Archive | GMO Food

Glyphosate and 2,4-D What You Should Know

When I started reading reports connecting something called Glyphosate to Parkinson’s I knew this article would be written. I watched my dad struggle and pass away from this disease earlier in the year, so I felt strong enough recently to be open to information linking new theories to this disease. I have to say after researching both Glyphosate and 2,4-D, I’m shocked. And to be honest, I’m scared. But I think we have enough of a community here with knowledge on pesticides and food system concerns to get through this. Are you ready?

Should we start at the beginning? Let’s do a quick review of GMOs and how this scary word glyphosate relates to both genetically modified food and conventional food.

GMO is food grown from genetically modified seed. The company that created them is called Monstanto. They created seeds that can withstand being sprayed with chemicals called Roundup to save farmers time with pulling weeds by hand. Basically the weeds would die, but the plant would remain intact which was celebrated news to farmers because they spend a lot of time weeding.

Fast forward a few years and those weeds are becoming resistant to the Roundup. So now farmers have to use a lot more Roundup to try and kill the weeds. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate. Later in the article you’ll hear what diseases are linked to glyphosate and why it should be avoided, but when crops started to become resistant, Roundup switched to a stronger chemical called 2,4-D, which Health Canada approved in 2012. If the name 2,4-D sounds familiar, it’s because this was an ingredient in Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War.

I recently learned that Canada is 5th in the world as a top producer of GMO crops. The US is number one. 2,4-D is the second most used herbicide in the Canada Prairie agriculture after glyphosate. I had no idea Soy, Corn, and Canola were such large industries in Canada but all it takes is turning over a packaged food item to check out the ingredients to see that corn and soy fillers are used in most processed food that is not organic.

One large area of mis-information with GMOs is wheat. And I think I know why. Farmers use Roundup to grow wheat. This doesn’t mean that wheat is grown from GMO seeds, but it does mean that the wheat is treated with either glyphosate or 2,4-D before it’s harvested. If you are an advocate for clean food, this would mean the wheat is now chemical food and really makes you wonder if glyphosate is more of a problem than gluten. I’m sure that farmers growing food both locally and imported – widely use Roundup on crops even though that food is not grown from GMO seed (or called Roundup ready crop). And if the Roundup contains the chemical 2,4-D we are talking about a chemical that was used in a war that had devastating effects on agriculture, people and animals. This chemical is routinely used in pre-sowing and pre-harvest application of crops to control insects, weeds, and plant disease. And again, the crops don’t have to be GMO in order to be treated with Roundup pesticide.

And being really new to the topic of glyphosate, I needed a source to start at the beginning. And I found that with Tony Mitra and a recent podcast he taped with Stephanie Seneff who is a senior research scientist. She is controversial for her studies linking connections between glyphosate and a host of disorders but what I liked about this podcast was both Tony and Stephanie are easy to understand. The interview is scary, but not overly scientific and I recommend it for someone wanting the basics on pesticides if they are already uncomfortable with the idea of food containing chemicals. Here are some basic points from the podcast (you will quickly find how controversial Stephanie’s studies are, but the links between glyphosate and autism in particular are hard to ignore):

– glyphosate disrupts gut bateria. This active ingredient in Roundup starts a consequence of disruptions in our bodies that starts with gut bacteria.

– in 1970, 1 in 10,0000 kids were diagnosed with autism. By next year, she predicts that 1 in 30 boys will be diagnosed. She believes the direct connection are roundup ready soy and corn crops.

– the direct correlation between the amount of Roundup used on food and the rise in Autism can be connected.

– glyphosate creates an imbalance in the gut which leads to leaky gut.

– your body is dependent on enzymes and minerals that are important to the body as they are reactive.

– glyphosate is partially responsible for kids getting violent reactions from vaccines. She believes it isn’t the mercury and aluminium in vaccines alone causing reactions such as autism. She believes that it’s the glyphosate in a child’s body that triggers a much more toxic reaction from the aluminium in vaccines.

– gut bacteria is unique for every person and therefore how a body reacts to glyphosate is different.

– Roundup can be linked to global declines in starfish, monarch butterflies, ladybugs, bees and colony collapses, and bats.

– the next of the Monsanto chemicals to enter our food system will be 2,4-D which was an ingredient in Agent Orange.

– as the level of 2,4-D increases, so will the number and frequency of diseases. It’s a chemical treadmill.

– her end of interview advice for people concerned about Roundup? Eat organic food as if your life depends on it.

stephanie

So biggest learning point of this research for me personally? Learning that Roundup is connected with GMO crops but can also be spayed and used on crops that aren’t GMO (grown with genetically altered seed). So until now, I have not been worried about wheat or cane sugar because they are not GMOs, but that is wrong because huge amounts of Roundup is used to treat these crops before it’s harvested. Organic – it’s the only way to beat this. The Canadian and US Governments have and will continue to fail it’s citizens with how ruined our food system has become. The only way to save it is through consumer pressure to grow food with organic farming standards.

My thanks to Dr. Thierry Vrain, Dr. Shiv Chopra, and Tony Mitra who have toured and spoken out against the impact of GE foods. From the first time I’ve listed to Dr. Vrain speak until now, I feel like I’ve learned so much but I know I have a long way to go. It’s a scary journey and these men will be the first to tell you that. As a mom that is trying to protect herself and family from the diseases knocking on doors around us, I feel like this is my journey to learn so I can try to teach and protect the people I care about. This stuff has never sounded far fetched to me, rather the opposite. The connections to disease and the timelines surrounding the spikes when Monsanto was allowed to take over our food system fit. They can’t be ignored, we all just need to plug into it, like no generation has ever done before. Which is scary and seems like a lot of work at first. But what alternative do we have?

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#NoGMapple Twitter Party April 23

Did you know our apples are under threat? A small BC company called Okanagan Specialty Fruits has asked the Canadian and US governments to approve a genetically modified “non-browning” apple. Normally when an apple is first cut, it will brown, but this GM apple will not brown for 15 to 18 days!

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Over $600 in Prizes!

DETAILS:

Date: Wednesday April 23, 2014
Time: 6-7 pm PST
Twitter Party Hashtag: #NoGMapple

Panelists: @biotechaction @eatingarainbow  @NaturesPath @GMOFreeCanada @LeftCoastFoods @RachelsNews @GEFreeBC

Moderator: @Mommyfootprint

Prize Sponsors:  @RaEnergyFoods @Gogobags @LeftCoastFoods @lc_organics @NaturesPath @WestCoastSeeds @Silver_Hills @eatingarainbow

Prizing: @EcoBravoBlog

(Please follow these Twitter handles before the party starts)

If you are new to twitter parties then you might want to use the TWUBS Twitter Party Platform. Create an account, sign into twitter and click on our twubs Page: http://twubs.com/NOGMapple

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MORE INFO ON THE GM APPLE

Back to the non-browning apple and why it needs to be stopped. Who wants a non-browning apple? Apple growers don’t want it. Consumers don’t want to buy it. But the GM apple could be approved this year. It would be the first genetically modified apple in the world and first GM fruit grown in Canada.

Consumers feel that a non-browning apple is deceptive – it will  look fresh when they are not. And because neither the company nor Health Canada has conducted animal feeding trials to test the safety of eating GM apples, we are relying on one company’s opinion that it’s safe.

We need to raise awareness and get petitions signed so that our Government doesn’t approve it. Spread the word! Across Canada we need your action and if you live in BC, we need five thousand signatures in hard copy form by May 6th. Print off a copy of this petition, make sure your complete address and postal code are recorded, and mail to the address listed at the base of the petition.

Related Articles:

What You Need To Know About GM Apples

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What You Need To Know About GM Apples

Most of you live in Canada or the US. We believe there is freedom living in these two beautiful countries and Government will protect our basic need for clean food. But like it our not, North American food is turning into the most toxic in the world. Our countries have lost food exports because we are both top producers of genetically modified food.

Now we have an opportunity to change this. And it may sound funny, but it’s going to start with an apple. The fruit that we’ve told our children “eat an apple a day, keep the Dr. away”, is on the verge of being genetically modified and we won’t be able to stop the damage once this science is approved by the Canadian Government.

banner stop gm apple

There is a company in the Okanagan valley of BC  ** Okanagan Specialty Fruits ** that has reached the Federal Government of Canada to pass a non-browning apple. They will not be using ‘hybrid’ cross pollination to come up with one type of non-browning apple. The science behind this GM apple is a technology done by the browning gene being silenced by inserting a new genetic sequence from 3 different species of apple cells with apple DNA that has had a plant virus and 2 bacteria genes inserted – otherwise known as genetic modification.  And the misconception is that 1 or two types of non-browning apples will soon be available in your supermarket for you to choose (nestled between the apples that do brown). THIS IS NOT THE CASE because any type of apple could be grown with the technology and North America doesn’t label GMO food! The term non-browning is a technology that if planted, will effect any type of apple (Gala, Ambrosia, Granny Smith, etc.) grown. And the problem won’t be that farmers are lined up to grow apples this way, the problem will be contamination. Bees pollinate apple trees. If this technology is approved by the Canadian Government and even a few farmers start to use non-browning technology on apples, we will have a contamination problem that will only increase with time.

Do you honestly think it’s healthy to stop a naturally occurring process like fruit showing decay?  The GM apple doesn’t start browning until 15 days after it’s been cut. Talk about deception. . . rotting apples that still look fresh. It’s not natural and if we loose our fight for genetically modified apples, our food system will be open to attack. We have no idea what information or studies Okanagan Specialty Fruits presented to the Canadian Government or if it’s factual. Yes, they are allowed to keep that secret. What we do know is there have been no 3rd party studies done by Health Canada or CFIA- the two bodies that are in place to protect Canadian health. Okanagan Specialty Fruits has not done any animal feeding studies on their technology. They are not submitting such studies and Health Canada will not ask for them which is terrifying.

Apples are a big deal in my Province of BC. We produce 30% of the apples grown in Canada, which is about 80% of all BC tree fruit production and the growers and apple farmers of BC don’t want this technology to be approved. In 2001 Okanagan farmers protested and chased Okanagan Specialty Fruits out of the Okanagan so the trials were done in Washington and New York. How do my US readers feel about that? GM apple trials were run in two of your states. Remember what happened when one field of GM wheat tested positive in Oregon? Japan immediately canceled a 25,000-ton import from the US. Contamination and GM food causes that much harm to our exports. This is why many feel like this is an attack on BC’s apple and will damage the reputation of all North American apples. Think how you viewed corn after it became the poster child for GMO. Do we want this to happen to the apple?

So what is currently a BC and Canadian problem will ultimately become a problem for all of North America. The Canadian and American food system are so deeply intertwined and the issue of contamination is a fact. So this is a much bigger problem and we need everyone involved to stop the GM apple. We know that it’s consumers that can change the food system and culture in our country. You are not only helping your families and protecting our food system, but the farmers also do not want this technology. Organic and traditional apple growers in BC and Washington have publicly said they don’t want this technology approved.

CBAN (Canadian Biotechnology Action Network) is leading the charge but they need our help. They have issued three steps for how we can help our Government say ‘no’ to the GM apple. Please share these images, take action, and raise awareness about our battle for clean food. Don’t forget what an impact you have personally when you share information with your friends and family by talking or through social media. We have until April 15th to fight this through hard copy petitions. If you live in BC, here is a link to the petition you can print from the CBAN website. Also share the three actions outlined below:

Action-1-web

 Action-2-web

Action-3-web

My thanks to Teresa from GE Free BC for taking the time to explain this issue. Please follow this Facebook Fan Page, in addition to CBAN and GMO Free Canada. These are the groups that will distribute information first on the topic of the GM apple. Let’s push and do our part to stop untested science that affects our food system. There are many people in our countries spending large amounts of their time to fight this cause. It’s time for us to stand with them. I hope my children never eat an apple made by science instead of the proud hands of a farmer.

What to learn more about GMOs? Read these related articles:

Navigating GMO Food

Tips For Avoiding GMO Food

Sole Food Farms – Urban Farming Solution

What Are GMOs?

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Avoiding GMOs – Make Your Own Mayonnaise

When I recommend where to start with limiting GMOs, I normally suggest starting in the pantry. After all, it’s normally our dry-stock food that contains the most processed and packaged foods. As we drift towards the fridge, there is a section of store purchased items that are probably (and by this I mean are) GMO. Packaged salad dressings, dips, and mayo. If you can reduce these items and actually make your own dressings and mayo you are doing a few things: reducing your exposure to preservatives, GMOs, and binding agents in your food.

Salad dressing might already be easy for most with a combination of oil olive and vinegar. Did you know that you can make you own mayonnaise? I started hearing about homemade mayo recipes when I was on the Whole30 diet. I couldn’t have store bought mayo because it contains corn, sugar, and preservatives. Actually the preservative and binding agent Calcium disodium EDTA that is listed as an ingredient is also used in shampoos to improve stability of emulsified liquids. Gross and do you really want to eat an ingredient found in shampoo and other beauty products?

What other ingredients caught my eye when staring at the jar of mayo in the fridge? Canola (GMO) or Soy Oil (GMO), Sugar (GMO), Calcium Disodium EDTA (contains formaldehyde and sodium cyanide).

Here’s the good news. Blogger The Clothes Make The Girl and author of Well Fed, has a great homemade mayo recipe. During the Whole30 I was happy to just mash up avocado to use in my egg or tuna salad, but I want to switch my family over to mayo (lots of sandwich eaters here) so having a good tasting recipe was important. I can’t stress enough how important it is to follow Melissa’s tips on keeping the ingredients room temperature and going slow, slow, slow when adding the oil. The recipe worked for me but I read through many of the comments attached to the article so I didn’t waste my oil ruining any batches. I’m committed to keeping this recipe as a staple in my house and scratching this store bought product that is filled with crap from our grocery list. And after trying it while it was still warm from my blender…it’s amazing. It’s one of those items you’ll wonder why you didn’t make it yourself earlier.

mymayo

Here are the ingredients for the Well Fed mayo recipe. To see the instructions and tips for success, visit The Clothes Make The Girl site.

Homemade Olive Oil Mayo

Ingredients:
1 egg
2 tablespoons lemon juice @ room temp
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 cup light-tasting olive oil (Not extra virgin.)

After making the recipe twice, I would re-enforce the tips of room temperature ingredients, light olive oil, bottled lemon juice and even the comment of using 3/4 cup rather than a full cup of oil. Very satisfying to make such a non-grid recipe like this! Try it and reduce one more place where your family consumes GMO ingredients and horrible preservatives.

 

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Why Is Carrageenan In Organics?

I’ve been hearing the word ‘carrageenan’ in online circles for months. It’s been listed as another ingredient to avoid, but until quite recently, my little brain was already very full so I ignored this new information. But after recently completing a Whole30 eating schedule which involves no sugar, gluten, grain, alcohol, dairy, legumes, all forms of packaged food, nitrates, MSG, and Carrageenan, I needed to figure out why I’m supposed to avoid it. One thing you instantly notice with eating Whole30 compliant food or ‘cave man’ with only meat, plants, fruit, nuts, eggs, and oils is your stomach becomes happier and flatter. I didn’t complete the Whole30 to loose weight, rather I was trying to figure out what my body is sensitive to (sugar, gluten, or dairy) when they are reintroduced after 30 days. But I have to admit – the flat stomach that only felt full, not bloated after eating was amazing.

Back to carrageenan. This preservative is specifically mentioned on the Whole30 diet to avoid. With all the ingredients in the world, why is this one listed? And why when I went to my local health food store, was it listed in every single brand of almond and coconut milk that wasn’t in a can? Carrageenan is extracted from red seaweed and is used as a thickener, stabilizer, and/or emulsifier in many dairy, dairy alternatives, and deli meat products. Why should it be avoided? Research links carrageenan to gastrointestinal inflammation, lesions, and even colon cancer in animals. Carrageenan is significantly inflammatory if it gets into the body, which can happen with increased gut permeability. The concern with carrageenan while eating very clean like Whole30 for gut health is that it can degrade into components that can cross even a healthy gut barrier. Leaky gut it not the goal with clean or organic food. So I ask again, why is this ingredient widely found in organics products and stores? And I’ve calmed down a little, because I just figured out it’s an ingredient in my Jason brand toothpaste. With so much concern and attention paid to gut health, it’s more than a little disturbing that this ingredient is in so many products. Start looking for it – you’ll be surprised.

A great resource if you want more information on Carrageenan  and how it can be potentially toxic to health is Cornucopia site. And it’s very interesting to look at their Shopping Guide to Avoiding Organic Foods with Carrageenan. Because I guess we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security when purchasing certified organic foods. I have to saw – my heart sank at many of the brands listed in this shopping guide. Especially local Avalon Dairy with their chocolate milk and yes, even a few of the Trader Joe and Whole Food brands.

Interesting to note that alcoholic beverages may contain carrageenan (e.g. to clarify beer) and ingredients don’t have to be listed for alcohol. Did you know that certain beer brands contain GMOs (corn and/or corn syrup)? Worth mentioning if you are trying to reduce tummy issues – beer is not going to do you any favours with a long list of ingredients that is filled with harmful ingredients.

I’ve checked my the milk my children consume and have found an almond milk brand for myself that is delicious and made without carrageenan, but making my own almond milk is on the list. It always give me so much satisfaction to make something that is expensive and in this case is a bit of a mystery.

C-A-R-R-A-G-E-E-N-A-N …it’s your new ingredient to look for.

carrageenan article

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