Ask Umbra’s Book Club: Time to take action
Photo: GreenpeaceThanks so much for all your foodie insights this week related to Anna Lappé’s Diet for a Hot Planet (if you missed the live chat with her, catch the replay). One more big question to tackle today. Let’s brainstorm some ideas about how to put the pressure on agribusiness offenders.
In the chapter “Beyond the Fork,” Lappé shares this story:
“To celebrate Easter this year, Chicago Art Institute senior April Noga headed to her local Dominick’s. Not to buy Peeps or a PAAS egg-dyeing kit, but to ‘sticker’ holiday candy made with palm oil—clandestinely. And Noga was not alone. Across the country, from Fullerton, California, to Minneapolis to Chicago, and in cities throughout Canada, hundreds were slapping stickers on Hershey’s Kisses, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, Cadbury chocolates, and other palm-oil-filled candies, warning prospective buyers that their purchase ‘may contain rainforest destruction.’ The Easter stickering was one of several actions that Rainforest Action Network (RAN) has coordinated as part of its Problem with Palm Oil campaign.”
Additionally, in my interview with Lappé, I asked her if there are any food companies that come to mind for her that are doing it right, that are doing their part in trying to reduce their carbon forkprint. She had this to say:
“What I found—and where a lot of my hope comes from—is a number of really successful people-driven campaigns that have really put the pressure on the food industry to step up and change their practices. You could point to some of the changes those companies have made as examples of companies doing good and going green. But I like to go back to the source of where that change came from. It wasn’t from the company itself; it was from activists on the outside.
I talk in the book about the pressure that college students have been putting on [university] food service companies to go green. They’ve seen some movement happening within some of the biggest food service companies to source more food locally, to think about food waste, and to be more strategic around those kinds of things.”
There really is power in numbers versus just acting as individuals, dearests. So my final question to you is: What food companies would you like to pressure to make significant changes? Any ideas for what we can all do? Or do you know of any creative campaigns like RAN’s palm oil stickering that you’d like to see some Grist-reader muscle behind? Let us know in the comments below.
Power to the people-y,