Friday, June 25, 2010

Squire Creek Louisiana Peach Festival

This is the 60th annual peach festival. It is one of the longest continuing agriculture festivals in Louisiana, and has earned that distinction largely through involvement by the community.

The Peach Festival recognizes the peach growers for the quality and success of their products; as well as the job opportunities they offer the students of the area. Working the fields, picking, grading, and preparing peaches for shipment provides these students with the funds to continue their education and obtain their goals.


Monday, June 21, 2010

Question from Reader
Is Aspartame sweetener harmful to our health?

Aspartame and its Relationship to
Science, Politics and Industry

Is Aspartame sweetener harmful to our health? I was reading online that the acid included can burn a hole in the brain. Is this true?  FW

The safety of aspartame has been the subject of several political, industrial and medical controversies.

Aspartame is an artificial sweetener used as a sugar substitute in many foods and beverages. The body breaks down aspartame into two common amino acids, aspartic acid and phenylalanine, and a third substance, methanol. These three substances are available in foods we commonly eat. Because its breakdown products include phenylalanine, aspartame must be avoided by people with the genetic condition phenylketonuria (PKU).

Politics, Government and Industry.

 In 1980, the FDA convened a Public Board of Inquiry charged with examining the relationship between aspartame and brain cancer. The board concluded aspartame does not cause brain damage, but it recommended against approving aspartame at that time, citing unanswered questions about cancer in laboratory rats.

FDA task force investigated allegations of errors in the research conducted by the manufacturer (G.D. Searle & Company) and found only minor discrepancies that did not affect the study outcomes.

In 1981, G.D. Searle & Company then led by CEO Donald Rumsfeld, re-applied to the FDA for approval to use aspartame in food sweetener. The new FDA commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes, Jr., appointed a 5-person Scientific Commission to review the board’s decision. The panel upheld the ban by a 3-2 decision. Hayes then added a sixth member to the commission, and the vote was tied. Hayes personally broke the tie in favor of aspartame. Hayes later left the FDA under allegations of impropriety. He later took a position with Burston-Marsteller, the chief public relations firm for G.D. Searle and Company. Since that time he has never spoken publicly about aspartame.

In 1983, the FDA further approved aspartame for use in carbonated beverages, and for use in other beverages, baked goods, and confections in 1993. In 1996, the FDA removed all restrictions from aspartame allowing it to be used in all foods.

Critics claim FDA’s approval of aspartame was impaired by conflicts of interest and questionable research. The validity of these claims were examined and dismissed. In 1987, the U.S. Government Accountability Office concluded that the food additive approval process had been followed properly for aspartame.

Aspartame has been found to be safe for human consumption by more than ninety countries worldwide, with FDA officials describing aspartame as "one of the most thoroughly tested and studied food additives the agency has ever approved" and its safety as "clear cut" (2). The weight of existing scientific evidence indicates that aspartame is safe at current levels of consumption as a non-nutritive sweetener.

Aspartame (1) as listed in the Food Additive Status List
NUTRS (Nutritive Sweetener).
REG (Food additives for which a petition has been filed and a regulation issued).
GMP (In accordance with good manufacturing practices; or sufficient for purpose; or quantity not greater than required).

Sweetening agent, sugar substitute uses stated in - 172.804. Sugar substitute tablets, breakfast cereals, chewing gum, dry bases for beverages, instant coffee and tea beverages, gelatins, puddings, fillings, and dairy product analog toppings, ready-to-serve nonalcoholic flavored beverages, tea beverages, fruit juice based drinks where food standards permit such use, fruit flavored drinks and ades, imitation fruit flavored drinks and ades, frozen stick-type confections and novelties, breath mints, hard and soft candy, refrigerated ready-to-serve gelatins, puddings, and fillings, fruit wine beverages with EtOH <7%, yogurt-type products where aspratame is added after pasteurization and culturing, refrigerated flavored milk beverages, frozen desserts, frostings, toppings, fillings, glazes and icings for precooled baked goods, frozen, ready-to-thaw-and-eat cheesecakes, fruit and fruit toppings, frozen dairy and nondairy frostings, toppings, and fillings, fruit spreads, fruit toppings, and fruit syrups, malt beverages with <7% EtOH and containing fruit juice, baked goods and baking mixes 0.5 wt.-% of ready-to bake products or of finished formulation and prior to baking.

