Let’s all try to be Healthy – Part One

Eco Mama – Day 28

As an Eco Mama this month, I’m really doing my best to be healthy and it’s something that I think I will continue to do after this month is over.  Why?  Because as a mom I get pretty freaked out about getting sick for a day, much less getting an actual disease like cancer.   How would I take care of my kids?  How awful that must be.

I find the “Big C” so scary and when I get freaked about something, I find if I take one step, anything, in the way of action, I feel less scared.  Like, before I had kids the thought of being in a plane crash terrified me and so I decided to jump out of an airplane.  In my mind it was kind of like, Take that airplane.  I don’t need you.  See, I can just jump out!

skydiving_2Well, after a full day of flight school I parachuted completely solo out of an airplane at 13,000 feet and guess what?  My chute didn’t open.  I’m not kidding.  It just floated above me like a tangled meatball as I rocketed towards Earth.  I had to ever so calmly (not that easy while panicking) cut the chute off my body and then release my second, much smaller emergency chute.  Obviously, since I’m sitting here writing this post not as a ghost, my second parachute opened and I made it to the ground vowing never to do that again.  But my weird parachuting idea worked — I lost my fear of airplanes.

Which brings me back to cancer.  I don’t think there’s any way I can prevent myself one hundred percent from getting cancer, but I have to try.  And for any Eco Mama, the first step to great health and disease prevention is from the inside out.  All the Pilates classes in the world aren’t going to get me to optimum health if there’s a half eaten ten pound bad of candy corn in my car (I know this from experience.)

This leads me to food — I confess that prior to my Eco Mama month, I ate TERRIBLY — my day consisted of scavenging off my kid’s plates for leftovers because I just couldn’t be bothered to make myself something and then keeping a steady stream of sugar in my system all day so I could remain jittery, awake and able to jump on the trampoline when requested.  But Eco Mama gently prodded me in the direction of eating better and you know what?  I feel amazing!  In a few short weeks of eating right, I feel better than I have in years.

Here’s what I’ve been doing — it’s simple, really.  I eat tons of organic, non-gmo veggies all day.  I also drink a smoothie with tons of dark organic, non-gmo berries in the morning and eat nuts and seeds for snacks.  How boring is that?  And how disgusting!  Even as I write this I’m practically gagging.  But I feel so good I don’t really care how hippie/crunchie/boring/yucky it is.  Feeling this good has made me love it — even crave drinking those nasty green smoothies I used think were only for the deranged.

But the most important part of my diet is not the green veggie/fruit/nut part — it’s actually the organic, non GMO part.  That’s right.  You could be shoveling more veggies in your mouth than Bugs Bunny but if they are GMO — they could be hurting you, not helping you.

GMO_corn

There’s a ton of GMO information out there, but I found a recent article in “Delicious Living” (Whole Foods magazine) pretty informative.  Here’s what they say —

GMOs plants were originally created (GMO corn was introduced in 1996) so the plant itself would have an insecticide in it’s cell membrane that could kill bugs — Therefore, farmers could use fewer pesticides and crop yields would be higher.  But by 2000, the first Round up tolerant weeds started to emerge in fields and were surviving a low application rate of herbicide.  Whereas earlier farmers were forced to minimize glyphosate applications because it would kill their crops, GMO plants are not affected by chemicals.  Since farmers have adopted GMOs, they have increased their herbicide use by 404 million pounds.  The sheer volume of herbicide and pesticide use has led to soil changes that reduce a plant’s ability to absorb nutrients.

Yum!  Can I have seconds?  I might as well just eat a big old Hersey bar and forget the salad altogether — except that Hersey bars are GMO.  According to GMO Inside campaign director Elizabeth O’Connell, “Hershey and Mars combined comprise nearly 70 percent of the U.S. chocolate market. The two companies together spent more than a million dollars to oppose GMO labeling in California in the November 2012 election. Hershey is reported to have spent $518,900 to defeat Prop 37 and Mars spent $498,350.”

avoidingGMO

I hate to tell you all of this just in time for Halloween which I’m now calling, “GMO Fun Night”, but I feel like as an Eco Mama, I have to.  I didn’t know a lot of this information prior to this month and like all my style months have taught me different things, Eco Mama has taught me my biggest lesson — awareness.

Tomorrow I will continue my 3 part series called, “Let’s all try to be healthy” with part two — Beauty Products.

Thanks for listening.  May you all have sweet, local, organic, non-GMO, fresh, seasonal dreams…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

37 Comments

  • Bridget says:

    How strange that wanting to know what you’re eating can be seen as some sort of radical over-reaching request!

  • alice says:

    I also want to note that in the case of breast cancer for example – the incidence of deaths from breast cancer has not declined (or increased) but the incidence of diagnoses has increased dramatically. There is a lot of debate whether all of the screening is actually helping women since it’s likely that many of the tumors diagnosed would not have led to metastasis, which is what actually kills. So when you say that everyone seems to be getting cancer, it might be more of a problem with over-diagnosis and screening.

    Anyway, cancer is really scary so if you feel this helps you control that fear, I’m totally on board, but I do think saying stuff like ‘parabens cause cancer’ and ‘GMOs cause cancer’ is not responsible…

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      Yes, I’ve read that too about over screening and breast cancer. There was a very interesting New York times article about it and the amount of radiation you get with each screening. As far as parabens go, there’s plenty of information out there about the dangers of parabens as endocrine disrupters — in fact, my doctor was the one who first informed me about the risk of parabens and illness/cancer. The longer a woman has period the more of a chance she has of getting certain types of cancers — and excessive paraben use in girls leads to them getting their periods younger and younger meaning their risk of cancer will be higher. Girls are getting their periods so young these days and studies show that it’s linked to all the hormones in our food and all the endocrine disrupting products (also found in plastics) in our environment these days. And as far a GMOs go, there might not be any official study from our government that says GMOs are bad for us (and we all know that’s not going to happen in America), but there’s also no official study that tells me eating vegetables that have been drenched in pesticides (that can’t be washed off because they are systemic) is actually good for me. It is true that these GMO “Round Up” ready plants have now super weeds growing around that need to be killed with stronger and stronger pesticides — terrible for our precious top soil (which is disappearing), terrible for our water supply and terrible for all the animals trying to live on this Earth with us. Would I want to eat that food? No way. But maybe some people would. At the very least GMO food should be labeled so that we all have a choice.

      Thanks so much, Alice, for your opinion. I’ve always appreciated your fun, helpful comments in the past and I’m so glad you felt comfortable enough to weigh in on this issue too!

  • Former Reader says:

    Before you go making a connection about GMO foods and cancer simply because you believe it to be true, please find peer-reviewed, scholarly literature to cite for your facts. I wash all of my fruits and vegetables to get whatever cruddy stuff might be on them – chemicals, viruses, bacteria, etc. – off of them. This type of post is probably more harmful to public health than the GMO foods of which you are afraid. Look at what the anti-vax community has undone for public health through their uninformed opinions on vaccines. On GMO, labeling only makes sense if it identifies a meaningful difference in the quality of the food, otherwise it just becomes a politically-motivated scarlet letter.

    Pharmaceutical companies create enormous good in the world. They treat and cure diseases that were death sentences not long ago, even within our lifetimes — including some forms of cancer that you are so afraid of getting. Physicians prescribe drugs, not pharmaceutical companies. Parents assert that their children must have “something wrong” with them that a pill will fix, when maybe it’s just a kid being a kid? Or they’re not letting their kids sleep enough? Or maybe they had their kids at an older age and their eggs/sperm aren’t as high quality as they once were?

    Point is…it is very dangerous to demonize anyone. I would rather have love in my heart and believe that everyone around me, human or corporate, ultimately has love in their heart, too. That they’re not out there to take advantage of me or anyone else. They’re ultimately trying to do good. Your words, however small, erode that vision and perpetuate falsities that ultimately undermine the good inherent in people.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      I don’t want to demonize anyone. I just think we should label GMOs in America like other places do. I also think it’s wise to eat organic whenever possible. Thanks so much for your comment! All view points are so valuable!

