• Alternative to anti-wrinkle patches / tape, and even botox!

    When I reached almost 42 I started to notice more wrinkles on my face. Of course, the wrinkles were there even before 42, but I did not look so close in the mirror! :-)
    I decided to look for natural ways to slow-down and even sometimes reverse the signs of 'aging'. I came across Tonya Zavasta, who promotes a raw food diet and she looks AMAZING for her age, or really any age, so I purchased her e-book: Guide to an Ageless Face: The Smartest Skin Training. She had all kinds of great suggestions. I especially like Chapter 10: Know Your Cosmetics! She warns her readers how cosmetic companies get away with adding in synthetic ingredients under natural sounding names. In general, her book is useful, except I took issue with one of her suggestions - using synthetic tape on your face.

    Why I recommend against using plastic or first aid tape as an anti-wrinkle solution.
    The only suggestion that I found in her book that did not seem so 'natural' was applying first aid tape to the face. She said when she first used the tape it caused "redness" and that was a BIG red flag for me, since it meant that her skin reacted. I wondered why would her skin react, so I went searching for the answer. The problems seems to clearly be the isooctyl acrylate which is a synthetic chemical found in almost all medical/first aid tapes and bandages. "the presence of one of the most common acrylates (isooctyl acrylate) used in 3M's adhesive bandages and tapes was discovered by accessing online US patent records" http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/572962_4

    Here are the toxicity warnings listed on the USA National Institute of Health website: isooctyl acrylate
    "Inhalation Symptoms: Cough.
    Skin Symptoms: Redness.
    Eye Symptoms: Redness.
    Ingestion Symptoms: Vomiting. Aspiration hazard!
    Ecological Information: ICSC Environmental Data
    The substance is very toxic to aquatic organisms. It is strongly advised not to let the chemical enter into the environment."

    Since medical science has proven that our skin is permeable, what we put on our skin can and often is absorbed and thus will end up in our blood stream, which is why I think it is wise that we consider things we put on our skin similar to something we would eat.

    Thinly sliced fresh cucumbers work as a great substitute for tapes with toxic chemicals.

    Does cucumber work as an anti-wrinkle remedy?
    "In 2013, a study published in “Fitoterapia,” a journal dedicated to medicinal plant research, took a closer look at the bioactive compounds that make cucumber juice beneficial for skin care. The report identifies a variety of compounds that make cucumber juice “nourishing” for the skin. The authors conclude that these elements lend cucumber juice a skin-soothing effect that eases irritation, reduces swelling and even alleviates sunburns. Cucumber also offers antioxidants, which combat skin-damaging free radicals." http://www.livestrong.com/article/179024-what-are-the-benefits-of-using-cucumber-juice-on-facial-skin
    Cucumber will do the same ironing effect as anti-wrinkle patches or tape and also naturally hydrate your skin with all the goodies from the cucumber juice!
    I am confident that cucumbers are a safe and beneficial and better alternative to anti-wrinkle patches/tape and even botox.

  • Is Dumpster Diving for Cat Food an Ethical Option for Vegans?

    cat eating from dumpsterMOM, CAN YOU BUY SOME CAT FOOD, SO I CAN FEED THE CATS?
    Funny how a simple question about feeding local feral/stray cats from my child got me to think about: pet feeding options, asking other vegans about ethical options, diving into the pet store dumpster to rescue pet food, researching dumpster diving laws and tips... 

    When my son (age 12 and vegan) saw feral cats, around several dumpsters, next to businesses, near our home, in addition to the stray cat living in our yard, he asked me to buy cat food to feed them/him. He wanted me to buy regular meat based (not vegan) cat food because cats are considered to be obligate carnivores. I really wanted to provide some cat food for my son to feed the cats, but I did not want to support businesses that kill animals and/or pollute our environment. So, I explained to him that I would not be buying meat cat food, because, for me it is not ethical to support the killing of the few species of animals to feed other animals, especially for cats that did not seem to be starving. I asked him: Why would I imprison/cage, abuse, torture and murder hundreds of other animals to feed cats? Just because we do not personally see or participate directly in the suffering of other animals does not magically mean it does not exist?  I told him that I would consider buying vegan cat food, since the cats are probably finding or being fed meat by other people and may also be hunting for birds, snakes and small mammals.

    stray cat living in my yard

    Vegan Cat Food Options:

    I checked on several vegan cat food options and none of these options worked and/or felt comfortable for me:

    1. Buy Vegan Cat Food from Local Stores - I could not find vegan cat food in any local store. I was only able to find vegan cat food online, which, unless I buy huge quantities would require additional shipping, packaging, which is an additional footprint for the environment.
    2. Order Vegan Cat Food Online - High Probability they are filled with GMO Ingredients. Based on the ingredients, vegan cat food is most likely filled with GMO ingredients, thus I would be supporting GMO (transgenic organisms, not to be confused, as they often are, with hybridized organisms). I emailed http://VeganCats.com with questions to find out if they sell vegan foods that are GMO-free. More than one month later still no reply!!!
    3. Buy Imported GMO-fee Vegan Cat Food- I was only able to identify brands that are made outside of the U.S.. Therefore, they are imported (which increases the eco-footprint) from overseas, and they are also packaged in plastic.*
    4. Cook Myself - Use local ingredients and add nutritional supplements. It seems like a decent option, but at the same time it is a new learning curve and I currently could not fit it into my already busy schedule.

    *After I watched the documentary Plastic Planet, I became very aware of plastic pollution, so I purchase as few products as I can that packaged in plastic. When I shop for produce I use compostable BioBags and/or reuse plastic produce bags (I would use my organic or hemp bags, but they add weight) for fresh produce and buy from the bulk section instead of pre-packaged foods. I do not consider food packaged in plastic to be truly vegan due to the FACT that plastic production and use can (often does) lead to harming and killing animals (yes, that includes us humans).

    My son continued to ask me for cat food. I also recently watched a documentary called Dive and learned how much food is thrown away in the USA, so I decided to find out myself by checking out my local pet store dumpster and see if I could get any pet food. I was surprised on my first attempt that I was able to get a full box of various kinds of pet food! Currently, I consider pet food out of the dumpsters to have the least eco-footprint, yet I am also concerned about any ethical objections, so I asked on several Vegan Facebook groups, but nobody presented any objections to the dumpster option. Please comment below this article about your thoughts on the most ethical and eco-friendly option(s).

    Benefits to Dumpster Diving for Pet Food:

    ZERO Eco-Footprint - Cat food out the dumpsters has the least eco-footprint, actually zero, since it is basically on the way to the landfill. Rescuing and recycling (feeding the cats and recycling the packaging) instead of ignoring it being sent to the landfill to pollute our earth and injure and toxify any number of animals and species it is not just zero footprint, but also beneficial for the environment.
    Recycle the Packaging - Simply feed the cats and recycle the packaging (plastic bag or metal can), instead of it all ending up in landfill. 
    SAFE $$$ - You can save at least $1,000 a year per cat.
    Donate Saved $$$ - Instead of financially supporting the pet/meat food industry, you can donate the money you $ave to a local or national organization that works to prevent the unnecessary euthanasia of healthy feral and free-roaming cats. Many cities offer a TNR (trap, neuter and return) program to the community. Here is the TNR program offered in my city (Las Vegas) www.c5-tnr.org 
    Reduced threat to wildlife - Under the assumption that well fed cats tend to kill less of wildlife. 
    "Domestic cat as one of the single greatest human-linked threats to wildlife in the nation. More birds and mammals die at the mouths of cats, the report said, than from automobile strikes, pesticides and poisons, collisions with skyscrapers and windmills and other so-called anthropogenic causes" http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/30/science/that-cuddly-kitty-of-yours-is-a-killer.html?_r=0

    I made a deal with my son that I would "dive" into the dumpster and he would feed the cats, clean packaging and recycle it!

    If you think you may not be able to get enough food from the pet store dumpsters, then you may be surprised to know that 40 percent of the food in the United States ends up rotting in landfills! Pet store dumpsters usually contain various types of pet foods - most are dumped (trashed) simply because the packaging has cosmetic damage!!! Others are dumped because of customer returns (Poe may not have liked the taste) and the package expiration date (see section below on food safety). My experience is that there is almost no diving competition for the pet food. Every time I look, I get some decent quantities of pet food. In general most dumpsters in the USA are full of all kinds of food, check your local pet stores, Trader Joes, Whole Foods dumpsters. Here is a website to check what dumpsters are accessible in your area. Grocery stores and restaurant dumpsters in low income areas are usually cleared up by homeless, low income people and freegans, but the pet food dumpsters seem to be overlooked. Trader Joe's throws away large amount of eggs on a regular basis, that does not seem to be eaten by dumpster divers, so if you do not mind cooking eggs for your cat (based on my quick search cats eat bird eggs in the wild), this can an additional option. See my article on Trader Joe's trash.
    pet store dumpster cat dog food destroyed eco

    Basic Safety Rules for Dumpster Diving for Pet Food:

    1. Legal Check - in your location if Dumpster Diving is legal. Dumpster diving is legal in the United States, except where prohibited by local regulation. Link to Freegan legal page http://freegan.info/what-is-a-freegan/freegan-practices/urban-foraging/diving-and-the-law

    2. Learn Food Safety.
    Checkif thrown away pet food has been recalledwww.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals
    Learn how to tell if a food is not safe or edible.
    The expiration date is not 100% accurate, so it may in fact still be perfectly edible - always check first.
    Good news! Cats are highly resistant to the botulism. I could only find one case: "This is apparently the first report of natural botulism in cats." www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC525276

    3. It is not for everybody. You should be:
    - Fit. Usually pet food is mixed with other trash (bags, boxes..) so it is not always within hand reach distance. To be efficient you will need to jump inside the Dumpster to remove (rescue) pet food. Bonus, you might save some live animal! Pet stores sometimes throw away live animals into their duster! Petco Throws LIVE Baby Iguana in Dumspter https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DoGSZamX8w0! Make sure if you jump inside Dumpster you will be able to get out. I am somewhat weak and a few lbs more than I need, so it is also a good workout for me. The walls of the dumpsters can be tall, so you have to be somewhat fit to be able to jump in (and out) of the dumpster.
    - Free from Prejudice - The prejudice may come from misconceptions, fallacies, unfounded fears, dogma... At first I was apprehensive, but after watching the DIVE documentary and interviewing a few local divers I rethought much of my prejudice and eliminated several of my fears. I am normally somewhat socially shy, but because I so strongly believe that diving is beneficial to our home planet environment it helps me overcome my fears.

    4. Wear Gloves with good grip (I use garden gloves), pants and thick sole shoes to avoid cut yourself by stepping on broken glass or something sharp.

    5. Bring a Bag or Box with to pack your 'haul'. Be prepared to carry heavy bag/box, sometimes it can be a lot of food to carry!

    6. Know the Difference - A dumpster is NOT a compactor! NEVER, EVER, EVER... try to get inside a compactor!

    Learn more about dumpster diving http://www.wikihow.com/Dumpster-Dive


    Myths / Controversy 

    piggy before after cat eating meat sad

    Pet Foods Made From Meat Byproducts. Many vegans think that it is OK to feed cats store bought, meat based, pet food, since it is made primarily from the byproducts of human meat consumption. Yes, this is partially correct, BUT these 'byproducts' (intestinal organs like liver, heart..) are actually profitable products not waste products, since they would NOT be going to a landfill if carnivorous pets would not eat these byproducts. If it were the case that byproducts from human meat consumption would be wasted (dumped in the landfill), then it would be better to feed these byproducts to the carnivorous pets. But meat byproducts are mostly used in other industries and exported to other countries for... human consumptionhttp://www.ers.usda.gov/media/147867/ldpm20901.pdf

    ♦ I heard from vegans and non-vegans that "cats are carnivores, so we should feed them meat." I agree that cats are carnivores, but I do not agree that we (humans) are ethically required to feed these animals by killing other animals. I think that there can be ways to feed cats with roadkill and accidental deaths. Obligate (eating animals is required for survival) carnivores in nature are able to catch and kill weaker, older or sicker animals, and the healthier, stronger animals usually have a chance to escape. I think it is totally unfair that other (prey) animals have no chance to escape from their predators.

    What are you thoughts?

  • My Nut Milk Bag Story - How they came be Created

    It all began with my uneducated enthusiasm and frugal nature. The first bag I bought was an 'inexpensive' "nut milk bag" on eBay. I admit, I was simply looking for an cheap ('low cost') nut-milk bag! 

    A few months later I discovered I could buy the same product as a paint strainer (NO JOKE!) at the local Home Improvement or Hardware Store for... $1! The worst part of this purchase is that I don't even drink nut milk (or any type of milks/mylks). My intention for buying the paint strainer (sold as nut milk bag) was so that I could make almond nut milk for my young son. To buy a synthetic (nylon, polyester) so called "food-grade" nut milk bag for 10 times the price of the paint strainer! After doing some research I realized PLASTIC TOXINS were not an option for me because there is very little differences between "food grade" and non-food grade nylon or polyester.

    nut milk bag reality

    Toxic nylon paint strainer bag

    When I started to learn more about plastics I did not like the idea of having my organic food making contact with nylon (in Russia, where I am from, doctors do not even recommend wearing synthetic clothing!) but I thought it was a better option than buying nut milk from a store stored in a plastic lined (usually) unrecycled aseptic containers. They seem so clean! BUT, not so clean of toxic plastics!

