Archive for September 11th, 2011

Whole Foods Now in Bed with Monsanto

Whole Foods caved to the genetically modified crop giant, Monsanto.

“In a cleverly worded, but profoundly misleading email sent to its customers last week, Whole Foods Market, while proclaiming their support for organics and “seed purity,” gave the green light to USDA bureaucrats to approve the “conditional deregulation” of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, herbicide-resistant alfalfa.  Beyond the regulatory euphemism of “conditional deregulation,” this means that WFM and their colleagues are willing to go along with the massive planting of a chemical and energy-intensive GE perennial crop, alfalfa; guaranteed to spread its mutant genes and seeds across the nation; guaranteed to contaminate the alfalfa fed to organic animals; guaranteed to lead to massive poisoning of farm workers and destruction of the essential soil food web by the toxic herbicide, Roundup; and guaranteed to produce Roundup-resistant superweeds that will require even more deadly herbicides such as 2,4 D to be sprayed on millions of acres of alfalfa across the U.S.” (Ronnie Cummins, January 27, 2011. Whole Foods Sells Out to Monsanto: The Organic Elite Surrenders to Monsanto: What Now?)

Why is this important?

Monsanto has turned seeds into a patented, genetically modified commodity (Round-Up Ready seeds), which are designed to work with Round-Up fertilizers, tailored to the plants’ genetic make up. The fact that they are patented means a farmer who does not grow Monsanto crops, but whose fields are found to have stray Monsanto plants, can be sued by the agribusiness giant.

Monsanto also requires that all farmers who use its products sign an agreement that they will not save seeds and grow plants from them the next year. What? Since when does agriculture work like this?

The company often bullies farmers into signing agreements and threatens then with lawsuits. So a farmer is forced to buy seeds every year from the agribusiness giant. This severely limits biodiversity in our nation’s food crops. According to one source, Monsanto products account for 90% of the U.S. soybean crop.

Monsanto is moving into international food markets, threatening to become a monopoly that controls the world’s seed supply.

Read more about the ills of Monsanto here.

So either we grow our own, the way we want it, or agribusiness and “organic” partners like Whole Foods will grow it for us, their way.

I’ve blogged a link to Whole Foods’ side of the story here.

Sept. 25, 2011: Windy City Coop Tour (formerly Henapalooza)

Time: September 25, 2011 from 11am to 2pm

Location: Chicago’s North Side (and surrounding areas), 4134 N. Monticello Ave

Website: Windy City Coop Tour page


Phone: 773-640-2402 (for bike tour only)

Thinking of getting chickens or just curious about backyard Chickens in the City of Chicago?   This leisurely bike ride will take you to  a number of Chicago Chicken keepers. The tour is open to all ages, and you will see a large variety of chickens breeds, coop designs, as well as the gardens and yards they occupy. Home to Roost will make an appearance at one of the sites (TBD). Each host will be able to answer questions you may have concerning regulations, feeding, coop designs, space required, egg production, and issues common to chickens in an urban environment.

So save the date of  Sept 25th. This is both a group bike tour and/or a self-guided bike tour.

The group bike tour meets at 4134 N. Monticello  at 10:30 am.  The bike tour starts at 11 am. The biking group tour should last a couple hours and actual length will be determined by the group itself.

The self-guided tour starts at any of the 20+ host sites and just follow the map provided at each site.

The “Windy City Coop Tour” is open as a non-biking event, too.

The Official Windy City Coop Tour hours are 11am – 2 pm  Additional information including web site, press release,  maps, etc. are forthcoming and will be provided on the Windy City Coop Tour page. Not required, but an RSVP to the bike tour will be helpful in planning. We hope you can join us!