Euphoria’s Blog for Green Mamas

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No Civil Rights in the event of a Swine Flu “Emergency” September 15, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 1:50 pm
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If you live in the state of Massachusetts and aren’t comfortable with vaccinating you may be in for a rude awakening if Swine Flu is declared an emergency. 

Upon declaration by the governor that an emergency exists which is detrimental to the public health or upon declaration of a state of emergency…” reads the “Pandemic Response Bill” 2028, which was passed by the MA Senate this April and is now awaiting approval in the House.  What happens in an emergency?  In the words of Mike Adams of Natural News, “This bill suspends virtually all Constitutional rights of Massachusetts citizens and forces anyone “suspected” of being infected to submit to interrogations, “decontaminations” and vaccines.”  That’s the sort version.  To get the full scoop, see Mike Adam’s piece “Wake up, America” or this article at World Net Daily.  You can also read the actual bill here

This bill has been slammed as “medical facism” and for creating a “police state.”  There are those who argue that such drastic measures are necessary, comparing the Swine Flu to the plague.  The bill is shocking, especially in the face of the facts:  swine flu is NOT more deadly than regular flu and the swine flu vaccine is NOT as safe or as carefully tested as regular flu shots (see Swine Flu:  A Dangerous Shot in the Dark).  What we have here is a frenzy of fear and hype snowballing into shockingly un-American policy.  If you live in MA, contact your legislators in the House to let them know how you feel about this bill.

If you live in Florida, North Carolina, Iowa or Washington, be aware that your state has also taken legal action in response to the H1N1 virus.  You can find details at World Net Daily towards the end of the article.   


A Priority List for Switching to Organic Foods September 3, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 9:52 am

It’s overwhelming, isn’t it?  Organic food is expensive and there are choices to make everyday.  Maybe you know in your heart that choosing organic is best, but you just can’t see how to do it. 

It doesn’t have to be all or nothing.  And, really, it never is.  All of us on this road of natural living are pushing along, changing one more thing and one more thing to make our world and our families healthier.  So, if you need somewhere to start, consider this priority list from pediatrician Dr. Alan Greene, author of Raising Baby Green.  His list answers the question, “What are the most important foods to buy organic?” considering more than just pesticides.  So, in order of first priority, here goes:

  1. Milk
  2. Potatoes
  3. Peanut Butter
  4. Baby Food
  5. Ketchup
  6. Cotton
  7. Apples
  8. Beef
  9. Soy
  10. Corn

Dr. Greene gives a thorough, well-written account of how he created this list, and what is gained by choosing organic for each product.  For more details read through Dr. Green’s Organic Rx.  I can’t say I agree with his reasoning on potatoes.  He mentions that kids eat more potatoes than any other vegetable – but in French fries.  Given that fact, I don’t see how buying organic potatoes for the home is going to translate, unless you’ll be making fries at home…

Also, I can’t recommend eating any conventional soy products, organic or not.  From what I’ve read, only traditional fermented soy products are actually healthy.  But that’s another story.

I noticed that Dr. Green listed cotton as product number 6.  For those of you as confused as I was, he’s talking about products that contain cottonseed oil or an unidentified vegetable oil (like salad dressing, peanut butter, etc).  Sure, it would also be great (and hugely beneficial to the health of our world) to buy all of our cotton fabrics, organic too.  But, unfortunately, that’s probably the most expensive realm of organic living. 

This list helped me to realize that the peanut butter we buy is not organic.  Oops.  Time to change that.


The Fact is I’m not the Weird One August 25, 2009

Health, wellness, long-life… not for the average American.  The state of human health in our country is disintegrating at an increasing rate.  As moms, we want to do something about it.  And, by golly, we will… even though it means we become the “weird” mom who refuses to buy Koolaid and rejects vinyl bath toys. 

I’ve been on this path for years now.  By now, my family is used to it.  But still, everytime I have to say “no” to an adult who offers my children food packed with high fructose corn syrup or a pthalate-fuming “scented” marker, I feel the rub.  The eyes say, “Why must you be so picky?” and “Your children are missing out!”  I want to exclaim, “Why should I be on the defensive?!?”  Here’s the facts, folks:

Asthma: incidence has more than doubled. It is the leading cause of admission of children to hospital and the leading cause of school absenteeism.
Cancer: after injuries, is the leading killer of children in the United States.
Leukemia and Brain Cancer: have increased in incidence, brain cancer by nearly 40% over the past three decades.
Developmental Disabilitiesand ADHD: Neuro-developmental dysfunction is now commonplace, with learning disabilities affecting anywhere from five to 10 percent of all children.
Birth Defects: The incidence of Hypospadias, a birth defect of the reproductive organs in baby boys, has doubled.
Autism: has jump 400 percent in the last 20 years to 1 in 150 children

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. To me, as a medical detective, the increase in the incidence of childhood cancer alone is the first clue that something is going wrong. In fact, many chemical toxicants are known to contribute to causation of these diseases. They deserve special attention because most are preventable sources of harm. Children are at risk of exposure to over 15,000 high-production-volume synthetic chemicals, nearly all of them developed in the past 50 years. These chemicals are used widely in consumer and household goods like personal care products, cleaning supplies, pesticides, paints, toys, home furnishings, carpeting, electronics, plastics and even food and water. More than half are untested for toxicity and affect on human health.

We must understand an important fact: Children are especially sensitive to environmental toxins and more vulnerable than adults.

• Pound for pound of body weight, children have greater exposure to pesticides because they drink more water, eat more food and breathe more air than adults.
• Their unique behaviors put them at higher risk. They live and play close to the floor; and they constantly put their fingers into their mouths.
• Children’s metabolic pathways, especially in the first months after birth are immature. Generally they are less well able to metabolize, detoxify, and excrete toxicants than adults and thus are more vulnerable to them.
• Children are undergoing rapid growth and development, and their developmental processes are easily disrupted. From conception and throughout fetal development, exquisitely small toxin exposures can cause permanent impacts.

For the complete post, see Chemicals in Everyday Products and Children’s Health: A Small Dose of the Facts at Healthy Child Healthy World Blog.

So, I say, “Wake up, folks!  There’s reason for concern. There’s work to be done here.  And, I’m not the weird one.”  Obviously, weirdness is not really the issue.  It’s about education.  An informed consumer changes everything.  And, that’s what I’m trying to do here – spread the word one post at a time.


Sign the Petition for PVC-Free School Supplies! August 18, 2009

Filed under: Children (3-6 years),Healthy Living — Rachel @ 1:24 pm
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By now the shopping madness is over for most families.  How did you vote with your dollars?  Did you buy PVC/vinyl binders, backpacks & lunchboxes, or did you make green choices that don’t poison the very air in your home?

“Back to School” is big business.  Even though we homeschool, somehow I get the shopping “itch” this time of year (though lately I don’t need an excuse to desire new art supplies).  This weekend my daughter pointed hopefully to a bright vinyl lunchbox at the grocery store.  Between the PVC/vinyl, possible lead contamination(lead inks have been detected in MANY lunchpails made in China), and consumer-driven marketing characters, there wasn’t a chance. 

Unfortunately, most Americans aren’t aware of the dangers of PVC.  If you are, you’ll know why I’m inviting you to sign the Center for Health Environment & Justice‘s petition aimed at manufacturers and retailers, to demand that they provide PVC-free school supplies for our children.  The CHEJ hopes that this petition will convince manufacturers and retailers to produce safer supplies and to label them “PVC-free” so that shopping for green supplies will be easier next time around. 

And, just in case you haven’t heard about PVC, the poison plastic, here’s a quote about PVC from the Center for Health, Environmental, & Justice:

PVC is unique among plastics because it contains dangerous chemical additives. These harmful chemicals include phthalates, lead, cadmium, and/or organotins, which can be toxic to your child’s health. What’s worse is the danger these chemicals pose- phthalates and other toxic additives can leach out or evaporate into the air over time posing unnecessary dangers to children.  Over 90% of all phthalates are used to soften or plasticize PVC products – that’s over 5 million tons a year!  Children are at risk from even small exposures to these toxic chemicals.

Sign the Petition!


Swine Flu Vaccine – A Dangerous Shot in the Dark August 13, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 4:54 pm
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The whole Swine Flu situation has seemed fishy from the beginning.  Why has the media continually spread intense fear about a flu that is no more dangerous than a regular flu?  Now word goes out that Swine Flu vaccine may be administered to all children in public schools, as part of a mass-vaccination plan to curb this “epidemic.”

Take pause.  Not only is this kind of action unprecedented, it’s not safe.  The Swine Flu is a “live virus” vaccine that has undergone minimal testing.  It contains VERY serious, suspect ingredients – more so than typical childhood vaccines.  As a live virus vaccine, those who are vaccinated can actually spread the flu to those who are not.  The contagious nature of live virus vaccines is not contested at all.  It’s just supposed to be irrelevant because everyone should get vaccinated.  Problem is, vaccines do not work for everyone who receives them and everyone should not be vaccinated or will not be vaccinated. 

Here’s a true epidemic of swine flue in the making.  But that’s not the worst part – here’s a frightening use of government clout and media scare tactics that leaves drug makers rolling in the dough.  And what will be the long term health results of distributing such a vaccine to the general population, including the vulnerable pregnant mom and her young children?  Frighteningly unknown.

I decided to post about this today after reading a few documents “DOZENS OF EXPERTS AND WORLD LEADERS
REBUKE FEDERAL FLU VACCINATIONS AND QUARANTINE CAMPS CITING RISKS AND UNPROVEN BENEFITS” and “A HARD LOOK AT MANDATORY LIVE VIRUS VACCINATIONS – WHAT’S REALITY AND WHAT TO DO”.  Both documents can be found Here, along with a sample letter to send to your politician, if you’d like to take action. 

The documents are long, so if you don’t have time to read, here are some excerpts that I found relevant:

  • The swine flu appears to have been laboratory generated…. This current swine flu is at best between 4-8% a match in terms of genetic material to its closest genetic relatives and there is no remotely close match in the public NIH databases… Aware of these insider facts, a significant number of virologists and other health professionals and scientists stated that this had to be produced in a laboratory and could not occur naturally.
  • It normally takes a minimum of 12-18 months to create a vaccine after a virus has been identified. How is it that Baxter Laboratories, after receiving the seed culture of the swine flu virus that was provided in May 2009, announced that they would have the vaccine ready by July of 2009.
  • There literally is no data for this vaccine as per its use in children, pregnant women, and asthmatics.
  • According to the London Evening Standard, WHO officials have warned that H1N1 vaccines may be unsafe. The Institute of Science and Society has said that the vaccines will be far more deadly than the swine flu, and that mass vaccinations are a recipe for disaster.
  • During the 1976 swine flu scare, the swine flu vaccine itself killed hundreds & sickened countless others, and had an unusually high rate of Guillain-Barre Syndrome associated with it.
  • Swine Flu ingredients include:  squalene, animal tissues, viral proteins, foreign DNA and RNA, formaldehyde, live genetically-engineered viruses, and mercury.
  • Side effects from vaccine fillers and adjuvants—especially squalene— include a variety of debilitating auto-immune diseases and a significant percentage of deaths. Squalene, condemned congressional investigators in 2004, is indicated as the primary cause of tens of thousands of deaths, and hundreds of thousands of chronic cases of Gulf War-related illnesses.
  • The CDC claims 36,000 Americans annually die from flu. As of August 2009, the swine flu has killed approximately 1,000 people worldwide, according to CNN, which is a lot less than 36,000. This is hardly a traditionally defined pandemic in terms of numbers, yet there has been a major media fear/panic, which preps the people to take this untested and potentially lethal flu vaccine without even a freedom of choice.
  • This unprecedented Department of Health’s 2009 flu response plan calls for people—especially children—to receive three or four different live flu virus vaccines simultaneously.
  • Substantive research shows all flu vaccinations have little to no effect on preventing or minimizing the flu.
  • The science by our own CDC (Center of Disease Control) shows that flu vaccines are somewhere between 0-14% effective. Research in Israel shows they are 1% effective with a general lowering of the immune system.

I repeat, these bullet points are excerpts from the documents cited above.  To examine the studies and sources that lead to these conclusions please read the documents Here.  If you’re a parent interested in a fair, unbiased explanation of vaccines, read Dr. Sears’ The Vaccine Book.  Dr. Sear’s book manages to inform without pushing a parent to vaccinate or refrain from vaccinating.

For more information on the risks of Swine Flu Vaccine see:

Vaccines: Mandatory Swine Flu Vaccine Risks

How Safe is the Swine Flu Vaccine?

Swine Flu Vaccine Should Not Be Given to Children in Schools


GMO Food – You Don’t Want to Eat It! August 1, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 8:17 am
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Do you know what GMO foods are?  GMO stands for “genetically modified organisms.”   They are genetically modified, scientifically created foods that are unnatural at their core.  You know, like where they alter the food at the DNA level to create a corn that manufactures its own pesticides….

Sounds odd, but actually, according to the FDA, 75 percent of processed food in the United States may contain GMOs.  Gee, that’s a lot.  And, you wouldn’t know it.  There are no labeling laws.  Unless your processed food is certified organic, it probably contains some GMO ingredients.  Another reason to skip those chips and cookies!

Should you care?  Yes!  There is very limited science being the safety of GMO.  What little there is was sponsored by GMO growers…. or raises some bright red flags.  That’s why 30 other countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, have significant restrictions or outright bans on the production of GMOs.  They are not considered safe.  Yet, in the US, it’s no big deal. 

Animals have to be forced fed to eat GMO.  Something about the food causes their instincts to reject it.  Nevertheless, animals have been force-fed the foods for scientific studies.  Here are some red flags from  “Just Say No to GMO” by Dr. Joseph Pizzorno:

• A preliminary study from the Russian National Academy of Sciences [found] that more than half the offspring of mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks (compared to 9% from mothers fed natural soy).
• [An] estimated 10,000 sheep died in India within 5-7 days of grazing on GM cotton plants engineered to produce their own Bt-toxin pesticide.
• The only human GM feeding study ever published show[ed] that the foreign genes inserted into GM food cropscan transfer into the DNA of our gut bacteria. This study gives new meaning to the adage, “You are what you eat.” Long after those GM corn chips you munched are history, your intestinal flora may still be churning out the “Bt” pesticide GM corn plants have been engineered to produce.

What to do?  Here are some tips from Healthy Child Healthy World:

• Check food labels for soy-, corn- and cottonseed-based additives, most likely to be genetically engineered.
• Buy 100% certified organic especially for corn, soy, potato and animal products.
• Choose a wide variety of fresh, whole foods over processed foodsthat are likely to contain bioengineered additives. Check the PLU code on produce to identify if it’s genetically engineered. PLUs consist of 4 to 5 numbers (4 numbers = conventional produce, 5 numbers starting with 9 = organic produce, 5 numbers starting with 8 = genetically engineered produce).

• Look for the Non-GMO Project verified label (visit their website to find products they have tested).
• Buy locally grown produce from farmers’ markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms where you can talk to the producer.
• Prepare meals at home so you know exactly what you are eating.


Local vs. Organic Produce – What to Buy? July 16, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 8:19 pm
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When it comes to food, buying organic is buying the best for our families and our world.  Pesticides are clearly a problem, and poison-free fruits and vegetables are definitely the way to go when you’re feeding young children.  But what do you do when the summer’s bounty offers you the choice of buying organic or picking your own at a local blueberry farm?  After all, buying local reduces so much waste in the form of dollars and fossil fuels.  It also supports farmers near you, possibly reducing pollution, crime and destruction of natural habitats.  To top it off, the food will certainly be fresh – which means more nutrients in every bite.  If the idea of eating locally interests you, be sure to read Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  It’s a gem of a book!

I was talking with my girlfriends about this quandary: local or organic?  Of course, we all wish we could have our cake and eat it too.  And, sometimes you can.  With CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture) becoming more and more popular, it’s not too hard to get local, organic vegetables on a regular bases.  I think it’s the fruit that presents a real problem.  Have you ever gone to the store, hoping to indulge in some organic berries or peaches only to discover that the extremely limited organic options are quite uninviting?  Moldy berries or rock-hard peaches won’t win my money, organic or not.  That’s when I may head over to the conventional fruit stands, and none too pleased. 

But, with a little planning, you can buy local fruit with ease during the summer.  Search for local farms that offer pick-your-0wn.  Harvesting is a fun, education outing for young children!  It makes kids appreciate good fruit and it’s value so much more!  Plus, you’ll save a few dollars by picking. seems to be the largest database of farms that offer this service.  It’s organized by state, but doesn’t have a very nice layout.  Often there are better farm databases on a state-by-state basis, so do some searching online.

If you don’t have time to pick your own, buy locally at roadside stands in the country or farmer’s markets in the city.  Again, you can scout out farmer’s markets online at Local Harvest.  When you buy, don’t assume it’s local.  Go ahead and ask where things you are interested in were grown.  It’s not unusual to find food imported from across the country at a roadside stand.  And, just by asking, you can share your preference to buy local.  That’s how business is changed – one voice at a time. 

However you eat locally, you interact closely with people that grow your food.  This presents a unique opportunity to influence their growing methods.  Maybe they don’t garden organically, but maybe they would… if they knew that was so important to you.  Maybe they do garden organically, but they aren’t certified.  Encourage them to keep it up the good work!  And that’s why it’s a toss up when you consider eating organically or eating locally.  Both options are exponentially easier on the earth than eating conventional produce from the grocery store.  Both choices, eating local and eating organic, are a vote for a safer, healthier tomorrow.  When you can’t find organic in the store – go out and find a farm near you!


