Help stop the push for genetically modified salmon!

Food seems to be a hot topic for Mom Goes Green lately, but again it seems there’s good reason… food producers continue to want to alter our foods to make it more profitable for them, but are they risking our health in the process?

slmon filltQuite frankly, genetically modified food scares me.  When you mess with nature, it seems obvious that it opens the floodgates for unknown risks.  I want no part of that.

The latest concern?  Salmon.  It seems the FDA is on the verge of approving AquaBounty Technologies’s request to create mutant Atlantic salmon by artificially combining growth hormone genes from a Pacific salmon with DNA from an eelpout. This will make the salmon mature in 17 months (as opposed to 30 months) in “farm” settings (Note: this does not apply to wild-caught salmon).

Just as alarming is the fact that the FDA will NOT do its own testing but will rely on information provided by none other than AquaBounty Technologies themselves… the company that wants approval!!!  Adding insult to injury, this genetically modified salmon will NOT have to be labeled and identified as modified, so you will have no idea what you are consuming.slmon farm has posted a petition to speak out against this pending approval from the FDA… if you feel compelled to add your signature, please click here.

My recent post about the Seafood Watch Guide already indicated that our best choice (for both health and environmental concerns) is Wild Alaskan Salmon, but more than anything, I’m telling this story so my readers can be aware KNOW where your salmon comes from because, yes, … something smells fishy…

Choose good, organic eggs… for the “health” of it!

eggzEggs have been getting a lot of bad press these days, and for good reason.  Two massive egg farms, Wright County Egg and Hillandale Farm (that house 7.5 million(!) egg producing hens kept in cramped, filthy conditions), are to blame for over 1,500 people contracting salmonella poisoning.  I can’t say that I’m surprised.

Research has shown that hens in these farms are more likely to produce contaminated eggs than free-range and organic hens simply due to the horrendous conditions where they are forced to spend their days and the cheap, unnatural grains they are fed, that often include the bi-products of other animals.  Add to that the antibiotic use on these poor hens (that destroys the healthy microflora in their systems) and, you guessed it… even more susceptible to contamination.

We always eat organic, free-range eggs due in part to this exact reason, PLUS when you consider that organic eggs are said to have three times more omega-3 fatty acids, twice as much vitamin E and 40% more vitamin A than non-organic eggs, it seems like a no-brainer, regardless of a little extra expense.chikns

In a previous post I also reviewed all of the confusing terms that go along with egg selection and you can take a look by clicking here!  Eggs are truly an amazing source of protein and vitamin D, but when they’re organic you know that they are produced without antibiotics, steroid and growth hormones too!  Those are certainly some things and I would prefer to keep out of my family’s diet!

So be a “good egg”… buy good eggs, consume good eggs… and yes, I mean the organic kind!

Strawberries & an (un)healthy dose of methyl iodide?

straw1This weekend my family and I happily retrieved some fantastic local produce from our CSA with Fresh Fork Market.  I’m telling you, I’m like a little kid picking-up a bag of sweets at the candy store.  It’s just so exciting to share in the local and organic harvest, fresh from the farm!

This week’s bounty included some fabulous strawberries. Our kids were thrilled because they are bona fide strawberry junkies (and yes, these photos are the “actual” strawberries… yummy, yes?)

Well, if your family has strawberry junkies too, or if you EVER buy strawberries for that matter, this next issue should interest you… (especially since strawberries are on the “dirty dozen” list and they retain a lot of pesticides!)

It seems the state of California, the nation’s largest agricultural producer, is close to approving a potent carcinogenic gas for use on strawberry fields and other food crops.  This chemical pesticide, methyl iodide, is a known neurotoxin that disrupts thyroid function, damages developing fetuses and has caused lung tumors in laboratory animals. Although California already classifies it as a human carcinogen, the EPA approved it for agricultural use in 2007 despite the objections of 50 prominent scientists.straw2

Really?  This just causes me to put my face in my hands and shake my head profusely.

I, for one, do NOT want this applied to anything meant for consumption, but I also shudder to think what this does to the air, water and PEOPLE that work these farms or live in close proximity.

If you agree, you can speak up and voice your disapproval.  CREDO is working hard to get the EPA to reverse this decision.  If you would like to sign the petition, simply go to this link so you can be counted.

In the meanwhile, we’ll be consuming these lovely, local, organic strawberries and hope that the EPA will rethink a decision as rotten as the tainted strawberries they are willing to feed us.

Simple health tip: Remove those shoes!!!

shoes off matScenario: You come home from picking up the kids from school, after walking the dog, visiting the grocery store and stopping for a fill-up at the gas station.  You’ve trudged though gas, grass and “goo” all along the way, but you run into the house (with bags of groceries flung over your shoulders to get them to the freezer before the ice cream melts!) and don’t remove your shoes before you get to the kitchen.

Have you ever thought about what is on your shoes?

The fact of the matter is, your shoes encounter a lot more than you’d ever want to know… chemicals, pesticides, toxins and lead that rest on every inch of the ground where we walk.  And when you don’t remove your shoes everything you walked through becomes embedded in your carpets or rugs and transfers to your floors, and THEN it literally becomes airborne so you ALSO inhale those same contaminants that were once a part of your shoes!

Another scary fact:  studies have shown that wearing shoes indoors is a larger source of children’s pesticide exposure than eating non-organic fruits and vegetables!

Time to remove those shoes at the door… and it’s okay to ask your guests to do the same!  What is tolerable for your “soles” is not tolerable for your health or your most “beloved souls”!

“Superbugs”, antibiotics and drugs… oh my!

sup bug virMy recent post about avoiding antibacterial products actually got me thinking more about the issues of antibiotics, medications and even “superbugs”, as well as the proper disposal of unused medications. While we certainly want to avoid the products containing Triclosan (that can accumulate in our bodies and decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics), there are other important points about using antibiotics and medications that I want to be sure to share, so here goes…

When antibiotics ARE needed, it is very important to complete the dosage prescribed by your physician because failing to do so can also help create “superbugs”.  New term to you?  Well, by stopping antibiotic use BEFORE you have completed the full course means that the “stronger” of the bacteria can remain present in your body and they have the potential to rapidly multiply and cause you the same symptoms again.  This “survival” means they are more likely to become resistant to the drug and these “superbugs” are created.  (Kinda gives you the chills, huh?… me too!)

Along with this discussion it seems logical for us to remember about the proper disposal of unused drugs and medications.  In a post quite some time ago I talked about all the dangers of the common “flush factor”… those of us who flush medications down the toilet.  Baaaad practice!  This means they end up in our water sources since most water treatment facilities don’t have the ability to remove them.

That original post offered suggestions including contacting your local pharmacy to see if they have a program to properly dispose of medications or checking Earth911 to locate a drop-off in your community.

But, if you MUST dispose of them yourself, consider the greener, safer way to do it… to keep drugs out of our water sources and prevent soil contamination from landfills too:druggz

  • Keep them in the original container so they can be identified if they are found (but remove your personal information and identification).
  • Add water to pills to start dissolving them.
  • Add coffee grounds, sand or kitty litter to liquids to help absorb them.
  • Put the original container in a secondary container and securely tape the lid closed.
  • Put them deep in your trash.

The absolute best option is to find a safe disposal option, and as much as I dislike the idea of adding this trash to a landfill, it is certainly the option safer than adding them to the drinking water of you, me and… our kids!