Posts in "Food Education"

GMO Labeling Is Here

GMO LABELING IS HERE ~ ISSUE 213 ~ JULY 5, 2016

By Diane Gold

GMO LABELING SO FAR

VERMONT

GMO Labeling Is HereGMO labeling (genetically modified organism labeling) is in Vermont. There are exemptions for dairy. But the Vermont law is a tremendous feat, considering Vermont was sued by Big Food and won.

Within six months of July 1, 2016; all food products not covered by exemptions must be labeled.

Last year, Vermont’s Governor Shumlin said,

“Here’s an idea for the industry: Just label your products. All of them, nationwide. Sixty-four countries already do it [[http://www.justlabelit.org/right-to-know-center/labeling-around-the-world/]]. I’m sure the food industry in America could summon the moral imagination to be the 65th.”

I agree.

At the time Vermont was sued to repeal its GMO labeling law which went into effect July 1, 2016, the States of Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts , New Hampshire and Washington filed a friend-of-the-court brief to support Vermont’s GMO Labeling bill. Friends are important when a little state has to face off against Big Food with big money.

A new beginning, a GMO Labeling law is in place in one state. Go Vermont!

OTHER STATES

Several other states (Connecticut and Maine) are in line to label GE (genetically engineered) foods. Their side stipulations will mean they will not trigger the enactment of their laws yet, but they are generating awareness of GMOs in food and more and more people are considering whether they choose to consume them.

CURRENT FEDERAL GMO LABELING DRAFT LEGISLATION SHORTCOMINGS

There is a draft bill (EDW16734) by the Senate Agriculture Committee to label genetically engineered organisms in food. Some suggest its purpose is to create a bill with so many exemptions as to remove the need for Big Food to label at all. (Ah, politics!)

Congratulations to the FDA (Food And Drug Administration) for bringing to light some of this draft bill’s shortcomings. Here are some of their ‘technical comments,’

“The definition of ‘bioengineering’ that would govern labeling under the new proposal ‘would result in a somewhat narrow scope of coverage,’ meaning that it would not apply to many foods from genetically engineered sources. It gave an example of a product made with oil from genetically engineered soy, which is in many products. After processing, such oil does not contain any genetic material and thus would not require a label.”

(Not having to disclose with what ingredients a product is produced from the start – whether or not ingredients are detectable at the end – is deceitful, opaque and as misrepresenting the truth as saying I don’t have to disclose that I put poison in my specially grown green bean fertilizer because, upon harvest, the poison is undetectable. As long as no one eats the beans until they are ready, they won’t die. Oh, wait! We, the consumers, are sheep. Why should it be our right to know?)

There is also a very complicated section of the proposed Senate Agriculture Committee law where food producers have loads of wiggle room to get out of labeling because the bill limits the GMO labeling of foods that

“could not otherwise be obtained through conventional breeding or found in nature.”

The reason the FDA brought this up is that it will be hugely difficult to disprove that the absence of labeling based on this ground is valid and correct, and Big Food attorneys depend upon this. The draft is written nebulously, whether by ignorance or by design, so that it is not clear whether the exemption of cross breeding referred to the effect of the rDNA (genetically engineered DNA) or the location of the resulting genetic material. With this non-specificity, producers can slip through the law 100 ways, and consumers will be falsely thinking they are getting transparency.

PUBLISHER’S OBSERVATION OF SHORTCOMING ON VERMONT LAW, BUT BIG CONGRATS ON THE LAW FOR STARTERS

We do not educate people about food and the processes to get it to market or the substances that are hidden within processing or the conditions in which workers work. Partial labeling of GMOs is a beginning of a fix for this. The Vermont bill requires that one of three wordings be permitted on a label. I object to two of them because the average person will not realize that the first two mean a product is or may be genetically modified. And there is a blanket exemption on dairy!

The first phrase is,

“may be produced with genetic engineering.”

If a product has no genetic engineering, a company will be very specific about tooting its horn and saying so. So the statement where something may be produced with genetic engineering will confuse many everyday people into thinking twice about the fact that a product with that label is genetically modified. I object to conning the consumer in this way and, worse, falsely making the consumer feel s/he has just been educated when s/he has not.

The second phrase is,

“partially produced with genetic engineering.”

The word partially softens the idea that a product has genetic modification in it. The everyday consumer will be thinking that partial is better than total and will miss the point of realizing the product is a GMO product. I object to conning the consumer in this way and, worse, falsely making the consumer feel s/he has just been educated when s/he has not.

The third phrase is,

“produced with genetic engineering.”

This phrase is the only clear cut phrase of the three and is the only one that will not confuse the average consumer. The fact that so many exemptions are permitted is horrifying.

INTERPRETATION

Just the way the NOSB (National Organics Standards Board) requires that any produce whose soil has used non-organic pesticides is required to wait, at least, three years from the time of this last non-organically approved pesticide application to the time it can call its produce “organic,” GMO use resides in the soil or in a product for long periods of time, and GMO labeling is the only label that makes sense.

FYI: here’s a list of the synthetic pesticides allowed on organics – very disheartening:

http://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?c=ecfr&SID=9874504b6f1025eb0e6b67cadf9d3b40&rgn=div6&view=text&node=7:3.1.1.9.32.7&idno=7

CONCLUSION

Let’s educate ourselves by learning what’s on our food and what is used to produce our food. The new GMO labeling law in Vermont is a start. The exemptions make one leery as to what has been accomplished. But people, nationwide, are talking. That is the biggest accomplishment. The second is that Vermont won a battle against Big Food. Yay!!!!!!!!

Let’s philosophize about our human right to know what is in and on our food in a free society. Who has the right to hide these under the guise of shielding proprietary information. We have the right to know as long as we are free!

Finally, doesn’t it seem as if we are tipping the scales on the side of big business? Why are we not looking at 64 other countries, many of them our allies, and considering their motives and studies. Economically, the fact that many of our food producers sell to those 64 countries, they are already label compliant, so it’s not such a big deal for them to make this change in their home country, America.

ACTIONS STEPS

1) DISCUSS WITH EACH FAMILY MEMBER OUR RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT’S IN AND ON FOOD.
Our greatest gifts in the United States are the gifts of freedom and human rights. Part of those are exercising and teaching about those rights. Let’s get going now.

2) READ THE STUDIES ON GMO SAFETY.
Remember that most GMO safety evidence has been produced by Big Food because they have the money. Neutral, professional study funders are scarce, so that money givers have no agenda to alter the study results in the end. And are the studies studying the effect on the environment?

GMO Labeling Is Here - Herbicide Tolerance Means Increased Herbicides

 

 

3) DISCUSS INCREASE IN HERBICIDE USE DUE TO HERBICIDE TOLERANCE LEADING TO ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER WITH ONE PERSON.

 

 

 

Reference this article or others: http://www.forbes.com/sites/bethhoffman/2013/07/02/gmo-crops-mean-more-herbicide-not-less/#6c7b213fa371

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, has been a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, has been a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and has been certified in plant-based nutrition.

She believes in freedom. This includes the freedom to depend upon being educated about the food we eat and the processes used for every morsel of that food. She says,

“As a consumer in a free country, it is my right to know the ingredients in and on my food so that I can decide whether they are acceptable for me to consume, so that I can decide if they are produced ethically and so that I can exercise my right as a human being to choose.

“By not knowing whether or not a product was touched by genetic modification, I cannot do this. By not knowing the exact source of an ingredient – that is, animal, plant, mineral, synthetic – I cannot do this. By not knowing what types of rules the employer of the laborers employed during produce processes, I cannot do this.

“I approve GMO labeling and consider it a minimal step in the process of fulfilling what is my right in this free world.

“As we work on this process, let’s take overall good care of each other and ourselves – including loving ourselves and our fellow beings at all costs – because we are all always worth it.”

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EXERCISE OF THE WEEK:
CONSIDER AND REQUIRE OUR RIGHTS IN A FREE SOCIETY WHEN IT COMES TO KNOWING WHAT IS IN AND ON OUR FOOD.

