Is food already being used as a tool for social control in present-day America?

Here’s an excerpt from a recent story titled “Food Not Bombs: or, Free Bread and Soup is a National Threat“:

Image above from the "Food Not Bombs" website

“…The realization that I lived in a culture that locked up it’s food in order to force us to work was a brutal shock.  Come to think of it, it still is a brutal shock, because that’s one of those “hidden in plain sight” secrets that’s easy to forget for months at a time.

What's wrong with feeding people?

One of the best illustrations of how absurd and horrific our Great Nation really is would have to be the saga of Food Not Bombs, an activist franchise that’s dedicated to the radically dangerous act of feeding homeless people.  Yep.  They set up public kitchens and give away meals—generally vegan and organic, to boot—to anyone and everyone who wants some food.

The story of how America has responded to these allegedly peaceful and well-intentioned terrorists will make your heart swell with patriotic pride.  Or, it might make you puke. Food not Bombs promotes organization and democracy.  This is a problem for most people in power here in the US.  The clear message that has been sent for 20 years straight now is that charity is something that should weaken people…..”

“…..So what possible rationale could sane humans use to object to free food for the least fortunate?
The following news article, this one from Colorado, is pretty typical of the response:

There is no city regulation dealing with the mass feeding of people at a public park, Sanders said. And since there’s no allowance for it, then it can’t be done, he said. Of course, there isn’t any prohibition, either.

Permits are required for gatherings of more than 25 people, Sanders said, but mass feedings are not among the accepted activities.

Groups such as Bridge of Hope, Heritage Christian Center and Food Not Bombs see it differently. They’ve been offering free meals to the homeless in the park for years and think the city suddenly wants them out of sight.

“They said they want to end homelessness and I guess one way to do that is to starve them out,” said Cameron Morrow, a Parker resident who volunteers twice a week feeding the hungry at the park. “It just seems like they don’t want the homeless people in the park.” …”

“…..For starters, the USDA estimates we throw out about 10 tons of perfectly good food each month here in the US.  They also estimate that 11.9% of all US homes suffer from the hilarious euphemism of “food insecurity” — in other words, they don’t have enough f***ing food.  That’s bad enough, but remember this is US homes, not US shelters and streets.

Considering that, at any given moment, 3-7 million americans are homeless, that means that one in nine Americans can’t get enough to eat.  Restaurants in the US make $240 billion annually, and grocery stores rack up $550 billion annually.

Although it’s beyond the scope of this article, at least consider how food is actually created and delivered in the United States.  It is depedent upon chemicals and giant “agribusiness” corporate farms, dependent upon underpaid and literally disposable immigrant labor, dependent upon a fleet of millions of gas-burning trucks for delivery, and dependent upon unskilled, minimum labor to stock shelves and check out your purchases.  In other words, it’s a system built for waste and dangerously prone to collapse.

Stakes is High

Now for the darkness.

Why would the US establishment be so consistently and firmly opposed to feeding the poor and the homeless?  I would propose it’s because there’s an unspoken — and occasionally explicit — belief that these people are better off dead.  If that sounds alarmist or extreme, you have not been paying attention.

Let’s take a look at Hurricane Katrina.  Although the storm ended more than a year ago, the devastation is ongoing and mostly swept under the rug of national consciousness.

First, read this — very real — excerpt from this Army Times article entitled “Troops Begin Combat Operations in New Orleans”:
NEW ORLEANS—Combat operations are underway on the streets “to take this city back” in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“This place is going to look like Little Somalia,” Brig. Gen. Gary Jones, commander of the Louisiana National Guard’s Joint Task Force told Army Times Friday as hundreds of armed troops under his charge prepared to launch a massive citywide security mission from a staging area outside the Louisiana Superdome. “We’re going to go out and take this city back. This will be a combat operation to get this city under control.”

Dozens of military trucks and up-armored Humvees left the staging area just after 11 a.m. Friday, while hundreds more troops arrived at the same staging area in the city via Black Hawk and Chinook helicopters.

“We’re here to do whatever they need us to do,” Sgt. 1st Class Ron Dixon, of the Oklahoma National Guard’s 1345th Transportation Company. “We packed to stay as long as it takes.”

While some fight the insurgency in the city, other carry on with rescue and evacuation operations….

Bear in mind, of course, that “the insurgency” was poor black people trying to get out before they died.  Hopefully this will give the reader a sense of what time it really is, here in 2006….”

Read the whole thing here.

Food Not Bombs website

A news story from the Mercury news.com:

Food Not Bombs gives away food in Concord as wary health inspectors watch

CONCORD — The nonprofit group Food Not Bombs got to finish serving their rice, beans, vegetables and bread pudding at Todos Santos Plaza on Thursday night, unlike last week when the food ended up in the trash because the group lacked health permits.

They still did not have permits Thursday. But as they doled out free food from the plastic buckets they brought, the police, health inspectors, city officials and a television crew stood by and watched.

It was a standoff, next to the playground.

The reason, according to the health inspector: Most of the people who got the food were a part of their group, so they were not feeding the general public.

About two dozen Food Not Bombs members and supporters got food in what they hope will become a weekly event in the plaza. Last week was the first time they tried to distribute food in Concord.

But a number of people who were not with their group, such as Ravinder Sekhon, of Pittsburg, got free food, too.

