April 15th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
I’ve been trying to get back in the swing of things after being away for a month–recovering from jet lag, unpacking, going through mail, paying overlooked bills, re-stocking the fridge and all that sort of thing. I haven’t felt like doing anything that required a lot of concentration, but a [...]
April 11th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
For the last four weeks I have played tourist, traveling through southern Asia—Malaysia, Myanmar, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and then for the last ten days, India. For all the economic gains we hear so much about in Asia, the differences between that part of the world and ours remain stark. I’ve only [...]
March 30th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
Right after my trip through the Myanmar health system last week, I made a stop at a Buddhist center on the outskirts of Yangon, the country’s largest city. I had been referred to the center by some American friends, and indeed, the nun who showed me around was an American-born [...]
March 11th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
“I’m new to this community and…get food from Alvin (Schlangen),” writes Elisa on a listserve. “I’m so upset they have done this, as is my whole family.”
Welcome to Minnesota, Elisa, where official interference in ordinary people’s access to food has become a major public initiative, along with paving roads and building [...]
March 9th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
A view from the Blue Hill peninsula, where Sedgwick, Penobscot, and Brooksville are located. I think because the “Food Sovereignty” ordinance described in my previous post passed so easily in Sedgwick, Maine, last Saturday–without obvious pushback from state and federal regulators–there was a tendency to assume that such ordinances could easily [...]
March 8th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
Maybe the citizens of tiny Sedgwick on the Maine coast were listening to the calls of Dave Milano, Ken Conrad, and others for more trust and community, and less rigid one-size-fits-all food regulation.
On Friday evening, they became perhaps the first locale in the country to pass a “Food Sovereignty” law. It’s the [...]
March 2nd, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
A few weeks ago I asked in a post whether a Missouri judge might be willing to explore new directions suggested by the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund before condemning $250,000 worth of Morningland Dairy raw cow’s and goat’s milk cheeses.
The county judge, David Dunlap, has just issued his decision, and the answer is an [...]
February 25th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
Our politicians and policy makers are amazingly adept at creating scapegoats so as to avoid dealing with real problems that might affect entrenched interests.
The ongoing Wisconsin protests are a case in point. The governor, Scott Walker, has made public workers the scapegoats in the state’s budget crisis, and is using them [...]
February 23rd, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
It’s kind of amazing, when you think about it, that we’re still debating–as Milky Way and Ken Conrad were, following my previous post–whether milk comes through a cow’s udder sterile or having picked up certain beneficial bacteria.
Our government and public health research establishment are so committed to eliminating raw dairy [...]
February 18th, 2011 by David E. Gumpert
At the Senate confirmation hearing for U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, Sen. Tom Coburn posed this situation: supposing Congress passed a law requiring all Americans to eat three fruits and three vegetables every day, would that be legal under the U.S. Constitution’s interstate commerce provisions?
“Sounds like a dumb law,” commented [...]