Figuring out what I wanna be when I grow up.
Oop..I AM grown up...

Sunday, October 14, 2012


Recently, I was watching news on an American Station.  They were talking about a link between canned goods and childhood obesity.

It turns out, my good American friends, your cans are lined with BISPHENOL A, which, if you don't know, is a fucking disaster.  Bisphenol A, or BPA, was used ALL over the place, a mere few years ago.  It was a very popular plastic.  It was even used in our BABY BOTTLES.  You know--those things we heated breast milk or formula in for our precious little people?

So what?

Here's what:

BPA exhibits hormone-like properties that raise concern about its suitability in consumer products and food containers. Since 2008, several governments have questioned its safety, which prompted some retailers to withdraw polycarbonate products. A 2010 report from the United States Food and Drug Administration(FDA) warned of possible hazards to fetuses, infants, and young children.[2] In September 2010, Canada became the first country to declare BPA a toxic substance.[3][4] The European Union, Canada, and recently the United States have banned BPA use in baby bottles.[5]

(Source:  Wikipedia, "Bisphenol A")

and also:

The federal government on Wednesday formally added BPA, as it is commonly known, to its toxic substances list based on concern about possible risk to fetuses and babies. The man-made chemical has been shown in scientific experiments to mimic the hormone estrogen, and is not naturally found in the environment.

(Source: The Globe And Mail, "Canada The First To Declare BPA Toxic")

Bisphenol A is used to line the inside of cans, to prevent corrosion.  Canada banned the use of BPA in baby bottles in 2010. it still being used in our canned goods???

Okay, back to the news article I was watching...

So anyhoo, here are our innocent kids, running around with fat being abnormally stored in their abdomens.  Oh...oopsy, this may be caused by lining our canned food with this shitty lab chemical!

I became so pissed off.

You know how there's this undercurrent of opinion that it's the obese person's fault that they are fat?  That they're just lazy, and they need more willpower?  And yet, our food has become so hideously, heinously engineered, and so filled with phony estrogens, and things that totally screw up our hormones, and additives that light up our brains, that essentially our processed food has become as addictive as heroine.

But that's okay--push yourself away from your plate, Sally. It's all YOUR fault.
And Even though you thought you were doing an okay thing by cracking open a can of soup for dinner for you and your family, turns out you were wrong.

Nobody told you.

Too bad, so sad.

Have you struggled with your weight for years?  Do you eat way less than the skinny people you know?  Do you go for walks and try to lift weights several times a week, and yet you still suffer from horrible PMS, and you can NOT lose weight no matter how hard you tried?  Is that junk food so addictive to you that there is no way you can resist it, and then when you give in to it, you feel enormous shame and self loathing?

I'm so pissed off.

You should be pissed off too.

I picked up this book from the library recently:

And then I bought a copy of it myself.  I know, I know--this is the part where you get leery.  karen's all big on exercise now.  She's as annoying as a born-again-anything.  I'm not going to lecture/pester/harp about exercise.  I've always been super interested in food, nutrition, and how food affects our bodies and minds.  That's MY pet obsession.  Maybe in my next life I'll actually fork out the thousands of dollars to become a Dietitian.

Please, please, please, I'm BEGGING you:  find this book and read it.

Get it from your library.  Get it for your kindle, or whatever electronic thing you use to read books.  Please, as a woman, as a man, as a mother, as a father: please read this book, because we need to regain some power, and not be at the mercy of our horribly greedy food industry.  Please! Tell your friends to read it, or read it and tell them what you've read!

Can I bore you with an obsession I now have thanks in larger part to the book, and previously to sneaking suspicions?

GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE.  That's what we call it in Canada and Europe.  In the U.S. it is known as HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP.  It is a cheap sweetener, derived from corn, that our food industry loves to use in place of real sugar to MAXIMIZE their profits.

Back in the 1970's, in the United States, there was a surplus of corn.  What ever shall we do with all this corn?  Why, I know!  Let's grind it down and turn it into this cheap syrup!  Hooray!

