Saturday, December 15, 2007

Small Planet Fund Party - THANK YOU

Our deep appreciation to everyone who joined us at the party. With more than 200 people turning out this year, we had a packed house and raised tens of thousands of dollars for our core grantees. Our special guest this year from the Landless Workers Movement (MST), Luis Antonio Pancetti, had a great time, too. Dawn Plummer from the Friends of the MST organized an amazing tour for him, including the party and a taping for Democracy Now! (it should air on Monday 12/17).
Off for a much-needed holiday!
Wishing you all well... Anna

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

So Many Places to Give! The Small Planet Fund Gets a Shout Out in The New York Times

Tomorrow is our big event and today we got a very sweet mention from our dear friend Marion Nestle in The New York Times: “So Little Time, So Many Charities to Feed.”

Monday, December 10, 2007


Hey everyone - Check out the cool items on our online auction. all of your $$ goes to the very good cause of the Small Planet Fund.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The Little Book That Could

When my mom decided to make her sixteenth book the first that she self-published, she did so with a gulp and a big leap of faith. In an ever-more concentrated publishing industry, it's a tough market out there for any author, even those being published by big-name yahoos. So, considering what she was up against when she launched our new imprint Small Planet Media with 20,000 copies of Getting a Grip: Courage, Clarity, and Creativity in a World Gone Mad, it's even more exciting to announce the news we just got today: Getting a Grip hit the San Francisco Chronicle's top ten paperback bestseller list this week. That's right... sidling up next to Eat, Pray, Love; Omnivore's Dilemma; No Country for Old Men... is Getting a Grip!

My mom published Getting a Grip on her own terms, which meant using a union-run print shop, choosing recycled paper and soy-based ink, and picking her own cover design, and she got the book out there. If you haven't got your copy yet, check it out a local bookstore near you. Go mom!

--signing off as a proud daughter

Monday, November 19, 2007

Anthony on Shooting War on the Bryant Park Project

Hey everyone,
My brother is launching his new graphic novel SHOOTING WAR today! Take a listen, here, on NPR's Bryant Park Project.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Endless Feast on YouTube

For those of you who didn't get a chance to see our series, The Endless Feast, when it made its way across the airwaves this summer on public television, you can see a few clips of it on YouTube here. Despite the grueling hours and long travel days, it was so much fun to get a chance to visit the incredibly inspiring sustainable farms across North America.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Isn't that Ironic?

When Monsanto chairman, president and CEO, Hugh Grant, made his remarks this year at the World Food Prize awards ceremony, I would guess he didn't mean them to be so damn ironic. In this op-ed piece in the Des Moines Register he closes on this point: "I know this: Proud men and women everywhere would rather produce their own food than wait to unload it from the back of a relief truck." That may be true, but his company has been a global force in disabling "proud men and women" from being able to feed themselves by saving, sharing, and planting their own seeds. The company has systematically attacked farmers for allegedly using their seeds without paying proprietary technology fees.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Bryant's a Star!

It was a blast to toast Bryant tonight as he was awarded, along with our food-politics hero Marion Nestle, with the first Natural Gourmet Cooking School's Award of Excellence in Health Education. Bryant gave a moving and eloquent talk about how much the award meant to him, and I got to be among all of his awesome friends and colleagues as we cheered. Annemarie Colbin, founded the school thirty years ago (tonight was also a birthday fete) and she introduced the evening's awardees. She told the crowd of 100 or more that was crammed into the large demonstration kitchen that when she started the school people were aghast: Eek, a cooking school that focuses on fennel not foie gras? On beets not beef?! She was among the vanguard; now the school's philosophy is mainstream. And soon, she said, we might just be passe!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Marion Nestle and Milk-n-Honey

marion nestle and me (note the paperbacks are out for food politics and what to eat)

Had my third (and last) visit to Milk-n-Honey. As I told the actors, I was just getting used to seeing them so frequently, I'm gonna miss them!

For the After-Show Cafe, I hosted a wide-ranging conversation with the audience and Marion Nestle. After a brief break for all of us to pour ourselves cups of steeping hot fair-trade coffee, we settled back into our seats and pondered some of the play's themes. We talked about diabetes and New York City bodegas trying to stock healthier foods, and we talked about the role of the pharmaceutical industry profiting off of ill health.

When someone asked Marion's advice about what we can do to make change beyond just choosing more health-supportive foods, Marion didn't skip a beat. "My favorite political action these days is working to ban advertising junk food to kids." That might seem like a radical idea in a country where kids entertainment--from TV to DisneyWorld--is intricately linked to the junk food industry, but in a lot of European countries, this is just a given. Anyone game?

It was a really fun night and I got to see lots of old and new friends. I'll end with Marion's final words: "Go out and do something!"

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Green Gourmet Hits A Tube Near You

This was a rare week when I got to see my Green Gourmet girls--Elise, Ludie, and Elizabeth--twice in one week. (And, if I'm lucky, I'll see them on Monday, too). Ludie was sporting their new line of tees ("Stop the Violence" printed above a pesticide gun with aim at some innocent carrots and apples) and Elizabeth and Elise told me about their latest YouTube venture: Food Poetry. Check it out here and get inspired by their other vids, with their food education genius on display.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Snap! The Climate Change Movement is Alive and Kicking

Guerrilla News Network -- Many of us have experienced a global warming moment: it hits us that humans have altered our earth’s climate forever. For founder of the Energy Action Coalition Billy Parrish, who has helped to gather 5,500 people from every single congressional district for a rousing conference this weekend, the moment came on a glacier above the Ganges, one of India’s most sacred rivers.

It was the summer of 2002 and Parrish had hiked to the glacier’s peak with scientists who had been studying the area. Pointing out across the ice, they said: “That’s how far away it was last year; that’s where it was the year before.” Within his lifetime, Parrish learned, the glacier would be gone.

“That glacier feeds a river that supplies fresh water to more than 450 million people,” Parrish said, addressing the darkened stadium during the opening night of this three-day conference in College Park, Maryland, which will culminate with a lobby day on Capitol Hill on Monday.

After his epiphany in India, Parrish dropped out of Yale and launched what would become the Energy Action Coalition. The Coalition now boasts more than forty member organizations at campuses across the country. This weekend’s huge feat – the first national youth summit to address the climate crisis – is the accomplishment of all of these Coalition partners and many other organizations.

Tonight’s opening talks set the tone for the conference: Impassioned, powerful speeches, participatory singing, and a ton of incredible energy.

Author and activist Mike Tidwell (The Raging Tide), one of the speakers, bounded onto the stage and boomed into the mic: “Global warming doesn’t mean anything to me anymore. This isn’t climate change; the climate is snapping into a whole new regime right in front of our eyes.”

“One million people displaced in unprecedented firestorms in Southern California? Snap. My dad calling from Atlanta wondering where he is going to go in three to four months when people there predict drinking water will run out? Snap. The Arctic losing a chunk of ice this summer the size of Florida in the span of one week? Snap.

Another of the night’s rousing speakers was Majora Carter, the dynamic founder of Sustainable South Bronx. During his talk, Tidwell had reminded us that while the United States has just 5 percent of the world’s people, we emit 25 percent of the world’s greenhouse gases. Carter added this addendum: we also imprison 25 percent of the world’s people. What’s the connection between prisoners and the environment? Carter argued powerfully that the same double standard affecting our industrial design has shaped our “war on drugs,” which she said really should be called a “war on the poor.”

“If they located the same dirty industries that are polluting our environment in rich communities, we’d have had clean energy a long time ago,” Carter said to much applause, including among the thirty-four young people, in “Green the Ghetto” tee’s who came down with her from New York City.

The movement that brought has pulled off this conference is awe-inspiring in its energy and its rapid uptake: At the beginning of this year, not one single campus in the country had pledged to go carbon neutral. Today, thanks to the Coalition’s Campus Climate Pledge, 430 have done so.

In 1961, Tidwell said, when Kennedy made his we’ll-send-a-man-to-the-moon speech (and a few decades before many of these students were born) what was extraordinary was not just the dream; it was not just the timeline. What was extraordinary, Tidwell underscored, was that the core technology to get there did not yet exist.

What’s different with the challenge of climate change? We have the technology we need, now. (North Dakota, for instance, could meet 36 percent of our country’s energy needs with wind energy from that one state alone.) What’s different is that we have the policies we need to ensure the necessary emissions reductions. And, of course, what’s different is that our planet’s climate is at stake; we don’t have the option of failing.

I’m here with my younger brother, environmental scientist Matthew Lappé, who only three years ago was a college student himself—way back when the Energy Action Coalition and its partners had yet to take off. Now, he spends his days working out kinks in proposed policy solutions and studying the science of climate change. “It can get pretty depressing,” he said. “But being here makes me appreciate how quickly this movement has developed, and just how far it has come.”

Find out more at

GNN contributing editor Anna Lappé is the co-author of Grub: Ideas for an Urban Organic Kitchen and Hope’s Edge: The Next Diet for a Small Planet and the co-founder of the Small Planet Institute and Small Planet Fund.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Climate Cange Inspiration

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Action Speaks (Louder than Words)

I got to visit my favorite city today. (Yes, that's Providence where I spent four glorious years while the city was under constant construction under the watchful eye of Mayor Buddy Cianci). Action Speaks is a four-part series celebrating under-celebrated days in history. Today, we're going to talk about the Farmer’s March on Washington in 1979 and reflect on its meaning for farmers and eaters today. Click here to listen to our conversation.

PS Happy Halloween--reminds me of one of my favorite Halloweens here in Providence: I dressed up like the mayor (I wore a suit and a "I heart Cops" button") and a friend dressed as his wife (at the time) Nancy Ann. (Yes, that would be Nancy Ann Cianci).

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

NYC: Don't miss Milk-N-Honey

I absolutely loved this show, but don't take my word for it.

Don't miss it.

a multimedia play about the politics and pleasures of eating, starring Dumpster divers, food chemists, the color yellow, farm workers, a very Happy Burger, a very unhappy cow, Doritos, the flavor of light, and corn (of course).

After each performance, the theater becomes an After Show Café, with free cupcakes and fair-trade certified coffee from the Lower Eastside Girls Club, where you can engage with the actors, and special guests for conversation.

Sunday November 11th
3:00pm to 5:30pm
An After-Show Café with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), hosted by Anna Lappé (Grub)

Wednesday November 14th
7:30pm to 10:00pm
An After-Show Café with Marion Nestle (Food Politics, What to Eat), hosted by Anna Lappé (Grub)

Milk-N-Honey runs through through November 18th: Order Tickets Now!

Check here for showtimes, or join me for one of these very special shows. Hope to see you there!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Compassion in Action and The Missing Peace Project

the missing peace project
compassion in action
July 2007

(I'm finally getting around to posting about this event from the summer... better late than never! --al).

This summer, I was deeply honored to be one of the two awardees, along with Nicholas Kristof from The New York Times, of this year's Missing Peace Project Compassion in Action Awards.
Once I got past the imposter syndrome (as in, I don't deserve this!), I was able to enjoy the evening. The awards ceremony was held in a beautiful gallery space on Manhattan's western edge. The several hundred guests were surrounded by art, including sculpture and installation as well as video and painting, inspired by the Dalai Lama. (For those of you in San Francisco, you can see the exhibit at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. I highly recommend it!).

Bob Thurman, cofounder and current president of Tibet House U.S., was the emcee and already humbled to accept the award, I was even more humbled to receive it from him.

The family: Josephine Lappe, Anthony Lappe, Frankie Lappe, and Anna Lappe

Mom and me enraptured by Robert Thurman's remarks.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Domino & Us

Wondering what to serve up on t-day? See Bryant's take in our piece in Domino here.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

here's what barbara kingsolver thinks of my mom's new book...

"Getting a Grip is not an ordinary book: it's more like a new pair of glasses, allowing you to see everything around you with greater clarity. Suddenly the world is more comprehensible, more manageable, even more beautiful. You won't want to take them off." --Barbara Kingsolver

Pretty cool!

Getting a Grip on Money in Politics

My mom has hit the road promoting her new--and self-published--book Getting a Grip. See if she's dropping by your city or town here. Whether you can see her in person, or not, check out the new video she and my brother produced about getting money out of politics. In this short video, you'll learn about successful clean elections legislation popping up in several states and the national "Just 6 Dollars" campaign. Watch and be inspired.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

World Food Day and the Right to Food

food sovereignty banner from nyeleni, mali

My mom and I have a piece on food as a human right on the Huffington Post today. Check it out here.

Friday, October 12, 2007

World Food Day Oct 16: Focus on the Right to Food

If you're in NYC... see you here:

From the Greater New York Dietetic Association:

The choice of The Right to Food as the theme for 2007 World Food Day demonstrates increasing recognition by the international community of the important role of human rights in eradicating hunger and poverty, and hastening and deepening the sustainable development process.

The links between climate change, hunger and poverty will be the focus of the 2007 teleconference. Three international leaders -- Suzanne Hunt, independent consultant, currently dividing her time among the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Global Bioenergy Partnership, Dr. Cynthia Rosenzweig, Research Scientist and Leader of the Climate Impacts Group at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Dr. Stephen H. Schneider, Stanford University professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies and founder and editor of the Interdisciplinary journal, Climate Change, -- will discuss the many crosscutting issues of global climate change and the potentially disastrous consequences, especially for millions of poor and chronically undernourished people. The overwhelming majority of the world's climate scientists are convinced that the looming crisis is caused primarily by "humankind's activities" and will require immediate and farsighted action by all nations, rich and poor. In addition to the guest panelists there will be a live uplink from the World Food Prize ceremonies and cameo comments from other experts.

Two documentary films – The Millennium Development Goals and The Ecological Footprint – will highlight the goals agreed to by rich and poor country leaders in 2000 and will consider an ingenious way for determining whether we are living within our ecological budget or consuming nature's resources faster than the planet can renew them.

When: Tuesday October 16th, 2007, 11:45 AM – 3:00 PM

12 Noon – 1:00 PM Teleconference panel discussion

1:00 PM – 2:00 PM Individual site discussion of local hunger issues and activities; prepare question for panel (bring your own lunch)

2:00 PM – 3:00 PM "Town meeting" question & answer period between panelists and individual sites

Where: Cornell University Cooperative Extension, 16 E 34th Street , 8th floor
bring photo ID for building security

Please R.S.V.P. to Maggie Meehan, GNYHEN Co-chair at: meehan.maggie@, be sure to put "World Food Day Teleconference" in the subject heading

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Launched from New York

We had a fantastic time tonight toasting my mom's new book with more than seventy guests at our friend, Josh Mailman's, home in New York City. Read all about it on her blog here.

Anthony Lappe, Clarice Lappe, Josh Mailman, and Frances Moore Lappe

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Martha Graham on Divine Dissatisfaction

There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening, that is translated through you into action – and because there is only one of you, in all time, this expression is unique...You have to keep open and aware, directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open... There is no satisfaction, ever, at any time. There is only a queer, divine, dissatisfaction; a blessed unrest that keeps us marching, and makes us more alive than others.

Monday, October 01, 2007

NYC: Screening Liberally in TriBeCa

I'm curating a series of films with my friend Wendy Cohen at THE TANK in TriBeCa. Visit to sign up for our e-mail newsletter to catch coming attractions or e-mail me to suggest a film to show. See you at the movies!

Pictures from China

visiting a farmers market in Fuyang

Please check out my pictures from our trip to China here at my FLICKR account: I learned so much and feel a renewed understanding of the transformational power of Heifer International.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Getting a Grip on My Mom's New Book

Don't be the last on your block to get a copy of my mom's new book: Getting a Grip. Here is my favorite review so far from Booklist. (Carol: Don't know ya, but love your take on the book!)

From Booklist: "The indefatigable Lappe turns her finely tuned sense of outrage and her deeply honed sense of conviction to the unending and seemingly unmanageable problems confronting the world and focuses her clarion vision on solutions that may begin with just one person but that can end with an entire culture becoming more informed, more caring, more responsible. If we, as individuals, do not willingly choose to live defeated by poverty, debilitated by disease, demoralized by racism, she posits, then why should these abhorrent conditions not only exist but proliferate, especially in a democratic society? Displaying her usual laserlike logic, Lappe distills her arguments to their most basic level, a tactic that allows her crystalline assessments to virtually leap off the page. Parsing the notion of democracy, Lappe examines its successes and failures, offering creative and innovative methods for turning egregious areas of weakness into exhilarating beacons of strength. Progressing from confronting fear to seizing power, Lappe's treatise on humanity's potential for growth is a comforting source of inspiration. "by Carol Haggas

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall Whose the Most Organic of Them All? Origins Launches an Organic Line

I was invited to speak this afternoon to Origins employees today as part of a series of events in the run-up to the company’s launch of their new organic line. I was so was impressed with the team’s dedication -- as well as their stellar ice cream sundae making skills. The products are hitting shelves in the next few weeks, but it’s taken years to get the line off the ground. A big challenge, they explained, has been the sourcing with zippo of some ingredients in the organic category. Glycerin, a common makeup ingredient, wasn’t available organically, for instance, so they had to get suppliers to shift to organic. Reading the ingredients list of these new products, I was pleased to notice that my brow wasn’t furrowing in worry.

Despite the team’s dedication to the environment and our health, the organic products at Origins, at least for now, will only make up only 6 percent of their total line. And Origin’s parent company, Estée Lauder, refuses to join the Compact for Safe Cosmetics, which has been signed by more than 600 companies and expresses a commitment to improving the environmental and health safety of cosmetics. (I think it’s ironic that Estee Lauder won’t sign this, but they have been getting big PR for their anti-breast cancer campaigns, while they sell products that include ingredients that may cause this.)

As we ate delicious ice cream sundaes (organic, of course) today, I shared the dream that one day we’ll look back on this time as the dark ages, when we humans did the unthinkable: Spread across our faces, in our hair, and on our bodies products with some ingredients that are untested for safety or are probable cancer-causers, hormone disruptors, and neurotoxins.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Celebrating Real Food on College Campuses

the farm at Yale University

Hanging out with students yesterday at Mt. Holyoke College, I got to thinking about how college campuses have played important roles in social change, particularly in corporate campaigns. When it comes to how college students have been able to shift corporate behavior, part of the reason comes from this simple fact: Most of the time, we consumers are a disparate bunch. We are millions large, but we don’t always see our connectedness. We’re hard to organize.

On the other hand, the industries selling to us – whether it’s yo-yos or yurts – tend to be pretty concentrated and resourced. With college campuses, the consumer-seller relationship gets flipped. As tuition paying members of the community, students can make a strong case for why they should have a say in how universities spend their money -- how they shop, in other words.

Using this powerful position, the student anti-sweatshop movement, for instance, has made a big splash. The student fair-trade movement has similarly had a huge impact. Entering the scene in force just a couple of years ago, the student movement for fair and local food on campuses and for launching college-based farms is taking off across the country. It feels like every day I hear about a new success story, a new effort blooming on a campus.

[News flash: As I write this, I just got the news that friends at Grow Montana, one of these awesome new initiatives, have just been honored by the Glynwood Center for their work in their home state].

The motivation for this work is manifold. In part, students are fired up about health and the food we eat: As one of Yale’s Sustainable Food Project put it: “Students shouldn’t be reading The Jungle in English 101 and then eating it for lunch.” Another motivating force is the desire to strengthen local economies and to keep small-scale farmers farming. And another inspiration is that students, like the ones I met at Mt. Holyoke tonight, who want to get in touch with how their food is grown and share fresh food with friends and family and colleagues.

Gathering for the first time next month, students from Northeast campuses are hosting the first ever, Real Food Summit, to share successes and strategies and to continue to build the movement. May the event be a huge success!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

... and speaking of dirt ...

Met these folks at the Mt. Holyoke event. Check out their cool work.

Have You Eaten Your Dirt Lately?

Have you you ever eaten dirt? It may not sound as strange to some of you as it does to others. Some of you may even know that cultures across the planet have been eatin' dirt throughout the ages. It's even got a name and various theories about why it may be good for you (as well as controversy about why it may not be the best idea).

I had a chance to talk dirt with Deborah Koons Garcia today over a non-dirt meal of organic salad greens, watercress, roasted pumpkin seeds, shredded beets, and nutritional yeast, at Kripalu where we both were speaking as part of the retreat center's first ever Conscious Kitchens. Following her fantastic -- and ever-more important doc, The Future of Food -- Deborah's turning her filmmaker's eye to... d-i-r-t, or soil, to be exact. She's traipsing the planet interviewing people about the substance that gives us our food. Should be fascinating. I'll be sure to keep you posted!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pictures from China

a farmer in a Heifer project village in Anhui Province

Please check out my pictures from our trip to China here at my FLICKR account: I learned so much and feel a renewed understanding of the transformational power of Heifer International.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Outsourcing Our Pollution

factories along the yangtze

Had a long flight home, made about 36 hours longer than expected because of a missing part on our first plane. I don't think any of us particularly wanted to risk a 13-hour non-stop flight with all the pieces of the plane not accounted for, so we headed back to Beijing for a long night's wait until we finally got out the next day.

I ended up hanging out with the gaggle of businessmen, from a garage-door parts salesman to a baby shoe manufacturer. We talked about outsourcing to China, the 'Wal-Mart effect' of the downward pressure on prices, and the growing environmental nightmare that is China's water, air, and land.

As we lifted off from Beijing's international airport the next afternoon, I could barely see the city through the pollution below and it was so visually clear: We're not just outsourcing our jobs to this country, we're outsourcing our pollution.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Greetings from China

I'm sitting in a hotel in Anhui Province, about midway between Beijing and Shanghai, where even this very basic hotel has a super fast ethernet connection. As I type, I can hear the honking of cars, buses, pedicabs, and bikes as they pass each other on the road outside my window.
I'm here to learn about the sustainable development projects that Heifer International has been developing. I'll post here some more reflections on the trip, but after a 12+ hour-day, I'll just post some pictures.
view driving into beijing... the haze is the air pollution that has made china one of the world's worst greenhouse gas emitters and means that only 1 percent of the country’s 560 million city dwellers breathe air considered safe by the European Union, according to this NYT article.

