Sep 8, 2014

Week Twelve

Last week we sent you home with a few ears of heirloom corn...A friend told me that she thought her corn needed "braces," which I found hilarious. She was of course referring to the fact that on her ear of corn a bunch of kernals were simply missing, and the rows of kernals weren't straight. I am happy that our first ever round of yellow corn was a success, and athough the heirloom corn was less consistent and "normal" looking, I thought it was a good reminder of both the challenges and possibilities in organic corn production. Across the board, heirloom seeds produce the most interesting and flavorful results, but in terms of consistent production, modern, organic hybrids are the way to go. A few of you may remember when BOCA was planted with mostly heirloom seed...the veggies were interesting, yet our production was inconsistent. That's not to say that propagation and sustaining of heirloom seed isn't extremely important... the balancing act between viable, non-GMO and healthy seed and consistent/abundant production is a real challenge! Head to the Heirloom Expo this week to learn more! 

One can't think of organic corn production without wondering about issues relating to GE / GMO's...our shareholder Beth Mattei has shared thoughts on GE Foods.

I was delighted when Lizzie invited any of us to submit to the newsletter. I had thought of writing a poem one day while picking flowers at BOCA and submitting it, and perhaps I will, but today I feel I have a more important item to convey.  I have been spending the last few years doing what I can to help raise my own and others' awareness of the risks of genetically engineered foods.  I feel the BOCA newsletter would be one more logical place to do that and I am grateful for the opportunity.  

I am on so many organization's email lists receiving  updates and information about GE foods that I am having a hard time at this moment to offer just one item for your consideration so as not to overwhelm you.  Ultimately, I am choosing this link to offer you as it is well-organized, easy to use, easy to digest, and done by authors that I feel are credible.  It is entitled, "GMO Myths and Truths: An Evidence-Based Examination of the Claims Made for the Safety and Efficacy of Genetically Engineered Crops".  Here is a link to the report:

By way of background, I first heard about GE foods from a former farmer at Copia but didn't pay serious attention to them until my spiritual teacher from India happened to give his insights into the many levels of disharmony these foods create on human cognition, health, the environment, etcetera.  I have since spent countless hours reading studies, watching documentaries, attending lectures, and advocating for GE food labeling via Prop 37 in CA, I522 in Washington state and in the recent attempt to pass a labeling law in the CA state legislature.  FYI: I am not an "anti-science" person and I do my best to keep an open mind towards this issue.  What I have found repeatedly, first hand, is that many people accept as fact the claims made by the industry which makesbillions off these products and who pour tens of millions into pro-GMO PR campaigns while ignoring factual evidence disproving these assertions.  The organic farmers, consumers, mothers, concerned scientist, etcetera who typically make up those with legitimate misgivings about GE crops may not be well funded, but we are doing our best to get the word out to those who are open to listening.  

I may be preaching to choir, but perhaps if we forward these types of information to our friends, family members and associates who may be unaware, we can be of benefit to their health and the health of our food supply and our environment.  Thank you!

Beth Mattei
p.s.  If you want to take real world action on this issue: Oregon currently has a proposition on its ballot that would require labeling of Genetically engineered foods in the state.  If you would like to learn more about Prop 92 and possibly donate, volunteer or help spread the word, go to


Today's Bounty: