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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!

NEW TO TWITTER PARTIES?

First – RSVP here!

 

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

#NoGMappleprizesponsorlogos

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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Toilet Paper Roll Seed Starter DIY

I know empty toilet paper rolls are awesome for crafting and over the weekend we tried a DIY project of making TP seed starters. My family had great success with urban farming last year so we are eager to start germinating seeds indoors.  Thanks to many saved TP rolls, we started our planting today.

If you are new to gardening or growing food, snap peas are your best friend! I think they are pretty hard to mess up, hearty, and kids love to pick them. They also grow skyward, so can be grown in small spaces that gets sun. It’s still chilly in March, so here’s how you start them indoors.

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Collect empty toilet paper rolls. Here’s how you make a seedling starter DIY.

1) Cut a toilet paper roll in half.
2) Make small snips around the edges of the roll approx. 1/2 inch long.
3) Fold the edges so the bottom is closed. *TIP* Pour a little water onto the bottom flaps and they will mold together much easier.
4) If your roll won’t stand flat, put a small round bottle inside, to push down the flaps to dry flat.

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After you rolls have dried a bit, grab your potting soil (can be purchased at any nursery) and spoon the dirt into the roll. We filled it almost to the top.

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Read your pea instructions, but Angelo my 10 year old, dipped his pinkie finger up to his knuckle into the dirt to make a hole. We dropped 1 pea into the hole and covered it with dirt.

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Find a low tray to hold all your seed starters and put them in front of a window that gets lots of light. Mist the dirt daily and make sure they stay moist. That’s it. Super easy and I promise your kids will love it. Up next will be lettuce on our germinating tray and heated mat. Follow Mommy Footprint on Instagram or Facebook to check out the fun we’ll have next with lettuce!

Related Articles:

Planting Peas

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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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