Friday, February 18, 2011

No Thanks, GE foods.

I support nature driven evolution and human selective breeding. I find there to be next to no convincing arguments in favor of transgenic organisms. The only positive arguments being presented are from the companies who hold patents and otherwise have financial interest in the success of GE seeds. These pro-arguments seem to be based on fabricated evidence and are inundated with financial greed biases.

Ecosystems involve incredibly complex feedback loops, and anyone that purports to know enough about them to create a new organism and let it loose in the world is clearly a blazing idiot. Especially without any long-term studies. Haven’t they watched enough dystopian future movies to get the picture? The future of that worldview is written. It sucks. Do we really need to find out how much? If you’re still questioning, go read Margaret Atwood.

So we have these plants and bacteria and animals into which profit driven scientists have inserted DNA using carrier bacteria to have some sort of ease of farming. Then, with next to no independent research into the effects of these plants on human health or ecology, they are served to our children in cafeterias and let to spread in ecosystems. There have been studies that have tracked consumption of just one GMO meal, which actually transfers the modified DNA into your gut bacteria and your internal organs. In the case of Bt corn, this could produce the Bt toxin in your gut itself.

I fully recognize that my point of view is based in what some might call “environmental extremism”. This term devalues and ignores an opinion that seeks a brighter future by preserving what the entire world relies on to survive. Those who amorally push GE foods without research are putting corporate earning and some vague promise of world economic improvement over the actual wellbeing of planet and people. These same people satanize dissent of this viewpoint.

Already there is a large problem with patent laws granting GE seed patent holders to sue farmers who are “growing GE seed without permission,” which can include contamination from neighboring farms. Monsanto has reserved the right to test farmers fields without their consent, and sue them if any genetically identical species are found. This is intended to prevent farmers from saving the GE seed, and protecting profits for the patent holder. This is by itself unjust, but it is even more so used on farmers that are using these seed unintentionally. There is also heresay of this happening to poor farmers in developing countries, who in no way have the money to pay such legal fees. Many farmers settle out of court because they do not have the money to pay such fees.

Farmers in Haiti who had been gifted GE seeds by Monsanto marched and burned the gifted seeds, recognizing them as a threat to their own indigenous food and seed security. That action was certainly a statement for the actuality of Monsanto’s conduct versus what they purport to be doing. The paternalistic view that these technologies will “save the third world” and “solve world hunger” is ignorant and damaging.

Marion Nestle exposes an important truth about humanitarian efforts using transgenic foods: “The Gates Foundation is now the major funder of GM projects involving nutrient-enriched indigenous crops. Such technological approaches, advocates maintain, are doomed to fail unless they also address the underlying causes of food insecurity and malnutrition.”[1] The poverty in many “developing countries” can be directly traced by economic restructuring in the 80’s under Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), and to earlier Imperialism that initially weakened their economies. One of the pertinent changes brought by these policies was the transition to large-scale export agriculture from small-scale local agriculture. In other words, previously food-bearing land was converted to industrial commodity production, indigenous farming techniques discouraged, and small farmers put out of work and land. “Indigenous knowledge has fed, clothed and healed the world for millennia,”[2] Says Gurdial Nijar, legal advisor of the Third World Network, and could continue to do so, though the opportunity has not been given. Food insecurity is a product of this historical agricultural imperialism, and the forced use of patented, transgenic crops will only serve to exacerbate food issues. A major component of food security is the control of seeds, and ability to save seeds. Farmers cannot legally save GE seed, and therefore will become dependent on purchasing it annually at their own economic disadvantage. This dependence threatens food security. It’s not about growing more food; it’s about how food is grown, who is growing food and who has control of the seeds that go into and the products that come out of growing food. GE crops will fail to solve hunger because they seek a higher yield, but not to better food or wealth distribution. The people who could not afford food before will not be any more able just because there is more food. Inequality is at the root of hunger, not supply.

Not only do GE crop supporters ignore the inevitable failure of their efforts, but they are ignoring the statements of countries around the world denying that GE crops will help them. “Representatives of 20 African countries, including Ethiopia, have published a statement denying that gene technologies would help farmers to produce the food they needed.”[3]

This is not a walk-in-the-park issue. It rouses the very roots of the world’s conflicts, and ancient dynamics of dominance. It unintentionally sheds light on dark recesses of greed that threaten to slip out of memory. If we value the future, equality and justice, we will not let these aberrations go. We will march in the streets and expose the elephant in the room like a bull in a china cabinet.

Works Referenced

Nestle, Marion. Safe Food; The Politics of Food Safety. University of California Press, Berkely, CA; 2003.

Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods; Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books. Berkely, CA; 2002.

Rosset, Peter. “Lessons from the Green Revolution.” Posted April 8th 2000. Food First.


[1] Nestle, Marion. Safe Food. P. 280.

[2] Qtd. Pitchford, p. 20.

[3] Pitchford, Paul. Healing with Whole Foods. Page 20.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Please, Eat Wholesome Foods

"Diabetes is a chronic disease that has no cure."
-American Diabetes Association

*Warning, the above statement suffers from the following ailments:
Lack of acknowledgment of why so many people have Diabetes.

