Enjoying Ecological Food & Agriculture
(including Organics & GMOs)
For your convenience, I've gathered
my Ask EcoGirl print columns into themes, often with additional
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the Gift of Local Organic (November 2013)
- As the winter holidays come around again, I encourage you to
include the bountiful and nourishing Mother Earth in your seasonal
embrace. Among the items on my eco-gratitude list are the gift of
local organic foods. I love how they fill my body with health and
aliveness! Plus I'm thrilled to support local eco-farmers and
ecosystems. Even better, I'm grateful that this simple (and
delicious!) act helps us address the serious problems in our
current food system that are harming our health, communities, and
planet. Learn more about this easy way you can be part of the
solution, why it matters so much -- and why it's vital to buy both
local and organic!
Up to Stop Fluoridation (April 2013)
- Unfortunately, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors recently
took another step towards fluoridating our precious local water
supply, even after many community members waited hours on a
workday to speak against it. Certainly, the proponent claims for
community water fluoridation (CWF) seem appealing, and I think
many folks wish that it actually were an easy remedy for community
dental health. However, that's not what the science shows, and
it's vital that we be willing to look beneath the PR claims. And
if we want CWF stopped, we're going to need to build a much larger
public outcry against it, and within the next few months.
Otherwise, we'll be the ones paying the price -- in our health,
environment, and pocketbooks. Learn more of the key facts, with
citations, in this column.
We Fluoridate Our Water? (February 2013)
- Over the past few years, a controversy has been brewing in
Sonoma County over the proposed addition of fluoride to the water
supply for most of our homes, schools, businesses, and
restaurants. This issue is coming before the Board of Supervisors
again in the next month or two. But isn't fluoride a good thing?
The well-meaning proponents do make appealing claims of public
dental health benefits, especially for lower-income people.
Unfortunately, though, these claims don't match the facts. This
isn't the quick fix some want it to be! In this article, EcoGirl
outlines what she sees as the core problems with fluoridation, and
hopes that this helps Sonoma County reject it and pursue more
sensible solutions. (This online version also includes additional
supporting data and source links.)
- What Do
We Do Now About GMOs? (December 2012)
- Unfortunately, California Proposition 37 (GMO labeling) didn't
win this election -- largely because of well-funded opposition ads
full of GMO manufacturer lies. However, Prop. 37 did succeed in
getting over six million votes and alerted many more people to the
experimental and hazardous GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)
that are increasingly being put into our mainstream food supply.
It's exciting to see how many people want to keep taking action
against these largely-untested "novel" materials that are putting
at risk our food, health, farms, communities, and environment. In
this key column, EcoGirl suggests the key priority actions we can
take to stand up for our well-being -- plus a few suggested
actions that she advises we skip. Please share this with your
friends and allies!
2009: Being a Smart Organic Consumer
- Despite areas of controversy, organics are still a convenient
way for consumers to choose food and agriculture that's healthier
for themselves, their families, and the planet. But how do you
know if something is really organic? And how do you sort out the
organic issues and labels? Find out more in this column!
2008: Affording Organic
- With today's economic uncertainties, a reader wonders, how can
I still include organic in my budget? EcoGirl offers tips for
saving money, and a reminder that our true survival depends on our
health and the well-being of the earth.
2012: Stand Up for GMO Labeling
- Coming soon, Californians will have a unique and precious
opportunity to stand up for our right to know when our foods
contain experimental and hazardous GMOs (aka Genetically Modified
Organisms). These hidden materials are shown to harm our health,
environment, farms, and communities. Over 40 other countries have
GMO labeling. So why don't we? Plus labeling in California will
likely open the door to better protections across the U.S. But
standing in the way of labeling is expected to be a serious GMO
manufacturer propaganda onslaught. To keep this from working, we
all need to educate/innoculate ourselves and others on this
essential topic! To learn what you can do, read this handy summary
and share it with others -- especially in California. This is a
key moment on a vital issue!
2012: Vote Yes on Prop. 37 for Labeling of GMO Foods
- As expected, the GMO manufacturers have been spending millions
of advertising dollars to try to talk voters out of our right to
know if GMOs are in our foods. Don't be distracted by their
deceptions! The truth is that California Proposition 37 is not
complicated or expensive. It will just offer consumers the same
right to choose that's enjoyed by people in nearly 50 countries
around the world -- 40% of the world's population. People have
worked for years to finally give us this opportunity in the U.S.
Let's make sure it succeeds. Read this column for the key
information to know -- and share it with your friends!
2011: Detoxing Cookware
- A reader asks how to avoid the toxic PFCs used to make
nonstick pans and other consumer products. "What are our
options?", she wonders. "Those nonstick pans are so useful!" This
month's column describes the issues with PFCs, what products
they're in, and how to help reduce our exposure by buying
healthier cookware and more.
