Look for this seal on your food

Look for this seal on your food
Live Chemical Free or Die Toxic

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Does China Organic standards stand up to USDA requirements

(Borganic.org) Tremendous growth in the organic soy foods industry has occurred over the last two decades as consumers seek healthy dietary alternative sources of protein. Many companies touting their "natural" or "organic" soy brands have found favor in the supermarket. A new report, released this week by The Cornucopia Institute, lifts the veil on some of these companies, exposing widespread importation of soybeans from China and the use of toxic chemicals to process soy foods labeled as "natural."

The report, Beyond the Bean: The Heroes and Charlatans of the Natural and Organic Soy Foods Industry, and an accompanying ratings scorecard of organic brands, separates industry heroes—who have gone out of their way to connect with domestic farmers—from agribusinesses that are exploiting the trust of consumers.

Part of the meteoric rise in organic food sales has been built on the expectation from consumers that organic foods support a more environmentally sound form of agriculture and one that financially rewards family farmers through their patronage. "Importing Chinese soybeans or contributing to the loss of rain forests by shipping in commodities from Brazil just flat-out contradicts the working definition of organic agriculture," said Mark Kastel, Senior Farm Policy Analyst at The Cornucopia Institute.

Through a nationwide survey of the industry, onsite farm, and processor visits, plus reviews of import data, Cornucopia assembled a rating system aimed at empowering consumers and wholesale buyers with the knowledge necessary to support brands that respect the fundamental tenets of organics.

"The good news in this report is that consumers can easily find, normally without paying any premium, organic soy foods that truly meet their expectations," said Charlotte Vallaeys, a researcher at Cornucopia and the primary author of the report.

One company that had an excellent opportunity to meet consumer expectations by supporting the growth of organic acreage in North America was Dean Foods, makers of the industry's leading soymilk, Silk. Instead, after buying the Silk brand, Dean Foods quit purchasing most of their soybeans from American family farmers and switched their primary sourcing to China, accordin to the report. This cost-cutting move helped them build their commanding soy milk market share using soybeans of questionable organic certification from China.

“White Wave (the operating division of Dean Foods that markets Silk and Horizon organic milk) had the opportunity to push organic and sustainable agriculture to incredible heights of production by working with North American farmers and traders to get more land in organic production, but what they did was pit cheap foreign soybeans against the U.S. organic farmer, taking away any attraction for conventional farmers to make the move into sustainable agriculture,” said Merle Kramer, a marketer for the Midwestern Organic Farmers Cooperative.

And now Dean, the $11 billion agribusiness behemoth and the nation's largest dairy concern, has quietly abandoned organic soybeans in most of the Silk product line, switching to even cheaper conventional soybeans without changing UPC codes for retailers or lowering pricing to consumers.

After reports from cooperative and independent natural foods retailers around the country Cornucopia visited a Whole Foods store in downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin and found only one of 25 Silk soymilk products was organic. "This is a radical departure by a brand that was widely viewed as an organic market pioneer," lamented Kastel.

Cornucopia's Vallaeys said: "Health conscious shoppers should no longer associate Silk with organic, and should seek the green USDA Certified Organic seal when purchasing soy products.”

Meanwhile, highly committed companies like Eden Foods, one of the country's largest organic soy foods producers, Small Planet Tofu, and Vermont Soy work directly with North American organic farmers.

“The top-rated companies that nurture relationships with American organic farmers should be rewarded in the marketplace. We hope that organic consumers will use Cornucopia’s soy scorecard when deciding which organic soy foods to buy,” said Kastel.

Some soy food makers that did not participate in the scorecard study may have been hesitant to share their sourcing information because they also buy organic soybeans from China. “Their reluctance to disclose their sourcing information makes sense, given the USDA’s weak oversight of certifying agents working in China,” noted Kastel.

The USDA waited five years before sending auditors to China to examine the practices of that country’s certifying agents. And even when in China, the USDA’s auditors visited only two farms in the entire country. On these two farms, they found multiple noncompliances with U.S. organic standards. USDA auditors also discovered that Chinese-based organic certifying agents did not always provide a translated copy of the U.S. standards to clients who apply for organic certification.

The Chinese findings support concerns that American farmers have raised for years, which is that organic imports from China may not always be held to the same strict standards as American crops. They also raise questions about whether Chinese farmers are adequately informed about the USDA organic standards and requirements.

“If the reputation of organic food is impugned through illegal and fraudulent activities in China, and an incompetent level of oversight by the USDA, it will be the domestic farmers and entrepreneurs that built this industry who will be harmed,” added Kastel.

Hexane: The Dirty Little Secret of the Natural Soy Foods Industry

Behind the Bean also exposes the natural soy industry’s “dirty little secret”: its widespread use of the chemical solvent hexane. Hexane is used to process nearly all conventional soy protein ingredients and edible oils and is prohibited when processing organic foods.

Soybeans are bathed in hexane by food processors seeking to separate soy oil from the protein and fiber of the beans. It is a cost-effective and highly efficient method for concentrating high-protein isolates. But hexane is also a neurotoxic chemical that poses serious occupational hazards to workers, is an environmental air pollutant, and can contaminate food, the report said.

Residue tests reveal that small amounts of hexane can and do appear in ingredients processed with the toxic chemical. The government does not require that companies test for hexane residues before selling foods to consumers, including soy-based infant formula.

"Consumers who are concerned with the purity and healthfulness of their food should continue to seek out organic alternatives as part of their diet and support the many high-integrity brands outlined in our study," Vallaeys stated.

The full Cornucopia Institute report, or an executive summary, including the scorecard of organic soy brands, can be found at
the link below.

Website: www.cornucopia.org

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Calcium Bentonite Clay Provides Protection from chemical Toxins

(Borganic.org) During the past few months, there has been an outbreak of reports of chemicals, pharmaceuticals, pesticides and toxins being found in our water supply, our food, our air, our soil....just about everything we come in contact with it seems. But, armed with the proper information, there`s no reason to live in a state of fear. Of course, measures must be taken to remove these harmful substances from our eco-system, but until that dream becomes a reality, you can protect yourself and your loved ones with calcium Bentonite clay. Used both externally and internally, calcium Bentonite clay safely removes toxins from your system.

How does calcium Bentonite clay work?

Bentonite clay carries a uniquely strong negative ionic charge which causes it to `magnetically` attract any substance with a positive ionic charge (i.e., bacteria, toxins, metals, etc.). These substances are both adsorbed (sticking to the outside like Velcro) and absorbed (drawn inside) by the clay molecules. Your body doesn`t digest clay, so the clay passes through your system, collecting the toxins, and removing them as the clay is eliminated. It`s like a little internal vacuum cleaner. In his book The Clay Cure, Ran Knishinsky states it this way:

"The clay`s immediate action upon the body is directly on the digestive channel. This involves the clay actually binding with the toxic substances and removing them from the body with the stool. It performs this job with every kind of toxin, including those from the environment, such as heavy metals, and those that occur naturally as by-products of the body`s own health processes, such as metabolic toxins. The clay and the adsorbed toxins are both eliminated together; this keeps the toxins from being reabsorbed into the bloodstream."

So while it currently may be impossible to avoid these contaminants, using calcium Bentonite clay can remove them from our system.

How do we use the calcium Bentonite clay?

In this day and age, there`s virtually no way to isolate yourself from the toxins that surround us. In our air, in our food, in the ground beneath our feet, and in our water, the contaminants abound. However, with calcium Bentonite clay, you can keep yourself healthy and vibrant.

Perry A~, author of Living Clay: Nature`s Own Miracle Cure, suggests the following protocol to keep yourself internally cleansed. Clay must be taken internally. Take two ounces of liquefied clay twice a day made with 1 part dry powder calcium Bentonite clay to 8 parts water for 14 days. After that, you can scale back to 1 ounce a day.

