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EDITORIAL: food is a human right!

“Social protection and the right to food are essential to building successful, inclusive, resilient and sustainable agri-food systems that leave no one behind. ”

This is how the FAO describes the right to food, but today this right is unfortunately violated in many ways.

Our society has turned this human right from a necessity into a commodity: Indeed, supermarkets are no longer places to buy food, but to sell products according to a capitalist logic, where the goal is to produce as much as possible while spending as little as possible. This opens the door to the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides and GMOs, which are sources of pollution for water, land, air and which kill biodiversity.

This logic respects neither human nutritional needs, the rights of the workers producing these goods, nor the environment. We must say it loud and clear: Access to healthy, quality food produced with respect for humans and the environment is a right, like water and air. Food can never be simpely a commodity.

If to eat well, my food must be organic, without pesticides, without chemical fertilizers and without GMOs, then we should not have the right to produce in conditions that do not respect humans and the planet.

We must therefore change our logic and put the right to healthy, quality food back at the heart of our society, in a system that respects humans and the environment.

You will ask, ‘What can we do as citizens to move in this direction?’

  • First, demand the right to healthy, quality food, which is recognized as a universal right.
  • Make sure that this right is a right and not a privilege, by making this food accessible to the whole population.
  • Buy and support organic, local and seasonal food production and producers who respect workers’ rights.

An example of actions along these lines is the organization of food cooperatives, like Mesa in Esch with the cooperative KiloMinett0. It supports a dialogue between consumers and local producers. Mesa also offers a café/restaurant with organic, local, vegetarian and seasonal food at reasonable prices. Finally, it is also a grocery store selling local organic products in bulk.

We believe in an ecological transition that is inclusive, supportive and fair, and we are doing everything possible to make this a reality in Esch, with and for the citizens.

Adriana Cardoso and Yasmin Labidi