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Monday, June 24, 2013

Organic Lifestyle | What are GMOs?

Let's begin with a thorough understanding of what genetically modified organisms really are...

One thing to note off the bat is that GMOs are not to be confused with cross-breeding. Cross-breeding in dogs is easy to understand. We mate dogs with different dogs to get the result we desire, but we don't go into the gene and alter it to create human cells to create a fetus. Cross breeding does not alter genes. It is merely a mating of plants to make a different species.

Genetic modification means the scientist alters the DNA sequence to create a life not normally found in nature. Genetic modifications can occur when splicing open a plant gene by either inserting a bT toxin into the DNA, combining the splices together, creating plant cells to create a "seed" which is grown OR by splicing in another trait like cells from a cold hardy plant into a warm weather plant to help it grow. The second type of genetic modification is preferable than the first because no bacterial toxin is inserted into the gene.

The advantage for scientists, for the GMO with bT toxin, is that heavier pesticides can be sprayed down onto the plant. The pesticides are so heavy that when it's sprayed it covers the area with so much toxicity that it kills absolutely everything including the weeds and the insects. Insects eat a tiny bite of the plant and they die or they evolve into superbugs. Weeds begin to resist and then evolve into super weeds.

Herbicides and pesticides have been scientifically proven to cause cancer and a lot of other diseases. Monsanto owns approximately 80% of the world’s seeds. Currently, there are heavy amounts of GMOs in corn, soy, sugar beets and canola. There are many other varieties that have been introduced but, over 90% of the above mentioned are GMO and it is advisable only to purchase these organically. GMOs are not new and have been grown in the Hawaiian islands and elsewhere since the 1980's.

Glyphosate, the main herbicide used in Roundup, is a deathly toxin. Glyphosate was quickly adopted by farmers, even more so when Monsanto introduced glyphosate-resistant crops, enabling farmers to kill weeds without killing their crops. In 2007, glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector and the second most used in home and garden market. With its heavy use in agriculture, weed resistance to glyphosate is a growing problem. While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies in the United States, and is widely used, concerns about its effects on humans and the environment persist.

In 2013, the United States' EPA raised the amount of allowable pesticides due to the super weeds and super bugs that have become resistant to the previously allowed amounts of pesticides. Monsanto has since developed a 2, 4-D GMO strain which uses the same toxin sprayed in the jungles of Vietnam as Agent Orange and is more effective at combating super weeds. This should give us all severe cause for concern if you've seen the pictures of children who are still severely crippled with birth defects in Vietnam.

GMOs are bad for us because the pesticides and herbicides are creating disease in our bodies. Our bodies do not recognize the plant because it is a foreign substance. Our bodies resist anything that is unnatural in our bodies and, therefore diseases like gastrointestinal disorders, Parkinson's, Autism, Alzheimers, Cancer and many more have been directly linked to GMO consumption.

Points to Consider:
  • Research studies have shown that Monsanto’s genetically-modified foods can lead to serious health conditions such as the development of cancer tumors, infertility and birth defects.
  • In the United States, the FDA, the agency tasked with ensuring food safety for the population, is steered by ex-Monsanto executives, and we feel that’s a questionable conflict of interests and explains the lack of government-lead research on the long-term effects of GMO products.
  • Last year the U.S. Congress and president collectively passed the nicknamed “Monsanto Protection Act” that, among other things, bans courts from halting the sale of Monsanto’s genetically-modified seeds.
  • For too long, Monsanto has been the benefactor of corporate subsidies and political favoritism. Organic and small farmers suffer losses while Monsanto continues to forge its monopoly over the world’s food supply, including exclusive patenting rights over seeds and genetic makeup.
  • Monsanto's GMO seeds are harmful to the environment; for example, scientists have indicated they have caused colony collapse among the world's bee population.

What are solutions we advocate?

  • Voting with your dollar by buying organic and boycotting Monsanto-owned companies that use GMOs in their products.
  • Labeling of GMOs so that consumers can make those informed decisions easier.
  • Demanding GMO labeling in your state.
  • Calling for further scientific research on the health effects of GMOs.
  • Holding Monsanto executives and Monsanto-supporting politicians accountable through direct communication, grassroots journalism, social media, etc.
  • Continuing to inform the public about Monsanto's secrets.
  • Taking to the streets to show the world and Monsanto that we won't take these injustices quietly.

(1) Download an App for Your Smart Phone!

Non-GMO Project's Shopping Guide App
Fooducate App
Center for Food Safety's True Food App

(2) Look for the Non-GMO Product Seal at the Grocery Store!

(3) Use this Produce Decoder at the Grocery Store!

(4) Shop Local!


