GMO’s & Factory Farms

3 Ways to Really Hurt Monsanto

non gmo foods

“I’m not going to buy from that seed company, they are owned by Monsanto.”

“Where can I buy non-GMO seeds?”

There remains much confusion surrounding this subject, so for 2015 we’re going to lay it out there. Be forewarned this is a rant, albeit a self-restrained one.

If you really want to hurt Monsanto, here’s how:

1. Stop buying their crap.

We’re not talking about a pack of Early Girl tomato seeds. The fraction of a penny they would make from that purchase is so small, nobody at the company would bend over to pick it up off the ground.

If you really want to stop giving them your money, and this is the hardest thing, stop buying:

Anything made of/with corn unless labeled Certified non-GMO. This would include products with high fructose corn syrup meaning most sodas, jellies and syrups, chips and crackers, and more. READ THE LABELS. Most corn oil, canola oil, soybean anything and more contain genetically engineered products.

Likewise, a lot of our meat supply contains genetically engineered products. Cows, that’s where beef comes from, that aren’t pasture raised are force fed corn that is often genetically engineered. In case you didn’t know, cows don’t normally eat corn, they eat grass. Watch Food, Inc.

Chickens, which do eat corn normally, along with a host of other veggies and meat, are being fed a diet comprised mainly of genetically engineered corn. Likewise their eggs are affected. Look for organically raised chicken and eggs. Forget free-range alone, that doesn’t mean crap. Look for organic.

If you are going to get soy in the form of edaname or tofu, buy brands like Nasoya that are labeled Certified non-GMO.

2. Stop saying GMO.

The is an abbreviation for Genetically Modified Organism, and it is clouding up the discussion. Know this: every living thing, unless it is cloned, is genetically modified. You are, we are. Your cat is.
It is important to know the terminology before you speak:

Genetically Modified: Any living thing that is not exactly the same as another. The wind blows pollen from my corn plants to my neighbor’s. Their corn is now genetically modified. A bee flies from my pumpkin’s male flower to my zucchini’s female flower, that zucchini’s seeds are now genetically modified. This is what is usually called a hybrid, and it is getting confused with genetically engineered. A hybrid can/does happen naturally, and even when human-made, it is a cross between two similar plants. A tomato and a tomato, corn and corn.

Genetically Engineered: On the other hand, genetic engineering is not natural. A bee cannot do it, nor can the wind. It takes a micro-engineer to cross corn with the bacteria e.coli, and a tomato with a fish.

If we stop saying GMO and genetically modified, and replace that with the correct term genetically engineered, things will be easier to understand for everyone. Really, words matter.

3. Pass the information on.

Some people think that they cannot make a difference, that one person doesn’t matter in the larger scheme. Yeah? Good thing Gandhi didn’t think that way, or Madame Curie.

Here’s your chance to affect change:
You know what the reality of these words are, and the extent that genetically engineered crops have infiltrated our food supply.

Make that change, share the knowledge.

The next time someone pops open a Coke and starts talking about food labeling, tell them the truth. When they are concerned about buying ‘GMO seeds’, show them this post.

Knowledge is power, get the word out – the only real defeat is not trying.

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Big Yellow Baby Steps

The original, and now the best.

The original, and now the best.

Good news was out last week that General Mills has decided to change their sources for sugar and corn starch to non-GMO products, thus allowing them to take a little step and make their Cheerio’s original non-GMO. Just that one variety so far, as they say it had so little GMO in it the switch was easy.

While the company is still maintaining that GMO’s are not bad for us to ingest, and does admit they make some of their other products without GMO’s so they can be sold in Europe, they do not express any intention of changing what they use in their products in this country.

We’ll see.

Recently Chipotle restaurants announced that they were moving toward all non-GMO foods, including grass fed meats.
Their stocks soared, even though customers were informed they may need to slightly increase their prices.

These big companies are smart, and they keep a close eye on trends.
We have already seen an organic version of Heinz catsup hit the store shelves. Since they are not using the heavily pesticided corn syrup and sugar beets, then they are probably non-GMO as well.

