Showing posts with label survival. Show all posts
Showing posts with label survival. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Part 3: Reasons to Avoid GM Food

Genetically Modified Crops increase the use of pesticides.
“The promise was that you could use less chemicals and produce a greater yield. But let me tell you none of this is true.” – Bill Christison, President of the US National Family Farm Coalition
From an article in the Cooperative Grocer, I found this information:
About 70% of the genetically engineered crops grown in the U.S. are herbicide resistant and are supposed to lessen pesticide use, even though the majority of these are “Roundup Ready” crops bred to withstand frequent herbicide applications from one of America’s favorite herbicides. Often touted as environmentally friendly, Roundup has been shown to contaminate ground water supplies and is now under review as a carcinogen. But do GMOs lessen pesticide use? Not according to a study entitled “Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Eight Years,” which was released in November 2003. This report studied the levels of pesticide use on genetically engineered crops. The study reports that GE corn, soybeans, and cotton have resulted in the application of more pesticides, not less. Herbicide tolerant crops or HT are responsible for nearly 70 million additional pounds of pesticides being applied in U.S. agriculture.
 I also encourage you to check out this interview:

Scientists finding many negative impacts of Roundup Ready GM crops

For me, the more I read about "Round-up Ready" Crops.. the less appetizing corn or soy look to me. We either buy organic corn and soy products,  we grow our own, or we do without.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Part 2:Reasons to Avoid GM Foods

 “At the present time there is a massive disconnect between the sometimes lofty rhetoric from those championing biotechnology as the proven path toward global food security and what is actually happening on farms in the US that have grown dependent on GM seeds and are now dealing with the consequences.” ~The Magnitude and Impacts of the Biotech and Organic Seed Price Premium. Dr Charles Benbrook, The Organic Center, December 2009
The practice of growing GM Foods is touted as an economic helper to farmers. However, the cost of GM seed has dramatically increased each year as well as an increased need for pesticides. These two elements alone increase the financial load on farmers. Couple that will the promise of lower food costs and the need to deliver at lower prices and the farmers exist on the perpetual verge of economic ruin.

Today's link: Check out The Truth about GMOs to continue the process of informing yourself about what they are feeding us. IF the whole idea of even thinking about GM Food is new to you, I encourage you to do some research of your own and become informed...
Remember, unless we are each informed about the choices that we make, "they" can feed us anything they want and get away with it!
Be INFORMED! Take Action.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Reasons to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods (Part 1)

There are so many reasons to make a concerted effort to avoid foods made with genetically modified ingredients. But the average person, has little to no idea of the consequences of extensive use of genetic modifications.. heck, even the scientists, who know that there are consequences, are not even sure what the far reaching long term consequences may be. 

My plan here is to outline some really good reasons for you to avoid GM foods and ultimately why we all need to raise our voices against the widespread use of genetic modification...Part 1.

GM Foods will not solve a food shortage, in fact, they may well cause massive food shortages if the use of GM crops are allowed to continue. One element of the food shortage is said to be the increased production and use of biofuels.. fuels made of food crops.

“The climate crisis was used to boost biofuels, helping to create the food crisis; and now the food crisis is being used to revive the fortunes of the GM industry.” — Daniel Howden, Africa correspondent of The Independent
“The cynic in me thinks that they’re just using the current food crisis and the fuel crisis as a springboard to push GM crops back on to the public agenda. I understand why they’re doing it, but the danger is that if they’re making these claims about GM crops solving the problem of drought or feeding the world, that’s bullshit.” – Prof Denis Murphy, head of biotechnology at the University of Glamorgan in Wales

Did you know that Monsanto has been a major player in lobbying for biofuels?  They also make huge profits in the production of biofuels and in finding "solutions" to the resultant food shortages... it is all good for them... but what about the planet and humankind? 

Check out The Center for Food Safety to learn more about what you can do to take action. IF the whole idea of even thinking about GM Food is new to you, I encourage you to do some research of your own and become informed... unless we are each informed about the choices we make, "they" can feed us anything they want and get away with it! 


Monday, February 1, 2010

Solutions from Within

I stumbled on this quote today and in light of our recent discussions here about the importance of Local Food, I share it with you. It illustrates perfectly that the answer to all Global Issues begins within each and every one of us!  

"If there is light in the soul, there will be beauty in the person. If there is beauty in the person, there will be harmony in the house. If there is harmony in the house, there will be order in the nation. If there is order in the nation, there will be peace in the world." - Chinese Proverb

 Let us look first to solutions from within!


Sunday, January 17, 2010

A Chance to Make a Difference!

My friends it is time to TAKE ACTION.
Breaking News: Monsanto Takes Center for Food Safety Legal Victory to Highest Court
(January 15, 2010) Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided to hear a first-time case about the risks of genetically engineered crops.  Named Monsanto v. Geertson Seed Farms, No. 09-475, the case before the high court will be yet another step in an ongoing battle waged by the Center for Food Safety to protect consumers and the environment from potentially harmful effects of genetically engineered (GE) crops.
“This is truly a ‘David versus Goliath’ struggle, between public interest non-profits and a corporation bent on nothing less than domination of our food system,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety. “That Monsanto has pushed this case all the way to the Supreme Court, even though USDA’s court-ordered analysis is now complete, and the U.S. government actively opposed further litigation in this matter, underscores the great lengths that Monsanto will go to further its mission of patent control of our food system and selling more pesticides.”
 I encourage you to TAKE ACTION. Let the USDA know that it matters to you and your family that GMO's be controlled and labeled and that measures are taken to protect Organics from contamination.
USDA also claims that consumers will not reject GE contamination of organic alfalfa if the contamination is unintentional or if the transgenic material is not transmitted to the end milk or meat product, despite the fact that more than 75% of consumers believe that they are purchasing products without GE ingredients when they buy organic.
TAKE ACTION. Tell the USDA that you DO indeed care about contamination even if it is UNINTENTIONAL...  Tell them that any amount of contamination is UNACCEPTABLE ! TAKE ACTION today and SPREAD THE WORD. Our voices cannot be heard if we don't SPEAK UP! So TAKE ACTION and be heard.
We can make a difference together.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Chilling News

(NaturalNews) According to a recent Associated Press investigation, agri-giant Monsanto regularly employs business practices that not only aim to eliminate all competition, but essentially position the company as the sole proprietor of all things related to food. While old news to many in the natural health community, the mainstream press is beginning to recognize the world domination tactics being employed by Monsanto that are slowly destroying the integrity of the global food supply.
Reading this article just gave me the chills. Really, this is the stuff of a scary sci-fi  movie. But the really scary part is that it is real and happening in our world and that this company is so advanced in it's take-over that it will take a lot to stop them.
According to Neil Harl, an agricultural economist from Iowa State University, Monsanto now has patented control over 90 percent of seeds and seed genetics, a chilling notion that has far-reaching consequences. Since the company regularly buys up independent seed companies, its competition is dwindling and the prices for its patented seeds continue to rise.
I am not exactly certain what we can do. Write to whoever you can think of that has connection to this issue. Write to the Justice Department. Tell them that this is not good for anyone and that the ramifications of this way of doing business are beyond comprehension. In my post, Noxiousness to the Organism, I  told you about the consequences of ingesting these GMO crops on our liver and kidneys and this control of seed crops is serious stuff!
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and at least two state attorneys general are probing Monsanto's contracts and agreements that many are alleging violate antitrust laws. Everything from exerting unreasonable control on farmers who purchase its seeds to flat out lying about their benefits is under investigation.
What else can we do?
Not buy what they are selling... and I admit, with control over 90 % of seed patents that can be a bit tricky.. But if we demand that GMOs be labeled and if we seek out foods that are non-GMO, it will be a start. Tell others what you are doing and how you feel about this issue. While it affects all of us, many people are unaware of the problems associated with GMOs or with the business practices of this company. Spread the word! And when you purchase seed for your garden, consider heirloom varieties and open-pollinated seed. Also look to the small or local seed companies.
Many seed growers and crop farmers feel cornered by Monsanto as it solidifies its control over the entire seed and crop industry. Most have no other option but to continue using Monsanto products or else face ruin. Unless the DOJ steps in and clamps down on Monsanto's quest for total control, the world's food supply may eventually be controlled by a single biotechnology corporation.
 We need to take control now before it is too late. We need to raise up our voices, vote with our dollars, spread the word and make personal choices that will make a difference.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Think Again about Your Meat Choices

