I just finished reading “The Town That Food Saved” by Ben Hewitt.  It’s a must read for Vermonters who want to know more about the agricultural entrepreneurs in and near Hardwick, Vermont (enterprises like High Mowing Organic Seeds, Pete’s Greens, Claire’s, and the Center for Agricultural Economy).  I enjoyed the book both because it’s nice to read about a community in your home state, and because Hewitt recognizes the criticism placed upon high-priced organic artisanal food (something I discussed in an earlier post), and tries to define a successful localized sustainable food system (e.g., economic vitality to small-scale producers, it must feed locals, based on sunshine rather than fossil fuels).  Unfortunately, the issue of price/affordability remains, and in his book (and in my own work), there remains no answer of how to make healthy sustainable food more affordable in the face of industrial agriculture.  At the end of the book, Hewitt seems to suggest that an economic collapse of the industrial food model may result in price reorganization, but I’m more skeptical of such a collapse and instead have come to belief that big business (e.g., Wal-Mart) will instead seek to control the organic market where these large firms then bring smaller farms under their control by dictating production quantities and growing conditions.

Finally, yesterday I posted about the new Food Safety Bill passed by the Senate.  It seems Hewitt has his own take on the bill.

Advertisements