Archive for the tag “Occupy Big Food”

Spring is Here! Are You Ready to Occupy Big Food?

Occupy Big Food was on Heritage Radio Network last week with Chef Erica Wides click here to listen to Lets Get Real.

Here’s what host Chef Erica Wides wrote about the show:

In tonight’s episode — Big Foodiness Gets Occupied — I get real about how to snatch food back from the jaws of corporate foodiness with Occupy Big Food co-founder Kristin Wartman; why the McDonalds and Applebee’s crowd or the garden burger and protein bar crowd should care about how their chicken fingers or their Tofu Chik’n Fingers are produced; Wartman’s theory that the Sarah Palin chocolate chip cookie defenders identify with their corporate food kidnappers a la the Stockholm Syndrome; and whether the Occupy Big Food message can realistically get out to the mainstream in time to save food for the future or if real food is going to be permanently replaced by foodiness like Facebook has replaced friends and reality shows have replaced talent.

And this afternoon Occupy Big Food talked with Richard Hill of the Organic Farm Report live on WPKN, which you can listen to here.

Remember this? It’s a picture from our rally at the end of last year in Liberty Park. We are working on new ideas and actions now and will have updates soon. Thanks for tuning in and get ready to Occupy Big Food. Real change is brewing, can’t you feel it?

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Farmers vs Monsanto Rally at Foley Square: Re-Cap

We were so proud to stand with Food Democracy Now and Occupy Wall Street Food Justice to support the farmers in their first preliminary hearing against Monsanto this past Tuesday down at Foley Square in Manhattan. The setting was beautiful, the weather strangely warm and the fervor of support was buzzing! We estimate that around 200 people were there to greet the farmers when they came out of the courthouse after their hearing. We collaborated to create an amazing timeline of the atrocities that Monsanto has committed over the years, from 1901-2011 and had comrades hold them in a visual sign of solidarity. This was a great opportunity for people to see what Monsanto has been up to the last century, from helping to create and push Agent Orange to patenting life.

What’s next for the farmers? Well, the hearing went relatively well, but we are told that Monsanto’s lawyers really played up their corporate victimhood and made themselves seem as if they were being attacked. The judge has until March 31st to make a decision on whether or not this case will go forward. We can only hope that the obvious and just decision will be made: It is time for the organic farmers to be able to farm without the fear of Monsanto’s heavy-hand hovering over them.

On a final note, we want to remind everyone that the best way to avoid GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods is to eat organic, and if that is not possible, the next best thing is to focus on eating less processed, packaged foods and more whole foods.

We will of course keep you posted on what is happening next with the Monsanto case. And stay tuned as we begin to plan the National Day of Food Action that will take place on February 27th, 2012 across the country. We have some great things in the works.

In Solidarity,
Erika and Kristin

Occupy Big Food
 

Stand in Solidary with Farmers & Against Monsanto

Monsanto vs. Organic Farmers — In NYC Court

Jim Gerritsen -- one of the family farmers suing Monsanto

Will Organic Farmers See Their Day in Court?
Judge to consider oral argument in lawsuit against Monsanto

NEW YORK – December 29, 2011 – In a development celebrated by the organic plaintiffs, Judge Naomi Buchwald announced yesterday that oral arguments on Monsanto’s motion to dismiss the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association (OSGATA) et al v. Monsanto will be heard in federal district court January 31, 2012 in Manhattan. Judge Buchwald’s decision will establish if organic farmers are to see their day in court.

The eighty-three family farmers, small and family owned seed businesses, and agricultural organizations comprising the organic plaintiff group represent over 300,000 individuals.  The landmark lawsuit, filed in March 2011, challenges the validity of Monsanto’s transgenic/GMO patents and seeks court protection for innocent family farmers who may become contaminated by Monsanto seed.

“We are grateful that Judge Buchwald has agreed to our request to hear oral argument on the motion,” said Jim Gerritsen, President of lead plaintiff OSGATA. “Last August we submitted our written rebuttal and it made clear that Monsanto’s motion was without merit. Our legal team, from the Public Patent Foundation, is looking forward to orally presenting our position.  The family farmers deserve their day in court. We are anxious that this case go to trial as soon as possible so that our innocent farmers may receive Court protection.”

OSGATA is a membership organization composed primarily of farmers and seed businesses. Their mission is to develop and protect the organic seed industry along with their growers. In an effort to raise funds, OSGATA has launched a “Farmers Travel Fund” enabling family farmers from the plaintiff group to attend the court proceedings and related events.

Background information on the OSGATA v. Monsanto lawsuit may be found at www.osgata.org .

