Food Truth Freedom

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


Food Waste: 800 Million Starving – We Could Feed Them All

Trillions of pounds of food are discarded annually - perfectly good, edible food that could feed millions.

Trillions of pounds of food are discarded annually – perfectly good, edible food that could feed millions.

It’s hard for the average American to imagine true starvation.  With the abundant availability of food at our fingertips:  Grocery stores chock-full of food right around the corner, fast food joints at every turn and restaurants with their heaping portions – we never consider the hungry worldwide.

800 million people on this planet are starving.  Worldwide, we waste 1/3 of the planet’s production,  an astonishing 2.9 trillion pounds of food a year – enough to feed all of them twice.

In developing nations, those without easy access to refrigeration or passable roads, much is lost post-production. In more industrialized countries, more food waste occurs farther down the supply chain.  Retailers order too much, restaurants serve huge portions that patrons don’t finish. Consumers lose leftovers in the back of the fridge or toss food because they’ve bought too much and it’s spoiled.  They pitch perfectly good food (canned, boxed or frozen) because they’re paranoid about the “use by,”  “best before” dates, not realizing that it’s still OK to eat. Nationwide, 40% of  food used in school lunches is thrown in the trash.

Then there’s the 6 billion pounds of unharvested or unsold food which the United States wastes because it failed to win the beauty contest; misshapen, “ugly” produce, bruised, scarred, slightly bug-chewed or deemed not aesthetically pleasing for grocery shelves.  Edible, nutritious food is going to waste while people starve.

Food waste taxes the planet’s resources.  When food is rejected for looks, rots somewhere for lack of storage or thrown away by retailers or consumers, millions of gallons of water are wasted, more dangerous pesticides and herbicides were used than necessary, gasoline or diesel is wasted, seeds squandered and our landfills stuffed with edible food, all for naught.

There is hope.  Here in the States, the USDA is promoting gleaning which means food is collected from farms, grocery stores, farmer’s markets and restaurants. (click HERE to get involved) A growing movement of gleaners salvages food and re-purposes it. A some farms are collecting discarded food, like the pig farmer outside of Las Vegas who gathers uneaten food from casinos to feed to his animals.  PantryNet is available to let consumers find local food banks nearby.  Schools are cutting back on food waste by offering sharing tables.  “Feedback,” an organization dedicated to reducing food waste collects food on an international level.  Feeding America is fighting hunger in America. Many restaurants have begun  fine-tuning purchasing, making portions smaller and donating unused food to charities.  Stores are springing up all over which sell packaged food past its “sell by” date which is certainly still edible.  The former president of Trader Joe’s, Doug Rauch, opened a non-profit supermarket in Massachusetts, The Daily Table,  offering fruits & vegetables soon to be discarded. Imperfect Produce, based in California, collects rejected produce from farms and delivers it right to your door. In our nation’s capitol, D.C. Central Kitchen collects food and provides 11,000 meals a day to shelters, schools and other locations.

We must be more conscious of the food we eat and more aware of the vast amount we waste. Keeping this in mind, we need to pressure those entities which throw away edible food, large grocery chains, restaurants, corporate farms, Mom-and-Pop stores, farmer’s markets and schools, to concentrate on feeding the world’s hungry.


Double Death Cocktail: Dow’s Enlist Duo – Roundup and 2-4-D

Skull-cossbones

Dow Agro Sciences is seeking approval for a new type of weed killer combining Round-Up and 2-4-D.  The EPA is considering approval of Enlist-Duo, a potent cocktail to help struggling farmers battle super weeds caused by Roundup.

This is a nightmare scenario.  Round-up and 2-4-D are already in widespread use by not only farmers but also homeowners.

We are slowly poisoning ourselves to death!

The major concern is children’s health.  As children absorb chemicals at a tenfold rate as compared to adults, this is particularly troubling. As shown on an interactive map, there are approximately 11,000 schools that are within 1,000 feet of corn or soy fields.  Another 5,600 schools are within 200 feet!

Dow Agro Sciences downplays the effects of their Round-Up and 2-4-D concoction, saying that the 2-4-D “is not your Granddad’s 2-4-D” meaning it doesn’t have as much potential for drift. Still, this is a potent mix of chemicals shown to have adverse health effects.  Numerous studies have shown a link between cancer and reproductive dysfunctions.  

