The Truth About Milk

I just ran across this eye opening video on YouTube. It shows how Fox News killed a well researched story about the dangers of Monsanto’s rBST in our milk and the connection of it to cancer. Fox News was threatened by Monsanto with “dire consequences” and it in turn killed the story and fired the reporters who investigated it. This is really shocking but I guess it shouldn’t be. If you are familiar with my feeling on Monsanto then you know I think they are evil with a capital E! Anyone else feel weird about drinking milk infused with chemicals from the same company that makes Roundup…the weed killer? Just another reason to buy organic milk.

Monday, July 9th, 2007

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Organic Can Be Affordable

Organic Cheese and CrackersMy recent post over at Green Options spurred a comment that organics are not affordable enough to be practical for average families. I find the comment extremely valuable because I used to think the exact same thing. It was a no brainer that organics were healthier for my family since they had no chemicals, pesticides, or dangerous additives but the price tag was hard to ignore. I wasn’t ready to double my grocery bill at that point. Now several years later when my household food is 90% organic, I see things a bit differently. All it took was a few frugal purchasing practices and a few changes in my thought process about my food and where it comes from.

My first goal was to start replacing conventional foods that we used the most and had the most danger of accelerating our cumulative exposure to chemicals. Milk and eggs topped the list. By starting with these two items I saw only a small increase in my monthly grocery bill. When I found an organic supplier of raw milk the cost did go up significantly as the price tag was $8.00 a gallon. The cost, coupled with the fact that I was now actually able to drink milk for the first time in my life, prompted me to give up other household beverages I would normally buy to offset the cost. Soda went on the chopping block and good riddance. I was now buying organic, raw milk and organic eggs every week and there was no additional cost to me.  I could do this. :)

I slowly made similar changes to my grocery list without dramatically affecting my bill. I was also becoming a savvier shopper.

I joined a local CSA or Community Supported Agriculture program that delivered fresh organic produce to my door every week. The fee was very reasonable and I ended up eating healthier and trying many new things. This arrangement was what spurred me to start putting Kale in smoothies since I had so much of it every week and few ideas on how to prepare it. Now my kids benefit from getting a Kale infused berry smoothie a couple times a week. I also started going to my local farmers market where the food is fresh and delicious and competitive with conventional foods because you are eliminating the middle man. And in my area the Amish are abundant so I make sure to frequent their homes often for their organic offerings. I just love driving through Amish country, passing horse drawn buggies, looking for signs boasting of farm fresh eggs or homemade noodles. It is an adventure.

Buying in bulk was the next step and this is still my favorite money saving tip. I buy organics in bulk from co-ops for wholesale prices. I also shop at Costco, which has a wonderful selection of organic foods and products. I can get frozen fruit, veggies, peanut butter, jam, crackers, soups, chocolate milk, soy milk, eggs, edaname, yogurt, maple syrup, tea, etc….all organic of course and at killer prices. And while it is not organic I love to buy wild caught salmon there too. It is beautiful and pink without the coloring added to farmed salmon and it is out of this world delicious.

Amazon also has a great selection of organic groceries and shipping costs are no obstacle since it is usually free if you spend over $25.00. Think of the gas money you save by having your groceries delivered to your door.

Coupons for organics were hard to find but I quickly found that if I visited the web sites for organic products that I liked and joined their mailing list I would get free coupons in the mail. Many of the sites also had printable coupons you could get immediately. I joined the advisory panel for Kiwi Magazine and got free magazines (which have coupons) and I also got coupons from affiliated companies. Mambo Sprouts is another source of coupons for organics. And don’t forget other discounts you can get at places like Whole Foods where they will give you a 5 cent credit for each bag that you bring in for your purchases. All these little savings can add up or at least equal a free organic chocolate bar!

The biggest change I made to my shopping regimen began with a change of attitude. You see I grew up in a household that was pretty green but one area that definately wasn’t was the amount of meat that was consumed. My dad was a meat and potatoes man. If the meal didn’t have meat (usually beef) then it just wasn’t a meal…it was more like a snack. It is no wonder that a large portion of my grocery bill was spent on meat and meat is expensive.

Around that time I read an article promoting vegetarianism. The article cited numerous reasons why meat consumption was harmful to the planet and I had to agree. Vegetarianism was not for me personally as I had already tried it for two years when I was a teenager and it did not seem to me the healthiest way for me to eat. I am a true omnivore and dare I say I found myself with an Omnivore’s Dilemma? :) It was then that I decided that my meat consumption needed to be reduced and I had to change my ideal of what a meal should be. Why must EVERY meal have a meat portion? Well, it no longer has a special place in every meal in our household anymore. Last week our favorite meatless meal was simple and delicious.

* Fresh raspberries, blackberries, and strawberries (local and organic) daikon

* Smoked Gouda (organic from Whole Foods and one variety was local)

* Flax and rye crackers (organic from Costco)

* Cooked yellow beats (organic from Whole Foods)

* 4 types of raw radishes including my personal favorite Daikon (mostly organic and local)

The meal was delicious and my kids loved it. I don’t feel as though I was missing out on anything in the least. In fact the smoked Gouda is so good I feel as decadent eating it as I would caviar. And all things considered the meal was very affordable.

Since organic meat and beef in particular are so expensive I find that I often end up buying more fish now. Wild caught salmon and catfish are big hits in our household and the abundance of healthy oils in fish makes them a better choice too. I make 2-3 fish meals a week and the price tag is much more kind.

I also incorporate more veggies into our meals as fillers. There is a great book called The Sneaky Chef with great recipes for hiding veggies in other foods so picky eaters don’t know the difference. There is even a recipe for hiding veggies in chocolate chip cookies.

All of these changes have been small and gradual but they have made a big impact on our lives, including better health, a more sustainable way of eating, and an AFFORDABLE organic diet.



Can Food From Cloned Animals Be Called Organic?

by Tiffany in Healthy Eating, Organic Bites

By Rick Weiss
Washington Post Staff Writer

There’s nothing like a tender steak from a free-range, grass-fed, hormone-free, antibiotic-free, organic and — oh, yes — cloned cow.

Or is there?

That’s a question being raised by scientists, activists and government bureaucrats since the Food and Drug Administration concluded in December that meat and milk from cloned animals should be allowed on the market.

In the opinion of some in the biotechnology arena, the federal definition of organic food would allow them to label food from clones as organic, as long as those clones were raised organically.

“My interpretation is that it’s not excluded at this time,” said Barbara Glenn, chief of animal biotechnology at the Washington-based Biotechnology Industry Organization.

But the mere thought that a clone might earn the coveted organic label makes even the most mild-mannered foodies rabid.

“Over my dead body,” said Margaret Mellon, director of the food and environment program at the Union of Concerned Scientists, an advocacy organization in Washington.

“I think it’s unbelievable,” said restaurateur Nora Pouillon, proprietress of the Nora and Asia Nora restaurants and Washington’s doyenne of organic cookery.

“It’s like putting artificial apples in an apple pie,” said Joseph Mendelson III, legal director of the Center for Food Safety, a consumer group in Washington that has petitioned the government to more strictly regulate the sale of clone products for human consumption. “People would consider that a downright violation of the American way.”

Officials at the Agriculture Department, which oversees the definition and certification of organic food, say the question will not be fully settled until it is considered by an advisory panel, perhaps by this spring. At that meeting, they predict, opponents will probably win, and the term “organic clone” will join the ranks of word pairs that simply do not belong together.

But nothing is ever certain in the federal rulemaking process. And a look at the USDA’s legal definition of “organic” shows how tough it can be to regulate a science that is changing almost as fast as ink dries in the Federal Register.

The Agriculture Department spent years crafting a definition of “organic,” integrating the advice of a record-breaking 50,000-plus public comments. But even after all that, said USDA spokesman Jerry Redding, the issue of clones “really never came up internally or externally until the FDA made its announcement about cloned animals being safe.”

Read more…


Mouths of the World Demand Real Organic Food

New Short film by creators of The Meatrix debuts today

Contact: Aimee Sands, Annie’s Homegrown, 707.254.3700 x103, asands@annies.com
Erica Priggen

Free Range Studios, 510.981.0353, erica@freerangestudios.com

NAPA, Calif., January 23, 2007 /Natural Newswire/ — Mouths of the world are uniting to take a stand against trans fats, artificial ingredients, GMOs and pesticides in a new short film by the director of the most-watched internet films of all time. Annie’s Homegrown, makers of delicious alternatives to traditional comfort foods, and Free Range Studios, creators of the Meatrix and Store Wars, have partnered to produce the Mouth Revolution, a new short film that touts the benefits of choosing organic foods, now screening at www.MouthRevolution.com.

The Mouth Revolution is a humorous 4.5-minute live-action film that parodies history and contemporary culture while informing viewers about the vital importance of eating real, organic foods. Narrated by revolutionary mouths who take it upon themselves to decide what they will and will not eat, personalities like “Sojourner Tooth” and “Captain Mouth” unveil their “Mouthifesto” — a Declaration of Indigestion that details their objectives and demands: No Trans Fats, No GMOs, No Pesticides, and No Artificial Ingredients.

“At Annie’s, we’re committed to offering delicious snacks and macaroni & cheese meals that don’t contain “weird stuff” like artificial ingredients, Trans fats or GMOs. We’re also dedicated to teaching people why they should choose natural and organic foods,” said John Foraker, CEO, Annie’s Homegrown. “The Mouth Revolution is a fun, lighthearted way to spread this message. We urge mouths everywhere to join the Mouth Revolution and take a stand in favor of eating Real Food!”

“Our on-line viral work is all about making complicated issues ‘digestible.’ Our first smash hit, the Meatrix, exposed the horrors of factory farming. Now we’re using live action video to show people how they can take control and eat healthy. If they don’t, their mouths will do it for them,” said Jonah Sachs, Co-founder and President, Free Range Studios.

