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Dumping GMOs, Xtremes, Carbon Nation
#275, May 6, 2011
In this issue:
Quote of the Week
Why Being a Foodie Isn't "Elitist"
"America's current system of food production - overly centralized and industrialized, overly controlled by a handful of companies, overly reliant on monocultures, pesticides, chemical fertilizers, chemical additives, genetically modified organisms, factory farms, government subsidies and fossil fuels - is profoundly undemocratic. It is one more sign of how the few now rule the many. And it's inflicting tremendous harm on American farmers, workers and consumers."
- Eric Schlosser, "Why Being a Foodie Isn't 'Elitist'," May 1, 2011, The Washington Post
Millions Against Monsanto Fundraising Appeal
Three hundred thousand have already signed up as participants and supporters in our Millions Against Monsanto Truth-in-Labeling Campaign. But we need money to print leaflets, to buy educational videos, to print up T-shirts and bumper stickers, and to pay our campaign staff. As you know, GMOs, Factory Farms, and deceptively labeled consumer products pose a mortal threat to public health, climate stability, and all living things. As we speak, organic crops are being contaminated with Monsanto's GMOs. We need your financial contributions to educate and mobilize consumers, to protect and maintain strict organic standards, and to pressure the entire food industry, including natural food stores and co-ops, to adopt Truth-in-Labeling practices.
Essay OF THE WEEK
The Xtremes by Ronnie Cummins
"Minor political reforms and corporate 'greenwashing' at this stage of history are too little, too late. The lesser of indentured evils in the White House is not going to save us. Increased market share for organic, green, and Fair Trade products will amount to little or nothing in the closing era of the Xtremes. What we need is a bold determination to carry out regime change and build a new green and egalitarian society, inside the deteriorating infrastructure of the old."
Alerts of the Week
Get Monsanto Out of Trader Joe's & Whole Foods Market!
Trader Joe's is 80% GMO-free. All of their store-brand products are sourced from non-genetically modified ingredients, and Trader-Joe's-brand products are 80% of what they carry.
But Trader Joe's definitely sells foods that contain GMO ingredients. For example, Trader Joe's sells products by:
* Morningstar Farms, which admits that all but one of their products (the Breakfast Patties Made with Organic Soy) contain genetically modified organisms.
* Tofutti, which uses non-GMO soy protein, but admits that other ingredients, like the partially hydrogenated (trans fat) soybean oil in their Better Than Cream Cheese, are genetically modified.
Ask Trader Joe's to go from 80% to 100% GMO-free. In the meantime, demand that they respect consumers' right to know what's in our food by labeling any food that may contain ingredients made with genetically engineered organisms, including ingredients from animals raised on genetically engineered feed.
Likewise, Whole Foods Market claims to support mandatory GMO labels, but admits selling unlabeled foods made with genetically modified organisms.
Whole Foods & Trader Joe's both have non-GMO policies for their store-brand products, but the policy doesn't apply to the rest of the food they sell.
The Millions Against Monsanto campaign is stepping up our efforts to get Monsanto out of Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.
Click here for action ideas, including a video on GMO Food Dumps!
Alerts of the Week
No Sewage Sludge In "Organic" School Gardens!
Some of Hollywood's "green" celebrities - Rosario Dawson, Ed Begley, Jr., and a bevy of starlets - thought they were promoting organic school gardens for inner-city kids.
But the Environmental Media Association (EMA) teamed them up with a secretive corporation, Kellogg Garden Products, whose main business is selling Los Angeles sewage sludge!
That company calls its Kellogg brand "quality organics" and deceptively labels bags sold at the garden store as "garden soil" made from "compost" - with no mention of which products are made from industrial and human waste that contains tens of thousands of contaminants. That's why federal law bars the use of sewage sludge-based products in organic gardens.
So, when news broke that Kellogg Garden Products provided sewage sludge products to EMA's "organic" school gardens, and its spokesperson even posed with sewage sludge-derived products at the gardens, you'd think EMA and its stars would cut all ties to the sludge industry.
But you'd be wrong. Instead of denouncing the contamination of the kids' gardens and the corporation's effort to "greenwash" its brand through associating with stars devoted to organic produce, EMA is sticking with its corporate donor. So far.
Help OCA's ally, the Center for Media and Democracy, tell Hollywood it's not green to partner with a company that put sewage sludge on school gardens.