1. Listing of Food Additive Status Part I.
2. Sugar Substitutes: Americans Opt for Sweetness and Lite. John Henkel, writer for FDA Consumer.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

A Special Gift for Father's Day

Dear Dad.

We have a Special Gift for you. 

Checklist to Stay Healthy

No Tobacco
Eat Healthy
Exercise regularly
Stay at a healthy weight
Take Your Medication
Go for Screening Tests for
Cholesterol, HDL, LDL
High Blood Pressure
Colorectal Cancer

We love you Dad.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

A Look at Wellness Topics for the
Week of June 14 to June 20, 2010

Journalists, Bloggers and Writers are needed to provide current wellness topics.
Topics Focus on.....
Current News, Events and Holidays related to Nutrition, Food, Health, Wellness, Weight Control, Food Recalls, Food Safety, Disability Rights, the Environment and Animals.

The Goals are to encourage awareness and inspire ideas for Journalists, Educators and Health Professionals. The information can than be passed on to consumers, families and students.

Weekly Events

June 20-26 Lightening Safety Week 

Daily Events

June 14th 

Arkansas becomes the 25th State

June 16th


June 18th
World Refugee Day (usually celebrated on June 20th. Every year, people across the United States use World Refugee Day as a focus for raising awareness and funds in their own communities to gather support for UNHCR.  

June 19th
World Sauntering Day. Smell the roses and pay attention to the world around you.

June 20th
West Virginia becomes the 35th State

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 8th, World Oceans Day

Today, June 8th is World Oceans Day.

The Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network has helped coordinate events and activities throughout the world. In December 2008, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution making World Oceans Day officially recognized by the UN on June 8th each year.

Nearly three-quarters of the Earth's surface is covered by water. The oceans have played a crucial role in the history and sustenance of all life.

From the Ocean Project: 
The World's Oceans....
*Generates most of the oxygen we breathe
*Helps feed us
*Regulates our climate

Goals of World Oceans Day

Encourage individuals to think about what the ocean means to them and what it has to offer all of us with hopes of conserving it for present and the future generations.

Discover the wealth of diverse and beautiful ocean creatures and habitats, how our daily actions affect them, and how we are all interconnected.

Celebrate - whether you live inland or on the coast we are all connected to the ocean; take the time to think about how the ocean affects you, and how you affect the ocean, and then organize or participate in activities that celebrate our world ocean.

Like so many people, the recent oil spill has left me angry, devastated and wondering whether we will see the destruction of marine life, oceans and coastal areas during our life time.

It's up to each one of us to help ensure that our ocean is protected and conserved for future generations. Please don't just leave memories of the wonders of the Oceans for our children and grandchildren.

Oceans and the Oil Spills

The oil spill in the Gulf is just one of many oil spills that have occurred in our world over the last seventy years (79 oil spills from all 7 continents are noted and it is not a complete list). Reference: Wikipedia: Oil Spills 

April 20, 2010. Deepwater Horizon, Gulf of Mexico, USA
April 3, 2010. Great Barrier Reef, Shen Neng 1, Great Keppel Island, Australia
January 23, 2010. Port Arthur, Texas, USA

August 21, 2009. Montara, Timor Sea, Western Australia
July 31, 2009. Full City, Rognsfjorden, south of Langesund, Norway
March 10, 2009. Queensland, Australia
February 14, 2009. West Cork, Southern coast of Ireland

July 28, 2008. New Orleans, Louisiana, USA

December 12, 2007. Statfjord, Norwegian Sea, Norway
December 7, 2007. Korea Yellow Sea, South Korea
November 23, 2007. MV Explorer, south of King George Island, Antarctica
November 11, 2007. Kerch Strait, Ukraine & Russia
November 7, 2007. 2007 San Francisco Bay oil spill San Francisco, California, USA
October 23, 2007. Kab 101, Bay of Campeche, Mexico

August 11, 2006. Guimaras, Philippines
July 14, 2006. Jiyeh, Lebanon
June 19, 2006. Citgo refinery, Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
March 2, 2006. Prudhoe Bay, Alaska North Slope, Alaska, USA

December 8, 2004. MV Selendang Ayu, Unalaska Island, Alaska, USA
November 26, 2004. Athos 1, Delaware River, USA

July 28, 2003. Tasman Spirit Karachi, Pakistan
April 27, 2003. Bouchard No.120, Buzzards Bay, Bourne, Massachusetts, USA

November 13, 2002. Prestige, Galicia, Spain
October 6, 2002. Limburg, Gulf of Aden

October 4, 2001. Trans-Alaska Pipeline System, Alaska
January 14, 2001. Amorgos oil spill, Southern coast of Taiwan
January 22, 2001. Jessica, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

June 6, 2000. Treasure Cape Town, South Africa
January 18, 2000. Guanabara Bay, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

December 12, 1999. Erika Bay of Biscay, France

January 12, 1998. Mobil Nigeria oil spill Nigeria

December 10, 1997. Nakhoda Sea, Japan

September 27, 1996. Julie N. Portland, Maine, USA
February 15, 1996. Sea Empress Wales, UK
January 19, 1996. North Cape Rhode Island, USA

March 31, 1994. Seki United Arab Emirates
January 7, 1994. Morris J. Berman, Puerto Rico

January 5, 1993. Braer Shetland, UK

December 3, 1992. Aegean Sea, Coruña, Spain
April 16, 1992. Katina P Maputo, Mozambique
March 2, 1992. Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

July 21, 1991. Kirki, off the coast of West Australia
May 28, 1991. ABT Summer, off Angola
April 11, 1991. MT Haven Mediterranean Sea near Genoa, Italy
January 23, 1991. Gulf War, Persian Gulf

September 16, 1990. Jupiter, Saginaw River, near Bay City, Michigan, USA
June 8, 1990. Mega Borg, Gulf of Mexico, SE of Galveston, Texas
March 6, 1990. Barge Cibro Savannah, Citgo facility, Linden, New Jersey
February 7, 1990. American Trader, Bolsa Chica State Beach, California, USA

December 19, 1989. Khark 5, off Atlantic coast of Morocco
March 24, 1989. Exxon Valdez Prince William Sound, Alaska, USA

November 10, 1988. Odyssey, off Nova Scotia, Canada
January 2, 1988. Ashland, Floreffe, Pennsylvania, USA

December 6, 1985. Nova, South of Kharg Island, Arabian Gulf
September 28, 1985. Grand Eagle, Delaware River, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, USA

August 6, 1983. Castillo de Bellver, Saldanha Bay, South Africa
February 4, 1983. Nowruz, Persian Gulf

March 7, 1980. Tanio , Brittany, France
February 23, 1980. Irenes Serenade Navarino Bay, Greece

November 15, 1979. MT Independenta Bosphorus, Turkey
November 1, 1979. Burmah Agate Galveston Bay, Texas, USA
July 19, 1979. Atlantic Empress / Aegean Captain Trinidad and Tobago
June 3, 1979. Ixtoc I, Gulf of Mexico
January 8, 1979. Betelgeuse Bantry Bay, Ireland

March 16, 1978. Amoco Cadiz Brittany, France

April 22, 1977. Ekofisk, North Sea
February 26, 1977. Hawaiian Patriot, off Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

December 15, 1976. Argo Merchant, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts, USA
June 23, 1976. NEPCO 140 oil spill Saint Lawrence River, USA
May 12, 1976. Urquiola A Coruña, Spain

January 31, 1975. Corinthos, Delaware River, Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania, USA
January 29, 1975. Jakob Maersk Oporto, Portugal

August 9, 1974. Metula Strait of Magellan, Chile

December 19, 1972. Sea Star Gulf, Oman

March 20, 1970. Othello Tralhavet Bay, Sweden

January 28, 1969. Santa Barbara, California, USA

March 18, 1967. Torrey Canyon Isles of Scilly, UK

December 30, 1958. African Queen Ocean City, Maryland, USA

1940's and 1950's
Brooklyn, Newtown Creek, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, New York, USA. One of the world’s largest underground oil spills. At approximately 17 million gallons and 55 acres, the spill is at least 6 million gallons larger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez spill in Alaska. The spill is the result of leaks in the 1940s and 1950s. ExxonMobil neglected the spill for more than two decades. In 1978, a helicopter patrol, the US Coast Guard discovered a large plume of oil flowing out of the banks of the creek. No action was taken until 1990. (Riverkeeper,

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sun Safety Awareness Week, June 1 to 7

Sun Safety Alliance
The Sun Safety Alliance, Inc. (SSA) is a communication and educationally focused not-for-profit organization with the mission to reduce the incidence of skin cancer. SSA is dedicated to creating national awareness of skin cancer as an important health issue. SSA believes that a concerted focus on skin cancer prevention, education, and awareness is the only way to change generations of behavior.

The SSA works to elevate sun safety and skin cancer prevention in national media space through various program activities and providing resources for the accurate depictions of sun safety. 

SSA additionally works to:
 1.  Bridge the gap between research on sun safety and skin cancer prevention issues and strategic means of communicating them to the public.

 2.  Educate the public and improve public awareness regarding the importance of sun care safety, especially for children, with the goal of helping to prevent skin cancer due to sun exposure; To encourage members of the public to take action to protect themselves and their families, especially children, from the dangers of the sun;

 3.  Enhance the ability of healthcare providers, including community pharmacists and physicians, to promote the mission of eliminating skin cancer.

Sun Safety Tips prepared by the Sun Safety Alliance.

1. Sun exposure causes most of the wrinkles and age spots on our faces and is the number one cause of skin cancer.
2. Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15 or greater 30 minutes before sun exposure and then every few hours thereafter.
3. Select cosmetic products and contact lenses that offer UV protection.
4. Wear sunglasses with total UV protection
5. Wear wide-brimmed hats, long sleeved shirts and pants
6. Avoid direct sun exposure as much as possible during peak UV radiation hours between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm.
7. Perform skin self-exams regularly to become familiar with existing growths and to notice any changes or new growths
8. As a parent, be a good role model and foster skin cancer prevention habits in your child
9. Avoid tanning beds

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Wellness News

June Wellness News

In addition to the events listed in the video, there are more
presented on Wellness News.
June 2010 Current News and Resources in Nutrition, Food, Health,
Recalls/Safety, Disability Rights and Environmental Issue.
Encourages awareness & inspires ideas for Journalists, Educators,
Consumers and Health Professionals.

June Celebrations, Causes and/or Fun Events
Atlantic Hurricane Season begins;
International Men's Month;
Adopt A Shelter Cat Month;
Cancer from the Sun Month;
Child Vision Awareness Month;
Children's Awareness Month;
Effective Communications Month;
Great Outdoors Month;
International Childhood Cancer Campaign Month;
National Aphasia Awareness Month;
June is Perennial Gardening Month;
National Drive Safe Month;
National Fireworks Safety Month (June 1 - July 4th);
National Home Safety Month;
National Rivers Month;
National Rose Month;
National Safety Month;
Student Safety Month;
Dairy Month;
Dairy Alternative Month;
June is Turkey Lovers Month;
National Candy Month;
National Ice Tea Month;
National Papaya Month;
National Smile Month;
National Soul Food Month;
National Fresh Fruits and Vegetable Month;
National Steakhouse Month;
National Zoo and Aquarium Month;
Potty Training Awareness Month;
Professional Wellness Month;
Rebuild Your Life Month;
Sports America Kids Month;
Vision Research Month;
Women's Golf Month