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How to Test Your pH

Snake Oil

When talking about pH my biggest concern in discussing this topic is to be taken seriously.  When a health method isn’t totally embraced by the traditional health community, it seems as though the snake oil salesmen display an inordinate number of cure-all methods and substances you can take to cure everything from gout to cancer.

As with most things you should stay toward the middle of the road.  Don’t believe anyone who says they can cure you over night.  Most of our problems took a long, long time to develop and will take almost as long to fix.  There are no silver bullets, just rational science.

Why Test Your pH?

pH is an indicator that our body chemistry is either good or bad.  If your pH is out of range for a long period of time, changes in our blood, organs and skin will take place to compensate for an acidic condition.  These changes aren’t good and can be dealt with before real damage is done.  An acidic pH level is an indicator that something is out of balance.  Make corrections.  Don’t ignore the “engine warning” light.

phtestigenstrips

Now to Test Your pH

My Urologist is trying to bring my very acid urine pH from a 5.0 to some where close to 7.0.  He has me on 45 mg of  Potassium Citrate three times a day.  Because your pH changes throughout the day it is important to test it several times during the day, maybe once a week or so.

Urine – Test your second pee of the day by placing the test strip in the urine stream for a few seconds.  You test the second pee (before coffee) because the first pee from storing it overnight will be more acidic.  The kidney’s job is to remove acid from the system.  Wait 10-15 seconds or what ever your brand of test strips recommends and compare the color to the chart provided in the test kit.  Write down this number and time and do it again 2 – 3 more times during the day.  Remember to test either before eating a meal or 2 hours after a meal for most accurate results.

Saliva – First thing in the morning, either flush your mouth with your own saliva and spit or rinse with water and wait 30 mins before testing.  Wet the strip with your saliva and check against the chart as with your urine.  Write the number and time down.  As with the urine, test 2-3 more times during the day.

You can average the numbers then chart them over time to see what difference changes in your diet can make.

ph - ion

 

The Chart

Remember that the pH chart with your kit is like an earthquake chart, it is logarithmic which means each step, ie; 4.5 to 5.5 is ten times the previous.

phi-01001-3_1_

Which Strips?

You can find test strips in most pharmacies and health food stores or you can find them on line.  On my blog page there is a tab for “Company Store” which houses links to products I use and recommend on a daily basis.  I research these products to find the lowest prices and I don’t profit from you purchasing from my page.

I personally use PHion Balance Diagnostic pH Test Strips.  They are available through my store for 90 strips.

Please let me know if you can find them less expensively, I will pass it along.

What Results Should we Expect?

What’s normal pH…
There are a number of body systems which all have their own specifically preferred pH. Overall, the body’s internal chemical environment normally changes from a weak acid to a weak base within a 24-hour period, usually more acid at dawn and most base at sunset. These physiolical changes occur on a sine curve during this period. The slightly acid time period early morning: pH < 7.0 is optimal for the activity of the nerves, hormones and neurotransmitters such as adrenaline. thyroxine, histamine, acetylcholine and other biogenic amines. In this pH, the acidic connective tissue substances (stored acidic wastes) are dissolved by the hyaluronidase into liquid form and thereafter excreted from the body as wastes.


Blood pH:

The bloodstream is the most critically buffered system of the entire body, far more sensitive than any other. Arterial and venous blood must maintain a slightly alkaline pH: arterial blood pH = 7.41 and venous blood pH = 7.36. Because the normal pH of arterial blood is 7.41, a person is considered to have acidosis when the pH of blood falls below this value and to have alkalosis when the pH rises above 7.41.

Figure 3. Range of Arterial pH Values

 

ACIDOSIS
pH = 1 to 7.40
NEUTRAL
pH = 7.41
ALKALOSIS
pH = 7.42 to 14.0

 

 

 

Interstitial fluids and connective tissue pH:

A normal pH in these areas is 7.34 and 7.40, a slightly more acid profile, because body cells dump as much free hydrogen (H+) as possible, buffering the blood as much as possible. However, pH in these areas can dangerously drop to concentrations of pH = 5.0.

 

Urine pH values:

In a pH balanced body. urine is slightly acid in the morning, (pH = 6.5 – 7.0) generally becoming more alkaline (pH = 7.5 – 8.0) by evening in healthy people primarily because no food or beverages are consumed while sleeping. Whereas, during the day the body buffers the pH of the food and beverages consumed by releasing electrolytes and the pH level goes up. This process allows the kidneys to begin the elimination process slowly.

Outside the range implies that cells are being burdened with caustic pH fluids within and without surroundings. Long term experience outside this range is unhealthy. However, the pH of urine can range from an extremely unhealthy low of 4.5 to a high if 8.5, which it tolerates a little easier, depending on the acid/base status of the extracellular fluids. A high pH value may indicate the body is over buffering to compensate for a physiological system that is too acidic.

 

 Range of Urine pH Values.

 

UNHEALTHY
pH < 6.0
NEUTRAL
pH = 6.5 TO 8.0
UNHEALTHY
pH > 8.5

 

 

 

Generally, when urine pH is 6.0 and below for extended periods of time, it is an indication that the body’s fluids elsewhere are too acid, and it is working overtime to rid itself of an acid medium. Thus, when urine pH is normal, then the blood pH is normal, but when the urine pH is overly acid, the body releases too many electrolytes to keep the pH level normal and maintain life. Easy to take urine buffer test strips are available to indirectly determine the safety of all body fluids, including blood.


Results may vary. These statements have not been evaluated by the U.S.A. Food and Drug Administration and this product is not intended to treat, cure or prevent disease.

What to Do?

More later – jughandle

What Constitutes Organic food

What Constitutes Organic food and what foods are best eaten that way

Yesterday I posted more reasons to buy and eat organic, but I didn’t explain what organic is and which foods benefit us most to be eaten that way.

Simply, organic farmers don’t use synthetic chemicals to fertilize or synthetic pesticides to control weeds or bugs.  They use mulch as a weed barrier and natural methods to stop pests.  But of course its never that simple.

The department of agriculture says that only products can be labeled 100 per cent organic if they are completely organic or made of all organic ingredients.  If the tag says only “organic” it must be at least 95 percent organic.  To confuse us more “Made with organic ingredients” are products containing at least  70 percent organic ingredients, but the official organic seal can’t be used on those products.  The USDA not only has strict standards for organic farming, it also inspects organic farms to assure their standards are being met.

The following are the 5 steps to Organic certification.- click here

Characteristics of Organic Farms:

Organic vegetable farms minimize the kind and amount of fertilizers and pesticides used to produce a crop as their overall goal. Emphasis is placed on long term planning based on information regarding crop pest life cycles, soil conditioning, extensive evaluation of ecological relationships, field conditions, and, options for management of these variables in a given field or on a given farm. According to the United Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Association, there are three basic characteristics that define an organic farm:

1. – Soil conditioning is maintained through the heavy use of composted and naturally occurring plant and animal material incorporated into the soil profile; green manure and cover crops, and, crop rotation.

2. – Soil fertility is depended upon the continuing activity of minor organisms such as earthworms and bacteria to digest organic matter and convert it to compounds available to plants.

3. – Pest control is advanced by “healthy” soil, plant resistance, selective and limited use of pesticides that poise little or no adverse effect to the soil, crop, environment and human health.

Beware of the top 10 foods most likely to retain the most pesticides- always buy organic

  1.  Strawberries
  2.  Bell peppers
  3.  Spinach
  4.  Cherries
  5.  Peaches
  6.  Foreign-grown cantaloupe
  7. Celery
  8.  Apples
  9.  Apricots
  10.  Green Beans

The following are safer because they don’t absorb much pesticide or are normally peeled before eating.  These aren’t necessary to be bought organic yet.

  1. Asparagus
  2. Avocados
  3. Bananas
  4. Broccoli
  5. Cabbage
  6. Kiwi
  7. Mango
  8. Onions
  9. Papaya
  10. Pineapple

Organic Beef

To raise cattle organically the farmer must meet the health conditions and natural behavior of the animal in nature.  What the heck does that mean.  I call BS on that.  Many of these animals have been domestically raised for hundreds of years.  So this is a fine line but….

Organic livestock must be given access to the outdoors, frest air, water, sunshine, grass and pasture and must be fed 100 percent organic feed.  Any shelter provided must be designed to allow the animal comfort and the opportunity to exercise.  Darn, I’d like to live organically too.  Organic practices prohibit feeding animal parts of any kind to animals that by nature eat a vegetarian diet.  Yes, that is done in feed lots to increase the protein to the animal.  In fact that is what is believed to have caused “mad cow disease”.

To top that “national organic standards require oversight of production and handling systems.  Production and handling operations must undergo onsite inspections and have farm or operating plans in place in order to be certified organic.  The standards also specify feed requirements, including what is and is not allowed.

Organic production requires that livestock cannot be fed plastic pellets for roughage, or formulas containing urea or manure.  They cannot be given antibiotics or growth hormones.  For an animal to be raised for organic beef its mother must have been fed organic feed for at least the last third of gestation.”

If you’d like specific information go to http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop/NOP/standards/prodhandreg.html

Conclusions and recommendations

When I started this blog I was extremely open minded about “normal” eating practices.  Knowledge is sometimes dangerous or at least expensive.  I can’t help but to completely recommend eating organic vegetables and beef.  Actually it seems that we’d be stupid not to. – jughandle

Organic foods – The 20 Best Organic Foods

Why Organic Matters

Organic foods.  Walk into an average grocery store and you face a choice—47,000 choices of products, actually. And their labels advertise terms such as low fat, high fiber, free range, and organic. Some matter, some don’t. But those labels aren’t even the most confusing part:

Many scientists say organic is more nutritious than conventionally grown food, while others say it’s not. The back and forth is enough to make us “eat what’s available when we’re hungry and try not to think too much about it because it’s all so disheartening and confusing,” writes Maria Rodale in her book, Organic Manifesto.

Sadly, not buying organic food is a mistake that you can no longer afford to make. According to more and more studies, eating organic foods can help you build more muscle and burn more fat, not to mention protect the environment from harmful pesticides and increase your chances of siring healthy offspring (sons in particular). Here are 20 top organic foods to get you started. Add them to your grocery list to upgrade your diet, strengthen your body, and help heal the planet.

via organic foods | The 20 Best Organic Foods | MensHealth.com.

More about SUGAR

As we’ve discussed before, sugar is the bane of our existence.  Can’t live with it, can’t live with out it.  Since almost everything either has sugar in it or breaks down in our body (carbohydrates) to form sugar, we should avoid excess sugar intake when ever we can.  I am providing the following information about sugar as a FYI blog.  This information comes from Prevention.com and a recent article written by Mandy Oaklander called “10 Sneaky Names for Sugar“.  All of the following images are from the same article.  If you only read one, read the first one.  It is enlightening. – jughandle

 

1. Sucrose

What’s the anatomy of a sugar? Let’s start with table sugar, one of the most common. The scientific name is sucrose: That’s half glucose (starch) and half fructose (sweetness). You might also know it by “cane sugar,” which is 100% sucrose.

Here’s the bad news. While glucose can be metabolized by all your organs, fructose is metabolized almost solely by your liver, writes Robert Lustig, MD, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, in his forthcoming book Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar, Processed Food, Obesity, and Disease. In other words, fructose taxes your liver. And it’s in every caloric sweetener, from white sugar, to cane sugar, to beet sugar, to agave nectar. It also pops up on food labels by itself.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

2. Evaporated Cane Juice

Sounds healthier, right? Don’t believe the babble. Evaporated cane juice is little more than a dressed-up name for straight-up sugar.

In October 2009, the FDA issued a guidance statement about the term. “FDA’s current policy is that sweeteners derived from sugar cane syrup should not be declared as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term falsely suggests that the sweeteners are juice,” the guidance says. But in reality, evaporated cane juice isn’t even a liquid.

The FDA recommendations aren’t binding. Still, the yogurt company Chobani is under legal fire for its simultaneous use of “evaporated cane juice” and its claim of “no sugar added” products, reports Food Navigator. The lawsuit, brought by a California woman, accuses the company of violating federal law.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

3. Agave Nectar

Another “health” food favorite, agave nectar is touted as a natural sugar and is widely used in natural baked goods. But agave nectar is higher in fructose than cane sugar. In fact, says Andrew Weil, MD, founder and director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, agave is 85% fructose. “Agave’s probably one of the worst,” Dr. Weil says. Not only is it not healthier for you, but it also doesn’t even contain more antioxidants or minerals than other types.  However, it does have a lower glycemic load than other sweeteners, so it causes a less drastic spike in blood sugar. And the stuff is so sweet that you’ll probably use less of it.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

4. Fruit Juice Concentrate

No matter how healthy your juice looks, chances are good that added fruit juice concentrate is in there. Check labels of juice, flavored yogurt and any other processed food for grape, apple or any other kind of fruit juice concentrate: It’s all too often there. Also look for it in snack bars, applesauce, and other fruity edibles. Concentrate is formed when the water is removed from fruit juice. What’s left? We’ll give you one guess. Yup, sugar.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

5. 100% Fruit Juice

But what about an organic, natural, no-sugar-added, 100% fruit juice? No concentrate, no problems, right? Sorry to ruin your breakfast, but you might as well go ahead and skip this OJ and have a Snickers.

