Storing green smoothies: BPA in plastics [part 1 of 2]

Dear Green SmoothieGirl: What should I store my green smoothie in?   I’ve read that certain chemicals in bottled water and other plastic items leach into my food.

Answer:   A government study by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group (EWG) in Washington, D.C. recently uncovered a surprising (and unnerving) finding.   The plastic lining used by manufacturers of metal food cans have more bisphenol-A (BPA) than plastic containers do.   BPA is an endocrine-disrupting chemical that is linked by research to breast and prostate cancer, diabetes, and neurological problems for babies exposed in utero, among other things.   Cans that test to have the highest BPA levels are chicken soup, infant formula, and canned pastas.   And, the FDA says the average American eats about 17 percent canned foods.   The longer a can sits on the shelf, the more leaching occurs in the food.   And when a container is heated, more chemical is released into the food as well.

What can we do about this?

I believe that eventually the BPA will be removed from cans.   But in the meantime, the first tip is that Eden Foods, a maker of organic items found mostly in health food stores, has BPA-free cans, if you can afford a pricier product.

Second, we can make more of our own food (like soups and beans) and keep cans around for only food storage and emergencies.   Cook the beans you use a lot and freeze them in 2-cup amounts for later use.   Some foods you buy in cans can be purchased in glass jars (spaghetti sauce, for instance).

Third, store your green smoothies in glass pint or quart jars.   I have always done this.   The downside is that if you drop it, glass shatters.   It’s not as convenient as some drink containers for taking in the car and putting in the car’s drink holder, either.   You can obtain stainless steel containers, too.   With either of those options, you will have no chemicals leaching into your food.   And keep in mind that the best way to keep your body removing toxins like BPA from sources we just can’t control is . . . to drink green smoothies.   The insoluble plant fiber in greens mops up several times its own weight in toxins and removes it from the body.

Fourth, you can google “BPA free” and buy baby bottles and other items free of toxic synthetics.  

More tomorrow about what to store green smoothies in, plastics, and the Sheryl Crow email.

stevia approved by FDA

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just granted approval to the natural herbal sweetener stevia.   You may know that I endorse stevia as a sweetener I use because it is plant-based without altered (synthetic) molecules, it has no impact on blood sugar, and no adverse health effects have been reported from its use.   In short, it’s a dramatic improvement over chemicals like Splenda, saccharin, and the widely used aspartame (brand name NutraSweet).

 

Aspartame is a public health nightmare.     More complaints have come in to the FDA from its use the past two decades than all other food additives combined (and we have over 4,000 approved food chemicals).   The frightening array of complaints include migraines and other neurological phenomena.

 

This doesn’t mean, incidentally, that your FDA is a friendlier organization somehow changed to truly protect your health.   Far from it.   The very same organization is well documented to have blocked stevia from store shelves just years ago.   You couldn’t sell it as a food in health food stores (it had to be labeled so as to not make consumers think they could eat it).   A company was banned from using it as an ingredient in its recipe book.   Companies attempting to use it were threatened with fines.   And stevia imports were seized and destroyed.

 

But due to public pressure following years of complaints about aspartame, Pepsi and Coca-Cola petitioned the FDA for stevia approval to replace aspartame in its products.   So the FDA has yielded once again to big business, not somehow become committed to science, the public health interest, and safety.

 

The patented product they’ll be using is called Truvia, and from what I can learn, it does not contain any altered, synthetic ingredients.   (I’ll let you know if I find out otherwise.)   While this is good news, of course, two things I want you to think about:

 

  1. The FDA is still bowing to corporate interests and its activities shouldn’t be the rubber stamp you use to guide your purchasing decisions.
  2. Even when Diet Coke has stevia in it, it’s still really bad for you, so please don’t think it’s a health food.  

Tomorrow, important information about another sweetener I endorse, agave nectar.

The Essential GreenSmoothieGirl Library . . . part 7

These are books important for parents to own:

Robert Mendelsohn, M.D.’s How to Raise a Healthy Child In Spite of Your Doctor is an enlightening, if old, book by a renowned pediatrician who left a top hospital post after becoming disgusted with the way modern medicine treats children.   Dr. Mendelssohn led a research hospital in Chicago until he became so  disenchanted with medical practices that he wrote this book that every parent should read to understand why it’s so critical to not put blind faith in medicine.   Some of the things I recall most vividly is how he challenged the escalating trend of tonsils and adenoids being taken out of young boys, only to find that truly, these surgeries were unnecessary and risky for the patients but were needed to fill quotas for medical residents’ requirements.

I learned from Dr. M that a fever is a natural, healthy way for the body to fight infection, and that fever should not be “fought” or drugged.   He put my mind at ease with statistics reassuring me that an out-of-control fever is so rare as to be something I needn’t worry about.   This book is a good start towards realizing that the doctor isn’t God: a good first step down a road to a mother becoming a healer in the home.

You won’t so much get alternative health advice as much as understand the medical paradigm’s limitations and abuses, which is helpful in a parent’s initial effort to break loose of modern pediatrics.

Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s Disease Proof Your Child is an excellent primer, a book to buy as a gift for people who love their children and want them to be healthy.   It explains why eating plants is our kids’ best protection against the modern plagues that have become epidemics, and “your new cookbook” at the end is a good resource.   I disagree with some of the ingredients Fuhrman uses, such as canola mayo and lots of soy milk/cheese/etc., but these are small issues considering the dramatic potential of this book for families.

 

 

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 8 of 12

Today stats about where foodborne bacteria E. coli, campylobacter, and salmonella come from, and irradiation consequences.   And which foods you should be most concerned about.   (Each of these stats/quotes has a corresponding source in Robbins’ The Food Revolution.)

 

The deadly E. coli 0157:H7 bacteria has occasionally been found in sprouts and raw apple juice.   The vast majority of E. coli has been found in: GROUND BEEF

 

Tom Billy, administrator of USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service, estimates how many cases of beef contain E. coli: 50 percent of U.S. cattle carcasses

 

Reuters News Service quote: “A report by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture estimates that 89 percent of U.S. beef ground into patties contains traces of the deadly E. coli strain.”

 

Leading cause of kidney failures in U.S./Canadian children: Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome, 85 percent of cases caused by E. coli

 

Estimate of how many E. coli cases are actually reported: 2% (William Keene, epidemiologist)

 

Salmonella has been caused by tomatoes, mustard cress, bean sprouts, cantaloupe and watermelon.   Far more cases have been caused by: EGGS AND ANIMAL PRODUCTS

 

Americans sickened by Salmonella-tainted eggs in the U.S., annually: 650,000+

 

Americans killed by eating Salmonella-tainted eggs in the U.S., annually: 600

 

Salmonella cases in U.S. versus Sweden: 1 in 200, compared to 1 in 10,000 (you’ll know why later in a blog about the way animals are raised/processed)

 

Campylobacter is occasionally detected on vegetables.   It’s widespread in: CHICKENS

 

American turkeys sufficiently contaminated with Campylobacter to cause illness: 90 percent (side note: if you don’t get sick, thank your immune system, which incidentally is nourished with antioxidant-rich plant foods)

 

Number of hens screened for Campylobacter by Univ. of Wisconsin researchers: 2,300

Number that were NOT infected with Campylobacter: 8

 

Cause of Milwaukee’s cryptosporidium outbreak in ’93 that sickened 400,000 and killed over 100: dairy manure

 

Campylobacter kills more Americans every year than E. coli and is increasing more rapidly, according to CDC numbers.   The poultry industry does not dispute that most chicken sold in the U.S. is contaminated.

 

Quote by former USDA microbiologist Gerald Kuester of today’s processed chicken: “(The) final product is no different than if you stuck it in the toilet and ate it.”

 

Evidence of that: Univ. of Arizona found higher levels of coliform bacteria in the American kitchen than on the toilet rim because of “a bonus on the animal foods people bring into their kitchens.   The bathroom is cleaner because people are not washing their chickens in the toilet” (Nicols Fox, foodborne disease authority).

 

Listeria has been found on cabbage grown in fields fertilized with listeria-infected animals.   Far more often it’s found in: SOFT CHEESES AND PROCESSED MEATS

 

The U.S. government’s answer to microbial contamination: irradiation (no long-term studies have been done)

 

Consequences of irradiation: Vita A, B-1, C, K, and E are destroyed, and new and potentially carcinogenic chemical compounds are  created (also mutant bacteria and viruses are a possibility)

Need motivation to eat less meat and more plants? . . . part 4 of 12

Do certain diets prevent cancer?  Today, good stats on health implications  of eating meat:

 

Risk of colon cancer for women who eat red meat daily, versus those who eat it less than once a month: 250 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat red meat once a week compared to those who abstain: 38 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry once a week compared to those who abstain: 55 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat poultry four times a week compared to those who abstain: 200-300 percent greater

 

Risk of colon cancer for people who eat beans, peas, or lentils at least twice a week compared to people who avoid these foods: 50 percent lower

 

Impact on risk of lung cancer for people who frequently eat green, orange, and yellow vegetables: 20-60 percent reduction

 

Impact on risk of lung cancer among people who consume a lot of apples, bananas, and grapes: 40 percent reduction

 

Rate of lung cancer in British vegetarian men compared to the general British population: 27 percent

 

Rate of lung cancer in German vegetarian men compared to the general German population: 8 percent

 

Dr. Diane Courtney is head of EPA’s Toxic Effect Branch and told Congress, “Dioxin is by far the most toxic chemical known to mankind.”   The EPA says that up to 95 percent of human dioxin exposure comes from red meat, fish, and dairy products.

 

The American Institute for Cancer Research, and the World Cancer Research Fund, analyzed more than 4,500 studies and said that 60 to 70 percent of all cancers can be prevented by staying physically active, not smoking, and adhering to the following diet:  “Choose predominantly plant based diets rich in a variety of vegetables and fruits, legumes, and minimally processed starchy staple foods.”

 

Tell me: you gonna have a slab of steak for dinner tonight?   Or, will you choose a diet that will help you prevent disease?    

More Experts on Colon Cleansing . . . part 9 of 9

Sir Arbuthnut Lane was a surgeon for the King of England and specialized in bowel issues. He removed parts of the colon and sewed the rest back together, and in the course of his practice, he noticed that many times, patients after surgery would have goiters or arthritis disappear, etc. Often, seemingly unrelated maladies improved after removing diseased sections of the colon.

He became so aware of how toxic digestive systems are linked to the other organs of the body that he spent the last 25 years of his life teaching people nutrition, rather than performing surgery. He said this:

“All maladies are due to the lack of certain food principles, such as mineral salts or vitamins, to the absence of the normal defenses of the body, such as the natural protective flora. When this occurs, toxic bacteria invade the lower alimentary canal, and the poisons thus generated pollute the bloodstream and gradually deteriorate and destroy every tissue, gland and organ of the body.”

If pictures speak a thousand words, look at the color photos in Bernard Jensen’s book. (You can also find this kind of thing googling on the internet.) They show rubbery material expelled from many colons during colemas (home colonics) and a cleansing program. Often, pieces are several feet long, the precise shape of specific parts of the bowel. It is hard as tire rubber, held up with tongs. Perhaps any modern doctor who insists this doesn’t happen in the human digestive tract has spent too much time prescribing drugs and not enough time actually studying the inside of that organ.

When Dr. Jensen attended National College in Chicago, they performed surgeries on 300 people. Patients’ histories said that 285 claimed they weren’t constipated, and 15 claimed they were. Autopsies showed the exact opposite: 285 were constipated (despite reports that they had up to 5-6 bowel movements a day), and in some of them, “the bowel walls were encrusted with material (in one case peanuts) which had been lodged there for a very long time,” and the bowels were up to 12 inches in diameter. Dr. Jensen concluded that the average patient does not know whether or not he is constipated. At a class I taught this week, one woman said, “I don’t have constipation: I have chronic diarrhea.” She seemed a little shocked when I told her that people with diarrhea are usually constipated, too. It’s not an either/or proposition.

Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, who lived to 91, said that we should completely eliminate the residue of each meal 15 to 18 hours after eating it. He said 90% of modern diseases are due to colon problems. And what is the way to eliminate your risk of colon diseases? A high-fiber GreenSmoothieGirl diet rich in the natural anti-cancer compounds found in raw plant foods, of course. No chemotherapy, surgery, or even vitamin pill will ever be able to do what live compounds in real food can. A number of you during this blog series have wondered how you can cleanse totally, without spending the money. Just keep doing each step of your GreenSmoothieGirl program in a committed way, and you can experience miraculous results over a longer timespan!

And with those few more words from experts, my friends, is the end of this topic. Finally.

 (Edited Sept. 2014)