Clay baths, taken twice a week, are also helpful. Clay baths help keep your body cleansed by pulling toxins through the pores. To prepare a clay bath, scatter about 2 cups of Bentonite clay powder into the bath water as it`s running, and use your hands to swish away any lumps that might form. A clay bath should last ideally between 15-20 minutes. Submerge as much of your body as possible during the bath. The more clay that is used in the therapy, the more powerful the response.


Living Clay: Nature`s Own Miracle Cure, Perry A~, 2006, Perry Productions. (www.livingclaybook.com)

USA Today: "CDC: Rocket fuel chemical found in baby formula", http://www.usatoday.com/news/health...
(accessed 4/12/09)

Mike Adams, Natural News: "Cocktail of Pharmaceuticals Found in the Fish Caught Near Major U.S. Cities", http://www.naturalnews.com/025933.html (accessed 4/12/09)

Liz Szabo, USA Today: "Fire Retardant Chemicals Found in Toddler`s Blood", http://www.usatoday.com/news/health... (accessed 4/12/09)

Elizabeth Weise, USA Today: "Flame retardant found in breast milk". http://www.usatoday.com/news/health... (accessed 4/12/09)

Carol D. Leonnig, Washing Post: "Area Tap Water Has Traces of Medicines",
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy... (accessed 4/12/09)

David Gutierrez, Natural News: "Bottled Water Found Contaminated with Medications, Fertilizer, Disinfectant Chemicals" http://www.naturalnews.com/025993.html (accessed 4/12/09)

The Healing Clay, Michel Abehsera, 1986, Lyle Stuart.

Perry A~ Arledge, Natural News: "Criteria for Selecting a Quality Healing Clay", http://www.naturalnews.com/025053.html (accessed 4/12/09)

Buzz up!4 votes

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Monday, June 29, 2009

MSG is the New Nicotine: What the Food Industry Does Not Want You to Know

(Borganic.org) Monosodium glutamate, also known as MSG, is a common food additive. It`s toxic and physically addictive. Fast food companies and other food manufacturers use MSG as a "flavor enhancer," so consumers will become "hooked" on their products and keep dishing out money for more. When people consume unhealthy foods containing MSG, they often gain weight and feel sluggish, and some also experience "MSG symptom complex." The symptoms can include headaches, chest pain, heart palpitations, nausea, and other heath problems.

Although MSG is normally associated with Chinese food, processed meats, and salty snacks, it`s also frequently found in bouillon cubes, canned soups and vegetables, barbecue sauce, salad dressing, and virtually every other processed food you eat. "Monosodium glutamate," or "MSG," won`t likely be listed in a products` ingredient list. It`s often disguised as calcium caseinate, gelatin, hydrolyzed vegetable proteins, autolyzed yeast, hydrolyzed yeast, yeast extract, soy extracts, "spices," or "natural flavorings."

Toxic Traps
Unfortunately, MSG is not the only toxin we`re exposed to on a regular basis. Toxic substances are in everything from the food we eat to the air we breathe to the water we bathe in to the products we clean with. Common toxins include PCBs and other industrial compounds, heavy metals, chlorine and other chemicals, molds, antibiotics, hormones, dioxins, and cancer-causing toxins found in meat and milk.

We absorb toxins and store them in our body fat. When you build up a lot of toxins, your liver becomes sluggish and doesn`t function properly. As a result, your organs stop metabolizing fat effectively and you gain weight. The more toxins you accumulate, the more weight you gain. And the more you weigh, the more toxins your body will store. It`s a viscous cycle.

The human body is designed to metabolize and "flush out" toxins, but since we take in such huge amounts, our bodies become overwhelmed and cannot properly process and eliminate all the harmful substances we amass.

Read full article here MSG is the New Nicotine: What the Food Industry Does Not Want You to Know

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Sunday, June 28, 2009

US Dairies will kill 100,000 Cows to Double Milk Prices

(Borganic.org) Dino Giacomazzi, whose great- grandfather started the Giacomazzi Dairy in Hanford, California, in 1893, said he had no choice but to sell 100 cows, or 11 percent of his herd, in the past four months. Rising feed prices and a world surplus meant it cost as much as $17 to produce $10 of milk.

“Producers are in an absolute state of panic,” said Giacomazzi, 40. “To spend 100 years building a dairy business and see much of that equity disappear in a year is very troubling.”

Farmers plan to shift the pain to consumers. The National Milk Producers Federation in Arlington, Virginia, will pay dairies to slaughter 103,000 U.S. cows in coming months. Milk futures prices will double next year to a record $23 per 100 pounds (43.5 kilograms) as the herd shrinks by 171,000 head, the most since 1989, said Michael Swanson, a senior economist at Wells Fargo & Co., the largest lender to U.S. farmers.

The cuts will lead to the first two-year drop in output in four decades and higher prices in 2010 for butter, cheese, milk and the non-fat dry powder that’s a benchmark for global exports, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture forecasts. Futures for delivery in September 2010 trade 56 percent above today’s prices on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

Retail butter prices may rise above the record of $3.937 a pound and cheddar cheese may top $5.097 a pound, according to Jerry Dryer, 65, the editor of the industry newsletter Dairy & Food Market Analyst in Delray Beach, Florida.

‘Big Spike Up’

“We could easily see $20 milk again next year,” said Richard Bradfield, a vice president of the dairy business at International Ingredient Corp., a manufacturer of specialty feed products in Fenton, Missouri. “The longer these low prices last, the greater the potential for a big spike up in prices as dairies make larger cuts.”

Farmers are culling herds because exports plunged 26 percent in the first four months of the year, supplies rose and the cost of corn, the primary feed ingredient, averaged almost $4 a bushel.

At Tulare County Stockyard Inc. in Dinuba, California, more than three fourths of the cows Giacomazzi sold were purchased by beef processors including Cargill Inc., owner Jon Dolieslager said. Many smaller dairies that bought animals at auctions last year are out of business, he said.

Sold for Beef

“The Giacomazzi dairy is unique because of its reputation for taking care of its animals and the long history of superior genetics,” said Dolieslager, who also auctions hogs, beef cattle, goats, sheep and horses. “Less than 2 percent of dairy cows we sell will go out to other dairies.”

“No one is making money producing milk,” Wells Fargo’s Swanson said by telephone from Minneapolis. “The milk price remains well below the total cost of production.”

U.S. output increased to a record 16.73 billion pounds in May as cows on average produced 1,804 pounds each, the most ever, the USDA said June 18. A gallon weighs 8.6 pounds.

Wholesale milk fell 51 percent in the past year and reached $9.93 per 100 pounds on June 19 on the CME. The USDA forecasts average cash prices this year will drop 34 percent, the most since the agency began keeping the data in 1980. While corn fell to $4.195 last week from a record $7.9925 a bushel in June 2008, it’s still 54 percent above the decade average.

Cheese, Butter

Cheese prices on the CME have fallen 43 percent in the past year to $1.1175 pound, while butter dropped 17 percent to $1.215. The retail cost of cheddar cheese rose 4.7 percent to $4.605 a pound in May from a year earlier, government data show. The average supermarket price of butter fell 15 percent to $2.778 a pound last month from a year earlier.

“Wholesale butter and cheese prices could rebound $2 a pound next year,” as the herd declines, Dairy & Food Market’s Dryer said. “Low prices are not going to last because we will see inflation across the board next year.”

In California, the largest milk-producing state, dairies lost $1.07 per 100 pounds in April, compared with profit of $11.23 in July 2007, based on feed costs and milk prices, USDA data show. In January, the state was the most unprofitable in at least six years of record-keeping.

