For “Foodie Friday”:
Do 'organic' and 'natural' mean the same thing?
Discover the real difference between organic foods and their traditionally grown counterparts when it comes to nutrition, safety and price.
Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?
“No, "natural" and "organic" are not interchangeable terms. You may see "natural" and other terms such as "all natural," "free-range" or "hormone-free" on food labels. These descriptions must be truthful, but don't confuse them with the term "organic." Only foods that are grown and processed according to USDA organic standards can be labeled organic.” More from The Mayo Clinic: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/organic-food/NU00255
"Natural" claims in the cereal and granola aisle mislead consumers. A new research study from The Cornucopia Institute indicates the "natural" claim is mostly meaningless marketing hype, in contrast to the USDA certified organic label which signifies the food was produced without genetically modified organisms (GMOs), toxic pesticides and other potentially dangerous synthetic inputs. Cornucopia and USDA research finds GMOs, and toxic pesticide residues, in "natural" cereal ingredients... and many "natural" brands are often priced higher than equivalent organic products.
Check your cereal here: http://cornucopia.org/cereal-scorecard/
Bread: “100% Natural” versus Organic
Sara Lee’s EarthGrains® Versus Organic.
Products certified 95 percent or more organic display this USDA seal.
“Eco-Grain™, used in Sara Lee’s “100% Natural” EarthGrains® bread, claims to be “more sustainable,” and grown using farming methods that have “advantages over organic farming.” Whatever the self-promoted benefits of Eco-Grain™ might be, the most astounding aspect of Sara Lee’s marketing campaign is that only 20% of EarthGrains® 24-ounce bread loaves contain EcoGrain™. Other EarthGrains® bread products contain 0% Eco-Grain™.
The table above, and summaries below, reveal the real differences between “100% Natural” EarthGrains® bread and any brand of organic bread bearing the USDA Certified Organic seal.
Eco-Grain farmers use “precision agriculture” when applying synthetic, petroleum-based fertilizers to their fields. By using precision agriculture, they achieve an estimated 15% reduction in the use of synthetic fertilizer. Since only 20% of EarthGrains wheat is “Eco-Grain™,” the total reduction in fertilizer use for EarthGrains bread amounts to a mere 3%.
Organic farmers are required by law to use non-synthetic, non-petroleum based fertilizers. Instead, they build long-term soil health through applying naturally derived fertilizers, composting, crop rotation, and cover cropping. This leads to a 100% reduction in synthetic fertilizer use.
Complete article at: http://www.cornucopia.org/eco-grain/eco-grain-fact-sheet.html
Who Owns Organic
“The latest update of major corporate ownership and involvement in the organic food sector is now out. The chart graphically focuses on the organic brands with ties to the top 25 food processors in North America. You can view a full-size version of the latest chart by clicking here. http://www.cornucopia.org/who-owns-organic/ "
“Dr. Phil Howard, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State, is responsible for the creation and updating of the organic food business chart. He teaches in the University’s Community, Agriculture, Recreation and Resource Studies program.
Dr. Howard has now created a new graphically animated version of consolidation occurring in the organic food sector between 1995 and 2007. You can view this by clicking on this link:
Who's Really Behind Organic Food Brands Like Amy's and Odwalla?
“……Then Coke bought Odwalla and seasonality went out the window, along with the pure natural taste of unadulterated juice. Now, if you could find a plain Odwalla tangerine juice not all dolled up with some “functional” additive, you’d be hard-pressed to distinguish it from generic orange juice.
It’s no secret that there’s been consolidation in the organic and natural foods industry over the past decade or so. And clearly, consolidation can be bad for standards and quality.
Mega packaged food companies and investor groups buy successful organic brands that were started by visionaries who began the companies with a commitment to the organic ideal of family farms, a clean environment, and simple food without additives. But often, when the big companies buy in, this ideal flies out the window.
I’ve chosen ten of the more prominent organic and natural brands to survey. I’m comparing the stories they tell their customers to the likely (and often proven) reality, based on who owns them…” Complete article at: http://www.alternet.org/story/143647/who's_really_behind_organic_food_brands_like_amy's_and_odwalla/
Organic Food Industry Bought Up by Corporations Like Coca-Cola
By Occupy Monsanto | April 4, 2012 -by Anthony Gucciardi
“You may be wondering why some supposedly ‘healthy’ and ‘environmentally conscious’ companies deceive unknowing consumers into purchasing products with hidden additives and fillers.
Perhaps one of the main reasons is that a large number of these pseudo-organic brands are owned by their very unhealthy ‘competitors’, such as Coca-Cola and General Mills. In fact, some of your favorite “All Natural” and organic companies may be owned by a corporate giant.
Companies like Honest Tea and Odwalla may appeal to health conscious shoppers, but they are actually owned by Coca-Cola — the very same company that is currently fuming over the requirement to change their recipes in order to avoid a cancer warning label.
Another popular ‘health’ brand is Kashi, owned by the Kellogg corporation. It should come as no surprise that Kashi cereals have been found to contain a copious amount of GMOs and pesticides, according to an explosive report from the Cornucopia Institute.
Kashi’s ’Heart to Heart Blueberry cereal’ was found to contain grains coated in the residue of many pesticides such as phosmet, carbaryl, azinphos methyl, malathion, chlorpyrifos methyl, chlorpyrifos. What’s more, the company’s products were found to oftentimes contain 100%genetically modified ingredients.” More at: http://www.occupymonsanto360.org (http://s.tt/18O9B)
Coca-Cola Removes Known Carcinogen to Avoid Cancer Warning Label. Anthony Gucciardi NaturalSociety March 9, 2012
“In a move to avoid being slapped with a cancer warning label, Coca-Cola is making an emergency recipe alteration that involves removing a known carcinogen from the mix. Showing that the company is more interested in preserving sales than actually ridding its products of known cancer-causing substances, the company chose to remove the toxic ingredient to avoid the warning label — not to actively protect the health of the consumer. The compound (used for the drinks’ caramel coloring), known as 4-methylimidazole (4-MI or 4-MEI), has been ousted by the Center for Sciences in the Public Interest as a powerful carcinogen.
In fact, the Coca-Cola company even denied the cancer link, stating that the findings by CSPI and others were simply untrue. Calling the warning label ‘scientifically unfounded’, Coca-Cola says that there is no public health risk that justifies any change.
“While we believe that there is no public health risk that justifies any such change, we did ask our caramel suppliers to take this step so that our products would not be subject to the requirement of a scientifically unfounded warning,” Coca-Cola representative Diana Garza-Ciarlante told the Associated Press news agency.
As you may know, this coloring compound is not the only dangerous chemical contained in Coca-Cola products. Coca-Cola also contains high-fructose corn syrup, which is devastating the health of children and adults alike. It has also been reported that high-fructose corn syrup oftentimes contains mercury, which has resulted in many scientific organizations calling for immediate FDA action. One such organization, The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy, is particularly concerned over the effect that the increased mercury exposure may have on children, such as the children who are actively consuming sodas containing high-fructose corn syrup.
“Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered,” said Dr. David Wallinga, from The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy.
Diet Coke also contains aspartame, an artificial sweetener that has been shown to spawn tumors in rats the size of golf balls. In a study in which rats were given the sugar substitute, 67 percent of all female rats developed tumors roughly the size of golf balls or larger. In the 2 and a health year study, researcher Innes-Brown used a dose of aspartame equivalent to that of 14 cans of diet — a number considered ‘reasonable’ by the FDA (a 50mg per kilogram ratio).
Coca-Cola apparently sees no cause for concern regarding the excessive amounts of aspartame consumed by individuals who drink diet soda on a daily basis, just as they see no cause for removing cancer-linked 4-methylimidazole. Does public health come second to ensuring the stability of profits for the Coca-Cola company?” Read more: http://naturalsociety.com/coca-cola-removes-carcinogen-to-avoid-cancer-warning-label/#ixzz1wXgBu88C
Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury
The Rise of Big Meat-Bred Super BugsFebruary 2nd, 2012 By Martha Rosenberg, Alternet
“Despite the public health risk of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, the lobbyist-swayed FDA keeps easing regulations. So far, 2012 is bringing bad news for people who don’t want “free antibiotics” in their food.
Antibiotics are routinely given to livestock on factory farms to make them gain weight with less feed and keep them from getting sick in confinement conditions. But the daily dosing, at the same time it lowers feed needs, lowers drug effectiveness and produces antibiotic resistant bacteria or super bugs that can be deadly to people.” More at: http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/02/the-rise-of-big-meat-bred-super-bugs/
What’s Wrong With Pink Slime?
March 12th, 2012 Food Safety News by Phyllis Entis
“It’s high in protein.
It’s low in fat.
It’s been treated to kill Salmonella and E. coli.
It’s lab-tested before it is shipped.
So what’s all the fuss about?
Gerald Zirnstein, a former microbiologist with USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, calls the product “pink slime” and doesn’t “consider the stuff to be ground beef,” according to a report carried last Wednesday evening on ABC National News.
The meat industry, including producers such as Beef Products Inc. and HRR Enterprises, Inc. call it Lean Finely Textured Beef, or LFTB – a far less catchy, but more accurate name.
Where does Lean Finely Textured Beef come from?
Producers of LFTB start with beef trim. This is the “waste” meat and fat that results from trimming higher quality beef cuts (such as steaks) to customer specifications, and is usually used to make ground beef.
The LFTB process begins by separating most of the fat from the beef. This is done by warming the trim and “spinning out” the fat in centrifuges. The result is a very lean beef: approximately 94-97% lean, according to Beef Products Inc. This lean beef can be mixed with higher-fat beef in order to produce low-fat ground beef and processed meat products.
But beef trim is notorious for carrying pathogenic bacteria – especially, E. coli O157:H7 and its close cousins, the non-O157 STEC bacteria. So Beef Products Inc. developed an ammonia gas treatment step to kill the microbes.” More at: http://www.cornucopia.org/2012/03/whats-wrong-with-pink-slime/
Organic Foods Slideshow: To Buy or Not to Buy Organic
Fruit and Veggies: http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/ss/slideshow-to-buy-or-not-to-buy-organic
Even the Non-Meat foods aren’t what they are cracked up to be:
Guide to hexane-extracted soy in meat alternatives.
We are being poisoned by the food we are getting at the grocery store, if we don’t watch what we are buying.
On This Day:
Helen Keller dies, Jun 1, 1968:
“On June 1, 1968, Helen Keller dies in Westport, Connecticut, at the age of 87. Blind and deaf from infancy, Keller circumvented her disabilities to become a world-renowned writer and lecturer.
Helen Adams Keller was born on June 27, 1880, on a farm near Tuscumbia, Alabama. A normal infant, she was stricken with an illness at 19 months, probably scarlet fever, which left her blind and deaf. For the next four years, she lived at home, a mute and unruly child. Special education for the blind and deaf was just beginning at the time, and it was not until after Helen's sixth birthday that her parents had her examined by an eye physician interested in the blind. He referred the Kellers to Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone and a pioneer in teaching speech to the deaf. Bell examined Helen and arranged to have a teacher sent for her from the Perkins Institution for the Blind in Boston.
The teacher, 20-year-old Anne Sullivan, was partially blind. At Perkins, she had been instructed how to teach a blind and deaf student to communicate using a hand alphabet signaled by touch into the student's palm. Sullivan arrived in Tuscumbia in March 1887 and immediately set about teaching this form of sign language to Helen. Although she had no knowledge of written language and only the haziest recollection of spoken language, Helen learned her first word within days: "water." Keller later described the experience: "I knew then that 'w-a-t-e-r' meant the wonderful cool something that was flowing over my hand. That living word awakened my soul, gave it light, hope, joy, set it free." More at: http://www.biography.com/people/helen-keller-9361967
CNN launches, Jun 1, 1980:
“On this day in 1980, CNN (Cable News Network), the world's first 24-hour television news network, makes its debut. The network signed on at 6 p.m. EST from its headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, with a lead story about the attempted assassination of civil rights leader Vernon Jordan. CNN went on to change the notion that news could only be reported at fixed times throughout the day. At the time of CNN's launch, TV news was dominated by three major networks--ABC, CBS and NBC--and their nightly 30-minute broadcasts. Initially available in less than two million U.S. homes, today CNN is seen in more than 89 million American households and over 160 million homes internationally.
In 1996, CNN merged with Time Warner, which merged with America Online four years later. Today, Ted Turner is an environmentalist and peace activist whose philanthropic efforts include a 1997 gift of $1 billion to the United Nations.”
It was the day that Jay could get some money out of the bank, and repay his mother and me. We had both been floating him so that he wouldn’t get a high interest loan, as he had been out of money for a couple of weeks. Each month he says that he will not spend more than what he has, but it is the same every month. When he is sober, he regrets what he has done when he is drunk, but won’t learn anything from it. Tough love doesn’t work, as he gets into too much debt, and can’t learn to take responsibility for his own actions. He knows his mother will feed him, because he is her ‘baby’. How can one compete with that?
His mother was not up to taking him, so off we went, and we perused a couple of thrift shops, too. Neither of us bought much, but it was fun to see what was out there. Every stop we took umbrellas, as the sky was darker and blacker than I have ever seen it before, but we didn’t get any rain.
Ray did some more work on the cargo trailer, he re-installed the last piece of side trim with new butyl putty tape, and caulked it with Dicor. Some touch-up painting needs to be done to the mounting blocks that we had installed for the latches to keep everything in place when the trailer is in toyhauler mode, but with the very black ominous clouds, he couldn’t do much yesterday.