Category Archives: Change

Why Food Should be a Commons not a Commodity

Food is treated as a private good in today’s industrial food system, but it must be re-conceived as a common good in the transition toward a more sustainable food system that is fairer to food producers and consumers. If we were to treat food as a commons, it could be better produced and distributed by hybrid tri-centric governance systems implemented at the local level and compounded by market rules, public regulations, and collective actions. This change would have enormous ethical, legal, economic, and nutritional implications for the global food system.

[T]he value of food is no longer based on the many dimensions that bring us security and health, including the fact that food is a:

  • Basic human need and should be available to all

  • Fundamental human right that should be guaranteed to every citizen

  • Pillar of our culture for producers and consumers alike

  • Natural, renewable resource that can be controlled by humans

  • Marketable product subject to fair trade and sustainable production

  • Global common good that should be enjoyed by all

via Why Food Should be a Commons not a Commodity – Shareable.

How to divest from fossil fuels

What if you want to root out petroleum investments in your own life? Could you? Granted, your contribution may be small as ever, but divestment is picking up steam. It got name checked by the president during his now-legendary Sweaty Forehead Speech, and it’s getting attention from the mainstream media. Here’s The New York Times on Sept. 6:In the 1980s, it was South Africa. In the 1990s, it was tobacco. Now fossil fuels have become the focus of those who would change the world through the power of investing.

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via How to divest from fossil fuels, no matter the size of your piggy bank | Grist.

Market Offers Wealth of Tradition—and Veggies—for Immigrant Farmers

Markets like Crossroads support immigrant farmers by connecting them with other immigrants, making it easy to exchange knowledge, and helping them find a way to return to their agrarian roots.

The Crossroads farmers’ market is known statewide for being the first farmers market in Maryland to electronically accept various types of nutrition benefit programs: food stamps, known federally as Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP); Women, Infants, and Children (WIC); as well as senior food assistance vouchers. Dudley explains that the market committed to accept electronic food stamps after paper vouchers disappeared in the late 1990s.

Although there is a growing population of Latino and Hispanic farmers in the United States, they often struggle with linguistic, cultural, and legal barriers. According to the Agricultural Census of 2007, Hispanic farmers are the fastest-growing population of new farmers and grew 14 percent from 2002, as compared with a 7 percent overall increase in farm operators.

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via Market Offers Wealth of Tradition—and Veggies—for Immigrant Farmers and Shoppers by Sarah Meade and Laura-Anne Minkoff-Zern — YES! Magazine.

Does the Church Need to Build Alternative Economies?

Excellent and challenging article that questions our assumptions about economics in the church while also offering some alternatives that we can begin to live out in our churches and communities. I’m proud to say that our community (though imperfectly) is already practicing these alternatives. I would add the sharing economy to the list of alternatives.

stewardship-1-225x300With the most recent down­turn in the US econ­omy, a veneer has been ripped away from the illu­sion that cap­i­tal­ism has a moral cen­ter. Ardent activists who had pre­vi­ously looked toward reform­ing capitalism’s abuses have awak­ened from a stu­por and are now peek­ing into the system’s unequal profit mech­a­nisms. It will take sig­nif­i­cant denial to con­tinue to affirm the moral­ity of our cur­rent system.

via Does the Church Need to Build Alternative Economies? | Unbound.