Food and Water:  Access, Safety and Security

The urgency for some societies to deaccelerate birthings is coupled with and aggravated by yet another aspect of the industrialized nations' colonial agenda:  control over the world's resources,[1] specifically its food supply.[2]  I ask you, “What is your relationship to food?”[3]  For most of you, I suspect your answer is not the same as my honored author-friend, Gary Nabhan: 

Eating is perhaps the most direct way we acknowledge or deny the sacredness of the earth.  It has been a year now since I began my modest attempt to focus on the foods of my local landscape, and I have decided that it has been more like an extended meditation than a diet or an experiment.  I have brewed and chewed over my relationship to desert soils and salty waters, to ancient traditions and modern trade networks, and to other lives: those of my human, plant, and animal neighbors. 

Today, I will eat the last of last year=s squash for dinner, but this winter squash is too big to core as my grandfather once demonstrated to me.  I will layer between its steamed slices onions and native spices, then sauté them in sunflower oil.  And as I take the first mouthful, I will close my eyes and see if it tastes of home.  Because I have farmed squash, studied them, painted them, and even hand-pollinated them, their taste reminds me of a long vine of connections.[4]


Is your relationship closer to a two-week-old refrigerated unwashed pot of Coney Island clam chowder?

            Red and brown, white and fungus blues,

            Penicillin, streptomycin, green goddess dew,

            Filled with spice and chewy balls,

            Erythacin, achromycin, canned mandarin orange

            Terramycin, perimycin, and seasoning salt,

            Sauce agar-spread colonies all grown for you.

            Pneumonia, arthritis, fever, or dandruff,

            Tetani, welchii, diptheriae, more?

            Per se or not, it's still a risk,

            So with toweled hands I hold the casket,

            And run outside to find a basket.

            And trichinosis hides in ham,

            Then what is there inside a clam?

Or, how many of us have made a meal “at the end of the shortest food chain of all.  What I had in mind was a dinner prepared entirely from ingredients I had hunted, gathered and grown myself.”[5]

            My wager in undertaking this experiment is that hunting and gathering (and growing) would perforce teach me about the ecology and ethics of eating that I could not get in a supermarket or fast-food chain or even on a farm.  Some very basic things: about the ties between us and the species (and natural systems) we depend upon; about how we decide what in nature is good to eat and what is not; and about how the human body fits into the food chain, not only as an eater but as a hunter and, yes, a killer of other creatures.  For one of the things I was hoping to accomplish by rejoining, however briefly, this shortest and oldest of food chains was to take some more direct, conscious responsibility for the killing of the animals I eat.  Otherwise, I felt, I really shouldn't be eating them.  While I'd already slaughtered a handful of chickens in Virginia [on Polyface Farm], the experience had disconcerted me and left the hardest questions untouched.  Killing doomed domesticated animals on the assembly line, where you have to keep pace with the expectations of others, is an excellent way to remain only semi-conscious about what it is you're really doing.  By contrast the hunter, at least as I imagined him, is alone in the woods with his conscience.[6]

Certainly, our connections to food stem from personal cost-benefit judgments; yet our choices have lost their profoundness.  For most in society, it involves the unthinking acceptance of commercialization, long-haul transportation, and mass scale production.  Did this begin as a conscious compromise of our attention to the integrity of what we place into our bodies, or was the choice superimposed upon us by those corporations that advocate large economics of scale and advertisers of sugar, antibiotic, and preservative laden products?[7]  When did we lose the slow food meal?[8]  How come we don=t all shop in organic supermarkets, but if someone wants pesticide-laden food, that person must go to a small specialty shop and pay more?[9]  Why, as lawyers, do we conjure up food hate laws,[10] ease guidelines on pig sanitation (right to farm laws),[11] shrink the definition of foreseeable harm, or attempt to enact laws limiting liability for the unintended consequences of genetically engineered food?[12]

            In a global economy, will farmers and countries be able to choose what they eat, what they produce, what type of agricultural methods they employ, or whether they continue to farm at all?[13]  Will climate change inform those choices?[14]  Working under the assumption that numerical overpopulation results in a shortage of food for an ever-increasing number of mouths, agribusinesses offer a reduced-cost, heightened-risk alternative to naturally-grown foods.[15]  Some agribusiness proponents argue that genetically-modified (GM) foods and the mono-cropping methods used to manufacture them will help feed the world's undernourished population.[16]  While it can be true that these foods may be priced lower than naturally-grown foods,[17] records of the health implication of GM foods are spotty at best.[18]  What is well documented, however, is the impact such agribusinesses have had on landscape and culture.[19]  As GM food businesses purchase lands rich in biodiversity with the intention of growing one crop for export purposes, the communities living on or near that land lose the balanced diet that comes from eating fresh, diverse foods grown locally.[20]  Losing that connection to local food contexts diminishes a community's connection to their land and, often, to their very understanding of themselves as people.[21]

            On a daily basis we are all confronted with demystifying the claims of competing food advocates in the face of often hidden, or worse, ignored, worldwide starvation and economic disparity.[22]  Or, we should be.  We argue the scientific certainty of safety of bioengineered crops, which transport themselves in processed packaging under long-haul conditions.  We make cost-benefit judgments over how much control we, individually, choose to make in what we put into our bodies – what we consider, or not, nourishment.  But we do know that certain events are happening.[23] 

            A handful of companies control large percentages of the world's seeds and they often systematize schemes for claiming patents to them—patents on life[24]---in contravention of plant-breeders rights.[25]  When Monsanto, the world's largest agricultural-biotechnology company, purchased Seminis, the world's largest vegetable seed company, it acquired the rights to 3,500 fruit and vegetable seed varieties, including 75 percent of the tomato seeds and 85 percent of pepper seeds commercially available.[26]  Just two companies, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, control seventy-five percent of the market in transportation of grain.[27]  Food advertisements are domineering.[28]  Cultures are being steamrolled into reformation of food practices and are being launched away from bioregional sustainable farming and into the waters of export-dominated food production.[29] 

            So, how we acknowledge the given role food has within each culture is necessarily dependent upon how we value it.  Not an earth-shaking statement in itself.  But how we come to terms with the price of food in relation to its ultimate cultural cost means examining just what viewpoint is being globalized.  If it is maximum profits for transnational corporations, then that is one value.  If it is competition for control over world food production, that is another.  If it means increasing participation, locally, in the decision-making over what we eat, that is still another.[30]

            I have focused thus far on food, but another life-sustaining resource—water—is rapidly being diverted away from communities in less-industrialized nations.  In the essay, “Blue Gold:  The Global Water Crisis and the Commodification of the World's Water Supply,” Maude Barlow suggests that the industrialized nations are perpetuating a growing social inequity in the distribution of clean water, increasingly harming those communities that are most severely in need of potable water.[31]  Barlow goes on to describe the fissures created in communities, within nations, and across continents because of commercial water privatization, appropriation, and exportation[32] and argues that access to water is a basic human right.[33]  She queries:  Who owns water?  Should anyone?  Should it be privatized?  What rights do transnational corporations have to buy water systems?  Should it be traded as a commodity in the open market?  What laws do we need to protect water?  What is the role of the government?[34]  How do those in water rich countries share with those in water poor countries?  Who is the custodian for nature's lifeblood?  How do ordinary citizens become involved in this process?[35]

The globalization course syllabus, then, is an attempt to wade through the puddles of cynicism and map the legal-cultural intersections of population, food, and now increasingly the multinational dynamism of water.


                [1] For a powerful formulation arguing that colonial rule continues to be carried out in the contemporary era, albeit under very different circumstances and with very different implications for individual nation-states of all sizes, see Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire (2000).  For a more optimistic statement of potential positive outcomes for such a situation, see their follow-up work, Multitude:  War and Democracy in the Age of Empire (2004).

[2]  See generally Special Report, The End of Plenty: The Global Food Crisis, Nat'l Geographic 26, June, 2009; Bryan Walsh, The Real Cost of Cheap Food, Time Mag. 30, August 31, 2009; Issue, Food for Everyone: How to Grow a Local Food Revolution, Yes Mag., Spring 2009; Issue, The Pleasures & Politics of Food, The Wilson Quart. 29, Summer 2003; Issue, Food Fights, N.Y. Times Mag., October 12, 2008; Stephen Doyle and Zack Zavislak, Feed the World: The Future of Food: How Science Will Solve the Next Global Crisis, Wired 188, November 2008; Helen Cushing, Feeding the Machine, Living Planet 56, Winter 2001; Karen Lehman & Al Krebs, Control of the World's Food Supply, in Mander 122-130; Richard Manning, The Oil We Eat:  Following the Food Chain Back to Iraq, Harper's Mag. 37, Feb. 2004; Vandana Shiva, A World View of Abundance, Orion, Summer 2000.  Ten corporations control 65% of proprietary seed for major crops.  Four firms account for 50% of the proprietary market alone.  Lynda Waddington, “Monsanto, Big Ag has ‘troubling' control over seed market, report finds,” The Iowa Independent, December 29, 2009;   They also control global agri-chemical and pest control market.   Only two companies, Cargill and Archer Daniels Midland, contol three quarters of the global trade in grain.  Charlie Kimber, It's Not Just McDonald's:  Corporations that Control World's Food, Socialist Worker Online, Aug. 10, 2002, available at; Geoffrey Tansey, Food for Thought:  Intellectual Property Rights, Food, and Biodiversity, Harv. Int'l Rev. 54, Spring 2002; Barbara Kingsolver, A Fist in the Eye of God, in Small Wonder 93 (2002); Kathleen McAfee, Genetically Modified Morals:  A Global Food Fight, Int'l Herald Tribune, Fri., June 13, 2003, Donald G. McNeil, Jr., When Real Food Isn't an Option, N.Y. Times, May 23, 2004, at sec. 4. pp. 1, 12;

