Wednesday, April 29, 2009

How To Avoid Genetically Engineered Ingredients

Monday, April 29, 2009

By using Organic Corn, Soy, Canola and Sugar we can reduce our contact with genetically engineered ingredients.

Now that it’s possible to identify genetically modified produce, how do we avoid GE (genetically engineered) ingredients in products we find on the store shelves? With Canada and the United States being two of the biggest producers of GMO crops, Greenpeace estimates that as many as 70% of processed foods on store shelves may contain GE ingredients. According to Jeffery Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, no rules exist in North America for labeling genetically modified contents in foods. These ingredients have far-reaching consequences for our health and the environment.

Fortunately, there are a few main ingredients you can avoid in order to reduce your chances of consuming GMOs. By avoiding foods containing non-organic corn, soy, canola, and soon sugar, including all of their by-products such as non-organic corn oil, corn syrup, canola oil, soy sauce and tofu. Another way to reduce contact with these products is to limit the amount of meat in your diet. Many animals are already being fed corn and soy crops that contain genetically modified ingredients.

It appears that the best way to reduce the chances of ingesting GMOs is to prepare as much of your own food as possible using healthy oils (such as olive oil and organic flax seed oil), purchasing organic products when available, and reducing the amount of meat in your diet. The good news is that as awareness of this situation grows and the demand for natural food grows with it positive changes can continue to be made in this area.

The True Food Now Network's PDF pocket guide to avoiding GMOs at the supermarket.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mercury in Fish: Contradiction in EPA & FDA Analysis

Smackdown! EPA, FDA and Mercury in Fish
April 24, 2009
Sharon Begley

Bizarrely, FDA has structured the choice as “either/or:” Eat more fish, or eat low-mercury fish. For reasons I can’t imagine, FDA left out of its analysis the scenario that combines the two: eat more fish, but only low-mercury fish. In every scenario it ran, fish benefits and mercury damage largely offset each other. Obviously, the eat-more-low-mercury fish approach would have greater benefits than doing one but not the other—as researchers (and FDA) have been saying for years. Why would you want to wipe out the brain-healthy effects of fish by having a little neurotoxin on the side?

Read More

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Fraud In Organic Personal Care Products Market

Organic Consumers Association

Submits Comments on Organic Fraud to the National Organic Standards Board

"In advance of the twice-yearly public meeting of the National Organic Standards Board (May 4-6, 2009, in Washington, DC), the Organic Consumers Fund (the voice of organic consumers in the Nation's Capitol) submitted written comments on April 20 detailing fraud in the organic personal care products market. Unlike organic foods, many personal care products are falsely marketed as "organic" without meeting USDA standards. (Consumer Tip: Look for products with the "USDA Organic" seal). We are urging the National Organic Standards Board to push the USDA to use its enforcement power to go after marketers of shampoos, cosmetics and other personal care products that are committing organic fraud."

Read More

Friday, April 24, 2009

How To Tell If A Fruit or Vegetable is Genetically Modified

According to Dr. Joseph Mercola, physician and activist, you can determine how a fruit or vegetable was grown by checking the PLU code on the sticker.

  • Conventionally grown food grown with pesticide has a 4 digit code. Example: 4110
  • Organically grown food code has 5 digits starting with a nine. Example: 94110
  • Genetically Modified food has 5 digits starting with an eight. Example: 84110

Read more information on the damage GM food can do to your body

Monday, April 20, 2009

Organic Gardening & Fire Ants

As a native of New England now living in the south, fire ants are one of the things that I had never experienced before now. These are the most aggressive crawling insects that I have ever encountered and they are an epidemic out here. We have a pest control service (another thing I have never experienced before moving out here) which normally takes care of the mounds for us. This company does offer "organic" solutions, however this does not always mean they are non-toxic, so for the garden I went looking for something safer.

I did read about using grain or cornmeal, though apparently this only affects certain types of workers and only during certain stages of development. With the size of my garden, it seemed that the best solution at this time was to use the boiling water method to treat the mounds. It is documented that this can kill up to 60% of the colony so, until the beneficial nematodes take over, this would probably be the safest, most inexpensive solution for us at this time.

One of the more helpful documents I found on the subject was, A Review of “Organic” and Other Alternative Methods for Fire Ant Control, by Bastiaan M. Drees, Fire Ant Project Director, Department of Entomology, College Station, Texas.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Fluoride Action Network

Broadening public awareness about this highly toxic substance

Enter Fluoride Action Network Website

Friday, April 17, 2009

Organic Gardening

As the world continues to self-destruct around me, I have changed my priorities drastically over these past two years. Somewhat religiously and politically isolated, I find myself doing my own research rather than relying on mainstream media in order to make decisions for my family that may help us prepare for difficult times ahead.

One thing that has become very important to me is cultivating an organic garden. In the northeast we have always opted for townhouses for the simplicity and affordability and so I always did what I could with herbs and small tomato plants in pots on the patio. Now here in Texas, I have my first real fenced-in yard, perfect for having 2 little boys. Now I can finally have a real garden and I love it. My father has always had a garden, and I can remember my grandfather’s tomato plants looming above my head when I was a child. His father, an immigrant from southern Italy, was also a farmer and set the price for certain vegetables in the market in Boston.

However, my lineage has done nothing to help me so far. The Internet along with clerks at Callaway’s, on the other hand, has helped a lot. I'm well on my way to experiencing William Alexander’s journey in his book, The $64 Tomato, “How One Man Nearly Lost His Sanity, Spent a Fortune, and Endured an Existential Crisis in the Quest for the Perfect Garden.” Soil, organic compost, organic fertilizers, “Rabbit Scram” (very pricy concoction containing Coyote urine to scare them away), and beneficial nematodes (very, very pricy but never have to be replaced again) are some of the materials I have used in the garden even before the plants. I am even trying composting at risk of offending neighbors.

Once that was done, I have attempted both store-bought plants and germinating seeds from both small pots indoors and also directly into the soil. I have tried at least one of just about every vegetable I could find. There have been many failures, but this makes me more sure of which techniques I want to use next time around. Finally, things are really coming along nicely. When a neighborhood cat visited my herb garden last week, I found a good non-toxic solution online. Simply grind up lemon rinds and spread them over the area. So far so good, but if he does come back I could be mean and sprinkle some cayenne pepper around.

Lastly, a friend sent me a website for something called, “Square Foot Gardening.” It is worth looking into if you are limited in space or live in an arid region. You can create a pretty nice garden in a 4x4 foot space without soil, and using much less water. I will definitely look into this more for next year. In the mean time, I have asked a neighbor to take me canning with her the next time she goes, because I am going to have to do something with all of those $64 tomatoes when they come in.