Today is “Food Day”‘
What is “Food day” you ask? Well here you go!:
Food Day will be October 24—in 2011 and in years to come. Food Day seeks to bring together Americans from all walks of life—parents, teachers, and students; health professionals, community organizers, and local officials; chefs, school lunch providers, and eaters of all stripes—to push for healthy, affordable food produced in a sustainable, humane way. We will work with people around the country to create thousands of events in homes, schools, churches, farmers markets, city halls, and state capitals.
Much of it is harmless, except for the soft paternalism suggested by the idea that people are too stupid to feed themselves correctly. That they have poor diets because they lack the knowledge, instead it being a matter of choice. Just everyone would choose a turkey burger on a whole wheat bun over a Big Mac if they only had the knowledge.
There are six principals of food day,
* 1 Reduce diet-related disease by promoting safe, healthy foods
* 2 Support sustainable farms & limit subsidies to big agribusiness
* 3 Expand access to food and alleviate hunger
* 4 Protect the environment & animals by reforming factory farms
* 5 Promote health by curbing junk-food marketing to kids
* 6 Support fair conditions for food and farm workers
Number three is further expanded upon:
It’s going to take political will, money, and time to ensure that every American has reasonable and affordable access to healthful, fresh, and culturally appropriate foods. Government programs, along with efforts by individuals and citizens groups, can play important roles in tackling the problem. Food stamps (now called SNAP), school meals, and WIC (Women, Infants, and Children) have done much to diminish hunger. But it’s still tough for many families to get the makings for healthy meals.
What is reasonable access to food? And “culturally appropriate” foods?
About 11 percent of the poorest Americans without cars live in “food deserts”—where people are beyond walking distance to the nearest grocery store. The term “food swamp” also describes some of these areas, because the community is filled with fast-food restaurants, convenience stores, or liquor stores, all of which sell junk foods, but precious little nourishing food. When obtaining good, real food requires taking a bus or a cab, it’s no surprise that people guzzle soft-drinks and chow down on cheeseburgers, pizzas, and salty snacks that promote obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, and cancer.
Now, I’ve been through the ghettos. The local Burger King is no closer than the grocery store.
But it is true that there are not a lot of grocery stores. They’ve all left. Because of THEFT and crime. Grocery stores would be more than happy to sell their stuff to poor folks, if they didn’t have to worry about being stolen BLIND.
First Lady Michelle Obama said, “Our goal is ambitious, it is to eliminate food deserts in America completely in seven years.” Government funding could plant oases by encouraging private investment and by providing incentives for grocery stores to locate in food deserts.
It’s as if history simply doesn’t exist for these people. Just put a beautiful store in the middle of the ghetto, and problem solved. But I’ve SEEN these stores move into the food desserts. Beautiful at first. Shiny. Slowly things go downhill. Fresh fruit and healthy food gets scaled back because folks don’t buy it. The store begins to put on a ragged appearance, and before you know it the place is shuttered and closed.
Occasionally, an independent grocery buys it up and gives it a go.
I heard on the radio today that Detroit Public Schools are participating in Food Day. But they are ONLY focusing on the first two points – healthy and sustainable food, that second point they interpret to mean as “buy Michigan.”
Good for DPS.