URGENT ACTION: TOMORROW: PROTEST CFO OF MONSANTO IN NYC TIMES SQUARE

PROTEST MONSANTO CFO IN TIMES SQUARE TOMORROW 12/7 @ 10:45AM

PLEASE RSVP ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/events/186225294804080/

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

New York — 12/6/2011 Occupy Big Food is organizing a protest this Wednesday when Monsanto CFO Pierre Corduroux, will address top banking executives and investors at The Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square for the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2011 Industrials conference at 11:45 am. We will gather on the corner of 42nd Street and 6th Avenue near Byrant Park at 10:45 and march to the hotel together before his scheduled appearance at 11:45. The Crowne Plaza Hotel is located at 1605 Broadway near 49th Street.

Because of the policies and practices of companies like Monsanto, 75 percent of Americans are obese or overweight and many are chronically ill with diet-related diseases. Americans are largely dependent on an increasingly unhealthful and contaminated food supply that is heavily controlled by corporate interests. Upending corporate control of the food supply is a fundamental change that must occur if the “99 percent” are to have access to real food and be healthy participants in a true democracy. Monsanto is the prime example of a corporate monopoly over the American food supply. It controls 93 percent of all soy and 80 percent of all corn grown in our country. Its GMO-contaminated corn and soy are in nearly every packaged and processed industrial food product sold in the United States.

Occupy Wall Street understands that Monsanto and corporations like it—whose driving force is profit not the health of the people, the country, or the environment—cannot be allowed to continue to control our political systems and unduly influence our elected officials. Occupy Big Food works to expose the ways in which corporations control the food supply resulting in an unsafe and unregulated food supply with virtually no oversight and a population in the midst of a dire health crisis.

Occupy Big Food’s goal is to expose the corporate take over of the American food supply. A few companies control the vast majority of food production in the United States and those unhealthy foods are making Americans sick. We urge Americans to boycott corporate foods and support local food and local farmers to take back our food and take back our health.

Contact:          Kristin Wartman

Occupy Big Food

occupybigfood.wordpress.com

949-370-7877

kristin.wartman@gmail.com

Occupy Big Food on BBC Worldwide

Illustration by Brian Lawless*

After our amazing and inspiring rally yesterday, the BBC called and asked me to come on the program Up All Night to talk about my article on the Huffington Post, “Congress Declares Pizza A Vegetable?” and Occupy Big Food. The program’s host, Dotun, is really funny — especially when he says, “Kristin, let’s be honest, Americans don’t know what a vegetable is.” Please take a listen!

Thank you to all who came out and supported the movement yesterday! This is only the very beginning of a growing and deeply needed movement. We are already planning our second rally which will feature some exciting performers. We look forward to building and growing this movement with all of you.

Click the play button below to hear my segment

*For more of Brian’s artwork and sounds visit Wasteland Lotus

See You Tomorrow – OCCUPY BIG FOOD TAKE II

***PLEASE SIGN OUR PETITION***

We have created a petition to tell Butterball—the number one producer of turkeys in America—that Americans are no longer going to purchase turkeys that are inhumanely treated, or support a factory-farm system that creates dire environmental and health consequences. Please sign the petition here.

Occupy Big Food and #N17

Occupy Big Food is heading to Union Square this afternoon for the International Day of Action in commemoration of two months of Occupy Wall Street.

This is a NON-VIOLENT mass assemblage and we encourage everyone interested in a better, more democratic food system to stand up today and participate with the OWS protestors.

Follow our Tweets today: @occupybigfood

And plan on seeing us SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 19 in front of 140 Broadway 1PM for OCCUPY BIG FOOD TAKE II.

Marching Back to Zuccotti Yesterday

Our mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, is the 12th richest man in America and the richest man in New York City. He also owns a large chunk of the media and its content through his corporation, Bloomberg Media.

So, is it surprising that the mainstream media, including the New York Times, is questioning the strength of the Occupy movement? This, after the military-style raid of Zuccotti Park carried out by New York City cops delegated by Bloomberg early Tuesday morning?

The simplistic and pedantic editorial found on the Bloomberg Media website says it all:

We agree with some of the arguments raised by the Occupy Wall Street protesters and disagree with many more — particularly the divisive, simplistic notion that society is a 99-percent-versus-1-percent dichotomy. But we applaud the discussion that’s been opened, and hope it can turn constructively to the mission of seeing that all Americans have an equal opportunity to succeed.

Bloomberg’s editors claim “an equal opportunity to succeed” for all Americans. Can they tell that to children born in the vast ghettos of this country, the ones starving, the ones that live in food deserts and the ones that are grossly less educated?

Is it surprising that Bloomberg Media’s stance is this idea that we in America all begin on equal footing? No. But it is inaccurate as well as “divisive” and “simplistic.” How about these statistics, Mr. Bloomberg? 46.2 million Americans live below the poverty line and 14.5 percent of American households are defined as food insecure. The Guardian website features a short video regarding these statistics and others.

Yesterday, Occupy Big Food marched down Broadway with protesters returning to the park, cops on motorcycles, armed to the gills and nipping at our heels with their weapons and vehicles. Though surrounded, the group persevered, drawing in more and more followers along the route. The mood was powerful, tense and somber, but relentlessly optimistic. It’s not about a park or one day or even one idea. The chant that was constantly heard was “This. Is. A peaceful protest.” And it was. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about OWS to this point is its ability to keep the peace. And keep going.

