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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

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)

 

Meat substitutes

Meat substitutes.  Check out this page on One Green Planet titled “10 Vegetables That Can Substitute for Meat“.

Not your hippie friend’s meat substitute

Not too long ago vegan friendly substitutes for meat were like eating cardboard.  Not to mention they were highly processed and contained a lot of chemicals.  Not so much today.  There are quite a few products that are very good and can even stand on their own without being called a “substitute”.

Cutting down on meat?

If you aren’t, you really should be.  I have been on a vegan experiment for the last 6 months or so with interesting results.  That is a story for another day, but suffice it to say if you are pushing 65 as I am or even 45 for that matter, it’s time to consider your long term diet, in order to have a “long term” at all.  I’m not saying to stop meat completely, in fact I’ve started back on a limited protein serving a couple of times per week.  I’ll explain that another time.

The products and the companies producing meat substitutes that I’m going to list below are a great way to expand your eating options and improve your health at the same.  Back off on the red, white and fowl meats.  Don’t stop by any means, but just imagine how much better they’ll taste when you aren’t eating them as often.

5 Options

Veggie Patch Products –  This is a large line of veggie and meatless products that might interest even the pickiest carnivore.  No artificial flavors, preservative and no trans fat.  These products include Meatless meatballs, chick’n Nuggets and Ultimate Meatless Burgers and many more. Click on the link to find who carries them in your area.

Trader Joe’s Meatless Corn Dogs and Morningstar Farms Veggie Corn Dogs – If you or your kids like corn dogs, try one of these substitutes and see if any one even can tell the difference. Trader Joe provide excellent products throughout their store and Morningstar is a leader in the vegan market.

Quorn –  While I’m not personally familiar with this brand, it is highly recommended.  Click on the link and check out the products for yourself.  They have meat and meatless products.

Quorn

Quorn

Turtle Island Foods –  I recently had my first Tempeh…. wait for it… wait for it… and I loved it.  Great texture, good flavor and cooks well with out falling apart.  Turtle Island carried Tofurky, tofurky pizza, tempeh and tempeh bacon.  I can’t yet vouch for all of these products, but the tempeh is great.

Gardein Seven – the article says about Gardein

“Gardein’s ad campaign advises consumers to “cheat on meat,” and their products make it easy to do just that. To boot, these breaded tenders contain heart healthy grains like quinoa, millet, amaranth and Kamut and have 8 grams of protein per serving”

Conclusions

I have concluded for myself that I am cutting down on meat and I will eat more of the products I’ve list above.  I recommend you come to the same conclusion, as I need to keep all the readers I have.  – jughandle

 

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.  

STOP USING AND BUYING PLASTIC – NOW!!!  IF YOU CAN’T FIND AN ALTERNATIVE AT LEAST RECYCLE – PLEASE -jughandle

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