Thursday, February 3, 2011

Food and Farms class gets depressed, begins recovering

Firstly, I know all of you have been biting your nails waiting to find out how you did on our ingredient quiz. Without further ado, the correct answer is Laura Lynn Lemon Juice from concentrate. The corn-derived ingredients in the other options are xanthan gum, malt extract, and citric acid.

Since our last post, the food and farms class has delved further into the world of industrial food production. We've learned about why corn is in everything, about commodity crops and how food poses unique challenges to the economic rules of supply and demand, about genetically modified and patented seeds, and about chemicals and technologies that were developed for war and then re-purposed for industrial agriculture. We have read excerpts from the Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan about corn farmers and concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), and we've watched King Corn and parts of Food Inc.

It was a pretty depressing couple of weeks, and by the end the students were more than ready for some good (or at least better, we hope...) news. We turned our focus to the motley crew of environmentalists and hippies who took a stand against industrial agriculture in the late 1960s, many of whom are responsible for making organic food the fastest growing sector of the food market today.

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