by Marion Nestle
Aug 20 2009

Time magazine: America’s food crisis

This week’s must read: Time Magazine on what’s wrong with industrial food production systems and all the good things lots of people are doing to make it better.

August 26 update:  The American Meat Institute didn’t like the article much:

It’s dumbfounding that Time magazine would take one of the great American success stories — the efficient agricultural production of an abundant variety of healthy, safe and affordable foods for consumers in the U.S. and throughout the world — and turn it into an unrecognizable story of exploitation, manipulation and greed.

  • B. Koch

    Thank you for the link, Ms. Nestle.

  • susanne

    thanks for the article! i just finished reading Righteous Porkchop by Hahn Niman and i really enjoyed her philosophy. very eye-opening and depressing about the situation with pig farms. but as a result of the book, i found a local farm that raises and sells pigs and i am getting some meat from them! i am making an effort to buy as much as i can from local farms and organic when possible.

  • Janet Camp

    For me, a dedicated foodie and locavore, it was mostly old news, but it’s great to see this hitting something as mainstream as TIME! I loved the pictures of the woman in Oakland who keeps goats (and chickens). I am an underground (not literally, of course) chickenkeeper where I live and am now emboldened to get a coat or two–I realize you have to breed them and figure out something to do with the kids, so I’ll get her book.

    I get grass fed bison from a local farm (it’s leaner than fish) and just canned some of my excess tomatoes and green beans. I was at the store today and kept passing up on things I often buy because I realized I already had some of whatever it was from the garden. I made my own sourdough starter last winter and am still feeding it to maintain it through the summer as I don’t want to use the oven when it’s hot. I would have had berries, but the rabbits got them. Now they’re fenced–I’m learning!

    This is infectious and I am loving it. In the morning I go out and pick a leaf (big!) or two of chard or some lettuce and toss it to the “girls” and get an enormously joyful start to the day watching them scramble for their veggies. Then I check the pumpkins that were a surprise from the sprouts I pulled out of the worm bin and planted near the house. Got some more tomatoes and two cabbages the same way! No more starter plants needed.

    I want to make cheese! And a fish pond!

  • Cheryl Stubbendieck

    I work for Nebraska Farm Bureau, a farmers’ and ranchers’ organization. I have to tell you, most of what you read in the Time article is fiction. I’m a professional journalist and I can tell you, that was commentary, not objective reporting. I expected better from Time. The farmers and ranchers I know — and I know hundreds — are very careful to provide you with a safe, wholesome food product. They provide the food animals in their care with excellent care.

    Modern farms are larger than they were. They need to be, to provide a decent living for farm families, and to deal with the issue of fewer farmers. I’m sorry, but the red barn everyone wants to remember is mostly a thing of the past — but our farm families are no less dedicated to providing you with healthy food.