Login
"A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise."
- Aldo Leopold
 Minimize 
MOF&G cover Spring 2006

  

  You are here:  PublicationsMaine Organic Farmer & GardenerSpring 2006News and Events   
 News and Events – Spring 2006 Minimize

Maine Study Shows No Economic Benefit to GE Canola
Residues of Banned Pesticides Found on Vegetables
Vegetables Contaminated with Antibiotics from Manure of Conventionally-Raised Animals
Junk Food Additives Stop Nerve Cell Growth
Rodale Recommends Organic Cropping System with No-Till
Conservation Innovation Grants
Waste Management: It’s About Thyme
Native Foods Find New Generation of Support
Kimchi Fights Bird Flu?
Resurgence Starts School of Organic Gardening and Cooking
Promising Anti-Cancer Compounds in Soy
Fruit Explorers Find Heartier Apple Tree Stock
Flax Adds Performance Features to Cotton Textiles
Stonyfield Farm Helps Launch Organic Dairy Farm at UNH
New England Club Lamb Sale in May
Half of Scottish Babies Eat All Organic Foods
Italian Slow Food Community Drives McDonald’s Out of Town


Maine Study Shows No Economic Benefit to GE Canola – But Conventional Seed Lines Contaminated with GE DNA

Genetically engineered canola (or rape seed – used to make canola oil) has little or no economic benefit for Maine growers, and its genes have already contaminated canola seed. So say preliminary data from studies on two sites in one year (2005), according to Dr. John Jemison of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension. The work was published as an abstract and presented at the New England Weed Science Society meeting in Rhode Island recently, as well as at a GE Free Maine-sponsored session at the Maine Agricultural Trades Show in January.

The study, entitled Rape Seed Yield: Risks and Benefits of Genetically Enhanced Lines, was co-authored by Peter Sexton. The researchers planted 14 glyphosate-resistant (Roundup Ready) canola lines; three glufosinate-resistant lines and seven conventional lines at Presque Isle on June 1 and at Orono on June 14. The crop was grown conventionally and harvested. Marketable yields and return on variable costs (marketable yield sold at present value, minus the cost of seed, technology fees and herbicides) were calculated. Results showed that marketable yields of GE lines were generally greater than those of conventional lines at both locations, but not statistically significantly so. In the Presque Isle location, there was roughly a $3/acre loss growing the GE lines, and in Orono there was an $11/acre benefit, but no statistically significant benefit occurred overall. The late planting date in Orono may explain the generally lower yields of conventional lines, said Jemison. He hopes to continue this work to see if these trends are consistent.

In a greenhouse study, the researchers also measured the level to which conventional seed was contaminated with DNA from GE canola. This was done by spraying conventional and GE seedlings with the herbicide glyphosate, then counting how many survived after seven days. Surviving conventional seedlings were assumed to contain DNA from GE, herbicide-resistant plants. A mean of 4750 seeds per line were tested.

Results of the greenhouse study showed that six of seven conventional lines were contaminated with the GE herbicide-resistant trait. Contamination was below the 0.9% set by the EU standard.

GE Free Maine organizer Rob Fish says, "The production of certifiable GE free canola is a market opportunity for Maine potato farmers [as a rotation crop] and the entire region. There's a strong demand for non-GMO canola overseas and within the natural/organic food industry. Marketing our canola as free of biotech pollution and building a GE-free canola processing plant would help Maine farmers and serve as a tool for economic development."

Russell Libby, executive director of MOFGA, told the Bangor Daily News that Maine’s $10 million annual organic industry has, so far, "been fortunate not to have severe issues [with contamination from GE crops] in Maine, but the organic consumer is looking for non-GE food, and it is our job to provide that. There are some real questions about whether crops with even a minuscule amount of GE DNA can be marketed as organic." He added that Maine "has an opportunity to carve out a different kind of agriculture, and that will be organic."

Sources: John Jemison, personal communication, Jan. 20, 2006; GE Free Maine, "UM researcher cites GE contamination; Genetic herbicide resistance found in seeds," by Sharon Kiley Mack, Bangor Daily News, Jan. 13, 2006; posted at www.redorbit.com/news/science/356823/genetic_herbicide_resistance_found_in_seeds/index.html.

