: I just read your post on Monsanto and this really concerns me! What can we do to ensure that we are not eating Monsanto’s food? This is horrible.
A.: It is horrible. This is a tough question to answer. Although I strive to be positive and proactive, when I think about the seemingly unlimited power and resources that Monsanto has, as well as their extensive track-record of wins in court, I’m not sure that we can stop them. I’m not even sure that we can completely avoid their food.
If you don’t buy every food item organic and don’t ever eat out at anything but organic, farm-to-table restaurants, you will consume some amount of Monsanto products. Right after Monsanto’s big legislative win, Whole Foods announced that they would start carrying some Monsanto products. That’s how pervasive they are. Monsanto is akin to the lionfish invading Florida’s water; with no natural predators it has taken over and destroyed the native environment.
But we can’t just surrender. It’s vitally important to stop them. Here are my ideas:
1. Boycott the products you can.
Most people cannot buy everything organic. It’s just a sad truth. The first place to splurge on organic foods is with corn and soy, as those are the most dominant and destructive Monsanto products. The GMOs in corn cause the bellies in mice to literally explode. The human counterpart is that the cells that line our bellies also rupture into fissures, hence the rapid growth of leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. Draw a line to never consume these crops or their by-products.
After corn and soy, try to avoid the dirty dozen (the foods with the most pesticides). Consider joining a CSA to get lower cost organic produce from local farms.
2. Go meatless or at least stick to wild game and grass-raised animals.
All conventionally raised animals are fed and full of Monsanto corn and soy. This includes farm-raised salmon. Going meatless is the best choice for your health and the environment. If you choose against that, you should only eat wild-caught animals and flesh from small farms which use traditional grazing methods. Some people buy half of a cow and freeze the meat.
I choose nuts and beans. No matter what you do, everyone needs a plant-based diet. Meat should be properly portioned as a garnish while vegetables fill your plate.
3. Be a single-issue voter.
Monsanto will not be stopped through boycotts alone. Monsanto has deep pockets and controls both major political parties. If stopping Monsanto and taking back our food supply is important to you, then vote your conscience rather than for the lesser of two evils. Write to your elected officials and tell them why they lost your vote, and how to win it back. If enough people do that, there will be political change eventually.
Support campaign finance reform too, as that would drastically lower Monsanto’s ability to buy votes.
Finally, on the political front, oppose all farm legislation. We think that it helps small farmers, but it actually hurts them. Farm bills offer massive subsidies for corn and soy, which makes junk food cheap and forces small farmers to sell their land to large conglomerates who work with Monsanto. Without these subsidies, farmers could and would make better crop choices. They would return to traditional crop rotations and biodiversity, which naturally keeps pests away.
4. Educate your friends and family.
Monsanto gains power through our ignorance. If people truly understood who they are and what they do, there would be deafening outrage. Consider subscribing to a facebook or twitter feed from an anti-Monsanto group and share their links and memes on your social media sites. As far as Monsanto is concerned, our ignorance is their bliss. Don’t forget regular face-to-face talk too. This is the sort of topic that gets people riled up at our government’s lack of responsibility. If we want real change, we need voices and voters on our side.
5. Start a revolution: plant a garden and cook your food.
The most revolutionary thing you can do today is to plant some seeds and help them to grow. Even in a small space, even without a green thumb. Plant and learn. When you opt out of the system in even a small way, you take back power and control of your food supply.
Listen, I’m a terrible gardener. My gardens have been murder fields of fine vegetables who deserved a better life, but every year something new grows. Every year my thumb turns a bit more green. It’s a learning process that is interesting, challenging, and fun. I get cheap (almost free) organic veggies as a reward.
The best way to improve the quality of your life is to learn how to cook. It’s a skill like any other that requires some attention before mastery, but anyone can do it. Once you know how to make a feast from raw ingredients, you are set free. You don’t need to rely upon manufactures who do business with Monsanto. Plus, it will taste better.
Now tell me, do you have any other ideas to stop Monsanto? Please share them. We are in this together.