I can’t get enough of green tea. It’s not just the warmth that washes over you when you pick up a hot cup or the grassy taste and smell; like most comfort foods have a tendency to do, green tea conjures good memories.
A couple years ago, I spent a rainy spring break at an abandoned summer camp with my teammates. Between practices we would come back to the only heated building, (which happened to serve as a cafeteria, game room, and meeting place for the entire week) cold and slightly soggy, we spent hours sitting at cafeteria tables putting together puzzles, playing cards, and studying.
I remember vividly the sense of relief that hit me when I entered that room. After 2 hours practicing in the rain, and a 2 minute cold shower, all I wanted to do was wrap myself in my sleeping bag and get to that warm room. The unlimited store of hot water and tea bags in the cafeteria served as the savior of our spring break. As we spent hours before, in between, and after practices in that cafeteria, we completely extinguished their supply of hot drinks by the end of the week. Previously a “sugar-holic”, this trip taught me to appreciate the wonder of pure warm liquid and the comfort of the simple things. Although it was wet, chaotic, and dramatic, it was one of the best team building exercises I had ever experienced.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but what I know now is that green tea doesn’t just provide comfort. The antioxidants in tea are similar to the ones in berries, red wine, and dark chocolate. These antioxidants have been said to help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. What if you could improve your health one cup at a time? Not bad, right?
When the cold winter sets in, or you find yourself caught in the rain (physically or metaphorically), tea may just be the thing to set you back on your feet.
Although the world is still buzzing with green gossip, today I thought I’d address a more relevant issue. There’s been word traveling through the world about the dangers of Phthalates and BPA. Companies including GreenCupboards.com are working tirelessly to offer products that are safe from these chemicals and others, but why? I’d like a clear explanation.
What’s the big deal? What are they? What do they do? Why should we care? When someone picks up a water bottle and says, “It’s BPA free!” why do we get excited?
I want the facts.
And the facts are available. Although, at times, they’re hidden in some exceptionally dry research. To spare you the time and effort of muddling through the analysis of the National Toxicity Program to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, I’ll give you a little synopsis.
Phthalates are chemicals used to make plastics more flexible. For over 25 years people have known that some Phthalates are dangerous to humans. The basic risk with Phthalates is cancer, specifically in the reproductive organs of males who’ve been exposed to phthalates at a young age or as a fetus. There are two categories of Phthalates. “Active” Phthalates are the ones that are being referred to when people speak of dangerous Phthalates. In studies with animals, specifically rats, these active Phthalates were the chemicals which induced cancerous tumors in the reproductive system.
BPA stands for Bisphenol A. Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical found in most hard plastics. In 2004 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention conducted a study that showed noticeable levels of BPA in 93% of the 2500 people tested over the age of 6. BPA is said to mimic estrogen in large doses and recent studies have linked high exposure to BPA to behavioral problems in adolescent girls.
Overall, the full effects of these chemicals are unknown. The evidence shows that they have adverse effects on lab animals, and that high levels are apparent in the majority of the population. No, we don’t know if they’ll cause physical damage, but our high exposure makes us very susceptible to any damage they may cause.
So here’s the big question: why do we care?
Well, I’m a bit more grateful to the industries that have chosen to exclude these chemicals in their production. Dangerous chemicals have no place in the home, when the safety of one’s family is at stake. Although I’m sure there’s no avoiding BPA or Phthalates completely, I plan to be more selective of the plastics I’m buying.
This article is an overview of hazardous materials and corresponding regulations given to them by the government. Many now-known hazardous materials were once off the public radar as being harmful. Un-known toxins are more threatening than the known because people do not understand the risk’s they are taking with them, even though there are risks.
Lead, tobacco, DDT, C02, and radiation are all toxic chemicals that were once widely unregulated, today, cell phones are entering into a grey-area of toxicity.
Smokers take health risks by smoking; they could develop lung cancer and a number of other smoking-related diseases. About 400,000 people die in America on an annual basis and about 1,095 every day from smoking-related illnesses.
Doctor’s used to endorse smoking. You would not see an advertisement today with any respected doctor telling people why his cigarettes are better than the competitors, this is because it is now widely accepted that smoking anything can cause cancerous ailments including lung, mouth, throat, kidney, bladder and other cancers, as well as a variety of other illnesses. Other smoking-related complications include, emphysema, and erectile dysfunction.
Houses in the 40’s and 50’s were painted, almost exclusively, with lead paint. Lead paint was used in almost everything from ceramics (plates, glasses, bowls) to jewelry, and even toys. It is now known that lead can cause learning disabilities in children and lead poisoning in anyone with prolonged exposure to it.
C02 is pumped out of our tailpipes on a daily basis when we drive, fly, and fart. California had no idea what was happening in 1943 when a thick haze of smog descended upon them, literally engulfing them in toxic fumes that burned eyes, throats and skin. Today Al Gore and other scientific research groups are attributing C02 buildup to global warming.