But they will keep that quiet for now. Why?
Because its a double standard to manufacture one way for the European market, and another for the US.

And it is hypocritical to say GMO’s are safe, and we don’t want to have to label foods that contain them, then turn around and start using the non-GMO ingredients to their advantage.

This, my friends, is where the conundrum comes into play:

Do you not buy any General Mills products because they financially support efforts against labeling GMO’s containing foods, and they in fact use much of the product so heavily doused in Monsanto’s chemicals-
Or, do you purchase that yellow box of non-GMO Cheerio’s and show General Mills your support for removing GMO products from at least that one box?

Normally I would go with the first choice, but not this time.

Because here’s the thing- if the sales of the non-GMO containing Cheerio’s soar, then other General Mills cereals will follow.
From there, other companies will be quick to jump on the wagon and so maintain their share of the market.
And perhaps the tide will turn.

Amy’s food started it a year or so ago and saw their stock jump up, and now Chipotle’s has thrown some major heat on the fire.
I’m thinking… let’s get out our fans and feed that flame.

Because voting with your dollar? It works.

Don’t just take my opinion on it.
Read what the GM reps say about GMO’s and their other products.

Categories: GMO's & Factory Farms, You are What You Eat

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Chicken on Sundays

“I can’t begin to fathom that” was SaveTheWorld‘s response when I was telling her how things were when I was a kid.

Lucy in the nest box.

Lucy in the nest box.

The conversation actually started when she asked me how my day at work was.

“It was pretty funny” I told her. The new woman was asking me about being a vegetarian. “If you don’t eat meat, what do you eat? I mean, meat is like the main part of every meal. I can’t imagine life without it.”
So I proceeded to tell her some of the dishes we prepare.

“Oh now that sounds pretty good.” she responded, “Actually, really good. I think I could become a vegetarian. I don’t like to think about what I’m eating and where it comes from. I can’t buy a whole chicken. At Thanksgiving my husband has to carve the meat off the turkey and put the carcass back in the oven before I can sit down to eat. If I saw the whole thing I wouldn’t be able to eat any of it.”

Robin and Cheesey

Robin and Cheesey

“That’s pretty funny,” STW said, “I bet if she met our chickens, or worse, knew about factory farms, that would put her over the edge.”

“Yes, it probably would. I’m not going to tell her though. I don’t bring things up unless someone asks me. Some people get very defensive when you talk about food. I will say those practices sure did get the price of chicken down though. When I was a kid, chicken was so expensive we only ate it on Sundays. Even then, the carcass would be tossed into a pot and used for soup or stew. Nothing went to waste, we couldn’t afford it. Monday through Thursday and Saturday were beef or pork. Of course, on Fridays we ate fish. But chicken, that was the long awaited treat.”

Sassy

Sassy

“I can’t begin to fathom that” she said, “I can’t imagine chicken costing more than beef. I don’t think it has been my whole life. You know what’s going to be interesting,” she continued, “is to see what happens with Sprout.”

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Well, he’ll be spending time here as he grows up. He’s already seen the Ladies. Next summer he’ll be big enough to hold one. What’s he going to think?”

“Oh, you may be right. I know a number of seniors who don’t eat chicken because they grew up with them. And he’ll be exposed to people who don’t eat meat at all. Hmmm, maybe his chicken on Sundays will be a visit to see the Ladies.”

Treats from the Ladies.

Treats from the Ladies.

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GMO Free

The simplest way to stop GMO and Monsanto is to stop buying their products.
Of course, since they are in 80% of our ‘food’ supply, that will take a little doing.

Currently there is a buzz about a list of ‘foods’ that are manufactured by companies owned by Monsanto. You can find that list here and print it out. Not giving them your money is a great start to financially stopping the production of GMO containing foods.

After seeing this list on Facebook, Barbara commented that she loved Bisquick. I’ll tell you the truth, we haven’t bought that product in years, simply because it is so easy to make your own.

I have not priced it out, but I bet making your own non-GMO mix is actually cheaper.

non gmo Bisquick

So here’s the recipe:

Non-Monsanto Biscuit Mix
8 cups non-GMO Flour
2 tsp. Cream of Tartar
1/4 cup Baking Powder
2 Tbs. Sea Salt
1/4 cup Sugar (non-GMO or organic)
1/2 cup dry milk Here’s an organic option.

Mix all ingredients together, and store in a container with a tight lid.
You can increase this recipe if you want. Otherwise just use it the same way you would have used Bisquick.
We haven’t measured the wet ingredients for biscuits in years, but it’s about this much:

For each 2 cups of mix:
Cut in 4 oz. of butter until the consistency of cornmeal.
Mix together 1 egg and 3/4 cup water, slowly add to the dough.
Knead as you would for bread, layering the dough as you go. Use more flour if needed.
Cut with a biscuit cutter or glass dipped in flour.

Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes.

Please note that this recipe is copyright protected, but feel free to share the link. The more people we can get to stop buying from Monsanto, the better!

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3 Ways to Get Your Hands on GMO Seeds

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.

le garden

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.
That’s okay.

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 & Factory Farms, You are What You Eat

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Spring is Sprung

It is said that in Pennsylvania there are four seasons:

Almost Winter
Winter
Still Winter
and Construction

This spring certainly seemed to agree.
But I found out recently there is a marking of springtime that I was not aware of.

Spring in Pennsylvania.

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.

Spring Produce Department

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.
Buy local.
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:

A sign of Spring.

Categories: GMO's & Factory Farms, You are What You Eat

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Saving Our Children

This is not food.

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.

this is not food

Do I see HFCS from GE corn and pasta from GE wheat?

Dear Representative,

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.

Sincerely,

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.

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GMO or GE -What’s Right?

These terms have become almost interchangeable, but there really is a technical difference in their meaning.

seed assortment

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.

and more seeds

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.

seeds at your fingertips

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

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The Pig and the Corn Maze, Pt. 1

It was years ago, when SaveTheWorld was still in elementary school, that a local farmer decided to grow a corn maze.
In the fall we’d take her and a friend there just for fun and to see if we could find our way through.

Now let me admit up front that my sense of direction is so bad, that I got lost in a Ladies Room once. More on that at another time.

Fortunately for us they had a wonderful dog who knew the maze, and if you got lost all you had to do was call her name and she’d come and lead you out.

piglet -credit Vegan Soapbox

Things went well for this farming family and they soon were selling pumpkins and added a small petting zoo.
A piglet became quite the attraction, as she could solve the maze even faster than the dog.

Sometimes I think the kids would get lost intentionally, just to call the pig’s name and have her come to rescue them.

Eventually STW and her friend outgrew the fun, and a few years went by before Mandolin happened to stop by the farm.
He noticed the now fully grown pig in a penned area, and Mandolin asked the farmer how things were going.

The farmer related this story:
“We keep her with the other petting animals now…” he said, “because the strangest thing happened. A family came by and all was well until the father took a step near the pig. She went nuts” he said, “snorting and squealing like we’ve never seen her do before.
I apologized to him” the farmer continued, “I have no idea why she’s acting that way.” I said.

“I do.” the man replied, “I work in a slaughterhouse. She can sense it.”

Now you may be thinking- ‘Cute story GJ, but why are you telling us? Do I even want to read part 2?’ Hmm? Do I?

The answer is- I’m telling you for a really good reason and Part 2 won’t be all gory and those poor animals and stuff, I promise.

Trust me, it’s important.

Photo courtesy of Wealth of WOW via Vegan Soapbox.

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Genectic Roulette

non gmo and organic

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.

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Everything here is original (unless otherwise noted) and has legal copyright 2009-2015 by Gardening Jones™, and cannot be re-posted or reproduced without permission. Any re-posting of information, photographs, and/or recipes is considered theft and subject to prosecution.

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