Category Archives: Food

The Nastiest 10 Food Additives: How to find and avoid them.

Dangerous food additives are increasingly sneaking into our favorite foods.

We must automatically look at the ingredient lists of our everyday products and understand what they all mean. In most countries food preservatives are still coded (E-number) and people have no clue of what they are eating.

If any of the following 10 nasty preservatives shows up in the ingredient list of a product you regularly consume, leave it on the supermarket shelf and look for a safer alternative.

These nasty 10 have been linked to cancer and other severe health problems:

 

1-Sodium Nitrate/Nitrite

E-250 to E-252

Used to stabilize food color and add  artificial flavor.

It is found in many products such as meats, ham, bacon, sausages, hamburgers, smoked fish, etc.

When grilled it’s even more dangerous -it transforms into a reactive compound that has been directly linked to cancer.

ham_01

2-Monosodium Glutamate (MSG)

E-621

A very common flavor enhancer used in a wide range of foods. It adds a meaty salty flavor to many processed foods and is commonly used in meats, soups, sauces, dressings, potato chips, frozen foods, etc.

It has been linked to brain damage, asthma, headaches, stomach disorders, fatigue, depression, and obesity among others health problems.

 

3-Aspartame

E-951

Artificial sweetener found in “diet” products, low-calorie desserts, gelatin, drinks, etc.

Also known as Nutrasweet or Equal in the U.S.

Studies have shown that lifelong consumption may increase risk of cancer or other neurological problems.

 

4-Food Colorings: Blue 1, 2; Red 2, 3; Green 3; Yellow 6

These colorings are found in thousands of products, and they have all been linked to cancer.

Some examples of Blue 1 and 2 are found in beverages, baked goods, candy etc and it has been found to cause cancer in mice.

Red 2 and 3 are widely used, some examples are to dye cherries, fruit juice, candy, baked goods and have been linked to thyroid tumors.

And the widely used yellow 6 (eg.beverages, gelatin, breads, baked goods,sausage, candy, etc) has been linked to tumors of the adrenal grand and the kidney.

gummy_bears

 

5.Potassium Bromate

E-924

It’s very common in industrial breads, white flour, and rolls to add volume to baked goods. Most bromate breaks down into a harmless form, however, small amounts can create a risk for people. California now requires a cancer warning on products with this ingredient.

pandemolde

6.Propyl Gallate

E-310

It prevents fats and oils from going bad and it’s found in many products, such as meats, soups, gums, etc.

It has been linked to cancer and you should avoid it.

 

7.BHA and BHT

E-320 and E-321

Butylated Hydoxyanisole (BHA) and Butylated Hydozyttoluene (BHT) are used to prevent foods from oxidizing and keeping fats and oils from going rancid. They are found in countless products such as dry cereals, potato chips, vegetable oils, etc.

They have been linked to cancer in numerous studies.

 

8.Olestra

Olestra is Procter & Gamble’s synthetic fat that is not absorbed as it passes through the digestive system, so it has no calories. It’s found in chips and diet foods/beverages.
Olestra can cause diarrhea, loose stools, abdominal cramps, flatulence, and other adverse effects. Those symptoms are sometimes severe. Even more importantly, olestra reduces the body’s ability to absorb fat-soluble carotenoids from fruits and vegetables.

 

9. Acesulfame-K

E-950

Found in baked goods, chewing gum, and gelatin desserts.
It’s a new additive and there aren’t  many studies to confirm its safety, if possible try to avoid it.

 

10. Partially Hydrogenated Vegetable Oils

Found in margarine, crackers, fried restaurant foods, baked goods, icing, microwave popcorn, etc.

Vegetable oil (liquid), can be made into a semi-solid form by reacting it with hydrogen. Partial hydrogenation reduces the levels of polyunsaturated oils – and also creates trans fats, which promote heart disease.

Harvard School of Public Health has issued a warning regarding the consumption of margarine, snack foods and other foods containing hydrogenated oils.

If you don’t eat butter, there are some alternatives to hydrogenated margarine, my favorite is Earth Balance.

GMO Labeling is gaining momentum

Connecticut recently made history by being the first state to pass a bill that will require the labeling of foods containing genetically modified organisms. Just today Maine followed, and Massachusetts might be next.

The Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Health listened with great interest what over sixty scientists and consumer advocates had to say yesterday, June 12th, in the Boston State House.

