Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Can You Afford Not to Eat Organic Foods?

When people talk about organic, the factor of expense almost always comes up. People have a perception that they can't possibly change their lifestyle and buying habits because organic food is too expensive.

It's true that on the surface, organic food is more expensive than conventional. But consider the "hidden" costs of eating conventional, industrial food. The food grown and raised by conventional means is procured in the cheapest way possible - that is, to minimize operating expenses and maximize profits. If those merchants didn't run their businesses that way, they'd fail to make a profit and probably would go out of business. So the food is produced as cheaply as possible, which means skimping on high quality ingredients and farming and production methods. When food is produced in such a way, quality suffers and nutritional content and integrity is compromised - plain and simple.

So the emphasis should be on real, organic foods because when you eat healthy, you are avoiding problems down the road - problems that will cost you more money than you realize. The idea should be that prevention up front will save you misery, disease, and cost later on. As an example, one of the most heavily consumed items in developed countries is carbonated soda pop, which has absolutely no nutritional value whatsoever. Soda pop is the number one source of calories in the United States! When consumed in such amounts, there is no one who can deny this definitely affects anyone's budget. So why not trade your dollars spent on soda pops, juices, Kool Aid, Crystal Light, Hawaiian Punch, Sunny Delight, or other processed sugary drinks for a wholesome, organic apple, pear, or banana.

Just stop to consider the large amounts of money we pay in taxes and other fees to support industrial agriculture - massive government subsidies to agribusiness (which drive smaller, sustainable farmers out of business), environmental damage as a result of toxins being dumped into the air, water, and land due to the operation methods of factory farms, the continual increase of health care costs, and untold damage to our health.

So what's going on here is that the health care companies are getting rich, the food industry is getting rich, but what's to become of the consumer? Are we destined to remain in the stranglehold of these corporations who have absolutely no concern for our health or well-being, or are we going to do something about it? We must take a stand, get proactive, support local and sustainable farming and food production, and stamp out these bloated, multi-billion dollar corporations who have taken for themselves all the power and profit.

Put the power, money, well-being, and health back in the hands of the people who can make a huge effect on our habits and future - the consumers! Do something ethical and moral, and healthy for yourself, your family, and the planet. Go organic and sustainable. Read labels. Be aware and educate yourself. Trade your junk food and industrial dollars for something more worthwhile and healthy - good, real, organic, sustainable food. Remember, each time you put food in your mouth, you are casting a vote for organic or not...and the consequences could be more serious than you think!

For more information about how the industrial food system is fleecing us, see the movie Food, Inc.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Massage for Indigestion, Abdominal Cramping

Although abdominal cramps, bloating, gas, and discomfort are often a sign that you have eaten something you shouldn't have, there are some simple techniques you can use to help alleviate stomach and abdominal distress.

When you experience these sensations, try lying down on a bed or couch, relax, and take some deep breaths. Next, take your hands and gently massage your abdominal areas in a circular motion, paying close attention to the area where the discomfort originates. It may seem as though pressure will make the pain worse, but keep going anyway.

Press firmly, but not hard enough to make it painful in any place where you have pain or bloating. You can also follow your transverse colon around multiple times with your fingertips - your colon runs perpendicular to your breast bone just underneath your rib cage on either side. Use a rhythmic, pressing action with the pads of your fingers from right to left and move downward to the descending colon with your movement toward your hips. Continue around in a clockwise motion to the other side of your abdominal area and come up again toward the right side of your rib cage and your ascending colon and repeat.

You should feel relief fairly quick, but continue massage until you obtain the relief you need. Other good ways to obtain relief from abdominal discomfort include taking probiotics, fiber, or charcoal. Check with your local health food store or knowledgeable health care practitioner for these items. A natural fiber supplement is essential to your digestive health - avoid the cheaper brands with fillers and ingredients that are unknown.

Ways to avoid abdominal distress include eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise, and minimizing stress. Avoid conventionally and industrially-produced foods such as meat, dairy products, and produce. Eat fermented foods such as real yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, and miso or natto.

Monday, June 15, 2009

How to Manage Diabetes

Do you follow common health rhetoric about managing Diabetes? Medical experts advise being under the care of a physician to take care of your disease. But what's really causing the disease? Is it just some unknown thing going on in your body that needs continual doses of insulin and other medications? Common medical advice tells Diabetes patients to avoid sugar, and recommends that if desserts and sugar are eaten to drastically reduce fat intake. Following these directives are not only keeping your insulin levels in a haywire state, but they are ruining your health. Not enough emphasis is placed on removal of processed foods, which greatly contribute to the Diabetic condition in the first place, and eating real, whole foods. This is why people with Diabetes, in general, continue to struggle and struggle with their weight and health.

