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DAILY HARVEST’S “BITE ME” CAMPAIGN launched light projections onto the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C. Photo courtesy of Daily Harvest.

By Max Goldberg

Rachel Drori, founder and CEO of frozen meal delivery service Daily Harvest, has had enough.

The long-time West Village resident is using her company’s growing influence— a Series D financing last November valued the brand at $1.1 billion—to call out the industrial food system’s detrimental impact on society.

As part of a new nationwide campaign called “Bite Me,” it launched light projections onto the U.S. Department of Agriculture headquarters in Washington, D.C., in addition to taking out full-page print advertisements in the New York Times and Los Angeles Times.

“Big Food doesn’t protect people or the planet,” the ad says. “But there is a solution. More sustainably sourced fruits and vegetables. What we eat and how we grow it can either keep fueling the climate and health crises or fix them. The seed to a sustainable future begins with our food.”

Despite the fact that food systems currently account for one-third of manmade global greenhouse emissions, food and agriculture were left off the top of the agenda at COP26 in Glasgow.

While it’s clear that conventional food systems are fueling the climate crisis, research shows that a global switch to regenerative organic agriculture has the potential to sequester more than 100% of annual manmade CO2 emissions. Unfortunately, less than 1% of U.S. farmland today is organic, and the transition from conventional to certified organic is costly and risky for farmers — inhibiting the number of them willing to make the jump.

“What we eat and how it’s grown are connected to human and planetary health. However, today’s conventional food system depends on synthetic pesticides and fertilizers and is depleting our soil, polluting our water, and is harmful to our bodies and planet,” said Rachel Drori. “Since 2016, Daily Harvest has been making it easier for people to eat more whole, organic produce every day, and we’re working directly with farmers, seeking to give them market certainty as they make the leap to go organic and invest in cover crops and biodiversity. But if we want to get serious about a healthier, more sustainable food system that’ll keep people and the planet healthy, we need everyone to do more. That starts with change at the highest levels of government and industry.”

However, Daily Harvest isn’t just waiting for the government to take action.

For years, it has been funding the transition to organic for many farmers, and last week, it formalized a new multi-year partnership with American Farmland Trust and California Certified Organic Farmers to support historically underserved farming communities in California. Together, all three organizations will work to improve farm viability in the region and expand the acreage of farmland, adopting organic and regenerative farming practices.

As governments in the EU and UK continue to make organic farming a priority, the U.S. is moving in the opposite direction, opting for more toxic pesticides and risky gene-editing technologies.

Fortunately, leadership from companies such as Daily Harvest are pushing for a more sustainable agricultural future.

But consumers must also do their part, by making more mindful choices at the supermarket and electing politicians into office who understand that regenerative organic agriculture is our most viable path forward.

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