Food Supply News /foodsupplynews Food Supply News - Food Supply Information Tue, 04 Apr 2017 18:07:55 +0000 en-US hourly 1 How to easily grow basil year-round /foodsupplynews/2017-04-04-how-to-easily-grow-basil-year-round.htmlv Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:45:20 +0000 One of the best things you can do to add a burst of flavor to anything you’re cooking is to grow your own spices and herbs, and of course, that includes basil. Whether you’re adding it to drinks, using it in a favorite dish or adding it to soups, this leafy herb will be a welcome addition to virtually any fare, while providing some health benefits as well.

As noted by Jayme Henderson at Kitchn, “there’s nothing like clipping fresh basil leaves from your garden and running into your kitchen to add it to whatever you’re cooking. … Basil’s fresh, spicy, clove-scented flavor profile is a natural addition to so many cooking styles and cuisines.”

There is also this: Imagine a stuff-hits-the-fan scenario, and you’re having to live on bland long-term storage foods. Wouldn’t it be great a) if you could grow your own herbs like basil; and b) if you had tasty herbs and spices at your fingertips, to add flavor to your stored foods? That might not seem very important to you right now, but if there comes a time when you have to eat the same things over and over again, day in and day out, you’re going to appreciate having the luxury of fresh-grown herbs at your fingertips to add to your meals. (RELATED: Be Prepared: These 10 Foods Quickly Disappear From Grocery Stores When A Disaster Strikes)

Plus, in addition to being more economical, growing your own basil means you’ll have fresh, clean herbs – pesticide-free, GMO-free and completely organic, which is best for you and your family.

Henderson notes that a single well-pruned basil plant will yield about half-a-cup a week of fresh herb. You can be limited on space, too – no big deal. Just find a windowsill or some place that gets good sun, fill a container with soil that drains well, and viola. You’ll have fresh basil rain or shine, in warm or cold temperatures, for months.

How should you plant basil? Henderson recommends:

Location: You can add this herb to a container garden or a grow box, as it makes a great addition. Basil grows very well in soil that is well-drained, and in good sun. That can be a windowsill container or a garden; if the latter, plant basil amongst your tomatoes. “It’s a one-stop shop for your next Caprese salad,” Henderson writes.

— When should you grow basil: Like many other herbs, basil is easy to grow, germinating quickly from seed. When using seeds, it’s best to put them in the ground when you’re fairly certain the last frosts have occurred (keep an eye on spring temperatures, though, because you’ll need to cover your seedlings if a frost is expected, as basil is very sensitive to the cold). If you’re transplanting seedlings or planting a cutting, make sure that ground temperature is 70 degrees or warmer.

— Proliferation: You can grow basil from seeds or with a cutting of basil leaf, which will sprout in water. Just use a four-inch segment of basil plant that has yet to flower, and you should see roots forming within one week. Afterward, you can transplant the basil directly to a container or regular garden after you’ve established a healthy root.

Henderson recommends adding rich compost to the soil (make sure it’s organic!) at the start of each growing season. She notes that there isn’t much more soil preparation and maintenance needed after that. If the soil is too rich, the herb loses some of its flavor pop. (RELATED: Health benefits of basil including stress reduction, improved heart health)

Basil grows best when it can get a minimum of six hours of sun per day, and in well-drained soil. You will notice basil growing is areas that receive less sunshine than that are not as developed and prolific.

As for watering, do so only when the soil is dry to touch, and try to avoid spraying water on the basil leaves. Plants can grow anywhere from 12-24 inches in height, so it’s best to space them around 12 inches apart. For those with limited space, Henderson recommends growing spicy globe basil “which tends to form a small, mounding habit.”

To harvest, just pick your basil as you need it. You can also do a mass harvest, if you have a way to preserve it. Like mint, basil should be clipped at the stem just above a point where two large leaves meet.

There is nothing quite like fresh herbs and spices, and basil is certainly one more flavorful of the species. When life as you know it as ended and you’re living day-to-day on long-term storable foods, you’ll be very grateful for the fact that you’ve got fresh, easy-to-access basil on hand.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.


