Category Archives: Organic

Dr OZ and Pesticides

First LivingMaxell on Fox news http://livingmaxwell.com/fox-news-carol-alt-gmos

Now Dr Oz on Pesticides http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/what-food-industry-doesnt-want-you-know

1.5 million pounds of pesticides were sprayed on crops in 1999 – mostly GMOs.  In my opinion that’s 1.5 million pounds too many.  Sit down and hang onto your hat, cuz in 2011 we were at 90+ million pounds of pesticides per year. 90+ million pounds of pesticides in our soils, in our waters and in the air.  And that data is conservative.

And that number is growing because of the superweeds and superpests.  These GMOs were supposed to reduce chemical applications.  Instead they have increased.  Exponentially.  For those people who believe that pesticide use decreased with GMOs, it didn’t.  It hasn’t.  Dr. Oz showed that very well.  This is based on USDA data.  Now there currently is an application with the FDA to spray 2,4 D, the active ingredient of agent orange.

Over time, yields of GMOs are equalled or outperformed by Organic.

For those who believe that GMOs hold promises…. In theory.  To you I say: How about this approach –  How about we just ban toxins?  How about banning/labelling food with known carcinogens and neurotoxins, and endocrine disruptors?

Let’s stop poisoning people and planet whilst we debate the morals and ethics of GMO technology.

For more information on pesticides please see http://farmwars.info/?p=11515

I’ve copied this graph on Glyphosate use and explanation from the Farm Wars website.  This is just one pesticide being sprayed on our crops…..

Contrary to claims made by the chemical industries, glyphosate use increased 6,504% from 1991 to 2010 according to data from the USDA: National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS). States participating in the USDA surveys reported applying a whopping 91,200 tons (1 rail car holds approximately 100 tons) of glyphosate on corn, cotton and soy crops alone in 2010 (see graph). Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Roundup™, the herbicide used on Roundup Ready™ crops genetically engineered (GE) to withstand glyphosate. Glyphosate residues of up to 4.4 mg/kg have been detected in stems, leaves and beans of glyphosate-resistant soy, indicating metabolism of the herbicide. This means that the Roundup Ready™ plants are absorbing the herbicide and you cannot simply wash it off.

glyphosate graph 1

Vermont Soap

I been waiting for enough downtime. In my kitchen. And bored (which almost never happens)…

What have I been waiting for? Well (drumroll please) I have been carrying around a recipe in my iphone for deodorant (underarm kind). This recipe calls for organic coconut oil, organic cornstarch, shea butter, essential oils etc. Before the magical set of kitchens circumstances transpired (no pun intended) … I happened to bump into the Vermont Soap people at a trade show. And guess what they asked me? To test drive their brand new deodorant!

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Ingredients I can vouchsafe; organic coconut oil. organic cornstarch, organic lime oil, organic sage oil and organic beeswax. So I accepted their challenge.

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Did it work? You betcha! After a full day of travelling I didn’t notice any unwanted noisome ness (it that a word?) emanating from my body.

Success! It buys me some more time to wait for the stars to align. When I’m bored but creative….

My 7 year old vs GMOs

They say that at 7 years old, we humanoids commence the age of reason.

This is most certainly true of my youngest child, who turned seven this summer.

As we are at the end of Non GMO month, I thought I would share with y’all a funny incident that happened at the grocery store.  Funny haha and funny weird.  Funny embarrassing…   In the week following her revelation that GMOs cause cancer in rats I happened to take my 7 year-old daughter shopping.   As we walked up and down the aisles, she didn’t ask me about buying non-organic candy.  Nope. I was impressed. She passed by those non organic, GMO-laden cereals, bars, and cookies with resolve, without tugging at my sleeve.  For the first time, I wasn’t begged at either vociferously or silently with puppy-dog eyes.  As we made our way to the check-out, I caught a few wistful glances for those conveniently-placed impulse treats that this mom ain’t buying.

DSC_0829“Mom?” she asked as we were putting our groceries on the conveyor belt, “Can we make garlic bread tonight?”  Wow.  This was a promising development. Not sweets!  But I hummed and hawed.  I saw that there was no organic baguette left….  But as she had been so well-behaved, I was feeling inclined to reward her.  (Plus she was asking politely.) My hesitation was that although she wasn’t asking for sugar, at the same time the bread wasn’t organic.   Now wheat isn’t necessarily GMO but it was found contaminated in Oregon.  But even if it were certified GMO free, not being organically produced, wheat is sprayed with toxins such as desiccants.  Again not being labelled, well…. who knows?

