Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Power of Labeling: Preserving & Building a Non-GMO Food Supply

Posted: 31 Oct 2013 02:21 PM PDT

When California Proposition 37 failed to pass at the polls last November, all of us who advocate for the right to know were profoundly disappointed. However, the measure, which would have mandated labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients, garnered more than 6 million votes, and was actually a great case of "losing forward." Despite outspending of nearly 5 to 1, the initiative lost by just 2 percentage points and attracted a significant amount of national media attention.

Inspired by California's effort, nearly 40 states are now working on mandatory labeling of GMOs (genetically modified organisms). In June, Connecticut and Maine became the first states to pass mandatory GMO labeling -- though in both cases additional states need to pass similar measures in order for the laws to take effect.

This November, voters in Washington State will have a chance to pass I-522, a similar but improved version of the Prop 37 legislation. Since January, organizers in California have been sharing lessons learned with their peers in Washington, giving I-522 a solid foundation for success. As a state with an economy focused on exports--a lot of which go to countries with GMO bans--Washington is uniquely concerned about GMO contamination. With the looming threat of genetically engineered apples, salmon, and wheat--all quintessential Washington crops--even conventional farmers in the state are becoming concerned about the economic impact of GMOs.

The non-GMO movement is, at its core, about the right to know. Because GMOs are unstable and experimental, they are subject to mandatory labeling in more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, Russia, China, and all of the European Union. More research is needed to understand the long-term health and environmental implications of genetic engineering, but in the United States that research is essentially being conducted on the public, without consent.

Despite biotechnology industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offers increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any consumer benefit. Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connecting GMOs to health problems and environmental damage has triggered a massive public backlash.

At the federal level, the Just Label It campaign has collected more than 1.3 million signatures on a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) petition demanding mandatory GMO labeling. Although the FDA has yet to respond, this is more than twice as many signatures as have ever been received on any food petition in the agency's history.

Americans are also voting in record numbers with their wallets. The Non-GMO Project--a nonprofit organization that oversees North America's only third-party non-GMO verification, including ongoing ingredient testing--has quickly seen its label become the fastest growing in the natural products industry. With annual sales of well over $3.5 billion, Non-GMO Project Verified products are now found everywhere from independent food co-ops to big-box retailers.

When the Non-GMO Project was founded in 2007, mandatory labeling efforts had almost completely stalled. In that void, the project's strategy was to leverage the power of the marketplace, using supply and demand principles to preserve and build a non-GMO food supply. When it began, skeptics far outweighed supporters; many said it would be impossible to get a critical mass of food companies to voluntarily adopt such rigorous standards. Six years later, the progress is astonishing. More than 1,000 brands are now enrolled in the Non-GMO Project's Product Verification Program, and more than 14,000 products have successfully earned the verification.

This market demand and the corresponding rekindling of mandatory labeling efforts clearly show Americans are not willing to remain in the dark when it comes to the food we're eating and feeding to our loved ones. The momentum will continue until we have the same right to know about GMOs in our food as our peers around the world.

Breaking News

I've been waiting for this day since March. We are slowly chipping away at the reprehensible practices of the food system.

I am honored to represent you and so many others in this fight.

I updated this post with the news:

I'll be commenting more on this breaking development soon.

Until then, I'm counting on you to keep the pressure on.

We are REALLY changing the world together.


Food Babe

P.S. Don't forget to watch the latest episode of Food Babe TV to see what I did when I found this popular product in one family's pantry.

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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Enjoy Halloween without Frightful GMOs

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 12:28 PM PDT

GMOs are the scariest elements of Halloween, so here are some tips from The Non-GMO Project on how to ward off frightful GMOs this year!

Choose Non-GMO Project Verified Treats for the Trick-or-Treat Basket

  • Nature's Path Crispy Treats
  • Endangered Species chocolates
  • Bakery on Main granola bars
  • Funky Monkey snacks
  • Simply Fruit
  • HomeFree cookies
  • Yogavive snacks
  • Licious Organics snacks
  • EnviroKids
  • Pro Bar snack bars
  • Pure Organics snacks
  • Righteously Raw bars
  • Tasty Brand snacks
  • Theo Chocolates
  • Bites of Bliss

Non-GMO Treats & Treasures

Halloween is meant to be fun—so get creative as you look for new ways to celebrate with the kids in your life.
  • Stickers
  • Beeswax crayons
  • Non-GMO Project Verified treats
  • Polished rocks
  • Friendship bracelets
  • Coupons
  • Seed packets
  • Homemade playdough

GMOs and Children—What You Need to Know

What are GMOs?