Louis Fox, director of the video and Free Range Co-founder, adds, “we took that child’s game where you make a puppet out of your mouth by drawing eyes on your chin to and then amped it up all the way. We’re quite confident that the Mouth Revolution is the best upside-down mouth movie in cinema history!”

At the end of the film, viewers are invited to take action by learning more about each Moutifesto article. They’ll have the opportunity to learn more about Trans fats, GMOs, pesticides and artificial ingredients, and can connect with organizations who are working to change current legislation around these issues. Non-profit partners include Trans Free America, Campaign to Label GMOs, Pesticide Action Network and the Organic Consumers Association.

Viewers can also use Web 2.0 “Upload Your Mouth” technology to interact and join the Mouth Revolution community in their own creative way.

About Annie’s Homegrown
Napa, Calif.-based Annie’s Homegrown offers delicious, all-natural and organic alternatives to traditional comfort foods. Since Annie Withey founded the company in 1989, Annie’s has been dedicated to delivering great-tasting, easy-to-prepare products made with the highest-quality ingredients that are healthy for people and the planet. The company was the first to create and introduce organic macaroni & cheese, and now is the nation’s leading natural and organic macaroni & cheese brand. Annie’s Homegrown is a wholly owned subsidiary of Homegrown Naturals, Inc., a growing family of natural and organic brands that includes Annie’s Naturals, Fantastic World Foods and Consorzio. Annie’s Homegrown products are available nationwide at major grocery stores, natural food stores and club stores. For more information, visit www.Annies.com.

About Free Range Studios
Free Range is a 20-person company with offices in Washington, D.C. and Berkeley, CA. The company enables its clients, progressive non-profits and socially responsible businesses, to communicate key messages and empowers individuals to transform society through the innovative use of digital media, storytelling, graphic design and strategy.

The firm is guided by the co-founders Jonah Sachs and Louis Fox, two lifelong friends, along with McArthur, Free Range’s Vice President. Under their leadership, Free Range has become known for top-notch design, ground-breaking contributions to Internet viral marketing and interactive, educational web design, creative communication strategies and stellar customer service. Free Range’s work has been showcased at scores of film festivals including Sundance and South by Southwest, and has won numerous awards including a 2005 Webby.

Over the past seven years, Free Range has worked for hundreds of clients, representing the premier change-makers in the progressive social space including Heifer International, ACLU, Environmental Defense, Amnesty International, International Campaign For Tibet, Stonyfield Farms and Clif Bar.



Eco Friendly Baby

by Tiffany in Birth & Baby, Organic Bites

Organic and Fairtrade Baby Food

Organic baby food has been around for decades and fairtrade baby food has only recently been launched. Why feed your baby with chemicals, additives and possibly genetically modified ingredients when you can feed them fresh, organic and healthier food? By buying fairtrade it also enables you to put something back into local communities where the ingredients originated from, so that they can look after their families better due to being paid a fair price for their food and hence they are able to reinvest the funds into their community and families.

Organic and Eco Friendly Baby Care

Babies have extremely sensitive skin that requires a mild and gentle touch – which is why it makes sense to treat them with products made from the purest ingredients. The skin is the largest part of the babies body and is often prone to sores and nappy rash in the early days. Minimise the amount of chemicals coming into contact with the babies skin by buying organic or natural baby care products.

Organic and Fairtrade Baby Clothing

A babys skin is thinner than that of an adult, so make sure the clothes against their bodies are free from harmful pesticides and chemicals by buying clothing which are made from organic or hemp fibres which are made with the minimum or no chemicals in the production and processing. By buying Fairtrade or ethical baby clothes from companies such as HUG ensures that other babies in developing countries may benefit as well from the clothes that you buy. Cheap, brand new clothes from supermarkets etc. are often made in China in low cost production facilities where workers are paid the minimum wage and where the term sweatshops originated from. Buying second hand or using donated clothes is the ultimate form of recycling and is cheaper too at this expensive time of life.

Environmentally Friendly Cloth Nappies

Cloth nappies can be washed and reused hundreds of times. Millions of disposable nappies are used throughout your country and you can imagine what size of landfill is needed to bury them all! Cloth nappies can reduce nappy rash and have no suspect chemicals. By washing them with your normal clothes, you again minimise your babies impact on the environment.

Breast feeding

Breast milk is very economical, constantly available at the right temperature and if your diet is organic then so is your milk which is therefore better for your baby. If you have to buy formula we wary of buying Nestle as an International Nestle Boycott is in effect in 20 countries. The boycott will continue until Nestle ends its irresponsible marketing of breast milk substitutes world-wide and abides by the International Code of Marketing of Breast-milk Substitutes and subsequent Resolutions in policy and practice.

About the Author:

Davinos Greeno works for the organic and ethical directory that lists 100s of Organic and Ethical Companies and we also have Organic Articles for you to read or publish.

Friday, January 19th, 2007

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