Five Ways to Divest From Monsanto (and Other GMO Companies)

fda-monsantoKristen Schmitt writes at Urban Times:

Monsanto, the mistress of the GMO initiative, needs a wake up call. While campaigns to label genetically modified organisms increase and state governments work to bring the legislature into action, many Americans are not aware of just how entrenched Monsanto is within national and global food production.  Whether it is due to the call of convenience or general ignorance of the millions of genetically engineered ingredients masquerading as food, the biggest blow we can deliver to the GMO giant is to convince the general public to divest from Monsanto (and the rest of the biotech food industry) completely.

What does it mean to divest? Let’s take a page from the current college playbook and replicate what activist Bill McKibben has done for fossil fuels and climate change – and apply it to our food. Colleges across the country are stepping up and divesting from the companies that support fossil fuels in a nationwide campaign to illustrate how wrong it is to profit from climate damage. The entire premise behind this movement is to see if the divestment campaign can push fossil fuel companies towards an environmental ecobalance that no longer hinders the planet, but, rather, supports a sustainable future. Campuses nationwide are divesting – and the corporations are listening. Why can’t we do the same thing when it comes to genetically modified food and the companies that create it?

Five Ways to Divest from Monsanto Now:

  1. Rethink where you buy your vegetables and fruit. Farmers’ markets and CSAs are great places to find non-GMO varieties while also supporting local farmers and communities. If you have room, plant a garden, but make sure your seeds are purchased from a reputable non-GMO seed company like High Mowing Seeds rather than one of the many seed companies owned by Monsanto. Doing research before you plant is important.
  2. Purchase meat and eggs locally. Not only are CAFOs inhumane, but animals within these factory farms are fed a grain-based diet, which is usually genetically modified corn. Grass-fed beef, pastured chicken, and wild hogs are tasty alternatives to the grocery store variety. While they can cost more per pound, one way to decrease the cost is by purchasing a whole or half cow (or hog) and also buying whole chickens (rather than processed into specific cuts).
  3. Find alternatives for pantry staples. With so many food producers jumping on the non-GMO bandwagon, there’s an abundance of choices with which to stock your pantry. In order to make sure that you are purchasing a non-GMO verified item, visit the Non-GMO Project’s list of safe companies.
  4. Promote a unified social media identity that does not contradict the message. While the recent March Against Monsanto was attended by over two million well meaning activists in 52 countries and 436 cities, many confused the message by posting post-march celebration photos that showed them eating the very food that they were marching against. Social media is a powerful way to connect with the world and an easy way to advance these ideas. Use it carefully.
  5. Be an environmental steward. Many of the practices associated with mass food production and food surplus deplete soils, hurt land fertility, and destroy habitats. By choosing food wisely, it helps sustain a healthy ecosystem, one that will continue to provide food for years to come.

Creating a calculated, organized, and supported divestment from Monsanto and other Big Food companies stocking the shelves with GMOs is a powerful message that will not be ignored. Let’s start investing in our health and the future health of our food. If everyone starts today, our message will gain support and create the ripple effect needed to regain control of our food.

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  • BuzzCoastin

    any processed food with corn syrup or HFCS
    most processed foods (even labeled organic) have GMO corn content
    if the locally raised chicken has been fed a grain diet
    it likely contained GMO corn in the feed

    I’ve met lots of anti-GOM people
    who have fridges and pantries filled with processed GMO foods

  • HCE

    I seriously doubt it is even possible to be completely free of GMO. The moment any GMO plant produces pollen out in the open environment, Pandora done got out the box.

    But I *DO* highly recommend J.L. Hudson, seedsman for all your non-GMO, rare and heirloom varieties.

  • AManCalledDa-da

    What Monsanto is doing is not half as amazing as the fact that they are *deliberately* acting to poison people and give the population of the world a haircut. Oh, and make a lot of money.

  • Jacob

    Paragraph 2 taints the otherwise admirable direction of this
    article. Kristen Schmitt and others need to break the pretend
    connection between industrial pollution (including burning oil, coal,
    and even wood for that matter) and “climate change.” The pollution
    needs to stop on it’s own merits, and propping up the
    man-creates-climate debate is counter productive. Well-meaning does not
    mean well-informed.

    I agree with the rest of the article. May it be that consumers can make Monsanto and its ilk nothing more than a page in a history book.

  • Revisionistic

    The whole point is for people to find it necessary to depend on govt funding for their housing, food, health, etc. But that will only occur if we still keep giving value to money. What if we all quit our jobs, stopped paying taxes, started growing our own gardens which provide all the food, medicine, and water we’ll need, stopped charging people for our services, stopped using money simultaneously. We could achieve so much, but we rather take pride in being law abiding citizens, sheople.