Top

Residues of Banned Pesticides Found on Vegetables

In a small study, Beth Wolensky, a senior at Chatham College in Pittsburgh, screened 20 samples of washed organic and conventional carrots for a number of banned pesticides and their residues and found similar concentrations of the chemicals on both, with organic carrots even having higher concentrations of some chemicals than the conventional. Every carrot had traces of p,p'-DDE, a breakdown product of the banned DDT; many had residues of the termiticide chlordane, and some had residues of heptachlor, another termiticide. Concentrations were low in all samples, with the skin having higher concentrations. Chatham and fellow student Tanieka Motley previously had found similar results in potatoes. The students’ advisor, Renee Falconer – who has found residues of other chemicals from several sites – says that at the concentrations detected, none of the chemicals in the carrots or potatoes is dangerous alone, but that overall, organically grown crops should have far lower concentrations of agricultural chemicals that are now applied to conventional crops. Wolensky recommends peeling carrots and potatoes before eating them.

Source: "Organic Doesn’t Mean Free of Pesticides," by Janet Raloff, Science News Online, Nov. 26, 2005; Vol. 168, No. 22.

Original articles: Aigner, E.J., Leone A.D., and R.L. Falconer. 1998. Concentrations and enantiomeric ratios of organochlorine pesticides in soils from the U.S. corn belt. Environmental Science & Technology 32(May 1):1162;

Motley, T., and R. Falconer. 2004. Measurement of chiral pesticides in vegetables grown organically, traditionally and in a controlled environment. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America Annual Meeting. Nov. 16. Baltimore; Wolensky, B., and R. Falconer. 2005. Organochlorine pesticides in storebought vegetables grown organically and traditionally. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry North America Annual Meeting. Nov. 14. Baltimore.

Top

Vegetables Contaminated with Antibiotics from Manure of Conventionally-Raised Animals

A study in the Oct. 12 online edition of the Journal of Environmental Quality shows that fresh vegetables may contain antibiotics when they’re grown in soil that has been amended with manure that contains antibiotics (often included in conventional animal feed). Antibiotics that are not absorbed in the gut end up in manure. In greenhouse studies, green onions, corn and cabbage absorbed small concentrations of the antibiotic chlortetracycline, but not tylosin. The study authors warned that risks may be greatest for people who are allergic to antibiotics. For more information, see www.agronomy.org/publications/jeq/abstracts/34/6/2082

Top

Junk Food Additives Stop Nerve Cell Growth

Mixing the artificial sweetener aspartame and monosodium glutamate (MSG) causes nerve cell damage, say researchers at the University of Liverpool. Results from a two-year study were recently published in Toxicological Sciences. The researchers found the additives were much more potent in combination with each other than on their own. Mice were exposed to concentrations of MSG and aspartame relative to what a child would receive in an average snack and drink. Researchers were surprised to see the additives interfered with nerve signaling systems and actually stopped nerve cells from growing. Aspartame is commonly found in diet drinks, candies and flavored medicines, while MSG is frequently found in chips, processed cheese and many processed foods.

Source: www.organicconsumers.org/toxic/msg010306.cfm

Top

Rodale Recommends Organic Cropping System with No-Till

Research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) suggests that nitrous oxide – with nearly 300 times the greenhouse potency of carbon dioxide – needs to be factored into greenhouse calculations. Nitrous oxides are associated with fertilizer nitrogen use and, like soil carbon levels, can be influenced by tillage regimes. Now, ARS soil scientist Rod Venterea and colleagues have shown that over a two-year period, the combination of anhydrous ammonia fertilizer use and no-till can lead to alarmingly high nitrous oxide emissions.

The Minnesota study found that fields treated with anhydrous ammonia had two to four times the nitrous oxide losses compared with urea ammonium nitrate or pelleted urea. If the ammonia was injected more than 4 inches below the soil surface, however, nitrous oxide emissions were lower in no-till fields than in conventional- or conservation-till fields.

A distinctly unfriendly side of conventional no-till agriculture is its dependence on high rates of ammoniated fertilizer and herbicides. Dr. David Pimentel of Cornell University has estimated that 75 percent of conventional no-till's fossil fuel dependence for corn production is related to the use of ammoniated fertilizer. In addition to high energy costs, the use of synthetic nitrogen can contribute to environmental and health problems. In Iowa, Dr. Weyer and co-workers (2001) associated increased concentrations of nitrates in water with hyperthyroidism, increase of insulin-dependent diabetes and bladder cancer.

According to Townsend et al. (2003), human activity is responsible for most of the reactive nitrogen in the biosphere, surpassing all natural processes combined. A significant portion is related to fertilizer production. This review links global changes in the nitrogen cycle with excessive air and water nitrogen levels, leading to increased respiratory disease, cardiac abnormalities and cancer.

