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Mad Sheep and Crashing the Gate on DailyKos

Jill Richardson over at Daily Kos (also known as OrangeClouds115) had some nice things to say about Crashing the Gate: Netroots, Grassroots, and the Rise of People-Powered Politics and Mad Sheep: The True Story Behind the USDA’s War on a Family Farm today:
What’s the one book every Kossack must read? Is it fair to say Crashing the Gate? If we’re talking about food-related books, I’d say The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan. But I think Crashing the Gate is the most relevant to all of us, even those who don’t give a rat’s ass about food, and it’s the best statement on what we’re really doing here and what direction we need to move in. You recently took the USDA to task in a column published on AlterNet. What grade would you give the USDA under President Bush? The USDA hasn’t gotten its own Grade A rating for many decades now. It’s a wholly owned subsidiary of the National Cattleman’s Beef Association. Yes, they get a big fat F under Bush (as do most other agencies… FEMA, I’m talking to you) but that doesn’t mean they were better under Clinton. There’s a fantastic book called Mad Sheep by a woman named Linda Faillace. Under the Clinton USDA, her family worked with the government to legally import European sheep. It was a brilliant business venture because European sheep breeds can produce 10 to 25 times more milk than American ones and Americans import a lot of sheep’s milk cheese from overseas. Once her family had the sheep, the USDA got some heat about mad cow and they decided to take it out on the Faillace family, claiming their sheep had mad cow disease and needed to be destroyed. The government did over 400 negative tests for mad cow on the sheep until they were finally able to come up with a false positive or two using some year-old freezer-burned sheep brains and an invalid testing method in a later discredited lab. It was Bush’s USDA that finally took the sheep and murdered them because the fight lasted beyond the Clinton administration, but Clinton’s USDA was just as bad in that story….
And her personal blog has a great name: La Vida Locavore. Thanks for the shout-out, Jill! Read the full Q&A here.


Economic Development is Broken. Here’s How to Fix It

Economic development today is completely broken. That’s the argument of author Michael Shuman in his new book, The Local Economy Solution. The singular focus on attracting global corporations is not just ineffective but counterproductive, Shuman argues, especially given the huge opportunity costs. Indeed, it’s not far-fetched to suggest that the best way most communities can […] Read More..

5 Shareable Strategies for Creating Climate Action

Frustrated about climate change? You’re not alone. Most people in our society find themselves somewhere on the spectrum of depressed about our climate situation to flat-out denying that it exists. In fact, the more information about global warming that piles up, the less we seem to do to combat it. What is the reason for this […] Read More..

A Mini-Festo for Earth Day – Rebuild the Foodshed

For the past month, author Philip Ackerman-Leist has been on a Twitter MiniFesto campaign – each day sending out a new tweet designed to spark conversation and pass along some lessons he learned whilst working on his last book, Rebuilding the Foodshed. You might also know Philip as the author of his memoir Up Tunket […] Read More..

Books in the News: ‘The Tao of Vegetable Gardening’ & More!

What does Taoism have to do with gardening? That question is being answered in The Washington Post this week with a lengthy profile of Chelsea Green author Carol Deppe—gardener, plant breeder, seed expert, and geneticist based in Oregon—and her new book The Tao of Vegetable Gardening. “Once I read The Tao of Vegetable Gardening, with its […] Read More..

Depressed about Climate Change? Good. Here’s How to Take Action

The facts about climate change are settled. Mostly. In fact, the news seems to get worse, and more urgent, every day. Yet, the more the facts stack up, the less resolve many people seem to have about getting behind solutions that will stem, or turn, the tide. What gives? In What We Think About When […] Read More..