    plastic toxic aseptic container layers

    toxic-aseptic-containers-1toxic-aseptic-containers-2

    I was upset when I found out I could no longer easily buy unpasteurized almonds, and then I was straining my organic milk through a toxic nylon bag! I began to realize that the nylon plastic nut milk (paint strainer) was much more harmful and toxic than pasteurized almonds. I found it odd that almost everyone was so upset about pasteurization but ignorant and/or OK with the toxins from the plastic that was in contact with their food!
    I began a search to look for non-toxic alternatives. At first I bought hemp bag in a local Korean market, but then I read that hemp can be treated with toxic chemicals to make the fabric softer. Then I decided to buy an organic cotton produce bag and use it as a nut milk bag. But, when I receive the bag I saw that it had plastic/synthetic tags! Then when I bought organic bags and/or other organic product I started to notice all the plastic tags. I then started to question the type of sewing threads that were being used and the material used in the drawstrings. When you see description of product "100% hemp bag" or "Made of first-grade 4 oz. Organic Cotton Muslin Fabric, certified according to Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS).", most people seem to assume that the threads and cording are also made of the same material. Like most people I had assumed automatically that everything when it says organic it meant that all was organic. But to my SHOCK, after months of exhaustive research I was unable to find even one bag made of all (100%) natural non-toxic ingredients! Yes, not ONE!!!

    SHOCKING FACT: Almost all of the "100% hemp" and "organic cotton" bags have threads made of polyester and the cording is usually conventional cotton (nor organic, which can be from GMO cotton)!

    Of all the the dozens of bags I research and bought, NONE had a full content descriptions. All labels simply described the main bag material, conveniently leaving out the facts that the cording and threads were from toxic and conventional (possibly GMO) origin. To get this information and the full facts, I had to email the sellers and manufacturers directly. Several well known sellers even refused to respond to my probing questions about the inclusion of plastics and possibly GMO in their ‘natural’ ‘organic’ bags!
    One organic cotton clothing company even claims that their product is "synthetic-free", but was still using polyester threads! Reminds me of the saying:

    ‘What you don’t know, can’t hurt the sales of the company!

    I was so sickened by the responses from the "100% hemp" and "organic cotton" bag sellers/companies, when I questioned their use of toxic and conventional (possible GMO) sewing thread and draw string content!

    plastic nut milk bag threads
    Close up of fraying from polyester sewing threats

    Here is on the picture I took of the synthetic (plastic) threads from my paint strainer bag and polyester thread from my slightly used "Simple Ecology" produce bag. As you can see polyester threads are fraying and can easily get into your nut milk or nut milk pulp. I have no issue eat organic cotton fiber, but I am horrified to think that petrochemical synthetic fiber can get into my food, especially with all the toxic outgassing leaching of nylon and polyester materials!

    I could not even find organic or non-GMO cheese cloth anywhere in the whole USA.  I eventually gave up on searching... and decided to take matters into my own hands (literally) to fix this hidden toxic situation by producing my own pure organic nut milk bags!
    After a few month of research I bought two costly sewing machines, had private sewing tutoring - since I had never sewn with a machine before! After several days of failing, I was eventually able to create an absolutely amazing 100% organic cotton nut milk bag! After putting the bags through many kitchen tests I was confident of their durability. I thought others would find the value and have now chosen to sell them at a price that competes with the standard prices of toxic plastic (nylon, polyester..) and non-organic nut milk bags!
    My bags are 100% organic cotton material - fabric, threads and drawstring

    Comparison table of nut milk bags, including paint strainer and organic cotton produce bag.

     

    Eco Peaceful
    Organic Nut Milk Bag

    Simply Organic
    Organic Cotton
    Produce Bag

    Vitamix
    Filtration Hemp Bag

    Paint Strainer The Raw Food World
    Nut Milk Bag

    Diana Stobo
    Nut Milk Bag

    The Health Seeker's
    Nut Milk Bag

    Bag
    Material / Fabric

    Organic Cotton

    Organic Cotton Nutmilk Bags - NO GMO ingredients

    Organic cotton Hemp Nylon Nylon Nylon Polyester
    Sewing
    Thread 
    Material