The Rodale Institute's Farming System Trial¨ shows that high yields associated with the use of anhydrous ammonia can be achieved readily with legume cover crops. In a legume-based organic cropping system, high corn yields can be maintained without the high energetic, environmental and health costs associated with ammoniated fertilizer use (Pimentel et al., 2005). In this regard, The Rodale Institute's work on a biologically based no-till system using mechanically killed cover crops offers a real alternative to conventional no-till systems based on intensive use of fertilizers and herbicides.

Source: Agriculture Today, Dec. 20, 2005; www.maine.gov/agriculture/newsletter/

Top

Conservation Innovation Grants

The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) requests applications for Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) to stimulate development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Applications are accepted from all 50 states, the Caribbean Area, and the Pacific Basin Area. For FY 2006, up to $20 million is available for the National CIG competition. Three CIG components available in FY 2006 are: Natural Resource Concerns, Technology, and the Chesapeake Bay Watershed. Applications are requested from eligible government or non-government organizations or individuals for competitive consideration for projects of up to three years in duration. Proposals are due March 20, 2006. For more information, see www.nrcs.usda.gov/programs/cig/.

Top

Waste Management: It’s About Thyme

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are developing a method to reduce problems with cattle manure – all they need is a little thyme.

Thymol, the active component in thyme oil, can be extracted from plants such as thyme and oregano. Because of its pleasant odor and natural antiseptic properties, thymol appears in mouthwash, throat lozenges and other products. ARS microbiologists Elaine Berry, Vince Varel and Jim Wells discovered that, when applied in slow-release granules to cattle feedlot soil or to manure pits in swine facilities, thymol reduced concentrations of odor-causing volatile fatty acids (VFAs) and such pathogens as coliform bacteria. [Ed. note: See Alice Percy’s feature about raising pigs in moveable "tractors" in this issue of The MOF&G for an alternative to feedlots.]

Source: ARS News Service, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Laura McGinnis, (301) 504-1654, lmcginnis@ars.usda.gov; Dec. 16, 2005; FMI: www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr

Top

Native Foods Find New Generation of Support

An article in The New York Times reports on efforts to revive American Indian foods. On the Tohono O'odham Reservation southwest of Tucson, farmer Noland Johnson grows tepary beans, once a staple of the Tohono O'odham diet but now hard to find. Chefs nationwide are beginning to incorporate native foods – wild rice, squash, beans, corn, Pacific salmon, bison and persimmons, for example – into their menus. On the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, an economic development company called Lakota Express wants to create an entire food line under the Native American Natural Foods label. Several other projects are encouraging a return to traditional agriculture and foods, including the White Earth Land Recovery Project, Native Seeds/SEARCH and Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT).

Source: ATTRA Weekly Harvest Newsletter, Nov. 30, 2005; FMI:

www.nytimes.com/2005/11/23/dining/23nati.html?adxnnl=1&adxnnlx=1132776114-HquVyavIZTDI8wVn6MiLww

Top

Kimchi Fights Bird Flu?

After Kang Sa-Ouk of Seoul National University in South Korea gave kimchi juice to 13 chickens infected with avian flu virus and other diseases, 11 recovered. Spokesperson Kathy Stover from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases told Washington Post reporter Elissa Silverman that the Institute couldn’t comment on the dish's effectiveness, since researchers there hadn’t studied it.

In South Korea, kimchi, a staple at the table, is usually made by slicing and salting Napa cabbage, setting it aside for hours, then rinsing it and adding crushed garlic, ginger, onion, sliced radish and fish sauce and a lot of hot pepper. According to New Scientist, the researchers found that sauerkraut--cabbage fermented in brine, but without the added spices--also worked. New Scientist notes that "in both Korea and Japan, where kimchi has become a chic food in recent years, there have recently been outbreaks of bird flu in poultry, but no human cases of the disease. Coincidence? Considerably better animal hygiene than elsewhere in the region? Or cabbage? You be the judge."

The Korean scientists believe that the Lactobacilli bacteria that make the fermented products stop the virus. "So there should be lots of other potential anti-flu foods about, from properly fermented buttermilk to Kosher garlic dills (the all-salt kind, none of this vinegar nonsense)," says New Scientist.

Sales of sauerkraut in the upper midwestern United States spiked after the news.

