Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Giving the gift of Gluten Free

Holiday time can be somewhat depressing for those unable to eat gluten rich foods. It's so sad really....think holiday goodies and you'll probably have a hard time coming up with many that don't involve wheat flour.

I love holiday baked goods! Actually, I adore them! When I realized that I couldn't eat flour anymore, my main thought next to not eating bread was "What about the Christmas baking?"

I've yet been able to replace sandwich bread to my satisfaction but I have found that sweets like cakes, brownies and cookies can be very good indeed. In fact, I have found some recipes that are definitely just as good as wheat flour baking.

Previously, I blogged a brownie recipe that I really love. There's only one problem ....I hate getting all the ingredients out to make it. So much work and such a huge mess for one tray of brownies.

With that thought in mind, I reworked my favorite brownie recipe into a mix. Now I just have to pull the ingredients out once in awhile, make up a bunch of mixes and put them away until the urge for brownies hits. When it does, all I have to do is grab a mix, add eggs, vanilla and oil and cook. How easy is that? Really easy...the only thing easier would be for someone to make the mixes for me!

Which is where giving the gift of gluten free comes in. If you know someone (or are someone) who can't have gluten, I bet they would love to receive a gift that not only feeds their cravings for baked goods but is fast and easy as well.

This recipe is a little different than the original recipe I posted and I like it even more...the brownies are thicker and the texture is smoother.

Gluten Free Brownie Mix

1 Cup Sugar
1/4 Cup Tapioca Flour/Starch
1/4 Cup Corn Starch
1/4 Cup Gluten Free Flour (I use Sweet Sorghum or Brown Rice)
1/3 Cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 tsp Xanthan Gum
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips or Chopped Nuts (optional)

Place all ingredients into containers and seal. I line up large plastic cups on the counter and place a cellophane bag into each cup. I then measure out the sugar into each bag and then follow with the rest of the ingredients. Once you've measured out all the ingredients add a tag giving the directions as follows.

Chocolate Brownies

Add ½ cup melted margarine or oil, 2 lightly beaten eggs and 1 tsp vanilla extract to contents of package. Mix. Pour into greased 8 inch pan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool and slice.

I serve these brownies with vanilla ice cream and hot fudge sauce...sooooo good!

Here's the hot fudge sauce recipe. It's very tasty and will keep for quite a few days in the fridge...if it's around that long!

Hot Fudge Sauce
 
In a small sauce pan combine the following:

4 Tbsp Cocoa Powder
6 Tbsp Water
1/2 Cup Sugar
3 Tbsp Butter/Margarine

Bring mixture to a full boil and remove from heat. Allow to cool slightly then add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract.

Enjoy!!
PS...the tags in the picture mention that the brownies will fall...not anymore...the recipe has been reworked.
 
Source:  http://jovia-life.blogspot.com/

Bee Kills in the Corn Belt: What's GE Got to Do With It?


In the last few weeks beekeepers have reported staggering losses in Minnesota, Nebraska and Ohio after their hives foraged on pesticide-treated corn fields. Indiana too, two years ago. What's going on in the Corn Belt? 

No farmer in their right mind wants to poison pollinators. When I spoke with one Iowa corn farmer in January and told him about the upcoming release of a Purdue study confirming corn as a major pesticide exposure route for bees, his face dropped with worn exasperation. He looked down for a moment, sighed and said, "You know, I held out for years on buying them GE seeds, but now I can't get conventional seeds anymore. They just don't carry 'em."

This leaves us with two questions: 1) What do GE seeds have to do with neonicotinoids and bees? and 2) How can an Iowa corn farmer find himself feeling unable to farm without poisoning pollinators? In other words, where did U.S. corn cultivation go wrong?

The short answer to both questions starts with a slow motion train wreck that began in the mid-1990s: Corn integrated pest management (IPM) fell apart at the seams. Rather, it was intentionally unraveled by Bayer and Monsanto.

