The linked article talks about how Bausch & Lomb ReNu contact lens solution is linked to an outbreak of fungus infections... Good thing this isn't the contact lense solution I use!
This article talks about how a major medical journal is saying that drug companies are inventing diseases to boost sales of drugs...
The more I watch TV and listen to the radio, the more disgusted I get. I am convinced that the corporations in America want to turn us all into a bunch of fat, drug addicted people.
Watch the average hour of primetime TV. Count how many commercials during that hour are for either prescription drugs, or for fast food. Those two categories probably cover 90% of the commercials you see in an average hour. We are getting deluged by commercials telling us to eat a fattening 'King Kong sized pizza' one second, and then to take this cholesterol lowering drug the next! So you eat your King Kong sized pizza, causing your cholesterol to go up, which conveniently you can cure with this drug. And this drug is something that you 'have' to take for the rest of your life or you might die of a heart attack! Hmm, so now the pizza company gets rich from selling you bigger and bigger pizzas. These bigger pizzas cause an increase in cholesterol. Then you spend thousands of dollars over the course of the rest of your life taking cholesterol lowering medication (which is making the drug company rich) so you can continue to eat that pizza that is causing the cholesterol in the first place!
Wouldn't it be simpler and cheaper to just not eat the pizza? That way your cholesterol doesn't go up, you don't need to spend a fortune on drugs and you don't end up having a heart attack! Yes, eating healthy requires some discipline, but I personally think, in the long run it works out to be much easier and cheaper than the alternative (a lifetime of drugs, heart attacks, cancer etc.)
Television advertisers are trying to kill us.
I've written several blogs in the past discussing organic food and why I think it's better than conventional food. Up until now, it's just been me, some anonymous Joe Blow on the Internet spouting off with his opinions on this subject. Now a very reputable magazine has chimed in with its opinion and they agree with me! In the February 2006 issue of Consumer Reports (page 12) is an article discussing the benefits of organic food. If you don't believe me, believe this reputable source. For those of you out there who don't subscribe to this magazine, like I do, I thought I'd summarize the article for your benefit.
Buy these items organic as often as possible
What: Apples, bell peppers, celery, cherries, imported grapes, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, red raspberries, spinach and strawberries.
Why: USDA lab testing shows that even after washing some fruits and vegetables consistently carry much higher levels of pesticide residue than others. Among fruits, nectarines had the highest percentage testing positive for pesticide residue. Peaches and red raspberries had the most pesticides on a single sample. Amoung vegetables, celery and spinach most often carried pesticides, with spinach having the highest number on a single sample. For more info go to FoodNews.
What: Meat, poultry, eggs and dairy
Why: You greatly reduce the risk of exposure to the agent believed to cause mad cow disease and other toxins by eating organic meat, as opposed to conventional meat. You also avoid the daily supplemental hormones and antibiotics, which have been linked to increased antibacterial resistence in humans.
What: Baby food
Why: Children's bodies are especially vulnerable to toxins and they may be at risk of higher exposure. Due to the fact that baby food is often made up of condensed fruits or vegetables, they can take in larger doses of toxins.
Buy these items organic if price is no object
What: Asparagus, avocados, bananas, broccoli, cauliflower, sweet corn, kiwi, mangos, onions, papaya, pineapples, and sweet peas.
Why: These vegetables rarely show evidence of multiple pesticide residues.
What: Breads, oils, potato chips, pasta, cereals, and other packaged foods, such as canned or dried fruit and vegetables.
Why: These are processed products, that while they may have less toxins, are lower in nutrients due to their processed nature. (The more processed it is, the less nutrients it has.) Rule of thumb: Buy it, and cook it in its natural state!
Don't bother buying these items organic
Why: There are no government standards for what is considered 'organic' seafood. This means that companies are free to call their seafood organic, even if it's not.
