A few facts about GMOs:
- A genetically modified organism (GMO) is an organism whose genetic material has been altered to include a new gene or set of genes. An example is a transgenic organism, an organism that has received DNA from a different species (one example: cows that have been engineered to produce human breast milk.) Transgenic animals have been used in medical experiments, but they were not approved for human consumption until recently.
- Many countries around the world have already banned GMOs due to lack of testing and long term studies of human health.
- Most studies of GMOs suggest that the ill effects are more pronounced in the second and third generations of GMO-consumers, meaning we simply haven’t had time to conduct thorough studies yet on humans.
- Currently, American food manufacturers are not required to disclose to the public when they use GMOs — which means there is no way to know whether you are eating genetically-modified plants or animals.
If you’re not familiar with genetically modified food, take a look at this corn or this salmon, and read this.
GMOs are a relatively new part of the human diet so the evidence against them is still mounting. Despite evidence that GMOs could be harmful to humans, the Food and Drug Administration and the FDA went ahead and approved GMOs — without labeling — for human consumption. Do you think the lobbyists at Monsanto (producer of most of the world’s genetically modified crops) had anything to do with it?
Until now, food giants like Monsanto have managed to crush all initiatives to label GMOs so that they never made it to the ballot. But Americans finally have a chance to vote for labeling.
Want to take action without spending a penny?
On November 6, 2012, if you are a California resident, you have the power to change the course of the obesity epidemic. Support the California Right To Know Genetically Engineered Food Act. Vote for the right to know what you eat. Vote Yes on Prop 37.
Wellness and Equality supports Prop 37. You can watch this short video to learn about some of the implications that reach far beyond your plate:
Here is a video from the group behind the ballot initiative:
The documentary “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” explores and promotes juice fasting. Extreme? Yes. But America’s problems are extreme as well, and the film made me wonder if juice fasting could help some people. For the obese and morbidly obese, juicing is certainly a less invasive alternative than surgery.
At the start of the documentary, both protagonists are obese and fighting auto-immune diseases. Like so many Americans, Phil wants to be healthier but doesn’t know how to begin. Under the mentorship of the film’s narrator Joe, Phil embraces juicing, quits his unfulfilling job, quits prescription pills, and rewrites the story of his life. His transformation is uplifting — and inspiring.
The full documentary is free on Hulu.com right now. You can watch this documentary HERE.
If you have a sweet tooth, like me, you won’t want to miss this 60 Minutes special on sugar and find out why doctors and scientists are cutting back on sugar:
Sweet treats made with organically-sourced sugar are one of my few dietary indulgences, but I’m realizing it’s time to face the music and limit my sugar intake. What about you? Does this special change the way you think about sugar?
The original segment is published here: 60 Minutes: Is Sugar Toxic?
Throughout the year, you’ve probably acquired a few things, and spring is the season to sort through your belongings, organize, clean, and rejuvenate your home. Enter: Spring Cleaning!
My strategy for sorting through my ever-increasing piles of accumulated “stuff” is the standard 3-pile system: Keep / Toss or Donate / Not Sure. The first pile is organized and put away. The second is tossed or given away. The third pile — the possessions and clothing I’m not sure I’m ready to part with just yet — is boxed and stored out of sight. A few months later, I pull out the box and take a second look. The sentimental pulls and the ‘what-if-I-still-need-this-in-the-future?’ questions seem to disappear when you’ve forgotten about something for several months. I almost always toss or donate everything at that point.
In the same way that losing weight is easier than mantaining a weight loss, decluttering your home is often easier than simply maintaining a decluttered home. The true challenge is not replacing the possessions you’ve tossed or donated. Need some motivation to let go of a few things? Take just twenty minutes to watch the video above, The Story of Stuff.
The Story of Stuff is a documentary about consumerism and sustainability. Created in 2007 and narrated by Annie Leonard, the video’s messages are timeless. The Story of Stuff made me rethink the way I make purchases and provided me with a completely new understanding of fashion. Before you make one more purchase — from a coffee maker, to a couch, to shoes — you must watch The Story of Stuff.
On the subject of Spring Cleaning, The Well Daily has written up a list of tips for green cleaning — learn about using vinegar here and lemon here as natural alternatives to toxic cleaners.
You can learn more about The Story of Stuff Project by visiting their website here.
Happy Spring Cleaning!
Here’s a bit of Sunday humor. Seth Meyers and Kermit the Frog do a nice job analyzing Congress’s recent contribution to school lunches in a skit on Saturday Night Live:
Why would Congress do something like this? Oh, you know, just as a little favor for their friends over at ConAgra and Schwan Foods. ConAgra and Schwan are two of the largest manufacturers of frozen and processed foods, whose lobbyists no doubt played an important role in this decision. That’s just what friends do for friends!
You can read a more serious report on the decision here.