Each year Newsweek/The Daily Beast compiles and ranks the largest companies in the United States for their transparency, good neighbor policies, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy, and environmental performance. And every year Monsanto is just about dead last. If the corporation was actually clubbing baby harp seals and using their flesh to poach Bald Eagle eggs, the business would probably be more popular than they presently are.
Monsanto is the ugly face of the GMO epidemic. It may not be entirely fair to the company to characterize them as such, as there are other players (Syngenta, Pioneer, BASF, etc.), but the fact is, Monsanto is the 800 pound mutant gorilla. They have consistently pushed the ethical envelope as far as it can go, with fatuous lawsuits against farmers, millions spent on misleading advertising to derail GMO labeling laws and the like.
Worse yet, we’re all subsidizing this travesty (here’s ten ways you are subsidizing Monsanto). These massive and largely unaccountable companies have been economically ravaging our world by externalizing the hidden costs of their dirty business and decades of environmental destruction. There is no way around it, Monsanto is a company that does little to no good, and a whole world of bad.
So what’s a concerned citizen to do? Here’s how to hurt Monsanto in the only place that they care about: their wallet.
Top Ten Ways to Hurt GMO Companies:
- Stop eating factory farmed meat. Each Big Mac you buy financially supports 16 pounds of GMOs. That 99 cents has a ton of subsidies from your tax dollars that keep its price so artificially low. To create 1 pound of beef, you need 16 pounds of grains. In fast food, most of what you are eating is actually genetically modified soy and corn.
- Start a garden. Plant some organic seeds. Grow some of your own food.
- Buy organic. Anything labeled organic is by definition not GMO. If you can’t afford organic, here are four apps for your smartphone to help you avoid GMO food.
- Change your grocery store. Shop at Farmer’s markets or your local food co-op, where workers know what a GMO is, and actively avoid selling such products.
- Avoid processed junk food and sodas (assume it’s all GMO). Eat more vegetables and whole grains. Your Mom was right about that.
- Support the Center for Food Safety. They’ve got some great publications and educational materials.
- Support GMO labeling laws wherever they are, and help mobilize action mandating that your state label GMOs.
- Get to know the big offenders: corn, soy, and cotton, and look for organic alternatives. Products like Wesson are all GMO, despite their deceptive labels marking them as “100% natural”.
- Boycott the players. Many companies that make packaged foods do just about everything GMO. For example, look for ConAgra foods and never buy them again. Be aware of companies that oppose GMO labeling laws, and always avoid their products.
- Educate your friends and family about GMOs (have them check out other organized actions against Monsanto, and direct them to the Center for Food Safety or the NonGMO Project). The toxic foods and deadly products that these huge corporations are trying to sell are very dangerous, and are extremely bad business for us all.