Know What's in Your Food

Promoting awareness and change about the food we eat, and where it comes from.


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Earth On Tap

I visited my local farmers market this morning and found a wonderful treat! 🙂

Earth On Tap Organic Juice

 

Earth On Tap is an organic juice company that is locally owned. They use all organic vegetables and their juices are made with no oxygen. This means these fresh juices stay fresh for 5 days in the fridge…but I have to admit I drank mine with in minutes. 🙂 It comes in a reusable glass container. I will refill it with my own morning fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. I love products that are organic and local. When I find these two paired together, I have a hard time not sharing.  I will be back next week to support my local farmers market.  I hope everyone will do the same.

You can locate Earth On Tap by clicking here.

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Kellogg’s Corn Flakes Made With Monsanto’s BT Corn

This picture came from GMO Inside. I read about the pesticides they recommended that I Google….here is what I found…..

kelloggboycottphoto_20130127b(

(Photo courtesy of GMO Inside)

I did, as the photo from GMO Inside suggested, Googled EPA registration#524-581.  I found this link. This link contains the seed product package insert by Monsanto. On the first page at the bottom it says :

CAUTION

KEEP OUT OF REACH OF CHILDREN

I guess it is okay to plant the seeds, and feed the BT corn to your children in the form of Corn Flakes? ….just don’t let them touch the seeds. 😦

According to GM- Free Cymru #68467-7

“SmartStax is a genetically modified (GM) maize that has eight GM traits combined or ‘stacked’ together, six for insect resistance (Bt) and two for herbicide tolerance. Current stacked GM trait crops on the market only have up to three traits each. SmartStax was created through collaboration between Monsanto and Dow AgroSciences [1] SmartStax Corn: Corporate War on Bees, SiS 46), allowing the two corporations to share GM traits. The traits are combined together using crosses between existing transgenic corn lines rather than using genetic transformation of a single maize strain. USDA/APHIS (United States Department of Agriculture/Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service) the usual regulator of GM crops approved the crops without an approval process, because the transgenic traits had been granted unregulated status previously, and those traits were combined using conventional breeding. Nevertheless, USEPA (United States Environment Protection Agency) were obligated to regulate the stacked crop varieties containing plant-incorporated protectants (PIPS). EPA invited public comment prior to registration of stacked varieties of corn but they approved SmartStax corn without allowing public comment prior to its registration.”

Corn field

Corn field (Photo credit: Rastoney)

Here is the breakdown of the 8 stacked genes in SmartStax..

“An armoury of transgenes SmartStax has been created by crossing four transgene varieties: MON89034 x 1507 x MON88017 x 59122 [4], which together provide eight traits. The eight traits are accompanied by an array of regulatory sequences derived from bacteria, plant viruses and other plants, are as follows, as far as one can tell, as SmartStax is very poorly characterised, and is in all probability a hybrid corn [5, 6].

Pat (events DAS-59122-7 and TC1507), phosphinothricin N- acetyltransferase (from S.viridochromogenes) for glufosinate herbicide tolerance driven by CaMV 35S promoter, with CaMV 35S 3′ polyadenylation signal as a transcription terminator; two copies of the pat gene and its promoter and terminator are present, one in each of the events DAS-59122-7 and TC1507.

CP4 epsps (event NK603), 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (Agrobacterium tumefaciens CP4) for glyphosate herbicide tolerance , driven by rice actin I promoter, with intron sequences, chloroplast transit peptide from A. thaliana and A. tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) 3′-untranslated region terminator The genome has one copy of the NK603 event containing 4 transgenes in one locus.

cry1A.105 (event MON 89034), a chimeric Cry1 delta endotoxin (Bacillus thuringiensis) for insect (Lepidopteron, moth) resistance, driven by CaMV 35S promoter, with 5’untranslated leader from wheat chlorophylla/ b-binding protein, 3′ untranslated region of wheat heat shock protein 17.3 as a transcription terminator. The genome has one copy of the event MON89034 containing 4 transgenes in one locus.

cry2Ab (event MON 89034), Cry2Ab delta endotoxin (Bacillus thuringiensis) for Lepidopteron (moth) resistance, driven by FMV35S promoter from figwort mosaic virus, with Hsp70 intron from maize heat shock protein gene, and .A. tumefaciens nopaline synthase (nos) 3′- untranslated region The genome has one copy of event 89034 containing 4 transgenes in the same locus.

