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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.

We Are What We Eat

Remember those Subway ads where Jared Fogle loses a bunch of weight by eating at the fast food establishment? Those ads were so powerful Subway made a name for itself as the ‘healthy’ fast food chain. But recent research shows customers at Subway gobble up just as much sugar, carbs, sodium and overall calories per meal at Subway as they do at McDonald’s.

To Ban or Not To Ban

There's a war about to take place. The honeybees are taking on industrial farming and the battle field is looking ugly.

Between April and June 2012, Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency received "an unusually high number of incident reports of bee losses" from across southern Ontario. The agency said the reports involved 40 beekeepers and more than 200 bee yards. Residues of nitro-guanidine neonicotinoid insecticides used to treat corn seed were detected in approximately 70 per cent the dead bee samples analyzed by the agency.

Adieu Bordeaux, Hello Chateau Yellowstone

Researchers predict a two thirds fall in production in the world’s premier wine regions because of climate change.

A study by Conservation International predicts sharp declines in wine production from Bordeaux, Rhone and Tuscany as well as California’s Napa alley and Chile by 2050 as a warming climate makes it harder to raise grapes in traditional wine country.

Chemical Cuisine

In North America, we spend almost 90 percent of our food budget on processed food which contains a staggering number of artificial food additives, preservatives, colours and flavour enhancers. The Centre for Science in the Public Interest compiled a list of common food additives. There is a short description for each additive and a safety rating for each.

Storing Organic Produce

Once vegetables are picked they begin to lose nutrients. While there is no way to avoid this loss--other than growing the vegetables yourself and eating them right from the vine--you can easily increase the staying power of your vegetables by storing them properly.

Beef Processing Gone Bad

In what has been called the biggest beef recall in Canadian history questions are flying over why Ottawa regulators didn’t act sooner to a recall that could top 1,800 beef products scattered across Canada.

On Sept. 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service notified the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) that a positive E. coli sample was found in beef trimmings from XL Foods Inc. On Sept. 12, the USDA informed CFIA that it found two more positive samples from the same company. On Sept. 13, XL Foods were removed from the list of establishments eligible to export to the United States – at the request of the U.S. government. But it wasn’t until Sept. 27 that Ottawa suspended the operating licence for XL Foods’ Lakeside plant.

Thanks But Not On My Plate

How can any government say this is safe to eat? Two years after the BP spill the affected area is producing some seriously nasty stuff. Shrimp without eyes, some without sockets. Shrimp with abnormal growths and female shrimp with their babies still attached to them and gills so full of black stuff the fish can't maneuver in the water.

Consumer vs Goliath

Two local mothers from California who claimed Nutella deceived consumers by marketing their product as “healthy” won a class-action lawsuit against the food manufacturer of the chocolatey hazelnut spread, Ferrero USA, Inc.

What's in Your Burger?

If the GMO food additives in 70% of your process food options doesn’t bother you, then try this. In the light of the current massive recall on frozen burgers in Canada, it’s rather timely as Canadians are being advised to avoid more than 135 burger and beef steakette products.

GMO Foods Not Welcome

Countries in Europe and North America are taking a stand against the cultivation of transgenic (GMO) crops. France will reinstate a ban on the cultivation of Monsanto’s MON810 maize (corn) just in time to prevent the genetically modified grain being sown this year.

The French public is fiercely opposed to genetically modified organisms (GMO). The French government's request to the EU Commission was based on "significant risks for the environment" shown in recent scientific studies, mainly one by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) in December on "bt11" GMO maize which said its conclusions also apply in some respects to the MON810.