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Forum Post: Food Is Power, and the Powerful Are Poisoning Us.

Posted 7 years ago on Feb. 16, 2013, 12:19 p.m. EST by TrevorMnemonic (5827)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

"Our most potent political weapon is food. If we take back our agriculture, if we buy and raise produce locally, we can begin to break the grip of corporations that control a food system as fragile, unsafe, and destined for collapse as our financial system. If we continue to allow corporations to determine what we eat, as well as how food is harvested and distributed, then we will become captive to rising prices and shortages and increasingly dependent on cheap, mass-produced food filled with sugar and fat."

"Food is the greatest place for communities to start taking back power. The national food system is collapsing by degrees. A lot of what we eat comes from the Central Valley of California. What happens when gasoline becomes $5 a gallon or drought sweeps across the cropland? The monolithic system of food production is highly unstable. It has to be replaced very soon with small, diverse sources that provide greater food security.”

  • Quotes from the book The World As It Is by Chris Hedges.

I know we had a little discussion on this topic the other day in the forum post "Overpopulation: Thoughts?" -where we many agreed that the problem is not necessarily population size, but instead the problem is lifestyle. I would like to continue this conversation on the topic of Food Cooperatives and different ways to localize food production.

I can tell you a lot about the corruption of war, political structures, corporations, monetary policy, etc... but honestly botany, gardening, permaculture, food cooperatives, etc are not my forte.

Where do we go from here?

Issues to consider - not everyone has property in which they can grow. Many apartment building do not have balconies nor are residents allowed to use the property around the building for gardening purposes.



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[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

The so-called "market" - which is actually a club of super-rich men who distort and destroy everything of value to humanity that they touch, will be the death of us all and much quicker than through the very real effects of global warming, which is also greatly accelerated by the ghoulish, greedy rush to grow food for cars rather than people. In such a murderous environment - manipulated purely for the profits of Corporate Oligarchs - neither trees nor peasants stand a chance. Also see :

More pertinently to your very interesting forum-post, please also consider :

respice ; adspice ; prospice ...

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

"GM Seeds & the Militarization of Food - and Everything Else", by Jon Letman :

Thanx for your links.

pax ...

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

& vice versa.. We got big problems with food. Can't get much bigger!!

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

"Genetic Roulette - The Gamble of our Lives" (Video Documentary) :

"When the United States Government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology." & ...

"GMOs, Seed Wars and Knowledge Wars", by Dr. Vandana Shiva :

More information can be found at :

verb. sat. sap. ...

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Here's something on "food deserts".


I'm sure you know, but when people have only packaged, process foods available, no fresh fruits & vegetables, ads pushing fast food/processed crap & very little info pushing fresh food you get unhealthy, obese, people.

Ending that obscenity must become a high priority.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Ensuring good, wholesome, nutritious food for all should be any societies first priority and far more people, earning a 'living wage' should be engaged in food production. Also :

pax et lux ...

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Thank you for that bit. Moyers has been great advocate for decades i'm glad he came out of retirement.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Food production and the ethos of 'Co-ops' are an excellent combination. Ergo, please consider :

Why Worker Cooperatives ?

This isn’t some obscure utopian fantasy from the 1970’s. Worker cooperatives exist all over the world in all industries large and small, from home health care in the Bronx to manufacturing in Spain.

By workers having a direct role in decision-making and a share of all profits, worker cooperatives build community wealth and help make a democratic economy real.

Their ownership structure provides built-in accountability to workers and, by extension, greater concern for community and the environment.

And if that wasn’t enough, worker cooperatives also:

  • share profits equitably;

  • circulate more money within a community for longer periods of time;

  • retain jobs better during recessions;

  • provide greater employment stability;

  • pay higher wages;

  • invest in the growth and development of their members;

  • don’t pick up and leave town;

  • pool individual resources, making entrepreneurship more accessible for people with low incomes;

  • empower workers to take control of their lives; and

  • make democracy a regular practice

Even the United Nations has endorsed cooperatives as a tool for poverty alleviation, job creation, and social integration, declaring 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives.

From : http://www.greenworker.coop/ & see ; http://workerdemocracy.org/ & http://toolboxfored.org/ .

fiat lux ...

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Accurate description of the real benefits coop businesses offer.

It is the most difficult change we need. The one discussed least, and the one the threatens the oligarchs most.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Co-ops are one of the organisational modalities that hold hope for us all, especially in the light of :

spero ...

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Pick a reason, any reason to be outraged! There are many.

And remember there is no 'planet b'.

[-] 5 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Dr. Margaret Flowers' article above is second to none and I again highly recommend it. Righteous Outrage is a very relevant prerequisite to lasting and effective change and also please consider :

Appended here because re. food, climate & the changes we all need - ''Together WE Are Stronger" !!

respice, adspice, prospice ...

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Thanks. Wolff is great. Too bad his sat show will e lost when WAI goes out of business.

Still losing lots of progressive radio while right wing radio continues to grow.

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Can always count on Alternative Radio to continue and support Wolff, who is one of the greatest of heroes.


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

They are key to the massive brainwashing. The growth of ads coincides with our loss of control/power.

It should not be minimized.

Their power is illustrated by the movement to prevent liquor ads in urban neighborhoods, it is insidious.


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Insidious and so effective there is pathetically inadequate criticizm/oversight/blame for their part in the scheme that made us wasteful consumerss, and push unhealthy living/food on us.

They even have a popular TV show. Isn't that special.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Good link above & consider : “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.” by Edward Bernays (Sigmund Freud's nephew) from his seminal work in the field of PR, "Propaganda" {here in its entirety} : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article26193.htm .

e tenebris, lux ...

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Ads/entertainment the pursuit of the"American dream" is all part of the anesthetizing of the public and part of the age old "bread & circuses" scheme to keep the people distracted & docile.

All efforts at educating people about this may seem unimportant but in fact it is critical.

I submit any effort to get people involved, (even online petitions, & social media interactions) will increase the number of informed people. This growth will reach a tipping point & momentum will snowball creating an irresistible force.

We must continue the efforts of coalition building with like minded (extra duopolistic) groups, disregard all the naysayers who criticize one non violent tactic after another and keep our eyes on the prize.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Ah the twinkle-fingerer makes a comeback.

Does this give you a rush, kag2?


[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Engineer a comment on the corruption of profit over people in the corp foodopoly.

Do you care about anything beyond your obsession/fixation on me?

Clearly I own you! But you are too ignorant to realize that with every meaningless, childish, off topic comment you leave proves it again.


