Cotton is everywhere; our clothes, cotton balls, swabs and pads, feminine products, dish and bath towels, curtains, yarn, place-mats, hats, bedding, quilts.....and on and on. Cotton is a versatile and useful product. It's easy to care for and the softness, can't forget that. GMO cotton, however, has a some scary secrets.
1. Cotton is One of the Top 3 Genetically Modified Crops
94% of the cotton grown in the US is genetically modified. Worldwide it is grown on over 70 million acres! What kind of affect does this have on the farmers?
In India, the second largest producer of cotton, farmers are committing suicide at alarming rates. 200, 000 thousand farmers have committed suicide since 1997. The problem began when the World Bank forced India to open up their seed sector. Farmers had always saved their seeds, bred them using traditional methods. Saving the seeds, improving their qualities each year. When the seed sector opened up and giant agri businesses like Monsanto and Cargill came in they were promised higher yields and more profit.
You all know that we invested in new, breeder quality chickens earlier this spring. We searched the country high and low for birds that were not only breeder quality but also that they have been raised and selected for egg and meat production and fed a non-GMO diet.
Every hatchery feeds their birds GMO feed. They are not selected for quality and all the eggs are injected with vaccines. Every egg. Furthermore, unless it is stated that they are a heritage breed, you are likely getting a Cornish cross. These are considered by most people who are familiar with the subject as GMO chickens. Although they are not genetically modified the same way as say GMO corn, they are absolutely genetically modified through an intensive breeding program in which only to hatcheries in the country have the Frankenstein breeding stock to do so and with very inhumane results.
Cornish cross chickens have been bred in such a way that they reach butchering size in as little as 12 weeks. A healthy heritage or even a normal bird from the hatchery would take 20 weeks to be ready for butcher. They may be a little smaller but I'm sure you would be fine with that once you learn how the Cornish cross lives in their short little lives.
Commercially raised chickens- everything in your run of the line grocery store, are raised in long "houses" . They only receive artificially light and have at most a 1 to 1 1/2 feet of space each. And that is considered "free range" because they are not locked up in a cage. There are thousands of birds in each house and by the way the houses only get cleaned out about once every 4 years. Because of their super charged growth rate they often get broken legs and have heart attacks. As a result of their confined and cramped (literally walking on each other, hurt/sick chickens, and even dead chickens) disease is rampant, including E-coli so they are given vaccines and medicated feed. But still the death rate is high. Every day people come through and pick out the dead ones and then bury them alive! Yes, they are supposed to wring their neck first, like that's much better, but that "takes to long" so they just throw them in a pit then put the lid on and walk away leaving them to starve and suffocate to death. It is a horrible industry. This is not what we want when we sit done to the diner table. This is cruel and unnecessary. And this so called food does not nourish our bodies.
Organic means that they were given organic food but it doesn't mean that they were raised humanely. A lot of big companies have started an organic division so they can get a piece of profit from the organic pie. That doesn't mean they believe in the value of organic and humanely raised animals. There are a few companies out there that are raising their birds humanely and some even organically on a somewhat large scale. You have to research the company and know what to look for. Like I told you earlier "free range" doesn't necessarily mean that they are out wondering the prairie. It is highly unlikely. It is much better to look for pasture raised birds which are moved to new pasture on a consistent basis. The very best option is to KNOW YOUR FARMER. Where ever you live, either near us or across the world, know your farmer. Do a quick search and find local farmers in your area and buy them directly from them. Go to their farm and see how the birds are raised for yourself. If the farmer doesn't want you to visit then they must be hiding something. Our customers are always welcome to visit our farm. This is the best way to buy all your meat.
Now you can see why we were so very excited to find our birds! It has been several years since we purchased any birds from a hatchery and almost 10 years since we have bought any chicken from the store. But breeding hatchery chickens is not the same. We needed top quality birds to start our breeding program. Now that we have them we will be breeding one line for layers and for meat birds so that we can provide more eggs and chicken to our CSA customers. . Our chicken receives a completely non-GMO and organic diet, including fresh greens and they are free ranged-truly free ranged. They literally roam the prairie freely. Ahh, isn't that nice! And of course all this means that our birds are more nutritious too.