“We’re all in survival mode,” said John Gailey, 35, the general manager and a part owner of the 4,000-cow the Milky Way Dairy near Visalia, California. Gailey cut his herd by 400 head, or 9.1 percent, since March. “I’m surprised we are not hearing about more people filing for bankruptcy.”

24-Month Wait

It takes about 24 months and $1,600 to feed and care for a dairy heifer before it starts producing milk, Gailey said. The price of a young cow ready for milking has dropped by half in the past year to $1,200, he said.

Farmers spent most of the past decade expanding to meet rising global demand.

Futures peaked at a record $22.45 in June 2007 as a drought in Australia and New Zealand, the biggest exporters, curbed supplies. Demand increased in Asia as economic growth allowed consumers to switch to more protein-based diets.

U.S. exports jumped to a record 2.55 million metric tons last year (653.7 million gallons), up 16 percent from 2005, and the value of the shipments rose 25 percent, according to the U.S. Dairy Export Council in Arlington, Virginia. Overseas sales accounted for 11 percent of U.S. production, more than twice the share of 2002, the council said.

By the end of 2008, with the global economy in the first recession since World War II, U.S. milk production had grown to a record 190 billion pounds and the dairy herd was at a 12-year high of 9.315 million cows, according to the USDA.

European Protests

When global prices sagged, European farmers sought government aid and disrupted food supplies. Eight hundred producers from across Europe protested in Brussels last month, and in parts of France grocers ran out of cheese and yogurt because of farmer protests.

Dairy Farmers of Britain Ltd., the U.K. cooperative, filed for receivership this month after firing workers and closing dairies. Dairy Crest Group Plc, the biggest U.K. producer, lowered its milk price in April to 26.28 euro cents per liter ($1.40 a gallon), reflecting a 32 percent drop since October, according to the Web site of the Dutch farmers’ organization LTO-Nederland.

U.S. dairies are trimming the herd. The kill in the week ended June 6 rose to 60,800 head, 35 percent higher than a year earlier, according to USDA data. This year’s cull is up 13 percent from 2008.

Accelerating Cuts

Reductions may accelerate because government payments to small and medium-sized farmers begin to run out this month, said Sherman Toone, 58, a third-generation producer with 350 cows and 1,800 acres of wheat, barley and alfalfa near Grace, Idaho.

“This is the worst I’ve ever seen the imbalance” between feed costs and milk revenue, said Toone, whose grandfather started with 25 cows in 1923.

U.S. milk production will fall 1.3 percent to 187.5 billion pounds this year from last year’s record, and to 186.4 billion in 2010, the first back-to-back decline since 1969, the USDA said June 20.

Prices probably will rise at least 25 percent by the second half of 2010 as production slows and consumption rebounds with an improving economy next year, said Kelvin Wickham, the managing director of global trade at Auckland, New Zealand-based Fonterra Cooperative Group Ltd., the largest dairy exporter.

“We do expect prices to trend higher toward the back half of the year,” Jack Callahan, the chief financial officer at Dallas-based Dean Foods Inc., the biggest U.S. processor, said June 2 at a New York conference. Shares of Dean Foods rose 2.1 percent this year, beating the 1.1 percent drop in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Roadblocks to Rally

Fonterra’s Wickham cautioned that even a smaller herd may not be enough to turn the market around as rising subsidies and government stockpiling in the European Union and the U.S. delay the recovery.

“People haven’t been buying the stuff, that’s the problem,” said Lloyd Downing, 61, who farms 560 cows on 187 hectares southwest of Morrinsville, on New Zealand’s North Island. “It’s not until the American economy comes right that we’ll start doing any good.”

The U.S. economy contracted three straight quarters, including 5.7 percent in the first quarter. Economists expect a 2.7 percent contraction in 2009 before growth resumes in 2010, based on the median of 62 estimates in a Bloomberg News survey. In the European Union, where growth was 0.63 percent last year, the economy will shrink 4.2 percent in 2009, a Bloomberg survey of 17 economists shows.

Global milk-production growth will likely slow to 0.5 percent to 0.7 percent in 2009, in line with the increase in consumption, Fonterra’s Wickham said.

Chinese Demand

China, the world’s third-largest fluid-milk consumer after India and the U.S., is recovering after melamine contamination last September slashed domestic output. Consumption growth that averaged 13 percent the past three years will likely return to pre-melamine levels by the end of 2009, Lausanne, Switzerland- based Tetra Pak Group, the biggest maker of milk and juice cartons, said in a June 1 report.

China increased imports of milk powder and other dairy products after the government shut 19 percent of the nation’s 20,393 milk-collection stations between November and April, the official Xinhua New Agency reported June 3.

“It only takes a relatively small amount of difference in production and we’re going to have a significant affect on international prices,” said Lachlan McKenzie, who owns a 600- cow dairy northeast of Rotorua on New Zealand’s North Island and is chairman of Federated Farmers’ Dairy Section.

New Zealand Exports

New Zealand exported 50.8 million kilograms of milk powder to China in the three months ended March 31, more than four times as much as the same period a year earlier, according to Statistics New Zealand. Dairies are the country’s biggest export earner, accounting for about 20 percent of trade receipts, government data show.

Whatever happens with demand, a recovery won’t be possible without a cull in the industry, said the Milky Way Dairy’s Gailey.

“We are in a depression right now,” he said. “I have to be an optimist that the dairy farmers can get together and find a way to reduce the cow herd about 5 percent so that prices can recover quickly.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Jeff Wilson in Chicago at jwilson29@bloomberg.net

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Are organic foods healthier, or is it all a money maker

(Borganic.org) It varies, depending on the product being sold. Under rules set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2002, fruits and vegetables can be called “100 percent organic’’ only if they are raised completely without man-made pesticides and fertilizers. Pesticides made from natural ingredients, such as cayenne pepper soaked in water, are permitted; chemical pesticides, such as malathion or copper sulfate, are not. Fertilizers consisting of manure are allowed; those created from industrial processes, such as phosphates and potash, are not. Meat and dairy products can be labeled organic if they come from animals that are given only organic feed and allowed “access to pasture,” rather than raised entirely indoors. But when applied to products such as shampoos and skin lotions, “organic” means, well, nothing, since regulators don’t police such claims about personal products. “It’s kind of like the Wild West in there,” says Joe Smillie of Quality Assurance International, a company that certifies organic-labeling claims.

Is there much demand for organic food?
The market is relatively small, but growing rapidly. U.S. sales have more than doubled since 2002, to about $23 billion in 2008. In fact, although organic food accounts for only about 3 percent of food sold in the U.S., it’s the fastest-growing food category, with sales climbing nearly 16 percent a year, compared with less than 5 percent for conventional foods. That growth rate has caught the notice of big companies such as Wal-Mart, which is doubling the number of organic products it sells, and Coca-Cola, which has acquired Odwalla, an organic juice producer. Organics have also gotten a big boost from President Obama, who has appointed an organics expert to the Agriculture Department’s No. 2 post and budgeted $50 million to promote organic farming. Michelle Obama is championing organic gardens by famously planting one on the White House grounds. “If it’s fresh and grown locally,” she recently told a group of visiting schoolchildren, “it’s probably going to taste better.”

What’s the appeal of organic foods?
Like the First Lady, most consumers believe organic food tastes better, is more nutritious, and is safer because it doesn’t contain cancer-causing pesticides. Organic food’s image also benefits from the belief that organic farming does less harm to the environment, by leaving the soil free of pesticides and artificial fertilizers. And like the hybrid car, organic food has become a status symbol among a subset of affluent shoppers, although some have cut back since the recession began. Farmers, food producers, and retailers have their own reasons for liking organics. “We can get a little better price” for organic produce, says Oregon farmer David Brown. Some vegetables might fetch only pennies more per pound, but organic milk and meat can command twice the price of their conventional counterparts.

