18 May 2013, by gj
A lot of confusion surrounds GMO seeds, as the term is now used in reference to Monsanto; and there are many gardeners concerned that they might buy some by accident.
That is simply not possible.
You won’t find GMO seeds this way.
Here’s what you would have to do to get it:
1. Buy a farm. Call up Monsanto and tell them you want to sign that long intense contract that even controls you and your crop after you stop growing GMO. Buy seeds from them, buy Round-up from them. Grow the crop, but don’t save any seeds, or they will sue you.
2. Buy land down wind from a farm that is growing GMO crops that are wind pollinated, like corn. Let them cross pollinate your non-GMO crop. Save the seeds. Just don’t let Monsanto find out, or they will sue you.
3. Buy GMO veggies at the store, like corn or zucchini. Save the seeds and replant. Chances are they won’t grow, because the seed is too immature to germinate. So what if Monsanto finds out? They might sue you anyway.
Here’s the thing to remember, Monsanto doesn’t want you to have their seeds without the contract. They are not in seed packets at your local Farm and Garden. They’re just not.
So usually when someone says they only grow non-GMO, what they probably mean is they are growing heirlooms and open pollinated, not hybrids.
But a hybrid is only a cross between a plant and a similar plant, like a tomato and another, slightly different, tomato. Bees do it naturally, and growers do it on purpose.
A GMO is not plant to plant. It’s a tomato and a fish, or corn and E. Coli.
Really big difference.
The danger of foods containing GMO.
Categories: all about seeds, GMO's, you are what you eat
26 April 2013, by gj
It is said that in Pennsylvania there are four seasons:
This spring certainly seemed to agree.
But I found out recently there is a marking of springtime that I was not aware of.
I had stopped in the local grocery very early in the morning to pick something up for work. They had their refrigerated produce section completely emptied out.
When I asked one of the staff what had happened, she told me that “They do this every year, in the spring. A guy from ‘main’ comes out and sets everything up. You know, the weather’s getting warm, everyone’s going to want watermelon.”
You got to love marketing.
So I stopped back later and sure enough they were done.
Look how that produce just leans towards you, begging you to choose it. See how conveniently the bags are placed? Look how bright everything is!
Then I noticed something. That produce is similar in color to the red and orange plastic coolers above, and about as uniform in size. My produce isn’t that bright and it certainly doesn’t look all the same like that.
Did you know that groceries have a higher markup on produce than anything else?
That’s why most stores have the produce department right by the main entrance.
Don’t get taken by their ploys:
Eat real food.
Grow what you can.
Learn to preserve food.
Choose non-GMO and organic what you can afford.
Here’s a great link to the Certified Non-GMO Project with lists of foods that have been certified to be GMO free.
And here’s a cute video in case you need a little more motivation.
Oh yeah, and there is one more sign of spring:
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat
26 January 2013, by gj
Sort of food-like.
With all the recent talk in the media about reforming laws, restricting freedoms, and assigning task forces, I decided to add my voice to the discussion.
I believe many of the problems in our country are a function of the declining mental health and physical health of our population, primarily caused by what we are eating. Herbicide, pesticide and homicide all share the same suffix ‘cide’ meaning ‘to kill’.
Simply put, we are eating chemicals designed to kill other living things; and we are eating increasingly more of it.
Below you will find a letter I have sent to my elected officials. If you agree, please copy it and send it along with your signature to those you have elected to serve. Let’s bombard them!
Share this post with everyone you know, pin it, tweet it, FB it, email it. Are you a blogger? Blog about it and share the link. Let’s get this done.
Let’s really save our children.
Use this link to contact your representatives.
Do I see HFCS from GE corn and pasta from GE wheat?
Since the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School there has been much talk about gun control. We even have a task force to look into it.
There also has been some talk about mental illness, an obvious factor in crimes of such a horrendous nature.
If all this is really about saving our children, then what about all the other children we are not thinking of?
I’m referring to the increase, according to the American Cancer Society and other sources, in childhood cancers. What about the over 1300 children that are expected to die from cancer this year?
Are we thinking about the 1 in 110 children born in this country today, according to Dr. Oz and others, who will be diagnosed with Autism? This is a dramatic increase in cases. There has even been some speculation, reported by The Los Angeles Times, that Adam Lanza, the young gunman in Connecticut, may have a form of autism.
Do we have a task force that will look into the health of all our children? If we look at the main thing that has changed over the years, it would have to be the diet of Americans. ‘We are what we eat’ is more than a catchy phrase. This simple fact has been known and stated as far back as Hippocrates “Let food be thy medicine and thy medicine be food.”
What we are feeding our children is heavily loaded with pesticides and other chemicals. We no longer serve food, we serve things that are like food. Genetically engineered crops that are heavily doused in pesticides have been shown to cause cancers and organ disorders in laboratory rats. There is also evidence that livestock given feed with this ‘food’ in it are developing numerous organ disorders, and there is an increase in early deaths of farm animals.
Yet we continue to let this practice go on. Do we really care about the lives of our children, or is all this just political rhetoric? If we want all kids to have access to health care, why not access to health? Will someone have the backbone to ask the hard questions and find out the truth?
I am asking you, as my elected representative, to form such a committee and really work to save our children. All of them.
For more detail, please check these sources:
Dr. Oz on Autism and environmental factors.
The New York Times reported this over 20 years ago.
The National Cancer Institute posted it 5 years ago.
The American Cancer Society this year.
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat
20 January 2013, by gj
These terms have become almost interchangeable, but there really is a technical difference in their meaning.
Our wall of non-ge food.
GM and GMO refer to something that has been genetically modified. Anytime there is a cross between two organisms, the offspring is genetically different than the two parents and therefore modified.
This happens intentionally, for example when breeding animals or creating a hybrid plant. Hopefully the offspring, or organism as most everything living is, will have the desirable traits of both parents.
Genetically engineered is a little different. This is when a scientist places a gene from one organism into another organism. This can be a cross between a tomato and a fish, corn and e.coli, etc.
From what I have read, Monsanto thought the term ‘Genetically Engineered” sounded too frightening, so they started to use the kinder, gentler term ‘Modified’.
Can’t help but wonder if causing a little confusion was also part of the plan.
good health waiting to happen
Personally I prefer to call it what it is, but the terms GMO and GM seem to have stuck.
Whatever words are used, I think we have the right to know what is in our food.
Food manufacturers argue that labeling will increase the cost of the food. Come on, really?
Many companies have already switched away from high fructose corn syrup, since it got such a bad rap.
Now they are using sugar beets, which by the way are also GE and heavily sprayed with pesticides, and they happily changed their labels in the hopes of not losing sales.
food at your fingertips
Until such time as products containing GE ingredients become labeled, you can assume that unless it is labeled otherwise, they are probably in there.
The best way to know for sure?
Yep, you got it. Grow your own.
A petition to get our foods labeled
Grocery Store Wars -a funny video to enjoy
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat
18 September 2012, by gj
support the healthy foods
This is a copy of an email I received yesterday from a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Sustainable Agriculture.
If you care about the future of this country, watch the video.
Even better, share the link with your Congressmen/Congresswomen and suggest your friends and relatives do the same.
It’s time we take back and clean up our food supply.
Forwarded from NEFOOD:
This week only, watch for free online a new documentary that reveals the serious health impacts of genetically engineered foods in our diets and shows how you can protect your family. Available from September 15-22 at www.GeneticRouletteMovie.com
“It is in fact one of the most important stories ever told.” (John Robbins, Bestselling author of Diet for a New America and Food Revolution)
Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives has audiences rushing home to clear out their cupboards of dangerous genetically modified (GM) foods. The evidence presented in the film makes the best case yet for why genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are linked to disorders such as allergies, inflammatory bowel disease, infertility, autism, and cancer, to name a few. One health practitioner, Mary Tobin, L.Ac., said the film “provides abundant evidence that eating a GMO-free diet is the single most important change Americans can make for their health.
