Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A Celebration & A Loss

The LA Times just ran a story called, “Organic: What it means on different products.” I definitely think it is important to be informed on the difference between organic and conventional produce (if you want to know why Food Empowerment Project does not encourage people to consume animal products please go to: www.foodispower.org); however, what shocked me about this article was the fact that there was NO mention of the impacts that agricultural chemicals (or pesticides) have on the farm workers in the fields since we have been hearing more and more about how the drift of these chemicals is impacting nearby communities.

Now obviously I understand the focus of the article was not on these particular issues, but I believe a sentence or two on the benefits of avoiding conventional produce as a means of avoiding the negative impacts that these chemicals have on workers would have helped the public understand just how powerful their food choices are.

And I know that I write this on Cesar Chavez’s birthday – but to me, this article lacks what we need to hear more about, and that is the need to stop using agricultural chemicals due to the harm it causes the workers. Of course, ending the use of agricultural chemicals is not the only thing we can do to help farm workers, but it certainly would be a good start.

The Food Empowerment Project is lucky to have the support of Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers.

I know that many animal advocates talk about Cesar at this time a year as a means to promote veganism, but I hope that many people take the time to not only support the vegan diet and the issue of animal protection that Cesar Chavez advocated, but also, remember the plight of the farm workers.

I would also like to add that I was very sorry to hear about the death of Jamie Escalante (made famous in the movie Stand and Deliver). I love what Edward James Olmos had to say about him: “Jaime exposed one of the most dangerous myths of our time – that inner city students can't be expected to perform at the highest levels...Because of him, that destructive idea has been shattered forever."

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