- The Facts:
Baby carrots are washed in a dilute chlorine bleach solution to clean them.
- Reflect On:
You can vote with your dollar and buy organic, if you can't afford it, perhaps it's best to wash your fruits and vegetables with a good soak before consuming them.
Baby carrots have become a staple in children’s lunch boxes all over North America. Although, they don’t really resemble the carrots in our gardens, with their bright orange colour, smooth physique, and perfectly rounded edges. You may have heard the following rumours about these tiny snacks: “baby carrots are soaked in chlorine;” “the white foam around them is the chlorine seeping out;” and “baby carrots aren’t real carrots.” This begs the questions: is there any truth behind these rumours? What exactly are “baby carrots” and how are they made?
The Truth Behind “Baby Carrots” and Their Origin
According to National Geographic, approximately 46% of fruits and vegetables never make it from farm to fork, which is largely due to consumer expectations. Consumers don’t want ugly fruits and vegetables, so anything that doesn’t look like it’s in perfect condition is typically thrown out. Although some farmers will donate a portion of their “ugly produce” and some supermarkets have started to sell them at a discounted price, it’s still a significant contributing factor to food waste.
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When it comes to carrots, conventional supermarkets started only selling “pretty carrots” in the 1980s. Consumers expected carrots to be a certain size, shape and colour, so anything that didn’t have those characteristics were tossed, juiced, or fed to animals. To combat this, some farmers started to make use out of their “ugly carrots” by peeling them, cutting them into bite-size pieces, and selling them in bags. These are considered “baby-cut carrots,” though we often mistake them as “baby carrots.”
Real baby carrots are those that are only grown until the “baby stage,” so the carrot is pulled out of the ground before it grows into its full size. Some people actually prefer the taste of baby carrots over regular carrots. You can often find them packaged in the produce section of a grocery store. They’re typically sold with some of the greenery still on them, perhaps to prove they’re real carrots despite their smaller size.
As soon as baby-cut carrots hit the market, the entire industry was transformed. Baby carrot products have been the fastest growing segment within the carrot industry since the early 90s and are among the most popular produce items at grocery stores, even more so than potatoes and celery. They’ve also adapted, as carrots are often bred to have ideal characteristics such as a sweeter taste and brighter colour (source).
Baby-cut carrots seemingly made the industry more environmentally-friendly by reducing food waste. However, there’s one particular part of this process that’s harmful to both the environment and human health…
Yes, Baby Carrots Are Soaked In Chlorine
This may not come as a surprise to you; after all, how can baby-cut carrots look so perfect and stay fresh for so long? You may find yourself eating baby-cut carrots long after the recommended “due date” because they still look like they’re in perfect condition. Well, there’s a reason for that.
Before being packaged, the baby-cut carrots are treated in a chlorine-water solution. The chlorine is used to limit the risk of food-borne illnesses such as E.coli. Grimmway Farms, a producer of baby-cut carrots, explained that the chlorine solution is within the limits set by the EPA and is comparable to the amount of chlorine found in tap water.
However, as many of you may know, the chlorine found in tap water can be extremely harmful to human health. Even the U.S. Council Of Environmental Quality states, “cancer risk among people drinking chlorinated water is 93% higher than among those whose water does not contain chlorine.” If we can’t trust the EPA to set proper limits for the chlorine in our water (which should be none), why should we trust them to set proper standards for our food?
If you’re unfamiliar with the details of this chemical, chlorine belongs to the same chemical group as fluorine, they belong to the halogen family of elements. Chlorine in its natural form is a common element on Earth and is very toxic. According to the EPA, Americans are consuming 300-600 times the amount of chlorine that is considered “safe to ingest.”
Chlorine is known as a persistent chemical, which means that unlike other sanitation chemicals it does not break down (read more about this here). So, even if the amount used to produce baby-cut carrots is within the EPA guidelines, since you’re bound to be exposed to chlorine through other means, you should be avoiding it wherever possible.