As I deliberated with myself she was looking at me, time-ticking, people tapping their toes behind us in line…. I thought about it. I do allow her to eat Pizza at school.  That being one of many exceptions to the rule.  Why not make her fresh garlic bread? Garlic from our garden, fresh organic butter?  “Sure. But you have to get it quick because these lovely folks are waiting.”  I smiled at the lovely folks.

Off she dashed off to the baguettes (it’s a small store) and came back breathless wielding her trophy.

“Happy?”

She nodded enthusiastically grinning ear to ear.

I gave a half-smile. But – I could see little wheels turning in her perplexed face.

“Mom?” she asked, “Does the baguette contain GMOs?”

I sighed, nodded and shrugged.  “Why do you think that I didn’t want you to have it?”

She seized the baguette and violently pushed it aside, indignation heaving her little frame.

“WHAT??!! ,” she yelled for all those lovely folks to hear, “D’YOU WANNA GIMME CANCER!!!?”

gmo omg tee cute kids

Talk about absorbing things.

These are situations I didn’t face with my older daughter when she turned ‘the age of reason.”  Why?  Because we were living in Italy, where GMOs are labelled.  In parts of Europe they even have mandatory labelling of toxic pesticides.  64 countries have mandatory labelling of GMOs.  Canada and the US are the only two developed nations without mandatory GMO labelling laws.  A non-profit organization exists  in N. America called the Non-GMO project, of which Nature’s Path was a Founding Member.  But it is voluntary.  Food can contain other agricultural toxins and residues which are harmful to kids and adults alike can still be Non-GMO verified because they don’t have GMOs.  The Certified Organic seal, on the other hand has both zero tolerance for GMOs plus it is grown sustainably.  So when your food is Certified Organic and Non-GMO project verified, you can be truly confident in feeding it to your kids.

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Certified Organic is the best we have apart from growing your own food.  To truly help your children grasp the everyday miracle of life, why don’t you try your hand at gardening?  If you weren’t fortunate enough to grow up with an organic gardener, there are plenty of people and organizations out there willing to lend you helping hand!  Partake in the symphony of the soil, earthworms wriggling in the healthy compost, drip lines and succulent home-grown berries. In my home, after much trial and error (after moving continents), we are just at the tail end of our Fall crop of golden raspberries.  We have plucked green tomatoes, ripening on the window sill in the kitchen, plus our year’s supply of garlic stored away.  To quote LA’s Gangsta Gardener, “Kids who grow Kale, eat Kale”.  You may wish to try a weekly box of produce from your local farm.  Many of them deliver right  to your door.  We started that when I was pregnant with my first child.

What parent doesn’t want to give their child the best chance for a healthy life?  The learning process may involve an embarrassing incident or two along the way. Such as at the grocery store now and again…  But this is the stuff which family legends are made of!  As Non–GMO month comes to a close, may we all choose systems that replenish the soil, support Biodiversity, and provide us with safe, healthy food.

Let us all make history together and make every month Non-GMO month!

(Note the tee-shirts are from Seedling kids.  Please see my post  https://thedeepersideblog.com/2013/10/03/style-diet-shot-seedling-kids/ for more info about this great little company)

LA GMO Free

Is LA going to follow in BC’s Footsteps and declare itself GMO free?  Given that the urban vote was overwhelmingly for labelling, it is just a matter of time!  My brother Arjan, who is this morning teaching city kids about organic gardening has great faith in the urban gardening revolution.  LA councillors Koretz and O’Farrell are presenting a motion to LA council this morning.  They are also giving a press conference beforehand.  Speakers include Nisha Vida, whom I met in LA last month. (See post: GMO OMG LA Premiere.) Please click on the link below to know more about LA GMO Free and read the press release.

LA GMO Free

I’m so excited about this!  This is hot on the heels of Washington’s impending vote to label GMOs (Vote YES on 522) and the encouraging news from Kauai and Hawaii whose councils have voted just this week to restrict and declare pesticide use in GMO production.  Mahalo to Hawaii.  I see the positive vibes travel through the waters, waves and droplets.  They carry hope and tropical sunshine.  They carry the gentle Hawaii breeze, the thunderous force of 100 foot waves, the hopes and dreams of a better world.