cry3Bb1 (event MON 8801), Cry3Bb1 delta endotoxin (Bacillus thuringiensis subsp.kumamotoensis strain EG4691) for Coleopteran (corn rootworm) resistance, driven by the CaMV 35S promoter with duplicated enhancer region, 5′ UTR from wheat chlorophyll a/b-binding protein, and rice actin gene first intron; transcription is terminated by 3′ UTR from wheat heat shock protein (tahsp17 3′). There is one copy of of event MON8801 in the genome, containing 6 transgenes.

cry1Fa2 (event TC1507), Cry1F delta endotoxin (Bacillus thuringiensis var.aizawai) for Lepidopteron (moth) resistance, driven by the ubiquitin (ubi) ZM (Zea mays) promoter and the first exon and intron; transcription is terminated by the 3′ polyadenylation signal from ORF25 (Agrobacterium tumefaciens). There is one functional copy of the event containing 6 complete transgenes, and 2 partial copies of the event elsewhere in the genome.

cry35Ab1 (event DAS-59122-7), Cry35Ab1 delta endotoxin (Bacillus thuringiensis strain PS149B1) Insect Coleopteran (corn rootworm) Resistance The toxin gene is driven by the Triticum aestivum peroxidase gene root-preferred promoter. The transcription is terminated by the Solanum tuberosum proteinase inhibitor II (PINII) terminator. There is one copy of the cry35Ab1 transgene in the genome.

cry34Ab1(event DAS-59122-7), Cry34Ab1 delta endotoxin (Bacillus thuringiensis strain PS149B1) for Coleopteran (corn rootworm) resistance, driven by the Zea mays ubiquitin gene promoter, intron and 5’UTR; transcription is terminated by the Solanum tuberosum proteinase inhibitor II (PINII) terminator. There is one copy of cry34Ab1 transgene in the genome (note cry34Ab1 and cry 35Ab1 are combined in a single event DAS-59122-7).

The eight main traits in SmartStax corn include at least 34 transgenes. For the most part, the transgenes were developed and patented during the mid 1980s through to the mid 1990s. These old events were combined using traditional plant breeding techniques. The environmental and human safety of the transgenes have never been rigorously established while the regulatory agencies justify the safety of those many transgenes on the basis of the long time in which the transgenes have been used in GM food and feed in the Americas. However, the modified foods were never labelled in the market, making epidemiological studies impossible.”

It sounds like a lot of Franken engineering just to make some corn for cereal!  According to Food Democracy Now, Kellogg’s spent $790,000 on opposing prop 37. Prop 37 would have required foods that contain GMO’s to be labeled. Corn flakes are a rather simple idea. It is hard to imagine all the GMO and bioscience that goes into a simple bowl of cereal. Opt for organic alternatives or another breakfast food altogether.

Sources: GM- Free Cymru, GMO Inside, EPA


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Otis Spunkmeyer Muffin….An Experiment

otis spunk

On May 7th 2013, I was given an Otis Spunkmeyer Muffin at the office. I had no intention of eating it, but I wanted to see how long the shelf life was for the muffin.  When I couldn’t find an expiration date, I became concerned and decided to call their customer service.

corn dogs Otis Spunkmyere

When I contacted customer service, they were very nice when they told me, they really couldn’t tell me when the muffin expires.  Otis Spunkmeyer customer service said the number that was stamped on the side of the muffin, indicated it was baked on February 12th 2013. Muffins are good for 1 year if they are kept frozen. However, once they are thawed they are only good for 35 days from the date they are thawed. They had no way to tell me when the muffin was thawed by the store that purchased them.

I decided to hang on to the muffin and see how long it would remain soft, mold free, and normal in appearance. It has been a little over three months since I have had the muffin  I (just like Otis Spunkmeyer customer service) am not sure when it was thawed.

I wondered what was in the muffin that would keep it looking “fresh” for so long.

otis ingredients

There are a lot of GMO’s and hidden forms of MSG, and at least one known carcinogen (caramel color), in this muffin. Propylen Glycol is found in antifreeze. I  focused on the potassium sorbate.  Potassium Sorbate is a preservative and according to a Turkish Study  It should be considered a genotoxic and mutagenic compound.  According to Science Center For The Public Interest it is regarded a generally safe. It is hard to tell what the real story of this preservative is. There are many foods that can contain potassium sorbate.  According to the Food Intolerance Net work, some of them include:

  • Breads (Flat breads & tortillas)
  • Bakery products such as cakes, pancakes, and waffles
  • Flour products such as fresh pasta and noodles
  • Cheese, Cream cheese, cottage cheese, cheese slices, cheese sticks
  • Reduced fat cheeses and spreads
  • Yogurts
  •  Some fruit juices
  • Fruit syrups, preserved figs, cherries
  • Margarines, spreads and dips

I am not sure how long the muffin  will remain “fresh” but I can tell you after three months, it is still going strong.  What is the long-term effect of GMOs, additives, preservatives, pesticides and herbicides after they accumulate, in the body, for 30 or 40 years? This little muffin just may give the Twinkie a run for its money when it comes to shelf life. Any “food'” that  can last as long as this muffin, I don’t regard as having generally safe ingredients.

Sources: Otis Spunkmeyer, Live Strong, Food Intolerance Network, Science Center For The Public Interest


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Litte Shop Of Horrors… Supermarket Finds

corn dog frozen

It seems as though each time I go to the grocery store, I find an item, or two, that is utterly appalling. Today was no different. I know that most everyone knows corn dogs are not healthy, but allow me to vent for a moment about these corn dogs made by Foster Farms. I saw several people buying these in the store today. I can just see these being an after school treat for kids…it’s a thought that really bothers me 😦

First, a look at the front of the box

corn dog frozen

The first thing I notice is that they contain honey crunchy flavor….not honey, but honey crunchy flavor.  They are double dipped in “honey batter.” Foster farms is so proud of their “honey” claim they mention it three times on the front of the box. They use the clever marketing scam of ” No added hormones or steroids.”  Federal law prohibits the use of hormones and steroids to be added to chicken.  Factory farmers use antibiotics on chicken. You can read about factory farming by clicking here . This product boasts about being a good source of iron.

Now for a look at the ingredients

conr dog ingredients

  • Flour with the natural nutrients striped from it.
  • Added synthetic vitamins and minerals….which is  the only reason why it can be labeled as a good source of iron,
  • Yellow corn flour and yellow corn meal- probable GMO’s.
  • Soy Flour and soy bean oil – probable GMO’s.
  • Then there is the dried honey (at less than 2% of the make-up of the batter.)  Dried honey is never 100% pure honey. Dried honey is a processed food. It contains anywhere from 50-70% real honey, but yet Foster Farms advertises the word honey in three separate areas on the front of their box.
  • Artificial flavors- These are just that, artificial. They are made from chemicals in a lab. You can read my post on natural and artificial flavorings by clicking here.

Chemicals, processed honey, and GMO’s….and that’s just the batter!

Now  for a look at the frank.

  • Mechanically separated chicken Also known as , pink slime. You can watch a video about pink slime by clicking here.
  • Salt
  • Corn syrup solids- Sugar
  • Sodium Phosphate- A texturizer and shelf life extender (preservative).
  • Sodium Diacetate-  A fungicide and bacteriacide required for the pink slime.
  • Sodium Erythrobate- A preservative that has been known to cause: headaches, nausea, body flushing, generalized fatigue, gastritis, malaise, dizziness, light-headedness and hemolysis.
  • Sodium Nitrate- A known carcinogen and also is responsible for an increases risk for type 2 Diabetes.

I wonder how many people would buy this product if Foster Farms were to boast about what’s really in these corn dogs, like the way they boast about honey in their product.

Sources: Live Strong, Young Turks, Natural News


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Mango & Olive Oil Hair Mask

Whole foods can make you beautiful inside and out…

Budget Friendly, Too

JULY 28TH, 2013 I bought a bunch of fruit last week, thinking for sure I’d eat them, but of course, I did forget about one quickly ripening mango. This morning I decided to use that mango and not let it go to waste, so I punctured a bunch of holes in the skin and squeezed out the juice. Which actually worked surprisingly well and got about 1/3 cup of juice.

I was about to take a shower, so I poured some in my hands and on my hair and tried to evenly spread the juice enough to just dampen my hair. I also figured this would be an ideal time to add some olive oil for even more moisturising. I left the mixture on my hair for about 20-30 minutes then rinsed and shampooed my hair.
(I also used the excess juice for a face wash and body scrub. Worked…

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