2010 and the company of the year

We’re open for 2010 at last. Personally I can’t wait to get back to online shopping after being forced to venture out over the festive season. Perhaps it didn’t help that I chose the craziest days of the year, December 24th and January 2nd, but I won’t be hurrying out again anytime soon.

Monsanto wins Forbe’s Company of the Year
In a wonderful puff-piece, Forbes has annointed Monsanto as the company of the year. Repeating all the old nonsense, confusing gene insertion and plant breeding, repeating claims of how the world will starve without them, claiming farmers love having no choice of seed supplier, and calling those who disagree “enemies”, the piece begins with a sweet story of how Monsanto is working hard for our health by developing a soya bean with enhanced omega-3 fatty acids, thus saving the world’s fish stocks at the same time (fish oil is a common source of Omega-3 supplementation). Conveniently ignoring the fact that every commercially released GM crop to date contains not health benefits – rather enhanced traits such as resistance to a particular brand of herbicides, of benefit to no one but the Monsanto’s herbicide sales department.

The good news? The reaction, even on the Forbes website, has been overwhelmingly negative. It’s becoming harder to misrepresent reality, and people’s ability to see through marketing is greater than in the past.

Mustard Seeds
Mustard seeds are one of the oldest-known spices, appearing in writings from at least 5000 years ago. Very high in selenium (a mineral particularly low in South African soils, and vital for the immune system), mustard seeds are also a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, much better than any genetically-modified soybeans.

They’ve also been well-studied for their anti-cancer effects, and are high in isothiocyanates, which have been shown to inhibit growth of existing cancer cells and protect against the formation of new ones. Cancers of the gastrointestinal tract, as well as colon and rectal cancer, seem to be best affected.

Mustard seeds also have the distinction of appearing in many religious texts. Buddha told a story of a grieving mother, who, having lost her only son, asks the Buddha for a cure. He asks her to bring a handful of mustard seeds from a family that has never lost a child, husband, parent or friend. When she can’t find any such family, she realizes that death is common to all.

In the Quran, Allah states that on the Day of Judgement, even the equivalent of a mustard seed will be accounted for, and no soul will suffer the least injustice.

Jewish texts compare the universe to the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate the world’s insignificance and to teach humility.

In the Christian Bible, Jesus talks about the mustard seed as a model for the kingdom of God which initially starts small but grows to be the biggest of all garden plants. He also mentions that faith the size of a mustard seed can move mountains.

Let’s move some mountains and make 2010 a fantastic year.

To order, go to www.ethical.org.za,
The Ethical Co-op team

Comments ( 2 )

  1. Nate

    YAY! Awesome positive piece, love all the mustard seed mentionings:). I miss Ethical Co-op! love Nathan

  2. Ethical Co-op » Blog Archive » Even fresher, and the maize maze

    [...] of the Year It’s ironic then that, as I mentioned last week, Forbes magazine announced its company of the year as, no, not us – Monsanto were the worthy [...]