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Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday Friend Shout Out: Citizens for a GMO Free World

Today's Friday Friend Shout Out is dedicated to Citizens for a GMO Free World. Founded by 15 graduates from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, including our friend and Co-Leader of the Holistic Moms Network of Monmouth County, NJ, Dawne Vrabel. Citizens is an organization dedicated to removing Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) from our natural food sources. They work tirelessly advocating for the labeling and/or removal of GMOs from our food supply.

According to one estimate, GM foods are present in approximately 80% of dpackaged food products in America. As many of you know, Americans increasingly rely on packaged products for the majority of their meals. The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) had called for an immediate moratorium on GMO foods because doctors believe they pose a serious health risk. GM products also cross-polinate with neighboring crops, unintentionally modifying much of our food system and deeply impacting farmers. Unlike pharmaceuticals, GM crops cannot simply be removed from the system, the continued cultivation of GM crops is altering beyond viability the very foundation of our health and society: our food.

Unfortunately, American consumers and farmers continue to be denied the simple, inalienable right to choose what we produce and what we eat because labeling of GM foods is not currently required. In fact, in the US, foods may legally contain up to 10% GMO material and still be considered organic (in the EU, it's 0.9%). In three separate federal cases, US courts ruled that the USDA, specifically the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, violated the National Environmental Policy act by not providing and Environmental Impact Study on the impact to an ecosystem or farmers due to cross contamination. The USDA has admitted that they do not have policy or screening measure to identify, or weed out, a shipment of unapproved GMOs unknown to the regulatory system.

Citizens for a GMO Free World are at the forefront of activism towards the labeling of GMOs and removing GMOs from our food sources. This summer, they reached out to First Lady, Michelle Obama, sending a letter to request her assistance and created a petition to place an immediate moratorium on all GM crops, among other requests.

Citizens for a GMO Free World, you've taken on Goliath and we commend and support you! Keep up the fabulous work!

To learn more about GMOs please click here.

Keep it Fresh!
~ Terra

Monday, November 23, 2009

Slow Down, Be Thankful, Enjoy the Moment....

Who doesn’t feel as if there aren’t enough hours in the day? I regularly try to pack 36 into 24. Often we rush through the day, running here and there, and end up exhausted. I have definitely been guilty of this in the past few weeks. Somehow these days full of duties, obligations and busyness have begun to build up and become our lives. We’ve come to believe that being productive and crossing things off our to-do list is the ultimate goal.

The truth is, life on Earth is a brief gift, and our time is too precious to be used like this. The ultimate goal isn't to cross things off our to-do list, but to savor every moment of life. If we want our lives to be balanced and healthy, we need to lessen our load and increase our down time. This means planning less in a day, prioritizing those things that make our hearts sing and de-prioritizing those things that are not imperative.

If we must accomplish many things each day, we can still change the quality with which we do things. How can we transmute that sprint to the train into something delicious instead of the usual gripping and tightening experience? Today, instead of waiting in frustration at Staples for my print job, I treated myself to a sushi dinner. I found ease and enjoyment in the midst of stress. Taking time to enjoy my dinner was one way today I attempted to cultivate the art of going slowly.

Take a few moments before you climb out of bed in the morning to remember your dreams and to think about what you want from the day. Give thanks for all that you have. Leave your watch on the bedside table. Take the scenic route. Sit for a moment with your eyes closed when you start your computer. Check email only twice a day. Don’t pack your schedule so tightly that there’s no time for a short walk. Light candles before you start to cook dinner. Enjoy a glass of wine. Add one moment here and there for slowness; it can be done simply and will have a profound effect on your well-being.

Keep it Fresh!
~ Terra