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Dear Organic Produce Retailer

DEAR ORGANIC PRODUCE RETAILER ~ ISSUE 212 ~ JUNE 28, 2016

By Diane Gold

Dear Organic Produce Retailer,

I wanted to ask if you could be of service to me and to do me, 5,000,000 vegans and anyone who has a food allergy to beeswax, propolis or lac beetle.

When I come in to your store, which is very often daily; my main buy is organic produce. Sometimes, when I am lazy, I will buy a non-GMO food item in a package with organic ingredients. It is never a great idea to buy things in packages, so I am not promoting this action.

Organic Produce RetailerSo, back to the produce aisle. I go to the organic fruit or veggies. When I see something I wish to eat, I need to find out what kind of wax coating is on it. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has a very biased and inferior regulation about how wax coating has to be labeled. It is not adequate or useful for me. Here, in Title 21 of the Code of Food Regulations 101.4, it says,

“(22) Wax and resin ingredients on fresh produce when such produce is held for retail sale, or when held for other than retail sale by packers or repackers shall be declared collectively by the phrase “coated with food-grade animal-based wax, to maintain freshness” or the phrase “coated with food-grade vegetable-, petroleum-, beeswax-, and/or shellac-based wax or resin, to maintain freshness” as appropriate. The terms “food-grade” and “to maintain freshness” are optional. The term lac-resin may be substituted for the term shellac.”

We, the consumer, rarely see these signs. They are required to be on the produce boxes which may not be on display. Or, if they are on display, many times, because of exemption or display configuration or some nebulous reason I don’t know, the information is missing or hidden. So, that is not helpful and, often times, breaks a regulation, and may put the consumer in danger.

WAX FROM TWO SOURCES

That is not the worst for me, though. As you can read above, food grade vegetable wax is grouped together with petroleum wax, beeswax, and lac beetle resin. If I can consume products with food grade vegetable wax, I ¬am OK. I might even opt for petroleum wax even though it’s not good for me, but it’s not put on organic produce. To consume beeswax or lac beetle resin would not be good for me. I could become terribly sick.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

My real focus is killing less, so, if it is not necessary, I do not choose to use product that uses bees or beetles.

HOW TO TELL WHAT’S ON THE PRODUCE

So, here’s the issue with every organic produce retailer I have ever seen: the retailer doesn’t list the FDA’s basic, useless verbiage quoted above from Title 21. This is because only the finisher (packer) has to put it on the box – sometimes. What this means is that when I go into my organic produce retailer and want to buy food, I have to look at the name of the farm that supplied the particular produce (many times by having to ask rather than by seeing it on display) and contact the farm before making a purchase. I have to ask whether the farm uses beeswax or lac beetle in the wax.

Sometimes, these companies say,

“We don’t know. You have to call the product distributor/finisher/packer;”

sometimes they say,

“We don’t know at all; you will have to call back when so-and-so is here;”

sometimes they say,

“We have someone who knows that, but s/he is not here now;”

and rarely they say,

“Yes, we know that,”

and give me an answer on the spot.

Of course, in order to make the original phone call, I have to look up the phone number of the farm. This means internet searching while shopping or asking the store manager to look it up. Then, the farm has to be open for business at the time I want to call, and the person who knows answers has to be available.

THE COMPLICATION

What is so complicated about this, and doesn’t have to be, is that the organic produce retailer changes the product it buys on an almost daily basis, based on season, price, availability and demand. So, after calling a farm about a particular type of produce that is available at retailer 123, the next day when I visit retailer 123; I will probably have to call a new farm for the same type of produce, since one order of produce lasts only so long. And the retailer buys only as much as it can sell without its going bad. And if I move on to organic produce retailer 456, a different crop from a different farm may be available.

Growers only grow so much, so retailers may buy from one farm one day and another farm the next day. This complication causes me to have to make phone calls every day in order to find out which organic produce has vegetable wax only on it. If the retailer has enough of this product, I might be able to buy the same type of produce supplied by the same farm for a week. With repeat buys of produce from a farm I have called, I am in luck. I don’t have to call again for a good 6 months – to see whether the farm has changed its waxing policy.

But, so often I have to call, at least, one company per visit to a store. And, 9 out of 10 times, I will have to leave the produce and wait for a call back from the farm or the finishing company. When I finally get the call a day or two later (or not at all as is common), it will be too late to buy the particular farm’s produce because the retailer will be sold out.

THE SOLUTION

What if my dear organic produce retailer had a list, a list of all the ingredients in every wax that was on every piece of produce? It would be easy to get for the big retailer. As part of the buying arrangement with the farm and/or a finisher:

1) the retailer could require the farm and finisher to disclose the type of wax IN WRITING WITH DATE that is on each type of produce from that particular farm or finisher, including, and most importantly, the source of the ingredients that make up the wax, before the retailer makes a buy.

How much easier would it be for the retailer to add that stipulation into a purchase agreement than it would be for lots of individual consumers to have to, on a daily basis, or as long as retailers change farms, take the following steps:

0) find the phone number of the farm that grew the produce I want
1) call the new farm of the day (since retailers change farms so often)
2) wait on hold
3) find out that the farm is not the finisher (packer)
4) have to look up the number of the finisher
5) call the finisher
6) wait on hold
7) find that the finisher does not know the source of the item being used because it is manufactured by another company
8) get a company name that actually makes the wax
9) look up the number of the actual manufacturer
10) call the company that makes the wax
11) wait on hold and have to be called back
12) wonder when a call back will come
13) then have to call again when no call back comes
14) explain what I want again
15) wait on hold and have to be called back
16) wonder when a call back will come
17) get a call back
18) find out the person who called doesn’t know the source information because their company buys some of the ingredients from separate suppliers
19) get the names of all the external suppliers
20) look up the numbers of these externals
21) call the external suppliers, one by one

Etc., Etc. Etc.

CLOSING REQUEST

Dear Organic Produce Retailer,

Organic Produce Retailer Wax ListPlease hear me and arrange to carry a source list of wax. You are large and powerful, so your farms and finishers will want your business and will do what you ask. I would help you if you asked. What if I am allergic to lac beetle and don’t see the sign that says the word “shellac,” made from lac beetle because it is on the box in the back, out of sight?

Or what if I don’t know that shellac is lac beetle? It could become catastrophic. Or what if the beeswax contains propolis (bee glue, which it usually does) and I stopped breathing from an allergic reaction?

The FDA will only change regulations if I can prove that thousands of people are allergic to something. Much easier for you to help by making a list.

And what about my peace of mind? The FDA does not base its decisions on philosophy, only medical study. So, the psychological wellness of 5,000,000 actual vegans is not the FDA’s criteria. Nor is it the FDA’s way to change regulations for the allergy of one individual person. But why? Isn’t it my FDA? Doesn’t it serve me?

Dear Organic Produce Retailer, since you have at your fingertips the ability to make the quality of all of our lives considerably more excellent, please do it. We will love you more for it. Thanks.

Love,

D

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If you wish to share your story, leave it as a comment under an article at http://warriorsofweight.com/issues. or even better, write your own article and put it up on a free wordpress site (https://wordpress.com), or post it on a social media site. Share yourself.

If you need habit help, check out warriorsofweight.com/consulting.

Know that you can reach out to a fellow human, probably to the person right next to you. If that interaction works out poorly, do it again. It’s worth it, since most people are nice and want to connect with you.

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, has been a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, has been a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and has been certified in plant-based nutrition.

She believes retailers have a responsibility to provide us with knowledge as well as food. She says,

“Please ask your organic produce retailer to start compiling a list of wax and sources of wax on organic produce. We might be able to motivate our retailer because the “other” organic produce retailer already has a list.

“Most people in produce departments were raised in the era where they are not teachers. Let’s help them become teachers by asking them to get the information for us. Then they can teach future generations to supply this information and give us what we deserve.

“As always, let’s take overall good care of each other and ourselves – including loving ourselves and our fellow beings at all costs – because we are all always worth it.”

