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WTF?! Is With The Coconut Oil Hype

Coconut Oil Ingredient of the Month

Coconut oil came out of nowhere and claimed the super food thrown despite years of criticism for being 90% saturated fat. The same saturated fat that has been blamed for years as the source for clogged arteries and weight gain. Lucky for us, researchers are finding more and more positives to this high fat food, and we’re finding more and more ways to use it.

So how did it redeem itself?

Well, it looks like health professionals are figuring out that saturated fats aren’t as bad as they once thought. So it didn’t really “redeem itself”, more like we wised up to fat not being the complete enemy and finally started giving sugar its fair share of the blame. In fact, the type of saturated fat in coconut oil can actually prevent long term weight gain and more research has convinced many health professionals that incorporating this beneficial fat in our diets can be super helpful. These benefits can be especially true for people with plant-based or paleo diets that need an awesome substitute for butter, one that emulsifies and solidifies. Or people that love to keep their personal care routines simple and natural. Or people that want to cook with a delicious tasting oil with added health benefits. Odds are you fit in one or two of these categories, so let’s go over some myths of this versatile ingredient…

Myth #1: Coconut Oil is Not Good For Diabetics

Coconut oil is mostly fat, as we mentioned above. So this is actually great news for diabetics and prevention of diabetes. It contains no glucose, and promotes the secretion of insulin to help keep diabetes in check. This is only true for VIRGIN coconut oil, not hydrogenated.

Myth #2: Coconut Oil Raises Your Cholesterol

Here’s the deal, there are two types of cholesterol, LDL or “bad” cholesterol that clogs up those arteries, and HDL, the “good” cholesterol that helps remove LDL from our systems. Turns out that coconut oil can help raise your HDL and at the same time lower your LDL. So sure, I guess coconut technically raises your cholesterol, but in a way that keeps your cholesterol profile even and healthier.

Myth #3: Coconut Oil Causes Weight Gain

In recent studies, researchers have given overweight women coconut oil supplements. In one study, women that supplemented their diet with coconut oil over soybean oil, showed a reduction in abdominal circumference. The medium chain fatty acids, a type of saturated fat, that are in coconut oil actually help increase the metabolic rate and give us more energy for exercising, that leads to more calories burned. (Also, coconut oil helps to prevent fat storage at a DNA level. Say what?!)

Myth #4: Coconut Oil Goes Rancid Super Fast

Even if coconut oil spoiled quickly, we use it way too much to ever make it there ;), but lucky for us its make up of saturated fats extends the shelf life a great deal. Coconut oil’s natural antibacterial powers, helps  the shelf life as well, reducing contamination from microbes. Refined coconut oil (absent of the coconut taste and smell) will last 18-24 months and virgin coconut oil can last years without turning rancid. Yet another reason coconut oil puts some other oils to shame!

But wait, there’s more!

In addition to busting these myths that were commonly spread about coconut oil, it has now become the go-to ingredient for non toxic living. I know what your thinking, WTF?! is so special about this stuff? Well, it’s list of health boosting skills is impressive and includes increasing teeth health, having antimicrobial properties, moisturizing skin, relieving symptoms of eczema, soothing sore throats, and tasting amazing!

And that’s why coconut oil is our Ingredient of the Month!

All this month we will be exploring the rest of the coconut oil benefits (or trying, there are seriously so many), and sharing DIY recipes, food recipes and all things coconut oil here on the blog and social media.

Don’t miss it!

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March Non Toxic News Update: The DARK Act is Defeated, Campbells Removes BPA Lining, and More!

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We can’t believe March is over already! But, we are stoked for all the non toxic progress that was made this month in the food, health and environmental sectors. Here are some of the highlights of this months triumphs, pledges and progress.

Excuse us while we celebrate…

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Campbell’s Makes Good on Their BPA Promise

In 2012, Campbells made a promise to phase out all BPA in their cans, but never revealed the timeline of the phase out. Finally they have officially announced that all BPA will be removed from their products by mid-2017. Woohoo! The company explained that the gap in action was due to the testing of hundreds of alternatives to make sure they are safe and don’t react with certain acidic ingredients over time. About 75% of products will be BPA free by December 2016, with the rest being drink caps and V8 beverages to switch in 2017. Campbells has also committed to GMO labeling regardless of whether the government requires it. We are ecstatic that companies like this are listening to consumers and changing for the non toxic better.

General Mills To Begin Labeling GMOs

General Mills announced that they would voluntarily start labeling products containing GMOs after Vermont’s mandatory labeling law. This includes GM products, Nature Valley, Progresso Soups and many more. Hopefully this momentum can help push a federal mandate and encourage more companies to disclose what’s in our food.

The DARK Act is Defeated in the Senate

On March 16, the Senate voted on the DARK Act, or Deny Americans the Right to Know Act, and actually listened to consumers. We want to know what’s in our food and make the choice about what we consume. This is a huge win for consumers and progress in the right direction. The jury is still out on if GMO’s are non toxic or not, but we always should have the right to choose whether we want to consume GMO food.

