A Time for Activism

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Countercultures and alternative systems can be nurturing, educational, illuminating, inspiring — and these are not small things — but they do not bring about fundamental change. Food co-ops, for example, make a difference, but they won’t much alter the way Big Food operates. Historically, the route to fixing broken systems goes through struggle, confrontation and even revolution.

Those scenarios are spreading because, as Naomi Klein wrote in The Guardian last week, “[E]veryone can see that the system is deeply unjust and careening out of control.” The struggle for positive change is being defined by groups as diverse as the revolutionaries in Tunisia and Egypt, the strikers in Greece (“Erase the debt and let the rich pay”), the indignados in Spain, the misled but occasionally well-intentioned members of the Tea Party, and certainly those occupying Wall Street (and, in case you missed it, some 1,500 other places, and growing, as of this writing). Now it’s even being embraced by the Democratic leadership.

What we need are more activists who are interested in food than “food activists.” Whether we’re talking about food, politics, healthcare, housing, the environment, or banking, the big question remains the same: How do we bring about fundamental change?

(Read the rest of this column here.)

(Photo: The Whistling Monkey/Flickr)

Posted in Food Politics

One Comment

  1. Emily Kikue Frank said...

    I’ve been wondering this, myself! I am hopeful that Food Day sparks something, but I’m not sure how populist that will be. We need to figure out how to get the message across that food, the environment, human rights, animal rights, biodiversity, food security and safety, and overall health are inextricably entwined, but in general, if I try to bring this sort of thing up, I find that people really don’t want to know. They opt for willful ignorance, which I find incredibly frustrating.

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