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IKEA Plans To Switch From Styrofoam Packaging To A Mushroom-Based Alternative

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Styrofoam is harmful to our planet, which is why it's great to see IKEA switching all styrofoam packaging products to a compostable mushroom-based alternative.

  • Reflect On:

    If more sustainable options exist why wouldn't we implement them now? As consumers we have a say in creating the type of world we want to live in.

The cat’s out of the bag, by now the vast majority of us are aware that Styrofoam is bad for our environment as it doesn’t decompose and, in its production process, leaches toxic chemicals into our environment. Yet, despite this awareness, it is still being used on a massive scale to package anything from your new flat screen TV to your late night sushi rolls. As consumers we can choose to either support the companies that are contributing to the waste epidemic on our planet — or not.

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Thankfully, as awareness grows, some large corporations like furniture giant IKEA are leading the way and choosing more sustainable and harmonious products. No doubt these sustainable options will appeal more to the conscious consumer and even though we can’t be clear as to whether or not these decisions are being made because of a general concern for our environment or because of growing consumer awareness, it doesn’t really matter because, regardless of the why, things are shifting for the better.

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Compostable Alternative

Ikea has announced that they will be looking to switch all of their packaging materials from Styrofoam to a new substance called MycoComposite, which is made out of mushrooms and other organic materials. This material is entirely natural and compostable; it grows within a week and will decompose within 30 days. It can also be reused if it is kept dry.

This was a product we wrote about 7 years ago! And here it is today, finally getting the attention it deserves.

The process to create this packaging material is quite simple really–from Intelligent Living:

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  • Agricultural byproducts such as hemp, husk, oat hulls, and cotton burrs are pressed into the desired shape that can fit around items as packaging.
  • Then, it is seeded with mushroom spores that sprout mycelium (a root structure) after a few days.
  • The mycelium threads rapidly through the structure and binds it together to form a shock-resistant and durable packaging material.
  • The last step is to heat-treat the material to kill spores in order to arrest further growth of the fungus.

Mushroom-based packaging uses only about 12% of the energy that is used in plastic production and produces 90% fewer carbon emissions than plastic/Styrofoam production. Non-petroleum-based packaging is just another step towards ending our reliance on fossil fuels; there are plenty of alternative options available, we just need to look. In some cases we simply need to put on our thinking caps, we are a creative, problem-solving species and no doubt there are much more harmonious alternatives for many of our current processes.

The SWOT Analysis below conveys the advantage that Mushroom based materials has over plastic.

Strengths

  • Biodegradable
  • Easily grown from agricultural waste products which are plentiful
  • Strong, lightweight, mouldable
  • Produced using less energy
  • No waste or pollution from the process itself
  • Inexpensive
  • No health risks

Weakness

  • Takes longer to produce than most plastics
  • Less variability and range of products can be produced
  • Not as fire resistant/good as Styrofoam

Opportunities

  • Replace plastic products as a socially and environmentally safe alternative
  • Research is ongoing to improve and create more products
  • Community development through GIY initiatives

Threats

  • Compete against already strongly established plastic dependence (suppliers, manufactures, buyers)
  • Opposition to fungus grown product, misinformed views

One Small Step Towards Massive Change

Just think for a moment, not even just about the hundreds of IKEA stores worldwide, but consider all the big box retailers like Amazon and ALL OF THE STYROFOAM packaging that is being used and where all of that ends up. The fact that technology even exists for us to use a compostable alternative should leave the other substances completely behind. Because why would we continue using materials that are harmful for our planet if working alternatives already exist? That’s a whole other topic, and I’m sure you already know all about the why.

IKEA’s Head of Sustainability, Joanna Yarrow, said this was the retailer’s “small yet significant step towards reducing waste and conserving ecological balance.”

Another Ikea spokesperson told The Telegraph, “IKEA wants to have a positive impact on people and planet, which includes taking a lead in turning waste into resources, developing reverse material flows for waste materials and ensuring key parts of our range are easily recycled. IKEA has committed to take a lead in reducing its use of fossil-based materials while increasing its use of renewable and recycled materials.”

