An inspirational blog on health, life & spirit to support you in making educational decisions with awareness & love, to promote human life and the support of OUR Earth Mother, to support true community, law and sovereignty, the elimination of corrupt elitist control, force, manipulation & abuse of power, while dancing with elegance into our simply balance and True Divinity. TOGETHER WE CAN!


Sunday, June 27, 2004

Voting is the greatest act of a civil society

This is an email sent to me by

One of the greatest freedoms we enjoy as Canadians is the freedom to express our political choice by voting for a person or a party that we hope will represent our views in our federal Parliament.

Over the last month, we’ve done our best to help you learn about the environmental policies of the five major political parties with We’ve also given you our own point of view of the party platforms at We know that not all of you agree with our position on this matter, and we respect that, but elections are about taking a stand on issues, and our position on Climate Change is clear.

I take voting very seriously. And while my choice on the ballot doesn’t always result in my political view being represented in Ottawa, I maintain my right to participate in civil society by casting my ballot.

Some people say that there is little difference between the policies of the five major parties. That the policies of the Liberals and Conservatives are so similar it makes little difference who we vote for. That the policies of the NDP and the Greens are so much alike, what does it matter how I cast my ballot?

My many American friends remind me that the same was said in 2000: what’s the difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush? Time reveals differences, some of them stark and some of them subtle. But there is a difference, and our obligation as Canadians is to make a choice that best reflects our values, and stand behind that choice with our ballot.

So go out and vote. It’s the simplest act of participating in civil society that you can take, and it might very well be the most important.

Stephen Legault
Executive Director

Friday, June 25, 2004


France to Impose Green Tax on Big Cars

A new green road tax unveiled by the French
environment ministry would provide rebates for
those who buy small, fuel-efficient cars by
taxing buyers of large, gas-guzzling cars and
trucks. The scheme would divide vehicles into
five categories based on how much they pollute.
The middle category -- largely mid-size family
sedans -- would be subject to neither tax nor
rebate, but purchasers of vehicles in the upper
two categories would pay taxes (up to $4,000 or
more), while those buying in the lower two would
receive rebates. The move comes on the heels of
Paris' attempt to ban large 4x4s from its
streets. City council member Denis Baupin said,
"They're polluters, they're space-occupiers,
they're dangerous for pedestrians and other road
users. They're a caricature of a car." (You can
imagine a U.S. politician saying that, right?)
According to Franceís Environmental Health and
Safety Agency, some 7 percent of premature deaths
from respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses in
the country, or 30,000 a year, are due to
exhaust-related pollution. "[T]he government can
no longer remain indifferent," said Prime
Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

straight to the source: The Guardian, Jon Henley, 23 Jun 2004

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Vote For Your Top 12 Dirty Corporations

go to
There’s a cabal of dirty companies – military-industrial conglomerates, drug pushers, genetic food modifiers – stinking up our planet and getting rich in the process. Yet nobody seems to be talking about it.

We want you to identify these rogue corporations for what they are: weapons of mass destruction. Do some research (click on the More Info beneath each logo).
Then cast your vote.


The world that I envision and that I am sure many of you also do, can be ours.
We just have to make it...
For inspiration go to


*Scientists warn of Harmful Ingredients In our Shampoos and Cosmetics.

By David Lowell Kern

New health concerns are being raised over some common ingredients in hair shampoos, skin creams, toothpastes, and other personal care products. According to researchers in the United States, Germany, Switzerland, and Japan, these ingredients may be linked to premature baldness, cataract formation, environmental cancers, contact dermatitis, and possible eye damage in young children.

SLS and Eye Damage in Young Children

The greatest concern of many scientists is sodium lauryl sulfate, a detergent found in approximately 90% of commercial shampoos. Also known as sodium dodecyl sulfate (SDS), sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and sodium laurel sulfate (SLS), this chemical has been shown to damage protein formation in eye tissue in young animals, raising serious concerns about the possibility of ocular tissue malformation and blindness in infants and young children. In animal studies, SLS penetration and uptake is much greater in neonatal and young animal eye tissue, compared to adult animals, and shows "penetration into the eye, as well as systemic tissues (brain, heart, liver, etc.)." SLS also showed long-term retention in tissues, up to five days after a single drop (1).Researcher Keith Green, Ph.D., ID. Sc., of the Medical College of Georgia, also reports that SLS extends the healing time of corneal tissue by a factor of five, from the normal 2 days to 10 days or more. He also expresses concerns about cataract formation from SLS. Writing for Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc., Dr. Green states in part: "There is an immediate concern relating to the penetration of these chemicals into the eye and other tissues. This is especially important in infants... exposure to SLS results in accumulation in eye tissues, a process that could retard healing as well as potentially have long term effects." Dr. Green concludes that exposure to sodium lauryl sulfate causes improper eye development in children, and that since SLS is absorbed systemically through the skin, it does not have to enter the eye directly.

Our own research has revealed that SLS is present as a main ingredient in most commercial shampoos. Furthermore, SLS is a main ingredient in most baby shampoos on the store shelves.

SLS Toxicity and Cancer

Another serious health concern with SLS is its tendency to react with other ingredients to form NDELA, a nitrosamine and potent carcinogen. According to a 1978 FDA report, shampooing the hair with a product contaminated with this nitrosamine can lead to its absorption into the body at levels much higher than eating nitrate-contaminated foods. (Researchers actually estimate the nitrate absorption from one shampoo is equal to eating a pound of bacon.) The FDA has recently warned shampoo manufacturers of unacceptable levels of dioxin formation in products containing SLES(dioxins are also dangerous carciniogenic compounds). Whether or not a particular bottle of shampoo is contaminated with these powerful carcinogenic compounds can only be determined through laboratory testing.

read the full article at

Friday, June 18, 2004

Women Say NO to Harper.

Dear Friends,

Maude Barlow of the Council of Canadians, and Elizabeth May of the Sierra Club, are circulating the letter below regarding Stephen Harper and his policies. We need signatures from as many Canadian women as possible.
Due to the shortage of time to act before the election, we are hoping to get as many prominent women signed on as possible - to maximize the impact when the letter is released to the media. Because of the focus on the election, we should be able to get good media coverage this time!.
Please, if you can, circulate this letter as far and wide as possible. We need the full name and title/credentials (if applicable) for the signatories.
Many thanks for any assistance you can provide with this important endeavour.



On June 28, 2004, Canadians face a starker choice than in any election in our lifetimes. Dissatisfaction with the years of Liberal government is driving voters toward the "Conservative Party" and its new and telegenic leader, Stephen Harper. With only weeks to go until election day, we fear many members of the public will not have time to adequately assess the sharp and clear differences between the major parties.

In fact, the "Conservative Party" is not a known and trusted alternative.
The Right Honourable Joe Clark, former Prime Minister and a life-long
member of the Progressive Conservative Party, made this clear when he urged the Canadian public to choose Paul Martin over Harper. The Harper agenda scares him. Many leading former Progressive Conservatives feel the same.

The party Harper leads has little in common with the former Progressive Conservative Party. But there is a way that Canadians can learn more aboutHarper's mysterious party: We can look South, to George Bush and the U.S.
Republican Party. Like the Bush Republicans, the Harper Conservatives would take Canada into dangerous territory:
.Bush and Harper favour Canadian involvement in the illegal U.S. attack on Iraq.
.Bush and Harper would take Canada to deficits in order to pour billions into the military. Bush has already taken the U.S. into trillions of dollars of
debt to fund militarism.
.Bush and Harper deny the reality of climate change and the threat to the whole planet, and especially Canada, from our continued reliance on fossil fuels.
.Bush and Harper reject the Kyoto Protocol. Harper has said he would not implement this international treaty which Canada has already ratified.
.Bush and Harper would change the protection of human rights enshrined in our respective Bill of Rights and Charter of Rights. Harper has said he would use the notwithstanding clause to prevent the equal application of the marriage laws as they effect single-sex couples.
.Bush and Harper would challenge a woman's right to choose. Harper has said he would allow the issue of access to legal abortions to be re-opened through an open vote in the House of Commons.
.Bush was responsible for more executions than any other U.S. Governor of recent times. Harper has suggested the prohibition of capital punishment would be re-opened in Canada.
We must not sleep walk into electing a Canadian version of George W. Bush. Challenge Stephen Harper on these positions.
Harper tells Canadians we should "Demand Better." First, Canadians must "Demand the truth" about the new Canadian Republican Party, masquerading as the Conservative Party of Canada.
We do not have much time.

If you would like to add your name as a signatory of this letter, please contact Jillian Skeet by email or by phone: 604-324-1135.
Life begets life. Energy creates energy. It is by spending oneself that one becomes rich. Sarah Bernhardt

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

What's So Wrong with Eating Something with a Face?

It takes 930 kg of grain to feed one person for one year on a meat–based diet, compared to 180kg of grain on a grain-based diet.

Much of the meat produced in industrialized countries comes from “intensive feedlots.” In this system, animals have relatively little freedom to roam and graze naturally, but are provided with large amounts of feed designated to maximize growth, so that they reach their target weight as quickly as possible, or yield the maximum amount of milk or eggs. The Atlas of Food, p.34

“A quarter of the earth’s landmass is used as pasture for livestock farming.”

True cost of Meat

Large quantities of water are used to produce grains for livestock
These grains are used to feed livestock
Vast areas of land are cleared for livestock production
Animal waste pollutes waterways
Chemical contamination of the environment
The lives of sentient beings are controlled, then taken away at the will of the controller.

The following is exerts from Vegan Action

What is a VEGAN?
A vegan is someone who avoids using or consuming animal products. While vegetarians avoid flesh foods, vegans also avoid dairy and eggs, as well as fur, leather, wool, down and cosmetics or chemical products tested on animals. Veganism emerges as the lifestyle most consistent with the philosophy that animals are not ours to use and exploit.

Veganism, the natural extension of vegetarianism, is an integral component of a cruelty-free lifestyle. Living vegan provides numerous benefits to animals’ lives, to the environment, and to our own health-through a healthy diet and lifestyle.

FOR THE ANIMALS Despite the common belief that drinking milk or eating eggs does not kill animals, commercially raised dairy cows and egg-laying chicken, whether factory-famed or “free range”, are slaughtered when their production rates decline. (1) The same factory farm methods that are used to produce most meats are also used to produce most milk and eggs. (2) These cows and chickens live their short lives caged, drugged, mutilated, and deprived of their most basic freedoms.

FOR THE ENVIRONMENT Animal agriculture takes a devastating toll on the earth. It is an inefficient way of producing food, since feed for farm animals requires land, water, fertilizer, and other resources that could otherwise have been used directly for producing human food. Animal agriculture’s dependence on higher yields accelerates topsoil erosion on our farmlands, rendering land less productive for crop cultivation, and forcing the conversion of wilderness to grazing the farm lands. (8) Animal waste from massive feedlots and factory farms is a leading cause of pollution in our groudwater and rivers. (9) The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization has linked animal agriculture to a number of other environmental problems, including: contamination of aquatic ecosystems, soil, and drinking water by manure, pesticides, and fertilizers: acid rain from ammonia emissions: greenhouse gas production: and depletion of aquifers for irrigation. (10)

FOR OUR HEALTH The consumption of animal fats and proteins has been linked to heart disease, colon and lung cancer, osteoporosis, diabetes, kidney disease, hypertension, obesity, and a number of other debilitating conditions. (12) Cows’ milk contains ideal amounts of fat and protein for young calves, but far too much for humans. And eggs are higher in cholesterol than any other food, making them a leading contributor to cardiovascular disease. The American Dietetic Association reports that vegetarian/vegan diets are associated with reduced risks for all of these conditions. (13)

References (from Vegan Action
1. Agricultural textbook, Scientific Farm Animal Production, 1998.
2. Peter Cheeke, textbook Contemporary Issues in Animal Agriculture (Interstate Publishers, 1999)
3. Feedstuffs, January 1, 2001 pp.8, 18.
4. Br Poultry Sci, 1989; 30:479; Diseases of Poultry, 1997.
5. Bernard Rollin, PhD. Farm Animal Welfare (lowa State University Press, 1995).
6. USDA, Animal Welfare Issues Compendium, September 1997.
7. Agricultural textbook, Scientific Farm Animal Production, 1998.
8. Peter Cheeke, textbook Contemporary Issues in Animal Agriculture (Interstate Publishers, 1999).
9. Scientific American, 8/99; Animal Waste Pollution in America (report released by Senator Tom Harkin, 12/97).
10. United Nations Food & Agriculture Organization, Livestock & the Environment, 1996.
11. Peter Ulvin, The State of World Junger, reported by UN FAO, 1993. Percentages by calories.
12. J of ADA, 1997; 97 (no. 11): 1317-21; Am J Clin Nutr. 1999; 69: 727-36.
13. ADA, Position on Vegetarian Diets, 1996.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Stefan Zweig, a man of peace.

Peace - Stefan Zweig

Peace is not a thing of weakness.
It calls for heroism and action.
Day by day you must wrest it from the mouths of liars.
You must stand alone against the multitude,
for clamor is always on the side of the many.
And the liar has ever the first word.
The meek must be strong.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

HIV/AIDS Made In America? - Graves Gets His Day In Court

"The HIV-AIDS Virus was manufactured as a designer bi-product of the US Special Virus programme. The Special Virus programme was a federal virus development programme that persisted in the United States from 1962 until 1978. Dr. Robert Gallo's 1971 Special Virus paper reveals that the United States was seeking a "virus particle" that would negatively impact the defence mechanisms of the immune system. The programme sought to modify the genome of the virus particle in which to splice in an animal wasting disease called Visna." Graves says Dr. Gallo's 1971 Special Virus paper is identical to his 1984 announcement of AIDS, and in 2001 Dr. Gallo conceded his role as "Project Officer" for the federal virus development programme, the Special Virus.

Graves claims the US Special Virus was added as a "compliment" by vaccine manufacturer Merck to experimental hepatitis B vaccines given to gay men in New York City, Los Angeles and San Fransisco; and smallpox vaccines given to blacks in central Africa, during the late 1970's and early 1980's. Shortly thereafter the world was overwhelmed with mass infections of a human retrovirus that differed from any known human disease, it was highly contagious and it could kill. Boyd Graves now believes that HIV-AIDS is probably an evolutionary, laboratory development of the peculiar Visna Virus, first detected in Icelandic sheep. Graves himself is a graduate of Annapolis US Naval Academy and law school who, in 1992 tested positive for HIV.

Read the full article at


In August 2005, everything in Europe is about to change. Over 300 bioavailable nutrient forms present in over 5,000 safe vitamin and mineral products that include a large number of the safest, most readily absorbed and most effective, food-derived forms will be banned from the market. It stems from radical legislation passed in Europe by member State governments in June 2002 known as the EU Food Supplements Directive (FSD). The list of banned items includes natural vitamin forms such as mixed tocopherols (natural vitamin E), carotenoids and methylcobalamin, all forms of sulphur, boron, vanadium, silicon and most trace elements, the most readily absorbed and safest forms of calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, chromium and molybdenum. It will severely limit the doses of vitamins and other nutrients allowed in products, removing all high-dose products from the market. It will include future restrictions on nutrient forms other than vitamins and minerals such as fatty acids, amino acids, enzymes, probiotics, phytonutrients, etc. It will dramatically limit future innovation in the dietary supplement industry, with consequent serious impacts on retail outlets, complementary practitioners and consumers who choose to take responsibility for their own health.

In addition to denying most Europeans access to safe nutritional supplements, this draconian EU Directive is going to be used as the blueprint for establishing international dietary supplement laws at Codex of which the U.S. has agreed to adopt. If this happens, which is a very likely scenario in the next year or so, Codex will outlaw or severely restrict virtually everything millions of us have grown accustomed to using safely every day. We no longer live in a world where national borders mean much of anything. We are witnessing the rapid unification of the world into a new global government with Europe at the helm. When the World Trade Organization (WTO) was given teeth to enforce international trade laws in the early 1990s by establishing an international court known as the Dispute Settlement Body, all WTO member nations in principle agreed to harmonize their domestic trade laws to a new set of international laws so every nation operates by the same set of standards. Most supplement consumers were unaware at the time that in effect, this would eventually lead to an incremental attack on all of our food supplements here in America and around the world. Most supplement companies have simply gone along with the advice from their pharmaceutically dominated trade associations and know very little, if any, about what is taking shape across the Atlantic. For more go to

Monday, June 07, 2004

Here is the Sustainable Spirit Table at the Raw Peace Festival on May 1, 2004.


Fiona Young, Kate Jenkins and Myself, Amandha Vollmer, have combined our energies and ideas into Sustainable Spirit, a non-profit organization dedicated to health, spirit and the great Mother Earth. We are here to teach others how to "Embrace Diversity to Manifest Unity" and our mission is to inspire people to live in peace & harmony with themselves, other living beings & our natural environment. Our website is still in the works but you can take a look to get an idea of what's to come. We are going to the OM festival for Solstice to promote sustainable products, teach workshops and make connections with others who wish to help empower people for the greatest good of all. Please help us help you, via donation, volunteer time, or strong love energy. For it is WE who have the power to create our own realities and manifest a beautiful, sustainable planet, where we can ALL live in true presence and love. Blessed Be.


I urge every one of you to go to and read and sign this petition. It is going to be presented to Paul Martin before the election and it only has 52 signatures! We need more! This petition concerns the state of economic reality that STILL is not being address and NEEDS to be changed. Thank you for helping the future today...

Sunday, June 06, 2004

TAPPING IN - Internal Connections

We must again find the source, for we are from that source. Call it God, call it spirit, call it what you will, it’s all the same. Our ego makes us think that we are what we do, we are what others think we are, we are what society expects, and that we are not like anyone else. But if only we reconnected to the source, we would realize we are much more than this, and we are not separate from this source at all. We are of it, and if we abandon ego and reconnect to spirit, even just by thinking about it every day, we will find eternal happiness and nothing will ever go wrong. Once we do this, we will understand how our own ideas and intentions have formed our lives and that we have complete power to change this. I find this infinately more satisfying than ego.

---Amandha Vollmer, from The Roadmap of My Mind

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Picture of Venus Crossing the Sun


VENUS TRANSIT: On June 8th, for the first time since 1882, Venus will pass directly between Earth and the Sun. The planet's black silhouette will be visible from Australia, Asia, Africa, Europe and eastern parts of the Americas. Visit for observing tips and links to live webcasts from around the world.

Make it an experience to remember by joining in the Oneness Celebration at these local times around the world (go to for time details)– the time of a simultaneous global meditation. The aim of the Oneness Celebration is to gather the largest number of people ever in a global meditation to generate an experience of Oneness and spiritual unity at this historic moment in time.

Thursday, June 03, 2004


I would like to promote this site
This website brought to you by allows you the opportunity to learn your candidates’ positions on a wide range of important social and environmental issues. It's like a digital doorstep, with candidates for all the major parties crowded right there into your computer.
In my opinion the only way to vote is with Greens. Those who are interested in a broader discussion of healthcare issues, beyond the oversimplified "private vs. public" or "federal vs. provincial" debates, should really consider voting Green. The GPC takes a more sound, holistic, and long-term position on healthcare. They believe in a publicly run, publicly financed, universal health care system. The costs of our symptom-only treatment system will inevitably grow unacceptably if we don't focus on the causes of illness. The Greens make sense to want to focus on reducing preventable illness such as cancer, diabetes, asthma, depression and cardiovascular disease. They will help this by reducing the introduction of known carcinogens into the air, water and food, promoting better nutrition and increased physical activity and support measures to decrease workplace stress. They are the only ones really supporting effective complementary healthcare approaches! If we all banded together we could make our voice count! We need to better balance out parliment and take care of the environment. When the earth is healthier, so are we. You wanna take some pressure off the health care system, start with Mother Earth! Anyway, check it out and make your voice count!

Sunset view from my backyard, with crystal.


Student, do the simple purification.
You know that the seed is inside the horse chestnut tree;
and inside the seed there are the
blossoms of the tree, and the chestnuts,
and the shade.
So inside the human body there is the seed,
and inside the seed,
there is the human body again.
Fire, air, earth, water, and space –
If you don’t want the secret one,
you can’t have these either.
Thinkers, listen, tell me what you know of
that is not inside the soul?
Take a pitcher full of water and set it down
on the water –
Now it has water inside and water outside.
We mustn’t give it a name,
lest silly people start talking again about
the body and the soul.
If you want the truth, I’ll tell you truth:
Listen to the secret sound, the real sound,
which is inside you.
The one no one talks of speaks the secret
sound to himself,
and he is the one which has made it all.

 Kabir (translated by Robert Bly)


1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire period this time around.
2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time, informal school called life. Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant and stupid,
3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trial and error, and experimentation. The “failed” experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately “works”.
4. A lesson is repeated until it is learned. A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have learned it. Then you can go on to the next lesson.
5. Learning lessons does not end. There is no part of life that does not contain its lessons. If you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.
6. “There” is no better than “here.” When your “there” has become a “here,” you will simply obtain another “there” that again, looks better than “here.”
7. Others are merely mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it reflects to you something you love or hate about yourself.
8. What you make of your life is up to you. You have all the tools and resources you need; what you do with them is up to you. The choice is yours.
9. The answers lie inside you. The answers to life’s questions lie inside you. All you need to do it look, listen and trust.

Author unknown

Wednesday, June 02, 2004


Here are some great reasons to buy organic foods

1) Protect Future Generations. The average child receives four times more exposure than an adult to at least eight widely used cancer-causing pesticides in food. Food choices you make now will impact your child's future health and your own.

