Food Truth Freedom

Your food, where it comes from & what's in it


Food Wonderings: Confessions Of A Food Writer

I’ve been researching and writing about what’s in food for almost 10 years now and believe me – it hasn’t left me unscathed.  The last 3 posts I’ve written, “Getting Ripped Off In A Restaurant,” “Sulfites In Food: Sodium Metabisulfite,” and “Meat Glue:  Is Your Steak Real Or Fake,”  have renewed the sense in me of food panic.

That’s right:  food panic, akin to what I had when I read those classics by authors such as Morgan Spurlock (“Don’t Eat This Book-The Supersizing Of America.”) and the mother lode of information about the food industry, “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser.

The meat glue article I researched a few days ago now has me totally off going into restaurants and ordering what is supposed to be a good cut of steak.  For all I know it’s cobbled together pieces of a lesser cut made out to be the real McCoy of prime steak.  That’s got me freaked out! To know, also, that perhaps unsuspecting restaurant patrons who, for religious reasons, do not eat beef or pork may also be eating it when they order fish cuts.  The fact that we as a country are being lied to left and right by not only our government (read the FDA, USDA and others) who are designed to protect us, but the entire restaurant industry as well.

Bottom line is unless you stay home all the time and cook organic food for yourself there is really no way to know what you are eating.

How many of us do that?

I work part-time in a grocery store.  I’m freaked out about the produce, constantly wondering what’s on it.  (yeah I know – various pesticides) – that’s gotten me off store-bought veggies.

I won’t even buy anything from the meat counter.  Images of cattle, pigs and chickens strung up on assembly line processing conveyors – not to mention how they are raised and what they are fed and them what they are injected with prior to slaughter – scares the crap out of me.

Who are we really supposed to trust?  Can we truly put our faith IN organics?  What about GMO contamination?

We’re supposed to be able to trust the government’s agencies to protect us from unscrupulous food practices but it’s been shown in the past that they can’t even do THIS job effectively.  The FDA is like an old toothless dog. It can’t bite back or even look threatening because of Washington’s lobbyists from Big Food.  As far as I am concerned, the FDA is a waste of time. The USDA is in the same class with the FDA – another toothless wonder mired in bribes and bullshit.  Forget the EPA, too.  They’ve backpedaled on their share of protective efforts – all because of the money in Washington.  This is sickening.

Yeah – I’m feeling kind of hopeless right now.  Scared too, because what are we supposed to do?  The food industry has us by the balls and in the article below by Eric Schlosser, it seems things haven’t gotten any better.

I’m wondering what or what NOT to eat next.  Sometimes I wish I still was ignorant about all of this;  could go back 10 years and not know what I know about food.

The only thing I can do is keep reading labels, trying to limit my intake of suspect foods (which right at the moment is ALL of them!)  and keep passing on information to you in hopes that it makes you more aware. Perhaps you, too, will want to add your voice to the maddening crowd.

RELATED:

10 Years After Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser reflects


Monsanto: Evil Personified

We all have been touched by Monsanto. You may be denying it saying that you don’t use Monsanto products around your home and yard   roundup

 If anyone known to you served on the ground in Viet Nam, they were probably exposed to Agent Orange, a Monsanto creation.

You have eaten food exposed to Monsanto chemical, Round-Up

Your groundwater has been contaminated by 2-4-D and glyphosate from Monsanto.

Chances are you may have lived somewhere that Monsanto’s PCBs have totally decimated waterways and soil.

Monsanto also invented DDT, a commonly used chemical till its ban in the 70’s.

That “illness” that a family member has; that “condition”  (read birth defect) that your child was just diagnosed with – could be a side effect of a Monsanto chemical – a hormone disruptor.

IF you use Round up around your yard – you are predisposing yourself and your children, as well as your neighbors, to health complications courtesy of Monsanto.

Read more on the history of Monsanto

Now Monsanto wants to cover up the truth of GMO crops thus muting further the effects that they have on our health and that of future generations.

They also have their hooks deep into the minds of those in Washington who would dare to make policy decisions against Monsanto!

The time is NOW to fight back against this evil empire Monsanto. They’ve poisoned this world, subjected countless citizens – by direct (Agent Orange in Vietnam) or insidious contamination of foods and the environment.

 


Chemical Spraying in Right-of-Ways: What You Should Know

If your electric company contacts you about maintaining their right-of-way, the following information is very valuable.

