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Agriculture

The Sun Interview

Dream A Little Dream

Bill McKibben On Reforming Our Supersized Society

The real struggle is to get past the notion of growth as our reason for being, which has dominated our culture since World War II. It’s the organizing principle for government policy and most other institutions in our society, including higher education. This is not a tenable model anymore. When you consider global warming, peak oil, and the diverging fortunes of rich and poor nations, it gets harder and harder to maintain this fervent, Alan Greenspan belief that if we continue to increase the size of the system, all will be well.

By Alexis Adams October 2006
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

Seventy-Two Labors

Even though the butcher section was in the back, I could smell animal flesh when I came through the doors, the faint stench that leaked through the plastic wrap and rose above the ammonia smell of the floors.

By Deirdre Peterson May 2006
Essays, Memoirs, and True Stories

The Anxiety Of Eating

An Excerpt From The Omnivore’s Dilemma

Historically, national cuisines have been remarkably stable and resistant to change, which is why the immigrant’s refrigerator is the very last place to look for signs of assimilation.

By Michael Pollan May 2006
The Sun Interview

Lost In The Supermarket

Michael Pollan On How The Food Industry Has Changed The Way We Eat

Families used to control what their members ate and pass along learned wisdom in the form of a food culture. Now that’s gone. Most people don’t eat as families. We eat individually, going one-on-one with the food supply, which is how the food industry likes it.

By Arnie Cooper May 2006
Fiction

The Wake

The phone rings during dinner. The break in the silence is a relief, but I don’t move. In fact, I pretend I don’t even hear it. I’m fifteen and angry at my father for making me stay home again on a Friday night. He pretends not to hear the phone either.

By Emily Rinkema March 2005
Fiction

Tiny Bells

I am a dream. Once I was a man. Once I dreamed as you now dream, woke as you will awaken. I used to walk the world between earth and sky. Now I am a memory. If you awake to memories of a life you never lived, it is because you have let me enter your dreams.

By Bruce Holland Rogers April 2004
The Sun Interview

Biting The Hand That Feeds: How Globalization Cripples Small Farms

An Interview With Vandana Shiva

This year farmers started to commit suicide in Uttar Pradesh, the richest agricultural state in India. Some of the most fertile soil in the world can be found there, and the region has never had agricultural problems. But the first rule of globalization says, “Don’t grow food for yourself; grow export crops.” So the farmers there all grew potatoes. And then potato prices collapsed. The potato-chip makers have walked off with super profits, and the farmers have been left with huge debts.

By Arnie Cooper February 2004
Photography

The Task At Hand

In my wanderings through small villages around the world, I have often sat and marveled at how people in other cultures perform their daily work. There is an acceptance of the tasks at hand and a pride in exerting excellence. At the end of a day their harvest is contentment and sweet sleep.

By Ethan Hubbard December 2003
Quotations

Sunbeams

This was the dawn of plastic eating in America. . . . We doted on Velveeta. Spam. Canned ravioli. Instant puddings. Instant anything. The farther a thing was from the texture, flavor, and terrifying unpredictability of real food, the better.

Shirley Abbott

June 2003
The Sun Interview

Earthly Delights

Cultivating A New Agricultural Revolution: An Interview With Michael Ableman

When we focus on regional production and regional distribution, the issues around the use of chemicals and other materials resolve themselves. It’s as simple as standing across the table at the farmers’ market from the person who’s growing your food. Ultimately the basic health of the food system is not about laws; it’s about relationships: interpersonal, ecological, and biological. The people who eat my food don’t need a legislative act to know that what I’m providing is safe to eat. They know me, and they know my farm. That, to me, is the best form of certification. It’s based on outdated ideas like honor and trust.

By Arnie Cooper June 2003