Monday, August 21, 2006

Interesting Organic Study - Response to Comments

This blog is in response to my last blog titled Interesting Organic Study if you'd like to read that first. What I wanted to say was too long and needed too much formatting to be displayed in the little comment window. So here goes...

Yay! Kurt wrote a comment!!! I disagree with what you wrote, but it's great to hear from you! :) Please don't take anything I write below negatively, it's just my opinion. It's all written with a huge grin on my face! :) And try to remember most of my "viewpoint" comes from the NEUROLOGICAL side of it. Todd thinks my new title should be the Neurodevelopmental Nutritionalist.

The organic vs non-organic issue is frustrating because one article says there is a huge nutritional difference (the one I sent you) and another will say there's not much difference. That drives me nuts. Ya just have to pick a side and I'd rather pick the more natural side because the fewer chemicals put in, the less impact on the brain. Chemicals that enter the body tend to go straight to the brain like a magnet. We go out of our way to give Anna probiotics to help keep the establishment of good bacteria in her stomach (her eating issues) and pesticides KILL off a lot of those bacteria in the gut. So does unfiltered tap water. *sigh* For Anna, that's a big deal. For others, maybe not so much... but remember, 50% of all neurotransmitters for the brain are produced in the gut. 90% of serotonin is produced in the gut and norepinephrine is also produced there as well as ALL of the major cells of the immune system.. :) It really is the second brain. Most neurologically disabled children/people have severe gut/digestion problems.

As for the downsides to organic food? Manure washes off food much easier than pesticide residue. Who doesn't wash their fruits and veggies before eating them anyway??? Um, hello! Not only are there nasty chemicals on them, but where do you think the migrant workers pee??? *shiver* Anyway, local farms are much for conscious of the types of organic manure they purchase/use than the large agribusiness companies that do some "organic stuff" on the side.

If you see fruit with MOLD ON IT, don't buy it. LOL Mold is very obvious.

E. coli is such a scare right now but I try not to worry about it. I buy local beef from very small farms if possible. Ditto for the chicken and turkey I purchase. If you ever hear of E. coli breakouts in raw milk, it always comes from some dim-whit who doesn't buy certified raw milk. They do the loop-hole in the law and belong to a cow-share or get it off the black market. This is just plain stupid. We only buy state certified raw products and there haven't been any outbreaks there. Those animals are very well taken care of and the farmers take exceptional care to make sure everything is sterile and well handled. We even visited the farm just to see how clean it was!

There are so many other sources out there that contaminate us - not just food. And honestly, I think all of the problems we're seeing in children, neurological disorders, learning disabilities, etc all the way into old age are caused by ALL OF IT. Not just food. I think when we combine all of the sources you listed below it IS too much for the human body. Do I think just going organic is going to make significant changes??? Nope, probably not. But I think we have to take baby steps. I think so many of the things we're producing and doing are so backwards, it's not even funny. So now you get to see how hippie I really am!!! EEEK!

You've also got to remember that many of these items listed below are environmental and are present in almost everything we come in contact with... It's exposing ourselves to them on purpose, on top of their natural occurrence that causes problems.


  • I have mercury fillings in my mouth and I can't WAIT to get them replaced. It creeps me out just knowing they're in there. As soon as I'm done with these retainers, those will come out ASAP. We look for special cans of tuna that contain Tongel tuna - they are much larger fish that swim lower in the water, therefore they do not contain as many contaminants (mercury). We are also picky about the types of fresh fish we buy.
  • Pesticides & fungicides are obvious - we don't do all organic, but we buy things that matter the most. Dairy, eggs and meat are absolutely always organic in our house - if possible.
  • I switched fabric softeners to a really cool brand called Method, carried by Target, Safeway and Fred Meyer now. This brand is AWESOME! They make about 20 products and I'm trying to get my hands on all of them to replace what I currently use. I already have their hardwood floor cleaner, counter cleaner, hand sanitizer, hand soap, laundry detergent and fabric softener.
  • Laugh all you want, but I use a preservative-free contact solution for that very reason. ;)


  • I don't drink many soft drinks or pop (I try to avoid them for a variety of reasons). Todd's the only one who buys them and the girls only get a sip every once in a while. Aspartame, sugar, artificial colors & preservatives, empty calories etc... Like I said, lots of reasons I try not to drink too much pop.
  • I just got rid of all of my old cookware and replaced it with a complete stainless steel set for a billion reasons, this being one of them.
  • There's aluminum in cheese??? LOL Good thing we don't buy much cheese unless it's made from raw dairy. Huh! I didn't know this one.
  • I don't use baking powder, white flour, stomach antacids or laxatives because I think they're all unhealthy. I tried switching to an aluminum-free, natural deodorant about six months ago and that was just a joke! LOL So I'll stick with my aluminum-loaded deodorant that actually WORKS. LOL
  • I'm considering switching to Tom's toothpaste (a natural one) but I'm not quite hippy enough to do it yet... Still on the fence with that one.
  • I would give anything to have a whole house water filter, but I'll settle for a kitchen sink reverse osmosis water filter - when I actually make the time to buy one and install it! We have a water filter on our shower head upstairs to help with Lindsey's constant rash on her legs.


  • Hard to avoid that one although I don't smoke or drink much coffee. If they're referring to stainless steel cooking pans, I think cadmium is the lesser of the two evils when compared to mercury. Children with severe neurological disorders have very high amounts of mercury and aluminum in their bodies, mostly concentrated around the brain blood barrier / myelin sheath.
  • I do have to mention that on his own, Todd buys organic, shade-grown coffee. I don't know how that affects the cadmium levels, but I'm guessing since your email listed fertilizers as a source of cadmium, maybe that's where it comes from in the coffee crops?


  • Yet another reason for the water filter that I'm begging to get. :)
  • Arsenic is only found in extremely low levels in sea salt. The brand we buy has 0.0001 of arsenic in it.


  • I avoid every food possible that has added dyes and unnecessary additives. About the only drink we own that I pathetically allow is crystal light... LOL It's hard to break the habit. I know it's sad, but I actually think about this topic every time I drink it! LOL LOL LOL
  • Can you even buy lead-based paint anymore? The only exposure the girls get to that is the paint in our mother's house. I'm sure there is lead-based paint here... And yes, I think about that too when I'm at my her house, but there isn't anything I can do about it so I live with it. ;) Not everything's worth a battle! :)


  • This one actually drives me nuts because it's in EVERYTHING! Notice that article didn't mention it's also used in vaccines??? We're actually INJECTING formaldehyde into our bodies!?!? I think that's absolutely insane.
  • As for the carpeting, wood products and foam... Believe it or not, I've already given this one a lot of thought. If we were building a house from the ground up, I'd honestly take a lot of this stuff into consideration. PCC and Whole Foods go to great lengths to incorporate stuff like this into their buildings/structures so I know it can be done. Obviously price comes into play here, but it doesn't hurt to try. I would absolutely love to have a house with all wood floors - bamboo is my fav!
  • Grocery bags! LOL Not that I give that much thought, but I do know the grocery bags at PCC and Whole Foods are formaldehyde free as well as completely biodegradable. :) Woo hoo! LOL ;)


  • It will take a very long time for DDT to every be fully gone. :-( Absolutely nothing we can do to speed it up either.

Benzene & Chloroform:

  • Once again, why I switched to mostly Method cleaning products and why I try to buy foods without artificial dyes and preservatives.
  • If they're referring to dyes in clothes... well, I'm not that green yet. :) I have looked at organic cotton, but can't justify the cost. Cotton is THE most heavily pesticide-sprayed crop on the planet. I do buy "naturally organic" 100% BEECH or BAMBOO sheets though. Sooooo soft and naturally don't need any pesticides or chemicals to grow. BB&B has some wonderful Beech sheets that I'm hooked on.
  • Artificial silk??? What on earth is that?

The rest on the list, no clue. :)

The ones listed above are just ones I happened to be able to answer while sitting here.

As for the nitrogen gassed tomatoes? That kinda follows along with how they add some sort of component to meat just before it is wrapped to make it red. Raw meat naturally turns brown very quickly so they add some sort of chemical to make it retain it's red color so it looks appetizing to buyers. I would so much rather see what the FRUIT, VEGETABLE or RAW MEET really looks like before I buy it. I don't want to buy products with make-up on. Why would I want to buy a beautiful, bright red tomato to then go home, cut it and find out it's not ripe yet? Whether the gas has a negative affect on health of not, the red color is nature's way of telling us it's ready to eat. WHY MESS WITH THAT?????????


PS: The girls don't eat or drink products that contain growth hormones (like meat, eggs or rBGH milk) because I refuse to turn them into the newest statistic of 6-year-olds growing breasts or going through puberty that early. :-( Sick sick sick!

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Interesting Organic Study

Just thought I'd share this with everyone since it's frustrating to know if eating organic food is worth it or not. This is a small study reported by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences in Feb of 2005.

Rats fed organic food were significantly healthier than their peers given conventionally-grown produce, shows research reported by the Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, February 2005.

During the experiment, 36 rats were divided into three groups. All were given potatoes, carrots, peas, green kale, apples, rapeseed oil, and the same vitamin supplements. One group was fed organic food, another conventionally grown food with high levels of fertilizer and some pesticide, and the third group received minimally fertilized conventionally grown food.

Although pesticide residue was measured and found to be below detection levels in all groups, the scientists found that the rats fed organically-grown produce were measurably healthier, slept better, had stronger immune systems and were less obese.

Lead researcher, Dr Kirsten Brandt, of Newcastle University's School of Agriculture, was careful not to overstate the findings, but noted: "The difference was so big it is very unlikely to be random. We gave the food to the rats and then we measured what they were doing. We can say the reason why the rats have different health was clearly due to the fact that there was a different growing method..."

And of course, since that alone isn't enough info for anyone to base a decision on (just thought that part was interesting), here is the hyperlink to the FULL TEXT where I got this study info from.

Everything I Need to Know About Organic Food

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Organic Manufacturers: Who's Your Daddy?

Even more reason to buy from local farms... I had no idea these companies were owned by huge corporations. I totally thought a lot of these were small organic business that became successful. Kinda sucks to know this...

We have our produce delivered weekly from Pioneer Organics - it's less expensive AND it supports local farmers. :) Local organic farmers care WAY more about the quality of their product whereas most big businesses just care about the profit (which is fine! profit is a good thing, but I prefer local quality). These businesses below are lobbying to allow "USDA Organic" to contain hormones and antibiotics in dairy cattle, pesticides on produce and contaminated fishmeal as feed for livestock. :-( They won't win, but they're trying and that's just disgusting. Makes me sick to think that we're going out of our way to eat healthier and all they're trying to do is cheapen and ruin the organic market to make it easier for them to produce it.

  • General Mills owns Muir Glen and Cascadian Farm

  • Heinz owns a minority share of Hain, which in turn owns Breadshop, Arrowhead Mills, Garden of Eatin’, Farm Foods, Imagine Rice (and Soy) Dream, Casbah, Health Valley, DeBoles, Nile Spice, Celestial Seasonings, Westbrae, Westsoy, Little Bear, Walnut Acres, Shari Ann's, Mountain Sun, and Millina's Finest

  • M&M-Mars owns Seeds of Change

  • Coca-Cola owns Odwalla

  • Kellogg owns Kashi, Morningstar Farms, and Sunrise Organic

  • Philip Morris/Kraft owns Boca Foods and Back to Nature

  • Tyson owns Nature's Farm Organic

  • ConAgra owns LightLife

  • Danone owns Stonyfield Farm

  • Dean owns White Wave Silk, Alta Dena, Horizon, and The Organic Cow of Vermont

  • Unilever owns Ben and Jerry's

  • About Me

    I am a stay-at-home-mom to two beautiful, homeschooled little girls. Homeschooling started when I learned about child brain development via Glenn Doman at IAHP. This then led me to the Family Hope Center, which is similar to IAHP, but includes whole nutrition and newer technologies. With a combination of two wonderful, nutrition-conscious parents, a fabulous German immersion program, church, family and amazing friends, I think homeschooling is going to be challenging, fun and successful!

    I love reading books on health and nutrition. I'm nowhere near perfect, but I'm slowly making changes everywhere I can - when I can afford it! I think the thing that surprises people most is I don't make these lifestyle changes out of FEAR. My life is not a Rush Limbaugh "Bad Living" parody, no matter how much Horus likes to joke it is. I actually find this stuff fascinating. When I learn of a new toxic substance that I should eliminate, I try not to panic over it. I try to remind myself that only two short years ago, my life was full of toxins. With baby steps, I've come a long ways and I still have a long way to go. Why panic over one more ingredient when my lifestyle is so much better already? I constantly have to remind myself - BABY STEPS - or I'll go nuts! :) :) :)

    All of my core beliefs are very conservative, yet because of my interest in health, brain development and nutrition I fall into the green category... however... I do NOT support the global warming hype - that is typically attached to a green lifestyle. I make these lifestyle changes for me because it's the right thing to do and toxins aren't good for anyone. I believe Global Warming happens naturally and is nothing to get worked up over. I think carbon credits are a perfect example of why the global warming hype is all based on a political agenda. Apparently it's ok for someone to pollute and live a toxic life as long as they buy carbon credits. I mean, God forbid they actually change their lifestyle!?

    I blog because I'm tired of people rolling their eyes when I bring things up in conversation. Very few people around me CARE about truely living a healthy life. Most people I meet typically want to be happy, fit and "healthy" (AKA skinny). It's more acceptable to follow a toxic skinny-diet then to actually educate yourself, read labels and cook healthy foods. I know, I've done it! I went on Weight Watchers a few years ago and lost a lot of baby weight, but was I healthy? No. Technological advances have made life so easy... but at what cost? Making your own meals, eating whole foods and living naturally isn't a walk in the park, but the pay-off is tremendous. The pay-off is knowing your body is healthy. It's knowing you're probably NOT the one who will get cancer. It's knowing you're probably NOT the one who will end up on a zillion prescription drugs in your senior years. It's knowing (excluding tragedy) that you'll probably live a very long, healthy life...

    Tuesday, August 15, 2006

    Sea Salt vs Table Salt

    Because table salt comes from the same batch as vacuum-refined industrial salt, it is treated with caustic soda or lime to remove all traces of magnesium salts. These vital magnesium salts are NOT taken out because they keep the salt from flowing out of the dispenser spout (a common myth)... Magnesium salts are removed because they bring in more profits on the chemical market. Yet these magnesium salts are a very necessary part of the food salt and fill important biological and therapeutic roles. Further, to prevent any moisture from being reabsorbed, salt refiners now add alumino-silicate of sodium or yellow prussiate of soda as desiccants plus different bleaches to the final salt formula.

    But since table salt, chemically treated in this way, will no longer combine with human body fluid, it invariably causes severe problems of edema (water retention) and several other health disturbances. The fear of salt that we witness today and the virtual ban on consuming products with a high sodium content is a matter of serious concern to biologists.

    Salt-free diets can cause salt starvation, which is a stark reality of our modern world, but it is actually a starvation of macro- and trace minerals, a biological deficiency that refined sodium chloride alone cannot correct.

    Natural sea salt does combine with human body fluid (so it doesn't cause edema) and has not been chemically treated or contain chemical additives. Todd and I always look for pure sea salt - with absolutely nothing added. You can buy it in bulk and Fred Meyer, Whole Foods or PCC. Someday I would love to try some fleur de sel which is French for flower of salt. It's apparently the most coveted sea salt on the planet, but unfortunately it's really expensive. Hmmm... wonder if you can really taste the difference?


    Sunday, August 13, 2006

    Nutrition and Sunburns

    A while back I read an article online about eating whole, natural foods and its skin protecting factors. It was such a great article because it made so much sense. It wasn’t saying to stand out in the sun for hours TRYING to get burned, but it was saying that you don’t need sunblock or sunscreen if you eat only whole foods - absolutely nothing processed. Something about the fact that these foods alone are powerful enough to naturally protect your skin from the sun.

    I am just beating my head because I cannot find the article online. I’ve tried every Google search I can think of!

    Regardless, I have been carefully testing this theory all summer and it IS WORKING. I’ve been out in the sun a lot this summer doing yard work, with the kids, etc. My little ones have NOT BURNED and I have only burned once. The one time I burned, I had drank a powdered hot cocoa right before going out for 2 hours. STUUUUUUUUUUUPID I know, but I paid for it. My back was so burned. But otherwise, I’ve been so conscious of what we eat before we go in the sun for extended periods of time.

    So far no one I’ve mentioned this to believes me. I did find this article but it’s not the original one I read. It makes the same point, but then goes on to say to stay away from cows milk… Well ya… pasteurized cows milk probably, but raw milk shouldn’t cause any problems in the sun. Anyway, if anyone reading this can find a good article that discusses this topic, please comment below!



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