Tag Archives: politics

Boycotts, action, and penance

What I would suggest, therefore, is this: Whenever you sign a boycott or a petition, any time you email a corporation or a Congressperson to ask that they change their own behavior or force a change in someone else’s, first think of five things that you could have done, relative to the same issue or a closely related one, in the past month, but did not do. Then think of one thing that you could do, and do it. The five things ensure that you don’t get to feel self-righteous about your action; the one ensures that you take personal responsibility for the issue. Continue reading

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Keep home economics in the home

In today’s New York Times, Helen Zoe Veit argues that America’s public schools ought to revive the teaching of home economics. That simply isn’t going to happen, not given the state of public school funding, the priorities of education reformers, … Continue reading

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Two gardens

Behind my house is a patch of ground that used to be a garden, a raised bed. Our old dogs left it alone; the new ones persisted in digging it up. So I took down the boards, shoveled out the … Continue reading

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Local ground and rhetorical ground

Benjamin Cohen writes on Grist this week (“What bean-counting ‘contrarians’ miss about the local-food movement”) about some issues I’ve been mulling over since getting involved in the “local food movement” a decade ago — namely, the terms of the debate. … Continue reading

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Can we just eat, Mom?

Is anybody else getting tired of the constant drama about what we should and shouldn’t eat? Maybe it is because I have been thinking about this stuff for fifteen years and I am just tired of it, but it seems … Continue reading

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Forget the USDA

I try to avoid politics on this website, but there has been so much hand-wringing this week in the sustainable agriculture community about Barack Obama’s agriculture choice for Secretary of Agriculture that I feel compelled to respond. I can’t find … Continue reading

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We Dare Defend Our Rights

Read enough history and you find yourself crowded by the dead. They mill about as palpable as the living, and more numerous. Stoop to retrieve a slobbery tennis ball and assailed by the recollection that your yard was once a … Continue reading

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No such thing as a free lunch (literal edition)

It never ceases to amaze me that people are surprised by things like this: Kids in England don’t like the healthy lunches the schools are serving them. Why are they surprised that kids will happily accept a change in their … Continue reading

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Why people vote

Last fall I had a running argument with friends that voting ought not be made too easy because voting is an act of civic participation and therefore part of the fabric that binds a democracy together. People making atomized decisions … Continue reading

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