Saturday, August 1, 2009

Tell Food Companies--Its Time

The film, Food, Inc. is a must see event. From the website you read: Food, Inc. exposes America's industrialized food system and its effect on our environment, health, economy and workers' rights.

Many solutions are being discussed and there are hundreds of groups and organizations doing wonderful work. The organic foods movement has significantly helped by increasing the availability and awareness of healthy and safe foods.

Gary Hirshberg, founder and CEO of Stonyfield Farm, insists that business has the power to heal the planet in time to prevent catastrophe. And his company is doing its share to provide healthy and safe food choices, while they simultaneously address environmental issues. Gary points out that if just one hundred large companies lowered their emissions by 5 percent, it would be equivalent to taking 25 million cars off the road for a year. Now imagine if those one hundred companies were food companies, also devoted to producing "Ecological Foods," which are good for the consumer and good for the planet.

Over one-half of our healthcare costs are related to treating preventable illness and diseases related to diet, such as obesity, heart disease and diabetes. Marion Nestle, noted author, nutritionist and professor at NYU points out in her book, Food Politics, that "Food companies will make and market any product that sells, regardless of its nutritional value or its effect on health." Does that sound like another industry which has been implicated for lung cancer? Yes indeed. In fact many food companies have a direct link to the tobacco industry because the food companies themselves are part of the same corporations which sell cigarettes!

So the cumulative effect to the environment and to consumer health of one hundred food companies joining the movement to produce Ecological Foods would be astounding! And guess what? The food companies will do what you tell them. That's right. The food companies will respond to consumer demand for healthy, wholesome foods, produced by sound ecological practices. If our grandparents could produce foods for the winter without one harmful chemical and without any advanced technology, I'm quite certain our food suppliers can learn to do the same.

Michael Pollan, author of Omnivore's Dilemma suggests that we consumers "vote with our forks." Here's our chance to enjoy more healthy foods and for the planet to heal in the process. Send a letter or email to the food companies and tell them that you are Raising Your Fork for Reform. The Ecological Food Manufacturers Association (EFMA) has been created to help food companies learn to produce foods which are healthy for the planet, and healthy for the customer. Tell the food companies that they should become a member of EFMA today and start healing the planet. Tell them your children will thank them, the planet will thank them and their stockholders will thank them!