Leadership and My Fellow Citizens

I’m continuing my attempts to eat more #organic food in Edmonton. Admittedly I’m on a bandwagon, and I have less critical thinking (and research) going into my decisions to buy organic than I’d like.  Regardless, the stories of my journey cause a scare in me that the Organic food movement is propagated more by businesses than by righteous research and wholesome decision making by consumers.  A few stories I’ve heard recently cause me to think (against my hope that they are guided by more than money) that civil servants are ultimately guided by the almighty dollar than by goodness.

I remember my dad saying when I was younger that we should all expect at bubble of lower productivity that move through our workforce when we make significant budget cuts to the Education System. He would say, Education cuts need to be considered more critically over other budget cuts.  While I think the balancing act is a behemoth, currently I’m focused on how decisions are made as they related to food. In Canada, Health Canada is the department that regulates this, and I have hope they will be guided by heavenly good decision making. 

My friend, Josh, had shared a story that a bakery in BC was calling some bread organic, while making it with non-organic flour.  The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) had found the bakery mis-labelled “Organic” bread. (http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-bakery-caught-selling-mislabelled-organic-bread-1.2489314). This went on for 3 years, and nothing was done.  The headline “Betrayal of Consumer Trust” is accurate, because I, too, feel betrayed.  Aside-ly I can think of a few other groups that might be linked to this headline.  I almost think that we as consumers need to put more emphasis to CFIA that this lack of compliance after inspection is unacceptable.  Who’s at fault? I am…because I continue to let the Minister of Health, Rona Ambrose, deal with issues that she sees are more important.  She can’t see unless someone tells her, and I honestly keep silent.

I, in my ignorance, also allow Health Canada to support progress for the sake of progress. Where is the passion in the leadership, like the Swiss, who ship their cows by helicopter out of the mountains. Why, because it affects the country’s water table if they die and then rot in the mountains.  Their Government gets involved to pay for cows to be shipped out.  That’s the direction I’m talking about…where is that type of commitment in our food system?  I mean subsidize home gardens, teach citizens the good things they can grow, and incentivize them on taking on their health themselves.  Maybe it’s limiting sugar in key cereals.  A gal I knew said you can’t put vitamins or fibre in a junk food like Pop.  Now, it’s happening where pop (soda) companies can put vitamins in sugary drinks–WT!   I mean the end game has got to be the almighty dollar.  I know I should just accept it, but there is a better way, and it’s sacrifice.

If I don’t take a bit more interest in my health, then who will protect me and my health?  If I don’t speak up about Organically labeled products made with non-organic ingredients, who will on my behalf? If I don’t tell leaders that I value sacrifice over making more of a buck, then I shouldn’t be surprised at the outcome.  I think we need to spend more time looking, critically, at the decisions our leaders in Government make, and also ensure that we lead those with wholesome, maybe more expensive choices in the marketplace.

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