A Missouri Conference Addresses the Dangers of GMO Foods and the Benefits of Organic Farming

Many of us as preppers are keenly aware of concerns with GMO foods. We’ve heard about the benefits of organic farming and gardening. And we see the need to support those who produce locally grown food. These issues came together at the annual conference held by the Missouri Organic Association, February 5-7, 2015, in Springfield, MO.

How much do we really know about genetically engineered crops? How safe are glyphosates (the weed killing chemicals in Roundup and similar herbicides)? Aren’t modern farming practices supposed to guarantee safe, inexpensive food? The government and mainstream media tell us everything’s OK. Do you believe them?

My guest on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio was Sue Baird, Executive Director of the Missouri Organic Association. (My thanks to Mike Slack, a previous show guest, for putting me in touch with her.) During our conversation we talked about that conference and other topics. It promises to be of special interest to those who want to grow, and perhaps sell, organic produce and livestock. We also talked about the dangers of GMO foods and the use of glyphosates in crop production.

You certainly don’t have to be from Missouri for this kind of conference to be of interest. In fact, as many as 40% of the attendees aren’t from Missouri. Also, if you come across this post and show after the conference has past, you’ll still glean good info from my visit with Sue Baird. Check out my notes from our conversation, listen to what we talked about, and explore the Additional Resources below.

 

A Note About MOA

The Missouri Organic Association (MOA) is a nonprofit organization seeking to educate farmers and consumers about the value of producing and eating locally grown, clean, organic food. While the majority of members consists of farmers and producers, the number of consumers is growing. In fact, the GMO plenary at this conference was specifically meant for you and me as consumers.

MOA is growing. Sue Baird has been instrumental in revitalizing the organization in recent years. And the annual conferences draw in new members, especially as people wake up to the value of wholesome, safe food.

 

A Note About the 2015 Conference

This conference offered 54 hands-on workshops and 73 vendors to provide information and products on a wide variety of topics for farmers and gardeners. Such a meeting is a great place to network, too.

You can find out specifics about workshops and sessions at http://www.moaconference.org, but broad categories at the 2015 meeting included…

  • Grain farming
  • Raising livestock and poultry
  • Growing vegetables and fruits
  • Marketing
  • Food policy
  • Consumer education
  • Cooking
The big attraction was the GMO plenary held on Friday, February 6th. It featured world renowned scientists and activists who shared vital information about the dangers of GMO crops and glyphosates.

 

A Few Notes on the GMO Plenary

Would you believe the use of Roundup has doubled in the past five years? Weeds have developed tolerance to it, which was obviously not the intended outcome.

Glyphosates have been portrayed as harmless. Now there’s real scientific evidence to the contrary. What are they really doing to our soil and environment? Our food supply? Economics? Animal and human health? The featured speakers at the GMO Plenary were there to enlighten conference attendees on these areas of interest. Panelists included…

  • Dr. Robert Kremer–a soil microbiologist, who has done years of research for USDA and is an adjunct professor for the University of Missouri and knows the negative impact of glyphosates and GMO’s on soil
  • Robyn O’Brien–a leading advocate in the fight for GMO labeling
  • Dr. Brian Baker–Founder of Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI), on the effects of GMO crops on the environment
  • Jim Gerritsen–President of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, who filed a lawsuit which went all the way to the Supreme Court concerning contamination and cross pollenation of non-GMO crops
  • Steven Druker–Executive Director, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, an attorney who initiated a lawsuit against the FDA for the lack of risk assessment of GMO’s on human health. He’s author of Altered Genes, Twisted Truth.
Sue mentioned a few more presenters, such as a plant pathologist, an MIT researcher to speak about glyphosattes and autism, and others.

As it happens, it may not be science that swings a number of farmers to grow organically. Money could be a big factor. It’s expensive to buy GMO seeds and the chemicals to put on the fields. When crop prices are low, Sue says that’s the time to get the message to farmers that there’s a better way.

 

A Few Notes on Organic Certification

Sue and I talked for a while about the steps farmers must go through to be certified as organic growers here in the U.S. I won’t try to spell it out here, but there seem to me to be plenty of safeguards to assure that something labeled as organic really is. She has a thorough knowledge about this process because she’s a certified organic inspector who helps determine whether a farmer is truly an organic grower. Sue mentioned there are those who figure out ways to get around the system, but they’re heavily fined when caught.

We also talked about small growers who sell to farmers markets. Can they call themselves organic growers? It’s possible to be organic in practice without being officially certified as an organic producer. Small producers who want to claim they’re raising organic food would do well to stay informed, keep good records, and play fair.

 

A Note About Listening

Hear my conversation with Sue Baird when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for January 19, 2015. (Right click to download.) Get more info about the Missouri Organic Association’s annual conferences by going to http://www.moaconference.org.

Plus, take time to check out theAdditional Resources below. Read the articles, watch the video presentations, and I think you’ll agree with me that what we know about the negative impact of GMO seeds and glyphosates is nothing short of frightening.

 

An Additional Note

There are other organic associations around the country. If there’s one near you, support it.

And, by all means, support your local growers. Why should so much of our food come from as far as 1,500 miles away? Find out about farmers markets in your area. Get involved with CSA, community supported agriculture, which enables you to support local growers by buying produce directly from them. To connect with local growers, start with the farm map feature at http://www.missouriorganic.org.

 

Additional Resources

Sue Baird graciously provided links for most of the following material. You can see her in the Show-Me Ag interview below. Bookmark this page, then come back to view each video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Previous posts on this site feature other resources and documentaries, and include…

 

Many Preppers Will Die – But Will Ebola be the Pandemic We’ve Feared and Anticipated?

Below are a few videos by The Patriot Nurse. I’ve never spoken with her, but if you’ve perused prepping sites for long, you’ve probably seen one of her videos. I’ve been meaning to feature a couple of them for some time now.With Ebola making headlines, now seems like a good time to share them with you.

First, The Patriot Nurse bluntly says that a lot of people will die in the proverbial SHTF situation. In fact, she even says many preppers will die.

But is Ebola the pandemic we’ve feared or anticipated? In the bottom video, which is current as of the time this post is published, she puts things into perspective.

If you don’t have time to view these videos now, bookmark this page and come back to it. And take a look at some resources I’ll put below the videos.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Web site for The Patriot Nurse is ThePatriotNurse.com.

In late September I interviewed Joe Alton, M.D., also known as Doctor Bones, on Ebola. See what I wrote, and check out helpful resource links here. Be sure to see the update at the bottom of the post.

Also, if you would, please take a few minutes to look at the Health & Nutrition page in the Prep Mart. Explore the featured companies and what they have to offer to keep you healthy. Keeping your immune system built is critical, now more than ever.

Any thoughts? Your comments are welcome.

 

From Drillin’ and Shakin’ to Wonderin’ and Waitin’

That’s a bit of a peculiar title, I admit. But it summarizes what Janet Liebsch and I discussed on DestinySurvival Radio for October 9, 2014.

We covered two distinct topics–(1) the Great ShakeOut earthquake drill and earthquake preparedness, and (2) what to expect from the government in the aftermath of a disaster.

I invited Janet to talk about ShakeOut drills, since one was coming within a few days after our conversation. We also discussed tips on earthquake safety.

Janet is coauthor of It’s A Disaster! …And What Are YOU Gonna Do About It? and has a wealth of knowledge about disaster preparedness. I knew she could also enlighten us on what we can expect from local, state and federal officials in the aftermath of a major disaster, such as an earthquake, hurricane, flood, or something else.

The Guest – Information Galore

Many times Janet Liebsch has supplied me with great information on a number of topics in the years we’ve known each other. In fact, she has provided me with a number of links to resources relevant to our DestinySurvival Radio conversation, which I’ll give below, rather than pepper them throughout this post.

Plus, you’ll see why she was my chosen guest when you look at this brief summary of her credentials.

Janet Liebsch is co-founder of FedHealth and co-author of “It’s A Disaster! …And What Are YOU Gonna Do About It?” She’s also Executive Vice-President and Disaster Specialist for the U.S. First Responders Association, and at the time of this writing was the Arizona state moderator on American Preppers Network.

The Earthquakes – Drillin’ and Shakin’

While earthquakes may not be a big threat in some areas of the U.S., they can happen anywhere. Therefore, you and I should be prepared.

The Great ShakeOut drills have become an annual event to raise awareness about what to do in the event of an earthquake. Schools, businesses and numerous other organizations are encouraged to participate.

The ShakeOut official Web site has loads of tools and information pertaining to the drills and how to be prepared for quakes. The drills urge each of us to “Drop, cover, and hold on” for protection during an earthquake.

But what about the so-called Triangle of Life? Janet addressed that in our conversation. There’s a reason officials here in the U.S. don’t recommend it.