      • Cheryl says:

        Former reader, it must be lovely to think big companies, big Agro and big Pharma are all looking out for you and are only trying to do good. And further still you think a contrary view to your blind faith is perpetuating a falsity.
        It’s truly fascinating.

        One quick glimpse into these billion dollar industries’ practices-from the acres and acres of wasteland devoted to sickened cows to major corporations who continue to conduct animal testing (and nevermind the amount spent on advertising to keep us asking our doctors for drugs and our kids asking for chemicals masquerading as food) is enough to keep me up at night. I mean, it’s nice you wash your food but you realize the pesticides are IN your food these days, right? You can’t wash it off.

        I guess ignorance is bliss.

        • My Year of Fabulous says:

          Ha! Thanks for saying that! Mark Twain said, “It’s easier to fool people than it is to convince people they’ve been fooled.” And I think that’s true for big corps — they spend so many millions of dollars on their “wonderful” image that it’s really hard for people to see the reality of what they are actually doing. Also, when you find out what these big corps are doing it is sooooo upsetting and soooo disheartening! It’s hard to take especially when you have kids.

    • Cali Rose says:

      Wow! I always wondered where they find mindless drones to do the evil bidding of Big Business. I don’t need 13 Double blind studies to prove something synthetic is bad, I would be more apt to assume Synthetic Man-made Garbage is bad until they prove it worthy. The simple logic of “everything is good in the world la la lala” is how your kids get hosed down with DDT or the like. but I am sure Monsanto loves your family and your local hometown farmer ;)

      • My Year of Fabulous says:

        Let’s say for a moment that we actually don’t know if GMOs are bad or not — then right now we are the guinea pigs for this GMO experiment, right? So if they turn out to be fine, great. But what happens if they turn out to be bad and cause disease? Then what do the people do that are sick? What do these big Corps say? Oooops? It’s like big tobacco — by the time they admitted cigarettes do cause cancer, how many people had died?

  • bonnie brady says:

    IM a nurse and have seen cancer in all shapes and form s – Unfortunately even the healthiest get the disease based on family genetics.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      That’s so true, but what I find is also so scary is that people with no family history of cancer are getting cancer so much these days. Have you seen that too in New Jersey?

  • Von says:

    I’ve been going organic here in the UK. Before I waffle on though can I just say your parachuting sounds absolutely terrifying. The only way anyone would get me to jump out of a plane would be to shove me out. Well done on having the composure to deploy second chute! Not sure of the appropriate segue from saying I’m very glad you are still alive and kicking but I can certainly wade in on the GM argument. Here in the UK we are a bit more cautious about things than the US, I was reading about labeling of GM food and GM fed animals etc. All such things have to be labelled here but the local big chain supermarkets have started importing US goods and they have to print out lots of stickers about GM ingredients to label them with as they aren’t labelled in the UK for that. There have been folk out sticking their own labels on things like Lucky Stars breakfast cereal. Prince Charles has commented on GMOs and although folk, including myself, didn’t really see how DNA from modified organisms could get into people I now think the argument about the pesticides and herbicides is a much more compelling argument for avoiding it. GM food often gets a late spray of herbicide prior to harvest and the herbicides used linger both in the environment and the food. There is also the issue of gut bacteria and changes to them when eating GM food. I was absolutely horrified to read a recent study on long term feeding of animals with GMO food and had my eyes opened a bit because the length of the studies performed by the GMO industry is very short. When animals were fed GMOs over a longer time, specifically hamsters, there were mutations in their mouths and down the generations they started to grow hair in their mouths. The criticisms levied at the studies by the GMO companies were refuted because the work was scientifically sound and more rigorous than that of the scientific research done by the GMO companies themselves, their own criticisms of the length of study and number of animals actually undermined their own research. Yes you have to take the internet with a pinch of salt but I’d much rather take a precautionary approach and the concern about GM ingredients seems justified to me based on what I’ve read. We aren’t getting a benefit from them being GM. Just look at all the food industry lobbying in the US for not labeling for GMOs, it’s all money rather than health. The only caveat I’d stick in there is that in many foreign countries organically grown can mean fertilized with raw sewage so I try to get organic and where poss UK organic sourced and I always wash the food carefully. I’m trying to grow some food here in our garden too. My rule of thumb is if there is an organic option buy that and if there is a local option get it. I need to keep things simple for hubby ;-) I saw some posts about the ‘Just Label It!’ campaign in the US, I’d say so! You should have a choice.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      Wow! Thanks for all the great information. GMOs are such a heated argument in America and what tends to happen here is people seem to politicize food — liberals want organic, conservatives are pro-business and therefore feel like labeling GMOs would hurt corporate America. I personally feel like corporate America isn’t hurting at all! In fact, they’re doing quite well. It’s the people in America that are suffering. I don’t think GMOs are good, but that’s my opinion. But labeling is the very least we can do. I’m glad there are more strict regulations where you live!

      • Von says:

        I’m a bit surprised at some of the responses you’ve had to this post. While it is true that it is always worth looking at peer-reviewed analysis of research and reliable sources this is a blog and blogs are limited by both time and resources and your post ended with the fact that it is all about awareness. Interested readers have to go off and read up for themselves just as one would after reading anything, we don’t go referencing comments we make in conversations in real life or in emails, this is a chat on this blog. I didn’t want to go pulling rank in the comments and rarely mention this online but I’ve got a doctorate in genetics so I’m not come to this position on GMOs and organic food etc lightly but I have thought deeply and my concerns are genuine. It’s easy to tell someone they should look for all the evidence but the thing that I find whenever I look into topics in detail is that it is really hard to obtain access to journal papers if one isn’t in academia or industry. I’m a stay at home mamma these days and I have to ask lab pals for papers I want to read as they are usually only available through subscriptions. The hamster study I mentioned is one that I obtained a paper for and read up on quite a bit but I went off on a tangent after reading responses to it. I was amazed at how poor the quality of the research on the safety side of GMOs is and that was the main outcome of reading up, concern about the experimental results lead to realization that we’re all just part of a big GMO/herbicide/pesticide experiment because the data for it being safe is so unreliable. Reading scientific papers is not something you can easily do if you’ve not been trained up, it’s a whole new language and usually a bit boring to boot. Everyone just finds their trusted sources and that’s as far as you can take things from home but to trust big GMO companies, pesticide/herbicide companies, food companies and big pharma to be doing the right thing rather than be seeking a profit is naive at best imho. At a very basic level many of the really big food companies who are against labelling of GMOs in food in the US have hidden behind their smaller sub-companies where they have lobbied or funded the non-labelling lobbying, they know that stance isn’t going to be popular with consumers and don’t want to tarnish their brand name. At the very least that’s deceptive of them. People do have a right to make a decision about what they eat or put on their skin and nobody can make an informed decision if things aren’t even labelled. Precautionary approach all the way with me now. Here in the UK we recently had a food scare when horse meat was discovered in branded goods that were supposed to be beef. The attitude of many was that if people are going to go buying cheap food they bring that on themselves. That just shows you the mentality of some people really, if people don’t even think buyers have a right to know what type of meat is in their food then they’re hardly going to be expecting people to care whether the animals were fed GMO or not but some of use do want to avoid GMOs whether it is from a highly researched viewpoint or just from an ick factor. I don’t think it is alarmist to talk about these things, it’s good to have a bit of a chat about it. In the case of the hamsters fed GMOs the research is ongoing and the authors haven’t said that the diet definitely caused hair growth in cheek pouches and other changes but they did say it could be a factor. I found a link to the paper for free here if anyone wants to have a read. As a rule of thumb with a scientific paper if you haven’t read them before the abstract comes first and is a summary and the conclusion and discussion come last, you’ll often get an abstract for free at sites such as pubmed: http://www.truefoodfoundation.org/ectopia-from-gmo.pdf I’m not very good at debating and I’m a bit of a Sheldon Cooperesque sort so if I’ve offended then I’ll be completely oblivious and that’s just the way scientists are made but at least there is a little niche for us.
        Okay, children running wild while I sit here writing about GMOs, what a bad mumma!!! Haha.

