A Modern Woman's Perspective On The Kingdom of God on Earth

Showing posts with label Food Supply. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Food Supply. Show all posts

April 8, 2015

Recommendation: Growing Your Food Supply When Times Are Tough

      If you've been paying attention, then you've seen the headlines regarding the worst drought in California in 500 years.  It doesn't take a crystal ball to predict that this will have a severe impact on the food supply in this nation.  Since California produces approximately 3/4 of all vegetables, nuts and fruits grown in the US, you can imagine that many products will be either extremely expensive, or even unavailable.
     We can expect to see a shortage of many food items that we take for granted:  celery, olives, apricots, lettuce, tomatoes, plums, prunes, figs, cantaloupe, strawberries and spinach.  And let's not forget what the California drought will do to the vineyards and the wine industry.  And did you know that California is the largest producer of dairy in our nation, with 1.75 million dairy cows? The lack of water will devastate these industries and most certainly effect the cost of food, as well as the supply, in our own country and the world for years to come.
     But it's not only crops that are feeling the lack of water -- you may have seen the scattered reporting of hundreds of California residents waiting in extremely long lines for hours, just to get a gallon or two of drinking water.  When the situation is that bad, we better sit up and take notice.
     But it is not only California that is feeling the effects of drought.  Parts of Texas and Oklahoma are feeling the drought as if they were reliving the Dust Bowl era during the 1930s.  All of this is taking a toll on the nation's agriculture and economy.  And, I'm sure it won't surprise you to know that we can expect the government to step in and try to regulate water sources on private property and control the consumption of water.  Like the Gold Rush in our past history, there is now a rush to buy up water rights ... which makes the purchase of the following book all that more important.
     The Resilient Gardener:  Food Production and Self-Reliance In Uncertain Times is a must-have for your resource library.  The author, Scientist/gardener Carol Deppe, offers a book beyond your garden-variety cookbook (sorry for the pun!), and offers principles regarding sustainable agriculture, health, nutrition, along with detailed information about growing and using five key crops: potatoes, corn, beans, squash, and eggs.
     I think we all realize that our climate is changing and weird weather patterns appear to be in our future.  I don't need a book that gives me pretty pictures of organic recipes -- I need to know how to grow necessary foods in order to survive in the midst of unfavorable seasons and adverse growing conditions.  Among the corresponding topics, this book teaches you how to:
•  Garden in an era of unpredictable weather and climate change.
•  Grow, store, and cook different varieties of potatoes and save your own potato seed,
•  Make whole-grain, corn-based breads and cakes using the author’s original gluten-free recipes involving no other grains, artificial binders, or dairy products.
•  Keep a home laying flock of ducks or chickens; integrate them with your gardening, and grow most of their feed.
     The marketing for this book describes it's impact this way:  "Resilience here is broadly conceived and encompasses a full range of problems, from personal hard times such as injuries, family crises, financial problems, health problems, and special dietary needs (gluten intolerance, food allergies, carbohydrate sensitivity, and a need for weight control) to serious regional and global disasters and climate change. It is a supremely optimistic as well as realistic book about how resilient gardeners and their vegetable gardens can flourish even in challenging times and help their communities to survive and thrive through everything that comes their way."  Sounds like it is a gardening book written specifically for these times.
     Some of the critics of the book have noted that it is written with a bent towards homesteading, sustainable living, and basic nutrition.  But if times continue to get tougher, this is exactly the book you will want.  Remember, when faced with difficult times, one of the keys to survival will be your resiliency ... your ability to be strong, flexible, hardy, and able to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions.  The Resilient Gardener helps you grow the crops that will provide the calories you need to stay alive.
     DISCLAIMER:  Don't think that everything she writes will pertain to you, or your climate, or your growing conditions.  The author lives in the Pacific Northwest, and what works for her, may not work for you.  You should buy this book for the tips and techniques, and use it to create a blue print for your own self reliant food system.  It's time to get creative, use your brain, and get out ahead of the curve on your food supply.  Don't wait until you're in panic mode due to the extended drought, unexpected weather conditions in your area, or social upheaval.  Prepare now!

Ezekiel 4:17   "I will do this that they may lack bread and water, and look at one another in dismay, and rot away because of their punishment."

February 12, 2015

First, The Bees. Now, the Butterflies!

     In the past, you might have read my post on the disappearance of Bees and the effect it will have on our ecosystem.  Now, it seems that the Monarch Butterfly is also in danger of becoming a victim of our old friend, Monsanto and its product, Roundup.  
     I will confess that we here in Texas have suffered from the massive swarms of Monarchs as they migrate to Mexico each winter.  We would literally drive into what seemed like walls of Monarchs that not only impaired your vision, but left your vehicle covered in hundreds of dead butterflies.  Not so much, anymore.  The last couple of winters have seen a significant decline in the migration, and the beautiful butterflies are becoming a rarity in these parts.
     In fact, in an article by The Washington Post, it is reported that "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service summed it up in just one grim statistic: Since 1990, about 970 million [Monarch butterflies] have vanished."  The cause?  It can be traced to the eradication of milkweed, their primary food source and habitat.  This plant is the only upon which they lay eggs and their larvae feed.  Why is the milkweed being destroyed?  According to PNAS, (the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences), "In the US Corn Belt, a recent doubling in commodity prices has created incentives for landowners to convert grassland to corn and soybean cropping."   
     As Newsweek Magazine was careful to point out, "the cultivation of 1 million new acres of land in recent years -- driven by higher corn and soybean prices -- has destroyed milkweed crops, and greatly hurt monarchs."  Add to this, "the introduction of genetically-modified crops like Roundup-ready corn and soybeans that are resistant to traditional herbicides, [which means] farmers have begun to spray more and more Roundup—the Monsanto-made chemical—over wider and wider areas", further destroying the natural habitat of Monarchs ... the milkweed plant.
     Oh, what a wicked web that Monsanto is weaving!  By developing food products that are unnatural (GMOs), and spraying them with poisonous herbicides (containing Glyphosate), they are destroying anything natural and organic, including various species of insects and their habitats.
     But it is not just the push for more and more GMO food products that have endangered the Monarch population.  The Clean Energy Act of 2007, frequently referred to as the ethanol mandate, changed how we fueled our cars and it became evident that there would be an increase in the demand for, and price of corn.  That, along with the over-development of our cities and municipalities, has nearly guaranteed the destruction of the Monarch's natural habitat.
     So, why should we care about the possible extinction of the Monarch butterfly?  Butterfly-Conservation.org will give you a long list of reasons that these beautifies are important to save; including their aesthetic value, their educational value, and their scientific value.  I prefer to consider them as a creation of God, which means they play a part in the interwoven pattern of life that He constructed on this planet.  Besides the fact that they, along with their cousins the moth, are an important element of the food chain and are prey for birds, bats and other insectivorous animals, they provide a touch of delicate beauty in this ugly world.  For that alone they are worthy of being conserved.
     But let's not forget the bigger picture ... elements of our existence are being modified, destroyed and poisoned before our very eyes.  How natural is it for bees and butterflies to disappear?  And what makes us think that the Elite will find us indispensable or necessary to the cycle of life on this planet?  It seems to me that no regard is being given to the natural order of things or to God's creation.  Our food supply is being manipulated and controlled, while our ability to adapt to (or deflect) orchestrated change to our own life cycle is lessened.   How long, like the butterflies and the bees, until our numbers start to decline?

 Psalm 24:1    "The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it;"

January 22, 2015

The End of Days: Connecting the Dots

     Third World countries have long suffered from epidemics, unexplained diseases, and poor health conditions.  But the peasants of Central America, India and Sri Lanka have been suffering from a mysterious and rare type of chronic kidney disease (CKD) that until recently, was perplexing to both doctors and scientists.   According to a recent AP report by Margie Mason, the disease has killed up to 20,000 people over the past 20 years and sickened another 70,000 to 400,000.  Over the last two years, more and more evidence is pointing to toxic heavy metals; like the kind found in the pesticides that peasant farmers use to kill the weeds in their fields.
     In 2013, the Center for Public Integrity reported that the Council of Health Ministers of Central America was successful in adopting a declaration that formally recognized the disease.  Interestingly enough, in 2011 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention played a part in defeating such a move by El Salvador to declare the disease a top priority in Central and South America.  Now, why do you suppose that would be?  Let me give you a hint .... our old friend, Monsanto.
     Of course, the CDC tried to say the risk factors for the disease came from heart disease, cancer and diabetes.  Never mind, that according to Truth-Out.org, CKD "is now the second leading cause of mortality among men in El Salvador. This small, densely populated Central American country now has the highest overall mortality rate from kidney disease in the world. Neighboring Honduras and Nicaragua also have extremely high rates of kidney disease mortality. In El Salvador and Nicaragua, more men are dying from CKD than from HIV/AIDS, diabetes, and leukemia combined. In one patch of rural Nicaragua, so many men have died that the community is called "The Island of the Widows" ".
      And never mind that two chemicals in particular have come into the crosshairs of investigators in both El Salvador and Sri Lanka: one, a common herbicide used to control weeds, and glyphosate, which is the active ingredient in the world’s most popular herbicide, Roundup.  And, you guessed it ... Roundup is a product developed by Monsanto.
     Of course, Monsanto's website claims that glyphosate is safe to use, claiming:  Glyphosate binds tightly to most types of soil so it is not available for uptake by roots of nearby plants. It works by disrupting a plant enzyme involved in the production of amino acids that are essential to plant growth. The enzyme, EPSP synthase, is not present in humans or animals, contributing to the low risk to human health from the use of glyphosate according to label directions.
     But it all seems to be sleight of hand to me.  See if you can follow the progression here .... In 1994, Roundup -- including the ingredient glyphosate -- is named one of the "Top 10 Products That Changed the Face of Agriculture".   Then, in 1996, the first "Roundup resistant" GMO crop of soybeans was introduced by Monsanto; which resulted in the emergence of the first glyphosate resistant weeds.  So what does Monsanto do?  They develop seeds, including soy, corn, canola, alfalfa, cotton, sugar beets and sorghum, that are glyphosate resistant.
      And wouldn't you know it?   As of 2009, Monsanto's glyphosate Roundup products, which include its GMO seeds, represented about half of Monsanto's yearly revenue.  Now, let me see if I have this correct ... Monsanto's glyphosate-resistant seeds are engineered to allow the farmer to drench his fields in the herbicide to kill off all of the weeds.  But if the glyphosate-infused herbicide enters the groundwater and soil, thereby causing the kidney disease among the peasant farmers, isn't Monsanto accountable?
     Do you want to hear something even more despicable?  Our government has been pressuring El Salvador to buy GMO seeds from Monsanto rather than indigenous seeds from their own farmers!  They have even threatened to withhold almost $300 million in aid unless El Salvador purchases Monsanto's GMO seeds. However, the GMO seeds are more expensive, and they are not adapted to the Salvadoran climate or soil.
     There are those who will say, "Maybe the US government is unaware of the connection between glyphosate, Monsanto and the killer kidney disease.  Or maybe it's simple greed that puts Monsanto's profits above the health and lives of poor farmers."  But I'm afraid it could be something even more sinister.  As the Minister of Health for El Salvador explained, "This is a disease of poor people [who work in the fields]."  And I have long felt that a goal of the world's Elite is to control the population of the poor -- to the point of complete eradication.  And that brings us directly to one the Elitist of the Elite, Bill Gates.
     As the website Natural Society points out, "Bill Gates believes the density of the population in poor areas is too big, and with his depopulation plans he can ‘solve’ that problem. Consider his huge buyout of Monsanto stock – he owns millions of shares of Monsanto and Cargill stock, and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation keep scooping it up. He owns more than $23 million worth, or 500,000 Monsanto shares."  All you have to do is connect the dots.
     The Bible tells us that the End Times will see disease and plagues, as well as the hearts of men growing cold.  When you consider the massive wealth that is behind the GMO movement and the population control agenda, it doesn't leave much doubt as to what the plan is.  We are David fighting Goliath.  El Salvador's Health Minister pretty much laid it on the line .... “Ah, Monsanto!” she said, a look of consternation crossing her face.  “They are the ones that will be fighting us.”

1 Timothy 6:9   "But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction."

September 2, 2014

The Harvest Suffers

     At first it was just a suspicion; now it appears conspicuous and incontrovertible.  After many innocent discussions with friends and family across the country, their remarks all seemed to point in the same direction:  "My tomatoes just didn't want to ripen this year; it took forever ... the flowers in my flower box just didn't produce blooms like they have in the past ... my corn didn't pollinate, and my peppers were fewer and smaller ... overall, my harvests have declined over the past few years."
     After the last two seasons of gardening, the remarks are no longer random; there is a steady lament over the diminished return from our growing seasons.  It doesn't matter where you live; it's happening everywhere. And, running the risk of being called ridiculous, I think I know why.
     It appears to me that the consequences of chemtrails can no longer be denied or disputed.  Geoengineering, in the name of "climate change", is readily admitted by top universities such as Oxford in the U.K.  In fact, on the Oxford website, they acknowledge one technique:  releasing light-colored sulphur particles or other aerosols into the atmosphere to reflect the sun’s rays back into space.
     And just how do we think that these particles and aerosols are released into the atmosphere?  If there is anyone who still cannot fathom the concept of chemtrails, this should alleviate any doubts.  And what happens to these "particles" after being released?  They are not just absorbed into the atmosphere; they fall to the earth and infiltrate our soil.
     Independent testing, such as those done on the air quality in Phoenix, Arizona, have discovered dangerous quantities of barium, nano aluminum-coated fiberglass [known as CHAFF], radioactive thorium, cadmium, chromium, nickel, desiccated blood, mold spores, yellow fungal mycotoxins, ethylene dibromide, and polymer fibers.  Many of these are anywhere from 200 to over 5,000 times the toxic health limits set by federal standards!
     You can go back several years and find research done on the harmful effects of this metal poisoning.  An article appearing on the Global Research website in 2010, stated "Barium is known to adversely affect the heart. Aluminum has a history of damaging brain function. Independent researchers and labs continue to show off-the-scale levels of these poisons. A few “anonymous” officials have acknowledged this on-going aerosol spraying... Numerous tests have been done to verify that these poisons are off the scale in their toxicity. They are documented in our water, in our soil, and in our air." 
      Is it any wonder that our respiratory allergy symptoms are year-long, and not just during "high pollen" seasons?   Doesn't it make sense that our soil would be deficient to produce a healthy, thriving and nourishing food supply?  And who can deny the possibility that major droughts throughout the country are not caused by such geoengineering?
     But how do we protect our ground from being saturated with such poisonous chemicals?  I ran across a 2008 article that suggested the following:  "When you see the tell-tale signs of the chemtrail "grid", wet the ground just enough to keep the moisture level up.  Using the thinnest sheets of plastic possible, cover your plants, creating a greehouse affect.  The plastic allows the sun to still penetrate, and the condensation that occurs from moistening the ground and plants beforehand, keeps the plants in fine shape."
     Ultimately, I'm just not sure there is anyway to keep us or our food supply adequately protected.  And now, when we are blessed enough to receive a good, steady downpour of rain, I find myself wondering what else is in that moisture; falling to earth and saturating the ground?
     But it's no use to bring up my suspicious musings to those who cannot see the evidence before their eyes.  I will just let them continue to add their fertilizers and speculate why their green thumb is disappearing, and their tomatoes and roses are dying on the vine.  We all need to realize that controlling and affecting the food supply is just another step towards population control, the maleficent design of mankind.  Right now, it is the harvest of souls that we need to be growing and cultivating. The time to reap is near at hand ...

John 15:5    "I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in Me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without Me, you can’t do anything."

August 28, 2014

Our Food and Our Health

     I don't know about you, but I need a break from headline news ... it's not that I want to stick my head in the sand; it's just that I need to devote a little "head time" to my own needs.  And I guess I've arrived at this moment as I'm approaching my annual Labor Day assessment of our self-sustaining lifestyle.
     Both PLW and I are striving to become more self-sufficient and "organic" in how we live.  We just filled the freezer with fresh, hormone-free beef, and picked up our bi-weekly supply of raw milk.  And we are blessed to be part of a growing network of friends who are embracing this lifestyle, as well.  Although we don't mind being called "preppers", it's become as much about being as healthy as we can, and making our own decisions about what we put in our bodies.
      As counterintuitive as it might seem, there is an undercurrent in our state and federal governments that would deny us private citizens the right to grow our own gardens; or trade at farmers markets; or share our free-range chicken eggs -- all a part of our American heritage.  If it was good enough for my grandparents, then I'm pretty sure it is healthier for me.  Who wouldn't make this choice instead of the over-processed, hormone-laced, antibiotic-injected, and nutrient-deficient food presented at our local supermarkets?
     Although we are rather new to this lifestyle, we are eagerly learning what works best for us in our climate and growing seasons.  Our next big move will be to square-box gardening, in the hopes that we can conquer our ever-present nemesis, the weeds.  Any suggestions from those of you who have perfected this method will be gratefully appreciated.  We're hoping that the use of wicking beds will also help us fight this unrelenting drought.  And PLW is even going to introduce a worm motel!  Oh, the joys of unconventional gardening!
     But, seriously, this lifestyle is coming more and more under scrutiny in our over-regulated culture.  It is not only a matter of small farmers, who choose to sell directly to the consumer, and are battling Big Agriculture; but we private citizens are under the microscope for daring to raise our own cattle and butcher them without the all-important USDA stamp of approval.  Making your own cheese, or fermenting cabbage to make sauerkraut are all suspect, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.  This is becoming such a problem, that there is even a "food rights" movement!
     Do we really want some bureaucrat in D.C. to have authority over the food we eat?  Because they won't stop at regulating dairies and butcher shops.  There have even been isolated cases of investigations into school bake sales, church-sponsored potlucks, and neighborhood lemonade stands.  Is it really about "food safety", as the authorities would tell us?  Or is it more about control and the suppression of individual rights?  Because by trying to make foods "safe", the nutrients have been stripped, and I have long felt that artificial foods have contributed to the mutation of our cell structure, leading to cancer and disease.
     Certainly, they're not going to try to convince us that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are safe or healthy ... are they?  Because I'll take my chances with raw milk or grass-fed beef, before I'll choose food that has been subjected to fertilizers, pesticides, high fructose corn syrup, and aspartame.
     I hate it that everything is becoming a struggle between private citizens and an encroaching government.  It's not enough that our health care is no longer between us and our doctors; now, they want to take away our choice of the very foods we eat!  But I figure that if I can eat more organically, (minus the additives that will slowly erode my health and send me to a government-controlled doctor), that I will, very simply, be healthier.  And there's an additional benefit:  I am, in my own small way, asserting my individual rights and control over my own body.  Bon appétit!

1 Corinthians 6:19   "Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,"    

July 8, 2014

Prepper Irrigation: OLLAS

     I want to introduce you to my friend Lori Haynes and her ingenious business, Dripping Springs OLLAS.  Long before I actually met Lori, I had heard of her reputation ... she was creative, imaginative and artistic; gifted in coming up with ways to solve problems.  I can tell you that it is all true, and she has turned her talents into creating a modest little business selling an ancient technique for irrigating plants.
     Lori happens to live in a part of Texas that is rocky with poor soil conditions.  Trying to successfully grow a vegetable or flower garden in nearly constant drought conditions was something that tested her inventive talents.  But she did a lot of research and discovered that "buried clay pot irrigation" was a time-tested technique that just might work for her circumstances, as well as others who wanted and needed an effective irrigation system.
     She configured the exact size and shape that worked best for her and the results were phenomenal -- she successfully grew tomatoes, other vegetables, and flowering plants in the summer of 2011 during one of the most extreme droughts Texas has experienced.
     Now PLW and I are shameless advocates of her OLLAS, which is an unglazed clay pot that is fired at a low temperature, allowing the pot to be porous.  When the pot is buried up to its neck in soil and then filled with water, the porosity of the pot allows the water to seep out, thereby supplying a constant source of water to the roots of your plants.
     There are so many benefits to this type of plant irrigation.  First of all, it is low tech, requiring no electricity; plus it is a low cost alternative to more expensive methods of irrigation.  This method does not need your constant attention; you just fill up the clay pot every few days, depending on your location and soil disposition.  No more drip systems, high water bills, or worrying about over or under-watering your plants.
     I can tell you that PLW is impressed with how well his nascent grape vines are flourishing, as well as the new peach trees he planted.  The searing South Texas heat had just about discouraged him from trying to successfully nurture any fruit trees or plants.  He couldn't pour enough water on them to keep them from wilting and succumbing to the scorching sun!
    But now they seem ambivalent to the intense heat and are growing at a faster pace than he imagined they ever could.  He's especially thrilled that since there is no surface water, the weeds are kept at bay, too.  He's now so impressed with this simple method of irrigation, he's planning our next garden based on how he's going to use the OLLAS.
     I'm sure by now, that you have realized this simple and unique irrigation system is perfect if you're a prepper.  No worrying about the grid going down ... if you have rain barrels or a hand-pump, you will be able to keep your OLLAS filled; you couldn't ask for a more efficient or easy method to make sure you can grow a healthy and productive garden during hard times.  But why wait until TEOTWAWKI comes knocking at your door?  Buy your OLLA today ... prices aren't getting any cheaper at the grocery store and I promise you that you will be amazed at the yield your garden produces!

Isaiah 44:3   "For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour my Spirit upon your offspring, and my blessing on your descendants."

