Embrace the Idea of Living Now
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Welcome to Healing From Within! I am your host Sheryl Glick author of my newest book in the trilogy A New Life Awaits Spirit Guided Insights to Support Global Awakening which shares stories showing us our challenges are not simply economic political or societal just a spiritual disconnect from our true being or soul wisdom and the laws of Universal Source. I am delighted to welcome Zen Honeycutt, Executive Director of Moms across America on how to ensure our food is free of contaminants.
As listeners of Healing From Within are well aware Sheryl and her guests share intimate experiences and insights as we try to improve the quality of health, emotional balance and a greater awareness of how energy and all aspects of physical and energetic life work together to help us in our personal and collective world growth. The more knowledge we gather about human challenges the more we are able to find solutions to improve the quality of life.
In today’s episode of Healing From Within Zen Honeycutt will share how to ensure our food is free from contaminants. As the world population has soared, water and food sources must be protected and improved.
Our current agrochemical food system allows hundreds of millions of pounds of glyphosate herbicides to be sprayed on our food crops every year. These herbicides have been found to contain heavy metals such as arsenic. Is there another ways to protect the crops without using these contaminants?
We can and must avoid toxic baby foods and find the best foods for babies and young children. Avoid rice is at the top of the list because it has extremely high concentrations of inorganic arsenic. Arsenic is a natural element found in soil, water and air. Because rice is grown submerged in water, it is especially good at absorbing inorganic arsenic, the most toxic form. Because the milling process used to create white rice removes the outer layers, where much of the arsenic concentrates, white rice has less arsenic than brown and wild rice.
Still, in the Healthy Babies analysis, four of seven rice cereals tested contained the most toxic form of arsenic in levels higher than the FDA’s proposed action level of 100 parts per billion (ppb).
“Rice cereal has six times more arsenic than other types of cereal, like oatmeal and multi-grain,” Houlihan said.
Toxic heavy metals damaging to your baby’s brain development are likely in the baby food you are feeding your infant, according to a new investigation published Thursday.
Tests of 168 baby foods from major manufacturers in the US found 95% contained lead, 73% contained arsenic, 75% contained cadmium and 32% contained mercury. One fourth of the foods contained all four heavy metals.
Lead screening guidelines for children, pregnant women changed by task force One in five baby foods tested had over 10 times the 1-ppb limit of lead endorsed by public health advocates, although experts agree that no level of lead is safe.
The results mimicked a previous study by the Food and Drug Administration that found one or more of the same metals in 33 of 39 types of baby food tested.
Seems necessary to feed the baby pureed organic foods.???
Moms Across America have launched the Mom’s Across America Gold Standard and one of the criteria for being awarded the Gold Standard is to have passed testing for heavy metals. They say they can’t wait for the government to do the right thing (example the EPA’s battle with California on labeling of products containing glyphosate and the USDA’s recent proposal to allow agricultural corporations to self-determine the safety of products) so Mom’s Across America has developed a stringent, 3-tier seal of approval that will assure consumers that the product they are buying and eating meets the highest, purest standards of safety and health for consumers and the environment.
The good news is that we can make changes in our own lives and influence the way our food is grown with every forkful we eat. Women make 90% of the household purchases. We control the consumer purchasing power, not the corporations. Think about it—the chemical companies only have the money they have because we give it to them when we buy food grown with chemicals. If we don’t buy, they can’t sell it!
Speaking tours have taken you to Australia New Zealand Japan Switzerland China Maui France the Hague and across mainland America and Sheryl asks Zen which countries are dealing more effectively with this issue of eliminating toxic elements into food production. Zen tells us the European countries are doing better than the United States in providing healthier foods to their citizens as there are more small personal farms and not huge conglomerates that utilize technology in extreme measures to produce large amounts of food.
What causes environmental toxicity? Many j are contributing factors to toxins in food, water and our environment. Some questions have been answered online by doctors to give us some idea of what we are dealing with.
