GMO & Glyphosate Study Guide

Cotton. Fields of soft, innocent fluff balls. In our clothing, bandages, bank notes annnd feminine hygiene products. Not so long ago, "100% cotton" was a seal of honest natural quality. 

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now, more often than not, cotton is genetically modified. 

GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are plants, animals & other organisms whose makeup has been altered to a state of genetic combinations that don't occur in nature, or through traditional cross-breeding methods. According to the USDA, 89% of cotton planted in the U.S. is genetically engineered.

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New "breeds" of plants are designed to: increase the volume of crops from a single seed, speed up the growth process or be more resistant to herbicides & other chemicals. 

A farmer can now spray her fields to kill pesky weeds without damaging her crops. But in fact, her crops are damaged. Now they contain chemicals, the most common of which is glyphosate.

Glyphosate was brought to the market in 1974 by Monsanto under the commercial name RoundUp. Since then, its usage has only increased. The crops with the highest risk of exposure are corn, soy, sugar beets & cotton. You can expect to find glyphosate in many products derived from these crops.

even in cotton products like tampons & pads?

Yup. A 2015 study tested cotton-based products like tampons, pads, swabs & wipes. Glyphosate was found in 85% of the tested products.

If it's in our products, our body will absorb it. Studies have found glyphosate in urine, blood & breastmilk

So what's the big deal? The World Health Organization has concluded that glyphosate is a probable carcinogen. Evidence confirming glyphosate's damaging health effects is mounting. Studies have linked glyphosate to autism, Alzheimer's disease, hormonal imbalances, infertility, gastrointestinal disease, cardiovascular disease, depression, obesity & allergies.

Tampons & pads made with GMO cotton are more than likely to contain glyphosate. Opting for 100% certified organic cotton is the only sure way to avoid it & keep your fields fertile.

GLYPHOSATE:

  • is a harsh herbicide linked to disease

  • is often found in genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

  • lurks in the majority of non-organic cotton-based tampons & pads

  • can be avoided by choosing organic products
     

our next study guide puts parabens & petrochemicals to the test

Mixtape Monday Vol.2

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This week's Mixtape Monday celebrates female artists with origins in (or influences from) Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria & Yemen. 

From classics to new releases, these women have used their voices to claim a place for themselves in this world - & we are 100% with them.

The sisters of A-Wa fuse traditional Yemenite music, hip hop & electronic in Habibi Galbi. Kurdish diva, Helly Luv, calls for an end to war in IraqAlso from Iraq, Farida Mohammed Ali is a master of male-dominated music genre, maqam. Assala Nasri is one of Syria's most prolific artists. Sawtuha, a fantastic album by Egyptian, Tunisian, Libyan & Syrian women, features Nada, of Libya. The sisters of Faarroworiginally hail from Somalia, as does Ladan Hussein who goes by the stage name Cold Specks. Delkash was an amazing vocalist, songwriter & actor from IranAlsarah has roots in Sudan & is a singer, songwriter & ethnomusicologist. 

Find MOONFOLK's Mixtape Monday Vol.2 on Spotify at moonfolk.co & below.

1. a-wa - habibi galbi

2. helly luv - revolution

3. assala nasri - wala dary

4. nada & nawel ben kraîem - don't lose your way

find this jam on our spotify playlist/video unavailable

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5. faarrow - lost

6.  alsarah & the nubatones - habibi taal

7. farida mohammad ali - khadri el chai khadri

8. delkash - ashegham man

9. cold specks - blank maps










Dioxins Study Guide

Microfoam on your flat white, fresh powder on the slopes, the "pure" color of tampons & pads… one of these snow whites is not natural.

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Conventional feminine product manufacturers rely heavily on bleach to achieve the hue. And in the case of tampons & pads, the bleaching process leaves some scary stuff in our bodies. One such byproduct: DIOXINS.

Chlorine-compounds called dioxins* are produced when tampons & pads are bleached using chlorine dioxide. Dioxins also forms when wood pulp is converted to rayon, another common ingredient in feminine hygiene products. 

the main issue with dioxins is our exposure to them over time.

Their effect is cumulative. Let's just say that if dioxins are invited to the party, they're those super annoying guests who never leave. They'll probably also trash your place, but we'll get to that later.

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Once dioxins enter the body, they're absorbed by fat tissue & stored, with an estimated half-life from 7 to 11 years. Recall from middle school science, that's the time it takes a chemical to reduce by half. And these guys are ubiquitous. A 2005 FDA study found detectable levels of dioxins in 7 brands of tampons.

While dioxins are found only in trace amounts in a single tampon or pad, what happens when a woman uses multiple tampons during a period & has over 400 periods during her lifetime? We're talking potentially 12,000 exposures to "trace" amounts of dioxin, in one of the most permeable places in her body. The vaginal wall can absorb tampon chemicals, from where they could pass into her bloodstream. Taking into account the low levels of dioxins already present in food, water & air, repeated & localized exposure is cause for concern.

Very few scientific studies exist on the effects of dioxin exposure from tampons & pads. We do know that dioxin exposure has been linked to impairment of the immune system, reproductive functions, hormonal & endocrine systems & increased cancer risk. 

Potentially pretty nasty stuff... Non-toxic tampons & pads FTW.

So there's our class notes on dioxins & here's a quick summary. 

DIOXINS:

  • are caused by bleaching tampons & pads

  • accumulate in your body

  • are exposed to an extremely permeable place, repeatedly

  • have unknown (but shall we say, unwelcome) effects
     

next up, gmos & glyphosates. not your homie g's...

 

"Dioxins" also refers to around 419 structurally & chemically related polychlorinated dibenzo para dioxins (PCDDs) & polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCDFs) & certain dioxin-like polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). Thirty of these "dioxins" are considered to have significant toxicity, with 2,3,7,8- tetrachlorodibenzo para dioxin (TCDD) being the most toxic. World Health Organization: Dioxins & their Effect on Human Health



Mixtape Monday Vol.1

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We're kicking off a new weekly series - Mixtape Monday - to get your week started on the right foot. These are the tunes we've been tapping our toes to.

This week, we're aflame with the power of the weekend. Were you at a Women's March in your city? Whether you or not you were in the streets, these massive femme jams are for you. Turn up the volume. Get inspired. Remember your bangin' dance your moves!?

Find MOONFOLK's Mixtape Monday Vol.1 on Spotify at moonfolk.co & below.

1. the pointer sisters - yes we can can

2. jain - makeba

3. janet jackson - nasty

4. sia - the greatest

5. aurora - conqueror

6. joseph - white flag

7. lizzo - good as hell

8. helen reddy - i am woman











Women's March on Washington: We're With You

Thousands of women are gearing up to gather in the U.S. capitol on Saturday for the Women's March on Washington.

This year starts with a clear statement to the incoming presidential administration - Women WILL stand up for immigrants and minorities. All the way across the world (hey, Dublin!), our voices echo theirs.
 

Meet us at the Garden of Remembrance this Saturday, January 21 at 12:00 p.m. 

For more info & to show your support check out Women's March on Washington - Ireland


Some excerpts from the Women's March's Mission & Principles:

we believe that women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights.

We must create a society in which women - including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, and queer and trans women - are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments.

We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families - recognizing that 
our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country.

We're channeling our collective power - for marginalized peoples & for ourselves... 'cuz we're all in this together, right!? Which organizations in your area support anti-discrimination initiatives and immigration rights? How can you get behind them?

see you saturday, sisters

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Minding my delicate parts: What's in tampons & pads?

Have you ever thought about what's in your pads & tampons? Me either... until recently.

I'd always viewed tampons & pads simply as necessary items. Much like toilet paper after a visit to the loo, they make life less messy. But I never really considered what's hiding inside those helpful companions.

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Female hygiene products are classified as medical devices & therefore companies aren't required to display ingredients on packaging. This makes discovering their contents a bit of a mystery...

Considering the average woman uses more than 11,000 tampons & pads in a lifetime, it seems wise to start paying attention to the contents of what's in contact with the most delicate parts of my body.

i'm pretty sure manufacturers don't have my personal health on their agenda... so it's time i add it to my own.

In recent years, there's been a boom in health conscious food brands & restaurants. We've started to connect how we feel with the food we eat. As a nutritionist, I can attest to the power of food on our wellbeing. It's amazing. But equally important to what we ingest is the quality of the products we use on our skin. This means shampoo, body lotion, deodorant, makeup AND pads & tampons. 

Why?

Healthy bodies take what's consumed orally through a cleverly designed filtering system, which includes our liver, kidneys & digestive system & allow only suitable substances into the bloodstream. Anything unsuitable is eliminated via sweat, stool & urine. What is absorbed through the skin is absorbed directly into the bloodstream. #nofilter

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Our skin is the body's largest organ. It's there to protect us. It interacts with our environment outside AND inside the body. Skin is thinner around our delicate lady parts & more absorbent compared to other parts of the body, due to many tiny blood vessels very close to the skin's surface. 

Some studies have shown that certain medicines are absorbed better via vaginal application versus orally. One such study showed a 10x increase of estrogen levels in the bloodstream after vaginal application as compared to when orally applied. And who can forget stories of teenagers & vodka-soaked tampons. Not recommended...

These are reasons enough for me to start caring about what's in my feminine hygiene products. 

Little research has been done in the area of women's health & the toxins in hygiene products. Even less research has been conducted on this issue with regards to long-term health. Some health experts believe this is a ticking time bomb for women. 

Thankfully in March 2015, US Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney passed the Robin Danielson Feminine Hygiene Product Safety Act. It requires manufacturers to clearly disclose ingredients used in feminine hygiene products. It also establishes a program of research on the risks posed by the presence of toxins, especially dioxins, synthetic fibers, chemical fragrances & other ingredients. With hope, this research will evidence any correlations between chemicals, toxins & reproductive health issues like endometriosis, estrogen-based cancers (cervical/ovarian/breast), thrush, allergies & infertility.

We don't have to wait years for study results to make wiser choices. We already know the majority of pads & tampons on the market contain chemicals. Most bleach their products, a process that leaves behind dioxins & many use synthetic fibers & other fragrances. Why take any risks?

Interest in menstrual health & safe feminine hygiene products is growing. Consumers are demanding that companies produce safer products & our non-toxic options are increasing. If you haven't already, I urge you to join me in using 100% organic cotton tampons & pads or even reusable fabric pads or menstrual cups.

Check out your products & switch to something different if you're unsure of what's in them!

Come on in, the water's fine

MOONFOLK encourages women to rethink their monthly cycle, the environment & each other. We are thrilled you found us & hope you stay awhile. 

the tide is turning; it's time for a conscious, modern & fresh approach to menstrual health. 

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In this blog, we'll work through our questions related to menstrual health & what it means to be a woman in this wacky world.

Many of us are unaware that the majority of period products on the market contain potentially harmful ingredients. G.R.O.S.S. The impact these toxic products have on the reproductive system, the body as a whole & the environment is potentially larger than we know. We are educating ourselves & encouraging others to actively participate in healthier, more positive periods.

We'll widen the blog to topics not typically related to periods & you can expect a post every week or so. By sharing stories & connecting women, we empower women to empower each other.

so let's dive in!