Happy, healthy, clean, eating,
I have done much research on this subject. We are deeply concerned with what we feed our family and take it very seriously. I didn't site the facts in this post but the information is easily found all over the internet if you would like to do further research. There is nothing wrong with eating meat but that doesn't mean we don't need to consider the quality of life of the animals that are raised for this purpose.
We often hear that glyphosate is bad for us, harmful to our health, but what exactly are the health problems that it causes? The majority of crops that are genetically modified are modified in such a way so that they can be sprayed with glyphosate and not be harmed. If glyphosate were to be sprayed on any other plant is would shrivel up and die. It is both an insecticide and herbicide. Not only is it sprayed on GMO crops but it is also sprayed on conventionally grown non-GMO grains and legumes a few weeks before harvest to desiccate or dry out the grain/legume (it kills them) to speed up the harvesting process. It is the most highly used herbicide/insecticide with almost 300 million pounds being sprayed on crops every year. Glyphosate is linked to many health problems but I'm going to focus on eight. Think of them as eight reasons to choose organic in all areas of your life. Not just what you eat but what personal care products you use, the cleaning products you choose and the clothes you wear (96% of the cotton grown in the US in 2016 was genetically modified). Keep in mind that glyphosate was found in 60 to 100% of water and air samples taken over a two year course.[2} It is coming at us in every direction. The most effective way to put an end to this is by making responsible choices with the products we buy and educating the people around us so that they can do the same.
This blog post will be conducted in a four part series. Each post highlighting two health issues starting with cancer and heart disease. Future post in the series will include Celiac disease and gluten intolerance, colitis, Parkinson disease, Autism, birth defects, and reproductive/pregnancy problems. There are many more health issues and diseases the glyphosate has been linked to. Too many to address here but we get the picture, stay away from glyphosate!
In 2015 the research arm of the World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the worlds leading authority on cancer, declared that glyphosate was a probable carcinogen to humans. The fact that they say "probable" blows my mind because study after study show that glyphosate causes tumors and irregular cell growth in lab animals. Take a look at these pictures of the lab rats taken during a study conducted by the Seralini Team. In it they found that after 24 months all the groups being fed GMO corn or glyphosate in the water (at levels under that which is permitted in the drinking water), 50-80% had tumors some had as many as three. And did you look at the pictures? They are large.
The recent release of emails between the EPA and Monsanto have been quite revealing. As reported in the NY Times, one email reveals that a top EPA official, Dan Jenkins, offered to kill a government investigation on glyphosate and it's carcinogenic properties stating "If I can kill this I should get a medal."
Other emails indicated that Monsanto practices "ghost writing." They need a report to go up against some negative finding about glyphosate or one of their other products so they write the report and only "involve experts for less contentious parts of the report". Hmm, how convenient for them,
Then there was the letter from a former EPA Scientist (pathologist), Marion Copley, to Jess Rowland of the EPA. In the letter she pleads with him.
"For once do the right thing and don’t make decisions based on how it affects your bonus...... Peviously, CARC concluded that glyphosate was a “possible human carcinogen”. The kidney pathology in the animal studies would lead to tumors with other mechanisms listed above. Any one of these mechanisms alone listed can cause tumors, but glyphosate causes all of them simultaneously." 
And accusing other scientist in the EPA of taking bribes.
"Is Greg playing your political games as well, incompetent or does he have some conflict of interest of some kind? Your Nebraska colleague took industry funding, he clearly has a conflict of interest. Just promise me not to ever let Anna in the CARC committee, her decisions don’t make rational sense. If anyone in OPP is taking bribes, it is her."
You can find the full letter here.
Currently there is a lawsuit against Monsanto involving more than 500 non-Hodgkin's lymphoma patients claiming that glyphosate caused their cancer. It is estimated that there will be 2,000 to 3,000 cases by the end of the year.
California has added glyphosate to their list of known carcinogens.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America (cancer is number 2). Is it what Americans are eating? Their lifestyle? Glyphosate? Yes, yes and yes. Glyphosate is on the quite full list of things that contributes to, or causes heart disease. In their review "Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome", Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff go into great detail how glyphosate can be linked to all diet based diseases. That makes since. Glyphosate residue is found in all the common food of the western diet: sugar, corn, soy and wheat. Glyphosate is sytemic. It is taken up by the plant and is thus in every cell off the plant. It can not be washed off, it is in the plant and it's fruit/seed/grain.
In their review they found that glyphosate inhibits certain enzymes called cytochrome P450 (CYP). The main role of CYP is to detoxify xenobiotics. Xenobiotic are classified as any foreign chemical compound in a biological system. For us humans that would be things like drugs, and environmental pollutants such as synthetic pesticides, herbicides, and industrial pollutants that are not found in nature. The Samsel and Seneff review found that the consequences to this "are most of the diseases and conditions associated with a Western diet, which include gastrointestinal disorders, obesity, diabetes, heart disease, depression, autism, infertility, cancer and Alzheimer’s" 
Furthermore the disruption of the enzymes causes lysosomal dysfunction, which is a major factor in cardiovascular disease and heart failure. 
It is estimated that over 75% of the food on grocery store shelves contain GMOs.  Glyphosate is in the food we eat, the air we breath and the water we drink. Our bodies are in overdrive trying to get rid of it and one of our main mechanisms God gave us for cleaning our body of pollutants is actually crippled by the very pollutant it is trying to rid itself of.
1. Center For Food Safety
2. National Center for Biotechnology Imformation,
Occurrence and Fate of the Herbicide Glyphosate and its Degradate Aminomethylphosphonic Acid in the Atmosphere
3. Natural News with Copely letter
4. Entropy Review- Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450
Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut
5. The Free Dictionary
6. Center for Food Safety
7. Eco Watch
A little confused right now? Yeah, it is crazy but true. Yesterday my husband was reading the news and found an article about a spill of thousands of Skittles. The spilled Skittles were from a truck load of Skittles destined for a cattle farm. Now if that sounds absurd listen to this; they say it is completely healthy for the cows. So you see, it is not healthy for us to eat loads of candy and sweets but cows, cows are a different story. Although they were created to eat grasses, they are perfectly healthy when fed truck loads of Skittles and other candies. Hmmm.
Apparently they have been feeding candy, yes, all different kinds of candy, to cows for decades. They tout that it is a good source of carbs. Are you kidding me? I assure you, I'm not making this up. Can you imagine them saying the same thing about humans eating candy like that.?
Candy that does not meet the quality check, the Skittles were missing the "S", are sold to cattle farmers. The cattle farmers use them as a cheap supplement to their feeding program. The practice has become more common in the last 4 years with the rise of corn prices but has been going on for decades!
We have all heard the phrase "you are what you eat." We know this to be true. A constant consumption of junk food makes for unhealthy human beings . Sugar (about 99% of the ingredients of Skittle are some form of sugar) in particular is linked to just about every major health problem and specifically cardiovascular disease as demonstrated in a 2014 study.
"According to the study published in JAMA: Internal Medicine, those who got 17 to 21 percent of calories from added sugar had a 38 percent higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease compared to those who consumed 8 percent of their calories from added sugar." http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Added-Sugars-Add-to-Your-Risk-of-Dying-from-Heart-Disease_UCM_460319_Article.jsp#.WIbLNVxFuxA
I haven't eaten Skittles in over ten years but I just did a quick google and checked out the nutritional information and ingredient list of Skittles. 42 grams of sugar in 1 serving! 230 calories! That is over two times the recommended daily amount of 6 tsp or 100 calories from sugar that the American Heart Association recommends for women. They are not talking about the natural occurring sugars found in a banana or and apple, but sugar that is added to things like soft drinks, processed foods, and baked goods.
"According to the study, most U.S. adults consume about 22 teaspoons of added sugars a day." http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/HealthyLiving/HealthyEating/Nutrition/Added-Sugars-Add-to-Your-Risk-of-Dying-from-Heart-Disease_UCM_460319_Article.jsp#.WIbLNVxFuxA
America eats far to much sugar as it is. We do not need to feed sugar to our livestock. If it is bad for us then it is bad for them too. We need to be cutting sugar drastically back in our diets. Not finding tricky ways to add it in. Yea, yea, the cow probably turns the sugar to fat but you know what I mean. That can't be healthy for the cows. If the cow is unhealthy how healthy is the meat for us?
