The Food Movement Elements

In my newest read, Food Politics by Marion Nestle, Nestle identifies the five elements of the food movement. Knowing these five categories also means you know the five approaches to our nation’s efforts towards making over our food systems.  The food movement is picking up speed and more spotlights are on it every day. Knowing the categories below is exceedingly helpful for putting current events and local efforts into context.

The following descriptions come from Food Politics by Marion Nestle on page x of her preface to the 2007 edition.

The Good Food Movement: This is what Farm Aid calls the demands for local, organic, or humanely raised food produced by family farms. Includes the Slow Food Movement and opposition to genetically modified foods and irradiated foods. 

The Farm-to-Community Movement: Aims to connect farmers to local communities through…

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GMO should stand for Governmentally Modified Options

It actually stands for genetically modified organisms. Technically, all organisms are genetically modified either by natural selection or by farmers cross-breeding or cross-pollinating for optimal products. What I’m referring to is the process of genetic modification by genetic engineers. As in, putting some caterpillar genes in some corn genes to make the plant resistant to caterpillars. Mmm.

Was hungry for corn. Now, not so much.

If you want to know if what you’re buying is a genetically engineered (GE) product, reading the label won’t offer much insight, unfortunately. GMOs aren’t labeled. GE ingredients might or might not be included in your food. “Non-GMO” is labeled, however. According to Mark Bittman, author of “Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled?” (food safety and food politics guru), unless your food is labeled “Non-GMO,” it probably contains genetically engineered ingredients. Whole Foods statistics put the prevalence of GMOs in our crops at 93% of soy, 93% of corn, 93% of canola seeds, and 86% of cotton.

Scientific evidence hasn’t yet conclusively proved GMOs are immediately harmful to everyone who eats them. Evidence also hasn’t proven that they’re safe in the long term, either. We do know that you risk of an allergic reaction and eventually adapting the antibiotic-resistant properties of GMO products. Do people know this? Not really. The information isn’t widely circulated.

Truth: Neither the FDA nor the USDA require GMO products to be labeled as such, because, “they don’t want people to think the foods are different.”

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