Neshali's Blog

Rounding Down Roundup

"You are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder.
It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you"
 - Vandana Shiva

Rounding Down Roundup

No one is perfect.  As much as we all want to be David Suzuki, sometimes it just doesn’t happen.  We will throw away that cup that can be recycled or take the car to work, even though we know our bike is in the backyard.  We might even use pesticides in our gardens.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a full convert: it’s much more fun and satisfying to go pesticide free.  I’m in love with this summer with my dad, the flowers, the bumblebees and I think everyone should do it.  But I also know all of you reading are not going 100% pesticide free.  That’s okay.  Sometimes taking small steps is best and cheating a little doesn’t mean that you can’t kick the pesticide habit eventually. 

I have faith.

What really matters is that everyone is taking a few steps, even if they are small ones.  Because as Vandana Shiva, the very cool environmentalist and eco-feminist, once said, "you are not Atlas carrying the world on your shoulder. It is good to remember that the planet is carrying you."  

Though we can’t do it all, we must do something.  And after watching Food Inc. (check out the really informative website as well as the great movie), I know of one more thing we can do in our gardens: Don’t use Roundup and make sure everyone you know avoids this product too!

What Is Roundup And Why Shouldn’t We Use It?

Roundup is an herbicide, produced by Monsanto. If Monsanto sounds familiar to you, it’s because it was originally one of the largest chemical companies in the USA and brought the world Agent Orange and DDT.

These days, Monsanto is primary an agricultural company, and the jewel on Monsanto's gaudy crown is Roundup; the world’s best selling herbicide for the last 30 years.  It gained its popularity due to its boast that it is biodegradable and good for the environment.  However this is not the case at all, as the company was found guilty of false advertising… twice.   Studies found that only 2% of its product broke down after 28 days and that it is highly toxic, provoking cell division dysfunction and thus carcinogenic.[1]

So, whatever you do, spread the word and make sure you and everyone you know stops buying Roundup (and any other Monsanto product)!

Happy gardening!

p.s. There is lots more I feel everyone should know about this company, so I really recommend that you watch Food Inc. Such an awesome, awesome movie (yes, so awesome that awesome had to be repeated)! If you do, please tell me what you think!

Comments (6)

I love that quote from Vandana Shiva. Thank you!

P.S. Organic gardening milestone at Calvin's house: After 3 years of pesticide free gardening for us and two neighbours, we finally have a toad visiting our back yard! I know it's a small step, but a very good indication of the improved health of the stabalizing eco-system.

Calvin | August 13, 2009 at 12:23 PM

You're totally right, and the goal really isn't to be perfect, it's to do the best we can and strive for better.

Vandana Shiva was in Vancouver for a talk at some point when I was taking a course on Environmental Ethics (one of my favourite classes during my entire education), but I think I had gotten sick and missed it. Too bad! I heard she spoke with a beautiful smile despite a tragic message.

I'm antsy to see Food Inc. I've just read In Defense of Food so I'm a big Michael Pollan fan now. If I remember, Neshali, I'll post my comments here after I see the film.

Erika | July 31, 2009 at 3:50 PM

Thanks Chantel! I'll have to check those out!

The Corporation is a great one too. Some great quotes from Vandana Shiva about seed saving

check her out at:

Did I mention that I think she is awesome?

Neshali replied to Chantel | July 30, 2009 at 10:45 PM

Some other great documentaries on Round-up/Monsanto are:
The World According to Monsanto
Hijacked Future

A great documentary on the struggles of farmers in North America is "The Real Dirt on Farmer John". It's funny, sad and inspirational.

Chantel | July 29, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Thanks for being gutsy enough to write about a contentious issue! For those of you wanting to learn more about pesticides, more aptly referred to by some as biocides, check out these resources:

1) The Future of Food. A very well done documentary about GMOs, especially those that are "Roundup Resistance."

2) Rachel Carson's "Silent Spring" (1962). A revolutionary book that, some argue, was the catalyst for the environmental movement. Carson lobbied politicians to ban DDT and her efforts eventually led to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States.

Thanks for writing about this Neshali. Together, through our awareness, we can be the change!!!

Camille | July 27, 2009 at 10:40 PM


Also of note are Percy and Louise Schmeiser a farming couple from Saskatchewan who ended up winning the alternative nobel prize "for their courage in defending biodiversity and farmers' rights" against monsanto.

mona | July 27, 2009 at 5:09 PM