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Luskin Innovators: Speaker Series Featuring Baylen Linnekin | Luskin Center
Join the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation in welcoming Island Press author, Baylen Linnekin, as he discusses his new book, Biting the Hands that Feed Us, over refreshments and hors d’oeuvres.
Moderator: Clare Fox, Los Angeles Food Policy Council
Panliests: Paula Daniels, The Center for Good Food Purchasing (More to be announced!)
“Food waste, hunger, inhumane livestock conditions, disappearing fish stocks—these are exactly the kind of issues we expect food regulations to combat. Yet, today in the United States, laws exist at all levels of government that actually make these problems worse. Baylen Linnekin argues that, too often, government rules handcuff America’s most sustainable farmers, producers, sellers, and consumers, while rewarding those whose practices are anything but sustainable.
Biting the Hands that Feed Us introduces readers to the perverse consequences of many food rules. Some of these rules constrain the sale of “ugly” fruits and vegetables, relegating bushels of tasty but misshapen carrots and strawberries to food waste. Other rules have threatened to treat manure—the lifeblood of organic fertilization—as a toxin. Still other rules prevent sharing food with the homeless and others in need. There are even rules that prohibit people from growing fruits and vegetables in their own yards.
Linnekin also explores what makes for a good food law—often, he explains, these emphasize good outcomes rather than rigid processes. But he urges readers to be wary of efforts to regulate our way to a greener food system, calling instead for empowerment of those working to feed us—and themselves—sustainably.”
Baylen J. Linnekin is an adjunct professor at Antonin Scalia Law School—where he teaches Food Law & Policy—and a founding board member of the Academy of Food Law & Policy. His book, Biting the Hands That Feed Us: How Fewer, Smarter Laws Would Make Our Food System More Sustainable (Island Press, 2016), reveals how regulations often proscribe sustainable food practices. He recently served as an expert witness in a federal skim-milk labeling case; authored an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in Horne v. USDA; and led more than a dozen fellow legal scholars in crafting an amicus brief in the Ninth Circuit’s “ag gag” case. His writings have appeared in the Wisconsin Law Review, Hastings Constitutional Law Quarterly, Chapman Law Review, Boston Globe, N.Y. Post, Reason, where he writes a weekly column, Huffington Post, VICE, and elsewhere. He has offered expert commentary on MSNBC, Fox Business Channel, BBC Radio, and more than 150 other radio and TV programs across the country and around the world. He has been quoted by the Wall St. Journal, Washington Post, L.A. Times, Chicago Tribune, Politico, Wilson Quarterly, ABA Journal, National Review, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Voice of America, and many others. Linnekin has spoken at Harvard Law School, Yale Law School, University of Chicago Law School, Duke Law School, and many other top law schools and universities. Linnekin earned an LL.M. in agricultural and food law from the University of Arkansas School of Law, where he was the Leland Leatherman Fellow; a J.D. from Washington College of Law, where he was a Dean’s Fellow and served on the editorial board of the Administrative Law Review; an M.A. in learning sciences from Northwestern University; and a B.A. in sociology from American University. He lives in the Washington, DC area with Roxanne, his partner of 23 years. In his spare time, he likes to garden, hike, cook, and travel.