Go Organic: Change the World Not the Climate
#227, June 3, 2010
Edited by Alexis Baden-Mayer and Ronnie Cummins
In this issue:
Connect with us:
Article of the Week
Change the World: Go Organic
"If you do just one thing to change the world, go organic."
"Going organic is the single most critical (and most DOABLE) action we can take right now to stop our climate crisis. Every acre of ground that's farmed organically has the potential to pull thousands of pounds of warming greenhouse gases out of our air."
"Organic farming is a real, attainable solution to our current global climate crisis! Organic farming can actually remove greenhouse gases from the air - helping to reverse the climate crisis!"
"Organic living can stop the climate crisis. When you combine the impact of protecting the beneficial mycorrhizal fungi in the soil (which absorb and neutralize carbon) and eliminating all the toxic chemicals (and their packaging and the energy spent producing them), the carbon problem in our atmosphere is practically solved. We still need more renewable energy, but restoring the earth's ability to sequester carbon is a good place to start. And you'll do it while eating."
-Maria Rodale, Organic Manifesto: How Organic Farming Can Heal Our Planet, Feed the World, and Keep Us Safe
As you look around at the environmental crisis enveloping our planet, do you ever stop and think, "What can I do?" In Organic Manifesto, Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale and granddaughter of the man who started the modern-day organic food movement, answers that question firmly: Buy organic food.
Alert of the Week
Agriculture & Climate Change: The Recipe for Survival Is to Ban Factory Farms and Go Organic
Energy and chemical-intensive industrial food and farming are responsible for 35-55% of the world's greenhouse gas emissions. According to many analysts, GMO grains and the factory-farmed livestock sector are major contributors to our climate crisis. (This includes the emissions from animals and their waste, as well as agriculture and biofuels-related deforestation, industrial inputs used to produce feed, and the processing and transportation of food products made from animals.)
A shift to local and organic food and crop production would eliminate most fossil fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, including deadly methane and nitrous oxide emissions, while saving the world's forests and turning our farm and ranch lands back into carbon sinks or storage areas, instead of emitters. Transitioning just the world's 3.5 billion acres of cropland to organic would sequester 40% of annual emissions! Transitioning all range and pasture lands as well, along with global reforestation, would enable us to remove enough excess greenhouse gases to reverse global warming and stabilize the climate.
While Congress's so-called "cap and trade" climate change legislation pays lip service to organic practices and certification, it fails to prioritize energy-efficient and carbon-sequestering organic practices over false solutions like Monsanto's "GMO no-till" and industrial biofuels derived from GMO and monoculture corn, soybeans, sugar cane, and palm oil. And, in this pro-Wall Street, pro-corporate agribusiness bill, industrial agriculture and forestry sectors' growing greenhouse gas emissions would be exempt from caps on pollution.
Tell Congress to wake up and acknowledge the links between our out-of-control crop and food production and climate change. Industrial agriculture is causing climate change. Organic farming and ranching could reverse climate change. But if we don't stop relying on false solutions like industrial biofuels and GMO crops and make the switch to organics quickly, climate change will likely lead to massive crop failures, starvation, and endless war.
CAP & TRADE ALERT: Tell Congress to cap industrial agriculture emissions and credit certified organic farms
VIDEO ALERT (Ripe for Revolution: The Organic Solution) - Tell Congress: Organic Is the Answer to Climate Change
VIDEO ALERT (The Story of Cap & Trade) - Tell Congress: Scrap Cap & Trade! Let the EPA Do Its Job!
Haiti Alert Update
Seeds, Democracy, and Farmers Under Siege
Over 10,000 OCA members have contacted President Obama and USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah, urging them to support organic agriculture and food sovereignty. Many OCA members also donated to the Seeds for Haiti project. You can find more information about Organic Consumers Association's Millions Against Monsanto Campaign here.
1) Monsanto's fungicide treated seeds. Though Monsanto is the largest producer of Genetically Engineered seed in the world, Haiti will be receiving hybrid seeds treated with toxic fungicide. Monsanto's donated seeds are coated in Maxim XO and thiram. Thiram is a suspected endocrine disruptor, as well as a developmental and reproductive toxin.
2) The problem with hybrid seeds. Monsanto is donating hybrid seed that have been artificially bred to improve yield. However, hybrid seeds, unlike open pollinated or heirloom seeds, cannot be saved from harvest to harvest. Hybrid seeds are bred to be heavily dependent on irrigated water and other destructive agriculture inputs, like synthetic fertilizers and chemical pesticides, to produce.
3) Whither Haiti's Democracy? Monsanto has successfully infiltrated the Obama Administration, spent millions of dollars lobbying elected officials, and bribed foreign governments. Allowing Monsanto a foothold in Haiti's food system will seriously threaten Haiti's recovery and democracy.
