Getting Real

Do you want to live your life with energy and vitality? Learn what real food is and how to easily incorporate it into your every day life! Because our lives are busier than ever, processed, packaged and generally unwholesome foods lacking any nutritional value dominate our diet because of the convenience factor. If you are tired, have digestion problems or other chronic health issues and want to feel better, it's time to stop eating out of packages, stop eating food filled with chemicals and other non food ingredients and start eating fresh, real food. I am a REAL MOM living in the REAL WORLD trying to feed my family REAL FOOD. It isn't always easy, but it is very possible. I hope to help you learn what real food is and then how to make real food a part of your every day life.

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Recently, I spoke at a press conference in Hartford about the GMO labeling bills in CT.  Below is my statement.  It came from my heart.  Click HERE for an article about the day.  

"We are proud to announce the growth of the Right To Know GMO CT coalition that is bringing together individuals, organizations, farmers, restaurant owners and national organizations to send a strong message that we will not stop until CT residents have the right to know what is in their food.

I represent the Grass Roots Movement that has been the heart and soul of the CT GMO Labeling movement. Mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, uncles, farmers, chefs, dietitians, and Dr.s among others, have come together to demand our right to know what is in our food.  Such a simple request - the right to know what is in our food so we can choose whether or not to feed our families GMOs.  A right the citizens of 62 other countries, including all of Europe, Japan, China, New Zealand, and Australia already enjoy. But not here in America where we are shopping totally blind, worse than that, we are being misled to believing we are buying non GMO products when we see the word natural on a package (show bag of corn chips and how misleading it is, example of the desperate need for labeling so consumers can make informed choices.)  

We are grateful to Representative Miller, Representative Urban and all of our legislative champions for carrying the torch and building on what Rep Rich Roy started last session.  We could not ask for a better support.  We are hopeful that the 2013 CT legislature will be brave and put OUR right to know above any corporate interests that try to squash our right to know.  No corporation has a right to decide what is best for my three beautiful children.  I am their mother and I am responsible for doing what is best for them - please give me the tools to make that choice.  

While the jury may still be out as to whether we can say definitively that GMOs are harming us, I have read enough studies that raise serious doubts in my mind as to whether GMOs should be consumed by anyone.  And remember, GMOs were NEVER proven safe by our own Government.  Before anyone asks us to prove they are dangerous, go ask our own government to prove they are safe and they will not be able to provide you with one government funded long term study proving they are safe.

CT is a member of the Coalition of States for GMO Labeling, a national movement of the grass roots campaigns across this country that is 37 states strong and growing.  In CT, we gain momentum and strength every day as more CT residents learn what GMOs are and become angered at how they have been kept in the dark.    May 2013 be the year that CT decides to put the rights of it's citizens above corporate interests such as their bottom line.      

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Talking To Your Children About The Tragedy In Newtown: Advice from Dr. Jessica Levitt

Friday night after all our children were tucked safely into bed, my closest friends began texting each other.   The question we all asked was, "How do I help my children understand something that I myself can not even understand?"  None of us wanted to have to tell our children about the unspeakable, horrific tragedy that unfolded two towns away from us.  All of us feeling sick, having spent the day shedding tears for the innocent lives lost and the nightmare their families were now having to endure.  Yet, we all understood that we had no choice.  Difficult conversations needed to be had, innocence was going to be taken from our children and there was nothing we could do about it.  Fortunately, we had an expert among us.  Dr. Jessica Mass Levitt,  who I am blessed to have in my life for 25 years, began sending us the advice we were all looking for.  Jessica knows other parents need this guidance as well.  Please see below for what began as texts to friends and transformed into essential information for all parents to read.  Thank you Jessica.      

Jessica Mass Levitt, PhD 
Cognitive Behavior Therapy
Clinical Psychologist
Children, Adolescents & Adults

