Despite being declared endangered by the United Nations in 2001, the Garinagu — one of the smallest cultural groups in Belize — has managed to sustain its traditions through music, dance, food and worship. The Garifuna people are descendants of Carib Indians (South American natives who settled on the Caribbean island of St Vincent) and West Africans who were said to have escaped from Spanish slave ships in 1635 and made the island their home. Resistant to the arrival of the British to St Vincent in 1763, the Garinagu fought attempts to use their land for sugar cane plantations and many were killed or imprisoned. Those remaining were exiled to Honduras and eventually migrated by dugout canoe along the Central American coast, reaching Belize in 1802. Today, Garinagu communities make up only 4% of Belize’s more than 325,000 people, and most can be found along the country’s southern coast in the towns of Dangriga and Punta Gorda and the villages of Hopkins, Barranco and Seine Bight. (Lebawit Girma)
by Anne Underwood, courtesy of Prevention Magazine
Food scientists are shedding light on items loaded with toxins and chemicals–and simple swaps for a cleaner diet and supersized health.
Clean eating means choosing fruits, vegetables, and meats that are raised, grown, and sold with minimal processing. Often they’re organic, and rarely (if ever) should they contain additives. But in some cases, the methods of today’s food producers are neither clean nor sustainable. The result is damage to our health, the environment, or both. So we decided to take a fresh look at food through the eyes of the people who spend their lives uncovering what’s safe–or not–to eat. We asked them a simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Their answers don’t necessarily make up a “banned foods” list. But reaching for the suggested alternatives might bring you better health–and peace of mind.
1. The Endocrinologist Won’t Eat: Canned Tomatoes
Fredrick Vom Saal, is an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A.
The problem: The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Unfortunately, acidity (a prominent characteristic of tomatoes) causes BPA to leach into your food. Studies show that the BPA in most people’s body exceeds the amount that suppresses sperm production or causes chromosomal damage to the eggs of animals. “You can get 50 mcg of BPA per liter out of a tomato can, and that’s a level that is going to impact people, particularly the young,” says vom Saal. “I won’t go near canned tomatoes.”
The solution: Choose tomatoes in glass bottles (which do not need resin linings), such as the brands Bionaturae and Coluccio. You can also get several types in Tetra Pak boxes, like Trader Joe’s and Pomi.
Budget tip: If your recipe allows, substitute bottled pasta sauce for canned tomatoes. Look for pasta sauces with low sodium and few added ingredients, or you may have to adjust the recipe.
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2. The Farmer Won’t Eat: Corn-Fed Beef
Joel Salatin is co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of half a dozen books on sustainable farming.
The problem: Cattle evolved to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. But more money for cattle farmers (and lower prices at the grocery store) means a lot less nutrition for us. A recent comprehensive study conducted by the USDA and researchers from Clemson University found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium; lower in inflammatory omega-6s; and lower in saturated fats that have been linked to heart disease. “We need to respect the fact that cows are herbivores, and that does not mean feeding them corn and chicken manure,” says Salatin.
The solution: Buy grass-fed beef, which can be found at specialty grocers, farmers’ markets, and nationally at Whole Foods. It’s usually labeled because it demands a premium, but if you don’t see it, ask your butcher.
Budget tip: Cuts on the bone are cheaper because processors charge extra for deboning. You can also buy direct from a local farmer, which can be as cheap as $5 per pound. To find a farmer near you, search eatwild.com.
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3. The Toxicologist Won’t Eat: Microwave Popcorn
Olga Naidenko, is a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group.
The problem: Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans, according to a recent study from UCLA. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize–and migrate into your popcorn. “They stay in your body for years and accumulate there,” says Naidenko, which is why researchers worry that levels in humans could approach the amounts causing cancers in laboratory animals. DuPont and other manufacturers have promised to phase out PFOA by 2015 under a voluntary EPA plan, but millions of bags of popcorn will be sold between now and then.
The solution: Pop natural kernels the old-fashioned way: in a skillet. For flavorings, you can add real butter or dried seasonings, such as dillweed, vegetable flakes, or soup mix.
Budget tip: Popping your own popcorn is dirt cheap
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4. The Farm Director Won’t Eat: Nonorganic Potatoes
Jeffrey Moyer is the chair of the National Organic Standards Board.
The problem: Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes–the nation’s most popular vegetable–they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting. “Try this experiment: Buy a conventional potato in a store, and try to get it to sprout. It won’t,” says Moyer, who is also farm director of the Rodale Institute (also owned by Rodale Inc., the publisher of Prevention). “I’ve talked with potato growers who say point-blank they would never eat the potatoes they sell. They have separate plots where they grow potatoes for themselves without all the chemicals.”
The solution: Buy organic potatoes. Washing isn’t good enough if you’re trying to remove chemicals that have been absorbed into the flesh.
Budget tip: Organic potatoes are only $1 to $2 a pound, slightly more expensive than conventional spuds.
What to Really Look for on a Nutrition Label
5. The Fisheries Expert Won’t Eat: Farmed Salmon
Dr. David Carpenter, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany, published a major study in the journal Science on contamination in fish.
The problem: Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT. According to Carpenter, the most contaminated fish come from Northern Europe, which can be found on American menus. “You could eat one of these salmon dinners every 5 months without increasing your risk of cancer,” says Carpenter, whose 2004 fish contamination study got broad media attention. “It’s that bad.” Preliminary science has also linked DDT to diabetes and obesity, but some nutritionists believe the benefits of omega-3s outweigh the risks. There is also concern about the high level of antibiotics and pesticides used to treat these fish. When you eat farmed salmon, you get dosed with the same drugs and chemicals.
The solution: Switch to wild-caught Alaska salmon. If the package says fresh Atlantic, it’s farmed. There are no commercial fisheries left for wild Atlantic salmon.
Budget tip: Canned salmon, almost exclusively from wild catch, can be found for as little as $3 a can.
6. The Cancer Researcher Won’t Drink: Milk Produced With Artificial Hormones
Rick North is project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility and former CEO of the Oregon division of the American Cancer Society.
The problem: Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers. “When the government approved rBGH, it was thought that IGF-1 from milk would be broken down in the human digestive tract,” says North. As it turns out, the casein in milk protects most of it, according to several independent studies. “There’s not 100 percent proof that this is increasing cancer in humans,” admits North. “However, it’s banned in most industrialized countries.”
The solution: Check labels for rBGH-free, rBST-free, produced without artificial hormones, or organic milk. These phrases indicate rBGH-free products.
Budget tip: Try Wal-Mart’s Great Value label, which does not use rBGH.
7. The Organic-Foods Expert Won’t Eat: Conventional Apples
Mark Kastel, a former executive for agribusiness, is codirector of the Cornucopia Institute, a farm-policy research group that supports organic foods.
The problem: If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. Why? They are individually grafted (descended from a single tree) so that each variety maintains its distinctive flavor. As such, apples don’t develop resistance to pests and are sprayed frequently. The industry maintains that these residues are not harmful. But Kastel counters that it’s just common sense to minimize exposure by avoiding the most doused produce, like apples. “Farm workers have higher rates of many cancers,” he says. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides (from all sources) with Parkinson’s disease.
The solution: Buy organic apples.
Budget tip: If you can’t afford organic, be sure to wash and peel them. But Kastel personally refuses to compromise. “I would rather see the trade-off being that I don’t buy that expensive electronic gadget,” he says. “Just a few of these decisions will accommodate an organic diet for a family.”
Commissioners for the Social Development Commission (SDC) and the Social Development Foundation Boards got a first-hand look at a program that is helping feed thousands of area children.
The Commission representatives toured the SDC Food Service facility at 6850 N. Teutonia.
Food Service Manager Earl Guyton explained that the program serves 1.75-million meals a year to schools, day-care centers, and other facilities across Milwaukee County.
The facility also prepares meals for the Summer Youth Food Program which, in collaboration with the Hunger Task Force and other organizations, provides meals to young people during the summer months.
Guyton explained that the SDC Food Service program has begun using more cooking from scratch including making fresh bread rather than using many pre-prepared items.
He also noted Food Service has used the Quality Management System ISO 9001 to improve operations and make them more costeffective and efficient.
He stated the latest City of Health inspection resulted in no negative findings and five good practices noted.
The presentation included an explanation of measures staff take to insure the food prepared and delivered to sites in the county are safe and nutritious.
He also explained how participating organizations are surveyed several times a year to make sure that the program’s food and service delivery meet or exceed expectations. Guyton added Food Service is looking to expand their services to include offering service on weekends.
To learn more about the SDC Food Service Program, visit the agency website at www.crsdc.org/Programs/YouthFoodProgram.htm.
by Todd Johnson
Each year, Thanksgiving is a time families and friends get together over a great meal. But neck and neck with food on the priority list is good ‘ol fashioned football.
The NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions have been Turkey Day staples since the league began playing its games on the holiday back in 1920. In 2006, the league added a third slate of games which gave other teams the opportunity to shine on a national stage.
Hall-of-Fame running back Barry Sanders was a Thanksgiving day legend. Sanders’ nimble feet and breakaway speed carried his Detroit Lions throughout his illustrious career. On Thanksgiving, non-Lions fans had almost a guaranteed chance to see why.
Sanders, along with fellow Hall-of-Fame running back O.J. Simpson, earn well-deserved spots on theGrio‘s slideshow of memorable Thanksgiving Day performances.
Other stars making the cut include Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb, Giants punisher Lawrence Taylor and Vikings receiver Randy Moss.
by Maajida Abdullah
Good health in contemporary society to not easy to find. Industry has made fresh food almost out of reach for the average household or most think that‘s the case.
Convenient food that is processed is priced for people working at menial wages.
The think they are getting a steal. They may be right – because what is actually happening is their good health is being stolen from them.
Eating processed food is like working for an employer expecting to get paid and getting little, if anything.
Week after week, thinking/hoping to get paid, the people will revolt. And that is exactly what the body does.
The cells can’t function, properly and systems start to fail.
They just won’t work for you anymore, because you don’t pay them for their service to you. Even worse, they start to fight back.
Cells start to eat good healthy cells like a cannibal. That is a cancer: a sick cell attacking good cells until the whole body is involved.
Now even if you do try to eat fresh foods, they are not really accessible because they travel from distant places and sit on the shelves too long. So if you are smart you will take supplements to fill in the missing elements in respect to your diet.
Good vitamins will incorporate minerals. Sometimes these vitamins are too hard to break down.
It is important to ingest supplements that are agreeable to the digestive process and that will incorporate the saliva, which is a digestive aide.
Since many people think that they cannot afford to eat in a health manner or even buy whole food supplements to support good well being, giving a gift that will expose them to a month or two of product that will enhance they bodies sound like a good gift.
It will educate them by way of experience. If is better for them their body will tell them better than you ever could.
According to the National Institutes of Health, most Americans add a pound over the holidays from the sheer amount of food and inactivity. For some, though, it can be as much as six pounds. Along with the benefit of avoiding the holiday weight-gain, sneaking in holiday exercise can help you manage blood sugar.
The best news?
You can use that holiday running around to get in some exercise. Here’s how:
1. Shop In Real Life—Not Online
When you’re being an online Santa, you’re burning as many calories as watching television. Instead, get out there and shop the mall, parking far away from the entrance. Don’t be one of those people waiting on a parking spot close to the store. You’ll get in a good walk even before you shop. For a better workout: Don’t dilly-dally between stores; keep up a strong, steady pace as you move between shops. For an even-better calorie-burning workout, make trips to the car to stow bags instead of carrying them around.
2. Clear Drives and Sidewalks With a Shovel
A snow blower is handy, but when you shovel your driveway by hand, you’re getting a chore done and burning about 400 calories an hour, based on a 150-pound person. For a better workout: Technique matters in snow shoveling. Spare your back those aches and pains; keep your spine straight and lift with your back and hips while rotating sideways. Don’t bend forward at the waist or pick up snow with just your arms. Snow shoveling should be a whole-body workout!
3. Intensely Clean Your House
You might be surprised to learn that the typical moves you make when house cleaning (such as reaching up for cobwebs or picking up kids’ toys) are similar to gym-type exercises and stretches. So, take advantage of your holiday cleaning by being very thorough. Even vacuuming burns about 240 calories per hour For a better workout: Brief spurts of high-intensity effort can benefit your heart. Take a few trips up and down the stairs. Move furniture for extra deep cleaning and more of a workout. When your house is clean, you’ve likely burned as many calories as taking a long walk.
4. Create a New (Physical) Tradition
So many of our family traditions are based on food Grandma’s famous peach cobbler, Aunt Jean’s delicious dressing. For a change, try making some form of physical activity a tradition. Mixing the social and exercise activities during a holiday means you’ll all burn some of those extra calories. For a better workout: Don’t limit yourself to just one activity; find something that everyone will enjoy. Go ice-skating or play a quick game of basketball. Also, there are often charity walks during the holidays. Make them your annual tradition.
Article courtesy of Seattle Post-Intelligencer
It’s that wonderful time of the year where friends and family gather to consume large quantities of food, socialize, watch football, kids play, teenagers text and dogs hope the aroma from the kitchen is a hint of a bounty for them.
Many well meaning dog lovers can’t resist the soulful eyes of the family dog begging for food so offer up some goodies. Some dogs are experienced beggars as they have learned tenacity works.
This time of year emergency Vets unfortunately see an increase of animal related medical conditions at the clinic.
General Safety Tips for your Pets
1. Plain turkey in small quantities may be ok for a pet. Most pets do not tolerate spicy seasonings very well or large quantity of food. So giving the dog a sampling of everything on the human menu should be avoided.
2. Food high in fat such as the skin of the bird can cause inflammation in our dogs
3. Make sure to dispose of turkey bones where the pet cannot get to it. These bones will splinter when chewed. Bones can get caught in a pet’s esophagus or intestinal track. Could be life threatening
4.Rancid food is full of bacteria and can make a pet very sick, so make sure garbage is not accessible to the pet
5. Turkey stuffing may contain onions, garlic or raisons all toxic to dogs. Included on the list, bread dough, grapes and chocolate, avocados
6. Remind guests not to offer table scraps or appetizers to the dog
7. Manage children and pets. The excitement of the holiday can get the best of anyone.
Article courtesy of Green Bay Gazette via The Rundown
Food prices are expected to rise next year, and that may mean fewer donations to local food pantries.
“If families pay more money to put food on their table, they have less money to donate,” said Terri Gajeski, who along with her husband Russ coordinates operations for the Community Cupboard food pantry in Denmark. “It’s definitely going to affect our families.”
Above-normal price increases for food are anticipated next year, due in large part to this year’s Midwest drought that damaged corn, apples, cherries and other crops. The drought also impacted the cost of livestock feed, and prompted more than 20 counties in southern Wisconsin to be named primary natural-disaster areas, a move that allowed farmers to be eligible for low-interest emergency loans.
Food prices normally rise 2 to 3 percent a year. In 2013, grocery prices are expected to rise 3 to 4 percent , with beef to increase up to 5 percent and dairy products up to 4.5 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Restaurant prices may go up 2.5 to 3.5 percent.
This year, food prices are estimated to increase 2.5 to 3.5 percent .
It all likely adds up to less food for people who need help Gajeski said.
“I definitely expect to see (the number of clients increase and us probably going to give less because we just are not going to have the money or the resources to stretch,” she said.
Help might not reach you for days after the hurricane, so you’ll need to be completely self-sufficient during that period. Officials said residents in the state should have a hurricane kit, containing food and clothing for three to seven days.
It should include important papers, in a plastic bag to protect against rain and flooding.
Here are some of the most critical supplies to have on hand, well before a hurricane threatens:
- At least a 3-day and preferably a 7-day supply of water (one gallon per person per day)
- Non-perishable food
- Formula, diapers, and other baby supplies
- Manual can opener
- First aid kit
- Prescription and non-prescription medicines
- Cell phones and battery-powered cell phone chargers
- Battery-powered radios and flashlights
- Plenty of batteries
- Extra cash
- Blankets, sleeping bags, books, and games (especially if evacuating)
The kits should also include a supply of any prescription medications needed, personal hygiene items, cash or a checkbook and a first aid kit.