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EXERCISE OF THE WEEK:
ASK YOUR ORGANIC PRODUCE RETAILER TO GET A LIST OF THE SOURCE OF WAX OF ONE PIECE OF PRODUCE. THE FOLLOWING WEEK, YOU CAN ASK FOR ANOTHER. ETC., ETC., ETC.

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What’s On Your Produce – Part II

WHAT’S ON YOUR PRODUCE – PART II ~ ISSUE 211 ~ JUNE 7, 2016

By Diane Gold

GENERAL INFO

What's On Your ProduceWhether we are parents, teachers, concerned friends; we have to be knowledgeable about what’s on your produce, that is, our produce. In order to be knowledgeable, we have to have knowledge.

It is clear that we don’t get the full picture from a very young age on which we can build as we understand more. This is absurd, and only we can change this by mentioning it.

So I am mentioning it. I have previously talked about this subject in
What’s On Your Produce – Part I in Issue 147, September 23, 2014. Here’s Part II.

Let’s consider ethics in the food business, not just that raising animals means killing animals; but that being the nurturer of the soil to produce plant food means not using toxins that will inevitably poison the people who eat the food, the land on which it’s grown and the water that we drink or our waterways that sustain life.

THE FACTS

It is imperative that we talk about these important things and that we discuss these facts with our preschoolers. Here, we focus on what’s on your produce.

1) In order to grow food, we must properly prepare the soil so that predatory bugs and microbes will not come to eat our crop.

2) To end up with great plants that do not have questionably toxic pesticides on them, we have to plan several years ahead to get soil in workable condition so that the wrong bugs don’t come, or we can plan ahead and begin our vertical farms which may require NO SOIL which means NO BUGS.

3) Since we have limited funds, we want to save money up front, not thinking that the cost of pesticides later will equal the cost of preparing the soil up front. It seems more expensive up front, so we don’t prepare the soil. Then, when insects and micro-organisms do appear, we go into debt by spending huge amounts of money on pesticides that may be toxic to our health, rather than fixing our soil at that time.

4) New farmers, whether they be single farmers or agricultural giants, do not learn from the mistakes of their foreparents because no one is teaching it. This keeps the pesticide cycle going and going.

MYTH

Myth: organic produce is pesticide free.
Organic produce is not pesticide free. Its pesticides are made without synthetics. That means, unless we grow it ourselves, it has pesticides on it, except in rare cases. Sadly, I just read a blog article that would seem to have been researched, even though there are only a few references to actual studies. In it, it states that organic produce is pesticide free. With people putting info out there incorrectly, we have to work twice as hard to output what’s correct.

5) Giant pesticide companies can double as seed producers. These companies genetically alter seeds to be used with their pesticides. These GMO seed companies teach us that we need pesticide products to control our crop. Apparently, there are some ground breaking, ethical farmers who have proven this to be untrue.

EDUCATION

Why is it that we are not taught the cycle of soil and seeds and successful growth without pesticides? We need to know about this as children so that we can question the use of pesticides and make changes to the way we produce produce.

There is a favorite website of mine called http://whatsonmyfood.org. It is quite shocking to see that some of the seemingly healthiest crops in the world have tragically high amounts of pesticide on them. Even if this pesticide imbalance continues, shouldn’t we know about this from an early age? Is it ethical that there is a term called,

“pesticide tolerance?”

What's On Your Produce - Protect Our WaterwaysAre we lab rats for which assessment must be made that if pesticides on a food rise beyond our tolerance level, we will die? Or should we protect ourselves should we protect our waterways which means, ultimately, our drinking water?

Wouldn’t a better solution be not to use pesticides but to work together with nature?

ACTION STEPS

1) STUDY how some farmers do not need pesticides.

2) GROW one edible plant in a pot with no fertilizer or GROW one edible plant in the nature of a vertical farm, with no soil.

3) TELL one young person about the fact that pesticides are not clearly discussed early enough in school and have a discussion. Hopefully, the youngster will have had a progressive teacher and be able to teach you some things.

4) MENTION the idea that we don’t learn about pesticides when we are young to your friends.

5) KNOW more about what’s on your produce.

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If you wish to share your story, leave it as a comment under an article at http://warriorsofweight.com/issues. or even better, write your own article and put it up on a free wordpress site (https://wordpress.com), or post it on a social media site. Share yourself.

If you need habit help, check out warriorsofweight.com/consulting.

Know that you can reach out to a fellow human, probably to the person right next to you. If that interaction works out poorly, do it again. It’s worth it, since most people are nice and want to connect with you.

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Please leave a comment below.

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WarriorsOfWeight on Facebook.

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, has been a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, has been a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and has been certified in plant-based nutrition.

She believes we deserve to know what’s in and on our food. Thus, Part II of What’s On Your Produce arrives. She says,

“My modus operandi is always to save animals from death by human, my first and foremost reason to be vegan. But that doesn’t include the what’s in it for me scenario. So here it is: eat plants because they are better for the body and mind and eliminate many, if not most, chronic diseases.

“That being said, when we eat our plant food, we must be educated as to what is normal and what is not. It is not enough to think that buying organic plants saves us from pesticides. It does not. Organics use substances that are the same or similar to the chemical products. They are not from person-made substances, but they are similar. And, on produce, in particular, as the Part I, Issue 147 article emphasizes, so much of our produce is coated with a wax-like substance to keep moisture in for travel, including organics (which might be more likely to abuse bees to acquire this substance because they use beeswax coating on most citrus fruits).

“Whatever we think, it is crucial that we teach our children about what’s on your produce, that is, our produce. This is so they can know it’s not normal to choose to eat chemicals, harvested from nature or synthetic, if we can opt to have food that has none, and so they can change it.

“Check out the Vertical Farms article for the perfect way to grow produce with no sprays, chemicals or wax.

“And, in doing so, we get to take overall good care of each other and ourselves – including loving ourselves and our fellow beings at all costs – because we are all always worth it.”

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EXERCISE OF THE WEEK:
GO TO WHATSONMYFOOD.ORG AND LOOK AROUND. CHANGE ONE BUYING HABIT, IF NEEDED, BASED ON WHAT YOU FIND.

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The Secret of Vitamin D

THE SECRET OF VITAMIN D ~ ISSUE 198 ~ NOVEMBER 10, 2015

By Diane Gold

The Secret Of Vitamin D is not really a secret at all. But let’s keep this short and sweet so that everyone reads it.

Secret Of Vitamin DWomen have Vitamin D deficiency. Men have it, too. Children who don’t go out a lot also have it. Get out more, and don’t be so prissy. What do I mean by that? For me, it means every time I go out, I shower upon return; so I go out less. That’s what I mean by prissy, and, yes, I am talking to myself.

Think about it. (1) What happens when we work all day in the sun? We come home, and we take a shower. (2) What happens when we go out to the beach and sun ourselves? We come home and take a shower. (3) What happens when we go out and play basketball and get all sweaty? We come home and take a shower.

THE SUN AND VITAMIN D

Before we consider these 3 examples and their differences, let’s look at why I am talking about the sun. Humans require ultraviolet B rays of the sun to turn the naturally occurring cholesterol in our skin into Vitamin D. To make this skin Vitamin D useful, it has to travel to the liver where dietary fat will stimulate bile to help to break it down (Vitamin D, a fat soluble vitamin). It adds some oxygen and some hydrogen and becomes 25 hydroxyvitamin D or 25(OH)D. Then, it’s on to the kidneys for its last pair of oxygen and hydrogen which turns it into active Vitamin D called1,25 dihydroxyvitamin D or 1,25(OH)2D aka calcitriol. An amazingly cool thing is that excess Vitamin D is stored in the fatty tissue and the liver should we not get out in the sun every day.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

The body storage of Vitamin D is how we can maintain adequate levels throughout our lives without daily sun. This is similar to protein and amino acid storage and the very reason we don’t have to consume every single amino acid at every single meal. It’s because the body has its very own pharmacy so that, when an amino acid, a protein, Vitamin D, or another substance is needed, the body goes to its own pharmacy to get it. We can’t do that with water and various other things.

LEADING TO THE SECRET

So, now, the secret of Vitamin D.

