Monday, September 24, 2018

BPA's 'Safe Daily Level' Might Be Enough to Lead to Type 2 Diabetes

Last week I wrote about why you should be weary of all Bisphenols - ie chemicals similar to BPA that are being used as its substitute in 'BPA free products' and which have been found to be just as harmful to our health (read more here).

Today, a new study came out showing yet another reason why BPA, even at levels considered 'safe' by the US EPA and FDA is harmful to humans.

We know that BPA mimics estrogen,  and can disrupt the brain and hormonal systems.  We know that it may be linked to insulin resistance,  obesity,   breast cancer and metabolic disorders including polycystic ovarian syndrome in women,  and low sperm count in men.  

Past animal studies have suggested a correlation between BPA exposure and insulin resistance/type II diabetes.  But now, a small US based study from the University of Missouri  found that exposing adult humans to the presumed US 'safe' daily BPA dose affected the body's insulin response to glucose, ie this 'safe' dose may be enough to have implications for the development of Type 2 diabetes and other metabolic diseases. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Why "BPA Free" is Not A Safer Alternative

Most of us know what BPA is - or at least where it is used: BPA is a chemical that is often used in clear, shatterproof plastics, such as baby bottles and food-storage containers, as well as the liners of metal food cans and even in thermal store receipts.

WE know that bisphenol A, BPA, should be avoided. WE have known that for about twenty years and in that time countless studies have been published showing how BPA does indeed have a serious effect on the developing brain, heart, lung, prostate, mammary gland, sperm and eggs. In fact, so much is known about BPA that it is probably one of the most well known and well studied chemicals - which is why our stores are filled with BPA free plastic.

Parents everywhere still routinely seek out 'BPA FREE' items for their children because the underlying assumption is that if it is BPA free it must be safe.

But is it?

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Mom's Gut Can Determine Child's Autism Risk

A new study published in The Journal of Immunology has found a link between the gut microbiome and autism. According to the researchers from the Center for Brain Immunology at the University of Virginia, it is not our own microbiome that could affect whether or not we develop autism – it is our mom's.

The microbiome can shape the developing brain in multiple ways," John Lukens, lead researcher explained… and an unhealthy microbiome in the mom can create problems for the baby.

What is the microbiome?

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Our Kids Are Exposed to Lead Every Day and We Could Have the Power to Stop it- Here is How

Did you know?

  • Reuters identified more than 3,300 U.S. neighborhood areas with documented childhood lead poisoning rates double those found in Flint.
  • In Los Angeles County:  Reuters identified 323 neighborhood areas where the rate of elevated lead tests in kids was at least as high as in Flint.

These included rich and poor neighborhoods.

Lead is still very much a problem affecting our children.  

Also dangerous?  California, and other states, do not require lead testing in young children- so many more children could have elevated lead blood levels and not know it. Have your children been tested for lead?


Wednesday, August 22, 2018

What the #@!% Am I Going to Feed My Kids That Is Safe?! What to Avoid and 'Cleaner' Snack Ideas for Your Family

After the latest studies showing the very popular and probably carcinogenic pesticide, glyphosate, in organic and non organic oat products and, days after, another study which found lead in organic and non organic baby foods, parents everywhere are left looking around their kitchens thinking “ What the #@!% am I going to feed my kids that is safe?!”

I get it.   For a moment I thought the same thing (btw if you are feeling angry and frustrated channel these feelings into taking action- when its time to vote, signing petitions, etc Angry moms get things changed and we certainly need change in our country when it comes to chemical reform); I personally eat rice crackers and my kids had recently started eating Cheerios.
But, being overwhelmed and stressed out helps no one - especially a mother who needs to pack a lunch or snack for her little ones every day.  With this in mind, and after a follower requested a list of 'safer foods',  I decided to try to make a list of “safe”  snack foods for kids:  your kids and mine.   

