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Posts Tagged ‘Don’t Buy’

Ingredients to Avoid in Personal Care, Hygiene and Beauty Products

October 17th, 2010 No comments

chemicalsI encourage you to check the ingredients listed on of your hair, skin, body, dental and personal hygiene products (i.e. shampoos, soap, tooth pastes, moisturizing creams, hair coloring, etc). Note that ingredients are listed by their weight, so the ones listed first make up more of the product than the ones listed last.

When reading the ingredients you are looking for the hidden carcinogens, irritants and other harmful ingredients. You may expect a lot of the cheap shampoo brands like Suave, Dove, VO5 and Pert Plus to contain bad ingredients, but you should know that some of the expensive, all natural or even organic brands may contain harmful ingredients.

Check the label of any product before purchasing it, inhaling it, eating it or applying on your skin (or on anything that you will touch or eat, including your pets).

This article will inform you about a few, but most common, of these harmful chemicals that belong in a chemistry lab, not your house, in mouth, or on your skin or hair. Don’t take my word for it, do your own research on these chemicals and make up your mind. This list is here to alert you, if you want to learn more Google is your friend.

I am not a chemist, I did not make any discoveries, I simply took the time to search online for all the bad ingredients first for my own use (as I was forgetting the names of the ingredients to avoid as my list kept getting longer) .. Now my list is posted here in this article, conveniently for you on one page, hopefully for someone out there to find helpful.

Here’s the list, with some details:

* Phthalates: Industrial compounds found in shampoos that enter the body through the skin and wreak havoc on the endocrine system. In fact, phthalates are associated with male obesity, insulin resistance and reduced sperm production.

* Triclosan: The University of Vermont lists triclosan as an antibacterial found in shampoos that interferes with normal bacterial levels in the body with continued use. Dilution in water can cause triclosan to mutate into a form of dioxin.

* Paraphenylenediamine, or 1,4-diaminobenzene, a contact allergen that is often used in the manufacture of black hair dyes and shampoos.

* Sodium Chloride (Salt – NaCI): Used to increase the viscosity in some cosmetics. Can cause eye and skin irritation if used in too high concentrations (Hampton). Its usually used to make a cheap, watery consistency product look thick and rich instead.

* Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS): Very harsh. Found in most shampoos, the manufacturers use it because it produces a lot of foam and it is cheap. Used in cleaning car engines. Northwestern Health Sciences University explains that sodium lauryl sulfate, found in some shampoo formulas, may actually alter your skin’s structure, allowing for deeper chemical penetration. Deep penetration makes it easier for dangerous chemicals to enter your blood stream. Showed penetration into the eyes, as well as systemic tissues (brain, heart, liver, etc.). SLS also shows long-term retention in tissues. In soaps and shampoos, there is an immediate concern relating to the penetration of these chemicals into the eyes and other tissues. This is especially important in infants, where considerable growth is occurring, because a much greater uptake occurs by tissues of younger eyes and SLS changes the amounts of some proteins in cells from eye tissues. Tissues of young eyes may be more susceptible to alternation by SLS (Green). Forms nitrates, a possible carcinogen when used in shampoos and cleansers containing nitrogen-based ingredients. These nitrates can enter the blood stream in large numbers from shampooing, bubble baths, bath and shower gels and facial cleansers. These synthetic substances are used in shampoos for their detergent and foam-building abilities. They can cause eye irritations, skin rashes, hair loss, scalp scurf similar to dandruff and allergic reactions. They are frequently disguised in pseudo-natural cosmetics with the parenthetic explanation “comes from coconut.” (Hampton) Dr. David H. Fine, the chemist who uncovered NDELA contamination in cosmetics, estimates that a person would be applying 50 to 100 micrograms of nitrosamine to the skin each time he or she used a nitrosamine-contaminated cosmetic. By comparison, a person consuming sodium nitrite-preserved bacon is exposed to less than 1 microgram of nitrosamine (Hampton).

* Sodium Laureth Sulfate (SLES) – milder, but still harsh Used as a wetting agent in the textile industry. Irritating to scalp and may cause hair loss (Wright).
Chemical name: Sodium Lauryl “ether” Sulfate An ether chain is added to SLS. Called a premium agent in cleansers and shampoos.
In reality it is very inexpensive but thickens when salt is added in the formula and produces high levels of foam to give the concentrated illusion it is thick, rich and expensive. .

Read more…

Root Canal Dangers and Cover-Up :: Interview with Dr. George Meining, D.D.S.

October 16th, 2010 No comments


RootCanal

About sixty years ago, Dr. Meinig was one of the founders of the American Association of Endodontists (root canal specialists).  Naturally, he has filled his share of root canals and when he wasn’t filling canals himself, he was teaching the technique to dentists across the country at weekend seminars and clinics.

He offered the world his experienced perspective on root canals exposing their latent dangers. About six years ago, having recently retired, he decided to read all 1174 pages of the detailed research of Dr. Weston Price, (D.D.S).

Upon reading these papers Dr. Meinig was startled and shocked. They provided valid documentation of systemic illnesses resulting from latent infections lingering in filled roots.

Dr. Meinig has since written a book entitled “Root Canal Cover-Up EXPOSED – Many Illnesses Result”, and has devoted himself to radio, TV, and personal appearances before groups in an attempt to blow the whistle and alert the public.

This is one interview with him:

:: note: this interview is re-posted here for archival purposes. The source is found at the end of the interview ::

Root Canals Pose Health Threat

MJ Please explain what the problem is with root canal therapy.

GM First, let me note that my book is based on Dr. Weston Price’s twenty-five years of careful, impeccable research. He led a 60-man team of researchers whose findings – suppressed until now rank right up there with the greatest medical discoveries of all time. This is not the usual medical story of a prolonged search for the difficult-to-find causative agent of some devastating disease. Rather, it’s the story of how a “cast of millions” (of bacteria) become entrenched inside the structure of teeth and end up causing the largest number of diseases ever traced to a single source.

MJ What diseases? Can you give us some examples?

GM Yes, a high percentage of chronic degenerative diseases can originate from root filled teeth. The most frequent were heart and circulatory diseases and he found 16 different causative agents for these. The next most common diseases were those of the joints, arthritis and rheumatism. In third place – but almost tied for second – were diseases of the brain and nervous system. After that, any disease you can name might (and in some cases has) come from root filled teeth.

Let me tell you about the research itself. Dr. Price undertook his investigations in 1900. He continued until 1925, and published his work in two volumes in 1923. In 1915 the National Dental Association (which changed its name a few years later to The American Dental Association) was so impressed with his work that they appointed Dr. Price their first Research Director. His Advisory Board read like a Who’s Who in medicine and dentistry for that era. They represented the fields of bacteriology, pathology, rheumatology, surgery, chemistry, and cardiology.

At one point in his writings Dr. Price made this observation: “Dr. Frank Billings (M.D.), probably more than any other American internist, is due credit for the early recognition of the importance of streptococcal focal infections in systemic involvements.”

What’s really unfortunate here is that very valuable information was covered up and totally buried some 70 years ago by a minority group of autocratic doctors who just didn’t believe or couldn’t grasp – the focal infection theory.

MJ What is the “focal infection” theory?

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Don’t Smell This!

October 13th, 2010 No comments

Did you know that some of the smells that people like are harmful to them?

Here are some examples of smells that indicate the presence of carcinogens or irritants:

* A typical magazine (Times, Newsweek, or Cosmopolitan,..), or a brand new book. Open it and smell (just for 1 second). That new book or magazine smell is nothing but the smell of anywhere from  3 to 10 different carcinogen compounds  (from color, paper, glue, printing, cover, etc)

* New car: That new car smell is caused by carcinogens, paints, polishes, water repellents, flame retardants, coating, plastics

* Gasoline: Some people love that gasoline smell, gasoline is another airborne carcinogen. Some gas stations will have signs informing you of that. So do not inhale the gas fumes when you are filling up.  I stand upwind from the nozzle.

* Basement / Garage / Storage: If you have basement under your house, or a storage room, do not store old paints, solvents, chemicals.

* Flowers: Many flowers have chemicals on them!

* Hair spray: Don’t inhale that!

* Soaps, perfumes, detergents and softeners. These smells are not normal, they are chemicals. I sneeze when I smell these.

Many people breath carcinogens from the paints they paint their house with, from the paints that furniture is painted, and from other products they bring into the house. It’s a good idea to air your house or apartment periodically to get some clean air in and bad air out.

Don’t take my word for it, research everything I said here and be an informed consumer. The businesses selling you these wonderful products wont tell you how they effect your (and your childrens’ and pets’) health. Consumer, beware.

Green Routes! Local Eco-Friendly Tourism

July 31st, 2010 2 comments

I found about this cool website today. It is worth sharing with you..

The Green Routes website is an easy-to-use tool to help you find one-of-a-kind places to eat, play, shop, sleep, and learn. Use the map to find a destination, or add filters by clicking the categories above. You can also search or highlight selected routes for traveling. Enjoy!

green-routes
(click to visit Green Routes)

You can explore “Journeys with first nations” and find out how you can visit a ton of “first nation” locations to learn about their food, culture, sustainable projects and history, make new friends plus much more. Here are some of the places you can tour:

Anishinaabe Culture Center and Gallery, Becker County Historical Society, Becker’s Resort, Cass Lake Chamber of Commerce and Hwy 2 Welcome Center, Cass Lake Museum and Lyle’s Logging Camp, Chippewa National Forest – Blackduck Ranger District, Dennis Banks Native Products, Eagle View Organics Farm, First Week Boutique, Forestedge Winery, Great River Pizzeria, Historic Holmes Theater, Historic Winnibigoshish General Store and Resort, Ice Cracking Lodge & Resort, Lake Country Scenic Byway, Lakes Area Farmers Market, Lakes Processing, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Fitness Center, Leech Lake Tribal College, Maplelag, Minwanjige Café, Mississippi Headwaters Hostel, Muskrat Coffee Company, Native Harvest/White Earth Land Recoverey Project, New Horizons Resort & Lodge, Northern Adventures Guide Service, Northern Lights Casino Gift Shop, Palace Casino Gift Shop, Sahkahtay Indigenous Preservation Society, Spirit of the Forest Enrichment Center, Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge, White Earth Public Transit, White Earth Tribal and Community College Extension, York’s Log Cabin

Visit now: journeys.greenroutes.org

You want to explore more?   Nation-wide? .. Visit places such as:

Buffalo Lake Farm & Flea Market, Fairfax Farmers Market, Fieldstone Vineyards, Great Plains Designs, Hector Farmers’ Market, Jeffers Petroglyphs, Moonstone Farm, Morgan Creek Vineyards, Olivia Farmers Market, Putting Green, Renville County Historical Society, Renville Farmers Market, Tatanka Bluffs B&B and thousands of other eco local-tourism options!

Simple!

Find these and more here: www.greenroutes.org

Don’t buy into polluting, blind, commercialized, hyped-up, profit-centered tourism!

Find a local location worthy of your time and money, make new friends, vacation consciously, align your travel plans with your morals and values.

Read more…

The Real Jesus

July 16th, 2010 No comments

Why do people think Jesus had a European looks (long soft blond hair and green/blue eyes)?

jesus

The above photo is the face of Jim Caviezel, who plays Jesus in the movie “The Passion of the Christ,” is similar to many modern-day images of Jesus.

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Do you remember your childhood memories of Jesus?

Do you remember seeing images of him in bibles, posters, Sunday school literature or seeing conceptualization of Jesus in statues?