Last summer I got a letter from my electric cooperative, Southside Electric Cooperative.  Instead of brush-hogging, it seems that they have contracted to have a company called NaturChem apply herbicides to the right-of-way.

I do not use any chemicals or pesticides around my yard or in my home. Even though it is Southside Electric’s right-of-way, I felt that I should have a say in what they do to my property.  I called the number in the letter and spoke with a representative.

He explained that they are spraying 3 herbicides:  Round-Up (Glyphosate), Imazapyr and a chemical called 2-4-D (Atrazine). I stated that I am well informed about 2-4-D and this it is found in 90% of the tested groundwater in the United States.  Round-Up isn’t far behind because of overuse by homeowners and in agricultural applications.  Imazapyr, is used as a pre and post-emergent for weeds and aquatic plants.

Most people do not know how dangerous herbicides are. They spray Round-Up with wild abandon all over their properties.  2-4-D is in most weed and feed preparations for lawns. The average citizen is totally oblivious to the effects of these chemicals.  Bottom line:  they are poison!

Round-Up is known to kill embryos, placental and umbilical cord cells. It is an endocrine (hormone) disruptor.  It is shown to increase instances of cancer.  Cardiovascular & respiratory damage are associated with its use.  There is an increased chance of myeloma (bone cancer) and the inert chemicals in it – which are NOT harmless, by the way – intensify its toxicity.

Imazapyr, although according to the EPA, is ‘below the agency’s concern, still has an ecological impact for aquatic vascular plants, non-treated areas and contamination by spray drift. It is listed as being ‘persistent or mobile in soil.’ From the EPA Prevention, Pesticides & Toxic Substances (7508C) literature: ‘Field dissipation study observations are consistent with Imazapyr’s intrinsic ability to persist in soils and move via runoff to surface water and to leach to groundwater.’

2-4-D or Atrazine is in popular Weed & Feed, Weed B Gon, Turfbuilder products. It was developed for chemical warfare in WWII and used in Viet Nam as part of a solution in Agent Orange as a defoliant. It is a known carcinogen: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and possible soft tissue sarcomas (cancer) are indicated, as are increased rates of lung cancer.  Respiratory and circulatory birth defects have been linked to it.

I checked on the NaturChem’s website.  It frightened me. NatureChem and other companies like this all over the United States and the world are “managing vegetation” by spraying millions of gallons of toxic chemicals.  Roadsides, right-of-ways, rail yards, parks, golf courses, fence lines, ditches, drainage culverts, ponds, forest areas, sports fields, airports, substations, perimeter management of malls and industrial parks: the list is extensive.  If you look at the pictures on the website, the “before” and “after,” then think of all the places that you’ve seen where vegetation has been sprayed, we’re being poisoned without our knowledge, much less our permission!  Even if these chemicals aren’t sprayed directly on our property these chemicals are getting into the groundwater.  This is the water we drink, bathe in and use every day.  It is any wonder why cancer rates are so high?

If you want to read some good propaganda on 2-4-D, go to:  http://24d.org/faqs/default.aspx


Bill Maher: “Corporations Own This Country.”

In the following video, Bill Maher pegs it about Monsanto and corporate America:

As Maher points out, 70% of our food comes from GMO crops.  Only 5% in Europe comes from GMO foods.  China, of all places, which has sold tainted baby food, pet food that kills, has a far different stance on GMOs than the U.S. does.

Monsanto, on the sly, has gotten a rider inserted into the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill  (H.R. 5973)  which gives the biotech industry more power to override provisions in GMO approvals.  TELL CONGRESS we cannot allow Monsanto and the biotech industry to continue to:

  • Grow food which is sprayed with chemicals that poisons our world with carcinogenic ingredients, which are known to cause fetal abnormalities, disrupt endocrine systems in humans, kill beneficial insects and damage the ecosystem worldwide.
  • Continue to threaten farmers
  • Violates the right OF farmers to grow the crops of their choice
  • Give Monsanto & the biotech industry sweeping powers to stop any legislation against them.

Michael Taylor’s appointment to the FDA was a travesty!  President Obama made one of the worst decisions of his presidency when Taylor was made food czar!  His ties TO Monsanto should have excluded him from being appointed because of conflict of interest.


12-12-12: Activism in Food, Environment & Human Rights

12-12-12HILL

12-12-12 speaks of the change we’ve been in for years.

