It's been 2 weeks since my first post about having toxic mold exposure. I have been working to correct the issue on my own. Some think this is ridiculous, whereas I look at the modern alternative to what I've chosen, thinking that is surely the definition of insane. Steroids that won't help but harm by compromising and weakening my immune system and whatever other chemical of the year they chose to use us as a guinea pig for. No thanks.
However, as we see mainstream media debunk the world of natural healing, it's only because lost in the midst of all the truly helpful healers out there, there are still those 'businesses' that have no true idea about what optimal health actually means. It would seem that some are only there to make money and not to be looking out for their customers best interests. Today's blog deals with my most recent experience with such a company.
Read Your Labels
I cannot stress how important label reading is for us when we're improving our health and as we change what we are ingesting. In my first blog about my health, Silent and Deadly-Toxic Mold Exposure, I told you what I was taking in order to correct the damage that's been done to my body. This included taking Diatomaceous Earth, Moringa Leaf powder, Brown Seaweed Extract, nebulizing colloidal silver into my lungs, removing sugars from my diet, taking Fire Cider daily, and added a strong presence of fermented foods to my diet in order to turn around and improve my gut flora. ALL of our issues begin and end with the gut and it's our jobs to correct that, not prescription drugs or doctors in lab coats who are needed for emergency bones settings and not healing the common cold. That's last bit is our job. Healthy eating and proper nutrition are needed even though it is a lost knowledge to us. Truly, our health is like ancient knowledge we refuse to remember.
I was even gifted a 'new to me' product called Fermented Food (formally LB17). I read the label and the website and completely ignored the non-medicinal ingredients you'll find listed below. It was a dear friend and health advocate who asked me to look a little closer to some of those ingredients. Afterall, my immune system was already compromised and the last thing I needed was to further add to the damage. I decided to look into these 'additives' in order to decide for myself whether they were or benefit to my overall health or whether they would cause more distress to my body.
The Ingredients & My Concerns
As a family, we're usually really good at paying attention to the labels on the foods we consume. It's not often we don't read the side panel of a box of anything which usually leads to us putting said box back onto the shelf. The kids do it before we do, it's like a treasure hunt : Find the poison! That being said, I surely didn't do the same for these supplements which leads me to something my husband and I often say: "There's no such thing as a supplement tree".
We live in the Age of Information where we can find out whatever information we need to. There are published studies to be found on-line above and beyond what I will be presenting to you here in this blog. I will be sharing as many reports, studies and examples as possible in order to show reasoning and discernment for my own health and the health of my family. What anyone decides for themselves is up to them.
Anyone I asked about carrageenan for the most part thought it was a healthy additive made from red seaweed. Sounds healthy enough with all of the new information about the benefits of seaweed. Which is why I'm taking the wonderful brown seaweed extract from Modifilan which is a company I have grown to trust because I have seriously investigated their quality and have used their product for long enough to familiarize myself with it's ingredients...no fillers needed, no surprise ingredients, nothing pretending to be something it's not. When I took the time to call the owner of the company and speak with him, he gave me any and all information I asked of him and was incredibly helpful. Never once did he have an issue with any of my questions and he told me more about the product that I knew, such as when the most optimal time to take it would be. I take mine as soon as I get up with a big tall glass of lemon water after I oil pull and about an hour before I have some eggs, organic cheese and some fruit. I also open up the capsules to add it to my soups, rices and pasta dishes. Turns out MSG was originally just a pure seaweed or kelp, dried and powdered to be used as a flavour enhancer until someone got the bright idea to turn it into a chemical. Yay science! (insert sarcasm) *Correction : MSG is a chemical replica of dehydrated and powdered broth of kelp. (thanks to Sergei at Modifilan for catching my mistake!)
Now back to the imposter of healthy seaweed products- Carrageenan. Wow. The things I have learned in such a short period of time. Do you have any idea how many food products contain this one ingredient? Do you even know what it is actually is? I didn't until last week when I sent all of the Osumex Fermented Food's ingredients to a good friend of mine who is just as concerned about her health and what she ingests as I am. The above photo of the non medical ingredients is so small compared to the plethora of healthy ingredients it contains. To many people it would seem as though I am splitting hairs, but truly I'm pointing out things that no one wants us to be questioning, least of all the owner of Osumex who was less that pleased with my questions. I'll get to that a bit later though. Let's continue on about carrageenan.
Although the International Agency for Research on Cancer in 1982 identified sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of degraded carrageenan in animals to regard it as posing a carcinogenic risk to humans, carrageenan is still used widely as a thickener, stabilizer, and texturizer in a variety of processed foods prevalent in the Western diet.