GMOs, or "genetically modified organisms," are plants or animals created through the gene splicing techniques of biotechnology (also called genetic engineering, or GE). This experimental technology merges DNA from different species, creating unstable combinations of plant, animal, bacterial and viral genes that cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

What foods are GMO?

According to the USDA, in 2009, 93% of soy, 93% of cotton, and 86% of corn grown in the U.S. were GMO. It is estimated that over 90% of canola grown is GMO, and there are also commercially produced GM varieties of sugar beets, squash and Hawaiian Papaya. As a result, it is estimated that GMOs are now present in more than 80% of packaged products in the average U.S. or Canadian grocery store.

Are my children eating GMOs?

The sad truth is many of the foods that are most popular with children contain GMOs. Cereals, snack
bars, snack boxes, cookies, processed lunchmeats, and crackers all contain large amounts of high risk food ingredients. In North America, over 80% of our food contains GMOs. If you are not buying foods that are Non-GMO Project Verified, most likely GMOs are present at breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Are GMOs safe for my family to eat?

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale.

Beyond Non-GMO: More Tricks for Healthy, Green Treats

Giving away Non-GMO goodies to trick-or-treaters is a great start, but there are other people and planet-friendly choices to consider. When buying Halloween treats and party fare, look for
  • Organic
  • Locally grown/produced
  • No high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • Palm-oil free
  • No artificial colors, flavors or preservatives
In addition, you may wan to consider giving away goodies or serving foods that are peanut-free, gluten-free, dairy free and/or egg fress. These are some of the the most common food allergens and with 1 in 13 kids suffering from food allergies, limiting highly allergic foods is one way to ensure that Haolloween is safe and fun for everyone.

Does your child want to go door-to-door, but you don't want him/her to consume it all? Consider trading candy fro "pumpkin points" good towards a special gift or activity or invite the Sugar Sprite to come. The Sugar Sprite (or Switch Witch) exchanges candy for a special gift! Dentists across the country also take part in Halloween Candy Buy Back Program in which uneaten candy is collected (usually at $1 a pound) and sent overseas to American Troops. Uneaten candy can also be composted (remove wrapper first).

Would GMO Labeling Jack Up Food Prices?

Posted: 30 Oct 2013 10:14 AM PDT

The push to require labels for genetically modified food, which flared up in California before drowning under a flood of industry cash last year, is now underway in Washington state. Predictably, agrichemical and organic interests are pouring money into, respectively, defeating and supporting a ballot initiative called I-522, which would require foods containing GMO ingredients to bear labels. Just as predictably, the agribusiness interests are garnering much more money to kill the effort than their organic peers are in supporting it—outspending them $17.1 million to $4.6 million, the Spokane-Review reported.

Meanwhile, in a development that broke late Wednesday, the Washington state attorney general has filed a complaint alleging that the Grocery Manufacturers Association, a trade group that donated $2 million to the effort to defeat California's labeling initiative, violated state campaign laws and "spent more than $7 million while shielding the identity of its contributors," according to its press release.

As in California, the effect on food prices is emerging as a point of contention. Opponents of labeling, pointing to a 2012 study prepared during the California fight by Northbridge Environmental Management Consultants, say that the new rules would cost consumers $350 to $400 annually per household. The Northbridge paper, though, was funded by the industry-dominated campaign to stop Prop 37, as the California initiative was known. Campaign records show that Northridge received a total of $97,371 in five payments during 2012.

Supporters of the Washington initiative, in turn, point to a rival 2012 study, this one prepared by Joanna M. Shepherd of Emory University School of Law, which found that "food prices [are] likely to remain unchanged for consumers." That study was commissioned by the Alliance for Natural Health, a group that advocates for "the right of natural-health practitioners to practice and the right of consumers to choose the healthcare options they prefer."

So which is right? Over at Grist, Michael Lipsky, a distinguished senior fellow at the progressive think tank Demos, argues that labeling wouldn't likely cost consumers much at all. The cost of changing labels would be trivial, he writes—food manufacturers "do it all the time." Ever seen the words "new and improved" on some boxed delicacy?

The Northbridge study, he shows, is based on the assumption that, in order to avoid having to declare that their products contain GMOs, food manufactures will rapidly switch over to non-GMO ingredients, which would cost more to procure. That's because upwards of 80 percent of US corn, soybeans, and sugar beets are genetically modified—and iterations of these three crops suffuse US processed foods, providing sweeteners (high-fructose corn syrup and beet sugar), fats (corn and soy oil), and a litany of ingredients like various thickeners. For food manufacturers to get non-GMO versions of these substances, they'd have to pay a premium in the marketplace—hence higher ingredient costs that they'd want to pass on to consumers.

But that effect wouldn't last long, Lipsky argues. "If labeling were required, particularly if (and when) the labeling requirement is adopted by other states, demand for non-GMO versions of corn, soybeans, and sugar beets—the basic GMO crops—would increase, production would expand, and prices for non-GMO ingredients would decline," he writes. That makes good sense: basic supply and demand.

And here's something Lipsky didn't get to: Even in the short term, the effect on retail prices would likely be small. That's because ingredients make up a tiny portion of the expenses incurred by manufactures to process food and move it to grocery store shelves. Transportation, marketing, processing—all of these things cost more than the actual food in the box of cereal or frozen dinner at Walmart.

How tiny are the costs of ingredients? Consider a box of corn flakes—which are presumably made largely of GMO corn (it's impossible to know for sure, because no US state requires labeling). In this 2008 report (currently available online because it has been republished on a non-government server) on the effect of ethanol on food prices, a US Department of Agriculture researcher crunched the numbers (pun fully intended) on the how much money companies spend on corn to make your cereal:
[A]n 18-ounce box of corn flakes contains about 12.9 ounces of milled field corn. When field corn is priced at $2.28 per bushel (the 20-year average), the actual value of corn represented in the box of corn flakes is about 3.3 cents.
And what happened after the corn ethanol program pushed corn prices up to $3.49 per bushel—a 49 percent jump? The total cost of corn in the cereal box rose to 4.9 cents. In other words, paying a 49 percent premium pushed up the corn cost in a box of corn flakes a grand total of 1.6 cents. An 18-ounce box of corn flakes contains 18 servings—meaning that much-pricier corn translated to an increase of less than 0.1 cents per bowl. For a family of four that consumes four bowls of flakes every day, that's about $1.46 extra for the year.

So even if manufacturers had to pay a hefty premium for non-GMO corn, the retail price of food would barely budge. Whatever you think about GMO labeling, the concern that it would significantly jack up food prices is probably specious.

Detoxifying Your Home in This Episode of “Secrets to Health” on Gaiam TV!

Detoxifying Your Home in This Episode of “Secrets to Health” on Gaiam TV!

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

Detoxifying Your Home in This Episode of “Secrets to Health” on Gaiam TV!

Posted: 29 Oct 2013 02:23 PM PDT

Carpet, paint and upholstery may be essential elements in any home, but they can also cause a myriad of health issues. In this episode of Secrets to Health, Mike Adams and I investigate the dangers associated with recycled air, dust mites, VOCs, mold and more, to provide you with the practical solutions necessary to safely mitigate common household problems.

Join Gaiam TV for Complete Access!

Go to www.SecretsToHealth.TV to join Gaiam TV and get access! Not only will you get access to ALL the episodes of Secrets to Health, but it’s extremely affordable and, best of all, Gaiam TV has THOUSANDS of high-quality, information-filled videos available to members!

All Gaiam TV videos are viewable on PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, Roku and Sony Blu-Ray devices!

This is an exciting project, please, be sure to leave your feedback!

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM

The post Detoxifying Your Home in This Episode of “Secrets to Health” on Gaiam TV! appeared first on Natural Health & Organic Living Blog.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

You. Can't. Miss. This.

This is a very special episode of Food Babe TV. Sit back, relax, and watch it with your family.

And don't miss the ending where I discuss my meeting with a major fast food chain.

Watch here:

Change is coming because of you!

Lots of Love,

Food Babe

P.S. After you watch the video, please share this with someone you love, this is how we are changing the food system together.

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9 Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

9 Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

Link to Natural Health & Organic Living Blog

9 Symptoms of a Yeast Infection

Posted: 28 Oct 2013 10:22 AM PDT

Yeast infection

Yeast infections are not a problem that only affect women or the vagina. The fact is that yeast infections can affect many parts of the body of both men and women of all ages. Yeast infections can cause pain, swelling and unpleasant discharge. When they infiltrate the mouth, they can make the mouth feel cottony and impair the sense of taste. When a yeast infection strikes the skin it can cause it to crack, swell, or bleed. Perhaps most surprising, according to new research, yeast infections may be related to IBD and neurological dysfunction.

What Cause a Yeast Infection?

