If something works, it’s worth replicating…right? At least it’s human nature to think so. Whether it’s Dairy Queen copying the quirkiness of Old Spice’s TV ads or the “Occupy” concept of the Occupy Wall Street movement, it’s easier to use someone else’s idea than to come up with something new.
For such an example I will point to the “Occupy our Food Supply” movement driven by the Rainforest Action Network (RAN) that surfaced this week. Monday, Feb. 27 was billed as a global day of action “to fix our broken food system” and eliminate corporate control.
According to the website: “Occupy Our Food Supply is bringing together the Occupy, sustainable farming, food justice, buy local, slow food, and environmental movements for a global day of action…thousands will come together to creatively confront corporate control of our food supply and take action to build healthy, accessible food systems for all.”
Our food is under threat…don’t you know. Occupy our Food Supply’s specific targets include the likes of Cargill, Monsanto, ADM and Dupont, as they “have gained runaway control of our food systems.”
“Plain and simple, it is clear that getting Big Food giants like Cargill and Monsanto out of our food system is an idea whose time has come,” says Hillary Lehr, RAN’s organizer. Retailers like Wal-Mart are also on the list.
Replicates rarely get the same traction as the original. Despite RAN’s claims, the Feb. 27 event barely made a blip with the media. Perhaps that’s because real issues like Syrians literally being blown away by their own government garnered the attention.
At home, I suspect it could be hard to pull the attention away from income inequality-based Occupy movement, which touches everyone—the 99 percent and the 1 percent—but in different ways; versus the “injustice of Big Food” (their words not mine). When you’re worried about putting food on the table at all, you’re not likely to spend your energy disrupting a system that keeps food costs at 10 percent of Americans’ annual income. Sure, certain activists will fully commit, but the masses-- not so much.
Still, the organizers cite Monday’s event as a “resounding success.” It featured more than 100 events across the globe, involving more than 60 Occupy groups and 30 environmental, food and corporate accountability organizations, they say. It also included some of the same ol’ faces—musician Willie Nelson, author Michael Pollan, director Robert Kenner (Food Inc), actor Woody Harrelson. “Mommy bloggers” and social media were the other motivators of the day.