WHAT’S NEXT FOR THE FOOD MOVEMENT? Forty years ago, Frances Moore Lappé’s groundbreaking book, Diet for a Small Planet, was the first serious look at how our diets, food scarcity and ineffective food policy are inexorably intertwined. Following in the tradition of Upton Sinclair and Rachel Carson, Lappé brought food politics to the forefront of public consciousness and inspired generations of activism for healthier diets, saner and more humane food policy and production. As we approach the fortieth anniversary of Lappé’s seminal work, The Nation’s special issue this week takes stock of what has and hasn’t changed in the four decades since Lappé’s call to action. In the introductory piece to the issue, she reflects on these changes—some good and some bad—providing a vital socioeconomic context in the fight for a healthier diet and planet.
In the accompanying forum, familiar names and heavyweights in the food movement—Raj Patel, Michael Pollan, Eric Schlosser, Anna Lappé, Vandana Shiva and others—reflect on the social, economic and political hurdles of today’s food movement. For a terrific overview of what’s in the issue, be sure to read the Huffington Post’s profile of it here. And to commemorate four decades of the food movement, The Nation is proud to sponsor a special conversation with contributors Frances Moore Lappé and Vandana Shiva on Thursday, September 22, at Cooper Union in New York City. Stop by for an engaging conversation and pick up a copy of the issue, now available at TheNation.com.
ALEC EXPOSÉ WINS SIDNEY AWARD. We are proud to receive the September Sidney Award for our joint investigation with the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD), exposing the obscure yet powerful American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) — a conservative group that unites state legislators and corporations to impose a “one-size-fits-all” agenda on state laws. ALECExposed, in the August 1/8 issue of The Nation, offers a never-before-seen look at the origins of the right-wing legislative assault on labor, education, healthcare and voting rights in states across the country. As I told the Hillman Foundation, the joint investigation is an important reminder to refocus on the battle to loosen the grip of corporate America and renew democracy in the states. Congratulations to Mary Bottari and Lisa Graves at the Center for Media and Democracy, who made available 800 leaked ALEC documents online ALECExposed, and to all the contributors—Nation DC Correspondent John Nichols, Joel Rogers, Laura Dresser and Julie Underwood from the University of Wisconsin, Center for Media and Democracy Senior Fellow Wendell Potter and The Nation’s Associate Editor Liliana Segura. Congratulations to all!
GET ‘UP WITH CHRIS HAYES.’ Set your alarms and coffee pots. Former Nation DC Editor and now Editor-at-Large Chris Hayes’ new show will debut this weekend on MSNBC. ‘Up w/ Chris Hayes’ will air live Saturday’s from 7-9 am and Sunday’s from 8–10 am ET with a focus on politics, headlines, interviews, panels with pundits, politicos and voices outside the mainstream. Saturday’s debut will feature a one-on-one interview with House Minority Leader (and former House Speaker) Nancy Pelosi. As a writer, reporter and editor, Chris brought intellectual firepower, reportorial storytelling, creative dynamism and stylistic distinction to The Nation’s coverage of political ideas. He will no doubt bring that and more as one of the youngest cable anchors on TV. It’s not to miss. And for an early taste, be sure to check out this behind-the-scene look at Chris and his crew prepping for Saturday’s debut.
NATION INVESTIGATION MOVES FORWARD. This week, we were delighted to learn that Congressman John Tierney (D-MA) is continuing his fight for investigations into rampant corruption over military contracting in Afghanistan. In a letter to Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Tierney expressed “deep concern” over the failure of the Pentagon to ban contractors from doing business with the US government. The Nation’s Aram Roston’s stunning investigation in November 2009, “How the US Funds the Taliban,” revealed how military contractors funneled money to insurgents in Afghanistan to prevent attacks on US military supply lines. Roston’s investigation shook up the debate over private contracting in war zones and sparked Congressional inquiries that have led to numerous hearings. On Thursday, a panel of Pentagon officials testified before the House Oversight and Government Reform national security subcommittee. More on that here.
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