Moringa oleifera is a tree native to the Himalayas and cultivated throughout the subtropics. Also called the ‘drumstick tree’ due to its odd shape, moringa oleifera grows very well in numerous climate types and offers many health benefits. It has over 92 nutrients and 46 natural antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory compounds. A superfood to rival most other superfoods due to its incredible nutritional value, it is also said to treat more than 300 types of disease. The best part – it has no side effects. Moringa is one tree to be extolled for numerous reasons.
For example, one serving of Moringa has more vitamin C than seven oranges, four times the calcium present in milk, and twice the protein as well as three times the amount of potassium found in a single banana. It can reduce free radicals in the body that cause cancer and speed aging, and lower blood pressure due to its high levels of Niacin in the form of A1 and A5 as well as Vitamins B3 and B10. Just 100g of fresh Moringa leaves contain 8.3 g protein, 434 mg calcium, 404 mg potassium, 738 μg vitamin A, and 164 mg vitamin C. Moringa also contains:
Isoleucine – An amino acid that promotes natural energy and brain health.
Leucine – An amino acid that works with isoleucine to contribute to alertness and high energy.
Lysine – Helps the bones absorb calcium, helps to create antibodies, regulates hormones, and balances nutrients. Also reduces viral growth and helps to build collagen in bones.
Methionine – Supplies sulfur to the body, lowers cholesterol, increases the liver’s production of lecithin. It reduces the fat stores in the liver, protects the kidneys, and keeps skin, hair and nails healthy.
Phenylalanine – Helps the brain’s nerve cells communicate by producing the needed chemicals that support this function. This amino acid reduces hunger pangs, improves memory, and keeps you alert. It also boosts mood.
Threonine – This amino acid assists metabolism and helps prevent fat from building up in the liver. It also helps the body to digest food and keeps the intestinal tract healthy.
Tryptophan – This amino acid supports the immune system, lessens depression, and insomnia, and even helps with migraine headaches. It works with lysine to reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol and also reduces arterial spasms which can cause heart attack.
Valine – Helps to promote a coordinated body and a calm mind.
There are also non-essential amino acids is Moringa, including, alanine, arginine, aspartic acid, cysteine, glycine, histidine, serine, proline, tyrosine, and glutamic acid. These components carry out vital activities in our body from wound healing to immune boosting and cancer tumor suppression, to muscle and tissue growth.
What’s more, the seeds of the Moringa tree are high in an oil full of oleic acid, a beneficial saturated fat also found in olive oil that is wonderful for cosmetic use and boosting overall health. Ancient Egyptians even put vials of Moringa oil in their tombs. It is a potent antioxidant to use in place of other cooking oils as well.
I read a book this year about helping curb climate change through better methods of rangelands management. It is really divisive to say “less meat and dairy” which sets people into defense of their choices.
Rather we should realize that overconsumption in general in all areas is the problem. Not population, diet, transportation etc but the ways these things are done.
Our ancestors ate meat (many of them, not all obviously). They did not in most cases eat 6 ounces of beef at every single meal.
We are using up multiple planets worth of resources because we do not make decisions from the perspective of being **functional parts of the systems we inhabit**.
Bison heal the soil. They are a keystone species of the prairie ecosystem. Once they were abundant in almost every state in the US. They and other meat food sources were managed so well by our ancestors that the invaders thought the land was in its wild “original form”; endowed by God alone with endless abundance.
Their mismanagement rapidly eradicated it. From passenger pigeons (now extinct) to the bison and wolves, manatee, dugongs, and many others-the invaders destroyed them en masse for “sport”, out of childish fear or spite; or to starve Native Nations in order to steal their land.
It’s not difficult to manage our impact on the systems we rely upon for our survival. It just requires a different worldview; one rooted in respect and relationship instead of fear and greed.
So, I want to share this because it is important that we address our collective impact-from our diets, our manufacturing, transportation, wars, agriculture-everything we do.
It isn’t important to argue ideology. That just wastes time and energy we are going to need to survive as a species and as individuals.
Personally, I have been a vegan most of my adult life. Not because I was scolded into the choice though.
I discovered factory farms and vowed to destroy them. I refuse to participate in anything that fundamentally evil. I would eat meat in a situation where it was necessary, where the animals were honored, respected and killed as humanely as possible; where everything from that animal was used in a sacred manner for our survival and where it was done for survival not for profit and greed.
