Thursday, September 26, 2013

Food Tank: Can I have a reality check?

I get occasional Email from this relatively new outfit, Food Tank, and on the surface it appears to be something I would really want to get behind.  See below for their "elevator speech" from the Web page.

So if it looks good and seems to conform with my own deeply held views on food systems and food justice, why do I have an instinctively wary sense of caution?

Is it just that their stuff looks so slick and commercial? Where's the harm in that?  Is it because they appear to have chosen a relentlessly positive approach ("Let's look for solutions!") in favor of an aggressive approach ("Let's name and shame the bad guys")? Or is it that they seem to be putting a lot of effort into a fund-raising "Become a Food Tank Sustainer" program? (Are they a non-profit? In a quick prowl of the Website, I haven't found anything explicit on this.)

So, I'm not sure. What do you all think?

     About Food Tank

Our food system is broken. Some people don't have enough food, while others are eating too much. There's only one way to fix this problem—and it starts with you and me.
Food Tank: The Food Think Tank is for the 7 billion people who have to eat every day. We will offer solutions and environmentally sustainable ways of alleviating hunger, obesity, and poverty by creating a network of connections and information for all of us to consume and share.
Food Tank is for farmers and producers, policy makers and government leaders, researchers and scientists, academics and journalists, and the funding and donor communities to collaborate on providing sustainable solutions for our most pressing environmental and social problems.
As much as we need new THINKING on global food system issues, we also need new DOING. Around the world, there are examples of people and organizations that have developed innovative, on-the-ground solutions to the most pressing issues in food and agriculture. Through years of field visits (and years of trying to eat better in our own communities), Food Tank will continue to highlight and promote the best practices.
The co-founders of Food Tank, Ellen Gustafson and Danielle Nierenberg, hope to bridge the domestic and global food issues by highlighting how hunger, obesity, climate change, unemployment, and other problems can be solved by more research and investment in agriculture.
Food Tank will highlight HOPE and SUCCESS in agriculture. We will feature innovative ideas that are already working on the ground, in cities, in kitchens, in fields and in laboratories. These innovations need more attention, more research, and ultimately more funding to be replicated and scaled-up. And that is where we need you. We all need to work together to find solutions that nourish ourselves and protect the planet.