Cacao: Not As Good As You’ve Been Lead To Believe.
The latest and greatest “so-called” super food being promoted in the raw food world is raw chocolate, also known as cacao. I myself was excited when I first heard about it. But after trying it, I didn’t feel that great. I asked others how they felt after consuming cacao and there were no complaints. That was then. After a few months, I started to get more and more complaints from people who were taking cacao. It didn’t surprise me because chocolate in general is not good for us. Other than the enzyme issue, why would raw cacao be so healthy for us?
That is when I decided to do research and I found some scary facts. What’s even scarier is that people are so addicted to it, that even after learning of the high possibility of harmful effects, they keep consuming it. What concerns me the most is the amount people are eating. If someone took a pinch, let’s say once a week, then maybe they wouldn’t have to worry. When I see people being lead to believe that there are many health benefits to consuming tablespoons every day; that is just crazy!
If you are eating a raw food diet because you want to find a natural toxin that will make you feel high, then you have found a good product. Beware, because there are many downsides to it. If you are eating a raw diet for health benefits, consuming chocolate in any form should be off your list and out of your mind.
In one of the best overall raw guides ever written “Diet by Design: Fruits, Nuts and Natural Foods” (available at www.rawlife.com) it says the following about cacao:
Chocolate and cacao are outright health hazards due to the chemicals, contaminants, and additives they contain. The chemicals within chocolate are called methylxanthines. They can be further classified as theobromine, caffeine, and theophylline, all of which have deleterious effects on the body. Theobromine is known to cause a host of symptoms including abnormal glandular growth, nervousness, depression, anxiety, insomnia, gastrointestinal problems, and itching. Caffeine is highly suspected of being a carcinogen, and is directly linked to heart and circulatory problems, glandular difficulties, nervous disorders, osteoporosis, birthing abnormalities, and so forth. Theophylline causes stomach problems, nausea, vomiting, and nervous disorders.
The processing of cacao beans into powder and chocolate is an unsanitary, risky procedure to say the least. To be blunt-chocolate and cacao are laced with animal feces and hair, insects, and molds. The carcinogenic mold called aflatoxin has been found in large quantities on cacao beans.
Allowable limits have been set by the FDA regarding rodent feces and insect parts in chocolate and cocoa! As quoted from Poison With a Capital C, “…every time you eat a chocolate bar, it may contain a rodent hair and 16 insect parts and still carry the blessing of the FDA.”, and “For chocolate powder or cakes there must not be more than 75 insect fragments in three tablespoons of powder.”, and “Four percent of cacao beans may be infested by insects. Animal excreta (such as visible rat droppings) must not exceed 10 milligrams per pound”.
Now, after learning this information, people will still continue to indulge, making excuses to keep eating it. Please note I have no reason to write this information, other than to make you aware of the truth. In fact, I would make a lot of money if I sold raw chocolate and products that contain it. But I just can’t do that, knowing the truth.
I give lectures all over the world, mostly in the United Stated. I have already giving over 100 lectures this year alone. Just about every lecture I give, I have someone come up to me telling me that they experienced one or more of the symptoms above after consuming cacao. Now if you are eating cacao and have not had symptoms, that doesn’t mean it’s okay for you. It’s just a matter of time, so why not stop now.
It is my passion and my goal to get information about health to as many people as possible. What you do with that information is your own personal choice.
Eight good reasons to block the G8 (By: Affinity Group Wilnis)
An impressive number of groups in Germany and outside is currently preparing to effectively blockade the G8 summit this June. At least they will try to, they are, of course countered by a large police force that will try and stop them.
At carious info-nights about these mobilisation efforts held in the Netherlands, you often hear people voicing doubts about the use of blockades. It is sometimes claimed that they “useless”, “a ritual” and that “summits are only symbols”. Below you will find eight good reasons for taking part in the blockades and help making them successful.
1) In order to win. Imagine that this time round it will really work! The big names will, of course, be flown in with a helicopter, but that’s only a few of them. The lower ranks, especially the personnel, will have to be brought in by car. Furthermore, you can block a helicopter, too (with hang gliders, sky rockets&hellip, and on the day of the summit, people have already announced they will try and block the only big airport in the region. But again, imagine that it will be a successful blockade; that we are enough people with enough fantasy, initiative and courage to block the entry points. Then the G8 summit, where those who are instrumental in perpetuating global poverty, environmental destruction and neo-liberal business want to get together and play, will simply fail. Just that day, remember Seattle?
2) In order to create networks. Summit protests are spaces where countless groups and individuals join forces who rarely see each other in their daily lives, let alone organise protests together. We have been divided into countless one-issue movements which in turn are divided over strategic and political questions. But during protests against a summit such as this one, everything comes together and crosses each other. This cross-fertilisation yields unexpected results.
3) As a school for protest. The protests, the preparations and the action camps, are spaces in which everyone learns new things. It is a living school for self-organisation, theory, discussion, action forms, etc. Helping organising an action camp, witnessing how people who barely know each other can stop something of that scale in such a short period of time and under difficult circumstances, is in itself something that everyone should have experienced at least once in their lifetime. These camps are also places where people who have just recently decided to become active against the current world order can come into contact with people who have been active already for a long time. The blockades and actions can be astonishing experiences, they can change lives and let people see that we can change things and that resistance is possible. These experiences are then used in different places and on different subjects and thereby disseminated beyond only the summit.
4) For the spin-off effect: the effects of these sort of mass actions are much bigger than the place and time of the summit. It influences a large part of the surrounding society, the media, the discussions at the baker’s and in the bus. Suddenly everyone is talking about the issue, and that would never happen if the protests would not take place. Of course, not everyone agrees with the activists, but at least they are discussing the issues. Compare that with summits that meet with no resistance, which was common place only a few years ago. Then the media picture presented is largely that which those in power created, and you would see men in grey suites shaking hands. But now, WE are in the picture. But the spin-off goes much further than that: the networks created during the protests, activists return to their local settings and are inspired to carry on with their work. Because no one considers these summit protests as the end point in their lives as political activists; it is but one moment in our daily campaigns and struggles to change the world. But it is an important one that can be used well.
5) Ritual and spectacle? The common reasoning that summits are just a ritualised display of power and serve as a trap which activists step into by protesting against them is simply not true. The powerful would much rather meet and discuss in peace. Now they are forced to protect themselves with an army surrounding them in order to keep off the angry masses. They have a very hard time, under these circumstances, to legitimise themselves and their actions and are thereby forced to make all sorts of pseudo-promises. So this is what we have achieved already. Of course they also learn from these experiences and activists have to be inventive to keep up the pressure. It is also important to realise that summit protests cost activists a lot of time, money and labour, which could also be invested elsewhere. Hyping militant behaviour can also be irritating and counter-productive. Much more dangerous, however, is the ritualisation of powerless political agreement which mainstream NGOs make with governments, such as symbolic mass demonstrations (round the church and back). They also cost much time, money and energy, and are, moreover, painfully boring.
But to be active only at the local level and &lsquoositively’ is also not an option, the ruling elite will laugh at you and couldn’t care less. Every now and then, you have to try and come together and score ‘globally’, and then part again to carry on working at the local level. Also: not all actions that have taken place many times are also out of date. For centuries now, workers have gone on strike against their bosses and strikes are still necessary tools that book results.
6) In order to break out of the often illusionary ‘civil society input’ culture. In order to experience a different reality for a moment (other than the endless ‘consultation’ model with its ‘civil feedback groups’, ‘stakeholder meetings’, reports, studies and policy recommendations), it helps to, once in a while, attempt an actual act of resistance without compromise. Yabasta! It’s enough, in June in Heiligendamm, we had enough and will try and stop the limousines and dance on their roofs. All this in the hope that the practice of direct action will effect the negotiations, because not so long ago this was the case and had actual effect (e.g. in the squatting, women’s and initially the workers movements&hellip. Fewer things on earth are more fulfilling than to smash the party of fat cats and stop them, even if only for a moment, from destroying this planet.
7) For strategic reasons. Although the G8 is an informal meeting at which, officially, no decisions are taken, the G8 is becoming an increasingly important forum and, for this reason, is being increasingly institutionalised. Thousands of politicians and civil servants take part in it and it is prepared during the whole year by large teams. It is evident that these sort of meetings form the structure for negotiations between the most powerful capitalist nations in the world in order for them to coordinate their policies. Important decisions of other institutions, such as the WTO, IMF and World Bank, are prepared during this summit. The ‘system’ will not collapse if they cannot hold one of their summits, but it makes it all a little more difficult to keep the machine running smoothlessly. Imagine that each of their gatherings is met with such resistance. Also ideologically, they are forced into the defence by this form of mass protest.