We need to start enacting solutions and stop wasting time proving who is the dominant primate (ie who is Right!).
Everything is going to change. Whether we CHOOSE to change and innovate creative solutions together or drag our feet arguing over details until Mama Gaia’s changes eradicate our ability to keep doing what we are doing now.
I prefer the comfortable route of creativity. Disaster movies are ok to watch but living them? Not so much!
As for diet-it’s easy and fun to change and explore new cuisines. It’s one more way to become more mindful and joyful; to enjoy living our lives more fully in the moment.
But no one changes from guilt, worry etc. People are pulled toward joy far more easily than away from pain.
It’s no fun thinking GMO’s, pesticides, cancer, autoimmune diseases, global warming-what the hell can we still eat?!?!
So if this article inspires any interest in reducing animal consumption-try checking out some of the awesome foodie blogs that cover vegan diet, especially when they share recipes for so many interesting, fun foods.
Think about learning the food and cultures from around the world as an adventure- opening a new perspective-not as a punishment the oil barons have inflicted on us.
Eating Less Meat and Dairy Essential to Curb Climate Change
You probably know more vegetarians than you used to. You may even know some vegans—people who eat no animal products, including eggs, butter, milk and cheese. But did you know that their dietary habits may beessential to save the planet? A new research paper from UK think tank Chatham House, Livestock—Climate Change’s Forgotten Sector, explains why itmay be necessary for a lot more people to go vegetarian or at least dial down their consumption of meat and dairy products, and how to get them to do that.
You may have laughed at the idea that cows and cattle are a major producer of the greenhouse gas emissions that causeclimate change. Unfortunately for the steak lovers out there, it’s true. Climate-impacting emissions are produced not just by the animals’ digestive systems, but also by the fertilizers and manure used to produce feed and the deforestation taking place to provide grazing lands. To add insult to injury, livestock animals consume large amounts of water, agricultural and land resources that could be deployed to support a higher quality of life for humans.
Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock, the study says, account for about 14.5 percent of the global total, more than direct emissions from the transportation sector and more than all the emissions produced by the U.S., the world’s biggest economy. And it’s probably impossible to keep global temperature increases under 2 degrees Celsius, the commonly cited goal to prevent unstoppable global warming, without addressing livestock production—and global dietary trends.
Those trends illustrate that the demand for livestock products and meat consumption are increasing in countries like China as more people become more affluent. Currently, the biggest meat-eating countries are China, EU, U.S. and Brazil; major dairy consumers are China, India, EU and U.S. And consumption of meat is expected to grow 76 percent by 2050 with dairy consumption projected to increase by 65 percent. Growth in meat consumption in China is projected to be over four times that of the next fastest-growing consumer, Brazil.
“Our LiveWell project has shown we can cut a quarter of our climate emissions from the European food supply chain by eating more pulses, fruit and vegetables and by reducing our meat consumption,” Brigitte Alarcon, sustainable food policy officer at WWF, told The Guardian of London. “National governments should improve food education to encourage healthy eating habits and environmental sustainability as a first step.”
But the study says that governments and environmental groups have, for the most part, been reluctant to address meat-eating, compared, for instance, to high-profile campaigns on palm oil use.
“A number of factors, not least fear of backlash, have made governments and environmental groups reluctant to pursue policies or campaigns to shift consumer behavior,” it says. That means being mocked as a back-to-the-earth hippie type who probably listens to jam bands and makes tie-dye garments in the kitchen sink—with organic dyes.
Yet “Individual and societal behavioral changes are essential to moderate consumption of meat and dairy products,” it said. “This in turn will require a greater level of public awareness and understanding of the links between diet and climate change, to both enable voluntary lifestyle changes and ensure acceptance of, and responsiveness to, government policies. However, insufficient attention has been devoted to raising public awareness and preparing to shift societal behaviors.”
Meat-consuming countries contribute an outsized share of greenhouse gas emissions. Image credit: Chatham House
On a positive note, it suggested that people were generally unaware of how livestock contributed to climate change compared to their awareness of other factors. And when they did become aware, they were more likely to cut meat consumption. People’s first considerations were likely to be taste, price, health and food safety, which suggests strategies that could be employed in getting people to reduce meat consumption by emphasizing other factors in addition to climate change. And since awareness of, and concern about, manmade climate change especially high in emerging economies whose meat-eating is growing, there’s reason for optimism.
