Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Encounter with McDonald's Fast Food

I never eat fast food. It's against all my principals, but very occasionally I'm on the road without having prepared some foods from home to take with me.

This week was a good example. I overslept on the day I needed to take my computer downstate for repairs, so about halfway there, I actually stopped at a McDonald's. Being really hungry, I ordered their "Big Breakfast" which is eggs, sausage, pancakes, a biscuit and a fried hash browns patty.

Imagine my surprise when the condiments supplied with the meal included 2 sealed containers for the pancakes and biscuit marked "margarine" and the syrup marked "flavored high fructose corn syrup". I took them back to the counter, saying I don't, and won't, eat that fake stuff.

Not that it registered on the kids who work the counter at McD's...

The eggs weren't too bad even though factory eggs have little to offer nutritionally, and the thin sausage patty was in the same category. The hash brown patty soaked so much grease onto the plate (either canola oil or soybean oil) that I refused to eat it... same with the biscuit.

Is it any wonder our population who generally depend on fast food has become obese??

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Computer working, BUT...

I spent 6 hours on the road yesterday, to and from the Apple store in Greensboro, NC, plus an additional 3+ hours with the Techies at the store.

Result? Computer is now functional again, but until I have the $$ to buy a newer version of Microsoft Office for Mac, none of my Word files containing all the bits and pieces of research to write about will open. (I also cannot open Excel files, which is where all my financial stuff like bills due and my checkbook resides, but that doesn't affect this blog, just my pocketbook.)


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Computer Crashed...

I'm at the public library, using one of their computers since mine has crashed. 

Unfortunately, all my research data for posts is on my home computer, so I doubt there will be any new posts by me for several days, if then. It's too far (meaning too much gas) to go to the library here every day, and I'd have to start from scratch on research.

I hope you will bear with me through yet another crisis!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cravings 2
I'm concentrating on listening to my body... 

As I was winding down from the recent cravings for grapefruit (which helped balance my body pH), I next got a craving for sardines!

Sardines??? Yep, sardines. Sardines in olive oil. Not sardines in tomato sauce, not sardines in mustard sauce, not sardines in safflower, safflower, canola or other oils, not sardines in water, but sardines in olive oil.

I don't remember when I first ate sardines but it sure wasn't with my family when I was growing up. In the beginning I only ate skinless and boneless tinned sardines, and then I learned how much nutrition (like calcium) is in the bones... and I found the bones are soft without any crunch so you don't even realize you are eating them.

These days I always keep a few tins of sardines in my pantry. They make a great survival food, packing a lot of nutrition in a small tin and don't take up much space in the pantry. They are also handy when I need to eat something NOW (like when I haven't planned ahead for a meal).

So, I had sardines piled on saltine crackers last night, along with a big salad. As I was eating them, I realized why I was craving sardines... My most recent hospital stay was due to a high count of ammonia in my bloodwork. One of the things that can cause that problem is from an abundance of proteins that don't fully digest, and frankly my diet is fairly high in proteins. 

The main protein I eat is from grass-fed beef, which is high in Omega-3. Cutting back on  protein per my doctor's advice, has also cut the amount of Omega-3 in my diet. Sardines are high in Omega-3, Calcium, Selenium (a component of the antioxidant enzymes), Vitamin D, and B12. 

Sardines have a high ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, which I don't much like, but I really don't eat them that often. Anchovies have all the good things that sardines have... and a great ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3, but not something I'd sit down and eat a tin of them. Too salty, for one thing.

I have never lived where fresh sardines were available from a fishmonger but I'd love to know how they taste fresh. I see photos of sardines on the grille that look very appealing, and sardines cooked/served in a variety of other ways.

I guess I'll dream of going to Portugal...

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Photo by 

We've probably all gone through cravings as we've cleaned up our diets. A big one for me was the craving for sugary sweets, but eventually that went away. Same with carbonated sodas, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes. All addictions, with some harder to give up than others.

But, I think our bodies tell us when we are lacking in something, and that's different than the cravings we have for things that are addictive but not good for our bodies and basic health.

For about 3 weeks now I have craved grapefruit, and I finally realized it's my body's attempt to get back to a good pH balance. Most of our American diets are strong in acidic pH foods rather than a balanced pH. 

Although most folks think of citrus (oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit) as acidic, in fact once in our systems they are alkaline. I'm speaking of fresh fruits here; concentrated fruit juices and processed fruits are NOT alkaline.

