RAW ENERGY HOTLINE (ISSUES)
JUNE 10th, 2001
Hi, this is Rhio, with the Raw Energy Hotline. The following message was updated on June 10th, 2001. If you are in the New York City area and would like to listen to an abbreviated hotline toll-free, call (212) 343-1152, 24-hours a day. (Note: This telephone hotline has now been replaced by my weekly internet radio show at: www.TribecaRadio.net)
ITEM #1: Recently I visited Atlanta, Georgia, where there is a thriving raw food community which is growing by leaps and bounds. I was pleased to see and meet so many people who are making the effort to convert to the raw lifestyle. They were open, receptive and very friendly. I did three lectures in one day and next day, a food presentation of two of my favorite recipes - what I call the heavy greens, like collards, kale, and swiss chard, so important for oxygen delivery to the body. I also demonstrated how to prepare nut yogurts -- because people think they have to give up dairy-like flavors -- and nut yogurts are a really satisfying substitute.
But my main topic was on the genetic engineering of seeds which is a very sobering topic and no way to make it fun. About half way through the lectures I could see a pall descending on people as they began to understand the seriousness of the situation. Most of them had no idea that this was going on -- they had heard a little something -- but not enough to bring it home to them in any meaningful way. Of course I always try to give people hope by letting them know what is being done in Europe, Japan, Brazil and other countries and how we can do the same here. But finally, Leigh (my partner) said to me, you've got to break it up a little with a joke. A JOKE! I've never told a joke to an audience in my whole life!! But I had to agree with him. So I did tell my first joke and it went well. I guess from now on, when I see that dark shadow descending on my poor captive audience, I'll have to pull out a joke to snap them out of it. It's not their fault or mine -- this is the kind of topic that makes your eyes glaze over and you want to cover your ears and hope it just goes away quietly. However, that is not likely to happen, since billions of dollars of income for the multinational corporations, who control the seed markets worldwide, are at stake.
Genetic engineering of plants, bacteria, animals and humans is a travesty against Mother Nature and a type of contamination that we have no way to recall, since life forms continue to evolve on their own (as they have done for billions of years). With other types of pollution, such as pesticides, chemical and oil spills, greenhouse gases etc., we DO HAVE WAYS to clean it up if we have the will and want to do it, but with the contamination that happens with biotechnology, scientists have stated that there is no way to retrieve it once it is released into the environment.
But, getting back to the Georgia raw food community -- they are very fortunate in that there are a few centers that are available to support them. The Shinui Living Foods Retreat where we were guests, is run by Jackie and Gideon Graff, an amazing couple who have dedicated themselves to this endeavor. Recently, they opened the Sprout of Life Café in the Life Grocery in Marietta. It is open from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and you can eat in or take out. They also have a Live Food Van which delivers in the area. Jackie Graff is an innovative and very talented chef who has created some tantalizing recipes which she offers to the raw community through special dinners and now, through the Café. Jackie has also created a series of recipe booklets which are fabulous. We've only tried a few of the recipes so far but they are incredible. Leigh is groovin' on her Deviled Tomatoes which really tastes like deviled eggs(less). The booklets are divided into different themes such as Tex-Mex Fiesta, Live Italian Feast, Pizza Party, Middle Eastern Feast, Oriental Feast, Country Barbecue and even Passover Seder Recipes. I know that Jackie will put them all into a book sometime soon, but they are available in booklet form right now. I highly recommend them. For more information and/or to order, call Jackie at (770) 992-9218.
David and Sandra Gerhardt, who operate the Natural Marketplace in Marietta, are also incredibly supportive of the raw lifestyle community.
On my next visit to Georgia, I hope to become acquainted with another raw food center known as the Living Foods Institute.
I'm looking forward to the day when there will be thriving raw food communities in every single state of our beautiful country. And it is going to happen soon. Count on it!
NEXT ITEM: Look for my Raw Potluck, Raw Restaurants and Raw Lifestyle Centers (and Teachers) Directories which will be up on this site by the end of June
NEXT ITEM: Percy Schmeiser is a farmer up in Saskatchewan, Canada. He comes from a family that has been farming and saving their own seeds for five generations. A couple of years back, Percy did what he and his ancestors have done for all the time that they have farmed. He saved and replanted his own seed. However, that year there was a major difference in that the genetically engineered canola seed pollen of his neighbors had blown or drifted onto his farm and contaminated his crop. Percy did not purchase GE seed nor plant it, but Monsanto came onto his land and took some plants for examination. After testing, they said that his crop was utilizing their exclusive patented seed technology and they sued Percy. An incredibly unjust decision was handed down that Percy had to pay Monsanto $10,000 for the use of their patented seed, plus up to $75,000 from the profits of his crop. And all for seed that he did not want, purchase or plant!!!
If you look at the situation from a common sense perspective, then you know that what happened in reality is that the farmers that grew the genetically engineered seed, together with the mega corporations who produce these mutant seeds, have in essence trespassed on Percy's land and stolen his crop by contaminating it with their products. They should not be allowed to do this and then get away with it by twisting things around and maintaining that Percy stole from them.
Percy and all other farmers who find themselves in similar circumstances should get together and sue the corporations for damage to their crops and losing their livelihood. Percy does want to pursue an appeal of this decision, but he has already spent $200,000 and does not have the funds to proceed. Please send Percy whatever you can - $5., $10. $50. He is fighting a fight for all of us -- not just farmers, but eaters too -- to maintain the integrity of unmodified, GE-free crops. This decision should not be allowed to stand because it will set a precedent that will then be very difficult to overturn. You can reach Percy at (306) 369-2520 or send a check or money order to: Fight Genetically Altered Food Fund Inc., Box 400 at Bruno, Saskatchewan SOK 0S0, Canada.
Be as generous as you possibly can.
NEXT ITEM: On Tuesday, June 19th, at 8:00 p.m., acclaimed journalist Bill Moyers and his award winning team of producers is once again doing a piece on behalf of our Earth Mother called "Earth on Edge," to be broadcast on all PBS stations (check your local listings). Recent scientific evidence shows that the Earth is approaching a key environmental threshold and may no longer be able to sustain nature and civilization. The documentary coincides with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, an international effort to gauge the health of the world's forests, grasslands, coastal and freshwater areas. Preliminary findings are mind boggling -- half the world's wetlands lost in one century, half the world's forests chopped down, 70 percent of the world's marine fisheries depleted, etc.
After documenting how human demands and wastefulness have been depleting the commonwealth and fraying the web of life, Moyers also takes us on a journey of hope and interviews people who are pioneering sustainable solutions to ecological problems.
Bill Moyers has been doing some amazing environmental work recently. Please take a moment to write and thank him for his pioneering work in this area and to ask him to do a program on the genetic engineering of seeds, bacteria, animals and humans. I feel it is only a matter of time before he gets around to this issue, but we can help push it along. Send a communication to Bill Moyers c/o your local PBS station.
NEXT ITEM: A new bill co-sponsored by one of the good guys in the House of Reps, Jerrold Nadler of New York, is H.R. 1265, the Clean Smokestacks Act.
Old, inefficient power plants are responsible for more than one quarter of all nitrogen oxide emissions, second only to the emissions from automobiles. They also emit soot, a dangerous air pollutant, causing 64,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Power plants are responsible for 34 percent of all mercury emissions. (Mercury is a very dangerous and potent toxin - just one drop of mercury can contaminate a 25-acre lake, leaving fish unsafe for consumption.) Carbon dioxide, the single biggest contributor to global warming is also emitted by power plants.
H.R. 1265 would, by the year 2007, significantly reduce these four major pollutants. For nitrogen oxide, 75% from 1997 levels; for soot, 75% below levels called for in the Clean Air Act; for carbon dioxide, the emissions would be reduced to 1990 levels.
Write to your representatives in the House and ask them to support H.R. 1265. Thanks for doing this good work.
Until next month, stay vibrant and healthy on Nature's raw and bountiful harvest.
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