Talking to Kids about the Newtown School Shooting 
Advice for Parents of Young Children
It is difficult to think about talking to our children while we are still trying to come to terms with our own shock, sadness, fear, and anger about the shootings in Newtown. However, it's important to talk with kids, even those as young as pre-­‐school or kindergarten age, about what happened and make sure that we are available to help them cope and feel safe.
Why is it important to say something? It’s natural to want to protect young children from hearing about what happened, and you may think that if you don’t bring it up, they won’t hear about it. But, there is no way to shield them completely from hearing about it. By not telling them, you may be inadvertently sending a message that there is something to be scared about and they should not approach you. By telling them yourself, you will make them feel safer, let them know that adults are in control, and make them feel comfortable talking to you about it. You also give them a good foundation for dealing with whatever information they hear later. If they hear it from another source before you talk with them, it is important to find out what they heard and correct any misinformation. By talking to your kids, you can provide reassurance, be a role model for tolerating the emotions and uncertainty following this tragedy, and make sure that you open the lines of communication for the future.
What should you say? It’s hard to know what to say to your kids about what happened. The goal is to give them some idea of what has happened or find out what they know about it already. You do not want to scare them or impress upon them the significance of the event. You want to provide a sense of safety and security. You do not want to make your children feel like they need to take care of you. So, stay calm and matter of fact when you talk to them. Keep the conversation casual. Some talking points are listed below to try to help you frame the conversation. Remember, most kids will be able to handle this news, and you can make it easier by being involved and supporting them during this difficult time.
Talking Points:
  • Give the facts: Something bad happened to some kids in a school near us. And kids got hurt.
  • Everyone is very upset and sad, including us. People are talking about this on TV and everywhere (school, restaurants,
    stores, places of worship, etc.). You might hear adults or other kids saying stuff about it.
  • But, even if you hear people talking about it, it's over now. They caught the bad guy and he can't hurt anyone anymore.
  • Clarify: This was not your school. Your school is safe. You don't know anyone there. If you do know families from the
    Newtown school, you should talk with your kids about who was there, if they are safe, and what happened.
  • Reassure: The President of the United States, the police, and all the adults in your life are doing everything they can to
    keep you and your school safe so that nothing like this can ever happen again.
  • Many kids in Newtown were safe because of heroic teachers and police.
  • Talk about what to do in an emergency, like a fire drill. Emphasize that it is important for kids to listen to teachers and
    police in emergencies.
  • Suggest things kids can do to help: make cards for affected families, write letter to president about keeping schools safe,
  • Let kids ask questions, and answer honestly and simply. Don't lie!! Don't give more information or details than
    necessary. Keep it age appropriate and in line with what your kids can understand.
  • Tell kids that you love them and will always protect them. Encourage them to talk with you about this and tell you what
    they hear. Keep the lines of communication open.
  • Get on with the day, keep things normal. Spend time together. Be understanding and supportive if children are more
    clingy, emotional, or difficult in the short term.
  • Be a role model: Show kids how to be brave and stay strong.

    Jessica Mass Levitt, PhD
    1088 Black Rock Turnpike Fairfield, CT 06825 
    646-382-3120 • 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Let Your Voice Be Heard!

It's time to rally!  Join GMO Free CT to let your voice be heard, Wednesday, December 12th at noon in Hartford.  We have a right to know what is in our food.  It is as simple as that.  No corporation should be able to hide the truth from us in order to protect their profits.  The opposition to GMO labeling does not want us to know GMOs are in our food because they realize knowledge is power.  They do not want us to have the power to choose what we put in our own bodies because if we knew that GMOs were in our food, we would not choose to buy it.  Don't you want to be able to make that choice for yourself?

Friday, October 19, 2012


A lot is being written about GMOs right now.  I could spend every day, all day responding to the propaganda articles being put out there by the opposition to GMO Labeling.  However, I know my energy is better spent educating others about GMOs and fighting for GMO labeling.  However, yesterday in the Wall Street Journal there was an Op Ed piece, Biotechnology on the Ballot, that I just could not ignore.  I submitted the below response to the Wall Street Journal.  They would not print my response in it's entirety and requested that I shorten it to 270 words or less as a Letter to the Editor.  I have submitted an extremely watered down, less effective version of what you can read below.  Whether it gets printed or not is yet to be seen.  But, I needed to share my response with all of you.  Not to mention, I find it infuriating that Alex Berezow, a pathetic excuse for a scientist, is granted the privilege of having his full opinion printed for all the world to see, but I do not get that privilege as I am "just a mom" fighting the good fight.  

For anyone who thinks I do not have a right to know what is in my food, THIS IS FOR YOU!  

I am writing in response to the October 18th Op Ed piece "Biotechnology on the Ballot" by Alex Berezow, the editor of RealClearScience.  I am a concerned mother of three children, a former New York City Prosecutor, and a Certified Holistic Health Counselor.  I am currently leading the group, GMO Free CT, an organization dedicated to GMO education and also advocating for a GMO Labeling bill in Connecticut.   

