Earth Day is in April

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Every year since 1970, Earth Day has been observed in the U.S. on the same day - April 22nd.  That’s a tradition of more than 40 years!

The idea for Earth Day came from John McConnell, a visionary activist for peace, while attending the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) conference in San Francisco, California in 1969.  The purpose of this conference is to encourage international peace and universal respect for human rights by promoting collaboration among nations.

Mr. McConnell originally intended Earth Day to be a one day event to honor the earth and the concept of peace but in many places Earth Day has turned into a week-long celebration complete with fun family festivals, baby tree plantings, and oodles of healthy natural foods.

There is no better way to honor our earth than to consume foods the way nature intended…..by eating green.  Eating green is a growing trend that focuses on selecting “green” foods such as fruits, nuts, legumes, vegetables and whole grains; and eating less red or processed meat.  You’ll see this week’s WT Café menu reflects a green menu.

As a parent concerned with the quality of foods your children eat, you should be informed about how our government decides foods that are deemed “safe to eat.”  About a month ago the U.S. Federal Drug Administration quietly deemed a large number of genetically modified apples and potatoes as “safe to eat”. These apples were genetically modified (a process that forever alters the DNA of the fruit) to contain less of the enzymes that cause apples to bruise easily and to turn brown when sliced open.  That means less waste and bad crop for the apple farmers, but what does it mean for consumers and especially our youngest generation?

Many European countries, like Russia and the UK, have already banned certain types of GMOs for human consumption.  Let’s choose our food science experiments wisely in our country too.  With so many fast and processed foods within easy reach not to mention the insidious draw of handheld computers, keeping our kids healthy is an uphill battle already!  We don’t need something else to leave us questioning what is safe or not safe to feed their young, developing bodies.

As you and your family celebrate Earth Day this year don’t forget, the Earth does not belong to us; we belong to the Earth.  This Earth Day and every one hereafter, let’s vow to make life better for our kids, not worse.

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