A friend of mine from high school is riding his bike across the country with three of his friends to raise money for earthquake ravaged Haiti. Visit them at Ack 4 All. They’re just getting started, so wish them luck on their adventure!

We are ACK4ALL – a fundraising group created by 4 guys who have spent the better part of the last decade working and living seasonally on Nantucket Island Massachusetts. Working the summers on the Island has provided us with many memorable experiences and the opportunity to meet many great people, including each other. Each year, as the summer days wear off, we are forced to decide what we will do for the winter. In the past we have had many amazing travel, work and volunteer experiences in the “off season”.

However, this winter we decided that we wanted to do something together and for a greater cause. It started out as a challenge over a couple beers in one of our living rooms. Pretty soon all we could talk about was riding our bikes from Folly Beach SC, via Charleston, all the way to San Diego CA, traversing the southern portion of the United States of America. Starting on the Atlantic sand and ending on the Pacific sand. Previously we were not cyclists, but we have always enjoyed riding bikes. Most importantly we are committed to the challenge and the cause we have chosen.

We will be pedaling our bikes to benefit the relief effort in Haiti through the J/P Haitian Relief Organization. The devastation caused by the January 12, 2010 earthquake in Haiti has left the country in serious need. The J/P HRO is on the ground and forefront providing tremendous efforts to the people of Haiti. On the left is a link to our fundraising page where you can find more information about our fundraising efforts. Also, you can use our fundraising page to make a donation to relief efforts in Haiti.

In any case, please keep up to date with this web page because we would like you to be a part of our amazing journey!

Adam, Tim, Tucker & Kevin

For the last few years whenever I heard someone talk about chicken nuggets from McDonalds I would say something like “Did you know they use poison in their packaging?” I remember seeing it in a movie about food awhile back and it really stuck with me. Well, now it looks like there is proof that poison enters the nuggets. Not only that, but they use this poison in packaging for all sorts of fast foods. The chemicals are perfluorinated carboxylic acids or PFCA’s. This stuff is known to cause all sorts of immune problems, infertility and even cancer. I’ve pasted the text of the article here for you to read as well as a link to the original article. This is scary stuff. What makes it even more scary is a bill recently passed called the Food Safety Modernization Act (S 510). I am willing to bet there is NOTHING in there that prevents giant food companies from continuing to use this stuff. There is so much more deeper topics linked to this. For example: if your a low-income urban dweller with little money, no access to a good grocery, and little time, your diet might consist of mostly fast food wrapped in poison that will eventually render you infertile! I try not to be a conspiracy theorist, but it is tough in this country. Enjoy your lunch.

What Is in Fast Food? A Newly Discovered Reason to Avoid Fast Food by Doctor Joseph Mercola

A new study shows that toxicperfluoroalkyls, which are used in surface protection treatments and coatings to keep grease from leaking through fast food wrappers, are being ingested by people through their food and showing up as contaminants in blood.

Perfluoroalkyls are a hazardous class of stable, synthetic chemicals that repel oil, grease and water.

As reported by University of Toronto researchers, the chemicals studied in human blood, urine and feces were polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters (PAPs), which are the breakdown products of the perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs) used in coating the food wrappers. Scientists said the exposure to humans through this means “should be considered as a significant indirect source of PFCA.”

That means you now have a new reason to avoid fast foods.

You may not realize it, but you and your family are continually exposed to perfluoroalkyls, which include perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), and perfluorooctanesulfonate (PFOS). And these chemicals can be detected in nearly everyone in the U.S.!

Besides food packaging and fast food wrappers, everyday sources of this exposure include: drinking water, dust, air, carpet and fabric protectors, flame retardants, non-stick pots and pans, stain-proof clothing, and even cord blood and breast milk.

But it’s not just PFOA and PFOS that show up. The CDC’s Fourth National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals 2009 (considered the most comprehensive assessment of the exposure of the U.S. population to chemicals in our environment), detected a total of 12 different types of perfluorinated compounds (PFCs) in Americans tested.

I’ve written many articles about non-stick cookware, highlighting the fact that they are one of the most common sources of PFCs. But this study shows fast food wrappers are yet another pervasive source!

Three years ago, environmental chemists Scott Mabury and Jessica D’eon established that perfluorinated chemicals, specifically polyfluoroalkyl phosphate esters, known as PAPs, can and do transfer from the wrappers into food. PAPS are byproducts of PFCAs and PFOA.

According to Madbury, regulators who approved these chemicals for use with food and other products made three assumptions, which have now been proven wrong:

1. The chemicals won’t migrate from paper into food.
2. The chemicals won’t become available to your body.
3. Your body won’t process these chemicals.

Contrary to the regulators’ findings, we now know PFCs have many health dangers, including being part of a group of chemicals referred to as”gender-bending,” because they can disrupt your endocrine system and sex hormones.

In animal studies, PFOA has also been associated with other health dangers such as:

  • “Significant increases in treatment related deaths” in rat offspring at doses that did not affect the mothers.
  • Serious changes in the weight of various organs, including brain, prostate, liver, thymus and kidneys.
  • Deaths of a significant number of rat pups of mothers exposed to PFOA.
  • Damage to the pituitary at all doses in female rat offspring (The pituitary secretes hormones that regulate growth, reproduction, and many metabolic processes. Change in pituitary size is associated with toxicity.)
  • Tumor development after prolonged exposure.

Other studies have linked PFC’s to:

  • Thyroid disease:study published in Environmental Health Perspectives found thatPFOA can damage your thyroid function. Individuals with the highest PFOA concentrations were more than twice as likely to report current thyroid disease. Your thyroid contains thyroglobulin protein, which binds to iodine to form hormones, which in turn influence essentially every organ, tissue and cell in your body. Thyroid hormones are also required for growth and development in children. Left untreated, thyroid disease can lead to heart disease, infertility, muscle weakness, and osteoporosis.
  • Cancer: PFOA has been associated with tumors in at least four different organs in animal tests (liver, pancreas, testicles and mammary glands in rats), and has been associated with increases in prostate cancer in PFOA plant workers. The EPA has ruled PFCs as “likely carcinogens,” and has stated that PFOA “poses developmental and reproductive risks to humans.”

Immune system problems: Several studies indicate that PFCs have an adverse effect on your immune system. As described in a report on PFCs by the Environmental Working Group (EWG),PFOA was found to decrease all immune cell sub-populations studied in the thymus and spleen, and caused immuno-suppression.

  • Increased LDL cholesterol levels:study in the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine showed that children and teens with higher PFOA levels had higher levels of total cholesterol and LDL or “bad” cholesterol, while PFOs was associated with increased total cholesterol, including both LDL cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol.

For more information on these studies, please review the Environmental Working Groups extensive report.

So what can you do to protect your health? I strongly recommend avoiding any product that contains these toxic compounds, particularly foods sold in grease-proof packaging, such as fast food and popcorn. Besides the toxic burden of the wrappers, I think it’s also important to realize that you are not getting proper nutrition from the food that comes in them.

Most important, however, is ditching your non-stick cookware, because most brands are a MAJOR source of PFC’s, particularly PFOA. The moment you heat them, they start to liberate fluoride vapors that are so toxic they will kill small birds!

Every time you cook with them, you inhale these chemicals, and the food in the pan absorbs them too, turning every home-cooked meal toxic.

To identify other products to avoid, the EWG has compiled a list of common products containing PFC’s for you here.

Keep in mind that avoiding these products is especially crucial for pregnant women or couples who want to have children, since PFC’s can have a serious impact on fertility, and on a baby’s delicate hormonal system.

Dr. Joseph Mercola is the founder and director of Mercola.com. Become a fan of Dr. Mercola on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and check out Dr. Mercola’s report on sun exposure!

Follow Dr. Joseph Mercola on Twitter: www.twitter.com/mercola

Is there a factory farm in your area? Check out this map put together by my friends over at Food & Water Watch.

This young man represents the beginning of a food revolution. What do you put in your mouth?

A man now on the run.  A hero? A criminal? This is a fantastic interview of the front page man. Enjoy.

Great news! Fracking is now illegal in New York State. Here is the body of a letter written by Dan Cantor, WFP Executive Director of the Working Families Party who had a critical role in the passing of the bill. Now, if we could only make it illegal EVERYWHERE!

A little before 1:00 a.m. last night, by a vote of 94-44, the New York State Assembly passed the moratorium on hydraulic fracture drilling.Go ahead: get up from your chair. Do a little dance, pump your fist, or do whatever you do to celebrate a victory of grassroots action over corporate power.

You deserve it. At the time the bill passed last night, more than 52,000 New Yorkers had signed the petition urging the Assembly to act. We joined an incredible alliance of Frack Action, Environmental Advocates, MoveOn.org, Mark Ruffalo, Pete Seeger, Assemblymembers Robert Sweeney and Steve Englebright, Borough President Scott Stringer, and so many others to pass a bill that everyone thought was dead – first through the New York State Senate, then the Assembly.

The bill now goes to the governor’s desk for his signature. We still have to make sure he signs it, and then see to it that even stronger legislation is put in place next year.

But let’s take a moment to celebrate, because this is a major step forward. As far as we know, this is the first time that anystate legislature has said “no” to these drillers.

And it didn’t come from the top-down. While we at the Working Families Party are proud to have played a small role in last night’s victory, the real credit is due to the thousands of New Yorkers who spoke out, organized, put the dangers of “fracking” on the public agenda, and pushed us again and again to join the fight.

So thank you for leading this charge. Thank you for taking even stronger action at every step of the way.

And thank you in advance for your continued efforts to make sure that New York’s water is clean and safe to drink, and that everyday New Yorkers have more of a say in how our lives are governed than corporations who think money can buy them whatever they want.

For news coverage of the petition and the fracking fight, check out these articles:

  • New York Observer: WFP Teams Up With Mark Ruffalo For Last-Minute Fracking Ban Push
    “The Working Families Party is out with a last-minute push to pressure the Assembly to ban hydro-fracking during the special session, slated to get underway shortly in Albany. …the WFP, Move-On and others have gathered 50,000 signatures calling on the lower house to follow suit.”
  • Albany Times-Union: Hydrofracking Moratorium Supporters Hopeful on Assembly Prospects
    “MoveOn and the Working Families Party are touting a 50,000-signature petition supporting the moratorium… If it comes to the floor, advocates are confident it will pass.”
  • Ithaca Journal: Assembly Approves Gas Drilling Moratorium
    “Actor Mark Ruffalo, a Sullivan County resident and an anti-drilling advocate, also released a statement through the Working Families Party, pushing for the Assembly to pass the bill and urging New Yorkers to sign a petition in favor of the moratorium.”

Thank you,

– Dan Cantor, WFP Executive Director