Frankenfish in the ocean

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FISH ESCAPE INTO THE WILD”The result of these weaknesses is that the extent of research under way in Canada and any accidental release of (genetically engineered) fish may not be fully known.” Statement in a Canadian Government Audit released this week that reveals lax regulations have allowed untold numbers of experimental frankenfish to escape unreported into natural waterways. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_10823.cfm

Toxic Plastic Soup

DISTURBING NEWS OF THE WEEK: TOXIC SOUP OF PLASTIC TWICE THE SIZE OF U.S. FORMS IN OCEAN

The University of Hawaii is set to launch an expedition with the goal of confirming a new trash “continent” in the Pacific Ocean. A vast expanse of floating trash has been collecting in the Pacific Ocean into a mass that scientists are now referring to as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. The thick mass of plastic soup, located approximately 500 miles east of California, is now reported to be twice the size of the Unites States. The collection of debris comes as no surprise to experts in this area. According to a recent report from the UN Environment Programme, on a global level, each square mile of ocean water contains an average of 46,000 pieces of floating garbage. Learn more: http://alerts.organicconsumers.org/trk/click?ref=zqtbkk3um_1-118x3236x3355345&

And a reply came in after posting the message above:

Hey Naturally,
Saw your site had previously posted about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch out in the middle of the oceanic desert so I wanted to send this along.

At VBS.tv we had read all the articles about this environmental problem but didn’t see much in the way of video. So curiosity and the challenge compelled us west to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to show what other people had only been writing about. We go all the way out ( 2 straight days on a sail boat) expecting to see a floating dump, looking for our money shot that will make us famous.

Here’s the bad news, there is no money shot. What people don’t get is that it’s not really a patch and it’s not really an island, both of which you might be able to contain and control. No, what we found is much worse. It’s like a gigantic toxic stew and it’s a big big problem that we need to pay attention to now.

The series starts on April 7th on VBS. We decided to go against the conventional wisdom that internet video is for those with short attention spans, and are rolling out 12 episodes.
You can go here to view the trailer for Toxic: Garbage Island and follow the series – http://www.vbs.tv/shows/toxic/garbage-island/

The host, Thomas Morton, will be on CNN Headline News to discuss Toxic: Garbage Island: April 12th & 13th @ 7:30pm, 9:30pm and 12:30am if you find your self flipping through the channels.

If you have any questions, let me know.

Rory Ahearn
VICE/VBS.tv

All 12 Parts of Garbage Island + Special Bonus Episode on Bisphenol A on VBS.tv

Hey Earth Lovers,

Pardon the mass email. Well, it’s been a long journey out into the Great Northwest Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean but our environmental oceanic Odyssey is complete. Now the hard part starts.

With Earth Day still recent but fading fast I just wanted to email you all and let you know that all 12 parts of Toxic: Garbage Island, plus a special bonus episode are up now on VBS. Education and awareness are the first steps we need to make if we are going to right this situation, people should not be able to claim ignorance anymore.

It’s our mess and now we have to clean it up. The series has been a huge success thanks to all of you who talked about it or posted. Heck, we even got on CNN and ABC News.

You can watch all 12 episodes by going here: Toxic: Garbage Island on VBS.tv – http://www.vbs.tv/shows/toxic/garbage-island/

We also did a special bonus episode. An interview with Frederick Vom Saal, Ph.D on Bishpenol A which has been all over the news as of late with plastic drinking containers. Super disturbing.
Interview on Bisphenol A with Dr. Frederick Vom Saal – http://www.vbs.tv/video.php?id=1519713792

Want to see Thomas on CNN? – http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/bestoftv/2008/04/14/ntm.garbage.island.cnn

Any recap post or just telling your friends to check out it would be awesome.

Thanks for watching. Don’t forget to recycle,

Rory Ahearn
VICE/VBS.tv

Consumer Alerts: Kind of shocking

CONSUMER ALERT:CANCER-CAUSING INGREDIENT FOUND IN LEADING “ORGANIC” & “NATURAL” PERSONAL CARE PRODCUTS

A newly released study commissioned by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and overseen by environmental health consumer advocate David Steinman (author of The Safe Shopper’s Bible), revealed the presence of the undisclosed carcinogenic contaminant 1,4-Dioxane in leading shampoos, body washes, lotions and other personal care and household cleaning products claiming to be “natural” or “organic”. The study results, to be released this weekend at the Natural Products Expo in California, are already sending shockwaves through the “organic” and “natural” body care industry. Laboratory tests showed that products certified under the USDA National Organic Program DID NOT contain this toxin, but most of the best selling personal care products claiming to be “organic” (but not USDA certified) contained the cancer-causing ingredient. All leading self-proclaimed “organic” brands have at least a few individual “certified organic” ingredients, but for most of these top-selling brands, the product, as a whole, is not USDA organic certified, thereby allowing the presence of synthetic toxins. Similar studies have revealed the presence of this toxin in conventional personal care products, but this is the first study indicating the presence in misleadingly labeled “organic” and “natural” products. Learn more: http://www.organicconsumers.org/comingclean.cfm
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CONSUMER TIP OF THE WEEK:HOW TO AVOID 1,4-DIOXANE IN YOUR PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS

Some of the products found to contain 1,4-Dioxane: JASON Pure Natural & Organic, Giovanni Organic Cosmetics, Kiss My Face, Nature‚Äôs Gate Organics (see a full list of OCA’s study results here)

Remember that just because a personal care product labels itself with the words “organic” or “certified organic” doesn’t mean it meets any specified organic standards.

Look for products that are certified under the USDA National Organic Program (or a similar German program) and products that bear the “USDA Organic” seal.

Search product labels for ingredients with the following in their names to avoid products containing 1,4-Dioxane: myreth, oleth, laureth, ceteareth, any other eth, PEG, polyethylene, polyethylene glycol, polyoxyethylene, or oxynol.

In general, avoid products with unpronounceable ingredients to be sure to avoid synthetic toxins and carcinogens.

Frankenfish in the ocean

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FISH ESCAPE INTO THE WILD”The result of these weaknesses is that the extent of research under way in Canada and any accidental release of (genetically engineered) fish may not be fully known.” Statement in a Canadian Government Audit released this week that reveals lax regulations have allowed untold numbers of experimental frankenfish to escape unreported into natural waterways. http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_10823.cfm

A day with breakfast at the local organic farm

On Wednesday the 27th, I went up to the incredibly breathtaking Ma’o Organic Farm (www.maoorganicfarms.org) to cook breakfast for the crew of about 12 people. I woke up at 4:15 a.m. (thank goodness I’m macrobiotic) and took a great drive with my beloved farmer friend. We were fueled by a small snack of organic bluberries, brown rice, blanched lacinato kale, and kukicha tea to get us started.

Upon arriving, I got a tour of the various fields and was amazed to see that the workers were out harvesting the salad greens with scissors. All of the harvesting (pounds upon pounds of greens) are hand-harvested very gently and lovingly, rather than with machinery. My friend and I picked some red russian kale, lacinato kale, scallions, red radishes, hakurai (white round) radishes, daikon, carrots, and oranges as ingredients in our meal.

At 7:00 a.m. each day, the group gathers at the main building, and while holding hands in a circle, they do a skin tingling Hawaiian chant before going back out into the fields for more planting and/or harvesting. After working in the field, everyone comes back to the packing shed and they begin delicately washing, drying, and bagging all these amazing greens.

In the meantime, I was in the kitchen making breakfast. My kitchen consisted of a big industrial size frig, a sink, and 3-burner propane gas camping stove, and was open on 3 sides to the farm, so while I was cooking, I was thoroughly enjoying the view of the stunning mountain ranges surrounding me, listening to the birds singing, and smelling the food as it pressure cooked, simmered, boiled, and sauteed.

By about 9:30 a.m, breakfast was ready. We had a pressed salad with pumpkin seed dressing, shiitake and daikon miso soup, carrot muffins, pressure cooked brown rice, apple and raisin compote, and a very satisying sauteed tempeh and onion dish that my friend made.

One of the student interns who was enjoying the meal said, “I usually eat a lot more, but I didn’t go back for more food. I’m so full with just one plate! Why?” and I just thought it had to do with the food having more life and energy than he was used to (i.e. spam musubi or loco moco).

From there, we cleaned up, talked story for a while, and then I headed into the packing shed to help everyone. All in all, it was a great day.

David Beckham and Macrobiotics

What do these two things have to do with each other?! Maybe nothing. In fact, interrupting the regularly scheduled programing to announce that he’s been here in Honolulu. We’ve barely just gotten over seeing Sting, and now we have David?! Life is rough in paradise. (If anyone can relate DB to macrobiotics, please comment!) Don’t know who he is? Get up to speed at:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF9Pahclz3Y

Local Seasonal Fruit


mao.farm080201
Originally uploaded by macro808

These tangerines have been growing here in Hawaii lately and are wonderful as a snack, dessert, or juiced. There is nothing wrong with eating fruit. Just make sure that you stay in touch with how much you’re eating and how you feel when you eat it. If you ‘re cold, spaced out, confused, or can’t focus, you may be eating too much.