Ziggy Marley: “Give Us A Choice”
David Nesta “Ziggy” Marley, Bob Marley’s oldest son, is best known for his role as the leader of Ziggy Marley and the Melody Makers. The famous sounds that you hear every time you hear one of your favorite reggae tunes, nine times out of ten, one of Ziggy Marley’s songs is probably playing.
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But his music and famous dreadlocks are only a small part of the legacy that he wants to leave.
A healthy new world is on his mind.
Ziggy’s own line of organic products, Ziggy Marley Organics, and his work as a supporter of the Just Label It campaign, an effort to persuade the federal government to require that foods with genetically engineered or modified ingredients be labeled accordingly–that’s what he’s really passionate about.
“If food is labeled, some people might choose to eat stuff that’s genetically modified,” the father of six said in a recent interview. “They might decide they love it. But give us a choice.”
“It’s a tool for a bigger message and a bigger purpose, and it’s right up my alley. For me, music, culture and food — it’s a whole-body experience. We live in the culture and we have to eat properly, and food is a part of that. Also, it’s a part of how I grew up, with healthy eating and healthy food, in Jamaica.”
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“Everything was from the gardens or the farms. We didn’t go to the supermarket, growing up — I don’t remember seeing supermarkets at all until I was a teenager. We had the garden, we had the ocean and we had the farms. Everything was fresh and everything was organic.”
When asked about why he’s so passionate about it, Ziggy asks a bigger question.
“The important question is, do people have a right to know what they’re putting into their bodies? If the answer is yes, then everything should be clear and transparent. If people don’t have a right to know, then put nothing on it — no calories, no cholesterol, nothing. But I know we have a right, and that right is important to me. The American people are sleeping and need to wake up when it comes to insisting upon the right to know what we’re putting in our bodies.”
“If food is labeled, some people might choose to eat stuff that’s genetically modified,” explains Marley. “They might decide they love it. But give us a choice. The big thing here is that the people are the lab rats and the guinea pigs.”
“At some point in time, the politicians decided this issue with the pharmaceutical guys. They decided…