Jeff and Sabrina Nelson are the folks behind vegsource.com and the Healthy Lifestyle Expo. The information they share on their website and Expos have radically improved my life for over a decade. Thank you!
(Brett and Dr. Klaper. Aside from our beautiful bald heads, the best part of this photo is that we’re both wearing running shoes!)
This year I had several great reasons to attend the Expo in person:
1. The Expo is held in Los Angeles. David and I are starting our transcontinental run from L.A. in less than three months. Being in L.A., gave me a chance to check out the best and safest routes to run through the L.A. jungle. (I’d take the Tongass and its bears over L.A.’s jungle any day of the week!)
2. We’re Monsanto: Feeding the World, Lie After Lie is hot off the print-on-demand press and the Expo gave me a great opportunity to tell people about it.
3. We can’t do this run alone. The Expo gave me the opportunity to let people know what we’re doing.
So now that the Expo has come and gone, here are a few of things I learned about our mission:
1. Virtually everyone loves the fact that we’re actually doing something—and something epic at that—to stand up against Monsanto and gang.
2. People are excited to buy We’re Monsanto.
3. People are open and generous in sharing their support.
And of course I learned and relearned a few things from the Expo speakers. The thing that stands out most in my mind is this: You can’t change one thing without changing many things. In the context of GMOs, that means scientists can’t insert a gene from one species into the DNA of another species without creating a cascade of unforeseen and unpredictable side effects. Those side effects happen at the level of the plant DNA, within the plant, multiple plant interactions, plant and animal interactions, and the entire ecosystem.
It’s time for pro-biotech scientists to tell the truth. You can’t combine the naturally occurring Bt bacteria with corn and call it Bt corn. Once you’ve put the two together, the result is neither Bt nor corn. It is radically modified. You’ve turned food into a pesticide and we now have good evidence to believe that the gene that produces the Bt toxin in the corn transfers to human gut bacteria turning our stomachs into living pesticide factories. The effects run up and down the food chain and throughout the ecosystem.
Everything and everyone is connected and interrelated. What we do to one, we do to all. The following words of Jesus come to mind: “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
While unleashing genetically modified organisms into the environment results in unforeseen, unpredictable, and dangerous side effects, eating a whole foods plant-based diet results in countless beneficial side effects from within our tiniest cells to the health of the entire planet. The results of a whole foods plant based diet are a living testament to the fact that it’s the diet humans are meant to eat.
I am grateful for the many good people I got to know this weekend, but I must mention a few by name.
I enjoyed eating dinner with Dr. Klaper one evening. The next day, as part of his presentation, Dr. Klaper spoke highly and at length of our transcontinental run, We’re Monsanto, and our mission to raise awareness regarding the unsafe nature of GMOs. Thank you, Dr. Klaper!
As a result of Dr. Klaper’s words, a man named Bill Buerge approached me at lunch. When he learned I was sharing a room with 19 other bunkmates he invited me to stay in the Tower Room of The Mermaid in Topanga Canyon. Bill is an artist and illustrator whose work has been published in several big-name magazines. He’s taken his artistic talent and turned The Mermaid into a showpiece home/bed and breakfast/event center/peaceful sanctuary. He has also applied the artistry of a whole foods plant based diet into his life and is enjoying the profound and life changing results.
After spending the night at The Mermaid, I enjoyed my final run in California’s sunshine (until January!) on a ridgeline above Bill’s home. When I returned, I met Bill’s partner, Gail, and enjoyed her open and generous spirit and passion for homeopathy and her intense desire for a peaceful/non-GMO/non-violent planet.
All in all, the weekend was tremendously validating! We are all connected. We are all related. David and I will not be running the country alone. Kris and Olivia will not be crewing for us alone. We will be buoyed up and strengthened by many people who will attend to us in person and by countless others who will run with us in spirit.