Tucson Sustainable Food Community to Address the Unsustainability of GMOs in October Campaign

by Melissa Diane Smith

Growing and eating genetically modified foods simply isn’t sustainable for us or for life on this planet. I’m happy to report that many sustainably oriented businesses and organizations in Tucson have reached the same conclusion and have joined with me and the GMO Free Project of Tucson for a joint public education effort in Tucson during October.

Protecting our health and the planet’s health, and overcoming both the increase in numerous chronic illnesses since the mid-1990s and how corporations are controlling more and more of our seed and food these days, are key topics that will be addressed in a coordinated campaign of GMO education events by the GMO Free Project of Tucson, Native Seeds/SEARCH, Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture, the Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival, and Tucson Food Day, during the month of October, which is Non-GMO Month. Local Tucson businesses including Wellness First, New Life Health Centers, The Tasteful Kitchen, and Native Seeds/SEARCH are sponsors. As Director of Education and Speaker for the GMO Free Project of Tucson, I will be involved in and speaking at each of the following events.

The campaign begins with a limited-space, physicians-only screening of the new documentary about unlabeled, laboratory-created genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that gradually have been introduced into many foods, entitled Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives, at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 7, at Wellness First, 3861 N. First Ave. It will be followed by a practitioner discussion, including a case study of the remarkable health improvements of a patient who went on a non-GMO diet. Health practitioners can register for the event and reserve a seat by calling 520-209-1755.

Next on the schedule is a free public screening of Genetic Roulette at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 11, at Crossroads Theater, 4811 E. Grant Road. Through interviews with physicians, veterinarians, farmers, scientists, and everyday consumers, the film presents convincing evidence pointing to newfangled genetically modified foods being profitable for the companies that make and sell them, but being leading contributors to our deteriorating health, as well as that of our animals, our crops, and our soil. The movie also addresses the national food-security importance of the California GMO Labeling Initiative, which will be voted on by the people of California on November 6.  This event is free but you must register for your free seat to this event – and tickets are going fast. Go to this link to register while tickets are still available.

On Tuesday, October 16, at 7:00 p.m., in conjunction with World Food Day and a national campaign of action for seed freedom, the Tucson film premiere of the new short documentary Seeds of Freedom, a film about the importance of seed saving and the current threats to that practice, will be shown, followed by a discussion, at Native Seeds/SEARCH, 3584 E. River Road. Admission is a $5.00 suggested donation. Reserve your seat by emailing email hidden; JavaScript is required.

The campaign goes outside with community mesquite milling events in Sierra Vista and Bisbee by Baja Arizona Sustainable Agriculture on October 18 and 27. See www.BajaAz.org for more info.

Also outside – on Sunday, October 21 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m – is the Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival, a celebration of all things sustainable, with a particular focus on sustainable food production. It will take place on the west side of Reid Park, just east of Country Club Road. The free festival, which will include a Non-GMO food vendor area, will be next to the Blues Festival, which is also taking place in the park that day. See the Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival website for more info.

On Wednesday, October 24 – Tucson Food Day, a day to celebrate healthy, sustainable food production – a special food-oriented presentation will take place at the Loft Theater, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd. The 85-minute-long Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives will be screened at 7:00 p.m. followed by a discussion of modern-day issues, problems, and solutions surrounding GMOs and the takeover of our seed supply by me and Bill McDorman, Executive Director of Native Seeds/SEARCH. Admission is a $5.00 suggested donation, but no one will be turned away because of lack of funds.

More information about these education events can be found at www.NativeSeeds.org and www.GMOFreeTucson.org.

Additional Food Day Week events during October 21-28 can be found at TucsonFoodDay.com/.

If you are new to the topic of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and don’t know too much about them, this education campaign is a wonderful opportunity to get up to date on this pressing, vital-to-understand, modern-day food issue for little or no cost. If you think you already know a lot, I can assure you there are always new bits and pieces of information to learn and it’s wonderful to be in a room with other like-minded people and feel the collective energy of our personal power together to create the change in the food system that we want and deserve.

Hope to see you at one or many of these events! It’s going to be an empowering October.

Copyright © 2012 Melissa Diane Smith

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