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Another Reason to Eat Organic – Toxic Flame Retardants Found in Conventional Food

I almost fell over in my chair the other day when I read this one in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives.

In nearly half of the samples tested, researchers found traces of hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD) in peanut butter, cold cuts, turkey, beef, and other fatty foods.

So what is HBCD exactly?

It is a flame retardant commonly used in the foam insulation of building walls, upholstered furniture, automobile interior textiles, car cushions and electronic equipment.

How toxic is it and who is concerned about it?

– The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that HBCD is “highly toxic to aquatic organisms. It also presents human health concerns based on animal test results indicating potential reproductive, developmental and neurological effects.”

HBCD is also on the EPA’s List of Chemicals of Concern.

– As a result of its toxicity and harm to the environment, the European Chemicals Agency decided to include HBCD in its Substances of Very High Concern list within the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals, the European Union’s framework to regulate chemicals.

– Because of its toxicity, a global ban on HBCD is currently being considered under the framework of the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Of course, the chemical industry sees absolutely no reason to be alarmed at these test results.

Bryan Goodman, a spokesperson for the lobbying group North American Flame Retardant Alliance of the American Chemistry Council, has been quoted as saying “Based on these findings, the real story is that HBCD was not detected in the majority of the samples and in those where it was, it was well below levels where one might see adverse health effects. These results should not pose a concern for human health.”

Dr. Arnold Schecter, a public health physician at the University of Texas School of Public Health and an author of the study, said that all of the brands tested were “conventional” and none marketed themselves as organic.

MY TAKE

Based on this study, we know for sure that conventional food contains this toxic flame retardant.

We also know for sure that conventionally-grown food allows the use of highly toxic pesticides while organic food does not.

Since there is an abundance of chemicals everywhere – in our food, water, air, household products – and the majority of cancer is caused by environmental factors, we need to do whatever we can to keep dangerous toxins out of our bodies.

That means buying non-toxic cleaning products, organic/natural/eco-friendly personal care products, air purifiers for our homes, and ultra-purified water. It also means buying organic food.

The other thing that I want to address is something that came up the other day in the post I wrote about bluefin tuna containing radioactive material and it comes up again in this story – A consistent response that the amount of chemicals found in the food “does not cause harm” or “does not pose any risk to human health”.

I just shake my head in disbelief when I hear this.

Would the people making these statements put “small amounts” of this toxic material on a spoon and insert it into their mouths?

Never.

If we want to feed our families the safest and most nutritious food, organic food is the only option.

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Living Maxwell

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Another Reason to Eat Organic – Higher Levels of Antioxidants in Onions

When people ask why they should be eating organic, there are several answers.

First, organic prohibits the use of super-toxic pesticides, such as glyphosate.

Not only is glyphosate the primary ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup and the most widely-used chemical in the world, but the State of California has said that glyphosate causes cancer!

Even more shocking is that 93% of Americans have tested positive for glyphosate. So, we need to be doing everything we can to avoid ingesting this dangerous chemical.

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A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

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Why Organic Food is a MUST for Men — Pesticides Have Been Linked to Lower Sperm Count and Quality

As someone who has eaten close to 100% organic since 2001, my personal experience is that women are more concerned than men about the quality of food they are putting into their bodies.

While this is based on anecdotal evidence, there are a few data points to back this up.

The Pew Research Center’s recent report called The New Food Fights: U.S. Public Divides Over Food Science concluded that women are more likely to care about GMOs than men.

According to Google Analytics, approximately 2/3rds of Living Maxwell readers – people reading about organic – are women.

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Living Maxwell

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Genetically-Engineered Trees????? Yes, and Why Humanity Should be Petrified

The more time that you spend in the organic industry, the more you learn about what is truly going on and what you find is pretty scary.

While I try to remain as optimistic as possible, the reality is that the organic industry is under a constant existential threat from genetically-modified organisms (GMOs).

Even though organic food has never been more popular, nearly 80% of the food on supermarket shelves contains GMOs and organic remains less than 1% of all farmland acreage in the U.S. While 64 nations around the world require GMOs to be labeled, the U.S. does not. Why?

Because the ag-biotech industry has “purchased” agricultural policy in our country, by spending $572 million on campaign contributions and lobbying from 1999-2010.

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livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink