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Olive Oil Scam Alert!

Some times it seems like we can’t win for losing.  Thanks to Mittie and her sister Dede for finding out of all things, about a Olive Oil Scam.  I’m still reading through all the information so I’ll print what Dede has provided for you to make your own conclusions and I’ll follow up later- jughandle

Read more about olives and its oil from a past Fat Farm post – here.

Get “real” olive oil on line:

Georgia Olive Farms

Story from Dede

Americans spend more than $700 million a year on olive oil,
but most of that may be money down the drain because of a
big-time olive oil scam.As much as two thirds of the high quality olive oil we buy —
and maybe even more — is not what it says on the bottle.We’re being duped into paying premium prices for a poor
quality product that may contain little or no olive oil at
all.And even if it does, it likely won’t be of the quality you
think you’re paying for.A book published late last year lifted the lid on the great
olive oil scam but it’s been known for years that, knowingly
or unknowingly, the people who sell the stuff to us may be
offering a phony product.

For example, a report produced in 2010 by UC-Davis found that
more than two thirds of common brands of extra virgin olive
oil being sold in California were nothing of the sort.

Sellers of inaccurately labeled oil included one of the
biggest names in grocery retailing in the US, though there’s
no suggestion the store chain knew of the deception.

In fact, of the dozens of stores whose sales were analyzed,
only six were selling the genuine product.

There are actually hundreds of varieties of olives but only a
few main classifications for olive oil, including:

* Extra virgin, which is literally the “juice” of freshly
picked olives. It is produced by pressing or a low heat
process but, importantly, does not use chemicals of the type
employed in the refining of other oils.

* Virgin olive oil, produced the same way but comes from riper
olives or a second pressing, though it is still wholesome.

* Blends — sometimes referred to as “light” or “pure.” That
they may be, but they include “refined” olive oil, which
usually means some or all of it has been chemically processed.

* Poor quality oil, known as “lampante,” using the Italian
word for lamp oil — considered unfit for human consumption —
which may be derived from old, rancid olives, often ones that
have been lying on the ground for some time, and likely has
been chemically processed.

In fact, lampante often turns up in olive oil mixtures. But,
if the oil is phony, it’s just as likely to contain mainly a
cheap seed oil like sunflower oil.

Just last year, two Spanish businessmen were jailed for
selling supposed extra virgin olive oil that was, in fact, 75%
sunflower oil.

And in 2007, some 10,000 cases of labeled olive oil seized by
US law enforcement officers were found to contain only soy oil.

The popularity of olive oil is due to its supposed health
giving properties; it is, after all, the only oil produced in
any quantity from fruit rather than nuts or seeds.

And the reason for the olive oil scam is simple — money.

Growing, nurturing and harvesting quality olives is an
expensive business. So if you can pass off cheap substitutes
as the real thing you can make a lot of money.

This is the theme Tom Mueller picks up in his book “Extra
Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil.”

He says that producers are being forced out of business
because of the olive oil scam, since they can’t compete with
the low prices of the phony product.

“The honest people are getting terribly undercut,” he said in
a recent NPR broadcast. “There’s a huge unfair advantage in
favor of the bad stuff. At the same time, consumers are being
defrauded of the health and culinary benefits of great olive
oil.”

The crooks and even legitimate producers have many ways to
fool the public, apart from simply lying.

For example, labels might imply the oil was produced in Italy
when, in fact, it was only bottled there, having been produced
say in Africa or the Middle East — not that there’s anything
wrong with those sources, but implying the oil is from Italy
enables suppliers to charge a premium.

Sometimes, the real source may be declared, but buried in the
fine print on the label.

Furthermore, strict labeling requirements and quality checks
in Europe are driving the olive oil scam across the Atlantic
where disclosure rules are less stringent.

Bad or rancid olive oil does not have the antioxidant and
anti-inflammatory elements of olive oil, says Mueller, adding:
“What (good olive oil) gets you from a health perspective is a
cocktail of 200-plus highly beneficial ingredients that
explain why olive oil has been the heart of the Mediterranean
diet,” he says.

“Bad olives have free radicals and impurities, and then you’ve
lost that wonderful cocktail …that you get from fresh fruit,
from real extra-virgin olive oil.”

So, is there any way you can tell if you’re the victim of an
olive oil scam, or even whether you’re being intentionally or
unintentionally misled by the labeling on a bottle?

Well, first you can download that UC-Davis report, and learn
more about the content and flavors that contribute to the
olive quality – as well as seeing which stores were selling
what!

Download it here:
http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=7SGiO&m=JIRJ5xmnPGtWfo&b=tdsenOG2KMdNjkUsUzHcUw

Second, you can read the transcript of the NPR interview with
author Mueller here:
http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=7SGiO&m=JIRJ5xmnPGtWfo&b=Y.9uqogFKJ.CnT5towpviA

Here are 8 more tips culled from the book and other sources:

* Be suspicious of anything described as extra virgin that
costs less than $10 a liter. It likely isn’t the real thing
(although some prices come close).

* Look for the seal of the International Olive Council (IOC)
on the label (though, of course, crooks can forge this). Not
all products have the seal, but it’s a good sign if it’s
there.

* Look for a harvesting date or description on the label,
rather the same as you find on wine labels. If there’s a date
and/or harvest description, it’s probably genuine (though,
again, this could be forged).

* Educate yourself more about olives at the ICO site:
http://clicks.aweber.com/y/ct/?l=7SGiO&m=JIRJ5xmnPGtWfo&b=QCRxN3pxOq8F9T0zZj1joA

* Understand that anything labeled as “light” or “pure” olive
oil likely has been processed and is not “virgin” quality.

* Opt for California-produced oil. It’s less likely to be part
of the olive oil scam than something from Italy or other
countries.

* If you’re able to smell the oil before you buy, do so. “It
should smell fresh and fruity, without any hint of mustiness,”
says Mueller.

* Shop for oil in dark bottles. A lot of genuine extra virgin
oil (excluding the big grocery stores’ own brands) is bottled
this way to protect the oil from harmful sunlight.

We don’t want to suggest that products that fail to meet the
requirements we’ve listed are necessarily phony.

It’s just that, on balance, you’re more likely to get a
genuine product by following these guidelines, sidestepping
the possibility of an olive oil scam.

That’s all we have for today, but we’ll be back next week with
another issue. See you then!

 From NPR

Extra Virginity

December 12, 2011

Extra-virgin olive oil is a ubiquitous ingredient in Italian recipes, religious rituals and beauty products. But many of the bottles labeled “extra-virgin olive oil” on supermarket shelves have been adulterated and shouldn’t be classified as extra-virgin, says New Yorker contributor Tom Mueller.

Mueller’s new book, Extra Virginity: The Sublime and Scandalous World of Olive Oil, chronicles how resellers have added lower-priced, lower-grade oils and artificial coloring to extra-virgin olive oil, before passing the new adulterated substance along the supply chain. (One olive oil producer told Mueller that 50 percent of the olive oil sold in the United States is, in some ways, adulterated.)

The term “extra-virgin olive oil” means the olive oil has been made from crushed olives and is not refined in any way by chemical solvents or high heat.

“The legal definition simply says it has to pass certain chemical tests, and in a sensory way it has to taste and smell vaguely of fresh olives, because it’s a fruit, and have no faults,” he tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross. “But many of the extra-virgin olive oils on our shelves today in America don’t clear [the legal definition].”

Extra-virgin olive oil wasn’t created until stainless steel milling techniques were introduced in the 1960s and ’70s. The technology allowed people to make much more refined olive oil.

“In the past, the technology that had been used had been used really by the Romans,” says Mueller. “You grounded the olives with stone mills [and] you crushed them with presses.”

