Yesterday was Food Day. Despite the fact that it was a great example of public private partnerships for the greater good. Despite the fact that the Day was celebrated through-out the Bay area with all kinds of events. There have been virtually no stories in the local media. In advance of the day SF comfort food examiner wrote about the day and dining opportunities. NBC covered the politicians at San Francisco City Hall. The SF Chronicle’s only mention was from the Scoop Column and it was kind of snide.
Food Day was sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest is to promote a healthy, sustainable and just food system. Too many American only have access to fatty factory farmed animal products, salty packaged foods, and sugary drinks that cause everything from obesity and heart disease to stokes and cancer. Too often the way our food produced is unfair to farm workers, cruel to animals and contributes to climate change and pollution.
There were (and are) many events taking place in the Bay Area. There was more coverage of the return of McRib in the media than food day….including a tweet by ABC anchor Diane Sawyer. All of the Bay area local media covered the return of McRib.
We need to occupy our food system. Compared to other parts of the country the Bay area is a healthy food paradise. For most residents, there is no excuse not to eat well –fruits, vegetables, whole grains moderate amounts of sustainable seafood and humanely raised fowl and meat are all easily available.
It took forty years from the time the first evidence of the harm of tobacco was presented to real public policy opposing smoking. It happened as soon as it did because the medical costs from smoking were evicerating state medicaid funds.Michael Pollan offers hope for the future, “The food movement is about to gain a powerful new partner, an industry that is beginning to recognize that it, too, has a compelling interest in issues like taxing soda, school lunch reform and even the farm bill. Indeed, as soon as the healthcare industry begins to focus on the fact that the government is subsidizing precisely the sort of meal for which the industry (and the government) will have to pick up the long-term tab, eloquent advocates of food system reform will suddenly appear in the unlikeliest places—like the agriculture committees of Congress.
None of this should surprise us. For the past forty years, food reform activists like Frances Moore Lappé have been saying that the American way of growing and eating food is “unsustainable.” That objection is not rooted in mere preference or aesthetics, but rather in the inescapable realities of biology. Continuing to eat in a way that undermines health, soil, energy resources and social justice cannot be sustained without eventually leading to a breakdown. Back in the 1970s it was impossible to say exactly where that breakdown would first be felt. Would it be the environment or the healthcare system that would buckle first? Now we know. We simply can’t afford the healthcare costs incurred by the current system of cheap food—which is why, sooner or later, we will find the political will to change it.”