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Recent rally against Monsanto and a little not-so-very-recent

At a recent rally in Downtown Colorado Springs... Mark made some good points about Monsanto. Here's some more. You remember, as do I, how exactly Monsanto got busted back in the late 70s with the Paraquat Pot? Paraquat is one of their signature lines of "weed" killers, herbicides, such as Agent Orange and Roundup. The company li(n)e is and was that there was no evidence that soldiers exposed directly to Agent Orange had (significantly) higher incidence of cancer than soldiers not exposed to it. Denial because they were being sued. Well, other herbicides they make, RoundUp and Paraquat, contain the same type of chemical, not the active ingredient, but a side-product of the chemical reactions to manufacture the "goodies". A class of chemicals called Dioxins. Their harmful nature ranges from damn that's freakin' scary to OhMyGod we've kicked open the doors of Hell and those are esoteric chemical-talk terms. If you don't recognise them then you're not a chemist. At the high end of the spectrum is where the product was burned. As in, soldiers usually on punishment detail raking up the dead plants and burning them. Monsanto didn't out themselves, nor did the Army. The DEA did instead, by publishing a warning that they had been spraying Paraquat JUST LIKE AGENT ORANGE and J.L.A.O, if you inhaled the burning product it could cause you to die and cited an Army Agent Orange study. The one the Army and Monsanto and Dow and Dupont were denying ever existed. So, the Army stopped using Agent Orange. Big deal, they still use the other chemicals that have that same nasty little add-on, the part they can't get rid of without destroying the goodies, the Dioxins. Now how much would you pay? Monsanto and the U.S. (taxpayers) government paid a settlement in 1983 that equalled about a weeks worth of hospitalization for each veteran who was diagnosed before then. NONE for anybody diagnosed afterward and certainly none for the South VietNamese, Filipino, Thai or other allies who were also sprayed with the shit. They sprayed it around U.S. bases so the native vegetation wouldn't be so overgrown that people could walk right up to the fence. They Still Do. Then there's the Monsanto and Philip Morris, RJ Reynolds connection, tobacco bred to be resistant to A.O. or more specifically, RoundUp. Yep, there was a video article on the NOVA television program in 1990 describing Genetically Modified Organisms and of course, Monsanto was the star of the show. One of their projects was with Big Tobacco growing successively more resistant plants. See, with the herbicides, they only work when the plant is above ground, sprouted. After the cash crop, in this case tobacco, WHICH IS TYPICALLY USED BY LIGHTING IT ON FIRE and inhaling the toxic smoke, has sprouted, no more Agent Ora RoundUp. So they have to kill the weeds before the cash crop sprouts. Doesn't, however, kill the seeds of the weeds like the farmer needs. But at the end of the show, there were tobacco plants being sprayed

Simple American breakfast no longer

My ideal breakfast is served at a diner: coffee, eggs, hash browns and toast. But can you feel healthy about it --as your conscience (n) --> vegan? You could pack in sugar in the raw, sea salt, and organic peppercorns in the requisite grinders; likewise from a cooler you could pull jars of rBGH-free half and half, real butter, and organic ketchup if you're inclined. But what about what's served on the plate? A disclaimer: let's define eating to mean the consumption of nutrition and avoidance of toxin. That precludes genetically modified organisms, irradiated produce, chemical pesticides, trans-fats, corn-syrup, HFCS, etc. The expression "natural" has been co-opted by Big Agra, but no longer can detractors say that "organic" doesn't mean anything. I'm omitting the optional meats: ham, bacon and sausage links for the obvious reasons; free-range, grass-fed, single-animal slaughtered efforts notwithstanding. Enough said. Empty calories like juice are out as well, unless it's freshly squeezed for your glass. And let's presume too, we'll be asking the cook to stir some onions and peppers into the hash browns, for at least a little green. Before we leave the subject of condiments, there a three non-perishable items it might be worth bringing with you to the diner. For your toast: corn-less fruit preserves, unheated honey, and if you're planning to add pancakes, grade-B maple syrup. The diner variety syrup, and any portion-size pre-packaged confection are apt to be entirely corn syrup and HFCS. If the price of your breakfast starts at $3.80, it's unlikely your local diner can afford the healthy food supplies you are able to ferret from your grocer. It's become enough of a feat to stock them at home. Let's see: eggs from vegetarian-fed cage-less chickens, organic potatoes, whole-grain bread. All these hyphens concatenate into a value meal priced more like a dinner entree. And there's probably no chance a typical diner can spring for fair-trade organic coffee beans. Economists point to America's relatively level cost of living. Progressive analysts address the subsidies which keep commodity prices artificially low. Others decry the need for society to address the real costs which cripple our unhealthy system. From the consumer's point of view, the cost of real nutrition has suffered a hyperinflation to put it beyond our reach, eating out or in. NOTES: 1. Here's that recipe for organic catsup: 3 cups canned organic tomato paste cup whey (liquid from plain yogurt) 1 Tbls sea salt cup maple syrup tsp cayenne pepper 3 cloves peeled & mashed garlic cup fish sauce fish sauce Mix together in a wide-mouth glass jar, leave at least an inch below the top and leave it at room temperature for 2-3 days before putting into the refrigerator. Recipe makes a whole quart. 2. An optimum juice concoction: 1. Beetroot 2. Celery 3. Carrot 4. Apple 5. Ginger 3. Three lists: Foods to buy organic: Meat, Milk, Coffee, Peaches, Apples, Sweet Bell Peppers, Celery, Nectarines, Strawberries, Cherries, Kale, Leafy Greens, Grapes, Carrots, Potatoes, Tomatoes Foods that don't need to be organic: Onions, Avocado, Sweet Corn, Pineapple, Mango, Asparagus, Sweet Peas, Kiwi

Organic corn soon unavailable to you

I was shopping the other day for organic corn flakes, thinking that of all the cereals, Dr. Kellogg's first processed food breakfast would similarly be predominant among the organic breakfast cereal offerings. I found exactly none; neither at the supermarket, nor the health food store. I found plenty of organic bran, wheat, oat and Kashi --whatever that is, but nothing made of corn. Would you say that's something to find curious, or alarming? I became acutely reminded of a detail from a documentary I'd just seen, The Real Dirt on Farmer John. There's a fleeting scene where farmer John Peterson is telling his Angelic Organics CSA customers (Community Supported Agriculture) about that year's successful crop of corn. He's enthusiastic, he explains, because a harvest of organic corn has become a very difficult accomplishment. Does that give you pause, when you consider the prevalence of corn in the American diet? Before genetically modified corn, before High Fructose Corn, before Yellow Dent No. 2 which is so inedible it can be stored in piles outside (farmers used to build silos to store corn), and before corn became ethonol, corn was sweetcorn was corn. From King Corn viewers learned about Monsanto and Cargill's present stranglehold on the corn seed market, all of it GMO. And sporadically American farmers make the news for discovering that a neighbor's GMO crops have overtaken theirs. I had occasion this summer to drive through several corn-producing states. On the side of so many fields were logos designating which commercial seeds had been used. I scarcely remember a single field that did not have a sign. Some bore lot numbers, representing test samples. Is it possible that organic corn production has begun coming up short? Have organic corn crops become too expensive to supply the breakfast cereal makers? Organic corn flakes are still available online, manufactured by Barbara's or Nature's Path, but they are priced far above the average box of breakfast cereal. Eventually all cream rises to the top. The best Bordeaux are only accessible to the super-rich, not simply because of price, but because the upscale marketers corner the supply. The same can be said of many food delicacies and nature products. Some woods for example, available for centuries to ordinary luthiers, have been purchased lock, stock and by the full forest growth, monopolized to supply only specialists. What we think of as ordinary corn may soon be available only to the affluent customer, who wouldn't be caught dead feeding their children genetically modified foods. Coming at this development from a completely diametric angle, Kellogg's has decided it needs to protect its brand of conventional genetically modified corn flakes by laser-etching their logo across each one. Instead of suffering the stigma of accusations that its corn product is tainted, Kellogg's wants its dupes to feel they're getting value added with their balanced breakfast. In fact, the laser process will toast the already toasted product just a little bit more, robbing it of further nutrition and resistance to carcinogens. But the patented technology could

Honeybees were dying because?

Non-Bing-ers know the net is about the journey, not the destination. My search yesterday became the acquisition: from a Posterous tweet, to revisiting OK Go's 2006 treadmill video, to their backyard dance gone-viral, to choreographer sister Trish Sie in LOLLIPOP (new tab: Mika's highschool anthem WE ARE GOLDEN), to Sie's PSA for Saatchie & Saatchie: HELP THE HONEY BEES. When the worry was climate change or pesticides: poor bees. Then the suspect was GMOs.

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