Nix the bugs, fix our food: "Meat Without Drugs"

Check out more - including a list of how to understand if your food has antibiotics in them - from the Meat Without Drugs campaign by Consumers Union and FixFood.

Also, if you shop at Trader Joe's, you should sign this petition to urge the company to nix antibiotics in its meat products!

Just Label It!: We have a right to know what's in our food!

From the Just Label It! campaign:
93% of Americans want the FDA to label genetically engineered foods. Watch the new video from Food, Inc. Filmmaker Robert Kenner to hear why we have the right to know what’s in our food. Will you join these individuals — and over half a million Americans — in contacting the FDA to require the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods?
Concerns? Inspired? Arm yourself with knowledge, improve your food literacy and sign the petition requiring the labeling of GE foods.

Have questions on GE foods? Post them here, and I'll do my best to answer you!

Take Slow Food's $5 Challenge!

Mark your calendars: On Saturday, Sept. 17, Slow Food USA is asking you and me to take the $5 Challenge - to produce a meal that costs no more than $5 per person. The purpose? Slow Food explains:

WHY: Because slow food shouldn't have to cost more than fast food. If you know how to cook, then teach others. If you want to learn, this is your chance. Together, we're sending a message that too many people live in communities where it's harder to buy fruit than Froot Loops. 
HOW TO GET INVOLVEDTake the pledge to share a meal with family and friends, find a local meal or host your own. If the date doesn't work [for] you, you can still take the pledge to show your support -- and we'll send you $5 cooking tips and updates on the campaign.
What an awesome idea, and it's an amazing time right now to cook with the flavors of the season: peppers, eggplant, tomatoes, early winter squash, greens - the list goes on.

Check out Slow Food's site for more resources on how to host a Challenge meal or create one. And, read more about the event from the press release here.

To my friends and fam: Dinner anyone? To any of my (few) readers, what are your ideas for a meal? 

New year, new strawberries, new EPA ruling?

In New England, the strawberries are just starting...and they're delicious! That first strawberry of the season is unlike no other flavor memory, especially if you have access to right-from-the-field ones. At the farm where I work, we just harvested the first crop (and I may or may not have had a few). But, for these summer-time treats, how could something so beautiful be so largely and easily tarnished?

The vast majority of strawberries are conventionally grown, and thanks to a decision made by the EPA four years ago, most are cultivated with the use of a registered carcinogen - methyl iodide. In addition to cancer, methyl iodide has also been linked to late-term miscarriage. Now, with pressure from farmworkers, the public and environmentalists, this harmful fungicide may be on the chopping block.

From Change.org:
The science is in," said Susan Kegley, a consulting scientist with Pesticide Action Network North America (PANNA), in a press release. "An immediate withdrawal of methyl iodide from the market is the best strategy for preventing adverse effects from this highly toxic pesticide. Unless U.S. EPA wants to see more groundwater contamination, increasing numbers of late-term miscarriages in women who live or work near methyl iodide applications, more thyroid disease, and more cancers, they need to get this dangerous chemical off the market."
I know, I know, in the grand scheme of everything that's going on in this world, strawberries may be the least of your problems. How many of us have eaten strawberries straight from the container and, in turn, ingested harmful chemicals? That's the problem: You should know where your food comes from and what you're eating is safe.

It's one thing if you eat strictly organic, but do a little more and get methyl iodide out of our agricultural system. Check out Change.org, and the site's other interesting articles, including the resignation of the the California official who approved methyl iodide.

Interested in making a difference? Look at these resources from the Pesticide Action Network. (And, check out the new pesticide widget on my blog!)

Food & Water Watch: "Don't Let Congress Threaten Your Health and Safety"

From Food & Water Watch:
The federal budget currently proposed by Congress slashes critical funding for food safety and water programs, threatening the health and safety of all Americans. This includes deep cuts in meat inspection, despite the massive recalls of the past few years, and dramatically underfunding necessary water system improvements. President Obama's proposed budget is not much better. Both budgets fail to provide basic services that most of us expect, while keeping spending that directly benefits and subsidizes large corporations.

Can you share this video with your members of Congress and take action to make sure these budgets will provide for basic services that protect our health and safety?