Final Reflections on Costa Rica, What the Heck is a Biodigester, What Noni Looks Like

Before heading down to Costa Rica, I had no idea that it would be one of the best trips that I would ever take and that it would impact me so greatly.

Now back in New York City, I have been trying to wrap my arms around why I loved it so much. Three main things come to mind:

1) First and foremost, it was a phenomenal group of people on the trip. Despite the fact that almost none of us had ever met before, we all got along really, really well. No drama, very easy, and everyone was extremely likeable.

Additionally, the individuals from EARTH University who hosted and took us around Costa Rica were beyond gracious. Their warmth and concern for our well-being was just truly amazing. Read more »

Being Political, What I Try To Do Here

I was at a Super Bowl party on Sunday and ran into a friend that I hadn’t seen in quite a while.

We started talking and he mentioned someone’s name to me, a former Wall Street professional who is now an organic foods chef.

The first thing that he said about this individual is “He’s very political.”

Without hesitation, I responded “So am I. When you see what is going on, how can you not be?”

Given my background, it is hard to believe that these words now come out of my mouth.

Even though my college was a hotbed for political activism, I avoided that scene altogether and never had any strong opinions, about politics or otherwise. Read more »

The USDA is Set to Approve a GM-Corn Resistant to 2,4-D, a Primary Ingredient in Agent Orange


Does our government have any interest in putting the health of its citizens ahead of corporate profits of the chemical industry?

Based on recent news, it doesn’t appear that this is the case.

The USDA is poised to approve Dow Chemical’s genetically-modified corn that is resistant to 2,4-D, a primary ingredient in Agent Orange.

In case you’re not familiar with Agent Orange, it was the code name for one of the chemicals used in Vietnam as part of a broad herbicidal warfare program.

Vietnam estimates 400,000 people were killed or maimed, and 500,000 children were born with birth defects as a result of this lethal strategy.

But it wasn’t just the Vietnamese who suffered greatly. U.S. soldiers came back from the war and realized that exposure to Agent Orange had greatly impacted them as well. Read more »

Consumer Reports Vindicates Dr. Oz, Says Conventional Apple Juice Contains Very High Levels of Arsensic – Make Sure You Buy Organic

A few months ago I reported on a study that Dr. Oz did where he found excessive levels of arsenic in non-organic apple juice.

Needless to say, it got a lot of national media attention, and much of it was not positive.

In fact, ABC News’ Health and Medical Editor Dr. Richard Besser, a former classmate of Dr. Oz, called his report “fearmongering”.

This is nothing but standard operating procedure for organizations that make money from Big Ag and major consumer packaged goods companies (ABC sells A LOT of advertising to them).

Well, Consumer Reports just came out with their own report about arsenic in apple juice (PDF) and what did they find? Read more »

Top 5 Non-Food Organic Products of Expo East 2011

For the most part, I only cover organic food products here on livingmaxwell, yet I fully understand that living well incorporates a lot more than just food.

While organic food is the primary motivation for me attending the Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West Trade Shows, I also come across many non-food products that organic consumers ought to know about.

These five really captured my attention at last week’s Expo East in Baltimore. Read more »

Flow – A Documentary That Highlights The Very Serious Water Issues We Face in the World

If you read my blog frequently, you know that I am a water fanatic. But there is a good reason for this.

I know that eating organic food, food grown without pesticides and GMOs, is imperative to good health.

But I also know that drinking very high quality water and using a filter in the shower/bath are just as, if not more, important than eating organic food.

Since our bodies are approximately 70% water, it is essential that people put great effort into making sure that the water they drink and are exposed to is as clean as possible.

In the U.S., our tap water is filled with chemicals, gases, rust, fluoride, chlorine, pharmaceuticals and other contaminants. (Read this fantastic exposé in The New York Times about our unhealthy drinking water.) Read more »