(article by Daisy Luther)
Monsanto seems intent on taking over the food supply of the entire world. Their sterile, toxic seeds are in every corner of the globe. Hungary recently made headlines for burning 1000 acres of fields of GMO crops to the ground. Dozens of nations have banned, or at the very least, regulated, GMO crops and products. The heat is on the monolithic seed corporation, and it’s time to turn the temperature up even more in North America. The federal government has made no secret of their support of Monsanto, so it’s up to us, the consumers, to starve them out.
The best way to do that, according to the founder of Eat Local Grown, Rick Davis, is to “Starve Monsanto, feed a farmer.”
Every dollar we put into the pockets of small farmers is a dollar that Monsanto doesn’t receive. By cutting off the funding for Monsanto through consumer choices, we can starve this beast out.
Davis is passionate about the place of farmer’s markets in this checkout counter revolution:
Money is all that matters. So let’s use our money more wisely to get the changes we want. First step- stop buying GMO and conventionally grown food. Move those dollars to supporting local sustainable farmers!
I realize that’s difficult and impossible for many. But if we had a shift of just 10% of peoples shopping income going to Farmers Markets it would make a HUGE difference. The sad reality is that most small family farms are required to have at least one family member work outside of the farm just to make ends meet. It’s not because they don’t do a good job growing healthy food, it’s because there’s just not enough awareness of the benefits (nutrition, helping the environment, building community, etc).
Every bite of food that you feed your family is a vote, either for Monsanto and their GMOs, or against them. This means that every single one of us can effect the necessary change by voting with our forks and wallets.
We can all take steps to grow at least some of the food that we consume, through traditional gardens, containers on the patio or balcony, or even a sunny window. But for city dwellers or those who live in an area otherwise not conducive to farming, it isn’t feasible to think that they can grow every single bite that they eat. Not to worry, though, because activism is as easy as heading to your local farmer’s market instead of the grocery store. (You can find farmer’s markets in your area HERE.)
Here are 10 ways to starve a multi-national GMO conglomerate even when you don’t have room to farm – and the best news of all is that ANYONE can get started as soon as lunch time!
1. Stop shopping at grocery stores. With farmer’s markets, roadside stands in the country, vegetable gardens,privately owned butcher shops, and mail order sources for bulk purchases of organic grains, there is no reason you need to ever set foot in another chilly, fluorescent-lit, chemical warfare zone again!
2. Eat seasonally. Seasonal eating has a host of benefits. It’s healthier, it’s cheaper, and it’s far easier to find in-season foods locally grown.
3. Join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. Basically when you join a CSA, you are buying shares in the harvest. This is a great way to support local farmers. You pay in advance and then as the harvest comes in, it is divided among shareholders. Each CSA is different – some divvy up only produce, while others share eggs and dairy products as well.
4. Make the farmer’s market a weekly destination. Grab the kids and some reusable bags and head out to your local farmer’s market. Not only can you shop for vibrant, fresh-picked fruits and veggies, but many markets also offer home-baked goods, jams and jellies, and local meats. Be sure that you are buying directly from farmers, though. Some vendors buy from the same markets that the grocery stores do, which defeats the whole purpose. Talk to the vendor and learn about the origin of the offerings – you just may strike up a wonderful friendship!
5. Buy directly from the farm. If you live in a more rural area, shopping locally can be as easy as visiting a neighboring farm. Some set up roadside stands, others rely on the honor system, and others have small shops with their freshly harvested offerings.
6. Visit a pick-your-own farm. A great outing for the whole family is a pick-your-own farm. Even better, the price for fresh berries or apples is often lower when you provide your own labor. A morning spent in the field picking strawberries is both educational and a fun way to bond with your children. You can find a PYO farm in your area HERE.
7. Learn to preserve food. Many of us live in a climate doesn’t allow for fresh harvests year-round. The good news is, you can acquire fresh produce in large quantities (like bushel baskets) for a far better price than a weekly supply. Canning, freezing, and dehydrating are three great ways to preserve that fresh picked goodness to enjoy in the middle of winter, while still avoiding the grocery store and it’s Monsanto-filled shelves.
8. Join a food co-0p. According to Localharvest.org, “Food cooperatives are worker or customer owned businesses that provide grocery items of the highest quality and best value to their members. Coops can take the shape of retail stores or buying clubs. All food coops are committed to consumer education, product quality, and member control, and usually support their local communities by selling produce grown locally by family farms.” Food co-ops can be found HERE and HERE.
9. Support restaurants that buy locally. The locavore movement is catching on. If you choose to go out to dinner, opt for restaurants that have seasonal menus based on local harvests. You can find a list of such eateries HERE.
10. Educate friends, family, and the local community. Extend the activism beyond your own kitchen by helping to promote the local options. Lots of people have no idea what to do with swiss chard or rutabagas. Volunteer to teach a cooking class that focuses on seasonal foods. Write up flyers to be inserted with co-op or CSA baskets with instructions on how to prepare that months’ harvest. Submit seasonal recipes to your local paper. Educate, educate, educate, on the benefits and importance of locally grown, non-GMO food.
Grass roots activism like Occupy Monsanto and the March Against Monsanto have built a tidal wave of momentum against the genetically modified ingredients contaminating our supplies. We, everyday, ordinary people, can keep the movement going by remembering that the real votes are counted at the cash register.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org