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Monthly Archives: August 2009

Is Packaged Food Safe?

I read an interesting article on food packaging and the safety concerns most of us never think about. I have greatly reduced the amount of pre-packaged foods my family consumes, but there are still some valid concerns over what the boxes, bags and wrappers may contain. Here is a portion of the article:

— Packaging Digest, 7/23/2009 3:53:00 PM
Fourteen percent of retail packaging failed a screening test for toxic heavy metals and is likely in violation of state laws, according to a report just released by the Toxics in Packaging Clearinghouse (TPCH, or Clearinghouse). Imported products using flexible polyvinylchloride (PVC) packaging and the printing inks and colorants used on shopping and produce bags were most likely to contain these toxic metals, including lead and cadmium, known environmental and health hazards.

The report, An Assessment of Heavy Metals in Packaging: 2009 Update, found that lead concentrations detected in printing inks and colorants used on plastic bags were typically 20 times greater than the legal limit established by states. Toxics in packaging laws in 19 states prohibit the intentional use of any amount of lead, cadmium, mercury, and hexavalent chromium. These laws also establish a maximum concentration limit of 100 parts per million (ppm) for the incidental, or unintentional, presence of the four metals combined.

Lead or cadmium were also found in 52% of flexible PVC packaging, mostly imported from China and Pakistan, making these imports the most likely to be in violation of state laws. Flexible PVC, a “heavy-duty” plastic material, is frequently used to package home furnishings, pet supplies, cosmetics, and inexpensive toys. Metals, including cadmium and lead compounds, can be used as heat and ultraviolet stabilizers in PVC resin to control degradation during processing and use.

These findings were based on the screening of over 400 packaging samples using x-ray fluorescent (XRF) analysis by the TPCH, with support from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Aside from reading our product lables, it is time for us to all be concious in our purchasing decisions to include the entire process of production before we spend our money and place the food in our mouths.

~RawMa

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Chia Seeds

Chia Seeds are becoming very popular in the Raw food World. Rightfully so, this wonderful little seed has an abundance of nutrients, yet has been neglected by mainstream for years…with the exception of the Chia Pet. I always wanted one of those. Now after eating Chia seeds, I see how they stick to the surface. This is a huge benefit for our digestive system.

Chia is very rich in omega-3 fatty acids, even more so than flax seeds. And it has another advantage over flax: chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid. And, unlike flax, they do not have to be ground to make their nutrients available to the body. Chia seeds also provide fiber (25 grams give you 6.9 grams of fiber) as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, molybdenum, niacin, and zinc.

Another advantage: when added to water and allowed to sit for 30 minutes, chia forms a gel. Researchers suggest that this reaction also takes place in the stomach, slowing the process by which digestive enzymes break down carbohydrates and convert them into sugar.

 

What is Gelatin?

I am totally grossed out right now. My son and I were going to make a healthy version of homemade vanilla ice cream and began looking on the web for some new ideas. We found one recipe that called for Gelatin.

That got me thinking…hmmm? What exactly is Gelatin? I did several searches and this response is the most frequent that came up.
“The gelatin you eat comes from the collagen in cow or pig bones, hooves, and connective tissues. To make gelatin, manufacturers grind up these various parts and pre-treat them with either a strong acid or a strong base to break down cellular structures and release proteins like collagen. After pre-treatment, the resulting mixture is boiled. During this process, the large collagen protein ends up being partially broken down, and the resulting product is called gelatin. The gelatin is easily extracted because it forms a layer on the surface of the boiling mixture.”

This sounds like a horror flick! Is this really what Gelatin is made from? Exactly who’s bright idea was this?

All I can say is if it’s true, it is wrong, evil and disgusting.

Once again I say, we ALL need to Re-Think about what we are putting into our bodies and serving our children. Jello – never again! This is yet one more argument for going the Whole Food route!

~RawMa

 

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Agave “Natural Sweetner”?

 
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Posted by on August 14, 2009 in Agave, Dates, mind, Raw Food, smoothie

 

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Back Pain and Raw Food

I  was recently feeling very strong and ready to take on the world when I ventured back to California to clean up our home once the renters moved out. I was pretty shocked to see the condition. I don’t know why I expected it to be the way I left it. Nonetheless, after I spent 2 days cleaning, wiping out cupboards, walls and sorting through the remaining items left at the house, I realized that the bedroom walls couldn’t be cleaned enough to satisfy a new tenant.

Keep in mind that I had driven for 11 hours prior to arriving at the house, and I only brought enough raw food for the first day. I made some nice raw selections the day after I arrived and thought I would simply make daily purchases for food to keep it simple.

I was feeling very tired by the third day and my body ached from sleeping on the air bed. Needless to say my body was getting ready to rebel. I could feel it coming, but pushed through in order to get the house done. We had decided to drive the truck so we could pick up the rest of our items we had left with the home as a semi-furnished rental. We had been told the home was professionally cleaned, so we were expecting a better situation than what we walked into. I was secretly planning reunions with my friends for the weekend, to be squeezed in between the repair work. My bad!

By the time we started painting the bedrooms, I was fatigued and really missing my green smoothies. If I had a blender with me, I could have made it work, but I was running on adrenaline and some grapes because once I started, I didn’t want to take a break. I knew we had limited time to get it all done, so once again I pushed on.

I felt it coming as I bent over to roll the paint on the wall, then it happened…snap. My lower back snapped and made me fall to the ground in pain. I held the roller up high enough to not touch the floor, but it was over. The effects of the stress and lack of normal routine and self care over these four days took their toll on my body. On the way back home, I had to ride in the back seat of the truck with my back flat on the seat. We got back last Wednesday and I am still feeling this deep intense pain, but am finally able to sit upright.

The moral to my story is to above all else, whenever possible PLAN AHEAD so you don’t get caught off guard by unexpected events…aka LIFE. I care about you. I care about me, but sometimes our decisions aren’t always the best when we are feeling under pressure. Take care if yourself. No one else will.

~Rawma

 

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