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New GMO Potatoes Not Good Enough For McDonald’s But Ok For You?

New GMO Potatoes Not Good Enough For McDonald’s But Ok For You?

Despite 64 other countries decisively banning or largely restricting GMOs, and polls showing that 9 out of 10 Americans support mandatory GMO food labeling, the FDA has given the green light to J.R. Simplot Co. (makers of the new GM potato) to begin stocking grocery stores with these unlabeled and untested spuds. Not even a petition of over 100,000 people to stop production of the potatoes, which was ignored by the USDA, or the refusal of both McDonald’s and Frito Lay to purchase these plant tubers, could stop the GM potato train.

Really? Not even McDonald’s will buy these GM potatoes?!? Wow.

Back in 1998, the first production of GMO potatoes  in Europe was stopped after a team of 30 researchers on a budget of around $4 million dollars found potentially serious health risks in genetically modified potatoes. Because we don’t have any long-term testing, we don’t know the true effects of GM potatoes on human health nor can we know the damage it may cause to the potato industry.

The National Potato Council admitted that the new GM potatoes could cause financial losses in the billions for American farmers: 

“(There is) concern about the potential for GMO technology to disrupt potato exports valued at more than $1.6 billion,” Potato Council CEO John Keeling admitted, further suggesting that there needs to be clear labeling of the GM potatoes.

Food & Water Watch has rejected the potatoes, saying the “USDA has inexplicably failed to undertake the legally required rigorous and overarching analysis of the GE crops’ impacts or reasonably foreseeable consequences.”

According to J.R. Simplot Co., they assert that the potatoes have been engineered to resist a pathogen that is responsible for causing the Irish Potato Famine and can help to reduce the amount of acrylamide (a carcinogen) when cooked. Can we trust this claim and, if true, at what expense to our health and our crops?

Gary Hirshberg, chairman of Stonyfield Farm and Just Label It, chimed in: 

“The approval of the Simplot potato is yet another reason that consumers should have a right to know what’s in their food and how it was produced. With the previous approval of other GMO potatoes, the Arctic apple and AquAdvantage salmon—the first GMO animal approved for human consumption—GMO foods are no longer relegated to the processed food shelves." Consumers should be trusted with the information to decide what food is right for their families. Companies should be proud of their products and support clear GMO labeling, just as Campbell Soup Company has done in announcing that it favors a national mandatory labeling system and will begin labeling its own products nationwide.”

In a letter to the J.R. Simply Co., the FDA said that it (their potato) wasn’t substantially-different in composition or safety from other products already on the market, and doesn’t require any more stringent vetting. Hmmm….I think the American people would welcome more stringent vetting on a product that may be harmful to both their health and the entire potato industry.

Just because the FDA approves a product, does not mean the public supports it. To the contrary... Remember the Salmon? The FDA received huge backlash for approving the frankenfish! The Simplot GM potato is yet another example of why we need to adopt GMO labeling in this country.

People want to know what they are eating and who is making their food. 

 

7 Steps to Avoid and Identify the New GM Potato:

•Buy Organic Potatoes

•Look on bag for the words “reduced bruising” in the top right 

•Look on bag for the words “fewer black spots” in the top right corner

•Pay close attention to the White Russet Potatoes

•The GM potatoes will have a link to the J.R. Simplot Co. website 

•Consider buying Red Russet or other types of potatoes instead

•Support your local organic farmer so we can get GMOs out of our food supply

 

To express your opinion about these new unlabeled GM potatoes, you can go to the maker’s Facebook page: Facebook.com/J.R.SimplotCompany 

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Organic Food Companies Who Sold Out to Mega Food Corporations

Organic Food Companies Who Sold Out to Mega Food Corporations

Organic Food Companies Who Sold Out

The food giants quickly realized there was a high demand for organic products, which also meant there was an enormous amount of money to be made selling it, so they set out to take over the industry - one cool company at a time. As a result, over 80% of organic companies are now owned by mega corporations.

What should be of most alarming to consumers about the “Big Organic” takeover (think Big Ag and Big Pharma), is the shrewd ability of these corporations to control labeling or lack thereof - as evidenced in the epic battle over GMOs. Equally frightening is their power to effectively water down the standards of organics across the country. Think about it…

Backroom lobbying deals, a corrupt FDA system, and corporate greenwashing will result in fewer, more expensive and less responsible choices. Simultaneously, this will allow Big Ag and Big Organic to completely degenerate the entire organic market. What we know to be a harmful pesticide, may now be reclassified as an "organic pesticide" because it contains some "organic" substance. The loopholes these mega corps seek to instill in the organic market are truly frightening and a major setback in our evolution towards clean, healthy, sustainable farming.

