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Mark Bittman’s speech at Bedford 2020

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He spoke about the necessity to form movements to take action on a local level. Local action groups must pressure their local officials to outlaw antibiotics in meat and close factory farms. The other hot topic is to demand sugar tax at a local level, but more ideally across New York State.

No president has pushed food politics. The current climate creates more urgency than ever before to address these concerns. Food is tied into the following current political climates that are in danger:

Climate change – EPA regulations. Meat creates methane gas, the non organic growth of produce removes carbon from the soil, government use of land for drilling etc effects the soil, more land needs to be government subsidized for young farming businesses locally, big food companies growing excess of dangerous crops.

Public education – cutting back on food programs and lack of local officials accepting changes to the unhealthy foods and snacks allowed in the cafeterias. Less fortunate children need to have access to real produce at school. Rye and Mamaroneck school districts are having trouble being heard by their local school departments. I know as I am involved with the Mamaroneck Mums working hard to improve food in the schools as the new school budget is being drawn up for the next 5 years. At the last meeting the mums met with plenty of resistance. They need more support from residents. Bittman suggested contacting the New Haven school district, who have implemented a successful farm to table school lunch program.

Health care – misdirected subsidies. Pushing locally for sugar tax and using these funds to help health programs and food stamps for fresh produce. There are more illness contributing to high sugar and sodium diets, create kidney disease, diabetes, common colds, allergies, etc, these health care resources need to be spending more on nutritional education and access to fresh produce for all.

Immigrants – often are food workers. Bedford constituents are attending their local town council meeting to vote on sanctuary for their immigrants. More town members need to hold their local officials accountable.

Entice nonvoters to engage in political issues – as most them are on this side of the table

Support needed:

For local farm workers – agriculture needs to be regenerative (I spoke to the Stone Barns representative and said I would pass out the word about their farming program this summer for high school children, Stone Barns located in Potantico Hills houses an amazing farm program and is home to the top restaurant in America, a wonderful, summer, opportunity for high school children).

Push back financially in your local grocery store against big food corporations, by more local produce

.Build our local communities and have our voices heard about alternatives:

Unions

Co ops

Coffee clutches

Teach ins

Work on what is not good locally. We have pretty good people around here (Gillibrand, Maloney, Cuomo has gotten better, needs more pushing) but Fasso north of Westchester is a problem.

Necessary to build local power for the 2018 elections that are on our side for:

Restricting antibiotics in our food

Factory farming

Feeding junk to children

Fair treatment for workers

Land for those who want to work it and subsidize these farmers.

Support local farms small and medium in the area

THIS FOOD MOVEMENT supports peace, justice for all, health, jobs and security. It parallels President Rosevelt’s 4 freedoms. Our actions can hope to divert a catastrophe.

 

 

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