Actually, boo.

Do you know what fructose does?  It actually switches off the hormone in your body that tells you when you're full.  OH, we have lots of hormones in our bodies, and more than just the estrogen, progesterone etc, buddies we already knew about. One hormone tells us when we're hungry (grehlin), another tells us when we're full (leptin).

SO, if you eat some food with that nasty glucose-fructose in it, it won't let that hormone tell you you're full.  Poof, you need to eat, and eat, and eat.  HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES???

So what?  THEY say that in low levels it won't affect me.  But:  that shit's in everything.  Go ahead.  Go read the labels on your yogurt, your cereal, your crackers, your cookies, your WHOLE WHEAT BREAD, that fibre bran bar you thought was a healthy snack...

Okay...forget about BPA and GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE.  Here's another nice story I learned in that there book up above that I will paraphrase for you.  Imagine a tomato.  It's been picked too early, because it has to make a long, long journey to your grocery store.  So, it's green.  But we don't buy green tomatoes, we buy nice, red ones.  Better make it red.  Do you know how they do that?  They spray it with a gas that speeds up the ripening process.  And nevermind all the horrendous things that tomatoes already been sprayed with to keep the bugs off it... the way...that gas?  It's also used to euthenize pets.

Are you getting pissed off yet?

Oh, and soy.  That shit's in everything too.  So what?  They eat so much soy in China and Japan, and the incidences of certain cancers are way lower.  Soy must be good for you. Well yeah, it's okay in forms closer to its original, like tofu, or fermented soy products.  But, our food industry buddies said;   hey! Soy is good! It lowers cancer!  Let's take it to our food labs and turn it into a FRANKENFOOD, and put it in EVERYTHING!

Well, that's nice.  It mimics estrogen you know.  Sorry, little boys of the world. let's see...terrible, reprehensible chemical lining our cans:  CHECK!
- soy, and other phony estrogens assaulting us at every turn, messing with our own hormone balance:  CHECK!
- glucose-fructose in EVERYTHING, making us eat more and more, carving a nice neat path to insulin resistance and Type 2 Diabetes!  CHECK!

These are only just a few examples of how our food has been horribly engineered to keep us addicted, keep profits high, and keep us from knowing about all the garbage that we eat every day!


Throw into the mix all those stupid chemicals THEY think we should buy:  horrible things to make our homes smell like perfume, toxic things to make our toilet bowls so "clean" we could drink out of them (except for the poison)! Hand sanitizers, toxic cleaners, tooth pastes and bath washes filled with nasty, nasty things...

Oh my!  Are you fat yet?

Hey everyone:  let's give up.  Let's throw in the towel.  If you can't beat em', join em', right?  I mean, everything's gonna give us cancer anyway, right?

Not me.  Not this kid.  Uh-uh.  No way.

But there's way too much to talk about in one ranty little post.  Just read the book.

* If we choose ORGANIC we let them know how we feel!
* If we choose foods with NO GLUCOSE-FRUCTOSE we let them know how we feel!
*I write letters to companies now, asking them why they just can't use plain old fashioned SUGAR.
* NO trans fats for me and my family! And that means it can NOT say "hydrogenated" ANYTHING in the ingredients!

Oh, this is all too scary and depressing.  Let's make some drawings.

Just read it.  Please.


  1. Somehow I think if you gave your daughter a present with an APPLE in it she would NOT be pleased. hehehe.

    No, sorry. Won't read the book. You can just tell me about it. LOL

    Don't forget the other problem. LOADS of people are poor and they can't afford to buy healthy, organic produce. :(

    And as for the tomatoes... really? I mean, I pick tomatoes from my vine too early and they only take a couple of days to ripen. Why, large evil companies, the need to spray them? In THAT much of a hurry?

    1. Actually, she LURVS she kind of might...or not.

      Yeah, you don't need to read the book, because you'll just hear me blabbing about it all the time.

    2. Oh yeah...I almost forgot to comment on the $$ issue with healthier food: then it is up to the rest of us, who have a few more dollars to change the status quo, and MAKE the food industry respond!

  2. the world is killing us and making us fat and suppressing our immune systems. i can't absorb too much of that kind of information. i can't read the package of every single thing i eat. so i mostly eat raw fruits and veggies that i wash thoroughly. it's the only thing i can figure out to do and, hey, what do you know, i lost a ton of weight. i guess it works.

    1. this is sherilin. i'm signed in to a different account and uploading vids and forgot that while typing that comment. i'm not really unknown.

    2. Yeah--UNKNOWN sounds almost sinister.

      Anyhoo, that is just it Sherilin: it's overwhelming trying to figure out what to avoid, so the book recommends avoiding all the processed, packaged foods you can (those foods that are FILLED with unpronounceable ingredients).

    3. i do that. when we found out chris was pre-diabetic a couple years ago, we started reading the labels on everything and grocery shopping took like 3 hrs. it was horrible.

  3. Interestingly, I just read something similar when I got Jackie Warner's 10 lbs in 10 days book. And them my mom made me read "Eat to Live", and "the Rave". So yeah. Changed how I eat, and I have lost 30 lbs. And I'm not as hungry. And I sleep better. And I have more energy.

    And here's the thing: I HATE reading about food and nutrition. I HATE to cook. The lie of processed food is that it's faster. It really, actually, isn't.

    1. See? It's good you've read those books, Leauxra. How on Earth would we know these things on our own? We have to spread the word.

      And congratulations on 30 pounds down! That's awesome, woman!

  4. I've heard that about tomatoes before. It happens with a lot of the produce in general too. Though last time I read (and I do not have all the facts), mass-produced 'organic' stuff is not that safe either. Some 'organic' stuff just uses the minimum amount of chemicals before they're branded as non-organic. Sure, less is better, but the difference in chemical amounts may not matter in the long run.

    I am not a fan of diet books, or any such books to be honest. A huge, huge problem with food information is the lack of an unbiased agency to report it like it is. There are too many incentives from corn companies, organic companies, farmers, producers, etc, to report just bits and pieces of the truth. To get to the bottom of the whole truth, the amount of research is very overwhelming to the average Jane. I'm all up for reducing the chemicals, so I go with common sense stuff (little processed stuff, fresh food, etc), but short of growing your own food (and feeding it home grown stuff), sadly, we're all in a similar sinking ship.

    1. Tanner, those are all excellent points: OVERWHELMING. So, I try to stick to foods with as few ingredients as possible, and within those ingredients, no man-created horror food replacements. Every time the lab gets ahold of good ingredients, they seem to want to destroy them.

      It's not a lose-weight diet book, so much as it's a FEEL MUCH LESS SHITTY kind of book.

  5. Oh, do not get me started on the state of our food supply.
    Plus, if it's sugar is it GMO beet sugar or the good stuff?
    I buy organic when I can or I grow my own stuff. Or buy it from a local farmer.
    Pigs are given PayLean to make them leaner, all factory farm animals are given antibiotics to cause weight gain faster- not just for health.
    Potatoes are given stuff to make them not sprout.
    You are what you eat.
    We all feel better eating healthier and don't visit the doctor as much.
    I could go on and on.
    So many people think organic will break the bank. With the cost of conventional food rising, organic is pretty comparable and we actually consume less buying organic. It is more nutrient dense so our bodies don't need so much. People will argue that point with me. Whatever.
    Next spring my plan is to start raising my own chickens.

    1. Hooray for you, Ruth! You get it too! Yes, I did read in the book how cows are injected with certain junk that makes them gain 3 pounds per day. It's disgusting. We're killing ourselves and not enough people care.

      Funny you should mention about the chickens: I was just wondering how much it would cost to keep chickens for the eggs...

      I'm also going to start a food garden next year. I did it one year before, but fell off that wagon. Time to start up again.

    2. The cost of keeping the chicken would vary depending on what feed and how much you would give them. Some people do strictly cracked corn. My grandma did corn and oatmeal. In warmer weather, they would not need as much, if any, if they free range.
      If you only plan to have a few chickens, it shouldn't be all that much. It takes about 6 months for layers to start producing.
      Since we have to worry about coyotes and raccoons, my husband is planning on making a critter proof chicken coop, but have an area big enough for them to graze.
      Gardens are awesome!

      Have you ever been to Lots of good health advice.

    3. very, very interesting Ruth! Thanks for the chicken info. Would you eat your chickens too, or just have them for eggs? No, I'm not judging--just curious! I'm a total carnivore hypocrite: I want to EAT you, little chicken, but I don't want to be the one who kills you.

      Anyhoo, I will have to check out that link. Thanks for it.

    4. I'd eat them. I don't know if I could wring their little necks though. My husband can do that.
      It is a little weird because they will flop around after they are dead. It has to do with their nerves.
      You can buy chickens specifically for eating or once the layers get so old, you can butcher them. My grandma did that. Every so often my mom would go down and they'd spend the day butchering chickens.

    5. Aaah...a nice, relaxing day butchering chickens. Well kudos to your mother and grandmother for not being squeamish! Yeah, I'd leave that job to my husband as well. Ditto for the plucking. My dad said he used to have to pluck their chickens when he was a kid, and he's amazed it didn't put him off eating chicken for life.

  6. Oh crap, now I feel like a really rubbish mum... We eat pretty well, I think, but I don't read all the labels and we have some processed stuff for speed's sake and I have a fairly lax approach to it all.
    I'll try harder. You make me want to be a better person, Karen, yes you do.
    I'm off to beat myself with a celery stick now in penance for the chicken nuggets the kids had for tea... xxxxx

    1. Oh Curtise, don't feel like a crappy mom. You know I love you. My anger is directed at the FOOD INDUSTRY for being so very secretive, and touting some of their foods as "healthy" when they are not. I'm also angry about self-righteous people sneering at obese people and writing them off as lazy, and lacking in willpower. This could be true in some cases, of course, as with anything in life, but it's BULLSHIT, because it's our genetically modified food that makes us fat!

      I mostly think of Ella. I don't want her to go through years of hormone hell like I did.

      p.s. I had fish and chips on Friday. I'm not a total Hitler :)

  7. It is amazing what you find out when you educate yourself. Think about all that yummy plastic toxins, people microwave right into their food. Yummy.

    Did you read about the guy who had Popcorn Lung? Yup he won 7 million buck sueing some microwave popcorn company, because his lungs function at 52% from breathing in the toxins that come from the chemicals they put on the popcorn to make it taste and smell buttery.

    Karen keep reading you have only touched the surface. Read those Kevin Trudeau books, I dare you.

    1. Don't encourage her! She's almost becoming MAD with all of this!


    2. I DID hear about popcorn lung guy--but never read up on the specifics! That's gross. Yeah, I think I'll pass on those books for now. My brain is already on a constant loop about chemicals all around us, and it's making me really, really tired. I'm even thinking of throwing away all of my beloved bath washes.

    3. I am becoming MAD with this! It's true! IT'S TRUE!!!

  8. It is not a bad thing.....I have been reading all that stuff for 25 yrs. It started with having babies. Slowly over the years I gained more and more knowledge over time. I leaned a long time ago the FDA was not my friend. At first I went to use all natural stuff and bought all that health food stuff. But hello is all about packaging and trickery of labels. Even the supposed good stuff can be bad. Just pick a few things you know you like and are relatively safe and stick with it. Oh, and cook whole simple food like they did in the old days. Wanna stew? Make on, and freeze it in smaller portions etc. I learned that homemade salad dressing in THE BEST.Throw all the junk in a jar and shake. Then you don't add propylene glycol, to your salad. Which they also put in cream cheese, and sour cream , and hair products. So I found a brand of sour cream that does not contain it. Just good old natural stuff.
    Really Karen, just keep it simple. No box shit. Go to the farmers market, etc, to get homemade jam, make waffles homemade etc. Once you get used to living that way it becomes normal. I don't own a microwave, and never have except for like probably a month total in 25 years. I don't believe in them. All my kids have learned to reheat food in a pot on the stove. Now that they are out on their own, it shocks all of there friends that they don't have a microwave and that they actually know how to cook. Good skills!

