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Look out Monsanto: The Global Food Movement is Rising

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's All About Organics page, Genetic Engineering page and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

Chewing on a mouthful of locally grown lettuce, I wondered if the claims I'd heard about the global food-justice movement were true. Was there a line to follow, however crooked, between my purchase of these greens, land reform in Brazil and opposition to genetically modified seeds in California. Or was it all just empty calories?

As a somewhat conscientious consumer and occasional Taco Bell boycotter, I've hoped that the movement was real. But it hasn't always been easy to perceive the connection between marching for improved farmworker rights, signing a petition against factory feedlots, and cooking up beets from a CSA (that is, community supported agriculture, which usually comes in the form a box of assorted veggies delivered to people who contribute to a local farm's financial well-being).

Those connections form a tight weave in the new book, Harvesting Justice: Transforming Food, Land, and Agriculture in the Americas. Using "food sovereignty" as the secret sauce, the book sautes the individual ingredients of sister movements into a coherent, flavorful whole.

The book was created for the U.S. Food Sovereignty Alliance-a network of organizations allied with La Via Campesina, which advocates for culturally appropriate (think tortillas in Mexico instead of bread), ecologically sound (no GMOs), and small-farmer friendly food systems.

The book's authors, Tory Field and Beverly Bell, do a lot more with food than just write about it. Field is a farmer who co-manages the Next Barn Over Farm, a CSA program in western Massachusetts. Bell has worked for decades with small farmer organizations in Haiti, including those who set fire to agricultural aid after the 2010 earthquake. The farmers didn't see the donated seeds as aid, but as a Monsanto "trojan horse" undermining their control over their own food.


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