Tag Archives | clean 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?

Share
sig

0

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?

Share
sig

1

Technology & Kids Going Back To School

What do I think is the most important conversation you can have with a child returning to school? Two issues I’m talking about daily with my older children are clean food/nutrition habits and how to manage technology responsibly.

Outside influences are constant and demanding when it comes to our children and technology so I reached out to Jesse Miller of Mediated Reality to ask him for advice and best practices to share with parents with children that live in the age of technology. He speaks in schools across North America educating on the use of technology, social media, cyber bullying, with blunt delivery for pre-teens and teenagers.  Here is Jesse’s advice for what you should know with technology and kids heading back to school.

Over to you Jesse…

The new school year is upon us and new learning and engagement activities are being developed by teachers who are eager to use the technology available inside schools and the tech your kids will most likely be bringing with them in the form of a mobile device or tablet. The excitement and novelty of a new school year is usually overwhelming, but the children with smart phones, tablets and computers are juggling with a number of education concerns especially as it applies to focus, constant communication with friends, and the chronic dialogues about cyber bullying. It’s a lot to maintain while trying to focus on learning.

As a parent, you can use this opportunity at the start of a school year to keep your kids safe and online aware while allowing them the freedom to enjoy technology by introducing the topics of social media use, Internet gaming, texting, and online behavioural expectations by setting the tone in September.

Start by considering how you would control use of the Internet at home.

You’re saying you can’t control the Internet?

Well you are right, and you can’t. The Internet is omnipresent and seems overwhelming to many parents when it comes to the expertise of the kids but you can take steps to monitor how the Internet is accessed in your house.

I never recommend filters or monitoring software unless your child has given you previous reasons to not trust their online activities but by requiring laptops, tablets, and computers to be in open areas of the home, you are preventing your child from isolating themselves when they are online. Explore control of the Internet in a number of ways with the following ideas around communication and expectations of use.

  1. Consider limiting the amount of time to use the Internet for your kids and the parents in the home. Reduce “double screen” time where they watch television and look at their iPod or phone. Consider setting the standard for the family by establishing the tone for when the phones go down, not just for the kids, but for all family members.
  2. How about disabling the WiFi or locking out the router at certain times of the day to restrict Internet access? You don’t know how to? The kid knows more than you? Why not learn how the Internet is coming into your home? Especially after bedtime – many kids find that their mobile device is a chronic distraction at night while sleeping, if you control the Internet as it comes into your home, you have a better sense of when it is usually accessed. Google is your friend on this – there are plenty of YouTube videos available. If your child has a mobile device with Internet access provided by a cellular carrier, set up a home charging area so that all phones sit overnight – this area might need to be in your bedroom if you believe your child will want to bypass the rule and sneak a peek.
  3. Do not hesitate to set rules for mobile devices. Reflect on when you were a child and the fear you had when a friend called past 8PM – your parents were guardians of communications in your childhood home and it was rude to call past a certain hour – let’s not move too far from that value of respect just because your child has their own communication tool. Set the rules as you expect the devices to be used – they will mimic your use.
  4. Is your child texting on their phone or mobile device? Have they downloaded multiple applications to text for free (parents love free) but you don’t know which? Look at the download history and don’t hesitate to ask your child about every application they use. Google that application and look at reviews, news stories and other parents reviews. Encourage your kids to read their most recent text messages out loud to encourage communication based on your expectation of appropriate use. I would highly suggest against snooping through the messages (unless you can defend the reasons to your child) as it is similar to your parents reading your diary or journal as a child – privacy trust is key when it comes to online communication but don’t hesitate to parent that communication based on the values of your home.
  5. Learn about the trends. Kids love photographs these days and send them with the eagerness of a flyer campaign. Set a value to the photos your children are placing online, ask them what the world needs to see before they post and try to encourage a sense of self as it applies to giving pictures away to the Internet – would they post the same photo if it cost $1? If the answer is no, remind them that a photo of your child is priceless to you, no stranger online needs it for likes. The current trend of Instagram or Snapchat encourages kids to post pictures online to share for fun, likes, followers, or the perception that it deletes. Users, including unknown adults, rate, and solicit these pictures and flirtatiously or without mercy comment. This can lead to a number of social media issues including bullying and digital footprint/reputation concerns as your child moves through school.
  6. Pay attention to warning signs! If phones are placed screen side down on a chronic basis and held close to the chest like a poker player with a good hand, you might have an issue around how your child is shielding communications with peers. Maybe your kid is afraid of your response to language or topic but never chastise based on emotion for what you discover. Open dialogues and set expectations of access and use -discipline as needed and always encourage appropriate use.

Going back to school is a busy and exciting time of the year. Parents, teachers and those connected kids are busy Texting, taking “selfies” on Snapchat, filtering on Instagram, posting to Facebook, Tweeting class events on Twitter, and sharing a lot of information. Keep this time safer, secure, and aware by encouraging your kids and yourself to share the minimum amount of personalized information with the online world and communicate as if the world is listening – because with social media in hand, everyone is eager for a good story to post about someone else.

Jesse Miller @mediatedreality
Jesse Miller is a social media safety educator based in Vancouver, BC – information about his work and programs available for schools & parents is available at www.mediatedreality.com

trust-building1

Share
sig

0

Real Food Tips

I’m on a mission. It’s a slow one but I’m determined to get my family on track with clean, whole foods. That doesn’t always mean shopping organic; even though this is is the easiest way to avoid GMO (genetically modified) food. If you talk to enough people at farmer’s markets and in your community, you can find clean food that is grown locally. . . you just need to ask. Once you find farmers that are proud to share their farming practices and open the door of communication of what seeds are used to grow food and if they are no-spray, etc. you can shop with produce that is ‘in season’ rather than buying really expensive organic food that is being shipped thousands of miles from where you live. This is how I purchase food for our family. If my husband goes to the traditional grocery store, he’s buying packaged food or organic produce. Where I shop, and this is the food that is slowly becoming the ‘majority’ in our house, it’s with small, local farmers or stores.  I learned a great tip when I was researching honey and syrup that I wanted to share. Actually two tips:

Raw and Unpasteurized: for many products like honey much of the nutrition is lost when it’s pasteurized to sell in stores.  Omega 3 fish oil is another nutritional supplement that has increased value in the fermented rather than processed fish oil that is heated.  The honey you find in the supermarket has been ‘cooked’ and the beneficial enzymes have disappeared during this process. Raw or unpasteurized honey can actually sit in your pantry without being refrigerated because it acts as it’s own preservative. Did you know raw honey can be used for healing wounds because of it’s antibacterial properties? Just add a dash of honey to your next scrape and see all of the benefits!

Less than 5 Ingredients: Best tip for real food newbies like me! When looking at ingredients on packaged food, stick to two rules – you have to understand all of the ingredients and be able to pronounce them and keep ingredients to less than 5. The best example of the under 5 ingredient list was when I was researching syrup for our weekend pancakes. I snapped this photo of Aunt Jemima syrup and there are 11 ingredients listed. Very few that the average person could explain…nothing that actually looks like real food. I checked the bottle of syrup that I purchased at my local Farmer’s Market and found only one ingredient ‘maple syrup’. It’s the perfect example and also highlights the scary fact how cheap corn products (corn syrup), preservatives and dye ingredients are compared to real food. Here is the visual to confirm these ingredients..would you have guessed syrup if I showed you this label and not said what food it is?

I had a great talk with a very green mama today and she made a great point “the food that fills our kitchens and cupboards isn’t actually real food!” It’s truly sad the amount of time it takes to investigate the food in your home…but step by step it’s worth knowing. If it feels like an overwhelming task or just one more thing you don’t have time for – think about the long term health benefits. You do the research once, find people you trust to shop for food, and feel like a new chapter has started in your life.
Related Articles:

What are GMOs?

Share
sig

0

Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes