Archive for GMO’s


Separating the Wheat From the Chaff

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[For those of you who have no idea what this means, it is a term used when you winnow the wheat after it is harvested. The chaff, or the hulls, dry straws and stalks, are separated from the grains of wheat – the wheat is stored or taken to the miller for grinding and the straw is used for animal bedding, mulch, and compost. It’s also used as an expression and applied to many different situations.]

So let’s take a dispassionate look at our food and separate the wheat from the chaff. Never mind all the emotion and slinging of mud – let’s get down to basics. Food is our focus activity three or more times a day. We want it to taste good, look good, and nourish us so that we stay well and feel good. We want the wheat without the chaff.

For pretty much the entire history of humans on the earth, food has been a very direct experience. You grew it, you exchanged it with your neighbors, stores carried the staples, and fixing it was up to a person in the house – for the most part. We started to fall in love with convenience, time-savers, prepared foods of all kinds. Life was good and more and more Mommies were out of the kitchen! Suddenly there was a hamburger joint, and a pizza parlor; sometimes even a Chinese restaurant. In the cafeteria, the Lunch Ladies still cooked everything from scratch. Most of the food was supplied locally and it tasted good.

After the extensive interstate road system went in during the Eisenhower years, food was trucked farther and farther. As the distance from field to table increased, so did the preservatives and chemicals in our foods. Even the fresh veggies had to be sprayed to prevent rot on the way to market. No blemishes allowed in our supermarkets!

Industry had it made! Things we love to eat started to be manufactured with chemicals, and esters, and artificial color to the exclusion of all natural ingredients. It was no longer food. As the chemicals increased in our diet, our bodies found it harder and harder to get rid of these toxins fast enough. Every day another load of chemicals came into our bodies; and every day we struggled to rid our bodies of all the chemicals. We also stopped noticing all the small differences in our bodies and in our health.We stopped noticing we just didn’t feel as good as we used to.

Gradually, all the chemicals in our food, in our water, and in our air became so prevalent and common that a new born baby has 200 chemicals in their little bloodstream at birth before ever having the first drink of  Mother’s milk. This is very serious. This means that when that baby takes in food for the first time – even Mother’s milk – that child is increasing the amount of chemicals in their tiny body because it’s in the Mother’s bloodstream as well. Is it any wonder the number of children with chronic conditions of all kinds has gone up so high? For the first time, the prediction is that the parents of today will outlive their children!

So here’s an experiment you can do on your own. Grab one of your favorite foods that is prepared for you. Read what’s on the label and for every ingredient that has a chemical name, look it up. I did it and was shocked by what I found. Sodium benzoate or benzoate of soda is a very common preservative. It’s been in use since I was a child and before. In Wikipedia the description includes the words “a known carcinogen” and says it becomes more toxic when combined with an acid. Like orange juice? Vinegar? Wine? They’re having a party in my tummy!

So go for it, Friends! Keep track of what you are eating. Make a list for the refrigerator and have everyone old enough to read put the ingredients of the food eaten on the list. Check off each ingredient every time you eat it again. One night sit down and look up each item to see what you are eating – and how much of it. Then talk about ways to reduce the chemical overload on your bodies.

Here are a few good rules of thumb: If it isn’t the color of food, it isn’t food. Red and blue dyes are very upsetting to some kids systems. Even the amount in their toothpaste can ‘set them off’. Until genetically modified foods (GMO’s) are labelled, avoid soy and soy products, corn and corn products, canola or rape seed oil, cottonseed oil, and beet sugar. All of these products have been shown to be very harmful to all living creatures after they are genetically modified. Apparently we don’t do well with a load of pesticides in our food either!

You can choose, you know. You can change the system with your choices. This is being proven again right now in the world. Everyone deserves clean food. For the moment, that is only possible if we eat whole foods, organic foods, foods we grow, and foods that are labelled “No GMO’s”. It’s tough to change; but the alternatives are truly grim! If we keep eating chemicals every day in everything we eat, we will all be very sick.


Adding My Voice In

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There have been many conversations with friends about the ‘state of the Union’ lately. That’s the good news! At least the disparity of the situation between the 1% and the 99% has become so evident, we now get it. Or do we? I wonder if the whole truth and depth of this attempt to overturn the form of Democracy our country was founded on is really sinking in?

Whatever do I mean? What does this refer too? Well, our food contains poisons that are compromising our health, and damaging our children. Babies are now born with up to 200 chemicals in their bodies at last count. The various state and federal governmental bodies are in the grip of international companies, international financial institutions, and large organizations with even larger self interests. None of these are human, so there is no ethical code, integrity, honor, or morals involved in their point of view or their dealings with all of us. We have become chaff in the wind and whatever money we have is the only thing left in the basket when the harvest is done. We, as people, have been blown away in the winds of very Big Business doing the one thing they are geared to do: make profits above all else.

We’re in BIG TROUBLE, Folks! And it’s going to take a large turnout of ordinary citizens to get this wagon turned around. We can do this, and have to do it now – if we value the high principles this nation was founded on. That means we have to show up!

Showing up comes in many forms, so don’t think you have to join rallies, occupy Wall Street, or sleep in a tent to make a difference. Those things all help and it is a huge part of showing up. Spending some time on your closest capitol steps with others will show up as a signal of how fed-up we are with being stripped of power. There are many other ways to get this idea across and actively join the 99%. So I’ll talk about a few.

Stop consuming goods from ALL the big box stores. Trade with each other, barter, find things on FreeCycle and Craigs List. For the Holidays, ReGift to all the people on your gift lists. Think of recycling, repurposing, and renewing as political and critical acts to alert the Big Companies that we mean it when we say we are fed-up with being treated like ciphers, sheep, and cannon fodder. Allow the GNP to take a dump this year!

Start connecting with others to establish a local economy (Denver Dollars for instance), local food, and learn what you can eat that you never considered as a source of food. There is wild food in the city, you know. Relearn what Grand parents and Great-Grandparents always knew and did. We have the skills, we have the talents, and we also have the teachers. Don’t let the rhetoric of the Big Company Journalists affect or effect you! We have people who know what to do. Seek them out and become an interdependent force to be reckoned with!

That’s how we started and those sweet juices of community and cohesion are still running through our veins. We know what we need to do. So just start…start acting out of honor and morality…start joining rallies…start unplugging from the Machine!! Just tell ’em: “Grandmother Said So!”


Good, Clean Food!

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I love having good food for myself and my family! You might say it’s one of my passions! In fact we are a family of ‘foodies’ and have been long before the word was coined. You can hear us having conversations about heirloom tomatoes from my daughters abundant garden, and summer salads of balsamic vinegar, new greens and watermelon. Yum, yum!

Of course, having an urban life, I also go to the grocery store. I love the selections and variety as much as anyone, and sometimes just browse the aisles looking for new food and sales on old favorites. Much to my dismay, this is no longer fun! There are fewer and fewer foods I can feel good about buying now.

In the late 70’s while I had young kids, I read the labels for sugar. I’d read John Lennon’s favorite book “Sugar Blues” and took the hint! With a hyperactive child I cut out red dyes and overly processed foods. Later on I watched the fats and washed the pesticides off the veggies and fruits. Preservatives came under scrutiny next, so these were eliminated from our diet.

I took a hiatus from food label scrutiny after all my kids were out on their own. I felt safe in doing so, sure I now knew what was what in the packaged goods I bought. After all, I had peered at every label more than a dozen times, pretty much memorized the contents. I cooked from raw ingredients most of the time because I like to cook!

Then, in the first decade of this millennium, I noticed I was slowly but surely gaining weight. How could that be? I ate very well and hadn’t put on a pound in years (well maybe a pound or two). So I started looking at labels again and noticed an ingredient I was not that familiar with: high fructose corn sweetener (HFCS). Looking it up, I discovered it was a substance the body can’t use so it immediately converts it to fat. It also had the alarming property of ‘fooling’ the body into thinking it hadn’t eaten, so you wanted more since you were still hungry!

After cutting out all HFCS from my diet, I lost 10 lbs in two weeks. Hummmm….

Today my shopping is more vigilant than ever. I’ve conquered the HFCS problem, however I am now faced with the hidden toxins of GMO’s glaring at me from the shelves. This is now in 80% of all our prepacked foods and can be found in old stand-bys like Boca Burgers (bought by Kraft) and most items that have any corn, soy, canola, or beet sugar in them. The only foods you can be sure do not have GMO’s are organic or say no GMO’s on the label.

What’s the big fuss? It just so happens the genetically modified seeds are specifically designed to be untouched by pesticides and herbicides. Some of them even manufacture their own poisons. This means they can be sprayed with Roundup throughout the growing cycle, right up to harvest. This poison is then taken into their system and is found in the harvested plant. Genetic modification has altered soy beans so much that there are many times more powerful allergens in them than they had before.

So now a peaceful stroll down the aisles of the grocery store is gone. Four GMO’s in this, three GMO’s in that, what’s a woman to do? Well, as has been said before, buy local, seasonal, organic, sustainable, fair-trade foods! You think it costs too much? In the 1940’s food was 25% of your income. Now it’s 7.5%. You get what you pay for! Would you buy the cheapest car on the market just because it was cheap?

And what if you saved $1000.00 in doctor bills and prescriptions just by buying good, clean food? Is that worth it?