The increase of GMO’s in our food

A recent series titled Food for Thought on the Huffington Post blog explored some common secrets of GMO’s that are worth sharing.

I have posted them below and also added to them in my own words.

1. Don’t mention the food waste: “We need this technology to feed to world,” is the marketing cry of the big chemical companies. In truth, they do need this technology to feed the expectations of shareholders, but it turns out that more than one-third of the food produced in the world goes to waste. That amounts to 1.3 billion tons every year, costing us economically. In this country alone, we throw away 96 billion pounds of food every year, or 27 percent of the total amount of available food. That’s 3,000 pounds of food a second. With the United Nations on record saying that we need more than just genetically engineered food tools in the toolbox, it appears what we also need is a smarter distribution model to address this waste.

2. It’s Big Razor’s playbook: Gillette will practically give away the razor to get people hooked on buying the razor blade. It’s a smart strategy for chemical companies, too. They offer the genetically engineered seed at a discount, then get farmers on the hook for buying the chemicals and suite of chemical products required to make their seeds grow. Pesticide application is up 527 million pounds since the introduction of these genetically engineered crops.

FYI…did you know that by using your regular inexpensive hair conditioner to shave your legs (woman) or face (men) that your razor will stay sharp 50% longer than buying shaving cream? TRUTH. Shaving cream actually dulls the blades faster so instead of buying another product to shave with…often a more expensive product, simply use what you already have. Your conditioner. Additionally, the more ingredients in your shampoo and conditioner the worse it is for your body and scalp. Remember, what you rub on your skin or scalp does enter the bloodstream. SAVE SOME MONEY.

3. EPA now regulates this genetically engineered corn as a pesticide. Seriously, if you had the choice on your kitchen table or at a BBQ between a corn regulated by the EPA as a pesticide and one that wasn’t, which would you choose? No brainer. We should know which one is the pesticide and which foods it is going into.

4. Pre-treated seeds doused in chemicals: It’s called an accelerating agent, and seeds are pretreated before they are ever even put in the ground. Is it any wonder that farmers using these seeds are increasingly worried about what it is doing to the quality of their soil? Monsanto owns almost all the Patents with regard to plant stress. They own 90% of all the genetically modified seeds on the planet and will eventually control the nations food supply. They own drought tolerant seeds that grow with less water and they are are now monitoring the farmers grow data. See Blog Titled  https://empoweringconsumers.wordpress.com/2014/01/03/monsantos-recent-move-to-control-farm-data/

5. Pouring on the Pesticides: The latest analysis shows that genetically engineered crops have driven up overall pesticide use across the country, contributing to a 527 million pound increase in herbicide use between 1996 and 2011. And last year alone, genetically engineered crops used 20 percent more pesticides on average than non-GE crops. Who pays for that? Farmers and the people that eat them. Who benefits? The chemical companies selling the seeds engineered to withstand these increasing doses. It goes straight to the bottom line and into the bank. Not only are the chemicals a danger, but the antibiotics in our food have increased dramatically as well. 

Antibiotics in food

Antibiotics in food

6. Patent the Chemicals as a Drug: The increasingly controversial weed killer, glyphosate, has been patented an antibiotic: Who knew that the patent had been filed? Apparently the US Patent and Trademark Office. As a growing number of farmers express concern over what this chemical is doing to their soil as headlines around the world express concern over what it is doing to humans, you have to ask yourself: given the 21st century technology we have today, is it time to make this 20thcentury, chemically intensive operating system, obsolete?

FYI – you can buy distilled white Vinegar for about $2.29 per gallon and add 20% water and use it to spray on your weeds with no harm to the soil. The weed killer Monsanto sells at your local hardware store costs $25.00 and is toxic. SAVE SOME MONEY.

7. Patents protect intellectual property: “The development of genetic engineering of plants in the 1980s was accompanied by a sequence of increasingly specific confirmations of the patentability of various types of life forms, provided that they met the standard patent criteria of novelty, utility and nonobviousness.” Nonobviousness is pretty discreet. So let’s say a pediatric cancer or autism group wanted to study if these crops and chemicals are contributing to the rates of cancer or autism. They’d have to go to Monsanto or the other big chemical companies for permission. It’s worth considering that just as Big Tobacco did before it, these chemical companies just might possibly be relying upon concealment of its documents from the public under intellectual property law to avoid liabilities and to evade regulation.