The H2037 “right to know” bill would require foods that contain genetically modified organisms to be labeled as such. No warnings or negative connotations, just a simple label that would inform the consumer of the presence of GMOs.

All EU countries, China, Japan, Brazil and Russia already require GMO foods to be labeled. But opponents of the bill state that there is no need for labeling because “genetically engineered foods are virtually the same as non GMOs, and it would only cause unfair rejection and confusion”.

But if something is so different from nature that it needs a patent, why not also label it?

Even though the FDA states that GMOs are safe for human consumption, there are still a lot of unknowns. We are still figuring out the effects of genetically engineered organisms on human health.

The two major concerns about genetically modified foods are the strong correlation between GMOs and food allergies, and the high levels of glyphosate found in them.

Helen Wright explained how she and her children had a severe allergic reaction to a soy based food containing no nuts, even though they are only allergic to peanuts. With GMOs consumers can never be certain if the tomato they purchased has a fish gene in it, or the soy based veggie burger a peanut gene lurking inside.

Also, over 90% of GMO crops have been engineered to be Roundup ready (glyphosate resistant) so heavy amounts of this well-known toxic herbicide is sprayed constantly over them.

Scientists showed the committee results linking glyphosate with autism, obesity, depression, endocrine disruption, and Alzheimer if consumed over a long period of time.

I’m confident that our representatives will agree that we have the right to know.

If you want to learn more about this bill and the efforts behind the GMO labeling campaign go to MArighttoknow.org.

The Genetically Modified “Frankenfish” Salmon soon in a plate near you

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has partially approved the AquAdvantage Salmon, a genetically engineered salmon that grows twice as fast as normal. The FDA states that the GM salmon is “safe and unlikely to harm the health of the consumers or the environment.”

The AquaAdvantage salmon has been developed by AquaBounty a biotech company based in Waltham, Massachusetts. Their GM salmons have an added growth hormone from the Pacific Chinook salmon and a promoter gene from an ocean pout that allows the fish to produce growth hormone all year long instead of only during the Spring and Summer months. The fish grows to market size in 16 to 18 months rather than three years.

Genetically modified Salmon next to normal Atlantic salmon

Genetically modified Salmon next to normal Atlantic salmon

Aquabounty has reassured this salmon is safe for consumption and poses no threat to the environment as they intend to only develop sterile females.

Environmental and advocacy organizations such as Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth or Food and Water Watch oppose what they call the “Frankenfish”. They are concerned that it could cause human allergies and the eventual contamination or decimation of the natural salmon population if it escapes and breeds in the wild.

The Monterey Aquarium revealed that current methods used to produce sterile fish are less than 99% accurate. That would mean that one fish in every hundred would not be sterile and could be reproductively viable. Another concern is that production of GE salmon, even in its early stages, is likely to involve the production, shipping and growing of hundreds of thousands of eggs and fish which could also be accidentally released into the wild.

 According to its opponents, the escape of reproductively viable GE salmon into the wild is very likely to occur. If this were to happen, the consequences are very hard to predict.

 Another unsettling aspect of the commercialization of the modified salmon is that consumers would not necessarily know how to distinguish it from regular farm raised salmon. Labeling of GM foods is not required by federal law, so consumers would not know how to spot the modified salmon in their grocery stores or restaurant menu.

 If the AquaAdvantage salmon is finally approved, it would be the first genetically modified animal approved for food consumption anywhere in the world.

The FDA has opened its report for public comment and will review the situation before making a final decision. The consultation will finalize at the end of February 2013, so now its the time for the public to state any concerns here.

 

Avoiding Fishy Mercury

Mercury Bioaccumulation in Fish

Mercury Bioaccumulation in Fish

Fish consumption is generally very healthy. They contain high quality protein and other essential nutrients, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids, a type of essential fatty acid that promotes healthy cardiovascular systems.

In a recent article I discussed different fish based on their environmental impact and fishing practices and suggested Eco-friendly fish for your consumption. Today I want to consider mercury levels in fish and its health effects, especially in kids and pregnant women.

Mercury is a naturally occurring element, which is found in soil, rocks, lakes, streams and oceans. In addition to natural sources, mercury is released into the atmosphere and water from man made sources, such as coal generated power plants, mining operations and paper processing plants.

It is first released into the air and then enters the water with precipitation. Once in the water, methane-generating bacteria turn the mercury into methyl mercury, a highly toxic form of mercury. Fish consume methyl mercury through their diet and absorb it from the water. Predatory fish (fish that eat other fish) and older fish generally contain higher levels of methyl mercury than vegetarian or smaller fish.

Mercury bio-accumulates in fatty tissues. This means is that when a larger fish eats a smaller fish, it accumulates the level of methyl-mercury that the smaller fish contained. When it eats another smaller fish, it accumulates some more methyl mercury. The more fish it consumes, the more methyl-mercury it accumulates, and the level does not drop. Then along comes an even bigger fish and eats the fish that ate the smaller fish. This large predatory fish accumulates all the mercury of the fish it just ate and so the vicious circle continues.

And then when we humans eat a juicy fillet of that large fish, we consume all that accumulated mercury.

That’s why predatory long lived fish have the highest concentrations of mercury in their tissues, and those are the ones that we should avoid.

Coal Burning Power Plant (UWEC)

Coal Burning Power Plant (UWEC)

Mercury can cause damage to the nervous system if consumed in sufficient amounts over a period of time. When you eat fish that contains methyl mercury, it is absorbed through the intestine and spread throughout the body. It affects the nervous system because it easily enters the brain. In pregnant women, methyl mercury can cross the placenta affecting the growing fetus. Methyl mercury is also passed through breast milk, increasing the risk of delays in brain development. The child may experience delayed motor skills and learning problems.

Most governmental, health and environmental organization recommends pregnant women, women of childbearing age and children to limit or stop the consumption of predatory fish such as tuna, shark, grouper and swordfish. For the remainder of the population, the standard recommendation is to consume these fish no more than once every two weeks to a month (depending on body weight).

Following you’ll find a list of fish with high, medium and low levels of MERCURY:

HIGH: Swordfish(*), Marlin, Tuna(*), Shark(*), Grouper (*), King Mackerel.

MEDIUM: Bass, Cod (*), Halibut, Lobster, Mahi Mahi(*), Snapper.

LOW: Sardines, Oysters, Salmon, Crab, Tilapia, Shrimp (*), Trout, Herring, Mackerel (not king), Clams.

(*) Highly Environmentally Destructive Practices

SOURCES

EPA

NRDC

University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire

Less than 50 years to say goodbye to Sushi

According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, 75 % of the world’s fisheries are now either over-exploited, fully exploited or significantly depleted. A study published in Nature concluded that 90 % of the “big” fish (tuna, swordfish, and marlin) are already gone.

Scientists agree that if we continue to fish at our current rates, all commercial fish species will disappear in the next 50 years.

Government subsidies to the fishing sector, totaling approximately $20 billion annually, represent one of the principal forces behind the overfishing crisis. But the biggest force behind this crisis are the world’s industrial fishing fleets which are destroying the ocean at an alarming rate.

If all the fish we ate was caught old school using a simple fishing rod the oceans would be in much better shape. Small fishermen are trying to shift to sustainable practices, because they are realizing that overfishing is not only destroying the ocean, but also destroying their livelihood, leaving them with no fish left  to catch.

But unfortunately most of the fish that we consume doesn’t come from sustainable sources, it comes from large industrial boats that use highly destructive fishing methods and harvest massive amounts of fish at an unsustainable rate.

Following are some of the most destructive and also most common fishing practices. This is how the fish we consume gets harvested from our oceans and ends in our kitchen and restaurant tables:

Bottom Trawling:

Bottom trawling involves dragging huge, heavy nets along the sea floor. Large metal plates and rubber wheels attached to these nets move along the bottom and crush nearly everything in their path, coral, sponges, plants, and all kids of sea life. It literally scraps the ocean floor clean of life.

It is used to fish cod, haddock, squid, shrimp and crustaceans among other commercial fish.

If allowed to continue, the bottom trawlers will destroy deep sea species before we have even discovered much of what is out there. What we are doing to our deep oceans by allowing trawling is like driving a huge bulldozer through an unexplored, lush and richly populated forest leaving a flat and lifeless desert.

This practice is so widespread and damaging that it can even be seen from space:

bottom-trawling-from-space

Bottom Trawling from Space

Botom Trawling

Bottom Trawling

Bottom Trawler

Bottom Trawler (Greenpeace)

spanish_trawler

Ocean Floor Before and After Trawling

Ocean Floor Before and After Trawling

Long lines:

Long-lining is one of the most widespread methods of fishing. The lines are up to 130 km long (80 miles) and have hundreds of thousands of baited hooks at a time. The hooks are dragged behind the boat at varying depths or are kept afloat by buoys and left overnight.

