What? Me Worry? Arsenic in Organic Brown Rice Question: Should I worry about reports that there is arsenic in brown rice and rice products? I read De


What? Me Worry? Arsenic in Organic Brown Rice

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Question: Should I worry about reports that there is arsenic in brown rice and rice products? I read Denny Waxman's thoughts in the November/December 2012 Macrobiotics Today and would like to know more.

Chuck Lowery Responds
I read Denny Waxman's thoughts on arsenic in organic brown rice and find his viewpoint somewhat limited, especially considering the toxic nature of arsenic.

Numerous lab results demonstrate the presence of dangerous levels of arsenic in organic brown rice and products made from both organic as well as non-organic rice.

Having read the research and after discussing it with others who practice macrobiotics, I've modified the way I prepare my Lundberg organic brown rice for cooking by measuring and discarding the soaking water and replacing it with fresh water. I've also reduced my use of other rice products.

There are a number of reasons why people have healed themselves while eating brown rice. Organic brown rice is around 20% of the "healing" macrobiotic diet and the rest is 80% other foods, including a variety of grains, vegetables, beans and so on. The focus on restoring health is not only the rice. The primary food-based causes of disease have been removed and replaced with real food...no chemical sodas, no ham, no super-processed synthetic food, no sugar or agave nectar, no fries, no alcohol, no drugs. Many people add exercise like yoga, gardening or walking. They practice managing thought. Some even try laughter.

It's unfair and inappropriate to place so much responsibility on the rice.

The situation with arsenic in organic rice has nothing to do with the popularity of organic foods or macrobiotics (which is unknown to well over 99% of the population). The major organic foods companies are owned by soul-less global food corporations like Dean Foods, the world's largest dairy operation. Dean owns White Wave, makers of Horizon Dairy and Silk non-dairy beverages. They're happy to continue to market their organic line along with their pesticide-laden, genetically modified products. The organic segment is more profitable per dollar than the non-organic. They're not going to attack their own organic business as it rakes in billions of dollars.

In fairness to all elements...consumers, organic brown rice, the macrobiotic diet, and those who've healed illness through macrobiotic practice...I suggest we continue to do our own homework and inform ourselves of food issues. No one will do it for us.


Recipe of the Month: Autumn Mixed Rice

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The following holiday recipe by Yukiko Sato comes from the November/December 2012 issue of Macrobiotics Today.

The addition of sweet rice makes this dish very sweet and nourishing. The lotus root or jicama adds a nice crunchy texture. Serves 6-8 people.

          1¾ cups brown rice + ¼ cup sweet
                brown rice, sorted, rinsed, and
                soaked in 3 cups of water
          1” piece of kombu, soaked
          2 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
          1 bunch scallions, white part diced
                and green part sliced thin
          1 cup carrot, diced
          1 cup Japanese sweet potato, diced
          1 cup fresh lotus root or jicama, diced
          4 tsp shoyu
          zest of ½ lemon
          toasted pumpkin seeds

Place the soaked rice along with the soaking water and a piece of kombu in a pressure cooker. Cook for 45-50 minutes after the pressure comes up. Let the pressure come down naturally.

Prepare the vegetables while waiting for the pressure to come down. Heat the sesame oil in a pan and sauté the white part of the scallions. Add carrot and cook for a minute. Add sweet potato and cook for a few more minutes until it becomes coated with oil.

Add lotus root or jicama and cook until the vegetables brown on the outside. Add ¼ cup of water and cover. Cook for 5 minutes. Season with shoyu and cook off the liquid. Add lemon zest and green part of the scallions at the end.

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Can the World Avoid Nuclear War in 2013?

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The following is excerpted from Edward Esko's article in the November/December 2013 issue of Macrobiotics Today.

"Is there any way to avoid global conflict in 2013? One way would be for the next president to enlist the help of one or more 9 Fire personalities. As we see in the Control Cycle, fire softens the cold, hard energy of metal and overrides any tendency toward extreme thought or action.

