National Nutella Day - Not all its cracked up to be! (Nuts!)

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National Nutella Day – Not all its cracked up to be! (Nuts!)

images-2So, today was National Nutella Day.  YUMMINESS!!  Right? …

well, I’m Debbie Downer today, so NO.

WHAT???!!!! How on EARTH can a person get by without NUTELLA???!!!

Especially as we approach Valentine’s Day <3 Hazelnuts are actually really good for your heart! <3

Nutella-Cupcakes-with-Strawberry-Cream-Cheese-Frosting2

I mean, just a few years ago, my kids ate it ALL THE TIME.  Nutella was a GO TO solution because it was made of nuts!  Hazelnuts!  Which are GOOD for you!  Firstly, they can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease thanks to their folates,  monounsaturated fat, Vitamin E, Copper and Magnesium.  These essential minerals reduce blood pressure and decrease inflammation, and reduce risk of bloodclotting.  They also, oddly enough, aid in weight loss, as they are high in fat and protein but also stimulate metabolism burning more calories.  Not to mention, they are highly satisfying! Nuts in general really…Hazelnuts-600x400

For more info go here: http://www.oregonhazelnuts.org/health-benefits/

or here: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/aug/31/why-hazelnuts-are-good-for-you

And everyone knows that chocolate is an antioxidant!  Duh, no brainer.  So good for you!  Dark chocolate anyway – really dark- like 70% or higher dark.  It is also super nutritious! FYI: a 100 gram bar of dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) has 11 grams of fiber, 67% daily RDA Iron, 58% RDA Magnesium, 89% RDA Copper, 98% RDA Manganese and gobs of potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium!  Hello!  World’s first “Power Bar.”

For more info go here: http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/chocolate-bar-300x240

So we ate it ALL THE TIME.  Nutella went on/in: bananas, apples, oatmeal, toast, omlettes, ice cream, yogurt, granola, waffles, strawberries, oranges, celery, smoothies, even pizza.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Then we woke up.

Thank you facebook and social media for killing my buzz.

Articles were made available to me that alerted me to some MAJOR philosophical as well as physiological issues.

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photography-sugar-image18751962As far as nutrition goes, I was willing to overlook that the very first ingredient is sugar.  I figured as long as it wasn’t beet sugar (because that is very very likely to be GMO and therefore, in my opinion, cancer causing) then I was safe.  Organic pure cane sugar is what I was telling myself {“from Hawaii, growing in the sun!”}.  I mean, if only I could stop educating myself;  Ignorance is bliss.  Now, of course I know that sugar literally CAUSES cancer.  Not just worsens it, or feeds it, but CAUSES it. So I can’t ostrich out on that one any longer.nutella-300x225

For more info go here: http://www.greenamerica.org/pubs/greenamerican/articles/AprilMay2013/How-Monsantos-Sugar-Beets-Grew-Larger-Than-The-Law.cfm

Or here: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130916103646.htm

Concerned-about-palm-oil-Boycotting-won-t-change-a-thing_strict_xxlBut then, I became aware of the orangutan issue.  sumatran_orangutan_8.6.2012_Hero_and_Circle_image_XL_257636

Holy bananas Batman.  Hold the press!  The second ingredient in Nutella is palm oil.  The oil is derived from the fruits of the oil palm.  Now, palm oil is not bad for you.  In fact, in its raw form it is really good for you!  Its health benefits include reduced blood pressure as well as a reduced risk of arterial thrombosis (a condition that Dr. Eric has succesfully diagnosed in THREE of his patients to date).  However, palm oil, as it is used most regularly, has been processed, and once that oxidation occurs, it is no longer healthy.  It becomes dangerous both psychologically and biochemically.  Oxidized palm oil can affect your reproductive organs as well as your kidneys and lungs.images-4

Kellogg-revamps-palm-oil-policy-after-months-of-protests_strict_xxlBut, palm oil functions as a replacement for evil trans fats…allowing manufacturers to have a lable that reads “zero tans fats.”   Huh, pretty sneaky sis!  It is instead a saturated fat similar to butter, which is bad in high doses, but we are now learning that “butter is better” especially if you are consuming a mostly Primal diet.

For more info go here: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/grass-fed-butter/#axzz3QwA7KkD7

And for one last great article re nutritional no no’s go here: http://www.meghantelpner.com/blog/5-reasons-nutella-should-be-banned-from-your-breakfast-table/

Vizzini-Princess-Bride1Getting complicated? HA! …”Wait till I get going!… You’d like to think that, wouldn’t you? You’ve beaten my giant, which means you’re exceptionally strong, so you could’ve put the poison in your own goblet, trusting on your strength to save you, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of you. But, you’ve also bested my Spaniard, which means you must have studied, and in studying you must have learned that man is mortal, so you would have put the poison as far from yourself as possible, so I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me!”borneo_before_reforestation

So, THEN.  Then I find out about the poor orangutans.  Geez Luis.  Freakin HEART STRINGS.  Did you know???  Do you know???  that the massive deforestation that is occuring because of the global need for palm oil is leaving our Earth a dry lifeless place void of rainforest?  The United Nations Environment Programme announced that palm oil plantations are now the leading cause of rainforest destruction in Malaysia and Indonesia.  And an area equal to 300 soccer fields is being destroyed every single hour.  Even more, the burning of forests to clear land for palm oil plantations causes major air pollution in Southeast Asia, releasing CO2 and causing global warming?  “Research shows that 20% of all global carbon dioxide emissions from fossil fuels come from rainforest destruction.”  Um, global warming? Deforestation-Borneo

1-baby-orang-standing-Chris-Shepherd-682x1024And this is the home of the orangutans.  The ONLY home for them.  Currently, 80-90% of their habitat has been altered or destroyed.  Daily, the mothers who are attempting to protect their young ones are buried alive, killed by machete attacks, or shot.  Data shows that over 50,000 orangutans have died as a result of deforestation due to palm oil in the last twenty years.  They die because of deforestation, but also because later, the animals enter villages or palm oil plantations in search of food.  The mommies are then killed by poachers and their babies are taken to be sold or kept as pets, or kept in wildlife zoos in Thailand and Bali.  It is estimated that 1000-5,000 orangutans are killed each year.  This majestic wise beast will become extinct in 5 to 10 years.  So long Caesar.

For more info go here: http://www.orangutan.org.au/palm-oil

or here: http://www.greenpeace.org/…/LicenceToKill_ENG_LOWRES.pdf7_baby_clings_to_dead_mum

or here: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php  

or you can also look here: http://www.internationalanimalrescue.org/orangutan-sanctuary)

and here: http://weheartorangutans-more.blogspot.com/

So, as if sad orphaned baby orangutans aren’t enough of a deterrent, what about the most magestic Sumatran Tiger The LAST of Indonesia’s tigers, that exist ONLY on the island of Sumatra, are critically endagered – on the brink of extinction – with only 400 total left in the wild.  They will be extinct in 3 years.  3 YEARS.sumatran_tiger5  

Similarly, the Sumatran Rhinoceros, Sun Bear, Pygmy Elephant, Clouded Leopard and Proboscis Monkey are subject to increasing illegal poaching and declining numbers.  Roads that cut through the dense forest and allow access for palm oil plantations also offer poachers easy access to their valuable targets.A-Beautiful-Sumatran-Rhino-named-Ratu-rhinos-17994065-500-436

And, would it ever occur to you that the orangutan loss equals the elimnation of specific species of flora and fauna as well?  The orangutan is an essential part of the balanced ecosystem.  “An example of this being the spread of rainforest seeds in Indonesia, many of which can only germinate once passed through the gut of an orangutan.”  

Furthermore, even humans are in danger.  Yep, the indegenous folks do not always benefit, as corporations would lead us to believe, from palm oil plantations.  Land is grabbed, human rights are violated, child labor ensues, degrading work conditions are the norm, all with little or no pay to the human beings whose land and lives are being lost.

Again go here for more info: http://www.saynotopalmoil.com/Whats_the_issue.php

Well, that’s all the absolute opposite of a sugar high if I’ve ever heard one.

2013013114171688Ok, you say, but what about Nutella’s promise to use only sustainable palm oil?  Well, Ferrero announced that flagship Nutella is now using 100% segregated palm oil certified by the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) in the French market.  Apparently this affects production in France, and others in Italy and Germany.  But what about us second class citizens in America?  We don’t demand the good stuff, so often we are still sold the cheap crappy products full of chemicals and poisons because its cheaper.  Even American companies export better quality products to Europe than to their American branches.  They have to in order to meet EU regulatory standards.  However, Nutella HAS supposedly confirmed that it will “source exclusively RSPO-certified palm oil globally starting from 2014, bringing its initial target forward by one year.”  Well, GOSH I HOPE SO but my fingers are still crossed.The_Grreeat_Clouded_Leopard_by_moggies

For more info go here: http://www.100daysofrealfood.com/2013/02/11/food-companies-exploit-americans-with-ingredients-banned-in-other-countries/

Or here: http://www.scholarsstrategynetwork.org/content/how-united-states-became-regulatory-laggard

Also, http://wwf.panda.org/?208296/Nutella-Switches-to-100-Segregated-Certified-Sustainable-Palm-Oil

250px-Proboscis_Monkey_in_BorneoOk one last bummer topic that has to be addressed.  The fourth ingredient in Nutella is cocoa.  So you now have to worry about Child Slavery.  Nope, not kidding.  “Most chocolate sold in the U.S. comes from cocoa farms where farmers work in unsafe conditions, receive below poverty wages, [and] many of them children under 14 years old who are forced to work and denied education.  The Ivory Coast is the world’s largest cocoa producer, providing 43% of the world’s cocoa.  A 2002 report from the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture about cocoa farms in the Ivory Coast and other African countries estimated there were 284,000 children working on cocoa farms in hazardous conditions. U.S. chocolate manufacturers have claimed they are not responsible for the conditions on cocoa plantations since they don’t ‘own them’.”  So just who is responsible?  Me.  That’s who.  

530657Just an FYI, I can’t find Nutella on any list of Fair trade chocolate companies so we can’t be sure where it is sourced from.

For more information click here: http://www.treehugger.com/green-food/the-bitter-truth-about-chocolate.html

or here: https://listengirlfriends.wordpress.com/2013/03/15/1990/

For a list of Fair Trade chocolate brands click here: http://orgcns.org/1shlX7Y

And yes, you may have heard about companies like good ol’ American Hersheys commiting to fair trade chocolate only.  While it is true that they have publically stated a commitment to fair trade, as opinioned earlier, those kinds of changes in multinational food coorporations take decades to actually take effect.  In the meantime, my bet is that they (Hershey’s anyway) are hoping to increase they’re profit margin by jumping on the fair trade bandwagon and children are still suffering.  Require proof.  Be safe.  Be kind.  Buy fair trade.cocoa-child-300x202

For more info go here: http://fairtradeusa.org/press-room/press-release/hershey-21st-century-cocoa-plan-outlines-commitment-sustainable-cocoa-and-i

So, have I lost you to the depths of despair beyond all repair?  I tell you, my kids are DYING for Nutella.  And I haven’t budged in YEARS.  I just CANNOT for the sake of convenience or craving, justify ANY of the ABOVE.

BREAK TIME—–

*fun fact.*  There was a really cool story recently on NPR about the huge hazelnut hype, due to massive Nutella consumption globally.  After all, Nutella is responsible for consuming 25% of the world’s hazelnut population.  A single jar contains approximately 50 nuts!  Now, 70% of the world’s hazelnuts are grown in Turkey.  And last year there was a decimating frost that destroyed one quarter of Turkey’s hazelnut crop.  So, Hazelnut prices are up!  And farms are now expanding in Chile, Australia, and Oregon. But, the Oregon trees are dying from the Eastern Filbert Blight (that has made its way west!)  So, there’s this guy, Thomas Molnar, a plant scientist at Rutgers University, who has successfully cross bred two types of Hazelnut trees: the commercial tree grown native in the United States which typically can withstand the blight, and the more coveted European hazelnut that here to fore could not.  His trees are growing in New Brunswick, N.J. and fruiting too; He has been approached already by the great Nutella several times who have acknowledged that they would buy all the nuts he can produce.  So good on America!  And yay for plant science!  Now, let’s hope they are being grown organically (!). hazelnut011-17e35b8a9be2e691653de835b443a6d871bae3ba-s800-c85

More info here: http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2014/09/16/347749070/thanks-to-nutella-the-world-needs-more-hazelnuts

and here: http://factually.gizmodo.com/nutella-consumes-25-percent-of-the-worlds-hazelnut-crop-1623880985

And now, MORE GOOD NEWS!:

THIS is where you can find a list of some Nutella alternatives!  Yay!!!! Hip Hip Hooray!!!!!

http://www.epicurious.com/archive/blogs/editor/2014/03/nutella-alternatives.html6a00d83451cb0369e201a5118b53ac970c-800wi

Sure, they are significantly more pricey.  But if you realize what is at STAKE, then you realize why its worth paying top dollar for the convenience of yummy, mouthwatering, chocolate hazelnut spread…

Or, you can be SUPER PEEPS and make you own!  Here’s a fairly easy recipe!:

http://www.splendidtable.org/recipes/homemade-nutella (but please don’t use Canola oil- try coconut, sunflower, or grapeseed – and be sure to buy all organic!)

nutella_Alex FarnumSo as for National Nutella Day…well, honestly, all these national days, if acted upon would make for a VERY unhealthy lifestyle indeed…I mean, February alone boasts National Baked Alaska Day, National Carrot Cake Day, National Fettucine Alfredo Day, Cream Cheese Brownie Day, Peppermint Patty Day, Gumdrop Day, Chocolate Mint Day, Cherry Pie Day, Sticky Bun Day, Margarita Day, Banana Bread Day, and Kalua Day!

Craptastic!  When did all these days become National news?  It really is a whole lotta marketing mumbo jumbo.  Sell sell sell.

Here’s the list btw: http://nationaldaycalendar.com/calendar-at-a-glance/

Personally, I LOVE Hazelnuts.  My grandmother, Mommie Claire {angel song ensues} had a ring of ancient hazelnut trees encircling her backyard.  When we visited, it was like heaven playing in the leaves, hiding in their branches, and eating the nuts right off the boughs.  So I’m going to enjoy eating them in the best ways and in recipes that account for all the above –  maybe some raw organic hazelnuts on top of greens from Dr. Eric’s garden with some delicious Lucero Chocolate Olive Oil (http://www.lucerooliveoil.com/).  Or maybe in a rich organic fair trade chocolate bar that even funds rainforest reforestation, habit preservation, AND species conservation in the process like my fave Endangered Species Chocolate! (http://www.chocolatebar.com/).  I hope you enjoy them as well.  Because both hazelnuts and dark chocolate are really super duper good for you!hazelnutharvest22_forweb

Finally, I have a GREAT suggestion to try!  My dear, dear friend Valentina @cookingweekends has a GREAT Valentine’s Day breakfast recipe for gluten free chocolate-banana hazelnut waffles on her website which you should definately check out.

find that recipe here:  http://cookingontheweekends.com/category/holiday/valentines-day/ ebruary-4-Valentines-Day-Breakfast-Recipe-Chocolate-Banana-Hazelnut-Waffles3-300x225

Please, I hope this post inspires you to make change in your choices.  One small step at a time.  Living a healthy, honest, and decent life is becoming more and more difficult to be sure.  Especially when the kids are begging for a treat, you are at your wits’ end, and the money it tight!  But it sure does feel good to make the right choices and know you are making a difference.  I stand by mine.  And believe firmly that my small gestures make a big difference.Choosing-a-Path-Road-Diverges-640x360

Sidenote: for a quick and easy way to find out if any given product is up to your “standards” download the Buycott Ap to your phone and scan the barcodes for alignment with your beliefs.

You can download that ap here: http://www.buycott.com/images-3

You can also be proactive by sponsoring an endagered animal at World Wildlife Fund http://www.worldwildlife.org

And to visit a Sumatran Tiger in real life…as of tomorrow, Friday 2/6/15, you can visit Castro Junior (more affectionately known as CJ) at the Los Angeles Zoo.  Born on March 3, 2013, he has just arrived in LA from the Sacramento Zoo.  How timely!  How did his stripey self know I’d be writing this article?  The stars align….

For more info go here: http://www.lazoo.org/2015/02/sumatran-tiger/LA-Zoo-Sumatran-Tiger-by-Tad-Motoyama-241x300

Thank you for listening.

Health and wellbeing to you my friend…

and happy Valentine’s Day to boot<3

Coby Dahlstrom (aka #mrsdrdahl)add9a273-300x225

for

Dr. Eric P. Dahlstrom, D.C., L.Ac.
Santa Monica Healing Arts
Providing Chiropractic Care and Acupuncture in Santa Monica since 1999 (http://santamonicahealingarts.com). Check out our 5-star Review on Yelp (http://www.yelp.com/biz/santa-monica-healing-arts-santa-monica) or find us on facebook (https://www.facebook.com/pages/Santa-Monica-Healing-Arts)
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  1. Okay, I admit to being sad after reading this. These are the things I’ve been trying to avoid knowing — but here I am. I recently saw this super cute Nutella quote . . . . . “Come on, I can’t make everybody happy, what do you think I am, a jar of Nutella!?” Well, it will not make me happy any more. 🙁 We’ll all just have to make our own, or get one of those yummy alternative brands. Excellent post, my friend! And thank you for sharing my waffles! XO

  2. admin

    Valen, I know, it sucks. we’ve been Nutella-less for some time now (after ostriching for some time!). but, we are crafty! how hard can it be to make it yourself! or buy the good brands 🙂 These days you literally almost have to grow it yourself in order to avoid confilicts on almost ALL food – so important to shop in THE RIGHT places!
    I had such a nice time at lunch the other day. and I am so grateful for your friendship! <3
    hoping to see you again soon for more social media advice and perhaps an official consult with you and/or your hubs. xo!

  3. Most of us have heard of chaos theory: A butterfly flaps its wings in South America which eventually causes a hurricane along the East coast of the US.

    We are now creating Chaos Law: A human eats a jar of Nutella which caused destruction of our plant, our communities and our lives.

    Great post Coby. I hope it helps all who read eat think more about our choices. To think globally and act locally is something we all could do to make a collective change for the future.

    Dr. E

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