March 21, 2013

Which brands test on animals?

These do.


March 7, 2013

Kraft Mac n' Cheese

The following is taken from a current petition (link: here) regarding the safety of Kraft Mac n' Cheese.

There's a reason that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is bright orange when it's ready to eat. Kraft uses chemical colorings that serve no purpose for flavoring or nutrition. Those chemicals -- known as Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 -- have been linked by experts to serious health issues like asthma, skin rashes, migraines, and hyperactivity in children.

Please take a minute to sign the petition, and remember to choose what your children eat with all the love and care you give them in other areas.

March 4, 2013

Why you should stop buying palm oil

The baby pygmy elephant above was orphaned. In the picture, it is tying to wake its dead mother.

The forests of Borneo in Indonesia are becoming palm oil plantations at an alarming rate. Besides the dangers of deforestation, these plantations draw in the very rare Borneo pygmy elephant, once thought to be extinct. These gentle eight-foot tall animals like to snack on the palms, but that means the farmers are losing some of their profit - so they kill the elephants. This recent article explains the rising death toll of the endangered animal, of which fewer than 1,500 exist, and the suspicion that these animals were poisoned. The palm plantations bring other threats as well, including a bigger population in the area, which comes with more human/elephant conflict, according to the World Wildlife Fund. Some people even set traps to catch small game, and poachers still operate under the radar. Then there's logging, which is a booming business. Their habitat is shrinking rapidly, leaving them less food and terrain.

Maybe it's because the phrase "an elephant never forgets" describes me perfectly. My husband always says I'm an elephant. I've considered getting tattoos of an elephant or a tiger. Maybe it's because all I can do is share this article with passersby, and that I feel hopeless that I will ever dramatically change the environment or the lives of animals for the better. Regardless of my reasons, I cannot imagine anything more saddening. I would not be able to control myself if I met the person responsible for the deaths of these animals. But what makes me feel worse than looking at the picture above is knowing there is an incredibly small amount of people willing to help in some way.

But, on the off chance you do care, the smallest way you can help is to stop buying products with palm oil (palm anything) without knowing where it came from and how ethical its production was. This consumer list tells us one in every ten grocery store products contains palm oil, but it also tells us how we can determine what products contain palm oil, and what companies they come from.

One Indonesian producer of palm oil, Smart, which Nestle is currently purchasing from, has been accused of rainforest destruction, while a sister company called Asia Pulp & Paper is known to be an extremely irresponsible environmental campaign. Even Unilever, with its Round table on Responsible Palm Oil, is a Greenpeace target. (Click here to find out more about Greenpeace's thoughts on the RSPO and a list of palm oil free brands.) Companies like this are only taking baby steps in the right direction, and by baby steps I mean "putting in the least amount of effort possible." When it comes down to it, I would suggest avoiding palm oil products altogether. Or aim for USDA organic.

A quick google search for "Indonesian deforestation" will provide you with many images of a landscape that does not look habitable for animals, as well as high profile articles on the subject by the BBC. also has a very good article about the destruction connected to palm oil.

March 1, 2013

Obesity and Meat

A study published in the International Journal of Obesity recently found that hormones in factory processed meat (as opposed to farm fresh) is a major cause of obesity. The hormones intended for the cows to grow, when ingested will also cause people to grow. The pesticides in food also contribute to obesity - we are exposed to more than ten types of pesticides every day through our food. BPA is one of them, commonly found in soda bottles. BPA is linked to abnormal estrogen functions.

How can you help yourself? If you must eat meat, aim for grass-fed local meat. Buy glass storage containers, do not reheat food in plastic, and buy canned foods and bottled products labeled BPA-free. To reduce your exposure to pesticides, aim for organic vegetables and fruits.

If you are willing to challenge yourself, look through your pantry today to see what is not labeled BPA-free. Beans, canned veggies, canned fruit? What about pop bottles? Are you willing to stop using those products?

February 24, 2013

Healthy Challenge

Today, from the minute you wake up until the minute you go to bed, do not have ANY sugar (fructose, dextrose, maltodextrin, etc). Stevia, rice syrup, molasses, maple syrup and agave are acceptable. This will require reading every ingredient label.

February 15, 2013

Thought of the Day

The amount of cows on planet outnumber people, so if we were to truly care about all the people not being fed, we could stop eating meat and the food being used for those animals could go to people. Not to mention the amount of antibiotics used (their cost and harm) and money spent.

February 11, 2013

Adoption Monday

Merry, female siamese


If you cannot adopt, consider fostering, volunteering and donating to a shelter of your choice