Archive for ‘Uncategorized’

December 20, 2013

A Holiday Gift Guide for Giving Better Stuff

I thought this was a lovely post about gift giving. I’m glad to see more people realizing the importance of quality gifting instead of quantitative.

Stef McDonald

present_under_tree

I heard someone joke about going to the local thrift store the day after Christmas to donate the just-unwrapped and unwanted bounty of gifts. Yes, we definitely have a collective problem with too much stuff (and too much waste), which is just one of the reasons why it’s great to give experience gifts or contributions to good causes in the recipient’s name. But sometimes the best gift really does come in a package you can hand to your loved one for opening. For gift-giving that’s more meaningful, ’tis the season to:

Give twice.

When you buy items from thrift stores or auction sites that benefit nonprofits, your dollars support their work. A few favorites even have online shops, including Housing Works. When you shop on smile while logged in to Amazon Smile, you can choose a nonprofit to receive a small portion of sales. Also, sites like Bidding for Good offer…

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December 13, 2013

What Exactly is Natural Healing?

Originally from Dr. Richard Schulze, Nov. 2010

This is easily seen with a cut. You cut your skin and you bleed. Your blood eventually clots and you form a scab. Your tissue and skin then starts regrowing. Eventually, the scab falls off and you are miraculously healed! Even though we take this basic healing function for granted, no medical doctor and no hospital can ever do this for you.

On a microscopic level, your body may be invaded and infected by foreign pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites. Your body has numerous organs, systems and blood cells to take care of any unwanted visitors. You have white blood cells like macrophages and certain T cells that work to kill the invader immediately, and immune chemicals like interleukin and interferon that help speed up these cells. Other cells create chemical poisons to kill off the invaders in the same way your B cells use immunoglobulin to create specific antibodies that attack foreign pathogens.

Without a doubt, our bodies are amazing repair machines ready to take on any illness or disease. But eventually, because of genetics, lifestyle and just plain aging, your body may not be up to the task of healing or repairing you. This is typically when a person seeks outside help, usually from a medical doctor.

A medical doctor’s approach is to take on the healing themselves, fighting and killing the disease with a barrage of chemical drugs and sometimes even getting the body functioning again by performing surgical procedures. Medical intervention can be harsh and extreme.  It can leave you with irreversible surgical impairment when it involves your organs being altered or removed. It is the form of healing for people who, for whatever reason, refuse to make any healthy lifestyle modifications.

On the other hand, Natural Healing is for people who are able to make healthy and positive lifestyle changes. By raising your overall level of health, you can dramatically increase your body’s ability to heal and repair itself.
“You can heal yourself of anything, just STOP doing what is making you sick and START doing what will Create Powerful Health.”

Natural Healing is simply helping your body to become stronger and healthier, so it becomes a more powerful and effective healing and repairing machine. With most people, it doesn’t take much to get your body to heal illness or disease. It could simply be a lack of nutrition caused by  poor food choices or a buildup of sludge in the body, causing everything from constipation and coronary-artery blockage to dementia. Many people just need a good cleanup and a new, healthy lifestyle, and they’re on their way to health. However, many people who spend years damaging their bodies, ignoring their ill health and disregarding disease warning signs can find themselves in a serious disease crisis and they need more aggressive health programs.

Regardless of the level of a person’s illness, natural healing can be as powerful as medical intervention. Many people are able to regain their health, by simply leading a healthy lifestyle. Often the healing results are in balance with how many positive healthy changes a person is willing to make.

Sure, for some, it took a lot of work, but when you compare it to the possible stress, trauma, pain, and expense of medical intervention, for most people, it’s a no-brainer.

To sum all this up, Natural Healing is a style of healing where you assist your body in charging up its powerful self-healing ability by creating a lifestyle in which you eliminate things that create disease and increase those things that create powerful health. When your body is healthy and strong, it can heal, repair and rebuild all by itself.

An old Chinese proverb says: “Focus on the good to eliminate the bad.” In the same way, Natural Healing is about focusing on creating powerful health and letting your body do what it knows how to do, which is repair and heal you of most anything.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
June 7, 2013

GMO Facts

Source: The Non-GMO Project

Frequently Asked Questions

Boy eating corn XSmallWhat are GMOs?
GMOs, or “genetically modified organisms,” are plants or animals that have been genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. These experimental combinations of genes from different species cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding.

Virtually all commercial GMOs are engineered to withstand direct application of herbicide and/or to produce an insecticide. Despite biotech industry promises, none of the GMO traits currently on the market offer increased yield, drought tolerance, enhanced nutrition, or any other consumer benefit.

Meanwhile, a growing body of evidence connects GMOs with health problems, environmental damage and violation of farmers’ and consumers’ rights.

Are GMOs safe?
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.

Are GMOs labeled?
Unfortunately, even though polls consistently show that a significant majority of Americans want to know if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs, the powerful biotech lobby has succeeded in keeping this information from the public. In the absence of mandatory labeling, the Non-GMO Project was created to give consumers the informed choice they deserve.

Where does the Non-GMO Project come in?
The Non-GMO Project is a non-profit organization with a mission of protecting the non-GMO food supply and giving consumers an informed choice. We offer North America’s ONLY third party verification for products produced according to rigorous best practices for GMO avoidance (for more info, click here). Our strategy is to empower consumers to make change through the marketplace. If people stop buying GMOs, companies will stop using them and farmers will stop growing them.

Do Americans want non-GMO foods and supplements?
Polls consistently show that a significant majority of North Americans would like to be able to tell if the food they’re purchasing contains GMOs (a 2012 Mellman Group poll found that 91% of American consumers wanted GMOs labeled). And, according to a recent CBS/New York Times poll, 53% of consumers said they would not buy food that has been genetically modified. The Non-GMO Project’s seal for verified products will, for the first time, give the public an opportunity to make an informed choice when it comes to GMOs.

How common are GMOs?
In the U.S., GMOs are in as much as 80% of conventional processed food. Click here for a current list of GMO risk crops.

Why does the Non-GMO Project verify products that have a low risk of containing GMOs?
Some ingredients that seem low-risk may have less-visible high-risk ingredients.  Take, for example, dried fruit.  Raisins and similar fruit are sometimes packed with a small quantity of oil to keep them moist.  This oil, when used, is sometimes high-GMO-risk.  As such, it is critical that we do take the time to look carefully at ingredient spec sheets during the verification process, to ensure that risks like this are effectively mitigated, even in apparently low-risk products.

Contamination incidents have occurred with seemingly “low-risk” products (rice, starling corn, flax). Non-GMO Project Verification supports manufacturers in being able to quickly and proactively respond to unexpected contamination issues.

Verifying only high-risk products puts a heavy burden on consumers to know what products are at risk of containing GMOs.  Many people, even in the world of Natural Foods, don’t know what a GMO is, let alone which crops and processed ingredients are high-risk.  As such, labeling only products that contain high-risk ingredients could give an unfair competitive advantage to products that contain ingredients containing corn, soy, etc.  Taking the cereal aisle for our example, if we verified only high-risk products, a shopper might see the seal on a box of verified corn flakes, but not on the wheat-based cereal box next to them, produced with the same high standards by the same company. This could leave them thinking the corn flakes were non-GMO, but that they should avoid the wheat product, even though there’s no GMO wheat on the market.  Given the lack of understanding of the issue, this presents some serious issues.

Through verifying low-risk products, the Non-GMO Project’s work builds consumer interest and industry investment in Non-GMO, even for crops that aren’t genetically engineered yet.  Biotech is constantly working to patent and commercialize new organisms (salmon, apples, etc.), and the more companies that have committed to Non-GMO production, the more resistance these new developments will see prior to release.

What are the impacts of GMOs on the environment?
Over 80% of all GMOs grown worldwide are engineered for herbicide tolerance. As a result, use of toxic herbicides like Roundup has increased 15 times since GMOs were introduced. GMO crops are also responsible for the emergence of “super weeds” and “super bugs:’ which can only be killed with ever more toxic poisons like 2,4-D (a major ingredient in Agent Orange). GMOs are a direct extension of chemical agriculture, and are developed and sold by the world’s biggest chemical companies. The long-term impacts of GMOs are unknown, and once released into the environment these novel organisms cannot be recalled.

How do GMOs affect farmers?
Because GMOs are novel life forms, biotechnology companies have been able to obtain patents with which to restrict their use. As a result, the companies that make GMOs now have the power to sue farmers whose fields are contaminated with GMOs, even when it is the result of inevitable drift from neighboring fields. GMOs therefore pose a serious threat to farmer sovereignty and to the national food security of any country where they are grown, including the United States.

How can I avoid GMOs?
Choose food and products that are Non-GMO Project Verified! Click here to see a complete list.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

March 29, 2013

Amalgams & Mercury Damage

Reblogged from: The Holistic Dentist

ImageBefore yesterday was through, the ADA was in full spin mode over Thursday’s Dr. Oz Show: “Are Your Silver Fillings Making You Sick?” Apparently oblivious to irony, they reiterated their usual claim that there’s “no sound science” supporting mercury amalgam’s well-documented health risks – and then insisted on its safety.

As if saying something often and loudly and forcefully enough could somehow make it true.

It’s like when amalgam’s defenders say that the mercury it contains isn’t the dangerous kind – and is even a little magical:

Mercury is an important component in the fillings because it effectively binds the other metals together, forming a strong bond that contributes to the filling’s durability. It is important to note that there are several kinds of mercury. The mercury found in water that can build up in fish and lead to health problems if you ingest too much is not the same type of mercury used in amalgam. The mercury in amalgam is contained, or sequestered, within the filling.

Of course, even the ADA agrees that mercury vapor is released during chewing or grinding. A 2009 paper in Chemical Research in Toxicology estimated that older fillings may have lost up to 95% of their original mercury content. That mercury doesn’t just disappear, of course. The body’s self-regulating mechanisms clear as much of it as it possibly can. That which isn’t excreted is stored, typically gravitating toward fatty tissues such as the liver and brain.

More, although the mercury in amalgam may start out in elemental form, it doesn’t stay that way. As Dr. Huggins notes in It’s All in Your Head, mercury released from amalgams fillings can become methylated.

Mercury is highly reactive chemically. It likes to combine with biological tissue. In the mouth, mercury has the ability to combine with a carbon-hydrogen compound called a methyl group. When mercury combines with methyl groups it is called methyl mercury.

Methylation actually begins in the mouth , due to the action of oral bacteria, but it can occur elsewhere (also). And “although the amounts found are small,” wrote researchers in the Journal of Nutritional & Environmental Science, “any measurable amount of methyl mercury” only adds to a body’s total toxic burden.

Methylmercury is a bioaccumulative toxin. That’s why mercury in fish – especially fatty fish – is such a concern. When mercury contaminates water, it gets methylated by bacteria. Fish exposed to this methylmercury accumulate it in their bodies. When we eat them, we get a dose of the stuff, too.

And there is no question about it: the stuff is highly toxic. It’s main damage is neurological, particularly during the developmental period before birth and into a child’s early years of life.

Of course, it has other effects, as well – including a somewhat surprising one suggested by a recent study. Methylmercury exposure in young adulthood appears to raise the risk of developing diabetes later in life.

The study, published last month in Diabetes Care, analyzed data from nearly 4000 adults between the ages of 20 and 32. According to lead author Ka He of Indiana University,

Our results are consistent with findings from laboratory studies and provide longitudinal human data, suggesting that people with high mercury exposure in young adulthood may have elevated risk of diabetes later in life.

Why? It may be related, at least partly, to pancreatic beta cell dysfunction. These cells have been shown to play a major role in type 2 diabetes.

The abstract of the Diabetes Care study is available here.

We know that our current diabetes epidemic, like its companion obesity epidemic, has many causes. Further study is needed to know if we need to add yet another cause to that list.

Image by Enzo Carretta, via Wikimedia Commons

January 24, 2013

Are You Breathing Lake County Air Right Now?

Hold Your Breath While You Read This… (not really)

Antioxidants are substances or nutrients in our foods which can prevent or slow oxidative damage to our body. When our body cells use oxygen, they naturally produce free radicals (by-products) which can cause damage.

Free radicals are also introduced through external sources such as exposure to pollution. Other free radical producers that damage cells include things that people put into their bodies, such as- alcoholic beverages, unhealthy, processed, chemical-laden foods, cigarette smoke & stress. In much the same way as oxidation creates rust, causing a breakdown on the surface of metal objects, oxidation inside the body causes a breakdown of cells. Free radicals produced by this breakdown attack healthy cells, usually DNA as well as proteins and fats. This chain of events weakens immune system function as well as speeding up the aging process. It is also linked to several diseases such as cataracts, macular degeneration, diabetes, various forms of cancer, and heart disease. Some studies indicate possible links to arthritis and several other chronic conditions.

Antioxidants act as “free radical scavengers” that prevent and repair damage done by these free radicals. The healthier your diet is, the more antioxidants you will consume however, nutrient-rich soil is uncommon these days unless you’re eating strictly organic. so…. If you are still breathing right now, you need some antioxidant support! Baums can help with that!

Most Commonly Known Antioxidants

  • Vitamin A and Carotenoids– bright-colored fruits & veggies
  • Vitamin C– Citrus fruits, green peppers, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, strawberries and tomatoes
  • Vitamin E– Nuts & seeds, whole grains, green leafy vegetables
  • Selenium– Fish & shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, garlic

(ACES formula from Carlson Labs contains all four of the above nutrients)

Other less-common but very powerful antioxidants include-

  • Flavonoids / polyphenols– Darkly colored berries, grapes, tea, pomegranates, Noni, Gogi, and Acai.
  • Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10)– produces energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance
  • Glutathione-the mother of all antioxidants, the master detoxifier and maestro of the immune system
  • SOD (super-oxide dismutase)-promotes the rejuvenation and repair of cells
  • Lutein– protects the eyes from macular degeneration
  • Lycopene– protects the prostate
  • Alpha Lipoic Acid-antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties

Give your cells a fighting chance!  Flood your body with great, fresh fruits and vegetables daily (or grab a fresh juice at our Munster or St. John stores!) .  Fill in any gaps in your diet  with potent antioxidant support from Baums.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

January 3, 2013

It’s A New Year! Another Year Older But Much, Much Wiser!

Time flies, so they say, but with every year that passes, we get a little bit older. And when we get older, our bodies get older too. Some of us look it, some of us don’t. Some of us feel it, some of us don’t. Why is that? Well genetics plays a bit part in it, but so does your environment and lifestyle.

Stress, diet, lack of exercise and environmental pollutants are all major contributors to early aging. Luckily there is something you can do right now to undo some of the harmful effects of all of these things. Keeping yourself healthy, balanced, and free of toxic build-up are ways to stay vital into your very senior years.
How Would You Like to Increase Longevity?

Strengthen the immune system.

From stress to pollutants to disease-causing bacteria, the list of invisible enemies that can damage our health is huge. And the immune system, our bodies’ frontline defense, deals with all of them. A strong immune system can mean the difference between life and death when we are older. To stay finely tuned, the immune system requires proper nutrition, which can include supplements, such as vitamins, antioxidants and herbal formulas that keep it strong.

Maintain cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health is essential for optimal performance and longevity. The heart and vascular system distribute blood, which provides oxygen, carries nutrients, and removes waste from cells. When the heart and lungs are strong, the body can obtain more oxygen; remove more waste products and perform at higher levels for longer periods of time. We can protect our cardiovascular health by using specific supplements that support this system, including Omega 3 Fish Oil, herbs such as Hawthorn, Vitamin E, and various minerals and amino acids.

Prevent bone loss.

