Category Archives: Health & Fitness

Why Non-GMO Project is Essential

What do soda, fast food French fries, margarine, salad dressing, corn chips, and corn flakes all have in common? They all contain GMOs (genetically modified organisms) also know as genetically modified or engineered foods. Read on for answers to the most commonly asked questions about GMOs.

What are GMOs?

Genetically modified organisms are plants or animals created through the process of genetic engineering. Genetically engineered foods have a piece of DNA from a totally different species, such as bacteria or viruses, spliced into their DNA. Genetically engineered soybeans, for example, have DNA from bacteria and viruses forced into their DNA to help them withstand the onslaught of weed killers such as Roundup. Genetically engineered corn has DNA added so that it has a pesticide built right into it. This process creates a whole new unstable species of plant that would have never occurred in nature. None of the current GMO crops offer increased yield, drought tolerance, or enhanced nutrition.

Hybrid foods are completely different. Hybrids are created when cross pollination occurs between plants. This process can be facilitated by man or it can occur spontaneously in nature.

Which foods are genetically modified?

As of 2012, most corn, soy beans, canola, cotton, and sugar beets are GMO. From these crops, products such as corn oil, canola oil, cottonseed oil, high fructose corn syrup, and many more are created and added to processed foods. This is why nearly 80% of processed and most fast foods contain GMOs.

Other crops that are genetically engineered include Hawaiian papaya, a small amount of zucchini and yellow squash, and alfalfa. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is also considering approving a GMO salmon, which would grow much larger and faster than regular salmon.

Are they safe?

Despite what the agricultural industry might say, there is little research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human health and the environment. The FDA has allowed GMOs into our food supply with only the research and assurances of safety from the biotech companies that create them. Interestingly, the person at the FDA responsible for this decision was Michael Taylor, former vice president of public policy at Monsanto (the largest producer of genetically engineered seeds).

Independent research has found that several varieties of GMO corn caused organ damage in rats. Other studies have found that animals were losing their ability to reproduce. There are also concerns that GMOs can increase allergies or cause immune system problems.

Environmental issues are also a cause for concern. GMOs allow farmers to use more weed killers, exposing both us and the environment to more toxins. Super weeds and super bugs that are resistant to the weed killers and the pesticides built into GMOs are now showing up. In addition, GMO crops can cross pollinate with non-GMO crops, irreversibly changing the face of plant life with unknown consequences.

Are they labeled?

The U.S. is one of the only developed nations that does not require labeling of GMOs. Fifty countries including all of Europe and even China require labeling of genetically modified foods. Many European countries have banned GMOs.

Even though they have been in our food supply since 1996, most people in the U.S. know little about GMOs. Actually, the 2006 Pew Initiative on Food and Biotechnology poll found that only 26% of American consumers believe that they have ever eaten a food that was genetically engineered. The truth is most people, including babies and children, eat them every single day.

Will labeling genetically modified foods increase the cost of food?

The California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act will not increase the cost of food for you or food producers. It simply adds a label to genetically engineered food. Companies change their labels all the time. Remember, when companies were required by law to add trans fats to labels, the cost of food did not go up.

What can I do to eat fewer genetically engineered foods?

Vote “yes” on the California Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act, which will require that genetically engineered foods are labeled. It will be on the November 2012 ballot. Once GMOs are labeled, we can make an informed choice. We have a right to know what’s in the food we are eating and feeding to our families. Visit http://www.carighttoknow.org for more information.

Buy Organic. All USDA certified organic foods are free of GMOs.

Avoid nonorganic products that contain GMO foods including soy, corn, canola, cottonseed, and sugar beets. Read labels. If the food contains high fructose corn syrup, corn oil, soybean oil, cottonseed oil, it probably contains GMOs.

Look for the “Non-GMO Project Verified” label. Some companies have voluntarily labeled their foods.

Shop at Trader Joe’s. All of their produce and all Trader Joe’s brand foods are free of GMOs. So look for “Trader Joe’s” on the label.

Use the free iPhone app Shop No GMO.

Go to http://www.nongmoshoppingguide.com and download their shopping guide.

For skin and body care check out Naturally Me’s entire product line of certified Vegan GMO sensitive products on amazon.com

Resources and References:

Go online to Earth Open Source.Then click on “GMO Myths and Truths” in the Featured Report section.

New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity. Seralini, G.-E. et al. Arch. Environ Contam Toxicol., 52: 596-602, 2007.

A three generation study with genetically modified Bt corn in rats: Biochemical and histopathological investigation. Kilic A and Akay MT. Food and Chemical Toxicology, 46: 1164-1170, 2008.

Biological effects of transgenic maize NK603xMON810 fed in long term reproduction studies in mice. Velimirov A et al. Bundesministerium fur Gesundheit, Familie und Jugend Report, Forschungsberichte der Sektion IV Band 3/2008, Austria, 2008.

