An independent lab has found that Kashi’s ‘healthy’ GoLean Original breakfast cereal (owned by Kellogg’s) is loaded with the herbicide chemical glyphosate. What’s more, it actually contains 6x the amount of glyphosate previously found in Kellogg’s’ Froot Loops cereal.

Kashi GoLean

Photo credit: dr.coop / Foter / CC BY-NC

The Kashi brand has been in trouble before. The company has faced multiple class action lawsuits when consumers accused Kellogg’s of misleading them with “natural” labels despite their cereals containing things like pyridoxine hydrochloride, calcium pantothenate, and hexane-processed soy oil.

Now, GMOFreeUSA.org is reporting that a box of Kashi Go Lean Original Cereal, which was not verified by the GMO Free Project, was sent to a lab to be tested for probably-carcinogenic glyphosate – the main ingredient in Monsanto’s best-selling Round Up.

The results were quite shocking:

“A glyphosate residue test was conducted by an accredited lab using the Specific LC/MS/MS testing method with a minimum detectable level of 0.02 ppm. The test documented the presence of glyphosate in the box of Kashi GoLean Original which was not verified by the Non-GMO Project, at a level of 0.68 ppm, or 0.68 mg/kg. This level is nearly 6 times higher than the levels detected in the independent testing we commissioned on Froot Loops.

The test also documented the presence of AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid), a metabolite of glyphosate, at an even higher level of 0.81ppm or 0.81mg/kg. This is the first time the lab has documented the presence of AMPA in the products we’ve had tested. The test results give significant reason for concern. There is a growing body of scientific evidence (4) that links glyphosate to health and environmental harm.”

PLEASE NOTE: The box of Kashi GoLean Original we tested was NOT verified by the Non-GMO Project. While this product has been subsequently verified by the Non-GMO Project, there are still boxes which have not been verified on store shelves. In addition, we release the results of these tests because there are still other unverified products in the Kashi line that likely contain similar ingredients.

While some might think of Kashi as a healthful choice, it looks like it’s time to ban yet another product made by Big Food. Kellogg’s track record isn’t looking so good.

The following is their public stance on GMOs, reprinted from a PDF the company has published:

“Kellogg Company GMO Position Statement

We understand consumers have questions and strong preferences about the foods they eat. Many influential regulatory agencies and organizations worldwide that study the safety of the food supply have confirmed that genetically modified (GM) ingredients are safe.

This approach adds desirable traits from nature, without introducing anything unnatural or using chemicals, so that food is more plentiful. GM ingredients have been around for the past 20 years, are represented in the vast majority of the foods on grocery shelves in the U.S. and many other countries, and help keep food costs down.

They also help feed the hungry and malnourished in developing nations. In some markets around the world, we do not use GM ingredients based on input from our consumers and local availability. For U.S. consumers who prefer an alternative, our Kashi brand offers a variety of Non-GMO Project Verified options.

Kellogg also supports proposed U.S. legislation to establish a federal standard for companies that want to voluntarily label their foods for the absence or presence of GMO food ingredients. We continue to actively monitor the science, regulations and our consumers’ preferences on this topic.

For more information on GM ingredients, visit http://factsaboutgmos.org/. For information about the proposed U.S. legislation, visit www.CFSAF.org.”

Article written by Christina Sarich
This article originally appeared at Natural Society.

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With the way that energy costs are soaring nationwide, more people want to find a cheaper source of energy. You may be wondering, “What is a solar panel and how it can help me cut electricity costs for my home?”

Photo credit: spanginator / Foter / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: spanginator / Foter / CC BY-SA

These panels are made from a type of silicon – and photovoltaic cells within the panel are what work to create the energy consumers can use. The cells in the panels are how the sunlight is collected and converted. Solar power occurs either through using the photovoltaic method or through a solar thermal set up.

You might think that you’ve never seen solar power in effect, but you may have and not realized it. Solar energy has been used in various devices for years. One such device is a solar calculator.

Solar calculators are able to run based solely on the power they get from the sun. The best part about solar energy is that it’s energy that’s easily replenished and because it’s a natural resource. By using solar power, you’re saving financially and helping the environment.

It used to be that only businesses or the very wealthy used this type of energy because only they could afford it, but you don’t have to be a Bill Gates to have a home powered in part or fully by solar panels.

It’s become a very cost-effective way to produce the electricity that you need. You can actually apply the benefits of solar power to your home and produce enough energy to say goodbye permanently to those staggering electric bills.

You can order solar kits yourself online and set them up to start producing the needed watts for your home today. You’ll want to get enough solar panels to take care of the electrical demands needed for your home, so the amount that you purchase will be determined by the amount of wattage you use. You can figure that out by looking at your current electric bill, but make sure that you also check your seasonal electricity uses, since it’s always more in winter and summer.

The panels that you buy can be used for recreational vehicles (like RVs), too. The sturdy panels can withstand some pretty strong weather – including hailstones. You can also use solar panels as an emergency supply of energy if you’re on the fence about whether or not you want to redo your entire home with solar energy.

When you do decide to purchase these panels, you can find them separately or with a kit that includes everything you need for charging. A solar panel can save you money, provide your home (or vacation home) with energy and help lessen your demand on fossil fuels. That’s innovative savings!

A Guide to Going Off the Grid
When things run smoothly, we enjoy a comfortable and convenient life. But if something happens to disrupt that grid, then what we depended on will come crashing down. When you depend on anything else but your own resources, you can’t count on it always being there for you. That’s why you always need to find a way to live off the grid.
Download the ebook,
A Guide to Going Off the Grid“.

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When you have the knowledge that you need, you can weather short-term and long-term disasters. But without knowing how to survive, you lessen your odds of making it through.

Survival guides share the knowledge that can help you to survive no matter what your location is – and knowing and preparing for the different ways to survive in any territory will provide you the skills you need.

survivalSurviving an emergency situation isn’t the same in a desert as it is in an urban setting. There’s also a big difference between surviving in the woods versus surviving a catastrophic weather event.

But wherever you happen to be, always remember the first rule. Don’t panic. Panic can lead you to make foolish decisions that will hamper your chances of making it through. Regardless of your situation, food, water and shelter should be your focus.

With a survival guide for any situation, you’ll learn that whenever you’re traveling through a desert area, always have emergency supplies. No one ever expects a vehicle to break down or to get lost in the desert, but it happens.

You should have a hat to cover your head, water, a mirror, and matches on hand. Matches are necessary because the temperatures in the desert drop at night. Not only that, but you can use matches to burn tires or other items to signal for help.

You should have a flashlight, a first aid kit and a blanket with you. Remember too, not to wander away from your vehicle – it’ll be harder for search teams to find you. But don’t sit in your vehicle because the temperatures inside can get too hot.

Urban survival is different in that people aren’t conditioned for the break down of societal rules following a disaster. Urban survival can quickly break down to simply food, shelter and staying alive.

Survival guides that discuss urban survival always mention food storage, a means to cook the food, a water filter or purification tablets and facial masks to protect against contaminants.

Wilderness survival is different from desert and urban survival in that the location can offer special challenges depending on the area. You’ll need a waterproof backpack packed with the following items: first aid kit, food bars, matches, a compass, a knife, string, water purification tablets and a parachute cloth or one man tent. You can use the string to tie to trees, drape the parachute cloth over it and create instant shelter.

Disaster survival guides will cover how to survive in any area for specific length of times (short-term and long-term). You’ll learn the supplies that you’ll need to have on hand and the guides can give you the self-confidence to survive any situation.

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Photo credit: Clean Wal-Mart / Foter / CC BY

Photo credit: Clean Wal-Mart / Foter / CC BY

There are two main types of vitamins, water soluble vitamins and fat soluble vitamins, and the way that the body does or does not store vitamin content taken from food depends on which type it is. The body cannot store water soluble vitamins and this means that a person needs to replenish their water soluble vitamin intake on a daily basis. The eight B vitamins and vitamin C are water soluble vitamins and the body cannot store vitamin content that is either of these.