16 countries in the EU vote against GM crops as GMO backlash sweeps the globe /foodsupplynews/2017-04-04-gmo-backlash-sweeps-the-globe-as-16-countries-vote-to-dump-poisonous-crops.htmlv Tue, 04 Apr 2017 16:04:24 +0000 As the month of March came to an end, a majority of European Union members voted against a proposal that would bring in two new types of genetically modified maize. Sixteen members of the EU took a stand against the introduction of new GMO crops, but will that be enough to keep them out of Europe?

The two new varieties of maize include DuPont Pioneer’s 1507 and Syngenta’s Bt11. Both varieties kill insects by producing their own pesticides, and are resistant to Bayer’s glufosinate herbicide. If they are approved, Eco Watch reports that they will be the first new GMO crops approved for cultivation since 1998 — nearly twenty years ago.

Even though a majority of the EU voted against the approval of these new GMO varieties, it appears that simply is not enough to keep them out. As Reuters explains, the votes were not considered decisive because the opposition did not include a “qualified majority,” which is defined as including countries that make up at least 65 percent of the EU.

Monsanto’s GM corn variety, MON810 was also up for debate, as the EU voted on whether or not the GM crop’s license should be renewed. MOn810 is currently the only genetically modified crop that is cultivated in the EU, and it is primarily grown in Spain and Portugal. Less than 1 percent of the farmland in the EU is dedicated to cultivating Monsanto’s GM corn, however, and in total, 19 nations of the EU have banned MON810 entirely. Overall, most of the EU has traditionally expressed opposition towards GM crops, and all EU nations require labeling of GM foods.

As Friends of the Earth Europe reportedly explains, the fates of these three GM crops now reside in the hands of the European Commison. Jean-Claude Juncker, head of the organization, is no doubt feeling the pressure as the call to reject the GMO corn varieties continues to grow louder.

In a recent statement, Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, boldly declared, “Whether he likes it or not, the buck now stops at Jean-Claude Juncker.”

“He can put himself on the side of the majority of countries, citizens and farmers who do not want genetically-modified crops, or he can back the mega-corporations behind the industrialization of our countryside,” she said.

According to Greenpeace EU, even if the three crops gain approval, they will not be commonly grown. The approval would only be valid in nine of the 28 EU countries, along with three regions: Flanders and the Brussels regions of Belgium, and England. The remaining 19 countries and regions of the EU have chosen to “opt-out” and prevent GMO crops from being grown within their borders.

Even a small amount of GMO crop cultivation can be of great concern, however. Friends of the Earth Europe is calling upon Juncker to take a stand against corporate interests and do what is right for the people of Europe and the region’s environment by denying approval to these test-tube concoctions that the biotech industry tries to pass off as crops.

“There is no political or public support for genetically-modified crops; farmers don’t even want them. It’s time for President Juncker to pull the plug on this failed technology once and for all, and to focus on how we make farming resilient to climate change, save family farms and stop the destruction of nature. It’s time to close our countryside to genetically-modified crops and move on,” Schimpf proclaimed in her recent statement. [RELATED: Read more stories about GMO crops at]


Fall from grace? Whole Foods losing staggering number of customers /foodsupplynews/2017-04-03-fall-from-grace-whole-foods-losing-staggering-amount-of-customers.htmlv Tue, 04 Apr 2017 03:12:59 +0000 When the very first Whole Foods store was launched in Austin, Texas, in 1980, there were fewer than half a dozen natural food stores in the whole of the U.S., and the concept was an immediate success. Over the years, however, more and more supermarkets have recognized the growing demand for organic produce and have expanded their businesses to include more such offerings. This more competitive marketplace, combined with several scandals which have damaged the image of the group, has led to a sharp decline in sales for Whole Foods stores nationwide.

Earlier this year, after six continuous quarters with declining sales, Whole Foods’ CEO John Mackey announced the closure of nine of its 435 stores, including outlets in Georgia, New Mexico, Utah, Arizona, Chicago, California and Colorado. This represents the largest number of Whole Foods stores ever to be closed at one time, and is the supermarket giant’s first downsizing initiative since 2008.

Stocks have fallen by 11 percent in the past year, and new figures released by analysts from Barclays report that the group has suffered a 3 percent loss of foot traffic. While 3 percent might not seem like much, it represents a loss of about 14 million customers. Since each of these customers could be expected to spend between $30 and $50, this relates to losses of between $420 million and $700 million. It is understandable, then, that the analysts called this loss “staggering.”

