Archive for the ‘Agriculture’ Category

“Food Evolution”: New GMO technology even worse than Roundup-resistance

Monday, August 28th, 2017

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, Aug 28, 2017 (Photo, right, from Organic Consumers Association (14), used with permission)

By now we should all be familiar with herbicide ag chemicals like Roundup, and harm they can cause to the herbicide-resistant crops on which it is sprayed. But the harm they cause to humans who eat those crops, and the soil in which they are grown, is not as well known. For example:

  • Roundup is a patented broad-spectrum antibiotic, which means that as the plant takes it up, it moves to the roots where it kills the soil microbiome that enable to plant to take up nutrients from the soil. This explains why after just a few plantings of the Roundup-resistant crops, they suffer root damage and do not yield a good crop. And other crops planted in the same soil likewise suffer root damage.
  • Its antibiotic nature also means that if you eat any part of a Roundup-resistant plant, you are taking up this antibiotic which then kills/damages the microbiome in your mouth and gut, lowering your resistance to disease and interaction between your brain and your primitive brain (the gut), which can ultimately lead to inflammation in both organs. Inflammation in the brain can manifest as depression, dementia and Alzheimer’s.

And while the harm of existing GMOs is more broad than this one example, new GMO technology pose even more harm. With advances in ag-chemical research, genetic modification techniques are even more sophisticated, and can do even more harm to nature as a whole, including humans. To me, this is downright scary – even more so than the worst horror film you could watch. (more…)

Honey bees vs pesticides; Boom in organics; Monsanto Tribunal

Wednesday, July 26th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, July 26, 2017 (image, right, from organic.org (2))

I subscribe to the Montana Organic Association “Organic Matters” magazine (1); the Spring issue this year has a couple articles I’d like to share with our ESP readers in the form of transcriptions of each article:

  • Bee Victory
  • Organic Agriculture Research Act
  • International Monsanto Tribunal Verdict

Note that I have added comments – in square brackets – to these transcriptions, and include links to related articles on this site.  (more…)

Regeneration: How to Feed the World and Cool the Planet

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

Dryland Farming – Palouse Hills

By Catherine Haug, May 3, 2017 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I’ve written several articles in the last year about Regeneration – an Organic method of healing our soils for better quality food production, and to reduce the damage caused by severe erosion. (see also list at bottom of this posting). But did you know that it can also help to resolve the climate crisis?

Regeneration International (RI) brought this important message to the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. on April 3, 2017:

The climate crisis won’t be solved through emissions reduction alone. If we want to reverse climate change, we must also regenerate the world’s soils and better manage local water cycles. … These experts explain how our ability to feed the world and cool the planet depends on how we care for the soil.

Read on to see the short videos from the January 11, 2017 summit, “How to Feed the World and Cool the Planet: Soil Is the Solution” I also include an hour-long video from Fair World Project, “Grow Ahead,” and a list of other articles on this site about regeneration of our soils. (more…)

2017: Clean vs Dirty Dozen Food (whether to buy Organic)

Monday, March 13th, 2017

Free-range chicken farm

By Catherine Haug, March 13, 2017 (Photo, right, from Cornucopia (5)

Cat’s food-shopping tips:

  • Produce: If you can afford Organic, it is highly recommended you choose Certified Organic or Organically-grown. If your budget is limited, see the Clean Dozen and Dirty Dozen food lists, below.
  • Red meats: Pasture/grass raised and finished, locally-raised livestock provide the most healthful meats; see also my posting Why ‘Pasture-Raised’ trumps ‘Organic’.
  • Poultry meats: Your best choice locally raised poultry, provided they have access to the outdoors; and not just a small door to the outdoors, but a door you can use, too. Chickens eat not only seeds but also insects, grubs and worms, and they need the sun for the sunshine vitamin, just like we do.
  • Eggs: Your best choice is eggs from poultry raised in similar way as for ‘poultry meats’ above.
  • Dairy: Buying from a local farmer (who keeps his/her dairy livestock in pasture) is highly recommended. Organic commercial milk is ultra-pasteurized and, in my opinion, ultra-damaged. See my article on Cat’s Kitchen: Raw Milk: A Real, Natural & Perfect Food, which has a discussion about the problems with ultra-pasteurized milk. If drinking raw milk is not for you, choose simply ‘pasteurized’ milk (HTST) from a local dairy, such as Kalispell Kreamery here in the Flathead Valley. See Food Safety & Pasteurization on The EssentiaList for a description of the various pasteurization types.
  • Cheese: This is a dairy food but I give it its own bullet because we have a great source of raw-milk cheeses in Montana: Lifeline brand, from Victor MT. There are also local brands that use simply-pasteurized milk to make their cheeses, such as Flathead Lake Cheese (2) in Polson, and Amaltheia Dairy (3) in Belgrade.
  • Avoid processed foods, even if they say ‘organic’ on the label, because unless they are Certified Organic, they will contain up to 15% non-organic ingredients most of which are GMO. See my posting: Natural vs Organic Labeling for more.

Buying Organic can be expensive, so if your food budget is limited, read on. (more…)

New CSA for 2017: Yellow Bay Gardens

Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

Yellow Bay Gardens flyer

by Catherine Haug, February 28, 2017; Updated March 2, 2017 (photo, right and below by Niko Jacobs)

A new CSA is in the works for the Bigfork/East Lake Shore area!  is adding a community supported agriculture (CSA) enterprise to their cherry and blueberry orchards. The CSA is owned by Wade and Shelli Riedesel of Yellow Bay Gardens. You may recognize the business name if you bought their blueberries at Bigfork Harvest Foods. They are located at the old Yellow Bay Store property on the East Shore of Flathead Lake (Hwy 35).

Their goal is to provide fresh, local and sustainably grown quality produce. They have added a vast garden and greenhouse for this purpose. While they are not certified Organic, they practice organic and sustainable methods to grow as naturally as possible.

Produce available for 19 weeks beginning mind-May through September.

(more…)

Roundup, Paraquat herbicides lead to liver disease and Parkinson’s

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

By Catherine Haug, February 7, 2017

If you regularly eat processed foods (boxed, bagged, dried, fried, canned or frozen), or meats, dairy and eggs from livestock not raised Organically, you may have a risk for these diseases: (1)

  •  NAFLD (non-alcoholic fatty liver disease), which can lead to cirrhosis and increases likelihood of diabetes, heart attacks and strokes (from exposure to Roundup, (13))
  • Parkinson’s disease (from exposure to Paraquat, (2)).

This is another reason to avoid GMO foods. Read on for more. (more…)