I have a bad feeling about this.  Considering the EPA’s record of past approvals, and the fact that basically – let’s admit it, folks – the EPA is in the pocket of Dow Chemicals. It will not surprise me a bit if the pleas of over a half million people  went unheard and the EPA granted approval for this poison.

Mark my words:  I predict that in a few years this same concoction will be available in a lesser form, marketed to homeowners!

 RELATED:

Huff Post: Federal Support For Potent Weedkiller Raises Fears About Children’s Health

Wikipedia: Enlist Duo Herbicide


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


Getting Ripped Off In A Restaurant

What you see isn’t what you get when you order a restaurant meal.

FISH:

Because of budget cutbacks, the FDA is only able to test about 3% of all incoming food.     America imports about 86% of the fish it consumes, much of it from Vietnam and China where sanitation and growing conditions are far below American standards.

Restaurant salmon claiming to be “wild caught” probably isn’t. It’s probably not the wild-caught Pacific variety but rather farmed Atlantic salmon.  A 2011 study by the University of Washington of Tacoma reported  after DNA testing that as much as 38% of salmon purported to be wild Pacific was actually farmed Atlantic salmon.

That exotic-sounding Chilean sea bass on the menu is more often than not a rather nightmarish-looking fish called a Patagonian Toothfish.  Asian pangasius (or ponga) frequently passed off as everything from catfish to sole to flounder to grouper.

A Patagonian Toothfish is probably your Chilean Sea Bass

A Patagonian Toothfish is probably your Chilean Sea Bass

Out of about 1,200 samples collected from 674 retail outlets  in 21 states nationwide, seafood was routinely mislabeled about 33%  to 54% of the time. That red snapper in your sushi probably isn’t snapper but could be a cheaper version called “tilefish,” currently on the FDA’s list of “Do Not Eat” – especially for pregnant women and children because of the mercury content.

Consumer Reports tested fresh and frozen fish using DNA samples and the results were not encouraging:

  • Only 4 out of 14 types purchased were labeled correctly:  Chilean sea bass, coho salmon, and bluefin and ahi tuna.
  • 18% didn’t match the labels on menus, in stores on placards.  DNA tests revealed that catfish, sole, lemon sole, grouper, halibut, king salmon, sockeye salmon, red snapper and  yellowfin tuna were most often mislabeled.
  • Of the 10 varieties of “lemon soles,” and half of the “red snappers”  were not found to be what they claimed to be.
  • “Tilefish,” is often substituted for grouper and is a fish to be avoided,  because it has on average 3 times more mercury than grouper, according to the FDA.
  • Consumer Reports has found that 25% of fish is mislabeled.
  • Many times catfish is imported from Vietnam where fish are raised in feces-clogged ponds, treated with drugs that are illegal in the U.S. and live in water infused with pesticide runoff from fields.
  • In Asia where much of tilapia comes from, it’s raised in water that teems with pathogenic bacteria.  Often pig manure is used for feed. It’s cheap but contains salmonella, which makes fish more susceptible to disease.

MEAT:

Your steak my not be a true steak or tenderloin but actually scraps glued together with something called “meat glue” – a blood protein derived from either pork or beef. Read Food, Truth & Freedom’s post on “Meat Glue” for more information.  YUMMY! This also has dietary religious consequences, too.  Those who do not eat beef or pork may be doing so even eating seafood because meat glue is used to bind together crab meat as well as other seafood cuts.

RELATED:

Oceanana Study:  Mislabeling of Restaurant Fish

Forbes: Fake Fish On Shelves

Food & Water Watch:  Seafood Report.


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.

 


Dow’s 2-4-D Corn = More Cancer, Birth Defects, Environmental Disaster

It was two years ago that I blogged about the battle for Dow’s 2-4-D corn.The USDA was still accepting comments on its pending approval. Now it seems, despite a huge public outcry, not only from concerned citizens but also from farmers, health professionals and environmentalists, the USDA  is leaning heavily for approving it.

Photo:  USDA

Photo: USDA

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 Parkinson’s disease & lung cancer.  Respiratory and circulatory birth defects have been linked to it.