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I know Lessig. I will watch later.



[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

You are correct. Congress has made some efforts but like an alcoholic who leaves a bottle hidden they always leave loopholes as wide as a mack truck.


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I think the amendment process is necessary, but I would certainly consider Lessigs approach.


[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

That's interesting, I can't honestly say I understand the constitutional law enough to say one way or the other. In the end I have to trust people who know.

Good friend of mine sits on the board of the NYCLU and his father in law has been working with OWS through NLG. I always ask them, they believe the amendment process is most effective however difficult it will be to succeed.

Some corruption has to outrage the people enough to have a massive rising/protests/pressure.

Hard to believe the 2000 debacle and the global bankster crash hasn't been enough. I shudder at how bad it has to get for people to wake up from their hypnosis.

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

There are also particular reasons for that. Bangladesh is a massive alluvial river delta and the Ganges and other huge rivers are constantly bringing nutrient rich sediment and with the annual floods and monsoon rains, Bangladesh has some of the most fertile soil on earth.

Great link though, so thanx and on topic, I append :

"The link between intensifying inequality, debt, climate change, fossil fuel dependency and the global food crisis is undeniable."

veritas vos liberabit ...

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Yeah I just saw the food riot article.

Thax, And thx for the info on Bangledesh.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

"Food Speculation : 'People Die from Hunger While Banks Make a Killing on Food'", by John Vidal : http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27330.htm .

fiat justitia ...

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Disgusting state of the world.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Yes, I do get that but perhaps also consider :

nil desperandum ...

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Great art. Meaningful. hopeful.

[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

'People Die from Hunger While Banks Make a Killing on Food'"

A Horrifying TRUTH

Fucking over the world with food traded on the stock market.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

No surprise here.


This we had to spend money for a study?


[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Glyphosate is "the most biologically disruptive chemical in our environment," echoes the concerns that many have had for years on the effects of herbicides and the practice of growing genetically engineered crops on health worldwide. Hopefully more independent and unbiased research can be conducted during the EPA’s review of the herbicide so that this previously claimed “non-toxic” chemical can be properly regulated." Excerpted from your alarming link and further in compliment :

From which : "Consequences are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease."

Monsatan are as anti-99% and anti-democratic a corporation as any of us can consider and are at least on a par with Corporate Banksters and other such Oligarchic Corporate Crapitalists. Finally, I'll append this link here right now ... and slowly walk away :

multum in parvo ...

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Yes I've seen the Nestle water position (threat)

Greedy selfish bastards, Protests, & boycotts, of Nestle, Monsanto, & Big banks, fossil fuels, are called for.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Monsanto corn toxic!!


I suppose even this report ain't enough to sway this terrible momentum.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

I think people need to read your link - even Builder, Odin & OTP !!! You know, rather than tiresome to and fros, there is the 'ignore' option !! That way we'd all be spared the fall out, lol, geddit ?! Be good :-)

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I can't talk to them, (john32 & others too) LOL. They get in a froth and lose all control. For some reason they have given me a day off of their relentless personal attacks.

But at the risk of sounding self centered, they seem so obsessed/fixated on me (Bldr at least) they have probably seen it.

They don't seem interested in the issues really anyway. But I agree everyone should read this stuff.


[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

LOL & naah re. "I can't talk to them" ! That's Exactly The Problem, imo, lolol !! You can AND you do !!!

Of course they care about the issues - whytf do you think they are here ? Be reasonable now & b good.

ad iudicium ...

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I can only judge from my experience with them. And that indicates a priority of attacking people (mostly me, but not only) they disagree with.

No matter. My purpose is to disseminate as much info/action items regarding issues Occupy has taken a stand on, and discussing progressive solutions for same.

Their inappropriate use of the forum has not really prevented that.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Yawn. Whatever. And as per para 2 : http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=16697381 !!

pax, amor et lux ...

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Read long ago. Thx

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

It's an audio link ;-)

fiat lux etc. ...

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Hahah, so is this one Shadz.

Thanks for the giggle. Here's one back.


[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

Oh my, audio and Very Visual I'd say, lolol !!! Someone get that li'l kid DJ outta there !! Those are some very strange Tasmanians you just intro'd me to dude lol !

U Crazy Aussie U !!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

It's a beautiful Spring morning here, despite it actually being Autumn, and a buddy sent me that video to remind me of my trip to Tassie. Glad you liked it.

[-] 2 points by shadz66 (19985) 7 years ago

I shall never ask what you got up to in Tassie & should you care to tell, your secrets are safe with me !!! Too much m8, lol !! However, just as foot tappingly good but more on point re O.W.S, I must append this just before I retire :

pax ...

[-] 2 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

You just trumped my map of Tassie.

Cool video.

I couldn't book the Tassie Overland Track until our Spring, which is September. They only let a fixed number of walkers in there for the season.

If I was kitted up to walk through waist-deep snow, I could go anytime in Winter. I'd rather do it when there's just patches of snow on the shady sides of the mountains. It's the fifth most popular walk in Lonely Planet's list of walks.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Yes,.most useful as my eyesight continues to degrade.


[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

Over in Europe, I'm thinking Northern Germany, most folks live in small city flats, many have balconies, but none large enough to effectively grow any agriculture. So, what many folks do is get a small plot of land right outside of town to garden. Not much, I'd say most plots are smaller than 3000 sq ft, but enough to grow veggies, and maybe raise a few chickens for the season. I'm not sure how that would work around NYC, but anywhere else such may be a possibility.

Bottom line though is when folks living on the U.S.A. East Coast buy food shipped in from California; that just does not make any sense ( with all respect to the good folks in California. Your food is good, but just too far away.)

[-] -1 points by greysone (-264) 7 years ago

the west coast ( california)has a more temperate climate than the east coast( northeast and mid atlantic) and longer growing seaons.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

That is great, but we here on the east coast can grow onions and garlic (and other things) too, but most here don't. We import it from California. Now, does that make any sense?

[-] -2 points by greysone (-264) 7 years ago

maybe cali has more illegals to work the farms. they're used to the warmer weather.

[-] 2 points by Shule (2638) 7 years ago

We have plenty of legal farm hands from south of the border out east here too.

[-] -2 points by greysone (-264) 7 years ago

if you say so. s/

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

Vast expanses of privately own land by corporations could become public land

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

No anti biotics in animals. eat Organic.


FYI (and to bump up the post)

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

it's what south american countries go to war over

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

And it's how we get the mcdonalds burgers we get obese on. Mmmm Mmm good!

