it's the morning after election day, and my fair trade, organic coffee with non-gmo verified coconut milk still tastes as good as it does every day. the nation elected barack obama president for a second term and california, sadly, voted not to have mandatory labels placed on food products containing genetically modified organisms. big business and big agriculture is still capable of spending their money to sway our diet and our votes. it's going to take a lot to change that, but i think yesterday is an indication that we should be incredibly hopeful about a shift in american attitudes about food, a putting down of a pepsi and a picking up of a gloriously crisp, adorably misshapen organic apple. as of right now, 47% of californians voted yes on labeling. that's over 4 million people who want to know more about their food!
maybe i am excessively an optimist, but even having the proposition 37 "right to know" measure on california's ballot tells me we are beginning to head for a saner lunchbox and dinner table. however, it is going to take tireless, concentrated effort on behalf of each and every one of us to direct this change, and it needs to happen right now, in our daily decisions. the good news is, when you start caring about food, life gets more delicious. i present to you, dear reader, just a brief list of personal actions we can make to bring better food to our tables and our communities in light of yesterday's events. here's to your appetite.
that's right. there are hundreds of products in the market that contain this label--support them! you can read more about the non-gmo project here.
spend more on your groceries
at present, much of our organic food costs more than the pesticide-laden, flavoress, gmo-altered options. one way to drive those prices down is to flood the market with our demand for them, bringing more business to the table. plus, i think it could be argued that spending more on healthy, nourishing groceries in the present could save you thousands in doctor's bills down the road. it's an investment.
if you are looking to save money, buy seasonal items, stock up when items go on sale, and make friends with your freezer. it is possible to eat well on a budget, but you have to be diligent about it.
join a csa & support local farmers
really, this is a no brainer. joining a csa brings you fresh, seasonal produce and will get you in the kitchen, eating and enjoying your vegetables. and when you support local farmers, you are giving them more power to grow the kind of food our communities so desperately need.
donate your time (and/or money) to the next measure
proposition 37 is not an ending--it is a beginning. we can use the momentum it generated for the next step: re-writing the measure and bringing it to the ballot again. if all 4 million+ citizens who voted for it banded together, we might have a serious fight against giants like monsanto. use social media to continue to share the news and keep the ball rolling.
eat dinner together
friends--there is no more straightforward way to change our nation's attitudes about food than to discuss it with our children. we must teach them in our actions that food choices are important and there is no better (or more rewarding) place to do this than the family table.