Clean Fresh Kids
By: Holly Pellham Davis
The single most mind blowing piece of literature on health I have ever read comes from Pulitzer Prize–winning investigative reporter at The New York Times, Michael Moss, in his just released book, "Salt Sugar Fat."
While I have hypothesized, known for some time to some degree, and am not shocked by the findings, revelations, and insider trade secrets that Moss masterfully accounts in his book, it is, none the less, life changing information.
Reading this book was an emotional experience for me. I was struck with feelings of betrayal, disgust, disbelief…anger. Learning of the hypocrisy and greed of an entire industry at the expense of health in children and adults alike was sobering. It’s a slow death killing field out there, with corporations manipulating the public (and pharmaceutical companies waiting in the wings, eager to “save the day”) with “family friendly” images, falsely pretending to be worthy of consumers trust, while chemists are busy at work creating concoctions in laboratories that promise to get consumers addicted to their product by achieving a “ bliss point.”
Moss pierces the veil of secrecy, exposing a food and beverage industry that plots and plans ways to get our children craving their products at a young age in order to build brand loyalty. These companies make foods “craveable” with just the right balance of salt, sugar, and fat (the holy grail), which, in turn, causes the brain to respond like that of a cocaine addict, wanting more and more, all in the name of increasing profit.
While processed food corporations cited in the book like Kraft, Frito-Lay, and Coca-Cola increase profits, many of our loved ones are filling doctors offices, hospitals, and funeral homes due to health problems like obesity, diabetes, alzheimer’s (termed Type 3 Diabetes), and heart disease. Due to our dependence on diets high in salt, fat, and sugar, these diseases are at epidemic levels and continue to rise. After a failed attempt in 1999 to gather the super powers in the processed food and soda industry to address the alarming warning signs of a country in a health crisis, attention quickly shifted to creating foods that seemed to be a healthier choice, deepening the deceit.
Yes, I know everyone has free will and a choice of what they put in their mouth. But in my opinion, to knowingly create something with the intent to cause a human to become addicted, knowing that a product will do them harm, is no different than Phillip Morris making cigarettes and enticing kids to smoke.
So, why are the food and beverage companies so enamored with sugar, salt, and fat?
- Sugar: It’s a miracle ingredient. It extends shelf life, makes everything taste better, creates a chemical bliss feeling in the brain, and creates long-lasting cravings for more, addictive properties. Sugar is also sourced as starch (think potato chip) which converts to sugar and absorbed more rapidly than common sugar.
- Salt: It immediately tantalizes the taste buds (especially Kosher Salt which has a hollow molecular structure allowing it to react more powerfully with foods.) It extends shelf life, adds crunch, color, and creates a sense of “flavor burst.”
- Fat: It has twice the calories of sugar, but there is no “bliss point” for fat. When combined with sugars ‘s sweetness, our brain is tricked into wanting to eat more fat than we normally would if we consumed it on its own.
The attributes above merely scratch the surface. This video expands on some of the findings contained in Moss’ book. I have only briefly highlighted the surface here. You can also read an excerpt of the book on The New York Times website.
And, for those of you ready to dive in completely, I would highly recommend purchasing the book.
Knowledge is power…Knowledge also brings responsibility. Increase your knowledge. Use your power to chose foods made to fuel you, not fool you.
"Mom Crusader," Holly Davis
Brominated Vegetable Oil:
PepsiCo agreed to remove BVO (Bromine) from Future Citrus Gatorade selections, but declined to remove it from Mountain Dew and Amp.
Coca Cola will still use BVO in its Fanta Orange & Powerade drinks stating that it believes its safe.
The FDA has allowed BVO in the food supply "on an interim basis" for $) Years (Gasp!!!) That was 1970.... HOWEVER< THE RATS that were fed it for 80 days in 1969 did NOT feel that way... In fact, it made them sick from high levels of toxicity, liver distress etc... I wonder what it does to the small children drinking it at soccer practice???
Europe- Not Approved
Check Out the "company" BVO keeps on the FDA's Interim List:
I love Halloween. The fresh chill in the air, front porches decorated with pumpkins, ghosts and goblins hanging out with spiders, witches and skeletons. Some neighbors go all out with a “National Lampoon’s” version, featuring blow up decor, nightmare spider webs, pop up cemeteries, laser light and sound shows. It’s all in super good fun, but there are some seriously scary aspects of Halloween too, and I am not talking about the Grim Reaper.
At Halloween, families purchase approximately 598 million pounds of candy and most of that contains Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, artificial flavorings, dyes, colorings, preservatives, and lead (not to mention high in fat and sugar and other toxic additives).
In our “everything in moderation” society, it’s worth examining the effects of even small amounts of these toxic ingredients . Research shows that ingesting hydrogenated oils even once can immediately harm the heart and affect its function and it’s not alone. Sugar causes inflammation in the body, hyper activity, and becomes like a drug to the brain, causing it to crave more and more. Artificial flavorings are highly toxic to the body commonly causing allergic reactions and stomach aches. Artificial dyes or colorings cause ADD symptoms, allergic reactions, and many are carcinogenic. In fact, just look at past artificial dyes that were once deemed safe by the FDA and later banned due to liver cancer, heart, and kidney damage. (You can look up food additive ratings on the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s website.)
Lead can cause damage to the nervous system and brain, lower IQs, and cognitive decline. Carmel coloring, when processed using ammonia, becomes a possible carcinogen, and preservatives such as BHT and BHA, “glues”, binders and other function performing chemicals are linked to a variety of diseases, including cancer, as well as causing immediate allergic reactions, inflammation, and toxicity in the body. BHT and BHA are fat soluble, used in a variety of products like candy, butter, animal foods, rubber, and cosmetics. Because they are fat soluble, they bio-accumulate in the fat cells of the human body causing growth in cancer cells when they are metabolized. And then there are Genetically Modified Ingredients. I would estimate well over 90% of Halloween Candy contains GMOs from high fructose corn syrup and oils alone. GMOs are lurking in Hershey bars, Snickers, Twizzlers, Starburst, Sour Patch Kids, Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, and Haribo Gummy Bears to name a few.
Ghouls are also hiding in the cheap plastic masks, toys, and the slimy, squishy, gooey products that are made that way with toxic plasticizers and other gender bending phthalates. In addition, the face makeup frequently sold with costumes to make ghost like faces, blackened eyes, and blood gushing wounds. Commonly used at carnivals, fairs and parties, kids get their faces painted into tigers, cheetahs, and fairy princesses. When Campaign For Safe Cosmetics tested 10 of the top selling face paint brands, all 10 came back positive for lead. Lead. A poison. A neurotoxin, sitting on the beautiful face of a child, but outlawed in the paint on our walls.
But never fear, there’s an organic, natural alternative to all this scariness, so let’s make do a “Halloween Detox” before the big day, shall we?
Let’s start with a few non-terrifying tips:
Prior to Trick-or-Treating, serve an early dinner high in lean protein such as grilled organic chicken breast with grilled mixed organic veggies, a side of black beans seasoned with chopped tomatoes, cilantro, onions, diced mild pepper and garlic (all organic) and served with spinach tortillas. A meal high in protein will help keep blood sugar levels stable later when kids might be munching on their loot while trick or treating.
Offer an alternative
Have a “better than” dessert to offer after dinner. This might still be a sugar-heavy treat but sans all the toxic dyes, oils, preservatives, and other scary stuff. I love to set out Halloween cookies because they also serve as decor for my table. You can use a variety of designs that kids can get excited about and hopefully fill-up on before they have other not so friendly options.
Give out treats not tricks
I love to hand out mini pumpkins, tangerines decorated to look like little Jack-O-Lanterns, small water bottles (kids get thirsty), non-plastic toys from Oriental Trading Company, individual Play Dough, reflective armbands, or organic candies from Whole Foods (gummy bears, fruit leathers, lollipops, and chocolate squares are faves). Remember, buying organic means no GMOs. I always have a few greenies on hand for any four-legged “hounds of hell” that might be walking around.
Skip face and body paints – Instead opt for costumes that get the point across without all the extra toxins.
Dress with an undershirt, bodysuit, or other thin protective covering under all costumes to keep chemically treated fabric from direct contact with the skin.
Keep it short
Limit Trick-or-Treating to 30 minutes for small ones or a little longer for older kids. Plan other activities for the night such as bobbing for apples and a Monster Mash dance off.
Have an “exit strategy” for candy
My kids get to trick-or-treat, but the candy doesn’t stay around for long. I make each kids a special personalized treat bag that I trade them for their candy. I use a cute felt Halloween designed bag (I usually get them at Target) add some toys, games, notes pads, stickers, maybe a CD or iTunes Gift Card and always some good satisfying organic candy. Trust me, they are always happy Goblins.
Start the dialogue
Most important, talk with your children prior to Halloween and educate them on the different chemicals, additives, and toxins in most candy. Let them know that sugar is a bad thing for the human body and that the more they have, the more their brains will crave. It is vital that children be taught the relationship between good food and good health. They will begin relating to food in a different way if you reinforce this. Children can easily understand that they are empowered by making good, healthy choices based on true nutrition and their bodies will become stronger and healthier as a result.
By educating people on what is being put into our food and thereby, put into our bodies, we can demand better. We can begin this Halloween by using alternative, wholesome, non-toxic treats and supporting our own health and the health of our precious little monsters.
 “Most studies with GM foods indicate that they may cause hepatic, pancreatic, renal, and reproductive effects and may alter haematological [blood], biochemical, and immunologic parameters, the significance of which remains to be solved with chronic toxicity studies.” – Dona A, Arvanitoyannis IS. Health risks of genetically modified foods. Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2009; 49: 164–1751
Here's a Very Cute, Catchy Video Lightly Educating on the Dangers of Sugar. I hope parents will share it with their Children.
EDUCATION is KEY to Health... You must CARE about what you are putting into your Body for your Children to Care about themselves. I have to say with this Video, I am concerned that some people switch to Alternative Sweeteners. They are Extremely dangerous - any parent allowing their children to consume Diet Cokes etc is Child Abuse in my book - even some alternative's touted as "Natural" are not acceptable.
I also don't like the Bears pouring the Soda's out into the Ocean. Our Oceans are filled with garbage as it is... But, its a Great Video ;)
Video originally posted at www.therealbears.org/#video