Get Support

How the Food Industry Can Spark Positive Social Movements

How the Food Industry Can Spark Positive Social Movements

On October 2016, the United Nations Special Representative on the right to food, Hilal Elver, declared junk food a human rights concern.

More than 2 billion people around the world suffer from micronutrient deficiencies, meaning their daily diets don’t supply them with adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals like iron, calcium, and vitamin A, which are necessary for good health. The cause of the crisis is a global food industry incentivized to stock shelves with nutrient-poor, energy-rich foods.

It’s a situation we’ve all encountered before. Think about how much cheaper a trip to the drive-through window is than a farm-to-table meal, or the relative cost of processed white bread versus an artisanal whole-grain loaf. The conventional food industry prioritizes high yields over nutritional value, which leaves most of us eating unvaried diets derived mainly from corn, wheat, and soybeans. In the quest to mass-produce palatable but shelf-stable foods, corporations pump their products full of preservatives and flavor enhancers like corn syrup and salt. As a result, the average American consumes more than three times the recommended daily sugar limit.

(Photo by Anna Pelzer on Unsplash)

For Elver, the fact that junk food is often available at much lower prices and in much greater quantities than healthier alternatives is paramount to a violation of the “human right to adequate food” — and increasingly, it seems food producers agree with her. In recent years, more and more food entrepreneurs have been challenging the industry’s orthodoxy. They’re not only looking for ways to make healthy diets more accessible, they’re also embracing the food industry’s unique potential to help us reshape our world and our perspectives. No other industry touches our planet in such a widespread way while also intersecting with our daily lives so immediately.

A Single Grain

When we talk about social responsibility in food, the conversation almost always hinges on farming. While regenerative agriculture can go a long way in making the world a healthier place, what food producers and distributors do with crops and livestock is just as important as how they’re raised.

Food entrepreneurs occupy a uniquely powerful position in the movement for a more holistically nourished world. They’re the center point between the farmers on the one hand and the consumers on the other. As such, food entrepreneurs can influence both ends of the food industry equation, encouraging more farmers and eaters alike to reach for regenerative agriculture. Something as simple as choosing to use sustainable, organic ingredients instead of conventionally grown and nutrient-poor ones can have a massive impact on the entire global food ecosystem.

Learn More:

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published.