That evidence not only includes doctors and patients testimonials, but also veterinarians and farmers who describe dramatic health improvements in animals that switched to non-GMO feed. The categories of diseases that improve in humans and animals are the ones found in lab animals fed GMOs. And these are many of the same categories, e.g. immune, reproductive, and gastrointestinal disorders that have been on the rise in the US population since GMOs were introduced.
Exposing the Dark Side
This 85 minute documentary reveals, what Author John Robbins calls, “the bullying and deceit of the biotech industry,”— including manipulation of research, attacks on independent scientists and their findings, and infiltration and control of government regulators.
The film also reveals for the first time to horrific impact among workers on a South Africa farm, who were consuming a higher amount of GMO corn than probably any other group in the world.
Upbeat, Empowering and World Changing
Although this film’s eye-opening evidence in the film is sometimes shocking, it is by no means a downer. According to Robbins, it “shines a bright light of hope that we can reclaim our health and our food systems.” Smith explains that as little as 5% of the US population switching to non-GMO foods should deliver a tipping point, inspiring food companies to kick out GM ingredients. It was such a consumer rejection that already kicked GMOs out of Europe.
The film is being released right in the throes of the California campaign for Prop 37. If it passes in November, food companies will have to label products made with GM ingredients (like they do in nearly 50 other countries). Not only will this make it far easier for people to buy healthier non-GMO choices, the expected migration away from labeled GM products will probably accelerate the tipping point.
Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives is a production of The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT). Those who view the film during the free showing week are encouraged to support IRT’s efforts, through donations, by subscribing to the Spilling the Beans free e-newsletter, and by joining with other citizen advocates through the Non-GMO Tipping Point Network—to help get the word out in California and beyond.
“GENETIC ROULETTE unveils a world most of us have never seen. It raises alarming questions about GMOs, and we deserve answers. For all that you love, hear this message and act now.” — Frances Moore Lappé, author of Diet for a Small Planet and EcoMind
Genetic Roulette—The Gamble of Our Lives, from September 15-22. The film lays bare the serious health impacts of genetically modified foods (GM) as reported by scientists, doctors, veterinarians, as well as other experts. We are launching this free viewing week now because the movie can better equip voters in California with additional information on GMOs that they need to make sensible choices for Prop 37, which would require labels on GE foods. Otherwise they might fall prey to Monsanto’s multi-million dollar disinformation campaign.
The film is produced by our nonprofit Institute, and we have a broad coalition of support for promoting this free showing week. Please let us know if you can share this email, or some such announcement, and tell us approximately how many received it.
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat
23 March 2012, by gj
gather your ingredients
We’ve been talking the last few Fridays about getting rid of GMO’s and pesticides in our diets, and how this can be made more affordable.
So recently Mandolin was jonesin’ for some guacamole, and we thought we would look at what is available organically.
We’ve been going to a market that has a large selection of organic veggies and they had a bag of organic Avocados for $4.99.
The non-organic was $4.50- a difference of about 10%.
So we got them and the other organic veggies we needed.
Here’s his recipe- not your typical Guacamole I know-
but then, he’s not your typical cook either.
3 Hot Peppers
5 cloves Garlic
1/3 cup Salsa
1 tsp. Pepper
1 tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sugar
This is so easy to make!
Just saute the peeled and chopped Tomatillos, with the chopped scallions and garlic.
Scoop the flesh from the avocados and mix the sauteed veggies and everything else together.
hey! where's the rest of the chips?
When he saw I was going to take a picture- he quickly sliced up a lemon and chopped the leftover scallion tops to make it look pretty.
Our cost was $7.57/32 oz. = .24/oz.
This does not include the oil and spices on hand and it would have been higher if we had to buy the Salsa and Garlic, but likewise it will cost less come summer and we have more of our own fresh produce.
I did check out some pre-made non-organic Guacamole (much heavier on the avocado and not nearly as interesting as his) and here are the prices:
Pre-made Guacamole $4.29/12 oz = .36/oz
Guacamole Mix (just add fresh) Avocados $4.00/20 oz = .20/oz
The chips cost $2.99 for a bag, but when they ran out, I made a few tortillas (with organic flour and coconut oil, of course) and we cut and toasted them into chips. Their cost?
Categories: faq's, GMO's, recipes, you are what you eat
16 March 2012, by gj
Previously I posted that I’d show you how we are changing our diets without breaking the bank.
Now I’ll tell you up front that we already were buying items that are healthier (in our humble opinions)- for example, high fiber breads vs. white bread.
You get the idea.
So if you’re really into your white bread and rolls, this post won’t interest you.
making the dough
But to go organic- well, that could be costly- or so we thought.
The first big step was to find a store not terribly far away that had a large organic produce and other good section.
When a store buys in bulk, the prices drop.
We went to a local Wegeman’s and found their organic produce to be only very slightly more, and in a number of cases less than our local market’s regular stuff (locally they don’t carry fresh organic produce, and only a small number of organic anything.)
let them rise
For today though, I want to talk bread- specifically sandwich rolls or baguettes.
We had been buying these ‘sandwich thins’ and like them- a good source of fiber, etc.
Not organic- and the regular retail is $3.99 for 8 servings (1.5 oz each). Yikes!
less servings, more money
As you can see they seem to be healthy enough, and the ingredient list isn’t too bad (they do contain soybean oil- which might be GMO, but who knows).
So I bought a few bags of organic flour and made my own.
I have a Breadman Pro which has long since paid for itself in Pizza savings alone.
The recipe (flour, water and yeast) made 6 really large 3-oz., rolls which we cut each into two servings.
You could roll them out to make them thinner if you want.
warm from the oven
Here’s the cost breakdown for one roll:
Store brand cheap hamburger rolls $0.16
Arnold’s Wheat Thins $0.50
Homemade Organic Wheat Baguettes $0.32
I did also compare how much you would save by making your own rolls and using regular wheat (not-organic) flour, and for every 12 baguettes (1.5 oz. each) you would save $.40.
So it’s not surprising it’s cheaper to make your own- and they taste WAY better- but it really isn’t all that more expensive to make your own organic.
coconut oil to keep the crust soft
Of course you don’t need a bread machine, I got mine years ago and since I do use it a lot, it comes in handy.
I do think they are worth the investment- and since they also use less electricity than an oven- you save there as well.
In the next post on this subject, we can look at what to stuff those baguettes with- and save even more!
Are you into Organic gardening and/or living?
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat
10 March 2012, by gj
It is estimated that in the US about 80% of our food supply contains GMO’s.
What future effect they may have on people is just starting to come to light.
The good news is that since the vast majority of GMO’s are in Round-Up Ready vegetables -very heavily doused in pesticides and primarily corn and soy, the percentage you and your family consumes can be lowered pretty easily.
The best way of course is to grow as much of your own food as possible- that helps a lot!
After that, you can look for foods that are labeled Non-GMO.
in your grocer's freezer
If you cannot find non-GMO labeled food, look for Organic- the right to use this labels means the food cannot contain pesticides or GMO’s..
no pesticides here
After that, you can lower your chances by avoiding corn products- corn flour, corn syrup, and corn sugar; and non-organic or non-GMO labeled soy.
maybe, maybe not
Certainly going this route can be more expensive- but not always.
In the next post on this subject, we can look at making healthier eating more affordable.
Until then- more on the subject for you:
Reducing pesticides in your produce
Get a Shoppers Guide here -Thanks Lori Bell!