[3] Food leads us directly into our relationships with [Animal Rights]: (see Virginia Morell, Minds of Their Own: Animals Are Smarter Than You Think; National Geographic 36, March 2008; Craig Holdrege & Steve Talbott, The Question Science Won't Ask, Orion 24, July/August 2006); Confined Animal Feeding Operations – factory farming – CAFOs (see Michael Pollan, An Animal's Place, N.Y. Times, Nov. 16, 2002, Magazine, p. ___; Michael Pollan, Our Decrepit Food Factories,  N.Y. Times,  December 16, 2007, Magazine, p. 25; Michael Pollan, Cattle Futures, N.Y. Times Mag., January 11, 2004, p. 11; Michael Pollan, Power Steer, N.Y. Times Mag.,  March 31, 2002, at Sec. 6, p. 44; Nathanael Johnson, Swine of the Times: The Making of the Modern Pig, Harpers Magazine 47, May 2006; Emily Dugan, Exposed: The Long, Cruel Road to the Slaughterhouse;; Editorial, The Worst Way of Farming, N.Y. Times, May 31, 2008,; Environmental News Service, Farm Animal Industry Must Change, Says Pew Commission,; Pew Commission on Industrial Farm Animal Production,; [Truck Safety]: (See Marc Lacey and Ginger Thompson, As Clinton Visits Mexico, Strains Show in Relations, NY Times, March 24, 2009, /25 mexico.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=mexican%20trucks&st=cse);  [Farm Subsidies]: (see Farm Subsidy Database,, N.A.F.T.A., labeling (see Editorial, Origins of Our Food, N.Y. Times, July 4, 2007,; Andrew Martin, Meat Labels Hope to Lure the Sensitive Carnivore, N.Y. Times, October 24, 2006,; AP Staff Writers, Italian Farmers Protest Food; hungry people eating rare wildlife, food safety and food borne illness, F.D.A. regulation of pesticides, genetic engineering, transgenic fish, corn as contraceptives, bulimia in Fiji, potatoes that glow when they need water because a firefly gene told them to.  Coca-Cola has identified 32 “beverage occasions” each day, and in hundreds of countries.  See Seth Stevenson, I'd Like To Buy The World a Shelf-Stable Children's Lactic Drink, N.Y. Times Mag., Mar. 10, 2002, at sec. 6, p. 38.

[4] Gary Paul Nabhan, Coming Home to Eat, Orion, Summer 2000, at 32-40, available at

                [5] Michael Pollan, The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals 277 (Penguin Press 2006).

                [6] Id. at 280-281.  Pollan writes:

Anthropologists marvel at just how much cultural energy goes into managing the food problem.  But as students of human nature have long suspected, the food problem is closely tied to…well, to several other big existential problems.  Leon Kass, the ethicist, wrote a fascinating book called The Hungry Soul: Eating and the Perfection of Our Nature, in which he teases out the many philosophical implications of human eating.  In a chapter on omnivorousness, Kass quotes at length from philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau, who in his Second Discourse draws a connection between our freedom from instinct in eating and the larger problem of free will.  Rousseau is after somewhat bigger game in this passage, but along the way he offers as good a statement of the omnivore's dilemma as you're likely to find:

…nature does everything in the operations of a beast, whereas man contributes to his operations by being a free agent.  The former chooses or rejects by instinct and the latter by an act of freedom, so that a beast cannot deviate from the rule that is prescribed to it even when it would be advantageous to do so, and a man deviates from it often to his detriment.  Thus a pigeon would die of hunger near a basin filled with the best meats, and a cat upon heaps of fruit or grain, although each could well nourish itself on the food it disdains if it made up its mind to try some.  Thus dissolute men abandon themselves to the excesses which cause them fever and death, because the mind depraves the senses and because the will still speaks when nature is silent.