Over the course of 3 weeks of eating a whole grapefruit every day, the craving is almost gone and I feel a lot better!

Monday, June 17, 2013

How I Got Hooked on Weeds...

Another case of where someone else says it better... I'm discovering the benefits of edible weeds. Good thing, because my yard and gardens are full of them! (I have made a few posts about them over the last few years but you'd need to enter "weeds" in the search box on the right column to locate them.)

How I Got Hooked on Weeds—and Why You Should, Too

When I moved to a small organic farm in 2004, I quickly got hooked on weeds (note plural). First, there would be salads of chickweed—a grassy-tasting plant that popped up just after the ground thawed in spring. Next, from the marshy banks of a creek, tender, peppery watercress would sprout. Soon after, dandelion greens would proliferate, adding a bitter note to those spring weed salads. And then, along an old wood road up the forested mountainside, would come a flush of stinging nettle—we'd harvest the leaves with gloves, boil their sting away, and add them to pastas and pizzas. Finally, by high summer, my favorite weeds of all would emerge from plowed fields: a high-rising, spinach-related green called lamb's quarters, and a low-slung, creeping plant called purslane, with its succulent, lemony leaves.

We never found much of a market for these delicacies (save for the watercress, which chefs loved). But they became staples of the farmhouse kitchen, supplements to the cultivated greens that went mainly to the farmers market and to our CSA shareholders. Now that I spend more of my time off the farm and in a city, one of the things I miss most is easy access to these flavorful wild foods.

Turns out, the void I'm feeling may be more than aesthetic. According to an op-ed by Jo Robinson in the Sunday New York Times, wild edible plants tend to be loaded with phytonutrients, "the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia."

And most cultivated crops—even celebrated healthy foods like spinach and blueberries—are pale copies of their wild progenitors in phytochemical terms, Robinson shows, adding some eye-popping infographics for emphasis. She is not talking about the small but significant decline in nutrient density since the industrialization of agriculture half a century ago, but rather a steep drop in phytonutrients that began when we "stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers." Robinson writes:

    Each fruit and vegetable in our stores has a unique history of nutrient loss, I've discovered, but there are two common themes. Throughout the ages, our farming ancestors have chosen the least bitter plants to grow in their gardens. It is now known that many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste. Second, early farmers favored plants that were relatively low in fiber and high in sugar, starch and oil. These energy-dense plants were pleasurable to eat and provided the calories needed to fuel a strenuous lifestyle. The more palatable our fruits and vegetables became, however, the less advantageous they were for our health.

I would push back against the inverse relationship Robinson posits between palatability and nutrition. I imagine that we've lost a lot of flavor in the ages-old quest to breed for sweetness—and in the last 100 years or so, we've definitely lost still more by breeding for portability and shelf life. I would argue that flavor has declined along with nutrient density. 

Few people would choose modern supermarket tomatoes bred to last for weeks post-harvest over old varieties selected to taste good when eaten quickly. And weeds play a role in some of the globe's most celebrated cuisines. I wouldn't want to imagine Mexico's street food without tlacoyos con quelites (lamb's quarters) or Italy without ravioli d'ortica (stinging nettles). There's no puritanical trade-off here. (Patience Gray's classic Honey from a Weed demonstrates how vital weeds remain in southern European cooking, and Rebecca Katz and Mat Edelson's recent The Longevity Kitchen offers plenty of good recipes for them).

That caveat aside, what do we do with Robinson's message about the loss of phytonutrients? Obviously, we can't all suddenly become hunter-gatherers, stalking city parks for hidden bounty (though a fellow who calls himself "Wildman" will take you on a foraging tour of Manhattan's Central Park). Nor can we all live on small organic farms surrounded by woodlands.

But what we can do is start seeking out varieties of fruits and vegetables that haven't been bred to be insipidly sweet or high-yielding. Robinson suggests arugula as an example—it was a Mediterranean weed until very recently. Arugula is "very similar to its wild ancestor," she notes, and "rich in cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates and higher in antioxidant activity than many green lettuces." Robinson also points to herbs, which she calls "wild plants incognito." That is, they much more closely resemble their wild antecedents than do, say, modern apples or tomatoes or corn. She adds: "We've long valued them for their intense flavors and aroma, which is why they've not been given a flavor makeover. Because we've left them well enough alone, their phytonutrient content has remained intact." Robinson's paean to herbs reminded me of my love for parsley, and how I've come to shower it on every meal, and even give it the starring role in a salad.

