Stepping up to the Plate

March 2, 2013

Stepping up to the Plate

Even the most savvy label reader is challenged with really knowing what is in their food. My years of research on this topic cause me to be cautious and concerned.

Chronic illnesses/conditions have risen dramatically since GMOs were silently introduced into our food supply in 1996. Soil nutrients have been depleted or compromised, and GMO plants have a reduced capacity for uptake of any remaining nutrients from the soil. Sugar beets (95%), Canola (93%), Soy (91%) and corn (87%) are mostly genetically modified. Unless you buy only “100% Certified Organic”, you are most likely consuming GMOs.

If the terms GE (Genetically Engineered) or GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) are not familiar to you, here is the short definition:

A gene or genes from a non-related life-form (a separate species or chemical) which is transferred into the genetic structure of a life-form (using bacteria or virus as the vehicle) to alter the DNA of the plant/seed. In short, the common practice is to insert glyphosate (commonly known as Roundup) into the genetic structure of seeds which then become our food.

Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In nearly 50 countries around the world, (including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union) there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them. (Source: nongmoproject.org)

No matter your opinion on the safety of genetically modified foods, we do have the right to be informed of all ingredients in our food supply. Full disclosure labeling allows the consumer to decide if they want to consume GMOs, rather than corporations deciding for us. And for those of us who do not want to consume GMOs, it takes hours of research to figure out what is safe to eat…  I urge you to read the article below, and contact your state legislators and senators. Tell your friends. We can be the ‘tipping point’.

Do you know how much glyphosate you consumed this week?

Peace, love, and blessings,

Annmarie

 

Here is the article from the Minneapolis Star Tribune:

 

Bills would require labels on genetically engineered food in Minnesota

Bills in the state Legislature are opposed by Minnesota’s major food manufacturers.

Article by: Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune

Updated: February 28, 2013 – 10:26 PM

Minnesota could become the next battleground in the fight over mandatory labels for genetically modified food.

Bills were introduced Thursday in the Minnesota Legislature that would require food manufacturers to label their products to indicate whether they contain genetically engineered (GE) ingredients. Similar bills are being considered in other states, and California voters took part in a bruising battle last fall over the labeling issue.

The majority of packaged food in U.S. supermarkets is derived from genetically engineered crops like corn or sugar beets. Labeling proponents say the long-term health implications of GE crops are not known, and that consumers should have the right to know if the stuff is in their food.

The food industry, which has a big presence in Minnesota, says GE technology is supported by ample science and the approval of health and food regulators nationwide. Labels would be expensive and needlessly scare consumers, the industry maintains.

Karen Clark, DFL-Minneapolis, introduced a GE labeling bill in the Minnesota House and John Marty, DFL-Roseville, did the same in the Senate. The legislation would require the phrase “Produced with Genetic Engineering” on foods containing GE ingredients.

“I think everybody should know these ingredients are in the food they buy so they can make better choices,” said Nancy Brown, coordinator of Right to Know Minnesota, which favors the labeling requirement.

Brown said she’s “basically a concerned mother” who was surprised that GE ingredients were prevalent in food.

A spokesman for Gov. Mark Dayton said he hasn’t reviewed the proposed legislation, referring any comment to the state’s Department of Agriculture. It declined to comment.

If the bills get traction in the Legislature, it could make for a “very interesting square-off,” said Mark Kastel, co-founder of the Cornucopia Institute, a Wisconsin-based organic food watchdog and labeling proponent. “In ­Minnesota, you have a very strong constituency of people who are ‘food aware,’ ” Kastel said.

The Twin Cities has a high concentration of retail food co-ops, which are often notably health-conscious. Plus, Minnesota is a strong market for organic products, Kastel said.

On the other hand, “you have some very large and powerful agribusiness companies headquartered there.”

Golden Valley-based General Mills Inc., one of the nation’s biggest packaged-food companies, spent $1.23 million last year to defeat Proposition 37, the California referendum to require GE labeling. That’s according to MapLight, a nonpartisan research outfit, which said Austin-based Hormel Foods Corp. was next among Minnesota companies, spending $467,900.

Minnetonka-based Cargill Inc., Arden Hills-based Land O’Lakes and Faribault Foods also financially backed opposition to GE labeling in California.

Polls showed that voters in California initially favored Proposition 37 and GE labeling, but turned against it as food and agriculture industry opposition — led by Monsanto — mounted. The industry raised about $46 million to fight Proposition 37, five times as much as pro-labeling forces.

General Mills said Thursday that while it has not reviewed the Minnesota bills, the company and the entire industry have long opposed state-by-state labeling laws.

In a January interview with the Star Tribune, General Mills CEO Ken Powell reiterated that stance, saying “We strongly disagree with state-by-state labeling. … If you can imagine 50 different states with 50 different labeling requirements — I mean people are going to be paying a lot for food.”

Doug Peterson, head of the Minnesota Farmers Union, said his organization supports GE labeling on a federal level, though not state-by-state. “Consumers want to know what’s in the food they buy, and some people want to know if it’s got [GE ingredients],” he said.

Staff writer David Shaffer contributed to this report.

The Girl and the Mirror

January 30, 2013

Although I am an energy practitioner, I do not go around reading peoples’ energy. Occasionally however, it is so striking that it is difficult not to notice. Such was the case the other day…

I had come prepared to wait. Book in hand, I scanned the room and selected the couch where I would face the center of the room. There was a wall behind me, with enough room to walk between the couch and the wall. The open door was to my right. As I settled in to read, a young girl came through the door. I looked up as I heard her enter. She looked at me and smiled as she said “hello”. The smile was so genuine and so beautiful, that her eyes sparkled and her whole body seemed to participate in the smile. Even though I was several feet away, I could feel a lightness and happiness about her energy. She gathered the things she had come for and as she walked toward the door, looking straight ahead to the wall, I saw her energy abruptly shift into a heavy, almost self-loathing type of energy.  The beauty of her energy had vanished. The change was so extreme, I found it hard to focus on my reading – rather I was pondering what might have caused such a shift.  I thought that if I walked around the room for a bit, I might be able to return to my reading. It was then that I saw it; a full length mirror on the wall just before the door. That is what she was looking at when she was staring straight ahead. That is what caused her energy to shift. Apparently she was not pleased with the reflection. And as I reflected on the experience I became aware of how much our self opinion and judgment affect the energy that surrounds us and is noticed and felt by others even when they cannot articulate the feeling.

And so I am left with this lesson to share: Remember the importance of smiling at yourself when you look in the mirror. Remember to love what you see. Remember the beauty that is uniquely you!  When you reinforce love for yourself, others can’t help but notice how beautiful you are.

Love, peace and blessings,

Annmarie

Is a higher level of stress your new normal?

January 27, 2013

Stress is part of life. How we react to stress is a choice… and a learned response.  Our brains and bodies are hardwired for the stress response.  Yet, the stress response is supposed to be a survival tactic. In our world today, there are many opportunities to trigger the stress response – yet it is rarely about survival.  When we constantly invoke the stress response with little or no time in between stressors, we do not allow our bodies to return to homeostasis and restorative healing.

Recently, while working with a group of adolescents, one student asked me “Have you always been so chill?” I smiled and replied that I haven’t.  Later that day, I reflected on my previous life as a ‘stress mess’.  Sometimes it is the look back that allows you to see how far you have come.  In my most stressed times, my health suffered. I recall sitting in the doctor’s office as he confirmed that I not only had shingles in a facial nerve, but Bell’s Palsy as well.  He said “Wow – you must be under a lot of stress”.  And indeed, at that time I was.  I joked that I was lucky to have Bell’s Palsy because it numbed the pain of shingles.  I had a high fever and wanted to go straight home to bed, but instead stopped at the bookstore and bought several books on stress and inner peace.  For the next few days, I would get the kids off to school and then spend the day on the couch, wrapped in a blanket, sipping tea and reading.  It was the first time in many years that I was able to enjoy silence. I was on vacation from life for a few precious hours each day. I only recall a few of the books that I read and I am not sure that it was what I read that made the difference – rather it was the silence.  My journey to the core of me began in those days and I often look back to that time as one of the greatest gifts of my life. My illness caused an abrupt, although temporary, halt to the chaos in my life. Although the experience was temporary, the lesson was not. I began a journey to discover how to bring more of that into my life, and as I did my reaction to the external stressors changed.

Often we are told that the way to manage stress is through proper diet, exercise, and quality sleep.  While all of those are extremely important, the most important factor is meditation, silencing the mind, and connecting with our inner being.  Meditation is not a practice of dwelling on something; rather it is silencing the mind – observing our thoughts rather than analyzing them. It is about silencing the mental chatter, the ‘should do’s’, judgments (self and others), fears and worries. It is letting go of control of outcome – being in the moment rather than trying to direct the future.  It is practice that requires dedication and yet can be accomplished in as little as ten to twenty minutes a day (you don’t need several hours per day!)  My clients have reported that learning and practicing daily meditation has been “life changing”.  Start now. Don’t wait for illness to get you going on a different path.

Peace, love and blessings,

Annmarie