Archive for the ‘Green Revolution’ 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!

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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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Today in the Boston Globe there was an editorial written by Jeff Jacoby entitled The Waste of Recycling. Mr Jacoby has been know to write ridiculous things in the past that show how little he actually thinks about things, but this went a bit too far. Here is a sample quote:

Add up all the energy, time, emissions, supplies, water, space, and mental and physical labor involved, and mandatory recycling turns out to be largely unsustainable — an environmental burden, not a boon.

He finishes things off with a touch of conspiracy. Yes Mr. Jacoby, Big Brother it must be. I usually don’t get so flustered at idiotic opinion pieces but this one got me mad. People will actually believe his garbage. So, I wrote a letter to the editor. Here is what I wrote:

Dear Globe,

Mr. Jacoby has missed the point of recycling. We recycle to close the source material supply loop. For example, to make plastic from scratch we require petroleum, which is a finite material. In other words, it will eventually run dry. If we recycle the waste plastic, it returns to the beginning of the cycle as source material. I agree it requires more energy to recycle, but we as a people must get in the habit to ensure sustainability of our source materials into the future. We must also remember that using energy is not inherently unsustainable. Eventually the extra trucks and added facilities will run on renewable, sustainable energy and the oil to make our plastic will be gone. Also, we do not recycle to keep garbage out of the landfill. We recycle to keep source material in positive supply. Lets not forget recycling is just one third of the sustainable source material mantra: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Raw source material is finite, and we’re running out.

I encourage you to read Jacoby’s piece where at the end he actually seems to be encouraging us to throw things in the landfill with the confidence that there won’t be any problems as the decades tick by because, well gee, the EPA is in charge. What about when the oil runs dry? or the forests are gone? What about when the raw materials of the earth begin to dwindle? Will the EPA be there to help us mine our landfills for the plastic we threw away decades, if not centuries before?

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I dedicate this to Earth Day.

If you haven’t heard of the impending doom of our entire civilization , then your missing something that many believe is the THE most important thing anybody should be talking about right now.  Everything else in the news seems to be petty.  We won’t even have news if we continue on our current path.  If Humanity doesn’t get its act together quickly, then we’re in big trouble.  I could go on and on about how humans are destroying their Earth at an accelerated pace, but that’s been done over and over again.  The problem is so defined right now that people, I feel, are getting tired of hearing about it.  The Green Revolution has focused its lens on the solution, and the solution is what I want to talk about.

I did not coin the phrase Green Revolution, nor do I know who did, but it is a phrase, and movement that I embrace.  It is a way of life.  It is a group of people that are committed to saving our Earth.  We recycle, we turn lights off if we’re not using them, we think about the products we buy.  We fix things instead of buying new things.  We want the world to function on sustainable energy, and do what we can to contribute to that ideal.  We see windmills as beautiful things, and when we drive our cars we feel guilty about the burning gasoline that is fueling global warming.  We have compost bins, and organic gardens.  We ride our bicycles to the market, and live in cities because we know its better for the Earth.  We see moms driving around in Hummers and cringe.  I could go on and on.  Another very important thing is that we desire to increase our knowledge so we can use that knowledge to contribute to the healing of our Earth.

To be a part of the Green Revolution is more difficult during a recessed economy, there is no doubt.  Money is an important thing, and focus is on our money and our jobs.  With a troubling economy, recycling can cost money.  Since we have less money, then recycling then may become an expense.  Recycling relies on somebody buying bulk material, such as discarded cardboard, plastic bottles, etc.  If nobody buys, then the money to continue operation must come from the recyclers wallet.  This is just one example, but things like this are happening throughout the green spectrum.  Another good example is the ability to get a loan.  If a home owner desires to put solar panels on his roof, but he doesn’t have enough capital, then a possible solution is to get a loan that he can pay off with his energy savings.  If its difficult to get a loan, it is difficult to buy his solar panels.   I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.

The Wealthy have money.  If you have money, you have power.  The more money you have the more power you have.  People with power have responsibilities.  Since the Green Revolution is THE most important aspect of life for the good of all humanity, then the wealthy have a responsibility to use their power to advance the Green Revolution.  I don’t care how you got your wealth, you have it.  If your not using it to save Earth, then your doing something seriously wrong.  Oh, but your portfolio isn’t doing so well right now?  The value of your summer house has dropped?  Well, all I can say is for the sake of Earth, put it in perspective!  Maintaining social status as well as your comfort level needs to take a back seat to saving the Earth.  The wealthy have a unique opportunity, and responsibility,  to use their money to advance the Green Revolution.  If your rich and you don’t recycle, shame on you.  If you hold stock, and make money in the oil industry, shame on you.  There is still time to redirect your money towards sustainable sources such as wind power and solar power.  If you own a garage full of SUV’s and don’t care, shame on you.  If you bought pristine land in the suburbs and clear cut a couple acres so you could have a nice big backyard, shame on you.  Now is not the time to be selfish.  Now is the time to use your money to change the world.  Use your money to show you care.  Now, more than ever, your money is needed.  Set an example.  Show your peers in your social network that you care.  Show them how to follow suit.  You have the power to make the Green Revolution trendy among your social group.  The opportunities are endless, and you have the power to make an incredible contribution.

oh wait, but YOU don’t believe in Global Warming.  You believe it’s a bunch of liberal hype inorder for the Democrats to gain power.  Thats another battle to be waged another day.

If your wealthy and a part of the Green Revolution, I applaud you and support your efforts.  Earth needs more people like you.

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