This summer, while on a trip, I had the opportunity to talk to someone about my blog. After telling them the title and explaining that it was a blog on real food, simple living, and environmental sustainability there was a pause and then the person responded, “Where does the social change come in?”
Social Change is defined by the Encyclopedia Britannica in the following way: social change, in sociology, the alteration of mechanisms within the social structure characterized by changes in cultural symbols, rules of behaviour, social organizations, or value systems.
Value systems… social change can come about through shifts in our value systems. If we change from having consumeristic values to having those of a minimalist by buying less things and making what we need… that is social change. If we start valuing the environment over the convenience of disposable products…. that is social change. And when we start valuing nourishment and health for ourselves and our families rather than placing a value eating what everyone else is eating… that is social change!
Today I learned about a campaign in which the dairy industry is petitioning the FDA to allow them to add artificial sweeteners to milk without any additional labeling in an attempt to make milk products more appealing to children. This petition came in response to a recent 30% decrease in the consumption of dairy by children who are opting to drink more soda and other sugary drinks.
Obviously, there are a lot of things wrong with this campaign. However, it is my fear that it is simply a reflection of the predominant value system in our country. The dairy industry wants to make money and it has placed that value above those of health, nourishment, and concern for our children. Unfortunately, the only reason they got the point of petitioning the FDA in the first place is because millions of parents and children placed different values above that of health themselves.
Help be the social change, make choices that reflect the value systems you aim to espouse.
If you are interested in thwarting the dairy industry’s campaign sign this petition at http://action.sumofus.org/a/aspartame-milk/?sub=homepage