The Non-GMO Project, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, offers North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products.

MISSIONSoybeans Growing
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.

VISION
Our shared belief is that everyone deserves an informed choice about whether or not to consume genetically modified organisms.

WHAT WE DO
The Non-GMO Project works in several different capacities to ensure the availability of non-GMO products and to help support informed choice. We offer North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. We also work to educate consumers and the food industry to help build awareness about GMOs and their impact on our health and food systems. One of the inherent risks of genetically modified crops and food items is that they contaminate non-GMO crops and foods through cross-pollination and/or contamination; so we also work with food manufacturers, distributors, growers, and seed suppliers to develop a standard for detection of GMOs and for the reduction of contamination risk of the non-GMO food supply with GMOs.

OUR HISTORY
The Project began as an initiative of independent natural foods retailers who were interested in providing their customers with more information regarding the GMO risk of their products. As the Project evolved, it became clear that in order for the initial vision of standardized labeling to be possible, a 3rd party verification program was needed that would identify products compliant with a uniform, consensus-based definition of non-GMO. With the help of technical consultants FoodChain Global Advisors, and fueled by the passion of a dynamic array of industry leaders, the Non-GMO Project has successfully created a collaborative non-GMO verification program that began enrolling products in the fall of 2008. Working at every level of the supply chain, all the way back to the seeds, the Project’s role is to inspire and ensure viable non-GMO alternatives long into the future.

Read more about our history.

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Why Twinkies Are Cheaper than Carrots from http://www.organicconnections.com

Why are Twinkies cheaper than carrots? Because we as taxpayers have already paid for the ingredients!

As we move into 2012, the subject of the Farm Bill and agricultural subsidies will again come to the fore. Here’s a great video that makes the case against what has become the cash “cow” of the Big Ag world. We as taxpayers are paying for these subsidies, making these ingredients artificially cheap. About one third of the billions in farm subsidy funds go to corn alone, which is why high-fructose corn syrup is in almost any processed food we eat.

There is an additional cost to the present form of Ag subsidies: healthcare costs. Watch the video and find out more.

Visit www.calpirg.org to find out how you can take action to help defeat these subsidies.

pigs

Written by Jill Ettinger from www.organicauthority.com 

Most of us consider ourselves to be kind and compassionate, and rightfully so. Humans possess a great capacity for empathy and love; and we rely on support systems of family and friends to not only help us in our times of need, but also to bring us joy and pleasure, love and happiness. For some of us, dogs and cats fit into this discussion; they are as much family members as they are companions. But hidden from our sight are the more than 10 billion animals raised and killed for food every year just in the U.S. Instead, we view cows as burgers or ice cream, pigs as ribs and bacon, chickens as nuggets, wings or eggs.

But if we could see the suffering endured by animals in the name of faster-cheaper-processed foods, we might demand better treatment, or opt out of the system entirely. Can you imagine a world where the harsh treatment of animals happened in the public eye? Could you still stomach a bite of these 7 cruelest foods?

While there is an immense variety of animals consumed around the world, these make up some of the largest animal populations to suffer in the name of the human appetite.

1.Foie Gras: This paté made from goose or duck liver is a French delicacy that has also recently become popular in the U.S. But in order to create this fatty liver spread, birds are forced to live with steel pipes rammed down their throats several times a day with excessive amounts of grain and fat pumped in so their livers bloat. Many of the animals cannot stand because of their swollen liver; they suffer injuries, tear out their own feathers and cannibalize each other from the stress. Opt instead for lentil-walnut paté, hummus or white bean puree.

2. Shark Fins: Regarded as a royal delicacy since the Ming Dynasty, shark fins have become increasingly more popular as more and more Chinese have disposable incomes. The industry has boomed to an estimated 75 million sharks killed each year, threatening the future of several important species. And the act of acquiring the fins is uncommonly cruel: After catching the sharks, their fins are cut off, rendering the great fish incapable of swimming. The mutliated bodies are then tossed back into the ocean where they bleed to death, drown or are eaten by other animals. Besides status, shark fins add little else to soups, so opt instead for a great soup loaded with veggies and herbs.

3. Veal: Because the dairy industry requires cows to be constantly pregnant in order to produce milk, that means there are lots of newborn baby cows taken from their mothers and forced into veal stalls, so tiny they cannot turn around. These intelligent and kind creatures live in darkness while their muscles atrophy from lack of exercise. After as many as five months in these conditions, they endure a traumatic truck ride to slaughter where many are trampled because they’re too weak to stand. Opt instead for seitan or tempeh.

4. Eggs: The majority of eggs come from nearly 300 million chickens living in what are called battery cages. Roughly just 18 by 20 inches, these cages will typically hold between 5 to 10 birds. The normal wingspan of the intelligent, curious and playful bird is 32 inches, which means they never experience spreading their wings while in captivity. The stress leads them to episodes of fighting and cannibalism, and they also often endure major injuries and illnesses. Opt instead for organic tofu omelets, use chia or flax seed gel for baking, or secure a super small-scale local source of free-range, organic eggs that you can verify are sourced humanely.

5. Pork: Any dog lover knows that they’re intelligent, curious and emotional creatures. Pigs have shown to be even more intelligent than dogs, but because we see them as food, we dismiss their personalities and force them into unimaginable suffering. Mother pigs live in what are called gestation crates, which are so small they cannot even turn around, or in some cases even completely stand. Constantly impregnated until their bodies give out, their newborn piglets are taken away from loving mothers after just the bare minimum of nursing. Without pain relief, tails are docked, male pigs are castrated and sharp teeth are broken off with pliers. Opt instead for plant proteins like beans, lentils and nuts, tempeh bacon and Tofurky sausage.

6. Dairy: We think of milk as the most wholesome food there is; however, the secret behind the dairy industry is anything but. In order to produce milk, mammals must be pregnant, so cows are constantly and forcefully inseminated. Their young babies are taken away and many become veal. The majority of cows are not milked by hand; they’re tethered to harsh mechanical machines that often infect their udders and cause great pain. Opt instead for coconut, almond or rice milks, or source from a vetted small-scale local organic dairy producer that treats their cows ethically.

7. Lobster: Considered a staple indulgence for seafood lovers, these intelligent and social creatures can live to be 100 years old if they’re not one of the 20 million killed each year for food. A captured lobster forced into a tank can suffer a great deal of stress, and their complex nervous systems are very sensitive to pain. Whether being cut open while alive or dropped into a scalding pot of hot water, lobsters captured for food rarely live out their remaining days free from suffering. Opt instead for fungus—like the lobster mushroom—which is meaty and buttery with a slight hint of seafood.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Sources:

www.peta.org

www.humanesociety.org

www.seashepherd.org

www.farmsanctuary.org

Image: Tambako the Jaguar

 

 

 

Brussels sprouts and winter squash make this cornbread stuffing look and taste great. Cornbread Stuffing with Brussels Sprouts from Eating Well Magazine

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 pounds winter squash, such as buttercup or butternut
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds prepared cornbread, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 12 cups)
  • 1 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed and sliced
  • 1 cup currants, raisins or dried cranberries
  • 1 cup pecan halves, coarsely chopped and toasted
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, rubbed and sliced
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth

PREPARATION

  1. Position racks in upper and lower third of oven; preheat to 375°F.
  2. Halve squash, remove seeds and cut into 1-inch-thick wedges (leave the skin on). Spread on a baking sheet and drizzle with oil, rubbing to coat the squash evenly. Roast on the lower rack until soft, 20 to 30 minutes. Let cool. Peel, cut into 1-inch pieces and place in a large bowl.
  3. Meanwhile, spread cornbread cubes on a large baking sheet. Toast on the upper rack until crisp around the edges, about 20 minutes. Add to the bowl with the squash.
  4. Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until barely tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water. Drain again and add to the bowl. Add currants (or raisins or cranberries), pecans, chives, parsley and sage. Add broth and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
  5. Bake the stuffing until heated through, 45 to 55 minutes.

