Since the first episode Food Talk Live broadcast on March 19, our two-day live talk series has brought close to 150 food systems experts, advocates, scientists, cooks and more.
This means that, over the past four months, I have probably asked more than 1,000 questions from these people about the future of the food system. There is plenty of news to be revealed this week, between fund the reduction of food waste, overcome community food insecurity, and understand the influence of the food industry on nutrition policy. And during my direct conversation, every question I ask raises even more.
This week, Food Tank highlighted 15 quotes that address complicated questions, which change the world about building a more sustainable and equitable food system.
How do we correct racial inequality in land ownership?
“As a result of colonial genocide, land grabbing, USDA discrimination, state-level nativism, lynching, and expulsion, more than 98% of the farmland in this county is owned by white Americans today. Ralph Paige of the Southern Cooperatives Federation simply said, “Land is the only real wealth in this country and if we don’t have anything, we won’t see it.” We need a national commitment to redistribute the land so that all communities can have production tools for food security. “
– Leah Penniman, founder and director of Soul Fire Farm. Read more here.
How much influence does a collective agricultural trade union have on protecting agricultural workers?
“In 2019, through our collective bargaining procedure, we will settle cases on wage problems of more than US $ 800,000 dollars. If they are not a union, the money will be lost in workers’ pockets. If this is what we are compensating for workers in a union arrangement, imagine what should happen in a non-union arrangement. ”
– Baldemar Velásquez, founder and president of the Agricultural Labor Organizing Committee. Listen more here.
What does it mean to support sustainable local food by being involved in buying good food?
“This is a time that I consider to be a great calculation. Looking at the public interest in food and how important food as public service is how procurement works – it aligns the purchasing power of government institutions with what society values. I think the next important step is to get city or city leaders to set aggregate buying targets and invite, encourage, persuade all major food service agencies to participate in setting these aggregate targets. And then you can really start making accelerated changes in the local food economy, which is something we know we need to rebuild now. The idea of buying good food is to support equity and to support creating economic opportunities for those who do not yet have that economic opportunity. “
– Paula Daniels, co-founder, chair of the board, and chair of what’s next at the Center for Good Food Purchases. Listen more here.
What is the importance of “intermediary” food processors in supporting local agriculture-based food systems?
“Can we imagine how to get out of here in a better way than we had before? I want to emit an uncomfortable light on the movement of agriculture to the table. Turns out to have a very weak link. I do not know that the answer is back to that moment, because what this shows is that it is not as powerful as feeding people and moving food systems as we imagine. ”
– And Barber, executive chef and co-founder of Blue Hill at Stone Barns. Listen more here.
What can we do to make regenerative agriculture not only the norm, but affordable?
“We need to realize that economic justice and the growth of organic and regenerative food and agriculture and land use go together. We cannot have one without the other. That is very beautiful about this Green New Deal. ”
– Ronnie Cummins, executive director of the Organic Consumer Association. Listen more here.
How do traditional resource management techniques lay the foundation for food sovereignty?
“Duration is a traditional fisheries management practice in Kalimantan [the Malaysian state of] Sabah, where the public vows to preserve wild fisheries until they are filled with river carp, and then open them, with agreement, for joint consumption at special times. Therefore, during COVID-19, the power of tagal was also a main topic: how people who have revived their river management culture can access their own source of protein in their place. “
– Cynthia Ong & Kenneth Wilson from Forever Sabah in Sabah, Malaysia. Read more here.
What are the roles that can help each other and distribute the food system in feeding our community?
“Endurance and regeneration are not given, they need to be fostered deliberately. Therefore we need to invest in and facilitate the creation of a distribution food system based on local needs and capacities that guarantee a fair redistribution of values, knowledge and power between actors and the region to provide sustainable food for everyone. “
– Ana Moragues-Faus, professor of economics and business, University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain. Read more here.
How can greater public funding foster food innovation in Latin America and the Global South?