“It is encouraging that some of the greatest potential for behavior change appears to be in countries of most importance to future demand for meat and dairy—Brazil, China and India,” the study concluded. “Respondents in these countries demonstrated high levels of acceptance of anthropogenic climate change, greater consideration of climate change in their food choices and a greater willingness to modify their consumption behavior than the average of the countries assessed.”
Our country’s small-scale family farms, once the core of many communities, are in jeopardy. Older farmers are retiring, but the high cost of land makes it tough for young ones to take their place.This week, we explore intergenerational projects providing help through apprenticeships and succession planning so that farmers—old and new—can connect with each other. Cooperation across the generations may be the key to keeping family farms prosperous for years to come.
In the next 20 years, many American family farmers are likely to retire—putting enormous amounts of land on the market. Here’s how they’re connecting with young farmers to make sure the family farm survives. READ MORE »
A new bill provides two years of tuition at a community college for participating high school grads who might otherwise face a 7.5 percent unemployment rate—and other states are already following suit. READ MORE »
Reader Cindy Kudlik writes, “Yeah, mob rule … scary! Unlike corporate rule, right? Mob rule, as you have defined it, is what gave women and freed slaves the vote. It’s what this country was founded on!” READ MORE »
Dr. Michael Greger
Anyone who has gotten a bad sunburn knows how damaging the UV rays in sunlight can be. Imagine what those same rays are doing to back of our eyeballs (our retinas). The eye is designed to take sunlight and focus it like a magnifying glass into the back of our eyes. Thankfully, we have a layer of cells called the retinal pigment epithelium that supports and protects our delicate retinal eyesight machinery. The layerbuilds up yellow plant pigments like zeaxanthin from our diet, absorbing blue light and protecting the retina from photo-oxidative damage. The yellowing of our corneas when we develop cataracts may actually be our bodies’ defense mechanism to protect our retinas. In fact, when cataracts are removed, the risk of blindness from macular generation shoots up (because we removed the protection). Instead of trading one type of vision loss for another, it’s better to pigment the back of our eyes though diet instead of pigmenting the front of our eyes with cataracts. The pigment in the back of our eyes is entirely of dietary origin, “suggesting that the most common cause of blind registration in the Western World could be delayed, or even averted, with appropriate dietary modification,” according to authors of a study on age-related macular degeneration.
Where in our diet do we get these pigments? The egg industry brags that eggs are a good source, but have nearly six high-lutein, free-range, certified organic eggs a week for three months and the pigmentation in one’s eyes may only marginallyincrease (see Egg Industry Blind Spot). Instead of getting the phytonutrients from the egg that came from the chicken that came from the corn and blades of grass the chicken pecked on, we should get it from the source. One cup of corn and a half cup of spinach a day for three months seems to dramaticallyboost the protective eye pigment in subjects. If you click on the above video, you can see a comparison of the amount of these phytonutrients from eggs compared to corn and spinach. If we cut out the middle hen and get these nutrients from plants directly, we see a substantially bigger increase in protective eye pigment.
Three months after the subjects stopped eating a cup of corn and a half a cup of spinach, the levels of these pigments remained relatively high, indicating that once we build our macular pigment up with a healthy diet, our eyeballs really try to hold on to it. So even if we go on vacation and end up eating more iceberg lettuce than spinach, our eyes will hold out until we get back.
Eggs can increase zeaxanthin levels in the blood, but they can also raise bad cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease. Thus, as researchers conclude, “an egg yolk-based dietary strategy to increase plasma zeaxanthin cannot be recommended, and an alternative, cholesterol-free, food source is desirable.” One such alternative would be goji berries, which have up to 60 times more zeaxanthin than eggs. A modest dose of goji markedly increaseslevels in our body. Consumption of goji berries are an effective, safe whole food strategy to increase zeaxanthin in the bloodstream.
But we don’t need it in our blood, we need it in our eyes. A group of researchers performed a double-blind randomized placebo-controlled trial to test the effectiveness of goji berries at increasing pigment levels. To preserve eyesight in the elderly in traditional Chinese medicine, people are often prescribed 40 to 100 goji berries a day. In this study, participants consumed only about 15 berries a day for three months. Even at this small dose researchers found that goji berries could protect against loss of pigment and prevent the buildup of soft drusen, debris that builds up in the back of the eye. Both loss of pigment and buildup of drusen are associated with age-related macular degeneration.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of legal blindness in older men and women, affecting more than ten million Americans, so increasing our consumption of these pigments as a society could significantly decrease the prevalence of blindness. In the above study, researchers gave the goji berries in milk so the butterfat could increase the absorption of these carotenoid pigments. A healthier way to get the same effect would just be to eat goji berries with nuts or seeds—in other words, goji trail mix.