The Truth about Turkey

We have created a petition to tell Butterball—the number one producer of turkeys in America—that Americans are no longer going to purchase turkeys that are inhumanely treated, or support a factory-farm system that creates dire environmental and health consequences. Please sign the petition here.


How much do you know about your Thanksgiving turkey? If you buy your turkey from a typical grocery store–and most Americans do–you might not realize that the approximately 46 million turkeys consumed every year come from a factory farm.

But if Thanksgiving is truly about offering gratitude for what we have, it seems fitting to also be grateful to the turkey that many of us will eat for dinner. We ought to think about how that turkey lived before ending up on our tables. With that in mind, let’s first take a look at the life of a turkey in an industrial farm.

Turkeys on factory farms are hatched in incubators mostly on large farms in the Midwest or the South. A few days after hatching, turkeys have their upper beaks snipped off. Once the beak is removed, the turkey can no longer pick and choose what it wants to eat. In their natural environment, turkeys are omnivores. But in a factory farm, turkeys are fed a steady diet of corn-based grain feed laced with antibiotics.

Industrially produced turkeys spend their first three weeks of life crammed into a brooder with hundreds of other birds. In the fourth week, turkey chicks are moved from the brooder to a giant window-less room with 10,000 other turkeys where bright lights shine 24 hours a day. With the lights constantly blaring, natural sleeping, eating, and fertility patterns are completely disrupted and the turkeys are, for the most part, kept awake and eating non-stop. Turkeys have an instinct to roost, or to clutch something when they sleep, but on the floor of a crowded room there is no such opportunity. If this is starting to sound like torture to you, you’re on the mark.

As a result of these unhealthy and crowded living conditions, farmers must feed the turkeys a constant supply of antibiotics. Pesticides are also widely used to inhibit the spread of disease. Antibiotics are also known to promote weight gain in farm animals and this connection is being made in humans now as well. In an effort to maximize the more profitable white breast meat, farmers have genetically selected and bred the white broad breasted turkey, which become so top heavy that they can no longer stand or reproduce and as a result, all industrial turkeys are created by artificial insemination. Turkeys are then brought to slaughter, often in a brutal way.

If that wasn’t enough to make you reconsider your Butterball, there’s more. Thanksgiving is also a time when we honor the abundance of the harvest represented by the bounty on our tables. But supporting a Big Turkey farm (or any factory farm) contributes to the devastation of our natural environment and imperils the safety of our food supply.

According to the USDA, factory-farmed animals in the U.S. produce 61 million tons of waste each year–130 times the volume of human waste. The Environmental Protection Agency reports that hog, chicken, and cattle waste has polluted 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states and contaminated groundwater in 17 states. Polluted runoff from factory farms and other industrial farms is the biggest water pollution problem in the U.S., according to the EPA.

Human health is impacted in other ways by factory farming. Just this past August, Cargill announced a recall of 185,000 pounds of ground turkey due to Salmonella contamination. With recalls and food-borne illnesses on the rise as a result of conditions in factory farms, it seems wise to avoid these foods for that reason alone.

Factory farmed meat is also implicated in long-term health consequences. Resistance to antibiotics is now a growing concern among many in the medical field and it is largely due to the 29 million pounds administered to factory-raised animals every year. As it stands today, one out of six cases of Campylobacter infection, the most common cause of bacterial food poisoning, is resistant to the antibiotic most used to treat it. And nearly all strains of Staphylococcal infections have become resistant to penicillin, while many are developing resistance to newer drugs as well. Indeed, 80 percent of all antibiotics used in this country are used on factory-farmed animals according to an FDA report.

And finally, there is the nitty-gritty of nutritional value in these factory-farmed foods. Studies show that pastured-based meat and dairy are far more nutritious than their conventional counterparts. They are richer in antioxidants; including vitamins E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C and contain far more Omega-3 fatty acids. Turkeys that are raised on grass and allowed to roam around and practice normal turkey behavior are healthier, safer to eat, good for the environment, and get to live a happy life. Our best option is to eat high quality meat and a lot less of it.

So in the spirit of Thanksgiving, let’s be grateful to the turkey that we’re eating and opt out of supporting a system of abuse and environmental destruction. Eat a pasture-raised turkey or make a vegetarian alternative for this year’s Thanksgiving feast.

Eat Wild is a valuable resource for pasture-raised meat and animal products. Brooklyn Based also lists pasture-raised turkeys available for sale in New York City. Slow Food USA has information and resources for heritage breed turkeys. Meatless Monday offers 10 tips for cooking a meatless Thanksgiving.

We have created a petition to tell Butterball—the number one producer of turkeys in America—that Americans are no longer going to purchase turkeys that are inhumanely treated, or support a factory-farm system that creates dire environmental and health consequences. Please sign the petition here.

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