“One of the forgotten links in all of these food systems, the connection between agriculture, nutrition and health, is that you need knowledge. You need to do research, and then you need to innovate. … If we can put trillions and trillions of dollars into good research to protect the economy, we must also put in enough funds for the health and food systems. “
– Ruben Echeverria, senior researcher at the International Food Policy Research Institute and research associate at the Latin American Rural Development Center. Listen more here.
What role can entrepreneurs play in building a better food system?
“We have a very beautiful rich and diverse country where we can produce and we can create so much wealth for all of us, and now it’s about enlarging and providing this gap that we know exists.”
– Caesaré Assad, CEO of Food Systems accelerator 6. Listen more here.
How do we build a new European community-based sustainable food system that does not replicate the past?
“My vision is for a new food economy with more and more of us growing a percentage of our own food, and prefer to buy seasonal and local foods from local and sustainable farmers. This future food system will not be the same as what I remember since I was a child in the 50s and 60s, because the world has changed since then. The internet and other related digital innovations including online marketing, and the emergence of community-supported farmers and agricultural markets, are all expressions of unlimited human innovation. So, let’s hope that the farming community will prosper and come to play a more central role in our food system in the future. Let the new food revolution grow and develop! “
– Patrick Holden, British farmer and founder of Sustainable Food Trust. Read more here.
How can we understand and prepare the connection between COVID-19 and dietary health?
“Because [the pandemic of diet-related disease] has been happening for more than 30 to 40 years, we have ignored an equivalent or even bigger pandemic. And now they are gathering, and we see that we build an environment of people with poor metabolic health who tend to be COVID. … We have not invested in the science that we should have invested so far, to get answers to these questions. People talk about storing personal protective equipment and filling ventilators and storage vaccines – but what about the storage of science about food, health, and nutrition? That must be very important. “
—Dariush Mozaffarian, cardiologist and dean of the Tufts University Faculty of Science and Nutrition Policy. Listen more here.
How is the security of diverse local seeds important for our food security and national security?
“As the world slowly rebuilds and recovers, we all have new opportunities to regenerate and share a greater diversity of seeds – and to respect and restore benefits to traditional seed keepers from many cultures. We will be remiss not to sow the right place-based seed sovereignty in every region and between every culture on the planet, long before the future crisis can uproot us again. “
– Gary Paul Nabhan, ethnobotany expert and co-founder of Native Seeds / SEARCH. Read more here.
How did the COVID-19 crisis play a role in the power of industrialization that threatened Iranian small farmers?
“There is an irony in expecting the government to take action in an emergency to support the people and production systems that they actively disturb at the best of times. This shows that COVID-19 has no impact on the food system in a vacuum, but is in fact a surprise for the ongoing struggle for power and survival. Like many small producers around the world who make large-scale contributions to food security, shepherds struggle against forces that seek to change their way of life for the industrial food system.
– Maryam Rahmanian & Nahid Naghizadeh from the Center for Sustainable Development in Tehran, Iran. Read more here.
How do we encourage young Africans to continue farming and improve agriculture on the continent?
“I would argue that what is missing is in [agricultural] The sector is young people who have access to productive resources and have knowledge and skills that can help increase productivity. … If we want young people to survive on agriculture, then we have to make agriculture profitable for young people. And for agriculture to be profitable, it must be productive. Giving them access to productive resources that will enable them to increase agricultural productivity will be very important. “
– Felix Kwame Yeboah, social science researcher and international development professor at Michigan State University. Listen more here.
Finally, what is needed to help us use suffering as a stepping stone to deliverance?
“We all suffer. But in the end, brothers and sisters, what makes us strong is our belief in each other, that we will be together to help each other to rise again. … This is our time, this is our time not to return to politics and Wall Street, but to move forward. This is more about people than profits. It is time for us to move forward and change the system. ”
– Karen Washington, farmer and founder of Rise and Root Farm. Watch more here.
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