Posted on September 23, 2010 - by

Is retiring Ronald a waste of time?

Is retiring Ronald a waste of time?
from Ana Joanes, Director FRESH

Quick answer: Absolutely Not!

There’s lots of reason why we think retiring the clown is a worthwhile efforts.  But perhaps the best reason is that retiring Ronald is fighting McDonald’s, and fighting McDonald’s is fighting an unsustainable food system.  And you’re right, retiring Ronald is not the same as requiring McDonald’s to have its “happy meals” meet basic nutritional standards, or, imagine!, sourcing locally and sustainably.  But doing so would signal that our culture has finally come to realize the threat industrial food poses to our health, our environment, our community.  Most importantly for us at FRESH, our “Retire the Clown” campaign will turn many of us into activists.

Our campaigns (from Genetically Modified Salmon to pesticides on our strawberries) are chosen for the importance of the issues they raise and for their potential in affecting change. But they are also chosen as means to mobilize more and more people. Our goal is to play a part in raising awareness and motivate action until our small but vibrant movement can reach a tipping point.  Many of you (over 10,000!) got their blood boiling when we shared that the FDA was about to approve GE salmon.  Your signatures and comments contributed to shake up the FDA’s complacency!  Perhaps just as meaningfully, it contributed to more people becoming cognizant of the threat posed by GMOs, and, as a result, changing their purchasing decisions.  Similarly, our “Retire the Clown” campaign could contribute to changing McDonald’s MO while getting many more of us involved.  Our involvement will ripple through our communities, bringing always more and new people into the movement.

I deeply believe that, as we need diversity in the fields to grow healthy and delicious food, we need a diversity of ways to mobilize people to take action, to start working toward a better food system. Toward this goal, we will continue to try different things and to partner up with new and wonderful people and organizations.  And we, of course, will continue to welcome your thoughts and opinions, in all their honesty and passion — we expect nothing less from such a great  community!

Eat well,
Ana Joanes
Director, FRESH

PS – you can read more about why retiring Ronald is a good thing here!  Click on image to view online, or download PDF here:



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