How can you tell if you need a full body detox? Your body will tell you, you just have to know what to look for when it’s trying to communicate.
Many times a list of symptoms reads like the human condition, with things that almost everyone experiences from time to time. What we’re looking for here is how often it happens. Frequently feeling fatigued, frequently getting constipated or experiencing indigestion, etc. It’s the frequency that matters.
If you’ve noticed any of the following occurs on a regular basis, you’re likely overdue for a detox. It may not be the cure-all, but in many cases it can at least improve the situation, and is the perfect starting point towards fixing it for good.
No fertilisers, herbicides, or pesticides but a bold vision to save a region from climate change and resource scarcity
by Mark Olalde
Erle Rahaman-Noronha cutting produce on his farm. (Credit: Mark Olalde/IPS)FREEPORT, Trinidad and Tobago – Erle Rahaman-Noronha is not a revolutionary, not in any radical sense at least. He is not even that exciting. In truth, Rahaman-Noronha is merely a man with a shovel, a small farm, and a big dream. But that dream is poised to conquer the Caribbean.
Rahaman-Noronha wants to see ‘permaculture’ – short for permanent agriculture – take root and spreads across the Caribbean, and he is doing his part by teaching anyone who will listen about its benefits.
Joining him is a fluid group of permaculturalists working from their home islands and sharing the same goal: to harness permaculture as a solution to climate change, food and water insecurity, and rising costs of living.
“You can start in your backyard, so there’s no cost. You can implement certain parts of it in your apartment…If you have a porch with some sunlight, you can plant something there and start thinking about permaculture.”
— Erle Rahaman-Noronha, permaculturalist
Author of the manual, Australian Bill Mollison, first used the term nearly four decades ago and since then the idea has spread to Europe and the U.S. Now, the developing Caribbean is beginning to embrace the philosophy of permaculture, especially since 2008’s global recession.
Born in Kenya, Rahaman-Noronha – whose work was recently highlighted in a TEDx talk – fulfilled a keen interest in the environment by studying applied biochemstry and zoology in Canada.
“I’ve always had a strong passion for the outdoors and conservation, but just doing conservation doesn’t make money,” he says with a chuckle. “Permaculture allows me to live on a site, produce food on a site, produce an income, as well as practice conservation.”
Wa Samaki is Rahaman-Noronha’s permaculture farm, and it has been his workplace, classroom, grocery store, and home since he relocated to Trinidad in 1998. Meaning “of the fish” in Swahili, Wa Samaki covers 30 acres in Freeport in central Trinidad.
Although he uses no fertilisers, herbicides, or pesticides, Rahaman-Noronha is able to make a living off the farm’s fruit, flower, lumber, and fish sales. His newest addition is a large aquaponics system, a closed loop food production system in which fish tanks and potted plants circulate water and sustain one another.
With his partner John Stollmeyer, Rahaman-Noronha works to spread awareness of permaculture across the Caribbean, home to nearly 40 million people who are particularly susceptible to climate change.
The pair consults Trinidadian businesses, teaches permaculture design courses (PDCs), and holds workshops everywhere from Puerto Rico to St. Lucia. “How are we going to create sustainable human culture?” Stollmeyer asks. “Discovering permaculture for me was a wake up call.”
Where environmentalism meets savvy economics
The need for conservation is in no small part a result of climate change, especially when the Hurricane Belt covers nearly all of the Caribbean.
Trinidad and Tobago continues to compound the issue as both a major exporter and consumer of fossil fuels. The country produced more than 119,000 barrels of oil per day in 2012 and 1.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas that same year, all the while boasting the second highest rate of CO2emissions per capita in the world, more than twice that of the United States.
United Nations data dating back to 2005, the last time such statistics were compiled, indicates that industrialised agriculture accounts for 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in Latin America and the Caribbean.
In this environment, Rahaman-Noronha’s goal is to become an incubator of conservation start-ups that cannot secure necessary bank loans. Currently, he houses beekeepers and a wildlife rescue center on the farm for minimal rent, and he hopes that list will grow.