Despite a very strong link to cancer, hormonal disruption, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma,  birth defects and other illnesses,   2-4-D is marketed to consumers for use around their homes as a multi-use broadleaf weedkiller.  Millions of American homeowners use this on their lawns in one form or another in sprays, dusts or in a pelletized version. It is also in other lawn care products such as “Winterizers,”  and “Turfbuliders.” It is very likely that year-round exposure is not uncommon: “weed and feed” being used in the spring and summer, “Turfbuilders” from spring through fall and “winterizer” just before winter sets in.  Consumers who rely on these chemicals to keep their lawns looking golf course perfect are spreading poison on their property all year without realizing it. 

Monsanto’s Round-Up has been failing in recent years due to the ability of weeds to adapt and resist its application.  This is the next generation of herbicide-resistant spray to be formulated with an even more potent and dangerous chemical, Atrazine or 2-4-D.

Dow’s Enlist seeds, will be able to withstand applications of 2-4-D and Round Up.

Wait and see.  This miracle chemical’s effects will not last, either.  Just like Round Up, after awhile the same thing will happen and farmers will find themselves back where they started:  weeds out of control.

Now we will have millions of acres of corn being sprayed with 2-4-D and Round up combined.

  • Groundwater will be contaminated with yet another harmful chemical.
  • It will be IN that corn that you eat & all other foods you buy from the store – because corn is in everything!
  • Beef cattle, chickens, pigs, turkeys will eat this – YOU will eat it too.
  • Contamination will be in immediate areas through wind.
  • HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of acres of corn each year could be sprayed with it.
  • It will wash from the nation’s corn belt into rivers and the seas.
  • Small farmers will be tied to yet another corn seed and chemical
  • Approval will lead to MORE GMO products because USDA sees nothing wrong with them.
  • Corporate entities will have even more control over our lives.

Our government has failed us again.  By bowing to the one-sided test results – and the lobbyists and to Dow’s influence in government, and not to mention – big bucks – We The People will again become Guinea pigs.

This shows me that our government does not care about its citizens, only mega profit for mega corporations.

TAKE ACTION:  Go to THIS PAGE and sign the petition against Dow’s GMO 2-4-D corn

Read MORE:

If You Use Pesticides, READ THIS (there are no “safe” pesticides)

USDA Greenlights Dow 2-4-D Seeds (Pesticide Action Network)

2-4-D Articles on “Food, Truth & Freedom”


Sevin Dust Illegal in Many Countries: Top Seller in U.S.

While Americans sprinkle Sevin dust around their yards like sugar, it is banned in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Iran and Angola.  These countries are not convinced, as the United States is, that Sevin dust is safe.

The U.K. Chemicals Directorate Division of the Health and Safety branch is not convinced enough that Sevin dust is safe.  Because of the effects of ingestion, that’s EATING the stuff, folks, after you douse your vegetable garden with it — has been proven to cause cancer.

DO NOT USE THIS STUFF INDOORS ~or~ ON YOUR PETS!

Now the reason I am sounding off again on Sevin dust is because on this site, it is the #1 search term.  I should change the site name to SEVIN DUST is Icky or something like that.  Well, that’s the truth because it is!

One of the most widely used chemicals in U.S. gardens, but illegal in many countries.

One of the most widely used chemicals in U.S. gardens, but illegal in many countries.

On a more serious side, continuous inhalation of Sevin dust can cause pneumoconiosis, more commonly referred to as “Black Lung Disease,” which is routinely found in coal miners, but the indication is also prominent in those who work in certain manufacturing industries. Pneumoconiosis causes hardening of the air sacs in the lungs caused from inflammation. Complications of pneumoconiosis include:  heart failure, lung cancer, respiratory failure.

Pregnant women should avoid exposure to Sevin dust because it can cause fetal abnormalities:  cardio and pulmonary, nervous system development, spontaneous abortion, ADD in their child and a host of other difficulties. Additionally, women whose pregnancies fall between the months of highest Sevin applications – May and September – have the highest instances of fetal distress in development.

Read my other posts on Sevin dust:

Sevin Dust is NOT Your Garden Friend

Sevin Dust: Why Grow Vegetables & Put POISON On Them?