One of the best things about our current food system is that, as Americans, we have the ability to shape and mold it any way we want. It is really important to understand though, how many things food affects. I recently wrote a paper for Eng 105 about this topic. In the paper I make note that our current food system is more like a food monster. What is of utmost significance is that food not only enables organisms to function, but it also grasps energy dependence, land preservation, global warming and pollution, disease and medical costs, animal welfare, advertising, family institutions, the economy, and cultural shifts. I could probably add in quite a bit more as well. How crazy is that? One of the most basic factors of survival has the power to influence our whole world; and we are a part of it!
Grace Communications Foundation is an organization that “educates consumers about the benefits of sustainable agriculture and works to build community through food.” If you want to change anything about our food system (and I bet every one of our readers could come up with an idea or two), you must have the passion to learn about it and the courage to do something about it. Let’s try to be more hands-on when it comes to food; give people the tools they need to enjoy real food, because just talking about it doesn’t seem to work all that well.
That reminds me of a very inspiring author in the word of food: Michael Pollan. If you haven’t heard of him or read any of his books, I suggest you get to it! His thoughts and beliefs about food can be summed up in 8 words: “eat real food, not too much, mostly plants.”
But back to Grace Communications Foundation- they help people stay connected with relevant information on topics affecting the food industry, give tips on how to shop for and prepare food, and supply ideas for how to take action. Check out their website http://www.gracelinks.org/ and explore all the cool things they offer.
- The Meatrix is a section dedicated to animal products, welfare, and solutions.
- Ecocentric is a blog highlighting “Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It”, along with many articles about environmental issues.
- The Eat Well Guide allows consumers to search for sustainable products in their area.
Another reason to look at these sorts of websites is because consumers are doing it. You should be able to identify with them, see what they are seeing, and understand what level they’re on. You have the opportunity to be a big fish in a small pond and lead the way for a truly great initiative; for the beautiful creation of a food system to be proud of. So go on: be passionate and courageous as you carry on through school and out into the world.
Other great sites to investigate:
Thank you to http://www.greatmealsforachange.ca/project-materials.php, http://www.nourishlife.org/teach/food-system-tools/, and http://www.vsjf.org/news/66/farm-to-plate-annual-gathering-taking-stock-and-moving-ahead for the wonderful pictures.