There are some natural alternatives to taking care of your health and your Diabetes. Diabetes is largely a modern disease that is caused by a combination of inactivity and consumption of processed, industrial foods. Eating a healthy diet should enable you to overcome your disease and lead a healthy life. Here are the foods you should eliminate from your diet:

Anything processed and containing refined carbohydrates such as:
  • crackers
  • bread
  • pasta
  • bagels
  • rice cakes
  • packaged cereals
  • most breads
  • alternative grain products that are processed such as the above
  • industrial pasteurized/homogenized dairy products - especially low-fat and non-fat
  • processed (roasted, salted, coated) nuts and seeds
  • non-organic nut butter that comes from roasted nuts
  • refined, vegetable oils like canola, soy, safflower, cottonseed, sunflower, and other vegetable oils
  • soy products of all kinds (except those that are fermented like miso and tempeh)
  • industrial meats
  • conventionally produced fruits and vegetables
Basically, anything packaged, canned, or in a box should be suspect and probably eliminated from your kitchen and diet.

Here's what you should include in your diet:
  • grass-fed, naturally and organically raised meats, pasture-raised poultry
  • raw milk and dairy (cheese, cream, butter) from organic, pasture-raised cattle
  • eggs from pasture-raised poultry
  • organically-produced fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
  • raw nuts and seeds
  • organically-produced nut butters (avoid peanut butter)
  • natural, healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, palm oil, and coconut oil, real butter from grass-fed cattle, tallow and lard from healthy beef and chicken (see above)
  • whole grains (avoid flour) from the bulk isle in the grocery store such as brown rice, oats, buckwheat, teff, quinoa, spelt, whole wheat, millet, oats, etc. that are soaked before eating and sprouted grains (try Ezekiel brand products)
  • fermented foods like real, home-made yogurt, kefir, sauerkraut, lacto-fermented vegetables, and others
Obtaining regular stretching, movement, and exercise is important too. Here are some guidelines:
  • Focus on regular activity rather than length of time spent doing the activity.
  • Do something you enjoy and that fits your lifestyle and interests.
  • The best type of activity is something you can do outside. It allows you to get fresh air and sunshine (natural Vitamin D is very important for health), and gets you out of your everyday environment of the home or office.
  • Start out slow if you have been sedentary.
  • Don't focus on calories or fat intake as a method of losing weight. If you do, you will continue to struggle with weight issues. If you are eating whole, healthy foods and obtaining regular activity in your schedule, your normal weight should be easy to maintain.
For more insight about being nutritionally fit, and putting more emphasis on eating well to maintain your health and your weight, read Are You Nutritionally Fit?

For more information on types of healthy foods, read How Well Do Know Your Food? Find Out!

For more information on fats and health, read The Importance of Dietary Fats.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

How to Make Chicken Soup

When you make chicken, do you use your leftover bones and parts for soup? If you have never done this, it is a great way to make use of these parts for a nutritious base for soup or broth:

Kitchen tips start with pasture-raised, organic poultry. The minerals and nutrients from an organic, naturally-raised chicken carcass will be superior for your health. Always use organic vegetables, sea salt, and natural, organic, non-irradiated seasonings and pepper.

  • Cut up carrots, celery, and onions. Use as much or as little as you want. Each person has a preference of how much to include in a soup. Set aside your vegetables.
  • Place your chicken carcass or bones in a large enough pot to fill up with water (over the level of its contents).
  • Add a moderate amount of salt and pepper (to taste, you will go back in and taste your soup before it is finished and add a bit more).
  • Add one or two bay leafs to your pot.
  • Pour in a bit of organic, raw vinegar (apple cider is a good choice) to your pot.
  • Place vegetables in the pot with the chicken carcass. Cover the pot with a lid. Put your pot on the stove and turn the heat up until boiling.
  • When the pot boils, turn the heat down and allow to simmer for 90 minutes.
  • Somewhere during the cooking process, taste your soup to make sure you have added enough salt and pepper. Now is also the time to add other seasonings, if desired such as cumin, parsley, paprika, or thyme.
  • When your soup has simmered for 90 minutes, remove from heat and take out the bones and bay leaf/leaves.
Now you have a fantastically healthy broth. Add anything to the broth that you like for soup - chicken, turkey, ham, rice, vegetables, beans, or sprouted grain pasta. Be sure that if you are going to add legumes or grains that you soak them overnight before cooking with a bit of whey, kefir, lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar. You may also choose to add other seasonings or spices to your soup. When you add ingredients, bring your broth to a boil again and then simmer your soup for an hour or so to infuse your creation with all the flavor of what you add in.

If you are not going to eat your broth right away, store in the refrigerator or freeze for a later time.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Supporting Big Pharma and Big Corporations

Do you think twice about what you buy and who's profiting from it? If not, you may want to reconsider your buying habits and how they affect your health and the planet. Big companies and pharmaceutical corporations stand to profit from your purchases when you shop for food, personal care products, household items, and many other things you rely on for everyday living.

