For quite some time I have been wanting to find a way to share my "good reads" about food, agriculture and communities. World Food Day has motivated me to reflect on the prescience of the timeless classics that I hold dear, as well as some newer books hot off the press.
On October 16, 1945, the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization was founded in Québec City. Since 1981, October 16 has also been known as World Food Day. And every year, this day carries a particular theme. "Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too" is the 2016 theme. During the past 35 years, themes have also echoed the environment, climate change, and issues of water, rural poverty, food security and more.
Hurricane Matthew has come and gone, leaving devastation in its wake. So far, at least 1,000 people are reported to have died in Haiti, and at least 39 have died throughout the southeastern United States. In North Carolina, the rivers are still rising. In this election year, given the destruction, you would think climate change would be a major issue. In the presidential debates, which tens of millions watch, there has hardly been a mention. It is what is happening outside, in the grassroots around the country, that gives us hope.
President Barack Obama made a brief statement in the Rose Garden Wednesday, announcing that the global accord to combat climate change, the Paris Agreement, had achieved enough signatories to enter into force. "This gives us the best possible shot to save the one planet we've got," Obama said. At that moment, about 1,200 miles due south, Hurricane Matthew, as reported by Weather Underground, was "reorganizing" and "restrengthening" over the Bahamas, after pounding Haiti and Cuba. Millions along Florida's east coast and many more in South Carolina were battening down their homes and evacuating. Nature's fury raged onward, unmoved by the diplomatic efforts to tame her.