Chef Edouardo Jordan of Bar Sajor wants you to vote yes on 522.
We know, we know—Initiative 522, the one requiring the labeling of genetically modified foods on grocery-store shelves, does not require the labeling of GMOs on restaurant menus. This is one of the (many) canards that the opposition keeps hauling out. But you'll note that we currently have zero labeling requirements in restaurants at all (nor for booze), so, okay, that's not going to change—ring-a-ding-ding. What will change is that you'll be able to know whether your cornflakes are made with fish-toe genes, and whether your cornflakes are part of the GMO agricultural-industrial complex that uses incredible amounts of harmful pesticides, forces large-scale farmers to buy creepy GMO seeds that they cannot reuse the next year (which is literally the basis of farming since the dawn of time), forces those same farmers to buy those mega-tons of specific name-brand pesticides, and so on and so forth.
But pesticides are normal, you say! Well, these are crazy chemical ones that are being used at unprecedented levels. They're terrible for the environment and for people (and probably our friends the bees!)—and no one even knows how terrible yet, because we have yet to see the long-term health effects (which, for some reason [MONEY] no one in power seems to be worrying about). And guess what? The makers of these pesticides (and seeds, and so forth) are the ones throwing grazillions of dollars behind the No on 522 campaign. To wit, from Anna Minard's excellent article this week (tweet it, damn it!):
The entire donor list of the No on 522 campaign can be counted on your fingers. The top five are the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA)—a conglomerate of food manufacturers—Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, Bayer CropScience, and Dow AgroSciences.
"These are the same people who gave us DDT, PCBs, Agent Orange, and napalm," says PCC Natural Markets spokeswoman Trudy Bialic.
She's not exaggerating for effect—those dangerous chemicals were all manufactured and sold by Monsanto or Dow Chemical. The total raised by the corporate food and chemical giants? Just over $17 million, the most money ever spent opposing an initiative in this state.
As for actual people, there are only four individual human beings on the no side's entire donor list. They gave, altogether, just $500.
• Bar del Corso • Bar Sajor • Cafe Presse • Canlis • Dot's Delicatessen • Ethan Stowell Restaurants • Full Tilt • Golden Beetle • Le Pichet • Linda's Tavern • Local 360 • Quinn's • Shanik • Terra Plata • The Whale Wins • Tilth
Local small farms who want you to vote yes on 522 include Full Circle, Nash's Organic Produce, New Roots Organics, PCC Farmland Trust, Terra Organics, and Willowood Farm.
A full list of awesome chefs who support 522 is right over here. Read their statements and think about it: These are the people who know the most and care the most about food in our city. The initiative doesn't even have anything to do with their businesses. They just know it's the right thing to do.