This is a blog post from an email sent Election day. A reminder of the importance of the power we have no matter who is in office.Read more
It's Halloween season. Beware of the scare tactics about health advocates that may sneak up on you. A previous article by a GMO proponent Julie Kelly in The Chicago Tribune used the Jelly Belly Company decision to go organic as a “lifestyle choice” to spread more lies about GMOs.
As a mother of three boys, one which almost died from food and another who nearly lost his future potential due to autism symptoms, I am fed up with the treacherous marketing tactics used by the food and chemical industry and their supporters.
The fact is that GMOs are foreign proteins, made in a lab, and they’re not proven to be safe for humans. Foreign proteins can cause inflammation in the gut, allergic reactions and over time, ulcers which develop into cancer. Look at the gross reality of the American Farmer Howard Vlieger’s pigs stomachs which ate GMO feed and ask yourself which is scarier? The slightly higher price for organic candy or not knowing whether or not the kids you give GMO candy to will have stomachs like these?
The author fails to mention that 100% of major GMO crops are “Pesticide Plants.” Pesticides kill.
Health in American has been on a rapid decline over the last 2 decades. Unfortunately, many people are resigning themselves to this reality -this being the new "Normal".
This is anything but Normal.
One can go to any of the major health organizations, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association, the American Diabetic Association and you will see that while they mention some of the obvious causes of these chronic diseases, such as inactivity in children and poor diet, they never mention what we believe to be key factors.
As children growing up in the 60's and 70's, hearing about someone with cancer was a very scarce thing, let alone hearing of a child getting cancer. Now there are entire hospitals dedicated to children with cancer.
The CDC lists cancer as one of the leading causes of death in children 5-14 years old. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!!!!!
Kidshealth.org states that 1 in 3 children in the United States is considered overweight or obese.2 The American Heart Association concurs with these numbers.3 They both state the cause as being inactivity in children as well as too much junk/fast food. While these are certainly contributing to the rapid increase of obesity in our population as a whole, we think they are missing the mark in many key areas.
The following is a document you can hand out to your Dept of Health, regional EPA, school principals, Board of Ed or doctors. We hope that together, we can shift this health crisis to an opportunity for community empowerment, health and justice.
Click and download the "Childhood Crisis in America"
Thank you for creating healthy healthy communities with us!
Anne, Zen and MAA Team
While traveling last week to the Monsanto Tribunal, I was deeply disturbed to see a large sign at the security checkpoint in an international airport declaring "Zika Causes Birth Defects." The sign warned pregnant women to avoid areas where they could get bitten by mosquitoes. Although I am a huge fan of precaution and appreciate the warning for all, I am more concerned with the influence of chemical companies to create hype and create fear which permits the use of toxic chemicals. The fear around the Zika Virus microcephaly birth defects has been useful to get the US government to approve 1.8 billion dollars in taxpayer funds to go towards Big Pharma vaccines and Big Chem aerial spraying of neurotoxins over our homes, schools, waterways, gardens, playgrounds, and parks. The toxins which have been shown to be in vaccines and aerial sprays are much more concerning to us than the cold-like symptoms of the Zika Virus. Tens of thousands of women in other countries have had the Zika virus while pregnant and did not have babies with birth defects. In fact, research has shown that it is likely the spraying of larvicides (pesticides) that contaminated the water in Argentina, which are more likely to be the cause of the microcephaly birth defects. So, as a person who has been intensely aware of the chemical company shenanigans, I was very glad to post this guest blog by Ian Trottier regarding the evidence around the Zika Virus not being the cause of brain deformities. Please read, follow the money, question the motives of Big Chem, and share this info.
Anyone who doubts the tenacity of our food movement, is exhausted by the apparent losses we have experienced and have therefore given up almost all hope…fear not. The movement for non GMO, toxin free food, clean water, healthy soil, and fair farming practices, is alive and expanding. The Monsanto Tribunal and People’s Assembly at The Hague, Netherlands, could not have been more energetic, determined or well represented by leaders and activists from around the world. I personally met people from the Netherlands, France, Germany, Switzerland, UK, Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Africa, Australia, Paraguay, the USA, China, Philippines, and more. We began on Oct 14th at the People's Assembly in the Bazaar of Ideas building in The Hague, Netherlands, at the Student hotel, a large room, flooded with sun and excitement, The flanking rooms were filled with people roaming around tables stacked with flyers in every language and draped with banners with every combination of “Monsanto OUT” that you can imagine.
Monsanto, arguably the most hated company in the world, has a decades long history of poisoning people and the planet. Search online for DDT, Agent Orange, Aspartame, High Fructose Corn Syrup, GMOs and Glyphosate/Roundup and you will have enough material to read for years. Read about what Monsanto did to the town of Anniston, Alabama, where they produced PCBs and almost destroyed the town.