May 14, 2014

Drought Is Drastic

     For many summers, PLW and I have spent hot, dusty days in Arizona as we travel to remote ranches, photographing the modern cowboy for my husband's western art.  There's something about the heat in Arizona ... it's dry and intense; the sun's searing rays leave you exhausted and parched.   You can't get enough water!  But the hope of the rancher has always rested on the summer monsoons; a pronounced season of increased rainfall that begins on June 15 and ends on September 30, with the storms peaking between mid-July and mid-August. On average, about half of Arizona receives nearly half of its annual rainfall during the monsoon.
     Now, one of our favorite places to visit -- Williams, Arizona -- is suffering from a severe drought.  According to the Associated Press, it is so severe, that restaurant patrons don't automatically get a glass of water anymore. Residents caught watering lawns or washing cars with potable water can be fined. Businesses are hauling water from outside town to fill swimming pools, and building permits have been put on hold because there isn't enough water to accommodate development.  Nearby reservoirs are drying up and the town wells have been pumped to capacity.
     But Arizona is not the only state suffering.  Much of the West is under water restrictions.  More than a dozen rural towns in California recently emerged from emergency water restrictions that had a sheriff's office on the lookout for water bandits at a local lake. One New Mexico town relied on bottled water for days last year. In southern Nevada, water customers are paid to remove lawns and cannot install any new grass in their front yards.  In El Paso, Texas, residents can't water outdoors on Mondays. And officials have been reusing treated wastewater and investing in a major desalination plant that turns salty, unusable groundwater into a drinking source for the border city.
     You can imagine how this is effecting businesses and ranchers.  Here in Texas, the drought has resulted in more frequent and longer lines at the sale barn, as ranchers cannot afford to feed their cattle.  The drought definitely has a trickle-down effect (pardon the pun).  Our food supply (including fruits, vegetables, and meat) will be diminished, culminating in higher prices at the grocery store, and hurting families that are already struggling from a weak economy.
     For now, the folks in Williams are praying that God will cause the rains to come.  They are banking on the monsoons to replenish reservoirs and underground water supplies.  They "still have hope God will send us the rain ... We know in due time, the lakes will fill back up, the snow will come," they say.  We all need to join them in those prayers because without rain, droughts lead to famines; and this nation is not prepared to suffer a lack of food -- something 936 million people in the world experience today.  Take note of the warning signs, and please don't take that next meal for granted.

Amos 8:11    "Behold, the days are coming,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I will send a famine on the land— not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD."


March 17, 2014

What's In The Air That We Breathe?

     I just spent the entire weekend getting my vegetable garden and my flower beds planted.  And I have to tell you that I'm more than a little concerned about how healthy my harvest will be this year... especially after reading this headline on Truthstream Media:  Gov't Study:  75% of Air and Rain Samples Tested Positive For Monsanto's RoundUp.
     You read that correctly.  According to the article, a study conducted by the US Geological Survey comparing figures for air and rain samples from 1995 and 2007 in Mississippi concluded that 75% of all 2007 samples tested positive for glyphosate — the active ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Roundup.
    And according to another article on the Global Research website, "Consequences [of glyphosate] 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 disease."  Of course, Monsanto and others in the industry assert that glyphosate is nearly nontoxic to mammals, and therefore it is not a problem if glyphosate is ingested in food sources.  But while there are short-term studies involving rodents that have shown no apparent toxicity, studies involving life-long exposure in rodents have demonstrated liver and kidney dysfunction and a greatly increased risk of cancer, with shortened lifespan.  So, if given a choice, do you really want to take that chance?
     But that's the problem -- we don't have a choice!  Apparently this toxic chemical is in the very air that we breathe, and the rain that nurtures our food supply.  Does anybody want to take a guess as to how this is happening?  Think it has anything to do with all the reported sightings of chemtrails?  Or the conspiracy theories that the military's HAARP program (High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program) actually has the capabilities to control weather, and therefore, the rain?
     At the moment, how this potentially toxic chemical is falling from the sky doesn't concern me as much as how do I protect my health and the food I eat?  I know I can't control the distribution of glyphosate, but can I limit my exposure and keep my organic food from being tainted?  And I don't know if there is any connection, but I have witnessed an unprecedented number of bronchitis cases this crazy winter -- and all among healthy individuals who have not experienced this respiratory problem in the last decade.  Maybe it has something to do with 80 degree temps one day and in the 30s less than 24 hours later; but that brings us back to ... is this weather natural?  Is anything natural anymore?!?
     My husband and I try really hard to stay away from processed foods, and have spent a lot of time teaching ourselves how to garden, how to dehydrate food, and how to pressure can the produce that our garden yields.  I love the idea that we aren't eating all the additives that are included in food off the grocery store shelf.  But now we have to wonder ... rainwater is always preferable to hand watering our garden; but do we need to worry that what has always been considered "pure" is now contaminated?
     And have you noticed that there seems to be an epidemic of "gluten intolerance" and celiac disease among the population?  I used to be a skeptic, thinking that the food industry had to develop the latest fad disease so they could create a new market for "gluten-free" products.  But guess what a recent study by Anthony Samsel (a retired science consultant) and Stephanie Seneff (a research scientist at MIT) revealed?
     Their study showed that both gluten intolerance and celiac disease are on the rise as a result of ... you guessed it ... glyphosate.  They point out that this rise in celiac disease parallels the increase in the use of Roundup, and the effects of glyphosate are those listed for celiac disease... namely nausea, diarrhea, skin rashes, macrocytic anemia and depression.  "We propose that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the herbicide, Roundup®, is the most important causal factor in this epidemic."
     So, even if we have the time and the space to grow our own organic gardens, and can avoid the GMO food being sold over the counter, we are still being assailed on all sides by unnatural chemicals that affect our food supply.  How can we escape it when air, rain and soil samples prove otherwise?
     I can't help but sense how displeased God is at evil men messing with His creation.  When they begin intentionally polluting what He has made pure and perfect, then Judgment cannot be far behind.  So, I will leave that up to Him and try to protect His ground that I plant, and be thankful for the natural bounty I receive from His sun and rain.  And I will pray that I harvest only life-giving nourishment.

