I am looking forward to casting my vote tomorrow in the mid-term elections . Great change is upon us in the United States House of Representatives and in the United States Senate, many will be challenged. Polls show narrow races in many states and all eyes are on the Senate control. Interest groups around the country have been spending millions to buy votes and sway opinions. Despite the ads on television and radio I want to find a way to create positive change in our agriculture and food policy. I want to cut through the propaganda and understand how the candidates have performed. I want to cast a vote for food priorities and begin to hold our future Congress accountable!
Why does Food Policy Matter?
There are few issues more important than the ones concerning the food we eat. Advocating for good food policies and electing leaders who represent our values are the best ways to get to the heart of many issues facing our food system today, including hunger, food safety and sustainable farming.
I personally care about the number of urban and rural children who don’t have access to healthy and nutritious food every day. I think about the inhumane conditions in which animals are factory farmed so we can have inexpensive meat on our tables. I relate with the farmer who risks everything to plant a crop and then is subjected to the whims of market conditions outside of his or her control. The farm laborers who spend countless backbreaking hours harvesting should have safe and fair working conditions. I am concerned about the health of our soil and water as herbicide applications have increased by 527 million pounds between 1996 and 2012. Tomorrow Colorado and Oregon voters are determining the fate of two important GMO labeling ballot initiatives. I want Congressional leaders who will wake up and realize these state initiatives ultimately lead to federal labeling, something that 93% of consumers want.
There are so many injustices when it comes to the production of our food that my list could fill several pages. Eating is about as basic a human act as there is, and profit should not be the only consideration. Care for the soil, water, people and animals needs to be in the equation just as much as profits. I want those who represent me in Washington to have that same perspective. That is why “Food Policy Action” is so important to me. This tool rates our Congressional leaders on how they vote and perform on food issues. You can simply click on your state from the home page to view your senators and representatives and the score they have received on their food policy performance. If one of your Leaders has a low score, you can click on their name to learn why they received that score. You can even drill down and find out more on each bill they voted on.
It is up to you now
Never before has there been such a tool to evaluate food and agriculture policy. It is by electing the right people and encouraging our leaders to hold the same values we have that change can occur. It is important to communicate with these leaders every step of the way. Make your opinions heard on every issue. Treat your elected officials like they work for you, because they do! Make sure they get direction from you every week and on every issue. Congress is in Washington to serve the citizenry and to put our best interests above profit and greed.
Let’s not waste this opportunity to vote for good food every step of the way! Cast your vote tomorrow for Good Food Policy!
© 2014, Melody Meyer. All rights reserved.