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artwork by Vincent Ramirez (www.artisvast.com) & Liz Davison
I wish I was able to see an aerial view of all of the people Marching Against Monsanto around the world on Saturday. We may not have gotten much (or any?) mainstream press, but I do believe our efforts made an impact.
I’m happy I was able to attend + photograph the march in Chicago. I have a passion for street photography, and nothing makes me feel more alive than photographing events where people are coming together to create positive change. I love all of the creativity & heart that goes into the signs, costumes, and chants. Check out the photos here: (remember to tag yourself + your friends, Like, and Share them to help further spread the word). See photos from the last two marches here (NYC) & here (Chicago).
It was interesting marching past people on the street and watching light bulbs go off in their heads (or seeing the dubious looks on their faces.) Hopefully we planted a seed in their minds so that they’ll take the time to find out what GMOs are all about. It was awesome getting thumbs up’s & high fives from people passing by who already understand what a huge issue this is.
To me, the most powerful thing about the last 3 marches has been being in the presence of such a huge group of like-minded people. There have been workshops & discussions held after the marches for people to meet and share their knowledge & ideas. It’s so refreshing to realize that there are people out there that care as much about something as you do, who are also willing to take the time to do something instead of just sitting around talking about it.
Let’s keep spreading the word so that anyone who still doesn’t know what an important issue this is can finally get it. Sometimes it just takes somebody to present info in a slightly different way for it to click in someones mind.
Looking forward to the day when all food is organic food again!
Photos © Liz Davison, 2014 – All Rights Reserved
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Not only are they in our non-organic food & cotton clothes, but they’ve gone and snuck into our body care products, too. Last year I did a post on how to avoid them in your food (check it out here: http://thelotusroot.com/how-to-easily-avoid-gmos/)
Also as promised, this is part 1 in my series on how to navigate the beauty + personal care aisles, which will be spread out throughout the rest of the year. Feel free to submit any question you want answered about this topic here
10 GMO INGREDIENTS THAT MAY BE IN YOUR PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS
*If they’re not listed as organic or non-gmo, they’re most likely genetically modified.*
1. Glycerin – Can be made from gmo soy – but can also be made from non-gmo coconut or palm oils (Just note that palm oil has its own problems – more on that later)
2. Lecithin – Usually made from gmo corn
3. Vitamin E – Most likely made from gmo soy
4. Xanthan gum – Used in moisturizers, lotions, etc. – can be made from gmo corn or soy
5. Decyl Glucoside – If listed as being made from Sugar Beets (Which are 100% gmo. Non gmo sugar beets have been banned by the sugar beet industry) – You may see this in your favorite natural shampoo
6. Corn starch – or anything else made with corn
7. Canola oil – You will find this cheap filler oil in many of the so called natural lip balms out there
8. Soy oil ( ditto )
9. Hydrolyzed Soy Protein (or anything else made with soy)
10. Lauric acid ( can be made from canola or coconuts – conscious companies will most likely let you know what source it’s from)
Alcohol. Most likely made from gmo corn
Cotton swabs, tampons, etc: Made with gmo cotton unless organic
The trick is to try to make sure these ingredients are listed as organic, non-gmo, or avoid them all together if you can.
Sometimes, you have no choice but to use a product (or enjoy some food) that may have something in it that you don’t like. Just do your best, be vigilant, and be careful about the items you leave on your skin. In my products, I’ve committed to using 100% non-gmo ingredients, which are organic whenever possible.
Awareness is key – the more that people become as savvy about their body/skin care as they are about their food (and the more we vote with our dollars),
the more that companies will be forced to use better ingredients.
P.S: People all over the world will be marching against Monsanto tomorrow: http://www.march-against-monsanto.com/p/blog-page_5.html
Will another march cause Monsanto to stop doing its eviiil deeds? Very doubtful. Will it be an opportunity for like-minded people to get together and help spread the word so we can ban this stuff for good? Signs point to yes. :)
See you there?
Photo © Liz Davison, 2013 (More here)
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As I write this, I am dreaming of eating an avocado tostada with a side of guacamole and chips. The tostadas that I love are most likely made with gmo corn + cooked w/ gmo canola oil with a little bit of gmo soy in there somewhere for good measure.
I’m telling you this to let you in on a (not-so-secret) secret: I am not perfect. I do not pretend to be some kind of martyr for the cause.
I love to eat, and there’s nothing better than dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in Chicago or a meal cooked with love by someones sweet mom or grandma. To me, heaven is a warm tortilla. And yes, sometimes those tortillas are made with genetically modified corn.