In our skeletal system, bone is constantly being broken down and rebuilt by bone-building cells called osteoblasts. A healthy skeletal system is vital in any endeavor since it protects the internal organs, provides support for the muscles, and gives us the incredible range of motion we require. With age, our bones gradually become weaker. Fortunately exercise and proper diet, including supplements such as calcium, vitamin D3, magnesium and vitamin K2, can help slow the loss of bone mass.

Restore hormone levels.

With age, levels of many of our hormones decline, including growth hormone. This can result in slowed mental alertness and memory; declines in strength, endurance, and lean mass; lowered sex drive in men; and even those telltale signs of aging—lines and wrinkles in our skin. Researchers theorize that by naturally increasing levels of hormones with supplementation, our bodies’ hormones, along with their benefits, may be restored to youthful peaks. Hormone testing is a great place to start. When you know your levels, supplementing with progesterone creams or testosterone boosters can make a big difference in how you feel.

Prevent free radical damage.

Imperfect diets and active lifestyles take a toll, not just on our muscles, but on our entire bodies, by increasing the release of free radicals. Fortunately, the use of antioxidants may help minimize the amount of free radicals that damage cells. The proper use of antioxidants may improve recovery time, reduce muscle soreness, postpone fatigue, boost immune functioning, and perhaps even defy the aging process. There have been studies on the benefits of Resveratrol, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium on their antioxidant and anti-aging benefits.

Detoxify the body.

You change the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly, but how often do you think about your liver? A clean and healthy liver allows our bodies to quickly eliminate toxins and waste products that otherwise get stored in our tissues, making us sluggish, achy, and foggy-headed. Key herbs such as milk thistle, burdock, and dandelion root support the detoxifying abilities of the liver and keep it healthy.

Not sure about detoxing? We can help!
Baums has a variety of ways that we can help you start the detox process. Ask us about it and we’ll help you decide which method is just right for you.

Detox kits–  These handy kits have everything you need in one box!  Cleanses generally differ in the length of the cleanse and what they target. Depending on how you want to go about it, there a few to choose from. They can range from days to weeks. Talk to our experts about the different cleanse kits we offer and be sure to pick up our Detox Tip Card so you’ll know what to expect from a cleanse. One to try: Michael’s Ultimate Detox & Cleanse (It’s on sale this month too!)

Juices and Super Green Foods– If you’re green inside, you’re clean inside!  Grab a fresh, organic juice at one of our juice bars and a shot of super-cleansing wheat grass juice. If you’re not able to obtain fresh juices everyday, try picking up a container of powdered greens that you can mix in with your own juice at home. We carry some great new flavors that are sure to please even the pickiest palate!
One to try:  Barlean’s Greens in Strawberry Kiwi flavor.

Ion Cleanse, Infrared Saunas, Body Wraps & Massage– All of these services that Baums offers are great ways to move harmful, stored toxins out of the body!  Ask us for details and make an appointment today! Do it for YOU!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

December 27, 2012

Are You Taking Vitamin D3?

It is not always practical to get your vitamin D from sunshine, and quite difficult to get adequate amounts from your diet so for many people, a vitamin D3 supplement is a great way to ensure adequate levels of this important protector are always available in your bloodstream. There is a vast body of science showing the many health benefits of Vitamin D

  • Maintains Your Calcium Balance
    • Maintenance of blood calcium levels within a narrow range is vital for normal functioning of the nervous system, as well as for bone growth, and maintenance of bone density.
  • Aids Your Cell Differentiation
    • Cellular differentiation results in the specialization of cells for specific functions in your body. While cellular proliferation is essential for growth and wound healing, uncontrolled proliferation of cells with mutations may lead to diseases like cancer.
  • Boosts Your Immunity
    • Vitamin D is a potent immune system modulator that may enhance your immunity and inhibit the development of autoimmune diseases such as, Parkinson’s Disease and MS.
  • Has a Role in Insulin Secretion
    • The active form of vitamin D plays a role in insulin secretion under conditions of increased insulin demand.
  • Blood Pressure Regulation
    • Adequate vitamin D levels may be important for decreasing the risk of high blood pressure.
  • Vitamin D and Mood
    • Higher dosages of Vitamin D have been shown to help relieve symptoms of SAD (seasonal affective disorder) such as depression and lethargy.
  •  See your doctor about having your Vitamin D levels checked.

How much Vitamin D is recommended?

Vitamin D Council recommended amounts Based on the body’s indicated daily vitamin D usage, Vitamin D Council recommends the following amounts of supplemental vitamin D3 per day in the absence of proper sun exposure.

  • Healthy children under 1 year – 1,000 IU.
  • Healthy children over 1 year – 1,000 IU per every 25 lbs of body weight.
  • Healthy adults and adolescents – at least 5,000 IU.
  • Pregnant and lactating mothers – at least 6,000 IU.

Stop at one of our 3 locations or visit our website to pick up some Vitamin D today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

December 20, 2012

Are You Feeling a Bit Stressed Out?

We have the perfect thing for you! If you haven’t tried L-theanine, you’re missing out on one of nature’s most effective anti-anxiety remedies that is safe to use without unwanted side effects!  You’ll feel calmer but you won’t be tired or foggy-headed! In fact, it helps you to think more clearly.
Read all about it, then come and get it!

L-theanine and Relaxation

Research on human volunteers has demonstrated that L-theanine creates a sense of relaxation approximately 30-40 minutes after you take it. L-theanine directly stimulates the production of alpha brain waves, creating a state of deep relaxation and mental alertness similar to what is achieved through meditation.

L-theanine and Depression

L-theanine has a significant effect on the release or reduction of neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, resulting in improved memory and learning ability. L-theanine may also influence emotions due to its effects on the increased release of dopamine. Dopamine is a vital neurotransmitter. Too little or too much can cause wide-ranging problems from mood disorders to Parkinson’s disease. Your body produces it in sufficient quantities, but sometimes lifestyle factors interfere and your brain might need a little help. When your body’s level of dopamine is on target, you are happy. You can process pleasure, think clearly, you are motivated and have the desire to accomplish things.

L-theanine and Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are debilitating conditions that upset the balance of our hormones leading to a loss of our well-being, performance, and even lifespan. Stress impairs the immune system, leaving us vulnerable to opportunistic infections, and can cause depression. People under stress can mitigate many of the harmful effects of stress with L-theanine.

L-theanine Does Not Cause Drowsiness

One of the greatest benefits of L-theanine is that you can use it without becoming sedated in the process. L-theanine doesn’t make one drowsy, nor does it promote sleep because this amino acid does not produce theta waves in the brain.  It is in many sleep formulas though, to promote relaxation so that you can fall asleep more easily.  It helps quiet the mind.

L-theanine is most effective in the range of 100-200 mg on an empty stomach, with the effect being felt within 30 minutes and lasting for 8-10 hours. FDA recommends a maximum dose of 1200 mg daily, although the reason for this limit is not clear, due to its well documented safety.

BE READY for all the stress being thrown your way! Stop in to Baums and try a sample of L-Theanine and enjoy your day! Don’t forget Baums brand L-theanine is 20% off this month!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

October 25, 2012

Is Your Skin a Toxic Dumping Ground?

Are you aware of the toxic cosmetic ingredients commonly found in your personal care products?  There are lots of them lurking on that ingredient label. You know, all those long words that you struggle to pronounce. Some ingredients in beauty products aren’t that pretty.

U.S. researchers report that one in eight of the 82,000 ingredients used in personal care products are industrial chemicals, including carcinogens, pesticides, reproductive toxins, and hormone disruptors. Many products include plasticizers (chemicals that keep concrete soft), degreasers (used to get grime off auto parts), and surfactants (they reduce surface tension in water, like in paint and inks). Imagine what that does to your skin, and to the environment.

There are virtually no restrictions on the ingredients that may be used in personal care products since the FDA cannot require safety testing of products before they are sold to the public. The cosmetic companies themselves are held responsible for the safety of their own products. As a result and driven by profit rather than a concern for human health and well-being, personal care products are often filled with synthetic and hazardous chemicals.

