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

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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.

Meat
–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.
Links:
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

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

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“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:
www.GreenerPenny.com

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

Water
–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:
www.ewg.org/tapwater/yourwater
www.epa.org/safewater/dwinfo/index.html

Filters
–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

Produce
–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

Local:
–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

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Part 6

Part 7

Part 8