Trade issues are Arthur Stamboulis' passion. We discuss what makes trade a major and under-appreciated issue, and we examine the ongoing trade negotiations among countries that border the Pacific Ocean (except China). The TransPacific Partnership (the TPP) will have major implications for the United States and the whole world, since it goes farther than the WTO or NAFTA in curbing national sovereignty, and it will be the model for subsequent agreements. Arthur directs the Citizen's Trade Campaign and approaches trade believing that international trade and investment are not ends unto themselves, but a means for achieving societal goals like economic justice, human rights, healthy communities, and a sound environment. The national coalition he represents includes a broad range of bedfellows - environmental, labor, consumer, family farm, religious, and others - with 12 million combined members from 20 national organizations and 12 state affiliate coalitions.
Adrienne Alstadt, Ellery Kimball, and Jennifer Hashley are greater Boston area farmers (organic produce and livestock) who host teen volunteers - partly to get real work done and partly because adults in the young peoples' lives want them to be there. Father Edgar Guttierez-Duarte, priest of St Luke-San Lucas Episcopal Church, Chelsea, MA, also needs to rely on volunteers as he administers its food pantry and weekly Saturday breakfast. These four also welcome volunteers because they, too, hope the experience will enrich the young people - as individuals, as consumers and eaters, and as human beings in a world where there will probably always be vulnerable people. Teens who do service learning really respond when they meet adults who convey passion about their work - Rita Stevens, age 17, describes how it makes her feel - and these adults do.
Nathan Holmes helped found and manages a growers' coop among mostly Amish farmers in Pennsylvania. It's a community of family farms using practices that protect the soil and watershed. The coop lets them farm and not worry about distribution. They can satisfy markets by offering a diversity of crops - and at the same time seek to maintain "a natural agrarian family life and facilitate direct personal experiences of connection between customer, farmer, and land". It sounds like many peoples' dream if they were to farm, but it's a story of regular people who found each other and kept taking the next step. It seems to reflect what's possible today.
Maurice Small is a renegade urban gardener and farmer who works to make urban farming an agent of renewal in Rust Belt cities (and now also in Raleigh, NC). He works in neighborhoods and with municipal officials to use urban gardens to do the same things environmental justice activists used to figure EJ should do - address the different pieces of the whole of community well-being - education, jobs, housing, youth empowerment, health... This is the 2nd half of the interview, and he and Susan compare notes about ways gardening works to inspire people and change things for the better.
Dave Murphy is "the big dude from Iowa", a former Dartmouth football lineman, and Food Democracy Now's founder - with 3 others. It helped make Kathleen Merrigan the Assistant Secretary of USDA, and is working to defeat big biotech's newest initiative. Dubbed the "Monsanto Protection Act," this rider to the Continuing Resolution would end courts' ability to halt sale and planting of unapproved GMO crops that are waiting for judge-mandated reviews to be complete. Hear about the changes in Iowa that got him active and about their 37 state GMO labeling campaign.
Maurice Small is applying as an adult what he learned from his father in Cleveland public housing as a boy - to use available land to feed his family. His work building gardens and teaching people to garden in poor neighborhoods has led to a cascade of results of neighborhood empowerment and re-engagement in several cities - as well as a deepening and broadening of city policies related to food and sustainability. He talks about the kind of plant knowledge that suits urban gardening to meet the multiple needs of poor communities - and describes with delight working with, through and around systems.
Greg Bowman directs a faith-based non-profit working in Youngstown, the Ohio city worst hit by the industrial Midwest's economic slump. Goodness Grows uses agricultural leadership and training to "grow families out of poverty and hunger" and make livelihoods and communities more sustainable. Greg served fifteen years with the Rodale Institute in Kutztown, Pennsylvania, developed two farms for Mennonite churches, and has researched and written extensively about sustainable and organic farming. His Steel in the Field: a farmer's guide to weed management tools is fascinating reading for profiles of techniques and farmers.
Father Edgar Guittierez-Duarte: Father Edgar Guttierez-Duarte is a native of Colombia, and an activist psychotherapist who followed a lifelong dream of becoming a priest. Now a bilingual, bicultural Episcopal priest, he serves a predominantly Hispanic congregation at St Luke-San Lucas in Chelsea, MA. He talks about growing the food pantry from filing cabinet-size to one that serves two Saturday meals and works with 500 families a month. Anti-hunger programs help frame the church's community relationships, and they reach different hungry people than those coming to the pantry before the 2008 recession.
Peter Carstensen: Peter Carstensen is a lawyer and professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin who teaches, testifies and writes about antitrust and competition. He co-authored an amicus brief for the Bowman v. Monsanto case heard on 2/19/13, and served as a panelist at the DOJ/USDA Madison, WI, Dairy hearing. Peter describes in concrete terms why concentration of buying power in the hands of only a few large coops or processors distorts prices and means growers (ranchers or dairy farmers) receive low prices. He also discusses the dairy settlements against Dean Foods and Dairy Farmers of America.
