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Sweet Apple Smoothie for digestive health maintenance…

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The last smoothie I made (using greens) didn’t go well, but this one tastes great! For anyone looking to add more probioitics into their diet, natural yogurt can be helpful. The yogurt that most people buy from a grocery store is full of harmful ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, artificial dyes and flavoring, etc. Kellogg’s yogurt contains BHT & High Fructose Corn Syrup, Chobani contains added flavors and concentrates, many of Dannon’s yogurts contain artificial flavors, potassium sorbate, & other harmful additives.

I personally cannot stand the flavor of natural yogurt – it’s too sour/bitter/blah for me…so I prefer to mix it in with other foods like a meat dish, or in this case – a smoothie. Do NOT cook the yogurt – it will kill the good probiotics – add it in afterward. The ingredients I used:

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  1. 1/2 cup prune juice (just natural pune juice, no concentrate, no added sugar, etc)
  2. 1 banana
  3. 1 medium apple
  4. 1/4 cup yogurt (use the most natural/organic yogurt you can get)
  5. 1 serving cup of natural, unsweetened/unflavored applesauce
  6. 1/4 cup of coconut water
  7. 3-5 ice cubes

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth. This recipe almost filled 2 red solo cups – makes plenty for you to have one now and put the other one in the fridge for later or share with a friend. You could easily add other ingredients such as ginger, coconut, parsley, cinnamon, etc.

Specific brands I used:

Yogurt: White Mountain Bulgarian Yogurt (I think it’s made in Austin, I bought it at HEB – it’s the best I can find near me)

Coconut juice: VitaCoco 100% Pure Coconut Water

Unsweetened applesauce: HEB Unsweetened Applesauce 6pk

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15 Food ingredients still allowed in the U.S. that have been banned in other countries

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1. BHA (Butylated Hydroxyanisole) and BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
Many chips, sausages and cereals contain butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene. It acts as preservatives, keeping foods from becoming rancid. While BHA and BHT have been “generally recognized as safe” by the U.S. FDA, they remain controversial. They’ve been shown to raise cancer risks in animal tests, according to the U.S. National Toxicology Program. Both BHA and BHT are banned from foods in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and throughout Europe.
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2. Azodicarbonamide
It’s used to enhance texture of soft white breads, including hamburger buns at McDonald’s and Burger King. Azodicarbonamide is banned in Australia, the U.K. and European countries. It can interfere with respiratory health, causing allergic reactions and asthma in some people. Be sure to choose baked goods that do not list azodicarbonamide as an ingredient.

 

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3. Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone and Recombinant Bovine Somatropin
To increase milk production in cows, many U.S. dairy farmers have turned to recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH) and recombinant bovine somatropin (rBST). The use of these synthetic hormones is not permitted in the European Union, Canada, and some other countries, due to human and animal health risks. According to the American Cancer Society, cows treated with rBGH tend to develop more udder infections (mastitis). These cows are given more antibiotics than cows not given rBGH, and this increased use of antibiotics might lead to more antibiotic-resistant bacteria which could pose a health concern for people. To avoid these chemicals try buying milk labeled rBGH/rBST-free or organic milk.

4. Potassium Bromate
This bread additive strengthens dough, reducing its baking time and saving manufacturers money by lowering production costs. Also called bromated flour, it is believed to disappear from foods during baking and therefore trace amounts are considered safe in U.S. foods. Potassium bromate has been banned in the EU, Canada, Peru, Nigeria, Brazil, South Korea and China. Researchers in Japan published a study showing that potassium bromate causes cancer in the thyroids, kidneys and other body parts of rats and mice. The U.S. FDA hasn’t banned potassium bromate, but it does advise moderate use only and proper labeling. Many small and large bakeries in the U.S. voluntarily avoid using potassium bromate, however, it’s still found in many fast food buns and other products.

5. Olestra
Used in some fat-free foods, including chips, crackers and fries. It was found to cause side effects, namely gas, cramps and anal leakage—another term for uncontrollable diarrhea and Olestra was also found to reduce the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients. Illegal in Canada and the United Kingdom, the faux-fat remains legal in the U.S.

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6. Genetically Modified (GM) Canola Oil
In Europe, farmers cannot legally grow genetically modified canola crops. According to NPR, as of 2010, roughly 90% of canola plants in the U.S. are genetically modified varieties (GMO) that can resist two types of herbicides, glufosinate and glyphosate. This means canola oil producers use a lot of pesticides on their crops. Residues find their way into the finished product. You should choose organic or non-GMO, expeller-pressed brands of canola oil. The lower-cost products sold in supermarkets have often been extracted with chemical solvents or high-speed presses that generate heat. Both methods alter the oil’s fatty acid chemistry in undesirable ways.

