Most of us in the natural living community know Monsanto and its terrible impact on the environment. There recently was a March Against Monsanto movement where over 200,000 people in over 40 different countries held protests against Monsanto, namely their unmitigated spread of GMO seeds. What is GMO? You can read more about that here. Monsanto has way more environmental impact than just GMO seeds. Check out this “Monsanto Dirty Dozen” list.
So, how do we avoid supporting such an environmentally damaging super giant?
Here are 7 Ways to Remove Monsanto From Your Life
1. Buy Certified Organic Food
In most countries genetically modified seeds are not allowed to be “Certified Organic”. Organic crops must be grown in soil that is safe, without chemical modifications, and must remain separate from conventionally grown produce. Organic farmers are not allowed to use synthetic pesticides, GMO seeds, or petroleum based fertilizers.
If you can’t find good organic produce, but have a local farmers market, talk to the farmers. See what their farming practices are. A lot of small, local farms follow organic standards but can’t afford the cost of organic certification. The great thing about this is you are supporting local, sustainable farms and not paying the hefty price of organic certification.
You can also find a plethora of manufactured products including food, personal care, baby formulas, textiles and more that are verified GMO free through the Non-GMO Project.
The fruits and vegetables that are known to be genetically modified are corn, sugar beets, alfalfa, squash (especially crook neck and zucchini), golden rice, soy bean, cottonseed, rapeseed (canola), salmon, dairy and meat treated with rBGH, sugar, papaya. There are more out there that are testing or unknown to me, please add the ones you know in comments.
2. Grow a garden using heirloom open pollinated seeds
What better way to take control of your food supply than to grow your own? During World War I and II people were encouraged to grow “victory gardens” because of world wide food shortages. These gardens were considered a “morale booster” to citizens allowing them to be empowered to grow their own food. Post world war II there was a huge shift away from maintaining a household garden toward convenience and displays of affluence, like the perfectly manicured lawn.
Now we are in an everlasting “war against terrorism” and the economy is in the tank. It is time to bring back victory gardens and nourish our families with homegrown produce.
When you buy and grow heirloom open pollinated seeds you are ensuring that your seeds have survived the test of time, they are not GMO, and the seeds can be saved from the harvest and planted next year. This is self sustaining agriculture at its finest! You can get all the GMO free heirloom seeds you need in this Survival Seed Vault.
3. Don’t drink soda (diet or regular)
Regular soda is made with high fructose corn syrup or HFCS which is a very highly processed derivative of corn that is usually genetically modified. HFCS is bad for the body on a lot of levels, just one of them being the use of GMO corn. Diet sodas are made with aspartame or saccharin both which are manufactured by Monsanto, both of which have been linked to cancer and seizures, along with many other health issues.
4. Use glass, re-usable storage systems for food whenever you can
Polystyrene is that Styrofoam packaging you commonly get when you take home leftovers from a restaurant It is highly toxic and releases over 57 chemical byproducts when it breaks down, which it does when heated in the microwave. It was ranked 5th in the EPA’s 1980s listing of chemicals whose production generates the most total hazardous waste.
Instead of using Styrofoam packaging, bring your own glass container to take home food in when you eat out. Better yet, encourage the restaurants you eat at to use bio-degradable packaging made from recycled paper, bamboo, or other renewable resources.
5. Don’t spray poison on your lawn
Roundup is Monsanto’s baby. The love of those who love the pure unadulterated lawn and the lazy homeowner.
“RoundUp has been found in samples of groundwater, as well as soil, and even in streams and air throughout the Midwest U.S., and increasingly in food. It has been linked to butterfly mortality, and the proliferation of superweeds. Studies in rats have shown consistently negative health impacts ranging from tumors, altered organ function, and infertility, to cancer and premature death. Reference the above “GMO Risks” page which includes countless references to support these statements.” (source)
Instead of using roundup to kill your weeds, get a trowel, get down on your hands an knees and dig them out. You can also let them grow! Many weeds like dandelions are wonderful for the soil and medicinally beneficial.
Another natural alternative for weed spray is 1 part vinegar, 1 part water (to equal a gallon), 1 tablespoon dish soap and 3 tablespoons salt. Spray this weed killer directly on the plant and roots at the beginning of the day. Re-apply daily for 3 days. This will kill anything it touches so don’t use it in the garden and be sure to avoid any thing you would like to remain.
6. Don’t use petroleum based fertilizer
Scott brand and Miracle Grow are both owned by Monsanto. These are made with byproducts of petroleum manufacturing dispersed into top soil or other carriers. They contain synthetically derived nitrogen and phosphorus and few of the micro and macro nutrients plants need.
Instead of using Scott and Miracle grow you can use manure from cows, goats, pigs, chickens, earth worms and horses raised without hormones or antibiotics. This manure is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients the soil needs. In addition you can mulch with grass, leaves and wood chips to add nutrients and a nice soft loam to the soil. You can use compost to add beneficial nutrients, micro and macro flora to the soil. ***Scott and miracle grow are no longer owned by Monsanto. Thanks Gardener Don for pointing that out in comments***
7. Don’t eat meat raised with Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH)
“This genetically modified hormone was developed by Monsanto to be injected into dairy cows to produce more milk. Cows subjected to rBGH suffer excruciating pain due to swollen udders and mastitis, and the pus from the resulting infection enters the milk supply requiring the use of additional antibiotics. rBGH milk has been linked to breast cancer, colon cancer, and prostate cancer in humans.” (source) The hormone is also used to make cows larger and fatter quickly so they can harvest them before they become ill from the unsanitary living conditions and un natural food they are fed.
It is easy to find hormone free, antibiotic free meat in the market place now. Know that meat that is not labeled “Organic” could easily be from animals that were fed GMO corn and soy. Ideally find a local farmer that raises their animals without hormones or antibiotics (unless the animal is sick and needs acute medical care). Ask them if their meat is “pasture raised, pasture finished” meaning they eat a natural diet from birth to slaughter. Pasture raised meat is increasing in availability in stores as more people demand high quality meat. I have found the prices in the store to be much more expensive than those from farms that sell quarter, half, or full cows, or that sell at the farmers market.