Have you ever walked out your front door and see something that walks like a duck, looks like a duck and quacks like a duck?  As we were organizing our morning to leave town for a getaway weekend, we found an injured female wood duck.  I captured her and my wife wrapped her in a towel.  Our new mission that morning was to find a place to take her.  I spent an hour on the computer following links for wildlife emergencies.  And when I finally found phone numbers, another hour was spent to make contact with someone.  We found the Eastside Veterinary Clinic in Clermont.  We took her there and they told us that they would care for her injuries and then send her to a local wildlife rehab facility.  They also took our information because it is important to rehome the ducks where they were found.  We made a healthy donation to “Friends of Nature” a fund that supports these local efforts!

One Degree of Change #17:
Stop Using Aluminum Foil!

After wrapping the duck in a warm towel, it reminded me of this one degree of change I had on my list. Why? Is this dangerous? There is a great deal of information about this.  We have broiled our veggies on a foil covered cookie sheet for the past few years at a high heat.

So after a couple hours of reading here is what I found to be true and why we will discontinue its use in our home.  Cooking with aluminum foil has been shown to create numerous tiny cracks and flakes in the surface of the aluminum foil as demonstrated with electron microscopy.  Moreover chemical leaching of aluminum into food occurs with greater ease when food contains acidic properties such as lemon juice or spices. This increases your exposure. What’s wrong with increased exposure? Aluminum interferes with the digestion of calcium, phosphorus, and fluoride, and can even result in osteoporosis. It damages the liver, and impairs the kidneys. It is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s.
It leads to colic, sleep disturbance, anemia, and speech problems.  Here’s a video on how aluminum foil is made.  After watching the way that it is cooled with liquid and oil, makes you wonder how much of that gets in your system too. Oh, and btw, the oil that is used is mineral oil, from petroleum. Yum!

Okay, now what am I supposed to use?  Try parchment paper, glass baking dishes, and cast iron pans.  Watch out for stainless steel because the layers of steel are bonded with aluminum.  It is okay to use aluminum foil to cover dishes for storage in the refrigerator, just not to cook with in the oven, grill or in the campfire.  This also toys with the idea that it is not good for the landfill either.  If it leaches into the foods we eat, then we know it will leach into our soils.  The average person will consume/eat over 3 pounds of aluminum (this includes aluminum in other products as well as foil) in her lifetime.  That is the equivalent of 229 square feet of aluminum foil!

Are you up for the challenge? 
Not only will you be saving the planet, but saving yourself!

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