The Hazon Cross-USA Ride is a 10-week journey across America. We are riding to promote sustainable food systems across the country, and we are raising money to support Hazon’s efforts to create healthier and more sustainable communities.
Since we will be interacting with people across the country, we want to be sure that you can explain why we are riding and what we mean by sustainable food systems.
When we say we are “riding for sustainable food systems” we mean:
- Riding to advocate for a just Farm Bill and other legislation that promotes sustainable farming practices and healthy lifestyles.
- Riding to promote farming practices that are sustainable, so that the land can continue to be productive for generations to come.
- Riding for a more ethical and sustainable meat industry, where workers and animals alike are treated humanely.
- Riding to raise awareness about the problems in America’s food systems, where cash-crops such as corn and soybeans are subsidized instead of fresh vegetables.
- Riding to combat food injustice in America, where many Americans have no access to healthy food, and rely only on corner stores and fast food.
- Riding to ensure that people at all levels of food production, including farm workers, factory workers, and distributors, receive a fair wage for their work.
- Riding to change our nation’s eating habits, so that we eat more actual food, and less food that is over-processed.
How to Effect Change
Many of these issues are monitored through various government agencies or can be affected through local and federal legislation.
This summer, Congress is working to pass a new Farm Bill – a large-scale bill that touches on all parts of the American food system. In addition, local municipalities have dozens of programs which are intended to address food insecurity, healthy eating habits, small farm protection, and local environmental concerns.
There are already some sustainable components in the drafts of the bill, such as funding to allow SNAP (food stamp) recipients to partake in CSAs and shop at farmers’ markets. But, we know there is more work to do to get the bill passed.
Hazon has crafted a petition which is intended to be a voice for these issues. Riders will help us collect signatures as we travel, and it is our goal to present the full list of signatories to the USDA at our closing ceremony in Washington.
When we meet with local Jewish communities, we will be talking about the petition and asking those in attendance to sign. However, we want this petition to have a broader voice and will get signatories from those who me meet, whether on the road or at overnight locations, and ask them to add their name.
Follow this year’s ride as we cycle from Seattle to Washington, DC. It’s not too late to join the ride for a segment.