Washington, DC

Washington, DC is where I’ll be next week, and it’s also most of the name of the paper – The Washington Post – where I was 12 years ago. Thanks to the superbly quirky and timelessly perfect Tabard Inn, I’ll be speaking about and signing my book Food Town, USA there on...

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Food Town Updates and Other News

U.S. News and World Report, the online magazine whose annual rankings have sent more than one college president to an early retirement, posted a “slide show” version of Food Town, USA. With photos of the seven cities accompanied by a brief descriptive commentary for...

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Food Town, USA

Good food is the new normal, taking care of our own is the new ethic, community-sanctioned entrepreneurship is the new model for growth, and the rise of the individual is the new old story. Those are the conclusions I reached after immersing myself in the food scenes...

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Return to Sender, Address Unknown

Don’t try mailing anything to USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) after September 30th. There won’t be anybody at the Washington, DC-based agency to open the mail. In fact, there may not be a forwarding address either since NIFA, which conducts...

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So You Want to Change the World? Go Home!

About a year and a half ago, my son, Peter, told me he was leaving Brooklyn to move back to Hartford, Connecticut where he was born and raised. Having lived in New York for a while and recently completed a graduate degree at N.Y.U., he had soaked up enough of the Big...

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Doing Food Summits Right

“Let’s do a food summit!” proclaimed the food policy council member, whose moving motion was immediately seconded and thirded by the council’s other members. “We can invite everybody!” suggested one member. “Michelle Obama can be our keynote!” chimed in another. “I...

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Food Democracy’s Long, Hard Slog

          I swear to the Lord, I still can't see, why Democracy means, everybody but me.                    - Langston Hughes The walk on this sunny winter day from the Lexington and 125th Street subway station took me several blocks down Harlem’s main drag. In spite...

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Appearances – Winter and Spring 2019

It’s been cold just about everywhere this winter, even here in Santa Fe where the stingy Snow Gods have finally relented and answered our prayers for moisture. The mountains peaks in all directions are the whitest I’ve seen them in years, which is great for skiers now...

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Warren Steals Winne’s Idea, But It’s Okay…

Last week Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts proposed a wealth tax on America’s 75,000 richest people. Not a higher income tax rate, but a tax on an individual’s fixed assets over $50 million – stuff like stocks, precious gems, and fancy baseball card...

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Stand Together or Starve Alone Goes Rogue!

Stand Together or Starve Alone is now available for $30 direct from the author (learn more about the book at www.markwinne.com). Act now because this offer decomposes at midnight December 31, 2018. See below for details and reasoning: We’re breaking the rules To...

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Taking Care of Our Own

                                                   Wherever this flag is flown...we take care of our own.                                                                                    - Bruce Springsteen When it comes to food and farming, there’s been an...

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Welcome to the Era of the Lockdown

In the early 1950s, Mr. and Mrs. Winne moved themselves and their two young boys to the north Jersey town of Ridgewood, located just 20 miles west of New York City. Besides being within easy commuting distance of Manhattan’s corporate headquarters where Mr. Winne, the...

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Fifty Years Before The Mast

It hit me the other day like a ton of turnips that September marks the 50th year of my doing something.  Doing what? Well, anything that really matters, I guess. Fifty years ago, I was 18, and during those early years I wasn’t much more than a tub of self-absorbed...

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Summer and Fall Appearances – 2018

I’m fortunate to be participating in some awesome training and learning opportunities this coming summer and fall. My travels will take me to amazing “repeat” states – Alaska! – as well as one of the two states I’ve never been to – South Dakota! I’ll let you guess...

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Stand Together for Community Food Projects

Want to encourage people to eat healthier? Don’t do one thing, do many things – new supermarkets, food education, calorie labeling. Want to make a community healthier and more food secure?  The use of multiple interventions also applies.  Bring together the food...

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The Colfax Massacre: Lessons for Today

Five farmers are standing by the side of the road selling their goods at their farmers’ market. It turned out to be one of only two main roads in Colfax, a sleepy little central Louisiana town of 1,600 people cut neatly in half by a railroad track.  Nothing too...

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Surround Sound: Beating Back Obesity

“No country to date has reversed its obesity problem,” was just one of the grim pronouncements I heard at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health “Obesity and the Food System Symposium.” This statement regarding the gloomy state of our fatness was offered...

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Springing Into 2018!

