How To Recognize GMO Food in the Supermarket

This is so easy it isn’t even funny. Just don’t buy Genetically Modified food and you avoid a bevey of issues. 

Here’s how.

The Feminization of Boys

This post isn’t what about what you’re thinking.  It’s not about gender neutral toys, nor is it about allowing boys to wear pink.  It’s not about the roles boys and girls are forced to endure as parents treat them horrifyingly different (sarcasm!).

This is about real chemical imbalances that are 50 years in the making.  And we’re seeing them now.

The Telegraph wrote a piece called, “Why Boys Are Turning Into Girls” highlighting the effects of “gender bending” chemicals that have become ubiquitous in our society.  It reports that these chemicals, dioxins, PCB’s, flame retardants, and phthlates, are largely responsible for the feminizing of boys and creating a massive problem of sperm count reduction all over the world.

Exposure to these chemicals vary and result in serious health problems, ranging from reproductive, immune or  developmental disorders or neurological toxicity.  Many of these chemicals are environmentally persistent: meaning they don’t just go away, they recycle themselves within nature, showing up in various animals, plants and bodies of water.  Some of them, like dioxins, can be stored in the body and take a long time to be eliminated, encouraging a toxic buildup within your body-system with the result of a particularly serious health condition.

Incredibly alarming when you read that researchers just found flame retardants in samples of butter they had collected from Dallas, TX grocery stores.

These chemicals are practically everywhere.  How can you prevent contamination?  It’s likely that you and your (and my) children would test with detectable levels of many of these compounds.  But here are a few things that you can do:

1) Do not store or microwave food in a plastic container or with plastic wrap.  If you microwave at all (which I highly recommend against), move your food to a glass container. Check out this link about plastics or this NY Times article about BPA’s.  Also this article claims there is “no safe microwavable plastic.”  Avoid canned foods, buy fresh or frozen.  Purchase organic when you can and Dr. Mercola claims if you can only buy a few things organic, get more bang for your buck buying organic meats.  Local, trusted sources are optimal.

When storing food, attempt to use glass as much as possible, even with dry foods such as nuts, rice or beans.  A solution?  Buy a dozen or so wide mouth (easier to wash) Mason or Ball glass canning jars and store your food in those.

2) Having a new baby?  Buy an organic mattress.  Or if that is not feasible wrap your existing mattress. Be sure purchase/paint with low/no VOC furniture and air out the room often before the baby comes. Do not buy flame retardant clothing or mattresses with flame retardant chemicals embedded in them.  Remember, anything that comes in contact with the skin has a possibility of being absorbed by the skin.

3) Cook from an iron skillet rather than a Teflon or other chemically coated pan.  That includes George Foreman grills which are coated with Teflon.

4)  Replace all bath items, shampoo, conditioners, etc with their organic equals.  Why?  Because soaps and many bathroom items have hormone mimickers as ingredients-which are used on the skin- the largest organ on your body.   And make sure you read the labels (even with organic products)! Sometimes they still contain chemicals that are toxic! Here’s another list.

I personally have stopped using bottled moisturizers and started using coconut oil on my skin and I love it!  Never put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t eat!  Vitacost.com is a good place online to do your discounted shopping for these types of items, but your local health food store would appreciate your patronage.

5)  Cook from scratch.  You can control what goes in your body much better if you purchase fresh, organic ingredients and prepare them yourself.  For me, who was not comfortable in the kitchen, this meant I had to learn how to cook! HA!  My solution?  I subscribed to Everyday by Rachel Ray and Cooking Light and just started cooking!  I had no particular knack for it, but now I am very comfortable in the kitchen!  But, seriously, when you purchase an organic product, you are placing your vote in the Big Consumer Ballot Box that translates into moneymoneymoney.  Money talks and Corporations listen.

Cells

Today, we took a trip to our local library to work on the next part of our curriculum. Since my kids are really small (5,3,2), we’re very casual about learning right now.

From time to time, in between unstructured playing, we do science and math- counting, picture books, me reading to the kids. So this week we’re focusing on cells:

A Cell, courtsey of animalport.com

 

While this may seem like a complicated topic for preschoolers, and you may think I’m totally overdoing it here, understand that my then-4-year-old, after coming out of the creek from a massive crawdad hunt, memorized ALL the parts of a crayfish, including the cephalothorax.  She eats this stuff up.  And really, we’re just giving them the basics so that it’s something that they are already familiar with when they return to it at a later age.  Teaching the structure of a cell in 6th grade Biology becomes less difficult if they already understand the concepts.  And plus, it’s a fun way to get to know your body more!

Ideas:
Eggs are one big cell. Break open an egg, look at the nucleus, and the white and explain that the chicken egg is one big cell!  And we eat it!  That’s weird!

Make a Naked Egg

Get a book and show the parts of the cell. Make this a 5 minute exercise: the emphasis is not to get the kid to memorize the parts, but just to be familiar with a picture of a cell and that different parts of your body have different kinds of cells.  The membrane lets things go in and out of the cell, the nucleus controls the cells activities.  Keep it simple.

Dance the Hokey Pokey! Instead of putting your “left arm in”, put you’re “left arm cells in” (you have to say it really fast, haha).  The point is just to teach parts of our body are made of different kinds of cells.  And to giggle a lot.

Take some building blocks, legos, etc and build a human shape and explain that cells are like blocks or bricks and that they make up our body.  Take the man apart and tell them to name the types of cells (hair, fingernails, arm, feet, chest, etc).  You’re teaching them the concept of Cellular Differentiation, they just don’t know it yet!

We Are Made of…Food!

Because I homeschool, we frequently watch science videos (from our library) with Bill Nye the Science Guy who pretty much is the coolest nerd I’ve ever watched on TV, and were it not that I was already incredibly happily married to a sweet, totally *not* sciencey guy, I would probably send a letter of proposal to Mr. Nye. And no, I don’t care that he’s, like, 20 years my senior.

Bill Nye the Science Guy, courtesy of billnye.com

But, that’s another blog completely, obviously.

We picked up his video about “Nutrition” and I wondered, in the context of a world chock full of processed foods and no limit to the “food” items you can get in a box or plastic container,”Hmmm…what will he have to say about this…”

And you know what he said? He said (rough translation, because generally he’s shouting really important concepts like this), “Like a piece of a tree is made of wood, WE ARE MADE OF FOOD!”

And he’s completely, 100% correct (of course he his, he’s always right…well, except about evolution, oh yeah, and the whole global warming thing, but everything else…).

We are made up of food that we eat! When we eat a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich, we don’t just digest it, it becomes a part of us! Vitamins, Nutrients, Toxins and all! When we add to our diet foods that are beneficial to our health, instead of those that take from our health, we begin an essential component to reversing any negative or chronic health condition that we have. Sucking down diet sodas and loading up on sugar free desserts is not going to help us with our battles with Crones Disease. Eating plastic-packaged foods that seep hormone mimickers into our food (when we microwave it) before we ingest it will not help us with our fight against breast cancer. Taking synthetic vitamins instead of whole food derived vitamins will give our body a very lacking representation of the nutrients that nature has to offer.

No. Those things make our health conditions worse, not better.

Here’s a helpful article that talks about moving away from the packaged, and moving toward the natural. Each day we can make small changes within our diet to support our ability to stay healthy.

Plain Green’s challenge to you? This week cook, from scratch, ONE meal.  Pick up a Rachel Ray Mag, Cooking Light, or even Gourmet, and find something that you’d love and cook it! Just one meal.  Enjoy the process of using whole foods one time for breakfast, lunch or dinner and you may find that you can enjoy it three times a week, then in every meal.  Small steps today means big changes tomorrow!

Starting Out with Vaccine Excipient Table

This blog is about information, education and empowering you to make conscious, healthy decisions about you and your family.

So, to start out this new blog, I post a simple link answering the question, “What ARE in those pesky vaccines anyway?”

While we’re at it, we shall define “excipient”: it is generally a pharmacologically inactive substance used as a carrier for the active ingredients of a medication. (Courtesy of Wikipedia).

Find out the ingredients to vaccines here.