Fluoride, cosmetics, real fat, water and more from the week-end readings

This is a follow-up (to previous posts) with more evidence against fluoride. Can Adding Fluoride to Milk Help Improve Children’s Dental Health? (Mercola)

The Life-Changing Habit Every Woman Has Time For… may be worth trying…

Cosmetics contain plenty of chemicals – a few very dangerous such as lead (neurotoxin causing learning, language and behavioral problems such as lowered IQ), formaldehyde (carcinogen linked to several cancers, including leukemia), phthalates (hormone disrupter affecting the reproductive system), triclosan (linked to changes in hormone levels and increased risk of cancer, especially breast and prostate cancers), and mercury (harms reproductive and cardiovascular systems). Some Women take on cosmetics industry and they need your support.

What if Everything You’ve Been Told about How to Eat Is Wrong (AlterNet) and real fat is really good for you?

Top 10 Healthy Nutrients for Brain Development (Cheeseslave) to stay sharp, focused and stave off dementia.

In a brilliant interview, Wendell Berry, Poet & Prophet (Moyers & Company), this distinguished farmer and writer discusses a plan to save the Earth from the environmental catastrophe.

Have you said NO to the GMO (NaturalNews) yet? It is time that we start eating real food, isn’t it?

Take a step further and think organic, especially when it comes to these 7 Best Foods (BuiltLean) to avoid long-term low level exposure to hazardous pesticides. Children, pregnant women and nursing mothers are especially vulnerable.

European Environmental Agency states that People must pay the full cost of water (Euractiv) to forestall waste and preserve this precious resource. Should we, in the US, also be serious about water and its conservation?

Eating too much and not moving enough may not be the only contributors to the obesity epidemic. What Makes People (and Our Animals) Fat? (TheDailyGreen) explains that there is much more to the story.

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Vitamin D, lunches in schools, healthcare expenses and more from the week-end readings

Human body heavily relies on vitamin D to function well. View Top 10 Best Sources of Vitamin D (Cheeseslave) to obtain your daily dose.

According NUTRiLiving, here are 14 of the Best Vegetables.

This is unbelievable! The Sad State of School Lunch in the US. (Huffington) How can we be astounded that kids are not performing well in school?

What’s Wrong with Store Bought Honey? (Cheeseslave) Some highlights:

•76% of samples bought at groceries had all the pollen removed. Honey from stores like TOP Food, Safeway, Giant Eagle, QFC, Kroger, Metro Market, Harris Teeter, A&P, Stop&Shop, King Soopers
•100% of honey sampled from drugstores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid and CVS Pharmacy had no pollen
•77% of honey sampled from big box stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target and H-E-B had the pollen filtered out
•100% of honey packaged in the small individual service portions from Smucker, McDonald’s and KFC had the pollen removed
•Bryant found that every one of the samples Food Safety News bought at farmers markets, co-ops and “natural” stores like PCC and Trader Joe’s had the full, anticipated, amount of pollen.

Evidence suggests that there is a correlation between the spraying of pesticides and the outbreak of diseases such as polio and pertussis as Are Polio and Whooping Cough Caused By Pesticides? (Cheeseslave) explains. It is certain that we will continue to see many more disastrous health and other side effects of pesticides as time goes on. Not that there is not enough already now to cease or drastically reduce their use. However, for numerous companies, large corporations and some individuals, the planet would have to disintegrate to notice the damage the pesticides are causing.

The collapse of bee colonies is well established but what/who shares the responsibility for this devastating state is still under investigation in many parts of the world. Much points to chemicals used today. For second year in the row Health Canada data show that bee deaths are linked to pesticides. (TheStar)

Why U.S. Health Care Is Obscenely Expensive, In 12 Charts. (Huffington) Based on my practice and research, there are more reasons for the pricey healthcare in the US but the most important include: lack of emphasis on prevention, too few primary care providers in many areas, underutilization of primary care when available and insufficient education on what’s involved to maintain well-being. That should start early on, but judging by The Sad State of School Lunch in the US and what we feed our children as an example, the country has a long way to go.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) may not be the panacea of the broken healthcare system but it will help to insure millions of people who would otherwise not be able to see a primary care physician and obtain preventive care. Read and share 15 Myths The Media Should Ignore During Obamacare Implementation. (Media Matters)

A well-known, regarded food writer and environmentalist, author of Tomatoland, Barry Estabrook lists five things that he absolutely refuses to eat.

The CDC has just published the results of research on antibiotic resistance. It provides information on how the resistance affects us all. The use of antibiotics in farm animals must be restricted to therapeutic purposes only and not used to promote growth.

Fukushima Nuclear Plant Reports Another Radioactive Water Leak. (Huffington)

On the GMO front, The Food Industry Is Intentionally Keeping You in the Dark About How Much Genetically Modified Food You’re Eating. (AlterNet) As we learn about the potentially calamitous health consequences of GMOs, we should have a choice as to what ends up on our plates.

Just in time for the season – 9 Health Benefits of Pumpkin Seeds. (Mercola)

Delay reading this section if you are just consuming your lunch of chicken sandwich; otherwise, be aware that New USDA rule allows hidden feces, pus, bacteria and bleach in conventional poultry. (Natural News)

Top Ten Energy Tools from Around the Web from GRACE.

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Tobacco and food, GMOs, cinnamon, herb power and more from the week-end readings

Are certain foods a new tobacco and the food industry a new tobacco industry? Food Is the New Tobacco (The Environmental Magazine) shines some light on the issue.

In the dark – at least that’s where a consumer is today when it comes to GMOs. Recently, Senators Warren (MA) and Udall (CO) sent a joint letter to the U.S. Food & Drug Administration urging the agency to Finalize GMO Labeling Guidelines. However, according to OCA, it appears that Senators Angle for Monsanto-Friendly FDA Voluntary GMO Labeling Guidance. Instead of voluntary, it should read mandatory. Don’t we just have the right to know?

Two Things Monsanto hates: This Video, and WA I-522.

Meanwhile, one for us – In a major victory brought upon by serious activism and public outrage, new legislation changes will shut down the Monsanto Protection Act rider that granted Monsanto protection from legal action and was set to renew on September 30th. (Natural Society)

Better Than Big Pharma: 5 Herbs You Can’t Do Without (AlterNet). I can personally vouch for lemon balm, ginger, turmeric and elderberry. Especially the last one does wonder when a cold or a flu is on a horizon.

If you like indoor plants, have time and patience, here are 10 House Plants That Will Clean and Purify the Air Inside Your Home. Just remember to water them, once in a while at least. Put it in your calendar or a list to do in case if needed.

Even though more research is needed, the fact that Cinnamon Could Benefit Diabetes Patients (The Huffington Post) is very promising.

Did you realize/do you know that Half of China’s Antibiotics Now Go to Livestock? (MotherJones); meanwhile, in the US, livestock industry is now consuming nearly four-fifths of the antibiotic.

Should we forget vaccines and Fight Pandemic Disease with Herb Power? (Natural Society)

Autism is on the rise. And more research provides evidence that environment plays a huge role such as exposure to air pollutants and insecticides used in the home. (The Environmental Magazine)

If possible, help to Stop SB 633, Oregon’s Monsanto Protection Act that will hurt Oregon’s farmers and local food and agriculture!

Here are a few means to diminish a possibility of cancer:

–       Eliminate Processed Foods
–       Exercise
–       Increase Vitamin D
–       Optimize Essential Fat Consumption
–       Minimize Radiation Exposure
–       Sleep Plenty and Reduce Stress

For details, read 6 Simple Ways to Reduce Your Risk of Cancer.

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Hope Beneath Our Feet

A recommendation for this book emanated from the least expected source – a person who I would never think of as someone for whom the preservation of the natural environment and resources matters. Hope Beneath Our Feet comprises of essays written by people from all walks of life – educators, advocates, activists, philosophers, historians, politicians, religious figures, community leaders and many more.  They are all answering to one question: In a time of environmental crisis, how can we live right now?

This astonishing book opens eyes to the reality of what the human species has created, stupefies with its wisdom, disturbs and overwhelms with its boldness (we need it), greatly inspires for action (we crave it), but above all brings hope (we deserve it)…

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Cake, exercises, BPA, food movement, arsenic and more from the week-end readings

You Can’t Have It All, but You Can Have Cake. Asides from the fact that “all” can have so many meanings (as Delia Nephron points out), even if we could have all, do we really need it? Why would we want it? Even if it is a cake from your favorite bakery…

Find out What Happens to Your Body When You Exercise (The Huffington Post). Not every type of exercise is good for all and in each circumstance. Learning what works for your schedule,  body/mind and situations may take some sweats but the payoff outweighs the efforts.

Is this really happening? EPA Quietly Withdraws Two Proposed Chemical Safety Rules. One concerns Bisphenol A (BPA), a chemical found in many water bottles and other plastic products and linked to risks of hormonal disruptions, obesity, anxiety, problems with a reproductive system and cancer (brain and breast) amongst others. A second rule that [the] EPA withdrew would have forced companies to disclose to the public the chemicals used in products and the health and safety studies the companies have conducted on those chemicals — much of which companies have been allowed to protect as “confidential business information.

As the GMO labeling debate continues, two United States Senators, Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mark Udall (D-CO), urge FDA to Finalize GMO Labeling Guidelines (RSN).

In the meantime, we learn that Herbicide-Resistant Monsanto GMOs [were] Planted Before USDA Approved (OrganicAuthority).

Are blueberries, apples and grapes better for you than other fruit? Uncover in Some Fruits Are Better Than Others (NYT).

To continue discussion about mental health and disorders, The New Science of Mind explains how our limited knowledge of the biological foundation of complex mental activity is beginning to really expand. To give us new insights into who we are as human beings. And to provide more effective treatments when needed.

At times when obesity is on everyone’s mind, Overweight But Anorexic Teens Are Often Overlooked By Doctors (The Huffington Post).

Can Public Health unite the Good Food Movement? In an excerpt: Although the Farm Bill comes before Congress every five years, fundamental changes to the legislation emerge only in response to crisis. […] The anti-hunger, food justice, environmental justice, buy-local and labor communities are responding to bad fiscal, economic, and social policy (including structural racism) that has allowed persistent poverty and is now quickly shrinking the middle class. The environmental and sustainable agriculture communities are responding to degradations caused by industrial farming, fossil fuel production, and consumption. The anti-obesity, school food, locavore, animal welfare, Slow Food communities, natural food entrepreneurs, and sustainable farmers and ranchers are responding to the effects of industrial agricultural production and industrial (fast) food consumption, but for different reasons. For the food movement to place unstoppable pressure on policymakers and industrial food producers, it needs a very focused set of goals that emerge from a single root crisis that binds us all. Public health is that crisis.

Read Toxic chemicals will make you fat to appreciate how they (Formaldehyde, Parabens, Triclosan, Imidazolidinyl Urea, SLS) may negatively impact your weight and health in general.

While the FDA concludes rice to be low in arsenic and therefore safe to eat (NPR), the toxic cancer-causing arsenic is being found even in organic rice products (NaturalNews). Consumer Reports (CR), a very well-known and highly respected nonprofit organization that research safety of consumer products and services, finds that a real need for federal standards for this toxin is critical and long overdue. Follow this link to find out how much arsenic is in rice/rice products of your choice.

If possible, head to Washington, DC, for The Green Festival Experience. The Green Festival, a project of Green America (one of the best resources of green news and products) and Global Exchange, also takes place in other location. Visit their website for more information.

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Food labels, nuclear power, pesticides in tea, Drift and more from the week-end readings

Dr. Marion Nestle affirms in her post titled FDA study: Do added nutrients sell products? (Of course they do) that food marketers know perfectly well that nutrients sell food products.

On a related topic, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) Introduces Bill Ending Subsidy for Marketing Unhealthy Foods to Children.

Fukushima in Free-fall: Radioactive Water Filters Taken Offline, Tepco in Desperation as Leaks Just Won’t Stop (Natural News). As awful as the situation is, hopefully, this will pressure governments, communities and individuals to reconsider nuclear power. Mark Bittman continues the discussion in The New Nuclear Craze (NYT) by further clarifying safety and economic viability of nuclear power.

But as Japan plans to spend $470 million on a subterranean ice wall in a desperate attempt to stop leaks of radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, Radiation Levels Spike Around Contaminated Tanks At Fukushima Nuclear Plant.

Origin conducted a remarkable interview with Brené Brown, PhD, LMSW, one of the best, well-known researchers on vulnerability. Her TEDx Houston talk, The Power of Vulnerability, has become one of the most watched talks on TED.com, with over 8.5 million views.

With the healthcare overhaul law and more evidences that healthcare cost are declining explained in  More Good News on Health Care: Medicare Costs Are Down, Down, Down (Mother Jones), the future [in this country] may be brighter than we think.

The newest update on fluoride – Fluoridating Water Supplies Keeps Us Dumb, Docile, and Sick – Let’s End It (Natural Society).

That Food Dyes are Linked to Cancer, ADHD, Allergies (Food Safety News) is not news but a good reminder as so many edible items around us today contain them.

Due to overdiagnosis of psychiatric disorders, medical treatment of normal behaviors, Big Pharma exploitation of psychiatry and the adverse effects of psychiatric medications, Our Society Breeds Anxiety, Depression and Dysfunction (AlterNet).

As more and more evidences suggest that pesticides used to treat crops are making honey bees susceptible to a fatal parasite and contributing to recent declines in bee populations, Florida Citrus Grower That Killed Millions of Bees With Pesticide Gets $1,500 Fine. In fact, honeybees are on a verge of collapse; Mother Jones’ article, The Mystery of Bee Colony Collapse, shines more light on the issue.

Before reaching for the next cup of your favorite tea, read Do You Know What’s Really In Your Tea? to learn if some of the heaviest pesticides are ending up in your mug/cup.

If possible, please, Tell Coke: Stop Running Ads Claiming that Diet Coke and Aspartame are Healthy.

An astonishing Jon McGoran’s new novel, Drift, is an ecological thriller about a small farming community invaded by a genetic engineering-focused crime ring. As David Morell , New York Times bestselling author of Murder as a Fine Art, expresses, “You’ll think twice about the food you put into your mouth after you read Drift. This thriller isn’t only compelling—it’s about something hugely important.

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Food from China, prevention vs. profit, Miso, Aloe and more from the week-end readings

Consider 6 mind-boggling facts about farms in China before buying food (or anything for that matter) from there.

When it comes to health and healthcare, most nations focus on healing and prevention; in the US, the health industry’s big players (insurers and drugmakers “Big Pharma”) focus on making as much money as possible. For details, read The Medical-Industrial Complex.

