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One month has passed! During the month of June, I purposely and lazily did not increase exercise, ate as many carbs as I did before and tried not to change my “style” of eating. In other words, I spent lots of time on the computer researching, did some canning, took a trip and shopped for non-GMO food. Yes, way too much time shopping, no searching, for non-GMO food (often in a very hungry state).
What have I learned? I learned that it is a bit more complicated than I thought to avoid GMOs. When we were kids (and sometimes even now), my mother used to say, “Honest?” when she wasn’t sure we were telling the whole story. That’s how I feel about many, many of the food producers who tell half-truths and hide behind labels like “natural” and “whole grain”. I wish I could get my mother after them to make them tell the whole truth.
There are plenty of reasons that this is so complicated. I will explore them as time goes on, but I want to point out a couple of them now. The whole parent company- you know- who owns who and hides behind that label is a biggie. Below is one example of a company, its subsidiaries and how much money it spent to defeat labeling. The lesson is that, organic or not, the company is an arm of GMOs. Darn, Larabars…
General Mills – $908,200.00
• Nature Valley
• Fiber One
• Cascadian Farm
• Muir Glen
• Gold Medal Organic
• Food Should Taste Good
Another reason is that even if a company has a non-GMO label on it, there are still ingredients that are suspect. My favorite no-dairy creamer is an example. It has carrageenan in it. Research is not good on this and I am now avoiding this harmful additive. I found a non carrageenan creamer. I am planning a blog about coffee and tea this week with more info.
So, I have lost 5 pounds and 5 ¾ inches (probably more because I only measured my bust, waist, hips and ONE upper arm and ONE thigh). So, it is more like 7 ½ inches. This is fantastic and my clothes sizes are going down, not up for the first time in more than 10 years. The downside is that I want to cry for what is going on with the food we eat, what we are feeding our children and how sick we are as a nation. But, as a teacher once said to me, “Don’t get sad, get mad!” I would say that I am mad and getting madder. Next up, July and a bit of exercise along with the no GMOs for this fighter!
Right now, these are some labels to look for. They are some of “The Good Guys” that should be rewarded for some integrity.
• 7th Generation
• Amy’s Kitchens
• Apple and Eve
• Blue Diamond
• Bob’s Red Mill
• Bossa Nova
• Cal Organics
• Choice Organic Teas
• Clif Bar/ Nectar Fruit
• Coombs Family Farmers
• Cosorzio All Natural
• Country Choice
• Crystal Geyser Alpine Water
• Doctor Kracker
• Dr. McDougall’s
• Dr. Praeger
• Eat Raw
• Echo Farms
• Eddie’s Pasta
• Eden Foods (The only company NOT
• using harmful plastic in the lining of their
• cans as bonding agent!)
• Edward and Sons
• Endangered Species Chocolate
• Fantastic Foods.
• Giving Nature
• Golden Temple
• Go Naturally
• Greenway Farms
• Harvest Bay
• Hawthorne Valley
• Ian’s Natural Foods
• Koyo Organics
• Lesser Evil
• Let’s Do…Organics
• Living Harvest
• Lundberg Family
• Mary’s Gone Crackers
• Murray’s Chicken
• Native Forest
• Natural by Nature
• Nature Factor
• Nature’s Path
• Newman’s Own Organic
• Organic Prarie
• Organic Valley
• Pacific Naturals
• Peace Cereal
• Real Foods
• Republic of Teas
• Road’s End Organics
• San J
• Sensible Foods
• Seven Star Farms
• Tasty Bite Indian
• Terra Nostra
• Theo chocolates
• Think Organic
• Turtle Island Tofurky
• Vermont Mystic Pie
• Vita Spelt
• Vivani Chocolate
• Wizard’s Saucery
• Woodstock Farms
• XOXOXO chocolate
• Yogi Tea
• Zoe’s Granola
Another way to avoid unscrupulous food producers is through an App called Buycott. If you happen to have an iPhone or an Android phone, this App can be used to check a product that you see in the stores to see what corporate links exist. Another one worth checking out is Fooducate.
Of course, the best ways to avoid GMOs and toxic additives are to avoid packaged foods altogether.
Raise and preserve your own food
Buy organic and local
Cook from scratch
Avoid processed food
Link to entire article that talks about Monsanto funding the fight against labeling and the companies using GMOs and the money they have contributed to the fight against labeling:
Some things I learned on the road last week:
1. Sprouts can be grown in a car
2. Filling the car with found treasures is NOT the same as hoarding but it looks like it from the rear view mirror
3. A can opener is darn important when your trunk is full of boxes of food and you are hungry
4. Keeping an organic beer in the cooler can save friends from having to buy expensive beer when some “Lite” variety will do
5. Meeting a WWF (Words With Friends) Friend on a (not secluded) beach can be a good thing
6. Starbucks is now a wayward friend from the past
Maybe I should add that because of number 5, a really great Rasta bartender let me sneak a couple of the number 4s into a bar (after an extensive search of the inventory for non GMO beer) while my new friend Joe drank his “Lites”.
My daughter Martha sent me the turtle link; it gives the lowdown on Monsanto in alternative format. Some of it is for shock value (what big mouths those turtles have) but the part about a chemical giant responsible for so much of the world’s food supply and not wanting the details to come out is pretty easy to find without looking too hard.
So about Starbucks… I always want to think the best of my friends and give them every chance to redeem themselves when they are behaving badly, but… Look at the picture and then we can talk.
Starbucks has been my nearly daily companion for many years, through ups and downs, road trips, study sessions and for just about any reason. My specialty drink took 30 seconds to order and longer to make. OK, I was addicted. So, I knew that June would be a hard month for coffee and no Starbucks. When I quit eating meat for 20 years, I would hang around the grill at cookouts taking in the smells (I think that makes me a carnivore denier). Coffee is no different; I still go to Starbucks for water and organic juice but mostly to smell the coffee. All I can hope is that Starbucks comes to its senses before it is too late. Good friends are hard to lose.
Link to Starbucks article:
I understand that the Ronald McDonald House has helped thousands of families with the expense of staying near their children during hospitalizations. I know families that have benefitted greatly from the care of the volunteers and staff. There is gratitude in my heart for the efforts. It just has always struck me as ironic that some of the unhealthiest food (See Bolivia rejects McDonalds below) in the world pays for housing for families with loved ones in the hospital. Is that just me?
When Target announced its intent to clean up its groceries and carry GMO free food, I thought I would go and check out what is available now. For $30.42 I bought organics: a dozen cage free eggs, a box of spinach, 3 Amy’s frozen dinners, tofu, a 12 oz bag of blue corn chips and a box of nighty night tea. Not great prices, but I applaud Target. And I am trying Amy’s dinners for the first time.
This week I also purchased a 12 pound box of organic grapes (green and red mix) from Whole Foods to make raisins. With the 99 cent special (great price) and less 10% for the case, I did well on that and the grapes are magically transforming into raisins ib the dehydrator.
Lastly, for 50% off from Earthfare, I bought 2+ pounds of wild caught shrimp (I know seafood has its own problems) and added 3 cans of coconut milk, a bunch of celery, 5# of russet potatoes, 2 # carrots, 3# of onions, a full 2 bulbs of garlic and spices. Tomorrow I will can umpteen (at least 20) pints of soup for about $30 with the shrimp costing a little more than 1/3 of the total. When there are specials, I try to take advantage of them so I will have non GMO food stored.
My mom canned, her mom canned and more people are canning now; check out your county extension for canning information and classes. If you know how, help others to learn. I do. It helps the food budget and you know what is in your food.
NON GMO shopping guide
Bolivia rejects McDonalds
I am over the hunger issue (easy to say after I ate a couple handfuls of organic blue corn chips). Yes, I still get hungry but it is truer hunger, not just mindless hunger and it is easier to satisfy with non GMO food and decreased cravings. It is great to be losing size and weight, but it seems almost trivial as I get more involved with the real issues.
The more I learn, the more horrified I get about GMO food. At first I thought Frankenfood was just a scary thought promoted by Halloween stereotypes and not really based in reality. I no longer feel that way. The article that my friend Chris sent me today has sent chills down my spine.
BACKGROUND: Superweeds (See link below from Wikipedia) “In 2007 glyphosate was the most used herbicide in the United States agricultural sector, with 180 to 185 million pounds (82,000 to 84,000 tonnes) applied, and the second most used in home and garden market where users applied 5 to 8 million pounds (2,300 to 3,600 tonnes); additionally industry, commerce and government applied 13 to 15 million pounds (5,900 to 6,800 tonnes). With its heavy use in agriculture, weed resistance to glyphosate is a growing problem. While glyphosate has been approved by regulatory bodies worldwide and is widely used, concerns about its effects on humans and the environment persist. “
Repeated sprayings of Roundup has created superweeds, weeds that not even Roundup can control. To deal with this issue, the scientists of Monsanto and friends must increase the amount of toxins (glyphosate in particular) in their pesticides. The problem is that there is increasing documentation that glyphosate can cause everything from reproductive problems to Parkinson’s Disease. (See links for http://gmogone.com/2013/06/12/day-12-the-burden-of-family-stuff-do-genetics-predict-your-health/) Because there are the beginnings of a countrywide revolt against this very horrible toxin, Monsanto and buds have started to experiment with new toxins. If this was not so bad, it could be a B comedy on some late night mad scientist channel.
One of their new remedies to weeds is to splice scorpion poison into the genes of cabbage. So, instead of even spraying it on plants, they will forgo that and head to the seed source. (See gene splicing below) It would seem that if too much of a fuss is raised, they are bound to have other equally as unbelievable ideas on the drawing board. Why is this even possible? There are no long term studies on any of this, GMOs are banned in a growing number of countries, and food supplies in the US are facing more and more contamination. We should all be very, very concerned.
Superweeds spawned by glyphosate in Roundup
Got home last night pretty exhausted. To celebrate, I went to the healthy food store and ate a lovely salad from the salad/hot bar. This morning, I am enjoying a splash of coffee and thinking about the BCBS Disease Management Nurse (See BCBS below) that just called and asked me many pages of information. She is doing some kind of advice program for people like me. Her script did not cover my reality.
First, Lyme Disease (almost 21 years) is covered as a passing reference. I realized that, when she asked if I was taking…. the list of antibiotic meds was impressive and I answered not any more, that I have made some progress. She did not seem to understand the relationship between the endocrine system and long term Lyme (See Lyme below- it’s a lot to think about), wanted me to take a few more drugs for my heart and encouraged me to suggest them to the doctor. She kept saying “heart disease”, I kept saying an electrical event with zero percent blockage and zero percent calcium buildup in the heart. We were speaking two languages- hers was disease management and mine was regaining health.
What I wanted to say when she asked me if I have “missed” any days of my usual routine due to illness in June was that now that I am GMO free, my health appears to be changing for the better. .(See below Lyme Disease and GMOs) My weight is dropping a bit, my clothes fit better, that both my skin and mind are clearer.
Which makes me question what kind of phrase is “Disease Management”? She asked about or suggested at least half a dozen medications and only one question about diet and only one question about exercise. I asked about exercise programs. She said sorry, I don’t handle that. You have to call another number. Probably not, but I did agree to weigh myself every day to watch for unexpected gain. Thinking that is not going to happen.
Lyme, Adrenals and Thyroid
GMOs and Lyme Disease
BCBS Disease Management
Travel Log Day 9
The billboard bragged about performing 4,000 bariatric surgeries. It showed the obligatory photo of the extra petite woman’s waist filling less than half of what we can only assume (you know what that means) were her jeans from her previous life as a big and tall man.
When I was a kid (yep, the old days), we ate meat with most every dinner. We ate a large variety- pork chops, burgers, salmon loaf, chicken and biscuits and, thinking back, the average amount of meat was the infamous “deck of cards” size. The meat was healthier (no GMOs back then for feed) and the quantities less. When my parents would comment on an obese person, they would do so with concern and note that “most people who are that overweight have a medical condition; it’s probably not their fault”. I bet it was mostly true. Now I look around and think that most people’s medical conditions are acquired. Many doctor’s offices are over run with diabetes, heart, cholesterol and obesity issues.
During my trip, I tried to make the point that if someone wants to eat Twinkies (or Moon Pies or potato chips, etc), I believe in their right to do that. What I do not believe in is the “right” of the manufacturers to load up the food with gmos and carcinogenic additives and preservatives and not let us know what they are doing. That is just wrong!
This post is really about food poison. When we don’t make our own meals and are reduced to hoping the labels are “clean” food, we take risks. Wouldn’t it be great if the food manufacturers really did care? The skeptic in me really believes they are all about the money and cut any corner to maximize profit. So, below are links about processed food and frozen food and what to look for while shopping. Hope it helps!
Food makes us sick
Mainstream healthy and unhealthy frozen dinners