Want Your Politicians to Listen? Write a Letter About the Food System and Health Care Reform!

I wrote this letter to my state senator, Mike Crapo today. I’m urgently concerned about the state of our health care and the food system – which are intrinsically tied together. Feel free to cut and paste this letter and send it on to your local congressperson or legislative representative. I’ve written over a dozen letters to senators, congresspeople, and The President about our health care system, prevention being a priority (with coverage for preventative services as well as emphasis on education about the proper prevention such as real nutrition), and the food system being directly tied to our health care system reform. Please make the effort and reach out to the political decision-makers in your local area and to those in Washington. Only the people can make a difference!

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Dear Mr. Crapo –

Thank you for taking the time to respond to my phone call and concerns. I am generally less interested in more government layers and regulations about food than I am accountability and responsibility on the level of taking care of the problems in food where the problems begin – at the point of origin, which is the facilities and practices themselves surrounding the growth, distribution, and sales of food products.

I’m interested in H.R. 2749 as a method of furthering the work needed to be done to clean up our food systems. It is a well-known fact that much of our food originates from the conventional sector (agribusiness) where the most abhorrent conditions for food production and growth prevail. I want to see regulation directed at the practices and methods of how we grow our food and changes made from industrialization to sustainability. When I say this, I specifically mean that laws be passed which stop the feeding of genetically-modified substances to cattle, hogs, sheep, chickens, turkeys, and other livestock or fowl used for food. I also want to see a return to natural farming methods (a return to pasture-raising) – from feeding animals grain, soy, and corn (all unnatural and genetically-modified). Why not use H.R. 2749 for this purpose – to require the banning of harmful, toxic substances from our meats, poultry, produce, and other foods such as hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, and other toxins which reduce the nutritional value of food and inherently cause harm to human health/animal health/the environment?

These issues are tied heavily into our health care system, and without attention paid to our food supply and the safety of its management, we will continue to contribute to the depth of which this nation is under strain from rising health care costs and burdens to our health care system. When we make preventative measures with food a priority, we will improve the condition for the health of every citizen in this country – our nation, of which we should not only be proud, but be protective and watchful. Being protective means doing the right thing to achieve the correct result  – not by going in and adding more analysis of a system that is already in grave jeopardy due to the mismanagement of its processes. A big component of our food safety plan, then, would certainly include an overhaul of current practices in farming methods, to change the root cause of why we are seeing so many food safety problems in the first place. That’s the only way any of this will make sense.

Time and time again we have seen the results (E.coli and salmonella poisioning) of industrial methods of farming (grain, soy, and wheat feed) and the impact it has on the health of animals being slaughtered for food – and the subsequent negative affects it has on the humans who consume it. These are the issues I’m talking about. Until we make fundamental changes in the methods we use to grow and distribute food, we will continue to see food safety issues cropping up more and more, as with the tomatoes (watered with runoff from factory farms, where they handle animals in this way, which causes salmonella and E. coli to enter fruit and vegetable systems and poison those who eat it). This is where the change needs to occur. Please understand the seriousness of this matter and help the American people gain back control of their food supply, and have more sustainable, safer, more nutritious food to eat. There is plenty of evidence and research which proves this is occurring in our food system, and must be stopped! No furthering of layers and government regulations will prevent this from continuing to occur. I’m a consumer health writer and educator about sustainable issues and I’ve done the research I know it’s there, and I’m counting on you – please don’t let me down!

-Raine Saunders

Boise, Idaho

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