The $11 Trillion Reward: How Simple Dietary Changes Can Save Money and Lives, and How We Get There report written by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has been previously brought up. However, the discussion continues and Mark Bittman from the NYT debates in 11 Trillion Reasons how by subsidizing the production of commodity crops (mainly soy, corn and wheat) we discourage the farming of fruits and vegetables — the foods that promote health.

More on fracking in The Guardian’s (go figure) article, A Texan tragedy: ample oil, no water. Fracking boom sucks away precious water from beneath the ground, leaving cattle dead, farms bone-dry and people thirsty. How much more in an environmental destruction do we need to pay to cease the practice?

Companies That Profit From Unhealthy Food Say Keep Eating Junk, Just Exercise More. Can someone/something be more hypocritical? Exercising is crucial to a healthy life but not to compensate for unhealthy food.

On the subject of BPA, Environmental Health News reports that a new study in California found bisphenol A (BPA) in all samples of umbilical cord blood obtained from pregnant women, suggesting universal fetal exposure. More than one-third of the samples had levels comparable to or higher than levels associated with [adverse] health effects in animals. These findings contradict previous assumption that BPA passes into the liver.

GreenMedInfo explains how Miso Protects Against Radiation, Cancer and Hypertension.

Read Future So Bright: 10 Facts about the State of Solar from GRACE Communications Foundation for updates on solar power.

5 Things You Should be Eating to Protect Your Brain as it Ages. Yam!

As the OCA’s article, GMO Seeds: Fueling the Health of Corporations, reports: Over the past 20 years, America’s seeds, animal feed and biofuels have been infiltrated like a virus by genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The primary (and non-arguable sole) winners (…) have been the profit margins of the world’s largest biotech, pesticide and agrochemical companies. More than 40 percent of all U.S. cropland is devoted to GMO crops. (…) nearly 80 percent of processed foods sold in the U.S. now contain GMOs; the majority of genetically engineered crops aren’t grown to feed humans. The bulk of (…) is used to feed animals and generates biofuels. Americans consume 193 pounds of GMOs annually. And the animals that provide us with nearly all the meat, poultry and dairy we eat are force fed GE crops their  bodies were never designed to process. Despite all that, GMOs have never been proven safe for consumption; most recent studies throughout the world strongly indicate that GMOs are seriously harmful to humans, animals and the environment in some very significant ways.

Christina Sarich from Natural Society  informs that Just One Daily Tablespoon of Aloe can Reverse Aging.

Does Soda Rot Your Brains Along With Your Teeth? by Emily Deans, M.D. from Evolutionary Psychiatry. After reading the post, look around and answer for yourself.

Read August 16 (a Message on Love) to learn that the only one way to really survive emotional hurt is to lean into it.

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Food scraps, gas drilling, radioactive water and more from the week-end readings

Learn about how You Can Afford Wholesome and Organic Food from Mother Earth News.

Food scraps make up the largest percentage of waste in landfills—21% (followed by plastics at 17% and paper at 16%). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reports that in 2010, more than 34 million tons of food waste was generated—and only 3% was diverted from landfills. The greenest city in the US keeps an astonishing 80% of solid waste out of landfills. Can your city do it? Trash lessons from E – The Environmental Magazine may help to answer some questions.

What are Four Questions You Should Never Ask at a Farmers Market?  (Civil Eats)

Unfair Share: How Oil and Gas Drillers Avoid Paying Royalties provides another example of how landowners from Pennsylvania to North Dakota have been promised a better life and generous compensation by big oil/gas companies when allowing them to drill for natural gas on their land. [However] manipulation of costs and other data by these companies is keeping billions of dollars in royalties out of the hands of private and government landholders.

Fukushima leaks 300 tons of radioactive water into the ocean daily (NaturalNews). Japan’s nuclear watchdog has declared the situation a “state of emergency” and it appears that it will only get worse –  the entire Northern hemisphere has been placed at risk by a bunch of corporate bureaucrats who thought building a nuclear facility in the path of a sure-to-happen tidal wave was a fantastic idea.

Lemons may be considered another little miracle of nature. View 9 Awesome Facts About Lemons You Should Know.

If there is too much salt, sugar and/or fat in your diet, Mark Hyman, MD offers 10 Ways to Ditch Your Cravings for them.

Picking Organic Produce from E – The Environmental Magazine provides useful information about buying organics at the supermarket while being on a budget. The Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s just-released 9th annual “Dirty Dozen” list documents pesticide contamination for 48 popular fruits and vegetables.

Three-soda-a-day sugar habit could be toxic, Utah study finds. In a new study out of University of Utah, researchers have discovered that even a small amount of refined sugar consumption results in catastrophic consequences. Male mice fed a diet with 25 percent extra sugar — equivalent to about an additional three cans of soda a day in humans — were less likely to defend their territory and reproduce, while female mice on the same diet died at twice the normal rate.

The harmful effects of pesticides and fertilizers are slowly but surely becoming evident, more every day. They have a negative impact on all of us, but especially farmers and farm workers who are directly exposed to the toxic chemicals as described in Pesticides Taking Toll on Farmworkers (Civil Eats).

Recall being a child. Although as the article points out – wisdom comes with age – 6 Childhood Habits To Take Into The Real World offers little pearls to be followed faithfully for a more content living.

Let’s Keep the Pressure on to Save the Bees! Please, help the bees and our future!And another plead.

Please, Tell the FDA: GMOs Aren’t Natural.

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Herbs, GMOs, BPA, Seeds of Change of India and more from the week-end readings

Herbs have been used for millennia to heal bodies and souls. Read about Five [truly] amazing herbal teas and the conditions they can help treat from Natural News.

Leaving aside the question of whether they’re good or bad for a moment, what exactly are GMOs, and which foods are they in? Find out in Mother Jones’ article 5 Surprising Genetically Modified Foods.

93% of the Public Wants GMO Labeling—Monsanto and the Big Agribusiness Giants Plan to Spend Millions in Propaganda to Change Our Minds by Katherine Paul and Zack Kaldveer from AlterNet.

Be WARY of GMOAnswers.com website. The initiative is sponsored/funded by big agrochemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta and BASF.

An article from NaturalNews asks a question Is GM corn responsible for causing epidemic of debilitating, inexplicable disease symptoms? It could be any corn but GMO corn may be especially harmful giving its altered genetic nature.

All Eyes [are] on Washington State for GE Food Labeling with the Initiative 522. If successful, the law would require GMO foods sold in Washington State to be labeled, period. This means Washington State could become the first state in the nation to implement labeling of GMO foods. If possible, please, support the Yes on 522.

A report The $11 Trillion Reward from The Union of Concerned Scientists explains how Investing in Healthy Food Will Save Lives and Dollars. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables could save more than 100,000 lives and $17 billion in health care costs from heart disease each year.

A new study – Metabolic disruption in male mice due to fetal exposure to low but not high doses of bisphenol A (BPA) – links low doses of BPA (the hormone-altering chemical) to changes in body weight (obesity) and glucose tolerance (diabetes). According to this new research, in the offspring mice, BPA was associated with weight gain, increased abdominal fat and eating, impaired glucose tolerance and increased hormones that regulate glucose and appetite. Mice harmed by low doses of BPA but not high doses, study says article from EnvironmentalHealthNews.org further states “Last month, reacting to that report, the EPA defended its testing [methods], concluded that current testing of hormone-altering chemicals is adequate for detecting low-dose effects that may jeopardize health. […] In response to this new study, a spokesperson for the American Chemistry Council, which represents chemical companies, said the findings had not been replicated and it ‘presents conclusions that are not supported by the findings of EPA’s recent extensive review of the state of the science on low dose exposures.’”

One of the major environmental issues when it comes to fracking is the impact of it on water. An article The Growing Evidence of the Threat of Fracking to the Nation’s Groundwater by Dr. Peter Gleick explains it in a transparent, concise and evidence-based manner. The risks of fracking include growing competition for limited water resources; the production of large volumes of contaminated wastewater that comes up with the oil or gas and must be treated, reinjected, or safely stored; truck traffic and its impacts on the water quality of streams; spills and leaks; and the risks of groundwater contamination from the drilling and fracking process or from surface seepage of improperly handled wastewater. Just Considering the already existing evidence, the fracking practice should be seriously reconsidered.

To continue on the energy subject, explore joining Pear Energy where energy comes only from alternatives such as wind and solar sources which supports reversing climate change and offering freedom from public health and safety dangers due to fracking technology and nuclear power.

Find out about a super spice that may already be in your kitchen cupboard waiting to be used…

Watch this brief clip Feeding 9 Billion: Seeds of Change – India to find out what Indian farmers are utilizing to feed themselves.

Learn in The Rodale Institute celebrates the success of its 30-year Farming Systems Trial (The Cornucopia Institute) about how organic farming prevents crops from failing and creates  a more stable environment for plants and people.

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Blueberry and Peach Coconut cake

24 servings

An easy summer party delight! This cake is quick to make and absolutely delicious when served with a tablespoon of plain yogurt!

9 tbsp unsalted butter
3 cups flour
3 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut (if sweetened is used, reduce sugar to 1 1/3 cup)
2 cups milk
3 eggs
2 cups of blueberries and 2 large peaches or any combination of fruit to yield about 4 cups in total

Turn oven to 350 F degrees. Butter or oil a rectangular baking dish, about 10 x 14 inches, preferable heat-proof glass. Melt butter on low heat. Mix dry ingredients in a mixing bowl: flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Add coconut. In a separate bowl, slightly whisk the eggs. Add milk to eggs. Turn on the mixer on slow speed. Add milk/egg mixture to the dry ingredients. Mix only until well combined. Do NOT overmix. Place the batter into the baking dish and spread evenly. Spread the fruit mixture on top. Place into the warm oven and bake for about 45 – 50 minutes or until a cake tester (knife or wooden pick, etc.) comes out clean.

Let it cool before serving. If possible…

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Fluoride, corporate coup, fracking and more from the week-end readings

A follow up article on the topic of fluoride (see my previous post for the initial entry) – Some non-organic foods contain upwards of 180 times the fluoride level of tap water, says expert (The NaturalNews Network) – confirms previously stated concerns and adds more.

