Just read a post on Micki Rose’s excellent blog alerting her readers to a British Skin Foundation survey – they want to find out how badly skin disease affects people’s everyday lives. It is anonymous so you need not fear that you will be revealing your deepest secrets to the world – and quite short. Click here if you want to do the survey
Many of you will already know or subscribe to Natural News’ daily round up of research on natural health, exposées of conventional medicine and health policies, bizarre health snippets, rants and comic strips – an invaluable resource for Foodsmatter and a great read for anyone interested in natural health and living. Moreover, the vast majority of the reports give links to sources which usually lead you to the original research – really important when so many reports on the web make claims or state facts which they do not substantiate.
Although, as they say in their ‘about us’ page, the Natural News Network is not recognised as a 501(c)3 non-profit organisation in the US, they operate without a profit motive, the vast majority of their content is freely accessible and they do not engage in any pop up, pop under or other ‘under the counter’ advertising practices. However they do (like Foodsmatter) take advertising, which is quite clearly advertising, for products which they think will be useful for their visitors.
Anyhow, this burst of enthusiasm on my part was triggered by skimming through today’s offering which included these two irresistible reports:
Bees’ brains are more powerful than computers – describing how ‘bees are able to quickly calculate the shortest flying routes among their network of flowers and plants in order to minimize flying time. Traveling salesman continually face the problem of how best to route sales calls to save time and increase efficiency, a problem which it takes even the speediest computers take days to solve – whereas the bee does it in a millisecond.
This was followed by:
New research shows that fish actually talk to each other under water describing work done with underwater microphones in New Zealand which revealed that cod are entirely silent except when spawning, gunards chatted continuously using a wide range of sounds while some crayfish sound as though they are strumming a guitar…..
But lest you should think that NN is only fun and laughter, these reports were sandwiched between warnings about hand sanitisers, a report that some cancer industry groups are finally admitting that their advice to avoid the sun is causing Vitamin D deficiencies, a suggestion that the H1N1 vaccine could have been responsible for over 3,000 miscarriages, an article on hormone balancing preventing cancer and a report that drug factories are flushing pain killers down the drains thus contaminating streams and rivers…
As a follow up on my lamp post blog a few days ago – and just in case you think that I was making somewhat of a fuss over nothing – you might care to read Gunilla Ladberg’s book, Forced to Disconnect, about Swedish people who have become refugees in their own country as a result of becoming electro-hyper sensitive. It is quite short (you will find it on the foodsmatter.com site as a pdf) and since Gunilla is not ES herself, nor are any members of her family, her perspective is quite unbiased.
The thought of endless bands of children hammering on your door threatening a trick or in search of a treat may strike dread into the hearts of the average householder – but think how much worse is the dread if you are the parent of a food allergic child who is desperate to join his or her friends trick or treating. How can you expect complete strangers to understand that giving the wrong treat to your child could be life threatening? But how can you bear to forbid an outing which is, at this moment, the only thing in the world that your child wants to do?…
One option, if you really do not feel you can take the risk, is to throw a party at home where you can control the ‘eats’. Turn your house into the spooks’ layer – you could have a wonderful time making scary posters and pumpkin heads to decorate the house; festoon your rooms with torn black tissue paper (very cheap); turn all the lights off, only using night lights; play lots of spooky music….. Have a spooks treasure hunt with allergen-free treats hidden round the house. Get a Halloween/ghosty DVD/film and play it in a dark room…
However, if you decide that your child would be safe to go out here are a few basic precautions that you could/should take:
1. Make sure that your child has his or her emergency medication on them and that at least one person in their party apart from themselves knows how to use it.
2. Make sure that all the children in the group know about your child’s allergy and that he or she must not touch their allergen – children are very supportive of their friends and if they are given the responsibility of caring for your child they will tend to take that responsibility very seriously.
4. Impress on your child and everyone in the group that if they accept treats, your child (whatever about the others) should not eat them there and then but save them till they get home.
5. Ensure that your child has had a big meal before going out so that they are full and less likely to want to eat anything. Even so, make sure that they have a stock of safe Halloween nibbles with them if they get hungry or if everyone else is eating treats and they don’t want to be left out.
6. Make sure they are wearing MedicAlert bracelet or other medical tag with instructions as to what to do in an emergency.
7. Make them a special cloak or costume on which you paint, in spooky writing but obviously, ‘NO PEANUTS FOR ME’ or ‘NO MILK FOR ME’ so that strangers will see it and at least be alerted.
8. Make sure that one of the other children has your mobile number in case of emergencies.
But – however, scary the prospect for the parents of food allergic children, spare a thought also for those with other allergies and with allergic conditions such as asthma or eczema.
