“Policy” refers specifically to a government’s political action (whether local, state or federal) that shapes protocol on any number of issues, including food choices. Government policy dictates what happens in the world around us, all of which affects the health of our planet and, inevitably, the health of our bodies.
Let’s focus on government policy regarding the foods we have readily available to us, i.e., our perceived “choices.” And, while we may call it government policy, ultimately, you and I are influencing that food policy, whether by our contributions and actions, or by our inactions.
Political Action: the Hidden Backdoor to Health
Why not make that influence count?
In politics, confusing buzzwords and intimidating situations can lead to mental paralysis as we work to find the meaning and implication of policy in our lives. That paralysis can make it difficult to know when and how to act.
Breath. It’s okay. You did not take your journey into natural living or healthy eating in one step, right? So you won’t become an expert in food policy overnight. But it can happen. Here’s how.
There are steps you can take today, tomorrow and the next day that will align you with your goals for a vibrantly healthy, naturally peaceful life. Steps you can take that simultaneously and inevitably transform the world around you into a peaceful, sustainable planet where wellness can flourish.
5 Steps to Shaping Policy
1. Become informed.
Know the current reality. This is a critical first step on any issue.
What are the food issues that drive you? GMOs, arsenic in chicken feed, what fracking is and how it affects our food and water, CAFOs, why “organic” is becoming diluted, Farmageddon, legal challenges facing our farmers? Find bloggers or organizations that put out regular, reliable information, sign up for their mailings and stay up to date.
2. Take action
Do you want a voice in your food policy? Who is shaping that policy now? Is it you? Or is it chemical companies? Industrial farming? Politicians? Bureaucrats?
Since you will be keeping up with the topics you care most about, you will know when, where, why and how to take specific actions. You have the opportunity to make that call, go to that hearing, attend the trial of a farmer, participate in the community gardening project… Whatever it is, take the action.
I can’t promise it will be easy. I can promise it will always be worth the effort.
3. Know your boundaries
This is a big one. As documented in the movie Farmageddon, our good, clean food is under attack and in serious jeopardy. At what point will your allegiance to peaceful food choice be stronger than your allegiance to a law or social norms?
You don’t have to answer right away, but you might begin reflecting on the question. This will help you know your boundaries as opportunities arise.
Do you think this question a little extreme? Follow step one, then come back here in a few months.
4. Produce your own food
There is no better way to shape the world we live in than by producing your own food. Whether you have a full homestead, a community garden, backyard chickens, a home garden or a few potted herbs in the windowsill, this simple yet profound act teaches us the wisdom that only the earth has to offer.
If you are gardening in the dirt or raising pastured animals, you are giving back to the earth by building soil.
There will never be a greater appreciation for food than what you produce, either on your own or with a community. If you are new to growing your own food, here are some helpful tips.
It might seem odd that focusing on your own community is a key to shaping food policy worldwide or nationally, but your community is the foundation. Imagine what it would look like to participate in a community garden, share produce with your neighbors or join a CSA.
Imagine the message you send to farmers near you when you choose THEIR farm to feed your family.
Imagine the community you build when you give a hug to the human being who is producing your nourishment, look them in the eye and say, “Thank you!”
Imagine the eco-system you are supporting when you say yes to local food, yes to ecological farming, yes to sustainably raised food.
Who is Shaping Food Policy Now?
This is within your power. It is your choice to create a healthier community and a healthier planet while creating a vibrantly healthier YOU.
Who is shaping policy now? You are. You are the hero of this story!
Wherever you are in your personal journey toward clean living and local food, thank you for joining me in mine. I look forward to sharing it with you.
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