Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Citrus Red 2

I know the holidays are here and a lot of people will be using food coloring in candies and treats, but I just wanted to let everyone one knows to keep it light and read the label.

Citrus Red 2 is carcinogenic and used to enhance the color of the skin in some Florida oranges and other fruits. Since most people don’t eat the skin of oranges, the FDA isn’t concerned, but for those of you who candy orange peels or use orange zest, be cautious of where your oranges come from. We thought we were safe from additives with fresh fruit, but apparently, we were wrong.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Do you want some Sweet and Low with that?

Is Sweet and Low safe to consume?  We see it in restaurants and in stores, so why in 1977 was the FDA trying to ban saccharin?  Read the information below.

Saccharin is a product that demonstrates the sometimes backwards momentum gained in the food additive industry. Saccharin is used in Sweet and Low and in 1977, the FDA recommended that it be banned from use; the government responded by requiring a warning label to put onto products containing saccharin. The diet industry in 1997 petitioned the World Health Organization, and the U.S. and Canadian governments to remove saccharin from their list of cancer causing chemicals. The governments buckled by removing the requirement that products containing saccharin have a warning label. This will likely increase usage. This product has been shown to cause bladder and other cancer in rats and mice.

The safety concerns of consuming products with saccharin remain even with the removal of the warning. According to a report written in 1997 by the Center for the Science in Public Interest (CSPI) in response to the National Toxicology Program (NTP) removing saccharin from the list of potential carcinogens, "It would be highly imprudent for the NTP to delist saccharin. Doing so would give the public a false sense of security, remove any incentive for further testing, and result in greater exposure to this probable carcinogen in tens of millions of people, including children (indeed, fetuses). If saccharin is even a weak carcinogen, this unnecessary additive would pose an intolerable risk to the public. Thus, we urge the NTP on the basis of currently available data to conclude that saccharin is 'reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen' because there is 'sufficient' evidence of carcinogenicity in animals (multiple sites in rats and mice) and 'limited' or 'sufficient' evidence of carcinogenicity in humans (bladder cancer) and not to delist saccharin, at least until a great deal of further research is conducted."
Another possible danger of saccharin is the possibility of allergic reactions. The reaction would be in response to it belonging to a class of compounds known as sulfonamides, which can cause allergic reactions in individuals who cannot tolerate sulfa drugs. Reactions can include headaches, breathing difficulties, skin eruptions, and diarrhea. It's also believed that the saccharin found in some infant formulas and can cause irritability and muscle dysfunction. For these reasons, many people still believe that the use of saccharin should be limited in infants, children, and pregnant women. Without research to support these claims, the FDA has not imposed any limitations.

Monday, November 28, 2011

You just can't eat one!

I remember when Lay’s put this in their chips.  I heard of people eating a whole bag, since the fat would not stay in their body.  They paid for it a few hours later in the bathroom.  They were good, but that was too scary to keep buying them.  I don't want to crap my pants after eating this stuff. 

Olestra is a fat substitute used in some potato chips. It is not taken up by the body during digestion and is passed through the small and large intestine intact. For this reason, it is considered to have zero calories, but it causes a whole host of gastrointestinal related symptoms such as abdominal cramps, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea and loose stools. What we won’t do to have our cake or chips and eat them.
 I don't want to crap my pants after eating this stuff.  I'm glad that a lot of the products were taken off the market, but not all of them were.

Let's end the year right!

I want everyone to start working on a healthier life before Christmas.  It is that time of year that people start thinking about getting fit. Why wait till next year?  Do it now by leaving chemicals like the ones I have been posting on out of your body.  You’ll thank me for it.  I know I feel better.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Acesulfame-K or Ace-K

More additives in diet drinks that can cause problems. Acesulfame-K or Ace-K is an artificial sweetener used in Coke Zero. There have been inadequate studies to conclusively prove this substance is totally safe for human consumption. This additive was approved even though it failed to meet FDA standards.
The problems surrounding acesulfame K are based on the improper testing and lack of long-term studies. Acesulfame K contains the carcinogen methylene chloride. Long-term exposure to methylene chloride can cause headaches, depression, nausea, mental confusion, liver effects, kidney effects, visual disturbances, and cancer in humans. There has been a great deal of opposition to the use of acesulfame K without further testing, but at this time, the FDA has not required that these tests be done.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Aspartame, do you still consume it?

Aspartame, also known as E-951 is an artificial sweetener used in many diet products. Although it is close to 200 times sweeter than sugar, it adds virtually no calories, making it seemingly ideal for dieters. This chemical has been linked to brain tumors and memory loss. Aspartame is made up of 3 ingredients: Aspartic acid (40%), phenylalanine (50%) and methanol (10%). Ingestion of Aspartame increases aspartic acid levels in the blood; higher levels of aspartic acid can lead to the destruction of neurons – neurons don’t grow back; once they are gone, that’s it. Phenylalanine is an amino acid regularly found in the body, but some people suffer from a disorder called PKU; an inability to metabolize phenylalanine. If this disease is not diagnosed early, lethal levels can build up in the brain. For those of you with children, you may remember your newborn having their skin pricked to test their blood for this disease. High levels of phenylalanine have been found in the brains of people who consume aspartame. Methanol is slowly broken down in the small intestine, but if it reaches 30 degrees celsius or higher, it reacts with the chymotripsin to form formaldehyde. In Operation Desert Storm, troops were given ample quantities of diet sodas that would heat up nicely in the desert, and many reported symptoms that mimic formaldehyde poisoning. In case you are not convinced, here is some more evidence that you might want to avoid this chemical: some American aviation publications have warned pilots off consuming products containing Aspartame do to complaints of seizure like symptoms, blurred vision and blackouts. And finally, 75% of complaints to the FDA regarding health complications from food additives have involved Aspartame. There are many governmental studies that refute the adverse affects of Aspartame.
Foods that contain aspartame are listed below.  Check your ingredients.
 Breath Mints
 Carbonated Soft Drinks
Chewing Gum
Flavored Syrups for Coffee
Flavored Water Products
Frozen Ice
Frozen Ice Cream Novelties
Fruit Spreads
Gelatin, Sugar Free
Hard Candies
Ice cream Toppings
Ice Creams, No Sugar Added or Sugar Free
Iced Tea, Powder
Iced Tea, Ready to Drink
Instant Cocoa Mix
Jams & Jellies
Juice Blends
 Juice Drinks
Maple Syrups
Meal Replacements
No Sugar Added Pies
Non-Carbonated Diet Soft drinks
Nutritional Bars
Powdered Soft Drinks
Protein Nutritional Drinks
Soft Candy Chews
Sugar Free Chocolate Syrup
Sugar Free Cookies
Sugar Free Ketchup
Table Top Sweeteners
Vegetable Drinks
Yogurt, Drinkable
Yogurt, Fat Free
Yogurt, Sugar Free

Monday, November 21, 2011

Exercise for the holidays!

I just wanted to remind everyone that the holidays are here!  You don’t have to go light on the food if you exercise everyday during this time.  No matter how much or how little you move you need to move more than you normally do.
Go to the store and buy a workout DVD or download one.  It does not matter if you can finish it or not!  Just do some of it, and the parts that you cannot do nor have trouble with just walk in place.  Something is better than nothing. 
Now let’s get started.  I’m working on it to, so you are not alone.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Catalog Season is here!

Its catalog season and they are going to start flooding your mailbox, if they haven’t already.  I use to get tons in the mail every week, but not as many, since online shopping as hit so big.  What do you do with all of the ones that you don’t want or when you are finished with the ones you want?  I would just throw them in the garbage and not even think about, but not anymore.  I recycle them along with the newspapers and magazines.
I know that I talk about recycling a lot on here, but I just want to let everyone know how important it to the environment and to our everyday living.  We need the trees to help us breath and shelter us from storms.  I have never been the best at recycling in the past, but I am working on changing that every day.  I’m just trying to spread the word and do my part. Thanks.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Water Bottle House?

I found this article on BBC website, and I just could not believe it.  It's a easy and cheap way to build a house.  I think more people in this country should be doing the same. Let me know what you think.

Nigeria's plastic bottle house

People building a wall made from plastic bottle packed with sand the Nigieran village of Yelwa
Nigeria's first house built from discarded plastic bottles is proving a tourist attraction in the village of Yelwa.
Hundreds of people - including government officials and traditional leaders - have been coming to see how the walls are built in the round architectural shape popular in northern Nigeria.
The bottles, packed with sand, are placed on their side, one on top of the other and bound together with mud.
"I wanted to see this building for myself as I was surprised to hear it was built from plastic bottles," said Nuhu Dangote, a trader who travelled from the state capital, Kaduna, to see the house.
"They were saying it in the market that it looks like magic, that you will be amazed when you see it, that is why I have come here to feed my eyes.
"The whole world should come and look at it."
The real beauty of the house is its outside wall as the round bottoms of the exposed bottles produce a lovely design.
But for those behind the project, its environmental benefits are what are most important.
Twenty-five houses, which will be available to rent, are being built on this estate on land donated by a Greek businessman and environmentalist.
A child in Yelwa packing bottles with sand Children making money filling bottles may one day be able to attend a school to be built on the estate
Each house - with one bedroom, living room, bathroom, toilet and kitchen - uses an estimated 7,800 plastic bottles.
This "bottle brick" technology started nine years ago in India, South and Central America, providing a cost-effective, environmentally-friendly alternative to conventional building bricks.
Yahaya Ahmed of Nigeria's Development Association for Renewable Energies, estimates that a bottle house will cost one third of what a similar house made of concrete and bricks would cost.
It is also more durable.
"Compacted sand inside a bottle is nearly 20 times stronger than bricks," he says. "We are even intending to build a three-storey building."
The bottle houses are also ideally suited to the hot Nigerian climate because the sand insulates them from the sun's heat, helping to keep room temperatures low.
And because of the compact sand, they are bullet-proof - which may also prove another attraction in more insecure parts of the north.
A firm concrete foundation is laid to ensure that the structure is firm and stable - and the sand is sieved to make sure it is compact.
"You need to sieve it to remove the stones otherwise it will not be nice and it would not be able to pass through the mouth of the bottle," explains Dolly Ugorchi, who has been trained in bottle house building.
Inside walls of the sand bottle house Bottles for the houses are mainly sourced from hotels and restaurants
Some have expressed concern about the amount of sand needed for the new houses.
"My fear is that this building method will increase the demand for sand and even lead to an increase in the price of sand," says Mumuni Oladele, a mason in the southern city of Lagos
"At the moment people looking for sand to build houses dig everywhere to get the sand. You can imagine what will happen when the demand for sand goes up to build bottle houses."
According to market research company Zenith International, most water in Nigeria is sold in small plastic bags, but it says the bottled water market is growing - accounting for about 20-25% of official sales, the equivalent of up to 500m litres a year.
This means discarded plastic bottles are actually sought after in Nigeria where they are often used for storage or by street vendors to sell produce like peanuts.
The bottles for these houses are currently being sourced from hotels, restaurants, homes and foreign embassies.
The project is also hoping to help to remove children who do not go to school from their life on the streets.
"I don't want to be a beggar, I want to work and get paid - that is why I am doing this job," says 15-year-old Shehu Usman, who is working on the building site.
"When I grow old I want to build myself a house with bottles," he says.
After the 25 houses have been completed, the next construction project for the Development Association for Renewable Energies will be a school on the estate, which street children like Shehu will be able to attend.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

More water bottles....Really?

I know I did a post on bottle water waste, and here is another one.  I just like the waste.  It is just too popular.
… From start to finish, bottled water consumes between 1100 and 2000 times more energy on average than does tap water.
Bottled water consumption has skyrocketed over the past several years. In 2007, some 200 billion liters of bottled water were sold worldwide, and Americans took the biggest gulp: 33 billion liters a year, an average of 110 liters per person. That amount has grown 70% since 2001, and bottled water has now surpassed milk and beer in sales. Many environmental groups have been concerned with this surge because they suspected that making and delivering a bottle of water used much more energy than did getting water from the tap. But until now, no one really knew bottled water’s energy price tag.
Environmental scientist Peter Gleick of the Pacific Institute, a nonprofit research organization in Oakland, California, and his colleague Heather Cooley have added up the energy used in each stage of bottled-water production and consumption. Their tally includes how much energy goes into making a plastic bottle; processing the water; labeling, filling, and sealing a bottle; transporting it for sale; and cooling the water prior to consumption.
The two most energy-intensive categories, the researchers reveal in the current issue of Environmental Research Letters, are manufacturing the bottle and transportation. The team estimates that the global demand for bottle production alone uses 50 million barrels of oil a year–that’s 2 1/2 days of U.S. oil consumption. Determining the energy required to transport a bottle isn’t as straightforward. Some bottles of water travel short distances, but others are imported from far-off countries, which increase their energy footprint. Gleick and Cooley found that drinking an imported bottle of water is about two-and-a-half to four times more energy intensive than getting it locally, often outweighing the energy required to make the bottle.
All told, Gleick estimates that U.S. bottled-water consumption in 2007 required an energy input equivalent to 32 million to 54 million barrels of oil. Global energy demand for bottled water is three times that amount. To put that energy use into perspective, Gleick says to imagine that each bottle is up to one-quarter full of oil.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Water Bottles

I will not buy small water bottles because of the waste it produces.  I will buy water in gallon containers to help stop the amount of oil that is used in making plastic.  Here are some stats about water bottle recycling.
Plastic Recycling Facts
  • According to the Beverage Marketing Corp, the average American consumed 1.6 gallons of bottled water in 1976. In 2006, that number jumped to 28.3 gallons.
  • More than 2.4 billion pounds of plastic bottles were recycled in 2008. Although the amount of plastic bottles recycled in the U.S. has grown every year since 1990, the actual recycling rate remains steady at around 27 percent.
  • In 2007, more than 325 million pounds of wide-mouth plastic containers were recovered for recycling. (This included deli containers, yogurt cups, etc.)
  • In recent years, the number of U.S. plastics recycling business has nearly tripled. More than 1,600 businesses are involved in recycling post-consumer plastics.
  • Plastics in the U.S. are made primarily (70 percent) from domestic natural gas.
  • Plastic bags and product wraps (known collectively as “plastic film”) are commonly recycled at the many collection programs offered through major grocery stores.
  • Recycling 1 ton of plastic saves 7.4 cubic yards of landfill space.
  • During Keep America Beautiful’s 2008 Great American Cleanup, volunteers recovered and recycled 189,000,000 PET (plastic) bottles that littered highways, waterways and parks.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

An Apple a Day!

If you eat an apple before lunch, you could save yourself almost 200 calories from your meal.
-a study from Penn State
One apple a day can make a difference in your health.  It can also break up the bacteria firm that coats the inside of your mouth.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Cold and flu seaon is here! Crap.

Since we are really starting to get into cold and flu season, here are a few common foods that can help you feel better.  I really like natural remedies.
For a natural decongestant use more garlic, it will also help boost your immune system.  Not a hard thing to do, right?
Now hot tea is one of the best things one can drink for a sore throat when you add honey or lemon in, but I like to use both sometimes.  Tea is full of antioxidants, and when you breathe in the stream, it can help relieve congestion.
When you have nausea or an upset stomach, you need to add some fresh ginger to you tea or to some stir-fry.  Ginger can also help inflammation.
The book states “Chicken soup for the Soul”, but it is also good for a cold of the flu.  Chicken soup or even chicken both helps the body stay hydrated and may protect the body from bacteria and other viruses.  I do not buy can soups as you have read on here before.  I make my own chicken soup that is not fatty or salty and is full of veggies.  It also makes me feel great on the inside.  I will be posting the recipe on my cooking blog soon.  I just have to right it all down.
Try some of these natural remedies before you grab a bottle of pills.  Take care of yourself this season, and don’t forget to keep your hands washed!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Defining Organic

For those of you whom do know yet know what the term of organic means and what is consists of I have found what it means.  I have it below.

The National Organic Standards Board National Organic Program Definition of "Organic"

The following definition of "organic production" was adopted into the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) Regulation at 7 CFR 205:

Organic production. A production system that is managed in accordance with the Act and regulations in this part to respond to site-specific conditions by integrating cultural, biological, and mechanical practices that foster cycling of resources, promote ecological balance, and conserve biodiversity.

