Archive for the ‘Post Topics’ Category

Artificial Trans-Fats no longer Recognized as Safe

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Vintage Crisco Can

By Catherine Haug, June 18, 2018 (photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

This is GREAT news! The FDA finalized its determination in 2015, and it became official today, June 18, 2018. Why the delay? They allowed time for food producers to adjust their recipes. Up until now, they were allowed in foods as long as total trans fats were less than 5% per serving, but they had to include the grams of trans fats on the label.

This movement to ban artificial trans fats started in 2006 in New York City and spread to other cities/counties: Philadelphia, PA; Seattle/King County, WA; Montgomery County, MD; and also the state of California (1). It continued to spread to other communities and is now effective in all 50 states as a result of the FDA decision.

This is a major change that affects products like Bisquick, cake and frosting mixes, pancakes & waffles, most margarines, most fried and deep-fried foods, Crisco and other vegetable shortening, non-dairy creamers, most ice creams, doughnuts, crackers, cookies, frozen dinners, and more.

Why this big change? Read on for more (more…)

Eating Animals, a new documentary about factory vs traditional farming

Friday, June 15th, 2018

Chicken Factory

By Catherine Haug, June 15, 2018 (photo, right, from factory farming.org)

More and more people are learning about the harm of factory farming – to the animals, and to the people who eat them – but many don’t know how they should be raised. Especially people in cities who have never seen a real farm or seen a chicken or cow in its natural environment.

There’s a new movement afoot to turn this around, and that’s the major topic of this film that is now available in certain theaters around the country (the nearest theater from Bigfork is in Seattle WA).

We – every one of us – are a big part of the problem, because we buy our meats, eggs and dairy from a supermarket where most of these products come from factory-raised animals. We need to start asking for the source of these products, and then look into how the animals are raised, then spread the word. Then switch to locally farmed products, where you can visit the farmer and see for yourself if his animals are raised humanely.

You can read about the film and see the 2 minute trailer (2), or view the trailer on YouTube, below. You can also purchase the book; see Amazon (3) for more about the book, or go to your local library. (more…)

“The Need to Grow” Documentary in Whitefish, June 16, 2018

Friday, June 8th, 2018

By Catherine Haug, June 8, 2018

Thanks to Jean H. for letting me know about this documentary. It concerns a local algae aquaculture plant on F.H. Stoltze Land and Lumber Co property, that uses industrial waste, like wood chips from the lumber plant, to create electricity and nutrient-rich soil amendments. This demonstration-scale greenhouse began operations in 2009; unfortunately, a 2015 fire destroyed the main powerhouse.

Filmmaker Rob Herring and his partner, Ryan Wirick, now present their documentary about this “game-changing” technology on June 16 at 7 p.m in Whitefish at the O’Shaughnessy Center,

To watch the documentary trailer, visit theneedtogrow.com; to purchase tickets for the Whitefish showing, go to algaeaqua.ticketleap.com/the-need-to-grow-whitefish; or for all screening locations: theneedtogrow.com/screenings

For more about this film, the technology, and the plant, see Flathead Beacon’s article flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/the-need-to-grow/

References:

  1. Flathead Beacon: http://flatheadbeacon.com/2018/06/08/the-need-to-grow/

Avoiding Scams Associated with New Medicare Cards

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

By Catherine Haug, May 23, 2018

As you’ve probably observed, scams seem to be the norm these days, and we need to stay sharp to avoid them. The latest scams exploit the new replacement Medicare Cards. Since many of ESP’s subscribers are Seniors, I thought sharing this info would be helpful.

The old/current cards use a version of your social security number, and scammers use that number to pretend to be you. So the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) is creating new numbers for Medicare recipient, rather than using their SS number, to reduce exposure of your number to scammers.

But as you might have expected, scammers have already found ways to take advantage of this. Read on for information on what you need to know/do to avoid becoming a victim, and what to do if you suspect you have been victimized in this regard. (more…)

Proposed Food-labeling Term for GMO/GE Foods: Bio-Engineered

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Frankenfood

By Catherine Haug, May 19, 2018 (image, right, from Organic Consumers Association and used by permission)

This is an important alert for all who want to avoid GMO foods. Please share this with others, and write to your legislators about proposed use of this new term on genetically modified foods.

Because GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) and GE (Genetically Engineered) are now commonly known as foods to avoid, the USDA has proposed a different term  for a new labeling law (2018) to replace GMO or GE: Bio-Engineered (BE). This newer term, while fairly common in scientific circles, has not been used much in common parlance. It also does not sound as scary as the more familiar terms. Hence if people see this on a food label, they will be less likely to refuse it.

But have no doubt about it: BE foods are just as harmful for your health and that of your pets and livestock, as GMO or GE foods.

Read on for more about the negative impact of these terms. See also: “Food Evolution”: New GMO technology even worse than Roundup-resistance and How much glyphosate is in your body? (more…)

All about bees, our precious pollinators

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

Honeybee

By Catherine Haug, May 5, 2018 (Photo, right, from Bug Guide (5))

I’ve written many posts about the plight of bees, and how to help our native mason bees by providing homes for them. But I’ve not written much about these amazing animals. I hope to correct that by bringing your attention to an article by a British blogger, Clive Harris, who requested I provide a link to his post: The Ultimate Guide to British Bees: How to Protect Their Declining Population (1). While he writes from Britain, we have many of the same bees including honey bees, bumblebees and other ground-dwelling bees, and mason bees. He also goes into a lot of detail about bees:

  • An amazing video about the waggle dance;
  • How do bees make honey and beeswax?
  • How do bees help the garden?
  • What’s the difference between bees and wasps?
  • 4 things you can do to help bees.

His is a long post, but full of lots of great information – share with your kids/grandkids! See Reference (1), below.

Below I include:

  • 3 videos about the waggle dance, and how scientists discovered it’s meaning;
  • List of prior articles on The EssentiaList about bees, including John Holbrook’s articles on mason bees and bee motels;
  • References

(more…)