Nutrition “science” is so unreliable that it can hardly be trusted, and for this reason, I sympathize with people who resign themselves to mystery unaided by modernity. Despite the lack of clear information and uncontradictory advice, we face the choice between  believing that what we eat does indeed directly affect our health and  seeing the body as a pipe. Many people eat only to quell the annoying hunger pangs or for the taste […read the rest]
As part of the ETH World Food Systems Summer School 2016 I had the honor of 3 hours tour of the Fintan farm and Sativa Seed Production facility. Fintan is the largest organic farm in Switzerland, where the rules of organic agriculture forbid heating greenhouses. We had a chance to hear about 5 aspects of the farm. Own sorts Our first stop was at a small field which is devoted to the project of de-hybridizing sweet corn. […read the rest]
the future of work Neither the alterglobalization movement nor the Left have a coherent vision of liberated work, other than less of it with bathroom breaks. I am interviewing artisan producers (people who produce autonomously something that can be produced industrially) to investigate their decision-making around: the experience and conditions of work; use of materials (sustainability and ethical issues); and transactions. I am interested in Marxist philosophical questions regarding the recovery of labor from alienation, […read the rest]
I’m hanging out with my friend Aimée Schreck at the ETH World Food Systems Summer School, discussing symbols and certification schemes for packaged food. Her dissertation examined small-scale banana producers’ experience of the fair trade system. Together we decided some years ago that fair trade was best understood as a gateway drug and that really the consumers ought to be certified, not just the producers. There are several definitional dimensions, which are rarely synonymous: social movement […read the rest]
So the topic of this session is innovation and social change in the food system. I’m going to start with some examples of innovation. There are too many to cover in such a short time, so I only choose some examples. Then I’ll share some conceptual tools for thinking about how to create powerful social change. The capital letters indicate when to move forward in the prezi. Innovations FMKT Farmers markets are certainly not an […read the rest]
A few days ago I was sitting at Maso A Kobliha in Prague (at the recommendation of the excellent Taste of Prague Blog), savoring a plate of superlative house-smoked meat, three donuts, and tea. By way of entertaining my vegetarian and already sugar-shocked friend, I told him about the return of butchery, a new generation, typified in The Real Meat Society, mothership of Maso A Kobliha, sister of Sansho Restaurant. (If you aren’t familiar with the […read the rest]
“We try to keep the distance between the customer and the workshop as short as possible…These are objects that I want to be used. And it should be used hard. That’s what they’re made for…Buying a table takes a long time. It takes months….Most of these people are buying the last table for their life…For me it would be a success if the grandchildren still like the table.