Hear how to reverse the ongoing Corporate Coup d’Etat from Chris Hedges aired on Alternative Radio.

The issue of fracking has occasionally appeared on this blog and the news seems to be moving in the right direction. Food & Water Watch reports that Fracking Bans Spread Across Argentina, Global Resistance Grows.

Updates and more facts on GMOs and Monsanto:

– “Reacting to the dangerous escalation of chemical farming, toxic residues on foods and environmental pollution,” millions of people have taken (literally and figuratively) to the streets in a global “March Against Monsanto.” Read Millions Against Monsanto: On the Road to Victory (OCA) for an update

– Learn how NOT to comply with Monsanto and stand up for your health and well-being in Top Ways to Flip Monsanto the bird daily

Center for Food Safety has develop an interactive Genetically Engineered Food Labeling Laws Map showing that more than sixty countries have strict GMOs laws

– Appreciate The 10 GMO Myths That Monsanto Wants You To Believe

Another study, from France this time, provides evidence that common food contaminants like dioxin, PCB, bisphenol A (BPA) and phthalates may be causing dangerous metabolic changes as explained in the Food Contaminants Worsen Metabolic Problems in Obese Mice article (Mercola.com).

Health problems linked to some of the most common food contaminants include:

  • BPA: Plasticizing chemicals like BPA, found in plastics and canned food linings, disrupt embryonic development and are linked to heart disease and cancer.
  • Phthalates: Phthalates dysregulate gene expression and cause genital anomalies, especially in baby boys, that may pass down several generations. Found in vinyl flooring, detergents, automotive plastics, soap, shampoo, deodorants, fragrances, hair spray, nail polish, plastic bags, food packaging, garden hoses, inflatable toys, blood-storage bags, and intravenous medical tubing.
  • Dioxins: Dioxins, a byproduct of industrial processes, such as chlorine bleaching of paper products and the manufacturing of some pesticides. […] they accumulate in the food chain and more than 90 percent of human exposure is through foods like meat, dairy products and fish. […]are highly toxic and can cause reproductive and developmental problems, damage the immune system, interfere with hormones and also cause cancer.”
  • PCBs: Like dioxins, PCBs are persistent organic pollutants (POPs) that persist in the environment and resist breaking down, accumulating in the food chain and posing serious risks to human health and the environment. PCBs and other POPs have caused birth defects and other abnormalities among wildlife, along with damage to virtually every human bodily system.

Read Nutrition, Inc. by C. D. Cook from The Progressive to find out how The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics lets Kellogg and Pepsi give advice on how kid can eat right. STUNNING!

10 Things the Processed Food Industry Doesn’t Want You to Know. Say no more.

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Couscous with summer yellow squash, herbs and toasted almonds recipe

2 generous servings

This meal shines with its simplicity; it may be a splendid choice for warm summer evenings. A few notes to consider. I usually use whole wheat couscous but the white type works as well. It can be yellow squash or zucchini although I found that the yellow squash does stay crunchy longer and tastes better with herbs. As far as herbs, use any kind available at the time of making the dish. My garden at the moment swims in dill, oregano, parsley, cilantro, chive, thyme and basil so I have been cooking them. Almonds can be used raw. On a hot day, it suffices completely. However, by toasting, they become crunchier but more delicate and more intense flavor.

⅔ cups whole wheat couscous
½ tsp salt
2 medium yellow squash
1 tbsp olive oil (up to 2 – more than that causes the meal to be too oily)
½ cup herb(s) – most recently I used a mix of oregano, parsley, cilantro and basil
½ tsp herb salt
½ tsp garlic granules
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
2 oz (about 60 gr) raw almonds

Prepare couscous according the package or your own recipe. If not called for, add salt to the basic couscous recipe. Set aside.

Quarter lengthwise and slice ¼ inch thick. Mix squash with oil, herbs, salt, garlic and cayenne pepper. Cover and sauté on medium heat in a pot for about 5 minutes or until squash softens as desired. However, do not overcook as the meal will become a mash. It can also be done without the cover but needs to be watch carefully and stirred occasionally. Set aside.

Next – prepare almonds. If planning to have them raw, just chop roughly. If toasting, place whole almonds in a frying pan, on medium heat toast them for about 7 minutes or until slightly darker than when the toasting began. Take almonds off the heat but leave them in the pan until they are warm to touch. Chop them roughly.

In a large bowl, combine couscous, the yellow squash with herbs and almonds. Mix well and taste for salt and spiciness.

Serve warm or cold.

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Fluoride, chocolate, GMOs, junk food and more from the week-end readings

It is becoming apparent that fluoride poses many risks.  Top 10 Dangers of Fluoride (from Cheeseslave) summarize some of the most widely recognized. A MUST see short movie, Fluoride: The Hard to Swallow Truth provides information not to frighten but to educate.

Chocolate will never cease to amaze me that in this one food, there can be so much goodness. View the NaturalSociety’s article 7 Dark Chocolate Health Benefits for details.

In Breeding Bacteria on Factory Farms, Mark Bittman (NYT) reviews and recapitulates the current studies and evidences “that keeping animals in confinement and feeding them antibiotics prophylactically breeds varieties of bacteria that cause disease in humans…” often very hard to treat diseases.

Will US trade negotiators seek the elimination of GMO restrictions in Europe? Will European Requirements for Labeling GMO Foods Survive New Trade Negotiations? Cornucopia offers some insights.

Carole Bartolotto (The Huffington Post) advices on How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods – And Take Your Power Back. And her interview with a renowned scientist, Michael Hansen, PhD, Is the Movement to Label GMOs Anti-Science? renders answers to some of the more unsettling issues regarding GMOs.

Are you concerned about the lack of labeling of Genetically Engineered Foods? From Just Label It, read 8 Things You Can Do and how to access additional information.

In the Health Letter article, July 2013, Public Citizen recommends to Protect Others by Reporting Your Child’s Problems with Medical Products (the case will make You think twice before taking ANY medication next time).

In order to answer some of my friends’ and colleagues’ questions, the article 7 Foods You Should Never Eat is being reposted.

Organic certification verifies that products meet all requirements in the USDA organic regulations from farm to market. See the definitions, regulations and resources for additional information in in this brief document.

[…] food companies have known for decades that salt, sugar and fat are not good for us in the quantities Americans consume them, and yet every year they convince most of us to ingest about twice the recommended amount of salt and 70 pounds of sugar – up to 22 teaspoons a day. Is junk food the new tobacco? Read here to find some answers.

The Food Revolution Network’s The Truth About Soy is an excellent article about detriments and benefits of soy. Worth reading, especially by those who consider soy a miracle or at very least a safe alternative to cow’s milk.

Consider helping The Cornucopia Institute with a new scorecard to rate brands of organic chicken. Following the link: Help Us Separate Factory Farm Brands of “Organic” Chicken from the Real McCoy.

And finally, following the instructions to make the best ricotta cheese: Homemade Ricotta A La Il Buco Alimentari Is Amazing, Surprisingly Easy To Make. Make sure to use good quality “unpasteurized” or at most, just “pasteurized” milk.

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Blissful ice-cream, McDonald’s, self-control and more from the week-end readings

As the summer enters into full swing, let’s begin with sweet and divinely delicious Step-by-Step Instructions for One-Ingredient Ice Cream from theKitchn.

If you think it is impossible, look at the case in Bolivia. The country refused to conform to a big food corporation as explained in the Nation of Change’s article Fast Food Rejection: McDonald’s Shuts Down All Restaurants in Bolivia and others from around the web.

Contrary to previous research, do good moods and positive emotions lead to food indulgence? Read Good mood food? Positive emotions and moods are also an important trigger for indulgence, says study to learn more.

Are you self-controlled? If so, you may not “get to enjoy the cronuts, but you get to be thin, healthy, and otherwise better than the rest of us“ or so a new research claims as reported by The Atlantic in the Study: People With a Lot of Self-Control Are Happier article.

An (almost) success story in the maternal health from Nepal, What Pregnancy Is Like in Nepal (The Atlantic).

“Present in 94% of our water supply, Atrazine is a toxic weed killer and 76 million pounds of it is dumped onto our farms each year, mostly for corn.” Read Another Reason to Eat Organic – The Water Supply in the Midwest is Becoming a Serious Health Risk from LivingMaxWell and definitely watch the brief clip here.

Extensive Research Shows Monsanto’s #1 Selling Herbicide Roundup Is Killing You from Natural Society. It is a MUST to watch – takes only a couple of minutes.

The movie, Food, Inc., has been released a few years ago (2008) but it is as relevant today as then. Things do not change quickly enough. Food, Inc. shows destructive environmental and food practices and “examines the costs of putting value and convenience over nutrition.” See the official trailer here.

Prevent Alzheimer’s by Sunning & Skipping Sunscreens from GreenMedInfo.

For the meat devotees, the following two reports may be of interest: Michigan levies $700,000 in fines against a small farmer and veteran for raising healthy hogs and Where Corn Is King, a New Regard for Grass-Fed Beef.

Big Ag and Biotech companies never stop deceiving. Read how in Big-Ag Lies in Disguise: The Industrial Food Complex’s Latest Marketing Tool by Organic Authority.

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WHO, calories, Foodopoly, really funky food and more from the week-end readings

Read what Dr. Margaret Chan, the Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), has said at the Opening Address at the 8th Global Conference on Health Promotion in Helsinki, Finland. Bravo Dr. Chan!

The epidemic of obesity is ruining this nation (and others as well) in every possible way – economically, emotionally, physically, mentally. Raising the price on highly caloric food may not be a novel idea but certainly one worth discussing and acting on. The Washington Post’s article How to curb obesity: Tax calories, study says explains how it works.

Wenonah Hauter’s book Foodopoly: The Battle Over the Future of Food and Farming in America examines the corporate consolidation and control over our food system and what it means for farmers and consumers” and is a must to read for anyone who cares about what they eat!

The best worst new foods at the 2013 Minnesota State Fair from Grist.

In a follow up to my previous post about a recently rendered food prize (sponsored by Monsanto), Mark Bittman from the NYT discusses The True Deservers of a Food Prize.

Research Shows that Monsanto’s Big Claims for GMO Food Are Probably Wrong. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability examined those [GMOs] claims and found that conventional plant breeding, not genetic engineering, is responsible for yield increases in major U.S. crops. Additionally, GM crops, also known as genetically engineered (GE) crops, can’t even take credit for reductions in pesticide use.”

Is it possible that 80 percent of US packaged foods may contain dangerous chemicals?

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Food politics, labeling, native wisdom and more from the week-end readings

One of my favorite people from the food world, Dr. Marion Nestle, talks about her history with food studies and the future of food politics in the interview with Eve Turow from The Village Voice.

On her blog, you can also find out more about Great Britain’s consistent system of front-of-pack food labeling and Australia’s new, star-rating system for food packaging, to indicate how healthy products are.

The House rejected the Senate Farm Bill. Perhaps it is even better as the law base on it would hardly resemble a farm bill, especially with huge unnecessary subsidies to for the largest and most successful farm businesses and awful cuts to food assistance and to farm and nutrition programs as well as to protection of the environment.

Here is an interesting op-ed from NYT by Frank Bruni about calories counting.

Is this a joke or a really poor judgment? Executive at Monsanto Wins Global Food Honor (NYT).

Good news from the restaurant industry – Chipotle becomes first US restaurant chain to voluntarily label GMOs (NaturalNews.com).

How about Mandatory food composting on a large scale? Mayor Bloomberg wants just that for New York City.

The United States has not been an example of sustainable farming. We can change that. Learn about Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest in International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability.

Food is one of the greatest gifts” of this planet. However, due to technology, innovations and creepy science, the knowledge about food that has given rise to humanity has been disregarded and dismissed in the last several decades. “First Peoples Worldwide wants to change that with its new Native Abundance initiative.” Read Native Abundance and the Wisdom of Native Food Practices in Civil Eats.

Last but not least, if possible, march with Moms Across America this July 4th to learn about and for labeling GMOs.

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Pigs, future shopping, songs, bread and more from the week-end readings

GRACE Communications Foundation reports that another new study published this time in the Journal of Organic Systems Demonstrates Harm to Animals Raised on GMO Feed. “Pigs raised on a mixed diet of GM corn and GM soy had higher rates of intestinal problems, ‘including inflammation of the stomach and small intestine, stomach ulcers, a thinning of intestinal walls and an increase in hemorrhagic bowel disease, where a pig can rapidly ‘bleed-out’ from their bowel and die.’”

Farm Bill story continues. The Senate passes the Bill but House Vote Is Less Sure as reported by New York Times.

Today, as much as 40 percent of food produced in America is thrown away, amounting to 1,400 calories per person per day, $400 per person per year, and notably, 31 million tons of food added to landfills each year.” This is terrible for the climate and an insult to poor people. When it comes to food waste, we are the problem but also the solution!

Some wonders how the future shopping for grocery may look like. According to Slate, You order online. Your stuff comes the same day. You never have to leave your house again”.

I rarely do this but the issue matters greatly and too much is at stake to ignore it. If possible, please, SUPPORT A GROUNDBREAKING LAWSUIT AGAINST MONSANTO! from The Center for Food Safety (CFS).

In Giving up Tuna? Breathing Is Next, Mark Bittman from the NYT discusses pollutants, specifically mercury, emitted from old-fashioned, unfiltered coal-burning plants end up in our waters, fish and other food. Over the years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has developed regulations to reduce the toxins. However, power plants representatives, chemical and energy industries have been ferociously fighting them. The saga continues to weaken the rules or eliminated them all together. As usual the EPA often weakens their ruling after the industry “intervenes” as many of EPA workers come from the businesses. Fortunately, in 2010, a court-order forced EPA to develop the Mercury and Air Toxics Standards (MATS) hopefully going in to effect in 2015. Per article, when mercury levels are controlled, other pollutants are also reduced. Mercury is a “neurotoxin that attacks brain cells (watch this vivid, slightly retro and certainly scary enough video of how mercury produces brain damage)” possibly causing “lower I.Q., reduced hearing, seeing and speech to impaired mobility and more.” For more, view the whole article.

This “evocative and provocative song/video ‘Feed Your Baby’ about our broken food system by Jen Chapin” was found on Food Politics. Very interesting!

Read the interview with Stephanie Seneff, PhD: Co-author of “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases” on Monsanto’s Glyphosate and Roundup’s Implications on Modern Diseases.

Ideas on Keep Your Kids Learning This Summer.

Maggie Beidelman from AlterNet shares with us her love for bread, “American bread is processed in a way that may be making us sick” and what can be done about it in The Trouble with Bread: What I Discovered When I Tried to Get to the Bottom of My Gluten Intolerance.

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