Maple syrup is without a doubt one of the best and most traditional sweeteners that is easily available today. Supermarkets, buying clubs and healthfood stores alike typically stock a wide variety of brands with consumers increasingly favoring its simple, whole sweetness over genetically modified (GMO) corn syrup or sugar derived synthetic syrups that can cause an acne breakout or a nasty canker sore nearly as fast as you can finish a stack of pancakes at the local diner.
Maple syrup has consistently played an integral part of the economies of North America. Native Americans originally taught the early European settlers how to tap maple trees and boil down the sap to make this sweetener which comes in a variety of hues, with the darker versions the richest tasting and most mineral loaded.
Since maple syrup is a completely natural product that is derived from trees that are decades old in most cases and rarely if ever sprayed, I’ve always assumed that conventional maple syrup is basically the same as organic. Why pay more for maple syrup that has the organic label which is an expensive certification for producers to procure?
I know many consumers who have made the same mistake.
I spent time this past weekend visiting my beloved alma mater, Furman University (Go Paladins!). I hadn’t been back since my 10 year college reunion, so needless to say, there were a lot of changes for me to catch up on.
As we drove around campus checking out all the new facilities, I was startled to notice two huge solar panels across the road from the soccer stadium which apparently powered at least part of the science building. This was my first clue that something very near and dear to my heart was happening.
As we drove out the back gate to the golf course to check out the big improvements to the practice facility since I graduated, I noticed a community farm that, by the looks of it, apparently followed organic and sustainable practices.
My biggest surprise came when my son and I were walking through the beautifully renovated cafeteria overlooking the 40-acre Furman lake and bell tower.
The realization that plenty of traditional fats in the diet is not dangerous and is, in fact, incredibly necessary for vibrant health can sometimes lead to the conclusion that fried foods are fine to eat on a regular basis.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case.
Frying and even baking and broiling carbohydrates creates a carcinogenic chemical called acrylamide in the food. This is the case even if healthy, high heat fats like tallow, lard, ghee or coconut oil are used.
The good news is that when traditional cooking methods are followed, the dangerous creation of acrylamide in your food can be avoided!
If you’ve enjoyed the convenience of using your laptop or notebook computer to get work done while snuggled into bed, reclined on the couch, sitting as a passenger on a road trip, or sipping a hot drink at the local coffee shop, it may be time to reconsider your computer-clicking habits.
Over the past few years a startling string of studies have implicated laptops as a prime source of harmful electromagnetic radiation (or EMF) emissions. Not surprisingly, experts have revealed that the health risks associated with using laptops and notebooks are highest when the devices are used in close proximity to the body. Thus, despite the catchy name, laptop computers are not actually safe to use from the lap.
When I was in elementary school several decades ago, there might have been 1 or 2 children in the entire school of several hundred who had an allergy, and it was usually to peanuts. I never even heard of a wheat or dairy allergy. Gluten free? Huh?
I think many adults could share a similar story.
Fast forward to 2003.
When my oldest son started school, one or at most two children in his class had a food allergy of some kind. Fast forward again to 2009. When my youngest child started preschool, ten of the children in a class of twelve were allergic to at least one food. My children now report that lunchroom conversation can sometimes include a discussion of who is allergic to what. When someone claims to have no allergies, he/she might even be called out as a fibber as allergies have now become the norm rather the exception for this generation of children, which could aptly be dubbed Generation A.
What in the world has happened in a few short decades? Why do so many children and a growing number of adults today have issues with immunity at what seems like an accelerating rate?