If you Eat Food, You might want to Read this

Here are some excerpts from a few webpages about the 2012 Farm Bill. Up for renewal in 2012, as is done every 5 years. But this year, it’s different. This year, there is a threat to the sanctity of our democratic way of life.  What do you think?

“Why you should care about the farm bill

The farm bill matters to you if you care what you and your kids eat, how government policies affect the cost and availability of healthy, chemical-free food and how clean your drinking water is.

Its three most important sections deal with (or possibly won’t deal with):

  • Support programs for farmers who grow grains.
  • Provide money and technical help to farmers to protect soil, water and wildlife.
  • Fund the all-important nutrition and feeding programs for low-income Americans, especially women, children and infants.

It’s a huge piece of legislation that drives federal spending and policies on agriculture, nutrition and conservation programs, and it’s usually debated and passed every five years. It was due to come up for renewal in 2012, but industrial agriculture interests and their powerful allies in Congress are trying to circumvent open debate and get the bill they want passed as part of the “Super Committee” plan for cutting the federal deficit.”

Secret Farm Bill | Environmental Working Group

“If we don’t act now, Big Agribusiness and their powerful Congressional allies could take action that would favor commodity-based processed food at the expense of healthy, organic food. They’re trying to write the next farm bill and plan to slip it into law through the top-secret Super Committee process without justification, open debate or a single vote.

Not only are they shutting out food experts, health advocates, taxpayers and the rest of us from the discussion, but Big Ag’s lobbyists also want to create a new handout that would guarantee income to the biggest farmers – despite their current record profits. Congress should be helping people in need, not shoveling money to mega farms.”

http://action.ewg.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=1952&tag=SecretFarmActionLandingPage

Personally, I think this is a gross abuse of the democratic system. Regardless of whether I agree with the language in the bill, the fact that it is being pushed through without the standard democratic process of review, debate or vote is alarming, disturbing- wrong!

Do you agree or disagree? Do you think this is important? What are your feelings about Food?

Chicago Vegan Mania Festival Saturday

Recently, a new vegan restaurant, Native Foods Cafe, opened up in my neighborhood in Wicker Park.  Now, I am not a vegan or vegetarian for that matter, but I don’t eat much meat though and when I do, it has to be good quality – meaning no hormones, no antibiotics, sustainably grown.  I like vegan food though, but often think of it as leaves and flowers.  Everyday, I have walked by Native Foods Cafe and it is always packed.  I thought, how can a vegan restaurant be so crowded.  So, I ventured in and had lunch one day.  It was amazing!  So flavorful and delicious.  I have now been there more than a handful of time and have taken my husband and friends and everyone has been super happy with their food choices.

I noticed on their community board that there is a vegan festival this weekend called Chicago VeganMania.  It is on Saturday, November 5th, from 10am-5pm, at Pulaski Park Fieldhouse, 1419 W. Blackhawk ( just east of Ashland and halfway between North and Division and the Division Blue line stop is nearby). Not only is there food to try, but also entertainment and informational speakers.

So if you are like me and didn’t think much of vegan food, give this festival a try.  I bet you will change your mind like I did.  Now I’m hooked.

6 churches that say “Amen” to going green!

I think it’s great that churches and religious organizations are getting into this! I have heard of others, of course there are not just 6, but I found this article and had to share. It highlights 6 churches of different denominations and how they are embracing sustainability and going green. Check it out- it’s enlightening!

One of the fundamental teachings of most religions- caring for, acting kindly towards and loving thy neighbor- absolutely aligns with sustainability and living a green way of life. Simple examples: those that don’t recycle are not considering their neighbor in India where tons and tons of plastic bottles end up each year. Those that create and sell cosmetics that have lead and mercury in them are not caring for their neighbor who buys their goods. “Farmers” farming livestock in cramped, disease ridden CAFOs and pumping livestock full of antibiotics to survive in these operations are not thinking of those that don’t have a voice. The water pollution and toxicity from those operations also detrimentally impacts the “Farmer’s” downstream neighbors. (The list goes on. Visit the Center for Sustainability to learn more)

Many Churches have a huge influence over the way people think and act. They effectively organize action and thought by imparting values and messages to their congregations. Being good stewards of our own bodies, eating healthy and green, using green (homemade is great!) products, minimizing our consumption of and exposure to toxins will result in being good stewards of the earth as well as our neighbors. So, yeah, I am really excited to see the churches getting behind this message.

What do you think?