Part 3: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker: Meat, Dairy, Poultry, Eggs

This is the logo for the CDC-NIOSH's SENSOR-Pe...

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Part 1

Part 2

Whether you choose to eat these things or not it is still important to know the different labels. It is also important to know in case you get in a discussion about these products; whether it be about animal rights or hormones and antibiotic use in the meat industry.

The truth is that the lower you eat on the food chain the closer you are to the primary producers. I myself am not “vegetarian“, “vegan”, “lacto-ovo”, etc. However, I have made some choices recently in my life about food because of weight issues. I was pleased to find out that by trying to lose weight I have stepped into a world of healthier eating over-all, both for me and the Earth.

–Mindy Pennybacker makes a suggestion at the beginning of this chapter to, “skip red meat at least once a week” (p55). I would suggest even less than this. Are there really people who eat red meat that much? I have been trying to cut out all red meat and to tell you the truth…I don’t even miss it. Last night I made sloppy Joes with ground chicken. It was delicious and not greasy…mmmmmm.
–Less red meat is healthy for you because there is less of a chance to develop heart disease and cancer.
–Eating less red meat is good for the Earth for a few reasons like the industry’s part in climate change due to methane gas. There is also spillage of waste into water sewers and waterways and the amount of water and food use needed to raise cattle. Also, there is pesticide use and deforestation (to make more clearings for ranches).
–Vegetable protein is usually cheaper per pound than from meat.
Calculate the carbon in your diet

Trusted Labels
–the characteristics (which vary from label to label) include having a third party verification, no antibiotics or only using antibiotics on the sick, and no use of growth hormones. Also, no feeding parts of animals to other animals. Some look out for the welfare of the animal.

American Grass-fed Association: spend most of their lives out-doors and sick animals are removed instead of given antibiotics
Animal Welfare Approved: this is a family farm label and the animals spend their lives outdoors
Certified Humane: animals are given humane sheltering
Demeter Biodynamics (link 1)
Demeter Biodynamics (link 2): this label promises exercise and humane treatment of animals
Food Alliance Certified: lifetime access to pastures and humane treatment
Maine Quality Trademark: no growth hormones and animal welfare is respected
USDA Organic: This is listed in trusted labels and in the lose it side because it is better for you but not always necessarily better for the animals

Her list of Thumbs Down labels-mostly due to no 3rd party verification

Animal Care Certified/United Egg Producer: no 3rd party verification
Antibiotic Free/Raised Without Antibiotics/No Antibiotics Administered: no 3rd party verification
Free Range/Free Roaming: no guarantee
Fresh (poultry): Could have still been frozen at some point
Grass fed: no 3rd party verification
USDA “Naturally Raised”: claims no hormones or artificial colors, few antibiotics used, but there is no verification
USDA Process Verified Certified Grass (Forage) Fed: Access to pasture required but not guaranteed. They can be fed hay in stalls and still qualify. Antibiotics and growth hormones can still be used.

Grass-fed beef is lower in saturated fats and has more heart healthy omega 3 than regular beef.
Union of Concerned Scientists
Find local, grass-fed animal products

Protein/ Calcium for Vegetarians
Protein: beans and peas, nuts, and soy products (WARNING: to dieters, these things can be very high in fat)
Calcium: dark leafy veggies, soy, and calcium-fortified orange juice

rBGH is a genetically recombinant bovine growth hormone. It can cause pain in cows because it stimulates the OVER-production of milk, which causes the udders to swell. This can lead to infections in the udder. Where there are infections there is antibiotic use. With the amount of antibiotics already used in people, (one for every friggin cough or sneeze) having antibiotics in our diets can cause problems. We are already at risk of developing stronger bacteria by nature because with every generation bacteria mutate. They have such a short life cycle that they go through MANY generations in our one. This gives them the capacity to evolve faster than we can evolve the defenses to them. Now that we have antibiotics the ones surviving are the ones that do not respond to the antibiotics. You know how your doctor says, “Make sure you take them all even if you are feeling better”? That is why.

Links about antibiotic resistance
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Get Smart campaign
Antibiotic Resistance by Sean D. Pitman M.D.

Find rBGH-free milk locally

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 2: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker: Fish

Flounder have both eyes on one side of their head.

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Part 1

Here is another section of her book with some great information about fish.

Here is her site:

–small fish reproduce faster which leads to more of their kind and less over-fishing
–small fish are healthier because they are lower on the food chain and are short-lived so they collect fewer toxins.
–fish can contain mercury or PCB’s (polychlorinated biphenyls), which can cause damage to the nervous system and learning difficulties.