Is organic food really healthier?
That’s a matter of heated debate. Many nutritionists urge consumers to buy organic apples, raspberries, strawberries, and other soft-skinned produce, because the conventional versions retain high levels of pesticide residue, even after washing. And British researchers have found higher levels of “beneficial compounds” such as vitamins and antioxidants in organic produce than in conventional crops. But the data isn’t conclusive, and skeptics such as plant scientist Alex Avery of the conservative Hudson Institute say the idea that organic food is nutritionally superior is “a total con.” Many nutritionists do play down the difference between organic and conventional. “The most important thing to consider is the health benefit of consuming five servings of fruits and vegetables every day,” says Baylor Medical Center dietitian Ashley Mullins, “whether or not they’re organic.”

Is big business changing the organics game?
Yes, and not for the better, according to longtime organic farmers and food producers. Small organic dairy farmers complain, for example, that Dean Foods slaps the “organic” label on its Horizon Dairy brand of milk, even though it comes from cows that spend as little as five minutes a day outdoors. “That might be technically organic,” says Mark Kastel of the Cornucopia Institute, an advocacy group for small organic farms, “but it’s not what people think they’re paying for.” Fruit and vegetable farmers say that agribusiness giants such as General Mills use large-scale industrial-farming techniques on their organic farms, undermining the organic movement’s original small-scale philosophy. “‘Organic’ doesn’t mean what the original users of the word meant it to be,” says Tennessee farmer Jeff Price.

Will all our food eventually be organic?
That’s highly unlikely. Because organic farms yield smaller crops than conventional ones, they can’t possibly meet the demands
of the country’s growing population, food experts say. And though the idea of allowing all farm animals to range free is appealing, there’s not enough pastureland in the U.S. to accommodate them all. But with about half the U.S. population already eating organics occasionally, most analysts expect the category to continue growing for the foreseeable future. “Everyone wants a piece of the pie,” says George Siemon, CEO of the Organic Valley farm cooperative. “Kraft and Wal-Mart are part of the community now, and we have to get used to it.”

The man who invented ‘organic’
Though organic farming has only recently drawn wide notice in the U.S., the term dates back to 1940, when it appeared in a book by Walter James, a British aristocrat and agricultural scientist. He argued that the farm should be seen “as a living whole” that has “within itself a balanced organic life” and warned that “chemical farming,” which relies on “imported fertility,” would disrupt the delicate balance of forces that made life possible. He also anticipated the current fashion for locally grown food. “It is ludicrous to cart stuff about all over the world,” he wrote, “when that stuff could be much better produced where it is wanted.” Big business is now adopting much of his philosophy, though not his contempt for the profit motive. “We have come to have no idea of profit other than financial profit,” he wrote. “The delusion is that cheapness leads to plenty. But what use is plenty of rubbish?”

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Friday, June 26, 2009

Guidelines For Possible Swine Flu Quarantines

(Borganic.org) The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has sent a memo to some health care providers noting procedures to be followed if the swine flu outbreak eventually makes quarantines necessary.

DHS Assistant Secretary Bridger McGaw circulated the swine flu memo, which was obtained by CBSNews.com, on Monday night. It says: "The Department of Justice has established legal federal authorities pertaining to the implementation of a quarantine and enforcement. Under approval from HHS, the Surgeon General has the authority to issue quarantines."

McGaw appears to have been referring to the section of federal law that allows the Surgeon General to detain and quarantine Americans "reasonably believed to be infected" with a communicable disease. A Centers for Disease Control official said on Tuesday that swine flu deaths in the U.S. are likely.

Federal quarantine authority is limited to diseases listed in presidential executive orders; President Bush added "novel" forms of influenza with the potential to create pandemics in Executive Order 13375. Anyone violating a quarantine order can be punished by a $250,000 fine and a one-year prison term.

A Homeland Security spokesman on Tuesday did not have an immediate response to followup questions about the memo, which said "DHS is consulting closely with the CDC to determine appropriate public health measures."

The memo from McGaw, who is DHS' acting assistant secretary for the private sector, also said: "U.S. Customs and Coast Guard Officers assist in the enforcement of quarantine orders. Other DOJ law enforcement agencies including the U.S. Marshals, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives may also enforce quarantines. Military personnel are not authorized to engage in enforcement."

Quarantines are hardly new: their history stretches at least as far back as the Bible, which describes a seven-day period of isolation that priests must impose when an infection is apparent. The word literally means a period of 40 days, which cities along the Mediterranean shipping routes imposed during the plague of the 15th century, a legal authority reflected in English law and echoed in U.S. law.

Congress enacted the first federal quarantine law in 1796, which handed federal officials the authority to assist states in combating the yellow fever epidemic. In response to the 1918 influenza epidemic, states levied quarantines and imposed mask laws – with the District of Columbia restricting residents to their homes and San Francisco adopting the slogan "Wear a Mask and Save Your Life! A Mask is 99% Proof Against Influenza." Public health authorities quarantined the entire campus of Syracuse University for two-and-a-half weeks in October of that year.

Until recently, the last involuntary quarantine in the United States was in 1963. Then, in 2007, Andrew Speaker, an Atlanta lawyer, was quarantined inside a hospital in Denver on suspicion of having extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. It turned out that the CDC was incorrect and Speaker had a milder form of the disease.

The CDC's error is one example of how quarantines can raise civil liberties issues. If a suspected swine flu patient is confined to a hospital isolation ward for a week or two, who pays for the bills? What if private businesses find their buildings requisitioned in an emergency? Or if hospital employees charged with enforcing the quarantine fail to show up for work?

McGaw's memo on Monday also said that the federal plan to respond to pandemic influenza was "in effect."

The Bush administration released the National Strategy For Pandemic Influenza in November 2005; it envisioned closer coordination among federal agencies, the stockpiling and distribution of vaccines and anti-viral drugs, and, if necessary, government-imposed "quarantines" and "limitations on gatherings."

A Defense Department planning document summarizing the military's contingency plan says the Pentagon is prepared to assist in "quarantining groups of people in order to minimize the spread of disease during an influenza pandemic" and aiding in "efforts to restore and maintain order."

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Natural Remedies for Mouth Ulcers

(Borganic.org) Anyone who suffers from mouth ulcers knows how painful and irritating they can be. In severe cases multiple ulcers may appear and the discomfort can make talking and eating difficult. But what causes these little sores? And how can you get rid of them naturally?

An ulcer is an open sore that appears in the soft tissue of the mouth. There can be many reasons why ulcers may appear such as prescription drugs and infectious diseases such as thrush or herpes. But poor oral hygiene, accidental biting of the lip, tongue or cheek and constant rubbing against sharp misaligned teeth or braces are the main causes behind the annoying little sores. There are those who regularly get multiple mouth ulcers for no specific reason at all. In fact it is thought that around 20% of the American population suffers from what are known as aphthous ulcers. This type of ulcer may appear during times of stress or trauma and in some cases may be due to a vitamin and mineral deficiency.

Home Remedies

If your ulcers are mainly due to a poor diet there are some simple steps that you can take to prevent them. Eat more fruit and veggies and foods that are rich in vitamin B as these are thought to work wonders. Avoid eating hot and spicy foods as these can irritate your mouth and make you more prone to ulcers.

Coconut oil is fast becoming known as a great home remedy for a number of things including curing mouth ulcers. Coconut oil has been used in many so called primitive societies for centuries as one of their main healing tools. Sore throats, skin infections, dysentery, fevers and flu were all treated with coconut oil. But it is the modern day trials and studies that have shown that coconut oil kills certain types of bacteria that make it a great home remedy for mouth ulcers. Simply rub some of the oil directly on to your ulcers twice a day and you should notice a massive difference.