If you are White or Hispanic, Catholic or Protestant (even Orthodox or Evangelical,Born Again, Baptist etc) you just may remember a blond Jesus with long hair.

One famous image of Jesus was a painting by Warner Sallman, called “The Head of Christ” (1940). It showedd Jesus with flowing blond hair and blue eyes. He’s clean-looking, safe, passive, and even feminine to a degree.

This is Sallman’s Jesus:

Jesus_Sallman_sm

Let us take a look at more conceptualizations of Jesus from around the world,

real-jesus

jesus7

b-jesus-triumphal-entry1

The image above is from a popular Children’s Bible (popular in the 70′s), Jesus had blond, blue-eyed Jesus throughout

jesus_christ-766742

jesus1

faces_black_jesus3

The image above is of Jesus is from Ethiopia, from the 17th or 18th centuries.

Read more…

Summer, The (Lawn Chemicals) Allergy Season

April 19th, 2010 No comments

sneeze2Many may sneeze here and there during the spring and summer seasons due to pollen, dust, and other particles in the air. Sneezing is our body’s natural response for protecting itself against harmful particles in the air. Most blame the plants and nature on their allergic reaction. In this article I hope to share one often overlooked allergen, that is not only sneeze-inducing but also potentially hazardous to health.

I am sensitive to the smell of chemicals, especially those sprayed on yards and lawns. When I visit a home improvement store, I literally cannot walk down the isle where pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers are shelved. If I find myself in close proximity, the smell disgusts me and can even make me feel sick, not to mention I start to sneeze.

The harmful and annoying effects of these chemicals seems to often be missing in the mainstream awareness. I rarely hear talk about lawn chemicals and that throat burning chemical smell unique to these chemicals, how they are over used, abused, and often confused with the notion of a healthy lawn.

As I drove to work this morning, I could see chemical spraying vehicles from a local company proudly proclaiming “true green”. A sobering and sad reminder that summer is here. Don’t get me wrong, I adore summer. I loath the chemicals used in the summer.

I got to work, parked my car next to a lawn that was reeking with the chemical smell. As I exited my vehicle heading to my work place I sneezed.

Everybody wants that truly green lawn, right? Wrong, I don’t. I never use chemicals on my lawn, it is not the greenest, nor the prettiest, but that is not my concern. I value safety and doing no harm to others and nature more than a green lawn. My lawn is not polluting your air, making you sneeze or poisoning your air.

When you use chemicals on your lawn here is what you are doing: You are paying factories to make synthetic poisonous chemicals, tons and tons of them (due to consumer demand). You then pay them to package these in plastic containers (plastic waste), ship them all over the US (green house gases due to transportation). You follow that by doing your consumer duty, you grab the chemicals and spray them over your land. If you want better results, you pay a little more, and you get a vehicles assuring you “true green lawns”, this vehicles is one super pray bottle, it is filled with chemicals that should they be dumped in a pond would kill all the fish. You watch as they proudly spray that poison over your grass, you think it’s a small price to pay for the result, my beautiful green lawn is just around the corner. You also may believe the lie that your grass is safe to touch, lay down on, walk barefoot on, within 3 days or a week.

Once these chemicals have been manufactured in the factory (thanks to consumer demand) they are here to stay. When these are sprayed on your grass, so much of this chemical vapor goes into the air, on your trees, on your house siding, into your windows; the air blows this chemical residue on to your neighbors property, onto their vegetable garden, and into their open windows. The chemicals on the grass or in the soil don’t stay there either; sooner or later rain will push these chemicals down into the soil and eventually into ground water, it will pollute the soil for many years and ground water for decades. If you live close to a lake or marsh rain will wash off the chemicals into the lakes drastically effecting the ecosystem, killing fish increasing algae and effecting those who eat the fish and swim in the lake.

One often missed point, is that once you cut the grass, as the mower chops the glass and shakes it violently, these chemicals are released into the air again. Ultimately, the use of these chemicals and the impact they have on nature contributes to weakening people’s immune systems and causing cancer.