Debunking Other Myths Surrounding “Baby Carrots”
So, we’ve established that one rumour is true, baby-cut carrots are soaked in chlorine, and that one rumour is not, baby-cut carrots are, in fact, real carrots. Lastly, that white foam that often forms outside baby-cut carrots is not associated with chlorine.
The white residue isn’t the result of a chemical, but rather is an indicator that the carrot is beginning to dry out. You can actually restore the carrots’ original colour by adding more water to it. You don’t see the same thing form on larger carrots as often because baby-cut carrots dry out quicker since their skin was peeled off. If you peel a regular sized carrot, the same thing would occur.
I’ve also noticed some confusion surrounding the nutritional content of baby-cut carrots and how that compares to regular sized carrots. Dr. Aruna Weerasooriya, Researcher and Professor of Agricultural Sciences at Prairie View A&M University, explains that the manipulation of certain vegetables degrades their nutritional value, including carrots.
Dr. Weerasooriya explains, “when you look at wild carrots, they have high levels of Thymol, a phyto-chemical that is essential for the body to control bacteria and ward off viral infections… Now, when you look at some of these new carrot breeds, this type of phytochemical just isn’t there.”
Weerasooriya noted that corporations seem to be more interested in extending baby-cut carrots’ shelf life than in human health. That isn’t very surprising, as numerous multinational corporations are guilty of caring more about their profits than people. He explains, “research should focus on how to retain some of these nutrients, but instead companies are probably more concerned about a longer shelf life.”
If the chlorine concerns you (which I think it should), purchase organic baby-cut carrots instead! Organic baby-cut carrots are soaked in a non-toxic, citrus solution called Citrox. Citrox is an all-natural alternative to chlorine and is often used to decontaminate organic produce and other food and beverage products. You could also simply purchase larger carrots and then chop them into smaller pieces.
Unfortunately, lots of other pre-cut vegetables are soaked in chlorine too. To avoid chemicals, I recommend always purchasing organic! The hidden costs associated with non-organic produce including health risks and environmental issues are far higher than the premium price for organic products.
Norway Investigates 29 Deaths in Elderly Patients After Pfizer Covid-19 Vaccination
- The Facts:
Norway has registered a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first Covid-19 vaccination shot, raising questions over which groups to target in national inoculation programs.
- Reflect On:
Should freedom of choice always remain here? Should governments and private institutions not be allowed to mandate this vaccine in order to have access to certain rights and freedoms?
What Happened: 29 patients who were quite old and frail have died following their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination. As a result, Norwegian officials have since adjusted their advice on who should get the COVID-19 vaccine.
This doesn’t come as a surprise to many given the fact that the clinical trials were conducted with people who are healthy. Older and sick people with co-morbidities were not used in the trials, and people with severe allergies and other diseases that can make one more susceptible to vaccine injury were not used either. It can be confusing given the fact that vaccination is being encouraged for the elderly in nursing homes and those who are more vulnerable to COVID-19.
Steinar Madsen, medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency (NOMA), told the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that “There is no certain connection between these deaths and the vaccine.”
On the 15th of January it was 23 deaths, Bloomberg is now reporting that a total of 29 deaths among people over the age of 75 who’ve had their first COVID-19 shot. They point out that “Until Friday, Pfizer/BioNTech was the only vaccine available in Norway”, stating that the Norwegian Medicines Agency told them that as a result “all deaths are thus linked to this vaccine.”
“There are 13 deaths that have been assessed, and we are aware of another 16 deaths that are currently being assessed,” the agency said. All the reported deaths related to “elderly people with serious basic disorders,” it said. “Most people have experienced the expected side effects of the vaccine, such as nausea and vomiting, fever, local reactions at the injection site, and worsening of their underlying condition.”
Madsen also told the BMJ that,
There is a possibility that these common adverse reactions, that are not dangerous in fitter, younger patients and are not unusual with vaccines, may aggravate underlying disease in the elderly. We are not alarmed or worried about this, because these are very rare occurrences and they occurred in very frail patients with very serious disease. We are not asking for doctors to continue with vaccination, but to carry out extra evaluation of very sick people whose underlying condition might be aggravated by it. This evaluation includes discussing the risks and benefits of vaccination with the patient and their families to decide whether or not vaccination is the best course.
