We have the Right To Know: What is in the Food we Consume?

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Are you frightened by the incredible power in the United States of big business? They are the only ones with money, and spend millions to keep their power over the consumer.  In this November Oregon referendum, like they have done in other states, big business is spending millions of dollars to keep us from knowing what is in our food.

We should as consumers, know what harmful ingredients our foods could contain. I want the products I purchase labelled if they have GMOs, and if they have been sprayed with harmful chemicals!

According to surveys, 90% of us think our food should be labeled for GMOs, and it is frustrating that large corporations control the message with lies about we eat.  We still have some choices. and as consumers can try to stay away from GMO products.  Our power is in wise consumer choices!

What can you do?

  1. Reduce the amount of processed foods you purchase, and eat REAL food.
  2. Always read labels. soy and corn syrup are GMO products.
  3. Eat organic and local as much as you can afford. Shop food-coops and farmers markets.
  4. Never use neonicotinoids or pesticides on your lawn or garden
  5. Do NOT believe what Monsanto, Bayer, General Mills, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Pepsi and others …..are telling you about chemicals and GMOs. Big business thinks about profit and not what is healthy for you, or our bees, birds and butterflies!
  6. Support the Right to Know Amendment on the Oregon Ballot on Election Day, November  http://oregonrighttoknow.org/        Support them financially if you can:  https://oregonrighttoknow.ngpvanhost.com/form/31251809577535232?ms=E.FR-O-LFW1.ND.NAT.MAIN_CONTRIBUTE-DONATE&AM=35
  7. Watch this Bill Nye video and learn about GMOs,  http://ecowatch.com/2014/10/15/bill-nye-science-guy-gmo-foods/

More Information:

“All-natural” and “heart-healthy” don’t qualify as labels. They’re just food industry hype. Kellogg can claim that its energy bar will make you as strong as Hercules, but only the “Nutritional information” box tells you what’s actually inside the package — and herbicides, pesticides and GMOs aren’t listed.

The certified-organic label, on the other hand, lets you know beyond a reasonable doubt where your food comes from and how it’s made. Plus, you can feel good about supporting a food system that spends a fraction of its capital (human and otherwise) on marketing, packaging, branding, advertising and so on. Your dollar will go to people who put in 12-hour days, seven days a week to improve your health and that of the planet.”  Bonnie Blodgett   http://strib.mn/1xdzUc5  

What are Genetically Engineered Foods / GMOs? 

“Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs.”
From the glossary on the Monsanto website.

“Organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally.” 
World Health Organization

Find more information:

GMO crops are creating a mono culture and wiping out the habitat of our bees, butterflies and birds.  More information: Friends of the Earth  foe.org/monarchs

http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/29/gmo-crops-accelerate-herbicide-insecticide/

http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/29/gmo-crops-accelerate-herbicide-insecticide/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=80f6754f39-Top_News_10_5_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-80f6754f39-85912169

http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/29/gmo-crops-accelerate-herbicide-insecticide/

http://ecowatch.com/2014/09/29/gmo-crops-accelerate-herbicide-insecticide/?utm_source=EcoWatch+List&utm_campaign=80f6754f39-Top_News_10_5_2014&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_49c7d43dc9-80f6754f39-85912169

 

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Everyone Can help the Bees and Butterflies!

IT IS POLLINATOR WEEKEND

Plant a pollinator plant this weekend!

Purple Cone flower
Purple Cone flower

 

Ask to be sure plants you purchase are Neonicotinoid free!

This is from the http://www.xerces.org/ society

 

BEAUTY AND THE BEES:
ONE GARDEN AT A TIME
Everyone can plant a flower for National Pollinator Week!
Once again, it is National Pollinator Week and a fantastic time to thank the bees, butterflies, and other pollinators by giving them a hand. There are so many threats to pollinators — pesticides, diseases, habitat loss, and more — that one can be discouraged. But everyone can easily do one thing to help pollinators: plant a beautiful bee-friendly flowering plant.Whether adding bee-friendly perennial wildflowers to frame your front yard, planting a pollinator hedgerow along your farm road, including bee-flowers in your vegetable garden, or just planting a pot with a sunflower on your porch, any effort to increase the number of flowers available for bees can help pollinators and beautify your home or farm. Plus, it is a great joy to watch the bees visit the flowers you plant and to share this wildlife with your friends and neighbors.Here are some places you can go to find information about which plants are best for your area.

Don’t forget to sign the Pollinator Protection Pledgeand join the ever-expanding community of pollinator enthusiasts — and enjoy yourself as we celebrate pollinators!

 

Find Out More:

 

To discover more ways to support pollinators, including ideas for creating a bee garden in your own community, visit our Bring Back the Pollinators webpage.

 

Thank you for doing your part!

Native plants don't need chemicals!
Native plants don’t need chemicals!

A new book by Heather Holm
A new book by
Heather Holm

Get With It, Build Some Habitat!

