As I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed this morning - I came across two posts that absolutely broke my heart. One post was about this 5 year old little girl named C.J. that just had open heart surgery and is not expected to live. The other post was about a little boy named Logan - who has cancer and is currently undergoing chemotherapy treatments. The post was from his mother who shared the agony of watching her son suffer so horrifically. My heart aches for both of these children and their families. I am truly grateful for modern medicine but I cannot help but think that I’d rather spend my life working on prevention instead of trying to find the cure.
It’s hard at times fighting all the battles that need to be fought in our food system. There are days when you don’t know which battle to participate in because they are all so equally important. GMOs, chemicals, herbicides, pesticides, fluoride in our water, artificial growth hormones, artificial additives and preservatives, corruption in the USDA and FDA - the very offices that were created to protect our health and the list goes on and on and on. It is overwhelming.
Proactive versus Reactive...
I know many of you are as passionate as we are regarding these issues. Many of you found us because you or someone you love became ill which inspired you to research the potential causes and treatments for those ailments. Don't feel bad about being reactive because I am right there with you. I would love to say that I was a proactive advocate for the natural and organic industry - but I wasn't. My passion began when I became ill and the cure was so simply found in the natural health industry and a big portion of it was in clean foods.
The Battle that we Choose to Fight….
So how do we handle all of this and make our way through all of the information? For us, we choose the battles that directly affect our products because those products directly affect you. That includes all of the issues I listed previously. The thing that gives us hope is that when we first entered into the GMO battlefield - maybe 1 out of 40 people that we’d talk to actually knew what a GMO was. Six years down the road those numbers are probably 24 out of every 40. That is incredible when you consider the giants we were facing and still face today. These numbers give me hope and it encourages me to keep fighting the good fight. We the people can make a difference.
Share your Stories and Knowledge with Others...
Many of you ask what you can do to help. The answer is easy - share the information with your family and friends. Make it a point everyday to share it with at least one person. The other thing is purchase non-GMO products as often as possible. Look for 3rd party Non-GMO verifications whenever you can because those statistics are tracked and most manufacturers don’t understand all the hidden places GMOs can be found. Huge corporations understand only one thing - profit. If their products sales decline - they will always look for ways to increase those sales. Sooner or later they will see that it is to their best interests to clean up their ingredients. That’s how we win this thing.
Know Your Farmer and Your Manufacturer...
It’s hard to make your way through the food labels - I know this first hand. I recently worked as a consultant with one of the top restaurants in the state of Ohio by the name of Town Hall - Ohio City. The goal was to convert their entire menu to Non-GMO. To do this, I spoke to several hundred manufacturers. Now that was an education.
One of the first questions that I now ask of manufacturers is this: Will you make a written statement that your products are Non-GMO? That is my starting point because I know they would never put their company in harm's way by making a written statement if they did not truly believe they did not contain GMOs. Unfortunately, there were times that I discovered even after the written statement that they did have hidden GMOs which most knew nothing about. This is why we are such huge advocates of 3rd party verification.
We are just little Berlin Natural Bakery in Amish country with a heart to help people. But look at the amount of people that we have been able to reach with this message. Town Hall serves over 10,000 customers per week. That’s 520,000 impressions per year!
In addition to this in 2011 we hosted a Right to Know Ohio event on GMOs. We brought in Jeffrey Smith and Robyn O’Brien. We had several hundred people/primarily farmers attend. We are still hearing testimonials as to how this event changed people's lives.
So yes, you can make a difference and you DO make a difference in our lives every single day. Without you - Berlin Natural Bakery does not exist. Your continued support of Berlin Natural Bakery helps to fund our efforts. Thank you, thank you, thank you for bringing us into your homes and sharing our products with others. You are OUR HEROES!
Blessings and abundant health to you and yours!
Berlin Natural Bakery
P.S. If you have a moment - please say a prayer for Logan, C.J. and their families.