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Natural Awakenings Greater Boston - Rhode Island

The Future of Our Food System

Maisie Raftery, Publisher

In 1826, the French epicurean Jean Anthelme Brillat- Savarin concluded a lifetime of observation by writing, “The future of the nations will depend on the manner of how they feed themselves.” Today this message is more crucial than ever.

Thanks to my personal belief that everything is happening exactly how and when it is supposed to, I don’t tend to become emotionally involved in matters that otherwise would likely infuriate me beyond the ability to function. Enter the dysfunctional reality of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the blissful ignorance of most Americans. I’m still startled in disbelief when someone in this day and age asks, “What is a GMO?”

Also holding the belief that what you resist persists, my approach to fighting blind acceptance of GMOs is making intelligent choices about what food I buy and consume. For me, this extends deeper than whether a food has been genetically engineered to asking questions like: Where did it come from? Was it grown sustainably and toxin-free? Was this animal treated humanely?

Our feature article, “Forcing Change in Our Food System: Banning GMO Crops and Genetically Engineered Food,” by Natural Awakenings staff with contributing reports by Case Adams and Wendy Fachon, is a discomforting look at how our government has aligned with a megalithic corporation to create what may be the world’s largest monopoly—of our national food supply no less. Monsanto, along with its compatriots, are poised to threaten the future of our food system and possibly the health of every American along with it.

The good news is we can do something about it. If you have yet to read Malcolm Gladwell’s The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference, I highly recommend it. He explores and illustrates what economists call the 80/20 principle, which is “the idea that in any situation roughly 80 percent of the ‘work’ will be done by 20 percent of the participants.”

Non-GMO activists and proponents may be outnumbered, perhaps mostly by uninformed bystanders, but persistence through education will bring this issue to the tipping point of change. It’ll be the point at which formerly unknowing and innocent bystanders become motivated to support a massive shift, from poisoning and depleting America’s farmlands toward nourishing the soil from coast to coast using all-natural and organic crops. It will be a huge step forward in improving the health of our families, our nation and the world.

Please broadly share your understanding of everyone’s right to good, clean, additives-free, health-giving food. Let’s all choose to consistently support non- GMO growers, buy and eat local foods, shop regional farmers’ markets and contribute to this crucial shift.


Maisie Raftery, Publisher