Unfurling Minnesota’s Demand: Protect Rainforests

Written by Hillary Lehr

Topics: Agribusiness

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“Can you imagine sitting down to breakfast with your Cheerios and then reading this in the newspaper?”

WARNING: General Mills Destroys Rainforests

Well, don’t choke, but you deserve to know that one of America’s most well known brands- General Mills- is destroying rainforests.

Now,  this company is going to be famous not only for Cheerios, Betty Crocker and Hamburger Helper, but also for their sizeable contribution to rainforest destruction! General Mills isn’t as wholesome as they look.

Fortunately, the Minneapolis/St. Paul area is full of incredible grassroots communities intertwining movements for local agriculture, social justice, and a safe climate. There are so many inspiring people walking their talk, and ready to acknowledge and address how environmental and social distress to sneak into our responsibility chain via the food on our tables.

Its 19 degrees!

On Tuesday, Jan. 19, 42 activists unfurled a HUGE 30 x 70 foot banner reading: “WARNING: General Mills Destroys Rainforests” at the General Mills corporate headquarters. General Mills purchases the controversial palm oil from Cargill Incorporated. Cargill is sourcing palm oil from Indonesia where rainforests are being torn down and forest-dependant peoples are being ruthlessly kicked out of their homes all for an unsustainably-grown cash crop called palm oil. For the full story, visit www.theproblemwithpalmoil.org and see Rainforest Agribusiness campaigner Ashley’s blog about why we are zooming in on General Mills. Hey, you can sign the petition while you’re at it!

Activists here in the Twin Cities are thinking globally and acting locally in rapidly growing numbers. As our Twin Cities chapter grows and branches out, people from faith-based groups, food co-ops, political organizations, and art collectives are all stepping up to hold these local corporations accountable.

The result is incredible. General Mills has gotten the message loud and clear. And they know that  we aren’t going anywhere until they not only commit to getting dirty palm oil out of their supply chains, but until they follow through and do it.

Until then, we look forward to planting seeds of awareness across the country and watching people spring up to stop big agribusiness from disrespecting rainforests, family farmers, and the climate. The flowers of this work is in the connections, the friendships, and the collective power we are reclaiming person to person, company to company, and country to country, from Minneapolis to Kalimantan.

We'll be back!

P.S. If you are based in/around the Twin Cities and want to join the local uproar, plug in to the RAN-Twin Cities chapter or Facebook group.

7 Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Great Job Hillary, Ashley and RAN Twin Cities for mobilizing in the freezing cold to bring attention to General Mills’ use of palm oil that destroys rainforests!!! I hope that General Mills’ Executives hear our call and ensure us that they’re committed to socially and environmentally responsible palm oil in their supply chain.

  2. P.S. If you’re concerned about palm oil in General Mills products, write a letter to the CEO Mr. Kenneth Powell and call General Mills at 1-800-248-7310. Ask if the Vitamin A palmitate in their cereals, like Cheerios, comes from palm oil.

  3. Thank you CarrieAnne, Hillary, Ashley, Margaret, Natalie, and the rest for sharing a creative expression to remind the leaders at General Mills that we need a sustainable earth. Our efforts for an ecological world benefit all the threatened species including humans. Peace and love, compassion and respect for all life. Yes thanks again.

  4. Donna Lindstrom says:

    WOW, Little do we as consumers know!!!!! Corperations like General Mills should KNOW BETTER!! Great Job to this group for their efforts!!

  5. Liv says:

    What about the poor people in Brazil that need a home should
    they take over the rain forest?

  6. Liv says:

    After all the progress they have made about what we should not do, don’t you think that it is time that we make a difference about what we should do?

  7. These people are doing a tree sit in the freezing cold West Virginia mountains and befuddling the largest mountaintop removal coal company in Appalachia. Word.

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