Back From a Long Vacation

Real Food Coop News morphed into Real Food News when our co-op, regrettably, closed. Good intentions pave the road to…well you know where…as the saying goes.  And it was my intention to continue this blog.  Without the vitality of the co-op behind me, my time was taken up with other issues, and mea culpa, I dropped the ball.  Things have taken another turn toward the vital, as we all know.  And here I am, not wanting to report the bad news, but willing to take on the state of our food economy as I’m finding it, for the sake of getting out the facts …those pesky things. I will share anything that  encourages us to find the beauty, comfort and importance of gardening and farming. We are part of nature and this is a wonderful way to renew that connection on a daily basis…. But I will post those other, more prickly, items that make us aware of our limitations and our successes as gardeners and farmers.

For my own part, whether anyone believes in climate change, or not, I find my  life increasingly affected by patterns of change which made identifiable gardening difficult last summer. The permutations of spring, summer and fall had me confused. And winter! Would the rain never stop!

I said to a friend a few years ago that in this now present future, we would need green houses to grow food successfully, even in our temperate climate. He disagreed…climate change was going to warm things up.  But apparently, climate change doesn’t just mean a warming climate.  It also means changes in the jet stream which make our weather patterns unpredictable. So this spring I have been building mini green houses over my garden beds to keep the cold nights and the long rainy days off my plants. We get an occasional day of sun and longer daylight hours to make us think we are headed for summer. But ‘impermanence’ once again raises our awareness, and many of us no longer count on a regular planting season.

So this is going to be a different world, I think.  And knowing whether we can get the foods we count on in season will be important for us. Creating Farmer’s Markets to support local farms is important.  Raising your own food, on whatever small or large scale, beats back the health issues inherent  in eating processed food.  Knowing how to save your seeds instead of using sterile GMO seed.  Knowing who caches seeds which are being taken out of circulation by corporate monopolies….. We can fortify our food needs by paying attention to these issues and supporting each others effort.

I hope you’ll bear with me again and perhaps find some information relevant to your lives, in these continuing pages. And I hope you will share your good news and good ideas with me. Good gardening!

~admin

 

 

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The Hague Rules Against Monsanto

On Tuesday April 18th the five international judges of the Monsanto Tribunal presented their legal opinion. They have come to important conclusions, both on the conduct of Monsanto and on necessary developments in international law.

The judges conclude that Monsanto has engaged in practices which have negatively impacted the right to a healthy environment, the right to food and the right to health. On top of that Monsanto’s conduct is negatively affecting the right to freedom indispensable for scientific research. These are very important and well-funded legal conclusions that can be of great help to the victims of Monsanto worldwide.

The judges also conclude that despite the development of many instruments to protect the environment, a gap remains between commitments and the reality of environmental protection. International law should be improved for better protection of the environment and include the crime of ecocide. The Tribunal concludes that if such a crime of ecocide were recognized in international criminal law, the activities of Monsanto could possibly constitute a crime of ecocide.

Finally, in the third and last part of the advisory opinion, the Tribunal focusses on the widening gap between international human rights law and corporate accountability. It strongly advises the United Nations to take action to make sure that human and environmental rights are protected by (international) laws and are not overruled by trade agreements. It should be made possible to prosecute multinational corporations in the International Criminal Court.

Find here on the “Results” page of our website the full text and the summary of the advisory legal opinion delivered by the Monsanto Tribunal judges in The Hague.

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Today’s mail: the Organic Consumer’s Association is starting a “resist and regenerate movement” called meetup.com that will link groups all over the country for support in making political changes which concern our food and our health. Scroll down for information and how to form a group in your area.

Wall Street, Big Ag, Big Pharma, and multinationals like Monsanto, Dow, Exxon and Wal-Mart have always been able to buy industry-friendly regulations that put you and your family, and indeed our future survival, at risk.

But as we’ve seen recently—with the White House and Congressional attack on climate, food safety, factory farm, school lunches and environmental regulations, the escalation of the never-ending wars in the Middle East, the announcement that the USDA will not test foods for Monsanto’s poisonous pesticide Roundup, and the EPA’s plan to roll back a ban on Dow’s brain damage-causing pesticide (chlorpyrifos)—the corporate takeover of our political system has created what can only be described as a national emergency.

Out-of-control corporations and politicians, aided and abetted by the mass media and indentured scientists, are degenerating our food, health, environment, climate and democracy. This national and international crisis will only get worse—unless we act fast, act smart, and act together.

Please help us build a massive #resist and #regenerate movement to stop the corporate takeover of our democracy, and to bring about solutions that will regenerate everything from our food, farming, and health, to our economy and our democracy.

