Effecting Change in our Dangerous Food Supply

headshot LB

I had an absolutely serendipitous experience a couple of weeks ago. I sat next to a man on a short Southwest Airlines flight who turned out to be a PR, lobbyist guy for biotechnology, factory farming and Monsanto. I apologize if you were sitting within six rows of us.

I was schlepping my carry-on bag down the aisle when a man in the aisle seat invited me to have the window seat. He said he was trying to save the middle seat for his co-worker. He joked that I was smelly and ugly and no one would want to sit next to me (at least I hope he was joking).

He jumped up and hoisted my very heavy, bursting at the seams bag into the overhead compartment.

It wasn’t a minute before his young colleague joined us. They chatted very excitedly about something. I snooped and saw they were emailing a press release to the New York Times.

I normally don’t make small talk with seat mates until the end of a flight in case they are overly talkative. The man started chatting with me and I gave the obligatory short, sweet answers and put my book in my face after each answer. But he kept on. I was a little intrigued since I saw them emailing the New York Times. He asked what I did for a living, I told him about my real job in advertising. I asked what he did. Continue reading “Effecting Change in our Dangerous Food Supply”

Ten Easy Tips for Better Health

People always ask me for ways they can be healthier. I think I scare them a little when I start rattling things off. There really are simple ways to avoid the things that lead to disease. Here is a quick list from easiest to more challenging.

my garden

  1. Buy organic produce, meat and packaged foods – this is the easiest and surest way to avoid the onslaught of toxins, pesticides and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that are in our food system.
  2. Give up “diet” everything… soda, Splenda, aspartame, low-fat, fat-free, etc. I promise you, if it has to have a claim on the package, you DON’T want to put it in your body. If eating “diet” foods worked so well, we’d be an emaciated nation, not the sickest and fattest. You are being lied to. It keeps you coming back for more diet products and it makes you gain weight.
  3. Get rid of your old Tupperware and plastic containers – switch them out for glass or at the very least, BPA free plastic. Also stop buying canned goods. They contain BPA in the lining (with the exception of Eden brand foods and a few others). You’ll notice more items are coming in cardboard (aseptic) packaging. The evidence is mounting that plastics and BPA are linked to hormone and thyroid disruption. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25121464
  4. Stop using your microwave – I know, I know, but really, you will get used to heating things up on your stove top and in your oven. I swear, in the last year, I have not used my microwave for more than heating up my coffee for 15 seconds on the very rare occasion. My mom had a dear friend who died from cancer when she was about 55 years old. I don’t remember that sweet woman ever cooking anything other than a microwave dinner. There is scientific evidence that microwaves change the DNA in meat! http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24122804
  5. Avoid GMOs. I’ve written about this extensively so I will just link to the main article. https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2013/04/06/whats-the-problem-with-gmos/sp squash
  6. Cook at home – you will be healthier and live longer! http://nutritionfacts.org/video/cooking-to-live-longer/ Again, I know it can be scary, especially if you really don’t know how to cook. You can easily learn to make a few simple things from scratch.kale smoothie
  7. Make a green juice or smoothie for breakfast – Here is my recipe for a Berry Kale Smoothie. It keeps you full and satisfied. Get your nutrients for the day in your first “meal.” https://thenontoxiclife.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/berry-kale-smoothie/
  8. Limit processed foods – If it comes in a bag or a box, make sure it’s organic and has less than five ingredients. Remember, for the most part, this is not food, it’s a food like substance. It is special, like your weird uncle Harold, and should be avoided if possible.
  9. Cut back on dairy, sugar, white and whole wheat flours – dairy is inflaming (and delicious, I know, but it’s not healthy). Try to cut waaaaay back on sugar. If you have to sweeten your coffee, tea, or bake with something use 100% Organic Pure Cane Sugar; not sugar in the raw, not turbinado sugar, make sure it is 100% organic. Organic agave nectar is good too, coconut sugar is good, honey is good, but not the junk that comes in a bear shaped plastic container. It has to be pure, raw or local honey. I have found many recipes can be sweetened with organic dates.
  10. Eat more vegetarian and vegan meals – there are so many delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes on WordPress and online in general. Devote several meals a week to vegetarian meals. Here is one of my favorite vegan sites for recipes http://minimalistbaker.com/ Vegans have the lowest incidence of disease overall as well as the healthiest BMI. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vegans/

 

 

 

 

Factory Farming or Everything is Now a “Veal”

Remember in years past when everyone was in such an uproar about veal? When the public found out that calves were confined in tiny crates where they could not move in order to make their meat tender, they quickly denounced veal. There was some response by industry that led us to believe that this was no longer the practice.

Fast forward a couple of decades and now almost every animal bred for consumption is treated in much the same fashion as that poor old calf that we worried about.

And before you pat yourself on the back for buying “free-range” chicken and “Cage-free” eggs, just know you are being duped by the genius marketers and lobbyists for the food industry who want you to feel good about your poultry purchases. Here is the sad truth.

Cage-free means that the egg-laying, caged up birds have access to light and air. It does not specify an amount of time or quality. It can mean the doors to the factory were open while the hens remained in their cages. It is not a regulated term.

photo from veganoutreach.org
photo from veganoutreach.org

These poor egg-laying hens are crammed into such tight cages that they can’t move and become so aggressive with each other that their beaks have to be chopped off. Debeaking is the industry standard. It is the same as having a body part amputated without anesthetic. Debeaking is also done to broiler chickens. The laying and broiler birds can be so riddled with pain from this common procedure that they can’t eat for weeks and die. Continue reading “Factory Farming or Everything is Now a “Veal””

The Fight to Know What is in Our Food

 

 

dylieThis is a pivotal moment in the fight to know what is in our food. The integrity of organic food and labeling issues are very much in flux right now.

As it stands about 90% of all corn, soy, cotton, canola, sugar beets grown in the U.S. contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or are considered genetically engineered (GE). About 50% of zucchini, yellow squash and Hawaiian papaya are GE.

What does that mean? According to the Institute of Responsible Technology, “A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a laboratory process where genes from the DNA of one species are extracted and artificially forced into the genes of an unrelated plant or animal. The foreign genes may come from bacteria, viruses, insects, animals or even humans. Because this involves the transfer of genes, GMOs are also known as “transgenic” organisms.”

Why does this matter to you? 85- 90% of all processed foods contain one or more GMO ingredient. GMOs were introduced to the market in the mid 90’s without any long-term testing. That’s right. You’ve been the guinea pig for about twenty years.

Perhaps over the last twenty years you’ve noticed a rise in some disease states such as cancer (specifically kidney, breast, colon and anal), diabetes, allergies, gastro-intestinal disorders, infertility, autism, auto-immune disease, ADHD etc. I’m not saying the two are linked, but I would say that there needs to be long-term studies on the effects of GMOs. Continue reading “The Fight to Know What is in Our Food”

Prevent Cancer by Eating These Vegetables

I love the website NutritionFacts.org. It actually analyses data and gives you real facts about food. This particular video gets to the heart of what we want to know; which vegetables really fight cancer?