If You Want to Eat Healthy, This is a Better Place to Get Your Food Than Your Supermarket
October 30, 2007
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Alternative food networks are drawing increasing numbers of people who are looking to connect with ethical food producers, and the result may be healthier eating for consumers, according to research by the Economic and Social Research Council.
Alternative food programs include items such as:
People who participated in alternative food networks such as these, typically:
- Organic vegetable boxes
- Community gardens
- Farm animal adoption
Consumers often use alternative food networks because they are concerned about the separation of food producers and consumers. Many also say they do not trust supermarkets, or they feel supermarket food is inferior.
- Increased their consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Improved their cooking skills
- Improved their knowledge about food
- Changed their behaviors in relation to other goods, such as household products and clothes
Although many consumers use alternative food networks along with supermarkets, many said they only shopped at supermarkets “out of necessity.” Other key motivations for using alternative food networks included the desire to:
Consumers also value the sense of trust and loyalty that they can establish with a food producer. However, some alternative food producers are concerned about how to maintain this connection as growth continues.
- Reduce food miles
- Use fair-trade goods whenever possible
- Use products with reduced environmental impacts and high animal welfare standards
Meanwhile, alternative food networks may be challenged by supermarkets that are attempting to establish a sense of connection with customers by providing the names of farmers on packaging. Semi-national organic box delivery programs are also rapidly expanding, which could challenge smaller, more local alternative food networks.
What Are GMOs?
From April 19th through April 25th we launch GMO Awareness Week. We set aside an entire week dedicated to providing you with information on GMOs and labeling initiatives.
GMOs are a product of genetic engineering, meaning their genetic makeup has been altered to induce a variety of “unique” traits to crops, such as making them drought-resistant or giving them “more nutrients.” GMO proponents claim that genetic engineering is “safe and beneficial,” and that it advances the agricultural industry. They also say that GMOs help ensure the global food supply and sustainability. But is there any truth to these claims? I believe not. For years, I've stated the belief that GMOs pose one of the greatest threats to life on the planet. Genetic engineering is NOT the safe and beneficial technology that it is touted to be.
Help Support GMO Labeling
The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—Monsanto’s Evil Twin—is pulling out all the stops to keep you in the dark about what’s in your food. For nearly two decades, Monsanto and corporate agribusiness have exercised near-dictatorial control over American agriculture. For example, Monsanto has made many claims that glyphosate in Roundup is harmless to animals and humans. However, recently the World Health Organization (WHO) had their research team test glyphosate and have labeled it a probable carcinogen.
Public opinion around the biotech industry's contamination of our food supply and destruction of our environment has reached the tipping point. We're fighting back. That's why I was the first to push for GMO labeling. I donated a significant sum to the first ballot initiative in California in 2012, which inspired others to donate to the campaign as well. We technically "lost the vote, but we are winning the war, as these labeling initiatives have raised a considerable amount of public awareness.
The insanity has gone far enough, which is why I encourage you to boycott every single product owned by members of the GMA, including natural and organic brands. More than 80 percent of our support comes from individual consumers like you, who understand that real change comes from the grassroots.
Thankfully, we have organizations like the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) to fight back against these junk food manufacturers, pesticide producers, and corporate giants.
Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More
Together, Let's Help OCA Get The Funding They Deserve
Let’s Help OCA get the funding it deserves. I have found very few organizations who are as effective and efficient as OCA. It’s a public interest organization dedicated to promoting health justice and sustainability. A central focus of the OCA is building a healthy, equitable, and sustainable system of food production and consumption. That's why I'm proud to announce I will be matching donations up to $250,000 this week.
Please make a donation to help OCA fight for GMO labeling.