No, this is not a post about vegetarianism but after reading this piece you may want to think again about grabbing just any burger! I just have to share this with you.
Here are some quotes from the article.. but I encourage you to read the whole thing!
According to today's New York Times, The "majority of hamburger" now sold in the U.S. now contains fatty slaughterhouse trimmings "the industry once relegated to pet food and cooking oil," "typically including most of the material from the outer surfaces of the carcass" that contains "larger microbiological populations."
and another:
This "nasty pink slime," as one FDA microbiologist called it, is now wrung in a centrifuge to remove the fat, and then treated with AMMONIA to "retard spoilage," and turned into "a mashlike substance frozen into blocks or chips".
Thus saving THREE CENTS a pound off production costs. And making the company, Beef Products Inc., a fortune. $440 million/year in revenue. Ain't that something?
 Are you as totally disgusted by this as I am? Do you want to eat this stuff? Is it really food? Yikes...
What is a momma to do?!

Here's what Jennifer Poole suggests in the article:
I've been thinking about an action item on this issue, and I've got three ideas: a. write Michelle Obama through this web form: http://www.whitehouse.gov/... or snail mail: The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20500; 2. print out the NY Times article and give it to the manager of your local supermarket, and ask them if they sell any kind of ground beef that doesn't contain this "pink slime" or if their butchers will grind meat fresh for you; 3. just stop buying the damned stuff altogether.

I know that I will NOT be buying this stuff at the grocery store or when I go out to eat! And I am so glad to send my daughter to school with a healthy homemade lunch! This stuff is in the school lunch program... do you believe it?!
Please bring yourself to a place where you make conscious choices about the food you eat and the food you feed your family...
If you are what you eat, the last thing I want to be is an ammonia laden hamburger patty!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Another Wendell Berry Quote

“Whether we and our politicians know it or not, Nature is party to all our deals and decisions, and she has more votes, a longer memory, and a sterner sense of justice than we do”.                    ~Wendell Berry

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Today's Food for Thought

I love Wendell Berry. He has a way of geting right to the heart of things. Thank you to my friend Heather for reminding me of this piece by Wendell Berry that I will in turn share with you.

“Questionnaire” a poem by Wendell Berry

1. How much poison are you willing to eat for the success of the free market and global trade? Please name your preferred poisons.

2. For the sake of goodness, how much evil are you willing to do? Fill in the following blanks with the names of your favorite evils and acts of hatred.

3. What sacrifices are you prepared to make for culture and civilization? Please list the monuments, shrines, and works of art you would most willingly destroy.

4. In the name of patriotism and the flag, how much of our beloved land are you willing to desecrate? List in the following spaces the mountains, rivers, towns, farms you could most readily do without.

5. State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes, the energy sources, the kinds of security, for which you would kill a child. Name, please, the children whom you would be willing to kill.

----Wendell Berry

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

No Farms No Food

I've seen this bumper sticker around town and on the road. It's a great slogan. But I wanted to know more about where it came from and just who's slogan it is. I did an on-line search to find out... (I just love the internet for connecting with the things that really matter to me!) and I found out the it belongs to the American Farmland Trust. The mission of American Farmland Trust is to help farmers and ranchers protect their land, produce a healthier environment and build successful communities. To that end, the campaign of No Farms No Food, is all about supporting local food and farms.

The message is simple and couldn't be more clear—America's farms and ranches provide an unparalleled abundance of fresh, healthy and local food, but they are rapidly disappearing.

Eighty-six percent of America’s fruits and vegetables are grown near metro regions, where they are in the path of development. And every hour we lose 125 acres of farm and ranch land. That's why supporting local food and farms is more important than ever!

A few weekends ago, I took a class sponsored by the ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) on Starting a Market Garden Business. One of the many things I was surprised to learn is that 96% of the food that is grown in our Western North Carolina Region goes away, into the global food supply. That fact just amazed me. Add to that the fact that most of the food in our local stores has come 1000's of miles to get to us. No wonder food costs are soaring and much of the produce at the local grocery looks like it's been to the war and back! What is that all about?

No Food No Farms offers 2 ways to get involved...
1. Get the Free Bumper Sticker and display it. Spread the message in your community that you support local food and local farms by displaying a free No Farms No Food bumper sticker from American Farmland Trust. Request yours today!

