In between editing my novel and reading my latest issue of Poets and Writers and exploring online literary magazines and soaking up content (this week's favorites are Scarab , the world's only mobile literary magazine created just for the iPhone and iPod touch, Pure Francis, a little gem out of Chicago, and Bloody Bridge Review, a shameless plug, I know,) I've been paying frequent visits to my greenhouse to check on my fledgling attempts at growing spinach and arugula in February. Oh...but now it's March and the sun is higher and the snow is melting and we have to open the doors when the sun is shining because it otherwise gets too hot. And while writing is my first love, everybody needs to eat (even writers) and people deserve access to safe food free of GMO contamination.
I attended the Michigan Organic Conference at MSU this past weekend which elevated my blood pressure along with my resolve to do more to spread information on the rampant contamination of our food systems. Genetically modified organisms (God Move Over, some call it) have been brought to us by Monsanto, the same company who brought us DDT and Agent Orange and then lied about their safety. Those involved in seed production say Monsanto is buying up seed companies with the intent of owning all of them. If you control seed, you control food, and if you control food you control people.
High fructose corn syrup, which is in everything from cereal to ketchup, is 100% derived from genetically modified corn. GMO foods have been proven by scientific study to accelerate aging, affect fertility, cause immune system problems and allergies, and a 50% increase in breast cancer. Oh, and if that weren't enough? They can turn our intestinal tracks into little pesticide factories, yet these studies have been swept under the carpet by the strong arm of Monsanto political influence. They have a lot of money and they don't care about your intestines.
Now you might not want to think about such things because your head is full of your WIP. You’re more absorbed in keeping a handle on your wayward protagonist than what you’re about to put in your mouth but I know I want to live long enough to add more accomplishments to my literary arsenal (it took me six years to write one novel!). I don’t need any of the aforementioned health problems to add to the other obstacles we writers experience.
So what's this all about? Can we get GMO foods out of our grocery stores the way the Europeans and the Japanease did? I believe we can through activism. We can’t wait for our govt. to act, because they won't. But all we need is 5% of the population to denounce GMO to make it financially burdensome for the likes of Kraft, Nestle, Kellogg, etc. to continue to use it in their products. If you can't buy organic try to at least avoid GMO foods, processed foods and fast food. Make your voice heard. Ask questions. Be diligent. That 5% is you.
So here's to good eating and writing well.