    Organic Cotton

    Organic Cotton Nutmilk Bags - NO GMO ingredients

    Polyester

    Polyester Nylon or polyester

    Nylon or polyester

    Possibly made with GMO ingredients

    Conventional cotton possibly gmo)
    wrapped polyester

    Polyester
    Drawstring 
    Material

    Organic Cotton

    Organic Cotton Nutmilk Bags - NO GMO ingredients

    Possibly made with GMO ingredients

    Conventional
    (possibly GMO)
    cotton

    Flax Elastic top Nylon Nylon Nylon / polyester mix
    Bag Size 9.5" x 14" 10" x 12" 9" x 12" 11" x 14.75" 9.5" x 12" 1 Quart 11" x 11.5"
    Fits on 64 oz.
    Blender
    (Vitamix)
    Yes Yes May Be Yes Yes ?? Yes
    Color / Dyes 100% undyed,
    unbleached,
    brown bag is
    color grown cotton
    Undyed No ?? ?? ?? ??
    Toxic
    Chemicals
     (1)

    Noorganic cotton nutmilk bag - no-toxins

    non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins non-organic plastic toxins  non-organic plastic toxins
    Biodegrade
    Time
    Yes, 100% biodegradability
    (in only a few months)
    Polyester sewing
    threads which
    almost never biodegrades, even
    if with organic cotton
    Polyester sewing threads which
    almost never biodegrades
    Nylon Fabric- 30-40 years Nylon Fabric - 30-40 years Nylon Fabric -
    30-40 years
    Pollyester fabric possibly almost
    never biodegrates.
    Country Origin of Fabric Grown, woven and sewn in USA India China, sewn in USA
    Made by Vermont Fiddle Heads
    ?? ?? ?? ??
    Price Buy Now
    $7.99 - 9.99with Free Shipping on order over $25
    Buy Now
    $10.95 (3 pack)

    Buy Now
    $14.95

    Buy Now 
    $1.94 (2 pack)

    Buy Now 
    $7.99
    Buy Now 
    $7.95
    Buy Now 
    $7.95

    NOTE: Table information was last edited and updated on 11/19/2012

    1 - Nylon and polyester may contain any or all of the following: Estroginc Activity (e.g. BPA, BPS...), Phthlates, Antibacterial Chemicals, Antimony, Lead, Cadnium, Styrine and other Toxic Chemicals. Unfortunately the manufacturers refuse to divulge all included ingredents used in the manufacturing and processing of their products.


    Educate yourself more about toxic plastics!

    Documentaries:

    Plastic Planet - full documentary available on Netflix
    Plastic Cow
    Bag it - Available on Netflix
    TEDx Great Pacific Garbage Patch - 40 videos!

    100% organic cotton nut milk bag oval shape

     
  • WARNING! Products Labeled "Organic", with GMOs, SEWAGE Sludge, TOXINS...


    jobes organics epsoma when organic is not organic 790 

    "Organic"? Really?

    In the regular grocery store there are organic and non-organic foods, but in the garden supplies section of most home improvement stores and plant nurseries garden sections, almost every 'natural' product is labeled with the word "organic." When we first went shopping for gardening products in the gardening section, the local nurseries and 'large box' home improvement stores, we became very suspicious that so many of the packaged products had the word "organic" on the package either as the product name and/or somewhere on the packaging, since very few had any independant certifications images/logo, or statements.

    Our concern started when we saw "organic" bone meal - of course we did not buy any animal-derived products since we are vegan and we grow our food using the Veganic (Vegan + Organic) methods - plus a few other products were labeled "organic" and we know that the vast majority (on average 90+%) of these products are grown from GMO (aka GE - Genetically Engineered not to be confused with hybridized) seeds (cotton, corn, soybean, canola...) or from animals (parts and/or feces) fed GMOs, in the USA.
    We eventually were informed by a salesperson, who explained that if we wanted to grow organically as in no: pesticides (herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides, fungicides...), BioSolids (a euphemism for treated toxic sewage sludge), GMOs, toxic pollutants...then we needed to look for OMRI Certified or OMRI Listed on the packages, which is the like the USDA equivalent in organic food. OMRI stands for the Organic Materials Review Institute.

    Is "Organic" Labeling Purposefully Deceptive and Confusing to Consumers? Scotts Miracle Grow sewage sludge lined small

    The word "organic" on the package labels found in the gardening section usually means that it is comprised of: organic MATTER. As in matter that came from an animal or plant. Not all types of organic MATTER (physical elements) can be allowed in certified organic growing METHODS (a methodology).

    Organic MATTER can be from GMO plants/animals or animals fed GMOs, and it can also be 'treated toxic sewage sludge' under the marketing (propaganda) name "biosolids," which the manufacturer is not required to disclose on the package or in the ingredients list!

    "Biosolids can be an ingredient (hidden), under the term "compost"
    or even "organic compost" on the ingredients list!" [1]

    One Way They are Getting away with Labeling NOT Organic as "Organic" and How BioSolids can be Included

    "When the proposed Rule first came out in 1997, EPA feared that it would deter new users from using biosolids as a fertilizer and pressed the USDA to exempt biosolids from the ruling. In fact, in 1998, USDA released proposed organic standards that would allow bioengineered crops, irradiation, and sewage sludge in organic production, which became known as the “big three.” The release sparked 325,603 mostly horrified public comments. USDA reconsidered and prohibited the “big three” in the final rule." [1] 

     

    The Four Types of "organic": Organic MATTER & COMPOUND vs Organic GROWING METHOD & MATERIALS

    1) Organic MATTER - Matter that is composed of organic COMPOUNDS from a once-living organism, is capable of decay or the product of decay, or is composed of organic compounds. biosolids guess small

    Example: Plants and animals and their waste products. Can include GE (Genetically Engineered, commonly referred to as GMOs - Genetically Modified Organism) products.

    Organic Production and Processing Certifications: None

    2) Organic COMPOUND - Scientifically speaking, a compound that contains carbon atoms, which basically includes almost any physical thing that is not only a metal or mineral. Under this definition, fossil fuels (coal, crude oil, natural gas, and its many derivitaves such as plastics, gasoline, diesel) can be considered "organic."

    Example: Organic urea, which is made synthetically and it is not approved to use in organic METHODS!

    Organic Production and Processing Certifications: None

    3) Organic GROWING METHOD - Refers to the certain standards in horticulture, agriculture and farming that are focused primarily on the types of things used for fertilization and pest control.

    Examples: USDA Organic certified fruits/vegetables/grains/legumes/seeds/nuts...

    Organic Production and Processing Certifications: "USDA Organic" which is guided by federal legislation, implemented and monitored and by the National Organic Program, which is a branch of the US federal agency, USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). There are several agencies in other countries. In the US "Certified Naturally Grown" is another certification that was inspired by the high cost and legal requirements of USDA certification. It is managed by a private farmer-to-farmer association, CNG (Certified Naturally Grown), and now offers a "non-profit alternative eco-labelling program for small farms that grow using USDA Organic methods but are not a part of the USDA Certified Organic program.""

    4) Organic MATERIALS - This refers to materials allowed as input products for use in organic production and processing. Synthetic (man-made) materials are not included.  That is acceptable for inclusion in national/regional certified organic growing methods.

    Note: GMO products and sewage sludge (biosolids) are two of several things that are NOT allowed as organic growing MATERIALS for use in organic growing METHODS.

    Examples: Products with the label (logo) "OMRI Certified" or "OMRI Listed"

    Organic Production and Processing Certifications: Covered internationally by OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute)

    We hope that helps you better understand how to choosing truly organic MATERIALS for your organic METHODS products such as: soil, compost, amendments, fertilizers and pesticides.

     

    How To Ask about a Companies Use of the Term "Organic" 

    Our experience has been that most companies do NOT respond to question that we post from the list below. BUT...we are few and you, the readers, are many!
    Here is an example of a company we aksed.

    Cottonseed Meal Doctor Earth small

    Here we have made ffor you a simple text template, that you can copy and paste. We have used this several times to ask people and companies are using the term "organic." To date not one company has responded to this direct line of questioning, but we know that if enough people ask the company will be forced to answer and tell the truth!

    We, the public, demand to be told the TRUTH!

    Q: When your company uses the term "organic", in gardening products,
         are you referring to "organic" as:

    1) Simply contains organic MATTER (materials from plants and animals)?

    2) Simply an organic COMPOUND (contains carbon atoms)?

    3) Sourced from farmers using certified organic growing METHODS?

    4) Guaranteed to be independently certified organic growing MATERIALS?

     

    This image was created to be shared on Social Media, Websites...
    Direct link to image: http://ecopeaceful.com/images/images/blog/misleading-organic-claims/questioning-organic-term-use.jpg

    questioning organic term use 

    What is the Problem with Sewage Sludge?

