Julie Mellor-Trupp: They Put WHAT in My Organics? | Pieces of Pi Shared - Science Narratives

Julie Mellor-Trupp: They Put WHAT in My Organics? | Pieces of Pi Shared – Science Narratives

Nodes of Science is lucky enough to get Julie Mellor-Trupp’s Piece of the Pi. A mother and one of the lead organisers of Skepti-Forum, Julie’s account provides an excellent example of how transitional experiences that make science communication efforts completely worth it. From her following history, we can see an intricate learning experience through so many paths of information, and now, Julie is a major influence in communities encouraging critical-thinking. People’s opinions can and do change. When they do, the effect can be astronomical.
If you would like to share your own adventures in science and science communication, check out our Pieces of Pi project as well as our contributor info page then send us an email: admin@nodesci.net

I’ve recognised that the celebrity who has been acting since she was a teen is no more knowledgeable about science than I am, and shouldn’t have as much influence on the population as a university educated professional does.

Written by: Julie Mellor-Trupp
Photo credit: julochka | CC

I am not a critical thinker.

When my auto-parts facility co-worker said that the cafeteria cook fries a week’s worth of bacon for another co-worker because the guy didn’t like curly bacon, and the cook always had straight bacon, I’m the one who was getting my tail pulled.

I believed him not because I felt that curly bacon was a crime against nature or something we ought to squeal over, but because I didn’t see the harm in believing anything that didn’t appear to affect me or my family.

Assuming that people are telling the truth all of the time is what comes naturally to me.

In my teens, in the ‘80s, I became interested in what I was eating.

I became a vocal activist via a comprehensive education from library books written by health gurus, yoga instructors and celebrities. My parents, siblings and friends were riveted by my newly-found knowledge.

I learned where the produce came from, what impacts the agricultural industry had on the environment, and how the farm animals were not treated humanely. I also learned that vitamins weren’t as benign as they seemed.

That was when I became an organic vegetarian — a huge sacrifice because I loved hamburgers, but I had read that non-organic farmers were ruining the land and were cruel, heartless people who treated the poor animals like…well…like animals.

I also found out that juice-fasting cleansed all of the meat toxins out of my body, so I did that for 11 days straight…and broke the fast with a whomping huge slice of chocolate cake.


I had my first child and tried to do everything as perfect as possible. I breastfed, filled her with good organic produce and meat, (what‽ I could only stay away from the hamburgers for so long!) and had her sleeping through the night by the 5th week.

I was feeling mighty accomplished

I joined an online parenting community when I was pregnant with my second child.

I had to.

Dr. Google said that my baby and I were going to die from my full placenta previa condition and I needed a lot of support during my last few days on earth.

I was soon hooked on this social site, not only due to these beautiful ladies convincing me that I wasn’t going to have to save for a double funeral.

Within the parenting community I was inundated with new and exciting ideas on how to raise my child ‘naturally’. I kept my son close to my heart in a baby-carrier during the day and co-slept with him at night, bundled him in an intricately folded blanket to give him the feeling of being in a womb and he never, ever had to CIO (cry it out) — everything I had failed to do with my first.

Once my child was old enough to tell me that he didn’t want to be carried everywhere, I drifted away from the parenting board and found Facebook. What an endless delight this new social scene became. There were so many wonderful people who were sharing their wisdom and knowledge — for free!

My husband has diabetes and I read that there was a cure. A few simple spices would do the trick. I was a bit peeved that neither my husband’s doctor nor mine had ever heard of this. What was even more stunning was that if I added two more herbs into that mixture, it would cure his arthritis as well!

Suddenly I couldn’t get enough information. I researched endlessly — natural remedies, natural cleaning agents (by the way, a lemon in the microwave for 5 minutes really does make it easier to wipe down), natural pesticides, and natural foods.

I was really getting into this overwhelmingly endless list of goodness that I had discovered online, when it all came to an end, rather abruptly.

I was invited into this Top Secret Forum, where people were discussing things that no one else knew.

Dark things.

Dangerous things.

Moon landings, 9.11, Illuminati, Bilderberg Group, Chemtrails, The New World Order, The Freemasons, Fukushima and…MonsantoNestleBillGates.

Above all of the things I learned in that dungeon, the name MonsantoNestleBillGates struck the biggest fear. This seemingly unbeatable entity was going to take away all of my natural things that promised to save the world, and replace it with pollution, bottled water, and death vaccines for population control.

