Archive for December, 2012

How to Avoid Getting the Flu

December 19, 2012

Evidently we are having an early and intense flu season. Not the kind of holiday gift anyone wants. So here are a few suggestions to help prevent getting ill:

SLEEP enough. Yes, there are parties, relatives, visiting, yummy holiday food, movies, end of the year to do lists. However, even healthy adults need between 7 and 9 hours of sleep each night…and many folks need more that their usual amount in the dark time of the year. Do not skimp. If you feel tired, nap or go to sleep a little earlier. Check in with yourself: do I really want to do whatever it is that I’ve planned and said I’ll do. Taking care ahead of time: prevention is easier than curing, though not always as much fun as pushing ourselves…until we get sick!

In the Chinese medical system, winter is about nourishing our kidneys, as well as keeping them physically warm. Try eating a bit more of the following foods: cranberries, spinach, sesame seeds, sardines, broccoli, garbanzo beans, garlic, parsley, celery, and fish (especially Pacific salmon). Green tea, lemon water, shiitake mushrooms, ginger, and vinegar are very nourishing and helpful.

Drink enough water, and hold the ice. Now is the season for warm teas, bone broths, and soups.

Moderation: not too much protein, sugar (well, I am hardly going to say none, as even I eat the Christmas cookies my 84-year-old mom bakes), starches or fast food. Try substituting winter squash, pumpkin, yams, sweet potatoes, and purple potatoes for bread and sugary starches.  Go ahead and add a small amount of molasses, raw honey or maple syrup to your yams or baked apple and call it desert instead of ice cream or other cold sugary sweets.

Herbs that boost immunity: Astragalus, Suma, Rhodiola, Jiaogulan, Tulsi (Holy) basil, Brahmi (Bacopa), and most medicinal mushrooms. If you feel something coming on, or have been exposed to coughing and sneezing, take Echinacea, Elderberry and/or Olive leaf.

WASH your hands and keep them away from your face.

Laugh. Take time for yourself. Breathe deeply. Walk. And for some helpful tips on how to stay healthy if you are out in public places, check out this article from Rodale HERE.

Happy Solstice, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, New Year! May this season be a healthy and happy one for you and all whom you love.

 

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For A More Digestible Holiday

December 15, 2012

Cornucopia commends Organic Valley, Kalona Supernatural and Straus Family Creamery for offering organic, carrageenan-free eggnog.  Horizon organic eggnog should be avoided to protect your health.  We hope that all organic dairy manufacturers will make the commitment to their customer’s health and remove carrageenan from their products.  To find carrageenan-free organic foods, use Cornucopia’s shopping guide.

And Now Some Good News

December 15, 2012

And don’t we need some after the horrific events in Connecticut.

Why Honey Is Far Superior To Sugar Why Honey Is A Much Healthier Alternative To Sugar

Written by Sayer Ji, Founder
Despite their similarity in sweetness, honey is vastly different from sugar, both in composition and metabolic effects. Read More
Olive Constituent Blocks Alzheimer’s and Breast Cancer

Written by Case Adams, Naturopath
Two recent studies have found that a constituent of olives and olive oil inhibits the growth of breast cancer and the development of Alzheimer’s disease. Read More

Pesticides in Food Proven to be Dangerous

December 14, 2012

Now for many of us, this seems to be a no-brainer. Any chemical residue on our food (or in our homes from using bug killer chemicals) is going to have some kind of probably negative impact on our health. Common sense says, if there is an “impurity”(something we haven’t coevolved with), it most likely isn’t really safe.

Bad for adult brains, too. On the heels of last week’s strong report from pediatricians  highlighting the harms pesticides can cause children’s developing  minds, a new study finds that pesticides are clearly harming adult  brains, too.

In the “meta-analysis” published in Critical Reviews in Toxicology,  scientists reviewed 14 separate studies of neurobehavioral changes  linked to low-level organophosphate (OP) pesticide exposure. They found  that workers exposed to OPs — particularly over long periods of time —  had reduced working memory and were slower to process information.Read more »

GMO Political Action: Please Help and Forward to Friends

December 7, 2012
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ESSAY OF THE WEEK

Dr. Oz Flip Flops as Mass Media Attacks Intensify

                                                              Less than two months after telling millions of TV viewers that organic food is “worth the investment,” America’s most popular TV doctor is singing a different tune. In the December issue of Time, Dr. Oz described organic foodies as “elitist” – part of the 1% – and claimed that conventional foods are nutritionally equivalent to organic foods.
In the cover story, Dr. Oz directly contradicted his October 19 attack on the controversial Stanford study, published in September, which concluded that organic fruits and vegetables are no better than their conventionally grown counterparts. The famous TV doc devoted an entire program to lambasting the Stanford study because it didn’t address the toxic health consequences of foods loaded with pesticides.
Why the flip-flop? And what’s up with all the highly publicized mass media attacks on organics? Are Big Food, Big Ag and Big Biotech getting nervous?
Read the essay here

ACTION ALERT

Stop the ‘Monsanto Protection Act’ and Other Dangerous Riders!

TAKE ACTION!
Monsanto could get everything it wants for Christmas, unless we convince legislators this week to strip both the 2013 Agriculture Appropriations Bill (H.R. 5973) and the Farm Bill of dangerous riders that would give the biotech industry unprecedented power and immunity from not only an already-weakened review process, but also from federal law.
Here’s what’s at stake. Attached to the Agricultural Appropriations Bill is the “Farmers Assurance Provision” (Section 733) which is nothing more than a sneak attack on American farmers, consumers and the environment. If passed, this rider, aptly renamed the “Monsanto Protection Act,”  would give Monsanto immunity from federal law by allowing the biotech industry to plant genetically modified crops, even if a federal court has ordered the planting be halted until an Environmental Impact Statement is completed.
On the Farm Bill side, Monsanto lobbyists have bought themselves several anti-regulatory riders that would effectively gut the USDA’s ability to regulate the use of genetically engineered organisms (GMOs). The riders would speed up the review and approval process for new GE crops, and authorize the USDA to consider exempting certain GE crops from any review at all.
Now that Congress has returned, both bills are on the agenda. The Agriculture Appropriations could become part of an Omnibus Appropriations Bill and the Farm Bill could be included in a deficit-reduction agreement to avoid the “fiscal cliff.
Thankfully, we have at least one friend in Congress. Representative Peter DeFazio (D-OR) is circulating a letter to all of his colleagues in Congress opposing the “Monsanto Protection Act.” By signing our action alert below, you can ask your legislators to sign on to Rep. DeFazio’s “Dear Colleague” letter. You’ll also be asking your legislators to oppose the Farm Bill riders.
Don’t let Monsanto get away with this latest attack on farmers, consumers and the environment!
TAKE ACTION!

SUPPORT THE OCA AND OCF

Help Stop the Attacks on Organics

                                                              Organics are under attack. From every which way.
The USDA, headed by Tom Vilsack, Monsanto’s Man in Washington, is greasing the tracks for approvals of new GMO crops and Biotech-friendly laws that will devastate farmers, consumers and the health of our planet.
The FDA, an organization that’s supposed to protect the people but whose real loyalty lies with corporate lobbyists, is being guarded by Michael Taylor, another former Monsanto gun.
And lately, Big Media is looking more and more as if it’s on the payroll of Big Ag and Big Pharma, too. In September, the New York Times, Associated Press and CBS News all picked up and ran with a dubiously funded study from Stanford University. The study told consumers that there’s no nutritional difference between organic fruits and vegetables and their conventional counterparts. The study failed to mention that conventional food is loaded with pesticides and pumped full of hormones and antibiotics. But that didn’t stop mainstream media from giving it plenty of play.
Even Dr. Oz, once a big promoter of organics, has gone over to the dark side. His latest cover story in Time shockingly contradicts what he’s been telling loyal viewers for years: Eat organic, stay healthy.
As more people wake up to the reality of our broken, unhealthy food system, we can expect the attacks on organics to grow louder. And more frequent. We can’t let Big Money destroy the progress we’ve made in the past few years. We have to work harder than ever, in Washington, in the media and on the ground. We’re committed to doing all this and more, but we need your help. Please contribute today.
Thank you!                                                                  Donate to the Organic Consumers Association (tax-deductible, helps support our work on behalf of organic standards, fair trade and public education)                                                                  Donate to the Organic Consumers Fund(non-tax-deductible, but necessary for our legislative efforts in California and other states)

Action Alert

Stop Agent Orange Corn! USDA  Planning Pre-Christmas Approval for Spring 2013 Planting

TAKE ACTION
Remember Agent Orange? The 2,4-D chemical concoction commissioned by the U.S. Army to defoliate jungles and destroy food crops during the Vietnam War? It could soon be coming to a grocery store near you. Within a week, the USDA could approve Dow’s new “Enlist” brand corn, genetically engineered to resist massive doses of the herbicide 2,4-D. Unless we stop it.
The list of reasons to tell USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack to reject Dow’s Agent Orange Corn is long. A large body of evidence indicates major health problems result from exposure to 2,4-D, including cancer, reproductive problems, neurotoxicity, and auto-immune disorders. And 2,4-D is devastating to the environment. It’s currently the seventh largest source of dioxin pollution in the US. The use of this toxic herbicide is projected to increase 50-fold if the USDA approves this crop.
The USDA has already received more than 450,000 comments opposing Dow’s new GE corn. But it has a long history of avoiding protests and bad press by issuing unpopular decisions right before the holidays.
We have one more week to show Sec. Vilsack that the American people are united in opposing dangerous new GMOs that put farmers’ crops and livelihoods, local economies, and the health of farmers, farm workers and rural communities at risk.
Sign this petition to USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack urging him to reject Agent Orange corn!

Time for Some Good Old-Fashioned Boycotting

December 4, 2012

Punish the ‘Natural’ and Organic Traitor Brands: Download Your Boycott Guide

The parent companies of some of our favorite organic and natural brands contributed nearly half of the $46 million spent on the deceitful advertising that sunk Prop 37, the California Right to Know GMO labeling initiative. How do we prevent Pepsi, Kellogg’s and other multinational Junk Food Kings from pouring money into anti-GMO campaigns in Washington, Vermont, and other states?
Millions of consumers need to send these Traitor Brands a clear message: If they continue to side with Monsanto and the rest of the chemical companies, instead of with the consumers who have made them wildly profitable, we won’t buy their organic brands.

Why not just boycott the parent company brands? Those of us who support organics rarely buy products like Diet Pepsi or Kellogg’s Genetically-Modified-Sugar-Coated Frosted Flakes. The only way to pressure Big Food is to boycott the brands we actually buy. Brands like Kashi, Naked Juice, Horizon, Silk, Honest Tea and yes, even Ben & Jerry’s.
Let’s be clear. These Big Food companies are gobbling up organic brands to make money and to greenwash the fact that industrial agriculture, factory farms, and their so-called “conventional” brands are undermining public health and destroying the environment and climate stability. They recognize the huge profit potential in the fast-growing organic and natural markets. They want our business. If we stop buying their organic and so-called “natural” brands, they know there’s a good chance we’ll find alternative brands. We might never look back.
America’s Traitor Brands can redeem themselves. All they have to do is publicly – and financially – support the consumer’s right to know about GMOs, beginning with I-522 Label It WA, a Washington State labeling initiative planned for November 2013. And while they’re at it, they should tell their parent companies to stop opposing our right to know.
Download your wallet-sized boycott guide
Download a poster-sized boycott guide
Join the nearly 15,000 people who have already signed the boycott pledge
Learn more about the boycott
To order printed copies of the boycott guide or poster call 218-226-4164 or email campaigns@organicconsumers.org