The Monsanto Tribunal, organized by Navdanya, Organic Consumers Association, IFOAM, Marie-Monique Robin, and more, was a people’s tribunal with international judges who will deliver a verdict which will likely influence forthcoming legal judgments. The intention is to create a new criminal term, called “Ecocide” which would make it illegal to poison people and the planet with toxins.
We are long overdue for such a criminal category. According to Will Allen's "War on Bugs", since the 1890’s farmers and factories have been using toxins which have been poisoning our soil, water and air. The past two decades have seen a huge increase in the use of toxins. 2/3 of all the glyphosate ever produced has been used in the last 10 years. According to the journal Environmental Sciences Europe, 9.4 million tons worldwide of glyphosate based herbicides have been used on our soil, town road sides, parks, playgrounds, school yards, and food. Glyphosate, the declared “active” chemical ingredient in Roundup, is a chelator (makes vital nutrients and minerals unavailable), an antibiotic (weakening the immune system) a reproductive effector (leading to miscarriages and birth defects), causes kidney and liver damage (28,000 have died in Sri Lanka who came in contact with Glyphosate based herbicides or GBH) and has been linked to cancer (nearly 1000 plaintiffs have filed against Monsanto for the link to non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.) Glyphosate has been discovered, by Seralini's team in France, however to be one of the least toxic of the 50-100 chemicals in the chemical mixture "Roundup". The other formulants are 1000-100,000 X more toxic. These same chemicals are not required to have safety studies, and the EPA admitted directly to me that they have NO long term safety studies for the final formulation of Roundup. Hence, the worldwide claim that Roundup and the 700 other glyphosate based herbicides are safe is completely unfounded.
On October 15-16th, 2016, the Monsanto Tribunal brought the people and experts together who have experienced harm from or have researched the impact of glyphosate based herbicides made primarily by Monsanto. The testimonies were deeply disturbing and tragic.
The first two testimonies were by mothers who had used Roundup during their pregnancies and had babies with malformations. They learned that at the particular time of their gestation and their exposure to Roundup was the same time as the bodily function of their child that was deformed. Glyphosate is acknowledged by the EPA as a “reproductive effector.” One mother stated that her son was about to undergo his 51st surgery. The mothers did not cry or lash out angrily as they would be justified to do so, but tears did well in my eyes, because I know the love of a mother and how much all we want for our children is for them to be healthy, happy and live productive, meaningful lives. These children have been robbed of that future. Their health and their futures have been compromised by the toxic chemicals their mothers were exposed to. This means our country, our planet has been robbed, for who knows what these children would have invented or contributed to our society? Think of Google - created by two boys.
The next testimony was by a woman who developed non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma after spraying Roundup, as directed, on her coffee farm in Kona, Hawaii. She lost almost everything, her good health, her farm, her livelihood, and freedom to enjoy life without pain. Her testimony of her numerous trips to the mainland for treatments and enormous cost to her family, was overwhelming. Her lawyer reported that he currently knows of 1000 cases of non Hodgkin’s Lymphoma that will be filing and he expects 5000 by the end of next year. He was confident, measured and clear. I was grateful for their testimonies and their courage.
The next two testimonies were by two men from Sri Lanka who reported that 28,000 people have died who were exposed to GBH either through the farm or water. They directly correlated the exposure to GBH to their liver and kidney damage, which even the EPA recognizes on their fact sheet about glyphosate. 5,000 of those who died were women and children who never worked on the farms or sprayed Roundup. Exposure through water, air and physical contact with the farmers, who did not wear protective gear, is suspected. The government recognized the tremendous impact to their country and are the first country to ban glyphosate due to scientific reasons. The thunderous applause was allowed by the court at the end of their testimony.
Many more testimonies, 30 in all, regarding health impact to animals, soil, farms and society were heard by the judges over the next 48 hours. The judges asked thoughtful and challenging questions. The evidence was overwhelming. Although invited, Monsanto declined to attend and therefore will claim that the verdict will be one sided. They chose to make and sell the products, and they continue to chose to ignore the thousands of reports of harm from their products. Ignoring something does not make one less responsible. It only makes one responsible for more harm that is occurring as they continue to allow harm to happen through the sale and use of their products.
600 people also gathered for the People’s Assembly held consecutively at a different location, where leaders and activists of 30 countries and global groups brainstormed, planned, sang and danced together well into the night. The opportunity to connect with people from all over the world who feel as passionately as we do about stopping the harm from Monsanto and other big chemical companies, was rejuvenating.
Global citizens came together in The Hague in a very impactful way. It is the beginning of a new stand for accountability. Millions around the world are calling for this Chemical Era to end and for the corporations to stop poisoning us. I have faith we will prevail because we, especially we mothers, make 85-90% of the household purchases. The chemical companies only have the power they have because we give them our money. If we don’t buy toxic products and GMO chemically farmed food, they can’t sell them, and they will have to stop poisoning the planet.
We the people have the power, and it is only a matter of time before we all realize this. I just hope it is sooner rather than later.
The verdict by the Monsanto Tribunal expected in April around Earth Day. The judges have an enormous amount of evidence to review, including data from the USA, and over 500 testimonials sent in by supporters like you.
For Immediate Release
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon, 202-503-6141
Moms Descend on Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague
The Hague - Mothers Across the World and Moms Across America are attending the Monsanto Tribunal at The Hague, Netherlands for the next 2 days to hold Monsanto accountable for decades of ecocide. Moms Across America Executive Director Zen Honeycutt will be speaking tomorrow at the People's Assembly on pesticides. Honeycutt and MAA leader, chef and mom Amber King will be posting Facebook live updates and interviewing the attendees.
"We believe it is crucial that people from other countries understand the health crisis we are experiencing in the USA,” said Honeycutt. “The connection if these health issues to the GMOs and Toxins in our food, water and consumer products is undeniable. We must protect our future generations around the world."
To stay up to date on the happening at the Tribunal, Like and "Get Notifications" at https://www.facebook.com/MomsAcrossAmerica/?ref=bookmarks
30 witnesses and legal experts from five continents will testify in The Hague before five international judges. These witnesses will tell the judges, and the world, how Monsanto has ruined their health, their communities, and their livelihoods. We will make the theme of this year's World Food Day (October 16th) the damage to health and nature caused by chemical industrial agriculture. Citizens’ tribunals have a long history of drawing widespread attention to corporate corruption, and of ultimately leading to criminal trials. Like you, we want the Monsanto Tribunal to push courts in countries all over the world to hold Monsanto accountable for its crimes.
For an increasing number of people from around the world, Monsanto today is the symbol of industrial agriculture. This chemical-intensive form of production pollutes the environment, accelerates biodiversity loss, and massively contributes to global warming.
Since the beginning of the twentieth century, Monsanto, a US-based company, has developed a number of highly toxic products, which have permanently damaged the environment and caused illness or death for thousands of people. These products include:
PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyl), one of the twelve Persistent Organic Pollutants (POP) that affect human and animal fertility;
2,4,5 T (2,4,5-trichlorophenoxyacetic acid), a dioxin-containing component of the defoliant, Agent Orange, which was used by the US Army during the Vietnam War and continues to cause birth defects and cancer;
Lasso, an herbicide that is now banned in Europe;
RoundUp, the most widely used herbicide in the world, and the source of the greatest health and environmental scandal in modern history - this toxic herbicide is used in combination with genetically modified (GM) RoundUp Ready seeds in large-scale monocultures, primarily to produce soybeans, maize and rapeseed for animal feed and biofuels.
Monsanto promotes an agroindustrial model that contributes at least one third of global anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions; it is also largely responsible for the depletion of soil and water resources, species extinction and declining biodiversity, and the displacement of millions of small farmers worldwide. This is a model that threatens peoples’ food sovereignty by patenting seeds and privatizing life.
According to its critics, Monsanto is able to ignore the human and environmental damage caused by its products and maintain its devastating activities through a strategy of systemic concealment: by lobbying regulatory agencies and governments, by resorting to lying and corruption, by financing fraudulent scientific studies, by pressuring independent scientists, by manipulating the press and media, etc. The history of Monsanto would thereby constitute a text-book case of impunity, benefiting transnational corporations and their executives, whose activities contribute to climate and biosphere crises and threaten the safety of the planet.
The Monsanto Tribunal, aims to assess these allegations made against Monsanto, and to evaluate the damages caused by this transnational company. The Tribunal will rely on the “Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights” adopted at the UN in 2011. It will also assess potential criminal liability on the basis of the Rome Statute that created the International Criminal Court in The Hague in 2002. The Tribunal shall also assess the conduct of Monsanto as regards the crime of ecocide, which it has been proposed to include in international criminal law. It shall examine whether the Rome Statute establishing the International Criminal Court in force since 2002 should be reformed, in order to include the crime of ecocide and to allow for the prosecution of individual and legal entities suspected of having committed this crime.
For Immediate Release: October 13, 2016
Contact: Blair Fitzgibbon, 202-503-6141
Mothers Across the World Launches Global Toxic Free Zone Map
View Map Here: http://www.momsacrosstheworld.com/
Los Angeles - Ahead of the Monsanto Tribunal in The Hague, Mothers Across the World is launching their Global Toxic Free Zone Map, showing the successes of citizens around the world who have had their communities eliminate the use of toxic chemicals.
"The rise of reports of harm to our children from pesticides around the world have motivated us to encourage moms and supporters to ask their home owner's associations, schools, churches, parks and recreation departments, towns and counties, to discontinue the use of Roundup and toxic chemicals and to use alternatives." stated Zen Honeycutt, Co-Creator of Mothers Across the World. “This collaborative map shows the locations that we know of currently. We invite everyone who knows of a pesticide free zone to add their information and get on the map.”
