There is a well-worn story in my family about the time I was taken to the zoo at six years old. The monkeys capered, the giraffes stretched their necks, the peacocks preened, the seals clapped and tossed balls, and the lions roared. I never saw any of it, though, because I spent the entire time picking up litter and worrying about people stepping on the ants. My mother always finishes the story with a sigh, saying, “I might as well have stayed home.”
It surprised no one in my family that the local food movement touched off a smoldering fire inside of me that continues to rage to this day. The issues surrounding what we eat are the critical issues of our day: the economy, corporate supremacy, social justice issues, health, and the environment. Most of us understand what’s wrong with our food system. Many of us want to do something about it, but it may no longer be enough to “vote with our fork.” Five years ago, I felt like if I could make food choices with integrity, I could make a difference. I could teach my children about real food, I could support farmers and ranchers using sustainable practices, and I could make sure that food mattered to my family, that we continued to have reverence for an earth that provided us with good things to eat and offered a daily opportunity to come together and connect around the dinner table. But now, I know that’s not enough.
Because, what we are up against is the cosmic, colossal arrogance of a corporation who thinks it can create and own genetic material, no matter what havoc it wreaks on the earth. And this corporation has the full support of our government. The genie is out of the bottle. Soon it will be too late to stop the impact of genetically modified organisms on the planet. Is it possible that we will hand over our right to grow and eat the food we want, the health of our planet, the future of our children to Monsanto? The sad fact is that even with a petition 100,000 voices strong asking President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Vilsack to reject Monsanto’s genetically modified alfalfa based on concerns for consumer health, impacts to the environment and lack of adequate scientific testing, they still chose to cave to corporate pressure rather than protect the rights of America’s farmers and citizens. Will we stand for this?
Hell, NO! How do you start a revolution? By learning, by speaking out, and by joining others in the fight against injustice. We cannot be complacent, we must be vigilant, we must care. Let your voice be counted. Please join me in the fight–I’ll see you at the capitol! Be sure to eat a good dinner, too. That fork still wields lots of power.
(see resources at the end of this post)
Lamb Chops with Winter Greek Salad
4 lamb loin chops
salt & pepper
small handful of mint leaves
small handful of Italian parsley leaves
2 cloves garlic, cushed and chopped
For winter greek salad:
2 c. cauliflower florets, cut into small pieces and blanched briefly
1 small apple, cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 small bunch green onions, chopped
6-8 dry-cured black olive or kalamtas
small handful Italian parsley
juice of 1 lemon
salt & pepper if needed
2-4 ounces feta cheese, cut into 1/2″ cubes
To grill lamb chops, season with salt and pepper. Chop mint, and parsley, Stir together with garlic and olive oil and set aside to marinate while you prepare the salad. For the salad, combine cauliflower, apple, green onion, and parsley in a medium bowl. Toss with olive oil and lemon juice, then set aside. Heat charcoal grill or grill pan until hot. Scrape the marinade off the lamb chops, and grill over medium-high heat until cooked to desired doneness (I prefer medium-rare). Set aside to rest while you finish the salad. Toss cauliflower mixture with feta cheese cubes. Taste for salt and pepper, but keep in mind that the olives are very salty. Pit olives and cut or tear into small slivers. Place salad on serving dish and sprinkle olives on top. Serve Greek salad alongside chops.
Learn about GMOs:
Food Democracy Now! (this site makes it very easy to stay informed and get involved–sign up and you’ll receive emails with opportunities to sign petitions and scripts to call or write your legislators)
Join Others in the Fight:
Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance (Judith McGeary works tirelessly to protect the rights of farmers, ranchers and consumers. Donate, support, and join us at the Texas Capitol on February 21st to help educate legislators about the changes we need to support local food).
And vote with your fork, too!