But here's the thing about arugula and fresh herbs: They're fantastic when you can get them recently picked, but dull when you find them in in little plastic bags shipped cross-country. And if Robinson is right that "many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste," I wonder if phytonutrient content doesn't degrade along with flavor on those long trips.

That got me to thinking that one of the unsung benefits of the explosion of farmers markets and CSAs over the past 20 years is that it's giving more and more people access to vegetables bred for things besides just sweetness, shelf life, and portability. We might not sell much in the way of lamb's quarters at Maverick Farms (the North Carolina farm I'm involved with), but we can never grow enough of our famously spicy arugula to satisfy demand. And like many farms that sell to neighboring communities, we favor tomato varieties that balance sweetness with acidity—and may well deliver an extra jolt of phytonutrients because of it.

And small farms can deliver actual weeds, too. Just last weekend, at the Saturday farmstand of Austin's wonderful Boggy Creek Farm, I found nestled in the back a display featuring just-picked bunches of lamb's quarters and purslane. So I finally got my fix of weeds right here in the city—ever since, I've been making salads combining those two wild edibles with some parsley I also picked up at Boggy.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Raised Beds

Several years ago I made a straw bale garden, basically as a how-to for someone with limited mobility or even wheel-chair bound. It was pretty successful for growing vegetables, but I didn't repeat it due to all the weed seeds in the bales. I fought those damned weeds for 3+ more years.

About the same time, I saw an ad in the local paper for free small Japanese cedar shipping crates and I picked up about a dozen. My plan was to dismantle them and use the cedar slats for a chicken house, but taking just one apart was a nightmare. They used so many staples in the construction that much of the cedar split when taking one apart, and the wood was not useable except as kindling. 

The remaining crates have been just sitting in a stack at the end of the driveway for several years. 

Since my health has diminished, I finally decided to cut the crates down and use them for raised beds and make gardening/weeding a bit easier on this old woman.

This is the start of my small raised beds made from those Japanese cedar boxes. I'm still debating whether to put the cut-off tops in another row or two since they are the same size. I could nail the lids back on the tops and invert them so they'd all have bottoms but if I do, those would sit directly on the ground and perhaps rot sooner. (Not that that's a problem.) The bottom pieces (shown in the pics above) have 2x4's as part of the support under them, probably to make them easier to move with a forklift when they were full of car parts.

The bags and containers sitting in the crates are amendments (organic compost, worm castings, Greensand, Azomite, CalPhos, etc.) that I will add when I get a load of topsoil. The single crate with dirt already in it is lined with hardware cloth (welded wire mesh) and planted with sweet potato slips. I'm not sure that box is deep enough for root vegetables though, but I didn't have enough hardware cloth for one of the deeper boxes I cut specifically for root veggies.

All the boxes will get lined with fiberglass screening to keep most of the dirt from filtering out through the gaps in the slats. 

I have a few more crates sitting around that I can use if necessary to expand the raised bed area... some are on the front porch holding paper to start fires, kindling, and firewood. Keeps the porch looking less messy!

There is a mfg. plant about 40 miles up the road that imports rack and pinion parts from Japan, and they are shipped here in those crates. When I moved here in 2006, the crates were free and I got a bunch. I understand they now charge $10 for them.

Actually, getting two small raised beds out of one $10 crate is pretty cheap. I doubt I could buy the lumber for $10.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

I have artichokes growing!

I have 3 artichokes growing on one plant in my weedy garden!

I didn't believe it was possible in my 5B zone, but sometimes I try to push the envelope anyway. The summer before last, I bought 2 artichoke seedlings about 4" tall from a big box store. One was dead within a week, but the other one seemed to thrive.

Everything I read said the artichoke makes fruit in it's second year, which was last summer for this plant. Mine produced nothing last summer, and in fact I was surprised it survived the winter. However, I let it grow anyway.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when I discovered it now has 3 artichokes growing on it! I just hope they grow large enough to harvest.

My favorite way to eat them is boiled, cooled, and leaf tips dipped in a quick blender bernaise. (Not an original recipe by me, but I've had it at least 10 years. It's really GOOD!)

Blender Bernaise

Makes 3/4 to 1 cup

2 tablespoons white wine
1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar
2 teaspoons chopped tarragon
2 teaspoons chopped shallots
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup butter
3 egg yolks
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Pinch of cayenne pepper

Combine wine, vinegar, tarragon, shallots and pepper in a small skillet. Bring to a boil and cook rapidly until almost all liquid disappears. In a small saucepan, heat the butter to bubbling but DO NOT brown.

Place egg yolks, lemon juice, salt and cayenne in a blender; cover, and flick on and off gradually until mixture is combined. With the blender on low, gradually add the hot butter. Add the herb mixture and blend on high speed for about 4 seconds.

Serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled. May refrigerate but cover with plastic wrap to keep a skin from forming.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Some things are Better Said by Others

Some people just say it much better than I can...

Breeding the Nutrition Out of Our Food

WE like the idea that food can be the answer to our ills, that if we eat nutritious foods we won’t need medicine or supplements. We have valued this notion for a long, long time. The Greek physician Hippocrates proclaimed nearly 2,500 years ago: “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Today, medical experts concur. If we heap our plates with fresh fruits and vegetables, they tell us, we will come closer to optimum health.

This health directive needs to be revised. If we want to get maximum health benefits from fruits and vegetables, we must choose the right varieties. Studies published within the past 15 years show that much of our produce is relatively low in phytonutrients, which are the compounds with the potential to reduce the risk of four of our modern scourges: cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and dementia. The loss of these beneficial nutrients did not begin 50 or 100 years ago, as many assume. Unwittingly, we have been stripping phytonutrients from our diet since we stopped foraging for wild plants some 10,000 years ago and became farmers.

These insights have been made possible by new technology that has allowed researchers to compare the phytonutrient content of wild plants with the produce in our supermarkets. The results are startling.

Wild dandelions, once a springtime treat for Native Americans, have seven times more phytonutrients than spinach, which we consider a “superfood.” A purple potato native to Peru has 28 times more cancer-fighting anthocyanins than common russet potatoes. One species of apple has a staggering 100 times more phytonutrients than the Golden Delicious displayed in our supermarkets. (I'm sorry she didn't name the apple variety in this article.)

Were the people who foraged for these wild foods healthier than we are today? They did not live nearly as long as we do, but growing evidence suggests that they were much less likely to die from degenerative diseases, even the minority who lived 70 years and more. The primary cause of death for most adults, according to anthropologists, was injury and infections.

Each fruit and vegetable in our stores has a unique history of nutrient loss, I’ve discovered, but there are two common themes. Throughout the ages, our farming ancestors have chosen the least bitter plants to grow in their gardens. It is now known that many of the most beneficial phytonutrients have a bitter, sour or astringent taste. Second, early farmers favored plants that were relatively low in fiber and high in sugar, starch and oil. These energy-dense plants were pleasurable to eat and provided the calories needed to fuel a strenuous lifestyle. The more palatable our fruits and vegetables became, however, the less advantageous they were for our health.

The sweet corn that we serve at summer dinners illustrates both of these trends. The wild ancestor of our present-day corn is a grassy plant called teosinte. It is hard to see the family resemblance. Teosinte is a bushy plant with short spikes of grain instead of ears, and each spike has only 5 to 12 kernels. The kernels are encased in shells so dense you’d need a hammer to crack them open. Once you extract the kernels, you wonder why you bothered. The dry tidbit of food is a lot of starch and little sugar. Teosinte has 10 times more protein than the corn we eat today, but it was not soft or sweet enough to tempt our ancestors.

Over several thousand years, teosinte underwent several spontaneous mutations. Nature’s rewriting of the genome freed the kernels of their cases and turned a spike of grain into a cob with kernels of many colors. Our ancestors decided that this transformed corn was tasty enough to plant in their gardens. By the 1400s, corn was central to the diet of people living throughout Mexico and the Americas.

When European colonists first arrived in North America, they came upon what they called “Indian corn.” John Winthrop Jr., governor of the colony of Connecticut in the mid-1600s, observed that American Indians grew “corne with great variety of colours,” citing “red, yellow, blew, olive colour, and greenish, and some very black and some of intermediate degrees.” A few centuries later, we would learn that black, red and blue corn is rich in anthocyanins. Anthocyanins have the potential to fight cancer, calm inflammation, lower cholesterol and blood pressure, protect the aging brain, and reduce the risk of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

European settlers were content with this colorful corn until the summer of 1779 when they found something more delectable — a yellow variety with sweeter and more tender kernels. This unusual variety came to light that year after George Washington ordered a scorched-earth campaign against Iroquois tribes. While the militia was destroying the food caches of the Iroquois and burning their crops, soldiers came across a field of extra-sweet yellow corn. According to one account, a lieutenant named Richard Bagnal took home some seeds to share with others. Our old-fashioned sweet corn is a direct descendant of these spoils of war.