In hard economic times, high prices chase customers away

One of the greatest reasons for this decline would seem to be the high prices charged by Whole Foods. In spite of launching its low cost 365 chain, consumers still seem to have the perception that it is simply cheaper to buy elsewhere. Indeed, allegations of price-gouging have haunted the company for years. Other big supermarket chains like Kroger and Aldi have been quick to pick up on the trend, and have both increased their selections of organic produce at more budget-friendly prices. Kroger, for example, has launched its own organic house brand called Simple Truth, and has added entire aisles of natural foods to its stores. Aldi has also announced that it will be spending $1.6 billion to improve the organic offerings at 1,300 of its stores.

These statistics will no doubt be the cause of grave concern for the management of Whole Foods. As noted by one of the Barclays analysts, “Most retailers know [that] once traffic has been lost, those patterns rarely reverse.”

The integrity of Whole Foods’ products is another issue which many in the natural health community have been calling into question for some time. Back in 2013, in an interview with an organization called Organic Spies, a former employee of Whole Foods claimed that she and other employees had been trained by Whole Foods management to lie to customers about whether or not certain products contained genetically modified ingredients. The employee, who by all reports was legitimately vetted, claimed that for the five-year period from 2007 to 2011, all employees of Whole Foods were told that the company did not carry any genetically modified products. The employee explained that during their training sessions they were taught exactly what a GMO (genetically modified organism) was, and were specifically informed that Whole Foods did not carry any GMOs.

“So if a customer would have came up to me [sic] and said, do you guys have anything with GMOs? Does this product contain GMOs? [I would have said] absolutely not. Does not contain GMOs. Because we were taught that we don’t carry anything with GMOs, only natural, nothing artificial,” she explained in her interview with Organic Spies. [Emphasis added]

In truth, Whole Foods carried many foods that contained GMOs, as was later proved.

Whole Foods also sold its customers down the river by choosing to back the Monsanto-friendly GMO-labeling bill signed into law by President Obama last year. That bill was roundly denounced as toothless and confusing by all those serious about labeling GMOs in a simple, straightforward manner, but Whole Foods threw its considerable weight behind the bill, anyway.

It would seem that for multiple reasons, Whole Foods has an uphill battle in its fight to win back both the American people’s trust and patronage.


Recall announced for organic plant based protein superfood from Nutiva due to possible peanut contamination /foodsupplynews/2017-04-03-nutiva-recall-announced-for-organic-plant-based-protein-superfood-peanut-allergy.htmlv Tue, 04 Apr 2017 03:07:52 +0000 The superfood company Nutiva has recently announced a recall for their “Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake.” While the recall initially only applied to the vanilla flavor, it has recently been expanded to include the company’s chocolate variety as well. The manufacturer has identified that these products may contain trace amounts of peanuts, and should not be consumed by anyone with a peanut allergy.

Nutiva’s CEO John W. Roulac stated, “We are choosing to voluntarily recall all of our Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shakes as a precautionary measure to provide the safest products for our customers.” Nutiva was founded in 1999 and is a plant-based organic food manufacturer.

According to the US Food and Drug Administration, people with allergies or sensitivities to peanuts are at risk of having a serious or life-threatening reaction, should these products be consumed. The affected products were sold online, as well as in stores. In total, distributors from 21 states have been impacted by the recall. The states affected include Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

[Editor’s note: Isn’t it astonishing how the FDA is hypersensitive about peanut allergies in superfood but remains completely silent about squalene allergies from vaccines? Apparently, allergies only count when natural product companies might be involved. But when the subject is vaccines, all ingredients are ridiculously presumed to be totally safe, regardless of their toxicity.]