8. Technology Stewardship Agreements lock farmers into contracts for genetically engineered seeds. Want to break the contract? They’ll sue you. A farmer in Iowa is living testament to this happening. Once he realized that the details of that contract locked him into purchasing Monsanto’s suite of products for the life of the farm, it felt like a noose. When he wanted out, they made a point of showing the farming world that it wasn’t an option and sued. TRUTH…Monsanto is also involved with weather modification and as floods and storms wipe out small farmers, they buy the land and add it to their holdings. WATCH THE MOVIE HERE

9. Labels mean liability: Right now the companies using these genetically engineered foods want a ban on state labeling and are trying to stop a growing call for mandatory national labeling. Why? Because without labels, this “GMO Buyers Club” can claim that there is no evidence that these crops have ever caused any harm. And guess what? Without labels, they are right, there is no evidence. Labels would bring accountability, traceability and liability. It’s no wonder that the food industry is so allergic to labeling these genetically engineered ingredients in the United States. An allergic reaction to food sends someone to the ER once every three minutes.

Without labels on genetically engineered ingredients, the industry can claim “no evidence of harm.” Without labels, there is no traceability, accountability and liability. No way for these companies to be held accountable for the costs that they are externalizing onto society, our farmers, their farms and our economy. The food awakening is on, and the companies that are opting out of genetically engineered ingredients and willing to be transparent with the consumers are capturing market share.

I never like to tell people what to do, but I think it’s time to turn off “Dancing With The Stars” and begin learning how to farm our own food. This is the only way to ensure the quality of what we put in our bodies. As the poles continue to melt and the weather continues to accelerate, we will all be affected within the next 3-5 years. There are a lot of solutions out there if you know where to look.

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Arctic Methane release likely to be trouble

A combined team of U.S. and Russian researchers has found that large amounts of methane are bubbling up from the subsea permafrost along the East Siberian Shelf. In their paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience, the team describes research they’ve conducted over several years. North of Russia lies the Arctic Ocean, over time, parts of it have been given different names—one of those the Laptev Sea, lies north of Siberia, and is bounded by peninsulas on both sides. The sea normally freezes in the winter and thaws in the summer, but the water remains so cold that the seafloor has, at least until recent years, remained frozen. The researchers in this latest effort have been monitoring the amount of methane released into the sea as the subsea permafrost melts in the summer.

Methane stored in sea floor

Methane stored in sea floor

The melting of the subsea permafrost in the Arctic Ocean can’t be blamed on modern humans—it’s been slowly warming down there for thousands of years—it’s just recently however, reached the point where it melts in the summer just enough to allow the methane gases to seep out and bubble up into the sea column above. The researchers have been seeing record levels of methane in the both seawater and permafrost core samples they’ve been collecting over the past several years (they also use sonar to measure the density of bubbles emanating into the seawater). Worse, they have found that methane levels drop dramatically during storms. This means, the researchers report, that all that methane in the seawater is whipped into the atmosphere, adding to the other greenhouse gasses that are contributing more to global warming.

The researchers note that their measurements contradict predictions by other “more dire” reports that a massive “pulse” of methane will very soon add as much as 50 billion tonnes of methane to the atmosphere, causing a dramatic spike in global air temperatures. Instead, they suggest, it appears more likely that the methane will continue to bubble up slowly, but increasingly contributing to greenhouse gases much as is happening currently. They do caution that it is possible the current warming could cause more or bigger storms in the Arctic Ocean, releasing methane on a bigger scale.

Methane increase

Methane increase

One of the many conservative voices of climate change is the IPCC who gathers information from leading scientist and reviews their research. The IPCC reports are prepared and then shared with politicians and then adjusted prior to publication. One such report published in 2009 about the Arctic ice decline stated ( and charts showed ) the summertime ice in the arctic would be gone by 2100. Updated reports not published by the IPCC, but shared by concerned scientists state very clearly that the summertime ice shelves will be gone by 2016. See the MOVIE about Climate Change here

Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and is highly flammable and toxic to breath. There are trillions of tons of methane stored within the Earths core and much of it lies beneath the permafrost under the Arctic sea ice and Greenland. Methane has and will continue to seep from the sea floor, but researchers have been finding increased rates of this gas since 2007. With the reduction of ice shelves and the warming of the poles (average warming at the poles is 6 degrees versus 1 degree for the rest of the planet) some are getting concerned for what appears to be more methane and co2 which will only contribute to further warming of the Globe.

John Callahan is committed to educating people on issues that affect their health and well-being.Learn more at reCALIBRATEYOURSELF.COM

Toxic Chemical Found in Fast Food Bread

This week, Subway found out customers don’t like eating a chemical found in yoga mats, shoe rubber and synthetic leather. After one blogger’s petition against azodicarbonamide generated widespread uproar, (see below) Subway Corporate announced plans to remove the ingredient from its bread but did not say when. Currently, its 9-grain wheat, Italian white and sourdough breads contain Azodicarbonamide and so does many more foods.

Petition to remove toxic chemical from food

Petition to remove toxic chemical from food

To left is the petition that the “Food Babe Blog” initiated which created all the news. Bravo to the Food Babe, http://www.foodbabe.com. The media blitz has uncovered serious questions about the food we all eat on a regular basis and has at least one other major chain pondering its own products containing the chemical, but its use at other restaurant chains is fairly widespread and is just coming into light. It is important to realize that the product is approved for use in the U.S. as a dough conditioner and flour bleaching agent up to a certain limit, Apparently Europe and Australia have banned the substance as a food additive.

According to restaurant websites, the following is a list of some products that contain it as an ingredient:

  • Arby’s: croissant, french toast sticks, harvest wheat bun, honey wheat bread, marble rye bread, mini bun, onion bread and sesame seed bun
  • Jack in the Box: bakery style bun, jumbo bun, croissant, grilled sourdough bread and regular bun
  • Chick-fil-A: chargrilled chicken sandwich, chicken salad sandwich, and chargrilled chicken club sandwich
  • McDonald’s: regular bun, bakery style bun, bagel and english muffin, Big Mac bun and sesame seed bun.
  • Burger King: specialty buns, artisan-style bun, sesame seed bun, croissant, english muffin, home-style caesar croutons and french toast sticks.
  • Wendy’s: bagel, premium toasted bun, sandwich bun and panini bread

Following Subway’s announcement, McDonald’s spokeswoman Lisa McComb told CNBC in an interview that “Azodicarbonamide is commonly used throughout the baked goods industry, and this includes some of the bread goods on our menu. While this ingredient is recognized as safe and approved by the FDA, we listen to our customers and evolve to continue to serve the great tasting, quality food they expect from McDonald’s. This ingredient, like all the ingredients we use, is available to consumers on our website.”

Dunkin’ Donuts also said to CNBC in a recent response that, “There are trace amounts of azodicarbonamide, a common ingredient approved as safe by the Food and Drug Administration, in three Dunkin’ Donuts bakery items, including the Danish, Croissant and Texas Toast. All of our products comply with federal, state and local food safety standards and regulations. We are evaluating the use of the ingredient as a dough conditioner in our products and currently discussing the matter with our suppliers.”

Following the recent petition, on www.FoodBabe.com website, (who originally broke the story through her own research) the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest lobbied for the USDA to consider banning it. It noted that when bread containing the chemical is baked, it produces the carcinogen urethane  and “leads to slightly increased levels of urethane in bread that pose a small risk to humans” when azodicarbonamide  is used at its maximum limit. Evidence also suggests the product is harmful in its more industrial form. The United Kingdom’s Health and Safety Executive lists it as a substance that can cause occupational asthma. Meanwhile, a World Health Organization report states, “Case reports and epidemiological studies in humans have produced abundant evidence that azodicarbonamide  can induce asthma, other respiratory symptoms, and skin sensitization in exposed workers. Adverse effects on other systems have not been studied.” So it is clean to us that if it affects the skin then it certainly will affect your health when consumed.

The lesson here folks is that we really have no idea what chemicals are used to manufacture the processed foods that we eat on a regular basis. It is likely that there are more laying in wake and further research will undoubtedly uncover more harm to our bodies from the consumption. The only solution is to begin growing your own fully organic food. This is the only way to control what you eat and have longevity and health.

You can learn how to begin growing your own fully organic food with an EZ Aquaponic kit of your own and a contribution will be made to the Global Aquaponic Initiative for efforts to combat global hunger.