The introduction of stainless steel milling techniques has allowed manufacturers to make more complex and flavorful extra-virgin olive oils, he says. But the process is also incredibly expensive — it costs a lot to properly store and mill extra-virgin olive oil. Mueller says that’s why some people blend extra-virgin olive oil with lower-grade, lower-priced products.

“Naturally the honest people are getting terribly undercut,” he says. “There’s a huge unfair advantage in favor of the bad stuff. At the same time, consumers are being defrauded of the health and culinary benefits of great olive oil.”

Bad or rancid olive oil loses the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of olive oil, says Mueller. “What [good olive oil] gets you from a health perspective is a cocktail of 200+ highly beneficial ingredients that explain why olive oil has been the heart of the Mediterranean diet,” he says. “Bad olives have free radicals and impurities, and then you’ve lost that wonderful cocktail … that you get from fresh fruit, from real extra-virgin olive oil.”


More On Olive Oil

Olives in oil. iStockphoto.com

Your Olive Oil May Not Be The Virgin It Claims

Researchers found more than two-thirds of sampled extra-virgin olive oil didn’t make the grade.

Olive oil bottle.

Olive Oil May Help Protect Against Strokes

French researchers found an link between liberal use of olive oil and a lower risk of stroke.

Olives

Olive Oil Season: A West Bank Kitchen Story

For Palestinians and Israelis, the annual olive harvest is central to the culture, economy.

A receptor in the back of the throat seems to recognize an anti-inflammatory agent in extra-virgin olive oil.

How Olive Oil And Ibuprofen Can Make You Want To Cough

Humans have transformed a defense against noxious fumes into an indicator of gourmet quality.

Interview Highlights

On why 4 out of 10 bottles that say Italian olive oil are not actually Italian olive oil

 

“A lot of those oils have been packed in Italy or have been transited through Italy just long enough to get the Italian flag on them. That’s not, strictly speaking, illegal — but I find it a legal fraud, if you will.”

On extra light olive oil

 

“Extra light is just as caloric as any other oil — 120 calories per tablespoon, but the average person looking at it might say, ‘Oh, well, I’ve heard olive oil is a fat, so I will try extra light olive oil.’ … It’s highly, highly refined. It has almost no flavor and no color. And it is, in fact, extra-light in the technical sense of being clear.”

On which oil to use while frying or sauteing

 

“From a health point of view, olive oil is wonderful [for frying]. From a taste point of view, there are times when at really, really high temperatures, an extra-virgin with really bitter flavors and pungency can become a little unbalanced. And the bitterness can become overbearing. And obviously, from an economic point of view, if you’re spending a lot of money for an extra-virgin, maybe high-heat cooking in some circumstances really isn’t the best thing. But for lower heat, every extra-virgin olive oil is good — it really depends on the dish you’re putting together.”

On using olive oil as a dressing for ice cream

 

“Get a bottle of really, really powerful, bitter and pungent oil, and pour it over some really good ice cream. And it is like an injection of liquid sunshine. It’s quite a treat.”

Food Pairing

Food Pairing is a science into itself, for other than just your taste experience, but here I’m going to touch on a couple of pairings that may seem natural to us.  – jughandle

We’ve heard of pairing wine with food for the best flavor experience, but I bet most of you didn’t know that pairing certain foods together can help you fight cancer, ward off depression and aid in digestion and nutriment absorption.  The following information is from an article at Rodale.com

 

1. Steak and Rosemary

The Health Benefit: The combination helps in neutralizing carcinogens created when meat is cooked above 325 degrees Fahrenheit

Why It Works: Rosemary is rich in rosmarinic and carnosic acids that stop cancer-causing heterocyclic amines from forming on cooked meat. “People have a lot of concerns about eating grilled meat,” says Dr. Ramsey, who keeps potted rosemary in his kitchen. “This combination is one way that I like to use food synergy to increase the health of a dish.”

Try It! Snip a sprig of rosemary, remove the main stem, chop, and add to olive oil, salt, and lemon juice to create a healthy marinade. Choose grass-fed beef for healthier fat ratios and to avoid veterinary drug residues.

 

2. Beet Greens and Chickpeas

The Health Benefit: Natural mood boost from a much-needed mineral

Why It Works: Magnesium is essential for low anxiety and happiness, but 70 percent of Americans don’t get enough. Beet greens are loaded with the calming mineral, and the B6 in chickpeas maximizes magnesium absorption in the body.

Try It! Look for local, organic beet greens this spring at your farmer’s market, and soak and cook dried, organic chickpeas to avoid hormone-disrupting chemicals that can be found in canned foods.

 

3. Fish and Broccoli

The Health Benefit: A delicious way to stifle cancer growth

Why It Works: Many fish, salmon, and mackerel are rich in the thyroid-protecting, cancer-fighting mineral selenium. When paired with broccoli, a veggie rich in sulforaphane, the compounds are 13 times more effective in slowing cancer cell growth than when eaten solo.

Try It! Remember to avoid farmed salmon and choose wild-caught Alaskan salmon to avoid parasites and contamination that can kill off the wild salmon.

4. Red Wine and Almonds

The Health Benefit: A natural combo that keeps your heart happy

Why It Works: The antioxidant resveratrol in red wine and almond’s naturally high levels of vitamin E work together in the blood and improve blood vessel health.

Try It! Look for organic wine, since conventional versions have been found to harbor pesticide residues. (The same holds true for the almonds.)

5. Green Tea and Lemon

The Health Benefit: A delicious way to sip your way to natural cancer prevention while jump-starting weight loss

Why It Works: Vitamin C-rich lemons help to maximize your body’s ability to absorb catechins, the heroic disease-fighting antioxidant found in green tea.

Try It! If you drink a lot of tea, consider investing in organic loose-leaf tea and a stainless steel, reusable tea infuser to reduce packaging waste.

6. Turmeric & Black Pepper

The Health Benefit: Superstar spice combo erases inflammation and could ward off Alzheimer’s disease and cancer while combating high cholesterol and improving liver function

Why It Works: Turmeric is one spice that everyone needs to use. Just be sure to combine it with black pepper, which helps your body absorb a thousand times more curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric.

 

7. Pastured Pork and Sauerkraut

The Health Benefit: Non-starchy and fermented veggies/animal protein combo will keep your gastrointestinal tract on track

Why It Works: Steering clear of starches when eating meat will help your digestive system focus on breaking down the animal protein, boosting absorption and reducing uncomfortable bloating, heartburn, gas, and stomach pain. Fermented vegetables, such as sauerkraut, bolster digestion-friendly probiotics in your body, building up your immune system in the process.

Try It! Opt for grass-fed pork. It’s free of health-harming antibiotics and chemical preservatives and rich in thiamine, a B vitamin vital for proper nervous system functioning. As a general rule of thumb, Gates notes that animal protein meals go best with non-starchy vegetables like green beans, broccoli, kale, collards, and spinach.

 

8. Eggs and Cheese

The Health Benefit: Clearer thinking, reduced PMS symptoms, weight loss

Why It Works: Naturally occurring vitamin D in egg yolks optimizes your body’s absorption of the cheese’s bone- and heart-protecting calcium. Sufficient calcium levels also promote neurotransmitter health and stabilize hormones, which reduces PMS symptoms and weight gain.

Try It! Look for eggs and cheese from grass-fed farm animals. Find local, sustainable sources atLocalHarvest.org.

 

9. Tortilla and Veggies

The Health Benefit: A flatter belly, thanks to reduce bloating and gassiness

Why It Works: Pairing vegetables with grains or grain-like seeds like millet or quinoa—and leaving out the meat—will reduce unpleasant bloating and gassiness, according to gut guru Gates. Starchy vegetables like artichokes, peas, potatoes, yams, and corn and non-starchy veggies like broccoli, kale, and green beans will keep your gastrointestinal tract on track. “A corn tortilla filled with stirred fried vegetables like onions, red pepper, zucchini, and broccoli and seasoned with Tex Mex seasoning is actually delicious and so much more easy to digest than a tortilla made with beef or chicken,” Gates says.