Monday, August 20, 2018

What To Do When Baby Food Is Found To Contain "Worrisome Levels" of Harmful Heavy Metals

This has been a rough week for parents trying to reduce their family's chemical exposure.  First,  I posted how Monsanto, the company that makes the popular weed killer Roundup, has been ordered to pay $289 million USD to a terminally ill school groundsman who used Roundup weedkiller and claims the pesticide contributed to his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (read the full article here

Then, the Environmental Working Group published a report where they found glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, in the majority of samples of common breakfast products made with conventionally and organically grown oats.   This included popular oatmeal, granola and granola bars and childhood favorite cereals like Lucky Charms and Cheerios.

Now, Consumer Reports published a study that found many types of food commonly eaten by babies and toddlers - such as packaged entrees, fruits and vegetables -- contained “measurable levels” of certain heavy metals.  Let's take a look at their findings, what it means for your family and- very importantly - what you can do at home to keep your kids safe.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Is There A Cancer Causing Pesticide in My Kids Favorite Breakfast Foods?!

Earlier this week I posted about how Monsanto, the company that makes the popular weed killer Roundup, has been ordered to pay $289 million USD to a terminally ill school groundsman who used Roundup weedkiller and claims the pesticide contributed to his non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (read the full article here

Now, glyphosate, the main ingredient in Roundup, is again in the news.   The Environmental Working Group just published a report whre they found glyphosate in the majority of samples of common breakfast products made with conventionally and organically grown oats. 

The organization tested 45 products and found that 43 tested positive for the chemical; 31 contained  levels above what EWG scientists have determined is safe for children’s health (they all tested well below what the EPA has determined safe for kids.  EWG's safety level is about 100 times lower than what EPA says is safe). 

They tested both non-organic and organic oats.  ORganic items showed much lower levels of the pesticide, however  5 of the 16 organic samples still tested positive for containing glyphosate ( all were deemed safely under the EWG  level of danger for children).

The Results: 
Tested positive for potentially dangerous levels of glyphosate: 

Quaker Oats products:
  • Old Fashioned Rolled Oats *
  • Steel Cut Oats *
  • Simply Granola Oats Honey
  • Raisin and Almonds
  • Dinosaur Eggs Instant Oatmeal * 
  • Umpqua Oats, Maple Pecan

  • Lucky Charms
  • Cheerios *
  • Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls
  • Barbara's Multigrain Spoonfuls, Original, Cereal
  • Kellogg’s Cracklin’ Oat Bran oat cereal

  • Back to Nature Classic Granola
  • Nature Valley Granola Protein Oats 'n Honey
Granola Bars
  • Nature Valley Crunchy Granola Bars, Oats 'n Honey
  • Quaker Chewy Chocolate Chip granola bar

  • Bob’s Red Mill oats steel cut oats 
  • Great Value Original Instant Oatmeal
  • Market Pantry Instant Oatmeal, Strawberries & Cream
  • Nature's Path Organic Old Fashioned Organic Oats
  • Giant Instant Oatmeal *
* had the highest levels 

Items that tested positive for low/“safe” levels of the weed-killer,


  • Back to Nature Banana Walnut Granola Clusters
  • KIND Vanilla, Blueberry Clusters with Flax Seeds
Granola Bars
  • Kellogg’s Nutrigrain Soft Baked Breakfast Bars, Strawberry
  • Whole Foods Bulk Bin conventional rolled oats
  • Bob's Red Mill Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats (4 samples tested)

Items Tested with undetectable levels of weed killer

Granola/ Granola Bars
  • Nature's Path Organic Honey Almond granola
  • Cascadian Farm Organic Harvest Berry, granola bar
  • 365 Organic Old-Fashioned Rolled Oats
  • Simple Truth Organic Instant Oatmeal, Original
  • Kashi Heart to Heart Organic Honey Toasted cereal

Glyphosate has been classified by the World Health Organization as "probably carcinogenic to humans"  and was added to California's Prop 65 List of Chemicals Known to Cause Cancer.  Read more here