The Fight for Food: Who’s Got the Right?

By Susan Lutz

We change all the time. We adapt and learn to survive in new ways. When it comes to food, we fight for the right to know what’s in it, eat organic, and buy local. Often these steps all seem logical. We must continue to move forward and build a better food-making machine.

Enter the GMO. Are they good for us? Bad for us? Huge corporations say they are not only fine but needed. How can GMOs be good for us? While sipping my organic, fair trade coffee one morning I saw a report on CBS Sunday Morning about GMOs, examining both sides. I have to admit, after seeing the papaya grower’s woes about a bug that wiped out all of their crops, I could understand why the farmer chose to use GMO seeds to grow a new papaya that was bug-resistant. Both sides gave logical reasons as to why we should allow or ban GMOs.

It’s easy to say something is “all bad”. McDonald’s, for example, encompasses many things I deplore. Yet, I’ve eaten there. I took my kids to the indoor play areas when I lived in a country that either didn’t have parks for kids or had parks that were too dangerous to play in. Did I understand that I was being “sold” a brand in hopes that not only I but also my children would remember those golden arches for a lifetime? Yes. (My son still points to any McDonald’s we pass and asks to play there years after he’s been in one.)

Both sides have a point. The organizations that are against the corporations developing GMOs are passionate about stopping their use. To date, about 19 European countries have banned GMOs. But what about that farmer and those dead papaya trees? He’s now farming again, profitable again. Would that happen with non-GMO techniques? Perhaps that’s the bigger question. Much research and development goes into the creation of GMOs, helping to solve difficult problems for farmers. But could there be another way?

The world moves so fast. Rather than understand all of the ramifications of choice, we sometimes move in a direction that can be narrow-minded, one that doesn’t look at the big picture. What if we had found ways to destroy bugs with other bugs? I see reports of farmers finding ways to tend crops with organic solutions. Climate change is a response to our decisions and the impact those choices place on the environment. The decision to buy fair trade coffee or not impacts the people who pick it and the communities they live in. Our decisions- the paths we choose in our oil drilling, animal breeding, crop growing, and automobile design, to name a few, lead us to where we are today.

GMOs are creeping into our crops, in such a way that soon it will be hard to find foods, especially processed foods, that are GMO-free. I know that we eat some GMO foods, even though I read my labels religiously, and when we do, I let it go because I know that we are in a process, one that will teach us to make it back to middle ground.

 

 

Organic Humor: Videos to Check Out, Share, and Enjoy

By Susan Lutz

The food wars rage on. Good things are happening. We as consumers are getting savvy about what’s in our food and the path it takes to get to our table. Here is a quick look at some of the funny, poignant, and entertaining clips I love. Humor gets the point across like no other. As Mark Twain said, “Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand.”

The more we share these clever ideas, the more it will reach an audience, open a door, and perhaps, start a conversation and a new way of thinking.

Cuke Vador? Ham Solo? My kids love this video and it makes me chuckle every time I see it. The Grocery Store Wars is perfectly timed to circulate again with the new (and old) audiences o Star Wars. The props are funny; the lines are cheeky and clever.

This video captures the ridiculous concept of marketing and the power of the written word. Every time I shop, I laugh and gasp at corporations’ claims that their product is “all natural.” After reading the ingredient list, there’s nothing natural about the preservatives, the dyes, and unpronounceable things that start with “p.” I giggle at the amazing pull of advertising and marketing to make us all feel better about paying for close-enough to organic products. Great script. Hilarious.

This video is clever. The satire is on the mark. Simply and with razor-sharp wit, it questions why we had to mess with nature at all. Guess the job just wasn’t up to Monsanto’s standard.

Genetic Scientists Develop Sheep With Brain Of A Goat – The Onion published this short clip showing the overall ridiculous world of altering life on the planet. I realized that I smiled from beginning to end.

Climate Change Deniers Anthem: Beau Bridges plays the Koch brothers; the singers gather to offer up an anthem, We are the World style, that we’re just fine. The climate’s not changing – polar bears are fine; Al Gore’s a liar; and the earth’s temperatures are not rising. We’re fine!

When something’s funny, it hits a chord. The power of video can spread consciousness in a way that isn’t so preachy. Humor may save us all, as nothing can stand against the wave of its assault. Watch and see.

