Policy on Food
Peering behind the brightly-lit supermarket shelves our view of how and where our food is produced gets rapidly dimmed. Producers, importers and the agrichemical industry are able to keep it this way because the general public accepts at face value their 'food from nowhere' and the industry-conferred authorisation that comes with it.
The fact is that there is much to be concerned about the current state of our food, and our failure to tackle the underlying issues are exponentially burdening our personal and national health systems.
New findings in soil science, grouped under the study of 'agroecology' could change that. These findings are gradually being noticed and used by forward thinking farmers: better soil, better productivity, better public health. Everybody wins, except of course the entrenched agrichemical interests.
So how can government speed up this change?
A few of the important issues that will need to addressed are:
- With the belated urgency to 'feed our kids' comes the question - feed them what?
- Big Chem's new initiative to drown out alternative agriculture throughout the universities of the world ('one agriculture-one science' - http://www.oneagriculture.org/ ) has worrying implications for health and the environment.
- Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) became mandatory in the U.S. in 2008. But in NZ international corporations and industry groups have so far been able to sidestep it.
- The list of radiated fruit & vege being imported into NZ keeps growing. The requirement to label these products as 'radiated' is about to end. .. and so on. ===============
Food-health-farming is the big issue of our times and none of the NZ political parties has really noticed this.
My suggestion is for a Food Production Policy that prioritises benefits to consumers such as nutrition, rather than following the aims of the industries involved.