Patti Bess: Waiter, there’s glysophate in my soup? |

Patti Bess: Waiter, there’s glysophate in my soup?

Patti Bess
Local Food Connection

The organic food movement grew largely in rebellion to the assumption by the vast majority of consumers that pesticides don’t affect us that much.

Agricultural products utilize more than 1,000 herbicides/pesticides on a regular basis. Since the 1940s they have become an integrated part of our daily lives whether we are aware of it or not. But more research is showing it may be time to pay attention.

Roundup is one of the most widely used herbicides in history. It was introduced by Monsanto Corporation in 1975. The federal government (the Environmental Protection Agency) doesn’t actually test new products when they come on the market. The company itself is responsible to utilize an independent industrial lab to test for safety. The company that Monsanto used (in the early ’70s) to test Roundup was convicted of fraudulent data reporting, but the EPA never required any retesting on their new product.

More recent research is showing that the main ingredient in Roundup, called glysophate, causes cancer. Two recent court cases awarded millions of dollars to people who contracted non Hodgkins Lymphoma, a particularly aggressive cancer, after spraying Roundup. One plaintive was a groundskeeper at a southern California school who sprayed it regularly. If you’re thinking that maybe that was caused by long-term use, here’s another shocker. Washington State University recently released a study that exposes a much deeper threat to human health. They found that rats exposed to only one half the amount of glysophate recommended as safe showed significant health deviations. The first generation showed no signs of adverse affects. The second and third generations showed increased problems with testes, ovaries and obesity. One third of the second-generation rats had unsuccessful pregnancies and increased mortality of mothers.

Another study showed traces of glysophate in the foods at 39 to 44 of the country’s largest food chains. There are even traces of glysophate in beer.

Another study showed traces of glysophate in the foods at 39 to 44 of the country’s largest food chains. There are even traces of glysophate in beer.

More than 30 counties and cities across the country have banned the use of Roundup. The city of Los Angeles has put a moratorium on its use in their parks and county facilities. Millions of gallons of the herbicide is sprayed on our highways and county roads, and that doesn’t begin to look at how it is used in growing our food.

Roundup is only one of the many additives that is in our foods. Most people would never consider pouring sugar water or a beer down the gas tank — we couldn’t live a day without the car. Yet we think so little about the food we put in our bodies.

The world is changing faster than most of us can keep up. As I get older I am aware that my life is richer and more alive when I embrace change rather than resist it. Even trying a new recipe in the kitchen keeps one’s creativity alive or planting a different color rose or taking a class at the junior college.

Finding little ways to add healthier foods to one’s diet takes some planning. One activity I have added to my weekly routine is stopping by a farm stand.


There are, of course, the farmers markets at specific times of the week, but I enjoy stopping by a locally owned farm stand when I need a bunch of radishes on a Tuesday at whatever time it might be. It is one small step toward eating more organically grown foods. There is no line at the checkout. I meet my neighbors, and more importantly, I pick up something healthy for dinner. Try it sometime. It’s an addicting habit.

Here are a few of the easily accessible stands that may be on your way home from work or school.

Broadfork Farm: On Meadow View Drive just off of Highway 174. Self serve stand open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Starbright Acres Family Farm: Near the fairgrounds at 12575 Polaris Drive. Open seven days a week during daylight hours, year round. Self serve

First Rain Farm: 19832 Rector Road in Nevada City. Open Wednesdays 4-7 p.m., May through October.

Bierwagen’s Donner Trail Fruit: Highway 174 in Chicago Park. Open Monday through Saturdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; June through mid September.

Cosmic Roots Ranch: 16284 Indian Springs Ranch Road; open Tuesdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Thursdays 4-7 p.m., and Saturdays 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Offering organically raised pork and eggs

Riverhill Farm: At the end of Cement Hill Road in Nevada City. Open every Wednesday starting in June.

This recipe will usually keep in the refrigerator for a day or two, if it lasts that long. It’s easy to prepare and just one more delicious way to use a variety of vegetables.

Red Quinoa & Curry Salad

One cup quinoa

Two cups boiling water

About one quarter teaspoon salt

One quarter cup yogurt

Three tablespoons olive oil

One tablespoon white wine vinegar

One teaspoon curry powder

One quarter to a half teaspoon turmeric

One teaspoons salt (or to taste)

Fresh ground pepper

One half cup grated carrots

One half cup minced parsley or grated zucchini

One quarter cup chopped green onions or diced red onion

One half cup chopped red pepper

One half cup raisins

One half cup chopped almonds

Bring water and salt to a boil and add quinoa. Cover and simmer about 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed and grains are tender. Set aside to cool a little.

In a small bowl combine the yogurt, olive oil, vinegar, curry, turmeric, salt and pepper and mix together (Maybe a squeeze of lemon juice).

Add quinoa to a serving bowl and pour yogurt mixture over all. Add all the vegetables and toss together. Serve at room temperature.

Patti Bess is a regular columnist with the Union, a freelance recipe developer and cookbook author.

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