The Intersection of Your Food and Your Rights

Direct access to healthy, whole foods is EVERYONE’s right.  

I’ve been told since inception to find UGo’s niche market. I have never understood this. A niche is simply impossible when we are talking about producing a better choice for human nourishment.

Today, Jan 30th, 2017, is a very different country than we had exactly one month ago. We must create a society in which all humanity, are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments.

Yes! If we are going to raise the bar on equality to truly include everyone, I firmly believe that future begins with nourishment. Without a well-fed body, mind, and soul, we cannot reasonably expect the advancement of real change— Not in our Public School System, our marginalized institutions and societies, nor suffering our middle-class.

We must simply speak truth to power, or we are risking inevitable failure to uphold our core mission, which reads as follows: “UGo stands to build a path to help us all feed our bodies and minds the best way possible. UGo Bars stands for INCLUSIVITY and spreading mass empathy to the best of our ability. To us, this is simply human. It’s as naturally our right as it is our right to access to healthy food. To us this is inseparable.”

Intersectionality is finally being talked about. Without recognizing the need to connect all of these disparate issues, no one wins. Historical movements have often failed to account for the intersection of race, gender, and class. Intersectionality requires addressing this tangled web, acknowledging that each of these factors are contingent and codependent. We have to work in this intersectional way or we’re not going to win any of the fights that we have. It’s contended with weaving together disparate, sometimes competing interests into a cohesive whole.”

I will break this monolithic idea up into tasty bite-sized pieces for us all to share.

The Revolution for Climate, Government, and Human Rights begins with Food.

"If we're going to have a revolution, it's going to be in food.” Yvon Chouinard, Founder of Patagonia. Patagonia knows it, Equal Exchange and the Fair-Trade Alliance know it. We know it.

Our environment is suffering. The current state of our food economy explodes with government- subsidies, pesticides, and gmo’s. The health costs are harmfully contentious, but it’s not always the end consumer that is affected as it is the marginalized communities, and our Earth / Climate.

We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected, and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed—especially at the risk of public safety and health.

We believe that all workers – including domestic and farm workers - must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage, and are critical to a healthy and thriving economy for all. Undocumented and migrant workers must be included in our labor protections.

You must consider the source of the food you eat if you intend to uphold that, “It is our moral duty to keep families together and empower all aspiring Americans to fully participate in, and contribute to, our economy and society," and, “We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity."

Every business has values. The question is: does the business have transparency of those values? When you spend a dollar, it is a vote for that business, which in turn becomes a dollar for the values of that business or the people profiting from that business. Do they reinvest in the community, the environment, coal, out-sourcing employment or otherwise?

The Government is making billions of dollars off our choices to continue funding this trend.

Now let’s address how the government benefits from the current food systems.

Rink Dickinson, President of Equal Exchange, writes, “In the wider food system, corporations control everything from seeds to supply and prices. They fight feverishly to prevent us from knowing if GMOs are present in our food. They continue to promote production methods that hasten the warming of the planet—a present-day threat to millions of small farmers and others around the world. And, corporations count on consumers remaining unorganized to maintain the status quo.”

Companies like Equal Exchange have taken a stand. They have “over 100 worker-owner members, we are one of the largest experiments in the country in the area of workplace democracy. The vision is of a vibrant community of citizen-consumers, working together to deepen our collective understanding of these issues and taking actions where strategic. Over time, we will take actions that challenge the corporate control of food, increase the market viability of small farmers and their co-operatives, and reshape our food system in ways that benefit all of us.”

This is a long, slow process that requires consumers to understand the great challenge. For environmental change, not only do we need political action, but also your buying support and search for transparency. The “work is needed more than ever. This work will be challenging. It requires looking at things that we don’t want to. It requires seeing things more as they are than as we wish them to be. It requires long-term engagement, inclusion, and building a culture of listening and respect…in society at large.”

“We now know that we cannot possibly succeed in our goal to transform the food system without the active, deep and committed participation of citizen-consumers like you."

Change Begins with a Conversation, or a Book. Simple vigilance.

Often this state of things can seem overwhelming, but then we remember all those who have gone before us. And we can simplify it down to a simple question: “How Will You Use Your Privilege in the Service of Your Destiny?”

Courageous conversations open dialogues with people and groups one wouldn’t otherwise talk to in the name of breaking down preconceived notions and learning more about one another. We need to continue conversations with intellectualism and nuance. If we can have courageous, complicated, nuanced conversations then we will begin to become an instrument that gives form to the formless. We will turn the wheels of progress; We will bend the arc of justice.

 

With Hope,

Rebecca Walter

Founder / Owner

(Please do contact us with your thoughts or personal missions as part of the community.)

*I will be denoting authors of the quotes used in this piece. 

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Donations - fund, donate snacks - without fuel, our children cannot learn, or mom’s stay in survival mode, our laborers cannot labor.

-350.org

-ReInvest IU

-Demand a Price on Carbon

-DC march on Climate April 29

-ICPE

-Indiana Coalition for Pub Education

-Network for Public Education

-State impact Indiana

-Chalkbeat IN

-Education Week


Attend Community Meetings - these are an easy hour out of the day, all are welcome, you need not participate, but simply listen and learn.

Educate yourself first about the impact of your dollar. Money is a dominant language of society. Regardless of whether money is central or unimportant in your personal life, for any economical, cultural or societal change you'd like to see, there will always be the need for finance.

 


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