This method is used to catch mainly tuna and swordfish, but it also kills millions of sea birds, dolphins turtles, and other marine life every year.

pelagic_longline

Oceana

turtle__fishing_line

Turtle killed by a long line

Gillnets:

Gill nets hang like massive curtains in the oceans, drifting with the currents. Ranging from 3.5 to 10 km in length, gill nets are weighted at the bottom and held upright by floats at the top, creating what some have deemed “walls of death.”

Fish are unable to see the netting, and unless the mesh size is larger than the fish, they get stuck. When they try to back out, the netting catches them by their gills or fins and they get stuck.

In many occasions they are left to drift for days an many of them get lost (become ghost nets) killing thousands of untargeted marine life- specially dolphins, turtles and seals.

Gilnet (By Oceana)

Gilnet (By Oceana)

ww1994-gillnet

Sea Lion killed by Gillnet

Purse Seines:

This is the primary fishing method for tuna fish. Tuna swim at the same level as dolphins, and fishermen usually track dolphin pods in order to locate tuna.

The dolphin schools are then chased by small high-speed boats or even helicopters that accompany the fishing boats. When the dolphins begin to tire, the fishermen encircle the school with huge nylon nets that are up to 5 km long and 100 m deep. When both the dolphins and the tuna have been completely surrounded, the bottom of the net is pulled closed, much like a drawstring purse, hence the name purse-seining. Purse-seining has proven to be an extremely effective method of catching fish. Entire schools of tuna are able to be scooped up without a single fish escaping. Unfortunately, many dolphins are also killed in the process, as they become entangled in the nets and drown, or are crushed as the nets are pursed and hauled in.

pursesiene

Dolphins and Tuna trapped in a Purse Seine Net

Dolphins and Tuna trapped in a Purse Seine Net

Solutions:

  • Only 0.8% of the ocean is protected, we need to make more ocean sanctuaries where fishing is prohibited.
  • We need to ban these destructive fishing practices which are not only damaging the oceans, but also endangering the only protein source of millions of people and endangering the livelihood of many small fishermen.
  • Shifting to sustainable  fishing practices,  having stricter quotas and regulations could aid the recovery of most commercial fisheries.
  • Demand and support safer fishing alternatives, it is possible and it must be done soon!
  • Aquaculture can be an alternative, but it also has many negative consequences if not properly managed. There are sustainable aquaculture farms, but it depends on the fish you want to grow (some species are more suitable than others) and the methods used.

Guide to sustainable Sea Food :

Most Sustainable Fish : Anchovies, Sardines, Salmon (Wild), Mussels, Mackerel (Atlantic), Oysters (Farmed), Trout, Clams (Farmed), Lobster, Halibut, Crab.

Least Sustainable: Chilean Sea Bass, Tuna, Grouper, Cod, Swordfish, Shrimp, Salmon (Farmed), Octopus, Monk fish, Mahimahi (Imported), Snapper (Imported).

—————————————————————————————————————————

(Spanish)

Guia para comer pescado/marisco:

Mejores opciones: Anchoas/Boquerones, Sardinas, Salmon (Salvaje), Mejillones, Cavalla, Ostras (Cultivadas), Trucha, Almejas (Cultivadas), Langosta, Cangrejo.

Marisco menos sostenible:  Atun, Bacalao, Pez Espada/Emperador, Gambas (importadas), Salmon (piscifactoria), Lubina (Importada de Chile/Asia), Pulpo, Rape, Dorada (Asia o Sur America)

SOURCES:

Oceana

Greenpeace

WWF

Environmental Defense Fund

The Amazon at “Steak”

25beef-span-6001

The cattle industry is responsible for 80% of the deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon according to a recent report by Greenpeace : “Amazon Cattle Footprint”.

Brazil has rapidly become the world’s largest beef exporter:


USDA

USDA

Over the last ten years more that 10 million hectares of forest (an area about the size of Iceland) has been cleared for cattle ranching. And the figures are rapidly increasing; the Brazilian government wants to double the beef production by 60% , and most of this expansion will take place in the Amazon, where land is cheap and available.

Greenpeace

Greenpeace

Industrial agriculture is also a large contributor to the Amazon deforestation, soy plantations are on the rise, mainly for bio-diesel and cattle feed production. Both cattle farmers and agribusiness are very powerful in Brazil, many of the country’s most influential politicians are linked to the industry.

A lot of money is being made at the expense of the Amazon, but the value of this ecosystem is far greater than what we are destroying it for.  It’s terrifying to know that we’ll probably find out it’s real value when it’s too late.

The Amazon rain forest is one of the most biodiverse places on earth, being the home of at least 40,000 different plant, 430 mammal, 1399 bird, 500 amphibians and 3,000 fish species, and many others that we haven’t discovered yet (and could be potential cures for human diseases).

Deforestation causes over 20% of global carbon emission, more than the world’s entire transport sector. The Amazon is estimated to store over 120 billion tonnes of carbon, which would be equal to over 50 years of current US carbon emissions if destroyed.

Cattle ranching in the Amazon also has social impacts on the region, including the highest rates of slave labor in Brazil. In 2008, 3005 rural workers who were kept in slavery were freed from cattle ranches in the Amazon.

The Amazon is also home to over 300,000 indigenous people who depend on the forest for their food, shelter, tools and medicines.


deforestation1

Greenpeace believes that Brazil can reach zero deforestation by 2015 through stronger enforcement of its existing environmental laws such as asking landowners to keep 80 % of their land forested,  promote sustainable development programs, increasing funding for monitoring and law enforcement, etc.

We as consumers can also do our part by reducing our carbon footprint. Some ways of doing so include reducing the quantity of meat that we consume, and checking its origin and how it was produced.

The greenhouse gas emissions from beef are 13 kilograms of CO2  per kg. This means that eating a kilogram of beef represents roughly the same greenhouse emissions as flying 100 kilometers of a flight, per passenger.

To know more about your carbon footprint go to this site.

Smart at the Market

Organic Choice- From thedailygreen.com

Organic Choice- From thedailygreen.com

It can be difficult to know which products are OK  if not organically grown, and which of the foods that we eat should be organic.

Some products are more heavily treated with pesticides than others, and some like tomatoes or grapes have very thin and permeable skins that easily allow synthetic chemicals to enter and stay in their tissues.

In a previous post I wrote about the different reasons why organic is better for you, the environment and local farmers.

Following you’ll find two tables showing which fruits and vegetables have high or low pesticide content. The columns under highest pesticide represent the fruits and veggies which have the highest amounts of pesticides in their tissues, and the green column (lowest pesticide) shows produce that are not as heavily treated with toxic chemicals.

If you regularly eat products from the red columns, be aware that those are some of the products with higher pesticide content, and if you are gonna buy any organic produce those should be the ones to consider.


pesticidesinfruits1
pesticidesvegetables1

You should also be aware that MILK contains high amounts of pesticides, hormones and other synthetic chemicals. Organic dairies cannot feed their cows with grains grown with pesticides, nor can they use antibiotics or growth hormones like rGBH or rbST, so if possible buy organic milk!


Are you ready to take a QUIZ?


10 Toxic Chemicals that you can and should avoid

It’s almost impossible to avoid all the man made chemicals that we are exposed to.

They are present in most of our daily activities: our food, or cosmetics, furniture, cleaning products, electronics, cars, etc.

Most of us have around 150 synthetic chemicals in our bodies, which we pass on to our babies through the mother’s blood stream or lactancy.

These chemicals are responsible for reproductive problems, birth defects, hormonal distruption, nervous system anomalies and cancer.

toxicchemicalsplacard

Here’s is a list of 10 synthetic chemicals that you can avoid without changing your lifestyle:

1-Bisphenol A (BPA)

This chemical is used to make certain plastics soft and pliable and it has been linked to hormonal disruption, heart disease, type II diabetes and liver enzyme abnormalities.

It leeks from plastic containers and also gets released when microwaving food inside plastic containers.

To avoid them buy food preserved in glass bottles and containers (especially tomatos, other acidic vegetables and oils).

2-Mercury

Mercury is found in almost every fish on earth, but the higher in the food chain the higher levels of mercury (it bioacumulates).

Mercury is emitted by coal burning power plants, oil refineries, medical waste disposal facilitties, and also from the combustion of diesel, jet fuel, and heating oil, and then released to the land and oceans.

Doctors recommend pregnant women not to eat fish because it can cause mental retardation in unborn babies.

Many studies suggest that our fish consumption should be limited because mercury can also cause dephiciencies in the motor system and kidney damage.

Tuna, swordfish and marlin have the highest mercury concetrations, and sardines, wild salmon and anchovies some of the lowest.

3-Pesticides

I already wrote about the health effects of pesticides in a previous post.

Organophosphate pesticides have immediate effects on the nervous system, motor function and attention span. Other pesticides (Carbaryl) are listed as human carcinogens, and linked to a higher incidence of infant brain cancer and non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

Avoid them by buying organic fruits, vegetables, milk and meat.

4-Perfluorinated Compounds (PFCs)

A family of fluorine chemicals with unique properties to make materials stain and stick resistant.

They are found in Teflon pans, water resistant clothing, stain resistant textiles (for sofas, etc.), grease resistant packaging, and cosmetics.

Researchers are finding serious health concerns about PFCs, including increased risk of cancer.

In order to avoid them stay away from oily or greasy packaged food, avoid stain resistant treatments for fabrics, avoid cosmetics containing any “fluoro” or “perfluoro” ingredients (they are present in eye make up, dental products, moisturisers, etc) and avoid burning teflon or non stick cookware.

5-Phthalates:

Phthalates are plasticizing and softening chemicals used in a wide array of consumer products, especially those ccontaining PVC (polyvinyl chloride).

They are present in PVC products such as vinyl flooring, vinyl shower curtains, and children’s toys. Also in many personal care products, such as perfumes, nail polish, and lotions, automobile interiors and medical equipment.

In several studies they have been found to cause reproductive problems and asthma.

There have been many companies, hospitals and government agencies that are switching to other alternative safer materials, and if possible you should limit the n of pvc’s in you home.

Image from toxicnation.ca
Image from toxicnation.ca

6-Nonylphenol & Nonylphenol Ethoxylates

Nonylphenol compounds are effective and cheap solvents used in cleaning products.

There are many safer substitutes, so simply don’t accept any “nonylphenol” on the ingredient list of products in your house because they can severely affect your reproductive system.

7-Polybrominated Flame Retardants

They are used in mattresses, electronics, plastics and other materials to prevent them from catching fire and burning.

Even if some states (such as California,etc.) and Europe have banned them,studies in the U.S., Europe, and Asia have found them in fish, meat, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and infant formula.

Adverse health effects include problems in brain development and genital malformations.

Avoid polybrominates by buying clothing, bedding and furniture made from natural materials.

8-Glycol ethers

There is a whole range of glycol ethers, many of which are relatively safe. However, the dangerous ones can cause birth defects and lower quality and quantity of sperm.

Look out for methyl cellosolve, Ethylene Glycol Ethyl Ether, Ethylene Glycol Methyl Ether Acetate, and Ethylene Glycol Ethyl Ether Acetate.

They are commonly used in paints, inks, house cleaners, detergents, etc.

9-Aluminum

Aluminum is the world’s most common metal, and it’s present in many products around us.

It is used in cans and aluminum foil, as lightweight sheet metal in airplanes and other machinery, in electrical wiring and in personal care products such as deodorant and antiperspirant.

The problem with deodorants and antiperspirants is not only the aluminum, but how it works to reduce sweat and smelly odors.

Aluminum compounds or aluminum salts, such as aluminum oxide are key ingredients in almost every antiperspirant. They are powerful astringents that close pores, stopping sweat and odor from escaping the body.

Antiperspirants may leave the outside of the body smelling fresh and clean , but inside, the toxins that would have escaped the body in the sweat have nowhere to go.

What’s more, “antiperspirants are designed to be absorbed”; the aluminum and many other chemicals are taken into the body and may affect the endocrine and lymphatic systems, as well as being a potential risk factor in breast cancer.

Aluminum has not only been linked to breast cancer, but many studies have shown links between between Alzheimer’s disease and aluminum.

Avoid buying deodorants with aluminum in it, check for the ingredient list!

10-Sodium Lauryl Sulphate

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is a very harsh detergent found in almost all shampoos and a few toothpastes.

Studies suggest that “Shampoos with SLS could keep children’s eyes from developing properly”.

It can also cause cataracts in adults and delays the healing of wounds in the surface of the cornea.

