When I think of nutritious and delicious food, I immediately think of the National Frozen Pizza Institute and the Association for Dressings and Sauces. Both of these groups are members of the innocuous-sounding Alliance to Feed the Future. Obviously, the future is a fat, pasty place coated in ranch dressing. But if food and farming activist Anna Lappé has anything to say about it, the world will leave behind the mess of industrial farming and focus again on small family-owned farms and ranches.
Lappé’s arguments for a return to the old methods seem so logical that it’s hard to believe that we haven’t re-adopted them. Basically, she believes we should ditch the polluting fertilizers that cost money and destroy ecosystems in favor of letting cows, chickens and pigs do some of the fertilizing themselves, thus letting the animals out of the pens and keeping nasty petroleum-based products out of our drinking water.
But, you know, the National Frozen Pizza Institute just wants us to have affordable food, right? Organics cost more, right? Maybe, maybe not.
In a short film at foodmyths.org, Lappé explains how we can wean ourselves from industrial agriculture. None of the information is groundbreaking. We’d only have to go back to the ways many farmed merely one or two generations ago. Sadly, today’s industrial agronomists seem more focused on quantity rather than quality, not to mention more interested in what it feeds to livestock than what it feeds to us humans.
Author and sustainable-farming expert Anna Lappé gives two lectures at UM on Mon., Feb. 4. First, in conjunction with the UM Philosophy Forum, she presents Eat the Sky: Connecting the Dots between Climate, Food and the Future of Farming, from 3:10 to 4:30 PM, in the Gallagher Business Building Room 123. Then at 8 PM, in the Dennison Theatre, Lappé delivers a lecture titled Sustainability, Sustenance and Social Change: How Sustainable Food and Farming Can Nourish the World and Transform Communities. Both events are free.