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The safer choice

The safer choice

Use Stainless Steel Instead of Plastic

When I first heard about the dangers of using plastic, my daughter was a toddler. So like any mother who is concerned about her child’s safety, I looked for other options. I bought glass storage containers and threw-out the Tupperware. I threw away most of the plastic cups so we only had glasses (I later re-discovered stainless steel camping cups), but we still needed a toddler-safe drinking option. At that time there was basically one choice: Sigg water bottles. They were aluminum water bottles with a baked-in enamel on the inside. Not exactly the best alternative since (even though it had a lining) aluminum is known to contribute to alzheimer’s disease, kidney and liver problems, memory loss, and other health problems. Still, it was better than plastic. Then came Klean Kanteen, the stainless steel water bottle. Granted, it was a camping water bottle at the time with no smaller toddler options. I found a co-op and stocked up. We have been using them ever since. We keep 4 full bottles of chilled water in the fridge. My daughter (now 16) still goes to them every time she is thirsty. If you’ve never tried cold water from stainless steel, I highly recommend it. Yum.

Mothers today are so lucky. There are so many options out there. And while all plastics are not equal, it is better to opt for the safer choice that is not only long-lasting, it’s also better for our Planet Earth.

11 Things Girls Should Know Before Their First Date

I always do a Google search for my Ooph Lists before I write them. I want to make sure I am not stepping on anyone’s toes. I was HORRIFIED by what I found when I Googled “first date tips for girls”. You should be too. Every tip or list I found was how to get a guy to like you. How to impress. How not to be a turn off. Disgusting.

Not one list was about protecting themselves. Being themselves. Or caring about a boy impressing them. I hope this list is VERY different from the others you find on the internet. I hope it empowers and inspires your daughters.

11 Things Girls Should Know Before Their First Date

1. Always have an out plan. Use your parents if you need to. Have a certain thing you text mom or dad and we will call and get you home.

2. You are NEVER helpless. SAY NO and then fight HARD if you have to.

3. Be yourself, not what you think he wants you to be.

4. Have a couple of topics to talk about in case the conversation stalls. First dates can be awkward for both of you. Topics can be something going on at school, something you are interested in or something you know he is. 

5. If there is a little voice inside your head telling you something? LISTEN.

6. Don’t post your date on Facebook before it happens. And? Don’t talk about it on Facebook after. Good or bad. Too much pressure and too personal.

7. If it doesn’t feel right, it isn’t. Go home.

8. Stay in public or around other people.

9. A boy should knock on your front door and introduce himself to your parents. He should walk you to your door at the end of your date and say goodnight to them too.

10. If he isn’t a gentleman on your first date, he never will be.

11. Don’t overdress or wear too much makeup. Just wear what you feel comfortable in. He asked you out because he likes you the way you are.

Truth Beckons

Truth Beckons

organic farm in Puerto Rico

organic farm in Puerto Rico

Organic Food vs. Conventional: What the Stanford Study Missed

Yesterday’s report out of Stanford that organic foods may not be much healthier or more nutritious than their conventional counterparts has caused quite a stir.

A deeper investigation into the study reveals a few things that the researchers failed to report.

While the scientists analyzed vitamins and minerals, food isn’t simply a delivery device for these things alone. We are quickly learning in this industrialized food era that our food can be full of a lot of other things. It has become a delivery device for artificial colors, additives, preservatives, added growth hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, insecticides and so much more.

The term “organic” actually refers to the way agricultural products are grown and processed and legally details the permitted use (or not) of certain ingredients in these foods.

The details are that the U.S. Congress adopted the Organic Foods Production Act (OFPA) in 1990 as part of the 1990 Farm Bill which was then followed with the National Organic Program final rule published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

The standards include a national list of approved synthetic and prohibited non-synthetic substances for organic production, which means that organically produced foods also must be produced without the use of:

  • antibiotics
  • artificial growth hormones
  • high fructose corn syrup
  • artificial dyes (made from coal tar and petrochemicals)
  • artificial sweeteners derived from chemicals
  • synthetically created chemical pesticide and fertilizers
  • genetically engineered proteins and ingredients
  • sewage sludge
  • irradiation

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, these added ingredients are actually what differentiate organic foods from their conventional counterparts. Yet nowhere in that Stanford study, comparing organic food to conventional, are these things measured. There is no measure of the insecticidal toxins produced by a genetically engineered corn plant, no measure of the added growth hormones used in conventional dairy, no measure of the fact that 80 percent of the antibiotics used today are used on the chicken, pork, beef and animals that we eat.

Food is not just a delivery device for vitamins and minerals, as measured in the study, but it is also used as a delivery device for these substances that drive profitability for the food industry. To fail to measure these added ingredients, while suggesting that there is essentially no difference, is incomplete at best. Some might even go so far as to suggest that it is irresponsible in light of the fact that we are seeing such a dramatic increase in diet-related disease.

Additionally, anyone who knowingly sells or mislabels as organic a product that was not produced and handled in accordance with the regulations can be subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 per violation. In other words, if an organic producer were to add any one of the ingredients listed above, they would be fined.


Admittedly, the high price of organic food can irritate anyone. But the scrutiny that these foods undergo is enormous and expensive, driving prices at the cash register and for those producing them on the farm. Why the costs? Because the cost structure on our food supply offers taxpayer-funded resources called subsidies to the farmers using genetically engineered seeds and saturating crops in insecticides and weed killers, while charging the organic farmers fees to prove that their crops are safe.

That’s like getting fined to wear your seat belt.

So while conventional food production allows for the addition of cheap, synthetic and often controversial ingredients that have been disallowed, banned or never permitted for use in developed countries around the world, organic food carries the burden of having to prove that its products are safe — products produced without the use of added non-food ingredients that other countries have found controversial or removed from their food supply.

In other words, it’s an un-level playing field right now. And if we were all sitting down as a national family at our national dinner table, I don’t think that any of us would want to be using our resources this way. Wouldn’t we rather have the organic food be the one that we fund, making it cheaper, more affordable and more accessible to all Americans?

Or if given the choice, would we rather eat food hopped up on growth hormones, antibiotics and chemical pesticides? You can answer that.

And while correlation is not causation, in light of the growing rates of cancer, diabetes and other conditions affecting our families, the answer would appear to be “eat less chemicals.”

But right now, the majority of the population does not have that choice. Food, clean from antibiotics, added growth hormones and excessive pesticide residue, should be a basic human right, afforded to all Americans, regardless of socioeconomic status.


But since the high price of organic produce and a flawed food system that continues to charge organic farmers more to prove that their products, produced without ingredients that mounting scientific evidence has shown to cause harm, is still an insurmountable hurdle to the majority of the population, especially the growing number of unemployed, where can an American who wants to avoid these ingredients start?

Start with baby steps. None of us can do everything, but all of us can do something. And thankfully, foods without these controversial additives and ingredients are increasingly sold in grocery stores like Wal-Mart, Costco, Kroger and Safeway, which represent the largest single distribution channel, accounting for 38 percent of organic food sales in 2006. Look for milk labeled “RbGH-free” or look for products without high fructose corn syrup or artificial colors. A growing number of companies, from Kraft to Nestle, are producing them, because their employees have kids battling conditions like asthma, allergies, diabetes and cancer, too.

So maybe you rolled your eyes at this whole thing a few years ago, dismissing it as an expensive food fad. The Stanford study goes a long way towards reinforcing that. But read between the lines. You are smarter than you realize and braver than you think. And the love that you have for your family and your country can propel you to do things you could never imagine. So navigate the grocery store a bit differently, get involved with a food kitchen, a community garden, a child’s school. And reach out to your legislators. They have families, too.

Because as the science continues to mount, from the Presidents Cancer Panel to the American Academy of Pediatrics, we are learning just how much the food we eat— and the artificial ingredients being added to it — can affect the health of our loved ones.

Organics are healthier for you and the Earth

(NaturalNews) If you read the mainstream news headlines today, you might be shocked to see headlines that say things like, “Organic foods no healthier than conventional foods” or “Organic foods may not be healthier for you.” You’ll see these headlines all across the usual disinfo outlets: NPR, Associated Press, Reuters, Washington Post, WebMD and elsewhere.

The problem with these headlines is that they are flatly false. The study these news outlets are quoting actually confirms that organic foods are far healthier for you than conventional foods.

So how is the mainstream media lying about this? By fudging the facts, of course.

Learn more:

When we use the tree respectfully and economically, we have one of the greatest resources of the earth. - Frank Lloyd Wright  Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan Photo: Fans of Nature

When we use the tree respectfully and economically,
we have one of the greatest resources of the earth.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

Bamboo Forest in Kyoto, Japan
Photo: Fans of Nature

GMO crops do not produce more food

This info has been out there for over 3 years and yet they still lie to the public, saying that gmo crops will produce more food to feed the masses…

“Failure to Yield is the first report to closely evaluate the overall effect genetic engineering has had on crop yields in relation to other agricultural technologies. It reviewed two dozen academic studies of corn and soybeans, the two primary genetically engineered food and feed crops grown in the United States. Based on those studies, the UCS report concluded that genetically engineering herbicide-tolerant soybeans and herbicide-tolerant corn has not increased yields.”

“Monsanto, for example, is currently running an advertising campaign warning of an exploding world population and claiming that its “advanced seeds… significantly increase crop yields…” The UCS report debunks that claim, concluding that genetic engineering is unlikely to play a significant role in increasing food production in the foreseeable future.”