My mission was clear. I needed to inform the world of these terrible things I had learned.

I was quite amazed that there were already so many people out there who knew of this impending doom, and they were able to provide me with even more nightmares to dwell on.

I was well into my first few months of sharing all of my End of Times research when one new member in one of my anti-Monsanto groups suddenly picked me as his mentor. He knew nothing of what was really going on and he wanted to know all that I knew.

It was a very heady experience, especially since I was relatively new at all of this as well.

He questioned.

I answered.

He questioned my answers of his questions of my answers.

It became a tad tiring, because he was forcing me to search for more information on one subject in that short time than I had researched at any time in my existence, so I started throwing links in, one after another without even reading them. I knew they were good links because the headlines all matched my views…and he read them all…and questioned me on the articles sentence by sentence.

I soon found that I was unable to answer any more of his questions, because he was forcing me to actually read everything I was sharing and I found that half of the links that I had provided completely went against everything I had come to believe.

Then he said the one thing that I will never forget.

Organic farmers use pesticides.

I knew I had him then. I spent hours trying to find the proof that he was incorrect.

I failed.

The next day I started joining all of the GMO forums available, trying to find a forum that was ‘for’ GMOs. I needed to know how ‘they’ could believe in this terrible unnatural technology. I needed to find someone who was educated enough to teach me and, perhaps, un-teach me.

First of all, I need to say here, that there are very few rational forums on Facebook.

I even got booted off one of my beloved anti-Monsanto site because I asked too many questions.

I finally found 3 forums to turn to after weeks of getting yelled at when I questioned someone’s post on the subject of food and GMOs.

GMO vs Logic was a really small forum where everyone in there seems to be similar to me. This group looks for rationality and evidence among all of the lies and misconceptions.

The second one, GMOLOL, was sometimes irreverent, sometimes nasty and sometimes downright rude…but the members are very scienced and somehow I learned from them despite their seeming disinterest in teaching newbies.

The third one, GMO Skepti-Forum, seemed to be built just for me. I’ve ate and slept in this ‘just right’ forum for a long time.

The founder, Knigel Holmes, was a former anti-GMO who had found it difficult to find an honest, respectful, science-based discussion on Facebook, so he created his own Facebook forum and populated it with people like me, as well as scientists who were interested in reaching out to the laymen who were rejecting the incessant fear and were replacing it with knowledge and understanding.

It took a very long time to fully come around to dealing with everything in a science-based mode. Every time a new meme came out that unsettled me, I took it to the Skepti-Forum and asked the people who were educated on that topic to show me why it wasn’t a legitimate claim.

They taught me how to research for real — to find sites that weren’t trying to get their members to buy something, sites that didn’t have a hidden agenda, sites that weren’t selling fear.

This new knowledge eliminated 90% of my former favourite forums that I had trusted for so long.

Natural News, Raw For Beauty, March Against Monsanto and GMO Free all contained elements that relegated them to the curb. Even my Pinterest account needs a good sweep to remove the inaccurate information that I unthinkingly shared.

I learned to steer my path towards good solid studies and, even though I knew all about the importance of a good control group and statistics from my day job as a quality analyst/lab technician, I had to relearn about them all over again in how they pertained to me personally, in what a bad study looked like in terms of my own health and the safe amounts of chemicals that I ate and drank on a daily basis.

I learned to go to the people who actually went to school for the things that I had been reading about in fear: the farmers, the biotechnologists, and yes, even those who worked for Monsanto.

I’ve recognised that the celebrity who has been acting since she was a teen is no more knowledgeable about science than I am, and shouldn’t have as much influence on the population as a university educated professional does.

I even found some organic farmers who support GMOs for a sustainable future.

Through all of these travels — some embarrassing in hindsight, some stunning in the pure generosity of time and patience that is given to a misguided person brimming with curiosity — I have come to realise that farmers are beautiful human beings, as are scientists and biotechnologists.

They kiss their babies before they leave for work and strive to make a better world like the rest of us.

I’ve realised the harm that comes from being uncritical. That those who aren’t speaking from a position of knowledge or education CAN hurt my family — by not vaccinating their children, by controlling what is taught in schools, and by influencing federal governments on environmental, agricultural and corporate amendments to bills.

I’ve come to realise that not everyone has a right to their opinion and that there aren’t always two sides to a story.

…and Organic farmers do use pesticides and it is ok by me.