The Disappearing Male

This is a documentary that has aired in Canada. Everyone who has had children or wants them or knows them should watch this documentary. I wish there were more documentaries like this available to the general public.

I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Life has definitely been keeping me busy. More explanation later…

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A Suprise Visitor – Featured in the Local News

Today, Garrett and I went out on our first outing to the Chiropractor so that I could get some needed adjustments. I also wound up having him looked at and the Chiropractor, Matt Herres, very gently examined Garrett’s spine while he slept on me. Considering his size and also what a tough time he’s had handling bowel movements I thought it was worth a try having him looked at.

Garrett definitely had some tender spots and Matt was able to gently adjust them (Garrett slept through it all). What was most surprising is that literally within a millisecond of being adjusted Garrett had a bowel movement in his sleep without any screaming and squawking – which has been typical. Also, since we’ve been home he’s had several more and seems to be handling things so much better. A big thumbs up for chiropractic care for babies after birth.

When we arrived home I was surprised to see a local KNDU news van outside my house. A reporter by the name of Allison Cordova was here to interview me because of the TIME article. It was kind of a hectic/crazy interview since I was in no way prepared for it but I decided, “why not?”

I am just laughing at the actual news report which I find fairly typical for the quality of news in this area (we are used to Seattle news) but at least Home Birth is making the news again. Out of all of the questions I was asked and the footage that was taken I found it funny what was chosen to be put in the segment.

I also had to laugh out loud with the last line, “despite some fearful moments she is happy with the outcome.” That’s not exactly what was said but I guess I’m not shocked that the focus was on fear. Actually, when I was prodded about my fears for this birth I basically said that no, I didn’t fear this birth at all. I spent my pregnancy focusing on any fears that I might have and working through them so that they wouldn’t crop up during the birth. I then elaborated that I would be more fearful of having a natural birth in the hospital than having a baby at home because of the temptation of wanting an epidural if it was handy. At least that is what I tried to get across with the rest of the conversation that wasn’t included. Surprisingly, I never even thought of an epidural during the actual birth, which was surprising to me. There was actually a lengthy interview, none of which was used in the video footage.

Anyway, I still haven’t had a chance to write out the birth story yet but for the record it was a fantastic experience and I am ecstatic with the outcome and would do it again in a heartbeat. Here is the story that was featured and the footage. I can’t say I’m thrilled with the results but at least Home Birth is making the news again.

Link to KNDU site: http://www.kndu.com/global/story.asp?s=8882118

Pasco Woman Gets Interviewed in TIME Magazine

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PASCO, Wash.– The famous saying ‘”there’s no place like home”, has a new meaning for a Pasco mother. Jessica Reid says home, is where she gave birth to her son.

“We had the baby in a birth pool, so it’s like a big inflatable tub and it was actually right here,” said Jessica Reid, who recently gave birth.

It was less than a week ago, this mom spent seven and half hours in labor, now it’s back to basics for her and baby boy Garret Michael.

For going the natural way, Reid was interviewed by a freelance reporter from TIME magazine. TIME was looking for a woman giving birth at home for the first time.

“I’ve had the epidural and so I know what it feels like, and yes it’s wonderful, but I think in some ways there’s something missing,” said Reid.

Reid says the interview was done over e-mail and at the end of July a photographer from Portland drove to her house to take her pictures.

Like the article, Reid agrees the number of women giving birth naturally is low.

“I don’t think that there’s many women that feel that they have the power within them to give birth naturally, I think that society has convinced them that they can’t,” said Reid.

But before making decisions Reid did her research on the web and books, and she had a midwife in the birth pool with her.

“You know my biggest fear was that I was gonna get to the point where I’d want an epidural, which is why I didn’t want to give birth naturally in the hospital,” said Reid.

Despite some fearful moments she’s happy with the outcome.

Secret Vaccines in the Military?

It sounds completely and utterly hoaky right? Watch this video that aired on the news and see what you think. I tried to find more information on David Faye online so that I could do a bit of background research into the situation but was unable to find anything other than links to this video. If anyone has any information please let me know.

Genetically Modified Foods: Do you know what you’re eating?

As if I needed another topic to worry myself over. Between this, celiac, and the BPA plastics issue (this will be coming in another blog post) I am emotionally and intellectually spent. Is anyone else tired of feeling like their family is being bombarded by environmental and physical dangers from every possible direction? I guess I’m getting to the point where I am not shocked why most American’s simply shrug their shoulders and decide to let someone else worry about these things and close their ears to topics such as these. The work that it takes to research a topic, make a decision and then carry out that change in lifestyle is sometimes very difficult. Ok, whine over. Here’s what I’ve been finding and yes, it is disturbing. Another one of those things that I’ve caught wind of several times but never bothered to look into and am now kicking myself because of it.

Definition: Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods produced from genetically modified organisms (GMO) that have had their DNA altered through genetic engineering. GM foods were first put on the market in the early 1990s. The most common modified foods are derived from plants: soybean, corn, canola, and cotton seed oil.

How Common are Genetically Modified Foods?

The general population is unaware of how prevalent genetically modified (GM) food has become within our food chain. For example, if you were to randomly go to the grocery store and pick a boxed item off of the shelf you have a 75% chance of picking up a food with GM ingredients. This is because 7 out of every 10 items have been genetically modified. This is significant!

In a 10 year period, between 1995 and 2005, the amount of land cultivated with Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) had increased from 4.2 million acres to 222 million acres. In 2003, the countries that grew 99% of the worlds transgenic crops (genetically modified, containing DNA from another species) were the following countries:

United States – 63%

Argentina – 21%

Canada – 6%

Brazil – 4%

China – 4%

South Africa – 1%

By 2006, in the United States 89% of soybeans, 83% of cotton, and 61% of maize (corn) were genetically modified.

Why Should I Be Concerned about Genetically Modified Food?

No one hides the fact that GM food products are everywhere. There is no debate on that. So then, why should you even care? There are many reasons to be concerned.

No Human Studies: To begin, there have never been any studies that test the affects of consuming genetically modified food in humans. The FDA only assumes that GM food products are equivalent to the original in the way our body reacts to them.

Not Easily Contained: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) are not easily contained. Safety measures, referred to as Biological Containment have to be in place to protect conventional and organic crops from being contaminated with GM crops. There is the possibility that without proper containment (and knowledge of how to do this is in its infancy) that these new GM products could taint and/or wipe out important species in our food supply.

Genetic Alteration May Cause Damage to Digestive and Immune Systems: The actual process of genetic alteration may cause damage to mammalian (that’s us) digestive and immune systems. In 1998, Arpad Pusztai, a researcher in Scotland, performed the first independent, non-industry sponsored study analyzing genetically engineered food and it’s affects on mammals. His study found that rats that were fed transgenic potatoes showed evidence of organ damage, thickening of the small intestine and poor brain development. The transgenic potatoes had been genetically engineered to contain lectin, a sugar binding protein that makes the plant pest resistant. Ironically, the adverse reactions only occurred in the group of rats eating the transgenic potatoes even though the control rats were fed a diet of plain potatoes mixed with lectin from the same source. These results indicate that the damage does not come from the lectin itself but due to the process of genetic engineering. This is a very important distinction. It also means that all genetically engineered products would be at risk of causing harm, not just lectin and potatoes.

Effects on Ecosystems: There is concern over the impact of genetically modified organisms in both farmed and wild ecosystems. If we get to the point where there are weed free and insect-free crops it could result in declines of other wildlife such as birds which feed on weed seeds and/or insects for their food resources. A UK based study found this to be the case with GM sugar beet and GM rapeseed crops .

-Monsanto: Monsanto is a giant biotech corporation that threatens to destroy the agricultural biodiversity that has existed for thousands of years. Up until recently the United States Patent and Trademark Office refused to issue patents on seeds. However, in 1980 the U.S. Supreme Court allowed for seed patents in a 5-4 decision which laid the groundwork for a handful of corporations to take control of the World’s food supply. Since that time Monsanto has become the world’s leader in the genetic modification of seeds and has won 674 biotechnology patents (more than any other company). Farmers who buy their seeds are required to sign strict agreements that lay out how the seeds can be used and they must buy new seeds each year. They are also required not to share the seeds with other farmers. They have both the capacity and ruthless drive to destroy the worlds biodiversity and food supply for their own profit. To watch a video documentary that was aired on French Television please go HERE. Or you can go to You Tube and search for Monsanto and you will be bombarded with many, many videos.