Up until this time, nature had been the primary change agent in remaking corn. Farmers began to play a more active role in the 19th century. In 1836, Noyes Darling, a onetime mayor of New Haven, and a gentleman farmer, was the first to use scientific methods to breed a new variety of corn. His goal was to create a sweet, all-white variety that was “fit for boiling” by mid-July.

He succeeded, noting with pride that he had rid sweet corn of “the disadvantage of being yellow.

The disadvantage of being yellow, we now know, had been an advantage to human health. Corn with deep yellow kernels, including the yellow corn available in our grocery stores, has nearly 60 times more beta-carotene than white corn, valuable because it turns to Vitamin A in the body, which helps vision and the immune system.

SUPERSWEET corn, which now outsells all other kinds of corn, was derived from spontaneous mutations that were selected for their high sugar content. In 1959, a geneticist named John Laughnan was studying a handful of mutant kernels and popped a few into his mouth. He was startled by their intense sweetness. Lab tests showed that they were up to 10 times sweeter than ordinary sweet corn.

Mr. Laughnan was not a plant breeder, but he realized at once that this mutant corn would revolutionize the sweet corn industry. He became an entrepreneur overnight and spent years developing commercial varieties of supersweet corn. His first hybrids began to be sold in 1961. This appears to be the first genetically modified food to enter the United States food supply, an event that has received scant attention.

Within one generation, the new extra sugary varieties eclipsed old-fashioned sweet corn in the marketplace. Build a sweeter fruit or vegetable — by any means — and we will come. Today, most of the fresh corn in our supermarkets is extra-sweet. The kernels are either white, pale yellow, or a combination of the two. The sweetest varieties approach 40 percent sugar, bringing new meaning to the words “candy corn.” Only a handful of farmers in the United States specialize in multicolored Indian corn, and it is generally sold for seasonal decorations, not food.

We’ve reduced the nutrients and increased the sugar and starch content of hundreds of other fruits and vegetables. How can we begin to recoup the losses?

Here are some suggestions to get you started. Select corn with deep yellow kernels. To recapture the lost anthocyanins and beta-carotene, cook with blue, red or purple cornmeal, which is available in some supermarkets and on the Internet. Make a stack of blue cornmeal pancakes for Sunday breakfast and top with maple syrup.

In the lettuce section, look for arugula. Arugula, also called salad rocket, is very similar to its wild ancestor. Some varieties were domesticated as recently as the 1970s, thousands of years after most fruits and vegetables had come under our sway. The greens are rich in cancer-fighting compounds called glucosinolates and higher in antioxidant activity than many green lettuces.

Scallions, or green onions, are jewels of nutrition hiding in plain sight. They resemble wild onions and are just as good for you. Remarkably, they have more than five times more phytonutrients than many common onions do. The green portions of scallions are more nutritious than the white bulbs, so use the entire plant. Herbs are wild plants incognito. We’ve long valued them for their intense flavors and aroma, which is why they’ve not been given a flavor makeover. Because we’ve left them well enough alone, their phytonutrient content has remained intact.

Experiment with using large quantities of mild-tasting fresh herbs. Add one cup of mixed chopped Italian parsley and basil to a pound of ground grass-fed beef or poultry to make “herb-burgers.” Herbs bring back missing phytonutrients and a touch of wild flavor as well.

The United States Department of Agriculture exerts far more effort developing disease-resistant fruits and vegetables than creating new varieties to enhance the disease resistance of consumers. In fact, I’ve interviewed U.S.D.A. plant breeders who have spent a decade or more developing a new variety of pear or carrot without once measuring its nutritional content.

We can’t increase the health benefits of our produce if we don’t know which nutrients it contains. Ultimately, we need more than an admonition to eat a greater quantity of fruits and vegetables: we need more fruits and vegetables that have the nutrients we require for optimum health.