The BMJ article goes on to point out that the Paul Ehrlich Institute in Germany is also investigating 10 deaths shortly after COVID-19 vaccination, and closes with the following information:
In a statement, Pfizer said, “Pfizer and BioNTech are aware of reported deaths following administration of BNT162b2. We are working with NOMA to gather all the relevant information.
“Norwegian authorities have prioritised the immunisation of residents in nursing homes, most of whom are very elderly with underlying medical conditions and some of whom are terminally ill. NOMA confirm the number of incidents so far is not alarming, and in line with expectations. All reported deaths will be thoroughly evaluated by NOMA to determine if these incidents are related to the vaccine. The Norwegian government will also consider adjusting their vaccination instructions to take the patients’ health into more consideration.
“Our immediate thoughts are with the bereaved families.”
Vaccine Hesitancy is Growing Among Healthcare Workers: Vaccine hesitancy is growing all over the globe, one of the latest examples comes from Riverside County, California. It has a population of approximately 2.4 million, and about 50 percent of healthcare workers in the county are refusing to take the COVID-19 vaccine despite the fact that they have top priority and access to it. At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, one in five frontline nurses and doctors have declined the shot. Roughly 20% to 40% of L.A. County’s frontline workers who were offered the vaccine did the same, according to county public health officials. You can read more about that story here.
Vaccine hesitancy among physicians and academics is nothing new. To illustrate this I often point to a conference held at the end of 2019 put on by the World Health Organization (WHO). At the conference, Dr. Heidi Larson a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project Emphasized this point, having stated,
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.
A study published in the journal EbioMedicine as far back as 2013 outlines this point, among many others.
Pfizer’s Questionable History: Losing faith in “big pharma” does not come without good reason. For example, in 2010 Robert G. Evans, PhD, Centre for Health Services and Policy Research Emeritus Professor, Vancouver School of Economics, UBC, published a paper that’s accessible in PubMed titled “Tough on Crime? Pfizer and the CIHR.”
In it, he outlines the fact that,
Pfizer has been a “habitual offender,” persistently engaging in illegal and corrupt marketing practices, bribing physicians and suppressing adverse trial results. Since 2002 the company and its subsidiaries have been assessed $3 billion in criminal convictions, civil penalties and jury awards. The 2.3-billion settlement…set a new record for both criminal fines and total penalties. A link with Pfizer might well advance the commercialization of Canadian research.
Suppressing clinical trial results is something I’ve come across multiple times with several different medicines. Five years ago I wrote about how big pharma did not share adverse reactions people had and harmful results from their clinical trials for commonly used antidepressant drugs.
Even scientists from within federal these health regulatory agencies have been sounding the alarm. For example, a few years ago more than a dozen scientists from within the CDC put out an anonymous public statement detailing the influence corporations have on government policies. They were referred to as the Spider Papers.
The Takeaway: Given the fact that everything is not black and white, especially when it comes to vaccine safety, do we really want to give government health agencies and/or private institutions the right to enforce mandatory vaccination requirements when their efficacy have been called into question? Should people have the freedom of choice? It’s a subject that has many people polarized in their beliefs, but at the end of the day the sharing of information, opinion and evidence should not be shut down, discouraged, ridiculed or censored.
In a day and age where more people are starting to see our planet in a completely different light, one which has more and more questioning the human experience and why we live the way we do it seems the ‘crack down’ on free thought gets tighter and tighter. Do we really want to live in a world where we lose the right to choose what we do with our own body, or one where certain rights and freedoms are taken away if we don’t comply? The next question is, what do we do about it? Those who are in a position to enforce these measures must, it seems, have a shift in consciousness and refuse to implement them. There doesn’t seem to be a clear cut answer, but there is no doubt that we are currently going through that possible process, we are living in it.