Try It! Top your tortilla off with a spoonful of cultured veggies to optimize digestion and reduce cravings for sugar later in the day.

 

10. Fermented Food + Anything

The Health Benefit: Sugar cravings float away with kimchi and other sour superfoods.

Why It Works: “I can’t say enough how wise it is to add a fermented food to any meal—no matter what you are eating,” says Gates. Superstars in the natural food world, fermented foods like kimchi are loaded with feel-good probiotics that not only improve digestion, but also help stave off sugar cravings. “They must be in a program if you are trying to lose weight,” Gates adds. “They taste sour and take away the desire for sweets.”

Try It! Look for jarred kimchi in your supermarket or save money by doing it yourself: The Easiest Way to Ferment Vegetables.

I want everyone to know about and use FoodFacts.com.  It is my go to place for information on the food we eat here on the Fat Farm.  Sign up for their Blog too.  It is great.

Great Information

FoodFacts.com contains easy to understand and quick to find information on a broad range of food products found in our local stores.  Just type a product name or manufacturer into a search box and a list with pictures of the available product information comes up.  There is even a “Products” tab that lists groups of products to choose from.  Search methods include “Keyword”, “Ingredients”, “UPC Code” “Recipes” and “seaarch to compare.

Kid Safe Alert: Sunny D

This blog is dedicated to helping you make the wise, healthy food choices.  With that in mind, Jughandle’s Fat Farm can not recommend Sunny D made by Procter & Gamble for either you or your children.

Read the Label

The two major ingredients are water and corn syrup.  Less than 2 percent is concentrated fruit juice.  The rest is artificial colors, sweeteners, canola oil and sodium hexametaphosphated.

Miss leading health claims

The label says 100% vitamin C.  That alone is NOT health.  Many vegetables and fruits contain 100 percent of your daily allotment of vitamin C in a single serving.

 

FoodFacts.com

Sunny D receives a very low 14 score on Foodfacts.com health index.

Sunny D contains:

MSG, corn, flavorings and other controversial additives including colorants.

Ingredients:

Icon

WaterCorn Syrup High Fructose Contains 2% or less of the Following: ( Juice(s) Concentrates (Orange(s),TangerinesApple(s)LimeGrapefruit), Citric Acid,Ascorbic AcidThiamin Hydrochloride (Vitamin B1),Flavor(s) NaturalCorn Starch ModifiedCanola Oil,Sodium CitrateCellulose GumXanthan GumSodium HexametaphosphateSodium BenzoateYellow 5,Yellow 6

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving Size 8 oz
  • Servings Per Container 16
  • Amount Per Serving
  • Calories 120Calories from Fat 0
  • % Daily Value*
  • Total Fat 0g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0g0%
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 190mg8%
  • Total Carbohydrate 29g10%
  • Dietary Fiber 0g0%
  • Sugars 27g
  • Protein 0g
  • C100%
  • THIAMIN15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Weight Watcher’s Winning Points®**: 2
Weight Watcher’s PointsPlus®**: 3
** Weight Watchers® and Points® are registered trademarks of Weight Watchers International, Inc. The number of Points provided here were calculated by Food Facts, Inc. based on published Weight Watchers International, Inc. information and do not imply sponsorship or endorsement of such number of Points, Food Facts, Inc., or the above product by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
staph in meat | Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores | Rodale News

This isn’t another push for you to buy organically grown meats, or is it?  You be the judge.  Just the one fact that chickens, pigs, cows, turkeys and other food source animals are injected on a regular basis with antibiotics and other drugs to make them healthy should make you join the parade.  Those are the same antibiotics we use, and when we eat them in our food we they become useless to us over time.  Read on – jughandle

 

Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores

I’m sorry for this image, but I need to get your attention

 

 

 

  MRSA antibotic resistant staff infection

 

BY LEAH ZERBE

Handle with care: A study found that supermarket meat can house bacteria that could infect your skin.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Previous studies have detected nasty, food-poisoning bacteria in supermarket meat, but a study published Friday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases sends the queasiness factor to a whole new level: Half of the U.S. supermarket meat sampled contained staph infection bacteria, including the hard-to-kill and potentially lethal MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection.

