“Nuts & Berries – The Monsanto Blues” JAN 14, 2015 – We at JTMP are also all activist-musicians, and we cover activist musicians all over the world as well as occasionally putting out an activist music video by the staff. To kick off 2015 we are releasing my anti-Monsanto song, “Nuts & Berries – The Monsanto Blues”….
Musical-Activist Quits His Daily Latte Due to Starbucks Using Lobbyists to Overturn GMO-Labeling Law NOV 23, 2014 – The European Union strictly monitors “new food” coming into their system, and they already require food manufacturers to label their food products as to whether they use GMO (Genetically Modified Organism Frankenfood). Here in the US, Vermont…
NOV 12, 2013 – As I was reading the news that the US Department of Defense will send the aircraft carrier USS George Washington and its group to aid in the relief effort in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in the Philippines, it makes me hope that one day that this is what we use all the trillions of dollars America spends on defense: In an effort to help people in relief efforts after storms and other natural tragedies; instead of death, war, and Empire building. Surely more and more freakish and extreme storms will happen as a result of our dumb energy policies and global climate change, so we may see the US defense forces being used for humanitarian relief efforts more and more as the years go by, and could have a transformational process. Instead of our defense forces protecting the .01% and their banks, it transforms into a humanitarian force for good around the globe. These days one can see numerous veterans after getting out of service doing some great things. For instance, veterans use their skills honed in the service to protect endangered animals from poachers on an Animal Planet show called, "Rhino Wars". Another group of veterans devote their life to even more community service through the non-profit disaster response organization called Team Rubicon and are also playing a big part in bringing food, water, medicine and other relief to the people of the Philippines suffering from this tragedy. The system is so dire, one American general said we need to mobilize now, because next week will be too late. Please help out by going to the Red Cross website and donating if you can. (photo credit: US Navy/Public Domain)
NOV 8, 2013 – Here is a topic near and dear to my heart, food and nutrition. Face it, we Americans eat heavily processed food-like substances, and we need to get back to eating REAL food not in a box or a can. I switched over to a "caveman" diet about six months ago. Living in the city, I know that small convenience food stores sometimes don't even carry fresh produce and other types of real food. However, I and rapper-activist Khnum 'Stic' Ibomu believe that if you take some steps, one can afford to eat healthy and nutritious REAL food on a low budget. Stic, some of you remember him from Dead Prez, blogged on HuffPO last month explaining "7 ways to eat on a hood budget". He not only raps and is active in the community, but also runs his "RBG Fit Club" promoting a holistic life and healthy eating. He blogs about how he runs into people saying. "I want to eat healthy but I can't afford it." But he says there are ways to eat healthy on food stamps (or SNAP) and he should know because he was on food assistance growing up. If one travels a little farther, to a national chain, one can eat healthy. For instance here in DC the grocery chain Safeway has fresh produce, frozen vegetables (frozen food if done right is sometimes better than fresh) and other real, normal food straight from Mother Nature and the least amount of processing possible. They are starting to carry quinoa, coconut water and other healthy foods.
Some of Stics (and my) suggestions are:
1) Choose produce, not a box or can. Fresh produce is not only healthier and more nutritious dense, it is cheaper.
2) Cook big and save some for later. I cook a huge bag of lentils, put in storage containers and refrigerate, and then scoop servings out throughout the week.
3) Make homemade soup! Get some healthy broth in a wax cardboard container (read ingredients) and add fresh veggies!
4) Join a local Co-op or community garden. There are many of those here in DC.
5) Buy what is on sale. Check the flyer and website, and buy only what is on sale.
6) Lentils, split-peas. They are dirt cheap, and are healthy and nutritional dense.
Take your time, shop wisely in only the produce and frozen food aisles, budget your money, and one can eat healthy on a low or "hood" budget. To read all of Stic's "7 way to eat good on a hood budget" read his blog on HuffPo here. Also check out his RBG Fit Club website on leading a holistic lifestyle. (photo credit: Search Influence/CC/Flickr)
July 15, 2013 – Neambe and Ietef Vita are a couple from Colorado that mix music, activism, healthy eating and family in a unique way, and are featured in a Denver Post article by John Wenzel. They mix traditional African music and family, and work with inner-city kids to educate and empower them to eat non-GMO, organic and healthy foods, and channel their creativity through music to help change their community and lives for their better. They formed "Brown SugaYouth Fest" to hold music festivals and spread their seeds of change at youth centers in the community, and dubbed it "Going Green, and Living Bling". They teach the importance of community and are currently promoting community gardens which JTMP strongly supports. The more food we grow ourselves, the less Frankenfood we have to eat from Monsanto.
Ietef is better known in the Denver area as "DJ Cavem Moetavation", and has recorded with other artists such as Dead Prez and Arrested Development. He writes songs with a positive message for young kids about organic foods and spirituality. On stage right next to his turntable he will have fruits, vegetables and a blender and promote healthy smoothies and a vegan lifestyle. They attest to the difficulty in their community work, but are dedicated to it. Read more about this awesome couple and their great work on the Denver Post here, and below is a video of Ietef as "DJ Cavem Moetavation" spreading a positive message with his musical activism about not buying that "bag of chips", but reaching for healthy food.
May 25, 2013 – JTMP took part in the worldwide March Against Monsanto in DC, and over 1,000 food activists showed up to let their voice be heard we want food companies to label the use of any GMOs, and even better yet ban them. The march was focused against the main culprit of poisoning our food supply and using GMOs, Monsanto. JTMP urges our supporters to contact your elected officials and let them now you want GMOs labeled! Check out the video below.
May 24, 2013 – Hundreds of thousands of food activists, worried about the health effects of GMO crops and pesticides sprayed on our food, will be holding worldwide marches against Monsanto and GMO food tomorrow on Saturday, March 25, 2013. You can go HERE to find out a march near you that you can join. Marchers will be calling attention to Monsanto's very unethical practices of squeezing out the small family farms, genetically modifying our food into Frankenfood, and spraying our food with poisonous chemicals that is causing rampant diseases and probably even killing us slowly. They also want to bring attention to the fact Monsanto is trying to patent the seeds of our food supply, so then only private corporations control the food supply. Activists will also be calling on Congress to require labeling of GMO food, which most countries have already done, but is being blocked by Monsanto's lobbyists that have bought and sold the US Congress. JTMP asks any of our supporters that can make it please join one of these marches, for our food supply is very important. Also, please contact both your state and federal Representative and Senators, and tell them you want GMO labeling on all our foods. Check out more info at the March-Against-Monsanto.com website, and check out their Facebook Page here. Watch this video below for more info, and how this march can and will change the world! See you Saturday!!
DEC 4, 2012 – A non-profit organization called Organic Consumers Market is starting a petition to "Dump the Monsanto Rider", which is a "rider" connected to a bill currently in Congress. This rider would allow Monsanto to plant genetically engineered "Frankenfood" crops even when courts rule that the US Department of Agriculture has approved them illegally. The bill is HR 5973, and the rider is in Section 733. Contact your federal representative and tell them to "Dump the Monsanto Rider" and protect the right of the small farmer and consumer to eat non-genitcally engineered crops. Read more and sign the petition on the Organic Consumer Market website here, and learn how to contact your representative; they even have a sample letter ready for you. Also, you can find your federal representative and how to contact them here. Write a quick letter, they are better than a phone call or email.
FEB 27, 2012 – Willie Nelson, along with author and Rainforest Action Network board member Anna Lappe, recently wrote an Op Ed and in it they laid out their reasons for why we have to occupy our food system. This is all part of Willie's campaign "Occupy the Food System" which we have been blogging about a lot recently. OTFS is an coalition of over 90 organizations and Occupy groups from around the world fighting uber-large corporate agri-businesses such as Monsanto who they feel are destroying our food system and making us unhealthy. They write, “Corporate control of our food system has led to the loss of millions of family farmers, the destruction of soil fertility, the pollution of our water, and health epidemics including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even certain forms of cancer. More and more, the choices that determine the food on our shelves are made by corporations concerned less with protecting our health, our environment, or our jobs than with profit margins and executive bonuses.” You can read the entire HuffPo Op Ed here.
Today they launch a campaign to occupy unused, vacant bank-owned lots and start community gardens and set up small seed exchanges in front of the Stock Exchange. They want to fight for “labeling products on grocery store shelves that contain genetically engineered ingredients" and build "community alliances to support locally owned grocery stores and resist Walmart megastores; and fighting back against industrial giants Monsanto and Cargill.” To take part and learn more, check out the Rainforest Action Network's website here.
CORRECTION: Willie Nelson is NOT part of the lawsuit filed against Monsanto. We apologize for any confusion.
FEB 13, 2012 – 300,000 activists who support small family farms and a healthy and fair food system, sued food giant Monsanto in Federal Court in Manhattan on January 31, 2012. Musician activist Willie Nelson and his Occupy The Food System which consists of many small groups such as Food Democracy Now are not part of the suit but have voiced their support and rallied in support outside the federal courthouses for the farmers who are filing the suit. The suit seeks to protect the harassment and threatening manner agribusiness giant Monsanto has exhibited, with threatening to go after any small farms that contain any trace of what they claim to be their property, genetically modified seeds. All the activists are also fighting against Monsanto's spraying of "Roundup herbicides", which harm the soil, water and the farms around them. Willie states that the corporate takeover of small farms by large corporations has "led to the loss of millions of family farmers, destruction of our soil, pollution of our water and health epidemics of epic obesity and diabetes". Read more about the lawsuit on NationofChange.org here, and check out Occupy The Food System Facebook Page here.
Also, an ad aired on the Grammy's last night of Willie Nelson performing the haunting Coldplay classic, "The Scientists" (watch below) to help The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, an organization that is "Dedicated to creating a sustainable, healthful and equitable future". You can purchase the song on iTunes here, where proceeds will benefit the foundation and help them in their work to protect small family farms. Check out their website here.