Food Truth Freedom

Your food, where it comes from & what's in it


Food Wonderings: Confessions Of A Food Writer

I’ve been researching and writing about what’s in food for almost 10 years now and believe me – it hasn’t left me unscathed.  The last 3 posts I’ve written, “Getting Ripped Off In A Restaurant,” “Sulfites In Food: Sodium Metabisulfite,” and “Meat Glue:  Is Your Steak Real Or Fake,”  have renewed the sense in me of food panic.

That’s right:  food panic, akin to what I had when I read those classics by authors such as Morgan Spurlock (“Don’t Eat This Book-The Supersizing Of America.”) and the mother lode of information about the food industry, “Fast Food Nation” by Eric Schlosser.

The meat glue article I researched a few days ago now has me totally off going into restaurants and ordering what is supposed to be a good cut of steak.  For all I know it’s cobbled together pieces of a lesser cut made out to be the real McCoy of prime steak.  That’s got me freaked out! To know, also, that perhaps unsuspecting restaurant patrons who, for religious reasons, do not eat beef or pork may also be eating it when they order fish cuts.  The fact that we as a country are being lied to left and right by not only our government (read the FDA, USDA and others) who are designed to protect us, but the entire restaurant industry as well.

Bottom line is unless you stay home all the time and cook organic food for yourself there is really no way to know what you are eating.

How many of us do that?

I work part-time in a grocery store.  I’m freaked out about the produce, constantly wondering what’s on it.  (yeah I know – various pesticides) – that’s gotten me off store-bought veggies.

I won’t even buy anything from the meat counter.  Images of cattle, pigs and chickens strung up on assembly line processing conveyors – not to mention how they are raised and what they are fed and them what they are injected with prior to slaughter – scares the crap out of me.

Who are we really supposed to trust?  Can we truly put our faith IN organics?  What about GMO contamination?

We’re supposed to be able to trust the government’s agencies to protect us from unscrupulous food practices but it’s been shown in the past that they can’t even do THIS job effectively.  The FDA is like an old toothless dog. It can’t bite back or even look threatening because of Washington’s lobbyists from Big Food.  As far as I am concerned, the FDA is a waste of time. The USDA is in the same class with the FDA – another toothless wonder mired in bribes and bullshit.  Forget the EPA, too.  They’ve backpedaled on their share of protective efforts – all because of the money in Washington.  This is sickening.

Yeah – I’m feeling kind of hopeless right now.  Scared too, because what are we supposed to do?  The food industry has us by the balls and in the article below by Eric Schlosser, it seems things haven’t gotten any better.

I’m wondering what or what NOT to eat next.  Sometimes I wish I still was ignorant about all of this;  could go back 10 years and not know what I know about food.

The only thing I can do is keep reading labels, trying to limit my intake of suspect foods (which right at the moment is ALL of them!)  and keep passing on information to you in hopes that it makes you more aware. Perhaps you, too, will want to add your voice to the maddening crowd.

RELATED:

10 Years After Fast Food Nation – Eric Schlosser reflects

Advertisements


Dow’s 2-4-D Corn = More Cancer, Birth Defects, Environmental Disaster

It was two years ago that I blogged about the battle for Dow’s 2-4-D corn.The USDA was still accepting comments on its pending approval. Now it seems, despite a huge public outcry, not only from concerned citizens but also from farmers, health professionals and environmentalists, the USDA  is leaning heavily for approving it.

Photo:  USDA

Photo: USDA

2-4-D, or Atrazine, is in popular Weed & Feed, Weed B Gon, Turfbuilder products. It was developed for chemical warfare in WWII and used in Viet Nam as part of a solution in Agent Orange as a defoliant. It is a known carcinogen: Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and possible soft tissue sarcomas (cancer) are indicated, as are increased rates of Parkinson’s disease & lung cancer.  Respiratory and circulatory birth defects have been linked to it.

Despite a very strong link to cancer, hormonal disruption, Non-Hodgkins lymphoma,  birth defects and other illnesses,   2-4-D is marketed to consumers for use around their homes as a multi-use broadleaf weedkiller.  Millions of American homeowners use this on their lawns in one form or another in sprays, dusts or in a pelletized version. It is also in other lawn care products such as “Winterizers,”  and “Turfbuliders.” It is very likely that year-round exposure is not uncommon: “weed and feed” being used in the spring and summer, “Turfbuilders” from spring through fall and “winterizer” just before winter sets in.  Consumers who rely on these chemicals to keep their lawns looking golf course perfect are spreading poison on their property all year without realizing it. 

Monsanto’s Round-Up has been failing in recent years due to the ability of weeds to adapt and resist its application.  This is the next generation of herbicide-resistant spray to be formulated with an even more potent and dangerous chemical, Atrazine or 2-4-D.

Dow’s Enlist seeds, will be able to withstand applications of 2-4-D and Round Up.

Wait and see.  This miracle chemical’s effects will not last, either.  Just like Round Up, after awhile the same thing will happen and farmers will find themselves back where they started:  weeds out of control.

Now we will have millions of acres of corn being sprayed with 2-4-D and Round up combined.

  • Groundwater will be contaminated with yet another harmful chemical.
  • It will be IN that corn that you eat & all other foods you buy from the store – because corn is in everything!
  • Beef cattle, chickens, pigs, turkeys will eat this – YOU will eat it too.
  • Contamination will be in immediate areas through wind.
  • HUNDREDS of MILLIONS of acres of corn each year could be sprayed with it.
  • It will wash from the nation’s corn belt into rivers and the seas.
  • Small farmers will be tied to yet another corn seed and chemical
  • Approval will lead to MORE GMO products because USDA sees nothing wrong with them.
  • Corporate entities will have even more control over our lives.

Our government has failed us again.  By bowing to the one-sided test results – and the lobbyists and to Dow’s influence in government, and not to mention – big bucks – We The People will again become Guinea pigs.

This shows me that our government does not care about its citizens, only mega profit for mega corporations.

TAKE ACTION:  Go to THIS PAGE and sign the petition against Dow’s GMO 2-4-D corn

Read MORE:

If You Use Pesticides, READ THIS (there are no “safe” pesticides)

USDA Greenlights Dow 2-4-D Seeds (Pesticide Action Network)

2-4-D Articles on “Food, Truth & Freedom”


Antibacterial Soaps Not Necessary

Antibacterial soaps have been the rage for years.

Antibacterial soaps have been the rage for years.

Whatever happened to good, old-fashioned soap and water?

Antibacterial anything has been the rage for years.

Personally I’ve stayed away from antibacterial stuff. It never seemed like it made much sense: soap naturally kills germs.  Why do I need yet another chemical IN my soap, IN my life?

Germaphobic parents scarf up bottles of antibacterial soap with the notion that they are forming a protective chain around their children and family.

Triclosan, a common ingredient in most antibacterial soaps, may not be such a hot idea to use consistently. Currently the FDA is taking another look at triclosan. They are considering a mandate that requires manufacturers to prove that soaps containing triclosan are of a benefit.

According to recent studies, this may be a long shot. Reports say that triclosan resistance from continued use of antibacterial soaps is making some bacteria immune to the effects of the supposed antibacterial benefits.

germs

Furthermore, some strains of samonella (Salmonella enterica) have repeatedly tested drug resistant to antibiotics because of repeated exposure to triclosan. As many as 56% of tested human and animal isolates were found to be multi-drug resistant to antibiotics.

The use of antibacterial soaps is compounding the problem of antibiotic resistance. With over-prescribing of antibiotics, plus the use of antibiotic compounds in our meat supply, adding ingredients like  increased triclosan use is sending our immune and hormonal systems into a tailspin.

A report in the Oxford Medical Journals states:  “Studies have shown that soaps containing triclosan within the range of concentrations commonly used (0.1%–0.45% wt/vol) were no more effective than plain soap at preventing infectious illness symptoms and reducing bacterial levels on the hands. Several laboratory studies demonstrated evidence of triclosan-adapted cross-resistance to antibiotics among different species of bacteria.”

So, Grandma was right!  Wash your hands – with plain soap and water!

RELATED:

http://cid.oxfordjournals.org/content/45/Supplement_2/S137.long


Is Your House Making You Sick?