"Bill Clinton is a possible candidate for this position. President Clinton, born in 1946, a 9 Fire year, is the quintessential fire personality: quick, passionate, brilliant, and warm. Plus he is a committed vegan. His vegan diet helps him avoid the hardening and rigidity of body and thinking caused by lots of meat and animal food. Another 9 Fire leader is George W. Bush. President Bush was also born in 1946, although his thinking is less flexible due to eating large quantities of meat and animal foods. Still, his 9 Fire nature could be helpful.

"The most direct way to diffuse the crisis would be for the next president to appoint a soil leader as a special envoy for peace in the Middle East. Empowered by the executive branch and backed by public opinion, he or she could negotiate face to face with the two metal leaders, Khamenei and Netanyahu, with the goal being to get both sides to open up and moderate their positions so as to avoid armed conflict.

"Governor Mitt Romney is an 8 Soil personality (shown in the chart as “earth”). Eight Soils are principled and high-minded, but can become self-righteous, stubborn, and imposing. This latter tendency is aggravated by the ongoing intake of animal foods. If he becomes president, Romney would need to moderate his hard line toward Iran and Russia.

"From the Nine Ki perspective, the energy of soil nourishes that of metal. As an 8 Soil and if he’s not careful, Romney could reinforce, not moderate, the tendency toward stubbornness on the part of the two metal players, Khamenei and Netanyahu. Soil’s support for metal could embolden either or both metals to embark on irresponsible or destructive action. Then, whomever is president in 2013 would do well to enlist the help of a leader with a 9 Fire nature to help control the metal natures of Khamenei and Netanyahu."

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Do It Now! Register by December 15...Save $200!

2013 flyer front

Our beautiful new flyer is ready for distribution. Save an extra $100 ($200 total) by registering by December 15, 2012.

New this year, we will reserve your space in each of the three campgrounds. The US Forest Service limits the number of tents in each area, so select whatever you like. The Aspen area has already filled but many choice spaces remain. For full details on camping options, early registration discounts and the work-study exchange program, visit www.OhsawaMacrobiotics.com.

For updates and other fun be sure to visit and "Like" the French Meadows Summer Camp page on Facebook.


GMOs? Vote November 6 to Make Your Choice


from Chuck Lowery

There's no labeling of genetically modified foods in the United States because it's not in the best interests of the food manufacturers to do so. Virtually every food store in the US sells GM foods, including Whole Foods. California Proposition 37 can change all that.

Residents in California want to require food labels to state if a product is genetically modified. Currently, most non-organic corn and soy products are made from GM crops. That means most corn chips, corn tortillas, corn cereals, soy sauce, soy miso, edamame and more is likely made with GM ingredients.

On November 6th, California voters will decide whether or not we want our foods to be labeled to indicate GM status. I'd like to know what's in the food I eat and I believe most people do. That's why the big money is spending millions to tell us how unfair Proposition 37 is. They're telling the truth: It's unfair to them. Consumers have the right to know if their food is safe to eat.

If California passes Prop 37, it's likely two things will happen: (1) Monsanto and their unethical peers will sue the State to stop enforcement of the law, bringing negative publicity to these greedy businesses, and (2) GM labeling will go nationwide because food producers may not want to label just for one state. This could stop ongoing and future development of GM food.

Though there's not a lot of money to promote Prop 37, there are millions of dollars opposing it. If you want GM food to be labeled and you live in California, vote yes on November 6th. If you have friends or family in California, send them a special message asking that they support Prop 37, the right-to-know law.


Quote of the Month: Peace

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"Only those who see that the two sides of all phenomena, visible and invisible, are front and back or beginning and end of one reality can embrace any antagonistic situation, see its complementarity, and help others to do the same, thereby establishing peace and harmony."

Adapted from George Ohsawa's Essential Ohsawa.

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We look forward to your comments and suggestions.

Happy Autumn,
Carl and Julia Ferre