Are Swimming Pools Safe? June 9, 2009

Filed under: Healthy Living — Rachel @ 3:14 pm
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Moms everywhere are starting to question the safety of the chemicals our children encounter in the average American lifestyle.  With June comes weekly trips to the pool, and one wonders if sweet little ones are marinating in a toxic soup.  After all, when you can smell the chemicals, that’s usually a very bad sign!

Healthy Child Healthy World, one of my favorite organizations, published Chlorinated Pools and Your Child’s Health, by Janelle Sorensen last year.  The article raises concerns about the safety of the air above the water, which in chlorinated pools will emit fumes that have been shown to trigger asthma, and the safety of the water itself, which will contain volatile compounds as a result of the chlorine coming into contact with hair, body products, sweat, saliva, or urine.  These volatile compounds are carcinogens (links to studies are included). 

Swimming is a wonderful, healthy past time.  This is not to say that we should keep our kids out of pools, but we can make choices that will minimize these risks. 

There are alternatives to chlorine.  If you have your own pool, consider using a mineral sanitizer, ozonization or ultraviolet light to sanitize the pool without dangerous chemicals.  Nature2 Express is a quick, affordable ($175) and eco-friendly sanitizer that uses the mineral elements of silver and copper, with a bit of chlorine, to keep your pool clean.  Read more about alternatives in this article at the Green Upgrader

If a chlorine-free pool is not available to you, be sure to swim in an outdoor pool, which will have exponentially cleaner air than an indoor pool.  Favor pools that have “shower before swimming” rules and be sure to follow them.  Even swimming in less popular pools or when few people are present does something to counteract the concerns.  If your community has a pool, talk to the management about how often it is emptied (which clears out some of the volatile disinfection bi-products) and about experimenting with greener sanitizing options.


But What about My Tuna Sandwich? May 7, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Healthy Living,Pregnancy — Rachel @ 3:04 pm
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Let’s face it, when most of us eat fish… it’s tuna from a can.  Since eating DHA-rich fish is so important for our health – especially if we’re pregnant, nursing or feeding a young child – a cursory reading of my last post may send you to the cupboard for some tuna.

STOP!  Did you know that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) strongly recommends that pregnant or breastfeeding women and children under 5  “not eat albacore tuna at all, because a significant portion of albacore tuna has very high mercury levels.”  Basing their conclusions on the FDA’s own guidelines for what constitutes a safe amount of mercury, the EWG warns, “People eating this tuna will exceed safe exposure levels by a wide margin.”  And, what about light tuna?  We don’t know.  Light tuna contains less mercury, but no one (including the FDA) has determined what amount is safe for pregnant women.

You can get all the details at EWG’s Tuna Calculator.  The calculator will determine how much tuna you can safely eat, based on your weight, if you’re NOT pregnant, nursing or a child under 5.

P.S.  Need another reason to ditch the canned tuna?  It’s CANNED.  Canned foods are lined with BPA-tainted plastic.  Yup, virtually all of them!  Only a very, very few brands are starting to use non-BPA can linings, but they’re few and far between and very hard to find in your local store.


The Dish on Fish: Safe Sources of DHA without the Mercury May 5, 2009

Filed under: Breastfeeding,Healthy Living,Pregnancy — Rachel @ 8:23 pm
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Be sure to eat lots of fish… it’s the best, whole-food source of omega-3 fatty acids (like DHA).  DHA is essential for your baby’s developing brain (whether you’re pregnant, nursing or feeding a toddler) and essential for your psychiatric health. 

Don’t eat fish…it’s contaminated with mercury, a potent neurotoxin that’s especially dangerous for the young brain.  Plus, fish farming practices vary wildly, with some taking a serious toll on the environment.

So, what do you do?  We know that fish is good for us, but we don’t know what kind of fish to eat, how it was farmed/caught or how much is really safe to consume.  If you’re tempted to avoid fish altogether to save yourself the hassle, think again.  “Research coming out of the most recent American Dietetic Association Annual Conference reported on studies that revealed a “no sea food diet” during pregnancy resulted in children with low verbal IQ, low social development, and poor peer interactions. Women who were DHA deficient were found to be more anxious and distressed” (Fishing For Omega-3 Fatty Acids).

Fortunately, the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s “Seafood Watch” program produces a handy little pocket guide, filled with up-to-date info.  It’s even organized by region, so that it lists seafood commonly found in your area.  What are you waiting for? Print your free Seafood Watch Pocket Guide and start making smart choices for your family.  Be sure to note that choices marked with an asteric (*) are likely to be contaminated with mercury.  With plenty of other, safer options available – I say skip those altogether!