Yes, I am aware of ewg.org. It’s a great idea, however, I haven’t found it to be very helpful.
In this instance, the formula reviewed is out of date. You could technically look up all the ingredients in the new formula, but you have to use your best judgement in determining whether they are harmful. For example, SODIUM LAUROYL SARCOSINATE listed in this formula is a foaming agent, similar to the toxic SLS. Both carry “increased absorption” as a reason for danger. So if SLS is toxic, and is mixed with other toxic chemicals, they are going to be absorbed more fully by your stripped skin. If there’s not so much other bad stuff to absorb in the formula, then it’s not as much of a concern in my mind.
Also, I was disappointed at how low the rating was for a potentially toxic aluminum product, the deodorant crystal. You can read my review in my blog post about deodorants.
Unfortunately, this site does not seem to have enough staffing to keep up with a lot of products, or to have a scientist actually consider each product as a whole, and the data gap seems too large on many items. So it’s a place we can get SOME information, but I think we should still realize we’re gonna have to educate ourselves to protect ourselves. ~BD
I made this creamy, sweet, and refreshing dessert twice during the holidays, and have been asked for the recipe multiple times. Once I served it at a dessert buffet with salted dark chocolate cake. The two flavors played off each other well.
This recipe is really easy, can be made a day ahead, and can easily be modified with other toppings. I’m trying chocolate next.
Cranberry Panna Cotta
Thanks to Nancy Jo Newman for the original recipe.
In a small saucepan, heat until sugar is disolved and liquid begins to simmer:
1 and 1/4 cups heavy whipping cream (if there are clumps of cream clinging to the sides of the carton, scrape these out and use them…the richer, the better!)
1/4 cup sugar (I used xylitol for a low-glycemic sweetener; maple syrup would also be wonderful)
Mix together in 1 qt bowl:
1/4 or so of the hot cream
1 packet gelatin (2 and 1/2 tsp.) Read more about gelatin in this post.
The gelatin will disolve. Use a wire whisk to beat until smooth, adding the rest of the hot cream. Then beat in:
1 cup whole milk yogurt (I used Trader Joes Organic European Style Whole Milk Yogurt)
1 tsp. vanilla
Pour into a 9X12 inch pan, or 8 sorbet glasses. Refrigerate for a few hours until set.
Simmer in a clean saucepan:
4 barlett pears, cored, pealed, and cut in chunks
1 cup black cherry juice (I used Knudsons Just Black Cherry)
When pears are soft, mash them in the pan, and continue to simmer. Then stir in:
1/3 bag fresh cranberries, cut in half each (this avoids the skins from bursting off and rolling up into those little spears in sauce) sugar to taste (I used 1/4 cup xylitol)
Simmer/stir for 5 minutes more, then cool for about a half hour on the counter before layering over the set cream. Refrigerate until serving.
Have you ever read a book that sort of pulls together a lot of loose questions for you? I mean, you have been told a basic theory about a topic, and yet you know of personal situations that don’t fit into the basic theory. And then you are presented with a new paradigm that makes so much sense on a diverse clinical level.
Such was my experience with the book Cure Tooth Decay: Heal & Prevent Cavities with Nutrition by Ramiel Nagel. Although I knew, like most moms, that a proper diet which included calcium was essential to making healthy teeth, I didn’t know that an excellent diet can actually prevent tooth decay. Even without brushing. Whaaat?
I’m not advocating not brushing one’s teeth (neither is the book’s author), however, there is extensive documentation of hundreds of people in cultures across the globe with excellent, carie-free, dental health. And they were armed with excellent diets (which varied across the globe, naturally) rather than with toothbrushes. (This documentation was the work of Dr. Weston A. Price, a dentist who traveled the globe to find people with traditional diets and to observe their dental health. He became so impressed with their overall health, and longevity, that his life work became titled Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.)
How can people have excellent dental health without brushing (and flossing, and swishing, and getting dental cleanings every 6 months)? This is what I wondered, as my paradigm for dental health was that the things that we put on our teeth (food, especially sugar) and then failing to brush it off soon enough, will cause acids and/or feed bacteria that eat away at our tooth enamel. This book debunks the “sugar on teeth” theory, in that white sugar does not feed bacteria, it actually kills it. But we all know some kid that’s addicted to sugar, and has a mouth full of fillings to prove it, right? This is where the nutrition factor comes in: it’s not the sugar on the teeth that wear away at the enamel, it’s the sugar inside the body. White sugar (and white flour, and a bunch of other nutrition negatives) cause the body to swing towards an acid pH, and the body must compensate by pulling an alkaline substance (like calcium) from storage to keep the pH balanced, or to send to a more important part of the body, like the brain or heart. The body may decide in this crisis situation that losing a tooth is better than losing an organ, and so a living tooth slowly loses it’s health from the inside out.
This explains why one tooth may be in decay, while the one next to it is fine (one would think that all teeth in the mouth would decay at the same rate if it were the foods present in the mouth affecting them, as sugar would be distributed everywhere). The body may prioritize one tooth as a source for pulling calcium over another tooth. This also explains why breast-fed babies tend to have more excellent dental health than their bottle-fed counterparts. Dental caries in infants have long been blamed on formula pooling in the cheek from bottle feeding, yet breastfed babies can also sleep with pooled milk and yet have better teeth. It is the better nutrition in the breastmilk that is the basis for better dentition, rather than the absence of milk on the teeth themselves.
Of course, breast-milk is not always excellent nutrition; the health-giving properties of breastmilk are tied to the excellence of the mother’s diet. Ramiel Nagel’s own daughter was being exclusively breastfed when she began to develop tooth decay. The whole family was vegetarian, so they thought they were very health conscious in their diet, yet the lack of essential animal fats and proteins had actually thrown them into a state of malnutrition. As Mr. Nagel research Dr. Price’s writings, he became convinced that they must change their diet dramatically, or all suffer physical and dental degeneration.
Dr. Price found that the people groups he studied with the most excellent dental health, some with nearly 100 percent immunity to dental caries across the entire population, ate liberally and daily from the following 3 food sources:
Dairy products from grassfed animals
Organs and muscle meat from fish and shellfish
Organs of land animals
Mr. Nagel’s book goes into fascinating detail on the whole diets of several groups of people (some peoples ate hardly any dairy, etc. but had larger doses of the other special foods, etc.). He also explores the minerals and fat-soluble vitamins (namely calcium, phosphorus, Vitamins A and D from natural sources) which are the reason (or part of the reason) that these foods build healthy teeth (and bodies).
At the end of this article are some lists of Eat Daily/Weekly/Rarely/Never which are Ramiel Nagel’s suggestions. This list is overwhelming to me, as it would seem like a full time job to make sure each of my children ate all the recommended foods daily and weekly. However, I have to remember that we are doing a decent job on the 3 important foods categories: particularly eating lots of raw milk, yellow butter, and cod liver oil. And considering that the rest of our diet is very whole-foods centered, and that I have had this good nutrition while pregnant and breastfeeding, it isn’t surprising that my children all have beautiful strong teeth (so far!). For those that are already realizing poor dental health as a result of poor nutrition, it may be wise to go drastic and follow Mr. Nagel’s diet to reverse tooth decay, as he was able to accomplish for his daughter.
Of course, many factors are likely present in decay situations, and tooth surfaces that allow for compacted food to be left on them, like molar chewing surfaces, and the baby’s teeth which are in the pool of milk, do tend to be the first to decay. Brushing seems to be a reasonable and helpful habit for minimizing these factors, especially if the toothpaste does not have toxic fluoride but instead a healthy dose of Xylitol, a natural bacteria-fighting sugar with re-enamalizing properties. (Ramiel Nagel has a negative opinion of Xylitol based on one study on its safety; my research leads me to believe it is safe and effective. Read Xylitol: Alternative to Fluoride.)
However, brushing should be seen as the secondary dental habit, with excellent nutrition being the first and most important.
Ramiel Nagel outlines a diet that has allowed 90% of those who follow it to stop tooth decay. If you already have teeth decaying in the mouth, consider a strict adherence to this diet.
Foods to Eat Daily:
1/8-1/2 tsp. fermented Cod Liver Oil 3x daily with meals, or 1/2-4 T. organic/wild liver
1/8-1/4 tsp. of high vitamin butter oil 3x daily with meals, or 1-2 T. yellow butter per meal
2-6 cups raw grassfed whole milk
2 cups bone broth
1-4 T. grassfed bone marrow
2 fermented foods, such as sauerkraut, kefir, yogurt
Substantial quantities of vegetables, such as carrots, beet greens, kale, chard, zucchini, broccoli, celery, sting beans, including soups and juices
Seaweed or kelp
Eat Several Times Weekly:
Raw, rare cooked, or marinated/fermented wild caught fish
Raw, rare cooked, or marinated/fermented grassfed beef or lamb
Raw fresh oysters or clams
Raw, rare cooked, or marinated/fermented liver of grassfed beef, lamb, chicken, fish, turkey, etc.
Raw or soft cooked eggs from grass-fed poultry
Eat Only Rarely/Avoid If Dental Health is Poor:
Dried Fruit, and any very sweet fruits, such as orange, grapes, peaches, banana and pineapple
Natural Sweeteners, such as unheated honey, organic maple syrup, agave nectar, fruit juice, and rapadura
Foods to Completely Avoid:
Sugar, in all processed forms
Flour and grain products, unless soaked or sprouted
Hydrogenated Oils, and low quality oils, such as soybean, canola, safflower. Replace with organic coconut, olive, or palm oils, butter, suet, or tallow.
Any junk food
Coffee, soft drinks, nutrasweet, and anything artificial
Soymilk, protein powder, and excess Tofu (my note: protein powder which is unheated raw whey is OK as it is still raw milk)
Pasteurized milk, even organic
Non-grassfed meat and eggs, and farmed fish
Alcohol and cigarettes
Drugs, whether recreational or prescription, and vaccines