Have you noticed? A food revolution has begun—with the goal of making our food and agriculture systems better for us, better for the environment, maybe even better for workers and democracy.
So, at least, says Marion Nestle, the author, activist, NYU professor and corporate critic, who gave a rousing closing speech at Cooking for Solutions, a mind-stretching, belly-expanding conference and foodfest organized by the Monterey Bay Aquarium.
The revolution will be inspired, in part, from the top—symbolized by the White House organic garden, First Lady Michelle Obama’s anti-obesity campaign and some encouraging legislation, including a requirement in the health-care law that fast food restaurants put calorie labeling on menus.
“I can’t remember every having a First Family that was interested in the issues that I’m interested in,” said Nestle, a veteran of the food wars and author of six books, including a new volume about pet food.
More important, the energy for a food revolution is being generated by diverse, decentralized grass roots (pun intended). Signs include the robust growth of organic food, albeit from a small base; the slow food movement; the rapidly increasing number of farmers markets across America; strong interest in local agriculture; Jamie Oliver’s broadcast TV prime time anti-obesity crusade; other celebrity chefs who tout “green” practices; the battle to reform school lunch programs; the campaign against bottled water; the animal welfare movement; and the obsession with food issues in so much of the media, ranging from Michael Pollan’s bestsellers to indie movies like Food Inc. to the legions of food bloggers, many of whom came to Monterey.
When you look at it that way, there’s a lot going on. [click to continue…]