One such entrepreneurial mind that passed through Wa Samaki was Berber van Beek, a native of Curaçao who recently moved home after years of wandering the world. Before returning to the Caribbean, she practiced permaculture across Europe and Australia, but when van Beek wanted to develop her skills in a tropical climate, she came to Rahaman-Noronha.
“He gave me a lot of freedom on his farm to make and create a design,” van Beek says, describing a garden of banana trees she planted at Wa Samaki.
In Curaçao, van Beek uses permaculture as more than simply a food source. She realises its social potential and is working to start after-school programmes for at-risk youth who can learn useful gardening skills and the responsibility and respect for nature that come with caring for their own gardens.
In addition, she is soon opening her first large-scale organic gardening class, closely resembling a PDC.
Such initiatives are urgently needed in Curaçao, which is facing a stagnant economy and is currently nursing a youth unemployment rate of 37 percent.
According to van Beek, shifting global climates and markets have major effects on her own island in which nearly everything must be imported. “If you go to the supermarket, look where your food is coming from. Is it coming from Venezuela or is it coming from the U.S. or is it coming from Europe?” she says. “People could be more aware of what to buy and what not to buy.”
The problem, experts say, is regional. According to the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA – a group of nonprofits focusing on agricultural issues – around 80 percent of food consumed in the Caribbean is imported.
The beauty and purpose of permaculture is that it is a system of solutions that can be practiced at any level to combat environmental issues.
“You can start in your backyard, so there’s no cost. You can implement certain parts of it in your apartment if you really need to,” Rahaman-Noronha explains. “If you have a porch with some sunlight, you can plant something there and start thinking about permaculture.”
Naturally, van Beek took his message to heart, keeping a perfectly groomed permaculture garden in her own tiny backyard, using dead leaves as fertiliser and recycled rain and shower-water to sustain the plants.
“Seeing is believing,” she says. It’s her own quiet mantra, spoken when she describes her approach to spreading permaculture, and vocalised when she needs the energy to keep pressing on and to convince others that this is the right path.
Rahaman-Noronha, too, has worked to convert non-believers. From schools who tour the wildlife center and his farm to the several thousand people who watched his TEDx talk online, he is adamant that he has traded in misconceptions for progress.
“I think [the reason] I don’t get challenged…is that I’m not just preaching permaculture,” he says. “I’m actually practicing it.”
Thank you Laura! I appreciate seeing not only your experiences but also the various needs and steps to meeting them laid out so clearly.
I have been involved with similar things, including Transition, but a huge challenge-how to participate in and contribute to these community activities when I am unable to physically get to my community?
I know how to grow food, I know how to do lots of things-and even came up with ideas and helped get many things started over the years but every time, after the start, I myself did not get to participate or interact with most of them.
Unlike most disabled people I’ve met I am not the chatty Cathy, the “cheerful cripple” that everyone knows.
Even after decades of activism and involvement in my local community very few people even know who I am and exactly none of them interact with or visit me.
I’m not a jerk-I’m just an Asperger so-no matter how good my intentions I seem to be either invisible, off putting or just not easy for most to relate to or connect with.
For a long time I thought it’s just me so it really doesn’t matter,but I’ve started to notice that the population of both physically and mentally/emotionally disabled people and those who are not disabled but simply very introverted is not exactly small.
So despite my interest, involvement and promotion of the many good ideas listed in your post and others-if the free fish is cancelled I am extremely likely to starve.
I used to think well that’s Darwin for ya-time to become fertilizer for more functional creatures!
But now that I see the situation is more common and not just a personal failing I can’t recommend that as a standard solution:-)
I know that in traditional cultures people like me are not forgotten or left behind but are integrated usually thru family connections into the larger community.
But here in St Petersburg the number of homeless mentally ill and otherwise disabled folks without family to help them is staggering.
If we truly cannot expect to rely on government ( tho I still hold hope for clearing corruption and returning government to being the structure of community it was meant to be in a democracy) then we have to find ways for people like me to be part of it.
I’ve wracked my brains and used all sorts of tools to try and resolve this aspect for myself over the last 20 years without significant success. I hope that there is a more compassionate solution than eugenics by default and I just can’t see it for whatever reason.
I’m not concerned for me because for me death is just a door not a fear but I feel that even if that were true of everyone like me abandoning the misfit toys won’t be very healthy for the rest of Santa’s elves either.
please excuse if this is not worded well everyone but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and this wonderful post of good stuff that is happening, problems that are being solved made me want to bring this one out for a chance at many hands making light work.