TIPS & NOTES

  • Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Cover and refrigerate the roasted squash for up to 2 days. Store the toasted cornbread uncovered at room temperature for up to 2 days.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 340 calories; 15 g fat ( 2 g sat , 9 g mono ); 24 mg cholesterol; 48 g carbohydrates; 3 g added sugars; 8 g protein; 6 g fiber; 458 mg sodium; 538 mg potassium. Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (162% daily value), Vitamin C (30% dv), Folate & Calcium (20% dv), Iron & Magnesium (17% dv), Potassium (15% dv)

Cereal Crimes: How “Natural” Claims Deceive Consumers and Undermine the Organic Label — A Look Down the Cereal and Granola Aisle

Find out which major national brands, produced by giant corporate agribusiness, but hiding behind the façade of familiar “green” names (Mothers, Kashi, Peace Cereal, etc.), are romancing their “natural” labels while force-feeding their customers pesticide-contaminated grains and Monsanto’s genetically modified organisms.

Watch the YouTube video, linked above.

Find the full story and report on www.cornucopia.org 

by Claire Suddath

If you eat meat, the odds are high that you’ve enjoyed a meal made from an animal raised on a factory farm (also known as a CAFO). According to the USDA, 2% of U.S. livestock facilities raise an estimated 40% of all farm animals. This means that pigs, chickens and cows are concentrated in a small number of very large farms. But even if you’re a vegetarian, the health and environmental repercussions of these facilities may affect you. In his book Animal Factory, journalist David Kirby explores the problems of factory farms, from untreated animal waste to polluted waterways. Kirby talks to TIME about large-scale industrial farming, the lack of government oversight and the terrible fate of a North Carolina river.

What exactly is a factory farm?
The industrial model for animal food production first started with the poultry industry. In the 1930s and ’40s, large companies got into the farming business. The companies hire farmers to grow the animals for them. The farmers typically don’t own the animals — the companies do. It’s almost like a sharecropping system. The company tells them exactly how to build the farm, what to grow and what to feed. They manage everything right down to what temperature the barn should be and what day the animals are going to be picked up for slaughter. The farmer can’t even eat his or her own animals. People who grow chickens for Perdue in Maryland have to go down to the market and buy Perdue at the store.

We collectively refer to these facilities as factory farms, but that’s not an official name. The government designation is CAFO, which stands for Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation. Basically, it’s any farm that has 1,000 animal units or more. A beef cow is an animal unit. These animals are kept in pens their entire lives. They’re never outside. They never breathe fresh air. They never see the sun.

What are the health and environmental hazards of CAFOs?
For one, you’re often no longer feeding animals what they’re genetically designed to eat. CAFO cows eat a diet of milled grains, corn and soybeans, when they are supposed to eat grass. The food isn’t natural because they very often put growth hormones and antibiotics in it. That becomes a problem when you put that manure on the ground.

And the fact that there are thousands of animals packed into one farm is also a problem.
Oh, definitely. There are simply too many animals in too small of a place. In a traditional farm, a sustainable farm, you grow both crops and animals. There is a pasture, and you have a certain number of animals per acre. But when you have 2,000 cows per acre instead of two, you have a problem. You can’t fit them in a pasture — you fit them in a building. You can’t grow enough crops to feed them — you have to ship in their feed. You don’t have enough land to absorb their waste. It has nowhere to go.

So what happens to it?
The manure is liquefied. It gets flushed out into an open lagoon, where it is stored until farmers can use it on what few crops they do grow. There’s just so much of it, though. I’ve seen it sprayed into waterways and creeks. These lagoons filled with waste have been known to seep, leak, rupture and overtop. This stuff is untreated, by the way. We would never allow big, open cesspools of untreated human waste to just sit out on the ground near people’s homes and schools. And yet because it’s agriculture, the rules are different.