If you have children, seriously reconsider chemicals in your yard and lawn. Grass is very attractive, don’t turn it into a poisonous trap for your kids.

Respect your neighbors, you most likely do not throw trash into your neighbors house, yet you are ‘ok’ allowing the release of poison into the air that gets, not only inside your house but, into your neighbors house. If your neighbor is me, you may hear me sneezing as I smell this nasty chemical odor.

In the past I used to curse at these lawns when I sneezed, rather than thinking or expecting a ‘bless you’ I’d utter a curse. I’d blame the lawn, the property owner or ignorance. Today as the summer nears and the chemicals are again unleashed, I sneezed, I did not curse this time; I said “bless you” to the lawn.

Read more…

Baking Soda, What a Precious Salt

October 27th, 2009 No comments

I just wanted to write a quick post and say “Baking Soda, What a Precious Salt!”  Baking soda can be used for so many things, from cooking to deodorizing,  it makes a good tooth paste, has anti fungal effects and can be used to wash hair and quickly eliminate dandruff. What a useful precious salt!

Do you use baking soda for things other than cooking?

Below you will see what wikipedia says about backing soda. Retrieved 10/27/2009 10PM CST.

Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound with the formula NaHCO3. Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slight alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs. The natural mineral form is known as nahcolite. It is also produced artificially.

Since it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda. Colloquially, its name is shortened to sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, or simply bicarb. The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning “aerated salt“, was widely used in the 19th century for both sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. The term has now fallen out of common usage.

Cooking

Main article: leavening agent

Sodium bicarbonate is primarily used in cooking (baking) where it reacts with other components to release carbon dioxide, that helps dough “rise”. The acidic compounds that induce this reaction include phosphates, cream of tartar, lemon juice, yogurt, buttermilk, cocoa, vinegar, etc. Sodium bicarbonate can be substituted for baking powder provided sufficient acid reagent is also added to the recipe.[3] Many forms of baking powder contain sodium bicarbonate combined with one or more acidic phosphates (especially good) or cream of tartar. Can also be used for softening peas (⅛ tsp. per pint of water and bring to boil for one hour)

Thermal decomposition causes sodium bicarbonate alone to act as a raising agent by releasing carbon dioxide at baking temperatures. The mixture for cakes using this method can be allowed to stand before baking without any premature release of carbon dioxide.

Neutralization of acids and bases

Many laboratories keep a bottle of sodium bicarbonate powder within easy reach, because sodium bicarbonate is amphoteric, reacting with acids and bases. Furthermore, as it is relatively innocuous in most situations, there is no harm in using excess sodium bicarbonate. Lastly, sodium bicarbonate powder may be used to smother a small fire. [4]

A wide variety of applications follows from its neutralization properties, including ameliorating the effects of white phosphorus in incendiary bullets from spreading inside an afflicted soldier’s wounds.[5] Sodium bicarbonate can be added as a simple solution for raising the pH balance of water (increasing total alkalinity) where high levels of chlorine (2-5 ppm) are present as in swimming pools and aquariums.[6] Read more…

Anti Mold McDonald Burgers?

August 21st, 2009 1 comment

Burger2008I was fortunate enough to have grown up eating home made wholesome meals that my grandmother cooked. I have, however, had my share of fast food.

I ate burgers from every fast food chain that I can think of, not to mention the french fries, smoothies, hot dogs, fish or chicken sandwiches, tacos, just name a (pre-2007) fast food and I probably have eaten it.

After moving out of my college dorm, I lived on cheap hamburgers and other fast food diets for a couple months. I clearly noticed how my health declined, how I gained weight and had cravings often. I got sick, so I purchased the college meal plan. I didn’t get that plan because I was a smart kid, as I just said I did get sick. I give total credit to my doctor who advised me to eat at the cafeteria for a while until my health improved, so I did. I loved that decision; going to the campus cafeteria was often a relaxing and nutritional daily venture. I kept eating there until I graduated.

Had I seen this picture and had I known what I know now about fast food, I would have likely purchased that meal plan right away, without getting sick, without the doctor having to suggest it.

I am not comparing McDonalds to BurgerKing or DQ or …anything else. I put them all in the same bucket. Well, just imagine a KFC family meal bucket, close your eyes and reach in, grab the first greasy thing you touch, whatever you get, you would have gotten that same from any other fast food joint. I mean, you get bad food. Now that we established that ‘all’ fast food is the same, i.e. ‘bad for you’, you will love this one:

This lady has saved a McDonald’s hamburger from the year 1996. The 1996 McDonald’s hamburger is on the left side of the picture. A 2008 McDonald’s hamburger is on the right side. Do you notice anything strange about the picture? If you said that the 1996 burger looks quite preserved to be 12 years old at the time the picture was taken, then you win — sorry, no-prize!

If you eat home made food, or even restaurant food, you know that if you don’t eat something eventually it goes bad. We are all familiar with mold in all its colors and varieties. Then, how come this burger doesn’t go bad? Isn’t food supposed to go bad?

Had this food been natural, or nutritional, you’d expect to see so much mold, in fact we’d have a bona fide eco-system thriving on that burger.

I teach a workshop titled Healthy Choices for Children. It’s a class for parents seeking solutions to how to improve the way they eat. It’s about the alternative food market, organics, and the top ten food additives to avoid and why, menu planning and more. It’s a 3 session fabulously informative interactive class.

Below is my absolutely favorite prop.

People are always astounded when I share this.

I have used this as show and tell for a very long time.

Read more…

Is Distilled Water Bad For Me?

June 11th, 2009 4 comments

water3I had a discussion with a coworker about water, he said that distilled water will suck out minerals out of my body.  I find myself  unsure if the idea that “distilled water leeches minerals from the body” is truth or myth.  A friend of mine who had Fibromyalgia said her doctor thought her condition was due to drinking distilled water.

One has to be cautious here because money is involved, companies selling distillers may have a different story than companies that sell you water filters.. In the midst of product-selling and marketing wars the truth becomes elusive to consumers.

Even doctors that talk about the topic seem to have a monetary connection to a product, so I cannot trust their talking points either.

A CALL TO DOCTORS: IF any doctor is reading this article, please let me know what your professional opinion on distilled water leeching minerals from the body is. Thanks

I went online looking for an answer and found conflicting views, some say distilled water is good others say it depletes your body from minerals.

Here are some of the views I found:

Yes. You an drink safely distilled water. It is good for health. You must know that basically water is taken from tube wells, which is treated and distilled and the good and potable water is separated, which is good for drinking.

You actually should drink mineral water or safe Tap water as it contains calcium, magnesium, sodium and other trace minerals including flouride which are beneficial to your health.

Distilled water will not do any harm but you may need to supplement your diet with the minerals you are loosing (these minerals are added to tap water to ensure we get enough). The health risks are not severe in the short term but i should imagine, over a number of years may lead to illness if you never eat or drink anything which contains them.

Distilled water is not good for our health , as all the minerals are missing in ditilled water, it doen’t have anything accept H2O…..
On the Contrary, minreal water is purify and it has the basic minerals, which are neede by our body

distilled water is ” ordinary ” water put through a process of boiling and steam collection ( distillation ) and gets impurities out and some chemical elements.

It is WATER….It will NOT suck minerals out of your system…Water does not need any assistance to hydrate your body.
If anyone tells you that distilled water is bad for you they are Yanking your chain or just plain being mean and lying to you.

2. I heard that distilled water is leeches minerals from the body, is this true?

It is unsure where this myth came from, but it is not based upon any scientific fact and is literally a lie.  It is presumed that it was a rumour started by an individual or company with vested interests (possibly a manufacturer of an alternative filter or purifier).

Read more…

Yet Another Food Recall — Salmonella In Pistachios

April 1st, 2009 No comments

pistachios2_ip791

Here we go again with another food recall. On Tue Mar 31, 2009 a California pistachio processor issued a nationwide voluntary recall due to potential salmonella contamination.

Thus far, several illnesses have been reported by consumers that may be associated with the pistachios, the FDA said.

The pistachios are roasted and tested for quality, it is believed the cross-contamination occurred at the processing / packaging plan.

The FDA is advising consumers avoid all pistachio products

The last food recall due to salmonella contamination outbreak was with peanuts and peanut butter that has sickened more than 690 people in 46 states. The company in the news then was Peanut Corp. of America, the company behind the current outbreak is Setton.

Both Setton and Peanut Corp. of America are bulk provider of nuts to food manufacturers and wholesalers. That means that the contaminated pistachios could have ended up in a variety of processed foods, including ice cream, cookies, candies and trail mix.

I try to purchase and consume (i.e support) organic and small farm products when I can, I do not support large scale commercial factory farming and food processing.

When are we going to learn than small farms and smaller food manufacturers will provide better quality and be more socially and environmentally friendly?

News articles:

http://www.mediapost.com/publications/?fa=Articles.showArticle&art_aid=103267

http://cancer.about.com/b/2009/04/01/fda-issues-pistachio-warning.htm

http://www.reuters.com/article/rbssFoodDistribution%20&%20Convenience%20Stores/idUSN3139386420090331

http://www.oregonlive.com/business/oregonian/index.ssf?/base/business/1238034318314750.xml&coll=7

Soups That Have MSG

December 16th, 2008 1 comment

liptonI am a guy that loves soup, I have soup when I’m cold, when I’m sick, when I have a migraine, at restaurants, for dinner, over lunch, etc… I have been migraine free for more than a week now, and a couple days ago I ate soup. Within an hour of eating it I had a headache. Luckily, the headache did not develop into a full blown migraine, I considered it a mini migraine, this prompted me to check the ingredients on the soup.

I always read ingredients, but somehow I assumed that all soup was healthy and I overlooked reading the ingredients. I was surprised to find MSG (Monosodium glutamate) in the ingredients of my soup. I decided to take action.
Read more…

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)

November 19th, 2008 No comments

CSA is a socio-economic model of food production, sales, and distribution aimed at both increasing the quality of food and the quality of care given the land, plants and animals – while substantially reducing potential food losses and financial risks for the producers. It is also a method for small-scale commercial farmers and gardeners to have a successful, small-scale closed market. CSA’s focus is usually on a system of weekly delivery or pick-up of vegetables, sometimes also flowers, fruits, herbs and even milk or meat products in some cases. A variety of production and economic sub-systems are in use worldwide.

How The CSA System Works

CSA generally is the practice of focusing on the production of high quality foods using ecological, organic or biodynamic farming methods. This kind of farming operates with a much greater-than-usual degree of involvement of consumers and other stakeholders—resulting in a stronger than usual consumer-producer relationship. The core design includes developing a cohesive consumer group that is willing to fund a whole season’s budget in order to get quality foods. The system has many variations on how the farm budget is supported by the consumers and how the producers then deliver the foods. By CSA theory, the more a farm embraces whole-farm, whole-budget support, the more it can focus on quality and reduce the risk of food waste or financial loss.

In its most formal and structured European and North American form, CSAs focus on having:

  • A transparent, whole season budget for producing a specified wide array of products for a set number of weeks a year;
  • A common-pricing system where producers and consumers discuss and democratically agree to pricing based on the acceptance of the budget; and
  • A ‘shared risk and reward’ agreement, i.e. that the consumers eat what the farmers grow even with the vagaries of seasonal growing.

Individuals, families or groups do not pay for x pounds or kilograms of produce, but rather support the budget of the whole farm and receive weekly what is seasonally ripe. This approach eliminates the marketing risks and costs for the producer and an enormous amount of time, often manpower too, and allows producers to focus on quality care of soils, crops, animals, co-workers—and on serving the customers. There is little to no loss (i.e. waste) in this system, since the producers know in advance who they are growing for and how much to grow, etc.