The bee hives of one of the farmers in the Miyun Province (a few hours outside of Beijing) who have benefitted from Heifer support to purchase what they've need to transition from sheep raising to bee keeping. (A few years ago the government decreed that farmers could no longer use the mountains in this region for grazing or farming; the erosion had caused a series of the worst sand storms in the history of Beijing. A decision which may certainly have helped the environment, but that cost many farmers their livelihood overnight.)
The bee keeper and his 86 year-old mother who graciously invited us into their home.
Later that day, we head out to hike the Si Ma Tai portion of the Great Wall. Though it's only an hour or so from his home by car, he's never been--it would be too expensive. As we're leaving the parking lot, I turn back for one last glimpse of the Wall and see in the foreground a bumblebee yellow H2 Hummer.
A typical meal. I've learned two phrases since arriving here: Thank You... and I'm Full.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Off to China...

I'm heading to China tomorrow with Heifer International. Will hopefully be blogging from there. In the meantime, check out Lhadon's amazing blog from Students for a Free Tibet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Twinkie vs. Apple Showdown

Check out the latest video from the makers of The Meatrix. This time, they take on the Farm Bill. Please send the link to friends and family. To learn more about the Farm Bill, see the Farm Bill 101 from Oxfam here, from Food and Water Watch, and keep up to date on Farm Bill 2007 organizing with the Community Food Security Coalition, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, and the National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Starbucks Hormone-Free Milk Campaign... Wins!

I just got off the phone with Wenonah Hauter from Food and Water Watch and she has just found out that they won their Starbucks campaign. Thanks to thousands of e-mails, phone calls, and rallies by consumers across the country, Starbucks committed to serving only 100% hormone-free milk in all of its U.S. stores by the end of this year.

Now, let's call 1-800-235-2883 to thank Starbucks CEO Jim Donald for doing the right thing and let him know we'll be looking forward to New Year's Day and a happy, healthy, hormone-free 2008!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

New York City Event/Upcoming: Farms not Arms

Farms Not Arms and Family Farm Defenders invite you and your organization to attend:
What: "The War and Rural America." - a public forum and meeting.
Where: The Warwick Hotel, 65 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019
When: Saturday, September 8, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Hosted by: Farms Not Arms and Family Farm Defenders.

As we farmers make our plans to head to New York for the 22nd annual FarmAid concert to benefit America's family farmer, we are facing new challenges.

Almost six years of war has placed a heavy burden on our farms and rural communities, with small towns and rural areas across the country bearing drastically disproportionate numbers of fatalities in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

Global war, global warming, and the excessive use of fossil fuels that fuel them both are adding to the already existing crises of loss of farmland, family farmers and economic opportunity in rural America.

Now we are facing hundreds of thousands of young men and women returning from war to these very communities without adequate healthcare, counseling or vocational training.
At the public forum on The War and Rural America, we will focus on organizing to change our nation's priorities from war and destruction to a constructive program of support for family farmers, regional agriculture, growing of bio-fuels and creating of job opportunities on our farms for returning veterans.

Speakers will include:
Dr. William O'Hare, University of New Hampshire, author of the report on rural casualties.
George Naylor, Iowa soybean farmer, President of National Family Farm Coalition
Jim Goodman, Wisconsin beef and dairy farmer, speaking for Family Farm Defenders
Roger Allison, Missouri hog farmer, Executive Director, Missouri Rural Crisis Center
Ronnie Cummins, President, Organic Consumers Association
Nadia McCaffrey, Gold Star Mom, founder Veterans Village

Facilitating the meeting will be Farms Not Arms co-chairs:
Will Allen and Kate Duesterberg, Cedar Circle Farm, East Thetford, Vermont
John Kiefer, Rosebud Ranch, Saux City, Wisconsin
Michael O'Gorman, Jacobs Farm/Del Cabo, Ensenada, Mexico

Also participating will be numerous veterans and their advocates as we hope to further the building of the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, a politically neutral organization that will work to provide farm jobs, job training and land for deserving veterans and infuse our nation's food production with young people already acquainted with hard work and sacrifice.
Please join us at this important meeting. For more information contact any of the organizations listed above or:

Doug Stevenson, Farms Not Arms, 931-964-2590
425 Farm Road, Suite 5 The Farm, Summertown Tennessee, 38483

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Urge Your Senators to Support Food Aid Reform in the 2007 Farm Bill!

From our friends at The Oakland Institute
Call Senate Now at 202-224-3121 (Operator assistance)

Each year millions of tons of food are shipped from the United States as food aid to respond to crises resulting from droughts, conflicts and severe poverty. While there is little doubt that this aid has saved countless lives, it is also clear that the US program - where most food aid is purchased and bagged by US agribusinesses and shipped by US shipping firms - designed over 50 years ago when the US had abundant food surpluses to dispose of, is enormously inefficient.
A study by the US Government Accountability Office found that rising business and shipping costs have meant that the volume of food aid delivered over the last five years has fallen by more than 50 percent. CARE, one of the world's biggest charities, has just announced that it is turning down some $45 million a year in federal financing, saying American food aid is not only plagued with inefficiencies, but also may hurt some of the very poor people it aims to help. Deliveries of in-kind food aid can undercut local farmers' crop sales, especially when they arrive late, after a new harvest. Changing the way at least a portion of US food aid is purchased could make a huge difference for food aid recipients in countries and regions around the world.

A recent New York Times editorial says, the virtues of purchasing food in recipient countries are self-evident and need full Congressional support! Call your Senator today and let them know that you want them to support the proposed change in the 2007 Farm Bill which would allow for 25% of emergency food aid purchases under Title II to be provided in cash for local and regional purchase rather than as commodities purchased in the United States and shipped to developing countries. To learn more click HERE.

CALL Senate Now at 202-224-3121 (Operator assistance)

From the Oakland Institute

What Difference Does Organic Make (Really)?

Maybe you’re puzzled, like me, by the headlines that keep popping up, asking some version of “Is it worth it to choose organic?” I remember first stumbling on a newspaper headline posing a variation of this question more than seven years ago. Ever since, I’ve read dozens of articles, all with a similar message: The science is complicated — journalists equivocate. More research needs to be done, they add. The average reader is left scratching our head.

So, is it worth it? Sure, we need more science; we can always learn more. But these articles are confusing because they ignore what we already know. And what is that?

Well, we know that our country is blanketed with pesticides every year. By last tally in the United States, we sprayed 1.2 billion (yes, that’s with a “b”) pounds of “active” ingredients in pesticides. And we know that many of these are known to be neurotoxins, hormone disrupters, or probably carcinogens. And we know that millions more pounds of so-called “inert” ingredients are sprayed annually, with the same not-so-lovely effects on wildlife and human life. But we can’t even estimate the amount because companies are not required to disclose them.

What else do we know? We know these pesticides are unnecessary. Organic practices lead to abundant bounty. Just ask Jules Pretty, and his team at the University of Essex in England, who compared productivity on organic and non-organic farms globally, and found that organic farms performed equally well, if not better, in every country they evaluated. Plus, many of the hazardous pesticides we use in the food system are used just to get our produce looking pretty, anyway.

We also know this: Kids are the most vulnerable of all. Why? Because, pound-for-pound, children eat and drink more than adults. They also have more hand-to-mouth contact. (Spend any time with a baby and you’ll know how quickly everything they touch goes one place: into their mouths). The immune system of kids is also less developed and so provides them with less protection. Plus, children tend to eat more of specific fruits and vegetables, so their exposure to particular pesticides can mount quickly and be particularly high.

We can all think of examples; I need only think of my little brother who was a rabid apple juice fanatic. On the day he was leaving for his first cross-country adventure to visit our grandparents, his only question was “Is there apple juice in Jersey?”

Researchers have also found that turning to an organic diet can have a measurable impact on kids’ health. Researchers in Washington studying preschool-age kids found that those with organic diets had lower levels of organophosphate residues than their non-organic munching classmates. As soon as those kids switched their diets to organic, the researchers found a marked decrease in this pesticide residue. As one of the study’s authors pointed out: “Organic produce appears to provide a relatively simple way for parents to reduce their children’s exposure to pesticides.”

So what can we do to reduce our risk and our kids’ risks? Thankfully, it’s really quite simple; we needn’t scratch our heads at all. We can choose organic every chance we get.

Posted first here.

Water, Water Everywhere... If You've Got a Buck

When you choose not to spend money on something you could get for free, do you feel guilty? When you find yourself at the end of the day a couple bucks richer, do you reel with the burden of it? I didn't think so. But if not, then why is New York Times scribe Alex Williams so insistent that folks eschewing high-priced hydration feel so darn guilty? ("Water, Water Everywhere, but Guilt by the Bottleful.") Personally, I don't feel guilty passing up high-falutin' Fuji while I sip my Sigg. By focusing on the guilt charge, Williams misses a key part of the story.

What Williams omits is the real outrage: Not that the pro-public water set are the new eco-nag, as she implies, but that the private companies sucking up this limited natural resource--and then turning around and charging us mightily--are getting away with it. What's worse is that what you are drinking from that Dasani bottle (or any branded water) is unregulated and therefore often no better, and indeed sometimes far worse, than what you could get out of a tap--for free.

Our friends at Food and Water Watch have launched a campaign to Take Back the Tap. Check it out here and... don't feel guilty about it!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Hearst Goes Green

At least, that's what they're seeing. The media behemoth launches a green blog, The Daily Green, and I can't help but pipe in. I'll be posting my musings here, too.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Whose Afraid of Local?

I don't know how many of you are Economist readers but, if you are, you might remember the magazine’s relatively recent attack on local foods advocates. Are locavores just clueless environmentalists who don't have their facts straight? Might it be, as the Economist claimed, actually better for the environment to buy food from halfway around the world, if that food was produced more ecologically? A recent New York Times op-ed picked up a similar line of argument. See below for my mother and my unpublished response to the editor of the Times, click here to read the letters the Times did publish, and check out fan-of-the-local Michael Shuman's "On the Lamb" for an in-depth response.

Unpublished Letter to the Editor/New York Times:
In an apparent attempt to set us straight on real value of “local food” in lightening our earthly footprint, James E. McWilliams (Food That Travels Well, 8.6.07) beats up on a straw man, confusing the whole question. Local foods advocates don’t promote just any kind of local, as he implies. Tyson Foods’ highly inefficient, large-footprint factory may be local to some, but an anathema to sustainable eating activists. His prime example, that in the U.K. imported grass-fed lamb embodies less fossil fuel use than local grain-fed, is not proof that imports are superior but that we should eat less grain-fed meat. He notes that we must include organic, sustainable farming practices, as well as minimal packaging, into our eating calculations, but eat-local folks already heartily agree. The author, moreover, ignores the many reasons beyond the ecological for provisioning locally whenever possible—such as less vulnerability to concentrated political and market power.
Frances Moore Lappé and Anna Lappé
Small Planet Institute

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Help Change School Food

Here's an important message from our colleagues at the Center for Science in the Public Interest...

