Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sitting in a Wisconsin bus station

Mississippi River, alongside the La Crosse Center.
 After finally securing a good night's sleep (10 hrs!), I can look back on the last three days and honestly say that the MOSES organic farming conference was time well spent. The sessions were rich with meaty information, with titles like "Crop Diversification" and "Farming With Native Plants, "Introduction to the Farm Bill" and "Working Your Holistic Fruit Orchard." Honestly? So much was way over my head but that's what happens when you jump in head first.

All the free chocolate milk...HEAVEN.
It's going to take me a while to process everything I heard and all the wonderful people I met. With 3300 attendees, it was North America's largest gathering of organic farmers ever. Such a funny mix too - young, bright-eyed students, traditional farmers in overall and John Deere caps, plus dreadlocked hippies and tons of Amish. I even dined with a table of charming lesbians and more than one woman in her 40s who had never farmed before but was taking a crack at it. Inspiration all around.

But it wasn't all happiness and joy, especially during the "GMO Contamination" session, which laid out exactly what all the GMO crops are doing to our land, our food, our environment and our children. Why people are not freaking out about this is a mystery to me.

The exhibition hall.
 While we were there, Monsanto was ordered by a judge to pay $93M (a pittance for them) to the town of Nitro, West Virginia to clean up their Agent Orange mess. This is the same chemical that is used to create 2, 4-D corn, which they plan to implement en masse here in the U.S.

Cheese! Including squeaky curds on the right.

So, the same chemical that we used to destroy the enemy in WWII is now being repackaged and sold to farmers and consumers as perfectly healthy food. Meanwhile, the rise of autism, obesity, infertility and obesity continues to rise.

This session was so packed, I sat on the floor.
Truth is: Cheap food, in the long run, is the most expensive thing you can buy.  As one speaker said to the audience, "Though you guys don't earn a physician's paycheck, you are working in preventative health care."

Recently, Monsanto was found guilty of poisoning a farmer in France with their damaging products. This is what the average consumer is eating! And this is why, GMO products must be labeled in every other Western nation on the planet....except for ours. A typical joke:

"What do they call organic food in Europe?"

My thoughts are all scrambled on this right now but I feel like my mission is more empowered and supported than ever. I'll try to be more coherent in this next post.

Okay, my bus is here, gotta motor to Minneapolis but you can be sure I'll have more to say on this later.

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