Here is the response from Back to Nature re: cotton burr compost
containing genetically modified material.
Another good product lost to the Frankencrop industry... IMO.
In brief, our raw material comes from several gins on the South
Plains. What they have, we get. Some cotton is genetically altered.
It may ease your concern a bit to learn that in recent years the EPA
has decreed that all chemicals used on cotton must be bio-degradable
within two weeks. The composting process (4 months at temperatures not
exceeding 150 F) effectively eliminates any trace of carbon based
chemicals, pathogens, weed seeds and harmful organisms.
As members of the United States Compost Council, we regularly submit
samples for testing. Our products meet the USCC's standards.
Personally, I would be more concerned about the chemicals than
whether the cotton has been genetically altered. However, If you are
uncomfortable with our product, there is certainly no obligation to
We appreciate and understand your concerns.
N. Warren Johnson
Back To Nature / Garden-Ville
Email: nwj972 at/remove/change yahoo.com
Like the present melanin scandal in pet, poultry and, pork feeds, the
use of GMOs makes us all guinea pigs. It it safe? The FDA crosses their
fingers. GMOs produce unique proteins as the try to integrate genetic
material from different species. What happens when these proteins are
devoured by soil organism. What are ramifications when genetic drift
occurs? Grown in hermetically sealed greenhouses for research may be
justifiable but released to the environment and mainlined into our food
source can only be called greed. So what Orwellian brand name do you use
for Franken Crops?, "Back to Nature", of course.
Vote with your wallet folks.
Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Almost all of our food is genetically modified, either through selection by
agricultural scientists over the past 10 millennia, or through genetic
engineering. GMOs may contain modified proteins, but the modifications are
planned and controlled. Nature does the same thing constantly and on a
completely random basis. If that were not so, the fresh organically grown
tomatoes you enjoy would still be toxic, and corn would look like rye grass.
Why be concerned about a *proteins devoured by soil organism*? Once torn down
into the basic amino acids, nucleotides etc, GM anything are completely
harmless. A given GM protein itself might be of concern as an allergen or
toxin, but it is still made from the same 21+ amino acids of which all proteins
are made. The FDA didn't just cross their fingers, but even most well educated
people can not understand the real issues involved. There are dangers inherent
in GM foods, but direct danger to humans who consume them is very much less
(several orders of magnitude less) than those posed by pesticides, food
processing and preservation procedures already in common practice. The real
dangers are far more subtle, such as compensatory mutations in the pests a
given GM is meant to help control.
It is certainly a moot debate. The choices for most of the world are really
rather straightforward. Eat GM food, starve, or quit breeding. I vote for the
latter, but it does not seem likely.
I disagree with your statements that it is a moot debate and that the
world has three choices (though I do agree that greatly reduced
breeding is the best option). Much of the world is rejecting GM
crops. It is the Big Money Folks that tell the world what limited
choices they have. Ourway or the Dieway.
You give credit to the FDA. The FDA has become a regulatory stamp for
the big money concerns: ie; BigPharma, Monasanto, on and on ad
nauseum. To use an FDA stamp of approval is BS or to even assume that
the FDA any longer gives a fat baby's ass about anything but $$$$ is
Do you really believe that the GM folks are concerned about the
starving people in this world? Or the FDA? Or Monsanto?
You are correct that nature and scientists have been improving
varieties over the millennia, but even with hybridization, one's
control is taken away by having to continually buy new seed. Saved
seed from hybrids is a no go. One can only save seed and expect
stable performance from stable plant varieties. That is the way to
go. Genetic diversity and stability. Heirlooms have been developed
that are regionally stable and productive and allow *individuals* to
have control of their food, *not* the fascists.
GM crops are taking hybridization a step further and putting even
greater control of the food supply in the hands of "them". And they
who control the food supply control the people.
You recognize the inherent dangers in GM food. What is your data...
your proof... that ingestion is not a bad thing? Why were Starlink
contaminated products recalled if there is not doubt? Why have many
countries banned the importation of GM products?
Perhaps I misunderstood the context of your post, but GM crops are
*not a good thing* ... IMO.
