Monthly Archives: January 2012
Meet Mary: A Tree-Hugger, Unapologetically
In the small town in Oregon where I grew up, tree-hugger was the worst of all possible epithets, code for an anti-business, anti-job, bleeding-heart liberal. In the hours I spent under and among the magnificent old growth forests of my home I used to hug them in secret, as though it was a betrayal. Of whom or in what way, I didn’t know. What I knew was I felt a deep gratitude for their shelter, a reverence for their ancient roots, and at peace simply to be in their presence.
Today I embrace not only the trees but the title of Tree-Hugger, because I now have a language to define for myself what that means. A tree-hugger understands intergenerational justice and the interconnectedness of all beings. She understands partnership and sustainability; recognition of the obligation people have to each other and to the earth.
Nothing has reinforced the power of this relationship stronger than the project I have embarked upon con mi companera, Jess, as we delve into the ‘evolution’ of the global food system over the last century.
From a farming community, it is only now years later I am beginning to fully appreciate the immeasurable contribution of the small farmer – and I owe so many my sincere thanks: the families who were my neighbors and my friends who continue to make their living growing food.
But more than food and trees and people, this project for me is about justice. It’s about our right to safe, affordable, nutritious, and sustainable food. It’s about the right of the farmer to save the best of the seeds, to grow crops and livestock humanely and sustainably, to a way of life that has been eroded as deeply as the soil by industrial agriculture. It’s about the billions of people on this planet who are malnourished while a criminally wasteful economic system watches impassively, falsely bleating impotence. It’s about the power of We the People to claim our right to know where our food comes from and what’s in it.
Thanks to you all for your engagement with this project – your support has been unspeakably inspiring. As you watch my little video introduction to who Mary is, know I am the sum of all of you who encourage, critique, educate, mentor, and laugh with me. Here’s to our journey to justice, one seed at a time…
As a practicing physician I have been intrigued by this blog. While I pride myself in having practiced mainstream medicine for over a decade, until recently I had no idea about the potential health hazards of GMO-laden food products. Surprisingly, I got to learn more about genetic engineering from an activist and not from my years spent in medical school, where nothing was taught about GMOs, extensive antibiotic usage in animal husbandry, or the health effects of pesticides.
Concerned by what I have learned recently, I started looking into various aspects of genetic engineering and I am astonished – shocked, really – that there is hardly any medical research performed on this subject. More shocking is that physicians like me are uneducated on this public health concern. There seem to be more studies on beauty products than GMOs.
As a physician I place my faith in the state and federal government to make sure food products are safe for human consumption. Yet, through a preliminary search I came across only one longitudinal study, conducted in Europe spanning ten years. There were no comparable studies in the States. It seems to me ensuring the safety of the food and products people consume everyday should be a research priority. This country has been so progressive in banning smoking in public places, even in Central Park. Yet who is independently testing the safety of the genetically modified foods that apparently populate the vast majority of our grocery store shelves? Is this simple omission or…..? Read the rest of this entry
Join us for six weeks of Monsanto-free filming!
January 15- February 26, 2012
- Encourage people to stop consuming Monsanto/GMO products by sowing seeds of skepticism about the safety and ethics of genetic engineering
- Contribute to the work of existing community movements about this human rights issue
We are going 6 weeks to provide personal observations as to the differences in our bodies when we reject processed and pesticide-sprayed food, or those made with genetically altered ingredients.
Guidelines/Rules of the Game
- Absolutely NO Monsanto food products or byproducts will be ingested.
- Absolutely NO Monsanto personal hygiene products will be applied to our bodies.
Ready to go? For those who want to join us on this adventure, or already have joined us, here are a few choices of how to use your voice: Read the rest of this entry