Ida B Wells, Science Fiction Writer

Ida B Wells deserves her place in the canon of journalism and social change. In the science fiction, not so much. I found her “A Story of 1900”, written in 1886, while digging for other things. It may not be a classic, but not only was it written two years before Edward Bellamy’s epochal Looking Backward, but the story lives and breathes Octavia Butler’s thoughts on the use of science fiction for black people.

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A Window in the Cathedral of the Green Revolution

When the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations announced it was going to take agroecology sufficiently seriously to hold a conference on it, reasonable people were pleased, and sceptical. Pleased because the FAO has been agnostic about agroecology’s scientific developments in addressing problems that the FAO itself is charged with tackling. Sceptical because the reason’s for the FAO’s historical reticence are hardly going to be fixed by a conference. Nonetheless, the great and the good from agroecology made the case in front of a bevvy of senior officials. After the event, José Graziano da Silva, Director General of the FAO, proclaimed that “today a window was opened in what for 50 years has been the cathedral of the Green Revolution.”

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Joan Dye Gussow: Women, Food and the Survival of the Species

While I slog away at the Generation Food project, here’s more from the occasional series of pamphlets and books from the history of the food movement – a 1988 lecture by the excellent Joan Dye Gussow: Women, Food, and the Survival of the Species. With thanks, as ever, to DBS, and to Joan.

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Thoughts on Land Reform Summits in San Francisco

In San Francisco, from April 25-28, 400 people from across the country and around the world gathered to discuss an awkward problem – land reform in America. Land reform is a loaded term, one that reeled conference participants’ imaginations toward the antics of Third World dictators and communist zealots. It’s hard to conceive a more un-American activity than thinking about an alternative to private property. Yet here were the Friends of the Earth next to the NAACP west coast region, alongside the Archdiocese of Kansas doing exactly that.

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Beyond Foodworkers’ Karmic Tip Jar This Thanksgiving

Via the Huffington Post

Thanksgiving is an odd holiday for those of us born outside the U.S. I studied it for the citizenship test, where it’s an answer to the question “Name two national U.S. holidays.” But I never managed to shake the feeling that I was doing it wrong. This year, though, I’ll be getting the hang of it thanks to a lot of people who won’t be at my table.

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