Given my background, it will come as no surprise that I found Berezow’s Op Ed piece very frustrating. Even if everything Berezow said in his OP Ed piece was true, which it is NOT, it still does not take away from the fact that I deserve the right to know if the food I am eating and feeding my family is derived from seeds that have been grown on this earth for thousands upon thousands of years or derived from products that have been genetically engineered in a science lab .  For Berezow to draw a comparison between eating the naturally occurring bacteria in the soil with consuming the bacterial genes being inserted into the DNA of GMO seeds is absurd and lacks scientific credibility.  What we should be focusing on is the fact that GMOs have NEVER been proven safe.  To the contrary, a recent study out of France, which received very little attention in the US but showed up on covers of magazines and newspapers throughout Europe, showed rats that ate GMOs for two years developed massive tumors, had multiple organ failure and early death.  Why has the burden been shifted onto people like me to try and prove that GMOs are dangerous?  Why is the burden not on our government and the industry making GMOs to prove they are safe?  Typically, you would need long term safety studies before any new drug or food additive is released to the public, but GMOs were granted "generally recognized as safe" or "GRAS" status without following the required protocols or meeting any of the stated requirements. Anyone who looks at what the requirements are to be designated GRAS will notice that GMOs did not meet these requirements.  The FDA's own scientists warned their superiors that GMOs needed further testing before being released into the food supply, but these warning were completely ignored. Where are the long term feeding studies conducted by the United States Government?  Where are the studies from the FDA that prove to me GMOs are safe for my three young children to consume?  The answer is there are none.  It is clear that our federal government has abandoned the citizens of this country, the very people who put them in office, and has instead chosen to support the interests of the industries that fund their political campaigns.  

I am not in anyway opposed to scientific advancement and believe science has its place, it is even possible that the technology behind GMOs could be perfected at some point in the future, maybe, after decades of long term testing, GMOs could even be proven safe.  But, right now, despite being fed to the American public for twenty years, there is no proof they are safe.  In fact, there is a lot of proof that they are making us sick.  Think about the health of the American public since 1996, which is when GMOs were introduced.  The modern diseases of today, such as diabetes, autism, allergies, gastrointestinal diseases and cancer to name a few, have all increased at alarming rates since 1996.  What Berezow's Op Ed did not point out, is that the vast majority of GMOs today were engineered to either produce their own pesticide or resist herbicide (i.e., roundup) - which means that the same companies producing the GMO seeds sell you roundup to be sprayed in copious amounts on the crops.  Unfortunately for the GMO companies, their technology is backfiring.  The weeds are now becoming resistant to roundup as well, which is creating a need for stronger, more dangerous herbicides such as 2-4D, which was the main component in Agent Orange.  In addition, the worms and bugs that the crops were supposed to kill with the pesticide their engineered cells were producing, are now resistant to the pesticides.  You cannot mess with Mother Nature and we are now creating super weeds, super bugs and super worms.  

The GMOs on the market right now are not drought resistant, are not feeding hungry populations, and are not producing a higher yield than traditional crops.  GMOs are only feeding overfed, under nourished, fat Americans.  GMOs are not in the food in Europe, in Asia or in Africa.  They are grown here and eaten here.  If GMOs are so great, then the companies should be proud to label the products as such.  Instead, when labels are required (as they are overseas in 60+ countries), the companies remove GMOs from those products.  That is the elephant in the room that no one is naming because the opposition is frightened that labeling in America will be the end of the GMO industry and they (being the biotech industry) will lose a lot of money.

Leaders from around the country are currently uniting to form the Coalition of States For Mandatory GMO Labeling.  The fight to label GMOs and have a right to know what is in our food is far from over.  California has the chance to make history and pave the way for all the other states to pass similar GMO labeling laws.  I am begging the citizens of California to vote YES on Prop 37 and be the voice of the people.  Do not allow the industry to mislead you with lies and convince you to vote in favor of their interests rather than your own.  

Monday, September 3, 2012


From Left: Zofia Hausman (Documentary Film Maker of the Agtivist), Representative Richard Roy (the original sponsor of the GMO Labeling Bill in CT), Ellen McCormick, Tara Cook-Littman, Beth Beisel, Diana Reeves,Whitney Riggs, and Cathie Iaccarino

Below is an open letter written to Mrs. Obama with a plea for help from the women leading the activist movement here in CT and beyond.  We have all heard Mrs. Obama talk about the importance of eating a healthy diet, but not once have we ever heard her speak about GMOs.  A healthy diet that is filled with GMOs is not a healthy diet at all.  PLEASE, Mrs. Obama, talk to your husband and ask him to label GMOs.  We have a right to know what is in our food and be able to choose whether or not to feed our families GMOs.  


Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,

We applaud your efforts to feed your family organically and to change the way Americans eat for the better, but we have yet to hear you address the issue of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs).  We are writing to ask for your help.  We are leaders in an organization in Connecticut called GMO Free CT, a group of individuals educating the public about GMOs and advocating for our right to know what is in our food.   We are certain that you are aware that our food supply is being taken over by GMOs and that the children of this country are paying the price. 

