This weekend, I sat down with my daughter and we watched several documentaries about food and health. Later that evening once I was all alone, I decided I’d watch another called The Future of Food (the above is a clip of the beginning). I was nearly in tears by the end of it. I have hit a new height of anger and fear and it has pushed me to a new level of advocacy I was not expecting or prepared to pursue. But this is not something I can sit back and just accept.
This is akin to slavery- yes, I said it.
Forcing me into an action involuntarily, deliberately keeping me ignorant to the truth, taking something from me that is a HUMAN RIGHT is slavery and oppression and to attempt to view it in any other way is to prefer to dwell in ignorance. And yet this is what Big Food does. They lie to you, they manipulate the facts, they prevent truths from getting out into the open, they’ve taken over one of the most intimate human functions- eating. This is absolutely, irrevocably, fundamentally wrong.
The hope is that people in positions of power would do the right things on behalf of those that aren’t. It is a constant and painful disappointment that they usually do not. People in power will do whatever they can to maintain and expand that power and all at the EXPENSE of the Little People. And in the meantime, the Little People severely underestimate their own power. We forget that the Have Nots will ALWAYS outnumber the Haves. That the power of those in charge is tenuous so long as we ALLOW them to have that power, allow them to manipulate us and keep us in ignorance.
So for all the people that say the following: “No no, don’t tell me, I don’t want to know” “It doesn’t matter what you do, you’ll never beat the system” and my personal favorite “I’m only one person, how can I possibly promote a change”, then I give you Sister Rosa Parks who by a small gesture of refusing to take it any longer sparked a national debate. And of course there is Dr. Martin Luther King who, through sacrifice and courage, became one of the most powerful voices this country has ever known.
Humor me a moment. “You’re only one person, what could you possibly hope to accomplish” is one of the most cowardly cop-outs I’ve ever heard in my life. Yes, I am only one person. And you’re only one person and they’re only one person and so on to the tune of 350 million “one-persons” in the United States of America. Now in changing how I eat, I’ve not only taken my “one person” out of the equation but also my family. So we’re three people. What if ten million mothers like me who had a 3 person household decided to make the same change? We’ve now become 30 million people. And that’s only 10% of the population.
What if all 10 million households purchased these documentaries and books and mailed them to the White House? Do you not think that 10 million movies and books showing up on their doorstep wouldn’t get their attention? Is that not, at its very core, the true essence of freedom, voice- of POWER? Because if there is one thing all of these Big Food people have in common it is the dependence on the All Mighty Dollar- and this will always make them vulnerable. It is a mighty big Achilles Heel to aim at. If it’s one thing we as Little People must do, it’s spend money to eat. What if, with your dollars, you enacted your protest? What if 10% of the population enacted protest solely based on where they purchased their food? Would you still think no one was listening?
First Lady Michelle Obama has decided that she will take on health and obesity. If she was truly serious, she’d recognize how much the food we eat contributes to it. She would take on and challenge Big Food. She would would be a force in her husband’s ear to truly enact change and bring hope. Except he just signed the new Food Safety Bill which is NOT a friend to the small farmer- or YOU the consumer (EDUCATE YOURSELVES!).
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Almost always, the creative and dedicated minority has made the world better”. All revolution has been the minority against the “majority”. At what point do you start to realize your true power, oh “one person”? For me, that time is now.