• Latex. Masks and costumes could contain latex – check….
• Eczema. Make up, hair dyes, costumes and masks could all contain substances that could irritate your child’s eczema – check before using.
• Asthma. Masks can interfere with breathing – try using a half mask or none at all. Fragrances in make up, hair dye etc could also trigger an asthma attack – as could running in and out from a cold outdoors into warm houses. Make sure your child has their medication and is wearing a Medical Alert bracelet or other medical ID tag.
Finally, make sure you have something really exciting to come home to so that they are not tempted to stay out too long and stretch your nerves beyond breaking point…..
Foods Matter’s Cressida, who has a three year old son of her own who is just about old enough to start trick or treating, has been busy in the kitchen and has devised a yummy pumpkin soup and a delicious pumpkin pie for supper – both of which need lots of pumpkin flesh so will give you plenty of pumpkin shells to make heads from!
You might also want to look at the About.com site which has a great list of non-food Halloween treats.
And above all – enjoy!
The interactivity of the modern internet has certainly allowed full reign to creative spirits! Take the latest viral campaign from the lobbying group FairFood who use social media and on line communications in their attempts to raise levels of sustainability in the food and drink industry.
Fair Food want us to think about where out food comes from so, as from Global Food Day on October 16th, they have been inviting us to video ourselves while eating, then join the campaign on Facebook where our video will be played – backwards…
Well, it’s a cookie idea – and if it raises awareness of sustainability issues in the food industry, more power to it!
If you want to join check in on their website.
I wanted to encourage everyone, when they get their e-newsletter tomorrow, to read my article on lamp posts… Not really because I want you to read the article – although that would be nice of course – but because I want to stir you up to do some protesting…
In essence I am highlighting the fact that wifi is becoming so pervasive that it will very soon be impossible to avoid unless you choose to live in the most remote and uninhabited parts of the country. But while this poses major problems for those who, like me, are electrosensitive it is also subjecting the whole population to extraordinarily high levels of electrosmog with absolutely no evidence that this may not, in ten or twenty years time, result in far greater health problems than were ever caused by smoking, asbestos or obesity.
Wifi enthusiasts will point out that the evidence that it will cause major health problems simply does not exist – but that was what they said about smoking and asbestos – until it did. It is also what they said about GM (genetic modification) and mobile phones. Yet the evidence is mounting fast to suggest that GM is not as benign as it might appear and even the recent, deeply flawed Interphone Study admitted that excess mobile phone usage over a ten year period could cause cancer.
(Anyone interested in the GM debate might want to look at a round-up of research by Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception, on the Dr Mercola site. Anyone who wants to discover for themselves what evidence of harm currently exists for excess use of man-made electromagnetic pulsed radiation should take a look at the Foods Matter ES section – and the many other sites ES-related sites which are linked from it.)
So what has happened to the precautionary principe here? Should we not be moving just a little slower and a little more carefully? Becoming interconnected is a wonderful thing – foodsmatter.com would not exist without the internet – and mobile telephony has brought untold benefits to the third world – whatever about enabling first world parents to keep in contact with their children! I am not for one moment suggesting that, even if it were possible which it is not, we should move backwards and abandon the airwaves as a means of communication. I am just suggesting that we take note of the warning signals and not entirely smother ourselves in radio waves before we understand what unintentional consequences this might have.
Which is why I want to encourage you all to protest…
Although concern about electrosmog is growing fast from the European Parliament to Fairfax town in California, the way to make to grow faster is to talk about it, complain about it, object to it, discuss it, harrass your MP, your MEP, your town councillor, the mayor of London – anyone who will listen! The power of the multinationals is massive but, when push comes to shove, if we won’t buy their products, they are ‘stuffed’… Remember what happened to the GM tomato paste – it died without issue because no one would buy it.
And before anyone says it – yes, I know that the big corp.s will not leave it there and will (and have in the case of GM) used all kinds other means to con us into buying the products they want to sell us and we do not want to buy. But, the ultimate power remains with the consumer – and the consumer should not forget that!!
So, please do read my article – not for the article’s sake, but for the links at the end to those to whom you can protest!!
However…. since I finished it…. I started to look into Boris’ promise to wifi-se London by 2012 – and found that 22 London boroughs are already signed up to this scheme… So more on that one to come.
And… I heard on the radio and subsequently read in the Daily Mail, that Starbucks (and L’Oreal) are adding to the pavement electrosmog by sending electronic vouchers to anyone passing their store who is on the GPS satellite system. The system has, apparently, created concerns about privacy (tracking people’s movements?) – but not about extra electrosmog.
If you wish to complain to Starbucks try this page : if you want to have a go at L’Oreal try +44 (0)20 8762 4000 or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org