As women ranging in age from 20 to 60 plus, we find ourselves bound together by common purpose and by the overwhelming urgency to secure a safe food supply for generations to come.  Right now over 90% of the processed foods on our grocery store shelves contain GMO ingredients.  Corn, Canola, Soy, Sugar, and Cottonseed along with the hundreds of derivatives made from these 5 crops, have been modified to include genes from other, unrelated species.   These GMOs have been granted “GRAS” status (generally recognized as safe) by the FDA and therefore have NEVER been tested for safety through long term feeding studies. Current research is raising significant health concerns as scientific studies are linking genetically engineered foods to an increase in food allergies, autism, autoimmune diseases, cancer, organ damage, infertility and inflammatory bowel diseases, all of which, are on the rise and increasing medical costs in this country.   GMO labeling is mandated in over 50 countries around the world, yet here in America, supposedly one of the most progressive countries in the world, we are still shopping completely blind.  Currently, voters in California have the opportunity to support mandatory GMO labeling by voting in favor of Proposition 37.   As mothers, aunts, grandmothers and sisters, we deserve to have the right to choose whether or not to feed our families GMOs.  

During his last campaign, your husband pledged to require labeling of GMOs. Instead, he hired a former Monsanto executive (Monsanto being the company that stands to benefit the most from the proliferation of GMOs), Michael Taylor, as his food safety czar. Mrs. Obama, we need your help. We need a strong, caring and intelligent mother like you to stand up for the welfare and safety of America’s children.  Over one million Americans signed a petition to the FDA asking for GMO labeling, fifty five US Senators signed a letter to the FDA asking for GMO labeling, professional polls show that 95% of Americans want GMOs labeled, and 19 states, including CT, are introducing GMO labeling legislation.  The FDA refuses to act. We need you to stand up for democracy and for freedom of choice. Please talk to your husband on behalf of your children, our children and America’s children. Ask him to make good on his campaign promise to label GMOs. California’s ballot initiative to label GMOs needs the support of the Obama family. Please speak out in support of GMO labeling so that America’s families can have the ability to choose clean, unadulterated food.

Thank you very much for your personal attention and reply to this letter.  We can be reached at  We would very much like to visit with you to discuss this very urgent matter.  It is a complicated issue and we are aware of the political implications as well.  We would like to hear back from you directly.  The health and safety of our families, future generations and our fragile environment are at stake.

Beth Beisel
Tara Cook-Littman
Cathie Iaccarino
Ellen McCormick
Diana Reeves
Whitney Riggs
Elaine Titus   

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Diana Reeves, Founder GMO Free USA
After the Connecticut GMO labeling bill was killed this past May at the end of the legislative session, there were a lot of angry people.  Within hours of the demise of the bill, the lead activists in CT were brainstorming about how to turn things around and how to turn a frustrating, bad situation into something positive and productive.  One of those activists was Diana Reeves, the founder of GMO Free USA and someone I feel extremely privileged to call my friend.  Diana immediately had a very clear vision and had a deep sense that GMO Free USA could have a major impact.  Diana's concept became a reality very quickly.  She wanted a group of at least 5000 people on Facebook and/or yahoo to join together with the common purpose of selecting one company at a time to boycott and start a phone, e-mail, Facebook, and Twitter campaign to demand that these companies remove GMOs from their products.  GMO Free USA is now a powerful group with thousands of like-minded, passionate individuals wanting to make a difference and let their collective voices be heard.    

On July 23rd, GMO Free USA kicked off their first campaign against Kelloggs.  Thousands of people have been bombarding Kelloggs with phone calls, e-mails, tweets and Facebook posts.  I personally spoke with a customer service representative who listened carefully and took notes on our entire conversation.  Kelloggs has sent a response to some members of GMO Free USA with the following content: 

"Thank you for contacting us about biotechnology ingredients. We truly appreciate your opinion and are grateful that you have taken the time to express your concerns. 

Almost all domesticated animals and crop plants have been genetically modified over thousands of years by human selection and cross and/or selective-breeding. This new method differs in that it is the direct manipulation of an organism's genes. In traditional breeding the organism's genes are manipulated indirectly. GMOS are viewed with concern because of public debate over the safety of the products and the fear that GMO foods represent a type of "biological" pollution. The battle has been particularly intense in Europe, where GMOS have been banned since 1998

We value the opinion of consumers such as you who are passionate and interested about the foods you buy. We want you to know that we hear you and, like you, want only the best ingredients to go into our products. It's important that we capture your viewpoint so that we can share it with our team in helping to gauge public opinion about biotechnology. 

