Despite the mess in the food industry we currently have, something beautiful and strong is emerging. The connections we are all creating by speaking up for a healthy future and freedom to choose our food are making America stronger. I had the privilege and honor to connect with Nancy Massotto, Founder and Executive Director of Holistic Moms Network. The Holistic Moms Network has partnered with Moms Across America to increase GMO awareness and spread the word about Moms Across America. In doing so we get to know Holistic Moms better. What an amazing organization and powerful woman!
What was your intention when you started Holistic Moms network 10 years ago?
Nancy Massotto is the Founder and Executive Director of the Holistic Moms Network and mother to two boys. She founded the Holistic Moms Network to meet other parents who shared her passions for living healthy and living sustainably, and to help raise awareness about natural living options. Before becoming a mom, she completed three graduate degrees, including a Ph.D. in political science, specializing in gender studies and feminist theory and spent several years working for non-profit research institutes, including the Women’s Research and Education Institute (WREI) and the International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), while residing in the Washington, D.C. area. As a mom and community leader, she is dedicated to empowering women, supporting mothers, and raising her two sons as naturally and sustainably as possible.
Founder & Executive Director
Holistic Moms Network
There is an uprising happening in America. It's not visible like in Europe where they are tearing up crops and being dragged away from protests in Hazmat suits.... in America the uprising is in kitchens and coffee shops and on the internet. Moms who once found their lives exhausting are now waking at 6 am automatically and posting everything they can about GMOs. They are spending money from their savings to start a ballot initiative for their state and learning the ins and out of politics that they once abhorred. They are doing radio shows and sharing their rage with thousands. People are MAD. Moms are LIVID. The recent reports, there seem to be a new ones every day now, are so many that if you don't scan Facebook for two hours you are out of the loop...and these reports now show categorically that GMOs are dangerous, not only to our health but to the environment and our economy. This is something I knew in my bones as soon as I saw Robyn O'Brien's TedX Talk "Patriotism on a Plate" and Jeffrey M. Smith's movie Genetic Roulette, but my brain did not have proof of human harm on paper until just these past few weeks. See here for many of those reports.
These new reports, coupled with the devastating impact of the President signing the "Monsanto Protection Act", have Moms practically spitting fire on the internet. Our Moms Survey, along with testimonials that their kids have gotten better off GMOs, have numerous responses saying:
"I HATE GMOS"
"I WILL NEVER FEED MY KIDS GMOS"
"I WILL FIGHT GMOS UNTIL MY DYING BREATH"
Yes, all in CAPS, all SHOUTING. They are MAD. That's why 69,000 people liked the "March Against Monsanto" on May 25th, and 9,000 signed up in about a week. People are angry...and worse than angry...people like me feel betrayed.
Usually we leave politics out of this at MAAM because anyone and everyone eats and Tea Partiers, Democrat and Republicans alike are working together on our team. I have to express for myself and all the Moms that I have talked to, that voted for Obama like I did and know about GMOs, that we want to weep with sadness. I feel betrayed. I feel a heavy weight and shame in being gullible and I am outraged at him about that. How could he? How could Michelle allow it? It's like my world turned inside out and upside down. Suddenly I have taken the blue pill and I can see clearly now that we are in the matrix.
For example: Walmart makes big profits, partially by paying their employees so little, and those workers must resort to buying cheap, nutritionally bankrupt foods. Big Agriculture profits from from the purchase of these cheap foods by Walmart and other poorly paid employees. When they get sick from this so called food, they have to pay huge amounts of whatever income they have left to pay for drugs from Big Pharmaceuticals. Big Media operates off commercial ads for those drugs which are paid for by Big Pharmaceuticals which also makes herbicides and pesticides for Big Ag, they are one and the same. Together they run our Whitehouse and Big Government.....paying for all the laws to be written in their favor to continue this circle of profit.
I am sure another website could put together much better statistics for this situation, exactly how much money they control, how many senators and congress people they have bought out...frankly the graphics that show the overlap of former Monsanto, Phizer and Dow employees that literally run our government, is sickening. Like a bad accident, I can't look at it for more than a few seconds. I don't want to know. It's too deep of a betrayal to everything I love about America.
Especially as Mom, I love our freedoms, our opportunities, the fact that we are not at war with another country on our homeland and our children are mostly safe...but now with GMOs in every school, church gathering, birthday party and scout outing...I feel like they are being attacked by food and our government knows this and lets it happen. My faith in our country is deeply shaken...and our food is slowly and literally killing us. ( I say this in reference to Dr. Huber's report, see link in first paragraph, that it has been discovered that soy has a new pathogen which causes birth defects and miscarriages in animals AND humans and we now have the lowest recorded birth rate in history. These are our BABIES.)
Unless I fight the status quo, be the one who doesn't have her kids sit down and eat the pizza at the bowling party, be the one who says "No you can't have popcorn" (at the movie theater because it was impromptu and we didn't smuggle in popcorn without GMO canola oil on it) "because it's GMO", loud enough for everyone around me to hear and not care...
Unless I am VIGILANT, tirelessly, actively, vigilant, my kids will be harmed by GM food over time. I know thousands of Moms get this and feel the same way. It's EXHAUSTING isn't it? Don't you just want to say "F it" and move to New Zealand or Peru where they ban GMOs?
Can you just NOT BELIEVE what a twilight zone of a mess our country is in right now? I hate to say this because it seems so un-American. I want to shake myself and wake up. I want to be able to eat at a restaurant and not feel like crap for two days afterwards. I want be able to send my kids to school with 3 dollars and say "Sure, buy lunch today". I want to be able to go to parties and smile authentically at the host and thank her and accept the cake, but that is not going to happen now. Not because I can't, because I could do all of those things, I just choose not to.
We have a choice but many don't. They don't know what they don't know. They are eating GMOs and wondering why the hell they can't loose the weight or why their autistic kid is not responding to therapy. Everybody, teachers, librarians, parent friends, bankers are all trying to give our kids GMO candy or sweets as rewards. They just don't know...and not only do they not know they are literally having the freedom to choose their food taken from them by not being told what is in their food. What is truly American is to have faith in the people. That's what our founding fathers did a couple hundred years ago and that's what this movement of mothers is doing now.
So as Moms, as exhausted and mad as we are, I invite us all to channel that energy, that relentless vigilance and tireless love for our children, to share. Share everyday, and in every way you can imagine as an act of generosity for fellow Moms and as an investment in the future of America. We are the ones. There is no one else that is going to swoop down from the sky and fix this for us. This is our country and our kids and it's up to us. We just need to shift from what's bad and wrong to what's possible...
What is possible for our movement as we go from Mad to Inspired? From Betrayed and Depressed to Creative?
What would be possible for our children if, rather than stewing in our own anger, we share with all our Mom friends from a place of love? Right now, that is the kind of leadership we need in America. If each one of you shared with 10 Moms, let's say you had a movie night, and each one of them shared with 5, who all shared with 5 and they shared with 5 Moms, then you would be personally responsible for 1,270 Moms finding out about GMOs and empowering them to have the freedom to choose their family's food. Multiply that times 100 thousand Moms ( that's only 2000 per state) and we have brought freedom to over 127 million Moms. That is way more than the tipping point needed to cause consumer rejection of GMOs and food manufacturer profit loss of 5%. This will spark the food manufacturers to make the switch to NON GMO. By signing up to march on July 4th and sharing GMO info flyers with your WHOLE TOWN all at once, we will be causing that tipping point simultaneously around the nation!
My friend Montgomery posted on Facebook last night:
It’s almost April 2013 and the planet is going through a mass transformation. There are many aspects to this transformation, and in the end one must come to realize the basic building block for global change starts with us, humanity on a collective level, together.- Collective Evolution
My husband gave me a well worn book the other day, "The SIXTIES: Years of Hope, Days of Rage". It seems to me we are mimicking those times in many ways...they had "Pranksters" just like "Anonymous" they had a women's uprising and Gloria Steinmen like we have Vandana Shiva. They had war (with the involvement of the same chemical company today, Monsanto) and meeting of community groups like we did with Prop 37 and protests like Occupy Wall Street. What I derive from posts on Facebook that speak of transformation, a shift in consciousness, and the energy I see rising everyday, is that it's not hippy-ish or weird, it's real...we are on the cusp of something bigger and more different than any of us can image.
Think of the huge shift in society from the 50's to the 60's. HUGE. The average person in the fifties, with their crisp suit or housewives with hats, matching shoes, prim purses and gloves, would have laughed their butt off in disbelief or told youthat were loony if you told them how people would be in the 60's...long haired, bell bottom wearing, freely pot smoking and maybe even swapping spouses. I am not saying we should fight for the 60's again but I am saying there is a correlation between the standards and ideals in the fifties that came from marketing and advertising and the standards and ideals that we have now about our food system. We've been "sold" a way of eating that doesn't work for us, this advertising is brainwashing for their maximum profit not for the nourishment of the people. There is a freedom before us, if we continue to rise, connect, garden, grow our own food, gather with love and empowerment, that will transform our world. The cool thing is, that this time around, we can still shave our armpits.
When I think about the food revolution that we are up to causing, my energy comes back. I can set aside my resentment for the President. I shift my focus to the new and amazing relationships that are being created from this movement. Like my new friend Monica and her daughter Alicia, the 6 year old who is petitioning the Girl Scouts to make NON GMO cookies, that I only met because of this movement. I get inspired by my kids who want to write letters to Monsanto's employees telling them what they are doing. My heart fills with joy and awe when I get calls from across the USA and even from other parts of the world, saying "We support you, keep going". Then I want to weep tears of gratitude, fulfillment and wonder at the amazing resilience and generosity of the human spirit.
Thank you to ALL of you who keep on keeping on. We are standing for Empowered Moms and Healthy Kids, no matter what.
Please note: I do not know whose graphic this is, it was posted on Facebook and I just love it. If you know whose it is so I can credit them, I would appreciate it. My feeling that they just want it to be seen and I am thrilled to share it.
Ever feel like we are in a twilight zone? The whole GMO food debacle has my head reeling this week. If I didn't have this march to plan, I might be joining the ranks of the activist pulling up fields in Europe. I am mad. I am more than mad, I am livid. To top off the confirmation of outrageous toxicity in our food, someone hacked my MAAM Facebook site this week. They know we are finding out and sharing about GMOs and they see that Moms are a threat to the way they do business. Good.
The past two weeks have been a tidal wave of GMO info, movie showing and people all across America taking action and posting important articles, videos and reports. There is no doubt in my mind that GMOs are nutritionally bankrupt and toxic.The response is inspiring however, even my hometown in CT of 2000 people had a Genetic Roulette showing this week! Despite the anger I feel from the injustice that has been foisted on the American people, I am delighted and encouraged by America's stand for our health, our children and our communities. These articles, videos, interviews and facts help us to speak clearly and confidently about GMOs
If you want to be clear about the health risks of GMOs, take a look at the following articles and videos.
I find the easiest way to introduce your friends and family to this information is to talk to them and show them
Thank you for visiting our new site!
We are thrilled to have signed up for NationBuilder to create a site with the capacity to support hundreds of thousands of marchers and volunteers! How amazing is the technology and community that we have created in America??!!
Every day I am inspired by the commitment, creativity, passion and generosity of people all across our country. So many people are coming together to support this exciting national event.
On this site you can sign up to march in a listed parade, upload an event in your area that we don't know about, learn or share more about GMOs, expand your involvement or leadership in your community, and connect with amazing people all across America. Every bit that you can do or share helps.
We hope you see the extraordinary opportunity that is before us. Moms are coming together to be an unstoppable movement for the rights of all children and people in this country...to know what is in our food and to be able to eat GMO free if we choose. Too many Americans still don't know about GMOs.
Thank you for your interest, willingness and generosity in sharing about GMOs with anyone you know. Thank you for joining in a parade near you on July 4th to march for the health of our families, truth in labeling, justice for future generations and liberty for all Americans to choose to eat GMO Free.
Zen Honeycutt and the MAAM Team
Most of us will be calling for stricter gun laws in the next few months. Many of us will be pushing for greater access to mental health care. That will be a source of glee for pharmaceutical companies, who just want to drug every kid that acts fidgety but is not the solution. Many may scoff, but the solution to who we are, to how we behave, to our reactions to situations of stress, is most often our food. " We are what we eat" is literally true.
Yes, I agree. Get those gun laws enforced NOW. There is no reason what so ever for anyone to own an automatic weapon. And no one should own any kind of gun without frequent training and extensive psychiatric screening.
But as far as mental health care, rather than push for our kids to be drugged into complacent walking comas, I propose we educate the public about the affect food has on behavior. From Barbara Stitt's book " Food and Behavior: The Natural Connection";
"Ask any hyperactive child, depressed, angry teenager, violent adult or criminal what they eat and you'll find they "live" on junk food — sweetened boxed cereals, candy, carbonated drinks, potato chips, fast foods."
You may want to argue that feeding kids soda, chips and fast food is nothing compared to a kid with a chemical imbalance. Not your kid. A few sodas and chips won't hurt... parents are not that bad guys! Some kids are just born with serious chemical imbalances and that's that.
That may be true, in a few cases. I am not a brain scientist. I am however a Mother that can smell a cop out when I see one. We can no longer chalk up violent behavior to genetics or chemical imbalance. Studies have shown that genetically modified food does not just alter one gene independently by the insertion of a bacteria harboring a pesticide into the DNA. The forcing of a foreign protein instigates unforeseeable, unpredictable and uncontrollable mutations in that living being. And when we ingest that information, it gets transferred to our DNA. *
We also know now that genetically modified food has an impact on hormonal balance through the studies of RBGH bovine growth hormone in milk. Hormonal balance, allergies and inflammation, all cause the bodies to act in defense of a foreign invader, create Cortisol and affects chemical imbalances.* A body which experiences being constantly under attack by foreign invaders is a body which is going to be defensive and aggressive. It doesn't take a scientific study to figure that out.
