Soil Matters CSA
One of the greatest threats facing farmers today and hence facing our own food supply is the financial rewards found in the field of farming, rewards that are seemingly more often then not, in the negative digits. Many argue that food and agriculture should be removed from global trade regimes. One of the reasons for such an idea comes from a belief that farmers themselves should not have to bear the financial risks associated with such a volatile industry, and all people should equally share such risks as food is a need and not a desire. One alternative to the dominant food system is the model of Community Supported Agriculture, whereby a set number of people within a city or town become a member of a farm, and in doing so pay the farmers at the beginning of the season when farmers need the money most. Members who join are then guaranteed what is most often a weekly box of fresh produce. As many farmers know all too well how easily an entire crop can be lost due to weather, pests or unforeseen circumstances, members of a CSA share this risk with the farmer and on the other side can also share in the abundance. Just outside of Nelson, British Columbia, two intrepid farmers who only began farming a few years ago, have launched a CSA this year. Host Jon Steinman chose to become a member and document the process of creating a CSA and the potential for such a model to reconnect people with their food and provide farmers with a more secure source of income.
On September 8, Soil Matters hosted a members potluck and discussion. Deconstructing Dinner's Jon Steinman facilitated the discussion where members shared their experiences of becoming part of a CSA. How has joining a farm changed eating patterns? How has working on the farm reshaped our connection to food? What changes should be made to the administration and functioning of the CSA for next year? Marion Nestle - "The Ethics of Food Marketing" Marion Nestle is the Paulette Goddard Professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, in the department that she chaired from 1988 through 2003. She also holds appointments as Professor of Sociology in NYU's College of Arts and Sciences and as a Visiting Professor of Nutritional Sciences in the College of Agriculture at Cornell University. Her degrees include a Ph.D. in molecular biology and an M.P.H. in public health nutrition, both from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research focuses on the politics of food with an emphasis on the role of food marketing as a determinant of dietary choice. She is the author of "Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health" (University of California Press, 2002) and "Safe Food: Bacteria, Biotechnology, and Bioterrorism" (University of California Press, 2003), and is co-editor of "Taking Sides: Clashing Views on Controversial Issues in Food and Nutrition" (McGraw-Hill/Dushkin, 2004). Her new book, "What to Eat," was published in May, 2006. In November 2006, Princeton University hosted a five-part conference exploring the broad and compelling issues and ethical dilemmas surrounding food production in the U.S. and the choices individuals make regarding the food they eat. Marion Nestle was invited to speak on "The Ethics of Food Marketing". We hear segments from her presentation.