The following products have been affected by the recall:

  • Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake -Vanilla, UPC code: 6-92752-10711-5 or 6-92752-10712-2. Expiration date range: 03 MAY 2018 – 02 MAR 2019
  • Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake -Vanilla, UPC code: 6-92752-10716-0, 6-92752-10717-7, or 6-92752-10718-4.  Expiration date range: 06 MAY 2018 – 10 NOV 2018
  • Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake -Chocolate, UPC code: 6-92752-10709-2 or 6-92752-10710-8. Expiration date range: 03 MAY 2018 – 11 JAN 2019
  • Organic Plant Based Protein Superfood 30 Shake -Chocolate, UPC code: 6-92752-10713-9, 6-92752-10714-6 or 6-92752-10715-3. Expiration date range: 24 MAY 2018 – 11 NOV 2018

The affected products include both the 21.6 ounce jar, as well as the 1.2 oz packets, in both flavors. You can learn more about the recalled products here. Consumers with peanut allergies or sensitivities are being urged to abstain from consuming these products and to return them to the place of purchase for a refund. Nutiva reports that these steps are being taken as a purely precautionary measure and that no other products have been affected. Their recall notice states, “Customers with questions may contact (800) 993-4367 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday, or email”

Peanut allergies are becoming increasingly commonplace, and are known for their potential to cause life-threatening reactions in some people. While there has been promising research on how to prevent peanut allergies, they remain a constant concern for many people.  Anaphylaxis, one of the most lethal reactions to allergens, is most commonly associated with peanuts. Anaphylaxis is characterized by swelling of the throat, impaired breathing, a sudden drop in blood pressure and fainting or dizziness. Not every reaction to peanuts is an anaphylactic reaction, however. Many people experience hives, itchy skin, or an itchy, tingling sensation in or around the mouth. Some other symptoms of peanut allergies may include nausea or a simple runny nose.

A 2010 study found that the number of children with peanut allergies had tripled between 1997 and 2008, which is a sizable increase for just over a decade. People with peanut allergies should abstain from peanut-containing foods. Peanuts are one of the eight allergens that come with specific labeling requirements under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004. This law requires food manufacturers to declare the presence of peanuts in their foods in clear language on the ingredient label. [Additional editor’s note: The reason peanut allergies keep rising is because more children are being injected with toxic squalene, a vaccine adjuvant derived from peanut oil.]

Stay informed about more food safety news at


Massive academic cover-up concealing a near-total collapse of ocean food chains … mass death to humans will follow /foodsupplynews/2017-04-03-massive-academic-cover-up-concealing-a-near-total-collapse-of-ocean-food-chains-mass-death-to-humans-will-follow.htmlv Mon, 03 Apr 2017 16:40:41 +0000 Marine fish provides 15 percent of all animal protein consumed by humans. Unfortunately, we may not have the luxury of eating fish much longer. While academics are forbidden, under threat, to share their findings on the actual health of the Pacific Ocean, stories of blue deserts void of life are popping up along the West Coast and other coastal regions around the world.

The oceans are slowly dying, and with them, a significant part of our food supply will disappear. Since the number of smaller marine life dramatically reduces every year, bigger predators are starving to death. The causes of the recent mass strandings and die-offs of marine life are numerous, ranging from overfishing and climate change to plastic pollution and radioactive contamination.

As bad as all of this sounds, if you’re relying on the mainstream media for your news, you may not be aware of this growing issue that is threatening our food chain.

The great collapse of the Pacific Ocean food chain

A massive cover-up is ongoing about what might turn into the greatest marine extinction since “The Great Dying” 251.9 million years ago. Lately, heartbreaking stories of hundreds of millions of salmon that are dying before they make it back to their spawning place and record numbers of whales getting stranded on our beaches are finding their way to the public.

In the past year and a half, scientists recorded a collapse of several dozen food chains within the Pacific Ocean. Authoritative figures in Vancouver, however, estimated that number may be closer to the hundreds or thousands then the reported dozens. (RELATED: Follow more news about the food supply collapse at

“It’s not just Pacific salmon that are dying[;] in the North Pacific all forms of ocean life are being reported dead and dying in stunning numbers. Hundreds of dead whales, the largest numbers ever seen, more being found dead on beaches in a single year than in previous tens of years, all reported to having been found in emaciated condition,” explained Russ George, a salmon savior with over 40 years of hands-on experience in restoring trees and oceans, on his website.

Fake media and government black out

The evidence is clear, yet many scientists, media, and governments remain silent. According to some skeptics, the world may be headed to another “Permian Mass Extinction” or “Great Dying.”