Skull-cossbonesDo you live in a new house? Have you recently gutted your house and added “all new” components?  If so, you may have unwittingly exposed yourself and your family to an onslaught of chemicals. Neurotoxins, carcinogens, hormone mimics and reproductive hormone disruptors are but a few of the chemicals in building products.   Formaldehyde is a common ingredient in many construction products.  It, like all the other components in your “new” house or furniture, “outgasses:” evaporates into the surroundings.  You are constantly being exposed to a myriad of chemicals.

Carpet backing and carpet padding, fire retardants in materials,formaldehyde in glues, coatings:  the list goes on and on. Arsenic is another common ingredient in wood preservatives (think building products like pressure treated wood and composites).  Glycol ethers are used in paint, solvents and – no surprise here:  cosmetics!

Vinyl chloride is used in copolymers which are used in sealants, lubricants, plastic,  and that TEFLON coating that your cookware is made out of!  Yes — every time you turn on your stove and cook something in that pan you are ingesting chemicals along with your food.

Childhood asthma:  it’s on the rise.  Studies suspect that it’s from the continuous exposure to indoor chemicals as well as chemicals in personal care products, clothing and things that children are exposed to every day.

In-utero exposure to chemicals has been shown in thousands of published studies.   For a rebuttal to those in the scientific community who see no correlation – or who are in the pockets of the chemical industry, a report published in the journal of The Endocinre Society, play out a very serious concern encompassing studies over past decades.  The article is only a page long – an interesting read and well worth it.

RELATED:

http://dsc.discovery.com/tv-shows/curiosity/topics/polymer-based-products-you-use-every-day.htm

http://www.ewg.org/research/dirty-dozen-list-endocrine-disruptors

http://endo.endojournals.org/content/early/2013/09/18/en.2013-1854.full.pdf+html


Sevin Dust Illegal in Many Countries: Top Seller in U.S.

While Americans sprinkle Sevin dust around their yards like sugar, it is banned in the United Kingdom, Denmark, Australia, Germany, Sweden, Iran and Angola.  These countries are not convinced, as the United States is, that Sevin dust is safe.

The U.K. Chemicals Directorate Division of the Health and Safety branch is not convinced enough that Sevin dust is safe.  Because of the effects of ingestion, that’s EATING the stuff, folks, after you douse your vegetable garden with it — has been proven to cause cancer.

DO NOT USE THIS STUFF INDOORS ~or~ ON YOUR PETS!

Now the reason I am sounding off again on Sevin dust is because on this site, it is the #1 search term.  I should change the site name to SEVIN DUST is Icky or something like that.  Well, that’s the truth because it is!

One of the most widely used chemicals in U.S. gardens, but illegal in many countries.

One of the most widely used chemicals in U.S. gardens, but illegal in many countries.

On a more serious side, continuous inhalation of Sevin dust can cause pneumoconiosis, more commonly referred to as “Black Lung Disease,” which is routinely found in coal miners, but the indication is also prominent in those who work in certain manufacturing industries. Pneumoconiosis causes hardening of the air sacs in the lungs caused from inflammation. Complications of pneumoconiosis include:  heart failure, lung cancer, respiratory failure.

Pregnant women should avoid exposure to Sevin dust because it can cause fetal abnormalities:  cardio and pulmonary, nervous system development, spontaneous abortion, ADD in their child and a host of other difficulties. Additionally, women whose pregnancies fall between the months of highest Sevin applications – May and September – have the highest instances of fetal distress in development.

Read my other posts on Sevin dust:

Sevin Dust is NOT Your Garden Friend

Sevin Dust: Why Grow Vegetables & Put POISON On Them?


