I am just beginning to learn about the politics of food in our country. As I read and study and listen and eat, one thing is clear: The good, healthy foods that I am fortunate enough to be able to buy for my family are not available to everyone. They aren’t available to the over 36 million food insecure people who face hunger every day. They aren’t available to the kids in my school district and other districts who rely on a free lunch program that considers tater tots and French fries to be staple vegetables.

There is a lot to be done to increase the availability of good, healthy food to everyone in our country. One thing that you can do is to sign The Declaration for Healthy Food and Agriculture. The declaration is a concept conceived by Michael R. Dimock, president of Roots of Change (ROC,) and framed by 11 of the countries leading good, fair food advocates.

After three drafts, author Michael Pollan edited it, and the final draft was adopted on Aug. 19, 2008. The result was the following 12 points being put into the declaration:

1.     Forms the foundation of secure and prosperous societies, healthy communities, and healthy people.
2.     Provides access to affordable, nutritious food to everyone.
3.     Prevents the exploitation of farmers, workers, and natural resources; the domination of genomes and markets; and the cruel treatment of animals, by any nation, corporation or individual.
4.     Upholds the dignity, safety, and quality of life for all who work to feed us.
5.     Commits resources to teach children the skills and knowledge essential to food production, preparation, nutrition, and enjoyment.
6.     Protects the finite resources of productive soils, fresh water, and biological diversity.
7.     Strives to remove fossil fuel from every link in the food chain and replace it with renewable resources and energy.
8.     Originates from a biological rather than an industrial framework.
9.     Fosters diversity in all its relevant forms: diversity of domestic and wild species; diversity of foods, flavors and traditions; diversity of ownership.
10.  Requires a national dialog concerning technologies used in production, and allows regions to adopt their own respective guidelines on such matters.
11.  Enforces transparency so that citizens know how their food is produced, where it comes from, and what it contains.
12.  Promotes economic structures and supports programs to nurture the development of just and sustainable regional farm and food networks.
If this sounds like a declaration that you can get behind, you can sign the declaration just like I did. The creators of the declaration help that it will become a “set of principles from which policy makers can craft policy that will lead to a healthier system.”

With a new administration that wants to “begin again the remaking of America,” perhaps they will be willing to remake again our agriculture system that has gotten so out of whack.

Image: sbocaj  

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