It is not simply that the body cannot store vitamins that are water soluble but also the water soluble vitamins are easily destroyed by improper storage, handling, or cooking of foods that contain these vitamins. In particular, it is important not to overcook vegetables by boiling as the water soluble vitamins are in effect washed out of them but this lack of being able to store vitamins that are water soluble can be overcome by light cooking or steaming and by using the water that vegetable have been cooked in to form sauces and gravies. As the body cannot store vitamin C or the other water soluble vitamins it is essential to eat a balanced diet with at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables to ensure that enough vitamins are available for the body to use when necessary and a person does not suffer from a vitamin deficiency due to the body’s inability to store vitamin content.

On the other hand, the body can store vitamin content that is fat soluble. The body will store vitamin content in the fat cells so that it can be used when required and a person does not need to consume as many of these fat soluble vitamins on as frequent a basis as they do with water soluble vitamins. The fat cells store vitamin A, D, E, and K as these are all fat soluble vitamins.

It is also important to store vitamin supplements correctly to ensure that the beneficial qualities of these are not diminished. The best way to store vitamin supplements is in a container with a screw top lid and to keep the container in a dry place. When you store vitamin supplements it is also essential to check that they have not been kept longer than the expiration date. The vitamin content of supplements cannot be guaranteed if you store vitamin tablets past their use by date.

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You’re going to need a way to have some electricity when there’s no way for you get any. Besides having solar panels in place, you should also have a generator. Not only are these good to have for when a pandemic hits, but they also come in handy during any time the power goes out.

The size of the generator you purchase is going to depend on a few different factors. When you need power, you have to figure out what you need the power for – because different appliances use different amounts of wattage.

You can find these listed in the appliance owner’s manual or through an online search, but you need to know because it determines the type of generator that you need.

You don’t want to figure in useless appliances that will waste your fuel. It’s better to hand wash the dishes than to burn up fuel by using the dishwasher. You figure out the size that you need by listing the items that you’re going to have to use electricity for.

For example, most people want a generator that can power a refrigerator and a freezer that’s stocked full of food for the months ahead so that they don’t lose that storage.

You figure what you need by looking up how much wattage it takes to run each of the items you want to run. You add those to give you the total wattage amount. You want to buy a generator with the wattage power that can handle all of this.

So you would look for one with the wattage capacity that was more than you need to run your biggest wattage appliance. It takes about 700 watts to run a refrigerator.

That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you add a furnace and electronics, the wattage use creeps up. These items also draw wattage upon starting, so you have to figure that in, too. It takes more wattage to start most items than to keep them running.

You want to choose a generator that’s closely matched to the wattage use that you need. If you only need 3,000 watts, don’t choose a generator that can power more than twice that because you’re just burning up the gas that it takes to run the generator.

Most homes can be run on 5,000 watts. But those are running watts, so you have to take into consideration what it takes to start up. A generator of about 7,500 watts could easily run a home.

Because the generator will need gas, you’ll need to store that safely to prevent any problems with it. Keep your supply locked away and hidden. Store gasoline in gas approved containers – but since you want to have this in bulk, you can find the larger containers that will hold more.

Some people suggest using steel drums and you can buy these online. Whatever amount of gas you store, it will only keep for about a year before it starts to break down. However, there are additives like PRI that you can buy that can restore the gas.

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Many of the health benefits derived from a vegetarian diet have to do with creating a healthy environment in the bowels and stomach. Our digestive systems, from prehistory on, were designed to metabolize vegetable matter, more than animal products. Fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts provide the kind of dietary fiber our digestive systems need to function properly. The Western diet that’s high in processed and refined flour and sugar, and in animal products that are laden with hormones and antibiotics, are actually anathema to our insides.

salad2When the digestive system doesn’t function and work as it’s intended to, that leads to opportunistic diseases or changes in the DNA of cells in the stomach and colon. And there are more practical considerations as well. When we don’t get enough of the fiber we need, we incur a host of digestion and elimination problems, such as constipation and hemorrhoids that are a result of straining. These diseases and syndromes are much less evident in a vegetarian population than in a meat-eating population.

Other diseases of the bowel that occur less frequently in a vegetarian population include irritable bowel syndrome, and chronic ulcerative colitis, mostly likely due to the increased fiber content in a vegetarian diet. And of course a diet that’s higher in dietary fiber that comes from a vegetarian diet will decrease the likelihood or risk of colon cancer.

