A better-food movement is spreading across our country. And you can be a part of it.
The new documentary, Food Patriots, follows average American families who are changing how and what they eat – and having fun doing it. You don’t have to be a farmer, earthy-crunchy or an activist. You just have to commit to eating 10 percent local and sustainable, and things will start changing.
We’ll be streaming this film on the Internet for FREE at 7 p.m. CST, Wednesday, Feb. 26th. Afterward, we’ll be holding a Twitter chat with the filmmakers, Consumers Union staff and other organizations on ways we can all get involved and make a difference.
Fire Cider is a traditional cold remedy with deep roots in folk medicine. The tasty combination of vinegar infused with powerful immune-boosting, anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral, decongestant, and spicy circulatory movers makes this recipe especially pleasant and easy to incorporate into your daily diet to help boost the immune system, stimulate digestion, and get you nice and warmed up on cold days.
This is a perfect remedy for someone who needs a fiery kick to his or her immune system.
1/2 cup fresh grated organic ginger root
1/2 cup fresh grated organic horseradish root
1 medium organic onion, chopped
10 cloves of organic garlic, crushed or chopped
2 organic jalapeno peppers, chopped
Zest and juice from 1 organic lemon
Several sprigs of fresh organic rosemary or 2 tbsp of dried rosemary leaves
1 tbsp organic turmeric powder
organic apple cider vinegar
raw local honey to taste
Prepare all of your cold-fighting roots, fruits, and herbs and place them in a quart sized jar. If you’ve never grated fresh horseradish, be prepared for a powerful sinus opening experience! Use a piece of natural parchment paper or wax paper under the lid to keep the vinegar from touching the metal. Shake well! Store in a dark, cool place for one month and remember to shake daily.
After one month, use cheesecloth to strain out the pulp, pouring the vinegar into a clean jar. Be sure to squeeze as much of the liquid goodness as you can from the pulp while straining. Next, comes the honey! Add 1/4 cup of honey and stir until incorporated. Taste your cider and add another 1/4 cup until you reach the desired sweetness.
Films and short videos are a powerful way of increasing awareness of and interest in the food system. With equal parts technology and artistry, filmmakers can bring an audience to a vegetable garden in Uganda, a fast food workers’ rights protest in New York City, or an urban farm in Singapore. And animation can help paint a picture of what a sustainable, just, and fair food system might look like. Film is an incredible tool for effecting change through transforming behaviors and ways of thinking.
There are many incredible films educating audiences about changes being made – or that need to be made – in the food system.
Anna Lappé and Food Mythbusters, for example, just released a new animated short film on how “Big Food” marketing targets children and teenagers, filling their diets with unhealthy processed food products – and what parents, teachers, and communities can do to combat it.
In addition to Lappé’s timely and compelling call to action, Food Tank has selected 26 films – both long and short – to share with you. From the importance of land rights for smallholder farmers in sub-Saharan Africa to the insidious dominance of fast food in an urban community in California, each of these films can inform and inspire eaters all over the world. We ask that you, in turn, share this list with your networks in order that they may reach an even wider audience.
Dear lovers of life’s diversity and lovers of freedom,
It is time to organise and concentrate our energies to liberate our seeds and our food from the toxic, greedy and lethal clutches of global corporations like Monsanto; from the laws the corporations are writing, stealing our democracies in order to steal our seeds and food, our health and livelihoods, our cultures and our lives. We need to break from the sense of powerlessness the corporations would like us to experience to make us believe they are all powerful and we have no power to change. But we do. We just have to combine our collective energies. We must become the change we want to see.
I invite you to unleash your creative energies during the Fortnight of Action for Seed Freedom and Food Freedom – 2nd October to 16th October.
2nd October is Gandhi’s birth anniversary. Gandhi left us the legacy of “Swaraj”- self-organised freedom and “Satyagraha”- the force of truth. Let us dedicate ourselves to celebrating 2nd October as the day for a worldwide “Seed Satyagraha”. A day when we defend Seed Freedom and Food Freedom by identifying every regional law written by corporations to undermine these freedoms by criminalizing diversity, seed saving and seed exchange, farmers innovations and farmers rights; whilst establishing illegitimate seed monopolies through patents and privileging of uniformity and monocultures.
After having identified laws for seed slavery, let us commit ourselves to not obey these unethical and brute laws which threaten life on earth, including our lives and the lives of our children. Gandhi had reminded us 100 years ago, that “As long as the superstition remains that unjust laws must be obeyed, so long will slavery exist”. We have a dream, and our dream is that every seed, every bee, every butterfly, every earthworm, every person, every child be free of manipulation and control, hunger and disease; that they evolve and co-evolve in freedom, well-being and health. We must not allow ourselves to be subjected to the superstition that Monsanto Laws must be obeyed. For the sake of Gaia’s laws, of life’s renewal in freedom and the laws of justice, it is our ecological and ethical duty to disobey Monsanto’s laws. And while resisting and not co-operating with destructive laws of seed dictatorship, let us celebrate Seed Freedom and Food Freedom through adopting The Law of the Seed and creating Gardens of Hope – seed sanctuaries – and GMO-free, patent free Seed Freedom Zones.
On 12th October we will self-organise to March against Monsanto across the world, like we did on the 25th May.
16th October is World Food Day. Monsanto and other Biotech giants have been foolish and arrogant enough to award themselves The World Food Prize they sponsor that day. Let us give Real Food Prizes to Real Food Heroes in our communities, who bring us real and healthy food instead. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, 72% of the food that people eat comes from small farms and gardens. We can make the 72% a 100% by saving Seeds of Freedom and planting Gardens of Hope everywhere. Industrial agriculture driven by corporations has destroyed 75% of the planet’s biodiversity resulting in hunger and disease. 1 billion are hungry, 2 billion suffer from food related diseases. This is not a food system that brings us life and health. It is a greed and profit-driven, commodity producing system that has unleashed death and destruction. We have to stop this destruction. There is no place for poisons and corporate slavery in the food system. We are what we eat.
Our seeds and food are vital to life. We cannot afford to allow the destruction of the planet and our health to continue. We cannot allow seed slavery and food dictatorship to continue. We must take back our seeds, our food, our freedom.
With love and strength to each and every one of you to evolve your highest powers and unleash your highest creative and collaborative energies, so that together we shape a food system that protects life on earth, our small farmers, our health and our future.
Many of us have heard of cod liver oil, perhaps through a story of childhood woes related by our grandparents or great-grandparents that went something like: “Every day my mother would make me take a spoonful of cod liver oil before I walked the five miles through the snow to school.” What this story doesn’t tell you is how lucky they were to have been given this historical super food. Yes, cod liver oil has been around for a long time.
You could even say it is the stuff of legends or, rather, the stuff legends were built on. The Roman soldiers were known to take fermented cod liver oil, Garum, on their marches across Europe. In the same vein, every Viking family had a barrel of cod livers fermenting by their front door and would take a spoonful of the oil upon leaving the house every day because they recognized its contribution to their vitality.
It wasn’t until the 20th century that the benefits of cod liver oil became better understood. Doctors in the 1920s recommended feeding children cod liver oil in order to prevent rickets (a crippling affliction caused by vitamin D deficiency, most notably endured by President Franklin D. Roosevelt). Studies have shown this nutrient-dense food (it is really more of a food, though we take it supplementarily) to contain high concentrations of naturally occurring vitamin A and D. DHA and EPA, two essential fatty acids particularly important for brain health and hormone production, respectively, are also found in cod liver oil. The importance and inherent practicality of consuming a food like this as a supplement is in the synergism of the components. Since vitamins A and D are fat-soluble, our bodies require fat to absorb them. The natural fatty acids in the cod liver oil act as the liaison for the absorption of A and D in your body, much as they did for the cod.
Although there has been some research indicating the possible toxicity of vitamin D and A that can occur from consuming large quantities, many cases are attributable to supplements created from synthesized A and D. This basically means the vitamins are not quite usable by the body (take D2, for example) and require your body to convert the supplement to a more usable form. Taking a supplement that requires your body to do more work seems counterproductive when there are nutrient-dense foods and supplements that can give you what you need without the extra bodily hassle. In addition, the unconverted portion of the synthetic supplement has nowhere to go but to build up in your body fat and create toxic concentrations that will lead to other problems.
As to the benefits of a daily dose of fermented cod liver oil, there are many. Research has shown that daily consumption of cod liver oil in northerly latitudes (particularly in the winter time when sun exposure is reduced) can improve vitamin D levels (thereby attenuating the Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) that plagues so many of us), as well as increase bone density. A study in the Journal of Neurology looking at people living in the Arctic, found that supplemental cod liver oil taken during childhood may be protective against developing Multiple Sclerosis later in life. In addition, breastfeeding mothers taking cod liver oil show significantly higher levels of DHA and EPA in their breast milk. These higher levels have been shown to greatly benefit the developing fetus and baby. In “a double-blind, placebo-controlled study showed the use of cod liver oil during pregnancy and lactation to increase the child’s IQ at the age of four years. In this study, the control received the same amount of fat-soluble vitamins as the cod liver oil group, so the effects are most likely due to the DHA. In Norway, use of cod liver oil during pregnancy was associated with a 70 percent reduced risk of type 1 diabetes.”
I am an avid believer in the benefits of fermented cod liver oil because I have been using it myself over the last few years. At the beginning, I was not consistent, and although I suspected some benefits, I couldn’t be precise about what they were. During the summer, when I am outside more often, I take less simply because I feel that I get enough sun exposure and do not want to over-do my vitamin D levels that are already being accommodated by the sun and my skin. When the days get shorter and I am more bundled up during the cooler months of the year, I increase my intake, and make sure I am consistent. This Fall and Winter were the first that I have been consistent with my daily dose, and it is also the first year that SAD has not knocked on my door.
As a nutritionist, I believe that eating real foods, prepared using time-tested traditional methods is the only way to eat for vital health and well-being. In my ideology, fermented cod liver oil is an important part of building vital health, particularly for people who do not live in tropic zones of the world, where sunlight exposure is high. My preferred brand is Green Pasture because of the high quality of the livers (only wild caught fish livers from fish caught in clean Arctic waters are used), the high quality processing of the oil (using traditional fermentation methods), and the efforts in sustainability the company employs (they only work with companies that are certified members of the Marine Stewardship Council)
Luckily, this product is available at Rebecca’s, and costs less than ordering it online from Green Pastures or Dr. Ron’s. But, no matter how you get it, I highly recommend you do and start your daily dose of what your great-grandmother always knew was best!