Monday, January 31, 2011

GE Alfalfa, What does it mean for the Future of Our Food System?

Paris Hilton Goes to Jail!

Lindsay Lohan Goes to Jail! Rehab. Jail! Rehab.

Britney Spears Shaves her head!

Ok, now that I have your attention GE Alfalfa is about to be deregulated!
Don't stop reading!
Trust me this is more important than who's dating who this week. I'm talking about your food here, folks! The fuel that keeps us going! Shouldn't that be on 24 hour coverage on the cable news networks? Or at least mentioned in the evening news right before the dramatic "STORM WATCH" comes on telling you tomorrow will be a sunny day.

I'm going to step up on my soapbox now just to make sure you hear me in the back, this is important information.

Let's start with the "What is GE Alfalfa?" Also known as "RoundUp Ready Alfalfa" it is a seed with Monsanto's herbicide "RoundUp Ready" mixed with a sterile alfalfa seed from Forage Genetics (the same folks who own Land O' Lakes). The "magic" seed allows farmers to spray the herbicide on the weeds without harming their crop. This is the same RoundUp that made headlines last summer for creating Superweeds that the farmers have no way to combat in their fields except with more toxic herbicides and more manual labor, something that Roundup was supposed to prevent. The seed is sterile, can't be cleaned for the next year, which results in the farmers going back to Monsanto year after year for seeds. ($Cha-ching$). Ok, I hear you, "but I just won't eat Alfalfa", right? WRONG. This isn't the alfalfa you will see in the grocery store this is the alfalfa that is grown for hay for cows (dairy and meat), used in medicines for kidney, bladder, and prostate conditions, artheritis, balding. So you're a holisitic vegan? Doesn't matter, there are no guarentees of cross contamination- it has been DEREGULATED!- which means no food will no longer be guaranteed to be organic.

"Organic". I am going to use this term throughout this post for clarity, but "organic" is a government word. (One hundred years ago it was called "food") Organic has been the label the government came up with to tell you your food has been grown/raised in conditions without herbicides/hormones. Funny that you have "milk" and "organic milk", wouldn't you think it would be "hormone milk" and "milk". "Tomato" and "organic tomato" vs "geneticaly modified tomato" and "tomato". There is something very backwards there that the clean food has to be labeled, but the genetically changed food gets the simplier term.

With this deregulation of GE Alfalfa there are no rules in place, it can blow to where the wind takes it. Scary right?  That organic field a few miles away from a GE Alfalfa on a windy day is no longer organic. So what about those who don't want to eat frankenfoods? Well, it'll be like honey, no longer can be guaranteed organic. Did you know there is only one place on Earth that can even, maybe, kinda, be said to have organic honey? An 88,000 acre farm in Argentina and even THEY can't guarantee honey. No wonder the bees are disappearing. What are we doing to our food system!? When did we get so lazy that we decided it was ok to destroy the food system of "organic" food instead of go out and pull a few weeds or have an imperfect tomato?

These GM farmers keep claiming that the world is overpopulated and we have to keep up to feed them all, well grab some of those people and have them go pull the weeds in your field! Oh, right, that's money out of their pocket.

So OCA had a mouthful to say the other day after Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack made this deregulation call. They called out 3 companies who have been fighting the fight against GMOs. The 3, Whole Foods, Stonyfield Organics, Organic Valley, fired back. It's an interesting read...go ahead, I have a minute.

So now what? We just sit back and say goodbye to "organic" food as we know it? Heck no! We're America! We can fight this (yes, I am ignoring all influence GMO companies have in government). We can make a stand. We can write our President, we can write to Tom Vilsack. We need to start taking more of an interest in what's on our plate. You can vote with your dollar, avoid those GMO foods, buy organic, while you still can. Educate yourselves about the food we are eating and then tell one friend, tell another, keep the chain going. These companies want to make money, if we stop buying their "food" they will change.

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