Saturday, April 16, 2011

Staph contaminating our meat!

source: Fox News

PHOENIX - There may be scores of drug-resistant bacteria lurking in your grocery meat aisle.
A study Friday by the Translational Genomics Research Institute, found that Staphylococcus aureus -- bacteria that causes most staph infections including skin infections, pneumonia and blood poisoning -- was present in meat and poultry from US grocery stores at "unexpectedly high rates."
Researchers found nearly half of the meat and poultry samples, 47 percent, were contaminated with S. aureus, and more than half of those bacteria, 52 percent, were resistant to at least three classes of antibiotics.

For the study, researchers looked at 136 samples involving 80 brands of beef, chicken, pork and turkey from 26 grocery stores in five cities including Los Angeles, Chicago, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Flagstaff, Ariz., and Washington, D.C.
"For the first time, we know how much of our meat and poultry is contaminated with antibiotic-resistant Staph, and it is substantial," Dr. Lance B. Price, senior author of the study, said in a statement. "The fact that drug-resistant S. aureus was so prevalent, and likely came from the food animals themselves, is troubling, and demands attention to how antibiotics are used in food-animal production today."
According to the findings published in the journal Clinical Infectious Disease, industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics, "are ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans."
"Antibiotics are the most important drugs that we have to treat Staph infections; but when Staph are resistant to three, four, five or even nine different antibiotics -- like we saw in this study -- that leaves physicians few options," Price said.
Experts say although Staph can be killed with proper cooking, it still may pose a risk to people who handle food improperly or who cross-contaminate various ingredients in the kitchen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Decoding Produce Labels-Part 1

source: Massage & Body Work

Another thing getting tougher to avoid in our foods are genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
Only a few crops are approved for modification, which is good news. The bad news, however, is that
those crops are in the majority of our packaged and processed foods, and they do not have to be
labeled as having been genetically altered.
By law foods cannot have genetically modified components in them. Corn, soy, and cotton are the
big three when it comes to GMOs. Do you eat anything with high fructose corn syrups, soy protein,
or soybean oil in it? It's probably genetically modified. How about anything with cottonseed oil?
Again, probably genetically modified.

To recognize genetically modified organisms (fruits and vegetables) at your
grocery store, check out the little sticker on the produce and find the number code.
Here's what those numbers mean (ex. Braeburn apple):

Conventional produce gets a four-digit number (ex. 4103).
Organic produce gets a five-digit number that starts with 9 (ex. 94103).
Genetically modified items also get a five-digit code that starts with 8 ex.84103).

I believe GMOs are ruining our food supply and are causing a number of health issues
we haven't even connected them to yet.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Himalayan Salt vs Industrial Table Salt

What remains after typical salt is "chemically cleaned" is sodium chloride -- an unnatural chemical form of salt that your body recognizes as something completely foreign. This form of salt is in almost every preserved product that you eat. Therefore, when you add more salt to your already salted food, your body receives more salt than it can dispose of.

This is important as over 90% of the money that people spend on food is for processed food.

Typical table salt crystals are totally isolated from each other. In order for your body to try to metabolize table salt crystals, it must sacrifice tremendous amounts of energy.

Inorganic sodium chloride can keep you from an ideal fluid balance and can overburden your elimination systems.

When your body tries to isolate the excess salt you typically expose it to, water molecules must surround the sodium chloride to break them up into sodium and chloride ions in order to help your body neutralize them. To accomplish this, water is taken from your cells in order to neutralize the unnatural sodium chloride.

This results in a less-than-ideal fluid balance in the cells.

This salt from the Himalayas is known as "white gold." Together with pure spring water, Himalayan Crystal Salt offers all the natural elements exactly identical to the elements in your body -- the very same elements originally found existing in the "primal sea."
Containing all of the 84 elements found in your body, the benefits of natural Himalayan Crystal Salt include:

Regulating the water content throughout your body.
Promoting a healthy pH balance in your cells, particularly your brain cells.
Promoting blood sugar health and helping to reduce the signs of aging.
Assisting in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body.
Absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract.
Supporting respiratory health.
Promoting sinus health.
Prevention of muscle cramps.
Promoting bone strength.
Regulating your sleep -- it naturally promotes sleep.
Supporting your libido.
Promoting vascular health.
In conjunction with water it is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure.
It is the highest grade of natural salt.

Under an electron microscope, crystal salt has a perfect crystalline structure.

It is mined by hand and hand-washed.

Crystal salt is immune to electromagnetic fields

Crystal Salt contains no environmental pollutants.

There is no limited shelf life and no need for silica packets to prevent clumping.

Many people believe sea salt is a healthy alternative to table salt, but this is no longer the case. The oceans are being used as dumping grounds for harmful toxic poisons like mercury, PCBs and dioxin. Reports of oil spills polluting the sea are becoming more frequent. With some 89% of all the sea salt producers now refining their salt, today's sea salt simply isn't as healthy as it used to be.
Mined salt, or rock salt, is also a poor substitute for Himalayan Crystal Salt. While natural rock salt comes close to being intact and is more valuable than industrial table salt, from a biophysical as well as bio-chemical perspective, it holds little value.

The elements contained in rock salt lack sufficient compression to be included in the crystal web, but are only attached to the surface and in the gaps of the crystalline structure. It is the considerable pressure that brings the elements to a colloidal state - where your cells can readily absorb them. The valuable elements found in rock salt are useless because your body cannot absorb and metabolize them.

For every gram of sodium chloride that your body cannot get rid of, your body uses 23 times the amount of cell water to neutralize the salt. Eating common table salt causes excess fluid in your body tissue, which can contribute to:

Unsightly cellulite
Rheumatism, arthritis and gout
Kidney and gall bladder stones
When you consider that the average person consumes 4,000 to 6,000 mg of sodium chloride each day, and heavy users can ingest as much as 10,000 mg in a day, it is clear that this is a serious and pervasive issue.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Free Range Information

Ever wonder what "free-range" or "natural" really means on an egg carton? Well, the Animal Welfare Approved folks are here to tell you. Check out their website for clear and concise descriptions of what you are getting when you buy organic pork or cage-free eggs. In addition, you can find out whether your favorite farmer is Animal Welfare Approved, a fairly new designation that is given by the organization to farmers who meet the group's exacting standards for humane and conscientious treatment of animals.
Jessica and Joshua Applestone are the founders and owners of Fleisher’s Grass-fed and Organic Meats in Kingston, New York Read all posts from The Butcher

Friday, December 3, 2010

More Corn!

USDA Report: Corn Plantings May be Highest Since World War II
Related EWG Content

December 16, 2006

Statement of Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
EWG has been a consistent supporter of sustainable biofuels production, including ethanol.
But this morning's stunning USDA announcement that American farmers intend to plant over 90 million acres of corn this spring—more acreage than has been planted to the crop since World War II—should be a wake up call to policy makers.
Dramatic expansion of corn production for the ethanol industry has profound environmental implications that are being almost entirely ignored in Washington. It's one thing to have an ethanol boom in the Corn Belt. An ethanol blow-out is another thing altogether.
Corn receives heavier applications of nitrogen fertilizer than any other major crop. Adding ten million additional acres of corn will result in a substantial increase in water pollution from nitrogen fertilizer run-off throughout the Corn Belt, the main contributor to the the "dead zone" that encompasses 5,000 to 8,000 square miles in the Gulf of Mexico every spring. Cities like Des Moines are also already spending large sums to remove excessive nitrate from their tap water.
Energy independence is about more than trading foreign oil for domestic ethanol. America is already a net importer of nitrogen fertilizer. Heavier use of nitrogen fertilizer on corn will mean heavier reliance on foreign suppliers.
More corn also means more pesticides, weed killers in particular, probably in excess of 15 million more pounds applied this spring. That will include millions more pounds of Atrazine, a chemical that contaminates drinking water sources for nearly every major city in the Midwest. Again, water utilities will bear the cost of cleaning up this water.
The expansion of corn acreage will also increase demands on groundwater used for irrigation, particularly if we have below-average moisture later in the growing season.
We are also concerned that farmers in some areas will be expanding corn production at the expense of wildlife habitat. On Monday, EWG will write Secretary of Agriculture Mike Johanns to urge him not to allow 'early out' to holders of long-term Conservation Reserve Program contracts without repayment of rental and cost-sharing funds that have been provided in good faith by taxpayers in expectation of long term benefits to wildlife and the environment.
Cellulosic ethanol theoretically is promising in some respects from an environmental standpoint. But it remains the biofuel equivalent of 'vapor ware' in the computer industry. We have seen plenty of expensive research proposals, but no firm, practical plan that will bring about a sustainable transition from corn-starch to cellulosic ethanol.
Up until now, ethanol policy has been little more than a political bidding war. Policy makers are outdoing one another to propose the biggest, fastest expansion of subsidies, and the most aggressive federal mandate to produce more ethanol and put more of it in our gas guzzling automobile fleet.
It's past time for policy makers to pay serious attention to the profound environmental side effects of the ethanol boom.
# # #
EWG is a not-for-profit research organization that uses the power of information to protect human health and the environment. EWG's work on agriculture can be viewed at

Behold, the Frankenfish – “the first genetically modified animal for human consumption” – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks

Behold, the Frankenfish – “the first genetically modified animal for human consumption” – The Blogs at HowStuffWorks

Monday, November 15, 2010

Making the Case for a $140 Turkey

Source: bon appetit

Patrick Martins,
Co-founder, Heritage Foods USA, Brooklyn;

Patrick Martins likes happy animals--particularly endangered, humanely raised pigs, cows, and turkeys--and not just because they taste better. He believes their happiness is a moral imperative. As co-founder of Heritage Foods USA, his mission to save heritage breeds of livestock and the family farms that raise them began nine years ago, when a few hundred of his heirloom turkeys fanned out across the country. Today, that number is closer to 7,500, and every last one is raised by a farmer who shares Martins's passion.

Why did you start with turkeys?
It seemed like a single item that everyone in the country could get behind to support the small farmer. And it was a project that revolved around a single day, so it made it easier to find a sustainable source--to say, "We have to get 800 of these things raised for a single day in November."

What's the argument for a $140 turkey?
It ends up coming out to $8 a pound, or $8 per person. That's cheaper than Applebee's and almost as cheap as a McDonald's value meal.

Read the rest of our Q&A with Patrick Martins after the jump.

What makes a happy turkey?
It has room. That's the biggest thing. It can walk around. No living creature should be forced to spend its entire life in a box. That should shoot through to the heart of every American. We live in a country that is wealthy, that is trying to improve itself, that is like a moral beacon to the rest of the world. We cannot keep animals in boxes. Period. With turkeys, if their instinct is to roost--to wrap their talons around something and fall asleep--they should be allowed to roost. A happy animal is one that is allowed to fulfill its God-given instincts. And walking is a natural instinct.

Read More