Style-Diet Shot – CITA

“On matters of style, swim with the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock.”

– Thomas Jefferson

You may be wondering about the provenance of the bold Compassion into Action Shirts that were in yesterday’s post.  I asked Nicole of fairware.com and here’s what she she told me.  Yes they are 100% certified organic cotton, made in Honduras.  You can read more about Anvil CSR information from the link below. You will also find their Oeko-Tex certifications and organic cotton certifications http://www.anvilknitwearcsr.com/

Here is Nicole from fairware.com with Jyoti:

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3 J’s: Jeff, Jason and Justine!

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Peggy spreading love early in the cool morning.  She wore a large shirt over her down-filled coat.DSC_0124

Arjan and Rimjhim aka The Love Crunch Couple!

DSC_0130 Rebecca, Bridgette and Carman

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Daniela and Amy serving up Que Pasa organic tortilla chips.

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 Shannon, fellow picture-taker.
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Annie and Roy thumbs up!

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“Conventionally” produced and GMO Cotton is just about the most polluting crop on the planet.  In the US, close to 90 percent is GMO production.  GMO cotton uses more pesticides and herbicides despite being engineered to produce its own pesticide.  This is because of the recent GMO induced phenomena of super-weeds and super-pests that are resistant to glyphosate.  

Big thumbs up for organic cotton which doesn’t use GMOs or harmful pesticides!

The Style-Diet Shot celebrates individuals with unique style, wearing at least one article of clothing acquired via the Stephens’ Sisters Shopping Diet. It must be local, sustainable, second-hand/re-purposed, inherited or ethically produced. If you can’t find clothing fitting that criteria then it must be from a country with stellar human rights records.

Compassion Into Action


Let’s turn our compassion for others into action. Let’s feed the hungry. Let’s do it by giving away delicious organic food. Food that’s as pure as can be. May this inspire others to open their hearts and wallets.

This is the basis for Compassion into Action that my dad Arran started a few years ago after being inspired by the Dalai Llama. All the talk of compassion fuelled him to do something about it. Let love be your rocket fuel as Robyn O’Brien says. Here’s a pictorial recap of this year’s Compassion Into Action.

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Let’s set the stage with some music: Corey from the Peak 102.7 was the Compassion Into Action dj for the day.

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Candice and John from the Greater Vancouver Food Bank:

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Let’s kick off with some Coffee from Ethical Bean! Fair trade certified.

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Maria with the Milks. Soy, Cow, Almond.
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Organic toaster waffles, courtesy of Nature’s Path.

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Cooper from Happy Planet pouring out organic juice. And Happy Vibes.DSC_0138

Volunteer with the food bank who were collecting donations.

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Arjan, Rimjhim, Jyoti, dad, et moi.

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Brent – pretend-eating a monster spoon of Chocolate chips a la Cookie Monster.DSC_0148

It was hoppingly busy!

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An organic hot and Cold Breakfast was served: From organic and fairly traded Ethical Bean Coffee to Happy Planet Organic Juices to Nature’s Path Organic Cereals and Waffles. You could come back for lunch, including Que Pasa Organic tortilla chips and salsa, Silver Hills Gluten free Grilled cheese and Save On Meats Vegetarian Chilli. Once your tummy was full, you could do your grocery shopping with a 25 dollar donation. Ons reusable bag could be filled up with organic goodness.
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Dad live on the radio with Corey from the Peak!

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Bowl of delicious Vegetarian Chilli anyone? Served with a smile from Save-On-Meats.

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Darren and Rex.

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Joes No Frills donated organic produce as did Save on Foods.

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Nature’s Path donated Love Crunch cereals, Evirokidz cereals, Bars and granolas too. Que Pasa donated their scrumptious whole grain tortilla chips.

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Arjan with Corey from 102.7 the Peak,DSC_0159

Marketplace!DSC_0167

Eatmore donated organic Sprouts – with a 25 dollar donation you could fill up a reusable bag of organic groceries.DSC_0176

Tanya and John. Tanya held several bake sales in her office to raise funds for the food bank. She presented it to John of the Greater Vancouver Food Bank in an envelope. Brava! The Food Bank relies solely on donations to feed 28,000 people per week. No donation is too small.DSC_0191

Anthony from BCIT. Along with Breakfast News and the Weather Channel they were one of several Media covering the event.DSC_0196

Jyoti and Jason cooking up a storm:

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Thomas modelling an organic Pumpkin. Nice pumpkin.DSC_0206

Arjan, Rimjim, John making delicious Silver Hill bread Gluten Free Grilled Cheese.
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Silver Hills Organic Breads (also Gluten Free) was there with smiles!DSC_0232

These were amazeballs vegan and Gluten Free from Two Daughters Bakeshop http://twodaughtersbakeshop.com/DSC_0145

Organic Pears from Witzke’s Farms:

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Happy Shopper! Organic veggies galore.DSC_0175

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More Happy Shoppers – with such an array of fresh organic veggies, bread, chips, juice, and cereal who wouldn’t be happy? DSC_0177

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Positivity is infectious. Get in line, Get infected!

Isha’s Frustration

Isha is my seven-year old hellion.

Once she realized that GMOs caused cancers in rats, she wasn’t having them.  See my post Isha’s Epiphany https://thedeepersideblog.com/2013/09/16/ishas-epiphany-2/

However, Isha is exploring the depth of conflicting emotions.  Wanting something that is harmful.  Because it tastes good.  And she’s taking it out on me.  Like today.  She picked up a handful of individually wrapped mints at Harbour Air’s counter.  They are in a bowl for the taking.  I think she grabbed as many as she could stuff in her little fist.  I was busy checking in and I didn’t see her although I did notice that she was eyeing them.

While on the float plane, she banged me on my back (I was in the seat in front of her).  It was noisy on the twin engine 15 seater plane; I was wearing my earplugs.  I had to take out said earplugs to understand.  She also had to take out her earplugs.  She yelled over the noise of the engine, could she eat the mint?  I was kind of impressed that she would ask me.  But I was annoyed at the same time.  Because she knows what my answer would be.  Man it’s hard for this mother to be patient.  I shrugged and made a face indicating my position on the matter.  I told her that it was up to her.  She pretended not to understand  She tapped on my back and asked me again. She knew instinctively it was wrong for her body to eat the candy.  But she asked me over and over.  Finally I spelled it out for her “Look Isha,” I said with a modicum of exasperation,  “You know that the sugar isn’t organic.  You know that it’s bad for you.  That the sugar rots your teeth. You know that the sugar has GMOs.  You know that GMOs cause cancer.  If you want to eat it, you should know better.  Why are you asking me?”

She growled at me and threw that candy at my head.

And immediately hid her face in shame, in frustration.

“You made me feel bad,” she sobbed.

I leaned across the awkward tight space (any of you ever flown in a full Twin Otter?) and rubbed her back til she calmed down.

It’s not my fault that GMOs are allowed here in Canada, unlabelled.  It’s not her fault.  It’s not the fault of Harbour Air who are offering slow-acting poisons.  Gleefully and proudly.  How should they know differently?  Poor Isha.  Poor moms.  How can anyone know what they’re eating if it’s not labelled?  It’s not fair.
girl guides

Girl guides petitions cookie makers to remove GMOs from their ingredients.  Sign it here!

http://www.change.org/en-CA/petitions/girl-guides-of-canada-take-all-gmo-ingredients-out-of-girl-guide-cookies

The same corporations who oppose labelling here in N. America were forced to label in 64 other countries including Europe China and Russia.  They are blocking efforts in Washington State as I write this.  Biotech companies and the Grocery Manufacturers Association have put in over 17 million dollars to block GMO labelling.  This is the most amount of money ever poured into a political campaign by out of state corporations.  They are trying to drown out the truth with deceptive and false advertising.  They won’t.

Because the truth is spreading like wildfire.  Mexico just yesterday banned GMO corn!   It’s just a matter of time til everybody understands that GMOs are untested, use more pesticides and herbicides, are outperformed in the long-run by organic, and are unethical.

To contribute to Washington’s YES on 522 campaign to label GMOs – who can oppose the right to know – apart from unethical corporations?  The vote is November 5th.  Visit http://yeson522.com There are many ways you can contribute!