The Top 5 #Foods to Avoid



Top 5 Worst chemically modified foods to avoid – Always choose “Organic” to avoid the harmful effects of GMOs and poisonous pesticides!

1. Corn: This is a no-brainer. If you’ve watched any food documentary, you know corn is highly modified. “As many as half of all U.S. farms growing corn for Monsanto are using genetically modified corn,” and much of it is intended for human consumption. Monsanto’s GMO corn has been tied to numerous health issues, including weight gain and organ disruption and many undiagnosed problems.

2. Soy: Found in tofu, vegetarian products, soybean oil, soy flour, and numerous other products, soy is also modified to resist herbicides. As of now, biotech giant Monsanto still has a tight grasp on the soybean market, with approximately 90 percent of soy being genetically engineered to resist Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup. In one single year, 2006, 96.7 million pounds of glyphosate was sprayed on soybeans alone!

3. Sugar: According to, genetically-modified sugar beets were introduced to the U.S. market in 2009. Like others, they’ve been modified by Monsanto to resist herbicides. Monsanto has even had USDA and court-related issues with the planting of its sugar beets, being ordered to remove seeds from the soil due to illegal approval.

4. Aspartame: Aspartame is a toxic additive used in numerous food products, and should be avoided for numerous reasons, including the fact that it is created with genetically modified bacteria.

5. Canola Oil: One of the most chemically altered foods in the U.S. diet, canola oil is obtained from rapeseed through a series of chemical actions.

Original article on Underground Health
Read more: Top 5 Worst Altered Foods to Avoid

American Dream? Or Mirage?


(The following excerpt from American Dream? Or Mirage? by Michael W. Kraus, Shai Devidai, and David Nussbaum recently appeared on To view it in its entirety please click on the link.)

ECONOMIC inequality in the United States is at its highest level since the 1930s, yet most Americans remain relatively unconcerned with the issue. Why?

One theory is that Americans accept such inequality because they overestimate the reality of the “American dream” — the idea that any American, with enough resolve and determination, can climb the economic ladder, regardless of where he starts in life. The American dream implies that the greatest economic rewards rightly go to society’s most hard-working and deserving members.

Recently, studies by two independent research teams (each led by an author of this article) found that Americans across the economic spectrum did indeed severely misjudge the amount of upward mobility in society. The data also confirmed the psychological utility of this mistake: Overestimating upward mobility was self-serving for rich and poor people alike. For those who saw themselves as rich and successful, it helped justify their wealth. For the poor, it provided hope for a brighter economic future.

In studies by one author of this article, Shai Davidai, and the Cornell psychologist Thomas Gilovich, published earlier this year in Perspectives on Psychological Science, more than 3,000 respondents viewed a graph of the five income quintiles in American society and were asked to estimate the likelihood that a randomly selected person born to the bottom quintile would move to each of the other income quintiles in his lifetime. These estimates were compared with actual mobility trends documented by the Pew Research Center. Participants in the survey overshot the likelihood of rising from the poorest quintile to one of the three top quintiles by nearly 15 percentage points. (On average, only 30 percent of individuals make that kind of leap.)

Studies by another author of this article, the University of Illinois psychologist Michael W. Kraus, and his colleague Jacinth J.X. Tan, to be published in next month’s issue of the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, found a similar pattern: When asked to estimate how many college students came from families in the bottom 20 percent of income, respondents substantially misjudged, estimating that those from the lowest income bracket attended college at a rate five times greater than the actual one documented by the Current Population Survey.

One experiment by Professors Kraus and Tan demonstrated the self-serving nature of these errant upward mobility estimates. As with the studies above, participants were asked to estimate the ease of moving up the economic ladder. This time, however, they were also asked to estimate upward mobility for people who were similar to them “in terms of goals, abilities, talents and motivations.” In this case, respondents were even more likely to overestimate upward mobility. We believe unduly in our own capacity to move up the economic ladder, and these beliefs increase our mobility overestimates more generally.

For those lower in income or educational attainment, lower standing was associated with greater overestimation of upward mobility. Those with the most room to move up were more likely to think that such movement was possible.

However, when people were asked to explicitly state how high up the economic ladder they felt, after accounting for their actual economic standing, the reverse pattern emerged: The higher up people said they were, the more they overestimated the likelihood of upward mobility. Being aware of your position at the top of a low-mobility hierarchy can be uncomfortable, because without mobility, sitting at the top is the result of luck, rather than merit.

Some Americans were better than others when it came to judging economic mobility. Across both sets of studies, political liberals were less likely to overestimate upward mobility relative to conservatives — a finding consistent with other research suggesting that conservatives see our society as more merit-based than do liberals.

In addition, studies by Professor Gilovich and Mr. Davidai found that members of ethnic minority groups tended to overestimate upward mobility more than did European Americans. This result indicated that those with the most to gain from believing in an upwardly mobile society tended to believe so more strongly.

Taken together, these sets of studies suggest that belief in the American dream is woefully misguided when compared with objective reality. Addressing the rising economic gap between rich and poor in society, it seems, will require us to contend not only with economic and political issues, but also with biases of our psychology.

Is #SurfingTheInternet Addictive?


(The following excerpt from Is Surfing The Internet Addictive? by Susan Greenfield, Ph.D., recently appeared on To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

When Internet addiction was first proposed as a psychological disorder in the 1990’s1, it wasn’t taken too seriously. These days however, very few people would try to argue that there is no such thing as problematic or excessive Internet use. Hundreds of research studies have found evidence showing that between 1-10% of individuals experience problems controlling their Internet use and they display similar physiological, neurological and behavioural profiles of substance and gambling addicts. In 2014, the DSM (the psychologist’s handbook that details all the known psychological disorders) was updated, which proposed Internet addiction as a potential disorder that required further investigation.

But the really interesting question is: what exactly is an Internet “addict” addicted to? Some researchers argue that the Internet itself is not addictive, but rather the activities the Internet can be used for.2 There is evidence supporting task-specific Internet addictions, such as online video game addiction, online sex/pornography addiction, pathological online gambling, and social networking addiction, among others.However, there is a distinction that can be made between specific Internet addictions such as online gaming addiction and generalized Internet addiction.3

It seems that the experience itself of endlessly surfing the web, YouTube, and blogs can actually be addictive. New brain-imaging research in Germany has found changes in the brain linked specifically with this type of excessive, non-task specific Internet use.4 In male internet users, who reported using the Internet for 42 hours per week, those who displayed more symptoms of Internet addiction, such as experiencing more negative consequences of their internet use, feeling withdrawal symptoms when not using the Internet and an inability to control their internet use had less brain (grey) matter volume in an area of the brain known as the right frontal pole. This area of the brain is part of the prefrontal cortex, and under activation of the prefrontal cortex is strongly linked to poor decision-making, addictive behaviour and willpower. The study linked further differences in other areas of brain circuitry and excessive Internet use, and this overall pattern of difference associated with the brains of excessive Internet users resembles the changes in brain seen in substance addictions. As with all cross-sectional studies, the cause and effect is not clear. The brain changes may be due to excessive Internet use, but equally, brain volume differences could be a precondition for excessive Internet use.

Several studies have reported similar brain differences related to excessive Internet use however, previous findings have typically been linked to the specific task the excessive Internet user logs on for, such as online gaming.5 This study found that the link between reduced brain volume and excessive Internet use could not be accounted for by excessive online gaming, Internet sex use, or depression, indicating that excessive Internet use itself is also related to addiction-like brain differences. In any event, the findings suggest that such widespread changes might well be reflected in a different general mind-set.

What could be addictive about aimlessly using the Internet, to no specific end? Surfing the Internet could arguably be considered a form of information seeking, whether the question at hand is formed before we hit the Internet or whether it develops along the way. As we navigate the Internet, new information we weren’t even looking for pops up, and before we long we can be ten pages deep into Wikipedia, absorbed in reading about a new topic without even planning to be there. Finding new information, whether it is intentionally searched for or simply discovered, is a pleasurable experience for our brains. Alternatively, perhaps Internet use is simply and more generally a different type of existence, to that offered by the three dimensional, less compliant real world: above all, it is a world where whatever you do will elicit an instant response- unlike real life. And perhaps instant feedback is not just reassuring, but becomes a prerequisite for well-being.

A fascinating study recently published investigated how people react when it is just them and their brains. In a series of 11 experiments, researchers asked nearly 800 participants to simply sit and think or daydream by themselves for just 6 to 15 minutes.6 Surprisingly, for many participants, it was difficult. In two of the experiments where the option to cheat was available, 32%-54% of the participants admitted cheating by using their phones or some other distraction to pass the short period of time. In the most bizarre finding of all, participants were given the chance to give themselves an electric shock during their 15 minutes of thinking time if they desired. Despite all participants previously reporting they would spend money to avoid being shocked, a quarter of the female participants and two thirds of the male participants administered themselves an electric shock during the thinking time. The authors speculate that people would rather have negative stimulation rather then having no stimulation at all.

