To Bamboo or Not to Bamboo…

Lions and tigers and bamboo cups… oh my!!

I, like many others of you, am all for sustainability and reducing our impact on the environment. Hell, if we don’t act soon, there might not be much of a civilisation left for future generations. I love a morning coffee, no i need a morning coffee to function, and all those fast food cups where beginning to ad up. Which is why i jumped aboard the bamboo hype train. I love my bamboo cup, from the way it feels to the squishy rubber lid, and it loves me and the environment too right? So i thought. It turns out that we all might have been duped by good marketing.

After hearing that these mugs might have been built on a bed of lies and subterfuge, i decided to do a little digging. Well it turn out that they contain a plastic like resin, called Melamine, which along with not being bio-degradable, may actually be poisonous if used with hot drinks. Absolute madness that they can market these as re-usable coffee cups, when they are leaching harmful chemicals when hot!!.

The Issue

Recent research by a German consumer group called Stiftung Warentest, shown in this article, shows the concentration of melamine that migrates into drinks from these well marketed little bamboo-based, re-usable cups, is very high.

The research shows that consumers who purchased re-usable bamboo mugs, thought that they where buying a 100% natural, bio-degradable, product. When infarct all the mugs they tested where bamboo powder or fibres bound in a melamine plastic resin, which also contains formaldehyde. Both of these chemicals are known to be dangerous to humans.

The results showed that 7 of the 12 mugs tested where releasing high quantities of melamine and more where releasing quantities of formaldehyde into the drinks. Even more worrying, was that the amount of chemicals seemed to increase with usage.

“But FatNinja, there are chemicals in everything.”

You are correct young Johnny, but lets take a closer look at the adverse effects of these bad boys:

Melamine – This white crystal like substance, when ingested can cause crystals to form in your kidneys and could possibly result in renal failure. In China, 2008, the chemical was added to babies milk formula. Resulting in over 300,000 babies becoming sick, while 6 died or renal failure. So not the type of chemical you want to be sprinkling on your cornflakes.

Formaldehyde – If ingested this nasty chemical can cause corrosive burns to your insides, bleeding, low blood pressure, hemolysis (loss of blood cells), unusual  heart rhythm, irregular breathing, restlessness, unconsciousness, coma and death. It has been classified as a “probable human carcinogen.” by many organisations, with Leukaemia being the likely cancer caused by exposure.

So the bottom line is that these cups are a lie, they are not biodegradable, you can’t even dispose of them in the recycling bin, and even worse is that they may be harmful to your health over time. You may want to look at other options top help save the world, i for one will no longer be using my Bamboo cup.


White Collar Boxing and Me

This week marks the beginning of a journey for me. A journey that will conclude with me standing in a boxing ring in front of hundreds of people. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? Well it kind of is, along with being absolutely terrifying.

Ultra White Collar Boxing Logo

You see, I decided that I needed a challenge, something that will push myself and give me a sense of responsibility when it comes to my diet and lifestyle. So after thinking about a few different options, I settled on taking part in a White Collar Boxing event. The great thing about boxing is that the fitness work and boxing skills i will learn will be transferable to my Taekwondo training. Two birds with one stone!!

Cancer Research UK Logo

Alongside the chance to improve my punching skills, I have a great opportunity to raise money for a worthwhile cause. The chosen charity of the boxing organisation is Cancer Research UK. Every two minutes in the UK someone is diagnosed with cancer! It’s an awful, insidious disease that robs the lives of loved ones and the happiness of everyone connected. It is a cause that is close to all our hearts. So that’s where this amazing organisation comes into its own. These guys are great, they fund scientists and nurses to help cure cancer sooner as well as provide information to the public.They work together with small groups of researchers and scientists to make the most of the funds they receive to carry out world class research. Every pound these guys receive helps them get closer to beating cancer. From glass slides to stem cell research centers, everything i funded from donations. 

Team Kaobon Logo

So I guess this is where I come in, to help with the amazing work Cancer Research UK does i have agreed to undertake 8 weeks of intense training at the world famous Kaobon gym here in Liverpool. Culminating in three 2-minute rounds of rank amateur boxing on my behalf. I have  set a donation target of £250 pounds, but i am looking to smash that! This is where you guys come in, if you would like to donate you can either use the link at the bottom of this post or take a look to the right of the blog. Not forgetting that this is a challenge to me too, I will be setting myself some goals too, these are:

  • To have taken part in all 16 hours of boxing training.
  • To have lost 18 LBS between now and then.
  • To have stuck to my healthy eating plan (Time restricted eating – No food before 10am and try not to eat after 6pm, although with all my training late on this might not happen – with a macro breakdown of 40/40/20 – this is all flexible though).
  • To continue with my TKD training in preparation for the Scottish Championships the week before the boxing.

I will be posting milestone reports on here but if you would like to follow my journey through this then my Instagram is probably going to be the best bet.

If you would like to give to my JustGiving page then click HERE.

Nike’s Plus Sized Mannequin – Be Nice or Go Home

This week Nike seems to have created quite the stir when it debuted a ‘plus sized’ mannequin at its London store. Overall reaction to the new ‘inclusive’ range of sportswear has been positive, but obviously less then favourable comments where not far behind. It seems ‘Journalist’ Tanya Gold too great offence to seeing a larger plastic body on display, claiming it “encouraged fat acceptance” which she believes leads to obesity and illnesses related to obesity.

“The new Nike mannequin is not size 12, which is healthy, or even 16 — a hefty weight, yes, but not one to kill a woman. She is immense, gargantuan, vast. She heaves with fat,”

Tanya Gold – Obese mannequins are selling women a dangerous lie

While I can sort of understand where her logic is coming from, I have to disagree. This is not about making obesity and being unhealthy acceptable, it is about allowing people the right to exist and to feel accepted and being treated like everyone else. It is a well known fact that finding well fitting gym clothes is difficult a chunky monkey like me, so I assume its the same for women too. After all the people who are in that store and buying that line are clearly already looking to make a lifestyle change. And that lifestyle change, to be successful, has to come from a place of self-love and acceptance. And that is where the body positivity movement comes in.

If anything this piece of marketing seems to have been a raging success the incident has clearly helped increase awareness of the company’s plus-size range. Since launching this campaign, searches for Nike’s plus size range have increased by nearly 400%.


So my overall opinion is to mind your business, attacking anything that will help get an already marginalised group of people feeling comfortable getting active has got to be a positive. And even on a more basic level then that, everyone deserves to be seen and treated fairly.

Coming Soon
Do you think Nike's plus size mannequin is a good thing?
Do you think Nike's plus size mannequin is a good thing?
Do you think Nike's plus size mannequin is a good thing?

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