Category Archive for: ‘Food Safey’
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.


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 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”



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.



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

Sea Turtles from a Professional Point of View

Sea Turtles and amphibians, like frogs have been a topic on this blog more than once.  Just as the miners once carried birds into the mines with them to forewarn of dangerous conditions we can be forewarned of pollution and problems in our ocean waters by Sea Turtles.

We are honored to have a guest author, Richard Fowlkes, join us today to describe the plight of the Seas Turtle and the efforts of a group of volunteers in Walton County Florida.  Thank you Richard and the group at South Walton Turtle Watch- jughandle


About the Author


Richard scans the beach for signs of turtle tracks

Richard scans the beach for signs of turtle tracks

Richard started his career as a photographer, covering events in Athens GA where he attended the University of Georgia.  Later Richard worked for several different newspapers and retired a few years ago as a Photojournalist for the Atlanta Journal Constitution.  Richard and his wife Karen moved to Blue Mountain Beach, Florida where Richard caught the turtle bug and became a strong advocate for the preservation or our Sea Turtles.

Several years ago I had the pleasure of assisting Richard on a Turtle watch on the beach at night.  It easily changed my prespective on what is important for our planet.


About the Story


Richard put this story together from information he gathered both first hand and from various other sites such as the Sea Turtle Conservancy site,  the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service site, National Geographic site, and others.  All of the photos used are courtesy of South Walton Turtle Watch.



SWTW is a group of dedicated volunteers, led by Sharon Maxwell, who are on the Walton County beaches in the Florida panhandle at dawn each day from May through October looking for signs that a turtle has crawled up on the beach during the night. We are located roughly between Panama City Beach and Destin. We work together with U. S. Fish and Wildlife and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commision.
We don’t have lots of sea turtles that nest in this area, in fact until last year we averaged less than 36 nests a year over the 23 miles of beach we monitor. That’s only about 1.5 nests per mile over the course of 6 months. We have volunteers who have walked for years and never experienced the excitement of finding a nest, however we have others who have found two nests in one day. You just never know. But we feel what we do is vital to their survival.
We have four species of sea turtles that nest on these beaches and the most common is the loggerhead sea turtle. The loggerhead sea turtles that nest here are a genetically distinct subspecies; they only nest here and if they die off they will be gone forever. That’s because most sea turtles go back to the beach on which they were born to nest when they become sexually mature. It would be uncommon for loggerheads that weren’t born here to come here to nest. So if these turtles die off they would likely be gone from this area.
All of the sea turtles that nest here are listed as either threatened, endangered or critically endangered. If man doesn’t do a better job looking out for the environment we will loose these creatures that have been around since the age of dinosaurs. They will become extinct.

What is extinction?


A plant or animal becomes extinct when the last living individual of its species dies, causing it to vanish from the earth forever. If there is ever a time when the last green turtle on earth dies, then never again will this magnificent creature grace our world.Species have been going extinct for millions of years; it is a natural part of the evolutionary process. For example, most of the species that existed during the time of dinosaurs have perished. Many probably went extinct because of sudden geological or climatic changes — possibly because of a large volcanic eruption or because of a giant meteor hitting the earth. Today, however, species are going extinct because of abrupt changes brought about by humans. Habitat destruction, pollution and overconsumption are causing species to decline at a rate never before seen in history. This loss of species is eroding the diversity of life on earth, and a loss of diversity can make all life vulnerable.

Major ecological effects of sea turtle extinction


1. Sea turtles, especially green sea turtles, are one of the very few animals to eat sea grass. Like normal lawn grass, sea grass needs to be constantly cut short to be healthy and help it grow across the sea floor rather than just getting longer grass blades. Sea turtles and manatees act as grazing animals that cut the grass short and help maintain the health of the sea grass beds. Over the past decades, there has been a decline in sea grass beds. This decline may be linked to the lower numbers of sea turtles.
Sea grass beds are important because they provide breeding and developmental grounds for many species of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. Without sea grass beds, many marine species humans harvest would be lost, as would the lower levels of the food chain. The reactions could result in many more marine species being lost and eventually impacting humans. So if sea turtles go extinct, there would be a serious decline in sea grass beds and a decline in all the other species dependant upon the grass beds for survival. All parts of an ecosystem are important, if you lose one, the rest will eventually follow.
2. Beaches and dune systems do not get very many nutrients during the year, so very little vegetation grows on the dunes and no vegetation grows on the beach itself. This is because sand does not hold nutrients very well. Sea turtles use beaches and the lower dunes to nest and lay their eggs. Sea turtles lay around 100 eggs in a nest and lay between 2 and 7 nests during the summer nesting season. Along a 20 mile stretch of beach on the east coast of Florida sea turtles lay over 150,000 lbs of eggs in the sand. Not every nest will hatch, not every egg in a nest will hatch, and not all of the hatchlings in a nest will make it out of the nest. All the unhatched nests, eggs and trapped hatchlings are very good sources of nutrients for the dune vegetation, even the left over egg shells from hatched eggs provide some nutrients.Dune vegetation is able to grow and become stronger with the presence of nutrients from turtle eggs. As the dune vegetation grows stronger and healthier, the health of the entire beach/dune ecosystem becomes better. Stronger vegetation and root systems helps to hold the sand in the dunes and helps protect the beach from erosion. As the number of turtles declines, fewer eggs are laid in the beaches, providing less nutrients. If sea turtles went extinct, dune vegetation would lose a major source of nutrients and would not be as healthy and would not be strong enough to maintain the dunes, resulting in increased erosion. Once again, all parts of an ecosystem are important, if you lose one, the rest will eventually follow.Sea turtles are part of two ecosystems, the beach/dune system and the marine system. If sea turtles went extinct, both the marine and beach/dune ecosystems would be negatively affected. And since humans utilize the marine ecosystem as a natural resource for food and since humans utilize the beach/dune system for a wide variety of activities, a negative impact to these ecosystems would negatively affect humans.
SWTW tracks, marks, monitors and evaluates sea turtle nests on the beautiful beaches of South Walton. We keep track of a wide variety of statistics, including the species that crawl out of the water. We can tell from experience what species crawled up on the beach by looking at the tracks left behind. We document the width of the track to get an idea of the size of the turtle. We determine if there is really a nest or if it is just a false crawl. A false crawl is where a turtle came up and went back into the water without laying eggs. After a nest hatches we determine the success rate of the nest. We are also responsible for documenting sea turtles that have died and washed up on our beaches.
A loggerhead false crawl on a beach in South Walton.
loggerhead tracks
Sharon’s first experience with sea turtles in South Walton was when she walked for Grayton Beach State Park rangers in 1993. The next year she and a friend explored nests that they discovered or that were reported to them. Later that year they attended a panhandle sea turtle meeting and reported there were 25 nests on our beaches. Officials felt Sharon was mistaken because they believed sea turtles did not nest on these beaches. None had ever been reported. But Sharon was right.
In 1995, with the help of U. S. Fish and Wildlife, she and her team began walking the beaches of South Walton looking for signs of sea turtle crawls and nests. In 2000 SWTW was named the Conservation Group of the Year by the Florida Wildlife Federation.
Today Sharon and South Walton Turtle Watch, under her direction, are permitted to walk and conduct activities on these beaches authorized by a permit issued by the state of Florida. There are 25 walkers on that permit. Those individuals are permitted to do all of the activities required in monitoring the sea turtles. In addition there are generally another 35 to 40 walkers who are permitted to walk the roughly 23 miles of beaches and report what they find to one of four area coordinators.
All of the beaches must be walked everyday, seven days a week, rain or shine, during the sea turtle nesting season that runs from May 1st to October 31st. Walkers must be on the beach just after dawn for a variety of reasons. Tracks are easier to see in the early morning light where light shines on the beach at a low angle. If a nest is found it must be marked and if additional work needs to be done at the site the work must be complete by 9 a.m. So an early start is vital, especially on some stretches of beach where a person might be required to walk a long distance. In addition beach vendors are not allowed to set up on the beach until 8 a.m. or after any given section of beach has been cleared by SWTW. We are sensitive to their need to get their work done early so we try to get our work done as soon as possible.
Because the sea turtles that nest on our beaches are either endangered or threatened species it is a federal offense for anyone not permitted to disturb, touch, take, possess, harm or pursue any of these sea turtles, turtle nests and/or eggs. Individuals found in violation can be fined as much as $100,000 and can be sentenced to up to one year in prison. Citizens should always keep a distance from a sea turtle on the beach as they can be easily frightened, which can cause them to abort their nesting attempt.
Walkers look for crawls or turtle tracks on the beach that indicate a female sea turtle has crawled out of the water with the intention of digging a nest and laying eggs. It’s just about the only reason sea turtles leave the water. After a baby sea turtle hatches and makes its way from a nest to the water, most sea turtles never set foot on land again except when as an adult, a female comes ashore to lay eggs. One exception is the Eastern Pacific green turtle, which will take to land to bask in the sun. Occasionally seen sunbathing alongside seals and albatrosses, it is one of the few marine turtles known to leave the water other than at nesting times.
The most common sea turtle to nest on the beaches of South Walton is the loggerhead sea turtle. The next most common species to nest here is the green sea turtle, an endangered species, but their nesting numbers here are far fewer than the loggerhead. Two other species nest here but only on rare occasions. They are the Kemp’s Ridley and the Leatherback.
The beaches of South Walton are only one of a very few beaches in Florida where all four of these species have nested in the same year. That’s something we are proud of.
Loggerhead sea turtles, a threatened species, generally grow to about 2.5 to 3.5 feet in length and up to about 250 to 375 pounds but specimens of more than 1,000 pounds have been found, making them the largest of all hard-shelled turtles. They are the most abundant of all the marine turtle species in U.S. waters. But persistent population declines due to pollution, shrimp trawling, and development in their nesting areas, among other factors, have kept this wide-ranging seagoer on the threatened species list since 1978. Their enormous range encompasses all but the most frigid waters of the world’s oceans but they seem to prefer coastal habitats. They are primarily carnivores, munching jellyfish, conchs, crabs, and even fish, but will eat seaweed and sargassum occasionally. Females generally mature between 20 and 34 years of age depending on a variety of factors such as habitat, food source availability, genetics and overall health of the animal. They will often return, sometimes over thousands of miles, to the beach where they hatched to lay their eggs. They usually nest at intervals of 2 to 4 years, laying 3 to 6 nests per season, approximately 12 to 14 days apart. They have an estimated lifespan of more than 50 years. The loggerhead turtles that nest along our beaches are a genetically distinct subspecies that nest only here.
A loggerhead sea turtle nesting on the beaches of South Walton. This is a rare citing as they normally nest at night.
loggerhead on beach
Green sea turtles generally grow to 3 to 4 feet in length and weigh from 240 to 420 pounds but the largest ever found was 5 feet in length and weighted 871 pounds. The turtle is named not for the color of its shell, which is normally brown or olive depending on its habitat, but for the greenish color of its skin. Unlike most sea turtles, adult green turtles are herbivorous, feeding on sea grasses and algae. Juvenile green turtles, however, will also eat invertebrates like crabs, jellyfish, worms, aquatic insects and sponges. Green turtles are listed as an endangered species, and one subpopulation is listed as critically endangered. They have been thought to nest about every 2 years, nesting between 3 to 5 times per season. They live to be about 80 years old.
The Kemp’s ridley is smallest of the four species and the most endangered sea turtle in the world. This small turtle, which grows to about 2 feet in length and to about 70 to 108 pounds, often leaves a very light or vague track in the sand, tracks that can be easy to miss if you are not paying close attention. In 1947 an amateur film showed some 40,000 female Kemp’s ridley turtles nesting in Mexico in a single day. Today, it is estimated that only about 1,000 breeding females exist worldwide. Their perilous situation is attributed primarily to the over-harvesting of their eggs during the last century. Found primarily in the Gulf of Mexico, but also as far north as Nova Scotia, they prefer shallow waters, where they dive to the bottom to feed on crabs, which are their favorite food, and other shellfish. They also eat jellyfish, and occasionally munch on seaweed and sargassum. They may live to be 50 years old. Females aren’t sexually mature until about ten to twelve years of age. They nest every 1 to 3 years and may lay 2 to 3 clutches of eggs each season. Highly migratory animals, they often travel hundreds of miles to reach their nesting beach, usually the same beach they hatched from. One thing that makes the Kemp’s ridley stand out is that they often nest during the daytime where most sea turtles nest at night.
On the other hand the leatherback is an incredibly large species of sea turtle, the largest in the world. Generally they grow to about 4 to 6 feet in length weighing 660 to 1,100 pounds but they can grow to be almost 10 feet long and reach a weight exceeding 2,000 pounds. The leatherback lacks a hard shell. Its carapace is large, elongated and flexible with 7 distinct ridges running the length of the animal. The shell is composed of a layer of thin, tough, rubbery skin, strengthened by thousands of tiny bone plates. They were once prevalent in every ocean except the Arctic and Antarctic but their populations are rapidly declining in many parts of the world. Still they are the most widely distributed of all sea turtles, found world wide with the largest north and south range of all the sea turtle species. It is believed their lifespan is about 45 years. Leatherbacks undertake the longest migrations between breeding and feeding areas of any sea turtle, averaging 3,700 miles each way. In some parts of the world eggs are often taken by humans from nests to be consumed for subsistence or as aphrodisiacs. Leatherbacks have delicate, scissor-like jaws and feed almost exclusively on jellyfish. Leatherbacks, like other sea turtles, also can die if they ingest floating plastic debris mistaken for their favorite food. Some individuals have been found to have almost 11 pounds (5 kilograms) of plastic in their stomachs. They nest at intervals of 2 to 3 years though recent research has indicated they can nest every year. They nest between 4 to 7 times per season, with an average of 10 days between nesting.