Whole fruit is good for you, says Dr. Lustig, because it contains lots of fiber. In juice form, which is devoid of fiber, sugar’s sugar—even if you juice it yourself, straight from fresh fruit. “It’s all the same,” Lustig writes of sugar’s many names and forms in his forthcoming book, Fat Chance. “The vehicle is irrelevant; it’s the payload that matters.” By this definition, your 100% orange juice is worse for you than soda: The former contains 5.8 teaspoons of sugar per cup, while soda contains 5.4.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

6. High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)

Study after study has shown that high fructose corn syrup, made from processed (and usually genetically modified) cornstarch, is technically no different from sucrose. But some research shows that HFCS generates a higher blood fructose level, which could have negative metabolic consequences. High fructose corn syrup has been linked to obesity and diabetes. In 2010, corn refiners petitioned the FDA for permission to start calling HFCS “corn sugar.” They were turned down.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

7. The -Oses

Watch out for anything –ose, lest you sugar overdose. You’ve met sucrose, glucose, and fructose, but did you know galactose, maltose, dextrose, and lactose? They’re all sugars—some of which occur naturally but can be processed in a lab, too—that can be added to processed foods. Eater beware.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

8. Blackstrap Molasses

If you were alive in the 1880s, then congratulations! Not only are you at least 132 years old, but you remember when blackstrap molasses was the No. 1 sweetener in the United States. This natural sweetener is sugar too, but, like most things in the olden days, it was better for you. This viscous syrup contains vitamin B6, manganese, calcium, copper, and selenium. And just one tablespoon of molasses has about 4 times the iron as a 3-ounce white chicken breast, according to the American Diatetic Association’s Complete Food & Nutrition Guide. Check out the other antioxidant-rich sugars, including maple syrup, here.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

9. Organic Brown Rice Syrup

With a name like that, you’ve got to deserve your health halo, right? Not according to a recent Dartmouth College study published in Environmental Health Perspectives. Brown rice sugar is shilled to the natural food market as a “healthier” alternative to high fructose corn syrup. Not only is it still sugar, but it may also be contaminated with arsenic. The study found high levels of arsenic, which is linked to cancer and chronic diseases, in processed foods sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. We’re talking energy bars, cereal bars, and even baby formula. (To protect yourself, you’ll want to take a look at our list of 10 Ways to Avoid Arsenic In Your Food.)

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated October 2012

10. …and so many more

Barley malt, golden syrup, diastatic malt, diastase, treacle, panocha, sorghum syrup—we couldn’t get to all of you, but that doesn’t mean you’re not lurking in our processed foods, too.

Besides scouring ingredients lists, the key to monitoring your sugar is determining just how much each serving contains. How? Check the nutrition label for total grams of sugar, and divide that by four (each teaspoon of sugar is equal to 4 grams.) That’s how many teaspoons of sugar are really in your cookie, your ketchup, and your no-sugar-added fruit juice.

Published October 2012, Prevention

Updated January 10, 2018

Trust?

Who do you trust?  Who do you not trust? What is trust?  Who should we trust?

My big question is

“Why do we trust that the food in our stores is healthy for us to eat,  just because it is in a package or is sold by the store?”

Ever seen the words – All Natural, Supports the Immune System, Made with Real Fruit, Added Fiber, Low Sugar – or “only 90 calories per serving, then in small hard to find print 5 servings in this container – miss leading at best-  try added BS – jughandle

These are questions that intrigue and confuse me, but I’m easily confused.

Who do you trust?  

God, your parents, family, wife, dog, a few close friends, yourself?  I, most of the time, trust myself to do the right thing and to toe the line.  Maybe the bank, the government, the police, the insurance company you deal with, your broker, your local grocer? No? Yes?

Who don’t you trust?

Sad as it might seem, if you look into this with a microscope, then you might not trust any of those people listed above from time to time, nor should you. History plays a major roll in trust.  What have they done for, or to, you lately? Blind trust will only break your heart or worse.

What is trust?

Wikipedia defines Trust as follows:

In a social context, trust … a situation characterised by the following aspects: One party (trustor) is willing to rely on the actions of another party (trustee); the situation is directed to the future. In addition, the trustor (voluntarily or forcedly) abandons control over the actions performed by the trustee. As a consequence, the trustor is uncertain about the outcome of the other’s actions; he can only develop and evaluate expectations. The uncertainty involves the risk of failure or harm to the trustor if the trustee will not behave as desired.