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat
9 March 2012, by gj
There is still a lot of confusion over the difference between Hybrid Seeds (F1 or F2), Open Pollinated Seeds and GMO’s; so although I’ve talked about these before I thought I should help everyone understand the difference- esp. those of you who save seeds.
look for the label
A hybrid is a natural cross between two similar plants.
A bee landing on a male Spaghetti Squash flower that then flies to a female acorn squash (both squashes are cucurbita pepo) may have just made a baby squash that will be a hybrid- a natural cross pollination.
This baby will look the same as the mother, but it’s seeds may differ from the parent in some way.
Likewise, seed developers can do this manually to develop veggies that will resist disease, withstand heat or drought, and/or be more prolific.
You can save the seeds of a hybrid, and you may get a perfectly fine veggie- or it may be noticeably different and revert back to one of the parents.
An Open Pollinated Seed (as the two squashes above are) is a seed that will reproduce true to form- unless this cross pollination occurs.
An Heirloom seed is similar to and OP, except that it has been around forever. But also like an OP, if cross pollination occurs, the seed of the fruit will no longer be heirlooms.
Heirloom and OP seed suppliers go to great lengths to be sure the seed they sell is pure.
How likely a plant is to cross pollinate depends on the plant- see the link below for more on that.
find the healthy foods
A GMO, or Genetically Modified Seed can only be made in a laboratory at the molecular, or cell, level.
This can be a cross between a plant and an animal- something you’d never see in nature.
For example, I understand there are experiments crossing a tomato with a fish that lives in cold waters, in an effort to develop a tomato that can be grown in cooler temperatures.
Most GMO’s right now were developed to be ‘Round Up Ready’ meaning that they alone, and no other organism living on them or in that soil, can survive heavy doses of the pesticide Roundup.
Part of the problem with GMO’s is we don’t know the long terms effects of genetic modification.
The more immediate problem is concern over consuming high levels of this pesticide.
Unless you are a farmer that has a contract with Monsanto (the manufacturer of GMO’s) you can not currently purchase GMO seeds- but because of concern over cross pollination between GMO’s and non-GMO’s, I’d recommend buying heirloom or organic corn seeds- just in case.
I’ll post more about keeping this ‘stuff’ out of your life as the month goes on.
So now you know the difference between these- and if you read or hear someone confusing a Hybrid with a GMO you can help them by setting them straight.
Read more about it:
Other posts on GMO’s
The GMO Video pt. 1 part 2
Categories: faq's, gardening, GMO's
30 August 2010, by gj
First I would like to say Thank You to all who have sent me links and helped me understand what GMO’s are all about.
It was just a few months ago I started trying to get a grip on it all, the information seemed overwhelming. You have helped me wade through and I appreciate it.
I did email my Congressman last week (did you?) but have not heard back yet. I am asking him to help get non-GMO foods so labeled. I want it to be easier to know what I am eating.
I will wait another week, I’m sure he’s very busy. I intend to email him every 2 weeks until I hear back. When I do, I’ll let you know what his message is. I encourage you to so the same.
we want to know
In the meantime there a few other things we can do. Some we’ve already talked about; like buying organic whenever possible, avoiding high fructose corn syrup, not purchasing from companies that are linked to Monsanto or are known to use GMO’s in their products.
Of course one of the best things you can do you most likely already are, since you are here reading this. Grow your own food.
Buy organic seeds. Even companies that are not exclusively organic often will use a OG or similar symbol to let you know which of their seeds are organic.
Buy heirloom seeds-then you can even save your own seeds and share with friends.
just a simple label is all we need
The single most important thing is to stay informed.
As Gandhi said:
“You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
Your final assignment: Pledge to yourself that you will do what you can to fight the use of GMO’s
–with your wallet, with your voice and with your backyard.
Organic Consumers Association on Facebook Find them and Friend them-they post a lot of great info
Monsanto owned companies You decide
Johnny’s Seeds Rebuttal (my favorite seed company)
Living Natural First
Previous GMO classes
Categories: GMO's, you are what you eat