Why I’m Joining the March

May 22, 2014 by

The March Against Monsanto, a peaceful demonstration, will be held in my city this Saturday, May 24, from 2 - 6 at our City Hall. I'll be there this year just like last year. I probably won't make a sign, but I'll be there to listen to the speeches, to learn from other demonstrators, to marvel at their diversity, to chant and walk a route downtown. The weather forecast says it'll be 95 degrees with barely a cloud in the sky. There's very little shade at City Hall. Who in their right mind would sign up for that?

GMO Foods

There will be a lot of talk about GMO foods. GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism; these are Genetically Engineered (GE) foods, not hybridized ones like we've had in our food supply since farmers realized they could cross two varieties and come up with a better one. GMOs result when the genes of one organism are inserted into the genes of another, resulting in a new, unique organism that would never have been produced by nature. They are pervasive in our food system. They are fed to our livestock (which then feed us), they are in products in our grocery stores, and they're in the produce departments too. But they don't look funny and they aren't labeled as GMO, so if you want to avoid them, it's not easy.

Some Pros and Cons

There are experts who claim that GMOs are the answer to feeding the world's growing population because they have higher yields, are more drought or salt tolerant, and are hardier. There are experts who say that GMOs pose a huge health threat because they've been inadequately tested, and that because some GMOs are created for the sole purpose of being herbicide resistant, we're getting much more chemical residue in our food. Many countries around the world have banned growing GMO crops and/or will not allow them to be imported. There has to be a good reason for this.

What Worries Me

I'm concerned that the public has to fight to even know whether GMOs are in our food. That's ridiculous.

I'm concerned that the companies that create and sell these seeds also create and control monopolies, and that goes against every bit of my free-enterprise-loving American soul.

But mostly I'm concerned about the quality of the food available to us. Within the last 100 years we've seen the introduction of chemical additives that preserve, color, flavor and change the texture of our foods. Our soils, from which our plants get their nutrients, have been stripped of those nutrients by over-farming. Now we rely on chemical fertilizers (petroleum-based) which contain some, but not all of the nutrients the plants need. If the plants aren't getting it, then we're not getting it either. We prepare foods using methods that didn't exist, and we store them in materials that didn't exist just a few years ago. Lots has changed in our foods. Not a lot has changed in our bodies. Except that a whole lot more of us are sick these days.

I'm No Expert

I don't claim to be an expert on the topic. I'm not a scientist. But I have read a lot, I have seen a few documentaries, I have talked with experts who do know a lot more than I do. And I know I'd rather not eat GMO food if I have a choice. I don't believe GMOs are the whole problem - they're just one piece of the puzzle of why we're in the mess we're in. And if you think we're not in a mess, just look around. Listen to your friends as they talk about their kids' health and/or behavior problems. Listen to your coworkers as they talk about how many meds they're on. If it is true that we are what we eat, the evidence is all around us that something is terribly wrong.

I March Because...

I'll march because I oppose corporate monopolies, especially when it comes to our nation's food supply. I march because I want food that is as nature intended it. I march because I'm worried, really worried about the health of our nation. And I march because on Saturday I will be surrounded by people of all ages, races, ethnicities, and occupations who are just as concerned as I am. And that makes me happy.

Learn More

March Against Monsanto is a global event. To find an event in your area, go to http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/p/blog-page_5.html

This article lists countries with bans on GMOs.