    Aren't BioSolids just like natural fertilizer (humanure)? NO! However, according to statements made by many BioSolids makers and sellers, they want for you to think they are exaclty the same!
    If humans are going to use some type of feces for food growing then humans would be and have been, wise to include human feces (humanure) in their food growing crops (when treated properly) since it can actually be more nutritious than most animal manures. The reason being, that some humans eat a much wider range of food sources and nutrients than most captive/farmed animals. BUT, when it comes to treated toxic sewage sludge is not just human feces/excrements, it is toxic sludge that can have any mix of up about 80,000 hazardous chemicals (mostly man made). CSIA graphic revised2 small

    "We know now that biosolids have a complex array of biological pathogens, chemical contaminants, pharmaceuticals, hormones, and emerging contaminants that are not completely eliminated by waste water treatment plants. The land application of biosolids should be abandoned immediately, considering that the current regulatory restrictions and biosolid treatment programs allow for the continuing contamination of the environment and threaten human health." [1]

    biosolids warning small

    We personally make our own humanure fertilizer, but we would never knowingly apply sewage sludge (aka biosolids) anywhere on our property, especially on food plants! 

    Here are just a few of the Facts and Problems with sewage sludge:

      • FACT - Biosolids are more than just human feces
      • FACT - Federal legislation permits every business, institution and industry in the USA to dump up to 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of untreated hazardous waste into the sewer system every month, without needing to file any reports to any federal agency!
      • FACT - Treated toxic sewage sludge (termed Biosolids) is NOT the same as all natural ingredients found in feces from naturally roaming animals or those from humans in many third world countries who have no access to wet/flush toilets or our wide range (about 80,000) of toxic chemicals (mostly from man made products) used in western sewage treatment
      • FACT - Tens of thousands of potentially harmful chemicals that are dumped down the toilets and sinks of: homes, business (funeral homes, automotive shops, beauty salons...) hospitals, factories...as well as runoff into street drains, somehow gets magically cleaned-up or transformed into harmless, non-accumulating product
      • FACT - USDA and OMRI do not allow the use of biosolids
      • FACT - Less than 1% of potential biotoxins are tested. The EPA currently ONLY tests for 4 harmful pathogens and 10 toxic metals
      • FACT - Class B (the lowest and more contaminated class of biosolids) are even spread on food crop farm lands
      • FACT - Banned for use on food production land in at least 200 counties in the US
      • FACT - Treated toxic sewage sludge ("biosolids") can be an ingredient (hidden), under the term "compost" on garden supply ingredients lists
      • PROBLEM - There is legal evidence of deadly contamination
      • PROBLEM - There is legal evidence of toxin levels being fabricated to show they are low.

    Got Pathogen and Toxin Isolation and Quarantine?

    When it comes to human, animal and planet health and disease control, the spreading of sewage sludge seems to be a process that is the complete opposite (antithesis) of pathogen and toxin isolation and quarantine.

    biosolids application sign small

    "There is evidence of pathogen reactivation or sudden increase in indicator organisms 

    following anaerobic digestion and dewatering at some treatment facilities." [2]


    Common Products that are labeled "ORGANIC"* that are NOT Independantly Certified and/or would Never Qualify Organic

    *if they are using the term as Organic MATTER & Organic COMPOUND.
    WARNING: These products are most likely from GMO crops and/or contain Treated Toxic Sewage Sludge (aka BioSolids)

    Organic Alfalfa Meal
    Organic Animal Manure - most animals that includes worms (worm casting) are fed GMO in the USA
    Organic Cottonseeds Meal 
    Organic Blood Meal
    Organic Bone Meal
    Organic Canola Meal
    Organic Compost
    Organic Compost Tea
    Organic Corn Gluten Meal
    Organic Feather Meal - most likely the birds fed GMO feed
    Organic Fish Meal/Emulsion
    Organic Soybean Meal
    Organic Worm Castings

    If we missed something, please add in the comments below.

    Branded Products Containing Biosolids (Treated Toxic Sewage Sludge)

    Note: If you have any sludge product(s) to add or remove from this list, please notify us on our contact page

    All-Gro (Synagro)
    Granulite (Synagro)
    Chesapeake Sunshine
    (Philadelphia, PA)
    Nutri-Green (Virginia Beach, VA)
    MetroGro (Madison, WI)
    ORGRO (Baltimore, MD, Veolia Water North America)
    Bay State Fertilizer (Boston, MA)
    GroCo (Seattle, WA)
    SilviGrow (Seattle, WA)
    Oceangro (NJ)
    TAGRO (Tacoma, WA)
    SoundGro (Pierce County, WA)
    Milorganite (Milwaukee, WI)
    WeCare Compost (NY)
    CompostT (Pennsylvania)
    EKO Compost (Missoula, Maui, Lewiston plant on Idaho-Wahington border)
    Dillo Dirt (Austin, TX)
    Glacier Gold (Olney, MT)
    EarthBlends (New York City, a product of Synagro, sold by WeCare)
    Agresoil (MA)
    Earthlife (New England, a product of New England Organics)
    TOPGRO (Los Angeles, CA)
    N-Viro Soil
    N-Viro BioBlend
    Landscapers' Advantage (Camden, NJ)
    Hou-Actinite (Houston, TX)
    ComPro (Washington, D.C.)
    Mine Mix (Philadelphia, PA)
    Kellogg Nitrohumus, Gromulch, Amend and Topper (Kellogg Garden Products, Los Angeles, CA)
    Growers' Blend by Earthwise Organics (a Synagro subsidiary)
    Unity Fertilizer (Unity Envirotech LLC, Florida-baded)
    Miracle-Gro Organic Choice Garden Soil (Scott's Miracle-Gro Company says: "Some of the most common organic plant foods are bone meal, cottonseed meal, blood meal, fish emulsion, activated sewage and manures.")
    PocoNite (Sumter, SC)