The more we know about who owns and controls our food, the more we can support trustworthy companies. Save this page as a quick reference guide for when you’re out shopping.

 

Here are some of the companies whose sell-out came at quite a surprise:

1. Annie’s (known for their mac-n-cheese) was bought by General Mills in late summer 2014. This company uses a lot of non-organic cheese products and does not state whether the cheese comes from cows that were fed GMOs. 

 

2. Applegate Farms, the top distributor of organic meat to the U.S., was sold to Hormel (one of the most egregiously pro-GMO meat companies out there) in 2015.

 

3. Cascadian Farm has been around for so long, you can’t help but think it’s a trusted source of organic products, but it was actually bought out by General Mills in 1999. They were quick to triple the sugar content in their once “no added sugars” cereals.

 

4. Silk, although found in the health food section of most stores, they are not exactly organic… When the company was acquired by WhiteWave, a spin-off company of the massive pro-GMO corporation Dean Foods, they actually switched from non-GMO to GMO soybeans without telling their customers!

 

5. Earthbound Farms, the largest supplier of organic produce in the U.S., was also purchased by WhiteWave back in 2013.

 

6. R.W. Knudson’s  is another one of those companies who has been around forever, but what most don’t realize is the organic juice maker is owned by Smucker’s, who publicly supports the use of GMOs.

 

7. Dagoba Chocolate is branded to look like a cool, independent company, but it’s actually owned by the chocolate giant Hershey’s. 

 

8. Stonyfield Organic Yogurt Yes - Stonyfield! They are owned by the Danone Group of France, makers of Dannon yogurt, Brown Cow yogurt, and Evian water. 

 

9. Honest Tea & Odwalla Honestly, I could not believe either of these companies sold-out to Coca Cola.

 

10. Horizon was scooped up by WhiteWave and are now subject to many complaints and investigations alleging they’re more of a factory farm type of operation than an “organic” company. 

 

11. Dave’s Killer Bread is the latest great company to sell out for a whopping $275 million dollars. Basically Dave Dahl handed over his baby to the pro-GMO food corporation Flowers Food (owners of Wonder Bread) so he could “sit back and relax”. When asked in a recent interview: “What do you tell the folks who say Killer Dave sold out?” He responded:  “That’s what I did,”  “That’s what we did.” 

 

12. Morning Star, Kashi, and Bear Naked  are all owned by food giant Kellogg’s.

 

13. Boca and back to Nature are both owned by Kraft 

 

14. Tom’s of Maine is actually under Colgate.

 

15. Burt’s Bees was once as independent as independent could be - that is until the company was sold to Clorox. 

 

16. Garden of Eatin’, Arrowhead Mills, Spectrum Organics, Earth’s Best, Health Valley, Casbah, Imagine/Rice Dream/Soy Dream, Tofu Town and Westsoy all belong to the Hain Celestial/Heinz corporation. 

 

17. Naked Juice has sadly been owned by Pepsi since 2006. 

 

18. Humboldt Creamery sounds like a charming Northern California independent company, but no…it is owned by none other than Foster Farms. 

 

19. Erewhon, with its organic sounding name, is actually owned by Post Foods.

 

20. New Chapter, a very popular maker of natural vitamin supplements, was taken over by Proctor and Gamble. This is a real shock and a huge concern for the future of the brand’s quality control.

 

Here is a broader list of organic and non-organic companies who have all sold out:

 

BRAND  OWNED BY DATE

Aidell’s Sausage

Hillshire Brands

2011

Alexia Foods ConAgra 2007
Alta Dena
Dean Int’l.
1999
Annie’s Naturals General Mills 2014
Applegate Farms Hormel 2015
Arrowhead Mills Hain Celestial 1998
Attune Post Foods 2013
Back To Nature Heinz/Kraft 2003
Barbara's  Wheatabix Food Co. 1986
Bearitos Hain Celestial 1997
Bear Naked Kellogg 2007
Ben & Jerrys Organic Unilever 2003
Boca Foods Heinz/Kraft 2000
Bolthouse Farms Campbell Soup 2012
Breadshop Hain Celestial 1999
Breyer's Organic Unilever 2006
Brown Cow Dannon/Danone 2003
Campbell's Organic Campbell Soup 2003
Casbah Hain Celestial 1999
Cascadian Farm General Mills

