Now that the peanut butter situation has brought attention (yet again) to the crater-size gap in our nation’s food safety system, it also begs the question: Even if the government beefs up its food safety activities, shouldn’t there be affirmative steps taken to create a food system that not only succeeds in preventing food-borne illnesses but that actually helps make us well?
In practice, safe food and good food are two very different goals. Safe food in today’s food supply system often translates to “No one’s complained of illness so it is safe.” We only know it’s not safe if someone can connect the dots to show food “x” produces bad effect “y.” Given that many processed foods use many ingredients (with complex supply chains), many times, tracing the source of any tummy ache (or worse) is all but futile. Hey, that means it’s still “safe” according to the government, symptoms aside.
Good food,” on the other hand, is food that actually can produce positive nutrition, not to mention pleasure. We think it’s well past time get back to what’s important to us, as people, not the “us” as profit-making machines and agri-businesses. Yes, businesses need to operate but let’s get back to basics.
We need a food supply that sustains us, makes us thrive, not merely one that we can survive. The USDA, the FDA, any all the gov’ment gang need to wake up and start looking out for our health interests and take steps to create nutrient riches not just riches for the handful of companies that dominate our food supply for their own pocket lining.