Organic Consumers Association

Why 7-Eleven, Inventor of the Slurpee, Is Going Organic

Like thousands of U.S. convenience stores, many 7-Eleven stores cram rows of snacks between a wall of chilled sodas and a bank of churning Slurpee machines.

But starting this month, 7-Eleven will also begin selling cold-pressed juice. It’s organic, vegan, fair trade, non-GMO, gluten-free — and designed to appeal to an entirely new type of convenience-store consumer.

How Rural America Got Milked

Corporate-run agricultural co-ops are squeezing the very farmers they’re supposed to protect. Making them work again could help revive the heartland.

Neonicotinoids Found in UK Honey Despite Partial Ban

Research published in early January 2018 has shown that — despite a partial ban on neonicotinoid insecticides instituted in 2014 — 25% of British honey is still contaminated with residue of these “potent, bee-killing” pesticides. The partial ban, which extended to flowering crops, such as oilseed rape (from which canola oil is made), was instituted by the European Union (EU) in response to evidence of serious threats to bee populations. Samples for this study came from beekeepers and were each from a single location.

Burn Fat for Fuel

Low-fat, high-carb diets prevent healthy mitochondrial function, thereby contributing to chronic diseases such as obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer and more. Studies suggest low-carb, high-fat diets — and eating less frequently — may be the answer to the obesity epidemic. The benefits of this type of diet is the primary focus of my book “Fat for Fuel,” and my complementary online course. When your body is able to burn fat for fuel, your liver creates water-soluble fats called ketones that burn far more efficiently than carbs, thus creating far less damaging reactive oxygen species and secondary free radicals.

WMO Confirms 2017 Among the Three Warmest Years on Record

In a clear sign of continuing long-term climate change caused by increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, 2015, 2016 and 2017 have been confirmed as the three warmest years on record. 2016 still holds the global record, whilst 2017 was the warmest year without an El Niño, which can boost global annual temperatures.

8 Ways to Reduce Your Exposure to Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

What keeps you up at night? Sick kids, restless pets, the latest tragedy on the evening news, politics, wars, earthquakes, hurricanes, fires, money troubles, job stress, and family health and wellbeing? There is no shortage of concerns that make us all toss and turn.

But what keeps the chemical industry up at night? A couple of decades ago a senior Shell executive was asked this very question. The answer? Endocrine disruption.

Monsanto Papers Lead to New European Parliament Pesticide Committee

The Conference of Presidents, a governing body of the European Parliament, has Thursday endorsed the mandate of a Special Committee to analyse and assess the authorisation procedure for glyphosate and other pesticides, following recent revelations from the Monsanto Papers and the Great Glyphosate Rebellion, in which many EU states have vowed to phase out the use of glyphosate-based herbicides.

World Food Prize Should Become Voice of Regenerative Agriculture

The Register's recent article "Iowa to pay $50,000 in lawsuit settlement," describing a lawsuit against the World Food Prize (WFP) and the state of Iowa by anti-GMO protesters, sheds light on the past manipulations of the WFP to guard its international image among fellow promoters of industrial agriculture.

As one of the lawsuit plaintiffs, I feel Iowa taxpayers need several additional facts to understand the motivation behind the lawsuit by last year's demonstrators.

Europe's Microwave Ovens Emit Nearly as Much CO2 as 7m Cars

Popping frozen peas into the microwave for a couple of minutes may seem utterly harmless, but Europe’s stock of these quick-cook ovens emit as much carbon as nearly 7m cars, a new study has found.

And the problem is growing: with costs falling and kitchen appliances becoming “status” items, owners are throwing away microwaves after an average of eight years, pushing rising sales.

Depression Not Caused by Chemical Imbalance

Many people believe depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain; this chemical imbalance theory has been widely promoted by drug companies and psychiatrists alike — without evidence to back it up. Pharmaceutical companies were instrumental in bringing the chemical imbalance theory to the mainstream, heavily promoting it as a marketing gimmick to sell antidepressant drugs. Studies have repeatedly shown antidepressants work no better than placebo for mild to moderate depression, yet carry a significant risk of side effects.

Get Proper Sleep Nightly

Research suggests most adults need about eight hours of sleep per night to maintain good health. Lack of sleep can increase your risk for accidents, weight gain and chronic diseases, and impair your memory. The “sleep onset latency test” developed by the late Nathaniel Kleitman, Ph.D., can help you determine if you're sleep deprived. While sleep problems can be caused or exacerbated by a number of different factors, three that are frequently overlooked are your sleep position, light pollution and exposure to electromagnetic fields (EMF).

Growing Populations, Climate Change Leave Cities on a Fast Track to Water Deficits

More than a hundred cities—containing millions of people—will have water demands outstripping surface water supplies by 2050, according to a new analysis of climate change impacts on water.

The global study cited many cities in the U.S.—including Los Angeles, San Diego, Santa Ana and Long Beach in California, and Phoenix, Arizona—as headed for worsening future water problems.

Trader Joe's to Remove Controversial Chemicals From Receipts

Cleanup in the checkout aisle.

Trader Joe’s, the grocer known for its eclectic products (and Hawaiian-shirt-clad workers), will remove two controversial substances from its register receipts, according to the company’s website.

In Rebuff to Sessions, Federal Marijuana Justice Act Filed in House

Attorney General Sessions' announcement last week that he was rescinding Obama-era guidance to federal prosecutors to generally leave law-abiding marijuana operations alone in states where it is legal has paradoxically had the effect of energizing the movement to legalize marijuana at the federal level. The latest evidence of the reaction came Wednesday, as Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) and Congressman Ro Khanna (D-CA) filed a legalization bill in the House.

Organic Consumers Association Files New Roundup Lawsuit Against Bigelow Tea

The Organic Consumers Association (OCA) recently filed a deceptive advertising lawsuit against tea-maker R. C. Bigelow, Inc., in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia. It claims that Bigelow should be held liable for “deceptive labeling, marketing, and sale of tea products” that they represent as “all natural” or environmentally friendly, because the teas actually contain glyphosate residue, the main herbicide in Roundup weed killer.

Mexico's Prickly Pear Cactus: Energy Source of the Future?

The prickly pear cactus is such a powerful symbol in Mexico that they put it smack in the middle of the national flag.

​It was considered sacred by the ancient Aztecs, and modern-day Mexicans eat it, drink it, and even use it in medicines and shampoos.

Now scientists have come up with a new use for the bright green plant: producing renewable energy.

The End of Plastic Has Officially Arrived

Plastic pollution is an increasing problem across the globe. With the EU's latest initiative to reduce plastic waste, it's clear there's a growing movement to cut down on plastic pollution.

Is It Possible to Live Without Plastic? Readers' Tips for Tip-Free Living

For 70 years, the world’s plastic usage has grown inexorably from humble beginnings to a position where humanity now produces roughly its own weight in plastic every year.

But is there a turning point in view? Guardian revelations about the scale of plastic waste and the threat it poses has finally prompted the authorities to take the issue seriously. Michael Gove is considering a deposit return scheme for plastic bottles, Sadiq Khan is looking at new water fountains to contain the plastic proliferation, and now Theresa May has set out her own plastic-free stall.

As ever, our readers are ahead of the curve, detailing a range of ways that individuals can avoid plastic. Respondents to a Guardian callout said they found it easy when it comes to using reusable water bottles and fabric tote bags. However, trying to live a completely plastic-free life can be challenging. 

How a Grain and Legume Farmer Harvests Nutrition from the Soil

But what sets Larry Kandarian apart from other farmers is his approach to growing food. Instead of deeply plowing the land and mixing in sheets of fertilizers to ensure high yields like most farmers in America, Kandarian employs a minimal-tillage system and uses absolutely no fertilizers or compost.

For fertility, Kandarian takes advantage of the nitrogen-fixing properties of plants in the legume family like clover, beans, and sweet pea. He sows legume seeds in the ground after the grain is harvested, leaving the chaff of the grains still on the field. The chaff decomposes and fertilizes the legume crop. The legume crop, as it grows, fixes nitrogen into the soil.

Iowans Seek Halt to Large-Scale Livestock Buildings

Community activists and organizers flooded the Capitol rotunda Tuesday demanding more regulation and a halt to construction of large-scale livestock projects that are threatening Iowa’s air, water and quality of life, especially in rural areas.

“Enough is enough,” said Bill Stowe, CEO and general manager of the Des Moines Water Works, which spent $1.5 million in 2015 to removed nitrates from the city’s water supply.

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