Tag Archives: GMO

March for our Food

“Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.”
– JFK

I passionately encourage everyone everywhere to march tomorrow in the world’s second March Against Monsanto.  It’s being held in every major city in the world on October 12th.

Here is Dr Vandana Shiva explaining why we should March.

Although Monsanto is perhaps the least ethical of the corporations, they are not the only ones legally hijacking our food supply.  6 companies are in control here: Dow, Sygenta, Dupont, Bayer Crop Science, Basf  are just as culpable.  Between them, they control the global seed, pesticide and agricultural biotechnology markets.  This is not science fiction.  This is not a conspiracy theory.

“What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it’s really a consolidation of the entire food chain.” —Robert Fraley, co-president of Monsanto’s agricultural sector

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This should have violated every anti-trust piece of legislation known to the courts.   Like monocrop agriculture is wrong, so are a handful of companies consolidating the food chain.   They say they are feeding the world.  Owning and poisoning the food supply doesn’t equate to feeding the world.  GMOs are not proven safe for human consumption.   They were released into our food supply after 3 month long rat studies.  Rats live 2 years!  The theory is that they use fewer pesticides.  The reality is that they use more pesticides than before.  The theory is that they give more nutrition.  The reality is that these are all just dreams and not one nutritionally enhanced food is commercially available.  As people wake up to this reality, they are outraged.


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March for our Food.

March for the Bees who are beeing destroyed by neonicontinoid pesticides.  (Neonicotinoids are a common coating on GMO seeds)

March for justice for the 284 000 Farmers in India who have been driven to suicide.

March for biodiversity.

March for the system of farming that works: ORGANIC.  In side by side comparison studies Organic yields equal GMO yields over the long run.  In times of drought, Organic yields are greater than GMOs.  Without poisoning the Earth.

I’m leaving you with this image: Monarch butterflies flutter, Bees Buzz, Insects abound, Our rivers run clean.  Air is pure.  This all is possible if we grow organically. Listen to the Earth.  Respect her creatures.  Respect each other.   As Grandpa Rupert said,

“Always Leave the soil better than when you found it.”

GMO OMG Bellingham and FISHY Sugar Beet car

Last night in Bellingham Washington, I attended the Bellingham premiere of GMO OMG. At the Pickford Film Center.  Guess what I saw parked out in front of the theatre?

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A Fishy Sugar Beet car! Here is more about the fishy food car campaign:

It was a wonderful turnout.  Sad for the several folks who were turned away…. but awesome that it was SOLD OUT! DSC_0264

Adrienne Battis from Bellingham COOP www.communityfood.coop and Steve Crider from Amy’s Kitchen http://www.amys.com/  below. Steve explained during the panel discussion that the reason that frozen pizza you buy in a store will be labelled whereas Pizza in a restaurant won’t is because food service doesn’t require food to be labelled.  Food service is a separate category.  Why would we ask for labelling where there isn’t? We don’t want to complicate our lives.  Just like we don’t require restaurants to label ingredients on the menus.

Yes on 522 has simple GMO labelling guidelines.  For human food.  Bought in the store.

DSC_0262In addition to NON GMO popcorn, I was pleased to find fair trade organic chocolate for sale.  Yay Pickford Cinemas http://www.pickfordfilmcenter.org/

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Sara Southerland, for Sustainable Connections http://sustainableconnections.org/.  Sara drove the Fishy Sugar Beet car!  That’s about as cool as it gets.

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Terence of Barlean’s Organic Oils http://www.barleans.com/

They endorse YES on 522!

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Courtney Pinneau and Caroline Kinsman of the  NON GMO  Project

http://www.nongmoproject.org/

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Vote YES on 522!  Washington is poised to make history.