The most common sources of yeast infections are from Candida albicans, although Candida krusei, Candida glabrata, and Candida parapsilosis are also high on the list. [1] Candida is a fungus that occurs naturally on the body. It’s present on everybody’s body, that is normal. However, Candida must be adequately balanced. If a Candida imbalance occurs, then dark, moist areas — especially the mouth and any region in which skin folds — may be subject to an overgrowth as a result of systemic imbalance or inadequate cleanliness.

An even more serious problem, known as invasive Candidiasis, may occur when the fungus enters the blood stream. this type of infection can quickly become a serious problem. Additionally, some people may be at higher risk for yeast infections. For instance, persons with psoriasis and eczema as likely to suffer from oral Candida infections. [2]

Identifying a Yeast Infection

It’s important to identify a yeast infection early. Remember a yeast overgrowth literally means that yeast is reproducing on your body. The longer you wait the higher the count may be! Ignoring the problem can cause a simple overgrowth to become a serious issue. A yeast infection is like a noisy houseguest — it typically lets its presence be known. Experiencing any of the following? You may have a yeast infection…

1. Discharge

The creamy, cottage cheese-like discharge common with yeast infections comes from lesions. In the mouth they can occur on the tongue, tonsils, roof of the mouth or inner cheeks. The tongue may appear white. On the skin, lesions appear as small blisters around the infected area. The discharge from lesions of a vaginal yeast infection can be watery and white to thick and chunky.

2. Redness

On the skin, a yeast infection presents as reddish or purplish spots, similar to eczema or psoriasis. The vulva of an infected woman may be more red than normal and be much more sensitive.

3. Itching

Frequent, and potentially painful irritation naturally occurs as a result of infected skin and tissue of the vagina, vulva, or even penis (primarily in uncircumcised men). This can create a burning sensation and the urge to itch. Avoid scratching as it will only make the infection worse. Ozonated olive oil may provide cooling relief.

4. Cracking Skin

The skin around the mouth, or localized around the dermal infection may crack and bleed. While this indication means that the body is fighting the yeast infection, the cracking and bleeding presents a potential location for further infection. Keep it clean and use a soothing balm that encourages wound healing.

5. Swelling

The infected area will likely swell as the body fights off the Candida fungus. Swelling can occur in the mouth, sex organs, and skin, as well as in the intestines if a Candida infection occurs internally. Swelling usually accompanies tenderness…

6. Discomfort

When far enough advanced, Candidiasis can result in constant discomfort and tenderness. This stems from the swelling, itching and burning associated with infection. A vaginal yeast infection can cause uncomfortable urination and intercourse.

7. IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease)

Intestinal inflammation causes IBD. While bacterial infections have been linked as a cause, researchers have begun to understand the role of yeast, specifically Candida, in intestinal irritation. Studies have linked Candida to the development of Crohn's disease and other bowel diseases. [3]

8. Fatigue

Patients suffering from internal yeast infections frequently experience fatigue. In fact, individuals suffering from a Candida-related complex, or chronic candidiasis syndrome, share similar symptoms to those with chronic fatigue syndrome. The one difference is the chronic flu symptoms experienced by those with chronic fatigue. [4]

9. Mood Disorders

There is a growing body of evidence that supports the use of micronutrients to combat depression. However, nutrition is only valuable when the body can use it. If absorption is hampered, then the micronutrients will not be effective. So what’s the problem? Well, Candida has been found to inhibit intestinal absorption. It has been shown that mood disorders can be worse during periods of Candida infection. When Candida clears up, mental status may improve. [5]

-Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, ND, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM


  1. Ognjenovi M, Milati K, Parat K, Kovaci I, Buseli MA, Bozi J. Mucositis grades and yeast species. Coll Antropol. 2013 Jun;37(2):443-7.
  2. Sakharuk NA. [The role of various Candida species in oral candidiasis etiology in psoriasis and eczema patients.] Stomatologiia (Mosk). 2013;92(4):31-33.
  3. Gerard R, Sendid B, Colombel JF, Poulain D, Jouault T. An immunological link between Candida albicans colonization and Crohn’s disease. Crit Rev Microbiol. 2013 Jul 16.
  4. Cater RE 2nd. Chronic intestinal candidiasis as a possible etiological factor in the chronic fatigue syndrome. Med Hypotheses. 1995 Jun;44(6):507-15.
  5. Rucklidge JJ. Could yeast infections impair recovery from mental illness? A case study using micronutrients and olive leaf extract for the treatment of ADHD and depression. Adv Mind Body Med. 2013 Summer;27(3):14-8.

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