Whole Foods, Patagonia, Clif Bar school lunch program promotes misconceptions about pesticides, seed saving

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[Editor’s note: Stephan Neidenbach is a middle school teacher, father, and blogger.]

The Conscious Kitchen program (funded by Patagonia, Clif Bar, Whole Foods, Annie’s and Dr. Bronner’s) on its face appears to be an innocent attempt to expose low-income students to healthy food options they may not have access to at home. A look at the lesson plans teachers are assigned to use to go along with the meals reveal a Trojan Horse containing pseudo-science.

The section of the plans titled “Non-GMO” fortunately avoids any claims about GMOs causing cancer, but instead relies on a red herring about seed saving. Students are asked questions about why it is important for farmers to save seed, and what it means when they can’t.

The corporate propaganda leaves out the fact that many farmers stopped saving seeds long before GMOs came out on the market. Even organic seeds are often patented. Some GMOs are coming off of their patents, while others are offered by local governments and farmers are encouraged to save their seeds.

Not surprisingly, the lesson involving organic food also contains falsehoods. Students are asked to act out the different parts of a food chain “and watch as pesticides accumulate for the top predators”. The lesson leaves out the fact that organic farming also uses pesticides, some of which are more toxic than what conventional farmers use.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Clif Bar and Patagonia serve up lies about GMOs to school children

  • Fake news and alternative truths start early in our schools.

  • James Rasmussen

    I went to the curriculum and I didn’t see anything that was anti-gmo. It has a link to a YES! article that gives different opinions about GMO that is kind of lame. The seed saving material doesn’t make any judgments about GMOs. Can someone help me understand what the author is ranting about?

    • Bill Nuttley

      I think they object to false statements like, “ Organic: A type of way foods are grown. Organic foods are grown naturally
      without pesticides or harmful ingredients.” It took me 30 seconds to find that. I’m betting there are more falsehoods in this corporate PR campaign.