The preeminent thinker about food and hunger, Amartya Sen, learned about famine from direct experience. In his work, notably in Poverty and Famines, he argues that democracy and a free press can ward off famine.
It’s as if the already miraculous reporters at Inter Press Service had read last night’s posting, and sent this article from the heavens. While land-grabs continue in Africa, women wonder whether they’ll be able to take what’s theirs. Hat-tip to Dan M.
Normal service will soon resume here at Stuffed and Starved. After six months of intensive writing, I’ve just handed in the manuscript for my next book, which’ll hit book stores later this year, entitled “The Value of Nothing”. I’ll be sharing a little more about that in the future, so watch this space.
Over the next couple of months, you’ll be seeing some changes here at Stuffed and Starved. I’m going to be writing not only about food but about other stuff too, as I once used to at my old blog Class Worrier, where my tastes ran from science fiction movies to an occasional series entitled “We’re All Going to Die” to, yes, food.
The French philosopher Michel Foucault is often quoted as saying “My point is not that everything is bad, but that everything is dangerous, which is not exactly the same as bad.” His critics accused him of ethical paralysis, where nothing could be done, for fear of danger. Foucault’s response was this: “everything is not equally dangerous.”
I finally got to see The Anthropologists’ Give Us Bread on Thursday. On paper, a project to write a play about the 1917 food riots in New York City has the potential to become painfully earnest and preachy. It would almost certainly end up that way if I were to try my hand at playwriting, and it’s best for everyone that I don’t start.
Some good news from South Africa, the pesticide industry’s beachhead on the continent. In 2000, Biowatch a South African public interest NGO applied for information about the government’s regulation of biotechnology. The government dragged its feet. So Biowatch sued the government. Monsanto piled in on the government’s side to prevent access to the information. In court, the government lost. But Biowatch was told to pay costs.
Yay! I think I just broke the back of the new book. Watch this space for more on that front. But now that I’ve a draft that I’m reasonably happy with, I can return to more posting here, more activism, and a little bit more going outside than I’ve managed this year.
One of my oldest friends, Sasha Abramsky, has turned his incredible journalistic eye away from the prison-industrial-complex (on which he has written many fine books), to looking at the food system. The fruits of his labours will soon be available, and Breadline USA is well worth the read. It’s a harrowing and keenly observed expose of America’s ongoing hunger. And, if you’re in Northern California, you can meet Sasha in person at his book launch in Sacramento on June 16th. Details in the attachment. And if you can’t make it, here’s a podcast in which Sasha tells all.