Psycho-Acoustic Medicine: Science Behind Sound Healing For Serotonin Production
- The Facts:
A number of studies and experiments have shown that sound can be used as medicine for various ailments and diseases.
- Reflect On:
Is our modern day medical industry truly interested in the health and well-being of people, or do profit and control take more priority?
Mental illness has reached an all time high in the world, and yet the modern day medicines to relieve symptoms have gained controversy. This is, in part, why people have dug up the past to better understand alternative ways of healing.
Sound, for instance, has been a tool for promoting the physical and emotional health of the body for as long as history can account for, deeply rooted in ancient cultures and civilizations. The ancient Egyptians used vowel sound chants in healing because they believed vowels were sacred. Tibetan monks take advantage of singing bowls, which they believe to be “a symbol of the unknowable” whose “vibrations have been described as the sound of the universe manifesting.”
“Our various states of consciousness are directly connected to the ever-changing electrical, chemical, and architectural environment of the brain. Daily habits of behavior and thought processes have the ability to alter the architecture of brain structure and connectivity, as well as, the neurochemical and electrical neural oscillations of your mind.”
Psychoacoustics is the scientific study of the perception of sound, and it has fueled researchers paths to better understand how it can be used as medicine. For instance, in 1973, Dr. Gerald Oster, a medical doctor and biophysicist, proved, in his research paper, “Auditory Beats in the Brain,” how sound affects the how the brain absorbs new information, controls mood, sleep patterns, healing responses, and more, and how quickly. Thus, specific frequencies of sound and music can be used to generate neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
To understand the fundamentals of sound in healing, we must first understand our brain waves. The nucleus of our thoughts, emotions, and behaviors, is the communication between neurons. Brain waves are generated by way of electrical pulses working in unison from masses of neurons interacting with one another. Brain waves are divided into five different bandwidths that are thought to form a spectrum of human consciousness.
The slowest of the waves are delta waves (.5 to 3 Hz), which are the slowest brain waves and occur mostly during our deepest state of sleep. The fastest of the waves are gamma waves (25 to 100 Hz), which are associated with higher states of conscious perception. Alpha waves (8 to 12 Hz) occur when the brain is daydreaming or consciously practicing mindfulness or meditation.
According to Dr. Suzanne Evans Morris, Ph.D., a speech-language pathologist:
Research shows that different frequencies presented to each ear through stereo headphones… create a difference tone (or binaural beat) as the brain puts together the two tones it actually hears. Through EEG monitoring the difference tone is identified by a change in the electrical pattern produced by the brain. For example, frequencies of 200 Hz and 210 Hz produce a binaural beat frequency of 10 Hz (The difference in 210 Hz and 200 Hz is 10 Hz). Monitoring of the brain’s electricity (EEG) shows that the brain produces increased 10 Hz activity with equal frequency and amplitude of the wave form in both hemispheres of the brain (left and right hemisphere).
It is thought that different brain wave patterns are connected to the production in the brain of certain neurochemicals linked with relaxation and stress release, as well as better learning and creativity, memory, and more. Such neurochemicals include beta-endorphins, growth factors, gut peptides, acetylcholine, vasopressin, and serotonin.
As far as we can tell, each brain center generates impulses at a specific frequency based on the predominant neurotransmitter it secretes. In other words, the brain’s internal communication system—its language, is based on frequency… Presumably, when we send in waves of electrical energy at, say, 10 Hz, certain cells in the lower brain stem will respond because they normally fire within that frequency range.
Additional research upholds the beliefs of mind-body medicine in this sense, stating that brainwaves being in the Alpha state, 8 to 14 Hz, permits a vibration allowing for more serotonin to be created.
It’s important for us to come to terms with the fact that there is science behind age-old medicinal practices that do not require putting unknown substances in our bodies to alleviate issues like stress, depression, anxiety, and more.
But even more intriguing is to think something as simple as sound, as music, which we have come to treat as utterly pleasurable entertainment, has not only been used to promote healing and well-being, but has proven to work through research as well.
