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My Reaction to Mark Bittman’s Op-Ed Piece in the NY Times

My Reaction to Mark Bittman's Op-Ed Piece in the NY Times

Mark Bittman, the author of several books and long-time food columnist for the NY Times, recently wrote a very good op-ed piece that is worth reading. His Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled? is something that every citizen in our country should be asking our politicians. And demanding answers. Europe requires that GMO foods be labeled […]

GMO NYC Organic Regulation
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Mark Bittman, the author of several books and long-time food columnist for the NY Times, recently wrote a very good op-ed piece that is worth reading.

His Why Aren’t GMO Foods Labeled? is something that every citizen in our country should be asking our politicians. And demanding answers.

Europe requires that GMO foods be labeled because they believe in giving consumers a choice and proper information about the foods that they are putting into their bodies.

In the U.S., our politicians are extremely beholden to Big Ag and don’t want to label foods as genetically-modified because they are scared that people won’t buy them.

Given that 70% of our supermarket shelves contain GMOs, I can see why they would be concerned. There would be a massive transition to organic food and conventional food companies would suffer tremendously.

Yet, our lawmakers have concluded that GMO foods are “generally regarded as safe” and they completely ignore the way in which a food is manufactured. Read more »


Have We Been Misled? 5 Organic Foods That Should Make You Think Twice

Have We Been Misled? 5 Organic Foods That Should Make You Think Twice

I spend an inordinate amount of time learning about the healthiest and newest organic food products available. Through my research at the various trade shows (Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West are my two favorites), talking to industry contacts, roaming supermarket aisles, speaking with as many well-informed food people as I can […]

Aflatoxin Expo East Expo West GMO Nutrient-Dense Organic Peanuts
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I spend an inordinate amount of time learning about the healthiest and newest organic food products available. Through my research at the various trade shows (Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West are my two favorites), talking to industry contacts, roaming supermarket aisles, speaking with as many well-informed food people as I can and reading books, I have come to the following conclusion:

You can take almost any food in the world and some health expert will have something good to say about it while a different health expert will have something bad to say about it.

So, what I do is educate myself as much as I can and then make my own decision about whether I should be eating it or not.

The following five organic foods seem to be the most controversial. While books could be written on all of the foods below and by no means am I covering all of the pros/cons of each, I will try to highlight the most salient points. Read more »


New to Organic? – Start with This Inexpensive Breakfast

New to Organic? - Start with This Inexpensive Breakfast

One question that I get a lot is “How should a person get started with organic food?” One complaint I hear a lot is that organic food costs too much. Let me both answer this question and address this complaint with a story. Last week, Brian, a new friend of mine who works on the […]

Getting Started with Organic GMO Organic
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One question that I get a lot is “How should a person get started with organic food?” One complaint I hear a lot is that organic food costs too much.

Let me both answer this question and address this complaint with a story.

Last week, Brian, a new friend of mine who works on the same floor of my office, came to ask me some food-related advice. He wanted to know what he could be doing to eat healthier, as he was “crashing” in the middle of the afternoon. Brian was very concerned that his eating habits were negatively impacting his ability to perform at work, which would impact his ability to make money.

He did not know much about organic and was very concerned about the price. When I started talking about organic food, the first words out of his mouth were “Hey, I don’t make $20,000 per month.”

Brian went on to tell me about the fast-food breakfasts that he had been eating and he didn’t think it was the cause of his problem. Read more »


BREAKING NEWS: USDA Approves GE-Alfalfa, Decision Will Destroy the Organic Dairy and Meat Industries

BREAKING NEWS: USDA Approves GE-Alfalfa, Decision Will Destroy the Organic Dairy and Meat Industries

When I tell people that President Obama and his team are adamantly against organic food, I always get a quizzical look. Or, they give me a “really?  He is? I never knew that.” Well, today’s ruling by the USDA is just another example of how this administration wants to do everything it can to placate […]

GMO Organic Regulation President Obama USDA
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Source: USDA

When I tell people that President Obama and his team are adamantly against organic food, I always get a quizzical look.

Or, they give me a “really?  He is? I never knew that.”

Well, today’s ruling by the USDA is just another example of how this administration wants to do everything it can to placate Monsanto while simultaneously eliminating organics.

USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack (pictured) announced this afternoon that genetically-engineered alfalfa could be sold and grown without any type of restriction.

In a previous post, I went into the details of how this will destroy the organic dairy industry. It will also kill the organic meat industry. Cows and cattle eat organic alfalfa. Read more »


IMPORTANT: Organic Food Under Serious Threat in Washington, Please Take Action

IMPORTANT: Organic Food Under Serious Threat in Washington, Please Take Action

There is a very important decision about to take place in Washington D.C. that could literally destroy the organic dairy industry. And it has to do with genetically-engineered alfalfa. Within the next few days, the USDA is set to announce its policy regarding GE-alfalfa. Why should we care about this? 1) Despite the fact that […]

GMO Organic Regulation President Obama
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There is a very important decision about to take place in Washington D.C. that could literally destroy the organic dairy industry. And it has to do with genetically-engineered alfalfa.

Within the next few days, the USDA is set to announce its policy regarding GE-alfalfa. Why should we care about this?

1) Despite the fact that organic alfalfa is something that most of us never buy at the supermarket, organic alfalfa is what is fed to cows to make organic milk. Read more »


California State Assemblyman Jared Huffman – A Name You Need to Know

California State Assemblyman Jared Huffman - A Name You Need to Know

Finally, we have a politician who is tired of all the shenanigans going on at the FDA and USDA, and he is taking action. His name is Jared Huffman, a California State Assemblyman representing the 6th District (Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties). Based on everything I have been reading and despite the massive protests against […]

FDA Food Safety GMO Organic Regulation President Obama The Center for Food Safety USDA
LivingMaxwell.com

Finally, we have a politician who is tired of all the shenanigans going on at the FDA and USDA, and he is taking action. His name is Jared Huffman, a California State Assemblyman representing the 6th District (Marin and Southern Sonoma Counties).

Based on everything I have been reading and despite the massive protests against it, the FDA is getting ready to approve genetically-engineered salmon. In a previous post, I went into all of the reasons why this is absolute lunacy and even some federal agencies, such as The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), are adamantly against it.

Also, in case you haven’t noticed, President Obama has said not one word about this issue. This doesn’t surprise me in the least as he continues to prove how against organic food he is.

Assuming genetically-engineered salmon gets approved, the next fight looming is to require that this FrankenFish be labeled as genetically-modified. Right now, there is no law in the U.S. that says genetically-modified food must be labeled. Read more »


Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

Organic vs. Natural: Understand the Difference, Educate Others

These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why? We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college […]

GMO Organic Regulation Uncategorized USDA
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These past few days have been heaven for college football junkies such as myself. Why?

We got to watch a ton of great bowl games and the best is yet to come — January 10th when Auburn and Oregon play for the National BCS Championship. Then, a few months later comes March Madness, the college basketball championship tournament.

Now that I got the sports plug in, let’s talk about Organic vs. Natural.

I am addressing this now because when I was watching the Rose Bowl game yesterday (TCU vs. Wisconsin), a major potato-chip manufacturer kept popping up with its “all-natural” ads. The vegetables in the ads looked pristine, the kitchen was sparkling white and the cutting board was beautiful. It was about as picturesque and healthy looking as you can imagine.

And, they kept saying their potato-chips were “all-natural”.

According to the USDA’s website, this is what “natural” means.

As required by USDA, meat, poultry, and egg products labeled as “natural” must be minimally processed and contain no artificial ingredients. However, the natural label does not include any standards regarding farm practices and only applies to processing of meat and egg products. There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

Did you read that last sentence? There are no standards or regulations for the labeling of natural food products if they do not contain meat or eggs.

As a result, “natural” has been badly abused as a marketing technique, and tons of companies have used genetically-modified organisms (GMOs), synthetic chemicals, and growth hormones in the production of their “natural” foods.

Since the government has been unwilling to enforce any type of standard for the term “natural”, class action lawyers have gotten involved and filed lawsuits against corporations such as Pepsi (Naked Juice) and Kashi who have used ingredients that are anything but natural.

What to do?

Avoid buying products labeled as “natural” and purchase “organic” products.

Organic food has very strict standards — no GMOs, no toxic pesticides or chemicals, nothing artificial, nothing can be irradiated or grown in sewage sludge — and the certification process is rigorous. Organic food is MUCH healthier for a person and for the planet.

So, the next time some person or some advertisement says that a food product is “natural”, now you know what the word really means. Or, doesn’t mean.

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