Category Archives: Politics

Something to consider-Flint and lead.


Flint, Michigan. January 2016.

The marking of the year and month when many were stunned, and  some horrified to learn, without doubt, that approximately 100,000 people in Flint, Michigan had been drinking, bathing, and cooking with water contaminated with lead.

Flint demographics suggest there are approximately…

… 8,200 children under 5 years old now at risk of lead poisoning as a result of drinking water in the City of Flint.

… 23,000-24,000 young people under the age of 18 at risk for lead toxicity.

… 20,000 females in child bearing years at risk of passing on dangerous effects of lead tainted water to their unborn children.

Is there concern for the other residents? You better believe it! No amount of lead is safe for anybody!

The CDC revised their guidelines and advised in 2012 that any child with more than 5 micrograms per deciliter of lead in their blood be considered at risk. The risk? Adverse health effects in behavior, attention, academic achievement, and extending ‘beyond cognitive function to include cardiovascular, immunological, and endocrine effects.’

Am I the only one wanting to scream, “GET THE LEAD OUT!”?

While government determines  accountability and ensuring non-tainted water access continues,  decreasing the amount of lead and the effects of lead toxicity is critical, especially for the children!

No time should be wasted in decreasing lead’s looming and harmful effects.

While there are hopefully existing efforts to decrease the blood lead levels in Flint’s residents, and reduce lead’s effects, there are noteworthy nutritional changes that may help any body excrete lead. Nutritional intervention hasn’t produced enough evidence for all scientists, but there has been considerable progress. Even the CDC encourages nutritional recommendations for children with elevated blood lead levels.

I AM NOT A DOCTOR. ( Always consult with your doctor!)

I AM NOT A HEALTH PRACTITIONER.

I AM NOT A MEDICAL RESEARCHER BY VOCATION.

I am concerned about getting the lead out!

Lead not absorbed by the body is excreted through feces, urine, and sweat (lead excretion takes place in similar concentration levels in urine and in sweat).

Chelation therapy, a medically supervised intervention, draws metals out of the body so they are excreted. It has been considered the primary treatment method, particularly for individuals with dangerously high blood lead levels.

Yet, research is rising about natural chelators that are more gentle in drawing metals out of the body.

Known natural chelators of lead are …

vitamin C, vitamin E, thiamine (B1),  folate (B9) and iron .

How do we access those natural chelators?

If you answered food and vitamin supplements you are correct!

Did you know?

Most children’s  vitamins contain the above listed natural chelators of lead in their ingredients!

Could it be said that children who take a daily multi-vitamin have a better chance of drawing lead out of their body and excreting lead, than children who don’t take a daily multi-vitamin?

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Foods containing the highest levels of these vitamins include:

Guavas, kiwi, strawberries and oranges (Vitamin C).

Sunflower seeds, almonds, and dark green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, and swiss chard (Vitamin E).

Sunflower seeds, navy and black beans, lentils and peas (B1-Thiamin).

Lentils, beans, spinach and broccoli (Vitamin B9).

Beef or chicken livers, clams, oysters, and enriched breakfast cereals (Iron).

(There are plenty other foods high in vitamins C, E, thiamin, folate, and iron.)

Other foods and spices considered  to be natural chelators include: onions, garlic, turmeric, cinnamon, apple cider vinegar and cilantro.

Cilantro, also known as coriander and chinese parsley, has been involved in double blind placebo studies, showing phenomenal lead excretion results when combined with Chlorella, a fresh water algae. Some suggest the simple habit of adding cilantro leaves into a tossed salad helps decrease lead toxicity.

One study produced somewhat discouraging results for researchers when the cilantro (used alone) and the placebo showed similar lead excretion results in urine– attributed to  benefits of a better diet.

Remembering that no blood levels of lead are good for anyone, could it be said that children who eat meals high in natural chelators have an advantage toward drawing out and excreting lead over children who don’t eat foods known to chelate lead? Could the same be said for adults?

Could education about, access to, and consumption of more foods and meals that naturally chelate lead make a difference for people with lead in their blood?

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How would we know if this works?

Time.

The CDC recommends follow up testing on children under 5 years of age in intervals of every three to four months if they test positive for lead in their blood.

An initial blood screening and follow up screenings will help determine if eating meals involving natural chelators plus taking a daily multi-vitamin with known lead chelators makes a difference for countless children, especially those in Flint.

(Since one medically supervised chelation therapy study was followed for four years, a lifestyle change of this sort would best be examined with at least a decade of study. Of course no one would suggest a placebo group for ethical reasons, so historical cases of past interventions would have to suffice in comparison.)

For many reasons, medically supervised chelation therapy is usually reserved for people with dangerously high levels of lead in their blood. No blood level of lead is safe for a child under 5yrs of age.

On the other hand, a meal of a tossed salad with cilantro, black beans, tomatoes, and chicken, served with a kiwi and strawberry fruit salad on the side contains 7 food elements known to be high in vitamins that chelate lead and could be eaten by anyone, of any age, regardless of their blood lead level.

A bran cereal breakfast also served with a cup of orange juice contains a generous amount of three to five vitamins known as lead chelators and a dinner of beans and rice served with orange juice does too!

Only the highest lead levels are targeted for treatment, therefore, many children endure the harsh effects of lead without treatment. Lead stored in the body causes damage. In adults, lead can cause high blood pressure.

What if food choices and vitamins that naturally chelate lead slowly and consistently draw out lead and help promote its excretion? Could this slow some of the damage from lead?

Whatever is done, Flint’s children will need comprehensive and supportive systems for many years to come as their bodies adjust to the effects of toxic water.

For the sake of our future generations, I pray government and citizenry alike do all we can and get the lead out!

IMPORTANT: As always, everyone should consult their doctor BEFORE making any diet or supplement changes for themselves or for their child.

 

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~The silhouettes of a few of my nieces and nephews. I sit in their midst with the biggest smile! Children color our world!~

 

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Final Resting Place… A call to protect and preserve, by Nisti K Delgroothe


Before my first cup of coffee this morning I decided to get a glimpse of local and national news.  In less than a minute I swallowed the room’s air in a quick, powerful gasp because of the first headline I read.

HISTORIC SLAVE CEMETERY BULLDOZED IN HOUSTON

The historic Bradshaw Cemetery in Houston, Texas was bulldozed without its owners consent and now the family is searching for answers.

I needed no more news,  only to find the answers my mind pulled for:

How could this happen? Is the cemetery visible?  Who are the owners? Why did this happen? Who is going to right this wrong?

Right the wrong.

Why would I care about someone righting a wrong at a cemetery?

A few years ago, my family buried my grandmother and in less than a year I buried my husband. My grandmother and late husband stood as a steel force in the inner circle of my life, offering wisdom, protection,  support… and joy.  I miss them dearly. Laying them to rest was one of the most trying times of my life.

There was an incident with my grandmother’s burial. I was horrified, fought for composure, and arranged my thoughts and words so that I might clearly articulate what my family needed from the cemetery to make it right. They did, and in laying my family members to rest I gained new insight and respect into laying a loved one to rest. Some of the most caring and kind people I’ve ever met work at the funeral homes and cemeteries that supported and served us.  They are needed, as this is not the time for nonsense or poor customer service.

Before my grandmother’s and late husband’s death, there weren’t a lot of funerals in my family. My dear daddy departed decades ago, and a few aunts, uncles, cousins, and family members of heart passed on, but it hasn’t seemed like there have been many funerals in my family. Even though my tears have salted cemetery grounds  I’ve never had a negative connotation about a cemetery. On the contrary, outside the throes of grief I find it a peaceful place to stroll, picking up wind blown urns and artificial flowers gone astray, thanking God for the lives and contributions of those who have come and gone, and remembering that my own life is too short for foolishness.

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A cemetery marks the fate of us all. The bodies resting there made contributions to this world–some quietly, others with a visible mark.  Many consider a cemetery a sacred place. From the beginning of Scripture to its end are references to burying your dead, and around the burial act there are many cultural customs.

A careless, accidental, or intentional act of destroying a cemetery or clearing its grounds should be addressed. By whom?

According to News92 FM Houston, ‘the Bradshaw Cemetery is clearly marked on Rand McNally maps.’

According to the Law Library of Congress, the Bradshaw Cemetery is most likely protected under United States Antiquities Act of 1906 and possibly under The Historical Sites Act of 1935, The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, The Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979,Texas State law, or by several of these bodies of law.

Someone needs to remind Jeremy Nellom, and the Nellom family about the laws that protect the cemetery. According to news reports, they are the owners of the cemetery. Jeremy’s grandma is buried there.

Furthermore, the Bradshaw Cemetery is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and it can be clearly found on the Texas Historical Commission map so the mishap–due to careless confirmation of details that led to a mistake, or intentional malice of a ruthless heart–is well covered by law,  a burial place in the eyes of God, and deserves to be righted its wrong.

If headstones were removed, they should be replaced. The grounds should be smoothed and restored. And, a  marker, approved by the family or the State should be erected notifying others that…

Bradshaw Cemetery is the final resting place of many who fought bravely for this country, the United States of America, and although they  were denied burial once,  their resting place will forevermore be preserved by the laws of the United States of America, the State of Texas, and the hearts of their ancestors and those grateful for their lives and service . ”

The words can differ, but the task at hand remains–right the wrong at Bradshaw Cemetery.

A call to protect and preserve burial grounds disturbed–an act of humble service~ Nisti K

How Auntie Dealt with a Shutdown~a true story.


Auntie pulled into the driveway, excited to have time with her nephew’s family.

‘So, where are we going?’ she asked her nephew, happy to spend time with them.

‘Not sure. The kids can’t decide on a movie.’

Auntie cocked her head to the right, slightly forward, and looked over her glasses before saying, ‘Do you mind… if I… take care of this?’

‘Nope! Go ahead!’ her nephew quickly said with a smile.

Due to the family size, they were taking two cars and Auntie asked the little one—a tween—in the parent’s car to get in her car.

‘I want to stay in here,’ the tween said.

‘Please get in Auntie’s car. There is something we need to take care of before we go. Thank you, ’ she said before the child even moved. And her parents didn’t say a word. One wonders if they were secretly looking forward to the entertainment value of what the kids were about to encounter. It is believed the parents laughed.

Auntie got into her car. All the children were now in the car with her.

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‘Soooo, I understand there is a problem,’ Auntie announced. ‘We can’t agree on a movie?’

Auntie let the children express their desires and frustrations.

‘I wanted to see A. We never get to do anything I want, ’ one whined.
‘Well, I was asleep,’ another said.
‘I want to see B,’ answered another rear passenger.
One child was silent.

Then they started to challenge what one another said. Auntie didn’t say anything and listened carefully. They bickered a bit. She gave it a minute or two before chiding in. ‘Well, let me explain it this way. I came over to have fun and enjoy the company of your family. Your parents are excited to go out to a movie too. And because you all can’t decide we are sitting in the driveway INSTEAD of on our way to the movies. I’ll give a minute to decide. Begin.’ Auntie began to look at the car’s clock. They noticed. The car was silent for a few seconds before the blaming and the ‘I …’ started. One minute lapsed. No answer, just more of the same.

‘Time’s up,’ Auntie said while wearing a smile.

Then Auntie turned and addressed the group, looking at each youngster. ‘ We are sitting in this car instead of going to the movies because YOU keep saying you want to see A, YOU keep reiterating that you were asleep and that you were left out of the original decision making, and now at first YOU wanted to see B but now you say that you too were asleep, and… YOU haven’t said anything at all.’

Auntie’s words were sweet like honey, but it appeared that truth stung like a little bee. And then she continued.

‘Let me help you understand something: today is a great example of what will happen the rest of your life. Someone will give YOU the chance to make a decision and an ENTIRE GROUP will depend on YOU making a decision. It might be your classmates, your family, or a job you have in your future. Sometimes you’ll feel very strongly about your choice, sometimes you will not. And I am not saying you can’t stand your ground when you feel strongly, but others will depend on YOU to COME TOGETHER with other people and MAKE a decision for the GROUP. You might have to give a little. And if it isn’t a big deal to you, you might have to just decide it is about the end result—in our case that would be movie fun. Silence won’t be an option. PEOPLE WILL DEPEND ON YOU.’

Auntie nodded her head as she said, ‘And, you WILL disagree with others. And, you may or may not have a strong feeling one way or the other. But a decision will be necessary. You WILL HAVE TO LEARN to find a COMMON GROUND, a common thing you all can agree upon. And right now, you haven’t been able to decide and we are ALL sitting in cars instead of on our way to the movies. Question. Is it fair that ALL OF US are missing out on the movies because you are fussing with one another and can’t come together on a decision?’

The silent child softly said, ‘Noooo’. Some thought about the question and then began to shake their head in agreement to the spoken No.

Auntie went on speaking, ‘Okay. So that is something you will have to learn. Now, I came to have fun with everyone, your parents want to have fun, and I thought you all wanted to have fun and enjoy our time together. But now because you can’t decide I WILL DECIDE on a movie. And, here are the rules to that: No grumbling. No complaining. We go and have a great time together as a family as we planned. But…,’ Auntie paused, ‘if you don’t like the rules… there is a still another decision you can make. You… can… stay… home.’ Auntie let the words linger for fairness of time to make a choice. Then she smiled and asked, ‘So, who is in?’

Not a child got out of the car. No one cried or complained. The busy parents had rare alone time in their car on the way to the movies, and the family and Auntie had a great time together! And… the whole crew still loves Auntie time.

Do you know of any group that needs honey talk, truth, and tough love? You know! People who’ve shutdown something because they don’t know how to find common ground? Auntie is available to visit them, but let them know in advance: Auntie moves things forward, and is pretty good at calling out nonsense. Auntie doesn’t play that!