In fact, according to the Environmental Working Group (EWG.org) “under federal law, companies can put virtually anything they wish into personal care products, and many of them do. Mercury, lead, placenta extract — all of these and many other hazardous materials that millions of Americans, including children, use every day…” Many of these ingredients are also linked to cancer.

We really need to start questioning the products we are putting on our skin and not just assume that the chemicals in them are safe or even “natural.” 74% of all personal care products on the market according to chemical industry databases contain:

  • Carcinogens- cancer causing chemicals
  • Teratogens- causing birth defects
  • Reproductive toxins- male & female infertility
  • Developmental toxins- hazardous to unborn children
  • Skin/sense organ toxicants- causing skin disease and rashes
  • Allergenic toxicants- causing allergies
  • Mutagens- causing cells to mutate

57% of all skin care products contain  penetration enhancer chemicals like Propylene Glycol and Sodium Lauryl Sulfate that drive the products down deep through five layers of skin and straight into your bloodstream!

The Toxic Top Offenders-

  • Known Human Carcinogens: Mercury, Lead Acetate & Formaldehyde, Coal Tar
  • Reproductive/Developmental Toxin:  Toluene, Dibutyl Phthalate
  • Possible Human Carcinogens: Petroleum Distillates, Ethylacrylate, Potassium Dichromate, Selenium Sulfide, Acrylamide, Phenylphenol
  • Respiratory toxicity hazards: Dimethylamine
  • Forms carcinogens when mixed: 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol
  • Banned for use in cosmetics: Zirconium Silicate, DC Blue 6, EXT DC Green 1, EXT DC Red 1, EXT DC Red 3
  • Limited evidence of cancer: Hexachlorophene

Most of the chemicals on this list have been banned by the EU for use in cosmetics. However, these chemicals are still widely used in cosmetics sold  right here in the United States.
Official Sources: CDC, HazMap and Scorecard.org, EWG.org

Are You Aware That Some Chemicals Can Change Your Hormones?

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine (or hormone system) in animals, including humans. These disruptions can cause cancerous tumors, birth defects, and other developmental disorders. Specifically, they are known to cause learning disabilities, severe attention deficit disorder, cognitive and brain development problems, deformations of the body (including limbs); sexual development problems, feminizing of males or masculine effects on females, etc. Any system in the body controlled by hormones, can be derailed by hormone disruptors. The critical period of development for most organisms is between the transition from a fertilized egg, into a fully formed infant. As the cells begin to grow and differentiate, there are critical balances of hormones and protein changes that must occur. Therefore, a dose of disrupting chemicals can do substantial damage to a developing fetus.
An example of a common endocrine/hormone disruptor is phthalates. These chemicals, also called “plasticizers,” are a group of industrial chemicals used to make plastics like polyvinyl chloride (PVC) more flexible or resilient and also as solvents. Phthalates are everywhere in modern society. They are found in toys, food packaging, hoses, raincoats, shower curtains, vinyl flooring, wall coverings, lubricants, adhesives, detergents, nail polish, hair spray and shampoo. Baums carries safe personal care products as well as safe cleaning supplies for your family, including your pets! Come and see the great things we have to offer!

Just for kids

Extra caution is in order for kids because, pound for pound, they are exposed to more contaminants in everyday products than adults. Their immature metabolism and organ systems are typically less capable of fending off chemical assaults. Even subtle damage to young bodies can lead to disease later in life.

Follow EWG’s tips for kids:

  • Use fewer products and use them less often.
  • Don’t trust ad hype. Check ingredients.
  • Buy fragrance-free products.
  • Avoid the use of baby powder.

Always avoid EWG’s top six chemicals of concern for kids:

  • 2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3 Diol
  • BHA
  • Boric acid
  • sodium borate
  • DMDM Hydantoin
  • Oxybenzone
  • Triclosan

Visit the Environmental Working Groups website at  http://www.ewg.org

*These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

October 18, 2012

What is GMO?

In celebration of the 3rd annual Non-GMO month, here is a little information about genetically modified organisms. Reposted from Non-GMO Project

For consumers, it can be difficult to stay up-to-date on food ingredients that are at-risk of being genetically modified, as the list of at-risk agricultural ingredients is frequently changing. As part of the Non-GMO Project’s commitment to informed consumer choice, we work diligently to maintain an accurate list of risk ingredients.

Agricultural products are segmented into two groups: (1) those that are high-risk of being GMO because they are currently in commercial production, and (2) those that have a monitored risk because suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred and/or the crops have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination (and consequently contamination) is possible. For more information on the Non-GMO Project’s testing and verification of risk ingredients and processed foods, please see the Non-GMO Project Standard.

High-Risk Crops (in commercial production; ingredients derived from these must be tested every time prior to use in Non-GMO Project Verified products (as of December 2011):

  • Alfalfa (first planting 2011)
  • Canola (approx. 90% of U.S. crop)
  • Corn (approx. 88% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Cotton (approx. 90% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Papaya (most of Hawaiian crop; approximately 988 acres)
  • Soy (approx. 94% of U.S. crop in 2011)
  • Sugar Beets (approx. 95% of U.S. crop in 2010)
  • Zucchini and Yellow Summer Squash (approx. 25,000 acres)

ALSO high-risk: animal products (milk, meat, eggs, honey, etc.) because of contamination in feed.

Monitored Crops (those for which suspected or known incidents of contamination have occurred, and those crops which have genetically modified relatives in commercial production with which cross-pollination is possible; we test regularly to assess risk, and move to “High-Risk” category for ongoing testing if we see contamination):

  • Beta vulgaris (e.g., chard, table beets)
  • Brassica napa (e.g., rutabaga, Siberian kale)
  • Brassica rapa (e.g., bok choy, mizuna, Chinese cabbage, turnip, rapini, tatsoi)
  • Curcubita (acorn squash, delicata squash, patty pan)
  • Flax
  • Rice

Common Ingredients Derived from GMO Risk Crops
Amino Acids, Aspartame, Ascorbic Acid, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin C, Citric Acid, Sodium Citrate, Ethanol, Flavorings (“natural” and “artificial”), High-Fructose Corn Syrup, Hydrolyzed Vegetable Protein, Lactic Acid, Maltodextrins, Molasses, Monosodium Glutamate, Sucrose, Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP), Xanthan Gum, Vitamins, Yeast Products.

You may also be wondering about…

  • Tomatoes: In 1994, genetically modified Flavr Savr tomatoes became the first commercially produced GMOs. They were brought out of production just a few years later, in 1997, due to problems with flavor and ability to hold up in shipping. There are no genetically engineered tomatoes in commercial production, and tomatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
  • Potatoes: Genetically modified NewLeaf potatoes were introduced by Monsanto in 1996. Due to consumer rejection  several fast-food chains and chip makers, the product was never successful and was discontinued in the spring of 2001. There are no genetically engineered potatoes in commercial production, and potatoes are considered “low-risk” by the Non-GMO Project Standard.
  • Wheat: There is not currently, nor has there ever been, any genetically engineered wheat on the market. Of all “low-risk” crops, this is the one most commonly (and incorrectly) assumed to be GMO. It is a key commodity crop, and the biotech industry is pushing hard to bring GMO varieties to market. The Non-GMO Project closely watches all development on this front.
  • Salmon: A company called AquaBounty is currently petitioning the FDA to approve its genetically engineered variety of salmon, which has met with fierce consumer resistance. Find out more here.
  • Pigs: A genetically engineered variety of pig, called Enviropig was developed by scientists at the University of Guelph, with research starting in 1995 and government approval sought beginning in 2009. In 2012 the University announced an end to the Enviropig program, and the pigs themselves were euthanized in June 2012.

To for further information about genetically modified organisms, stop in to Baums Natural Foods today to pick up a free information guide. More information may also be found at nongmoproject.org