Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nutrition Month Celebrated by Monsanto

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack kicked off an exciting National Nutrition Month by marking the start of National School Breakfast Week (March 4-8), a time that highlights the importance of promoting healthy choices for our nation's children throughout the school day. By the end of the month in Harrisburg, Augusta, The Veggie Truck lunched a local weekly farmer market every Tuesday, on 3/26/2013, the Harrisburg Community Garden prepared the raised beds for another season, and President Barack Obama signed into law the "Monsanto Protection Act."

"The Veggie Truck is not an organization, a group of people, an institution or heck even just a truck. The Veggie Truck is a community dedicated to living fully– body and soul. As conspirators for good, we aresowing a healthy food environment in the Harrisburg neighborhood economically, educationally, culturally and deliciously. Our approach is to eat, learn and share."

The Veggie Truck Team

"Thank you St. Luke UMC for hosting the Veggie Truck Farmers Market! We are learning there are more small farmers growing sustainable and will be interested in selling at your all local farmers market. I want the farmers to know, you don't need a table or tent.
They will have everything set up for you. You spend less time at the market. Farmers set their vegetables up and sell!"

L: Todd Lott from @CrossStarsFarm at the Veggie Truck Farmers Market.
R: Chef Sam Sunday trying his organic turnips. Adderson's Fresh Produce.

The Harrisburg Community Garden, on the other hand, in the 700 block of Bohler Avenue, has shown what the combination of hard work and nature can accomplish, said Denice Traina, who started the garden in August 2008.

Supporters from the Christian, Muslim and Unitarian communities donated the irrigation system, bird feeders and other materials for the garden. Assembly of God donated the lot and water supply, Mrs. Traina said.

She and others have harvested cucuzzi, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, peppers and herbs, among other produces.

"As you know our First Lady Michele Obama has encouraged us as citizens to eat healthy and promotes a healthy lifestyle for us and our families. I want to thank everybody for helping us to prepare our garden space to once again demonstrate healthy living right here in my neighborhood. I hope that many of my neighbors and friends will continue to remain in touch with us and watch us grow," expressed Mrs. Traina, who also collaborated with the Veggie Truck team.

What Would Michelle Obama Do?

The HR 933 continuing resolution, was mainly aimed at averting a government shutdown and ensuring that the federal government would continue to be able to pay its bills for the next six months.

But food and public safety advocates and independent farmers are furious that Obama signed it despite its inclusion of language that they consider to be a gift to Monsanto Company (NYSE:MON) and other firms that produce genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE) seeds and crops.

And protesters have spent the past couple of days demonstrating in front of the White House, first calling on Obama to veto the bill, and now criticizing him for his failure to do so.

The protests come on the heels of a massive petition campaign organized by the advocacy group Food Democracy Now, which gathered the signatures of more than 200,000 people who wanted Obama to veto HR 933 in order to stop Section 735 -- the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act" -- from being codified into law.

But Obama ignored it, instead choosing to sign a bill - the same day The Veggie Truck Farmers Market started - that effectively bars federal courts from being able to halt the sale or planting of GMO or GE crops and seeds, no matter what health consequences from the consumption of these products may come to light in the future.

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