Archive for the ‘In The News’ Category

Is Chromium-6 in your water?

Posted on: March 3rd, 2011 by admin No Comments

Have you seen the movie Erin Brokovich? It is a true story about a woman who exposes a chemical company that is accused of polluting the tap water supply of a small California community. Many members of the community developed cancer as a result of the chemical contamination by a known carcinogen called hexavalent chromium or chromium-6. Well, the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit public health organization, recently found that the water supply of 31 out of 35 American cities contain hexavalent chromium. The EWG estimates that more than 74 million Americans in 42 states drink this contaminated water on a regular basis. California has proposed a stricter limit on hexavalent chromium in the water in hopes that a limit would also be set across the nation. Thus far, the EPA has not taken action about setting legal limits in the water nor are water utility companies required to test for chromium. Scary! The EPA is in the process of evaluating chromium’s risk and has stated that it will make a decision upon project completion by the end of the year as to whether new safety standards need to be set. In the meanwhile, the EPA is offering guidance to cities that are voluntarily testing their water for chromium and providing assistance to those cities found in the recent EWG study to have high levels of chromium-6 in their water.

Dr. Oz did a show a couple weeks ago called “Is our water causing cancer?” One of the three chemicals he is most concerned about is chromium-6. He suggested that consumers use water filter containers (like Brita), filtering systems for kitchen faucets, or entire home filtering systems. He was not a proponent of bottled water since it is not regulated. The reality is that there are many unknown chemicals lurking in our tap water so we need to stay informed. We did find that Birmingham’s water was tested in 2008 for chromium-6 and no contaminant was detected. To read the EWG’s full report and see your area’s contaminant level, go to: http://static.ewg.org/reports/2010/chrome6/html/home.html

Dangers of Aspartame – even for Glenn Beck!

Posted on: November 17th, 2010 by admin No Comments

Glenn Beck has had some recent health issues and many are saying that is tied to his addiction to diet sodas. A recent Drudge report suggested that Beck’s poor eyesight may be related to the amount of aspartame, an artificial sweetener, he consumes in drinking large amounts of Diet Coke. This report has created quite a controversy and even his listeners are coming out and asking him to stop drinking diet sodas.

Beck’s television show sidekicks, Pat Gary and Stu Burguiere, have tried to deny these remarks and any correlation of aspartame to Beck’s health issues. In rebuttal, they have cited that Donald Rumsfeld, who was integral in getting aspartame approved by the FDA in the 1980s, would not have pushed for aspartame if there had been any safety concerns. Well, what Gary and Burguiere failed to mention is that Rumsfeld hand-picked the new head of the FDA, as a part of Ronald Reagan’s transition team, while he was the President of G.D. Searle, the manufacturer of aspartame. Gary and Burgeiere also mentioned that there are 74 studies conducted on aspartame that support its safety. But who do you think paid for those studies? The manufacturers of aspartame did of course. 83 of the other 90 independent studies that were conducted discovered numerous health concerns associated with the use of aspartame. I guess these guys also forgot that Fox News, Glenn Beck’s own employer, published a story in 2005 based on a study by the European Ramazzini Foundation that artificial sweeteners had been shown to cause a variety of cancers in rats. http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,176258,00.html

So what are the side effects of aspartame? Well, aspartame’s by-product is methanol which the body turns into formaldehyde, a cancer-forming substance. Ick! The consumer rights group Mission Possible states, “since its 1981 approval, the FDA has published a list of 92 symptoms of aspartame poisoning, which includes headaches, vision loss including blindness, seizures, neurological problems, cardiovascular problems and death. The FDA admits adverse reactions to aspartame comprise about 80 percent of consumer complaints it receives each year.” That sort of says it all, doesn’t it-I mean come on, can we say common sense here friends? Let’s start making better choices that are natural.

Even if you gave up diet sodas today, the problem remains that aspartame is not just found in diet sodas but is also found in 6,000 other food and drink products. Artificial sweeteners are found in places you wouldn’t even think to look like chewing gum and Crystal Light’s “natural” lemonade! Since when did something “natural” contain a additive made in a lab? You always need to read the label! Take Glenn Beck’s fans’ advice and give diet sodas and aspartame a rest. There are some other great sugar alternatives: stevia, xylitol, honey and agave. We suggest you give them a try instead. If you’re really craving a soda, then try La Croix, Zevia, or a natural soda from the health food store like Dr. Becker which tastes just like Dr. Pepper. As always, Wholesome can help you find alternatives to whatever types of sodas or sweets you’re looking for.

What is GMO?