1999

Coleman Natural Purdue Farms 2011
Dagoba Hershey Foods 2006
Dave's Killer Bread Flower Foods 2015
DeBole's  Hain Celestial 1998
DiGiorno Organic Heinz/Kraft 2006
Dole Organic Dole 2001
Dove Organic M&M Mars 2006
Draper Valley Purdue Farms 2007
Earthbound Farm WhiteWave (Dean Int'l) 2013
Earth's Best Hain Celestial 1999
Ella's Kitchen Hain Celestial 2013
Erewhon Post Foods 2013
Food Should Taste Good General Mills 2012
French Meadow Rich Products Corp 2007
Fruitti de Bosco Walnut Acres 2001
Garden of Eatin Hain Celestial 1998
Gerber Organic Baby Food Nestle 2007
Gold Medal Organic General Mills 2005
Golden Temple Post/Hearthside 2011
Green & Black's  Cadbury Schweppes 2005
Happy Baby Organic Dannon/Danone 2013
Happy Family Dannon/Danone 2013
Health Valley Hain Celestial 1999
Heinz Organic Heinz/Kraft 2002
Hershey Organic Hershey Foods 2007
Honest Tea Coca Cola (40% stake) 2008
Horizon Organic Dean 2004
Humboldt Creamery Foster Farms 2009
Hunt's Organic ConAgra 2005
Imagine Hain Celestial 2002
Kashi Kellogg 2000
Keebler Organic Kellogg 2006
Kellogg's Organic Kellogg 2006
Kettle (chips, etc.) Diamond Foods 2010
Knudsen R.W. J.M. Smucker 1984
Kraft Organic Heinz/Kraft 2008
Larabar General Mills 2008
Late July Snyders (minority stake) 2007
Lightlife ConAgra 2000
Maranatha Hain Celestial 2008
Millina's Finest Walnut Acres 2001
Millstone J.M. Smucker 2008
Morningstar Farms Kellogg 1999
Mott's Organic Cadbury Schweppes 2004
Mountain Sun Hain Celestial/Walnut Acres 2001
Muir Glen Cascadian Farm 1998
Nabisco Organic Kraft 2007
Naked Juice Pepsi 2008
Nantucket Nectars Organic Cadbury Schweppes 2004
Natural Touch Kellogg 1999
Nature's Farm Tyson 2001
Nile Spice Hain Celestial 1998
Odwalla Coca Cola 2001
Organic Cow of Vermont Horizon 1999
Orville Redenbacher's Organic ConAgra 2005
Pace Organic Campbell's 2005
PAM Organic ConAgra 2006
Peace Cereal  Post/Hearthside 2011
Peet's Coffee & Tea Sara Lee/JAB/D.E. MasterBlenders 2011
Planters Organic Kraft 2007
Plum Organic Baby Food Campbells 2013
PowerBar Nestle 2006
Prego Organic Campbell's 2005
Pria Grain Essentials Nestle 2006
Ragu Organic Campbell's 2005
Rice Dream (Imagine) Hain Celestial 2002
Santa Cruz Organic J.M. Smucker Co 1989
Seeds of Change M&M Mars 1997
ShariAnn's Walnut Acres 2001
Silk White Wave Foods 2013
Soy Dream (Imagine) Hain Celestial 2002
Spectrum Organics Hain Celestial 2005
Stone Mill Anhueser-Busch 2006
Stonyfield Dannon/Danone 2001
SunSpire Hain Celestial 2008
Swansons Organic Campbell's  2005
Tostito's Organic Pepsi 2003
Tropicana Organic Pepsi 2007
V8 Organic Campbell's 2005
Van's  Hillshire Farms 2014
Walnut Acres Hain Celestial 2003
Westbrae Hain Celestial 1997
Westsoy Hain Celestial 1997
Wholesome & Hearty Kellogg 2007
Wholesome Sweetners Arlon Group 2012
Wild Hop Anhueser-Busch 2006
Willamette Valley Granola Post/Hearthside 2011
Wolfgang Puck Soup Campbell Soup 2008

 

 

Now for the good news! There are some companies who are holding strong. We need to do our best to support their efforts. Here’s the list:

 

