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Did anyone see Oprah?

January 27, 2010

If you did see Oprah today, then you know that she had on her show author Michael Pollan. They spoke about his book Food Rules, a pocket guide to eating wholesome, ethically raised food. They also had on several other guest talking about healthier lifestyles. Oprah was careful not to take sides and not to make any definitive statements about food producers (you might remember her previous troubles with the Texas cattlemen). It is exciting to see increasing mainstream coverage of something as important as access to healthy food.

This is not just a nutrition issue. This is a social justice issue. I believe it is our responsibility to use our votes and our voices to help guarantee affordable access to the highest quality food for all people. That means, as Michael Pollan said on Oprah, we get three votes a day, because we vote with our meal choices. Those of us who can afford appropriately raised and slaughtered foods should use our purchasing power to support those farmers and producers. As Michael Pollan pointed out, maybe it is time for us to step away from the grocery store and head out to the farmers market. In the past year San Antonio has gone from having one farmer’s market open twice a week for six months, to having three farmers markets open multiple days a week year round. The consumers are driving the local economy and creating a market for sustainably produced goods. If this pattern continues, then hopefully our government representatives will get the message that the current farm subsidy system is not working. The current subsidy system and regulations are creating a fatter, sicker America, and making it nearly impossible for individuals with low or fixed incomes to obtain healthful foods.

We are excited to be a part of a food chain that empowers and enriches. We are happy to take a side.

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