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Nuclear war and famine

(News & Editorial/Nuclear war and famine)

 A.  Nuclear war would ‘end civilization’ with famine: study
10 Dec 2013, Phys.org, by Shaun Tandon
Pasted from: http://phys.org/news/2013-12-nuclear-war-civilization-famine.html

Nuc war missile

[Indian Army personnel display an Agni-ll nuclear-capable missile during Indias Repbulic Day parade in New Delhi in Janauary 2006 (AFP)
newvision]

A nuclear war between India and Pakistan would set off a global famine that could kill two billion people and effectively end human civilization, a study said Tuesday.

Even if limited in scope, a conflict with nuclear weapons would wreak havoc in the atmosphere and devastate crop yields, with the effects multiplied as global food markets went into turmoil, the report said.

The Nobel Peace Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and Physicians for Social Responsibility released an initial peer-reviewed study in April 2012 that predicted a nuclear famine could kill more than a billion people.

In a second edition, the groups said they widely underestimated the impact in China and calculated that the world’s most populous country would face severe food insecurity.

“A billion people dead in the developing world is obviously a catastrophe unparalleled in human history. But then if you add to that the possibility of another 1.3 billion people in China being at risk, we are entering something that is clearly the end of civilization,” said Ira Helfand, the report’s author.

Helfand said that the study looked at India and Pakistan due to the longstanding tensions between the nuclear-armed states, which have fought three full-fledged wars since independence and partition in 1947.

But Helfand said that the planet would expect a similar apocalyptic impact from any limited nuclear war. Modern nuclear weapons are far more powerful than the US bombs that killed more than 200,000 people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.

“With a large war between the United States and Russia, we are talking about the possible — not certain, but possible — extinction of the human race.

“In this kind of war, biologically there are going to be people surviving somewhere on the planet but the chaos that would result from this will dwarf anything we’ve ever seen,” Helfand said.

The study said that the black carbon aerosol particles kicked into the atmosphere by a South Asian nuclear war would reduce US corn and soybean production by around 10 percent over a decade.

The particles would also reduce China’s rice production by an average of 21 percent over four years and by another 10 percent over the following six years.

nuc war wheatThe updated study also found severe effects on China’s wheat, which is vital to the country despite its association with rice.

China’s wheat production would plunge by 50 percent the first year after the nuclear war and would still be 31 percent below baseline a decade later, it said.

The study said it was impossible to estimate the exact impact of nuclear war. He called for further research, voicing alarm that policymakers in nuclear powers were not looking more thoroughly at the idea of a nuclear famine.

But he said, ultimately, the only answer was the abolition of nuclear weapons.

“This is a disaster so massive in scale that really no preparation is possible. We must prevent this,” he said.

President Barack Obama pledged in 2009 to work toward abolition but said that the United States would keep nuclear weapons so long as others exist. Nine countries are believed to possess nuclear weapons, with Russia and the United States holding the vast majority.
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B.  Nuclear famine
How a Regional Nuclear War Will Cause Global Mass Starvation
Pasted from: http://ippnweducation.wordpress.com/nuclearfamine/

Climate scientists who worked with the late Carl Sagan in the 1980s to document the threat of nuclear winter have produced disturbing new research about the climate effects of low-yield, regional nuclear war.

Using South Asia as an example, these experts have found that even a limited regional nuclear war on the order of 100 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons would result in tens of millions of immediate deaths and unprecedented global climate disruption. Smoke from urban firestorms caused by multiple nuclear explosions would rise into the upper troposphere and, due to atmospheric heating, would subsequently be boosted deep into the stratosphere.

The resulting soot cloud would block 7–10% of warming sunlight from reaching the Earth’s surface, leading to significant cooling and reductions in precipitation lasting for more than a decade. Within 10 days following the explosions, there would be a drop in average surface temperature of 1.25° C. Over the following year, a 10% decline in average global rainfall and a large reduction in the Asian summer monsoon would have a significant impact on agricultural production. These effects would persist over many years. The growing season would be shortened by 10 to 20 days in many of the most important grain producing areas in the world, which might completely eliminate crops that had insufficient time to reach maturity.

nuc war cornThere are currently more than 800 million people in the world who are chronically malnourished. Several hundred million more live in countries that depend on imported grain. Even a modest, sudden decline in agricultural production could trigger significant increases in the prices for basic foods, as well as hoarding on a global scale, making food inaccessible to poor people in much of the world. While it is not possible to estimate the precise extent of the global famine that would follow a regional nuclear war, it seems reasonable to anticipate a total global death toll in the range of one billion from starvation alone. Famine on this scale would also lead to major epidemics of infectious diseases, and would create immense potential for mass population movement, civil conflict, and war.

These findings have significant implications for nuclear weapons policy. They are powerful evidence in the case against the proliferation of nuclear weapons and against the modernization of arsenals in the existing nuclear weapon states. Even more important, they argue for a fundamental reassessment of the role of nuclear weapons in the world. If even a relatively small nuclear war, by Cold War standards—within the capacity of eight nuclear-armed states—could trigger a global catastrophe, then the only viable response is the complete abolition of nuclear weapons.

Two other issues need to be considered as well. First, there is a very high likelihood that famine on this scale would lead to major epidemics of infectious diseases. Previous famines have been accompanied by major outbreaks of plague, typhus, malaria, dysentery, and cholera. Despite the advances in medical technology of the last half century, a global famine on the anticipated scale would provide the ideal breeding ground for epidemics involving any or all of these illness, especially in the vast megacities of the developing world.

Famine on this scale would also provoke war and civil conflict, including food riots. Competition for limited food resources might well exacerbate ethnic and regional animosities. Armed conflict among nations would escalate as states dependent on imports adopted whatever means were at their disposal to maintain access to food supplies.

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C.  Regional nuclear war could devastate global climate
11 Dec 2006, EurekAlert.org,  see Joseph Blumberg at blumberg@ur.rutgers.edu
Pasted from: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2006-12/rtsu-rnw120706.php

[The Fat Man mushroom cloud resulting from the nuclear explosion over Nagasaki rises 18 km (11 mi, 60,000 ft) into the air from the hypocenter, August 9, 1945. (Wikipedia)]

NEW BRUNSWICK/PISCATAWAY, N.J. — Even a small-scale, regional nuclear war could produce as many direct fatalities as all of World War II and disrupt the global climate for a decade or more, with environmental effects that could be devastating for everyone on Earth, university researchers have found.

These powerful conclusions are being presented Dec. 11 during a press conference and a special technical session at the annual meeting of American Geophysical Union in San Francisco. The research also appears in twin papers posted on Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussions, an online journal.

A team of scientists at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey; the University of Colorado at Boulder (CU-Boulder); and UCLA conducted the rigorous scientific studies reported.

Against the backdrop of growing tensions in the Middle East and nuclear “saber rattling” elsewhere in Asia, the authors point out that even the smallest nuclear powers today and in the near future may have as many as 50 or more Hiroshima-size (15 kiloton) weapons in their arsenals; all told, about 40 countries possess enough plutonium and/or uranium to construct substantial nuclear arsenals.

Owen “Brian” Toon, chair of the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a member of the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics at CU-Boulder, oversaw the analysis of potential fatalities based on an assessment of current nuclear weapons inventories and population densities in large urban complexes. His team focused on scenarios of smoke emissions that urban firestorms could produce.

“The results described in one of the new papers represent the first comprehensive quantitative study of the consequences of a nuclear conflict between smaller nuclear states,” said Toon and his co-authors. “A small country is likely to direct its weapons against population centers to maximize damage and achieve the greatest advantage,” Toon said. Fatality estimates for a plausible regional conflict ranged from 2.6 million to 16.7 million per country.

Alan Robock, a professor in the department of environmental sciences and associate director of the Center for Environmental Prediction at Rutgers’ Cook College, guided the climate modeling effort using tools he previously employed in assessing volcano-induced climate change. Robock and his Rutgers co-workers, Professor Georgiy Stenchikov and Postdoctoral Associate Luke Oman (now at Johns Hopkins University) generated a series of computer simulations depicting potential climatic anomalies that a small-scale nuclear war could bring about, summarizing their conclusions in the second paper.

“Considering the relatively small number and size of the weapons, the effects are surprisingly large. The potential devastation would be catastrophic and long term,” said Richard Turco, professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences, and a member and founding director of UCLA’s Institute of the Environment. Turco once headed a team including Toon and Carl Sagan that originally defined “nuclear winter.”

nuc war cloudWhile a regional nuclear confrontation among emerging third-world nuclear powers might be geographically constrained, Robock and his colleagues have concluded that the environmental impacts could be worldwide.

“We examined the climatic effects of the smoke produced in a regional conflict in the subtropics between two opposing nations, each using 50 Hiroshima-size nuclear weapons to attack the other’s most populated urban areas,” Robock said. The researchers carried out their simulations using a modern climate model coupled with estimates of smoke emissions provided by Toon and his colleagues, which amounted to as much as five million metric tons of “soot” particles.

“A cooling of several degrees would occur over large areas of North America and Eurasia, including most of the grain-growing regions,” Robock said. “As in the case with earlier nuclear winter calculations, large climatic effects would occur in regions far removed from the target areas or the countries involved in the conflict.”

When Robock and his team applied their climate model to calibrate the recorded response to the 1912 eruptions of Katmai volcano in Alaska, they found that observed temperature anomalies were accurately reproduced. On a grander scale, the 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia – the largest in the last 500 years – was followed by killing frosts throughout New England in 1816, during what has become known as “the year without a summer.” The weather in Europe was reported to be so cold and wet that the harvest failed and people starved. This historical event, according to Robock, perhaps foreshadows the kind of climate disruptions that would follow a regional nuclear conflict.

But the climatic disruption resulting from Tambora lasted for only about one year, the authors note. In their most recent computer simulation, in which carbon particles remain in the stratosphere for up to 10 years, the climatic effects are greater and last longer than those associated with the Tambora eruption.

“With the exchange of 100 15-kiloton weapons as posed in this scenario, the estimated quantities of smoke generated could lead to global climate anomalies exceeding any changes experienced in recorded history,” Robock said. “And that’s just 0.03 percent of the total explosive power of the current world nuclear arsenal.”

[Below, I’ve provided some visual examples of the sort of things you might want to incorporate into your cupboard, pantry, basement and/or under your bed during early 2014, think of it as insurance. Mr. Larry]

nuc war food stores

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Why you should prep

A.  Your personal obligation,
May 2014 by Mr. Larry
“Two hundred years ago (1812) the majority of the human race lived an agricultural life, their tools, assets and  knowledge were fitted to extracting most of their livelihood from the land, their land.
Fast forward to 1937 (75 years ago) , agriculture had become mechanized, allowing a great many families to migrate to the cities. These new urban residents learned skills that replaced the previous agricultural knowledge on how to provide for their families sustenance.

Meanwhile, back in the countryside, as had been the practice for 8,000-10,000 years, the remaining farm families continued to use the excess from their crop yield to sustain themselves during the winter, they maintained a quantity of their produce as seed for the following spring planting, some of the crop yield fed their livestock, some grains was sold for trade currency,  and if  the harvest had been really good, they added a couple more head of live stock.

The farm family stored food supplies, seed for future crops, and maintained a supportive ecology based on agricultural foods, wood from the forest, and water from the well or stream. They maintained a supply capacity to cover the eventuality that: a rainstorm might damage an early planting,  a drought could reduce summer production,  or an early frost might kill crops before they’d fully ripened. There could also occur: a crop disease in the field, insect and pest infestations in storage, robbery, heavy taxation,  a wild-fire, or a number of family members (work force) could be ill and removed from the seasons production labor effort. There were and are a lot of potential threats, fortunately none have a high probability of severe occurence on any given year.

The new landless,that is,  the migrants from the farm to the city-town, like their country kin, needed to maintain a savings from the slight excess generated by their labor. Life,  in some ways, may have become easier in the city, but there was/is still the chance of losing one’s job; a business bankruptcy; severe, long term illness in the family; theft by robbery and taxation; currency devaluation (more governmental theft), fire, war, calamity, personal needs and eventual retirement.

There remained a need for everyone to set some of their income aside to cover an eventual, “rainy day,” and not just a literal day or a week, but to cover the individual or family in case they missed a significant part of their harvest or a seasons labor for wages.

During recent decades (roughly the last 75 years), the exploitation of essentially free energy (free lunch) from fossil fuels has made the world’s lifestyle wealthy compared to  that of ancient kings. The largess of Western social economic structures have grown to provide an economic safety net for both farmers and unemployed urban residents. These public welfare programs have become so prevalent, that people now expect someone else to look after their deficiencies.
Diligent industry and personal responsibility have given way to public welfare, there is no longer a need for diligent industry or personal responsibility; quite the contrary, both the rural and urban worker can at times maneuver their situation in conjunction with the letter of the law to profit from sloth. Once enrolled in the public welfare, enough people find ways to stay in the program that they become a burden to society. [See also my post, “Tragedy of the Commons”]

The point here is: While governments has set up well-meaning, social welfare programs, these programs can only be expected to function as long as government structures operate within  some nebulous limit we might call, “Normal Conditions”. It’s great that a new layer of protection has been added as insurance for our personal sustenance, but each individual adult, each family, still has to provide diligent industry and accept personal responsibility to protect themselves.

When you  fulfill your obligation to look after your own survival, like any other larger animal on this planet, then you can accept public welfare on a temporary basis.  Relying on and expecting public assistance in times of regional-national-global hardship is like an irrational farmer who thinks: there will never be a crop loss, who doesn’t maintaining supplies, who does not maintain a flock or herd, and who eats the seed set aside for next year’s crop. This is a line of thinking that is bound for disaster, this is “our modern way” in the West and it has been for the last decade.
All it takes is one crop failure; or, in modern terms: massive unemployment, an extended period of high inflation,  the government declaring bankruptcy, a couple of nuclear missiles entering our skies, a deadly pandemic, any form of economic collapse…
…In 3 days you could be dying of thirst, followed by several weeks of social disorder that escalates by maybe two orders of magnitude (100 times worse than what “bad” means in “normal” times), starvation begins in 4 weeks…” (Mr. Larry)
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B.  Aesop knew how it worked — 2500 years ago
If anyone doesn’t understand the obligation of families to one another during a serious economic national crisis, I recommend you read Aesop’s fable,  The Grasshopper and The Ant, as follows:

“Once there lived an ant and a grasshopper in a grassy meadow. All day long the ant would work hard, collecting grains of wheat from the farmer’s field far away. She would hurry to the field every morning, as soon as it was light enough to see by, and toil back with a heavy grain of wheat balanced on her head. She would put the grain of wheat carefully away in her larder, and then hurry back to the field for another one. All day long she would work, without stop or rest, scurrying back and forth from the field, collecting the grains of wheat and storing them carefully in her larder.

The grasshopper would look at her and laugh. ‘Why do you work so hard, dear ant?’ he would say. ‘Come, rest awhile, listen to my song. Summer is here, the days are long and bright. Why waste the sunshine in labour and toil?’

The ant would ignore him, and head bent, would just hurry to the field a little faster. This would make the grasshopper laugh even louder. ‘What a silly little ant you are!’ he would call after her. ‘Come, come and dance with me! Forget about work! Enjoy the summer! Live a little!’ And the grasshopper would hop away across the meadow, singing and dancing merrily.

Summer faded into autumn, and autumn turned into winter.
The sun was hardly seen, and the days were short and grey, the nights long and dark.
It became freezing cold, and snow began to fall.

The grasshopper didn’t feel like singing any more. He was cold and hungry. He had nowhere to shelter from the snow, and nothing to eat. The meadow and the farmer’s field were covered in snow, and there was no food to be had. ‘Oh what shall I do? Where shall I go?’ wailed the grasshopper. Suddenly he remembered the ant. ‘Ah – I shall go to the ant and ask her for food and shelter!’ declared the grasshopper, perking up. So off he went to the ant’s house and knocked at her door. ‘Hello ant!’ he cried cheerfully. ‘Here I am, to sing for you, as I warm myself by your fire, while you get me some food from that larder of yours!’

The ant looked at the grasshopper and said, ‘All summer long I worked hard while you made fun of me, and sang and danced. You should have thought of winter then! Find somewhere else to sing, grasshopper! There is no warmth or food for you here!’ And the ant shut the door in the grasshopper’s face.

It is wise to worry about tomorrow today.” (That was human thinking 2500 years ago. lfp)
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C.  Remember the addage , “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”  (about 5000 BC)
One thing about the future is that no one can be too sure how it’s going to turn out. Most of us are realists and understand that in regards to the future, it’s better to prepare for the likelihood of falling on hard times than be stuck in the middle of it without any preparations or plans.

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Definitions use in the following article
SHTF – Shit hit the fan (event). Think: Temporary, local or regional disaster that disrupt some services, business and-or social structures for days to months. Hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado damage, flooding, riots, local volcanic activity, major snowstorms, hyperinflation…Black Swan SHTF events that trigger a chain of cascading disasters can lead to TEOTWAKI.
TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It. (event). Think: long term wide spread disruption, systemic failures, extreme hardship, trying to survive within a collapsed social structure, crime violence escallates, seeing dead human bodies becomes somewhat common. Nuclear War, solar and terrorist EMP, deadly pandemic, major volcanic activity…
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D.  SHTF vs. TEOTWAWKI?
SurvivalCache.com, by  Captain Bart
http://survivalcache.com/shtf-vs-teotwawki/
“This past President’s Day, all the satellite channels on my cable went out. Annoying. About an hour later all power in the house went out! This is about how it would play out if a big CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) were to hit the earth.

Prepared?
First the satellites and then some time delay later (depending on CME speed) the power goes down. Since I hadn’t followed my usual practice of daily checking on the Sun, I didn’t know and it was too late to find out. Then I noticed the cell phones still worked, my Blackberry allowed me internet access (NOT a Carrington Event). Turns out a line fuse had blown and about 40 houses were without power for 20 minutes or so. Not even much of a SHTF event but for a few minutes, a whole lot of things I wish I had already done went through my mind.

We often use SHTF and TEOTWAWKI almost interchangeably, but they are not the same thing. For the first week or two, they may be almost identical. Law enforcement may still be in place well into the TEOTWAWKI event. In many scenarios we won’t know if it is TEOTWAWKI for weeks or months. This causes difficulty in preparations. Get it wrong and you could be in trouble.

My SHTF moment may be your TEOTWAWKI event. When Hurricane Ike hit Houston, I shared food, firearms and ammo with neighbors. It was a SHTF and not even a ‘Black Swan” event. The problem with this, of course, is that now my neighbors know I’m prepared. If you lived on Bolivar Penninsula near Galveston, Texas, Hurricane Ike was a TEOTWAWKI event. This Cat II hurricane had a storm surge like a Cat IV storm and in parts of Bolivar not even the foundations are left.

The point of this is that not only is one man’s SHTF another man’s TEOTWAWKI, one event can morph into the other. How you prepare for one event effects how you deal with the other type event. If you have only prepared for TEOTWAWKI and that plan is basically taking your fully tricked out assault rifle and scrounging what you need from your neighbor’s deserted homes, then you may find yourself in real trouble when the SHTF but it isn’t TEOTWAWKI. SHTF and even ‘Black Swan’ events happen to all of us to varying degrees with surprising regularity although we often don’t recognize it. If you worked for Bernie Madoff and his ponzi scheme, the SHTF big time when your job, your investments and your savings all went away at the same time! Everything changed overnight.

I think the most likely TEOTWAWKI event will be some type of pandemic that will start slowly and grow in isolated locations until some critical mass is reached. You may have a different “favorite” TEOTWAWKI event but this one serves for discussion. At the point critical mass is reached everything shuts down, martial law is declared and the TEOTWAWKI spiral begins.

Plan For The Mostly Likely Events
What does this mean for us? I would argue that most of our preparations should be for SHTF events. A TEOTWAWKI pandemic and a normal flu outbreak will be identical on the local level for the first days to weeks. So my first preparations will be to survive a one-week ‘shelter in place’ – grid up and utilities working. My next step is to survive a 2-week, shelter in place, grid down scenario followed by a possible 4-week bug out stint. I am ready and flexible if things change but I feel that this is the most likely scenario and what I base my planning around.

The moral is to prepare for the most likely events first since they are the ones that will surely happen. I KNOW Houston will get hit by another hurricane. If I’m ready for Ike, then I’m set for a different 2 to 4 week grid down Black Swan. If I stretch my preparations to 3 months then I’m ready for a massive commerce interruption and so on. Baby steps will carry you far if you are consistently improving. Giant steps can lead to major, perhaps catastrophic mistakes in planning and execution. Take care of the smaller, high probability events and the low probability events and Black Swans can be successfully handled.”

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E.  How Horrific Will It Be For The Non-Prepper?
May 12th, 2012, for  SHTFPlan.com, by  author, Be Informed
http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/how-horrific-will-it-be-for-the-non-prepper_05122012

This article has been made available by regular SHTFplan contributor, Be Informed.
Editor’s Note: You have no doubt had your own set of issues dealing with friends and family members that simply don’t see the writing on the wall. The following article may serve to assist you in convincing those who simply don’t know, don’t want to know, don’t care, or have never even thought to contemplate. Some of the scenarios outlined below may be frightening, as they should be, because when it hits the fan millions of people will be thrown into desperation with no hope of a solution. Be Informed provides a variety of point-by-point details that may (and hopefully will) convince the non-prepared individual to at least insulate themselves with the basic necessities. The consequences for not doing so, as you’ll see, are severe and often deadly.

I have become personally so disenchanted with the way people fail to prep. People still don’t understand how important it is to put away. I have gotten into arguments over this and had cretins call me a fool because I put away food, water, and supplies. I thought about this and the frustration that other preppers have with this laid back idiotic attitude that there is no need for preparation. There are good people that just can’t/won’t start preparing. They have the money to do so, but just don’t want to. Many have only seen what happens to non-preppers on TV, but it still doesn’t make an impact.

In this article I detail some hard core realities to show just how awful it will be for those that don’t prep. Every one of these scenarios is something that has occurred to the non-prepper throughout history. While strong images come to mind, the purpose is to jar some people out of their inaction and into action before it is too late.

Preppers are good people and care much about those around them, and unless something does jar those around them that choose not to prep, their own survival chances could be reduced. For every bit of food, water, ammunition, or supplies you sacrifice to the non-prepper, the fewer irreplaceable supplies are left for you and your family in a crisis situation. It is hoped that the following can help certain people put into TRUE perspective just how horrific it will be for those that don’t prepare.

Here are the awful consequences for those refusing to prep.
As the world continues to decay at multiple facets, the common person has and continues to be lulled into a sense that everything is improving and will continue to for the distant future. After all, to them unemployment has peaked out and will drop until everyone that wants to work will easily be able to find good paying work, North Korea is no threat because all their long range “bottle rockets” fizz out, sanctions will eventually make Iran give up their nuclear program, oil prices will start going down after June or so, Europe will bail out Greece and Spain and everyone else, and U.S. debt will eventually come under control.

After 2012 everyone that has prepared themselves will go back to more “sensible” lives. “Good times are coming”, baseball season is here, let’s get back to watching some more crackerjack news.

It is amazing how people become good conversationalists with most others discussing all the gossip related news, while becoming mentally tranquilized into a totally deceptive state of denial of truly dangerous issues of the times. It’s the blind leading the blind… right off the cliff.

Rather than dealing with harsh reality, people surround themsleves with easy to digest material that can be talked about without directly influencing anyone’s lives. Meaningless chatter. Even for those unwilling to even think to prepare for a societal catastrophic event, there is also no desire to even face the extreme possibility of a sudden loss of one’s employment. A personal SHTF.

Look at some of the terrible personal pain experienced in America right now – and it hasn’t even hit the fan on a grand scale. Those people who have lived it up on credit, who failed to put much of anything away for a rainy day, who’ve lost their job, and who eventually lost their unemployment benefits are experiencing the first level of collapse. This is happening to millions of people in our own country, all around us, as we speak.

These Americans, who once enjoyed the luxuries that modern living had to offer, are now at their wits end, with very little hope for a return to their previous lives. They are no longer able to pay most or any of their bills. Many have to humiliatingly turn to others for help to pay for food, or worse, to obtain old, unhealthy and poor tasting food from locally funded food banks. Their credit cards are totally worthless. Many have been evicted from their homes and have uprooted their families to live either on the street, in tent cities, with relatives, or have been forced to live at homeless shelters, They’ve have had their vehicles repossessed, or simply can’t afford the gasoline anymore. Their living conditions often make it difficult, if not impossible, to look presentable for job interviews. For many, the life of stability they knew just a short while ago is gone, replaced with fear and a constant stress to the point of nervous breakdown.

A personal economic meltdown is confined to the individual or family, or at worst a few families. The human civilization remains intact and so do society’s safety nets.

With food assistance, rental assistance, homeless shelters, and family to turn to, even the most destitute are almost always able to find some sort of help – however menial.

It is no wonder with these known assistance programs, then, that people have forgotten or never thought to consider what happens IF and WHEN human civilization goes through a strong enough SHTF event. If that happens on a mass scale what happens to everyone that needs help that has not prepared ahead of time? What happens when governments are in such total disarray or destroyed altogether that they can’t help even if they wanted to?

The media and others have portrayed the good people that sacrifice much if not all “luxuries” of life to prepare themselves and their family and friends for extreme times, as chicken littles. Those who have made the choice to store up emergency food, water, and other necessities to avoid extreme life threatening risks, including suffering horribly during and after a widespread SHTF event, are laughed at and ridiculed often for “wasting” their lives on delusional paranoia.

But who is delusional? Those who see the signs around them and understand how vulnerable the system is, or those who believe that things never change, that politicians have their best interests at heart, and that if the worst happens the government will be there to provide everything they may need?

How many have considered the dire consequences of their failure to prepare in the event that the infrastructure and everything a country’s people depend on totally collapses?

The misery from long term unemployment and lack of money is like a walk in the park compared to the severe anguish and dangerous conditions that await those who have failed to prepare for the aftermath of a large scale cataclysm. The “minor” problems of unemployment that seem extremely major and painful to most today should serve as a wake up call to what life will be like when something much, much worse happens – when those proverbial safety nets are no longer there to catch us.

Many preppers have become deeply frustrated at those around them, especially those that truly mean something to them, because they simply refuse to put away anything at all for emergencies. The prepper is usually a person that cares a lot and it is often difficult for them to take a tough stance towards the people that they care about. However, unless someone changes the habits of those people that fail to get ready, decisions will need to be made, and they won’t be easy.

The choice of what the prepared prepper should do will boil down to either either adding these people to their own circle or survival group and reduce the group’s safety, supplies and self sufficiency, OR, they will have to let the non-prepper fend for themselves. This is a very personal choice, and each of us will need to decide based on our own morals, ethics and personal relationships.

