The popularity of the organic food movement is spreading like wildfire. Who should we look to for future growth and encouragement?
Women Playing a More Active Role
The organic food movement is undergoing a revolution. Typically a male-dominated field, the food supply industry is seeing a rise in the number of women who are not only farming, but making their voices heard about issues related to the foods we eat.
The change shouldn’t come as a surprise, really.
One health expert and influential business leader, Monica Eaton-Cardone, pointed out: “In many situations, it’s women who represent the largest section of consumer spending, and yet, the majority of people making decisions in merchant companies are men.” Eaton-Cardone says that when women influence the decision-making process you see more appropriate, faster solutions to problems.
Some of the rising stars of the organic food movement are the ones who have raised awareness of the topic, either by building a platform to speak from or by using their existing platform to educate others. Let’s meet some of them.
Clare Leschin-Hoar has built a following and a reputation by focusing her writing on the issues surrounding the convergence of the environment, food, and health.
A national writer, speaker and moderator, she has waded into the complicated waters of sustainable seafood and fishing to bring insight and thought into an emotionally charged topic.
She’s covered some of this generation’s toughest food questions: antibiotics in food production, food waste, and regulations for food suppliers. Her work has appeared in publications such as The Guardian, Scientific American, and Time.
Reuter’s reporter Carey Gillam doesn’t shy away from the tough topics related to farming. She focuses on genetic engineering, reporting on issues surrounding GMOs, Monsanto, and DuPont.
Despite pressure from her opponents, Gillam strives to be fair in her reporting and refuses to avoid asking tough questions of both sides of an issue. Her work can be found on C-Span and in the Washington Journal, to name a few.
Author of Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal, Melanie Warner is a freelance reporter for the New York Times. Her career as a food science writer began when she questioned how an individually wrapped slice of cheese could remain the same for years.
A former business reporter, she used her investigative skills to look into the inner workings of the food industry and was horrified by what she found. Her years of research into the new realities of food science have helped bring to light the true nature of processed food and have helped fuel the cry for a return to “real food.”
According to Time Magazine, Vani Hari (author of The Food Babe) is one of the most influential people on the Internet. Food activist, blogger and author, Hari has come under fire for her activism regarding food science.
Her interest in food science began after a health scare related to her diet landed her in the hospital. Determined to change her eating habits, she started investigating the food she ate and shared her findings on her blog. Since her beginning, Hari has amassed a huge following: a single tweet from her account can garner over 50,000 signatures on a petition in a matter of hours.
Critics claim she specializes in pseudoscience, using scare tactics to propel the public to action, while supporters point to her successes as proof of her legitimacy. Either way, she is bringing attention to the issues of food science on a national level.
Historically, the food industry has operated largely unchecked, even as the idea of food merged into food science. Writers such as the ones named above are working to turn the public’s attention to this phenomenon, demanding answers and raising awareness to what is happening behind the scenes at farms, grocery stores, and laboratories across the nation.
If you truly “are what you eat”, these women are making sure you know exactly what you’re becoming.
- “Educate women on opportunities”, says Monica Eaton-Cardone – Security News Desk
- Author Clare Leschin-Hoar’s contributions – Future Food 2050
- Biotech’s Assault on Balanced Journalism – Organic Consumers
- Interview with Melanie Warner – Author of Pandora’s Lunchbox – 100 Days of Real Food
- Food Babe blogger Vani Hari taking heat over health science – The Denver Post
- Taking On the Food Industry, One Blog Post at a Time – The New York Times