Posts Tagged ‘Politics’

Posted on March 1, 2011 - by

Saving the World: Foodies As the New Environmentalists?

Whether or not you hate the term “foodie,” it is a good time to be interested and involved in food, and I don’t just mean as measured by the popularity of Top Chef or the explosion of food photography blogs. Rather, after decades of enthusiasm for processed and frozen meals, the tide has turned in favor of local, fresh and seasonal food that tastes good. And as people realize what a difference it makes to eat real food, they are also exploring the social, economic and political ramifications of their food system—people around the world, people like you.

Has this surge in interest come at the expense of the old environmentalism movement? Recently, an article from Time seemed to think so, suggesting that the efforts of environmental groups to limit greenhouse gases and halt climate change had failed, not to mention a daunting political environment for the EPA, fostered by a hostile Republican-led Congress.

On the other hand, the timing is right for the food movement, however broadly you want to define it. Wrote Bryan Walsh, “If it continues to grow it may be able to create just the sort of political and social transformation that environmentalists have failed to achieve in recent years. That would mean not only changing the way Americans eat and the way they farm — away from industrialized, cheap calories and toward more organic, small-scale production, with plenty of fruits and vegetables — but also altering the way we work and relate to one another” (Time).

In other words, “food movement” is a misnomer—this campaign is about revolutionizing the way we live through what we eat, and is a medley of influences from farmers, doctors, consumers, businesses, policymakers and more. These disparate forces can both hinder and help the rate of progress, but we now understand that many of the today’s pressing issues are entangled and cannot be resolved without an interdisciplinary approach. To resolve childhood obesity, you might examine urban planning and food deserts. To analyze the latest political unrest in the Middle East, you could investigate climate change and rising food prices.

Does the food movement have the political momentum to forge on where environmentalists have lagged? Last week, White House Executive Chef Sam Kass gave a speech to review the progress that Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move campaign had made. In it, he recognized the growing demand for healthier, fresher food for children and residents of underserved areas, and discussed measures that have been taken to improve public health. Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition at NYU, noted, “This is the first time food, nutrition, and health have gotten anywhere near this kind of attention at that level of government” (Atlantic).

So, we can give ourselves a quick pat on the back, but there is plenty of work to be done. “As foodies go from promoting the perfect heirloom tomato to tackling the country’s entrenched agricultural practices, they’ll need a new level of commitment, organization and energy,” said Walsh. But this may be our best chance at creating holistic and long-lasting change in the way we live with our planet.

How are you involved in the good food fight? What food choices did you wrestle with today? Who can you teach about the politics of your plate?

Drop me a line at


Posted on May 18, 2010 - by

FRESH: Capitol Hill Screening & Associated Events

We’re so incredibly excited that FRESH is going to be screening on Capitol Hill on Friday, 5/21/10.  We’ve invited all of your senators & legislators as well as their aides.  Ana Joanes will be on site with Joel Salatin to answer questions after the screening and discuss what the upcoming vote on the Farm Bill, S 510, means for small family farms.  

If you have a relationship with your representative, please call them and invite them again to this special event! Details are below:

Friday May 21, 2010, 4:30-6:30
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building Foyer
DETAILS: Special screening of FRESH for legislators and staff

Do you want to get hyped up with FRESH while the legislators are viewing the film?  We got word that there will be a screening in Odenton, MD (outside Baltimore) on the same evening – we encourage you to attend if you can!

WHAT: FRESH Public Screening
Friday May 21, 2010, 6:30 – 9:00 PM
WHERE: Inspired Journeys (1350 Blair Drive Suite E Odenton, MD 21113)
DETAILS: Public Screening of FRESH – come one, come all!

After the screening we have an incredible reception lined up at Poste Moderne Brasserie, near the White House.  EVERYONE IS INVITED, INCLUDING YOU!  Enjoy some locally sourced (Polyface!) fare, mix & mingle with heavy-hitter foodies from the DC Metro area and meet Ana Joanes and Joel Salatin, who will both be in attendance.

WHAT: FRESH Reception (w/ Joel Salatin & Ana Joanes)
Friday May 21, 2010, 7:00 – 9:30 PM
WHERE: Poste Moderne Brasserie (555 – 8th Street, NW Washington, DC 20004)
DETAILS: $50 per person, cash bar.  Proceeds go to helping cover the cost of bringing FRESH to Congress
TICKETS: TICKET SALES END THURSDAY, 5/20 – get yours today!!!


Posted on May 10, 2010 - by

FRESH is coming to Congress!

The National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association and FRESH are sponsoring a special screening of FRESH for our legislators.
Has FRESH inspired you? It will also inspire those who make our laws.

The food safety bill is in front of the senate right now.  FRESH will educate our legislators on the benefits of a local food system threatened by S 510. Let’s get our Senators and Representatives there so they can see and understand the unintended consequences S 510 would have on our small farms.

WHEN: Friday May 21, 2010, 4:30-6:30
WHERE: Rayburn House Office Building Foyer
WHAT: Special screening of FRESH for legislators and staff

Ana Joanes, FRESH Director and Producer, and star Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms will introduce the movie, take questions after the screening and speak to legislators on the importance of preserving access to our Fresh foods and the farms those foods come from.

Learn more about FRESH and see a trailer on the FRESH homepage.


1. Please help by donating to cover expenses! We are a VERY small team and want to make this screening as dynamic as possible by having Ana Joanes attend.  You can help us do this by donating just $3!  Donate Now!

2. If you’ve already talked with your senators about S 510 please follow-up with the staffer you spoke to and ask them to attend the screening of FRESH.  If you haven’t yet contacted your representative, you can find yours by entering your zip-code here.

Questions or for more information please contact Liz Reitzig or 301-807-5063


Posted on March 1, 2010 - by

Inspired by “Fresh”?

By Liz Reitzig, Secretary of National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association

Take action by serving a Local Foods Feast to Congress and Join in Grassroots Lobbying to Protect Local Food

Presented in conjunction with the National Independent Consumers and Farmers Association Fourth Annual National Small Farm and Ranch Grassroots Lobby Day & Legislative Reception Wednesday, March 10, 2010.

You’ve seen Fresh and it taught you the importance of a local, safe food supply, but most in Congress haven’t seen the movie yet. Remind Congress about the importance of fresh Local foods and direct farmer-to-consumer trade.

Join farmers and consumers from around the country as we converge on DC on March 10 to lobby our legislators so they understand how certain bills will affect local food. Then enjoy a local food feast at the reception. If you cannot make it to DC on March 10, please call your legislators anyway; your voice is important and effective! You can schedule a phone meeting with your legislator’s office.

Need help? There will be a training call with all the info you need to have an effective appointment with your legislator’s aide.  More information about the training calls can be found here:

See to learn more about March 10, lobbying and for updates. Please sign up for future action alerts.