As a last ditch effort, discussing the following scenarios with the non-prepper may help them understand what life will be like without what has sustained them so comfortably for so long.

This is the hard reality the non prepper needs to understand:

•  Without power the water company cannot get water to their faucets. Without water dehydration occurs within 24 hours. Dehydration causes much suffering before death.
•  Toilets in homes, unless they have an incineration toilet that still need power to work, don’t flush without water. Where will they go to the bathroom and then where will they dispose of human waste?
•  There will be no clean water available anywhere, especially in major cities, and they cannot live more than about three days without it.
•  Drinking dirty and polluted water will make them incredibly sick and accelerate the dehydration process.
•  Polluted water must be purified and that means having a good filter, bleach or other disinfectant, or fuel and something to boil water with.
•  Understand just how fragile the power and the infrastructure is that pumps water to the public. A breakdown in our power infrastructure or a cyber attack against utility systems will render them useless.
•  A single event can rapidly lead to a cascade of other events that would certainly collapse almost, if not, everything. This is why major snow storms, hurricanes or solar events  in the past have affected millions of people in an entire region all at once.
•  A single, seemingly unimportant event may become quite terrible as its repercussions spread; this can include a far and away disaster.
•  Understand that the economies of the world are so interwoven that when one major economy falls it affects everyone.
•  Not having any food in the house means that if the stores are emptied suddenly in a bad enough situation that there will be no food available for a long period of time afterward. Recent history during disasters around the world has shown that stores can literally be emptied in minutes.
•  Think about how totally horrible the feeling of being very hungry is and what circumstances would cause one to be desperate enough to eat anything.
•  ALL stores can be closed instantly under martial law.
•  Understand that you may not be able to purchase anything after it starts, especially with any credit cards.
•  Understand the complexity of food and water distribution; breaks in these chains can stop anything from getting to the people.
•  What life will be like if no toilet paper is stored?
•  Understand that without light sources, the night will be pitch black, often with zero visibility.
•  There will be no communications, other than probably martial law type of instructions over the radio, that is if they have batteries for the radio.
•  Other than ham and shortwave radio, any information that is available will be sent out by the government as filtered propaganda that “they” want everyone to hear.
•  Without power consider what it will be like to not have any heat to stay warm, or air conditioned air to stay cooler – with no way of alleviating the situation.
•  Travelling will likely be by  foot or bicycle, as their will be no fuel and roadways may be blocked.
•  Realize that ANY travel outside of the home or neighborhood will be extremely dangerous as ANYONE  who moves becomes a target
•  Non preppers will be pushed way beyond their limit because of lack of supplies.
•  The non prepper must realize their government does not really care about them individually, that they are a mere number and help will likely not come from them.
•  They have to figure out somewhere to get food. This can mean wild plants which they must know how to identify as safe, or risk poisoning themselves.
•  They have to understand that when we refer to “having no food” it doesn’t mean not having the food they are used to enjoying, it means no food to eat at all.
•  They have to understand that if they are fortunate enough to have any running water, they will probably have to bathe in cold water for lack of stored fuel to heat water.
•  They have to realize that the very strange and totally unexpected is going to be all around them, made that much worse because of lack of any reliable self defense stores or skills.
•  They might have to remain on the run constantly because of looking for water and food.
•  They must understand that bad will be magnified magnitudes to living misery because of lack of food, water, and other necessary items that they took for granted for so long.

Okay, now comes the “truly ugly and unthinkable” life that most, if not all, people that have failed and refused to prepare themselves will deal with. Clear vivid visualization is key here for anyone that ho hums the idea of prepping.
What horrors they will likely face after a cave-in of their nation’s economy, war, geophysical upheaval, or whatever crisis is bad enough to disturb or stop their nation from working and functioning? There are plenty of very potential SHTF events that are simply awaiting a catalyst to trigger them.

•  The Non-Prepper (NP) has to realize right off the bat that 911 and other emergency calls in will be met with silence or some recording telling the caller not to panic.
•  The (NP) that has no reliable self defense that can stop an attacker, will not get help from public services, and will become a victim of rape, assault, torture, or murder.
•  The (NP) that has no reliable self defense and will not only be at the mercy of criminal elements, but also have to contend with many desperate animals, some with rabies.
•  The (NP) that has no food will either have to find food or be ready to beg for food or worse, like sacrificing their bodies or other horrible acts or things to get a bite of food.
•  The (NP) will have to go through the worst, most rancid conditions of garbage to just maybe find what they should have stored up.
•  The (NP) will go through panic and near if not total psychosis looking for any water source right before their bodies begin shutting down during advanced stages of dehydration.
•  The (NP) will go through unbearable trauma when their children and other people around them are crying, screaming, and suffering with intense hunger pains in their stomachs.
•  The (NP) will have to deal with the awful stench of rotting wastes from many sources because they have not taken the effort to even store up waste disposal plastic bags.
•  The (NP) will have disease and pathogens everywhere, not only because they have no trash disposal means, but because they haven’t prepared how to deal with trash and waste.
•  The (NP) will have to live in very primitive conditions after things around them deteriorate rapidly, because they have neglected putting away anything to make life more bearable.
•  The (NP) and those around them will likely develop all sorts of infective skin rashes from the lack of insight of storing up toilet paper. Imagine the smell for a moment.
•  The (NP) will have to handle biting insects and other vermin that will collect amoungst the filth that will pile up. No pest control stored up along with no other supplies
•  The (NP) will have no way of treating sickness certain to follow a SHTF event, no first aid and likely no training or knowledge about how to treat the ill on top of this.
•  The (NP) will have sick and dying people around them because of not being able to treat minor injuries. Didn’t even stock up on disinfectives. Unsanitary conditions lead to infection.
•  The (NP) and others around them will experience much grief as they watch helplessly as their family members literally die of starvation right in front of their eyes.
•  The (NP) won’t believe how desperate hunger drives them and those that mean everything to them to “trying” to eat food that taste so bad it gags them and comes back up.
•  The (NP) will likely have  family and friends around them that have also not prepared committing suicide because they can’t take it any longer.
•  The (NP) will witness some of those people around them lose any sense of civilized humanity in them and behave like wild animals after some time from lack of necessities.
•  The (NP) and family members, maybe friends also, will at some point end up barbecuing or eating raw the family dog, cat, bird, any pet dear to everyone for food.
•  The (NP) will likely get into  physical fights with other family members over any scrap of food available as rational thoughts are lost to wanton hunger.
•  The (NP) as many other (NP’s) will eventually go out of any safety of their home looking for food and or water, become disorientated and lost, and die a hard death somewhere.
•  The (NP) that is “lucky” enough to find some government help will likely have to almost sell their  soul, probably all their freedom, to get tiny rations – just enough to keep them alive.
•  The (NP) will see widespread violence and barbarism that will shock them to the core and will wish that they had purchased some form of firearm and stocked up on ammunition.
•  The (NP) better get used to attempting to explain the children and other adults why they wasted all that money on junk, and didn’t buy any emergency food and other supplies.
•  The (NP), no matter how positive they are will drop quickly into depression and lose willpower as  having nothing to hold on to does this, along with lack of any nutrition.
•  The (NP) will feel the worst guilt imaginable as they hear their family moaning in anguish from lack of anything to eat, knowing they could have done something to prepare.
•  The (NP) will most likely not see the rebuilding and recovery after A SHTF event. They will, like almost all NP’s, be statistics. Some will die hours or a day before help arrives.
•  The (NP) from lack of food, drinking bad water, no light at night, the horrid smells, no good self defense, the overall horror, will often be paralyzed with fear and despair, blank stare.
•  The (NP) is totally helpless after SHTF, will have to rely totally on charity of those prepared to live. They will take all sorts of desperate measures likely to get them shot. They’ll attempt to eat hazardous foods like an animal trapped in a house will do, and get sick and suffer much before dying. The (NP) will      likely die (ugly and hard) as they lived, unprepared for anything.

If we were to use one single word to describe the torments that someone who “chooses” not to prepare will go through after a true you know what hits the fan it would be “PREVENTABLE”.

Almost every single person, even a very poor person, has the capacity to put away emergency food and supplies. Even homeless people have stashes of something just in case things become so bad that the normal hand outs and thrown-away items dry up. Many people with good sources of income don’t even have an extra can of food or any water put away at all. This is stupidity beyond words.

Every day lightweight disasters happen in all parts of the world that disturb services enough that people are confined to their homes for a certain amount of time. While recovery is short, people are still uncomfortable during these times. Look what happens after a power outage at night and you will be mystified at how many homes are completely dark for hours. People have not even bought an extra couple of candles or any battery operated light sources. Even in well-to-do neighborhoods you may hear only a lone generator going after a blackout. This lack of preparedness is truly frightening and plays itself out again, again, and again every time services are disrupted for minor to major reasons. It’s as if there is something wrong with storing extra food, water, and supplies.

Even after “lessons” played out to what happens to those non-prepared, most people still feel that it just cannot happen to them, or won’t ever happen to them again. It should be proof enough to people what happens to those unprepared after disasters simply by looking at those that have gone through it firsthand. The difference, though, comes in that these disasters have had recovery periods and help from others. Even Haiti received some help and conditions remain putrid over there.

After a TRUE SHTF, it is presumable that government help and others coming to the aid of those in need WON’T happen for long periods of time. During that time those that have chosen to not put food, water, and necessities away are going to be in life threatening positions. Most people just don’t get that when the supermarket shelves are empty they will stay that way for an extended period. When the utilities go down, especially water, it may be weeks, months, or longer before they come back, if ever. Without what someone needs to survive each day, it is not going to magically appear, and depending on the goodwill of others to feed them and sacrifice their own family’s survival chances is a terrible choice.

People MUST know what life will be like after SHTF in mega fashion if they refuse to prepare. This is NOT new. Terrible events have plunged people into the deepest levels of desperation and hopelessness, and they will happen again and again.

While the above consequences to the non-prepper are extremely abysmal for anyone to read, the simple fact of the matter is they have already happened time and time again to those that have nothing put away. People have resorted to cannibalism and gone to levels of primitive savage behavior out of shear desperation and out of literally losing their minds to the physical depletion of food and water that keeps the physical body operating. Sometimes showing the extreme severity and results of a person’s lack of action, such as failure of the simple act of putting away extra food, water, and supplies, can be the kick in the complacency that they need.

It’s really easy to put away food and supplies. All one has to do is add a little bit of extra food to the grocery cart for long-term storage. Over time this adds up to a well stocked pantry of supplies.

There is something that is in a can of food that everyone can eat and enjoy the taste of, so talk to family members about their nutritional preferences and start stocking up. Toilet paper and other supplies that really don’t have any expiration date can be put away and forgotten about ’til needed.

There MUST be common sense and intelligence to see what happens IF they don’t stock up for the future. There has to be the DESIRE to get started, and this is the real problem with so many.

Once started, however, prepping becomes a type of life saving routine or positive lifestyle habit. It is easy and can and will save one from misery. It may save their life and the lives of their family from ruin when SHTF, which is almost inevitably going to happen someday. Every month and year that goes by without a true SHTF event, makes it more likely that it will happen. Basic statistical chance shows this to be the case, but people continue the same pattern of behavior that has led them to the same devastation countless time before.

For those preppers that have people around them that refuse to prepare, you can at least have some degree of solace knowing that you tried to show the non-prepping person(s) what not having anything will mean to them and their families.

All we can do is try. Once we’ve given it our best shot, all we can do is let those who have been warned about the direness of the possibilities live their lives the way that want to. They will, unfortunately, live in a world of regret and suffering if the nation and the world falls apart around them.

To every action there is an opposite equal reaction. Preppers will see their efforts have been more than worth it. Objects that are motionless tend to remain motionless and non-preppers will find there are horrific consequences for their lack of effort and motion to put away “life insurance” preps for themselves and their families.”

End of article

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Toilet paper & Kleenex: the little things of life

(Survival Manual/ Prepper articles/ Toilet paper & Kleenex: the little things of life)

 A.  When The Toilet Paper Runs Out
October 30, 2011, NC Preppers, by
Pasted from: http://ncpreppers.com/2011/10/30/when-the-toilet-paper-runs-out/in

tp-kleenix1[The last roll of TP]

I have a prepper friend who admits that if TSHTF, “I will share my stored food and supplies with family members who make fun of me for prepping. But I WON’T SHARE MY TOILET PAPER!”

Most of us have stored food, water, and supplies with plans for sustainable replacement. For example, we are planting gardens, raising chickens and rabbits, have rainwater barrels, and manual pumps for our wells.

But what happens when the toilet paper runs out?
If we are planning for a long term event, we need to face the scary fact that toilet paper is not a renewable resource and will eventually run out. I know some people who have a panic attack at the thought of that. What are our options?

What did people do before toilet paper was available? Everyone has heard about dried corncobs (ouch). When I was a child visiting my grandparents in the Appalachian mountains, I had to use their outhouse. Everyone in that area used old Sears’ catalogs. I would tear out a page and rub the page together as my cousins taught me to soften it a bit. Slick paper doesn’t work so well. I have read that Indians and pioneers used leaves. Some cultures use just their hand. For obvious reasons, none of these alternatives seem very attractive to me.

Almost two years ago someone started an entertaining thread on the American Preppers Network about the use of “family cloths.” I will admit that the idea of using cloth toilet wipes to be be washed and reused pretty well grossed me out. I thought, “These people are nuts!” Then about a year ago I decided to make some “for emergencies.” Once I made them and started using family cloths, I found I prefer them to toilet paper and miss them when I travel away from home.

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I found a website that sells them as baby wipes and bought a dozen to try. I liked the way they were made and bought the fabric to make my own. They are two layers, one terry cloth, the other flannel. I zigzag the edges in a very close stitch to keep them from unraveling. They are approximately 5″ X 7″. I made some smaller ones for those times when just a little blotting is needed. I made 40 cloths out of one yard of terry and one yard of flannel.

They are thick, soft, and substantial. I bought white fabric because I use bleach. After being used for a year, they still look like new. I am the only one in our household who uses them. Some people make them in different colors, one color for each person in the family. Many people save money by making them from old linens, t-shirts, or washcloths.

I am not 100% toilet paper free. I use a few sheets of TP initially followed up with the cloth. I wet the cloth with water and a little soap on one end of the cloth on the terry side. A dry cloth works for other times.

Following use, I fold the used cloth in half and place it in a large plastic container of water with a little laundry soap and Oxiclean and cover with a lid. There is no odor and nothing gross about draining most of the water off of them and just dumping the cloths into the washer. I wash them with homemade laundry detergent and bleach. They come out perfectly clean and white.

I have gone from using one roll of toilet paper a week to one roll a month. When the toilet paper runs out, I won’t be using corn cobs or a Sears catalog.

As I posted above, the key to avoiding stains is to put used cloths in a bucket (I use a plastic coffee can) of water with a bit of detergent and Oxiclean to soak until they are washed. I use the lid of the bucket to drain the water off them into the toilet before washing. I wash mine about once a week whenever I do laundry. If there were more people using them, I would wash them more frequently. I do not use bleach to soak them which would shorten the life of the fabric.

I wash them in the washer by themselves with laundry detergent, Oxiclean, and bleach. (I don’t measure.) Since it is a “small” load, I use less than a cup of bleach.

It has now been over two years since I started using the cloths daily. They still look like new with no stains just like in the blog pictures. The material and stitching have held up well with no mending needed. It is not unlike what you would do with white cloth diapers.

I keep cloths and a container for soaking in my master bath and the half-bath I use on the first floor. Because I use a few sheets of toilet paper for a first wipe when I do more than pee, the cloths are not really gross. If I ever don’t have access to TP, I will be fine using the cloths exclusively.

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B.  Several types of alternate cloth wipes
__1) Green Mountain Diapers
Pasted from: http://www.greenmountaindiapers.com/other.htm
I bought the ones that are 5″ X 8″, two-sided terry and flannel, 12 for $9.95.
Cloth-eez® Two-Sided Wipestp-kleenix3
Cotton terry on one side, soft flannel on the other side. Terry is great for the main job, and the nice, smooth, gentle flannel is great for the final touch-up details. White cotton is the best color for wipes, so you can see what you are doing. 5×8 inches, approximate measurements before washing, and they will shrink somewhat. I love this size, the feel, and the practicality of the 2 different sides. May fit in your wipes warmer without folding. This wipe is Karen’s favorite, because I find it easiest to use several wipes per poopy change, grabbing a fresh wipe as needed, rather than folding a larger wipe over and over. These wipes are a less overwhelming size for a young baby’s small bottom, yet still fine as baby grows. To me, flannel on one side and terry on the other has the best “feel” for the job. An inexpensive wipe in the perfect size. Fits in many wipes containers. Suggested amount: 4 packs for a young baby, 3 packs for an older baby. 100% cotton. Made in China. Pack of 12 for $10.95 + about $6.95 S&H

tp-kleenix4
__
2) GroVia Cotton Cloth Wipes, 12 count
Amazon.com, $11.50+$4.99 S&H
> 88% Polyester and 12% cotton, ultra soft baby terry
> 12 cloth wipes per pack
> 8″H x 8″W
> Easy to use and washable
> Our ultra soft baby terry wipes are gentle enough for baby’s face yet perfect for cleaning the messiest bums.
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C.  Using Handkerchiefs Instead of Facial Tissue
diyNatural, by Betsy Jabs
Excerpt pasted from: http://www.diynatural.com/using-handkerchiefs-instead-of-facial-tissue/

Five reasons to use a handkerchief:
1. It saves money. I used to love coordinating all the cute tissue boxes with my bathrooms (wow, that’s marketing at its finest), but I estimate we probably spent $20-$40 per year just on facial tissue. Not a huge savings, but I can certainly think of other things I could use that money for. We have not purchased a box of tissue in almost a year, and the tissues we purchased before that were to keep available for guests.
2. It produces less waste/saves resources. I have been so thankful for handkerchiefs as we strive to go paperless in our house. They take up very little space in the laundry and prevent our trash from filling up so quickly. Keep a stack of hankies in an easily accessible drawer in the house so family members aren’t tempted to use the paper alternative.
3. Hankies are more comfortable to use. Tissues used to make my nose raw after prolonged use. My 100% cotton hankies feel very nice on my face. As far as the moisture in the hanky goes… without going into graphic detail, I’ll just say that it all works out somehow and hasn’t been an issue for me. After using a hanky, it can be folded up, tucked away, and it’s usually dry the next time you pull it out. (And if this grosses you out, you can always grab a fresh hanky!)

tp-kleenix5

 4. Hankies create less of a mess. Hankies don’t leave any particles
behind, and never rip as I’m using them. The white fuzz left on Matt’s face after using facial tissues is a thing of the past. (I kind of miss being able to laugh at this.) Hankies won’t create trouble in a load of laundry if accidentally left in a pocket–and we’ve all had this laundry mis-hap with tissues. Picking a gazillion of those little white tissue remnants off clothes coming out of the washer? Ugh! Never again! In fact, you’ll just end up with a clean hanky if one is left in a pocket.
5. Hankies are more sustainable. Handkerchiefs are a much more sustainable replacement for facial tissues AND many other things. Think about replacing other things in your home with hankies…paper napkins, paper towel, toilet paper, tissue paper, or other things around the house that might currently be disposable. We no longer have to worry about running out of tissues. In the past, when the last tissue had been used, we would grab for toilet paper and frantically run to add tissues to the grocery list. With hankies, you can grab a fresh one whenever your current one is getting icky, and you can forget about a trip to the store.

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D.  How to Wash Handkerchiefs
ehow.com, S.F. Heron, eHow Contributor
Pasted from: http://www.ehow.com/how_5047316_wash-handkerchiefs.html

Washing handkerchiefs is relatively easy. The hard part lies in making sure the stains and nasal fluids have been completely removed from the fabric before sterilizing it for future use. Handkerchiefs come in many styles, including lace edged and monogrammed. Test any cleaning method on an inconspicuous spot before attempting to clean your handkerchiefs whether you are laundering basic cotton handkerchiefs in the clothes washer or by hand.

Things You’ll Need
•  Color safe bleach (if colored hankies)
•  Bleach
•  Shout or OxyClean
•  Detergent

Instructions
Washing Handkerchiefs in the Washing Machine
1. Address any stains or spots on the handkerchief fabric first. Spray spot remover on the handkerchief as soon as possible after the stain occurs to help prevent setting the stain. Allow the cleaner to work for some time before laundering. Don’t let the stain remover completely dry or it might enhance the existing stain or create another one.
2.  Fill the sink basin with hot water and 1/8 cup of bleach (or color safe bleach for colored fabric handkerchiefs).
Immerse the handkerchiefs into the water and allow to soak for some time. This step helps sterilize the fabric to remove germs.
3.  Place the handkerchiefs into the clothes washer and set the dial for a delicate cycle. Use hot water to help sterilize the fabric. Include the appropriate amount of laundry detergent for the load.
4.  Either air dry or tumble-dry the fabric handkerchiefs, removing the items from the drier while still slightly damp to help release the wrinkles.

Washing Handkerchiefs by Hand
5.  Soak the handkerchiefs in a sink basin filled with a small amount of chlorine bleach and water to remove germs and bacteria after testing to make sure to the fabric can handle the harsh affects of bleach.
6.  Fill the sink basin with hot water and a tablespoon of laundry detergent.
7.  Immerse the handkerchiefs completely into the water, squeezing the fabric to make sure it absorbs the water. Wring the fabric to make sure detergent gets into the fabric as well.
8.  Allow the handkerchiefs to soak for 30 minutes.
9.  Run clear, cool water over the fabric until all bubbles are removed. Be careful not to wring the fabric too much as this will create wrinkles. Hang the handkerchiefs up to dry.
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E.  Why a Handkerchief  Should Be In Your Survival Kit
November 17, 2011, PreppingToSurvive.com, by Joe
Pasted from: http://preppingtosurvive.com/2011/11/17/why-a-handkerchief-should-be-in-your-survival-kit/

tp-kleenix6

Sir Baden-Powell founded the original Boy Scouts in England following his defense of the town of Mafeking in the Second Boer War in South Africa. The original uniform for the Boy Scouts included a Handkerchief folded in half and worn conveniently around the neck. His decision to include this accessory was not merely one of fashion. The handkerchief offers someone in the wild many varied uses.

Uses in First Aid
A handkerchief can be of great value when it comes to wilderness first aid. Few items are so flexible as a handkerchief. It can be used to put a sling around an injured arm, split a sprained ankle, and bandage an exposed wound. Handkerchiefs can be used to clean a cut with soap and water or cool someone who is suffering from heat exhaustion. Yes, when it comes to applying emergency aid to a victim in the wild, handkerchiefs come in handy.

Uses with Food and Water
Handkerchiefs offer a number of uses around the impromptu kitchen when effecting survival. You can place a handkerchief over the mouth of a container to strain muddy water from a pond or puddle. The water must still be purified but at least the handkerchief will prevent some of the larger items from making it into your drinking water.

As you purify your drinking water, the handkerchief can be used as a potholder to prevent you from burning yourself when removing a container from the fire. You can place handkerchiefs over your food to protect it from flies while tending to other survival activities. And you can use a handkerchief to aid in washing and cleaning your cooking utensils.

When water is in short supply, you can tie a handkerchief around your leg as you walk through a field of high grass and use it to collect water from the morning dew. Periodically take the handkerchief off, hold it above your head, and squeeze the refreshing liquid into your mouth.

Uses in Survival
By attaching a brightly colored handkerchief to the end of a long stick, a makeshift signal flag can be created to help alert distant rescuers of your presence.
In hotter climates, a handkerchief can be soaked in water and worn around the neck or over the head to help cool your blood and thus lower your overall body temperature. In cold weather, a handkerchief can offer additional insulation under your hat to help keep body heat from escaping through your head.

Handkerchiefs are lightweight, easily carried, and incredibly useful. Boy Scout uniforms are still adorned with the standard neckerchief for many of the same reasons listed here. Shouldn’t one or more be in your survival kit?

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Dancing with viral dangers

A.  Smallpox: Will Human Error Cause the Next Global Pandemic?
11 July 2014, Viral Global News Reader, posted in Health
Pasted from: http://www.viralglobalnews.com/health/smallpox-will-human-error-cause-next-global-pandemic/11790/

Viral danger1

This past week, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), revealed that they have discovered containers of smallpox vials in a cold storage room at the Maryland National Institute of Health. This is big (and scary) news in the health field because this National Institute of Health is unauthorized to carry such an infectious disease. The smallpox disease is so dangerous and deadly that nations around the globe have agreed to a mandate that states that only two labs in the world are allowed to possess it. Will human error cause the next global pandemic?

Authorities are not sure why the smallpox vials were in the Maryland facility, and experts were not sure how the smallpox avoided detection for such a long time. This is coming off the heels of a previous CDC announcement in which they revealed that another protocol breach may have resulted in 75 CDC employees being accidentally exposed to anthrax.

The good news is that neither incident has reported any inadvertent exposures to the infections during both accidental events. The bad news is that both incidents have exposed potential hazards and security holes in even the most safe health facilities and labs across the globe.

Many researchers have reported that Americans are quite lucky that accidental exposures and health “slip-ups” like these did not happen with a virus like the flu, but the discovery of the unchecked smallpox virus in Maryland has many asking: will human error cause the next global pandemic? In 1918, there was a strain of influenza that killed around 50 million people. That 1918 strain of the flu, and some other strains as well, are currently being studied and researched in medical research labs in the United States and in various facilities around the world. If any of those labs make a mistake or have a slip-up, the results could be deadly and disastrous.

Current detractors of this type of research are not saying that researching dangerous pathogens is not important – these types of experiments can often provide valuable insight into combating such diseases – but they are saying that the rationale that is used to replicate these dangerous pathogens does not necessarily justify the risk that is taken by creating them.

They mention how scientists have been able to create the vaccines for these pathogens without having to recreate the viruses themselves, meaning that developing new strains of the pathogen is not necessary for protection; and as a result, people in the United States and around the globe will be able rest with a lot more at ease at night,

One of the biggest concerns amongst detractors of the studies is a form of research called “gain of function” studies. In this type of study, researchers and scientists will take a strain of a deadly pathogen that humans do not have immunity to yet and make them even more contagious in an effort to find a vaccine and to see how it transfers itself to mammals. Currently, “gain of function” studies are going on in the Netherlands and in the state of Wisconsin.

Mistakes and slip-ups in medical labs are not just hypothetical situations; they have happened before. Most recently, it happened in 1977 when the H1N1 virus escaped from a lab in China, and an outbreak in China and Russia ensued.

Basic human error can waltz pass even the most strict of security and safety protocols. Yes, it is very unlikely to happen, but it is not out of the realm of possibility. After the smallpox discovery, many are wondering if human error could cause the next global pandemic. If an outbreak like this does happen, humans will be asking themselves, “Was it worth it?”

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B.  Movie Plagues Not Entirely Claptrap
13  Jul 2014, MedPageToday, by Correspondent, Michael Smith
Pasted from: http://www.medpagetoday.com/InfectiousDisease/GeneralInfectiousDisease/46735

It’s a recurring theme — a plague threatens to kill us all and a few brave souls work tirelessly to prevent doom.
Think, The Andromeda Strain. Think, Contagion and Outbreak. On the small screen this year, there’s, The Last Ship. And the list could go on.
The consensus among MedPage Today staffers in a morning meeting a few weeks ago was that such fictions are just … well, fiction. Tinseltown trash. Hollywood hokum.
So we decided to ask the experts and found a consensus among infectious disease specialists that is considerably more nuanced. Such stories are overblown, yes. Sensationalist, of course. But nonsense? Not entirely.
We asked if it is even possible that a sudden pathogenic scourge could threaten to kill us all.
The scientific consensus: Yes, although it’s unlikely. But it’s likely enough that highly trained specialists spend their working days worrying about it.

Worst Case Scenario (Really)
We also asked: What’s the worst that could happen, assuming a novel pathogen, easily transmitted, with no pre-existing immunity anywhere?
The scientific consensus: It could kill a lot of people, but probably not everybody.
“Theoretically, such a pathogen is possible,” commented Gail Reid, MD, of Loyola University Health System in Chicago. “It does not need 100% mortality, just close.”
viral danger movie“Although in such a case not all humans would die, societal structure would most certainly be negatively affected,” Reid told MedPage Today.
And assuming a novel, easily transmitted pathogen, “a large portion of the population of the planet could be affected rather quickly,” she said. “Just one plane ride from anywhere in an initially asymptomatic individual has the potential to lead to a pandemic.”

“My Infectious Diseases fellows saw the movie, Contagion several years ago and were very scared. Need I say more?”

Such movies are “fictional, sensationalistic, and raise the specter of extinction events,” said Amesh Adalja, MD, of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and a specialist in pandemic preparedness.
But “they do reflect the continual threat that humans face from emerging pathogens,” Adalja told MedPage Today.
He, like many other experts, cited HIV, SARS, the 1918 pandemic flu, and the recent flu pandemic as examples of novel diseases jumping to humans in recent times. But, as we all know, none has been uniformly fatal.

Lessons From History
“The popular fictional portrayals are not only possible, they have already occurred, “Adalja said, “and preparing, predicting, and attempting to mitigate the effects of this continual onslaught is of paramount importance.”

The 1918 flu pandemic “was a vivid example that a novel respiratory virus from another species can effectively mutate to evolve into a competent human pathogen with high potential for person-to-person transmission and virulence resulting in catastrophic illness affecting millions worldwide,” said Amar Safdar, MD, of New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City.

That’s just the most dramatic example, Safdar told MedPage Today. The “concern for alarm” comes from repeated epidemics and pandemics in the 90 or so years since then.
To fit its movie role, a novel pathogen would need several characteristics — it would have to be easily transmissible and eventually lethal but with a long incubation period in which the victim was asymptomatic but able to infect many people.
Luckily, we have yet to encounter such a bug.

Robert Holzman, MD, of NYU School of Medicine in New York City, told MedPage Today: “There is no question that infections can have a high death rate and major impact on human and nonhuman populations.”
The question, he said, is how likely such an event is.

“Over a lot of years of human existence we have not yet encountered a human pathogen combining the high fatality rate of, say, rabies and the high transmissibility of, say, norovirus or chicken pox or measles,” he said.

Possible, Yes. Probable, No
Such a bug is not impossible, he said, but it’s “very, very, …, very unlikely.”
“Fortunately,” agreed Talia Swartz, MD, PhD, of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, “the notion of a scourge that could instantly wipe out humanity is not a likely event.”

Indeed, “it would take an incredibly virulent and contagious pathogen in another species to jump to humans and still be both virulent and contagious,” argued Matthew Sims, MD, PhD, of the Beaumont Health System in the Detroit area.
“The big fear is we will hit a perfect storm of disease where all of the worst possibilities come true,” Sims said.

“It is very, very uncommon that a disease is so lethal that everyone who catches it dies,” commented Jorge Parada, MD, also of Chicago’s Loyola University Health System.

Parada, who was a medical source for the 2011 movie, Contagion, added that “even the devastating 1918 flu pandemic that killed an estimated 20 to 40 million people had a mortality rate only as high as around 20%.”
Indeed, regardless of the pathogen itself, commented Kevin Morano, PhD, the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, some of us would be okay.
“In any population there would almost always be a small percentage of immune individuals, based on chance and genetics,” he told MedPage Today. “With a planet of six billion, a 1% survival rate still leaves 60 million.”
However, as Loyola’s Reid noted, that would still have a devastating effect on human society.

It Really Is a Small World, After All
One thing that worries experts is that we travel a lot more these days. As CDC Director Tom Frieden, MD, is fond of saying, any pathogen is just a plane ride away.

Since the 1918 flu, medical science has gotten better at treating disease, but “the advent of air travel presents a new dilemma, as communicable diseases can now be spread across continents within days,” said Glenn Wortmann, MD, of MedStar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C.

SARS in 2002-2003 “highlighted this risk,” he said — an initial outbreak in southern China spread to 37 countries, eventually causing more than 8,000 cases and more than 700 deaths.
SARS was highly virulent, but not completely so, Sims noted: “It stormed through the population but not everyone was affected even among those exposed.” But it’s very virulence meant that the outbreak burned out relatively quickly.

Put another way, some pathogens “kill so fast that the virus becomes self-limiting, unable to spread faster than it kills,” Morano said.
For SARS, there is still no established antiviral therapy, commented David Perlin, PhD, of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School in Newark — the virus was essentially starved of victims by quarantine measures.
(The same is true of the Middle East coronavirus (MERS), incidentally — there is no specific treatment and control is essentially a matter of good quarantine measures. When they fail, as they did this spring, outbreaks can occur.)

The 2009 pandemic flu, Perlin noted, “was not particularly lethal, but CDC estimated that in approximately one year, there were between 43 (and) 89 million cases.”
But a 10% or 20% fatality rate — like SARS or the 1918 flu — “would have killed many millions.”
Not all diseases burn out, of course. HIV spread for years before it was even recognized and has now killed some 36 million people. Luckily, it’s quite hard to catch.
The same is true of the highly pathogenic H5N1 avian flu. It has a case-fatality rate of about 60% — still not enough to kill us all off — but only a few hundred cases have been recorded since the bug was first recognized.

“The major worry for scientists,” Wortmann said, “is that a deadly virus, such as Ebola, would mutate to become more contagious, and then spread internationally through air travel.”
“As there are few effective treatments for viral infections, this would represent a global challenge,” he added.
Ebola, now raging in West Africa, is a pathogen with an alarmingly high case-fatality rate but it needs close contact between a victim and another person for infection to take place.
Importantly, it doesn’t spread through droplets in the air, as do the flu and common colds. And in places like the U.S. with a highly developed healthcare system, simple barrier precautions and isolation would prevent a widespread outbreak.

Worst case scenarios involve either an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that kills quickly or a virus that kills more slowly or has a latency period where it can be transmitted but is not debilitating, argued UT Health’s Morano.
In either case, the rate of infection might be fast enough and the rate of death slow enough that the pathogen could spread by common means of transportation, he said.
It would be even worse if the agent was aerosolized and spread by coughing or sneezing so that many people could be infected by a single patient, Morano added.

The White Knight
But what about the heroes of the tale? What about the brave scientists who track down the pathogen and come up with a cure/vaccine/treatment?
Here the experts are more divided.
Loyola’s Reid said: “I think the most fictitious aspect of this is the rapid ‘cure’ that is developed.”
After all, she added, “we still don’t have a vaccine for HIV or hepatitis C or Ebola virus, and our vaccine for influenza has to be updated yearly.”

On the other hand, Beaumont Health System’s Sims said, “technology has come incredibly far in the last decade or so.”
It took years for investigators to identify HIV, come up with a test for it, and develop treatments (although no cure or vaccine so far), Sims noted. But it took only a month or so to realize that SARS was a new disease, and a few weeks more to identify the agent that caused it.

Research on possible treatments was underway when the disease had begun to burn itself out.
“Unfortunately, the scenario of an intrepid doc or scientist coming up with a cure or vaccine in the span of a few weeks or months is highly unlikely, especially if the infectious agent is poorly studied,” Morano commented.

“These things take a great deal of research, time and money — exactly what we’re doing now in medical centers across the globe.”

(News & Editorial/ Dancing with viral dangers)

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Modern Living: Part IV of V (Pollutants & Spills)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1. What happened to the American dream?
2. Entertainment galore
Part II
3. Cigarette smoking

4. Illegal drug use

Part III
5. Antibiotics and super bugs
6. Antibiotics in meat
7. GMO in crops

Part IV
8. Household Pollutants and Chemical spills

Part V
9. Infrastructure deterioration
.

8. Household Pollutants & Chemical Spills

A. Household Pollutants
<
Household”>http://www.pollutionissues.com/Ho-Li/Household-Pollutants.html&gt;
Household pollutants are contaminants that are released during the use of various products in daily life. Studies indicate that indoor air quality is far worse than that outdoors because homes, for energy efficiency, are made somewhat airtight. Moreover, household pollutants are trapped in houses causing further deterioration of indoor air quality.

Hazardous household products fall into six broad categories: household cleaners, paints and solvents, lawn and garden care, automotive products, pool chemicals, and health and beauty aids. Many commonly used household products in these categories release toxic chemicals. As an alternative, manufacturers are introducing products, often referred to as green products, whose manufacture, use, and disposal do not become a burden on the environment.

Chemicals in Household Products and Their Effects
Many household products like detergents, furniture polish, disinfectants, deodorizers, paints, stain removers, and even cosmetics release chemicals that may be harmful to human health as well as cause environmental concerns (see the table below, “Household Products and Their Potential Health Effects”).

Insecticides, pesticides, weed killers, and fertilizers that are used for maintaining one’s lawn and garden are another source of household pollution. Their entry into the house could occur through air movement or adsorption by shoes and toys, which are then brought inside the house.

A common class of pollutants emitted from household products is volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Sources for these pollutants include paint strippers and other solvents, wood preservatives, air fresheners, automotive products, and dry cleaned clothing. Formaldehyde is a major organic pollutant emitted from pressed wood products and furniture made from them, foam insulation, other textiles, and glues. Exposure to very high concentrations of formaldehyde may lead to death.

Other household products that contain harmful chemicals are antifreeze, car cleaners and waxes, chemicals used in photo development, mice and rat poison, rug cleaners, nail polish, insect sprays, and wet cell batteries. Such household chemicals may pose serious health risks if not handled, stored, and disposed of properly.

Indoor Air Pollutants from Other Household Activities
From time to time, homeowners complete a variety of remodeling projects to improve the aesthetic look of their house. These include new flooring, basement remodeling, hanging new cabinets, removing asbestos sheets, scraping off old paint (which might contain lead), and the removal or application of wallpaper. Such activities could be a significant source of indoor air pollutants during and after the project. Asbestos, formaldehyde, benzene, xylene, toluene, chloroform, trichloroethane and other organic solvents, and lead dust are the main pollutants released during remodeling. Homes built before 1970s may pose additional environmental problems because of the use of lead- and asbestos-containing materials. The use of both materials was common in building construction prior to the 1970s (e.g., lead-based paint used to paint homes).

Table: Household Products and Their Potential Health Effects

Household products & their potential health effects Harmful Ingredients Potential Health Hazards
Air fresheners & deodorizers Formaldehyde Toxic in nature; carcinogen; irritates eyes, nose,throat and skin; nervous, digestive, respiratory system damage
Bleach Sodium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates and burns skin and eyes; nervous, respiratory, digestive system damage
Disinfectants Sodium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates and burns skin and eyes; nervous, respiratory, digestive system damage
Phenols Ignitable; very toxic in nature; respiratory and circulatory system damage
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Drain cleaner Sodium/potassium hydroxide (lye) Corrosive; burns skin and eyes; toxic in nature; nervous, digestive and urinary system damage
Flea powder Carbaryl Very toxic in nature; irritates skin; causes nervous, respiratory and circulatory system damage
Dichlorophene Toxic in nature; irritates skin; causes nervous and digestive system damage
Chlordane and other chlorinated hydrocarbons Toxic in nature; irritates eyes and skin; cause respiratory, digestive and urinary system damage
Floor cleaner/wax Diethylene glycol Toxic in nature; causes nervous, digestive and urinary system damage
Petroleum solvents Highly ignitable; carcinogenic; irritate skin, eyes, throat, nose and lungs
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract
Furniture polish Petroleum distillates or mineral spirits Highly ignitable; toxic in nature; carcinogen; irritate skin, eyes, nose, throat and lungs
Oven cleaner Sodium/potassium hydroxide (lye) Corrosive; burns skin, eyes; toxic in nature; causes nervous and digestive system damage
Paint thinner Chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons Toxic in nature; cause digestive and urinary system damage
Esters Toxic in nature; irritate eyes, nose and throat
Alcohols Ignitable; cause nervous system damage; irritate eyes, nose and throat
Chlorinated aromatic hydrocarbons Ignitable; toxic in nature; digestive system damage
Ketones Ignitable; toxic in nature; respiratory system damage
Paints Aromatic hydrocarbon thinners Ignitable; toxic in nature; carcinogenic; irritates skin, eyes, nose and throat; respiratory system damage
Mineral spirits Highly ignitable; toxic in nature; irritates skin, eyes, nose and throat; respiratory system damage
Pool sanitizers Calcium hypochlorite Corrosive; irritates skin, eyes, and throat; if ingested cause severe burns to the digestive tract
Ethylene (algaecides) Irritation of eyes, mucous membrane and skin; effects reproductive system; probable human carcinogen of medium carcinogenic hazard
Toilet bowl cleaner Sodium acid sulfate or oxalate or hypochloric acid Corrosive; toxic in nature; burns skin; causes digestive and respiratory system damage
Chlorinated phenols Ignitable; very toxic in nature; cause respiratory and circulatory system damage
Window cleaners Diethylene glycol Toxic in nature; cause nervous, urinary and digestive system damage
Ammonia Toxic in nature; vapor irritates skin, eyes and respiratory tract

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Avoiding Exposure and the Use of Green Products

There are several steps one can take to reduce exposure to household chemicals. The table below provides a list of alternative products. One can bring unused and potentially harmful household products to a nearby chemical collection center; many communities have such a center. Chemicals received at these centers are recycled, disposed of, or offered for reuse. One may also purchase just the amount needed or share what is left over with friends. In addition, one should always avoid mixing different household chemicals.

Most of the chemicals released during remodeling projects are toxic in nature, and some of them are even carcinogenic. Proper care, such as employing wet methods for suppressing dust, use of high-efficiency filters to collect fine particulates, and sealing the remodeling area, must be taken while remodeling to prevent the emission of harmful chemicals into the surrounding air. Reducing material use will result in fewer emissions and also less waste from remodeling operations. Another good practice is to use low environmental-impact materials, and materials produced from waste or recycled materials, or materials salvaged from other uses. It is important to avoid materials made from toxic or hazardous constituents (e.g., benzene or arsenic).

Indoor air quality should improve with increasing consumer preference for green products or low-emission products and building materials. Green products for household use include products that are used on a daily basis, such as laundry detergents, cleaning fluids, window cleaners, cosmetics, aerosol sprays, fertilizers, and pesticides. Generally, these products do not contain chemicals that cause environmental pollution problems, or have lesser quantities of them than their counterparts. Some chemicals have been totally eliminated from use in household products due to strict regulations. Examples include the ban of phosphate-based detergents and aerosols containing chlorofluorocarbons.

Alternatives to common household products Alternative(s)
SOURCE: Based on information available from various sources including the Web site of Air and Waste Management Association
Air refresher Open windows to ventilate. To scent air, use herbal bouquets, pure vanilla on a cotton ball, or simmer cinnamon and cloves.
All-purpose cleaner Mix ⅔ cup baking soda, ¼ cup ammonia and ¼ cup vinegar in a gallon of hot water. Doubling all the ingredients except the water can make stronger solution.
Brass polish Use paste made from equal parts vinegar, salt and flour. Be sure to rinse completely afterward to prevent corrosion.
Carpet/rug cleaner Sprinkle cornstarch/baking soda on carpets and vacuum.
Dishwashing liquid Wash dishes with hand using a liquid soap or a mild detergent.
Drain opener Add 1 tablespoon baking soda into drain and then slowly pour ⅓ cup white vinegar to loosen clogs. Use a plunger to get rid of the loosened clog. Prevent clogs by pouring boiling water down drains once a week, using drain strainers, and not pouring grease down drains.
Fabric softener Use ¼ to ½ cup of baking soda during rinse cycle.
Fertilizer Use compost and organic fertilizers.
Floor cleaner Mix 1 cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water. For unfinished wood floors, add 1 cup linseed oil. To remove wax buildup, scrub in club soda, let soak and wipe clean.
Floor polish Polish floors with club soda.
Furniture polish Mix 1 teaspoon lemon oil and 1 pint mineral oil. Also, use damp rag.
Insecticides Wipe houseplant leaves with soapy water.
Laundry bleach Use borax on all clothes or ½ cup white vinegar in rinse water to brighten dark clothing. Nonchlorinated bleach also works well.
Methylene chloride paint stripper Use nontoxic products.
Mothballs Place cedar chips or blocks in closets and drawers.
Oil-based paint, thinner Use water-based products.
Oven cleaner Wash the oven with a mixture of warm water and baking soda. Soften burned-on spills by placing a small pan of ammonia in the oven overnight. Sprinkle salt onto fresh grease spills and then wipe clean.
Pesticide Use physical and biological controls.
Silver cleaner Add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt and a 2″ x 2″ piece of aluminum foil to a small pan of warm water. Soak silverware overnight.
Toilet cleaner Use baking soda, a mild detergent, and a toilet brush.
Window cleaner Mix ¼ cup ammonia with 1 quart water.

.
B. Chemical spills
__1. Sick fish in Gulf are alarming scientists
Unusual number a ‘huge red flag’ to scientists, fishermen
< http://newworldorderreport.com/News/tabid/266/ID/7830/Sick-fish-in-Gulf-are-alarming-scientists-Unusual-number-a-huge-red-flag-to-scientists-fishermen.aspx>

Scientists are alarmed by the discovery of unusual numbers of fish in the Gulf of Mexico and inland waterways with skin lesions, fin rot, spots, liver blood clots and other health problems.

“It’s a huge red flag,” said Richard Snyder, director of the University of West Florida Center for Environmental Diagnostics and Bioremediation. “It seems abnormal, and anything we see out of the ordinary we’ll try to investigate.” Are the illnesses related to the BP oil spill, the cold winter or something else? That’s the big question Snyder’s colleague, UWF biologist William Patterson III, and other scientists along the Gulf Coast are trying to answer. If the illnesses are related to the oil spill, it could be a warning sign of worse things to come.

In the years following the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska’s Prince William Sound, the herring fishery collapsed and has not recovered, according to an Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Trustee report. The herring showed similar signs of illness — including skin lesions — that are showing up in Gulf fish. Worried that same scenario could play out along the Gulf Coast, Patterson is conducting research on the chronic effects of the BP oil spill on Gulf fish. And he sees troubling signs consistent with oil exposure: fish with lesions, external parasites, odd pigmentation patterns, and diseased livers and ovaries. These may be signs of compromised immune systems in fish that are expending their energy dealing with toxins, Patterson said.

“I’ve had tens of thousands of fish in my hands and not seen these symptoms in so many fish before,” said Patterson, who has been studying fish, including red snapper, for 15 years. “All those symptoms have been seen naturally before, but it’s a matter of them all coming at once that we’re concerned about.”

He’s conducting the research with some of the $600,000 in BP money distributed to UWF from $10 million the oil company gave to the Florida Institute of Oceanography in Tampa to study the impact of the spill.

Higher scrutiny
As part of his studies, Patterson is collecting samples at targeted sites in the Gulf and from commercial fishermen. Samples from his targeted sites have shown fewer problems than those from fishermen. While Patterson is alarmed, he’s quick to point that the Gulf’s ecosystem never before has been scrutinized as closely as it is now, or by so many scientists. “Are we looking more closely, or are these unusual?” he said.

Sick fish have been reported from offshore and inshore waters from Northwest Florida to Louisiana, he said. Scientists are trying to figure out how prevalent these abnormalities are and their cause.

In that pursuit:

  • Patterson and Florida A&M University scientists are conducting toxicology tests to find out if the fish were exposed to hydrocarbons or oil. Results are not final.
  • Scientists at Louisiana State University’s veterinarian school are in the Gulf looking into what microbes might be causing the diseases.
  • Pensacola marine biologist Heather Reed is studying red snapper for a private client using broader testing methods than mandated by the federal government, which she says are not adequate.

“I’ve been testing different organs in game fish that have been brought to me, and I’m seeing petroleum hydrocarbons in the organs,” said Reed, the environmental adviser for the City of Gulf Breeze. “I was shocked when I saw it.” She is trying to secure grants to continue that research and is talking to federal and state officials about her findings, she said. All the studies are aimed at one goal: “To find out what is really going on and get things back to normal,” Reed said.

Solving the mystery
But both Reed and Patterson say it’s hard to determine just how many fish are being found sick because many commercial fishermen are reluctant to report their findings to state and federal officials out of fear fishing grounds will be closed and their livelihoods will be put at risk.

But at the same time, to protect the future of the Gulf, Patterson said, the fishermen quietly are asking scientists to look into what is happening.

Clay Palmgren, 38, of Gulf Breeze-based Bubble Chaser Dive Services, is an avid spear fisherman who has about 40 pounds of Gulf fish in his freezer. He has not seen sick fish so far, but he said many of his angler friends, both recreational and commercial, are talking about catching fish that appear abnormal. “I’m 100 percent glad scientists are looking at this,” he said. “I’m concerned with the health of fish, and I think it will take a couple of years for the (toxins) to work up the food chain. I think that’s a shame.”

Patterson’s studies and those of other scientists delving into this mystery of the sick fish are not trying to determine whether the seafood is safe for public consumption. “There is fish health and human health, and we’re concerned about the sublethal effects of the oil spill on communities of fish,” he said.
Findings so far demonstrate that studies need to continue far into the future, he said.

The $500 million BP has provided for long-range research on the Gulf oil spill will ensure “people will be examining the impacts for the next decade,” Patterson said.
The cause of the fish illnesses may be hard to nail down, Snyder said.
“Cause and effect is a huge problem for environmental work,” Snyder said. “You see anomalies in fish. Is it oil-related? How do we prove it? We can make the connection with economic stuff. But after the oil is gone, how do you definitely say the fish are sick because of the oil spill? “We may never know, and that’s the frustrating thing.”
.

__2. Top Military Brass Working With BP to Promote Gulf Seafood
8 Dec 2010, The Intel Hub
<http://theintelhub.com/2010/12/08/top-military-brass-working-with-bp-to-promote-gulf-seafood/>
Navy Secretary Ray Mabus is pushing all members of America’s armed service to buy and eat as much seafood as possible.
This is as sinister as it gets! BP has destroyed the gulf and is now working with the U.S. military to get it in the homes of American troops (already poisoned by continued exposure to depleted uranium) throughout the country! Multiple scientists have declared gulf seafood toxic and for good reason. Over 2 million gallons of toxic dispersant has been sprayed in and around the gulf. The facts are so heavily documented that there is no logical way that any literate human being not pushing an agenda could believe otherwise.

This is common sense
To top it off, Ewell Smith, executive director of the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board, is pushing for this toxic cocktail to be served in in school lunch programs nationwide! The children of this nation are already heavily medicated/poisoned and the last thing they need is Corexit seafood.

“He expressed what we wanted to hear; he is in favor of the federal government buying seafood from the Gulf,” said Smith, who said he would like to see Gulf seafood as the choice throughout the public domain, “whether it’s the military or prison systems or school systems.”

This is the America that we currently find our self in. An international company has been allowed to control their own massive oil spill, obliterate the gulf with Corexit, ban the first amendment on the beaches they littered with Wackenhut thugs, and use 30 billion dollars to promote their seafood to the American people.

The Times Picayune
BP is giving the Louisiana marketing board $30 million to spend over the next three years to promote Gulf seafood, and Smith said a request for proposals from agencies that would craft the marketing campaign will be going out shortly. The Louisiana board also will be getting a share of the $15 million the Commerce Department has given to the Gulf State Marine Fisheries Commission to divide among the Louisiana board and its sister groups in the other Gulf states, including Texas.

Imagine the horror of being one of the families that had their lives destroyed by the oil spill and seeing a carefully crafted commercial promoting BP and gulf seafood. Where is the FCC when we need them?

I recently attended a forum at Seattle University that was put on by both Project Gulf Impact and students at the university who were so touched by the spill and its impact that they asked PGI to come to their school and put on an educational forum. What transpired was three hours of groundbreaking information including multiple fisherman who have had their businesses destroyed and families sickened by the disaster.

The American people are soon to be subject to a huge BP marketing ploy and we must do everything in our power to get the word out on the dangers of the gulf waters and seafood. Call me crazy, but a ‘smell test’ is just not adequate enough for a fish that has been subject to months of Corexit exposure.

We have documented the events of this disaster from the beginning and it has become undeniably clear that the waters, people, and seafood of the gulf were poisoned beyond belief.

End of Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Modern Living/Death by 1000 cuts/Part IV of V: Household Pollutants and Chemical Spills

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Modern Living: Part III of V (Antibiotics & GMOs)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic:
Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore
Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking

4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops 

Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spill
Part V
9.  Infrastructure deterioration

5.  Antibiotics and ‘superbugs’

A. China threatens world health by unleashing waves of superbugs
By Peter Foster in Beijing 6:25PM GMT 05 Feb 2010
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/asia/china/7168303/China-threatens-world-health-by-unleashing-waves-of-superbugs.html>
China’s reckless use of antibiotics in the health system and agricultural production is unleashing an explosion of drug resistant superbugs that endanger global health, according to leading scientists.

Data from Chinese hospitals shows a very frightening picture of high-level antibiotic resistance

Chinese doctors routinely hand out multiple doses of antibiotics for simple maladies like the sore throats and the country’s farmers excessive dependence on the drugs has tainted the food chain.

Studies in China show a “frightening” increase in antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as staphylococcus aureus bacteria, also known as MRSA . There are warnings that new strains of antibiotic-resistant bugs will spread quickly through international air travel and international food sourcing.

