On B12

A comment by JD Mumma (I’ve saved this so long I can’t figure out if the whole thing is) :

A) the omnivore diet shows a 39% deficiency in B12 (http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/pr/2000/000802.htm), their diet is massively supplemented with vitamins, including B12 (a simply scan of most food labels verifies this fact), and

B) most farmed animals are often supplemented with B12 or cobalt (a nutrient that is essential for cattle to create B12 from bacteria in their rumen), primarily diet to a grain based diet and reduction of cobalt in the soil from over grazing and lack of soil enrichment.

The below quotes and link are offered as my ‘burden-of-proof’ that farmed animals are given supplements:
“The lack of a trace mineral, cobalt, can result in a vitamin B12 deficiency in cattle. This is because cobalt is a part of the vitamin B12 compound and is essential for rumen bacteria to manufacture this vitamin.” http://www.cattletoday.com/archive/2008/October/CT1772.shtml

Ruminants: Vitamin B12 http://www.dsm.com/en_US/html/dnpna/anh_rumi_vit_b12_def.htm

Poultry: Vitamin B12 http://www.dsm.com/en_US/html/dnpna/anh_poul_vit_b12_req.htm
B12 Energy Boost Paste – (Sullivan Supply) Sullivan’s B12 Energy Boost Paste is a balance of Vitamin B12, plus other essential vitamins and live, naturally occurring microorganisms to boost energy levels and fight fatigue in livestock during times of stress. Will help livestock that get run down while on the road, after travel, or weigh in. Give show cattle 15 cc prior to leaving for show and 10 cc each day at show. Give pigs, sheep and goats 5 cc prior to and at show.” http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=464a6b12-76d0-4401-99a7-63f128c054a7

“Vitamin A-D-E-B12 Gel – (Kaeco) For use as a vitamin supplement containing Vitamin A, Vitamin D3, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B12. Administer orally on back of tongue. Dosage for dairy and beef cattle is 10 ml. Dosage for sheep, goats and newborn calves is 5 ml.” http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=30e07915-7b6a-11d5-a192-00b0d0204ae5

“Catosal Injectable – (Bayer Animal Health) Catosal Injectable Solution is a source of vitamin B12 and phosphorus for prevention or treatment of deficiencies of these nutrients in cattle, swine, horses and poultry. Catosal Injectable Solution is 10% Butaphosphan+Cyanocobalamin. Each ml of Catosal contains 100 mg Butaphosphan and 0.5 mg Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12). Butaphosphan provides 17.3 mg of phosphorus in 1 ml solution. Catosal Injectable Solution is recommended for SQ, IM or IV administration in cattle, calves, horses, swine and piglets” http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.html?pgguid=951cb392-74d4-4e59-a2b9-04db59f92e87&gas=b12

“Joel Salatin, in his recent book “The Sheer Ecstasy of Being a Lunatic Farmer” tells of some of his chickens that were not pastured that developed a crippling problem called ‘curly toe”, caused by vitamin B deficiency. He initially solved by feeding the chickens liver. Subsequently he used vitamin fortified chicken feed in lieu of liver.” http://freetheanimal.com/2010/09/dr-seale-any-b12-present-in-animal-foods-is-only-because-of-bacterial-contamination.html

“Vitamin B12 is manufactured by rumen bacteria. It contains a trace mineral, cobalt, which must be provided in the diet. Cobalt concentrations in feeds are not well known and therefore ruminant diets are supplemented with cobalt at approximately 0.1 ppm to ensure adequate production of vitamin B12, which is too costly to add directly to feedlot diets. Vitamin B12 is the only B-vitamin stored in substantial amounts in the liver. When animals are transported or stressed, the break down of body tissue, including liver, increases blood concentrations of vitamin B12. Ruminal production of vitamin B12 is lowest, and production of B12 analogs is highest, on grain diets compared to forage diets. Vitamin B12 deficiency is unlikely unless diets are deficient in cobalt for a prolonged period. The symptoms can include poor appetite, retarded growth, and poor condition.”

“Once the rumen becomes functional, bacterial synthesis is considered to supply the normal requirement of cattle for B-vitamins. Milk is a source of B-vitamins for the calf. But while the rumen provides for much of the cows B vitamin requirements, many circumstances indicate a need for supplementation. …
“The lack of a trace mineral, cobalt, can result in a vitamin B12 deficiency in cattle. This is because cobalt is a part of the vitamin B12 compound and is essential for rumen bacteria to manufacture this vitamin…” http://www.cattletoday.com

A B12 blood test is common but not deemed as very accurate. More accurate is to test for MMA (an amino acid) in urine. MMA is elevated when usable B12 is low.
There are several ways to get B12 for vegans (in no specific orer)
1. Skin patch
2. Intramuscular injection
3. Sublingual pill (sub-lip is more even more effective)
4. Oral spray
5. Swallowing a pill (LEAST absorption) especially noneffective if people have existing low intrinsic factor

Direct Testing of B12 levels:
1) B12 levels in serum – Blood test for B12 levels is not the most accurate way to test for B12 levels.
One of the main reasons this test method is unreliable (false positives and false-negatives) is that it cannot distinguish B12 from B12 analogues – of particular importance since many vegans consume foods/products with B12 and B12 analogues* (e.g. spirulina, seaweed…).

2) Holotranscobalamin – This is considered the most accurate test because it measure ‘active B12’

Indirect Testing of B12 levels:
3) MMA levels is considered by many the best – uMMA (Urinary methyl malonic acid) found to be more sensitive/accurate than sMMA (serum methyl malonic acid)
Two additional great features of uMMA testing is low cost (I have seen prices as low as $40 and as high as $200) and ease (just pee a sample cup and send to the lab!)

4) Homocysteine in serum – homocysteine levels elevate for many reasons and one is when B12 levels are low.

I have found the vegan community fraught with: myths, misinformation, mis-interpretations, guessing, half-truths, ignorance, fallacies, poor science, propaganda… My hundreds of hours of study and research indicated that this is a MAJOR topic that needs to clarified and addressed, and for many corrected.


karela curry

I’ve never had this but then again I’m more of a fried thinly sliced karela (bitter gourd) person, it makes me think of unsweetened cornflakes bc I love the combination.

I guess this can be stuffed with ground dhal or seeds too for a high protein curry, like mock fish curry. Ingredients are bolded for ease of execution. idk how many tomatoes.

Scratch the peel of the karela, slit them lengthways but not completely. Soak in salt water (I’m guessing after emptying the inside).

Soya mince can be used to make the exact non-vegan recipe she gave – seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, ginger, 5-spice mix, or some spices of your choosing. Stuff the karela, tie it with some string or be prepared to turn it over with skill.

Chop 1-2 large onion/s.

Heat some cooking oil, add 1 tsp panch phoran, onion, curry leaves, wet curry powder (or mixed with water), tomatoes. Garlic and ginger after a while. then the karela.

Put enough water for the karela to cook. add salt. Let it simmer.

She suggests a potato version as the only vegan option.

DIY – Cleaning wooden floors

DIY Green Cleaning Recipes for Wood Floor Cleaner

Vinegar and oil wood floor cleaner: To both clean and polish wood floors, combine equal parts white vinegar and vegetable or mineral oil. Rub into wood with a soft cloth.

Vinegar wood floor cleaner: Pour 1 cup of white vinegar into a bucket of hot water. Dip mop into cleaner and wring out so that it is damp, not dripping, and mop floors. Add 1/4 cup liquid castile soap for additional cleaning power, or substitute lemon juice for vinegar for a citrus scent.

Washing soda wood floor cleaner: Dissolve 1 tablespoon washing soda crystals into a bucket of hot water and damp mop your floors.

Borax wood floor cleaner: Pour 1/4 cup borax into a gallon of hot water. You can damp mop with this mixture without having to rinse.

Lemon and olive oil wood floor cleaner: Pour 1/2 cup lemon juice, 3/4 cup olive oil, and 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket. Apply to your floors with a damp mop.

Let’s start from the floor up. I’ll perhaps post if I search more.

The above (link in title) seems a good website, maybe it has everything one ever needs so all I need to do is report any bad results if I try anything. I was mourning the half a bottle of non-animal tested wooden floor cleaner, albeit the powers of which I never quite trusted because of the lovely almond smell, it cleaned my kitchen floors perfectly, instantly and effortlessly but then the smell stayed and I think it attracted insects (almond smell = food!) who became confused… and probably hangry.

What kind of a country does not sell Borax!!!? Mine.

Acknowlegdements: Credit goes to my fragrance-free family of choice! What would I or my blog be without you!

DIY products – Mauritius

Some recipes call for the following ingredients or products that can be used as is. Many are fragrance-free.

Bicarbonate of soda – 1 TBs can be used to replace fabric softener, it can be used to make toothpaste (It is even recommended instead of toothpaste when one has a dermatitis or some lip issue).

Vinegar (1/2 a cup can replace fabric softener) is available at any shop, the smallest street corner shop will stock sugarcane vinegar. The advantage of cleaning your kitchen surfaces with white vinegar is it repels ants, it helps kill mould, the smell dissipates after a short while (stating the obvs, but I get asked such things).

Gram flour/Besan can be used as a cleanser, in India traditionally it is used for all over cleansing (in the bath) but I’m not ready to try that, maybe when can’t I use available soaps anymore.

Coconut oil is available at Quartier Gourmet (Sodnac) and Health Solutions Organic Market (Ébène, etc).

Carrot seed oil and red raspberry seed oil (less effective) can be used as sunscreen, even famous branded products use vitamin A in their products as sunscreen. Thanks, Julie Weber!

Sweet almond oil is used to remove make up but another idea is to try go without make up (though too late for some and impossible for those who do make-up). the best facial skin I’ve seen in decades are on women who said they use nothing but water. Isn’t it gross in a kissing-as-greeting culture? Idk, there’s good bacteria on skin, that we kill that with soap and stuff. Once you started using stuff (usually too early on) it’s probably impossible to have balanced skin without using products, there’s always dryness after a shower in some climates or after swimming. According to the article I linked, this can’t work if the person uses shampoo regularly in the shower, or anything on their faces.

1 jour à Mayotte shows women using coconut oil, henna in facials, as well as litchi root, ground with a flat stone (rubbed rather than ground, such light stones used to make pastes for religious ceremonies, so these stones surely sell here): they traditionally use it as a leave-on decorative mask against pimples etc.

Too much religion and not enough culture here, whereas in Mayotte there is both these customs around weddings and participation of women with knowledge of medicinal plants.

Reetha is a dried husk with which one can make soapy water or a solution which can be used as detergent or for personal care. I put one or 2 nuts in a tiny cotton bag with a machine load of washing. Top loaders are ideal bc you can remove it before rinsing. In a front loader, you have to stop the process and remove it. I’m not convinced putting it in the drawer would be better than soaking it and pouring the water in. The nuts could be reused, I think powder would go a longer way and I’ll try make powder or liquid from it soon for a front loader.

It sells readymade so I’ve yet to attempt making toothpaste with coconut oil. It cleans really well, as good as or better than Nature’s Gate.As I’m doing, one can google these things – even “[product needed] recipe” gives many vegan results.

Do you have any detergent or personal care product recipe? Could I share them here crediting you? Since we can’t find borax here. It can be simple like these ones I’m still testing: To repel lizards I was trying to post-clean the kitchen with lavender essential oil (20 drops in 50ml water), requires more than a weekly application. Then I moved to a place where lizards don’t like the kitchen. I sometimes put a few drops of pure tea tree e.o on a damp sponge to wipe counters to keep ants away. I’ve seen them walk over the cinnamon, but we co-habit, they clean up crevices and counters (I clean part by part so the can escape), sinks, walls. Coexistence and mesh/screens on windows.

Soapnuts or reetha is also called quassia and in products we may find here, shikakai. I’ve seen branded shikakai products (Are their other ingredients tested on animals?). The powder can easily be dissolved for shampoo and personal care, or as is in laundry.

Humane products in Mauritius

Key: FF denotes fragrance-free options available (is a feature bc all vegans on the island are lazy and/or entitled POS, and I compile for allergics and the chemically injured).

FF Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap It’s not all cheap but trial sizes & bulk quantities available, the pure castille soap gets diluted so it lasts over a year if used for dishes + laundry + cleaning). Maybe another household can help split costs, I think it works out cheaper than them buying dishwashing liquid and so on. It claims 18 uses including teeth cleaning (eww but yes, google). Coconut oil of the same brand, all fairtrade and humane, is available, can be combined with bicarbonate of soda to make products including deodorant. It sells toothpaste and a rather cheap lipbalm (Dr. Bronners, fragrance free os an option and less than 1/2 the price of fragrance-free French brands).

At 2 other places, and Ébène Health Solutions Market also sells soap-sud (for cleaning more thoroughly) and shikakai soap (for sensitive skin but please know that ants will get drawn to it, alternatively add moisturising oil to diluted castille soap for personal care). When the 18-in-1 is used for laundry, one would need e.g. vinegar or bicarbonate of soda as softener.

Earth Choice detergents, the whole range available at supermarkets (e.g. Tang Spar, thanks a bunch for finding, Malinee Mootoocurpen!) are humane and phosphate-free.

FF Melvita products‎, such as Jojoba oil – a liquid wax and chemically like skin sebum, a LeMauricien clipping said it’s suitable for oily/combo skin. A friend uses it on dry skin instead of a day cream, and in her 50’s, her skin looks great. La Vie Claire (Grand Baie, Tamarin, Floréal) stocks a range of Melvita oils and products. They also sell Lamazuna (do I have to specify vegan, zero dechet/ zero waste when they cost upward of R500 + over R200 for the jar? I mean a jar that still uses energy-intensive aluminium), Logona, Weleda.

Beautiful Earth (mosquito repelling spray that is free of chemicals but for clothing) and the Victorian Garden (contains essential oils as fragrance) at Biotifully Yours. Contact Mrs. Arzina Rojoa or a saleperson 52576630. They can also email you their newest catalogue.

Woolworths (read the labels to check if vegan) housebrand detergents and beauty products are certified by Beauty Without Cruelty SA.

Oh-so-Heavenly as well, again, read the labels is you are vegan because e.g. lip balm used to be vegan as well, now they are not. They are repped by Green Brands aka Pastel.

Organic care shampoo h/t Mrs B. Juganaikloo Appadoo via VSFNG – Mauritius page. It looks fragranced.

In case you need non-tested make-up it is more easily available, and a list has long been available locally. make-up is the only cruelty-free stuff I ever found in the Vegan Society-Mauritius (on facebook) aside from Gaia.

There may still be Esse face products in Port-Louis, at Natura or something, opposite Courts? (with a bridge across the street on the left). The scrub I tried was low-scent, with natural cocoa that’s really overwhelming, sugar, a little lemongrass essential oil. Free of phosphates and SLS.

Please have a look at the DIY post too.

Aside from the cruelty to animals, cruel products are also often cruel to people and the planet. If you’re looking at products not listed here check the label for official bunny logos, not just any bunny; and the brand names would be listed on the sites too such as if you search by country of origin of the product here. If it is a local product, not that I’ve seen any, maybe suppliers won’t be local and either way certification could easily be obtained.