When you consider the risks that come with a diet that includes meat and animal products, and the benefits that come from a vegetarian diet, does the prospect of a steak or burger or bacon really sound that good to you? Doesn’t it at least make sense to reverse the portion sizes and proportions of meats to vegetables and side dishes? In other words, if you must continue to eat meat, then make meat your side dish, or just incidental to your meal, such as in a stir fry. Increasing the proportion of fruits and vegetables in your diet can only be good for you.

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If you ask people if they would like to survive in a disaster situation, every one of them would tell you yes, obviously. But if you ask them how many of them are actually prepared, you’d see maybe only a third of them (and that’s being generous) would say they were.

While everyone wants to survive, not everyone will actually work a plan to make sure that happens. There are always a variety of reasons that people give for not preparing.

canningTopping the list is always the excuse that putting a survival plan in action costs too much money. So they don’t prepare. They believe that the government will step in and help them.

What they fail to realize is that the government isn’t in the position to help people in the event that a disaster is catastrophic. Sure, the government can step in and help if an area or two is hard hit – but we saw how well that went in Katrina and other disasters.

But imagine a disaster of such proportions that it astounds the entire world. If something like an Ebola crisis began to hit hundreds of thousands of people in every city and in every state.

The government wouldn’t be able to keep up. If you weren’t infected and had to stay quarantined in place, you would become one of millions. How well do you think your needs would be met?

You can’t afford to rely on anyone else and you can’t afford not to prepare. The problem that most people have when they use the excuse that they can’t afford to gear up for survival is that their outlook is far too broad.

They’re looking at a list of supplies as a whole rather than breaking them down and concentrating on building up in small increments. You can set aside the supplies you need for survival even if you don’t have all of the money you need at once because you can do it on a budget.

Even if you live paycheck to paycheck, you can afford to prepare. What you have to do is buy just a few survival supplies each month. As each month passes, your store of supplies will grow.

Concentrate on reaching small goals first. For example, you can prepare for a 72-hour emergency first. So what you do is focus your money on buying just what you need for each member of your family to live for three days.

Once you have those supplies, then you gradually increase what you have – such as preparing for enough food for a week – and you slowly increase those supplies to make sure you have enough for two weeks, and so on.

You can find ways to add money to your budget by cutting out things that you don’t absolutely have to have right now just until you get your supplies built up. Budget for everything and don’t waste money.

Use coupons – especially the buy one get one free coupons. Always shop for sales for your food and supplies. Sell some of the items that you have around your home that you don’t need or no longer use and then put that extra money toward building up your supplies.

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Many people think popping a multi-vitamin supplement to get their nutrients is just as good as what comes from real foods. They don’t realize that it is far better to get vitamins and minerals from natural foods and juices.

oj_banannaOur bodies utilize the vitamins and minerals from real foods more efficiently. And most people find it much easier to select a variety of whole foods they enjoy eating instead of trying to make heads or tails of the entire selection of vitamin and mineral supplements that are available. And any of us who’ve swallowed a multi-vitamin or a mineral supplement can say without a doubt that the taste leaves a lot to be desired.

Supplements are also difficult for our bodies to break down and use, making it difficult to get the full punch from the vitamins and minerals they contain.

Conversely, by consuming plenty of nutrient-dense food to get the equivalent means the nutrients are going to be easier for the body to process and utilize, and less likely to be wasted. We are also processing nutrients throughout the course of the day when we obtain them from food, instead of just getting them from the ‘one a day’ approach.

Many of the supplements available today use fillers and binders to hold them together, plus coatings on the tablets themselves. These are products the body does not need and will not use. Some people find they are allergic to the dyes and fillers used in vitamin pills. However, the body uses the fiber that binds fruits and vegetables.

Often the “skin” of a vegetable, like the potato, is the most nutritious part. In addition, sometimes the vitamin and mineral supplements can upset our stomachs, making taking them even more difficult the next day.

In many cases, combining supplements can counteract their effectiveness and can produce stomach upset when dealing with the taste and smell of some supplements. On the other hand, a variety of fruits and vegetables enhance the flavor of a nutritious meal and their fiber aids digestion.

