What's For Dinner?
Is there any question that gets asked more frequently? Every day that questions is asked in hundred of thousands of households. But does anyone really know what is in the food that we eat for dinner? Do we even have a right to know?
Through the natural world God has given us an amazing variety of plants that we use as food. They nourish our bodies, and our spirits are nourished as we share that food with our families and friends. But what is in that food? Is it healthy, nutritious food, or filled with empty calories and chemical preservatives? Is it food that grows naturally, or food that has been genetically modified to make it resistant to certain pesticides and herbicides? Do you know what you are eating and feeding to your families?
Over the last few years, many states have passed laws requiring that genetically modified ingredients be accurately labeled in all food products. At the same time, many huge food companies, and many of the companies that provide seeds, fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides have resisted these laws, trying to have the information hidden or coded in some way. If these products are perfectly safe for us to eat, why are the companies afraid of letting us know what is in our food?
This issue came up a year ago, in the form of a proposed national law euphemistically called the “Safe and Accurate Food Labeling Act.” The problem is that this act would have eliminated the requirements for accuracy in food labels, and allowed things which have not been proven to be safe to be added to food without being listed on the labels. It also would have overridden state laws that protect consumers. It was more properly known as the “Deny Americans the Right to Know” act, or the DARK act. In July last year this proposed DARK act was defeated, preserving the right of states to pass laws protecting consumers, and protecting the right of consumers to know what is in the food they buy.
That should have settled it, right? No such luck!
Now the grocery and food industry is back with another proposal – instead of clearly legible labels to tell what is in the food, they want to make the information available only to those who want to go hunting for it. This law would allow food companies to hide information about genetically modified ingredients in the QR codes (Those little square boxes that require a smartphone and an App to read) or make it available only by calling the company's 1-800 number. Either way, the information about your food becomes more and more difficult for you to obtain. The new DARK act will make it clear - You won't have a right to know what companies are putting in your food! The companies don't want you to have that right!
We all have the right to know what is in our food, and companies that produce seed, fertilizer, herbicides and processed food have a responsibility to respect that right. All of us can let our senators know that we strongly oppose any effort to hide health information about what is in our food. We DO have the right to know! We can also vote with our shopping power by buying local, unprocessed foods. That can mean a big change in our thinking and habits but it sure gets the message across to the food industry!