[-] 2 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

I count my calories which is why I buy whole milk

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

2% for me, but I've started eating much healthier, Much less meat, more fruits, vegies, Less soda, no cigs, no coffee.


[-] -1 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Sucking the juice out of the bottom of a cow, as a full grown adult no less, is not a normal human function

[-] 1 points by MattLHolck (16833) from San Diego, CA 7 years ago

neither is living past 35

[-] 2 points by misery64 (3) from Roxbury, CT 7 years ago

I believe that Chris Hedges is one of the smartest people in this country. His points on food supply are spot on. I know a family that decided to grow their own chickens for the eggs only. I would love to do the same but local regulations stop me. Monsanto's goal is to control the worlds food supply and they are a nasty group to deal with. I totally agree with bringing back the local farms and I have expressed this to many people. Unfortunately I live in an area where most..actually about 90% of the people do not want to hear this. My husband and I started to grow as many vegetables that we were able to a few years back. We were succesful in growing a great garden with no pesticides just by planting certain flowers on the edges and the center of each garden. Unfortunately when I became disabled in 2005 we had to move. it was great while it lasted and we miss being able to eat fresh wholesome vegetables. Our neighboring city has a city garden for it's residents which I think is a great idea. Some local residents in that city are complaining that it's unsightly and want it gone. I don't know what the answer is to our growing unsafe and unstable food supply but......PEOPLE are the only ones that can change this and if people are too lazy to get involved and educated on the issues we will all suffer.

[-] 1 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 7 years ago

Hydroponics. Grow your own food indoors.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

GMO that almost killed all life


What do you think of that?

[-] 1 points by repubsRtheprob (1209) 7 years ago

Food tyranny is killing us.


good group. support them if you can.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

Food and control over the land that produces food has always created power structures and ultimately, civilizations. It's the basis of any economy, really. Very interesting, Trevor. Probably our strongest tool would be boycotting foods that do nothing positive for us and seeking out foods that are grown locally, or by cooperatives, etc.

Where I live one of the most popular supermarkets is a cooperative. It's a little expensive but everyone shops there for at least some of their food. Also, buying locally grown food and eating in restaurants that serve locally grown food is a big deal here. It is a rural area, though, so much easier to do.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

"Dr. Vandana Shiva: War and agriculture came together when the chemicals that were produced for chemical warfare lost their markets in war, and the industry organized itself to sell those chemicals as agrochemicals. Then, when gene splicing was worked out as a technique in public systems, the corporations realized here was something that would work wonderfully for them. Not only would they get to sell more chemicals, but now, by genetically modifying seed, they could for the first time say, "We are creators and inventors of plants," and redefine seed as an invention covered by patents and therefore collect rents and royalty. If every farmer, every year has to buy seed - which is the main reason for pushing GMOS - it's huge profits."

Excellent article. Very, very interesting. Thank you.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago


[-] -1 points by highlander (-163) 7 years ago

GMS - higher yield and higher tolerance? I fail to see the problem.

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

The problem is that corporations become the owners of too much food production.

Monopolistic tendencies inevitably put profits over people andstarvation will become 'the cost of doing business'.

See that problem?

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Antibiotics out of food. This is a great health threat for the 99%. even the 100%.



[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

That's awesome, and very related to Trevor's post.

"The rice itself has also recently been noted by scientists for its advantages over conventional rice species. It can grow to a height of 1.8 meters versus 1 meter. It can be cultivated without pesticides or chemical fertilizers, being naturally resistant to insects and having adapted to low soil fertility over centuries. Wannian rice also delivers richer nutrition, with higher levels of protein and vitamin B."

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

Vote Green Party. I think that is the only way to bring about quick change on issues such as arsenic in food. Dems/Reps will drag their feet and hem and haw in defense of the almighty dollar.

[-] 0 points by imagine40 (383) 7 years ago

i wish the green party (and all 3rd parties) were not frozen out of the election process.

In that regard I support:




electionday holiday

And other necessary election/campaign reform.

While I await fair 3rd party access I agitate theexisting corrupt pols for change that benefits the 99%.

[+] -4 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 7 years ago

We need a new Operation Breadbasket.

I was reading about this the other day in the book Where Do We Go From Here.

OWS has tried to replicate the model in many forms.


[-] 5 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

That is exactly what we need to do. If a company is not benefiting us economically, socially, environmentally, then boycott them. Plain and simple. Americans don't realize their power as consumers. Even though some of these companies are such huge monopolies if you look around there are little guys offering similar products. MLK clued into that a long time ago. Very interesting.

[-] 0 points by OTP (-203) from Tampa, FL 7 years ago

Not only boycott, but also start our own.

[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

Very good point. Definitely.

[-] -1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

If you do not agree with my reply above (or below I guess) re the Conglomerate and its capabilities (solution superiority), let's discuss. As a supporter of the movement, as someone with an open mind who seeks the best solutions, you are obligated to. Are you not?

[-] 5 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Coke, don't drink our products you will get fatter and fatter and increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease.


[-] 0 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

haha, that's awesome!

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

If only Coke would come to this epiphany. Not gonna happen. It's up to us.

[-] 0 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Which is why the 99% Conglomerate's Subsidiaries will be defining Irresponsible Entities (what makes an entity irresponsible, rules subsidiaries must adhere to) for the Phase 2 and 3 Conglomerate Constitution. I can link you to it later if you're interested.

[-] 3 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago
[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

First, I'm not understanding your "you are obligated to" statement. I am not obligated to do anything though I will consider your Conglomerate idea if you send me a link. I don't know anything about it.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

My point, and no offence to you or anyone, is that if one seeks a solution with an open mind, the obligation is to self rather than someone else.

Here is something recently posted referencing my comments here:


[-] 2 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

Please give me a summary of what the 99% Conglomerate is and I will consider it. I don't have time to do research. If you want me to consider it, tell me in summary what it is. Thanks.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Here is a bit of a summary:


And from another post with a minor edit: "This special corporation, destined/designed to devour capitalism and die with it, is necessary to convince 99% of the population they are the 99%."

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

It's a good idea.

[-] -2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Thanks beautiful, I agree! Turns out today many others think so too, which is overwhelmingly motivating.

[-] -3 points by vaprosvyeh (-400) 7 years ago

Your conglomerate is destined.designed to devour capitalism and DIE WITH IT? How many people do you know want to build something only to kill it off?

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Sustainable food efforts


Join Occupy in supporting these efforts.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

This is why we must end the monopoly over our food production.