If you’re looking to lose weight, eating fresh food is vital to a weight loss plan. Also, eating fresh fruits and vegetables help hair, skin and teeth stay attractive and healthy. And when you think about it, fruits and vegetables are the original ‘to go’ food. It’s simple to grab for an orange, apple, banana, grapes, or quickly toss a few vegetables together for a salad to take to work.

So when you’re looking for well-balanced, healthy, reliable nutrition, don’t reach for the bottle. Reach for the food!

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tentAre you interested in getting outdoors more often? Whether you plan on camping for only a few days or you’d rather plan something a bit lengthier, knowing the basics of camping survival is a must for anyone planning a trip in the wild. Here are a few things to consider bringing with you when planning a camping trip.

One of the biggest aspects of camping survival is being prepared. This is why having the right supplies with you can do wonders for preventing the worst. These typically include items such as a First Aid Kit, extra food and water kits, and other supplies. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to keep these essentials with you without you having to pack overmuch, especially as many of these items are designed to save space.

The first aid kit would have to be one of the biggest parts of camping survival available. Keep in mind, however, that these should be used to keep the victim stabilized; except in instances of minor injuries, it shouldn’t be considered a replacement for genuine help. Most first aid kits include gauze, bandages, antibiotics, burn cream, sun lotion, and disinfectant. Larger kits may include everything from rash cream to wound irrigation systems. If you have a certain medication you must take daily, such as an inhaler, insulin shots, or allergy pills, it’s a good idea to include extra doses of these in the event of an emergency.

Food is another important issue when it comes to camping survival. After all, there is always the chance that your typical stores of dried fruit, granola, and jerky will run out or simply won’t suffice in the long run. Food kits typically include canned food, dehydrated food, and freeze dried meals. Vitamin kits are also included in the event that you’re stuck in the wilderness for an incredibly lengthy amount of time and can’t get the nutrients you need from what food you have. Another important item to have includes a field guide to gathering nuts, berries, mushrooms, plants, and other fresher foods that you might find in the wild around you. This not only prevents you from eating the wrong thing, but it also gives tips on where to find it and how to prepare it.

Of course, there is always the chance that your camping survival skills will be put to the ultimate test. In the event that you are lost in the wilderness, it pays to have a few items on hand that may help any search parties discover you. Some basics include compasses, battery powered radios, flashlights, and flares. There are also a variety of GPS devices that allow authorities to pinpoint you via satellite. Learn more about camping survival skills today!

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Have you been hearing about the Raw Food Diet? It’s gaining popularity and buzz, not just as a diet to lose weight, but a diet for a long and healthy life. We eat so much in the way of processed food that we don’t even stop to think about what we’re putting into our bodies, and how far we’ve come nutritionally from our ancestral, agrarian roots.

tomatosA raw food diet means consuming food in its natural, unprocessed form. There are several common-sense rationales for why this is a good idea. Processing and cooking food can take so much of the basic nutritional value away. Think of some of the conventional wisdom you’ve heard about for years, such as: If you cook pasta just to the al dente (or medium) stage, it will have more calories, yes, but it will have more the nutritional value in it than if you cooked it to a well-done stage. Or you probably remember hearing not to peel carrots or potatoes too deeply, because most of the nutrients and values are just under the surface.

The raw food diet means eating unprocessed, uncooked, organic, whole foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, dried fruits, seaweeds, etc. It means a diet that is at least 75% uncooked! Cooking takes out flavor and nutrition from vegetables and fruits. A raw food diet means eating more the way our ancient ancestors did. Our healthier, more fit ancestors. They cooked very little, and certainly didn’t cook or process fruits and vegetables. They ate them RAW. Their water wasn’t from a tap; it was natural, spring water. Maybe they drank some coconut milk on occasion.

Doesn’t it just make sense that this is how our bodies were meant to eat? It’s a way of eating that’s in harmony with the planet and in harmony with our own metabolisms. Our bodies were meant to work, and need to work to be efficient. That means exercise, certainly, but it also means eating natural, raw foods that require more energy to digest them.

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