How do ordinary people effect social change regarding nutrition by starting online signature campaigns, legally targeting via letter various lawmakers, companies, public schools and nations? Also see the July 4, 2011 Sacramento Bee article as a pdf file on social activism by Stephen Magagnini, “Petition Drives for A Global Community: Change.org helps anyone raise an issue.”
How do you stop wasting food in your part of the globe? You could narrow the topic down to getting more nutritious lunches in your city’s public schools or healthier foods donated to local food banks. But one way to get power in numbers is to look at Change.org. For example, there’s an organization, Daily Bread, located in Florida, which is a group that moves food from restaurants and stores to places where food is needed. See, Daily Bread Inc – Food for Human Dignity. Or start your own petition by clicking on the template at the change.org site, for “start a petition.”
Daily Bread’s soup kitchen is a lifeline for over 4,200 men, women and children in our community each year. Serving between 200 and 250 people daily, the kitchen is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, providing a hot mid-day meal plus hygienic services, including shower, laundry and mail service, to anyone in need. Daily Bread has served more than 1.4 million needy meals since it’s inception in 1988. Does your city have an organization similar to Daily Bread?
Each year Daily Bread conducts a census of those who come to the organization for services. The purpose of the census is to provide demographic information of its clientele. Last year, the organization found that homeless people make up 35% of the USA population and 65% were not homeless. What can you do to make a difference, to start change happening as a nutrition activist in Sacramento? See the video, Soup: A Day in the Daily Bread from Videum Media Productions on Vimeo. Who’s going to make change happen for the better in Sacramento through the power of writing to lawmakers, businesses, and cities?
For example, in any city or most countries, you can click on the site, Tell Trader Joe’s To Stop Wasting Food! If you live in Sacramento, what would a site like this be about and would you be interested in clicking on the icon that reads, ‘sign’ as in sign a petition? The point regarding nutrition topics is that a team of social media engineers is helping activists from more than 100 countries try to change the world.
Stanford University graduate, Ben Rattray founded Change.org back in 2007. Since then, more than 3 million members around the world have been attracted by the website and the organization. The whole idea is that you get to change the world and make a difference by starting online signature campaigns that target lawmakers, businesses, and various countries.
According to the site, it notes, “Every year in America we throwaway 96 billion pounds of food.That’s263 million pounds a day.11 million pounds an hour.3,000 pounds a second. Change.org is experiencing intermittent downtime due to a cyber-attack originating in China, which the FBI is investigating and the State Department has condemned. The attack appears in response to a Change.org petition signed by more than 140,000 people worldwide, who stood against the detention of Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei. Thanks to your support, Ai Weiwei was freed on June 22nd. Change.org will continue to defend free speech and the freedom to organize for people everywhere.”
Also see the change.org site, Undercover Investigation Reveals Cruelty for Sale at Costco, Major Grocery Stores. This week, Mercy for Animals released their latest undercover investigation, which took placeat an Iowa Select Farms facility in Kamrar, Iowa. The company is one of the nation’s largest pork producers, supplying major grocery chains like Costco, Hy-Vee, Kroger and Safeway. Remember that Sacramento supermarkets include numerous Safeway supermarkets and Costco stores, noting that suppliers to any given Sacramento market can come from other states.
The investigator documented the all-too-common trauma of sows confined to gestation crates barely larger than their bodies, unable to turn around or lie down comfortably, suffering from untreated sores from the cages, and going insane from the confinement. In addition, baby piglets were castrated without any painkillers and were thrown around, which management claimed was fun for the animals, like a “roller coaster ride.”
(It’s important to note that this type of investigation is what Iowa legislators are trying to outlaw, when they should be focusing on the real issue: the shocking everyday treatment of farm animals.)
There have been many of the usual reactions from the facility and industry, claiming that the abuse was staged or edited. But here’s the red flag: They aren’t saying that the extreme confinement of gestation crates or the practice of castrating without anesthesia are anything but business as usual.
What the Change.org website tells you about how to start your own petition
You can sign any petition regarding food and nutrition. For example, see the sites, Pig Business in Sustainable Food. Or Join the APA Alliance To Ban Shark Fin In California (petition targeting the governor of California and two others). See, Sustainable Food . Or sign the petition, Tell Trader Joe’s To Stop Wasting Food!.
Another petition you might sign is, Tell Safeway: Follow Kroger’s Lead and Ditch BPA. Or you could sign the petition to Help Legalize Beekeeping in Mar Vista!
Or another petition you might sign regarding organic farming is, the petition, Turn a 30-Year-Old Organic Farm in Maryland into a Food Education Hub, Not Soccer Fields.
Under the Sustainable Food category, you could sign the petition, University of Windsor – go cage free! Or you could sign a petition called, Tell Golden Unicorn: Get Shark Fin off the Menu.
Maybe you want to get arsenic out of chicken feed. Then you might sign the petition, Tell Pfizer: Discontinue the Only Remaining Arsenic-Based Poultry Drug. Or you could sign the petition, Tell Smithfield No More Gestation Crates.
Start Your Own Petition
All of these petitions relate to food and nutrition in one way or another. You can start your own petition on any topic. The change.org website tells you that “this is something that we can change in our lifetime.We imagine a world of empty dumpsters, good food in full bellies, and regular people leading sustainable lives. Send a message to the grocery stores and tell them that you care about the environment, food waste, and hungry people–and they should too.” There’s a film-related link. See, Filmmaker Asks Trader Joe’s to Stop Wasting Food.
There’s a site where you can read the petition letter. See at change.org: How to write a petition letter. Also see the create your own petition letter template. Read the sample petition letter below for “Stop Wasting Food and Get It To Hungry People.” Also see the site for “Dive, the Film.”
Here is a typical petition letter for stop wasting food you can use as a template substituting your own topic of change to send to local, national, or global lawmakers, businesses, and those in power to change decisions in various other nations around the world.
Stop Wasting Food and Get It To Hungry People!
Dear Dan Bane,
The EAT TRASH Campaign to End Food Waste
See the site, Dive, the Film.
Attention: Dan Bane, CEO
800 South Shamrock Avenue
Monrovia, CA 91016
Dear Dan Bane,
As part of the EAT TRASH Campaign to End Food Waste, I am writing to ask you to take Trader Joe’s to a whole new level as a community grocer. Please initiate a Zero Food Waste corporate-wide policy!
As stated in Trader Joe’s own radio advertisement, “Most things that seem impossible are surprisingly simple”. Ending food waste is not impossible!
Your reluctance to do so shows a disheartening lack of concern for people in need, hunger-related issues, the environment, and the local communities in which Trader Joe’s are located.
Trader Joe’s has a reputation as a caring, healthy, and environmentally friendly store. Please uphold this reputation by making the right decision to become a Zero Food Waste company. The Good Samaritan Act is already in place to legally protect and encourage such policies, so now it only remains a question of ethics and morals. If Trader Joe’s continues to refuse this policy, I will be forced to reconsider where I purchase my food.