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Archive for July, 2012

GMO Milk – Cloudy Results

A Breakthrough?

As if the list of dangers concerning the consumption of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO’s) weren’t prevalent enough, research scientists in Beijing have declared the successful engineering of 300 dairy cattle for the purpose of producing what they claim to be an equivalent to human milk, as stated in the journal ‘Public Library of Science One’ (PLoS ONE). Professor Ning Li, lead researcher in the genetically modified bovine milk project based from the State Key Laboratory for Agro-Biotechnology at the China Agricultural University, explains in the journal how cloning technology allowed for the insertion of human genes into the DNA of dairy calf embryos which were then implanted into surrogate cows. By enhancing the presence of lysozyme, an antimicrobial protein which protects human newborns from infections, the Chinese scientists are seeking to modify bovine milk to reach the 3,000 times more potent lysozyme levels contained within human milk.

In doing so, the dangers run rampant, first specifically for the animals as researchers publicized that only 26 or the 42 genetically modified calves were born. The milk produced by the GMO cows contains unusual proteins to which humans have never been previously exposed. By injecting human genes into foreign DNA strands one can easily contrive the disastrous assumption in believing the resulting milk’s safe for human consumption. One would only have to review the research concerning animals being fed genetically modified food, consistently resulting in problems surrounding their hearts, spleens, livers, kidneys and adrenal glands.

Adding to the gradually increasing series of GMO foods, along with Flavr Savr’s initial rot-resistant tomato from 1994 and AquaBounty’s genetically altered salmon, which experienced heightened growth rates at twice the normal pace. It is questionable at the least if a positive outcome can be derived from these transgenic “advancements.”

The Facts Are Black & White

The real irony in even attempting the scientific venture of genetically modifying cow’s milk is the utter lack of biological necessity. In response to the importance of calcium being placed in the media’s dietary forefront, it has become increasingly obvious that the quantity and sourcing of calcium as recommended by the United States Recommended Daily Allowances (USRDA) is vastly misinforming. Without even wandering onto the moral/ethical tightrope of dairy farming and animal abuse, milk from other animals is scientifically proven as nutritionally too much for human consumption, and also highly dangerous in association with Hypertensive and Rheumatic Heart Disease, as well as various types of cancer, including stomach, brain, breast and cervix cancer.

The milk produced by each mammalian species is specifically formulated to fuel their infant’s growth rate and biological needs during the first weeks, months and/or early years. For instance, with bovine milk containing four times more calcium than human milk. Why would such a high concentration of calcium be a necessity for a human of any age, especially for human adults as our bones cease growing upon maturity? And what of the repercussions from consuming such large quantities of saturated fat and protein as found in cow’s milk?

The fact is that calcium, as well as other hyped forms of nutrition supposedly found in cow’s milk, can be found in a wholly nutritional plant-based diet. Such sources include: collards, spinach, blackeyed peas, broccoli, kale, oranges, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, tomatoes and almonds.



The Summer Season is Calling – Get Out There and Garden!

Growing Summertime Goods

The sunshine and beautiful breeze are beckoning, and while summer offers a long-awaited opportunity to finally relax, catch up on that book you’ve been falling asleep with for the past few months, or to pack up the family for that seasonal trip to Vacation-Ville, it also sets an excellent date for personal productivity. Planting your own edible garden is not only a great way to enjoy the outdoors without having to empty your wallet or gas tank, but it’s also a fantastic way to save money all year round by reaping the delicious benefits of a self-sustainable, high-quality vestibule of veggies in your very own yard!

Grab Your Gear & Pick Your Plot

Starting your own garden can seem like a daunting undertaking, but it’s important to remind yourself of the simplicity of nature and the rudimentary process of planting. Start small and allow yourself to learn the ebb and flow of gardening – Success and failures are inevitable, but this is part of the enticing process of learning about and cultivating plant-life, offering the ability to inwardly grow alongside your plants as well. But first things first – You’ll need to get your gear together, all of which are widely sold and very affordable. Depending on the style of garden you have planned, which we’ll be discussing next, your tool collection will be primarily comprised of:

– Trowel
– Gardening gloves
– Watering can and/or hose
– Wheelbarrow
– Mulch, dirt, compost
– Roundhead shovel
– Rake
– Shears
– Pitchfork

Next follows the exciting choice of what style of garden you would like to plot:

A traditional/in-ground garden provides an established ecosystem of beneficial nutrients and bacteria, ripened and ready to help your veggies blossom, although you will need to carefully investigate quality of the soil within your planned garden-site first. Your soil may be made of dense clay, barren sand, or riddled with stones, rocks and other impediments which are not conducive to growing vegetables.

A container garden offers endless opportunities for creativity and portability. You can utilizing clay and/or terra cotta pots, wood barrels, hanging containers, plastic tubs, or even an old beat-up cowboy boot as a home for your veggie plant. Another added benefit is the usage of nutrient-dense potting soil, produced to initiate quick and healthy growth.

A raised-bed garden is a perfect marriage between the two former garden styles, allowing for comfortable access into gardening space, convenient weed supervision and tailored soil control. It’s important to note that soil plays the key role successful gardening, calling for well-aerated, organic-matter dense earth, ideally aged manure or compost, all of which should be free of stones, clay or sand-heavy material that would obstruct your vegetable plant’s roots from spreading.

Seeds of Choice

A packet of seeds cost only a few dollars, and, for the price, your soon-to-be bustling garden can pay for itself many times over, providing you with fresh, flavorsome crops rich in nutrients. You’ll save yourself the heartache of spilling your wallet’s dollar bill-shaped innards to purchase costly grocery store produce, especially organic, making planting a garden an excellent investment! Plant what you love to eat, understand each plants requirement for sunlight, water and other provisions, weed and prune when necessary, and let Nature take care of the rest!

Now, that wasn’t so hard, was it?

Plant the Perfect Summer Produce

The following are recommended for a delicious summer harvest:

Bush Beans – Easy to grow from seed; sow after the soil temperature has warmed to 60 degrees F. Sow seeds every 3 weeks for a continuous harvest. Stop sowing about 8 weeks before the first fall frost date. Bush beans do not require staking and are shallow rooted, so take care when tilling the soil around the plants.

Eggplant – Requiring a lot of sunshine and warm, well-drained soil, your plants should be set out about 3 weeks after the last spring frost. Although they thrive on heat, once planted, eggplants need cool, moist roots, so mulch the soil with straw to keep it moist.

Okra – Enjoying hot weather and rich soil, seeds should be started indoors and moved out into the garden after the summer equinox in late June. Treat them delicately when planting, and pick pods when they range from 3 to 4 inches long. If they are allowed to over mature, the plants will stop producing.

Summer Squash and Zucchini – Best to direct sow it in the garden after the last frost date, Summer squash needs nutrient rich, well-drained soil. Gather squash when they are young and tender. Old, large fruits with tough skins should be removed from the vine and thrown away, encouraging more flowers and fruit.

Tomatoes – Tomatoes grown from seed should be started indoors 5 to 6 weeks before the last spring frost. Set the plants out when the soil has warmed and night temperatures stay above 50 degrees F. Tomatoes need 6 to 8 hours of full sun. Plant tomatoes deep – Bury at least two-thirds of the plant’s stem, providing the plant strong roots.



Lots Going on in the Vegan World…

Queen Of Funk Embraces Vegan Diet to Combat Type 2 Diabetes

For starters, if you are a fan of American Idol, you witnessed the unveiling of the 59 year old, Soul songstress, Chaka Khan. It was a month ago, but it is all over the news and many blogs, that she lost the weight on a Vegan Diet…duh?! Chaka Khan was diagnosed with diabetes late last year. At that time she started fasting and implementing a vegan diet! She states she has never been a fan of exercise and chose to shift her diet and maintain the one exercise she does enjoy…walking! Check out the full story...

PETA Celebrates Compassionate and Beautiful Celebrities

Over at PETA, they did their Sexiest Vegetarian Celebrity competition and Holistic Holiday at Sea repeat attendee, John Salley was one of the nominees! However,the male sexiest vegetarian celebrity award went to Woody Harrelson, formerly of Cheers and most recently of Zombieland and the sexiest female vegetarian celebrity went to the beautiful and elegant Jessica Chastain of The Help and The Debt. For the record, they are both committed vegans.

Just in time for the fourth of July, PETA also has some pretty snazzy Red, White and Delicious recipes!

Vegan Immersion Weekend Takes Place in NYC’s Trendy Soho

The Seed Vegan Experience in NYC over the weekend of June 16th and 17th, was one of the most anticipated vegan events of the year. Apparently, it was well worth the wait with something for everyone. Whether you are a Vegan, considering becoming a vegan or just a plain omnivore that wants to know why anyone would ever stop eating meat. Looking forward to seeing what they have planned for next year! I’ve seen lots of coverage for this story, but I liked the coverage by JL Fields @ www.blogher.com, the best…here’s a link!

2011 Food Documentary Promoting Vegan Diet Gets a Leg Up from HULU

Forks Over Knives gets a boost from Hulu! For a limited time Hulu is allowing access to view this amazing documentary about the advantages of adopting a plant based diet. As you know, this documentary showcases the work of three of our repeat presenters, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Dr.T. Colin Campbell and Dr.Neal Barnard.

Bill Clinton Speaks Out

One of the world’s most famous vegans, Bill Clinton offers his support of NYC May Bloomberg’s ban on super size soft drinks…Full story and CNN interview here!

Remember, if you have a friend or friends, that you have been trying to convince to shift to a plant based diet, the Holistic Holiday Cruise at Sea could be the experience for them. There is access to amazing information through lectures, talks as well as the opportunity to speak with an entire community of peot ple already living the vegan lifestyle. They can dine on delicious vegan meals, partake in Holistic activities, pamper themselves and have a true Vegan travel experience. The Holistic Holiday at Sea’s 10th Anniversary promises to be an unforgettable experience!


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