The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil
is for good men to do nothing.Â ~Edmund Burke (1723 – 1790)
SIX WORD SATURDAY, FOLKS
Bringing my six words to the activist column today.Â Speak Up! Make Your Voice Heard.Â I hope Cate’s followers at Show My Face will be inspired to take to their keyboard and file a comment to the USDA today.Â It’s important, even if it’s only six words.Â The summary limit is 2,000 characters, so you can elaborate a little if you want.Â Few or many, words have the power to change government policies, and boy do we need change when it comes to our food supply.Â Like I’ve said before, Give a Damn.Â You’ll feel great having done so.
USDA DIETARY GUIDELINE COMMENTS SOUGHT
This is where you can voice your opinion.Â You can also download the full report of the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee in a single pdf file here.Â July 15th at 5pm EDT is this Thursday, the deadline for submission to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) for public comments on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines.Â Summaries are limited in length – although you can submit an attachment that is, presumably, as long as you like – so take some time out of your blogging and twittering today to make your voice heard. This review takes place once every five years and is the process by which our government makes recommended daily nutritional allowances – remember the food pyramid? – for Americans two years and older.Â These RDAs directly affect guidelines for school lunch programs and labeling on food products.
There is no wonder why Americans are confused about what to eat.Â Â Stand up for food freedom of information, in whatever areas you believe to be key issues of concern:
- Do you want your government to listen to science instead of special interest lobbying rhetoric?
- Do you expect truth-in-labeling for genitically engineered organisms (GMOs)?
- Do you think toxic additives – like trans fats and chemicals – should be banned from the food supply?Â How about, “No food product should contain more than five ingredients?”Â ~Michael Pollan
- Organic and sustainable versus conventional:Â is there room for both or is one being crowded out?
- Is there too much salt in prepared foods?
- Do you think food subsidies keep too many of the bad food products – enriched, over-processed corn, soybean and wheat – unrealistically cheap, and compete unfairly with the consumer price of fruits and vegetables which have no subsidies?
- Should we eat foods in their most natural form?
- Should the government support freedom from influence of industry health claims?
- Are processed foods out of control with too many artificial ingredients and chemical additives crowding out real food?
- Should we eschew refined, enriched foods in favor of whole grains with minimal processing and additives?
- Is there enough control of added sugar in foods and beverages?
- Is it a health hazard to consume meat from livestock that is fed antibiotics and hormones?
- Do you want to see more transparency around food ingredients?Â If it is important for grocery shoppers to know what’s in the foods they buy at the grocery, isn’t it just as important for parents to know what their kids are being fed at school?
- Should physical fitness programs in the public schools be restored?
- What if the government were to recommend that cooking classes be instituted in public schools, teaching all children about food from an early age?Â If more people – of all ages – knew more about preparing simple daily meals for themselves,Â wouldn’t they be more familiar with real food and it’s benefits, and less influenced by marketing hype?
Take a moment, voice your opinion and let the government know you’re paying attention to information they give back in the form of regulations, guidelines and laws.Â You can submit your comments online, as well as read comments submitted by others.Â Give a damn, because the whole world is watching what America will do to wrestle our confederacy of sad abundance to the ground and reclaim its health.Â Not only is the health of Americans at stake, the world will long remember the bad food ideas we export to other nations.
It doesn’t have to be a painstaking polemic on the wisdom of the ages, just tell them what you think in plain language.Â Deadline is Thursday, July 15th.Â Copy your comments and put them up on multiple websites:
- Leave a Comment for the FDA on Front-of-Package health claims.Â Enter FDA-2010-N-0210 in the “Search” box, click “Search” and then “Submit a Comment” under “Action”.Â Deadline for these comments is July 28th.
- First Lady Michelle Obama will answer questions about the Let’s Move! program on Tuesday, July 13th.Â To submit questions, click here.
- You can contact the office of the President Of The United States or any cabinet member here; there’s an email form as well as the address to write and the phone number to call.Â Yes, your government wants to hear from you!
- The editor to your community news organ.Â Write a Letter to the Editor, or print out your Comments from above, copy electronically or send it snail mail.
You have five days to submit Comments to the USDA.Â Take a half hour of your day and make a difference.Â Take a stand.Â You’ll feel good.Â Thanks to Marion Nestle at Food Politics for her tireless update of the issues and deadlines.
SUMMER’S COOL BEANS
Green beans, available virtually year-round, are growing, harvested and brought to market by the truckload.Â Green beans are a simple way to inject a bright green color and summer vegetable fortitude into your daily menu.Â I select them individually, looking for firm, tender, plump specimens piled high at the green market.Â They cook in about five seconds, after a brief rinse under the tap.
You can even eat them virtually raw; plunge them into a pot of boiling water, count to ten, then remove them and plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop further cooking and drain.Â Ready to eat.Â If you’re not so much into the raw, steam or saute and serve alongside almost anything dinner or lunch-like.Â A little butter and slivered almonds and you’ve got veg for company.Â Toss them into any pasta dish, salad, rice or stir-fry.Â Marinate along with other root vegs and keep in the refrigerator for a quick bite anytime of the day or night.Â No matter how your serve them, remember to cook lightly; only long enough to get their brightest green color to light up your plate.