Why: Most cosmetics don't contain much organic material. Also, government regulations seem pretty lax in what they allow as 'organic' in cosmetics. Cosmetics manufaturers also routinely use synthetic ingredients, even in their 'organic' products.
Chemical Health Risks of Conventionally Produced Foods
Pesticides: In 1996 a law was passed requiring pesticides to meet safety standards for children, whose developing bodies are especially vulnerable to damage from toxins. This law causes more and more pesticides to be banned each year, but consumers can still easly consume small amounts of more than 30 pesticides daily when eating a healthful variety of foods. Evidence also shows that pesticides can be passed in a woman's bloodstream to a fetus in the womb. Studies have shown that eating an organic diet for as little as 5 days, can reduce signs of pesticides in your body to undetectable levels. There is also evidence that "exposure of the fetus to organophosphorus pesticides produces babies with small head circumference, which is a risk factor for reduced intelligence and behavioral disturbances".
Hormones: Studies suggest that synthetic growth hormones are carcinogenic. These hormones have also been linked to the precocious onset of puberty in girls. These hormones are banned, by law, in all poultry, but not in other types of beef.
Antibiotics: Leads to increased antibiotic resistence in humans. This means that when antibiotics are used to fight a normal infection in humans, they will be less effective. This can cause the antibiotics to not work in fighting the infection/disease.
I'm going to make a slight detour on Rick's Blog Tour of Paris, to comment on something. I was planning to write about this later, but the news story linked to this blog was just too timely to resist.
The French are all in all a lean people. In my week there, every French person I saw there was slim. There were no fat people that I could see. Well, that's not entirely true. I did see fat people - American tourists. It was amazing. I could easily play a game of 'Spot the American' by just looking for the 'beer belly'. I was riding the subway one day, surrounded by a bunch of anonymous, slim French people. Then I see this guy with a huge gut get onto the subway. Before he says a word, I know he's an American. Then he starts speaking to his daughter, who was getting on with him and he's speaking English. Yep, I was right. An American. Fortunately, I'm not a 'typical fat American' so I think I blended in a bit better.
This realization is very sad. Americans are getting fatter by the day. This means their health is getting worse. Obesity is one of the biggest causes of death in the US and it is completely avoidable without any nasty drugs (which are a whole other blog in itself). My concern, after a week in Paris though, is that soon the French are going to start getting just as fat as us Americans. Why? McDonalds and KFC are everywhere in Paris!
McDonalds is at least one US corporation that has obviously been able to gain a very good foothold on the French market. The menu in the restaraunt is largely identical to American menus. This food is absolutely horrible for your health and very fattening. Don't believe me? Go out to your video store right now and rent a documentary called Super Size Me. This documentary tells the story of a guy who wanted to prove how unhealthy McDonalds food is. So, to prove it, he got a complete check up, then proceeded to eat nothing but McDonalds food, 3 meals a day for 30 days. It was absolutely amazing how badly McDonalds food affected his health in this time. The documentary is also filled with many very enlightening facts about the bad quality of their food. This is a must see documentary.
Fast food is literally killing Americans, and now it's going to start killing the French. This is just wrong. This corporation is single-handedly responsible for killing thousands of people! They are just as bad as cigarette companies. Americans need to be made aware of this and avoid these places like the plague. The French are much earlier in the obesity game. They are where America was perhaps 30 years ago as McDonalds was only rising to power. All they have to do is look at the size of Americans to see their future, if they don't stop themselves from developing the fast food habit.
End of Rant.
The non-stick coating is a carcinogen.
I've tried a few other organic foods and I gotta say, the more I try this stuff, the more I like it and the more amazed I am by just how much non-organic food was affecting me without me even realizing it...
Organic Orange Juice: Very good. Best OJ I've ever tasted. Regular store brand OJ causes me to get a bad stomach ache. Organic orange juice does not! It has absolutely no bad affect. It just tastes really good!
Organic Apple Juice: Good. Tastes like apple juice. Apple juice used to give me a stomach ache even worse than orange juice. Again, the organic juice doesn't have this problem!
I bought another brand of organic milk, but I haven't tried that yet. (Thanks Joey for the suggestion).
I also bought some organic spaghetti and spaghetti sauce. The next time I cook up some spaghetti, I'll use those. I'll let you know how it goes.
In my continuing quest to improve my health, I'm trying something new. I'm going organic. This means that I am in the process of shifting the types of foods I eat from traditional store-brand foods, to pure, 100% certified organic products. Why am I doing this? What is the benefit of this organic food? Isn't food organic already? Let's get into this.
Why am I doing this? In short - health. What many people don't realize is that most produce and meat products are loaded with toxic substances. Produce is loaded with pesticides. The pesticides are sprayed on the produce as it's growing to protect it from insects. This pesticide gets into the produce itself and then once you eat it, it gets into you! It may be only trace amounts of it, but over the years, those trace amounts add up. Meat products are usually loaded with hormones. Why? To make the animals grow faster, so they can be killed for the meat all the faster. If you can pump up your cows, chickens, etc. with hormones and get them to grow twice as fast, that means you produce the meat twice as fast. That means you can sell twice as much meat in the same amount of time. Thus you make a ton of money. Unfortunately, these hormones have subtle side effects in humans. I believe that this hormones cause children to mature faster. Have you ever noticed how kids seem to hit puberty at much younger ages these days? That's because all those hormones they are unknowning eating with the meat an dairy products are causing them to mature faster than they naturally would. A good friend of mine has been telling me this for a long time. I never believed him. I have given it a lot of thought and a lot of research, and now I think he could very well have been right.
Why is organic food better? In short - no toxic chemicals! Organic food is just the food, nothing else. It has not been sprayed with pesticides. It has not been injected with hormones. It has not been genetically modified. It has not been irradiated. By eating only organic food, you are greatly reducing the toxic chemicals you are unknowningly consuming on a daily basis. These toxic chemicals are the main cause of many diseases. Why do you think we have so much cancer these days? Cancer is being caused by the toxic chemicals in your food. 100 years ago, cancer was practially unheard of. Why? Because 100 years ago, food wasn't irradiated, pumped full of pesticides, injected with hormones, genetically modified, etc.
Isn't food organic already? Technically yes, but in reality no. The term 'organic' simply means that it contains carbon. Most foods contain carbon. Water doesn't, but just about everything else you eat/drink does. While technically it is organic, it is the toxic pesticides, hormones etc. that are significant. By 'organic food,' I am refering to food that is just food with no toxic chemicals in it. If the package doesn't say 'organic,' avoid it!
Here are some of the organic foods I've tried so far and my thoughts on them:
Organic Skim Milk: YUCK! Horrible taste.
Organic Apples: Very tasty. I can't taste much difference between organic and conventional apples though. They tend to have a slightly higher tendency to be dented/bruised than conventional apples, so you need to pick them carefully.
Organic Banannas: Very good. They seem to have a much sweeter taste than conventional banannas. They also tend to bruise very easily, so they need to be handled with care.
Organic Oatmeal: Very good. Oddly enough, it seems to not stick to the bowl as much as conventional oatmeal.
Organic Ground Turkey: VERY VERY good! This is the best meat I've ever tasted. It is very tender and very tasty.
I plan to continue to try other organic foods over time. I've only been doing this for a couple weeks so I'm kinda new to it. I'll let you all know how things go.
Today my weight hit 196! This is my new record low. I'm not going to get too excited about this though, because I know I've lost some muscle over the last year or so, so really, that means I'm a few pounds above where I need to be. When I hit 190, then I'll be satisfied that I hit a new low. I think I could easily go to 180. Yesterday was my third interval run in 3 days. Having someone to compete with on the treadmill is a big incentive. My legs are really sore after all that running though. I'm going to try to do another session tonight. Let's see how my legs survive 4 nights in a row...