In the past month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has made several alarming decisions regarding Monsanto’s genetically modified Roundup Ready crops. Last month it granted non-regulated status to Roundup Ready alfalfa, This month it defied a court order that had prohibited farmers from planting Monsanto’s Roundup Ready sugar beets until a proper study of their environmental impact could be done. In the wake of all this, I’m looking for ways to keep Monsanto-tainted food off my family’s table.
In her excellent Yes magazine article, A Month Without Monsanto, writer April Davila chronicles her difficulty in avoiding genetically modified crops such as soy, sugar beets, and cotton—which form the foundation of our diets. Davila reports that 70 to 80 percent of American processed foods contain genetically engineered ingredients and “a large percentage of the cotton in our clothes and homes begins in Monsanto's labs.”
While she found avoidance almost impossible, Davila’s attempts to go a month without Monsanto are worth a read. She also offers some great tips for those who want to take up the good fight and minimize the genetically modified organisms in their lives.
1. Avoid processed foods, particularly the ubiquitous high fructose corn syrup.
2. Consider going vegetarian, limiting your meat consumption, or buying grass-fed varieties. Over 60 percent of genetically modified corn goes to feed cattle on polluting concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in America, Davila reports.
3. Buy organic dairy products to avoid Monsanto’s recombinant bovine growth hormone.
4. Buy organic cotton. Monsanto is a major player in the cotton industry.
Plover Organics offers beautiful--guaranteed GMO-free--organic cotton textiles. Photo courtesy Plover Organics