I hear people talk about the supplements they take that don’t improve their Vitamin D levels, and we know that supplements may not work for a variety of reasons, the biggest being that nutrients do not work alone. They need other nutrients to work at all. Kind of the way we humans are: we need each other to co-exist.

1) When we work in the sun all day, we consistently get sun. This gives us a good chance to use the sun every day to stimulate production of Vitamin D. We always get the trigger.

2) When we go out to the beach and sun ourselves, we get sun for that period of time, providing our skin is exposed and sun screen (if used) allows those UVB rays.

3) When we go out and play basketball and get all sweaty, we get sun for that period of time, providing our skin is exposed to the sun, just as in 2).

THE SECRET

AT WHAT TIME WE TAKE OUR SHOWER IS KEY. When we take a shower immediately after outdoor exercising or sunning, we allow no time for the Vitamin D that has started to form in our skin fully to absorb. One of my students’ and good friend’s 80-year-old mom had said to wait two hours before showering to let it sink in. I wait 3 on a good day, sitting there working without a shower.

BAM! That’s the secret. The only thing that makes it great to sit around with no shower is to know that the Vitamin D is literally dripping into our bodies so that it can make it rounds and sustain our lives.

CONCLUSION

Secret of Vitamin D - Out In The SunThe secret of Vitamin D is not deep and dark. It is transparent and light. Wait 3 hours for the glorious substance from the surface of our skin to convert and drip down into our grateful body. Marvel at the idea that we can store it. Be diligent and experimental about how much sun is required, being careful to avoid high noon, unless screened in some way.

Good health! Be at peace.
ACTIONS STEPS

1) Learn the time of most direct sun in each season (if you have season changes), and avoid it since too much sun can contribute to skin cancer.

2) Go out in the sun with as little clothing as feels good to you, 3 hours before or 3 hours after most direct.

3) Stay out for 10-30 minutes, being careful not to get sun burn. If you don’t get out that often, 30 minutes might be better, making sure you are not out at peak sun.

SECRET EXERCISE WITHIN 4).

4) DO NOT RINSE OFF except for sand on the feet for beach goers. Or, a colossally great stretch is to bring the leg up, placing the foot on the wall, tree, pole. Make certain the back stays straight for the entire time and that the knee is perfectly straight. Lean forward and rub the sand off your feet.

5) Go home or somewhere, and drink water. Lots.

6) Work, play, create without taking a shower or washing off the face.

7) 3 hours after you are out of the sun, take a shower so you will have your best chance of making active Vitamin D.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

There is scientific evidence that people with Vitamin D deficiency are more likely to get cancer than those with their Vitamin D intact. Even though some don’t talk about Vitamin D deficiency to educate us (Think industry: Let’s sell more sunscreen, and forget about making Vitamin D! Let’s take supplements, even though most of them do not absorb ), let’s consider going out in the sun so that we don’t get cancer because our immune system is too Vitamin D deficient to shut the cancer cells off.

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and certified in plant-based nutrition.

She believes in getting knowledge about our bodies and their health.

She says,

“It is important to drink in the sun. Just as plants need the sun to produce food, we need sun to stimulate us to produce Vitamin D. Are we taught to have mixed feelings about going in the sun? Yes. And with good reason. Since there is the risk of skin cancer. Yet, there is evidence that shows that low Vitamin D can cause cancer. So we have to be mindful and practical.

“In all this, why aren’t we educated about the fact that we can wash off the Vitamin D from our skin if we haven’t given it the time it needs to seep into our bodies? This is important information that, if known, could reduce supplement sales and reduce low levels of Vitamin D.

“Let’s spread the word. We never know what lives we will touch with this news.

“And, finally, let’s take overall good care of ourselves because we are so worth it.”

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EXERCISE OF THE WEEK
IS WAITING BEFORE SHOWERING AFTER SUNNING.

Food Habits -Continually Upgrading To Good Ones

FOOD HABITS – CONTINUALLY UPGRADING TO GOOD ONES ~ ISSUE 197 ~ OCTOBER 27, 2015

By Diane Gold

FOOD HABITS

Food HabitsFood habits are developed in all of us. We consume the same foods or types of foods over and over again because we like the result. When we do a behavior repetitively to satisfy a certain desire, we have a habit. It becomes something we can do without thinking, and we find ourselves doing it almost automatically.
In fact, sometimes, we have already completed the behavior before we realize we have done so. All to get a reward!

HABITS, IN GENERAL

When we first do something, we are just doing it. We may be motivated to please someone or satisfy our curiosity; but we haven’t yet experienced the reward until the behavior has been done.

When we repeat a behavior a second time or any time after that, we are doing it to get some type of thrill, benefit, recognition, reward. Something triggers us to do the behavior, whether it is the scent of an orange making us want to eat an orange, the dryness of our throat urging us to drink, the sight of a red scarf reminding us to call our sister. These biological responses lead us immediately to psychological responses.

As with all habits or acts of human behavior, triggers cause us to act positively or negatively toward ourselves. It is frame of mind that helps us choose which.

COMMON FOOD HABITS AND HOW TO MASTER THEM

HABIT (1) (a) Eating when full is a hugely popular habit. Why? This to do with the brain’s not having told body it is full.

HABIT (1) (b) Eating too quickly is common. We may not have been trained (yes, trained, or schooled, or educated, or groomed) to eat slowly. Or we may have forgotten. Either results in (a) because we have eaten so quickly that the brain cannot tell the body it has consumed for 20 or 30 minutes.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE ON HUNGER HORMONES

The following information is very simplistic. There are many other substances that have crucial effect on the following two hormones. So the info below is useful and needs further research on all our parts.

Ghrelin is a hormone that signals hunger. It also has a lot to do with regulating how we perceive reward.

Leptin is another hormone that signals when we are full or satisfied. If our body is being cooperative, leptin levels will increase to tell us we are full.

Both ghrelin and leptin have affect on when we feel hungry. Because so many other body substances and functions interact with them, it is very difficult to regulate hunger by supplementing the body with one or the other, alone.

ACTION STEP 1

The action steps for both (1) (a) and (1) (b) are the same.

DRINK a FULL glass of water before eating, waiting 5-15 minutes after drinking before starting to eat. The more slowly you drink the water, the more full the body will feel.

HABIT (2) Continuing to eat food we know is hurtful to our bodies is another common habit. This ties in to our habit of putting off change. We may have been raised eating the wrong foods. Science may have proven that our diets are wrong, but we haven’t made the necessary changes to maximize our health.

ACTION STEP 2

1) Make a list of 10 items you eat that come in a package.
2) Eliminate the most unhealthy for one month.
3) At the end of the month, eliminate another from the list.
4) If you can, maintain the originally eliminated food with the new elimination.
5) If this is too intense, just go with the newly eliminated food.
6) If you are hard core and able to maintain this for one year, continue to eliminate another packaged food from the list every month.
7) If you can, maintain this elimination permanently, and think about the benefit of whole foods vs. packaged goods.

HABIT (3) Eating food that causes pain to others may be more common than any other. We like what we like, and it doesn’t matter who or what we hurt.

ACTION STEP 3

1) Watch a video about migrants kidnapped for the Thai fishing industry that feeds pets and livestock that Americans eat. Do you want to support this? I am going to research my cat food now. I am vegan so do not eat livestock fed with this fish. I wonder if the fertilizer used in my organic produce uses these fish?
2) Read about or watch children who are too tired to go to school because they have to help with milking cows, feeding livestock so they will grow big and strong for sale, fishing, aquaculture. It’s scary to think that aside from GMO and vegan labeling, we have to know who tended our produce and did they have free will.
3) Watch a video on animal agriculture. It will give insight into what responsibility is ours if we use animals for anything in this life. Also, watch Cowspiracy, a movie at cowspiracy.com, about the abuse in factory farming, raising animals free range and why no one talks about it.

CONCLUSION

We have the ability to choose how we behave. As someone in the prison system said,

“I will always be free.”

Of course, he was talking about his mind, his will, his ability to choose. We have that. Let us use it to benefit ourselves, our offspring, our communities.

Food Habits - Finding The Reward
Can we release some of our greed, eating animals because we like how it tastes? Can we be kinder to each other, sharing when it doesn’t make us a profit?

Most of all, let us not have too fast a life that we neglect our own health. Let us use the newest science about food to eat well (remembering to notice which science makes profit for the funders that funded the research to get the science). And let’s learn food habits that support our body, mind and spirit. We can all do it. All it takes is repetition and our finding the reward in repeating the behavior.

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and certified in plant-based nutrition.

She studies habits and the people who have them.

She says,

“Habits are little parts of us that arise through repetitive behavior. The way we develop them is the way we can change them. It’s no secret. We can change them 1 step at a time.

There’s a TRICK to the change that most of us don’t employ:

Look at the next step only. That’s it. Looking at the end of the highway will not show us the way to get there. That’s why it’s important to take one step only. Then, we can take the next one step only. Then, and only then, can we take the next one step only.

Once we have taken one step only many times, we will become familiar with this one step. It will become second nature to us, even if we have other habits lurking around in the shadows. And we always will. All habits are ours. We can make them dormant by repeating new behaviors.

But dormant habits are just that – dormant, out of the way. For those of us who have strong habits that always want to become undormant and come out, we need to keep our eye on the one step. Some people can relax after a while. Some people need to keep the focus or the dormant habit will arise and take over.

And it’s important to upgrade our habits when we get new information. That means daily so that we can live our best lives. Every day.

“Finally, let’s take overall good care of ourselves because we are so worth it.”

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Recycling Is Our Responsibility

RECYCLING IS OUR RESPONSIBILITY ~ ISSUE 196 ~ OCTOBER 13, 2015

By Diane Gold

RecyclingRecycling is our responsibility, a task that most of us choose to be environmental stewards and better our planet, present and future. We do it for ourselves, our families and our planet’s longevity. The amount of money companies make as a result of our actions is not of concern to most of us.

Preventing waste (by being more aware, recycling and composting), reducing air pollution (from waste incineration), reducing water pollution (from landfill dumps and soil leaching) and lowering gasses (that develop in landfills) are of concern.

WHY WE RECYCLE

Some of us consider it our duty to contribute to the health of our environment, almost as a give-back to Earth for being there for us to live. We do it as a labor of love, knowing it is our sacrifice in time, energy and effort. It is done without question. We also believe that our cities, counties, states and federal governments have a duty to allot budget to selfless recycling programs that look out for the welfare of our community, region, country, planet.

Others of us have reasons which directly relate to what we see and feel in our immediate environment. We want to live in a clean environment where we (1) don’t have to look at a pile of plastic at the end of our canal, (2) don’t see random plastic strewn all over the streets, (3) go to the beach and don’t see garbage in the sand or at the shoreline and (4) boast about how clean our community is.

And then, there are those of us who are involved in the business of recycling and do it for the money.

RECYCLING AND HOW IT HELPS

Last week, a journalist, for a major newspaper, wrote an article that questioned whether recycling helps. His slant mentioned nothing about our duty to do everything we can not to waste, so here I am. His article rightly questioned whether the amount of water we use to clean what we recycle wastes more than it gains. Of course, we need to consider water resources and money to pay for them vs. greenhouse gasses and landfill space if we don’t recycle.

But the essence of recycling lies on our responsibility to the human condition, to do it for benefit of our sisters, brothers, families, ourselves.

MONETARY VALUE OF RECYCLING

We, outside the recycling industry, don’t care about how much money the industry makes. We do care how much money we save in clean up costs for our land, rivers, lakes and oceans. And we certainly care about how clean our air supply is.

It’s a good thing if the town, county or state makes a great deal with the recycling industry, and campaigns for us to do more of it. It’s also superb when the recycling industry makes money. But, if there comes a time when recycling becomes unprofitable for the industry, it is time for the government to allot money for such a purpose.

WTE FACILITIES – FOR WHAT WE CAN’T OR DON’T RECYCLE

Waste-To-Energy facilities are those that burn our garbage and use the result to produce electricity. Some people are concerned with the toxic emissions that are released from this burning including the fly ash and bottom ash. Advocates of the WTE method see the other side: the increased greenhouse gas (GHG) and toxic chemical compounds that are released and leach from landfills for waste that has not been incinerated first. (FYI, after the incineration process, the resulting ash is usually put in the landfill.)

In Sweden, their use of incineration for electricity is working well. In Portland, Maine, ecomaine, a WTE since 1989, burns the community’s garbage and produces enough electricity for some of the community’s homes. http://www.ecomaine.org/electricgen/processdiagram.pdf

Advocates of burning refuse say that the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere from incineration is two-thirds less carbon than that released from landfill waste dumped without incineration. The discussion continues.

CONCLUSION

Recycling matters. It matters to each one of us, whether we think about the future of the planet or we think about our comfort level in the parks of our communities.
Recycling Is Our Responsibility For Our HomeThe first thing to keep in mind is that recycling is our responsibility for our home, whether it is a castle, a shack or the planet. We are not entitled to much after we become adults unless we work for it. As long as we put something in, we can create the best our situation has to offer. And, to prepare children to become responsible adults, recycling ed has to start immediately.

ACTION STEPS

Here are several action steps that will be helpful.

1) Find out what you are permitted to recycle in your community recycling bins. Only recycle those items.

2) If there are no bins provided at your individual homes, call the jurisdiction in which you live or the surrounding areas and find out what community facility allows free recycling. Make a schedule to use it.

3) Call your county to find out whether your county recycling facility has more choices than your local bin. If yes, plan to recycle what you can’t locally when you make a trip close to the county facility. Don’t consider the time you will use to do this. It is part of your duty. Do consider the gas you will use. If the facility is very far, plan a monthly trip with friends who will also recycle.

4) Educate your children as to what numbers (1) through (7) mean in the way of containers. Children enjoy memorizing numbers that represent objects. This identification process can become a fun game that will instill recycling in them. If you do not have children or grandchildren, educate an adult.

5) Explain to your children that each of us has a responsibility to account for our waste. Talk about using just enough and how recycling can benefit us right now and in the future. If you do not have a child to whom to talk, talk to an adult about this subject.

 

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and certified in plant-based nutrition.

She has been close to recycling since the 80s and, at one time, wanted to be the recycling coordinator of her town.

She says,

“It is very disturbing that we don’t approach certain things as responsibility. Recycling is something we have to do for our planet. Or we have to come up with another way to reduce waste. If there’s a better way, let’s hear it. Please shout it out.

In reading about the disposal of ash after waste management combustion, it seems hugely complicated to neutralize the toxins that are formed. Do we know how? Do they know how in Sweden?

“Let’s keep working to figure out the best method to recycle our waste, but let’s keep recycling and educating in the meantime. We need more. We need government support. We need it now. Not only if it benefits an industry but so that it benefits the longevity of the human race.

“Finally, let’s take overall good care of ourselves because we are so worth it.”Border ff99cc

Conventional Produce – GMOs And Pesticides

CONVENTIONAL PRODUCE – GMOS AND PESTICIDES ~ ISSUE 195 ~ OCTOBER 6, 2015

By Diane Gold

Conventional ProduceJust so we know, the term “conventional produce” is another way of labeling food that has pesticides, herbicides, fungicides and is made with seeds that are, more than not, genetically modified. The question becomes why are we accepting the term “conventional produce?”

Isn’t it just a term to deter us from questioning why we allow any kind of spraying that might be carcinogenic or dis-ease causing or genetically modified? This reminds me of sleight of hand except for the mind: talking about one subject to take the focus off another. Exactly the same as the discussion that we should label GMOs, why are we talking about labeling them when we should be preventing their use altogether until some large independent study not performed by a friend of the GMO industry is done for all to see. Should we not look at the European Union that has many restrictions against GMOs?

QUICK TIP: Kale is on the Environmental Worker’s Group list of the Dirty Dozen, meaning it is one of the pieces of produce that retains heavy pesticide residue. When buying kale, make it organic.

NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD

It’s bad enough that the NOSB allows hundreds of chemicals on its list of what is allowed and what is not. I thought it was 32, but there’s a huge list.

ACTION STEP

If you would like to make a comment before the annual meeting of the National Organic Standards Board, go to:

http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=AMS-NOP-15-0037-0001.

The cut-off date to comment is October 8, 2015 for the October, 2015 meeting, so the time is now.  Or just notice when the next meeting will be and get ready to make a comment.

MY NATIONAL ORGANIC STANDARDS BOARD COMMENT

There are far too many exceptions on organic food. The idea of organic food was not to benefit the industry. It was to eat cleaner food. How can we, who are not farmers, live better lives, when those of you who are specialists are not strict enough to advocate on our behalf?

In the meantime, why isn’t it required that everything that has the USDA Certified Organic logo on it be labeled with EVERYTHING that has been used on it up until the point it reaches the retailer?

We deserve to know that bananas are gassed with ethylene, one of the less troublesome allowances. OR sulfur dioxide may be present. Why is not a sign required in every retailer’s store in full view of every counter that holds produce revealing that the produce has such and such on it or was treated with such and such even though it evaporated?

It’s our right to know.

The biggest problem with not having a labeling requirement for every showcase of every retailer of organics is that retailers have no idea what’s on the produce, so we can’t ask the retailer. Retailers are not required to give a phone number of a producer or finisher, so, most of the time, we have to go hunting the number down to call them and they end up saying they don’t even know what’s in the combination chemical they use from such and such a company. So the poor consumer who calls about only 1 piece of produce a day has to endure 5-10 phone calls to get one answer and rarely gets an answer at all.

What if we are allergic to xanthan gum? How will we know whether there is any present? OR what if we choose not to eat produce that has xanthan gum? How are we to know?

Please help by making producers pass on their pesticide, herbicide, fungicide, wax/coating list. And then there’s beeswax. Can’t we make a rule that animal product must be labeled as such so that we can choose our produce without 10 phone calls for one piece of produce a day?

Thank you for your help.

GMOs

Genetically modified organisms are those items that have been manipulated by science, not nature. GMOs are made using seeds that have had their DNA changed in some way. To slow the extinction of the human race, science may be needed at some time in the future when soil no longer produces. But, now, we have not researched its perils, and we put ourselves at risk for its side effects.

Modification of seeds and plants has occurred as a means to profit and success. I love profit and success. It shows some of the productivity and creativity of humankind. Unfortunately, genetic engineering has been done at the expense of our personal health. No viable tests have been conducted by non-interested science groups to show that the harmful effects from GMOs are real. Often,we rely on the industry study reports that favor their own agenda. Yes, we all do that, but this is about the food we eat, so why aren’t we taking better care?

PUBLISHER’S NOTE ~ PERSONAL HEALTH

Many industries profit by taking a toll on our personal health – the war machine, although I am soooooooooooooo grateful for my United States Military – I just don’t agree with creating war to sell military product; the pharmaceutical industry – creating drugs that are not necessary and giving medical personnel incentives for recommending said drugs; the food industry’s putting sugary, oily, salty ingredients in our food so that we buy more at the expense of our lives. One more example is the food industry’s convincing us we need meat and dairy at the expense of animal’s lives and, worse, our own good health.

PUBLISHER’S NOTE ~ SOILING AN ORGANIC FARM

Conventional Produce - Soiling An Organic FarmAnother tidbit I’d like to mention comes from a true story in 2009 from a 152-year-old farm that had been working on becoming organic. The farmers, 5th generation in their family, were in their 3rd (which is the final) year of working the land following organic guidelines – it takes 3 years of organic protocols to get certified.

One day, a crop duster came to spray non-organic pesticides on a neighboring major player GMO farm. Accidentally, the pilot forgot to turn off the spray. Unfortunately, that action pesticided the 3 years of work. Not sure if the certifiers discredited the 3 years or not. They should have (but lots of things slip through), and wow, how too bad.

CONCLUSION

When the word “Conventional” is on some sign in front of us, hopefully, we will take a good long look at it and realize it is another word for strong chemicals that can be more carcinogenic than the allowances on organic produce and genetically modified which is not permitted on organic produce. Let’s call it what it is,

“More-heavily sprayed & probably genetically modified stuff,”

and know that organic produce is

“Sprayed with different ills & probably not genetically modified stuff.”

Keep in mind that not all organics are sprayed, and not all conventional produce is a GMO. But let not the word “conventional” make us blind. Let us call it what it is. And do personal research.

ACTION STEPS

1) Don’t forget to go to http://whatsonmyfood.com. Pick your favorite produce, and go have a look.

2) Make a comment at the National Organics Standard Board website here: http://www.regulations.gov/#!submitComment;D=AMS-NOP-15-0037-0001. If too late for this meeting, notice the next time you can comment.

3) Keep sharp. Conventional means more heavily sprayed. End of story. Buy organic food, and don’t forget to check out this video (remember that unsprayed crop that starts with GM seeds is not organic, even if you love the local farm from which it came): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YtwZ8t5NS6c

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and certified in plant-based nutrition.

She is very aware of how marketers secretly enter the minds of their customers.

She says,

“Marketers have their jobs. And I love creativity in the making. I do know that the job of swaying the public is fun and continual. I also know that it’s my job to mention it to the public. Therefore, I am pointing out the term “conventional produce.” It’s only a convention because we have been duped into thinking that Big Food, Big Agro, Big Dairy are on our side. They are on their side as are most businesses that continue to operate.

“Let’s keep our eyes open and know that we are responsible for our own food research. Let’s figure a way to use organic produce, even if we have to sacrifice a new piece of clothing or a movie.

“Wouldn’t it be great if conventional were organic so that the norm would be organic? Until that time, let’s be aware of what’s on conventional produce and choose organic.

“Finally, let’s take overall good care of ourselves because we are so worth it.”Border ff99cc

Good Food – The Most Potent Part Of Our Day?

GOOD FOOD – THE MOST POTENT PART OF OUR DAY ~ ISSUE 192 ~ SEPTEMBER 15, 2015
By Diane Gold

Good FoodGood food, the most potent part of our day, needs focus. Truly, love, creativity, productive, relaxation, rest, exercise come with it. But where would we be without good food? And what would the focus of our day be like if we didn’t have it?

IMPORTANCE OF GOOD FOOD

Like money or teeth, which only take priority when we don’t have them, we don’t think too much about good food unless we spend a part of our day nurturing ourselves with it

Most of us are in environments where we have to rush to eat, compromise by eating genetically modified, non-organic food every time we eat out or don’t grow our own food so trust whatever we get.

QUALITY OF FOOD

How good is the good food we eat? Even when purchasing organic food, the National Organics Standards Board allows a massive list of synthetic and chemical products to ward off various blights that can harm produce. Check here, if you dare: http://bit.ly/1BNhl2Q. There are just as many non-synthetic substances that might be displeasing to some. But who thinks about fish heads in our vegan produce or liquid fish products to ward off rice pests?

There is, at least, one product formulator who has changed the standard for organic by creating a trademarked super organic label. He has done so because he sees the USDA label as too permissive as the link above demonstrates. He has tightened the standard on what good food is.

HOW WE CONSUME OUR GOOD FOOD

How often do we think about how we consume our good food? The following considerations are ACTION STEPS, to consider and to act upon the consideration:

1) Is our food, at least, certified organic by the USDA?

2) Is our food non-genetically engineered?

3) Have we cooked out the nutrients by applying too much heat? Some beneficial phytonutrients are released when fire is applied since we, as humans, cannot break certain cellulose walls down ourselves. But, often, heat destroys the nutrition we think we are getting, and we end up eating nutrition-less (meaning less nutrition) than we originally thought we were consuming.

Cooking is cool, but be aware and learn to raw, too.

4) What about the cookware? I have spoken about this before. See: http://warriorsofweight.com/plastics-in-food-and-bloodstream. And, today, I had a very long conversation with the product developer of one of the all ceramic pot manufacturers. The great thing about the conversation was that this owner/developer had 30 years in the industry and had done the research on the subject of toxins in cookware.

It would be great to use a pan that did not weigh a lot, had no possible toxic glaze on it and was non-stick. That’s nearly impossible. So we take what we can get. I’ve been using a ceramic glass pot when possible, but may venture out into non-stick.

5) Then, what utensils do we use?

From the time I was about 21, I began using chop sticks. It was not part of my family’s culture, but now it is. I didn’t want to put metal in my mouth. What I discovered today in researching this article is this: most of the disposable chopsticks are dipped in sulfur dioxide to inhibit mold.

Consider this, too. The Center For Disease Control lists sulfur dioxide as potentially life-threatening, causing breathing problems and chronic inflammation. Isn’t it interesting that sulfur dioxide is one of the synthetic ingredients allowed on organic produce by the National Organic Standards Board (although only 100 ppm). But it makes me wonder.

I have been using wooden, sulfur-laden disposable chopsticks for over 40 years. I am not happy about putting plastics or polymers in my mouth, and, if I get organic chop sticks, they can have up to 100 ppm of sulfur dioxide. Imagine the variation per batch that chop sticks could have. Mind-blowing.

6) How have we educated ourselves on what to eat? Do we even know how to consume the right amounts of food to make it good for us?

CONCLUSION

Let us conclude by saying that good food is crucial to our sustained life. The earlier we learn good habits related to food, the more our bodies, minds and spirits will drink in the benefits. When we have health challenges, we often review what we eat. But, today is a great day for review food and avoid causing dis-ease.

It was only a few months ago that I became certified in whole-food-plant-based nutrition. The training fortified my knowledge of good food. It also reminded me of how much I enjoy the study of nutrition and how few of us really go through a training program to learn great nutrition.

Is there any better time?

Good Food - Learn Great Nutrition
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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and certified in plant-based nutrition.

She loves good food. She also enjoys reminding people that we need to learn about how to eat and that it is a skill like many others.

She says,

“So often, we go about our day, not realizing that good food fortifies us. And that every day we bypass eating well can forge the road to dis-ease.

“We need to study nutrition to know how to eat. What we may have learned from our grandmas may not take into account the science we have now. Eating well is fun. And, since we are always concerned with how we feel, it makes us feel gr-r-r-reat!

“A great way to study other than actually going to school for it, which wouldn’t be a bad idea for us all, is to make a new(or created) recipe every week or so, making sure it contains whole, organic ingredients that are not in a package. That does take away a lot of things, but it puts in their place an abundance of good food just waiting to be eaten.

“Know the value of good food and how beneficial it is for our lives.

“Finally, let’s take overall good care of ourselves because we are so worth it.”

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Water Shortage: Our Role

WATER SHORTAGE: OUR ROLE (ISSUE 162) MARCH 17, 2015

By Diane Gold

WATER SHORTAGE

Water ShortageThe reason I wrote this article was because I saw myself wasting water, even in the face of knowing that there is a water shortage. It really hit me when I had my own water shortage. I knew I was washing the dishes in my sink with the water running the entire time. I began to think that using a dishwasher, which my current residence lacks, might be more economical.

(According to the Water Resources section of whitehouse.gov [http://water.usgs.gov/edu/qa-home-percapita.html], my activity of washing for 3 minutes 2 times a day using a new faucet but an old sink uses about the same amount of water as one dishwasher load at 20 gallons per day. Too much.]

A CLOGGED SINK TEACHES COMPASSION

So, here’s what happened to my sink. It clogged. So, my water consumption came to a screeching halt. And I would have had to wait for a drain fixer until the following day if I had sat tight. That’s when I got a miniscule taste of feeling water shortage in the way that so many people do every day, and that is, not having water at my disposal when I wanted it.

True, I wasn’t really without water. I could Valley Girl myself into the bathroom and use water from the bathroom sink. But, I did not have my regular access, and the bathroom sink was too small for me to fill a pot with water. In my panic, I decided to go to the store and get some horrible chemicals to put down the sink that were guaranteed to fix the clog and pollute the Earth.

Although I felt sad at having to pour pollution into the pipe that would reach wherever it ended up, I did it anyway. It was guaranteed to work in 15 minutes, even though it took 12 hours.

The result was I was forever more cognizant of my water waste and continue to be so.

WHY IS THIS MY PROBLEM, OTHERS MIGHT ASK?

Water Shortage - My ProblemSome of us may not see there is a global water shortage. We don’t see 840,000,000 people in front of us every day who have no water. We say,

“What does this have to do with me? I have never been without water.

“I don’t use much water.

“There’s so much water from oceans that we can desalinate it if we have to.

“Only a few people in the centers of a few countries experience shortage.

“And what does this have to do specifically with my habits. They don’t have an effect water shortage.”

My response to those statements is clear, not because I am the most diligent person, but because we are not alone.

THE HUMAN FAMILY

Water Shortage - One Human FamilyWe forget quickly that we are part of one human family. If one part of our family is thirsty, then it is our responsibility to do something about it as if it were the people in our very house.

Remember the last hurricane, tornado, monsoon, tsunami that passed by?

People we never even spoke with before, who had lived in our village, on our street, right next door, up the avenue or field shared food, refrigeration, ice, concern, nurturing, and, yes, water. It was a magical transformation caused by our common environmental disaster.

Why are we so self-absorbed that we’re not like that every day? We all care about the people who are water insecure. Right?

FOOD CHOICE CAN WASTE WATER

Since life is so complicated, it is hard for us to think of water shortage unless it is right at our front door. It usually takes some heart wrenching photo of children’s misshapen bodies for our attention to be drawn to drought or lack of access to water. Imagine, though, that we are causing the continued water shortage by overuse. And how are we doing it?

According to the Water Footprint Network, 40 gallons of water are used to produce a pound of pulses (lentils, chickpeas, peas beans) compared to producing a pound of beef, which requires 45 times more water. So, our use of animals for food is one of our big wastes.

ACTION STEP

Water Shortage - Balance By Eating PlantsWe could balance the water shortage by eating plants. That would allow everyone to have more water. According to everything I learned in my courses to become Certified in Plant-Based Nutrition, eating plants would prevent a bunch of chronic diseases and suffering; and it is not necessary to eat animal protein and most of us in the Western world are over-consuming protein.

If we were eating plants, we could be teaching developing countries who are emulating us to grow plants efficiently, save their bodies and save the Earth. They would be spared learning the hard way that the amount of water it takes for raising animals and the disease statistics associated with eating meat, fish, poultry, dairy and the land we destroy are reason enough not to do it.

HOUSEHOLD CHOICES CAN WASTE WATER

Those of us who do not have to walk a mile to the water pump, and that’s most of us in the United States, take water for granted. We use water regularly for oral hygiene, in our toilets, for washing ourselves and cleaning our houses, to prepare food within our single family structure and to drink. Are we diligent, though? Yes, the amount we use in household is miniscule compared with the amounts used in agriculture. But, it still matters.

I mentioned earlier my personal waste. It turns out I was letting the water run the entire time I was brushing my teeth. For no reason other than that I liked the sound, I liked the feel of the water trickling on my toothbrush; but, mostly, because I forgot to turn it off, I was being wasteful and socially unacceptable. I also kept it running before and after filling my name brand electronic water flosser. Again, the amount of waste was not huge, but it was completely unnecessary. I’ve decided diligent water use matters.

By being diligent and turning the water off more often, I can maintain my 360 gallons or less a day for a single person in an apartment. I am taking responsibility for 15 minutes of watering the grass outside since I get to see it.

Water Shortage - How Much We Use

What the chart at the US Geological Surveys Water Science School does not take into account is the amount of water used to prepare our food. I am a plant-based eater, so I am using a smaller amount of water to grow my produce than someone who eats animal products. But, if I forgot about morality and ate 1 hamburger for the day, my water consumption would quadruple. Too much to be sustainable.

Plants require water to grow, but it is common knowledge they require less than animal based foods. I’ve seen statistics that animal-based food (including poultry, fish and dairy) use from 2.9 X more to 13 X more water, but I just know the number is considerably more.

CONCLUSION

I have read some surprising statistics about water, including, according to the Rural Community Assistance Partnership (from a document prior to April, 2009), that 1.7 million people in the United States live without plumbing facilities.

Water Shortage - Bring Water Home For The FamilyAccording to the April 29, 2011 article by Laurie Ure for CNN, nearly 1 billion people walk 3.5 miles a day to fill their jerry can to bring water home for the family. How often do those people get to their water source only to find a water shortage or a source that is dried up, closed, contaminated, unavailable? Something to think about.

Let us be diligent to contribute positively to reduce water shortage by being connected to everyone in need, by considering our food choices and minimizing pollution, by composting and recycling, and, easiest of all, by reducing water waste that may be right in front of our eyes.

Water Shortage - Access Water With The Right EquipmentAlthough there is water shortage, there are areas worldwide that can access water with the right equipment. World Water Day, March 22 2015, celebrates water and our awareness that it is not forever. If you wish to donate to build a well so that 500-1000 people can have access to groundwater near their home in Africa for 10 years, please do it at: https://thewaterproject.org/community/profile/diane-gold.

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying peaceful conflict resolution, habit replacement and certified in plant-based nutrition.

She cares about water. She says,

“I’m grateful for my sink’s having clogged. It gave me a great look at conservation of water in the kitchen. I’m grateful for noticing my toothbrush water, so I can reduce it.

“These are tiny things which, alone, amount to little, but, together, would be more meaningful. Let’s take a moment and consider that water is not renewing as quickly as we are using it. So, let’s use less. And let’s appreciate what we have more.

“Finally, let us all take good care of ourselves because we are so worth it!”

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Extinction: Are We Responsible?

EXTINCTION: ARE WE RESPONSIBLE? (ISSUE 167) FEBRUARY 24, 2015

By Diane Gold

Extinction: Are We Responsible?Let’s talk about Extinction and Loss Of Species, and are we responsible?

Yes, of course, we know that biology of a species, weather conditions, habitat destruction and ocean overuse, air quality or availability of whatever the species needs to breathe, food availability, water pollution, how the inhabitants of a planet nurture it and natural planetary cycle, all have to do with how long a species survives and how strong that species is.

Today’s article is written by our friend and colleague, Richard Oppenlander, D.D.S., dedicated researcher, who is one of the premier experts on how our food choices affect the sustainability of and species on our planet. He, in his very evidence-based and organized fashion, brings us information on how our food choices tie us to extinction and loss of species.

His last sentence is our ACTION STEP.

BIODIVERSITY AND FOOD CHOICE

by Richard Oppenlander (originally published at comfortablyunaware.com.)

Extinction: Animals, Plants, InsectsThere needs to be a correction, and also modification of a particular concept, to the recently published article I had written for the North American Vegetarian Society (“Meat: no longer just a factory farm issue” in Vegetarian Voice 2012) regarding biodiversity loss.

The “30,000 per year” extinction or loss of species statement I made is actually referring to species of animals, plants, insects—not simply animals (although the “animal” kingdom technically includes insects).

This figure was first brought to light by Harvard naturalist and emeritus professor of biology, Edward Wilson (The Diversity of Life, Harvard University Press 1992) and supported by Niles Eldridge (Life in the Balance, Princeton University Press 1998). Others such as Georgina Mace, Paul Ehrlich have extinction estimates as high as 70,000 to 130,000 species per year (7,000 to 13,000 times the background rate).

After speaking with and interviewing numerous researchers with the Species Survival Commission of IUCN (The World Conservation Union) and COBD (The Convention on Biological Diversity), about this topic over the past four months, I now feel there are many uncertainties surrounding attempts at quantifying the exact number of species becoming extinct per year. For this reason, it is more meaningful to view our planet’s current loss of species and the impact of our food choices in the following manner:

Extinction - Loss Of Habitat1) We are losing species of life as well as ecosystems on Earth at an unprecedented and alarming rate, estimated to be anywhere between 1,000 and 10,000 times the “background rate”—that which had been seen for the previous several thousands of years. Therefore, it is this massive rate of extinction rather than number of loss that becomes a more meaningful metric and cause for concern.

Extinction - Number Of Species Loss Per Year2) It is difficult, if not impossible, to accurately predict the number of species loss per year because of a number of factors. One of the largest unknowns is the exact amount of species that we have on earth, which is a needed component when attempting to determine total numbers of species loss when using an extinction prediction equation. This is one of the reasons the Species Area Curve Relationship method of extinction calculation has led to speculation and wide ranges of numbers of extinct species.

It is the feeling of most researchers today that although we have identified approximately 1.8 million species on our planet, there are most likely between 10 and 30 million that exist.

3) Regardless of the exact number of species becoming extinct per year, it is alarming at best and can be most attributed to loss of habitat—and the predicted future escalation will be due to habitat loss combined with climate change.

4) With estimates of 45% of all the land mass on Earth used by animal agriculture and 1 to 2 trillion fish extracted from our oceans each year (by fishing methods such as trawling, purse seine, long lines, explosives and other techniques that are damaging ecosystems)—eating animals (fishing and livestock production) is the largest contributing factor in habitat loss and constitutes the second largest sector implicated in anthropogenic [human caused] greenhouse gas emissions which lead to climate change.

Extinction - Fish Vulnerable To ExtinctionThere has been widespread thought that marine species were more resilient to extinction and our further exploitation. However, there is finally a growing amount of evidence that fish and wildlife in our oceans are as, or more, vulnerable to extinction than many terrestrial and freshwater species. Extinction – Fish Vulnerable To Extinction

Despite continued massive harvesting of sea life from our oceans, it is generally agreed upon by researchers not affiliated with sustainable certifying organizations that the amount and distribution of threatened marine species is, at best, “poorly known.” Our demand to eat fish cannot be taken out of the equation when discussing our abuse of natural resources, eventual loss of species, and climate change.

Habitat loss is far and away the most pervasive threat to terrestrial animal species, impacting 86% of all mammals, 88% of amphibians, and 86% of all birds. One in every eight birds, one in every three amphibians and one in every four mammals is facing an extremely high risk of extinction in the near future. Overexploitation of animals for consumption remains a second major factor for extinction such as can be seen in wild meat trade in Africa and Southeast Asia and all hunting endeavors on land, globally.

Current biodiversity assessments (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, IUCN Red List, and the Global Environmental and Biodiversity Outlook) now generally agree that land use change, modification of river flow, freshwater pollution, and exploitation of marine environments are the most significant drivers of biodiversity change and loss of species. Eventually, ocean acidification and climate change will become increasingly important. With overharvesting sea life in our oceans and raising livestock on land (grazing or CAFOs [factory farms]), our demand to eat animals and animal products remains the largest contributing anthropogenic factor to those accepted drivers of loss of species on Earth.

Extinction Prevention - Eat Plants, Not Animals

 

Let’s eat plants, not animals, and inspire others to do the same.

 

 

 

RICHARD OPPENLANDER

Dr. Richard Oppenlander is a researcher who studies the effects of food choices on health and environment. A dentist by day, he lectures about how animal agriculture is the biggest driver of global depletion and talks about solutions we can implement. He has written Comfortably Unaware and Food Choice And Sustainability, both flowing books with a wealth of scientific back up about how our food choices affect our land, oceans, water, air, soil, health. A copy of both books resides in my local public library ready to be read. And yours?

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If you wish to share your story, please hit reply in your email program to be contacted.

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DIANE GOLD, PUBLISHER AND AUTHOR

Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition in certificate course, peaceful conflict resolution and habit replacement.

She is so pleased to bring Richard Oppenlander. She says,

“Richard brings with him the honesty to speak about what we eat and how these choices affect our planet. He is always interested in the truth, and, at the same time, cares about the lives of animals. He offers the idea that becoming moderate will not work because we won’t be able to change our climate and our planet in time if we take our time. His message is clear, and that is to stop eating animals, fish, fowl, dairy and eggs.

“I second that, since I think it is the right way to live.

“And, finally, let us all take good care of ourselves, because we are so worth it!”

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