Thursday, September 30, 2010

The 10 Freakiest Things About Frankenfish

From The Huffington Post:

10. According to the FDA, Frankenfish Aren't Animals, They're "Animal Drugs"

9. The GMO Part of the GMO Salmon Isn't Being Safety Tested

8. Frankenfish DNA Could Change the Bacteria of Your Gut

7. If It Swims Like a Salmon, FDA Says It's Safe to Eat

6. FDA Lets the Frankenfish Company Test Its Own Product's Safety

5. Frankenfish Is More Carcinogenic

4. Frankenfish Is Less Nutritious

3. Frankenfish Is More Allergenic

2. GMOs Can Mess a Fish Up!

But the freakiest thing about all of this is ...

1. The Government Wants More Transgenic Fish and Less Wild Fish


Hunting Is A Form Of Gambling

I don’t hunt for “sport”. I was first drawn to hunting because I enjoyed the communion with nature, finding it’s secrets, and sitting still and quiet in it’s glory. I had been hunting for some time before I actually experienced the rush of stalk and ambush. In the end, though, hunting for me has always been about putting food on the table (or the freezer, mostly). It is part of stocking the pantry and feeding the family.

For me today, hunting legally for food is not so far removed from gambling for income. When I lived in North Carolina I believe a big game tag with taxes and fees cost about $46. That $46 bought a large ticket with a line for one to four of each big game species available for hunting that year and a hunter possessing such a license could hunt any animal with any weapon provided it was within the season’s parameters. One could hunt with a bow, rifle, shotgun, or muzzleloader a variety of game such as white tail deer, turkey, bear, boar, fox, coyote,… probably twenty animals in all with a single tag for under $50.

I now live in the great state of Washington. I love it here. If I could be in Oregon I might be happier, but the Pacific Northwest is my home. Despite all of the great things the Northwest has to offer, hunting in Washington is expensive. A tag to hunt just one deer and one elk (and buy the vehicle permit to park in a hunting area) is between $80-$90 in Washington State. In addition, you have to choose which season you wish to hunt (bow, rifle, or muzzleloader) and you may only hunt that season, regardless of your success. What that means is, if you buy a rifle hunting license for deer and bring home nothing by season’s end, you do not even have the privilege of giving the state more money to hunt the late bow season in hopes of breaking even on the deal. It’s no wonder poaching is such a problem in Washington.

Hunting is not easy. Every now and then an easy shot may present itself and we are thankful when that happens, but even then there is a lot of work to get the animal from hoof to plate (this is true in hunting just as it is from CAFO to Wal-Mart). Most times, though, a single animal successfully hunted, killed, and butchered is the result of countless hours of finding where they are, finding a place to sit and/or stalk, waiting them out, learning to call, learning to shoot, butchering, not to mention all the tools required. I’m not here to argue the virtues of hunting, though…

What I’m trying to get at is the fact that I can pay $80+ and – assuming I already have everything else I need to hunt – MAYBE put one lean, nature-fed animal in the freezer, two if I am very lucky and have a lot of free time on my hands. Or I could pay a little more than twice that and put less meat in my freezer from a decent, but less natural source. It’s a real crapshoot we’ve created.

I feel like it’s time to discuss population and balance…

Monday, September 27, 2010

New 'compact' for GM complaints

From Weekly Times Now:

THE world's major biotechnology companies have set up a complaints process for countries with concerns over the impact of GM crops.

The six companies - BASF, Bayer CropScience, Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto, and Syngenta - have formed "The Compact", which they claim is a "clearly defined, efficient, and fair" process for countries to file and process claims related to damage to biological diversity caused by genetically modified organisms.

Peak group CropLife International said the compact, which had been developed over the past two years, was now in force under the umbrella of an independent mediation and arbitration framework administered in The Hague.


Friday, September 24, 2010

Warning: Silver Nanoparticle Waste in Our Water

Manufacturers have incorporated silver nanoparticles into more than 200 consumer products, including clothing and cosmetics, because of their antibacterial properties. Now researchers analyzing sewer sludge provide the first evidence that silver leaching from these consumer products transforms into silver sulfide nanoparticles in wastewater treatment plants (Environ. Sci. Technol., DOI: 10.1021/es101565j). The findings provide scientists with important new information about the life cycle of these nanomaterials...

Read more : Warning: Silver Nanoparticle Waste in Our Water

Monsanto to spend $10M over Idaho mine concerns

From The Seattle Daily Journal of Commerce:

Monsanto to spend $10M over Idaho mine concerns

SODA SPRINGS, Idaho (AP) — The company behind a proposed phosphate mine in eastern Idaho plans to invest an additional $10 million into the project to address environmental concerns raised during a public comment period.

Monsanto Co.'s proposed mine is slated to produce ingredients for Roundup weed killer and has generated nearly 7,000 public comments, including from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, which wants additional pollution safeguards.

Harvest Season

A disappointing garden season thus far.

Still, there is this...

Sixteen pints of corn and eight quarts of pickles. The corn and cucumbers were purchased locally and not from the garden, but it's food in the pantry nonetheless. These were processed on the 18th.

Earlier today, I made a salad and found these in our garden:

The season may be disappointing, but there is still a little satisfaction. There is still a promise of pumpkins, squash, and radishes, with cabbage, carrots, onions, and green tomatoes ready to harvest. I am currently debating between green tomato salsa and pickled dill green tomatoes...

The lawn is making a comeback after the dry season and the chickens are loving it. Egg production has dropped slightly with the shortening of the days, but keeping them on the move around the yard helps keep them active! Chicken treats from the garden have already began to increase as crops are pulled. The compost pile of non-feed scraps, yard waste, and chicken manure are ready and waiting to cover the garden beds for winter.

We will be leaving for North Carolina in a little over a week. Hopefully I will have time and news before then!

Eat well in the meantime!

Monday, September 6, 2010

EPA Slaps Monsanto with Record Fine

"The agricultural giant was found to have been selling genetically modified cotton seeds without labeling them as such. Between 2002 and 2007, Monsanto's seeds were illegally sold in several Texas counties where the seeds are explicitly banned."