Tell Hollywood to Stop Greenwashing Sewage Sludge!
Millions Against Monsanto
See You in Chicago, Seattle & New York!
To gear up for the Millions Against Monsanto actions on World Food Day, October 16, 2011, we're hosting regional anti-GMO summits at each of the Green Festivals around the country:
Chicago May 14-15, 2011
Seattle May 21-22, 2011
New York October 1-2, 2011
We need volunteers in each city to host gatherings at their homes or community centers, to put up OCA staff and volunteers in their homes and to work in the Millions Against Monsanto booths.
To volunteer, please click here.
If you've already volunteered, thank you! Campaign Director Alexis Baden-Mayer will be contacting you shortly.
Millions Against Monsanto
Get Ready for World Food Day Actions 10/16/11
On Sunday, October 16, 2011, the Organic Consumers Association's Millions Against Monsanto campaign is calling for World Food Day actions to get genetically engineered organisms out of our food.
Get involved by joining your local Millions Against Monsanto chapter!
The goal is to have 435 actions, one in each U.S. Congressional District, and for each action to represent 2300 Millions Against Monsanto supporters.
435 x 2300 = 1,000,000 Against Monsanto
It would be great to have 2300 people participating in each event, but we can also demonstrate our numbers by delivering petitions signed by 2300 people in each Congressional District.
Anyone who can't attend an action on 10/16/11, can join the virtual rally by signing the Millions Against Monsanto petition.
Time to start planning! Here's how to get started.
Videos of the Week
Dumping GMOs: Guerrilla Theatre
OCA's Thalia Kazakos offers another great video on how and why anti-GMO activists should organize local activists and dump GMO-tainted products in front of natural food stores, especially industry leaders such as Whole Foods Market and Trader Joe's.
Carbon Nation is the logical next step after An Inconvenient Truth: We know there's a problem; now, how do we get everyone to do something about it?
Watch this and more of OCA's favorite videos on our YouTube Channel!
Join Us In Mexico for a Spring Sustainability Conference
Engineers without Borders, The Center for Appropriate Technology and Indigenous Sustainability- Mexico (CATIS-Mexico) and the Earth and Lime Institute are hosting a month-long spring workshop in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. The OCA's sister organization Via Orgánica has been invited to teach during the Small Scale Sustainable Farming week, June 20-24th, 2011. A solution-based course, this program teaches skills in small-scale organic food production for both urban and rural dwellers. Participants will have the opportunity to link practical skills in variety of locales, as well as analyze how overarching global issues like climate change and food scarcity can be confronted.
We are inviting our members to participate in this exciting course. Register by May 7th for the early bird special. Combine your spring vacation with an enlightening and authentic educational experience in the outskirts of beautiful San Miguel. Meet OCA Director Ronnie Cummins and the Vía Orgánica staff.
Will the Real Food Movement Please Stand Up?
A Closer Look at the USA Assassination of "Osama bin Laden"
Take the Pledge for Climate Protection
Some Developers are Starting to Incorporate a New Feature into Neighborhoods: A Food Supply
Coke, BPA, and the Limits of 'Green Capitalism'
Book of the Week
Help Us Build a Sustainable Future!
Our friends at Chelsea Green offer the latest books on sustainability, democracy, new science, and pathways to peace. Thanks to our new Affiliate Program, your online purchase supports the OCA!
This weeks featured book is: Food Not Lawns
Gardening can be a political act. Creativity, fulfillment, connection, revolution-it all begins when we get our hands in the dirt.
Food Not Lawns combines practical wisdom on ecological design and community-building with a fresh, green perspective on an age-old subject. Activist and urban gardener Heather Flores shares her nine-step permaculture design to help farmsteaders and city dwellers alike build fertile soil, promote biodiversity, and increase natural habitat in their own "paradise gardens."
But Food Not Lawns doesn't begin and end in the seed bed. This joyful permaculture lifestyle manual inspires readers to apply the principles of the paradise garden-simplicity, resourcefulness, creativity, mindfulness, and community-to all aspects of life. Plant "guerilla gardens" in barren intersections and medians; organize community meals; start a street theater troupe or host a local art swap; free your kitchen from refrigeration and enjoy truly fresh, nourishing foods from your own plot of land; work with children to create garden play spaces.
Flores cares passionately about the damaged state of our environment and the ills of our throwaway society. In Food Not Lawns, she shows us how to reclaim the earth one garden at a time.
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