What We’re Reading Now: Weekly Round-up

A few of the articles that have caught our eye this week…

The Hidden Benefits of Food Stamps Christopher D. Cook, Mother Jones/Food and Agriculture Reporting Network Research confirms what many antihunger advocates have been saying for years — and more: the SNAP program (formerly food stamps) buys broad economic and public health gains.

From Charity to Solidarity: Lessons from Canada’s Community Food Center Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis, Civil Eats As we regularly report, there are exciting things happening in the world of food banking and emergency food providers, both locally and nationally. Food banks and pantries around the US are rethinking what it looks like to end hunger in their communities, and the Closing the Hunger Gap conference convened last month by the Community Food Bank of Southern Arizona and many food banking partners (as well as WhyHunger and our stellar board member Jan Poppendieck), was one of the most exciting and action-oriented conferences we’ve attended. This work is happening internationally as well, and Nick Saul, founder of The Stop in Toronto, has long been a pioneer in rethinking the potential of the emergency feeding system.

Putting the Cartel before the Horse… and Farm, Seeds, Soil and Peasants, etc. ETC Group For many years, the food and agriculture sector has been one of the most consolidated in the US economy: Monsanto controls 90% of corn seed, the top three beef processing companies control 80% of the beef market, one company processes 40% of the nation’s fluid milk, and on down the line. This degree of corporate control impacts farmers, workers, the environment and eaters–it may be the biggest (and least-discussed, despite some excellent resources) issue facing the food justice movement, and indeed, our democracy. In 2010, the US Department of Justice and USDA spent the year investigating the issue, but despite promising signs throughout the process, in the end, they did nothing, saying that more study is needed. The ETC Group has just released a report on the impact of corporate control on farmers and communities internationally, drawing attention to the issue once again.

Siena Chrisman