Frances Moore Lappe quotes and sayings
The real cause of hunger is the powerlessness of the poor to gain access to the resources they need to feed themselves.
Many families participate in the Community Supported Agriculture movement, which allows a family to buy shares in a farmer's produce so that they know where their food is coming from, and they can take their families out and see the farm and meet the farmer. That movement has helped create a new culture around food.
Individuality doesn't just mean individualism-standing alone. It means developing one's unique gifts, and being able to share them for the enjoyment of oneself and others.
Freedom is not the capacity to do whatever we please; freedom is the capacity to make intelligent choices.
in a world where only a minor portion of the land is really well suited to agriculture, man is using much of the best land with dubious efficiency.
Even the fear of death is nothing compared to the fear of not having lived authentically and fully.
I've grown certain that the root of all fear is that we've been forced to deny who we are.
Humans need to feel effective - to feel that we can "make a dent," as he puts it. So the art of living is to find expressions appropriate to our own uniqueness in which we can experience effectiveness.
History doesn't proceed in incremental little notches.
Beauty is created by fellow human beings, and enhanced because they are in relationship with each other.
I had left graduate school, determined that I wasn't going to do anything else to "save the world" until I understood how I could get at the underlying causes of deepening suffering. To do that, I had to start by admitting that I didn't know.
That's what happened when my own life crumbled. The people who came into my life bolstered me to take more risks, to be even more true to myself.
A life-long mission has been to counter the notion that political engagement is the spinach we must eat in order to have the dessert of freedom.
My path has not been smooth. But the great thing about getting to be an elder is that you can look back and see the intense times of confusion and challenge, and see that if you keep walking through them, they can lead to times of great satisfaction and reward.
I was a compulsive eater in my late teens and until I wrote Diet for a Small Planet, so I know what it feels like when food becomes a threat.
We didn't evolve to be passive victims or shoppers.
We got hooked on grain-fed meat just as we got hooked on gas guzzling automobiles. Big cars made sense only when oil was cheap; grain-fed meat makes sense only because the true costs of producing it are not counted.
What was so moving for Diane Wilson, and also for me, is that she felt the Bay itself was like her grandmother. She said, "I don't think there's a woman alive who would give up fighting for her child, or her mother, or her grandmother.".
I think back to when I was growing up in Fort Worth, Texas, in the 1950s, during the John McCarthy era, with two parents who founded a Unitarian Church. We lived in a little frame house, and my bedroom was just down the hall from the kitchen. My favorite memories of childhood are of the smell of coffee wafting into my bedroom as my parents and their friends talked about the big, important things - about racism and about how to move our country to live its values.
I don't rule anything out, and I couldn't underscore more the importance of what YES! is doing to show that there are people who are pushing the edge of hope, who are stepping into the unknown and taking risks, because that will then enable others to do the same.
Hope is a stance, not an assessment.
For me, just showing up for the traveling and writing gave me the power to overcome my fear of fear.
What we see today is a world movement represented by the World Social Forum, involving all sorts of interactions across cultures, not to create some new "ism," but to learn as we walk and to create more democratic forms of social organization that re-embed economic life in community.
Old models of farming with chemicals and credit mostly favored privileged men.
Much agricultural land which might be growing food is being used instead to 'grow' money.
A teacher told me this story some time ago: She asked her students to line up in order of how much power they thought they had relative to the others in the class, and they all fought to be last in line. They didn't want to acknowledge that they had personal power.
Recently, Diana Wilson went on a hunger strike to protest Dow Chemical's refusal to accept responsibility for a 1984 chemical disaster in Bhopal, India, caused by a company they now own, Union Carbide. In the past, Diane's hunger strikes had been lonely affairs, but this time friends and co-conspirators from around the country took turns joining her on her flatbed truck under the hot Texas sun, greeting Dow workers as they entered the plant.
We can't see ahead of time what actions are going to be the ones that move history in dramatic ways.
I believe it is possible that we can turn today's breakdown into a planetary breakthrough on one condition. We can do it if we can break free of a set of dominant but misleading ideas that are taking us down.
What has dawned on me is that focusing on the "finite planet" frame sends a message that we have gone as far as Nature can take us and therefore we need to give power to forces outside Nature.
Women can succeed in villages all over the world today without relying on heavy machinery or debt. They can take leadership roles in agriculture, eliminating hunger and inequity.
Every aspect of our lives is, in a sense, a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.
There is no formula. We all must become spirited inventors. There's no single answer - not even a single starting point. Even the 'teachers' ... don't offer us the answer. They do offer us approaches, ways of thinking, possibilities we can adapt, and hope that might generate in us wholly new ideas.
I think of Wangari Mathai in Kenya. If she started out saying she wanted to plant 20 million trees, she would have been laughed at. In fact, the foresters and the government did laugh at her. They said, "Villagers? Un-schooled villagers? Planting trees? No, no, no, it takes foresters." So she planted trees anyway.
When we say we have "hit the limits," we are saying that nature is the problem, when in fact the limits we have hit are the limits of destruction and waste, not nature.
What gave her Diane Wilson the courage? If you look at someone like Diane, it's easy to say, well I could never be like that. But we don't know. We do know that it's possible for a woman, who didn't grow up as a world changer, to find it in herself to take a stand.
I learned this that fear doesn't have to stop me when my world came apart. I was living a life-long dream of a family life combined with an organization to promote living democracy - all on a gorgeous 45-acre compound in rural Vermont. I'd spent a decade building my dream, and then it started to crumble, piece by piece - my marriage, my organization, my confidence.
The spirit that I am advocating is reframing how we view the world, and shifting from the negativity of lack and "not enough" to the positive frame of aligning with Nature.
Despite a tenfold increase in the use of pesticides between 1947 and 1974 , crop losses due to pests have...remained at an estimated 33%. Losses due to insects alone have nearly doubled, ...from 7% in the 1942-1951 period to about 13% in 1974.
What we do in the book my daughter Anna and I wrote, Hope's Edge, is to give people a glimpse of food as a source of nourishment, health, and community, rather than a threat. That means reconnecting with food as it comes from the Earth and with those who produce food.
I like to think of power back in its Latin root, its meaning comes from posse - to be able.
The good life may mean doing some things that do not feel comfortable. It may mean sitting long hours just with yourself as you begin to listen to your own questions. That was the reality for me when I was 27, and it was really terrifying.
Imagine sitting down to an eight ounce steak, and then, imagine the room filled wit 45 to 50 people with empty bowls...For the feed cost of your steak, each of their bowls could be filled with a cup pf cooked cereal grains.
Recent breakthroughs in science show we have just the capacities we need to face our planet's challenges. We're "soft-wired" for cooperation, empathy, fairness, along with a deep need to "make a dent," as social philosopher Erich Fromm put it. My hunch is that one reason depression is a global pandemic is that the dominant mental map denies so many of us expression of these deep needs and capacities.
Making conscious choices about what we eat, based on what the earth can sustain and what our bodies need, can help remind us that our whole society must begin to balance sustainable production with human need.
We can all reprogram our brain's responses by putting ourselves into new, initially uncomfortable situations. We'll learn fear might not mean 'stop'; I've come to believe fear usually means 'go.
We'll learn fear might not mean 'stop'; personally, I've come to believe fear usually means 'go.' It always means listen closely.
I read a book in the late 1990s called The Anatomy of Human Destructiveness, by Erich Fromm, and it had a profound impact on me. Fromm takes Descartes' statement, "I think, therefore I am" and changes it to "I effect, therefore I am.".
I also believe that it's almost impossible for people to change alone. We need to join with others who will push us in our thinking and challenge us to do things we didn't believe ourselves capable of.
We can choose who we bring into our lives. We can choose who will reinforce our risk taking.
This is the first generation to know that the choices we're making have ultimate consequences. It's a time when you either choose life or you choose death ... Going along with the current order means that you're choosing death.
Hope is not what we find in evidence, it's what we become in action.
The good life is not about avoiding fear. Just the opposite.
Our heavily meat-centered culture is at the very heart of our waste of the earth's productivity.
On the one hand, our social nature is our greatest beauty - it means that we have natural empathy and sympathy. But our social nature also means that we may let ourselves be controlled by the judgments of others, precisely because we care so much about our status in community.
Each of us carries within us a worldview, a set of assumptions about how the world works - what some call a paradigm - that forms the very questions we allow ourselves to ask, and determines our view of future possibilities.
What an extraordinary time to be alive. We're the first people on our planet to have real choice: we can continue killing each other, wiping out other species, spoiling our nest. Yet on every continent a revolution in human dignity is emerging. It is re-knitting community and our ties to the earth. So we do have a choice. We can choose death; or we can choose life.
What is different and exciting is how much we have learned. We learned we were right that we don't need the chemical model of agriculture. We know so much more about the life of soil now and we understand how plants synergistically work together with microbes and animals to create healthy conditions.
Because we are living in a culture increasingly dominated by fear where many feel blocked.
You have increasing poverty and increasing wealth. Fine food is one way to dispense with a lot of money... It's understanding that our daily choices about food connect us to a worldwide economic system. And that economic system - not scarcity - creates worldwide hunger for millions of people.
We are very much social creatures who model ourselves on one another.
With an eco-mind, we get ready for surprises, for we realize it's just not possible to know what's possible.
Democracy is not what we have. It is what we do.
I'm neither an optimist nor a pessimist. I am a dyed-in-the-woo l possibilist! By this, I mean with an eco-mind, we see that everything's connected and change is the only constant.
No society has fulfilled its democratic promise if people go hungry... If some go without food they have surely been deprived of all power. The existence of hunger belies the existence of democracy.
The act of putting into your mouth what the earth has grown is perhaps your most direct interaction with the earth.
What we need to get right is not focusing on the fear associated with quantity - not enough, scarcity, and lack - and moving instead to a worldview that explores quality and connectedness.
Science is showing us that we are even more connected to each other than we ever realized.
The notion that economic life is a distinct realm, governed by immutable laws of narrow self-interest, is giving way to a much older notion: economic life is only one strand in the rich web of human relationships.
In the late 1960s, there were alarming predictions that worldwide famine was around the corner. I wondered if humans had already lost the race, overrun the Earth's capacity. I let one question lead to the next, and unearthed information that would forever change my life: Not only is there enough food in the world to feed every man, woman, and child on Earth, there is enough to make us all chubby.
We hear, "Oh, we need to patent GMOs and develop new strains and new chemicals because Nature can't provide what we need." I have to debate people all the time who say that Nature can't provide enough.
Engagement is the good life. What could be more exciting than getting involved in something that you care about and joining with others and seeing something change? What could be more thrilling?
much agricultural land which might be growing food is being used instead to 'grow' money.
Breaking with the pack may be exactly what we should be doing. Saying "no" to the dominant culture that is trapping us in destructive ways of living might be the most life-serving thing we can do.
Our food system takes abundant grain,which people can't afford,and shrinks it into meat,which better-off people will pay for.
My children threw me a life line: "Return to your roots - food - and rewrite your first book, Diet for a Small Planet." I learned that if I could just show up, in this case, if I could just get myself out of bed, get to the computer in my tiny office at MIT, and start writing, help would start arriving.
For me hope isn't wishful thinking or blind faith about the future. It's a stance toward life - one of curiosity and humility.
I think that luxury has nothing to do with money, and everything to do with beauty.
If we cannot know what's possible, then we are free to do that which is pulling our hearts and that which is life serving.
Fear doesn't necessarily mean that we have to stop. It doesn't mean that we are failures. It doesn't mean that we are cowards.
I never like to use those terms like pessimistic.
I had the realization that hunger is not caused by scarcity of food, it is caused by the production system and an absence of democracy throughout the world.
We evolved to be problem-solvers, to create, to be choosers of our own future!
Beauty exists irrespective of financial circumstances.
Hope is not wishful thinking. It's not a temperament we're born with. It is a stance toward life that we can choose...not not. The real question for me, though, is whether my hope is effective, whether it produces or is just where I hide to ease my own pain.
I understand, of course, that grain-fed meat is not the cause of the world hunger problem - and eating some of it doesn't directly take food out of the mouths of starving people - but it is, to me, a symbol and a symptom of the basic irrationality of a food system that's divorced from human needs. Therefore, using less meat can be an important way to take responsibility. Making conscious choices about what we eat, based on what the earth can sustain and what our bodies need, can help remind us that our whole society must begin to balance sustainable production with human need.
Honest hope has an edge. It's messy. It requires that we let go of all pat answers, all preconceived formulas, all confidence that our sailing will be smooth. It's not a resting point. Honest hope is movement.
Lailah Gifty Akita
A W Tozer
Spencer W. Kimball
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Shannon L Alder
Michael Bassey Johnson
Frances Moore Lappe
Julie Anne Peters
Roy Jones Jr.
Robert W. Service
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