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AlpineRose
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AlpineRose
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PostMon Feb 06, 2017 10:17 pm 
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...or your kids?


I was appalled to recently learn glyphosate (Roundup) is being sprayed on both oats and wheat as a pre-harvest desiccant.  Even though there is no GMO version of either grain, they and other grains are commonly sprayed with glyphosate before harvest.  This dries out the grains, making the entire crop more uniform and less expensive to harvest.

Now I, and many folks, eat oats and/or wheat products every day.  My concern is our glyphosate exposure is on a daily rather than occasional basis.  I already buy only organic wheat bread.  In the future, I will now buy only organic oatmeal and other organic oat products.  Per the topic title, there is no organic version of Cheerios.  However, Trader Joe's offers a reasonable organic facsimile.

In more bad news, spraying glyphosate on oats reduces the level of beta glucan, the soluble fiber that makes oats "heart healthy".

An excerpt from the Letter section of PCC's current Sound Consumer summarizing the issue:

Quote:
Glyphosate and grains
Nick Rose's article "Are whole grains the secret to living longer?" mentions nonorganic popular grains sprayed with glyphosate. Doesn't a grain have to be genetically engineered (GE) to be able to be sprayed with the herbicide Roundup? If so, I was unaware that there are GE wheat and oats out there. Can you clarify?
ó Name withheld upon request
PCC replies: Glyphosate (aka Roundup) is sprayed on "Roundup Ready" crop fields of corn and soybeans, that are genetically engineered to be tolerant to absorbing the herbicide.
Some farmers also spray glyphosate on non-organic wheat, oats and barley just before harvest because it causes wilting that makes it easier for harvesting machinery to take up the crop. So, glyphosate is being used on some non-organic grains even though they're not genetically engineered with the glyphosate-tolerant gene.
In 2016 the FDA started testing for glyphosate residues in foods, following the World Health Organization's declaration in 2015 of glyphosate as a probable carcinogen. The FDA stopped testing suddenly, after an independent study with an FDA-accredited lab found high levels of residues on popular foods, such as Cheerios, Oreos and Kashi cookies.

Here's Bob's Red Mill's take on the issue.  Lots more info out there should you wish to learn more.  Google "Roundup and Cheerios".
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 8:26 am 
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Remember Bob's Red Mill is in the business of selling "Natural" and organic food products.  It is is their business interest to spread FUD about food grown using modern practices just as much as it is in modern producers interests to obscure any risks posed by new practices.   If you start enumerating all things that are "potential carcinogens" and trying to avoid them all, I think it would be hard to find anything to eat - even an all organic, locally grown, cruelty free diet.
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Schroder
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 8:37 am 
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Snopes article:
Are U.S. farmers saturating wheat crops with Monsanto's Roundup herbicide as a desiccant to facilitate a quicker harvest?

Quote:
Moreover, commenter after commenter with direct experience in wheat farming has chimed in to state that despite the author's claims that nearly all the durum and spring wheat in the U.S. is "doused with Roundup as part of the harvesting process," they've never engaged in, seen, or heard of such a practice and have no use for it because it's unnecessary or economically unfeasible
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jinx'sboy
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 9:27 am 
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I have long time friends in Colorado who have farmed wheat, organically, for about 30 years.  They also mill wheat and millet for the org. market.  They were instrumental in getting Colo. State organic agriculture standards adopted years ago. 
A while back I asked them about the practice of their non non-organic neighbors spraying roundup as a desiccant.  She just laughed and laughed....and said that not only was it unheard off, it didn't make any economic sense; "no one would bother to do that as a matter of course.....it not only costs money......we get paid by weight!"
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AlpineRose
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 4:54 pm 
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Quote:
If you start enumerating all things that are "potential carcinogens" and trying to avoid them all, I think it would be hard to find anything to eat - even an all organic, locally grown, cruelty free diet.

But that doesn't mean you shouldn't try.  You are what you eat.  The environment is what you eat.  The easiest and single most important thing we can do for the environment is move towards eating foods that are healthy for us and healthy for the planet.  That opportunity presents itself with every food dollar we spend.

Me, I do what I can.  I pick my battles.  I don't stress out on buying 100% everything organic or animal products humanely raised.  But both are very important to me, and if you care about the environment or the other non-human beings with whom we share this planet, they should be important to you.  I pick and choose:  organic milk and yogurt, eggs from humanely raised chickens, grass fed beef, organic versions of the Dirty Dozen (it's actually closer to a Dirty Twenty or so).  I was also already eating mostly organic wheat, simply because Dave's Killer Breads are my absolute favorite bread, and all his breads are organic.  Going forward, I will prioritize organic oat products. 

