Happy Father’s Day!

June 15, 2008

God took the strength of a mountain,
The majesty of a tree,
The warmth of a summer sun,
The calm of a quiet sea,
The generous soul of nature,
The comforting arm of night,
The wisdom of the ages,
The power of the eagle’s flight,
The joy of a morning in spring,
The faith of a mustard seed,
The patience of eternity,
The depth of a family need,
Then God combined these qualities,
When there was nothing more to add,
He knew His masterpiece was complete,
And so,

He called it … Dad

~~Author Unknown.~~

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), foodborne ailments cause about 325,000 hospitalizations and 5,200 deaths nationwide each year. Safeguarding your home against foodborne illnesses begins not at home, but at the supermarket, grocery store, or any other place where you buy food that you plan to store and serve.

You can take important steps to protect yourself and your family. While shopping for food:

1. Check for cleanliness
Buying from a retailer who follows proper food handling practices helps assure that the food is safe. Ask yourself: What is the general impression of this facility? Does it look and smell clean?

2. Keep certain foods separated.
Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from other foods in your grocery shopping cart. Place these foods in plastic bags to prevent their juices from dripping on other foods. It is also best to separate these foods from other foods at checkout and in your grocery bags. Read the rest of this entry »

Whereas we are, literally, what we eat, and
Whereas food is the largest route by which chemical pollutants, including pesticides, trespass into our bodies, and
Whereas pesticide residues are now routinely detected in human amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, breast milk, and the urine of school children, and
Whereas pesticide exposure is a suspected contributor to childhood cancers, infertility, miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, and learning disabilities, and organic agriculture provides us food with demonstrably lower residues of toxic pesticides, and
Whereas organic farming methods also protect our air and water from toxic contamination as well as enriching the soil for future generations, Read the rest of this entry »

Class I Recall, Health Risk: HIGH

Palama Holdings, LLC, a Kapolei, Hawaii, firm, is voluntarily recalling approximately 68,670 pounds of ground beef products because they may be contaminated with E. coli O157:H7, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service announced today. The ground beef products subject to recall were produced from April 9, 2008, through April 21, 2008. The products subject to recall were distributed to retail, food service establishments and commissaries in Hawaii.

E. coli O157:H7 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. The very young, seniors and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness.

For a complete list of products subject to recall go to:  http://www.fsis.usda.gov/News_&_Events/Recall_014_2008_Release/index.asp, call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 1-888-MPHOTLINE.

Mercy for Animals, an animal protection organization, has just released a hidden-camera video that shows chickens being mistreated by handlers and birds left with untreated wounds in crowded cages.

Recorded early 2008 at Gemperle Enterprises, a supplier to NuCal Foods Inc., the largest distributor of shell eggs in the Western US, the video reveals:

  • Rotting carcasses in cages with live hens still laying eggs for human consumption.
  • Birds suffering from untreated broken bones, open wounds, infections and prolapses.
  • Workers brutally killing sick hens by grabbing their heads and swinging their bodies around to break their necks, or through neck-twisting, often resulting in a prolonged, torturous death.
  • Workers roughly and forcefully handling birds, resulting in injuries, such as broken bones and blunt trauma.
  • Hens covered in excrement, confined five to seven per cage the size of a file drawer, unable to stretch their wings, move freely or exercise.
  • Crippled hens left to languish in cage aisles without access to food, water, or veterinary care.

Read the rest of this entry »

The sandwich, slices of meat or other food placed between two pieces of bread (or sometimes on top), is a form of food that has been around for centuries.

The Earl of “Sandwich”
The name sandwich originated in the 18th century, named for John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718-1792), England, who was responsible for popularizing the style. The Earl was a statesman and also an avid gambler. He was inspired by his diplomatic trips to the Eastern Mediterranean where he observed the Greeks and Turks stuffing pita bread with meats and other fillings. He realized this flavorful, convenient snack would allow gamblers to remain at the gaming table without breaking for supper. The Earl introduced his own version of the dish to his pals, who were happy to satisfy their appetites without interrupting their betting. Read the rest of this entry »

Coinciding with a manifesto from Country Life launched today, which urges people to ‘learn to love GM crops’, the Soil Association has published a report on the latest available research on GM crop yields over the last ten years. The yields of all major GM crop varieties in cultivation are lower than, or at best, equivalent to, yields from non-GM varieties.

According to Peter Melchett, Soil Association policy director, “GM chemical companies constantly claim they have the answer to world hunger while selling products which have never led to overall increases in production, and which have sometimes decreased yields or even led to crop failures. As oil becomes scarcer and more expensive, we need to move away from oil dependent GM crops to producing food sustainably, using renewable energy, as is the case with organic farming.” Read the rest of this entry »

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) and 10 co-sponsors last week introduced the Food Safety Recall Information Act (H.R. 5762), which would require USDA to list all of the retail stores and school districts that have received food products subjected to a recall.

Since Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing Co. recalled 143 million pounds of beef earlier this year, DeLauro and other legislators have repeatedly called for this transparency. Read the rest of this entry »

Think you’re pretty savvy when it comes to conservation? Try taking the Earthbound Farm Conservation Quiz.  Get 9 out of 10 questions right, and they’ll send you a free reusable (and recyclable) Earthbound Farm shopping tote that you can use to reduce environmental waste whenever you shop.  Visit here to give it a whirl.

Monsanto Company said Tuesday it has entered an exclusive partnership with rival Bayer CropScience to develop a new treatment for corn seeds.

The deal is part of St. Louis-based Monsanto’s broader effort to capture more of the global corn seed market. The firms did not release financial terms of their deal.

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed company is a big player in U.S. commodity crops like soybeans and cotton, and Chief Executive Hugh Grant told investors last week that increasing corn seed sales is a key part of Monsanto’s plan to double its annual operating profit by 2012. Read the rest of this entry »