Sunday, January 27, 2013

The Journey (Part 3)

One of the best revelations which has happened to me throughout this journey is recognizing how important activism is to me.  Specifically, food activism.  Through the internships I have completed, the projects I have created, the people I have met and the spaces I have seen I have begun to realize that policy changes and social action is where the majority of change will occur in the food system.  How to become involved though?

A food movement is sweeping this country and people are ready for a change in our food system.  This was never more clear than during this past year's election when California added Proposition 37 (Prop 37) to the ballot in the hopes of passing a law requiring all products containing GMOs (genetically modified organism) be labeled, allowing customers the right to make an informed decision regarding the type of food they purchase.  Specifically whether said food contains genetically modified materials.  Sadly, Prop 37 was defeated after major corporations such as Monsanto, DuPont and Hershey threw millions of dollars (grand total of $44 million) at 'No to Prop 37'.  To me this raises huge red flags; if companies are throwing millions of dollars for an initiative to fail, especially an initiative asking for consumers to be provided with knowledge and information, I want to believe that the public would be even more concerned with understanding why companies would not want them to know what is in their food!

The reason I am writing about Prop 37 is because I-522 is coming to Washington state this November and I have chosen to be a part of a group campaigning to raise awareness of the initiative - collecting signatures, participating in activism events, talking to people about the ballot initiative and even becoming an intern with Food and Water Watch.  I believe that people have the right to know what is in their food, allowing them to make an informed decision on whether they want to buy food containing GE (genetically engineered) ingredients or they prefer to purchase whole foods.  I am not a huge fan of 'organic' products, but would prefer to buy locally grown, whole foods and I definitely want to know what it is in my food.  I have great hope that voters will step up and fight back against large corporation lobbyists and say, 'enough is enough'!

Many other organizations are spaces where you can become involved in food activism:

Perhaps if you are not quite ready to join a campaign or want to help at a food bank you can contribute in so many other ways:
  • Buy locally grown and produced food
  • Buy food that does not contain any GE/GMO products
  • Buy whole foods
  • Donate food to a local food bank
  • Plant a patio herb garden or put in a big garden if you have the space
  • Find a local farm and join their CSA (community supported agriculture)
  • Trade with your neighbors (eggs, milk, produce, work)
  • Buy meat and dairy raised locally, kindly and slaughtered humanely
Small or large we can all create an impact on the food system and start to create a change in how our food is produced, marketed and purchased.  I believe that the smallest changes can create huge ripple effects, so let's try and make ripples!

...And in the eyes of the people there is the failure; and in the eyes of the hungry there is a growing wrath.  In the souls of the people the grapes of wrath are filling and growing heavy growing heavy for the vintage.
~John Steinbeck, Grapes of Wrath

No comments:

Post a Comment