“We have a lot of data from Chinese hospitals and it shows a very frightening picture of high-level antibiotic resistance,” said Dr Andreas Heddini of the Swedish Institute for Infectious Disease Control.

“Doctors are daily finding there is nothing they can do, even third and fourth-line antibiotics are not working. “There is a real risk that globally we will return to a pre-antibiotic era of medicine, where we face a situation where a number of medical treatment options would no longer be there. What happens in China matters for the rest of the world.”

Particular alarm has been raised by resistance rates of MRSA in Chinese hospitals, which has more than doubled from 30 per cent to 70 per cent, according to Professor Xiao Yonghong of the Institute of Clinical Pharmacology at Beijing University. Last year researchers found a new strain of MRSA in Chinese pigs imported into Hong Kong and called for urgent new studies into its potential to infect humans after an infection of the new strain was confirmed in Guangzhou, where many of the pigs were farmed. A Beijing-based health expert with access to unpublished surveys showed that the situation in China was actually worse earlier studies had indicated.

“The Chinese Ministry of Health has all the data,” the expert warned, “but they seem unable or unwilling to believe it. The situation has global implications and is highly disturbing.” The Chinese Ministry of Health failed to respond to requests for an interview or information by phone, email and fax over a three-day period.

New prescription guidelines to restrict antibiotic use being issued by the Chinese Ministry of Health in 2004. “The guidelines are not being followed effectively,” added Professor Xiao, “over just the last five years, for example, our studies show the rate antibiotic-resistant E. coli has quadrupled from 10 per cent to 40 per cent.”

Public health experts say the rampant over-use of antibiotics in China is primarily caused by China’s under-funded healthcare system where hospitals derive up to half of their operating income from selling drugs. In some cities, such as Chongqing, almost half of all drugs sold are antibiotics.

“In Chinese hospitals our data shows that 60 per cent of in-patients are being prescribed antibiotics compared with the WHO guideline of 30 per cent,” added Professor Xiao who also heads China’s National Antibiotic Resistance Investigation Network.

China’s State Food and Drug Administration bans the sale of antibiotics without prescription but a survey by The Daily Telegraph found the drugs were still easily obtainable over-the-counter.

Three out of five chemists agreed to sell antibiotics after a cursory consultation with the ‘patient’ who complained of a sore throat. At one outlet a pharmacist handed over a course of the second-generation antibiotic, Cefuroxime Axetil, with minimal hesitation.

Asked if the sale could “get her into trouble” she said that the pharmacy would get a doctor to write the prescription later to cover their sales records. She added that even doctors from the nearby Capital Institute of Pediatrics came to buy antibiotics without prescription. “When the surveillance is strict, we won’t risk selling antibiotics,” Ms Zhang added. Asked to elaborate, she explained, “For example during the 2008 Olympic Games period, we didn’t sell them”.
.

B.     Antibiotic Resistance Called Growing Threat to Human Health
VOA.com (Voice of America), Washington, DC,  May 18, 2010, by Vidushi Sinha
http://www.voanews.com/english/news/Antibiotic-Resistance-Called-Growing-Threat-to-Human-Health–94101404.html
The World Health Organization calls antibiotic resistance one of the three greatest threats to human health. Experts fear antibiotic resistance puts humans in danger of becoming nearly defenseless against some bacterial infections.

Dangerous comeback
 The improper use of antibiotics has led to strains of bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. Experts say if efforts to combat the problem are not launched now, infections that were curable could make a dangerous comeback.
Dr. Thomas Frieden, director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calls on American lawmakers to address the problem. “We speak of the pre-antibiotic and antibiotic eras, but if we don’t improve our response to the public health problem of antibiotic resistance, we may enter a post- antibiotic world in which we will have few or no clinical interventions for some infections,” he says. Specialists are concerned that the more an antibiotic is used, the less effective it becomes. The genetic mutation of bacteria, which makes them resistant to antibiotics, is a natural process. But drug overuse has accelerated the process.

Impact of drug overuse
“You end up with very resistant bacteria in the urinary tract. That’s only one example. Skin infections, lung infections, different bacteria causing these types of infections as they become more and more resistant, and then you get to more severe problem like tuberculosis in many parts of the world,” says Dr. Donald Poretz, an infectious disease specialist. “People are given little of this and little of that to treat tuberculosis and tuberculosis germs develop resistance.
“One of the most lethal infections born out of bacterial resistance is Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, commonly known as MRSA which kills 19,000 people in the United States every year. Since 2002, about 2 million MRSA infections have been acquired in US hospitals each year. Poretz says these infections can spread globally.
“You can have worldwide resistance, some resistant to some drugs, some resistant to other drugs in different parts of the world,” he says. “And with rapid travel you can communicate those resistant bacteria to anyone here, there, there or there.”

Cutting back
Drug companies have cut back on production of antibiotics, and that contributes to the problem, scientists say. Less than optimal dosing means the target bacteria survive and build resistance incrementally. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) says profits drive pharmaceutical companies to shy away from antibiotics. “So if they’re going to make a choice of making a product that some, a lot of, people are going to take every day for the rest of their lives, a lipid lowering agent, whatever you have, they’re going to lean towards that rather than to make a new product that a relatively small proportion of the population will use maybe 10 days to two weeks out of the year,” said Fauci.
Experts say the solution lies in educating patients and doctors to stop using antibiotics when they are not necessary.

.
6. Antibiotics in meat

A. Bacteria in grocery meat resistant to antibiotics
Reuters, NewYork,  Fri Apr 15, 2011, By Aman Ali
<http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/04/15/us-bacteria-meat-idUSTRE73E7FJ20110415>
NEW YORK (Reuters) – Researchers have found high levels of bacteria in meat commonly found on grocery store shelves, with more than half of the bacteria resistant to multiple types of antibiotics, according to a study released on Friday. While the meat commonly found in grocery stores is still safe to eat, consumers should take precautions especially in handling and cooking, the chief researcher for the study said.

The study by the Arizona-based Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGRI) examined 136 meat samples from 26 grocery stores in Illinois, Florida, California, Arizona and Washington D.C.

Dr. Lance Price, the head researcher on the study, said high levels of Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) bacteria were found in the meat. “Staph causes hundreds of thousands of infections in the United States every year,” Price said in an interview. “It causes a whole slew of infections ranging from skin infections to really bad respiratory infections like pneumonia.”

Staph infections also kill more people in the United States each year than HIV, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Food and Drug Administration said that the agency was aware of the TGRI findings, and similar studies of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in meats, and was working with the U.S. Agriculture Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on the causes and effects.

“FDA has been monitoring the situation. The TGRI study points out that the public health relevance of the findings is unclear. FDA continues to work with CDC and USDA to better understand this issue,” the FDA spokeswoman said. Price said the most significant findings from the study aren’t the level of bacteria they found, but rather how the bacteria in the meat was becoming strongly resistant to antibiotics farmers use to treat the animals they slaughter.

The study found that in 96 percent of the meats with staph bacteria the bacteria were resistant to at least one type of antibiotic, and 52 percent were resistant to three or more types.
“The bacteria is always going to be there. But the reason why they’re resistant is directly related to antibiotic use in food animal production,” Price said. “Antibiotic resistance is one of the greatest threats to public health we face today.”

“This is one more reason to be very careful when you’re handling raw meat and poultry in the kitchen,” Price said. “You can cook away these bacteria. But the problem is when you bring in that raw product, you almost inevitably contaminate your kitchen with these bacteria.”

Washing hands and counters before and after handling meat and keeping other foods away from uncooked meat are ways to prevent disease from spreading, Price said. But consumer initiatives aren’t going to solve the bigger problem, he said.
“To put it all on the consumer is really directing blame at the wrong end of the food chain,” Price said.
Of all the types of meats where bacteria was resistant to three or more antibiotics in the study, turkey was the most resistant, followed by pork, beef and then chicken. Price said it’s not clear why turkey was the most resistant.

USDA officials could not be reached immediately for comment.

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B.   Antibiotics used in meat pose a threat to public health, admits FDA
Friday, October 22, 2010, Natural News.com,  by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
<http://www.naturalnews.com/030132_antibiotics_meat.html#ixzz1MJsDSXbj>
On
June 28 of this year, the FDA issued a draft of new guidelines urging meat producers to refrain from using antibiotics to promote livestock growth, calling the practice an “urgent public health issue.”
“To preserve the effectiveness [of antibiotics], we simply must use them as judiciously as possible,” said FDA Deputy Commissioner Joshua Sharfstein.

The livestock industry regularly gives antibiotics to healthy animals to make them gain more weight faster, as well as to prevent infection. For more than 30 years, public health experts have warned that this practice is contributing to the evolution of drug-resistant bacteria, including strains that can infect humans.


“We are seeing the emergence of multidrug-resistant pathogens,” Sharfstein said. “FDA believes overall weight of evidence supports the conclusion that using medically important antimicrobial drugs for production purposes is not appropriate.” In order to preserve the effectiveness of “medically important” antibiotics, including penicillin, tetracyclines and sulfonamides, the FDA issued new guidelines reiterating that antibiotics should be given to food animals only for health-protection purposes, and that veterinarians should oversee all such drug use, from selection to treatment.

“Using medically important antimicrobial drugs as judiciously as possible is key to minimizing resistance development and preserving the effectiveness of these drugs as therapies for humans and animals,” said Bernadette Dunham, director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine.
The draft guidance will be open for public comment for 60 days before becoming official agency policy. Although the FDA technically has the authority to ban any veterinary use of antibiotics that it deems inappropriate, the agency is taking a more cautious path — voluntary guidelines — in the hopes of avoiding a battle with lawmakers and the food industry. Prior FDA attempts to regulate agricultural antibiotic use have all been blocked by Congress.

      The European Union banned growth-promoting uses of antibiotics in livestock in 2006. “We are not expecting people to change tomorrow,” Sharfstein said. “This is the first step in FDA establishing principles from which we could move to other steps, such as oversight. This does not tell people what to do, it establishes principles and tells people how to achieve those principles.”
Nevertheless, the threat of mandatory regulations is an obvious subtext to the FDA’s newest move.
“We have the regulatory mechanisms, and industry knows that,” Sharfstein said.
The FDA’s move reflects the growing concern among public health experts about the growing prevalence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, such as multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA).
“The development of resistance to this important class of drugs, and the resulting loss of their effectiveness as antimicrobial therapies, poses a serious public health threat,” the FDA’s draft guidance statement reads.

      It is estimated that 100,000 people die in the United States every year just from drug-resistant infections acquired inside hospital settings. The overall number of deaths caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria is likely much higher. “The writing is on the wall,” said infectious disease specialist Brad Spellberg of the University of California-Los Angeles, author of Rising Plague. “We’re in an era where antibiotic resistance is out of control, and we’re running out of drugs and new drugs are not being developed,” he said. “We can’t continue along the path we’re on.”

      The National Pork Producers Council fired back at the FDA, saying the guidelines would be an unduly heavy burden without good cause. “There is no scientific study linking antibiotic food use in food animal production with antibiotic resistance,” the council said. “[That is] patently untrue,” responded Margaret Mellon of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “There is a mountain of studies linking the use of antibiotics in animals to the evolution of resistant pathogens that cause human disease.”

      Because many bacteria can transfer between human animals, and because many of the same drugs to treat humans are also used on livestock, health advocates have singled out agricultural antibiotic use as an area of major concern. According to the Union for Concerned Scientists, 70 percent of all antibiotics used in the United States in 2001 went to livestock for growth-promotion purposes, while another 14 percent went to animals for disease prevention or treatment.

      The industry trade group, the Animal Health Institute, has disputed this figure, claiming that only 13 percent of agricultural antibiotics are used for growth promotion, with much of the remainder used for illness prevention — a use that is not addressed by the new guidance. This has raised concerns that even if the FDA implemented an obligatory ban, the industry could sidestep it by reclassifying its antibiotic use without changing its practices.

      Poor diets and cramped living conditions produce abnormally high infection rates among factory-farmed animals. To maintain the increased profits associated with factory farming without bearing the associated health costs, many farmers simply dose their animals with antibiotics as a preventive tactic.
“[Even] under the FDA’s proposed guidelines, agribusiness could continue to routinely feed antibiotics to entire flocks or herds to prevent illnesses they may never encounter,” wrote Pew Health Group Managing Director Shelley Hearne in a letter to the New York Times. “This approach to prevention would never be allowed in human medicine, and it should not be allowed in animals.”

      Health and consumer groups expressed disappointment at the FDA’s statement and called for an outright ban on all agricultural antibiotic use except for the treatment of illness. “I was expecting an action plan. I was disappointed that all we have here are principles,” Mellon said. “They’re apparently expecting voluntary action. It’s my belief that the industry’s not going to act until it has to.”
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7.  GMO in Crops

A.  Why You Should Be Concerned About GMOs
February 20, 2011, Posted by Josh Corn
http://www.stopagingnow.com/liveinthenow/article/are-gmo-foods-bad-for-you-why-you-should-be-concerned

Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) have been grabbing headlines in recent weeks, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) suddenly reversing bans on one genetically engineered crop after another. The list of genetically modified food ingredients is growing at an alarming rate. And what’s even more disturbing is the fact the USDA seems to have sided with big business in allowing GMO foods to be sold without any labeling whatsoever.

Consumers have been left largely in the dark, unable to make informed choices about buying foods containing GMOs. By some estimates, over 75% of all processed foods sold in the U.S. contain a GMO ingredient. Corn, soy, canola, cottonseed, sugar, beef and dairy products are among the most likely to have been genetically modified.

Scientists, environmental activists, supporters of organic farming and consumers alike are joining forces to protest the USDA’s decisions. Organizations like the Organic Consumers Association, Alliance for Natural Health USA and Say No to GMOs! are just a few examples of those working to fight back against GMOs.

What’s behind all of the outrage and fervor? Here’s a brief overview of the case against GMOs. It’s important to educate yourself now, because the onslaught of approved GMO foods entering our food supply is likely to continue, as the government refuses to acknowledge that they could be harmful.

Why do GMOs exist?
If you listen to the government and the Big Agra companies it supports, GMO foods are perfectly safe, and their benefits include lower cost crops, more productive farms and even healthier foods. But the truth is, genetically engineered plants exist for a single reason — profits. Companies like Monsanto have been known to bully farmers into paying “technology fees” to use their GMO seeds.
In most cases, the reason that seeds are genetically modified is so the plants can withstand massive doses of herbicides and pesticides. And guess who sells these toxic chemicals? The same companies that make the GMO seeds.

Why should you be concerned about GMOs in our food supply?
Genetically engineered plants have had either genes from bacteria or viruses, or genes that make plants resistant to toxic chemicals like the herbicide Roundup — spliced into their DNA. These genes were never part of the human diet until the first GMO plant was created in 1996.

To date, there have been no long-term human safety studies conducted on GMOs. To assume that they are safe defies common sense, as we lack any scientific evidence to prove that they do not pose a threat to human health. In fact, more research points towards potentially harmful effects of consuming GMOs.

The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM)’s official position on GMOs is that they “have not been properly tested and pose a serious health risk” and that a moratorium on GMO foods should be put in place until long-term studies demonstrate their safety. Many other environmental, public health and consumer protection organizations around the world are also calling for these steps to be taken.

According to the AAEM, “Animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with GM food,” including reproductive problems, compromised immunity, accelerated aging, blood sugar imbalances and harm to major organs.

Aside from the potential dangers of consuming GMO foods, GMOs pose a grave threat to the entire organic farming industry. (Scientists say that cross-contamination of GMO crops with non-GMO crops will be inevitable.) GMOs also contribute to greater pollution because many are designed to withstand greater application of pesticides and herbicides.

Have you ever seen one of those movies where a government-created toxin gets loose and spreads out of control? GMO seeds are real-world example of this scenario, and it’s happening right now! Experts all over the world are warning that as more and more GMOs are approved, they could become so intertwined with our food supply that we reach a point of no return.

Nobody knows for sure why the USDA is all of a sudden accelerating its acceptance of GMOs. What’s the rush? Are short-term decisions being made that are going to have serious long-term consequences? Unfortunately, the government has a long track record of doing just that. And history is replaying itself with GMOs. So the time to take action is now.
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B.  Eight Reasons Genetically Modified Organisms are Bad for You
Organic Authority,Written by Shilo Urban
http://www.organicauthority.com/foodie-buzz/eight-reasons-gmos-are-bad-for-you.html
Genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, are created when a gene from one species is transferred to another, creating something that would not be found in nature.

A large percentage of domestic crops (up to 85% of soybean yields) have DNA that was tweaked in a lab, yet it is nearly impossible to know which food items contain these genetically engineered ingredients. Thankfully new mobile phone apps are making it a bit easier for the consumer to know what she is eating, but this is not enough.

GMOs are bad for your body, bad for the community, bad for farmers and bad for the environment. This is why
1. The health consequences of eating genetically modified organisms are largely unknown. Genetically engineered foods have not been shown to be safe to eat and may have unpredictable consequences. When trans-fats were first introduced, corporations battled to get them onto your grocery shelves – and it is only decades later that this once novel food has been proven to be extremely unhealthful. Many scientists are worried that the genetically altered foods, once consumed, may pass on their mutant genes to bacterium in the digestive system, just like the canola plants on the roadsides of North Dakota. How these new strains of bacteria may affect our body systems’ balance is anybody’s guess.
2. Food items that contain GMOs are unlabeled in America. Why so sneaky? The European Union has banned GMOs, as have Australia, Japan, the UK and two dozen other countries that recognize that a lack of long term studies and testing may be hiding disastrous health defects.
3. Genetic engineering reduces genetic diversity. When genes are more diverse, they are more robust; this is why a pure bred dog tends to have greater health problems than the dear old mutt. Plants with reduced genetic diversity cannot handle drought, fungus invasions or insects nearly as well as natural plants, which could have dire consequences for farmers and communities dependent on GMO crops for survival.
4. Once the mutant genes are out of the bag, there is no going back. Genetically modified organisms contaminate existing seeds with their altered material, passing on modified traits to non-target species. This creates a new strain of plant that was never intended in the laboratory. In North Dakota, recent studies show that 80% of wild canola plants tested contained at least one transgene. In Japan, a modified bacteria created a new amino acid not found in nature; it was used in protein drinks and before it was recalled it cause severe mental and metabolic damage to hundreds as well as several deaths. Japan banned GMOs after this horrific experience. Monarch butterflies have also died after their favorite food, milkweed, was cross-pollinated from Bt corn which rendered it toxic to the endangered species.
5. GMOs are not the answer for global food security. Genetically engineered crops have shown no increase in yield and no decrease in pesticide use. In many cases other farm technology has proven much more successful, and even Monsanto agrees that its genetically engineered crops yield less than conventional farming.
6.
Genetically engineered foods have not been proven to be safe, but the few studies conducted don’t look so hot. The organs of rats who ate genetically modified potatoes showed signs of chronic wasting, and female rats fed a diet of herbicide-resistant soybeans gave birth to stunted and sterile pups.
7. Big biotech firms have very sketchy track records, but then again what would you expect from organizations who want to patent the world’s food supply? These massive biotech companies have a history of toxic contamination, deceiving the public and suing small farmers when their patented seeds blew across the fence. Biotech firms sell sterile seeds to African farmers- meaning the seeds are only good for one season, because the plants that grow up will not be able to reproduce. Farmers must buy new seeds every year instead of growing from the previous year’s yield. GMOs are not the farmers’ friend.
8. GMOs require massive amounts of pesticides, herbicides and fungicides. These things are poisons, and should not be eaten or allowed to run off into our water supply. But they are, every day, by companies who care far more about the bottom line than they do about your health, your environment or your children’s future.

The bottom line is that genetically modified organisms have not been proven in any way to be safe, and most of the studies are actually leaning the other direction, which is why many of the world’s countries have banned these items whose DNA has been genetically engineered. In America, they aren’t even labeled, much less banned, so the majority of the populace has no idea that they are eating lab-created DNA on a daily basis.

End of  Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living: Part III of V: Antibiotics and GMOs

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Living: Part II of V (Cigarettes & Illegal drugs)

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic: Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore

Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking
4.  Illegal drug use

Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
7.  GMO in crops
Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spills
Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

3.  Cigarette smoking

A.   Cigarette Smoking
American Cancer Society
http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/CancerCauses/TobaccoCancer/CigaretteSmoking/cigarette-smoking-who-and-how-affects-health
The 1982 United States Surgeon General’s report stated that “Cigarette smoking is the major single cause of cancer mortality [death] in the United States.” This statement is as true today as it was then.

Tobacco use is responsible for nearly 1 in 5 deaths in the United States. Because cigarette smoking and tobacco use are acquired behaviors — activities that people choose to do — smoking is the most preventable cause of death in our society.

Here is a brief overview of cigarette smoking: who smokes, how smoking affects health, what makes it so hard to quit, and what some of the many rewards of quitting are. For more on these topics, download our free PDF ‘Guide to Quitting Smoking’ at:
<http://www.cancer.org/Healthy/StayAwayfromTobacco/GuidetoQuittingSmoking/guide-to-quitting-smoking-toc>

Who smokes?
Adults
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported that more than 46 million US adults were current smokers in 2009 (the most recent year for which numbers are available). This is 20.6% of all adults (23.5% of men, 17.9% of women) — about 1 out of 5 people.

When broken down by race/ethnicity, the numbers were as follows:
•  Whites                                           22.1%
•  African Americans                      21.3%
•  Hispanics                                      14.5%
•  American Indians/Alaska Natives    23.2%
•  Asian Americans                         12.0%
•  People of multiple races             29.5%

There were more cigarette smokers in the younger age groups. In 2009, the CDC reported 24.% of those 25 to 44 years old were current smokers, compared with 9.5% of those aged 65 or older.

High school and middle school students
Nationwide, 20% of high school students were smoking cigarettes in 2009. The most recent survey of middle school students shows that about 5% were smoking cigarettes. In both high schools and middle schools, white and Hispanic students were more likely to smoke cigarettes than other races/ethnicities.

What kinds of illness and death are caused by smoking?
About half of all Americans who keep smoking will die because of the habit. Each year about 443,000 people in the United States die from illnesses related to tobacco use. Smoking cigarettes kills more Americans than alcohol, car accidents, suicide, AIDS, homicide, and illegal drugs combined.

Cancer caused by smoking
Cigarette smoking accounts for at least 30% of all cancer deaths. It is linked with an increased risk of the following cancers:
•  Lung
•  Larynx (voice box)
•  Oral cavity (mouth, tongue, and lips)
•  Pharynx (throat)
•  Esophagus (tube connecting the throat to the stomach)
•  Stomach
•  Pancreas
•  Cervix
•  Kidney
•  Bladder
•  Acute myeloid leukemia

Smoking is responsible for almost 9 out of 10 lung cancer deaths. Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer death in both men and women, and is one of the hardest cancers to treat. Lung cancer is a disease that can often be prevented. Some religious groups that promote non-smoking as part of their religion, such as Mormons and Seventh-day Adventists, have much lower rates of lung cancer and other smoking-related cancers.

Other health problems caused by smoking
As serious as cancer is, it accounts for less than half of the deaths related to smoking each year. Smoking is a major cause of heart disease, aneurysms, bronchitis, emphysema, and stroke.

Using tobacco can damage a woman’s reproductive health and hurt babies. Tobacco use is linked with reduced fertility and a higher risk of miscarriage, early delivery (premature birth), and stillbirth. It is also a cause of low birth-weight in infants. It has been linked to sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), too.

Smoking can make pneumonia and asthma worse. It has been linked to other health problems, too, including gum disease, cataracts, bone thinning, hip fractures, and peptic ulcers. Some studies have also linked smoking to macular degeneration, an eye disease that can cause blindness.

Smoking can cause or worsen poor blood flow in the arms and legs (peripheral vascular disease or PVD.) Surgery to improve the blood flow often doesn’t work in people who keep smoking. Because of this, many surgeons who work on blood vessels (vascular surgeons) won’t do certain surgeries on patients with PVD unless they stop smoking.

The smoke from cigarettes (called secondhand smoke or environmental tobacco smoke) can also have harmful health effects on those exposed to it. Adults and children can have health problems from breathing secondhand smoke.

Effects of smoking on how long you live and your quality of life
Based on data collected from 1995 to 1999, the CDC estimated that adult male smokers lost an average of 13.2 years of life and female smokers lost 14.5 years of life because of smoking.

But not all of the health problems related to smoking result in deaths. Smoking affects a smoker’s health in many ways, harming nearly every organ of the body and causing diseases. According to the CDC, in 2000 about 8.6 million people had at least one chronic disease because they smoked or had smoked. Many of these people were suffering from more than one smoking-related problem. The diseases seen most often were chronic bronchitis, emphysema, heart attacks, strokes, and cancer. And some studies have found that male smokers may be more likely to be sexually impotent (have erectile dysfunction) than non-smokers. These problems can steal away a person’s quality of life long before death. Smoking-related illness can limit a person’s daily life by making it harder to breathe, get around, work, or play.

B.  The high cost of smoking
The costs add up: Cigarettes, dry cleaning, insurance — you can even lose your job. A 40-year-old who quits and puts the savings into a 401(k) could save almost $250,000 by age 70.
By Hilary Smith
<http://articles.moneycentral.msn.com/Insurance/InsureYourHealth/HighCostOfSmoking.aspx>

If the threat of cancer can’t persuade you to quit smoking, maybe the prospect of poverty will.
The financial consequences of lighting up stretch far beyond the cost of a pack of cigarettes. Smokers pay more for insurance. They lose money on the resale value of their cars and homes. They spend extra on dry cleaning and teeth cleaning. Long term, they earn less and receive less in pension and Social Security benefits.

Indeed, being a smoker can not only mean you don’t get hired — you can get fired, too. After announcing it would no longer employ smokers, Weyco, a medical-benefits administrator in Michigan, fired four employees who refused to submit to a breath test. It began testing the spouses of its employees, too, levying an $80-per-month surcharge on those who don’t test clean.

Overall, 5% of employers prefer to hire nonsmokers, according to the most recent survey by the Society for Human Resource Management, and 1% do not hire smokers. A few examples:
Kalamazoo Valley Community College in Michigan stopped hiring smokers for full-time positions at both its Michigan campuses.
•  Alaska Airlines, based in Washington state, requires a nicotine test before hiring people.
•  The Tacoma-Pierce County (Wash.) Health Department has applicants sign an “affidavit of nontobacco use.”
•  Union Pacific won’t hire smokers.

That same poll found that 5% of companies charge smokers more for health-care premiums. The costs don’t stop with your paycheck. Figures from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids assert that smokers cost the economy $97.6 billion a year in lost productivity.

That’s based on the number of working years lost because of premature death. (The Bureau of National Affairs says 95% of companies banning smoking report no financial savings, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce finds no connection between smoking and absenteeism.)

An additional $96.7 billion is spent on public and private health care combined, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, and each American household spends $630 a year in federal and state taxes due to smoking.

Personal financial impact
The cost of a pack of cigarettes averages around $6, including taxes, depending on where you live.A pack-a-day smoker burns through about $42 per week, or $2184 per year. That’s a fat house payment or a nice vacation with the family. A 40-year-old who quits smoking and puts the savings into a 401(k) earning 9% a year would have nearly $250,000 by age 70.

The one place many smokers feel free and comfortable to light up is in their car. Without consistent and thorough cleanings, however, a car that is smoked in will soon start to resemble an ashtray on wheels. The interior inevitably smells like smoke, and stray ashes and butts can burn holes in the upholstery and floor mats.

None of these things has much financial impact until you try to sell the car. Figure a minimum of $150 for a good cleaning with an extractor.
As a trade-in, dealers can easily knock off more than $1,000 on higher-end vehicles. Terry Cooper, a car dealer with seven new- and used-car stores, says he took a 1999 Porsche 911 Cabriolet in on trade for $37,000. That sounds OK, but the owner could have fetched $40,000 for it had he not “smoked out” the car’s interior.

The criteria that apply to cars apply to homes as well, only on a bigger scale. Smokers’ houses often require all new paint and/or wall treatments, as well as professional drapery and carpet cleaning. According to Contractors.com, priming and painting an average-size living room, dining room and two bedrooms would cost more than $2,000. The Carpet Buying Handbook puts the average cleaning cost per square foot at 28 cents, and the average home has 1,000 square feet of carpet. That’s $280. Add $55 to clean a typical sofa and $25 for a chair, says Diversified Carpet in San Diego. Walt Molony with the National Association of Realtors says that “certainly the smell of cigarettes can be a turnoff to potential buyers.”

Insurers weigh in, and they’re not happy
We pulled some online quotes on 20-year term life insurance (a $500,000 policy) for a healthy 44-year-old male through BudgetLife.com. The lowest quote for a nonsmoker was $1,140 in premiums per year; for someone smoking a pack a day, the lowest price more than doubled to $2,571 per year.

The difference in health insurance isn’t as dramatic. According to eHealthInsurance.com, the monthly premium for a policy from Regence Blue Shield with a $1,500 deductible for a 44-year-old male nonsmoker is $292. The same policy for a smoker is $338 per month, or $552 more a year.

A few state governments also charge their employees extra for health insurance if they smoke, and others are gradually joining the trend.

According to the ACLU, a majority of states do not have a state law preventing employers from discriminating against potential and current employees based on non work activities. Thirty-one states do have laws that protect smokers, including Colorado and North Dakota, which ban discrimination based on any form of legal, off-duty behavior.

When shopping for homeowners insurance, nonsmokers can generally expect to receive a minimum 10% discount. The insurer’s point of view: Smokers burn down houses. The most common homeowners insurance policies range from approximately $457 to $1372 per year, depending on the home’s location. With the discount, a nonsmoker would realize savings of at least $45, but most likely more.

Few people set out to cut their life short, but smokers greatly increase their chances of dying sooner than nonsmokers. In his book “The Price of Smoking”, Frank Sloan, the director of the Center for Health Policy, Law and Management at Duke University in Durham, N.C., details the financial impact of a shorter life span on retirement benefits. “Smokers, due to higher mortality rates, obtained lower lifetime benefits compared to never smokers, even after accounting for their smoking-related lower lifetime contributions,” the research says.

Sloan and his colleagues found that the effects of smoking on lifetime Social Security benefits were $1,519 for 24-year-old female smokers and $6,549 for 24-year-old male smokers. This is money paid into Social Security but never collected, because the beneficiary died prematurely of a smoking-related illness. “You could be paying into Social Security year after year, and if you die at 66 because you’re a smoker, it’s money down the drain,” says Sloan.

Keeping up appearances
Numerous studies find that smokers earn anywhere from 4% to 11% less than nonsmokers. It’s not just a loss of productivity to smoke breaks and poorer health that takes a financial toll, researchers theorize; smokers are perceived to be less attractive and successful as well. Bad breath, yellow teeth and smelly clothes are just a few of the personal side effects of smoking, and all cost money to correct.
An extra pack of mints or gum a week adds up to about $50 per year. Need your teeth whitened once a year? Brite Smile, which has offices across the country, sells its service for $400 to $600. Most professional-grade teeth whitening products retail for a minimum of $200.
Dry-cleaning bills are likely to be higher also. Clean that suit one extra time a month at a cost of $12, and there goes an additional $144 every year.
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4.  Illegal drugs

American College of Emergency Physicians, Illegal drug use
http://www.acep.org/content.aspx?id=26004
Main Points
•  Emergency physicians see first-hand the devastating consequences of illegal drug use.
•  More than half a million (638,484) drug-related emergencies were reported in 2001 – nearly a 75 percent increase over 1990 (371,208). Nearly 20,000 people in 2000 died of drug-related causes.
•  After a long climb, the first significant downturn in youth drug use in nearly a decade was reported among 8th, 10th, and 12th graders, according to the 2002 Monitoring the Future study.
•  Illegal drugs exact an enormous toll on society, taking 52,000 lives annually and draining the economy of $160 billion a year. Everyone pays the toll in the form of higher healthcare costs, dangerous neighborhoods, and an overcrowded criminal justice system.
•  Parents are the first line of defense in preventing illegal drug use.
•  The American College of Emergency Physicians in 2003 partnered with the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy to conduct a national campaign to dispel the myth that marijuana is harmless.

 Q.  How prevalent is the problem?
About 20 million Americans over age 12 reported current use of drugs in 2005, and an estimated 22.2 million persons aged 12 or older were classified with substance dependence or abuse in the past year, according to the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse (2005).
•  Illegal drugs exact an enormous toll on society, taking tens of thousands of lives annually and draining the economy of billions each year. Everyone pays the toll in the form of higher health care costs, dangerous neighborhoods, and an overcrowded criminal justice system.
•  Twenty-one percent of 8th graders, 38 percent of 10th graders and 50 percent of 12th graders to have ever tried any illicit drug in their lifetimes, according to the Monitoring the Future study in 2005. This means half of students today have tried an illicit drug by the time they finish high school.
•  About 112 million Americans reported using an illegal drug at least once in their lives in 2005, and more than 35 million had used an illegal drug in the past year.

Here are some other facts about commonly used illegal drugs:
•  Marijuana. In 2005 an estimated 3.4 million people used marijuana on a daily or near-daily basis. That statistic is about the same as it was in 2004. There were 215,656 emergency department mentions of marijuana/hashish in 2004, almost double the number from 2001.
•  Cocaine. From 2004 to 2005 the number of cocaine users nationally held steady at approximately 2.4 million. There were 872,000 first time cocaine users in 2005. The number of cocaine related emergency department visits has spiked in recent years, from 193,034 emergency department mentions of cocaine in 2001, to 383,350 in 2004.
•  Heroin. An estimated 108,000 new users were reported in 2005, down from 149,000 in 1999, although the number of heroin users has increased by nearly 50 percent since 1994. There were 162,137 emergency department mentions of heroin in 2004, up from 93,064 mentions of heroin/morphine in 2001.
•  Inhalants. There were 877,000 new inhalant users in 2005, down from 991,000 in 1999. Approximately three-quarters (72 percent) of the first-time users were under the age of 18.

Q.  What are the harmful effects of commonly used illegal drugs?
Illegal drugs exact staggering costs on American society, accounting for about 52,000 drug-related deaths and an estimated $160 billion in economic costs each year, according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy. Drug dependence is a chronic, relapsing disorder that takes an enormous toll on individuals, families, businesses, and communities. Addicted individuals frequently engage in self-destructive and criminal behavior. Experts say illegal drugs constitute a threat to the national security of the United States.
•  Heroin. After an initial rush, users experience alternately wakeful and drowsy states, often feeling drowsy for several hours. Due to the depression of the central nervous system, mental functioning becomes clouded, and breathing may become slowed to the point of respiratory failure. Chronic users may develop collapsed veins, infection of the heart lining and valves, abscesses, and liver disease. In addition, pulmonary complications, including various types of pneumonia, may also result. Heroin overdose may cause slow and shallow breathing, convulsions, coma, and possibly death. Heroin most often is injected, particularly low-purity heroin.
•  Cocaine. Cocaine inflicts tremendous damage to American society, enslaving 2.5 million hard-core addicts and sending 383,350 Americans to hospital emergency departments in 2004. People who use cocaine can experience increased heart rate, muscle spasms, and convulsions. They often don’t eat or sleep regularly. Cocaine can cause heart attacks, seizures, strokes, and respiratory failure. If snorted, it can permanently damage nasal tissue. It also can make people feel paranoid, angry, hostile, and anxious, even when they’re not high. Cocaine interferes with the way the brain processes chemicals that create feelings of pleasure, so users continue to need more of the drug to feel normal. People who become addicted start to lose interest in other areas of their life, such as school and friends. People who share needles can also contract hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, or other diseases. Cocaine may be snorted as a powder, converted to a liquid form for injection with a needle, or processed into a crystal form to be smoked.
•  Methamphetamine. Methamphetamine is highly addictive, and its effects include psychotic behavior and brain damage. Chronic methamphetamine use can cause violent behavior, anxiety, confusion and insomnia. Users also can exhibit psychotic behavior including auditory hallucinations, mood disturbances, delusions and paranoia, possibly resulting in homicidal or suicidal thoughts. The drug can cause damage to the brain detectable months after use, similar to damage caused by Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or epilepsy. Withdrawal symptoms include depression, anxiety, fatigue, paranoia, aggression and intense cravings for the drug.
•  Marijuana. Marijuana contains toxins and cancer-causing chemicals, which are stored in fat cells for as long as several months. Users experience the same health problems as tobacco smokers, such as bronchitis, emphysema and bronchial asthma. Some effects include increased heart rate, dryness of the mouth, reddening of the eyes, impaired motor skills and concentration, increased hunger and a desire for sweets. Extended use increases risk to the lungs and reproductive system, as well as suppression of the immune system. Occasionally, hallucinations, fantasies and paranoia are reported.
•  Inhalants. Inhalants affect the brain quickly and can cause irreversible physical and mental damage. Long-term use can result in: loss of sense of smell; nausea and nosebleeds; short-term memory loss or impaired reasoning; slurred speech; clumsy staggering gait; escalating stages of brain atrophy; and liver, lung and kidney problems. Inhalants can starve the body of oxygen, forcing the heart to beat irregularly and more rapidly. Chronic use can lead to muscle wasting and reduced muscle tone. Inhalants can be deadly, even with first-time use, causing death by suffocation, choking or vomiting, or heart attack. Inhalants include numerous household and commercial products (glue, paint thinner) that are abused by sniffing or “huffing” (inhaling through one’s mouth). Users experience a short-lasting euphoria and dizziness, followed by headaches and loss of consciousness.
•  Club Drugs. Club drugs, such as Ecstasy (MDMA, methylenedioxy-methamphetamine), Rohypnol (flunitrazepam), GHB (gamma hydroxybutyrate), and ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) can damage neurons in the brain and impair senses, memory, judgment, and coordination. The physical effects of Ecstasy include muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, rapid eye movement, faintness, and chills or sweating. Health risks include severe dehydration and death from heat stroke or heart failure. The drug suppresses the need to eat, drink or sleep and subsequently allows people to stay up all night. Heavy users can have significant impairments in visual and verbal memory. Users may experience increases in heart rate and blood pressure, a special risk for people with circulatory or heart disease. Ecstasy also induces a state characterized as “excessive talking.” Side effects including anorexia, psychomotor agitation, and profound feelings of empathy, result from the flooding of serotonin. Often used in conjunction with other drugs, a growing number of users are combining Ecstasy with heroin, a practice known as “rolling.”
•  Steroids. The repercussions of steroid use are enormous. Among teenagers, steroid use can lead to an untimely halting of growth due to premature skeletal maturation and accelerated puberty changes. Steroid users risk liver tumors, high blood pressure, severe acne, and trembling.

[Photo collage above: Before and after Meth users. It doesn’t take long…]

Q.  What are the symptoms and signs of drug use?
Possible signs include:
•  Attitude changes: more irritable, secretive, withdrawn, overly sensitive, inappropriately angry, defiant, euphoric.
•  Extreme mood swings (e.g., depression, and anger).
•  Less responsible: late coming home, late for school or class, and dishonesty.
•  Changing friends or changing lifestyles: new interests, unexplained cash.
•  Physical deterioration: difficulty in concentration; loss of coordination; loss of weight; slurred speech; red or glassy eyes; sniffly 0r runny nose; appearing spaced out.
•  Unexplained deterioration in school performance.
•  Behavior problems: high-risk behavior, such as stealing or sexual promiscuity.
•  Changes in relationships or eating habits.
•  Changes in hygiene.
•  Presence of drugs or paraphernalia (e.g., cigarette papers, pipes, clips, spoons).

Q.  What should you do if you suspect your child is using drugs?
If your child has developed a pattern of drug use or has engaged in heavy use, intervention is key. Contact a drug treatment program in your area or call your doctor, local hospital or county mental health society for a referral. Your school district should have a substance abuse coordinator or a counselor who can refer you to treatment programs, too.

Q.  Is OxyContin a significant problem in the United States?
Many prescription drugs, such as Percocet, Darvon, Valium, and Librium are abused in the United States. One of the newest legal drugs of abuse is OxyContin. A powerful narcotic derived from opium, like morphine or heroin, OxyContin is a time-released tablet, providing as many as 12 hours of relief from chronic or long-lasting pain. While most people who take OxyContin as prescribed do not become addicted, those who abuse pain medications or obtain it illegally may find themselves rapidly dependent on, if not addicted to, the drug. Purdue Pharma LP, OxyContin’s manufacturer, has taken steps to reduce the potential for abuse of the medication. Although far less abused than other prescription drugs, such as Vicodin, and not at epidemic proportions despite reports in the news, the potency of OxyContin sets it apart from other prescription drugs.

After investigating reports of serious side effects, the FDA strengthened the warnings and precautions in labeling OxyContin. Changes include a “black box warning,” the strongest type of warning for an FDA-approved drug. In the most recent “Monitoring the Future” drug survey 5.5 percent of 12th graders reporter using OxyContin, as did 3.2 percent of 10th graders.

End of  Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living Part II of V: Cigarettes &amp; Illegal drugs

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Modern Living: Part I of V (The American Dream & Entertainment Galore)

 (Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Living)

Topic:
Part I
1.  What happened to the American dream?
2.  Entertainment galore

Part II
3.  Cigarette smoking
4.  Illegal drug use
Part III
5.  Antibiotics and super bugs
6.  Antibiotics in meat
 7.  GMO in crops
Part IV
8.  Household Pollutants and Chemical spill
Part V

9.  Infrastructure deterioration

1.  What happened to the American Dream?

What Ever Happened to “The American Dream”?
By Geela Parish, Contributing Editor of Geela’s World
<http://www.womensradio.com/articles/What-Ever-Happened-to-The-American-Dream/56.html&gt;

Do you ever wonder what happened to the average citizen’s ability to achieve The American Dream? Is there something about the pursuit of The American Dream that contributes to failing systems and institutions (from an Enron economy to failing education, the deterioration of the family unit, social ills such as senseless violence, suicide, substance abuse and perversion)?

A recent study reveals that the overwhelming majority of Americans are now experiencing more stress and less true fulfillment and optimism than ever before. They believe that the odds of them winning the lottery are probably much better than their odds of attaining The American Dream. And the current climate of global terrorism coupled with growing uncertainty and failing systems and institutions only makes their faith in attaining The American Dream for success, happiness and fulfillment seems less likely. The American Dream is becoming more and more like the Impossible Dream.

When one looks at the evolution of the concept of The American Dream, it’s hard not to notice the sharp contrast of “before and after” or “this was then, this is now.”

The concept of The American Dream was basically originated from suffering periods of lack, following the Great Depression and WW2 when people had appreciation for work because it was scarce. The main concern was security and basic survival. As such, the focus of The American Dream was on wholesome values such as a strong work ethic, integrity, family, community and moral values. It created joy of life, pride in work and family and a sense of community. In sharp contrast, The American Dream is no longer attainable by most people. How many people can afford a home considering the ridiculously high prices? And decent jobs with stable companies are increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Sure, we have accumulated lots of stuff (toys), but they only bring us artificial joy, which is as fleeting as it is cruel.

It was hard work, integrity and wholesome moral values that provided the solid foundation for creating prosperity and economic boom in this country. It was prosperity with integrity and purpose that brought us a sense of real joy and pride coupled with a strong sense of community. However, success has its own trappings, and with success came the desire to “keep up with the Jones’s.” Need eventually turned into greed. The new generation wanted more, in fact they demanded a higher standard of living almost at all costs, even if it meant getting into serious debt. Life was no longer about family and community but instead was more about status (through money and power, with the obsession with fame and fortune for the wrong reasons). And thus began the pursuit of materialism with all the side effects associated with it.

And when need turns to greed, the results are inevitable. The same spirit that created capitalism and prosperity has also created corruption, compromised integrity and the erosion of wholesome values systems that eventually has led to failing systems and institutions.

In a materialistic driven society, where the love of power and money overcomes the power of love, anything becomes fair game. The system, including the media only perpetuated this concept of the newly evolved American Dream for self-serving reasons (to make more profits), while turning us from a nation of producers to a nation of insatiable consumers that made us forget our spiritual roots. Thus, human excellence has given way to human weakness while enslaving us to our own addictions and desires. In fact, we hear so much about the Enron type of corruptions and dirty politics fueled by special-interest money, that it has virtually become an accepted practice.

The prevailing mentality in American society today is that you can get something for nothing. There is a sense of entitlement and an expectation of wanting the good life without having to work hard for it. This is reinforced, glorified and perpetuated by the media with shows like “The Lifestyle of The Rich and Famous.” When all you see is glamour, but not the hard work and sacrifice that goes into achieving success, it only inspires more envy and the desire for a “get rich quick” scheme leading to the erosion of morality and integrity.

Consider the breakdown of the family system. When both parents spend long working hours (sometimes just to make ends meet), their children are left alone, being raised by their peers, gangs and TV. Family values and compromised integrity simply don’t run parallel. By failing to instill good values in their children, children have become corrupted by default, increasingly turning to violence, which in turn negatively affects not only our way of life, but our economy as well. Once again, the culprit is the pursuit of materialism.

Now consider the increased senseless violence at our schools and unchecked crime on our streets. Both can be traced to the pursuit of materialism, which drives people to corruption, compromised integrity and the erosion of wholesome values systems. Violence is a reflection of being away from family and community, an anti-social behavior and a lack of a sense of belonging. After all, how can children feel safe and truly cared for when they are left alone without any clear boundaries? Crime too, is a reflection of the growing frustration and anger resulting from the perception of lack of opportunity, and the equal sharing of prosperity. Call it like it is – it’s a class warfare between the haves and have-nots.

Here is a quick quiz for you:
•  Do you know your neighbors? How about just their names?
•  When was the last time you invited your neighbor to dinner?
•  Why do you build a fence around your home?
•  Have you noticed that the more possessions we have, the more we try to isolate ourselves with an attempt to protect our hard-won assets?

As tough as it is for our national pride to admit it, one can’t ignore the failing of our educational system as evidenced by failing test scores. This too is basically a reflection of the erosion of our moral values, work ethic and our failing institutions. Many politicians are driven by doing what is politically correct and getting elected rather than what’s in the best interest of the community. As the United States falls further behind the world in education, the negative impact on our economy will be felt too. Once we were the world’s leading producers of goods. But now our higher standard of living has escalated wages to the point where manufactures are taking jobs overseas (to places like China and India where cost of living is very low). As a result, we are importing more and more of the goods necessary to maintain our excessive lifestyle. As a result, the foreign trade deficit has ballooned to an all-time high. Our addiction to consumption has forced us to go into debt to the rest of the world. The huge budget deficit we hear so much about is really a deficit in integrity. Our only edge in the world economy has been in technology and innovation. But in the absence of good education, we will lose this competitive edge too. And if we wish to maintain our high standard of living, we must produce something of value in order to remain a valuable player in the global economy.

The break down is not limited to our systems and institutions alone. Our nerves and spirits are just as affected. With growing personal and national debt (with no way out short of a miracle or winning the lottery), out of control violence and crime, environmental and spiritual pollution, extreme stress, frustration, hopelessness, rejection over lack of opportunities, lack of accomplishments, or control of their own lives, send more and more Americans straight to a shrink’s office, take Prozac or worse, get hooked on drugs and other destructive substances as a way of coping. Many simply have reached their breaking point resulting in a diminished productivity at work, a diminished family harmony and enjoyment of life itself.

People are not as free as they would like to believe. The reality is that, knowingly or unknowingly, people are controlled, by virtue of being in debt and by being enslaved by the pursuit of materialism (a by-product of the pursuit of The American Dream as we know it). Perhaps it’s time to reflect on what really matters in life and ask ourselves the eternal question. “Are you working to live or living to work?”

Many feel this country has seen its finest hour unless we develop a new attitude. In the words of a fellow immigrant, Arnold Schwarzenegger, “no more business as usual.” It is a luxury we simply can’t afford. As an immigrant, who came from a different culture and a different values system and achieved The American Dream, not only do I appreciate the great opportunities and freedoms this great country has to offer, but I am able to see the sharp contrast and the cause and effect that contribute to the social and economic ills of our society. Indeed, social ills are an equal opportunity employer. But it is precisely because I care so deeply about this country, that I make my observations and offer innovative solutions in order to preserve the greatness of this country for future generations.

Finally, here is the burning question. How can one be happy and successful and still get a piece of The American Dream? How can we restore our failing systems and institutions and preserve a free and thriving society? What needs to happen is to restore a wholesome values system with integrity. We need to restore the true spirit of The American Dream which was based on perspiration, innovation, risk and reward. That’s when we can once again appreciate simple pleasures and discover that it is “He with the most joys lives,” and not “He with the most toys lives.” And perhaps only when the power of love overcomes the love of power can we finally get back on the yellow brick road to real prosperity, real peace and real fulfillment. Indeed, the best things in life are free, and all you have to do is recognize it.
.

2.  Entertainment galore

The Royal Wedding, American Idol, Dancing With The Stars And 7 Other Ways That The American People Are Being Distracted From Our Real Problems
<http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/the-royal-wedding-american-idol-dancing-with-the-stars-and-7-other-ways-that-the-american-people-are-being-distracted-from-our-real-problems>
Have you caught “royal wedding fever” yet?  The union of Prince William and Kate Middleton is already being called “the wedding of the century” and it will almost certainly be the most watched event in the entire world this year.  The mainstream media is spending endless hours covering every conceivable angle of this wedding.  With all of the hype surrounding this wedding, you would almost be tempted to think that America has now officially adopted British royalty as our own.  Worship and adoration of the royal family is at a fever pitch in the United States right now, which is kind of ironic considering the fact that we fought two wars against the tyranny of that monarchy.  If only George Washington and the boys could see us now.  Sadly, the American people love to be entertained and they are very easily distracted from the very real problems facing this nation.  In past years, celebrities such as OJ Simpson, Anna Nicole Smith, Michael Jackson and Britney Spears dominated the news.  Today Americans are distracted by the royal wedding, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga.  In our entertainment-addicted society, the time for average Americans to set aside the distractions and focus on real issues never seems to come.

During the decline of ancient Rome, average citizens were kept occupied with “bread and circuses”.  Today, we are kept occupied with a dizzying array of entertainment options.  Millions of Americans have become so addicted to entertainment that they literally cannot stand to be alone in their homes without some form of entertainment going on in the background.

Amazingly, the average American now watches 34 hours of television a week.  That doesn’t even count all of the hours that we spend watching DVDs or going to the movies.
When most of us get into our vehicles we immediately turn on the radio or put on a CD.  Artists such as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga are national heroes.

In the United States today, 88 percent of all children between the ages of 8 and 18 play video games.  Millions of them spend so many hours playing video games that they have developed very serious health and social problems.
On top of everything else, tens of millions of Americans are absolutely addicted to the Internet.  It has gotten so bad that “Internet addiction recovery programs” have started popping up all over the United States.

We love to be entertained.  We love to be distracted.  We love to have fun.

Unfortunately, what most of us don’t like is to focus on real issues.

The following are some of the ways that the American people are currently being distracted….

#1 The Royal Wedding – It is being projected that a whopping 2 billion people around the globe will watch the royal wedding.  Women all over the globe are breathlessly anticipating that first glimpse of Kate Middleton’s dress.  Isn’t she just lovely?  Don’t they make such a charming couple?  For many Americans, this will be the most important event of the year.

Meanwhile, the U.S. economy continues to bleed jobs at an absolutely astounding pace.  Millions of good jobs are being sent overseas and unemployment in the United States is rampant.  In fact, the United States has lost an average of 50,000 manufacturing jobs per month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

As a result of these ongoing changes, the U.S. economy will very soon no longer be the biggest economy in the world.  Ten years ago, the U.S. economy was three times as large as the Chinese economy, but now China will pass the United States and will become the largest economy in the world in 2016 according to the IMF.

#2 American Idol – Who is going to win American Idol this year?  Will it be country singer Scotty McCreery?  Will it be rocker James Durbin?  Will the southern charm of Lauren Alaina take her over the top?  It has been a wonderful year for American Idol and the American people can’t seem to get enough of this new crop of stars.

Meanwhile, the average American family is really struggling to deal with soaring costs for food and gas.  In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, 74 percent of Americans said that they planned to slow down their spending in coming months due to rising prices.

#3 Dancing With The Stars – Chris Jericho got eliminated from Dancing with the Stars on Tuesday night.  He certainly gave it his best shot.  Let’s have a moment of silence as we remember his journey on the show.

Meanwhile, the U.S. housing crisis just continues to get worse.  Home prices continue to fall with no end in sight.  There just are not many qualified buyers out there right now.  During the first three months of this year, less new homes were sold in the U.S. than in any three month period ever recorded.

#4 Justin Bieber – Did you know that you can get a Justin Bieber singing toothbrush now?  It’s true!  Now you can have Justin Bieber with you even while you are brushing your teeth.  Did you also know that Justin Bieber was just named one of the top 100 most influential people by Time Magazine?  Life is really sweet right now if you are Justin Bieber.

Meanwhile, as the U.S. economy declines some of our greatest cities are being transformed into hellholes.  In the city of Detroit today, there are over 33,000 abandoned houses, 70 schools are being permanently closed down, the mayor wants to bulldoze one-fourth of the city and you can literally buy a house for one dollar in the worst areas.

All over the nation social services are being cut back and teachers are being fired.  Just this week, authorities in Philadelphia announced that 3,820 school employees will likely be laid off.  That number includes 12 percent of all the public school teachers in Philadelphia.  Other areas of the country are making much deeper cuts.

#5 The NFL Draft – The NFL Draft is this weekend!  Will Cam Newton be the number one overall pick?  Will the Denver Broncos trade the second pick?  Will Mel Kiper lose his temper and start yelling at the camera again?  If you love the NFL, this is a great weekend for you.

Meanwhile, the U.S. health care industry has become a giant money making scam.  The chairman of Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the United States, brought in a staggering $68.7 million during 2010. Ron Williams exercised stock options that were worth approximately $50.3 million and he raked in an additional $18.4 million in wages and other forms of compensation.  The funny thing is that he left the company and didn’t even work the whole year.

While corporate fat cats are raking in massive amounts of money, average Americans are having a very hard time dealing with healthcare costs.  One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.  Obamacare is not going to help this one bit.

#6 The Sony PlayStation Crisis – For millions of video game addicts, the biggest news in the world right now is that Sony’s PlayStation Network has been down for 11 straight days.  According to Reuters, it might cost credit card companies somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 million dollars to replace all of the credit cards that were compromised.  Many video game addicts have been traumatized as they have been forced to step away from their consoles long enough to rediscover the “real world”.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is involved in three wars in the Middle East with no end in sight.  It is becoming extremely expensive for us to continue to be the police of the world.  The United States already accounts for 46.5% of all military spending on the globe.  China is next with only 6.6%.

#7 Lady Gaga – Lady Gaga made headlines all over the world recently when she released a song entitled “Judas” just before the recent holidays.  In the song, the phrase “I love Judas” is repeated over and over and over.  Lady Gaga also says that Judas is the “demon she clings to” in the song.  But instead of this resulting in national outrage, Lady Gaga has more fans than ever and she is considered a national hero.

Meanwhile, the Japanese nuclear crisis continues to get worse and the Japanese economy is showing signs of seriously falling apart. Radiation levels at Fukushima have now risen to the highest levels yet recorded.  Some scientists are even concerned that significant areas of northern Japan could end up uninhabitable as a result of this crisis.  At the same time, Standard and Poor’s is warning that the cost of rebuilding Japan could hit 50 trillion yen.  They have also downgraded the outlook for Japanese government debt from “stable” to “negative”.

#8 Michael Scott Leaves The Office – Are you going to watch Steve Carell’s final episode of The Office tonight?  I sure will be.  The Office is one of the last great television comedies.  It is going to be the end of an era.  Television will never be the same again.

Meanwhile, the student loan debt bubble just continues to get worse by the day.  The cost of college tuition in the United States has gone up by over 900 percent since 1978.  The total amount of student loan debt in the United States is rapidly closing in on a trillion dollars, and millions upon millions of young Americans are being absolutely crushed by devastating debt loads.

#9 The New Harry Potter Movie – Are all of you Harry Potter fans getting excited?  A new trailer and some new photos from the upcoming film have been released.  Thanks to the Harry Potter franchise, we have millions of young boys and girls that love to pretend to be witches and wizards.  More young people than ever are fascinated by “magic” and interest in witchcraft in the United States has never been higher.

Meanwhile, U.S. government debt has soared well past 14 trillion dollars and the U.S. dollar is dying.  Standard & Poor’s has altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative” and is warning that the U.S. could soon lose its AAA rating.  Millions of our young people can tell you all about Harry Potter, but very few of those same young people are able to adequately describe what the Federal Reserve is or how money is created in this country.

#10 Facebook – Today, Facebook has over 500 million users.  It has become a worldwide phenomenon.  Tens of millions of Americans are totally addicted.  One study conducted by Oxygen Media and Lightspeed Research found that 39% of American adults are self-described “Facebook addicts” and that one-third of all women between the ages of 18 and 34 “check Facebook first thing in the morning, even before brushing their teeth or going to the bathroom.”

Meanwhile, the U.S. is becoming more of a “Big Brother police state” every single day.  At one public school in the Chicago area, children have been banned from bringing their lunches from home.  A former Miss America was recently reduced to tears after her private areas were repeatedly touched during one of the new “enhanced pat-downs” that the Obama administration has implemented at U.S. airports.  The sad truth is that we are no longer the land of the free and the home of the brave.

When will the American people overcome their addiction to entertainment and wake up to the horrible things that are going on all around us?

End of  Survival manual/2. Social issues/Death by 1000 cuts/Modern Living: Part I of V: The American Dream & Entertainment Galore

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Modern Foraging: Death by 1000 cuts

(Survival manual/2. Social issues/Modern foraging)

Modern Foraging topics:
1.  Junk foods
2.  The school lunch program
3.   Obesity
4.   Diabetes in USA
5. Exercise-energy balance
6.  Same dollars, less food (food cost inflation)
.

1.  JUNK FOODS
.

A.  What is a Junk Food?
•  Any food that has poor nutritional value is considered unhealthy and may be called a junk food.
•  A food that is high in fat, sodium, and/or sugar is known as a junk food.
•  Junk food is easy to carry, purchase and consume.
•  Generally, a junk food is given a very attractive appearance by adding food additives and colors to enhance flavor, texture, appearance, and increasing long shelf life.
• A junk food has little enzyme producing vitamins & minerals and contains high level of calories. When we eat these empty calorie foods, the body is required to produce its own enzymes to convert these empty calories into usable energy. This is not desired as these enzyme producing functions in our body should be reserved for the performance of vital metabolic reactions.

Remember, junk foods are empty calories. An empty calorie lacks in micro-nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, or amino acids, and fiber but has high energy (calories).

Since junk food is high in fats and sugars, it is responsible for obesity, dental cavities, Type 2 diabetes and heart diseases.

 Junk Food & Cholesterol
Fried and processed food, particularly fast food, contains high amounts of oxycholesterol.
A healthy diet rich in antioxidants can counter these effects.

Some junk food pictures of beef burger, French fries, Coca Cola, and potato chips and cinema popcorns are given below.

Cinema popcorn: Popcorns are healthy, but the one sold in cinemas are a nutritional horror. The Center for Science in the Public Interest compared in Nov 2009 some popcorn and drinks combos sold at key movie theater chains in USA and found the following:
•  A medium popcorn and soda combo at Regal, the United States’ biggest movie theater chain, contains 1,610 calories and 60 grams of saturated fat.
•  At AMC theaters, a large popcorn contains 1,030 calories and 57 grams of saturated fat.
The high calorie counts could be due to the fact that corn was popped in coconut oil. Popcorn cooked in canola oil showed lower levels of saturated fats, but similar levels of calories and sodium.

 List of Junk Foods
Given below is a list of junk food (empty calorie) items that you should avoid. It’s up to you how to  keep your four trillion cells happy.
•  Sugars: Refined foods, like sugar and plain flour based items like white bread and most packaged goods, such as Twinkies and sugar donuts, etc. Our body eventually turns sugars into fat. If you consume just 3 tsp of sugar daily, imagine how much sugar you would have consumed by the time you are 50 years of age; it will be about 600 lbs, about 4 times your weight!
•  Fats & Hydrogenated oils: Are found in cookies, chips, candy bars, fried foods, muffins, bologna, etc.  Many snacks, such as potato chips, cheeseburgers and fries, have high levels of fat, sugar or salt-ingredients that are usually best limited to a small portion of your diet. The saturated fat comes mainly from animal products. Our body has no use for hydrogenated or trans fat. The excessive fats stick to our arteries and cause the blockages leading to heart disease and strokes. They can also aid to cancer, arthritis, PMS and sexual dysfunction.
Some fats like Omega-3 fatty acids are good for our bodies.
•  Salt: Excessive salt is not good for our body (Daily Salt Recommendation). However, sodium in moderate amount, along with potassium, maintains the water balance in our body. But too much sodium can cause high blood pressure. Pretzels, chips and many canned food items contain excessive salt.

Daily Salt Recommendation
There is no sodium intake recommended or Recommended Daily Allowance for sodium or salt. However, the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association recommend 2300mg of sodium daily for adults. This is about 1 teaspoon of sodium chloride (salt) in one day. However, most people     take more than the recommended amount a day in diet, almost double the value.
How much sodium is in a teaspoon of salt?
It depends on the type of salt. Roughly, about 6g of salt makes one teaspoonful and approximately 2.4g sodium.

1 teaspoon salt = 6,200mg (6.2g) sodium  chloride= 2,400mg (2.4g) sodium 1 teaspoon baking soda = 1000mg sodium

Note that the salt crystals and sea salt contain the same amount of sodium.

.B.     Junk Food Facts: Not always easy to swallow
http://www.discover-yoga-online.com/junk-food-facts.html
Digesting junk food facts can take a strong stomach. Here are a few facts to chew on before your crack open another can of coke:
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_1)  What’s in Some of that Junk Food?
•  One teaspoon of sugar is extracted from a stalk of sugarcane one yard in length!
•  A can of cola contains 10 teaspoons of sugar.
•  The metal in the can costs more than the ingredients (mainly water with additives, refined sugar and caffeine).
•  A super-sized order of McDonald’s fries contains 610 calories and 1.02 ounces of fat.
•  A king-sized order of Burger King’s fries packs 590 calories and 1.05 ounces of fat.
•  Artificial ingredients can contain an alarming variety of chemicals. For instance, ‘artificial strawberry flavor’ can contain about 50 chemicals… and no strawberries at all!
•  A king-sized Burger King meal, (Double Whopper with cheese, large fries and large drink) contains 1,800 calories (mostly derived from fat and refined sugar). To ‘burn’ these calories would take nearly 6 hours of cycling (at 20 miles per hour).

_2)  Junk Food Advertising
•  The food industry spends over $33 billion per year in the US alone to advertise food products that could be classified as junk food.
•  The majority of food advertising during children’s television programming is for sweetened cereals, soft drinks, candy, processed snacks and fast foods.
•  The average American child sees around 20,000 ads a year for junk food.
•  Over 90% of American children eat at McDonald’s at least once per month
•  American teenagers drink an average of 760 can of soda pop per year (with boys drinking about 25% more than girls).
•  The average American of any age drinks over 500 cans of soft drinks per year.
•  Nearly 20% of children under 2 years of age are given soft drinks every day in America!
•  The average person today consumes more sugar in two weeks than a person a century ago would have eaten in a whole year. That’s a junk food fact!

 [Image above: Note that the percentage of the household budget spent on food has dropped by over 50% in the last 50 years, however, the quality of what we EAT has declined. The ‘quality’ statement is not documented in the graphic, but is shown in actuary tables for American health, types of disease and life expectancy. Mr Larry . The graphic is from <http://vegetalion.blogspot.com/2010/11/americas-grocery-spending-habits-since.html>]

 _3)  Harmful Effects of Junk Food
•  The regular consumption of junk food is the leading factor in obesity and excess weight.
•  Obesity is second only to smoking as a cause of death in America.
•  46% of Canadian adults are either overweight or obese, with obesity in children increasing three-fold over the past 2 decades.
•  Consumption of soft drinks containing sugar has been linked to weight gain and an increased risk for development of type 2 diabetes.
•  Studies have revealed that obese people have twice the rate of chronic health problems as people of normal weight. This includes a 100% greater chance of developing Type 2 diabetes, 50% increased likelihood of developing heart disease. Obese men are nearly 90% more likely to get colon cancer.
•  Junk food diet is a major cause of heart diseases.
•  High cholesterol resulting from junk food puts undue strain on the liver, causing long-term damage to this essential organ. •  Research has suggested that diets high in fat may also impair essential brain functions, like concentration and memory.

The junk food facts about soft drinks alone are alarming. There is compelling evidence that regular consumption of soft drinks leads to:
•  Increased rates of bone fracture
•  Increased risk for osteoporosis
•  Increased risk of weight gain and obesity
•  Increased risk for Type II Diabetes
•  Increased risk for kidney stones •
• Increased rate of tooth decay and other dental problems.
Junk food facts are numerous, and the negative effect of junk food on health and wellbeing is undeniable.
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2.  THE SCHOOL LUNCH PROGRAM
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USDA calls for dramatic change in school lunches
1/12/2011, USA Today, by Nanci Hellmich
The proposed rule applies to school breakfast and lunch, but not to what’s sold in vending machines and school stores. [We’ll cut back feeding you dangerous food products, but if you have cash we’ll sell them to you. lp]

Hold the French fries and salt!

The government is calling for dramatic changes in school meals, including limiting French fries, sodium and calories and offering students more fruits and vegetables.

The proposed rule, being released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will raise the nutrition standards for meals for the first time in 15 years.

This is the “first major improvement” in the standards that “we’ve seen in a generation, and it reflects the seriousness of the issue of obesity,” says Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

About a third of children and adolescents — 25 million kids – are obese or overweight. Extra pounds put children at a greater risk of developing type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and other health problems. An analysis in 2005 found that children today may lead shorter lives by two to five years than their parents because of obesity. [This will remove that generation from receiving longer term Social Security benefits, the funds won’t be available anyway.]

Vilsack says addressing the childhood obesity problem is critical for kids’ health, future medical costs and national security, as so many young adults are too heavy to serve in the military.

The new meal standards are designed to improve the health of nearly 32 million children who eat lunch at school every day and almost 11 million who eat breakfast. Overall, kids consume about 30% to 50% of their calories while at school.

Among the requirements for school meals outlined in the proposed rule:

  • Decrease the amount of starchy vegetables, such as potatoes, corn and green peas, to one cup a week.
  • Reduce sodium in meals over the next 10 years [Why not reduce the sodium over summer break, why wait 10 years? lp]. A high school lunch now has about 1,600 milligrams of sodium. Through incremental changes, that amount should be lowered over the next decade to 740 milligrams or less of sodium for grades through 9 through 12; 710 milligrams or less for grades 6 through 8; 640 milligrams or less for kindergarten through fifth grades.
  • Establish calorie maximums and minimums for the first time [No one thought to have a Nutritionist do this in the past?-(smile) – lp]. For lunch: 550 to 650 calories for kindergarten through fifth grade; 600 to 700 for grades 6 through 8; 750 to 850 for grades 9 through 12.
  • Serve only unflavored 1% milk or fat-free flavored or unflavored milk. Currently, schools can serve milk of any fat content.
  • Increase the fruits and vegetables kids are offered. The new rule requires that a serving of fruit be offered daily at breakfast and lunch and that two servings of vegetables be offered daily at lunch.
  • Over the course of a week, there must be a serving of each of the following: green leafy vegetables, orange vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, summer squash), beans, starchy and other vegetables. This is to make sure that children are exposed to a variety of vegetables.
  • Increase whole grains substantially [Substantially? Why not serve only whole grains? lp]. Currently, there is no requirement regarding whole grains, but the proposed rules require that half of grains served must be whole grains.
  • Minimize trans fat by using products where the nutrition label says zero grams of trans fat per serving.

Vilsack says the government is not trying to “dictate” what people eat but is trying to help parents make sure their youngsters “are as healthy, happy, productive and as successful as God intended them to be.”

Implementing the new meal standards is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama on Dec. 13.

The proposed rule applies to school breakfast and lunch, but not to what’s sold in vending machines and school stores. Those will be addressed later in a separate rule.

Cleaning up the “school nutrition environment” would make a big difference to kids’ diets — and teach them good eating habits that could affect them the rest of their lives, says Margo Wootan, director of nutrition policy for the Center for Science in the Public Interest and an advocate of healthier school meals. “Kids learn by doing, and so serving a healthy meal is such an important part of their education.”

Wootan says the challenge now is for school food-service personnel to make these changes, which will cost more. “They need technical assistance, support, model recipes, model product specifications. They need to know how to make a healthier chicken nugget or healthier pizza.

“There are schools already serving healthy foods that kids really like. The problem is that not enough schools know how to do it.”

Currently, schools receive $2.72 from the federal government for every child who is on the free lunch program. Schools that meet the new standards will get another 6 cents per meal.

Nancy Rice, president of the School Nutrition Association, a non-profit professional organization representing school food-service professionals, says that schools are going to have to “stretch limited food-service dollars. We are going to have to do the best we can and to try to cut in other areas. Everything we are doing is to benefit kids.”

Cutting back on fries could be a shock to some students, she says. Some school systems still sell fries every day in a la carte lines, she says. “But the vast majority of the school systems are already limiting French fries, and when they are serving them, they are baking them.”

The agriculture department is asking for input on the proposed rule during a public comment period that ends April 13. When the regulation is final, schools will be required to meet the new standards to get government reimbursement on school meals. The rule does not need congressional approval.

A current typical lunch menu is seen below.
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.[Pizza, pizza, pizza, country fried ‘this’ and ‘that’, cold cut meats, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, alfredo sauce (heart attack on a plate)…Once in a while, any of these meals would be alright, but a daily diet is not healthy. It is socially immoral to injure the health of children and the general population with the kind of foods allowed and fostered upon us by people who are supppose to know better.. Well, actually they do know better, it is a profit driven endeavor, even at the expense of the health of your and my children, our grandchildren and of own our own bodies.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government complains that Health Care and Medicare cost too much. What can they expect from allowing us to be slowly poisoned by innappropriate public foods? So,they  turn the blame on to the heads of we sheeple-people.
Please note, if terrorists killed and maimed as many people, and caused as much economic hardship as junk foods fed to our children and offerred through out the core area of the grocery stores, FEMA would be on a permanent Red Alert. So, while we loose our freedoms for the sake of ‘potential’ safety from terrorists, our bodies are destroyed by bad food–and there is narry a word of caution from the governement, nor an advertising campaign, or a punative tax on high fat, high salt, high calorie, high sugar foods. While the terrorist may kill us by the 10’s each year, the bad food is killing us by the several 100,000’s every year…but, that’s business as usual. Mr Larry]
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3.     OBESITY

A.  Reasons Why So Many People Are Overweight
by Eric Cho
http://www.activefitnessworld.com/articles/food/overweight.php

Obesity has become a huge problem for most people living in developed countries. Today, 30% of children between the ages of 10 and 17 are obese and 60% of all adults are either overweight or obese. There are many reasons for our overweight problem.

Obesity is responsible for increased rates of stroke, heart attack, type II diabetes, and even some forms of cancer. In fact it is responsible for as many premature deaths as smoking. Obesity has now become a threat to our longevity.

On the surface it would seem that the underlying reason is really quite simple. If a person takes in more calories than the person burns, weight gain is the final outcome. These factors certainly play a role in obesity but there are more factors which contribute to this problem.

Modern society has changed a great deal from just a couple of generations ago when agriculture and manual labor were common place. Today people spend a great deal of the day sitting at a desk in an office, driving the car, or relaxing on the sofa at home. All of which has affected the overall health of people living in developed countries.

By the time a person arrives home, the last thing most are thinking about is going for a walk or heading off to the gym. Combine that with the idea that as a nation we eat just as much food, if not more than our ancestors did without nearly as much physical exertion and suddenly the recipe for obesity becomes very clear.

But there is more to it. Statistics show that we have actually doubled our food intake. This is where the fast food industry is to blame. Everything has been super sized and not in a good way either with most of these foods being high in trans fatty acids (the bad fat) and sugar, it is easy to see that weight gain is inevitable.

But the fast food industry cannot take all the credit. Our schooling system has allowed vending machines to offer children fast food and soft drinks with provides no nutritional value and empty calories. School cafeterias that serve food are hardly a step above fast food. Add to that, most parents nowadays don’t have time to cook traditional wholesome foods due their hectic work schedule and as a result buy convenience foods which are also high in fat and sugar and low in nutrition.

As well both children and adults are now more sedentary than any other time in history. PE is no longer mandatory in schools; recess time has almost disappeared, after school play time has been replaced with the Xbox or Gameboy. Now instead of the entire body getting a workout only the thumbs do.

Most adults are too busy or too tired to add an exercise regime to their day and even something as simple as a walk can seem demanding. The result is people do not have time to burn off all those excess calories that they are consuming through the day.

Statistics show that if adults in the home are overweight then chances are that their children will also be overweight. Statistics have shown that when adults in the home are not physically active children in the home will not be active either. Studies have confirmed that both good and bad eating habits are developed in the home. It is a combination of what adults allow their children to eat and what they serve their children which is contributing to our overweight crisis.

The reasons for our overweight problem are complex. Increasing physical activity and improving nutrition are great ways to start to work towards a solution to this

B.  Obesity Epidemic “Astronomical”
The prognosis for the nation is bad and getting worse as obesity takes its toll on the health of adults and children alike.
May 16.2011, WebMD Feature, by R.Morgan Griffin, Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD.
http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/obesity-epidemic-astronomical

One of the biggest health stories of the year has been the rise in obesity among both adults and children in the U.S. We’ve all heard so much about the “obesity epidemic” that it’s easy to think the story is being blown out of proportion. After all, people putting on a few pounds may not seem to warrant the proclamation of a national emergency.

But while obesity may not be the Black Death, it is a severe public health crisis. Experts agree that as more and more obese children become obese adults, the diseases associated with obesity, such as heart disease, cancer, and especially diabetes will surge. That will mean a lot of sick people.

According to Marion Nestle, PhD, MPH, chair of the department of nutrition and food studies at New York University, the costs of these illnesses will be “astronomical.”

James O. Hill, PhD, agrees. Hill, director of the Center for Human Nutrition at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, claims that at the rate we’re going, obesity-related diabetes alone “will break the bank of our healthcare system.”

So one has to wonder how obesity got so out of control that we reached this crisis. And more importantly, how do we stop it?

_1)  The Causes
So what’s causing the epidemic? Not surprisingly, everyone agrees that it stems from two things: eating too much and exercising too little. The differences are in the specifics.

Although people may toss around the idea of genetics in obesity, genes can’t really explain what’s happening, Hill says. While a person may have a genetic predisposition toward a certain body type, the fact that each succeeding generation is heavier than the last proves that changes in our environment are playing the key role.

Hill believes the culprit may be a decrease in our physical activity, arguing that because of shifts in how we live and work, we don’t get as much exercise as previous generations did.

Nestle agrees that exercise is important, but she lays more stress on eating habits. In her book Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, Nestle argues that recommendations about healthy eating are overwhelmed by the hundreds of billions of dollars worth of advertising for junk foods that we’re subjected to at home and even in public schools. And as fast food companies and chains compete with one another by increasing portion sizes, our waists are increasing proportionately.

[Chart: 1900-2000, comparing the growth of diabetes (red), obesity (blue) and cardiovascular disease (green) during the 20th Century.]

_2)  The Numbers
Despite the new attention paid to obesity by doctors, researchers, and the media, no discernable progress has been made in fighting obesity. According to most experts, it looks almost certain that obesity will get worse before it gets better.

Cynthia Ogden, PhD, a CDC epidemiologist, published the results of a study of weight in the United States that she conducted with other experts. The results were startling: 31% of adults are obese and 15% of children and teenagers age 6-19 are overweight. The proportion of obese people has been growing steadily for the last few decades. Although Ogden stresses that obesity is a problem for all groups and genders, it is particularly severe among certain ethnic groups. For instance, 50% of all non-Hispanic black women are obese.
Did Ogden see anything promising in the results of the study about obesity in the U.S.? “I didn’t see any hopeful signs,” she says.

_3)  Conflicting Recommendations
The seemingly contradictory reports in the media about what people should and shouldn’t be eating almost certainly don’t help things. For instance, proponents of protein diets argue that all of the accepted wisdom about eating a low-fat diet is wrong. Most experts don’t agree with them, but protein diets are being evaluated in studies now.

Where mainstream nutritionists and protein diet proponents agree is that the low-fat recommendations of the 1990s didn’t quite work. “People took the low-fat message and decided that it meant that as long as they ate things that were low-fat, they could eat as much as they wanted,” says William Dietz, MD, PhD, the director of the division of nutrition and physical activity in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion at the CDC. That isn’t the case, since calories add up, no matter what form they come in. Even worse, many of the low-fat snacks that companies developed actually had higher calories than their regular-fat equivalents, Dietz observes.

According to Nestle, the media also have a tendency of confusing things by reporting the results of scientific studies out of context. She argues that the relative stability of the dietary and fitness recommendations over the years — eat less fat and more fruits and vegetables, exercise regularly — is obscured by the media, which are more interested in exciting stories about radical diets or the effects of particular “miracle” foods or vitamins.

_4)  Surgical Options
An increasingly common treatment for severe obesity is bariatric surgery, such as “stomach stapling” in which the size of the stomach is surgically reduced. It’s gotten a high profile as some obese celebrities and public figures have undergone the procedure with dramatic results. It’s even becoming more common among teenagers. While bariatric surgery is necessary and life-saving in some cases, is it a reasonable treatment for obesity in America?

“Surgery is an effective last resort,” says Dietz, “and many people are so obese, with a body mass index over 40, that they’re at the last resort stage.” However, if obesity continues to worsen, so many people will require surgery that it will become impossible to operate on all of them. “It’s difficult for me to see how we’ll be able or willing to perform surgery on 100 million Americans,” says Hill. Instead, the only real answer is in preventing people from getting to the point of surgery in the first place.

_5)  The Problems With Prevention
As with other public health campaigns, such as the efforts to get people to stop smoking or to practice safe sex, results of the campaign against obesity will come gradually. But Dietz sees reason for hope.
“I think that in the last three years, we’ve seen a dramatic shift in the attitudes of policy makers toward obesity,” Dietz tells WebMD. “There is now a huge amount of attention being paid to the condition,” he says, and that’s an important first step

_6)  What Should I Do?
While the news about preventing and treating obesity on a national scale may be depressing, it’s important not to confuse a national health problem with your own, individual efforts to lose weight and live a more healthy life. While changing society may be tricky, changing yourself is considerably easier.

For instance, many people are able to lose weight and keep it off successfully, and even small reductions in weight can significantly decrease your health risks. Much of Hill’s research has focused on the National Weight Loss Registry in Colorado, which Hill co-founded, that tracks the progress and habits of people who have lost weight and kept it off.

Hill reports that while people in the registry lost weight on all sorts of different diets, including protein diets, they tended to shift to a low-fat and high carbohydrate diet to maintain their weight loss. And on average, they exercised every day. While Hill stresses that most registry members say it wasn’t easy, they almost uniformly believe that losing weight was worth the sacrifices.
So rather than get overwhelmed by depressing statistics or confused by competing theories of how to lose weight, it may be best to stick to the established recommendations about eating well and exercising regularly. Doing what you can might make a big difference.

C.  Obesity Threatens to Cut U.S. Life Expectancy, New Analysis Suggests
Wednesday, March 16, 2005, NIH News, National Institute of Health, Dollemore contact Doug.http://www.nih.gov/news/pr/mar2005/nia-16.htm

Over the next few decades, life expectancy for the average American could decline by as much as 5 years unless aggressive efforts are made to slow rising rates of obesity, according to a team of scientists supported in part by the National Institute on Aging (NIA), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The U.S. could be facing its first sustained drop in life expectancy in the modern era, the researchers say, but this decline is not inevitable if Americans — particularly younger ones — trim their waistlines or if other improvements outweigh the impact of obesity. The new report in the March 17, 2005 issue of The New England Journal of Medicine appears little more than a year after the DHHS unveiled a new national education campaign and research strategy to combat obesity and excessive weight.

The new analysis, by S. Jay Olshansky, PhD, of the University of Illinois at Chicago, Leonard Hayflick, Ph.D., of the University of California, San Francisco, Robert N. Butler, M.D., of the International Longevity Center in New York, and others suggests that the methods used to establish life expectancy projections, which have long been based on historic trends, need to be reassessed. This reevaluation is particularly important, they say, as obesity rates surge in today’s children and young adults.

“Forecasting life expectancy by extrapolating from the past is like forecasting the weather on the basis of its history,” Olshansky and his colleagues write. “Looking out the window, we see a threatening storm — obesity —that will, if unchecked, have a negative effect on life expectancy.”

Unlike historic life expectancy forecasts, which rely on past mortality trends, the Olshansky group bases their projection on an analysis of body mass indexes and other factors that could potentially affect the health and well-being of the current generation of children and young adults, some of whom began having weight problems very early in life. The authors say that unless steps are taken to curb excessive weight gain, younger Americans will likely face a greater risk of mortality throughout life than previous generations.

“This work paints a disturbing portrait of the potential effect that life styles of baby boomers and the next generation could have on life expectancy,” says Richard M. Suzman, Ph.D., Associate Director of the NIA for Behavioral and Social Research. Indeed, Suzman notes, obesity may already have had an effect. The sharp increase of obesity among people now in their 60s, he suggests, may be one explanation why the gains in U.S. life expectancy at older ages have been less than those of other developed countries in recent years.

“But it is critical to note that the reduced life expectancy forecast by the study is not inevitable, and there is room for optimism,” Suzman says. “Government and private sector efforts are mobilizing against obesity, and increased education, improved medical treatments, and reduced smoking can tip the balance in favor of reduced mortality and continued improvements in life expectancy.”

For instance, smoking significantly reduces the life expectancy of the average smoker, Suzman says, so obesity is just one of many factors that will need to be accounted for, together or separately, in projecting how Americans will age. The NIA supports several projects on population demography that forecast life and health expectancy, research which is critically important to policy makers looking at the implications of an aging population.

According to the NEJM report, studies suggest that two-thirds of American adults are overweight (having a body mass index — BMI — of 25 or more) or obese (having a BMI of 30 or more). One study cited by the authors indicates that the prevalence of obesity in U.S. adults has increased about 50 percent per decade since 1980. Additional research has shown that people who are severely obese — with a BMI greater than 45 — live up to 20 years less than people who are not overweight. Some researchers have estimated that obesity causes about 300,000 deaths in the U.S. annually. In addition, obesity is fueling an epidemic of type 2 diabetes, which also reduces lifespan.

The overall reduction in life expectancy of one-third to three-fourths of a year attributed to obesity in this analysis exceeds the negative effect of all accidental deaths combined, and could deteriorate over time, the researchers said.

“These trends suggest that the relative influence of obesity on the life expectancy of future generations could be markedly worse than it is for current generations,” Olshansky and the authors conclude in their report. “In other words, the life-shortening effect of obesity could rise …to two to five years, or more, in the coming decades, as the obese who are now at younger ages carry their elevated risk of death into middle and older ages.”

The projected decline contrasts with estimates by other leading researchers, which predict a continuation of the historic trend of increasing life expectancy in America and Europe dating back to the 1850s, according to Dr. Suzman. In fact, he points out that the experience of other developed nations is instructive as a barometer of how much room might exist to increase U.S. life expectancy. More than 20 other developed nations, including France, Japan, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom have a higher average life expectancy than the U.S. Women in Japan, for example, live about 5 years longer than women in the U.S. There is little evidence that life expectancy in these countries is approaching any kind of limit, Suzman says.
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4.  DIABETES
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A.  Diabetes costs USA more than wars, disasters, study says
23 January 2008, USA TODAY, By Liz Szabo
http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2008-01-23-diabetes-cost_N.htm

About 17.5 million people in the USA have diabetes, and an additional 6 million have it but don’t know it. Costs associated with the disease: Medical costs: $116 billion, Lost productivity: $58 billion. (Source: American Diabetes Association)

Uncontrolled diabetes wreaks havoc on the body, often leading to kidney failure, blindness and death. A new study shows that the nation’s unchecked diabetes epidemic exacts a heavy financial toll as well: $174 billion a year. That’s about as much as the conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and the global war on terrorism combined. It’s more than the $150 billion in damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.

The incidence of diabetes has ballooned — there are 1 million new cases a year — as more Americans become overweight or obese, according to the study, released Wednesday by the American Diabetes Association. The cost of diabetes — both in direct medical care and lost productivity — has swelled 32% since 2002, the report shows.

Diabetes killed more than 284,000 Americans last year, according to the diabetes association.
Diabetes costs the nation nearly as much as cancer, whose costs in 2006 totaled $206.3 billion, although cancer kills twice as many people, according to the American Cancer Society.

Even those without diabetes help pay the bill. The mounting costs affect everyone with insurance, through rising premiums and copays, says Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute, who was not involved with the report. About half of diabetics have medical insurance through government programs such as Medicare, the report shows.

Providing routine care — such as doctor’s visits and medications — costs relatively little, according to the report. The real expenses come from uncontrolled diabetes, which can lead patients to require dialysis and kidney transplants, says Ann Albright, a diabetes expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and president of health care and education at the American Diabetes Association, which paid for the study.

About half of diabetes costs go to inpatient hospital care, the study shows. Because diabetes makes people so much sicker, it increases the time that people stay in the hospital for other problems by nearly 50%.
Albright expects the number of people diagnosed with diabetes to increase, given that many Americans are “pre-diabetic,” with problems handling insulin and sugar.

Diabetes “will ruin a generation of Americans,” says Helen Darling, president of the National Business Group on Health, a non-profit that represents large employers. Over the next few decades, she says, diabetes will handicap both state and local economies, as communities divert money from education and other important areas to care for patients. “It’s a sad story that should cause us to take action,” Albright says.

B.  Success and Opportunities for Population-based Prevention and Control: At A Glance 2010
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/resources/publications/AAG/ddt.htm

_1) What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease in which the body has a shortage of insulin, a decreased ability to use insulin, or both. Insulin is a hormone that allows glucose (sugar) to enter cells and be converted to energy. When diabetes is not controlled, glucose and fats remain in the blood and, over time, damage vital organs.
•  Type 1 diabetes usually is first diagnosed in children and young adults, although the disease can occur at any age. Type 1 may be autoimmune, genetic, or environmental and accounts for 5% of diabetes cases. There is no known way to prevent this type of diabetes.
•  Type 2 diabetes, which is linked to obesity and physical inactivity, accounts for 90%–95% of diabetes cases and most often occurs in people older than 40. Type 2 is associated with older age, obesity, family history of diabetes, history of gestational diabetes, impaired glucose metabolism, physical inactivity, race, and ethnicity. Type 2 diabetes in children and adolescents, although still rare, is being diagnosed more frequently among American Indians, African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, and Asians/Pacific Islanders.
•  Prediabetes is a condition in which a person has blood glucose levels higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. An estimated 57 million American adults had prediabetes in 2007. People with this condition have an increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

_2) Diabetes Is Common, Disabling, and Deadly
•  23.6 million people in the United States (7.8% of the total population) have diabetes. Of these, 5.7 million have undiagnosed diabetes.
•  In 2007, about 1.6 million new cases of diabetes were diagnosed in people aged 20 years or older.
•  African American, Hispanic, American Indian, and Alaska Native adults are twice as likely as white adults to have diabetes.
•  If current trends continue, 1 in 3 Americans will develop diabetes sometime in their lifetime, and those with diabetes will lose, on average, 10–15 years of life.
•  Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness, kidney failure, and nontraumatic lower-extremity amputations among adults.
•  Diabetes was the sixth leading cause of death on U.S. death certificates in 2006. Overall, the risk for death among people with diabetes is about twice that of people without diabetes of similar age.
•  In 1999–2000, 7% of U.S. adolescents aged 12–19 years had impaired fasting glucose (prediabetes), putting them at increased risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

_3) Diabetes Is Preventable and Controllable
Recent studies show that lifestyle changes can prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes among people at high risk.
•  For people with prediabetes, lifestyle changes, including a 5%–7% weight loss and at least 150 minutes of physical activity per week, can reduce the rate of onset of type 2 diabetes by 58%.

Disability and premature death are not inevitable consequences of diabetes. By working with their support network and health care providers, people with diabetes can prevent premature death and disability by controlling their blood glucose, blood pressure, and blood lipids and by receiving other preventive care in a timely manner.
•  Blood glucose control reduces the risk for eye, kidney, and nerve diseases among people with diabetes by about 40%.
•  Blood pressure control reduces the risk for heart disease and stroke among people with diabetes by 33%–50%. It reduces the risk for eye, kidney, and nerve diseases by about 33%.
•  Detecting and treating diabetic eye disease with laser therapy can reduce the risk for loss of eyesight by 50%–60%. Comprehensive foot care programs can reduce amputation rates by 45%–85%.

C.  Recognizing the signs of Diabetes
While diabetes was once recognized as an unfortunate disease that only affected a small number of people, today statistics indicate that more than 18 million people in the United States alone suffer from this disease. Perhaps even more startling is the fact that almost one-third of those individuals may remain undiagnosed, largely to the failure to recognize the most common warning signs related to this disease.

One of the reasons that diabetes symptoms can be difficult to recognize is the fact that they can appear either gradually over a long period of time or dramatically and suddenly. Some of the symptoms that may be noticed include fatigue, frequent urination and excessive thirst. In some cases, sudden weight loss, urinary tract infections and blurred vision may also be noticed.

Due to the fact that diabetes can lead to a number of serious health issues such as blindness, heart disease and nerve and kidney damage, it is extremely important that you be tested for diabetes if you suffer from symptoms associated with the disease. While these symptoms are commonly associated with diabetes, keep in mind that in some cases diabetes presents absolutely no signs or symptoms. Therefore, if you are over the age of 45 or fall into a high risk category, you should make a point to be tested for diabetes at least once every couple of years.
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5.  EXERCISE-ENERGY BALANCE

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A.   Exercise trends
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exercise_trends

Worldwide, there has been a large shift towards less physically demanding work. This has been accompanied by increasing use of mechanized transportation, a greater prevalence of labor saving technology in the home, and less active recreational pursuits. At least 60% of the world’s population does not get sufficient exercise. This is true in almost all developed and developing countries, and among children.

These exercise trends are contributing to the rising rates of chronic diseases including: obesity, heart disease, heart disease, stroke and high cholestrol. Active transport such as walking and bicycling, etc. have been found to be inversely related to obesity in Europe, North America, and Australia. Thus exercise has been associated with a decrease in mortality.

One of the causes most prevalent in the developing world is urbanization. As more of the population moves to cities, population over-crowding, increased poverty, increased levels of crime, high-density traffic, low air quality and lack of parks, sidewalks and recreational sports facilities leads to a less active lifestyle.
Physical inactivity is increasing or high among many groups in the population including: young people, women, and the elderly.
A number of factors has been associated with physical inactivity at a population level including: female gender, older age, living with a partner, smoking, little schooling and poverty.

Studies in children and adults have found an association between the number of hours of television watched and the prevalence of obesity. A 2008 meta analysis found that 63 of 73 studies (86%) showed an increased rate of childhood obesity with increased media exposure, and rates increasing proportionally to time spent watching television.

Americans have become less physicallyh active overall between 1955 and 2005. While the rate of leisure-time physical activity has not changed significantly there has been a decrease in work-related activity, human powered transportation, activity in the home, and increasing sedentary activity. During 2000 and 2005 the number of adults who were never physically active increased from 9.4% to 10.3% while the number who were engaged in the highest level of physical activity decreased from 18.7% to 16.7%. Pertaining to leisure-time physical activity, people involved in no activity increased from 38.5% to 40.0% while those who spent most of their day sitting increased from 36.8% to 39.9%.

In 2000 the CDC estimated that more than 40% of the US population was sedentary, another 30% was active but not sufficiently and less than 30% had an adequate level of physical activity. There has been a trend toward decreased physical activity in part due to increasingly mechanized forms of work, changing modes of transportation, and increasing urbanization. Obesity rates have increased in relation to expanding suburbs. This has been attributed to increased time spent commuting, leading to less exercise and less meal preparation at home. Driving one’s children to school has become increasingly popular. In the USA the proportion of children who walk or bike to school declined between 1969 (42%) and 2001 (16%) resulting in less exercise.

 B.    Warning: Lack of Exercise Is Detrimental To Your Health
By Jim O’Connor
http://ezinearticles.com/?Warning:-Lack-of-Exercise-Is-Detrimental-To-Your-Health&id=110610
Jim O’Connor, A Beverly Hills celebrity fitness consultant, has conducted thousands of personal fitness consultations with celebrities, business executives, and highly motivated individuals throughout Los …

You just put in a good 10 hour day in front of your computer screen, and the last thing you want to do is exercise. Let’s see, exercise, and improve your fitness level, or sit down with a glass of wine and watch your favorite evening television show. What would you do? Seventy percent of individuals know they should exercise, but choose the wine and the television program instead.

Do you know this simple daily decision can end up being detrimental to your health? According to the CDC, 54.1% of adults don’t do the minimum level of exercise or physical activity recommended for wellness. The slogan “use it or lose it” has never been more true.

The simple innocent choice of not exercising has shown, in studies, to promote 10 serious health conditions you don’t ever want to develop. The bottom line is physical inactivity has a lot of unhealthy implications even at our bodies cellular level. At the cellular level, inactivity decreases the ability to transfer oxygen from your blood stream to your cells, and also decreases the number of power activating mitochondria. However, the worst cost of not exercising or being physically active can result in the following 10 devastating conditions:
_1)   Cancer – Studies have shown that fitness enthusiastic men and women who are physically active have a 30 to 40 percent lower risk of colon cancer compared to individuals who are inactive.
_2)   Diabetes – Studies show lack of regular physical exercise increases insulin sensitivity. Diabetes is considered the “sedentary disease” which is striking people at an alarming rate. If it is not controlled, it can destroy the body’s organs.
_3)   Heart – Lack of consistent physical activity, over time, decreases the function of the heart muscle, affects the blood vessels, including the large aortic artery to the veins and small capillaries. According to many studies, scientists have good reason to believe that regular exercise protects the heart.
_4)   Stroke Regular exercisers are 25% less likely to have a stroke than their sedentary counterparts. Being fit lowers blood pressure, raises HDL cholesterol, and reduces the risk of blood clots.
_5)  BrainPeople who are physically active, according to solid evidence, are at lower risk for cognitive decline and dementia.
_6)   Muscles – If you don’t exercise on a regular basis, you are at risk of losing some 6 percent of your muscles mass every decade of life from the age of 30 on. This also translates into a 10 – 15 percent loss of strength per decade. Once again, if you don’t use the muscle, you will lose the muscle quickly.
_7)   Osteoporosis – Fragile bones cause more than 1.5 million fractures each year in the U.S. Bone is like muscle, if you stress it, it responds. If you don’t, you gradually lose its strength, and increase your chances of breaking them. Regular weekly strength training can help prevent osteoporosis, and decrease your chances of breaking a bone.
_
8)  Mental Health – People who don’t exercise on a regular basis are more prone to develop depression. According to a recent study, people who were more active were nearly 20 percent less likely to be diagnosed with depression over the next five years than less active people. Fitness conscious individuals also generally display an improved self esteem, or self image.
_9)
   WeightIf you are inactive, year in and year out, you will eventually gain weight and lose fitness which increases the chance of a heart attacks, and diabetes.
_10)  Immune SystemModerate amounts of exercise reduces the risk of upper respiratory infection. Regular exercise may boost immune function.

Now I would like to ask that same question I asked above. What would you do? Wine and television, or physical activity? Now for the good news! In as little as 30 minutes of exercise or fitness work each day, you can significantly decrease your chances of developing any of these horrible conditions mentioned above. This is the best “medicine” any doctor can possibly prescribe!

C.  Aging and What To Do About It – The value of exercise
http://www.faqs.org/health-encyc/The-Lifetime-of-a-Human-Being/Aging-and-What-To-Do-About-It-The-value-of-exercise.html
As you grow older, exercise can help you look, feel, and work better. Various organs and systems of the body, particularly the digestive process, are stimulated through activity, and, as a result, work more effectively.
You can improve your posture through exercise that tones supporting muscles. This not only improves appearance, but can decrease the frequency of lower-back pain and disability.

Here are some other benefits of exercise:
•  it can increase your ability to relax and tolerate fatigue;
•  it improves muscle tone; reduces fat deposits;
•  increases working capacity of the lungs;
•  improves kidney and liver functions;
•  increases volume of blood, hemoglobin, and red blood cells, leading to improved utilization of oxygen and iron.

Also, physically active people are less likely to experience a heart attack or other forms of cardiovascular disease than sedentary people. Moreover, an active person who does suffer a coronary attack will probably have a less severe form. The Public Health Service studied 5,000 adults in Framingham, Mass., for more than a decade. When any member of the group suffered a heart attack, his physical activity was reviewed. It was found that more inactive people suffered more fatal heart attacks than active members.

_1) Walking for Exercise
Exercise need not be something you must do, but rather something you enjoy doing. One of the most practical and enjoyable exercises is walking. Charles Dickens said: “Walk and be happy, walk and be healthy. The best of all ways to lengthen our days is to walk, steadily and with a purpose. The wandering man knows of certain ancients, far gone in years, who have staved off infirmities and dissolution by earnest walking—hale fellows close upon eighty and ninety, but brisk as boys.”

The benefits of walking were revealed in a recent Health Insurance Plan study of 110,000 people in New York City. Those who had heart attacks were divided into two groups—walkers and non walkers. The first four weeks of illness were reviewed for both groups. At the end of the time 41 percent of the non walkers were dead, while only 23 percent of the walkers were. When all physical activity was considered, 57 percent of the inactive had died compared to only 16 percent of those who had some form of exercise.

Walking is as natural to the human body as breathing. It is a muscular symphony; all the foot, leg, and hip muscles and much of the back musculature are involved. The abdominal muscles tend to contract and support their share of the weight, and the diaphragm and rib muscles increase their action. There is automatic action of the arm and shoulder muscles; the shoulder and neck muscles get play as the head is held erect; the eye muscles are exercised as you look about you.

_2) Other Types of Exercise
Swimming and bicycling exercise most of the muscles, and gardening is highly recommended. The fresh air is beneficial, the bending, squatting, and countless other movements exercise most parts of the body.

Surprisingly, most games do not provide good exercise. According to a physical fitness research laboratory at the University of Illinois, the trouble with most games is that the action is intermittent—starting and stopping—a burst of energy and then a wait. The bowler swings a ball for two and one-half seconds and gets about one minute of actual muscular work per game.
Golf is a succession of pause, swing, walk—or, more often, a ride to the next pause, swing, and so on. Also, you spend a lot of time standing and waiting for the party ahead and for your partners.
Tennis gives one more exercise but it too involves a great deal of starting and stopping, as does handball.
No game has the essential, tension-releasing pattern of continuous, vigorous, rhythmic motion found in such activities as walking, running, or jogging.
For formal exercises, you could join a gym, but you might find your enthusiasm waning after a few weeks. You could also exercise at home; there are many excellent books on exercise that provide programs for you to follow at home on a daily basis.

[For readers of the 4dtraveler blog: I have been doing exercises 7 days a week for the last 4 years since my retirement. My early morning, before breakfast regime includes: A not too difficult exercise of 16 minutes Tai Chi, 14 minutes of walking and 11 minutes Yoga. That 14 minute walk amounts to 2,000 steps which is about 1 mile distance. During mid morning, I walk another 1,000 steps (1/2 mile) and take another short 1,000 step walk later in the day. These exercises are in addition to any normal activies about the house, an do not include any form of shopping, all of which are extra.]

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6.     SAME DOLLARS, LESS FOOD  (food cost inflation)

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A.  Objects in store are smaller than they appear
November 09, 2008, Los Angeles Times, staff writer Jerry Hirsch
<http://articles.latimes.com/2008/nov/09&gt;

It is hard to spot what happened this year in the peanut butter aisles of local supermarkets.

But a careful look at the jars of Skippy on the shelves may reveal a surprise. The prices are about the same, but the jars are getting smaller.

They don’t look different in size or shape. But recently, the jars developed a dimple in the bottom that slices the contents to 16.3 ounces from 18 ounces — about 10% less peanut butter.

The only way to know you are buying less is to look at the weight on the label and recognize it’s lighter than before Unilever, owner of the Skippy brand, switched out containers.

Across the supermarket, manufacturers are trimming packages, nipping a half-ounce off that bar of soap, narrowing the width of toilet paper and shrinking the size of ice cream containers.

Often the changes are so subtle that they create “the illusion that you are buying the same amount,” explained Frank Luby, a pricing consultant with Simon-Kucher & Partners of Cambridge, Mass.

To shoppers it may seem like getting less, but companies say cutting quantity is a common way to avoid raising prices.

It’s an age-old dilemma for manufacturers juggling prices, container sizes and profits — at the same time coping with rising prices for ingredients and greater competition on supermarket shelves.

At international food giant Unilever, “we have chosen to reduce package sizes as one of our responses” to rising commodity and business expenses, said spokesman Dean Mastrojohn. He said the new smaller sizes are clearly marked on labels.

Shoppers understand the manufacturers’ dilemma, but also say they feel deceived at times.

Kathy Yukl of La Crescenta says she’s tired of going to the store and finding dimples in the bottoms of jars — she buys Skippy only when she has a coupon. She is annoyed that containers that once held half a gallon of ice cream, or 64 ounces, now have only 48 ounces. And she’s frustrated that cereal boxes are shrinking. “What these companies don’t realize is that their chronically deceptive marketing ploys tell us loud and clear that we absolutely cannot trust them for anything,” Yukl said.

Other shoppers agree. “I think the whole thing is deceitful, and yes, it does irritate me, and I do feel they are tricking the consumer,” said Bill Stone of Long Beach. “This practice, however, has been going on for many years and apparently the manufacturers feel it is to their advantage to try to slip these changes by the customer rather than announcing it.”

B.   Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags
March 28, 2011, New York Times, By Stephanie Clifford and Catherine Rampell.
<http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/29/business/29shrink.html&gt;

Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans.
As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.

With unemployment still high, companies in recent months have tried to camouflage price increases by selling their products in tiny and tinier packages. So far, the changes are most visible at the grocery store, where shoppers are paying the same amount, but getting less.

For Lisa Stauber, stretching her budget to feed her nine children in Houston often requires careful monitoring at the store. Recently, when she cooked her usual three boxes of pasta for a big family dinner, she was surprised by a smaller yield, and she began to suspect something was up.

Whole wheat pasta had gone from 16 ounces to 13.25 ounces,” she said. “I bought three boxes and it wasn’t enough — that was a little embarrassing. I bought the same amount I always buy, I just didn’t realize it, because who reads the sizes all the time?”

Ms. Stauber, 33, said she began inspecting her other purchases, aisle by aisle. Many canned vegetables dropped to 13 or 14 ounces from 16; boxes of baby wipes went to 72 from 80; and sugar was stacked in 4-pound, not 5-pound, bags, she said.

Five or so years ago, Ms. Stauber bought 16-ounce cans of corn. Then they were 15.5 ounces, then 14.5 ounces, and the size is still dropping. “The first time I’ve ever seen an 11-ounce can of corn at the store was about three weeks ago, and I was just floored,” she said. “It’s sneaky, because they figure people won’t know.”

In every economic downturn in the last few decades, companies have reduced the size of some products, disguising price increases and avoiding comparisons on same-size packages, before and after an increase. Each time, the marketing campaigns are coy; this time, the smaller versions are “greener” (packages good for the environment) or more “portable” (little carry bags for the takeout lifestyle) or “healthier” (fewer calories).

Where companies cannot change sizes — as in clothing or appliances — they have warned that prices will be going up, as the costs of cotton, energy, grain and other raw materials are rising.

“Consumers are generally more sensitive to changes in prices than to changes in quantity,” John T. Gourville, a marketing professor at Harvard Business School, said. “And companies try to do it in such a way that you don’t notice, maybe keeping the height and width the same, but changing the depth so the silhouette of the package on the shelf looks the same. Or sometimes they add more air to the chips bag or a scoop in the bottom of the peanut butter jar so it looks the same size.”

Thomas J. Alexander, a finance professor at Northwood University, said that businesses had little choice these days when faced with increases in the costs of their raw goods. “Companies only have pricing power when wages are also increasing, and we’re not seeing that right now because of the high unemployment,” he said.

Most companies reduce products quietly, hoping consumers are not reading labels too closely.

But the downsizing keeps occurring. A can of Chicken of the Sea albacore tuna is now packed at 5 ounces, instead of the 6-ounce version still on some shelves, and in some cases, the 5-ounce can costs more than the larger one. Bags of Doritos, Tostitos and Fritos now hold 20 percent fewer chips than in 2009, though a spokesman said those extra chips were just a “limited time” offer.

Trying to keep customers from feeling cheated, some companies are introducing new containers that, they say, have terrific advantages — and just happen to contain less product.

Kraft is introducing “Fresh Stacks” packages for its Nabisco Premium saltines and Honey Maid graham crackers. Each has about 15 percent fewer crackers than the standard boxes, but the price has not changed. Kraft says that because the Fresh Stacks include more sleeves of crackers, they are more portable and “the packaging format offers the benefit of added freshness,” said Basil T. Maglaris, a Kraft spokesman, in an e-mail.

And Procter & Gamble is expanding its “Future Friendly” products, which it promotes as using at least 15 percent less energy, water or packaging than the standard ones.

“They are more environmentally friendly, that’s true — but they’re also smaller,” said Paula Rosenblum, managing partner for retail systems research at Focus.com, an online specialist network. “They announce it as great new packaging, and in fact what it is is smaller packaging, smaller amounts of the product,” she said.


