September 29, 2011

non gmo project

Whole Foods Market today announced a commitment to the Non-GMO Project –a non-profit collaboration of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed breeders and consumers – to use the Non-GMO’s Product Verification Program (PVP) in connection with Whole Foods Market’s private label products.

Whole Foods will submit its private label products to testing for genetically engineered organisms–a move that will add a new level of certification to what’s on the organic and natural grocer’s shelves.

Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods  will work with the Non-GMO Project, a nonprofit collaborative of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers and others. The product verification program is the reportedly the nation’s first system designed to scientifically test whether a product has met a set of defined standards for the presence of genetically engineered or modified organisms.

“From the moment GMOs were approved for use in the U.S., we recognized the need for transparency, but there was no definitive standard by which to evaluate or label products,” said Margaret Wittenberg, Whole Foods Market global vice president of quality standards. “We searched high and low for years for a way to do this and now, thankfully, the Non-GMO Project has answered that challenge by creating a standard and a practical system by which manufacturers may measure their products. At last, shoppers concerned about foods made with genetically modified ingredients will be able to make informed choices.”

According to the FDA, as much as 75 percent of processed food in the United States may contain components from genetically modified crops. Despite the abundance of products with genetically modified ingredients, a Pew Initiative study on food and biotechnology shows that 59 percent of Americans are unfamiliar with the issue of genetically modified ingredients in food. Read the rest of this entry »

the who bus Happy Friday!


go-organic-logojpgFinding out how to go organic for Earth Day is right at your fingertips, thanks to Go Organic!(TM) for Earth Day, the major national collaboration of the Organic Trade Association, Earth Day Network , and MusicMatters.

“Go Organic!  for Earth Day’s new iPhone application offers everything consumers need to go organic for Earth Day this April 22nd,” said Christine Bushway, Executive Director of the OTA.

Consumers can download the application for FREE and just enter their zip code to get a list of nearby stores where they can pick up free coupon books full of savings on favorite items from CLIF Bar, Van’s, R.W. Knudsen Family and other leading organic brands,” explained Michael Martin, Prez, MusicMatters. “Each coupon book is more than a $12 value!”

“The iPhone Application also provides a complete, up-to-date list of events consumers can participate in during Earth Day on April 22,” said Sean Miller, Director of Education at Earth Day Network. “It’s easier than ever for consumers to make a difference this Earth Day.”

Leading national retailers in ten major markets are participating in “Go Organic! for Earth Day,” which is now in its fifth year. In the west, retailers include: Ralph’s in Los Angeles; King Soopers and City Market in Denver; Kroger, Brookshire’s and Market Street in Dallas-Ft. Worth; and Fry’s in Phoenix. In the southern states, participating retailers include: Kroger in Atlanta, Publix in Miami and Tampa, and Nutrition S’Mart in Tampa. In the Midwest and east, participating stores include Kroger in Cincinnati and Detroit, and ShopRite in the New York-New Jersey metro area.

 For information about nearby stores giving out Go Organic! for Earth Day coupon books and Earth Day events, enter your zip code on the new iPhone application, or visit the Go Organic! for Earth Day website at www.OrganicEarthDay.org.

The number of farmers markets in the United States continues to grow, reports USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS), reaching a total of 4,685 in August 2008. This represents a 6.8 percent increase since mid-August 2006, when AMS reported 4,385 farmers markets nationwide.

According to Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green, and clinical professor of pediatrics at Stanford University’s Packard Children’s Hospital, women who are pregnant should choose organic versions of these five foods to maintain health of their baby and the planet.

  1. Beef – If you eat beef during pregnancy, choose organic beef. The meat from grass-fed, organically raised cattle tends to be leaner overall and has about five times the omega-3s of its conventional counterpart. In contrast, a 2007 study published in the Oxford journal Human Reproduction linked mothers who ate beef from conventionally raised cattle during pregnancy with lower sperm counts years later in their adult sons. The men in the study whose mothers ate conventional beef most frequently had sperm counts that averaged 24 percent lower than their counterparts, and they were three times more likely to be infertile. The authors of the study believe the added hormones were the culprit.
  2. Milk – If you drink milk, opt for organic. Milk from organic, pasturefed cows is produced without antibiotics, artificial hormones, and pesticides, and can also provide extra omega-3s and beta-carotene. When women start making organic choices for themselves and for their families, they often intuitively start at the top of the food chain with organic milk. They understand that the foods they eat and the medicines they take will often get into their breast milk, so they easily make the connection that the medicines and foods given to dairy cows may affect their family’s health. They prefer avoiding the routine use of antibiotics, artificial hormones, pesticides, and genetically modified feed. Recent USDA monitoring data found that 27 percent of the conventional milk samples contained synthetic pyrethroid pesticides. By contrast, lower levels of the pesticide showed up in just 5 percent of the organic samples. Read the rest of this entry »

The answer to a life free from cancer may be to live like a monk. Research into one of the world’s most isolated monastic communities has revealed that only a tiny number of brothers have suffered from the disease in the past decade.

The austere existence of the monks of Mount Athos has been notorious in Greece for generations but, until recently, few beyond the peninsula’s monastic walls had considered mimicking their sombre lifestyle.

That may be about to change. Father Epifanios Miloptaminos is sharing his recipes in, “Cooking on Mount Athos” (so far available only in Greek).

“Monks at Mount Athos don’t eat meat,” says Epifanios. “The word butter is never mentioned in the book, and we don’t add flour to thicken sauces. We just let the ingredients boil down.”

Epifanios’ catalog of recipes is divided into seafood – with and without backbones, according to different fasting categories – or vegetables. No desserts at the Holy Mountain.

The main factor in their low uptake of cancers is their diet. The brothers alternate their meals, and ration olive oil, wine and dairy products on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Read the rest of this entry »

Ancient peoples believed that ladybugs (also known as ladybird beetles) were signs of good fortune and good harvest. Not just cute and colorful, ladybugs are important allies in the organic farmer’s battle against crop-destroying pests. Did you know that just one adult ladybug can eat as many as 5,000 aphids in her lifetime?

Here’s something to think about the next time you decide to include “organic” chicken in your meal. The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) proposed a rule in the July 14 Federal Register to amend the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National List of Allowed & Prohibited Substances (National List) to extend the use of synthetic methionine in organic poultry production until Oct. 1, 2010. The National Organic Standards Board made the recommendation on May 22, 2008.

DL-methionine, DL-methionine-hydroxyl analog and DL-methionine-hydroxyl analog calcium were originally included on the National List in 2003, and was scheduled for expiration on Oct. 1, 2008. AMS said methionine was petitioned by organic livestock producers as a part of the NOSB’s 1995 initial review of synthetic amino acids considered for use in organic livestock production.

The petitioners asserted that methionine was a necessary dietary supplement for organic poultry, due to an inadequate supply of organic feeds containing sufficient concentrations of naturally occurring methionine (ie stuff chickens normally like to eat – organic whole wheat, organic whole oats, alfalfa meal, sunflower meal, fish meal and limestone). Petitioners suggested synthetic methionine would be fed as a dietary supplement to organic poultry at levels ranging from 0.3 to 0.5% of the animal’s total diet. The petitioners also asserted that a prohibition on the use of synthetic methionine would contribute to nutritional deficiencies in organic poultry thereby jeopardizing the animal’s health.

Read more at: There’s a synthetic in my organic chicken