Call for Transformation of the Industrial Food System - Moms Across America

Call for Transformation of the Industrial Food System - And a Solution

The tide is turning. Two new papers show the importance of transforming the current global GMO toxic food supply to nontoxic, regenerative methods. Moms Across America has long been calling for transformation in the food system, collectively with many other organizations, for decades. It is a sign of hope to see so many diverse experts now calling for change.

In a July 21, 2021 WholeFoods Magazine article: 

Researchers at ZOE, Harvard Medical School, and King’s College London found that people who eat a high-quality, gut-friendly diet are less likely to develop COVID-19 or become severely ill, according to a press release from ZOE.

Alternatively, those eating more deficient quality diets were more at risk, a finding that was amplified for those living in a more socioeconomically deprived area.

Diets with high-quality scores were found to contain plant-based foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, oily fish, healthier fats, and less processed foods or refined carbohydrates. High-quality diet scores were also linked with a healthier and more diverse microbiome.

Based on these results, researchers estimate that nearly a quarter of COVID-19 cases could have been prevented if these differences in diet quality and socioeconomic status had not existed.

“For the first time we’ve been able to show that a healthier diet can cut the chances of catching COVID-19, especially for people living in the poorest areas,” said Dr. Sarah Berry, study co-lead and associate professor in nutritional sciences at King’s College London. “Access to healthier food is important to everyone in society, but our findings tell us that helping those living in more deprived areas to eat more healthily could have the biggest public health benefits.”

The costs of the COVID-19 shutdowns have been enormous, both to taxpayers, federal budgets, and societal structures. Mainstreets across America still have far too many businesses shuttered. Millions of people lost work in America, hundreds of millions more around the world. Alcohol and opioid addiction, homelessness, and suicides have skyrocketed. Children separated from their peers, sports, clubs, and mentors are left with deep emotional scars. Great division has resulted from the government’s choice to promote vaccines instead of alternative remedies and healthier food. The public that is aware of this disparity is losing trust in family members, media, and the government. The debate around the requirement of vaccines in universities, for example, is tearing families apart. Workers are also feeling forced to get an unapproved and risky medical procedure to keep their employment of meager pay. Most can only afford only cheap, highly processed food that threatens their health and makes them more susceptible to COVID -19. The irony is not humourous. It must not be ignored.  It is deadly.

The Rockefeller Foundation explains in its July 19, 2021 report:

True Cost of Food: Measuring What Matters to Transform the U.S. Food System, Americans pay that high cost even if consumers don't see it in the checkout line. And, if we don't change our food system, future generations will pay those high costs, too." The report identifies human health impacts as the biggest hidden cost in the food system, amounting to $1.1 trillion per year, including $604 billion that's "attributable to healthcare costs related to diet-related diseases such hypertension, cancer, and diabetes."

"The additional costs are impacts from healthcare costs from workplace injuries, food insecurity and pollution, and additional costs attributable to obesity," reads the report. Many health-related costs of the food system would be eliminated through a concerted effort by policymakers to expand access to healthy food for all Americans, business incentives, infrastructure investment, and other reforms, the report says. "Clinicians should be demanding a transformation of our food system," tweeted Dr. Gaurab Basu, co-director of the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy.

The report states, "our food system rings up immense 'hidden costs' from its impact on human health, the environment, and social and economic inequity." The organization evaluated 14 metrics, including air pollution, food insecurity, antimicrobial resistance driven by the widespread use of antibiotics in farming, and greenhouse gas emissions, and found that "externalized costs" amounting to at least $2.1 trillion annually are being incurred by consumers, producers, and future generations.

"Don't think we're getting a good deal here," the organization said in a video posted to social media. "We're getting squeezed. Society pays that balance not out of our pockets but through other means like rising healthcare costs, effects of climate change, and food workers who are often underpaid and undervalued."

"The additional costs are impacts from healthcare costs from workplace injuries, food insecurity and pollution, and additional costs attributable to obesity," reads the report. Many health-related costs of the food system would be eliminated through a concerted effort by policymakers to expand access to healthy food for all Americans, business incentives, infrastructure investment, and other reforms, the report says. "Clinicians should be demanding a transformation of our food system," tweeted Dr. Gaurab Basu, co-director of the Center for Health Equity Education and Advocacy.

Our food system is contributing to severe COVID symptoms and deaths, increasing shutdowns, and economic disasters. We truly cannot afford to allow this to continue to happen. This is a matter of national and global security.

Not only should clinicians be demanding a transformation of our food system, but consumers, business owners, and elected officials should be demanding the transformation of our food system. It is clear. Healthy food is required for a healthy economy, educational system, society, and global power position. Transforming the food supply, rejecting GMOs and toxic chemicals, subsidizing regenerative organic, and supporting local small farmers, is a matter of national and global safety and security.

Sign our letter to your Representatives and Senators now to demand that subsidies spent on GMO agrochemical farming be transitioned, primarily via the school systems, to regenerative organic agriculture. We must heed the Mayor of Barjac in France, as featured in the movie Food Beware, The French Organic Food Revolution. The Major noticed the rise of cancer in school children and researched the science linking it to pesticides used by local farmers. He then decided to transition funding from pesticide spraying farmers to schools to buy organic school lunch food. The farmers that were spraying chemicals realized they had to switch to organic practices, so they did. The farmers received payment from the schools for organic food, and the school received organic food. The health of the children in that region was protected.

Could we dare to imagine such a sensible act taken by our government? In 2020 (during school shutdowns), our government provided $13.87 billion dollars of food to our school systems every year. This $5 billion difference is a decline from the previous year when $18.75 billion was spent.  What if the money that was not spent on school lunches in 2020 was spent on the transition to organic food in schools? Perhaps the development of organic school gardens? Hiring staff to head up local school to farmer collaboration?

This endeavor is no small task. Five billion low-cost or free (mostly GMO, mostly toxic) school lunches are served every year to our children; 31 million children are served per day. Lunches primarily made up of commodity crops such as corn, soy, and wheat (all sprayed with glyphosate herbicides), cost $1.30 each, less than is commonly allocated for homemade dog food. Efforts have been made to add fruits and vegetables to school lunches, but if they are not organic, for example, according to the Pesticide Action Network, apples can have up to 47 pesticides on them. Are our children’s health and learning abilities being supported by being exposed to these kinds of toxins, including neurotoxins, daily?

Policy changes can transform the food system and health in America within a short time. Do we dare to speak up for the most vulnerable of our population to have organic food as a solution to transforming the entire food industry? Do we dare insist that our elected officials take action to protect the future of our nation?

Moms Across America could not think of a more urgent, reasonable, and feasible than this proposal: 

Transition the GMO farming subsidies to the school lunch budgets, earmarked for organic food with an emphasis on local. Put our children, their health, and their education first. Support the transition of American farmers to regenerative organic farming and put the security of our farmer’s employment, the quality of the soil, and our nation’s health first.


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  • Zen Honeycutt
    published this page in Blog 2021-07-28 04:42:43 -0700

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