There is several different mouth washes that you can make up that are thought to kill the ulcer causing bacteria. Try mixing a little tee tree oil in some hot water and gargle with it twice a day, but make sure you never swallow the mixture as tee tree can be poisonous. You can also rub salt or baking soda directly on to the wounds, these are thought to ease the pain and discomfort as well as help shorten the recovery time.

As with most mouth infections the best way to combat mouth ulcers is through basic oral hygiene. Make sure you brush and floss your teeth twice a day and give it a rinse with a mouth wash before bed. These are simple steps that could save you a lot of pain.




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What is the difference between "100% organic" and "organic

(Borganic.org) In the year since I have been writing this column, readers have sent in many questions about organic foods. With the White House and the U.S. Department of Agriculture planting organic gardens, these questions have become more urgent.

Q: What is the difference between "100% organic" and "organic"?

A: Organic has a precise meaning under the USDA's organic program. Certified 100% Organic means that all the ingredients in a product have been grown or raised according to the USDA's organic standards, which are the rules for producing foods labeled organic. Certified Organic requires that 95 to 99 percent of the ingredients follow the rules.

What, exactly, are those rules? Summarizing what's in hundreds of pages in the Federal Register:

-- Plants cannot be grown with synthetic pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, genetic modification, irradiation or sewage sludge.

-- Animals must be raised exclusively on organic feed, have access to the outdoors, and cannot be given antimicrobial drugs or hormones.

-- Producers will be inspected to make sure these practices are being followed to the letter.

Q: How do we know "organic" truly reflects our beliefs?

A: I am guessing this question refers to the spirit of organics. In the 1920s, the British botanist Albert Howard learned from observing farmers in India that human health depends on growing foods sustainably. Indian farmers taught him the importance of protecting soil nutrients through composted manure, crop rotation and appropriate cultivation, and using biological pest controls. Later, these methods were called "organic."

But USDA organic rules do not say a word about sustainability. This gap occurred as a result of the history of the organic standards (as I recount in "What to Eat"), but also as a result of the USDA's inherent conflicts of interest. The USDA's main job is to promote industrial agriculture. Organics, the USDA says, are just different, not better. Alas, the USDA has not always been a loving home for the organic program.

Q: Do food companies use the word "organic" in the same way they use "health"?

A: USDA organic rules are about the letter of the law, not its spirit. Food marketers, however, take advantage of public perceptions that "organic" implies spirit - sustainability and better nutrition. Companies that follow the rules can legitimately market highly processed foods as organic, taking advantage of their health aura to command higher prices.

No wonder so many big food companies have bought organic product lines (see links.sfgate.com/ZHKJ).Yes, organic junk food is free of synthetic pesticides, but the foods still have calories. As I like to put it, an organic junk food is still a junk food.

Q: Which is worse: eating nonorganic produce full of pesticides or not eating produce at all?

A: Research demonstrates substantial health benefits from eating fruits and vegetables. Although I wish we had more definitive research, these benefits appear to greatly outweigh any risks of pesticides.

If you want to compromise, you can save your organic dollars for the foods most likely to be high in pesticides. These, according to the Environmental Working Group (ewg.org), are peaches, nectarines, apples, bell peppers, strawberries, cherries, pears, raspberries, imported grapes, celery, potatoes and spinach.

In contrast, foods that you peel - onions, peas, bananas, sweet corn and tropical fruits, for example - tend to be low in pesticides.

Q: Is organic food nutritionally worth its higher cost?

A: Foods grown on sustainable soils ought to contain higher levels of nutrients - and some studies show that they do - but organic certification does not require higher nutritional values. Without testing, I'd be hard-pressed to know whether the organic foods I'm buying really are nutritionally better. The main point of organics is production methods, and these require hand labor and careful management, both of which come at a higher cost.

If you believe, as I do, that growing foods according to organic practices is better for the environment, then paying more is worth it if you can afford to.

Q: Aren't organics elitist? People can't buy organic foods if they aren't available at an affordable price.

A: I once heard Eric Schlosser answer a similar question aimed at his book, "Fast Food Nation." He pointed out that social movements have to begin somewhere and that several began with elites but ended up helping the poor and disenfranchised - the civil rights, environmental and women's movements, for example.

I would add the organic movement to this list. It has already forced mainstream food producers to start cutting down on pesticides and to raise farm animals more humanely. As the supply of organic foods increases, and the Wal-Marts of the world sell more of them, organics should become more democratic.

But please don't blame organic producers for the high prices. Until the latest farm bill, which has a small provision for promotion of organic agriculture, organic farmers received not one break from the federal government. In contrast, the producers of corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton continue to get $20 billion or so a year in farm subsidies.

Industrial agriculture also benefits from federally administered marketing programs and from cozy relationships with congressional committees and the USDA. In contrast, the USDA considers fruits and vegetables "specialty crops." This kind of food politics shows up as higher prices in the grocery store.

Dealing with the elitism implied by the higher cost of organics means doing something about income inequities. If we want elected representatives to care more about public health than corporate health, let's work to remove the corruption from election campaign contributions. If Congress were less beholden to corporations, we might be able to create a system that paid farmers and farm workers decently and sold organic foods at prices that everyone could afford.

The organic gardens at the White House and USDA send an important signal that the way we grow food makes a difference. Let's hope they also symbolize a new era in agricultural policies, one that unites the letter and spirit of the organic movement.

Marion Nestle is the author of "Food Politics," "Safe Food" and "What to Eat," and is a professor in the department of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University. E-mail her at food@sfchronicle.com and read her previous columns at sfgate.com/food.

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Organic Herbal Tonic for Energy, Shingles, Herpes and More

(Borganic.org) The adrenal glands often become 'depleted' as a result of the constant demands placed upon them. They are the “fight or flight” glands that can become exhausted by too much stress. An individual with adrenal exhaustion will usually suffer from chronic fatigue, may complain of feeling anxiety-ridden, and will, more often than not, have a reduced resistance to allergies and infection. The adrenal glands secrete several important hormones that help maintain the balance of many body functions. Stress of any kind, fasting, temperature changes, allergies, infections, drugs, and exercise all stimulate the adrenals to release their hormones. When the adrenals release too few or too many hormones, the body responds differently to the everyday stresses of life. The adrenal cortex is involved in the production of such as cortisol, aldosterone, and androgens such as DHEA. My Adrena Tonic was formulated to support mild to moderate adrenal deficiency that can cause havoc on the immune-system and energy levels. This tonic also supports ‘Shingles, Herpes and Epstein Barr’ recovery along with Prostate Cancer Prevention.

When I first formulated Browning’s Adrena it was in order to provide a tonic that would boost adrenal gland function in chronic and critical illness including cancer. Breast cancer patients especially suffer from adrenal insufficiency. When patients are faced with long-term illnesses their stress levels sky-rocket overtaxing the adrenal glands thereby causing a depletion in energy levels. The formula accomplished what it was set out to do and I could not make it fast enough for my patients suffering form fatigue.

Licorice root, which is the primary herb in Adrena, helps prevent adrenal failure by maintaining electrolyte balance. Research shows benefits for Addison's disease sufferers. Glycyrrhiza has a marked effect upon the endocrine system. Its glycosides are structurally similar to the natural steroids of the body, and are responsible for the beneficial action that this herb has in the treatment of adrenal gland problems. Rather than contributing to adrenal atrophy, as synthetics do, licorice helps to preserve healthy adrenal function.

But along came some surprises that I had not expected when my patients had been on the Adrena Tonic for 3 to 4 months. Many people with a comprised immune function develop shingles and quite a few of my patients had both shingles and herpes. After taking the Adrena formula my patients reported that they had no more outbreaks of shingles or herpes. Some of those patients have been shingle and herpes free for 3 years or more. They also had better liver and lung function.

Licorice root is known to completely reverse the shingle and herpes virus within 1 years time, or less, with no further viral infection. It cures the virus with no side-effects. With licorice root being an anti-viral herb it can be used to keep other viruses at bay as well.