It has a “low molecular weight and so is easily absorbed by the body, building up in the heart, liver and brain and can cause major problems in these areas.

Sodium Lauryl Sulphate causes skin to flake and to separate and causes roughness on the skin.

After long term applications it actually corrodes the hair follicle and impairs the ability to grow hair.

“Sodium Lauryl Sulphate is routinely used in clinical studies deliberately to irritate the skin so that the effects of other substances can be tested.”

Check the ingredients in your shampoo right now, I assure you they have Sodium Lauryl Sullhpate in it!

toxic_chemicals2

We have to learn to check the ingredients in the products that we buy and know their properties.

We trust our governments and chemical regulations, but they still have a long way to go, so staying out of these dangerous chemicals is up to you!

SOURCES:

Toxic Nation

The dirty dozen

WWF-Toxic Chemicals

Healthy Homes

Aluminum in deodorants

Health Report: SLS

10 Reasons why you should buy ORGANIC food!

Organic food may be a little more expensive than conventional products produced by industrial agriculture, but paying that little extra money is far worth it, and it may even be cheaper in the long run.

Let’s take a look at 10 reasons why buying organic is a smarter option:

organic-food-g

1-It’s better for your HEALTH

Conventional fruits and vegetables are sprayed with massive amounts of pesticides and other toxic synthetic chemicals that have been proven to be linked to cancer, damage of the nervous system and other serious illnesses.

“It has been observed that their long-term, low-dose exposure are increasingly linked to human health effects such as immune-suppression, hormone disruption, diminished intelligence, reproductive abnormalities, and cancer”.

What would you rather do, pay a little extra money for organic products, or pay medical bills for cancer or fertility treatments?

2-It’s better for preserving WILDLIFE

Pesticides are responsible for killing birds, amphibians, fish and bees (among other animals).

Rachel Carson was a pioneer in researching pesticide impact on wildlife, showing some of its dangerous consequences ( a major decline in bird population).

3-It’s better for our WATER supply

Pesticides enter surface and ground water primarily as runoff from pesticide treated crops.

Approximately 50% of the U.S. population obtains its drinking water from groundwater sources and as much as 95% of the population in agricultural areas uses groundwater as its source of drinking water.

organicsoil

4-It’s better for the SOIL

Synthetic chemicals (such as herbicides and pesticides) not only kill the pests, but also kill the microbes living in the soil. Without microbes working in the soil (eg. nitrogen fixing) plants are unable to take from the nutrients they need from the soil.

Unhealthy soil looses its hability to grow plants which leads to erosion and desertification.

organic_farmers15-It’s better for small FARMERS

Large industrial agro-business are the major pesticide consumer. The usually use large plots of land and plant only one herbicide and pesticide resistant crop to produce maxium yield at minimum cost.

They only seek the largest economic gain with no consideration for the environment, local communities or consumer’s health.

Local and small farmers who own a plot of land want and need to take care of it using the smarter and better long-term practices that will also provide them with a stable income.

6-It’s better for local RURAL communities.

Industrial agro-business are usually not local, if they destroy the soil or water supply they just move to another area and exploit it all over again.

They usually bring their workers with them and don’t create many new jobs in the community.

7-It promotes sustainable agricultural RESEARCH

If we invest in organic foods, we are promoting new environmentally friendly agricultural practices.

8-Organic products TASTE much better!

The shinny “fake” industrial apples may look better, but the organic apples taste soo much better, just try them!

9-Organic farming promotes BIODIVERSITY

Biodiversity in farm lands is shrinking fast due to modern plant-breeding programs and GMO’s (Genetically modified organisms) which increase the productivity and economic gain of industrial farm operations-these crops respond better to industrial agricultural methods such as monocrops (only one kind of crop in a large plot of land) and heavy use of fertilizers.

These GM crops can invade organic farms, since their seeds can travel long distances, and easily replace the “weaker” non genetically modified crops.

10-Organic produce has more NUTRIENTS.

Organic products contain higher amounts of nutrients and antioxidants that are essential parts of our diet.

“Organic milk contains 80%  more antioxidants -substances which reduce the risk of tumors and life threatening diseases- and organic produce have at least 20% more antioxidants than conventional fruits and vegetables”

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Organic farming is the future, are you gonna be part of it?

If  your supermaket doesn’t provide organic produce there are usually organic farmers cooperatives that may sell products in your area.