FOOD MYTHBUSTERS: COMING TO A CITY NEAR YOU ON FOOD DAY, OCTOBER 24TH

The myth of industrial agriculture’s importance to the international food market is exposed by the Food Mythbusters. In this great article, Anna Lappé explains the importance of non-GMO foods and also promotes the new movie Food Mythbusters! coming to a theater near you!

It’s a tired old refrain you’ve probably heard before: “Industrial agriculture is the only way to feed the world.” Even if you shop at your weekly farmers market, and love your local kale and carrots, maybe you also secretly worry: Are you cursing people to more hunger around the world for your organic proclivities?

Well, folks, the research is in. Study after study is showing the opposite is true: we can only ensure a well-fed world if we start shifting away from an agricultural system dependent on fossil fuels, mined minerals, and lots of water—all of which will only get more costly as they run out. Some of the most esteemed global institutions have documented that the best way to fight hunger—and grow food abundantly—is to go for organic and ecological production methods and get people eating whole, real food again.

So if we have scientific consensus, why don’t we have more public consciousness? You can find the answer in the marketing budgets of Big Ag. Thanks to well-funded, multi-decade communications campaigns by the very corporations profiting from chemical agriculture, many of us are still in the dark about the true costs of industrial agriculture and the true potential of sustainable agriculture.

Thanks to these efforts, we are inundated with messaging that we need their products—chemicals, fertilizer, genetically engineered seeds—to ensure the world is fed. We hear it all the time.

Read the rest of the article here.

Americans Eat Their Weight in Genetically Engineered Food

Renee Sharp has a great article on genetically modified food and the dangers of eating modified food.

Americans are eating their weight and more in genetically engineered food every year, a new Environmental Working Group analysis shows. On average, people eat an estimated 193 pounds of genetically engineered food in a 12-month period. The typical American adult weighs 179 pounds.

These figures raise a question: If you were planning on eating your body weight of anything in a year, wouldn’t you want tomake sure it was safe to eat?

Shockingly, virtually no long-term health studies have been done on consumption of genetically engineered food.

Check out the full article at the Environmental Working Group.

THE UNHAPPY TRUTH ABOUT SODA

The Real Bears

Animated Short Film Takes on Big Soda

Features Original Song by Jason Mraz, Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky

It wasn’t so bad when soft drinks were the occasional treat. But now sugary drinks are the number one source of calories in the American diet. With one third of America overweight and another third obese, it’s a wonder anyone is still swallowing what the soda companies are selling.

Big soda companies have billions of dollars to tell their story, but we have each other. Oh, and we have the truth. Help The Real Bears spread the truth about soda by sharing the film.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest is escalating its longstanding campaign to reduce the consumption of soda and other sugary drinks today with the release of an animated short film exposing the drinks’ unhappy health consequences.

The Real Bears tells the story of a family of polar bears who, even in their distant Arctic environment, are not immune from sunny marketing messages from Big Soda. The whole family is consuming too much soda… and is experiencing everything from weight gain to tooth decay to problems in the bedroom. Only after recuperating from a terrifying visit to Doc Fox’s chilly surgical suite does Pop Bear come to realize that soda has brought nothing but sadness to his family. In the film’s stirring dénouement, he leads his family to reclaim their health—and their happiness.

The film features an original song, Sugar, by Grammy-award winning singer-songwriter Jason Mraz which he wrote and performed with the San Diego-based rapper MC Flow.

Though consumption has declined slightly in recent years, soda and sugary drinks still are the biggest single source of calories in the American diet, accounting for about 7 percent. And while Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and other soda companies spend lavishly to position the products as sources of happiness, sugary drinks are directly linked to obesity and diabetes. Each additional sugary drink consumed per day increases the likelihood of a child becoming obese by about 60 percent. Drinking one or two sugary drinks per day increases one’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 27 percent. The Real Bears family learns—like many real American families have—that these conditions and their complications are sources of sadness, not happiness.

“Coke and Pepsi have skillfully cultivated incredibly strong emotional bonds with consumers around the world even though their products actually cause quite a bit of misery,” said CSPI executive director Michael F. Jacobson. “The Real Bears seeks to sever some of those bonds, and to get people thinking about what they’re drinking. We don’t have their budgets but we do have the truth. And the truth is that soda equals sadness.”

CSPI turned to advertising guru Alex Bogusky, formerly co-chairman of Crispin Porter + Bogusky, for creative direction when the group decided to produce a short film aimed at repositioning soda. Among other things, Bogusky helmed advertising campaigns for Burger King, Coke Zero, Microsoft, and the pioneering anti-tobacco Truth Campaign. Marty and Adam Butler of the Austin, TX.,-based The Butler Bros. served as executive producers and asked Helskini-based animator Lucas Zanotto to direct and design.