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The Benefits of Raspberry Ketones

Why is there a discussion on Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry KetonesAccording to National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, two-third of the adult population in the United States is overweight and one-third of it is obese.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0X7Mt2dbe14&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Obesity is an extremely serious medical condition. On the one hand, it can destroy your physical well-being, and on the other hand, it can significantly decrease your mental acuteness. Not to mention healthcare costs can be enormous and let’s face it, most people do not have sufficient insurance coverage to face the potential medical challenges that are associated with obesity.

Furthermore, it can cause health problems such as

  • coronary heart disease
  • type-2 diabetes
  • osteoarthritis
  • hypertension
  • cancer
  • menstrual irregularities
  • sleep apnea
  • atherosclerosis
  • etc…

Ironically weight loss studies products and exercise programs are still top sellers as people are still seeking the holy grail to their weight loss issues.

The Benefits of Raspberry Ketones

Raspberry, an edible fruit, is a rich source of

  • antioxidants
  • Vitamin B
  • riboflavin
  • niacin
  • folic acid
  • vitamin C
  • manganese
  • magnesium
  • copper
  • potassium

In addition to these, it also contains a large amount of ketones, which is a phenolic compound that helps you to lose weight without harming your body. Raspberry Ketones are compounds that have been shown to have an effect on fat storage in the body. Raspberry ketones, also known as Rheosmin, Frambinone and Rasketone, accelerates the release of hormone called norephinephrine. The primary function of this hormone is to trigger lipolysis, a process in which the fat stored in your body is broken down into simpler products, like free fatty acids and glycerol, to yield energy.

How do Raspberry Ketones Work?

A study that was conducted on mice showed that the compound actually prevented fat in the diet from being stored in the body. While the study has not been conducted on people, there are some people who claim that they have benefited form it. Many claim that ketones actually speed the metabolism too.

The compound has gained popularity after it was featured on a segment of the Dr. Oz Show a little while back.

In addition, Raspberry Ketones support functioning of the brain, keep blood sugars stable and improve memory. Overall daily health is improved in its users.

How Green is Walgreens?

Just a few short years ago, Walgreens in San Diego California, celebrated the opening of the first all “green” drugstore.

Walgreens

And to make it even nicer, there was no shiny ribbon made from chemicals overseas to cut… no way! They planted a tree! in honor of the opening.

Walgreens has held its own as the nation’s largest drug store and hopefully it will start setting a trend in its new retail offerings.

The San Diego location was built from the ground up with an eco-friendly agenda in mind. It follows all the top environmentally friendly design concepts and isn’t too hard on the eyes either. In fact, it actually exceeded the standards by not only having a green design but also by offering a great selection of green products.

So how does this all play out?

Walgreens in-store lighting
The store was built to optimize natural light and with the integration of skylights, solar tubes and led lights, they use 75% natural light during the daylight hours and they have reduced energy consumption for lighting by 50%

Landscaping Innovation at Walgreens
They used all native plants which will require no watering whatsoever once they have adjusted to transplanting. Here in San Diego that’s a pretty big deal as we are in the midst of a level two drought emergency…

Water Conservation at Walgreens
They are mitigating storm water pollution from the surrounding buildings by collecting and filtering water as it flows onto their lot. Water use is estimated at 50% below LEED standard levels.

Structural Integrity at Walgreens
75% of materials were building salvage materials from the previous structure that existed on the lot.
White roofing was included to lower the natural absorption of heat onto the roof which increases heating costs.

Great Extras at Walgreens

  • such as hybrid car parking spaces
  • bike racks
  • nearby public transportation

Walgreens is not the first to consider the joys of going green. Other large retailers have made some nods in the right direction by increasing their inventories of more green goods (like Target and Wal-Mart). But Walgreens is the only one to take this commitment to a real and notable level.

Walgreens has gone on to commit to making similar modifications to their existing 6k+ stores in addition to continuing to move in this direction with all new stores.

Great Healthy Brands at Walgreens
*Healthy Times Organic Baby Products

*Biofusion- This is Walgreens own brand of hair care products that incorporates natural ingredients into the formulas.
*Burts Bees
Great cottage industry manufacturer that grew into a nation-wide success…and is now using that success to leverage environmental progress.
*Clorox Greenworks
This is Clorox’s brand of green cleaning products which use
*Nature’s Source SC Johnsons green plant based cleaning products are environmentally friendly and versatile in selection.
*WaterU Is another Walgreens made product. A reusable BPA Free water jug that comes in a variety of different sizes.

Living the “green life” is an across the board experience. Every step you can take in this direction will help the planet in the long run.

Walgreens just made it a little easier to make a better choice and to help yourself and the world at the same time. Now, click the links and shop green!