ORGANIC BYTES #102

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!

2/8/2007 - Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

Subscribe to this twice-per-month newsletter

IN THIS ISSUE

ALERT OF THE WEEK:
PLEASE TAKE A STAND FOR LOVE & JUSTICE ON VALENTINES DAY

FACT: One-third of Nestle's chocolate is from West Africa, where over 286,000 children are working in slave-like conditions on cocoa (chocolate) farms.

FACT: Dole is the largest distributor of cut-flowers in the world, the majority of which are imported from Columbia and Ecuador, where farmers and flower workers (often adolescent girls) are exposed to 127 different chemicals, including neurotoxins and carcinogens.

FACT: The three private owners of M&M/Mars Inc. are each "worth" $10.4 billion, while the West African farmers growing the cocoa for M&Ms chocolate are paid an average of $108 annually.

FACT: Despite record profits in 2006, Hershey's has been accused of buying from contractors who utilize child labor and child slavery on cocoa farms on the Ivory Coast.

TAKE ACTION: Send a message to the chocolate and flower giants to stop child labor, illegal toxic chemical use, union busting, and to pay their farmers a living wage: www.organicconsumers.org/valentines/alert.htm

VALENTINES GIFTS FOR THE ECO-MINDED:
FAIR TRADE AND ORGANIC CHOCOLATES AND FLOWERS

valentinesCheck out OCA's Organic Valentines Day Page to watch OCA's Valentines flash video "Slammed"and to check out our Buying Guide to find out where you can order Fair Trade and organic chocolate and flowers for your sweetie this Valentines Day. www.organicconsumers.org/valentines/

OCA VALENTINE'S CARDS

Send beautiful Valentines cards this year and support the OCA! Created by OCA's art department, mounted on hemp heritage paper.
Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/valentines/cards.htm

We rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!

Donate Now!
www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

PRODUCT PLUNDER OF THE WEEK: KRAFT "REAL" CHEESE

The "Made with Real Kraft Cheese" label may conjure up bucolic images of a dairy farm, but in reality many of Kraft's synthetic "cheese" products contain absolutely no cheese whatsoever. When confronted with their misleading labeling, Kraft CEO Irene Rosenfeld claims the fake cheese "meets the high standards for taste, quality and performance consumers expect when buying a Kraft-branded cheese product." Under citizen pressure to clamp down on Kraft's fraudulent labeling in 2002, the FDA issued a perfunctory warning letter to the company. Kraft thumbed its nose at the federal agency by removing their "cheese foods" labels and replacing them with equally misleading labels calling the pseudo-dairy items "cheese products".
Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4015.cfm

GOOD NEWS OF THE WEEK:
FEDERAL COURT HALTS GENETICALLY ENGINEERED GRASS FIELD TRIALS

A federal court has ruled against the USDA in a court case involving experimental field trials of genetically engineered crops. Judge Harold Kennedy said the USDA's past approvals of field trials of genetically engineered bentgrass were illegal and a threat to the environment and these experiments must be halted. In 2006, experimental genetically engineered bentgrass, designed for golf courses, escaped from its test plot and within weeks had already spread several miles away, mixing with native grasses. The full impacts of this are still unknown. According to Tom Stohlgren, an ecologist at the US Geological Survey's National Institute of Invasive Species Science, the experimental bentgrass "can tend to outcompete other species...It doesn't need to sexually reproduce - it's like The Blob. It could potentially hit rare species or national parks."
Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4020.cfm

HEALTH TIP OF THE WEEK: A CUP A DAY WILL KEEP THE DOCTOR AWAY

Apple cider vinegar has traditionally been known to be beneficial for your health due to its high concentration of vitamins and minerals. A regular dose of apple cider vinegar, honey and water can help the body pass acid crystals, thus preventing and/or reducing muscle and joint stiffness, including pains due to arthritis. That same mixture has the benefit of thinning the blood, thereby reducing blood pressure. Apple cider vinegar can also aid digestion and kill harmful bacteria in the digestive tract. Pure apple cider vinegar can also be used to wash pesticides and bacteria or fungus off of fresh produce. Most commercial apple cider vinegars have been pasteurized and filtered, which destroys much of the inherent beneficial elements. Look for cold-pressed, unpasteurized and organic apple cider vinegar.
Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4028.cfm

QUOTE OF THE WEEK:
DR. ROYAL LEE: CRUSADER FOR ORGANIC, NATURALLY OCCURRING FOODS AND SUPPLEMENTS

"Candy, all white sugar or its products, and white flour including its products such as macaroni, spaghetti, crackers, etc., should be absolutely barred from the diet of the child. All these are energy-producing foods that contain no building materials for the body. The consequences of their toleration are susceptibility to infections, enlarged tonsils, carious teeth, unruly dispositions, stunted growth, rickets, maldevelopment and very often permanent damage to many organs of the body (especially the endocrine glands) that depend upon the vitamin supply for their normal function and development." - October 2, 1933
More information about Dr. Royal Lee, the pioneer of the organic and natural vitamin movement, can be found in this week's online postings at OCA's Nutri-Con Campaign: The Truth About Vitamins and Supplements

STUDY OF THE WEEK:
MOST POPULAR "FRUIT" PRODUCTS BEAR NO FRUIT

A recent study by the Prevention Institute found that the majority of products with images of fruit on their labels actually contain little or no fruit at all. The study assessed 37 heavily marketed "fruit" products and found that 51% had absolutely no fruit and another 16% had minimal amounts of fruit (less than 10%). Products that ranked among the worst in the study included Smuckers Jam, Fruit Rollups and Froot Loops.
Read the full study here: www.preventioninstitute.org/sa/fruit/wheresthefruit_011907.pdf

SUSTAINABILITY TIP OF THE WEEK:
AFFORDABLE BACKYARD WIND POWER NOW AVAILABLE

Southwest Windpower Company has released a backyard wind turbine that costs half the price of other turbines on the market. The generator was ranked as one of Time magazine's best inventions for 2006 and received a "Best of What's New" award from Popular Science magazine. The system and its installation costs roughly $10,000, but many states have renewable energy incentive programs that will reduce that cost for the homeowner. Standing 35 feet tall and cranking out 1.8 killowatts of electricity, the system pays for itself in energy bill savings in 5-12 years.
Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4045.cfm

ORGANIC NEWS OF THE WEEK: STUDY FINDS THAT ORGANIC & SUSTAINABLE FARMING INCREASES YIELDS BY 79% OR MORE

A new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology indicates that low-income farmers in developing nations who adopt sustainable organic farming practices increase crop yields by an average of 79%. In addition, the healthier soil allows the crops to better withstand drought. Sustainable farmers save additional money by using less water, eliminating pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and by avoiding high-priced genetically engineered seeds. The study adds to the ever-growing body of scientific evidence that sustainable farming practices are key to feeding and preserving decent livelihoods for the 40% of the world's population who are still farmers or rural villagers. Learn more: www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_4036.cfm

WEB VIDEO OF THE WEEK:
WHAT COLOR IS YOUR MEAT?

In this hilarious new animation, Jim Hightower tells us how the majority of non-organic U.S. beef is now injected with carbon monoxide to make it appear fresh and pink. Most meat consumers look at the color of beef to determine if meat is rotten or not. But carbon monoxide injection makes even rancid meats appear fresh. The FDA approved this process without any public comment period, ignoring overwhelming evidence that artificial meat coloring is blatantly misleading to consumers.
Watch the video here: ww.hightowerdownload.com/node/26

BOOK OF THE WEEK: WHAT'S IN YOUR MILK?

A new book by Dr. Samuel Epstein, one of the world's leading scientific authorities on Monsanto's genetically engineered rBGH milk, offers readers an air-tight case on the dangers of this synthetic hormone. Epstein's research conclusively indicates it's high time for the U.S. to finally acknowledge the dangers of rBGH in milk and dairy products. In his book, Epstein shows how rBGH, which is banned in most of the world, is only legal in the U.S. due to ties between Monsanto (producer of the rBGH drug Posilac) and the White House, the FDA, the American Medical Association, and American Cancer Society. "What's In Your Milk?" also reveals:

  • Evidence of Monsanto's white collar crime.
  • The suppression and manipulation of information on the veterinary and public health dangers of rBGH milk.
  • Evidence on a wide range of abnormalities in rBGH milk, particularly ties to increased risk of cancer; and inhibition of apoptosis, the natural self-destruction of early microscopic cancers.

    Learn more: www.preventcancer.com/publications/WhatsInYourMilkRelease.htm

We rely on your donations to continue our work on these important issues!

Donate Now!
www.organicconsumers.org/donations.htm

messages from our supporters:

MADE IN THE ANCIENT WAY AYURVEDIC MEDICINE WAS MEANT TO BE

All Botani organic, non-GMO, ethically and sustainable wild harvested extracts are prepared according to traditional Ayurvedic recipes. We do not use alcohol, carbon dioxide, or any chemicals. We patented a room temperature vacuum extraction process that ensures the full spectrum formulas preserving the plants vital essence, and protecting the essential oils. We add no synthetic, USP, vitamins. We figure Mother Nature knew what she was doing creating whole foods. All the nutritional benefits of the 'raw' plants are available in the highest 'natural occurring' vitamin potency. All Botani Organics PuretabŪ supplements are free of dyes, solvents, corn, yeast, fillers, expedients, preservatives, dairy, wheat gluten, salt or sugar. Learn more: www.alohabay.com/botani/index.html

NATURALLY OCCURRING HIMALAYAN SALT FROM KASHMIR

In 2004, Aloha Bay began importing sustainable salt products from Pakistan working exclusively with a small, family-owned company in Mirpur, close to the Himalayan foothills. With the owner and manager, Tariq Khokhar, we planned and built the first fair trade factory. In Tariq's factory, employment is year-round which guarantees consistent quality, because the sculpting of the salt lamps is a delicate procedure. Tariq offers a premium price for the 'best salt' to ensure the mine can maintain employment and wages. Over the years, a relationship of trust and friendship has developed between people of very different cultures in our small way contributing to mutual understanding, tolerance and cooperation in this world. The Salt Health Trust International was created focusing on improving working conditions at the salt mines and providing various kinds of humanitarian aid.
Learn more: www.alohabay.com/about_us/index.html

Please forward this publication to family and friends, place it on websites, print it, duplicate it and post it freely. Knowledge is power!

ORGANIC BYTES is a publication of:

ORGANIC CONSUMERS ASSOCIATION
6771 South Silver Hill Drive
Finland, MN 55603
Phone: 218-226-4164 Fax: 218-353-7652

Subscribe: www.organicconsumers.org/organicbytes.htm

xaxa&memid;