Ways to Get Political About Real Food
Posted on Wednesday, October 21st, 2015 at 7:00 am
One of the ways that Americans can get the attention of Congress is via lobbyists. For years, the big food and beverage companies have used lobbying to get their way in everything from what qualifies as a vegetable in a school lunch to what shows up on a food label. It might be time for people who are proponents of real food to get political.
Politico notes that many health-conscious food companies do not have lobbyists. As a result, Congress is hearing a whole lot from “Big Food” companies – who do have plenty of lobbyists – and not hearing much of anything from the other side. Here are some simple things you can do to fight for real food.
Vote with your dollars.
It has been said that voting with your dollars is an effective way to create change. Stop purchasing food products from companies that sell foods and beverages that are bad for people’s health. Spend your money on the companies that support free trade, that sell unprocessed foods, that do not include antibiotics in their food, or that recycle.
In order to be effective at this, you have to do some homework. Big food companies are starting to buy up some of the smaller companies that have a reputation of producing good food. Check to see who owns what before shopping.
Buy from Farmers’ Markets
Want to make sure that the produce you purchase is fresh and local? Buy it from the farmers’ market. Hand your dollars directly to a local farmer. You can be absolutely certain that the fresh produce you buy from a local farmer is the real thing. It definitely has not been processed, and it shouldn’t have any extra sugars added to it.
Buying local food is good for the environment, too. The food you buy at the farmers’ market doesn’t have to travel far to get to you. That’s better for the environment than produce that is stored in freezers for months before being placed on a refrigerated truck and driven across the country.
Start sending email.
Want to have your views heard by the politicians who represent you? Send your Senators and Representatives an email in which you describe your concerns about things like the content of school lunches, the amount of antibiotics in foods, or whatever other food concerns you have. Let them know what you want them to do.
In addition, be on the lookout for petitions that appear on social media. Sign the ones that ask “Big Food” companies to make changes to their ingredients (so their food will be healthier). The great thing about petitions is that it collects up signatures of like-minded people.