Eat whole foods. The proof you want is not in the pudding... it's in a plant-centric, unprocessed diet.

Here are some resources:

Please, explore the websites, ask questions, and improve your vitality :-)
Remember to talk with your doctor about monitoring your prescriptions, because making a huge change in your diet will change the way your body interacts with them - especially insulin.
If your doctor is not supportive of you changing your lifestyle, I recommend you find a new doctor to support you in the transition.

Make the change, or expect none.
This is written for every single person I know.
You know who to call if you need help.



To the ADA, FDA, and USDA:
Stop telling people what they are comfortable hearing, just because processed-food corporations lobby you to. Stop listening to the threats of the food industry.
Tell the people what they need to hear. Tell the people what heals them and keeps them healthy for their entire lives.
Re-create the Food Pyramid in terms of actuality, not corporate convenience.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Gluten-free Tofu-free Vegan Eggplant-Chanterelle Lasagne

Luckily, my housemate has an amazing camera that captures STEAM, of all things delightful.... :-) and so I was fortunate enough, in my lifetime, to be able to take this beautiful photo of my own culinary creation. Anyway, the recipe:

"I am filled with chanterelles," it said, truthfully, as my sister took her first bite of the tasty lasagne. I know what you're thinking. But she would not have cared if that lasagne began to speak Elvish to her; she was merely concerned with the taste, and it tasted heavenly. And Elvish.

In other news, there was an eggplant, a small squash of choice (honestly, I do not remember if I used acorn or not), broccoli romanesco (closer to cauliflower, in my opinion), and a parsnip. Use one package of gluten-free lasagne noodles (I used Tinkyada Pasta Joy Brown Rice noodles), one 7-ounce container of vegan pesto (try Rising Moon Organics), and anywhere between one and three cans/jars of the pasta sauce of your choice.

Here are the rules:
Bake your squash. I recommend chopping it in half, lengthwise, and baking the halves face-down in a glass pan with 1/4-inch of water to help steam the insides.. at 375 degrees F, for 30 minutes or more.
Boil the lasagne noodles according to directions, then make sure to SEPARATE them by laying them out individually in a single layer. Very important.
Mix pesto with red sauce in a bowl. Get yourself a casserole dish, lightly oil it on the bottom and sides, then spread a fresh coat your pasta sauce mix on the bottom. Not too thick, now.
Put a layer of noooooodles.
and your choice of veggies.
and sauce.
and noodles.
more veggies.
more sauce.
aaand noodles!
and then sauce.
Repeat until you run out of veggies (or approach the top of the casserole dish... don't you overflow it ;-) !
End with noodles, of course, and now for the "cheese" topping.

I mixed two tablespoons of hazelnut milk with one tablespoon nutritional yeast, forked it up. I personally added some Yumm! sauce, as well... which can only be found at Cafe Yumm in Eugene, Oregon. Anyway, top your top-noodles with your cheesiness and bow. Bow lower. There. Put it in the oven at 375 F without a cover for 15 minutes. Then put a cover on it and continue baking it for another 15 or 20 minutes. I recommend allowing it to cool for 10 minutes with the lid off before slicing into it, if you want any of it to stay together :-)

ENJOY YOUR LASAGNE! And spell it correctly ;)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Believe in Magic.

I believe Reality, as a whole, is more than merely physical, mental, and emotional capacities. I believe all beings have the ability to utilize senses beyond kinesthetic, visual, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory boundaries. I also believe we can use these 5 basic senses as vehicles to trigger the use of these superior senses. Here's my handful of pennies for the day: Start with food. Feel the textures of your food before and after you have prepared them... use your hands, your mouth. Slice a carrot in half and become ultra-aware of the aroma subtly slipping off the flesh of that root and dancing into your nostrils. Look at the way the carrot bends before it snaps in half, and how the muscles under its skin tear and stretch before they become frayed. Remember to listen when that carrot breaks into little pieces of itself, and when you crunch it between your canines and when it later mixes with your salivary alpha-amylase (spit) to become a soft mush :-)... then what does it sound like; what does it feel like? And finally, swallow that lush mush of a carrot and taste the wonders of something so simple that it grew out of the dirt of the earth. Then tell me you don't believe in magic.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


Disclaimer, 7/30/12: I am aware that this article does not address turkeys sourced from humane, organic, free-range farms (or hunted in the wild). I plan to update this post or write a new post with an addendum. Thank you for your patience.

Let me first give thanks to all you herbivores out there! The essence of today's blog, however, is to bring about some questioning of how your Thanksgiving will truly play out in this nation and beyond. What will your role be this holiday season?

The trend of Americans cutting down on red meat has been increasing the demand for poultry (chickens, turkeys) to be raised for food, especially in factory farms. An annual average of 250 million [or more] turkeys (that's one quarter of a billion) have been raised for food in the U.S., only to be placed in small spaces of less than 3 square feet with their clipped-off (and non-anesthetized) beaks and claws. One-fifth of those 250 million turkeys are for Thanksgiving ALONE!!

Turkeys are genetically modified to gain more weight and grow larger breasts, which also takes away their ability to reproduce in a natural fashion. Yes, that means your Thanksgiving centerpiece was the product of artificial insemination. Now, imagine eating that genetically altered turkey meat, and thus consuming all foreign chemicals from that animal. Those chemicals were given to the turkey to make him get really fat really quick! You're eating those same chemicals! No wonder so many Americans are overweight!

The Humane Slaughter Act states that animals must be "stunned" (inducing unconsciousness) prior to the preparation of the animals to be killed. Did you know that this Act excludes turkeys [and chickens]? Even so, farms that do choose to stun the animals tend to set the electrical current below that of national requirements, because the farms don't want to "damage" the meat [or render it unpalatable] in any way. Therefore, many of the "stunned" turkeys are still conscious and feel the pain of being slashed through the throat right away. Those who are still mobile after the attempt at stunning are not successfully throat-slashed because they are struggling so sporadically that the machine to slash the throats misses them entirely and throws them directly into the boiling pot to be boiled alive. Ouchie.

Other than the obvious torture reasons to not eat a turkey this holiday, there is also the environmental factor: farming of animals produces about 130 times more environmental waste than humans do. (Human waste includes any environmental harm humans are responsible for, excluding factory farming in this case.) Here is a shocking example from

"Even groundwater, which takes thousands of years to restore, is being contaminated. For example, the aquifer under the San Bernadino Dairy Preserve in southern California contains more nitrates and other pollutants than water coming from sewage treatment plants."

If worldly factors are not enough of a persuasion, then think about your health. Thousands of Americans die each year from contaminated meat. Instead of working backwards to clean up this mess, the USDA and other agribusiness affiliates recommend you overcook the meat and consume an unearthly amount of antibiotics. That said, the antibiotics are only effective in reducing a small amount of viruses and bacteria transferred through meat consumption. One newer discovery includes that of Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). MRSA is an example of a bacterium that antibiotics have not been successful in destroying. For more info, click here. Other than chemicals, just plain-old plant eating is the healthiest diet there is. Whether one wants to maintain a healthy weight, steer clear of 85% of diseases [including cancer, cardiovascular/ coronary artery disease, osteoperosis, kidney disease, hypertension, and diabetes mellitus], have a strong immune system, a smooth digestive tract, or clean arteries... a plant-based diet is the healthiest lifestyle one can have. AND being an herbivore has NEVER been easier! Have you tried a Tofurkey Roast? Do you like rice pilaf? Tasty stuffing? Do you not like tofu? Guess what! Tofurkey doesn't even TASTE like tofu, nor does it even come close to having the same texture as tofu... My omnivorous sister even likes Tofurkey Roast more than actual turkey meat...

With all the undeniable reasons to not eat a turkey this Thanksgiving, why would you? Why would anybody? I know I won't ever again...

Friday, October 31, 2008


First line of business: "Why be an Herbivore?" Here are some common reasons given:

Pescatarianism--> Anything with feet = equal. Fish = okay to eat

Vegetarianism--> Animal rights, suffrage, equality deserved. ALL animals = earthlings

Veganism--> Dairy production linked to veal industry. Also, we are the only species that, 1) consumes breast milk from a different species, and 2) consumes breast milk after infancy

Raw Foodism--> We are the only species that consumes cooked food (ever since we discovered Fire). Food grows to be consumed raw, and is most natural way to "eat to live."

Reasons to cut down on animal and animal by-products consumption:

1) ENVIRONMENT--> Raising animals for slaughter emits more CO2 and methane (even worse than CO2) than all trucks, cars, buses, and trains combined. Check out Peta2's "Meat's Not Green" campaign

2) HEALTH--> When one organism eats another, the eater only receives 10% of the energy in the eaten. That process goes on cyclically; when one eats meat, one only gets 10% of the energy in the meat... but keep in mind that the animal one eats had a meal not long before that, in which the animal ate grains or plants and received only 10% of the energy from that food. Why not cut out the middle man and just eat the grains or plants oneself?! One will receive more energy from that than from eating meat.
Also, many studies have shown that consuming red meat increases your chances of cardiovascular disease (yes, heart attacks), which is the number one killer in the U.S.
Rumor alert! It is NOT true that herbivores miss out on essential amino acids; eating a variety of vegetables actually covers each essential amino acid.
Most Americans eat at least double the amount of protein recommended for their bodies (and still think that they don't get enough!)... all you omnivores (meat-eaters): that excess protein is from those protein shakes and most importantly all that meat you eat! Cut down on the amount! Stop contributing to our obese society! I believe in you!

3) MORALITY/CIVIL RIGHTS--> Yes, all living creatures are equal to humans; humans are animals as well. If you believe in peace between different societies, how can you not believe in peace between different species? We all have at least one thing in common: we are alive! We all have feelings, and we're definitely ALL fearful of pain in all forms, including the dark abyss of ceasing to exist. Have you ever thought of it that way? It's okay if you haven't; that's what I'm here for :-) We are ALL here to live. What makes you think that you're so high and mighty to decide to take one's life in order for your own to prosper? Don't let greed and selfishness turn into ignorance...

Your turn:

Comment with your reactions, questions, stories, information, etc...