Food will be the biggest challenge of the 21st century. Will you be ready?

Mark Winne has worked for 40 years as a community food activist, writer, and trainer. From organizing breakfast programs for low-income children in Maine to developing innovative national food policies in Washington, DC, Winne has dedicated his professional life and writing to enabling people to find solutions to their own food problems as well as those that face their communities and the world.

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I have heard people refer to Mark as the ‘father of food policy work’ and the ‘guru of food policy councils’. Though a bit cliched, I think people are trying to capture what Mark provides for all of us working in food policy — he inspires us, challenges our thinking, listens to what we need, and is constantly looking for solutions we all can work toward.
- Wendy Peters, WPM Consulting

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Mark Winne maintains an active speaking schedule that includes keynote speeches for annual meetings and conferences, talks and trainings for smaller gatherings, and lectures for colleges and universities. Topics include domestic hunger and food insecurity, public health, sustainable agriculture, social and food justice, food democracy and food sovereignty, the role of public policy in promoting social change, and empowering individuals and communities to take charge of their own destinies.

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Mark Winne provides a variety of training and technical assistance services to organizations, governments, and communities interested in developing just, sustainable, and economically robust local, regional, and state/provincial food systems. These services include phone and email consultations; on-site trainings, workshops, seminars, and an array of printed and on-line resources. He also specializes in assisting groups that are developing and/or operating local, regional, tribal, and state/provincial food policy councils and networks.

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Mark's essays and opinion pieces have appeared in the Boston Globe, Washington Post, The Nation, In These Times, Sierra Magazine, Orion Magazine, Successful Farming, Yes! Magazine, and numerous organizational and professional journals. He posts regularly to the blog on this website and is a contributor to

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Mark is the author of Closing the Food Gap (Beacon Press 2008) and Food Rebels, Guerilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas (Beacon Press, 2010).

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Putting 40 years of community food system experience, activism, and policy advocacy to work for North America’s communities.

With the advent of industrialism and its widespread application to our food supply – factory farms, genetic engineering, and agricultural chemicals – the struggle between human freedom and authority has reached a critical juncture. In spite of the rapid growth of an alternative food system – local and sustainable food production, farmers’ markets, the public’s rising food consciousness – we become more dependent everyday on industrial agriculture whose representatives insist that it is the only way to feed a hungry world. In the face of such assertions, we must ask if our dependence on such a system threatens to supplant individual self-reliance. Will personal freedom succumb finally and forever to the dominant voice of authority? Are we at risk of sacrificing our democratic voice to self-appointed governing elites? These are no longer speculative questions suitable only for philosophers, but real-life concerns set squarely on the plate of every eater.


A Big Policy Moment is Upon US

For those of us who are buffeted daily by the shrill alerts that spill across our screens urging us to do this and do that, well, here’s another one: Before May 8th, go to and urge the U.S. secretaries of Health and Human Services and Agriculture to accept, in total, the recommendations of the […]

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A Rainbow of Farmers

For those of us who still think that food is grown exclusively by 59-year-old white men wearing freshly laundered overalls and John Deere caps, photo-journalist Natasha Bowen’s book The Color of Food may come as a shock. In what can only be described as the classic existential American road trip, Bowens takes us from coast […]

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The Tortoise and the Hare

The newly elected mayor had picked up a dose of food-movement religion somewhere along the campaign trail. The exact source couldn’t be identified, but more than likely it was from those angry moms seething about the crappy food their children were eating in the schools’ cafeterias; or maybe those shaggy, shovel-waving urban farm advocates demanding […]

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The Color of Food Leadership

It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be a part of America’s race story – it has a way of finding you. This came home to me recently during my morning practice of reading poetry, the purpose of which is to warm up gently to a wobbly world. Picking up from where I’d left […]

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