The organization Food Not Bombs was started over 30 years ago. The organization has chapters in over 1,000 cities around the world. The basic motivation of this organization is to recover and share free vegan or vegetarian food with the public without restriction. Each group is independent and invites everyone to participate in making decisions for their local chapter using the consensus process. Food Not Bombs is dedicated to taking nonviolent direct action to change society so no one is forced to stand in line to eat at a soup kitchen expressing a commitment to the fact that food is a right and not a privilege. Food Not Bombs has three main principles. 1. The food is vegan and free to all. 2. We have no leaders and use the process of consensus to make decisions. 3. That Food Not Bombs is dedicated to nonviolent direct action towards creating a world free from domination, coercion and violence. 1 Food Not Bombs occupies an important place in modern society. My understand of the organization has them existing in response to the waste of industrial agriculture, the dominance of corporate control over our food system, and the modern resistance to sharing, talking, and the social nature of food.
Brew Not Bombs:
Brew Not Bombs is a much smaller organizations with only a few major groups (Baltimore, Chicago and Los Angeles). The organization was built on the idea that individuals can create a free society based upon cooperation, self-sufficiency, and equality. Homebrewing offers an alternative to corporate products which are mass-produced, ecologically destructive, and generate large profits for the rich through worker exploitation. Brew Not Bombs provides a forum for free thought and creative activity in order to inspire others to take bake their lives and derail the capitalist treadmill that treats humans as mindless consuming robots. 2This organization exists as a response to the corporate dominance in all areas of our life, including luxury items.
Why the discrepancy between the popularity of these two organizations?
It seems to me that these two organizations are fundamentally based on the same principle. They highlight and attempt to resolve problems that emerge as a consequence of corporate dominance. Food Not Bombs recovers and shares food that would otherwise go to waste as a result of the inefficiencies in the modern food supply system. Brew Not Bombs acts in response to corporate control in all areas of our life. Is Brew Not Bombs fundamentally less popular because of the fact that this organization concerns a luxury item? Luxuries are an important part of being human and we should have real choice regarding our luxuries, and we should be able to imbibe in good beer! Of course, having access to healthy and nutritious food is an important part of being human. Perhaps Food Not Bombs can be viewed as a first wave movement that opposes corporate dominance and that the popularity of Brew Not Bombs will increase in the future?
Another explanation for the discrepancy in the popularity of these two groups may be due to the different physical and skill requirements. Food Not Bombs requires very little equipment, a modern amount of time, and moderate cooking skills. Brew Not Bombs requires more specialized equipment, more time as most beer takes at least one month to brew, and a higher degree of specialized equipment. Additionally, radical communities have a tendency to have more straight edge individuals in their midst who would find Brew Not Bombs of little personal interest.
It is my view that Brew Not Bombs is equally as important as Food Not Bombs as we can resist corporate control in all areas of our life, including our luxury choices. For example, on my recent trip to Halifax I consumed only local liquid! Halifax is the city of music and drink! Rock Bottom’s Jacktar Stout is an amazing, complex, smooth concoction that soothes my soul. The beers from Rogue’s Roost were amazing due to the specialization of the amount of gas pumped through the draught which resulted in some of the smoothest finishing beers we’ve tasted yet! The Garrison Brown was nutty, smooth, and packed with flavor. There are so many great beer makers in Halifax and for those that don’t imbibe? Try Propeller’s Jamaican Ginger Beer or Garrison’s Chocolate Cannonball Soda.
My point? Even if you don’t want to join a radical community like Brew Not Bombs we can all aim to avoid corporate control of our activities. Drink some good local beer. Support a local business. Watch an independent movie. Make your own cookies. Brew up some soda.
How do you avoid corporate control in your life?
Do you have experience working with Food Not Bombs or Brew Not Bombs? What was your favorite part of that experience?
If this article has inspired you to help/eat/talk to Food Not Bombs look up your local chapter. Or start one!