The most dangerous time of a turtle’s life is when it makes the journey from nest to sea. This usually happens under the cover of darkness. Multiple predators, including ghost crabs, birds, fox and raccoons voraciously prey on hatchlings during this short scamper. Their numbers are also reduced by boats, boat propeller accidents, fishnet-caused drowning, shrimping net drownings and many fall victim to longline fishing lines. And then there is the destruction of their nesting grounds by human encroachment.
It is vital that all lights along the beach are shielded so they are not visible from the beach. Walton County has a wildlife ordinance that forbids lights that shine on the beach.
The light reflected off the water from the sky at night guides them to the sea. When other lights are present those lights disorient baby sea turtles and often even adult sea turtles, causing turtles to loose track of where the water is and how to get back to the water. Baby sea turtles lost on the beach or in the dunes when the sun comes up will cook in the sun and die. In addition babies stuck during daylight hours are susceptible to more predators. 
A baby sea turtle searches for the water.
baby sea turtle find its way
It is also important that people don’t leave things on the beach at night. Walton County has a Leave No Trace ordinance that forbids leaving things behind overnight. Chairs, umbrellas, tents, floats, toys and other items can both get in the way of a sea turtle attempting to find a place to nest, causing it to retreat to the water and those same items can keep a newly hatched baby sea turtle from getting to the Gulf at all. Just slowing down a baby sea turtle as it makes a dash to the water may give a predator, like a ghost crab, a chance to capture and kill a baby sea turtle.
Nesting sea turtles in our area face pressures that nesting sea turtles in many other parts of the state do not face. Nesting happens here during the prime tourist season when there are lots of people on the beach, day and night. There are lots of lights on and there is lots of activity. All of these activities can cause problems for nesting sea turtles.
Holes dug on the beach during the day time should be filled in when you leave the beach at the end of the day for the same reason things shouldn’t be left on the beach. They can lead to the death of rare and endangered sea turtles. It is estimated that only between 1 in 1,000 to 1 in 4,000 survive from hatching to adulthood.
SWTW also works to education people about sea turtles. SWTW provides a variety of items to the public through the Walton County Tourist Development Council (TDC), we have turtle teaching kits in every elementary school in Walton County and one in Okaloosa County. We have made presentations at the E. O. Wilson Biophilia Center, we frequently have educational displays at events and fairs held throughout the county. We provide educational DVDs to a variety of communities and organizations. And we hand out sea turtle coloring books and other literature to interested individuals.
In addition SWTW is working to obtain and provide flashlights that emit red light. We know that some people love to use flashlights on the beach at night. Unfortunately those traditional flashlights can disorientate sea turtles, but since sea turtles do not see red light as readily as they do white light, flashlights that emit red light are safer to use on the beach. You can learn more about this here, <> or here, <>.
We also work to continually educate ourselves by attending annual international sea turtle symposiums, state sea turtle permits holders meetings and regional sea turtle training classes.
The thrill of working with these amazing creatures is something to experience. Sharon says today, all these years after she started, she still gets just as excited when she finds a nest as she did when she found those first nests. Every year we are looking for new turtle walkers. It’s a fun thing to do and a great time to be on the beach. Some people just walk one day a week, others two, three or more days. Check out our Facebook page and Like us to keep up with what’s going on with sea turtles in our wonderful part of the world. You can also lean more about what is happening on our webpage which is located here, <>.
And finally, why care about sea turtles?
Much can be learned about the condition of the planet’s environment by looking at sea turtles. They have existed for over 100 million years, and they travel throughout the world’s oceans. Suddenly, however, they are struggling to survive — largely because of things people are doing to the planet’s oceans and beaches. But what does this mean for the human species?
We can make a difference. All of us working together can improve things for sea turtles. We can insure their survival. South Walton Turtle Watch, like other sea turtles conservation groups, works hard to insure sea turtles do well and prosper. But the turtles need your help too. Please join us and do your part.
It is possible that a world in which sea turtles cannot survive may soon become a world in which humans struggle to survive. If, however, we learn from our mistakes and begin changing our behavior, there is still time to save sea turtles from extinction. In the process, we will be saving one of the earth’s most mysterious and time-honored creatures. We might just be saving ourselves too.
Last year we had a record high 97 nests. No one is sure why the numbers were up so high last year but we all excited to see what’s in store for us in 2013. May will be here soon and we’re ready.
Richard Fowlkes
BPA is the Hazard we Face Everyday

Never heard of BPA?  I just spent 3 days at a local hospital and even though they took great care of me, it was not an enjoyable experience.  If you are in the baby boomer age group, as I am, you have been bombarded with chemicals in everything you have touched, eaten or drank since you were very young.  Remember when planes would fly over cities and spray DDT and other chemicals to eliminate the mosquito threat?  Remember when everything was covered or sprayed with asbestos to make our lives safer?

It takes a “long Term” to determine the long term effects of chemicals on our lungs, skin, heart and reproductive systems.  BPA is in a lot of products you touch daily and it can play havoc with your hormonal system.  It can and does act like estrogen and can promote problems like breast and prostate cancers as well as type 2 diabetes, autism, asthma, infertility and obesity.  The bad news is that the new substitutes aren’t any better.

What is BPA?

According to Wikipedia, BPA is Bisphenol A, an organic compound used to make certain plastics and epoxy resins.  It has been commercially used since 1957 and there are over 8 billion pounds used yearly.”  BPA-based plastic is clear and tough, and is used to make a variety of common consumer goods (such as baby and water bottles, sports equipment, and CDs and DVDs) and for industrial purposes, like lining water pipes. Epoxy resins containing BPA are used as coatings on the inside of many food and beverage cans. It is also used in making thermal paper such as that used in sales receipts.  BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers. Since 2008, several governments have questioned its safety, which prompted some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned of possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children.[2] In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance.[3][4] The European Union, Canada, and recently the United States have banned BPA use in baby bottles.[5]

How to Identifiy BPA

Also from Wikipedia –

There are seven classes of plastics used in packaging applications. Currently there are no BPA labeling requirements for plastics.

“In general, plastics that are marked with Resin Identification Codes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 are very unlikely to contain BPA. Some, but not all, plastics that are marked with the Resin Identification Code 7 may be made with BPA.”[32]

Type 7 is the catch-all “other” class, and some type 7 plastics, such as polycarbonate (sometimes identified with the letters “PC” near the recycling symbol) and epoxy resins, are made from bisphenol A monomer.[6][33]

Type 3 (PVC) also may contain bisphenol A as an antioxidant in plasticizers.[6] This refers to “flexible PVC”, but not for rigids such as pipe, windows, and siding.



plastic label

I Find it -You Avoid It

I am not going to do a long drawn out dissertation on how we should avoid plastics, because you all know that is true and I want you to continue to read what I write.  What I’m trying to do is to elevate awareness to make us all more knowledgeable consumers.

I have always been a very healthy individual.  I was an athlete in high school and college.  I ate and trained on a very high level even avoiding carbonated beverages for most of the years of my training.  At age 24 I developed testicular cancer.  I was given less than 5% chance of living 5 years.  Twenty years later, I got testicular cancer again.  Then I was given an 80% chance of living for 5 more years.  Progress most definitely has improved the survival rate for testicular cancer.  Now I’m 60 years old and my body is treating me to a new problem.  Kidney stones.  Again, just as with the cancers, no one knows why I am getting stones.  

I  am a huge believer that environmental factors are at fault.  Believe me or not, but keep an open skeptical mind to the BS that the government and industry is force feeding you.  Be the captain of your own ship.  – Jughandle

Read more about BPA from RODALE at “The BPA Replacement You Cannot Trust”

More on Water

Have you just realized that you need to drink more water?  Are you one of those walking around with a bottle of water to keep hydrated?  Sorry to inform you, but you are behind the times, and are now part of the problem and not the solution you may have believed.

Our Body

Our bodies are 2/3 water.  Water is critical to the function of all our organs, yet we don’t seem to care where our water comes from.  According to Women’s Health magazine  the Natural Resources Defense Council recently tested 1000 bottles of water and discovered that 1/5 or around 22% of the brands tested contained contaminates above the legal, state of California, public health levels. Arsenic was in all of them.

The plastic that most of the water is stored in can break down under temperatures that can be found in water stored in warehouses or even your own garage and then leach chemicals into your water.  You don’t warm your food in the microwave in plastic or plastic wrap any more, so why drink from the stuff?  Picture chemicals dripping into your food and water.

Both, Dasani, bottled by Coke and Pepsi’s Aquafina are just filtered tap water with added minerals for flavor.  Considering their water is then bottled in plastic, you’d be much better off drinking straight tap water, and much, much better off  drinking filtered tap water.

plastic bottle beach 1

Plastic Bottles

The plastic our water bottles are made from is called polyethylene terepthalate or PET for short.  First of all, PET is produced from crude oil, and it takes a bunch of oil to make it.  Roughly 17 million barrels to produce just water bottles, last year alone.  Now you now why water is more expensive than gasoline.  Secondly, over 90 percent of those 30 Billion water bottles end up in the land fill.  YES, ninety percent!

This next statement isn’t radical, or even liberal, tree hugging maybe a little, but certainly logical.  


Canary in the Vegetable patch

You may be familiar with the use of a Canary to warn miners in coal mines when toxic levels of gas or the lack of O2 was imminent.  The bird would sing it’s happy song until a problem was present and then it would either die or at least stop singing which was a warning to the miners that there was a problem and to get the hell out.  The canary was much more sensitive to the change in the environment than the miners.   Today of course we have electronic sensors to warn of such problems, but nature has and always will be the best indicator of problems to which humans as the top of the food chain should pay close attention to.


Turtles, Frogs and Fish are the Canaries of our crops and waters

Amphibians, not unlike the canary, are many times more sensitive to chemicals and changes in the water chemistry and soil make up than are humans.  When large populations of amphibians start to die or move to other more suitable locations we NEED TO PAY ATTENTION!

Sad when we change our eating habits only to find our vegetables are tainted too!

It makes me mad to do all the research into finding a more healthy diet only to find that the so called “good” things we eat have problems too.  Farmers and scientists have been partnered up for years to find ways to grow fruits and vegetables larger, more quickly and with more nutrition than ever before.  It isn’t surprising then to imagine that some of these partnerships could get carried away with their experiments and approach the “Frankenstein” level of experimentation.

Scientists now are finding ways to kill pests and weeds but also make growing easier for the farmer resulting in producing more yield per acre than ever before.