“Why can’t we just eat organic?“

The problem is that...let’s say there’s a hill. At the top of the hill Monsanto is cultivating GMO corn. At the bottom of the hill there is an organic corn farm. At night Monsanto employees spray their GMO corn with pesticides. A little later on it rains. The rain comes down on the GMO corn and then streams down the hill to the organic farm and into the soil where the organic corn is growing. Scientists have tested that organic corn. It is no longer organic. It is a GMO.

That’s where we’re at concerning fruits and vegetables. Now, let’s add the GMO soy into the mix. 90% of the soy purchased is used for animal consumption. When ranchers feed their cattle, chicken and pigs they feed them that soy. Then they butcher them and put them in our super markets. Then we eat them without knowing because the food is not labeled. We’ve just eaten what that cow ate. Our bodies have just ingested chemicals that were not made for us. 

“We can just eat grass-fed animals.”

Well, that’s an interesting theory. My response is two-fold. One, remember the hill? Those GMOs will seep into the grass that the animals eat. Two, who is going to guarantee that the animals we eat are grass-fed? We also now have to be concerned with the type of grass that the cow is eating. Is it GMO free? GMO grass is now a reality.

“Then I’ll eat fish.”

Sounds good, except that they created genetically modified salmon. These salmon grow at an unnatural rate so that they will be big enough to harvest. Now we can only eat wild fish. But, remember that hill? That same water that contaminated the organic corn will stream into the oceans. How long before all fish are inedible?

“Won’t the USFDA label them so I know which ones are GMOs?“

Probably. And we will pay more for it and buy it. But, there is no guarantee that it is what it’s labeled. Remember the hill? Plus the USFDA can’t be trusted because Monsanto owns the USFDA. Yes, the deputy commissioner of the USFDA was a previous VP for Monsanto. And Hillary Clinton, a candidate for President in 2016, was formerly on Monsanto's payroll. The government is not going to stop promoting big corporations unless we start voting out the politicians that like to be paid big bucks.

“The President of the United States will do something, right?”

Actually, President Obama, that I trusted enough to vote for, signed The Monsanto Protection Act guaranteeing that they will never be sued. They will not be held accountable for poisoning a world full of people. President Obama is gong out of office soon and we need someone strong enough to stand up to business. That isn't going to be Hillary Clinton who has come out publicly with support for GMOs.

Activist Notes | Why I March Against Monsanto and YOU Should, Too

I March Against Monsanto. 

I would like to share with you why I have taken such an adamant stance. 

I am passionately against Monsanto, and other biotech companies, and I am marching for good reasons: (1) I want to protect the environment and (2) I want my children and their children to be alive for a very long time.

Monsanto is one extremely dangerous corporation. 

They have taken over our FDA. Yes, I know I may sound like a right wing conspirator, but I'm just a concerned mother who wanted to know what her children were eating. Although I have three plus years of college under my belt, I never graduated from college. I do not consider myself smarter than a scientist. I just do the research. Period.

How GMOs affect humans and the environment.

Genetically Modified Organisms by nature must contain a bacterial virus in order to transform a normal gene. This type of modification, whether it's to insert a pesticide or another gene to make the food hardier, is unnatural and it has unnatural consequences to both the human body and our environment. If we allow GMO seeds of disease to be produced then they will contaminate every natural living organism and there will be no more food for our future generations. Cross pollination is a powerful tool and makes it possible for GMO traits to be passed onto natural organisms. Whether that trait is pollinated or eaten is no matter. Either way, GMOs will genetically modify a plant, an animal and, yes, even humans.

These Bt toxins are making the organs in our bodies process them in an unnatural fashion. I've been diagnosed with diabetes, kidney problems and liver disease and I attribute it to the food that I have been eating. It wasn't until six months ago that I heard the term "GMOs" and I was quick to discount the term because I was afraid that it was too scientific for me to understand. When I became ill last year I started paying more attention and I started researching. The more I researched the more concerned I became. Not only for myself, but also for my children. I have only been ingesting these chemicals for the last twenty years, but my children have been ingesting them for their entire lives.

I urge you all to go home and watch A Silent Forest on YouTube. The film talks about how GMO trees have been created. These unnatural trees soak up more water than usual from the ground, creating a dry soil shattered with cracks. Because the pesticide does not work adequately enough they rain more pesticides on them and kill everything on the earth around them but the herbicide resistant trees. They have genetically modified them to be less hardy and, therefore, they rot on the ground and release carbon monoxide into our biosphere. Not the least of this is the water that the chemicals contaminate. They found these chemicals in the water supply in Denmark and banned all GMOs because of it. If it can contaminate the water supply, what will it do to the water in our oceans? We are all in this together, human and environment. If we let Monsanto and the government win this fight against GMOs, then we destroy our children's futures.

When I march I will be marching for your future, my children's futures, your children's futures and the futures of all people who are too scared or too downtrodden or not knowledgeable enough to speak up for themselves. 

I fight for my right to live. I fight for the people's rights to a chemical free future. I fight for the land that has given us life. I ask you to announce to the world that we are united, regardless of our political stances, regardless of our religious views. I believe that, in solidarity, our voices are STRONG!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Editorial | GMOs, a Tool, to Aid in Killing the 'Poor Problem'

One of the biggest things that has bothered me the most about GMOs is that the government knew when they were introduced into our food supply and they did nothing to stop it. The people were the last to know about what we were being fed.

I find it hard to swallow that a government that I believed in has abused my trust. If the US government hadn't been in bed with Monsanto then this never would have happened. Like the industrial age, the US government has allowed itself to become intertwined with big business. And, like that age, I find that the corporations, aka monopolies, also have a huge amount of power. This leads to a corrupt government and corrupt business practices.

We worked so hard to get rid of these things. We got rid of child laborers, sweatshops, and even allowing hard drugs to be included in things we eat and drink. We made some great strides as a country in that age. However, I feel like we're quickly moving back into that play yard again.

A Nation Divided by Wealth

Like that era, we are becoming a poorer nation. The rich have remained rich and we allow them to have the power. Rather than striving forward with a strong middle class society, we find ourselves in a cataclysm between the very rich and the very poor. It is on the backs of the working class poor that these wealthy people stride forward.

Inequality is at its ugliest for the hungriest people. While food support was being targeted for cuts, just  20 rich Americans made as much from their 2012 investments as the entire 2012 SNAP (food assistance) budget, which serves 47 million people. 
And as Congress continues to cut life-sustaining programs, its members should note that their 400 friends on the  Forbes list made more from their stock market gains last year than the total amount of the  foodhousing, and education budgets combined. -The Salon

The Poor Problem in the United States

This situation begs the question of why the government is doing this to it's constituents. The answer is not so difficult to ascertain. The answer lies in our history. From the beginning of time we have had a poor problem in this country. Social workers began working with the immigrant poor and offering them programs in the 1900's, but the government didn't start backing them until the Great Depression. As we know more and more programs have cut back what the poor receive--welfare reform has been a huge platform for the wealthy Republicans. Have they finally found a way to strike back at the poor?

Based on wage figures from the IRS, half of Americans are below or near the poverty lines. The IRS reports that the highest wage in the bottom half of earners is about $34,000. To be eligible for food assistance, a family can earn up to 130% of the federal poverty line, or about $30,000 for a family of four. Even the Census Bureau recognizes that its own figures under-represent the number of people in poverty. -The Salon

Did the U.S. aid in creating GMOs as an answer to the 'poor problem'?

Monsanto has given the tool to the US government to get rid of the poor problem. While the wealthy continue to get wealthier and more powerful, the poor are falling due to economic crises, and lack of funding for social welfare. While Monsanto may have created the tool, the US government has taken the ball and run with it by getting in bed with Monsanto. Too many government officials, including the former Secretary of Defense Hillary Clinton and Social Justice Clarence Thomas have been employed by Monsanto. The Food and Drug Administration has had so many people come and go from Monsanto that it is impossible to tell who exactly is running that agency. 

GMOs are a tool for the United States to eliminate the poor problem. The poor are uneducated. Does that make them easily led? Their lack of education is not entirely their fault since the US is just now being awakened by the March Against Monsanto and the wool is just now being lifted from our eyes.  While the poor are dining on Chef Boyardee and Natural Light, President Obama and Hugh Grant, the CEO of Monsanto, are dining on non-processed food and organic wine. The poor must settle for chemical ridden food that will either lead to their demise or to their sterility, therefore creating a loophole for wealthy Americans to stand tall on a bridge upheld by the backs of the world's poor.

Until next time, keep watch on what you eat and remember to vote with your dollar!

Recipe | Homemade Analgesic Balm

Are you using Extra Strength Tiger Balm or Capsaicin Creme? 
Then this holistic recipe is for you!

Analgesic balms are good for back aches, arthritis, carpal tunnel and many other physical ailments. 

Cayenne pepper eases joints and relieves cramping. Turmeric is good for inflammation and ginger is 

good for pain. I include Coconut Cannabis Oil in mine because it has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and 

relaxing effects on muscles, but it can also be made with just coconut oil.

Happy Holi(stic) Hunting!


