Sustainable Food News Items for Spring 2011

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Keeping up on the events in the world of food and food politics can be a dizzying proposition because there are so many issues in our food system needing our support and attention. And there are only so many hours in a day to address the issues.

But I believe that collectively we can make a huge difference by being mindful to avoid buying products and supporting corporations and other efforts that are not sustainable, supporting sustainable farms, and spreading the word to educate other people. Each one of us has a role to play in changing the way people think about food. Some people simply don’t understand all the issues or are unaware, and that’s what the job of activism is all about – to make people aware.

Please take the time to read and become involved in food issues. They affect everyone and will adversely affect our future if we don’t take a stand and become active. Support your local farmers who use sustainable practices and understand the control and power large food corporations and the FDA have on what we eat, our food supply as a whole, and the future of our health on this planet. Our children deserve a bright future, so put your efforts, dollars, and voice toward food freedom for everyone.

Here is my list of 11 important current items in sustainable food news:

  1. Dr. Huber’s warning to the USDA about a pathogen and a link between Roundup Ready and a possible link between Roundup Ready (GMO) corn and soybeans, and dangerous reproductive problems in livestock as well as widespread crop failure. Read the research, watch the interview, and sign the letter telling the Obama administration to cease putting through genetically-modified technology into our food supply.
  2. FDA Farm raids – as we continue in the farm raids saga, learn about how our government is busting down the farm gates with weapons drawn and threatening to take away the livelihood of honest, family farmers dedicated to producing healthy food for their customers. Only in America can we count on government officials to protect large corporations who repeatedly make recall lists with their products and spend our tax dollars so foolishly to shut down those who care enough to produce real food. Also, read this post about how the FDA claims the power to seize goods without provocation of contamination.
  3. Grassfed on the Hill Rally for Farm Freedom – if you are going to be in the Washington D.C. area on May 16th, don’t miss this rally to help support local, sustainable farmers and their efforts to continue to be able to produce and sell real food.
  4. GMOs are a constant threat to our food supply and cause many health issues to those consuming them – allergies, liver problems, infertility, create super-viruses through destruction of beneficial bacteria, are nutrient-depleting, cancer-causing, degrade the soil and land, and with continued use will lead to mass crop destruction and hunger. Read this informative article by Judith McGeary which talks about the inherent dangers of these organisms in our food supply and how our government continues to allow these substances in farm products without information or labeling, leaving many consumers uninformed about the foods they consume. And, watch this informative video from Jeffery Smith at the Institute for Responsible Technology.
  5. Coca-Cola and BPA – The world-famous soft-drink company synonymous with all things American has decided not to ban the use of BPA in their soft drink cans because executives don’t believe there are any health issues connected with BPA in our food supply. Oh really? How about diabetes, heart disease, endocrine disruption and thyroid problems and  early onset puberty in young girls? Although many people who visit sustainable food sites don’t consume Coca-Cola products, it’s important to spread the word about not consuming them to those we know and love so that our soils and groundwater don’t also continue to be riddled with BPA.
  6. Tainted meat - there are so many stories in the weekly news about contaminated meat, it’s hard to know which one to read.  Many people believe fast-food restaurants are the bottom of the barrel when it comes to food quality, but the reality is – nowadays you can order up a serving of pathogenic just about anywhere – most restaurants, schools, the grocery store, hospitals, universities, prisons, and even your own kitchen. Jeff Benedict’s book Poisoned tells an unfortunate tale about a family’s loss of their child who ate fast food from Jack-in-the-Box.
  7. Food price increases – over the last couple of years we have been hearing and reading that food prices will skyrocket, and I think it’s safe to say that time is now. It’s more important now more than ever that we abandon our habits of purchasing foods from grocery stores and start supporting local farmers for as much as possible. Not only are the majority of food prices increasing, but many of those foods people are eating are nutritionally bankrupt to begin with. So, paying even more for already expensive, processed foods that are depleted of anything good should seem unthinkable. Get the most bang for your buck – on the front and back end of your budget – by purchasing foods from sustainable producers.
  8. Creating healthy, sustainable communities – making the sustainable food system work is all about grass-roots and starting in your own community. Don’t wait to plant a garden, buy from local sustainable farmers, make food at home from scratch, and organize events that promote awareness and sustainability in your own area. If you are wondering how you can make a difference, start today to create your own movement and have a positive effect on the lives and health of those you love and care about by reading how a family in Ohio does that very thing in their own community.
  9. Food industry versus the sustainable food movement – yes, it’s true. One of the biggest enemies of sustainable food and farming is the corporate food industry. That’s because everything we do stands for – supporting small farms and keeping smaller communities alive with jobs and healthy food – would effectively shut their companies down. Anna Lappe, author of Diet For a Hot Planet, The Climate Crisis at The End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It discusses the effects of what I like to refer to as industrial overheating – factory farms, which contribute as much as 1/3 of carbon gases that have a negative effect on our environment.  Yet more good reasons to buy food sustainable and local!
  10. Basics that everyone should buy organic – although we can’t always buy everything green and organic, if you have to pick and choose, I think this is a fantastic place to start and a good list of things that are essential to buy organic. Beef, milk, foods in containers that are safe and don’t leach toxic chemicals like BPA are high on my personal list, and I’m hoping to someday in the near future ditch my toxic, commercial mattress for a safe, organic one (that one will take some building up in the old piggy bank, but I think it’s worth it). Also, here are 3 simple tips for going organic in your food too.
  11. Human breast milk from cows – It’s the latest and greatest development from bio-technology. By introducing human genes into cows to give them the “same properties” as human breast milk. If this isn’t sick and wrong, I don’t know what is. This is genetic modification at its worst and yet one more reason to not buy milk from commercial sources. The goal is to supposedly boost the immune system of people, but I’m certain that what will come out in later years if this is allowed to continue are health problems the scientific community were unable to expect. Why not just breast feed your own child and eat a healthy diet with traditional fats or feed your child home-made formula using these recipes from the Weston A. Price Foundation? And here’s a video from Sarah The Healthy Home Economist.

After reading these articles, if you haven’t already, I hope you feel inspired and motivated to change your eating and buying habits. It’s time to put more of our money and support to the businesses that are going to make the most impact on our future – sustainable farmers.

1 in 4 meat packages tainted with pathogenic bacteria

Farm raids – small farms need your support!

What are traditional foods?

I can’t believe it’s not food! And other atrocities

Food recalls: Why they could mean the end of real food as we know it

How well do you know your food? Find out!

This post is part of Sarah The Healthy Home Economist’s Monday Mania Carnival. Please visit her site and read the other great posts shared there.

7 Comments

  • May 16, 2011 - 9:15 AM | Permalink

    Raine, this is a great list, covering so many issues that are vital to the health of everyone of us.

    While I do not drink coca cola, BPA is any can is a disaster. The FDA requires the use of BPA in all canned tomato products, even organic ones.

    Senator Feinstein introduced a measure to ban BPA in baby foods last year. She gave up because of opposition from some chemical industry lobbying group.

    We have to change our system. A small group of large corporations and industries have more power with our government than all the rest of us, and that is the biggest problem.

  • May 16, 2011 - 9:40 AM | Permalink

    Hi Stanley – Many thanks for your awareness, concern, and comments. I hope we can inspire more people to make changes, small at first, and then to become motivated to make bigger ones down the road. And you are right, that the government is basically tied up with a few corporations that are controlling every facet of our world from laws, to food and health, to socio-economic standing. Our freedom isn’t what it used to be, if we don’t make changes we’ll soon having nothing. I, for one, don’t intend to let that happen if I can help it…and I know you won’t either. :)

  • Kelli
    May 16, 2011 - 1:08 PM | Permalink

    Great list, Raine! So many issues, so few time. Its sadly amazing how we have to fight so hard for something that should be a right: clean, pure food.

  • May 17, 2011 - 2:01 PM | Permalink

    Hi Raine,
    I am enjoying reading you blog. This post is really great. It covers so many of the issues I have been reading about recently and feel so strongly about. Thanks for the links for more info on each topic! I look forward to your next post!

  • May 18, 2011 - 4:34 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for your comments and for stopping by Kelli and Jill! These are important issues and I’m glad there are people who care and are working on getting them resolved. It doesn’t seem that we should have to fight so hard, it’s true, but I know that everything we do in this measure is worth the effort.

  • June 21, 2011 - 4:56 PM | Permalink

    It gave me a good feeling to find this article, and this site. I haven’t had a Coke (or any other soft drink) in my 69 years on earth, and I can run 50 miles faster than any other 69-year-old in America. Is there a connection? Yes. There isn’t much research on long-term effects of good nutrition (as opposed to sudden outbreaks of illness from infected food), because vested interests don’t want to fund such research. So, my story is anecdotal–but I think significant. I recount it in a short article on my endurance-running blog, http://enduranceandsustainability.blogspot.com.

    Ed Ayres

  • March 6, 2014 - 9:44 AM | Permalink

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