Professor to discuss book on farming

Paul Kibel, an associate professor at the Golden Gate University School of Law, organized a law and policy conference called “Farming and Food: How We Grow What We Eat,” which is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Nov. 13 at 536 Mission St.

Can you give an example of how law and policy shape farming and food?

In terms of the relationship between law and farming practices, I can cite at least three specific examples. First, the issue of water rights in California affects the amount of water that is used for agriculture irrigation. Second, the ability to patent agricultural crops affects the diversity of our food supply. And third, state and federal slaughter house practices affect the ways in which we raise animals for meat.

How does your expertise inform your decisions about food?

Like many consumers, the more I become aware about the process by which my food is grown, the more my choices tend toward farming practices that are ecologically sustainable.

Do you eat meat?

Yes. Just as with growing crops there are processes by which meat processors can become organically certified, which normally addresses their living conditions, food they eat and end-of-life treatment.

What inspired this conference?

The idea for the conference came from the realization that so many of the environmental law and policy issues we face — scarce water supply, water contamination, dwindling biodiversity — are profoundly related to the ways in which we grow the food that we eat.

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