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Toxic mercury found in foods containing High Fructose Corn Syrup

“Almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient**, according to two new U.S. studies.”

And so begins a frightening article published by both USA Today and the Organic Consumers Association just a couple of months ago. So why isn’t there more of an uprising responding to this information that the food industry is knowingly poisoning our families just to save a buck? Maybe it’s because the word just isn’t out there. It appears to me when searching around for information, most of the response to these findings were published the week following publication. And, then, discussion seems to have just dropped off the cliff.

So, I’m putting the call out to all of you to join the folks who are researching the HFCS/Mercury issue and, and I’m asking you to continue the conversation. Preferably, in a loud audible volume so that industry leaders will actually catch wind and realize that we demand to have food choices that are not toxic to our children.

What about those commercials that say HFCS is just as safe as sugar? The article below posted on the site The Good Human states it quite clearly:

“Pure sugar just happens to be a truly natural substance that has not been mixed in vats, chemically derived and played with, and used as cheap substitute in almost everything on the grocery store shelves. Everyone should limit the amount of sugar they ingest. But according to an article in SF Gate, “The body processes the fructose in high fructose corn syrup differently than it does old-fashioned cane or beet sugar, which in turn alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream.”

The mental image of feeding my family something that is “mixed in vats, chemically derived and played with” quite frankly gives me hee-bee-gee-bees. It also inspires personal pride that I attempt to feed them naturally derived foods as much as possible. But, I don’t think that alone is enough. I don’t believe that taking the stance of “well, I just won’t patronize those companies” is enough when taking a position against these industry business practices.

So, Check out the links below. And spread the word. And ask yourself this question: Could the processed-food industry be responsible for some of the rising incidences of childhood sickness and disease? Or worse, could there be a more direct HFCS/mercury connection to the rise in such developmental disorders as Autism Spectrum Diagnoses—blamed most recently on vaccination ingredients (mercury!) and aggressive vaccination schedules? Maybe the answers to these questions rest more on our pantry shelves than we think.

Study: High Fructose Corn syrup contains mercury

Much High Fructose corn syrup contaminated with mercury, new study finds

New York Times: The Food Issue- An open letter to the Farmer in Chief (Michael Pollan)

US Autism- Food Matters

The double danger of High Fructose Corn Syrup

HFCS vs. Sugar: Is one worse than the other?

**Reading Nutrition Labels: The list of ingredients on a Nutrition label are ordered by the amount of that ingredient in the product. For instance, a jar of peanut butter might read: “Peanuts, Salt.” The first ingredient, peanuts were the primary ingredient followed by a lesser amount of salt. Likewise, a box of multi-grain crackers might list: Enriched wheat flour, soybean oil, whole grains (barley, millet, triticale, sorghum, rye,) whole wheat flour, salt, baking soda, malted barley flour, calcium carbonate, yeast. In this example, Enriched wheat flour (the first ingredient) constitutes most of the product while the amount of yeast (the last ingredient) was measured the least of all ingredients.

Why Earthmother.org advocates Natural Childbirth

An introduction to the Natural Childbirth Series

For a pregnant woman, it can be overwhelming to sift through the vast amount of often contradictory information and advice from prenatal to postpartum. And, for a first time mother, there are certainly many, many decisions to make. When selecting a physician or midwife to attend pregnancy and childbirth, we are met with so many points to consider.

* What are the procedures that our health care team will or won’t perform?
* What level of support and information will or won’t they provide?
* What quality of caring and compassion will or won’t they exhibit?
* What kind of encouragement and confidence will or won’t they inspire in us as we prepare for the greatest challenges of parenthood?

What kinds of answers do we really expect from asking these questions?

In our consumer-driven culture, women can be perceived as just another a demographic to which products and services are sold. And, I have to wonder, is our health care any different? Are our health care options just another service to be marketed? And, if so, I wonder how this influences the collective perception of what we women think we can do; what we think we are capable of. With so much rhetoric swarming about, do we ever really have the opportunity to decide for ourselves what we are capable of? Do women collectively feel strong and empowered? Do we feel comfortable in our own skin? Do the common avenues of media encourage women to embrace our womanliness? How much does shared opinion affect our choices, medical or otherwise?

I believe that the fundamental reason why women may choose not to have a natural childbirth lies in the way we have been taught to view our bodies; to view ourselves. I have always had the opinion that cultural norms run in a vicious circle powered by the betterment of the establishment rather than the greater good of the collective—what ever can make big business the most money is what is force-fed to our psyches.

While taking the stance of compassionate rebel, I’ve always tried to do my part in encouraging others to find their own truths. I’ve always believed that the widespread benefit of health and wholeness is possible. In relating this position to childbirth, my first pregnancy inspired many questions in me. I began to read as much as I could about my options for prenatal care and labor experiences. And, unfortunately, I was shocked and saddened by what I learned.

The part of the Hippocratic oath that states “keep the good of the patient as top priority” had been lost in the actual practice many physicians employ. I started to question— why in my own experience do physicians never seem to portray their role as an educator of health? Instead, of proactively educating patients about healthy life choices, they have taken to focusing on disease. And, in the case of labor and delivery, it seems to me that doctors treat the event as a disease to be medicalized rather than a natural event to guide and protect.

I found evidence of these attitudes in many sources. To cite just one example: The bestseller Your Pregnancy week by week—a book millions of women have come to trust as a reliable guide—addresses the subject of natural childbirth on less than one of its 380 pages of content. While I have nothing personal against the authors, I have to wonder why they choose language that doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in a woman’s natural ability to birth. The authors spend the small space convincing women not to feel guilty when they’ll inevitably need medical interventions. They offer exactly zero space presenting even a short list of the benefits of natural childbirth. Nowhere can be found a positive statement such as, “natural childbirth is worth considering.” I know I am not the only woman who thinks there is something missing here.

In many cases, I found the relentless promotion of the perception that birth is a horrible, painful experience to be feared. Thus, mothers hear: Dull the pain. Anesthetize your feelings. Get it over with. Ad infinitum.

And so, it is my intention to do what so few others are willing to do: inspire confidence in women.

In my search for a positive authority on the subject, I did find several sources who encourage women to embrace what can be a beautiful, fulfilling event. I want to do my part in making these resources more widely known. Why not open discussion about the natural capabilities of a woman? Why not discuss the true facts about the adverse effects medical interventions can have on healthy moms and babies? Why not ensure positive resources of information are more widely circulated among the masses? Why not invite women to embrace what society tries to stifle—that we are intelligent and hungry for knowledge; that we are beautiful in all proportions; that we are proactive about our health and wellness; that we are built to conceive, nurture, and birth our children.

And, when we consider the facts, we are willing and able to make choices for ourselves.

Next Up in the Natural Childbirth Series:

Medical Interventions: Developed for crisis and emergency

Happy New Year 2007!

“We are not what we know but what we are willing to learn.” This simple yet poignant phrase, expressed by contemporary writer, professor and cultural anthropologist Mary Catherine Bateson, penetrates to the heart of the earthmother.org mission. As we ring in 2007, we celebrate all of the possibilities of the new year ahead. We anticipate discovering new ways in which we can support our partners, care for our children, be good to ourselves, and contribute to our communities. As we continue to educate ourselves and explore natural lifestyle choices, we can set a positive example for our kids, always striving to embody that famous Einstein directive, “Never stop questioning.” In our case, earthmothers never stop questioning the status quo of raising a family, searching instead for a life without the junk-mart, game-station, fast food norm. We are always hopeful for more satisfying options.

In the coming months, earthmother.org will present articles inquiring into subjects that pique our curiosity. In the works are articles discussing pesticides on our produce, healthy vegetarian pregnancy, preparing for natural childbirth, and disciplining during early childhood. We’re also exploring ideas on how to develop a reduce/reuse/recycle circle of friends—a concept that is as old as dirt and will save you time and money (and, maybe even improve your social resources.) And, in the spirit of keeping things light (because we can all use a good laugh), we’ll also share our favorite mommy mishaps, creative play ideas, and weigh-in on our favorite me-time pastimes.

With so much on our plate, I don’t doubt that 2007 will be a busy, fulfilling year. I do sometimes sit back at the end of a long day and wonder: how do moms keep up with all the demands of family, work and household. Truly, it can’t be done without a solid foundation of support. As the year progresses, I look forward to cultivating new friendships with moms just like me—moms who are doing their best to keep the family boat afloat while being conscious of “all things natural.” I’ll freely admit that it’s not always easy to stick to my guns. With much second-guessing, I oftentimes have to forego convenience for healthier choices. More than once, my kids and I have missed out on lunch and play with friends following a morning at the library or an afternoon at Kindersports. Inevitably, the rest of the group will convene at the local Golden Arches—a practice I have made great effort to avoid. Are we still pals with these moms and tots? Absolutely. Thankfully, there’s no judgment on either side, and we’ve all agreed to disagree on whether or not to eat fast food. Many of the other moms have tried to avoid fast food but for one reason or another eventually succumbed. Now, they cheer me on as if watching from the sidelines of an uphill 50K marathon playfully taking bets on when I’ll cave in (which I imagine is much more generous than the peer-pressure my children will probably endure as they grow.) So, to the point, making healthy choices isn’t always easy, but it can be easier with gentle encouragement. Earthmother.org aspires to be that supportive friend along with you on the journey as you never stop questioning how to continue to live life naturally.