Archive for June, 2009

Weed killer kills human cells. Study intensifies debate over inert ingredients

Weed killer kills human cells. Study intensifies debate over ‘inert’ ingredients.

Used in yards, farms and parks throughout the world, Roundup has long been a top-selling weed killer. But now researchers have found that one of Roundup’s inert ingredients can kill human cells, particularly embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells. The new findings intensify a debate about so-called “inerts” — the solvents, preservatives, surfactants and other substances that manufacturers add to pesticides. Nearly 4,000 inert ingredients are approved for use by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

By Crystal Gammon

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Fresh, and Food Inc. – Two Movie Reviews in One

Fresh and Food, Inc Movie Review Coordinator

In the past week, we’ve seen both of these documentaries. They are both about our food supply, industrial farming, and safe food.  One is Fresh and the other Food, inc.  Fresh we bought on DVD and Food, inc is playing at our local movie theatre. I took the kids. Links are below.

There are a lot of similarities in the movies so I’m reviewing them together.  They are about how monocultures (growing just one crop) is environmentally dangerous and how industrialized food has lead to unhealthy, over-processed food and abused and neglected animals. My cousin, who lives near a cow CAFO, (Concentrated animal feeding operation) calls it, Cowchwitz, which unfortunately it is for the poor cows who live there.

Both movies have soy and corn farmers who don’t use GMO’s (Monsanto’s genetically engineered seed).  These conventional farmers are a vast minority these days and Monsanto is suing them anytime their field get contaminated by Monsanto’s products. Monsanto is also suing the seed cleaners and putting them out of business so even the people who want to grow and save their own non-GMO seed have no one to clean it anymore.  It’s unconscionable.

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Aspartame Gate: When Donald Rumsfeld was CEO of Searle

I have to admit, I haven’t drunk soda, diet or otherwise in many years and I heard that there were problems with Aspartame when it was first released but didn’t know many of the specifics until I read the below.  It’s unconscionable that OUR government cares more about special interests then the health and well being of us and our families.

 

Mom

As calls for US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to resign are prompting questions from Senators, about possible breakdowns in the Pentagon chain of command leading to prisoner abuse in Iraq, Betty Martini founder of Mission Possible, an international ‘Aspartame resistance’ movement, writes to Senator Biden to explain that allowing torture of prisoners in Iraq may not have been the only reprehensible action Rumsfeld should answer for.

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An Open Letter to Hillary Clinton from Another Wellesley College Alumna

By LINN COHEN-COLE

 Dear Hillary,

By polling logic, I should be your supporter — Democrat, woman, white, liberal. But this past summer I saw a News Hour show on farmers committing suicide in Maharastra, India, which affected me deeply. I started learning what was happening to farmers and to food and how the Clintons are connected.

The News Hour piece said Monsanto, a US agricultural corporation, hired Bollywood actors to sell illiterate farmers Bt (genetically engineered) cotton seeds, promising they’d get rich from big yields. The expensive seeds needed expensive fertilizer and pesticides (Monsanto’s) and irrigation. There is no irrigation there. Crops failed. Farmers had immense debt and couldn’t collect seeds to try again because Monsanto seeds are “patented” as “intellectual property”).

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The Book that Changed our Lives

I have been studying nutrition and eating healthfully since high school. I remember 30 years ago telling my mother that we should be using butter and not margarine. She didn’t believe me. 🙂

I have been a vegetarian, a vegan, and macrobiotic at different times in my life, trying to find a diet that really worked for me. When my kids were born our diet changed to home cooked meats (mostly fish & chicken), vegetables and grain, mostly healthy with occasional processed food. We were doing okay until I started having some serious health challenges, stemming from the California fires of 2003. I started having serious lung problems that got even worse from a subsequent smoke inhalation. I tried everything from the steroids prescribed by my doctor to homeopathy – I’m trained as a homeopath and did experience some relief from remedies but not enough – and also tried acupuncture, herbs, etc. I was still not doing well. At the same time my husband was experiencing a recurrence of sinus problems that he hadn’t had in years.

We were searching for something that would help us regain our health. I was browsing cookbooks on Amazon.com and found Nourishing Traditions.  It looked really interesting and after reading the reviews, I bought it. We both read it through and it made good sense, we decided to tweak our eating habits. We started making broths from scratch, started making real kefir (from real, raw, whole milk) and kombucha, and we stopped using vegetable oils (esp Canola as it’s made from genetically modified seed) and switched to olive oil, butter and coconut oil.

Within a few months of making those changes both of us experienced a noticeable improvement in our health and day-to-day energy.  I was able to slowly wean off of my inhalers and my husband’s sinuses improved. Our energy greatly improved – and we are both in/near our 50’s.

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How to Avoid Genetically-Manipulated (GMO) Food Ingredients

In North America, all soy that is labeled “organic soy” is guaranteed to not be genetically-manipulated and not be treated with herbicides. Look for soy products and ingredients (e.g., tofu, tempeh, miso, soy sauce, soy milk, etc.) which are organic. All other soy ingredients are almost always genetically-manipulated and herbicide-treated. The same is true for canola, corn, dairy products and potatoes. Look for organic corn, potato and dairy ingredients at your local health food store. Check the ingredients labels carefully. It may be best to avoid canola altogether because it is rarely organic and is usually chemically-treated as detailed by world expert, Udo Erasmus. Outside of Europe and Asia it may not be possible at this time to avoid genetically-manipulated ingredients 100% of the time, but it is a good idea to avoid them when possible. The List of Companies Pledging to Remove GMO Ingredients is another very useful resource. http://www.soyinfo.com/haz/company.shtml

Health Hazards

There are a number of compelling reasons to completely avoid genetically-manipulated and herbicide-treated food ingredients from soy, corn, canola, dairy and potatoes. Children should be particularly careful to avoid such non-organic food ingredients.

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Our Favorite Summer Cake

Banana-Berry Cake with Lemon Frosting

This is one of our favorite cakes. My husband’s Birthday was last week and this was his requested cake. What makes it extra special around here, is that we make it with the Blackberries that grow on our back hill. Every summer we make a few of these and this year we have (almost) more berries then we know what to do with. 

 

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Would You Call 60,000 Cows Fenced Together on a Dirt Patch a Farm?

By Lisa M. Hamilton, Prairie Writers Circle.

Between 2002 and 2007, the United States lost 43,603 real farms — we can’t let agribusiness control our food supply.

When the Agriculture Department released its 2007 census recently, the news appeared surprisingly good: For the first time since World War II, the United States did not lose farms, it gained them — 75,810, to be exact, for a total of 2.2 million.

But on closer inspection, the numbers aren’t so hopeful. The discrepancy stems from this tricky question: What is a farm? The census has changed its definition nine times since 1850, most recently to “any place from which $1,000 or more of agricultural products were produced and sold, or normally would have been sold, during the census year.”

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Monsanto’s Terminator Making a Comeback? Enter the Zombie!

By Barbara H. Peterson

http://farmwars.info/?p=845

Monsanto and its cohorts in crime promised us that they would not be using Terminator technology called GURT, or genetic use restricted technology. In fact, the United Nations actually issued a moratorium on the project. So we’re safe, right? Wrong.

As usual, the boys in the little white lab coats have not been idle. In spite of the moratorium, not only are they working heatedly on Terminator technology, but are getting ready to introduce Zombie technology. Terminator, and Traitor or Zombie technologies are just variations of GURT. Whereas Terminator technology produces plants with sterile seeds, Zombie technology carries this a step further by creating plants that could require a chemical application to trigger seed fertility every year. Pay for the chemical or get sterile seed. This is called reversible transgenic sterility. They have been working steadily on perfecting this technology, and are now poised to introduce it to the world as a solution to the current GMO contamination problem. Move over Terminator, here comes the Zombie.

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