If your mental health is of concern, try listening to a binaural beat to generate alpha waves between 8 and 14 Hz to produce more serotonin. Another option is to take advantage of music that promotes a relaxed alpha state in the brain such as classical music.
Related CE Article: Research Shows We Can Heal With Vibration, Frequency & Sound
Study: Short Break From Cosmetics Causes “Significant Drop of Hormone Disrupting Chemicals”
- The Facts:
A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle de Salinas demonstrates how even a short break from certain kinds of makeup, shampoos and lotions leads to a large drop in levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals in the body.
- Reflect On:
Why is this industry so poorly regulated?
A study led by researchers at UC Berkeley and Clinica de Salud del Valle Salinas has demonstrated how taking even a short break from various cosmetics, shampoos, and other personal care products can lead to a substantial drop in the levels of hormone-disrupting chemicals present within the body.
The results from the study were published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. Researchers gave 100 Latina teenagers various personal care products that were labeled to be free of common chemicals including phthalates, parabens, triclosan, and oxybenzone. These chemicals are used regularly in almost all conventional personal care products such as cosmetics, soap, sunscreen, shampoo, conditioner, and other hair products, and animal studies have shown that they directly interfere with the body’s endocrine system.
“Because women are the primary consumers of many personal care products, they may be disproportionately exposed to these chemicals,” said study lead author Kim Harley, associate director of the UC Berkeley Center for Environmental Research and Children’s Health. “Teen girls may be at particular risk since it’s a time of rapid reproductive development, and research has suggested that they use more personal care products per day than the average adult woman.”
After just a three-day trial with the girls using only the lower-chemical products, urine samples showed a significant drop in the level of chemicals in the body. Methyl and propyl parabens, commonly used as preservatives in cosmetics, dropped 44% and 45%, respectively, metabolites of diethyl phthalate, used often in perfumes, dropped by 27%, and both triclosan and benzophenone-3 fell 36%. The authors of the study were surprised to see an increase in two lesser common parabens, but, being minor, could easily have been caused by accidental contamination or a substitute not listed on the labels.
Co-director of the study Kimberly Parra explains why having local youths participate in the study was of particular importance:
The results of the study are particularly interesting on a scientific level, but the fact that high school students led the study set a new path to engaging youth to learn about science and how it can be used to improve the health of their communities. After learning of the results, the youth took it upon themselves to educate friends and community members, and presented their cause to legislatures in Sacramento.
Included in the CHAMACOS Youth Council were 12 local high school students who helped design and implement the study. One of the teen researchers, Maritza Cárdenas, is now a UC Berkeley undergraduate majoring in molecular and cell biology.
“One of the goals of our study was to create awareness among the participants of the chemicals found in everyday products, to help make people more conscious about what they’re using,” said Cárdenas. “Seeing the drop in chemical levels after just three days shows that simple actions can be taken, such as choosing products with fewer chemicals, and make a difference.”
The researchers noted that cosmetics and personal care products are not well-regulated in this country, and that getting data about health effects from exposure, particularly long-term ones, is difficult. But they say there is growing evidence linking endocrine-disrupting chemicals to neurobehavioral problems, obesity and cancer cell growth.
What Can You Do?
Well, you can be sure to check the labels on any products you purchase. Most personal care products contain a list of ingredients, but unfortunately many cosmetics do not. If you use a particular brand that you really love you can try contacting the manufacturer directly and asking them for an ingredient list.
You can also opt for more natural and organic products, but be sure to keep in mind that in the industry of personal care products, the words “natural” and “organic” are often meaningless. A safe bet would be to buy these products from a health food store and be sure to read the ingredients or ask the sales clerk. Generally, when products do not contain specific chemicals, the manufacturers are happy to label them as such.
The less demand for these chemically-laden products there is, the less these chemicals will be used. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: VOTE WITH YOUR DOLLAR! We have the power to create the type of world we want. Be the change.
Check out The Story Of Cosmetics below!
Encounters With Star People: Three Native Indians Describe An Encounter Of The “First Kind”
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