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Over 10,000 Chinese children were sickened after drinking milk powder contaminated with melamine, an industrial chemical used in products including plastics, paint and adhesives.

Melamine is added to milk – or fed to animals used for food and milk – to raise the protein content in foods. It can cause major kidney problems in both humans and animals. I’m currently reading journalist and nutritionist Marion Nestle’s Pet Food Politics, which gives an excellent explanation of why melamine is used in pet and human food and why it’s the culprit behind the largest pet food recall in history.

This nasty stuff is trouble, and, worse yet, IT’S NOT ILLEGAL. In China, they’ve now set limits for how much melamine can be used in food. Great, thanks for that!

Bottom line: EAT LOCAL. Do you know where your food comes from? Where it was grown? How it was grown? We’ve been hearing about recalls repeatedly for years now – lead in children’s toys, tainted candy, contaminated milk, E Coli in produce – and most if not all of these products and foods were imported from China or Mexico, where standards are dramatically different than here in the U.S.

Bottom line #2: EAT ORGANIC. Ideally, buy from your local farmers’ market where you can interface directly with the people who are growing your fruits and veggies or milking the goats or sheep or cows. Organic farming keeps pesticides out of your body, our of the groundwater in the area where the crops are grown, and protects the health of the farm workers and surrounding community. Better yet, organic tastes better!

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