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Food Sunday: Food News You Can Use

photo: State Library of New South Wales via Flickr

And, we’re back.
From the “You’re making your own pesticides whether you want to or not” desk: “EXTRACT: CryAb1 toxin [was] detected in [pregnant women], their fetuses and [non-pregnant women]. This is the first study to reveal the presence of circulating [pesticides associated to genetically modified foods] in women with and without pregnancy, paving the way for a new field in reproductive toxicology including nutrition and utero-placental toxicities.


NOTE: Bt corn (maize) was developed by transferring cry1Ab from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) into corn. It is to be found in the most common GM corn – Monsanto’s Bt MON810 (marketed with the trade name YieldGard) – a corn genetically engineered to resist corn borers by producing its own insecticide, the Cry1Ab toxin. Global production of Bt corn takes place on many millions of hectares worldwide and many different types of foods contain Bt corn. In the European Union, seven countries – Austria, Hungary, Greece, France, Luxembourg, Germany and Bulgaria have banned Mon810.” Another reason to ask your local milk, meat, and egg producers what they are feeding their animals, where it comes from, and who is in control of it. Most people specialize – for example, people who do chicken and eggs (even pasture raised, folks), are also supplementing with feed of some sort and DO NOT GROW AND MILL THEIR OWN, which means that they are not in control of what is in their feed stocks. Unless they are feeding organic, at a controlled source mill, their feeds can be contaminated with this stuff. So, ASK.
BT toxins in pregnant moms and the unborn

More on Eat Your Veggies and More Access to Fresh Fruits and Veggies as well: “Investigators from the Slone Epidemiology Center at Boston University have reported that African American women who consumed a diet high in vegetables and fruit gained less weight over a 14-year period than those who consumed a diet high in red meat and fried foods. This is the first prospective study to show that a healthier diet is associated with less weight gain in African American women, a population with a high prevalence of obesity.” Folks – this study followed over 59,000 women nationally – this is not a fluke. Eat your veggies

Another Reason We Should Not Be Promoting Ethanol: Early results of tests by the USDA’s Agriculture Research Service (ARS) indicate that E. coli O157:H7 in cattle manure, and on cattle hides, may be more prevalent for cattle whose corn-based feed contains what’s known as “wet distiller’s grains with solubles,” or WDGS…Distiller’s grains, as Wood explains, are what’s left after corn is processed to make ethanol. One use for the byproduct is in cattle feed, particularly in the so-called “finishing phase” — the last few months before slaughter. WDGS has been touted as a less expensive alternative to traditional feed ingredients, replacing additives such as corn, soybean meal, urea or mineral supplements.” UREA????? Ethanol leftovers and e. coli in cattle

From the WTF Desk: Why are we making and marketing foods with melatonin, which will probably end up being fed to children? It’s called sneaky medication, people. “Products with names such as Lazy Cakes, Kush Cakes, and Lulla Pies are marketed as dietary supplements that claim to provide a harmless way to promote relaxation, alleviate stress, and ease sleep deprivation,” Durbin said in a letter to Commissioner Hamburg. “The website for Lazy Cakes claims their product is, ‘a delicious, chocolate alternative to medication and harmful narcotics to help you safely relax and fall asleep.’ These products appear to be promoting themselves as therapeutic alternatives to medications. As such, the products may be marketed in ways that are inconsistent with federal law.

“The relaxing effect promoted by these products is due to the ingredient melatonin. According to scientific research there is no recommended dose for melatonin supplements, but according to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database the typical dose should be between 0.3 and 5 milligrams. Generally each brownie and cookie contains roughly 8 milligrams of melatonin — almost double the upper limit of a typical dose,” Durbin added.”
melatonin brownies?

And from the ‘No Sh+t, Sherlock” Desk: FDA’s program is generally limited to enforcing the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point—the internationally recognized food safety management system—by conducting inspections of foreign seafood processors and importers each year.These inspections involve FDA inspectors reviewing records to ensure the processors and importers considered significant hazards, including those resulting from drug residues if the seafood they receive are from fish farms.The inspectors generally do not visit the farms to evaluate drug use or the capabilities, competence, and quality control of laboratories that analyze the seafood.”
FDA can’t do the job

And, from the ‘so fresh, it squeeks’ news from my garden – it’s been raining here for about 10 days. Needless to say, I can’t get out in the garden to do much of anything (though my plan for Rapture Day was to transplant all of those greens in the photo but the soil is just…too…wet). However, I do have news – a couple of years ago, I wrote about planting this Asian green that was just a magnet for slugs. It was amazing stuff – we didn’t eat it but the slugs would go crazy for it and would literally swarm over those plants and leave anything planted right next to it alone. At the time, I’d lost the plant packet and could not remember what it was except that the word ‘mustard’ was in the title. Well, I bought what I THOUGHT was the seed and grew it this spring and this is the same deal. Great stuff and the slugs have discovered it. It’s called Mustard Spinach Komatsuna and here’s the link to buy it: mustard spinach

Also – the celery seeds are up and I’ve transplanted them – this is my first time with celery and it seems to take a very long time – I’m not sure this will work out the way I thought – anyone out there who has grown celery before? But every year we try to grow something we never have done before – considering the amount of celery we eat, this is worth a shot.

Have a good week – visit a farmers market, get something green and new to you!

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Snarky housewife from Upstate New York. Into gardening, fiber arts, smallholder farming.