Our food system is the thread running through much of what's broken--from diabetes to food deserts to the decline of our family farms.
From Birmingham to Boston, folks don't believe good food--for the body and our land--is possible. That's true if you're a 93-year-old great-grandma still shopping at your local grocery or a single mom working at a hair salon trying to raise two sons. And saving billions of gallons of water, as Hampton Creek has done this year, means little when a single mom feels anxiety about the goodness of tonight's dinner.
Ask yourself this question: what would it look like if we started over in food?
The events of last week have intensified our interest in answering that question, and hopefully help that mom feel less anxious tonight. You might have heard that a United States Department of Agriculture entity was caught paying someone to block the sale of one of our products, paying off bloggers to write negative pieces about us, and a host of other illegal actions. All to protect an entrenched industry that called our growth a "crisis" and "major threat." You also might have heard that we're calling on Congress to do something about it.
We're not alone.
Jess, a former teacher and mom of a 4-year-old girl, drafted a petition on whitehouse.gov, saying, "With our problems--drought, obesity, and poor communities struggling with access to good food--the idea that government is engaged in illegal actions to halt progress is outrageous." We agree. The good folks at the USDA should fight for good food to be less expensive than crappy food. For carrots instead of greasy chips; maybe some whole grains instead of fractioned corn syrup. Otherwise, as both Jess and my mom know, good food is only a fantasy enjoyed by high-income folks in SoHo and San Francisco.
Making it easier for families to eat healthier, cleaner meals together isn't just on the USDA. It's on us. We can teach folks how to cook fresh food. Open farmers' markets in urban neighborhoods. And companies should be proud to sacrifice a little bit of margin to see it happen sooner -- maybe in time for tonight's dinner.
That's fixing the system.