But I’m rotten ill and on the phone I can’t read over what I wrote to determine if it is Asperger-irritating-neurotypicals-speak or not ( sometimes I can’t tell even when I can read it over but I try!:-/
Thank you for posting this. I live on foodstamps and fruits from my garden. I spent years with serious malnutrition when Florida had republican government that made food stamps unavailable. I am now completely disabled due to autoimmune disease tho if I had access to sufficient nutrition and medical care when was younger I would very likely now be working for UN or something similar actually solving the problems like what led to me not doing so….its a waste of PEOPLE. A waste of intelligence, creativity, and lives.
I don’t want to pay taxes to build drones that blow up toddlers but paying taxes to provide food, medical care, shelter, education and infrastructure is the definition of society.
Doctors have a message for congressional lawmakers inching toward a compromise farm bill that would cut food stamps by nine billion dollars: It’s a terrible idea.
“If you’re interested in saving health care costs, the dumbest thing you can do is cut nutrition,” Dr. Deborah Frank of Boston Medical Center explained in an interview with the Associated Press. “People don’t make the hunger-health connection.”
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) offers benefits to over 47 million Americans. But the benefit level has fallen to the point that recipients only get about $1.40 per person per meal, even though food stamps often constitute the entirety of a family’s food budget. Doctors and researchers say that additional cuts on the horizon could increase the incidence of medical problems stemming in part from food insecurity, particularly diabetes and its related conditions.
The “solution” Big Food has in mind, revealed [http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_29040.cfm ] on Jan. 7 by POLITICO, would limit the U.S. Food & Drug Administration’s (FDA) power to require mandatory labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs). It would also wipe out states’ rights to enact mandatory labeling laws, and would guarantee companies the right to use the word “natural” on products that contain GMOs.
Big Food’s plan also would likely try to appease consumers by including weak FDA guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs-guidance that would exempt common ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, canola oil and others. And require little or no independent verification for claiming a product is GMO-free.
It’s not as though we didn’t see it coming.
Last week, after learning that the Grocery Manufacturers Association (Big Food’s lobbying group), had petitioned the FDA to allow food makers to use the word “natural” on GMO-contaminated foods, we predicted [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28998.cfm ] a treacherous road ahead for the anti-GMO movement in 2014.
In 2013, we warned [ http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_28376.cfm ] about a letter to the FDA asking the agency to finalize its 2001 guidance on voluntary labeling of GMOs-a move we suggested then, and still believe, would preempt state and federal mandatory labeling of GMOs.
In a recent op-ed [ http://articles.latimes.com/2013/dec/19/opinion/la-oe-glickman-organic-gmo-foods-20131219 ] in the Los Angeles Times, two former government officials floated the idea of a compromise that would include allowing specific amounts of GMOs, and/or exemptions for certain ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup or canola oil, where processing has made it impossible to detect GMO ingredients. The authors also reiterated industry’s argument that if consumers want GMO-free, they can buy organic. In response, one scientist told the OCA:
“That is a smokescreen that allows the biotech industry to avoid taking responsibility for the harm caused by their patented, transgenic creations. Without mandatory GMO labeling, there is no way to understand public health impacts or conduct epidemiological research on diets containing GMOs.”
After decades of quietly profiting by contaminating food products with cheap, unsafe GMO-contaminated ingredients, the food industry sees those profits at risk. They’ve spent millions to defeat laws that are common in 60 other countries. Now, in an effort to undermine state laws, and subvert the democratic process, Big Food wants to cut a deal with Congress and the FDA. A deal that will provide no meaningful protection for consumers, and hand industry yet another free pass to poison and pollute.
Consumers have been clear. More than 90 percent of us want mandatory GMO labeling laws. No voluntary schemes. No watered-down regulations. No compromises. Please sign our petition [ http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/50865/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=12702 ] to the FDA asking the agency to reject any federal law that is weaker than the state laws already passed in Maine and Connecticut, and proposed in Vermont and other states.
Now the food industry, led by its multi-billion dollar lobbying arm, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA), wants the FDA to protect Big Food’s profits by ruling against mandatory GMO labeling laws.
It’s time for the FDA to protect consumers, not corporations.
General Mills has so far spent almost $2 million to keep GMO labels off its GMO-contaminated products. Now the junk-food cereal maker hopes to cash in on a new label on its original Cheerios that touts, of all things, “no GMOs.”
