Why I Don’t Eat 100% Organic and GMO Free

by on August 15, 2013


Organic1

Why I Don’t Eat 100% Organic and GMO Free

 

I’ve noticed that a some of my readers have gotten pretty agitated and vocal when I use ingredients such as corn, corn tortillas, canned beans, canned tomatoes and other conventional items in SOME of my recipes.

So above I’ve made a short video above about why. Please watch it!

The main message I want to get across is that we should eat as best we can when it comes to what is fresh, plant based and what we can afford. For me personally, there is no way I could shop 100% organic because of the amount of food I go through feeding others and testing recipes. I spend too much as it is! I also live in Canada, in a place where organic and fresh food isn’t really abundant. Heck most of the “farmer’s market” produce is imported from other provinces and other countries. They sell bananas and mangoes at my farmers market, that is not local let me tell you! It’s kind of like an expensive grocery store, so I don’t shop at the farmer’s markets all that often here. When I used to live in Vancouver, BC there was much more local produce and it was easier to buy, so that made sense. But Calgary, AB is not that great for abundant organic produce. At the store, when an organic ingredient is around the same price as conventional I will buy it, but when it’s double the price I often put it back.

Some items I buy organic because the price is not much more than conventional:

  • Tofu
  • Baby spinach
  • Baby spring mix
  • Kale
  • Carrots
  • Brown Rice
  • Peanut Butter
  • Whatever is on sale/special

Also don’t think that if you’re in North America and you buy something that says organic, it guarantees it’s actually grown organically and is pesticide and gmo free. Unfortunately not everything labeled organic is organic and many companies and manufacturers lie (and get away with it). There is BIG BIG BIG money in selling organic foods because it’s perceived to be “better” and people know it costs more and will pay for it. A great alternative is to grow your own organic produce when possible and look for non certified organic produce from small local farms you trust.

So there you have it, and I hope you understand! Please buy whatever you want and let’s stay positive and non judgemental about what plant based foods others eat. We all are on different paths and have different budgets and different access to organic and fresh food.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynda Whitwell August 17, 2013 at 8:56 PM

I am on a very limited income having lost my job 20 months ago and I grow some veges, buy the freshest I can at the best price I can and often buy frozen ones that I use the most and canned tomatoes etc too. I’ve lost 35 kg in last year going to plant based – basically vegan – and in the same time have greatly reduced all medications. Am healthier now than in highschool – 45+ years ago so I do the best I can with the income I have.

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2 Ann August 17, 2013 at 8:09 PM

Thanks for your insight into this. I try to buy organic thin skinned fruit and greens. The rest I try to buy local if possible and seasonal foods. It would be wonderful to trust the industry and the government about the labeling of organic food, but I don’t. There are too many levels of what “organic” means.

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3 Kim August 17, 2013 at 3:34 PM

Veronica,
What do you use to clean your leafy produce and fruits?
Thanks

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4 Michelle August 17, 2013 at 8:43 AM

I appreciate your honesty. I try to eat organic as much as possible, I am fortunate to be able to afford it. But I am not perfect and I do eat some foods that are not and possibly could contain GMO. My belief is that it all is about BALANCE. My consumption of processed, fatty, simple sugary foods has been eliminated and I feel much, much better.

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5 Tomás Dietz August 16, 2013 at 5:59 PM

Atta girl! You have the right perspective. I’m a struggling artist and I can’t afford 100% organic either, even though I know all about the benefits blah blah blah. It kills me having to buy non-organic when the expensive organic is winking at me, but what choice do I have? I’ve tried to grow my own veggies in my garden, but you need to be at home reliably to do this, and I end up just rearing very healthy aphids and caterpillars.

Thanks for sharing your knowledge and experience.

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6 risa August 16, 2013 at 8:25 PM

Great video, Veronica. Great information, balanced and practical.
Thanks for clarifying that many of us don’t have access to non gmo & organic.
The most important thing is the intention behind how we prepare foods.
We can change the etheric food structure by putting love into the foods as we prepare them…you’re lovely, calm and beautiful in front of the camera. Sincerely, Risa (a natural family cook)

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7 Matthew K. Wood August 16, 2013 at 5:00 PM

Veronica, your honesty is truly refreshing. My wife and I are pretty much n the same boat. I suspect it is a much larger boat than we think. It is just nice to see someone truly genuine running what appears to be a pretty successful vegan recipe website. Yours are some of the better recipes that we have tried. Keep up the good work, and I wish you continued success.

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8 Samantha August 16, 2013 at 2:46 PM

Thank you for posting this! I’ve been vegan for about 16 months now, and my husband and daughter have recently decided to adopt the full vegan diet as well (I think seeing how much better I look and feel was the deciding factor!). Being able to now entirely cut all meats and dairy out of the grocery budget has freed up enough extra money that I can buy certified organic every once in a while, but there’s still no way in heck I can feed us 3+ meals a day on ALL organic and GMO-free food. Until we can afford to buy a house with enough property for a garden I’ve got to do the best I can with what is offered at the supermarket. Eating a vegan diet is hard enough in a world of processed food and hamburger joints every 10 yards, but then people look at you like you’re a snob if you mention it. “Oh I suppose you only eat organic, gluten free then, right?” 😛 I’m just SO RELIEVED to see this open and unassuming attitude about plant based eating. I now feel so much less guilty about using a can of tomatoes every once in a while when the fresh ones are gone and we can’t get more until payday. Thank you.

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9 mimi August 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM

So well said! Thinking plant based and vegan is most important. I am similar with my purchases. I will buy organic when well priced and fresh. Many times the organic produce looks like it’s been sitting around for days, wilted and old. It’s better to buy conventional veggies than none at all!

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10 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica Grace August 16, 2013 at 1:52 PM

Yes sometimes the organic looks terrible and wilted and old. That’s another good reason too. I buy what’s ripe, looks good and smells good. I’ve had some terrible organic mangoes at times and know people who will ONLY buy organic mangoes, and then you find they’re low in pesticides. It makes me wonder isn’t it crazy to waste money on bad organic produce when the conventional are actually better quality?

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11 Angelica August 16, 2013 at 12:37 PM

I don´t eat 100% organic either, but I avoid GMO. I guess it is easier for me to avoid GMO as I am living in Europe (Denmark) where we do not grow any GMO.
Corn I only have when they are fresh so I can eat them raw. The very few soy product I use has to be organic.
So my priorities are that it has to be vegan. Then organic if possible. And ovoiding microwawe and GMO! Eating mostly raw and low fat anyway, so only in wintertime and when having some guests over for a meal I do some cooking.

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12 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica Grace August 16, 2013 at 1:53 PM

Yes that is much easier in Denmark. Denmark is so expensive though I could not believe the prices there for everything it is much higher for everything including produce so it’s a good thing you can get higher quality produce imported in.

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13 Marita August 16, 2013 at 11:06 AM

Thanks so much for this video. You are a very devoted and passionate teacher. I appreciate that you have addressed this issue. People have to change their diets one step at a time. My husband and I removed the animal products and added oil immediately and then, over the course of 3 years, we went totally organic and GMO-free. What I like in your approach is that you are very forthright and open with you audience. In addition to being extremely helpful. I have all of your publications and I must say that your recipes are fantastic! Thanks again for all of your input and effort. I know that you have helped, and will continue to help, many people.

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14 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica Grace August 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM

Thanks Marita.

I’ve just found every single time I put something like corn or soy in a recipe someone lashes out at me like I am trying to poison people with GMO’s. If they see in my pictures or videos that something is conventional they get very upset and I don’t think that’s necessary.

Thank you for your support!

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15 Lina August 16, 2013 at 10:05 AM

Here in southern California there are no farms nearby, so produce is hauled to
local Farmers Markets from hundreds of miles away. Consequently, most organic produce is priced as high or higher than in local stores. I carry lists of the the
dozen most and least toxic conventional crops and shop accordingly. I won’t buy
conventional apples or spinach because they are on the worst list, but I am comfortable with purchasing conventional pineapples and corn because they are on the best list. Occasionally an organic item is the same price as its conventional counterpart. We all have to do the best we can with what is available and affordable to us.

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16 Adrianne August 16, 2013 at 9:53 AM

I agree with you Veronica. We just do the best we can with what we have available. In an ideal world every person would have access to fresh organic food, but we all must realize that is not possible. I live in Florida where one would think it would be so easy to obtain organic food year round, but in reality it is quite difficult to grow food here organically. The heat creates the perfect environment for all kinds of insects to breed and feed off your crops, thus enormous amounts of chemicals are used. Our local strawberry patch is sprayed by people wearing hazmat suits! Very scary…

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17 Mary Beth Elderton August 16, 2013 at 9:27 AM

I am so relieved to read this! I live in a small place in a large American city. Besides a few little herbs on my windowsill, I am not going to be “growing my own food.” The closest Farmer’s Market is about 10 miles–not 10 country miles. Not even 10 freeway miles. I mean 10 city surface-street miles. And the market is only open for 4 hours on Saturday mornings for part of the year. And not everything sold is from local farms. It’s just not practical as a steady supply of food. And I don’t personally know any farmers or ranchers–there just aren’t any here in my city neighborhood. So—I do the best I can with what I have to work with, both for access to stores and my budget. The best strategy for me is to cook from scratch and use mostly whole foods.

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18 sheree August 16, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I can’t believe people critisize those of us who are eating a healthy plant based diet the best we can. I so agree with you. I myself live on such a small budget that if I even tried to buy all organic/GMO my family would starve. I strive to buy organic tofu and apples. The rest is what I can find to fit my budget. It is better to eat plant based diet of conventional foods than a SAD diet. Our family motto is do the best we can.

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19 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica Grace August 16, 2013 at 1:57 PM

Oh yes the food police are everywhere! I’m trying to bring them back to reality. The funny thing is I learned they cannot grow organic produce in some tropical places without using gmo crops around them to protect the organic from bugs and tree diseases. They do this in Hawaii with papayas. There would be no more Hawaiian papayas if they didn’t create a gmo that was resistant to disease and spray them to get rid of bugs. So i always kind of laugh when people freak out at me “Oh my god you just bought a GMO Hawaiian papaya, I would NEVER touch that”… and I’m like well you can thank the gmo hawaiian papaya for making sure there are hawaiian papayas around still and you have the luxury of buying organic ones too.

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20 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 19, 2013 at 10:29 AM

http://www.civilbeat.com/articles/2013/08/05/19629-papaya-nightmares-a-farmer-struggles-amid-hawaiis-gmo-debate/
The Papaya Wars

It’s hard not to project an air of defiance onto the thousands of healthy papaya trees that stand at attention at Keeau. They have done battle, and were nearly defeated. In fact, just 15 years ago, Hawaii’s papaya industry was on the brink of disappearing.

A ringspot virus had invaded papayas on Oahu as far back as the 1950s. Farmers in the Puna district, the center of Hawaii’s commercial papaya industry, long feared the looming virus until it overtook and infected their crops in 1992, leaving pockmarked circles resembling bulls-eyes on the fruits’ skins. Their leaves turned brown and crumpled.

Belmes’ farm and many others were devastated.

The state aggressively sought to stop the virus, cutting down huge numbers of trees and tagging infected plants. This slowed the virus’ aggressive march, but it didn’t stop it. In 1992, the Puna district was producing 53 million pounds of papaya, or 95 percent of the islands’ crops. Within six years, Puna was producing less than half that much.

—-

A Two-Decade Fight To Save Hawaii’s Papaya

Gonsalves (the man who got rid of the ringspot virus in papayas by genetically modifying them), who was interviewed by Civil Beat among the papaya fields on Belmes’ farm, arrived just hours after stepping off of a flight from Kauai where he met with officials to discuss the GMO debate. And the former retiree was on his way to the Portuguese Chamber of Commerce to discuss the same topic.

He understands the different sides of the GMO debate in Hawaii, as well as the skepticism toward the large GMO companies. But he stresses that saving the papaya was a major effort by the public sector and that it was about saving a fruit that could have simply died off here. He fears that his decades of research into biotech could be lost if the debate doesn’t cool, affecting not just the papaya, but other genetically modified crops that could one day benefit Hawaii farmers.

“Talking about the papaya story might bring a sense of civility to this kind of debate,” he said. “Because, truly this was a public sector program done by just ordinary people like us.”

He added: “The way to solve problems is to sit down and talk story, and I think now is the time to cool it and say, ‘Eh, there has been a lot of emotion.’”

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21 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 19, 2013 at 10:39 AM

Papaya: a GMO Success Story:

http://hawaiitribune-herald.com/sections/news/local-news/papaya-gmo-success-story.html

Dennis Gonsalves doesn’t have to travel far to see the fruits of his labor.

The 70-year-old scientist, now retired and living in Hilo, is a short drive from Puna and the papaya farmers he came to know closely more than 20 years ago.

Growing up in Kohala during the plantation days, Gonsalves went to the University of Hawaii at Hilo, hoping to return with an education and a job as a boss for one of the sugar companies.

Life took him in another direction. Finding a passion in scientific research, he ended up as a plant pathologist at Cornell University, where he helped make genetic history through the creation of the virus-resistant Rainbow papaya, credited with bringing the industry back from the brink.

“If you drove here in the 1990s, you would see nothing but dead (papaya) trees,” he said recently as he drove his pick-up truck toward the farm of Alberto Belmes in Keaau.

Tucked away behind Highway 130, the farm stretches over 100 acres with a seemingly endless forest of the tall but slender papaya trees planted in neat rows and topped with their green oblong-shaped fruit. Some of the fruits are displaying a yellow tinge as they ripen, and are being harvested by workers using long pickers needed to reach the top of trees that are as tall as 15 feet.

Each tree is transgenic and can trace their origins back to Gonsalves’ lab.

For Belmes, a Filipino immigrant who said his farm was “wiped out” by the ringspot virus, genetically-modified papaya has been nothing short of a life-saver.

“I still would be out of business,” said Belmes, his friendly eyes now matching the earnest tone in his voice.

“It’s hard to get a job in Hawaii.”

As protests against genetically modified food grow, the Rainbow papaya is frequently cited by scientists as a transgenic success story.

Belmes’ farm was one of the first to adopt the Rainbow papaya, which carries a protein coat gene from the virus, allowing it to reject the pathogen.

It didn’t take long to realize its benefits.

“When we started … everyone was jealous,” Belmes said.

“I’m so happy we are all Rainbow. Not me and myself, for everyone that has a job to go to work.”

Rainbow papaya makes up about 77 percent of the crop now, with some farmers still growing the non-transgenic Kapoho Solo to export to markets, like Japan, that are slow to embrace modified food.

But overall, papaya production remains a fraction of its peak.

In 2010, the most recent data available, there were 30.1 million pounds of papaya harvested in the state, almost all of it on the Big Island, according to the state Department of Agriculture.

Hawaii’s largest yield was 80.5 million pounds in 1984. In 1992, the virus hit Puna, which was growing 53 million pounds of papaya annually.

By the time transgenic papaya was commercialized in 1998, production had been cut in half and most trees were infected, Gonsalves said.

While production remains significantly below pre-virus levels, Gonsalves and other scientists believe there wouldn’t be much left without it.

“There’s no papaya industry. Simple as that,” he said.

Before being located almost entirely in Puna, papaya had been mostly grown on Oahu. Those crops were hit by the virus, carried by aphids, in the 1950s, causing the re-location to the Big Isle. It was first detected on the island in the 1970s in Hilo before spreading to Puna.

A hindrance to the growth papaya industry is the acceptance of transgenic crops abroad.

Japan, which has historically been a major consumer of Hawaii papaya, didn’t accept the Rainbow variety until December 2011, and it still makes up a tiny fraction of exports to the country.

The Pacific neighbor has also required non-transgenic papaya to be tested to ensure its genetic purity, Gonsalves said.

Japan imported $1.3 million worth of papaya in 2012, about 16 percent of all of Hawaii’s papaya exports.

Gonsalves expects that to continue to grow over time as consumers elsewhere begin to accept the Rainbow papaya as safe, but at the same time, hints that lingering concerns over the safety of modified food may slow that down.

The transgenic papaya had been thoroughly tested, Gonsavles said, for impacts on nutrition and allergens. The transgenic and non-transgenic fruit were found to be “substantially equivalent” in terms of nutritional value, meaning there are no significant variations, according to a 2011 study by the Pacific Basin Agricultural Research Center in Hilo and the University of Hawaii.

There are also no increased risks for allergens, said Gonsalves, who directed PBARC until his retirement in December, and he believes health concerns are unwarranted.

“Some people say, ‘I never eat transgenic papaya.’ Great. But don’t tell me it’s not safe,” he said.

For some organic farmers who seek to grow non-modified crops, Rainbow papaya is not a welcomed neighbor.

Geoff Rauch, a Pahoa farmer, said the transgenic fruit makes it harder to ensure that his produce isn’t modified.

Genetic purity requires vigilance, and presents an additional challenge for organic farmers, he said.

“Every year, I get it sampled so I can tell (customers) I am growing non-transgenic papaya,” Rauch said.

Loren Mochida, director of agriculture operations for W.H. Shipman, said he believes transgenic and non-transgenic papaya growers can co-exist, noting that some commercial growers still have both varieties on their farms.

“Actually it (Rainbow papaya) helps the organic guys,” he said. “… It keeps the virus pressure down on the surrounding areas.”

Another study PBARC published in 2011 showed low levels of pollen drift between Rainbow and non-transgenic papaya as long as the plants were hermaphrodites.

The study found that between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent of tested Kapoho Solo hermaphrodite trees grown adjacent to Rainbow papaya produced transgenic genes. Nearly all of commercial plants are hermaphrodites, which self pollinate.

The transfer rate was much higher for female plants at 67.4 percent.

Gonsalves notes that only the seeds carry the new genes, not the fruit itself.

“If there is cross-contamination, that crop can still be sold as an organic crop,” he said.

The story of transgenic papaya doesn’t end with the Rainbow variety or the ringspot virus.

David Christopher, chair of molecular biosciences and bioengineering at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, said he is working to develop papaya that is resistant to a fungus that also frustrates growers.

The pathogen is related to the bacteria that caused Ireland’s potato famine, he said, and he believes he can eliminate it by adding a grape gene to the DNA of papaya.

“If we can (get) consistent results, farmers in humid wet regions will not have to spray their papayas with chemical fungicides, leading to a cleaner and safer farming conditions,” he said in an email.

So far, full resistance hasn’t been reached, but the research is promising, with field trials possibly a few years away, Christopher said in a phone interview.

Belmes, who has a few trees killed by the fungus, said he would be happy to try it.

“Chemicals for spraying is so expensive,” he said.

Gonsalves said farmers also have to let fields go fallow for three years to combat the fungus.

The fungus is particularly problematic during times of extended rain, said papaya grower Ross Sibucao.

“In wet weather, at least 20 percent or 30 percent” of trees are impacted, he said.

“It can get pretty bad.”

The non-transgenic Kapoho Solo is slightly more tolerant of the fungus than Rainbow, said Gonsalves, though both are hit hard.

Without a resistant variety, traditional cross-breeding becomes an unlikely solution, Christopher said.

Scientists came across the same problem with tyring to defeat the virus.

Few plants are related to papaya, making it difficult to cross-breed resistance.

“Papaya is a problem because it doesn’t have any wild relatives,” Christopher said.

“It’s really genetically uniform.”

Recently, a researcher in Australia had some success crossing papaya with a ringspot-resistant plant from South America known as calasacha or vasconcellea quercifolia.

But there were problems.

The resistance failed to transfer passed the first generation and the hybridized plant didn’t produce fruit that was commercially viable, said Richard Manshardt, a horticulturist with UH-Manoa.

Manshardt said UH scientists also picked up on the research, but it doesn’t look promising and funding is expected to run out.

“At this point, it doesn’t look like we got anything useful from that experiment,” he said.

Despite continued controversy over genetically modified food, Gonsalves believes he and other scientists made the right decision with papaya.

In presentations, he said he always shows a picture of a woman in Thailand planting one of his immunized papaya trees. Those trees were protected from the ringspot virus but couldn’t pass on resistance to the next generation, preventing them from being a solution to Hawaii’s problem.

Still, it highlights the point he tries to pass to his audience.

“That to me, it brings us back to why we’re doing something,” Gonsalves said.

“In the end, we did it to help people.”

Still, he doesn’t see all uses of genetic engineering as being equally altruistic. He believes its uses need to be looked at case by case.

“This is a powerful tool …,” Gonsalves said.

“The big question is, ‘Is it causing harm to the environment, causing harm to human safety?’

“To my estimation, the answer is we have acted good.”

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22 Jeremiah August 21, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Veronica, I agree with you on pretty much everything you’ve written, but to be fair I feel I should point out that this isn’t quite the full story with the GMO papaya. There are many, many, many varieties of papaya that grow in Hawaii, just like there are many varieties of bananas that we never see in North America. The GMO papaya is one particular variety but there are plenty of varieties that could have been grown if the GMO papaya hadn’t “saved the day.” Similarly to the panic about the cavendish banana going extinct. Plenty of varieties to take its place. But the market likes standardization and it selects varieties based on durability and so forth rather than quality and taste. Just like Fuerte avocados are better than Hass, but Hass dominates the market because of its thick skin (vs the thin skin of the Fuerte).

