Is Tom’s toothpaste good for you?

I have been meaning to share this for some time.  In all cases please do your own research and confirm all information with several sources.

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Tom’s of Maine has become a mainstream brand among health-conscious consumers. Unfortunately, it turns out that most of these consumers are unaware of who owns Tom’s of Main and what ingredients Tom’s products contain.  This might be shocking to some but Tom’s of Maine isn’t owned by Tom and is not from Maine.  In fact, it’s owned by a well-known corporate giant — Colgate-Palmolive of New York. In the United States alone, Colgate-Palmolive’s 35% share  mostly relies  on a patented gingivitis formula which contains triclosan,  a toxic chemical substance  that reacts with the chlorine in tap water to become chloroform — a deadly chlorinated aromatic.

Reasons to Avoid Tom’s of Maine Products

1. Contain Aluminum. Though Potassium alum used in Tom’s of Maine products is a natural mineral salt made up of molecules that are too large to be absorbed by your skin, it is still not completely aluminum-free. It accumulates within the body so that the aluminum becomes more destructive with increased age.

Aluminum has been repeatedly linked to breast cancer, Alzheimer’s disease,  generalized permanent damage to the central nervous system,  brittle bones, autism, infertility, hormonal imbalance.

2. Contain Zinc Chloride.   According to the Dangerous Substance Directive , Zinc chloride is classified, as “Harmful (Xn), Irritant (Xi) and Dangerous for the environment (N).”  Read the Environmental Working Group’s page on Zinc Chloridehere.

3. Contain Titanium dioxide. According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety, titanium dioxide is a human carcinogen:

Titanium dioxide has recently been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) as an IARC Group 2B carcinogen ”possibly carcinogen to humans”… This evidence showed that high concentrations of pigment-grade (powdered) and ultrafine titanium dioxide dust caused respiratory tract cancer in rats exposed by inhalation and intratracheal instillation*.

4. Contain Carrageenan. Tom’s of Maine  puts carrageenan in its toothpaste, including kids’ toothpaste. Many scientific, peer-reviewed studies found that  food-grade carrageenan can cause  gastrointestinal inflammation, ulcerations, lesions and even colon cancer in laboratory animals. Additionally, recent studies funded by the American Diabetes Association have linked the consumption of food-grade carrageenan to insulin resistance and glucose intolerance in mice.

5. Contain Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS). Although SLS originates from coconuts, the chemical is far from being natural. The real problem with SLES/SLS is that the manufacturing process (ethoxylation) results in SLES/SLS being contaminated with 1,4 dioxane, a carcinogenic by-product, which will be discussed in more detail later.  Rsearch studies on SLS have shown links to organ and reproductive toxicity, neurological damage, endocrine disruption, and cancer.

Before buying a personal care product, make sure to do your own research. Your health depends on it! I highly recommend Earthpaste Toothpaste. It contains only natural safe ingredients. (where to find)

References:
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Is manual weeding making a comeback?

Herbicide-resistant weeds changing farm practices

Arkansas has been ground zero for herbicide-resistant weeds. For instance, the state is second only to Australia in the amount of herbicide-resistant ryegrass in wheat.

“We’re actually running out of herbicides, making it difficult for us to even grow wheat in Arkansas, because of the levels of resistance that we have,” said Dr. Bob Scott. The state has had a large helping of resistance problems in other crops as well.

Scott shared Arkansas’ herbicide- resistance history with farmers gathered in North Battleford for Cavalier Agrow’s farm forum. Scott, a weed scientist, works in extension through the University of Arkansas.

By the 1990s, Arkansas farmers were already battling weeds that were immune to DNA herbicides. Farmers were also facing other problem weeds such as ALS-resistant cockleburs.

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“In 1999, Roundup came along and rescued us,” said Scott. Farmers rapidly adopted glyphosate, and everything seemed great, he said.

“But what we didn’t know at the time was that we were putting an astronomical amount of selection pressure on Roundup as a herbicide,” he said.

Horseweed was the first to develop glyphosate resistance. Scott said the difference between resistant and susceptible horseweed was like the difference between a Roundup Ready crop and a regular crop.