Big sugar/corn/agri are killing us.


[-] -1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Eventually, I hope, this will put an end to the money-based system. It's a long, long way off.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

EPA fails to stop big Chem/big Agri from destroying bees



[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

We need bees for our food.


Tell Bayer to stop killing bees.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Excellent info. Not surprising. We are contending with a group of people who hate govt and seek to dismantle as much of it as possible.


Thx for the response.

[-] 0 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

I'd have to contend that the 99% Conglomerate will be far more effective. We need to have a good long discussion with everyone about why this is so.

Good news is there's about one new member joining every day (for a total of 4 or so...), well almost. It takes some convincing people, but they are really making the right choice, to benefit you, the economy, nature, the Occupy movement worldwide and the future of mankind.

One day there should be thousands of subsidiaries, and many millions of Occupy supporters as a result. We need your support too.

Not pointing fingers at anyone, but now is the time to do something beyond significant... something to bring the 1% to their knees.

[-] 2 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 7 years ago

even if one has property many communities forbid food production.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Time to march against Monsanto.


Please spread it around, organize a march, find one near you.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

They're having a tough time though because of their anti-worker sentiment. Ha ha.


[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Yes I have seen that also. Couldn'tve happen to a nicer oligarch.

And more and more people are choosing to shop elsewhere. When they can, since Walmart destroys all mom n pop competition.

A boycott is in order.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

Most definitely. We should all try and support our local shops as much as possible as hard as they are to find these days.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

It is such a tragic evolution from small town shopping to big box superstore and the loss of jobs and community for the sake of supposed lower prices.

I think in the end when a Walmart has no real competition they will and do raise prices as much as a mom n pop might.

And of course Walmart has exasperated the offshoring of manufacturing for the same claim of lower prices.

No price is low enough when the big boxstore has made us unemployed.

Walmart needs to take a lesson from Henry Ford who paid his workers twice as much as competitors so that they could afford the cars they made.

In NYC we have successfully protested against every effort of Walmart to open a store here, But they are gaining ground and other big box stores have opened so it's a problem we all face.

[-] 3 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

There are so many sad cultural affects that a place like WalMart brings about. A loss of communal atmosphere, too many choices that overwhelm in the store, and underwhelm when you get the crap home, too much gas used to drive to the big store, so much land destroyed to build the ugly store and the parking lot, etc etc. It is tragic. I agree.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

The gas for driving is an excellent point. We failed miserably when begun this experiment of creating a whole society around the car.

No matter what you need you gotta drive to it.

Time to move closer together, nearer to our jobs, and utilize small main street type shopping model.

I know I'm preaching to the choir but there it is.

Thanks for responding & listening.

[-] 4 points by beautifulworld (23327) 7 years ago

Very well said.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 7 years ago


[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago


Brain fart.

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 7 years ago

good link.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

They've destroyed main street business. They've contributed to the car culture/isolation of communities, They've move our jobs overseas, and exploited 3rd world poor people with low pay & poor benefits.

They dictate further worker exploitation by demanding ever lower prices from their suppliers. Their business model includes near monopolistic control of products (now food!).

It is disgusting and outrageous.

[-] 2 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 7 years ago

yes, yes it is.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

They will paaaayyyyy!!! For what they have done to us.

[-] 0 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 7 years ago

why not shut down the whole town center and relocate it inside of wall mart. everyone can make 1/10th of what they used to make and we will all be happy walmart associates.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

OMG - the one world order = wallyworld.

Who is the CEO/anti-Christ/Satan at wallyworld?

[-] 1 points by quantumystic (1710) from Memphis, TN 7 years ago

the wally world order.

[-] -1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

LOL. Sounds like a plan. For self destruction!!!


[-] 1 points by freewriterguy2 (3) 7 years ago

I like this point and the holy spirit has been telling me about this for some time now especially about the poisons they put in the foods there isn't many organic or natural foods left. We have been eating organic foods only for a year now and it's expensive so this year we are quadrupling our gardening, and even got chickens cause $5 for a dozen organic eggs was more money than I wanted to spend.

Did you know that organic yellow corn may actualy be extinct? corporations in collaboration with government have genetically modified it so much I haven't been able to find any, so we have been eating organic blue corn chips, (target has the best value for $3) a good size bag.


[-] 2 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago


Now "THAT" is a sane action to support.


Call for a worldwide ban and destruction of all GMO crops and seeds http://www.causes.com/actions/1742500-call-for-a-worldwide-ban-and-destruction-of-all-gmo-crops-and-seeds?utm_campaign=sharebar&utm_medium=tweet&utm_source=twitter via @causes pls Consider then Share/Circulate.

[-] -1 points by Builder (4202) 7 years ago

Thanks DK. I never tweeted anything myself. Good to get this kinda thing to as many peeps as poss.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

Thank you - for the material to tweet/circulate out/around.

[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 7 years ago

In Compliment - The World Against Monsatan:

From Avaaz:

It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all -- our food! But if we can pressure key European countries to slam the patent door shut on their destructive plans, we can stop this attack on our food. Help build the biggest food defense call ever by clicking here:

Sign the petition

It’s unbelievable, but Monsanto and Co. are at it again. These profit-hungry biotech companies have found a way to exclusively ‘own’ something that freely belongs to us all -- our food! They’re trying to patent away our everyday vegetables and fruits like cucumber, broccoli and melons, forcing growers to pay them and risk being sued if they don’t.

But we can stop them from buying up Mother Earth. Companies like Monsanto have found loopholes in European law to get away with this, so we just need to close them shut before they set a dangerous global precedent. And to do that, we need key countries like Germany, France and the Netherlands -- where opposition is already growing -- to call for a vote to stop Monsanto’s plans. The Avaaz community has shifted governments before, and we can do it again.

Many farmers and politicians are already against this -- we just need to bring in people power to pressure these countries to keep Monsanto’s hands off our food. Sign now and share with everyone to help build the biggest food defense call ever:


Once a patent exists in one country, trade agreements and negotiations often push other countries to honour it as well. That's why these food patents change everything about how our food chain works: for thousands of years, farmers could choose which seeds they’d use without worrying about getting sued for violating intellectual property rights. But now, companies launch expensive legal campaigns to buy patents on conventional plants and force farmers to pay exorbitant royalty fees. Monsanto and Co. claim that patents drive innovation -- but in fact they create a corporate monopoly of our food.

But luckily, the European Patent Office is controlled by 38 member states who, with one vote, can end dangerous patents on food that is bred using conventional methods. Even the European Parliament has issued a statement objecting to these kinds of destructive patents. Now, a massive wave of public outcry could push them to ban the patenting of our everyday food for good.

The situation is dire already -- Monsanto alone owns 36% of all tomato, 32% of sweet pepper and 49% of cauliflower varieties registered in the EU. With a simple regulatory change, we could protect our food, our farmers and our planet from corporate control -- and it's up to us to make it happen:


The Avaaz community has never been afraid to stand up to corporate capture of our institutions, from pushing back the Rupert Murdoch mafia, to helping ensure that telecoms keep their hands off our Internet. Now it’s time to defend our food supply from this corporate takeover.

With hope and determination,

Jeremy, Michelle, Oli, Dalia, Pascal, Ricken, Diego and the whole Avaaz team


Conventionally-bred plants or animals should be exempt from patents, say MEPs (EU Parliament) http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/pressroom/content/20120509IPR44733/html/Conventionally-bred-plants-or-animals-should-be-exempt-from-patents-say-MEPs

President of the European Patent Office gives green light for patents on plants and animals (No Patents on Seeds) http://www.no-patents-on-seeds.org/en/information/background/green-light-for-patents-on-plants-and-animals

Monsanto: All Your Seeds Belong to Us (Mother Jones) http://www.motherjones.com/blue-marble/2013/02/scotus-hears-monsanto-soybean-case

Plant Patentability Questions Deepen In EPO Tomato Patent Case (IP Watch) http://www.ip-watch.org/2012/06/13/plant-patentability-questions-deepen-in-epo-tomato-patent-case/

Tomato patent back before EPO’s Enlarged Board of Appeal (Europolitics) http://europolitics.eis-vt-prod-web01.cyberadm.net/business-competitiveness/tomato-patent-back-before-epo-s-enlarged-board-of-appeal-art336003-7.html

Avaaz.org is a 20-million-person global campaign network that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

[-] 1 points by Nader (74) 7 years ago

Or at the very least, learn to hunt to acquire your own meat. It guarantees it was raised and lived humanely, ate a natural diet, and was not pumped fuel of antibiotics and hormones. Not to mention extremely cheap. The food companies, however, have tainted our meat so much that most Americans would be turned off by the taste of wild game.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Excellent points, and important distinctions. That would avoid many environmental issues. Of course meat is also none too healthy so there is that too, your health and the US budget (big healthcare costs).

but for those that could hunt it IS better.

[-] 2 points by Nader (74) 7 years ago

That all meat is unhealthy is a common misconception, partially propagated by the things that pass as meat at grocery stores as that is what the vast majority of Americans eat.

Pheasant, for example, is so lean that it cannot be cooked without adding another form of fat to it for moisture. Native Americans did not have high rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, etc and they ate a diet very similar to one eaten by a family that keeps a modest garden and hunts.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Good point. We could learn a lot from natives. it's too bad all 320 million of us can't hunt for our food.

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

bacon and eggs for breakfast, corned beef sandwich for lunch and grilled steak for dinner.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Very bad for the environment,your health, and the US budget.

Please cut down forthe sake of you children.

Fruit, & cold cereal, Tuna & salad for lunch, More salad for dinner.

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

My health is just fine. bad for the environment?? bad for the us budget???????????? YOU eat what you want, I will dine as I want.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago
[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

They love them peru. and in china congealed blood is eaten. or , like obama you can try dog. i prefer beef, ( and veal) and pork, and lamb, and chicken ( fried).

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

But eating guinea pigs is better for the environment.

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

Tell michelle.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

You gonna stoop to insulting the presidents wife too?.

Have a little decency.

[-] -1 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

what did i say that was insulting?

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I'm asking if you're gonna.?

[-] -1 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

And now you're changing the subjet. classic. your response to my post about what i enjoy eating , was to post a story about eating guniea pigs.. I said, " tell michelle". YOUR post in response to that was " You gonna stoop to insulting the presidents wife too". By adding " too" to your post , you implied that i insulted someone. I will ask again,who did i insult? You can't /won't answer, and now you try to change the subject.

[-] 4 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

The subject/topic is food issues,

Your silly pedantic distraction is kinda sophomoric. You misunderstood that's all. 'sok, as you grow up you will learn to understand people better, and you will understand when to set aside insignificant misunderstandings and focus on the important issues/subject.

Why don't you comment on the topic/subject of food? Why don't you stop distracting by changing the subject.

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

pompous reply doesnt change what you posted. what i posted was about food.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I disagree

[-] -1 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

you disagree with fact.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I don't think so.

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

who is writing your posts for you?

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I do of course. Why?

Here's more current food news.


Whatta ya think?

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

what did i say that was insulting?

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I didn't say anything you said was insulting! Are you mentally ill?

I asked if you're gonna!

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

You got caught . You can keep on denying it, but yes, you did.

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I got caught? Doin what?

Put aside your childish pedantic distractions & comment on this


[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

"You gonna stoop to insulting the presidents wife too"? By using the word "too" at the end of your sentence you implied that I insulted someone.

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I did not.

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

When you ended your question with "too", you implied that I insulted someone. So, I ask again, who did i "insult"?

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

I did not imply that at all. You simply misinterpreted. So My answer for the 5th time is:

No one.

I didn't say you insulted anyone! Are you mentally ill?

I asked if you're gonna stoop to that tactic (insulting) as well as the other tactics you've used!

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

YOUR question to me was "You gonna stoop to insulting the presidents wife too?" I asked you "who did I insult?" You still have not answred that question.

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

No one.

I didn't say you insulted anyone! Are you mentally ill?

I asked if you're gonna stoop to that tactic (insulting) as well as the other tactics you've used!

[-] -1 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

YOU said " You gonna stoop to insulting the presidents wife too" read what you post.

[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

It was a question. Read my comments slowly, sound out the words, use a dictionary, ask mommy, do something to avoid making yourself look stupid.

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

No thanks, I prefer meat.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Me too. But vegetarianism is better.

[-] -1 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

Then you can eat vegetables for every meal,..............i choose meat.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

You said. I'm continuing to cut back until I cut meat out entirely.

[-] 0 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

you have me confused with someone else. i never said that.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Confusion is definitely the problem.

You said. ("I choose meat")

For me I say

I'm continuing to cut back until I cut meat out entirely.

Less confusing?

[-] -2 points by RwOrn (-290) from Berkeley, CA 7 years ago

No, I did not. Never did. you are now making things up. pathetic tactic, won't work. your screen name should be delusionalman.

[-] 1 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

You didn't say more than once you choose meat?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 7 years ago

From Growing Profit to Growing Food: Challenging Corporate Rule

Monday, 01 April 2013 14:30 By Tory Field and Beverly Bell, Other Worlds | News Analysis


Just outside of the small town of Maumelle, Arkansas sits your run-of-the-mill American strip mall. And as in so many other box store hubs, a Walmart dominates the landscape. But something is a shade different about this one; its big, looming letters are not the standard blue. These letters, in a new, green hue, spell out “Walmart Neighborhood Market.” These “neighborhood markets” are a tactic in Walmart’s conquest of the grocery industry. The nation’s world’s biggest retail store now captures more than a fourth of the domestic grocery market.

We are bombarded and manipulated by corporate name brands every day. A Coca-Cola annual report some years back stated, “All of us in the Coca-Cola family wake up each morning knowing that every single one of the world’s 5.6 billion people will get thirsty that day… If we make it impossible for these 5.6 billion people to escape Coca-Cola…, then we assure our future success for many years to come. Doing anything else is not an option.”[i]

“Impossible” to “escape” sounds daunting, downright creepy. Yet people are escaping, in droves, a food system that is more obsessed with money than with sustenance.

The U.S.’s move towards industrialization in the 19th century ushered in major changes in agriculture. The focus shifted to creating an abundance of affordable food for a growing population while simultaneously reducing the number of people laboring in the fields, in order to free them up for work in the factories. The need for more food with less labor meant more mechanization and therefore bigger farms. The emergence of vast farms required that food travel long distances, and went hand-in-hand with the creation of companies to transport, package, and process the food.

Over the years, food has become increasingly commodified, that is, converted from nourishment to a mass-marketed consumer product. These days, an ever-shrinking number of mega-corporations controls an ever-expanding amount of food production, from seeds to equipment, from chemical inputs to processing. Consider these statistics:

•Just four companies own approximately 84 percent of the U.S. beef market;

•Four firms control 66 percent of the pork-packing market and another four control 58 percent of poultry processing;

•Four companies own 43 percent of the world’s commercial seed market;

•Three companies control 90 percent of the global grain trade; and

•Four companies own 48 percent of grocery retailers.

Bust the Trust

The global movement for food justice and food sovereignty seeks to bust the corporate takeover of our food system, which has been accomplished with the complicity of our governments. Below are a few recent campaigns and victories in the U.S., where farmers, food justice activists, and consumers are uniting to challenge corporate rule.

  • In one strategy to reduce corporate control of the milk industry, fourteen states have been pushed to allow raw milk sales at locations off the farm, and nine states are considering bills of a similar nature. Milk that is produced and sold locally in small batches doesn’t require the lengthy shelf life or, therefore, the pasteurization process that has become status quo for industrialized milk. Most often sold directly off the farm, raw milk creates a more direct link between farmers and consumers, cuts out corporate middlepeople, and provides farmers with a larger percentage of the consumer dollar. And any raw-milk lover will swear it tastes better.

Vernon Hershberger, a Wisconsin dairy farmer who was charged with operating without a license and four criminal misdemeanors for supplying raw milk to a buyers’ club, said, “[T]his is about the fundamental right of farmers and consumers to engage in peaceful, private, mutually consenting agreements for food, without additional oversight.”

  • At least nine states have established some legal restraints to keep corporations from buying and owning farms. In Pennsylvania, the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund has helped individual towns pass and defend local ordinances banning corporate farming in their communities.

  • The 2010 Supreme Court decision Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission prohibits government restrictions on political spending by corporations. Big agribusiness, as well as all other corporate industries, now have even greater sway over the political process. Communities around the country, led by organizations like Public Citizen, Public Campaign, Move to Amend, and United for the People, have introduced local resolutions calling on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United. As of March 2013, eleven states and more than 120 local municipalities or cities had passed these resolutions.

  • Organizations like the Program on Corporations, Law, and Democracy (POCLAD) have popularized the need to eliminate ‘corporate personhood,’ not just in agriculture but in society in general. Corporate personhood gives corporations the same constitutional rights as human beings under the 14th Amendment, which means they are entitled to due process, equal protection, and free speech. POCLAD has been doing research, hosting workshops, and publishing books and articles to spark conversations about the effects of corporate power on our governance, lives and the planet.

  • Mass mobilization for Proposition 37, which would have required food manufacturers to place labels on any food containing GMOs in California, pushed the issue of GMOs into general public concern. Though the measure was defeated (with millions of corporate dollars working against it), the spike in awareness led by groups like Just Label It, Organic Consumers Association, Yes on 37 as well as communities across the country, paves the path for continued advocacy. GMO labeling laws are now in the works in Washington state and Vermont. And the grocery giant Whole Foods has agreed to label all GMO products by 2018.

  • Significant food chain worker victories have been effective in checking corporate power and pushing for fair wages and workers rights. Just in 2012, after targeted campaigns, the Coalition of Immokalee Workers pressured Trader Joe’s to sign a Fair Food Agreement, committing to higher wages for farmworkers, basic rights, and a monitoring system to ensure follow-through. Chipotle signed the agreement a few months afterward, becoming the 11th corporation to succumb to the CIW’s pressure. Meanwhile, Brandworkers International won a significant settlement from Flaum Appetizing for unpaid wages, after a joint campaign through Focus on the Food Chain. And the Food Chain Workers Alliance and Restaurant Opportunities Centers United continue to mobilize for Congress to raise standard and tipped minimum wage by pushing the Fair Minimum Wage Act.

Here are a few ways you can get involved in reclaiming food and agriculture from the corporations:

• Join campaigns against agro-giants. Check out the Organic Consumers Association campaign against Monsanto.

• Boycott corporate-owned seeds, especially those owned by the largest agro-corporations such as Monsanto (through its brand Seminis) and Syngenta.

  • Look up corporations known to misguide the public and raise awareness about their practices. CorpWatch is a good resource. Check out their “Food and Agriculture” section.

    • Find out what corporations are behind your favorite foods – often, organic or natural brand labels are owned by larger mainstream corporations. For example, Kashi and Horizon are owned by Kellogg and Dean Foods, respectively – both of which put up money to defeat California’s 2012 GM labeling proposition. The Cornucopia Institute (www.cornucopia.org) tracks what’s behind organic labels and provides facts about how organic they really are.

