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Monthly Archive for: ‘May, 2013’
Bee Deaths Affect Our Crops

Our Bees are dying at an alarming rate.  Actually dying is the wrong word to use.  The Bees are vanishing, like something out of a science fiction movie.  If you haven’t heard about this problem yet, please let me bring you up to date.

Colony Collapse Disorder

DEAD_BEES_0930_rdax_676x456

The phenomena is known as “Colony Collapse Disorder”.  Bees have vanished in huge numbers to the point that crops such as almonds, avocados, blueberries, pears, plums and apple crops may fail THIS YEAR, as a result of nothing more than not being pollinated.  That’s right, no blight, pests or weather problems, just a lack of Bees.  The photo above is an unusual occurrence of a colony of dead bees.  Most of the time the colony just disappears.  It seems that bees are so smart that if they know or sense something is wrong with them they will basically commit suicide so not to infect the colony.

 

Experts Don’t Have A Clue

Oh sure, there are people who have good educated guesses at what might be causing the problem, but nobody knows for sure.  Could be pesticides, GMOs, a bacteria or a virus or a combination of all of those things.

 

Bee Keepers

truck of bees

bee trucks

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you think of bee keepers, most people envision a person in a funny white outfit harvesting honey from hives.  Bee keeping has made it to the “big business” scale.  There are bee keepers who travel the country in multiple tractor trailer rigs full of bees.  They hire out to large farmers for specific periods of time to let their bees loose on the farm to pollinate the crops at just the right time.

Crops

avocado tree

Hass avocados ripening

Almond tree in bloom

Almond Tree in Bloom

blueberry2 (1)

Blueberry Bush

 

Imagine no more blueberries, almonds or avocados this year

 

So, how can we save the bees?

The following is from an article in the Food Renegad written by KristenM

1. We should err on the side of the environment, rather than on the side of economic profits for the pesticide industry, and immediately ban neonicotinoids.

2. We should encourage and support local beekeepers feeding their bees honey rather than HFCS. Heck, why not start keeping your own bees?

3. We should plant bee-friendly flowers and allow the pollinators free reign in our lawns and gardens instead of immediately trying to kill any nearby hives.

4. We can encourage and support the work of researchers trying to breed sturdier bees.

The report recommends stepping up efforts to identify genetic traits in particular bees that make them resistant to suspected causes of CCD. Some honey bees, it turns out, take “suicidal risks” when infected with disease to prevent spreading the contagion to the colony.

The report also suggests importing Russian honey bees and other “Old World” bees to diversify bee breeding stock and build up CCD resistance. Scientists already have begun to stockpile bee semen and germplasm in case the worst comes to pass.
(source)

All of this together may not be enough. There are still too many unknown variables — like GMO crops where the plant itself is registered as an insecticide with the EPA.

Who can say what the long-term effect of these crops is on the honey bee population? Perhaps they are like neonicotinoids — initially appearing safe, but ultimately weakening the bees across generations.

Conclusion

As always let logic be your guide.  If you’ve never gotten behind a “cause” before, this might just bee the one to start with.  Call your local and state representatives and tell them you are worried.  They all have phone numbers with answering machines to record your concerns.  Heck, sometimes a real person will answer.  Call your extension service and ask what you can do to help.  Write me and tell me you are concerned and I’ll pass it along – jughandle

Healthy Drinks

As a rebuttal to yesterday’s post about how bad Soda is for us, I promised to post some good news.  Well, its good news, bad news.   Good news is there are good, healthy drinks to be had, but the bad news is they might be a little hard to find.

From another story by Rodale, the following are 8 healthy sodas recommended by Emily Main

What make them healthy?

In order for these 8 to make the list they had to be free of GMO (genetically modified ingredients), phosphates, preservatives and caramel coloring.  Can’t come in a can that might be coated in bisphenol-A and can’t have artificial sweeteners if they are sweetened at all.

Steaz Sparkling Green Tea

SGT_Zero_Bottle_Orange

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reed’s Light Extra Ginger Brew

brews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Virgil’s Root Beer

healthy-soda-virgils

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bionade

healthy-soda-bionade

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Oogave

healthy-soda-oogave

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kombucha

healthy-soda-kombucha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hot Lips Soda

healthy-soda-hotlips

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fizzy Lizzy

healthy-soda-fizzylizzy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

Try new stuff, it’s fun.  If you can find any of these drinks, let me know.  Click the link to their home page where you can either find a location near you or order on line.  Be healthy.  FYI, you can always make your own from fresh ingredients.  – jughandle

Soft Drink Side Effects

Soda, pop, soft drinks, carbonated beverages will mess you up!  You must think that I only write about the evil side of foods.  You might be right.  I promise that I’ll try to find better stuff to write about after this post.  I thought it might be important to you to learn about the side effects of drinking the beverages you see advertised so often.  Surprisingly, most of you still believe that if a food or drink is being sold that some “consumer protection” agency has deemed it safe for you.  NO IT ISN”T.  Just look around.  Notice how much bigger everyone is, especially children, compared to 10 or 15 years ago.

