Counterbalancing Monsanto - Fighting a GM Giant in 5 Easy Steps
On Saturday the 14th of May, much of the world gathered in an effort to ‘March Against Monsanto‘, the corporate biotech giant that prides itself as being the “feed the world” company. The aims of the protests were to highlight the darker sides of Monsanto, such as their use of toxic pesticides and genetically engineered seeds, their constant intimidation of small time family farmers, and even their role as a supplier of Agent Orange to the United States Government during the Vietnam war. A key objective of the protest was to call for a complete ban on Monsanto within the US, following similar actions by countries such as Germany, New Zealand, Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Hungary, Peru, South Australia, Russia, France and Switzerland.
The March against Monsanto may be over, but that’s no reason to forget the issues at hand. The real protest against this GM giant takes place everyday - in the home, and in the heart.
Here are five things we can all start doing right now that will go a long way to counterbalancing Monsanto:
1. Don’t be against, be for:
Being against something is draining. Protests promote the negative by their very definition. It’s no wonder that so many people revert back to a lifestyle that is contrary to the message that their ‘day of good deed’ intended to convey - who wants to run in the negative 24/7?
This article is not about a protest, it’s about a decision. The decision is simple, and will eventually manifest itself as a lifestyle. Ask yourself this - do you actually want to give another dollar of your hard earned money to a corporation that is poisoning the world?
This is a big question - Monsanto controls 80% of the GM corn market in the US, and 93% of soy. This choice will affect your buying habits for the rest of your life. But, if you decide that you are against spending even another dime on this corporate tyrant, then it’s imperative that you decide what you are for.
Being for is a positive, and positivity will enhance your life and that of those around you.
2.Be for organic
Start small. If you can’t afford to eat organic day in, day out, start smaller. Begin to incorporate organic foods into your regular shopping budget, learning as you go to become economical in your use of ingredients. Try buying in bulk to save money in the long run. Learn how to pickle fresh vegetables or freeze fruit for smoothies for future use. Create a Pinterest board of delicious three ingredient recipes where you can alternate your ingredients through the week to keep meal times interesting.
It’s all about education - learn the benefits of eating organic and you may begin to realize that the price you pay goes a long way to making this a better world to live in.
3.Be for local
Buying local is one of the most positive things you can do for yourself and your community.
Your money will go to support a business person who will appreciate every penny. An organic farmer selling his crops at a local farmers market will be able to feed his or her family and put the rest of that profit back into his work. In time, he may be able to buy more land, produce more organic food, and thus help counterbalance the detrimental impact herbicides, pesticides and GMO’s are having on people’s health everyday.
Spending local means that your money will circulate within the local economy. This will strengthen the quality of produce in your local area.
Local shops produce character - your town or city is unique based upon your locales - your bistros, cafes, bars and restaurants, your bookshops, butchers, and breadsmiths - all of these come together to create the feel of your community. Neglect it, and you run the risk of losing those important little touches that make your town a home.
4.Get self sufficient
There’s nothing more effective in the fight against a company like Monsanto than to abandon the need for their produce all together!
The quest for self sufficiency is a daunting one, and I am not suggesting that you drop everything, unplug and fall off the grid in one fell swoop! But here’s the thing - it’s not just Monsanto. There are countless other companies out there producing GM crops (DuPont, Dow Agrosciences, Syngenta AG - to name just a few). The task of boycotting products, rallying protests and standing with your eternal back to the wall will take it’s strenuous toll on you before you know it. Then, if you take into account the other ethical choices you should consider when purchasing your foods (cage free, antibiotic free, non-processed etc.), it can become an ideological minefield in no time.
I believe it is better to avoid the drama of boycotts altogether by taking positive actions for yourself and your family.
Why not take up one of the following sustainable DIY projects and see where it leads?
Start a compost heapLearn how to can your own foodPlant a herb gardenBake your own bread
Finally, be sure to promote awareness.
This doesn’t mean you have to preach, just spread the good word to those ears willing to listen. Share articles on social media. Tell friends about the benefits of buying organic produce in bulk. Highlight the benefits of going green or making your own baby food. Recommend alternatives to processed foods. Bring up the idea of starting a community garden.
There are so many ways to influence positive actions, and thanks to the internet, getting the information to do so has never been easier.
You won’t find much of this information in the mainstream media, but you can use your own platform, whatever that may be, to become the media!
For more information on the the actions of Monsanto, click here.
Written by Sion Lidster