Horseweed seeds are wind-borne, so resistant plants spread rapidly across the state. Scott said the weed also started emerging later in the spring.

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“So we were selecting for a biotype of this weed that was not only resistant to Roundup, but was emerging after the dicamba went out, after the burn-down went out, and coming up in the Roundup Ready crop.”

Other glyphosate-resistant weeds — common and giant ragweed, Johnsongrass — followed. Scott said the state was averaging a new glyphosate-resistant weed every year and a half to two years.

“We were throwing something in the tank. We were adding a burn-down. But we really hadn’t made a lot of wholesale changes in the way we farm,” said Scott.

The first signs of resistance
In 2006, a farmer reported a Palmer pigweed patch that he’d sprayed several times with glyphosate.

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“So we came out and sampled some seeds, took them to the greenhouse, and had one of those ‘Oh, crap,’ moments,” said Scott. They’d found their first resistant pigweed population.

Palmer pigweed is a particularly vexing plant to deal with. If the weather cools after the pigweed emerges, it will only grow four or five inches before putting on a seed head, Scott said. But under ideal conditions, it will grow taller than a man. During one study, one pigweed plant produced over 1.8 million seeds, Scott said.

If the weed emerges in a favourable spot, Palmer pigweed will produce plenty of seed and little pollen. The seeds will fall in that spot, Scott explained.

But if the weed is under stress when it comes up, due to the location, it will embrace its masculine side, producing more pollen “so that its genes can be carried off to another spot. Pretty unique evolutionary adaptation for a weed,” said Scott.

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Palmer pigweed also readily hybridizes, crossing with other pigweeds and waterhemp, Scott said. “These pigweeds have no morals whatsoever.”

Between 2006 and 2011, glyphosate-resistant Palmer pigweed had spread to most soybean-growing counties in Arkansas. Scott said it spread through pollen, to some extent, but he thinks the main culprit was farm equipment.

Manual weeding
The rise of glyphosate-resistant weeds brought a host of problems to Arkansas farms.

Resistant horseweed pushed farmers to apply more dicamba. The herbicide was applied in every cotton field and many soybean fields, adding considerable production costs, Scott said. Dicamba also has long plant-back intervals, Scott added.

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Glyphosate-resistant weeds proved to be a huge problem for cotton growers. The crop has to be grown in wide rows, making weed control very difficult, Scott explained.

“We saw the reintroduction of hoe-crews in fields where we had not seen them ever before,” he said, adding the cost was “unsustainable.”

Scott related the case of one farmer who had a severe pigweed problem. Scott visited the farm when glyphosate-resistant pigweed started popping up in combine passes. He suggested switching to Liberty Link.

But other advisers talked the farmer out of it, Scott said. Instead, they suggested tank mixes for the next crop.

“The herbicides they chose to use to try to stay in Roundup, this pigweed happened to already be resistant to,” said Scott. They applied the mix a couple of times, to no avail. The pigweed overtook the crop. There were field areas where the farmer couldn’t run the combine, and Scott said he lost $230 per acre in those spots.

The next year, Scott ran a demonstration plot in that field, with a residual program. They were able to control the pigweed, said Scott.

Scott said cotton and soybean growers had to change the way they farmed. “Pigweed did not care how that guy wanted to farm. It didn’t care if he wanted to get one more year out of Roundup or not. It forced our hand, big time.”

Farmers are back to using residual herbicides, he said. They also rely on Group 14 chemistry, he added, although Group 14 resistance has been documented in other states.

Lessons learned
Scott read through a list of glyphosate-resistant weeds in Western Canada, noting farmers here have some problems, too. He suggested growers look at herbicide use and production history on their own farms now, even if they don’t have big problems yet.

“Maybe making a simple change now will prevent all of this kind of stuff from happening to you guys up here like it did to us in Arkansas.”

Farmers should pay attention to weeds that survive herbicide applications, Scott said. “Act on them while you can because prevention is a lot better than the cure in some cases.”

Running the combine through a resistant weed patch seeds the entire field for the next year, he added.

