Birke Reports: What’s Really In Your Local Meat?

This post is written by Birke Baehr, a 14 year-old organic farming advocate and author. I am thrilled Birke is a regular contributor here on Food Babe, inspiring other children and adults across the nation to eat local, Non-GMO and organic. 


Hey everyone! I am so thankful to Vani & the Food Babe blog for having me on as a guest blogger.

As some of you may know I am a youth advocate for sustainable food & farming. I am very concerned about the production of genetically engineered food and crops. I’m also a large supporter of getting to know your farmer. I believe everyone should buy “local” and that it is important to be able to shake hands with the person that grew your food. I’m always visiting farms and getting to see how the farmers raise their animals and/or produce.

When talking to the majority of my local “pasture” based dairy or meat farmers, I always ask if they use any type of supplemental feed usually made from corn or soy. If they do use any, I ask them if it contains any genetically engineered ingredients. I usually hear from them that it does contain genetically modified (GMO) products and this fact upsets me.

cow

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Birke Reports – Don’t Let Cooking Oils Fool You

Thank you for following along with my travels on Facebook… I’ll be back soon, but in the meantime I have a special guest post from one of the most inspirational people I met this year – 13 year old – local food and organic farming advocate – Birke Baehr. If this is the first time you are learning about Birke – you’ve got to check out his TED Talk and his new book “Birke On the Farm” – especially if you have kids. I am super proud to call him one of my friends and who knows he might just become a regular around here…so watch out, he’s a firecracker!


First of all, I’d like to thank Food Babe for inviting me to be a guest on her blog, I’m very excited! We have been talking about working together and I really like hearing about her ideas and recent adventures.

I’d like to start by sharing with you a certain line of products that have popped up in my local “healthy” supermarket. The day after Christmas I was shopping and noticed a large display in the middle of the aisle. Spectrum, a well known brand of organic oils and cooking products has introduced some new products. My family has bought Spectrum coconut oil and some of their other organic oils because they have such an extensive line of organic products. But, what caught my eye that day was this whole new line of products they have introduced. They’re canola oil blends and it seems that they have mixed non-organic canola oil with coconut, peanut, and olive oil just to name a few.

Birke

Now for those of you who don’t know canola oil is…

“It is widely recognized as the healthiest salad and cooking oil available to consumers.” (But it is not!) It was developed through hybridization of rapeseed. Rapeseed oil is toxic because it contains significant amounts of a poisonous substance called erucic acid. Although canola oil contains only trace amounts of erucic acid it is also one of the top 4 genetically modified crops. You can read more about the history of canola and how it is a big con here.

Spectrum is owned by Hain-Celestial Group; which probably has the largest conglomerate of well known organic brands such as: Arrowhead Mills, Celestial Seasonings, Rice, Soy, and Almond Dream, and the Garden of Eatin’ just to name a few. In 1999 the H.J. Heinz Corporation bought 19.5% of the company but then sold their stock in 2005.
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WATCH: Food Babe & Birke Baehr Speak To Youth About Obesity, GMOs & Real Food

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of finally connecting with one of my favorite food heroes – Birke Baehr. We’d been talking for months over the blog and Facebook – but finally we had the chance to meet over dinner at one of my favorite restaurants – Halcyon. Not only did we have a fantastic meal together (and a lot of laughs about me not willing to take his $5 dollar bet to eat pig ears), but we also had an incredible opportunity to give a keynote address to some young adults who are helping their communities fight the epidemic of obesity at the Southern Obesity Conference.

Hope you enjoy the candidness of our talk…You can bet, Birke and I will be teaming up again…

If this is the first time you are learning about Birke – you’ve got to check out his TED Talk and his new book “Birke On the Farm” – especially if you have kids. What an amazing young man he is!
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