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News and a Cool Article

I haven’t been updating this blog, but I’ve been doing fine this summer. Unfortunately, the temp job has ended for good, but I’m going to get a Master of Public Health from Ohio State, starting this fall, and I’m excited about that.

I also have a link to an article at the Food Revolution Network:

 

In the years since I’ve become an environmentalist, I’ve hated lawns.  This article confirms that the problems with growing lawns far outweigh the benefits.

Fresh Apples from Lynd Fruit Farm

Jonagold Apples

This Saturday, my family and I went to Lynd Fruit Farm and picked up some Jonagold and Golden Delicious apples.  Lynd, which is in Pataskala, Ohio, has the best apples we can find anywhere; we go there every year.

Honeycrisp Apples

They have seventeen varieties of apples you’re allowed to pick yourself, but we usually go for six: Gala, Honeycrisp, Jonathan, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Fuji.  The Jonathans, because of their high acidity and tartness, are good for using in meat dishes, and all the apples listed make great sauce and pies.  I usually use  Jonathans and Jonagolds for pies.

Jonathan Apples

All these apples last until December if you refrigerate them.  The Fujis, which are picked in mid-late October, last until April and May.

Fuji Apples

If you have a local fruit farm near you and an opportunity to buy apples from them, I highly recommend it.  When they’re in season, local apple varieties taste much better than the typical Red Delicious you buy in the grocery store.  And if you pick enough, you’ll be able to have pie throughout the winter.

(Note: the bottom three pictures were taken from the Lynd Fruit Farm website: http://www.lyndfruitfarm.com/apple-varieties/)

400 Million Fewer Animals Killed in the US in 2014

Food Revolution Cow

Great news for the meatless and animal rights movements!  According to this Food Revolution Network article, people in developed  countries are eating less meat, and it’s already starting to show.  In 2014, 400 million fewer animals were subjected to industrial farming and slaughter.

I like meat, but I’ m trying to do my part for these animals and for the environment.  When I was in Wooster for the past two years, I bought very little meat, and what I did buy was from local sources.  I also found out last night that I can’t eat a huge steak (conventionally-raised beef) without feeling nauseous, though I’m not sure if that’s due to my feelings about factory farming or to a smaller appetite from dieting.

Whatever the reason, here’s hoping I can keep it up.

(The picture was originally taken from the article).

Factory Farms and Chicken Abuse

Nicholas Kristof, a New York Times journalist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, has written a shocking article about how Perdue, a company which puts a “humanely raised” label on its chicken products, really raises its chickens.

Spoiler alert: it’s not humane, and it’s not pretty.  See this link for details.  It just goes to show that when it comes to buying humanely raised meats, it’s always best to do your research first.

Bee-Killing Pesticides

All over the country, bee populations have declined due to toxic insecticides called neonicotinoids.  In fact, at least 40 pollinator species are threatened or endangered.  We need healthy bees to have healthy crops.  Leave a comment for the Pollinator Health Task Force at the link below.  Let them know you support saving our bees!

http://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/1881/p/dia/action3/common/public/?action_KEY=15171

Did you know…

…that in France, a turkey is called a “chicken from India”?

…that the shape of turkey droppings indicates a turkey’s gender?

…that dinosaurs like T-rex and Velociraptor had wishbones?

Neither did I.  Read more interesting facts about turkeys at this link to the Compassion in World Farming website:

http://ciwf.com/blog/2014/11/eleven-lesser-known-turkey-facts/

Internship at OEFFA

I’ve just started volunteer work for the Ohio Ecological Food and Farming Association (OEFFA).  I’ll be doing office work and learning about organic certification of Ohio farms.  Even though I’m not being paid, I’m still happy to be working in my field.  Maybe I’ll have an opportunity to gain connections, and maybe a paying position will open at OEFFA.

Foods Banned in Other Countries that are Still Allowed in the U.S.

If you still had any doubts that the current FDA cares only about profits and not your health, those doubts will soon be erased.  Here are 10 foods that are so potentially dangerous for humans that other countries have banned them…and yet they’re still sold in this country.

1. Farm-raised salmon, which is full of antibiotics, drugs, and chemicals, and may be infected with fish viruses.  Banned in Australia, New Zealand, and Russia.

2. Genetically-engineered papaya.  Banned in the European Union.

3. Ractopamine-tainted meat.  Ractopamine is a drug given to livestock to enhance muscles and reduce fat content in meat.  Unfortunately, not only is it linked to loss of reproductive function and increase in disability and death in dairy herds, but it also may cause behavioral changes, chromosome abnormalities, and and hyperactivity in humans.  Banned in 160 European countries (including Russia), mainland China, and Taiwan.

4. Brominated vegetable oil, which was originally patented by chemical companies as a flame retardant.  Now it’s used in citrus-flavored sodas and sports drinks!  It’s also linked to problems in the human body, from rashes and acne to major organ damage, birth defects, and even schizophrenia.  Banned in Japan and 18 European countries.

5. Processed foods with artificial food coloring and dyes.  These foods include macaroni and cheese, Jell-O, and kids’ cereals.  The additives have been linked to behavioral changes, birth defects, cancer, and allergy-like reactions in children.  Banned in Norway and Austria.

6. Arsenic-laced chicken.  Believe it or not, arsenic, the traditional poison of murder mysteries, is used to make drugs that cause growth in chickens, as well as making the meat appear pink and fresh.  I truly wish I was kidding, and I don’t think I need to go into the negative effects here.  Banned in the European Union.

7. Bread enriched with potassium bromate, which commercial baking companies claim makes dough more elastic.  Unfortunately, it’s also been linked to problems in the kidneys, the nervous system, and the thyroid, as well as cancer.  Banned in Canada, China, and the European Union.

8. Olestra/Olean.  This is a fat substitute used in fat-free snacks such as potato chips, and it may cause intestinal problems such as diarrhea and cramps.  Banned in the U.K. and Canada.

9. BHA and BHT, which are preservatives found in beer, breakfast cereal, butter spread, mixed nuts, dehydrated potatoes, and chewing gum.  BHA, known to cause cancer in rats, triggers allergic reactions and hyperactivity in humans.  BHT may result in organ system toxicity.  Banned in the European Union and Japan.

10. Dairy products full of rBGH.  This is a synthetic version of a natural hormone in cattle used to increase milk production.  Not only does it cause adverse health conditions in cattle and contaminate milk, but it’s been linked to cancer in humans.  Banned in Australia, New Zealand, Israel, the European Union, and Canada.

Are you disgusted and outraged?  I know I am.  See the link below for more details:

http://foodrevolution.org/blog/10-banned-foods-americans-stop-eating/

Monsanto’s New GMO Product…

…is sweet corn.  Yes, that’s right; now you can get all those lovely genetic modifications in your corn on the cob.  And you may not even know it.

Sign the petition at the link below to get markets to label GMO sweet corn.

http://www.grassrootsact.com/gmocorn?utm_source=FWW

Toxic 2,4-D and Agent Orange

Toxic 2,4-D and Agent Orange

A toxic defoliant and GE crops.  That sounds like an environmental disaster waiting to happen, doesn’t it?  But not to the EPA, the so-called Environmental Protection Agency.  Oh, no.  Both the EPA and the USDA are proposing approval of toxic 2,4-D use on Dow Chemical’s genetically-modified corn and soybeans.

Sign the petition at the following link.  Let the USDA and EPA know what a bad idea this is.