You write at length about North Carolina’s Neuse River. What happened there?
Hundreds of massive pig farms came into North Carolina in the 1990s. In Animal Factory, I tell the story of Rick Dove, a former Marine who retired and bought a fishing boat. One day he noticed the fish were dying in really weird ways. First there were the algae blooms. Algae creates oxygen during the day through photosynthesis and expels carbon dioxide at night. When that happens, there’s literally no oxygen in the water. Everything comes crawling up to the shore in the shallowest part of the river, trying to pump water through their gills. By the morning, they’re all dead. Everything — shrimp, crab, little fish called menhaden, eels, bass. People call it a “fish jubilee,” ’cause they can just wade into the river and pick up free food.

Soon after this started happening, Rick Dove noticed the menhaden fish were developing round red circles on their flanks. They’d go into what was called a “death spiral.” They just start swimming into little circles and just die. Nobody knew what was causing this. Pretty soon after that, the fishermen, including Rick and his son, noticed they were getting round red sores on their skin in the parts that touched the water. Then they’d get very disoriented. Fishermen would forget where they lived or where they’d docked their boats. Rick started to do some research. One day he read in a science magazine about pfiesteria, this very odd plankton that emits toxins that stun a fish so it can suck the fish’s blood. That’s what the lesions were. But the toxin also gets in the air, and that’s why fishermen were getting disoriented.

Rick wanted to know the source of this problem, so he went up in an airplane. That’s how I open Animal Factory, with him looking down at these massive pig farms. Sometimes you can even see the waste runoff going directly going into the water. Other times they’re out there spraying night and day because nobody is watching them. You can’t see this from the road. There are very few inspectors, and they’re not going to go out there and monitor everyone.

People probably assume this kind of stuff is regulated, but it’s not. Or at least not enough. What should the government be doing?
A lot of the laws are on the state and county level, so it depends on the political will and political culture of the individual state. That doesn’t mean Democrat or Republican. That means agriculture state vs. a state with not a lot of agriculture. What kind of laws have agriculture-friendly states passed? Some states say that if a company spills its manure, it doesn’t have to pay to clean it up. The taxpayers pay. If you try to pass pollution standards, the industry complains that they’re already too heavily regulated. They claim that if you force them to reduce how much they pollute, they’re not going to be able to operate. They’re essentially saying they can only make money by polluting and breaking the law. That should be unacceptable to everybody.

You spent three years reporting this story. What stands out?
One time I visited a pig farm, a regular farm — not a factory farm — in Illinois. Right across the street was a hog CAFO. The owner didn’t live there, of course. There’s no farm house on a factory farm, just business offices. At night, all the workers would leave, and all I’d hear as I was trying to fall asleep was the sound of the pigs fighting each other, biting each other, squealing, screeching all night long. It was like nothing I’ve ever heard before in my life, and it just didn’t stop. It sounded like kids being tortured over there. I’ll never forget that sound. It was very sad.

Read more: http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1983981,00.html#ixzz1SMu1NAMb

Petco will no longer be carrying the 15lb bags of Nutrisca by Dogswell so they are on Manager’s Special for the price of $20. Nutrisca is Dogswell’s grain free,potato free line and it comes in chicken or lamb. For anyone who has a dog with grain allergies or sensitivities this food is perfect! My dog has I.B.S. and this food agrees with her fine.  If you already feed your dog a grain free food like Wellness Core or Natural Balance then you know that $20 is a great deal.

For all those is CT –  Big Y has Brad’s Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil 17 fl oz bottles on clearance for $4.99. That’s a saving of $5 a bottle. Also at Big Y Olivia’s Organic Spinach 11 0z (large clamshell) is on sale for $4.98 w/a silver coin. If you go to the website there is also a coupon for $1 off. Read the rest of this entry »

Arthur & Friends is a New Jersey non-profit which trains individuals with developmental and other disabilities and disadvantages to grow and sell organic produce for local restaurants and farmer markets and other retail customers. The program was founded five years ago by Wendie Blanchard whose 33-year-old nephew, Arthur, has Down syndrome. After hearing about how bored Arthur was ‘toiling in a sheltered workshop popping dog treats like pigs’ ears into plastic bags for five hours a day,’ Blanchard sought to help him find a more rewarding job’, says the New York Times, and so Arthur and Friends came into being.

Arthur & Friends operates three hydroponic greenhouses in New Jersey. The greenhouses grow an assortment of organic greens from dandelions, arugula, and kale to tak soi and bok choy. Seed catalogues are sent to local restaurants, who can place a custom order for greens.

Currently there are 37 trainees in the program; their diagnoses include autism, cerebral palsy, strokes, traumatic brain injury, Huntington’s disease and severe bipolar disorder. Participants work 8 to 20 hours a week in a ‘four-tier, 200-hour program that trains them in hydroponic agriculture and also teaches invoicing, ordering, shipping, conducting online sales and interacting with customers.’ Some graduates of the program are hired in the greenhouses and earn an hourly pay rate from $7.45 to $13, depending on their responsibilities; they also can receive assistance to find a job at the estimated 184 greenhouses in the area served by the Northwest New Jersey Community Action Program, which originally sponsored Arthur & Friends.

The program has received inquiries from numerous organizations in New Jersey and across the country, including Detroit; Birmingham, Ala.; Jackson, Wyo.; and Kealakekua, Hawaii. It has received funding from the Kessler Foundation, $48,162 to set up the Sussex County greenhouse in 2008 and then $500,000 in 2009 to expand the project to Hackettstown in NJ’s Sussex County and other sites.

As the New York Times underscores, such program are not easy to start or to maintain. Funding for Arthur & Friends originally came from federal grants which are now threatened. Starting a greenhouse is costly, and not a small, endeavor.

The website for Arthur & Friends asks others to ‘join us in cultivating a better planet.’ It aims to provide employment opportunities for those with disabilities and disadvantages by developing ‘an organizational culture that encourages persons with disabilities to utilize their potential to contribute rather than discounting them on the basis of stereotypes or generalizations about their “limitations.”‘ Even more, its mission is ‘to bring disabled and impoverished people out of the shadowy world to which they are typically confined.’

As described, Arthur & Friends is pretty much the sort of program my husband Jim and I hope our teenage autistic son Charlie might one day be part of. Our hope is that Charlie will have a job in the community (rather than in the more institutional setting of a sheltered workshop such as Arthur Blanchard worked in prior to the creation of Arthur & friends) and doing work that is meaningful and, of course, work that Charlie likes. Working in a greenhouse may not be Charlie’s idea of what he’d like to do. But we do know that he likes to be busy, and to be active, and, well, I happen to like my greens.

And I’m sure they would taste even better if I knew that my boy had a hand in growing them.

written by Kristina Chew Care2.com

On a trip to New Jersey a few years ago I personally had the pleasure of meeting Wendie & Jim  and seeing their operation first hand. As a parent of a special needs child it was inspiring to see something that would offer some variety to the normal activities available for people with disabilities. I have to say that I wish that there were more programs like this in all areas so more people could benefit.


Eatwild.com
Your source for safe, healthy, natural and nutritious grass-fed beef, lamb, goats, bison, poultry, pork, dairy…and other wild edibles.

Find a farm or ranch near you in our Eatwild Directory of Pasture-Based Farms

Eatwild provides:

Comprehensive, accurate information about the benefits of raising animals on pasture.
A direct link to local farms that sell all-natural, delicious, grass-fed products.
Support for farmers who raise their livestock on pasture from birth to market and who actively promote the welfare of their animals and the health of the land.

This is a very valuable website for finding locally produced healthy meat and poultry along with fresh eggs and farm animals.

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