A majority of our food and products that we buy is polluted and full of toxins, and most people are unknowingly making themselves sick from items they are told are perfectly acceptable and healthy to use by the manufacturers. These companies have a bigger advertising budget on getting the product marketed to consumers than what is actually spent to make sure those same products are not harmful to use.

To read more about this important topic, visit Agriculture Society and read 'Big Corporations and Big Pharma - Dictating What's Acceptable to Eat'.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Why Alternative Care?

Do you use some type of alternative care or therapy for your health? Many people are moving toward these types of treatments because conventional medicine has failed to offer viable solutions to their health ailments.

Dr. Josephine Briggs, director of the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (a federal agency Congress created a decade ago) states, "Most patients are not treated very satisfactorily. If we had highly effective, satisfactory conventional treatment we probably wouldn't have as much need for these other strategies and as much public interest in them."

Dr. Mitchell Gaynor, a cancer specialist at the Weill-Cornell Medical Center in New York includes nutrition testing and counseling, meditation and relaxation techniques in the facility where he works. It is true that cancer takes many years to develop, and some practitioners believe cancer must be treated with chemotherapy and a protocol of heavy drugs. Conventional medicine supposes that many supplements and treatments are unproven scientifically and even go as far as to say that some of those things are harmful or have side-effects. One of the most important aspects of alternative care and treatment that consumers should consider is that quality, knowledge, and experience count. Consider the following if you choose a complimentary method of treatment:

  • Never attempt to self-diagnose or treat yourself. Seek advice of a knowledgeable alternative health care practitioner before embarking on any program or protocol of alternative treatment. This will ensure quality and efficacy of the product and treatment you are seeking.
  • Avoid going to a health food store and purchasing products without some prior guidance or recommendation from a practitioner. Many products don't deliver what is listed on the label or may contain harmful or toxic ingredients.
  • You will save yourself time and money with knowledgeable alternative care.

Even though Gaynor still uses these drugs, there are many other health care professionals moving toward alternative therapies and still more who exclusively use alternative care for patients and clients. Why? Because they believe pharmaceutical intervention carries risks that far outweigh those in the complimentary camp. Drugs always have side-effects and are often just a band-aid for what is occurring in the body. Medications can also deplete the body of vital nutrients - which can cause further medical issues. Taking preventative care can have tremendous benefits to your health now and in the future. Here are some suggestions for success:

  • Educate yourself about the benefits of alternative care. Be willing to consider alternative therapies and treatments to conventional medical treatment.
  • Avoid processed and packaged foods.
  • Eat real, organic, whole, and traditional foods. Proper nutrition can help to avoid health problems that medical doctors treat with surgery and drugs.
  • Eliminate chemical substances from your life - tobacco, pharmaceutical drugs, and alcohol.
  • Educated yourself about the risks and dangers of chemical toxins in your home, work, and other environments. Remove as many of them as you can.
  • Get adequate rest and stress relief. Remember, stress can actually help cause health issues to start and become worse. Go to bed no later than 10:30 nightly.
  • Obtain some regular, moderate exercise. Don't tell yourself that if you can't do something drastic, you won't do anything at all.
  • Drink plenty of filtered water and avoid sugary, chemically-filled beverages. Consider getting a water filter in your home to help clean out impurities that can make you sick such as lead, copper, and arsenic.
All of these things will help you in your health journey and enable your partnership with an experienced alternative health care practitioner to be a successful one. If you are not treating your body and medical issues holistically, the chances for healing and recovery are greatly diminished.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What are the Hidden Costs of Eating Conventional, Industrial Food?

Do you pay attention to where your food comes from? Do you go to the grocery store and purchase whatever's on the shelf and give little thought to what it might be doing to your body? Do you spend little time thinking about the preventative side of taking care of your body through the foods you eat? Do you eat out at restaurants and fast food establishments? If so, here are some things to consider:

  • Most grocery store and restaurant meat comes from factory farm environments where the animals are confined in the most abhorrent conditions available. They are shoved together in filthy, unnatural spaces surrounded by waste lagoons, are administered all types of chemicals including hormones, steroids, and antibiotics, and are fed the most unhealthy feeds available such as genetically-modified corn, grain, and soy, and renderings of bio-waste products. Animals cannot live normal, natural lives in these conditions, so why should their meat be healthy to consume?
  • Conventional produce is grown with pesticides and herbicides, from genetically-modified and engineered seeds, and with modern farming methods which are as harsh as can be to the landscape and damage and strip the soil of its nutrients - substances which are vital to the nutritional density and flavor of the foods you are eating.Conventional produce is said to contain higher amounts of water and less nutrition, so basically what you are getting is a piece of fruit or vegetables comprised of a little polluted water and roughage, and little else.
  • Processed foods in the store (representing at least 75% of what's available) are full of chemically-laden "food-like substances" which contain carcinogenic ingredients, hydrogenated oils, MSG and other excitotoxins, are synthetically fortified and contain little to no nutritional value.
Many health problems have been attributed to the consumption of these so-called foods. Toxins and chemicals in our food supply are responsible for the onslaught of earlier degenerative diseases than in the historical past. We consume massive amounts of this food each and every day in our homes, in schools, hospitals, offices, stores, and restaurants.

So is there a hidden cost? If you eat foods like this on a regular basis, you can bet there is. Switching to natural, organic, and grass-fed foods seems expensive on the surface, but when you consider the medical problems you will save yourself in the long run, doesn't it seem worth it to spend more now and save later? Industrial food may have a cheaper price tag at the store, but the long-term repercussions of eating this way for an extended period of time will definitely show a higher price tag in the future, in more ways than one: you'll pay with your pocketbook and your quality of life.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Cholesterol Medication and Your Health

Do you take cholesterol medication that is recommended by a doctor? If so, there are some things you should know about these dangerous drugs:
  • They only mask the problem going on in your body, and don't get to the cause of the problem
  • Drugs deplete your body of vital nutrients, which lead to further medical issues
  • All drugs have side-effects. One of the primary side-effects of cholesterol medications is liver damage. Liver damage is dangerous and can lead to other health issues that are very unpleasant - not to mention expensive and time-consuming to treat
Here is how to raise your good cholesterol (HDL):
  • Eat real, grass-fed butter
  • Eat coconut oil
  • Eat grass-fed meats and pasture-raised eggs from reputable, local sources that raise their products sustainable
  • Eat plenty of organic, seasonal vegetables and fruits
  • Eat raw nuts and seeds
  • If you do eat grains, buy organic in bulk and soak overnight in a little lemon juice or apple cider vinegar and water to release the nutrients found in grains that our bodies often cannot absorb from not soaking and reduce the phytic acid content (that substance which causes indigestion and nutrient-absorbing blockage). Cook in the morning for 1/3 the time usual and eat with raw milk, homemade yogurt, a little raw honey or real maple syrup, and fruit.
  • Get regular, moderate exercise
  • Avoid sugar in any form - that means any refined carbohydrates - crackers, breads, rice cakes, cereals, pretzels, chips, bagels, pasta, desserts, sugary beverages (including juice and power "electrolyte" drinks).
  • Avoid processed foods and drinks, and especially those with artificial sweeteners or high-fructose corn syrups
  • Avoid unhealthy vegetable oils such as canola, soy, cottonseed, or safflower. These oils are too high in Omega 6s (which cause inflammation, cancer, and heart disease). These substances are also likely to be genetically-modified as well, which has its own set of health risks.
For more information on the Importance of Dietary Fats for health, visit Agriculture Society.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Drink Aloe Vera for Digestion Health

Do you have digestive issues? A good remedy for those problems is liquid aloe vera. If you have heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, abdominal cramps, ulcers, IBS, Crohn's Disease, celiac disorder, and other related problems, this natural substance is very healing for those types of problems.

Of course, total healing cannot come without good dietary habits. Eat natural, whole, traditional foods to maintain long-term digestion performance such as grass-fed meats, raw dairy products (including cream, milk, cheese, butter, and homemade kefir and butter), pasture-raised poultry and eggs, raw nuts and seeds, healthy fats from extra-virgin coconut oil and olive oil, palm oils, flax oils, and healthy-sourced lard and tallow (from grass-fed animals), organic fruits and vegetables.

Benefits of regular aloe vera consumption:

  • Digestion support
  • Immune system support
  • detoxification
  • regulates weight and energy levels
  • Daily dose of vitamins and minerals - contains A, B1, B2, B6, B12, C, E, Folic acid, and Niacin. Also contains calcium, sodium, Magnesium, Potassium, Copper, Zinc, and Chromium.
  • Maintains healthy skin by collagen and elastin repair
  • Reduces body inflammation
  • Good source of amino acids
  • Maintains good dental hygiene
  • Better than supplements because aloe vera is a natural food from a whole food source

Be sure to eliminate the following - most processed foods including packaged grain products, pastas, breads, cereals, milk, soy (tofu, milk, cheese, fake meat products), roasted/salted nuts, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs (over-the-counter, prescription, and illegal).

A great brand of aloe vera which has no bitter taste is George's. Try this wonderful, healing substance with a good change in diet and watch your digestive problems improve dramatically.

For free aloe vera samples, visit Aloe

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Alternatives in Cancer Treatment

Cancer is a complex disease that is caused by many different factors in a person's life. Some medical and health care professionals believe that cancer risk can be prevented by our lifestyles alone. The Gerson Institute, a non-profit organization in San Diego, California is dedicated to implementing non-toxic treatment for disease.