Guided by no natural instinct, the prodigious and open-ended human appetite is liable to get us into all sorts of trouble, well beyond the stomachache.  For if nature is silent, what's to stop the human omnivore from eating anything -- including, most alarmingly, other human omnivores?  A potential for savagery lurks in a creature capable of eating anything.  If nature won't draw a line around human appetite, then human culture must step in, as indeed it has done, bringing the omnivore's eating habits under the government of all the various taboos (foremost, the one against cannibalism), customs, rituals, table manners, and culinary conventions found in every culture.  There is a short and direct path from the omnivore's dilemma to the astounding number of ethical rules with which people have sought to regulate eating for as long as they have been living in groups.


‘Without virtue' to govern his appetites, Aristotle wrote, man of all the animals ‘is most unholy and savage, and worst in regard to sex and eating.'  Paul Rozin has suggested, only partly in jest, that Freud would have done well to build his psychology around our appetite for food rather than our appetite for sex.  Both are fundamental biological drives necessary to our survival as a species, and both must be carefully channeled and socialized for the good of society.  (‘You can't just grab any tasty-looking morsel', he points out.)  But food is more important than sex, Rozin contends.  Sex we can live without (at least as individuals), and it occurs with far less frequency than eating.  Since we also do rather more of our eating in public, there has been a more elaborate cultural transformation of our relationship to food than there is to sex.

Michael Pollan, The Anxiety of Eating: An Excerpt from The Omnivore's Dilemma, reprinted in The Sun, May 2006, at 13, 16-17.]

[7]  Lehman & Krebs, Karen Lehman & Al Krebs, Control of the World's Food Supply, in The Case Against the Global Economy at 122-130 (Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith eds., 1996); Stuart Laidlaw, Secret Ingredients: The Brave New World of Industrial Farming (2003); Raj Patel, Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System (2008); Peter Chapman, Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Shaped the World (2008); Felicity Lawrence, Not on the Label (2004); Stan Cox, Sick Planet: Corporate Food and Medicine (2008);  Marc Lappe & Britt Bailey, Against the Grain:  Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food (1998); Vandana Shiva, Stolen Harvest:  The Hijacking of the Global Food Supply (1999); Wendell Berry, The Meat You Eat:  How Corporate Farming Has Endangered America's Food Supply (2004); Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation:  The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001); Betty Fussell, Raising Steaks: The Life and Times of American Beef (2008); Andrew Rimas & Evan D.G. Fraser, Beef: The Untold Story of How Milk, Meat, and Muscle Shaped the World (2008); Paul Roberts, The End of Food (2008); Nicholas D. Kristof, Pathogens in Our Pork, NY Times, March 15, 2009, at sec. wk. p. 13; Michael Pollan, The Way We Live Now: The (Agri)cultural Contradictions of Obesity, NY Times, October 12, 2003, at sec. 6, p. 41; E. Melanie Dupuis, Nature's Perfect Food:  How Milk Became America's Drink (2002); E. Melanie Dupuis, The Body and the Country:  A Political Ecology of Consumption, in New Forms of Consumption, Consumers, Culture and Commodification (M. Gottdeiner, Ed.) 131 (2000); George Ritzer and Seth Oradia, The Process of McDonaldization Is Not Uniform, Nor Are Its Settings, Consumers, or the Consumption of Its Goods and Services, in New Forms of Consumption, Consumers, Culture and Commodification (M. Gottdeiner, Ed.) 33 (2000).

[8] See  The automation of lunch is a major industry in Europe.  John Tagliabue, In Italy, the Vending Machine Bakes; Inventor Takes Human Touch Out of the Recipe for Fresh Pizza, NY Times, March 14, 2009, at sec. B, p. 4.  For a list of voices in the sustainable food movement and the Eat Well Guide, see Cultivating the Web: High Tech Tools for the Sustainable Food Movement, Eat Well Guide Publishers, 2008.  Cf. Tom Standage, An Edible History of Humanity (2009).

[9] Suggested by my colleague, Mona Hymel.  The argument by agribusiness giants that petroleum contaminants are required to generate large-scale quantities of food to feed an ever increasing population merely begs the question of why our societies have accepted centralized control over food production, distribution, and safety.  The same can, and will, be said concerning the commodification of water or other mandatory necessities for life (e.g., medicines).  But see, Andrew Martin, Is a Food Revolution Now in Season?, NY Times, March 22, 2009, at sec. Bu, p. 1 (discussing the new political climate in Washington embracing local food production).

