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Organic Bytes #139: 7/24/2008

Health, Justice and Sustainability News Tidbits with an Edge!
Written and edited by Craig Minowa and Ronnie Cummins

Quote of the Week

This Is the Next American Revolution

Dr, Grace Lee Boggs"We are at a stage in human history that is as monumental as changing from a hunter/gatherer society to an agricultural society and from an agricultural society to and industrial society. Where we're headed now will be different because we have exhausted planetary space and human space for us to continue to look at things through the Cartesian measurement of material things.

We need to face the way we used the world for our gains, pleasures, satisfactions. This is the way we evolve to a higher stage of humanity. And unless we want to live in terror for the rest of our lives, we need to change our view about acquiring things.

We have the opportunity to take a great leap forward in these very challenging times. We need to change our institutions and ourselves. We need to seize opportunities. We need to launch our imaginations beyond the thinking of the past. We need to discern who we are and expand on our humanness and sacredness. That's how we change the world, which happens because WE will be the change."

Dr. Grace Lee Boggs, 93, a long-time Detroit political and labor activist, author, and philosopher.

Fair Trade Alert of the Week

Spilled CoffeeTell Starbucks We Want Fair Trade, Not Greenwashing

Despite ten years of consumer pressure and small farmer pleading, Starbucks has stubbornly refused to increase their purchase of certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee to a respectable level.

Although most Starbucks Customers (and many of their employees) believe the majority of Starbucks coffee is Fair Trade, to date, only 6% of Starbucks' coffee is certified Fair Trade. High quality certified Fair Trade and Organic coffee is readily available and is a concrete way that large corporations like Starbucks can support small-scale organic and sustainable coffee farmers abroad.

Starbucks Action Links:
  1. Sign OCA's 2008 petition to Starbucks demanding that all espresso drinks be both 100% certified Organic and Fair Trade.
  2. Make a toll-free call to Starbucks' Customer Service Line and let them know how you feel!  (800) 235-2883. Click here for a sample script.
  3. Sound off on My Starbucks Idea, Starbucks' public forum. We have an idea for you Starbucks, its called Fair Trade!
  4. Break the Chains. Find an independently owned café near you!

Organic Voters Needed

Many hands reaching towards a globeThe Organic Consumers Association has embarked on a new campaign to ensure that all of our supporters are educated about the importance of voting, registered to vote, and will show up to vote on election day in November. We just found out that an impressive 87% of Organic Consumers nationwide are registered to vote!

That's great, but that means 13% of us aren't! We need your help!
Neither one of the 2004 major party platforms mentioned organic food or farming.
Let's see if we can change that:

Donate Here!

Donate Now!Help OCA Fight for Health, Justice,and the Environment. Support OCA with your stimulus check. During a recession, nonprofits need private donor help more than ever.

Essay of the Week

Ronnie Cummins - Netroots Nation at the Crossroads

Ronnie Cummins"Millions of Americans, especially the 'netroots,' those drawing their information and inspiration from the open sources of the internet, are finally connecting the dots between the burning issues, moving beyond limited concerns to radical awareness. A politicized new majority is waking up to the fact that the proverbial "end" is near. We must move beyond "business as usual" and tepid reform. We must link together our burning issues, unite our heretofore-fragmented forces and communities into a qualitatively more powerful current, and press and confront the Fortune 500 and the nation's thousands of elected public officials-before it's too late..."

Read more:

OCA'S Kellogg's Boycott Building Momentum:
Stop Monsanto's GE Sugar!

Over the last two weeks, thousands of OCA supporters have taken action, signing-on to our Boycott of Kellogg’s and Morningstar Farms products, sending hundreds of letters to the editor to their local newspaper and making the news!  

No-K! Boycott Kellog's!Ready to take it to the next level?
Attention Natural Food Stores and Coops:
Interested in getting involved in OCA’s Kellogg’s & Morningstar Farms boycott?

OCA Action CenterSign-Up for OCA's Action Alerts

OCA has two email publications. You are currently reading Organic Bytes.

Web Forum Topic of the Week

EPA Drops Value of American Life

Flow ChartThe Environmental Protection Agency has released new figures for what they consider the average American's life is worth. The amount, which is used to determine if the costs related to implementing various environmental policies are worth the amount of human life those policies save, has dropped one million dollars in just the last five years.

Frankly stated, you're not worth nearly as much to the U.S. Government as you used to be. Is this method of cost analysis and comparison a valid way of determining which environmental regulations are worth implementing and which are too expensive?

Talk about it in OCA's blog or web forum

Dog with PaperTop Articles of the Week

Posted from Newsletters and Websites We Like

Let OCA sift through the media abyss and bring you the top headlines of the day. The OCA website has 20 or more news articles posted each day, which are related to health, justice, food and farming, politics, and the environment. With over thirty thousand visitors per day, is a valuable resource for consumers, activists, and journalists.

  1. Why Buying Organic & Ethical Consumerism
    is Not Enough to Solve the Global Food Crisis (The Nation)
  2. Carrots, Sticks, & Crumbs: The Farm Bill is over, so what happens next? (Grist
  3. Raw Foods Reduce Cancer Risks by 40% (Natural News)
  4. Open Letter to Al Gore: You Can Have Your Meat and Eat It Too
Please Bookmark as your daily source
of news, analysis and inspiration. 

Suburban FarmWeb Video of the Week

Suburban Farming:
An Idea Whose Time Has Come

Meet people who have turned their lawns into suburban farming operations.

Organic Consumers in Your State

Through the Organic Consumers Fund's Grassroots Netroots Alliance project, voters are pressing the politicians to support strict organic standards, mandatory labels for genetically engineered food, and the conversion of U.S. farmland to organic.

On the same page, you'll find a listing of state campaigns for health, justice and sustainability in all 50 states.
Every day, we post news articles and alerts on the Organic Consumers Association state pages. In every issue of Organic Bytes, we highlight a few of the most urgent campaigns.
This week, we'd like to draw your attention to the following...

Special State News and Alerts

Since we don't have enough room to list the important news and campaigns from all 50 states here, so please click here to find your state
If you'd like to suggest a campaign for the OCA to take up, please click here.

Support Our Supporters

Organic Valley FarmersOrganic Valley: 1,266 Family Farms Strong

We think it's a simple truth. The earth's most delicious, most healthful foods are made when farmers work in harmony with nature. That's how this farmer-owned co-op produces organic milk, organic cheese, organic butter, organic eggs, organic juice, organic soy beverages, organic produce, and organic meats. Working with nature is what inspired our original seven farmers to form an organic farming cooperative in 1988. Today our membership has grown to over 1200 family farms, and our high standards shine through in our delicious, award-winning, certified organic foods.

Explore our website and join Farm Friends to become part of the organic movement!

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps Helps Lead Way in Organic Body Care

Dr. Bronner's LogoMarking the 60th Anniversary of the company, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps is pleased to announce that all classic liquid & bar soaps are now not only certified under the USDA National Organic Program, but also certified Fair Trade! In addition, we are pleased to introduce a revolutionary new range of high-quality organic products, from hair rinses to shaving gels – all certified under the same USDA program that certifies organic foods.

Dr. Bronner's is supporting the Organic Consumers Association's Coming Clean campaign for strong organic body care standards.
For more info, please see:

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

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