I’m happy to report that I am out and about this year with several trainings, speaking engagements, and book promotion events. But before I share a quick a run down of where, what, and when, let me first say that there are still copies of my new book Stand Together or...

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Mobbing the Issue (and More)

I’m sharing two brief excerpts below from Stand Together or Starve Alone: Unity and Chaos in the U.S. Food Movement to give you a peek into what my third book has to offer. Just a reminder, you have until March 31st to purchase Stand Together directly from the...

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Stand Together or Starve Alone

I am pleased to announce the release of my newest book Stand Together or Starve Alone: Unity and Chaos in the U.S. Food Movement. It is available directly from the publisher, from Amazon, and if you pout and stamp your feet long enough, at your independent book store....

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Occupy Your Farmers’ Market!

My favorite farmers’ market essay is a short piece by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Jon Carroll that he wrote eight months after 9/11. As America was raining “shock and awe” down on Afghanistan, and our airports were becoming maximum security facilities, Carroll’s...

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2017 Appearances and Updates – Summer and Fall

Santa Fe is hotter than a Big Jim green chile right now. Like packs of thirsty dogs, people are slouching through the streets with their tongues dangling. They are finding relief by sipping cool margaritas, and waiting reverently for the summer monsoons to begin. And...

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Books that Sow the Seeds of Change

Markwinne.com’s rigid subject selection criteria only allow reviews of books that include a substantial contribution by me or mention my name a minimum of five times. In this age of narcissism, the reasons should be obvious: these may very well be the only books worth...

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Winne Banned in Arizona!

On February 23rd, I received an email from Tim Thomas of the Arizona Food Marketing Alliance asking me to speak at the Arizona Food Summit on April 28th. I enthusiastically accepted the invitation and participated two weeks later in a lengthy planning call with other...

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Should the Food Movement Embrace Soda Taxes?

Sugar, rum, and tobacco are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life…and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation.  Adam Smith In his The Wealth of Nations, Adam Smith displayed an uncanny sense of fairness and proportionality. He considered...

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Looking Back, Looking Ahead

Thank You, Survey Respondents! Thank you to the 193 people who responded to my December food movement survey. Let me also thank the couple of dozen others who responded late thinking I was just joking about the deadline. The information, especially the responses to...

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Take this Survey — Please!

Dear Reader, Over the course of markwinne.com - a blog that I have been posting for nearly five years - I have been happy to share with you my views, experiences, and insights concerning both the trials and beauties of our food system. This time, however, I'm asking...

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What I Learned from Idaho

"Work and learn in evil days, in insulted days, in days of debt and depression and calamity. Fight best in the shade of the cloud of arrows.” Ralph Waldo Emerson Despair set in about 3:00 a.m. Mountain Time as the states that were supposed to fade to blue flared...

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Kitchen Demolition

At some point in 2014 a momentous food event occurred. Unheralded by clanging church bells, it nevertheless signaled a pronounced shift in our eating behavior and a realignment of our culture’s tectonic plates. Precisely when and where no one knows for sure, but...

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Fall Appearances and Other News

  Crispy days and cool nights, the heady aroma of roasting chile peppers, and the whiff of magic markers and double-sided sticky tape must mean that the fall workshop season is upon us. As you can see below I’ll be journeying to the South, the West, and my former...

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Food Policy Amnesia

“I am quite sure that people only have the kind of government that their bellies crave.” From Paterson by William Carlos Williams “Florida Lawns Are Being Transformed into Edible Farms,” gushed the Huffington Post (June 1, 2016) story about how a dozen Orlando,...

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Appearances and Aperitifs

Early this spring it looked like I might have to lay off my booking agent and get a summer job. I got even more worried when I realized that my lifeguard certification expired in 1974, and that landscapers weren’t falling over themselves to hire the “aged.”...

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Ramen U: Is This the New Meal Plan?

My father was a business man and plastics engineer – World War II veteran, Eisenhower lover, and Fortune 500 executive. Over his morning cup of instant Nescafe and the New York Times, he’d growl at the newsprint that was inked only twenty miles east in mid-town...

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Global Warming and Poverty: Can We Find Common Ground?

In spite of what climate change deniers say, science tells us that the earth is warming. The seas will rise, extreme weather will become the norm, and our crocuses will bloom in January. For those of us with means, the immediate adjustments may only require that we...

