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Why the Food Movement Should Occupy Wall Street

Why the Food Movement Should Occupy Wall Street
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NOTE: This is a guest post from Siena Chrisman, Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Alliances at WhyHunger.

On Saturday, Occupy Against Big Food will converge on Zuccotti Park, home base of Occupy Wall Street. It’s an exciting step, coming after several weeks of discussion among food justice advocates about our common cause with the Occupy movement. Back in the second week of protests, I joined a march to Wall Street as part of a food justice delegation. The baskets of local vegetables we carried attracted a lot of attention, but we were surprised by all of the puzzled looks. “What’s the connection here with food?” people kept asking us.

The connections of the protests with food, of course, are many. Locally, many food justice advocates are connecting with Occupy sites to donate food or kitchen space. More broadly, as Mark Bittman observes, “Whether we’re talking about food, politics… or banking, the big question remains the same: How do we bring about fundamental change?” In the U.S. today, the richest one percent hold 40 percent of the wealth, while almost one in five Americans is on food stamps. The massive wealth disparities, excessive corporate power, and lack of democracy the Occupiers are addressing are abundantly clear in the food system as well. Two points in the Declaration of the Occupation of New York City address food–barely scratching the surface of the potential connections, but providing an important opening for the food movement. Will we seize it?

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Photo courtesy of civileats.com

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63 comments

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1:32PM PST on Dec 12, 2011

I totally agree. Thank you

7:39PM PST on Dec 7, 2011

Thank you for the article. I agree!

12:29AM PST on Nov 9, 2011

MAY PEOPLE DO WHAT IT TAKES TO GET RID OF THE GENETICALLY MODIFIED SEEDS -- BEFORE THEY CROSS-POLLINATE, AND BEFORE THEY KILL US -- THE PEOPLE.

11:10AM PDT on Nov 4, 2011

thanks :)

1:54PM PDT on Nov 3, 2011

Thank you for the article.. and Duane B.. I love your profile pic, that bird is beautiful!!

6:28AM PDT on Nov 1, 2011

I'd like to see some grants for permaculture and sustainable small farms. With some investment, I'd build a big round barn and farm market, with a commercial kitchen and 40 acres of garden space.

1:25PM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

Thank you for keeping us informed about this issue.

12:08PM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

If you feel you're not being heard as an American citizen, whether it's food related or government related, and want to make a difference in the next election, check out this grassroots website for all registered American voters:

https://secure.americanselect.org/about

Republicans, Democrats, Independents and even Socialists, LOOK OUT!!! We could have a NEW party....party FOR the people!!

9:09AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

The Food issue is because there are people and Corporations that have made food a weapon against the people, like Monsanto, Cargill, ADM they control the corrupt politicians. We all have to make our voices heard loud and clear. Stop buying processed foods. You're only contributing to the wealth of ConAgra, Kraft, Pepsico and all the other huge multinational food companies. Start buying REAL food at one of your local farmer's markets, become a vegan, it will be less expensive. Your health and the health of your children will improve significantly. Furthermore if you stop buying processed and junk food and the above mentioned brands at your supermarket, they will get the message and will start selling REAL FOOD. It's all about demand and supply.

9:08AM PDT on Oct 31, 2011

The Food issue is because there are people and Corporations that have made food a weapon against the people, like Monsanto, Cargill, ADM they control the corrupt politicians. We all have to make our voices heard loud and clear. Stop buying processed foods. You're only contributing to the wealth of ConAgra, Kraft, Pepsico and all the other huge multinational food companies. Start buying REAL food at one of your local farmer's markets, become a vegan, it will be less expensive. Your health and the health of your children will improve significantly. Furthermore if you stop buying processed and junk food and the above mentioned brands at your supermarket, they will get the message and will start selling REAL FOOD. It's all about demand and supply.

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