ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Monsanto, Factory Farms, Climate Change and You

cook organic not the planet logoMonsanto loves to claim that its GMO crops are needed to feed the world.

But what the Gene Giants don't want you to remember is that the chemicals they sully our food, soil, air and water with were originally developed to make bombs.

When the Big War ended, in order to keep the profits rolling in, Monsanto convinced farmers that the only way to grow food is Monsanto's way—with GMO crops, and millions of tons of toxic chemicals.

Fast-forward to today, and the impact of Monsanto's GMO crops can be measured in terms of degraded soil, nutrient-deficient foods, billions of sick animals on factory farms, an increasingly obese and chronically ill human population and, last but surely not least, global warming.

And we can all agree that if global warming, with its droughts and storms, continues unabated, farms and food are in trouble.

Up against multi-billion dollar corporations, what can one consumer do? Start by avoiding not only GMO-tainted foods, but all meat, eggs and dairy from factory farms. Because most GMO grains go to feed animals in factory farms, or what the industry calls CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations).

We can't turn global warming around solely by transitioning away from fossil fuels. But we can turn it around by using nature's natural ability to return all that carbon to the soil. And we can only do that if we abandon the factory farm model and return to sustainable, organic farming and ranching practices.

Read the article

 
 

ACTION ALERT

July 7: Call Starbucks Day

protest starbucks

Mark your calendar. And write down this phone number: (800)-782-7282.

On July 7, OCA, GMO Inside and other concerned groups are asking their members to call Starbucks and ask them to switch to buying organic milk.

Starbucks is the largest retail coffee chain in the world. That makes it one of the biggest supporters of Big Dairy factory farms.

What's wrong with the Big Dairy factory farm model?

Everything. Animals are abused. Food safety is compromised. And dairy CAFOs (Confined Animal Feeding Operations) support Monsanto's toxic, unsustainable GMO corn, soy and alfalfa.

Need help with what to say when you call Starbucks? Here's a sample script:

"By serving conventional milk from cows fed a diet high in GMOs, Starbucks is supporting an unsustainable food system that only benefits biotechnology and agrichemical corporations. I hope that Starbucks will be a leader in environmental and social responsibility by sourcing its milk from cows raised on organic, non-GMO animal feed."

Starbucks has listened to consumers before. In 2007, the company stopped using milk from cows injected with the artificial growth hormone, rBST.

Will they listen this time? Only if enough of us speak up.

TAKE ACTION: On July 7, Call Starbucks (800-782-7282). Ask the company to switch to organic milk!

TAKE ACTION: Tell Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz: Switch to Organic Milk!

Post on Starbucks facebook page

 
 

ACTION ALERT

Ruling the Roost

chickens in filthy conditions

The meat industry is at it again, trying to get special favors from Congress.

But at least two Congress members, Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), are trying to protect farmers and consumers.

The U.S. House of Representatives will soon vote on its 2015 agriculture spending bill. If Tyson Foods, the nation's largest factory farm producer of beef, chicken and pork gets its way, the bill will help the company continue to slaughter chickens in filthy and dangerous conditions and cheat the farmers who raise animals for companies like Tyson.

Rep. DeLauro has introduced an amendment to the spending bill that would prohibit the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from spending any funds to implement Tyson's "Modernization of Poultry Slaughter Inspection Rule," or what Food & Water Watch calls the "Filthy Chicken Rule."

Rep. Pingree has introduced an amendment to prevent passage of a rider to the spending bill that would weaken rules intended to protect contract farmers who raise animals for the four companies that control nearly all the meat eaten in the U.S.

Don't let Tyson Foods rule the roost when it comes to food safety or farmers' rights. Please tell your U.S. Representative to VOTE YES on an amendment introduced by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) to stop the Filthy Chicken Rule, and an amendment introduced by Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) to stop the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act.

TAKE ACTION: Stop the Filthy Chicken Rule & the Tyson Foods Anti-Farmer Act!

 
 

SUPPORT THE OCA & OCF

Dazzled

cook organic not the planet Once again, you dazzled us.

With your donations, which helped us surpass our goal of raising $250,000 by midnight, June 30.

But also with your comments. Your energy. Your fierce determination to defend Vermont's GMO labeling law and keep the fight alive for more laws, in Oregon and beyond.