                [10] See generally Colleen Lynch, Disregarding the Marketplace of Ideas: A Constitutional Analysis of Agricultural Disparagement Statutes, 18 L.J. & Com. 167, 182 (1998); Eileen Gay Jones, Forbidden Fruit: Talking About Pesticides and Food Safety in the Era of Agricultural Product Disparagement Laws, 66 Brooklyn L. Rev. 823, 842 (2000/2001); David Bederman, Food Libel: Litigating Scientific Uncertainty in a Constitutional Twilight Zone, 10 DePaul Bus. L.J. 191, 192 (1998); Bederman et al, Of Banana Bills and Veggie Hate Crimes: The Constitutionality of Agricultural Disparagement Statutes, 34 Harv. J. Legis. 135, 156 (1997); Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber, Shut Up And Eat: The Lessons of the Oprah Trial; The Nation 10, Feb. 16, 1998.

[11]  But see the work of Tom Linzey of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund,   

[12]  Please have a look at these articles: Julie A. Davis and Lawrence C. Levine, Biotechnology=s Challenge to the Law of Torts, 32 McGeorge L. Rev. 221 (2000); Richard Revesz, Environmental Regulation, Cost-Benefit Analysis, and the Discounting of Human Lives, 99 Columbia L. Rev. 941 (1999); and Mari Matsuda, On Causation, 100 Colum. L. Rev. 2195 (2000).

                [13] See generally Debbie Barker, Report: The Rise and Predictable Fall of Globalized Industrial Agriculture, International Forum on Globalization (2007);;;;; Report, Monsanto v. U.S. Farmers, Center for Food Safety (2005); www.percyschmeiser.comFarmers Fleeing Ancient Centre of Philippine Rice, NY Times, April 24, 2008,; Martha Fackler, Japan's Rice Farmers Fear Their Future is Shrinking, NY Times, March 29, 2009, Sec. A, p. 6.

                [14]  Paul Roberts, The End of Food (2008); William R. Cline, Global Warming and Agriculture: End-of-Century Estimates by Country (2007).  Which farmers will be able to take advantage of climatic changes?  See Hope Shand, Corporations Grab Climate Genes,; Rick Weiss, Firms Seek Patents on ‘Climate-Ready' Altered Crops,

[15]  Wendell Berry, The Whole Horse:  The Preservation of the Agrarian Mind, in The Fatal Harvest Reader 42 (A. Kimbrell ed., 2002); Daniel Imhoff, Community Supported Agriculture:  Farming with a Face on It, in Mander 426; Lehman & Krebs, Karen Lehman & Al Krebs, Control of the World's Food Supply, in The Case Against the Global Economy at 128-130 (Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith eds., 1996); at 128-30; Nabhan, Gary Paul Nabhan, Coming Home to Eat, Orion, Summer 2000, at 32-40, available at; cf. Robert Paarlberg, The Global Food Fight, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2000, at 24 [claiming that GM foods can help relieve poverty and malnutrition in less developed nations]; Ford Runge & Benjamin Senauner, A Removable Feast, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2000, at 40.  See also Bill Marsh, The Overflowing American Dinner Plate, NY Times, August 3, 2008, at sec. BU, p. 7.

