How Would You Change Food in 2010?

| 1/4/2010 10:08:58 AM

Tags: industrial agriculture, livestock welfare, food and agricultural policy, question to readers,

Healthy Food
It’s a new year, fresh with new possibilities. There are many reasons to be optimistic about 2010, but it doesn’t come without its challenges. This year, we need to take a hard look at our food system, identify the problems, and make the changes necessary to ensure that safe, healthy food is available to all. We need to overhaul our school lunch program, and eliminate the use of growth hormones in dairy operations. Let’s crack down on pollution from industrial farms, and improve living conditions for the animals within them. It’s a tall order, I know. But it can happen, if we continue to make our voices heard.

What changes would you like to see made to our food and agriculture system this year?

jennifer webb_2
1/28/2010 5:00:37 PM

Great posts everyone. Michelle, thank you for your post especially, I agree. I also think, though, that without the mass public understanding what they are being robbed of, and demanding mass change, it will never happen. Industrial agriculture is huge, so many of these corporations embedded into our universities(funding) government agencies, etc. that the individual is easily squashed with threats of lawsuit for defamation(Oprah vs Beef industry). The American public must demand more. They must demand better products, such as grass fed beef, pasture raised, not feedlot finished even. Dairies need to be overhauled, which won't go over easily. Scientific research for bovine, other ruminant pathogens should be pursued to work to either eradicate or vaccinate against diseases such as Johnes from cattle. If we can create more healthy environments for our dairy cattle to live, and minimize pathogens, then the public might be in a position to consider relearning about raw milk. I understand this might be too much to hope for. However all the cases of people who drink raw milk who have ailments from allergies to more serious illnesses who have documented improvement of their health should be shared. I think it may be time to push for a new look at the studies that have already been done and educate the public of what they are missing. This could cause the local small farmer to become important. CSAs, localvore and home gardens need to gain in popularity! Plant food not grass!

1/24/2010 10:20:24 PM

Stop bringing in peaches, grapes, cherries in the middle of winter! The fun of seasonal produce has been ruined. There is not looking forward to the joy of the "insert name of your favorite fruit here" season. Read the End of Overeating by Dr David Kessler. He explains why we eat when we are full: the money grabbing corporations have figured out how to mess with our dopamine.

pat p
1/6/2010 10:03:45 PM

Food additives are having a huge negative impact on the health and well being of all people. Those additives start with the chemical fertilizers used to grow our food and are compounded by the addition of chemicals to preserve and enhance processed foods. For the past 2 year I have been working to eliminate processed foods from our diet. We especially are trying to address the additiono of excessive salt, sweeteners and MSG in our foods. The use of MSG has more than tripled since its intrduction just after WWII. It's controbution to an increasingly obese world is significant. I have been making and canning our own soups, herb mixtures and baked goods. We eat out much less than we used to. In the summer we garden and I do as much canning and freezing as possible.

jack veggie
1/6/2010 8:20:30 PM

Please give us relief from government intrusion into food production and delivery. Slowly but surely federal, state and local governments are regulating small producers and artisans out of business, and discouraging entry into the field. As a result of this government intrusion, the public is being unwittingly herded en masse to huge feed troughs operated by huge producers using GMO's, plenty of chemicals and lots of machinery and processing equipment. Tell your local, state and federal lawmakers and officials to back off. The food contamination scares and recalls all emanate from the huge operators and distributors, not small farms and artisans.

1/6/2010 3:02:10 PM

I'm helping friends to learn how they can make the convenience items they rely on for themselves. I don't expect people to immediately drop their dependence on commercially prepared items (although it would be great if they did) and make everything from scratch and grow their own food as I do. If I can give them some quick and easy projects, they will have a feeling of accomplishment and start to develop the do it yourself attitude. Some friends are struggling with the simple idea of making their own taco seasoning and others are ready to learn how to put up food this coming year. If we want to be vehicles of change, we need to meet people where they are and offer changes that are not threatening to their comfort. The moment someone feels threatened or overwhelmed, the positive changes come to a halt. I have found that the small step of teaching someone how to make their own taco seasoning, for example, gets them reading the ingredients on commercial products and starts them questioning what they are feeding their family. From those initial questions, a conversation can be started about how our food system needs to change and the ways we can participate in the change. The one major change I would love to see happen this year is honest labeling of food... precision in listing ingredients and the actual sources of those ingredients. I have Celiac Disease and not knowing the source and make-up of my food can make me sick for days due to accidental exposure to gluten.

sustainable eats_4
1/6/2010 1:22:07 PM

I'm with Oakmoss - we have traded our health for convenience long enough that the effects are indisputable. Most people don't even know how to use the flour and leaveners they already have in their cupboards to make pancakes and instead buy mixes containing up to 20 ingredients, several of them known toxins! Teaching folks to use simple ingredients that they already have and take baby steps back to real food is a great way to start empowering them. The next food revolution really needs to be "from scratch." In 2009 I vowed to stop buying processed foods, took out the lawn and befriended local farmers. We achieved the goal with a few noted exceptions. My kids will not be raised on sickened animal offal and rancid packaged foods. I hope to encourage as many other moms along the way as possible! Let them eat

1/6/2010 12:11:41 PM

Just like with most political issues, this one grabs people "where they live". Then we decide to start a campaign to save the world and when everybody doesn't agree and jump on the band wagon, we get discouraged. I believe we would all be better served if we all start with a small piece of the solution at home. In the latest issue of M.E.N. there is a great article about small scale gardening (even for city folk). My wife and I have a home located in the center of three, generous sized, building lots. We have a large garlic and herb garden at one end, yet I'm still mowing 65% of those three lots. I have vowed that in the coming year that will change. Hopefully down to 50% in 2010 with less mowing each coming year as our gardens expand. Even if you only have room for a couple of window boxes and planters it will start to make a difference, for you, and overall. When large corporate farms start to see less demand they will start to listen. Peace.

1/6/2010 11:21:13 AM

I'd like to know what foods contain Genetically Engineered food. Personally, I don't want them in my food. The European Union has banned them.

concetta hurlbert
1/5/2010 12:09:43 PM

I'd like to see more transparency from food production plants. I'd also like to see the USDA approach our food safety issues by addressing the sources of these issues (CAFOs, feeding cows a corn-based diet, etc.) instead of trying to bandage them with a short-sighted solution.

1/4/2010 3:50:24 PM

As I have been doing for three years: teach people about the disasters of industrial farming and food processing; encourage purchasing direct from the farm or grow your own; extol the benefits of organic foods (locally produced, only); teach people how to cook from scratch and put up food. It is frightening how many people rely almost totally on processed/prepared food!

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