Feast and Famine

Put down that burger and listen: We have created a world in which nearly a billion people don’t get enough to eat, while another billion are overweight. So says Raj Patel in his book, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System. Patel, a visiting scholar at U.C. Berkeley and fellow at the Institute of Food and Development Policy, follows the global industrial food chain from the gleaming American supermarket to poor farmers in South Africa to coffee growers in Guatemala. While his exploration of food politics doesn’t exactly cover new ground, it does offer up lots of data as ammunition for the solutions he prescribes: ending agribusiness subsidies, levying a tax on processed foods, buying locally produced food, and supporting living wages for those aforementioned farmers. Patel, who helped organize the Victory Garden at San Francisco City Hall and advocates so-called guerilla gardening, wants you to understand how that burger got onto your plate. In a talk tonight with Dan Imhoff, author of Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill, he attempts to reintroduce substance to sustenance.
Wed., Aug. 27, 6:30 p.m., 2008

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