It’s about a month old, but this AVA interview with Raj Patel, author of Stuffed and Starved – an indictment of what he refers to as the “food system” focusing on the paradox of simultaneous malnutrition and obesity. From a high suicide rate of small farmers to gender inequity in hunger, he tries to weave various issues together while distinguishing “food sovereignty” from the more elitist practices of “slow food” and “food localism.”
On the other hand, the interview doesn’t offer many specifics. I will assume that his books do. But I’ve read enough “we-need-to-reclaim-power-and-it’s-all-related” kind of solutions. “Community organizing” is pretty much the lefty default-solution to everything, only as we know from decades of trying, that’s easier said than done. Maybe some specific models? The only specifics in the interview are the Italian Communist Party, the Peoples’ Grocery in Oakland, the Black Panthers (who “fed more people than the State of California”), and most specifically the transferal of public lands into “the commons.” But none of them were involved in food production, only food distribution. What I was hoping to read were some proposals for economic models of food production which could compete with agribusiness under the existing structures while simultaneously pushing for more equitable structures. Maybe there’s a chapter in his book.
No mention of organics in the article.