Posts Tagged Organic
by: Kelsey Coy
July 24, 2012
For the eighth year in a row, the Environmental Watch Group (EWG) has published an updated ‘shopper’s guide’ based on a comprehensive analysis of government pesticide testing data of 45 different fruit and vegetables. The guide includes the ‘dirty dozen:’ the twelve foods most commonly contaminated with pesticides, as well as the ‘clean fifteen:’ the fifteen least contaminated foods. This year the dirty dozen also includes a ‘plus’ category, warning about two foods containing particularly concerning organophospates, insecticides that are known reproductive and neurotoxins. The use of organophosphates have been significantly reduced in the past decade, but is yet to be banned, and this year, a number of crops still tested positive. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives contains 25 articles published in the past week analyzing and discussing the dangers or organophosphates in our food supply.
Also new this year, researchers investigated the pesticide content of 190 samples of baby food, with rather alarming results.
As the EWG simply and frankly reminds us, ‘Pesticides are toxic by design. They are created expressly to kill living organisms — insects, plants, and fungi that are considered “pests.” Many pesticides pose health dangers to people. These risks have been established by independent research scientists and physicians across the world.” The U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to health problems spanning brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormonal disruption and skin, eye and lung irritation. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under pressure from The American Crop Protection Association, largely representative of the pesticide industry, has failed to apply adequate protective measures in regulating our food supply. One might well ask whether it is wiser to protect a country’s crops or its population.
The Dirty Dozen
Without further ado, the dirty dozen:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Blueberries (domestic)
Plus 2 more to add to the dirty dozen:
- Green beans
- Kale/Collard Greens
Going into a little more detail for the dirty dozen, 100 percent of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, as well as 98% of apples and 96% of plums. Grapes had 15 pesticides in a single sample, while blueberries and strawberries each had 13. As an entire category, grape samples contained 64 different pesticides; bell peppers had 88 different residues, cucumbers 81 and lettuce 78.
The Clean Fifteen
And the clean fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet Potatoes
Highlights of the clean fifteen include pineapples, in which fewer than 10% of samples contained pesticides, mangoes and kiwis, both of which were completely free of pesticides more than 75% of the time, and watermelon and domestic cantaloupe over 60% of the time. Among vegetables, no samples of sweet corn and onions had more than one pesticide and more than 90% of cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant and sweet potato samples contained no more than one pesticide.
One additional concern to consider: sweet corn, although it may contain less pesticide residues, is quite commonly genetically modified in the U.S. While genetically modified organisms (GMO) are banned or significantly restricted in Australia, Japan and throughout the European Union, the industry is still at large in the U.S., and no labeling is required by the federal government. For this reason, it is recommended that sweet corn consumption also be limited to organic.
Among baby food, green beans and pears were especially disturbing: almost 10% of green beans contained the organophosphate methamidiphos in amounts that could easily increase risk for brain and nervous system damage in infants consuming a four-ounce serving of green beans on a regular basis. 92% of pear samples tested positive for at least one pesticide and over a quarter of samples contained five or more, including iprodione, categorized by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen, and not registered for use on pears. In fact, the presence of iprodione in pears of any kind constitutes a violation of FDA regulations and the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
While there is no question that Americans need to eat more fruits and vegetables, it’s worth taking an extra step to make sure that produce is delivering the nutrition it’s supposed to, and nothing it’s not. Pause for a moment. Want some neurotoxins with that salad? I didn’t think so.
Friday, July 20, 2012
By: JB Bardot
[NaturalNews] In the midst of an economy that’s turning upside down, many people feel the loss of control and sovereignty in their communities and their lives. Many are concerned about where they can buy healthy food and other supplies and services without being pressured by large corporations whose interests differ from those of the individual. Others are worried about jobs disappearing, finances shrinking and a loss of human-to-human connections in the face of multinational indifference.
Buying local from independent businesses and with group purchasing power means providing local business support to neighborhood suppliers and using local resources to promote independent, sustainable communities. Buying local helps individuals become more self-sufficient and less dependent on large corporations.
Snubbing the system
Buying green and organic is important for broad range, long-term sustainability; furthermore, buying from local, independent business owners gives you a vested interest in your community. Here are 11 great reasons to keep your money and your focus on your neighborhood to rejuvenate life in the community.
1. Reduce your carbon footprint. A simple concept and one that allows you to travel less, spend less time on the road away from family, and spend less money on carbon fuels that create pollution and traffic congestion.
2. Stimulate the local economy. Buying local helps create jobs for those living next door to you and may even help create work for you. Local business support for independent businesses keeps money in the community and creates a domino effect that helps grow other local businesses.
3. Build local relationships. Buying local and using the power of group purchasing encourages the people involved to get to know one another and build relationships fostered on trust and friendship.
4. Establish local barter system. Buying local allows people to develop trust in one another because they get to know each other, leading to alternative ways of doing business — such as setting up a barter system. Individuals and businesses are valued for their services and products and no money is necessary.
5. Benefit local non-profits and charities. When local businesses are supported by local buyers, the business owners are more inclined to donate to local charities, furthering the strength of the community.
6. Improved services. Buying local and supporting independent businesses fosters better service all around. When people know each other, they’re more inclined to care and treat one another with respect. Business owners listen more closely to what their customers want when they know who they’re dealing with.
7. Support community buying groups. Sustain the community by joining local marketing and other group efforts to invest in communities at home.
8. Buy fresher foods. Buying local allows you to buy what you need and shop whenever you like, taking home fresher foods made and grown on local farms and by local suppliers.
9. Keep taxes at home. Contributing to local communities allows tax money to be better utilized on necessary local projects, infusing prosperity into the community.
10. Create prosperity, personality and character in your community. Buying locally allows each community to develop uniquely in accordance with the needs of those living there. Satisfaction with your community increases property values and attracts like-minded neighbors for ongoing sustainability.
11. Increase personal satisfaction. Buying local makes you feel good inside. You meet new people, make friends, watch community members grow, prosper and create solutions that support a better way of life.
Sources for this article include:
FDA’s shutting down of faulty drug manufacturing facilities ‘over-aggressive and excessive,’ says Congress
Friday, July 06, 2012
By: Ethan A. Huff
[NaturalNews] Several members of Congress are up in arms over the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)’s recent crackdown on faulty drug manufacturing facilities across the country. According to the Washington Examiner and several other news outlets, House Oversight and Government Reform Committee (HOGRC) Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Cal.) has issued a public statement in protest of the FDA’s regulatory actions, dubbing them “over-aggressive and excessive,” and responsible for causing widespread shortages of “life-saving” drugs.
Dozens of drugs have had to be recalled just within the past year due to contamination, production, labeling, and dosage problems, which is why the FDA sent out 1,720 warning letters to drug companies — the agency only sent out 474 warning letters in 2009 — notifying them that changes needed to be made. But now Congress has turned the issue into a partisan one, and is actually accusing the FDA of doing too much in trying to protect the public from unsafe drugs.
Rep. Issa flip-flops on FDA enforcement actions
As many NaturalNews readers will remember, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, a division of Johnson & Johnson (J&J), voluntarily shut down its Fort Washington, Penn., facility back in 2010 after a series of drug recalls that included several million containers of various children’s medicines. (http://www.naturalnews.com/030504_Johnson_&_recalls.html) It turned out that the McNeil manufacturing plant producing these medicines was infested with bacteria and filth. (http://consumerist.com)
At that time, Rep. Issa and several others issued a joint statement expressing concern about the filthy conditions at the McNeil plant, and actually indicted the FDA for allegedly failing to conduct proper inspections and recall procedures that Rep. Issa and others implied would have kept the public safe from the tainted products. (http://www.ipqpubs.com) Now, however, more than two years after his previous statements, Rep. Issa is singing a different tune, claiming that the FDA is doing too much to protect the public.
According to Rep. Issa, drug companies are having to slow or even stop production of certain “life-saving” drugs in order to come into compliance with FDA standards. So putting the lives of millions of patients at risk from exposure to tainted drugs is apparently not that big of a priority anymore since the FDA’s regulatory actions are now cutting into Big Pharma’s profit margins — or as Rep. Issa and his cohorts have put it, “failing to ensure the availability of quality products.”
