I don't think it's too much to ask for an American food system that supports human health and ecosystem health. I'm not suggesting that we eliminate all junk food, all sweets, all processed food. But I am saying that the overwhelming purpose of a food system (that is by the way heavily subsidized by the federal government) should be to support the health of the people.
What I see every day is that my clients struggle to navigate a toxic malnourishing food system. They struggle to avoid the so-called food filling the majority of grocery stores shelves. They struggle to avoid the foods that have been marketed to them for their entire lives.
It shouldn't be this hard.
People shouldn't have to completely rebel against the mainstream food system just to be moderately healthy. Food itself should make us healthy! Why does everyone feel guilt and shame around food? It's because they eating crappy food that fails to support their health and vitality.
Food policies are too often crafted without the vital understanding of what actually makes people healthy to guide the policy purpose and deliverables.
The way we do food in the US destroys the environment, including pollinators, waterways, birds, soil health and air quality. It is toxic monoculture that destroys habitat and offers no refuge for nature’s essential buzz.
The insane backwards irony of it all is that the food system is not even geared towards producing food that will make the people healthy.
All this money, time, water and federal educational resources and money, to produce toxic junk food that has resulted in sky rocketing epidemics of chronic preventable diseases like diabetes, Alzheimers, autism, ADD, anxiety, depression, cancer, heart disease, violence, malaise and autoimmune disorders. And the system has also resulted in environmental catastrophe, lack of ecosystem resilience, poor soil health, climate change, and plummeting pollinator populations.
A society cannot survive on the foundation of a broken food system
I am concerned for the future of our civilization. The food system is causing people to become sicker and sicker and we are losing our knowledge about what real health even is. We are losing our knowledge about what real food even is. We are losing our wits, our health, and our civility.
Weston A Price, the dentist from my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, conducted pivotal research in this realm of human degeneration and food systems. He too was worried that the continued replacement of healthful foods with foods of commerce, would lead to a degeneration, not just of individual human health, but of society overall. I think we are seeing that now.
Healthy, happy people make a country a great place to live. Unhealthy, angry, foggy people create a society that is dysfunctional, destructive and abusive.
We can change the trajectory of the American food system, and we must. Do so, to bring back our spirit, our spark and to claim our potential, we have to start by reforming the food system so that it supports human health and regenerates ecosystems.
What Can We Do?
We each have the ability to participate in this process by choosing organic produce. Supporting local ranchers who raise animals humanely. By supporting foods growing strategies that sequester carbon and help modulate climate change. We can choose food grown closer to home to reduce carbon emissions in the transportation portion of the food system. We can ask our politicians what they are going to do to transform the food system into one that support human health rather than decimates it, that regenerates ecosystems rather than obliterates them. I don't think this is too much to ask. Our individual health, our ecosystems and our society depend on it.