Yes, it may be a small step, but just think of how big this step really is, and we can only hope that other retailers will follow in the footsteps of IKEA. Maybe it goes without saying, but we do have a say in the matter. If other retailers aren’t willing to give up their use of Styrofoam, then we can choose to shop elsewhere, and if enough people do the same, then these other retailers will have no choice but to change their ways. This is why raising awareness is so important.

Much Love

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CDC Director: ‘Masks May Offer More Protection From COVID-19 Than The Vaccine’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    CDC director Robert Redfield said on Wednesday that wearing a mask might be "more guaranteed" to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine.

  • Reflect On:

    Why is there so much conflicting information out there? Why is it so difficult to arrive at any concrete truth? How does the politicization of science play a role?

What Happened: Centers For Disease Control (CDC) Director Robert Redfield recently stated that wearing a mask may be “more guaranteed” to protect an individual from the coronavirus than a vaccine. This calls into question the efficacy of the vaccine, which is set to make its way into the public domain at the end of this year, or shortly after that. We thought we’d cover this story to bring up the efficacy of vaccines in general, and the growing vaccine hesitancy that now exists within a number of people, scientists and physicians across the world.

“I’m not gonna comment directly about the president, but I am going to comment as the CDC director that face masks, these face masks, are the most important powerful public health tool we have.” – Redfield

Not long ago, many scientists presented facts about vaccines and vaccine safety at the recent Global Health Vaccine Safety summit hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. At the conference, Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project emphasized the issue of growing vaccine hesitancy.

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers, we have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen… still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider…”

Redfield’s comments came after President Trump downplayed the effectiveness of wearing mask, and Trump also stated that Covid would probably go away without a vaccine, referring to the concept of ‘herd immunity’ as practiced in Sweden, but has also been quite outspoken about the fact that a vaccine may arrive by November.

When it comes to the COVID vaccine, multiple clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines have shown severe reactions within 10 days after taking the vaccine. You can read more about that here.  The US government and Yale University also recently collaborated in a clinical trial to determine the best messaging to persuade Americans to take the COVID-19 vaccine. You can read more about that here.

Are Masks Effective?

Multiple studies have claimed to show definitively  that mask-wearing effectively prevents transmission of the coronavirus, especially recent ones. This seems to be the general consensus and the information that’s come from our federal health regulatory agencies. There are also multiple studies calling the efficacy of masks into question. For example, a fairly recent study published in the New England Medical Journal  by a group of Harvard doctors outlines how it’s already known that masks provide little to zero benefit when it comes to protection a public setting. According to them,

We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. Public health authorities define a significant exposure to Covid-19 as face-to-face contact within 6 feet with a patient with symptomatic Covid-19 that is sustained for at least a few minutes (and some say more than 10 minutes or even 30 minutes). The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic.

You can read more about that story here and find other complimenting studies.

When it comes to masks, there are multiple studies on both sides of the coin.

Then we have many experts around the world calling into question everything from masks to lockdown. For example, The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) recently published a report titled “Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC) Compares COVID-19 to Previous Seasonal and Pandemic Flu Periods.” According to them, the infection/fatality rate of COVID-19 is 0.26%.

They are one of many who have emphasized this point.

More than 500 German doctors & scientists have signed on as representatives of an organization called the “Corona Extra-Parliamentary Inquiry Committee” to investigate what’s happening on our planet with regards to COVID-19, and also make similar points. You can read more about that story here.

Again, there are many examples from all over the world from various academics, doctors and scientists in the field.

This is why there is so much confusion surrounding this pandemic, because there is so much conflicting information that opposes what we are hearing from our health authorities. Furthermore, a lot of information that opposes the official narrative has been censored from social media platforms, also raising suspicion among the general public.

How Effective Are Vaccines?

Vaccines have been long claimed to be a miracle, and the most important health intervention for the sake of disease prevention of our time. But as mentioned above, vaccine hesitancy is growing, and it’s growing fast.

