I wrote this post originally in 2019 and now sharing it with updates including an important webinar from July 2022. I try to keep things short and brief to not overwhelm and because you’ve also asked for this, but this piece is important to be this length (and it is a brief summary relative to the issue at hand).
Food is a sensitive issue … it is highly personal. I am not a scientist, nor am I a farmer … I am not a bio-engineer or a food journalist … I am not a nutritionist or a dietician, and I am not a doctor. I have a degree in French from 1993, then opened Borden Communications in 1994 where I’ve been focused on building Better Business and Wellness Intelligence for you … for my clients, friends, family, colleagues, and, of course, for myself.
So, do I feel qualified to dish out food advice? Absolutely I do (you are too). I am an eater. I find great joy in shopping for amazing ingredients from markets and stores wherever I am. I embrace Empathy Economics in my food purchases. I take pleasure in preparing food and even more pleasure in nourishing my family and friends. And when I know better, I put all of my efforts and energy towards doing better. I don’t believe there is one right way of doing anything, but I do know there is a lot wrong in our food chains. What is my advice then? Eat based on The Kind Food Plate. Know that with every single choice you make, you are making a difference (one way or another). Understand that your money is your power … your vote. With each bite of food you consume, you are not only affecting your own health and well being, but others’ lives, and you are actively creating our shared future.
All food is not created equal … a local organic heirloom tomato from the market cannot be compared to a large-scale grown tomato from a faraway place, oatmeal is not necessarily as simple as it seems, and tea can be super healthful or terribly toxic. If there is any one bit of advice I can share that will make a difference, it is to get connected to where your food comes from, and what it is doing for you when you eat it. Who does it support and what does it do to our shared air, water and soil? This is dire. Be empathetic about your food choices. It matters. Every bite.
Have you heard about Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is the most widely used herbicide on earth … it’s like the poster child (there are many other chemicals in the category!).
“The profuse use of glyphosate on our crops and environment is a public health emergency. If you do not know the details of the herbicide glyphosate, please pay attention – you are eating, drinking and touching it all day, everyday.” ~ Kelly Ryerson, environmental health writer, filmmaker, ardent public health advocate and TWIC member (listen to her share more in the video at the bottom of this post … if you eat food or are a parent, you’ll be extra interested :).
With the amounts of Glyphosate sprayed each year, we shouldn’t be surprised that this weed-killer residue is found on everything from Oreos to Cheerios, bagels to mac and cheese … even in diapers … but, it’s in our organic oatmeal and hummus, too. It’s now actually in everything … and everyone.
Exposure to Glyphosate has been linked to cancer in many studies and we don’t know the long term effects yet, but they look pretty grim based on what we already know. Do we need science or is common sense enough here?
Health Canada’s study of glyphosate, in 2017, found that the herbicide in low levels was “unlikely to pose a human cancer risk” and allowed it to be used for another 15 years. (This outrages me … for one, it IS SUPER harmful, and also, 15 years?!)
The challenge with regulating herbicides or pesticides in the public interest is this: the winners … the large chemical and agri-business conglomerates, win huge when they sell weed killers – they are winning every day. They have the means to shape the public argument and can afford to fund influencers to spread their message. The losers here are the farm workers, and us as individuals … the ones eating and living on this planet. We don’t have a political voice and don’t necessarily realize how the impact of our activities today can take decades to manifest – there is a direct cause-effect relationship and we know this based on history … we are still living with pollutants that have been banned for decades!
“A Who’s Who of pesticides is therefore of concern to us all. If we are going to live so intimately with these chemicals eating and drinking them, taking them into the very marrow of our bones – we had better know something about their nature and their power.” ― Rachel Carson, Silent Spring
If we work and shop and eat together, consciously and with connection to our food chains, we can change everything from our health to the health of our world – we can support those doing good and fighting for better for us all. Why wouldn’t you? I assure you, eating well does not need to be complex – come up with your own food rules (these are mine), and do better as you learn. The sin is really in “unknowing” – please, I beg you, don’t unknow!
As for Glyphosate, when I returned from Expo West 2019 in Anaheim where there were many brands talking about being Glyphosate-Free, I was encouraged and it felt signficant … but now, only a few years later it’s clear that “glyphosate-free” is not even possible!
If you are curious about what to do, or how to learn more, which, part of my advice is to always be curious, then please click as many of the following links as you can.
Then share this post, TWIC, or any of the links … we do better together!
+ Sign the petition to ban Glyphosate and other chemical dessicants. Click here to sign!
+ Check out TWIC Member, Colleen Kavanagh‘s work with ZEGO. This powerhouse human was surprised to find glyphosate in organic cinnamon for her power bars and immediately took steps to test all ingredients and ensure their customers weren’t ingesting this chemical from their foods. ZEGO not only tests for glyphosate, they also test for over 400 additional agricultural chemicals and heavy metals like lead (in crops with historic problems with metal contamination) and post the results for consumers to see through QR codes on each package. We adore Colleen …watch this –> The Dirty Secret Behind Your Food. Click here.
+ Pay attention to The debate over whether glyphosate causes cancer | The Weekly with Wendy Mesley. What do you believe after watching the video within this article? Do you really want to get caught in a debate?
+ Read these posts: Common weed killer glyphosate increases cancer risk by 41%, study says, CNN and also Weedkiller products more toxic than their active ingredient, tests show, The Guardian. How many studies does one need before taking something seriously? And note the dates these were published … why is it still being used?
+ PLEASE watch the replay of the exclusive Farmer’s Footprint online event from July 2022 with important voices in human health, land stewardship, policy, and advocacy discussing the topic of glyphosate including TWIC member, Kelly Ryerson, US Senator Cory Booker, Zach Bush MD, Calla Rose Ostrander, and Matt Nicoletti with moderator, Carey Gillam. It’s interesting because the opening sounds just like the basis for our Conversations in Wellness Intelligence … it’s an open dialogue on Glyphosate, human and planetary health. The video is in this post below ready for watching right now. Although the use of Glyphosate is persistent and alarming, they are all about solutions … we love solutions.
With Glyphosate already receiving its 15 minutes of fame, what will be next? Rather than waiting for things to be proven without a doubt to be harmful for us, let’s pay attention and respond to these glaring red flags and practice the precautionary principle.
Like with all decisions we make, let’s be mindful … let’s make decisions that we are connected to and feel good about.