Local Farmers in Chief: Working for Food Security and Justice

A few weeks ago, Michael Pollan, author of several works on the food industry and its social and moral impact on our lives, penned a letter to the president-elect, urging the new commander in chief to move to the top of his executive and legislative agenda the issue of food security. The article was entitled: Farmer in Chief. (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/12/magazine/12policy-t.html?scp=1&sq=mi)

At a2ethics.org, we asked three accomplished and amazing experts, representing three different local nonprofit organizations, about their own perspectives and ideas about the meanings of food security and justice and how our understanding of the systems and issues surrounding them has consequences for us locally.

We didn't ask them to write their own letters to our policy makers, but some of their ideas are policies and programs that we would be unwise to neglect.

Our questions weren't Wendell Berry eloquent, and our discussion was sometimes meandering and on occasion testy, but this is a podcast that deserves a deliberate going over. And all of the responses and solutions that Ruth Blackburn from Food System Economic Partnership, Amanda Edmonds from Growing Hope and Eileen Spring from Food Gatherers recommended, require careful hearing and consideration.

At a2ethics.org, we like to say we are proponents of what we call the Slow Ethics movement, a play on the original movement favoring slow over fast: the Slow Food movement. Applied to us, it means that ethics and ethical action demand that we slow down and think about what we are doing, and that it is vital for us to relish and savor and linger over ethics issues, just as we should relish and savor and linger over our food in a fast food nation.

We think that in this case, the issues of food security and of justice demand that we take action, and that it may well be that lingering too long could become a dangerous malingering.

We hope that you will listen and learn about what is happening in your own communities, and join these local groups in creating innovative approaches and new opportunities for making our food secure, healthy and equitably accessible to all.