The Scarecrow: Time to Awaken

In a world where virtually all seafood in supermarkets is coming from industrial fishing or factory fish farms, more than 80% of our corn is genetically modified, and factory farming accounts for more than 90 percent of all farmed animals raised and killed in the United States…It is time to awaken.

When I speak to people on these subjects, I can almost hear the whisper in their thoughts “it can’t be that bad…she is exaggerating a bit”. I understand it is difficult to accept the truth about factory farming and dangers of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), however there will be a tipping point when the destruction to our environment and health will be evident. In fact, I believe we are in the midst of that epidemic right now.

The depths of these two problems remain in the shadows from the public. Truth is we’ve grown comfortable being the end consumer and not truly knowing where our food comes from, or how it is made.

This isn’t an anti-meat sentiment, it is a sustainable farming sentiment.

First up, GMOs:
More than 60 countries require labeling of genetically engineered foods and many have banned them altogether, yet GMOs remain unlabeled and WIDESPREAD in American food supply.  More than 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. And not so coincidentally the very same companies who create the GMO seeds, also create the toxic herbicides they are genetically altered to resist.

While this may seem harmless, herbicide use has increased 15 times  just since GMOs were introduced, and continues to grow. These chemicals are linked to the “super bugs” and “super weeds” we hear about from time to time, which in turn can only be killed with stronger poisons like 2,4-D (a main ingredient in Agent Orange). Many herbicides and sprays have been recognized as known endocrine disruptors, affecting our health in ways we can only begin to imagine.

Opponents can battle the right to label GMO’s all they want, but there is no getting around the fact that GMOs were born from chemical agriculture. They were developed then sold and promoted by the companies that stand to gain a profit from them. They also cannot deny that the long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown and once released into the genes of our food – cannot be recalled. So, we are the guinea pigs and they get to play the role of Mother Nature, at least temporarily. Most of all, any valid scientific evidence of GMOs “feeding the world” remains to be seen.

Next up, sustainable animal farming:
There are more humane and sustainable ways to farm crops and raise animals. Farmers did it this way for centuries. Truth is we don’t see, nor want to see, the waste on Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs), the sick and depressed animals, the living conditions, the antibiotics they are pumped with or any of the immediate consequences from Industrial Farm Animal Production (IFAP). And sadly, people don’t want to pay extra for sustainable animal products, yet are paying ten-fold for the consequences.

But a sure way to avoid GMOs and unsustainable meat production is by choosing organic and getting deeply connected to your food. I commend Whole Foods for their 5-step animal rating system, which isn’t perfect but a huge step in the right direction of AWARENESS.

It is time to rethink your meat.

While I find it inspiring that Chipotle is a food chain leader in the education of food production and quality, half of their ingredients remain GMO. However, giving credit where it is due, they published this detailed label information voluntarily and in July of this year, announced their plans to be the first U.S. restaurant chain to try and rid menu of GMO foods.

In light of this announced new effort and despite the current GMO’s in their food, I find their open-door policy of ingredients refreshing and commendable. If Chipotle, a “healthy” fast food chain, trying all they can to follow a guideline of “food with integrity”  is sprinkled with GMO’s, what about the rest of them?

I think it exemplifies the complexity that exists not only for consumers, but food chains to source sustainable, non-GMO options, It is kinda scary!

I look forward to the ground-breaking changes Chipotle creates in the food industry. In the meantime, I am in LOVE with their recent production: The Scarecrow. The education in this video message is beyond powerful.  Go Chipotle, thumbs up.