Morgellon’s Disease: Is a new terrifying disease a result of genetically modified foods? As of February 2007, more than 10,000 reports of this mysterious disease have been reported on the Morgellon Foundation’s Wesbite. The reported cases are up from only 2000 cases in 2006. The disease has been reported in 15 nations across the world including Canada, the UK, Australia and the Netherlands as well as all 50 states in the United States. The majority of reports come from Texas, California and Florida. People who have the disease describe it as a feeling of bugs or parasites scuttling around under their skin and it is accompanied by open lesions that heal slowly and ooze out blue, black or white fibers that can be several millimeters long. The CDC has finally put up a web page about the phenomenon and refer to it as Unexplained Dermopathy. Below is a picture of a 3 year old male with the showing the fibers embedded in his lips and a picture of those same fibers removed.


The God Role: So this is just my very unscientific and emotionally laden argument but I’m sure it exists more eloquently somewhere out there on the ‘net. Even if you dismiss the possibility of God and approach it from a natural or mother earth perspective the notion that we, as humans, with very limited knowledge and perspective can upturn and modify nature to suit our needs and wants without consequence to the natural order of things seems naive. I myself believe in God and I believe that if God wanted DNA from this substance to be mixed with that substance he very well would have taken care of it himself. We have been given dominion but the abuse of that dominion will have powerfully devastating effects if left unchecked.

What Can I do? How Can I avoid Genetically Modified Food?

So how do you know if a food you are eating is genetically modified? Well, frankly, if you are buying it from the grocery store you don’t. But there are things you can do to dramatically decrease your exposure.

-Stay Away From Processed Foods: This is of course, easier said then done. This means that foods that come in packages (unless 100% organic) have high potential (at least 75%) of containing genetically modified ingredients. Most processed foods contain corn and soy products and most corn and soy products are genetically modified (61% and 89% respectively in 2006). This goes for fast food and restaurants as well. You have no way of knowing whether or not the food has been genetically modified. Your best bet is to stick with whole foods, that are in their original state that you prepare yourself. And yes, that is a big commitment.

-Buy Organic Whenever Possible: By definition food that is certified organic must be free of all GM organisms.

Examine Produce Stickers: The PLU code for conventionally grown fruits consists of four numbers. Organic contains five numbers prefaced by the number 9. GM fruits contain five numbers prefaced by the number 8.

-True Food Shopping Guide: Get to know and use the True Food Shopping Guide which is a list of acceptable products and brands that do not contain GM products.

-Grow your own Food: Start your own garden and purchase seeds that have not been genetically modified. Not only can you control what happens to the food you grow but you are cultivating a skill that will bless your entire family and subsequent generations.

-Shop Local: Buy produce and foods from local sources whenever possible. Not only are you helping to sustain our resources but you are helping your community and reducing your exposure to GM crops. Most GM crops are large industry crops. By supporting the little guy there will be less demand for high yield crops which are more likely to contain genetically modified organisms.

-Demand Better: Use your dollar to set the demand. These crops can not thrive if there are no consumers to buy them. Use your voice to tell your elected officials how you feel about GM crops. Ask your grocery stores to stock more organic foods.

Video’s, Documentaries and Other Links

VIDEO: The Future of Food

LINKS:

Wikipedia: A vast amount of information and sources are available

Dr Mercola: This is just one of many links that Dr. Mercola has on the subject. There are links to many other articles within this one or you can search on his website.

Human Genome Project Information: Information on Genetically Modified Foods.

USDA Data Sets: Some statistics

Autism: The Musical

So I stayed up until three in the morning last night watching this documentary. It was moving and brought me to tears several times. It was uplifting and heartbreaking at the same time. I can only imagine the living Hell that these parents have to call life and yet they carry on and fight the fight and are blessed with moments of happiness and big and small triumphs. But the rest of us that don’t live with these children want to turn our heads and ignore the issue, it’s not my child we say. So who will take care of these thousands and thousands of children when their parents are gone?

For me, one of the most poignant parts of the film is where one of the mothers, Hillary, says to the others that the issue of Autism isn’t a civil rights issue (as one parent asserts that it is), it’s a values issue. She very passionately points out that until these children are valued as real and living human beings that nothing will change, not the chemicals in the vaccines, not the research, not the schools’ ability to incorporate a real learning environment, and not the insurance companies. If anyone has this quote please let me know so I can paste it here. The streamed movie doesn’t let you skip around.

Such a powerful movie. I hope you will find the time to watch it.

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