Almost everyone interested or involved with food issues knows about Monsanto and their biotech approach to agribusiness. Monsanto is a controversial operation that producing genetically modified seeds in an attempt to protect yields and maximize potential, most often through the use of their manufactured herbicide RoundUp. Many feel that the effects of GMOs, RoundUp and other biotech designs are placing the consumer in an uncontrolled experiment that could potentially have extremely dangerous consequences. Furthermore, the pervasiveness of Monsanto products has increased at an alarming rate.

April Davila, a writer from the Los Angeles area, happened upon an article that detailed organ damage in rats fed Monsanto’s genetically modified corn, which spurred her to conduct more research about the potentially harmful effects of Monsanto products. In her blog, A Month Without Monsanto, April begins her own experiment: an attempt to live without Monsanto products for a month. As she details her journey, April reveals just how dependent society has become on a few GMOs.

Each day, April learns more about her restrictive diet as supermarkets make it near impossible to source the seeds. However, the most hopeful entry in her blog is her experience with the Dervaes Family Farm, an urban homestead that supplies fresh organic produce grown literally in the family’s backyard for the family as well as restaurants in the area.

April’s connection to the Dervaes Farm, a family who empower themselves by their “step backwards” approach to diversity in produce and the overall connection to the land, is a perfect example of a direct connection to sustainable agriculture. However, too often these connections are difficult to find. Chefs Collaborative believes in sustainable agriculture that connects to our history with the land. This is the source of our RAFT Grow Out Project, in which heirloom seeds are donated to farmers based on what is regionally significant. As we begin to start the project once more this year, we should recognize the importance in connecting with our food and our food history as consumers, cooks, and or farmers.

April continues to connect with her food choices as her experiment continues all this March. It is both exciting and eventful to follow her experiences in real time. To do so for yourself, click here.