The Art for Food 365 Day Challenge is a yearlong project of making art and auctioning it off to raise money to help find ways to get More Good Food to More People. Rather than start with a specific cause or charity in mind, we are starting with a goal, a concept, an idea, acknowledging that we don’t have a clear answer to the question, and therefore that a conversation is needed to figure out the best use of our energies.
What Do You Mean, More Good Food to More People?
It’s a broad concept. There is nothing more important to health and quality of life than food. Some people don’t have enough. Some people get the quantity but not the quality. There are many issues, and many sides to the story.
The conventional wisdom is that GMO companies and farmers are taking care of this already. They say that through technology and scale they are feeding billions that would otherwise starve.
Others question this, saying things like:
‘Are you sure that High-Fructose Corn syrup, soybean oil, corn pops, and so on, are really food?’
‘Aren’t you worried that there will be unintended consequences from the chemically intensive practices?’
The conventional people would say that their corn goes to feed cattle, which provide meat to millions.
Others question this practice saying things like:
‘Cows aren’t even supposed to eat corn. They should be eating 90% grass. An improper diet causes illnesses that require medical treatment, as well as encourages the growth of pathogens like E-Coli.’
‘Industrial feedlots are gross, disease ridden, and unnatural, which, among other issues, compromises quality and nutritional value of the meat.’
To which the GMO people might reply: ‘Hey, it’s meat.’
Certainly my own biases are evident. This is why I want the conversation to sway in the direction of Good Food, rather than just Food. That being said, it’s important to acknowledge that there are some big steps, from, for example:
Nothing to Something.
Not Enough to Enough.
Twinkies, Chips, Coke, Fast Food to Fresh, homecooked Vegetables and Meat.
The next level of importance is going from Conventional to Organic, Organic to Local-Organic, to Biodynamic, to picked in your own garden, prepared and eaten within 4-hours or less.
All of these steps make a difference. There are ideals to shoot for.
Some of these steps are economically based, some are more about education and choices. For example, it’s also a big step to go from drinking Coke, concentrated juice, or coffee, to clean water. This is just making choices, nothing more.(Except in places where clean water isn’t available, but that’s a whole other conversation.)
You might be sitting there saying: ‘Who are you? Who are you to criticize my choices?’
And that’s a fair comment. I’m not anybody to criticize anybody’s choices. I make plenty of bad choices of my own. I am subject to the same cultural pressures, food-pyramid indoctrinations, persuasive advertisements, political machinations, and human temptations as everyone else. If there was a simple answer, it would be easy. There are no simple answers. That is why we are looking at all parts of the issue. That is why we are having the conversation.
Join in! Let’t do this!
We probably won’t figure everything out, but we can do our best to make a difference. And what else can we ask of ourselves?