Occupy our Food Supply

Organic farm with veggies & flowers

Rainforest Action Network is organizing the first ever day of action to Occupy Our Food Supply by targeting Cargill, Inc. “With annual revenues of over $119 billion . . .  Cargill is the world’s largest trader of grains, the largest privately held corporation and one of a very small handful of agribusiness giants . . . shaping the increasingly globalized food system to their advantage.Operating in more than 66 countries, Cargill . . . is owned by the McMillan-Cargill family, making them the richest family in America.” [From RAN fact sheet on Cargill, Inc.]

After you call Cargill’s CEO today to voice your opposition or join an event near you, here are some additional ways to occupy your food supply.

1. Eat organically. Eating organically is like practicing preventive medicine.It can be cheaper if you take into account the true costs of eating food poisoned with pesticides and fertilizers. What you would pay in health care costs from food-borne illnesses or cancer can be exorbitant, and add to that the emotional toll and lost wages.

2. Grow organic. If you’ve got the yard, plant veggies and fruits. My next door neighbor has occupied every square inch of his backyard with beds, more than enough to feed himself  and his family.

3. Consume sustainable poultry. “Happy chickens” are healthier. Those that get to roam around (read free-range) and eat organic food have it better than those living in a too-tight coop under an 18-hour light bulb, which STRESSES them out. My neighbor’s three chickens alternate egg-laying naturally.

4. If you can’t grow a lot, grow a little. I grow herbs that have nearly rocketed my cooking to top chef level. Ask my friends.

5. If you don’t have space or time to grow it, buy it from local farmers, not Safeway. Local farmers grow seasonal vegetables and fruits. which provides a well-rounded diet and saves energy: less fuel to bring goods to market. Do we really need apples from New Zealand?!?

6. Eat lower on the food chain. It can help you live longer. Too much beef clogs your arteries with fat. Greens are just better for you. And rainforests are being cut down to make way for cattle grazing. That’s an irreversible problem.

7. Not sure what you’re eating? You can always check Pesticide Action Network’s database to find out if the stuff on your food is dangerous or not. PAN tells us that of more than  “80,000 chemicals in use today, most have never been tested for efficacy or safety.”

8. Make your own cookies. Then you can leave out the palm oil—the massive use and planting of palms by corporate cookie monsters is shredding rainforests and ruining livelihoods in Indonesia, not to mention the habitat of the endangered Borneo orangutan. Another example of agri-business pretending something is cheaper because they don’t account for the costs of its terrible consequences.

The bottom line: Even if you can’t taste the methyl iodide on your strawberries, it can still poison you. You don’t fumigate your kitchen, why let agri-business fumigate your produce?



  1. Hii Leanne — About the only thing I don’t do is grow my own anything and I don’t make cookies anymore. It was in the 70s that I turned away from the big growers. We used to have this tiny health food store in Costa Mesa called “Mother’s.” I shopped there for the most part because I was influenced by Adela Rogers St. John, had a nagging health issue that needed some kind of attention, had a family that needed a conscientious cook and Mother’s was not expensive, which health food stores later became. Then, during the late 70s — after I had returned to Uniiversity — I was so broke that I could not afford to eat any meat — at all. It was really expensive then. Today, I do eat meat and I still don’t eat right, but I support the local growers and I consciously turned away from the big food conglomerates many, many years ago. We now have enough movies to show us what they are doing to people. I won’t join in on the action, but I have been doing my part for a long time now. I do the very best I can and go out of my way to avoid them — probably 94% of the time. I think they are despicable. What they are doing to people in the third world is even more despicable. Those guys belong in prison also, along with the Wall Street bankers, etc. Thank you for your website. As you know, I really enjoy it.

  2. Thanks for this Leanne. We are so lucky in the Bay Area to have outstanding farmers markets in nearly every neighborhood now — because we are so near the source of good whole foods. While I am not a Safeway shopper, even they have decent organic selections in some stores, from non-corporate organic growers. It’s harder in northern climes, but I appreciate the efforts of family and friends who grow and preserve foods of their own, and who support local growers in season. Organic is healthy for all of us, healthy for farm-workers, healthy for the planet.

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