I am pretty darn good at eating healthy on a budget most of the time. I’ve learned lots of tricks over the years. I do believe in investing in high quality food & supplements when I can. It makes me sad when people give up on eating healthy because (they think) it’s “too expensive”. I’m a woman who would rather spend money on my health then buy new shoes, for example. Still, I don’t always have the extra money to buy 100% organic. I’m not always able to make the time to prepare every meal myself.
I try my best, but I’ve had to make sacrifices in my own personal life while building my business. I’ve tried (on more than one occasion) to cut everything considered bad out of my diet, but it often meant having to turn down delicious meals with people I love. Life is too short for that.
That being said, I do strive every day to get to the point where I can hold most things in my life
to the same uncompromising standard that I hold my body care & skincare creations to.
Believe me, I can’t wait until the day when I can eat organic / biodynamic / homegrown / wild / grass fed / local / farmers market food
most of the time and can boycott what I don’t want to see in the world.
But it’s not 100% possible right now, and a girl needs to eat. One thing I’m not willing to do is starve.
In a perfect world, we wouldn’t have to worry about gmo labeling. We wouldn’t have to concern ourselves as much with reading ingredient lists, or with patented gmo seeds taking over the planet.
There would be no hardworking farmers being sued, or committing suicide by drinking pesticides for the gmo crops they’d been sold a bill of goods to invest all their money in.
We would be free to eat real, nourishing food that has not been tampered with.
I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of investing so much time and energy worrying about what I should and should
not be eating. I have bigger fish to fry.
I believe that if we keep making enough noise, taking enough photos, and sharing enough info,
that gmos will be banned in the US just like they are in 26+ other countries.
This is why I do what I do.
So, my advice is, do your best. I completely respect anyone who is able to totally remove gmos out of their diet.
But if this isn’t you, don’t make yourself crazy worrying about it. Just arm yourself with information, and make the best choices you can in any given moment. Stressing out and being fanatical about food may make you more sick than the gmos themselves. Enjoy a home cooked meal with your family or friends. Indulge in your guilty pleasures once in a while.. (Or don’t. It’s completely up to you – and anyone who judges you for your choices is an asshole.)
But whatever you do, don’t give up. I would say keep fighting the good fight, but what I really want to leave you with is this: Keep spreading the Love.
(and heirloom, organic seeds, or course.)
Photo © Liz Davison, 2013 (More here)
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Tell me if this sounds like you…
You get frustrated when looking for safe skin care / beauty / personal care products.
You get tired of reading endless lists of ingredients…
You find it hard to figure out what works (without a lot of expensive trial and error).
You wonder which natural ingredients are effective, and which ones are added simply because they sound pretty.
I know how tricky it can be finding a product that isn’t loaded with chemicals, or figuring out if that natural + organic product is really what is claims to be.
To make it easier I wanted to share this helpful app created by the Environmental Working Group: http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/app/
You can download it to your phone and look up any ingredient you may not be familiar with.
(You may remember that I mentioned the EWG in this post on finding a chemical free + effective lip balm.)
The EWG database is great, but it isn’t perfect. There’s still a ton of research to be done on the effects of these chemicals on our health.
We are bombarded by so much everyday, and we shouldn’t have to worry about what we’re putting on our skin.
I’m on a mission to change this.
I’m putting together a free guide that will make it easier to navigate through the beauty aisle. It can be a full time job figuring out what’s good, what’s bad, what works & what doesn’t. I want to make it easier for you. Leave a comment + let me know: What’s your biggest challenge or frustration when it comes to finding skin care / beauty / personal care products?
You can also answer anonymously on surveymonkey: Click Here
Thanks so much, hope all is well!
It’s a beautiful plant, but according to the Organic Trade Association:
“Cotton is considered the world’s ‘dirtiest’ crop due to its heavy use of insecticides, the most hazardous pesticide to human and animal health.”
“It can take almost a 1/3 pound of synthetic fertilizers to grow one pound of raw cotton in the US, and it takes just under one pound of raw cotton to make one t-shirt”
“Nitrogen synthetic fertilizers are considered the most detrimental to the environment, causing leaching and runoff that freshwater habitats and wells.”
“The cottonseed hull, where many pesticide residues have been detected, is a secondary crop sold as a food commodity. It is estimated that as much as 65% of cotton production ends up in our food chain, whether directly through food oil or indirectly through the milk and meat of animals”
If your cotton isn’t organic its most likely Genetically Modified. If you can, please support the farmers who have chosen to grow 100% organic cotton. In the very least, check those food labels and make sure that your cookies, crackers, etc. are not made with cottonseed oil, a bi-product of cotton processing.
It may not be Sketchbook Sunday, but I just found out it’s National Kale Day. I thought I’d share this drawing I did a while back for my dirty dozen / clean fifteen series. Kale is on of the dirty dozen list, so make sure it’s organic!
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New fall giveaway! Check out my facebook page to enter: https://www.facebook.com/TheLotusRoot
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As I mentioned last week, the designs I’ve been working on are finally finished.
The first is my flowing chakras design, which I originally drew a while back for an album of Meditation music: Root to Crown.
The second is a pattern I created for my eye pillows with the third eye / 6th chakra / anja symbol from the flowing chakras design.
The eye pillows are made from recycled bamboo & organic cotton shirts from previous seasons – I haven’t decided if I’ll be ordering more fabric once I run out. They’re going fast, so be sure to get one soon if you’re interested!
You can find everything here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheLotusRoot
Also – If you’re in NYC – Vincent and I will be selling our eye pillows, tshirts, mugs, etc. tomorrow at the Inwood Greenmarket in upper Manhattan ( 9 am -1pm if the weather permits!)
http://www.grownyc.org/greenmarket-site/manhattan/inwood-greenmarket We’d love it if you stopped by to say hello!
One last thing – thank you so much if you answered my anonymous survey last week..I really appreciate your questions, sweet words and feedback! Feel free to leave a question or comment if you haven’t already.
I just wanted to take a moment to share one of my favorite drinks to help keep cool in the summertime – iced hibiscus tea. Growing up, I loved drinking Red Zinger tea, which has hibiscus in it ( I was that weird kid who stopped drinking pop when I was 12). Hibiscus is known as Jamaica or “Agua de flor de Jamaica”, among many other names throughout the world…It’s high in vitamin C, antioxidants and minerals, so it’s great for the skin and can give your immune system a boost.
Hibiscus tea is made of a part of the flower called the calyx (the part that supports the petals). Y ou can find it at many grocery stores – I got organic hibiscus at mountainroseherbs.com
There are different ways to make hibiscus tea – this is how I make mine:
It has many health benefits, (studies have shown it can lower blood pressure) but may also have some side effects, you can read about both here.
Do you ever drink hibiscus / jamaica, or do you have a favorite cold drink for the summertime? Let me know in the comments below!
photos: © Elizabeth Paige Davison, 2013
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March Against Monsanto, NYC – May 25, 2013
Were you one of the over 2 Million people who Marched Against Monsanto around the world yesterday? If so, where? I’d love to see your photos or videos (feel free to post your links in the comments section!)
Know anyone who’s not clear on what foods + products are GMO (and how to avoid them?)
Feel free to share or send them these posts:
On skincare / bodycare / personal care products: http://thelotusroot.com/10-gmo-ingredients-that-are-snuck-into-your-body-care-products/
I think it’s fantastic news that the Connecticut state Senate passed a bill that will require the labeling of GMOs.
Unfortunately, other U.S states aren’t on board (yet).
While labeling GMO food would be great to raise awareness and help people make better choices,
I feel that we can take our power back right now by simply knowing what to avoid.
I believe that one of the most powerful ways to vote is with your dollar.
Here’s a list of what to look out for, if you’re in the U.S or Canada.
Some tips for avoiding GMOS:
1. Buy organic. Items that are certified organic cannot be genetically modified by law. If your produce has a PLU number that starts with 9, it’s organic.
According to the “Non-gmo Shopping Guide”:
“When the product is labeled “100% organic,” “organic,” or just “made with organic ingredients,” then even the non-organic ingredients cannot be produced from GMOs. For example, products labeled as “made with organic ingredients” only require 70% of the ingredients to be organic, but 100% must be non-GMO.”
2. Watch out for produce with PLUs that start with 8: This means it’s gmo.
3. Avoid processed food: The majority of processed food in the US & Canada has at least one GMO ingredient, unless it’s certified organic. Often times, processed food is almost entirely GMO. It’s best to check the list of ingredients. Some labels these days will claim “Made with non-GMO ingredients” – which doesn’t necessarily mean that there aren’t any gmo ingredients in there.
4. Look for the NonGMO project Seal
5. There’s an app for that: Actually, 2 that I know of. Check out ShopNoGmo & Buycott on your i-phones/ipods/other devices
6. Watch out for sneaky GMO ingredients: Corn Syrup, High fructose Corn syrup, some modified food starch, soy flour, soy lecithin, vegetable oil, dextrose,etc. Unless labeled organic or non-gmo, most meat, dairy and eggs have come from animals raised on GM feed. Avoid Dairy products from cows injected with GM hormone RbGH.
Non-organic supplements, beauty care products, pet food etc. may have gmo ingredients – Check out my post : 10 ingredients that may be in your body care products
7. Shop at the farmers market! Talk to your farmer and ask them if their produce is non-gmo. Even if they’re crops aren’t certified organic, they may have been grown without pesticides and are may be non-gmo.
8. Grow your own food! Take control of your food supply. Plant organic & heirloom seeds.
Do you have any tips for avoiding GMOs?