Turkey Tracks: April 18, 2015
The Swing Mailbox
Remember the blog post from last winter about my smashed mailbox?
Well, it’s now spring, and it’s time to fix the mailbox.
Here’s the very cool solution: MailSwing
I picked it up yesterday in Pittston, Maine, from Tim Gay. This business is now going to be a third-generation father/son business.
Stephen Pennoyer came right away and started digging a new mailbox hole (3 to 4-feet deep) and spray painting all the metal black.
This morning he came early and finished the whole job, and SIL Maryann Enright and I went to the hardware store for sticky numbers for the pole and box.
Interesting Information: Steven Drucker’s ALTERED GENES, TWISTED TRUTH: How GMOs Took Over the Food Supply
Interesting Information: April 2015
ALTERED GENES, TWISTED TRUTH: How GMOs TOOK OVER THE FOOD SUPPLY
Well, here’s a surprising and interesting story–that involves, of course, corruption within the FDA. We should not be too, too surprised since in this era of late capitalism, we are living with many unhealthy products we were told were “safe” by those meant to protect our best interests.
Steven Drucker has unearthed the history of how we got untested GMOs in the food supply, and guess what, Monsanto did not do it. And that is perhaps why the story is so interesting.
Here’s a few excerpts:
In May 1992, the FDA made a blanket presumption that GE foods qualified to be categorized “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS). They then said that this meant these foods could be marketed without any safety testing at all.
“That actually is a blatant misrepresentation of US food law, but that was the FDA claim,” Steven says. “[They claim] there’s an overwhelming ‘scientific consensus’ they’re safe, and so safe that they don’t need to be tested. Therefore, the FDA let these foods into our market without the requirement of a smidgen of testing.
Moreover, they didn’t even require these foods be labeled, so the consumers at least would be informed about the major genetic reconfiguration that had occurred. This struck me as not only being unscientific but irresponsible and unethical. At the time, I had a hunch it was also illegal.”
As he continued researching the matter, that hunch was confirmed. Not only is the policy governing GMOs at odds with the science, it violates US law. At first, Steven did not think he was sufficiently qualified to launch a lawsuit to contest the FDA’s ruling. But as time went on, it became clear that no one else was willing to stick their neck out to do it.
And, of course, when one sticks out one’s neck and tries to get at the history or the truth, one gets immediately demonized, fired, banished, and so forth.
According to the FDA’s own admission, the agency has been operating for years under a policy to promote the US biotechnology industry. They decided it was more important to promote the industry and uphold the fragile image of GE foods rather than tell the truth and acknowledge the scientist warnings. So they covered up these warnings. Had Steven not sued, the warnings of the FDA’s own scientists still would be unknown to this day.
“We wouldn’t know the extent to which the FDA has been lying all these years. But fortunately, we do know now,” he says. “And what we know is that although the FDA scientists overwhelmingly concluded and warned their superiors that these foods entail unique risks, that they cannot be presumed safe, and that each one of them should be subjected to long-term rigorous toxicological testing, what the public heard from the FDA was that “The agency is not aware of any information showing that foods developed by these methods differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way.”
Now, it’s impossible, I think, for any rational man or woman to read just the sampling of memos from the FDA scientists that are posted on the website of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity… and feel that the FDA’s assertion is anything other than a blatant fraud meant to mislead the public, mislead the world, and allow genetically engineered food a free pass to enter the market. It’s just an astounding fraud.”
For close to 20 years, the American public has been exposed to these largely experimental, untested foods, which its own scientists said entail unique risks and could not be presumed safe. The FDA claimed GMO’s could be presumed safe, and that there was an overwhelming scientific consensus backing up their decision, yet the evidence shows that is a bold-faced lie. One document (document #8), is a letter from the FDA’s biotechnology coordinator to an official of Health Canada, written in the fall of 1991, just six months before the FDA’s ruling on GE foods.
Dr. James Maryanski’s letter acknowledges that there is no consensus about the safety of these foods within the scientific community. That admission is in the FDA’s own files. “Even if we didn’t have the memos from the scientists, we would have that admission, and yet, what happened? The FDA basically just buries that and lies about it all,” Steven says. What’s worse, because the FDA is so widely respected, and because the US—which is known to have strong food safety laws—said GMO’s were GRAS, it paved the way for easy approval in Canada as well. Europe also relaxed their stance on GMO’s as a result of the FDA’s lie.
And here’s an interesting twist in the story: the molecular biologists did it.
These lobbying efforts were not backed by the biotechnology industry, mind you. There was no biotechnology industry at that time. This is a key theme of Steven’s book, because it’s easy to forget that there was a time before the biotechnology industry, and very few know who the leaders of the genetic engineering establishment were, or why the technology was invented in the first place. As much as most of us despise Monsanto for their reprehensible behavior, they could never have implemented their strategy if it weren’t for the prior misbehavior of the molecular biologists.
“The biotechnology industry—as irresponsible as they have been by and large—the main guilt lays at the feet of the mainstream molecular biology establishment; the scientists who were doing the research, getting the grants, and wanting to develop this technology. Most of them had altruistic goals. They thought this was going to be used to cure so many ills in the field of medicine… I think they eventually developed an ‘end justifies the means’ psychology…
But when you have so many highly influential, powerful scientists who are working together to convince the world that genetic engineering is inherently safe, and that the research they’re pursuing is safe, that can be somewhat dangerous. And it turned out being very dangerous for the world, I think.
One of the points made in the book very clearly, is that the burden of proof that was placed on new technologies and new products, which ordinarily requires the developer to substantiate the safety of the new technology and its products, got shifted. It got shifted because of the subterfuge and the fraud, and it was put on the shoulders of the critics, the people who had concerns. There were many good scientists who had concerns, but they were all of a sudden put into the position of, You’ve got to prove they’re dangerous,” and the burden of proving safety was removed.”
I hope you take some time to read this history because this kind of thing is happening in so many areas of our nation today. This is late capitalism. We cannot have a democracy as long as these kinds of events are allowed. It is crucially important to know that you cannot trust what you are being told, that you have to look deeper–or we are never going to get out of this mess.
Interesting Information: April 14, 2015
Chickenpox and Shingles
BOUGHT, the movie, is sharing some of its out-takes with those who signed up for getting further information.
This little video/interview discusses chickenpox and shingles.
Books/Recipes: April 14, 2015
The “nourishing” genre of food/cookbooks has been enriched by one: Sally Fallon Morell and Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD’s NOURISHING BROTH.
You may recall that Sally Fallon Morell wrote NOURISHING TRADITIONS with Dr. Mary Enig, who fought the good fight to show how dangerous trans fats and vegetable oils are and how good for you saturated fats from healthy animals are. And you may recall that Jennifer McGruther recently published NOURISHING KITCHEN and has a great web site that is a constant resource–as is the Weston A. Price Foundation’s web site.
So, you cannot read this blog for long without knowing I am a big fan of and great believer in real, homemade bone broths. Of course I ordered this new book anyway–and it is chock full of the science of bone broths, of why they are so good for us. And, of course, the book tells you all the ins and outs of making bone broths and how to use them in all sorts of soups, stews, sauces, gravies, and so forth.
After reading the book, I have been defrosting my stored bone broths and heating a cup full for breakfast–instead of drinking tea. I add raw milk and salt if needed, and am thinking of adding a beaten raw egg, such as you might find in a Chinese or Greek egg soup. I am finding I have no need for coffee/tea after this gorgeous drink–one that feels good right down to my toes. And look, ma, no sugar/honey in the morning. Many cultures drink a hot bone broth soup for breakfast–while we are eating and feeding our children a nutrient nightmare of sugared cereal. It didn’t take me but one morning to realize what I had been missing.
One of the many things that Morell and Daniel point out is that with the advent of fake bouillon cubes (which have no meat in them and are the beginning of the dangerous excitotoxin MSG), we lost the nourishment we were getting from bone broths that were the base of much of the food we ate. Bone broths build…bones. Bone broths are full of gelatin (if made right) and lots of minerals and good fats–all mixed up in a hearty hot broth.
So, in a restaurant, if you encounter a “homemade soup,” ask if the soup is made from bones/meat in the kitchen or if a “base” is used. Avoid the base soup as it is all made from fake products.
Here’s a little video of Kaayla T. Daniels talking about bone broths and bones:
Turkey Tracks: April 13, 2015
Where does the time fly to?
I am never sure, beyond the certain knowledge that it’s moving really fast…
As you can see from earlier posts, I’ve just returned from an exciting few days of classes and viewing at the April MQX show in Manchester, NH–with friend Gail Galloway-Nicholson.
Here’s our favorite quilt from this show–and I’m sorry that I did not get the quilter’s name.
I can appreciate the glorious work in this quilt, but for myself, I shy away from trying to make something with so, so much work in it. I prefer a quilt that can be used and loved and washed. Thus, I was much more drawn to this Bonnie Hunter quilt–Texas Tumbleweeds–done in a different colorway than what Bonnie did:
Bonnie Hunter is part of the American Patchwork and Quilting Magazine’s 2015 4-patch challenge. And as you know, I’ve been making these “Bonnie” blocks right along. About 10 days or so ago, Bonnie showed how she was going to set her blocks. Bonnie used aqua, and I’ve chosen a limey green:
I’m working on the Coastal Quilter’s UFO challenge–due in May–so I’m making these blocks as a kind of leader/ender project at the moment.
And waiting to see how Bonnie is going to set them…
Look what I found along the front walk way today…
Snow drops! Aptly named…
Quilting Information: April 13, 2015
MQX, Manchester, NH–Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson Quilts
I appreciate modern quilts, but am not drawn to making them.
However, the Jenny Pedigo and Helen Robinson (sisters) display of quilts at this spring’s MQX show was really fun to see. And I certainly enjoy the sense of “style” and the lovely quilting seen in modern quilts.
I attempted to take a picture of most of the quilts shown. Or pieces of these quilts anyway. Those of you who have ipads or iphones can enlarge the pictures to see the fine detail of the quilting.
And, there is at least one book from these two amazing women.
Note that modern quilts often play with the juxtaposition of straight lines and curves.
And note the use of grey here, which is very “big” right now.
Here’s my favorite:
These quilts are GRAND! So fun.