Licorice root is excellent for any lung ailment including coughs, emphysema and asthma; it is good for depression, helps allergies, has a well-documented reputation for healing ulcers and is an excellent anti-inflammatory.

Licorice protects the liver, promotes liver healing and helps maintain the overall health of the liver. The herb's anti-inflammatory properties help calm hepatitis-associated liver inflammation. Licorice also fights the virus commonly responsible for hepatitis.

The National Cancer Institute did a clinical trial using Licorice Root in combination with Docetacel for Hormone-Refractory Metastic Prostate Cancer that did not respond to hormone therapy. The primary outcome was PSA normalization or a 50% decline. As an herbalist I would think that it was the licorice root alone that brought the PSA levels down to normal. I would certainly recommend the Adrena for prostate cancer or the prevention of prostrate cancer along with a blood tonic. I would also suggest that Saw Palmetto and Pygeum be taken with the Adrena as both those herbs are also known to bring PSA levels down to normal and prevent prostate cancer.

The herbs in the Adrena Tonic are:

Bayberry: Adrenal weakness, astringent, antibacterial. The primary chemical constituents include essential oils, flavonoids, phenols, starch, lignin, albumen, gum, tannins, and gallic acid.

Borage: Borage acts as a restorative agent on the adrenal cortex; it will revive & renew the adrenal glands after a medical treatment of cortisone or steroids. Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), beta-carotene, choline, mucilage, B vitamins, and trace minerals.

Eleuthero Rt: Nutritionally supports the glandular system, adrenal glands, energy, and stress. The eleutherosides are a range of glycosides that appear to act on the adrenal glands, helping to prevent adrenal hypertrophy and excess corticosteroid production in response to stress, additionally help reduce the exhaustion phase of the stress response, and return the adrenals to normal function faster. It has been shown to increase energy & stamina, and to help the body resist viral infections, environmental toxins, radiation, and chemotherapy. It has also been used to help restore memory, concentration, and cognitive abilities which may be impaired from poor blood supply to the brain. Eleuthero also boosts immunity. Healthy people taking 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of tincture three times daily have been shown to have increased numbers of the immune cells (CD4+ cells) that have decreased during HIV-infection and AIDS.

Hawthorne: Increases the body's ability to utilize oxygen, and the heart's ability to utilize calcium. This herb can actually help regulate both high and low blood pressure. Flavonoids and oligomeric procyanidins.

Licorice Rt: Contains biotin, chromium, iodine, lecithin, manganese, niacin, Pantothenic acid, phosphorus, Vitamins E, B-complex and Zinc. Used for Adrenal Gland Exhaustion; Addison’s Disease; helps maintain water supply in body by balancing electrolytes. The main constituent found in the root is glycyrrhizin. Glycyrrhizin stimulates the secretion of the adrenal cortex hormone "aldosterone". Licorice root has been said to completely reverse the ‘Shingle Virus’ over a period of long-term use. It has been demonstrated to have powerful anti-HIV action in vivo. As an herbal medicine it has an impressive list of well documented uses which include but are not limited to baldness, body odor, bursitis, canker sores, chronic fatigue, depression, colds and flu, gout, heartburn, viral infections, fungal infections, ulcers, liver problems, Lyme disease, menopause, psoriasis, shingles, sore throat, tuberculosis, ulcers, prostate enlargement and arthritis.

Rose Hips: Adrenal glands, bio-flavonoids, vitamin C, immune enhancement.

Sarsaparilla: Primary chemical constituents of this herb include saponins, glycosides, sitosterol, stigmasterin, resin, fat, and sugar. Sarsaparilla also contains calcium, copper, iron, iodine, manganese, potassium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, B-complex and vitamins A, C, and D. It is an excellent herb for skin conditions and has been suggested as a possible treatment for the herpes simplex I virus as well as for RSV, a respiratory virus that causes upper respiratory infections.

Star Anise Seed: Research shows star anise is an excellent flu deterrent.

Suma Root: Nutritionally it contains essential vitamins, minerals, amino acids and trace elements plus high amounts of the trace element germanium, which is a powerful immune stimulator. The germanium in Suma may be partly responsible for Suma's powerful ability to bring more oxygen to the cells. This herb helps fight the virus responsible for ‘Epstein-Barr disease’. Suma is also beneficial for treating cardiovascular disease, depression, chronic fatigue and inflammatory conditions.

Uva Ursi: Helps alkalize the urine neutralizing acidity. As a nutritional supplement and muscle relaxant, it soothes, strengthens, and tightens irritated & inflamed tissues and is added in this tonic since the adrenal glands sit right on top of the kidneys.

The dried herbal ingredient amounts you will need make Browning’s Adrena Tonic:

1 oz. Bayberry (Morella cerifera)

2 oz. Borage (Borago officinalis)

3 oz. Eleuthero Root Powder (Eleutherococcus senticosus)

2 oz. Hawthorne Berry (whole or powder) (Crataegus laevigata)

7 oz. Licorice Root (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

2 oz. Licorice Root Powder (Glycyrrhiza glabra)

2 oz. Rose Hips (whole berry or powder) (Rosa canina)

2 oz Sarsaparilla Rt. (Smilax medica or Smilax ornate)

2 oz. Star Anise Pod (Illicium verum)

3 oz. Suma Root Powder (Pfaffia paniculata)

1 oz. Uva Ursi (Arctostaphylos uva ursi)

What cooking tools and other ingredients you will need:

You will also need two stainless steel or glass 16 quart or larger pots with lids. One pot for cooking and one pot for straining liquid into after cooking.

A large strainer.

A candy or water thermometer.


3 ½ gallons of distilled water

16 oz of vegetable glycerin

32 oz of black strap molasses

For bottling you can use regular pint size canning jars. You will need about 14 jars.

You can cut recipe in ½ for a smaller batch.

In pot add:

Begin the tonic in the morning. In 1 pot add the bayberry, eleuthero, hawthorne, licorice root, licorice root powder, rose hips, sarsaparilla, star anise, suma and cover with 3 ½ gallons of distilled water. Stir. Cover pot with lid and bring to a very slow boil (simmer) for about 2 hours then turn heat to low until evening.

In the evening add the borage and uva ursi to the above pot and turn heat down to warm to steep (not boil) the herbs like you would a cup of tea overnight.

The next morning strain the liquid from the herbs by laying a couple of layers of cheesecloth over your strainer. Strain liquid into a clean container then heat herbal liquid and bring to a boil for 15 minutes to kill any bacteria.

Compost the strained herbs in your garden.

Then add to strained liquid:

16 oz of vegetable glycerin,

32 oz of black strap molasses

3 tablespoons of citric acid

Stir and let the mixture mingle on burner for 15 minutes or longer but do not boil. When ready to bottle use a candy thermometer to check the temperature of the liquid. You want the temperature 190* to prevent any bacteria to grow in the tonics. Maintain this heat temperature throughout bottling.

While waiting for your liquid to reach the accurate bottling temperature prepare your canning jars. Sterilize jars and lids.

Once your bottles are sterilized and your herbal liquid is at the right temperature add the tonic liquid to the hot jars. Fill to ½” from top of jar and cap. Let cool overnight. Check to make sure all the jars sealed properly the store them. Label. Tonic will store for 1 year.

Once you open a jar of tonic for use you must Refrigerate it. The tonic will last for 2 months in the refrigerator once it has been opened. Sediment in the bottom of the jars is normal. Give the jar a little shake or stir to mix the sediment before taking.

How much to take:

Adult Folklore Dosage: 1 teaspoon 1 to 3 times a day.

Do not use if you are pregnant. If on any medication check an herb/drug interaction guide before using tonic.

Contrary to modern day thinking licorice root will not raise blood pressure if taken in moderate amounts.

