What I’ve learned about GMOs

What I’ve learned about GMOs

I did a presentation on GMOs  for our local AAUW discussion group and thought ‘why waste all that reading’ – so here’s a quick overview of what I learned. I read the following books: Mendel in the Kitchen by geneticist Nina Federoff, which was ranked more anti-GMO in this helpful article by Nathanael Johnson on grist.org, and Food Inc. (2003) by journalist Peter Pringle, which was more pro-GMO. I also read [Read more…]

Go Organic — and plant milkweed — to Save Monarchs

Go Organic — and plant milkweed — to Save Monarchs

An article on page three of today’s Los Angeles Times talked about declining monarch butterfly numbers in Mexico where it winters. But here is an important takeaway that was buried a bit in the article: the use of  genetically modified crops (GMOs)  in the midwest where the monarch breeds contains Roundup (glyphosphate) that is killing the monarch’s vial food source — the milkweed plant . [Read more…]

Our Vital Pollinators: Birds, Bats, Bees and Butterflies

Our Vital Pollinators: Birds, Bats, Bees and Butterflies

Pollinators – birds, bats, bees and butterflies – are critical. They pollinate over 200,000 of the world’s flowering plants, including 80% of our food plants.  The genetic material they transfer allows seeds to form, which continue the species.

Kurt Leushner, a popular professor at the College of the Desert in Palm Desert, highlighted our local pollinators at a recent horticulture meeting.

Below are some of his highlights [Read more…]

Nature’s Take: Yes on Prop 37

Nature’s Take: Yes on Prop 37

I’ve been following the campaign dollars and the newspaper endorsements surrounding Proposition 37 –where a yes vote would approve the genetically engineered foods labeling initiative.

Polls conducted two months ago showed 2/3 voters supporting it. Now, after a huge ad blitz against the initiative – according to a Reuters article today, $46 million have spent – it’s expected to fail. [Read more…]

Butterflies (So CA focus) and How to Attract Them

Butterflies (So CA focus) and How to Attract Them

It’s a rare person who doesn’t get excited when a butterfly flits by. Lately we’ve had a lot of Western Tiger Swallowtails flying around our property, which makes sense because we have the host plant  — sycamore — that it needs to lay its eggs and for its caterpillar stage. Plus we have plenty of buckwheat and yarrow all summer long that provide nectar for local butterflies.

Today I attended a talk “Butterflies of the Los Angeles Basin[Read more…]