According to a study published in the journal EbioMedicine,

Over the past two decades several vaccine controversies have emerged in various countries, including France, inducing worries about severe adverse effects and eroding confidence in health authorities, experts, and science. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. These two dimensions are at the core of the vaccine hesitancy (VH) observed in the general population. VH is defined as delay in acceptance of vaccination, or refusal, or even acceptance with doubts about its safety and benefits, with all these behaviors and attitudes varying according to context, vaccine, and personal profile, despite the availability of vaccine services. VH presents a challenge to physicians who must address their patients’ concerns about vaccines..

In the United States, the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS) shows what vaccines have resulted in deaths, injury, permanent disabilities and hospitalizations. The National Childhood Vaccine Injury act has also paid out nearly $4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children.

According to a MedAlerts, the cumulative raw count of adverse events from measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines alone was: 93,929 adverse events, 1,810 disabilities, 6,902 hospitalizations, and 463 deaths. What is even more disturbing about these numbers is that VAERS is a voluntary and passive reporting system that has been found to only capture 1% of adverse events.

The measles vaccine has also been plagued with a lack of effectiveness, with constant measles outbreaks in heavily vaccinated population pointing towards a failing vaccine. You can read more about that in-depth and access more science on it here. In 2015, nearly 40 percent of measles cases analyzed in the US were a result of the vaccine.

It’s not just the MMR vaccine that shows a lack of effectiveness. For example, a new study published in The Royal Society of Medicine is one of multiple studies over the years that has emerged questioning the efficacy of the HPV vaccine. The researchers conducted an appraisal of published phase 2 and 3 efficacy trials in relation to the prevention of cervical cancer and their analysis showed “the trials themselves generated significant uncertainties undermining claims of efficacy” in the data they used. The researchers emphasized that “it is still uncertain whether human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccination prevents cervical cancer as trials were not designed to detect this outcome, which takes decades to develop.”  The researchers point out that the trials used to test the vaccine may have “overestimated” the efficacy of the vaccine.

It’s one of multiple studies to call into question the efficacy and safety of the HPV vaccine. It’s also been responsible for multiple deaths and permanent disabilities.

Another point to make regarding vaccine injury is that data was collected from June 2006 through October 2009 on 715,000 patients, and 1.4 million doses (of 45 different vaccines) were given to 376,452 individuals. Of these doses, 35,570 possible reactions (2.6 percent of vaccinations) were identified. This is an average of 890 possible events, an average of 1.3 events per clinician, per month. This data was presented at the 2009 AMIA conference. This data comes 2010 HHS pilot study by the Federal Agency for Health Care Research (AHCR) that found that 1 in every 39 vaccines causes injury, a shocking comparison to the claims from the CDC of 1 in every million. You can access that report and read more about it here.

The Takeaway: 

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Noam Chomsky Explains How Immoral & Unethical Extraditing Julian Assange Would Be

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Noam Chomsky explains that Julian Assange is locked up for spreading truth, and exposing information that the general public has the right to know.

  • Reflect On:

    Why do people like Julian Assange and Edward Snowden face such a harsh backlash from Governments? If governments and elite corporations aren't doing anything wrong, what do they have to hide? Why are the censoring so much information?

What Happened: Popular activist and academic Noam Chomsky recently sat down with RT for an interview regarding the attempted extradition of Julian Assange to the United States. He (Assange) is facing multiple life sentences for leaking classified information, but the reality is, as hundreds of academics, legal professionals, and what seems to be a staggering majority all over the world, feel what is happening to Julian Assange is a result of simply sharing information that that exposes immoral and unethical actions by various governments and big corporations. In fact, more than 150 politicians, lawyers, and legal academics, including 13 former presidents recently called on the UK to free Assange. You can access that letter here.  For this, not only has he been imprisoned, but tortured as well. Chomsky mentions this as well.

Of course, the opposition would argue that the information Assange shared threatened “national security” but in my opinion, national security has simply become an umbrella term to cover up these immoral actions by governments and corporations.

According to Chomsky, ‘Julian Assange committed the crime of letting the general population know things that they have a right to know and that powerful states don’t want them to know.’ You can watch the interview clip here.