According to Armstrong Economics, present CO2 concentrations have reached 400 ppm. While this is nowhere near the 2000 ppm which caused the Great Dying, other factors in today’s world are contributing to environmental changes that are also threatening our marine life and food chain. Rising temperatures and increased UV radiation reaching the Earth may also have something to do with it.

While CO2 and rising temperatures are possible explanations for the massive die-offs happening right now, there are others who believe the nuclear disaster in Japan is to be blamed. Radioactive particles can accumulate in predatory species at the top of the food chain, humans included. Especially top predators, such as the Pacific Bluefin Tuna, are at risk because they consume numerous amounts of smaller prey along with the radioactive particles they have accumulated in their bodies.

Since 2012, a year after Fukushima’s nuclear accident, reports showed that tuna, among other fish species, caught off the coast of California tested positive for radiation. (RELATED: Read more news about Fukushima at

Each day more signs are emerging that our ocean and world is slowly dying. We’re living in perilous, unstable times that may affect every living thing on our planet. Nonetheless, media and governments don’t see any harm in remain surprisingly silent.


Massive recall of dangerous farm-raised catfish announced /foodsupplynews/2017-04-03-massive-recall-of-dangerous-farm-raised-catfish-announced.htmlv Mon, 03 Apr 2017 15:36:37 +0000 If you are a fish lover and living in Mississippi or Tennessee, then you should pay extra attention when buying catfish (Siluriformes) due to public health concerns. A Mississippi catfish processor, Lakes Farm Raised Catfish Inc., is recalling nearly 1,700 pounds of frozen catfish products after the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) found that the products may be contaminated with high levels of chemicals banned in fish farming by many European countries.

The affected items were shipped to institutional and retail locations across Mississippi and Tennessee. The problem was discovered during a routine food safety inspection on March 23, 2017. The results of the FSIS sampling revealed unsafe levels of two chemicals, malachite green and leucomalachite green, in several of their frozen fish products.

In aquaculture, many fish farmers use several chemical substances with antimicrobial activity, such as the dye malachite green, to treat parasites and diseases. As a result, residues of malachite green and its main byproduct, leucomalachite green, may end up in the fish on your plate. Given their toxic nature, these chemicals pose a serious risk to human and environmental health.

One study, published in the international journal Food and Chemical Toxicology, assessed the potential human cancer risk from exposure to leucomalachite green through fish consumption. They found that fish consumers have a greater risk of liver cancer.

The tainted products are 15-pound boxes of frozen catfish products that were produced on March 14 through 17, 2017. The contaminated products have the establishment number “EST. 48150” printed inside the USDA mark of inspection.

The products involved in the recall include:

  • 15-pound cardboard boxes of frozen raw catfish fillets identified as LAKE’S FARM RAISED CATFISH and having lot codes T-14, T-15, T-16, and T-17.
  • 15-pound cardboard boxes of frozen raw catfish nuggets identified as LAKE’S FARM RAISED CATFISH and having lot codes T-14, T-15, T-16, and T-17.
  • 15-pound cardboard boxes of frozen raw catfish steaks identified as LAKE’S FARM RAISED CATFISH and having lot codes T-14, T-15, T-16, and T-17.
  • 15-pound cardboard boxes of frozen raw whole catfish identified as LAKE’S FARM RAISED CATFISH and having lot codes T-14, T-15, T-16, and T-17.

To date, there have been no confirmed reports of adverse reactions or incidents from the consumption of these contaminated products. Food Safety News, however, urges people to contact their regular healthcare provider if they are concerned about an injury or illness after consuming any of the products mentioned above. If you bought any of these products, you should throw them away immediately or return them to the place of purchase for a full refund.

Furthermore, when buying fish in the future, try to stay away from farm-raised fish. Most of this fish comes from Chinese fish farms that are located in heavily industrialized regions where the water, air, and soil are contaminated with a variety of health-damaging substances. (Read more coverage of health hazards in the food supply at

This is not the first time high levels of antibiotics or other questionable ingredients have been found in farm-raised fish. These antibiotics are contributing to the rise of the superbug epidemic. Also, farm-raised fish are usually fed an unnatural diet of cheap, lower-quality GM grains or livestock and poultry waste.