If You Use Pesticides, READ THIS!

wrningAmericans apply approximately 75 MILLION POUNDS of lawn care products annually; pesticides and insecticides used on your lawn  around your home.  They include ROUND-UP, Scott’s Weed and Feed, Sevin Dust, Bug B Gon, Triazicide, Spectricide, Ortho, Bayer products, Azatrine (2-4-D) which is a component in Agent Orange, Scott’s Winterizer and many others.  They are POISON and studies have proven the following:

  • There is NO safe ‘chemical’ pesticide or herbicide
  • Are known carcinogens (cause cancer)
  • Are hormone and endocrine system disruptors.
  • All are neurotoxins –  meaning toxic to the brain, causing brain cell death and affecting brain function.
  • Recent studies show pesticides to be a direct cause of Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s, ALS and other neurological disorders & shrinkage of the brain.
  • Can be passed from pregnant mother to fetus causing birth defects or abortion
  • Cause allergic reactions
  • Children are especially susceptible to neurological damage, increased rates of cancer, ADD, asthma, development of allergies from exposure to lawn chemicals and pesticides.
  • If you have a well and use lawn chemicals you are poisoning your own water.
  • Pesticides and chemicals applied by lawn services have heavier application rates than for agriculture!
  • Golf courses use millions of pounds of herbicides & pesticides and with heavy watering, contribute to groundwater contamination.
  • Electric companies, railroads and municipalities also contribute to environmental & groundwater pollution with herbicide spraying of right-of-ways, parks, rail and roadsides.  Corporations also use these chemicals around their buildings to keep their lawns weed free. The list is endless!
  • Will make your pets ill, predisposing them to cancer and a host of other diseases.
  • Runoff from suburban lawns does not dissipate.  Instead it persists in the environment for decades.
  • Catch basins in urban areas and ponds, streams and lakes in rural areas – and finally, the ocean, are all polluted by pesticides and lawn care chemicals.
  • Each time you use lawn care products or pesticides you WILL kill beneficial insects such as earthworms, bees, butterflies, praying mantises as well as birds, frogs and other mammals.  This will be from either direct contact (bees and insects) or indirect (birds or other wildlife) or from water runoff.  Birds will eat chemicals that are in pelletized form thinking it’s food.
  • Honeybee colony collapse is directly related to the use of pesticides over the past 50 years.
  • Insects have developed a resistance to these chemicals as have weeds.  Manufacturers have to develop stronger chemicals or mix them with older ones which haven’t been in use recently.
  • Pesticides and insecticides don’t just ‘go away’.  Some stay in the soil for long periods of time – years!
  • Children, because of their developing brains, muscles, bones – have a tenfold exposure over adults.
  • Women pregnant from May to September have highest risks of birth defects for their unborn child if they are exposed to pesticides and lawn care products.
  • Pesticide drift from wind and rains can bring chemicals on your property and into your home.
  • Of the 30 most commonly used pesticides
    • 19 are linked with cancer
    • 13 linked with birth defects
    • 21 with reproductive effects
    • 26 with liver or kidney damage
    • 15 neurotoxicity
    • 11 with endocrine (hormone) disruption
    • 17 are found in groundwater
    • 23 have the ability TO leach into groundwater
    • 11 are toxic to bees
    • 16 are toxic to birds

You have to ask yourself:

  • Is it WORTH IT to have the ideal ‘golf course’ lawn, an insect-free yard or perfect vegetables – to put my family and pets and even my neighbors at risk for a premature death from cancer,  increased chances of neurological, reproductive disorders or organ failure or allergies years from now?  Is it WORTH IT to expose my family, even those not yet born, to an uncertain fate from exposure to chemicals which is not even necessary?

 

My answer to that would be NO!  What would yours be?

Further reading:

http://www.panna.org/your-health/home-pets-garden

http://www.panna.org/sites/default/files/Pets_Action_Guide.pdf

http://www.beyondpesticides.org/lawn/factsheets/30health.pdf


12-12-12: Activism in Food, Environment & Human Rights

12-12-12HILL

12-12-12 speaks of the change we’ve been in for years.

The date, 12-12-12 has been in the news a lot lately.  In a purely  metaphysical sense, December 12, 2012 is a time of great shift energetically on this planet. The wave of uprisings, world protests, and climate disasters,  has all been for a reason:  to raise human consciousness that things cannot go on this way if we are to survive on this Earth.  According to doomsday theorists, 2012 is reported by some to be the end of the world.  Some devout Christians believe that the “end times” are upon us; the return of Jesus is imminent.

I believe the energy of the world  is changing. I do believe these are the “end times,” but not in a sense of the Earth blowing up & angels appearing to carry off the devout to heaven.  No, I believe it is a shift in human realization, in consciousness; belief that a change is needed in the way we must do things.

