Hi Mom and Dad,
How is the trip out of the East going? Have you gotten off to a good start? Looking forward to seeing St. Louis again? I hear from Adam there are some pics up on your blog already from your time here, so I will be having a look at your site soon too!
I wanted to pass along a good film we just saw that was screened last night at the National Geographic Society. It's called Food, Inc., and its a very compelling film covering all of the horrible injustices, health problems, and environmental damage caused by industrial agriculture. I know none of this is particularly new, but the problem has if anything, gotten worse in recent years, and now we seem to be in a position where political momentum is building towards making some big changes. In any case, here is the letter I wrote to our local grocery store, Harris Teeters (its a big chain in the East and South), after seeing the film. I wanted to save it for posterity somewhere, so figured I'd email it to you all. Hey, put it on your blog if you want!
I want to commend your company on the increase in organic products you are offering in the store on Kalorama in Northwest, DC. My girlfriend and I prefer to purchase organics whenever possible. We are not wealthy, but we have decided it is worth the slight premium to have good, nutritious food that we can trust does not contain harmful contaminants and has been raised in an environmentally friendly way.
However, HT still has a long way to go before it meets the standards we expect. In particular, our HT store offers virtually no organic cheeses, meats, or breads. Further, it is often difficult to find information on food products' place of origin, and there is a noticeable lack of locally grown produce. Finally, as far as we are concerned, the more information on labels the better. I want to know if a corn or soy product is genetically modified. I want to know if a dairy product contains hormones. I want to know whether my personal hygeine products have been tested on animals.
In general, I would refer your purchasing agents to a new movie called "Food, Inc.," released in theaters this spring, that goes into some detail about the vulnerabilities of our highly-centralized and industrial food system.
I believe very strongly in my right to make informed and sustainable choices about the food I eat. I also believe my fellow shoppers share this right. The more HT respects this right, and the more it provides me with local, organic, animal-friendly products, the more willing I will be to do my shopping there.
Thank you for your time,