And check out these organizations and resources:

• Family Farm Defenders

• Food and Water Watch

• National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition

• Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals

• Raj Patel’s Stuffed and Starved: The Hidden Battle for the World Food System

• Vandana Shiva’s Earth Democracy: Justice, Sustainability, and Peace

• “Fresh,” directed by Ana Sofia Joanes, 2009.

• “The World According to Monsanto,” directed by Marie-Monique Robin, 2008.

• “Food, Inc.,” directed by Robert Kenner, 2008.

• “Percy Schmeiser – David versus Monsanto,” directed by Bertram Verhaag, 2009.

[i] Coca-Cola Corporation, 1993 Annual Report, quoted in E.F. Schumacher, Small is Beautiful (Blond & Briggs, 1973), 8.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 7 years ago

Walmart's Death Grip on Groceries Is Making Life Worse for Millions of People

Friday, 29 March 2013 09:33 By Stacy Mitchell, AlterNet | Report


Walmart's growing control of our food system has been to intensify the rural and urban poverty that drives unhealthy food choices. When Michelle Obama visited a Walmart in Springfield, Missouri, a few weeks ago to praise the company's efforts to sell healthier food, she did not say why she chose a store in Springfield of all cities. But, in ways that Obama surely did not intend, it was a fitting choice. This Midwestern city provides a chilling look at where Walmart wants to take our food system.

Springfield is one of nearly 40 metro areas where Walmart now captures about half or more of consumer spending on groceries, according to Metro Market Studies. Springfield area residents spend just over $1 billion on groceries each year, and one of every two of those dollars flows into a Walmart cash register. The chain has 20 stores in the area and shows no signs of slowing its growth. Its latest proposal, a store just south of the city's downtown, has provoked widespread protest. Opponents say Walmart already has an overbearing presence in the region and argue that this new store would undermine nearby grocery stores, including a 63-year-old family-owned business which still provides delivery for its elderly customers. A few days before the First Lady's visit, the City Council voted 5-4 to approve what will be Walmart's 21st store in the community.

As Springfield goes, so goes the rest of the country, if Walmart has its way. Nationally, the retailer's share of the grocery market now stands at 25 percent. That's up from 4 percent just 16 years ago. Walmart's tightening grip on the food system is unprecedented in U.S. history. Even A&P — often referred to as the Walmart of its day — accounted for only about 12 percent of grocery sales at its height in the 1940s. Its market share was kept in check in part by the federal government, which won an antitrust case against A&P in 1946. The contrast to today's casual acceptance of Walmart's market power could not be more stark.

Having gained more say over our food supply than Monsanto, Kraft, or Tyson, Walmart has been working overtime to present itself as a benevolent king. It has upped its donations to food pantries, reduced sodium and sugars in some of its store-brand products, and recast its relentless expansion as a solution to "food deserts." In 2011, it pledged to build 275-300 stores "in or near" low-income communities lacking grocery stores. The Springfield store Obama visited is one of 86 such stores Walmart has since opened. Situated half a mile from the southwestern corner of a census tract identified as underserved by the USDA, the store qualifies as "near" a food desert. Other grocery stores are likewise perched on the edge of this tract. Although Walmart has made food deserts the vanguard of its PR strategy in urban areas, most of the stores the chain has built or proposed in cities like Chicago and Washington D.C. are in fact just blocks from established supermarkets, many unionized or locally owned. As it pushes into cities, Walmart's primary aim is not to fill gaps but to grab market share.

The real effect of Walmart's takeover of our food system has been to intensify the rural and urban poverty that drives unhealthy food choices. Poverty has a strong negative effect on diet, regardless of whether there is a grocery store in the neighborhood or not, a major 15-year study published in 2011 in the Archives of Internal Medicine found. Access to fresh food cannot change the bottom-line reality that cheap, calorie-dense processed foods and fast food are financially logical choices for far too many American households. And their numbers are growing right alongside Walmart. Like Midas in reverse, Walmart extracts wealth and pushes down incomes in every community it touches, from the rural areas that produce food for its shelves to the neighborhoods that host its stores.

Walmart has made it harder for farmers and food workers to earn a living. Its rapid rise as a grocer triggered a wave of mergers among food companies, which, by combining forces, hoped to become big enough to supply Walmart without getting crushed in the process. Today, food processing is more concentrated than ever. Four meatpackers slaughter 85 percent of the nation's beef. One dairy company handles 40 percent of our milk, including 70 percent of the milk produced in New England. With fewer buyers, farmers are struggling to get a fair price. Between 1995 and 2009, farmers saw their share of each consumer dollar spent on beef fall from 59 to 42 cents. Their cut of the consumer milk dollar likewise fell from 44 to 36 cents. For pork, it fell from 45 to 25 cents and, for apples, from 29 to 19 cents.

Onto this grim reality, Walmart has grafted a much-publicized initiative to sell more locally grown fruits and vegetables. Clambering aboard the "buy local" trend undoubtedly helps Walmart's marketing, but, as Missouri-based National Public Radio journalist Abbie Fentress Swanson reported in February, "there's little evidence of small farmers benefiting, at least in the Midwest." Walmart, which defines "local" as grown in the same state, has increased its sales of local produce mainly by relying on large industrial growers. Small farmers, meanwhile, have fewer opportunities to reach consumers, as independent grocers and smaller chains shrink and disappear.

Food production workers are being squeezed too. The average slaughterhouse wage has fallen 9 percent since 1999. Forced unpaid labor at food processing plants is on the rise. Last year, a Louisiana seafood plant that supplies Walmart was convicted of forcing employees to work in unsafe conditions for less than minimum wage. Some workers reported peeling and boiling crawfish in shifts that spanned 24 hours.

The tragic irony is that many food-producing regions, with their local economies dismantled and poverty on the rise, are now themselves lacking grocery stores. The USDA has designated large swaths of the farm belt, including many agricultural areas near Springfield, as food deserts.

One might imagine that squeezing farmers and food workers would yield lower prices for consumers. But that hasn't been the case. Grocery prices have been rising. There are multiple reasons for this, but corporate concentration is at least partly to blame. For most foods, the spread between what consumers pay and how much farmers receive has been widening. Food processors and big retailers are pocketing the difference. Even as Walmart touts lower prices than its competitors, the company's reorganization of our food system has had the effect of raising grocery prices overall.

As Walmart stores multiply, fewer families can afford to eat well. The company claims it stores bring economic development and employment, but the empirical evidence indicates otherwise. A study published in 2008 in the Journal of Urban Economics examined about 3,000 Walmart store openings nationally and found that each store caused a net decline of about 150 jobs (as competing retailers downsized and closed) and lowered total wages paid to retail workers. Other research by the economic consulting firm Civic Economics has found that, when locally owned businesses are replaced by big-box stores, dollars that once circulated in the community, supporting other businesses and jobs, instead leak out. These shifts may explain the findings of another study, published in Social Science Quarterly in 2006, which cut straight to the bottom line: neighborhoods where Walmart opens end up with higher poverty rates and more food-stamp usage than places where the retailer does not expand.

This year, Walmart plans to open between 220 and 240 stores in the U.S., as it marches steadily on in its quest to further control the grocery market. Policymakers at every level, from city councilors to federal antitrust regulators, should be standing in its way. Very few are. Growing numbers of people, though, are drawing the line, from the Walmart employees who have led a string of remarkable strikes against the company, to the coalition of small business, labor, and community groups that recently forced Walmart to step back from its plans to unroll stores across New York City.

Back in Springfield, as Michelle Obama was delivering her remarks, framed by a seductive backdrop of oranges and lemons, a citizens group called Stand Up to Walmart was also at work, launching a referendum drive to overturn the City Council's vote and block Walmart from gaining any more ground in the city.

This article was published in partnership with the Institute for Local Self-Reliance http://www.ilsr.org/ .

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] -1 points by greysone (-264) 7 years ago

she has money(taxpayers and her own) servants( taxpayer provided) and a live in chef( taxpayer provided)and yet she's fat. those highly touted toned arms of hers are starting to sag.

[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 7 years ago

Good post Trevor, about an important topic. I believe you were asking about some good books on this topic for your reference library recently, weren't you? I haven't read this one, but came across it and after reading the three page intro it sounds pretty damn good. You might want to check it out:


[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Sign on to oppose cutting food inspection.


Please we need your support

[+] -4 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 7 years ago

Thanks! I'll see if they have it at the bookstore next time I go. I was thinking of picking up either the Urban Homestead or the Permaculture Handbook, or maybe this.

[-] 2 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Action Alert. Occupy monsanto. Let's put our money where our mouth is.


[-] 1 points by gnomunny (6819) from St Louis, MO 7 years ago

All three sound good. Rebuilding the Foodshed sounds like a good one for giving you an idea of the big picture, rather than focusing on one particular topic. I'm tempted to pick up a copy myself. I'm also pretty uninformed about these subjects.

[-] 1 points by john32 (-272) from Pittsburgh, PA 7 years ago

Great post...probably one of the most important parts of keeping our freedom is the continued ability to be able to provide for yourself and family should you choose to.

Many claim they don't have the space to provide for anything....great little site showing you the possibilities...all on 1/10th of an acre:


[-] 0 points by inclusionman (7064) 7 years ago

Action Alert: Oppose GMO

Jump On Board! “Eat-In” at the FDA for GMO Labeling and Food Democracy- April 8th, 2013, All Day (8am-6pm) Food And Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD

There have been “Sit-Ins” and “Be-Ins,” but there has never been an “Eat-In” at the Food And Drug Administration before. The purpose of the FDA is to “protect and promote” the health of Americans. Instead, Americans are being kept in the dark about the foods they are eating.

In 2012, over a million people signed the "Just Label It" petition for GMO labeling and over 6 million Californians voted for honest labels, but the FDA has failed to act. There have been two petitions on President Barack Obama’s “We The People” petition website that have surpassed the signature threshold required for a response. But instead of answering the sincere concerns of the American people, there has been only silence.

What: Eat-in for GMO Labeling at the FDA, Stone Soup Style. Jump on an action-bound bus from your region to the FDA! Pack a picnic, bring a bowl, spoon, & mug, and gather an arm full of (vegetarian) ingredients from your region to add to the GMO-Free “Stone Soup” were going to be cooking up. Come enjoy a day of sunshine with a picnic-style protest. Are YOU hungry for some food democracy?

Where: Sidewalk outside of the Food And Drug Administration’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, 5100 Paint Branch Parkway College Park, MD 20740. Located across the street from the College Park Metro Station (Green Line).

When: April 8th 2013, 8am-6pm - All Day! On Monday April 8th, we’ll head to the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied nutrition, to face down the institution that chooses Monsanto’s industrial interests over public health. Join this historic event to make our voice heard and to begin to take back our food system. Come before work, come for lunch, come after work! We'll be done with the “Eat-In” by sundown.

How You Can Join: 1.) Show up on April 8! Buses and vans will be transporting people from around the East Coast. (Regional transporatation info below)

2.) Volunteer! Sign up to volunteer HERE or to have our organizers help organize a van from your area HERE.

3.) Tell someone else! RSVP on Facebook, share the event page with your network, & send reminders as we get closer to the date.

For more information visit Occupy-Monsanto.com or contact StoneSoup@Occupy-Monsanto.com.

[-] -1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Encourage local growers to join the conglomerate as subsidiaries, and then local occupiers to consume their produce. This should encourage the local diversification shift you know we need.

Another good example for a subsidiary would be to offer a service assisting local producer start-ups, like best practices in high-output micro operations.

[+] -4 points by danya8 (-98) 7 years ago

So people, growing tomatoes on their balcony, can replace the supply from gigantic farms.

You fucking idiot. It's like proposing we can replace our trucking system of delivering goods, by asking kids on roller skates to carry goods.

[-] 0 points by TrevorMnemonic (5827) 7 years ago

Did you fail reading comprehension back in elementary school?

[+] -8 points by derain (-178) 7 years ago

do search for chemtrails.

[-] 2 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

What do chemtrails have to do with anything?

[-] -2 points by derain (-178) 7 years ago

govt sponsored poisoning of the air and people.,..........water and food. they're easily seen,........long straight lines ( that sometimes criss cross) of " clouds" that dont disperse. Contrails, the trail from jet engines , dissipate fast. these do not.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Ya, I knew about them for a long time and have taken some pretty good pics of graph-paper skies. I just don't see how it applies here.

[-] -2 points by derain (-178) 7 years ago

these toxins will make their way into everything.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

Ok, but it has nothing to do with anything below the title of the post.

[-] -2 points by derain (-178) 7 years ago

if as you contend, food is power and the govt is poisoning the air and us, then it has evrything to do with the original post.

[-] 1 points by Kavatz (464) from Edmonton, AB 7 years ago

If as you contend, govt is killing its own supplies too. That's not what chemtrails are for. I think your knowledge of chemtrails is lacking.