We take seriously the trust placed in us to provide healthy, nutritious, and safe food. We will continue to evaluate our ingredients, suppliers and product formulas to provide the best products possible.


Jonathan W.
Consumer Specialist
Consumer Affairs"   

This is what I would like to say to Kelloggs:  

"Dear Consumer Affairs Specialist, 
Thank you for being so respectful in your response, but get GMOs out of your food NOW.  Our campaign will not stop until you do.  If you are serious about providing "healthy, nutritious, and safe food" as you say, then you would begin removing GMOs from your products immediately.  The debate over GMOs goes way beyond the fear that GMO foods represent a type of 'biological' pollution" as you say, but rather that GMOs are slowly poisoning the America people and are causing a whole host of diseases and health problems such as immunological disorders, gastrointestinal disease, infertility, and cancer to name a few.  The FDA, who is supposedly protecting the American people, has allowed GMOs into the food supply without any proof that GMOs are safe, yet Kelloggs allows GMOs into your food despite your statement that you "take seriously the trust placed" in Kelloggs. Well, I am sorry to inform you that Kelloggs no longer has my trust.  Kelloggs has the chance to be a leader and gain back the trust of the America people.   Remove GMOs from all your products just like you have done in Europe and announce to the world that Kelloggs cares about the well-being of the American people. 

Tara Cook-Littman
Protective Mom of Three Children" 

Diana Reeves is feeling great about how the Kelloggs campaign is going and had this to say: "The Kellogg's campaign is going well. We have been sending a steady stream of emails to Kellogg's executives all week long, as well as filling Kellogg's facebook pages with posts and making phone calls. The campaign will continue until Kellogg's responds to our request that they make all of their products GMO free, as they do in countries that require labeling." 

Diana also shared the exciting news that she will be hosting a new internet TV show called GMO Free TV.  Diana is going to invite Kellogg's to appear on the pilot of GMO Free TV, but she "fully expects that they will decline the invite and decline to comment."

If you have not already joined GMO Free USA please JOIN NOW.  Also, please join the Kelloggs campaign and start telling Kelloggs to get GMOS out of their food NOW!  Sending an e-mail or posting on Facebook will only take a minute. You can also SIGN the petition telling Kelloggs to go GMO free.  GMO Free USA needs your support. Things will never change unless we use our voices and let them be heard.  Jeffrey Smith, the country's leading spokesperson on the dangers of GMOs calls this the Tipping Point, we in GMO Free USA can create that tipping point.  GMO Free USA has 7000 members right now and is growing by the second, but the truth is, we should stand millions strong against the industry that is destroying everything in it's path.

Thank YOU Diana for bringing all of us together and for your vision and perseverance to make things happen!  

Thursday, July 26, 2012


If you ask anyone where they learned about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), the majority of people will tell you Jeffrey Smith taught them.  Anyone who did not learn about GMOs directly from Jeffrey in all likelihood learned about GMOs from someone like me, a disciple of Jeffrey Smith.  Jeffrey is the best selling author of two books on GMOs, "Seeds of Deception" and "Genetic Roulette".  Both books are a must read if you want to educate yourself on GMOs.  Jeffrey is also the Executive Director of the instititute For Responsible Technology, the country's leading organization educating the world about GMOs.  Jeffrey will be in CT on August 8th for three very important events.  You are invited and encouraged to join him at all three events.

(1) Jeffrey Smith addresses the special GMO Labeling Task force - At 10:00 AM at the Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Jeffrey Smith of the Institute For Responsible Technology, will address the task force and answer their questions about GMOs.   It is very important for our legislators to see that their constituents care about our right to know.  

(2) Jeffrey Smith Strategic Planning Session - Immediately following the task force meeting, Jeffrey will be meeting with GMO Free CT, ALL OF US, to help us plan and strategize for the future of the GMO Free movement and labeling efforts in CT.  

(3) Fundraiser at the Greenwich Audubon - That evening at 7:30 PM, the Greenwich Audubon will be hosting a fundraiser for Jeffrey Smith.  It should be a fantastic evening with food provided by NON GMO vendors from around CT.  We are expecting Senator Richard Blumenthal to be in attendance.  In addition, the documentary film maker, Zofia Hausman, will be in attendance at all three events that day.  We are thrilled to have Zofia joining us in CT!  The event is $75 per person and while I realize this can be cost prohibitive for many people, I ask that you please keep in mind that the work Jeffrey and his organization are doing is critical.  They can not continue to do their work without funding.  For more information and to RSVP click HERE