[16]  See generally Peter Pringle, Food, Inc.:  Mendel to Monsanto -- The Promises and Perils of the Biotech Harvest (Simon & Shuster 2003); Paarlberg, Robert Paarlberg, The Global Food Fight, Foreign Affairs, May/June 2000, at 24 [claiming that GM foods can help relieve poverty and malnutrition in less developed nations]; note 170, at 24; Runage & Senauner, Ford Runge & Benjamin Senauner, A Removable Feast, FOREIGN AFFAIRS, May/June 2000, at 40; Craig Canine, Building a Better Banana, Smithsonian 96, October 2005; Honor Hsin, Bittersweet Harvest:  The Debate Over Genetically Modified Crops, Harv. Int'l Rev. 38, Spring 2002; Lawrence Busch, Assumptions about Biotechnology and Agriculture, 10 MSU-DCL J. Int'l L. 57 (2001).  Report, Failure to Yield: Evaluating the Performance of Genetically Modified Crops, Union of Concerned Scientists, April 14, 2009; Pamela Ronald, Tomorrow's Table for Nature,; Cormac Sheridan, Report Claims No Yield Advantage for Bt Crops, see Clare Hope Cummings, Artificial Foods and Corporate Crops: Can One Escape the ‘Frankenstate'?,;; [Food Safety Review, Spring 2002]; Special Report: GM Crops, The Ecologist, July/August 2003; John Robbins, Are Genetically Modified Foods the Answer to World Hunger?, Earth Island J. 26, Winter 2001-02.  Jennifer Ackerman, Food:  How Safe?  How Altered?, Nat'l Geogr. 2, 32, May 2002 (Series:  Challenges for Humanity); Jim Lobe, Risks of Genetically Modified Foods Under Global Debate, One, Feb. 23, 2004 (discussing the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety); Contamination of Conventional Seed with Genetically Engineered Material Prompts Call to Protect Organic Seed (press release), (discussing findings of Union of Concerned Scientists showing widespread contamination of conventional seed); Lawsuit Challenges Open-Air Testing of Genetically Engineered ‘Biopharm' Crops (press release); Mike Geniella, Mendocino County Voters Ban Biotech Crops, Animals, Santa Rosa Press, Mar. 3, 2004,   See also Cecily G. Monsman, Nanotechnology and the Future of Agriculture (Dec. 15, 2003) (unpublished manuscript); Jim Thomas, Nano Cuisine, The Ecologist 11, April 2004;; Genetic modification is but one of a long list of technologies whose placement into human life introduces us to the precautionary principle, a contrarian doctrine to the all speed ahead role technological invention generally pushes us.  The “precautionary” concept will be discussed ahead in the text.  See generally Carolyn Raffensperger, Precaution and Security: the Labyrinthine Challenge, Whole Earth 34, Fall 2002; Amory B. and L. Hunter Lovins, A Tale of Two Botanies, Wired, Apr. 2000 .

On the safety of food, in general, see Ian Shaw, Is It Safe to Eat?:  Enjoy Eating and Minimize Food Risks (2005); Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001);; Michael Pollan, Cattle Futures?, N.Y. Times Mag., Jan. 11, 2004, at sec. 6, p. 11; Eric Schlosser, Bad Meat:  The Scandal of Our Food Safety System, The Nation, Sept. 16, 2002, at p. 6; Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation, The Ecologist 40, Apr. 2004; Marian Burios, Warily Searching For Safer Beef, N.Y. Times, Dec. 31, 2003, at D1, D4.

[17]  See Michael Pollan, The (Agri) Cultural Contradictions of Obesity, N.Y. Times Mag., Oct. 12, 2003, at sec. 6, p. 41; Jennifer Clapp, WTO Agricultural Trade Battles and Food Aid, 25 Third World Q. 1493 (2004); Jim Lobe, Fast-Food Giant Ignores Rights of Workers,, Mar. 16, 2004,; Michael Pollan, A Flood of U.S. Corn Rips at the Heart of Mexico's Farms, The Ecologist 6, June 2004.

[18]  Stuart Laidlaw, Secret Ingredients:  The Brave New World of Industrial Farming (2003); Brian Tokar, Redesigning Life?:  The Worldwide Challenge to Genetic Engineering, McGill-Queens University Press, 2001; Schlosser, Eric Schlosser, Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal (2001); Andrew Kimbrell, Seven Deadly Myths of Industrial Agriculture, The Fatal Harvest Reader 3 (A. Kimbrell ed., 2002); Lehman & Krebs, Karen Lehman & Al Krebs, Control of the World's Food Supply, in The Case Against the Global Economy at 123 (Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith eds., 1996); Ellen Ruppel Shell, New World Syndrome, Atlantic Monthly, June 2001 at 53; Carey Gillam, Biotech Crops Cause Big Jump in Pesticide Use: Report,

[19]  Helena Norberg-Hodge, The Pressure to Modernize and Globalize, in The Case Against the Global Economy at 45 (Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith eds., 1996); see generally Brian Tokar (ed.), Gene Traders & Biotechnology, World Trade and the Globalization of Hunger (2004); Donald L. Bartlett and James B. Steele, Monsanto's Harvest of  Fear, Vanity Fair 156, May, 2008; Ellen Ruppel Shell, New World Syndrome, Atlantic Monthly, June 2001; Vandana Shiva, A World View of Abundance, ORION, Summer 2000; ERIC SCHLOSSER, FAST FOOD NATION: THE DARK SIDE OF THE ALL-AMERICAN MEAL (2001); Michael Pollan, The Futures of Food:  The Industry Has Found a Way to Co-opt the Threat from Organics and ‘Slow Food.'  Remember the Meal in a Pill?, N.Y. Times Mag., May 4, 2003, at sec. 6, p. 63; Matt Lee and Ted Lee, The Next Big Flavor:  Searching For the Taste of Tomorrow, id. at 66; Amanda Hesser, Vintage Cuts, id. at 72; Danylo Hawaleshka with Brian Bethune and Sue Ferguson, Tainted Food, (Kraft to develop nanoparticles that can change food color, flavor, and nutrient value to suit a person's health or palate); Gary Ruskin, The Fast Food Trap:  How Commercialism Creates Overweight Children, Mothering Mag., Nov./Dec. 2003; Kate Zernike, Is Obesity the Responsibility of the Body Politic?, N.Y. Times, Nov. 9, 2003, at sec. 4, p. 3; Carl Hulse, Vote in House Bars Some Suits Citing Obesity, N.Y. Times, Mar. 11, 2004, at A1.

