It’s a (Plastic) Wrap!

A spotlight is shining on today’s ubiquitous plastic food packaging. The main motivator is plastic waste in the oceans (think harrowing images from Blue Planet II). A very good reason for change. Another, you might not have thought about, is the effect the packaging has on your health.

Obviously, fast food isn’t good for you – but neither are its wrappers and packages. They contain chemicals to repel oil, grease and water (perfluoroalkyls) which may be linked to infertility, thyroid disease, immune system depression and cancer.

Other plastics (eg BPA, bisphenol A), often used in drinks bottles and as tin can linings, contain synthetic oestrogens which may affect fertility and hormone sensitive cancers.

It was thought that the chemicals would not migrate into the food – but they do (especially if heated). It was assumed that the chemicals would not be processed by your body – but they are. In addition to the toxins in the foods themselves, packaging contributes to your overall burden and these chemicals can be detected in almost everyone.

What about disposable coffee cups? So new, so trendy, so unnecessary! A firm in Kendal has pioneered a recycling process to separate the plastic from the paper. The reality is that only a tiny percentage of the 2.5 billion cups a year

Lovely in a real cup (yes, this really is the size a cappuccino should be -it’s in Italy)

thrown away in Britain get recycled. Why leave the office to buy drinks from shops when you can have a jar of coffee or box of tea bags in the cupboard and make your own in a nice mug? You’ll save ~£600 a year per weekday cup.

Real food tends to have less packaging and is usually cooked in pans, not microwaved in plastic. So for superior nutrition and plastic avoidance, real food’s a winner.

Top tip – Join the crusade against plastic-wrapped food

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Chemical-free Cleaning

Happy New Year!!!

Before you leap into a frenzy of spring-cleaning, here’s a special treat; a guest blog post from Suzzane Lane of ENJO on chemical-free cleaning. She came to my house the other day to do a demo and I was so impressed with the textiles I just have to buy some of the them (especially the duster – you should see my TV stand!). They work just using cold water – amazing.

I’ll also be asking Suzanne to do a Jackie’s Gee-Up in April.  If you want to try ENJO fibres before then, get in touch with her on Facebook: ENJO UK with Suzanne Lane or call her on 07912561651.

Here’s her piece:

How toxic is your cleaning regime?

As we all start the annual vow to be healthier in 2018, I would like to ask you to consider an area of your life that is often overlooked and yet could be having a huge affect on your health. Your cleaning supplies.

What do you use to clean your house? How many different bottles of chemicals are in your bathroom? Your kitchen? Your living areas? How many chemicals do you put in your washing machine? Your dishwasher?

The vast majority of us, make our cleaning choices based on one of two things. We either do what our parents have always done or we are guided to new products by adverts that we see on television or in stores.

We have become conditioned to believe that spraying toxic chemicals around our homes is necessary in order to be clean and healthy.

More and more information is coming to light to suggest that the very products that we are using to try and improve the health of our homes, are actually damaging our health. Carcinogens, Endocrine disruptors and Neurotoxins can commonly be found in the sprays that we inhale as we clean. Research points to the toxic effects of these ingredients that can affect central nervous systems, reproductive systems and other vital bodily functions.

Did you see the documentary in Autumn 2017 that suggested that the air in our homes is much more toxic than the air outside of them? That’s not good news for those of us who work in the home.

This little girl suffered terribly from skin problems from birth. Her mum was desperate to find a solution and tried endless things suggested by doctors and specialists, to no avail. What no-one suggested was looking at what she used to clean her bathroom. Since she stopped using chemicals to clean her bath, her skin is clear.

Sadly, this is one of many very similar stories.

Have you seen the massive increase in the number of diagnosed asthma cases in the UK? I, myself, was diagnosed with adult onset asthma in my early forties. I needed inhalers morning and night and rescue inhalers throughout the day if I engaged in any sport. I stopped spraying chemical cleaners around my home and I haven’t needed an inhaler since.

Am I suggesting that we stop cleaning our homes?

No, of course not. But I am suggesting that you take the time to consider what you use to get the results that you want. Look into alternative option, such as the one outlined below and if you are going to use chemicals, then please read the warning labels and take the time to research all those scientific names that are difficult to interpret as well as the simple “harmful” words that we all ignore.

Is there an easy way to protect my family?

Yes, there absolutely is. The solution is not just better for health, but is also better for the environment, gets better results, is less expensive than chemicals and is much easier to use. It’s called ENJO.

What is ENJO?

Enjo, manufactured in Austria, sets the world standard for cleaning and believes that cleaning does not require toxic chemicals. For over 27 years ENJO have proven this, day after day, all over the world with its innovative ENJOtex fibres, comprehensive product range and just a little cold water. This protects our personal health and our environment.

6 times cleaner

The ENJO method allows you to clean six times more hygienically compared to conventional methods. ENJO fibres products were examined in detail by the hygiene expert at the department of health in Austria. The clear recommendation was “The use of ENJO fibre products in health care facilities is not only recommended but should be demanded in order to achieve optimal cleaning results”.

I mention the above, because if we are going to eliminate chemicals from our homes, in order to improve our health, we need to know that our homes will be healthy, clean and safe.

It’s not just better for your health and the environment – it’s also Easier and cheaper

On average, cleaning homes with ENJO takes less time than cleaning conventionally and costs less than buying toxic cleaning products.

What areas of the home does it cover?

ENJO is divided into 7 zones. Bathroom; Kitchen; Living; Floors, walls and ceilings; Windows; Skin care and Outdoor.

You can switch one zone at a time, go for the main areas that will benefit you first, or switch your whole house in one go.

ENJO products last for between 3 and 5 years and at the end of their life can be returned for recycling – creating zero waste. ENJO is also proud to be 100% carbon neutral.

We also have natural helpers like laundry liquid, dishwasher liquid and real soap, enabling you to get rid of toxic chemicals from your washing machine, dishwasher and sink.

Can I see it for myself?

Of course. ENJO turns cleaning completely on its head – no hot water and no chemicals – so we don’t expect you to believe us without seeing it first.

I’d be delighted to show you ENJO in action. You can try ENJO yourself at a private appointment or a group demonstration and you can borrow some products to have a try in your own home.

We want you to be completely satisfied, so when you decide to switch to ENJO, everything comes with a 30 day money back guarantee on top of the product warranty.

How can I find out more?

Join my facebook page and group with the same name “ENJO UK with Suzanne Lane”, have a look on Youtube at the many hygiene results or how to videos or call me on 07912561651. If you prefer to read information, I have brochures that I’d be happy to share with you.

Wishing you a happy and healthy 2018,

Suzanne

Sugar Blues

Hypoglycaemia (low blood sugar) results in hunger, shakiness, weakness, dizziness, irritability and depression. I should know; for years I suffered on a daily basis. The cause – too much sugar. High blood sugar stimulated my body to produce insulin, which took the sugar back out of my blood (and made me fat). I didn’t understand the problem so I tried to control my symptoms with regular biscuits, bananas and chocolate. It was a disaster. At archery competitions, I ate sugar even more frequently. I just got headaches and felt awful.

My first inkling of the cause

Cereal - a poor choice for breakfast

Cereal – a poor choice for breakfast

was at work. Biscuits were provided in meetings; if I ate one I got hungry but if I abstained I was OK. My second clue came when dieting to lose the weight I’d gained eating so many biscuits; I was less hungry eating a little cereal for breakfast than a lot.  Also I noticed the low-fat yoghurts I bought weren’t satisfying, they just increased my appetite.  Now I know it’s because of the sugar they put in low-fat products to make them palateable.

 

Sugar has a toxic effect on the body and causes myriad health problems besides hypoglycemia. For centuries doctors have cured their patients of many ailments by replacing sugar with quality vegetable and whole grain carbohydrates and for centuries consumption has increased sweeping aside all resistance. In the 11th Century, brewers caught adding sugar to beer were dragged through the City of Chester in a cart with the overnight refuse of the privies. In the early 1900s, America had laws against “substances injurious to health” (like sugar) being added to food. Manufacturers (including Coca-Cola) opposed this, got the government on side and the health of the whole nation deteriorated as a result of the adulterated products that are now their main food. In the 1950s, Dr Gyland wrote papers to warn and help others but couldn’t get them published.  In Britain, Professor John Yudkin tried to fight Ancel Keys and his lipid hypothesis having found a stronger corrolation between sugar and heart disease than there is with fat – he was sqashed.  Even Keys himself couldn’t get published a paper he wrote late in his life against the direction nutritional advice has taken.  Little has changed.  Those reaping the profits still don’t want you to know the truth – sugar wrecks your health.

Top Tip – Stop eating sugar

NB Diabetics will need to balance their medication with their sugar intake.

To learn more about the sorry history of sugar in our food, read Sugar Blues by William Dufty and Pure, White and Deadly by John Yudkin.  Here’s a Daily Telegraph artcle on the latter; we still have the same sugar-industry-led problem today.

 

Quote of the month

What good fortune for men in power that people do not think.

Adolf Hitler

The ‘men in power’ these days include those who profit from the processed food industry.  Joanna Blythman has been undercover in the food industry to find out how true this is.  If we really knew what was in all the artificial food we’re eating and the damage it is doing to our health, we’d stop and go back to cooking from scratch.

 

 

Fluoride and the EU

Whist my main concerns regarding fluoride are for people’s health, that doesn’t seem to be a high priority for those who make decisions.  Money speaks loudest.  However here comes an impact on trade that could have a powerful effect.

A recent change in European food law forbids the use of fluoridated water in food or drinnk preparation.  Water is of course used in virtually all food preparation, supply, and importation so this is causing serious concern in international marketing circles. The deadline for using unauthorised sources of minerals – including fluoride – in foods under EC Regulation 1925/2006 expired in January this year. This closed the final loophole on which proponents of water fluoridation have relied to claim that it is subject solely to food law. Public opposition to fluoridation is growing rapidly around the world, with hearings before High Courts in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Ireland now in progress.

This will effect any businesse or individual involved in food and drink preparation or trading, from the smallest trader to the largest supermarket, anyone who sells coffees and teas in a corner cafe, bakes bread in a high-street bakery, or sells imported food and beverages in a local supermarket.

Caterers in one community in Ireland have already taken action to protect their business.  The demand by Cork County Council, the largest in the Republic of Ireland, that fluoridation be abolished in Ireland, is supported by four County and forty other Town Councils, and moves to abolish the practice have full cross-party support in the Irish Parliament. The Councils argue that fluoridation constitutes a severe barrier to export trade in Irish food products, so the passing in the UK of the Health and Social Care Act last year brings our own Local Authorities directly into the centre of this controversy. The developments in Ireland are a clear warning of the implications for the continuation of this practice here in the UK.

Enforcement of the prohibition on importing any such foods by even a single EC Member State would trigger a landslide in confidence that could cause a dramatic fall in the export of UK foods from fluoridated water areas to the rest of the EC. So the recent resumption of fluoridation in West Cumbria is a wake-up call to Members in this sector of commerce in the North West.

 

Cumbria Business Growth Hub Join Cumbria Food & Drink Growth Network has organised an open meeting to discuss this issue, led by UK and EU legal expert Doug Cross (BSc. CSci, CBiol, FSB) at the Sheep and Wool Centre, Cockermouth, 10am to 12 noon on 3rd April.

To book your place(s) on this free event please email catherynn@cumbriachamber.co.uk or call 0845 226 0040. Cumbria Food & Drink Growth Network is part of the Cumbria Business Growth Hub aiming to help businesses in Cumbria unleash their potential. To find out how you can be involved and start benefitting, have a look online at www.cumbriagrowthhub.co.uk or join them on Twitter @FoodDrinkHub.

Fluoride

A piece has appeared in The Lancet this month on neurotoxicants.

It considers the increase in recent years of conditions such as autism, ADHD, dyslexia.  Industrial chemicals that injure the developing brain are among the known causes for this rise in prevalence.

They have identified 11 developmental neurotoxicants including lead, arsenic – and fluoride.  They propose a global prevention strategy.

My previous post Fluoride – not my choice invites you to join Cumbria’s petition.

Fluoride – not my choice

I want to add my support to Paul Carr’s excellent letter to The Cockermouth Post on the public health issues related to water fluoridation in Cumbria (February edition).

I encourage people to drinkS/W Ver: 85.83.E7P water rather than fizzy drinks, juice, alcohol etc.  We’re blessed with very good water here and I don’t want people to feel that their water is tainted.

Fluorine is not a nutrient; it is a toxin and it builds up in your body over time (dependent on your age and kidney function). It’s added to water to improve teeth but with European coverage of only 2%, is it necessary? Too much may lead to fluorosis. Possible symptoms include:

  • Bone and joint pains

  • Muscle weakness

  • Chronic fatigue

  • Lowered thyroid function (fluoride is used in medication to slow over-active thyroids)

  • Lowered child IQ, dementia

Ironically, too much fluoride can also stain and damage your teeth!

Many of us do the best for our bodies by exercising choice.We can avoid pesticides and herbicides by buying organic. We can avoid chemicals by using natural care products. We can avoid additives by cooking our own food. We can filter chlorine out of our water (NB most standard water filters don’t remove fluoride). We can look after our teeth with simple regular brushing.

When I had anaemia once, it was my choice to take the iron my doctor prescribed. Doctors cannot force patients to take medication. They certainly cannot force a general group of people to take drugs that they do not need as individuals. Where is our choice with fluoridating the water supply? It’s like a blanket prescription made compulsory on the whole population, to help the teeth of a minority, at the cost of possible health detriments to everyone.

The world is so polluted we sadly cannot avoid all contaminants but I don’t accept that we have to meekly drink water that has been deliberately dosed with a toxic chemical. Communities around the world are halting this practice by campaigning. You can join Cumbria’s petition here:

http://councilportal.cumbria.gov.uk/mgEPetitionDisplay.aspx?id=24

Even if you don’t live in Cumbria, it’s worth supporting the campaign – if we lose, you might be next!

Not such a sweet smell!

One of the sessions on my Eat for a Better Life course is devoted to the subject of toxins (poisons). It’s is a timely topic for this column with the surge in promotion of highly processed party foods for Christmas. You can avoid herbicides and pesticides by buying organic meat and veg. You can cut down your intake of antibiotics and steroids by buying free-range meat. You can avoid chemical additives and damaged fats by buying fresh ingredients and doing your own cooking.

The huge number of chemicals now in our lives is causing many problems. A lady I know suffers from Multiple Chemical Sensitivities and can be laid low for several days if she goes near people who wear perfume or who have used the new long-lasting fabric softeners. I accidentally bought this type of softener when my usual brand was changed (no doubt ‘improved’). The new scent was not only nauseating but clung relentlessly to my clothes, my skin and whatever the clothes had laid next to in the drawer or wardrobe. I got rid of it pronto and sought a less toxic alternative.

Perfume is a major theme in the Christmas adverts. There is great secrecy around the recipes for famous fragrances so they do not have to list the ingredients. That doesn’t mean they are harmless. Other ‘smellies’ sold in abundance at this time of year are room fresheners, scented candles and bathing products. Natural essential oils are fine but commonly the scent is created in a lab from chemicals and can be irritant to the respiratory system.

Many beauty products contain chemicals but there are some good companies around that use natural ingredients.  I like Neal’s Yard, Weleda and Burt’s Bees.  There’s also Pure Lakes, a family company in Cumbria, with a great ethos and gorgeous products.

Top tip – take care when buying presents – or do your loved ones some good with a Learn to Eat Well gift voucher.

Make these nifty little boxes out of old Christmas cards!

Make these nifty little boxes out of old Christmas cards!

I wish you all a very merry chemical-free Christmas!

Antibiotics in factory farming

Does it matter whether your sausages come from a free-range farm like Louise’s?

According to the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC), antibiotic resistance is a major threat to public health worldwide.  The primary cause is their widespread over-use which occurs in medicine and also in food production. In America about 80% of antibiotic use is in farming.

Animals are often fed antibiotics at low doses for disease prevention.  In America, but not the EU, they are also used for growth promotion. Those antibiotics are transferred to you via meat and through manure used as fertilizer for crops.

Antibiotics are needed in factory farming because of the crowded, unsanitary living conditions – yet another reason to buy free-range.  Of the ~9 million pigs slaughtered each year in Britain, only about 1.5% are organic.Factory farmed pigs. Credit: Compassion in World Farming

The US Center for Disease Control and Prevention4 (CDC) estimates 22% of antibiotic-resistant illness in humans is linked to food and recommends that antibiotics use in livestock be phased out.

American researchers have found MRSA in pigs and workers at factory farms but not in pigs on antibiotic-free farms.  Once MRSA is introduced, it could spread to other animals and the workers, as well as to their families and friends.

Over-exposure to antibiotics takes a heavy toll on your gastrointestinal health.  Your immune system is mostly down to the good bacteria in your gut so you can become more vulnerable to diseases.  We can support the Soil Association’s ‘Not in My Banger‘ campaign against the escalation of industrial pig farming in the UK for the sake of our own health as well as to oppose the keeping of wonderful, intelligent pigs in such unnatural conditions.

Not in my banger