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Food Coop Shares Message at Potluck

Sea Cliff group urges buying local as way to fight GMO foods' takeover.

More than 75 people filled plates from tables crammed with homemade food at a church in Glenwood Landing Sunday, gathering for an opportunity to network and learn about small-scale solutions to large-scale issues.

"People say, 'Oh, organic food - it's so expensive, it's so elitist,'" said Amy Peters to those in attendance. Peters is president of the board of directors for the Sustainable Sea Cliff Cooperative, a "buying club" which connects members with local and fair trade food products.

She continued, saying the cheaper prices of genetically modified food - practically all mass-produced food items - provide a false sense of value.

"The cost is deferred. It's deferred to cancer, it's deferred to autism, it's deferred to obesity," she said.

She noted the use of herbicides and pesticides, and mentioned a gene included in corn crops which causes the stomachs of bull weavels to explode upon ingestion of the corn. The long-term effects of this tinkering with the nation's food supply are only beginning to be understood, she said.

"There are so many allergies that we never heard of that are so prevalent now," said Peters, citing common allergies to peanuts and wheat gluten.

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She partnered with Greg Sturge of the group Glenwood Arts and Ann Rathkopf of Slow Food Huntington, a local chapter of Slow Food USA, to hold the Locavore Challenge Potluck Dinner at Glenwood Community Church, where it is in its second year.

The event is one held in communities throughout the state to mark the end of the Locavore Challenge, which urges people to eat food produced locally or with fair trade practices during the month of September.

GMO foods were the major topic, with talk of a current push in California to have such products labeled. Also discussed was hydrofracking and its possible risks to the environment and food system in New York.

Sturge, a Sea Cliff resident, explained that his group's interest in the event was in providing a platform for collaboration between cross-disciplines.

"This is a unique opportunity to bring together people who are passionate about the arts and the environment," he said. "These different areas all sort of intersect."

One attendee was Port Washington's Meagan Parker of Nassau Heritage Farms, a group looking to establish a dairy farm in Nassau County that would produce raw milk.

"I came to represent and spread the word of the holistic movement," Parker said.

Peters said she was pleased with the evening's turnout and saw "a lot of new faces," a step in moving toward a goal of raising awareness that it is possible to have a local food system, and to start change in local communities "until we can change the big picture."

Click here to watch a trailer for the documentary "Genetic Roulette," on GMO foods and their associated health risks, recommended by one of the potluck's attendees.

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wendy October 02, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Thank you for the wonderful coverage. The event was fantastic and as a board member of SSCC I would like to thank all those who were able to attend and invite those who missed it to our next gathering. Stay tuned to our Facebook page for all future events.
MCM October 03, 2012 at 01:09 AM
I'm glad that we have local events to help educate people on the deleterious health (and environmental) effects of GMO corn & soy and toxic farming methods. People are so ignorant of the very real and insidious poisoning of mostly everything we consume. Why is "special ed" a booming industry, and autism 1 in 66 (OMG!!), and so many chronic diseases & weird allergies rising to epidemic proportions -? And do you really think everybody has Crohns's and Celiac disease? Our guts are so destroyed by GMO & frivolous use of medications, not to mention the hormones in our meat & milk that encourage cancer development.... Everybody reading this should view the program "Food, Inc" if they haven't already seen it. Maybe they'd be less accepting and complacent about our food supply and toxic chemicals on our lawns. It's bizarre that people think the body is supposed to be sick and it's ok to poison our food and turf and water, and they seldom relate their (or their kids') health issues to what they're eating. After all, FDA says it's acceptable chemicals for us. The rub is that it costs a fortune to get unadulterated, nutritious food and natural, green lawns. But, knowledge will empower people to be more discriminating with what they're feeding their families and also support our local farmers, and stop supporting unhealthy practices. I never saw an ad for this event, otherwise I would've gone. Next time, I hope they publicize it better! It's important. Glad you covered it, Micah.
Amy October 09, 2012 at 03:34 AM
MCM - Please look us up! www.seacliffcoop.org... We are also on Facebook! We really only promoted locally... I do believe we put it on the Glen Cove Patch calendar, and we posted flyers around Sea Cliff and Glen Cove. We also promoted via Facebook and thru email and word of mouth. As it were - we had over 75 people attend! It was a great event and we hope to have more like it in the future... Amy


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