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Label GMOs. Whether from land or sea, I want to know what’s in my food. Also: Bike to Surf

Update:  “Monterey County is poised to get its first GM crop: corn for pharmaceuticals,” Sara Hayley Rubin, Monterey County Weekly, 10/23/14.

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Among many important issues that Californians voted on November 6, 2012 was Proposition 37, #LabelGMOs, which would have required labeling of genetically modified food. Monterey County is an ag county–Salinas Valley is Salad Bowl of America–and although the statewide “yes” votes were not enough to pass Prop 37, in Monterey County, the majority of voters were in favor of it (54.5% voted yes).  Also in the Monterey Bay region, 65% of Santa Cruz County voters said yes on Prop 37.

The Monterey County Herald and Monterey County Weekly recommend #YesOn37, and I did too.

Click here to watch “The World According to Monsanto.” (Be sure to watch past the credits! It’s a full-length film, 1 hr 49 min.)

Visit the California Right to Know website, for more info–including about movement to pass federal legislation instead.

Read Sara Rubin’s report in the Nov 1 Monterey County Weekly,  “Citizen campaign to label GMO foods puts industry on defense, decades after historic local battle.”

The Bicycling Monterey website was created to support biking and other earth-friendly actions.  Scroll down to learn about people who’ve long been speaking up in Monterey County–home of the Salad Bowl of America–about this critical issue of GMO labeling.

I recall when Monsanto set up shop in my rural town.  My wise dad, an organic farmer (before they called it organic!) was among the farmers skeptical of Monsanto’s practices, and their impact on health of people and the planet.

My dad and his farming mentor, Emil Kiliman (at right),  were in agreement when the salesman came to call.  “No, thanks!”

The info below was first published in October 2011.

Bike for food, bike for surf

Some people live to surf, and some bike to surf as well.

Seeing a surfer hauling a board by bicycle is such a common sight in our neighboring Santa Cruz County that the image is recognized as a Santa Cruz classic.  In Monterey County, they are spotted too!

Here’s one who not only lives and bikes to surf, he bikes for food too.  He’s making a stop at the Friday 10-2 Farmers Market at Monterey Peninsula College (MPC).

Photo by Bob Simon of

The MPC market is just blocks from Del Monte Beach.  Thanks to the dedication of the City of Monterey, this year MPC became connected to the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail via bike lanes on Camino Aguajito. The new lanes are part of the City’s effort to make it easier for people to bike not only on the bike/multi-use path but to destinations all around Monterey.  (Like those new lanes? Express your appreciation to the City Council.)

Above, the surf dude was packing up Pinnacle Organically Grown Produce he purchased from Pinnacle/Phil Foster Ranches.  (To learn more about local organic growers, see “Have you hugged an organic grower today.”  For related tips, see shopping farmers markets, and general tips on shopping by bike.)

Before we go on to share more surf info, let’s see who he’s stopping to chat with here:

It’s Colleen Ingram, who’s sharing info with shoppers about genetically modified foods.

Label GMOs

Colleen Ingram is bringing more public attention to the move to require labeling of GMO foods.  Learn more at – and at local site:

Update:  See Mark C. Anderson’s story in the Monterey County Weekly Food Blog, 2/23/12:   Eric Schlosser: Demand Labels on Genetically Modified SalmonSign a petition online.

(Photos above courtesy of Colleen Ingram.)

Whether you surf or not, if you love the Monterey Bay, the Pacific Ocean, and the vast waters beyond, join this surfer and others in keeping oil runoff out of the ocean.  Bike to the beach!

Local surf advisors

These days, you’ll only find me in local water when temps rise, and that will be with my boogie board, not a surfboard.  I surfed briefly when I lived in Santa Cruz, quit surfing when expecting my first child, and didn’t return to it.  Clearly I’m not the one to call with your surfing questions!

Who ya gonna call?  In Monterey County, start with On the Beach Surf Shop and Sunshine Freestyle, both located in New Monterey. Both shops also rent wetsuits and other equipment.  In Carmel, visit Liquid Surf Shop.  All three shops include staff members who are highly experienced local surfers.  Another resource:  Carmel Surf School.

If you have questions about local beaches in general, start with links in Bike to the Beach.

Across the bay….

If you love to bike to surf–or to watch championship surfers–the seasonal contests at Steamer’s Lane make for a good time to bicycle West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz, where I first fell in love with biking.  Visit the O’Neill Coldwater Classic site for more info. Check out the Mavericks Invitational if you like to watch the really big ones!

Previously published October 24, 2011 and updated 2/27/12 and 5/22/12.

This post was published on 4 November 2012. One or more changes last made to this post on 11 June 2017.

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