Organic Consumers Association

When a Grass Towers Over the Trees

“Bamboo being grass, all 1640 species have a very strong root system that binds soil, and are the fastest growing plants making them best suited for restoring unproductive farmland, erosion control and maintaining slope stability,” Hans Friederich, Director-General of the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), told IPS from their Beijing headquarters.

Farmers From Central America and Brazil Join Forces to Live With Drought

A region of El Salvador, located in the so-called Dry Corridor of Central America, has suffered for years the effects of extreme weather: droughts and excessive rainfall that have ruined several times the maize and bean crops, the country’s two main agricultural products and local staple foods. There has also been a shortage of drinking water for people and livestock.

Mouthwatering Moringa Cauliflower Fried ‘Rice’

Rice is commonly enjoyed around the world, but one glaring issue with it is its high carbohydrate content. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a single cup of cooked rice contains a whopping 44.51 grams of carbohydrates, which is well above the limit if you’re following a ketogenic diet. With this in mind, what options do you have? One healthy alternative is cauliflower rice.

How Activating Your Body's Cell Repair Processes Can Improve Your Health and Well-Being

Naomi Whittel is the former CEO of Twinlab and has written an interesting book about how to achieve radiant health by activating your body's natural autophagy processes. In "Glow 15: A Science-Based Plan to Lose Weight, Revitalize Your Skin, and Invigorate Your Life," she shares a number of valuable strategies for doing this naturally. Her deep-rooted interest in healthy living was an outgrowth of her lifelong struggle with eczema, an autoimmune deficiency.

Farming as Resistance

Threatened by a mining company, indigenous women in the remote highlands of Guatemala are marching, increasing productivity, and planting trees.

“Let us plant trees and grow old on our land. Let us live in peace,” said the old woman. “You tell that to the world.”

How America Is Exporting Gun Violence to Mexico

Some 70 percent of guns recovered in Mexico in the last five years originated in the United States. Some of these guns come from the legal transfer of hundreds of millions of dollars in guns to Mexican police and military forces, which often wind up in the hands of criminal organizations, fueling violence.

Maine Becomes the First State to Test Ranked-Choice Voting

RCV, or ranked-choice voting, is a procedural solution to the problem of vote-splitting. After a three-year tussle between activists and legislators, Maine will become the first state to use RCV, in June. Under RCV, a victor who is reviled by more than half of the voters will be a thing of the past. And progressives can express their support for likeminded candidates without fear of vote-splitting. 

Can Reducing Your Exposure to Toxic Chemicals Prevent Obesity?

Research presented at the 20th European Congress of Endocrinology in Barcelona once again draws attention to hormone-disrupting chemicals and their suspected link to obesity. Researchers from two Portuguese universities evaluated current studies on obesity-causing chemicals, also known as "obesogens," to determine where people are most likely to come in contact with them.

Google - One of the Largest Monopolies in the World

Google is undoubtedly one of the largest and clearest monopolies in the world. In fact, the company monopolizes several different markets, including search and advertising. Bing, its closest search competitor, has just 2 percent of the market — hardly a significant threat to Google’s 90 percent. Google also controls about 60 percent of the global advertising revenue on the internet.

'Historic First': Nebraska Farmers Return Land to Ponca Tribe in Effort to Block Keystone XL

"We want to protect this land," Larry Wright Jr., the chairman of the Ponca Tribe of Nebraska, told the World-Herald. "We don't want to see a pipeline go through." 

"While TransCanada is trampling on Indigenous rights to fatten their bottom line, Native leaders are resisting by building renewable energy solutions like solar panels in the path of the pipeline," said 350.org executive director May Boeve.

Handsome Brook and Humane Farm Animal Care Settle

After two years of litigation, Handsome Brook, a marketer of certified organic and conventional eggs, and Humane Farm Animal Care (HFAC) have reached an out-of-court settlement, agreeing to pay their own court costs. After the first allegations became public in 2016, new owners took control of the management of Handsome Brook. They have been fully cooperative in investigations of the company’s past conduct.

Michael Colby: Vermont Rising — Beyond Big Dairy

Vermont’s agricultural narrative is overdue for a change. The tale of family farmers, grazing cows, thriving communities and across-the-board artisan quality is almost a museum piece at this point. While the images still dance in our heads – and in the marketing campaigns – they’re mostly a thing of the past.

Vermont is poised for our Phoenix-like moment, out of the ashes of the industrial agriculture that is our current economic, ecological and cultural burden can come a new paradigm, one steeped in a regenerative ethic that seeks to put the culture back in agriculture, the people back in farming, and the dignity back in farm work.

But we can’t get there until we first know how we got here.

Claims Against Meat Fail to Consider Bigger Picture

Media attention has again highlighted the carbon footprint of eating meat, especially beef, with some journalists concluding that extensive grass-based beef has the highest carbon footprint of all. SFT policy director, Richard Young has been investigating and finds that while the carbon footprint of a year’s consumption of beef and lamb in the UK is high, it is nevertheless responsible for less emissions than SFT chief executive Patrick Holden’s economy class flight to the EAT forum in Stockholm this week.

Common Antimicrobial in Toothpaste Linked to Inflammation and Cancer in the Gut

The antimicrobial chemical triclosan is in thousands of products that we use daily: hand soaps, toothpastes, body wash, kitchenware and even some toys. Work in our lab suggests that this compound may have widespread health risks, including aggravating inflammation in the gut and promoting the development of colon cancer by altering the gut microbiota, the community of microbes found in our intestines.

Elon Musk and the Corporate Controlled Media

Was Elon Musk just whining when he accused mainstream media outlets of tilting news coverage against Tesla to favor advertising giants from the incumbent automobile and oil industry?

Mainstream pundits rushed to scoff at Musk’s suggestion that a network’s corporate owner would censor news to please its sponsors. But corporate bias is an old malady with which I’m familiar from a long career as an environmental advocate.

What the Heck, Ben & Jerry's? How about Cleaning Up Your Own Act?

A number of our supporters wrote recently to complain about the cozy deal between MoveOn.org and Ben & Jerry’s. It’s a deal that lets the ice cream maker polish its image (and boost sales) by aligning its brand with progressive causes—even though the Unilever-owned company is responsible for the use of massive amounts of toxic chemicals that have all but ruined Vermont’s water.

These supporters (and others) were referring to emails to MoveOn members from "Ben & Jerry" with subject lines like “We're worried” and “Stop Trump. Eat Ice Cream.” 

But let’s be clear. This is free advertising for Ben & Jerry’s, a brand that masquerades as “socially responsible” when it isn’t. And it’s a great example of subliminal advertising, designed to convey this message: “Hey, we’re just like you. We care.”

The marketing gurus at Unilever and Ben & Jerry’s know full well that many consumers are willing to spend more for products sold by “socially responsible” companies. According to a recent report, Unilever's “Sustainable Living” brands are growing 46 percent faster than rest of business.

 

Tell Congress: Don't Weaken Organic Standards!

Every five years, Congress is tasked with reauthorizing the Farm Bill, a key piece of legislation that determines how $90 billion/year will be spent.

This is one of those years.

Unfortunately, both the House and Senate versions of a proposed 2018 Farm Bill include changes to the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) that would make it much easier for industry to use synthetic chemicals in organic food and farming.

URGENT ACTION NEEDED! Tell Congress: Keep organics strong! 

Vaccines and the Liberal Mind

Late last year, Slate published an investigative report detailing how pharmaceutical giant, Merck, used “flawed” and “unreliable” pre-licensing safety studies to push through approval of its multi-billion-dollar bonanza, the HPV vaccine. 

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