Whole Foods Market

Whole Foods Market (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Whole Foods has stepped into the ring in the fight between consumers and the government over food labeling of GMOs.  The company recently announced that by 2018, “all products in U.S. and Canada stores must be labeled if they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs)”.

This announcement to require labeling of GMOs speaks loudly to the food industry and the government on industry practices.  A clear message is being sent that people have the right to know the contents of their food they purchase and that a company which markets food as being certified organic has a duty to assure the truth of any such statements to that extent.  Without mandatory labeling, it is impossible for stores such as Whole Foods to guarantee non-GMO products to their customers; however, forging business relationships with companies who are willing to truthfully disclose the contents of food products will go a long way to identify and support worthy businesses.  This is not to say that a product cannot contain GMOs.  Rather, they will not be sold at Whole Foods.  There are some people who do not even read food labels or show concern for such issues, and there still will be places for them to shop.

Recent efforts to require GMO labeling in California was defeated, largely as a result of millions of dollars in advertising against the ballot measure by corporate proponents of GMOs, namely Monsanto and PepsiCo.  It is difficult to understand the controversy over food labeling and the government’s failure to require labeling on foods containing GMOs.  Additionally, it is puzzling that the government opts to block the consumers’ right to know what is contained in the food they purchase.  To this end, Gary Hirshberg, the CEO of Stonyfield Yogurt and chairman of the Just Label It campaign noted that “there are . . . lots of reasons to label these foods:  health and environmental concerns, ethical/religious views or just people want to know”.  Statistics on the need to know whether or not foods contain GMOs indicate that an overwhelming majority of Americans (92%) want food labeling.

The decision by Whole Foods to require labeling foods if they contain GMOs is a major step forward for the green movement and for people who insist on making informed choices on food purchases.    This decision also reinforces the commitment of stores such as Whole Foods to sell food that is organically grown.  This plan offers much-needed support to the suppliers of certified organic products.  It is a clear indication that the proponents of healthy living will not be dominated or defeated by big corporations on the issue of right to know and to choose the food they want to eat.  Hopefully, many more companies will join Whole Foods and manufacturers, such as Stonyfield, in supporting consumers’ right to know whether or not their food contains GMOs.  To do so is to live green, be green.


Source for this article:

1.  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/08/whole-foods-gmo-labeling-2018_n_2837754.html?utm_hp_ref=green.
2.  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/about-our-products/product-faq/gmos.
3.  http://justlabelit.org/.

Happy Valentine's Day...

Happy Valentine’s Day… (Photo credit: Јerry)

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and we here at LGBG wanted to offer a few suggestions for green Valentine’s Day celebrations that show how much you really care.  With a little imagination, you can plan a celebration that is romantic, affordable and more exciting than that usual annual Hallmark moment, complete with a card, cut flowers and large crowds and long lines at restaurants that are anything but intimate.

For starters, a written expression of love is a must.  It does not have to be a store-bought card.  It could be a letter, a poem or a list of all the things you love about the person receiving the gift.  It could be a handwritten IOU for a special event upcoming in the future.  Your special person definitely will appreciate the personal touch, thoughtfulness and creativity.  If you must give a store-bought card, make sure it is made from environmentally friendly recycled paper.

Flowers are perhaps the gift given most often on Valentine’s Day.  This year, break out of the box and try something different.  Rather giving “toxic” cut flowers that will die in a few days, choose a potted plant that will continue to grow for a long time (if cared for properly).  A perusal of websites on environmentally friendly plants reveals a lot of suggestions.  One of my favorite sites is:  http://www.thenewecologist.com/2009/07/top-10-natural-eco-friendly-and-anti-pollutant-houseplants/.  There you can find beautiful and often colorful houseplants that also are eco-friendly and anti-pollutant.  This gift could mark the start of a special activity in your relationship that fosters intimacy.  It also is a great gift for children, creating a learning opportunity on caring about nature.

Next, who doesn’t like chocolate, particularly on Valentine’s Day?  This year, try organic chocolate.  This is a great time to shop from fair trade vendors, who guarantee their products are organic and were made by workers who were treated fairly. Organic chocolate is made from cocoa beans that have not been treated with fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides.  Additionally, the other ingredients in the mix also are grown by organic methods– sugar, nuts, spices, etc.  Domestic organic chocolate are clearly labeled as such with a USDA Organic seal and with an organic percentage of 70% to 98%.  To earn this seal, this product must be free of preservatives, artificial color and GMOs.  Organic chocolate is more expensive than conventional chocolate, but the quality shows that you care.

If jewelry is on your list this year, consider antique jewelry or something retro that has very special meaning.  This presents another great opportunity to shop from fair trade vendors.

To cap off that romantic Valentine’s Day celebration, celebrate with organic wine.  Organic wine is made from grown with 100% organic ingredients that have been monitored closely throughout the growing process.  Domestic organic wines carry a USDA seal.  A great website with brands of organic wines is: http://www.thedailygreen.com/healthy-eating/latest/best-organic-wines#slide-1.  Also, when I visited my local spirits shop, the salesperson was eager to “educate” me on organic wine, and I left the store with a great bottle of reasonably priced vino.

We hope you find something interesting to try in  these suggestions for a green Valentine’s Day.  Every little step towards a greener lifestyle helps to reduce our carbon footprint.  Use the opportunity of this upcoming Valentine’s Day to celebrate love, life, the earth and to live green, be green.