FRESH TAKES ON BIG CHALLENGES: OUR BLOGS & ARTICLES

The Best Way to Give Thanks? How About a Raise?

Originally published by TIME on 11/26/2015 Just five years ago, many would have considered it impossible to pass a $15 minimum wage in this country. Today, nine cities, counties or states have passed policies for $15 an hour or more. Many others are contemplating similar measures. Several years ago even the most diehard labor activist would have considered it pie-in-the-sky to imagine mass action by the low wage workers of Walmart, the largest corporation in the world. This Black Friday, thousands of Walmart workers and their supporters will take to the streets again to demand $15 an hour and full-time hours. As we gather around the table today, we are connected to this movement whether we r

The faces of the new food revolution

Originally published by Al Jazeera on 11/23/2015 On a drizzly April day in Washington, D.C., 60 food workers and labor organizers from across the country gathered in an office building downtown. There was an African immigrant street vendor from New York City; a black apple picker from upstate New York; a white, 20-something former bartender from Cincinnati. There were Latino farmworkers from California’s Central Valley; Walmart workers from Oakland; a food-processing worker from Brooklyn. The diversity of the workers gathered for the fifth annual summit of the Food Chain Workers Alliance (FCWA) reflected the diversity of food workers nationwide. The “food movement” is complex and often misun

Eric Schlosser on the People Behind Our Food

Originally published by Civil Eats on 11/18/2015 When Eric Schlosser pitched Fast Food Nation to publishers in 1999, they balked. No one would buy a food book that didn’t include recipes, they said. Schlosser eventually found a publisher willing to take the leap and today, 15 years and more than two million copies later, Fast Food Nation has proven that there’s an appetite for powerful investigative reporting about the journey our food takes to get to our plates. Schlosser, who has since published three nonfiction books and has been working on a book about the American prison system for over a decade, remains connected to the food world. He continues to speak on the issue, and just last year

Meat Madness

Drawn from World Hunger: 10 Myths, by Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins. It’s a “protein factory in reverse!” I declared more than forty years ago in Diet for a Small Planet. In my outburst, I was targeting livestock—especially cattle. But little did I imagine in 1971 just how this “factory’s” capacity to shrink our food supply would multiply. Today, worldwide, three-fourths of all agricultural land, including pasture, is used to produce animal products. But from all this, what do we get? Just 17 percent of our calories. That’s what I mean by “shrink.” To understand why humans get so little, consider livestock’s “take”: About half the world’s calories from crops don’t go to people. Inst

Busting Six Free-Market Fictions

Drawn from World Hunger: 10 Myths, by Frances Moore Lappe and Joseph Collins. Being “free” sounds great—like being free to eat or to have a job at a living wage; so surely a “free market” is the way to ensure these important human freedoms. Right? Unfortunately, what we call a free market can’t protect essential freedoms because it’s trapped in six enduring fictions. So let’s free ourselves, one fiction at a time. One: A “free market” works best to meet human needs. If by “free market” we mean one unbounded by rules, it does not exist. All market economies are governed by rules. In ours, no one is allowed to sell babies, trade with terrorists, or sell liquor across the street from your kid’s

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the Institute of writers, speakers, & activists Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé

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