Here is Will Allen of Growing Power atop a mountain of compost which is the basis for his hoop house system of growing food in the middle of urban 'food deserts' where good food is impossible to find. Urban Agriculture as modeled by Growing Power can make the food deserts bloom, providing low cost nutritious food and jobs and economic opportunities all across America. Congratulations Will!Will Allen on Time 100 Most Influential List - Pick
Milwaukee(April 29, 2010) – Will Allen, the founder and CEO of Growing Power Inc., has been named to the 2010 “Time 100: The World’s Most Influential People.” The list was released on Thursday, April 29, and the magazine will hit newsstands last Friday April 30th.
The much-anticipated announcement identifies 25 individuals or small working groups who are most influencing the current course of world events in four categories: Leaders, Heroes, Artists and Thinkers. Allen was named in the area of Heroes.
Allen was identified for his powerful advocacy for food security and food justice for all. Through his work promoting urban agriculture, Allen has called attention to the widespread existence of “food deserts” in cities across America, where whole communities lack access to fresh, nutritious and affordable foods.
The solutions Allen has proposed and argued for in the 18 years since his founding of Growing Power, a non-profit urban farm and training center in Milwaukee, include a return to localized food systems and teaching communities where good food is unaffordable to grow it themselves.
“We have seen the results of our reliance on the industrialized, commoditized food system we have built since the middle of the last century: A rapidly rising rate of obesity in generation after generation, leading to alarming rates of diabetes and heart disease, so that for the first time in America, despite all our advances in medicine, our life expectancy is falling,” Allen said.
“Finally, we are learning that treating illness is much less effective than preventing illness by promoting health; and that good food is the best and most fundamental preventive medicine of all.
“Polls now show that 86 percent of Americans want good food, real food; fresh, locally grown food that is safe and free of chemicals and genetic modifications. But there is simply not enough good food being grown for all those who want and need it. I am simply trying to help change that.”
Driving home the point that the Good Food Revolution, as Allen has declared it, is no longer a fad but a fact, Time also named author and food advocate Michael Pollan (“The Omnivore’s Dilemma”) to its list, as well as others such as Valentin Abe, who has successfully introduced tilapia farming to a depleted lake in Haiti.
Time magazine created its first 100 list in 1999, when it named the most influential people of the 20th Century. In 2004, the magazine started the annual list, stressing that the people it names are not necessarily the most public, popular or powerful, but often are the most innovative or inspirational and the most apt to effect change.