The Dominant Agricultural System in the Philippines is Stacked Against Them — But MASIPAG is Changing the Narrative

The Philippines’ food system was shaped by centuries of colonial rule — first Spanish, then U.S. Colonial powers worked to steadily consolidate land in the hands of a small number of corporations and wealthy landowners. Today, while 75 percent of the country lives in rural areas, where agriculture is the main source of livelihood, nine out of ten farmers do not own the land they till. The Philippines government has promised to address the feudalistic conditions facing the majority of the country since the 1980s; time and again they have broken their promises of genuine agrarian reform and land redistribution…


Why Local and Equitable are not Synonymous

Image Source: Polyp, “Gold Digger”

Over the last few decades, local food movements in the West have become popularized, bringing with them the promise of reshaping the food system in a positive way. We’ve all heard their rallying cry: eat local, buy local, support local. And it makes sense — buying local food might mean that we shop more seasonally, the food might be fresher, we get to develop relationships with the people who grow our food, and we get to support smaller producers — rather than the agribusiness conglomerates who put most of the food on supermarket shelves after it travels for hundreds, if…


Nine Hard Truths to Move Towards Radical and Lasting Change

Moving into 2021, we’ve had many opportunities to reflect on the issues we care the most about. We’ve realized that good intentions are not enough — we must peel back the layers and focus on the systemic root causes of the injustice that plagues our food system.

We hope that coming into the new year, we can work to be better allies, summoning this passion we have for change in the food system that will bring lasting transformation — this is an opportunity to evolve together, to reflect, and to grow towards the bold, audacious dream of a food system…


It’s time for the food movement to put justice at the forefront

Over the past year, we have heard from dozens of voices from around the world speaking out about the food system on our Hunger for Justice Series. Looking back on all of the episodes, certain themes have emerged; others have remained notably absent.

None of our speakers have said, for example, that the inefficiency of food waste is the problem plaguing the food system. None of them have pointed to the fact that more people don’t grow gardens or compost as the problem that needs to be solved. None of them have spoken about soil depletion as the most pressing…


Thamturakit is revolutionizing the way food is grown and consumed all across the country — and we should all be paying attention

The Pun Pun Center for Self-Reliance, an organic farm and teaching center located in the North of Thailand, was founded sixteen years ago as a way to transition to a more sustainable, self-reliant model of living and growing food. Since then, it has bred a nationwide movement towards a new, democratized financial model for Thailand’s agriculture system.

It started as Jo Jandai and Peggy Reents, the farm’s co-founders, began to see the cracks in the industrial agricultural system in Thailand: “In the conventional model, consumers are paying a lot for food, and farmers are paid very little — in the…


Statement from Juneteenth Broadcast Presenters

In 1965, James Baldwin wrote to his nephew: “The country is celebrating one hundred years of freedom one hundred years too soon.” In the 55 years since, as anyone with eyes can see from the storm which continues to rage about our heads, very little has changed. We continue on a steady, centuries-long course, of systemic exploitation.

The U.S. Industrial food system is a direct descendant of the agriculture-based plantation system. …


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The COVID-19 crisis is exposing an enduring and extremely dangerous problem — the inequities within our food system. In 2018, the USDA released a report that around 11% of American households were facing food insecurity. Today, that number is much higher secondary to the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S. It turns out that large swaths of the population are one paycheck away from being broke and one meal away from being hungry.

The global reality is no different.

As evident throughout history, food insecurity creates more than just hunger; it also leads to civic unrest and…


A few days ago, it was announced that the shooter in El Paso last week admitted to targeting Mexicans. He wasn’t the only one. Last weeks ICE raids are part of a complex history of injustice within the poultry industry, one that also has a legacy targeting Mexicans in El Paso.

One would think that the stench you can smell in Scott Co, Mississippi would be from the chicken factories, but the truth is, it comes from decades of racism and exploits, where racial groups were pitted against each other in an attempt to prevent wage increases. …


The world today is on a dangerous path. One that leads nowhere pleasant for all of our globe’s denizens, be they terrestrial or aquatic, oxygen breathing or carbon-respiring. The ways in which we produce our food and fiber has created many unintended environmental and social degradations.

We are coming to see the consequences of our agricultural model in increasingly stark terms.

Humankind has fundamentally changed the biosphere so sufficiently that we are in fact living on a different planet than the one that preceding generations occupied, according to renowned environmentalist and author Bill McKibben. The global temperature has risen 1.53…


Revolution is often portrayed as an idea that’s better when shouted, spray painted on a wall, or driven by anger, fear, or a need for drastic and fundamental change.

Not always.

Sometimes revolution moves quietly from farmer to farmer. The tool of a revolutionary can be a hoe instead of a Molotov cocktail. Born of necessity, a revolution can be about enabling marginalized people as much as changing the minds of the elite. Revolution isn’t easy and almost always requires that we learn from the past as much as we plan for the future. No one knows these things quite…

A Growing Culture

Confronting Unjust Power in the Food System

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