We are exposed to many different toxins from our environment. There are toxins in our food supply, in household items such as furniture, particle board, bedding, mattresses, and in our air. What are ways environmental toxins can enter the body?
Environmental toxins can enter our body through various ways. Through our skin, the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and through cleaning products that we use in the home as well as beauty products that we put on our skin.
What are the risk factors for being exposed to environmental toxins?
Everyone is exposed to environmental toxins on a daily basis. Some people are at greater risk based on their hobbies, occupational exposures, and personal habits. In addition, some people have decreased ability to detoxify these chemicals, which increases their risk of disease.
What are ways to avoid environmental toxicity? There is no way to completely avoid exposure to toxins, but you can absolutely make choices every day to decrease your exposure.
- Do not wear your shoes in the house. (Most household dirt, pesticides, and lead comes into your house on your shoes.)
- Open your windows frequently to ventilate. Indoor air pollution is significantly higher than outdoor air pollution.
- Avoid air fresheners that are petroleum based and contain endocrine disruptors.
- Dust at least once a week, as pesticides and allergens are carried in dust.
- Obtain a shower filter. Many contaminants in tap water are aerosolized in hot water.
- Choose green (natural) beauty and cleaning products at home.
- Avoid personal fragrance, cologne, perfume, body creams, etc. with the word fragrance on the label. These contain phthalates, which are hormone disruptors.
I am confused. You started to choose organic fruits and vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen” list. Can you further explain this?
The Environmental Working Group tests fruits and vegetables annually for levels of pesticides and herbicides and then creates a “Dirty Dozen list” and a “Clean 15” list. Unfortunately, in 2013 the Dirty Dozen list was actually increased to 15. Instead of going through the expense of your exposure to pesticides.
Where can you get the “Dirty Dozen” list? www.ewg.org Are there diseases and conditions linked to environmental toxicity?
There are many conditions now being linked to environmental exposure including cancer, respiratory diseases (asthma), neurological diseases (Parkinson disease and multiple sclerosis), endocrine problems (thyroid), diabetes and obesity.
I know that environmental toxins definitely affect one’s health and will be looking forward to what is covered on here. How do you test for them concerning health issues I have, like fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, heart disease and pulmonary disease? I am always wondering how toxins might have played a part in these.
We can absolutely test for various toxic exposures through blood and urine tests mostly recommended by integrative medicine physicians. As we know, everyone is toxic. We can access someone’s individual toxic load by history and don’t always need to test, which can be expensive. We can do therapeutic cleanses with people depending on their individualized needs. Certainly, exposure to these environmental toxins has known health effects. However, when we think about fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue in addition to chronic exposure, I often think about leaky gut syndrome. An integrative medicine consult might be appropriate to assess all possible causes of complicated medical problems. Isn’t eating a whole food, plant-based diet more protective against pesticides and other environmental toxins than eating our standard American diet consisting of animal products and all that comes with them?
When we’re talking about environmental exposure via our food then absolutely eating a more whole food, plant-based diet with many phytonutrients from fruits and vegetables is protective. (Think of the rainbow—the phytonutrients are in the colors of the skin of the product.) It’s important to eat less animal protein and more plant protein. However, if you choose to eat animal protein, it should be sustainably raised without antibiotics or hormones and pastured (grass-fed) instead of grain fed. It is as important what you choose to eat—as what you choose not to eat—in avoiding toxins. You should obtain the highest nutrient-dense diet that supports health and detoxification.
Most importantly eating a more whole food, plant-based anti-inflammatory diet will support health. If finances permit, it is ideal to choose sustainably raised (grass-fed, and hormone- and antibiotic-free) animal products, and choose organic fruits and vegetables from the “Dirty Dozen” list. If that is not possible, it is still highly recommended to eat nine to 11 servings of fruits and vegetables daily of diverse color and variety to obtain your phytonutrients and antioxidants.
Unfortunately, both coffee and tea are heavily sprayed with pesticides. I highly recommend choosing only organic coffee and tea. In addition, know that the decaffeinating process is typically done with chemicals. I recommend looking for natural water decaffeination for your coffee.
You had mentioned to stop drinking bottled water and opt for filtered tap water instead. Not only will you lower your risk of possible chemicals and bacteria, but you will also reduce plastic waste and the burden on your wallet. In the Cleveland area, if requested, would the water department provide the consumer with an analysis of the tap water or would one have to hire an independent company to provide this? What type of filter for the tap would you recommend?
The 5 keys to safe food:
- Aside from ensuring the cleanliness of the food, it is also important to make sure that personal hygiene is followed. One must clean his or her hands before, during, and after preparing meals. It is also important to properly sanitize all surfaces and equipment necessary in food preparation. This is to prevent any dangerous microorganisms from contaminating the materials used.
Make sure that there are no harmful chemicals in the vicinity of the kitchen area. If it cannot be helped, just be sure to clearly label these chemicals to avoid them being mistaken for any other product.
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- Separate raw and cooked The juices of raw food – meat, poultry, and seafood – often contain harmful microorganisms. These may be transferred to other food during preparation and even when stored.
It is important to separate them from other food types to prevent cross-contamination. They can be kept in storages tailored for such type of food. In addition, utensils such as knives and cutting boards used in handling raw food should also be sanitized before being used again. If you can afford it, it is suggested that you buy another set for another purpose, such as storing cooked pieces of meat.
- Cook thoroughly Proper cooking is one way to “kill” all possible harmful microorganisms in raw food. To be successful in eliminating the dangerous components, it is important to maintain a temperature of 70 degrees Celsius as it can help ensure the cooked food is safe for consumption. When cooking soup, it is safe for it to boil to ensure it has reached the required temperature. When it comes to meat, make sure there are no visible “juices” and no trace of pink anymore. It is recommended to use a thermometer.
According to WHO, the type of food that needs special attention when cooking are: minced meats, large joints of meat, and even whole piece of poultry.
- Keep food at safe temperatures In some cases, microorganisms can reproduce and spread quickly at room temperature. The safest way to store food is in temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius and above 60 degrees Celsius as the growth can be slowed down or better yet, stopped. It is best not to leave food at room temperature for more than two hours. If not consumed, cooked and perishable food should be refrigerated immediately.
Meanwhile, it is important to serve food piping hot (or above 60 degrees Celsius) to ensure that it is properly cooked and free of bad microorganisms.
- Use safe water and raw materials
It is easy to contaminate water and raw materials with harmful microorganisms and chemicals. One should be mindful and use safe water and raw materials in either cooking or consuming food.
If unsure, it is best to treat the water first by either boiling or cleaning using filters. Meanwhile, raw fruits and vegetables should be checked for bruises or molds. If these are minimal, it can be removed by cutting the part off.
In addition, expired food should not be consumed anymore. It should be thrown away when the expiration date has passed as it can contribute to health risks for the entire family.
Access to proper food needed Preventing food contamination is easy as being alert and conscious of the harm of unsanitary food handling are the only skills one needs. However, it is undeniable that there are Filipinos who have problems in accessing safe water, in addition to not having adequate food. The lack of options leave them with nothing but diseases: malnutrition, diarrhea, and other food-borne illnesses. (READ: A thirsty world and the PH water problem ) –Rappler.com
We thank Zen Honeycutt for discussing a most important approach to caring for ourselves, our children and family by knowing more about the contaminants that can be found in our everyday food source and how to make selections that can better protect from these harmful toxins.
In summarizing today’s episode we have taken the time to remember that to protect our health it is important to provide for ourselves and our families food and water and be in environments that try to eliminate the toxic metals that have become so prevalent in providing enough crops to sustain the large worldwide populations. We must aim to reduce as many contaminants as possible and work to help others become knowledgeable about practices and the selection of food that can assist in providing the best quality of health possible.
Zen and I would like you to know whatever challenges we are facing in regard to viruses or contaminants in our food or our environment. We do not want you to fear any of it, but hope we can educate ourselves to the best of our ability and make better choices to assist in a healthier quality of life.