“It’s a good way to get the issue (of hunger and war) to the front,” he said as he walked away with two toddlers in tow, plate in hand.

He was not worried about the group lacking a health permit.

“Aw, come on. Let it slide. These guys are not hurting anybody,” he said.

Food Not Bombs organizers said the health inspectors said nothing to them Thursday.

“I think it went great,” said an organizer who identified himself as “Michael Eggplant,” but whose Facebook page lists him as Michael Thurman.

He said they wanted to give out food during the farmers market because it is a highly visible place where anyone can come.
“What we’re really trying to do is create a community event,” he said. And the permits would be too expensive and difficult to get, he added…”

Read the whole story here.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “Is food already being used as a tool for social control in present-day America?

  1. Emily

    I would say, as an American mother, that your post here goes a little off the deep end. I don’t believe that social control via denying healthy food to the homeless is the aim of the town mentioned. . . I think they simply don’t want people congregating in mass hordes at the town park. Why? We don’t rightly know as we haven’t been present at these food distributions. Maybe nothing bad is coming in with the distributions, but then again, don’t shut your eyes and pretend that the homeless are all saints. (There’s crime in all levels of society. There are also people of high character in all levels of society.)

    I shop at least four different markets in my area every month: the farmer’s market, the Earth Fare (a whole foods, healthy supermarket), the Fresh Market chain and the Harris Teeter.

    The two most expensive are Earth Fare and Fresh Market. The Fresh Market is definitely aimed at wealthy Baby Boomers and those with money. It’s very hoity-toity. The Earth Fare is quite interesting and diverse despite the prices (including the $10.78 jar of Fra Diavolo sauce I saw a middle aged African-American woman returning recently). At Earth Fare, you see hippies – young and old, the elderly – in search of alternatives to more meds from their docs, families in search of wholesome foods for their growing broods (like my own), food snobs (not a bad thing), demanding Baby Boomers with cash to throw around, and oddly enough, religious zealots who are very weird about the foods they eat. Actually, as a solid middle class Caucasian mother to five looking for wholesome alternatives for my family, I feel out of place. . . mostly the folks I see at Earth Fare are minorities, elderly, and young hippie types.

    Do you realize that unemployed 30-somethings who chose to remain in university education indefinitely are using food stamps to shop at really nice, quality grocery markets? Meanwhile, we do not qualify for food stamps, and we scrape by monthly to provide for our family. The money my husband works hard to earn goes out in taxes to welfare programs to support the likes of the able-bodied who are unwilling to work because they can still get the luxuries they want at cost to someone else. . . that is socialism, welfarism and all that at it’s absolute worse.

    We choose to eat what we eat in America. If you want to spend your money on McDonald’s or buy soda pop and high fructose corn syrup, it’s your choice. If you choose to eat whole foods or organic produce, that is also your choice. Nutrition is just another decision, another priority that we must decide upon. . . We do not have a flatscreen hi-def TV. Our TV is old, and we do not subscribe to fancy cable, etc. We have old, used furniture. We drive used vehicles. . . and we know people who have only one car or choose to commute on bikes. We where consigned clothes. We do not think it our right that the government provide us with anything other than military safety (and even then, we must do our part) and leadership of the people and by the people. The problem comes when people begin thinking they deserve for the government (AKA taxpayer) to provide them with EVERYTHING. . . including nutrition.

    It’s not the government’s responsibility to involve itself in the nutrition of its citizens.

    When I was in college, my five sisters and I did not qualify for financial aid. I arrived at college with a suitcase of clothing, a laundry basket, money for textbooks, cheap bedding from an outlet, a small cassette player-radio clock, and a that was about it. No fridge. No boombox. No TV. No microwave. No car.

    I cannot tell you how disgusting it was to see the individuals on welfare receiving financial aid who used their aid and welfare to purchase TVs, music CDs, and high end clothing instead of using it to buy textbooks and what it was intended for.

    Unfortunately, those who really need the welfare are getting undermined by those who claim to need it but abuse it. Our welfare system is broken, and there are too many leeches.

    (Do not argue with me on this: I also spent 7 weeks on bedrest in a hospital, and you do not wan to hear the unsavory things I have to say about the “welfare class” and healthcare.)

    As a middle class individual who has worked to do the right thing, paid my taxes, and strived to have compassion and help others, I’m SICK and TIRED of having socialists preach at me that I owe more money and everybody ought to have the exact same, materially and nutritionally. And then you want me to pay for it? There’s no utopia in any of this. I’m not going to be able to afford any of the “whole” foods and all that you’re trying to force my government to provide for my family, everybody else’s family, etc.

    Face it, part of the battle and shell game of all this is that the organic, whole foods industry stands to gain a lot themselves if they can convince the people that “everybody deserves this wholesome, wonderful food” that certain folks produce. The taxpayer will be held hostage to these “well-meaning” farmers, producers, and grocers. . . and y’all will get the money then instead of the food producers that you spurn.

    It’s a shellgame, and maybe you guys on the other end of the food industry just want control and money too. If you can convince the people how awful the “others who see it differently” are, then maybe you will win.

    Just keep the government out of it, and quit this crazy, paranoia about “social control” and food. You’re just part of the social control yourself as far as I can read here.

  2. Pingback: Food is a form of social control / “Healthy eating disorder” | Check Your Premises

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