Start a revolution in your kitchen

The shopping list that really contributes to a better world involves local, biological farmers, fair-trade products and vitamin supplements. Some steps for an action plan.

Marco Visscher | April 2003 issue

Local food

Buying fresh, local seasonal food reduces the need for transport and, consequently, the burden on the environment. In addition, it is beneficial to the local economy. The presence of local markets enables farmers to grow various crops, thus avoiding monoculture and promoting biodiversity. Buying directly from the farmer strengthens the bond between producer and consumer – and is attractive to both.

Fair trade

Fair-trade products are traded on the basis of paying a fair price to the producers in developing countries. The products are sold in third world aid shops, but also in supermarkets. Fair-trade quality marks ensure that the terms of fair trade have been observed. To find fair-trade organisations in your country contact the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT), www.ifat.org.

Organic food

In biological agriculture pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and other artificial additives are not used. This method of agriculture is better for the quality of the soil, the environment and both farmers’ and consumers’ health. Biological products have a higher nutritional value. Biological food is available at organic food stores and some supermarkets. Mind the quality mark.

Slowfood

The right to indulge in good food is defended by Slowfood, an international organisation that has its roots in Italy and by now has about fifty thousand members in over fifty countries, from leading chefs to lovers of good food. Slowfood promotes a diversity of flavours, traditional production methods and small-scale production. The organisation aims to preserve local food traditions.

Slowfood, Via Mendicità 8, 12042 Bra (CN), Italy, telephone +39 172 419 611, international@slowfood.com, www.slowfood.com.

Vitamins and minerals

Every human being needs vitamins and minerals. Usually, food is the source of vitamins and minerals, but as farmland contains increasingly less nutritional value, it can be advisable to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Some laboratories offer the possibility to examine exactly which vitamins and minerals you need. Do not use random supplements, because more is not always better. Also keep in mind that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins varies for each individual. You can always take extra minerals, because you may assume that your magnesium and zinc intake is inadequate.

Support

Fairfood intends to hold to account authorities and companies within Europe on the human right to food, as laid down in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Fairfood, the EU could, for example, introduce restrictions to the trade in so-called ‘starvation food’: food destined for the West, which results in starvation in its land of origin.

Fairfood, PO Box 59663, 1040 LD Amsterdam, The Netherlands, telephone +31 20 6188 062, info@fairfood.org, www.fairfood.org.

Food First is a progressive United States think tank that seeks to put an end to poverty and starvation by reforming Western trade and agricultural policy and by formulating solutions to food issues. Food First organises actions and such, and publishes books.

Food First, 398 60th Street, Oakland, CA 94608, United States, telephone +1 510 654 4400, foodfirst@foodfirst.org, www.foodfirst.org.

The Hunger Project wants to put an end to hunger. To this aim the organisation involves local populations in developing countries, because the people themselves are sufficiently creative to become the ‘architects of their own development’. The Hunger Project explicitly is not a charity, but aims to increase the independence of those who suffer from hunger on a daily basis.

The Hunger Project, 15 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010, United States, info@thp.org, www.thp.org.

Vía Campesina is an international movement that represents millions of small and middle-scale farmers, primarily in developing countries. The movement promotes solidarity between farmers who are forced to compete with each other in the world market. Vía Campesina holds the view that a country should first produce adequate food to support its own people, before it invites foreign agri-companies to cultivate its farmland.

Vía Campesina, Colonia Alameda, Casa #2025, 11 Calle, 3 y 4 Avenidas, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, telephone +504 239 4679, viacam@gbm.hn, www.viacampesina.org.

 

Solution News Source

Start a revolution in your kitchen

The shopping list that really contributes to a better world involves local, biological farmers, fair-trade products and vitamin supplements. Some steps for an action plan.

Marco Visscher | April 2003 issue

Local food

Buying fresh, local seasonal food reduces the need for transport and, consequently, the burden on the environment. In addition, it is beneficial to the local economy. The presence of local markets enables farmers to grow various crops, thus avoiding monoculture and promoting biodiversity. Buying directly from the farmer strengthens the bond between producer and consumer – and is attractive to both.

Fair trade

Fair-trade products are traded on the basis of paying a fair price to the producers in developing countries. The products are sold in third world aid shops, but also in supermarkets. Fair-trade quality marks ensure that the terms of fair trade have been observed. To find fair-trade organisations in your country contact the International Federation for Alternative Trade (IFAT), www.ifat.org.

Organic food

In biological agriculture pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics and other artificial additives are not used. This method of agriculture is better for the quality of the soil, the environment and both farmers’ and consumers’ health. Biological products have a higher nutritional value. Biological food is available at organic food stores and some supermarkets. Mind the quality mark.

Slowfood

The right to indulge in good food is defended by Slowfood, an international organisation that has its roots in Italy and by now has about fifty thousand members in over fifty countries, from leading chefs to lovers of good food. Slowfood promotes a diversity of flavours, traditional production methods and small-scale production. The organisation aims to preserve local food traditions.

Slowfood, Via Mendicità 8, 12042 Bra (CN), Italy, telephone +39 172 419 611, international@slowfood.com, www.slowfood.com.

Vitamins and minerals

Every human being needs vitamins and minerals. Usually, food is the source of vitamins and minerals, but as farmland contains increasingly less nutritional value, it can be advisable to take vitamin and mineral supplements. Some laboratories offer the possibility to examine exactly which vitamins and minerals you need. Do not use random supplements, because more is not always better. Also keep in mind that the recommended daily allowance (RDA) for vitamins varies for each individual. You can always take extra minerals, because you may assume that your magnesium and zinc intake is inadequate.

Support

Fairfood intends to hold to account authorities and companies within Europe on the human right to food, as laid down in Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. According to Fairfood, the EU could, for example, introduce restrictions to the trade in so-called ‘starvation food’: food destined for the West, which results in starvation in its land of origin.

Fairfood, PO Box 59663, 1040 LD Amsterdam, The Netherlands, telephone +31 20 6188 062, info@fairfood.org, www.fairfood.org.

Food First is a progressive United States think tank that seeks to put an end to poverty and starvation by reforming Western trade and agricultural policy and by formulating solutions to food issues. Food First organises actions and such, and publishes books.

Food First, 398 60th Street, Oakland, CA 94608, United States, telephone +1 510 654 4400, foodfirst@foodfirst.org, www.foodfirst.org.

The Hunger Project wants to put an end to hunger. To this aim the organisation involves local populations in developing countries, because the people themselves are sufficiently creative to become the ‘architects of their own development’. The Hunger Project explicitly is not a charity, but aims to increase the independence of those who suffer from hunger on a daily basis.

The Hunger Project, 15 East 26th Street, New York, NY 10010, United States, info@thp.org, www.thp.org.

Vía Campesina is an international movement that represents millions of small and middle-scale farmers, primarily in developing countries. The movement promotes solidarity between farmers who are forced to compete with each other in the world market. Vía Campesina holds the view that a country should first produce adequate food to support its own people, before it invites foreign agri-companies to cultivate its farmland.

Vía Campesina, Colonia Alameda, Casa #2025, 11 Calle, 3 y 4 Avenidas, Tegucigalpa, Honduras, telephone +504 239 4679, viacam@gbm.hn, www.viacampesina.org.

 

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