What You Need To Know About Eating Fish – a WebMD article

It is ok to eat these fish every once in awhile, but too much can be risky to your health.
Fish high in mercury or PCB’s and some imported farmed fish because they contain antibiotics banned in the U.S.:

Alewife, Bass (striped-wild), Bluefish, Croaker (white), Eel (regular), Mackerel (King), Marlin, Shad, Shark, Shrimp (imported), Sturgeon (imported-wild), Swordfish, Tuna (albacore-tombo-imported), Weakfish

Mindy Pennybacker has a few lists in her book about fish. She seperates ones that are good or bad for your health and ones that are good or bad for the Earth (sustainability, etc.). Here I will list the ones she put in a category of both:

Good for the Earth and YOU:
Arctic char (farmed), Barramundi (farmed), Bass (striped-farmed), Catfish (U.S.-farmed), Clams, Cod (Pacific and Alaska), Crab (Dungeness, Stone, King-Alaska, snow-imitation/surimi), Flounder and sole (Pacific-true varieties including English sole-plus sanddabs), Haddock (Pacific), Herring (Atlantic sardnes), Lobster (Maine), Mackerel (Atlantic), Mussels (farmed), Oysters (wild-farmed), Perch (Great Lakes-Alaska-B.C.), Pollock (Wild Alaska), Sablefish/Black cod (aka butterfish), Salmon (wild Alaskan-fresh or canned, wild Washinton), Sardines (Pacific), Scallops (bay-farmed), Scallops (sea-wild), Shrimp (U.S.-farmed or wild), Smelt (U.S.), Snapper (red, wild Alaskan, B.C.), Squid, Tilapia (U.S.-farmed), Trout (rainbow-farmed), Tuna (albacore-white-tombo, U.S., Canada-troll or pole-caught), Skipjack tuna (trollor pole caught, fresh or canned, chunk light), Yellowtail, skipjack tuna (U.S.-Kona Kampachi-farmed)
Eco-best Fish List
Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Selector

Bad for the Earth and YOU:
Bass (striped-wild), Chilean sea bass (Patagonian Toothfish), Cod (Atlantic, Crab (blue), Flounder and sole (Atlantic including related varieties: winter flounder, lemon sole, sanddabs, fluke, plaice), Grouper, Haddock (trawl-caught), Halibut (Atlantic), Mackerel (King), Marlin (blue), Marlin (striped), Monkfish, Octopus, Orange Roughy, Pike, Salmon (including Atlantic-farmed), Shark, Shrimp (imported), Snapper (pink-Pacific [except NW Hawaiian]), Swordfish, Tilapia (Asia-farmed), Tilefish (aka Golden Snapper), Tuna (albacore-white-tombo, fresh or canned-imported-long-line caught), Tuna (bluefin-Toro), Tuna (bigeye, yellowfin, long-line caught), Yellowtail (Australia or Japan-farmed)

overfishing and by-catch

Fishing Methods:
Marine Stewardship Council
Ecofish label
Limited Access Privilege Program (LAPP)
Community Supported Fisheries (CSF’s)

–choose fish that are plentiful enough to keep reproducing in wild or farmed in fully contained land-based systems (because when they are farmed in water systems the nutrients can pollute and create dead-zones).
to check locally caught or saltwater fish after heavy rain for toxic chemicals or bacteria
Mercury advisories

Other Links:
Monterey Bay Aquarium fish cards
EDF Seafood Selector tool
Blue Ocean’s Fish Phone – 1-877-BOI-SEAS
or Blue Ocean

Happy Eating!!

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 1: “Do One Green Thing: Saving the Earth Through Simple, Everyday Choices” by Mindy Pennybacker

Official seal of the National Organic Program

Image via Wikipedia

“Do One Green Thing: Save the Earth Through Simple Everyday Choices”
by Mindy Pennybacker
copyright 2010
U.S. printed by: St. Martin’s Press

Her website:

This is my attempt at retrieving information from different sources and posting what I learn. I’m not, by any means, a pro at documentation….so don’t sue me, I’m trying!!

Food and Drink

–Bottled water is not always safer than tap water
–Bottled water is less regulated
–Social Justice: Companies that bottle water contribute almost no money to the local community in which they receive this water.
–You can use a carbon filter on your tap water or use one of the filtering systems like Brita, Pur, or Zero Water.
–On July 1st your water company is required to send a reprt of what contaminents are in your water that exceed EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) levels.
Or you can look up this information:

–Although they can filter out a lot of heavy metals, parasites, etc. carbon filters DO NOT remove bacteria.
–You can recycle your filters:
Preserve Products recycle Brita filters
You can mail filters to Brita and Zero Water for discounts

Water Bottles
–Stainless steel is your best bet or tempered glass
–Only re-use ones that are MEANT to be re-used.
–Safe: HDPE #2, LDPE #4, PP #5, Other #7
–Unsafe: PC #7 –> BPA
–DO NOT re-use: PET, PETE #1
–BPA can interfere with brain function and hormonal development
–Although you can’t re-use PET they are VERY recyclable.
–There are now Bioplastics made from corn or potato starch, but they are not recyclable.
–Filtered water bottles:
Aquamira w/ microbiolological filter
Fit and Fresh Liv Pure
Katadyn Micro WB
Water Geeks

–organic choices reduces exposure to pesticides
–choosing local preserves small farms and green space
–Because eating organic or local can be expensive, get the produce you eat the most as organic or local. Or you can get the organic version of produce with known high pesticides.

Toxic 13: known to use large amounts of pesticides
Apples, carrots, celery, cherries, grapes, kale, lettuce, nectarines, peach, pear, spinach, strawberries, bell peppers.

Tasty 13: known to use small amounts of pesticides
Asparagus, avocadoes, broccolli, cabbage, eggplant, mango, onion, pineapple, seet corn, sweet peas, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, watr melon

What does organic and local mean?

Organic: USDA Certified Organic
–must have 3 years of organic practices applied to the soil before you can be certified.
–40% higher levels of cancer-fighting anti-oxidants
–certifiably free of genetic engineering or modification

–within 100-200 miles of where it is sold
–ask farmer if pesticides used, sometimes they are organic but cannot afford the certification from the USDA

Good Green Labels:
Demeter Biodynamics
Fair Trade Certified (Transfair USA)
Food Alliance Certified
Integrated Pesticide Management (IPM)
Rainforest Alliance Certified
Salmon Safe
Transitional Organic: farmers using organic methods can use this label until certified
USDA Organic

–Best to eat what is in season because of the carbon footprint of greenhouses.
Find out what is in season in your state
Find Farmer’s Markets

Some definitions:
100% Organic – ALL organic
Organic – at least 95% organic ingredients
Made with Organic – at least 70% organic ingredients, may not have USDA logo.

Coffee, Tea, and Chocolate
Bird Friendly Coffee
“shade grown” and cultivated in a rainforest under a natural canopy. Leaf litter creates a natural fertilizer and these crops house more types of forest birds.
–Certified Organic
grown w/o synthetic pesticides using cover crops and other methods
–Fair Trade Certified
prices are higher than commodity market rate, IPM methods used
–Rainforst Alliance Certified
worker’s rights and welfare looked after, no child labor, at least 40% of the crops are grown in shade.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

1 for All Campaign

Building Awareness of the First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

“1 for All is a national nonpartisan program designed to build understanding and support for First Amendment freedoms. 1 for All provides teaching materials to the nation’s schools, supports educational events on America’s campuses and reminds the public that the First Amendment serves everyone, regardless of faith, race, gender or political leanings. It is truly one amendment for all.”

This was taken from the website:
1 for All

There is a contest where you submit stories, videos, or photos that illustrate the First Amendment. To submit a video you will need to have a YouTube account. There is a contest page for them on YouTube.

In order to submit an image you will need a Yahoo! ID and you will need to set up a Flickr account. You then join the “Take A Stand For the First Amendment” group and share your photo. I don’t have a Flickr account myself so have fun figuring that one out!

To submit a story “write an article or essay of no more than 300 words that explains the many ways the First Amendment keeps us free. Submissions may be edited for length and style”. You then paste it in the comment box below where it explains submissions.

They have LL Cool J right there at the top of the page so….it MUST be pimpin. Just kidding…but seriously though.

Do you even know what the first amendment says?? Im not taking the high road. I could quote it but do I really know what it means??? Guess it’s time to go exploring!

Here are some links:
Walters Law Group
–Welcomes you to use their site to access information on free speech, internet law, and intellectual property.

“The new American settlers brought with them a desire for democracy and openness. They left behind a history of tyranny and official control of information”

So, is that to say then, that we supposedly left that behind? I’m pretty sure that there is still an official control of information.
USA Patriot Act

Also, the Supreme Court also sometimes finds that these rights may be limited in some situations such as, “to protect the rights of others (e.g. libel, privacy), or to guard against subversion of the government and the spreading of dissension in wartime” (

Anyways, knowledge IS power and this campaign aims to educate the public about the first amendment.

So, do something about it…or shut the hell up!!!!

Hello world!

So, I have been gaining more and more interest in topics like activism and environmental science and studies.  There is so much information available it sometimes is overwhelming.  I go to school at SUNY ESF (SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry).  I major in Conservation Biology.  I am a member of the Rainbow Family (no, not as in that Rainbow–look it up if you are not sure what that means)!  That’s actually why I am starting this blog and why I have named it F33DyourHead.  Those that have known me for a long time understand why I chose this name.  This includes the concept of educating YOURSELF!!  If you don’t agree with the things I post, back it up with evidence or reference!!  I have always dug into anything I have become curious about.  I take out books from the library, ask questions, find information on the web.  I could say all the things I want to say like, “Hey world wake up!!” or “Do your part!”, but personal experience has shown that whatever we (we = anyone who is trying to change or change the world in whatever way) have been doing, is not enough.  So instead, I’m going to back this up by not spewing out the side of my mouth about things that I have no idea about.  Call me on it if I do!!  Welcome to F33DyourHEAD… do just that!