“I like the taste of soda and I’ve had my share and I don’t imagine a world without soda,” Bogusky said. “But the reality is that over the years sugary drinks have gone from an occasional treat to an everyday, every-occasion beverage. This project attempts to contrast the marketing hype around soda with the stark reality and it is my hope that it makes some small contribution to a critical cultural awakening. We need to begin to connect the dots between what we are sold, what we eat, and how sick we have become,” said Bogusky.

“No one’s saying you can’t have the occasional soda,” said Mraz. “But by calling attention to some hazards of sugar consumption perhaps folks will choose healthier options. I have had people close to me devastated by the effects of over-consuming sugar and soda on a daily basis over many years. I hope The Real Bears inspires people to think about what they drink and make a change for the better.”

“Anyone who ever chugged a soda should watch this film,” said Morgan Spurlock, the filmmaker behind the 2003 documentary Super Size Me.

The film is available at TheRealBears.org.

The Real Bears

Agency: Common (Boulder, CO) and The Butler Bros. (Austin, TX)
Executive Creative Director: Alex Bogusky
Executive Producers: Marty & Adam Butler
Writers: Ronny Northrop & Ryan Kutscher
Art Director: Stefanie Hermsdorf
Account Director: Mark Ekhardt
Producer: Amanda Fox
Director/Designer/Animator: Lucas Zanotto
Music: Jason Mraz
Guitar and mix: Bill Bell
Horn parts: Grooveline Horns
Offline/Online Editor: Travis Wurges
Sound Design: Nikolai von Sallwitz
Mix: Travis Wurges
Web Design: Cyrus Clemesen

The Family Dinner by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt

The producer of An Inconvenient Truth, Laurie David‘s new mission is to help America’s overwhelmed families sit down to a Family Dinner, and she provides all the reasons, recipes and fun tools to do so.

Laurie David speaks from her own experience confronting the challenges of raising two teenage girls. Today’s parents have lots to deal with and technology is making their job harder than ever. Research has proven that everything we worry about as parents–from drugs to alcohol, promiscuity, to obesity, academic achievement and just good old nutrition–can all be improved by the simple act of eating and talking together around the table.

Laurie has written a practical, inspirational, fun (and, of course, green) guide to the most important hour in any parent’s day. Chock-full chapters include: Over seventy-five kid approved fantastic recipes; tips on teaching green values; conversation starters; games to play to help even the shyest family member become engaged; ways to express gratitude; the family dinner after divorce (hint: keep eating together) and much more. Filled with moving memories and advice from the country’s experts and teachers, this book will get everyone away from electronic screens and back to the dinner table.

The Family Dinner also includes words of wisdom from: Jamie Oliver, Mario Batali, Alice Waters, Mark Bittman, Cat Cora, Rev. Ed Bacon, Pat and Gina Neely, Soledad O’Brien, Tal Ronnen, Michael Pollan, Nora Ephron, Dr. Maya Angelou, Billy Collins, and many others.

The Family Dinner by Laurie David and Kirstin Uhrenholdt

WELLNESS IN THE SCHOOLS, (WITS) inspires healthy eating, environmental awareness and fitness as a way of life for kids in public schools across the country.

Through meaningful public/private partnerships with school leadership, teachers, chefs, coaches, parents and students, Wellness in the Schools creates healthier schools and families. WITS believes that healthy bodies make healthy minds, in order to shape both we provide hands-on programs like Cook for Kids, Green for Kids and Coach for Kids. These programs create healthier meals, healthier environments and opportunities for regular play and fitness activities.

DID YOU KNOW? We spend $147 billion annually on obesity related illnesses in the United States.

In partnership with local Departments of Education, Wellness in the Schools (WITS) operates the Cook for Kids program in public school cafeterias and classrooms to promote healthy eating and combat childhood obesity.
WITS invests in training culinary graduates who work as partners with cafeteria staff in preparing daily scratch-cooked meals and educating families about the importance of eating healthy food. WITS cooks also teach children and their families how to cook healthy, delicious, and affordable recipes featuring whole, unprocessed foods through our WITS Labs, a series of seasonal cooking classes.

As a member of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools planning team, WITS realizes the importance of engaging the culinary community, and partners with local chefs and restaurants who inspire students, lead special events, and act as wellness ambassadors.

WITS Cafe
Our program within the NYC public school kitchens works to support the implementation of scratch cooking, healthier school lunch recipes and the expansion of salad bars. WITS Cooks work alongside SchoolFood staff in the kitchen, and engage students in conversation around healthy eating, encouraging them to try new foods and menu items.

Wellness Lab
The Wellness Lab is the component of the Cook for Kids program that takes place in the classroom. Interactive cooking and nutrition demonstrations are incorporated into the school day for children and in some schools supplemental classes are offered during the evening for parents. In the Wellness Lab for children, we introduce children to seasonal produce and have them prepare and taste the produce in a variety of ways: raw, roasted and in a recipe.

WITS BITS
WITS BITS are simple and short (20 minute) classroom experiences that focus on teaching children nutrition-based lessons. WITS Cooks bring demonstrations into the classroom to teach students hands-on lessons about healthy food and eating that allow them to learn by seeing, listening, and doing.

Check out what else WITS is up to on their website.

Let others know why you buy non-GMO!


When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology.

After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.

This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting our future and ourselves.

We’re looking to assemble a huge Non-GMO Click and Send Revolutionary Army. If you enlist, your job is simple. Several times a week until the election we will send you an email/post. Immediately pass it on, post it, tweet it, watch the clip, download the podcast, keep the message circulating in all the social media ways you know how. Sign up for the Social Army. Let others know why you buy non-GMO!

Watch the trailer to Jeffrey Smith’s new documentary Genetic Roulette

Are you and your family on the wrong side of a bet?

Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives
When the US government ignored repeated warnings by its own scientists and allowed untested genetically modified (GM) crops into our environment and food supply, it was a gamble of unprecedented proportions. The health of all living things and all future generations were put at risk by an infant technology.

After two decades, physicians and scientists have uncovered a grave trend. The same serious health problems found in lab animals, livestock, and pets that have been fed GM foods are now on the rise in the US population. And when people and animals stop eating genetically modified organisms (GMOs), their health improves.

This seminal documentary provides compelling evidence to help explain the deteriorating health of Americans, especially among children, and offers a recipe for protecting ourselves and our future.

Click here to watch the whole movie for a $2.99 donation.

Genetic Roulette, The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods by Jeffrey Smith

Eating genetically modified food is gambling with every bite.

The biotech industry’s claim that genetically modified (GM) foods are safe is shattered in this groundbreaking book. Sixty-five health risks of the foods that Americans eat every day are presented in easy-to-read two-page spreads. The left page is designed for the quick scanning reader; it includes bullets, illustrations, and quotes. The right side offers fully referenced text, describing both research studies and theoretical risks. The second half of Genetic Roulette shows how safety assessments on GM crops are not competent to identify the health problems presented in the first half.

This book, prepared in collaboration with a team of international scientists, is for anyone wanting to understand GM technology, to learn how to protect themselves, or to share their concerns with others. It is presented in the clear, accessible style that made Jeffrey Smith’s Seeds of Deception the world’s best-selling book on genetically engineered foods. As the world’s most complete reference on the health risks of GM foods, Genetic Roulette is also ideal for schools and libraries.

Check out Jeffrey Smith’s website, Non-GMO Shopping Guide, for more information.

Genetic Roulette, The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods by Jeffrey Smith

The Power of Action, Your Vote Counts!

The freedom to vote is the hallmark of our democracy. It is both a privilege and a civic duty. Yet, in the 2008 elections, only 64 percent of voting-age citizens voted.

Con Edison’s 2012 Get Out the Vote Poster Design Content was designed to encourage civic engagement and voter participation.

We asked teens from New York City and Westchester County to design posters illustrating the importance and privilege of voting. We received more than 60 eye-popping entries, inspired by everything from iconic elephants and donkeys to rock music and traffic signals.

Three winners will be selected, but all of the posters are on exhibit at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan from October 25 through November 7, 2012.

Check out the Get Out the Vote Poster Contest sponsored by ConEdison

NEW GREEN CITY at UNION SQUARE Presented by GROW NYC…


Learn How to Live Green in NYC! Wednesday October 10th from 10AM to 5PM at Union Square. Free and Open to the Public!

About Your Host: GrowNYC is a hands-on non-profit which improves New York City’s quality of life. Whether it’s operating the world famous Union Square Greenmarket, building a new community garden, teaching young people about the environment, or improving recycling awareness, if you’re a New Yorker, GrowNYC is working near you! Make a donation to support a better NYC.

