Category Archives: News

Quote of the week…

Quote of the Week (From Organic Bytes)

Monsanto’s Corn Is Toppling Over

“As the summer growing season draws to a close, 2011 is emerging as the year of the superinsect – the year pests officially developed resistance to Monsanto’s genetically engineered (ostensibly) bug-killing corn.

“In late July scientists in Iowa documented the existence of corn rootworms (a ravenous pest that attacks the roots of corn plants) that can happily devour corn plants that were genetically tweaked specifically to kill them. Monsanto’s corn, engineered to express a toxic gene from a bacterial insecticide called Bt, now accounts for 65 percent of the corn planted in the US.

“The superinsect scourge has also arisen in Illinois and Minnesota.

“‘Monsanto’s insect-killing corn is toppling over in northwestern Illinois fields, a sign that rootworms outside of Iowa may have developed resistance to the genetically modified crop,’ reports Bloomberg. In southern Minnesota, adds Minnesota Public Radio, an entomologist has found corn rootworms thriving, Bt corn plants drooping, in fields.

“[A] 2008 study, conducted by University of Missouri researchers and published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that within three generations, rootworms munching Monsanto’s Bt corn survived at the same rate as rootworms munching pesticide-free corn-meaning that complete resistance had been achieved. Takeaway message: rootworms are capable of evolving resistance to Monsanto’s corn in ‘rapid’ fashion.”

– “Monsanto Denies Superinsect Science,” by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones, September 8, 2011

Ummm, seriously. How do we continue to uphold a system that supports this sort of agricultural practces!!!???

“Monsanto’s insect-killing corn”

Sounds like something we should run away from screaming, not support through practice and policy!!

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Fluoride: did you know it is bad for you?

Excerpt from Organic Bytes:

 

Consumer Alert on Water Fluoridation: 41% of American Teenagers Have This Disease

The CDC, ADA, and local health officials continue to promote fluoridation even though just this January, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommended a nation-wide reduction in fluoride levels after it learned that 41 percent of American adolescents, ages 12-15, have dental fluorosis, a clear sign of overexposure to fluoride, and that the rate is continuing to increase steadily.

Only now is the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Water reviewing the allowable amount of fluoride in drinking water, more than four years after the National Research Council reported to Congress that the current allowable fluoride levels (MCL/MCLG) were too high.

In the face of lax federal regulation, health activists are acting locally. More than 250 communities that have rejected fluoridation.

This year in New Hampshire and Arkansas, citizen groups got legislation introduced at the state-level which would require notices on all municipal water bills warning parents not to feed infants fluoridated water. Citizens in Tennessee, led by the Lillie Center were successful in getting a prominent team of bi-partisan legislators to call for an end to the promotion of fluoridation by the state. In Alaska, Fluoride Free Fairbanks along with many concerned citizens urged their city council to review fluoridation, and in March the city council’s task force charged with studying the issue recommended that the city stop adding fluoride to their water. Clearly, a small group of educated and dedicated citizens can accomplish a lot when they organize locally against fluoridation.


Marathon Finisher!

I made it!

Wildwood Trail Marathon complete! …and I am still alive 😉

(Pre-race, trying to stay warm)

The race was a rough one. The elevation gains and loses, gains and loses…more gains and loses really gave it to me. I trucked up that first thousand feet gain pretty good (thank you adrenaline). I drank some sports drink at the first station around 6 miles in and started the down hill to the uphill to the halfway point (with all the ups and downs between the uphill and downhill, you get the point). Along that second quarter of the race I was running in time with two other women -both of whom had ties to New Mexico. Both of them took a fall and I had a strong feeling with all the rocks, roots, holes and bumps in the trail that my own fall was bound to happen sooner or later. One of the women was also doing her very first marathon, like me. The other woman was on her 19th…yes, 19th marathon!!!What a glutton for punishment! Though, she thought us first timers were the gluttons, doing what she dubbed as the most difficult marathon she had done to date as our first one. I had caught up to them on the downhill section and was thinking I should go on around when we got into the main part of the uphill to the halfway point and they began to pull away again. I really should have done more hill training, I knew that though.

When I got to the halfway point, everyone at the aid station was cheering my name…I was half delirious from pushing up the hill and was thinking “how do they know my name”… when I spotted E, somehow volunteering (no big surprise there) and making several new friends. It was so nice to see a familiar face at the halfway, putting smiles on everyone else’s faces too.

The third leg was the hardest for me. Fatigue setting in a bit and another long climb back to the first station. I set off down from that aid station at a good pace and caught back up to everyone who had pulled away on the way up to the station. Then a few miles later the uphills started getting more frequent again until they were fairly steady and some of the runners kept on pace while I began to falter. Everything started hurting and it was getting harder and harder to tell myself to just keep moving. For once, my strong mind could no longer will my body past the pain and fatigue. The last mile or so before the third (and last) aid station my run up the steepest stretches began to get so slow that it was actually faster and less effort to speed walk it. I felt a bit like a failure for doing this, as I had wanted to complete the race without walking any of it, but since it was actually faster and gave some of my pain spots a rest I let myself. Getting to that last aid station was like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel.

It was nearly literally all down hill from there. With just over six miles to go, when most people hit “the wall” in a marathon, I was looking forward to the last quarter of the race. The well intentioned aid station volunteer asked if I would like my camelbak refilled as I ran over to the rent-a-john and I said that would be sweet of her. I took it off, handed it over while apologizing for its soaked-in-sweat state and continued on, half listening as she offered ICE water. I muttered “sure” over my shoulder, walking into the relief station. When I came out, I put on the cold camelbak pack and started off. It hit me… ICE WATER and a hot body do not mix well when still trying to perform. Your body has to warm it up to use it. I was getting thirsty though and didn’t want to finish feeling dehydrated so I drank some anyways. Immediately my abdominal muscles were cramping and stayed that way for the next three miles or so. THAT was painful and I soon forgot about anything else that had been hurting. It also made breathing more difficult, as things did not want to expand correctly below my ribs. Never will I make that mistake again!