The researchers ID the overuse of antibiotics in industrial agriculture as a factor in the rise of superbugs in our grocery store food.

THE DETAILS:

Researchers tested 136 total samples (80 different brands) of ground beef, chicken breasts and thighs, ground pork and pork chops, and ground turkey and turkey cutlets purchased from 26 retail grocery stores in five U.S. cities: Chicago; Washington, DC; Fort Lauderdale, Florida; Los Angeles; and Flagstaff, Arizona. Although previous studies have found a strong link between antibiotic-resistant germs and factory farms, this study traces the dangerous bacteria into the food chain. Nearly 80 percent of the turkey products sampled contained staph bacteria; 42 percent of the pork harbored staph, while 41 percent of the chicken and 37 percent of the beef suffered staph contamination. Nearly all of the contaminated meat harbored staph bacteria resistant to at least one human antibiotic.

WHAT IT MEANS:

At the end of 2010, the Food and Drug Administration released a first-of-its-kind agency report, finding that factory farms use a whopping 30 million pounds of antibiotics each year. But even before the release of that report, scientists and doctors had been waving red flags regarding the overuse of antibiotics in farming, and how that, in turn, is threatening human health. In 2009, Prevention magazine published a special report, “The Superbug in Your Supermarket,” which found similar problems with your standard supermarket-bought meat. While MRSA was previously linked to hospital-acquired infections, a new source emerged in 2008, and it was linked back to huge hog farms. The good news is that cooking meat kills MRSA. The bad news is just handling the raw meat can give you a serious skin infection, particularly if you have a cut on your hand. And nose pickers, take heed. Wash your hands well after handling meat because MRSA loves to hang in your nasal passages.

Find out more about how to protect yourself from superbugs in food.

• Steer clear of CAFO meats. CAFO stands for concentrated animal-feeding operation, a nicer word for factory farm. These industrial facilities often use antibiotics to speed growth and prevent disease in their crammed conditions, which is what scientists say accelerates the rise of superbugs. The Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that industrial farms account for 70 percent of the antibiotics used in this country. That heavy use is making vitally important antibiotics work less well on humans.

To find safer forms of meat, check out our Guide to Buying Grass-Fed Beef, or visit LocalHarvest.org or EatWild.com to find organically raised, pastured meat. It’s likely more expensive, but it’s also more nutritious. If you’re strapped for cash, pastured eggs from hens that ate organic feed is a great option—way cheaper than buying four grass-fed Porterhouse steaks!

• Practice nontoxic, commonsense food safety. No matter where your food comes from, it’s always in your family’s best interest to practice good food-safety advice. However, don’t turn to toxic antibacterial soaps and sprays to disinfect. They’re also linked to the rise in superbugs. These stories contain safer alternatives:

via staph in meat | Bacteria-Infused Meat Found in Grocery Stores | Rodale News.

Organic Manifesto | Why We All Need an Organic Manifesto | Rodale News

Why We All Need an Organic Manifesto

In her book Organic Manifesto, Maria Rodale explains why demanding organic is a much-needed solution to protect our health and heal our planet. The following is another great article from www.rodale.com

 Choosing Organic food protects not just us, but the environment

BY LEAH ZERBE

Choosing food grown with organic methods keeps toxic chemicals out of the soil, and out of your body.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—Organic matters, to all of us. Red state, blue state, churchgoer or atheist, soccer mom or single bachelor, what our society does to the soil (or allows to be done to it) directly affects our health. Sure, eating organic has long been a battle cry of environmentalists trying to protect the land, but as more and more science is telling us, we need to eat organic to save ourselves. As Maria Rodale, CEO of Rodale Inc. and author of the book Organic Manifesto, points out, “the planet will be fine without us.” We’re the ones in trouble if things don’t change.