The map shows the approximate location of the town and the details of the pesticide free zone. Some examples are descriptions like "Total ban of pesticides and rodenticides" or "No Roundup or Glyphosate and 2,4-D.” The information has been gathered from various resources primarily from Michelle Schumacher of Non Toxic San Clemente, CA who is also a Mothers Across the World supporter.
If you know of an area that is pesticide free and not on our map, please email us the city, state/province, country, zip/post code, and a brief description of how that area is pesticide free. We will add it as a zone to this map. Please email us at [email protected] with the word 'map' in the subject line. Meanwhile, please share this important map with everyone you know!
Glyphosate in Napa Valley Groundwater:
3.3 Times Higher Than What is Allowed in European Drinking Water
Napa, CA., October 4, 2016
In a joint partnership, Label GMOs Napa County and the Napa County Green Party did what the U.S. government has not been doing-- tested local water supplies for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, the most commonly used herbicide in the world.
Although the Safe Drinking Water Act was originally passed by Congress in 1974 to protect public health by protecting drinking water and its sources, including rivers, lakes, reservoirs, springs, and groundwater wells, the federal government does not test for glyphosate.
“The Safe Drinking Water Act requires the testing for pesticides, and they do for about 200; however, none of them test for glyphosate,” wrote Dr. Don Huber, Emeritus Professor of Plant Pathology at Purdue University, in an email on April 29th of this year.
Therefore, on July 6th, 2016, the groups took three water samples from three different water sources in the Napa Valley-- a sample from the Napa River, taken at the Oak Knoll bridge in Napa; a sample of municipal tap water from outside a home in Yountville, which gets its water from Rector Reservoir; and a sample of unfiltered well water from outside a home on Hedgeside Avenue in Napa. The groups shipped the samples via overnight mail to Microbe Inotech Laboratories in St. Louis, Missouri to be tested for glyphosate.
The results of these tests indicated that while the sample from the Napa River did not contain a detectable level of glyphosate (<0.05 parts per billion or ppb), and the sample of municipal water in Yountville contained only a small amount of glyphosate (0.091 ppb), the well water contained 0.729 ppb, which is lower than what is allowed in the United States at 700 parts per billion but is higher than what has been shown to cause harm and three times higher than what is allowed in drinking water in the European Union at 0.1 ppb.
Scientists have shown that 0.1 ppb of glyphosate, also a patented antibiotic, kills beneficial gut bacteria, which make up 70% of the immune system in humans.(1) In addition, scientists have shown that only 0.1 parts per trillion of glyphosate stimulates the growth of breast cancer cells.(2)
Moreover, many other toxic compounds are used in these glyphosate-based herbicides. These other compounds have recently been shown by French scientist Gilles-Eric Seralini to be 1000 times more toxic than glyphosate alone, as well as endocrine and nervous system disruptors, making the current allowable levels of glyphosate too high to protect human health.(3)
Given the low levels of glyphosate that have consistently been found in municipal water supplies compared to the higher levels found in groundwater, Dr. Michael Antoniou, geneticist at King’s College in London, stated via email, “What we can detect in human urine has to be coming from food and man-made drinks, such as wine and beer, rather than tap water.”
Glyphosate is sprayed in vineyards throughout Napa County in the winter when the vines are dormant. According to the California Department of Pesticide Registry, 50,417 pounds of glyphosate were applied on Napa County vineyards in 2013 alone, the last reported year.
In March 2016, Moms Across America reported that tests of ten wines from the California North Bay, including wines from Napa County, all contained varying levels of glyphosate. At the Acres USA Conference in 2011, Dr. Huber stated that the glyphosate is likely absorbed through the roots and bark of the grapevines and is then translocated into the leaves and grapes, making its way into the wine itself.
“These test results point to two environmental issues in Napa County-- herbicide use and over-extraction of groundwater, both primarily due to agriculture,” said Amy Martenson, Co-coordinator for Label GMOs Napa County.
“It is not surprising that glyphosate would be in higher concentrations in groundwater versus surface water, because groundwater is stored in alluvial aquifers, similar to reservoirs, that do not get the flushing actions that surface flows get,” stated Chris Malan, watershed advocate and Napa County Green Party County Council Member. “As people extract more and more groundwater, the contaminants become more and more concentrated, which is devastating to future generations who will need to depend on clean aquifers."
Concerned about the amount of pesticide use in Napa County, the negative impacts to the environment and human health, and its likely connection to Napa County’s high cancer rate, Label GMOs Napa County and the Napa County Green Party have called on local officials to reduce pesticide use by taking the following actions:
Follow the lead of other environmentally progressive cities and counties in the U.S., and ban the use of pesticides on all publicly-owned lands, except if needed to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its residents.
Direct the Agricultural Commissioner to use his authority under AB 947 to create school protection zones, banning pesticide use a quarter of a mile around all schools.
