At last, something besides food safety and politics! (Unlike the last five posts.) It seems like every time I turned on the radio this week (to KSTX, 89.1 FM, the local NPR station), there was a feature about food. (Texas Public Radio General Manager Dan Skinner took the photo above.)
You can't swing a dead cabbage these days without hitting a story about food or farming. On All Things Considered, there was a feature about higher crop prices being a welcome surprise for farmers. It was reported by Kathleen Masterson of Harvest Public Media. This group is a two-year, grant-funded project bringing together six public radio stations in the Midwest, to report on issues of "food, fuel, and field." The mixture and point of view in its stories reflect the tensions being played out in the Heartland between the farm lobby and community-based food systems.
Then, there were two Marketplace segments on food this week:
- How much does healthy eating cost? It's about much more than food costs. It also cites behavioral studies.
- The value of a dollar, interview and slideshow. A photographer captured a series of different food quanities costing a dollar.
On the locally produced weekly show Texas Matters, (Show 534, Segment 3), David Martin Davies interviewed West Texas farmer Eric Herm, author of the book, Son of a Farmer, Child of the Earth:A Path to Agriculture's Higher Consciousness. Herm is getting raves for articulating the problems faced by farmers in today's industrialized farm economy. While being deeply rooted in their land and its heritage, today's dwindling number of farmers have less and less autonomy over what they grow and how they grow it. The risks are all theirs, and the profits are mostly going to the corporate system. I had not heard of Herm or his book before. Now, I not only want the book, I want him to come here and speak.
And there was one on TV, on the PBS program Need to Know that airs Friday at 9 p.m. here. A good segment delved into the recently reported mixed messages from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Author, professor, and nutrition policy advisor Marion Nestle was interviewed and explained very well the origins of the contradiction, and why it will persist.
These are the stories I can find. There could have been more, it's been a long week!