Don’t believe us? Well, have you ever tried explaining the dangers behind GMOs, synthetic pesticides, and artificial fertilizers to friends and family? Somewhat predictably, one often receives one of two things: responses fueled by pity, or responses fueled by jest. Sometimes, you may even get what Rob Herring calls “the crazy look.”
A 26-year-old singer/songwriter focused on nutrition, activism, and living a more sustainable, healthy lifestyle, Rob faces one of the common challenges all activists face: how can one deliver a serious message without turning people off by being too preachy?
Without a doubt, it’s a tricky balancing act.
But to Rob, if people want to start spreading awareness about contentious issues that the media isn’t covering, use something people can relate to – use something inviting – use art, music, and humor. With that in mind, we’re able to spread the word through songs like “Question What’s Inside.” Following that mantra, along with some inspiration, creativity, and hard work, Herring has helped breathe life into the anti-GMO movement with something we all can make time for: music.
That’s just the short story, though.
Discovery, Dismay, and Determination
It all started back about 3 years ago. With a bit of extra time on his hands, Rob found himself starting to write a song about the health behind fast food restaurants. It was a comedic song, but never really got off the ground. Still interested in bringing that style of music to the table, though, Herring decided to incorporate a new topic: GMOs. Recently hearing about them through Natural News, Herring felt the activist in him welling up.
In no time, Herring had centered the song around GMOs. Determined to bring light on the subject, Herring made it a mission of this.”I have known in my soul for a long time that I would be full of regret looking back on my life, if I did nothing to help heal a very wounded planet, and help undo the massive misinformation that exists today,” he said. With this spirit in hand, Herring knew he needed to get in contact with the right people.
Flash forward and Herring found himself hastily putting together a demo of “Question What’s Inside.” Rather than spending the night out with friends, Herring was planning on presenting the song and his message to one of the most well-known voices in the world of GMOs: Jeffrey Smith. No doubt it was going to be difficult. It’s not like Smith would just sit down next to him at a conference of thousands and be willing to hear him out… right?
Interestingly enough, that’ exactly what happened. Unbelievably, Smith literally ended up sitting next to Herring at a panel prior to his own. Herring, awe-struck by the chance, took action, giving Smith his pre-made portfolio. Within no time, Smith and Herring were in contact, and the ball started rolling for Herring and “Question What’s Inside.”
Rob Herring fighting the Red Herring
Today, the song is completed, Herring is looking to raise funds for more health related songs, and “Question What’s Inside” is a beacon for GMO awareness. Fundamentally, it challenges the current haze surrounding the topic.
For example, as Rob discovered, GMOs (and indeed many food issues) are hidden from public eye. Instead of serious criticism or daily coverage, they are often brushed aside if brought up at all. Phrases such as “The science is inconclusive” and “There’s no reason to suspect problems” get tossed around, and rhetorical strawmen are often brought to life to put the serious questions down before they are properly addressed.
But music may indeed be the solution.
In a classic “problem, reaction, solution” scenario, Rob Herring could have the key to fighting, and beating, the red herrings that exist for GMOs. The principle is simple: if you can get a song in a person’s head, it might have a better chance at actually getting them to check the issue out. As Herring put it, “I want to help spread positive messages in a new way. Activism, when utilizing some form of creativity, seems to have a higher success rate. I’m hoping that through a musical and lighthearted tone, my GMO message is more accessible than merely emphasizing scary statistics…I genuinely feel honored to play any part whatsoever in sparking what will hopefully be a national conversation very soon”
It’s Up to You to Help Spread the Word
So how do we help this solution realize its potential? Support.
If you want the song to inform and educate your friends and family, or even if you want it just for yourself, find it on iTunes. In addition to getting an awesome song on GMOs, 50 percent of all proceeds go to Jeffrey Smith’s Institute for Responsible Technology. As mentioned above, Smith is a world renowned expert and he works diligently on exposing GMO realities (plus – perhaps even more impressive – there’s a good chance “Question What’s Inside” is already on his iPod).
If you’d like to get the other projects rolling as well, visit Herring’s IndieGoGo fundraiser page. You can also find the song on Facebook – there, you can “Like” the page and get updates as the movement goes forward.
All things considered, give it a shot. If not for your own health, do it for all the time and passion Herring has dedicated to the project.
It’s simple – just Question What’s Inside!