The date, 12-12-12 has been in the news a lot lately.  In a purely  metaphysical sense, December 12, 2012 is a time of great shift energetically on this planet. The wave of uprisings, world protests, and climate disasters,  has all been for a reason:  to raise human consciousness that things cannot go on this way if we are to survive on this Earth.  According to doomsday theorists, 2012 is reported by some to be the end of the world.  Some devout Christians believe that the “end times” are upon us; the return of Jesus is imminent.

I believe the energy of the world  is changing. I do believe these are the “end times,” but not in a sense of the Earth blowing up & angels appearing to carry off the devout to heaven.  No, I believe it is a shift in human realization, in consciousness; belief that a change is needed in the way we must do things.

From what I have experienced in the last few years is this:  The people of this world have come forward to speak out on everything from food, human rights, government abuse, the environment, ecology, war, climate change, religious freedom, corporate greed and wrongdoings in just about every category.

Over the last 10 years or so I, along with countless others, have waged a battle over food and the environment.  We’ve taken on food rights, food manufacturing, “Big Food,” food from corporate farms to advocate for the smaller, more environmentally friendly local farmers.

Farm and food activists have sought to inform the public about artificial ingredients, food safety, GMOs, GMO labeling in food, presence of pesticides, herbicides and chemical poisons in our environment, as well as our daily lives. Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont and BASF have literally gotten away with murder, both on a human and environmental scale.  Our world’s environment is changing, people are dying in increased numbers from cancer and other ailments caused by our food and massive use of chemicals.

11-1-11: protest at the FDA for raw milk

11-1-11: protest at the FDA for raw milk

There have been protests at the FDA, countless state capitals in this country and around the world.  We’ve fought for the release of activists like raw milk proponent Michael Schmidt &  witnessed milk wars in Brussels!  Movies like, “Food Inc,” “Fresh,” and “Farmageddon”  have brought the public insight into the farm and food industry like nothing since Upton Sinclar’s “The Jungle,” in 1906. Luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz to Michelle Obama and the White House have gotten on board.

This is change – THIS is good!

The Occupy movement took hold and challenged Wall Street, the government and corporate America. The rallying cry, “We are the 99%” has made the super rich take notice.  Our election, won by Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney, told of the rejection of corporate America in our lives.  The Tea Party, Fox News and even good old Rush Limbaugh have taken a beating, and rightly so. It is past time that “we the people” take back our country.  “We the 98%”  must keep speaking out, telling the 1% that they should realize we outnumber them! Even the billionaire Koch brothers who spent millions on Mitt Romney’s campaign didn’t assure him the win.  In the end it was we, the “little” people who turned out in force:  women, immigrants, people of color, the working class and the poor along with the young and said:  “Enough is enough!”

We must keep saying:  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

From hurricane Katrina in 2003, to Irene last year and now hurricane Sandy, things are getting serious with climate change.  We environmentalists have screamed about this for decades.  Nobody paid attention. The oil lobby has fought tooth and nail,  subverting every environmentally sound idea or product which comes along, buying votes, infiltrating government and bribing our lawmakers!  Enough IS enough!  Climate change is real, you buffoons!  It’s long past time to get serious!  It may even be too late but we absolutely cannot ignore the earth’s warnings any longer.  This is real, it’s not going to get better;  the Earth is pissed off and in the end, good old Mom Nature IS going to win!  There will be nothing that humans can do about it.

Around the globe, especially in the Middle East, governments have collapsed under the weight of protests.  Again, the people are speaking out.  Human rights can no longer be ignored.  Oppression, brutality and evil in the likes of Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gaddafi, and Osama Bin Laden cannot stand in this sweep of energy of world events.  Humanity will no longer tolerate murderers who kill for the sake of killing or profess dominance of their kind over another, no matter what the religious or ethnic differences are.  The energy of this world is changing and the “us versus them” must be  overruled by simply, “us,”  “we,” or “the people of this Earth.”

I am sure that many of you can feel the change because we’ve been it in.  It’s not going to magically appear on 12-12-12; it’s been changing for a long time.  All one has to do is read the papers or talk to others.  To me, things feel different – they have for some time.

Let us all, therefore, take a minute to notice change, to be the change, do what we can to help the change for the betterment of humans worldwide.  Whether or not you actually believe it is happening, you can’t doubt that something has taken place.  It’s an opening up of the goodness of humans, the desire to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  It crosses every boundary, speaks every language, is encompassed in every religion.  The energy of 12-12-12 has been with us globally and will continue to be.  12-12-12 equals change for the good for the people on earth, the health and continuation of every being and miraculous function of this planet.  It’s the only hope we have.