2010: Sipping Earth-Friendly Holiday Cheer
- Does it really make a difference if we serve and bring
eco-wines to our holiday events? Yes! Here are the reasons they're
indeed better for both your health and the planet. And they're
tasty too! EcoGirl also gives you tips for sorting through the
eco-labels to find ones you like -- and even lets you in on her
2010: Sharing Your Eco-Love
- This Valentine's Day, you can express your love for both your
sweetie and the planet. Here are some easy ways to eco-upgrade
your amorous expressions, thus embodying your values while
revealing that oh-so-attractive eco-awareness that so many
beloveds admire. This column includes specific tips about buying
chocolates, roses, and more, including some lovely local
2008: Creating a Healthy Garden from the Start
- Here in one place are the easy steps to creating a good
foundation for your garden so that toxic pesticides and
fertilizers just aren't necessary. Your harvest will be healthier
food and flowers, a nurturing place to hang out, and a healthier
world for all.
2010: Reaping the Rewards of the Bulk Bin
- Hiding in plain sight, the bulk bin aisles at the grocery
store offer many benefits to both us and the planet. This includes
saving us money, offering us freshness and variety, and greatly
reducing the packaging waste that fills our trash cans, landfills,
and waterways. EcoGirl offers tips for making it fun and easy to
forage in the bulk bins! (Note: The website version of this
article offers lots of additional tips and information.)
2010: Organizing for Eco-Success
- A reader wants to know how she can get better at actually
following through on her intentions to be more green. EcoGirl
empathetically offers three easy steps for turning her eco-ideas
into actions and everyday habits. She illustrates with two easy
examples: setting up your home recycling setup and fully using
your printer paper.
- ALSO SEE
* THEME: Greening
Your Holidays, All Year Round
Return to EcoGirl's
Theme Page Index.
OTHER PRINT ARTICLES I'VE WRITTEN
ON THIS THEME
in Our Delicious Local
Farms," (PDF) West
County Gazette, May 2008. Cover story. This piece savors
the delights of buying in season from local farmers -- and the
benefits to community, earth, health, and wallet.Then it shows you
how to do it, with a schedule of local farmers markets and links to
directories of local farms and CSAs. There's even a table showing
what's in season when. How fun! (Note: This link has the article as
it appeared in the periodical, in PDF format.)
the Dots: Marin Organic nurtures synergistic creativity for people
and the planet" North
Bay Bohemian, Dec. 10, 2008
of Gold: In search of the great (organic)
pumpkin," North Bay
Bohemian, Oct. 22, 2008. (My web page here also includes web
Wise Action to Help Protect Organic," West County
Gazette, July 2007. Scary headlines and inaccurate articles are
clouding consumers' ability to understand what the latest news on
organics really means. Click here to get the straight facts.
Farms: Sowing Seeds of Sustainability,"
Common Ground, August 2004.
"A family farmer and a talented herbalist
joined forces in marriage and mission to create the North Bay's
largest Community Supported Agriculture farm."
* Series on Genetically-Engineered
Food and Agriculture
Yes on Measure M," West County Gazette, Oct. 2005,
Crops: Who Profits, Who Pays the Price?," West County
Gazette, Sept. 2005
Sonoma County Be GE-Free?," West County Gazette,
Aug. 2005, Page 1
the GMO Invaders," West County Gazette, July 2004,
with Life's Sacred Genetic Code," Awakened Woman e-zine,
Aug. 1999. This is also at www.awakenedwoman.com/ge.htm
Your Food Genetically Engineered?", Living Nutrition,
Vol. 6/1999, pp. 17, 22-23.
Pesticides on Local Apple Orchards -- The Necessity, The Challenges,
The Successes," Sonoma County Environmental Impact
Reporter, Oct. 1993, pp. 6-7, 26-27. (Full newspaper size
MY ASK ECOGIRL
- I'm delighted to offer you my Ask EcoGirl booklets,
"Healthier Housecleaning" and "Detoxing Your Life." These
unique, handy, and cheerful resources bring together key
information you need to create a healthier home for your family
and the planet. They make a great gift, and quantity discounts and
wholesale prices are available. Plus all sales support my
eco-healing community work. Tell a friend! Find out more at
MORE OF MY PRINT ARTICLES
* My Next
STEP newsletter, which has lots of information on
toxics and alternatives, plus government and community-level
actions. "It's your handy guide to less-toxic living."
Look up topics of interest in the The Next STEP
- * North Bay Bohemian. I also wrote several articles on
these topics for the Bohemian's Green
* I also cover these topics on my Facebook
page and blog.
- Ask EcoGirl is written by Patricia Dines, Author of
The Organic Guides, and Editor and Lead Writer for The
Next STEP newsletter, which gently educates readers about
toxics and alternatives. For more information about my work for
the planet, see www.patriciadines.info.
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- I hope that you find this information useful. I welcome
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Patricia Dines, 1998-2013. All rights reserved.
Page last updated 11/1/13