New Clear Vision


constructive commentary for the chronically farsighted


Twilight of Twinkie Capitalism

January 04, 2013 By: NCVeditor Category: Devon G. Pena, Ecology, Economy

Transforming the Food System and Honoring Workers’ Demands

by Devon G. Peña

The Twinkie® I will admit is one of those quintessentially ‘American’ foods that I did not get to eat as a child. We never bought junk food in our home and so I was in college before I tasted something that my peers swore was a classic guilty pleasure. I was not impressed when I finally ate one, but then again I grew up savoring pan dulce, including the inimitable pan de semita, from La Superior Bakery in Laredo, Texas. To me, the Twinkie tasted like Elmer’s Glue with sugar encased in a squishy sponge or pound cake. It was too chalky and gooey all at once. Hmm. Must have missed out on the Leave it to Beaver upbringing required, I imagine, to love a quasi-food like that.

[I use the term quasi-food here to refer to what is typically called “processed food.” My choice is based on recognition of the fact that many wholesome and organic foods are processed and so I feel that is an inadequate and misleading concept. For e.g., to produce our farm’s chicos del horno (adobe-oven roasted white flint corn) requires that we process organic heirloom white flint corn in a labor-intensive artisanal practice involving no less than 19 distinct steps. Quasi-food implies that the food is processed through various steps before consumption but also that it incorporates numerous non-food chemicals and additives, thus rendering the product more of an industrial quasi-food item rather than a processed food.] (more…)

For Earth’s Sake…

October 21, 2011 By: NCVeditor Category: Community, Culture, Ecology, Mary Sojourner

Leave It in the Ground

by Mary Sojourner

I was half-way through writing this post when I realized I was weary — not fading light weary or tired from a life suddenly too busy — but weary from revisiting yet again a potential atrocity motivated by nothing but greed and political ambition. I’m seventy-one. I was forty-six the first time my friends and I took action to stop uranium mining on sacred lands around the Grand Canyon.

It was 1986, a gorgeous day on the south rim of the Canyon — brilliant sunlight and clear turquoise sky, ravens spiraling down to circle the trees. My friends and I pulled on white radiation suits and gas masks. We linked hands and stepped across the main road in Grand Canyon National Park. A few dozen people waved banners and sang. There was a human raccoon and a human raven laughing up at the scrawwwking birds. A bright red banner read: Uranium? Leave it in the Ground. (more…)