Thoughts on Building Food Movement Power

Blog Post: Based on the January 2019 Podcast:

Power: it’s a loaded word. It creates fear in some, hunger in others. But what is it and why is it needed by the good food movement?

I will be exploring its meaning and importance in very brief podcasts each month this year in the hopes of stimulating actions by those who care about the food we eat and the farms, ranches and businesses that produce it for us. Actions by millions are needed to reveal the power of the food movement. I hope to share pithy stories of the actions I have participated in, witnessed or learned about that reflect the power of the food movement, which means the “capacity or ability to direct or influence the behavior of others or the course of events.” My thoughts for this series will be about how to grow the influence of the good food movement so that we can transform the food system from farm to table.

By its very definition a movement requires a destination, a place for its members to head as they take action. So, I begin this little series with the following reflection:

I became involved in the movement to improve food and farming because I see that of all the systems upon which our civilization rests, food is the root. Without food and water, we don’t need shelter or clothes or homes, religions or cities. Food is first. If we don’t get right the human system used to feed people, meaning truly sustainable and resilient over the long-term, nothing else matters. By sustainable, I simply mean the ability to continue working for as long into future as we can imagine. I mean a system that does not degrade the resources or capital – be they human, ecological or financial – upon which the system relies. By resilient I am mean the ability to quickly adapt to changing conditions and to quickly heal when there are disasters or dramatic and widespread disruptions like trade wars, military conflicts, floods, drought or fire. And today we are not yet there. If we create a truly sustainable and resilient system, humans and all life have a good chance for a bright future.

So, after 25 years of struggling to see changes, with too many defeats and a few key victories, I’d like to offer my views on what we need to do to build more power to make the needed changes. I hope you’ll subscribe to the podcast or sign up for our periodic newsletters, engage me via email and social media (see below), and become energized to join the movement for good food, resilient agriculture and healthy communities.

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