When it comes to our food system, we all have an important role to play in terms of shaping it for the future. Each and every day, we have the opportunity to change our food system for the better with the choices we make. One of the simplest and most poignant forms of activism is voting with your dollar; making every place you shop, or the way you buy your food and fiber a conscious decision about who you support, and who you do not.
Your monetary choices combine with the monetary choices of other like-minded individuals to make waves and have significant effects on whether or not certain entities are allowed to thrive, and grow.
When you buy organic and local, you are supporting farmers and companies who represent the future of food that we at Good Earth (and hopefully you, too) want to see. By shopping at Good Earth you are already voting to support organic, local, and Non-GMO products, as well as our direct involvement with organic legislation and governmental bodies. Our Good Earth Partner, Mark Squire, serves on the Board of Directors for the Organic Trade Association.
Another aspect of voting with your dollar is engaging with your local foodshed and buying food that is in season in your area.
For many fruits and vegetables, there will be times of the year when they are being grown just up the coast, often less than 50 miles away, and other times when the closest place they will grow is over 1,000 miles away. If you look on the signs in our Produce Department, you can read the miles that piece of produce has traveled, as well as the specific farm where it was grown. By selecting food that has traveled only a short distance, you are not only reducing emissions, you are also supporting local farmers.
It is important to support local, organic farmers because, ultimately, small organic farms are the answer to our food woes. Big agriculture claims they are the only way, but truly, a proliferation of small, local, organic farms, providing food to nearby areas, can do even better. They have the potential to surpass big agriculture both in terms of protecting Mother Nature, and in terms of productivity and their potential to feed the world.
Another way to change our food system for the better is to engage in dialogue with suppliers.
If there is a product you love, but it’s not organic, you should feel empowered to let that company know you’d love to see them make the move to organic. Farmers, growers, and manufacturers listen to customers and take their input into account when making decisions.
Additionally, we all have the opportunity to make our voices heard at the national level.
The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) holds public meetings, and any person can comment orally, in person or via webinar, or submit a written comment online.