To get your home ready for quakes, there are ways to secure pictures, shelves and other possible falling or flying hazards, including strapping down or bracing appliances. Keep children’s rooms safe by making sure things which can fall are at a safe distance from beds.

Janet shared several other helpful tips on getting both yourself and your home ready for a quake. Naturally, you and your family should have a plan as to what to do.

The Aftermath – Waitin’ and Wonderin’

Many in the general population expect to see FEMA come to the rescue in the aftermath of a disaster, such as when there’s an earthquake, hurricane, flood, and the like. On the other hand, I’ve heard of some in the prepper community say, “Don’t need ’em. Don’t want ’em.” Does that ring a bell?

But what should we really expect? Chaos? Martial law?

Much will depend on the nature and scope of the disaster. And, while FEMA has been roundly criticized for not arriving on the scene in a timely manner, would you believe that’s by design?

There’s a structured system or chain of command which keeps FEMA at a distance. If local First Responders become overwhelmed, the state governor’s next step is to ask for assistance from the federal government. There has to be a reason for a state of emergency to be declared.

You could consider this to be a safeguard mechanism. FEMA can’t just come in on their own. In fact, their hands could be tied up in red tape, making timely assistance difficult. Janet went into some detail on how all of this works.

The bottom line is that you and I must be prepared to ride out what could be a long wait before outside help comes along. That’s partly because one of the first things officials concentrate on when a disaster happens is restoration of infrastructure–roads, bridges, buildings, etc.

Fortunately, there’s something called National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (NVOAD). It consists of nonprofit groups, churches and faith based organizations, and people in local communities who know how to coordinate resources and get them where they need to be.

Meanwhile, FEMA continues to evaluate how to coordinate the private sector and public sector to function efficiently once a disaster happens. There’s much to be taken into consideration. Often the private sector is quicker at getting supplies and help to where they’re needed.

But you and I should be as prepared as we can be, and that involves more than storage food, blankets, flashlights and the like. For example, make insurance a key part of your prepping strategy. How well are you or your business insured with coverage to help out with specific natural disasters?

Keep this in mind, too. Stringent rules pertaining to federal relief funds are in place. Much of those funds may not come as grants, but as loans, which have to be paid back. These funds aren’t designed to make you whole or put everything like it was before. A staggering number of businesses never reopen after disasters.

But how should we respond to the responders?

Janet was quick to make the point that First Responders in our local communities are looking out for their community first. If you and I have questions about what will happen in a crisis, she recommends we get to know our local firemen, police, etc. We may find they don’t want federal intervention or martial law any more than you and I do.

The Conversation – Oh, What She Said!

You know how it is with posts like this. I can never fully share all that my guests and I cover during our time together. Therefore, I encourage you to hear my conversation with Janet Liebsch by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for October 9, 2014. (Right click to download).

The Resources – Check These Out

 

A Giveaway? – Who Won?

Janet graciously offered one print and one electronic copy of It’s A Disaster!. I asked readers to enter by leaving a comment below by October 16, 2014, the day of the Great ShakeOut. Glenn responded and got a copy of the complete book in e-book form. Congratulations, Glenn.

Why not get the book for yourself? I’m sure you’ll agree, it’s worth having in your survival library.

 

Getting Your Papers in Order is an Important Part of Preparedness

It’s true. It’s something that’s overlooked by many of us. Or we just plain procrastinate. But getting your papers in order is an important part of preparedness.

We take for granted things like financial and medical records, partly because we figure we’ll always be able to get to them.

With that in mind, this week’s DestinySurvival Radio is a reairing of my conversation with Joyce Moseley Pierce. Joyce is the author of a 32 page book called All They’ll Need to Know, designed to help you document essential information.

Why is this so important?

Consider a few scenarios.

  • You or a loved one dies of cancer, illness or age.
  • A loved one is killed by a drunk driver.
  • A natural disaster destroys your home.

All They’ll Need to Know is a modestly priced workbook available in two electronic formats–PDF and Word. Print out the PDF and fill in the pages, or use the Word file to write out info on your computer.

Print out the pages and put them in a three ring notebook. Cover the pages with page protectors. Make extra pages if you need them. Include copies of documents you value, including your will.

Update information at least once a year. Tax season is a good time, since you’re shuffling financial records anyway. Or update more often if circumstances dictate.

Also, why not scan your documents and put a completed copy of All They’ll Need to Know on a flash drive to have in a bug out bag?

Joyce recommends putting your completed workbook in a fireproof box. Make sure others you consider to be truly trustworthy know where your notebook is. Practice security, since you’ll be including a great deal of personal information you don’t want to get into the wrong hands.

To hear my conversation with Joyce Moseley Pierce, listen to DestinySurvival Radio for September 11, 2014. (Right click to download.) Order her book here.

You can also view my previous post about our conversation here.

How about you? Have you put your papers in order yet?

 

Prepper Camp Will Move Your Family Forward on the Journey to Preparedness

Do you enjoy the scenery of the great outdoors? Do you enjoy camping out with your family? Do you want your family to be better prepared?

There’s a way to do all three. It’s Prepper Camp, and it will move your family forward on the journey to preparedness. It’s coming up soon–September 12-14, 2014, at Orchard Lake Campground in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina. Rick Austin spoke with me about it for this week’s DestinySurvival Radio.

 

Not just some guy putting on a show

Rick's Avatar

 

In case Rick’s name sounds familiar, it should. He’s the author of Secret Garden of Survival and Secret Greenhouse of Survival, and he’s been my guest on DestinySurvival Radio previously to talk about his books. But he’s also the Survivalist Gardener who has been featured on National Geographic Channel’s Doomsday Castle, Doomsday Preppers, the film: Beyond Off Grid, and Mother Earth News. He hosts the Secrets of a Survivalist Radio Show on the Preparedness Radio Network.

 

Not just any prepper event

Prepper Camp 2014

 

Prepper Camp promises to be an event that’s different from the usual indoor prepper expo. Whether you’re there for one day or the whole three days, Rick describes Prepper Camp is a total immersion event in preparedness, survival, camp craft and homesteading skills. It’s where you can listen to, ask questions of, and break bread with some of the best preparedness, survival, and homesteading experts in the world.

Rick and a few friends wanted to put on an event for preppers that focused less on vendors and more about learning things hands on. Thus, Prepper Camp, a three day event where you and your family can camp out, cook over a fire, put bug out supplies to use, and practice bushcraft skills. The idea has been well received by both those who want to come and speakers who want to share their knowledge.

Incidentally, you don’t have to camp out to attend Prepper Camp. There are plenty of hotels in the area for accommodations.

The schedule is intense. There will be seven classes every hour throughout the day. Thirty or more speakers will give presentations on a wide variety of topics of interest to preppers at all levels. Find out about archery, making cheese, using storage food, solar cooking, water, the survival mindset, and more.

Classes will be repeated each day, so if you mmiss one you wanted to attend one day, try it on the next day. And if you can’t get to everything, come back next year.

Evenings will include other family activities, such as music and games. Of course, because this is being held on a campground, there are other activities available to participate in.

What about cost? Tickets are only $29.95 per adult for all classes, for the entire three days. That’s an amazing price. There’s a separate, discount price for children and students. Of course, you’re on your own for food, lodging and other expenses.

What will you take away from Prepper Camp? Rick wants it to be a learning experience. It may not be the largest prepper event; but he and the others involved are hoping it will be the best.

 

Not just any speakers

Here are just a few of the speakersRick mentioned who are featured, along with the general topics they’ll be presenting.
  • Rick Austin–Secret garden of survival & secret greenhouse of survival
  • Survivor Jane–Hygiene & back to basics
  • Eugene Runkis–Primitive fishing skills
  • Charley Hogwood–mutual assistance groups
  • Rich Davis–Financial matters
  • Donna Miller–Making nut butters & using grains
  • Skinny Medic–First aid & what to put in your med kit
  • Paul Munsen–Solar cooking
  • Samm Simpson–GMO food issues
  • Tony Haney–12 knots for survival
  • Melissa Williams–Dutch oven cooking
  • Brian Adams–Bushcraft skills
  • Richard Cleveland–Wilderness survival

 

The keynote speaker Saturday night is Dr. William Forstchen, author of the popular book, One Second After and a new e-book called Day of Wrath.

Other prepper experts will be there, too, including Grannie Pam, Jennifer Elswick, Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, Dale Stewart, Scott Hunt, and more.

 

Not a typical Doomsday Prepper episode

We talked a little about the experience Rick and Survivor Jane had on Doomsday Preppers, where they were featured recently. Their goal was to teach and not sensationalize. Apparently the National Geographic channel is toning things down this season to give the show broader appeal.

 

Not the end of the story

Naturally, there’s more to my conversation with Rick Austin than I can pass along here. Therefore, I encourage you to hear it all by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for September 4, 2014. (Right click to download.) Get info and tickets for Prepper Camp at www.PrepperCamp.com. Find out more about Rick and get access to his videos at www.SecretGardenOfSurvival.com.

Unfortunately for me, this is another event I won’t be able to attend, but I wanted to be sure you knew about it. If you’re able to go, I’d love to hear about your experience. Or if you have anything else to say about what you’ve read here or heard on this week’s DestinySurvival Radio, feel free to leave a comment below.

 

Update: Prepper Camp is the subject of an article in The Atlantic online, which you can view here.

 

Perceptions About Preppers – Research Project Update

Thank you for reading this article.

Previously, this had been an appeal for respondents to a piece of sociological research into the phenomenon of American prepping. The research is now under way, and the data is being processed. The required number of respondents has been reached, and so the original article has now been removed.

If you would like to keep track of the publications and findings of this research, then feel free to check in at https://kent.academia.edu/MichaelFMills. You can, alternatively, contact me at mm645@kent.ac.uk, though a response to your enquiry may take some time.

Thank you to all of those who got into contact with me, and all those who have contributed to the success of this research so far, and going forward.

Best regards,

Michael Mills
(Assistant Lecturer and Ph.D. Candidate, University of Kent (England))

The First Preppers and Patriots Expo

Mike Slack was my guest on DestinySurvival Radio to talk about the first Preppers and Patriots Expo, scheduled to be held in Springfield, Missouri, on August 16th and 17th, 2014. Their motto was, “2 Days That Can Save Your Life.”

To give you an idea of what such an expo is like, below is an overview of our conversation and the agenda for that particular event.

 

Prepper and Patriot Ponderings

Before getting into specifics about the expo, let me tackle the notion of combining prepping with patriotism, which Mike and I discussed in the latter part of our conversation. Where does prepping and patriotism meet philosophically or ideologically? Or should they?

If you’ve read my posts here regularly, you may have picked up on the fact that I’m not a flag waver. I’ve tried with mixed success to avoid promoting companies who offer prepping supplies as a means to hook you into following some sort of political agenda. Some outfits want nothing more than to recruit you and me into joining this or that group. Getting involved in political affairs can lead to all kinds of entanglements which can divert you and me from our path toward preparedness.

With that said, Mike and I both agreed that we as preppers must be informed and aware of what’s going on in our country. Otherwise, we’re not fully clued in on what we should be prepping for. And, if you’re a homesteader, you’re going to run into issues pertaining to property and water rights and Agenda 21 in general.

The expo was not intended to be a left wing or right wing affair. That’s because so many issues facing us these days know no left or right political boundaries. Mike has sought out speakers with a focus on liberty and self government.

 

Why Attend Such an Event?

The Preppers and Patriots Expo was designed to give you the opportunity to explore self reliance and get knowledge from preparedness experts. It’s a place to meet up with other like minded preppers. And you can build family bonds while getting equipped for whatever may come our way.

There hadn’t been a prepper expo in Springfield, MO, for a while, so Mike thought it was time to have one there again. It’s a lovely part of the country, too.

 

A Few Details

The speakers were to include…
  • Bob Gaskin of Black Dog survival school
  • John More, The Liberty Man, on climate change
  • Scott Peterson of Down to Earth Seeds and Mike Knocks of White Harvest Seeds–both on heirloom seeds and GMOs
  • Joyce Riley of The Power Hour on the VA and healthcare for our veterans
  • Mike Evans of Americas Voice Now on restoring liberty
  • Doreen Hannes and Ike Skelton on Agenda 21
  • Dawn McPherson on medical care when there is no doctor
  • Dr. Jim Cesar on suturing
  • Dave Lohr on survival in the wilderness when you have nothing
  • Bob Anderson, author of The Survivalist novels
Other speakers would give presentations on alternative energy, such as wood gas power and steam engines.

Vendors were slated to offer a variety of preparedness products, including water filtration systems, long term food storage, bug out bag supplies, colloidal silver, essential oils, and more.

 

Find Out More

Though the event is now past, you can get a flavor for what such an expo is like, and get an idea of what Mike Slack is doing, when you hear my conversation with him by listening to DestinySurvival Radio for July 24, 2014. (Right click to download.)

Find out more about the expos Mike organizes at PreppersAnd Patriots.net.