Jo Robinson is the author of the forthcoming book “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

List of Politicians paid by Monsanto

Reprint of the List of Politicians paid by Monsanto

"Democrat or Republican, it doesn’t matter. As long as you can help Monsanto slide its icy tentacles into the food chain, there’s some financial tip available to you. Thankfully, many such ties can be exposed through some data digging, and thanks to diligent readers who send comprehensive news tips and other researchers out there, we now have an extensive list of politicians getting paid cold hard cash from GMO juggernaut Monsanto.

Keep in mind these are the figures we know, which means that behind the scenes we can expect these numbers to multiply extensively. But what is most amazing is that these politicians just don’t care that you know they’re receiving thousands of dollars from Monsanto! They sweep it under the carpet, but they are openly taking money from this corporation that has been caught running ‘slave-like’ rings and disregarding public health. We’re talking about a corporation that primarily aided in the creation of Agent Orange — the Vietnam-era chemical weapon that killed over 400,000 people and led to 500,000 plus birth defects.

Looking at these figures, over $260,000 was openly pumped into the House, and $122,000 was pumped into the Senate. And again, this is openly. I’m speculating, but I would imagine the real number to easily be in the millions. Can you imagine how much they must pay these politicians to shoot down GMO labeling bills that 90 plus percent of the entire country wants?

Monsanto paid Senator Roy Blunt to ‘help write’ the Monsanto Protection Act that grants Monsanto immunity from federal courts? Roy’s cash payment is not included in this list, however RT reports he received $64,250 towards his campaign from the company. Surely they didn't expect anything in return?

Politicians Paid By Monsanto

House of Representatives:
Total paid by Monsanto to Democrats: $72,000
Total paid by Monsanto to Republicans: $190,500

Barrow, John (D-GA) $2,500
Bishop, Sanford (D-GA) $5,000
Boehner, John (R-OH) $10,000
Braley, Bruce (D-IA) $5,000
Camp, Dave (R-MI) $5,000
Cantor, Eric (R-VA) $10,000
Clay, William L Jr (D-MO) $10,000
Cleaver, Emanuel (D-MO) $5,000
Conaway, Mike (R-TX) $2,000
Courtney, Joe (D-CT) $4,500
Crawford, Rick (R-AR) $2,500
Fincher, Steve (R-TN) $8,000
Gardner, Cory (R-CO) $7,500

Goodlatte, Bob (R-VA) $4,500
Graves, Sam (R-MO) $5,000
Griffin, Tim (R-AR) $1,000
Guthrie, Brett (R-KY) $1,000
Hanabusa, Colleen (D-HI)$5,000
Hannemann, Mufi (D-HI) $1,000
Hartzler, Vicky (R-MO) $3,000
Holden, Tim (D-PA) $1,000
Huelskamp, Tim (R-KS) $2,500
Hultgren, Randy (R-IL) $2,500
Jenkins, Lynn (R-KS) $2,500
Johnson, Timothy (R-IL) $3,000
King, Steven A (R-IA) $2,500
Kingston, Jack (R-GA) $7,000
Kinzinger, Adam (R-IL) $3,500
Kissell, Larry (D-NC) $5,000
Labrador, Raul (R-ID) $2,000
LaMalfa, Doug (R-CA) $1,000
Landry, Jeff (R-LA) $1,000
Latham, Tom (R-IA) $10,000
Loebsack, David (D-IA) $5,000
Long, Billy (R-MO) $2,500
Lucas, Frank D (R-OK) $10,000
Luetkemeyer, Blaine (R-MO) $5,000
Lungren, Dan (R-CA) $1,000
McIntyre, Mike (D-NC) $1,000
Neugebauer, Randy (R-TX) $1,000
Noem, Kristi (R-SD) $1,000
Nunes, Devin (R-CA) $3,500
Owens, Bill (D-NY) $2,000
Peterson, Collin (D-MN) $10,000
Rogers, Hal (R-KY) $7,500
Rokita, Todd (R-IN) $5,000
Roskam, Peter (R-IL) $1,000
Schilling, Bobby (R-IL) $3,000
Schock, Aaron (R-IL) $5,000
Shimkus, John M (R-IL) $5,000
Simpson, Mike (R-ID) $10,000
Smith, Adrian (R-NE) $5,000
Stutzman, Marlin (R-IN) $5,000
Thompson, Bennie G (D-MS) $10,000
Thompson, Glenn (R-PA) $1,000
Upton, Fred (R-MI) $5,000
Valadao, David (R-CA) $2,500
Wagner, Ann L (R-MO) $10,000

