By Richard Adcock
“…our current food policy isn’t focused on our health – it is focused on money. The system is rigged to subsidize the wealth of huge corporate farms or ‘Big Ag,’ instead of our families, communities and farmland.”
Elections, and even presidencies, frequently come and go without having much effect on this all-too-familiar reality of our food system, articulated here in Plate of the Union’s mission statement. This is what Food Policy Action‘s Education Fund wants to change. Last year, they partnered with the Union of Concerned Scientists and the HEAL Food Alliance for a public education campaign centering on the presidential election. Heading into the first year of our new president’s administration, they, along with the Environmental Working Group (also behind the “Dirty Dozen/Clean Fifteen” pesticide awareness campaign), are pursuing this goal with even greater urgency.
That’s where the Plate of the Union campaign comes in. “Every American has a right to healthy, affordable food and safe drinking water.” The online campaign represents a collectivist approach to advocating policy change–by signing on to their platform, you endorse their four-part vision for a democratically governed food system. To wit:
- Grow more organic.
- Invest in healthy farms.
- Fight hunger and food insecurity.
- Revitalize land, reduce food waste.
As for how these goals might be achieved, Plate of the Union is gearing up for a confrontation with agribusiness over the fundamental purpose of the Farm Bill. Head over to their website for a more detailed look at the policy changes they advocate.
Food Policy Action’s approach has been to use public support for policy reforms to pressure legislators, and as we enter a season of town halls and field hearings, your voices are more important to this conversation than ever. Click here to watch the first hearing on the upcoming Farm Bill, conducted yesterday at Kansas State University, and here to submit input on the upcoming Farm Bill.
Building a broad base of support for far-reaching policy reforms is never easy, but Plate of the Union’s ambassador Chef Tom Colicchio reminds us all what we’re fighting for. “A tomato should not cost more than a fast food burger,” he says. “Healthy food should not be a luxury afforded to a few.”
Advocates of good, clean, fair food tend to agree.