For 25 years Mark Winne was the Executive Director of the Hartford Food System, a private non-profit agency that works on food and hunger issues in the Hartford, Connecticut area. During his tenure with HFS, Mark organized community self-help food projects that assisted the city’s lower income and elderly residents. Mark’s work with the Food System included the development of a commercial hydroponic greenhouse, Connecticut’s Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program, several farmers’ markets, a 20-acre community supported agriculture farm, food and nutrition education programs, and a neighborhood supermarket.

Winne now writes, speaks, and consults extensively on community food system topics including hunger and food insecurity, local and regional agriculture, community assessment, and food policy. He also does policy communication work for the Community Food Security Coalition. His essays and opinion pieces have appeared in numerous newspapers, organizational and professional newsletters and journals across the country. He is the author of Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty (Beacon Press 2008) and Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting Back in an Age of Industrial Agriculture (Beacon Press, 2010). He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Mark speaks with Joanna about the food system and emotional connectedness, freedom from the industrial food system, active citizen engagement, re-learning cooking skills as a life-changing shift, the nightmare of the industrial slaughterhouses, food and reinvigorating democracy…

Music: “Adagio” (from String Quartet No. 2, “Intimate Letters”) by Leos Janacek.

Note: A special thank you to Pam Roy and FarmToTable for making this interview possible.