Originally published in the March/April 2014 Issue of Origin Magazine
Regardless of one’s political affiliation, or any other cultural or social affiliation, the issues of food transparency and food sovereignty affect everyone. While many people are still not yet aware of the extent of GMOs in our food system, those who are believe these issues could be the defining political debate of our time. We, however, would like to offer that the debates surrounding GMO’s are not political issues. They are, in fact, human rights issues.
In addition to nourishing and sustaining us, food has the power to bring people together, foster community, elicit creativity, and bring us joy. In some cases, food can even produce transcendent states of bliss. The right to know what is in our food and how our food has been produced should be considered among our inalienable rights. No corporation, governing agency, or special interest group should be making choices about our food without our clear understanding and consent.
At Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss, transparency is a driving force behind everything we do. Beginning with the ingredients we source, and throughout all levels of our operation, we seek to provide honest and accurate information. We do this because it reflects our personal values, core business vision, and earns the respect of our customers. With this information, our customers are empowered to make the best, fully informed choices for themselves and their families.
As the movement to label GMO’s continues, food producers will need to realize that the greatest commodity they can cultivate is the trust of their consumers. We develop relationships with our favorite food brands. We count on a product to deliver on a promise, to fulfill its role in our lives. In demanding greater transparency of these brands, we may perhaps learn some unsavory truths that have been lurking in the shadowy corners for decades. While these relationships may initially take a toll, they are repairable.
As in any relationship, it takes time and work and consistent feedback to make lasting changes. It is time for us all, as a nation, as a people, to put in the work. We must raise our expectations for labeling and transparency. We must validate the brands that meet our requests, vote with our dollars, and get out the vote for initiatives in support of labeling. Although nearly half of all US states have introduced labeling bills, most have failed under the weight of campaigns well funded by the companies who profit from GMO’s.
This year, in the state of Oregon, we are preparing to raise our collective voice with a ballot initiative that requires the labeling of GMO food. We know what we want, and it’s accurately labeled food; numerous polls and studies prove this to be true for the majority of Americans. The time has come for transparency in our food systems.
The time is now.