GoodFood World, an online magazine, provides factual and relevant information to a broad public of consumers and conscientious food practitioners. We collect and report on food issues from the source. We also analyze food businesses to determine their merit on the basis of product integrity, social justice, environmental stewardship, and contribution to the social and economic vitality of the communities in which they operate.
From the beginning of time, food has been the foundation of cultures throughout the world, a historical relationship that is well documented (Steel, 2013, et. el.). Food is truly everybody’s business. How is it then that the natural quality of food eludes us in this industrial age?
In the US prior to World War II, our food maintained a traditional and primarily local character. With the incorporation of food processing technology in the 1950s, growing capitalization, and TV advertising, food took on a more commercial flavor. The corporate-controlled modern food industry then began serving up our food as a commodity, making its source almost inconsequential. Canned and packaged goods were (and still are) made in factories and shipped all across the country. Chain supermarkets replaced main street markets and corner family groceries.
By subsidizing large-scale operations, our government helped make food cheap and plentiful, disguising its true cost. Traditional family farmers and other small food businesses suffered while those capitalizing on the industrial food opportunities became wealthy.
Food choices increased. But the illusion of variety is purely artificial. Dozens of kinds of sugarcoated cereals are all made out of corn; hundreds of soft drink “brands” belong to just a handful of companies, and a huge range of prepared foods have resulted from just slight changes in additives, colorings, and flavorings.
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Today, we are led by advertising to believe we are fortunate. Most of us live where food is commercially abundant, healthy and nutritious, and broadly satisfying, or so we’re told. Sadly that is no longer the true picture of our society, where one out of three people has grown clinically obese and juvenile diabetes (previously rare, Type 1) is striking children in early grade school.
At GoodFood World, we are drawing attention to these problems. We are part of a growing number of concerned advocates, here and abroad, who are determined to restore an equitable and culturally satisfying good food base. We believe there is just reason to question our food system. Why? Because large urban populations are now living separate from natural food sources, and have become ignorant of both the effort it takes to produce good food and the important role food plays in their lives. As a result we, some of the wealthiest people on earth, have grown unhealthy. All food is not equal and, in fact, bad food is making us sick (Nestle, 2013).
As a magazine, GoodFood World is addressing these problems through education and information. On the simplest level, we offer recipes and cooking or baking advice. At a higher level we research small businesses to create case studies and business profiles that document good business, agricultural, and manufacturing practices.
In addition, we provide educational opportunities and access to published documents that promote organic, transitional, and “low-chemical-input” food, with a strong emphasis on minimally processed food distributed through local and regional networks.
Food quality and access is very much influenced by world conditions, such as the plight of seasonal workers, the advent of climate change, and political unrest. The affects of changing conditions are most visible at a local level and best ameliorated by working closely with the people directly affected.
Our concern about of food equity and quality is global while our own work is hands-on in the communities we serve. We not only reference changing trends and the news of the day; we offer analysis and recommendations for positive action.
GoodFood World is now providing affordable consulting services to local and regional food-related businesses to enable them to compete with national and global corporations currently monopolizing our food systems. Our clients represent a substantial (and growing) segment of independent food businesses involved with the production, processing, distribution, retailing, and serving of high quality natural, organic, and minimally-processed food products.
We carefully examine and promote both food products and food businesses that we believe are strong examples of good food. To achieve a commendable rating from GoodFood World, a food business needs to protect the integrity of its product first and foremost; these products must:
- Deliver true and measurable value.
- Demonstrate the highest level of quality by incorporating only unadulterated natural ingredients.
- Be produced and distributed with minimal processing and packaging.
- Be made and sold with transparency and integrity.
We believe business must be socially just and responsible:
- Be honest in all business activities and contribute to the strength and growth of supporting communities.
- Defend the rights of all workers to equal access to job opportunities and a fair and livable wage.
- Show respect for the dignity, welfare, and safety of workers throughout the food supply chain by providing clean and safe working environments and adequate support services, including affordable health care and childcare.
- Support humane conditions for food animals.
- Promote good health through education and the delivery of safe, unadulterated, nutritious food.
And strive to maintain conscientious stewardship of the environment:
- Benefit the natural order: “do no harm.”
- Respect eco-system limits on food growth, harvest, production, processing, and distribution.
- Avoid ecologically destructive practices, such as mono-cropping, over-pasturing and over-fishing, water and air pollution, soil destruction and erosion, and depreciation of habitat.
- Improve biodiversity and ecosystem stability.
And contribute to the social and economic well being of the community:
- Account for the cost and value of natural capital, as measured through ecological economics.
- Generate a reasonable profit to support the long-term viability of the business.
- Create real economic benefit to society.
- Support local and rural economies, family farms and food-based businesses, and the diversity of rural culture.