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In Search of the Just Chicken

Once again I stand in awe of the challenges and opportunities presented by our complex food system. The hard work of bringing healthy, affordable food to everyone while adequately protecting everything and everybody along the food chain is not for sissies. We may make...

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Winter and Spring 2016 Appearances

February 23, 2016 - Columbus, Ohio. Talks at Ohio State University for students, faculty, and community members. For more information contact Matthew Wriley Porter at matthewwrileyporter@gmail.com. February 26 - Columbia, Missouri. Talks and trainings at the...

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Brooklyn and Beyond

Brooklyn, New York The blow to my head came out of nowhere. One moment I was turning down the bodega’s narrow grocery aisle admiring the tidy merchandise display; the next thing I know I’m dazed and seeing stars. I look down at my outstretched hands holding the...

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Eat the Rich for Thanksgiving

I’m giving thanks this Thanksgiving for Thomas Piketty, the French economist and author of Capital in the Twenty-First Century, the much acclaimed tome on the subject of economic inequality. I acknowledge that giving over a portion of our national feast day to...

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A Blast from the Past, Mark Bittman, Fall Appearances and More!

I’m giving this edition of Mark’s food blog over to short stuff. No long, windy think pieces or rapturous reflections (oh well, maybe one). I just want to share a few things, including a look ahead at where I’m going over the next couple of months. I do this as much...

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“Where Do People Around Here Get Their Groceries?”

After driving for more than an hour at 70 mph down an arrow straight country road in southwestern New Mexico, I was perplexed by the fact that not only had I seen so few homes, but I was still in the same county! In those beautiful, wide-open spaces where the cattle...

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Huerta del Valle – An Ontario Oasis

What is the sound of a woman’s hands slapping a corn tortilla into shape? Is it water falling over a rocky stream bed? Or a series of slaps across your face? No, my friends, I think it’s a doctor’s slap across a baby’s bum to remind it that life has begun. Yes, I...

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Summer Appearances and Trainings

July 20 - 22 (2015) - Baltimore, Maryland - Center for a Livable Future at Johns Hopkins University. For more information contact Mark Winne at win5m@aol.com or (860) 558-8226. July 23 - New Brunswick, New Jersey - Rutgers University - Community food system...

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The Daily Table: Is This What We Really Need?

There’s a new kid in town, who, like the new kid before him and the kid before  her, is stirring things up. He’s saying things differently than those who preceded him, and his new ideas are making some people feel a little uncomfortable. In the parlance of the...

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In Search of the Perfect BOD

I think I have a crush on Gretchen Morgenson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning financial editor for the New York Times. If I had to explain my attraction, it would probably be due to her dogged pursuit of fairness, a guiding principle that she believes will be achieved by a...

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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 http://www.myplatemyplanet.org/ and urge the U.S. secretaries of Health and Human Services and...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Appearances for Winter and Spring 2015

2015 January 14 & 15 - Mobile, Alabama - Southern Sustainable Agriculture Working Group Annual Conference. Co-leading a 1 1/2 day workshop on food policy councils in the Southeastern United States. For more information contact Mark Winne at win5m@aol.com or...

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Taking Money from Wal-Mart

Is it time for the food movement to wade once again into the messy and murky world of ethics? To stimulate a little conversation over this season of gift-giving, I've posted this link to a recent article by Andy Fisher and Bob Gottlieb. In it, they note how...

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Faith in a Seed

Where and when did the food movement begin? Without consulting the Book of Genesis – and to avoid a protracted debate – let’s just say it wafted in on some twentieth-century breeze making landfall on a relatively undisturbed portion of the American coastline...

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Korea Goes Local

During a tour of the bustling Yangpyeong street market, I learned how food figures prominently in Korea’s creation myth. According to my guide, Dae-Han Song, Bear and Tiger had an irrepressible urge to become human, so the God Spirit instructed them to go into a cave...

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Build It Right and They Will Eat

For a long time now I’ve wanted to share some thoughts on the relationship between our food system and the physical space where we live that has been awkwardly labeled the “built environment.”  I had the opportunity to start that reflection with a keynote speech at...

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Mark Winne’s 2014 Fall Appearances

10/5 - 10/8 - Maryland. Chesapeake Bay Region Food Policy Council Training Institute. This first of its kind leadership training program for food policy councils is operated by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future's Food Policy Networks project. The training...

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Skagit Reads “Closing the Food Gap” (and More News)

I was delighted to hear that Skagit County, Washington has decided to indulge in a community reading event that features my first book Closing the Food Gap as part of their October Food Day observances. Not only does this decision reflect the county’s good taste in...

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The Lost Garden

“God knows the law of life is death.”  John Pock, poet It came suddenly the way weather does in New Mexico’s summer monsoon season. Not suddenly in the sense of unexpected – any sentient being out and about on this breathtakingly perfect Santa Fe day would notice the...

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Ending Hunger in New Mexico: Finding the Road to Beijing

  The following is an excerpt of Mark Winne's keynote speech delivered in Albuquerque, New Mexico at the New Mexico Hunger Summit on July 17, 2014 Like most of you, I’ve come to this gathering to ask the question that no one has yet succeeded in answering: How do we...

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Summer and Fall Appearances – 2014

July 17 - New Mexico Hunger Summit - Isleta Hotel and Casino Resort - Lunchtime Keynote Address by Mark Winne. Contact Dolores Gonzales at doloresg@ncnmedd.com. July 29 - Leominster, Massachusetts - 10:00 to 3:30; Training and networking session for New England food...

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I Have Seen the Future of Medicine: It Is Doctor Yum

As a newly minted medical doctor, Nimali Fernando’s baptism by fire came in a Houston community pediatric clinic where she would see as many as 60 new-born babies a day. Long hours and a bone-crushing caseload that never gave her more than 15 minutes to spend with a...

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Farm to School Graduates with Honors

It was the second week of June in 1995, and we had just scored several flats of Connecticut early season strawberries. The excited Hartford Food System staff had arranged the delivery to the city’s three pilot farm to school sites – two elementary and one middle...

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The Poetry of Community Food Assessments

How has our approach to understanding community food systems become like our approach to poetry? I took some instruction recently from a former United States Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.                                                                             I...

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Access Games

Like all privileged liberals, I naturally assume I know what’s best for poor people. It begins with my Judeo-Christian ethic: what’s good for me is naturally good for them. If I can buy local, organic produce at my enthusiastically over-priced farmers’ market, so...

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Appearances – Winter and Spring 2014

2014 February 7 & 8: Springfield, Missouri - Missouri Organic Association Annual Conference - Workshop on Feb. 7 on Food Policy; Conference keynote on Feb. 8. For more information contact Angela Jenkins at angela@ozarksregionalfpc.com. February 10: Santa Barbara,...

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Winne Divests Monsanto Holdings…Company’s Stock Tanks

At least that was the fantasy headline I hoped would appear on the front page of the Wall Street Journal. But the one I feared would startle me awake one morning was, “Anti-GMO Activist Outed: Investment Portfolio Contains Monsanto Stock!” Imagine my chagrin when a...

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Famine

The accounts we read of famine never fail to rip our hearts to shreds. Mass human suffering taken to a slow, excruciating end, and the cries of hungry children with no hope of being fed sink us into an agonizing torment. We wonder which is more painful: the bearing...

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Hitting Florida’s Food Policy Beaches

Leaving home at 4:00 a.m. to catch an early flight, the car’s thermometer read 8 degrees above zero. After a treacherous drive down an icy I-25 to Albuquerque, I boarded my plane and was airborne before even a hint of dawn had flickered across the Sandia Mountains. A...

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Let Us Now Thank Famous Foodies

Rather than offering up paeans to those fabulous Brussels sprouts I grew this year, I want to devote my harvest message to three people I’m grateful for: Bob Lewis, Kate Fitzgerald, and Hugh Joseph. To protect the innocent, let me declare from the outset that not one...

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The Fundraising Letter I’d Like to Receive

Since I speak and consult with many groups around the country, I often find myself placed on their donor solicitation lists. Many of the subsequent fundraising letters I receive are from food banks which urge me to help them feed the hungry. The letters rarely vary in...

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“No-Nonsense Guide to World Food” Makes Perfect Sense

Before he was a food activist and manager of the Toronto Food Policy Council, Wayne Roberts was a union leader in Ontario and a Greenpeace organizer in northern Canada. While I can’t imagine what those experiences were like, they sound rough, frigid, and unresponsive...