Why This Is Important: I’ve written about Assange quite a bit, and a quite I like to use often comes from – Nils Melzer, Human Rights Chair of the Geneva Academy of Int Humanitarian Law and Human Rights, Prof of Int Law at the University of Glasgow, UN Rapporteur on Torture and Other Inhumane or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.

How far have we sunk if telling the truth becomes a crime? How far have we sunk if we prosecute people that expose war crimes for exposing war crimes? How far have we sunk when we no longer prosecute our own war criminals? Because we identify more with them, than we identify with the people that actually expose these crimes. What does that tell about us and about our governments? In a democracy, the power does not belong to the government, but to the people. But the people have to claim it. Secrecy disempowers the people because it prevents them from exercising democratic control, which is precisely why governments want secrecy.

For the latest updates on Julian Assange, we strongly recommend following them on Instagram. You can also check out their website as well. 

Related CE Articles:

Julian Assange’s Trial Has Begun: Judge Warns Him Not To Speak Again & Remain Silent

Media Dead Silent As Award-Winning Journalist Crumbles The Myths Surrounding Julian Assange

The Takeaway: In my opinion, politics has become a cesspool of corruption, and it’s now corporations and big banks that seem to dictate political policy. What we are presented with on our TV when it comes to geopolitical issues and war is far different from what’s happening in reality, and this is what Julian Assange made evident. Whether it’s the funding, arming and creation of  terrorist organizations like ISIS or Al-Qaeda by our governments, creating problems so they can propose the solutions, or documents showing the influence Big Pharma has on global health policy, obtaining this information and using it to inform the public is not a “threat” to the people, it’s a threat to to the people in power. These people in power are using “national “security as they always due to justify the locking Assange up for the rest of his life.

Do we really live on a planet right now where those who expose truth, expose corporate corruption, and those who want what’s best for the world and want to change the world, are locked away, murdered, silenced, censored, and thrown in jail? Furthermore, what time of ‘machine’ is required to justify his jailing in the minds of the masses? What kind of propaganda tools are used and how powerful are they if they have the ability to completely control human consciousness and perception in a way that best fits their interests?

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1 Million + People Download Study Showing Heavy Aluminum Deposits In Autistic Brains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    A landmark paper published in 2018 showing high amounts of aluminum in autistic brains has not been dowloaded more than 1 million times.

  • Reflect On:

    Why are federal health regulatory agencies ignoring the emerging science showing concerns with regards to injected aluminum? Why don't they address the concerns and conduct safety studies?

What Happened: In 2018, Professor of Bioinorganic Chemistry at Keele University, who is considered one of the world’s leading experts in aluminum toxicology, published a paper in the Journal of Trace Elements in Medicine & Biology showing very high amounts of aluminum in the brain tissue of people with autism. Exley has examined more than 100 brains, and the aluminum content in these people is some of the highest he has ever seen and raises new questions about the role of aluminum in the etiology of autism. Five people were used in the study, comprising of four males and one female, all between the ages of 14-50. Each of their brains contained what the authors considered unsafe and high amounts of aluminum compared to brain tissues of patients with other diseases where high brain aluminum content is common, like Alzheimer’s disease, for example.

It’s now been downloaded by more than 1 million people. The photo below was posted recently via his Instagram account.

Here is a summary of the study’s main findings:

-All five individuals had at least one brain tissue with a “pathologically significant” level of aluminum, defined as greater than or equal to 3.00 micrograms per gram of dry brain weight (μg/g dry wt). (Dr. Exley and colleagues developed categories to classify aluminum-related pathology after conducting other brain studies, wherein older adults who died healthy had less than 1 μg/g dry wt of brain aluminum.)

-Roughly two-thirds (67%) of all the tissue samples displayed a pathologically significant aluminum content.

-Aluminum levels were particularly high in the male brains, including in a 15-year-old boy with ASD who had the study’s single highest brain aluminum measurement (22.11 μg/g dry wt)—many times higher than the pathologically significant threshold and far greater than levels that might be considered as acceptable even for an aged adult.

