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Conscious Consumer

Pillars of Salt

As consumers, we have two distinct choices when we purchase salt. Unrefined and refined. Both are sea salt. Unrefined salt is 85% sodium chloride and 15% other essential minerals. Refined salt is 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemical additives.

Only 7% of refined salt goes for food; the other 93% goes to industry. Industry requires chemically pure sodium chloride for manufacturing explosives, chlorine gas, soda, fertilizers and plastics. In essence, you can consider the refined table salt you are ingesting as a production overrun.

Good Food -- Getting Started

Who should you trust? Yourself. Where to start? Buying local is important. This is probably one of the most difficult steps, but by giving up your dependence on conventional supermarkets your options open up considerably. Limiting yourself to the organic section or natural foods section of your grocer is a great way to pay too much for your more wholesome food selections.

Do some research. These days there are tons of places to buy organic or natural foods. Besides the supermarkets, you can find them in health food stores, specialty stores, co-ops, gourmet delis, farmers' markets, community-supported agriculture programs, convenience stores and even vending machines. Have some fun exploring your community and beyond.

Profiting from Water

There are many factors to consider when purchasing that seemingly innocuous water packaged in plastic - not the least of which is how we, as consumers, are being manipulated by big business - yet again. As consumers increasingly swear off the calories in sugary drinks, the bottled water industry, dominated by four large multinational corporations: Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, Nestlé and Danone, are offsetting the loss in sales of calorie loaded soft drinks and replacing it with a new and very profitable revenue stream - bottled water. According to the World Wildlife Fund, the sale of bottled water is the fastest-growing beverage sector in the world. Globally, an estimated $100 billion US are spent every year on bottled water.

Natural Air Filters

Whether you offer them a sumptuous Victorian conservatory or a narrow window-ledge, houseplants can help you breath easier. Indoor air is polluted from the various fibers present in most consumer and commercial grade carpet, clothing and decorative fabrics and wall coverings, solvents, paints, varnishes and furniture whether at home or at work. People who suffer from "sick building syndrome" often find some relief when plants are present. But remember location is everything.

Instead of Teflon

The chemicals used to make Teflon coated pots and pans as well as other related products take an enormous toll on our individual and planetary health. At issue is the large chemical family of Perfluorochemicals (PFCs).

Most evidence points to the emissions of PFCs during manufacturing and their release from food packaging, fabric treatment, and other products are important sources of local and global contamination. Scientists found compounds generated from parent PFCs persist in the environment, contaminate the blood of human and wildlife, change body chemistry and cause health problems, including cancer.

Cosmetic Toxins

The human skin wraps and protects our bodies. It constitutes a living, dynamic tissue system. It also has the remarkable ability to absorb applied products, partially or completely, into the bloodstream. Up to 60% of the products we use on our skin are absorbed and deposited into our circulatory system and it adds up. The average woman's body absorbs 30 pounds of the ingredients contained in moisturizers over sixty years.

Organic Beer

The earliest brew reference was a painted clay vessel dating from the fourth millennium BC. Interestingly enough, it shows two women drinking beer and you can bet your bottom buck it was organic. Today, as you eat your grass fed, locally-raised beef burger, or down a fabulous veggie burger with parsnip fries we can once again enjoy the experience by downing a local organic ale.

Why Organic or Natural Beer?

Health Issues

Antibiotic Soaps

Despite a Food and Drug Administration panel finding products with antibacterial agents are no better than regular soap and water, consumers still spend more than $5.5 million annually on antibacterial soaps, hand cleaners and detergents. So why are we buying them? The confusion around antibacterial and antibiotic.

Fighting Colds Naturally

Let's first determine if you have the cold or flu. The flu strikes suddenly and affects the whole body. One minute you're happy at work, the next you're too sick to do anything. Flu can last for up to seven days and generally leaves you feeling exhausted for weeks afterwards.

What's In the Tube?

Basic Toothpaste Ingredients

Fluoride: The claim is that fluoride incorporates itself into tooth enamel making teeth more resistant to acids produced by plaque bacteria, as well as acids found in fruit juices, soda (both regular and diet) and certain foods. In toothpaste, fluoride is found in the form of sodium monofluorophosphate, stannous fluoride, or sodium fluoride. Prescription toothpastes (for people with dry mouth, Sjogren's syndrome, cancer, etc.) contain a much higher percentage of sodium fluoride than over the counter toothpastes.

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