Los Angeles

The 2007 Farm Bill: Slow Food Stands Up

foodfightcover.jpgMany of our readers have asked for more information about the 2007 Farm Bill and what Slow Food as an organization is doing.
We’re pleased that Slow Food USA has issued a position statement and plan of action and are now able to share them with with members and friends of the Los Angeles convivium.

Slow Food’s Position Statement:

Recognizing that Slow Food USA seeks to offer the nation an antidote to industrialization’s destruction of diversity in ecology, culture, and cuisine; that its members are guided by the vision of an ecologically healthy, culturally and gastronomically rich, and humane world; and that we seek a food system that is Good, Clean, and Fair, Slow Food USA is joining with other organizations and communities in the nation who seek a Food and Farm Bill that provides a healthier balance of interests and wider distribution of the benefits that accrue as a result of our nation’s defining farm and food policy. Click here for a .pdf of the complete Position Statement.

Slow Food’s Plan of Action:

Slow Food has signed on, as an organization, to a document called “Seeking Balance,” a statement of values and principles that was published and distributed by the Farm and Food Project, a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Initiative. Read the document in its entirety at the Farm and Food Project website.

Slow Food USA encourages all members (indeed, all citizens) to write their Congressional representatives in the House of Representatives and the Senate, their governor, and their mayor asking these elected officials to support the Seeking Balance statement.

(See below for links to find contact information for your representatives and senators, and other elected officials.)

We will post more information, but in the meantime encourage you to visit the following sites for more information about the Farm Bill and related issues:
Food & Water Watch:

Farm Perspectives:
National Farmers Union:
American Farmland Trust:
http://www.farmland.org/programs/campaign/Recommendations/top_ recommendations.asp
The Northeast Farm Bill Agenda: facilitated by the Northeast Ag Works! Project. 

Food Security Perspective:
Food Research and Action Center:

Government Updates:The Department of Agriculture 2007 Farm Bill Website:
http://www.usda.gov/wps/portal/usdafarmbill?navtype=SU&navid=FARM _BILL_FORUMS
How your Representatives feel about the Farm Bill:
http://thehill.com/index.php?option=com_search&Itemid=200&search word =SPECIAL+REPORT%3A+FARM&submit=Search&searchphrase= exact& ordering=newest

Voice your concern:
To find your representatives, go to: 
A list of members of the House Agricultural Committee:
To find your senators and representatives (and contact information), you can also do a search based on your address (English and Spanish-language).

Although the Farm Bill is not subject to state ratification, you can also share your concern with the Governor’s Office (California). As many of the above resources note, California’s large agricultural economy and network of farms may be seriously affected by provisions in the 2007 Farm Bill.

Slow Food USA has also suggested a sample letter to send to representatives.

And in other media…We’re also taking this opportunity to spotlight Dan Imhoff’s recently published book, Food Fight, which provides a thorough and engaging overview of the Farm Bill.

Dan Imhoff was one of the participants in the recent “teach-in” at the University of California Berkeley campus. The webcast of that event is available online, and we encourage you to view it for Imhoff’s comments as well as the input from Michael Pollan, George Naylor (a corn farmer and president of the National Family Farms Coalition), Ann Cooper (Director of Nutrition Services for the Berkeley school system), and others who are attempting to reform federal agricultural policies.

Evan Kleiman talked with Dan Imhoff on the April 21st edition of KCRW’s “Good Food” broadcast. Listen to the show online or as a podcast.