Friday, October 31, 2014

Is a plant virus making us dumber?

Wow, has a plant virus jumped species and slowing our cognitive abilities? They found this virus in 40% of the people they tested--eep!

Six weeks later, the group of mice with ATCV-1 took about 10% longer to navigate a maze, and they also spent about 20% less time exploring new environments.
The infected mice also showed more than 1,000 gene changes in the parts of the brain that are usually considered essential for memory and learning. The researchers could observe these gene changes in mice because they analyzed the mice before and after they were infected with the virus. This shows some of the effects the virus could have on people, but we don't know that humans would show the same changes — and it would be unethical to conduct the same experiment on people.

Read more:

Can't help wondering if CLIMATE CHANGE has something to do with this.

read more here.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

ALERT: Baby Wipes Recalled for Dangerous Bacteria:

Baby wipes are being recalled. Some packages may contain a bacteria that's often resistant to common antibiotics.

Read more here

Saturday, October 25, 2014

World's Easiest Non-Toxic Organic BPA-free Leftover-Using Sugar-free Spaghetti Sauce EVER

So I found some lovely spaghetti squash (organic, por supuesto) at the farmer's market, and all I needed was some spaghetti sauce. I went to our local market, which, this being Manhattan's Upper West Side, they had a nice organic selection. But reading every single label, I saw they all had SUGAR.

You may or may not have been following the news that sugar may cause cancer. According the The New York Times, "Is Sugar Toxic?":

If it’s sugar that causes insulin resistance, they say, then the conclusion is hard to avoid that sugar causes cancer — some cancers, at least — radical as this may seem and despite the fact that this suggestion has rarely if ever been voiced before publicly. For just this reason, neither of these men will eat sugar or high-fructose corn syrup, if they can avoid it.

Our son has had a cancerous growth when he was an infant, so we skip the pesticides and the sugar (perhaps you should, too)

So what's a busy but non-toxic mom to do?

I went to make it from scratch, only to find the organic tomatoes all come in cans, which either have the endocrine-disrupting BPA. Or, the BPA-free just have ANOTHER chemical, what's depressingly known as a "regrettable substitution," which means it's free of BPA but not something else that's harmful. (read more here).

But, happily I found this:

Organic, glassed strained tomatoes (you can get $10 off your order using code PIX328 here.)

I ended up throwing together a sauce that was not only fast and easy, it was SO DELICIOUS that we were kind of dipping into it plain. BONUS: we used leftovers, including "leftover wine"--yes my husband has some health issues so he can't drink, and it's not my usual policy to drink a whole bottle of wine.


1 bottle Organic, glassed strained tomatoes 

2 tsp or more organic dried oregano

2 good shakes organic black pepper

sea salt to taste (I use a home made nettle salt)

1 small white onion, diced

2 cloves organic garlic, diced

1/4-1/2 cup leftover organic red wine, something full-bodied like a cabernet works well (optional but delicious - also, the alcohol part burns off when you cook)

2 tblsp organic olive oil - I used a high antioxidant, one of the few "non adulterated" olive oils like California Olive Ranch (yes, not to freak you out, but much olive oil on the market is rancid and or fake/adulterated).

If you want a touch of sweetness, try some organic coconut (1 tsp-1 tblsp) sugar or honey. If you want to go all natural Italian momma, then add a carrot and cook it long enough for the sweetness to come out (then compost the carrot, or mash it into the sauce)

**Use a good quality enameled iron pan--I used Le Creuset. 

Couldn't be easier: 

Sauté the onion at medium heat in the olive oil until translucent and just starting to brown. Pour in the rest of the ingredients except the garlic. Pour yourself a glass of wine. Heat until it starts to bubble gently. At this point you can also add in leftover vegetables, etc.  Stir occasionally while you drink the wine. It can be done in a few minutes if you're in a hurry. Cook for about 15-20 minutes for something thicker, appropriate for pizza.  Add the garlic in for the last 5 minutes of cooking both to get a more garlicky flavor and to preserve the antioxidant properties.  

Sorry, this picture looks a bit anti-gravity, but you get the idea. PRO-TIP: if you leave it out overnight, the flavors mingle even more nicely. Buon Appetito! 

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Alert! European Health Authorities Issue Warning on use of Valproate (Depakote) in pregnancy: Autism

If you are of childbearing age and especially considering becoming pregnant, a common epilepsy/ migraine drug, brand names include Depakene, Depakote, Depacon, has been linked to neural tube defects, autism, cognitive impairment in children when their mothers take it when pregnant. The European Medicine Agency is alarmed enough that it is telling doctors to use a different drug unless the person is on contraceptives.

And remember that pharma companies have less sway over medical opinion in Europe.

The European Medicine Agency (EMA)'s Pharmacovigilance and Risk Assessment Committee has recommended strengthening the restrictions on the use of valproate in women of childbearing age.
This is because of the risk for malformations and developmental problems in children exposed to valproate during pregnancy.
The committee recommends that valproate not be used to treat epilepsy or bipolar disorder in girls and women who are pregnant or who can become pregnant unless other treatments are ineffective or not tolerated.
It adds that women for whom valproate is the only option should use effective contraception and that a doctor experienced in treating these conditions should start and supervise treatment.
The advice also applies to the use of valproate for the prevention of migraine.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Electromagnetic warfare in the Beautiful Washington State Coast--RADIATION--pumped into public park?

Should the US government have electromagnetic war games here? They SAY it won't hurt animals or humans. Probably not a great idea.

Electromagnetic Radiation: Coming Soon to the Olympic Peninsula's Most Beautiful Areas?

he assessment also states that extended exposure to this level of radiation can pose a serious health hazard. The Peninsula Daily News reports,
“The Navy’s environmental assessment, which includes plans for protecting people and large animals, found no significant impact from the $11.5 million warfare training project, planned to be operational on the West End by September 2015.”

If this bothers you, COMMENT IS OPEN. Let the government know how you feel.

Thanks  to a public outcry on the issue, the Navy, working through the National Forest Service has extended a public comment period through October 25th, 2014. Comments, as well as a plethora of information on the issue can be found HERE.