•  Alvarado Street Bakery

•  Apple and Eve

•  Artisana Nut Butters

•  Bearded Brothers

•  Betty Lou’s Bars

•  Bionaturae

•  Bob’s Red Mill

•  Bragg Foods

•  Bueno Foods

•  Carla Lee’s Nut Burgers

•  CB’s Nuts

•  Clif Bar

•  Core Foods

•  Crofter’s Organic Fruit Spreads

•  Eden Organic

•  Edward & Sons Brands

•  Farmer’s Market Organic Pumpkin and Squash Products

•  Feridies Peanuts

•  Fiordifruuta Organic Fruit Spread

•  Grindstone Bakery

•  Grown Right

•  Healthy Times

•  Helios Organic Kefir

•  Late July

•  Let’s Do Organic

•  Lotus Foods

•  Lundberg Family Farms / Wehah Farms

•  Mary’s Free Range Turkeys

•  Murray’s Chicken

•  My Grandpa’s Farm

•  Napa Valley Naturals

•  Native Forest

•  Nature Factor

•  Nature’s Legacy / VitaSpelt / Purity Foods

•  Nature’s Path

•  Newman’s Own Organics

•  NOW Foods

•  NuGo Nutrition bars

•  Nutburgers

•  Nutiva

•  Once Again Nut Butter

•  One Degree Organic

•  Organic Food Bar

•  Organic Valley

•  Organicville

•  Pacific Beach Peanut Butter

•  Pascha Chocolates

•  Pure Bar

•  Que Pasa

•  R.W. Garcia Tortilla chips

•  Rapunzel Naturkost

•  Raw Revolution

•  Road’s End Organic

•  Rudi’s Bakery

•  Sambazon

• SOL Cuisine

•  SquareBar

•  Sunshine Burger

• Teddie Peanut Butter

•  Theo’s Chocolates

•  Uncle Matt’s Organic

•  Shiloh Farms

•  Starwest Botanicals

•  Sweet Creek Foods

•  Tasty Brand

•  Two Moms in the Raw

• Vermont Village Applesauce

•  VitaSpelt 

•  Vivapura

•  Wild Friends Foods

•  Yogi Tea

•  YummyEarth / YumEarth

• Zulka

 

***If we've missed anyone, please let us know. The information we've collected on all of the companies for this post was through public record and any errors in facts should be brought to our attention.

 

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Seasonal Affected Disorder, Depression and the Holiday Blues: Don't Go Nuts; Eat Nuts!

Seasonal Affected Disorder, Depression and the Holiday Blues: Don't Go Nuts; Eat Nuts!

 

Millions of people are currently experiencing some form of depression, and Big Pharma is cashing in on their sadness. We tend to see a dramatic spike in new cases during fall/winter and around the holidays, as sunlight disappears and financial and emotional stress factors increase.

Instead of reaching for a synthetic prescription, try adding organic walnuts and cashews to your diet. Just a couple of handfuls of cashews (1/4 cup per day) may be the therapeutic equivalent to to a prescription dose of Prozac.

 

Here's what we know about cashews:

 

Lots-O-Trytophan 

Cashews are one of the best plant-based sources of the amino acid trytophan. This amino acid is critical for improving the uptake of serotonin in the brain.  If our diets are lacking trytophan, we can’t produce serotonin as effectively, nor can our bodies effectively use the amount of serotonin that we do have. A depletion of serotonin can make us feel stressed, anxious, and depressed. 

Mega Magnesium

Cashews are also very high in magnesium. Magnesium is essential to a healthy mood and nervous system.

Vitamin B6 Ommmm

Cashews contain Vitamin B6, which helps with the uptake of serotonin in the body as well. Both Vitamin B6 and trytophan work to create a more relaxed state, which helps to calm anxiety. Vitamin B6 also reduces depression.

Healthy Brain Fats

The healthy fats in cashews play an important role keeping your mood balanced and preventing depression. Cashews are one of the best sources of mono-unsaturated fats and can help keep your brain healthy so it may ward off depression naturally.

 

What about walnuts?

Well, walnuts are one of the richest sources of serotonin and omega-3 essential fatty acids, both necessary to fight seasonal depression and moodiness. What's more, walnuts are known to raise melatonin levels by a whopping 3x's, providing relief from sleeplessness and insomnia. Anyone who has been anxious or depressed knows first hand how hard it is to get a good night's sleep!

 

Depression is a serious mental health issue,  so please, don’t assume that eating nuts every day will in fact cure depression on their own. That said, the nutritional benefits of cashews and walnuts do show to be promising in balancing brain health naturally. Combine that with the nutritional benefits of taking Trace Botanicals Humic Fulvic Complex, and you may be feeling worlds better in no time!

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