RELATED: Stay informed about toxins in our food and environment at


Chewing gum ingredients and the titanium dioxide debate /foodsupplynews/2017-04-02-chewing-gum-ingredients-titanium-dioxide-debate.htmlv Mon, 03 Apr 2017 04:28:48 +0000 According to a new study, titanium dioxide, an additive that is found in most sweets and chewing gums, can damage to your gut, say scientists. The mineral is what gives many candies and desserts their smooth texture and appealing color. Previous beliefs held that the mineral, which is present in small amounts, had no adverse health effects. Yet a recent study published in NanoImpact showed that nano-titanium oxide ingredients such as titanium dioxide can seriously impact gut health.

Biomedical Engineering Assistant Professor Gretchen Mahler, one of the authors of the study states, “Titanium oxide is a common food additive and people have been eating a lot of it for a long time — don’t worry, it won’t kill you! — but we were interested in some of the subtle effects, and we think people should know about them.”

Researchers tested the rate at which exposure to this mineral affected the gut.  Acute exposure, which equaled four hours of continuous intake, showed to have little effect.  However, chronic exposure — equal to three meals worth over a five-day period — caused significant damage. Heavy exposure to titanium oxide is connected to slower metabolism, inflamed intestines, blocked nutrient absorption, and a weakened immune system.

The mineral acts a coating to the small intestines’ microvilli, which are small projections that surround the gut. The tiny hair-like structures absorb nutrients needed for survival and promote good health. Titanium dioxide prevents the microvilli from performing efficiently. This causes the cells in the small intestines to gradually break down and die. Consequently, the body is no longer able to absorb essential nutrients like zinc, iron, and some fatty acids. People are thus more prone to infections.

The Sweet Life is Not So Sweet

Still, the US Food and Drug Administration says titanium dioxide is safe. The mineral is used in hundreds of different products (including toothpaste). This makes unintentional ingestion nearly unavoidable. What is stressed is that consumers be more aware of what they eat and for them to practice a healthier lifestyle. The study does include a caveat, citing that people need to have long-term exposure to high amounts of the mineral to have detectable effects.

In 2015, under the intense scrutiny of several health regulatory boards, Dunkin Donuts discontinued nano-titanium dioxide in its powdered sugar used for their donuts. Following this controversy, several other food groups took a closer look at their manufacturing process. Their concern, they emphasized, was their customer’s health. (RELATED: Not So Sweet: Sugar Is A Potent Toxin That Sets The Stage For Diabetes And Obesity)

Despite this, not much attention was placed on another big application of titanium dioxide: Chewing gum. This seemingly innocuous sweet — one that is often touted for its breath-freshening properties — may be more dangerous than it lets on; chewing gum often contains high levels of titanium dioxide.

The Brain-Gut Connection

New studies point to the brain-gut connection. Medical conditions, especially those that are psychological in nature, are noted to be directly connected to a person’s diet. The old adage of “you are what you eat” is no longer an old wives’ tale but medically-validated assumptions.

Endocrinologists often call the gut the “second brain.” The area from your throat to your anus controls digestion and releases necessary enzymes needed for optimal health. A single disruption in this process can significantly impact how you feel, think, and go about your day.

It is crucial that people know what they put in their mouth. It is naive to believe that youth is a safeguard against disease. Current research shows that because children are more exposed to a diet rich in sugar and additives, they are more prone to being overweight and sickly. For that reason, it is important to know what the ingredients listed on the packaging really are.

“To avoid foods rich in titanium oxide nanoparticles you should avoid processed foods, and especially candy. That is where you see a lot of nanoparticles,” Mahler adds. Follow more news about food ingredients at


Farmers are now forced to hack into their own tractors to bypass draconian manufacturer controls /foodsupplynews/2017-04-02-farmers-are-now-forced-to-hack-into-their-own-tractors-to-bypass-draconian-controls.htmlv Mon, 03 Apr 2017 03:47:22 +0000 American farmers reluctantly find themselves resorting to the black market because of a legally binding licensing agreement imposed by John Deere and other similarly situated manufacturers.

Given this restriction, which John Deere apparently crafted to circumvent an agricultural vehicle exemption in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, many heartland farmers believe that they have no alternative but to download jailbreaked or bootlegged software or firmware for their John Deere tractors. The farmers purchase the software from Eastern European hackers operating in clandestine online forums.