We think they did it to make more money. (The non-GMO foods market is forecast [ http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/11/prweb11304490.htm ] to grow 13 percent annually, and make up about 30 percent of food and beverage sales-totaling $264 billion-by 2017, according to Packaged Facts).
General Mills has no plans to provide independent third-party verification that Cheerios is now GMO-free. You, and millions of consumers, are just supposed to take their word for it.
This is what “voluntary” GMO labeling will look like if Big Food gets its way in Washington D.C. No testing or verification. No legal definition of “trace amounts.” And most likely, a long list of exempted ingredients.
We’re barely a week into the new year, and Monsanto and the food industry have already signaled that 2014 will be a decisive year for GMO labeling.
The Grocery Manufacturers Association, representing more than 300 food manufacturers and trade groups, is pressuring the FDA and Congress to pass a law that would preempt mandatory and state GMO labeling laws.
Lucky for them that both the FDA and Congress have consistently caved in to industry demands.
Lucky for us, consumers like you have made it clear that you’ve had enough.
This will be the year that consumers fight back with a vengeance against politicians who work for Monsanto and Coca-Cola, not the citizens who elected them.
This will be the year that we come out in numbers never before seen, to fight for a right so basic that nearly every country except the U.S. recognizes it. The right to a simple label that tells us whether or not our food has been contaminated with genetically modified organisms.
Big Food has thrown down the gauntlet. It’s up to us to make them sorry they did.
Thank you for all you have already done. And for all that we will do together in 2014.
“Life changing! I gained a perspective of the social, economic and political conditions in Cuba so valuable for understanding sovereignty and justice in a globalized world.” – Member of the November travel group
The OCA, Vía Orgánica and the Center for Global Justice are offering another chance to leave winter behind and explore the history, culture and agricultural beauty of Cuba. Space is limited, and the deadline for signing up for the 10-day trip (February 14-24) is January 15.
This trip is open to all who have a professional interest. Estimated cost of $1500 plus airfare (from either Miami or Mexico City) includes dormitory-style accommodations and all meals (at the MLK Center), plus translation, guide, transportation and a full program of activities. Cost does not include flights, visa, health and travel insurance, tips, airport exit tax ($30 USD), or souvenirs and other personal items.
Application and non-refundable $100 deposit due by January 15. Limited scholarships are available.
For applications and further information, contact cuba [ mailto:cuba ]
Discover the Fastest, Funnest, and Easiest Ways to Grow Your Own Groceries
Hi, I am Marjory Wildcraft. About a decade ago I volunteered to help get fresh, local, organic produce into the kids school system. That project failed miserably, and changed my life forever. Why? Because there wasn’t enough locally grown food in the entire county for even one small elementary school. I am willing to bet there isn’t much food growing in your county either.
Once I stopped shaking, I devoted my life to finding the fastest, easiest, and funnest ways for an individual or family to grow thier own food. I discovered that growing your own is incredibly rewarding.
I’ve developed a video set that is used by permacuulture teachers, universities, missionary organizations, and regular folks. It gets you started producing very quickly. You know from reading these OCA newsletters that the era of quality food is way back in your rearview mirror. And the era of cheap food is the dead end right in front of you. Fortunately, if you’ve got a hose and a backyard, or even a sunny window sill, there is a tremenous amount you can do – and it is really fun!
Just discovered a new food blog-with the perfect post for a night
like this:-) Don’t try adding vanilla rice protein powder instead of vanilla like I did-apparently hot liquids and blenders equal kitchen catastrophe. 😉
photo by Kimberly Sentner
As with hot chocolate, use any milky liquid you prefer, whether it’s from a cow, nuts (almond milk), beans (soy milk), or grains (rice milk). For sweeteners, feel free to substitute maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar for sugar, but start with less, about 1 tablespoon, and taste the combination before adding more. ingredients
2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar (depending on how sweet you like it) Pinch of salt
1 cup milk or any combination of milk, half-and-half, or cream 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
Whisk together the cocoa, sugar, salt, and about 2 tablespoons milk in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until cocoa and sugar are dissolved. Whisk in the rest of the milk and heat it over medium heat, whisking occasionally, until it is hot. Stir in the vanilla and serve.
If you like it frothy, blend it in the blender.
This recipe multiplies easily. When you get up to a quart of milk, use 1/4 teaspoon salt.