Walden, Greg (R-OR) $1,000
Walorski, Jackie (R-IN) $2,500
Womack, Steve (R-AR) $1,000

Total paid by Monsanto to Democrats: $37,500
Total  paid by Monsanto to Republicans: $85,000

Akin, Todd (R-MO) $3,500
Baucus, Max (D-MT) $1,000
Berg, Rick (R-ND) $10,000
Blunt, Roy (R-MO) $10,000
Boozman, John (R-AR) $5,000
Casey, Bob (D-PA) $2,500
Chambliss, Saxby (R-GA) $5,000
Fischer, Deb (R-NE) $5,000
Gillibrand, Kirsten (D-NY) $1,000
Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) $2,000
Hirono, Mazie K (D-HI) $1,000
Johanns, Mike (R-NE) $1,000
Klobuchar, Amy (D-MN) $5,000
Landrieu, Mary L (D-LA) $1,000
McCaskill, Claire (D-MO) $5,000
McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) $10,000
Moran, Jerry (R-KS) $2,500
Nelson, Ben (D-NE) $13,000
Rehberg, Denny (R-MT) $2,000
Risch, James E (R-ID) $3,500
Roberts, Pat (R-KS) $9,000
Stabenow, Debbie (D-MI) $8,000
Thompson, Tommy G (R-WI) $5,000
Wicker, Roger (R-MS) $1,000
Wilson, Heather A (R-NM) $2,500"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Another Victory! Europe Kills GMO efforts

GMO lose Europe – victory for environmental organisations
By: Nils Mulvad | 29/05/2013

Monsanto will halt production of genetically modified corn in all of Europe, except Spain, Portugal and Czech republic. The agribusiness multinational states not to spend any more money on trials, development, marketing, court cases or anything else to get GM corn accepted in Europe.

In Europe Monsanto only sells GM corn in three countries. GM corn represents less than 1% of the EU’s corn cultivation by land area. Field trials are only in progress in three countries. We will not spend any more money to convince people to plant them,” states Brandon Mitchener, Public Affairs Lead for Monsanto in Europe and Middle East, in an interview with Investigative Reporting Denmark.

The decision was taken quietly. The company found no reason to communicate it. This means that every agribusiness company has now given up on genetically modified crops in Europe – apart from selling them in Spain and Portugal.


On the other hand:
Monsanto Modified Wheat Unapproved by USDA Found in Oregon Field

Monsanto of St. Louis is the world’s biggest seed producer. The company halted plans to develop modified wheat in May 2004 after the Canadian Wheat Board, the world’s largest grain seller, said its 10 biggest red spring-wheat importers, including Japan, the U.K. and Malaysia, wouldn’t accept modified varieties. Italy’s biggest miller, Grandi Molini Italiani, was among buyers in Europe and Asia that refused to import modified wheat amid consumer unease over eating such products.

There are no genetically engineered wheat varieties approved for general planting, USDA said.

So, why did the USDA just now find some??

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Gonna Quit going to see Doctors...

Yep, I'm thinking to quit going to see any doctors. (No, not really, it's just a negative thought wave I was having.) It seems every time I go, they find more problems, with some now showing up as severe.

I am a firm believer that we are all responsible for the consequences of our actions (including what and how we choose to eat), and I'm no different than anyone else in the aspect of how those choices affect us individually. However, I DO wish I had been better informed years ago about what consequences our food choices have on our health.

My food choices have been great for the last several years, but not so for the first 60 years of my life. (I think I can thank mis-information, advertising and greed for that.) I cannot change the earlier damage that's just now showing up, although hopefully I CAN keep it from getting worse by continuing a healthy, real food diet. I also hope I can pass along lots of healthy food information!

My young (under age 40) primary care physician will not agree with all my food choices, but I have to remember she's a product of what she was taught in medical school, which generally has little emphasis (if any) on good nutrition. She has already recommended a low- to almost non-fat diet and we know the brain thrives on saturated fats!

Medical schools teach how to treat or cure diseases, not how to prevent them. I simply cannot buy the concept of a low-fat diet (and those are too high in bad fats anyway), the excessive sugars found in many fruits and grains, and "foods" filled with fake chemical ingredients... vs. the real foods Nature intended.