A little late on the bandwagon but saw Food, Inc. last night. I agree one should save dolphins but how did The Cove win the Oscar instead of this movie that affects each and every one of us at the most basic level? And though I’m late on the bandwagon, why is there not a bandwagon? How is there not more press?
The scope of the food industry’s effects on us are staggering: even if you don’t give a shit about cruelty to animals (hens that never see daylight? holes in the stomach of cows?) then how about disgust at how what we’re eating has been made (in manure and filth amidst disease); how about the death of our children due to unnatural raising of livestock; the rising costs of healthcare due to obesity and the diseases rampant because of how our food is made; the ramifications on the farmer; the hypocritical treatment of undocumented workers; the ever widening gap dividing low income vs higher incomes; the instability of other countries due to the govt policy of subsidizing corn.
How about we cut those subsidies and spend it on food stamps that enable poor folks to buy vegetables and fruit? And even then, even if you go organic and vegetarian, there’s Monsanto with their GM seeds.
How is there an industry in our democracy where you have no say? You can’t even criticize. So even if you don’t give a shit about the animals or the people (and as that one farmer said: it’s interrelated; how you treat your hogs is how you’re going to treat people) then how about the Constitution and Bill of Rights? Criticizing and complaining is the hallmark of America, dammit!
Or how about speaking up against those industries in the name of capitalism? That’s right. Greed is not capitalism — please read your Adam Smith and not watch “Wall Street” as a primer. It can lead to greed just as communism can lead to all sorts of things once human nature gets involved but competition is the backbone of capitalism. When a company like Monsanto plays expensive legal games, intimidates competition — that’s squelching competition, squelching a consumer’s choice, and inhibiting progress and innovation. That’s why there are anti-monopoly laws.
Or how about speaking up because of how much it’s costing you? No, not the short-sighted, I’m paying a dollar for a burger than $4-5 for one but the cost of natural resources because of the slavery to oil (transporting food not just in distribution but to the slaughter houses) that is perpetuated; the cost of the environment; the cost of our children’s lives not just from E.coli or salmonella but the wars he or she may have to fight when sent to an unstable country because it’s impoverished due to cheap US food due to our policies?
What can we do? As the movie said: change one bite at a time. If you’re in a position to do so, then buy organic, support farmers markets; buy local. It costs much less in the long run. Make sure your school district is serving healthy lunches. Demand it! No junk food, no soda, no processed meals to our kids.
And Speak Up. We’re not allowed to criticize, my ass… Twitter and Facebook it. Bring it up with friends and family and community. Write to your representatives. Write op-ed’s. Write blogs and articles. Make it news. Let government know that it should be illegal to have someone from an industry head up the regulatory departments overseeing those very industries. Let government know that our food, our health, our family’s safety, our farmers, the treatment of workers, of animals, of our land are important.
Details here on how to effect change: http://www.takepart.com/lists/hungry-for-change-get-involved/17056