Holistic Survival
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Holistic Survival #21 – Home and Food Safety

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In this two-part show we explore best practices in home safety and healthy food. Jason welcomes Meri-K Appy, President of The Home Safety Council based in Washington, DC. Do you know the most common cause of death in American homes? What is seasonal fire prevention? How can we best protect children in the home? Learn how to protect yourself and your loved ones with easy “best practices” in home safety. Appy has appeared on many national networks and programs, including the Oprah Winfrey Show, TODAY Show, CNN, Dateline NBC, the Early Show, Good Morning America and HGTV. Visit: https://www.holisticsurvival.com. Next, Jason talks with Megan Barnes, EVP for Green Grass Meats based in Austin, Texas about local farming and meat production. We’ve all heard the basic nutritional guidelines for humans but what about proper nutrition for the livestock humans consume? Listen in and hear about the new wave of cattle ranching and healthy living.

Narrator: Welcome to the Holistic Survival Show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper? The Holistic Survival Show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently, how to understand threats, and how to create the ultimate action plan. Sudden change or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to Holistic Survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Jason Hartman.

Jason Hartman: Good day and welcome to the Holistic Survival Show. This is your host Jason Hartman. This is episode #21. Today we are going to talk about two things. One is about healthy foods and good food. So we have a very short segment on that after we talk about home safety. And I interview the president of a very large council that lobbies the government and extends public awareness on home safety. It’s amazing to me, but a lot of very dangerous accidents happen in the home, whether they be falling, gas, poisoning, etcetera. So there’s just some really, really simple stuff that you may not have thought of that you can do to keep yourself and your family safer around the house. So this’ll be a two part show today. And of course, as you know, we talk about protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in these uncertain times. If you’d like to know more about the profit aspect, visit JasonHartman.com. Take advantage of my Creating Wealth podcast where you can listen on audio and watch on video and also come to live events. We have a great special. If you’re hearing this in time, hopefully you are, you can go to JasonHartman.com and join us for our Creating Wealth Boot Camp on January 23rd. And we’ve had thousands of people come through that program. It’s put on by Platinum Properties Investor Network. And it’s just day where you’ll learn all most important things about protecting your profits in these uncertain times and how to exploit opportunities by investing in below market value properties, real estate owned by banks, foreclosure properties, and just all kinds of neat stuff. So be sure you’re taking advantage of that in joining us on the 23rd. The special is for the next ten people to register. We actually extended this one. And if you go to JasonHartman.com, click on events, and type the promo code HALF you will be able to register for that for half price. It included two tickets for you and your spouse or your friend and we’d love to see you on January 23rd for that. Okay, let’s go to the interview. First part on home safety, second part on food, and here we go.

Meri-K Appy: Good morning everyone.

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Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Meri-K Appy to the show. She is president of the Washington D.C. based home safety council. And today we want to talk about some really sort of mundane things you can do to protect your health, your welfare, and of course your life, and the health and welfare of those you care about around the house. It is amazing to me the number of simple avoidable accidents that happen around the house that can just be prevented and all we need to do is be aware of them and think and just be smart and careful about it. So Meri-K, it’s great to have you on the show. Welcome.

Meri-K Appy: Thank you, Jason. Thanks so much for having me. You’re absolutely right. Many people don’t realize how big a problem home related injuries are in America. Every year, on average, there are some 20,000 people who die and more than 21 million medical visits that are caused by preventable accidents. Takes a huge toll on us and that’s the bad news. The good news is, in almost every case, these things are preventable. So that’s really the mission of the home safety council is to get the word out to folks about what they can do in and around their homes to keep themselves and their loved ones much safer.

Jason Hartman: Now that’s interesting. So you say, just to understand the size of the problem, 20,000 deaths every year in the United States, huh?

Meri-K Appy: Yes. And obviously our home is the place we like to think of as the safest place we could possibly be. The Home Safety Council periodically will do surveys and attitude surveys. And almost all the time people will say “Oh no, my home is very safe. Maybe something that is happening in the house down the street, but my home is very safe. Well unfortunately, taking that kind of a complacent attitude is part of the problem. People need to know what are the things in their homes that put them at risk and what can they do about it? And if there are tools involved, how can we connect them to the tools they need to keep their family safe?

Jason Hartman: Well, we will definitely talk about that. But just one note on the problem just so people can understand the magnitude, because I think people hear a lot of these statistics and think well out of 307 million people in the United States, I don’t know what 20,000 means in terms of deaths, but think about it. I think that is approaching, it’s either a little bit higher or lower, than drunk driving deaths. And that problem…

Meri-K Appy: It is one of the leading causes of preventable injuries in America.

Jason Hartman: And that problem of course gets a lot of attention, but this one seems sort of mundane and maybe people don’t have their guard up enough.

Meri-K Appy: I think that’s true. I think it’s because our home is our safe haven and when you’re on the highways, there are often rules that protect you, speed limits and requirements for seatbelts and that kind of thing. But in our homes, it’s really up to us. We need to choose what we want to do in our home. And The Home Safety Council hopes that if people had good information and a little motivation, they would choose more often to do the things that would prevent a tragedy.

Jason Hartman: Absolutely. Well, let’s talk about some of these preventable tragedies and make sure that our listeners are aware of them and hopefully they will spread the word so they don’t happen as often. They can be prevented, so let’s start preventing. What are the leading issues?

Meri-K Appy: There are five causes, five top causes of home injury deaths. Number 1 is falls. And falls can occur to anybody at any age. But the folks who are at highest risk of dying in a fall would be older people, ages 65 and older. The very young and older Americans are at higher risk of dying in a fall. However, there are just millions of fall related injuries which can cause a big problem for people, loss of work, time off, all kinds of things. So it’s important to be aware of the areas of your home where a fall might be especially likely to happen. And the first place to look would be your stairwell. Even if it’s just a couple of steps, you want to make sure that that area is well lit, because it’s easy to miss a step and fall down just because you didn’t see it. So try to have good lighting at the top and the bottom of the stairs. And one thing that a lot of homes lack that we like to see are handrails on both sides of the stairs.

Jason Hartman: They only have them on one side, right? Mine is on one side and I’m thinking about that now, yeah.

Meri-K Appy: But having them on both sides means, and getting in the habit of course of using them, some folks would really be assisted by being able to hold on to both sides. But let’s say you are in the habit of just walking with one hand on a railing, well if you’re going up or going down, you don’t know where you’re gonna have that fall. You may need that rail on both sides. So that’s a really good way to prevent a fall. Clutter on the stairwell is another big culprit. Everybody does it. You get into the door and drop your purse or your shoes or whatever or the laundry you need to bring up later. And there it is, right there on the stairs, so easy to trip over it. So make sure you keep your stairwells and your walkways clear of clutter at all times to make sure there’s nothing to trip on. This is also gonna help you out when we start talking about fire and escaping a fire where you want to get rid of anything that’s gonna slow you down. So just clutter control is a good idea. We also recommend that people pick up off the ground the little throw rugs. Those can be a real danger. They tend to slip. The edges often curl up and can catch your toe. So it’s just really in general safer not to have those little scatter rugs, throw rugs, and instead go to carpeting, if that’s the look you’re looking for, simply because of the danger. However, if you can’t part with the rug, you just love it there, another strategy is to take double sided tape and make sure all around the edge of the rug is well secured to the ground, so it’s less likely to slip when you step on it and you’re less likely to catch your toe. So we’ve talked about stairs and walkways. Let’s go into the bathroom. Because that’s another area where a fall can be really devastating. Think about it. The bathroom, the tub, the shower, that’s a wet, slippery surface, and it’s a very hard surface. So if you fall on that, you can really injure yourself badly. We love grab bars at the home safety council and this is a funny topic because sometimes when I raise the topic of grab bars, you know, eyes roll back in the head and people think I don’t want those in my house. You know, it’ll make my home look like an institution. But in fact, the good news is in just the last 10 years or so, the manufacturers have been coming out with some designer looking grab bars. They’re just as lovely and as decorative as your towel rack would be. But they’re designed to withstand your body weight. So they really will save the day if you slip in the tub or shower. And recent studies are showing that not only are older people at risk to a serious injury in the tub or shower, so are little kids. So having grab bars help everybody of any age. So that’s another big recommendation. And then in the bathroom, you just wanna make sure that if you spill a little water from the tub, as well in the kitchen or anywhere, mop it up right away because spills are another reason people can just slip and fall in their home.

Jason Hartman: Yeah, you know what, I have a feeling you’re going to get to this. I’m not sure it’s part of the basic principles, but you know what which one really concerns me, Meri-K, is carbon monoxide. I have in my bedroom a carbon monoxide detector plugged into the wall and in my old house I had a fireplace in my bedroom and I thought that’s really important to have it in there. And this invisible gas that you can’t smell that within a matter of a few minutes can end it all, right?

Meri-K Appy: That’s true. And this is a good time of year to be talking about that because it’s often in the wintertime that carbon monoxide poisoning increases. Carbon monoxide, as you point out, is a gas, a deadly gas. You can’t see it or smell it or taste it. It’s produced by fuel burning appliances, so anything that burns fuel. Your wood stove or your gas stove in your bedroom, a gas water heater, an oil burning furnace, a coal stove, anything that burns fuel like that is a potential source of carbon monoxide. And often the problem occurs when those appliances aren’t maintained well enough so that they’re operating at top efficiency. It’s the incomplete burning of the fuel.

Jason Hartman: Right. And water heaters kill people. I hear that all the time.

Meri-K Appy: Very much. And so the way to prevent a carbon monoxide poisoning is to have a professional come in and inspect your appliances, your heating systems, and clean out your chimney or whatever, whenever they feel it’s appropriate to do that. But do that once a year or so. Have somebody take a look at this. And also, have a carbon monoxide detector, ideally one on every level of your home. Another cause of carbon monoxide poisoning is an attached garage. Here, the precaution would be never warm up any kind of an engine in your garage or an attached porch if it’s an appliance of some kind. You always want to have fuel burning appliances well vented and your car carefully backed out before you start to warm it up, because the CO poisoning can get into your living space through the cracks in your garage. So an attached garage is another risk of CO. But the sad part of this is that if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, you probably won’t even know you have CO building up. And the symptoms of CO poisoning look a lot like the flu. So you could be being poisoned by carbon monoxide and not even realize that. So I’m very glad that you have an alarm in your home. I know that there are only about 40% of homes have them. So we have a long way to go before every home that needs them is protected.

Jason Hartman: It’s pretty much nowadays everybody has smoke detectors. I mean it’s required by law but some older homes I’m sure people don’t have them. But the fire issue has been mitigated to some extent, although I’m sure you’re going to mention a lot of people need to change their batteries in those smoke detectors. But the carbon monoxide is the next thing. You’ve got to have a carbon monoxide detector.

Meri-K Appy: That’s right. That’s a really important point and it leads us into the number 2 cause of accidental deaths at home is poisoning, carbon monoxide of course, but other kinds of poisonings involve the products that we have around our home that sometimes get into the hands of children. Here, I’m happy to say, we’ve made good progress in recent years with the advent of child safety caps. The number of kids who died from poisoning is actually going down.

What we’re finding, however, is going up. Our deaths to young adults, to people in the prime of life who may be kind of mixing medications, you know, might think the Heath Ledger tragedy that occurred recently, folks who are on perhaps some prescribed medications for some reason may get a cold and decide to add a cold medicine to what they’re normally taking, maybe have a glass of wine. It sort of becomes this cocktail and they don’t realize that combining all those things can actually lead to death.

So we want to make sure that people, as they’re managing their medications, especially the pain killing medications, are really paying attention to what they’re taking, they’re taking it the right way and the right amount, and if they choose to take something else in addition that they check that with their doctor or pharmacist or even call – this is great, call the police and control center. That’s an 800 number, 800-222-1222. There are experts, poisoning experts, on the hone 24 hours a day. It’s a completely private, confidential call. And you can just say I’m taking this and this from my doctor and now I have call and I’d like to take that. Is there any problem? So ask a lot of questions and just manage your medications well. We’re worried about this increase in poisoning related deaths.

Okay, so let’s move on to the third category, fires and burns. That’s the third leading cause of deaths overall, but it’s number one for children ages 1 to 14. And the danger of fire is that it can overcome people so much more quickly than they realized. 8 out of 10 people will die from smoke inhalation, not the flames. So we need to make sure folks are protected from that smoke. You mentioned smoke alarms and how a lot of homes out there are protected. That’s true. The estimates are somewhere around 96%, so almost all homes have them. But there are still about 6% of homes that have no alarms whatsoever. And about half the people who die in fires are dying in those homes. So if your home does not have a smoke alarm or more than one, or if you know somebody who doesn’t have a smoke alarm, it’s really urgent that smoke alarms be installed in those homes. And then even if you do have alarms, make sure they are not beyond their productive life. Um, new research is showing us that smoke alarms last, on average, around 8 to 10 years. And many people have had the same smoke alarms in their home for as long as they’ve lived in that place, and it could be 20 years or whatever.

So if your alarms are 10 years old or more or if you’re not sure how old they are, it’s time to get new smoke alarms. And the cool thing is there are new ones on the market that do misty things. There are some that if you have a problem the alarm goes off when you toast a piece of bread. There are a kind of alarms that have a hush feature, a button you can push, to stop the sound. If it’s a real fire, it’ll keep going. But if it’s not a real fire, it’ll stop. There’s another system that’s a wireless technology that operates with wireless on wireless frequency, and it’s called interconnected smoke alarms. You can either get these by hardwiring them to your home’s electrical or if you don’t want to bring in an electrician, you can get this new wireless kind. The beauty of the interconnected alarms is that if the alarm nearest the fire in the middle of the night goes of, it’ll take the smoke quite a while to get to the alarm close to where you are sound asleep. So you’re losing all that time to get to safety, but if you have interconnected alarms, the first alarm that sounds will signal the other. They’ll all go off. That gives you a better chance of waking up really fast and getting your family to safety really fast.

Jason Hartman: That’s more like fire sprinklers in commercial, usually commercial buildings, sometimes in home. But are the interconnected alarms always hard wired connected or do they have a way of radio connecting them.

Meri-K Appy: That’s it. They can be hardwired, but the newer models are wireless. And so that you don’t need to bring in an electrician to install those in your home. But I’m glad you mentioned sprinklers, because sprinklers are just the ultimate in safety. Now of course those don’t go off when there’s smoke present. A sprinkler system operates by heat. So if the sprinkler closest to where the fire begins heats up, a little water comes out of the pipes that are running water all the time, but they only work when the fire happens. And they are just magical, because unlike any other device to protect us against a fire in our home, sprinklers will actually control the fire, even put the fire out, causing far, far less damage to your home than the fireman’s hoses would, and also giving you and your family time to safely escape. So they’re just terrific. We love sprinklers.

Jason Hartman: Now one thing I wanted to say about the wireless…I’m no expert in this, but I would be a little suspicious about those interconnected smoke alarms being wireless because the fire itself may disrupt the radio communication I would assume, but the signal happened so early in the game that…

Meri-K Appy: Yeah, exactly. These are tested and listed products. And the important thing is you’re right, the time when there would be enough heat, smoke, flame for disruption, I hate to say it, but it’s already too late.

Jason Hartman: Right. And it would interrupt a wired system anyway probably.

Meri-K Appy: You know, we need to know about that fire right away and then of course just knowing you have a problem isn’t the end of the story. You have to know what to do. And that means having fire drills at home. And this is a place where we can do so much better. Most people, kids have them all the time in schools, various companies that do it at work, but you’re more likely to die in a fire at home than any other place. So it’s really important for people to map out, to plan out with all their family members. When the alarm goes off, what do I do, where do I go, where do we meet outside? And if you have little children or older folks who live with you in your home, just know the likelihood is they’re gonna sleep right through the smoke alarm. Kids sleep really deeply. So that’s why it’s even more important that the adults wake up, they hear it, they wake up, get to their children, get to their mother, father, whatever, get everybody outside to safety. And you’re shooting to do this within a three minute timeframe.

Jason Hartman: Three minutes, wow.

Meri-K Appy: Yeah. That fire can actually go from first ignition to flash over in as little as three minutes. So that’s your time to escape and you’ve got to know you’ve got the fire and snap into action, get everybody to safety within three minutes. That takes some practice.

Jason Hartman: One of the things I want to say about fire is just this is all stuff we probably heard in school, but just as a reminder, the stuff about getting down lower, because that’s where the smoke rises, so you can breathe when you’re down lower on the floor, be careful opening doors. You should feel the door first to feel if it’s hot and see if there’s fire on the other side and…

Meri-K Appy: Let me say a word about that. That is true. Kids are taught that, but in fact, it’ll take a very long time for a solid wood door to heat up. So the better way to handle that is, you’re right, if your smoke alarm goes off, you want to make sure that you get as low as you can, especially if there’s any smoke where you are, you want to get down on your hands and knees, go to the door and just feel around the crack of the door and the door handle if it’s metal because that’s where you’ll feel the warmth first. Then, open the door just a little bit, just crack it, and you’re peeking out to see if you see any smoke. Remember that it’s smoke that kills most often in a fire. So if it’s a smoky hallway, you don’t want to go that way. You want to use your second way out which might be the window. And there you need to make sure that you have a means to get the window open and to get down to the ground safely. So that might involve having a fire escape ladder.

Jason Hartman: Yeah. And I’ve seen those escape ladders. People buy them and keep them under their bed and it’s something they can…It’s kind of like a rope ladder where they can just put it on the windowsill and hook it there and then drop it down and you can climb down safely. If you’re in a second story and you don’t have the ladder, it’s probably worth jumping. But if it’s three stories or more, it’s…

Meri-K Appy: Yeah. If you don’t have a ladder and you’re one or two floors up, think hang and drop.

Jason Hartman: Yeah, right. Because you’ve already eliminated 6 feet of the fall, right?

Meri-K Appy: But the best thing is to plan out in advance what would be my second way out and make sure you work that out in advance of the emergency. I also heard that Werner Ladder is coming out with a new kind of ladder that installs an escape ladder that will install under your windowsill so it’s there all the time. You don’t have to go finding it under the bed. It’s just out there ready if you ever needed it.