Below is just one of many studies that can be found on the harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal test subjects. The bottom line is that we cannot digest this material in our bodies without there being some sort of consequences.
Chris Kresser has a wonderfully informative blog on so many different health concerns that we face today. In his article Harmful or Harmless: Carrageenan he explains:
... similar studies that did use food-grade carrageenan also found that isolated intestinal epithelial tissue responded to carrageenan by up regulating inflammation. (11, 12) Another study on human intestinal epithelium found that undegraded carrageenan reduced the activity of many sulfatase enzymes, with potential negative ramifications for the function and vitality of the cell. (13)
Another article to support the unhealthy effects of carrageenan on the body can be found in the Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments. by J K Tobacman and can be found linked below.
In this article he states:
Although in 1972, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration considered restricting dietary carrageenan to an average molecular weight > 100,000, this resolution did not prevail, and no subsequent regulation has restricted use. Because of the acknowledged carcinogenic properties of degraded carrageenan in animal models and the cancer-promoting effects of undegraded carrageenan in experimental models, the widespread use of carrageenan in the Western diet should be reconsidered.
Do you trust carrageenan enough now that you've read just a fraction of the available information that is available in this article alone? I don't.
Corn Starch Modified
When looking up the top worst additives for food, modified corn starch/modified food starch tops the list and yet is really no different than so many other additives as it contains the very things that are destroying our health in the first place: MSG which is used during processing.
Worst Offenders: Textured soy protein concentrate, carrageenan, maltodextrin, disodium inosinate, disodium guanylate, modified cornstarch: All of these are basically different names to hide ingredients that either contain Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) or form MSG during processing.
How is modified food starch used?
Modified food starches are used in a mind-boggling variety of products - luncheon meats, orange juice, baked goods, biofuels, bioplastics, and the list goes on - for a variety of reasons. Modified food starches are used as gelling agents, insuring that foods maintain the correct texture in both frozen and microwaved foods. They're used as thickeners in fat-free dairy products. They're used as bulking agents to increase the bulk of a food without affecting its nutritional value. Modified food starches might be used as an anti-caking agent to keep foods free-flowing, or as an inexpensive way to control moisure in a food product. In low-fat meat products, modified food starch is used as a binder.
In other words, it's for processed foods and has no nutritional value and is not something I personally want in my body. Full Stop. I don't need any more information. What you choose in this situation is completely your choice.
Hydrogenated Starch Hydrolysates & Sucros
Sugar alcohols (what both of these ingredients are) are in most "sugar free" and "diet" products and once you know what to look for you will be amazed at just how many products contain some form of them. They are sweet to the tongue and are poorly digested by the body, making them what manufacturers believe to be the perfect type of sweetener. Horrible for our bodies, great for companies trying to pull one over on us.
Sugar alcohols can cause bloating, flatulence, and diarrhea. This is because the sugar alcohol is not completely absorbed in the digestive system and this causes fermentation to occur in the intestines. Due to this fermentation, gas is produced and can cause gastrointestinal distress. This is the reason why products that could be over consumed, like gum and mints, must have a health statement on the label that says, “Excess consumption may have a laxative effect." It must be noted that even if you are not sensitive, over consumption can cause abdominal discomfort ranging from cramps to diarrhea and dehydration.
Possible health concerns with sugar alcoholsAs with artificial sweeteners, the FDA regulates sugar alcohols as food additives. Sugar alcohols used in U.S. manufactured food generally have GRAS status.
Asking Questions Should NOT End In You Being Called Crazy!
Before I had come to all of my conclusions on my health, before I was given my diagnosis of toxic mold exposure, I had been talking with a friend who had sent me Osumex's Fermented Foods (formerly known as LB17) in it's encapsulated form. I began taking it and shared the ingredients with a friend, as I stated earlier, who alerted me to the non-medicinal ingredients that I had decided to ignore.
After looking into the ingredients I decided to message the owner who had already offered me a chance to write a blog and newsletter for the company. I was incredibly excited but before I began writing for this company I needed to ask a few questions. I sent him an email asking :
....I am surprised to hear you say that carageenan causes cancer! Carageenan is made from red seaweed in Japan and is an important ingredient for the vegetable softgel capsule. Can you direct me to the research and authority that suggest that this product and corn starch causes cancer?
Now I have already learned that agave is truly no better than any high-fructose syrup and because of that, our family does not consume it. Honey and maple syrup are our go-to sweeteners, with organic cane sugar if need be and at a minimum.
As much as he was toting the glycemic level, for us that isn't the point. He also refused to even entertain the idea of me substituting for the Biomass he was originally talking about so I honestly have no clue what that might contain. I waited for a more through response to how we were going to go about compensation for my writing. Originally part of the payment was going to be a the capsules along with a cash payment. I didn't want the capsules so I awaited his response as to how he would like to continue. What he did instead was attempt to gaslight me:
Now remember, I asked this man some honest questions about his product which he never actually directly answered with any type of information that was true to my question or to the additive itself. Instead he decided that I was 'crazy' for asking in the first place. I didn't send repeated messages to him, nor did I accuse him of trying to poison anyone. I presented alternative information to his that I had actually found in an article written by Wellness Mama.
It was clear that he didn't want to face the idea that his product contained harmful products that I, myself, would not want to consume, especially on the road to recovery.
I thanked him for his time and his responses and told him I was not interested in writing for his company. He told me 'good riddance' and I let him know that I would be sharing my experience in my blog. It's not out of bitterness, it's not to be spiteful. It's because others should know what's in their 'health foods' and I needed to correct what I was once promoting! How can I promote something I do not believe in? I can't! In desperation for my condition I just took them without thinking or reading. Lesson learned once again and all thanks to the good eyes of a dear friend who has my back.
He then took it a step too far, sending a message to the friend who had started me on the Fermented Foods in the first place:
...as her friend you better tell her to be careful what she writes, can leave herself open to all kinds of actions.
I do not fear telling the truth or being honest. I could have shared the entirety of the emails here but chose to keep it at a minimum. The point was made clear and nothing more is needed. This is not a company I can trust, nor do I wish to work for or with them. Although some may not understand, my integrity means everything to me. I will not take money for dishing out poisons to people and I will not lie about a product or casually omit certain truths in order to make a sale. I will also not ignore facts about harmful, chemical additives. I've come too far to back-peddle now.
But, How's My Health?
I'm on week three of my detox and cleanse. I have had so many toxins break through my skin from taking the DE that I have ended up with rashes and even a stye in my right eye that I was able to heal that using drops of colloidal silver twice a day and rubbing my own plantain salve into the surrounding area of the eye and actually rubbing it as much in between the lid as I could stand. I'll share that story later though!
I've also gone through the worst of the first bits of detoxing. I had forgotten about how I felt for the first little while, almost like a mild and lingering morning sickness until the worst pushes through from taking the diatomaceous earth. It's not awful but it's not awesome either. Then there's the night sweats that made me think menopause was around the corner but really, and again, it's the release of toxins. I've been purging, from all ends and I'll leave it at that.
I also have some flu-like symptoms all around. I'm draining mucus like crazy which is a great thing! It's been a good 2 years that I've been excessively mucous-filled...and that just happens to coincide with when I stopped taking the DE and the moringa leaf powder consistently and when we moved into the first moldy house.
to read more on my experience with Moringa Leaf powder and Diatomaceous Earth, click on the button below.
The Moral of My Poisonous Additive Story
I shall never ignore the ingredients on the back of any package ever again so long as I shall live.
That being said, the real reason I was taking the Fermented Foods capsule was because I wanted to repair my gut flora in a huge and fast way. (Lingering instant gratification issues) The truth is though, I have the ability to do this on my own. I currently make my own kombucha, fire cider, sauerkraut, hot sauce and honey fermented garlic. I plan on making my own kimchi and who knows whatever else I will ferment. The way it's looking right now, I might turn into the Fermentation Queen!
My point is that I started Recipe For Anarchy as a way to show how we can take care of ourselves without relying on others to take care of us. It is possible, I prove it every day. And today, my friends, today is no different than any other day in my kitchen. Don't you worry, I've got this and so do you!
So thank-you Osumex! Thanks for calling me crazy for asking questions. I will never stop and your name calling showed your hand, and my own health's salvation. That last part can't be bought, but thanks for the offer.
Want to Know More About Harmful Food Additives?
Thousands of synthetic chemicals are added to foods for a variety of reasons, including taste and appearance. Although well-intentioned, additives can have serious health consequences. The human body is not meant to process synthetic food additives, thus it can lead to chronic health problems. What can we do?
Jennifer Kaumeyer, N.D.
Author: Cari-Lee Miller
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I am a seed burst forth from its shell. I have mingled and fought in the dirt. I am ready to kiss the Sun. *CLM
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Your medicine is in the woods.
Your pharmacy is in your kitchen.