Read Those Labels!
I wanted to include this article on the Weekly Tips post this week because I think it represents a good walkthrough of how and why you should read labels on processed foods.
As a word of warning here, even though my own philosophy tends more towards the middle ground of things the article I am referencing does get a little extreme on some points but apart from that it raises great points.
The subject of the article is Heinz Tomato Ketchup and the food information label they have.
There are any number of tricks the big food manufacturers will employ to get you to feel comfortable about purchasing their products.
Most of those tricks are generally deployed on the main product label but in recent years with consumers becoming better educated these tricks are losing their punch.
Simply placing words on the front saying “All Natural” or “Natural” or “No Added Sugar” or “Sugar Free” used to be a bit of a free pass for them because people thought that’s what they meant!
Now people are beginning to understand these things are more complex than they assumed and that for example arsenic is “All Natural” and has “No Added Sugar” but that is not necessarily such a good thing!
So with that evolution the food processors have had to engage in the same kind of tactics on the back label as well because now consumers are reading that too… those pesky consumers nosing around in our business!
Some great examples of this are in the article but here are some highlights.
The label states the contents contain high fructose corn syrup and corn syrup.
They are the same thing!
Corn syrup IS high fructose corn syrup.
Well the reason for that is that they have to say what’s in there so if they say it twice in different ways the consumer gets the sense that there is not so much bad stuff in there.
The same goes for “Natural Flavoring.”
Hell that must be OK right?
After all, it’s natural!
Of course the problem is that they don’t exactly say what that natural flavoring is or where it comes from… other than its natural, like arsenic is natural… or uranium.
- Warning: Avoid Heinz Ketchup Like The Plague, Here’s 3 Research Backed Reasons Why
Weight Loss Pills: Fact Or Fiction?
FTAs – the Final Frontier
In the past few years there has been a growing discussion both in the mainstream media and online regarding the topic of Free Trade Agreements.
Probably what a lot of people do not realize is that some of these agreements have been in the process of being negotiated for many years now and it is only just now that their signing is becoming imminent.
So from the outset here let’s understand that when someone assigns a Free Trade Agreement to one political party or person they are being inaccurate.
These agreements have been years in the making.
Trade agreements themselves are not something we could call unusual.
Countries have for centuries hashed out agreements on how they would trade with each other and have often included concessions to cut tariffs on certain good in exchange for more favourable conditions in the other country. That’s all very normal.
So the question is why are the current batch of agreements such as the TPP and the NAFTA causing so much discussion.
Well the answer to that is that these new types of trade agreements are only partially concerned with trade.
In fact leaked copies of many of these agreements have revealed that trade itself only occupies a very small part of the overall agreements.
What’s causing the concern is that these agreements are extending their field of influence to such subjects as GMO foods and their labelling, the labelling of food altogether, food safety standards, health care costs and the circumstances under which medicines are both made available and at what cost and frankly a whole bunch of other issues.
In fact once you do a little research you realize just how little these “trade” agreements have to do with trade.
Now if the government of your country is supposed to be acting on your behalf yet are engaged in secret negotiations with other countries covering these topics you have to ask yourself, who asked for this?
If you as a citizen didn’t ask for it and your representatives didn’t say to you hey, we have this great idea that will be good for all of us, what do you think?
So that begs who IS asking for it?
And that brings us to the crux of the matter and why this article’s title is, The Final Frontier.
You see for years the one stumbling block for any up and coming international corporate behemoth has been the subject of those pesky governments and their annoying laws.
In the real world if a company wants to do business in a country then it is obliged to follow the laws of that country.
Similarly if the laws change in that country they are expected to just suck it up, adjust and move on if those laws affect their business.
The one thing those companies have never had the power to do has been to directly determine what laws are passed in a country and how that country is run… up until now.
Under this new batch of trade agreements these companies will be able to not only challenge a government’s laws but to seek compensation from that government is they say that their business has been adversely affected by that law.
They can take the government of your country to an external court and sue you for any amount they decide to pull out of their asses.
So for example of a signatory country like Mexico decides to pass a law that imposes a higher tax rate on what it deems to be “junk food” (which they have) the junk food manufacturers can then sue Mexico for loss of profits (which they have.)
If Mexico “wins” they will have spent about $8 million U.S. to defend their right to legislate for the public good in their own country.
If they lose they could be forced to pay billions in compensation.
You need to find out.
Walking Yourself Skinny
Over the past few years there has been a growing amount of evidence to suggest that as far as exercise goes one of the best things you can do is to simply engage in walking.
Some studies have shown that regular walking is superior to exercise when it comes to weight loss, the reduction of heart disease and associated problems, reductions in the incidence or severity of diabetes and the list goes on.
In fact an Australian study went further and found that even walking was not really the essential ingredient but that it was just the act of moving the body that reaped the benefits.
Either way it is becoming quite clear that an important part of remaining healthy is that we engage in some kind of physical movement on a regular basis.
Now it’s pretty easy to see why this would be the case when you take a step back and look at the way in which our bodies evolved over time.
Two physical attributes of human were found to be successful and helped enormously in our quest for survival.
No, I am not talking about thumbs!
Those two attributes were the ability to achieve short bursts of speed for the purpose of hunting food and avoiding becoming food.
And the ability to sustain long periods of mild exercise in the form of walking.
These two points allowed us to avoid danger and to remain mobile in times of hardship in order to find alternative areas of food and shelter.
So given that there were essential to out survival it is hardly surprising that walking is what our bodies like and respond positively to.
The one other thing that I particularly like about walking as an exercise alternative is that you don’t have to join anything t participate.
You don’t need a gym membership, special equipment or even a special area to engage in i and you can even just incorporate it seamlessly into your daily routine.
My wife and I use public transport to travel to and from work because driving is a nightmare where we live.
All we do is walk a little further to the second nearest station to our house and at night get off one stop earlier.
That way almost unseen, we add 30 minutes of walking to our day.
Let me be clear from the outset here. I not only hate Energy Drinks but I hate the very concept upon which they are based.
The idea of slamming down some kind of beverage that instantly gives you heightened energy not only sounds bad but is a perfect example of the current rends towards quick fixes and band aid solutions to living.
The truth is that if you want energy then all you have to do is live a healthy lifestyle and you will pretty much have all the energy you need.
No, I don’t mean some kind of extreme adventure style of living or anything like that.
I mean regular and moderate exercise and sensible eating patterns and thats it/ So when I saw an article this week about the actual effects of energy drinks on otherwise healthy young adults I was hardly surprised by the findings.
The truly scary part of the study was that it was done on healthy teens, not those with any existing problems or states of ill health. The effects were dramatic and well worth looking at.
- Just One Energy Drink Sends Young Adults’ Stress Hormone Levels Soaring