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Archive for the ‘food’ Category

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


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

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

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I just signed a petition to challenge the corporate giants who continue to influence more and more of our food system. Consumers pay more, farmers get paid less, and the corporations that control the food system make huge profits. The food quality degrades, the status quo is lowered, and we’re slowly being poisoned. Let’s bring it back to the community level where the people who grow the food eat the food.

Will you join me and sign the petition to break the monopolies in our food system? Food and Water Watch does a great job at keeping it’s members updated with issues concerning water and food. If you join their mailing list you’ll be able to get all the latest, important news about food and water as well as take part to improving the world and making things right.

Take action by going to: http://action.foodandwaterwatch.org/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=2535

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Take Action at Food & Water Watch!

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Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a movie that came out in 2008. It is based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the Worlds’s Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. If you haven’t seen this film, now’s a good time. It highlights an awareness we’d all be silly not to take extremely seriously. Awareness of our water supply, the realities surrounding its management, and what the future may hold. The prospects are chilling but a solution for a sustainable system can be reached. To give you a more recent take on this very problem, read the quote from a recent article by the Australian Associated Press (AAP):

Keynote speaker at Friday’s 19th World Congress of Soil Science in Brisbane, Dr Colin Chartres, says doubling the volume of water is required to double food production.

The article goes on to say that the earth needs to essentially double its food production to sustain the coming population of 9.2 billion in the year 2050. In order to double food production, we need to double our water production! This is, of course, alarming in the sense that it is quite unlikely California is going to double anything having to do with water anytime soon. In fact, California may run out of water! How this situation is handled will likely define the 21st century and beyond. Other countries have their own problems, and globally speaking we’re not doing so healthy when it comes to our water, so how are we supposed to produce this extra food we’re soon to be needing?

Blue Gold: World Water Wars sheds a light on the greed, corruption, politics, follies and success’s surrounding our most precious resource. It casts a harsh light on the corporations that treat water as commercial good and highlights the benefits to public ownership. It takes an intelligent look at how we need to approach water resource management in the coming decades and the hurdles that we’ll meet along the way. Projects such as Blue Alternative where students and volunteers built rainwater catchments to replenish aquifer supplies in the Slovak Republic show us how we can work with our local hydrology to support ourselves in a sustainable manner instead of relying on dams that interrupt the vital flow of rivers. The people of Uruguay lead by example when they amended their constitution to protect the human right to water. Many more stories in the film showcase the struggle for water and the experts seem to share an optimistic viewpoint that there is a solution to this problem well within our reach.

I rented it on iTunes for $2.99, but look for screenings in your area as well.

Watch the Trailer!

Download the Press Kit here with more information on all the speakers!

Enjoy and spread the news!

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We exited route 10 to tour a ghost town touted to be one of the best just 2 miles south of Lordsburg, New Mexico. The town sounded cool to us because it changed its name from Mexican Springs to Pyramid Station to Grant to Ralston City and finally Shakespeare after the Shakespeare Mining Company.  Unfortunately we found out when we pulled up that the town is privately-owned and only open for scheduled tours. So we just peeked in but didn’t get to see the general store, hotel, post office, etc.

Outside Shakespeare Ghost Town near Lordsburg, New Mexico

Outside Shakespeare Ghost Town near Lordsburg, New Mexico

We ate burritos for lunch at Don Juan’s Burritos and Mexican Food in Lordsburg. We had plenty of lunch supplies in the car but just couldn’t resist the tempting signs off the highway exit luring us in (“Fast, Fresh, Made Daily” and “World Famous”). Syrah had never eaten Mexican food so close to Mexico so we had to try it.  Additionally, the menu had a ridiculous amount of typos on it and we hypothesized that number of typos could be directly proportional to the quality of the food.

We had to stop

We had to stop

Tim chowing down

Tim chowing down

We ordered a carnitas burrito and a vegetarian burrito with beans, rice, cheese, pico de gallo and guacamole. We shared a sweet cinnamony horchata to wash it down. It was $11 for everything. Although we found the food to be very tasty and satisfying, it was not the best burrito meal ever. Sorry Don Juans, Anna’s Taqueria (Boston area) and Felipe’s (Harvard Square) beat you in taste and overall quality anyday. We guess it doesn’t really matter how you spell “cobonation” or “smoother” or how close you are to the border, the food will satisfy as long as the ingredients are fresh and the recipes are authentic (as Tim says: “Made by real Mexicans”).

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