Tag Archives: environment

Pick Your Battles

There are several issues that are pressing right now. Important issues that are in the cross hairs of this new administration. Could this be a strategy, attack on several fronts, divide people into different camps? It can be overwhelming. Healthcare, Social Security, Medicare, the Environment, women’s control over their bodies and reproductive health, Education, and Immigration. Did I leave anything out? Preservation of our National Parks, our protected open spaces, is one of my priorities. What’s yours?

Featured image ‘Valley of the gods’ in Bears Ears National Monument via US Bureau of Land Management.

Soapbox Sound Off-Are Frankenfoods Safe for Consumption?

Introducing Soapbox Sound Off. I want to make this a bi-monthly feature of my blog. To air some issues that are important to me. I would love to have readers chime in with comments, additions to my topic, and disagreements, but all in a polite way. I will present an issue and some added information for further reading if I have it.  Readers are welcome to add to the information. I did start already with a post on Social Media last week.  I plan to do this type of blog post bi-monthly on Wednesday.

Soap Box Sound Off: Are Frankenfoods Safe for Consumption?

1457780181_41735762a1_z Frankenegg GMO Food by  Mark Rain azrainman.com on Flickr

I know my title is redundant and a no brainer, right? Something called “frankenfood” does not sound safe or healthy.  I consider GMO foods and foods with a lot of chemical additives frankenfoods. Like Frankenstein’s monster they are something created by man that is turning out to be a monster.  I receive various newsletters in my email. One is from the Organic Consumers Association. Many times I can not read all of their articles because I get overwhelmed with all the alarming news. I wanted to share the latest one I read. I have been concerned about GMOs for quite a while. GMO is an acronym for Genetically Modified Organisms or foods. I intuitively felt that eating something that was genetically tampered with may not be a good idea.

The link I am providing is to an article about genetically inserting pesticides into seeds. So when we eat the food it has some pesticide right inside of it. This article points out that the pesticide sprays being used now can not be washed off the food either. I did not realize that. I now want so much to eat as much organic as possible. The article mentions ways to fight against GMO and pesticides as consumers and talks about how the FDA has often abdicated its consumer protection role. There are so many GMOs, pesticides and other additives, that we are not told about, in our food now.

It is important that we all give some thought to this issue. It is a health issue for us, our families and the planet.

Here is the link to the article about GMOs and pesticides:

Consumer Self-Defense: 12 Ways to Drive GMOs and Roundup off the Market.

What do you think of GMOs and pesticide use in agriculture? Do you think GMOs and pesticides can have a harmful effect on humans and other species that share our planet?


Coyote. I hear your pack howling in the middle of the night. When your cries become more excited, a crescendo of high-pitched yipping, it frightens me. I imagine you have cornered your prey. A small animal or maybe someone’s pet.

When I first came to Agoura I attended a PTA get acquainted meeting at the local school. One of the moms told me a coyote had gotten their family pet. I was horrified. I did not realize coyotes were living so close to us and that they would attack pets in the backyard.

One time a neighbor’s cat was killed, the remains found on the front lawn. I made sure our cat was inside at night. On occasion, she would ignore my calls to come in at dusk. I would listen for her in the night. If I heard any cries or screeching I would imagine the worst.

One early morning, I went out to the front of my house. In the next driveway a large coyote stood staring at me. We made eye contact. Then he slowly loped off down the street.

I have seen coyotes around the area when hiking with my daughter. They do not bother us but just continue on their way.

Coyote. I know we have encroached on your territory more and more and that is why you come hunting in ours.

Coyotes, Coyote Pictures, Coyote Facts – National Geographic.

Celery From Santa Cruz

The California agriculture industry is one of the biggest in the world. According to the California Agriculture Statistics Review 2013-2014 it is “the country’s largest agricultural producer and exporter….supplying 99 percent or more of the following: almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, grapes (raisins), kiwifruit, olives, peaches (Clingstone), pistachios, plums (dried), pomegranates, rice (sweet), seed (Ladino Clover), and walnuts.” In the central California city of  Salinas you will see fields with signs that say “Salinas, Salad Bowl of the World.” Even closer to my home in Southern California you find many farms in Ventura County that produce much of the strawberries, lemons, raspberries and celery of the state.

Then how come I have trouble finding California produce at some of my local markets. Until the other day when I picked up a package of celery off the shelf with a “grown local” label and to my happy surprise the celery was from Santa Cruz. That’s Santa Cruz, California which is located on the coast west of Salinas. And there was some organic lettuce which was from Bakersfield. This is not often the case however. My husband came home with some avocados and when I looked at the label on them I saw they were from Peru. Come on, Peru? It’s not like avocados are out of season here because California avocados are in season year round.

Importing all these fruits and vegetables from other countries does not support local growers and is not good for the environment. Shipping produce in by truck, plane or boat burns up a lot of fuel and adds to air pollution.

If our beautiful state of California grows most of the country’s fruit and vegetables  it seems we should be able to supply our own people with all the fruits and vegetables they would ever need.

I plan to continue reading labels and buying as much local organic produce as I can find.