Corn (think corn syrup, the 2nd ingredient in Skittles) and sugar beets (sugar, is of course the first ingredient) are two of the most commonly grown genetically modified crops. 88% of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified and 95% of the sugar beets grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. That means that Skittles are just a brightly colored, sweet smelling pebble of genetically modified, cancer causing, cardiovascular disease inducing goodness. Oh, I almost forgot diabetes, cancer, and obesity too. Do you really want to taste that rainbow? I know I don't. Not my kids or my cows, goats, sheep or poultry!
Where do you get your beef? Is it grain finished? Skittle finished? Or grass finished?
In case you don't believe all this cow eating candy non-sense here is a link to the article my husband read and one I found on CNN.
In the near future I will be doing a post on sugar alternatives. Learn how we have virtually eliminated all refined sugar from our diet and the alternatives that we use.
Happy, healthy living,
So you have been doing the non-Gmo thing for awhile now. You did the research and have found that the health, environmental, and moral risks are just to high. You're learning to read the labels and you are feeling pretty good about how far you have come. That's great! What a long way you have come. Now it is time to step it up a notch.
GMOs are hiding in a multitude of products. The more products they get them into the more money they make right? That means we have to be on our toes and mindful of what we eat and even what we put on our bodies. Anything that touches our skin is going to be absorbed into our body to some extent. Our skin is the largest organ. It absorbs over 60% of contaminates!
A study published in the American Journal of Public Health looked into the skin’s absorption rates of chemicals found in drinking water. It showed that the skin absorbed an average of 64% of total contaminant dosage. Other studies found the face to be several times more permeable than broad body surfaces and an absorption rate of 100% for underarms and genitalia. And another peer-reviewed study showed 100% absorption for fragrance ingredients. https://www.downtoearth.org/health/general-health/your-skin-it-absorbs
I recently read an article about a study on chemicals in cosmetics. It found that women absorb and average of 4lbs. 6oz of chemicals a year from cosmetics! Yuck, yuck and beyond yuck! One more reason to be glad I don't wear makeup! Here is the article if you want to check it out.
Absorbing the chemical can be worse than ingesting them. Whatever is absorbed through your skin goes straight to your bloodstream. There are no filters or anything to break the substance down.
GMOs aren't chemicals, although they have been found to cause numerous other health problems, but it is clear that they will be absorbed with everything else you are putting on your skin. The good news is that the products with out GMOs are usually the same products without all those nasty chemicals.
The top culprits include ingredients made or derived form soy, corn, canola and papaya.
When you are reading the label look for these ingredients:
I can just imagine what is running through your head right now- How am I going to remember all these ingredients to watch for? What if I miss something? What if the ingredients aren't listed?................... Don't worry! It really doesn't have to be that hard!
Instead of trying to remember all these ingredients there are several things you can do.
Click on any of the pictures or the buttons below each company feature for direct links to all the products. And just so you know, I am NOT receiving any benefits from any of these companies for doing this. I just love the brands and care about healthy options for us
The Sheridan Soap Company
They just launched their online store and are offering 20% off purchases of $20 or more. So it is a great time to try out all their wonderful products.
Natures Paradise Organics
Natures Paradise Organics uses all natural, raw, food grade, ingredients and they are gluten free, a necessity in this house. The Baby Organic Coconut Conditioning body wash has only 5 ingredients and you could eat them all except for the coconut oil soap. Well, I guess you could eat that too but you might get a belly ache but not cancer! The baby line is good for everyone, not just babies. I love the Baby Organics coconut lotion. It isn't to heavy to put on my face. They have a cute little bundle of their entire baby line that makes a great gift for new mothers.
IF you don't need baby product, or even if you do, you should also be sure to check out the rest of their body care line. All with simple ingredients. No they aren't certified organic or non-gmo project verified but their ingredient list is so simple, organic (even if they aren't certified organic, which is very expensive), and they do not contain any ingredients that are from GMO crops. I have to mention that they also have an all-purpose cleaner. I haven't tried this yet but I'm truly impressed with the ingredient list.
Ahhhh. The first natural shampoo that left my hair shiny clean from the very first use. I went through a lot of brands trying to find shampoo and conditioner that worked for more than 6 hours. Everything I tried seemed like my hair felt dirty even after cleaning it or shortly there after. No good. Then I found Andalou. Andalou Naturals is wonderful!
We use the Argan and Sweet Orange shampoo and conditioner. It smells soooo good and truly leaves your hair shiny and smooth. We have also tried the Sunflower Citrus which worked equally as well. They too have an entire line of body care products. There ingredient list is a bit longer but they do have a special page on their website that lists all their ingredients, what they are derived from, and why they are used. Andalou Naturals was the first and I believe they are still the only, body care brand that is non-gmo project verified.
Now that isn't hard is it? Three wonderful companies, all with amazing products that are non-GMO. You will not be missing your regular products.
Happy, healthy washing!
I found this article on Yahoo today. Glyphosate, the most highly used herbicide (it's actually an insecticide as well) in the world has somehow been able to skip EPA regulations that other pesticides and herbicides have to pass. Consumer food products are routinely tested for residue of pesticides and herbicides. This includes all types of food not just produce. But for all the years glyphosate has been in use, foods have never been tested for glyphosate residue until now. Hmmmmm. Monsanto makes $5 billion a year from the sales of glyphosate and glyphosate products. Of course they don't want food to be tested for this known carcinogen because it is so heavily used that it's in everything! They have gone so far to protect their profit from this poison that they now have there former lawyer, Micheal Taylor, working in the FDA. and not just any spot in the FDA, he is the Food safety Czar, the Deputy Commissioner for Foods. But don't worry folks there is no conflict of interest here?
Why is glyphosate so heavily used? One reason is because it is used to desiccate grain and legume crops so they can be harvested without having to wait for them to dry out. About 2 weeks before harvest the crops are sprayed with glysophate in order to kill them so they will dry out.. But the largest use of glyphosate is for weed killing measures and is the number one reason crops are genetically modified. They are genetically modified to be immune to the spraying of glyphosate. All the weeds die and the crop remains. They promised it would result in less herbicides being used but in fact the opposite has happened and it is used now more than ever. There are now even weeds (they call them super weeds) that have adapted and glyphosate no longer effects them. So what's next,. stronger herbicide like Dicambia. Thats Monsanto's latest and greatest to fight super weeds. Dicambia drifts when it is sprayed and has resulted in the loss of crops across the country.
Despite the fact that the U.S. set the daily acceptable intake of glyphosate at 1.75 milligrams per kilogram, an extremely high amount especially when you consider that the European Union only allows 0.3, they had to halt the testing last week.
Here is just a sample of what they found.
""With increasing evidence from a growing number of independent peer-reviewed studies from around the world showing that the ingestion of glyphosate-based herbicides like Roundup can result in a wide range of chronic illnesses, it's urgent that regulators at the EPA reconsider the allowed levels of glyphosate in American's food and work to limit continued exposure to this pervasive chemical in as large a section of the human population as possible," Dr. Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist from London, UK, said in reaction to the report released Monday." http://www.ecowatch.com/monsanto-glyphosate-cheerios-2093130379.html
Monsanto and the other giant agribusinesses can deny it all they want but the evidence is stacking up against them.
"Glyphosate has come under increased scrutiny in the past year. Last year the World Health Organization's cancer group, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified it as a probable carcinogen. The state of California has also moved to classify the herbicide as a probable carcinogen. A growing body of research is documenting health concerns of glyphosate as an endocrine disruptor and that it kills beneficial gut bacteria, damages the DNA in human embryonic, placental and umbilical cord cells and is linked to birth defects and reproductive problems in laboratory animals." http://www.ecowatch.com/why-is-glyphosate-sprayed-on-crops-right-before-harvest-1882187755.html
The food in the grocery store is not what it use to be. It is so important for your health and the health of your family and future generations that we make responsible choices when it comes to the food we eat. Choose organic. Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified seal. Know where you food comes from and the farmer that raised it. What are their growing practice? Are GMOs part of their operation? Say no to GMOs now because the more that they are established, the harder it is going to be to get rid of them later.
Read this article and do your own research on the harmful effects of GMOs and glyphosate. A good starting point is our GMO page.
Eat organic, eat local, and know where your food comes from.
Hello, I'm Jaci. I love wandering around in my gardens admiring God's creation. I'm passionate about whole foods and clean eating. I look forward to sharing my farming and homestead adventures and helping you reach your gardening goals! If you have any questions then don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you. Send me a message and I will be glad to help!