Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Merry Christmas to all!

Not a good place for family news, but here's a bit of my news. With a world in turmoil, I’d rather talk about what we can look forward to. I continue to teach classes on eating traditional realfoods. Some refer to it as the Paleo Diet, but that’s a pretty nebulous description, with many versions, though they often emphasize many of the traditional foods that Dr Price discovered nourished the healthy societies that he visited back in the 1930’s. For those who want to learn more, visit the website of the Weston A Price Foundation, www.westonaprice.org, or prowl around on my website www.MercyViewMeadow.org. I’m happy to report that many people are discovering that butter is better and eggs are excellent!

I’ve continued working on GMO issues (see last year’s Christmas letter). Efforts to get genetically engineered foods labeled have been sidetracked by nationwide efforts to defeat the so-called Dark Act (“Deny Americans the Right to Know” Act) which would prevent all GMO labeling nationwide and pretend that somehow genetic engineering is “natural”.  Meanwhile, in the face of growing evidence that this artificial genetic engineering is not good for our health or that of the planet, global food, farming and environmental justice groups will put Monsanto on trial for crimes against human health and the environment in the International People’s Court in the Hague. You can find out more at www.organicconsumers.org And most importantly you can take action to acquire your food from clean organic sources, including meat from animals raised and finished on well-managed pasture.

And in doing that you will also make a contribution to reversing climate change - much in the news these days. We always hear about the need to switch to renewable energy, and there is much good news on that, but we haven’t heard much about the other side of the equation – putting carbon back into the soil where it belongs. It turns out that organic style farming, sometimes referred to as ecoagriculture, not only puts carbon back into the soil, but also is highly productive, and very healthy for all.

I’ve been reading a book, World Hunger: 10 Myths (smallplanet.org), which ties this all together – food security, healthy food, happy farmers, fertile soils, stable climate. Food First (foodfirst.org) has been in the forefront of spreading the good news about ‘agroecology’, as farmers around the world learn to increase their food production by focusing on soil health not pesticides. The prospects are very encouraging, as long as they can fend off the efforts of corporate agriculture. Don’t be fooled when you hear “experts” claim that we need GMOs to feed the world. It is simply not true!

Another exciting activity this year has been participating in our local Multifaith Women’s group, getting to know women of other faiths, sharing garden and cooking knowhow, and attending demonstrations for peace and understanding. Our community celebrated a visit by the Interfaith Amigos (interfaithamigos.com), a pastor, a rabbi, and an imam who have become good friends and spread the message of unity, love, and compassion, having found that their friendship has deepened their faith. We need to understand and respect each other’s faith. I highly recommend inviting the Interfaith Amigos to your community. 

As we celebrate the birth of the baby Jesus, may we remember that we are all children of God, and that God loves us in spite of our many foibles and disappointing behaviors. I pray that understanding that Love, we are inspired to spread love and compassion far and wide. Our country and our world desperately need them!

Wishing you the best in 2016

Sunday, July 12, 2015

A Letter to the Editor of BBC World Service concerning their coverage of GMOs

Dear BBC,

I listen to  BBC World Service night on Sirius XM. I was appalled that BBC would broadcast such a biased report about GMOs as the one I heard recently (6/1/15) on The Inquiry. It sounded like a propaganda press release from the genetic engineering industry (Monsanto) attempting to gloss over the serious scientific questions raised about their safety and affects on the environment.

I didn’t hear anything about the good quality, independent research that has revealed serious health concerns.
Nor did I hear anything about the serious problems farmers have experienced when they use these products and their associated pesticides.
Nor did I hear anything about how modern organic/ecological sustainable agriculture can be just as productive, if not more so under adverse weather conditions.

The notion that there is scientific consensus that GMOs are safe is totally misleading, as most scientists have no idea of the depth of deception coming from the industry.
The book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, documents the unethical practices of the industry in their efforts to minimize oversight by government authorities and protect their profits.

We deserve better reporting from the BBC!

Concerning recent headlines

A letter to the editor which didn't get published:

The price of eggs is up because of bird flu hitting giant commercial layer factories. Millions of piglets died last year in commercial pig factories due to a strange virus. Health insurance premiums are set to rise significantly. Salt is targeted as causing poor health, so labeling is mandated in restaurants. Our children are plagued by obesity and diabetes. The common weed killer, glyphosate, is a probable carcinogen and contaminates many foods.  What is wrong with our systems???

Commercial chicken and hog factories may provide us with cheap food, but animals that are so vulnerable to disease do not provide us with the healthiest food, to say nothing of the ethical issues they raise. The minerals missing from refined foods (salt, flour, sugar, & high fructose corn syrup) are keys to good health, rather than restricting salt. Now we are learning that the recommended low fat foods actually contribute to obesity, while butter and eggs are good for us, but modern vegetable oils are not.

Shockingly, unless they study nutrition on their own, doctors are not of much help, as they get almost no nutrition instruction in  medical school.

When are we going to learn that the quality of the food we eat and how it is raised are keys to keeping us truly healthy, cutting our health care costs, and restoring a healthy environment? They are all interconnected!