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Letters to the Editor, March 5, 2014

Monsanto's Soy Fiefdom, noisy Sebastopol, Efren Carrillo, more

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Unsafe Soy

My wife and I are anti-GMO, and would caution readers of Mr. Alderson's letter (Foxes in the Henhouse, Feb. 26), in that while it is important for all of us to be food safety-conscious, promoting soy as the safe alternative merely plays into the hands of the "soy fiefdoms" of Monsanto and DuPont.

Non-GMO is the way to go—always!


Noise in Apple Town

As a resident of this community, I am amazed by what businesses can get away with. For years, my neighborhood has suffered from unbearable and excessive noise generated in downtown Sebastopol.

My husband and I chose to buy a house downtown because we love to live in the middle of this wonderful community, where we can reach everything by foot. Nevertheless, the ideal of Sebastopol as a people-friendly, green and attractive town has not been met for us.


Sonoma County supervisors get raises (Top 5, Feb. 26), yet all our county library branches except Santa Rosa Central remain closed two days a week. (Whisper it: permanently?)


Vegans Live Longer

This week's Time magazine cites several reasons for vegetarians living longer. The article was prompted by a report in the American Medical Association's Internal Medicine that a vegetarian diet lowers blood pressure, a key factor in the risk of heart failure and stroke.

The Mayo Clinic notes that vegetarians are at lower risk for developing diabetes, another factor in heart disease. Indeed, an Oxford University study of 45,000 adults in last year's American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that vegetarians were 32 percent less likely to suffer from heart disease.

Moreover, researchers at California's Loma Linda University, examining records of 70,000 patients, concluded last year that a vegetarian diet protects against colorectal and other types of cancer.

It's no wonder, then, that a 2012 Harvard University study of 120,000 people concluded that meat consumption raises the risk of death by heart disease or cancer. A more recent six-year study of 70,000 patients at Loma Linda found that vegetarians have a 12 percent lower risk of death.

The good news: each of us can find our own fountain of youth by adopting a meat and dairy-free diet. An internet search on "vegan recipes" or "live vegan" provi des ample resources.

Santa Rosa

Banana Republic

Regarding Efren Carrillo ("Wait for It," Feb. 26): just more proof that it is good to be politically connected in the California Banana Republic.

Via Facebook

Subject: Green Tips

With all this recent rain, it may seem like we've averted the drought, but we have not. According to the California Department of Water Resources, the "calendar year 2013 closed as the driest year in recorded history for many areas of California, and current conditions suggest no changes in sight for 2014." Many of us have already put water conservation practices in place, and that's great; reducing water usage is something everyone can do to care for this precious resource, and everything you do helps.

We can all do our part to help ensure that we are conscientious stewards of our water. For more information on water-saving ideas, look at the websites of your local, state and federal water departments. They post updates and have links to other resources, too.


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