Why You Should Avoid Fast Food at All Costs


By: Mike Barrett, Natural Society

It is no secret that the average American diet is in completely in the slumps. Consuming packaged foods, fast food, artificially enhanced products, and especially low quality cheap food is the norm, but is it any wonder that being overweight while also falling victim to a host of illnesses is also the norm. Being raised in this era of poor health makes it difficult to know what is truly healthy and unhealthy. Food has drastically changed since decades ago, and so parents often aren’t aware of the severe decline in food quality. Fast food in particular is one of the primary reasons for the drastic health decline seen today.

If you haven’t already, take a couple of hours to watch the films Super Size Me or Fast Food Nation. After watching these films, you can see first hand how fast food causes severe damage to your body – even if you don’t consume it for every meal of every day like in one of the films. Fast food is nothing but a concoction of harmful and health-damaging chemicals which can easily be understood if you were to think for a moment how any restaurant could offer a double cheeseburger for only $1.

Most recently it was uncovered that these $1 cheeseburgers, along with the rest of McDonald’s’ beef and chicken, were actually harnessing ‘pink slime’ scrap meat covered with ammonium hydroxide. Not only does this fake meat provide no nutritional value at all, but it is chemically contaminated from ammonia, the toxic cleaning agent found under the sink. The meat is actually fat trimmings and connective tissue that are separated from the bone – scrap meat that is not fit for human consumption. The ammonia treatment is in response to the danger of contamination from salmonella or E. coli, but the scrap meats themselves are more likely to contain pathogens. Despite the chemical treatment, the meat is still in the line of fire for contamination.

Additionally, McDonald’s McNuggets contain 7 different ingredients making up the ‘meat’, many of which contain sub-ingredients. Instead of using real meat, the ingredient list utilizes sodium phosphate, safflower oil, wheat starch, dextrose, and autolyzed yeast extract – a particularly dangerous substance very similar to the toxic MSG. Along side with these ingredients comes the use of dimethylpolysiloxane, a silicon substance used as an anti-foaming agent and often found in breast implants and silly putty.

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Of course the use of these ingredients is not limited only to McDonald’s. In fact, all of the fast food restaurants are guilty of using them. The worst part? They are aware of the destructive nature behind these ingredients, but truly couldn’t care any less. The truth behind such a statement can be exemplified by Taco Bell’s attempt to create a drive-thru diet where individuals would supposed to lose weight by eating fast food. It was only a few years ago when Taco Bell announced the “Drive-Thru Diet”, where they showcased their foods low in fat. But what they don’t tell you is that even if their food has 9 grams of fat, it is still made up of numerous ingredients contributing to the global health decline.

While the reasons for the influx of fast food consumption are many, one primary one is the usage of psychological advertising. Being one of the most powerful tools to reach both the conscious and subconscious, advertising plays a huge role in how society is ran today, and that includes which foods we eat. What’s more, children are much more influenced by what they see and hear, and research proves it. A study conduced late in 2011 showed that 71 percent of children will choose junk food like french fries over apple slices when given coupons for each of them. The number dropped only to 55 percent when parents encouraged children to choose the apple slices. But the desired reach does not stop at direct advertising and influence.

A new children’s educational book has recently been launched by the Council for Biotechnology Information, educating young children on the ‘numerous benefits’ of genetically modified food. Of course genetically modified food has time and time again been shown to cause human and environmental harm, but still the attempt to brainwash young children is carelessly made. The advertising for such food is also heavily tied in with fast food, as virtually all fast food is constructed with genetically modified food and ingredients.

Bloglink:  http://www.pakalertpress.com/2012/03/26/why-you-should-avoid-fast-food-at-all-costs/

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Lunchbox vegeroni 001

I found Family Fresh Cooking by Marla Meridith through twitter. Last September she initiated project lunch box, a 30 days challenge of sharing healthy recipes for a healthy lunch box. The project on her blog inspired me, so last Sunday in the evening I tried creating a menu for my daughter to bring to school Monday.

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Sacrificing all to live her dream

Thanks for the Share, Mabel Velasquez via: FB Gujjar BakerwalConference
By: Varun Suthra/TNS

Her eyes were wet but heart filled with joy at the sight of a group of girls from her community singing a folk song in the recently held state-level Gojri Folk Music Festival at Gujjar Centre for Cultural Heritage here.

Begum Jaan, an eminent singer from a tribal community, Gujjars, has sacrificed a lot to break the barrier to empower Gujjar women. She even lost her son and brother at the hands of militants, who wanted her to stop singing.

She fought years of discrimination against her and the language to achieve recognition for her rich cultural heritage through Gojri folk songs and music.

In an exclusive chat with The Tribune, Begum Jaan, flanked by her daughter, recounts her struggle.

“Singing is in my blood. I may survive without food, water or air, but I will die if I can’t sing.”

“Taking our cattle herd for grazing in meadows is something that separates us from the rest of the people. I loved my voice for the first time when it echoed from the mountains of my native village, Arigam in Bandipora district of Kashmir, when I, as an adolescent girl, murmured a few lines of a folk song, which my mother used to sing,” she said.

“A voice inside me made me believe that I was special and then I vowed to live my dream, without thinking about the consequences,” she added.

“Not much aware of the proceedings, I started doing rounds of the centres of music and art in Srinagar. Radio Station Kashmir was the only destination for strugglers like me in those days. It took me nine years to get a break. Eminent Santoor player, who was in charge of Radio Kashmir, after realising the passion and dedication of a tribal woman for art, arranged special auditions for me, which I cleared in one go.”

“Unfortunately, the journey was not so trouble-free for me, a woman, that too, from a tribal community. It was like giving an open invitation to endless troubles. The first hurdle that I faced was my family’s disagreement, as it shattered my marriage. It was not my husband’s fault alone, as the highly orthodox community could not digest a woman challenging the tradition,” she opined.

“Inception of militancy added to my woe. I received threats from countless militant outfits as singing was considered anti-religious, according to them. They killed my brother and an 18-year-old son to punish me for my blasphemous act i.e. singing.

But against all odds, I lived my dream. I always felt choked while living in the village but never gave up. As I started gaining fame, the rest of the community also changed its approach toward me. Those who opposed me, asked for the ways to put their daughters into folk singing. I ran from pillar to post for my community girls. I had always contemplated smoothening the way for my successors. I feel victorious when Gujjar girls sing on the stage and receive applause from the audience.” — with Tauqeer Ahmed.

 

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Today, I went outside in the frigid spring air to hang some clothes on our line, and I almost stepped on a rabbit.  I really have no clue how this happened, because furry wildlife a.) are generally scared of moms with intimidating piles of clean laundry and,  b.) don’t frequent the city much and we live in the middle of it all, next to an elementary school.

(hmmm…as I am typing this, I’m realizing that if I had to choose between visiting an elementary school playground or a grassy yard with new spring shoots in their garden, well…I can’t blame the critter.)

Nonetheless, I was trying to knockout the 437 items on my to-do list today and so this wasn’t a leisurely stroll into the yard.  This was me at full speed, on a mission to hang this load to dry in under 3 minutes.  Our line is only…

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Rats the Size of House Cats Invade the Florida Keys


Tanzanian rat handler Kassim Mgaza plays with a Gambian giant pouch rat in southern Mozambique.

By Kate Springer <||>  TIME Newsfeed  Photo by Reuters

A species of invasive African rat larger than the average house cat has made a reappearance in Grassy Key, despite efforts to wipe them out for the past 10 years.

You may remember the ferocious R.O.U.S. (Rodents of Unusual Size) in the fire swamps of The Princess Bride. This time, they’re real — and invading the Florida Keys.

A species of invasive African rat larger than the average house cat has made a reappearance in Grassy Key, despite efforts to wipe them out for the past 10 years. According to KeysNet, the population of Gambian pouched rat breed of giant rodents proliferated at the turn of the century when a local exotic animal breeder allowed eight to escape.

(LIST: Top 10 Evil Animals)

As of 2009, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission thought the region was in the clear. But alas, the 3-foot-long beasts, weighing as much as 9 pounds, came back with a vengeance. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, at least a few dozen are running wild. “In the early part of 2011, a resident emailed me and said he saw one of the rats. We were skeptical but went back and talked to people and [saw] there were rats that we missed,” Scott Hardin, FWC’s exotic-species coordinator, told KeysNet.

Not only they do they cause a stir when they show up in residents’ backyards, but the Gambian rat can also have negative impacts on local animal species and crops, and could disrupt fragile ecosystems if they reach mainland Florida, Reuters notes. In Zimbabwe, they’re often blamed for devouring nuts and damaging pea crops. They’re also linked to a 2003 outbreak of Monkeypox, a less serious version of human smallpox, in the Midwest.

(MORE: Rats Show Empathy, Free Trapped Companions)

They’ve even shown up in Brooklyn, N.Y., only to be harpooned with a pitchfork, and are also allegedly responsible for killing and eating two babies in South Africa last year, the Huffington Post reports.

Luckily, the Gambian rat can only produce one litter of up to six every nine months, and can’t reproduce until it’s five months old. To trap the remaining rodents, city officials plan to disperse 200 traps of cantaloupe, peanut butter, almond extract and anise laced with a deadly zinc phosphide.

“They don’t belong here and they need to be controlled,” Gary Witmer, a biologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Wildlife Research Center in Fort Collins, Colorado, told Reuters. Adding, “They could cause a lot of damage.” Where’s the Dread Pirate Roberts when you need him?

Making Boneless Smoked Milkfish

Want to make and enjoy tinapang bangus at home? Follow this guide.

 Boneless bangus is good anyway you want it. But smoking it requires a few steps further. From the blogsite Yummy we reposted this steps to bring you closer to your dream of making it on your own, granting you have the time ot just for the fun of it as most adventurous cooks dream to be. So here it is and you can connect to the blogsite for more details.

By: Liezl Yap

Once you’ve learned this skill, you don’t have to buy expensive boneless bangus anymore.

Click on link for more bangus recipes

Need recipe ideas for smoked bangus? Click here: smoked fish recipes

Photography by Miguel Nacianceno | Demonstration: Elvie Ibale of Maya Kitchen | Text and Styling by Liezl Yap

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Bloglink:  http://www.yummy.ph/yummy-lessons/prepping/details/making-boneless-smoked-milkfish

Once sitting in jail, Aung San Suu Kyi hopes for ‘new era’ for Burma

BBC <||> Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she hopes Sunday’s by-elections mark the start of a new era in Burma.

Calling the polls a “triumph of the people”, she said the goal now was reconciliation with other parties.

Official results are expected later this week but Ms Suu Kyi’s party says she easily won in her seat and expects more gains elsewhere.

Although the vote is seen as a key test of political reform, the army and its allies still dominate the parliament.

The by-elections were being held to fill 45 parliamentary seats left vacant by the appointment of ministers after the polls that formally ended military rule in November 2010. There are 664 seats in parliament altogether.

Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy (NLD) was competing in its first elections since 1990, after boycotting the 2010 polls. It was one of 17 opposition parties that took part.

‘Triumph of people’

Ms Suu Kyi’s comments came as she addressed a crowd of supporters outside NLD headquarters in Rangoon, Burma’s commercial capital.

“It is not so much our triumph as a triumph of the people who have decided that they have to be involved in the political process in this country,” she said. “We hope this is the beginning of a new era.”

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Bloglink:  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-17581054

Alison Botha – Inspirational Speaker, Author and Producer

By: Extra Ordinary Women  <||>  Alison is best known for the ordeal she suffered in December 1994, when an extraordinary event took place in Alison’s ordinary life. She was abducted by two men and taken to the outskirts of the coastal city of Port Elizabeth in South Africa, where they raped and brutally assaulted her. She was stabbed in the abdomen more than 30 times and her throat was slit from side to side. The men left her for dead in the bushes, the full moon looking down on her barely recognisable body. Somehow she was able to use the light of the moon to find her way back to the road where she collapsed. A car finally stopped and found the near-dead Alison. Despite the odds, she lived.

Since the ordeal, Alison has received numerous awards, including the Rotarian Paul Harris Award for Courage Beyond the Norm. She was named Femina magazine’s first “Woman of Courage” in 1995 and was honored as her hometown of Port Elizabeth’s Citizen of the Year in 1995 for her contributions to the community. Her career changed as she began sharing her story, and she became one of South Africa’s most sought-after public speakers. She has traveled all over the country and to over 30 others internationally, sharing with her audiences the horror of being physically attacked, then offering insight into her own recovery and the power of inner strength. In 1998, ‘I Have Life’, Alison’s first-person account of her ordeal and recovery, was published by Penguin Books, South Africa, and has been a best-seller ever since throughout the country. ‘I Have Life’ has been translated into seven languages in Europe.

Physicians call her survival a medical miracle, but perhaps the true miracle has been how she has chosen to deal with the experience. Rather than becoming bitter, she uses her experience as an example of the power of the human spirit. For Alison, it has become her personal mission to make a difference in other people’s lives. She believes that although we don’t always get to control what happens in our lives, we always get to control what we do about it. People around the world are inspired after hearing Alison’s message, inspired to believe in the strength within each one of us to overcome the obstacles on our own life’s journeys.

>> Read More

Bloglink:   http://www.xtraordinarywomen.co.za/stories/featured/137-woman-of-the-month-alison-botha

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The school with elegance: Arcadia University

Our school is having this 3 Days SAT Camp (with College Tour) started yesterday for selected ten 11th graders from the College Awareness Club. Yesterday, we left Philadelphia at around 9am and we had a tour in Arcadia University (known as the Grey Towers Castle). I love the architectural design and the landscape is breathtaking. The program is great and the students get to study abroad (European and Asian countries). How I wish I can go back to college as a freshman in this institution. Then, we drove 1 ½ hours to Harrisburg University. It focuses more on STEM courses and it is located in the downtown. It is a huge building connected to the Strawberry Mall. Studying there is I guess interesting because the courses are more hands on. One of my students wants to take Forensic in College and she is…

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