  • Relevant, action-oriented workshops led by The New School and others
  • Interactive art projects and presentations
  • DIY tutorials on weatherization techniques and much more
  • Walk through “Recyclarium” and learn how 3Rs work hosted by Sims Metal Management
  • Learn about New York City’s Bike Share program with Citibank
  • Watch chefs go head to head at a Solar Cook-Off with locally grown, seasonal food
  • Make Green Art for all ages
  • Onsite textile and cell phone recycling
  • Buy farm fresh produce at one of the country’s largest and best Greenmarket
  • Meet local leaders in the sustainability movement

www.grownyc.org/newgreencity

Join Yoko Ono, Paul McCartney, Sean Lennon, Lady Gaga supporting Artists Against Fracking

Fracking Hell: The Untold Story: As told on Link TV


Watch more Earth Focus at http://www.linktv.org/earthfocus

An original investigative report by Earth Focus and UK’s Ecologist Film Unit looks at the risks of natural gas development in the Marcellus Shale. From toxic chemicals in drinking water to unregulated interstate dumping of potentially radioactive waste that experts fear can contaminate water supplies in major population centers including New York City, are the health consequences worth the economic gains?

Marcellus Shale contains enough natural gas to supply all US gas needs for 14 years. But as gas drilling takes place, using a process called hydraulic fracturing or “fracking,” toxic chemicals and methane gas seep into drinking water. Now experts fear that unacceptable levels of radioactive Radium 226 in gas development waste.

Fracking chemicals are linked to bone, liver and breast cancers, gastrointestinal, circulatory, respiratory, developmental as well as brain and nervous system disorders. Such chemicals are present in frack waste and may find their way into drinking water and air.

Waste from Pennsylvania gas wells — waste that may also contain unacceptable levels of radium — is routinely dumped across state lines into landfills in New York, Ohio and West Virginia. New York does not require testing waste for radioactivity prior to dumping or treatment. So drill cuttings from Pennsylvania have been dumped in New York’s Chemung and other counties and liquid waste is shipped to treatment plants in Auburn and Watertown New York. How radioactive is this waste? Experts are calling are for testing to find out.

New York State may have been the first state in the nation to put a temporary hold on fracking pending a safety review, but it allows other states to dump toxic frack waste within its boundaries.

With a gas production boom underway in the Marcellus Shale and plans for some 400,000 wells in the coming decades, the cumulative impact of dumping potential lethal waste without adequate oversight is a catastrophe waiting to happen. And now U.S. companies are exporting fracking to Europe.

Aquaponic Gardening by Sylvia Bernstein

Aquaponics is a revolutionary system for growing plants by fertilizing them with the waste water from fish in a sustainable closed system. A combination of aquaculture and hydroponics, aquaponic gardening is an amazingly productive way to grow organic vegetables, greens, herbs, and fruits, while providing the added benefits of fresh fish as a safe, healthy source of protein. On a larger scale, it is a key solution to mitigating food insecurity, climate change, groundwater pollution, and the impacts of overfishing on our oceans.

Aquaponic Gardening: A Step-By-Step Guide to Raising Vegetables and Fish Together by Sylvia Bernstein

Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement

A community of more than 5000 young farmers and activists, the Greenhorns are committed to producing and advocating for food grown with vision and respect for the earth. This book, edited by three of the group’s leading members, comprises 50 original essays by new farmers who write about their experiences in the field from a wide range of angles, both practical and inspirational. Funny, sad, serious, and light-hearted, these essays touch on everything from financing and machinery to family, community building, and social change.

Greenhorns: 50 Dispatches from the New Farmers’ Movement edited by Paula Manalo, Severine von Tscharner Fleming, and Zoe Ida Bradbury

Vertical Gardening by Derek Fell

Notable author and gardener Derek Fell has tried and tested thousands of varieties of vegetables, flowers, and fruits and recommends the best plants for space-saving vertical gardening. His grow-up, grow-down system also shows which ground-level plants make good companions underneath and alongside climbing plants. Best of all, many of Fell’s greatest climbers and mutually beneficial plants are available in seed packets in every local garden center.

Vertical Gardening: Grow Up, Not Out, for More Vegetables and Flowers in Much Less Space by Derek Fell

Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill by Daniel Imhoff

Originally published in 2007, Food Fight was Daniel Imhoff’s highly acclaimed primer on the 2008 Farm Bill. Now in a newly updated and expanded edition, packed with helpful charts and illustrations, Imhoff looks ahead at this important issue, as the debate for 2012 is already underway. With the legislation due to be reauthorized in late 2012, Food Fight offers a critical resource that can help all who live in the U.S. to deconstruct this challenging bill, organize in their communities to gain a seat at the bargaining table, and ultimately vote with their forks.

Food Fight: The Citizen’s Guide to the Next Food and Farm Bill by Daniel Imhoff