Jason Hartman: Right. Okay, good.

Meri-K Appy: Okay, so that’s fire safety and we’ve talked about sprinklers. The next thing to discuss would be the category of choking, suffocation, strangulation, things that obstruct the airway. And this is an issue that is most severe in the first year of life. In fact, it’s the leading cause of home injury death to children in the first year of their lives. So the most important factor is where and how children go to sleep. The safest place for a child to be, especially when they’re babies, is in a crib alone on their back with nothing else in the crib. And I know that sounds really empty, and it is, but this is one of those safety messages that has changed a lot since I got into this field 25 years ago now.

When I brought my kids home from the hospital, I had lovingly outfitted a crib with all kinds of bumpers and stuffed animals and my mother in law knit a blanket and it just had all kinds of beautiful things in there, little did I know that those very loving gifts could actually threaten the life of my child from suffocation. And what we’re finding is that many of the deaths to children, babies, that used to be called sudden infant death syndrome or unexplained infant death, when more research has been done and we’re finding out that many, many of these are actually suffocation deaths because of the things in the crib or because the baby’s on her tummy.

So when you think of the most loving place you can put your new baby to sleep, it would be in an empty crib with a tight fitting mattress and mattress cover, no stuffed animals, no bumpers, perhaps a little zip up sleep sac so that nothing can come over their breathing passages, on their back, nobody else in the crib or in their sleep environment with them.

Jason Hartman: Good advice.

Meri-K Appy: That’s new. Yeah, it’s hot off the press information. Of course the other thing about choking, suffocation, with little children, we want to make sure this is useful for anybody really, but especially when kids are small. You want to make sure that what we give them to eat is cut up very carefully because any item that is small enough to fit through a small parts tester…A small parts tester is a round cylinder. It’s about the same size as the paper roll inside a roll of toilet paper. So think about, you know, a marble, a coin, a round slice of a hot dog, anything that’s that size is unfortunately just the size that would block off a child’s air supply. So you want to make sure when they’re eating that they’re seated and that everything you’re giving them to eat is cut up into scary small bites.

Jason Hartman: Alright. So have we covered the choking and suffocation part or is there more to that one?

Meri-K Appy: Well, there’s also strangulation. And very quickly, there are still homes in our country where with venetian blind, with window treatments that have loops to raise and lower the blinds, they’re older design. Nowadays when you buy window treatments, they often don’t have any strings on them at all which is even safer. So, cordless blinds are best. But if you do have this older type of venetian blind in your home and you have little ones, just make sure that you cut the loop into two pieces and then either get a cord winder or put a hook or something so that those cords are well out of reach of the children at all times so there’s no danger they could toddle over, maybe crawl up on a sofa, arm of a sofa, and tipped forward. That’s kind of a scenario. Doesn’t happen an awful lot, but it’s still happening and it’s very, very preventable. It’s just a terrible tragedy to think about.

Jason Hartman: Yeah, it sure is. It sure is.

Meri-K Appy: So the last area on our list is drowning, prevention here again, most often a risk to young children. The rule the home safety council likes to share is children and water, you think about all the fun they have, but really it’s a very dangerous combination. Never turn your back on a child in or near the water. In fact, we talk about something called touch supervision which is if there’s water anywhere around, you are close enough to put one arm out and grab your child. So whether it’s the bathtub or the toilet or a backyard pool, you are always practicing touch supervision when there are children nearby. And of course if you do have to turn your back or be someplace else, then it’s really important to have ways to keep the children from getting anywhere near that water. So it might a lock on the outside of the bathroom door, toilet latches to keep the child from raising the lid. Very sad to think of this, but little toddlers who are very curious can kind of toddle into the bathroom, the toilet might look pretty interesting to them, they lean forward and because they’re top heavy they fall into the toilet but can’t get themselves back out.

Jason Hartman: Wow.

Meri-K Appy: So you want to make sure…A child, believe it or not, can drown in as little as an inch of water.

Jason Hartman: You know what, I heard an episode of Oprah actually. I think it was in New Zealand when I happened to hear this. And it was about a child drowning in a bucket of water while their parent was washing the car, yeah.

Meri-K Appy: I forgot to talk about five gallon buckets. We see that still happening here. I know it’s horrible, but if you’re washing the floor, you’re washing your car or whatever, you need to be right near that bucket, watching it all the time. Your children shouldn’t be nearby. And then when you’re done with it, pour out all the water and store it away, turned upside down. So it’s the kind of thing, you don’t even want to leave it out in the backyard or something because a little rain water can get in there and be deadly. And then of course anybody with backyard pools needs to know that this is really a big responsibility and it’s so easy for that gate or that fence to be left ajar even for a second. So make sure that when you have a pool, it’s protected with what we call isolation fencing. Isolation fencing goes all the way around the pool, all four sides. Home Safety Council likes it to be 5 feet high. Some codes say 4 feet required, but we like it even higher than that. And choose a fence that’s not like those chain link fences with holes that a child could shimmy up and over. Choose the kind of fence that it’s not scalable. There’s no way a child can climb on it with a shelf closing, self-latching gate. And then always, always be sure that everybody knows the rules, no being near the pool if there’s not a grownup on duty. And that grownup really needs to be doing mothering but watching the kids, you know, not reading or talking on the phone, just take it as a really serious responsibility because it really is.

Jason Hartman: Do you know which one really scares me? And it goes back I guess to the suffocation or at least being trapped problem. And I just heard a news story about his happening maybe three weeks ago at a Costco somewhere in the country where a kid wandered into an open safe and locked themselves in. And of course they called the fire department. Fortunately, they got the kid out. It was a happy ending. But old refrigerators, safes, any area that encloses and locks, maybe a trunk of a car, washing machine, yeah, I’ve heard that story, dryer, where a kid can get into it and lock themselves in and that can be a really tragic thing.

Meri-K Appy: And so your point is well taken. We have a great website, HomeSafetyCouncil.org, and on it there’s a virtual tour of a home. We call it MySafeHome.org. And you can click on MySafeHome.org and kind of roam room to room and we’ll point out all the things that could be a danger and show you what to do to be safer. And I think that it’s really important, especially if you’re having a new child or maybe you’re a grandparent and your grandkids are coming to visit, you just want to kind of refresh your memory about some of this stuff. It’s a really good thing to do because basically if you look around pretty much any room of your home through the eyes of a child, there are a lot of things that would be extremely attractive to them and interesting to them that could hurt them. And it’s important that we adults know what those things are and take care of them before our kids are at risk.

Jason Hartman: Right, I gotta tell you on the poisoning thing, Meri-K, I’m just remembering this happened to me as a child, and this might have been before there were the safety caps on the bottles, but I drank a little bit of bleach. And my mother rushed me to the emergency room and she said she could smell it on my breath. And the poisoning, the cabinets that have the childproof locks on them, and then of course nowadays all of the containers themselves have the tamper resistant caps on them.

Meri-K Appy: Well, not all of them.

Jason Hartman: Oh, not all of them?

Meri-K Appy: You would think they all would, but they don’t all have them. I think your point is again very, very well taken that if folks could get in the habit of just looking at the label of things that we bring into the home and if you see words in all capital letters, those are called the signal words on the label, CAUTION, WARNING, DANGER, KEEP OUT OF REACH OFCHILDREN, any of those things, those are items that really need to be carefully stored using a child safety lock. Because just putting it on a high shelf or behind a cupboard isn’t good enough. Kids who really want to get into something find all kinds of ways to get at them. So just read the labels. Often, the labels unfortunately get put on those products because somebody else experienced a tragedy or some problem. So we need to learn from past mistakes and really pay attention to and make sure those mistakes aren’t repeated.

Jason Hartman: Yeah, we certainly do. Well, what would you like to say just to wrap all of this up?

Meri-K Appy: I love the fact that you’re so knowledgeable and your show I think is bringing such valuable information to help people lead better, healthier lives. The great thing about home accident prevention is that it’s very doable. It often costs very little, takes very little time, but it can really make the difference between life and death. These are survival skills that are in our own hands and I’m just so glad to be able to share them with your audience today.

Jason Hartman: Well, you’re absolutely right. This is easy to implement. It’s very inexpensive. And just by having awareness, thinking about it, and doing that virtual tour of a home on your website I think can really, really help people. And this is totally preventable. It should never happen. So keep up the good work. That’s Meri-K Appy, president of the Washington based Home Safety Council. We appreciate you joining us on the show today.

Meri-K Appy: Thank you for having me, Jason.

Interview with Megan Barnes

Jason Hartman: It’s my pleasure to welcome Megan Barnes on the show today. She is with a company called Green Grass Meats and today we are going to talk a little bit about the food supply and what you should know about what you’re eating and some solutions in terms of how to protect yourself. This is all about protecting people, places, and profits. So let’s talk about protecting your health and the health of your family members, and also a little bit about sustainability as well. Megan, welcome to the show.

Megan Barnes: Thanks so much for having me.

Jason Hartman: My pleasure. Tell us a little bit about the problem with our food supply nowadays. I know we hear about it on the news. And it’s at the top of some people’s minds and I think it should be more widely thought of by more people and then to get into what we can do to solve the problem.

Megan Barnes: Sure. Well I mean I think starting with kind of the you are what you eat mentality, I think particularly in our country we’ve got significant levels of industrial food processing bringing that kind of food and that kind of product to all of us as consumers, I would think most of us probably have no idea where the inner jars of foods or cans of food that we’re eating or the meat we’re eating actually came from. Example, this week in the news on CNN, tragically two people have passed away from an e-coli outbreak in beef. And there’s a farm in New York where this has happened and they’re having to recall a lot of beef. At Green Grass Meats, we’re in the beef business, but we’re also in the business of putting a healthy product in front of you and bringing healthy and sustainable products to your dinner table, the ability to trace where something’s coming from. You know exactly what you’re eating, where it came from, what our cattle were fed, and we believe a lot in kind of this slow food movement of really nurturing yourself by what you eat and what that process is of what the cattle or the vegetables or whatever you’re eating is doing to you before it gets to your table.

Jason Hartman: I mean so talking about the problem here for a moment, basically what’s happening in these factory farms, I mean nature really never meant for us to eat cattle or any form of livestock or fish that was pumped full of hormones, that was confined in little cages in inhumane manner and then slaughtered and fed to us. Nature meant for us to hunt these animals and then eat them and they were grazing out in the wild and eating much more healthily, right?

Megan Barnes: Right. That’s very correct. I mean I come from a long line of ranchers and feed lot ranchers and then a feed lot is where most of the beef in this country comes from. And you do. You see ranchers that are working so, so hard to make a living, but the fact of the matter is you get more money per pound for your cattle or your pig or whatever it is. So inherently, as a means of trying to survive and trying to profit, ranchers have to fatten their cattle because that is how they make their money. And what’s the quickest way to fatten a cow? Same way you’d fatten a person, it’s the steroids and hormones and all kinds of antibiotics that keep the cow healthy and resilient. Even diseased cattle like what we’re seeing here with this e-coli outbreak, diseased cattle can make it all the way to a slaughterhouse because you can pump them full of antibiotics and assume that they’re healthy and then that goes into the food chain. And it really…I mean for us it’s just about getting back to basics and it seems like such a novelty right now for people to get back to basics in how they eat and how they exercise and all kinds of things. And it’s so fundamental to our health that we aren’t consuming things that are full of lord knows what, certainly not what it was intended to be.

Jason Hartman: What are these additives like the hormones and the steroids doing to people’s health? I mean I’ve read and heard people saying that it’s increasing the cancer rate, maybe having an effect on diabetes, I don’t know, but all sorts of health problems. Can you tell us about any studies or any findings that have linked all of this factory food production to health ailments?

Megan Barnes: I mean I wouldn’t say that I can or would point directly to one study that has definitively said hey, this causes this. I think you could pick from any number of studies and any number of cause and effect relationships in the food chain and in kind of industrial manufacturing of food. But I think at the end of the day it’s far less complicated than we want to make it. The fact of the matter is if you’re eating whatever it is, vegetables, fruit, anything that were raised on a small farm, it’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. And this stuff isn’t sprayed with chemicals, it’s not injected with chemicals, nothing like that. You’re inherently not putting things into yourself that you know aren’t meant to be there and I think that kind of the simplicity of it for me is just fundamental. I don’t know all of what they put in the steroids and the antibiotics and the shots. And I probably don’t want to know.

Jason Hartman: Yeah, right. Sometimes it’s better not to know.

Megan Barnes: But, you know, I mean there are so many things that we deal with today health-wise that we weren’t dealing with years ago. I mean even things like autism in children, it seems to be rapidly increasing. Cancer is rampant. I mean I don’t think anybody is not affected by cancer. And sure, I think that there are plenty of ways that you can link that back to the way that we’re eating and what we’re putting into our bodies.

Jason Hartman: I’m looking at your website here and you’ve got T-bone steak 12 to 14 ounce package for $14.99. I’m not much of a shopper or a chef, but that doesn’t seem really expensive to me. Although I don’t know, I don’t really buy this in the store. I usually eat it in restaurants.

Megan Barnes: Right. Surprisingly, a lot of people are intimidated by preparing their own T-bone steak or filet or what have you.

Jason Hartman: Normal people do that, Megan, just not the person you’re talking to.

Megan Barnes: There are some other with you I’m sure.

Jason Hartman: The best thing I make for dinner is reservations I always joke about.