Rodale, a third-generation advocate for organic farmers and farming practices, spent the last two years poring over peer-reviewed scientific research, traveling all over the country to meet with and learn about chemical and organic farmers, and interviewing the world’s leading environmental health experts. What she found is that we’re all living in a “great chemical experiment in which we are all guinea pigs.”

The warnings in Organic Manifesto apply to you if you are:

A parent.

Do you know of any mother who would purposefully feed her child a plateful of food contaminated with residue that could lead to early puberty, ADHD, and increased cancer risk? How about a glass of poison-spiked water, or meat and dairy products raised in a way that makes our medicines useless?

The levels of atrazine, a common farm crop weed killer, routinely spike in drinking water and are linked to learning disabilities in children, miscarriages, and fertility problems, along with the feminization of males. Other recent research has linked the chemical to the castration of male frogs that live in atrazine-polluted waters, raising questions about the chemical’s effects on human development. And there have been huge jumps in the number of cases of ADHD, autism, asthma, diabetes, and childhood obesity. “Scientists can’t explain why the number of children with food allergies has increased 18 percent in the last decade,” Rodale writes. “Is it a coincidence that the prevalence of these problems has increased as we have increased the use of chemicals to grow our food?”

A farmer.

Chemical farmers face all the health problems listed above, but also suffer in other ways. They are lied to by chemical companies like Monsanto, who convince them they need genetically engineered seeds and toxic sprays to increase yields, when this really isn’t the case at all. Pesticides kill all the beneficial life in the soil that help store carbon (a climate change solution), retain water (reducing runoff and flooding during storms and storing more water for times of drought), and keep plants healthy and more resilient against pests and diseases. United Nations studies have found that organic farming methods increase yields over expensive and intensive chemical methods, even in places like food-starved Africa. Organic farmers also earn more livable wages, according to a USDA survey.

As Rodale points out in Organic Manifesto, perhaps nowhere is the sad case of chemical farmers more evident than in India, where desperate farmers, nearly run out of business because of U.S. farming subsidies, turn to “magic” GM (genetically modified) seeds. “After the first year, they find out that it costs much more to maintain their crops due to the ever-increasing prices of seeds and chemicals,” Rodale writes. “Yet they are still plagued by insects and, like all promises of magic, the yields are disappointing at best. Before long, the money lenders are knocking on their doors and there is not enough revenue from the crops to pay the debts.”

“More than 160,000 Indian cotton farmers have killed themselves in the past decade,” she continues. “The favored method of suicide? Ingesting chemical pesticides.”

A grocery store owner—or shopper

Farmer’s markets are great places to find healthy, organic food, but not everyone has a farmer’s market or backyard organic garden available year-round. (VisitLocalHarvest.org to find farm-direct organic food.) The more that consumers vote by purchasing organic food, the more stores will be inclined to carry it. If your grocery store’s organic section is scant, talk to the manager, lay out the health risks involved with chemical food, and tell him or her you’ll take your business elsewhere unless the situation improves.

A policy maker

Sales of organic food and products are growing, but they still represent just a sliver of the market. Complicating matters, the corporate domination of soy and corn seeds (ingredients in tons of food products) makes it impossible for all farmers to go organic tomorrow, even if they wanted to. There just aren’t enough non-GM seeds. Science has associated eating food grown from GM crops with an increase in food allergies and autoimmune disease, and even accelerated aging. And the GM crops are built to withstand very heavy sprayings of synthetic pesticides, chemicals that science has tied to everything from autism, ADHD, sexual development problems, some cancers, Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and obesity.