Make organic certification a criteria for all new Williamson Act contracts, which give tax breaks to landowners in the Agricultural Preserve and Agricultural Watershed to keep their land in agriculture; these contracts could be tied to organic farming practices and sound environmental stewardship but currently are not.
Why should we be concerned about glyphosate in vaccines?
Why must the FDA and CDC test for glyphosate in vaccines immediately and take actions to protect us?
Released in ECOWatch Sept 10, 2016
Earlier this year, Moms Across America sent 5 childhood vaccines to an independent lab to be screened for glyphosate. All 5 tested positive for glyphosate, with the MMR vaccine showing levels 25X higher than the other vaccines.
MAA attempted for months to have other labs confirm testing with other methodology without success. After learning of MAA's results an independent scientist tested 4 batches of vaccines and confirmed their findings at or above their original preliminary screenings. He has sent his data to his Senator and government officials with no response.
Further, more accurate tests are urgently needed by the FDA and CDC to confirm exact amounts. However, any amount is unacceptable. Action must be taken to protect our infants and children.
Glyphosate is a chemical in Roundup and hundreds of other herbicides which are sprayed on 80% of our GMO and many non organic food and feed crops. It does not wash, dry or cook off. The livestock used to make our vaccines eat these grains and the glyphosate based herbicides.
GMO and chemical farming are contaminating our medical treatments.
Click here for the full press release here.
Read the Letter to government officials below.
THANK YOU to all our supporters, sponsors and amazing people we met along the way on the National Toxin Free Tour!
Our largest sponsors Dr.Bronner's, Weedtechnics, Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds and Neal's Yard Remedies for the materials, Iconography Studios for the RV Decal, plus support from all of you for the gas!! You helped us reach thousands and pass our tens of thousands of flyers, raising awareness all across our country! What a trip! Thank you!
We started out in Orange County CA, driving the Moms Mobile, with 3 boys, 20,000 flyers, 2 duck eggs, 1 dog and 1 goldfish on July 18th. We spent about 150 hours of driving on the road and covered over 7,500 miles, stopping in 40 locations to either drop off flyers, meet with supporters and/ or do a talk.
Our first stop was Zion Canyon, Utah and it was breathtakingly beautiful! I left a stake of flyers near Zion and was happy to see many organic choices in the market.
Zion Park was all natural beauty and earthiness. A babbling brook was a welcome reprise after a hot bike ride.
Unfortunately on our second day on our National Toxin Free tour, in Ephraim, Utah we were sprayed with a weedkiller from a helicopter that was trying to eliminate "an invasive weed species" as per the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources. We were working on an organic farm and a helicopter flew over head spraying. The roof was unfinished and chemicals fell directly on my family. My son immediately got a nose bleed, had them for 8 days and we all felt unwell for weeks. As harrowing, horrible, and harmful as that experience was, we were reminded as to the importance of our tour. These chemicals are being sprayed all across the country. Hundreds of millions of pounds, every year. This must stop.
We are grateful to have the opportunity to raise awareness about these practices across the country.
Breakfast with Tami Canal Monroe near Salt Lake City, UT
We were thrilled to met with the mom who inspired millions to join in the March Against Monsanto in Utah. Sitting down for breakfast with a fellow food activist is such a welcome relief. Everything was organic and delicious. She shared with us how her daughter's health got dramatically better when she went organic. This was a common story all across the country.
The Grand Tetons, WY
Before this trip my sons were pretty down-and-out about America, even declaring they wanted to leave the country if a certain person was elected President. But when we saw majestic mountains, massive monuments, rolling plains and winding rivers galore, I think they began to see how beautiful our country is and how much it is worth staying for. When they met generous and dedicated people, strangers who opened up our homes and welcomed us into their kitchens, they realized how great the people here are too. The people make our country great, right now, and we have faith in humanity that justice, freedom and empowerment will prevail with the will of the American people....if not on the Hill, definitely in the homes of the people we met.
At this trading post in Wyoming, there was sign outside that said "For Sale due to Health Issues." I was so sad for them, because obviously they enjoyed their business. I ran and got a stack of flyers for them and they were so grateful. Cancer. Affecting 1 out of 2 males and 1 out of 3 females in America today. And the EPA allows a probable carcinogen on our food! This is why we are doing what we do. We can do better.
The thermal pools of Yellowstone and vast national forest enchanted us into meditative silence.
Wyoming and South Dakota had farmlands, plains, forests and rivers wrapping like ribbons around the roads.
Yellowstone was heaven on earth. We thank the artists and conservation activists that fought for our national parks decades ago, and for our wise president Roosevelt who made them protected for in perpetuity.
The Black Hills of South Dakota, Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore were great tourist spots were we could leave a stack of flyers. We all eat and most of us know someone who is sick. You never know how a stranger will be helped by leaving flyers out.
We met with a group of moms in a park in RapidCity SD and had an awesome conversation, passed out flyers, got news coverage, and learned a lot too. One mom said that her Uncle is a Mayor of Hungary and EVERY DAY he gets visited by a Monsanto employee who tries to bribe him with cars, vacations, money, to allow GMOs into Hungary. He says no, but what about other Mayors who might be in a tough spot?
One mom Tarin, was so proud of her Co-OP. They had all organic local food and she drove further to shop there. "it's worth it," she said. "My migraines, acne, aches and pains completely went away when I switched to organic."
In South Dakota we stopped at the 10,000 acre farm of the Trask family, known for seeds and grains. Pat Trask was one of the two farmers who went to the Supreme Court to fight GMO Alfalfa and won. Amazing story. Not so amazing that a few years later Michael Taylor of the FDA overturned that ruling with a simple announcement. This is how corrupt our government is. This also must stop. The great things about the Trask family is that they have such a deep devotion to God that they are utterly convicted that we will, in the long run, win. "God is on our side, " Pat said. " I have no doubt what so ever that we will turn this around because our food is sacred." I got to talk to his gracious wife Rosemary too, and her devotion as a wife, farmer and mother to 12 children was awe inspiring. She was happy to take a stack of flyers to give to her church. They are all blessed to have the Trasks in their community, real "salt of the earth," as Pat says of his kind that live in the heart land of America - "The sifted and sorted folk."
In Iowa were were fortunate to be able to have dinner with farmer educator Howard and Pam Vlieger and tour their farm. Howard raises all non GMO fed livestock and our boys were in heaven to be able to eat meat they could trust. I could see that Howard's farm was a living example of his personal commitment to integrity and what he calls "God's work". Bronson decided that his duck eggs that he was trying to hatch needed a good home. He gave them to Pam and we were quite glad that ducks would not be hatching in our RV.
In Milwaukee, WI we met with our graphic designer Anne and she brought us to Growing Power, started by former basketball player Will Allen, on a 3 acre growing facility with 25 hoop houses and Aqua-phonics. They grow 1 million pounds of food just on those three acres per year! They have grown to 50 acres across the city. Beat that yield, of healthy organic food Monsanto, I bet you you cannot.
Speaking of eating, I found a lovely spot to stand outside on the McDonald's booth at the Milwaukee Summer Fest , the largest in the nation, to pass out GMO info flyers. One woman said her grown son was autistic and she had never heard that organic food could help. Another said that her daughter had been trying to get pregnant for years...she looked broken hearted...and she wondered if going organic could help. The look of hope in her eyes when I shared testimonials of other who have gotten pregnant of only a month or two of organic, whole healthy foods and veggies, was worth the whole trip.
Milwaukee Summer Music Festival outreach.
Food on the road.
On the road, we almost never ate at a restaurant, and that was challenging, because Americans make some tasty food! We brought our own food and cooked delicious meals on the road. Lunch was primarily sandwiches so we could eat and drive. But dinner was a cooked meal that was all organic. We were so grateful for all the supporters who welcomed into their home or community locations. We knew their food would be all organic, and honestly I could have just cried, I was so relieved and grateful. Eating has been so challenging for so many years, and so many of our acquaintances in SoCal still don't eat all organic, so the immediate bond with fellow organic eaters was divine.
We had a great talk in Wheeling IL at Purple Sprout Vegan restaurant where we enjoyed Robin's Frozen Fantasy ice cream made of hemp! We met the Chicago Water Reservoir director, the largest reservoir in the US, who was proud to tell me they no longer spray Roundup around the water supply! YEAY!
I also spoke and met with supporters in Columbus OH. Warren of Snowville Creamery loaded us up with grass fed dairy and goodwill. The commissary where they hosted the talk, was an inspiring community kitchen to support local food entrepreneurs. We loved the concept and the company!
Niagara Falls, NY
We drove through the green rolling hills of upstate NY and stopped at Niagara falls. The boys were blown away. We could not help joking that "There is Canada, where we might move!" Noooo...we won't we will stay and work on having our home here be the best it can be.
After Niagara Falls , we met with Matthew, a supporter and former teacher who lived in Vermont. What a committed person! He helped us find all the telephone numbers for members of the PTA in Washington state when they had a GMO labeling ballot initiative so that we could contact them. A man in Vermont worked with a mom in CA, for the people of Washington state. We did not know each other, but we were all committed to the same thing. That is great. The people of American make America great right now.
We finally made it to Vermont! We had an incredible time at the Montpelier July 4th festival and parade. It was such a joy to thank the people of Vermont for labeling GMOs. I will always remember the sea of thousands of happy faces and the moment of happiness and gratitude we shared. I am sure that there are no strangers in the world, there are just people I have not met yet.
This is one of the main reasons we took this trip. We wanted to make sure someone was in the Montpelier, Vermont parade to thank all the activists who got GMO labeling passed. This picture is bitter sweet now though, because their law has been preempted. But I will never forget the gratitude and joy we all felt for each other. It is not over yet either, lawsuits and appeals are happening.