 

 

 

 

COP21

michael-charles-tobias-the-many-shades-of-green

“Between its celebrations of privilege, and the angst of its reckonings, human life gathers unto itself a chaos of contradictions… If we are ceaseless tamperers, we are also from time to time unobtrusive, Though we shout, so may we whisper.” (Michael Charles Tobias, quote from his work, After Eden: History, Ecology and Conscience) My guest this week is Michael C. Tobias, President of Dancing Star Foundation, who is a global ecologist, humanitarian, explorer, author, filmmaker, educator and animal rights activist. 195 nations are set to converge in Paris, a city recently struck by incomprehensible acts of terrorism, for the COP 21 (Conference of Parties), with the hopes of reaching an agreement to to set limits on carbon emissions to reduce the detrimental effects of global warming. Rich and poor nations must gather to form partnerships to be agents of change, rather than agents of destruction. Negative ideology has to be redirected, and ethics, compassion and morality, along with science and technology must lead the way to solutions. For more information go to www.dancingstarfoundation.org

#1534: The End of Plenty

bourneCan we feed the world without wrecking it? Are we farming ourselves out of food? My guest, Joel K. Bourne Jr. and I delve into those questions on this week’s show. Joel’s new book, THE END OF PLENTY: The Race to Feed a Crowded World, discusses the world food crisis, as it relates to population increase and environmental concerns. Farm land is becoming decimated, as water shortages are spreading globally, thus reducing growth of crops needed to feed the populace. Political unrest and revolutions have occurred in various hot spots around the world, as wheat crops have failed, which has lead to tightening grain supplies. Lives are lost as fights break out over bread. Will 3D printing of food save us? Probably not, but there is hope, as farmers are using innovations in food irrigation, as well as conservation methods to solve some of the problems. A new land ethic must be put into place to feed the world. For more information go to joelkbournejr.com and amazon.com for his book, THE END OF PLENTY.

#1525: The End of Plenty by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1333: Any Fish You Wish?

Noah-Bressman-2In the 1984 film Flamingo Kid, Matt Dillon’s character Jeffrey Willis, dines with his family at Larry’s Fish House, where the slogan is “Any Fish You Wish”. Cut to the summer of 2015, and my guest Noah Bressman, who is a budding marine biologist at Cornell University, has a big wish. That wish is to encourage more sustainable fishing practices on both the industry side and the sporting side. Fisherman should catch and release fish not caught for food. Regulations should be enforced to ensure more sustainable fisheries and fishing practices. Find out what mummichogs are, and how Noah’s research on that ‘intertidal killfish’ was featured on the Discovery Canada Show, The Daily Planet. Learn about what the signs at your local grocery fish counters mean when they say “all natural”, “wild caught” or “certified sustainable”. Noah is making great strides in his research, and he will continue to do great things in years to come. For more information visit Noah’s Facebook Page: Noah and Carl Fish.

#1533: Any Fish You Wish by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1531: A Modern Day Johnny Appleseed

Samuel-Robinson-ed-1Almost born on the Brooklyn Bridge, salvaged in Manhattan, and raised on the Brooklyn side. Sounds like a punk rocker was born, but it was the life beginning of this week’s guest, Samuel Robinson. Sam is a Green Living Consultant, Horticulturalist, Sculptor and blogger. He is the modern day Johnny Appleseed, as he cruises around the streets of NYC in his 1961 Willys Farm Jeep, distributing plant seeds and spreading the green message across the urban landscape. Sam is working on bio-remediation projects to help clean the water in the Gownaus Canal, which has turned into a toxic brew over the last several decades. We all need to take action and let our elected officials know that green spaces and clean waterways will improve the quality of life in the city, and legislation is needed to do that. If Paris can go green, NYC can go green. For more information go to greenwoodrobinson.com

#1531: A Modern Day Johnny Appleseed by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

DARK Act Passes Congress: Act Now to Defeat It

By Susan Lutz

The Right-Not-To-Know gained ground in congress in another attempt to keep information hidden and corporate operations thriving. If you want to know what’s in your food, take the time now to contact your Senator to repeal the DARK Act.

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the upcoming vote in the House:

The bill, dubbed The Dark Act: Deny Americans the Right to Know, #stopDARKact, is spun by supporters to look as though it is legislation supporting transparency, but according to a recent House Agriculture Committee on Biotech Labeling Laws with Just Label It chairman, Gary Hishberg, it’s an anti-labeling push to keep the consumer out of the labeling process. A proposed amendment, mandating GMO labeling is being backed by anti GMO groups.

Humor helps break down topics. Laughter relieves tension and lets the commentary get to the truth. To better understand the issues, here is a clip from Bill Maher who “labeled” the issue perfectly and asked if we wanted a legislation that was “the freedom from information act?”

The Organic Consumers Association is encouraging citizens to truly understand what is happening:

Now that the DARK Act has been approved by the House, we’ll have to stop it in the Senate. We have to move fast—because Monsanto is desperate to pass a bill that preempts mandatory GMO labeling laws at the state and federal levels, before Vermont’s GMO labeling law takes effect next year.

This legislation hides the ultimate goal of furthering interests of a larger, corporate interest. When meat is in clear, pretty cellophane packages and the only thing you see on the label is the price, it’ll be too late to ask: Where did the beef come from? And what’s in it?

Take action now. Contact your Senators. Share. Let others know.

#‎LabelGMOs #‎GMO #‎Food #‎Ag #‎RightToKnow