Chronicles of Less Urban Living, Fresh from In the Night Farm

I’m Giving Up Monsanto for Lent

I am not Catholic.

But, I am pissed off.

And this is as good a time as any.

For the 46 days between March 9 and April 23, I am going to do my best to avoid supporting Monsanto in any way.

I suspect that doing so will lead me down (ahem) interesting paths as I explore just how deep the company’s claws have sunk into our politics, economy, and environment.

I’ve heard that to control a nation’s destiny, you must control the education of its children.  I’ll buy that.  But if you want an even deeper hold — an even more immediate and desperate one — why not control the food supply?  And while you’re at it, you might as well think big.  Go international.  Do it in the name of Feeding the World.

Enough.  I want to know if we can still escape.  The best way to find out?


So, the rules:

1.  No purchasing GMO foods or food products that contain them as ingredients.  All produce, including canned or frozen, must be organic or an item as-yet unapproved for alteration.  Any dairy must be free of rBGH. 

2.  Insofar as possible, no purchasing other products that support Monsanto.  I’ll share with you as I do my homework, but I suspect this list may include such items as gasoline (corn ethanol?), stocks, household products, livestock feed, and more.  It’ll be interesting to discover whether I still have a choice in these areas.

And, the caveats:

1.  I do have a few non-compliant items in my pantry; my budget demands that I use up what I have, but any new purchases will follow the rules.

2.  I’m bound to make mistakes.  I suspect Monsanto products are more pervasive than I know, so I’ll be obliged to make corrections as I learn.

So, feel free to add cautions to the comments.  Warn me of the places Monsanto hides.  And join me if you dare.


See all posts in the Monsanto Project Series.


30 responses

  1. jenella

    oof…i’m curious about this. i know they are evil. but i don’t know to what extent.
    thanks, again, for the education.

    March 8, 2011 at 9:23 am

  2. Very very very excited about this. I have been avoiding Monsanto products for a few weeks now, actually, and it seems everywhere I turn, THERE THEY ARE… but I am glad you are starting on this road, too! The more people who are abstaining from Monsanto products, the more eyes we have to spot these pervasive products. Good Luck! Keep us updated!

    March 8, 2011 at 11:04 am

  3. Cool, looking forward to this one!

    March 8, 2011 at 1:39 pm

  4. Michelle

    Very interesting idea!! I can’t wait to see what you uncover!

    March 9, 2011 at 5:33 am

  5. Kim

    I’m sooooo excited to see how this pans out!

    March 9, 2011 at 7:29 am

    • Thanks, all. I’m already appalled (even more than I was last week) by the extent of Monsanto’s reach. Stay tuned…

      March 9, 2011 at 10:31 am

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  7. I guess you already know to stop using Round-up as coffee creamer, right?

    Can’t wait to see the list of products as it grows. Cool; I’ve got you doing my homework for me! Subscribing now.

    March 13, 2011 at 7:10 am

    • LOL Yes, Round-up and all its nasty little coffee-creaming friends are OUT. Welcome!

      March 13, 2011 at 7:14 am

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  9. I found you via Mark Sisson and his “Mark’s Daily Apple” and I’m happy he linked to you. I will be following you and trying to do the same. I’m afraid Monsanto has its claws deep within the system: 40+ years ago (1968), they had a ‘ride’ at Disneyland about inner space and molecules. It was fabulous, but the memory serves as a reminder that they’ve been at this a very long time.

    March 13, 2011 at 9:55 am

    • Welcome! A ride at Disneyland?? Sounds like Jurassic Park. I’ll have to look up more about that — thanks!

      March 13, 2011 at 10:16 am

    • peggy

      HAH!! I remember that ride…

      As you find how far-reaching they are, this will get quite difficult. I heard recenly something about GMO alfalfa & restrictions being lifted or some such nonsense. Which affects the feed of cattle. Those trying to raise organic cattle might end up with “contaminated” hay…

      March 13, 2011 at 12:16 pm

      • Yes, indeed. One wonders how long it will even be possible to grow non-GMO alfalfa, corn, soy, sugar beets, and who knows what else, no matter how much we want to. SCARY.

        March 13, 2011 at 2:29 pm

  10. Robb Dodd

    Why don’t you just give up Monsanto forever? Why does it just have to be for lent?

    March 13, 2011 at 10:58 am

    • 🙂 In as many ways as possible, I will! How about you?

      March 13, 2011 at 2:30 pm

      • Robb Dodd

        I eat nothing that comes from corn, soy or any other grain for that matter. Been that way for a while.

        March 18, 2011 at 10:17 am

      • Same here. Sadly, Monsanto’s reach extends well beyond those foods.

        March 18, 2011 at 11:14 am

  11. Bold words. 🙂 I can’t wait to see how you progress with this! I’m tempted to do something similar myself, though I haven’t done much research into just how deep Monsanto’s claws reach.

    I suspect the answer would probably piss me off.

    March 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm

  12. Congratulations and you certainly have my support! For continued updates on the world of Monsanto, GMO’s, HFCS and other health related topics, please join me at
    I’d love to post updates on your progress as well and let me know how I can support you further on your journey!

    March 13, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    • Thanks and welcome, TJ. I’ll check out your link! 🙂

      March 13, 2011 at 2:27 pm

  13. bbuddha

    Good Luck, I’ll be interested to see how deep they are ingrained. It reminds me of the Christmas I tried to buy nothing made in China. It made for interesting and homemade gifts 🙂

    March 13, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    • Welcome! I like the China idea — might have to try it some year!

      March 13, 2011 at 2:26 pm

  14. Thanks for the info! I was ignorant of Monsanto’s reach. I am interested in learning more! Were you overwhelmed at first by the magnitude of it’s use? That’s where I am now… Heard about you from Mark’s Daily Apple.

    March 13, 2011 at 4:21 pm

  15. TexMo

    Monsanto is a large producer of grain alcohol that is utilized in fine spirits. Companies buy in bulk from Monsanto, add a few choice ingredients, slap a label on the bottle, and you now have a new “gotta try it” vodka.

    March 14, 2011 at 6:43 am

    • Good one, Tex — thanks! And it makes me REALLY glad I was going to do a Whole 30 in April, anyway. I like straight gin, too…I wonder…

      March 14, 2011 at 8:17 am

  16. Chris

    Guess who Monsanto’s #1 guy is up in Washinton…Obama. Because in history Progressives (Marxist) LOVE to control the “peoples” food sources. Usually to the point of mass starvation. And nut job and fellow Marxist George Soros is his money man. And guess what ol billionaire Georgie’s 2nd largest investment was last year….that’s right, Monsanto. Progressives are NOT Liberals nor Democrats…and they have a LONG history of controlling food supplies and that other little nasty skeleton….eugenics.

    ~ Obama Goes Rogue on GMOs ->

    ~ 3rd paragraph downshows Soros’ HUGE investment in Monsanto (Wall Street Journal) ->

    March 14, 2011 at 8:43 am

    • Indeed — the politics (and political money) involved is what makes all this so revolting. Seems the people in power, regardless of party, care more about dollars than deaths.

      March 14, 2011 at 8:48 am

  17. Daniel

    I would start with the 10K on the investor section of Monsanto’s website to find where their primary dollars are generated and were their focus is. Corn and Soybeans top the list but they probably make money through financial moves (like GE) and acquisitions. Check any mutual funds or other investments you have, as they might hold some shares of Monsanto.

    Good Luck!


    March 14, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    • Right you are, Dan. Sounds like a good topic for a future post. Thanks for reading!

      March 15, 2011 at 7:32 am

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