Editor's note: Unfortunately, we didn't meet our quarterly fundraising deadline, so we've had to extend it. If you can, please make a donation by midnight, July 5. Thank you!
It’s been a long, strange few months.
First, let me say that I hope you and your family and friends have remained safe and healthy.
Second, I want to say this: If this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that our corporate-controlled industrial food system is a failure—and that we’ll never have a better opportunity for transformational change than we have right now.
The COVID-19 crisis has elevated issues related to food, food security, food production and the connection between good food and good health to new heights on the national media stage.
Everywhere you look, food is in the news.
For some of you, this may be the first time you’ve ever been confronted with empty shelves in food stores.
For others, you may have caught your first real glimpse into the unsafe, unjust and downright horrific conditions endured by slaughterhouse workers—and the total disregard Big Meat corporations have for the safety and well being of the people on whose backs they’ve built huge profits.
For many, COVID-19 has forced a renewed commitment to taking back control of their own health . . . to connecting the dots between nutrient-rich, pesticide-free organic food and a strong immune system.
However the crisis has affected your personal relationship with food, this much is clear: COVID-19 blew a huge hole in Big Food’s false narrative that GMOs and industrial factory farms are necessary to “feed the world.”
In fact, our highly centralized industrial food system—especially factory farm meat production—can’t weather a crisis without experiencing major breaks in its supply chain.
The facts have always borne out this simple truth: The best way to achieve food security, revitalize local communities, improve your health, protect the environment and even save the climate is to rebuild our local and regional food systems.
We’ve seen this in action lately. People turning to their local farmers, farmers markets and CSAs for food they can trust, in times of need.
This is good news . . . but I’m concerned.
Once the pandemic is behind us, will consumer trends reverse? Will people turn back to Big Food and Big Meat?
Or will we turn this crisis into an opportunity to fundamentally reform our food and farming system?
We are committed to doing everything in our power to spin gold out of this disastrous pandemic.
That means stepping up our efforts to give millions more consumers the information and tools they need to change their buying habits.
It means convincing more policymakers to stop subsidizing Big Food and Big Ag and start supporting local food producers.
It means working harder than ever to achieve more than we could have hoped for.
Fortunately, OCA was able to receive a Payroll Protection Plan grant to keep our staff on through these past few months. But that money is running out.
We’ve got the attention right now of consumers, media and Congress.
But a lot of what we’re able to do will depend on our ability to ride out this immediate financial crisis.
We need your support now more than ever.