Analgesic Balm
for the skin

1 c. Olive or Almond Oil
1 TB Organic Ground Cayenne Pepper (Fiesta Cayenne is shown in pic as I was out of organic.)
1.5 c. Organic Coconut Oil or Organic Coconut Cannabis Oil
1 TB of Organic Turmeric, grated
1 TB Organic Ginger Root, grated
Double Boiler or (as shown in picture) a glass/ceramic bowl over a pot
Grate your tumeric and ginger. Mix together ground cayenne, turmeric, and ginger. Add this to olive oil in a double boiler and stir until mixed thoroughly. Warm over medium heat for 5-10 minutes and then add in beeswax. Stir until the beeswax has melted completely and everything is blended together. Heat over medium heat in a double boiler for 15 minutes, and then remove it to cool and infuse for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, strain and reserve the infused oil. 
Put it in the refrigerator for 10 minutes, take it out and whisk it then put it back in for another 10 minutes. Take it out and whisk it again. Store in a canning glass jar in the refrigerator. It will expire in 2 weeks.
If you want to make a stronger balm, add another TB of cayenne.

Apply sparingly to area and leave on for five minutes. Rinse off with water only and allow the oil to infuse into your skin.

NOTE: Turmeric will stain if not rinsed off.

Recipe | Cannabis Coconut Oil and Salve

The Economist: "If (Marijuana) were unknown, it's discovery would no doubt be hailed as a medical breakthrough. Scientists would praise it's potential for treating everything from pain to cancer and marvel at it's rich pharmacopoeia; many of whose chemicals mimic vital molecules in the human body."

Why I decided to make Coconut Cannabis Salve

My doctor informed me that I had a brain disorder that caused focal dystonia in my arm. I had incredible pain in my arm. My hand cramped so badly every minute of every day. I couldn't straighten out my hand; it looked like a claw. I had been on Vicodin for a while, but that didn't even seem to work any more.  My doctor prescribed an antidepressant. I didn't want to take another medication. I was tired of medications that didn't seem to work as well as they proclaimed.

So, I decided to take matters into my own hands. I had heard that cannabis oil could cure cancer if taken internally and skin cancer if applied externally. I wondered what it could do for my arm...

I did some research and found out that cannabis oil has incredible healing properties. It has analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and body relaxing properties. It can heal burns, stretch marks, acne, and sore throats. It is good for migraines, back aches, arthritis, and even skin allergies. 

There are many who would not care to smoke it, but I figured that this was an experiment that I would not mind finding out the outcome of. I wanted my arm healed! I applied the salve to my arm for two weeks. My arm felt so much better.  The cramping was gone! 

Then the following week I stopped using it. My pain returned within three days. I knew that I hadn't used it for long enough to cure it. I started using it again. Like a miracle it worked! The pain was reduced, the cramping eased, and I could type again! Perhaps my brain disorder is something that will never be cured, but it can be controlled with this holistic recipe.

Happy Holi(stic) Hunting! :)

Coconut Cannabis Oil
to be eaten or used in the following salve recipe


7 oz. Organic Coconut Oi
1/4 ounce bag of smokeable Marijuana, frozen overnight
.5 c. Water
Coffee Bean Grinder

Grind up the marijuana in your coffee bean grinder. Use a small spatula to make sure you get every single bit of it and it's dust out. Any leftover dust can be scooped out with your finger and eaten. It won't get you high, but it is good for you.

Boil the water and put the ground marijuana into your pot. Turn down the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Stir continuously during that time. Next add the coconut oil. Simmer until it has melted all the way through.

Once melted, pour the oil into a wide mouthed canning jar. Carefully scrape the sides of the pot with a rubber spatula to get every little bit into your jar. Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning you will find the coconut oil has floated to the top and left some water at the bottom of the jar. Discard the water.

To use you can break the hardened coconut cannabis oil into pieces or remelt to add to a salve or to eat. Refrigerate and use within one month.

Coconut Cannabis Oil Salve*
for your skin


Coconut Cannabis Oil (see above recipe)
30 drops of Valerian, liquid
15 drops of Kava Kava, liquid
 .5 c. Olive or Almond Oil
Rosemary Essential Oil (anti-inflammatory)
Double boiler or a glass bowl and a pot that fit snugly together


Melt coconut cannabis oil in the microwave for 30 seconds. Boil water in the bottom section of your double boiler. Pour the coconut cannabis oil into the double boiler. Add the olive oil and the essential oil. Stir frequently. Warm for 15 minutes. Set the bowl aside to cool a little. Pour into a wide mouthed canning jar and put it into the refrigerator for 10 minutes. Take out and whisk it. Put it in for another 10 minutes, then take out and whisk again. Refrigerate and use within one month.

NOTE: Use a different essential oil if you have high blood pressure, epilepsy or are pregnant.

*If you're interested, please check out how to make Analgesic Balm with Coconut Cannabis Oil.