Local, National Action Against GMOs
& Pesticides the Focus of a Tucson Summit on November 4

Tucson, Arizona: October 17, 2017 – Agrichemical corporation Monsanto hasn’t been in Tucson headlines much since it dropped its bid for a tax incentive with the Pima County Board of Supervisors in February. But the company and its flagship weed killer Roundup have been under fire both nationally and internationally this year and will be in the spotlight again at an educational summit at the Conference Center at the Tucson Osteopathic Medicine Foundation, 3182 North Swan Road, in Tucson from 9 am to 3:30 pm on Saturday, November 4.

Organized by a group of concerned citizens known as Toxin-Free Pima County, the Resist! & Revitalize Our Communities Summit will reveal uncovered secrets about Monsanto’s tactics that propelled Roundup weed killer to be so widely used, along with actions that citizens can take to protect themselves against pesticides and genetically modified foods that Monsanto and other biotech corporations produce.

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Organic and Non-GMO, Simplified!

If you aren’t up to speed on these subjects, here’s a primer to get you better educated.

Ask the Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: This is embarrassing, but I never really paid attention to whether food was organic or not, and why I should care. I also have no idea what the difference between organic and non-GMO food is. Can you fill me in on the basics? —Nancy B., Cincinnati

A: First of all, don’t be embarrassed. It’s not always easy to get the facts on these important topics, in large part because for more than two decades, information about dramatic changes in how our food is produced has been suppressed, and people have only been discovering the truth in bits and pieces.

“So many truths [about our food] have been whitewashed,” says Carey Gillam, a writer for US Right to Know and the author of the new book Whitewash. “By pouring more and more pesticides on crops, we’re getting less healthy soil, less healthy food, and potentially a range of carcinogenic and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in our breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

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‘Stand Up Against GMOs & Pesticides’ Presentation, Film Showing and Food Tasting on October 7 in Tucson!

October is “Non-GMO Month,” dubbed that term in 2010 by the Non-GMO Project to increase awareness of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in our food and of how to shop non-GMO. And, boy, has awareness increased since that time! Today it’s common to turn on mainstream television and see ads by mainstream companies proudly announcing that their products – from Triscuits to Cheerios – are non-GMO. We are well into the tipping point of consumer rejection against GMOs in the United States!

Yet, while awareness about GM foods has dramatically increased, understanding of the widespread use of herbicides, particularly the use of glyphosate, found in Roundup weed killer, which goes hand in hand with GMOs isn’t nearly as far along. To kick off Non-GMO Month, Natural Grocers and Going Against GMOs author Melissa Diane Smith are teaming up to hold a special event about the hot-button issue of GMOs and pesticides from 11:30 am to 1 pm on Saturday, October 7, at Natural Grocers, 6320 N. Oracle Road. The event will feature an informative presentation by Smith followed by the first showing in Tucson of “Communities Rising,” a 48-minute film that focuses on the glyphosate problem and solutions to the problem that are taking place across the country. View a trailer for “Communities Rising” here.

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What You Should Know about Nightshades, Inflammation, & Pain

Ask The Nutritionist

Q: I’ve heard the term “nightshade foods,” but I don’t know what foods those are. I’ve also heard that some people avoid them. Why? —Maria G., Yuma, Ariz.

A: Nightshades are the common name for flowering plants that belong to the botanical family Solanaceae, which contains more than 2,000 different species. Many nightshades are poisonous and should never be eaten, including belladonna, also known as deadly nightshade.

Several nightshades, however, are very popular foods—tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, all types of sweet and hot peppers, cayenne, chili powder, paprika, pimentos, tomatillos, chilies, goji berries, and ashwagandha (an adaptogenic herb used in Ayurvedic medicine). In fact, in the U.S., we consume almost 230 pounds of nightshades per person per year.
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Catch the GMO Trilogy Movie Series
at Natural Grocers This Summer

Going Against GMOs author and holistic nutritionist Melissa Diane Smith and Natural Grocers Nutritional Health Coach Kariman Pierce are teaming up to present the GMO Trilogy Movie Series this summer at Natural Grocers, 5600 E. River Road, in Tucson. The series of short films will run from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. every other Saturday starting on July 29, 2017.

Each movie will include a post-film Q&A, information on local action taking place, and tips on how you can avoid Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in food. 100% Organic, Non-GMO snacks will be served, and copies of Going Against GMOs will be available for purchase.

Beat the heat and educate yourself about the pressing health and environmental issues connected to GMOs in our food supply. The movies in the documentary series are:

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Too Much Sodium Hiding in Your Diet?

To protect against high blood pressure, avoid processed and prepared foods, and emphasize whole foods that are naturally rich in potassium.

Ask the Nutritionist

 Q:I have recently been diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure). My doctor advised me to reduce the amount of sodium in my diet, yet I hardly ever add salt to my food. How can I cut down on sodium in my diet if I rarely use salt? -Mike S., Cleveland

A: The dangers of sodium are very clear: Too much can raise blood pressure, and high blood pressure is the leading cause of death from heart disease and stroke in the United States, contributing to more than 1,000 deaths every day. Unfortunately, the average American adult consumes 3,400 mg of sodium daily, nearly 50 percent more than the 2,300 the federal government recommends. So we should hide all the salt shakers, right? Not so fast.

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Dietary Solutions for Menstrual Cramps

Anti-inflammatory diet strategies can help alleviate the pain that most women experience during that time of the month

Ask The Nutritionist

by Melissa Diane Smith

Q: I experience such severe cramps during my period that I usually end up doubled over in pain and out of commission for at least two days. Can changing what I eat help? —Ciara S., Milwaukee, Wis.

A: Painful menstrual cramps are the most common gynecological condition among women of reproductive age. More than half of women report some pain from period cramps for a day or two each month, according to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists. Unfortunately, many women don’t seek treatment because they consider pain to be a normal part of the menstrual cycle. But it doesn’t have to be.

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