Just yesterday, the Oregon Right to Know campaign submitted 155,661 signatures—68,448 more than the 87,213 needed to get a GMO labeling initiative on the November ballot.

You may not have knocked on doors in Oregon, but you helped get those signatures just the same.

Thanks to your support, we've so far sent $200,000 to the Oregon Right to Know Campaign, some of which was used to collect signatures. And soon we'll send more, to help win. We also contributed $60,000 to help pass GMO crop bans in two counties in Oregon—Jackson and Josephine.

As for Vermont, your generosity allowed us to donate $255,000 to pass the country's first stand-alone GMO labeling law. Thanks to you, we're now raising money to defend that law against the lawsuit filed by Monsanto and Big Food.

We can't say it often enough. We simply could not do this work without your dazzling support. Thank you.

Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)

Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund (non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in Oregon, Vermont and other states)

 
 

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

Soil Carbon Cowboys

carbon nation trailer

North Dakota. Mississippi. Saskatchewan. Home to hundreds of thousands of cows. And a few bold ranchers who are are using rotational grazing to raise hormone- and antibiotic-free cattle, to protect pollinators, to reduce pollution from herbicides and to combat global warming.

Watch the video

 
 

TRAITOR BRAND BOYCOTT

Boycott a Brand, Win a T-Shirt

cook organic not the planetWe're often asked, "If I boycott all the GMA brands, including the 'Traitor Brands,' what brands should I buy?"

That's where the Buycott App comes in. And now you can use the OCA "Buy Organic Brands that Support Your Right to Know" app and maybe win an OCA "Cook Organic, not the Planet" t-shirt.

We created the "Buy Organic Brands that Support Your Right to Know," a campaign on the popular buycott.com mobile phone app to help consumers identify brands owned by companies that are spending millions to defeat GMO labeling laws. It works like this. First, download the app (it's free), and sign up for our campaign "Buy Organic Brands That Support your Right To Know". Then take your mobile phone with you to the store, and use the app to scan the barcode on products before you buy them.

The app will look up the product, determine what brand it belongs to, and figure out what company owns that brand. Then it will cross-check the product owners against the companies and brands included in our "Right to Know" campaign.

To help promote the app, we're giving away a "Cook Organic, not the Planet" t-shirt every week to the consumer who scans the most items that week. You're automatically entered in the contest just by using the app.

It's free. It's easy. And it sends a powerful message to the corporations competing for our dollars.

Download the Buycott app

TAKE ACTION: Pledge to Boycott the 300-Plus Members of the GMA, Including the Traitor Brands!

Download your wallet-sized boycott guide

More about the boycott

GMA members

GMA boycott website

 
 

ORGANIC TRANSITIONS

Sea to Seed

Sea to Seed, overgrow the systemFor 30 days, a small group of musicians, farmers, filmmakers, writers and photographers are sailing through the islands of British Columbia on a journey that combines farming, community and music.

It's a project called Sea to Seed, dreamed up by Overgrow the System, an organization dedicated to raising awareness around sustainability.

The project's mission? Gather stories of farmers and farming communities and share them through music and art. The sailboat tour is fed primarily through locally sourced food. Scheduled concerts on the islands will bring together allies.

You can follow this creative team of activists on their blog, or ship log, as they refer to it. It's worth a read (and a look and listen), as it's a blend of text, photography and music.

Some of the topics they explore include:

  • How do GMOs affect small island based farmers?
  • Becoming conscious of the stories we are being fed and how to collectively transform them into the stories we want to be living.
  • What will a post petroleum world look like?
  • How to bring knowledge and inspiration to communities and people on the margins of power.

More here

Read the blog

 
 

LITTLE BYTES

Essential Reading for the Week

essential reading for the week

Gardening Provides Many Health Benefits

Study Links Pesticide Exposure in Pregnancy to Autism

Food Trend: What's behind Miami's Farm-to-Table Craze?

Leading Scientists Tell EPA to Ban Agent Orange GMO Crops

World Bank: Tackling Climate Will Grow the Economy

5 Hidden Sources of Sugar in 'Healthy' Foods

Study: GMO Aversion Driving Organic Sales

Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on web sites,
print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

Organic Bytes is a publication of Organic Consumers Association

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