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

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.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

What Will You Be Doing on Mardi Gras? Why, going to vote...

On Feb. 5, New Mexico will joining 23 other states in what some are calling "Super Duper Tuesday" or "Super-Sized Tuesday" or "Tsunami Tuesday."

Perhaps they were hoping to upstage Mardi Gras? (Did you notice that Louisiana will wait to hold its primary until Saturday, Feb. 9? I think the good citizens of that state may already have plans on Feb. 5)

Anyway, you get the picture. We have a chance to put in our two cents regarding the Democratic candidates for U.S. President. And please keep in mind that only registered Democrats will be voting. They call it a "caucus," but it looks like it's going to be more like a primary.

Republicans will have their primary on June 3. On that day, Republicans and Democrats will also be voting in the primary elections for Congress and our US Senate seat. (Check out the blog post about the congressional elections)

So please join us on Mardi Gras Tuesday to cast your vote for Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich...And some folks will be on the ballot who aren't running any more, including our own Gov. Bill and Chris Dodd and Joe Biden.

Anway, if you're wondering how it all works, here is some information lifted from the Democratic Party of New Mexico website.


The New Mexico Presidential Preference Caucus is a statewide election conducted on February 5th, 2008 by the Democratic Party of New Mexico for the purpose of voting for the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. The results of this election will be used to determine New Mexico’s allocation of delegates among the Democratic Presidential Candidates to the Democratic National Convention in August 2008. There will be a total of 184 caucus sites on February 5th.

Any registered Democrat in New Mexico can request an Absentee Ballot. Members of the Armed Forces, spouses and dependants of military personnel overseas and any other voter registered as a Democrat in New Mexico who is overseas may also vote by mail by requesting an Absentee Ballot.

Absentee Ballot Request Forms can be sent via mail, fax or email to the Democratic Party of New Mexico (DPNM), or forms may be submitted in person to DPNM Headquarters.


The Guv's Blog

Now that he's not running for president of the United States, Gov. Bill Richardson can dedicate more time to "blogging." LOL! He doesn't give you an opportunity to comment directly on his (his PR staff's?) posts, but you do know what the governor is thinking about certain issues.
Check out Gov. Bill Richardson's "blog" There is a menu on the left that has the option to "e-mail the governor" So perhaps you can add your two cents this way. Governor, welcome to the blogosphere.