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chickens in a beautiful garden at the Via Organica Ranch

Restorative Travel

Eco-restoration is “the great work of our time.” 

That’s what one of the participants in last year’s land-restoration camp said about her experience at the Vía Orgánica Ranch, a regenerative teaching farm and ranch near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

What’s an “ecorestoration camp?” The best explanation is here, in this video produced by OCA’s Vía Orgánica project in collaboration with Ecosystem Restoration Camps and Regeneration International.

Want to participate? 

Join Vía Orgánica and the Ecosystem Restoration Camp Movement in Mexico, March 3 – 15, 2020, at the land-restoration camp at Vía Orgánica Ranch

Volunteer to camp, work, study, connect with the earth and meet new friends in this beautiful ranch near San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Camp activities will include restoration work such as tree planting, composting, seed collecting, earthworks, cooking, listening to music, campfires, making new friends and much more.

Ecosystem restoration is a growing global strategy to naturally draw down and sequester carbon from the atmosphere and store it in our soils, forests and vegetation to reverse global warming.  

Learn more and sign up

Watch this beautiful video filmed on site at the last Vía Orgánica Ecosystem Restoration Camp

Questions? Email

overhead view of brown waste pools of a factory farm

‘A Flush Toilet’

This week’s video spotlights everything that’s wrong with factory farms. 

But the video also highlights one thing that’s trending in the right direction: More people are fighting back.

When a company revealed plans to build a 35-acre, 26,000-hog factory farm in Trade Lake, Wisconsin, people in that town had a lot of questions. And they weren’t taking the answers being tossed around by the project’s developers at face value.

Without any environmental impact study, the project proposed to spread 6.5 million gallons of hog manure over 1,000 acres of land—in a town situated near a major tributary of the St. Croix River and a nearby wildlife refuge.

One resident summed it up this way at a town meeting: “Basically, we’re a flush toilet in their eyes.”

Residents fought back. In August, they won a one-year countywide moratorium on farms with 1,000 or more animals.

The fight isn’t over yet. But getting started is half the battle. 

Watch ‘Farmers, Residents Try to Stop Massive Hog Farm’

bottles of Monsantos Roundup glyphosate herbicide on a store shelf

Justice Delayed

We’d hoped to be in St. Louis, Missouri this month. 

We planned to bring in scientists to hold teach-ins on glyphosate. We planned demonstrations in front of Monsanto headquarters.

The plan was timed to coincide with the next Monsanto Roundup trials. What happened?

Monsanto and its parent company, Bayer, are doing everything in their power to delay the next trials.

According to the latest news reports, the next trial won’t happen until early next year—and it may be moved out of St. Louis.

The longer the trials are delayed, the longer justice is delayed for Monsanto’s victims.

Bayer remains “unfazed,” according to a recent Bloomberg report.

A smug Werner Baumann, CEO of Bayer, recently told Bloomberg that despite his company’s plummeting stock price, and despite a 12-hour meeting with angry shareholders ending in a no-confidence vote (the first ever in Bayer’s history), a “tan and relaxed” Baumann said he “wasn’t losing sleep” over the ligitigation.

Meanwhile, Monsanto’s victims are losing their health. And their lives.

Monsanto-Bayer can play all the legal games they want. But sooner or later, they’ll have to face the music again.

And we’ll be there. Armed with the truth.

Make a tax-deductible donation to our Millions Against Monsanto campaign

Make a tax-deductible donation to Organic Consumers Association, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit

Support Citizens Regeneration Lobby, OCA’s 501(c)(4) lobbying arm (not tax-deductible)

Click here for more ways to support our work

brand name chocolate bar assortment

Cruel Irony

Of the 90 million pounds of chocolate candies on track to be sold this Halloween, just a tiny fraction will be fair trade.

That’s scary enough, but here’s what’s scarier: It’s been this way for so long, that most people have just come to accept that cocoa farmers work in poverty, that children work in dangerous conditions and that forests around the globe are destroyed for the treats that we hand out to children.

Consumers will buy 300,000 tons of candy—more than $2.5 billion worth—this month. 

Not all of it will be chocolate, but a lot of it will be. And much of the chocolate consumers buy will come from three brands—Hershey’s, Mars and Nestlé—companies that admit they won’t meet their self-declared 2020 deadline for eliminating child labor from their supply chains.

That’s not surprising. According to the Washington Post, Big Chocolate companies have set deadlines before, and always failed to meet them.

Child labor isn’t the only issue in conventional chocolate supply chains. But as millions of people stock up on candy to hand out to costumed kiddos who appear at their doors, the cruel irony is unavoidable.

What can you do? If you buy chocolate to hand out this Halloween, make sure it’s a brand that doesn’t allow child labor in its supply chain. Here’s a list. 

Read ‘Conventional Chocolate Is Scary. Fair Trade Your Halloween’

school of fish swimming in a circle around a stalk of seaweed

Deep Trouble

When you hear “factory farm” you probably think cows and pigs and chickens.

But there’s another type of factory farm, one that pollutes our oceans and produces one of the most toxic foods in the world: industrial ocean fish farms.

Industrial fish farms endanger human health and the environment. Yet their numbers are growing, to meet the growing demand for salmon in both grocery stores and restaurants—and because the Trump administration is aggressively pushing to expand this dirty industry.

Fortunately, Rep. Don Young (R-Alaska) has introduced the “Keep Fin Fish Free Act,” a bill that would place a moratorium on granting commercial permits for industrial fish farms in federally controlled ocean waters.

TAKE ACTION: Tell Congress: Support the “Keep Fin Fish Free Act” to Ban Industrial Ocean Fish Farms!

protesters holding signs at a Ben and Jerrys protest march

Here’s Why

Ben & Jerry’s talks the talk about getting money out of politics. 

But make no mistake—the glyphosate we found in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream is in there because Monsanto has spent Big Money to bury the truth about its cancer-causing Roundup weedkiller.

It’s not just Monsanto that profits from Roundup sales. Ben & Jerry’s, owned by transnational consumer products conglomerate Unilever, profits, too. By sourcing milk from the industrial factory farm dairy industry, which feeds its cows glyphosate-drenched Roundup-Ready crops, Ben & Jerry’s admittedly “maximizes” profits. 

As we wrote last week, it’s a lucky coincidence that we discovered weedkiller residues in Ben & Jerry’s ice cream just as court documents revealing the extent to which Monsanto has lied about the safety of Roundup are coming to light.

Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s know that 66 percent of consumers will pay more for, and remain loyal to products peddled by companies that say they’re committed to positive social and environmental impact.

But no way can Ben & Jerry’s support the company’s claim that it cares about the environment, much less social and economic justice or global warming, as long as it continues to profit by supporting an environmentally disastrous industrial dairy system, instead of Vermont’s organic dairy farmers.

Ben & Jerry’s has a real opportunity to make a real positive impact, instead of creating a phony perception. 

We’re glad Ben & Jerry’s wants to get money out of politics. It’s time for the ice cream maker to also get glyphosate out of its ice cream—and out of our soil and waterways.

Today, we’re taking that argument to the streets.

Read our press release

TAKE ACTION: Tell Ben & Jerry’s CEO Jostein Solheim (aka Scooper Man): Roundup-Ready Ice Cream is not ‘socially responsible.’ Go Organic!

Text ‘dirtydairy’ to 97779 to sign the petition

Sign up to organize a Ben & Jerry’s protest and media event in your community

Call Ben & Jerry’s (802-846-1500) and ask the company to go organic

Post on Ben & Jerry’s Facebook page

Click to tweet this message to Ben & Jerry’s