It's all over the news these days: If you have “underlying health conditions” you’re more likely to get COVID-19. And if you do, your symptoms are more likely to be severe.
What few if any news outlets are reporting on is the connection between industrially produced food and some of those underlying conditions—like obesity and diabetes and metabolic dysfunction—conditions that in a pandemic world, could literally mean the difference between life and death.
In her most recent article, Kristin Lawless connects the dots between food, health and the coronavirus. Lawless, author of the book, “Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture,” writes:
“Preliminary findings show that metabolic dysfunction is causing devastating complications from COVID-19 and, shockingly, only 12 percent of the entire U.S. adult population is considered metabolically healthy. Metabolic dysfunction has one primary source: our highly processed, sugar-laden, nutrient-poor food supply.”
Lawless says the pandemic has the potential to make us rethink how we produce food, and rethink the connections between food production, the environment and our health—connections Big Ag and Big Food have worked hard to hide from us.
Read ‘How Industrial Food Makes Us More Vulnerable to COVID-19’
The COVID-19 pandemic is exposing a terrible fact of life in the United States: Inequality.
Whether you’ll be safe or in harm's way, whether you’ll get worse or recover, whether you’ll be helped or forgotten—even whether you live or die—depends to a frightening extent on whether you are male or female, white or or a person of color, young or old, a citizen or an immigrant, rich or poor.
The pandemic has made it painfully clear just how inadequate and unfair the U.S. “healthcare” system is.
It’s time to fix it.
It’s time for everyone to have equal access to preventive, natural and alternative healthcare—not just allopathic medicine’s pharmaceuticals and surgeries. And not just during a pandemic.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Pass Medicare for All and the Essential Workers Bill of Rights now!
The White House and Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue call them “foreign guest workers,” as if they’re here in the U.S. on some sort of vacation.
Who are they really? Immigrants working on farms under risky conditions, for low wages, with no healthcare benefits.
Now the Trump administration wants to use the pandemic as an excuse to slash their wages even further.
Farmworkers regularly suffer from substandard housing, poverty wages and little to no legal protections. An estimated 50 percent of farmworkers are undocumented, facing the added risks of detention and deportation. (Studies show that these workers take jobs that American citizens reject, because the work is hard, and pays too little).
Farmworkers have been designated “essential” because we need them to get food from the farm to the grocery store. Because their jobs expose them to pesticides, they have a higher risk for respiratory illnesses and, yes, COVID-19.
Farmworkers and other workers in the food chain need additional support, not a reduction in pay.
TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress to Protect Farmworkers!
COVID-19 saw to it that this year, Earth Day had to settle for a digital 50th birthday party.
No teach-ins. No rallies. No public celebration of any kind.
Not the norm. But also, as one of the organizers of the first Earth Day reminded us, not the first time in its history that Earth Day hasn't received its due.
In a column for the Seattle Times, Denis Hayes reminded us (or those of us who’ve been around since April 22, 1970) that one week after Earth Day was launched, Nixon escalated the Vietnam War by invading Cambodia. Less than two weeks later, national guardsmen shot and killed four war protestors at Kent State University—and just like that, Earth Day went “from above-the-fold front page news into near-oblivion.”
End of story? Nope.
Earth Day’s organizers forged ahead, sans media attention. They launched a campaign against a “Dirty Dozen” members of Congress who had terrible environmental records—"with a minuscule budget but unbounded energy, and to the utter astonishment of the political establishment,” Hayes wrote, they defeated seven of the 12 incumbents.
Today's lesson from Hayes' story from half a century ago? This:
"COVID-19 robbed us of Earth Day this year. So let’s make Election Day Earth Day."
Wise words for today, as the global pandemic throws into stark relief the perils of allowing unscrupulous corporations to take over our food system, and by extension, our health and the health of our soils and air and waterways.
In coming weeks we'll throw into high gear our campaign to force Congress to address the fatal (literally) flaws in our industrial food and farming system.
Part of that campaign will involve educating consumers about which elected officials, and which candidates, are on the right side of food policy reform. And which aren’t.
Then it will be up to you to decide. And to vote.
We hope you’ll engage. And we hope you’ll support this work.
Please make a generous donation at this time, if you are able. And please stay safe.
Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit
Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)
Donate $100 or more and we’ll send you a copy of Ronnie’s new book
Click here for more ways to support our work
It’s the latest (and life-saving) fashion trend: face masks. And if you’re looking for one that’s 100% organic cotton, you’ll find it here.
Under normal circumstances, the Naturepedic factory in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, churns out organic mattresses and bedding. But the company recently added face masks to its production line—and it's selling the masks at cost, not for profit.
Why organic? For one, synthetic fabrics carry a higher risk of chemical off-gassing—who needs that when you’re trying to boost your immune system?
But there’s another reason: cotton is one of the most toxic crops grown, which means it has a devastating impact on soil and water quality.
Read ‘9 Reasons to Buy Products Made From Organic’ Cotton
Order your 100% organic cotton face masks here
There’s more than one way to get out a message. One of those ways is to rap it out.
On April 1, Enemy Radio, released “Food As a Machine Gun (How Not to Die),” a hip-hop lesson on how Big Food is killing us.
The song was inspired by Kristin Lawless’ book, “Formerly Known As Food: How the Industrial Food System is Changing Our Minds, Bodies, and Culture” and written just in time for it to resonate during a global pandemic.
As the rappers rap: “Toxic, yeah. They just box it.”
Watch ‘Food As a Machine Gun (How Not to Die)'
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