Lunch today: spinach, kale, red chard, chickpeas, quinoa & brown rice, and black bean hummus. Yum!


Lunch today: spinach, kale, red chard, chickpeas, quinoa & brown rice, and black bean hummus. Yum!



this guy is systematically undoing the world

The La Brea Tar Pits translates to “The The Tar Tar Pits.” Los Angeles is terrible at naming stuff.

(Source: deathchilds)

(Source: getbusyliving-, via dillcosbyy)

(Source: kinglers, via hungryrunner)

Career Aspiration:


All-time Jeopardy Champion.



Chipotle Shrimp Tacos

Good thing I can experience the lunar eclipse from the comfort of my own bed on the interweb.


Good thing I can experience the lunar eclipse from the comfort of my own bed on the interweb.

(Source: blowsive, via entrebechersetacryliques)

If it’s both terrifying and amazing then you should definitely pursue it.

Erada  (via ambermozo)

(Source: thedailygrit, via mylifeoftri)


My city has heart


My city has heart

(via inspirefitness)

US Airways Just Tweeted Out One Of The Most Graphic Things You've Ever Seen A Brand Tweet


omfg. omfg. omfg.  This was MORE than just a little mistake.  

Somebody at US Airways is without a job tonight.  And, some woman just got weirdly famous.  

Perhaps that’s where they should be looking for the missing plane…..

(Source: davidcho, via runningoncoals)


Holy Shit.

(Source: i74960x)

alliethefeminist asked: Hey! I'm also artsciencenursng and commented on the sweet potato picture about GMOs.. Thanks for the correction. Just wondering if you could share your opinion/knowledge since you seem to know a lot about seeds and agriculture :) Is it true that GM fruits/veggies can't be sprouted/produce seeds because of the chemical changes made the the seeds? Also, does organic alway mean GMO free? Thanks! -Allison



Hey! Thanks for getting back to me on that. I appreciate having a conversation about this stuff, because there is not enough exchange between the medical community and the agricultural community on what a lot of these terms mean: which it makes it even more confusing for the general public!

Genetically Modified Organisms,” or GMOs, are organisms that have had their genetic makeup altered through a process called genetic engineering. There are a variety of techniques used in genetic engineering: some of the earliest examples are genetically modifying bacteria and viruses for use in specialised delivery of medicines. For example, a biosynthetic insulin (Humulin) was synthesised in 1978 from a lab culture of genetically-modified E. coli, and since then, it has eliminated the need for patients to use animal insulin, which was both cruel to animals, and caused infection in patients.

Genetically modified fruits and vegetables are created with genetic engineering techniques for many purposes, some of them being improved shelf lifeimproved nutritionstress resistanceherbicide resistancepathogen resistance, and the production of biofuels.

Usually, the issues with these crops aren’t that they “cause cancer,” as no reputable study has ever shown they are harmful to human health. The issues with GMO crops is that they are patented, and seeds cannot be harvested year-after-year, nurturing a dependency on seed providers; farmers who harvest and re-plant self-harvested seeds risk intellectual property lawsuits. GMO crops also displace native and heirloom food and fibre crops on local markets, and these crops have been created through hundreds of years of artificial selection to be suited to their unique biomes, and farmed sustainably. Pesticide-resistant strains of cash crops like cotton encourage the current unsustainable mode of monoculture/pesticide-heavy farming, which in turn contributes to increased plant disease, insecticidal resistance, soil erosion, and the destruction of forests, unique biomes, and animal habitats.

Further, in places like the EU, things like seed-swapping are becoming more and more close to being totally illegal. This masquerades as a form of biosecurity, but is more likely being pushed through by seed company lobbies, who would like a monopoly on the market.

GMOs are a band-aid solution to a broken food and agriculture system, and from my point of view they do not address the fundamental environmental problems in the way we currently farm. There are further complex issues, such as gene flow into wild crops, that are of serious concern to those of us interested in the preservation of crop diversity. The Irish Potato Famine was largely caused by the fact that there was a genetic bottleneck in the potato population in Europe: one variety of potato in particular, the Irish Lumper, was grown, and this lack of diversity made the population extremely vulnerable when late blight (Phytophthora infestans) swept through the country. If you have studied biology, you know that diversity is the one of the greatest sources of resiliency in a population: it’s the reason why organisms like us reproduce sexually instead of asexually, because sexual reproduction increases the number of unique combinations of DNA in the population, and makes our species less vulnerable to disease. By this same token, when we depend so totally on a few carefully-engineered crops, be they GMO or otherwise, we risk the resiliency of our food system and biomes, should new agricultural diseases arise and mutate (as they always do, in this evolutionary arms race).

Now, the ability of an organism to produce fruit without being fertilised (ie. not producing viable seed) is called parthenocarpy. It has been around for longer than genetic engineering, because of the desirability (for consumers) of food crops like seedless grapes, watermelons, and oranges. I have two fig trees in my garden, and I live in Denmark, outside of the range of the fig wasp, which is a specialised pollinator of these plants. I can still harvest fruits, because the varieties I grow are bred to produce parthenocarpic “virgin fruit,” and propagated asexually, through what we gardeners call “cuttings,” which is a sort of cloning you can do in your own backyard. The so-called “Terminator Seeds” you are referencing in your question are a myth of the anti-GMO/anti-Monsanto movement, and they have never actually been brought to mass market. 

Seedless GMO eggplant has been developed and tested, and the result has been a more nutritious and larger fruit. Biology is a realm of trade-offs: take the sweet potato you reblogged earlier. When a tuber like a sweet potato sprouts, it sends energy to the newly emerging growth, taking it from the stored energy in the tuber. A sprouted sweet potato is not a nutritious sweet potato. Similarly, the production of seeds takes energy, which is instead put into the fruit when said organism is parthenocarpic. 

As for your other question: certified organic does not mean GMO-free, and organic means one thing in the United States, another thing here in European Union, and still another thing in other parts of the world. The initiative towards labelling GMOs is, in fact, actually damaging for the organic movement, because it provides an opportunity for companies to engage in a deceptive marketing practice called “greenwashing.”

Monsanto actually makes a number of organic products, but their history as a chemical company who made such horrific products as Agent Orange, DDT, PCBs, rBGH (a dairy cow hormone responsible for pus in your milk), and Aspartame, combined with their penchant for suing small farmers into bankruptcy, has given them a serious PR problem. The infamous, and much-maligned Monsanto Bt toxin insecticidal corn is so-condemned because people don’t know that Bt is derived from a bacteria, and has been used in certified organic farming since the 1920s, alongside other organically-derived insecticides such as neem oil.

Long story short, people are afraid of GMOs because they have been told they are scary “Frankenfoods,” which distracts and discredits people who resist GMO practices for other reasons, be they social justice or ecological ones.

This is a long answer that I hope covers some of your concerns. Hopefully you can take this knowledge back to your nursing peers! Thanks again for asking questions!

This is a great post with so much pertinent information.


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