Self-hacking comes into play because the contract requires farmers to use often distant John Deere tractor dealerships or authorized repair shops for any and all repairs, rather than an independent mechanic that may be just down the street and whose services are less expensive.

The Motherboard website details the controversy over farm equipment software that some say creates an aftermarket manufacturer monopoly and associated inflated repair costs.

“Tractor hacking is growing increasingly popular because John Deere and other manufacturers have made it impossible to perform ‘unauthorized’ repair” on farm equipment, which farmers see as an attack on their sovereignty, and quite possibly an existential threat to their livelihood if their tractor breaks at an inopportune time.

Said one Nebraska farmer, “The only way we can fix things is illegally, which is what’s holding back free enterprise more than anything and hampers a farmer’s ability to get stuff done, too.”

Added Motherboard: “The nightmare scenario…is that John Deere could remotely shut down a tractor and there wouldn’t be anything a farmer could do about it.”

Against this backdrop, right-to-repair legislation has emerged in Nebraska and several other states. If enacted, such measures would force manufactures to sell replacement parts to stand-alone repair facilities and direct to consumers, as well as require public disclosure of service manuals. Right to repair goes beyond tractors and can apply to smartphones and consumer electronics and appliances as well.

In a lengthy statement, John Deere insists that it is protecting tractor owners from software modifications made by uncertified technicians. It also maintained that a tractor owner is free to repair his or her own equipment and obtain diagnostic manuals with that in mind. An executive with the trade organization described the company’s statement as “total crap,” however.

In as a separate instance of corporate control, Natural News reported several years ago that the biotech industry began installing data collection and monitoring devices into tractors and other farm equipment as a scheme to implement a program of prescription seed distribution. Farmers across the nation are reportedly uneasy since this technology may be used to dictate their way of agriculture production, thereby invading their privacy. (RELATED: Read about more corporate excesses at



Avoid these leftovers lurking in your fridge, they could make you sick /foodsupplynews/2017-04-01-avoid-these-leftovers-lurking-in-your-fridge-they-could-make-you-sick.htmlv Sat, 01 Apr 2017 16:34:14 +0000 Experts warned that eating leftover rice may yield to food poisoning. Cooking rice does not always destroy all the pathogens residing on it. There is also a higher risk of food poisoning when rice is left at room temperature.

Dr. Bejamin Chapman, North Carolina State University’s resident Food Safety Specialist, said in an interview that a pathogen is prevalent in dried rice, most likely as spores. This pathogen is known as Bacillus cereus. It is commonly found in soil and food. However, some pathogenic strains are known to cause harm to humans and may cause food-borne diseases.

According to Dr. Chapman, these spores can survive even when cooked. If the rice is stored at room temperature after cooking, the spores can grow and propagate. Food poisoning happens because these bacterial spores survive. It is probably that cooked rice is a great breeding place for the spores, as it has water and nutrients.

As soon as these spores germinate, they release toxins which include those resistant to heat. Although it is not clear how many infection incidents of Bacillus cereus there are, a report suggest that it constitutes to two percent of food-borne diseases.

A study published in Epidemiology and Infection stated that boiled rice must be kept hot (more than 63 degrees Celsius) or cooled immediately, and be placed in a refrigerator within two hours from cooking. Fried or boiled rice must not be kept under warm conditions, specifically in the range of 15-50 degrees Celsius. This temperature is ideal for the bacteria to multiply.

Meanwhile, Dr. Donald Shaffner, Rutger University’s food scientist, warned that there are restaurants that cook a big batch of rice then keep it at room temperature all day. It will then be consumed or served as needed. This may lead to outbreaks such as food poisoning. The best way to fend off this kind of food poisoning is to refrigerate rice leftovers two hours after cooking.

However, it is not always the case, as sushi rice can be stored at room temperature without the chance of food poisoning. Sushi rice has vinegar, which gives it its acidic property not ideal for bacterial growth.

Foods you must not reheat

While on the subject of leftovers, here is the list of the foods you must not reheat. These foods cause food poisoning, especially if they were incorrectly stored.

