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Food Chain Radio News
 Urban Farming Agriculture
              Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
                        #9378•  September 28, 2013  •  Sat 9AM Pacific

                         Guests:  Nick Saul and Andrea Curtis, Co-Authors, The Stop

Can the poor be nourished out of poverty?

Food banks are based on the principal that surplus food should be deposited in a facility where it may be withdrawn by those who hunger.

Today there are nearly a thousand food banks in North America distributing billions of pounds of surplus food through thousands of non-governmental agencies to millions of people in poverty.

Given the number of food banks, the amount of food they distribute, and the numbers of people being fed, it might seem that food banks have always been part of the social landscape.  In fact, they are a relatively recent phenomenon, beginning with the great recession of the 1980s at the St. Vincent de Paul community dining hall in Phoenix, Arizona.

Today food banks are becoming a very big part of many communities, as evidenced by Toronto’s The Stop, which grew from a $250,000 a-year agency in a rat-infested warehouse to a $4,500,000 a-year agency offering farmers markets, catering, gourmet food, and community food events.

These non-governmental food banks, and the people who run them, lead us to ask…

Can the poor be nourished out of poverty?

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Urban Farming Agriculture
              Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
                        #937 •  September 21, 2013  •  Sat 9AM Pacific

                         Guests:  Thomas AmRhein, Vice President, Naturipe Berry Growers

              Cynthia Mathiesen, Global Intellectual Properties Manager, Driscoll’s Berries

Should a private party be allowed to own a public food?

Consider an item of patented food, like the strawberry:  You can touch it, smell it, and eat it, but you may not own it because it contains the intellectual property of someone else.

For even more enjoyment, consider the “Vegas Strip Steak.”

In 2012, the American Bar Association magazine reported the filing of a patent by Oklahoma State University on the method by which a “Vegas Strip Steak” cut of beef might be extracted from a carcas.  This method was apparently unknown by milleniums of butchers until discovered by an OSU meat specialist.

If the patent for the “Vegas Strip Steak” is granted, anyone who wishes to extract the cut from a carcass would be required to get a license from the patent holder– OSU.  In simple terms, obtaining a “Vegas Strip Steak” patent would give OSU control over the cut of meat in every beef cow on the planet.  Were your neighbor to butcher his cow and offer you a “Vegas Strip Steak” for your having aided in the endeavor, the two of you would then become common thieves.

This brief consideration of food as intellectual property leads us to ask: How does an item of natural food become the intellectual property of a private party?  How does the private party maintain control of this intellectual property; and…

Should a private party be allowed to own a public food?

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Food Chain Radio News
Urban Farming Agriculture
    Food Chain Radio Host Michael Olson
       #936 •  September 14, 2013  •  Sat 9AM Pacific
Guests:  Professor Marion Nestle

For whom should we vote to lead us to good eating?
Fortunately, this is an off year, which means there are no major elections to distract us from considering the politics of food.

(Of course, we could discuss the politics of food in an election year, but then our considerations would be hardened by you being on one side of the fence, me on the other, and the both of us would be throwing apples across the fence at each other!)

So here we are, with no apples in hand, nor any political fence to divide us, to calmly discuss how to vote for someone, or something, to lead us to the eating of good food.

Given the number of diets we engage in, the number of times we engage in those diets, and the fact that we keep getting bigger and bigger, and requiring more and more medical care, its plain to see we need someone to lead the way.  Should we vote for Democrats?  Should we vote for Republicans? Or, should we vote for something else?

For whom should we vote to lead us to good food?

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