Safeguarding our right to control our food sources locally
reactions that go with cruelty. I’ll just remember March as a cruel
month for the taking of a young and vibrant life that was a part of my
life every day. But it gave that life in the same month six years
earlier. Give and take. I don’t have to do much to remember. Just
habits that no longer apply, I grab my keys and no dog comes running to
go with me. Lots of moments with taken for granted interactions that are noticeably missing now. I acknowledge them all. I acknowledge them, they pass, happy and sad, all. Slowly new habits will replace the old…
About our food…
I think the sage message still applies, "think globally act
locally." PCC Natural Markets is a fine model of that advice, and one
that successfully counters the corporate owned growth model that’s now put the whole of modern society at risk by centralizing and systematizing
the global food system. I joined PCC when it opened it’s Ravenna store
in 1976, when it was beginning to move seriously from a food buying
club to a community market concept. It was cheap then to become a
lifetime member, especially if you put time in the "cooperative"
effort of taking care of the store as well, I’m not sure if that option
is even open anymore. I was ecstatic when it opened the second
Greenlake store in 1980. It was a block from my house.
I can find many good reasons to act locally in this manner. Not the least of which is the very important task of rebuilding knowledge and trust about this most important of human concerns, the food we eat.
Food consciousness varies tremendously across the spectrum, but the consciousness I grew up with has faded as less people are in contact with a family farm growing process and conversely more go to antiseptic
looking markets which are designed by the minds that start companies
like RealAge, Inc., something a friend of mine sent me some stuff about
this morning, and I looked into it.
With PCC Natural Markets, whatever marketing they do is originating out of a member owned horizontally organized process, and thus a more straightforward people to people level of communication. Built into that are systems of feedback loops that make for an old fashioned version of neighborhood trust.
Examples of the other kind of corporate "coop"ting of the words "natural," "green" and "organic" are everywhere, perhaps even more predominant since corporations
dominate our food system. I was reminded of it when watching Quantum of
Solace the other day, even, when the evil Greene character gave his
speech to the money supporters of his nature "saving" ventures. And the words "we are everywhere" still ring in my mind.
RealAge, Inc., is of the latter corporate variety:
RealAge, Inc. is an American media corporation that provides health information to consumers. It was founded by Michael Roizen, current the chief wellness officer at The Cleveland Clinic. On this website, users typically fill out a questionnaire about their health history, which is then used to generate personalized content, including highly targeted advertisements. To individuals, it says it supports better and longer lifes through non-medical solution, but the bulk of its revenue comes from drug companies paying to advertise their drugs to individuals who have taken the website test and become members.
So you become a "member" by providing them with demographic information
so they can better design their marketing materials for their clients.
As opposed to say joining a local coop or starting a food buying club
that becomes a cooperative venture like PCC.
RealAge is wholly owned by Hearst Magazines,
which purchased it for an estimated $60 million to $70 million in
2007, when the company had $20 million in revenue. As of 2009, the
company is profitable.