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“Hey Matt, what’s your favorite flavor of gummy snacks?”
“I dunno, I can’t decide between the infertility flavor or the cancer flavor… they’re both pretty good.”
“Dude, I kind of like the A.D.H.D flavor.”
“Oh, yeah! that is a good one!”
This is what a conversation about conventional food might sound like, if it were known to most people what those fun colors on your supermarket shelf are capable of. See, back in the day, the world of food was similar to the beginning of Pleasantville… that is, colorless and unexciting. Then, it was discovered that people like color. They want to buy things with coIor. Unfortunately, natural food dye “died” off in the effort to save money and maximize profits, and the age of artificial food coloring painted a money grubbing canvas of heaIth risks across the nation.
The eight most common artificial colors you find in food have been tested on animals, (I know, I know, cute fuzzy bunnies) and have been examined in various studies. The resuIts have shown everything from hyperactivity in little Billy, to cancer In Peter Rabbit. Here, in order of the coIor spectrum, is a list of different color-enhancing agents, and their possible side effects.
RED # 40- Hyperactivity and Allergic ReactionsRED # 3-Cancer, in high dosesCITRUS RED # 2- (used to color orange peels) Carcinogen, which means cancer.YELLOW # 5- Cellular mutations, hyperactivity in children, and infertility.YELLOW# 6- Gastric problems, diarrhea, swelling of the skin, vomiting, nettle rash, ADHD and cancer. YUMM MMEEEE!GREEN # 3- Tumors, Mutations, Eye, Skin, Digestive tract, and Respriatory Tract irritationBLUE # 1- Banned in several countries at one point, this shade can irritate asthma and, of course hyperactivity .BLUE # 2- In the same family as blue the first and related to Indigo dyes in structure. Indigo dyes have a very low MlD (or median lethal dose) which means that it’s pretty nasty.
So really, is it a big deal if your boy or girl has a candy here or there containing a couple of these sorta poisonous additives? Well, probably not. But the reality is that they aren’t used casually. They’re in TONS of packaged foods that you likely consume every day. Keep a look out, and DON’T feed them to your kids. We do all these crazy things to make a more efficient and prosperous society for our children and then we wonder why they pop out with three legs and ADHD.
Song of the day: “Roy G. Biv” by They Might Be Giants
So the riddle asks, “which came first the chicken or the egg… or the salmonella?” With the recent out break of fowl nastiness, this bird has attracted a lot of attention in the media. As scientists and doctors try and “crack” this case, let’s have a closer look at the origins and problems with chicken farming in its current state.
Raising chickens and other such poultry has been a common practice throughout history. In its earlier stages, it was more of an individual family activity. Families would take their chickens to market to sell, or use them for eggs, meat, feathers and manure, with very little going to waste.
Mass poultry production evolved somewhat quickly in the USA, circa the mid 1920’s. Live poultry trains were developed to transport large numbers of chickens, with each car holding around 4,600 squawking beaks. Eggs laid on route went to feed the train conductors, and everyone was happy (with maybe the exception of the chickens.) The birds were raised by a wide variety of producers and sold to brokers.
Now, of course, back in those days, even the farms with oodles of chickens on them were low security. These birds could roam, and peck, and riot, and live somewhat of a decent life. But somewhere between prohibition and disco, people decided it would be a much better idea to coop the cocks and check the chicks. Someone figured out that chickens would put out faster, and in greater number, if they were kept inside with lights burning through the night. But, as we know, when you put a bunch of mongoose on an island to get rid of snakes, then you have a mongoose issue. Similarly, when you cram a bunch of chickens together in a confined space, you have to pump them full of drugs, stack them on wire, and chop off their peckers (beaks, don’t have such a dirty mind) to keep them “healthy” and peck-proof.
However, even with these arguably cruel and unfortunate precautions, we still manage to have outbreaks of disease, as with the recent case of salmonella spreading cross the country. An investigation this week found the source of the bacteria in two major farm producers’ chicken feed (that is, the mush they have to feed them because they have freak beaks.)
So, if you don’t want to give up your morning chicken and waffles, or your breaded chicken fillet, or your cake, or your french bread, or your creamy dressings, or your egg muffin sandos, what can you do to at least not be a part of this problem? For starters, you can cut back on your daily dose of our feathered friends and all their by-products. Choose vegan once in a while. And when you get tired of that, or if you just can’t stick to it, support your local farmer, and get farm fresh, free range chicken and eggs. Make sure they haven’t been stuck with all kinds of nasty needles. Nobody likes a chicken with track marks. Remember that as consumers we vote with our dollars, and the more you make wise choices, the less you’ll burden our resources. Don’t be a chicken, go organic!
Song of the day: “People Got a Lotta Nerve” by Neko Case.
Soft on the skin, good for the planet and now easy on the wallet, Bambu Batu is proud to offer the largest selection of natural fiber bamboo and organic cotton clothing anywhere, and now at prices you won’t believe. Men’s organic t-shirts now only $10! Oodles of women’s t-shirts, tank tops and halter tops have been reduced to just $10-15. Looking for good deals on organic cotton, bamboo or hemp pants? We’ve got heaps of men’s & women’s jeans and trousers for only $20! (reg. $60-$80)
After 40 years of building environmental consciousness, Earth Day has become something of cliche in certain circles. But here at Bambu Batu, we take these matters seriously, as we have for nearly two decades. Since opening our first natural fiber eco-boutique in 1994, we’ve been committed to sourcing the most environmentally sustainable products, produced through the most socially responsible labor practices, while educating consumers about the detrimental effects of conventional cotton farming. (see: Cotton Statistics)
In addition to our incredible selection of bamboo, consider some of the other ways in which we contribute to a healthier planet and a stronger local economy:
– Several lines of bamboo and organic cotton clothing for men, women and babies, made in the USA.
– Extensive selection of fair trade gifts, jewelry and home decor.
– Fair Trade, Organic chocolate made right here in S.L.O. by Sweet Earth Chocolates.
– Haiti Bars (by Sweet Earth Chocolates) raise money for the Haiti earthquake vicitims. One diollar from each bar goes directly to Partners in Health.
– Fair Trade hand-made wool products by Maule Wear are imported directly from Curanipe, Chile (just 5 miles from the epicenter of the recent earthquake) and bring direct support to their devastated economy.
– Organic, all-natural skin care products by local companies like Elemental Herbs and Ruth’s Herbal Remedies.
– Dozens of other products from local artists, fair trade artisans, family-run businesses and conscious-minded companies.
Remember, every dollar you spend casts a vote for the kind of business practices you support. Shop local, buy organic, live better, and have a righteous Earth Day!
We uploaded, we downloaded, we tinkered and we rasterized. Now, finally, after months of anticipation, the new and improved Bambu Batu webstore is officially up and running.
In the next few days and weeks we will continue to add more and more items from our amazing and unique selection of bamboo products and mindful gifts. Take a look and let us know what you think. We depend on your feedback and satisfaction.
A new month has begun, the groundhogs are chomping at the bit, and spring is in the air. (If you live in San Luis Obispo, spring is always in the air.) We already have our sights set on some new styles for the new season. Check out the elegant Isis Dress (left), coming this week, and the Zoe Gathered Top coming next month.
In the mean time, we have a new selection of fair trade purses, totes and shoulder bags coming in this week. Also, with the closing of the Hemp Shak this month, we’re looking forward to expanding our selection of natural fiber products to include Hemp shoes, bags, wallets and jackets.
And don’t look now, but the new, improved Bambu Batu web store is virtually complete.
Yes, that’s right, more baby clothing. Just when you thought it couldn’t possibly get any softer or cuter, leave it to Bambu Batu to startle your senses. Also, for all the grown ups trying to stay bundled in this stormy weather, check out our ultra-cozy bamboo blankets – pictured here in chocolate brown – 100% bamboo inside and out.
And remember, just 10 days left on our bamboo SHEET SALE – save $30 on all queen, king and cal king sheet sets – through January 31st.
Choose bamboo – for the softest shirt you’ll ever wear. Starting at just $19.95, Spun Bamboo t-shirts are woven from a luxurious blend of 70% bamboo and 30% organic cotton. Available in 10 assorted colors, men’s sizes S-XXL. (Also available in long sleeve, starting at $24.95.)
Natural/un-dyed bamboo t-shirts are now ON SALE for the Holidays – JUST $12.95. Available in natural only, men’s sizes S-XL.
When it comes to strength and resilience, few things on earth rival the grace and splendor of the mighty bamboo. Excepting possibly the master yogi.
And among master yogis, few can match the talent and panache of Simon Park, who has trained under such living legends as Shiva Rae and Dharma Mittra. Having fine-tuned his body to operate like a well-oiled super hero, master Simon can withstand seemingly insurmountable pressure and balance in the most precarious of positions, always bending and never breaking.
Our highest accolades to Mr. Park. If there were a Bambu Batu Hall of Fame, you would surely straddle both walls.