The Difference Between “All Natural” and All Natural

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Recently, you may have noticed a slew of brands slapping the words “all natural” onto their labels. Before I go any further, let me clarify what “all natural” really means. All natural means “made/grown in nature”. Why am I going over something most of us already know?

Because “all natural” labels can be really misleading. Sadly, most Americans don’t know that they are being mislead. It all comes down to this simple fact: most leading brands that slap “all natural” onto their labels actually contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). You may have seen me use this term before. Let’s just call GMOs he “ultimate crap”. What exactly are GMOs? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can be defined as organisms in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally”. 

So let’s get this straight. Companies, such as Hunts, are claiming that their tomato products are all natural because they have no preservatives, yet they contain genetically modified tomatoes. If I’m reading this right, Hunts is lying. Big time. As are many other companies.

Let me clarify something else here. Why are GMOs so dangerous, you ask? Well according to the WHO, “The initial objective for developing plants based on GM organisms was to improve crop protection. The GM crops currently on the market are mainly aimed at an increased level of crop protection through the introduction of resistance against plant diseases caused by insects or viruses or through increased tolerance towards herbicides.” That last sentence basically means they can put even more pesticides and herbicides, aka more poison, onto your food. Not only that, but crop protection? Farmers are being sued because GM seeds are being blown into their fields, and not only is there nothing they can do about it, but laws are being put in place that are allowing this to occur. Worst of all? These seeds aren’t even approved for mass production! 

So, WHO, are GM foods safe? “Different GM organisms include different genes inserted in different ways. This means that individual GM foods and their safety should be assessed on a case-by-case basis and that it is not possible to make general statements on the safety of all GM foods.”

So basically, they don’t know. >.<. For all they know, GM foods are poisoning us all.

Why aren’t they labeled? Because the big companies who produce these foods have people all the way up the “food” chain (pardon the pun) paid off to block all bills to label them (including our dear President, who promised to do so back when he was first elected!). 

What’s more, the 40 nations that do label GMOs – including all of Europe – are not only well informed, but the companies that do use GMOs here, do not put GMOs in the food that is imported to those countries! Shocking, I know. But here, in the good old U.S., it’s all about money. If money can block GMO labeling and keep most Americans from being as well informed as the Europeans are, then imagine what else that money is going toward. Did you know that they now want to put pig genes in oranges? While I like bacon, I don’t want it mixed in my orange juice.

So which GM foods are the most common? Here is a short list:

  1. Corn
  2. Rice
  3. Tomatoes (some, most common is beefsteak)
  4. Soy
  5. White potatoes
  6. Cottonseed Oil
  7. Peas
  8. Canola OIl
  9. Wheat
  10. Zucchini
  11. Crook neck squash
  12. Alfalfa for feed
  13. Papaya
  14. Salmon

Bet you didn’t know you were eating a bunch of the ultimate crap, right?

It’s simple folks. While an organic diet can be expensive, if you avoid the list above and shop at your local farmers market, it can be pretty easy to live GMO-free. Of course, it is essential to avoid most processed foods, especially those manufactured by major brands such as Hunts, Craft, Nestle, Hersheys, Frito/Lay, etc. Remember: just because it says it’s all natural, doesn’t mean it is! Make sure you do your research before purchasing a product. Learn to read your labels as well! Here is what you need to know when purchasing produce:

  1. If the five-digit number on the label starts with “9”, the produce is organic.
  2. If the five-digit number on the label starts with “4”, the produce was conventionally grown with pesticides.
  3. If the five-digit number on the label begins with a “3” or an “8”, it’s a GMO. 

For more information on GMOs (these were my sources as well, please visit these sites):

http://www.who.int/foodsafety/publications/biotech/20questions/en/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edison-de-mello-md-phd/gmos_b_3854198.html

 

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Going All Natural Means Natural Products, Too?

Yup. I said it. This means egg masks and leeches. HUZZAH!

Haha, just kidding (although I won’t count the top two out for their health benefits, you won’t see me using them personally ;))

Yes, you can make your own products, such as laundry detergent, body butter, soap, shampoo, conditioner, and even glass and multipurpose cleaner. Obviously this isn’t the full list but this is just to give you an idea of the possibilities that are out there.

While you can make your own, it’s much easier to buy them, as we all know. Those of us with busy lives can’t make absolutely everything, it’s too time consuming. With two kids, school, and running my household, I barely have time for my blog! While I do make my own cleaner, bleach, and laundry detergent, I wanted to point out some brands that sell ready made products that are free of harsh chemicals and won’t hurt the environment.  

Household: Seventh Generation, The Honest Company, Melaleuca, Watkins, Charlie’s Soap, Full Circle Mom, Earth Friendly Products, PureGreen24, Biokleen, Mrs. Meyers

Beauty: Burt’s Bees, enkido, Lemongrass Spa, Earth Mama Angel Baby, Jason, Babo Botanicals, Avalon Organics, Melaleuca, Peter Lamas, A Beautiful Life Brands, Nature’s Baby Organic, Life’s Natural BodyCare, YesTo, Dr. Bronners, Fundamental Earth, Alba Botanica, Aubrey Organics, California Baby, Trukid, Verefina

There is also a Web site which you can go to and check the safety of your products – EWG – http://www.ewg.org/ – this site has reviews on over 80,000 personal care products and info on toxic food chemicals and GMOs. 

As far as natural products go, I sell wonderful natural lip balms, deodorant, sugar scrubs, lotions, first aid and immunity products, and essential oils through Verefina. This company is what made me fall in love with natural products and they will make you fall in love with them, too! Visit my website for more information: http://jilljohnson.verefina.net/

This has been your periodic informational blog post brought to you by: ME! Until next time! Oh, and stop by to check for new recipes in the next few days (yes, I said RECIPES).Image

To Boldly Go…Where No Mushroom Has Gone Before

A derivative collage from two other files - ca...

A derivative collage from two other files – captain Jean-Luc Picard in his quarter on the USS Enterprise-D (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This image shows a few dried mushrooms.

This image shows a few dried mushrooms. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

Since I am now a clean eater, I have decided to take the advice of one of my heroes – Captain Jean Luc Picard (as portrayed by the amazing Sir Patrick Stewart) of Star Trek – The Next Generation, and his predecessors before him – I would “boldly go” into it. That means, giving foods I have never previously liked another try. You see, now that I have cut out processed food from mine and my family’s diet, our choices have seemed somewhat limited, so in order to be more creative and feel more fulfillied, we need new ingredients to throw into the mix.

My first adventure will be with mushrooms. Oh, how I despise mushrooms, almost as much as I despise Swiss cheese. The thought of eating a fungus, something I can most likely find between my husband’s toes (sorry honey!) makes me want to vomit the delicious dinner I just had! But I have to try. I am determined to like it. I’m determined to swallow that fungus and conquer it’s awful texture. Without vomiting. Without lurching. Without a bitter beer face. I WILL DO THIS!!!

 

If I retry mushrooms, the rest of my family will too. There may be some vomiting on their part, so no promises on their determination not to vomit. BUT! I will not. I will perservere! I will conquer my internal oppressors of mushrooms! I will bring them the battle of the century! Ok, maybe I’ll just shove a few in my mouth and try not to choke on my own vomit, but hey, it’s a start, right? XD

Jillian Johnson, out!