        • alice says:

          Hi Von,
          I took a look at the article you attached and was extremely surprised to see that it actually wasn’t an experiment at all. They simply spontaneously discovered that some of the animals in their vivariums had these hairs and it was not a comparison study using different foods. I have worked with mice and rats extensively in my academic research career and I promise you, I have never seen anything like this ever and we certainly are not feeding our rodents organic chow. I hate to be snobbish but this is not a good journal at all and I would hesitate to draw any conclusions about their findings. The animals might be harboring latent mutations, there could be parasites, disease, who knows.

          I firmly believe we should all make the best decisions we can for ourselves and I do most of my shopping at Whole Foods and my local farmers market because the produce tastes better to me and WF happens to be my closest grocery store. But let’s not kid ourselves that the organic food and natural products industry is as big and profit-driven as any other industry. If I saw more people in this country eating more vegetables and fruits, I’d be thrilled, regardless of whether the food was organic or not.

        • My Year of Fabulous says:

          Wow! Thanks for you comment! So detailed and informative! I was really surprised by the reaction to my post as well. It seems to me that eating vegetable drenched in pesticides (without even being labeled GMO!) and using endocrine disrupting skin care products would be something that everyone could agree on — to me, it’s obvious they’re bad. I don’t need to wait twenty years to see how this GMO experiment plays out. Look at the soil depletion — look at how the chemicals hurt our water supply and the animals and look at the types of pesticides and how could anyone say that this practice isn’t doing any harm??????

          • Von says:

            Alice, you’re completely missing my point in my comments on this post and my reason for posting the link. The article I linked to mentions that they don’t know what’s caused the changes in the hamsters and suggests possible avenues of research including that GMOs could be a reason. They didn’t prove that and they didn’t investigate it but the response to the article (which folk can go and investigate themselves online) from Monsanto etc highlighted the problems with the testing of GMOs by the manufacturers. The point I was making wasn’t that GMOs made that happen to the animals but that the response to the article and criticisms of the research both in academia and industry actually demonstrated to me how poor the testing of GMOs is e.g. the short duration of studies/small number of animals etc and that was what I was amazed by as I’d have expected the safety testing of GMOs to be much more rigorous. I don’t think the safety testing of GMOs is up to scratch so I’m taking the precautionary approach (although it doesn’t really mean big changes here in the UK at the moment). That’s just part of my wider move to organic I’m making because of the pesticide and herbicide loading that comes with non organic and also GM crops. Of course organics are out to make money but to get their organic status they have to abide by rules I approve of so I’d rather give them my money and not do the long term testing of GMOs in my own kitchen.

            • alice says:

              Thanks for clarifying Von. The thing is, such speculation by the authors with absolutely zero evidence does not give them any kind of authority simply because it appears in a journal article. My point was that their observations (such as they are) have not been reproduced in any other setting that I’ve known of and probably all rodents used for research in the US are unwitting participants in testing GMO soybeans, since that is a likely component of the standard rodent chow that is used for feed in laboratories. I am an academic scientist myself (not in food research), and poorly executed and misleading research gets my goat!

              There have been several interesting articles about Golden Rice, a rice that was engineered to produce beta carotene, that has been caught up in this larger discussion of what is safe and not, and what the purpose of GMO foods is that I think you might enjoy. I know the New York Times has reported on this but there was also an editorial in Nature that was interesting. I would be happy to send you the Nature article if it’s not accessible.

              (I hope you don’t take any of this as a personal attack; I enjoy debate but also respect the decisions you choose to make in your personal life)

          • alice says:

            I definitely agree that the environmental costs of corporate farming makes it important to look at alternatives and I would prefer to support my local farmer who uses responsible farming practices any day. I’m not convinced GMO foods are bad to eat though, simply because they are modified. There’s a really interesting discussion going on about Golden Rice right now if you are interested!

            My understanding of parabens is that the doses required to elicit any estrogen-type reaction for example is many thousands of times higher than that found in normal products and the activity of these molecules in vivo (in the body) is still even lower than in vitro (in culture). There are also some parabens that naturally occur in foods. So given this data, I am personally skeptical that parabens are causing earlier periods in girls.

