I’m so over politics this year!
Politics are raging. You thought that would be over after the November elections, didn’t you? Or perhaps, like me, you’re hoping it was!
Legislative sessions are in full swing in the Houses and Senates in every state across this nation, and your food is on the table (for discussion, that is). I had every intention to fire you up about it, about what is going on in your own state, so that you could investigate how you could help further your own food freedom.
My Cynicism Transformed
Let me start by saying that I’ve spent well over 15 hours reading the summaries of legislative bills for every state in the country. Somewhere around California (I was going in alphabetical order), the bills started to blur together and I became cynical!
Having previously witnessed bills that I supported fail, I know that many of these attempts that excite me will not pass. I know that lobbyists provide heavy pressure, and that facts get twisted. I know that many people would have written a letter or called if they only knew..
By Hawaii, though, I had a 180° shift in my attitude. Most of the bills I read relating to food were pushing food freedom forward not stifling it.
I was struck by some very encouraging truths that have inspired me to focus on the work being done in my own backyard to ensure freedom for generations to come!
People are more aware of their food choices than ever before
From Alaska to Washington, food labeling proponents have proposed bills for things like GMO, pesticides, synthetic coloring, foods exposed to sewage sludge (that’s Washington), and foods that are packaged in packaging with harmful chemicals. Knowing that Maine, Vermont, and Connecticut passed GMO labeling laws last year and that it’s on the ballot in at least 8 states, American consumers are sending a message that people want the freedom to make their own decisions if given the truth.
People are concerned about the next generation
Connecticut is trying to protect children with life-threatening allergies, and New York is trying to do the same by having restaurants disclose ingredient lists. North Carolina wants to require allergy training in restaurants.
Vermont is trying to ban the herbicide glyphosate, and Oklahoma has a list of some herbicides they would like to ban too. Although Alaska wouldn’t completely eliminate them, they hope to limit the use of neonicotinoid pesticides.
People are generous
The ability to both lower food waste and curb food insecurity can be found within a single action: allow restaurants and farmers to donate food to shelters and food banks for a tax credit!
It’s a brilliant stroke that is being pursued by California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Missouri, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.
People are recognizing their common ground
I have loved the frequency of the word “bipartisan” on many of these bills. We can come around the dinner table together, and focus on being together.
People want to see their neighbors succeed
There are some exciting tax breaks for farmers who sell directly to consumers, there is the lightening of some financial and regulatory burden of farmers pursuing organic licensure, and Oklahoma wants to safeguard farmers’ markets with liability protection. There were a couple of states with bills permitting farmers’ markets to meet on government property. Doesn’t it belong to the people, after all?
Cottage industries, which are people who produce a product individually (baking bread, making jelly, etc) have a great year ahead, if some of the proposed changes take place. In Arkansas, they would be exempt from some of the regulations required for other “food establishments.” California, Hawaii, Illinois, Missouri, Montana, New Jersey, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, and Wyoming all have bills that speak directly to cottage industries.
There is more work to be done
Yes, there is good news. But there are some dangerous bills out there too, ones that could limit food producers and consumers alike. Pantry Paratus has posted a list of proposed bills by state that may affect you. Take a moment to scan the list for your state.
Pop an email or make a call to your representatives and let them know you care. Find a Facebook group supporting the local efforts, and see how you can get involved. We have come a long way but we must work together if we want to secure food freedom for the next generation.
People dont care. They just run through the super market, buying anything. Many dont even know what gmo or cemicals are, they just eat it. I live in Denmark, where raw milk is forbidden, and its so hard finding any one who sells it. And you can forget all about 100% grassfed or raw cheese and butter, it dosnt exist. I know NO ONE besides my sister, why buys organic food (except very few things maybe), or know anything about Weston Price or paleo. They got stuck with the food pyramid and “fat will kill you” 100 years ago, and it seems like nothing can chance that. Every where i go peolple just acts like brainless zombies, repeating the same things, or not even knowing what to believe. I have been hoping for a long time that it was going to chance, but it only seems to be gettning worse.
Let it go wheat needs to be separated from the chaff.
We are living in the camp of the saints time. True Israel, the European people, are being surrounded by all sides, top and bottom.
I slowly started becoming conscious of the food I eat nowadays and discovered I can eat healthy while making better choices. I must say it’s hard sometimes being human because we have so many food choices and can eat anytime of the day. This is the point in our life where we have to discipline ourselves and really buckle down on eating right and staying on track with good solid nutrition while dining out and about.
Quick question for you. When you prepare your meats, do you bake, steam in a steaming pot, or cook in a pan on top of the stove? Or are you into grilling in your backyard often?
I love what you say about people being more aware of their food choices. That’s so very true and there is much more dialog than ever before.
People do still tend to believe what they’re told (at least some of the time). But, now there are many more perspectives out there, making awareness stronger.
And, blogs like yours help matters immensely.
Olive Jason says
thank you for sharing your thoughts it is helpful and practical