Tuesday, May 15, 2012

voting with your stomach

   You'd think this might have occurred to me before. I know about how "voting with your money" is a good way of sending your ethical concerns to a company, but for some myopic reason it only just occurred to me that it is also a way of voicing environmental concerns.

   Perhaps the issue is that we are often told about the environmental sins of obvious polluters like oil conglomerates or companies that dump toxic wastes into water systems, whereas I feel the "footprint" of food companies is rarely addressed.

   But so — with trepidation given the implications — I would like to start digging into the environmental records of food companies. We know a number of them are stepping into the wide world of GMOs, which itself has arguably serious ramifications in terms of monoculture (think potato famine or Dutch elm disease) and loss of crop diversity (e-high-five to Svalbard!), but what about the direct damage food  companies are doing, say, in terms of deforestation, or waste, or water pollution, or energy usage?

   Here's a good place to start (sorry about the scale!):

...seeing how few companies actually control our food system means two main things to this discussion: holy crap! and also, in fact there are only basically a dozen companies to have a proper look at. yay.

   This feels like a very complex and multi-faceted topic, and the atmospheric pressure change is making my head explode. However, I'll try to do a few posts on these guys, and hopefully by the end there will still be good food to eat. maybe even some meat.