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Heavy hand of high tech in the food we eat

The following letter to the editor from Food Solutions New England was published in the Boston Globe in response to their recent editorial on the future of food.

Thanks to the Globe Ideas section for highlighting the future of food, a subject that demands all of our attention. The editorial “Embrace the future of American food — in three easy steps” illustrates just how much is at stake. In a rapidly changing world, the future can’t and won’t look like the present, so the transition to a different path is imperative.

However, there are deeply conflicting ideas about what that path should be as well as who gets to decide among incompatible priorities and policies. Unfortunately, the narrow path espoused by the editorial reads like a corporate marketing brochure rather than a well-reasoned treatment of one of the fundamental aspects of our health and well-being.

Fortunately, there is already a growing wave of collective creativity and action toward transforming our food future, facilitated by robust networks such as Food Solutions New England. Emerging strategies, shaped by diverse participants, are grounded in a set of values that include democratic empowerment, racial equity and dignity for all, trust, and sustainability.

Promoting a narrow-minded worldview in which only high-tech food entrepreneurs can save us from an uncertain future is a false narrative created neither by nor for the people of our region.


Tom Kelly

Executive director

The Sustainability Institute

University of New Hampshire

Durham, N.H.

The institute serves as the backbone organization for Food Solutions New England.