Posted on: September 10th, 2010 by admin No Comments

Have you heard the term GMO before? Perhaps you faintly recall it being mentioned in an article somewhere or in the paper at some point. Well, if you haven’t, you’re not alone. The term GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. This is a plant, animal or microorganism that is created by genetic engineering which involves crossing species which could not cross in nature. Molecules from different sources are combined to create new DNA that is then injected into the original organism to create a modified genetic code. Toto, we are not in Kansas anymore. Wow, we are now officially living in this new altered universe where corn (GMO corn) and soybean (GMO soybean) are not the corn and soybean of 20 years ago. Now most of our corn and soybean are derived from a laboratory, laced with bacteria or viruses to help make the crops more insect and herbicide-resistant. YUCK!

Unless your food is labeled USDA Organic (which does not allow GMO crops to be used), it is likely that you have some GM (genetically modified) ingredients in your food. And the shocker is that it won’t be labeled GMO on the package, well, in the United States anyway. Shocker–The FDA deems genetically modified crops are the same as traditional crops thus not requiring companies to label their goods that use GM products. The European Union, on the other hand, has been much more hesitant to accept GMOs and skeptical of their safety. Since 1997, the EU has mandated that all foods using GMOs be labeled as well other countries such as Venezuela and Zambia have put bans on genetically modified goods.

An interesting note: Most of the globally GM planted crops are owned by a billion dollar U.S. company named Monsanto (also the maker of the herbicide Roundup and rBst, bovine growth hormone). Hmmm, can we say monopoly? In 2007, their crops were planted on 246 million acres across the globe. Since the 1990s, genetically modified crops such as Monsanto’s have taken over the U.S., literally. In 2010, 93% of soybeans in the United States are modified. 86% of corn, 93% of rapeseed (canola), and 95% of all sugar beet crops are modified. Ok, so right now you may be thinking, well, I rarely eat soybeans or I only eat corn every once in a while. Soybean and corn are a lot more widespread than you might think. Soybean crops are used predominantly to make soybean oil. Soybean oil is used in margarine, salad dressings, mayonnaise, baked breads, crackers, cakes, and cookies among many other sources. Corn is used in a multitude of processed foods in the form of corn starch, high fructose corn syrup, corn oil and beverage alcohols. Now have I gotten your attention?

The safety of genetically modified crops has been hotly debated since their inception. There are no specific tests required by the FDA to determine safety. And the FDA does not approve the safety of engineered foods but still approves their usage. Why is that? Some studies have shown Monsanto’s GM corn causes kidney, liver, and heart damage in animal studies while others refute the studies and state that GMs are safe. Many people believe that the widespread use of modified soy and corn are promoting a more allergenic society. For example, the number of children with a peanut allergy doubled from 1997 to 2002.

To date there have been no epidemiological studies to determine whether engineered crops have caused any ongoing harm to the public. There have been, however, human health problems in the U.S. that have been tracked to genetically engineered crops. In 2000, one of the largest food recalls in U.S. history was the Starlink scandal where a Monsanto GM corn plant not approved for human consumption due to its risk as an allergen made its way into the food system. This corn contaminated food products like the tacos at Taco Bell and a huge percentage of the U.S. seed supply. Monsanto had to pay millions to consumers to settle class action lawsuits for reported health problems.

Now, the newest twist on the genetically modified debate is the possible introduction of genetically modified salmon. Growth hormones have been injected into Atlantic salmon which allows the fish to grow in half the normal maturation time from 30 months to under 18 months. The FDA says “there is a reasonable certainty of no harm from consumption of food from this animal.” Opponents say that the risks have not been properly assessed and the process has been rushed. The FDA is expected to make a final decision on GM salmon in the next few weeks. Wholesome says BACK OFF!

I suggest you take time to think about the food you eat. Do you know where it’s coming from? Do you care that it might be altered? The only surefire way to know that your food is free of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified organisms is to buy organic. Just think about it…and know that Wholesome is here to help you along the way when you make these choices for your precious family.

The Impact of Dyes in Our Food

Posted on: June 16th, 2010 by admin No Comments

Less than 24 hours before my official launch of my new business I am awake and writing to you…no, not working on recipes or last minute things for the party but stewing over the latest piece of information out there in the media. Please watch the video link below from a national NBC story that also aired locally on NBC 13 news in Birmingham…it’s a similar story like I first covered as a journalist back 13 years ago as a fledgling, not knowing the can of worms I was about to uncover…but yet here we are, more than a decade past and we still see food dyes in our foods today. Food dyes are not natural and they have no place in our foods–common sense says cheese shouldn’t be neon yellow or yogurts need not be bright blue! After years of knowledge they now tell us its unsafe—Europe and several other countries have already banned its usage–why is it not banned in this great nation we live in here in America? All I can say is…more to come my friends..I’ve heard you all discussing it in our inner circles—as soon as our website is launched–I’m on it. There are zillions of fabulous companies making delicious foods for you and your families that won’t expose you to this stuff. We owe it to our children to be their advocate. Wholesome by Allie is on that mission for you…stay tuned friends!

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