“Don’t forget to eat the redwood sorrels!” I was on a hike in Julia Pfeiffer State Park in Big Sur, CA with a close friend. As we were hiking she was teaching me about these small edible heart-shaped plants called redwood sorrels. When you chewed on the leaves, they taste just like the skin of a fresh green apple. Though we had a picnic lunch packed all I could think about was how these wild growing plants could taste just like the apple in my backpack. This experience taught me more about the food I consumed. I never stopped to consider what it was I was putting into my body and how it would affect my health. I never considered the consequences of my consumerism or the industries I was supporting nor the environmental impacts the food system in the US had on our planet. It was then I realized I have the right to know what I am eating and I wanted to learn more.
The right to know what we eat isn’t complicated. It simply means a label on the outside of any product that is genetically engineered. This November California has a paramount opportunity to be the first state in the US to vote whether or not genetically modifed food (GMOs) should be labeled in their grocery stores. GMOs are any plants or animals that have had their DNA artificially altered by genes from other plants, animals, viruses or bacteria. There has been no proof that GMOs are safe and the health consequences are largely unknown. They are also tied to many environmental issues such as the increase of chemicals and pesticides and the loss of much biodiversity.
Proposition 37 would help consumers for the first time in the US make informed choices about the food they eat. More then 50 countries around the world already practice this simple act of labeling meaning this statewide measure in California could really pave the path for the rest of the United States.
I no longer live in California, but now reside in Washington DC where I continue to work for Greenpeace. Though I cannot vote in California on November 6th, I still feel passionately about this issue and I want to be sure to share my story with you.
If you live in California please vote YES to Proposition 37. And if you would like to find out more on how you can support this campaign or how you could get involved in your community please visit our California Right to Know friends and vote yes for the right to know!
Please share this with any of your friends or family because hopefully one day, we too will all have the right to know.