‘Organic’ is a labeling term that refers to agricultural products produced in accordance with Organic Foods Production Act and the NOP Regulations. The principal guidelines for organic production are to use materials and practices that enhance the ecological balance of natural systems and that integrate the parts of the farming system into an ecological whole. Organic agriculture practices cannot ensure that products are completely free of residues; however, methods are used to minimize pollution from air, soil and water.

Organic food handlers, processors, and retailers adhere to standards that maintain the integrity of organic agricultural products. The primary goal of organic agriculture is to optimize the health and productivity of interdependent communities of soil life, plants, animals and people."

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Water bottles recycled

I took my recycling off today. How are you doing with your recycling?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Cleaning up Thanksgiving.

When you’re getting your family and friends together for Thanksgiving this year remember to reduce the waste that is made.  You should try and stay away from using any disposable serving and dinning ware as much as possible.  If you are having too many people coming over for dinner then you can look for green disposable dinner ware.  It does exist, just may not be able to find it everywhere.  You can also recycle the paper plates and cups, don’t forget.
When using every day dinner ware, you will be thinking about how long it is going to take to clean everything up.  Get several of your guests involved in the cleaning up process that way you can still visit and talk, and also get your kitchen clean up.  Save you some time later in the day.

Raising Better Turkeys

Here is a website that I found about raising free-range poultry.  It tells you how to do it all.  Check it out if you know anyone with a farm or want to promote better living for farm animals.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Organic Trade Association survey - the results

Here is an article that was posted on the website of the Organic Trade Association on Nov.2 2011. 
Seventy–eight percent of U.S. families say they purchase organic foods

Consumers vote with their dollars despite economic difficulty
Brattleboro, VT (Nov. 2, 2011)—Seventy eight percent – more U.S. families than ever before – say they are choosing organic foods, according to a study published today by the Organic Trade Association (OTA). “In a time when the severity of the economy means making tough choices, it is extremely encouraging to see consumers vote with their values by including quality organic products in their shopping carts,” said Christine Bushway, OTA’s Executive Director and CEO. The finding is one of many contained in OTA’s newly released 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study. “It’s clear that with more than three-quarters of U.S. families choosing organic, this has moved way beyond a niche market,” Bushway added.
According to the study, four in ten families indicate they are buying more organic products than they were a year ago. The findings are in line with those in OTA’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey, which revealed that the U.S. organic industry grew at a rate of nearly eight percent in 2010. Fueled by consumer choice and demand, the organic sector is one of the few components of the U.S. economy that continues to add jobs.
Nearly half – 48 percent – of parents surveyed revealed that their strongest motivator for buying organic is their belief that organic products “are healthier for me and my children.” Other motivators for purchasing organic included concern over the effects of pesticides, hormones and antibiotics on children, and the desire to avoid highly processed or artificial ingredients.
Nearly a decade after the federal rules for organic were implemented, 72 percent of parents are now familiar with the USDA Organic seal, up significantly from 65 percent in 2009. However, the study also found that three in ten U.S. families are new entrants to the organic marketplace. This figure is consistent with prior years’ findings, and indicates a need for continued outreach and education on the verified benefits offered by organic agriculture and products.
For the study, OTA, in partnership with KIWI Magazine, polled nearly 1,300 U.S. families about their attitudes and behaviors relating to organic foods. The total sample reflects the target population of U.S. households at a confidence interval of +/-3% at the 95% confidence level. This is the third year the study has been conducted.
 The study contains in-depth information about organic consumers’ demographics, purchase motivation, understanding of organic, willingness to substitute when organic is not available, and attitudes about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). Also contained in the study is strategic information about organic influencers’ communication patterns, online behaviors and much more.
The 2011 U.S. Families’ Organic Attitudes and Beliefs Study is available for purchase by visiting OTA’s bookstore.
The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is the membership-based business association for organic agriculture and products in North America. OTA is the leading voice for the organic trade in the United States, representing over 6,500 organic businesses across 49 states. Its members include growers, shippers, processors, certifiers, farmers' associations, distributors, importers, exporters, consultants, retailers and others. OTA’s Board of Directors is democratically elected by its members. OTA's mission is to promote and protect the growth of organic trade to benefit the environment, farmers, the public and the economy.