[1] Adequate exercise: a) 30 minutes moderately intensive exercise daily,  b) 30-45 min/day 5 days a week, c) 150+ minutes aerobic (walking, cycling) exercise /week

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Filed under Survival Manual, __2. Social Issues

Modern Air & Water, Part 3 of 3

(Survival Manual/2. Social Issues/ Death by 1000 cuts/ Modern Air & Water)

Modern Air & Water topics:
1.  Air pollution (it hasn’t gone away)
2.  Water, with chlorine, fluorine, pharmaceuticals and more.
3.  Berkey water purification system, Royal model
4.  Mercury in food & vaccines
5.  Pollution causes 40% of worldwide deaths

3.     Berkey Water purification system, Royal model

(The advertisement) The versatile Royal Berkey system (see arrow in picture below, 3.25 gallon capacity)  is the ideal system for use at home with large families, travel, outdoor activities or during unexpected emergencies. This powerful system purifies both treated water and untreated raw water from such sources as remote lakes, streams, stagnant ponds and water supplies in foreign countries, where regulations may be substandard at best. Perfect for outdoor activities and a must in hostile environments where electricity, water pressure or treated water may not be available. The Royal Berkey system removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely and extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes. It also reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury. This system is so powerful it can remove red food coloring from water without removing the beneficial minerals your body needs. Virtually no other system can duplicate this performance. Constructed of highly polished 304 stainless steel, the system comes complete with two purification elements and utilizes the latest technological advances. This system has a storage capacity of about 3.25 gallons (12.3 liters) and when in use it stands 23″ in height with a diameter of 9.5″. The upper chamber nests within the lower chamber for transport and stands only 15.25″ in height. Configured with two Black Berkey purification elements the system will purify up to 4 Gallons (15.1 liters) per hour. This system can be expanded to use four purification elements and is capable of purifying up to 8 Gallons (30.3 liters) per hour.
Price: $283 + any additional Purification Elements.
[The Royal Berkey Water Purification System that I have and use continuously at home, see white arrow below.-lfp]

Black Berkey Water Filters
http://www.berkeywaterfilters.com/blbetesp.html
Each Black Berkey is able to filter up to 3,000 gallons per filter element, making it one of the most cost-effective filters on the market.
[My Royal Berkey using 2 Black Berkey elements can therefore filter up to 6000 gallons water-lfp]

We tested the Black Berkey purification elements with more than 10,000 times the concentration of pathogens per liter than is required by standard test protocol. This concentration of pathogens is so great that the post filtered water should be expected to contain 100,000 or more pathogens per liter (99.99% reduction – the requirement for pathogenic removal). Incredibly the purification elements removed 100%. Absolutely no pathogens were cultured from the effluent or were able to be detected, even under an electron microscope, setting a new standard in water purification.

Under normal conditions it is recommended that each set of two PF-2™ elements be replaced after 1,000 gallons. The Royal Berkey®system is about 3.25 gallons therefore the PF-2™ filters should be replaced after 1,000/3.25 or 307 refills. If the system is refilled about one time per day, the PF-2™’s should be replaced after 10 months, if the system is refilled about twice per day, the PF-2™’s should be replaced about every five months). Actual capacity is dependent on the presence of other competing contaminants in the source water. High levels of Fluoride, arsenic and heavy metals may reduce the capacity and efficiency of the elements.

The ‘Black Berkey’ purification/filter elements (a 7 Log device, 99.99999%) remove or reduce the following:
– Pathogenic Bacteria and Cysts (E. Coli, Klebsiella, Pseudomonas Aeruginosa, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, Raoltella Terrigena) – Reduced to > 99.999% (100%)
– Viruses (MS2 – Fr Coliphage) – Reduced to >99.999%
– Parasites – Reduced to > 99.9999%
– Harmful or unwanted chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides
ChlorineRemoved to Below Detectable Limits (99.9999999%)
– Detergents

Organic solvents removal
– THM’s (Trihalomethanes – Bromodichloromethane, Bromoform, Chloroform, Dibromochloromethane) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits (99.99999%)
– MTBE’s (Methyl tert-Butyl Ehter) – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
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Table below: Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s) removed:

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
Removed to below detectable limits
Alachlor
Atrazine
Benzene
Carbofuran
Carbon Tetrachloride
Chlorine
Chlorobenzene
Chloroform
2,4-D
DBCP
p-Dichlorobenzene
o-Dichlorobenzene
1, 1-Dichloroethane
1, 2-Dichloroethane
1, 1-Dichloroethylene
cis 1, 2-Dichloroethylene
Trans  1,2-Dichloroethylene
1, 2-Dichloropropane
cis l,3-Dichloropropylene
Dinoseb
Endrin
Ethylbenzene
Ethylene Dibromide (EDB)
Heptachlor
Heptachlor Epoxide
Hexachlorobutodiene
Hexachlorocyclopentadiene
Lindane,
Methoxychlor
MTBE
Pentachlorophenol
Simazine
Styrene
1,1,2,2-Tetrachloroethane
Tetrachloroethylene
Toluene
2,4,5-TP (Silvex)
1,2,4-trichlorobenzene
1,1,1-trichloroethane
1,1,2-trichloroethane
Trichloroethylene
o-Xylene
m-Xylene
p-Xylene

– Cloudiness, removed.
– Silt, removed.
– Sediment, removed.
– Radiologicals – Radon 222 – Removed to Below Detectable Limits
– Nitrates & Nitrites, Greater than 95% reduction
– Heavy metals: Lead, Mercury, Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper  – Greater than 95% reduction.
– Fluoride- With PF-2 fluoride filter, Fluoride reduced greater than 95%
– Iron
Foul tastes and odor.

PF-2™ reduction elements are designed for use in conjunction with Black Berkey® water purification elements to absorb the following unwanted elements found in drinking water:
•   Fluoride
•   Arsenic V and pre-oxidized Arsenic III
•   Other residual heavy metal ions

Heavy Metals reduced by up to 95% by the Black Berkey Filter:

Contaminant Health effects
Lead kidney, nervous system damage
Mercury kidney, nervous system disorders
Aluminum respiratory, nervous system disorders
Cadmium kidney damage
Chromium liver, kidney, circulatory system disorders
Copper gastro-enteric diseases

 .My estimated filter change periods:

Use rate

(gallons per day)

Black Berkey   days/yrs

 Mfg Suggested      My Actual

PF-2   days/years

Mfg Suggested       My actual

1/2 12000/32                       4 2000/5                            2
1 6000/16                         4 1000/2.75                       2
2 3000/8                           4 500/1.36                         2

Change PF-2 every two years and change Black Berkey every 4 years (at every other PF-2 change) . Change more often if, even after cleaning, the filtration rate does not increase, but continues to become slower. Have one set each of  PF-2 ($55/pair) and Black Berkey Filters ($107/pair) on hand for emergency backup.

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4.    
Mercury in food & vaccines

 A.   Dumbing Down Society Part 2: Mercury in Foods and Vaccines
July 9th, 2010, By VC
http://vigilantcitizen.com/vigilantreport/dumbing-down-society-pt-2-mercury-in-foods-and-vaccines/
Even though mercury is known to degenerate brain neurons and disrupt the central nervous system, it is still found in processed foods and mandatory vaccines. In this second part of the series examining the intentional dumbing-down of society, this article will discuss the presence of mercury in common foods and vaccines.

The first article in this series – Dumbing Down Society Pt 1: Foods, Beverages and Meds – looked at the effects of aspartame, fluoride and prescription pills on the human brain. These substances all cause a decrease of cognitive power which, on a large scale, leads to a dumbing down of the population that is ingesting them. This second article focuses on another toxic product found in everyday foods and mandatory vaccines: mercury.

Mercury is a heavy metal naturally found in the environment. However, it is not suitable for human consumption, as it is extremely harmful to the human body, especially the brain. While some people say that anything can be consumed in moderation, many experts agree that no amount of mercury is safe for the human body. Despite this and the many studies concerning the negative effects of mercury, the heavy metal is continually added to mandatory vaccines and processed foods.

Mercury is known to cause brain neuron degeneration and to disturb the central nervous system. Direct exposure to the metal causes immediate and violent effects:

“Exposure to high levels of metallic, inorganic, or organic mercury can permanently damage the brain, kidneys, and developing fetus. Effects on brain functioning may result in irritability, shyness, tremors, changes in vision or hearing, and memory problems.”

Most people do not come in direct contact with mercury, but are exposed to small doses at a time, resulting in a slow but steady poisoning of the brain. As the years go by, the effects of the substance impairs judgment and rational thinking, decreases memory and disrupts emotional stability. In other words: It makes you dumber.

Mercury has also the unfortunate ability to transfer from pregnant woman to their unborn babies. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury passed on to the fetus during pregnancy may have lasting consequences, including memory impairment, diminished language skills and other cognitive complications.

It has been highly publicized that mercury is found in dangerous quantities in seafood, such as tuna, swordfish and tilefish. This creates a rather ironic situation: Instead of making you smarter because of all the Omega-3 they contain, the fish produce exactly the opposite effect on the brain due to mercury poisoning.

Unfortunately, mercury is also found in other products: vaccines and high-fructose corn syrup.

“I think it’s absolutely criminal to give mercury to an infant.” – Boyd Haley, Ph.D., Chemistry Department Chair, University of Kentucky

Mercury is found in great quantities in mandatory vaccines. Before we get into the details of it, here are some facts about vaccines in America as noted by Dr. Sherri Tenpenny:
•  The U.S. government is the largest purchaser of vaccines in the country. In fact, nearly 30 percent of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) annual budget is composed of purchasing vaccines and ensuring vaccination is completed for every child in the country.
•  Private insurance companies, which do the best liability studies, have completely abandoned coverage for damage to life and property due to: Acts of God, nuclear war, nuclear power plant accidents and … vaccination.
•  Laws have been passed to protect vaccine manufactures from liability, while at the same time, state laws require parents to inject their children with up to 100 vaccination antigens prior to entering school. If a vaccine injury–or death–occurs after a vaccine, parents cannot sue the doctor, the drug company or the government; they are required to petition the Vaccine Court for damages, a process that can take years and often ends with a dismissal of the case.
•  Each state has school vaccination laws that require children of appropriate age to be vaccinated for several communicable diseases. State vaccination laws mandate that children be vaccinated prior to being allowed to attend public or private schools. Failure to vaccinate children can not only result in children being prohibited from attending school, but their parents or guardians can receive civil fines and criminal penalties. Schools don’t usually tell parents is that in every state, an exemption exists allowing parents to legally refuse vaccines while still allowing their children to attend school.
•  The medical industry advocates vaccines, often demanding that parents vaccinate their children in order to remain under their doctor’s care. A sizable portion of a pediatrician’s income is derived from insurance reimbursement for vaccinations. The ever-expanding vaccination schedule that includes increasingly more expensive vaccines has been a source of increased revenues for vaccinating doctors.

Thimerosal
A child receives approximately 21 vaccines before the age of six and 6 more before the age of 18, for a total of 27 shots during childhood. Many of these injections contain Thimerosal, a preservative added to the shots, made of 49% mercury. The unprecedented use of mercury on children has created a generation of cognitively impaired children.

      “The symptoms experienced by children exposed to mercury are real and can be directly linked to the vaccines they were given as infants. It’s ironic that the vaccines given to these young people are meant to protect them, when in fact they are adversely affecting their neurological development.”
On top of causing an entire generation of babies to have their brains damaged, the use of Thimerosal in vaccines has been linked by many scientists to the staggering rise of autism in the past two decades. Did the dumbing-down campaign go too far?

      “In children who are fully vaccinated, by the sixth month of life they have received more mercury from vaccines than recommended by the EPA. There are many similarities in symptoms between mercury toxicity and autism, including social deficits, language deficits, repetitive behaviors, sensory abnormalities, cognition deficits, movement disorders, and behavioral problems. There are also similarities in physical symptoms, including biochemical, gastrointestinal, muscle tone, eurochemistry, neurophysiology, EEG measurements, and immune system/autoimmunity.”

Due to the suspected link between vaccines and autism, more than 5,000 U.S. families have filed claims in a federal vaccine court against the companies producing the vaccines. In most cases, the plaintiffs received no compensation and all correlation between the illness and vaccines was denied by the defendants. A public relations war has been going on for years, as studies and counter-studies have appeared, proving or denying the links between vaccines and autism, depending where they originate from. The studies claiming that vaccines are safe have often been funded by the very companies that produce them.

Despite the denials, Thimerosal is slowly–and silently–being phased out of vaccines for babies. Not too long after the phasing out began, cases of autism have sharply dropped in the country.

“Published in the March 10 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, the data show since mercury was removed from childhood vaccines, the reported rates of autism and other neurological disorders in children not only stopped increasing but actually dropped sharply – by as much as 35 percent. Using the government’s own databases, independent researchers analyzed reports of childhood neurological disorders, including autism, before and after removal of mercury-based preservatives.

According to a statement from the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons, or AAPS, the numbers from California show that reported autism rates hit a high of 800 in May 2003. If that trend had continued, the reports would have risen to more than 1,000 by the beginning of 2006. But the number actually went down to 620, a real decrease of 22 percent, and a decrease from the projection of 35 percent.
The phasing out of Thimerosal from vaccines intended for children is all well and good, but the preservative is still found in many vaccines intended for adults. Did someone realize that mercury in vaccines is too strong for children, making them sick and ultimately unproductive, but perfect to dumb-down fully developed adults? The ruling class is not looking to create a generation of autistic people who would need constant care, but a mass of “useful idiots” that can accomplish repetitive and mind-numbing tasks, while accepting without questioning what they are being told.

As of today, Thimerosal is still found in Influenza vaccines, commonly known as the flu shot. Those shots are seasonal, meaning that patients are encouraged to come back every winter to get their yearly vaccine/dose of mercury.

Makers of the Influenza vaccine say it boasts a “solid health record,” meaning the shot does not seem cause observable illnesses. What is NEVER discussed, however, is the slow and gradual brain neuron degeneration most individuals go through, year after year, due constant mercury poisoning. This process of slowing down brain functions is not easily observable nor quantifiable but it is still happening on a world-wide scale. If mercury can completely disrupt the fragile minds of children enough to possibly cause autism, it will, at the very least, impair fully developed minds.

Almost as if created to generate demands for vaccines, new diseases appear periodically around the world that, with the help of mass media scare campaigns, cause people to beg their officials for the miracle shot that they are told will cure everybody.

H1N1, also known as the Swine Flu, was the latest of those scary diseases that terrified millions of people for several months. When the shot became available, heavily promoted and massive vaccination campaigns sprung around the world. One fact that was not promoted: Swine flu was often easily curable, and not very different than the “regular” flu. Another fact that was not promoted: Most of the flu shots contained Thimerosal.

High-Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS)
A poison is a “substance that causes injury, illness, or death, especially by chemical means.”
Going by this definition, high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is truly a poison. HFCS is a highly processed sweetner made from corn that has been used since 1970. It continues to replace white sugar and sucrose in processed foods and is currently found in the majority of processed foods found in supermarkets. Studies have determined that Americans consume an average of 12 teaspoons a day of the sweetner.

Here’s a graph depicting the rise of HFCS in our diets:

Due to its sweetening propreties, HFCS is obviously found in sugary products like jams, soft drinks and pre-packaged baked goods. However, most people do not realize that it is also found in numerous other products, including soups, breads, pasta sauces, cereals, frozen entrees, meat products, salad dressings and condiments. HFCS is also found in so-called health products, including protein-bars, “low-fat” foods and energy drinks.How can something that taste so good be so bad?
Here are some facts about HFCS:
•  Research links HFCS to increasing rates of obesity and diabetes in North America, especially among children. Fructose converts to fat more than any other sugar. And being a liquid, it passes much more quickly into the blood stream.
•  Beverages containing HFCS have higher levels of reactive compounds (carbonyls), which are linked with cell and tissue damage leading to diabetes.
•  There is some evidence that corn fructose is processed differently in the body than cane sugar, leading to reduced feelings of satiation and a greater potential for over-consumption.
•  Studies by researchers at UC Davis and the University of Michigan have shown that consuming fructose, which is more readily converted to fat by the liver, increases the levels of fat in the bloodstream in the form of triglycerides.
•  Unlike other types of carbohydrate made up of glucose, fructose does not stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. Peter Havel, a nutrition researcher at UC Davis who studies the metabolic effects of fructose, has also shown that fructose fails to increase the production of leptin, a hormone produced by the body’s fat cells. Both insulin and leptin act as signals to the brain to turn down the appetite and control body weight. Havel’s research also shows that fructose does not appear to suppress the production of ghrelin, a hormone that increases hunger and appetite.
•  Because the body processes the fructose in HFCS differently than it does cane or beet sugar, it alters the way metabolic-regulating hormones function. It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream. The end result is that our bodies are essentially tricked into wanting to eat more, while at the same time, storing more fat.
•  A study in The Journal of the National Cancer Institute suggested that women whose diet was high in total carbohydrate and fructose intake had an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
•  HFCS interferes with the heart’s use of key minerals like magnesium, copper and chromium.
•  HFCS has been found to deplete the immune system by inhibiting the action of white blood cells. The body is then unable to defend against harmful foreign invaders.
•  Research suggests that fructose actually promotes disease more readily than glucose. Glucose is metabolized in every cell in the body, but all fructose must be metabolized in the liver. The livers of test animals fed large amounts of fructose develop fatty deposits and cirrhosis, similar to problems that develop in the livers of alcoholics.
•  HFCS is highly refined–even more so than white sugar.
•  The corn from which HFCS is derived is almost always genetically modified, as are the enzymes used in the refining process.
•  There are increasing concerns about the politics surrounding the economics of corn production (subsidies, tariffs, and regulations), as well as the effects of intensive corn agriculture on the environment.

Many studies have observed a strong correlation between the rise HFCS in the past years and the rise of obesity during the same period of time.
Obesity, on top of being unhealthy for the body, directly affects brain functions. Some researchers have even questioned the role of obesity in brain degeneration.

Research scientists have long suspected that a relationship existed between obesity and a decline in brain power. New studies now confirm the contention that being overweight is detrimental to the brain. Researchers at the University of California in an article published in the Archives of Neurology demonstrated a strong correlation between central obesity (that is, being fat around the middle) and shrinkage of a part of the brain ( the hippocampus) fundamental for memory.

This does not mean that obese people are dumb. It does however mean that their brain is probably not processing as effectively as it could be. But even if HFCS does not make you fat, it will still affect your brain. Recent studies have shown that the sweetener contains … you’ve guessed it … mercury!
•  “One study – published in the journal, Environmental Health – shows mercury in nine out of 20 samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup.
•  The second study – by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) – finds nearly one in three of 55 brand-name foods contained mercury, especially dairy products, dressings and condiments. The brands included big names like Quaker, Hershey’s, Kraft and Smucker’s.”

Here is the table found in the IATP’s study called, Not So Sweet: Missing Mercury and High Fructose Corn Syrup, detailing the amount of mercury found in everyday products found in supermarkets.

Of course, companies who produce HFCS deny the results of those studies, claiming the sweetner is “natural”. But this is coming from those who, y’know, SELL the stuff. Corn refiners have even produced some strange PR ads to encourage people to keep ingesting their toxic product.

In Conclusion
Despite the existence of many studies describing the negative effects of mercury on the human brain, governments still push for the increased vaccination of the population with shots containing Thimerosal. Furthermore, governing bodies have protected the pharmaceutical companies who produce the vaccines and foods containing HFCS against any type of lawsuits. The fact that many high executives of these companies also hold key positions within the government, might provide an explanation. There are indeed a restricted amount of persons holding positions of high power in both the private and public sector. These people, in what are clear cases of conflict of interest, collide at the top to form what this site refers to as “the elite” or “the ruling class.” Most of these people have never been elected to governmental positions, yet they create public policies that further their agenda, regardless of the political party in power. Look at the membership of the Bilderberg Group, the Committee of 300 or the Council of Foreign Relations and you will find the CEOs of companies producing your food and medication … and the same people who pass laws governing your food and medication.

Since no public official is likely to betray his peers and fund-raisers to become a whistleblower, it is up to each one of us to learn about what we consume. The cliché saying “read the labels” is quite true, but if you have no idea what “monosodium glutamate” means, reading the label will not help you. This series of articles aims to raise basic awareness of the most harmful substances found in everyday products. I personally cannot claim to have a perfect diet … I grew up in the 80s and love the taste of processed foods like candy, sodas … even Hamburger Helper. But as you find more information and as you begin to realize that every step in the right direction really does make you feel better, each subsequent step becomes easier. No one can do it for you: It’s up to you to take that next step … whether it is toward your detoxification or to Burger King.

B.  Health: Foods Containing Mercury
eHow, By Alexander Grouch
http://www.ehow.com/about_5376461_foods-containing-mercury.html

Foods Containing Mercury
Mercury is a heavy metal that exists in many places throughout the earth. As a result, some of the food we eat contains traces of mercury. Fish in particular absorb copious amounts of mercury as they swim in the water. This is due both to the natural occurrence of mercury and various human actions that exacerbate the situation. While slight amounts of mercury usually will not have a noticeable effect on the human body, prolonged mercury exposure through food may lead to serious health problems such as methylmercury poisoning, vision problems and neurological disturbances in fetuses and infants.

Foods That Contain High Levels of Mercury
Although many foods may contain traces of mercury, fish and shellfish are known to have the most mercury overall. As mercury enters the water supply, all fish absorb some of it into their bodies. Fish that are higher on the food chain have especially high mercury levels since they consume smaller fish. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the largest fish often contain the most mercury. High-mercury fish include swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tile fish. Certain types of tuna also contain mercury well above U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s limits of 0.1 microgram per 2.2 pounds of body weight.

Other Foods That Contain Mercury
While fish gets most of the bad press regarding mercury, other food products also contain mercury. In early 2009, Environmental Health Journal reported on a study conducted by a team led by Renee Dufault that found high fructose corn syrup had high levels of mercury. Many mass-marketed food products contain high fructose corn syrup due the prevalence of corn production in America and the government’s corn subsidy. Popular products sweetened with high fructose corn syrup include most sodas, ketchup and even bread.

In the Dufault study, samples revealed 0.57 micrograms of mercury per gram of high fructose corn syrup. When you consider the large quantities of high fructose corn syrup that most American ingest, many people’s mercury consumption exceeds EPA or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommendations. To find products free of high fructose corn syrup, read all the ingredients in food products. The earlier in the list you find high fructose corn syrup, the more of it that’s in the product.

Effects
In high doses, mercury wreaks havoc on the central nervous system. Pregnant women especially should avoid fish that may contain mercury. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, mercury passed on to the fetus during pregnancy may have lasting consequences such as memory impairment, diminished language skills and other cognitive complications. If you are pregnant, look for Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or EPA updates on what foods contain high levels of mercury and avoid them to prevent possible damage to your child’s cognitive development.

Mercury Poisoning
In rare cases, some people may consume so much fish and other mercury-rich foods that they experience mercury poisoning. One of the most highly publicized cases of mercury poisoning occurred in 2008 when actor Jeremy Piven had to drop out of a play due to mercury poisoning.
Symptoms of mercury poisoning include impairment to your sight, hearing and touch. Some people who suffer from mercury poisoning report ambulatory trouble and tingling around the lips. If you have a diet high in fish and suffer any of the above symptoms, visit a hospital promptly for evaluation.

Fish Low In Mercury
Since several fish contain such powerful nutrients and healthy oils, the benefits of fish may outweigh genuine mercury concerns. If you want to balance the health benefits of fish with mercury risks, eat fish further down the food chain. According to the FDA and EPA, fish low in mercury include salmon, catfish and pollock. Canned light tuna also contains a relatively low amount of mercury per serving. However, other types of tuna such as albacore have higher levels of mercury. As long as you keep track of your portion sizes, you probably will not suffer any ill effects due to mercury in food. For optimal portion size, eat no more than 12 oz. (about two meals) of low-mercury fish a week.
Read more: Foods Containing Mercury | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/about_5376461_foods-containing-mercury.html#ixzz1MFy97JfQ
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5.     Pollution Causes 40 Percent Of Deaths Worldwide, Study Finds

Aug. 14, 2007, ScienceDaily
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/08/070813162438.htm
About 40 percent of deaths worldwide are caused by water, air and soil pollution, concludes a Cornell researcher. Such environmental degradation, coupled with the growth in world population, are major causes behind the rapid increase in human diseases, which the World Health Organization has recently reported. Both factors contribute to the malnourishment and disease susceptibility of 3.7 billion people, he says.

David Pimentel, Cornell professor of ecology and agricultural sciences, and a team of Cornell graduate students examined data from more than 120 published papers on the effects of population growth, malnutrition and various kinds of environmental degradation on human diseases. Their report is published in the online version of the journal Human Ecology and will be published in the December print issue.

“We have serious environmental resource problems of water, land and energy, and these are now coming to bear on food production, malnutrition and the incidence of diseases,” said Pimentel.

Of the world population of about 6.5 billion, 57 percent is malnourished, compared with 20 percent of a world population of 2.5 billion in 1950, said Pimentel. Malnutrition is not only the direct cause of 6 million children’s deaths each year but also makes millions of people much more susceptible to such killers as acute respiratory infections, malaria and a host of other life-threatening diseases, according to the research.

Among the study’s other main points:
Nearly half the world’s people are crowded into urban areas, often without adequate sanitation, and are exposed to epidemics of such diseases as measles and flu.
With 1.2 billion people lacking clean water, waterborne infections account for 80 percent of all infectious diseases. Increased water pollution creates breeding grounds for malaria-carrying mosquitoes, killing 1.2 million to 2.7 million people a year, and air pollution kills about 3 million people a year. Unsanitary living conditions account for more than 5 million deaths each year, of which more than half are children.

Air pollution from smoke and various chemicals kills 3 million people a year. In the United States alone about 3 million tons of toxic chemicals are released into the environment — contributing to cancer, birth defects, immune system defects and many other serious health problems.

Soil is contaminated by many chemicals and pathogens, which are passed on to humans through direct contact or via food and water. Increased soil erosion worldwide not only results in more soil being blown but spreading of disease microbes and various toxins.

At the same time, more microbes are becoming increasingly drug-resistant. And global warming, together with changes in biological diversity, influence parasite evolution and the ability of exotic species to invade new areas. As a result, such diseases as tuberculosis and influenza are re-emerging as major threats, while new threats — including West Nile virus and Lyme disease — have developed.

“A growing number of people lack basic needs, like pure water and ample food. They become more susceptible to diseases driven by malnourishment, and air, water and soil pollutants,” Pimentel concludes. He and his co-authors call for comprehensive and fair population policies and more conservation of environmental resources that support human life.

“Relying on increasing diseases and malnutrition to limit human numbers in the world diminishes the quality of life for all humans and is a high-risk policy,” the researchers conclude.

We are affliced by and bringing on ourselves, a global human condition tantamount to ‘Death by 1000 cuts.’, Mr Larry

End of article, Modern Air and Water
Read also the 4dtraveler posts: Modern Competition, Modern Foraging, Modern Freedom of Choice and, Modern Living.

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