Wal-Mart Black Friday Strike Is Really About YOUR Rights, Too!

Wal-Mart Black Friday Strike hopefully will bring changes to labor laws.

I side totally with the striking Wal-Mart workers who plan to walk out tomorrow, Black Friday, the biggest shopping day of the year. Allow me to blabber on for a few minutes about this Wal-Mart action and why we all need to support it.

Now I realize that some of you love Walmart. Their cheap stuff and mantra, “Save money, Live better” sounds like they care about you.  They don’t.  All the Walton family cares about is their wallets – period.  As their wealth is vast, any potential unrest in the company will be squashed.

Of COURSE they deny any wrongdoing.   They’re lying through their teeth! It’s their word, or the word of their PR people against HOW MANY WORKERS? Unrest in the company has been swept under the rug for many years;  I think the broom has just been yanked out of their hands, broken  in two.  There’s a big lump under the carpet; the dirt is spilling out.

The internet is rife with information about Wal-Mart’s employment practices, but I hardly think that they are the only corporation which uses subterfuge and illegal tactics against their employees.

What IS behind the Black Friday Strike?  Wal-Mart has, in a sense, trampled workers’ rights. They do not want their workers to be able to unionize because that will give workers something Wal-Mart fears:  power! Hence the harassment and dirty tricks involving their employees and the baldfaced lies to the public that they are a company that cares!  Bullshit!

While some complain about the unions, remember that in those early days the unions stood up against employees’ mistreatment. They championed worker’s rights,  rallied against child labor, wanted to make sure that employees had safer working conditions and helped get the right of workers to be aided in the case of injury.  READ MORE at the History Channel.

Now we’ve come forward over 100 years.  Not being a union member I will state the two points:  labor unions were good and sometimes ultimately bad.  Good, in that they helped to bring about drastic change and protection to all employees.  Bad, because their high wages and benefits during the heyday 40-50 years ago, probably helped in the shift to manufacturing overseas (see Bureau of Labor Stastics link below) as corporate America’s 1% got greedier. ll in all, though, standing up for workers outweighs the bad.

This Wal-Mart Black Friday strike is certainly drawing attention to the current situation of employment.  As our economy increasingly shifts to a service sector, corporations might want to take some serious notice.  In the following link from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,  scroll down the page through each category and the trend will become clear.  More service area jobs, outside of the booming healthcare industry, like retail trade, is 4th on the list of the projected growth sector.  Wal-Mart — are you listening?

http://www.bls.gov/ooh/About/Projections-Overview.htm

What is my hope for this strike?  Employers in every sector need to pay attention to the Wal-Mart Black Friday walkout, and not just in retail.  My wish is that this opens up the closet of dirty little secrets for every large company who mistreats its workers with threats of retaliation,  unfair and unrealistic company policies that hearken back to the early days of the last century.  This Black Friday walkout is the can opener on the can of worms, and my wish is that employees of every company help to turn the crank.

It is TIME that the workers of this country unite again. We are fast losing our right of respect as human beings in the workplace.  Increasingly employers hiring only part-time employees who aren’t given enough hours to qualify for any benefits, even on a limited scale.  Individual corporate mandates  forbid employees to work another job.

We are human beings, not machines.  Unlike a car, where one gets in, turns the key and goes off at 100 mph, stops, then gets back in and does it again: the human body is not designed to do that.  Corporate America has forgotten that.  Nothing matters but the bottom line.  We are all expendable; when one falls, someone else will take their place. The economy being what it is we’re so desperate for work that we’ll take anything, even if it borders on modern-day slavery; even if it demeans us, reducing us to just another number on a payroll.

Wal-Mart’s Black Friday strike is the line in the sand.  These employees are drawing that line for themselves, but also for every other worker in this country! This is our line in the sand, too! We want respect restored to the workplace, recognition of our humanity, encouragement and praise for what we do for our company instead of threats, intimidation and harassment. What happens here, at the nation’s largest employer, will hopefully produce a ripple effect in labor laws. Others will come forward from different companies to stand up for their rights and for your rights, too.  We are all one collective workforce family and every single one of us working today, should THANK the Wal-Mart employees who are brave enough to Stand Up and Live Better!

Wal-Mart strikers:  I’M WITH YOU, 100%!

TO FIND A STRIKE at a Wal-Mart near you, click HERE!