The “99%” Weighs In On Food and Fair Trade

The Occupy Wall Street phenomenon has take the nation and world by storm. Frustrated with the inequitable distribution of wealth in the United States and vast corruption of the political process by corporate interests. Food justice advocates have done a fantastic job of connecting current injustices within the global economy and the inequities within the food system.? Siena?Chrisman piece in Civil Eats sums it up pretty nicely,? “The connection of the protests with food, of course, runs from the local to the global, the specific to the ephemeral. Food justice advocates are connecting with Occupy sites all around the country to donate fresh, healthy, local food or to help find kitchen space. On a broader philosophical level, as Mark Bittman writes in the Times, ?Whether we?re talking about food, politics, healthcare, housing, the environment, or banking, the big question remains the same: How do we bring about fundamental change??? But there are also clear and specific reasons that all of us working for a just and fair food system, as the food movement should make the connection between our work and Occupy Wall Street explicit and strong.”

The Organic Consumers Association have made the critical connection between genetic engineering, food safety and corporate control of the food supply. Reporting on grassroots focus on Monsanto and the Occupy movement, “Robert Strype, 29, a protester from the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., area who was wearing a T-shirt that expressed his displeasure with Monsanto, said that anger about practices like factory farming and the genetic modification of vegetables was one of the factors that had roused him and some of his fellow occupiers. ‘Food plays a huge part in this movement,’ he said. ‘Because people are tired of being fed poison.'” “Want to Get Fat on Wall Street? Try Protesting” – Jeff Gordinier, New York Times

Fair traders as well have shown their solidarity and support of the Occupy movement. Equal Exchange has released a statement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement, expressing “Reckless investment bankers have gambled livelihoods away. Outsourcing, offshore tax havens and free trade agreements have contributed to the intolerable number of unemployed. Corporate lobbyists and their revolving door regulators have weakened health and safety protections and throttled the labor unions counted on by so many to defend living standards. Agribusiness consolidation and control of the food system has devastated family farms while contributing to the obesity epidemic across the country. And the steady disinvestment in public services and education has placed the American dream beyond reach for millions.”

Interrupcion* fair trade has shown their support, with their statement below.

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