To the Editor:
Our nation’s food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our environment. Sadly, America’s regulatory agencies — the USDA and the FDA — often turn a blind eye toward the harmful practices of these giant agribusinesses.
The industrial production of meat (chicken beef, and pork) is inhumane and economically and environmentally unsustainable. We have bigger and better-looking meats and produce, but at a cost that includes rising problems with bacteria such as E. coli. The industrial production of grains and vegetables (primarily corn and soy beans) is economically and environmentally unsustainable due to the heavy use of petroleum-based chemicals (largely pesticides and fertilizers) and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The promotion of unhealthy food consumption habits by the American public has led to rampant obesity, diabetes and other problems. Soft drinks and highly processed foods are major contributors to America’s health issues, but these foods are so much cheaper and more accessible than fresh produce and other nutritional food sources.
We need to learn how to evaluate food labels, understand nutrition and how agricultural subsidies influence food choices, health and the economy. We need to understand the long-term impact of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) on our food systems.
The Franciscan Peace Center’s ongoing Social Justice Film Fest continues on Thursday, June 25, with “Food, Inc.” The film reveals surprising truths about what we eat, how it’s produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here. The screening will begin at 6:30 p.m. at The Canticle, home of the Sisters of St. Francis, 841 13th Ave. N., Clinton. The event is free and open to the public. For more information visit www.ClintonFranciscans. com or call (563) 242-7611.
Franciscan Peace Center, Clinton