Hawaii’s Big Island Bans GMOs;
Now Do Your Part to Stop the TPP

by Melissa Diane Smith

The mayor of the Big Island of Hawaii has signed a bill into law that bans all future plantings of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and prohibits biotech companies from operating on the Big Island. In a letter to council members announcing his decision to sign the bill, Mayor Billy Kenoi said that the new law signals the county’s desire to encourage community-based farming and ranching, as opposed to playing host to global agribusiness corporations.

Hawaii is joining Mexico, which recently banned (on an interim basis) the planting of all genetically engineered corn; Peru, which has a ten-year moratorium on GM crops; and Italy, which in July became the ninth European country to ban planting of Monsanto’s GMO corn. In addition, two city councilmen have proposed a motion to make the city of Los Angeles a GMO-Free zone, the largest one in the country, by banning the growth, sale and distribution of GM seeds and plants anywhere in the city. (These actions are pointing to more people in counties, cities, and countries understanding that banning and boycotting GMOs are better uses of our time and efforts than labeling them. See my special report “Why We Need to Focus on GMO Boycotts and Bans” for more info.)

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Join the Food Fight and
Take Back Our Right for Real Food

by Melissa Diane Smith

Whether you are aware of it or not, powerful multinational corporations have been exerting undue influence over government and elected officials, and gradually hijacking and taking control of our food system in ways that profit the corporations and sabotage our and our planet’s health. Increasing numbers of people are learning this, getting angry, and taking action against it, and an unprecedented food fight is currently taking place in this country that literally will decide the future of our food.

I wrote about this a few years ago, but it is a message that some people weren’t ready to focus in on then so it bears repeating. What follows is a slightly updated reprint of an article, “An Independence Day Message: Fight for the Right for Real Food,” that I wrote two years ago.

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New Book, Podcast Coming Soon

I’m happy to announce that my new book, Gluten Free Throughout the Year, will be available in May if not before. (That’s a big reason why Nutrition News & Notes has been so quiet for a while!)

To be one of the first people to get a copy, keep checking back on this blog, especially toward the end of April and beginning of May. I’ll let you know exactly when the book becomes available, a lot more about its content, and how you can order it, and I’ll list some other sites that I plan to “visit” to spread the word, too. So, stay tuned. (I’ll also be sending an announcement to those of you on my mailing list. But that won’t be sent out quite as early as my blog post will be posted.)

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Has a Food Revolution Begun?

by Melissa Diane Smith

(Opinion) We desperately need a food revolution and there are indications that one may have already started.

First lady Michelle Obama is spreading the word around the country about making better food choices in her anti-obesity campaign and she just planted her second organic White House vegetable garden.

Last week ABC News reported that a coalition of Chicago high school students went to a meeting of the Chicago Board of Education to speak out against their school lunch menu. The students are fighting against the nutrient-poor, frozen and highly processed foods they are being served in the school cafeteria. Some students were quoted as saying, “Nutrients are missing. Calories are high. Sugar is high,” and, “Parents rely on schools to give their children nutritious meals, not tan-colored slop.” In addition, they said they rarely see any vegetables being served.

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What You Probably Haven’t Heardabout the Flu

by Melissa Diane Smith

Turn on the TV and flip through various news stations these days and you likely will be bombarded with information on flu and H1N1 (swine) flu vaccines and antiviral drugs as defense against a devastating flu pandemic. The news we hear about getting vaccines (and antiviral drugs at the first signs of flu) seems so relentless and definitive, it must be based on solid, universally agreed-upon science, most of us think. But the news we don’t hear is that some top flu experts have serious questions about the use of vaccines and antiviral drugs. We also don’t hear much about nutritional and natural ways that may boost immunity as a defense against flu because companies and health professionals who convey that information get warnings from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) not to.

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SPECIAL REPORT: Nutrition Missingfrom the Health Care Debate;Make Your Own Health Insurance

by Melissa Diane Smith

(Opinion) – Confused about the health care debate? Or have a strong viewpoint on one side or another? Either way, consider this: The health care debate really is a disease care debate because nutrition, the key factor that affects our health and prevents disease, isn’t part of anything that is being discussed.

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Changes to the Going Against the Grain Group, Nutrition News & Notes

What they say about people burning out from writing a blog is true! It’s even more true when someone writes two blogs, writes a monthly magazine column, speaks, and nutritionally counsels and coaches clients. Because of that, I wanted to let you know about a few changes I have made to two of my services.

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Obama Likes to Snack Against the Grain

On his second full day in office, President Barack Obama surprised members of the White House press corps by unexpectedly visiting their work area in the West Wing, saying hi and commenting on the lack of healthy snacks in the vending machines in that area.

After passing by vending machines that had soda, candy bars and chips, Obama suggested that we “might want to have healthier snacks,” according to TIME magazine.

So, what does the svelte president snack on? Mostly against-the-grain snacks, such as fruits and nuts. According to USA Today, Obama likes Planters Trail Mix: Nuts, Seeds and Raisins. He also drinks a lot of bottled water.

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Obama Launches New Healthcare Site; Nutrition is Part of the Discussion

Americans are speaking up about the importance of nutrition and of going against the grain in healthcare.

President-Elect Barack Obama has launched an interactive healthcare site
welcoming comments and ideas from people on what should be done to reform the U.S. healthcare system. There are already fifteen pages of comments, but on the first page alone, the importance of nutrition and some of the issues I raised about corn in previous posts — Corn Fed and Fat: The American Problem that is Spreading to Other Countries and “King Corn” A Must-See Film — have been raised.

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Beware of Halloween, The Startof the Holiday Sugar Season

The annual sugar-fest has begun. It starts with loads of cheap candy hitting store shelves a few weeks before Halloween. People buy candy at “bargain” prices for trick-or-treaters. With lots of candy in their house, many decide to have a piece of candy, then maybe another and another. Their sugar cravings build, and they keep eating sugar, which leads to more cravings, which leads to more bingeing.

Halloween is our culturally acceptable “eat-all-you-want” candy day. It’s fitting that right after Halloween is November, which is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Few people see how ironic and telling this is.

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