Winter 2017 Volume 23 Number 4 About This Issue Dr. Tonya Muro, Executive Director of iEARN-USA leads off the first KIDS Newsletter issue of 2017.

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Winter 2017

Volume 23

Number 4

About This Issue

Dr. Tonya Muro, Executive Director of iEARN-USA leads off the first KIDS Newsletter issue of 2017. In the brief time we have worked with her, we are impressed with the energy, zest and enthusiasm she brings to the organization. As you will read, she is a strong supporter of the work done by KIDS.

Our old friend Joan Gussow returns to our pages and challenges us to take a close look at what we put into our mouths. Joan was a major player in the early days (and before) of KIDS and continues to stir the pot, causing us to become aware of the impact that what we choose to eat has on the environment and those who share this planet.

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Finding Solutions to Hunger and Poverty - One Act of Empathy at a Time...By Tonya Muro

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Tonya Muro

Greetings, Friends! I am honored as iEARN-USA’s (International Education and Resource Network) Executive Director to kick off the first 2017 edition of the quarterly KIDS newsletter as a proud partner and KIDS/Finding Solutions to Hunger, Poverty and Inequality project admirer.

A lot has happened in the early months of 2017. That
is an understatement. I am still processing the power and possibility of strength in numbers from the Washington, DC Women’s March. I walked with thousands for so many reasons – including systemic issues of health, hunger and poverty that continue to plague so many women and children in the US and abroad, and in our own backyard. This perennial, global and local issue, shows no signs of abating, sadly. In New York City alone, nearly a half a million hungry children will have skipped a meal as you are reading this article

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Living on Lettuce...By Joan Gussow

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Joan Gussow

Decades before the flood of movies and books and farm worker exposes of downer cattle being dragged into slaughterhouses, and dying chickens whose growers have been turned into serfs, farmer/poet Wendell Barry wrote that “Americans are eating more ignorantly than any people in history” He was talking about the way in which we had become so distanced from the places where our food was grown and so seduced by the food-like products filling the supermarkets that we had no idea at all where food came from or how it was produced. Those were the days when we older folks reminded each other in dismay that elementary school children really thought milk came from a carton in the supermarket, though we ourselves could not have traced back to its source most of what was in those gaudy supermarket packages.

Lately, however, things have seemed to be changing, and those of us in what has been called the local food movement have been happy to believe that what with thousands of community supported agriculture groups and farmers markets, what with Walmart selling Organic and even “local” food, the psychological distance—and often even the physical distance—between growers and consumers has shrunk. And given the thousands of schoolyard gardens that often supply a bit of local produce to their own cafeterias, it seems clear that we are raising a generation of children who will be much wiser than we have been about the sources of their food.

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Fried Frogs and Fiery Fruit...By Jason Woods

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Jason Woods

Innovative farmers in Vietnam are teaming up with Heifer to raise frogs and cultivate exotic fruits that look like balls of fire. The farmers are following Heifer's original strategy by raising cows to improve health and income. This marriage of old and new approaches in spawning collaboration and success across the Mekong Delta.

Tang and her family earn about $125 a month from the sale of dragon fruit, which are popular in Vietnam.

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Book Review – The Taste of War: World War Two and The Battle for Food, by Lizzie Collingham...Reviewed by Martin C. Fergus

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Martin C. Fergus

What can an analysis of food policy prior to, during and immediately after World War II contribute to our understanding of food issues in the 21st century? As it turns out, a great deal. Lizzie Collingham’s The Taste of War: World War II and the Battle for Food (New York: The Penguin Press, 2011) not only provides rich historical detail about a topic receiving limited attention in prior accounts of the war; it also offers a lens through which critical aspects of today’s global food system are brought into sharp focus. Along the way it helps us answer key questions about who eats well in our world, who does not, and why. And it exposes in stark relief the disturbing potential for a new conflict over food to reemerge in the coming decades.

There is obviously a vast literature that explores the origins and conduct of the Second World War. We are familiar with the ambitions of the Axis countries to become Great Powers as well as the fascist ideology that promoted and attempted to justify the inhumane treatment of peoples throughout the world, whether in German-occupied Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union, in the nation of Ethiopia, or within Manchuria in China. The role that competition over access to the world’s resources played in the lead-up to war is also well- documented. Collingham does not dismiss the importance of such explanations; in fact, she provides many vivid and disturbing details of the horrors that grew out of these factors. What she does that is so valuable is to provide another dimension to this analysis that is especially revealing.

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