            Anyway, I do love these types of discussions because I think it’s important to have the conversation and to be mindful of what we put in our bodies and how we impact the environment. Thanks very much for putting your own thoughts out there and I much appreciate your grace in allowing my dissenting opinions!

            Looking forward to bombshell!

            • Von says:

              Hi Alice, I’ve read about attempts to put vitamins into rice years back and in all honesty I’ve not kept up that reading but I must admit to being rather skeptical about what seems like a bit of a greenwash if that’s the example that would justify GMOs more generally. That has kind of been the argument for the good of GMOs for years, way back into the 1990s. The promise was that GMOs would do us all good by adding genes to food so that good things like vitamins would be in them but to my mind it would be a better approach to tackle poverty issues and food supply. The complete lack of choice bothers me, what choice does someone have if they don’t have enough vitamin rich food and then a big company offers them GMO rice for Vitamin A? It seems like testing out ideas in countries where desperate people have no say. I can understand that folk lacking those vitamins then getting them from their diet is a good thing but that would not be the only way to deliver vitamins to people if everyone cared enough to do something about it. That’s not even touching on the flip side, what about the use of GMOs in countries where the terminator technology in them has led to complete control over agriculture? If it was really concern over malnutrition and poverty then why does money come before morality and why offer some people Golden Rice but then offer other people Terminator Technology seeds when they can’t afford to buy each year if the companies involved are really really worried about poverty and malnutrition.

            • Von says:

              What I was really trying to say there is that if I was starving and I got an offer of GMO food with vits in it or no food/low vit food I’d maybe take it too but that doesn’t convince me that GMOs are a good thing and it doesn’t address the pesticide/herbicide issue that goes hand in hand with many GMO foods. If the criticism of the study I mentioned can also be applied to GMO trials then why accept them? I’m not saying the study proves GMOs are bad, only that the response to it was enlightening for me. Thank you for the offer of papers but I don’t doubt that golden rice contains the vits stated and that it would help starving people to get those vits. That just wouldn’t alter my decision not to eat them for all the reasons stated earlier.

            • My Year of Fabulous says:

              Thanks so much, Alice for putting your opinions out there. I think it’s so important to have a friendly open-minded conversation about what we put in our bodies and how we impact the environment. It sounds like you’ve given this whole topic a lot of thought and I really appreciate that.

  • Bo says:

    http://thebreakthrough.org/index.php/programs/conservation-and-development/the-truth-about-genetically-modified-food/

    a quote from the above link…

    ‘Allowing anti-GMO activists to dictate policymaking on biotechnology is like putting homeopaths in charge of the health service, or asking anti-vaccine campaigners to take the lead in eradicating polio. Such irrational policymaking has led to unnecessary deaths, as when thousands died because the president of Zambia believed the lies of Western environmental groups that genetically modified corn provided by the World Food Program was somehow poisonous. It is time to reject the anti-GMO conspiracy theory.’

    It is an excellent read..i saw a picture on the internet of people wearing hazmat suits in a corn field with an anti-GMO statement about how poisonous the corn was, they had to where these suits just to go in the corn field…people wear those suits so their lungs are protected from corn dust that happens in any corn field (GMO or not)…corn dust (grain dust) kills people..their is a lot of misinformation out there about gmo foods and it’s hard not to believe it b/c it gets so sensationalized.

    • My Year of Fabulous says:

      I’ll read it. Thanks! I personally think that it’s just as crazy to put the health of American citizens in the hands of corporations like Monsanto. I mean, look how much money corporations are pouring into campaigns to so that we can’t even have a label on our GMO products in America — say what you want about GMOs good or bad, but even CHINA labels it’s GMOs as well as most of the countries in the world — If we’re such a free country and the citizens of our country have expressed an overwhelming desire to have an ingredient label added to our foods — why can’t we get it? Isn’t it a basic human right to know what is in the food that we’re buying?

      Also, I’d rather put a homeopath in charge of health services — right now we just have pharmaceutical companies giving Americans health advice! In America, over 100 million children are on daily prescription medications! And the numbers just keep growing… By ten years old, these kids are already having liver problems as well as obesity and a host of other side affects from medication.

      I’m babbling… I know! So sorry — the topic of health in America gets me all in a dither! I’ll just go eat another Violet Crumble you gave me! My supply is dwindling too fast!

      • Bo says:

        You do realize 90% of soybeans in america are GM and 50% of corn. All business needs profit to survive-even ‘organic’ food stores. To label the food GM would require labeling nearly all food, and yes food found in so called ‘natural’ markets..and then they’d hardly have anything on their shelves…and lose money and close down…If you purchase food that has 1 ingredient that says no-GMO, the other ingredient (say, soy lecithin) can be GM…so it’s really going to be difficult to label food and extremely complicated to regulate. I say label it all. If you want to eat food that is not GM then look for those companies that are are labeling their food (all ingredients) as being free of GMO. If you understand genetics and the science behind it, it makes sense. A crop that is drought resistant and takes little water to grow is important in drought stricken areas. If you had a choice, were a farmer and living in an area where water was scarce, wouldn’t you buy the seed that would survive with minimal water? If you can produce all the food you need to eat right at home, more power to you! I would be seriously terrified of jumping out of a plane..I am not afraid to eat GM food. Here is another article for you..

        http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/07/a_hippie_s_defense_of_gmos_why_genetically_modified_food_isn_t_necessarily.html

        • Bo says:

          oh and I also wanted to thank you so much for the coconut oil recommendations..my skin feels so much better! I had no idea…

        • My Year of Fabulous says:

          Yes, I do realize that ninety-five percent of American homes have GMO products in them. But so far, 64 countries around the world now label their GMO foods and I couldn’t find any evidence that these countries experienced groceries shutting down and having no food on the shelves and a serious hit on the countries economy. Do you have an article about that? I’d love to read it.

          I will say this though, I hope that whatever foods you eat keep you strong and healthy until you’re like at least 120! You make the world a better place to live in every day for animals and people and just knowing you’re out there doing awesome things makes me so happy!

          • Bo says:

            It was the picture of the syringe injecting the corn that got me in a tizzy..people see photos on the internet and it is instant truth (some people prefer just to look at pictures, read a headline rather then do any research or read some text and then it’s like any intelligent discussion is lost to an image someone made up..). I can’t remember the quote but someone said something like you tend to read what is written of which you already believe so in the end you say to yourself , yes just like I thought… instead of reading another side that may challenge your knowledge or beliefs. I am not against labeling everything, actually I think all food is GM, and the stuff that is labeled no GMO, truly is not. no label, is a label. So how is that for babble!

            hmmmm life at 120…I don’t know if I’d want to go there. But thanks for the wish!

      • Jackie says:

        Oh boy…I’ve been spending the past couple weeks reading through your archives, and having fun all the way, but I think I need to comment on this one. This comment in particular, too. Hold on, this will be a long one.

        First, I’m totally with you on frustration with corporations, lobbies, and money that flows every which way not for the greater good, but in order to keep money flowing back to the higher-ups in those said corporations. The more I dig the more it seems like every choice is futile–like with Toms potentially destroying local economies, even though on the surface donating a pair of shoes sounds freaking awesome.

        So. First, homeopathy. As I understand it, homeopathy is totally different from natural, home, or otherwise unprocessed remedies, and in the end relies entirely on the placebo effect. It is based on the belief that “like cures like,” and uses extremely diluted solutions to achieve that. For example, for nausea, a homeopath would prescribe a diluted form of syrup of ipecac. The solution they give you is fairly likely to be so diluted that it contains no traces of the molecule at all, but supposedly the water molecules that are left have an “imprint” of the impecac and so are beneficial. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homeopathy gives a good overview and emphasizes that not all homeopaths subscribe to all of those things, but some do.)