Maybe you missed my point about not being concerned so much about the occasional exposure, but with the cumulative lifelong effect of the bad stuff in food I eat e-v-e-r-y  d-a-y.  Along with it's cumulative effect on our world.

Oh, the toxic agricultural soup isn't just about carcinogens.  There's the neural toxins, the hormonal toxins, and the gross overuse of antibiotics in agriculture.  The latter is moving us towards a post-antibiotic world, imo, the most dangerous crisis facing humans in the short-term.
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 7:46 pm 
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AlpineRose, it looks like you missed the point of the two prior posts.  That the idea that non-organic oats are sprayed with glycolphosphate just prior to harvest is a myth.  So independent of degree of risk of glycolphosphate, it isn't a factor when eating oatmeal or cheerios.

So whom is spreading this myth?  What is their motivation?  Are the people behind the current organic movement concerned with human health or marketing to increase profits?  Back in the early days of the organic farming movement I believe the motivations were altruistic.  However now I when visit places like Whole Foods , I feel more and more that the goal is simply more marketing and using fear as a powerful tool for that marketing.
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Chief Joseph
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 9:45 pm 
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Not me, I never have liked them, they always gave me gas, even when I was young. I could kinda deal with the honey nut O's...but no more, I don't eat cereal very often, and when I do, it's either oatmeal or raisin bran. Also like the non frosted pop tarts on occasion.

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RichP
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PostTue Feb 07, 2017 9:57 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
So whom is spreading this myth?† What is their motivation?†

Fake news?

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/02/viva-la-resistance-content/515532/
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sarbar
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PostThu Feb 16, 2017 9:09 am 
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A few things:

A "cruelty free diet" doesn't exist. It cannot. We like to think happy warm thoughts as we nosh on vegan delites...however, the real cost in farming is to small creatures - moles, mice, rats, birds, and billions of bugs and bees. I'm a bee keeper. I'm an organic farmer now. But I also realize it doesn't make me special at all.

Second, Bob is a pretty darn nice man. I have no issues buying from the company. I trust them. I don't say that lightly. My youngest has severe food allergies and auto immune issues. It is HARD to find food he can consume safely. I wear my tin foil hat proudly: I believe most of his issues come from the pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. If he stays on a tightly controlled organic diet, he does extremely well physically. I grow a big chunk of our food, using organic practices now, the parts I buy...I research well. My son had severe eczema from a few days after birth and his food allergies showed up immediately (we just didn't know that). His first exposure to peanuts (one of the filthiest crops) sent him to the ER with anaphylaxis. A month later? Cashews sent him back, with his first use of an epi pen. His list of allergens is intolerably long, his peanut allergy is over 100 (they cannot test for any higher). He has a diagnosed allergy to wheat - but can tolerate Bob's Red Mill organic wheat, or the wheat I grow (yes, I grow wheat.......) My goal is to heal him, to give him what he can tolerate - in organic and preferably what I grew - and get his body to reset.

Sorry for the rant....just something very, very close to me.

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AlpineRose
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PostThu Feb 16, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Quote:
That the idea that non-organic oats are sprayed with glycolphosphate just prior to harvest is a myth.

So we're into conspiracy theories now, are we?  The Holocaust, moon landing, Sandy Hook, climate change - all myths, yes?

It's true glycol phosphate (two words) is not being sprayed on grains.  But what I've recently read about glyphosate (Roundup) in non-GMO grains concerns me enough to prioritize buying organic over conventional oat products. (As stated earlier, I already eat mostly organic wheat.)  I thought others concerned about healthy eating would be interested as well.  Even tried to think of a catchy topic title.

Yeah, I probably should have addressed those two prior responses.  I was floored at the suggestion this might be a "fake news" issue.  I acknowledge the difficulty in distinguishing between real and fake news these days.  However, if the FDA has measured glyphosate in grains, that tilts it towards the truth for me.  Now, I don't happen to have my own chemistry lab to do my own testing.  As well, I cannot count any oat or wheat farmers among my personal acquaintances to discuss this issue.  But maybe the OP's wheat farmer friends in Colorado don't necessarily know what oat (or wheat) farmers in say, Iowa, are doing.   Interestingly, when I queried Trader Joe's about glyphosate in their non-organic oat products, their response was they couldn't guarantee their oat source was free of it (kudos to TJs for telling the truth).   As well, PCC knows something is afoot, or they wouldn't be discussing it in their Sound Consumer. Evidently, both TJs and PCC have been hoodwinked into believing the Roundup myth.

It's my understanding from what I've read that a certain amount of the US grain supply is sprayed with Roundup, and that grain supplies from different areas can be commingled.  Bottom line, unless you buy organic, there's no guarantee a particular grain product is Roundup free.

Sarbar, your kid is fortunate you are able to support his/her health so well through healthy foods.  You are special. There is nothing wrong with that. It seems as though your youngest is like the proverbial canary in the coal mine.  For whatever reasons, he/she is especially sensitive to toxins found in the conventional/industrial food supply.
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sarbar
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PostThu Feb 16, 2017 7:28 pm 
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AlpineRose wrote:
For whatever reasons, he/she is especially sensitive to toxins found in the conventional/industrial food supply.

He very much is. It has been very hard as he entered the school system (preschool). His first year of preschool I went with him, and cooked the meal that day (it was a nature preschool, all outdoors). We had no issues. Last year, he went without me, and every week he'd get sick badly for 2 days after his class. Nothing at home had changed. It was I figured out...was school. The school was not open to answering my questions (the head lady was on maternity leave and things were not as good without her there). My theory was that the meal hadn't changed, but the ingredients HAD. That one day, they always had hot oatmeal. The first year it was organic Bob's Red Mill, bought in bags. Someone was buying bulk oats...to save money? I don't know. Bulk oats at Fred Meyer's are cheap. And sit right by the cheap wheat flour and other things. The oats get contaminated there (and most likely come in contaminated with sprays). Cheap oats DO make people sick. Not everyone, but some will.

PS: I am going to try to grow oats this year. I am excited!

PS2: We left that school. He has been in the school district preschool now since, and they take it very seriously smile.gif

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RandyHiker
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PostFri Feb 17, 2017 8:32 am 
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To me the most telling bit of info from the Snopes article that Schroder linked above was this:

Quote:
Q: Iím a journalist covering agriculture in the heart of wheat country. I have never, ever seen or heard of a wheat farmer spraying his fields with glyphosate as a desiccant. Wheatís natural life cycle allows for it to ripen in the heat of the summer so it naturally dries to an acceptable moisture level for harvest. Who was your source for the agriculture information you shared? I donít know of any agronomist who would recommend the application of glyphosate 7 to 10 days before harvest.

A: Denial doesnít magically make the problem disappear. Please do some research and see for yourself the truth about what the wheat industry is doing to the health of American citizens.

(Emphasis added)

The person that promoted the idea that glyphosate was being applied to wheat and oats near harvest totally dodged the question of where she got the information and did it using classic deflection.   I might be willing to give some benefit of the doubt if the response was something line "For confidentiality reasons, I can't reveal my source" or something along those lines -- but it was just deflection.   So I'm skeptical.

I have a grand-niece that is gluten intolerant -- when she eats wheat she gets stomach pains -- but her fraternal twin sister does not.   So figuring out what works for each of your kids is something each family has to figure out.   I think that care is needed, both in selecting the food stuffs to consume and in information we consume to guide those choices.   I like to consult multiple sources of information and to be skeptical of the information and consider who might benefit from the publication of false information.
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sarbar
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sarbar
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PostFri Feb 17, 2017 9:25 am 
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Is she gluten intolerant or has a wheat allergy? Many don't believe that gluten intolerance is an actual thing. Where as a wheat allergy is something that can be confirmed with testing. Stomach pains to wheat is an allergy symptom. Especially so if accompanied by black poop.

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RandyHiker
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PostFri Feb 17, 2017 9:45 am 
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sarbar wrote:
Is she gluten intolerant or has a wheat allergy? Many don't believe that gluten intolerance is an actual thing. Where as a wheat allergy is something that can be confirmed with testing. Stomach pains to wheat is an allergy symptom. Especially so if accompanied by black poop.

As her grand-uncle I am not privy to the exact details of testing that her parents have undertaken or the nature of her stools.    I do know that she has been tested for celiac disease and that was negative.   She avoids eating any wheat products -- as well as almost commercially produced "gluten free" baked goods -- which tend to have very long lists of ingredients and high sugar levels.

One general trouble with dietary changes and health perception (not such wheat and gluten, but also dairy and many other food stuffs)  is that when many people make a switch from the "see food diet" to "diet plan X" they almost alway feel better -- somewhat independent of specific details of "diet plan X" 

I think much of that is a combination of the difference between "eating with awareness" (and thus maybe 1/2 the calories) and placebo effect.

In my own experience with international travel -- I find that portion sizes are about half of what they are in the USA, but after a day or so, I'm not hungry -- even though my activity level is considerably higher while travelling than while hacking computer code.   So in the USA I make an effort to simply eat less.
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Jeff's House
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PostSun Feb 26, 2017 1:30 pm 
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A must read for everyone concerned about the food supply is Frank Springob's book Bugs in my brain, Poison on my plate.  His practice is in Port Angeles, WA and he co-founded this MFT testing along with his staff in this ground breaking research.  And yes we are being poisoned as everyone he tests has roundup in their systems.  Amazon has the book.
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