    List source: http://www.sludgenews.org/about/sludgenews.aspx?id=5 

     

    SOLUTION - Ways to Identify ORGANIC and Avoid Non-Organic Garden Product

    1) Ask for (demand) source/origin verification - especially on ingredients known to contain:

    A) GMOs - crops with a very high percentage grown as GMO (cotton, alphalfa, canola, corn...)

    B) Biosolids - undefined or not fully defined "Compost" and "Organic compost"

    C) Hormones, antibiotics, pesticidesanimal ingredients, which mostly are from industrial/factory farms (aka: CAFO (Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation), Intensive animal farming...), which also includes most "Free Range" farms

    D) Toxins - All of the above.

    2) Look for independant organic certification logos.

    For example here is the OMRI certified products logo OMRI listed Organic certifiction small

    3) Agricultural products already USDA certified Organic and/or covered by the USDA NOP (National Organic Program) 

     

    Learn more about GMOs

    Learn more about GMOs  http://responsibletechnology.org
    Non-GMO shopping guide  http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com
    Scientists Under Attack   http://www.scientistsunderattack.com

    Learn more about BioSolids (Treated Toxic Sewage Sludge)

    Sewage sludge giveaways, producers, and brands http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Sewage_sludge_giveaways,_producers,_and_brands
    Branded products containing sewage sludge http://www.sludgenews.org/about/sludgenews.aspx?id=5
    "JD Mumma: Toxic Sewage Sludge in YOUR Food - On this edition of Health Conspiracy Radio, Nick Brannigan welcomes JD Mumma to the show! JD joins Nick to talk about toxic sewage sludge and it's use in modern agriculture. JD Mumma goes over the harm to human health caused by this product, better known as biosolids" Direct link to Podcast MP3 file http://radio.naturalnews.com/download.asp?fileid=4519

    LINKS to References for Organic Farmers, Handlers, Certifiers

    http://www.omri.org/links

    REFERENCES

    1. https://www.beyondpesticides.org/assets/media/documents/infoservices/pesticidesandyou/documents/Biosolids.pdf

    2. National Water Program Research Compendium: "There is evidence of pathogen reactivation or sudden increase in indicator organisms following anaerobic digestion and dewatering at some treatment facilities. There is also limited knowledge of what may be in biosolids, due in part to a lack of analytical methods and the large universe of chemicals and pathogens that could be in or released from biosolids. We also need a better understanding regarding a growing concern about antimicrobial resistance and horizontal gene transfer, treatment effectiveness, and whether operation standards (e.g., harvesting and grazing restrictions) work. http://water.epa.gov/scitech/research-riskassess/researchstrategy/upload/compendium.pdf

    "current federal legislation still permits every business, institution and industry in the country to dump 15 kilograms (33 pounds) of untreated hazardous waste into the sewer system each month, no reporting required." http://grist.org/article/2009-05-05-sludge-fertilizer-sewage

    Pathogens are from 6 categories: viruses, bacteria, prions, fungi, viroids, or parasites. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pathogen

    Lists of both diseases associated with infectious bacteria and viruses, and pathogens and their associated diseases. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_human_diseases_associated_with_infectious_pathogens

    Pathogen: "A bacterium, virus, or other microorganism that can cause disease." http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/pathogen

    Quarantine: "The period of time during which a person or animal that has a disease or that might have a disease is kept away from others to prevent the disease from spreading
    the situation of being kept away from others to prevent a disease from spreading." http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/quarantine

    List of infectious diseases: "There are 216 entries in this list, though some entries such as 'Common cold' include a number of distinct pathogens." https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_infectious_diseases

    International organic certification organizations listed by country and area. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organic_certification#Regional_variations

    A grass roots alternative to certified organic. https://www.naturallygrown.org

______________________________

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