On November 5, an overflow crowd in the CUB Senior Ballroom heard some hard truths about the global food crisis. Dr. Vandana Shiva, founder of several organizations that promote agricultural diversification in India, described how corporate/government practices that are billed as beneficial to farmers, such as patenting seed and outlawing local varieties of crops, have driven rural people off the land and caused massive food shortages in more than 40 countries.

Shiva laid out her case in warm, often humorous, tones that didn’t entirely mask her anger at what she has witnessed.

“If you want to get me really engaged,” she said, “tell me a lie.”