Years ago, I had a friend who boasted that he and his family ate only organic food (we have a great organic supermarket here as well as a thriving farmers market – easy to eat all organic). I asked him if they ate out. He said yes so proudly. I said, ‘Well then, you don’t eat all organic.’ He had a quizzical look on his face.
It never occurred to him that restaurants don’t buy all organic ingredients. This was ten years ago, too, when it was almost unheard of for eateries to buy locally and organic. I opened his eyes.
When you eat out, whether at a fast food drive through or a high-end restaurant with cloth napkins and valet parking, you are eating GMOs. When I stop at the burrito shack a mile from home, I KNOW that food is GMO. Conventionally grown wheat, beans, lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, salsa, corn chips – all of it is GMO and pesticide laden.
By spending my money there, I am saying It’s ok to grow GMOs! If I really wanted to make a difference, I’d make burritos at home with organic wheat tortillas, beans, lettuce, cheese, salsa and so forth. Buying all organic ingredients says It’s ok to grow organic food!
So I’m going to use an old cliché – Put your money where your mouth is. Literally! What goes in your mouth? Make it a non-GMO choice and deprive corporations like Monsanto of the money it takes to stay in business.
Eating seasonally is another way to make anti-GMO choices. The daily question should not be ‘What do you want for dinner?’ It should be ‘What can we have for dinner?’ What is available?
In spring, it’s fresh greens, not winter squash or kiwi fruit that has been trucked in from the other hemisphere. If you are growing your own food, you will see what you can eat. Spring foods are lettuce, kale, chard, spinach, baby beets and their greens, gailon, salad turnips, green onions, radishes, fresh eggs (lots of them in spring!) and goat cheese. Strawberries are on the way! I don’t eat meat, so I can’t tell you what is available from the cattle ranch. Sorry.
In summer, the menu will include things like zucchini, tomatoes, peas, broccoli, cucumbers, green beans, eggplant, peaches, plums and apricots. Late summer and into fall, I eat cabbage, winter squash, potatoes, carrots, apples and beets. Greens start to come back with the onset of cool weather – lettuce, kale, chard, etc.
These are things that grow in my area in my climate. That is eating seasonally. Here is a photo of a dish I made of onion, garlic, green beans, carrots and herbs from my garden and a local farm.
Put Up Food for Winter
So what about winter, you ask? I put up a lot of food to last through the cold, non-growing months. Last fall, I froze 20 quarts of tomatoes and made chili out of them. I sauté zucchini and onions and freeze quarts of them. I had about 10 last winter that I used as a base for soup. Fruits can be canned, frozen, dried or turned into jams. Potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beets and other root crops can be stored in a cold spot in the house or in a root cellar. Winter squash, onions and garlic can be stored in a slightly warmer spot.
If you can’t grow all of that, find a local organic farm or a farm booth at a farmers market. See if there are fall CSA shares for storage, or ask if you can buy in quantity to put food up. I say find a farm instead of buying at the supermarket, because it’s local and fresh. You will know where it came from. The produce in a supermarket has been on a truck for days, and you don’t know how long it’s been stored in a cooler before being put out for sale. A farmer will harvest on Friday for a Saturday market. That’s fresh!
Vote With Your Dollars
This is how you beat back monsters like Monsanto. Take back your power, your diet, your health and your soil by being more self-sufficient. Stop eating out and eat seasonally. It takes a little thought and planning, but it’s doable. And everybody wins except Monsanto!
The best way to affect a business is in its bank account. Vote and express your political opinions through routine purchases. In the course of our everyday lives, we can make a difference by spending according to our belief systems.