So when the FDA steps in to stop drug companies from dispensing contaminated drugs, the agency is needlessly obstructing the nation’s supply chain of critical drugs, in Rep. Issa’s opinion. But when the FDA pursues supplement manufacturers, threatens walnut and cherry growers, and shuts down family farms (http://www.naturalnews.com/033280_FDA_raids_timeline.html” target=”_blank”>http://www.naturalnews.com/033280_FDA_raids_timeline.html), it is apparently just business as usual in the corrupt world of regulatory politics.
Rep. Issa was nowhere to be found when the FDA needlessly destroyed the entire business of Pennsylvania Amish farmer Dan Allgyer, obstructing access to that area’s supply chain of raw milk. (http://www.naturalnews.com/035000_Amish_farmers_raw_milk_feds.html) He was also nowhere to be found when the FDA participated in a SWAT-style raid on Rawesome Foods near Los Angeles, Cal., which interfered with that local area’s supply chain of organic, natural, and untainted foods. (http://www.naturalnews.com/033220_Rawesome_Foods_armed_raids.html)
For once, the FDA is actually doing a decent job of pursuing the dirty players in the drug industry, and Rep. Issa and others in Congress are complaining that these actions are inappropriate. It just goes to show how deeply corrupted the American political system has become.
Sources for this article include:
15 Reasons a permaculture herb spiral lets you practice sustainable gardening in urban or country settings
Wednesday, June 27, 2012
By: JB Bardot
[NaturalNews] Whether you’re a city mouse or a country mouse — with a high-rise patio or 1000 acres — building an herb spiral near your kitchen allows you to partake in the sustainable permaculture revolution and have fresh organic culinary herbs at your fingertips. An herb spiral is a compact vertical garden built on specific principles allowing for individualized management of wind and water flow to create the ideal garden in a limited amount of space.
The spiral is a natural form that provides an efficient method for managing space, storing and sorting. Using the natural universal design of a spiral, the forces of gravity and water flow are utilized to their fullest allowing for proper drainage downhill. Herbs that thrive on drier soils live at the top, whereas those needing more moisture reside at the bottom where water collects. This form allows for planting of a widely diverse number of plants, and creates natural, sunny and shady areas — a perfect miniature microclimate landscape environment. The herb spiral as a permaculture form that allows you to create your own ecosystem and become self sufficient. The format can be adapted to large gardens if space is available.
Stone or block building materials allow for retention of heat and insulate plants in colder weather or at night, while acting as the backbone for the structure. Collect water at the bottom and have a small fish or frog pond or even a bog and grow edible water plants. An herb spiral can be built even on a concrete foundation and filled with the richest biodynamic, organic earth to support any plants included.
The spiral should always be built to move in the direction of water drainage in whatever hemisphere it’s located in — for example, in the Northern hemisphere, water runs off in a clockwise direction and the opposite is true for the Southern hemisphere. This allows for optimal positioning of the pond at the bottom and reduces evaporation. The spiral can be built as a round or oval shape to take advantage of the movement of summer sunlight.
15 reasons to build an herb spiral for your permaculture garden
1. Maximize growing space to grow more food.
2. Multiple microclimates available for optimal plant growth.
3. Healthier plants where growing needs are met and companion planting is easy to reduce insect problems and foster beneficial plant relationships for better growth.
4. Aesthetic garden focal point.
5. Maximizes space even in very small areas on top of concrete or in high-rise buildings.
6. Harvesting access is easy and all plants are effortlessly accessible.
7. No bending, everything is at waist height — hooray!
8. Save money by growing your own food.
9. Eat organic, using heirloom seeds and avoid pesticides and genetically engineered seeds.
10. Reduces maintenance, little weeding and easy to turn and mulch.
11. Manage water amounts and use natural forces to perpetuate the growing season.
12. Reduce building costs when you use local available materials.
13. Use drip irrigation or a small sprinkler for easy watering and irrigation.
14. Create a bio-diverse habitat for creatures who come to visit.
15. Build an herb spiral to grow medicinal herbs to avoid Big Pharm drugs.
This is a fascinating gander into the backstory of what takes place behind closed doors of the nefarious drug companies. Eustance Mullins gives us a great in-depth discussion as to how deeply embedded the Rockefeller oligarchs are within the corrupt system that has cost thousands and thousands of lives over time. A true eye opener for those in search for the truth behind the brazen corruption of the medical establishment.
Eustace Mullins [1923-2010], discusses one of his best-selling books; ‘Murder by Injection’ exposing the unholy dynasty of the big drug companies, the medical establishment, the Rockefeller syndicate and the evils of the cut-slash-and-burn cancer racket that has killed millions in the name of ‘fighting cancer.’
Mullins beat the cancer doctors by resorting to alternative therapies not approved by the medical elite, so the author is speaking from real experience.
While there are many books on the corruption of modern medicine, there is no other book out there that so effectively tells the whole story as does this seminal volume, laying bare the criminal machinations of those who profit in the name of “promoting good health.” The federal bureaucracy that ostensibly “regulates” the big drug companies is all part and parcel of the problem.
Rawesome Foods’ Sharon Palmer innocent of all charges, District Attorney staging public theater, declares attorney
Thursday, March 08, 2012
By Mike Adams, the Health
[NaturalNews] The following statement was issued today by the Bromund Law Group in Ventura, California, which represents Sharon Palmer. She was recently ambushed in a court hearing and slapped with a $2 million warrant, marched away in handcuffs and then kept as a prisoner of the state. A whopping 38 felony charges have been leveled against her and James Stewart by the state, which NaturalNews now knows is on apunitive terrorizing rampage against the entire raw milk industry. (More evidence on that point to be published soon…)
Here is the full statement released by the Bromund Law Group:
Sharon Palmer is innocent
The case against Sharon Palmer is false. The allegation that she engaged in a criminal conspiracy is completely untrue. The District Attorney knows that Sharon Palmer is a family farmer and single mother. The District Attorney knows that Sharon Palmer is no flight risk and no danger to the community. He knows this because he can see that Sharon Palmer has attended court every time, in every jurisdiction, without fail, for several years.He knows this because his allegations make no claim that there is any ongoing criminal harm to anyone as a result of Sharon Palmer operating her farm in Santa Paula. Arresting her in open court and asking for $2,000,000 bail is grandstanding for the press and the public and it is an abuse of the authority given to the District Attorney by the people of Ventura County.
The simple facts of the matter are these: Sharon Palmer received the financial backing and support of many people to open Healthy Family Farms in Santa Paula. These investors committed their funds to this business and understand that they will be repaid as soon as practicable. Sharon Palmer used their investment to purchase the farmland on which Healthy Family Farms operates. In operating the farm, Sharon Palmer has been beset by constant harassment and slander from both government officials and disreputable individuals determined to deny Americans the right to choose food that isn’t industrially processed. Because of this, the business has struggled to deliver the amount of revenue projected when the investors made their commitment of funds.
Despite this, however, Sharon Palmer has operated the farm and made the payments necessary to service the loan on the farm and keep the business viable. She has kept her investors informed about the business’s operations as it has gone forward; no one has been deceived. Certain individuals stand to benefit substantially if Healthy Family Farms fails, but Sharon is not one of them, and she has worked tirelessly to honor her commitment to her customers, her investors, and the idea of healthy food. At no time was there ever any sort of conspiracy by Sharon Palmer to defraud or harm anyone.
The District Attorney knows all of these facts and yet charged Sharon Palmer. The District Attorney’s investigators have heard these facts from Sharon Palmer herself and were assured that if a charge were to be issued, Sharon Palmer would present herself voluntarily to the court for arraignment. At no time did the District Attorney inform anyone that a charge was forthcoming. In no way was an arrest warrant needed; she was prepared to voluntarily appear at the time and date of the District Attorney’s choosing. Instead, the District Attorney elected the most dramatic method possible for bringing Sharon Palmer into the court to be arraigned: an arrest in open court, out-of-county, and without any prior notice. This kind of approach should make every citizen concerned about the judgment of those in whom we have reposed such tremendous power over our individual liberty.
Sharon Palmer is not guilty.
See the astonishing picture of Sheriff’s Deputies intimidating raw milk freedom advocates
How many deputies does it take to suppress raw milk freedom?
Video from the recent Vernon Hershberger raw milk freedom rally in Wisconson:
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
By: Christina Luisa
[NaturalNews] Permaculture is a fundamental approach to food production and urban renewal, water, energy and pollution. It is based on the ethics of caring for people and our planet. It is about growing your own healthy food, being resourceful and environmentally responsible. Permaculture concepts, design principles and ideas can be applied successfully to anything from small suburban units to large farming properties.
According to Bill Mollison, permaculture integrates ecology, organic gardening, architecture, landscape and agro-forestry into the creation of a rich and sustainable way of living. Not only does it use appropriate technology that provide high yields for low energy inputs, it strives to create a resource that is both stable and incredibly diverse.
Permaculture design ethics include:
• Care of the earth (“Earth Care”)
• Care of people and all other species (“People Care”)
• Limiting consumption; sharing surplus (“Fair Shares”)
The core principles of Permaculture are explained in detail here:http://www.permacultureprinciples.com/principles.php
Here is an easy-to-follow guide on four great ways to start incorporating permaculture practices into your own life.
Get into the habit of observing nature
Start to closely observe natural elements and designs such as sunlight patterns, moon phases, the direction of tree growth, where and how water collects and where plants don’t grow well in your native area. Don’t forget to extend your observation to patterns in human nature as well. For example, pay attention to what kinds of work young children enjoy and don’t enjoy, or how your coworkers tend to behave at certain phases of a project. What time of day is your mind most receptive to trying new ideas?
It is also important to observe the needs of anything you want to nurture, whether it is a garden, a plant, an animal, a friend or a business partner. If you want to grow herbs or raise chickens, find out what conditions they need so you can adjust your micro-climate accordingly.
Develop a design-oriented mind
Look around you and imagine ways to apply the permaculture ethics and principles to the design of everything you notice. A good way to begin developing your eye for design would be to choose a permaculture principle that especially resonates with you personally and find ways to implement it in various areas of your personal life.
For example, if you really love the permaculture principles of “using and valuing diversity” and “using small and slow solutions,” then make a list of ways you can diversify your daily activities in a simple, non-wasteful way. Design grocery shopping lists that include a variety of simple, local and seasonal foods, and make your shopping trips include tasks for the whole family, since one of the most important aspects of permaculture is the rebuilding of community.
Create a simple and ecological permaculture garden
Ecological gardening involves growing a wide range of edible and other useful plants and can be done on any scale. It’s a fun and easy way to create a “backyard ecosystem” by assembling communities of plants that can work cooperatively and perform a variety of functions, including:
• Composing and maintaining soil fertility
• Catching and conserving water in the landscape
• Providing a habitat for various animals, insects and birds
• Growing an edible “mini forest” that yields seasonal fruits, nuts, and other foods
Many beginning books on permaculture as well as online sources explain how to complete a variety of useful projects such as making your own herb fertilizers and compost or creating homemade organic sprays for pest control.
To learn more about creating permaculture gardens, check out this article:http://www.naturalnews.com/035038_permaculture_gardening_how_to.html
Take a permaculture design course
Study and practice permaculture principles in-depth by looking into affordable local permaculture design courses. You’ll learn to practice sustainable design in your everyday life, strengthen your connection with nature and develop your creativity and intuition.
In the process, you’ll also get an interesting tour of various permaculture practices from all over the world – all of which you can adapt to your own situation. Most permaculture classes offer an extraordinarily rich community as well, giving you the opportunity to improve your understanding of this holistic design system and create lifelong friendships and business partnerships. If you don’t want to take a general course on permaculture design, research specific elements of permaculture such as local food systems, self-reliance, growing food, traditional skills, beekeeping, small-scale organic farming and ways to build community.
For a list of sources and videos on permaculture, check out the list of links at the bottom of this article: