FLP5 : Food Politics in 2012

Food Literacy Project representatives have compiled a list of food-related top 5’s for 2012. We’ll be publishing one every day for the next five days, beginning with the top five moments in food politics this year. Stay tuned! 

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Image from HipHopWired

1. Cory Booker goes on a food stamp challenge: After seeing a disconnect between himself and his constituency (thanks to a twitter exchange), Cory Booker has begun living on the monetary equivalent of food stamps for one week. He has documented each day of his food stamp challenge.  More on the implications of food stamp challenges: http://ti.me/SsQkcM

2. Hostess out of business, soda bans in business: Two victories, one for personal health and one for public health! After reaching a stalemate with unions, Hostess (maker of Twinkies) is going out of business. Currently, companies are in the process of bidding for the rights to continue to sell Hostess products. Only time will tell what changes these product may undergo under new ownership. Meanwhile, the New York Board of Health approved Mayor Bloomberg’s proposal to ban soda larger than 16 oz. in New York City, slating the “single biggest step any city, I think, has ever taken to curb obesity” to take effect next March.

3. Chicago to start the largest, metropolitan agribusiness hub? Currently, Chicago organizers are seeking to implement a plan to develop 13 square miles of an inner city neighborhood into an urban farm. Will they succeed in creating a viable farm that also produces healthy food alternatives, jobs, and a boost for the economy?

4. Audio farming manuals?! A new wave in novice agriculture? 200,000 people attend Slow Food conference in Italy. The slow food movement is an international movement started by Carlo Petrini in 1986. It aims to promote alternatives to fast food, promote sustainable agriculture, and healthy eating. During the conference, one delegate spoke about the implementation of audio farming manual to guide illiterate farmers in developing countries.

5. What’s in a nose? According to recent reports, fruit flies are able to detect toxins of contaminated foods and stay clear of them. Unfortunately, human noses aren’t as adept.

Finally, it wouldn’t be a list of food politics without some mention of the election, so here’s a bonus:

6. Big money and big elections Earlier in the year, Michael Pollan advocated voting with your ballot (in addition to voting with your fork), and Prop 37 was the first opportunity. Statewide, Californians voted down Proposition 37, the state’s proposal to label all GMO’s (Genetically Modified Organisms). In Richmond, CA and El Monte, CA, residents rejected a proposal to tax soda beverages one cent for every ounce sold…but not without the food and beverage industry first shelling out a whopping $50 million to campaign against the California proposals.


Follow food politics in the new year! The Food Literacy Project recommends Food Politics, U.S. Food Policy blog, & Civil Eats.

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