Food Democracy

By the People, for the People and Toward a Stronger Nation

To more fully understand the concept of democracy, we can look to some past U.S. presidents. Abraham Lincoln defined it as “government of the people, by the people, for the people.” Thomas Jefferson said, “An informed citizenry is at the heart of a dynamic democracy.” Harry S. Truman further recognized that “secrecy and a free, democratic government don’t mix.”

By extension, “food democracy” describes a fair and transparent food system in which people have informed choices and control in determining what and how they eat. It’s what happens when we view people as citizens, rather than consumers, and treat food as a human right, reports the Oakland, California-based Pesticide Action Network (PAN).

Kelly Moltzen, a registered dietitian in Bronx, New York, and member of the Franciscan Earth Corps, defines it as having the freedom to make choices about the integrity of our food from farm to plate, so that we can support the health and well-being of ourselves, the Earth and all organisms that inhabit the ecosystem.

Food Sovereignty Feeds Independence

A PAN report on food democracy describes food sovereignty as the international equivalent of the U.S. movement to re-localize control over our food and farming. It’s rooted in regenerating historically autonomous food systems with, for and by the people.

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