Some confusion about the CSA system has arisen as some CSAs are less whole-budget, whole-farm oriented and have more the character of subscription farming. This kind of arrangement is also referred to as crop-sharing or box schemes. In such cases, farmers often simply set the weekly prices and retain a high level of risk, marketing costs and so on. Thus there is an important distinction between the producers (farmers, gardeners, etc.) selling shares in the upcoming season’s harvest or selling a weekly subscription that includes x, y, z amounts of produce. In all cases, participants contribute a pre-agreed amount (sometimes an equal amount, sometimes variable) and in return receive a weekly harvest.

Some farms are dedicated entirely to CSA, while others also sell through on-farm stands, farmers’ markets, and other channels. Most CSAs are owned by the farmers, while some offer shares in the farm as well as the harvest. Consumers have organized their own CSA projects, going as far as renting land and hiring farmers.

Typically, CSA farms are small, independent, labor-intensive, family farms. Many CSAs practice ecological, organic or biodynamic agriculture, avoiding pesticides and inorganic fertilizers.

Read more…

Five Cancer-Causing Foods

November 18th, 2008 No comments

There are some foods that people should avoid. Health researcher Mike Adams said, people should avoid foods that contain ingredients known to cause cancer, such as refined sugars, refined grains, hydrogenated oils, MSGs, and nitrates. This is all common-sensical. Check the list to see if you already knew about these foods.

This article lists five foods that may just be the worst foods ever.

Read more…

STOP! Don’t Buy L’Oreal, Cover Girl or Dior Lipstick

November 17th, 2008 No comments

The following brands contain high levels of toxic lead in them: L’Oreal Colour Riche “True Red,” L’Oreal Colour Riche “Classic Wine”, Cover Girl Incredifull Lipcolor “Maximum Red” and Dior Addict “Positive Red.”

L’Oreal had the highest lead results in the samples tested by a consumer advocacy group. You should be upset at L’Oreal, Cover Girl, Dior and other cosmetic companies, also at the FDA for not monitoring the substances that we use (and ingest) more carefully, and ultimately for corporations caring more about profit than the health of their consumers.

We live in a “Consumers, be Aware” world. But, how could we have known that lead existed in a product if lead isn’t listed as an ingredient? Consumers should always be cautious, but how could they make decisions if they are being deceived when information such as lead levels are not disclosed?

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Popcorn is Bad – Bad for Your Lungs!

November 16th, 2008 No comments

If you enjoy the buttery smell of freshly cooked microwave popcorn like millions of people do, you must read this.

Dr. Cecile Rose, pulmonary specialist at Denver’s National Jewish Medical and Research Center, in a letter, warned federal agencies or regulators that consumers are in danger of suffering the fatal popcorn lung disease from buttery flavoring fumes in microwave popcorn.

At least one heavy popcorn consumer has been diagnosed with the same disease affecting workers exposed to the substance, Bronchiolitis Obliterans.

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Don’t Buy What They Are Selling [ Water ]

October 8th, 2008 No comments

I just landed myself in a comfortable chair at a local coffee shop…

Just before I start sipping my hot dark roast black coffee I’d like to share a reflection with you.

On my way to the coffee shop I stopped by a coop and filled my 1gallon jug with water for 45 cents only.

At the coffee shop where I’m sitting now, they charge $1.45 for a 20 oz bottle of (tap) water. 20 oz is 1/6 a gallon. Six bottles of water would make a gallon, would cost me $8.70; this is 19 times the price of the coop water.

Buying this bottle of water is bad for four reasons:

  • It is tap water
  • It is in a plastic bottle
  • It’s expensive
  • It will lead to 1 plastic bottle in trash / or recycled

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Categories: Experiences, Reflections Tags: ,