From what I have experienced in the last few years is this:  The people of this world have come forward to speak out on everything from food, human rights, government abuse, the environment, ecology, war, climate change, religious freedom, corporate greed and wrongdoings in just about every category.

Over the last 10 years or so I, along with countless others, have waged a battle over food and the environment.  We’ve taken on food rights, food manufacturing, “Big Food,” food from corporate farms to advocate for the smaller, more environmentally friendly local farmers.

Farm and food activists have sought to inform the public about artificial ingredients, food safety, GMOs, GMO labeling in food, presence of pesticides, herbicides and chemical poisons in our environment, as well as our daily lives. Monsanto, Dow, Syngenta, Bayer, DuPont and BASF have literally gotten away with murder, both on a human and environmental scale.  Our world’s environment is changing, people are dying in increased numbers from cancer and other ailments caused by our food and massive use of chemicals.

11-1-11: protest at the FDA for raw milk

11-1-11: protest at the FDA for raw milk

There have been protests at the FDA, countless state capitals in this country and around the world.  We’ve fought for the release of activists like raw milk proponent Michael Schmidt &  witnessed milk wars in Brussels!  Movies like, “Food Inc,” “Fresh,” and “Farmageddon”  have brought the public insight into the farm and food industry like nothing since Upton Sinclar’s “The Jungle,” in 1906. Luminaries such as Oprah Winfrey, Dr. Oz to Michelle Obama and the White House have gotten on board.

This is change – THIS is good!

The Occupy movement took hold and challenged Wall Street, the government and corporate America. The rallying cry, “We are the 99%” has made the super rich take notice.  Our election, won by Barack Obama, not Mitt Romney, told of the rejection of corporate America in our lives.  The Tea Party, Fox News and even good old Rush Limbaugh have taken a beating, and rightly so. It is past time that “we the people” take back our country.  “We the 98%”  must keep speaking out, telling the 1% that they should realize we outnumber them! Even the billionaire Koch brothers who spent millions on Mitt Romney’s campaign didn’t assure him the win.  In the end it was we, the “little” people who turned out in force:  women, immigrants, people of color, the working class and the poor along with the young and said:  “Enough is enough!”

We must keep saying:  ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

From hurricane Katrina in 2003, to Irene last year and now hurricane Sandy, things are getting serious with climate change.  We environmentalists have screamed about this for decades.  Nobody paid attention. The oil lobby has fought tooth and nail,  subverting every environmentally sound idea or product which comes along, buying votes, infiltrating government and bribing our lawmakers!  Enough IS enough!  Climate change is real, you buffoons!  It’s long past time to get serious!  It may even be too late but we absolutely cannot ignore the earth’s warnings any longer.  This is real, it’s not going to get better;  the Earth is pissed off and in the end, good old Mom Nature IS going to win!  There will be nothing that humans can do about it.

Around the globe, especially in the Middle East, governments have collapsed under the weight of protests.  Again, the people are speaking out.  Human rights can no longer be ignored.  Oppression, brutality and evil in the likes of Saddam Hussein, Moammar Gaddafi, and Osama Bin Laden cannot stand in this sweep of energy of world events.  Humanity will no longer tolerate murderers who kill for the sake of killing or profess dominance of their kind over another, no matter what the religious or ethnic differences are.  The energy of this world is changing and the “us versus them” must be  overruled by simply, “us,”  “we,” or “the people of this Earth.”

I am sure that many of you can feel the change because we’ve been it in.  It’s not going to magically appear on 12-12-12; it’s been changing for a long time.  All one has to do is read the papers or talk to others.  To me, things feel different – they have for some time.

Let us all, therefore, take a minute to notice change, to be the change, do what we can to help the change for the betterment of humans worldwide.  Whether or not you actually believe it is happening, you can’t doubt that something has taken place.  It’s an opening up of the goodness of humans, the desire to do unto others as we would have them do unto us.  It crosses every boundary, speaks every language, is encompassed in every religion.  The energy of 12-12-12 has been with us globally and will continue to be.  12-12-12 equals change for the good for the people on earth, the health and continuation of every being and miraculous function of this planet.  It’s the only hope we have.