The corporate and Big Chemical takeover of our food supply has caused a litany of problems in America and other “modern” nations, but the pendulum is finally swinging back in the other direction thanks to the growing Real Food movement that has sprung up in response, spurred on by the Internet, of course.
While the cross contamination of genetically modified crops is a major area that needs to be addressed, as are other characteristics of the current U.S. food system including government collusion with corporate chemical/food giants, there are positive signs springing up all around us as we head toward 2013.
In honor of December 12, 2012, here are 12 reasons to be optimistic about the future of food and the real food movement:
1. Momentum from the GMO labeling drive: Proposition 37 to label GMOs in California has not passed, although vote counting is still in progress and allegations of fraud seem to have a great deal of weight behind them.
Despite the potential loss, however, the campaign to turn out the vote in favor of Prop. 37 represented one of the strongest grassroots real food movements we’ve ever seen, and the momentum has only continued ever since. Despite being outspent by a nearly 10-to-1 margin, the measure almost won in the backyard of one of the world’s biggest food economies and it dozens of other states are now considering labeling.
2. The social media movement: The first step to restoring a Real Food system is creating awareness, and few tools accomplish that goal better than social media infographics and other posts. Many hundreds of independent Facebook and other social media activists have started highly popular pages to inform the general public, and their posts are being passed around at incredible speeds, educating folks on issues like GMOs, the pitfalls of chemical-based farming, the health benefits of organic foods and much more.
3. The growth of farmer’s markets: Many cities now hold the popular markets year-round, connecting small farmers with everyday consumers in ways we haven’t seen in many years. Now the task will be to keep tabs on them to make sure they’re not infiltrated by corporate interests.
4. The Big Food pendulum swing: As more and more people wake up to the dangers of fast food hamburger buns that contain over 25 ingredients each, corn that produces its own pesticides, MSG-laced packaged food and other modern food abominations, they will naturally become inspired to learn as much as they can about health and to become more invested in the Real Food movement. Junk food industries have “overplayed their hand,” and now many they’re scrambling to go into damage control mode.
5. Prescription drug horrors: You simply can’t watch late night TV anymore without seeing a law firm’s commercial on suits over prescription drug deaths or serious illnesses. TV ads for drugs are so comical, and scary, with their long lists of side effects that they are counterproductive for the industry as a whole and push more people to try natural solutions.
6. The struggles of mainstream news: Mainstream TV and print news organizations are losing consumer trust and confidence, and have long been responding by trying to dumb things down. That approach has begun to backfire, however, as people flock to “alternative” news sources that are much more likely to report fairly on alternative health and Real Food-related issues.
7. The urban farming movement: Speaking of the media, even mainstream sources seem to agree that something special is happening within the urban farming movement. Desolate parts of Chicago, Detroit and many other communities are coming up green thanks to the movement, and even bigger things are on the horizon.
8. Positive technologies: While many of the best technologies for healthy and green living are suppressed, the culture of start-up inventors and business is encouraging. From vertical farming stations to hydroponic growing systems to what new tools for detecting and preventing GMO cross contamination (something we should see in the future), technology that works with nature can change the world and the future of food.
9. GMO bans: Kenya and Peru banned GMOs recently, and France and Russia banned GMO imports in the wake of worrisome studies. Some governments have seen the light, although there’s much work to do in this department…now it’s up to the people to keep pushing for more, to watch over them and to keep them honest.
10. Allopathic medicine changes: Whether it’s a doctor taking the time to learn about nutrition on his or her own to offset drug pushing tendencies of their “traditional” schooling or even anonymous donor giving $1 million to start an organic greenhouse at a hospital, changes are happening and partnerships are quietly forming between “natural” and “modern” medicine and schools of thought.
11. Grassroots protests: Another result of the popularity and power given by social media, protests of companies such as Cheerios (General Mills) and Kellogg’s have created major disruptions, causing them to pull promotions (in the case of Cheerios on Facebook) and creating major awareness shifts within the companies (Kellogg’s received 100,000+ emails on removing GMOs from their products alone recently). Companies respond to consumer feedback because if they don’t, their bottom lines could be at risk. Conscious consumerism is the best way to make a change.
12. You have the power: There are so many ways to contribute to the ongoing Organic/Real Food movement. Plant a community garden. Post and share information on Facebook. Write to companies on Facebook or by email. Contact your representatives in support of legislation that is fair to organic farms and consumers.
The revolution may not be televised (on mainstream TV, anyway), but it’s clearly happening and we all can be a big part of it moving forward from now (12/12/12) onward.
Thanks for reading and please share if this was at all inspiring to you!