Boyce Thorne Miller and Jaydee Hanson: Boyce Thorne Miller, a Marine biologist, is science and policy coordinator at the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA). She discusses AquaBounty's GM salmon, its pending approval by the US Food and Drug Administration, and the FDA's comment period. Doubting if facilities can prevent escapes, she is concerned about the detrimental effects on wild salmon populations. Anticipating low priced GM fish, she also expects the market for locally caught fish to be severely weakened. Boyce has carried out public oversight of scientific review processes for several federal agencies and has consulted for national and international NGOs on coastal environmental issues and biological diversity in marine environments.
Andy Fisher: Andy Fisher has a long history of research and writing about urban food security and building coalitions to bridge the anti hunger and local/sustainable agriculture movements. He co-founded and served as Executive Director of the Community Food Security Coalition. Andy describes living on a Food Stamp budget during his week-long participation in the SNAP challenge. And he talks about the achievements and "growing edges" of the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) as a largely successful income assistance program. Andy is working on a book exploring agriculture book exploring corporate agriculture participation in the funding and governance of anti-hunger and anti-obesity organizations.
Emily Wheeler: Emily Wheeler is a Climate Action Committee and Food Policy Council member in Concord, MA. She describes how this historic New England town did a food systems assessment working with graduate students from the Conway School, a program in sustainable landscape planning. Key here are the town's undeveloped land and many farms and the students' use of novel and concrete ways to demonstrate how citizens could participate in more complete and extensive food production.
David Jacke: David Jacke is a visionary leader in ecological design and award winning author on permaculture. Hear how permaculture goes way beyond just food production to redesigning our whole culture to mimic the principles, patterns, structures and functions of natural ecosystems, including "the whole kit and caboodle" - our social relationships, our economy, our resource use, and our inner landscapes.
Jim Gerritsen: Jim Gerritsen is president of the Organic Seed Growers Association (OSGATA). He was heading to Washington, DC, to demonstrate and attend a hearing in the lawsuit brought by 100's of farmers and OSGATA'S members to prevent Monsanto from bringing lawsuits against farmers over "patent infringement" after Monsanto seeds naturally spread to nearby farms. Jim discusses "the right to farm without the threat of harassment by the world's largest biotech seed company" in terms of farmers' and consumers' rights as citizens in a democracy. Jim Gerritsen is the Maine potato farmer we interviewed in January of 2012.
New Year's Reprise
Bill Ayres (Why Hunger)
Sharon Thornberry, Oregon Food Bank
Last Minute Agriculture Riders in Washington and Putting Wright-Locke Farm to Bed
Hank Herera, Dig Deep Farms and Produce
(FULL INTERVIEW)Joe Holtz, Park Slope Food Co-op
Thanksgiving Old Time Food - Pickles
Jan Poppendieck (1930s Pigs and Wheat History)
Food Sovereignty Award Ceremony
JeomOk Park Korean Women Peasant Assoc.
Gretchen Maine (Dairy Farmer from New York)
Brother David Andrews (Farmer Voices get to the Table)
Michael Skillcorn and Dean's Beans
Setting the Table, Youth Food & Ag Service Learning
Olga Martha Montiel, Missouri Botanical Garden
Hank Keogh (Oregon Canola Ruling
Steve Suppan (IATP Nanotechnology in food)
St. Louis Universitey Dietetics Department - Going to Town
Rio Plus 20 Sustainability Conference (Part 2)
Rio Plus 20 Sustainability Conference (Part 1)
Sarah Schenck (Parent Earth)
With guest John Donohue
Local Grain, Malt, and Beer
With guest Ellen Manes (Meunier Community Cooks)
Susan Youmans has a different guest each week with a role in the huge global to local network of food production and distribution. You hear voices of farmers and entrepreneurs; organizers, chefs, and fishermen; policy makers and businessmen. They get across how the high and changing stakes there are in a world where severe draughts in Asia affect food prices in the US and new forms of financial speculation create continuing threats of food crises.
Susan is in her 15th year of working with people on farms and in food-related businesses. She ran an organic raspberry u-pick and a non profit organization whose partner was a Dorchester, MA, church with a city lot-sized garden. Before that she was a management consultant, attended business school and seminary, and grew up in Ohio as a granddaughter of generations of farmers.
Susan is always curious to know why something's happening and who it will affect. She likes getting behind mainstream media stories about big agriculture, local food, and food regulation. She loves tying together the facts and the specific details - what a rancher still has to do in winter on the range, what's on a young farmer's mind, and what gives peasants in a southern hemisphere country hope to keep organizing.
What's For Dinner? is about the people involved in getting food to U.S. dinner tables. Their stories reveal the workings of economic power, political influence and the hard work of individuals who want to make a difference.
The show has an edge because today everyone has an issue with what they or other people are eating - where it comes from, what's in it, who's profiting from it.
Food and agriculture matter when people want to know how to keep healthy and who's doing what to their food. Susan thinks they also want to know how the world's farms come into play in international negotiations, if US school food will raise up a generation of students who can be good soldiers, if people are hungrier because of US agriculture policy.
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