2) Keep Your Body In Good Condition. The food you choose and eat on an everyday basis determines how well and to a certain extent how long your body will function enabling you to continue to live in this specific earth plane time. The body is only a housing for the spirit, and you have come back here to do certain things. If you can't get those things accomplished because, for instance your body gives out, then you will have to continue to come back time after time after time until you have completed those things.

3) Protect Water Quality. Water makes up two-thirds of of our body mass and covers three-fourths of the planet. The EPA estimates pesticides - some cancer causing - contaminate the groundwater in at least 38 states, polluting the primary source of drinking water for more than half the country's population. An efficient water filter is thus mandatory in your home and workplace.

4) Prevent Soil Erosion. The Soil Conservation Service estimates that more than 3 billion tons of topsoil are eroded from U.S. croplands each year. That means soil is eroding seven times faster than it is being built up naturally. Soil is the foundation of the food chain in organic farming (as is in most other farming). But in conventional farming, the soil is used more as a medium for holding plants in a vertical position so they can be chemically fertilized. As a result, American farms are suffering from the worst soil erosion in history.

5) Save Energy. American farms have changed drastically in the last three generations, from family-based to small businesses dependent on human energy to large-scale factory farms. Modern farming uses more petroleum than any other single industry, consuming 12 percent of the country's total energy supply. More energy is now used to produce synthetic fertilizers than to till, cultivate and harvest all the crops in the U.S. Organic farming is still mainly based on labor-intensive practices such as weeding by hand and using green manures and crop covers rather than synthetic fertilizers to build up the soil.

6) Help Small Farmers. Although more and more large-scale farms are making the conversion to organic practices, most organic farms are small, independently owned family farms of less than 100 acres. It's estimated that the U.S. has lost more than 650,000 family farms in the past decade. And with the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture predicting half of this country's farm production will come from 1 percent of farms by the year 2000, organic farming could be one of the few survival tactics left for the family farms.

7) Keep Chemicals off Your Plate. Many pesticides approved for use by the EPA were registered long before extensive research linking these chemicals to cancer and other diseases had been established. Now the EPA considers that 60 percent of all herbicides, 90 percent of all fungicides and 20 percent of all insecticides are carcinogenic. A 1987 National Academy of Sciences report estimated that pesticides might cause an extra 1.4 million cancer cases among Americans. The bottom line is that pesticides are chemical poisons designed to kill living organisms and also be harmful to humans. In addition, cancer, pesticides are implicated in birth defects, nerve damage and genetic mutations.

8) Support A True Economy. Although organic foods might seem more expensive than conventional foods, conventional food prices do not reflect hidden costs borne by taxpayers, including nearly $74 billion in federal subsidies in 1988 alone - probably more now. Other hidden costs include pesticide regulation and testing, hazardous waste disposal and cleanup, and environmental damage. One author says "if... you add in the real environmental and social costs of irrigation to a head of lettuce, its price can range between $2 and $3."

9) Taste: Better Flavor. There's a good reason why many chefs use organic foods in their recipes - they taste better! Organic farming starts with the nourishment of the soil, which eventually leads to the nourishment of the plant, and ultimately, our palates and bodies.

10) Promote Biodiversity. Mono-cropping is the practice of planting large plots of land with the same crop year after year. While this approach tripled farm production between 1950 and 1970, the lack of natural diversity of plant life has left the soil lacking in natural minerals and nutrients. To replace the nutrients, chemical fertilizers are used, often in increasing amounts.

Single crops are also much more susceptible to pests, making farmers more reliant on pesticides. Despite a tenfold increase in the use of pesticides between 1947 and 1974, crop losses due to insects have doubled - partly because some insects become genetically resistant to certain pesticides. And, we are seeing the same thing happening in drugs used to fight viruses in the human body - they can no longer do the job as the viruses have mutated.

11) Protect Farm workers. A national Cancer Institute study found that farmers exposed to herbicides had a six times greater risk than non-farmers of contracting cancer. In California, reported pesticide poisonings among farm workers has risen an average of 14 percent a year since 1973 and doubled between 1975 and 1985. Field workers suffer the highest rates of occupational illness in the state.

Farm worker health also is a serious problem in developing nations, where pesticide use can be poorly regulated. An estimated 1 million people are poisoned annually by pesticides. Are you one of them?