Thursday, November 15, 2012

Keep Voting


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Prop 37 didn’t pass last week, but I’m still convinced there is a growing food movement in the US. Just in the last few months, New York passed a soda ban, schools have started to ban Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, and the Yes on Prop 37 Movement started a national dialogue over genetically modified food.

Its disappointing, but not surprising, that the Prop was crushed by the herd of Goliaths in Big Food and Big Ag. Companies like Monsanto, DuPont, Kraft and Coca Cola poured in $46 million dollars to oppose the bill and dominated the airwaves. Of course they didn’t want it to pass. God forbid consumers know how their food is made, because it may hurt business. I mean, isn’t the fact that they don’t want us to know concerning? 

I’m done ranting. Cross my heart. I don’t want to dwell on the why, although that’s important. There are much better articles written on that (like this one) that you should read if you are interested.

I want to talk about how we can move forward. Elections are important, but we should never forget that we vote every day by how we live and what choices we make. Companies change when consumers do. Here are some of my suggestions for continuing to vote yes on the Food Movement:

1. Vote with your $ & your choices
Choose local over industrial, and organic over conventional when you can. Sign up for a co-op or a CSA, shop at farmer’s markets, start an urban garden. Search for ones near you at localharvest.org. Seriously, get a CSA. It’s the best. And no, they’re not paying me to say that.

At the supermarket, you can avoid GMOs and processed foods by following Michael Pollan’s rules (and my interpretation of them):
-       Shop the edges of the supermarket (where the whole foods live).
-       Don’t buy food that your great-grandmother wouldn’t recognize (put down the go-gurt).
-       Don’t eat anything with more than 5 ingredients, or ingredients you can’t pronounce (I’m looking at you, xantham gum).
-       Don’t eat anything that won’t eventually rot (gross).

And remember, the “all natural” label has nothing to do with being natural. #clevermarketing

2. Ask what’s in your food
I may or may not be that person. You know the person. The one from Portlandia that asks a list of questions and goes to visit the farm before ordering the chicken. If you haven’t seen it, drop everything and watch it now. I'm not joking.

But honestly, the more we ask our farmers, our grocery stores, and our restaurants where their food comes from and what’s in it, the more accountability there is. Win-win.

3. Use your voice
I’m talking to myself here, because I'm disappointed I didn't do more for Prop 37 other than write a blog post and a couple tweets. Get civicly involved on this issue. The amazing thing about our country is that our senators and representatives actually have to listen to us. Call them, set up a meeting with them, attend a town hall meeting. I’ve done it for other issues, and its not that scary, I promise. If you’re nice and not hostile like most people they speak with, you’d be surprised at how easy it is. 

You can also support an organization, get involved in educating others about food, post some signs in your yard. Slowfoodusa.org is a great place to start.

Whatever you do, stay tuned. The Food Movement entered politics, not without struggle, and is growing up. I can’t wait to watch and be a part of what’s next.


2 comments:

  1. I don't know if you saw it, but the LA Times endorsement section was very confusing (probably misleading) regarding prop 37. I ended up finding other resources, but it certainly didn't help the cause. In any case, I'm glad you're giving advice with things we can actually DO instead of just being bummed.

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  2. I've just discovered your blog and I am so thankful I did - it's fabulous! So glad to see there are other people like me, who have slowly changed their lifestyle and eating routine. I've been enjoying eating clean for the last 2 weeks (I know, it's not long) but I am already feeling the benefits and seeing the changes in my behaviour. I'll definitely be visiting your blog for healthy inspiration!

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