 

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7. Genetically Modified (GM) Corn
Ninety percent of the corn grown in the U.S. is genetically modified (GM). Countries including France, Greece and Algeria don’t allow genetically modified corn to be sold. “The tricky part about avoiding GMOs is that, even though the vast majority of Americans are in favor of labeling GMOs, manufacturers are currently not required to do so,” said Jon McGoran, magazine editor and urban agriculture advocate in Pennsylvania. A June 2013 study published in the Organic Systems Journal found that pigs fed a combination of GM soy and corn suffer more frequent severe stomach inflammation and enlargement of the uterus than those who eat a non-GM diet. To avoid these risks, try purchasing corn from your local farmers’ market, and when buying processed foods opt for certified organic.

8. Genetically Modified (GM) Soybeans
While genetically modified soybeans are banned in Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria, and Luxembourg, more than 90% of soybeans grown in the U.S. are genetically modified. Even if you never eat edamame or tofu, soybeans and soy derivatives are found in countless common (and surprising) foods, including energy bars, butter substitutes, breads, crackers, deli meats, meat substitutes, vegetable oils and salad dressings. Dr. Joseph Mercola writes, “Animal studies have shown devastating effects from genetically engineered soy including allergies, sterility, birth defects…” To avoid genetically modified soy, choose organic edamame and avoid all non-organic foods that list soy, and soy flour as ingredients.

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9. Blue Dye No. 1
Though it’s been banned in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland, this food colorant is often found in U.S. ice cream, cereals, canned processed peas, packet soups, bottled food colorings, icings, and in the liquor blue curacao. Research has connected Blue No. 1, which is also called Brilliant Blue with allergies, hyperactivity, learning problems, aggressiveness and irritability in children. To ban it from your kitchen, keep an eye on ingredient lists. If you see Blue No. 1, move on.

10. Yellow Dye No. 5 (also known as tartrazine)
Yellow Dye No. 5 is a food colorant that is banned in Finland and Norway and available widely in the U.S.. “Six of the 11 studies on Yellow Number 5 showed that it caused genotoxicity, a deterioration of the cell’s genetic material with the potential to mutate healthy DNA,” say Jayson and Mira Calton. These effects can have serious complications, such as causing growth abnormalities. In research published in Food and Chemical Toxicology in 2010, tartrazine was administered to organ tissue in male rats. The researchers found that the artificial dye negatively affects markers of disease in vital organs, such as kidneys and livers — at low and high doses. Common sources include cheese-flavored crackers and chips, colorful cereals, butterscotch pudding, yellow sports drinks macaroni and cheese mixes.

11. Yellow No. 6 (also known as sunset yellow)
Yellow No. 6 is the third most widely used food coloring in the U.S. found in Fruity Cheerios, Trix, some Eggo waffle products, and some Kraft macaroni and cheese dinners. While it enhances the color of many American cheeses, cheese-flavored pasta mixes, candy, cereals and carbonated drinks, it may also contribute to some serious health problems. Finland and Norway banned Yellow No. 6 after lab studies showed a link between the additive and tumors in the adrenal glands and kidneys of animals. To avoid these risks, look for foods free of artificial additives. Foods and drinks colored with tumeric, a natural spice with anti-inflammatory properties, are a safer bet.

12. Blue Dye No. 2

Blue Dye No.2 is a petroleum product, with the chemical formula C16H10N2O2. It is used in baked goods, cereals, ice cream, snacks, candies and cherries. It is also called indigo blue or indigotine. Tests have shown that this dye is linked to brain cancer, hyperactivity, and other cancers.

13. Red Dye No. 40

It is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use in candy, cereal, baked goods, gelatin powder, drugs and cosmetics. Synthetically derived from petroleum, the additive is also known as FD&C Red No. 40, Allura Red and Red 40. Red 40 has potential for serious side effects, states the CSPI. Red 40 may cause symptoms of hypersensitivity in some people, including swelling around the mouth, and it may also cause hives. The colorant might contain contaminants that may contribute to cancer in humans and could trigger hyperactivity in children. In a handful of studies, Red 40 damaged the DNA of mice, according to the CSPI.

14. Brominated Vegetable Oil   (BVO)

Health concerns about BVO stem from the fact that it contains bromine, the element found in brominated flame retardants. Studies show that bromine builds up in the body. It has caused memory loss, skin and nerve problems in some people. This additive is banned in the Europe and Japan.

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15. Arsenic

It is found in some chicken, rice, and water. It can cause: abdominal pains, destruction of red blood cells (hemolysis ), shock, death, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, dark urine (termed black water urine), dehydration, cardiac problems, hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells), vertigo, delirium, skin changes (darkening or discoloration, redness, swelling and hyperkeratosis), whitish lines (Mees’ lines) may appear in the fingernails, both sensory and motor nerve defects can develop. Additionally, liver and kidney function may be affected. Arsenic exposure over the long-term has  been associated with the development of certain cancers(bladder, kidney, lung, & skin). Arsenic has been classified as a carcinogen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 


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Do you live in a toxic Superfund area?

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Superfund areas have contaminated water, air, soil, and/or living organisms. Some areas are being monitored, some have been cleaned up to the best of our abilities, some have no intervention due to lack of funds/etc. Some of these areas aren’t well contained and still leach into surrounding air/soil/water for miles.

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/

http://www.epa.gov/superfund/sites/query/queryhtm/nplfin.htm (entire list)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superfund

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Superfund_sites_in_the_United_States

Alabama: 14 sites — Highest score area: 61.42 Triana/Tennessee River. An estimated 475 tons of DDT residues accumulated in sediment. Fish tested, exceeded the FDA guidelines for DDT ppm.

Alaska: 6 sites

Arizona: 9 sites

Arkansas: 9 sites — Highest score area: 65.46 92 acres in Jacksonville, belonging to Vertac. Soil, surface water, and ground water have been contaminated by insecticides, herbicides, chlorinated phenols, and dioxin.

California: 98 sites  — Highest score area: 74.86 in Stockton. MCCORMICK & BAXTER CREOSOTING CO. Soils throughout the site were contaminated with arsenic, chromium, copper, PCP, and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). Soil contamination extends to depths of 40 feet below ground surface (bgs) in some areas. The aquifer beneath the site is contaminated with many of the same substances to a depth of 175 feet bgs. The aquifer is interconnected with a deep aquifer. The deep aquifer within 4 miles of the site provides drinking water to approximately 97,000 people.

Colorado: 18 sites   — Highest score area: 64.32 Rocky Flats Plant (USDOE). Releases of solvents, pesticides, plutonium, and tritium have contaminated soils, surface water sediments, and ground water at various locations on the facility. Plutonium contamination of soils and sediments has also been documented beyond the boundaries of the Federally owned land. Additionally, three evaporation ponds have contributed to nitrate contamination of ground water.  A USDOE report identified Hillside 881 as the most significant potential risk to populations. Hillside 881 is near the Woman Creek drainage, which eventually discharges into Standly Lake, a major drinking water supply reservoir for several Denver suburbs. 

Connecticut: 14 sites    — Highest score area: 69.92  New Castle County. The Army Creek Landfill. Contaminants include lead, chromium, arsenic, and a variety of organic compounds, that migrate to an aquifer that supplies water to over 100,000 people. The site holds 1.9 million cubic yards of trash. 

Delaware: 13 sites — Highest score area: 69.92 New Castle County, Delaware

District of Columbia: 1 site (Washington Navy Yard listed 1998)

Florida: 55 sites    — Highest score area: 70.71 Old Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp in Jacksonville.  Contaminants: volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, pesticides, polychlorinated biphenyls, and metals at concentrations exceeding EPA cleanup target levels in the soils, ground water, and sediments. Offsite migration of contaminants has adversely impacted St. Johns River water quality.

Georgia: 16 sites

Guam: 2 sites

Hawaii: 3 sites   — Highest score area: 70.82 6,300 acres in Pearl Harbor on the Island of Oahu, Honolulu County at the Pearl Harbor Naval Complex.  Contaminant sources include landfills, pesticide disposal pits, chromic acid disposal areas, PCB disposal areas, mercury-contaminated harbor sediments, leaking underground solvent tanks, waste oil facilities, and numerous other types of sources resulting from industrial activities at the complex.  Hazardous substances found include mercury, chromium, PCBs, pesticides, trichloroethene, trans-1,2-dichloroethene, and other volatile organic compounds.

Idaho: 6 sites 

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Illinois: 44 sites   — Highest score area: 70.71 DePue/New Jersey Zinc/Mobil Chemical Corp.  in the Village of DePue, Bureau County, Illinois.  Contaminant souces include  a residue pile, a waste pile, lithopone waste material ridges, a cinder fill area, contaminated soils, lagoons/cooling ponds, and gypsum stack ponds. All of the sources were found to contain elevated levels of metals, including zinc, lead, arsenic, cadmium, chromium, and copper. Elevated levels of cadmium were found in residential soil samples. In addition, contamination of a fishery, state wildlife refuge, and wetlands have been documented in Lake DePue.

Indiana: 34 sites

Iowa: 11 sites

Kansas: 12 sites

Kentucky: 14 sites

Louisiana:  9 sites

Maine: 13 sites   — Highest score area: 70.71 EASTLAND WOOLEN MILL Corinna, Maine area and area/wells to over 1,900 feet down stream contaminated with chlorobenzene.

Maryland: 20 sites

Massachusetts: 32 sites   — Highest score area: 72.42 250 acres in North Woburn, Massachusetts has over 170 years’ accumulation of industrial by-products and wastes. Many of the pits, piles, and lagoons are continuously leaching toxic metals into the environment.

Michigan: 65 sites

Minnesota: 25 sites

Mississippi: 8 sites

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Missouri: 33 sites   — Highest score area: 84.91 BIG RIVER MINE TAILINGS/ST. JOE MINERALS CORP. Desloge, Missouri approx 110 square miles. St. Joe Minerals Corp. who operated at the site, disposed of lead, cadmium, and zinc-rich mine tailings over approximately 600 acres in a rural area bordered on three sides by Big River. The air, water, soil, and living organisms have been contaminated. Missouri has numerous sites that score 70 or higher. They appear to be along an area called the “lead belt” which produced over 80% of all lead for the US. The EPA provides bottled water to many residences in this area. Sampling data has indicated elevated levels of lead, cadmium, barium, and arsenic in soil, surface water, and ground water. Hundreds of wells are contaminated.

Montana: 16 sites

toxic-lake07 toxic-lake04 toxic-lake02  (images of the toxic Berkeley Pit “Lake” in Butte, Montana)

Nebraska: 13 sites

Nevada: 1 site

New Hampshire: 20 sites   — Highest score area:70.71  An inactive waste oil recycling and virgin fuel oil storage and distribution facility located on Kelley Road in Plaistow, Rockingham County, New Hampshire. Chlorinated VOCs, PCBs, copper, and zinc have been detected in Kelley Brook and associated wetlands. Ground water is contaminated with chlorinated VOCs and metals, and concentrations of vinyl chloride and arsenic in a nearby drinking water well exceed maximum contaminant levels

New Jersey: 113 sites — Highest score area:  75.60 LIPARI LANDFILL Pitman, New Jersey. Domestic and industrial wastes, including various toxic organic compounds and heavy metals, were dumped at the site. They percolated into the ground water under the landfill and leached into Chestnut Branch, Rabbit Run, and Alcyon Lake.

New Mexico: 14 sites

New York: 87 sites

North Carolina: 37 sites   — Highest score area: 70.71 The Barber Orchard located along U.S. Highway 74 in Waynesville, Haywood County, North Carolina. Various pesticide mixtures containing DDT, hexachlorocyclohexane (BHC), endrin, and/or dieldrin, as well as arsenic, lead, and other hazardous substances, were applied to the orchard to control insects and rodents. Pesticides and related metals from spills, leaks, and improper disposal of pesticide-contaminated containers, as well as from product application, have been detected in soils and ground water throughout the site. The site is being proposed to the NPL because pesticide-related contamination is present in residential soils and in private drinking water wells. NC has a few sites that score over 70.

Ohio: 37 sites

Oklahoma: 8 sites

Oregon: 14 sites   — Highest score area: 71.78 TAYLOR LUMBER AND TREATING Sheridan, Oregon.  Contamination sources include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), SVOCs, pentachlorophenol (PCP), metals, and dibenzo-p-dioxins/dibenzofuans (dioxins/furans). Further, many of these hazardous substances were documented to have migrated to surface water, soil, and air targets. Air contamination is documented up to 1 mile from the site. Actual contamination has also been documented in residential surface soils for up to a 1/2 mile of the site. Contaminants include barium, lead, mercury, zinc, cadmium, pyrene, bis(2-ethylexyl)phthalate, and several dioxins.

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Pennsylvania: 96 sites — Highest score area: 70.71 Safety Light Corporation (SLC)  located in South Centre Township near Bloomsburg, Pennsylvania, in Columbia County. SLC activities have resulted in contamination of surface and subsurface soil, surface water (lagoons and the Susquehanna River), sediment, and ground water. Waste generated at SLC includes solid and liquid wastestreams contaminated with radioactive materials, including radium, strontium, cesium, and tritium. Ground water contamination as a result of activities at SLC have impacted drinking water wells located within 4 miles of the facility, including private drinking water wells .

Puerto Rico: 16 sites

Rhode Island: 12 sites 

South Carolina: 16 sites

South Dakota: 2 sites 

Tennessee: 16 sites

Texas: 50 sites

Utah: 16 sites

Vermont: 11 sites 

Virgin Island: 1 site

Virginia: 31 sites

Washington: 49 sites

West Virginia: 9 sites

Wisconsin: 38 sites

Wyoming: 2 sites