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

Mark Winne has worked for 50 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.

Mark Winne's Latest Book Is Now Available

Seven Unlikely Cities that are Changing the Way we Eat

Look at any list of America’s top foodie cities and you probably won’t find Boise, Idaho or Sitka, Alaska. Yet they are the new face of the food movement. Healthy, sustainable fare is changing communities across this country, revitalizing towns that have been ravaged by disappearing industries and decades of inequity. What sparked this revolution? To find out, Mark Winne traveled to seven cities not usually considered revolutionary. He broke bread with brew masters and city council members, farmers and philanthropists, toured start-up incubators and homeless shelters.

The cities of Food Town, USA remind us that innovation is ripening all across the country, especially in the most unlikely places.


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’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 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 is the author of Food Town, USA (Island Press, 2019), Stand Together or Starve Alone (Praeger Press 2018), Closing the Food Gap (Beacon Press 2008), and Food Rebels, Guerilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas (Beacon Press, 2010).

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Putting 50 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.


Blog Archive

Mark Winne’s Blog


West Virginia—When Teaspoons Are Not Enough

Almost Heaven, West Virginia Blue Ridge Mountains, Shenandoah River Life is old there, older than the trees Younger than the mountains, growing like a breeze Country roads, take me home To the place I belong West Virginia, mountain mama Take me home, country roads. No...

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Laredo Shows the Way to a Mending Wall

…Before I built a wall I’d ask to know What I was walling in or walling out And to whom I was like to give offense. Something there is that doesn’t love a wall, That wants it down. “Mending Wall” by Robert Frost Laredo, Texas is one of the more unique cities I have...

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Welcome to the Weight Wars

Childhood obesity is very much in the news these days, as well as it should be. Reflecting back over several decades of work in the community food field, it feels incomprehensible to me that one in five American children now (compared to one in twenty in 1980) fall...

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Eggs and Honey: Taking Lessons from the Birds and the Bees

I was the only one in line for honey that morning at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market. I found out why when I asked the young lady whose long braids were the same color as the stacked honey jars, how much for a quart. “$30,” was her reply. Stung by her answer, I replied,...

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Nonprofit Boards: Let’s Take Them Seriously

I remember my first nonprofit board of directors (BOD) meeting like it was yesterday—such is the power of trauma to send its shock waves across decades. I was 28, newly arrived with my young family in Hartford, Connecticut, to take the reins of a brand-new food...

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Winne’s World in Weview: 2022–Phew!

Finally pulling out of the steep dive that was COVID-19, do we dare ask ourselves if we’re healthier, wealthier, and wiser? Fortunately for me, the only lingering effect has been the Zoomacron variant that has tenaciously kept us enthrall to technology and seems...

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Learning from Japan

I have wandered the countryside where I’ve wondered and written about rural America. Like a gawking rubbernecker passing the scene of a bad car wreck, I’ve turned my gaze in disbelief to the vacant buildings and collapsing trailers in abandoned villages and hamlets....

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