What kind of change are we really talking about?
There’s an essay by writer Derrick Jensen that’s been haunting me. In it, he argues that personal changes to affect the environment like saving water, biking to work and buying organic produce at the farmers are nice, but won’t produce the kind of changes we need to right the wrongs done the planet.
“Would any sane person think dumpster diving would have stopped Hitler, or that composting would have ended slavery or brought about the eight-hour workday, or that chopping wood and carrying water would have gotten people out of Tsarist prisons, or that dancing naked around a fire would have helped put in place the Voting Rights Act of 1957 or the Civil Rights Act of 1964? Then why now, with all the world at stake, do so many people retreat into these entirely personal ‘solutions’?”
Changing our behavior is necessary, but not sufficient, he says. What’s really needed are systemic changes at the governmental and corporate level. In short, he says we need a revolution and switching to energy efficient lightbulbs doesn’t go nearly far enough.
I think I disagree. Part of the mission of Food Forward is to spotlight the individuals who are striving to create a better and more delicious world. I believe that if enough people turn away from destructive, industrial methods and embrace more sustainable alternatives it can produce the kind of change we need.