Ah the infinities of interesting worlds on the internet…  I have a file “Links for Blog” into which I save items to share; despite good intentions, they languish and amass.  I’ve now prepared this post and am aware it might be overwhelming.  Please forgive me if so!  May some of it be useful to you…  Mostly Food Politics on the top, then a nice round-up of cooking and food links.

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Today is World Food Day, and World Food Day of Action for Food Sovereignty.  it’s also Blog Action Day on the theme of Inequality.  All this within the Year of Family Farming!

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I haven’t had time to prepare a proper post.  I wanted to reflect a bit about food and climate inequality, in terms of both culpability (mostly of the rich world) and vulnerability (mostly of the poor), and put this in a context of “food security” (a loaded term) and its challenges. When I think about what I want to say on the topic, it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger.  And I kind of short-circuit.  The great thing is, Blog Action Day is going to give us all lots of opportunities to explore the theme really diversely, and learn a lot reading people’s contributions.  Mine is just a beginning, pointing to connections I want to deeply understand as we go about public campaigns and personal quests — seeking as always at KitchenCounterCulture to bring it all back home.

Big topic.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Under cloud and periodic rain,  I am trying to imagine ancient biblical people in a desert in huts of willow and palm, feasting with strangers on sweet harvest fruits.  Sukkot is a wonderful Jewish festival, a kind of thanksgiving and harvest festival for which people build outdoor structures from symbolic natural materials; there’s always great creativity with resources and lots of artistry, beauty and folly.  After all the emotional and spiritual heaviness of the preceding High Holidays, Sukkot represents the “Days of Our Rejoicing,” a time to be grateful for somewhere to sit down, beneath a starry sky, with family, friends and to eat, drink, relax….

Today is the last day of Sukkot this year but I didn’t want it to go by without a notice…

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Free school lunch for all kids, universally.  Make it part of the provision of education.  Aspire to nutritious, delicious lunches.  Let’s retreat from processed food, and watch who we give the school contracts to.  Let’s not have kids be divided by what they eat.  And UK– give them time to eat so they don’t have to wolf it down or not have time for the apple.

PS I like how the filmmakers make the point that kids in France get three courses. :)

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So I was 20 and the year was 1984, and I ate one of the most delicious things in my life.

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Enjoy and share this great little film showing a vision, in eight principles, of Sustainable Food. The film looks at what people are doing in Manchester in the UK, but it’s all relevant in many parts of the world.  The principles hopefully feel familiar– hooray!– and put together, make an inspiring manifesto, with lots of interconnections between the categories:

Local and Seasonal

Organic for Low-Carbon, Oil Independence and Soil Health

Cut Waste and Packaging

Less Meat and Dairy

Stop Eating At-Risk Fish for Marine Habitats

Fair Trade

Health and Well-Being for All

Food Democracy for Local Economies and all Stakeholders

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And check out the Kindling Trust.

(Ok, maybe I wish he weren’t doing the send-up of Yes We Have No Bananas in the fake Caribbean accent, but I like the spirit, the internationalism, the multi-lingualism, the ukelele, the laughter, and of course the campaign for preserving food diversity and localism.)

Here’s a link to Seed Freedom’s Open Letter on GMO Bananas.  It’s perhaps a bit rambling, but an incredible piece that weaves together botany, politics, history, culture and art.  Reading it I realise how little I know about the world diversity of bananas.  I also never knew the poem, La United Fruit Co., by Pablo Neruda himself!

At the core of the letter is a profound belief I share:

“We do not need biopirates and biocolonialists … falsely claiming invention and monopoly rights over these local community controlled resources and biodiverse solutions for hunger and nutrition.”

The understanding is, in patenting food through genetic modification, it can only be sold back to people in a food system that relies on a foundation of treacherous economics.  A Food Sovereignty model envisions a less abstracted and tenuous relationship of people to their food– such as they may already have, banana trees growing in local varieties where they live.   Food-as-a-Commons — common heritage, common entitlement, inalienable — is a vision which makes patenting even more preposterous.

Anyway, just wanted to share the video and the campaign.

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…in which KitchenCounterCulture questions her family’s meat-eating in light of learnings from a book on Climate Change conundrums…

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1 October, 2014.  Rabbit, Rabbit.

Today is National Kale Day… and it’s World Vegetarian Day…  and it’s the first of the month so it’s a day on which I and Many choose to fast as part of #FastfortheClimate.  We do this each for our own reasons, but coming together in an international community of climate change awareness, solidarity, and focus. Fasting is an invitation to bring contemplation into the space of hunger in one’s body — that’s the idea anyway.

Yesterday I tweeted it just as I felt it:

“Tomorrow I just want to feel connected to other people connected (not disconnected) to enormity of our historical moment 

It was all going to be about that.

But this is kind of how the day unfolded:

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Several weeks ago I endeavoured my first #fastfortheclimate, thoughts on which I’d written here.  I’ve been meaning to reflect a little. Yesterday began the UN Climate Summit, a major effort to galvanize government action in a real way, and one wants, with all one’s heart, to retain some hope.  Hope for what?  That if we’ve already lost the best future, we can at least avert the worst one.  “Hope and fear in equal measure” — an appropriate existential response — as Naomi Klein is quoted as saying.

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