Have a Good Life
Let's get the bottom line up front here. If the top 1% have their way,
in a short time we will all be renting our homes, our furniture and, our
clothes. Even now, we are all being farmed for our incomes. It's called
That said, who plans and controls the proteins in GMOs? No one. If the
guinea pigs don't drop stone dead immediately, you can bank the money
and blame it on the underfunded, over-regulated FDA (The Politics of
Food by Marion Nestle). Mother Nature has had about 4.5 billion years to
work out accommodations between organisms and environment. GMOs would
have you believe that they can strike a symbiotic relationship with
nature in a couple of decades.
Proteins do indeed break down, for the most part, into innocuous amino
acids but that is like saying a rock tied to a stick is a natural
product. My organic chemistry professor used to tell us that we only
needed to know about six atoms (hydrogen, oxygen, carbon, nitrogen,
sulfur and, something or other). But nearly an infinite number of
compounds can be made from those simple building blocks. At present, the
food pipeline is filled with only the best fillers and extenders,
anti-oxidants, artificial colors, artificial flavors, stabilizers,
antibiotics and their residues, insecticides and their residues,
herbicides and their residues, feces, and now Franken proteins that work
their way through the cell metabolism like sand through a swiss watch.
Hunky dory, just peachy keen. Maybe, just for arguments sake (but I
don't believe a whit of it), all these compounds are individually safe
but, . . .what happens when they interact (react) with each other? Do we
get outbreaks of Type II diabetes, asthma, autism, cancer, hypertension,
environmental allergies? Please add to the list as you will.
It took three years for the government, back when it was fairly friendly
to consumers, to get thalidomide off the market when you could see that
women taking it were giving birth to babies without arms and legs. How
long do you think it would take to get something subtle off the market?
The thing is, GMOs fix a problem that we don't have yet, at an
undetermined price to humans and the environment.
I'm sure you know the story of Percy Schmeiser and his contaminated
Mexicans are having the same problem. Crops are being infected with GMO
genes so you can't save your seeds and plant them any more because your
seeds have copy-righted genes in them and you owe Monsanto beaucoup
bucks. Traditional seeds are under attack. Instead of GMOs being grown
in hermetically sealed green houses, it is the natural plants that must
be sequestered to avoid copyright infringement.
I'll save genetic migration from corn to the weeds in the drainage ditch
for another rant.
Populations are leveling off. Agri-corporations are over producing by
about 30%. Starvation has more to do with distribution and profits, than
it does with production.
Next come the privatization of the public sector. (Make you a deal on
some clean air.)
So wave your flag. Trust the authorities know best. Being an Eloid isn't
so bad, except you get eaten.
Cloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Uhhh.... I assume this most excellent rebuttal and rant was directed
at RT and *not* me.
Would like to add that the 30% overproduction will soon be taken care
of as we implement the idiotic idea that we can burn off the last few
inches of topsoil in our fuel tanks. Great idea... turn food and crop
land into fuel so that we can maintain our level of consuming. Once
again, who benefits?
I like your analogy of us being farmed for our incomes. It's better
than the idea of being in a permanent debtor's prison without walls.
Fah.....I gotta go play in the dirt and calm myself.
when your ready for some more shock therapy try
1.html . All will be answered. $10,000,000,000/year in fuel subsidies
will mostly go to Archer Daniel Midlands (what a surprise!). "The
Congressional Budget Office estimates that reducing gasoline consumption
10 percent through ... fuel economy standards would cost ... about $3.6
billion a year. Achieving the same result by expanding ethanol
production would cost taxpayers at least $10 billion a year...".
We got us a CEO president.
Who can we thank? ADM CEO Dwayne Andreas. "CEO Andreas gained legendary
status as a double-dealer during the Watergate investigations, when the
congressional hearings revealed that he had cut the $25,000 check used
by Richard Nixon's "plumbers" to finance the famous hotel break-in."
If you like eating meat, you had better get ready to pony up.
"Mark Grasmick, a commodities trader at Valco Commodities in Rocky Ford,
said corn prices are now above $4 per bushel.
"Last year, corn prices were at about $2.75 a bushel. Now, it's up
mainly because of ethanol," Grasmick said.
According to federal Department of Agriculture reports, the amount of
corn needed to make ethanol for transportation in the U.S. was projected
to be 2.15 billion bushels in 2007. That figure is expected to rise to
more than 3 billion bushels in 2008."
Well, the rain has let up here. Back to some nice clean dirt.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
No shock, Bill. I read Krugman's articles on a semiregular basis,
particulary when they show up in the news and blogs I read.
This I didn't knwo. Not surprising, for as one keeps turning over
rocks, many of the same slimy creatures keep crawling out. Many of
us don't seem to realize that the place we find ourselves was
determined decades ago. As long as we can keep on with our Happy
Motoring, all will be well. Bah...the Great American Dream.
True, and I find it interesting this regional tidbit I picked up last
week. A friend of my bro-in-law operated a 160 head dairy in Neb.
He recently accepted a 400,000 g'vt buyout of his herd.
I thought that the Dairy Buyout Program was over in the late Eighties,
when it did mega damage to the beef producers, as a result of the glut
of dairy beef being processed. I don't know if this is widespread
again, I can't seem to find any info, or else don't know where or how
to search it. Perhaps it has resurfaced in newer farm bills. If
this is widespread, it could show effect on beef in the future.
I don't know if this figures into anything other than price supports
or not. Just seems a damn waste when kids are hungry, particularly in
this country, that production is cut.
Though who the hell wants to eat that shit called meat anymore...
pork and poultry fed melamine contaminated pet food, beef being fed
poultry litter and other remains, antibiotic loaded, cage raised, etc.
THe only pork I prchase is Beeler's and try to buy only certifiable
*100%" organic dairy and other meat. Local if possible. It's dmaned
expensive to try and not play with the big boys. ANd we use less
meat than in the past.
Yet another reason for people to take their gardening seriously and
perfect their practices.
Local farmers are as happy as pigs eatin' crap by moonlight, with
prices like this, consequences be damned, or most likely unknown.
I read an article that stated that the amount of corn required to
produce a tankful of ethanol for your typical SUV would feed a person
for a year.
I think I shall go to the garden and sit and think. Or maybe just
Either way, *I* will fuel up with some ethanol derived from barley!
You must be drinkin' a micro-brew. Seems the big boys mostly use
California long grain rice for making their suds, plus a little malt
enzyme to trigger the conversion of starch to sugar. Shame that it takes
$700 worth of water to produce $150 worth of rice. Water privatization
is going to be the next step in the privatization of the public sector.
When Bechtel took over Bolivia's water system they charged through the
nose for the same quality of water and, made it illegal to collect rain
water. You want to see a good riot? Watch the DVD "The Corporation".
Those Bolivians did not see the humor of wealth being redistributed from
the poor to the rich. I strongly recommend a book called "I was an
Economic Hit Man". It's pretty short on specifics but really lays out
how the "little Eichmans" of the World Bank and the IMF work.
I got in some good exercise this after noon by turning a couple of small
garden plots with a fork. Hopefully, I'll get them partially planted
tomorrow. Learned last year not to plant all the corn at the same time.
Hopefully, I'll be a little better in catching them when they are ripe.
Last year I waited for the tassels to change color. This year I think
I'll just go for it when I see any tassels at all.
So, where are you at (geographically) Charlie and what is the anesthetic
of choice there?
Prost, (Bitte, ein Bit, if I have one left;<)
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
Micro brew indeed! I mostly drink micro-brews, well, except for my
overwhelming fondness for Guinness. Here's the link for this
I've been drinking Boulevard regularly since they first made their
brew available. Pretty limited area back then, but as you can see it
has expanded greeatly.
The big boys produce horsepiss. They would sprain a taste bud on good
brew. And you are right... we must make as responsible of choices as
possible. The water usage required for rice and then to turn it into
brew is not the most responsible choice one can make. Probably not
beer in general either. Wine seems to bee a good choice, but some of
us have a problem with self-control and find that anesthics other than
beer makes us feel a bit *not to good* on account of our tendency to
However, backing up just a bit, I must give some credit to
Anheuser-Busch (selfishly speaking), even though it was for their own
economic reasons: they helped keep Ventria out this state. Ventria
and their damned Gm rice and biopharm processing and research
facility, after they found themselves unwanted in CA, I think KS got
stuck with the b*****ds.
AB backed the rice farmers in the bootheel area and threatened to
purchase no rice grown anywhere close to where Ventria wanted to
produce GM rice, though they later publicly claimed to have backed off
somewhat on this threat. Still, Ventria didn't end up shitting in my
backyard. Selfish? Sure it is. Unfortunately, Ventria ended up in
someone else's backyard.
Damned funny ain't it that some say that GM crops are OK, but look
what happens when the big boys find their product threatened by GM
I will check out the DVD and Economic Hit Man has been on my list for
a while. I've read a couple excerpts, enough to want more.
Bechtel...feh. Yet another rock overturned and look what crawls out
and with whom it has been in bed. Bushes, Saudis, back many
Hopefully, yet without my holding much hope, people in the US will
awaken and find things ain't really funny here either. Perhaps people
should give a close look at what is happening in South America and
quit paying attention to what they are told is happening there. Some
relatively healthy sounding changes underway.
But why have both Bushes allegedly purchased mega acres in Paraguay?
Seems a little close, if rumors be true, to several folks that
*really* don't see much humor in the corporate/neocon/fascist way of
doing business "down there".
Perhaps it is good soil and climate for gardening and retirement.
Ahh...lucky you. Wish we had the room for corn. Fortunately the
local farmers market provides for this. Man, I am ready for corn and
Our 4 year old grandson was here yesterday and we had some good fun
and learning in the garden. This is the subject for some future
post... children and gardening and all that good stuff.
Northern Missouri, far northern Missouri. And you?
My anesthetic of choice is barleywine: Dark barleywine... stouts,
porters, heavy ales.
But , my favoritest of all, though no microbrew, is Guinness.
But then, Guinness is not beer... it is some kind of mystical, magical
elixir of the gods!
Do you refer to Bitburger? Good Pilsner. Had it, enjoyed it, hope
you have the one left.
To Your Health Also
Charlie, who seems to be jsut a bit long-winded tonite....hmmmm
Looks like the real deal. Ah Guinness, that reminds me.
It was after a brewmasters siminar in Dusseldorf and some of the
brewmasters went down for a drink. First in was the brewmaster from
Budweiser who asked for a Bud on draft. Next in was the brewmaster from
Labatt's who asked for a Labatt on draft. Then the brewmaster from
Lowenbrau ordered a Lowenbrau on draft. Finally, the brewmaster from
Guinness came in, took one look around and said to the barman, "Give me
a Coke". Stunned, the other brewmasters said,"Paddy, why are you
drinking a Coke"?
Looking grimly at them, Paddy said."If you fookin' pansies ain't gonna
drink beer, neither an I."
A German friend had what I thought was the perfect description of an
English ale pub's brew. The bartender ask what he thought of it, to
which my friend replied,"I think your horse is sick."
I couldn't find a Bitburger, which I really prefer with food but I did
find an Anderson Valley Oatmeal Stout, perfect for sipping.
But I digress.
I'm here in Northern California, 'bout 70 mile north of San Francisco,
living in a wide spot in the road called Forestville, near Santa Rosa. I
started reading your posting and realized I know more about what's going
on in Japan than I do the Midwest. If you don't mind, e-mail me at the
above address, I've never even heard of Ventria.
The morning fish-wrap mentioned a website, http://www.foodnews.org/
which I'n sure the readers of this group will find edifying and which
will be of special interest to those who think home gardening is too
expensive for what we get. If nothing else it can help us make more
Last year was my first successful attempt at growing corn, we had a hot
summer. I'm hoping to duplicate my results with an earlier start and
improved soil. It's hard justifying the room and water that it takes so
I just have it in a couple of small plots that I shoe-horned in. I mix
the patch with melons and pole beans. Melons and corn, that's
I planted a wisteria over the gate into the yard, three years ago. This
year it bloomed forth in all its' splendor and, it is beautiful to
behold but, it is shading a small patch that I'm trying to get into
production. So here I am, dangling on my own petard.
Even using "Sluggo", I'm still having some predatation (it's a lot less
though) in the garden at night. Man, wandering around in the dead of
night, on terraces, with a flashlight doesn't make me a happy camper. I
think I'll try the slightly elevated board routine and see what's
underneath of it in the morning.
Keep pissin' and moanin', if the wheel don't squeak, it'll never get
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
the local fish wrap (http://www.pressdemocrat.com /) didn't have anything
about anything in the "flyover". This is just so totally screwed. A mile
wide twister and nine dead and, we have drivel about an anachronistic
Queen and the sale of a replica of the Dukes of Hazards car in our A
About nine companies own all the major newspapers in America. If you
expect anything more than the funnies you had better find a source of
information. I suggest any of the Pacifica stations e.g.
or watch Democracy Now http://www.democracynow.org/streampage.pl .
What else aren't they telling us?
Aren't we all Americans? I guess not. What a huge steaming pile of B.S.
this country has become.
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly, but not this time)
We are collectively Mushroom People, you know... kept in the dark and
Increasing readership, I see ;-) Can't tell if anyone else is
listening or not here. I hope so. All this is relevant, with just
a bit of thought.
We once were all mostly united... I seem to remember. Keep us divided
and fed disinfomation and lots of Anna Nicole (or whatever other
flavor is popular that day) and kept poor, yet wanting more and more,
and it is easy to control public awareness and action. People I know
and work with, and some family start looking for other things to do
when I start on one of my daily rants. Though I must say, my sons are
showing that they really have been paying attention all these years.
They have even started going thru all my back issues of Mother Earth
News and are trying some of the stuff they find.
And the elder son is working on plans for a large garden including a
huge asparagus bed. Hope he gets to going.... he has nearly an acre
in the back of his yard!
We're taking a huge hit with rain here. Four inches in the last 12
hours with lots more on the way. Chance of storms and severe storms
all week they say. Flooding is fast becoming an issue, with many
roads closed in the four corners region...ks,ia,nb and mo. We have
managed to avoid any hail related with these storms. Lemme tell ya',
as anyone from hail country can, hail will play hell with plants. Is
that ever an issue in your part of the world? I would guess not
Tell me climate change is not a very real issue. It is certainly
affecting gardening and garden plans in recent years and even more
severely this year. It should be interesting what summer brings.
Won't be much gardiening done here for quite some time. I'm having to
move a bunch of seedlings and pots under cover to keep the poor dears
from drownding. Fortunately what is in the ground is mostly in
raised beds and drains well.
Crap, I gotta shut this machine down....another one is starting and
the the lightning is getting severe.
Speaking of mushrooms, does anyone know a good source to get started growing
them? I love them, as does my mother, and having to buy them in the store
all the time because they go bad too fast is annoying.
Here are a couple of places. Search mushroom and culture and you'll
get oodles of info. MushroomPeople has been around a long time.
Right as usual. Spent part of the afternoon turning and, blending in
some aged manure, in another part of the garden where I am planting
Degli Ortolani and, lemon cukes. Spading by hand. If it don't kill me,
it will make me stronger. Soil is looking pretty good except for the
spare rocks. I also got nine Dent corn, six asparagus pole beans, a
Sugar Baby (early ripening) watermelon and a Minnesota Midget Muskmelon
planted today, all germinated from seed. They join about twenty lettuce
plants, twelve bush beans, two dozen snow peas and, two German Striped
tomatoes. Another corn patch awaits me tomorrow where earlier ripening
varieties of corn will be planted with another Sugar Baby watermelon.
This is about a third of the garden. I still have a trellises to move
out of a shady part of the property and into the sun for a climbing zuke
(zuchetta sp?) and some birdhouse gourds. Repairing the drip irrigation
as I go.
The sun is out here. It is 4:30 PM, 89 F and the butterflies are
skipping around and, the birds are singing. Again I've see one bee
today. I'd call him/her a bumble bee because it was so puffy and fuzzy
with the classical yellow and black stripes. I'm a very lucky person,
when you consider all the misery out there in the Mid-West and the
Mid-East. Hopefully, they'll get their share soon.
How am I doing Sue?
Coloribus gustibus non disputatum (mostly)
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