But if you want evidence, Dr. Barbara Stitt did studies for 16 years on school children and behavior. See excerpts below from reviews of her book.
"An astute medical detective, Dr. Stitt looked for hypoglycemia, food allergies, adrenal gland fatigue, heavy metal accumulation, and B vitamin and other nutritional deficiencies. She knew these five problems led to distortions of thinking and decision--making. When these were addressed the results were astounding: Even though it is common for over half of arrestees to be drug dependent and for recidivism rates to be as high as 77% - over 80% of her probationers stayed out of the criminal justice system during the last twelve of her 20 years of work in Ohio. The Wall Street Journal featured her success in a front-page story titled "Can Chocolate Turn You Into a Criminal? Some Experts Say So" June 2, 1977. Numerous scientific studies have also found high success rates of probationers staying out of crime, including CARA's own program in the Sacramento County Drug Court, wherein (over a 10 year period) 87% of the addicts were successful in staying free of addiction - saving the County $22-million in the process helping thousands of people have happier, successful lives.
Barbara Reed Stitt eventually turned her focus to prevention, reaching out to schools in the hope of changing the future for students and for society that suffered from the consequences of their biochemical imbalances. For 16 years, beginning in 1983, Dr. Stitt and her husband underwrote a 'school healthy eating program'. They owned an all-natural whole grain bakery and provided whole grain bagels and a flax drink high in omega-3 that was given to students in 30 - 40 different classrooms each morning and afternoon in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. They provided newsletters each month teaching teachers, parents, and students about healthy eating. After 6 - 8 weeks of the healthier foods they required the teachers to hold a 'junk food day' when the students returned to eating as they were doing before starting the program. Repeatedly, the teachers found that after about two hours of eating the typical donuts, sweet rolls, and other 'junk foods,' the teachers lost control of their classrooms. The parents reported the children were more argumentative and had trouble sleeping and behaving. One teacher who was in the program for 12 years followed up with her students who were in college and found that the experience had a lasting influence on their lives and their ability to better learn and concentrate.
In 1999 ( note, this is after GMOs were put into food supply) they were invited to provide the foods for Wisconsin's Appleton Central Alternative High School, which was so out of control they had a full-time police officer on staff! The Stitts replaced soda machines and refined and processed, sugar-artificial-color-corn syrup-laden cafeteria food with water and wholesome fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Within less than two months of being provided with healthier foods, the school had NO discipline problem. The high school students' behavior changed dramatically and was so consistently good the Superintendent extended the wholesome foods to the entire school system of 15,000 students. While the high school drop-out rate was considered fairly low at an average of 450 students per year, after two years this number had dropped to an average of 16 per year! (See the 5-year story on a 14 minute DVD - "Impact of Fresh Whole Foods on Learning and Behavior" - www.naturalpress.info or [email protected]"
So in the aftermath of Newtown CT, hug your kids today, cherish them, and look in the pantry at what you are feeding them. High fructose corn syrup, food dyes, preservatives, GMO's in corn and soy ingredients, highly processed foods, fried foods and sugary foods, all cause chemical imbalances to the body and deprive the body of the important proteins, nutrients, vitamins and minerals we need to be physically and mentally balanced. Rather than just telling the government what to do (but please do that) we also need to look to our own families and be responsible for what we are feeding them.
To be the kind of society that we can feel completely safe sending our kids to school, we need to also reach beyond our families and ask our school communities to feed our children healthy, whole, fresh, GMO free, high fructose corn syrup free, preservative free, food dye free, and pesticide-free food.
If every Mom spoke up, we would alter the future for our children through food.
Here's what we can do:
Speak to our PTAs about Food and Behavior. Quote Barbara Stitt. Quote Jeffrey Smith from "Genetic Roulette".
Show the 10-minute version of "Genetic Roulette" or Robyn O'Brien's Ted Talk. Explain how a person riddled with allergies, inflammation, autism, ADHD and deprived of nutrients, cannot focus, perform well, feel confident or successful in school and this leads to depression and aggression.
Offer a solution like http://revfoods.com/our-food/.
Grow a garden at your school and get the kids involved in planting, weeding, and harvesting. Kids will eat veggies when they have helped grow them.
Lead by example. Speak up. Have your kids write letters to the government too. Make a video, song or presentation for school.
This is our country. These are our kids.
We are all their Moms.