They walked 313 miles from Brooklyn to the White House to protest the fact that American's don't have the right to know that GMOs are in most of their food. And only a small group of us were there to meet them. I asked a policeman if he would arrest me and he refused, damn it.
Around the corner, thousands of people showed up for the Martin Luther King Dedication. Our march even had to wait for the President to return home. Down the street, another, larger group was protesting against the Occupy Wall Street movement--which, honestly, I am still not quite sure what it stands for. (Except that after I got home, I drove by some teenagers in Emmaus, PA, with signs that said "Stand Up Against Corporate America.")
Meanwhile, GMOs, which represent the absolute WORST of corporate America and effect EVERYONE, black, white, teens, men, women, and especially babies, just aren't getting the attention they deserve. Why? Is it too complicated? Or are Americans just blinded by their focus on cheap food--and not understanding that the food is cheap because they pay for it with their taxes (hello, Tea Party!).
I was there to speak on a panel of Moms, Moms like Sarah Snow and Robyn O'Brian, whose personal experience with her son convinced her that the food she had been feeding her kids was poisoning them. Ashley Koff, a dietician, also spoke about how she sees people all the time suffering from the consequences of cheap toxic food...and most doctors aren't even aware that GMOs are causing them.
As I was checking out of the hotel and waiting for my car, wearing my three-armed neon green T-shirt designed by the Nature's Path team, the valet was telling me that he can't eat fruit anymore because it makes his mouth swell and the inside of his ears itch.
"Eat organic and that won't happen!" I tell him (in fact, I know a woman who had the same problem, as did her kids, and it went away as soon as they switched to organic).
"I can't afford it--I've got four kids," he said.
Eve and I got in my Prius and drove home. On the way, we were hungry and there was no place to eat that didn't serve GMOs. We stopped at a rest stop on Route 95 and it was packed with people returning from the Martin Luther King dedication (we could tell because they were all wearing T-shirts and hats from the occasion).
So much for Martin Luther King's dream--and Alice Paul's, too--that we can all get the right to vote and the choice of freedom and then waste it, squander it, fritter it away by poisoning our bodies and our planet and allowing our government and a few obscenely profitable companies to destroy our ability to survive on this planet, no matter what our color or gender.
If you are even remotely angry about this, please go to JustLabelIt.org and sign the petition. Tell your friends. Send the link to all your Facebook friends, and tweet it, too. Make a sign on a piece of cardboard and put it outside your house, your office, or your school. Just do SOMETHING. Please.
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com