Disclaimer—The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for advice from your health care professional. You should not use the information in this article for self-diagnosis or to replace any prescriptive medication. You should consult with a healthcare professional before starting any diet, exercise or supplementation program, before taking any medication, or if you have or suspect you might have a health problem, suffer from allergies, are pregnant or nursing.

Read full article here Herbal Tonic for Energy, Shingles,

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Licorice Prevents Sore Throats after Operations

(Borganic.org) Imagine a tube is stuck down your throat and left there for up to a couple of hours. It would be no surprise that you'd end up with a raw feeling throat. That's just what happens to countless people who undergo surgery under general anesthesia. The endotracheal tube, also referred to as a breathing tube, that's used to keep airways open during an operation can result in an excruciatingly sore throat post-surgery -- a condition known as postoperative sore throat (POST).

When throat lozenges aren't enough to alleviate symptoms, some doctors prescribe heavy duty, side effect loaded pain relievers. Incredibly, one of the drugs sometimes used is ketamine, the same powerful, mind-altering medication known as the "date rape" drug. But a new study just published in Anesthesia and Analgesia, the official journal of the International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS), shows there's a safer, natural alternative -- gargling with a licorice solution.

The study, conducted by Dr. Anil Agarwal and colleagues at the Sanjay Gandhi Post Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences in Lucknow, India, included 40 patients who were undergoing spinal surgery. Five minutes before they were given general anesthesia with a breathing tube, the patients simply gargled with either a diluted licorice solution or plain water.

After their operations, the patients who received the licorice gargle had a lower rate of postoperative sore throat, including pain on swallowing. Two hours after surgery, 75 percent of the study participants who gargled with only water suffered from POST while only about a fourth of the research subjects who used the licorice gargle had a sore throat at all. The ones in the licorice group who did have sore throats had less severe symptoms than the patients who only gargled with water, too.

There was even more good news for those who used the licorice gargle: they were far less likely to develop a postoperative cough than the surgery patients who only gargled with water. This is important because coughing after surgery can lead to potentially serious complications.

Read full article here. Licorice Prevents Sore Throats after Operations

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Green Expo this weekend

(Borganic.org) If you're looking for a place where you can participate in a free yoga session, snack on organic food samples, test drive the newest eco-friendly car and maybe even find a job, then maybe you need to head to the Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta this weekend for the Go Green Expo.

The expo will have over 200 vendors with products and information on living more responsibly in today's world along with acoustic musical performances, hands-on exhibits and an eco-kids zone and organic garden.

The first day of the three day event begins Friday, June 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is for business owners only. On Friday only all business owners get free entry with their business cards.

The expo on Saturday and Sunday, June 27 & 28, runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., respectively, and are dedicated to both businesses and consumers.

Ticket prices are listed below. For more information and to visit the Go Green Expo website click on the link with this story.

Stay tuned to the Ledger-Enquirer and our "Go Green" section for stories and videos from the expo.

Business to Business Buyers Only for Friday June 26 (B2B Day) - Free

Adults - Weekend pass for Saturday & Sunday, June 27 & 28 - $10

Children under the age of 12 - Free

Senior citizens (65+) - $5

Students: Please bring Valid Student ID for $5 admission

Military families: $5 per person (Valid military ID required)

Organic Farming for 9 Billion People

(Borganic.org) By James Kanter

How will the world meet the growing energy and food demands of a population projected to approach nine billion in 2050? And how can it do so in a sustainable manner, despite the prospect of climate change?

Two frequently cited solutions — raising productivity through large investment in fertilizers, irrigation and mechanization, and extending farming to degraded, abandoned or pasture lands — would still leave food and energy supplies falling short of demand, according to a study released on Thursday by the climate change advice division of Deutsche Bank.

Such measures are also likely to exacerbate water constraints and increase carbon emissions. Irrigation, for example, uses water; the production of fertilizer creates greenhouse gases; and mechanized equipment currently uses fossil fuels.

To overcome these constraints, the bankers say that it will be necessary to explore alternative approaches to present-day agribusiness practices. Such alternatives would include radical shifts in land use, genetically modified crops and organic farming.

Farmers, markets and governments will need to look at “a whole host of options” including “the re-emergence of small, self-sufficient organic farms, characterized as, local, multi-crop, energy and water efficient, low-carbon, socially just, and self-sustaining,” according the Mark Fulton, the bank’s global head for climate change investment research.

Mr. Fulton also recommends examining ways to sequester carbon in the soil, through means such as tilling the soil less (which may reduce carbon dioxide emissions) or by using biochar, or sometimes called charcoal, to trap carbon dioxide.

The bank’s research, done in collaboration with The Nelson Institute’s Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, estimated that the caloric needs of the planet will soar 50 percent by 2050. The main drivers would be population growth, wealth gains, dietary trends and demand for biofuels.

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Should parents feed their kids organic or locally grown foods

(Borganic.org) Wegmans has announced their brand new blog. Its purpose is to "share our experiment with organic farming." It also provides news from local growers. A lot of the organic foods you find in Wegmans come straight from their organic farm near Canandaigua Lake.

This is community whose major supermarket retailer is dedicated to providing the community with fresh, nutritious, organic foods. There are also a plethora of farms dedicated to producing organic food: organic dairy farms, fruit farms, etc. However, organic produce can be hard on the wallet. Local farmers who do not farm organically provide wonderful, tasty and nutritious foods as well. NO consumer should feel bad about purchasing from their neighborhood farmer.

What exactly IS organic food?

Simply put, it is food that was grown without the assistance of chemicals or pesticides.

What qualifies as "locally grown" food?

Food that was harvested within a 50 to 100 mile radius from where you live.

Which is better for my family?

The debate is out on that. Some argue that local produce, even if not organically grown, holds onto more of its nutritional value because it is fresher. Also, the environmental impact of transporting food across the country is more significant than spraying crops with chemicals. Locally grown food tastes better and scientists have not proven that chemicals sprayed on crop have any negative long-term effects on people.

However, if it comes out that chemical and pesticides have long-term, negative side-effects, organic foods win hands down! In the meantime, what to feed your kids?

If you can afford it, buy local organic foods. If that just seems out of your price range, buy from your local farmer. Always wash your fruits and veggies thoroughly with water to remove chemical residue. If local consumers continue to buy from local farmers, they will have a greater impact on the local economy AND will have significant impact in help farmers decide to go organic.

It's strawberry season, people. Go buy some strawberries!!!

Further reading on the subject:

Wegmans Farm Blog

Eating Better than Organic

This or that: Local vs. Organic FoodGet your news from Borganic.org

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Irradiation is Not the Answer in organic whole foods

(Borganic.org) In a flagrant insult to both journalism and nutritional science, 20/20`s John Stossel heavily touted irradiation - exposing food to radiation in order to kill any microorganisms, bacteria, viruses, or insects that may be present in the food - as the only way to ensure the safety of our food supply.

During a biased and unscientific segment entitled "Are Anti-Irradiation Watch Groups Making Our Food Less Safe?," Stossel reported that irradiation protects consumers from food poisoning by killing dangerous bacteria such as E. coli and salmonella and insinuated that consumer health groups are harming consumers by making them wary of irradiated food. What he failed to mention was that radiation destroys living enzymes in wholesome foods like spinach and strawberries, stripping them of their nutritional value. Considering that people don`t eat enough nutrient-rich fruits and vegetables to begin with, the last thing the food industry should do is make healthy foods less beneficial.

Unfortunately, because the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) does not have a firm grasp on the benefits of phytonutrients, it is in favor of irradiation. Sterilizing fresh produce will turn live foods into dead foods. While exposing fruits and vegetables to radiation will reduce the incidence of food-borne illnesses, it also reduces the healthfulness of these foods. The dangers of irradiation far outweigh the potential benefits.