In the social sciences, the subtleties of trust are a subject of ongoing research. In sociology and psychology the degree to which one party trusts another is a measure of belief in the honesty, fairness, or benevolence of another party. The term “confidence” is more appropriate for a belief in the competence of the other party. Based on the most recent research, a failure in trust may be forgiven more easily if it is interpreted as a failure of competence rather than a lack of benevolence or honesty. In economics trust is often conceptualized as reliability in transactions. In all cases trust is a heuristic decision rule, allowing the human to deal with complexities that would require unrealistic effort in rational reasoning.

Who should we trust? and to what “degree”

My late father used to say often, “don’t trust nobody, not even your papa.”  Dad was usually right, so I trusted him to have my best interest at heart. That only left me with a lonely conundrum.  But, and it is a large BUT, is the Santa Claus, Easterbunny, tooth fairy issue.  Weren’t those lies, or were they merely white lies … I digress.

 More to the Point

My point is that we sometimes question those we trust or love the most, but we seem to always trust the local grocer to sell ONLY healthy food for us to eat.  After all, if the stores sell it, it must be good or at least safe for me to eat.  If not, what are all the government regulations about?  Indeed!

NOT SO MUCH

In actuality, the only people that might trust the store are its share holders, and that trust is more about the bottom line than anything else.  The store is obligated to its shareholders (its owners) to make as much profit as possible.  In fact, the whole layout of the store is designed to get you to buy the high margin items. Ever question why the food you actually went there for is in the back of the store?   That means that they might turn a blind eye to anything that might be a high seller, but is still questionable as far as “health” goes.  The government’s rules and guidelines are like any other government “rule”;  a line to cross when ever possible by some, a line to question by others.  At best those rules are minimum standards that don’t fully protect anyone.  Some aren’t even completely researched.  At worse, the government makes rules based on lobbyist’s desires or compromise bills.

 Bottom Line

Follow my father’s simple rule -don’t trust nobody, but lets add – especially the food supply.   Buy organic whenever possible.  Eat less meat, more green vegetables.  Be creative.  Most of all read the freak’n labels and Question EVERYTHING – please, don’t trust me.  Do your own research, it will scare the hell out of you and you might join me running around with your hands in the air yelling, watch out for the bus. *– jughandle

Join Foodfacts.com

10 Suspect Causes of Autism

Autism.  Funny, I’ve never thought of myself as an alarmist.  You know, one of those guys that runs around shouting, “look out, look out”.  I still don’t.  I picture myself as someone that sees a population ready to be hit by a bus and I’m shouting, “look out for the bus”.  God, what are we supposed to do? I’m choosing to try and make a few people aware of the problems.

I do know that there has been an 80% increase in Autism and Learning Disabilities in the last few years and it CAN NOT be just genetics.  HELLO, IT HAS TO BE ENVIRONMENTAL! – Picture me running around with my arms in the air shouting, “look out for the bus, look out for the bus”.  For those out there that are a little slow to catch my lame metaphor, the bus is the industrial chemicals being pumped into our systems faster than nature can deal with them.  The result can only be disease, birth defects and species extinction.  Just look at the so called “empty hive” syndrome with the honey bees. -jughandle

The following is a great article from Rodale.com that points out just 10 of the potential causes:

10 Suspect Causes of Autism & Learning Disabilities

Researchers name chemicals suspected of causing autism and other serious disorders in children.
BY LEAH ZERBE

Autism risk: More than just genetics?

When it comes to autism, ADHD, and learning disabilities, genetics is only part of the story. In fact, in trying to figure out what causes autism, researchers are proving that environmental factors—everything from farm chemicals to soda and shampoo ingredients—could be permanently messing with children’s brain development. Today, in an unprecedented move, some of the world’s leading experts published a new list of highly suspect chemicals and heavy metals believed to be behind the surge in cases of autism and other neurodevelopmental diseases. “We have very powerful, very sophisticated tools we can use to measure chemicals at very low levels,” explains Phil Landrigan, MD, coauthor of the list and professor and chair of preventive medicine at Mount Sinai Medical School in New York. “It’s now possible to connect early exposure to problems in childhood.”

Dr. Landrigan says the goal of the list, published inEnvironmental Health Perspectives, is to inform more doctors and nurses about the environmental triggers of autism, to increase funding for more studies, and to ultimately change chemical regulation in this country to better protect our children.

1. Lead

This heavy metal has been shown to cause brain damage to developing babies, causing a lifetime of learning and health implications. Lead is also linked to depression in young adults.

Where is it? The powerful neurotoxin is most often found in old paint, but can also leach from older plumbing. (the fat farm recommends that every household have a reverse osmosis water filter for their drinking and cooking water.)

Avoid it! Refrain from removing old paint if you’re trying to become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding, or if small children are in the house. If you fear your water contains lead, call EPA’s Safe Drinking Water Hotline for help. In the meantime, a diet low in fat and high in calcium and iron, with foods like low-fat dairy and leafy green vegetables, can help block some harmful lead exposure.

 

2. Mercury

The mercury created from coal-fired power plants winds up in rivers, streams, and oceans; the heavy metal is toxic to the brains of developing fetuses and could cause irreversible damage. (If you didn’t know, a large percentage of coal is piped into the plants via pipelines.  The coal is in the form of a slurry and something must be done with the water.  Huge retention ponds are formed to let the water seep back into the ground – yes, ground water and near by streams then carry the chemical containing water into our lakes and oceans for the fish to eat.  The older the fish the more mercury – jughandle)

Where is it? The damaging form of mercury accumulates in species of fatty fish that grow to be large and higher up the food chain; consuming these fish is the No. 1 source of human exposure. Mercury has also been detected in high-fructose corn syrup.

Avoid it! Choose healthier options from the superfish list, including wild-caught Alaskan salmon or Pacific wild sardines.

 

3. PCBs

Once used in electronics, PCBs bear the unfortunate distinction of never breaking down in the environment. And a little of them can do a lot of damage: Small doses can disrupt healthy nerve cell functioning and throw off the body’s natural calcium signaling, which could increase some children’s autism risk.

Where is it? PCBs are found all over the environment—and inside most of us. (it accumulates in the fat of our bodies and the meat we eat)

Avoid it! Eat lower on the food chain; PCBs accumulate in animal fat. Removing fish skin and trimming fatty parts of meat can help cut back on your family’s PCB exposure.

 

4. Organochlorine Pesticides

The now-banned DDT is the most notorious organochlorine pesticide, but others in its class remain in use and are implicated in birth defect and autism clusters.

Where is it? Mostly causing damage in farming communities, this type of bug-killing chemical has been linked to an increased risk in autism among children born to mothers living in high-spray agricultural areas.

Avoid it! Support organic farming to reduce your risk of eating pesticide residues, as well as to protect people who live near or work on chemical farm operations. Children’s greatest organochlorine exposure comes from conventional snap beans, tomatoes, and watermelons, so especially concentrate on sourcing these produce items organically.

5. Automotive Exhaust

Recent studies link air pollution from vehicle exhaust to memory problems, brain damage, and an increased risk of autism. A prior study found that children born to women living within 1,000 feet of major highways are twice as likely to be diagnosed with autism years later.

Where is it? In the air in areas exposed to heavy traffic.

Avoid it! Drive less or carpool to cut back on air pollution, commute during less busy hours, and if you live close to a major roadway, consider investing in a high-quality air purifier that does not produce ozone, such as IQAir models.

6. Brominated Flame Retardants

Created to slow down the rate of burning in the case of a household fire, flame retardants are largely useless and have been shown to actually hasten death from smoke inhalation. Over the long term, children born to mothers with high levels of these chemicals in their bodies have lower IQs and perform more poorly in mental and physical development testing.

Where is it? They’re found in furniture, electronics, certain sodas and sports drinks, and even household dust.

Avoid it! Avoid furniture that meets California’s TB117 law, a regulation that promotes the use of flame retardant chemicals. Be diligent about wet-mopping in the house and use a HEPA-filter-equipped vacuum to reduce flame retardant–laced dust. Opt for natural flooring materials, not carpeting and carpet padding, which could harbor flame retardants. As for the beverage aisle, steer clear of Mountain Dew and certain Gatorade and Powerade flavors that list BVO—brominated vegetable oil, a flame retardant—as an ingredient. (just another reason to limit your liquid intake to water)

7. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs)

Carcinogens that are formed when meat is burned, PAHs are also among a category of 10,000 chemicals created from the burning of oil, garbage, coal, or wood. The compounds can damage DNA, hamper normal development, and impair fetal growth.

Where is it? Aside from burned meat, PAHs are abundant in coal-tar-based driveway sealants and anti-dandruff shampoos, cigarette smoke, and mothballs.

Avoid it! Opt for nontoxic mothball alternatives, shun cigarette smoke, and look for safer driveway sealants that are free of coal-tar ingredients.

8. Organophosphate Pesticides

Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate insecticide, is still one of the most widely used farm chemicals in the U.S.

Where is it? Banned from residential uses, this pesticide is still legal in agriculture, and residues have turned up on apples, bell peppers, cranberries, kale, grapes, peaches, and dozens of other foods.

Avoid it! Eat organic as often as possible. Studies have proven that pesticide levels in the body plummet when consumers switch to an organic eating regimen.

9. Hormone-Disrupting Chemicals

Prenatal exposure to even tiny doses of hormone-disrupting chemicals could irreversibly alter a child’s health.

Where is it? Bisphenol A (BPA) and plasticizing chemicals called phthalates are prime suspects linked to socialization and aggression problems in children, along with stunted growth, learning disabilities, and lower IQ. These chemicals are used in hundreds of everyday products, including soaps, shampoos, cleaners, and air fresheners.

Avoid it! Keep BPA out of your system by avoiding canned foods and beverages, as well as No. 7 plastics. To reduce phthalate exposure, nix scented candles and air fresheners, and avoid personal care products that list “parfum” or “fragrance” as an ingredient.

10. Nonstick Chemicals

More studies cropping up suggest the convenience of nonstick cookware might not be worth the anticipated health costs: ADHD in children and high cholesterol and infertility issues in adults.

Where is it? In nonstick cookware, waterproof clothing, and certain stain-repelling fabrics used in carpeting and furniture.

Avoid it! When you start seeing scratches and chips in your nonstick cookware, replace it with safer American-made cast iron or untreated stainless steel. Also, pass on furniture and carpet treatments offering stain protection. (and never cook with your non stick pan on high- the coating will break down and become vaporized. – jughandle)

 

We ARE what we EAT – Are your kids red dye #40?

It was brought to my attention last night that I have been remiss in my reporting about food that children eat.  More like, food that parents feed children.

blue dye

I’m not a parent

Keep in mind that I am not a parent.  I am however a uncle and I love my nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews, very much.  What is more important to a growing body and mind than what fuels their growth? Nothing!  Far from me to judge what a parent feeds their children.  Look what a young parent is up against.

First of all a young parent is new at everything.  There is no owners manual for a kid, only older family members, friends, self help books and human nature to provide a basis for keeping their child alive and hopefully making them thrive.  Young parents are many times, just getting married and are still learning who takes out the trash and who does the check book and whose mess is on the floor.  Then enters a child.  All bets are out the window.  Nothing matters except what is at hand; the life and well being of that new born.  What are you going to feed your baby?  You are going to go to the store, most likely hauling the child with you, and not being able to bend over, you are going to do exactly what the marketing people what you to do.  Are you going to read the label?  Hell no, not with a kid tugging at you.  You are going to buy the food on the shelf at eye level.  The highest margin products.  The colorful ones that the kids go oh, oh, oh and point at.  Maybe you’ll remember that you saw it on TV.  It must be OK then, right? Not so much.

National Advertising

National advertising from manufactures creates national peer pressure on parents.  While, I’m not a parent, I am an advertising major in school and worked with a graphic design group for several years and so is my wife.  Advertisers know exactly what children and therefore their parents are looking for.  Kids like bright colors, sweet stuff, things they see in bright loud ads but most of all, they want the stuff their friends have.

The manufactures have a responsibility to their board of directors, who have a responsibility to their share holders to make as much profit for the company as possible.  All companies have an ethical obligation to provide a product that won’t do immediate harm to its consumer and that is about as far as it goes.   But what if no studies have ever been done on an the long term effects of a food additive on growing children, but that additive has been used in the food industry for years with out many complaints?  It gets used until proven to be harmful.

Have you ever taken your child shopping with you (not really the best idea, but mostly unavoidable) and while you are picking out the product you intended to purchase, your child says, “no mommy, I want this one”?  That one is the bright colorful one right at their eye level.  Welcome to the world of consumer advertising.

You Are Responsible

You and only you are responsible for what YOU AND YOUR FAMILY eats.  Not the government.  They WILL NOT hold your hand.  I repeat.  This is on YOU!  You make the decision of what to put in your families bodies.  Contrary to many people’s belief’s, not everything for sale is good for you or even SAFE.  In this day and age of easy information, there is no excuse.  None!  I’m here to help.  Ask me a question.  please.  – jughandle

Too Much to Touch on

This topic is way too broad to even touch on all the important aspects.  What we’ll have to do is to delve into one of the most important HOT topics and move on later. Food coloring additives are a pet peeve of the Fat Farm and many of it’s Farmers.  That too is way to broad a topic to hit on so I’ll narrow it to one color at a time.

