Tuesday, January 01, 2008

My Holiday Reading List

I've been using a lot of the down time of the holidays to relax, revamp some daily habits, and catch up on my reading.   I've culled through all the newsletters I subscribe to, selectively read blog postings clogging up my email (meaning I've also updated my blog roll, FYI), and feel almost caught up!

One thing I learned is that Michael Pollan is about to have a new book out which I am eagerly anticipating.  While we wait for its publication, here is a thought provoking quote on industrial agriculture from a recent essay in the New York Times:

Its hallmark is "to maximize production and keep food as cheap as possible, [pushing] natural systems and organisms to their limit, asking them to function as efficiently as machines.  When the inevitable problems crop up...the system can be ingenious in finding 'solutions,' whether in the form of antibiotics to keep pigs healthy or 
foreign bees to help pollinate [almonds]. 
 But this year's solutions have a way of becoming next year's problems."

With a new year upon us, I look forward to reading and learning from Pollan, from Fair Traders, and from the unsung heros from my "newsletter" groups such as Borderlinks, the Family Farm Defenders, or the Guatemala Human Rigths Commission/USA.  I'm trusting that all these great influences and renewed energy for economic justice will help us find alternative solutions to the vexing problems--known and unknown-- of 2008. 

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