Thursday, March 8, 2012

Women Feed the World

Happy International Women's Day! This post honours some women leaders in the global movement for sustainable, healthy, just food systems.

Let's start with Frances Moore Lappé's trenchant remarks on the food movement: 
"Some Americans see the food movement as “nice” but peripheral—a middle-class preoccupation with farmers’ markets, community gardens and healthy school lunches. But no... It is at heart revolutionary, with some of the world’s poorest people in the lead, from Florida farmworkers to Indian villagers. It has the potential to transform not just the way we eat but the way we understand our world, including ourselves. And that vast power is just beginning to erupt."

Alice Waters, with her Edible Schoolyard movement,

Vandana Shiva, environmental activist, eco-feminist, and founder of Navdanya,

Marion Nestle, nutritionist and food policy watchdog,

Fatou Batta, of Groundswell International,

The dalit women of the Deccan Development Society,

Nettie Wiebe, Saskatchewan organic farmer, ethicist, and former president of the National Farmers Union,

Cathleen Kneen, Canadian food security activist,

And those who went before:

Rachel Carson, environmentalist, who alerted the world to the dangers of synthetic chemical pesticides in agriculture,

Violet McNaughton, prairie farm leader,

Lady Eve Balfour, organic farming pioneer, who could have been describing herself in this honouring of her predecessors: "They looked at the living world from a new perspective--they also asked new questions. Instead of the contemporary obsession with disease and its causes, they set out to discover the causes of Health. This led inevitably to an awareness of wholeness (the two words after all, have the same origin) and to a gradual understanding that all life is one",

and all of our women ancestors who nurtured us.

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