They Tell Me It’s Healthy…But Is It?Aug 15th, 2013 | By Meagan Nelson | Category: Food Justice Blog Posts, Our Food, Our Right, Uncategorized
This post is part of a series of posts covering topics related to CAGJ’s new book, “Our Food, Our Right.” The author, Meagan Nelson, is the Publicity Coordinator at Community Alliance for Global Justice and has a background promoting liberal causes, working in communications and outreach on campaigns for Seattle City Councilmember Jean Godden, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee, and President Barack Obama. Nelson is studying Communication, Law, Economics and Government at American University and aspires to make the sustainable food movement and its related health and environmental benefits an active political issue in American lives.
In America, with the alarming obesity rate, it seems that everyone is constantly on a new diet. We are sent so many mixed messages from food industry marketers on a daily basis that the “right” way to eat healthy can become conflicted and convoluted. Here are some facts: Congress considers the Inter-Agency Working group, an organization that sets regulations for the what the content of food advertisements should be, to be food experts. “Foods advertised to children must contain a meaningful contribution to a healthful diet.” For example, any food marketed to children must “contain at least 50% by weight one or more of the following: fruit; vegetable; whole grain; fat-free or low-fat milk or yogurt; fish; extra lean meat or poultry; eggs; nuts and seeds; or beans,” according to Scientific American author Patrick Mustain. However, the truth is that the majority of advertisements towards children promote sugary, processed, high-fat foods, and that children are exposed to unhealthy ads seven times more than a fruit or vegetable advertisement (Yale Rudd Center). Because we can’t trust experts like the Inter-Agency Working Group to tell us what’s healthy, we need to be skeptical about where we get our nutritional information, making sure that the sources have no corporate agenda, and are sharing the benefits and dangers of each food product!
CAGJ’s new book, “Our Food, Our Right,” discusses the movement for food sovereignty, in which people have the basic human right to have access to safe, healthy, and sufficient quantity and quality of food. Additionally, this means people should have access to proper information about what is in their food (Our Food, Our Right 19-20). Every human being deserves these rights of food sovereignty.
You can get involved in taking control of your food by supporting the GMO labeling bill 1-522, going before voters of Washington state in the Fall of 2013. We also recommend visiting the website of La Via Campesina, the international movement of peasant farmers who originally developed the idea of food sovereignty.