In the past, we've mentioned Laurie's profound interest in food production and sustainability. A few days ago, Laurie received an e-mail from The Food Democracy Now Team with information and statistics about some of the major problems affecting our food system.
There is currently a lot of information out there about the food industry problems, such as books like The Omnivore's Dilemma and documentaries like "Food, Inc." The information we most frequently hear is: "most of the meat, grain, milk — and even the grocery stores themselves — are all owned and controlled by just a few corporations." (quoted from the e-mail) We have a lot of facts about the problem, but the solution isn't always clear!
When we started writing today's blog, we wanted to offer some easy-to-follow (and afford) ways to avoid subscribing to these food problems - however, we were frustrated to find that it's REALLY tough to give foolproof advice, since nearly every major grocery store primarily stocks food owned by these major companies!
Laurie was talking about this issue as a working mom - she said it is sometimes really difficult to pack up her shopping bags, shopping cart, daughter, and work materials to walk the 8-10 blocks to the local Farmer's Market once a week in order to stock up on sustainable food. She belongs to a CSA, but not everyone has access to these awesome programs.
Below are some statistics from the e-mail Laurie received:
- A single company (Monsanto) controls the seeds of 93% of soybeans and 80% of the corn grown in the U.S.
- 4 companies (Tyson, Cargill, Swift & National Beef Packing Co.) control 83% of the beef packing industry
- 4 companies (Smithfield, Tyson, Swift & Cargill) control 66% of the pork packing industry
For too long now, food and agricultural production has been consolidated into the hands of a few agribusiness giants. These companies dictate to us how our food is produced, how much farmers are paid for their crops and livestock and how much consumers pay for food.
So, we're asking YOU - how much do you think about where your food comes from? Do you have any tips or ideas for working families to help buy food from local markets that don't support big business farming? How easy is it to find food that fits your budget and lifestyle? If you send us an e-mail with ideas, we will send your little ones an autographed postcard (be sure to leave your e-mail address so we can get in contact with you)!!
We would LOVE to offer some really good tips to our fans so that we can all be sure we are eating healthy, sustainable food that will fuel our lives and our spirits. Let's take back our power to decide what we eat!