement has grown to become a potent force for social change. Precisely because of its success, the movement now is being called to shore up the status quo. Revisiting some radical roots suggests ways that the food movement can end hunger in America, rather than becoming just another band-aid alleviating poverty.