1 Corinthians 3:7     "So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth."

February 25, 2014

Big Food In Bed With GMO Giants

     Thanks to a series of articles I found on Truthstream Media, I'd like to present you with some interesting stories and facts regarding what is acceptable in our diet.  This first story centers around a policy in Manitoba Canada and its provincial government’s Early Learning and Child Care lunch regulations.  This program requires children’s lunches to be checked against the Canadian Food Guide and then “supplemented” by the workers of the school. The “supplementation” comes with a fine of $5 per child, which is taken directly from the parent’s account.
     Natalie Logan's mother received a note from the school saying that the lunch she provided her daughter did not meet the lunch program requirements.  Natalie's lunch included leftover roast beef, potatoes, and carrots, with an orange for dessert, and a container of milk.  What was she lacking?  Her lunch did not include a Grain, so the lunch program supplemented it with, what else?  Ritz Crackers!  And fined her mother $10!!
     Ritz Crackers contain no fiber, no protein, and no vitamins, but their GMO-laden grains and High Fructose Corn Syrup meets the requirements of the government of the province of Manitoba?  And if you think this kind of misguided information couldn't happen here in the good ol USA, think again.
     "Conflict of Interest" doesn't even begin to cover a so-called fact sheet on the benefits of processed foods that the International Food Information Council (IFIC) distributed to the members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
     UNTIL you realize who their sponsors are ... including, but not limited to, Cargill, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, General Mills, Mars, McDonald’s, Monsanto, PepsiCo, Red Bull, and Yum Brands (this last being the parent company of Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC, and WingStreet.
     According to their website,  ”The International Food Information Council Foundation provides food safety, nutrition, and healthful eating information to help you make good and safe food choices.”   Sounds good, right?
     So when the IFIC puts together their ”fact” sheet,  “What Is A Processed Food? You Might Be Surprised!”, well .... let's just say, you will be surprised at their findings.   For instance, consider this from their information sheet .... FACT:  breakfast cereals, like frozen vegetables and roasted nuts, are processed.  But here's the TRUTH (according to a group called Dietitians For Professional Integrity, who champion real food for real health): The IFIC conveniently fails to mention that, unlike most breakfast cereals, the freezing of vegetables and roasting of nuts does not obliterate nutrients. Nor do frozen vegetables and roasted nuts contribute artificial dyes, artificial flavors, chemical additives, or partially hydrogenated oils to people’s diets.
     As if that lie is not enough, the IFIC makes an absurd comparison between modern-day processing techniques and traditional methods, stating “Food processing began about 2 million years ago, when our ancestors put flame to food”.  But our Dietitians with integrity point out that heating food has nothing in common with partially hydrogenating oils, making aspartame, or turning corn into high fructose corn syrup.
     So, it goes without saying that we have to ask, "Are the Nutrition Professionals in bed with Big Food?"  Industry watchdog Eat Drink Politics reports that various forms of corporate sponsorship by Big Food are undermining the integrity of those professionals most responsible for educating Americans about healthy eating.  When Coca-Cola and Nestlés sponsor symposiums in which nutrition attendees are educated on the benefits of sugar, don't you have to question the professional's advice?  Don't you think it's a real problem when the people sponsoring the nutrition lessons are the very purveyors of GMO crops, potato chips, soda pop, and fast food?
     As consumers become more aware of the dangers of a GMO-related diet, states are fighting to mandate GMO labeling.  Initiative 522, in Washington, could be the first in the nation to force companies to give consumers some sort of clue if what they are eating has been genetically modified.  So why does it come as no surprise that Monsanto and DuPont, two of the nation’s largest producers of GMO seeds in the U.S., have given a combined $8.7 million towards I-522′s defeat — nearly half of the $18.1 million raised against the labeling initiative so far.
     But they aren't the only ones in the Big Food group who are fighting to keep the consumer in the dark on the lack of nutritional value in GMO ingredients.  Campbell Soup Company, Del Monte, General Mills, Smuckers, Ocean Spray, Welch Foods and Sunny Delight Beverages are just a few who are siding with Monsanto and DuPont.  Why are they fighting so hard?  Because, in Europe, they are further ahead in the battle to force these companies to drop their GMO ingredients from products.
     If the American people actually knew how much of their average grocery store has been genetically engineered — some estimates say as much as 90% — there might be an uproar leading to a real food revolution where companies would be forced to spend more money using better ingredients in their products.
     The bottom line is this:  we should have the right to make an informed decision about what we put into our bodies.  Why should we have to eat what they want to feed us -- especially if it is nutritionally inferior -- just because it might last longer on the shelf, cost them less, or look more cosmetically appetizing?  For Big Food, it's about the Almighty Dollar.  For American consumers, it's about our health and our very lives.

Genesis 9:3      Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.

December 27, 2013

The Public Needs To Know: Radiation Risk Is Real!

     A few days before Christmas USA Today reported that Alaska Airlines had canceled 24 flights after flu-stricken pilots and flight attendants called in sick.  During that same time period another 14 flights were cancelled, supposedly due to bad weather.  In fact, an airlines spokeswoman stated that a "very unusual" cold and flu season was affecting the Pacific Northwest hub, and the entire region was impacted.
     Couple that bit of news with this report I found on the Before It's News website:  Hundreds of Alaska Air flight attendants were struck with mysterious illnesses causing them to lose their hair, develop lesions, and sustain unusual rashes.  Original reports claimed that these maladies were due to their new flight uniforms which contained tributyl phosphate, a toxic organophosphorous compound linked to skin problems.  Ok, that might be a plausible explanation; but so is radiation poisoning.
     And humans are not the only ones seeing these "unusual" health issues.  Both marine life along the Pacific Northwest coastline; and the polar bear, ice seal, and walrus populations, are all experiencing the same kinds of symptoms.  When you combine these facts with the timing and the related incidence at the Fukashima Daiichi plant, one cannot dismiss the possibility of a looming radiation disaster.
     These symptoms appear to go beyond the potential causes cited by scientists and biologists; namely, viruses, bacteria or other mysterious factors.  Which leads to a very disturbing picture ... why is the public not being told of the possibility of nuclear fallout?  What is to be gained by keeping silent and failing to warn citizens of this very dangerous health hazard?  And if the fallout is reaching our shores and airspace, what, if anything, is being done to combat it?  Before It's News suggested in this same article that "radiation detection flights" are indeed being conducted by the military.  It will be interesting to see if the public is ever informed of the findings of these surveys.
     But it is not only internet websites raising the specter of radiation poisoning from Fukashima.  Maxim Shingarkin, Deputy Chairman of Russia’s State Duma Committee for Natural Resources recently had this to say:  “Currents in the World Ocean are so structured that the areas of seafood capture near the US northwest coast are more likely to contain radioactive nuclides than even the Sea of Okhotsk which is much closer to Japan.

     As if that's not frightening enough, his Russian colleague, Vladimir Slivyak, Co-chairman of the Ecodefence international ecology group, said this:  “ ... It took years after Chernobyl to make detailed conclusions about the scale of nuclear pollution. We are having a similar situation with Fukushima [...] We’ll probably know the consequences of this accident in 10-15 years.  It is clear that a large amount of fish, sea weeds and everything the ocean contains has been polluted. It is clear that this pollution spreads all over the Earth. It is clear that vast territories have been polluted in Japan itself. All this is generally clear. But we need research to provide more details and this will take a long time.”
     Then there's this finding by nuclear expert Arne Gundersen, who says there is evidence that a nuclear cloud dispersed over the Pacific Northwest shortly after the the catastrophic failure of the Fukashima Nuclear power plant in March of 2011.  "One of the scientists we work with had air filters, continuous air monitors, set up in Seattle and we could clearly show that the average person in Seattle was ingesting about 10 hot particles a day into their lungs. No matter what you do you can’t get that out, the particle size was such that once you breathed it in, it lodged in your lung […] What people in Seattle could have done were to put air masks on, but of course by the time we got that data and analyzed it, it was May and the worst of the cloud had already passed."
     Lesions, rashes, radioactive particles in our lungs, and injured marine life ... it's hard to ignore these signs of radiation poisoning.  And we haven't even discussed the danger of eating seafood from the Pacific Ocean!  Never mind the so-called "experts" who will tell you that the Ocean is so big it will dilute the radioactivity.  Do you really want to take the chance of feeding your family polluted seafood?  Are you willing to risk any variety of cancers that can result from radiation poisoning?  Just think of the billions of people who rely on the Pacific Ocean for fishing, drinking and recreation.  And how many more instances of airborne pollution can we expect?
     The bottom line is this:  there is more than tourism and food supplies at risk here.  The lives of people and animals are under threat from this deadly exposure.  We deserve ample warning and the truth!

Psalm 135:6    "Whatever the Lord pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps."