Letter From My Niece


“Dear Auntie Gurdeep,

In my school, we have these presentations that we stand in front of the classroom and read a non fiction article under 2 minutes. One of the kids brought a letter written by Monsanto because his dad works at a cereal company and was curious about gmo’s. I was sickened by this letter explaining how wonderful gmo’s are and how they help so many people in the world who can’t buy expensive food. Once the kid finished presenting, I stood from my chair and shouted out the truth about gmo’s. My teacher was amazed at my ability to debate any situation from different perspectives, ( but  I also got in trouble for being negative about a kids presentation  and standing up from my seat). I have always been interested in gmo’s and the thought occurred to me, why not find an article that explains the other side of the story. Then I thought of you and your blog, and your strong active hope to inform people about gmo’s. I was wondering if you had any written (kid friendly) articles written by you, or in mind I could use for my presentation.

Thank you so much!”

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My intelligent, talented and bright niece sent me this email last night.  (She is about the same age as the girl guide in this photo wanting GMO free Girl Guide Cookies.)

Perhaps because I lived in Europe for many years I have a more global perspective on GMOs than most.   Canada and the USA are the only two developed nations that don’t label or ban GMOS.  64 countries in the world ban or label GMOs.  GMOs are not proven safe.  Prior to their release, the only experiments done were by the companies making them.  3 month-long rat studies. A rat has a two year lifespan. GMOs have not been tested for human safety.  These companies have refused to release their raw data.  What are they trying to hide?  Every single independent, long-term study shows major cause for concern.

GMOs use millions upon millions of pounds of pesticides and herbicides to grow.  They cannot grow without these chemical inputs.  These chemicals are carcinogens, hormone disrupters.  Worst of all we can’t even avoid them in N. America since they are not labelled.  Along with the chemicals, which are inextricably linked to their existence, GMOs are poisoning us and the planet.

All this to say that GMOs are not wonderful and my niece Bianca was right.  However, she brings up a point that I too struggle with.

How strong a message to deliver?

522 Fundraiser

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.”

– Margaret Mead

My mother Ratana quoted Margaret Mead the other night in her acceptance speech at the  Organic Trade Association Awards. It got me thinking about how a group of concerned committed citizens are leading this charge for the Basic Democratic Right to know what’s in our food. 64 countries around the world either ban or label GMOs. The USA and Canada are the only developed nations without Labelling laws. Given that 93% of Americas want labelling, why isn’t this a reality? If the companies selling GMOs only did short-term studies safety studies why are they allowed to sell GMOs?  Especially given they are not proven safe to eat? Why are GMOs not banned or labelled – at the very least?  Coming from Europe it took me a while to figure out that most N. Americans dont know what GMOs are, dont even know that they are in 80 – 85% of processed foods.  And why would they know?  Well Duh?  They are unlabelled.  The chemical companies who own the seed companies don’t want N. Americans to know.  What have they been hiding? 500x500-Avatar-Sup

In Washington State these is an initiative to require Mandatory labelling of GMOs. Called I 522 and put to the citizens, it was be voted on this November.  If you want labelling of GMOs you will vote yes. If you don’t want to know what’s in your food, you will vote no. Already record and ridiculous amounts of money have been poured into the No side by the pesticide companies, “big agriculture”, and purveyors of junk food. To date, they’ve put in over 12 million dollars. Most of these junk food companies also own organic companies, confusing the already complex chains of ownership.

The YES side comprises the grass roots, the environmentalists, farmers who fear that export markets will dry up as GMO contamination spreads, people who care about nutrition and biodiversity, and independent organic companies that are minuscule in comparison to the NO side. Stonyfield – mostly owned by the French Group Danone, and Whole Foods a public company are notable exceptions supporting the YES side.  But compared to the NO side, the YES side companies are digging deep in their relatively tiny pockets. It is not an equal fight to begin with, simply based on resources of the NO side.

At Baltimore’s Black Olive Restaurant there was a fundraiser for the YES on Washington State’s I 522 two days ago. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be a great idea to celebrate the YES side, given that a whole group of supporters were together. So ignited the idea for this post.  Let’s put names and faces to some of the YES supporters.  This is by no means an exhaustive list of those attending the dinner nor those who support YES.  It’s just folks that I bumped into during my short time at the event.

The YES on I 522 fundraiser was organized by Living Maxwell http://livingmaxwell.com/ and Vani the Food Babe http://foodbabe.com/. Both are passionate about food and your right to know if you’re eating GMOs.  They are on a mission to inform and educate. Here is Max Goldberg (L) with Errol Schweizer of Whole Foods http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/.  Whole Foods has taken the laudable and unprecedented step by a national retailer to require labelling by all suppliers by 2018.  This is amazing.  It’s already causing ripples, nay waves.  But Whole Foods says they want to focus beyond GMO labelling and support biodynamic systems, heirloom varieties.  GMO labelling is just the starting point.

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Below here is the Food Babe (she *is* a BABE), with Mike Bronner of Dr Bronner’s Magic Soaps.

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Below my brother Arjan (L) my of Nature’s Path Foods with Greg Fleishmann of Suja Organic Juice http://www.sujajuice.com/.

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Below Nutiva founder and CEO John Roulac http://nutiva.com/  posing with Kat Schuett.  Kat is a fellow jazz singer!  She’s also an international journalist, editor and community activist https://twitter.com/katschuett and –  (I’m sorry I didn’t get your name-someone please tell me so I can fix this).  Food Democracy Now’s David Murphy http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/ was in conversation with Delana Jones Campaign Manager for I 522 http://yeson522.com/.  Dave’s short term goal is a Million Members for  FOOD DEMOCRACY NOW.  Please sign up.

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Below Young Activists Birke Baehr http://www.birkeonthefarm.com/about-birke-baehr.html  and  Rachel Parent http://www.kidsrighttoknow.com/, who toppled Kevin O’Leary in a debate recently.   Kevin said “All right, Rachel,  I’ll give you labelling. With greater transparency this is going to happen.”   Do it already!  (Go YOUTH) These kids are only 14.  Birke has already given a TED Talk when we was like 12 years old.  These two have poise and charm and eloquence. GO YOUTH.

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Below, Dr Bronner’s Magical Soap team http://www.drbronner.com/.  The Bronner family cares about health and the planet, like everyone at this event.  The Bronners, Mike in the back and Dave in the hat, are big donors for the YES on I 522 and an inspiration to all fighting for your right to know what’s in your food.

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Below Dennis and Elizabeth Kucinich.  They both were in the film GMO OMG.  Dennis said in the film, “If we are what we eat, then we must know what we eating so can learn what we’re going to become.  Until the year,Congressman Dennis Kucinich was the Democratic House representative for Ohio’s 10th district. A former mayor of Cleveland and Ohio state senator, Dennis has served seven terms as congressman for Ohio and in November 2010 was elected to serve an eighth.

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Below Dr Rimjhim Duggal-Stephens, my sister in law whose marriage to Arjan inspired LOVE Crunch cereal.  In a bite-for-bite program, for every bag sold of Love Crunch one is donated to the food bank. A loving person Rimjhim fell in Love with Suja Juices this last week.

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Below Darren Mahaffy, of Natures Path Foods, surrounded by delightful companions: Maria Anderson, Andrea and Randi from Naturally Savy http://www.naturallysavvy.com/

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Below Ken Roseboro below surrounded by friends. Ken is the editor of the Organic and Non-GMO report. http://www.non-gmoreport.com/organicnongmo/newslettereditor.php  He appeared in the film GMO OMG, driving around corn fields with Jeremy Seifert.  He is the one who first explained to Jeremy in the film that the GMO corn is technically a pesticide.  That pesticide companies are putting pesticides in our food.

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I wanted hoping to catch Steve Crider, regional volunteer for the YES on 522 Campaign.  He is with Amy’s Kitchen, making our family’s favourite frozen pizzas.  They also support YES with all their Heart.

In sum, you have a committed group of folks who live, sleep and breathe the YES movement for a safer, more delicious world.

The NO side is a nameless, faceless conglomeration of huge multinationals, pesticide companies with huge legal teams, infinitely bottomless wells of cash resources and shareholders who only care about protecting their bottom line.  Lest you think that this is the Organic industry versus the chemical companies it’s not so simple.  It may surprise you that not every large organic food company is fighting for your right to know.  In fact most are NOT supporting citizen’s right to know.  As Big Multinationals bought out organic companies, (like Kelloggs bought out Kashi for example), most large Organic brands are actually supporting the NO side.  What?  Say that again? How doest that work?  Well, if they hadn’t sold out I can guarantee you that they would be supporting YES. They are supporting no because they are beholden to their Giant parent companies who share a very different set of ideals than the idealists who started out wanting to grow food without poisoning the Earth.  

Organic food growers and farmers are my heroes.  They replenish the soils, purify the waters and go above and beyond the call of duty to the Earth.  Every single one I’ve met wants everyone to grow organic for the sake of our future. Long-term side-by-side comparison studies by the Rodale Institute show equivalent or greater yields.  Without poisoning the water or soil.

Why are we doing this again?

Whom would you trust?

Academy Awards of Organic Food

Last night, I attended the OTA awards recognizing Leadership in the Organic Foods Industry.  Organic became an industry started by idealists like my father, as a response to farming with toxic chemicals. These committed few believe, as I do, that poisons don’t belong in the food supply.  Ask any mother and she’ll tell you that she doesn’t want to feed even trace amounts of carcinogens and hormone disrupters to her children.   Several joined the caravan and the few became an “industry”.  Fast forward several years and things are looking brighter as the industry has grown from a seed into a sapling.  But we now have to contend with unsustainable GMO agriculture. Instead of decreasing their use, GMOs have exponentially increased pesticide and herbicide use in a misguided mono-crop disaster.

But here is hope for our planet and our health.  Side by side studies with “Conventional” Vs Organic show that Organic yields are equivalent and organic yields are greater in times of Drought.  Organic methods are the gold standard for healthy soil, clean water, and the food Mother Earth intended for us to eat.  For those of you wondering about organic standards, please see my blog post with answers from Dag Falck. https://thedeepersideblog.com/2013/09/15/dag-falck-replies/

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The first award was presented to my parents Arran and Ratana Stephens, of Nature’s Path Foods.  They were honoured with the Growing Organic Industry Award.  When recently asked if Nature’s Path was a non-profit activist group or a consumer foods company, Dad answered “Both”.  I’ve copied his and mom’s inspired acceptance speeches below.

The Second Award was presented to Kyle Mathison of Stemlit Growers for Organic Farmer of the Year Award.  In a rousing speech which made my mouth water, Kyle spoke about his quest to grow the best, most juicy, luscious fruits.  He has helped advance solutions in orchard weed control, organic fertilizer, integrated pest control etc etc.  Kyle, a fourth generation farmer from Washington, made me salivate as I flashed though my most memorable fruit experiences.  That peach I bought in Montreal, those figs from Florence, the sweet muscat grapes from France that tasted like candy, ripe mangoes from India that defy description.  The Apples dad has espalliered.  I wish I had the text of his speech so I could make you salivate too.

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The third and last award of the evening was presented to Karen and Colin Archipley: the Rising Star Award.  Colin is a war veteran who founded the Veterans Sustainable Agriculture Training program.  Helping veterans, who face employment hurdles after leaving the military, Karen and Colin create a link between jobs for vets and organic agriculture on Archi’s Acres in California, their organic hydroponic farm.  Talk about literally turning swords into ploughshares!  They recently helped plant the White House’s Organic garden.

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During their acceptance speech, Colin made everyone in the crowded room raise their hand and pledge to be Semper Fidelis.  This is a Marine Motto.  Always Loyal.  It was a lovely gesture.  From a former marine leading the pledge (whose opening I solemnly swear reminded me of the marauders map), it was powerful.  If anyone had been unsure about the zealous commitment to Organic farming, this dispelled any doubts.

I saw Bob Quinn the KAMUT grower on my way out.  Bob and I spent many years bumping and into each other at European Trade shows.  No matter where I was or what my mood was, Bob made me smile with his killer smile dressed in his cowboy boots and hat with two sprigs of Kamut in its band.  Kamut (heirloom wheat found in an Egyptian tomb and subsequently planted in the midwest) has higher protein content and superior nutritional content to modern wheat.  It also doesn’t cause bloating.  Only organically grown, Kamut, which is trademarked, is growing literally by leaps and bounds since I last saw Bob.  Bob tells me that over 70,000 acres are dedicated to the organic sowing of Kamut!  That is great news for Kamut growers, happy tummies and the planet.