-Some of the elevated aluminum levels rivaled the very high levels historically reported in victims of dialysis encephalopathy syndrome (a serious iatrogenic disorder resulting from aluminum-containing dialysis solutions).

-In males, most aluminum deposits were inside cells (80/129), whereas aluminum deposits in females were primarily extracellular (15/21). The majority of intracellular aluminum was inside non-neuronal cells (microglia and astrocytes).

-Aluminum was present in both grey matter (88 deposits) and white matter (62 deposits). (The brain’s grey matter serves to process information, while the white matter provides connectivity.)

-The researchers also identified aluminum-loaded lymphocytes in the meninges (the layers of protective tissue that surround the brain and spinal cord) and in similar inflammatory cells in the vasculature, furnishing evidence of aluminum’s entry into the brain “via immune cells circulating in the blood and lymph” and perhaps explaining how youth with ASD came to acquire such shockingly high levels of brain aluminum.

Following up this paper, Exely recently published recently published a paper titled “The role of aluminum adjuvants in vaccines raises issues that deserve independent, rigorous and honest science.” In their publication, they provide evidence for their position that “the safety of aluminium-based vaccine adjuvants, like that of any environmental factor presenting a risk of neurotoxicity and to which the young child is exposed, must be seriously evaluated without further delay, particularly at a time when the CDC is announcing a still increasing prevalence of autism spectrum disorders, of 1 child in 54 in the USA.”

In the interview below, Exley answers a lot of questions, but the part that caught my attention was:

We have looked at what happens to the aluminum adjuvant when it’s injected and we have shown that certain types of cells come to the injection site and take up the aluminum inside them. You know, these same cells we also see in the brain tissue in autism. So, for the first time we have a link that honestly I had never expected to find between aluminum as an adjuvant in vaccines and that same aluminum potentially could be carried by those same cells across the blood brain barrier into the brain tissue where it could deposit the aluminum and produce a disease, Encephalopathy (brain damage), it could produce the more severe and disabling form of autism. This is a really shocking finding for us.

The interview is quite informative with regards to aluminum toxicology in general, but if you’re interested in the quote above, you can fast forward to the twelve minutes and thirty seconds mark.

Why This Is Important: There are many concerns being raised about aluminum in vaccines, and where that aluminum goes when it’s injected into the body. Multiple animal studies have now shown that when you inject aluminum, it doesn’t exit the body but travels to distant organs and eventually ends up in the brain where it’s detectable 1-10 years after injection. When we take in aluminum from our food or whatever however, the body does a great job of getting rid of it.

When you inject aluminum, it goes into a different compartment of your body. It doesn’t come into that same mechanism of excretion. So, and of course it can’t because that’s the whole idea of aluminum adjuvants, aluminum adjuvants are meant to stick around and allow that antigen to be presented over and over and over again persistently, otherwise you wouldn’t put an adjuvant in in the first place. It can’t be inert, because if it were inert it couldn’t do the things it does. It can’t be excreted because again it couldn’t provide that prolonged exposure of the antigen to your immune system. – Dr Christopher Shaw, University of British Columbia. (source)

Furthermore, federal health regulatory agencies have not appropriately studied the aluminum adjuvants mechanisms of action after injection, it’s simply been presumed safe after more than 90 years of use in various vaccines.

It’s also important to note that A group of scientists and physicians known as The Physicians For Informed Consent (PIC) have discovered a crucial math error in a FDA paper regarding the safety of aluminum in vaccines.

If you want to access the science and studies about injected aluminum not exiting the body, and more information about aluminum in vaccines in general, you can refer to THIS article, and THIS article I recently published on the subject that goes into more detail and provides more sources, science and exampels. 

The Takeaway: When it comes to vaccine safety, why does mainstream media constantly point fingers and call those who have concerns “anti-vax conspiracy theorists?” Why don’t they ever address the science and concerns being raised that paint vaccines in a light that they’ve never been painted in? What’s going on here? Would more rigorous safety testing of our vaccines not be in the best interests of everybody? Who would ever oppose that and why?

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