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About This Site

Welcome to the new home for an old group, Food & Water.

This site began with the desire from a former board member to have a place to put the archives from the original work of Food & Water. We have begun that process by creating PDF-versions of some of our publications, particularly the Food & Water Journal. You can find the archives at this link. We will be adding to the collection as time and interest permits.

But I’ve also taken the liberty of creating a blog-like news site that will be the home to my writing and muckraking adventures. You can also find my work at, where I work collaboratively with the RVT team.

I will be adding more historical context as we move along, particularly some musings and remembrances of working with some amazing people in the early days of Food & Water – especially my late friend and dear mentor, Dr. Wally Burnstein.

Wally & I had a lot of fun creating F&W’s tenacious activist edge, leading efforts to combat food irradiation and put a spotlight on other threats to food safety and the environment. Wally’s death in 1996 left a huge hole in my heart, and while we carried on for a half-dozen more years without him, it was never really the same for me. I needed some time away.

What began as a six-month sabbatical in 2002 turned into a fifteen-year adventure, where I tried out a series of other professional endeavors, including as a columnist (Seven Days and Vermont Guardian), horse logger, sleigh and carriage driver, maple sugarmaker, homeschooling father, and always an activist.

So, stay tuned and enjoy the evolution here with me. Consider it a work in progress.

For now, let’s just leave it with a quote from Marlon Brando’s character in The Wild One when he was asked, “what are you rebelling against?”

His reply: “Whatcha got?”


— Michael Colby (Walden, Vermont)