According to The Seattle Times, a recent study at the University of New Mexico suggests that sauerkraut may also reduce the risk of breast cancer. That risk nearly triples in Polish women who immigrate to the United States, says The Times, but of the hundreds of Polish and Polish-born U.S. immigrant women in the study, those who ate four or more servings of sauerkraut and cabbage per week during adolescence were 74% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who ate 1.5 or fewer servings per week.

Sources: Washington Post, Dec. 31, 2005;

New Scientist, Nov. 26, 2005; www.newscientist.com/backpage.ns?id=mg18825272.800; The Seattle Times, Nov. 7, 2005; "Scientific Puzzle: Some Turks Have Bird Flu but Aren’t Sick," by Elisabeth Rosenthal, International Herald Tribune, Jan. 11, 2006, at www.nytimes.com/2006/01/11/international/europe/11flu.html?th=&adxnnl=1&oref=login&emc=th&adxnnlx=1137074595-KCc00b2OS25ETGVnAJoxJA&pagewanted=print.

For an interesting critique of the tactic that some regulators are proposing if bird flu hits an area (i.e., confining birds indoors), see www.organicconsumers.org/foodsafety/avianflu012706.cfm.

To read a useful article about how organic farmers and gardeners who raise poultry may deal with bird flu, see www.newfarm.org/features/2006/0106/avainflu/frymanross.shtml.

For information about using probiotics (beneficial bacteria) to help prevent disease in humans and livestock, see Diane Schivera's article, A Primer on Probiotics, in the Sept.-Nov. 2004 issue of The MOF&G.

Top

Resurgence
Starts School of Organic Gardening and Cooking

Resurgence magazine is marking its 40th anniversary by starting a School of Organic Gardening and Cooking, after longstanding supporter Mehr Fardoonji donated her 2-1/2-acre organic market garden in Cheshire to the organization. Resurgence plans to develop these gardens into a Learning Centre, where students will train for a year in organic gardening, marketing and cooking as they learn about ecology, Gaia theory, sustainability, economics as if people and planet matter, nutrition and related areas.

For more information: Satish Kumar, Editor of Resurgence, Ford House, Hartland, Bideford, Devon EX39 6EE. www.resurgence.org

Top

Promising Anti-Cancer Compounds in Soy

Scientists with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in New Orleans, La., have uncovered what could be a healthier soybean by encouraging the legume to produce health-guarding phytochemicals (plant-produced chemicals) called glyceollins. In 2001, ARS chemist Stephen Boué and collaborators with the Tulane-Xavier Center for Bioenvironmental Research in New Orleans discovered that glyceollins could block the growth of hormone-dependent breast cancer cells in the laboratory. Since then, Boué and colleagues from ARS’ Southern Regional Research Center (SRRC) have been searching for ways to coax soybeans into pumping out the promising chemicals.

Soybean plants naturally produce the beneficial compounds only when confronted with serious stress, as when defending themselves against disease-causing organisms in the soil. Research leader Ed Cleveland says that today’s soybeans are grown in relatively "clean" fields where farmers take many disease-avoidance measures, so the plants aren’t forced to defend themselves against attack – and they don’t produce glyceollins and other possibly beneficial, disease-squelching compounds.

To mimic a microbial assault in the laboratory, Boué and Cleveland challenged just-germinated soybeans with the food-safe fungus Aspergillus sojae. The young, sprouted soybeans perceive the fungus as a threat, so they produce copious amounts of the protective compounds – evident from the bright-red coloring the chemicals form as they react on the soybeans’ wound surfaces. Boué is sharing the isolated compounds with collaborating medical researchers and is searching for ways to induce glyceollin production on a large scale.

Source: ARS News Service, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Erin Peabody, (301) 504-1624, ekpeabody@ars.usda.gov; Jan. 9, 2006. For more information, see Agricultural Research at: www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan06/soy0106.htm

Top

Fruit Explorers Find Heartier Apple Tree Stock

Grafts, genetic material and rootstocks collected during the 1990s from wild apple trees in central Asia may revolutionize the U.S. apple industry. This material shows potential for helping breed trees that bear popular, domestic apples while standing up to destructive diseases and fungi, according to Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists. The genetic material was gathered during USDA-sponsored excursions to Asia and Europe aimed at expanding the known genetic diversity of apples.

Horticulturist Phil Forsline and plant geneticist Gennaro Fazio of ARS' Plant Genetics Research Unit have used the material to raise orchards of the exotic apples near their laboratory in Geneva, N.Y., and, with colleagues in ARS and Cornell University, they've documented with astonishment the disease resistance of many of these trees and of domestic species they've bred with them.

Fazio and Forsline are most impressed with material collected in Kazakhstan, especially accessions of Malus sieversii, an important forerunner of the domestic apple. This is logical, since Kazakhstan is a likely ancestral origin of familiar domestic apples (Malus x domestica) such as Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and McIntosh.

According to Forsline, the Kazak trees showed significant resistance to apple scab--the most important fungal disease of apples – as well as to fire blight. They were highly resistant to Phytophthora cactorum, which causes collar rot, and to Rhizoctonia solani, an agent of apple replant disease, according to Fazio. Both researchers found genes in the Kazak apples that allow them to adapt to mountainous, near-desert, and cold and dry regions.

Source: ARS News Service, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Luis Pons, (301) 504-1628, Jan. 3, 2006. See the Jan. 2006 Agricultural Research at www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/jan06/apples0106.htm

Top

Flax Adds Performance Features to Cotton Textiles

Agricultural Research Service scientists and engineers have created a cotton-flax denim blend that will make jeans more comfortable even in summer heat. Denim is one of the largest commodity fabrics produced in the world. Flax is nearly three times stronger than cotton and is among the strongest natural fibers known. Clothing materials, such as woven denims and knitted fabrics made from these particular cotton-flax blends, could be compared to a new, nonwrinkling form of linen.

At the ARS Cotton Quality Research Station in Clemson, South Carolina, mechanical engineer Jonn A. Foulk and technicians have blended cotton with flax to create new yarns. The new blends impart "moisture management" to woven denim and knitted fabrics. The work is being done at the station's state-of-the-art spinning facility.

Adding flax to clothing fabric helps keep skin cool partly because flax improves moisture wicking, the ability of fabric to pull moisture away from the skin, and the ability of fabric to dry quickly. The Clemson station's researchers are also embedding flax fibers into polymers to create composite materials and nonwoven sheets for industrial uses. The station is looking for additional industry partners, including mill and apparel manufacturers, to help develop the technologies.

Flax is a good candidate for growing in rotation with cotton in the Southeast. Also, byproducts from processing natural flax fibers are fully recyclable, but those from processing synthetic fibers generally are not. [Ed. note: Rotating cotton with flax crops should help break pest cycles and reduce pesticide use on non-organic cotton crops, now one of the largest users of pesticides in the world. Also, flax can be grown in Maine.]

Source: ARS News Service, Agricultural Research Service, USDA, Rosalie Marion Bliss, (301) 504-4318,
rbliss@ars.usda.gov, Nov. 17, 2005. See the Nov. 2005 Agricultural Research at www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/nov05/fiber1105.htm

Top

Stonyfield Farm Helps Launch Organic Dairy Farm at UNH

The University of New Hampshire will establish an organic dairy farm for research, education and outreach, making it the nation’s first land-grant university to have an organic dairy farm. Londonderry, N.H., industry leader Stonyfield Farm has donated $200,000 to the estimated $1.5 million project.

"This project represents completion of a full circle for Stonyfield Farm," said Gary Hirshberg, President and CE-Yo. "Nearly 24 years ago, Stonyfield Farm Yogurt was launched as a project of the rural education center, a small New Hampshire school created to help teach farmers new organic farming methods. Now we are proud to provide our largest single grant ever to the University of New Hampshire to continue the critical work of teaching the next generation of farmers. This could not come at a better time, as the organic dairy market in general and New England in particular are in need of more organic farmers."

The new farm, located on 200-acres of certified-organic land at the university’s Burley-Demeritt Farm in Lee, began operating in Dec. 2005 with the acquisition of a herd of Jersey heifers. Construction of a composting-bedded pack barn and milking center, and acquisition of equipment and installation of fencing, will occur in summer 2006. Organic hay and baleage were already harvested for the 2005 winter feed. Certified organic milk production will begin in December 2006.

The project will be directed by a 20-person advisory board that includes eight dairy farmers from New England, New York and Pennsylvania, and veterinarians, grazing consultants and a nutritionist. The project also secured a significant gift from a retired conventional New Hampshire dairy farm couple toward the purchase of dairy cattle for the farm; and Hubbard, LLC donated feed mixing and processing equipment.

The University of New Hampshire is involved in a larger New England university effort to offer more research-based information to a growing organic dairy and feed industry. A recent $829,000 USDA grant, awarded jointly to UNH and the University of Maine, charges researchers with studying ways to reduce New England dairies’ reliance upon imported grains. Rotational grazing and research on grazing and feeding options will be a focus of the organic dairy farm.

The University of New Hampshire facilities include the Fairchild Conventional Dairy Teaching and Research Center, an equine farm, a miniature swine unit at Burley-Demeritt Farm, five greenhouses, and an organic garden. Projects at the University include a new, highly efficient, co-generation power plant, alternative fuels for campus vehicles, composting food waste from campus dining halls and local eateries, and an emerging interdisciplinary center focusing on the state’s food security.

The 23-year-old Stonyfield Farm (www.stonyfield.com) is the world’s largest organic yogurt manufacturer. It was the nation’s first dairy processor to pay farmers not to treat cows with the synthetic bovine growth hormone rBGH. Stonyfield donates 10 percent of its profits to environmental causes; was America's first manufacturer to offset 100 percent of its CO2 emissions from its facility energy use; and recently installed the fifth largest solar array in New England to help power its production plant.

Source: UNH Media Relations press release, Dec.5, 2005, Beth Potier, 603-862-1566, beth.potier@unh.edu.

Top

New England Club Lamb Sale in May

To provide an opportunity for 4-H youth in New England to learn how to buy and raise a market lamb, the Maine Sheep Breeders Association (MSBA) and the University of Maine Cooperative Extension will host the New England Club Lamb Sale on May 13, 2006, at Windsor Fair Grounds in Windsor, Maine.

Club or Market Lamb projects offer 4-H youth the chance to develop the skills necessary to care for and raise a lamb that is ideal for market, while assessing the costs of reaching this goal. Project lambs usually are sold at 4-H Market Lamb Auctions at fairs throughout New England during the summer and fall.

On May 13, educational seminars will be offered during the morning, with topics such as selecting an appropriate lamb, training and feeding, preparing animals for show, and showmanship skills. These free seminars will be open to all 4-H youth, whether they plan to buy a lamb at the sale or raise their own.

The Club Lamb Sale will offer New England sheep producers the opportunity to consign their top lambs to be auctioned. Lambs of various sizes will be sold to offer the 4-H youth the opportunity to buy a lamb that will reach an ideal size for the fair auction in which they plan to participate.

For more information on the New England Club Lamb Sale and for consignment forms, please contact Wendy Reinemann at (207) 785-2978 or reinemannbw@peoplepc.com.

Top

Half of Scottish Babies Eat All Organic Foods

A recent survey shows that more than half of Scottish children under two eat exclusively organic foods, even when parents cannot afford organic food for themselves. The 805 mothers and pregnant women surveyed cited "less risk of chemical pesticides" (87%); "no GM" (84%) and "no additives" (80%) as reasons for their purchases.

Anna Ashmole, head of the Soil Association Scotland, said, "Having children can be a wake-up call for parents in more ways than one. People naturally want the best for their children… The health implications of diet are particularly crucial for children as they have a higher intake of food and water per unit of body weight than adults, and their relatively immature organ systems may have limited ability to detoxify substances such as pesticides." She added that organic milk can contain up to 71% more health-promoting, omega 3 fatty acids than non-organic milk, and a better omega 3:omega 6 ratio than conventional milk.

Source: "Babies raised on organic food that parents cannot afford themselves," by Alison Hardie, The Scotsman, Jan. 2, 2006

Top

Italian Slow Food Community Drives McDonald’s Out of Town

Five years ago, McDonald's revealed plans to open a fast food restaurant in the southern Italian town of Altamura, Apulia. Area citizens, supported by Italy's Slow Food movement, campaigned against the development by establishing their own group "Friends of Cardoncello" (named after an Italian mushroom). Despite community opposition, McDonald's built a fast food store in town but struggled over the next few years, as townspeople's shunned the "golden arches" and supported local baker Luigi Digesù and other community restaurants. In Dec. 2005, McDonald's closed its doors and left town. "There was no marketing strategy, no advertising promotion, no discounts," Il Giornale, an area resident commented. "It was just that people decided the baker's products were better. David has beaten Goliath."

Source: www.organicconsumers.org/btc/slowfood010906.cfm

Top


    

Home | Programs | Agricultural Services | The Fair | Certification | Events | Publications | Resources | Store | Support MOFGA | Contact | MOFGA.net | Search
  Copyright © 2013 Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association   Terms Of Use  Privacy Statement    Site by Planet Maine