The last mile was really fun, knowing I was so close and somehow finding those reserves that you never knew you had- that always come at the end of a race somehow- and kicking my way past a few guys. I never did catch up the those two women from earlier in the race, though at the end I discovered the one that was also doing her first marathon was only 2 minutes ahead of me! She was also in my age group.

(Post-race with my finishers metal)

After finishing, I ate some oranges and collapsed in the grass to stretch. After that I walked up to see my final time and placement. As I was walking up they called my name for third place in my age group!!! What a surprise! And then I saw I was two minutes from taking 2nd place. A good race overall. I loved how absolutely secluded and beautiful the Forest Hills Park felt in the middle of big ol’ Portland, OR. A highly recommended race to all.

Overall:

38

Amy Jones Albuquerque NM

1436

28

3 F 20-29

4:55:26

11:14/M

And to dissect this, since not everyone speaks runner, this bar taken from the Wildwood Trail Run site states…

  • I came in 38 out of 81 runners.
  • My bib number was 1436.
  • Age 28.
  • I finished third female in the 20-29 group.
  • My overall time was 4 hours, 55 minutes, and 26 seconds.
  • My average pace was 11 minute 14 seconds per mile.

So I definitely missed the four hour mark that I had wanted to meet originally but I am pleased with how well I did over all after seeing the course first hand. The fastest it has ever been ran by a woman was 3:59:42 in 2010. That’s only an hour faster than my finish time and most marathon first placers are well over an hour faster than that usually. It really shows the difficulty of this course. All in all, I FINISHED it and that fall I had expected never came. I would love to do it again… but maybe the, ummm, HALF marathon next time on this course.

🙂

“Running is real and relatively simple…but it ain’t easy.” – Mark Will-Weber


Great grocery store model to replicate!

in.gredients

A zero waste grocery store.

Lovin this model! Package free! What a fantastic store and why in the world is this the first of its kind in the U.S.??? Lets get this idea growing and catching like wildfire!

I am quite suprised in fact that this doesn’t exist in Portland!

All of you in TX better support this store!!

 


Happy 100 blog posts and other news!

I just realized that I have reached the 100 posts mark!

I cannot believe I have written that much in the months since I began this blog!

Thanks to all of you that keep on reading!

 

I also wanted to share a couple of exciting links regarding my field school:

I will be showing my own 5 minute media piece on Mutual Aid Societies with some of my peers. I will share it on here eventually no doubt, as well. Speaking of… I better get back to work! 🙂


Newest member of the family!

Three species, one gender in the house now…

Welcome home Miss Xander Loe!

She was a stray that was part of a catch and release program here in ABQ for ferrel cats but she tried to follow home the ladies that released her (she is a lover) and was hit crossing the street.

They took her to the vet who pieced her back together and she stayed at their home for her recovery. She still has a protruding chest bone which makes her not want to get picked up but a happy cat non-the-less.

She couldn’t stay at her last home because she doesn’t get along with other cats (Queen Diva Xander Loe) but I was told that she strangely enough likes dogs.

So she has found a new home with Parker and I. They are doing well together. Xander is already bossing Parker around, who is taking it well for being a little diva herself. Parker will be happy for the company around the house, no doubt, when I am at school and work.

I am hoping they continue to get close and eventually play together and snuggle.

I grew up with cats because I could not have a dog til I was older. I am definitely more of a dog lover but I do also like cats with lots of personality and sass. Xander Loe has sass by the bushel! It’s going to fun around the house…

Cute pictures to come no doubt!

And Bonus! <- Her eyes are this vivid green that I love!


Get your read on!

I have a few books that I wanted to pass on to all of you with high recommendations!

I was assigned several books to read for my Foodshed Field School Course as follows:

  1. Imhoff, D. (ed.). 2010. The CAFO Reader. Watershed Media.
  2. Franceschini, A. and D. Tucker. 2010. Farm Together Now: A Portrait of people, places, and ideas for a new food movement. Chronicle Books, San Francisco.
  3. Rodríguez, Sylvia. 2006. Acequia: Watersharing, Sanctity, and Place. School for Advanced Research, Santa Fe.
  4. World Economic Forum. 2011. Water Security: The Water-Food-Energy-Climate Nexus Island Press. ISBN-10: 1597267368.

Now, a quick check on that list… The number 4 book I would NOT recommend. I read a good portion of it and it raised the hair on my neck a few times. Part of the contributors for the text are CEOs of CocaCola and Pepsi. Obvious hidden agenda with companies like that telling others how they should conserve water!! It takes over 16 gallons of water to make just one 12oz can of soda… Think about it.

The other books are good reads so far.

It was hard in the last month to actually get any reading in during the field school but I am catching up now. I am nearly done with Farm Together Now and love love love this book. The CAFO book is graphic and harsh but that never stops me from reading on. The truth hurts at times 😉 The Acequia text I have actually used as a reference before for other school works I have written.

I would recommend book number2 the most.

The book that I really want all of you to read besides Farm Together Now is:

The Dirty Life: On Farming, Food, and Love.

 

I could not put this book down. It is so open, inspiring, and real. I always thought of myself as settling down later in life to run some sort of farm but this book has made me think why wait? It really was almost more informative that all of the texts that I was assigned during the field school. I referenced it so many times in discussions en route to new locations on our NM foodshed tour that my peers dubbed it “my bible”. I love this model though. How more connected to your food, land, love, and community can you get than this??

Read it and get inspired!

For more about the book/farm/author here are some links: