Summer 2013 Food For Thought

Concerned citizens marching in downtown Omaha to show their support for food grown without genetically modified organisms.  Photo by Amy Brown

Concerned citizens marching in downtown Omaha to show their support for food grown without genetically modified organisms. Photo by Amy Brown

 
Summer has sure taken its sweet time to arrive this year, which is completely the opposite of last year. These weather pattern variations over two consecutive years remind me of the challenges our farmers face bringing fresh, healthy food to our tables.
Many community-supported agriculture (CSA) program providers have been stressed about not having any early crops to provide to members. Th e CSA program I participate in apologetically shifted our start date back a couple of weeks to accommodate the cool and wet conditions, making me appreciate that fi rst batch of asparagus even more. I especially
appreciate the conscientious nature of our farmers, who genuinely care about what they are growing, how it’s grown and their customers.
In contrast, we have many large, multi-national corporations controlling a signifi cant part of our food system. They create man-made, chemically altered, genetically modified, processed, preserved food-like substances that provide little or no nourishment to our bodies, which we have been conditioned to accept.
There has been a lot of recent press about Monsanto and genetically modifi ed organisms, commonly known as GMOs. These are plants and animals that have been created by technology. They are organisms that cannot exist in nature or through natural cross-breeding. I am by no means a GMO expert, but I do know that GMOs are untested, unlabeled and banned or restricted in 50 countries. GMOs are now in most of our food, and companies like Monsanto are gaining unprecedented legislative protection. 
I was even motivated to participate in my first organized protest, the “March Against Monsanto,” on May 25. My lack of protest experience was evident, as I didn’t think to make a colorful poster that would have artistically expressed my viewpoint in a way that our chants along the protest route could not. Luckily, my fellow protesters were more prepared. I hope you will take time to review a sampling of their posters in this issue’s Last Bite to see what compelled your neighbors to take a stand against GMOs and Monsanto.
If you’d like to avoid GMOs, buy your food locally, know your food producers and try using Buycott. Buycott is a smartphone application that lets you organize your spending to help causes that you care for, and oppose those that you don’t. For more information about GMOs, GMOAwareness.org and NonGMOProject.org are great websites.
Cheers!
Amy S. Brown
Copublisher and Editor
 
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