Well, perhaps not a complete paradigm shift. But the beginnings of one, anyway. The past few weeks have shown us that consumers are taking a stand for better foods and our concerns are being respected. For example:
Bettina Siegel, over at The Lunch Tray, started a petition to keep "pink slime" out of the meat purchased for school lunches. Pink slime is a low-quality mix of the bits and pieces that are left over after slaughtering - a mix that includes connective tissue and beef trimmings that had previously been used for pet food. In record time, over 235,000 people signed the petition, causing the USDA, which had purchased ground beef that contained over 7 million pounds of pink slime for use in school lunches, to announce that schools will have a choice about whether or not to use meat with pink slime in it. Amazing. Social media is powerful stuff.
Caramel Coloring is Not So Sweet
In fact, it can cause cancer. Because the state of California mandates that products containing known carcinogens carry a warning label, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have decided to use a slightly different, slightly less carcinogenic caramel coloring in their formulations. Of course, it took the threat of having to carry a warning label on their products before the manufacturers decided to make the change, but it's a good example of how tough policies can protect consumers and force change.
Food Waste = Energy Waste
NPR had a nice story about food waste, similar to the message in the infographic that HealthTwisty recently showcased. A 2010 article published in Environmental Science & Technology calculated that the food wasted in the United States each year is equivalent to wasting approximately 350 million barrels of oil. Recognition is growing regarding how much energy we waste when we waste food.
All good stuff, no? Sometimes, progress happens so gradually that we don't recognize it is happening. Only after connecting the dots do we see that perhaps we are headed in the right direction. Granted, we're getting there slowly, but consciousness is rising and things are happening.