November 1, 2013

The Facts You Should Know About Fukashima

    Ever wonder why we don't hear much about Fukashima these days?  Even after the brief news report of another quake in the area within the last week?  Well, according to the site, Activist Post, there's a very good reason:  radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated; especially along our West Coast.  Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean. That means that the total amount of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.
     Of course, critics will accuse me of being "alarmist", but I urge you to read a report on the Global Research site, in which clear evidence is given that not only is there an ocean current called the "North Pacific Gyre" that is bringing Japanese radiation to the West Coast of North America, but there could be “pockets” and “streams” of highly-concentrated radiation.  It is also becoming apparent that radiation levels in the ocean do not dissolve.  In fact, a team of top Chinese scientists has just published a study in the Science China Earth Sciences journal showing that the radioactive plume crosses the ocean in a nearly straight line toward North America, and that it appears to stay together with little dispersion.
     Experts are also saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation. We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse. These same experts give the following signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…
•  Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores.
•  Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low.  Many are blaming Fukushima.
•  Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.
•  A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that is approximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.
•  It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.
•  One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.
•   Some experts believe that we could see very high levels of cancer along the west coast just from people eating contaminated fish.
•  BBC News recently reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are “18 times higher” than previously believed.
•  Atmospheric radiation from Fukushima reached the west coast of the United States within a few days back in 2011.
•  At this point, 300 tons of contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.
•   It has been estimated that up to 100 times as much nuclear radiation has been released into the ocean from Fukushima than was released during the entire Chernobyl disaster.
•  The immense amounts of nuclear radiation getting into the water in the Pacific Ocean has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning … Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.
•  According to a recent Planet Infowars report, the California coastline is being transformed into “a dead zone”… If you haven’t been to a California beach lately, you probably don’t know that the rocks are unnaturally CLEAN – there’s hardly any kelp, barnacles, sea urchins, etc. anymore and the tide pools are similarly eerily devoid of crabs, snails and other scurrying signs of life… and especially as compared to 10 – 15 years ago when one was wise to wear tennis shoes on a trip to the beach in order to avoid cutting one’s feet on all the STUFF of life – broken shells, bones, glass, driftwood, etc.
•  Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened "for thousands of years"…
     So, have you heard any of this reported on the nightly news or disseminated by the Department of Health and Human Services? After all, it is a written mandate that "The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is the United States government’s principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans."  Oh, I forgot .... Secretary Sebelius is busy defending her stellar record of service to the American people.
     Don't you think this is important information that all Americans should have?  Or what about the reports coming out of Japan that there is a major "black out" by news sources and a cover-up of the children who are developing cancer?  Why wouldn't the powers of the world warn citizens that their health is dangerously at risk?
     Think about that Yale Professor's dire warning:  humanity could be threatened for thousands of years.  Folks, I honestly don't believe we have that much time.  And you can call me crazy, but with the spiritual warfare that is being waged throughout the world, I think our Lord cannot be far off.  We have "the wars, and rumors of wars."; the earthquakes and geological turmoil; and hard economic times (and famine) are barking at our door.  The effects of Fukashima could certainly play into our End Times scenario.  It's time to make sure our lamps are filled with oil, and to tell everyone you know about the salvation offered through faith in our Lord.  Maranatha!

Matthew 24:7-8    "For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. And there will be famines, pestilences [diseases], and earthquakes in various places. All these are the beginning of sorrows."

October 16, 2013

Where's The Beef?

     That is most likely what consumers will be asking within the next few months when the scarcity and high prices of meat will be felt in their local grocery store.  But you wouldn't know that if you were listening to your nightly news, would you?  Because, for the life of me, I cannot understand why this news story has escaped the concern of the MSM.
     Wouldn't you think that the loss of up to 75,000 head of cattle during a horrific winter blizzard would merit mention on the news?  Not only were ranchers and farmers caught unprepared for the sudden storm, but this $7 billion industry is now hamstrung due to the government shutdown.
      According to online reports, the South Dakota Stock Growers Association estimated that 15 percent to 20 percent of all cattle were killed in some parts of the state. Some ranchers reported that they lost half or more of their herds. The storm was accompanied by hurricane-force wind gusts, which drove some herds to seek shelter miles from their ranches. A trail of carcasses left a gruesome sight.
     And you might be wondering why this storm was so much worse and caused so much damage.  After all, South Dakota is not immune to winter storms and they have been raising cattle for over a hundred years in those kinds of conditions.  What made this storm different?
     Well, I received an email from friends who ranch in that part of the country, and they were kind enough to inform the rest of us about what made this storm so devastating.  Here's what they had to say:

     A number of factors all happened simultaneously to create a situation of very high energy needs and high stress in cattle and other livestock. Any one of the following factors could have an impact by itself, but when all combined, it was simply too much for the animals and they most likely succumbed to hypothermia.
     The contributing factors included:  Animals were not adapted to winter conditions. Cattle will grow a thicker hair coat in response to shorter days, and cooler temperatures. But temperatures prior to the storm were in the 70°’s. For cattle, this meant they had thin hair coats and little protection from the elements. Snow was preceded by hours of rain. A wet hair coat reduces the “insulation” that the hair and hide provide and increases the rate of heat loss from the body. For example, a cow with a wet hair or summer hair coat has critical temperature of 59°, while one with a dry, heavy winter coat has a critical temperature of 18°. The critical temperature is the temperature at which the animal must increase its metabolism, or burn its own energy, to maintain its body temperature. The further the effective temperature is below the critical temperature, the more energy the animal must use to maintain its body temperature. 
      Winds in this blizzard were recorded up to 60 mph. Both research and practical experience show what a difference “wind chill” has on effective temperature. The range and pastures that are grazed during summer months are typically “open” – without constructed windbreaks, and usually very few natural windbreaks. With the storm so early in the year, most livestock were still out on summer range and pastures. Thus, animals felt the full intensity of the wind. The hair coat, temperature, moisture and wind combination meant the animals’ energy needs to maintain body temperature were much higher than even during a “normal” winter blizzard.  
     Coupled with the very high energy needs of the animals was the fact that most of the feed the cattle were currently eating was quite low in energy. Cattle grazing lush green grass makes a beautiful picture, but the reality is that lush, rapidly growing green grass is very high in moisture and low in energy per pound of feed consumed. The unusually large rainfall in September had created this rapidly growing grass in many areas. Under normal weather conditions, cattle were able to consume large quantities of grass to meet and even exceed their energy needs. But under blizzard conditions, it was not possible for them to consume adequate amounts of forage to meet their much higher than normal energy needs.  
     To try to escape or reduce the harsh wind, cattle will walk with the wind and seek areas of shelter, such as draws and ravines. Walking through heavy, wet and deep snow increased their energy needs even more. The severity of the snow fall also meant that the animals were walking blind, and could easily fall in to gullies, walk into a stock dam or creek, or gather into a fence corner and face crushing and trampling. When you combine the effects of all the above factors, and add exhaustion and the inability to maintain their own body temperature, you have a situation where cattle simply stop and succumb to hypothermia. It’s important to note that all these factors were beyond the control of ranchers, owners, or anyone else.
     Cattle that survived the storm most likely have used up all or most of their energy reserves. This means they may need more supplemental feed than is normal for this time of year, particularly if there is added stress from rain and colder temperatures.  (Information from article written by Dave Ollilia and Rosie Nold).

     And because Congress has yet to pass a new farm bill, which subsidizes agricultural producers, ranchers have nowhere to turn for help.  For now, the best farmers and ranchers can do is meticulously document their losses, with detailed photos, for use when and if claims can be processed.
     Of course, the most immediate concern is proper disposal of the dead livestock, which state law says must be burned, buried or rendered within 36 hours — for the health not only of surviving herds but also for people.
     But the catastrophic effect of this loss will be felt in other ways, too.  Not only were tens of thousands of calves killed, but so were thousands more cows that would have delivered calves next year.  And the stress of the storm will leave its mark on surviving herds, leaving the remaining cattle vulnerable to ruinous diseases.  What's more, most of the diseases have incubation periods of a week or two, so those problems can't yet be assessed.
     Yet, with the obvious desolation of valuable beef herds, did you hear much about it on national news?  With rising prices at the grocery store, don't you think this is worthy of mention?  With the stress on our economy as it is, shouldn't a story that will most likely affect every household be at the top of your list?  Shortages in the food supply, plus rising prices, could inflict even more pain upon the middle class.  I just thought you should know and try to plan accordingly.  This winter could be difficult, in more ways than one.

