Sunday, January 27, 2008

A Great Book on Hunger from a Local Author

Closing the Food Gap tells the story of how we get our food: from poor people at food pantries or bodegas and convenience stores to the more comfortable classes, who increasingly seek out organic and local products.

Mark Winne's exploration starts in the 1960s, when domestic poverty was "rediscovered," and shows how communities since that time have responded to malnutrition with a slew of strategies and methods.

But the story is also about doing that work against a backdrop of ever-growing American food affluence and gastronomical expectations.
-Book Review in Amazon.com

Read more about book on Amazon and on Beacon Press)
Listen on NPR’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin (air date November 21st, 2007).
If you have been involved in the anti-hunger and anti-poverty movement here in New Mexico, chances are very strong that you've met Mark Winne at some point.

I've come to know Mark though my involvement in the New Mexico Food and Agriculture Policy Council and through the New Mexico Task Force to End Hunger.

Mark impressed me as someone who works quietly but very effectively behind the scenes to educate the public and especially decision-makers about hunger in our wealthy country. I had the pleasure to sit on a call-in radio show on KUNM about hunger with Mark (and another effective activist Kari Bachman) to talk about hunger in our state of New Mexico.

And Mark, who is communications director for the Community Food Security Coalition, was the guest speaker at our 2007 Offering of Letters workshop in Santa Fe, which dealt with the Farm Bill.


Mark's latest effort to bring attention to the inequities in our food system is a book entitled Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty

The point of the book is that the widening economic gap in America creates a sort of nutritional caste system. Those who have money are able to stay healthy because they can affort to buy organic and locally produced food. In contrast, those who are poor, more often than not, get the "leftovers" from the food system, and may not be as healthy.

"That's an oversimplification but it's an example of how the divide we have in this country, and food in many ways is emblematic of that divide," said Mark in an interview with Mark about his book in the Sunday (Jan. 27) book section of the Albuquerque Journal.

We have covered Mark's writings about the hunger situation in our country in previous blog posts.
New Mexico Must Take Another Bite Out of Hunger
The Cruelest Cuts

Mark will discuss and sign copies of his book on Saturday, Feb. 2, at La Monta
ñita Cooperative Natural Foods Market, 3800 Central SE, (in the Nob Hill Shopping Center), from 11:00 A.M. to 1:00 P.M.

1 comment:

Holly said...

Nice post, Carlos. The idea of a "nutritional caste system" is very interesting. I think it poignantly describes what is happening in America today.