food advocacy goals : sanity in our food systems

Food Advocacy Goal #1 : Sanity

First and foremost I believe we need to regain a sense of sanity in our food systems.

The current industrial-corporate approach to agriculture is, frankly, psychopathic.

It is self-destructive, unsustainable, geared towards short-term gain and harmful to both people and our planet.

Our current agricultural system pollutes our drinking water, turns vast stretches of land into salinated deserts and pumps known toxins onto our soil and into our food. It produces food products that have ever-decreasing nutritional values. It values a paradigm of false-efficiency that encourages both the abuse of human rights and the contamination of our food.

The industrial food system survives on government grants and incentives that are protected by powerful lobby groups who think their right to market junk food to our kids is more important than the fact that this generation will be the first to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. It is making us sick and it is making us fat.

The US government, in particular, has undertaken a war against small producers, grocery buying clubs and raw milk co-ops. Meanwhile, we’re made sick and killed from breakouts of listeria in our sandwich meat, contaminated eggs and deadly burgers. Where were the armed SWAT teams then??

Canada isn’t faring much better. Thomas Pawlick’s book The War in the Country, tells the story of the battle here at home.

Our food system increases the vast chasm between haves and have-nots and allows untold numbers of children to go hungry despite the fact that Americans waste enough food every day to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium.

Animals are crammed like sardines into confinement facilities where they cannot express the natural instincts and habits that help keep them healthy. Instead they are fed a constant diet of medication and antibiotics to keep them alive.

Here in Canada, we even went so far as to corrupt the genes of pig. University of Guelph created the so-called Enviropig, making its shit less toxic, so that we could cram even more in one space.

We allow the huge corporations to claim patents on the very seeds of life, and in fact corrupt the seeds of life in the worst way through terminator seed technology.

A seed that cannot reproduce itself is, in my mind, the definition of insanity.

There is no reason why we have to continue down this road. Each and everyone of us has the power to build a new, sane food system.

Follow me to find out how.

Be sure to check out Fight Back Friday on Food Renegade for other ways to fight back!

9 thoughts on “food advocacy goals : sanity in our food systems

  1. julia christine stephen

    I attended a conference on our food system about two years ago, it was enlightening and maddening all at the same time. I find it difficult to stomach the fact that we let a company like Monsanto have such a destructive influence on such an integral part of our survival

  2. northofseven

    I often feel guilty for living in the mcburbs b/c subdivisions take over a lot of good farmland over here (which is why I am glad they have the greenbelt in the GTA) but I will say that the one we live in is very adamant about keeping the town we’re in small and most residents fight like hell against future development (the town is like a small square) to preserve all of the surrounding farms (there are tons). I think subconsciously this is part of the reason I wanted a garden in our suburban backyard. To sort of ‘get back’ to having a “farm”, even if it’s an 8 x 8 bed. As well as controlling some of what we eat and where it comes from. Just learning about seeds has been eye opening.

    1. The Slow Foods Mama Post author

      Don’t feel guilty – be proud you’re actually doing something, and even more importantly are teaching your kids along the way.

      My hubby’s family is from farm country outside of Peterborough, and I from what I’ve seen there, being so close to farm country makes things even harder for urban / suburban farmers. I know in Campbellford the city was in a huff because a woman was keeping “urban” chickens on her two acres in town! When the farms are that close its easy for people to defend the separation of “city” and country when it comes to agriculture.

      Good luck with your adventure and if you ever have food gardening questions or want some tomato seeds, let me know!

  3. Growing Up in the Garden

    I think people all over are starting to push back against industrialized agriculture, and agribusiness politics. I see this being done in very creative ways in my community.

    I also wanted to say that I really appreciate you bringing labor issues into this discussion. I think too often, when talking about sustainable food, people seem to leave out the people who are responsible for harvesting most of the produce we consume. I think it is a critical piece to this movement.

    1. The Slow Foods Mama Post author

      Labour is a HUGE issue that rarely gets addressed, often until something horrible happens.

      My background is in human rights. When I was working it never ceased to amaze me the horrible treatment that many workers still endure. We won’t be able to find a truly sustainable movement unless it is good, clean AND fair. That’s one place the slow food movement has it right.

  4. Jimmy Cracked-Corn

    We need to regain some common sense in almost every area of our lives. It was a big news story last week that, starting this year, local farmers were going to be cutting the grass along the highways and baling it to feed to their animals. For as long as anyone can remember, the state had been paying road crews to cut the grass. Why? We can’t remember why! It’s just how we had “always” done it.

    1. The Slow Foods Mama Post author

      Isn’t that true. Such a shame that common sense isn’t a little more common. It’s also a shame that the folks who have the power to make the change so rarely listen to the grass-roots, who usually have the answers.

  5. Pingback: food advocacy goals : decentralizing our food-system | The Slow Foods Mama

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