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Raj Patel: Big Ag Can't Feed the World -- Here's Who Can

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Raj Patel is no fan of messiahs and iconic leaders. "One bright shining light is dangerous," says the writer, activist, and academic who was once mistaken as the savior of humankind by an obscure religious group. Still, there's no denying that Patel - young, charming, and sharp as a tack - does, in fact, shine. With his critically acclaimed books on food systems and capitalism he has distinguished himself as one of the progressive world's up and coming public intellectuals.

His quest to understand the global inequities caused by free market economics took the London-born Patel from the halls of Oxford to the London School of Economics, to the World Bank and the World Trade Organization. Along the way he wrote Stuffed and Starved (2008), a cutting critique of how the free market keeps millions of people hungry and millions more obese. His next book, the 2010 New York Times bestseller The Value of Nothing, drew on the Great Recession to expose the core cause of our current social, political, and environmental problems.

Patel isn't just armchair pontificator, though. A self-proclaimed "anarchist sympathizer," he often can be spotted in the midst of street demonstrations, lending body and voice to grassroots protests against the very organizations he once worked with. Patel is currently traveling the world collecting material for a documentary film, Generation Food, which will show how "people are doing amazing things to feed one another, across the table, across generations, and across the world."

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