Dear Colleague,

We have created an on-line petition in support of the Child Nutrition Promotion and School Lunch Protection Act (S771/HR1363), which would have U.S. Department of Agriculture update its decades-old nutrition standards for foods sold out of vending machines, schools stores and other venues in schools (outside the meal programs):

Please take a minute to send the petition to your Senators and Congressional Representatives and to pass it on to your organization's email network, listserves to which you belong, colleagues, friends, and family. Support for the bill is growing (we're up to more than 100 cosponsors), but your support is needed to pass the bill. More information about the bill is available at

Joy Johanson
Senior Policy Associate
Center for Science in the Public Interest

Monday, August 06, 2007

After My Own Heart

Had a fun time this weekend at the Grand Lake Farmers Market near where I grew up in Oakland. Bryant was doing a cooking demo complete with his rendition of KRS-One's Meat. As an added bonus, everyone walked away with this recipe for a watermelon slushee. (I tried it last night and it was delicious!!) Our friends from Sustainable Table stopped by with their bio-diesel bus and its Eat Well Guided Tour of America signs getting attention. Among all the great things they're promoting, they also talked about their "Take Back the Tap" campaign with Food and Water Watch, a cause after my own heart.

This pic is from the pie stop at PIE RANCH from the folks at sustainable table

Monday, July 02, 2007

An Eater and Farmer BILL OF RIGHTS

Check out and sign the Food and Farm Bill of Rights here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Two Americas of Food:Reflections on the 2007 Farm Bill

Check out my post (the first!) on Huffington Post!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Pass the Arsenic, Please

A new article in Chemical & Engineering news, reports on Roxarsone, an arsenic-based additive used in chicken feed. The most common arsenic-based additive used in chicken feed, scientists are worried its use could pose health risks to humans. (Why is it used at all? It's used to promote growth, kill parasites and improve the color of chicken meat). Though it's normally benign, concern has been growing that under certain conditions it can convert into more toxic forms of inorganic arsenic. Because of these concerns, a number of food suppliers have stopped using roxarsone, but still estimates approximate that 70 percent of the 9 billion broiler chickens produced annually in the United States are fed roxarsone. Yum. Read the article here: Chemical & Engineering News, Vol. 85, No. 15, April 9, 2007: 34-35 (Free Full-Text Article) Science Daily April 10, 2007

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Fast Food: The Image vs. The Reality

Check out this site that compares (and contrasts) the advertisement for some scumptious sounding fast food, with the reality of what you get. Yum. Here's a breakfast burrito from McDonald's. Guess which one is the ad?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Love Your Organic Strawberries? Now's the Time to Speak Up!

Join Environmental Working Groups' call to support organic food and farming in this year's decisions about the shape and budget of our new Farm Bill. Sign the petition here.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Our TV Show News...

Check out the new website for The Endless Feast here. If you're in NYC on Sunday June 24, check out the Brooklyn episode on Channel 13.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Village Voice Blog about Our Dinner

Check out the Village Voice food blogger's take on our dinner.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Endless Feast Fiesta at iCi

Last night, more than 100 friends, community members, and family (mom, stepdad, brother!) got together at my neighborhood favorite restaurant, iCi, to celebrate the farm in Red Hook that we showcase in The Endless Feast Brooklyn episode. Lovely, delicious local food was enjoyed by everyone--we even got to sample Six Point Craft Ales brews (featured, along w/ iCi and other local providers in the show), dining alongside the brewmasters themselves. After a dinner which included iCi's not-too-be-missed grits and greens, we gathered in the restaurant's back garden to screen the 22-minute episode. (If you're in NYC, check out the show on June 24 on Channel 13 at 5:30pm.)
from last night---Elizabeth (l) and Ludie (r) from Green Gourmet, mom and me.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Our Friend On The Lot

Our friend, the amazing filmmaker Shalini Kantayya, has been chosen as one of the 50 finalists to appear On the Lot, a new FOX reality TV show. Her film, A Drop of Life, is the chilling story set in the near future in India about the privatization of water. Watch Shalini's interview about it here:

Monday, May 21, 2007


Hey everyone - the National Organic Standards Board has just proposed allowing 38 new non-organic substances in organic-labelled foods. They have a public comment period about this decision open until 5pmEST tomorrow. If you want to learn more about the proposal, visit My two cents is below if you want to add yours:
To comment, go to, search for AMS-TM-07-0062, and submit your comment by clicking on the bubble on the right of the screen ("add comment").
I am writing as a conscious eater to lodge my concerns about the approval of 38 new non-organic agricultural products to be allowed in organic foods. Through my recent work speaking to audiences across the country about sustainable agriculture and organic production, I heard again and again the consensus among U.S. consumers that they want strict standards for organic foods, and that when they see the USDA label the expect those strict standards to be in place.

If there are to be additions of conventionally produced substances into the allowed list, there must be thorough independent unbiased review of the environmental and health impacts of the practices used to grow these crops, raise these animals, and make these products. To date, my understanding is that the NOSB has not received adequate, unbiased information on these additional substances .

Thank you for upholding the integrity of the standard.
Anna Lappe, Brooklyn, NY

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Small Schools Are Cool

youth of today

I had fun this morning conducting a cooking workshop for youth at June Jordan School for Equity in San Francisco. My friend Savannah Shange is one of the committed teachers there.