New Documentary, STINK!, Reveals Dark Secrets of the Chemical Industry

Fragrance continues to be the loop hole for companies to sneak toxic ingredients into their products. How? They include them in a “proprietary blend” that allows them to not disclose exact ingredients. This new documentary dives into the corporate and political obstacles that present themselves in the fight for safe and non toxic products. This film goes up against the notion that it’s ok for the chemical industry to choose what chemicals we are exposed to and what needs to be done to fix it.

India Pledges To Go 100% EV by 2030

India is making an aggressive push against dirty fossil fuels by proposing zero down payment programs to citizens, making electric vehicles much more affordable. They hope to set an example for world governments by proactively finding a solution to the greenhouse gas emissions problem without putting financial stress on their citizens. Coal-fired plants in India are becoming a large source of pollution and this is good in theory, but skeptics wonder if this will put too much pressure on the power industry. Although the logistics are unclear, we are excited that India is taking such an aggressive stance on making non toxic change.

Almond Farmers Experiment With Trees That Don’t Need Bees

As bees become increasingly endangered, farmers are looking for ways to take the burden off of them and give them time to flourish. These trees pollinate themselves, which is great for farmers and bees, but the beekeepers take a hit financially. Farmers are seeing great results from these independent pollinating trees and time will tell if they help the climb of bee population.

Ikea Launches Indoor Garden That Grows Food All Year

Ikea has been dedicating more of it’s time to sustainability initiatives, which is amazing from such an influential brand, and now they are starting to deliver. Ikea launched their indoor hydroponic garden which allows people to easily grow produce in their homes all year long! Non toxic produce is a huge health boost and growing your own lowers your exposure to harmful pesticides.

 

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In A Disposable Restaurant Industry, Bagby Beer Company Stands Out by Going Plastic Free!

The Restaurant biz is a notoriously wasteful industry that continues to grow. Not only food waste, but plastic waste as well. In fact, Ocean researchers estimate that some 10 million to 20 million tons of plastic enter the ocean every year, a large chunk of which comes from straws, plates, forks and cups that consumers carelessly throw away, or can’t recycle. WHAT?! That’s a crazy big number in the name of convenience. If we are going to keep growing these industries, we are going to have to start thinking about what the impact of these every day, seemingly small, choices really are. Pollution and harm to sea life are just a couple of the negative impacts of plastic on our planet. But there is hope! Just as our individual choices matter, the choices of business can make an even bigger positive impact on this dilemma.

San Diego brewery and restaurant, Bagby Beer Company, is precisely the type of company we are talking about. They have taken it upon themselves to make it easier for their customers by taking plastic out of the equation all together. They estimate that they’ve disposed of at least 200,000 plastic straws per year and they are done with that life. Bagby is so cool that they are on and how they are making it a part of their brand culture.

bagby beer plastic free

Did you know that more than 500 million disposable plastic straws are used in the United States every day?

It’s no secret that single-use plastics are a detriment to our environment, and study after study shows that marine life – particularly sea turtles and sea birds – are extremely vulnerable to the constant and perpetual discarding of plastic (especially straws) into their environment. It is estimated that over half of all sea turtles and sea birds have already consumed plastic or other debris, and that this number could swell to over 90% in the coming years.  This is life threatening for them – and for what?

Considering their proximity to the ocean, their personal and company values, and the scale of their business, they made the decision to replace all of the plastic straws with paper ones. Bagby Beer feels that the benefit to the environment, to the community, and to themselves will far outweigh the initial financial impact. The paper straws they have implemented are FDA approved, are completely biodegradable and compostable, are chlorine and chemical-free, and are made in the USA. They are willing to make this commitment, even though it will be more expensive at first, because it is their hope that others will follow suit, and that together there can be a significant reduction to the impact on the environment and the wildlife within it. So rad!

bagby beer plastic free

They’ve even asked their employees to pitch in on the efforts by not automatically providing straws with water or soft drinks, but only when customers request them. Employees are required to bring a reusable covered drink cup to work, instead of using the disposable to-go cups. They are challenging each other to be mindful, and educating one another about what is recycling, and what isn’t. They are also saving ice water to water the plants around their restaurant. They encourage their employees to be a part of the process and welcome suggestions for anything they think will help.

“With great opportunity comes great responsibility. We have a presence in Oceanside and in the craft beer community – we intend to use our position and lead the way in our industry, using Bagby Beer Company as an example that it is possible to do the responsible thing, even if it costs more initially. It feels good to do the right thing!” – Dande Bagby

Pretty cool, right? We are stoked that Bagby Beer is leading the way for breweries and restaurants to go plastic free. The more other restaurants and breweries join the movement, it’s possible the costs will decline, and the easier it will be for everyone to reduce single use plastics in the restaurant industry.

What can you do to help reduce restaurant plastic waste?

  1. When you’re eating out, bring your own glass straw to cut down on plastic straws. It’s a great conversation starter! Or simply skip the straw.
  2. If you work at a restaurant or bar, share this post and see what your place of work can do to eliminate plastic waste. You’d be surprised what a simple suggestion can do.
  3. Bring your own food container with you, restaurants don’t mind and you don’t have to waste food or a plastic box.

If you have to use plastic, check out this video by Good. Recycling starts in the store, so know which plastics are easiest to recycle later.

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