Tainted Meat, Toxic Choices
Instead of "nuking" our food to prevent food poisoning, health officials should be urging people to make smarter food choices. There are approximately 75 million cases of food poisoning each year in the U.S. alone, and about 5,000 of these cases are fatal. The USDA has reported that 70 percent of food poisoning is caused by contaminated meat.

Fruits and vegetables don`t naturally harbor harmful bacteria like E. coli or salmonella. When produce becomes contaminated, it`s usually because animal manure was used to fertilize crops or it leaked into waterways. (Fruits and veggies can also be cross contaminated if they`re placed on the same surface as meat, or if they`re handled by someone who passes bacteria along through poor hygiene.)

Because food poisoning is commonly caused by contaminated meat, the USDA allows irradiated meat to be served to school children, who are particularly susceptible to food-borne illnesses. Serving children irradiated meat in order to prevent food-related illnesses is like giving them low-tar cigarettes and claiming that they`re healthier than regular cigarettes.

Meat is just not "safe" to eat; it can cause high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, some cancers and weight problems. Meat can also contain antibiotics and hormones. Irradiating meat may give consumers the false impression that they are eating "clean" food. Some consumer watchdog groups even fear that meat companies may be less careful about removing fecal material because of the use of irradiation.

If the USDA allows healthy food to be irradiated, genetically manipulated, or otherwise "tampered with," we`ll have nothing left to eat but chemically-altered, nutrient-devoid, disease-producing, overly-processed junk. Then we`ll all have serious health problems that irradiation certainly can`t solve.

ABCNews.com: 20/20, "Are Anti-Irradiation Watch Groups Making Our Food Less Safe?" Stossel, John and Kirell, Andrew, March 6, 2009. http://abcnews.go.com/2020/Stossel/...

NaturalNews.com, Adams, Mike, "The Food Irradiation Plot: Why the USDA Wants to Sterilize Fresh Produce and Turn Live Foods into Dead Foods," April 14, 2008 http://www.naturalnews.com/023015.HTML

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, "Health Issues: Bacterial Contamination,"

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Organic Gardening Boom due to Falling Economy

(Borganic.org) The economic downturn has led to a concurrent resurgence in the popularity of backyard food gardening, according to industry surveys and analysis of this year's seed orders.

"People's home grocery budget got absolutely shredded, and now we've seen just this dramatic increase in the demand for our vegetable seeds," said George Ball of Burpee Seeds, the country's biggest mail-order seed company. "We're selling out. I've never seen anything like it."

According to a seed sales analysis and telephone survey conducted by the National Gardening Association, more than 50 percent of U.S. residents have already planted food gardens, and another 20 percent plan to do so this year as a way of saving on grocery bills. Seed companies have begun selling out of popular vegetable such as tomatoes, peppers, and onions, while sales of ornamental flowers have plummeted.

According to a Burpee Seeds study, a $50 investment in gardening supplies can translate into $1,250 worth of food savings per year. During a recession, that's a significant incentive. Even the National Gardening Association's more conservative estimate of a $500 return is apparently enough for many new gardeners. Burpee recorded a 20 percent increase in sales in 2008, inspiring it to offer a first-time gardeners' kit called "The Money Garden." Within the two months, the company sold 15,000 of them.

Community gardens have also seen an upsurge in popularity. According to Lonnie Brundage, who runs the membership list for the Long Beach Community Garden, the waiting list for garden plots has practically quadrupled.

"You figure if they can use our community garden year-round they can save $2,000 or $3,000 or $4,000 a year," she said. "It doesn't take a lot for it to add up."

Some, such as accountant Adriana Martinez, have found wider meaning in gardening. In addition to cutting her monthly grocery bill to $40, Martinez says she is reassured knowing where her food comes from. Gardening has also brought her closer to her neighbors through a neighborhood vegetable cooperative.

"We're helping to feed each other," she said, "and what better time than now?"

Sources for this story include: www.commondreams.org.

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Michelle Obama's Get her First Harvest at the White House Garden

(Borganic.org) With a veggie harvesting fashion that leans toward carnation-pink hip-huggers, designer sneakers, and perfect nails, Michelle Obama isn't going to win the dirt farmer of the year award. But if the first lady and her White House kitchen continue to embrace the sustainable farming craze sweeping the nation, perhaps the Future Farmers of America ought to adopt her as its organic and healthful eating spokeswoman. Not only is she cheerleading chemical-free farming with her South Lawn veggie plot; we also hear that the White House is showing it means business by building three kitchen-waste compost piles for next year's planting.

It may sound like a small thing, but her efforts are already boosting the sustainable and organic farming business. Jim Crawford, a Pennsylvania organic farmer who supplies D.C. foodie faves like Restaurant Nora, gives the White House and garden master and chef Sam Kass credit for their successful effort. He should know. Crawford, whose New Morning Farm goods are on sale at two District farmers' markets, advises Kass on the first lady's garden.

In fact, says Crawford, the White House garden in just a few short months has outshone some of his 40 acres of berries, herbs, and vegetables. Why? The soil. "The ground really seems to be nice and balanced," Crawford says. After it was tested, natural ingredients like crab meal were added to adjust the pH, sulphur, and potassium levels. Then a secret ingredient from an organic fan arrived: compost from New York celebrity chef Dan Barber.

Looking at the first harvest of lettuce and peas from the garden, Crawford declares, "I give it an A plus."

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Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

FDA Threatens to Seize All Natural Products that Dare to Mention H1N1 Swine Flu

(Borganic.org) In an effort to censor any online text that might inform consumers of the ability of natural products to protect consumers from H1N1 influenza A, the FDA is now sending out a round of warning letters, threatening to "take enforcement action... such as seizure or injunction for violations of the FFDC Act without further notice."

"Firms that fail to take correction action," the FDA warns, "may also be referred to the FDA's Office of Criminal Investigations for possible criminal prosecution for violations of the FFDC Act and other federal laws."

The message is crystal clear: No product may be described as protecting against or preventing H1N1 infections unless it is approved by the FDA. And which products has the FDA approved? Tamiflu (the anti-viral drug that most people will never have access to), and soon the new H1N1 vaccine that's being manufactured at a cost of one billion dollars (paid to Big Pharma by the taxpayers). This vaccine, of course, will be utterly useless because H1N1 will undoubtedly mutate between now and the time the vaccine is ready, rendering the vaccine useless.

In other words, according to the tyrants at the FDA, the only products that may be marketed alongside the term "H1N1" are those products that either don't work or aren't available to most people. Anything that really works to prevent influenza infections -- such as natural anti-virals, medicinal herbs, etc. -- is banned from even mentioning H1N1 without the threat of being criminally prosecuted.

Note: I reveal the five most powerful natural anti-viral remedies in a free report you can read here: http://www.naturalnews.com/RR-FiveB...

Such are the operations of our U.S. Food and Drug Administration -- a criminal organization that's working hard to do what every criminal organization does: Eliminate the competition! As the defender of Big Pharma, the FDA is also the destroyer of knowledge that seeks to remove educational statements from the internet. Truth has nothing to do with it -- it is verifiably true that anti-viral herbs, probiotics and other natural products help protect consumers from influenza -- but the FDA cannot allow such statements to remain online for the simple fact that people might become informed. And that, it seems, would be a dangerous precedent.

If people were informed about the healing and protective powers of herbs, they would no longer remain enslaved by the medical establishment. Profits would be lost. Power would evaporate. This is why people can never be allowed to attain any real knowledge about herbs, superfoods or nutritional supplements. And the FDA will threaten people with imprisonment just to make sure they don't dare publish knowledge that the FDA does not want the people to see.

Read full article here FDA Threatens to Seize All Natural Products that Dare to Mention H1N1 Swine Flu

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com

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