23 Andy D August 16, 2013 at 9:22 AM

I try to follow the Environmental Working Group’s recommendations for avoiding the Dirty Dozen and not worrying about the Clean Fifteen: http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

And I totally agree with you, Veronica — I do the best I can with those kinds of purchases (especially, as you pointed out in your video, avoiding animal products, added oils, and striving to avoid bagged/boxed/canned/packaged/processed food) and get on with my life. 🙂

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24 Sibyl August 16, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I agree with you, I also am in Canada, SW ontario. I have a large garden grown from heritage seeds that keep me going for most of the winter, potatoes, onions in the fruit cellar, lots of tomatoes and sauces in the freezer and right now experimenting with fermented foods, saurkraut, dill pickles, dilly carrots etc, using my own produce. I buy a lot of fresh fruit at my local farmers market, no guarantee wether organic and GMO free, and freeze them for the winter months. I still need to buy lots in the winter months.

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25 Christine Hoeflich August 16, 2013 at 9:20 AM

I subscribe to you because of Frederic P., and sometimes you have interesting recipes. But I usually modify all of them by adding sea salt and some fat, coconut oil, homemade ghee from organic butter, olive oil. I also avoid wheat and gluten grains. Some of your salad recipes work for me.

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26 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 16, 2013 at 2:00 PM

I am not sure about your comment. Why post this here? Why the need to add oil and ghee to my recipes? My recipes do contain salt though, they are not salt free. Nor are all of my recipes fat free. They include whole forms of fat in small quantities such as nut butters, nuts, seeds or avocado. Coconut oil and butter are refined foods and 100% fat by calories and don’t help my readers lose weight and maintain high energy so that’s why they are left out of recipes.

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27 Chris August 16, 2013 at 2:28 PM

Where’s the like option? 🙂

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28 Kathleen Keene August 16, 2013 at 9:15 AM

Thank you for your honest, realistic, and encouraging response. I think the most important message to get out is a plant based, vegan diet, and the rest is extra things that we can work on to change, and I don believe that GMOs will be around too much longer, I hope.
I would NOT be able to eat as much produce if I were to completely eschew conventional non-organic and GMO produce and such. Heck, I have to go to the food pantry sometimes! Thank goodness that there they let us pick out what we want, and sometimes I will get *gasp* some crackers or such that is vegan, but made by Nabisco or somesuch. Otherwise we wouldn’t eat! Thankfully they also sometimes have soymilk and tofu (which I have never seen it be GMO, it’s always labeled as non-GMO, so YAY!).
Love the kitty mew!

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29 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Thanks Kathleen. My cat Xander was so funny. I was filming and shouting and I woke him up and he started making weird meowing noises (not his normal meows) so he must have been trying to calm me down lol. He’s so outspoken!

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30 Jessica I. August 16, 2013 at 9:07 AM

I couldn’t agree more. I buy mostly organic/local, but not everyone has that luxury. It all depends on your budget and circumstances.

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31 Low Fat Vegan Chef Veronica August 21, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Of course there are more than 1 type of Hawaiian papaya, but the problem is that so many of the other papayas are similar genetically which made them suseptible to this disease. The rainbow gmo papaya is almost nothing like any other hawaiian papaya as it is so that’s why it was used as a solution.

There are two sides, the public sure they are demanding and want the same old things, but the farmers have it hard when they lose their entire crops and how does one just “switch” to growing another type of papaya. These are TREES. You can’t just replace every single tree on a farm instantly. It takes a long time grow them and remove the old ones and plant them. That’s a huge ordeal and could bankrupt farmers. So unfortunately there’s that side too.

I am definitely not blatantly pro GMO. I am wary and concerned about GMO taking over every single crop and really don’t believe that is the answer. But was just mentioning how in this instance the gmo hawaiian papaya has ensured there are still papayas of this type in Hawaii. Bugs and disease can totally wipe out crops. If people still want to buy a certain type of crop that is hard to grow naturally on massive plantations, I guess farmers have to make a choice of what to do.

Where I lived in Costa Rica I learned about the banana plantations that were abandoned and turned into Palm oil farms (with palm nut burning factories) because disease took out all of the bananas and no one could afford to “switch” to another type of banana. Most bananas used to come from Costa Rica, but they don’t grow many commercially there anymore because of the diseases and bug problems for that crop, so most bananas are grown in Ecuador now. It’s sad, but now there’s all these gross palm oil plantations and it’s so disruptive to the environment with all the pollution. They would have continued to grow bananas if they could but it was too costly to deal with the pest issues.

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