21st Pesto Feast Ponders GMOs in Our Food

By Don Fitz

After more than two decades of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food, what have we learned?

What are GMOs and how did Monsanto get to be the world’s largest producer?  Throughout the existence of GMOs, putting foreign DNA into food has raised serious questions.  Do GMOs in food pose a danger to human health?  Why would corporations that produce them oppose labeling foods that contain GMOs?  How does monoculture affect our food supply and what is the GMO connection?

These are the questions that a panel of local food activists will be asking at the 21st annual Great Green Pesto Feast.  The Pesto Feast will start at 6:00 pm, Sunday, September 11, 2011 at Black Bear Bakery, 2639 Cherokee (in the Historic Vandora Theater Bldg) 63118.  The panel will include Barbara Chicherio, Daniel digger Romano and Rev. Elston K. McCowan.

Barbara Chicherio, who is on the Coordinating Committee of the Gateway Greens and active with Green Time TV, will review the questionable history of Monsanto and look at how PCBs, dioxin, agent orange and Round-Up are related.  Digger, a Board Member of the Community Arts and Movement Project (CAMP), will address critical questions of GMOs and farming: What are superbugs and super-weeds?  Is it ethical to criminalize farmers for saving seed?  Is it ethical to patent life forms?

But the really big question is: What is the alternative to having our food dominated by corporate agriculture?  Rev. McCowan is Pastor of Star Grace Missionary Baptist Church and on the Board of Walbridge Community Center.  He will describe Walbridge’s program of involving children from north St. Louis in neighborhood-based gardens.

Since 1990, Pesto Feasts of the Gateway Green Alliance have become well known for the wide variety of vegetarian food, including: Great Green Walnut Pesto, Sharp Lemon Pesto, Cinnamon Pesto, Vegan Pesto, No Nut Pesto and Tomato Pesto.  Tomato sauce will abound for non-pesto eaters.

Black Bear Bakery is donating a variety of vegan breads to the Pesto Feast.  The Greens are seeking additional vegetarian donations.  Tickets to the Pesto Feast are $20 at the door or $15 advance purchase.

To make a donation, purchase an advance ticket, or get more information, call 314-727-8554.  Also, see the Greens’ web site:  www.gateway-greens.org.