How many ways do we give away our power, often without noticing? Handing over cooking to corporations (ever think of it that way?) effectively reduces the overall quality of the food we consume by allowing companies to make decisions about the quantities of sugar, fat and salt we ingest. Not to mention, reduced nutrients because of necessary processing. And inferior flavor.
Michael Pollan, Professor of Journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and noted author and food activist: “Changing the world will always require action and participation in the public realm but in our time that will no longer be sufficient. We’ll have to change the way we live, too. What that means is that the sites of our everyday engagement with nature – our kitchens, gardens, houses, cars – matter to the fate of the world in a way they never have before.” That’s a pretty big statement, but it’s true. Corporations will respond to customer demand, or lack thereof. Do you think of corporations feeding you when purchasing a convenience food? Sacrificing ease for quality is kind of a sickening proposition in my view.
Hope, as stated by Slow Food USA: “Of all food system innovations in the U.S. in the last 20 years, the resurgence of farmers markets may represent the most public expression of growing community via food.” When we support locally grown and harvested organic food (that is, sans pesticides), we’re inching our way through and past the corporate chicanery that wishes to put a lot of distance between us and them… basically, relegating our food decisions to out-of-sight, out-of-mind.
We get to choose our culture, and power lies in purchasing. When I buy organic flour or seeds or greens or vegetables, retailers log the purchase. And when I make no distinction, they log that, too. It doesn’t feel like we have control, but corporations can do nothing but respond to consumer demand.
Slow Food has a few other simple ways to make your own food statement. One of them is to “encourage ugly.” How? Check out Slow Food USA.
Be thoughtful. Be courageous. Be activist. Be powerful. A lot depends on it.