Organic Bytes
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Boost Your Health

We advocate for making your health a top priority all year. Still, there’s not time like the beginning of a new year to remind yourself that good health makes for a good life.

Nutrient-dense, organic food—preferably the kind grown using regenerative farming methods—is key to maintaining good health.

But sometimes you need a little boost, in the form of high-quality supplements. The kind you can trust.

If you’d like to support a company that’s aligned with your values, and also get great supplements and other organic products at a great price, we’ve got good news. Through midnight February 15, 2018, get 20 percent off a wide range of Mercola products.

Plus for every item you purchase using this promo code, ORGANIC118, Mercola will also donate 20 percent of the product price to OCA.

Get 20% off your Mercola product with this coupon: ORGANIC118

Oliver Gardner of OCA interviewing Nessie Reid of Oxford Real Farming Conference

Real Farming

What do you do if you don’t like the conference going on down the road? You start your own, better, conference.

Regeneration International’s Oliver Gardiner recently caught up with Nessie Reid, program director for the Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) in Oxford, UK, who shared a little history of the ORFC conference, an “antidote” as she calls it to another farming conference held nearby every year, one that focuses on the industrial agribusiness model.

As you might have guessed, the ORFC is planned around promoting an organic regenerative food and farming system.

(Note: Due to a technical glitch, this week’s video is brought to you in two parts).

Watch RI’s interview with Real Farming’s program director (Part 1)

Watch RI’s interview with Real Farming’s program director (Part 2)

Subscribe to the Regeneration International newsletter

Help us support Regeneration International with a tax-deductible donation

magnifying glass enlarging a daisy in a field of wildflowers

Arsenic & Old Monsanto

Last week we told you about a new study showing that Monsanto’s Roundup® weedkiller damages the gut microbiome of rats.

This week, scientists report that glyphosate-based herbicides, including Roundup®, contain toxic levels of heavy metals, including arsenic. 

Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup®, has been the subject of intense scrutiny and controversy. Documents recently made public as a result of multiple lawsuits filed against Monsanto by people who blame exposure to Roundup® for their non-Hodgkin lymphoma suggest Monsanto has known for decades about the health risks related to glyphosate.

Some countries have banned its use.

But as the authors of this latest study point out, glyphosate is not the only ingredient in herbicides like Roundup®—it’s one of multiple ingredients. Those other ingredients make glyphosate-based herbicides even more dangerous than we thought—and should lead to a global ban on all glyphosate-based herbicides. 

According to Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini, one of the authors of the study:

These results show that the declarations of glyphosate as the active principle for toxicity are scientifically wrong, and that the toxicity assessment is also erroneous: glyphosate is tested alone for long-term health effects at regulatory level but the formulants – which are composed of toxic petroleum residues and arsenic – are not tested over the long term. We call for the immediate transparent and public release of the formulations and above all of any health tests conducted on them. The acceptable levels of glyphosate residues in food and drinks should be divided immediately by a factor of at least 1,000 because of these hidden poisons. Glyphosate-based herbicides should be banned.

Read the study 

More here 

Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto Campaign 

table setting with a knife fork and plate with a white question mark

Politics On Your Plate

We often hear that something as basic, universal and essential as food shouldn’t be political. But it is.

When the FDA approves GMOs without long-term independent safety testing, that’s political.

When the EPA says it’s okay for your food to contain toxic pesticides and other chemicals, that’s political. And when a new administration comes in and overturns a ban—one that consumers fought long and hard to obtain—on a chemical like chlorpyrifos, known to cause brain damage in kids, that’s political.

When the USDA says it’s okay for organic egg producers to circumvent animal welfare rules, that’s political.

When the Farm Bill dishes out huge subsidies for GMO commodity crops but does little or nothing to help organic regenerative farmers who improve the soil and provide high-quality nutrient-dense food, that’s political.

When the USDA rolls back safety protections for factory farm workers, that’s political.

And when corporations and their billion-dollar lobbying firms are allowed to make big donations to political candidates in exchange for policies that make your food “cheap” but damaging to your health, that’s political, too.

Like it or not, politics and the quality and safety of your food are intertwined. That’s why we’ll be urging you in the coming year to not just pressure the federal government on food and farming policy, but to get involved locally.

We’ll ask you to survey your local and state candidates on their views on pesticide use in foods, and the use of local and organic food in your town’s schools and hospitals.

We’ll ask you to ask your candidates what they plan to do to support local farms, how they will help build out local and regional organic food hubs to promote local food sovereignty and strong local economies.

We’ll ask you to build the Regeneration Movement, from the ground up, in your cities and counties and states.

And as always, we thank you for supporting our work. You are the food movement. You will drive the progress, from the grassroots up. Thank you!

Make a tax-deductible donation to the Organic Consumers Association

Make a tax-deductible donation to OCA’s Millions Against Monsanto Campaign

Support OCA’s grassroots lobbying efforts (donations to our 501(c) 4 lobbying arm are not deductible)

Ben and Jerrys Roundup Ready Ice Cream

One by One

This week (Jan. 8, 2018) Ben & Jerry’s proudly announced its 10 best-selling ice cream flavors in 2017.

Seven of those best-selling flavors made OCA’s list, too—our list of flavors that tested positive for glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller.

By now, most conscious consumers know that Ben & Jerry’s has been scamming consumers with its claims of caring about the environment and getting money out of politics.

You can’t claim to care about the environment, and still source your milk from farmers that use pesticide-drenched GMO grains to feed their cows. You can’t claim to care about the environment if your supply chain is a major source of water pollution.

You can’t claim to care about getting money out of politics (no matter how much free ice cream you promise) if your dairy farmers are buying all their seeds and toxic chemicals from Monsanto—a company that spends millions to buy off politicians and regulators.

We’re not buying it. We’re also not buying Ben & Jerry’s ice cream.

Unfortunately, a lot of retail stores—including natural health stores and food co-ops—are still buying, and selling, Ben & Jerry’s.

That’s why we’ve been asking you to ask your favorite stores to dump Ben & Jerry’s until the Unilever-owned brand commits to going 100% organic.

And it’s starting to work.

Case in point: One of our members recently reported asking Feather River Food Co-Op in Portola, California, to stop stocking Ben & Jerry’s. She spoke with a store employee, and here’s what she reported back:

This store had never carried Ben and Jerry’s ice cream until a sale flyer came out from their main co-op supplier, NCG, (National Co-operative Grocers) listing Ben and Jerry’s pumpkin cheesecake ice cream as a sale item on the flyer. She and her assistant decided to stock a small supply of just that flavor for the sale ad. Soon she was hearing from customers (besides me) that there were problems with Ben and Jerry’s Ice cream company, perhaps even more than the glyphosate. Soon they pulled the three that were left. She has told me they do not plan to sell this product in the future. I hope someone from OCA has contacted the NCG.

That’s what we call a victory. Now we need to replicate that victory all over the country.

Can you help? It’s easy. Check out this list of natural food stores and co-ops. If your local store is listed, please contact the store and ask it to dump Ben & Jerry’s!

Let’s get every natural food store and food co-op to stop selling Ben & Jerry’s—even if we have to do it one by one!

Does your favorite store carry Ben & Jerry’s? Find out!

Take this letter to your store manager asking the store to dump Ben & Jerry’s

After your store visit, please fill out this questionnaire to let us know what happened 

Make a tax-deductible donation to our ‘Ben & Jerry’s: Go Organic!’ campaign

house sparrow holding a feather in its beak

Feathering their Nests

If nutritional quality and animal welfare issues factor into your egg-buying decisions, get ready for more bad news out of the Trump administration’s U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The USDA plans to ditch rules, finalized under the Obama administration, that would have required organic egg producers to provide hens with more space and more outdoor access.

The Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) Rule was the result of a 14-year effort by the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) to tighten up animal welfare rules for organic egg producers.

The OLPP was set to be enacted in January 2017. But under the incoming Trump administration’s regulatory freeze, the rule was delayed multiple times. Now the USDA wants to throw it out completely.

If the agency succeeds, organic egg producers won’t have to follow updated animal welfare rules—rules that the industry fought for, and that consumers overwhelmingly support. 

Why would the USDA get rid of this law? To help “Big Organic” egg producers who already routinely flaunt existing animal welfare standards keep pocketing higher profits. 

Read ‘Big Organic Egg Producers Poised to Feather their Nests if USDA Scuttles Animal Welfare Rule’

TAKE ACTION: Deadline January 17: Stop Trump’s Attack on Organic’s Animal Welfare Rules!