My family, my health, my money, my right to know, and my right to choose.
It seems unfathomable that any group, company, corporation or government would take the stance that we don’t have the right to know something as personal and basic as how our food was grown or raised. Yet in today’s marketplace this is actually a fight we moms have to take on. Unreal as it seems there are many people who feel we should not have a right to know if our food has been genetically modified. We are being asked to eat the mystery meat in school all over again and don’t dare ask what it is…
So why the mystery? Well, depending on who you ask you will get many different answers. For the most part it all comes down to money. The huge agribusiness corporations behind GMOs have many billions of reasons to keep GMOs unlabeled and far from the scrutiny of the public. The food companies making products with GMOs would rather not label their products as such because it might make you think twice before putting their products in your shopping cart. Farmers have their reasons as well…as GMOs fall out of favor, their income is threatened.
The truth is that most of the world requires GMO labeling to give people the right to know what they buy. Since food is one of those basic needs we have as human beings there should be no mystery surrounding it. We need 100% transparency and if GMOs are as wonderful as large agribusiness claims, then the record will show that.
There are many, many companies trying to block our fight for food education and information but Quaker’s parent company, PepsiCo, is one of the worst offenders. They are spending millions to keep you and your family from knowing what’s in your food.
Quaker is one of the big food companies using their deep pockets to lobby against mandatory GMO labeling. Through the trade association, the Grocery Manufacturers Association, they are supporting a bill in Congress we call the DARK Act – because it would deny Americans the right to know whether our food has been genetically engineered.
Here is why you should care:
- GMO crops have led to huge increases in herbicide use, which contributes to an array of threats to the health of people and the environment. And in case you missed it, the World Health Organization recently labeled the main herbicide used on GMO crops as probably carcinogenic (aka cancer-causing).
- Increased herbicide use, promoted by the planting of GMO crops, has been so severe that according to the U.S. Geological Survey, 60-100 percent of the rain in Midwest farming communities now contains herbicides.
- GMOs thus result in millions of pounds of probable carcinogens in our air and water.
- And, just as the overuse of antibiotics has caused resistance to some bacteria, herbicide overuse has created resistant weeds on 70 million acres, resulting in the use of stronger and even more dangerous herbicides. This is called the chemical treadmill.
We have the right to know whether GMOs are in our foods so we can choose not to support the chemical treadmill.
People all across the country are fed up with being kept in the dark. That’s why I’m working with Just Label It to bring the Conceal or Reveal campaign to Quaker’s doorstep. But we need your voice, too.
Ask Quaker to support mandatory FDA labeling of GMOs, stop funding anti-mandatory labeling efforts, and stand up against the DARK Act!
We do not want to be kept in the dark. GMO or no we have the right to know! Period. To make it happen we must make our voices heard. Just Label it already!!!
Will you join me??
This post was created as part of the Just Label It campaign in which I am a financially compensated Labeling Advocate. Booyah! The opinions I share here are my own and based on my own world view.
Essential oils play a big role in organic gardening. Various types of oils help to repel insects and kill invasive weeds that try to overtake the edible parts of the garden. Keep your home garden growing abundantly without chemicals with these tips for gardening with essential oils.
How to Mix and Use
When using essentials oil to keep pests out of the garden, mix a few drops of the oil in a spray bottle filled with water, then spray on all the plants. The oils are natural and won’t harm the plants or the humans doing the spraying. Can you say that about Round-Up???
Make spraying for pests or weeds the last thing you do after working in the garden so it will have time to settle on the plants and soil.
Insect Repelling Oils
* Garlic oil is very pungent and works well at repelling several pests, including mosquitoes and cats.
* Lemongrass, citronella, eucalyptus and cajeput essentials oils are very effective for garden use. All repel a variety of flying and crawling pests without harming vegetation.
* Peppermint essential oil repels ants, lice, spiders and fleas. If you own pets, it’s a great to use on the lawn to keep the flea population at bay. Soak cotton balls with non-diluted peppermint oil and tuck around the perimeter of your garden to keep rats and squirrels from eating your vegetables.
* Pine oil repels fleas, ticks, slugs and snails. Good to use in the garden and landscape when you have children and/or pets.
Thieves Oil Pesticide – Thieves oil has clove, lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. In a standard size spray bottle, fill almost full of water and then add enough Thieves Cleaner to color the water.
* Rosemary essential oil is a natural mosquito and cat repellent. To keep cats from using your garden as their own personal bathroom, try this trick. Spray small strips of cloth with rosemary oil water and hang the strips up around the perimeter of your garden. Cats hate the smell of rosemary and will stay away – so will the mosquitos. Re-wet cloth strips weekly or after a rain.
* Tea tree, lavender and clove essential oils are good all-around insect repellents.
Moss and other types of fungus grow on garden soil and deplete nutrients before plants can uptake them. Kill the fungus with these anti-fungal essential oils. Add 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice to a spray bottle, then spray the soil thoroughly.
* Cinnamon, clove, peppermint, onion, garlic, rosemary, thyme, tea tree or oregano.
* Neem oil will rid the garden of nematodes which live in the soil and attack plant roots.
Essential oils can be used not only to repel the bad guys, but attract the good guys too. Attract natural pollinators to your garden with orange blossom, sage, yarrow, lavender, catmint and fennel essential oils mixed and used the same ways as the repellents.
As always my fave oils are Young Living oils. Not only do they produce the highest quality oils out there…they use essential oils for all pest and weed control on their farms. Pretty nifty!
Summer is in full swing, and if your house is anything like ours sometimes it feels as if summer sucks the money right out of the front door. Between the high costs of water, air conditioning, having the kids’ home from school and everyone wanting to go places and do things it can seem as if there is never quite enough money for everyone who is demanding it. But how would you like to actually save money this summer?
I know that it may seem impossible, but you really can save money by using these three simple ideas to get started saving and let yourself get creative. Why only three? Because you are busy this summer and it is easier to stick to smaller, defined goals than a broad range of tips of and ideas. Once you get started though you’ll find yourself coming up with even more ways that you can save.
Save Money on Your Energy Bills
One of the easiest ways to save the most significant amount of money this summer is to acclimate your home and family to the natural cycles of heat and humidity. The best way to do this is slowly adjust your air conditioning to higher settings during the day. Take about a week and slowly adjust your settings each day. You may find that your weather is too hot and humid to go without AC altogether, but this method can significantly reduce the amount you spend on air conditioning. In addition, try turning the AC off altogether in the evenings and use ceiling fans, floor fans, and window box fans to keep the cooler outside air circulating through the house.
Also instead of running the dryer use a clothesline and hang them outside to dry. They don’t have to be permanent or bulky structures either. Many are portable so that picky homeowner’s associations won’t have a reason to cite you. Plus, kids can help you hang and remove laundry. And while we are on the topic of sun power why not look into a solar power buyers guide and see if solar panels are feasible for you. There is nothing like paying pennies for your monthly energy bill in the summer because you powered up with the readily available sunlight!
Save Money on Your Water Bills
Water bills can be prohibitively expensive during the summer, especially if you are trying to keep your yard green and also allowing your kids to play in the sprinklers. Well, there are several ways to cut down on your water bills. First off is to reuse all of your water, and I do mean all of your water. Save the water from your baths and showers as well as your dishwater. Mind you, you’ll have to switch to biodegradable soaps and shampoos, but believe it or not, your shrubs, flowers, houseplants and even garden vegetables seem to thrive on recycled water, so don’t be shy!
Another way to save money on water is to buy a kiddie pool instead of letting your children play in the sprinkler. Buy a pool with a cover or rig a mesh cover that will prevent leaves and bugs from getting into the water so that you don’t have to refill the pool as often.
Saving Money by Skipping the Vacation
The idea of not going on a vacation can seem absolutely depressing to most people. After all, isn’t getting away from it all what summer vacations are all about? Now I’m not suggesting that you not take a vacation, but that you don’t go anywhere on your vacation. No mind you, you have to do some preparation for this kind of vacation so that you won’t slip into your usual home routine. You can choose a theme (such as a Caribbean cruise or a Tour de France) and plan your meals and activities accordingly. You can schedule a number of day trips to local attractions that will keep you out of the house. The point is to enjoy your time off without having to pay the ridiculous hotel, restaurant, and resort fees. Just using this idea alone you’ll end up with money leftover at the end of the summer; money you normally would have spent on something else.
While there are dozens of ways to save money over the summer, hopefully these three have given you a place to start so that you can get through the summer without feeling as if your budget has been sucked dry and you can head into autumn with a little jingle in your pocket.
The battle for climate justice seems to be a losing one, but every once in a while the good guys get a win. This is the story of what happened in a small Bay Area city.
In 1989, 1999, and 2012 there were explosions and fires at an oil refinery run by Chevron in Richmond, California. These events have caused over 15,000 citizens to need care for burns and the effects of inhaling noxious fumes. For this community the fire in 2012 seemed to be the last straw. In 2013 they banded together and sued the Goliath-like company.
As you can imagine, Chevron did not take kindly to this lawsuit. They began to take measures against the local government in Richmond. Chevron poured 3.1 million dollars into the local elections in 2014, even producing attack ads, hoping to get more “friendly” politicians in place. Although that is a lot of money, this community would not be intimidated. They showed up to vote, and were triumphant. All of the Chevron delegates lost, but it didn’t end there. These events spurred the community to start a program called Climate Justice, including turning empty lots into gardens and organizing events sponsored by local green companies to raise environmental awareness.
Bio: Frank Bozzo is the Social Media Coordinator for This Planet, a series of short video stories that draw on the best new content and surprising facts about climate, energy and innovation.
Essential oils have the amazing ability to help uplift and stimulate us when we need an emotional or physical boost. They can also help us to achieve balance and restore calm when life becomes chaotic and worrisome. It is easy to make a mood mist that that can either lift you up or calm you down, depending on what you need this day, week, or season.
These mists a simple way to practice aromatherapy. You can spray the air around you, mist your hair and body, or perhaps spray them on bed linens (no they won’t stain). If you are feeling sluggish, they will stimulate you. If you are feeling amped up, it will help you come back down to peace and calm. Pick your poison…
Uplifting Essential Oil Mood Mist
1 drop eucalptus
2 drops geranium
3 drops peppermint
Calming Essential Oil Mood Mist
2 drops bergamot
1 drop frankincense (or elemi for the budget conscious)
3 drops lavender
To make either recipe just take a clean spray bottle (mini size) and drop in a half teaspoon epsom salts. Add the essential oils and top with 4 ounces of distilled water. Shale well before each use because the water and oils may tend to separate.