The Gerson philosophy conforms to a naturally-based, safe regimen that does not involve the use of pharmaceautical drugs. Developed in the 1920s by Dr. Max Gerson, it uses whole, organic foods, juicing, coffee enemas, detoxification through cleansing, and natural supplements which cause the body to heal itself. Thousands of individuals during the last 60 years have experienced the Gerson Therapy to get well from various “fatal” diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and arthritis.

Diseases such as cancer and heart disease can be fatal illnesses which develop in the body over time. By the time a person receives diagnoses, the process has been insitu for some years. Disease is a reaction in the body to certain lifestyle habits (such as environmental exposure to toxins and poor diet) which contribute to inflammation, over-response by the immune system due to an overwhelming amount of stimulus in its presence, toxin overload, and lack of sufficient nutrient supplementation from the diet.

To enable your body to have the best chance of steering clear of harmful and fatal illnesses, you can take steps to stay healthy, reduce inflammation, and absorb nutrients for good health:
  • Eat raw foods
  • Eat organic foods
  • Eliminate processed foods (basically anything you purchase in a store that contains anything other than real, whole foods)
  • Eat nutrient-dense foods such as grass-fed meats, pasture-raised poultry, fermented foods, organic fruits and vegetables
  • Consume healthy fats such as coconut oil, extra-virgin olive oil, unrefined flax oil, and palm oils
  • Eat raw nuts and seeds
  • Make everything at home from scratch
  • Obtain enough rest
  • Obtain regular, moderate exercise
  • Seek stress-relieving activities such as yoga, pilates, meditation, or martial arts
  • Drink plenty of purified water
  • Eliminate plastic from your home and other living environments - replace with wood, metal, glass, or ceramic
  • Remove toxic chemicals from your home in the form of cleaners, personal care products, laundry and dishwashing detergents, dryer sheets, clothing and bedding from petroleum sources, air fresheners, perfumes, and dyes.
  • Reduce your use of electronic devices as much as possible. Turn off appliances and unplug when not in use.
For more information about The Gerson program and how you can take charge of your health, visit the organization's web site.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

High Fructose Corn Syrup - Do You Think It's Sweet?

Do you eat food products containing high fructose corn syrup? HFCS is a product that is manufactured from corn, and it is not a whole, natural food. It is broken down chemically in a laboratory and then reassembled as HFCS. Most HFCS is produced from genetically-modified corn. Here are some products containing this artificially produced sweetener:

  • ketchup
  • candy
  • jam
  • soft drinks
  • juice
  • breads
  • most processed food products

Here is a short list of fast food restaurants using HFCS in their products:

  • Arby's
  • Blimpie
  • Burger King
  • Chick-fil-a
  • Dairy Queen
  • Jack in the Box
  • KFC, McDonald's
  • Subway
  • Taco Bell
  • Whataburger
Here are some of the dangers associated from consuming HFCS*:
  • The effects of consuming HFCS translate to metabolic syndrome, heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and and increase in triglycerides and LDL or bad cholesterol levels. Because it wreaks such havoc on the digestive system, it also causes liver disease.
  • HFCS is devoid of nutrients and will actually strip nutrients from the body.
  • HFCS contains unbound fructose in massive quantities, and this prevents the cardiovascular system's use of magnesium, copper, and chromium - essential minerals for heart function.
(*source, Weston A. Price Foundation)

The American Corn Refiner's Association maintains an elaborate web site extoling the virtues of HFCS as a natural sweetner, and why not? Besides manufacturing "natural sweeteners", they are a multi-billion dollar corporation and leaders in the industries producing biotechnology, ethanol, starch, corn oil, and feed products. They have leading medical and health experts and "research" backing their claims that HFCS is an important component in the human diet, and continue to tell the public that this substance does not cause obesity, heart disease, nor diabetes. It is no wonder it is so pervasive in our food supply and people are so convinced it is a harmless substance for consumption. It is important to remember that when you are looking for answers, always check to find out who is funding the research and what the entity providing said funding has to gain from such activity.

Be aware that HFCS is toxic to the body and is found in many processed foods. To avoid this dangerous substance, eat natural, traditional, organic foods. You will find that your health will fluorish and you will avoid many health issues.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Save Money on Organic Food

Who says organic isn't affordable? Would you like to save money on organic products you buy? There are various merchants who provide online coupons for these healthy foods. Here are just a few:

Organic Valley
Stonyfield Farm
Organic Coupons - variety of merchants who sell organic food and household items
Brown Cow Farm
Earthbound Farm
Imagine Foods
Seventh Generation
Eat Better America - has various coupons for organic food merchants such as Cascadian Farm and Muir Glen Organic

Here are some other ways to save money on organic:
  • Look for store brands featuring organic items. Many stores are now featuring an in-house brand or off-brands which are more economical such as Whole Foods 365 line, S&W,
  • Shop locally and seasonally as well. These foods are always cheaper, fresher, and more nutritious. Check this list of fruits and vegetables that are in season, month-by-month.
  • Don't buy processed foods; buy fresh, whole food ingredients
  • Keep your eye open for sales
  • Be willing to substitute one thing for another if the item is cheaper (don't skimp on quality though)
  • Join a co-op or CSA. These groups provide benefits and extras to their members.
  • Grow your own in a home or community garden.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Colon Cleansing - Vital to Health

Colon cleansing is one of the most powerful steps you can take in your health. Cleansing the colon is an effective way to eliminate embedded toxins and waste that have accumulated over time. These substances, when left in the colon, form pockets and deposits. They misshape the colon tract and reduce its effectiveness in cleaning out the body.

Benefits of colon cleansing include: overall improvement in all body processes and health; when toxins and waste are removed from the body, it improves all functions and valuable nutrients are more easy to absorbed from the food you eat. You will also have more energy, greater mental clarity, find that you become sick less often, and have greater digestive performance and experience less of the following: constipation, diarrhea, bloating, abdominal cramping, gas, and indigestion.

Although a high percentage of people who conduct colon cleansing lose weight, weight loss should not be the number one goal of cleansing. Cleansing should be done to improve overall health, and as a natural by-product of this act your body will drop weight. This is due to the release of accumulated waste (fecal matter) as well as the resulting improvement in absorbing nutrients in the body. This also causes a reduction in appetite and subsequently, frequent hunger pains associated with eating and not absorbing nutrients in food.

Find a qualified practitioner who can guide you through the process of colon cleansing. There are different methods of accomplishing colon cleansing - through diet and through actual mechanical and physical evacuation of toxic matter. In most cases, if you are considering a colon cleanse, you will need to run the gamut of activities - and likely multiple times, to remove enough matter from your colon to positively affect your health. A colonic is an excellent way to get your colon cleansing program off to a good start. A knowledgeable colon hydrotherapist can help. Home enemas are also a good idea, and are a more economical way to maintain colon health continuously.

Fiber in the diet naturally helps fight disease by binding to waste and cholesterol and carrying it out of your body. Diets rich in fiber help prevent the development of colon cancer and heart disease.Make sure you are getting plenty of fiber in your diet from whole foods. Good sources include broccoli, sugar snap peas, brussels sprouts, coconuts, carrots, bananas, nuts, plums, pears, apples, and potatoes (with skin), greens, raisins, sprouted & soaked whole grains, and sprouted and soaked legumes (beans). If you are not obtaining enough, take a good quality fiber supplement. Good brands include Colon Plus by Biotics Research, Genesis Today's 4Fiber A Dietary Fiber Supplement.

Fiber in the diet naturally helps fight disease by binding to waste and cholesterol and carrying it out of your body. Diets rich in fiber help prevent the development of colon cancer and heart disease.

Take care of yourself at all times - before, during, and after colon cleansing activities. Support your body with good nutrition. Eat foods that are easy to digest - steamed (cooked) vegetables, healthy, grass-fed meats and safe-source fish, and meat and bone broths from organic, grass-fed sources. Raw foods are actually more difficult to digest, so during colon cleansing, stick to as many cooked items as possible.

Many experts will say the best tool in prevention of colon cancer is regular colon screenings (colonoscopy). This costly procedure which can also have dangerous health risks. There is a way to avoid colon screenings - change your diet and perform regular colon cleansing activities. The best way to avoid colon cancer is through PREVENTION. Many practitioners and health experts will not tell you this. Eating a superior diet and getting enough exercise are two key factors, as well as your personal colon cleansing protocol which you can design with assistance from a knowledgeable practitioner such as nutritional therapist, naturopath, or colon hydrotherapist.

For more information about detoxification and cleansing, read How Cleansing Positively Affects Your Health on Agriculture Society.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Geriatric and Mental Health Care Centers - Promoting Health, or Death?

Do you have a loved one who lives in an assisted care center? If so, you may think the choice you have made was the best available for your family. In some cases, it becomes very difficult to deal with caring for an invalid elderly relative - especially when you must earn a living and take care of younger family members such as children. Assisted care living is, at best, an artificial environment and often fails to address the problems at hand. Most clients receive regular administration of drugs and sometimes other costly and useless medical procedures - yet little attention is paid to nutrition and diet.

In truth, these types of facilities are really just symptoms of much larger problems in our society - by the time a person reaches a condition where he or she must be admitted to a care center, many things have escalated to cause the decline in health. Both mental and physical degeneration are due to poor lifestyle habits, and greatly diminish the chances of a person maintaining good health in younger years and reaching old age in good health.

Studies show that psychiatric problems can often be caused by lack of nutritional support in the body. According to The Mental Health Foundation, there are firmly established connections between the consumption of junk food to ADD and ADHD, Alzheimer's disease, depression, and schizophrenia due to the absence of key nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and essential fats. The highly-processed and increasingly industrialized diet maintained by a majority of British citizens and Americans - as well as other people living in industrialized countries - has contributed to a rapid decline in the overall health state.

