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Conscious Consumer

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.”
Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist, 1901-1978


Conscious consumerism is about shifting our spending habits to effect change in the marketplace. If we care about our health, our family's wellbeing and the environment, we need to change our patterns of consumption. Making conscious choices means buying wisely, consuming and wasting less, as well as thinking through the consequences of our purchases.

Keeping the Holidays Simple

During the holidays, 20% more waste is created at Christmas than at any other time during the year. Landfills receive more than one billion Christmas cards, 8,000 tonnes of wrapping paper (that's over 50,000 trees) and over 38,000 miles of ribbon. That's enough to tie a bow around the Earth. There's a better way to celebrate the holidays.

Glyphosate Accumulates in Roundup Ready GM Soy

A new study in Food Chemistry shows high levels of glyphosate—the active weed-killing chemical in Monsanto's Roundup—are turning up in thousands of nonorganic packaged foods including those labelled 'natural' and in animal feed for livestock like pigs, cows, chickens, and turkeys.

California Regulators Put Glyphosate on Cancerous Chemicals List

California regulators stated that glyphosate will appear on the state’s list of cancerous chemicals beginning July 7, 2017. That means new labels may be appearing as soon as next year in California that include a cancer warning on Roundup and other glyphosate-containing weed killers.

Questions Raised About EPA-Monsanto Collusion

Recent evidence reveals Monsanto's hand may indeed have been in the EPA's regulatory cookie jar. The revelations are contained in a court filing brought by more than 50 people suing Monsanto claiming the company's glyphosate based herbicide branded Roundup gave them or their loved ones non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) after exposure to the herbicide. The filing includes information about alleged efforts within the Environmental Protection Agency to protect Monsanto’s interests and unfairly aid the agrochemical industry and that Monsanto has spent decades covering up cancer risks linked to the chemical. The EPA’s stamp of approval for the safety of glyphosate over the last few decades has been key to the success of Monsanto’s genetically engineered, glyphosate-tolerant crops.

California Court Supports New Labelling Requirements for Roundup

California is fighting in the courts to be the first state to require Monsanto to label its popular weed-killer Roundup as a possible cancer hazard.

Monsanto said California officials illegally based their decision for carrying the warnings on an international health organization based in France. The corporation's attorney Trenton Norris argued in court that the labels would have immediate financial consequences for the company stating many consumers would see the labels and stop buying Roundup. But the judge ruled against Monsanto's claim in January 2017.

Farmers Losing the Superweed Battle

A 2016 University of Illinois Plant Clinic herbicide resistance report shows that glyphosate herbicide resistance and PPO Inhibitor herbicide resistance have both reached epic proportions across the Midwest of the United States.

Herbicide-resistant weeds are symptomatic of a bigger problem: an outdated system of farming that relies on planting huge acreages of the same crop year after year. Farming practices such as monoculture, promotes excellent habitats for the accelerated development of weed and pest pesticide resistance. In response to the crisis, Monsanto and its competitors suggest using more of their herbicides to cover the resistant weeds. This approach ignores the underlying biology of agricultural systems and inevitably leads to more resistance. Great for chemical sales; not so great for land stewartship or honeybees.

Water Grab

Giant Nestle is playing hardball with common heritage resources again. Last week the multinational outbid a small, but growing community in Ontario for a well near Elora. The community needed a safe source of clean drinking water; the corporation needed a "supplemental well for future business growth”.

France First Country to Say No Plastic

Finally world leaders are listening -- let's hope it's not too late. This week France was the first country to ban disposable plastic cups and plates in an attempt to curb the obscene amounts of plastic waste that's accumulating in the oceans.

The new French law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials that can be composted at home by January of 2020. That number will rise to 60% by January of 2025.

One in 10 Canadian freshwater birds are Polluted with Plastic

A new study suggests Canada’s freshwater birds, just like their ocean-dwelling counterparts, are at risk from our plastic-saturated lifestyles. Scientists are finding bottle caps, coffee cup lids, packing tape wire, foil, Styrofoam pellets in the stomachs of freshwater birds across the country.

Make Mine Well Done

Next time you chow down on that juicy burger grilled on your trusty barby or when ordering your fave from a local drive-thru, better make sure that burger is well-done -- really well done.

For decades, Health Canada advised consumers to cook ground beef to 71 °C (159.8 °F). That was suppose to be the tipping point for harmful bacteria, like E coli, to be thermally destroyed making the ground beef safe to eat. But food scientists at the University of Alberta recently discovered the recommended temperature may not be high enough.