Down but not out
Election day finally pulled into the station yesterday. A campaign of over $45 million dollars was funneled into confusing consumers on the issue of what mandating food labeling of genetically modified foods actually involved. And the voters have spoken.
The thing is, most decisions in life, for adults, come down to money, right? And if you think about it, that is what deterrents of genetically modified food labeling were scared of too and why they stopped at very little to put their financial muscle into confounding a very simple issue of labeling. They knew if the labeling passed, consumers would continue voting with their wallets because who would actually choose to eat food that is resistant to pesticide. If it can fend itself from pesticide, what will it do to the person eating it? To their health?
As much as I want to congratulate Humboldt and Sonoma counties, give a high five to my neighbors in San Francisco, Alameda, San Mateo and Monterey counties and then, of course blow kisses to Santa Cruz county, there sure were a lot of other counties where the vote for no edged its way forward. And here, I thought the issue involving Prop 37 was merely around matters like who you trust. I forgot the truth that where your treasure is, there too, is the heart.
When Obama won, before Obama won, he promoted the word #forward on twitter. And this is the call to action for those of us who still believe all consumers, even the ones that don’t care or see a congruence to food in / health out have a right to know what is in their food. I am not a science experiment nor do I want to find myself consuming insecticide.
What the next two years must involve is continuing to raise the stakes, conversation by conversation about what genetically modified organisms are and what makes them something to avoid. It’s that simple. Proposition 37 was proposed by a grandmother who believed we have a right to know what’s in our food and while we may not have won, this proposition has lit a fuse for a grassroots food movement. I am a single person in a sea of thousands. My voice is but one. And yet, it does have pitch and timbre. It does have reach. So does yours.