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Maude's Market: Spreading Local Food in Monsanto Country

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Missouri News page, Genetic Engineering page, and our Millions Against Monsanto page.

Maude Bauschard sells local and sustainably produced groceries and runs a weekly community-supported agriculture (CSA) box from a small store she calls Maude's Market.

This wouldn't sound like much if she were living in a city on one of the coasts, but Bauschard lives in St. Louis, Mo., or what she calls "the heart of Monsanto country." Literally: The city is home to the world headquarters of Monsanto, one of the world's leading producers of both herbicide and genetically engineered (GE) seeds.

"So any sort of action -- even just using organic feed -- anything along those lines," she says, can feel subversive. Especially lately, as Bauschard says the company has been running a campaign to promote their prominent role in the city.

"It's called STL Grown. They're advertising that they support change projects and the city itself, and agriculture in the area; and it's true. They put money into the botanical garden, public art, etc. and they employ a lot of St. Louisans," she says.

When Bauschard was laid off from a progressive nonprofit in Washington, D.C. a few years ago, it was no accident that she chose to return to the city where she was raised -- even if it meant the work she wanted to do would be going against the grain.