Around the country soup kitchens and food pantries are reporting a spike in demand. Here in New Hampshire, food bank officials say they can’t keep up with requests for help. The state’s food assistance safety net is showing signs of serious strain.
Things started to change for Christopher Persall sometime this summer.
“It goes from you being able to eat meats, fruits and vegetables and dessert to now there are days where there are some vegetables and some breads.”
Because of a faraway tragedy, and a fluke of nature, the two men are learning a thing or two about the global economy – and about the fine line between passion and obsession.
If there were such a thing as a professional mushroom forager in New Hampshire, Keith Garrett would be it. So would Eric Milligan.
The two men have been hunting mushrooms in the Lakes Region for the last six years. More than 5,000 species of mushrooms have been identified in this region alone, but Milligan and Garrett are walking encyclopedias.
In January, the global food price index rose for the seventh month in a row, reaching the higest level since record keeping began in 1990. Raj Patel is an activist and academic whose book, Stuffed and Starved, predicted the food crisis that caused riots on four continents back in 2008. More recently, his book, The Value of Nothing, argues that we as citizens should rethink our assumptions about rational markets and the very meaning of democracy.