Friday, May 31, 2013

Hello there, sorry I have been gone for so long, but as my birthday is approaching, it is time for a new year for me personally and my resolution is to be better at posting. I have moved the program after a lovely sojourn with KCAA to and will be posting show concepts on Facebook, Twitter, here on the blog. Lots happening is the short version, when it comes to the world of Real Food, and I want to share with you all what is going on in my world in response to the challenges we face. But not all will be serious. The think I love about the Food Movement is that it incorporates all aspects of living on earth, the environment, social justice, culture, health, the economy and bundles it all up in a delicious way which makes all those serious issues more, well, palatable. We will be having programs on health, cooking, politics, farming, producing and celebration. A real stone soup show if you will.

I just returned from the Slow Food USA leadership conference in New Orleans. Wow is the short definition version of my experience, I hope to blog and do programs on what transpired during the lovely May Days in NOLA. But we seem to be embroiled (accidental pun) now in what is hard not to view as the biggest food fight in the history of humanity. What is this about? Well, the two things really heating up the ante are GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms) and Fracking (Blowing up underground gas deposits with chemicals and water to loosen them for extraction) Somehow, altering the genetic pool of food sources making them sterile franchises, and destroying farmland isn't as important as reality tv shows about bored housewives or adulterous Armenians. 

On June First, the program will feature Claire Robinson from Earth Open Source, a research and educational foundation in the UK dedicated to food security. Earth Open Source published a landmark study called GMO myths and truths which is free to download. The study was actually put together in preparation for California's failed GMO label initiative for the 2012 election, they wanted to have a publication available for activists to refer to for debates and such. I always knew it was bad, but wow, it is amazing to have this issue laid out in terms of what the research says. Last year I attended a forum on the science and technology in agriculture. One of the moderators, whom I found ever so irritating in general, stated in astonishment that he could not believe how his friends who are thoughtful educated and reasonable people were so upset about GMO's. I asked him, well, maybe it is because they are educated, thoughtful and reasonable that they do not want to eat GMO's in the first place. Why is it that when citizens are against things like pollution and death, we are told we really do not know anything about sanity?

At the conference in NOLA, I had the honor of sitting next to Serena Milano, coordinator for the Slow Food International Foundation for Biodiversity. She is from Bra, Italy and we had a lovely conversation regarding the failure of Prop 37. She diplomatically said that they (Europeans) could not understand how Prop 37 failed. I laughed, "You Europeans always say that, like how can this be? When it comes to anything rational and American political discourse." She raised her eyebrows, and there was a knowing look, like well, at least you get it.

I had several conversation with Claire Robinson leading up to our interview (which is in podcast form, you can listen anytime and pass it on, certainly.) I commented that I really wanted her to talk, because the British just sound better in these instances. She of course did not jump to contradict me. What kept coming up for me in the interview was how rational, how logical all of the arguments were given. There was no emotional bunker paranoia tone I often hear in many of the street activists regarding GMO's. It was pure and simple actually, the goal of GMO's is to own the global food supply. All of the so called benefits are mainly lies and proven by basic research. The report has over 600 citations, but who's counting. Remember, the FDA and USDA tell us GMO's are safe, there is no evidence they are different than non GMO foods, or harmful to animal or human health. In Genetic Roulette by Jefrey Smith, he cites a study where mice fed GMO corn had their testicles turn blue. I have never heard of any fetish that would embrace that, and I am sure it was more than a nuisance to the poor mice. 

Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled unanimously on Monday that farmers could not use Monsanto’s patented genetically altered soybeans to create new seeds without paying the company a fee. Get it, they are feeding and saving the world by bankrupting small farmers. In the case of Bowman v Monsanto, Bowman did not know he had bought the seeds in the first place and was fined by doing what all farmers have done since the beginning of time. And we are supposed to but the line that Monsanto is working on our behalf to "feed the world?" President Barack Obama signed H.R. 933, which contained the Monsanto Protection Act into law. Sigh, it is basically an amendment that nullifies any states law that requires labeling or research. There are attempts to stop this rape of our democratic process in the works, hopefully we can get them into the Farm Bill.

Senate Amendment SA 978 (introduced by Senator Merkley, D-Oregon) would repeal the Monsanto Protection Act, which is currently a 6-month 'rider' provision that slipped into the Continuing Resolution spending bill passed in March. The Monstanto Protection Act strips federal courts of the authority to halt sale or planting of GMO seed by Monsanto and other companies that have not been adequately reviewed for their environmental and economic impacts. This Amendment would strike that 6-month provision, sort of a big fly swatter and a "take that" you bad, bad multinational who is trying to steal our food supply. What is amazing is that I learned about this by watching the Daily Show with John Stewart, that was the only media attention this got outside of GMO activist blogs. 

SA 1025 (Senator Boxer, D-California) is a "Sense of the Senate" statement that states that the US should join with 64 other nations that give their consumers the right to know if there are GMO ingredients in their food. It is a non-binding statement only. But we will take what we can get, seeing that the GOP voted down recognizing the rights of handicapped individuals around the world in from of Senator Bob Dole in a wheel chair, I am not holding my breath. 

SA 1026 (Senator Boxer, D-California) would call for the FDA to submit a report to Congress on the methods of labeling GMO food in nations that require such labeling, and the probable impacts of having differing State labeling laws in the absence of a Federal labeling standard with respect to GMO food. What is so interesting is that the discovery of GMO wheat in Oregon last week has halted US wheat exports to Japan, one of our largest importers of food stuffs. Who knew the "market forces" the GOP is slobbering over would actually force their beloved multinationals to stick three little letters on the label. You'd think they would jump at the chance to get free publicity for their world saving products?

So, listen to the program at and let me know what you think!

Till next time, I hope all your meals are locally grown, hand made and delicious (Oh and yes, no roundup pesticide genes put in it by a multinational either)