Megan Barnes: Yeah, for sure. And that’s an interesting point you make too. I mean you would go into a restaurant and order a 16 ounce T-Bone steak and probably pay significantly more than that particularly if it was an organic or grass fed cut of meat only because when you’re looking at grass cut and looking at organic, the guidelines that you have to go through to make sure your product is maintaining the standards of being organic or as being grass fed require so much hands on work throughout the entire process and so it is inevitably is more expensive because you can’t ship it off to a big factory to have it mass produced and mass packaged. It all has to be done in small batch and every single thing is inspected carefully and that sort of a deal. So that’s where we do see a little bit more cost come into it, but at the end of the day you can go to your local grocery store and buy ground beef, maybe $3 a pound versus $4 to $5 a pound depending on if it’s a sirloin or just a ground beef. But at your grocery store, what’s really interesting about what you can find on a shelf when they’re vacuum packed and sealed, you had dye added to it to make sure that the coloring looks okay when it’s on the shelf, who knows what was put into it while it went through slaughter and packaging and manufacturing before it even got to the store, and then when it gets to the store the store has to make sure it’s presentable. I don’t want to call it…It’s not deceptive, but it allows a much lower grade of product to be put on a shelf by a retailer because they can make it look better.

Jason Hartman: Right. They doctor it up and make it look cosmetically better, sure.

Megan Barnes: Right. And I had a comment, when we first started selling our beef it was funny, I actually had a family member of mine say “You know what, this beef, I can smell it.” “So what do you mean you can smell it?” “Well I can smell it when I open it.” It doesn’t smell bad, but I just know that I’ve opened this steak and I’m gonna prepare it. And that’s because there are deodorizers in meat that’s on the shelf at the grocery store because you don’t want to walk by a meat case and smell raw meat. It’s a smell. And it’s just interesting things like that you kind of learn that you probably would never think about at your supermarket that the meat you’re eating was full of antibiotics and steroids and that it was deodorized and then it was dyed and then it was this and that, and you think you’re just buying ground beef to feed your family.

Jason Hartman: Right. Take us through if you would, just real quickly, I know we’ve got to wrap up here but the sort of levels of quality or certification if you will. So your food, your meat is organically fed, right? And it’s also grass fed and free range? Are those different distinctions or…

Megan Barnes: They are.

Jason Hartman: What’s sort of the steps here if you would?

Megan Barnes: Yeah, sure. So one really interesting point of differentiation between grass fed livestock and organic livestock is that organic livestock are certified organic based on what they are fed but if you were to Google…Say you just randomly Google organic products like organic seed products, a towel that is certified organic may very well be a very healthy cow and they may limit what can be fed into it and what can be injected into it. But they can still see the fatteners and fillers and give specific medications to the cow so long as it has some kind of natural derivative or organic derivative. It doesn’t mean it’s bad. It just means that there’s still more going into that food being processed than we would like to see.

On the other side of that, you have grass fed which is we adhere to a guideline not of being certified organic but of being certified grass fed, meaning we can only feed our cattle grass and typically when livestock is grass fed it is also free range, which means we don’t ever pin them or confine them or feed them grain or anything like that. They pretty much get to roam free on the thousand anchor ranch and then they’re pinned the same day as they’re slaughtered. And we find that cattle that are free ranged have significantly better meat only because when cattle are pinned in feed lots and that sort of thing, they go through a lot of stress and stress releases hormones into your body just like it would with a human and it tenses the cow and will make the beef a little bit tougher and kind of change the texture and the taste of it. And we find that if you let your cattle roam free on a range for 30 months before slaughter you get a significantly better product and a cow that’s had a better life cycle if that makes sense. So we specialize in free range and then grass feeding. And certified organic isn’t really a goal that we have only because we intend to stay strictly grass fed.

Jason Hartman: Okay, well good. Megan, thank you so much for telling us about this topic. And the website is GreenGrassMeats.com. Is there anything else you’d like people to know?

Megan Barnes: No, that’s it. We appreciate your time and hope that people will just continue to be picky consumers and really look into what they’re doing and what they’re purchasing.

Jason Hartman: Good stuff. Well thank you for being on the show and here’s to healthy eating.

Megan Barnes: Great, thanks for having me.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us today for the Holistic Survival Show, protecting the people, places, and profits you care about in uncertain times. Be sure to listen to our Creating Wealth show which focuses on exploiting the financial and wealth creation opportunities in today’s economy. Learn more at www.JasonHartman.com or search Jason Hartman on ITunes. This show is produced by the Hartman Media Company, offering very general guidelines and information. Opinions of guests are their own and none of the content should be considered individual advice. If you require personalized advice, please consult an appropriate professional, information deemed reliable, but not guaranteed. (Top image: Flickr | chronos_tachyon)

The Holistic Survival Show Team

Transcribed by Ralph


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