#shifthappens and what happened there


#shifthappens ShiftCon social media conference

As I mentioned before, I spent the last weekend in Los Angeles, California with an amazing group of women (and I heard there were some men attendees, but I never directly spoke to any except Gary Hirshberg). We all have different areas of focus; real food, organic, living waste-free, toxicant avoidance, pesticide reform, fitness, wellness, or nutrition. But what we had in common is the desire to shift the paradigm in this country. You can see our social media conversations by searching the #shifthappens hashtag on your favorite social media platform (we’re everywhere!).

I learned from the speakers, discussions, and side conversations this weekend that what we need to do is ask for what we want. It’s that simple. It’s so simple that you can do it too!

We are all in different places on our journeys to live more consciously. When we learn that the things we eat, what we put on our skin, what we buy for our children contain toxins that are making us sick, we can choose to be more and more afraid, to withdraw further into fear and paranoia… OR… Or we can vote with our wallet and seek out alternatives. We can choose not to participate in this cycle of cheap chemicals.

But it doesn’t even have to be as difficult as changing brands: we shouldn’t have to stop going to Starbucks. Instead, we need to be asking Starbucks to change(I did this weekend and I got some Twitter flack for it, as did several others involved in the Starbucks #organicmilknext campaign). I heard over and over from people like Robyn O’Brien and Vani Hari that when enough consumers ask a company to make a change, they respond. Chipolte did. Kraft didSubway did. Disney did.

You might notice those are not small companies, but they changed their ingredients. Why? Not because of regulation or legislation — but due to consumer demand. Of course, we will still work on the legislative front. Right now there are GMO labeling initiatives in Colorado and Oregon. If you are in those states, please vote for labeling!

I, however, am not in a state that is ever likely to vote to label GMO’s. So all I can do is vote with my dollars and ask for change. I’m hoping to document a little more of both sides of my ongoing journey for conscientious change in the next few months, so stick with me!

I’d like to close this post with the trailer for a movie that ShiftCon founder has been working on. I will keep you posted on places you can see this film when it begins showing!

“A New Resistance” Teaser Trailer from Unacceptable Levels on Vimeo.

March Against Monsanto Dallas, TX

March Against Monsanto DallasMarch Against Monsanto, Dallas TxYou can't own Mother Nature #MarchAgainstMonsanto#MAM DallasThe Honeybee Guild says "Where my bees at?" #MarchAgainstMonsantoMarch Against Monsanto Dallas
Greed Kills from Occupy Baton Rouge at #MAM DallasMarch Against Monsanto DallasMarch Against Monsanto DallasGreed Kills: Dallas March Against MonsantoThe Dallas March Against Monsanto
The only thing more expensive than organic is CANCERThe President of McDonald's sits on the baord of MonsantoGathering after #MarchAgainstMonsantoOur fearless leader #MAMMy first protest march! #MarchAgainstMonsanto
March Against Monsanto Dallas, TX

Today was my first (peaceful!) protest march – March Against Monsanto. These marches took place all across the globe in major cities to protest Monsantos ubiquitous barrage of GMO’s in our food supply. I was so encouraged to see the diversity of people and march together with a common concern. Above are links to my Flickr photoset because there were too many to upload via WordPress. Valerie and I went together and she created this awesome video of our impressions immediately after the event {video here}:

Let’s keep up this fight and push for (at the VERY LEAST) labeling of GMO foods and GMO-derived products! Thanks also to everyone who came out!

March Against Monsanto with me in Dallas, Texas

March Against Monsanto, May 25, Everywhere
March Against Monsanto, May 25, Everywhere

Genetically Modified Organisms, or GMO’s. What do you know about them? Should we be eating genetically altered variations of what-used-to-be-food when the results of that genetic modification have not been tested on humans? Did you know that we are eating plants that are actually classified by the FDA as pesticides themselves (not covered in pesticides – they are the pesticides!)? Is it OK for a super-company to create and patent seeds that grow our food and sue everyone who isn’t using them? What about the super-bugs that have evolved in response to these unnatural plant formulations? Most of all, is it OK to hide GMO’s in all the foods we eat and deny us the right to even know what is going into our own mouths? Did you know that even China labels food containing GMO’s, but not the United States?

First of all, I recommend watching Food, Inc. if you haven’t already. In that documentary, you will meet farmers who have been sued for planting their own seeds rather than buying genetically altered seeds from super-company Monsanto. And Monsanto won. Monsanto won again earlier this month in a similar case.

Think you aren’t affected because you eat pretty healthy? How about these facts:

Up to 90% of U.S. soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, and sugar beets are now genetically engineered and routinely inserted into human and animal foods with no labels or safety testing.

Approximately 80% of current grocery food items contain GMOs; while according to U.S. Department of Agriculture statistics, the majority of beef, pork, poultry, dairy, and eggs come from CAFOs.

Considering the growing concern over GMOs and CAFOs, all food packaging should clearly identify all non-organic ingredients containing soy, corn, cottonseed oil, canola, sugar beets, alfalfa or GM growth hormones with a label or shelf sign that says “May Contain GMOs” and identify all meat, dairy, and eggs that come from CAFOs with a label or shelf sign that says “CAFO.”

I’d like to say that there is a political party who stands with us against Monsanto, but unfortunately there isn’t. Monsanto executives are now in nearly every branch of the government, successfully blocking legislation that would stop this company’s monopoly. The only thing that is left is the voice of regular people like you and me.

If you’ve read my blog long, you know that I strive to be balanced and moderate in my recommendations of action. I have never marched in a protest before, but this weekend I will. All across the country, people like you and I will be participating in the peaceful March Against Monsanto in Dallas, TX to protest Monsanto’s shameful disregard of our personal rights and ask that those in power in our government take notice.

Here are the details about the Dallas March Against Monsanto:

Where: Dallas City Hall – 1500 Marilla Street

When: promptly at 1:00 PM (CST)

What: A peaceful 2 mile walk

If you can’t walk with us, please consider signing the Millions Against Monsanto petition stating that we have the right to know what is in the food we eat.