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Below is the inspiring speech mom and dad gave:

OTA Growing Organic Leadership Award ACCEPTANCE SPEECH, Sept 26, 2013, Baltimore, MD:

RATANA:
Dear friends, family, OTA Board Members and Fellow Travelers,

Thank you for bestowing this honor upon us. We are privileged to be recognized.   This journey has been a labor of love. It is to create a better world for our children, grandchildren, and the children of the universe.

This has not been a solo play. So wonderful to see many familiar faces who have been a vital part of the organic movement for years, and together we have nurtured and grown this into an industry. What is the power of a committed few? According to Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

Rather than talking about what has happened over the past 45 years that Arran and I have been together (and believe me, we have seen a lot), I would like to pass along some advice in building a successful legacy enterprise, and what we have learned from our mentors:

Never sacrifice quality for money or for any other consideration

Always do your best, and leave the rest

A success is a failure that never gave up. There’s no substitute for patience and persistence.

Never compromise core values and principles. Business and the market are in constant flux, VALUES never change.

Be humble.

Now, I’m going to turn this over to Arran…

ARRAN:

On behalf of the many, Thanks for the Award!

Because of the visible stand that i and my family have taken against the artificial genetic modification of our food supply, And our fight to have GMO foods properly labeled in California and Washington State so people can make an informed decision about whether or not they wish to feed this stuff to their families, I received a tongue-in-cheek question, “Are you a packaged consumer goods company, or an activist group?” I happily answered, “Both!”

2 1/2 years ago, lying in the ICU ward, my life was dangling from a very slender thread, hovering somewhere in the void between life and death. It seemed then, in some strange way that I had a choice—to go into the Beyond or stay on and complete some unfinished aspects of this existence. I chose, or so it seemed, to live on.

Having been granted a life extension, I re-dedicated whatever time was left to serve the Creation in some small way—on the one hand to nurture and protect the fragile earth, to help fulfill the destiny of our enterprise, Nature’s Path and ensure its smooth succession to the next generation, to be there as a loving father and husband, and on the other hand, to continue to evolve as a human and spiritual being.

In ancient times, it was said, “Honor your heavenly Father and your earthly Mother that your days may be long upon the earth, for from one mother proceeds all that lives; therefore he that kills, kills his brother, and from him will the earthly mother pluck her quickening breast.”

I have always felt a kinship with this spiritual, but non-religious Father-Mother aspect of existence.

Over the past seven decades. I have been much blessed to have been raised by loving parents on the family farm on Vancouver Island; to have lived in India; to have married one of her daughters; to have been blessed by her Saints, to have been constantly involved in the organic movement since 1967, before there was an industry, to have, with my dear wife of 44 years, and our four children–Shanti, Gurdeep, Jyoti and Arjan) built an inter-generational legacy of Nature’s Path, without selling out!  For our friends in the investment community, no part of NP is for sale, just to save your and our time.

We have made many good friends over these decades, many of whom are in this hall tonight. We honor you all, we love you all.  To all who are part of the burgeoning organic industry, starting with our unsung heroes: family farmers, suppliers, the hundreds of Valued Nature’s Path Team Members, wholesalers, retailers and last but not least, our millions of customers, we salute you, for without you, we wouldn’t be here.

The world we all share and love, is in crisis. Nature is under serious attack, and she’s beginning to revolt. It’s up to us to nurture and care for what is left. Our generation has made a terrible mess of polluting the nest; let us hope and pray the next generation is wiser. My dad told me, his ten year old son, as we hand planted a field of corn together to “Always leave the soil better than you found it.”

With modern methods of chemical agriculture, using fossil fuel based fertilizers and attacking pests with massive amounts of pesticides and herbicides, we are short-sightedly destroying the long-term fertility of our soil bank, depleting it at the expense of future generations. In less than 20 years, since the first GMO crops were introduced, more than 90% of soy, cotton, sugar beets, canola, and Hawaiian papayas now contain alien gene traits. There have been no long-term safety GMO trials, which makes us part of an unprecedented feeding study, but we are not lab rats! Nor are GMOs even labeled, yet they are in 80% of supermarket foods. GMO crops are failing their maker’s promise to provide greater yields, toxic herbicide use has gone up 15 fold, allergies have increased three fold in the short two decades since GMOs were introduced into the North American agricultural system. Predicted super weeds have developed resistance to herbicides, contaminating more than seventy million acres in North America, now requiring even more deadly chemicals to eradicate them. Thousands of unique species of plants and creatures are lost every year.  Instead of cooperating with nature as we should, as guardians or trustees of our land bank, modern science and short-sighted consumerism is waging war against Nature. And this has many of us disturbed.

Biotech companies are interfering with evolutionary processes that have taken thousands—even millions of years to perfect. Genetic modification is not a continuation of selective breeding, but the significant alteration of life forms. And the outcomes are haphazard and unpredictable.

Organic agriculture and soil conservation is the only bulwark against this tsunami of ecological mismanagement.

Because we are concerned that good organic farmland is being lost due to ageing farmers retiring with no heirs to take their place, we have begun to buy good farmland, with a cooperative crop-sharing model. It is working, but with the rate of demand exceeding supply, we desperately need more young organic farmers. We are grateful to be a part of the organic solution. You are, or can also be a part of the solution. A new, caring economy is needed. A fresh paradigm of conscious capitalism, if I may borrow the term, a new generation of idealist-entrepreneurs is much needed. There is hope, and I am an optimist.  I will fight for the good of the earth so long as I live, and until the I that is my body becomes the earth, while the I that is my soul soars free from its temporal fetters to merge the lesser light with its Source in the greater Light.

Let me share one of my farmer/songwriter/father’s songs:

Across the plain, my yellow grain
Lies restless as the sea,
How could this all be given to a guy like me?

To fill my need I sowed the seed,
And now repaid I’ll be,
How could this all be given to a guy like me?

The seasons change with splendor,
My ceiling is the sky,
The earth, my master, happy man am I

Two arms that gladly share my toil
Or hold me tenderly,
How could this all be given to a guy like me?

GMO OMG LA PREMIERE

September 19th was the LA premiere of Jeremy Seifert’s film GMO OMG.  This was the very same day that BC’s Mayors and councillors voted YES for a GE FREE BC!  I was so excited that I was barely coherent! Having already seen the film, written a review about it and a post about the wild success of the UVIC campus screening… I was wondering what to say about the LA screening at the Landmark Theatre.

First of all what does one WEAR to the Premiere of a Documentary Film dealing with serious GMO issues? In Los Angeles?  Long? Short?  Glittery? Revealing? Funky? Jeans? Following the Style-Diet Principles, my outfit would be Locally-Made, and/or Ethically-Sourced and/or Re-Purposed.

Photo-op with Director Jeremy Seifert, Producer Jill Howerton, and Producer Joshua Kunau.

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I was hoping to see a bevy of Seiferts barrelling down the aisles at the Landmark Theatre.  Those little kids stole my heart with their poignant and funny one-liners.   Out of the mouths of babes… But the mini Seiferts who stole the show, were at home in bed.   Jen, their beautiful, adorable mom was there;  she starred in the film as herself, the loving, concerned wife and mother every parent can relate with.

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Pretty much a packed house, the theatre boasted celebrities like Colin  Farrell who came out to see the film.   In fact, at every point I turned there was a familiar face!  Other notable guests included Cenk Uygur from the Young Turks, Topher Grace from That 70s show, Robyn Lively, Charlie Day from the film “Horrible Bosses”, the cast of “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia”, Kaitlin Olsen, Rob McElhenny, Glenn Howerton, Molly Sims, Mike Bronner, Laurie David and Maryam Lieberman.

When I got back, I told my friend Misty that Laurie David was there and Misty, she got all excited.  Laurie David produced “An Inconvenient Truth”. That got us talking about Larry David and the potential for comedy and GMOs.  What if Larry David wrote in a character who was striving to be GMO free?!  How many goofy sitcom moments could this character get into?  Just throwing it out there to the universe….

Below, with Mike Bronner of the Dr Bronner’s Soap Family.  Dr Bronner’s family and everyone who saw the film and everyone who is concerned about our food wants  GMOs labelled.  Even if you think that GMOS are good for you, you should want them labelled so you can choose them.

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One of the journalists I spoke  to at the after-party said that she was surprised that the film didn’t talk about pesticide poisoning and herbicide poisoning of farm-workers and others.  There is just so much compelling, irrefutable evidence for that.  Toxic Pesticides and herbicides like atrazine and other agricultural toxins aren’t strictly a GMO issue. However, GMOs and pesticides are inextricably linked.  Thus they are directly related, and entirely co-dependent. You can’t grow one without the other….  Again, it brings us back to the irrefutable declaration that people have the right to know what they are eating and what they’re feeding their families. Note Mike’s tee-shirt and support  YES on 522.  Dr Bronner’s family have contributed significantly  towards Washington and California’s labelling campaigns.  Mike announced the they are going nearly double that amount.   However, this is not even one tenth of the what Big Ag and biotech companies will spend fighting people’s right to know.  It’s incredible!  Even if you’re not in Washington, please send in a donation if you can.  If you are able to volunteer with the phone banks please do.  Your help is needed.  Here’s how you can get involved http://yeson522.com/

Below is Director Jeremy Seifert being interviewed by a California TV Station:

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Below, I’m introducing the film.  My outfit is made in India bought in India, brand is Petticoat by Debyani and Divya.aG cropped

Producer (and Model and Actress and Activist and TV personality and fellow blogger http://thedailytonic.wordpress.com/about/ !) the beautiful  Jill Latiano Howerton with her husband, actor Glenn Howerton.  He stars in, writes for, and produces for the TV show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia.” What a stunning and charming couple!a Jill and Glenn Howerton

Associate Producer Daniel McCoy,  Location and Post-Audio for GMO OMG (left) Editor Terry Yates (right). 

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Happy Noah Smith!  Animation and Graphics.   I like the way his smile makes his eyes close 🙂
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Below is a glowing, expectant mom and supporter of the film Amy Boyer Colgan and her partner. Her foundation is http://www.hopefulfilled.org  She said that it’s her mission to make dreams come true.  What a great mission to have.

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Audrey Smith and Amanda Valloza-Hlavaty below appeared in Director Jeremy Seifert’s first film “Dive”.  About dumpster diving, “Dive” was an eye-opener to the amount of beautiful, healthy and safe food that is wasted in N. America.  (BTW we currently produce enough food to feed the world twice over.)

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Below: Dan Braun from Submarine, the film’s distributors.  Submarine’s last big documentary was “Chasing Ice”.  Wow.

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Here is Ben from Submarine, Dan’s son.  These two Braun men were among the snazziest dressed men at the premiere.

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Lovely Kyla from Nature’s Path !

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Kind server from the catering company.  Note the cloth napkins on the tray.  Along with with the heirloom tomato soup, the caterers were super green and cool.

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Below is Nisha Vida (left), She’s a Fulbright Fellow and Associate Producer for the film.  She is working to Make LA a GMO free zone.  It will happen!  Just a matter of time.  The momentum GE FREE BC will carry over and this film will awaken those not yet in the know.  Here she is with fellow law student Scarlettah J Shaefer.

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The timing of this film couldn’t be better.  People are starting to understand that GMOs – that are currently produced in N. America and the rest of the world, not the hope of them – are causing deleterious effects on our health and planet.  We’re not talking about the promise of GMOS; we’re talking about actual reality here.  Folks asked the panel afterwards, “Well what can we do about it?”

There is a simple answer: Support with your dollars  systems and companies that are doing the right thing.  With every meal.  That’s all there is to it.  Support labelling efforts, get involved.  And if you really want to be truly defiant, grow your own food.   As Jeremy’s son Finn said in the film (I’m paraphrasing ) if nobody buys them, companies will have to stop selling them. In Europe, multinational companies reformulate their products to be GMO Free.  I’m talking big companies like Coke, Nestle and Kelloggs.  Already 64 countries ban or require labelling of GMOs.  I was happy to hear of Costa Rica last week declaring they would prohibit GMOs.  Yay Costa Rica!  The US and Canada are the only two developed nations which don’t require labelling of GMOs.   This is going to change and I see change happening.

This film is awakening the multitude.

Gojiccino


As ‘new’ super foods enter the mainstream, new uses are found for them. Such as gojiccino!
In case you haven’t heard about gojiccino (I certainly hadn’t until now) it is the love child between a cappuccino and the Goji berry. My sister Jyoti grew a goji on her patio a few years ago. Shrivelled up Goji berries are Full of vitamins and antioxidants. 15 times the amount of iron as spinach. They are unique among fruit have all essential amino acids (like soy). Used in Chinese and Tibetan cultures for thousands of years, they are only recently known here in N. America.
I drank this gojiccino at Fresh in Toronto. It was unlike anything I’d ever tasted: a mix between coffee, chocolate, orzo (an Italian grain coffee found in every Italian cafe), rooibus and of course goji.
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It got me thinking about superfoods and food intolerances and Robyn O’Brian whose book the best-selling number one book on GMOs on Amazon, “The Unhealthy Truth” talks about the link between GMOs and allergies. Her premise is ‘how on earth can we be allergic to food?’ Unless, of course it’s been altered.
As food becomes industrialized and bred for corporate efficiency, food loses nutritional value: what made it good for us to begin with. Fabio Picchi, famous Florentine Chef and Author told me once that the role of food isn’t to NOT harm ( sorry about he double negatives) ‘non e di Non fa male’ On the contrary food should be proven to do good ‘Deve far bene’. He wasn’t even talking about GMOs at the time. Rather veggies such as tomatoes that are bred to have an extended shelf life at the expense of flavour. I know what Fabio thinks about GMOS without even asking. He wants food to be proven to do GOOD. GMOs are actually proven to do harm. In many ways. Mamma mia!
With GMOs now rampant and unlabelled in N. America , not only are food staples such as corn and soy losing nutritional value but they are also made to express pesticides. The food we are eating in copious amounts, is actually designed with a pesticide to kill insects. In high concentrations these pesticides kill us too. Should food kill? In low doses this food poisons us slowly. I think of it like arsenic. Or putting a drop of Glyphosate (known as Round Up Weedkiller) everyday in a glass of drinking water. Why would we want to feed ourselves or our precious children trace amounts of nasty toxins?
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So back to the new superfoods and superberries. I’m referring to things like quinoa, amaranth, goji berries, acai berries. Plants like spelt have shown to be superior to wheat for example. We know that the ancient varieties of wheat like Spelt and kamut and red fife are nutritionally far superior to over 95% of GMO wheat. GMO wheat is a monoculture crop bred to grow fast, resist pesticides and grow despite being sprayed a toxic cocktail. It isn’t cultivated with nutrition in mind. But profits. Devoid of nutrition, sprayed with toxins and spiced with bacterial genes, modern GMO wheat is to be avoided at all costs.
Until we demand large corporations to change their recipes to exclude GMOs (like they have done in Europe and South Africa) and eliminate round-up and toxic pesticides, we must avoid N. American grown sugar, soy, canola, corn. It’s the buycott. If we stop purchasing these poisons, ignore the advertising, corporations will have no power, no choice but to change for the better.
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Until traditional varieties are re cultivated en masse and the GMOs erased from our food supply we must seek out Organic, GMO free, and Pesticide free foods. we must turn into hunter-gatherers at the supermarket. Armed with the ability to read and recognize labels, we can sniff out what we should put in our bodies. We can even use our smartphones which sort out the GMO chaff from the Organic wheat with apps that can tell you which products are NON GMO project verified.  http://www.forbes.com/sites/clareoconnor/2013/06/11/watch-forbes-test-buycott-app-on-anti-gmo-and-koch-products-in-supermarket-aisle/
And long live the Gojiccino! I hope to see it at cafes everywhere.