Get started today by setting up a local group on Meetup.com. Sign up here, then read the instructions below to get started organizing.

We learned a lot when we took on Monsanto and Big Food in the fight for GMO labeling. But perhaps the most important lesson was this: We have not yet built a movement big enough, or powerful enough, to beat giant corporations with deep pockets.

We must, and we can, do better. But to succeed, we’ll have to step away from our laptops and phones, meet in person with our friends and neighbors, and start exercising our collective consumer power, and our collective political power—in numbers too big to be ignored.

It’s time to build a new on-the-ground movement—one that empowers consumers and citizens to both resist the corporate takeover of our government, and regenerate our health, environment and democracy.

We call it the #resist and #regenerate movement. Today I’m personally inviting you to help lead and grow this new on-the-ground movement.

There are over 500,000 elected and appointed officials in this country. Too many of them are on the wrong side of the issues you care about—food, GMOs, health, the environment, social and economic justice.

Unless we elect new leaders—not just Congress members, but also city, county, school board, park board, and state officials—nothing will change. Politicians will continue to serve the corporations that fund their campaigns. Corporations will continue to write the laws that allow them to poison and pollute.

We have the power to change this—we just need to exercise it. And that means moving beyond our single-issue organizing, in favor of building a united and massive movement, both online and on the ground.

Today, I’m asking you to help lead this movement. Sign up here to start a Meetup.com chapter in your community, then read the instructions below.

Through meetups and networking in our local communities, by connecting the dots between our single issues, we can resist the Degenerators and strengthen the organic and regeneration movements.

By reaching out to and communicating with other activists working on food, farming, natural health, justice, climate, peace, and environmental issues we can bring about a revolution, not only in the marketplace, but in the political arena as well.

Please join us today as we #resist and #regenerate.

In Solidarity,

Ronnie Cummins
International Director

How to get started

Millions of people, in cities and counties across the country, are connecting via Meetup.com. By creating your own local “#resist and #regenerate” group on Meetup, you’ll be able to instantly connect with people who care about food, GMO, climate change, natural health, social and economic justice, animal welfare and other issues.

The Meetup platform makes it easy for you to invite local activists to a meeting to discuss how to make more progress on all of these issues, by working more closely together. We already have 50 of these Resist and Regenerate meetup groups going across the country, but we need thousands.

Here’s what to do (if you run into any problems, email organize@organicconsumers.org and someone will help):

1.    Sign up here. We’ll set up your Meetup group and email you the link to join (your page will look like this, #resist and #regenerate map is here).

2.    Go to meetup.com. Follow the instructions for setting up an account (it’s free). Then, using the link we emailed, join your new Meetup group.

3.    After you join your group, we’ll introduce you to your regional OCA coordinator, and make you a co-organizer for your group. Your regional coordinator will be on hand to answer questions.

4.    Once you are a co-organizer for your group, you can start to communicate with the people who have joined your group and schedule your first community meetup (Click on “Home,” then click on “Schedule a meetup.”)

5.    After you schedule a meetup, email organize@organicconsumers.org and your regional coordinator, to let them know. We’ll send you a packet of leaflets, bumper stickers and other materials. You’ll also find resources on your group homepage—click on “Pages” then “Resources.”

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Nanotechnology and Your Food


While nanotechnology and nanomaterials may be tiny, they have huge human and environmental health ramifications. A growing body of scientific research demonstrates that engineered nanoparticles pose threats to human health, raising concerns about their use in food and many other consumer products. 

Despite these concerns, nanomaterials can be found in everything from baby formulas to candy to fertilizers, and are largely unapproved and unregulated by the government. These novel products create novel risks: for example, nanomaterials can penetrate human skin and when ingested, reach sensitive places like bone marrow, lymph nodes, the heart, and the brain. But consumers have almost no information about these potential impacts, or even about where nanomaterials may be present

For more information  go to theeCenter for Food Safety, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, and Friends of the Earth.

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Organic Consumers Association News

Our Co-op has succumbed to market forces in our little town. But I hope to keep the blog alive as there are so many things happening in the country and in the world, that affect our food supply.  Real information is often hard to get, but there are some sources we can trust, and one of them is the Organic Consumers Association.  This week I have chosen to copy their newsletter in its entirety to share with those who don’t receive it.

Just when we think our efforts might be paying off…..after all, look at all those nonGMO labels on more and more foods…the mighty Monsanto fights back harder attempting to pass bills that would put a strangle hold on our rights to limit those things that would harm us.

So I hope you will follow what’s happening.  And instead of losing heart,  just boycott those corporate entities and food producers that refuse to label their products.  Massive boycotts, at this point, could prove to be a change.  ~admin~

 

Posted in GMO FOOD, Health Issues, Monsanto, Movies, Books, related reading, Organic Consumers Association, Organic products, Politics | Leave a comment

As Big Candy Ditches GMOs, Sugar Beet Farmers Hit A Sour Patch

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News & talk radio advocating integrity in our global food source

From Food Integrity Now...Shamelessly lifted from Carol Grieve’s Food Integrity Now blog, in an effort to spread the word.  All the links below are accessible and will take you to the source. ~admin~

Revolution: Food Movie

loreto 1Are you getting tired of hearing all the bad news about our food supply? What’s next in the food revolution? Isn’t it time to start focusing more on solutions? Revolution: Food Movie is part of the solution? (full interview here).  Filmmaker, Loreto Di Cesare, brings us this beautiful movie which tells the story about the power of choice and why it so important in the shaping of our future food supply.

vandana shiva - revolution foodLoreto Di Cesare worked at the Vatican as a videographer for years and also worked under the famous Italian filmmaker, Alberto Pandolfi , traveling the world learning how to tell a story through film. In his film,Revolution:Food, Loreto travels to India to speak with one of the best known organic farmers in the world, Dr. Vandana Shiva. Dr. Shiva is one of the most inspirational food activists on the planet and encouraged Loreto to do this film.

 

When Loreto moved to Southern California from Rome, Italy, he was concerned about where he would find good food in the United States. Through his travels around the world, he learned that the United States was often used as the bad example of food systems. In his search for good food, he quickly found Screen Shot 2016-05-14 at 10.43.19 AM (1)a local farmer named Paul Greive. Paul and his family own a pasture-raised meat farm calledPrimal Pastures in Southern California. Paul introduced him to some of his mentors, like Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms and Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures. Paul Greive, a former CPA, only started farming about 4 years ago and had already grown Primal Pastures into one of the premiere pasture-raised meat farms in California. Paul’s personal story is very inspirational. (interview here)

joel salatin - revolution foodAfter being inspired by Dr. Vandana Shiva on a previous film and meeting Paul, Loreto knew he had to tell the story, a story that would motivate and inspire people to understand how they could participate and shape the food supply. In his documentary, he speaks with people like Dr. Vandana Shiva, Joel Salatin, Mark McAfee, Paul Greive and others who are reshaping the food supply in this country. During his interview with Joel Salatin, Joel so eloquently summed it up by saying:

“There has never been a better time or a more efficient time to participate in the food system.”

Loretto is a creative genius and the movie not only tells an important story, but also is so beautiful because of the breathtaking cinematography throughout the movie. This film, Revolution Food, is a must see for everyone. The movie is one of hope and inspiration in a time where we are being barraged with so much bad news about our food. You will be inspired!

IMG_4116I had the pleasure of visiting Primal Pastures and chatting with Loreto and Paul. I was inspired by Loreto’s dedication to his work as a filmmaker and telling the story and by Paul’s passion for bringing us clean, pasture-raised meats and more.

Click on the link below to listen in!

SHOW NOTES:

Revolution: Food movie – rent or buy movie
Primal Pastures

PODCAST: PLAY IN NEW WINDOW | DOWNLOAD (DURATION: 26:43 — 12.3MB) |EMBED

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Top 12 Fruits And Vegetables Most Sprayed With Bone-Harming Dangerous Pesticides

The following is news letter excerpted from the SaveInstitute, Vivian Goldsmith’s Save Our Bones program:

“Pesticide residue on conventional produce is a very real health hazard, adding to your body’s toxic load and undermining your bone-building efforts. However, some foods are more heavily sprayed with pesticides than others.

The good news is that every year, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) puts together its Dirty Dozen list, which is a list of the top 12 most heavily-sprayed produce.

They’ve recently come out with an updated list, and today we’re going to take a close look at these “dirty” fruits and veggies, starting with a discussion on why eating them organically grown instead of conventional is important for your bones and your health.

Why Eating Organic Foods Matters

Organic foods are not merely a trend or fad. As knowledge about the realities of pesticide use has grown, consumer demand for toxin-free produce has risen to an unprecedented degree, as has the demand for allergen-free and non-GMO foods.

Consumers are now much more aware of the toll these pesticides take on human health. This fact is well documented, as is the fact that pesticide residue remains on crops that have been sprayed.

In fact, even peeling produce does not help – the USDA tests for pesticide residue in the edible portion of foods, so foods with inedible peel, such as avocados, bananas, and others are tested after the peel has been removed, and in most cases, pesticide residues are still found.

On foods with edible skins, the testing is done after rinsing under running water, which underscores the point that pesticides are impossible to wash away completely. Not only can they penetrate the skins of foods, but the waxes used to prevent moisture loss during transport can trap pesticides in a waxy coating that can’t be washed off. And finally, the plants can take up the pesticides via their roots, thus infiltrating the fruit or vegetable.

Hundreds of pounds of pesticides are used for every acre of conventionally-grown produce. And these substances have been linked to serious health issues such as ADHD in children, breast cancer, depression, prostate and ovarian cancer, birth defects, and Alzheimer’s disease – to name a few.

This is of particular concern for parents of young children, whose smaller body size renders them more vulnerable to harm from pesticide ingestion. Research strongly suggests that pesticide ingestion is linked to ADHD and impaired intelligence,1 with further research pointing out that pesticide levels peak in children’s bodies during the summer months when fruits and vegetables are plentiful.2

To investigate this further, scientists tested pesticide levels in a group of 23 elementary children who had eaten conventional produce. The levels were monitored as the children switched to an all-organic diet, leading researchers to state:

“In conclusion, we were able to demonstrate that an organic diet provides a dramatic and immediate protective effect against exposures to organophosphorus pesticides that are commonly used in agricultural production.”2

Amazingly, the children’s bodies were nearly free of all pesticides after just five days on the all-organic diet.

If this is true for children, then it stands to reason that adults would also detoxify from pesticides upon eating an organic diet, and from choosing organically-grown versions of heavily-sprayed produce.

The Official Dirty Dozen

I understand that it’s not easy to buy every food organically grown, but we must keep in mind that accumulated toxins make it harder to maintain a desirable alkaline pH.

What makes this list so helpful is that if due to availability or other reasons you must choose between organic and conventional produce, you’ll have a handy reference to aid you in deciding which ones to buy organic and a concise resource of their bone health benefits. So let’s begin with…

1. Strawberries*

This delicious berry has now replaced apples’ five-year run as the most heavily sprayed crop. A whopping 300 pounds of pesticides per acre are applied to strawberries in California fields, artificially jump-starting and prolonging the growing season and increasing yield.

This is crucial in light of the fact that strawberries are anti-inflammatory and rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants, earning them a place in the Save Our Bones Program’s Foundation Foods. Research also shows that these remarkable berries have many other health benefits, including pain relief and even reduced risk of esophageal cancer. So to keep from undermining the health benefits of strawberries and to take full advantage of all they have to offer, it’s particularly important to choose organic.

2. Apples*

Once at the top of the list, apples have dropped to the second position in 2016 (but of course, they are still heavily sprayed with pesticides). Apples contain a flavonoid called phloridzin, which has been shown to increase bone density and decrease inflammation. They’re rich in Vitamin C, fiber, and boron, and a lot of their goodness is found in the peel. So organic is essential!

3. Nectarines

These peach-like fruits are indeed related to peaches and apricots, and have many of the same health benefits. They are alkalizing and full of Vitamin C and fiber. They are also high in potassium, making them an important buffer to the high-sodium diet so prevalent in the U.S.

4. Peaches*

Peaches are also alkalizing, and are a good source of bone-building boron. Also, their juiciness helps boost hydration.

5. Celery*

This crunchy vegetable is extremely alkalizing, and it contains bone-healthy Vitamin K, folate, Vitamins B2 and B5, manganese, boron, and magnesium.

6. Grapes*

This richly-pigmented fruit is full of bone-smart polyphenols and anti-inflammatory substances like quercetin and courmarin. Grapes even have pain-relieving properties. But they have moved up from #7 to #6 on the Dirty Dozen list this year.

7. Cherries*

Sadly, cherries were not on the Dirty Dozen list in years past, but they made it this year. Cherries are a good source of bone-building silicon in addition to other vitamins and minerals that build bones, like manganese and copper. They are rich in antioxidant polyphenols, particularly anthocyanins and superoxide dismutase. Cherries even contain melatonin, helping regulate the body’s circadian rhythm.

8. Spinach*

With manganese, calcium, magnesium, and Vitamin K, spinach has much to offer your bones. Being a dark green, leafy vegetable, spinach is full of antioxidants, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. These are especially helpful for eye health.

9. Tomatoes*

Botanically a fruit, tomatoes are good sources of bone-rejuvenating nutrients like copper, Vitamin C, and silicon. They are full of lycopene, an antioxidant that’s also found in watermelon and pink grapefruit. Interestingly, research shows that cooking tomatoes makes lycopene more bioavailable by converting it to trans-lycopene.

10. Sweet Bell Peppers*

Offering Vitamin C, silicon, and Vitamin K, bell peppers are a sweet and crispy vegetable that is a member of the nightshade family, like tomatoes, eggplants, and potatoes.

11. Cherry Tomatoes* (see #9 above)

12. Cucumbers*

Cucumbers are rich in silicon, and are very hydrating as well as alkalizing. Silicon facilitates calcium uptake and plays a role in collagen formation.

*Foundation Food

Given how many of these foods are Foundation Foods, you can understand why the Save Our Bones Program advocates eating organic! In addition, almost all of the EWG’s “Clean Fifteen” (foods with little pesticide residue even when conventionally grown) are Foundation Foods: avocados, corn, pineapples, cabbage, sweet peas, onions, asparagus, mangoes, papayas, kiwis, eggplant, honeydew, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and cauliflower.”

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Organic Consumers/Glyphosate in Our Food

TOP NEWS OF THE WEEK

Got Tested? You (Probably) Failed.

If you participated in the glyphosate test project launched last year by The Detox Project (formerly Feed The World) and OCA, you probably failed.

A staggering 93 percent of Americans tested positive for glyphosate, according to the test results, announced yesterday (May 25, 2016).

What makes that figure even more alarming is that many of you who sent in urine samples for testing probably eat more organic than non-organic food. Which suggests that either your organic food has been contaminated and/or you’re being exposed to glyphosate via unknown sources.

Worse yet? Children had the highest levels.

The testing, carried out by a laboratory at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF), was the first-ever comprehensive and validated LC/MS/MS testing project to be carried out across America. According to the results, people who live in the west and mid-west tested higher than those living in other regions of the country.

It’s way past time for the world to wake up and smell the poison.

Read our blog post on the test results

Read the Detox Project glyphosate testing press release

TAKE ACTION: Tell the EPA: Don’t Re-Up Roundup!

Text “Roundup” to 97779 to sign the petition

Support the Monsanto Tribunal

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Our Day in Court!

This Tuesday, May 24th,  Community Rights Lane County was challenged in court by big corporate interests. CRLC has bern working for years to get an initiative on the ballot that would protect Lane County farmers, by giving residents the right to say whether or not they want GMO crops side by side with traditional and organic crops, or  regulate them in some way so that organic crops are not crossbred with GMO crops. This represents the future of our pure seed crops, our organic farms, and small traditional farms.

Every county in Oregon has the right to self- governance through the initiative process, but these corporate interests are trying to put up un-constitutional road blocks against this process.

Please read the following up-date, and write your letters to the editors, call your congress people….spread the word….do whatever you can to bring this to the attention of your friends and neighbors. ~admin~

 

Post-Hearing update on Tuesday’s Court Proceedings

Community Rights Lane County educates citizens about our rights to local community governance. We believe decisions affecting communities must be made by community residents.

Democracy on Trial

On May 24th, a public hearing was held to decide the fate of local voters’ ability to pass a Lane County Charter Amendment via the ballot initiative process. Supporters of the Right of Local Self-Government Charter Amendment filled the Lane County courtroom to hear Ann Kneeland, lead attorney for the Chief Petitioners, defend the people’s Right to write and pass local laws.

This hearing demonstrates how corporate interests use “our” courts & government to limit the power of the people of Lane County. 

The courts may be used to challenge an initiative before an election for failing to meet basic rules of procedure, or challenge a law after the majority of voters have decided to pass it. However, bringing this ballot initiative into a hearing, based on non-procedural grounds, before any signatures have even been gathered, is an obstacle to the democratic process. It is an attempt to change the ballot initiative process to make it more difficult for the people to create and pass our own laws. It is an infringement on our constitutional rights.

The corporate interests that initiated the challenge are not just trying to influence what voters decide. They are trying to take away our ability to make a decision. 

If the Right of Local Community Self-Government Ballot Initiative is denied by the Lane County court system, it will set a precedent locally and throughout Oregon. Corporate interests will have even more power over local communities.

The ballot initiative process is a way for the people to pass laws that “our representatives” are not willing/able to. Corporate Interests (and their political puppets) are trying to take that away.

Ann’s powerfully thoughtful and well researched arguments to protect Lane County voter’s rights to the ballot box were never more evident than in court on Tuesday.

Stay tuned as the judge’s decision will be announced next month. And thanks to all who attended and to all who work to protect and defend our constitutional rights!

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