Boycotting Hershey

food democracyYou might know I’m a huge fan of Food Democracy Now.

They’re an articulate organization devoted to exposing the tactics of Monsanto and Dow, et. al. They worked to support farmers attacked by Monsanto, whose agenda is to alter and control all the seed in the world. Food Democracy Now worked tirelessly for Proposition 37, to require food labeling laws to tell us what’s in our food.

kiss herseyDid you know Hershey’s, our nation’s biggest chocolate company, gave more than half a million dollars to Monsanto to help defeat that bill? Americans are still in the dark about where the genetically modified foods are.

Hershey’s chocolate? No surprise, chock full of GMO.

Please sign your support for the boycott HERE.

Terrorism remembered in the U.S. today. Monsanto + Dow + USDA: stop food terrorism!

On this Sept. 11, America remembers this day we were all reeling from the devastation in New York City, Washington, D.C., and a field in Pennsylvania. My own brother was a Twin Towers survivor and has spoken many times in Sept. 11 commemorations. He was a Lehman Brothers banker, in NYC for three months of training after finishing his MBA. He ran through bodies raining through the sky, having escaped after the first plane hit, and watched with a colleague as a plane hit the floor her husband was working on.

My brother spent all day on foot, getting across the Brooklyn Bridge, to where my father was working. My brother’s wife and my mother sat on the tarmac in Salt Lake City, unable to lift off to go to their husbands. We are all grateful we did not lose my brother, now a father of four beautiful redheads in Dallas. Today we reflect on the grief and tragedy we felt on a nation that day.

Terrorism, though, is alive and well in the U.S. Monsanto, the USDA, and their friends at Dow Chemical are working feverishly, lobbying to get NEW genetically engineered crops fast-tracked.

The U.S. continues to turn a blind eye to the devastating potential damage to our entire ecosystem, refusing to methodically review the effects in long-term, objective studies before approving more GMO foods. “Studies” done by corporations with a profit motive should not be regarded as science! Huge corporate interests already control our food supply to an unacceptable degree.

The USDA posted 12 new genetically modified crops for public comment this summer.

Those public comments are due TODAY. Please join me in demanding rigorous scientific testing before our government approves more GMOs. Tell the USDA what you think HERE.

Finally a legislator is stepping up! . . . part 4 of 4

This is the email I received from my legislator, Rep. Steve Sandstrom (haven’t heard from Sen. John Valentine, president of the Senate, yet).   Write him at ssandstrom@utah.gov and tell him thanks and encouragement for his commitment to sponsor a bill to help our kids.

 

Robyn,

 

I would whole-heartedly support or sponsor such a bill.   We do not eat junk-food in our own household and our kids are healthy and thin.   I believe we need to push this issue, because childhood obesity is an epidemic.

 

I am actually in Sweden right now picking up my son who has been here playing hockey for the last two weeks.   It is very noticeable that the kids and adults here are not obese and they eat healthy.   We need to help the children in our state make good decisions for their own health.

 

 Anything I can do to promote this and get it passed, I am willing to do.  

 

I will be back in the States on Sunday and I will get in contact with you.

 

Thanks,

 

Rep. Sandstrom

 

Please sign this GreenSmoothieGirl petition to Utah’s legislators and school officials, and encourage health-minded friends to do so, too!

 

http://www.gopetition.com/online/20779.html

The letter I wrote my legislators re: junk food vending . . . part 3 of 4

 

Feel free to leverage any part of this letter in your own effort to be heard on this important issue of our children being fed junk food in school, and even the districts making money on feeding the childhood obesity epidemic:

 

Hello Rep. Steve Sandstrom:

 

I’m one of your constituents in Lindon, supported you in the last election,

and heard you speak at Jim Ferrin’s home.   I am a charter school founder and

parent.   I also have a nutrition web site geared toward helping families eat

whole foods, with a mailing list and readership of thousands:

 

www.GreenSmoothieGirl.com

 

On the front page of today’s Daily Herald, an article documents how Utah

tops the nation in junk-food vending in our public schools.   I have written

the Daily Herald in the past, in support of the anti-junk-vending bills that have

come before the legislature.   I write to ask if you would work to pass a

bill in the face of this appalling finding that we are leaders in feeding

the childhood obesity epidemic.   Utah should lead out in clean and healthy

values, not earn the distinctions of feeding kids the most chocolate,

high-fat snacks, and sugary sodas of any state in the U.S.

 

I would be happy to help!   If you know of bills already being sponsored for

this legislative session, please let me know if you will support it/them.   I

think timing is right with release of this study to make a change to help

our kids.   The former surgeon general Richard Carmona said that childhood

obesity is a more present danger to American lives than terrorism.   We can’t

be asleep at the wheel on this issue.

 

Before I post a blog entry (and possibly send out a mailing to my whole

readership) urging Utahns to write their newspapers, school districts, and

legislators, please let me know what your commitment level is so I can

comment on that.   Please let me know of any legislators supportive of these

concerns.

 

Many thanks,

 

Robyn Openshaw-Pay

www.GreenSmoothieGirl.com

Junk food vending in schools . . . Part 2 of 4

According to Ace Stryker of the Daily Herald, Child Nutrition Supervisor Jenilee McComb in Provo District is working on a policy for this fall that imposes a 300-calorie limit on vending machine goods.   This is well intentioned, but plenty of nutrition free, acidic, processed foods can be sold in portions lower than 300 calories.   This is an easy policy to end run around.   Kids can still eat plenty of junk–it’ll just cost them (and us) more.

 

Ronda Bromley’s statement in Alpine District (where I live) is that they are addressing the problem “slowly” over several years and high schools have “lagged behind.”   Unimpressive.   Nebo District’s supervisor of food services Bill Vest is imposing a 250-calorie maximum and has removed candy and gum and states that the legislature will likely impose more controls in the coming years.   We can only hope!

 

Utahns, please write a letter to the editor, your state legislature representatives, your school district’s superintendent, and go to my online petition about junk-food vending in the schools, sign it, and send an email to health-minded friends who love kids.

 

Letters to the editor: dhletters@heraldextra.com

 

Find your representative in this list: http://www.le.utah.gov/house/members2005/membertable1add.asp

 

Find your senator in this list: http://www.utahsenate.org/perl/roster2007.pl

 

Tomorrow I’ll post the letter I wrote to my legislators, the day after that the letter I got back.

 

Please sign this GreenSmoothieGirl petition to Utah’s legislators and school officials, and encourage health-minded friends to do so, too!

 

http://www.gopetition.com/online/20779.html

Schools complicit in crimes against children: junk-food vending… part 1 of 4

In July 20’s Daily Herald (Utah Valley), reporter Ace Stryker gives these infuriating statistics from a 2006 study by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, where my home state of Utah leads the nation in these categories:

 

83 percent of Utah schools are selling chocolate in vending/school stores

versus

40 percent nationwide

 

76 percent of Utah school offer fatty, salty snacks

versus

47 percent nationwide

 

86 percent of Utah schools offer students soda and other sugary drinks

versus

65 percent nationwide

 

As usual, Utah, with its strict liquor control laws, seems to overcompensate for that strictness by being ridiculously lax regarding other unhealthy habits: sugar and junk food.   Just because we don’t drink and smoke doesn’t mean we’re healthy, and at a minimum, we should be teaching our children good habits.

 

Making money at the expense of our children’s health by selling them foods guaranteed to make them ill and fat is criminal.   And my own experience showing support for anti-junk-vending bills in the Utah legislature has been that our legislators haven’t historically cared about this issue.   Every bill has been defeated.

 

Several years ago, I wrote letters to the editor of the Herald for its ridiculous stance on a bill (to be defeated) limiting junk food vending in public schools.   The editorial editor had written a ludicrous op-ed piece making, among others, these arguments against the bill (and he was being serious, not facetious):

 

(1)     We shouldn’t limit junk food consumption by kids because the teachers themselves eats loads of junk, so we wouln’t want to be hypocrites.

(2)     Not all the ingredients in junk food is bad–for instance, corn.   And peanuts.

 

More tomorrow about the reaction of school districts, as quoted by the Daily Herald.   Please sign this GreenSmoothieGirl petition to Utah’s legislators and school officials, and encourage health-minded friends to do so, too!

 

http://www.gopetition.com/online/20779.html