8) For international solidarity. We fight against the G8 leaders because we are suffering from their policies. But we also know that often people that are hit the worst by them live in the global South, far away from the cities where the power lies, where the conferences are held and the offices of the multi-nationals are located. In southern countries it is often common to resist economic oppression with hand and feet, for which people pay a high price. Those people also appreciate that also in the capitalist centres, people actively resist and demand an end to the desperation and status quo. This is why ‘global’ actions often go hand in hand with very specific demands around specific issues that all have to do with the G8 – supporting the Ogoni fighting against Shell in Nigeria, freeing political prisoners, solidarity with Oaxaca/Chiapas, oppose GMOs, etc, etc.
But first and foremost 1) in order to win! Those who join can later tell their grandchildren (or those of the neighbours) that they were there; the historic beginning of the end of the capitalist nightmare. Heiligendamm, June 2007, that’s where you have to be, en masse and active!
------------------------------- For more information on the coming protests see, amongst others, http://www.dissent.nl
About 30 percent to 40 percent of all cancers are related to our lifestyle choices, including the foods we eat, how much exercise we get and how well we watch our weight. Are you making the right choices? Here's a quiz based on a report on cancer prevention from the American Institute for Cancer Research.
1. Exercise helps prevent colon cancer. True or false?
2. A plant-based diet of vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans seems to decrease colorectal cancer risk. True or false?
3. A diet high in red meat, processed meat and fat in- creases colorectal cancer risk. True or false?
4. Fiber may reduce the colon's exposure to cancer-causing substances by moving wastes out quickly. True or false?
5. Vitamin supplements help prevent cancer. True or false?
6. A diet high in salt has no effect on cancer risk. True or false?
7. Overweight and obesity has no effect on cancer risk. True or false?
8. Grilled foods cause cancer. True or false?
9. Green tea may have anti-cancer benefits. True or false?
10. All berries, particularly strawberries and raspberries, are especially rich in a substance called ellagic acid, which has shown the ability to prevent cancers of the skin, bladder, lung, esophagus and breast in laboratory studies. True or false?
Answers: 1) T. Exercise speeds the movement of food through the intestine and decreases bile and acid secretion. 2) T; 3) T; 4) T; 5) F; 6) F. Diets containing a large amount of salted fish (such as those in Asian countries) increase the risk of stomach cancer. 7) F. Research shows that obesity is not only a risk for diabetes and heart disease but also for several types of cancers. 8) T. Research shows that exposing meats to direct flame, smoke and intense heat can cause the formation of carcinogens. 9) T. In laboratory studies, green tea has been shown to slow or completely prevent cancer development in colon, liver, breast and prostate cells. 10) T. This phytochemical acts as an antioxidant; it helps the body deactivate specific carcinogens, and it helps slow the reproduction of cancer cells.
Source: American Institute for Cancer Research, www.aicr.org
Look around your workplace, and you'll likely find plenty of printed material, from business cards to brochures to books. Printing words and images on paper may seem like one of the more environmentally benign things your company does, but that isn't necessarily the case. If you examine the life cycle of printed matter — from turning trees into paper through the witch's brew of chemicals involved — professional printing takes on a decidedly non-green hue.
The explosion of web and digital technology doesn't seem to have changed things — as one pundit put it, the paperless office has turned out to be about as practical as the paperless bathroom. But if you still have to print, go green.
Green printing is on a roll, moving beyond small, do-good companies and activist groups to larger corporations and government agencies that have mandates to purchase greener goods and services. As demand for green printing has grown, so too has the number of printers offering such services — or, at least, claiming to.
It's about time. The mechanics of most types of printing haven't changed much over the past half-century. Lithography and gravure — the methods typically used to print books, magazines, and catalogs — employ plates, which are used to apply ink to paper. Typically, the process involves a variety of inks, solvents, acids, resins, lacquers, dyes, driers, extenders, modifiers, varnishes, shellacs, and other solutions. Only a few of these ingredients end up directly on the printed page. The balance are used to produce films, printing plates, gravure cylinders, or proofs, or to clean printing plates or presses.
Many of the ingredients are toxic: silver, lead, chromium, cadmium, toluene, chloroform, methylene chloride, barium-based pigments, and acrylic copolymers. And that's not all. Chlorine bleaching of paper is linked to cancer-causing water pollutants. Waste inks and solvents are usually considered hazardous. Bindings, adhesives, foils, and plastic bags used in printing or packaging printed material can render paper unrecyclable.
And you thought it was just ink on paper.
I Ink, Therefore I Am
Not everyone defines "green printing" the same way, and there is no standard or certification for what makes a printer — or a given project — green. For example, some printers use conventional techniques for most customers, breaking out the recycled paper and soy-based inks only when a customer asks. But others go all-out as a matter of course.
Among those in the latter category is GreenerPrinter, based in Berkeley, Calif., whose customers include Clif Bar & Co., Hewlett Packard, and the San Francisco Giants. The company uses high post-consumer recycled content, non-chlorine-bleached papers from New Leaf, one of the leading environmental paper companies. GreenerPrinter customers can receive an "environmental benefits statement" detailing the water, energy, and emissions saved for a given print job. And the climate impact of shipping finished jobs is offset through investments in renewable energy. (Full disclosure: GreenBiz.com, the nonprofit website I founded, has an affiliate relationship with GreenerPrinter.)
Then there's Quad/Graphics, one of the nation's largest printers, with more than 12,000 employees. For more than 30 years, Quad, based in Sussex, Wis., has been a pioneer in green-printing practices, from reducing ink and paper waste to making sure print-shop air quality far surpasses legal guidelines. The company recycles more than 98 percent of its waste and has won numerous awards for environmental leadership, though it doesn't market itself as a "green" printer.
It's not hard to suss out who's green and who's not, says Priscilla Martin, print buyer for Clif Bar. "When speaking with a new potential vendor, their views or positions on environmental considerations are generally apparent within the first few minutes," she says. "If I'm not hearing a green message, rather than asking about it, I tell them what is important to us and see how they respond."
And what about price? Green printing can cost a little more — but it doesn't have to. "The major trade-off we thought we'd experience was a price increase," says Andrea Stupka, marketing and promotions manager at Homegrown Naturals, Inc., purveyor of Annie's Homegrown products. "But after doing a cost comparison between four printers, one of them green, we were pleasantly surprised. The slight cost increase to go green was so insignificant it was worth it."
In fact, a green printer worth its salt will help you find ways to make projects more economical. "We spend a lot of time educating customers to show them that green printing isn't just more environmentally responsible, it's often better quality and more affordable," says Josh Maddox, sales manager at GreenerPrinter. "By taking the time to show them the least wasteful way to design and produce (projects), we often save clients money over conventional printing costs. We win a lot of business that way."
So how do you make your printing greener? Since there's no official standard, you're on your own to determine who's really committed. In general, an environmentally minded printer should: use the most eco-friendly papers available; reduce or eliminate toxic chemicals, waste ink, and solvents; be willing to use soy or other vegetable inks without any price premium; educate customers about how to reduce a project's environmental impact; and provide safe working conditions for employees, including using the most advanced air-filtration systems.
Here are three questions to ask when scoping out your particular job:
1. Can the job be printed on paper containing a high percentage of post-consumer recycled fiber?
The answer will help determine whether the printer has practical knowledge about the characteristics and advantages of different types of recycled paper. Don't just accept "sure, we can use recycled" as an answer. Specify paper with at least 50 percent post-consumer content.
2. Can it be printed with low-polluting inks?
In most jobs, soy- or vegetable-based inks work just fine (90 percent of daily newspapers use them routinely for color printing). Avoid inks containing heavy metals like lead, cadmium, and mercury, which are commonly used to produce some bright colors. Printers should be willing to swear off heavy-metal inks and suggest alternatives.
3. What is being done to improve the recyclability of the print job?
Coatings, laminates, inks, foils, adhesives, labels, and paper selection can all affect the recyclability of a printed document. A printer should be able to find alternative ways to get the desired effect — through innovative paper sizes and newer glues that won't inhibit recycling, for example.
As with so many things green, the more you know, the better decisions you can make. In the end, the best option may be not to print at all. "It is always good to question, 'How important is this item to print?'" says Bryan Mazzarello, art director at Organic Bouquet. "Many times companies can offer the same information online and update it cheaper and faster. Maybe a postcard invitation to the website would be more effective than a brochure that will end up in the trash."
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