Bees and butterflies love bee balm
Bees and butterflies love bee balm

We are all worried about our bees and our butterflies! Have you ever wondered why in a city full of gardens of flowers there are so few bees and butterflies? In contrast, I observe a large diversity of bees and butterflies walking roads in northern Wisconsin where deer eat every flower within reach. The city, teaming with flowers, has less pollinators?

 

 

 

 

What is the reason?

  1. Chemicals: “The U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service says homeowners use up to 10 times more chemicals per acre than http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/11/opinion/sunday/the-toxic-brew-in-our-yards.html?_r=0
  2. Unattractive flowers: Many of the attractive flowers we purchase have been hybridized so they don’t appeal to bees and butterflies.
  3. Habitat: A combination of the two above. Have we destroyed so much native habitat that pollinators are not interested in the flowers we plant?

The purpose of this post is to encourage you to reduce or eliminate the chemicals you use in your yard. and build habitat for our pollinators by planting more native plants in your yard. Native plants do not need chemicals.  With their deep root structure natives are flood and drought resistant. Also, they are resistant to invasive pests.  But the best about natives is that the bees , butterflies and birds love them, and they love areas without chemicals!

It is important we plant for our pollinators. What can you do to help?

** Take a pledge not to use chemicals nor dump them into drains:  The Great Healthy Yard Project  http://tghyp.com/

** Build Habitat: Find a sunny place in your yard to plant pollinator loving plants  or some native shrubs or trees.  Plant bee balm, milkweed, liatris, cone flowers, asters and golden rod. www.xerces.com

**Enjoy and appreciate your new visiting pollinators, healthier air, and cleaner water to drink   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqmUDEEJ-J4 http://tghyp.com/   Take a pledge to not use chemicals in your yard!

** Always ask if plants you purchase have been treated with neonicotinoids, and NEVER use these products or plants with neonicotinoids.

Purple cone flowers appeal to birds, bees and butterflies
Purple cone flowers appeal to birds, bees and butterflies

 

http://www.salon.com/2014/05/17/how_to_save_the_worlds_bees_before_its_too_late/  An interview with Dave Goulson

http://www.pollinatorsnativeplants.com/

pollinatorrevival.org

http://www.thebeezkneezdelivery.com/       http://mnhoney.net/

http://earthjustice.org/features/the-case-of-the-vanishing-honey-bee

http://ecowatch.com/2014/05/16/alarming-effects-pesticides-young-brains-kids/

http://www.greenphonebooth.com/2014/05/unpaving-paradise-starting-wildlife.html?spref=fb

Anise Hyssop
Anise Hyssop

 

Everyday Is Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!                  618482main_earth1600_800-600

The weather is close to perfect, and it is a fabulous time of the year.  Get outside and enjoy our magnificent planet.

Our earth’s water, air, birds, bees and butterflies need better care, and extreme weather has become the norm.  I wish our earth was healthier, and hopefully on this special day we can make a new commitment to do more to help her.

Six easy things you can do to love our earth:

1. Everyday appreciate our beautiful earth.

2. Recycle, recycle, and recycle some more, and remember to recycle those plastic bags–Many stores collect them.  We should recycle 74 % of our trash according to the EPA.

3. Ask when you purchase plants if they have been treated with neonicotinoids (imidacloprid, clothianidin, thiamethoxam, acetamiprid, dinotefuran) and never apply these chemicals to your yard. Some bird seed is also treated with these poisons-ASK and read labels!

4. Add native trees and plants to your landscape.  http://findnativeplants.com/

5. Purchase quality products, and products that can be reused.  Also, look for products made from recycled materials.  If the entire world lived like the average American, we’d need 5 planets to provide enough resources.

6. Leave your car at home one day a week, and turn off lights when not in use.

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Big Question: Do Plants Contain Neonicotinoids?

Bees love bee balm and Anise Hysopp
Bees love bee balm and Anise Hysopp

I am a firm believer in Education, and thank the media for making an issue of the loss of our bees.  News today that two major garden stores/growers, Bachmans and Gertens, in the Twin Cities will not use neonicotinoids on their own plants this year.  They are also educating their sales force on neonicotinoids.  This does not mean all their plants will be neonicotinoids free, because some of their suppliers might still be users.  As you shop for garden plants this year, you still need to ask, OR just purchase local native plants.  http://findnativeplants.com/  Read the full story:  http://www.startribune.com/lifestyle/homegarden/250843241.html

“Neonicotinoids are a class of neuro-active insecticides chemically similar to nicotine. In March 2013, the American Bird Conservancy published a review of 200 studies on neonicotinoids including industry research obtained through the US Freedom of Information Act, calling for a ban on neonicotinoid use as seed treatments because of their toxicity to birds, aquatic invertebrates, and other wildlife. The use of some members of this class has been restricted in some countries due to some evidence of a connection to honey-bee colony collapse disorder.” From Wikopedia

Cone flowers: Easy to grow, and loved by bees!
Cone flowers: Easy to grow, and loved by bees!