The Marie Antoinette Healthy Food Initiative: Take Their Gardens: Let Them Eat Bureaucracy

by Paula Camp
An article describing how the poor in Alexandria, Virginia, are being stopped from growing food, may have exposed a national scheme to ban the poor in public housing from growing food anymore.  The housing projects in Alexandria primarily house poor black families.  Many have been growing local, fresh food for their families, right outside their doors, for years.  They say that as of last year, they are no longer allowed to.  Gardens were torn out.  This has occurred at the same time that Alexandria passed a resolution promoting fresh, local food.

It is not easy to tell what is really going on, but it’s clear that the Obama* Administration has a “Healthy Food Initiative” which is as grossly misleading and controlling as the Healthy Food Initiative resolution in Alexandria.
“Too many Americans live in food deserts with limited or no access to healthy foods. As a result, their communities have increased rates of obesity, diabetes, and other public health challenges.

“CDFIs are at the forefront of efforts to bring greater access to healthy foods in low-income communities. The Financing Healthy Food Options track helps build the capacity of CDFIs engaged in healthy foods finance. Provided by Opportunity Finance Network (OFN), this track includes training workshops, informational resources, and individual technical assistance.”

The program says that it offers funding and training but food was already being grown in Alexandria with no need for funding and at no cost to the government, and training is similarly unnecessary as the people who were growing the food don’t need training as they have been growing it for generations, and teaching their children how to.

Under the guise of promoting access to healthy food, the government offers this abstract, convoluted, unnecessary but important sounding program for something entirely unnecessary for those who were growing food already – funding and loans:

Training:From June 2011 through June 2012, eight, free, two-day healthy food financing workshops will be offered in locations across the United States. Participants will learn a framework for evaluating healthy food projects within the context of the food system, estimate feasibility using data driven models, and learn the importance of convening community partners. Trainers with practical experience and expertise will lead participants to drill down into the specific fundraising, underwriting, and loan management skills required for successful healthy food projects. In addition, participants will have the opportunity to interact with practitioners who have succeeded in financing healthy food options.None of these unnecessary programs would be anything that poor person in a public housing would be able to manage to get into.  If they did, they would receive three free things.Resources: The following free resources will be made available through the Capacity Building Website to workshop attendees and non-attendees, including:

  • National Demand for Healthy Food Options Report: A robust, in-depth study of areas with low access to healthy foods in low income communities across the country.
  • Financial Resources Catalog: Primary public and private sources of financing available to CDFIs to finance healthy foods initiatives.
  • Implementation Handbook: A handbook that showcases best practices and case studies in successful healthy food financing.

For this bizarre program, they make it clear there is limited availability and that no sessions are currently scheduled.

For someone who simply wants to grow their food in peace, they would be missing this information which is entirely worthless in terms of accessing fresh food now.

Right now the US faces the possible collapse of the economy.  People can’t eat money.  Nor can they eat the mounds of bureaucratic hot air that the Healthy Food Initiative is comprised of.  Without gardens, without money, poor people, especially the Black and Hispanic people in public housing, could starve to death.  The Healthy Food Initiative appears to be an extensive charade about food security and access to local fresh food.  It does not do the simplest things to provide either:

1.  Instruct all Public Housing projects in the US to allow residents to grow food or potentially be held liable for racial discrimination.

2.  Encourage local civic organizations and businesses to donate organic soil and organic seedlings and plastic pots of all sizes to public housing projects, as well as to anyone in the community wanting to grow local food.

3.  Remove government obstacles to using public land:  Open up local public land for people to grow food – whether beside highways or along streets or on any unused land.

4.  Plant fruit trees and nut trees and berries of all kinds in parks for anyone to benefit from (as is happening in Seattle), instead of cities spending money on trees that produce nothing edible.

Meanwhile, a similar sleight of hand is occurring around food for the poor at the international level:

“At the Group of 8 (G8) meetings this past weekend, President Obama* and the leaders of the rest of the world’s richest nations abandoned their governments’ previous commitments to donate $7.3 billion a year to end hunger in Africa, after disbursing only 58 percent of the total pledge of $22 billion and giving less than 6 percent in new money they pledged three years ago.

“Instead, rich nations will leave the problem in the hands of the New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition where private corporations will invest $3 billion over 10 years — Monsanto has committed $50 million — beginning in three countries, Tanzania, Ghana and Ethiopia. (Human-rights activists have questioned the inclusion of Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, noting that his authoritarian government has jailed dissidents and banned media access to hunger zones. ….)
“The main U.S. spokesperson for the New Alliance is USAID administrator Rajiv Shah. OCA opposed Dr. Shah’s appointment because of his work for the Gates Foundation and his position as a board member of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), which actively promote expensive and unsustainable technologies like genetic engineering.”
http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_25508.cfm

For any who think the administration’s bizarre Healthy Food Initiative that leads to no food or the G8’s opening the door to corporate control of food in Africa, is only about the poor, they have missed this Administration’s subtle two step move to turn all decisions on rural land in the US over to the “Council on Philanthropy” – the bankers, the oil giants, pharma, Monsanto, Gates, etc..  Just as in Africa, the US has handed power over to the Rockefellers, despite their horrific history and continuing plans (with GMO-food and with vaccines, which they and Gates are heavily invested in).

And it appears that famine is being arranged in the US.

Bioneers’ founder recently Kenny Ausubel gave an important to talk at the 2012 Bioneers Conference in California entitled, “We Make the Road by Walking.”   He referred to “this epic moment of radical environmental and social disruption [in which] the world is experiencing the dawn of a revolutionary transformation to becoming an ecologically literate and socially just civilization.”

We can get there, but he warned that we can be deluded and must avoid it.

“The Mayan vision says we in the West will find safe harbor only if we can journey past a wall of mirrors. The mirrors will drive us mad—unless we have a strong heart.”

Those mirrors are quite powerful.  For Ausubel himself continues on in his speechto praises “sustainable” banks.  Yet those banks, part of The Global Alliance for Banking on Values and just as with the Healthy Food Initiative, are not at all what the positive words attached to them would lead people to believe.  Those “sustainable banks” are connected to the Rockefellers, too.

“It works with key partners to further its work. In particular, with FMO, the development bank of the Netherlands, the Rockefeller Foundation, who co-fund its financial capital and impact metrics action track, and SBI who deliver services and solutions that extend access to capital to un(der)served individuals, households and entrepreneurs globally.

Once we see past to the mirrors the corporate powers have put in place, including the entire monetary system, things will change rapidly for the good.  Ausubel is right that “the empire has no roots and it’s toppling all around us. In this time, everyone is called to take a stand. Everyone is called to be a leader.”We begin by seeing through the Healthy Food Initiatives in our own cities and towns, and learning just how powerful each of us growing own food is turning out to be.  We can follow up by seeing through the myths from the industrial food system (video).  And Bioneers will recognize that we can’t build a new world by tweaking the scarcity based monetary system, but by seeing through the entire monetary system (which the Rockefellers are central to), in order to reach an economy of abundance and a future for the world.

As people keep saying, it’s all about waking up.  One by one, we are breaking mirrors so everyone can see their way out.  Growing food ourselves is key.  Food is freedom.

[*No reference to Obama is meant to suggest that Republicans are not part of this or would do differently.  What we face is being done by internationally powerful corporate powers that control both parties.]

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