Los Angeles

Think the Farm Bill doesn’t concern you? Think again.

In the coming weeks, Slow Food Los Angeles will be sharing more information with our members and friends about the Farm Bill. In the meantime, please note the following event in Berkeley, which will also be webcast (details below):

Michael Pollan will moderate a panel discussion of the 2007 farm bill, now being debated in Congress, with guests Ken Cook, director, Environmental Working Group; Ann Cooper, Director of Nutrition Services for the Berkeley school system; Dan Imhoff, the author of Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to a Food and Farm Bill; Carlos Marentes, Director of Sin Fronteras Organizing Project; and George Naylor, Iowa corn farmer and president of the National Family Farms Coalition.

Later this year, the President will sign an obscure piece of legislation that will determine what happens on a couple of hundred million acres of private land in America, what sort of food Americans eat (and how much it costs) and, directly as a result, the health of our population. That piece of legislation is the Farm Bill, which, every five years, determines the rules by which the American food system operates, rules that end up affecting not only all of us who eat in the U.S., but people all over the developing world.

Typically, the Farm Bill is written with virtually no input from anyone beyond a handful of farm-state legislators. Not so this year. A coalition of public health, environmental, family farmer, community food security, development and immigration groups is weighing in.  Few things could do more to reform the American food system–and by doing so improve the condition of America’s environment and public health, as well as the prosperity of farmers throughout the developing world–than if the rest of us were to start paying attention to the Farm Bill. Here’s your chance to get up to speed.
In addition to the panel, a wide variety of food-related groups will be on hand to pass out pamphlets, answer questions, and provide ways for citizens to take direct action on this year’s Farm Bill.

When: March 21, 2007, from 7:00pm-9:00pm
Where: Wheeler Auditorium, University of California Berkeley
Cost (for in-person attendance): $5.00 via the Zellerbach Ticket Office (510.642.9988); U Cal Berkeley students free with ID.
For those who will not be in Berkeley on the 21st–and that’s most of slowfoodla.com’s readership–the event will be webcast live and archived within a few days of the event at http://webcast.berkeley.edu/events.php. There is no charge to access the webcast other than your own internet connection costs.

This event is being sponsored by the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism.