Monday, November 22, 2010

Tell chemical industry their profits can’t trump kids’ health

The American Chemistry Council should be ashamed of itself.

Last week, the heavyweight industry group killed a common sense, bi-partisan effort to ban the controversial chemical bisphenol-A (BPA) from baby bottles and children's drinking cups. This, despite strong science linking kids’ exposure to the chemical with a range of health effects later in life, from breast cancer to infertility and diabetes.

I just told the chemical industry they should be ashamed of themselves. Last week they blocked a common-sense, bi-partisan effort to take the dangerous chemical BPA out of kids’ sippy cups and baby bottles.

Join me and Pesticide Action Network in letting them know we’re fed up with them putting chemical industry profits over kids’ health. Click here to send a letter to the American Chemistry Council:

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Parents Should be Warned: Fluoridated Water is Not Recommended for Infants

Paul Connett, Director of FAN, at
Stuart Cooper, FAN's Campaign Director at

A new study confirms infants fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water are at greater risk of developing discolored teeth (dental fluorosis). (1) The American Dental Association (ADA) warned dentists about this in 2006 but has done little or nothing to inform the nearly 200 million Americans who live in communities with fluoridated drinking water.

The study by Levy et al., a Journal of the American Dental Association cover story (October 2010), confirms Levy's earlier studies, which show "[F]luoride intakes during each of the first 4 years were individually significantly related to fluorosis on maxillary central incisors, with the first year most important," and that "[I]nfant formulas reconstituted with higher fluoride water can provide 100 to 200 times more fluoride than breastmilk, or cow's milk." (2, 3)

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 32% of American children have dental fluorosis, an increase of 23% from the 1980s. (4) Black and Hispanic populations have even higher rates. Dental fluorosis is a visible sign that a child was overexposed to fluoride. Pictures of fluorosis:

"The message from Dr. Levy's work is loud and clear: Don't give babies fluoridated water," says Paul Connett, PhD, Executive Director, Fluoride Action Network (FAN). "Unfortunately the ADA has known about these risks for more than four years. Researchers are telling dentists; but dentists are not telling parents."

This and other little-known adverse fluoride health effects led Connett to co-author, "The Case Against Fluoride: How Hazardous Waste Ended Up in Our Drinking Water and the Bad Science and Powerful Politics that Keep it There," with James Beck, MD, PhD, professor emeritus of medical physics, University of Alberta and Spedding Micklem, DPhil, professor emeritus at Edinburgh University.

A recent review in The Lancet (5) describes fluoride as "an emerging neurotoxic substance" that may damage the developing brain. The National Research Council (NRC) has identified fluoride as an "endocrine disrupter" that may impair thyroid function. A recent Harvard University study links fluoride to bone cancer (6).

"Approximately half of the newborns and infants I see in practice are fed formula reconstituted with fluoridated water, which I find alarming since the blood-brain barrier is not even developed until 6 months of age, placing these young infants at risk for neurotoxic effects that can be severe and permanent," says Dr. Yolanda Whyte, a pediatrician in Georgia. "Parents should be warned not to give fluoridated water to babies and children, and they should know that fluoride is also present in juice and other water-reconstituted beverages. I diagnose dental fluorosis on average 5 times daily, but fluoride doesn't only affect teeth, it can potentially affect the brain and nervous system, kidneys, bones, and other tissues in young children during their critical stages of organ development. A public awareness campaign is urgently needed."

FAN will launch a campaign in November to urge water companies and public-health officials to inform parents that fluoridated water should not be mixed into infant formula. "If the ADA and CDC won't educate parents, then FAN will," said Connett.

FAN is the leading science and advocacy group focused on health issues surrounding fluoride in water, food, air, pesticides, and industrial exposures. Dr. Connett was an invited presenter at the initial meeting of the NRC panel and FAN researchers submitted extensive scientific information throughout the panel's proceedings. Visit:


(1) Levy SM, et al. 2010.
Associations between fluorosis of permanent incisors and fluoride intake from infant formula, other dietary sources and dentifrice during early childhood. Journal of the American Dental Association 141(10):1190-1201.

(2) Hong L, Levy SM, et al. 2006. Timing of fluoride intake in relation to development of fluorosis on maxillary central incisors. Community Dentistry and Oral Epidemiology 34(4):299-309.

(3) Levy SM and Guha-Chowdhury N. 1999. Total fluoride intake and implications for dietary fluoride supplementation.
Journal of Public Health Dentistry

CDC. Table 23 from Beltrán-Aguilar et al. 2005. Surveillance for Dental Caries, Dental Sealants, Tooth Retention, Edentulism, and Enamel Fluorosis --- United States, 1988--1994 and 1999-2002. MMWR Surveillance Summaries. 54(03);1-44.
Table 23 at
Full article at

Grandjean P and Landrigan P. 2006. Developmental neurotoxicity of industrial chemicals. The Lancet 368(9553):2167-78. December 6.

(6) Bassin EB, Wypij D, Davis RB, Mittleman MA. 2006. Age-specific fluoride exposure in drinking water and
osteosarcoma (United States). Cancer Causes and Control 17(4):421-8. May.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

American Drug Addiction

Does this sound extreme? It's actually more typical than you might imagine. It has been noted that 50% of Americans are taking some type of Pharmaceutical. The problem is not that every drug is bad-the problem is that these drugs are being created so fast that there is not enough research done to know what the long-term affects are. You may notice that right after the long, artsy pharmaceutical drug commercial, you see an advertisement by a law firm asking if you had taken the last "pop" pill and have "cancer, cerebral palsey, brain damage, stroke, death, or any other adverse reaction imaginable.
These drugs are widely advertised and promoted (why would anyone advertise medication?), given in doctors offices like candy (even free-in the form of samples), and everyone is profiting. Everyone except for the victims whose health issues show up months or even years later.
I think the only safe answer is just that-play it safe: Just say NO to drugs!

There are certainly times when taking medication is beneficial, but those times (in my opinion) do not apply to colds, flus, heart burn, weight gain, mild allergies and so many other symptoms that are your body's natural way of crying out and telling you that there is a bigger issue at hand. We are a culture of "no pain is acceptable" and we want to kill the symptom instead of finding out the source and looking for a cure. It is like "putting a band-aid on cancer", and the band-aid is a toxic chemical.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Got Bedbugs?

I keep hearing about bedbugs lately. On the news, twitter, blogs; it seems that bedbugs are arriving in massive numbers-planning some giant bug party that none of us have been warned about!

None of the solutions to bed bugs are pleasant. Throwing away furniture, paying professionals to search your bed & furniture crevices, spraying toxic chemicals all over your home, not to mention the sleepless nights and/or bug-bitten skin!

Ok, so it all sounds horribly expensive and time consuming. But I am here to solve your problems :) I will say something that sounds quite different from what people have been saying... "BED BUGS ARE NOT HARD TO GET RID OF!"

The reason I can say that is because we had them. We lived in an apartment building with 1100 units, so about 2000 or more people lived there. They had the exterminators search the apartments for bed bugs but they never found any in our place so they didn't treat for them. This was lucky for us in fact because we had a cat, dog & baby in the belly, so we didn't need to deal with having chemicals that kill sprayed all over our stuff.

When we bought our house & moved we noticed that we were getting bitten at night, so I looked up bed bugs to learn about searching for them. I inspected our mattress and found nothing, but when I took our bedframe apart, I found the buggers in the particle board in our bed frame. I threw out our mattress, bed frame, and upon inspecting our side table lamps and side tables, I had to throw those out too :(

Ok, so this is sounding macabre, I know. Loss of furniture is always a bummer. I steam cleaned our rugs and vacuumed daily hoping that I had gotten rid of them for good. I was not sure but I didn't want to hire an exterminator (lots of money & very dangerous chemicals, no thanks).

Then I found a cure! Cedar oil is the tried and true natural essential oil that has been used to combat bugs bugs forever. I read lots of articles about it and bought a bottle (expensive for oil, cheap compared to the alternatives). I mixed a spray bottle of oil with a little bit of water and sprayed daily.
I was still so nervous about another outbreak that my research continued. Then, I stumbled upon an amazing product that we immediately ordered and used. A company called Cedarcide created this great potion which uses mostly cedar oil as a base and it is totally non-toxic to animals and humans. They sell a fogger machine that you can fill with the solution and fog your home.
We bought it, fogged our house, and have never seen a bed bug since. That was about a year ago!

Here is the info, I highly recommend it:

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Exciting weekend Plans

Come and visit us & check out our growing line of great products. We will be at the Petowrth Market again this friday from 3-7. On Saturday, you can visit us at the Fenton Street Market in Downtown Silver Spring, Md. from 9am-4pm. Sunday we will be at the Eastern Market on Capitol Hill. Hope to see you there!

Here are links to the markets:

Monday, July 12, 2010

New Venue: Petworth Farmers Market

Come & see us this & every friday (3pm-7pm) at the new Petworth (Farmers) Market!
Check out our line of great products in person!
The market is located on 9th St, NW (between Taylor and Upshur).

Here is our website where you can see our growing line of products:

And here is a blog where you can learn more about the market:

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Want to stay healthy? Take fewer antibiotics...

"...Twenty-five years ago, Norwegians were also losing their lives to this bacteria. But Norway’s public health system fought back with an aggressive program that made it the most infection-free country in the world. A key part of that program was cutting back severely on the use of antibiotics."

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Dangers of Carpeting

Wall to wall carpeting has an allure particularly for a family home-it is cozy, insulates, is soft and nice to lay on, offers noise reduction and serves as the perfect play yard for little ones. Unfortunately, there are major draw-backs, particularly when you are concerned with environmental friendliness, and even more urgently with the immediate health of your children and family. As with many lovely things found on the market today, most manufacturers are more concerned with finding the cheapest alternatives than making a safe, healthy & "Green" product.

What is so bad about "regular" carpeting? 'Second to paint, carpeting is the leading cause of indoor air pollution' (sited: Organic Baby: Simple Steps for Healthy Living).

They are dangerous from top to bottom:

• The Carpet fibers are made with synthetic petrochemicals & covered with VOC's (volatile organic compounds)

• The backing material are made of reactive compounds and release toxins in the home

• Carpets are colored with chemical dyes

• Adhesives are toxic chemicals

• Pads are made from prime urethane and hydrocarbons

• Layers are treated with flame retardants (including Boric Acid and boric anhydride). Fire retardants often contain PBDEs which are known to cause damage to thyroid, immune system and brain development functions in humans.

• Stain guards (includes chemicals proven to cause miscarriages, neurological damage & other ailments)

• Include PVC ( Poisonous plastic PVC ) , vinyl & latex materials

Contain toluene, benzene, formaldehyde, ethyl benzene, styrene, acetone and a host of other chemicals that are known carcinogens and produce fetal abnormalities in test animals. These chemicals also cause hallucinations, nerve damage and respiratory illness in humans.

• That 'new carpet smell' comes from 4-PC, associated with eye, nose and upper respiratory problems. 4-PC is used in the latex backing of 95% of US carpets.

• Mothproofing chemicals contain naphthalene, which is known to produce toxic reactions, especially in newborns.

One should also be aware that if you move into a house with existing carpets, you are taking on all the aforementioned toxins, but you will also be exposed to their dust mites, pesticides, toxins brought in on shoes, pets and more. Carpets can hold eight times their weight in toxin-filled trapped dirt that is well hidden in the fibers and underneath the carpet. The EPA has stated that 80% of human exposure to pesticides occurs indoors. If the house has ever been sprayed for bugs, the chemicals settle in your carpet and remain there for years. If you paint your room or put in new wood or laminating flooring in any part of your house, the carpet is very efficient at holding those toxins for you to inhale long after the work has been completed.

So what are the alternatives?
The good new is, you can get safe wall to wall carpeting.

• Choose 100% untreated (pesticide free) wool or hemp (most are chemically treated, so you will have to ask). Wool is a great choice as it's biodegradable, naturally fire-resistant, hypoallergenic, soft, resists dust mites better than nylon carpets, and purifies the air (even absorbs airborne contaminants like formaldehyde). Hemp is durable and great for high traffic areas. It is also resistant to mold and mildew. Hemp is great in areas where there may be moisture, where wool is not as it takes a long time to dry.

• Make sure that the carpet is installed using nails or staples-no glue.

• Look for the Green Label Plus Certification (In 2004, the Carpet and Rug Institute started the Green Label Plus Certification, which certifies that carpets are free from 13 toxic chemicals.)

• Make sure to remove your shoes and have guests do the same to keep outdoor and other contaminants from getting into your carpet.

If you can not remove the carpet due to time &/or money limitations, you can do the following:
• Steam clean the carpets to kill dust mites and bacteria
• Leave windows open as often as possible.
• Use a HEPA Vacuum cleaner
• Get a great air purifier that removes VOC's (
• Have lots of great plants-many can actually reduce pollutants (Read a list here:

Where to buy safe carpeting? Here are some local (D.C area) places to get safe carpeting:

Want to read more about this? Here are some articles:

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Breastfeeding saves lives

(CNN) -- If most new moms would breastfeed their babies for the first six months of life, it would save nearly 1,000 lives and billions of dollars each year, according to a new study published Monday in the journal Pediatrics.

(Now imagine if they would breastfeed LONGER than 6 months!)

Chemical in antibacterial soaps produces toxic dioxins

Chemical in antibacterial soaps produces toxic dioxins

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Honest Food Guide

If you want the straight truth about which foods to consume and which foods to avoid, download the Honest Food Guide today.

What You Don't Know About Strawberries Could Kill You

According to a study by the Environmental Working Group, strawberries rank as one of the dirtiest fruits and vegetables, readily absorbing the noxious chemicals that are used to grow them conventionally and exposing the consumer — and far more so the field workers who grow them — to up to 54 known carcinogens, among other toxins. And things are about to get worse.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Shop no GMO? Yea, there's an APP for that!

ShopNoGMO, the new application for the iphone and ipod lifestyle has features that include:
• Clear Categories will make it easy to locate the brands you want in 22 food categories.

Personalization ceasily create a favorites list and add or remove items every time you shop.

General information will answer frequently asked questions about GMOs.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


Sign the Petition Here:

President's Cancer Panel: 'Eat Organic, Ward Off Cancer'

The President's Cancer Panel says that the "risk of environmentally induced cancer has been grossly underestimated," that "nearly 80,000 chemicals [are] on the market in the United States, many of which are ... understudied and largely unregulated," and that "the public remains unaware ... that children are far more vulnerable to environmental toxins and radiation than adults."

The panel says "evidence suggests that some environmental agents may initiate or promote cancer by disrupting normal immune and endocrine system functions. The burgeoning number and complexity of known or suspected environmental carcinogens compel us to act to protect public health, even though we may lack irrefutable proof of harm."

Check out these examples selected from the recommendations:

  • Parents and child care providers should choose foods, house and garden products, play spaces, toys, medicines, and medical tests that will minimize children's exposure to toxins. Ideally, both mothers and fathers should avoid exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals.
  • It is preferable to use filtered tap water instead of commercially bottled water.
  • Exposure to pesticides can be decreased by choosing ... food grown without pesticides or chemical fertilizers [translation: organics] and washing conventionally grown produce to remove residues.
  • Exposure to antibiotics, growth hormones, and toxic run-off from livestock feedlots can be minimized by eating free-range meat [translation: don't eat feedlot meat].

-Marion Nestle, professor of Nutrition, Food Studies, and Public Health at New York University, and the author of Food Politics, Safe Food, What to Eat, reporting in the Atlantic, May 12, 2010, on a new report from the President's Cancer Panel.

Read On:

Here is more:

Friday, May 14, 2010

Campaign for Safe Cosmetics : No More Toxic Tub

Getting Contaminants Out of Children's Bath & Personal Care Products
by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics
March 12th, 2009

Despite marketing claims like “gentle” and “pure,” dozens of top-selling children’s bath products are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemicals formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane, according to the March 2009 Campaign for Safe Cosmetics report, "No More Toxic Tub."...

I want safe, non-toxic cosmetic Products!

I feel like it's always: No, no, NO! Every time we turn around, there is another product we should fear using because it is going to kill us! ...Ok, not right away, and maybe indirectly, but it is cumulative and we should definitely be trying to limit our exposure to toxins when we can.

The fact is that cosmetics are not regulated at all. And 450 ingredients that are used in the United States are banned for use in cosmetics in the European Union. It is 100% up to us to make sure that the products we are putting on our skin is safe.

Here is a GREAT website you can go to and type in the product, ingredient, or company-then it will give you an overview of what chemicals are in it, and what potential harm they can cause:

Here is a list of cosmetic companies that you can feel safe buying from. YAY!

These companies are great because they have makeup-even foundation.

And here are some links to get more info about the risks of many cosmetics:

Even Perez Hilton, the famous blogger is talking about it!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

OCA: Take Action

Take action against Mad Cow Disease. Sign the Petition!

Very popular Ice Cream Company Full of Crap

I had a hankering for some ice cream the other day, so I sent my husband out to pick some up. He called me from the store and said that they did not have the Ben & Jerry's flavor that I wanted, and wanted to know if he should pick up another brand. The brand he suggested (which I will not mention and spare myself the danger of getting sued) was one that I knew was good, but was not sure if they used rBST/rBGH (the same thing) hormones in their ice cream.
I looked on their website and saw no mention of it, so I just sent them an email to ask.
In the meanwhile, my husband brought home a very good Ben & Jerry's selection :)

I received a response from the ice cream company a couple of days later, and I was pretty surprised at what they said:

Dear Ms. Aarden,

Thank you for requesting information on the use of milk from cows that have been treated with Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin, or rBST, in our Ice Cream products.

Recombinant Bovine Somatotropin increases a cow's milk output by supplementing the animal's own natural rBST hormone. Extensive FDA study has shown that milk from treated cows has the same nutritional value and composition as milk from untreated cows. The decision to feed this supplement is made by the farmer and cannot be independently verified, since there is no method of differentiating between the hormone fed as a supplement and the hormone produced naturally by the cow.

Questions or concerns regarding the use of rBST can be addressed directly to the FDA. The agency responsible for the approval is the Center for Veterinary Medicine at:

Center for Veterinary Medicine

Communications Staff (CVM)

Food and Drug Administration

7519 Standish Place


Rockville, MD 20855



Thank you for taking the time to contact our company.

Sincerely, Jane Consumer Response Representative

Seriously? Do they think people are still that gullible, really? With all the evidence and research out there to make it pretty darn clear that this hormone is a danger to our health, do they still think they can get away with a response like that?

If it is so safe, why is it banned all over Europe and Canada? They are talking about a hormone that is injected into cows to make them produce and unnatural amount of milk. That is clearly unnatural, and used only in the interest of greed.

The facts are:

* rBGH makes cows sick. Monsanto has been forced to admit to about 20 veterinary health risks on its Posilac label including mastitis and udder inflammation.
* rBGH milk is contaminated by pus from mastitis induced by rBGH, and then antibiotics must be used to treat the mastitis.
* rBGH milk is contaminated by the GE hormone which can be absorbed through the gut and induce immunological effects.
* rBGH milk is chemically and nutritionally very different from natural milk.
* rBGH milk is supercharged with high levels of a natural growth factor (IGF-1), excess levels of which have been incriminated as major causes of breast, colon, and prostate cancers.
* rBGH factory farms pose a major threat to the viability of small dairy farms.

We need to cast our votes with our dollars and vow not to support the use of this hormone.

Here is a list of Producers who do not use this hormone:

& here is a great website that helps you shop GMO free: