How do we think about agriculture in America? How should we think about it? And, how is food security affecting us in today’s COVID-19 crisis?
Aaron Freiwald, Managing Partner of Freiwald Law and host of the weekly podcast, Good Law | Bad Law, is joined by Laurie Ristino, a food security expert with Johns Hopkins University, to discuss food security, the idea of rural resilience, today’s “food movement,” impacts of the Farm Bill and more.
What is food security? And, what is the urgency today? Laurie explains that food security is the idea that all people, at all times, should have access to physical, social, and economic access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs. Laurie and Aaron connect these ideas to today’s current pandemic. Will we have enough food? How are rising unemployment rates going to impact our country’s ability to provide access to quality foods? Aaron and Laurie tackle these questions, touching on the pressing notion of food being a question of wealth and thus the implications of America’s wealth gap on health and accessibility.
Today’s episode focuses on answering some of the biggest questions surrounding food security, as well as conversely, food insecurity. How do we produce our food? Where does our food come from? How do we use our resources? Laurie and Aaron talk about sustainable versus ‘industrial’ agriculture, the relationship between climate change and food production, the intersection between environmental law and agriculture, as well as how today’s movements and decisions will translate into more governance and policy.
Laurie is a policy and law expert on food security, the farm bill, climate change, ecosystem services, and land conservation. Her work is concerned with reforming existing law and policy and developing new policy and civil society innovations to address climate change, social injustice, and to improve environmental and economic sustainability. Laurie has published articles, Op-Eds, and blogs proposing reforms to address soil, water, and air quality degradation, among other topics and is the co-author and editor of a comprehensive book on conservation easements, titled A Changing Landscape: The Conservation Reader.
Laurie practiced law for twenty years, serving as a senior counsel at the USDA where she advised on an array of natural resource and environmental matters. Currently, Professor Ristino advises leading NGOs and foundations on environmental policy and strategy matters through her consulting firm, Strategies for a Sustainable Future.
To learn more about Professor Ristino, please visit her bio page at Johns Hopkins here.
To learn more about Professor Ristino’s firm, Strategies for a Sustainable Future, and to access other resources on this topic, please click here.
Host: Aaron Freiwald
Guests: Laurie Ristino
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