Wednesday, November 26, 2008

FDA's Latest Threat to Dietary Supplements Defies the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act

The American Association for Health Freedom (AAHF) and its international affiliate, the Alliance for Natural Health (ANH) are calling attention to the some serious changes the FDA is making to policy that will affect dietary supplements. Read the press release on the AAHF website at!

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!!

If you're still on the hunt for Thanksgiving recipes, in particular vegetarian ones, I highly recommend checking out Heidi Swanson's blog Her recipes are amazing and she has a whole round-up of vegetarian recipes complete with pictures so amazing you'll want to eat your computer screen.


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Monday, November 24, 2008

Happy Monday!

Just a few quick links of interesting things we'd like to share...

Healthy Home Tips for Parents
The Environmental Working Group posted some very practical advice for parents on easy ways to create a healthy home. Check it out!

TV Ads Make Kids Fat
Not much of a surprise, a new study shows a link between children's weight gain and fast food advertisements on TV. Check out the New York Times Article!

Four eco-tips for the frugal student
Green LA girl recently did a sustainable living workshop for the University of Southern California. She posted a wrap up of her presentation on her blog, check it out!

Kind of cool, this website quickly takes you through the process of what happens to your recyclables once you place them in the bin. Check it out at!


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Happy Friday!

Enjoy this TED video of entrepreneurial mycologist Paul Stamets. He lists 6 ways the mycelium fungus (mushrooms) can help save the universe! Great ideas... (takes you the TED site)


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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Department of Agriculture issues new rules for organic milk!

Great news for organic milk consumers. A few years ago, Wisconsin-based Cornucopia Institute brought to light that a few large feedlot operations were still allowed to sell their milk as organic even though cows had no or extremely restricted access to pasture and fresh grass. It looks like the Department of Agriculture newly proposed rules will close the loopholes that allowed this to take place. Organic milk farmers will be required to have their organic cows on pasture for no less than 120 days a year and they must get at least 30% of their dry food from grazing. To read more about it see the Cornucopia Institute's website!


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Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Monday!!

The Japanese Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fishes (MAFF) has created a cute sims-like video to talk about some of the agriculture, food and health challenges their country is currently facing. Since many many countries face similar issues (including our own) it's particularly interesting. Check it out!


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Friday, November 14, 2008

President-Elect Obama: Please Support Organic Food & Farming

The purity and availability of local, organic food is something that we know is very important to our member-owners.

The election of Barack Obama brings a possibly once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to significantly shift the focus of our national agricultural policy away from the Monsantos and "Big Agriculture" companies of the world to sustainable, family farms and organic agriculture. We need to make our voices heard to encourage Obama to keep that in mind in making his choice for Secretary of Agriculture and how he drives agricultural policy.

Please consider signing the petition from the OCA (Organic Consumer Association) to President-Elect Obama.

Just go to and fill in the form.

The OCA website is a great resource for all kinds of information, organic news, activism, sustainability, and much more. Right now there's a really great interview of Michael Pollan on thier site. Check it out!


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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nothin' But Sand Beach Cleanup - Nov 15th

Join Heal the Bay at Venice Beach for their Monthly Beach Cleanup

Saturday, November 15th from 10-noon our monthly Nothin' But Sand beach cleanup will be held at Venice Beach. The event will set up off of Rose Avenue at lifeguard tower Rose. Parking is available for $1 in the lot at 300 Ocean Front Walk, Venice, CA 90291, where Rose Avenue meets the sea.

Event details...

Please remember:
Wear closed-toed shoes.
Dress and pack appropriately for a sunny working day at the beach.
Print a waiver form ahead of time to cut down on the registration line.
Questions or bringing a large group (20+) to this event? Please contact Eveline Bravo at or 310-451-1500 x148.


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GE Animals: Coming to a Supermarket Near You?

Genetically engineered animals may be heading to your local supermarket faster than you think. Though creating animals in a lab sounds like science fiction, it's happening right now: Genetically engineered super salmon, which grow twice as fast as normal farmed salmon, goats engineered with spider genes to produce silk in their milk, and pigs engineered with mouse and bacterial DNA to improve digestion.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is currently accepting public comments on its draft guidance for the commercialization of such GE animals, opening the way for grocery stores to sell food made from genetically engineered animals. And the agency is proposing that these products be sold to you without your knowledge.