It is certainly true that mental illness is caused by a combination of social, psychological, biological, and environmental factors, but to properly address health issues, we must also consider financial cost of that maintenance. Chief Executive of The Mental Health Foundation, Andrew McCulloch, admits both cost and healthy food are critical factors:"It costs £1,000 a week to keep someone in a psychiatric hospital. How much does good food cost? We need mentally healthy school meals, and mentally healthy hospital foods," he said.

In Britain, studies conducted by Sustain, an activist organization working toward education about better diets, has prepared the publication 'Changing Diets, Changing Minds'. The purpose of this publication is to sound the alarm that national health care services' mental illness costs will continue to rise unless the government takes an active role in focusing on the connection between diet and mental function with regard to food, farming, education, and environment policies.

"Food can have an immediate and lasting effect on mental health and behaviour because of the way it affects the structure and function of the brain," the report reads. Tim Lang, chairman of the organization said: "Mental health has been completely neglected by those working on food policy. If we don’t address it and change the way we farm and fish, we may lose the means to prevent much diet-related ill health."

Mental health care professionals are beginning to understand the connection between a lack of nutrients such as Vitamin D and illnesses like depression, personality disorders, and post-traumatic stress syndrome. An October 2008 report published in the Sydney Morning Herald revealed that in a study of over 50 psychiatric patients, nearly 60 percent were experiencing a critical Vitamin D deficiency, while 11 percent were found to be moderately deficient.

It is essential to get proper nutritional support in the diet to maintain good health, and mental health is no exception. By taking steps now to prevent degenerative disease and immobility, you can avoid needing medications, surgeries, and assisted care now and into your later years.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Trans-Fat Free...Does This Mean it's Healthy?

Do you look for labels on foods to buy that say "trans-fat free"? If so, you could be falling into a hole of believing the food manufacturer telling you that a food is healthy when it is actually not. Many products containing unhealthy oils are lurking in the grocery store - crackers, breads, pretzels, chips, rice cakes, cookies, desserts, sauces, salad dressings, and broths, and soups just to name a few. These products often contain canola, soybean, cottonseed, or some other type of vegetable oil that becomes a trans-fat simply by the way it is processed. Most people assume that if something does not specifically read "hydrogenated", it is healthy. The best oils to consume are:
  • cold pressed, extra-virgin olive oil (can be used on lower heat)
  • cold pressed, extra virgin coconut oil (can be used on high heat)
  • fish-oil from safe-source fish (do not heat this oil)
  • cold-pressed flax-seed oil (do not heat this oil)
Only on occasion should you consume the following: organic non-GMO (genetically modified) oils that are cold-processed such as grapeseed, sunflower, and safflower. These oils are polyunsaturated and contain higher levels of Omega 6 essential fatty acids. While we do need these in our diets, the Western diet typically contains a too-high ratio of Omega 6s to Omega 3s. Concentrate on getting the Omega 3 levels up and Omega 6 levels down.

When you go shopping, remember the best foods are always whole, real foods. Oils such as canola, soybean, cottonseed and others are engineered foods that contribute to health problems when consumed such as heart disease, weight gain, high blood pressure, malabsorption of nutrients, and other issues. Trans fats can hide in a variety of products. When in doubt, make foods from scratch - especially foods like salad dressings. You can mix your own oils at home with different types of vinegars, spices, fruits, salt, pepper, and garlic for fantastic flavor and health at the same cost as bottled dressings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Try Homemade Mayonnaise

Do you eat mayonnaise? Over the years have you heard from various sources how unhealthy it is to eat mayonnaise? The reason why most mayonnaise is so unhealthy to consume is because of the ingredients - pick up an average container of mayonnaise and you will find one of the main ingredients is some type of polylunsaturated, high-content Omega 6 vegetable oil such as canola, soybean, cottonseed, or safflower. Many of these oils are also genetically-modified, which you will definitely want to steer away from.

So what's the solution? There are a few good brands made by companies - here is the list:

Use caution, there are a variety of brands which use olive oil but who also use the other unhealthy oils - such as Spectrum, Best Foods, and Hellman's. There are also a variety of other unhealthy ingredients in these products.

Here is a good homemade recipe courtesy Dr. Ben Kim:


1 whole egg, at room temperature
1 egg yolk, at room temperature
1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
3/4-1 cup of extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt, to taste


  1. Use your food processor to blend egg, egg yolk, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, and salt for around 30 seconds.
  2. With the food processor running, add the olive oil slowly, a few drops at a time until desired consistency is reached.
  3. This homemade mayonnaise will stay fresh for about 2 weeks in an air tight jar in the refrigerator.
Add into a food processor or blender or food processor eggs, lemon juice, mustard, salt and pepper until well mixed. Pour olive oil in slowly and steadily while the device is on. Allow to mix until thick and creamy. For a variety of dishes, you can add items like garlic or finely mined onions, and different herbs and spices (such as cumin, chili powder, or dill depending on the dish you are making).