We met with Andrea from Rural Vermont and she told us all about the movement. The close communities, grassroots activism is what got the labeling passed. They had over 50 hearing about GMO labeling, so it was a thoroughly researched issue and the people won the right for GMO labeling through a fair democratic process.
After the festivities, we went to Basin Farm, a gorgeous 40 acre organic farm run by a spiritual community called the harness that energy. On the farm, which we found through WWOOF.org, we worked hard and played hard, with a giant siesta in between when it was scorching hot outside. Our sons delighted us by working 2-3 hours straight for 2 session a day, with a dip in the river in between to cool off. Nary a complaint. Kids WANT to be useful and be outside! Working on the farm was the highlight of the trip.
We fell in love with green, green, green Vermont. Spacious, friendly and authentic.
Basin Farm is a beautiful organic farm and spiritual community. We harvest, washed and dried kale for smoothies.
Did you know that you can live and eat ( for free) at organic farms in exchange for a few hours of work around the world? Check out WWOOF online.
Harvesting fresh garlic in Vermont. The boys worked hard and deserved the jump in the river afterwards.
The garlic is stacked or hung to dry in a green house or barn. Having fun while clipping garlic bulbs in CT.
At Hunts Brook Farm in CT, my husband literally earned his green thumb. In Vermont, Zarob was a fountain of Knowledge.
The organic farmers I met had an abundance of food, too much often in fact, to harvest before they matured.
They all agreed that genetic modification is something chemical companies have just been good at marketing, and not something that is at all beneficial for farmers or consumers.
Cedar Creek Farm, VT
Cedar Creek is a bustling 50 acre organic farm, where Will Allen and staff have never used a drop of herbicides. His farm stand and cafe were filled with fragrant, delicious smells, produce and local goods like golden maple syrup and jams.
We met with Will Allen, author of "War on Bugs" at Cedar Creek Farms. David Bronner of Dr.Bronner's Magic Soaps. his wife Lisa and activist friend Michael in Vermont and watched while our Senators voted away our rights to have GMO labeling clearly on the package. A challenging day, good thing we had good company.
Hunts Brook Farm, CT
We harvested, washed and hung over 3000 bulbs of garlic in Vermont. In CT, a few weeks later we clipped the tops and roots off probably twice as many dried bulbs.
We learned so much while talking with the farm workers, many who were backpackers, from around the world. The WWOOF program gives people a chance to live and work on a farm, and be fed the farm's food, in any country around the world. The organic farms get volunteer labor, which is sorely needed considering the additional fees for organic certification and maintenance, and the workers get to learn and experience a different culture or way of life.
One worker shared that he went to college in Japan and spent $80,000 on his college education for an Agriculture degree. He said he learned more in a few months on Basin Farm than all 4 years in school. "I wish I had not spent that money, " he said. " I wish I had just come here."
This a a great way to learn about farming, meet dedicated and inspiring people, and make a difference int he world. Learn how to grow organic food. Grow it yourself. Opt out of the GMO toxic chemical farming practice and bring organic back to society by growing food!
Farmer "Digga" from Hunts Brook Farm in CT, pictured to the left, grows food for his CSA and for a local school which teaches autistic and challenged children. I could tell he knows his life makes a difference for others.
It was hard to work in the sun and our hats go off to every farmer on the planet. Farming is truly a noble commitment, one of little thanks and yet deep satisfaction and fulfillment.
Once in Connecticut we got to park the RV and "stay in one place" for a few weeks. We spent time with family, friends and angels for our cause. My brother and sister in law coordinated a community center mural painting event and we joined them. The theme of the beautiful mural was "Justice is on the side of the Universe." It was a comforting day, rallying with community in the face of violence happening in inner cities, the poisoning of our food crops in rural America and the injustice of the DARK Act Passing on the Hill. It was one of the most difficult days of my life when the DARK Act passed July 29. But July 30 I was with peers and new friends at the Unitarian Universalist Church in NY and their dedication comforted me.
Community mural in Connecticut. Martha, NY, on of the many angels of our trip.
Demonstrating on the streets of Brooklyn NY was exciting and fun! We all had dinner afterwards as a group and as we were eating we heard loud chanting outside. We saw a caucasian and Jewish group marching and protesting for Black Lives Matter. My eyes swelled with tears in gratitude for the dedication of the people of New York.
We left flyers and demonstrated with the boisterous Reverend Billy and Stop Shopping Choir and I was on the radio with Savitri D. Brilliant, fully self expressed people whose creativity inspires me. If they can make up a song about glyphosate and perform it in a park with Hazmat suits on, I can certainly up the courage to talk to my city council about not spraying Roundup!
Since then we have learned that the NY DEP has stopped spraying Roundup around all 5 borough water supplies and streets! YEAY!
