GMO Approval Process FINALLY Being Scrutinized

Genetically modified organismIt had to happen. Finally, a request has been made by Congress that the FDA’s and USDA’s review process for genetically engineered products finally come under scrutiny by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

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USDA poised to approve new GMO seed

GMO corn field, photo by Bob Bell, flickr

GMO corn field, photo by Bob Bell, flickr

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) may well give its approval to a new genetically modified (GMO) seed which is manipulated to live through sprayings of Dow’s Enlist Duo herbicide, a chemical cocktail containing both glyphosate and an older toxic chemical 2,4-D.

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The bad news about GMO’s from a die-hard organic farmer

Editors Note:   The following is Part 2 of a series focused on genetically modified food crops from Wayne Kessler, a decades-experienced organic farmer in northern California.

Learn more about genetically modified foods so you can make informed, healthy choices

Learn more about genetically modified foods so you can make informed, healthy choices

All genetically altered organisms are tested badly. The USDA and the Food and Drug Administration report that GMO and GE foods are safe to eat. The food industry claims no one has gotten sick or died from eating billions of GMO meals. We don’t know because there have been few long-term studies linking animal and human health to GMO foods, including the residue pesticides and fertilizers in them. Remember, most if not all GMO foods come with tiny doses of chemicals that are used on or in them. There’s growing evidence that the cancers and other environmental diseases develop after years of tiny doses of toxins that we breathe and eat.

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Too many green labels equal confusion for consumers

There are hundreds of "green" labels out there, providing plenty of confusion for consumers

There are hundreds of “green” labels out there, providing plenty of confusion for consumers

While participating in the recent Sustainable Foods Summit in San Francisco, I browsed the trade show outside the event. One of the first booths I encountered was for Control Union Certification, which is an independent inspection and certification body. In my conversation with their representative, I came across a startling fact.

There are literally hundreds of certification programs out there. It’s a veritable morass of information that is impossible for consumers – and even somewhat educated journalists – to keep up with, much less to understand!

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Vermont Soap launches new organic deodorant

Vt Soap Logo (new)If you’ve ever read the labels of your favorite personal care products, chances are you’ve seen ingredients with names you can barely pronounce. And many aren’t either healthy or natural.

Popular brands of deodorants and antiperspirants include synthetic ingredients such as hormone disrupting fragrance, antibacterials and petrochemicals – things like propylene glycol (aka antifreeze), triclosan, phthalates, parabens, aluminum and alcohol. Many of these are creating serious problems for consumers.

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New map shows growing zones – an easy read

Planting a fall gardenGardeners and growers know that being intimately familiar with your growing zone is a make it or break it deal. One mis-step and it can be goodbye garden.

Just in time for Fall planting, the USDA has published an easy to understand  Plant Hardiness Zone Map that takes the guesswork out of planting for even the novice planter. The map is now available as an interactive GIS-based map for the first time. You’ll need a good broadband connection to use it, but the rest is simple. Just input your zip code and discover the hardiness of your growing area.

And happy winter growing!

CropMobster helps local farmers eliminate food waste

Cropmobster produce gleaning  with Petaluma Bounty, photo by Gary Cedar, courtesy of CropMobster

Cropmobster produce harvesting with Petaluma Bounty, photo by Gary Cedar, courtesy of CropMobster

It’s almost unthinkable but more than fifty percent of the fresh produce grown in the U.S. goes uneaten. Continue reading