I ran across this article from the New York Times — Food Companies Seeking non-GMO Ingredients.
Huzzah! This is huge!
When I saw The Corporation this winter, I was elated. Well, first I was terrified and pissed off, but then I was elated.
Sure, there are a few cartoonishly evil folks out there who seem to want to watch the world burn (*cough*Kochbrothers*cough*) but the fact that corporations are soulless entities following only profit means that the power to change them is actually in our hands because it’s our money they need to exist.
You. Me. Us. The little guys. The cogs. The “consumers.”
Our corporate-controlled government may indeed be frantically pushing us into corners to force us to monetize every aspect of life — even our own bodies — simply so they can stay afloat in this economy of ours that requires enormous, crazy, unsustainable growth and debt just to sort of tread water, but we still have the freedom to choose what we purchase.
For now, anyway. Mostly. There’s that thing about water “not being a human right” but that’s a discussion for another day.
Even if Monsanto wants to try to make our choices as difficult as possible through government corruption and outright thuggery, the bottom line is that corporations are controlled by money, our money, and it is very likely that being vocal consumers will do as much as (if, sadly, not more than) grassroots political action.
Buying food is political action. (Hell, growing food is becoming downright rebellion. Again, another discussion.)
I’m remembering a story from 1990, when a man told Haiti’s Fr. Antoine Adrien “Oh, that’s politics…you know I don’t get involved in politics.” Father Antoine replied “Ah, you don’t get involved… Did you eat today? Then you are involved.”
Did you eat today? Awesome. Because the world really needs you to be involved.
So here’s what we can do: when you go out to eat, ask the manager which ingredients are certified GMO free.
Ask the people at the service desk in your grocery store if there are GMO-free produce, and products on the shelves.
Ask. You can do more but really, that one little thing is powerful.
It’s a little awkward at first, when I started doing it at Panera (asking if the edemame was non-GMO) it took a full five minutes to find the page in the binder they keep behind the counter with all the ingredients, and I felt a bit like an ass for interrupting the staff.
But it turns out they were curious, too. (Hopefully, they ate that day.)
One girl didn’t know what GMO meant, and the discussion that followed — between the staff, mind you, I didn’t have to preach at all, just ask — was gratifying for me, and educational for the girl who’d never heard of GMOs.
Be kind about it — remember that you’re asking people, and try to do it in as much of a lull in business as possible — but do it.
Because you’re already involved, so you might as well make sure you’re making things better.
And while you’re in the mood to change the world with simple actions, head over to our campaign page, and help us create a gift economy farm.
If you don’t have any money to contribute today, please click the “support” button on the right side of our campaign page. It’s fast, it’s free, it’s helpful, and it’s even kind of revolutionary.