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San Bernardino: A Hub of Food Activity

There’s something humbling about a 100-year old orange tree. Ancient, deeply rooted, with a gnarly trunk as thick as an old washing machine tub, its leafy crown is elegantly coiffed like that that of a manicured dowager. When standing in a large grove of these...

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Time to Re-think Food Stamps

At the risk of being labeled a Tea Party toady or right-leaning deviationist, I have to ask if the severing of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly known as food stamps) from the Farm Bill by the Republican House Majority isn’t an opportunity...

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Food Rebels of Utica

I’ve always wondered what it takes to turn around a really down and out place. By which I mean the type of city where the only visible signs of prosperity are a well-lit McDonalds and half-full car wash. Some will say that the only hope rests with bold, inspired...

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Food Coops: A Faith Renewed

“Faith is a stray pet that will somehow find you again.” David Hernandez, deceased poet. For the better part of 40 years, my fondest memory of retail food coops was the day they closed. Even though my heart was broken, the handwritten “Out of Bizness” sign hung from...

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Summer and Fall Appearances – 2013

June 19 - 2:00 to 3:00 eastern time - CSPI Food Day Webinar on Food Policy Councils with Mark Winne. To register go to http://www.foodday.org/webinars June 25 - Utica, New York - Food Policy Council workshop. For more information contact win5m@aol.com. June 27 &...

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We’re (They’re) Number One!

Ever since I abandoned my fair Connecticut for the browner pastures of New Mexico, I put more than miles between me and my former state. At times I found myself making fun of such inconsequential things as its puny size (some of New Mexico’s counties are larger than...

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UK Keen on Food Policy Councils

Imagine having nearly $2 million to spend over 3 years on the development and improvement of food policy councils in the United States. Mix in some capacity building assistance, a template for bringing together local food system stakeholders to write a food plan for...

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Food Democracy on the March

The most recent issue of the Harvard Health Policy Review has an article by me titled "Food Democracy on the March." For those of you who have heard me speak or attended one of my food policy council trainings, some of the article's references may sound familiar. But...

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Genetically Engineered Food Needs Labels

The fight is underway in the Connecticut legislature to require labels on food items containing genetically engineered food. The bill has been reported out favorably by large margins in two committees.  My op-ed in favor of the bill appeared in the Sunday, 4/7/13...

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Winter/Spring Appearances – 2013

January 30 - Albuquerque, NM - KiMo Theater - Panel for screening of "Soul Food Junkies." February 6 - Evansville, Indiana - Keynote address and panel discussion for local food forum. For more more information contact Erin Slevin at erinslevin@yahoo.com. February 11 -...

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Cooperating Our Way to a Better Food System

Authors' note: It's been a cold winter so far in New Mexico. A ski mountain just north of Santa Fe gave the country its coldest reading, 20 below, one day in early January. A few nights of sub-zero temperatures at lower elevations may have set back the bark beetles'...

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Food Policy Councils: A Look Back at 2012

This past year marked several growth spurts and critical shifts in the world of food policy councils. First and foremost was the incredible leap forward from 111 active North American food policy councils in 2010 to 193, as indicated by the May 2012 census conducted...

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Newtown, Connecticut

I’ll never forget the look on the desk sergeant’s face as he gazed down at me from the heights of his dark-paneled police podium. Before him was a neatly dressed, wavy-haired 18-year old cradling something seemingly as long as baseball bats wrapped in a tattered brown...

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State Food Policy Guide Released

GMOs, trans-fats, and buying local. Food retail in underserved communities, farmland protection, and kicking soda out of public schools. That’s just a partial list of the cutting edge food and agriculture issues seizing the attention of lawmakers and advocates across...

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George McGovern – Too Good for His Times

I was standing in the Ambassador’s reception line nervously chatting with those closest to me. In spite of the wine that I was gulping more than sipping, and the charm of the late September Rome evening, I was growing more anxious as I waited my turn on the terrace at...

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VIVA KOREA!

The young farmer was wearing aviator sunglasses and a black Che Guevara t-shirt. If it wasn’t for the fact that she weighed considerably south of 100 pounds, I might have felt intimidated. But any fear quickly dissipated after she told me with a shy, girlish grin to...

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Fall Appearances 2012 (revised)

Sept. 7 - 12: South Korea - International Local Food Conference in Chungnam Province; Sept. 10 Presentation to the Chungnam Development Institute; Sept. 11 Presentation to the National School Food Movement. For more information contact Hur Nam-Hyuk at hurnh@naver.com....