Nahum 1:7    "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him."

September 14, 2013

Bill and His Egg-cellent Invention

Mayo made with artificial egg
     Anytime Bill Gates is involved with some new revolutionary food project or product, the hair stands up on the back of my neck.  So it is, with the new "artificial", plant-based egg that he is now hawking at such elite stores as Whole Foods.
      And let me just say that anytime the news releases call a new artificial food, "radical", you can bet that I'm staying away from it as far as possible.  Bill and his new best friend, PayPal billionaire Peter Thiel are backing this new food product called Beyond Eggs.  The firm's founder, Josh Tetrick, is quoted as saying, "We want to take animals out of the equation.  The food industry is begging for innovation, especially where animals are involved – it is a broken industry."
     Well, maybe the food "industry" is begging, but as for me, the food "consumer", I do not see anything broken in my daily collection of eggs from my free-range chickens.  In fact, these eggs are about as organic as you can get.  My chickens feast on natural food sources, such as grasshoppers, insects, termites, etc.... all high in protein.  And the results are the best-tasting, the healthiest, and the most natural egg "product" around.
     The idea behind Beyond Eggs was to find a mix of easy-to-grow plants that, when mixed together in the right way, replicate the taste, nutritional values and cooking properties of an egg.  But when you add Bill Gates to that mix, do you really know what you're going to get?  Seeing as how he is a huge supporter of Genetically Modified Foods, it makes me more than a little leery.  Furthermore, the firm has stated that one of the purposes of this new revolutionary food product is to allow developing worlds to grow their own versions with added nutrients.  Once again, the Bill Gates factor has me questioning just what those "added nutrients" would be.  As outspoken as he's been on population control, is he the guy we want supplementing our food?
Eggs fresh from my chickens
     In touting his new egg substitute, Mr. Tetrick also had this to say, "'In developing countries, we can also add in things missing from the local diet, helping nutrient deficiencies, and we have had initial discussions with the World Food Program about this.  What we want to eventually do is find a way to work with farmers in the developing world to enable them to have new cash crops that can be used."
     Does anyone else find it the least bit suspicious that it is the Third World developing countries that they want to subject to their "radical, new nutrients"?  Is this just another subterfuge to limit population growth?
     But I guess it was his final comment that really blew me away.  When describing the impact Beyond Eggs would have on the food industry worldwide, Tetrick said,  "Then we become the kind of company to be feared by the bad guys in the industry."  Oh, my dear sir, they aren't the only ones who will be fearing you and your Progressive business partners.  Thank you, but you can keep your artificial egg.  I'm happy with my multi-colored, deep orange, fresh and real eggs!

Genesis 1:29     And God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food."  

May 24, 2013

As The Bees Disappear ....

     Have you ever become interested in a subject and find that your research begins to peel off layer after layer of significance?  That's what I'm finding with the attempts to genetically engineer our food supply.  I've talked about the big seed companies and their influence in the halls of Congress, as well as the impact they are having on the sustainability of our food sources; never mind altering the nutritional value of what we eat.
This is what colony collapse
disorder looks like.
     Well, now, let me take you one step further and inform you of something else companies like Monsanto and Dow are effecting.  It seems that there is a dramatic loss of bees in Europe and North America. As many as 50 percent to 90 percent of the bee populations have simply vanished, leaving their hives empty, resulting is what is knows as colony collapse disorder (CCD) in honey bees.
     Everything from mites, cell phone radiation and viruses have been suspected, but now it seems the cause is much more familiar .... the Bayer Pharmaceutical Corporation.  The reason that the bee colonies are collapsing is due to poisoning with a known insect neurotoxin called Clothianidin, a pesticide manufactured by Bayer to address a rootworm problem that was infesting the world's corn crop.  Now, Bayer knew that its pesticide was highly toxic to bees but claimed that, because it would be applied to corn seed and would be buried in the soil, it would be harmless to other creatures.
     But here's the problem .... Farmers were instructed to buy special machines to apply Clothianidin to their seeds with a special adhesive seed coating manufactured by ..... guess who? ..... Monsanto!  The poison is supposed to stick to the seed coat and to be toxic to the rootworm. These poison-coated seeds are now growing all over the globe.
     Here is where it gets real disturbing:  According to a 2003 statement by the EPA, "Clothianidin is highly toxic to honey bees on an acute contact basis (killing 50% of tested populations at greater than 389 mg/kg). It has the potential for toxic chronic exposure to honey bees, as well as other nontarget pollinators, through the translocation of Clothianidin residues in nectar and pollen. In honey bees, the effects of this toxic chronic exposure may include lethal and/or sub-lethal effects in the larvae and reproductive effects in the queen."
     In order to understand the full effect of these findings, there are some things you need to know.  First of all, the food chain is a delicate system.  It would be very hard to re-balance a food chain if it was thrown off dramatically. Especially if something vital or basic was taken out. This is just the case when it comes to the decline of the Bee population. They give us so much, that if this decline continues, the food chain will be affected dramatically.
     It's as simple as this:  Bees are  primarily consumed by spiders and birds. So if they were to continue to decline, these animals would have to find a new food source.  If these animals fail to do that, then whatever animal feeds on them would need a new food source.  Picture this continuing on down the food chain until some species even become extinct.  It's not hard to see that the basic food web will drastically change with the absence of Bees.
      But it's not just animals that will be affected.  Since bee’s pollinate and stabilize over 70% percent of plants, you can see how their absence could affect the very survivability of mankind.  If plants are not pollinated, they die, and animals (including man) who rely on plants for food will be competing for ever-reducing food supplies.  And let's not forget that plants like cotton serve to clothe us, and so it's not just our food source, but our very way of life that is at stake.
     For those of you who need to calculate a financial cost of the disappearance of the bee colonies, here it is:  Bees pollinate about one-third of the human diet, $15 billion worth of U.S. crops, including almonds in California, blueberries in Maine, cucumbers in North Carolina and 85 other commercial crops, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It goes without saying that not finding a cause of the colony collapses could prove costly.
     If your blood is not boiling by now, then here's a little known fact that will send you over the edge:  The EPA granted conditional registration for clothianidin in 2003 and at the same time required that Bayer CropScience submit studies on chronic exposure to honeybees, including a complete worker bee lifecycle study as well as an evaluation of exposure and effects to the queen.  According to Aaron Coalangelo, an attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, those studies have never been released.  "The public has no idea whether those studies have been submitted to the EPA or not and, if so, what they show. Maybe they never came in. Maybe they came in, and they show a real problem for bees. Maybe they’re poorly conducted studies that don’t satisfy EPA’s requirement."  It has been ten years since that study was supposedly conducted!  How many bee colonies have disappeared in the last decade?
     You can read the EPA's response to various petitions by beekeepers, honey producers and pesticide watchdogs, but don't get your hopes up that they will put the welfare of the bees, or ultimately mankind, over the profits of Monsanto and Bayer.  This is just one more example of messing with God's creation that will result in dire consequences for us all.

Psalm 104:27-29     All creatures look to you to give them their food at the proper time. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are satisfied with good things. When you hide your face, they are terrified; when you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust.

May 17, 2013

U.S. Strong Arms The World On Behalf of Monsanto

     A faithful reader, Lisa, pointed me in the direction of this story.  So today's post will actually expand upon an earlier report I presented, titled GMOs Receive Protection, an exposé on the so-called "Monsanto Protection Act."  Further research has revealed that our Government has not only lobbied on behalf of Monsanto in domestic legislation, but has also aggressively pressured international companies and governments to promote agricultural biotechnology, or as it is known by it's more popular name, "genetically modified food".
     FoodandWaterWatch.org, along with its European component, have released a comprehensive analysis of how the U.S. State Department has lobbied the governments of foreign countries on behalf of such seed giants as Monsanto, Syngenta and Dow.  As you may know, the global seed market is worth around $15 billion, and it doesn't take much thought to see how a handful of these huge corporations might want to influence U.S. foreign policy and see their products promoted as part of pro-GMO policies and laws around the world.
     What surprised me is that biotechnology is not nearly as popular among governments in Europe and other countries as it is here in the U.S.  Make no mistake, the future availability of food for the world's growing population is of great concern to all; but there is more of an apprehension outside the U.S. about the health risks of agricultural biotechnology and the lengths to which such companies as Monsanto will go to genetically modify the food supply.
     Food and Water Watch has even gone so far as to allege that "The U.S. State Department does the bidding of biotech giants like Monsanto around the world by "twisting the arms of countries" and engaging in vast public campaign schemes to push the sale of genetically modified seeds."  Besides the unethical aspect of the U.S. government lobbying on behalf of specific corporations, there is the additional aspect of U.S. taypayer money being used to fund the pressure.  Consider these abuses of our tax dollars:
•  The State Department, in effect, waged an advertising campaign directed at foreign reporters and opinion-makers in an effort to influence them to overcome widespread public opposition to Genetically Engineered crops and foods.   Our taxpayer dollars were used to host biotech conferences and public events in which the products of Monsanto, Dow and others were promoted.
•   The State Department targeted the developing world in their efforts to get such countries as Kenya, Ghana and Nigeria to pass legislation and implement regulations favored by the biotech seed industry.  They especially lobbied for more laws to protect the U.S. biotech exporters, as they pushed the accelerated use of agri-biotech products.
•  And if a foreign nation was still reticent about adopting a genetically-modified food source, then the State Department was only too happy to work with the U.S. Trade Representative to "encourage" the export of biotech crops and to force nations that do not want these imports to accept U.S. biotech foods and crops.  If your nation is suffering from food shortages, what choice do you really have?  But back here at home, American farmers and grassroots organizations are fighting back!
     Ben Burkett, President of the National Family Farm Coalition says,  “An overwhelming number of farmers in the developing world reject biotech crops as a path to sustainable agricultural development or food sovereignty."  Apparently they aren't interested in subsidizing Monsanto's costly seed production and use of agrichemicals.
     Pamm Larry is a leader of a U.S. national grassroots movement to label Genetically Engineered foods.  She was also the initial instigator of Proposition 37, a California ballot initiative to label genetically engineered foods that was narrowly defeated at the polls last November.   She had this to say:  “As we fight for the mandatory labeling of GE foods here in the U.S., it’s important that we also shed light on the ways that the pro-GE seed agenda is being forced upon other countries — because knowledge is power.” 
      Wenonah Hauter, Executive Director of Food and Water Watch, says the U.S. State Department is over-reaching its authority.  “Today, the U.S. government is secretly negotiating major trade deals with Europe and the countries of the Pacific Rim that would force skeptical and unwilling countries to accept biotech imports, commercialize biotech crops and prevent the labeling of GE foods. This madness must stop; the U.S. government should not be a shill for the largest biotech seed companies.”
     Food and Water Watch has done an exemplary job in monitoring this situation and I recommend that you read their full report.  It concludes with the recommendation that all countries should have the right to establish their own acceptance of biotech crops and foods free from U.S. interference.  After all, the sovereign interests of foreign countries should come before the financial interests of Monsanto, don't you think?

Colossians 2:8    "See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ."

April 12, 2013

GMOs Receive Protection

     By now we ought to be used to the Power Machine in D.C. slipping unfavorable laws under our noses.  So it should come as no surprise that H.R. 933, or as it is known in the official Congressional record, "Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2013", was signed into law last week with little fanfare.  This resolution, in effect, averted yet another government shutdown.
     But this is what you really need to know:  buried within the law is a rider, known as Section 735, which was anonymously inserted as the bill made its way through the halls of Congress.  If you're interested in reading the legal mumbo jumbo, here it is:

"In the event that a determination of nonregulated status made pursuant to section 411 of Plant Protection Act is or has been invalidated or vacated, the secretary of agriculture shall, notwithstanding any other provision of law upon request by a farmer, grower, farm operator, or producer, immediately grant temporary permit(s) or temporary deregulation in part, subject to necessary and appropriate conditions consistent with section 411(a) or 412c of the Plant Protection Act, which interim conditions shall authorise the movement, introduction, continued cultivation, commercialisation and other specifically enumerated activities and requirements, including measures designed to mitigate or minimise potential adverse environmental effects, if any, relevant to the secretary's evaluation of the petition for nonregulated status, while ensuring that growers or other users are able to move, plant, cultivate, introduce into commerce and carry out other authorised activities in a time manner …"

     Now, let me explain its significance, as I understand it.   Various food and consumer groups, as well as environmentalists, organic farmers, and Tea Party and Libertarian activists have joined together to express their concerns that this bill not only hijacks the Constitution, but sets a legal precedent and puts such companies as Monsanto and other biotech firms above the federal courts.  In other words, they say that not even the US government can now stop the sale, planting, harvest or distribution of any GM (Genetically Modified) seed, even if it is linked to illness or environmental problems.  It has all the earmarks of catering to a special interest group.  But, hey, that's never stopped anyone in Congress before, has it?
     But here's the problem, for me:  Monsanto is clearly the largest manufacturer of Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  The jury is still out on the overall effects of these modified foods, but I think there's enough creditable data to worry about undiscovered health risks to humans, as well as the possibility of manmade genes "infecting", so to speak, the wild plants, potentially wreaking ecological havoc.  Supporters of the Monsanto Protection Act, (which of course tend to be the financial recipients of the GMO industry) prefer to call it the Farmer Assurance Provision, and they say it simply aims to prevent activists from using the court system to make farmers scrap or destroy their genetically modified crops.
     Monsanto released a statement which read, in part, "As we understand it, the point of the Farmer Assurance Provision is to strike a careful balance allowing farmers to continue to plant and cultivate their crops subject to appropriate environmental safeguards, while USDA conducts any necessary further environmental reviews."  In other words, we are grateful to our government sponsors who found a way to introduce this legislation, which allows us to continue to experiment with genetically modified foods, make our money, and avoid any lawsuits until the USDA figures out if any of this stuff is dangerous.  At least, that's what I hear when I read between the lines.
     Oh, and by the way, Republican Senator Roy Blunt of Missouri, told Politico he "worked with" Monsanto to secure the rider.  Interestingly enough, Blunt is Monsanto's chief recipient of political funds.  Nothing suspicious there, right?
     And for those of you who still think that there is a semblance of justice in our nation's capitol, the "Monsanto Protection Act" is set to formally expire in September, since it is part of the much wider spending bill.  But, if you are cynical like me, then it has dawned on you that the precedent has been set.  And who among you thinks that it is ever likely that the world's largest seed company and the main driver of the controversial GM technology will ever agree to give up its new legal protection?  It appears to me that the seeds have already been sown and Monsanto will continue to grow and benefit from this divisive legislation.

Isaiah 61:11    "For as the soil makes the sprout come up and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations."