Foodopoly podcast and Fair Food Program Event in Cleveland

Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch and author of Foodopoly was featured on this week’s episode of Making Contact. I haven’t finished reading Foodopoly yet, but was planning to do a few posts about the book, so might as well start with some points from the show.

According to Hauter:

  • 20 food companies control 60% of our food supply
  • 90% of Americans’ food dollars are spent on processed food.
    I wonder why our country is sick and overweight?

  • One out of every 3 dollars American’s spend on groceries ends up in Wal-Mart’s pockets.
    Wal-Mart is the most powerful company in food and controls many food producers through non-neogotionalbe contracts.
  • Wal-Mart’s heirs have more wealth then the bottom 40% of America.
  • Large food corporations don’t support values of organics. Corporations see organic food as a niche market for wealthy, well-educated people.
  • Corporations continue to lobby for chemicals in infant foods, synthetic ingredients, and antibiotics use in organic foods.
  • Most of the top organic brands are owned by the same few large corporations (see below).
  • If we really want to change, food policy is going to have to change!

Organics owned by Big Food

Ultimately, Hauter believes this is about fixing our democracy, the need to get rid of Citizens United and corporate personhood. “It’s a long road, but the people united will not be defeated”

Although we do need to fix our democracy there have been some short-term gains, such as Wal-Mart agreeing to the terms of the Fair Food Program Premium. This requires Wal-Mart (and most other corporations who have agreed) to pay an additional penny per pound of tomatoes, which may not sound like a lot, but would nearly double some workers income. The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) started the program years ago, and the last major holdout is Wendy’s.
There will be a representative from the coalition giving a presentation this Sunday, 2/16, at 7p.m. at the Storefront, 4241 Lorain Ave.
Hope to see you there.

This is the first episode of Making Contact’s investigation into corporate food. Check out their website to stay posted for future episodes. Making Contact airs Thursdays at 12:30pm on 89.3 WCSB in Cleveland.

Also, saw this video today and it made me laugh although it is a bit over the top. I have to explain this to patients all the time: the word “natural” on a food label does not mean ANYTHING. Disclaimer: the video was made by a group called “Only Organic” who encourages buying organic products, that is not to say that I support the current model of organic food (see picture above!) Enjoy.

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