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Academics and Activists Unite!

When the tomatoes ripen in such numbers I know it's time to can, and when the delirious scent of basil is so redolent I know it's time to pesto, I know that school is just around the corner.  Whether these seasonal signals were for me, my children, or the neighbors'...

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Fat or Fiction?

A Review of Weighing In: Obesity, Food Justice and the Limits of Capitalism by Julie Guthman  Food issue books have become as prevalent as Thai restaurants these days. One publishing house lists 32 titles devoted to the category of “Food and Culture” alone while one...

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Summer and Fall 2012 Appearances

June 7 - Rochester, NY - All day training for people interested in local food policy councils throughout New York state. Site: Monroe County Cooperative Extension office. Sponsored by NOFA-NY and the Hunger Action Network of New York State. For more information...

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Guerrilla Gardeners in USA Today

USA Today's spring supplement features a great spread on guerrilla gardening by reporter Matt Villano. Mark Winne...says that after years of reporting, he concluded that guerrilla gardening is a way for people to feel like they're taking control of their lives and...

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Food Rebels Down Under

Imagine living on an island, albeit a big one, but an island nevertheless where almost everything you need has to travel across vast oceans. You can grow food and raise livestock, but most of the country is desert, and the arable land is merely a thin coastal strip....

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Breaking Through Concrete

Breaking Through Concrete by David Hanson and Edwin Marty was recently released by the University of California Press. We've been hearing great stories for some time about the urban agriculture movement across America, and you'll find many of those stories, gorgeously...

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Winter and Spring 2012 Appearance Schedule

2012 January 11&12 - Birmingham, Alabama - training for Alabama food policy council (1/11) and Birmingham-Jefferson County Food Policy Council. For more information contact Jennifer Ropa at bhamfoodsecurity@gmail.com. January 21 - Santa Fe, New Mexico - 12:30 PM -...

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“Food Stamped” – The Movie

Film reviews are generally not my strong suit. I either like the characters, actors, and actresses or I don't. If the narrative doesn't engage and ultimately take me to a better place - enlightenment, excitement, ecstasy - I'll just grumble for a while and go find a...

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On the Road

For the two weeks before Thanksgiving I was on the road spreading the word about good food. From the San Francisco Bay to the Delmarva Peninsula, from Boston to Bethesda, and Oklahoma to Iowa, I became the itinerant preacher thumping the bible for a just and...

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Food Rebels Now Available in PaperBack

It's now cheaper, lighter, and more flexible, but one thing that hasn't changed about Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin' Mamas is its content. Just like the heavyweight hardcover version, it takes on the industrial food system, which, since the book's...

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Fall 2011 Appearances & Trainings

September 12 - Newark, New Jersey - one day food policy council training sponsored by Rutgers University. 1 Washington Street, Newark, NJ. For more information contact Xenia Morin at xmorin@SEBS.Rutgers.edu. September 13 - Passaic County, New Jersey - half-day food...

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Troubled by Paradise

The rum-soaked beverage and balmy breeze were starting to erode my leftist resistance to luxury. Let’s face it, sipping a Mai Tai from a beachfront terrace with a million-dollar view of Diamond Head will dull the edge of the most hardened class warrior. But just as I...

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Where’s the Rage?

Dan and Isabelle sit patiently on the folding metal chairs in the tastefully decorated waiting room of Seattle’s Ballard Food Bank. Intelligent, soft-spoken, and in his late 50s, Dan is a chronically underemployed architectural draftsman who barely managed to eke out...

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Perspectives: Food Policy Councils

The following link takes you to an introductory piece about food policy councils that was posted to www.nourishlife.org. Today, there are approximately 150 food policy councils across North America. And as this short Q&A style article indicates, they are proving...

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The Big Man (1942 – 2011)

“Do you want to meet Clarence?” the micro-skirted, junior assistant PR lady asked me and my son, Peter. There he sat, all 250 pounds, perched on a high captain’s chair and drawing soulfully on a cigar that was just a shade smaller than a B-flat clarinet. Clarence...

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Practicing Patience

  By Mark Winne Over the years I’ve come to lean on Ralph Waldo Emerson the way a drunk leans on a lamppost.  When my frustration with politics, society, or even the weather surpasses all understanding, I go running for the shelter of my Emerson-only bookshelf, a...

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Is Nothing Sacred?

Texas College Converts Football Field to Organic Farm – Is Nothing Sacred? By Mark Winne Highland Hills is one of those down-and-nearly-out communities that’s allowed a glimpse of prosperity but never gets to taste it. The Dallas skyline looms large and shining across...

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2011 Appearances: January – August

January 16 - Santa Fe, New Mexico - 11 to 12 noon - La Fonda Hotel. One World, Everybody Eats annual conference. Talk by Mark Winne. For more information contact Denise Cerreta at denisecerreta45@yahoo.com. January 20 & 21 - Chattanooga, Tennessee - 1 to 5 PM...

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Mark Winne Washington Post Op-Ed

The link takes you to an online Washington Post op-ed that appeared on November 24, 2010. I wanted to share some thoughts about Thanksgiving, its meaning, and the industrial food system....

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How Do You Like Your Eggs? Industrial or Local?

Picture this: three long-haired college kids are unloading crates of food from the bed of a battered pick-up truck. It’s parked curbside at the Androscoggin Food Co-op located in the equally battered mill town of Lewiston, Maine. The year is 1971 and these kids are,...

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Summer 2010 Appearances

June 25, 2010 - Detroit - US Social Forum - Food Policy Council workshop - 3:00 PM in Room 3 of the TWW Building July 12 & 14 - Miami, Florida - South Florida Food Summit - Keynote Address (7/12) at the Miami Dade College-Wolfson, 300 NE 2nd Ave, Miami. Food...

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A Brief But Very British Food Journey

 I chose the lusty month of May to visit Great Britain and my first granddaughter, the 10-week old Zoe. Something of a life-long Anglophile, my daughter had married a fine young British gentleman, and together they’ve feathered a nest for themselves in a lovely little...

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Factory Dairies Challenged in New Mexico

Testimony Submitted to the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission by Mark Winne Starting on April 13 and continuing into May, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission is taking testimony on proposed changes to the state’s regulations governing the...

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Black Farmers and Savannah Foodies Join Forces

By Mark Winne The outstretched limbs of Savannah’s live oaks sent dappled sunlight along a wide promenade separating two rows of farm stalls in Forsyth Park. The Saturday morning farmers market was in full swing, with boxes heaped high with red peppers, collard...

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Book Review: “Free For All: Fixing School Food in America”

Two Million Angry Moms and One Sociologist By Mark Winne Early in Free for All: Fixing School Food in America (University of California Press, 2010) former Texas Agriculture Secretary Susan Coombs declares that, “it will take 2 million angry moms to change school...

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Appearances: January – April 2010

January 15 - Washington, DC - 1:00 to 4:00 - The Washington Post, 1150 15th, St. NW - speaking at a forum in recognition of the 30th Anniversary of the Capital Area FoodBank. The event is free and open to the public. For more information call 202-526-5344. Book...

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November and December 2009 – Appearances and Trainings

November 4 & 5 - Atlanta, Georgia - Briefing for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity. For more information contact Latetia Moore at lvmoore@cdc.gov. November 20 - Massachusetts - Massachusetts Public...

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The Season of Our Discontent

By Mark Winne        I'm worried about the coming month. Not because I have any dark premonition, but because this is the time when we slip into that autumnal haze marked by pumpkins, turkeys and cornucopias. These harvest-time icons signal the arrival of World Food...

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The Farmers Cow

  By Mark Winne (an edited version of this piece appeared in the Hartford Courant - July 5, 2009)   Willie Nelson was recently quoted as saying, “Dairy farmers are among the hardest workers I know.” Having hung around with a couple of dozen Connecticut dairy farmers...

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July – October 2009 Appearances

July 23 - Sacramento, CA - Keynote for Valley Vision - 9:00 AM - For more information contact Robyn Krock at robyn.krock@valleyvision.org. September 24 - Boston, MA - Natural Products Exposition - speaking at session at 10:00 AM September 25 - Seattle, WA - Washington...

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Methodist Women Select Closing the Food Gap

  The United Methodist Women, one of the nation’s oldest and largest women-led mission organizations, has selected Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty for their 2010 national reading list. Over 40,000 members of United Methodist Women are...

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Keep It Simple; Keep It Local

When I was much younger, I would take solo backpacking trips in the Adirondack Mountains of upstate New York. On one occasion, I found myself at a very remote campsite deep in the forest. My original plan was to commune in some vague, Thoreau-like fashion with nature,...

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May and June 2009 Appearances

May 9 - Boston, Massachusetts - Boston University - Conference "The Future of Food". Presentation as part of panel "From Farm to Fork: The Global Food Chain." Books on sale throughout the day. For more information see www.bu.edu/euforyou/EU/future-of-food.html or...

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Food Elitism for All!

  (First appeared in the Kennebec (Maine) Journal)   By Mark Winne   Let me say from the outset that I eat well. Not well in a maternal, “please finish your broccoli, dear” sense. I mean very well. I cultivate a large organic garden, buy grass-fed beef from a local...

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2009 Appearances

January 22, 2009 - Chattanooga, Tennessee - Southern Sustainable Agiculture Working Group Annual Conference - 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. Workshop "Policy and Communication" co-led with Dr. Keecha Harris ("Closing the Food Gap" will be available during the conference for...

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If Only He Asked Me – Thoughts on a New Way for USDA

By Mark Winne How ironic that we must even ask our national policy makers to make the nutritional health and well-being of their people the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s first priority. But due to the sheer weight of the marketplace and poor government policies,...

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To View, To Eat, Per Chance to Not

By Mark Winne November has always been a confusing month for me. Traditionally, it is the time when we Americans give thanks to a mixed bag of things from the bounty of the autumnal harvest to the blessings of that new flat-screen TV that now adorns the living room...

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November and December ’08 Appearances

November 6 - Phoenix, Arizona - Maricopa County Extension Office (434 E. Broadway); Keynote address, 9:30 a.m. For more information contact Cindy Gentry at 602-493-5231 November 11 - Norman, Oklahoma - University of Oklahoma, 7:30 p.m; Public talk. For more...

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Factory Farms, Dirty Water, and the Bible

The following article was first written by me in 2006 for publication in the Sierra Club magazine "Sierra." Though accepted in a revised form by the editors for publication, they chose not to run the piece for some reason that they were never able to explain to me....

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Harvest Home Brings it Home

August 28th, 2008 by Mark Winne You would be hard pressed to find a place where the divide between the “haves” and “have nots” is more sharply defined than Manhattan’s Eastside. The gap between rich and poor is not just evident in the number of nannies pushing...

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EXTRAORDINARY FOOD FOR ALL

By Mark Winne A recent New York Times dining section piece (4/9/08) told the story of a 17-year old on his spring college shopping tour. Apparently the young fellow’s selection criteria was not limited to a school’s academic strengths but also included the quality of...

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Food Bank Speech – May 15, 2008 – Seattle, WA

Leading the Charge, Leading the Change By Mark Winne (Excerpted from a keynote address given to the Northwest Harvest Food Bank Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington - May 15, 2008) Here are three thoughts I’d ask you to consider – open-mindedly and with the hope that...

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High Food Prices – Just Another Bad Day in the Food Line

High Food Prices - Just Another Bad Day in the Food Line Mark Winne The current spate of alarming farm and food stories – drought, rising food prices and shortages – has riveted our attention on the precarious state of our food system. As a nation that has become...

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Replenishing Our Food Deserts

In tightly packed urban neighborhoods and isolated rural areas, fresh and healthy food is unavailable to many Americans. Lawmakers hope to remedy that. By Mark Winne September 2007 Whether you live in an urban or rural community, access to fresh produce and meat is a...

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Farm Bill or Food Bill?

U.S. agriculture policy has grown fat and lazy--and hasn't helped our waistlines either. It's tempting to take for granted summer's bounty of fresh fruits and vegetables. But if you care about how that succulent tomato gets to your table, your beach reading should...

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Appearances & Trainings

Readings and Signings: August 29 - San Francisco - Slow Food Nation "Changemakers Day," Mark Winne panel presentations: 2:30 to 5:45. For more information go to www.slowfoodnation.org. Media contact: bhorton@vancomm.com. September 17 - Albuquerque, NM - 1:30 - Peace...

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When Our Farms Are Gone, They’re Gone Forever

By Mark Winne Hartford Courant November 9, 2003 The flight from Bradley Airport circled slowly west over the Farmington River Valley. Below me, wedged between the red and yellow flares of autumn foliage, were angular farm fields alternating at irregular intervals with...

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