Monthly Archives: August 2010

Alternative Medicine Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Saving money

Our Consuming Natures – We Can Live More Sustainably

www.mypicshares.com

How much do you consume? If you could measure and keep track of it, do you think it would make a difference in your regular consumption levels? In our culture of mass consumption, we are so accustomed to buying products and having products around for our “convenience”, we seldom stop to think just how much we are consuming and how much waste we are producing as a result of that over-consumption.

Stop and think: do you really need to consume everything that you do? Challenge yourself to consume less of everything for one week. Keep a journal of the things you are doing without and ask yourself if you can do without those things permanently. At the end of the week, compare your reductions in consumption with your previous levels of consumption.

Here are some ideas for reducing levels of consumption:

  • Ride your bike or walk to work, the store, or to a friend’s house. I’ve even heard stories of people riding their horses – don’t laugh…do it, if you can!
  • When you do have to drive somewhere, combine trips to various locations that are in nearby locations. Instead of driving every day of the week, cut back your driving to 3 or 4 days a week.
  • Carpool whenever possible.
  • Use items over and over. Whenever you have containers, devices, or utilitarian items that can be used more than once, store them for later use to use again and again. This includes glass, paper, canvas, wood, metal, tin foil, boxes, plastic containers, clothing, and anything else you can think of. Find ways to reuse and re-purpose everything.
  • Replace plastic with paper, wood, canvas, cotton, glass, metal, ceramic, tin foil, or wax paper.
  • Stop buying dryer sheets. Hang your clothes in the backyard to dry on a clothes line. If you do use a clothes dryer, dry them without anything at all. I have been doing this for years with no adverse effects to my clothes. I don’t have static cling, and I am saving my family the hazards of toxic chemicals in dryer sheets (as well as a lot of $$).
  • Wash your clothes all in cold water. I have been doing this for over 10 years and my clothes always come clean. If they need a stain removed, I soak them in a non-toxic detergent or soap, and add a non-toxic stain remover to them before washing.
  • Use bar soaps for everything in your house including the shower and all the sinks. Good bar soaps are those made from natural ingredients – olive oil-based soaps are great for your body. If you do buy liquid soap, consider Dr. Bronner’s (buy in bulk) or make your own with purified or distilled water, herbs, and, essential oils. Here are some great recipes for homemade soaps using ordinary bar soap. Stop buying commercial liquid pump soaps. They are bad for you and the environment.
  • Make your own shampoo and wash your hair less. When you wash your hair less, you find the need to condition your hair less frequently or not at all, thus saving your health and your pocketbook.

Make a basic castille shampoo with 4 ounces castille soap flakes and one quart water. Bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and pour water over the soap flakes. Stir until the soap flakes dissolve. Once the mixture has cooled, store it in a reusable bottle such as plastic (with no BPA), glass or ceramic, or stainless steel.

Add essential oils to the mixture for natural scents. Lavender is calming while oils like peppermint and citrus are more lively and promote blood circulation in the scalp. Try different oils to find those you prefer. To use essential oils in your recipe, mix 4 to 8 drops of the oil in to the soap mixture just after all the soap has dissolved.

You can also create an herbal shampoo using herbs. Instead of plain water, make an herbal infusion. For each quart of water, use approximately one-half ounce of dried herbs. Let the herbs steep for 20 minutes or more. Reheat the infusion if necessary, pour the hot infusion over flaked bar-soap or castille soap, and stir well. For dark hair, use rosemary and for lighter colored-hair, use  chamomile. For dry or oily hair, create an herbal infusion of comfrey and rosemary leaves, burdock root, and nettles. This will help return your hair’s natural balance to normal.

  • Turn off your television or computer (to save electricity and $$) and read a book, do an art or craft project, invite a friend over for tea or a snack, engage in a cleaning project you’ve been putting off, or take a walk or do some gardening and get some Vitamin D. Most of us are short on Vitamin D and need it for good health and to keep away illness and disease.
  • Consider alternative energywind, geothermal, solar, hydro, and other emerging technologies in alternative energy efforts. Incentives provided by the government can help offset the cost, and pay-back models for various alternative energy solutions are becoming more appealing and feasible as time goes on.
  • Make your own cleaners from items in your home. Vinegar, lemon juice, hydrogen peroxide, baking soda, and olive oil work well for many different uses, are non-toxic, and economical. Buy spray bottles, use filtered or distilled water, and add your ingredients to make great cleaners that will do the job without harsh chemicals and odors.
  • Stop using personal care products such as lotions, moisturizers, hand creams, and other similar items. Remember, most products on the market are designed to create a need in the consumer’s mind and make money. Most companies spend more money on their marketing and advertising budgets than on the quality of the product itself.
  • Pay more attention to eating natural foods with whole, natural fats in them to supplement your health and support healthy skin, hair, and nails. Consume more Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) such as raw butter, raw cheese, raw milk, sprouted nuts, grass-fed meats, and fresh fish, cod liver oil, and other seafood from safe sources. If you must moisturize your skin from the outside (topically), use fresh, real oils like coconut, olive oil, apricot kernel, and sweet almond oil, or shea butter. To support healthy skin, hair, and nails, you need healthy oils and fats in your diet. Drinking more water does not hydrate your skin because the water in our skin is generated from the consumption of fats.
  • Buy as many whole foods as possible, and less packaged and processed foods. You will save $$, your health, and the environment.

Want more information on reusing, re-purposing, saving money, and living sustainably?

Embrace and perfect your home-keeping skills

My kitchen staples – how I keep my family healthy

Is cheap food really cheap? The hidden costs of industrial food

Waste not, want not – tips for saving in the kitchen

Activism Green Living Healthy Living Kids & Family Real Food Toxin Alert!

Death of the Lakes: The Spreading of Toxic and Infectious Wastes and Disease

www.mypicshares.com

Today I am sharing an important story of toxic waste spreading through our water from factory farming from The Journal of Food and Natural Healing, a site managed by my good friend, David (Augie) Augenstein.

David Michael has posted this expose on the appalling situation at Ohio’s largest inland lake, Grand Lake-St. Mary’s. David Michael has spent over 30 years in the environmental control field (air, water, waste, land) I would like to stress that Ohio farmers are good people and sacrifice much to produce food for everyone. I do not believe this is all their fault at all—but much of the blame should be placed on EPA and USDA—and the big food and agriculture corporations all working together.– Augie

Death of the Lakes: The Spreading of Toxic and Infectious Wastes and Disease

Ohio’s Love Canal: Toxic Pollution Dumping on a Scale of BP-Gulf Spill

By David Michael

Human illnesses and animal deaths have occurred recently from neurotoxins secreted by a heavy slime of blue and green algae floating on Ohio’s largest lake—Grand Lake St. Mary’s (Grand Lake) in Auglaize and Mercer Counties. This is a lake that has been deteriorating for decades, but especially so in the past 10 years as factory farms have sprung up all over the area, and more are being built.

A high concentration of factory farms and the application of composted manure from CAFO (confined animal feeding operations) manure and sewage treatment sludge (humanure, now called biosolids—a mixture of concentrated human excrement and industrial discharges) is spreading toxic and infectious substances on farmlands close by and in the watershed. CAFOs in the watershed area account for 3 million chickens; while sewage sludge spreading is permitted on 8800 Ohio farmlands—several close to the edge of Grand Lake.

Pollutants discharging into the lake also include fertilizer runoff (phosphorus, potassium and nitrogen (PKN) as well as some pesticides and herbicides—as is commonly known. But there is far more to the story, including heavy metals (like lead, arsenic and chromium), pharmaceuticals, neurotoxins, cancer-causers, viruses, bacteria—and just about every known chemical (60,000 some) known to man and being placed on the farmlands.

EPA and state officials know about this—as does USDA, and their partners in the big food and big agriculture corporations. Yet the smaller farmers are being accused for causing the mess, and homeowners too—while the CAFOs and spreading of sludge are being expanded rapidly though state and federally funded “green” programs and contracted out to a few individuals.

This and other similar situations occurring all around the US are coming to a head and, in sum, may be a far greater impact than the BP Gulf oil spill. The polluted farmlands may never be recovered without being excavated.

This news video on the situation does not feature a CAFO but rather a small 250-head farm using a natural treatment system as an example of the problem, rather than a superfarm. The big farms have gates and security procedures.

Make no mistake, there are increased deaths and illnesses for animals and humans living near CAFOs or lands where human waste is spread, which is well-documented. So far at the Lake, a 43-year old man may be neurologically impaired for life after washing the scum off his dog before the dog died from exposure. The man spent five days in the hospital and is now home hoping to recover. Two other dogs have died from exposure as well as innumerable fish.

The Data: High Levels of Toxins

Both CAFO wastes and sewage sludge contains these types of contaminants and EPA data shows many of these are extremely high levels.

Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs);

Chlorinated pesticides — DDT, dieldrin, aldrin, endrin, chlordane, heptachlor, lindane, mirex, kepone, 2,4,5-T, 2,4-D;

Chlorinated compounds such as dioxins;

Polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons;

Heavy metals — arsenic, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury;

Bacteria, viruses, protozoa, parasitic worms, fungi; and

Miscellaneous — asbestos, petroleum products, industrial solvents

EPA data shows high levels of known toxic compounds in these sludge “fertilizers” and are provided in a 2009 report on 74 sewage treatment plants. It shows high levels of contaminants including Arsenic (49 ppm, parts per million), Mercury (8.3 ppm), Aluminum (57,000 ppm=6%). Fluoride (234 ppm). EPA limits on Arsenic is 75 ppm (an additive in chicken feed) and Cadmium, 85 ppm. These are the maximum levels detected on a dry-weight basis. These are so high the wastes would be classified as a hazardous waste requiring treatment– but not is it used as soil amendments.

Pharmaceuticals (Ciprofloxcine, 50 ppm—Fluoxentine 3.1 ppm (this is Prozac)—Ibupropen (119 ppm), triclocarban (44 ppm). Levels of the tricloscan , the anti-bacterial compound in hand soap, was 133 ppm. These are maximum levels on a dry-weight basis.

To continue reading the rest of this story, please visit The Journal of Food and Natural Healing.

The Journal of Whole Food and Nutrition is all about traditional food– old world cuisine like eggs and bacon, grass-fed beef with fat in, real bread and butter, garden fresh vegetables, soaked whole-grain cereal with cream and honey and, of course clean raw milk and pure lard – the foods that give us health and strength.

Being talked out of enjoying this food by modern health, medical and food industries, has helped lead the US into malnutrition, diseases, disorders and obesity.

The Journal of Whole Food and Nutrition offers articles and comment on farm fresh foods, the Farm Enforcement Report, with a dash of news of medical research on positive effects of real foods and health detriments of imitation, factory food.

Augie recently retired from 15 years in business as a national publisher, consultant and conference producer in the environmental, health and safety field for the automotive and transportation industry. He is now employed as an air pollution engineer in an EPA-contracted county regulatory agency. He and his wife Annie are small homesteaders and parents of an autistic son, Dave Jr. He is a co-director of Ohio Connections to Natural Food and Healing and publisher of the Journal of Natural Food and Healing. Augie’s most recent venture is Alliance for Raw Milk Internationale to help in the development of the sustainable farm and food industry. In April 2010, Augie and his wife launched a local farm food publication called Living Food with national and local sponsors and is being test marketed in two states. His interests in the food, nutrition and health field is in teaching and education and with special interest in autism and other neurological disorders. He is a member of The Weston A. Price Foundation and the Price-Pottenger Nutritional Foundation.

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It is really quite staggering the deleterious effects had on human health and the environment by conventional farming and factory farm facilities – the bulk of which comprise where people buy their food in this country.

The recent massive egg recall and meat recall from Walmart should be a loud wakeup call about how food safety in this country is responsible for an enormous public health crisis.  Food recalls are becoming so commonplace that people don’t seem to make the connection between the way the food is grown and farmed and why it is making us sick. So far removed are we from where our food originates, we have become complacent and ignorant about the rippling effects these facilities and farming practices have on literally everything in our environment.

Government and food safety experts insist the way to manage this problem is through yet more and tighter safety regulations. But haven’t we learned our lesson yet? Here are some facts about this issue:

  • Until the advent of industrial farming, there has never been a problem with Salmonella  in eggs. This type of environment crams hundreds of thousands of hens together in the most unnatural, filthy conditions.
  • The company producing these eggs has repeatedly violated rules and regulations, so this is not the first time.
  • Wright County Egg and many others like it are not required to follow standard food safety plans.  Whatever they are “required” to do has always been voluntary.

Bottom line is, mandatory rules or no, this system doesn’t work. It will continue to contaminates food, water, soil, air, and our bodies until changes are made at the source level. This pollution problem, as discussed in this information by David Michael should be yet another eye-opener about the consequences of our industrial food system. It’s yet another example of farms managing their businesses irresponsibly, and polluting everything around them just to make a profit.

Factory farms are a modern scourge that plagues our food supply, soil, air, and waterways. Remember that food recalls, pollution, and toxic waste dumping doesn’t occur as a result of safe, responsible, sustainable farming. In every instance where there is a food recall, it’s normally due to food originating from a large, multi-million or billion dollar corporation who puts marketing and advertising in the top of their spending budgets. They are there to make a profit, not bring you products that are healthy to consume.

What can you do to change the situation with food recalls?

  • Buy your food locally
  • Avoid food processed foods, especially at grocery stores and supermarkets unless it is from a source you know and trust
  • Know what goes on where your food is produced
  • Make relationships with your farmer and get to know others in your community who care about sustainability and food choices
  • Support companies, farmers, and businesses who care about human health, the environment, and our future

If you think buying fresh, local, organic, sustainable food is too expensive, read what’s been going on in the news lately and consider the alternative!

  • disease, illness, death
  • massive environmental damage and pollution
  • increased doctor, hospital, and medical expenses
  • tax increases to pay for the damage incurred by factory farming and businesses

Want to know more about food recalls?

Huge FDA food recall of 10,000 products – another wakeup call to avoid processed foods!