Monday, March 27, 2017: Food Sovereignty about Democracy, Sick of Trump's Lies, Happy Spring

Bangor Daily News (Bangor, ME), March 25, 2017 | Go to article overview

Monday, March 27, 2017: Food Sovereignty about Democracy, Sick of Trump's Lies, Happy Spring


Food sovereignty about democracy

As a farmer and one of the lead advocates of food sovereignty in Maine, I was puzzled to read Michael Cianchette's March 10 BDN column. While it was interesting to read his political philosophy, his description of food sovereignty and the local food and community self-governance ordinance had little to do with either.

In broad terms, food sovereignty aims to reclaim the power of people in our food system by rebuilding relationships between people and the land. It seeks to improve the resiliency of local food systems and local economies. It puts the needs of those who produce, distribute and eat food at the heart of food systems and policies rather than the demands of markets and corporations.

Food sovereignty is neither a Democratic nor a Republican issue. As the legislative body at town meetings, we don't separate ourselves by party. I have been privileged to be invited to most of the 18 town meetings where the local food and community self-governance ordinance has been adopted, and I have yet to witness it advanced as a partisan issue. Most often, the local food and community self-governance ordinance has been adopted unanimously.

The efforts toward food sovereignty are most certainly working. The movement is growing from people, not parties. People in towns across Maine are rediscovering dusty tools of democracy, engaging, participating and defining ourselves and our local food systems in ways that work well in and for our communities.

Heather Retberg

Penobscot

We do care

We do not care about opioid addiction prevention and treatment because we do not have any family members or friends who are addicted.

We do not care about Meals on Wheels or fuel assistance for the elderly or low-income Mainers because we have been frugal and have enough to pay our own way. We do not care about health insurance for the poor or rates for those ages 50 to 64, who the American Health Care Act would allow insurance companies to charge five times more than those under 50, because we are on Medicare and are covered.

We do not care about refugees and immigrants because parts of our family were smart enough to leave and come to the United States before the Nazis and World War II.

We do not care about funding for Planned Parenthood because after 56 years of monogamous marriage we don't need to get treated for STDs, and we certainly don't need pregnancy prevention or abortion services.

We do not care about education because we are old, and we do not care about the environment because we venture out less and less. We don't care about funding for public radio because we subscribe to two newspapers and listen to Fox and MSNBC, and we are able to tell "fake news" from real reporting.

But we are Mainers, and above all we are Americans. So, of course, we care. We are all together part of the fabric of America and what affects one of us affects us all.

Sandra and Ole Jaeger

Georgetown

Sick of Trump's lies

I hope Republican representatives are by now as sick as I am of President Donald Trump's continual stream of unfounded allegations -- that is, lies -- such as the size of the crowd at his inauguration, that millions of illegal votes were cast for Hillary Clinton and most recently that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower. …

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