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A Better Way to Drink Water?

9 Mar

Crystal Light, quotes their product as being a “better way to drink water”.

Really?

Pouring in water a flavoring full of aspartame (the artificial sweetener that is border-line poison in my opinion), anti-caking agents, preservatives, and Yellow #5 is better for you?  Of course!!  Only 5 calories, and you are on your way to flavored nutrition in a glass!

I personally have had negative side effects from consuming aspartame (migraine headaches and shaking).  I have heard of these same phenomena happening to several of my clients and readers.  I have also talked to people who are watching family members slowly develop worse and worse symptoms associated to their consumption of this no-calorie sweetener that does NOT interact in your body the way that natural sugars do.

So, the good news?  The Calorie Control Council, who represents around “60 manufacturers and suppliers of low-calorie, low-fat and light foods and beverages, including the manufacturers and suppliers of more than a dozen different dietary sweeteners, fat replacers and other low-calorie ingredients” (http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Calorie_Control_Council) says that aspartame is good for you and NOT TO WORRY – it is safe!  Anything bad you hear about aspartame on the Internet may make you a victim of email hoaxes, and there are plenty of well-known resources to promise you the safety of this substance.  Never mind that the people who are selling you this product are the ones that are telling you it is safe (and never mind that regulatory agencies are also “doing their job” and protecting your interests).

I, personally, enjoy sugar that comes from a plant or a bee-hive.  The process behind the creation of aspartame is quite intense, and although this may not be enough to raise your eyebrows, how about the methanol content in aspartame?  The “methanol from aspartame is converted to formaldehyde and then formic acid” – and believe it or not FORMALDEHYDE INSIDE OF YOUR BODY IS BAD NEWS.

Gulf war syndrome, which includes symptoms such as headaches, chemical sensitivities and neurological symptoms – MAY be linked to aspartame consumption, although you will never find a definitive study that proves it.  There are many other factors that could play a part in this, however, men and women suffered and it is because of something – we should be figuring out what that was.

There is obviously some controversy and interesting history behind this product.

Thankfully, we can be above blaming and just focus on things that we know are safe and can’t hurt us – that would be cane sugar and honey.  And they may not be the sweet non-calorie delight of Crystal Light, but I promise you that your body knows how to digest them, and that they won’t harm you or kill you in small quantities.

Use your liberty to make good choices about what you put into your body – avoid anything that needs industry tests and governmental regulations to monitor its safety – it is a simple way to protest bureaucracy and at the same time build a healthy body (and mind for that matter).

Red, White, and Blueberries

8 Feb

This title came from the Veterans Farm, which “is building handicap accessible farms for our disabled combat veterans to provide a ‘Prescription without Medication’ through horticulture therapy”.  Support their wonderful mission and love your farmers and your troops.

Something caught my attention in a recent article from the New York Times.  Weldon Sleight, dean of the University of Nebraska’s College of Technical Agriculture, was quoted as saying “A lot of these rural vets have this wonderful knowledge base about agriculture,” “But we’ve told them for years there’s no future in it” (Brown, 2011).  It made me think – I have heard the same thing, that there is “no future in agriculture”.

This, of course, could not be further from the truth.  The United States has unlimited opportunity to support sustainable agriculture, which in turn in very good business.  What is sustainable agriculture?  It has to do with farming and horticulture techniques that do not put negative inputs into the soil, water, or air and instead rely on natural techniques to grow food and raise animals.  Avoiding or minimizing negative inputs creates healthier soil, which in turn, produces healthier food.  There are many places where you can learn more about sustainable agriculture, one of my favorite organizations and sites is SARE.org.

Besides good economics, farming can be a service to our veterans of war.  Several programs exist to give returning soldiers an opportunity to “decompress” and use skills that they have learned in other parts of the world. There is the Combat Boots to Cowboy Boots is out of the University of Nebraska, the Farmer-Veteran Coalition, and a syllabus being used at a farm called Archi’s Acres (which has been approved by the transition program at Camp Pendleton).  There are plenty of ways to get involved.

In the article, Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows, one can about these efforts.

Reference:

Brown, P.L. (February 2011). Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows. The New York Times. Retrieved on February 6, 2011 from http://www.nytimes.com/2011/02/06/us/06vets.html?_r=1&nl=todaysheadlines&emc=tha3&pagewanted=all