Honey bees caught in the cross-fire
Corn is far from the only crop treated by neonicotinoids, but it is the largest use of arable land in North America, and honey bees rely on corn as a major protein source. At least 94 percent of the 92 million acres of corn planted across the U.S. this year will have been treated with either clothianidin or thiamethoxam (another neonicotinoid).

As we head into peak corn planting season throughout the U.S. Midwest, bees will once again "get it from all sides" as they:
  • fly through clothianidin-contaminated planter dust;
  • gather clothianidin-laced corn pollen, which will then be fed to emerging larva;
  • gather water from acutely toxic, pesticide-laced guttation droplets; and/or
  • gather pollen and nectar from nearby fields where forage sources such as dandelions have taken up these persistent chemicals from soil that's been contaminated year on year since clothianidin's widespread introduction into corn cultivation in 2003.

GE corn & neonicotinoid seed treatments go hand-in-hand
Over the last 15 years, U.S. corn cultivation has gone from a crop requiring little-to-no insecticides and negligible amounts of fungicides, to a crop where the average acre is grown from seeds treated or genetically engineered to express three different insecticides (as well as a fungicide or two) before being sprayed prophylactically with RoundUp (an herbicide) and a new class of fungicides that farmers didn't know they "needed" before the mid-2000s.
 
A series of marketing ploys by the pesticide industry undergird this story. It's about time to start telling it, if for no other reason than to give lie to the oft-repeated notion that there is no alternative to farming corn in a way that poisons pollinators. We were once -- not so long ago -- on a very different path.

How corn farming went off the rails
In the early 1990s, we were really good at growing corn using bio-intensive integrated pest management (bio-IPM). In practice, that meant crop rotations, supporting natural predators, using biocontrol agents like ladybugs and as a last resort, using chemical controls only after pests had been scouted for and found. During this time of peak bio-IPM adoption, today's common practice of blanketing corn acreage with "insurance" applications of various pesticides without having established the need to do so would have been unthinkable. It's expensive to use inputs you don't need, and was once the mark of bad farming.

Then, in the mid-to-late 1990s, GE corn and neonicotinoid (imidacloprid) seed treatments both entered the market -- the two go hand-in-hand, partly by design and partly by accident. Conditions for the marketing of both products were ripe due to a combination of factors:
  • regulatory pressures and insect resistance had pushed previous insecticide classes off the market, creating an opening for neonicotinoids to rapidly take over global marketshare;
  • patented seeds became legally defensible, and the pesticide industry gobbled up the global seed market; and
  • a variant of the corn rootworm outsmarted soy-corn rotations, driving an uptick in insecticide use around 1995-96.
Then, as if on cue, Monsanto introduced three different strains of patented, GE corn between 1997 and 2003 (RoundUp Ready, and two Bt-expressing variants aimed at controlling the European Corn Borer and corn root worm). Clothianidin entered the U.S. market under conditional registration in 2003, and in 2004 corn seed companies began marketing seeds treated with a 5X level of neonicotinoids (1.25 mg/seed vs. .25).... and in the space of a decade, U.S. corn acreage undergoes a ten-fold increase in average insecticide use. By 2007, the average acre of corn has more than three systemic insecticides -- both Bt traits and a neonicotinoid. Compare this to the early 1990s, when only an estimated 30-35 percent of all corn acreage were treated with insecticides at all.

Adding fuel to the fire, in 2008 USDA's Federal Crop Insurance Board of Directors approved reductions in crop insurance premiums for producers who plant certain Bt corn hybrids. By 2009, 40 percent of corn farmers interviewed said they did not have access to elite (high-yielding) non-Bt corn seed. It is by now common knowledge that conventional corn farmers have a very hard time finding seed that is not genetically engineered and treated with neonicotinoids.

Enter fungicides
In 2007, what's left of corn IPM was further unraveled with the mass marketing of a new class of fungicides (strobilurins) for use on corn as yield "boosters." Before this, fungicide use on corn was so uncommon that it didn't appear in Crop Life's 2002 National Pesticide Use Database. But in the last five years, the pesticide industry has aggressively and successfully marketed prophylactic applications of fungicides on corn as yield and growth enhancers, and use has grown dramatically as a result. This despite the fact that these fungicides work as marketed less than half the time. According to this meta-analysis of efficacy studies, only "48% of treatments resulted in a yield response greater than the economic break-even value of 6 bu/acre."

Back to the bees. Neonicotinoids are known to synergize with certain fungicides to increase the toxicity of the former to honey bees up to 1,000-fold, and fungicides may be key culprits in undermining beneficial bee microbiota that do things like make beebread nutritious and support immune response against gut pathogens like Nosema. Fungicide use in corn is likewise destroying beneficial fungi in many cropping systems, and driving the emergence of resistant strains.

As with insecticides and herbicides, so too with fungicide use on corn: Corn farmers are stuck on a pesticide treadmill on high gear, with a pre-emptively pressed turbo charge button (as "insurance"). Among the many casualties are our honey bees who rely on corn's abundant pollen supply.

Keeping us all tethered to the pesticide treadmill is expected behavior from the likes of Monsanto. But what boggles the mind is that all of this is being aided and abetted by a USDA that ties cheap crop insurance to planting patented Bt corn, and a Congress that refuses to tie subsidized crop insurance in the Farm Bill to common-sense conservation practices like bio-intensive IPM. Try explaining that with a waggle dance.

Originally appeared on Huffington Post.

Authored by: Heather Pilatic
Source: http://www.fooddemocracynow.org/blog/

9 Year old girl's lunch blog shames school and local politicians into making changes

A nine-year-old Scottish girl, Martha Payne, got some help from her dad to set up her blog "Never Seconds," in which she displayed her school's lunches and created her own content about them.

Although the photos of those meals were not flattering, Martha was not decrying her school's food. Instead, her ratings were rather generous.

Martha's dad was amazed at the large international following of her blog. It had accrued 2 million hits and she was raised over $3,100 U.S. for a charity called Mary's Meals.

Martha had found out about Mary's Meals from her grandfather, who told her it was started locally and spread internationally as a charity to feed needy school children in impoverished areas.

Grandpa assured Martha that the charity was efficient and genuine. They used almost all of the funds to feed needy school children.

But one day, Martha was called into the school office and told she could no longer photograph and display school lunches in her blog. She was also warned about her comments on school lunch staffers and inspectors from the Argyll and Bute Council.

The Argyll and Bute Council is the governing body of Argyll and Bute in Western Scotland, comparable to a USA county containing several communities. Martha's dad informed The Telegraph that the school had been supportive, but the council decided to step in and say no to Martha.

What Martha did and what happened

Martha wrote a sad goodbye to her blog followers with her lament over not having raised enough money for Mary's Meals to buy a new kitchen in another area targeted for needy school children (http://neverseconds.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/goodbye.html).

Though she might have been able to continue her blog without the pictures, her goodbye drew outrage from her followers. Tweets on Twitter soon became a "top-trending" topics in Britain, trending third internationally.

Among those tweeting and supporting Martha, whose blog name is Veg, were celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Nick Naim. Even the Scottish Education Minister got into the act, criticizing the Argyll and Bute Council for its "ridiculous decision."

It seems famous television personality Jamie Oliver has had something to do with improving school meal standards in Britain, which now includes increased veggies and fresh fruit. It also seems that Argyl and Bute schools were lagging behind Britain's improved school lunch fare.

To make matters worse for the Argyll and Bute Council, Wired Magazine posted the council's website, email address and Twitter handle on its online article criticizing the council's decision to shut down Martha "Veg" Payne's site.

The outraged response not only forced the council to back down and apologize, but Veg's charity contribution drive swiftly rose from slightly over $3,000 to $35,000.

