Let’s take a break from our “Unprocessed Kitchen” series to discuss an important topic – taking action beyond our own dinner tables.
Did you know that last week, the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) and the National Milk Producers Federation (NMPF), petitioned the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to allow aspartame and other artificial sweeteners to be added to milk and other dairy products without a label? Why do they think a label isn’t necessary? “Quoting Section 130.10 of the Nutrition Labeling and Education Act of 1990, the dairy giants claim a new label is not required because sugar is added to milk without labeling it, and ‘the modified food is not inferior in performance’ and ‘reduced calorie’ (labels) are not attractive to children’ so marketing as such is of no benefit or detriment.”
These kinds of petitions may sound a bit crazy to you and me, but they’re happening more often than we realize. Over Christmas break, while we were focused on other things, the FDA quietly pushed Genetically Modified salmon toward the final acceptance process. The key to food manufacturers’ success seems to be an uninformed public. You may recall the corn lobby’s attempt to rename High Fructose Corn Syrup as “corn sugar.” Once the public became aware of their attempt, it was stopped.
As we learn about the damaging effects of processed foods and the many benefits of eating an unprocessed diet, I think it’s important that we take part in shaping the changes in our food supply. Buying locally-grown, organic foods will help, but ensuring proper governmental oversight will also speed positive change. There are many foundations, associations and websites dedicated to educating us about what’s going on in the food industry and providing opportunities to take part.
Here are some great sources for this kind of information:
Take Part – You’ll notice a “take part” button at the bottom of each of my posts. If you click, it’ll give you tools to take part in changing our food supply for the better.
Organic Consumers Association’s Take Action Center – They offer daily updates and links for petitions.
Just Label It – This website will keep you up-to-date with lots of news related to Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and our food supply. They have direct links so you can voice your opinion to the FDA and Congress.
Cornucopia Institute – They provide needed information to family farmers, consumers and other stakeholders in the good food movement and to the media through research and investigations on agricultural and food issues.
I encourage you to check these sites often and consider signing petitions when you feel it’s merited, or writing to your government representatives. If we work in concert, we can make real change for real food!