2. Take the Keep It Local pledge and stand up for local food and farms! As consumers, we make a difference when we support local food and farmer's markets. Make a commitment to local food, farms and ranches and take the Keep It Local pledge now!
I must say that this excites the local foodie in me! I have ordered my bumper sticker and made the pledge. I invite you to do the same. If you can, make a donation to support the work of the American Farmland Trust.

After you take the pledge you too will get a letter like I did with some more great resource information.

Dear Beth,

Thank you for making a commitment to your local farms and ranches by taking American Farmland Trust’s Keep It Local Pledge. We hope you discover a new favorite food, make new connections with local farmers and ranchers and gain a deeper appreciation for what it takes to get a meal from farm to fork.

Here are some resources to get you started:

Find farms and ranches in your area. Map the distance to your home to find those within your pledge distance. Subscribe to their CSA, find them at a farmers' market or go to the farm if they have pick-your-own operations.

Search for restaurants that buy from local farms and ranches. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about where the food is from. A lot of restaurants take pride in providing fresh ingredients and will be glad you asked!

Learn what’s fresh in your area—and how to cook it. When you start eating local, you might come across new varieties of fruits and vegetables that you’ve never seen before. Your taste buds are in for a treat! Experiment and share recipes with other local food enthusiasts.

American Farmland Trust is committed to protecting farm and ranch land and increasing the availability of fresh, local foods. Support our work by donating today. Your gift will go a long way to help in our work with policy makers, communities and producers to save the land that sustains America.

Sincerely,

Your friends at American Farmland Trust

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Every Dollar Spent is a VOTE!

A few months ago I saw something about The Better World Shopping Guide and went right ahead and ordered my family a copy. Right now I can't even remember where I saw it.. but I tell you that it has changed even more the way that I shop! This little book is a small but mighty weapon! It fits in my purse so that I can always have it with me... but really, that's the only small thing about it. I am so impressed with the work that went into this project that I want to share it with you.

from the website....
The idea: Money is power. And wherever large amounts of money collect, so also new centers of power form. The latest historical manifestation of this is the modern corporation. Make no mistake, these new power centers are not democracies. We don't vote for the CEO's or their policies (unless we are: rich enough to be significant shareholders, informed enough to know what's going one, and compassionate enough to care about more than just personal profit), yet our destinies are increasingly in their hands.

The solution: As these power centers shift, we must shift our own voices if we wish to be heard. As citizens, on average, we might vote once ever 4 years, if at all. As consumers, we vote every single day with the purest form of power...money.
The average American family spends around $18,000 each year on goods and services. Think of it as casting 18,000 votes every year for the kind of world you want to live in. Use this site to take back your power.

The Key issues:
1. HUMAN RIGHTS: sweatshops, 3rd world community exploitation, international health issues, divestment, child labor, code of conduct.

2. THE ENVIRONMENT: global warming, rainforest destruction, pollution, recycling, renewable energy, greenwashing, toxic waste, eco-innovations, illegal dumping, sustainable farming.

3. ANIMAL PROTECTION: factory farming, animal testing, humane treatment, wild animal habitat.

4. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT: family farms, local business support, volunteer efforts, sustainable growth, philanthropic donations, nonprofit alliances, establishing foundations.

5. SOCIAL JUSTICE : fair wages, fatalities, union busting efforts, health & safety records, discrimination based on: race, gender, age, ability, religion, sexuality, ethnicity.

So how do we use this weapon? Knowledge is POWER as much as money is. And by arming ourselves with knowledge we can make informed decisions as we wield our POWER. The authors of this book bring us the knowledge we need to make these informed decisions.

My amazing seven-year old LOVES money. She thinks it is really cool to be able to buy herself the stuff that she wants. One of my goals as a parent is to teach her the concept of voting with her dollars! So yesterday we were out buying groceries and she had a few dollars burning a hole in her little purse. I had already used the book that day to make several shopping decisions... like which brand of ice cream, rice and cheese to buy. We were standing in line at the check out and Rebecca decided that she had to have some gum. After setting the example through our entire shopping trip, I handed her the book and said, "Look up Candy and see if you can find any of these products on the list and what grade they get." It was fascinating to watch her face as she realized that not a single candy product on the shelf in this conventional mainstream grocery had even a C or D grade. She decided to pass on the gum here. We did go to a healthy grocery next to pick up a few more things and they had the gum that scored an A.
Let me tell you, the satisfaction this kid has knowing that she supported a company that got an A with her 79 cent purchase was glowing on her face at the check out and every time she pops one of those pieces of gum into her mouth, true satisfaction! Lesson learned. Start'em young, I say!
I encourage you to check out the website, buy yourself a copy, give a few as gifts, share the lesson/solution with friends, co-workers, and family! Know that supporting this project will help get subsequent editions published and spread the teaching of a new way of thinking about dollars spent.
Start revolutionizing the way YOU shop. BE armed with knowledge. And remember that EVERY DOLLAR spent is a VOTE for the practices of the company your dollar supports! Make sure that you are supporting practices that you can believe in.

Friday, January 16, 2009

More on HOPE

Ohhh this book is good! Here is another piece I must share with you on HOPE.
...bringing food from farmers you can name to real people who eat food, agriculture is recreational hope. It recreates hope. You can recreate hope off the grid or on the grid. Fun hope is the soil in which serious hope can grow. A lot of people are stuck in (legitimate) despair. Gardening and farming--agricultures--can grow them out of it.
~Donna Schaper from Grassroots Gardening

I just love this image of growing hope and curing despair through the garden and the act of recreating (create again, renew) while recreating (activity done for enjoyment)! Yes indeed, good stuff happens in the garden, layers and layers of amazing stuff that one can not even begin to measure by any standardized means.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Garden to Remind Ourselves of Hope

My Family gave me a bounty of new garden books for Christmas. I am a lucky woman!
Right now I am reading one called GRASSROOTS GARDENING: Rituals for Sustaining Activism by Donna Schaper. I am still in the Preface but here is a great quote.
As a gardener, I have a front-row seat on global warming and the many other idiocies of capitalism untamed. Humanity is headed for a brick wall of inequality and injustice that breeds war and destroys the air. I believe we can change; that is what makes me an activist. I garden to remind myself of my hope.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

A New way to look at the Victory Garden

You really must check out the Freedom Garden Movement! It is a new way of thinking of the Victory Garden concept of days gone by. Think victory over your food bill, victory over manufactured and genetically modified food, victory over your status of couch potato. Yes indeed, Freedom from all of the above and more!

Here is the press release from the FREEDOM GARDEN website....

Think of it as Facebook meets the Farmer’s Almanac: A social networking site for 21 st century pioneers who want to fight soaring food prices and global warming by growing their own food. On this site, novice and expert growers from all over the world can gather to post success stories, ask questions, and challenge one another to ever-increasing levels of self-sustained living.

That was Then, This is Now

In response to the heavy impact of World War II on the U.S. economy, Americans were urged to grow a victory garden (also called a war garden) in 1943. The gardens were planted by about 20 million families and would eventually provide nearly half of the fresh produce consumed during this troubled time. On rooftops, in back yards and even in containers on front porches, Americans produced eight million tons of fruit, vegetables and herbs in their own households.

Presently we are faced with a future that’s will be fraught with fuel scarcity, rising food cost and environmental implications.

As the world encounters hard times - there will be need of practical and back to basics solutions.

Freedom Gardens is growing beyond victory garden a food security movement person to person, blog to blog, neighbor to neighbor. A modern gardening era/movement for the 21st century resulting in efforts to become free of foreign oil, corporate controls, contamination and food miles while creating a sustainable future by promoting local food production.

Behind This Site

Freedom Gardens is backed by the example of its founders, the Dervaes family, the urban-dwelling “eco-pioneers” who have been growing most of their own food since 2001. On their one-fifth acre residential lot in Pasadena, Jules Dervaes and his three adult children, Anais, Justin, and Jordanne, grow over 400 varieties of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and edible flowers-with enough left over to run an award-winning “green” business selling fresh organic produce to local restaurants and caterers.

Freedom Gardens is an offshoot of the family’s first website, PathtoFreedom.com, a seven year-old sustainable living blog that gets 5 million hits per month from 125 different countries. The new, more interactive site uses social networking software to connect visitors with other gardeners in their area. They can share tips about local climate and soil issues, display which challenges they are participating in on their profiles, and find others nearby doing the same challenge.

Through FreedomGardens.org, people everywhere can take back control from the corporate food system. In the process, they can improve their health, reduce their ecological footprint, and save money.

Funding for Freedom Gardens is from the Dervaes Family businesses (Dervaes Gardens, Peddler’s Wagon) and from their non-profit Dervaes Institute. Dervaes Institute is registered as a 508(c)(3) public charity and governed by the state of California.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

An Abundance of Greens and Herbs

I have begun offering fresh produce to friends and family weekly as I have such an abundance of greens and herbs that we can't eat it all. Fresh greens are so good for you and the more you pick, the more they seem to produce. And the possibility of growing greens year-round means that there is no reason for preserving the harvest for long-term storage! Besides greens are much better fresh.
The picture here shows greens (rainbow swiss chard, mixed cole greens..collards, purple veined brussel sprout leaves and broccoli leaves) and herbs (chives and lemon grass) harvested and waiting for pick-up. I pick the fresh greens and rinse them, then bundle them into bunches and put them in mason jars with fresh water to keep until pick-up.
Here is an excerpt from my letter to family and friends, introducing the "Fresh Start" concept.
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
This year my garden plot has turned the corner and is producing a beautiful abundance of organically grown, lovingly nurtured produce. More than my family can hope to eat... and we are eating well!

My mission with my garden was first to grow the organic produce that I wanted to feed Rebecca but could not afford to buy at the grocery store. As I got more into my project, it became more and more about eating LOCAL, minimizing my carbon footprint and nurturing the planet. It has been a wonderful journey, watching the land that is my yard become a magnet for birds and butterflies and bees. There is more good happening here than meets the naked eye! Layers and Layers of good and important steps forward. A Fresh Start!

I have spent the summer wondering what to do with all of this wonderful food and realizing that the time and effort I spend is like having a full-time job! I have been looking for ways to get my garden to start bringing in some income. I have considered starting a small CSA but have concluded that I am not ready for that yet..
What I have decided to do is to offer each week an email of what is available in the garden. This email will go out on Monday and Thursday. Let me know what you want to order and the next morning, I will pick and bag your order. You can pick it up that day (Tuesday or Friday) at the Garden......

You can be assured that your produce was fresh picked because I am not going to pick it until you let me know what you want! This is LOCAL food at it's best with a small footprint and layers and layers of good!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Making Connections

Oooo I have discovered another great site which to my way of thinking speaks to some of the "whys" of the grow your own food movement. The site is Slow Movement and has fabulous food for thought! Check it out!
Here is their take on "How to make the connection to food"
We can create a strong connection with our food, local farmers, community members and others by:
* Joining or starting a community food system;
* Eating food grown in your local area or bioregion;
* Eating organically or sustainably grown food;
* Starting a back-yard veggie garden; or helping someone else to do it;
* Joining or starting a community food garden;
* Encouraging local shops and restaurants to buy from local farmers;
* Becoming acquainted with local farmers;
* Volunteering to work on a local community supported agriculture project or community food system;
* Growing and promoting traditional foods;
* Refusing GM food;
* Promoting community food systems amongst your friends and fellow workers;
* Growing fresh produce to donate to food kitchens
* Joining a local slow food group.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Organic Facts of the Week

I want to encourage you to check out the work of the Organic Consumers Association. They are working for everyone on this planet! Their website encourages a "Get Local" approach and includes an action center to keep you up-to-date on issues that matter to us all. OCA gives you ways to add your voice to the grassroots campaigns for "health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy".

Check out the many calls to action. You may be surprised to find that some of your favorite "organic" products are not what you think they are.

You can subscribe to their newsletter which includes great information on the following topics...Organics, Planting Peace, Environment and Climate, Health Issues, Genetic Engineering, Food Safety, Fair trade and Social Justice, Farm Issues, and Politics and Democracy.

In today's newsletter there was the following list of Organic Facts...
* If organic farming methods were practiced on all the planet's food-growing land, it would be like taking more than 1.5 billion cars off the road.
* You can increase your antioxidant intake by 30 percent by choosing organic.
* The average child in America is exposed to five pesticides daily in their food and drinking water.
* The U.S. water system is regularly contaminated above safe limits immediately following chemical fertilizer applications to farm fields.
* Farms in developing countries that use organic techniques produce an average of 79% more than farms that don't.
Now if that don't make you want to buy and grow organic... I don't know what will!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream

You know that time between really waking and not quite still sleeping.. that seems to be the time that I remember dreams best... Well I woke from a strange one this morning. It seemed that the city decided that home gardens needed to be permitted. With a hefty permit fee of course and all sorts of odd rules. Rules about everything and mostly rules that made no good sense. Yikes.. The permit would require an end to the season, a specified date when the garden would need to be shutdown for the winter and covered over with some sort of impervious cover so the it could "rest" properly... It had rules about what could be grown and what was not allowed. And rules about when to plant and what chemical applications were required.
What really got me was that one of the best reasons for home gardening is that not only do you know where your food comes from and how it was grown but that you don't have to worry about the regulations or lack of regulatory oversight for our food industry.
I tell you it was the strangest dream!

Monday, October 6, 2008

What Eating Local Really Means

  1. Eating local means more for the local economy.
  2. Locally grown produce is fresher.
  3. Local food just plain tastes better.
  4. Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen.
  5. Eating local is better for air quality and pollution than eating organic.
  6. Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons.
  7. Buying locally grown food is fodder for a wonderful story.
  8. Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism.
  9. Local food translates to more variety.
  10. Supporting local providers supports responsible land development.
I found this wonderful list at http://www.eatlocalchallenge.com
Consider committing to the EAT LOCAL Challenge.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Pesticides.. Ain't Killed No One"...

Yep, Believe it or not... that's what the guy said!
So the whole story... my family and I went to the WNC Farmer's Market.. the BIG one in town.. the one run by the state... not one of the many small farmer ASAP (Appalachian Sustainable Agriculture Project) sponsored ones at the Health Food Store parking lots or the City Market where organic growing methods are common and a general understanding that natural and organic methods are important for so many reasons!
This Farmers Market is sponsored by the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. We went in search of a bulk quantity of apples, peaches and gourds...
Well it was amazing! First we explored the retail barns.. NO organics... some heirloom tomatoes but nothing touting it's organically grown and natural methods..
Then we moved on to the Watermelon and Peach area which for some reason also has pumpkins... It was clear to me that the lack of signs about ORGANIC, meant that everything was conventionally grown..
I spoke with one fellow who was selling gourds and pumpkins... When I asked him about pesticides... he told me that it was me NOT possible to grow pumpkins without spraying them...
Well, I have some lovelies that we harvested that very day from my garden... beautiful pumpkins WITHOUT spraying of any kind! Nothing!
Then we moved onto the barns. Lots of vendors....not a single mention of ORGANIC!
By this time I had sworn off the peaches I wanted.. I have been dreaming of peach butter.. but if I am going to put in the time and effort to make and preserve peach butter... well... I am going to do it with organically grown produce...
David just wanted apples that he did not have to pay $2/pound for... which is what the conventional ones are in our local grocery store.. So there he is buying a box for $12. a deal!
But I say to the guy selling them, "So are there pesticides used on these apples?"
"Of course" he says.
I say, "Well, that's too bad."
He continues, "Pesticides are safe, Ain't killed no one... look at all of the people walking around!"...
Do you believe it?? By this time, I am almost speechless...
But I manage to say, "Depends on how you measure the dead."
This interaction has given me alot to think about! So just how DO we measure the cost of pesticide use...it is SO about the poisoning of our planet... Our water, our air, our soil...
these are all things that are necessary for life... all life!
Your life, my life, the lives of our pets and food animals, and yes... even those who are unwilling to believe that there is a problem!
The more we degrade our soils with chemical pesticides and chemical fertilizer, the less we actually can produce from that land. And unhealthy land yields unhealthy life!
How do we measure the dead.... if we don't want to look at those who are in their actual graves .. how about the walking dead... those with cancer and other unexplained deteriorative illnesses.. what is it that causes these and many other diseases? Who knows... but my money is on the untold multitude of chemical inputs to our bodies that we ingest through the foods we eat, the air we breathe and the water we drink and the drugs we take in, both on purpose and those in our food supply and water supply...
Think about it... "Ain't killed no one..." I say again.... it depends on how you measure dead!