Coconut Water May Not Be All It's Cracked Up to Be

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Crisco 1492 via wikimedia
Every other month, it's something new on the health front.

Pomegranate juice will cure all your ailments. Never mind; it's ridiculously high in sugar.

Kombucha is a miracle immune booster. Oh, wait -- it can kill you.

Now, coconut water is all the rage. Billed as yet another miracle liquid, global sales are reaching $400 million per year.

Great for the coconut industry, but according to an article by the New York Times, most consumers are unaware that marketers have scaled back on their claims of healthful benefits.

See Also: Riverside Market Hosting Water Conservation Fundraiser All Summer Long

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SKYY Vodka and Freedom Freedom to Marry Hosting #ToastToMarriage Party at Georgie's Alibi This Weekend

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Doug Fairall
Activism and award-winning burgers at Georgie's Alibi
This past week has held big news on the gay marriage front for the state of Florida.

Last Thursday, Circuit Judge Luis Garcia in the Florida Keys struck down the state ban of gay marriage, stating it violated the right to equal protection under the U.S. Constitution. He ordered the Monroe County Clerk of Court to begin issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples starting on Tuesday.

He later rejected the emergency motion filed by bartenders Aaron Huntsman, 44 and William Lee Jones, 43, after republican Attorney General Pam Bondi announced she planned to appeal it.

While the later ruling was a major disappointment for the LBGT community and anyone who supports equal rights, this weekend offers a chance for solace and celebration for hopes of future progress. SKYY Vodka and Freedom to Marry are hosting a #ToastToMarriage event at Georgie's Alibi.

See Also: Riverside Market Hosting Water Conservation Fundraiser All Summer Long

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Beer Geeks and Farmers Take on FDA and Win (for Now)

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Hubble ESA via Flickr
For those into local and sustainable farming and food production, the FDA is akin to a bullying older sibling always trying to suppress your desire to express your creativity -- actually, it's more like the big brother who sits on your head and farts in your face.

Earlier this year, the FDA proposed a ruling that would have dramatically increased the cost of beer. The agency was going to attempt to regulate (or prohibit) the centuries-old practice of trading and selling spent grain between breweries and farmers under the Food Safety Modernization Act -- it's the same piece of legislation that threatened artisanal cheese just a couple of months back.

Just like the cheeseheads and producers, craft beer geeks and farmers fought back, prompting the FDA to lay off its ruling.

See Also: FDA Backs Down After Cheese-Heads Fight Back

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Humane Educator James Wildman Presents "101 Reasons to Go Vegan" Saturday

Categories: Ethical Eating

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CandaceWest.com
If you poll a room full of vegans and ask what their reasons were for deciding on a diet free of animal products, you'll hear a laundry list of reasons.

Many times, it was the first time they made the connection that the cheery Old McDonald's Farm we recited as a kid was perhaps not as advertised and little more than propaganda sing-a-long for the meat and dairy industry.

Others would say it was the first time they made a connection with their companion animal and realized the potential hypocrisy of loving one animal but eating the other.

And other times, initial reasons for going vegan were far less altruistic but still valid - weight loss, better skin, the way to avoid a triple bypass surgery, the gateway to the fountain of youth, you saw Queen Bey and Jay Z do it for 30 days and wanted to give it a go, or you heard it was a way to combat impotency.

For Animal Rights Foundation of Florida's Humane Educator James Wildman, the goal of his work is not necessarily to get everyone to pledge a vegan diet (although, that would be awesome!), but to at the very least start to re-think what they are eating and get people to see that our diet is a learned behavior based on a cultural story (i.e. - you believe you need cow's milk to be healthy and strong because you have been hearing it 'does a body good' since birth).

See Also: Six Places to Get Dairy-Free Ice Cream in South Florida for National Ice Cream Month


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The Organic Hobby Lobby: Eden Foods Fights Obamacare Contraception Mandate, Customers Fight Back

Categories: Ethical Eating

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artizone via Flickr Creative Commons
For the past couple of weeks, Hobby Lobby has been all over the news.

Burwell v. Hobby Lobby questioned the role of government in women's reproductive (or really basic) rights and the intended meaning of "religious freedom."

The craft-store chain took its fight against the Affordable Care Act's contraception mandate all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and, sadly, won -- because it makes perfect sense that group of old men are making decisions about women's bodies.

Whether you agree with the verdict, disagree, or couldn't care less, there's no doubt you've heard about the company and its efforts.

What you probably haven't heard about, however, is Eden Foods. The widely distributed organic company, available at health-food stores, Target, and Whole Foods, has also sued the Obama administration over the mandate.

As news gets around, customers have been staging a backlash.

See Also: Do You Care About Climate Change? Three Ways to Make a Difference Through Food

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Celebrate Future GMO Independence this Fourth of July

Categories: Ethical Eating

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A quick look at the standard American spread at a Fourth of July gathering can be the biggest unintended commercial advocating for the GMO awareness movement.

There are burgers made of cows pumped full of hormones and raised in miserable conditions, genetically modified seedless watermelon, sweet corn grown with trademarked Monsanto seeds that could sit out on that same table and look virtually unchanged days later, and, at the very end, some whipped-cream topped sweetness that's chock full of eggs provided by hens imprisoned in battery cages.

Amuricah! Fuck....yeah???

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Food Not Bombs Hosts "Public Property" Art Show and Food Sharing Event

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Fort Lauderdale Food Not Bombs
Operating under the philosophy that food is a right and not a privilege, the non-profit Food Not Bombs has provided free meals to the hungry in one form or another since the 1980s. The meals are often created out of surplus veggies, fruits, and baked goods from area grocery stores and restaurants that would otherwise be heading to a landfill.

With a loose collective of chapters around the globe, chances are you've run into a Food Not Bombs member handing out burritos at a punk show, leafleting on a college campus, or participating in a meal share at a public park - like locally at Stranahan Park where the Fort Lauderdale chapter of FNB has been sharing meals since 2006.

But the fate of the weekly meal share in the park is up in the air since City Commission decided to proceed with a new law banning the storage of private property in public spaces on May 6th. Effectively the law would keep homeless people (and their possessions) out of the park.

Food Not Bombs is responding to City Commission with a large-scale food share, art show and night of music with "Public Property: A Reclamative Art Show with Food Not Bombs" on Friday.

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Do You Care About Climate Change? Three Ways to Make a Difference Through Food

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Alex Berger via Flickr Creative Common
While there has been a long-term so-called debate about the potential effects (and actual existence) of climate change, a report released by NASA last week shows that the ice is melting in Antarctica and there's nothing we can do to stop it.

(Fox News still seems to be denying science.)

According to the study that was released last Monday, warm ocean currents and geographic changes have helped lead to a chain reaction at the Amundsen Sea-area glaciers, causing faster melting than previously believed, taking them "past the point of no return," NASA glacioligist Eric Rignot reported.

Quite frankly: it's pretty freaking scary.

Even so, we can all do our part to attempt to slow it down.

We spoke to registered dietician and founder of Plant Strong Nutrition Adrienne Bolten about foods to avoid and sustainable alternatives, if you care about climate change.

See Also: New USDA Study Finds Bee Populations Not Dropping as Steeply, Names Possible Causes


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New USDA Study Finds Bee Populations Not Dropping as Steeply, Names Possible Causes

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Louise Docker via wikimedia commons
We've been hearing a lot about dwindling bee populations for quite some time already.

While the thought of a world without apis' might soothe horrifying childhood memories of stings, it would be an utter catastrophe for many of the foods we eat; those buzzing little insects pollinate many of our flowering fruits and veggies.

Yesterday, the USDA released a report on winter honey bee losses. Turns out we're not losing quite as many as last year, but we're still not in the clear.

See Also: Beekeepers, National Honey Bee Advisory Board Suing the EPA Over Pestcides

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GMO Free USA Pushing Petition Encouraging Publix to Label GMO Products

Categories: Ethical Eating

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Alexf via wikimedia commons
A large portion of the population is becomingly increasingly aware and concerned with what they put into their bodies -- others are still fine with consuming copious amounts of fast foods. (To each his own.)

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are a big part of the conversation.

While the biotech industry asserts the products are safe to swallow, activists are concerned with the lack of long-term studies on health effects and environmental impact.

Many just want to know what is contained in their food.

GMO Free USA is now pushing a petition encouraging Florida-based grocery chain Publix to label GMOs in all of its products.

See Also: Jeremy Ring Sponsors GMO-Labeling Bill in Florida Senate

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