Interestingly, enjoyment of the task was not linked to frequency of social media use or smartphone use. The authors propose that the technology age, characterised by never-ending sources of information, is symptomatic of our inability to just be alone with only our thoughts to entertain us. It is the basic process of incessant interaction, be it positive or negative, which could well be what Internet addicts are actually addicted to.

The #Psychology of the Color Pencil Set


Just because we’re grown ups doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy a good coloring session.

London organization The School of Life created these fun colored pencils for adults. On the side of each pencil, there’s a mood or feeling where the name of the color might be. Each word is something that the color might invoke, according to color psychology. For example, the dark red is called power and the purple is called ambiguity. The pack comes with a handy guidebook that explains the reason for each word.

“This box knows that colours are connected to the chords of our souls,” the website explains.

The pencils come in a super slick buckram finish box. There are 12 pencils per set so you can color with a wide range of emotions. Here’s the full list of what you can convey with your colored pencils:


Hope – Yellow
Vitality – Orange
Adventure – Red
Power – Dark Red
Ambiguity – Purple
Clarity – Light Blue
Discipline – Dark Blue
Sanity – Light Green
Realism – Dark Green
Mellowness – Brown
Dignity – Dark Brown
Authority – Black


Reblogged from:


Top 10 Reasons to Avoid #GMOs #Health #Food


More than 60 countries require GMO labeling (or ban GMOs altogether) for a number of reasons. While there are many, these are some of the most common concerns:

1. Are they safe? Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow—they’ll all tell you their GMO products have met safety requirements, but the truth is, long term studies haven’t been done on their impact to the human body. USDA approval requires several processes that prove safety, but GMOs have only been in our diet since the mid-’90s, so it’s difficult to know what the long-term health impacts truly are.

2. Known health risks: What we do know is that when genetic modification happens, genes are forced to express certain traits (including pesticides). To do this, the scientists “turn on” all the gene’s components, which can mean releasing allergens that would normally not be expressed in a non-GMO variety. Experts like Jeffrey Smith suggest this is directly related to the rise in health issues.

3. Heavy use of toxic pesticides and herbicides: By design, genetically modified seeds require pesticides and herbicides. While some manufacturers have claimed the pesticide use would decrease over time, it’s only increased, according to a peer-reviewed 2012 study.

4. Pesticides and digestive health: The main function of herbicides and pesticides is to kill unwanted plants and insects. Glyphosate—the most common herbicide used on GMO crops—has been shown to negatively impact the gut bacteria of humans.  Jeffrey Smith’s recent film Genetic Roulette highlights the parallel of GMOs in our diet and the rise in digestive health issues and food allergies.

5. Cancer: Both pesticides and GMOs have been connected with an increased risk of certain types of cancer. There are additonal health concerns too including reproductive issues, autism and even heart disease.

6. Environmental impact: GMO crops and their companion pesticides and herbicides wreak havoc on the environment including polluting air, water and soil. Glyphosate—marketed by Monsanto as the herbicide Roundup—is in effect, an antibiotic, which can destroy soil quality and thus impair the plant’s nutritional value as well. Cross-polination between GMO and non-GMO cropsis common as well, and can destroy natural plant varieties in the wild.

7. Superbugs and superweeds: Despite the claims that pesticides and GMO crops can relieve farmers of crop-destroying insects and plants, the opposite is showing to be true. Farmers in the Midwest are now battling superbugs and superweeds resistant to pesticides. They’re damaging crops and farm equipment and costing the farmers more money in having to apply heavier doses of toxic pesticides.

8. Patent issues: At the core of the GMO industry is the corporate ownership of seed and seed patents. Companies like Monsanto are notorious for suing small farmers for saving seeds or if GMO crop drift pollinates on their land.

9. Corporate protection: Earlier this year, the U.S. government passed a bill nicknamed the “Monsanto Protection Act.” In essence, it grants biotech companies immunity from the courts, even if a judge determines it’s unlawful to plant GMO crops, the companies can do it anyway.

10. Prolific presence: Whether or not GMOs are safe has yet to be determined, yet every day, millions of Americans eat them unknowingly due to the lack of labeling requirements. Are you a lab rat?  Don’t you at least have the right to know what you’re eating?

Original article by Andrea Donsky for Naturally Savvy (please check for references)

Read more: What’s So Bad About GMOs? Top 10 Reasons to Avoid Them

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What If No #Candidate Is “Likable” Enough?


(The following excerpt from What If No Candidate Is “Likable Enough”? by Keli Goff recently appeared on To view it in its entirety click on the link below.)

They say people vote for the one they’d rather have a beer with. Who’s that, between Hillary and Jeb? But it’s probably not true anyway.