Potatoes – Potatoes must be immediately refrigerated. If they are left to cool down at room temperature, a bacteria known as Clostridium botulinum may develop. It can lead to botulism; a rare disease that could lead to paralysis.

Mushrooms – Mushrooms must be consumed at least 24 hours after they are prepared. Mushrooms are rich in proteins, but proteins quickly deteriorate as soon as you slice the mushroom. It is safe to eat mushrooms if they are reheated at a high temperature.

Eggs – Eggs may be reheated, but it must be done properly. When reheating, eggs should reach an internal temperature of 74 degrees Celsius to ensure they are safe for consumption. It is wise to skip reheating eggs in the microwave if you do not have a food thermometer.

Chicken – Reheating chicken might lead to digestive problems. The protein composition of the meat may be altered during reheating.

Spinach, celery, and beets – Spinach, celery, and beets contain high levels of nitrates that can be carcinogenic when reheated. This happens when these foods are heated, stored, then reheated.

Other considerations

– If you think the food is not cooked properly, do not reheat it. Instead, cook it again.

– Always check if the microwave is working perfectly.

– Stir the food in the microwave to facilitate even temperature in every part.

– To ensure an even, thorough reheating, make sure to cut foods into smaller portions.


Charity saves 50 dogs from meat farm in South Korea /foodsupplynews/2017-04-01-charity-saves-dogs-from-meat-farm-in-south-korea.htmlv Sat, 01 Apr 2017 15:58:35 +0000 We’ve all heard jokes about eating dog meat at Chinese and Korean restaurants, but most people who laugh at these comments don’t realize that there is a disturbing truth behind them. It’s certainly no laughing matter in South Korea, where more than 50 dogs were recently rescued in the country after being found in deplorable conditions on a dog meat farm there.

According to Humane Society International, the dogs were kept in almost total darkness on a farm outside Seoul in the town of Goyang. Ventilation was almost nonexistent in their dungeon-like quarters, with the smell of ammonia being strong enough to make your eyes water as you enter. They were nearly starving to death and were very scared of their rescuers.

Even seasoned veterans of the charity were shocked by the conditions the canines were forced to endure. The animals were flown to the emergency shelters in the U.S., with the bulk of them sent to Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. Their behavior is being assessed and they are getting medical attention as they undergo evaluations for adoption.

Dog meat industry booming in South Korea

Dog meat farms are big business in South Korea, where around 17,000 farms are believed to be in operation. In total, more than 2.5 million dogs are reared there for human consumption, and more than 30 million dogs are killed annually throughout Asia. All breeds of dog are affected, with a mixed breed known the Korean Jindo being the most popular, but labradors, beagles, and even chihuahuas are all considered fair game. Many of these animals are stolen from families or grabbed when found wandering the streets.

In just the past two years, the charity has helped close seven such farms and has rescued more than 800 dogs. As part of their work, they help the owners of these dog farms transition into different types of work, such as chili or blueberry farms.

Baltimore NBC affiliate WPAL-TV 11 reports that 11 of the rescued pups have now made their way to Queenstown’s Animal Welfare League. Shelter Manager Kirstyn Northrop-Cobb says that some of the dogs are just experiencing walking on grass for the first time in their lives. She reports that the dogs are understandably timid but are starting to come out their shells a bit. Some even appear socialized, which could indicate they were family pets before ending up at the meat farm, while others appear to have been bred on the farm.

If you find the idea of these lovable animals being killed, cooked and eaten to be revolting, consider this: many of the animals that are killed for human consumption in our own country also live in horrific conditions before being slaughtered. For example, many people rightfully express outrage over the ten-day Yulin Dog Meat Festival in China, where as many as 15,000 dogs are bludgeoned and then gutted, yet during the same span of time, almost 29 million animals meet a similar fate to feed Brits.

Not only is this practice bad for the poor animals – to say the least – it’s not particularly good for the humans eating them, either. A U.S. National Cancer Institute study of more than half a million people that spanned a decade, found that those who had the highest intakes of red or processed meat had a much higher risk of dying from all causes than those who ate the least amount of such meats.

South Korea is currently the only country that routinely farms dogs for human consumption, and some people are calling for a boycott of the Winter Olympic Games that will be hosted there in 2018 in protest of this barbaric practice.

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