Red Dye

Red dye #40

 

Red Dye #40

Just to get your attention, I’m going to list just a few of the known side effects of this nasty color additive.

  • Impaired brain function
  • hyperactive behavior
  • difficulty focusing
  • lack of impulse control

Those are just the starters.  Don’t believe me?  Go to Healthy Living and read for yourself

These problems have been blamed on newly named syndromes and diseases like ADHD, ADD and others.  What came first the chicken or the egg?

If your child gets hyperactive after eating a sweet food.  Don’t blame it on the sugar any more, check out what color the food was.

Where are these dyes used?

EVERYWHERE!  Read the labels.  If you don’t have time to do the research, let me.  Send me a quick email or note on this blog telling me the name and brand of food you want me to research and I’ll do the math for all of us.  Better even than that – if you find a “good” food let me know and I’ll tell the world.  Shoot, I’ll write the president of the company and tell them we endorse their product.

What to look for

Look for labels that say things like – ALL NATURAL; NO BINDERS, NO ARTIFICIAL COLORS, DYES OR PRESERVATIVES

What are your kids eating for breakfast?

Breakfast, as we’ve always heard, is the most important meal of the day.  More so for children.  Research shows that children’s brain function improves up to 80% when they consume protein first thing in the morning. What are your kids eating for breakfast? A fruity bowl of sugar and Red 40?

List of Dyes and their health effects

 

Sources:

 

 

DYE
HEALTH EFFECTS
Amaranth
FD&C Red No.2
not allowed in U.S.
E 123 Europe
Angioedema
Pruritus
Urticaria
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Ponceau, Sunset Yellow)
Erythrosine
FD&C Red No.3
E 127 Europe
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Brilliant Blue, Indigo Carmine)
Sequential vascular response
Elevation of protein-bound iodide
Thyroid tumors
Chromosomal damage
Unspecified symptoms
Ponceau
FD&C Red No.4
not allowed in U.S.
E 124 Europe
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Amaranth, Sunset Yellow)
Anaphylactoid reaction (combined with Sunset Yellow)
Chest heaviness
Neutral Red Contact dermatitis
Carmoisine
E 122 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet;
Red #2G
_128 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Citrus Red No.2 Cancer in animals
Used for dying skins of oranges
Allura Red AC
FD&C Red No.40
Tumors / lymphomas
Tartrazine
FD&C Yellow No.5
E 102 Europe
Allergies
Thyroid tumors
Lymphocytic lymphomas
Chromosomal Damage
Trigger for asthma
Urticaria (hives)
Hyperactivity (Rowe & Rowe, Egger, 1985)
Sunset Yellow
FD&C Yellow No.6
Urticaria (hives)
Rhinitis (runny nose)
Nasal congestion
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Amaranth, Ponceau)
Anaphylactoid reaction (combined with Ponceau)
Eosinophilotactic response
Purpura (bruising)
Allergies
Kidney tumors
Chromosomal damage
Abdominal pain
Vomiting
Indigestion
Distaste for food
Yellow #2G
_107 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
D&C Yellow No.11 Contact dermatitis
Quinoline Yellow
D&C Yellow No.10
E 104 Europe
Contact dermatitis
Used in several different Ritalin tablets
Fast Green
FD&C Green No.3
Bladder tumors
Brilliant Blue
FD&C Blue No.1
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Erythrosine, Indigo Carmine)
Eosinophilotactic response
Chromosomal damage
Indigo Carmine
FD&C Blue No.2
E 132 Europe
Brain tumors
Bronchoconstriction (combined with Brilliant Blue, Erythrosine)
Evans Blue
CI Direct Blue 53
Dermatitis
Patent Blue Purpura (bruising)
Dermatitis
Unspecified subjective symptoms
Gentian Violet
CI Basic Violet No.3
Contact dermatitis
Brown FK
_154 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Brown HT
_155 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
Black PN
E 151 Europe
not in U.S.; information not available yet
E 320 Europe BHA
E 321 Europe BHT
E 211 Europe Sodium Benzoate
E 250 Europe Sodium Nitrite
E 251 Europe Sodium Nitrate
_621 MSG Monosodium Glutamate

 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Oh God, I could go on and on about this and I will another time, but I don’t want to lose you.  Please start by simply eliminating Red dye from your family’s diet.  What the hell, remove yellow dye too!  See if you can tell a difference.  More to come – jughandle