Adding a second chemical to glyphosate will only give farmers one mode of action if they already have glyphosate-resistant weeds, Scott said. Farmers should also remember that there’s “no reverse selection pressure” for weed resistance, he said. Weeds will remain resistant in the years to come. Scott has a research plot with pigweed that is resistant to three modes of action. Two were selected for in the ’80s and ’90s, he said.

Scott rarely recommends a single mode of action these days. Even with the Liberty Link system, he suggests residuals to get multiple modes of action. Farmers can get up to four modes of action out of that system, none of which have widespread resistance, he said.

While the Liberty Link system has helped Arkansas farmers, Scott said it’s being abused, too. For example, some people are spraying too late. A 12-day difference in application can mean the difference between 75 per cent and 100 per cent control, he said.

Three or four years of residuals and concerted efforts to cut the seed bank make a big difference when it comes to knocking down pigweed on a farm, he said. Controlling glyphosate-resistant pigweed has forced farmers to manage other resistant weeds, too, and they haven’t been finding new resistant weeds lately, he said.

Scott sees crops that can tolerate several modes of action in the future. He’s had an early look at Monsanto’s Roundup Ready Xtend system, which includes glyphosate and dicamba. Scott said it’s very good technology. It even cleaned up his resistant pigweed patch.

But, he added, it “scares the living fire out of me.” The system only has one mode of action for glyphosate-resistant pigweed. He does, however, see a fit for Xtend in a resistance management program that has other modes of action.

Asked whether he’s concerned about volunteers that are resistant to multiple modes of action, Scott said so far they’ve been able to control volunteers with different herbicides.

“When we do start stacking these traits, that won’t be the case. And that is a really big concern,” he said.

But BASF has decided not to with ALS tolerance, he said, so that farmers can control volunteers. “So I actually hope that between Dow and Monsanto, they’ll leave one trait out so that the other can be controlled.”

http://www.grainews.ca/2015/06/09/herbicide%C2%AD-resistant-weeds-changing-farm-practices/

 

Mosquito repellant plants

Mosquito Repellent Plants To Grow At Home

mosquito repelling plants
Six mosquito repelling plants to grow in your garden – these plants also repel other biting insects such as: gnats, ticks & fleas; and some of the plants protect other plants from aphids & mites etc.

Planting some mosquito repellent plants provide a great opportunity to get out in the garden and plant some plants which are a perfect mix of beauty and functionality. Some people are sceptical about using plants to repel insects, whilst others are 100% convinced of the insect repelling properties of many garden plants. Afterall the number one best selling barbecue/garden insect products are citronella candles that are made from citronella grass.

The thing is – if you take natural plant based insect repellents out of the equation; the only really option is DEET based products. There are serious health concerns about the toxic effects of DEET as it is absorbed into the body through your skin. Children are thought to be most at risk from side effects, as children’s skin absorbs more DEET than an adult’s. Sure, DEET has its place and it is even vital in certain situations and locations, but I think it is always worthwhile to also consider natural cures and solutions rather than just reaching for the pharmaceutical option each and every time.

At the end of the day, if you plant some of the plants listed below, at the very least you’ll be getting some pretty plants that smell beautiful. If however you are still not convinced by using plants to repel insects, why not check out: All Terrain Herbal Armor DEET-Free Natural Insect Repellent, it is biodegradable, cruelty – free, and contains no petrochemicals or animal by products.

Citronella grass

Citronella grass is an old favourite; everyone knows it is commonly used as an insect repellent in outdoor candles, which are used around outdoor eating and seating areas. Citronella grass is a great mosquito repellent and it can be planted and used in a similar way as citronella candles, to keep flying insects away.

For best results, plant citronella grass in the garden and use in conjunction with feverfew and lavender.

Additionally, citronella grass has also been found to have a calming effect on barking dogs, which is worth considering if you have a dog which barks excessively day and night. Your neighbours might thank you for at least giving it a try!

Feverfew

Feverfew is great for repelling mosquitoes and other flying biting insects. It is ideal for planting around outdoor seating areas, pathways and close to doorways and windows; for maximum benefit, plant in conjunction with citronella grass and lavender (see below).

In addition to its insect repellent qualities, feverfew also has many medicinal uses. It is historically used to help treat nervous disorders, headaches and it also works as a laxative and helps ease bloating.

Pyrethrum also known as Chrysanthemum

Pyrethrum helps to repel a whole host of insects and bugs, including: aphids, leafhoppers, spider mites, harlequin bugs and ticks.

Pyrethrum is best used as a ‘companion plant’ to protect other plants with its insect repellent properties. It is planted close to plants which are affected by the insects above.

Additionally a natural pesticide can be made with pyrethrum flowers. The flowers need to be dried and crushed and mixed with water. It is beyond the scope of this article to give specific instructions on potency etc., so please carry out further research before trying this, as even though the pesticide is completely natural, it can still be harmful to humans in certain situations.

Pennyroyal

Pennyroyal helps to repel mosquitoes, gnats and also ticks and fleas!

Pennyroyal is often used in commercial natural insect repellent creams and sprays. Pennyroyal is great to plant in the garden, but it is best utilized as a topical insect repellent applied to the skin.

If you crush pennyroyal leaves and rub them onto your skin, this acts as an effective insect repellent.  Additionally, you can also crush the stems and put them in pockets, bags and hats.

Crushed pennyroyal leaves and stems can also be rubbed on dogs to help repel ticks and fleas. Actually you will often see dogs rubbing in pennyroyal patches when outdoors.

Lavender

Lavender is most useful for repelling mosquitoes and gnats when planted in the garden; it can also be planted in pots and placed by doorways and windows.  As with feverfew and citronella grass; lavender is best planted in the garden around seated and eating areas and also around windows and doors.

Cut and or dried lavender can also be placed on windowsills to stop mosquitoes entering the house. Additionally, dried lavender flowers can also be used in wardrobes to repel moths and keep clothes smelling fresh.

Lavender also smells amazing and has many medicinal properties, it aids relaxation and helps promote restful sleep.

Marigolds

As with pyrethrum, marigolds are best used as a ‘companion plant’ to help protect other plants; however, marigolds do also have some mosquito repellent properties, so it’s a bit of an all-rounder.

Marigolds contain a chemical compound called thiopenes in the roots. This plant repels aphids, cabbage maggots, white flies and many other pests. Marigolds are particularly good at protecting tomato plants.

http://knowledgeweighsnothing.com/six-insect-repellent-plants-to-grow/

How to get rid of ticks using a link roller

Use a lint roller right after being in the woods or on a brush walk.. for humans & pets: This could be the most important thing that you see me post! Ticks are an epidemic this year, and these things are as lethal as a venomous snake in the wrong scenario! Please not only read it, but share it! Make sure we get the word out about these tics and the disease they carry!

It’s summer! Time for camping, hiking and getting outside to play. Don’t let those pesky annoying ticks stop you. Here’s how with a simple homemade solution!

Repellent for your pets:

For pets, add 1 cup of water to a spray bottle, followed by 2 cups of distilled white vinegar. Ticks hate the smell and taste of vinegar, and will be easily be repelled by this ingredient alone. Then, add two spoonfuls of vegetable or almond oil, which both contain sulfur (another natural tick repellent).

To make a repellent that will also deter fleas, mix in a few spoonfuls of lemon juice, citrus oil, or peppermint oil, any of which will repel ticks and fleas while also creating a nicely scented repellent. Spray onto the pet’s dry coat, staying away from sensitive areas including eyes, nose, mouth, and genitals. When outdoors for an extended period, spray this solution on two to three times per day.

For you and your family:

In a spray bottle, mix 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 cup of water. To make a scented solution so you do not smell like bitter vinegar all day, add 20 drops of your favorite essential oil.

Eucalyptus oil is a calm, soothing scent that also works as a tick repellent, while peppermint and citrus oils give off a strong crisp scent that also repel ticks.

After mixing the solution, spray onto clothing, skin, and hair before going outdoors. Reapply every four hours to keep ticks at bay, and examine your skin and hair when back inside to make sure no ticks are on the body.

If you have ever shared anything, please click share on this! WE must get the word spread about the dangers of Ticks and how to avoid them!