UC31 Food Issue December 1978-January 1979

UC31 051

Undercurrents 31 December 1978-January 1979 Contents
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1 Eddies – An eco-perspective

7 What’s What and What’s When

9 Factory Farming – Lizzie Vann: An examination of the cruelty to livestock in the name of efficiency.

11 Make It Orange – Norah Sea: About the 5 lbs of food additives we consume per year.

12 Consumed With Desire – Eric Pidgeon: A personal view of food.

13 Whole foods Here …. – Lizzie Vann: The growth of the wholefood co-ops in Britain.

15 ….. and There – Ellen Buckingham: How food co-ops are more developed in the USA.

16 Commodity Campaigns – John Clark: Are single issue commodity campaigns good propaganda?

19 How Brussels Made the Mountains­ – Jeremy Jones: Common Agricultural Policy in One Lesson.

22 Operation Flood – Steve Godfrey: Who will benefit from the world’s biggest development project?

23 Spud Threat – Tim Lang: The political economy of the potato.

26 The Further Adventures of Alice – Jo Nesbitt: An everyday story of commune folk.

27 Feminism and the Politics of Food­ – Carol Smith: Our health is an integral part of our autonomy.

29 Grain Games – John Clark: Or why a bad harvest in the Ukraine means starvation in Ethiopia.

32 Organic Farming – Mark Brinkley: A look at the organic farming movement.

36 Letters

38 Reviews

46 Small Ads

48 Subscription Form and Book Service: Antinuclear Big Red Diary Special Offer


Published every two months by Undercurrents Ltd, 27 Clerkenwell Close, London ECIR OAT. Full details of editorial meetings, distribution, etc are on page 48. Undercurrents 32 (February March) will be our Seventh Birthday Issue. On Sale Date: Saturday January 20th, 1979.


A YEAR AGO a group of people working in various aspects of – food and publishing met, and decided there was a need for a radical publication specifically about food and its production. We felt that food was a long ignored subject, and that too little has been written about its consumption (what was all this junk food doing to us? where had it all come from?), and its production (what was happening to agriculture in Britain and the EEC? what are conditions like for the food processors and growers?.

From the first meeting came a small group, living in widely separate areas of the country, hoping to produce a magazine. After many meetings it became clear that the group didn’t have the experience, money or commitment. So we searched for an appropriate outlet for our material.

We decided to try to produce an issue of Undercurrents specifically about food and food politics, in order to gain the experience needed of working on a magazine, and also to see what people’s response to our ideas was. We are unsure about the direction to take now, as there still aren’t enough committed people to produce a magazine regularly. But we feel a lot clearer about the areas to work in.

All of us who have put this issue together have been working with food in one way or another, either in research, farming, or retailing in collectively run wholefood shops. Food is a subject that concerns everyone and we cannot hope to cover in one issue all the different aspects of nutrition and politics. We are aware that the ease with which we relate to food at the eating end can cause us to overlook the politics of its production, the struggles of farm workers, the problems of land ownership, the exploitation in every step from farm to factory to supermarket.

What has emerged as the .articles have come together is the lack of general knowledge about food; the lack of real choice of and access to food; and the many problems facing the alternative food movement. The linking factor in all this has been the realisation that we can’t want better food and ignore the working conditions of the people who produce it; we can’t set up an alternative system for them as can afford it, and ignore everyone else; and so on. To change any of these things, we have to change the whole economic structure of society.

The Food Politics Group 



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