4) Haitian Farmers, the next Percy Schmeisers? Over the last decade, Monsanto has threatened and sued hundreds of farmers in the United States and Canada for the "crime" of saving Monsanto's patented seeds. Monsanto's tactics have bankrupted hundreds of farmers and terrorized farmers into using Monsanto's patented seeds, so as not to be sued.
5) Haiti needs real support for food security! Rebuilding Haiti's food system will be a long and complex process. Transportation infrastructure, local markets and direct support for family-scale farmers are key ingredients for rebuilding a vibrant and sustainable food system. The USAID's focus on pushing Monsanto's hybrid seed ignores the demands of Haitian farmers and represents the US government's continued promotion of Monsanto and corporate agriculture.
Take action in solidarity with Haitian farmers by contacting President Obama and USAID administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah and urging them to organic agriculture and food sovereignty.
End the Travel Ban on Cuba - Contact Your Representative Today!
Since 1990, Cuba has carried out the world's most comprehensive and successful organic food and farming revolution, including the ongoing cultivation of tens of thousands of organic urban gardens and farms. H.R. 4645, the most recent version of the "Freedom to Travel to Cuba" Bill, will be voted on in the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, the week of June 1, 2010.
OCA Needs Your Help to Fight Monsanto and Spread the Organic Revolution
OCA and our growing network of organic consumers and farmers understand that we have a positive life-affirming solution for the global food, health, and climate crisis: organic food, farming, and ranching. But to fight Monsanto and Food Inc. and get out our all-important message we need your support. Please send us a tax-deductible donation today and we'll send you a free "Millions Against Monsanto" bumper sticker so you can help spread the word in your community.
Note: please put "Monsanto Bumper Sticker" in the comment field to receive yours. Thanks!
Monsanto and the Deadly Threat of GMO Biofuels, Geoengineering, and Climate Change Frankencrops
One of the most deadly threats to our already destabilized climate is the Monsanto corporation. Not only do Monsanto's GMO and hybrid seeds demand massive amounts of petroleum-based pesticides and chemical fertilizers; not only are millions of acres of Monsanto's crops being planted on clear-cut rainforests and denuded prairie lands and savannahs; not only are Monsanto's corn and soy beans the feedstocks for the multi-billion dollar industrial biofuels sector that uses up far more fossil fuels than it saves; not only are Monsanto's Frankenfeeds the grub of choice for factory farm livestock; but, in addition, Monsanto's propaganda machine is working 24/7 to mislead the public and tell us not to worry about climate change. One of the most crazed solutions to climate change is the so-called technology of Geoengineering. The message of the Geoengineering elite is simple: Don't worry. Trust us. Companies like Monsanto will give us fast-growing genetically engineered trees to replace the ones we've already whacked down. GE fish farms will replace the fish and marine life in the dying oceans. Genetically engineered livestock won't belch and fart so much methane gas. And hell, even if the climate and growing season never get back to normal, Monsanto et al. will deliver us drought and flood-resistant seed Frankencrops so we won't all starve. OCA's advice: don't hold your breath for Monsanto and the other Geoengineers to save us.
For an overview on Geoengineering as a false solution to the climate crisis see: handsoffmotherearth.org
Video of the Week
Fair World Project, The Dark Side of Chocolate
In advance of World Day against Child Labor on June 12, OCA's Fair World Project is joining the International Labor Rights Forum in Washington, DC for a special screening of the new documentary The Dark Side of Chocolate.
Shot in Mali, the Ivory Coast, Geneva and Vevey, Switzerland, Miki Mistrati and Robin Romano launch a behind-the-scenes investigation into the allegations of child labor and the trafficking of children in the international chocolate industry.
Gulf Oil Spill Disaster and Iraq/Afghanistan Wars in Perspective: America's Voracious Oil Addiction
Why You Should Switch Your Whole Diet Over to Organic
State Plastic Bag Ban Gaining Support
Consumer Alert: Beware of Pesticide Contamination of Non-Organic Foods
U.S. Culture of Greed is Threat to World
LOCAL [[State]] NEWS OF THE WEEK
[[State]] - Get Involved Locally
- Learn more about OCA related action alerts and other news in [[State]] here.
- Join [[State]] discussion groups in our forum.
- Post events in [[State]] on our community calendar.
Message from our Sponsors
Eden Foods Offers OCA Customers 15% Discount
Eden Foods is one of the few national organic food producers who goes beyond the USDA Organic Standards. Although Eden Foods is USDA certified, their products do not bear the USDA seal, because they say the USDA standard really represents a "minimum standard" that Eden Foods goes far beyond.
As a subscriber to Organic Bytes, you can enjoy a 15% discount rate on any Eden Foods products by going here.