South Africa has granted approval for the import of DOW’s genetically engineered soy bean variety (DAS-44406-6). It’s genetically engineered to resist the liberal application of glufosinate and glyphosate, main ingredients in various pesticides.
Those critical of the soy bean variety fear an increase in the use of pesticides as a result of its modified resistance. Because the soy beans resist glyphosate, the main ingredient in Round Up, farmers overuse the pesticide, creating dead zones, when all life surrounding the crop are killed off. Today, according to The New York Times, farmers use five times more weed killers on their crops then they did in 1997, and with 94 percent of soybeans and 72 percent of corn being grown this way, herbicide use has exploded.
The massive increase in pesticide use isn’t just occurring in the U.S. In Argentina it’s increased by 11 fold and in Brazil by 360 percent between 2000 and 2009.
“We condemn the decision by the South African authorities. Once again, economic interests are riding roughshod over our government’s stewardship role to protect the health of our citizens and environment. The decision to approve this GE soybean variety is all the more galling in light of a current motion by the African Christian Democratic Party before the South African Parliament, to overturn a previous decision to allow imports of Dow’s 2,4-D tolerant GE maize into South Africa.” said Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for Biosafety. This GM maize has been dubbed “agent orange” maize by the media, owing to the use of 2,4 D as an ingredient in the infamous chemical, Agent Orange used in the Vietnam War to devastating effects.
Fears of Glyphosate
Studies have shown that glyphosate even in small amounts may cause changes to the body’s DNA.
“Any increase in the use of 2,4-D in association with Dow’s 2,4-D resistant corn will hit rural communities especially hard, as numerous medical studies have linked 2,4-D and related herbicides to increased rates of cancer and Parkinson’s disease as well as low sperm counts in farmers, and to birth anomalies in their children,” said Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist with Pesticide Action Network North America. “Farmworkers and other rural residents will also be at risk. 2,4-D has been shown to cause liver and nerve damage, as well as hormonal disruption and is classified by the World Health Organisation as possibly carcinogenic,” she added.
While the rest of the world is still far behind the 165 million acres of GMO crops in the U.S., it seems crop modification is making its may into agriculture worldwide.
We were slow to get the week started around here–it was an eventful week/weekend. One of my oldest friends came through town last week leaving this delicious zucchini bread shown above. Paired with an ample dollop of Earth Balance spread and a cup of black tea, it was an irresistible breakfast.
Earth Balance is vegan, made without artificial ingredients or hydrogenated oils, free of gluten, lactose, and eggs. It’s also Non-GMO Project certified. I use it instead of butter when I can, especially if there’s no local, organic butter on hand.
I’m also a fan of black tea, which helped me to wake up this morning. As you can see, Madison wasn’t having it. A study done at Rutgers showed that black tea may help prevent stomach, breast, and prostate cancer. A study in the Netherlands showed that drinking black tea daily decreased by 50 percent your chances of dying from heart disease. It also prevents tooth decay. And it looks more like coffee, which for some reason, appeals to me.
Bella guarded the basil as I planned ahead for the week to come. I made a curried butternut squash bisque (I’ll publish pictures of it later this week) and a simple cold sesame noodle salad with mustard green shavings. Hopefully this will last the husband and I a few days, so I can get ahead on my work and avoid take out all at the same time.
Cold Sesame Noodle Salad with Mustard Green Shavings
1 package soba noodles
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp organic peanut butter
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp hot sauce (add more if you like)
1 tsp cold pressed sesame oil
2 cloves minced garlic
The juice of 1/2 lime
2 large leaves minced mustard greens
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1. Cook noodles as per directions.
2. While you’re cooking the noodles, whisk oil, peanut butter, soy sauce, hot sauce, sesame oil, garlic, and lime together.
3. Dress noodles and top with greens and sesame seeds–toss well. Refrigerate to allow the flavors to meld.
4. When serving, drizzle with sesame oil and a squeeze of lime.
Photo: faster panda
For 25 years, the Adopt-A-Turkey Project has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the care of more than 1,000 rescued turkeys. For a one-time donation of just $30, adopters or the recipients they choose will provide for the care of a rescued turkey and receive a special Adopt-A-Turkey certificate complete with color photo of their adoptee who resides at one of Farm Sanctuary’s shelters, along with fun details about their new friend’s habits and disposition.
Photo: lululemon athletic
No matter how much you dream about meeting your goals, no matter how often you wake up Monday morning with a goal in mind, and no matter how often you say today is a new day–discipline is a big portion of the accomplishment picture. Self discipline can do a lot to send you in whatever direction you deem fit and no matter how cheesy it may sound, you can do whatever you set your mind to if you work hard enough.
My new goal is to eat at least one serving of dark leafy greens everyday. It’s worth the effort considering that dark leafy greens are good sources of vitamins A, C, K and folate as well as minerals like iron and calcium. Research suggests that the nutrients found in dark green vegetables may prevent certain types of cancers and promote heart health. As a general rule, you should eat five servings of vegetables daily and dark leafy greens are among the most nutritionally dense.
A friend of mine has been detoxing for some time in an effort to increase fertility. But she didn’t realize all the other benefits that would come from pushing toxins out of her body, namely feeling and looking great. You can’t help but see the way that her skin glows and it’s a reminder of the impact that your diet has on your complexion.
I’ve never been one for labels but many call themselves vegetarians when they eat fish once in a while. It’s not because they are dishonest or because they are holier than thou. But in a many parts of the country, a vegetarian is an understandable term while a pescatarian is still unclear. That’s why I stick with the term plant-based diet: someone who eats plant-based ingredients most of the time. But is eating fish really that bad for your health? Let’s take a closer look.