Today, December 10th, is the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the United Nations General Assembly in 1948–a declaration that, in its own words, establishes a “common standard of achievement” when it comes to the rights and freedoms of all people, all over the world. One especially important right, as highlighted by Frances Moore Lappé on Huffington Post, is the right to food. Do check out her post for a thoughtful exploration of how many people in the world no longer are thinking of food in this way, and in fact may be hostile to the idea of governments protecting and ensuring that right.
She assures “ In imagining food as a right of citizenship, please note: No change in human nature is required! Through most of human evolution — except for the last few thousand of roughly 200,000 years — Homo sapiens lived in societies where pervasive sharing of food was the norm. As food sharers, “especially among unrelated individuals,” humans are unique, writes authority on hunter-gatherer food transfers, Michael Gurven. Except in times of extreme privation, when some eat, all eat.”
An important day then for Lappé and for us to bring your attention to the recent victory achieved by recent Terra Madre delegates, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers, a group we have featured here on the blog several times before, highlighting their efforts (and successes!) in getting fast food companies to raise their payment per pound of tomatoes by one penny in order to improve working conditions for tomato pickers in Florida. Last week, on December 3rd, in the midst of CIW’s national tour to protest Subway’s refusal to sign an agreement with them, Subway signed! And not just for tomatoes; they have agreed to apply the price increase to their entire supply chain.
To honor the incredible work that the Coalition of Immokalee Workers is doing, CIW’s Lucas Benitez will be the honored guest at the Small Planet Fund’s fundraiser in NYC this evening.