Thank you for this opportunity to express my concerns about corporate control of my food system. I am a retired farmer, gardener, organic farm inspector and a county coordinator for farm to school programs in Maine. I am also the mother of two young children who want to know why our schools are serving food that is virtually inedible and unhealthy.
Schools are using commodity issued meats that have been rejected by many fast food chains. I consider the health standards of these food chains to be the bottom of the barrel. Our children deserve food that is nutritious and of good quality. What are we saying when we feed the next generation- our hope for the future- food that would be best sold as dogfood? This is where corporate agriculture has led us.
Corporate agriculture has one tenet- to make the most money from the least expenditure. Producing and providing healthy food to our population becomes a liability to a corporate controlled food system. Monsanto shoves GMO and Round Up Ready seeds down our throats even as people all over the world resist their unfettered manipulation and control. How is it possible that a farmer- whose own crop becomes contaminated with Monsanto's GMO seed- can be held liable and have his livelihood virtually stripped from him and his family by our judicial system in a fight against Monsanto? This sends a dangerous message to corporations. The people should control corporations- not the other way around.
Corporate agriculture disempowers small scale and local agriculture throughout the world. Consumers are finding it more difficult to find basic healthy food while large food companies continue to rake in record profits. Just look in a convenience store- there is hardly anything sold that could be considered basic food. Many low income communities do not have access to any other food stores. And where supermarkets do carry fresh produce, it has been grown with toxic chemicals that allow the produce to be grown and harvested cheaper.
Modern food is unsafe- E. coli and other bacteria contaminated foods are usually traced back to corporate food systems not small scale farms. Family farms are being forced out of business at an alarming rate. A few corporations control most of the seed needed to grow the world's food. Industrial farms are unsanitary, induce bacterial growth, contaminate water systems and destroy the fabric of local communities by creating temporary low pay scale jobs.
I could go on- corporations have no right to be in control of our food system as history indicates that our nation's health is not their priority. If we do not make our children's health a number one priority- and this means good quality fresh fruits and vegetables, grains and protein sources such as meats grown without chemicals- then we will continue to become a disempowered nation increasingly controlled by outside interests.
Thank you for this opportunity to comment on our failing food system.
Washington County Farm to School Coordinator?
Office: 23 Scotts Hill Road,?East Machias, ME 04630?
P: (207) 263 4396