The relationship between advertising images and eating behavior is well studied and commented.  See generally; Susan McKenna, Critical Interventions: Eating Behaviors, Gendered Experiences, and the Mass Media, 34 Exposure 25,  (2001); Ann Marie Barry, Starving in the Midst of Plenty:  The Relationship Between Advertising Images and Eating Disorders, id. at 12; Kathryn Sylva, A Conversation with Emma Thompson, id. at 30.  Cf. Roy Porter, Flesh in the Age of Reason (2004); Susie Orbach, Bodies (2009).

On the issues of labor, migration, and immigration relative to agribusiness policies and practices, see generally David Bell & Gill Valentine, Consuming Geographies:  We Are Where We Eat (1997); Jeffrey Sachs and John Gallup Location, Location:  Geography and Economic Development, Harv. Int'l Rev., Winter 1998/1999.  See also Victoria Burnett, Fruit Picking Causes Strife in Andalusia as Natives' Job of Last Resort, NY Times, March 16, 2009, at Sec. A, p. 5.

For commentaries on non-biotechnological visions for 21st century agriculture, see Arnie Cooper, Earthy Delights:  Cultivating a New Agricultural Revolution:  An Interview with Michael Ableman, The Sun 4, June 2003; Michael Pollan, Getting Over Organic, Orion 11, July/August 2003; Bioneers Food & Farming Initiative, available at; Wendell Berry, In Defense of the Family Farm, in Home Economics (1987); Special Report on Slow Food, The Ecologist, Apr. 2004; Corby Kummer, The Pleasures of Slow FoodCelebrating Authentic Traditions, Flavors, and Recipes (2002).

To learn more about the principles and examples of fair trade, the following sources are good introductory cards:  Mark Hayes & Geoff Moore, The Economics of Fair Trade:  A Guide in Plain English (2005), available at ; Andrew Downie, Fair Trade in Bloom, NY Times,; Love Your Food, Utne Reader, May/June 2002; Julia Moskin, Helping the Third World One Banana at a Time, NY Times, Wed., May 6, 2004, at D1, D3; Make Trade Fair, 

[20]  Daniel Imhoff, Community Supported Agriculture:  Farming with a Face on It, in Mander 426-28); Gary Paul Nabhan, Coming Home to Eat, Orion, Summer 2000, at 32-40, available at see James E. McWilliams, Free-Range Trichinosis, NY Times, April 10, 2009, at Sec. A, p. 19.

[21]  Helena Norberg-Hodge, The Pressure to Modernize and Globalize, in The Case Against the Global Economy at 45 (Jerry Mander & Edward Goldsmith eds., 1996). Ellen Ruppel Shell, New World Syndrome, in Atlantic Monthly, June 2001; Vandana Shiva, A World View of Abundance, ORION, Summer 2000; see also DeAnna M. Rivera, ‘Comfort Food' in the Global Kitchen:  It Just Ain't Like Mom's Anymore… Red Ink:  A Native American Student Publication 120 (9.2/10.1 of 2002) (noting Indigenous peoples' unique connection to community lands and their particular issues with globalized food markets); Brad Stone & Matt Richtel, Eater, Meet Your Farmers, And Say Hello, NY Times, March 28, 2009, at Sec. B, p. 1.

                [22] Shouldn't the citizens of each city or municipality demand that its elected leadership calculate and report the number of days the on-hand food supply for the community will last?  See generally Paul Roberts, The End of Food (2008).

                [23] American society's limited but slowly growing awareness of food production conditions and food content has even led to the emergence of exposes on these topics that, within their market niches, have become quite popular.  See, e.g, ERIC SCHLOSSER, FAST FOOD NATION: THE DARK SIDE OF THE ALL-AMERICAN MEAL (2001); Bryan Walsh, The Real Cost of Cheap Food, TIME MAG. 30, August 31, 2009; MICHAEL POLLAN, THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF FOUR MEALS 277 (Penguin Press 2006); Food, Inc.,; Greg Critser, Fat Land:  How Americans Became the Fattest People in the World (2003); and Morgan Spurlock, Super Size Me (Hart Sharp Video, 2005).

[24]   In the text just forward, I source the controversy over intellectual property rights to fundamental components of life.  See, e.g., Vandana Shiva on TRIPS, Who Controls the World, trips; Interview with Vandana Shiva: The Role of Patents in the Rise of Globalization,; Geoffrey Tansey, Food for Thought: Intellectual Property Rights, Food, and Biodiversity, Harv. Int'l Rev. 54, Spring 2002.

[25]  “Plant breeders” is a term used to describe the person or entity who breeds a new variety of plant and can claim title in that new plant variety.  See generally Plant Breeders' Rights,'_right; Jack R. Kloppenburg, Seeds and Sovereignty: The Use and Control of Plant Genetic Resources (1988).

[26]  Paula Bock, The Seed Saver:  In Plant Propagation, Our Past and Future are Preserved, Pacific Northwest, Apr. 17, 2005.

[27]  Charlie Kimber, It's Not Just McDonald's:  Corporations that Control World's Food, Socialist Worker Online, Aug. 10, 2002, available at   

[28]  See Mona Hymel, Consumerism, Advertising, and the Role of Tax Policy, 20 VIR. TAX REV. 347 (2000); Mona Hymel, The Population Crisis: The Stork, the Plow, and the IRS, 77 N. CAR. L. REV. 13 (1998).  Professor Hymel demonstrates how American tax laws actually encourage over-consumption.  She recommends reversing current tax mechanisms that privilege non-sustainable practices.  Advertising to Children:  The Debate, The Ecologist 16, April 2004.

[29]  Vandana Shiva, A World View of Abundance, ORION, Summer 2000.  But see G. Pascal Zachery, The Coming Revolution in Africa, Wilson Quarterly 50, Winter 2008.

                [30] MICHAEL POLLAN, THE OMNIVORE'S DILEMMA: A NATURAL HISTORY OF FOUR MEALS 277 (Penguin Press 2006).  But see David A. Taylor, Does One Size Fit All? Small Farms and U.S. Meat Regulations, (The U.S. system for food safety and inspection exacerbates the centralization of American farming to the detriment of the local food movement.)

[31] Maude Barlow, Blue Gold:  The Global Water Crisis and the Commodification of the World's Water Supply, International Forum on Globalization, June 1999, (special report) available at also Tara Lohan, Maude Barlow: The Growing Battle for the Right to Water,  “Some analysts see clean water as poised to supplant oil as the world' most contested natural resource.”  William J. Broad, With a Push from the U.N., Water Reveals Its Secrets, N.Y. Times, Jul. 26, 2005, at F.

[32]  Id.; David Alexander McDonald, The Age of Commodity: Water Privatization in South Africa (2005); Vandana Shiva, Water Wars: Privatization, Pollution and Profit (2002); Robert Glennon, Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis And What To Do About It (2009); Maude Barlow, Blue Covenant:  The Global Water Crisis and the Fight for the Right to Water (2008); Peter Gleick, Report on a Looming Water Crisis,; John Vidal, Cost of Water Shortage: Civil Unrest, Mass Migration and Economic Collapse,; Dieter Telemans, Troubled Waters (2007); Robert Glennon, Tales of French Fries and Bottled Water: The Environmental Consequences of Groundwater Pumping, 37 Lewis & Clark Envr. Law 3 (2007); Kelly Stewart, Siphoning the Globe: Water Exhibit Exposes Worldwide Crisis, January 18, 2008,

[33]  Id.  Barlow has articulated ten principles for the protection of water:

                1.   Water belongs to the earth and all species.

                2.   Water should be left where it is whenever possible.

                3.   Water must be conserved for all time.

                4.   Polluted water must be reclaimed.

                5.   Water is best protected in national watersheds.

                6.   Water is a public trust to be guarded at all levels of government.

                7.   An adequate supply of clean water is a basic human right.

                8.   The best advocates for water are local communities and citizens.

                9.   The public must participate as an equal partner with the government to protect water.

                10. Economic globalization policies are not water sustainable.

See also Marc Clayton, Is Water Becoming ‘The New Oil'?: Population, Pollution and Climate Put the Squeeze on Potable Supplies and Private Companies Smell a Profit.  Others Ask, Should Water be a Human Right?,

                [34] A recent book, critical to these questions, is Robert Glennon, Unquenchable: America's Water Crisis And What To Do About It (2009).

                [35]  See Right to Water,