Food & Faith: The Facts
What's going on in America's food systems?
There is a growing cyclical system of inequality that you sustain as a consumer who is on a typical American diet. Not only does it harm your body when you eat highly processed and fundamentally altered food, but it also harms the environment and our neighbors who suffer the consequences of our consumption habits.
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD
Some of our most vital and basic foods have been genetically engineered and fundamentally altered resulting in the loss of diversity of food. From tomatoes to sweet corn, these new foods now line the shelves of our grocery stores.
TOXIC CHEMICALS IN PESTICIDES
Pesticides containing dangerous chemicals are used on most foods that are mass-produced. The chemicals used in pesticides are associated with cancer, autism, and neurological disorders. These problems are especially apparent amongst farm workers and their communities. However, a recent study done by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that detectable amounts of pesticides are present in fruits and vegetables and that even this relatively small amount of exposure has been linked to toxic negative effects on the nervous system.
PERPETRATION OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD
Rather than using their own seeds from the previous season, in order to make profit, farmers are forced to purchase genetically modified seeds from large corporations who own rights to the seeds. This results in the widespread and increased production of genetically modified uniform food produced by pressured farmers.
FOOD TRAVEL AND FUEL USE
An average American meal travels approximately 1500 miles from farm to plate. This distance is the equivalent of traveling from St. Paul, Minnesota to Seattle, Washington. The food industry accounts for 10% of fossil fuel use in the U.S., and food travel alone makes up 15% of that fossil fuel consumption.
GLOBAL FOOD CRISES
In the greater global community, approximately 1 billion people have unstable or unreliable access to food, including 36 million people in the United States. The global food crisis has been fueled by large corporations and international and national food policies.
There is a better way
Consumers have the power to change large-scale industrial practices: if society stops purchasing products made and grown using unsustainable and unjust methods, corporations will be forced to change their practices according to the demands of the consumer. So rather than supporting industrial agriculture, consumers can choose to support local, smaller-scale sustainable farms.