So Veg and her blog are back in business, raising funds for Mary's Meals, and maybe the schools of Argyle and Bute will do something to improve their school lunches.

What school food should be

Local French school districts actually employ chefs who supervise cooks in-training by using modern kitchens to prepare four and five course freshly prepared meals daily. The foods are fresh from local farms. Menus are constantly changed.

Children are allowed to go home for lunch. No vending machines are allowed in the schools. Fresh fruit snacks are offered. Nothing compares to the French standard of school food.

Sources for this article include:

http://grist.org

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/06/neverseconds-shut-down/

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1969729,00.html

http://simplegoodandtasty.com

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argyll_and_Bute

Radioactive buckyballs from Fukushima invade California beaches

As the fallout - no pun intended - from Japan's tsunami-damaged nuclear reactors at its Fukushima complex continues to worsen, scientists are now concerned about another related phenomenon that appears to be invading the U.S. West Coast - buckyballs.

What, exactly, are those? According to a recent University of California - Davis study, in this case the term refers to uranium-filled nanospheres which were "created from the millions of tons of fresh and salt water used to try to cool down the three molten cores of the stricken reactors," said Michael Collins, of EnviroReporter.com - not the small, magnetic balls that cling to each other.

The tiny, stout buckyballs - which resemble soccer balls - are said to have been formed when water hit the super-heated, primarily uranium-oxide, fuel in the damaged reactors at Fukushima. "In this goo buckyballs are formed, loaded with uranium and able to move quickly through water without disintegrating," said the report.

Worse, radiation readings in L.A. and Santa Monica during a 42-day period between December 2011 and January 2012, "strongly suggest that radiation is increasing in the region including along the coast in Ventura County," Collins said, adding that readings both he and the Environmental Protection Agency took appeared to indicate the unnatural presence of radiation.

"Southern California is still getting hit by Fukushima radiation at alarmingly high levels that will inevitably increase as the main bulk of polluted Pacific Ocean water reaches North America over the next two years," he asserted.

Radiation believed to be five times normal levels along parts of West Coast

Collins said he began monitoring for increased levels of radiation within four days after a devastating earthquake-caused tsunami struck the Fukushima complex, heavily damaging at least three of the site's nuclear reactors. Today, he says, radiation levels at both the Los Angeles and Santa Monica sites are about 5.3 times the norm. The Santa Monica site transmits radiation readings to the L.A. Basin area 24/7, Collins said.

The author noted that more than 1,500 radiation tests have been conducted in the area since the disaster, including samples taken in a commercial airliner.

"[E]ven accounting for higher radiation at higher altitudes, readings were more than five times normal according to the manufacturer of our Inspector Alert nuclear radiation monitor," Collins wrote.

The U.C. - Davis study said the radioactive buckyballs were hearty and potentially able to "transport uranium over long distances," being stable and consistent in the absence of peroxide.

While experts in the mainstream media debate whether any toxic levels of radiation are already bombarding the U.S. West Coast or if it is on its way, what is known is that radiation, in some forms, has already made it to American waters.

NaturalNews.com reported May 30 that tuna caught off California's coastline contained higher-than-normal levels of radiation, though most scientists said and continue to say, such levels are safe. http://www.naturalnews.com/036022_Fukushima_radiation_food_supply.html

"I wouldn't tell anyone what's safe to eat or what's not safe to eat," Daniel Madigan of Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, told Reuters. "It's become clear that some people feel that any amount of radioactivity, in their minds, is bad and they'd like to avoid it. But compared to what's there naturally ... and what's established as safety limits, it's not a large amount at all."

Madigan said researchers found higher levels of two radioactive isotopes of the cesium element, 137 - which was present in the eastern Pacific before the disaster at Fukushima Daiichi - and 134, which is caused only by manmade activities and wasn't present before the tsunami smashed into the plant.

Better off having radioactivity in the ocean?

Ken Buesseler, a Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, wrote on CNN.com that the fact most of Fukushima's radioactive fallout landed in the ocean, rather than on land, was actually a good thing.

"In many ways we were fortunate that impacts were largely confined to the ocean. Certainly, the Japanese people continue to feel devastating effects of so large a release within their country, and many people may never be able to return to their homes. But in general the winds during the height of the accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant were blowing offshore," he said.

"As a result, more than three-quarters of the radioactivity fell on the ocean. This is important, as any that lands on soil remains in place, resulting in the potential for greater human exposure and increased chances of contamination to food supplies and property," Buesseler continued.

Nevertheless, some radioactive measurements show disturbing trends, he said, such as levels "of radioactivity found in fish are not decreasing and there appear to be hot spots on the seafloor that are not well mapped."

Sources:

http://www.vcreporter.com

http://www.naturalnews.com/036022_Fukushima_radiation_food_supply.html

http://www.enviroreporter.com

5 health steps the system does NOT want you to take

Let's face it, the system wants you sick. They build giant hospitals, develop expensive pharmaceuticals, and design equipment small governments couldn't afford, all so they can rake in the life savings of hapless victi, er, people who find themselves at the mercy of Big Medical after making poor health choices their entire lives, albeit often choices they were told were good. By the time they are lying in a hospital bed with cancer at 60, waiting for another round of expensive, destructive chemotherapy, they have no idea what, or who, caused it, or what they could have done to perhaps avoid being sick in the first place.

In truth, there are no magic bullets, no guarantees against the big C and other dreaded diseases. We are exposed to so many toxins daily that the fact we're even alive is a testimony to the awesome disease-fighting capabilities of the human body. However, there are steps everyone can take to mitigate and even eliminate some of the toxins that make it so difficult for the body's immune system to do its job properly.

Diet and exercise are about the only things major media outlets seem to focus on, and those are certainly important. But when most people that think of 'diet' think of things like drinking diet soda instead of regular and eating aspartame laced yogurt for dessert instead of cheesecake, it's abundantly clear that society has a clear misunderstanding of the right things to consume and avoid in order to achieve optimal health. So, go ahead, peel apart the layers of deception and begin your journey down the rabbit hole. What you will find could quite literally save your life.

Five basic health-steps the system does NOT want you to take

1.) Vaccines - Whether or not there is good science behind the concept of introducing small amounts of pathogens to build immunity to the 'real thing' is, sadly, really a moot point considering the toxic adjuvants and preservatives that come with vaccines. Without even covering the allergic reactions and immediate long and short-term side effects many experience, is the cumulative buildup of mercury, aluminum, and a host of other trouble-makers in the body really worth potentially avoiding a few mostly non-lethal childhood diseases?

2.) Supplements - Not your typical WalMart synthetic brand, but routine, organic, plant-based supplements are a huge key to replacing the nutrients that even the most health-conscious of us miss out on simply because the food we grow today is lacking so many nutrients. The body uses these nutrients to fight off disease, naturally. So give it what it needs!

3.) Water filtration - Fluoride, arsenic, chlorine, lead, and even chemical and pharmaceutical runoffs are just a few of the things our bodies would really rather do without. Do your research, invest in a high quality water filter, and give your body the water it needs minus the toxins.

4.) Label awareness - HFCS, MSG, aspartame, sucralose, partially-hydrogenated - these are some of the things an informed label reader will look for and avoid like the plagues they are.

5.) GMOs - Potentially the most important non-nuclear threat of our time, GMOs could mean the end of the food supply as we know it. Currently there are no labeling laws, so one must buy USDA Organic to avoid GMO. It may be more expensive but, as Joel Salatin so aptly put it, "If you think organic foods are expensive, have you priced cancer lately?"

Note: All of these steps center around what we choose to allow into our bodies. If we make the right choices, we stand a better chance of allowing our immune systems to eliminate the toxins we unavoidably encounter every day, a better chance of not becoming just another Big Medical statistic!

Sources for this article include:
http://www.nvic.org
http://www.fluoridealert.org
http://seedsofdeception.com

About the author:
Scott is a blogger, writer, and researcher whose primary focus is how to raise healthy kids despite a system and status quo that makes it as difficult as possible. He and his wife, Kim, live in the hills of east Tennessee with their four small children. He holds an MBA from East Tennessee State University. Scott and Kim blog about parenting, marriage, healthy lifestyle, nutrition, and homesteading at www.amorefieldlife.com. Connect with them on Facebook at www.facebook.com/amorefieldlife.
 

Watermelon extract lowers blood pressure better than dangerous pharmaceuticals

Heart disease and stroke continue to be the leading cause of death in the US, as vascular deterioration and dysfunction result in hypertension and ultimately, an early demise. Elevated blood pressure results in micro-cracks to the delicate endothelial lining of the blood vessels that must be patched by plaque (formed largely of circulating oxidized LDL cholesterol and calcium particles), beginning the process of atherosclerosis and greatly increased risk of heart attack.

Natural methods of lowering high blood pressure can allow the body to heal damaged vessels and arteries, dramatically lowering the risk of heart disease and stroke. Researchers from Florida State University have published the result of a study in the American Journal of Hypertension that explains how natural watermelon extract helps reduce moderately elevated blood pressure by providing a rich source of the amino acids, citrulline and arginine, both known to relax vascular pressure.

Watermelon extract lowers blood pressure to normal range for many suffering from hypertension

In prior studies, citrulline and arginine have been shown as effective agents to reduce blood pressure, but further research was necessary to validate the results. The scientists recruited fourteen volunteers with an average age of 58 to receive either a concentrated watermelon extract (providing six grams of a citrulline/arginine mixture daily) or a placebo for a period of six weeks. They then observed a two week washout period with no supplementation before crossing over to the other group.

At the end of the study, researchers found that systolic pressure (upper blood pressure number) in the supplemented group was lowered in the arm and ankle by 15.1 and 11.5mmHg respectively, compared to the placebo participants. Diastolic pressure was lowered by 7.6 and 7.8 mmHg. For many participants, this reduction was enough to lower blood pressure from a pre-hypertension state to a normal reading, significantly lowering the risk of heart attack or stroke.

Of greater importance is the fact that the results observed are similar or better to those found with dangerous prescription ACE inhibitors or beta-blockers so commonly prescribed like candy by allopathic practitioners. The study authors concluded "This study suggests that watermelon extract improves arterial function... cardiovascular events were lower by about two-fold in those with normal ankle systolic blood pressure than in those with high ankle systolic blood pressure during a 15-year follow-up." Researchers found that blood pressure is lowered in a dose-dependent manner with optimal results found with six grams of citrulline/arginine each day.

Sources for this article include:
http://www.nature.com/ajh/journal/v25/n6/full/ajh201220a.html
http://www.nutraingredients.com
http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/204527.php

About the author:
John Phillip is a Health Researcher and Author who writes regularly on the cutting edge use of diet, lifestyle modifications and targeted supplementation to enhance and improve the quality and length of life. John is the author of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan', a comprehensive EBook explaining how to use Diet, Exercise, Mind and Targeted Supplementation to achieve your weight loss goal. Visit My Optimal Health Resource to continue reading the latest health news updates, and to download your Free 48 page copy of 'Your Healthy Weight Loss Plan'.

City of Tulsa, Oklahoma, destroys woman's edible landscaping with over 100 varieties of medicinal plants

An Oklahoma woman is the latest victim of government terrorism after City of Tulsa code enforcement officials came to her house and illegally tore up her entire edible garden, which contained over 100 varieties of medicinal plants. Denise Morrison was in full compliance with local laws concerning her garden, and yet city officials proceeded to both violate a court order, and willfully deny Denise of her legal right to grow food on her own property by illegally destroying it.

KOTV NewsOn6.com, which was the first to break the heartbreaking story, explains a situation that is becoming disturbingly common in America today. A phantom "neighbor" allegedly complains about the victim's yard, which prompts overzealous city officials to conduct a witch hunt that includes coercing the victim into complying with their unlawful demands. When said victim refuses and tries to fight back and reclaim her legal rights, the city proceeds to trespass on her property and destroy it, along with her livelihood.

For Denise, this is exactly what happened when a "neighbor" complained about her edible garden, which she just so happened to be using to naturally treat her diabetes, high blood pressure, and arthritis. In this garden were strawberries, stevia, several varieties of mint, apple trees, pecan trees, walnut trees, grapes, lemons, garlic, and chives, to name just a few -- and each of these plants had a specific purpose in Denise's life, whether it was simply for nourishment, or for the prevention and treatment of various diseases.

But City of Tulsa code enforcement officials, apparently doped up on their own sick delusions of perceived grandeur, decided that Denise's garden violated local code, even though it most clearly did not. In fact, nowhere in the local code is there even a hint of verbiage that suggests Denise's garden was in violation of any local laws whatsoever -- Tulsa city officials appear to have simply made up phony violations in order to target Denise.

You can watch the full NewsOn6.com report here:
http://www.newson6.com

Local code reveals Denise's garden in full compliance with the law

Code enforcement officials tried to claim that Denise's plants were too tall, exceeding the 12-inch limit for plants, and thus had to be removed. But as you will see in the following portion of Tulsa's Code of Ordinances titled Nuisances Classified, plants exceedingly twelve inches in height are permitted as long as they are "healthy trees, shrubs or produce for human consumption grown in a tended and cultivated garden." (http://library.municode.com).

Denise tried to point this fact out to officials, but they ignored her. She repeatedly tried to show them pictures of her garden and set up meetings to discuss the matter, but they continually refused, ordering her to remove the garden or else face further penalties.

"Every word out of their mouth was, 'we don't care,'" said Morrison to NewsOn6.com about how the city treated her when she tried to defend the legitimacy of her garden.

Denise was not about to be steamrolled without a fight, however. Rather than rip out her garden, she decided to call the police, who issued her a citation in order to have the issue worked out at a later day in court. But before the postponed hearing could even take place, code enforcement officials, in violation of both the court order and the city's own laws, arrived at Denise's house and proceeded to forcefully remove every single plant from both her front and back yards.

Several days later, Denise, who had left her house following the incident, came back to see the aftermath of what had taken place. The destruction was so severe that Denise sat in her driveway and cried for several minutes before eventually leaving.

"Not only are the plants my livelihood, they're my food and I was unemployed at the time and had no food left, no medicine left, and I didn't have insurance," said Morrison about her garden. "They basically took away my life and my livelihood."

Americans need to start standing up and defending their freedoms against government terrorists

Denise has since filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city for tyrannizing her and destroying her personal property. Some of her supporters have also set up a Change.org petition demanding that the City of Tulsa replant her garden, compensate her for all losses, and apologize to her for their illegal activities against her (http://www.change.org).

But the incident should not have even occurred in the first place, nor should it have happened to Kimberly Bois of New Hampshire (http://www.naturalnews.com/035336_flowers_HOA_New_Hampshire.html) or Len Gratto of Mission, British Columbia (http://www.naturalnews.com/030983_food_freedom_British_Columbia.html). And Karl Tricamo of Ferguson, Missouri, faces a similar situation as Denise (http://nocostl.com).

The City of Tulsa's Neighborhood Inspections division, which was responsible for the destruction of Denise's property, can be reached at (918) 596-7698. Tulsa Mayor Dewey F. Bartlett can be reached at (918) 596-2100 or by visiting:
http://www.cityoftulsa.org

Sources for this article include:

http://www.newson6.com

http://www.cityoftulsa.org