        That is a big contrast to the natural remedy of using ginger or peppermint tea to help with nausea, assuming they work. Study results have been mixed, but I would believe it if there were enough studies with large sample sizes that found a larger effect with ginger or peppermint than a reasonable placebo. They probably don’t do harm, though, so I would try it anyway. On the other hand, I think homeopathy and even natural remedies are dangerous when people with serious health problems forego other treatment, such as putting off a doctor visit and testing that turns out to reveal something like cancer that could have been caught much sooner and is then more likely to be deadly. So, I for one really wouldn’t want a homeopath in charge, though I think we can agree that whoever is in charge needs to look at big pharma and natural remedies alike with a highly critical eye, and make sure that things are only approved for consumption once proven safe, rather than being banned once proven dangerous.

        Finally, on the topic of big pharma, where did you get that statistic? Assuming you are talking about just the United States, I don’t think we even have 100 million children living in this country, let alone 100 million on daily prescription meds. I think we do err on the side of overconsuming drugs without knowing enough about their long-term effects, but that statistic jumped out at me as suspect. Companies and organizations that post information like that also have an agenda, and while parts of it might be more in line with yours or my own, it gets tied up into money all over again eventually.

        I could ramble on even more than I already have about issues with medicine in this country, but I will switch gears to tell you that I was one of the people who voted against the proposition in California to label GMO foods. I didn’t do it because I don’t believe we should label them, but because it seemed to me like a very flawed bill. If I recall correctly, there were exemptions for things like meat and dairy products, and organic foods. That one was the big one for me, since big organics directly benefit from that exemption. I agree that organic is better for the environment, but not having to label organic food as GM even if it does contain GM materials is incredibly misleading when it’s side by side on the shelf with a product that did have to label itself. Couple that with huge food producers lobbying all the time to loosen organic labeling requirements (heck, even Walmart has organic produce now), and the GMO label under those rules (or lack of label) is meaningless at best, and at worst misleads people into thinking they weren’t consuming GMO when they still were. It would be far better to label everything that contained GMO as GMO.

        My solution? Get all the money out of politics. Easy peasy.

        • My Year of Fabulous says:

          Thanks so much for your comment. I got that 100 million children on meds from an article in the Huffington post — and I find them to be pretty trustworthy. I totally agree with you on the GMO and homeopathy. I have found the best way for my family and I to gather food is from our local farmer’s market. We also buy milk from our friends that have cows and we belong to a CSA (community supported agriculture) to get our fresh, local, organic produce. When we’re out and about and traveling, I bring snacks, etc, but we also eat at restaurants where I’m sure they’re getting their food from horrible places. But I can’t get crazy about it. I want to enjoy my life and have fun with my kids and so I just have to let that part go.

          I honestly don’t know how to get all the money out of politics but in America, that is our only hope for a successful, healthy future.

          • Jackie says:

            I should thank you too for reminding me to think critically about all of this stuff. It sounds like you’re doing the best you can do without driving yourself totally nuts, and I’m trying to as well. It’s just so easy to get frustrated and feel like I can’t win, but blogs like yours give me hope because they get people thinking about all these issues. And clearly your other commenters care a lot too!

            • My Year of Fabulous says:

              You’re welcome. Thanks for your great comment. I think I voted for the labeling GMO thing in California, but after reading your comment I regretted it. I just wanted to send a message that like the sixty other countries (I’m pretty sure it’s at least sixty) in the world that label their GMOs, we should too. But, time and time again, I am reminded that almost all decisions in America are based on corporate profit and have nothing to do helping citizens. It didn’t used to be that way — there was a time in America where our government decided to build beautiful buildings all over America and put free books in them so that every American could read whenever they wanted to!! Can you imagine that happening now? What would Amazon.com have to say about that?

    • Cali Rose says:

      Nature was providing for our ancestors for generations, and plants would probably endure without the existence humans, so why do we need GMO’s and why should we take the risk? I know a little about soil science and I know how the quality of soil affects crops. When you use Organic Compost and build your Soil naturally you have no need for further fertilizer, but if you murder the soil and microbes with chemical burns you need more synthetic crap to yeild and it’s a vicious cycle. This is what I do for a living and I have seen both ways be successful, but guess which garden I am going to feed my kIds out of? Better safe than sorry

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