Institute for Responsible Technology

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAM. WE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Living a sustainable lifestyle doesn’t just help our planet, it can also make a positive impact on your Baby Greek Goddess on her bikehealth.

We all know that choosing non-toxic household products, reducing energy consumption, buying whole foods and changing transportation methods are good for the environment. All of these sustainable lifestyle choices can also be good for your health.

Avoiding Toxins in Your Household Products

We’ve talked before about the benefits of cleaning your house with non-toxic or homemade cleaners. You avoid the chemicals in commercial cleaners which can cause breathing issues, headaches and other health problems. You should also avoid toxic fertilizers and insecticides, which can impact your health, the health of your children and the health of your pets.

Reducing Energy Usage

Doing things like going to bed early has proven health benefits and reduces energy consumption (lights, computers, TV, etc. are off for the night). Studies have shown a correlation between not enough sleep and being overweight andPesticide Free Zone reducing your overall energy consumption can help reduce pollution, which in turn can help you breathe easier — cutting down on allergies, asthma and other breathing problems. “Increasing natural sunlight in your home and workplace saves energy and a whole lot more. Using natural light rather than relying entirely on artificial light can be beneficial to your health too. Sunlight helps calcium absorption, improves your mood and increases concentration.” Source: SheKnows.com

Buy Local, Buy Organic

When you choose organically grown local foods, you avoid the pesticides that can cause health issues. Organic produce is also high in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. By choosing wild-caught and free-range fish and grass-fed beef and lamb, you can avoid foods that are injected with hormones and other chemicals. Eating whole food and avoiding processed foods can reduce your intake of fat, sodium and sugar — which can cause obesity, heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other chronic health conditions.

To help you make more sustainable seafood choices, visit http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/cr/seafoodwatch.aspx and download their free Seafood Watch Pocket Guide.

Changing the Way You Get Around

Walk or bike to work. Combining exercise and a commute builds healthful activity into your day and reduces fuel use and vehicle emissions. Being outdoors allows you to enjoy nature, which benefits your emotional and mental health. If you live too far from your office to bike or walk, take public transportation.

Source: SheKnows.com

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Institute for Responsible Technology

The Institute for Responsible Technology is a leader in educating policy makers and the public about geneticallySay NO to GMOs modified (GM) foods and crops. They investigate and report the risks and impact on health, environment, the economy, and agriculture, as well as the problems associated with current research, regulation, corporate practices, and reporting.

Founded in 2003 by international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith, IRT has worked in more than 30 countries on 6 continents, and is credited with improving government policies and influencing consumer-buying habits.

 

 

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EDITOR’S NOTE: EACH TUESDAY MY GREEN SIDE BRINGS SIMPLE TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING TO THE CHRISTOPHER GABRIEL PROGRAMWE ALSO HIGHLIGHT A FAVORITE GREEN SITE EACH WEEK. YOU CAN STREAM THE SEGMENT AT APPROXIMATELY 1220PM (CENTRAL) EVERY TUESDAY AT WDAY.COM OR, IF YOU’RE IN NORTH DAKOTA OR WESTERN MINNESOTA, LISTEN ON YOUR RADIO AT AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: We have a right to know what is in our food. Demand mandatory labeling of GE foods. Visit JustLabelIt.org to take action.

Some GE Stats:

  • The U.S. Government approved GE crops nearly 20 years ago. Today GE soy and corn make up more than 90% of the acreas planted.
  • Only 5 countries grow 90% of the world’s GE crops. They are the U.S., Canada, Brazil, Argentina and India.
  • More than 40 nations require that genetically modified ingredients are listed on product labels, the U.S. is one of the few that does not require labeling. Visit JustLabelIt.org for more information about labeling GMOs.
  • 92% of Americans want labeling on GE foods.
SOURCE: USDA’S NATIONAL AGRICULTURAL STATISTICS SERVICE, USDA’S ECONOMIC RESEARCH SERVICE

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.

This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM); they are one and the same. Read more about GMOs at http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-basics/the-ge-process.

The buildup surrounding GM agriculture was that these new crops would be of increased nutritional value and would increase productivity. They would be able to grow in the desert and feed the worlds hungry. This, however, is not the reality. The only advantage goes to the companies selling the seeds. If you want to read a great article on the topic, visit civileats.com and read the view of author and food advocate Anna Lappe.

According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.”

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and blogger at Huffington Post, writes “Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn’t simple.” And currently the U.S. doesn’t require GM foods to have labeling describing them as being genetically modified.

The Star Tribune recently recently ran a piece entitled, “Those Bugs Are Going To Outsmart Us,” which shows some of the struggles of farmers due to the pitfalls of GMO crops. And a simple solution, according to the farmer profiled, “rotate, rotate, rotate”. Instead of planting the same soil depleting crop in the same field year after year which encourages “superweeds” and bugs, a crop rotation will help keep the soil healthier which makes the plants healthier.

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops from Healthy Child Healthy World

• Corn: Our number-one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S. were corn, 25% of which was genetically engineered. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.

• Soy: The number-two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of processed foods contain soy ingredients, and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy-based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.

• Potato: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank Russet variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt-producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle – and possibly to beneficial insects.

• Tomato: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because it proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay ripening and extend shelf life.

• Canola: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly for herbicide-resistance.

• Cottonseed Oil: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods. About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.

• Papaya: More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen from GE papaya trees will contaminate their crops.

• Radicchio: Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate.

• Squash: Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the U.S., creating invasive superweeds.

• Salmon: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so that it grows much more quickly than non-GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for human consumption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild, raising the possibility of wild species extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently, research on transgenic strains of 35 fish species world-wide is underway.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

For more information, visit the Non-GMO Project. The Non-GMO Project, a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, offers North America’s only third party verification and labeling for non-GMO food and products. They are committed to preserving and building sources of non-GMO products, educating consumers, and providing verified non-GMO choices.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Just Label It

We have the right to know if our food has been genetically engineered.

Studies show that more than 90% of Americans support mandatory labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. Yet for twenty years we have been denied that right. While our reasons for wanting to know what’s in our food may vary, what unifies us is the belief that it’s our right to know. Without labeling of GE foods, we cannot make informed choices about our food. The Just Label It campaign was created to advocate for the labeling of GE foods.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Avoid genetically engineered food. Until further testing has been done, the impacts to our food supply, human and environmental health are not clearly known.

Last week, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) held public hearings to determine the introduction of AquaBounty Technologies’ Transgenic salmon into our food supply. The FDA panel questioned some of the data submitted by AquaBounty, including the small sample size represented in its findings and the potential for allergic reactions (fish as a food group inherently contain a high level of allergens).

Consumer advocates are united with salmon farmers and fisherman in their shout out against the production of genetically engineered (GE) fish until independent tests prove the fish are safe for the food supply, the environment, and safe for human consumption.

Are we going to allow more sketchy food into our food supply that hasn’t been adequately tested?

One (of many) concerns is the presence of iGF-1, a growth hormone linked to an increased risk of cancer, in this fast growing test tube fish.

The FDA panel has not reached a conclusion. The next step is an environmental assessment and a 30-day period for the public to voice their comments. If approved, the first GE salmon could be in the grocery store in two years. Under FDA guidelines for food labels, the salmon you buy will not require a label stating it is GE in origin.

AquaBounty is against mandatory labeling sighting it as unfair and costly. Elliot Entis, AquaBounties founder, would support voluntary labeling by producers who want to communicate that their fish was not GE. Place the cost and burden for the label on the guy supplying nature’s fish? Fair?

Besides the cost of voluntary labeling, AquaBounties fear is the GE label would be read like a warning. Other critics of mandatory labeling imply labels are too confusing to consumers. Source: Phoenix News Times

Don’t we deserve to know where are food comes from and how it’s produced?

I also think there’s also an ethical piece to this issue. Even though we can, should we make changes to nature that aren’t natural?

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Food & Water Watch
Food & Water Watch works to ensure the food, water and fish we consume is safe, accessible and sustainable. So we can all enjoy and trust in what we eat and drink, they help people take charge of where their food comes from, keep clean, affordable, public tap water flowing freely to our homes, protect the environmental quality of oceans, force government to do its job protecting citizens, and educate about the importance of keeping shared resources under public control.

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Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1220pm (central) every Wednesday at WDAY.com or, if you’re in North Dakota or western Minnesota, listen on your radio at AM970 WDAY.

GREEN TIP: Avoid genetically engineer food.

A genetically modified organism (GMO) is the result of a laboratory process of taking genes from one species and inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired trait or characteristic and they are also known as transgenic organisms. This process may be called either Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM), it’s all the same thing. 

Source: Institute for Responsible Technology

The buildup surrounding GM agriculture was that these new crops would be of increased nutritional value and would increase productivity. They would be able to grow in the desert and feed the worlds hungry. This, however, is not the reality. The only advantage goes to the companies selling the seeds.

According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “the two main traits that have been added to date are herbicide tolerance and the ability of the plant to produce its own pesticide. These results have no health benefit, only economic benefit.”

Jeffrey M. Smith, author of Seeds of Deception and Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods and blogger at Huffington Post, writes “Unless we want to wait until more studies are done, risking allergies and immune dysfunction, infertility, infant mortality, or poorer health inherited by the next generation, we will have to opt out of the GM food experiment. Without required labels, it isn’t simple.” And currently the US doesn’t require GM foods to have labeling describing them as being genetically modified.

Children are especially susceptible to the effects of GM foods.

Top Ten Genetically Engineered Food Crops from Healthy Child Healthy World

• Corn: Our number-one agricultural commodity. In 2000, 79.5 million acres of harvested cropland in the U.S. were corn, 25% of which was genetically engineered. This includes Bt and Roundup Ready corn varieties.

• Soy: The number-two U.S. agricultural commodity. Sixty percent of processed foods contain soy ingredients, and 82% of edible fats and oils consumed in the U.S. are soy-based. In 2000, 54% of the 74.5 million acres of soybeans grown in the U.S. was Roundup Ready soy.

• Potato: Currently, the only GE potato is a Burbank Russet variety, marketed under the name NewLeaf. This Bt-producing plant is lethal to the Colorado potato beetle – and possibly to beneficial insects.

• Tomato: The first GE tomato, the Flavr Savr, was introduced commercially in 1994, but flopped because it proved tasteless. Since then, other varieties, including a cherry tomato, have been genetically engineered to delay ripening and extend shelf life.

• Canola: Of the 15 million acres of canola grown in the U.S. and Canada annually, 35% is GE, mostly for herbicide-resistance.

• Cottonseed Oil: In 2000, 61% of the 15.5 million acres of cotton grown in the U.S. was genetically engineered. Every year, half a million tons of cottonseed oil makes its way into salad dressings, baked goods and snack foods. About 1.4 million tons of cottonseed meal is fed to livestock annually.

• Papaya: More than one third of Hawaiian papayas have been genetically engineered to withstand the papaya ringspot virus. Organic papaya growers in Hawaii worry that the pollen from GE papaya trees will contaminate their crops.

• Radicchio: Currently one variety of radicchio, called Seed Link, has been genetically engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glufosinate.

• Squash: Several varieties of summer squash have been genetically engineered to resist mosaic viruses. Some scientists are concerned that resistance to the virus may spread to weedy relatives, such as gourds, found in the U.S., creating invasive superweeds.

• Salmon: A company called Aqua Bounty has engineered a salmon with genes from two different fish species so that it grows much more quickly than non-GE salmon. The company now seeks FDA approval to market this fish for human consumption. Escaped into the environment, (which is inevitable on fish farms), the GE fish may be larger and more aggressive, eat more food, and mate more often, though their offspring are less fit to survive in the wild, raising the possibility of wild species extinction. Human health effects are also relatively unknown. Currently, research on transgenic strains of 35 fish species world-wide is underway.

Source: Healthy Child Healthy World

Download the Institute for Responsible Technology’s Non-GMO Shopping Guide to make sure you avoid foods made with genetically modified organisms.

My Green Side’s web pick of the week:

Healthy Child Healthy World
Their mission is to ignite a movement that inspires parents to protect young children from harmful chemicals. This site is full of information and inspiration for keeping your family and our planet healther.

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