What do all three of these toxins have in common? They were all widely used by the public before they were discovered to be toxic, and are now watched over and regulated.
DDT is another toxic chemical that was literally sprayed on children and food alike. The man holding the hose did not know what he was doing, and the children running through the mist did not know what they were doing until years later when many got ill or died from it.
Today there are many types of toxins we know are bad for us. There are also a lot of toxins that we may know, yet not yet know how bad they are for us. Smoke, pesticides, and fumes are both generally tied to pollution and being not good for your health or the environment.
For those around the nuclear power plant Fukushima, in Japan, they are under constant threat of radiation poisoning even though they cannot see what is contaminated. Those who cannot even see the plant itself are still at risk from it, which is because radiation is an unseen toxin, and unlike sulfur that smells like rotten eggs, people cannot smell radiation. The fish in the waters off the coast of Japan are being infected with radiation even though you can’t see or taste it in the water, I would not go into the water off of the coast of Japan if I were there.
This article was written in light of recent research on cell phones done by the World Health Organization (W.H.O.). The investigation W.H.O. did into cell phone radiation came to find that the emissions may be “Possibly Carcinogenic”, I did not add the quotes around that phrase it was as such on the news report I watched (below). A carcinogen is any substance or radiation agent that is directly involved in causing cancer.
I am sure there will be many other research groups that will follow W.H.O.’s lead, testing cellular devices for themselves. I could only speculate as to what those findings may be, but I implore you to take the time and listen to the research so that you may conclude for yourself what the pro’s and con’s of those long talks on the cell phone are.
It is widely known smoking is not good for your health, yet people still smoke. Will cell phones turn into the new cigarettes? Is cell phone radiation the new lead of the time? Are we all bathing in this radiation like children in DDT?
Is it time to take a closer look at our cell phones, a time to look away from them? Or both?
Its as American as a cheeseburger, and apple pie, it’s the hot-dog, corn-dog, pigs-in-a-blanket or however you like it. But what exactly is in hot-dog meat? Not all hot-dogs are the same, for example if a hot dog is labeled as pork, beef, or whatever that’s what it is. However I’m not talking about the specialized hot dogs, I am referring to the generic hot dog, no particular meat specified, what is in there?
According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council:
“All hot dogs are cured and cooked sausages that consist of mainly pork, beef, chicken and turkey or a combination of meat and poultry. Meats used in hot dogs come from the muscle of the animal and looks much like what you buy in the grocer’s case. Other ingredients include water, curing agents and spices, such as garlic, salt, sugar, ground mustard, nutmeg, coriander and white pepper.”
“Variety Meat” and “Meat By-products” are terms often used to describe the alternative “meat” used to make hot dogs that the Hot Dog Council does not tell you about. Liver, kidney, heart, intestines, and other meat By-products are often used to create the generic ball game frank. Or even Mechanically Separated Meats (MSM)
Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS):
(MSM) is “a paste-like and batter-like meat product produced by forcing bones, with attached edible meat, under high pressure through a sieve or similar device to separate the bone from the edible meat tissue,”
For the most part MSM is no longer produced and has been banned in many areas for fear over Mad Cow Disease. However hot-dog meat is allowed to use up to 20% MSM.
“Hot Dog Season” Stretches between Memorial Day and Labor Day during which the United States consumes seven billion hot dogs. On the Fourth of July alone Americans eat 150 million hot dogs.
“Warning: Consuming hot dogs and other processed meats increases the risk of cancer.”
Would you still buy the package of hot dogs if they bore this label? This motion put forward in a law suit by The Cancer Project in New Jersey who is suing a number of hot-dog producers such as Kraft, who owns Oscar Meyer. Sara Lee, Nathan’s Famous and more.
“The suit notes that a two-year-old study from the American Institute for Cancer Research suggests that the amount of processed meat in a single hot dog – about two ounces – increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. That study recommends limiting red meat consumption to 18 ounces per week, and avoiding processed meats altogether (this includes bologna and similar cold cuts). Another study, released this year by the National Cancer Institute, found that individuals who eat large amounts of red and processed meats are more likely to die, especially from cancer or heart disease.” (Hood, John)
Just like they have succeeded with the cigarette warning labels, The Cancer Project wishes to put warning labels on our hot-dogs too.
The Newest E-cig looks remarkably simular to a real cigarette.
Is hazed up Hollywood since the silk screen was first illuminated, its deeply rooted in popular culture, and is a both a fad and an addiction, it’s the cigarette. If you can remember the first advertisements for cigarettes you would see that they are full of glory and promises of all the best benefits, in class, popularity, sexuality, and even health.
As some Camel ad’s proclaimed “More doctors smoke Camels than any other cigarette.” And another bearing the statement “As your dentist I would recommend Viceroys.” And even “20,679 physicians say Luckys are less irritating.” The FDA and surgeon genera have promoted awareness about the dangers of cigarettes; in short, cigarettes kill or claim your lungs. Now on every box of cigarettes sold you will see “Smoking kills” on the outside of the box, in Canada boxes include a grotesque picture of mouth cancer plastered to the outside of the box.
Today there is a new buzz in the tobacco world in the form of the electronic cigarette, or e-cig. The E-cig proclaims itself to be healthier than smoking regular cigarettes. The E-Cig looks like a regular cigarette, colored the same way, but it is plastic and is battery powered. Nicotine is provided for the buzz in the form of a liquid that is heated and emitted as vapor for inhalation. A mini led light illuminates on the end as a user takes a drag, imitating burning tobacco embers. Exhaling the vapor gives the appearance of smoke.
The vapor however is not harmful to the user or those who would have previously been “second hand smokers”. With the E-cig you can even smoke indoors at public places. It seems to be all too great, a cigarette minus the flame, ash, tar, smoke, and carbon monoxide. As one site selling the E-cig claims:
“While smoking tobacco exposes smokers to the risk of contracting cancer or emphysema, the electronic cigarette does not contain toxins that are as harmful as the ones in tobaccos.”
Note the play on words used here, it does not say that using the E-cig will prevent smoking related cancer or emphysema, yet that is what it implies. This statement simply says that the E-cig “does not contain toxins that are as harmful as the ones in tobaccos.” And do you remember the vague statement the tobacco industry use to feed us after health claims due to product use arose wasn’t it something like “there is no sufficient evidence to claim that a (cigarette) battery-operated cigarette-look alike is harmful to anyone.” Again I pulled this from a site that sells the E-cig.
If you are skeptical, you are not alone, as so is the FDA. The E-cig is not regulated or approved by the FDA. The CEO of Smoking Everywhere, an E-cig manufacturer gave this statement to the FDA, I have bolded key words to note: “There are no ingredients in our e-cigs that can cause cancer. However, it is a pretty new product, so we are not 100 percent sure of the side effects at this point… But we haven’t heard of any negative side effects yet, but we are pretty sure they are safe.”
The question is users are willing to gamble their health on this new product.
“Nicotine is not the thing in tobacco smoke that causes cancer, but inhaling pure nicotine may be dangerous,” said a doctor out of the University of California-San Francisco Medical Center.
However even skeptical doctors agree that the E-cig is a safer alternative to smoking tobacco, which causes 90 percent of lung cancer deaths. The question is just, how safe are they? And the truth is, that data is not yet available as the first generation of users is just now emerging and will act as the test study for the health effects of this product.
The FDA has approved of the nicotine gum and patch, so if you’re thinking of quitting those methods are regarded by the highest authorities to be the safest.
Let me know if you have had personal experience with the E-cig and what you think of it.
John Kanzius can’t walk on water, but he can burn it.
What is the “the most remarkable thing in water science in 100 years” ? Could it possibly be that our gas tanks will soon be fed not by thick, toxic oil, but salt water? The above is a quote from Dr. Roy, a founding member of the materials research laboratory as he recounts his first interaction with Mr. Kanzius.
John Kanzius can’t walk on water, but he can burn it. In an attempt to create a new cancer treatment, John created a generator to target specific cells using radio waves. In trying to desalinate water, Kanzius targeted his machine on a vile of seawater. The reaction caused a spark. This led to further investigation, which led to accidentally discovering a new, abundant, power source. The salt water, Mr. Kanzius found, could be burned as long as it remained in contact with the radio waves. By striking a match, John had enabled what many thought impossible, the ability to ignite water.
“Seeing it [salt water] burn gives me chills,” Mr. Kanzius commented. Chills of change it should give, for this discovery may trigger a new world order. We have an obligation to the planet to pursue sustainable energy alternatives over less environmentally friendly options.
Our planet consists of more salt water more than any other substance. What is happening in the water? Without getting too deep into the chemistry, Mr. Kanzius’ machine is burning hydrogen in the water. It emits radio waves weakening bonds that hold salt water together. Salt water is comprised of sodium chloride, oxygen and hydrogen. During the reaction, hydrogen from this bond is released. The hydrogen is ignited when it is exposed to radio waves. The flames’ temperature is upward of 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit (Templeton).
Dr. Roy is aiding Mr. Kanzius in his discovery, meeting with both the U.S. Department of Energy and the Department of Defense to discuss research options and funding. What the salt-water fuel can be used for has yet to be determined. Its capacity to power cars, planes, and anything else will be studied in the months to follow.
The public can hope for a speedy release of new technology, innovation which may revolutionize sustainable energy. What we can do now is support research, development and funding of this unbelievable discovery.
THEGreencupboards Community would like to award Mr. John Kanzius with the highest of honors; The Most Sustainable Man of 2010.