GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are in most of the foods and drinks we consume. Some studies show that the long-term effects of GMOs can cause damage to humans. Also, data shows that GMOs grown with pesticides and watered with chlorinated tap water result in higher numbers of food allergies. FARE, or Food Allergy Research and Education, says that researchers estimate that up to 15 million Americans suffer from some type of food allergy. Our children have it worse as this disease is exponentially growing every year. Presently, 1 in every 13 children in the US has a food allergy. The economic cost of this creates nearly $25 billion per year for America.
The most common allergies are those to dairy, peanuts, wheat, fish, shellfish, and soy. According to the CDC, these types of allergies make up 90 percent of food allergies. Symptoms vary from mild rashes to life-threatening allergic reactions. Many people carry Epi pens in case they are exposed to a food they are allergic to.
The specific chemical that causes issues for humans is dichlorophenols. It is a type of chlorine in some pesticides that kills bacteria. If consumed in large numbers, it can cause renal failure, damage organs, and in some situations even be fatal. Recently, researchers followed 10,348 participants in a U.S. National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Of them, 2,548 had dichlorophenol levels measured in urine; 2,211 were included into the study. Food allergies were found in 411 of them, while 1,016 had environmental allergies. It was concluded that the pesticide chemical could be ingested from eating different fruits and some juices. This study suggested that the use of pesticides and other chemicals are indeed associated with food allergies. Unfortunately, it also showed that the trend is increasing.
Some people think that the easiest solution to prevent food allergies is to switch to bottled water so that they aren’t being exposed to as much chlorine. However, this is not the best solution because bottled water does not include all ingredients on its labels. One alternative is to know what you are buying by reading the labels. Luckily, organic foods follow specific codes where organic pesticides must be used in order to be labeled “organic.” Laundry and cleaning products with chlorine should be avoided. It is a good idea in getting a shower filter and find out exactly what is in your tap water. But the best solution is to invest in a whole house water filtration system that filters chlorine and chemicals out. You can save money while also saving water and your health. You and your family are worth the investment!
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Sustainability is becoming more and more popular in our culture today. The term sustainability as defined by the Bruntland Report in 1987 (the first definition) is, “Development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” Since 1987, we have developed far from just having a definition of sustainability. We have the resources and technology to measure and predict our use of nonrenewable resources. We also have the means to understand that humans are destroying our Earth at a rate so quickly that it cannot keep up or even recover.
Each human creates an ecological footprint that determines how our waste and energy use impacts the earth. There are so many ways that humans create their footprint without even recognizing it; by eating more meat, by buying new clothes regularly, by owning a home that has running water… these are just a few ways that we impact the Earth. If you’d like to see your individual impact on the Earth by figuring out your ecological footprint, check out the Global Footprint Network’s footprint calculator at http://www.footprintnetwork.org/en/index.php/GFN/page/calculators/.
Here are some tips to reducing your ecological footprint:
1) Eat less meat and buy more produce from local farmers
2) Use less water in your home and buy water-saving products
3) Use more public transportation and carpool often
4) Dispose of trash properly and recycle all reusable materials
5) Look into supporting your home with renewable energy like solar power
One way that you can reduce your water use is to buy a whole-house filtration system that doesn’t waste water. Filtercon Technologies has created a revolutionary system that reuses backwash to recycle water. Check it out at http://www.filtercon.com or call 800-550-1995 for more information.
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By now you’ve probably heard about the earthquake in Nepal that killed thousands of people and destroyed many homes. The earthquake was a 7.9 out of 10 on the Richter scale, enough to make most of the Nepal community flee to surrounding areas. This left them without food, shelter, and most importantly, water.
In emergencies like this one, clean water is not readily available to the people that have been affected by the distater. In the aftermath of the Nepal earthquake, refugee camps have been set up to take in the people that have been left without homes. The camps have been relying on military vehicles to bring them large tanks of clean water. After this disastrous earthquake, a large park at the center of Kathmandu has recently been converted into a government-constructed camp and has provided thousands of refugees with clean drinking water.
But, the CEO of the nonprofit WaterAid America says, “It will get worse before it gets better.” Lack of water, along with many other necessities, are becoming more scarce in the area even though many different groups have come in to help the communities of Nepali refugees. All we can do is support groups who do damage control and provide necessities to those in need.
If you’d like to read more about this disaster and the water crisis that has happened due to the Nepal earthquake, check out Newsweek’s article here.
Sources: Newsweek 4/29/15 “After Quake, Nepal Faces Water & Health Crisis”
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