The jury is still out on whether food from these animals is safe for humans or the environment. And the ethics of such changes have yet to be considered. In fact, FDA says the ethics of engineering animals for food production cannot even be considered in its decision-making!

FDA says they will conduct a safety review before these foods can be sold for human consumption. But consumers won't know if they're buying food from genetically engineered animals, because the agency is refusing to require labeling - robbing us of our right to know what's in our food.

The FDA draft guidance would treat genetically engineered animals under its new animal drug provisions. While the new guidance would require a long-overdue review process, the proposed FDA rules are seriously flawed. While regulating genetically engineered animals through the more rigorous "new animal drug" provisions is good news - meaning each new GE animal would have to get FDA approval before going to market, like new drugs do - the secrecy inherent in our current drug approval process is bad news for consumers. In addition, FDA's limited review will only be for efficiency of the GE process, the safety of the GE process on the animal, and will not require extensive testing of the foods derived from such animals. Moreover, the review will not cover environmental issues like impacts to wildlife or biodiversity.

Under this draft, the public cannot know if the review of a product met the highest scientific standards until after its approval, and then they cannot avoid the product in the marketplace because it is not labeled. The FDA feels it deserves the public's trust, but refuses to give us the tools to verify that it is doing its job fairly and adequately.

What's worse, FDA is not proposing actual regulations, but rather a non-binding "guidance" document that continues the anti-regulatory shift of risk from those producing genetically engineered animals and foods to those consuming them.

The public comment period is only open until November 18th - Please, tell FDA to ban the use of such animals for food. If any such animals are to be considered, FDA must require labeling of food products from all genetically engineered animals, an open, transparent, and participatory review process of any such genetically engineered animals, and include a meaningful consideration of the ethical implications and environmental impacts of genetically engineering animals.

Your voice should be heard on this issue. The docket number for it is FDA-2008-D-0394.

To comment on this go to click on one of the "add comment" (looks like a yellow speech balloon) and fill in the form.

Or go to

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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture

The National Campaign for Sustainable Agriculture is a nationwide partnership of diverse individuals and organizations cultivating grass roots efforts to engage in policy development processes that result in food and agricultural systems and rural communities that are healthy, environmentally sound, profitable, humane and just.

Their Shared Goals

- More independent farmers and ranchers producing good food, making a good living and protecting the environment;
- Thriving communities connected through sustainable food production, processing and distribution systems based on fair and open markets;
- Dignified livelihoods and living wages for all workers in the farm and food sector;
- A safe, secure food supply;
- Access for everyone in our society to nutritious, healthful and affordable food; and
- Farming and ranching practices that produce quality food and other products, while preserving open space, abundant wildlife, and other forms of biodiversity.

To learn more or to join go to!


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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

What's really in that fast food?

A new study has been published has some interesting claims about some of the food served at McDonald's, Wendy's and Burger King.

From the article "Using a technique that identifies carbon and nitrogen isotopes in meat, co-authors A. Hope Jahren and Rebecca Kraft tried to determine the animals' diets and in what conditions they were raised. Based on the high levels of carbon and nitrogen isotopes found in the meat products, the authors claim that the cattle and poultry were predominantly fed corn, which makes them as fat as possible in as short a time as possible, and were raised in extreme confinement." To read more click here!


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Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Go Co-op!

Curious to know more about what it means to be part of a co-op, or just hankering after more information about cooperatives? Well you're in luck because the National Cooperative Grocers Association (Co-opportunity is a member) has relaunched their website with loads of really great information about co-ops. Go to to learn about co-ops!

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Food Fight!

There is a new documentary called Food Fight that is offering a FREE screening as part of the AFI Fest this Saturday November 8th at 3:15 p.m. at the Mann Chinese 6 (6801 Hollywood Blvd.). We haven't seen it, but it seems like it could be an interesting way to spend Saturday afternoon. It covers American agricultural policies and interviews some of the people (Alice Waters, Michael Pollan, Marion Nestle among others) who are tying to change them. For more information see the documentary website!


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Monday, November 3, 2008


The people behind Farm Aid have started a new social networking site that as they put it on their site "celebrates all of us who pioneer a HOMEGROWN way to live, eat, grow, and express ourselves. We connect to the land and to each other. is a place where we can learn from each other, share our questions, and show off how we dig in the dirt, grow our own food, work with our hands, and cook and share our meals - all things that we call HOMEGROWN."

Check it out at!


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