At small town Voluntown, CT farmer's market. I am proud that my childhood hometown stopped road side spraying as soon as residents complained of how ugly and brown it made the grass and how many dead birds they saw.
If you have not been to Connecticut, go in the summer or the fall, when the leaves on the trees are either lush and green or golden, red, orange, and purple. We stayed with family for another week, picking blue berries, floating in a pond, fishing for cat fish and sitting around a campfire. We do this work because we love our families. It is important to spend time with them and enjoy them.
The Return Trip!
First Stop, Lancaster , PA. Virginia
Lancaster PA, GMO Free Pennsylvania and friends hosted a talk and gathering. In Virgina, Blair, Alison and family had us for an awesome gluten free, organic lunch and dessert. It is so wonderful to meet our supporters and their families!
In Washington DC we met with Stephanie, Laura and Kevin, with whom we will be collaborating with to expand MAA's reach and support. Laura and Kevin have been tracking the cost of eating organic for 5 years and have great tips! We can't wait to work with them to bring more solutions to the masses!
We sought shelter from the heat in the United States Museum of American History. Loved the exhibit on the food system (the first word we saw was organic!) and the Ag system since the earlier settlers.
Nashville rocks! At the Grand Ole Opry. We bought some country music to educate the kids about music from the heart of our country. Todd amped up his string picking game with a banjo. He drove the ENTIRE way, there and back, hundreds of hours of driving, and he fixed everything that broke along the way, the fridge, solar, generator, ceiling vent, wheel skirt and more. He was a handy man and driver of the highest level and we could not have accomplished what we did without him.
We left a stack of flyers at the "Hands On Nashville,"an Urban Farm spanning two house lots with dozens of orchard trees and diverse crops. It was delightful to see signs which displayed the beneficial health aspects of each crop and how eating healthy is our first best medicine.
Along the banks of the mighty Mississippi in Memphis, TN I was stunned and saddened to see four foot swaths of dried grass. I confirmed with the manager that Roundup had been sprayed there and she got the talking to of her life, in a nice way...because she didn't know, mast don't know, the toxic impact that Roundup and glyphosate based herbicides can have.
We have to share this information with them, in a calm way, and give them as much data as they would like. We were horrified to see that the banks of the small pond and green algae was chocking out the life of the pond. The edges of all our campsite were sprayed, so I made my sons put shoes on, we stayed in side and left as early as we could in the morning.
Little Rock, Arkansas is so lucky to have former school nurse Rhonda, Brandy, Sam, Ryan, Robert, and Russ!
Rhonda from Little Rock, AR organized a gathering at the local Natural Grocers, which has 100% organic produce! We met fascinating people! Ryan from Clean Eatery is bringing thousands of people a week wholesome organic and non GMO meals to their homes!
Natural Grocers is heaven!!! ALL organic produce, 100%, YES! Hundreds of locations, super friendly staff and they already had a table just for GMO info. We want Natural Grocers to be everywhere!
I never fail to be excited about leaving a stack of flyers on GMOs and related toxins, our glyphosate info and alternative solutions at community centers across the country. All it takes is one person to decide to do something about it and that entire city will be a step closer to a healthy community. We had fun giving out info and seeing the sights. In Oklahoma the boys were thrilled to stop at a native American shop and stock up on tomahawks and rubber band guns. After nearly two months on the road, I am not sure that was the wisest idea we ever had, but everyone is still alive and no one lost an eye so well... bring on the rubber bands!
New Mexico Arizona
In Alburquerque NM we met with Jane for Neal's Yard Remedies, one of our biggest sponsors, and Aseare from the Organic Living Room. In Flagstaff, AZ we stayed with Terri of Real Food Mum and met with a pack of dedicated food advocates.
Our last stop, on August 22, two months later, was a celebration dinner hosted by the generous and amazing Chef Saifon and partner of True Seasons Organic Kitchen in Anaheim Hills, CA. She served us a buffet of all organic, local delicious food and some of us got Hot pots too. Her desert of mango, green tea and cookies and cream ice cream/shaved ice are divine!
We were all smiles to finally be home. It was a wonderful trip, and... home is great too. Chef Saifon knew that we would be hungry, and so would several dozen supporters, so she supplied a buffet heaping with organic food. My boys were in heaven.
Delicious organic food, rated the BEST in OC, California! What a honor to be able to thank local supporters for their dedication and have them to True Seasons Organic Kitchen. Thank you Chef Saifon and Team!Make sure to visit them if you are in the area!
Thank you again to all the supporters we met along the way! Each and every one of your stories of healing, of dedication and your struggles too, all made our trip worth it. If we did not include a photo of you, I am so sorry, some may are still hidden from me in my laptop which crashed during the trip. Please know meeting all of you was an honor and we hope to gather up the video and share your stories.
Friends, keep being generous, committed and unstoppable!
Love, Zen Todd, Ben, Bodee and Bronson