Few moments from debates are actually remembered by voters come Election Day, let alone years later. But some are, and Sen. Lloyd Bentsen telling senator and fellow aspiring Vice-president Dan Quayle “Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy” is high on the list of such moments. Then-Senator Barack Obama telling fellow primary candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton during the 2008 election “you’re likable enough” is another. It is widely believed that Obama’s perceived condescension that moment actually made him appear less likable and helped lead to Clinton’s win in New Hampshire. However, it didn’t alter the crucial fact: many people believe Hillary Clinton has a likability problem.

While much has changed in the seven years since her last presidential run, this has not. And in fact, with the increasingly damaging coverage of email gate and her family foundation’s finances, it’s possible she is becoming less likable to voters not more. The only difference is this time her competition could end up being even less likable than she is—or at the very least just “likable enough,” which is to say not all that likable. The long-held wisdom has been that while qualities like experience matter, they ultimately may not be as important to a lot of voters as which candidate they just like more—which, to use the cliche, they’d rather have a beer with.

For years, the beer standard has been used to gauge which presidential candidate is winning the likability Olympics. More undecided voters preferred a drink with reformed party animal turned teetotaler George W. Bush to the more staid John Kerry, who lost. It is widely believed that likability played a key role in President Obama winning a second term in office, despite a tough term that included dealing with a sagging economy. But what happens when voters end up having to choose between two candidates they don’t want to have a beer with, bowl with, barbecue with, salsa with, party with etc.? Will 2016 finally become the year voters based on unsexy attributes like managerial experience?

Along with Clinton, there are other 2016 potential contenders with personality problems of their own. In contrast to his brother, who was practically charmer-in-chief, Jeb Bush is so widely known to be an introvert that this has already been a point of reference in multiple articles–and the campaign’s just getting started.

And Rand Paul is already having to trot out his spouse to “humanize” him with voters—particularly women—after losing his cool in multiple interviews, most infamously one with “The Today Show’s” Savannah Guthrie. The fact that his family is having to play defense this early does not bode well. While Sen. Ted Cruz would have a tough time winning a popularity contest in his own party, let alone nationwide.

But according to some experts, Paul’s burgeoning likeability problem and the personality challenges of some of his peers may not matter nearly as much as those of us covering the election like to think that it does. “Empirical evidence suggests that personality does not play the decisive role for the outcome of elections that journalists and political commentators often attribute to it,” said Dr. Andreas Graefe in an email. Graefe has studied the impact of candidate personalities on election outcomes extensively.

In his examination of presidential elections from 1972 to 2012 he found that, “While candidates with the more favorable personality tend to win more often, the effect that can be attributed to personality is rather small after accounting for other factors. In other words, the candidate with the more favorable personality usually would have won anyway.”

Jamal Simmons, who served as press secretary for multiple Democratic presidential campaigns, echoed this sentiment. Simmons argued that the whole “who would you have a beer with” concept has been overhyped and overplayed. While he said who voters are okay with seeing appear on their television every single day for four years, as a president does, may play a small role in their decision making, ultimately, “I think people vote for who they trust the most.” He added, “You can like somebody such as Ron Paul—he seemed so likable but you wouldn’t vote for that person for president. Rick Perry seemed like a fun guy but his campaign did not make you think you wanted this guy to have his finger over the button.”

Simmons noted that even among those who really like President Obama, some now feel he may have benefited from more managerial experience. It is possible this time around that feeling may benefit a candidate like Clinton or Bush, who are both perceived as experienced managers.

To this point, Dr. Graefe noted that, “One of the most important factors that determines the election outcome is beyond the control of the candidates: the state of the economy. When casting their vote, voters look at how they economy is doing and blame the incumbent government for bad performance, or reward it for good performance. Thus, the election can be seen as a referendum on the state of the economy. That said, when the incumbent is not running, such as in 2016, candidate qualities do become more important.” He pointed to experience as one of them.

Simmons challenged the idea that this campaign may lack a viable candidate who also has charisma, noting Florida Senator Marco Rubio could prove to be a serious contender.

But for those other candidates who may not have been born with Rubio’s ease with public speaking, media trainer Jane Praeger said being authentic is more important than trying to be some perfect candidate. “You can’t fake charisma but you can make a genuine connection with voters. For example, last time around, while trying to look “tough enough” to be president, Hillary masked her natural humor, liveliness and warmth – some of her greatest assets.”

As Simmons concluded, “There’s no Mother Theresa or Gandhi on the ballot. You’re not voting for a perfect human being.”