Good food movement

Document Type



From the 1890s to the 1930s, rural Americans played a vital role in radical leftist politics. While specialists know this history well, the public tends to know a folk history, written by figures associated with contemporary food movements. This folk history rests on several key myths, which cover different periods of modern history from the New Deal to the present. This essay challenges these myths to reveal the causes and extent of the suffering endured by rural families in the 20th century, which in turn, decimated the populist left. A reconsideration of the history of agricultural policy will help food-system reformers develop a more radical and effective vision for rural America