Letters to the editor, January 2004

This article was originally published in January 2004

GE labeling

I am very passionate about organics and preserving the integrity of the foods we eat. I volunteered to help with PCC’s campaign to label genetically engineered (GE) foods because this was a great opportunity to take action on my feelings by becoming involved. I enjoyed working with PCC’s friendly staff and concerned customers, and feel that I made a difference by gathering many signatures and sharing information. It was also a terrific learning experience for me.

I believe the required labeling of foods containing GE ingredients is a great first step in raising the awareness of the general public to this issue. I am thankful to PCC for supporting this cause and for being committed to its beliefs of preserving the purity of fresh, wholesome, organic food for us and the generations to come.
— David Cohen, Issaquah

Embattled farmers: 1776 to 2004

I want to thank you for continuing to cover the story of what is happening to America’s farmers, and the Puget Sound area farmers in particular. It is not enough to celebrate the great food on display in our stores. It’s important to understand where that food comes from and what it costs to get from farmer to consumer, including the human costs. I particularly appreciated the story in the November issue, “Embattled Farmers: 1776 and 2003.” This kind of consumer education is what separates our co-op from the investor-owned natural foods and grocery chains we compete with. I also applaud PCC for contributing to the Farmland Fund as I do and encourage others to do the same.
— Carolee Colter, Seattle

Editor: As Carolee points out, the PCC Farmland Fund is an independent non-profit land trust, not a program of PCC Natural Markets. Shopping at PCC or becoming a member contributes indirectly to PCC’s annual gift to the Fund, but most of the Fund’s income comes from direct donations made by individuals, families and organizations.

I encourage the author of the page one article in (November’s) Sound Consumer, comparing 1776 and 2003 agriculture issues, to pitch this creative approach to the mainstream media, e.g. Seattle Times or Seattle P-I food editors or the editorial pages. I couldn’t tell if the piece was written locally or by a nationwide feature service, but it really spoke to me better than just about any other piece I’ve read or heard on the topic of big vs. small farming and global trade ethics. With all the fervent flag-waving going on, perhaps it will be received by a wider audience given the comparisons with our colonial day difficulties and today’s foreign lands, which we now colonize with our policies and practices. Bravo. May I receive a copy of the article via email to pass along to others around the nation?
— Greg Hunicutt

Acrylamides in food

I talked to (the editor recently) about an acrylamide article in U.S. News & World Report. I was concerned because they wrote about it not being healthy. It was found in potato chips and other foods cooked at high heat. That covers a lot of foods I consume.

Would it be possible to do some articles in the Sound Consumer? My sister and I have been shopping at PCC long before you moved (the Greenlake store) to Aurora. This is close to where we work.

I would buy everything organic if possible. All the employees at PCC are so helpful in locating items and answering questions.
— Joyce Evans, Seattle

Editor: Goldie Caughlan, PCC’s nutrition educator, will talk about acrylamides in the March issue of the Sound Consumer.

Water and population

One of the most immediate problems around the world is water scarcity. This year we in the Northwest need to recognize that more than 1.2 billion people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water and half of the world’s 6.3 billion people lack adequate water purification systems. The clear-cutting in local watersheds brings this issue home to all of us who value clear drinking water.

If we don’t do something to reverse current population trends, the statistics will get worse. The world’s population is projected to increase to more than nine billion by 2050, at which time almost seven billion people in 60 countries could face water scarcity.

Our earth cannot sustain continued population growth. Rapid population growth translates into fewer resources, such as water, for everyone. In order to stop overburdening the earth and its resources, we must allow every woman access to voluntary family planning.

It is imperative to make the population connection — increased access to family planning will lead to a solution to the problem of water scarcity. Thanks to leaders everywhere who signed on to a proclamation declaring October 20-25th World Population Awareness Week.

For those seeking more information about the connection between population and water, I recommend the website www.populationconnection.org. — Albert Kaufman

Omega-3 fats and ADHD

Sound Consumer has featured many articles in the past year about the epidemic of obesity. September’s “Body and Being” supplement article by Dr. Michael R. Lyon, M.D. talked about the possible link between Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and the lack of the Omega-3 fatty acid DHA in children exhibiting symptoms of ADHD.

It is interesting to note that the breast milk of a mother with a well-rounded diet is rich in readily absorbable DHA, while formula companies have only recently added fatty acids to their artificial baby milk! I wonder if Dr. Lyon’s study subjects were breast-fed? Second, babies who are breast-fed have a higher likelihood of growing up into leaner toddlers, children and adults. These are only two of the many benefits of breastfeeding! The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends nursing for one year or beyond, and the World Health Organization, two years or beyond.
— LaLeche League

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