  9. Good old Ivory soap, cleans just as well as all those other products. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice. My daughter brought home all of her stained armpit shirts and we boiled them on the stove with soda a lemon, and all the yellow and black shit came out of the arm pits. She was shocked she didn't have to go buy new clothes.

    Just get a hold of one of those old time household hint books....or Martha Stewart magazines. Pintrest publishes all sorts of tricks that are in those old books. I do have bleach for the times where it is utterly needed.
    Oh and another trick that works awesome is that Yellow, Sunlight washing bar of soap. It might be a little harder to find, but it is in the laundry aisle and it works wonders on stains.

    Oh and for laundry softener just add vinegar to your load. And if you want your laundry to smell good, I got a natural lavender scented oil, put a dab on an old dish cloth and threw it in with my dryer load. Saves money too.

  10. Sorry for all of my spelling mistakes....I am not that daft, just type fast, and read through to quickly. Or lazy.

    1. Melissa, what if you started a new blog up with household tips like that? Seriously, that would be awesome. Each week a new tip? I love that kind of stuff.

      I never ate much packaged food anyway. The odd time when I was dead tired we'd have Kraft dinner or fish sticks, because Ella loves both. I read the ingredients on stuff and keep it down to a MINIMUM. The next thing I have to conquer though, is my shampoo/body wash cupboard. Yes, I have noticed propylene glycol in everything (sp?) Gross.

  11. Ugh, this sort of thing frightens me. It's amazing how difficult it is to find things to eat that aren't dangerous.

    1. Exactly Vesta! And it should NOT be. Even when I'm in the grocery store now, swearing and shaking my head, it takes me ages to sort through all the chemical food for something more real. You being in California though, I would think it might be a little easier, with the emphasis on health and body there.

  12. Interesting post, I just found you and I'm really happy I did! I have struggled with weight FOREVER (I think I was perhaps on the cutting edge, I had an eating disorder in first grade......another story for another time), and I have thyroid disease. I've recently learned that Synthroid (thyroid medication for underactive thyroid gland) is one if the most prescribed medications in the US. What inhibits thyroid hormone absorption? Soy. I found that out the hard way - I had been a vegetarian for nearly 2 years when I was hospitalized for severe thyroid hormone imbalance. Main symptom was SEVERE muscle spasms. No big, you may think, except your HEART is a muscle. Inconvenient. So I did some research as to why I had a crisis and learned about the soy/TSH relationship. Disturbing, to say the least.

    1. Thank you for commenting--I'm so glad you did. Oh yes, I sympathise with your thyroid worries, because I've had a nodule on my thyroid for several years that I've had to get poked with needles several times. Luckily it's not cancerous. My husband had to have his thyroid removed, because his DID have cancer. I've had most of the symptoms of hypothyroidism for years even though my tests have always come back in the normal range. But, I now realise that my hormones have probably been screwed by all the endocrine disruptors in our world!!!

      What totally pisses me off is when, even if we're trying to make the healthiest choice (ie; you being a vegetarian)with our food, we STILL are screwed because we are so blissfully unaware of all the scary things the food industry is doing!

      Oh, did you know that teflon is horrid, and is a known thyroid disruptor? The list goes on and on. I'm very passionate about this.

      If you have also struggled with your weight for years, would you consider reading that slightly dry and boring Jillian Michaels book I mentioned? It took me a long while to get through it, because it is not light, fun reading, but it is such an eye opener.


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