Today is the day. Occupy Our Food Supply 2012 Global Day of Action is here. I briefly discussed a little of the background yesterday in preparation, but the time is now to use our voices, use our collective power, and effect change in our food system.
“Nothing is more important than the food we eat and the family farmers who grow it,” said Willie Nelson, Founder and President of Farm Aid. “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil, pollution of our water and health epidemics of obesity and diabetes. We simply cannot afford it. Our food system belongs in the hands of many family farmers, not under the control of a handful of corporations.”
Most of us strive to make healthy food choices, but our food from beginning to plate, even our seeds, has been compromised by the giants of agribusiness. This has been happening right under our noses for decades and yet most of us have absolutely no idea how twisted our food supply has become.
Never have so few corporations been responsible for more of our food chain. Of the 40,000 food items in a typical US grocery store, more than half are now brought to us by just 10 corporations. Today, three companies process more than 70 percent of all U.S. beef, Tyson, Cargill and JBS. More than ninety percent of soybean seeds and 80 percent of corn seeds used in the United States are sold by just one company: Monsanto. Four companies are responsible for up to 90 percent of the global trade in grain. And one in four food dollars is spent at Walmart. [1. Infographic: How a “Turkey Asteroid” Represents the Consolidation of Food in the US.]
So the big question is what can we do about it? That is what today’s day of action is all about. There are clear steps to take to create an environment where this food movement can grow and thrive.
Anyone can take part. Anyone can create change. Anyone can make the difference that may truly save lives, livelihoods, and the health of this country and the world. [2. This is as sincere as it gets. No grandiose statements without facts to back it up here.]
Take Action: Occupy Our Food Supply
Take Control of Your Food
- Grow your own garden using organic seeds and practicing seed-saving techniques.
- Frequent and support your local farmers market and family farmers.
- Sign up for a CSA box (CSA= Community Support Agriculture).
- Urge your local food pantry to register at AmpleHarvest.org and help local gardeners learn to share their excess harvest.
- Support the rebuilding of rural and urban infrastructures that will get fresh, local foods by farmers, orchard keepers, and ranchers directly to consumers, particularly in low-income neighborhoods and food deserts.
- Support school lunch reform to get fresh, local food directly from farms to schools.
How can you accomplish those tasks that may seem too overwhelming or too time-consuming? Anything can be accomplished when you involve your community. Start small and work your way up, but never doubt that it can be done.
Take Direct Action For Our Food Supply
“Cargill is engaged in the commercialization of photosynthesis. That is at the root of what we do.” ~ Gregory Page, Cargill CEO, 2011
- Occupy Cargill at a facility near you (or other Occupy Our Food Supply event).
- 1) Call 1 800 CARGILL (227-4455)
2) Ask: “May I please be connected to CEO Greg Page?”
3) You will probably be forwarded to an operator or voicemail. Tell the employee that you speak with that: “As part of the global day of action to Occupy Our Food Supply, I am calling to demand that Cargill stop the corporate takeover of our food system and stop undermining local, just food solutions. If you want to be proud of your company, then Cargill needs to stop destroying ecosystems and start respecting human rights. Thank you for sharing my message with CEO Greg Page. Thank you. Goodbye.
4) Leave a comment here to say you called!
- Avoid the big box grocery stores for 1 week minimum. Frequent small, local stores, farmers markets, or farms instead.
- Follow my twitter stream today to find a host of petitions targeting changing our food.
- Learn and share.
I truly believe if honest people learn about the atrocities that Big Ag is wreaking on our food, our health, and our environment, they will not be able to sit idly by. The changes will not be immediate and there is likely to be a fight to accomplish anything, but it is a fight worth having. We owe it to ourselves certainly, but we must do this for the generations to come.
Do you believe this a cause worth a little discomfort? Is this worth fighting for?