Natural Papa

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by Wendy Gabriel

The Christopher Gabriel Program is giving away a fabulous gift every week day from December 1st toCGProgram tote December 24th. THE GREEN SNACK GIVEAWAY IS TODAY (12/09/2009)! Donated by My Green Side, the prize is a fabulous The Christopher Gabriel Program canvas tote filled with some of my favorite organic snacks (when I’m not making my own or munching on fresh fruits or vegtables). LISTEN TO WIN FROM 9AM TO NOON CT!

GREEN TIP: When you reach for your next snack, avoid anything made with high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Yes, It IS That Bad!

We have a national problem with obesity and sugar (HFCS being the worst) and processed foods are some major factors in that problem. 

In his book, ChefMD’s Big Book of Culinary Medicine, John La Puma, MD explains that HFCS are “the Jeffrey Dahmer of sugars.”  He goes on to say ”some scientists think that the body processes HFCS differently than it does regular corn syrup and that it decreases our metabolism by tampering with our metabolic hormones.  It also forces the liver to kick more fat out into the bloodstream, raising your triglyceride level.”  

As Sally Fallon explains in her book Nourishing Traditions, fructose is the primary sugar in HFCS and that “research indicates that it is the fructose, not the glucose, moiety of sugar that is the most harmful, especially for growing children.  Yet the greatest increase in sugar consumption during the last two decades is from HFCS used in soft drinks, ketchup and many other fabricated foods aimed at children.” 

Ms. Fallon’s well researched findings show that “studies have positively correlated sugar consumption with heart disease.”  It is implicated as a “causative factor in kidney disease, liver disease, shortened life span, increased desire for coffee and tobacco, atherosclerosis… it is associated with hyperactivity, behavior problems, lack of concentration and violent tendencies.”  And the bad play list goes on.  “Last but not least, sugar consumption is the cause of bone loss and dental decay.”

From  Sugar can make your skin dull and wrinkled.

From the Washington Post: Study Finds High-Fructose Corn Syrup Contains Mercury.

Ready to read your labels now?

My Green Side’s weekly web pick:

Natural Papa
Natural Papa focuses on natural parenting and fatherhood, home remedies for common children’s ailments, homeschooling, green and simple living for families, and natural foods. They are a valuable reference for parents and parents to be.

One of my favorite pieces from Derek Markham, founder of Natural Papa: Providing for Your Family isn’t about Presents, it’s about Presence

Editor’s Note: Each Wednesday My Green Side brings Simple Tips for Green Living to The Christopher Gabriel Program. We also highlight a favorite green site each week. You can stream the segment at approximately 1020am (CDT) every Wednesday at



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As writers, we know that part of good stewardship is sharing information, but Save the World!even the most intelligent among us can not make change without DOING something.

So The Good Human & Twilight Earth, along with The Grass Stain Guru, Lighter Footstep, My Green Side, The Smart Mama, A Little Greener Every Day, Fake Plastic Fish, Allies Answers, and Natural Papa have teamed up to carry our message with one united strong voice. The message is that there are great organizations out there which are suffering in this economic downturn through decreased donations…and they need our help! So we have decided to give you, our readers, a voice and a choice. We have decided to take on a very simple fundraising mission, and we are asking you to donate just $1.00.

A single dollar; that’s all.

Who cannot afford a buck even in these times? We know you can spare a dollar to help out our fellow humans!

But how do we all decide which charities to give 100% of all monies raised to? Well, we are going to put it to a vote and let you guys decide. The 10 websites participating have chosen 5 charities for all donors to vote for, and we are going to let you guys choose which two of them will receive the all monies donated.

Our purpose in doing this is three-fold

  • It gives YOU a voice. As loyal readers and stewards of our environment, we want to offer you the opportunity to make a difference without breaking the bank.
  • It gives the two charities with the most votes some much appreciated funds to continue their mission
  • It allows all of us an opportunity to connect as a community of like-minded people working for the common good of ourselves, our families and our planet.

If the community of folks who care about our planet cannot come together to rise up to a challenge, who will? That is why we are asking you for a $1 donation. While $1 may seem insignificant all by itself, by pooling our resources together we really can make a difference in these tough economic times. $1 is less than the price of a candy bar and can usually be found under the seat cushions of your couch. Won’t you help 2 of these charities with your $1 donation? (Now, if you want to give more, please – feel free. We won’t stop you! And by all means, send this to everyone you know so we can raise even more!)

Clicking below will take you to the poll and a Paypal donation link asking you to choose which of the 5 charities your favorite is. We ask that you please donate a dollar to the charity pool if you are going to vote, and know that even if your absolute favorite does not finish first or second, all the money donated will be going to worthwhile causes. If everyone we know who reads our sites, our Twitter feeds, our Facebook sites, etc. donates just $1, imagine the impact we can have as a group. And please, spread the word!

The 5 charities that we’ve selected are Healthy Child Healthy World, Environmental Working Group, Sustainable Harvest, Kiva and Water for People.

Voting is now closed for this campaign. Thanks to all of you who participated!

Times are tough and our collective might can really help them out. The results will be tallied two weeks from today, and we will write another article detailing the amounts and the two charities who garnered the most votes and will be receiving the money collected. It’s only $1, so please donate!

Please take a moment to vote for your favorite and to donate just a single dollar to these charities.

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by Wendy Gabriel

Derek Markham is a father, freelance writer, and Twitter addict. He covers Derek Markhamenvironmental and natural parenting topics for a number of green blogs, including Natural Papa, Twilight Earth, Blue Living Ideas, Green Living Ideas, and the Green Options Media network. For the last 10 years, he’s worked in the natural foods industry, most recently as the general manager of a food co-op.

How do you make your day-to-day life a little greener?

I’m a big bicycling advocate and commute by bike as much as possible. I have a trailer for hauling groceries and running errands, and we’ve always tried to live within biking distance of our community. We buy only organically grown food, shop exclusively at our local food co-op and farmer’s market, and have been CSA farm members the last couple of years as well as having our own garden. We use only eco-friendly soaps and cleaners in our house, and love to go thrifting instead of buying new. Our family is also working toward establishing an off-grid homestead, with the hope of establishing an intentional eco-community.


You are such a wonderful and prolific writer. What is your favorite green topic to write about?

My favorite topics are probably homebirth and homeschooling, which I don’t write about nearly often enough. I try to balance writing about my favorites with the topics in demand at the blogs I write for. I also enjoy writing about natural foods, seasonal recipes and health topics.


I really enjoyed the interview you did for Green Talk Radio’s Green Blogger Series. You explain natural fatherhood in a wonderful way. Could you give us a little overview of what being a natural father means to you?

To me, a natural father is one who makes the effort to instill in his kids a sense of reverence for, and a love of, our natural world, while taking the time to connect with them on a deep level; a dad who balances the needs of making a living with the needs of his family and takes the steps necessary to be present with them, no matter what the sacrifice. I’ve been fortunate to be intimately involved with all of my kid’s births, which is an important part of fatherhood, in my eyes. I also believe that dads can and should play a bigger role in the education of their children.


With Father’s Day fast approaching, what would be your perfect eco-friendly Father’s Day gift?

I’d be very happy with a gift basket filled with organic Fair Trade coffee, some organic dark chocolate, and gift certificate for a massage. I am also a big fan of green gadgets and bikes, so perhaps a solar powered battery charger for my LED bike lights would also fit the bill.

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