Monday, May 14, 2007

the kanye west of the food justice movement

the bryant terry of the music industry (center)

check out an interview with me on culinate. the photograph of me was taken by my good friend yamini nayar in b-r-o-o-k-l-y-n.

Kanye has that PMA

Friday, May 11, 2007

Mom Takes Over the World (Well, Sort of)

Check out this announcement from the bold-sounding World Future Council. My mom is one of the founding members and she's in Hamburg now for the official launching of the Council. I'm pasting in the press release (below). Signing off as a proud daughter... Anna

The Future Starts This Week in Hamburg
The World Future Council is Ready to Go.
London/Hamburg, 7 May 2007. The World Future Council (WFC) has reached its full complement of 50 eminent global pioneers, representing all continents from the world of business, politics, civil society and the arts. Now, this strong new voice is about to get even louder.In the future, the WFC will be able to draw on the expertise of the former President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago, The Hon. Arthur N.R. Robinson. He has received the Parliamentarians for Global Action"Defender of Democracy Award", the Order of the Caribbean Community and was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. And in 2002 he was honoured with the Peace Leadership Award from the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.

Joining Robinson as the latest in a long line of prominent figures to join the Council, are Prof. Rae Kwon Chung, Director of the Environment and Sustainable Division of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, Marie-Claire Cordonier Segger,Director of the Centre for International Sustainable Development Law,Mairead Corrigan-Maguire, Co-founder, The Peace People and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Jared Duval, National Director of the Sierra Student Coalition, the author Dr. Riane Eisler, President of the Centre for Partnership Studies, Wes Jackson, Co-founder and President of The Land Institute, Baroness Helena Kennedy, President of the School of Oriental and African Studies (London University) and Member of the House of Lords, UK.

The new councillors will meet with the founding members at the WFC Founding Congress, which begins with a celebratory launch at 10 a.m. on the 10th of May 2007 in the city hall, Hamburg, Germany.

At the ceremony, Ole von Beust, the Mayor of Hamburg, will officially welcome the Council to the city. The initiators of the World Future Council, Jakob von Uexkull (founder of the Right Livelihood Award) and Herbert Girardet (author, environmental expert and film-maker), will outline the aims of the WFC, and also speaking about their involvement in the Council will be interim members of the WFC Executive Committee, Bianca Jagger and Beate Weber.The Council will then go into session until Sunday to set the course forthe WFC's future work. The members of the World Future Council will present the results of the founding congress as well as the Hamburg Call to Action to the G8 and the EU at the main press conference at 11 a.m.on Sunday, 14th May.

The Aims of the World Future Council The World Future Council is a strong new voice in the global arena,which draws on our shared human values to champion the rights of future generations, and working to ensure that humanity acts now to safeguard a sustainable future.Despite having the means to tackle many of the problems we face, the existing global system of governance has so far seemed incapable of addressing them, often failing to adopt available solutions. Supported by an international staff, the WFC's 50 Councillors will propose ethical guidelines for national and international policies.Detailing how they will go about implementing the proposals, Jakob von Uexkull said the Council will help "introduce these into national parliaments via the e-Parliament, a global online network of democratically elected parliamentarians. Our first in a series of major ongoing campaigns will be on tackling global climate change."
Press Contact: Robert Turner

Friday, May 04, 2007

If You See Something, Say Something

I checked out this exhibit at Hunter College last night with my friend Danny. Lots of cool exhibits, but these two were my favorite: The Guerrilla Nutrition Label folks are out to re-label products on supermarket shelves with labels that tell you about what's really important on the inside. So far, their stock includes labels for high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats, and sodium benzoate (a food additive/preservative). Print them out and head out to your nearest grocery store yourself.
I also loved the Rejected Letters to the Editor. As someone who has had lots of rejected letters to the editor, this project spoke to my heart. Particularly hilarious was the page on the site that shared the conversation stream in a listserv for letter-to-the-editor editors reacting to the project.
I always like to myself that we all can play a role in shaping the media we see, hear, and read. One of the best feedback loops newspapers have are the letters that we -- the readers (aka consumers) -- send in. Though the vast majority of them never get published, these letters still they provide important info for the paper. Now, we've all got a vast repository for all of those unpublished ones.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Green is the new Black

We just got word that GRUB has won the Nautilus Book Award in the food/cooking/nutrition category!

The Nautilus is a unique book award, recognizing authors and titles that contribute to our society’s awareness and well-being, and that embrace spiritual and ecological values such as compassion, sustainability, simplicity, and global peace.

Hey we got that PMA (part 2)

Bryant's Gotta Have It

spike lee posing for a photograph

Last night I met one of my artistic heroes--none other than Mr. Shelton Jackson Lee. Before screening Acts II and III of his documentary When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, the San Francisco International Film Festival honored him with its Film Society Directing Award. After a really weird q and a with film critic Wesley Morris, Spike sat down three rows behind me.

Here was my chance.

After jumping some velvet contraption that was meant to keep me away from him, I introduced myself, gave him a copy of Grub, and had him sign my copy of Spike Lee's Gotta Have It.

This is one of my favorite books and has served as a constant source of inspiration. I actually kept a copy on my desk the whole time I was writing Grub. In addition to the full screenplay for Spike's first film She's Gotta Have It (which he hates now), it contains his journal before and during the making of the film. It's so inspiring to see him go from a rail-thin new kid on the block in the mid '80s to one of the most important filmmakers working today.

Spike has that PMA.