Growing food isn’t easy

It may seem that growing food is as easy as putting it in the ground and adding water and maybe some fertilizer.  You then wait, and when nature is done growing the seed you gather your crop and sell it.  Not so much.  First of all, changes are being made even in the seeds and the way the ground, or soil is being handled.  There are genetically altered seeds that can be cast upon un-tilled soil.  Not only that, but the farmer doesn’t worry about weeds hogging the nutrients from the crop.  All the farmer has to do is have a crop duster spray the entire crop with Round-up.  Oh, you might be thinking, Round-Up kills everything.  It is a herbicide after all.  Not any more.  There are genetically altered crops that are “Round-Up Ready”, meaning that the crop itself is resistant to Round-Up while the weeds around it die.  Seems great doesn’t it?  Just wait.  There will be huge problems.  Already the base chemical in Round-Up, Glyphosate, can be detected in the rain in many states like Nebraska and Kansas where large amounts of crops are treated this way.  Soon there will be weeds that are resistant to glyphosate just like there are rats and roaches that are resistant to the poisons humans use on them.  I won’t bore you with why there are diseases resistant to antibiotics.

So that I don’t lose your attention, I will try to get to the point.  Fast forward to the teams of farmers and scientists who are bored with making faster growing, larger producing crops.  There are still some problems to address in the growing cycle.  Under certain conditions crops can be damaged by fungus that can stunt the growth or even kill a plant.  This happen mostly on crops that are low to the ground and leafy, such as lettuce, strawberries, kale, beets and such.

Fungicides Kill Amphibians Quickly! Are our Children Next?

A chemical fungicide commonly used on the crops I mentioned before, called pyraclostrobin, has been shown to kill amphibians in as fast as MINUTES!

Residues of this chemical are found on non-organic supermarket greens and berries.. In the US, chemicals are often approved for farming or industrial use without adequate research to make clear what their health effect might be. Current findings show even minuscule exposures to certain chemicals at important times in human development such as, in utero and in early childhood, in particular, could affect a person’s life and health decades down the line, or even that of possible future generations.

dog pooping in yard

family playing in yard

Doesn’t Effect You?

From Health Hazards of Pesticides by Leah Zerbe – Rodale

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, in addition to its use as a fungicide, pyraclostrobin is used for its ability to speed the growth of plants. It’s also a go-to fungus killer for lawns and golf courses, a potential problem because rainstorms create runoff from the grass that can carry the amphibian-killing chemical into surface waters.

Frogs around the globe are facing extreme extinction pressure, and this new study provides insight into one of the possible major contributors to these amphibians’ decline. Aside from pyraclostrobin, British researchers also looked at other common fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides. Another startling finding? The insect-killing chemical dimethoate, an insecticide sometimes found on spinach, killed about 40 percent of exposed frogs within a seven-day period.

Plus, if you or your lawn company are using a spray treatment on your grass, just think of the danger it potentially has for your children, who play in the yard, or your pets who walk across it, then lick their paws.

Short term Solution

There are many things that need to be done about this problem, but YOU are the most important key to change.  First, you need to be aware that there is a problem.  Hopefully I’ve helped with that in this article.  Then, right away, today, next time at the market, buy organically grown food of all kinds.


I could write for days on this subject, but I’ve been told to “leave them wanting more”, so if you have a burning question or would like to make a statement, please respond to this post. – jughandle

Consumer ALERT – Product Recall

This is a public service announcement from the Fat Farm because I know some of you believe in “supplements”.  To clarify, Jughandle’s Fat Farm does not believe that we need to supplement our diets when we eat a balanced meal.  That said be warned of the following recall:

The Protica Inc. company of Whitehall, PA has “voluntarily” recalled the following products:

Body Choice – Protein Shots

Nutritional Resources – Protein Wave

ProBalance – Protein to Go French Vanilla Latte

Protein to Go Milk Chocolate Shake

These products may contain Clostridium Botulinum which is a bacterium which can cause life-threatening illness or death. -DO NOT EAT THESE SUPPLIMENTS – RETURN THEM NOW!

Please people eat naturally, buy organic healthy foods and prepare them yourself. – jughandle

For additional information click here.

What does Pesticide Residue Due to Us?

According to an article in The Daily Fix, Pesticides do at least 7 crazy things to our bodies:

I am reproducing the following article with out permission because I think this is a VERY important topic we should be totally aware of – jughandle

7 Crazy Things Pesticides Are Doing to Your Body

Agrochemicals, home bug sprays, and lawn treatments could be causing chronic illness in your family.




Pesticides are designed to kill, although the mode of action they use to put the stranglehold on pests varies. Whether it’s nerve gas–like neurological disruption, the unbalancing of key hormones, or the stunting of a plant’s ability to absorb life-sustaining trace minerals from the soil, none of the chemical interventions seems all that appetizing, especially considering that chemical residues routinely wind up on and even inside of the food we eat everyday. Pesticides are also blamed for diminishing mineral levels in foods.

Agrochemical supporters tend to fall back on a “the dose makes the poison” theory, meaning tiny exposures aren’t really that harmful. Increasingly, though, independent scientists are debunking that belief, even proving that incredibly tiny doses could set a person up for health problems that might not crop up until decades down the line. Luckily, eating organic, less processed foods can cut back on your pesticide exposure.

Here are 7 health problems associated with pesticide-based agrochemicals.

Scientists have been noticing a link between pesticides and diabetes for years. The latest evidence comes out of the Endocrine Society’s 94th Annual Meeting, where Robert Sargis, MD, PhD, released the results of a study that suggest tolyfluanid, a fungicide used on farm crops, creates insulin resistance in fat cells. A 2011 study published in Diabetes Care found that overweight people with higher levels of organochlorine pesticides in their bodies also faced a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Prevent it: To save money on organic fare raised without pesticides, cook with organic dried beans. In the home, avoid using chemical air fresheners and artificially scented products—these things are also blamed for inducing type 2 diabetes.

Read more: 11 Surprising Diabetes Triggers

More than 260 studies link pesticides to various cancers, including lymphoma, leukemia, soft tissue sarcoma, and brain, breast, prostate, bone, bladder, thyroid, colon, liver, and lung cancers, among others.

Prevent it: The President’s Cancer Panel suggests eating organic and avoiding plastic to lower your risk of environmentally triggered cancers.

Autism & Other Developmental Diseases
How do you get autism? The world’s leading autism researchers believe the condition develops from a mix of genes and the pollutants encountered in the mother’s womb and early in life. Many insecticides effectively kill bugs by throwing off normal neurological functioning. That same thing appears to be happening in some children. A 2010 Harvard study found that children with organophosphate pesticide breakdown materials in their urine were far more likely to live with ADHD than kids without the trace pesticide residues.

Prevent it: Switching to an organic diet rapidly eliminates pesticide residues in the body.

Some agrochemical pesticides act as hormone disruptors, meaning they act like a fake version of a naturally occurring hormone in your body, they block important hormone communication pathways in the body, or they interfere with your body’s ability to regulate the healthy release of hormones. More than 50 pesticides are classified as hormone disruptors, and some of them promote metabolic syndrome and obesity as they accumulate in your cells, according to 2012 study appearing in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Parkinson’s Disease
More than 60 studies show a connection between pesticides and the neurological disease Parkinson’s, a condition characterized by uncontrolled trembling. The association is strongest for weed- and bug-killing chemical exposures over a long period of time, meaning it’s important to keep these toxic compounds out of your household routine.

Prevent it: Don’t turn to chemical interventions to kill bugs in your home or garden. Instead, use natural pest control measures.

Pesticides spell trouble in the baby-making department, thanks to their bad habit of not staying put. For instance, atrazine, a common chemical weed killer used heavily in the Midwest, on Southern sugar cane farms, and on golf courses, has been detected in tap water. Doctors and scientists point to published evidence tying atrazine to increased miscarriage and infertility rates. Other pesticides cause a plunge in male testosterone levels. A 2006 study found chlorpyrifos, a chemical used in nonorganic apple and sweet pepper farming, and carbaryl, a go-to pesticide in strawberry fields and peach orchards, caused abnormally low testosterone levels.

Prevent it: Avoid the worst summer fruit, the kinds most likely to be laced with toxic pesticides. Instead, choose organic grapes, strawberries, and imported plums.

Birth Defects
Babies conceived during the spring and summer months—a time of year when pesticide use is in full swing—face the highest risk of birth defects. During these months, higher pesticide levels turn up in surface waters, increasing a mother’s risk of exposure. Spina bifida, cleft lip, clubfoot, and Down syndrome rates are higher when moms become pregnant during high season for pesticides.

Prevent it: To protect yourself, use a water filter that is certified by NSF International to meet American National Standards Institute Standard 53 for VOC (volatile organic compound) reduction. This will significantly reduce levels of atrazine and other pesticides in your tap water.