Just back from a chilling exploration of the US Food Industry – the film Food Inc
If you weren’t vegetarian before, this may just change your mind. I’m shamed to be a human being, one of a species that treats other species in this way. If you must eat meat, eat ethically sourced meat!
The other major aspect of the movie was the extent to which global corporations control the production of food in the US on an industrial scale. In UK, it seems that the major supermarkets have a much stronger role, and are often responsive to consumer pressure. This is one of three ways in which individuals within a democracy can act to resist the force of international corporate greed dominating the production and distribution of food to the ultimate damage of individuals (health, liveliehood), the environment (mono-cultures and food miles) and our fellow species on earth (degrading and unhealthy lives before industrial scale slaughter).
The second is through education. I think Scottish schools are making a better go of this these days, with healthy eating, global citizenship, eco-awards etc. all prominent in many schools, particular at primary ages.
The third is through political campaigning. WDM (click here ) has been at the forefront of political campaigning to support justice in trade and international finance for 40 years. Most people have not the time, the energy, the expertise of the resource to ‘investigate’ complex matters like the impact of international futures markets on farmers in developing countries or of new trade agreements between the US and the EU. Pressure groups such as WDM play a vital role in taking on the corporate legal and lobbying teams of big international companies. The briefings and information they provide are educational, informative and come from sound values of justice and equity in human affairs and environmental sustainability in our relations with the planet and its other inhabitants. Sometimes they get things a little bit wrong, or in their enthusiasm, don’t see room for useful compromise, but that’s what you want in a campaigning organisation. I’ve not been that active recently – other than through campaigning letters and personal behaviour – but I’m proud that my annual subscription for all of those 40 years (I think!) has helped to keep up their excellent work. The relevant campaign to this evening’s film is on the concept of ‘food sovereignty’. Key points are:
- food is a right not a commodity
- food providers should be valued
- local markets are more important than distant markets
- natural resources such as land and water should be controlled by local producers
- it is better to build local skills than to import deskilling industrial technologies
- protect natural resources.
Sign up for more information or join up and join the campaign HERE!!