SOFT DRINKS ARE A MAJOR PROBLEM – STOP DRINKING THEM.

The following information is mostly from an article posted by Rodale titled “9 Disturbing Side Effects of Soda”  – please click the link to read the complete story.  I am posting only the highlights. – jughandle

FAT In Strange Places

Danish researchers have found that drinking non-diet soft drinks leads to a large build up of fat around your liver and skeletal muscles.  Fat in these areas make your body insulin resistant which in turn leads to diabetes.  This fact alone shows why there has been a major increase in cases of diabetes in the last 20 years.  All it takes according to the Danish study is to drink 1 regular sized soft drink every day for just 6 months to increase your liver fat by over 135% AND a 200% increase in skeletal fat.  In addition other organ fats, cholesterol and your triglycerides in your blood will show a large INCREASE.

no diet drinks

Diet Soda Won’t Save You

A 10 year study at the University of Texas – ” Researchers from the University of Texas Health Science Center monitored 475 adults for 10 years, and found that those who drank diet soda had a 70 percent increase in waist circumference over the 10-year study, compared with those who didn’t drink any soda. Those who drank more than two diet sodas per day saw a 500 percent waist expansion! A separate study the same researchers conducted on mice suggested that it was the aspartame, which raised blood glucose levels, that caused the weight gain; when your liver encounters too much glucose, the excess is converted to body fat.” 

HELLO – a 500% increase in waist circumference???  I know people who drink 5 or more diet soft drinks per day.

 

 

Cancer Causing Caramel in Cola Drinks

“In 2011, the nonprofit Center for Science in the Public Interest petitioned the Food and Drug Administration to ban the artificial caramel coloring used to make Coke, Pepsi, and other colas brown. The reason: Two contaminants in the coloring, 2-methylimidazole and 4-methylimidazole, have been found to cause cancer in animals, a threat the group says is unnecessary, considering that the coloring is purely cosmetic. According to California’s strict Proposition 65 list of chemicals known to cause cancer, just 16 micrograms per person per day of 4-methylimidazole is enough to pose a cancer threat, and most popular brown colas, both diet and regular, contain 200 micrograms per 20-ounce bottle.”

Obviously Coke and Pepsi aren’t going to take the brown out of their drinks, so it is up to us to vote with our wallet and stop buying these products.

 

Phosphates in Colas Accelerate Aging

I’m begging you to not believe me and do your own research.  A recent study has shown that phosphates which are also phosphoric acid compounds that are flavor enhancers and preservatives found in lots of foods not only can damage your heart and kidney,  can lead to  muscle loss, osteoporosis and accelerated aging.

 

Artificial Sweeteners Cause Water Pollution

Artificial sweeteners used in our food supply don’t break down in our bodies or in nature.  Scientists can same water from our rivers and lakes and find acesulfameK, sucralose and saccharin.  A recent test of 19 municipal water supplies in the US have shown the presence of sucralose in all of them.  So does that mean our fish will be fatter?

 

 

mountain_dew

Mountain Dew Mind

“Dentists have a name for the condition they see in kids who drink too much Mountain Dew. They wind up with a “Mountain Dew Mouth,” full of cavities caused by the drink’s excessive sugar levels. “Mountain Dew Mind” may be the next medical condition that gets named after the stuff. An ingredient called brominated vegetable oil, or BVO, added to prevent the flavoring from separating from the drink, is an industrial chemical used as a flame retardant in plastics. Also found in other citrus-based soft drinks and sports drinks, the chemical has been known to cause memory loss and nerve disorders when consumed in large quantities. Researchers also suspect that, like brominated flame retardants used in furniture foam, the chemical builds up in body fat, possibly causing behavioral problems, infertility, and lesions on heart muscles over time”

 

BPA

As I pointed out in a recent post, BPA or bisphenol A is everywhere.  It is used to line the aluminum soda cans to keep the soda from reacting with the metal over time.  This is bad, bad stuff you guys.  It will mess up your, and your childrens hormones.

 

Conclusions

I could seriously go on and on about these and other problems, but I just want to make the point and not scare you away.  I’m not perfect, I drink a soda now and then.  I’ll be drinking fewer after this blog.  I just want you to be aware of the dangers and do your own research.  If you get even more excited and want to do something about it, send this blog or a letter to the officers of the soft drink companies and ask them to do some thing about the problems.  You might be surprised to find that they already are. – jughandle