To build up a bank of non-GM seeds in the next few years, we have to take action now, Rodale told an audience at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim last Friday. And that needs to start by ending broken farming policies that reward chemical farming methods that are poisoning us all and contributing to the healthcare crisis. Leading her list of “Five Solutions that Might Save Us,” Rodale demands a government ban of agricultural chemicals and GM seeds. “We need to demand that the government stop rewarding businesses that harm people and the planet by giving them subsidies and tax breaks and easing regulations,” she writes in Organic Manifesto.

Anyone else

Our existence—our children’s existence—depends on how we farm our food. Organic farming methods keep toxins out of our food and water, help mitigate global climate change, keep GM crops—which have barely even been tested for safety—out of the food supply, and can feed the world in a sustainable way. “We must restore the earth’s natural ability to absorb and store carbon,” writes Rodale. “Going organic will not only do that, it will also heal many other major ills as well: the poisoning of our children, our water, our wildlife, and our world.”

Visit DemandOrganic.org to learn more about how buying and growing organic can improve your personal health and help heal the planet. You can also become a fan of Organic Manifesto on Facebook, and follow Rodale’s blog, Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen.

via Organic Manifesto | Why We All Need an Organic Manifesto | Rodale News.

RoundUp Weed Killer – What Biotech Pesticides Are Doing to Our Bodies

Just had this conversation with my family during a Easter get together.  Hope we can make some changes before there is no turning back. – jughandle

The following is a story from Rodale News “where health meets life”  They have some great articles and research that I will be passing on to you soon.

 

Roundup weed killer is now turning up in rain and the air. And that has potentially devastating impacts on our health.

BY LEAH ZERBE
Thanks to biotech firms, now even our storms are Roundup-ready.

RODALE NEWS, EMMAUS, PA—The scientific evidence piling up against Roundup, the best-selling weed killer for home and farm use, is starting to sound a bit sci-fi. The latest damaging evidence against this potent herbicide, once widely believed to be safe, comes from the United States Geological Survey (USGS), which is now detecting glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, in streams, the air, and even rain.

While the concentrations detected in rain and air are thousands of times less than what farmers dump onto field crops, emerging scientific evidence about what these chronic low-level exposures do to our bodies is cause for major concern, particularly among unborn babies and young children. These tiny amounts we’re breathing in daily could be altering our hormones and wreaking all sorts of havoc on our bodies, but the human health effects may not show up for years or decades. “We don’t fully know what our results mean,” says study author Paul Capel, PhD, environmental chemist at USGS. “If we go out to the streams or air, we see it. There’s a broader off-field exposure. The significance of that, I don’t think we really know.”

Pesticide-exposure expert Warren Porter, PhD, professor of environmental toxicity and zoology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, did the math. He took the air exposure numbers from the USGS study and found some reason for concern. His calculations showed that the levels found in the USGS survey could lead to accumulated levels that could alter endocrine mediated biochemical pathways, leading to obesity, heart problems, circulation problems, and diabetes. Low-level exposure to hormone disruptors like glyphosate (Roundup’s main ingredient) has also been linked to weakened immune function and learning disabilities. “This study is just looking at a single day of exposure,” he says. “If you consider that our body hormones work in the parts per trillion and you disrupt normal endocrine function, which tends to alter biochemical pathways, you may be flipping biological switches that have long-term impacts. No one has explored whether Roundup has epigenetic impacts which alter gene expression, possibly for a lifetime.”

So why the influx of Roundup in the air? Easy. The majority of corn, cotton, canola, and soy crops grown in the United States are genetically engineered to tolerate heavy dousings of Roundup. Interestingly, the same company, Monsanto, developed both the pesticide and the genetically engineered seed created to handle that pesticide—they’re sold together as a package. When we eat those crops (or when they’re turned into ingredients used in processed foods), we wind up eating the Roundup, too. Roundup is actually taken up inside of food that we eat, so not only are we breathing it in and getting soaked in it when it rains, but we’re also eating it at dinnertime.

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