[So I've been on hiatus here for over 4 years, and I've grown up a bit to new concerns...]
For personal health reasons, I've had to stop eating meat, and I've subsequently become an even bigger foodie than I ever was before. I've also become more interested in organic foods vs. GMOs, and all that encompasses. So yes, I guess I do qualify to be called a "food activist." (Nothing against animals-for-meat,etc for this veg-head, but it's a real health issue I personally have that it interacts with.) However, my concerns have spread to GMO foods.
My family has already begun teasing me about "How will I ever make it through Disney without meat?" I still haven't figured out Hoopdee-Doo, but I look at it as I just won't have such a hard time choosing now.
But alas, my favorite pavilion has always been The Land! Hydroponic, great. Well-farmed fish is alright for their arguments' worth. But what about fertilizers, pesticides, the seeds themselves? Nestle is one of the many companies on the fence- promoting GMOs in general, producing and selling them in the USA, but then abiding by the European Union's ban on GMOs for its European food. So, is it the everyday-USA side of Nestle at The Land? Or do they actually try to live up to this particular spot's theme of "Living with the Land?" I don't know.
So, experts? Do you know if they grow organic (USDA certified or not) food at The Land? Or is there at least anyway I could find out?
(Come to think of the easiest way to find out, i.e. asking the tour guide, I can't help but wonder if growing awareness is why they replaced the cast member tour guides with audio recordings.)
My wishful thinking is of course, I hope they grow as organically as possible, or are at least going to.
"Genetically Modified Organisms"
Here's a quick international FAQ I found:
WHO | 20 questions on genetically modified foods
In 2010 I asked a Disney chef if they selected organic foods over non when available and was told they have been focusing on using local foods, within the state, but have not yet focused on organic.
Never thought to ask about GMO's.
You unlock this door with the key of imagination. Beyond it is another dimension - a dimension of sound, a dimension of sight, a dimension of mind. You're moving into a land of both shadow and substance, of things and ideas.
For the size and scope of Disney food, I understand it's difficult to be perfectly "green" in getting their supply. Though for their size, they've got a lot of weight to throw around for what choices they make.
As for the end-kitchen-users to know where the food came from, I'm impressed with the chef's answer!
The whole GMO & organic issue though is really more complicated than a simple question as to whether something is USDA-certified Organic. (It either gets the little label or it doesn't.) GMOs encompasses the original seed, the food it produced, and anything that food was perhaps processed with. For USDA-certified Organic, the seed must be certified non-GMO, but it also requires certain practices in land use, soil, irrigation/erosion, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, not sprayed with any sort of preservative, and for processed foods to be certified at least 95% of the ingredients must be organic.
In between, I'd be happy enough for Disney (and all other companies!) to at least use non-GMO seeds. I understand most things can't suddenly be USDA-certified Organic, but it's a start. Although, The Land should certainly be THE place to start!
I hate to be the bearer of bad news, however you must remember that for years and I believe continuing to this day, one of the largest corporate sponsors at Disney has been Monsanto, the biggest GMO producer and developer of them all. So I seriously doubt if the food served at Disney or the Land in general would be GMO-free or anywhere near there. My family in particular avoids GMO's at all costs and especially anything associated with Monsanto. That being said we still love Disney and take the good with the bad. Down with Monsanto!
*sigh* That does make me very sad... But please, news like that is what must be made public. I have already made the disheartening discovery of the underlying evil that is Monsanto, only about a year ago. It's scary... Not just GMOs destroying the health of both people & land, (and lab-rat populations, as a crazy friend of mine loses sleep over) but what they do as a company and how they are enabled. Once you know the name behind all the mess that has become the food industry, it's easy to find so much online about them. At least, the bad things everyone else is trying to undo & what people have already rooted out.