For tartar sauce, add 1/2 cup of the mayo mixture to the following:
  • 1/3 cup of organic pickle relish - add more if desired
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
Mix ingredients in a bowl. Eat immediately or chill and serve for later use.

Although it does take extra time to make your own mayonnaise, it can make a big difference in your health - especially if you eat it often. Making your own mayonnaise can help eliminate unhealthy oils from your diet which contribute to disease and inflammation, and that makes good health sense!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

KFC Craze Deceiving Consumers

If someone handed you a package of chemicals, hormones, MSG, denatured fats, and other toxic garbage, would you eat it? Millions of Americans were ready and willing last week when a story featured on the Oprah Winfrey show offered a promotional coupon to Kentucky Fried Chicken for their grilled chicken with two sides meal. This meal was promoted as being a "healthier" alternative to the fried counterparts typically offered by the food chain. But if you examine just what ingredients are found in this chicken, you might change your mind about how "healthy" it is:
Fresh Chicken Marinated with: Salt, Sodium Phosphate, and Monosodium Glutamate Seasoned with: Maltodextrin, Salt, Bleached Wheat Flour, Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and Cottonseed Oil, Monosodium Glutamate, Spices, Palm Oil, Natural Flavor, Garlic Powder, Soy Sauce (Soybean, Wheat, Salt), Chicken Fat, Chicken Broth, Autolyzed Yeast, Beef Powder, Rendered Beef Fat, Extractives of Turmeric, Dehydrated Carrot, Onion Powder, and Not More Than 2% Each of Calcium Silicate and Silicon Dioxide Added as Anticaking Agents. Contains Wheat and Soy.
Here are the main issues with this food:
  • MSG - an excitotoxin which disables and destroys neurotransmitters in the brain
  • Partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil - trans fats and unhealthy vegetable oils that are treated with pesticides, genetically modified, and inflammatory substances with too high levels of Omega 6s
  • Autolyzed Yeast - salt added to yeast, which effectively kills yeast by causing those digestive enzymes to eat itself. Like MSB, it is a flavor enhancer and falls under the category of an excitotoxin as well.
  • Calcium silicate and silicon dioxide - altered chemicals added for consistency and preservatives
  • Bleached white flour - processed and rancid flour with zero nutritional content
  • Chicken meat/broth/fat and beef fat - what is the source of this meat? You can bet it's not pasture-raised or free from chemicals, hormones, and antibiotics. If the merchant is not advertising it's meat has these qualities, it's usually from a factory farm. If you knew what type of conditions existed at these operations, you'd never eat factory meat again.
Ironically, some customers were unhappy after they tried to redeem their coupons and were turned away because KFC ran out of the grilled chicken entree. KFC responded by saying they would continue to honor coupons after a kitchen resupply of the advertised product. What is truly amazing is the overwhelming response had by this offer, and the fact that so many millions of people were deceived into believing that not only was this offer too good to pass up, but that this alternative was in any way shape or form a healthier alternative to the fried choices typically offered by KFC in the past. This occurrence is indeed proof that marketing and advertising works, no matter how untrue are the claims made by the company.

The unfortunate truth is, most of the time when you go to a restaurant, a grocery store (or even a friend's house, for that matter), what you are getting when you purchase meat is the most abhorrent quality available - that is, meat produced from animals in feedlots who are pumped full of chemicals and antibiotics.

The lesson here is - do your research! Don't automatically believe that because an ad or company tells you on television or a label that their products are healthy, that it means they really are healthy. Corporations, media, and marketers have learned that certain words they use translate to the consumer mind as something they want to buy - in this case, "grilled", in other cases "all-natural", "low-fat", "no sugar", or even "organic" can trick consumers into purchasing something that is completely unhealthy and eating it. When you consume something, remember the possible hidden cost of eating it, and you may think twice the next time you are deciding about what to eat for lunch.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Critical Elements for Health Through Nutrition

What type of diet do you eat? There are some critical components that must be included each day in order to keep health optimal. Do you make certain you have these key elements in your everyday diet?
  • Digestion and elimination
  • Hydration
  • Essential Fatty Acids
  • Mineral Balance
  • Blood sugar balance
  • Balance of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates
  • Probiotics
  • Fiber
According to the tenets of Certified Nutritional Therapy practice and The Weston A. Price Foundation, these components are essential for controlling disorders such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses and diseases that are particular to modern life. In order to maintain this balance with these components, it is important to eat a nutrient-dense diet including the following:
  • grass-fed meats and game
  • pasture-raised eggs
  • grass-fed dairy products
  • organic fruits and vegetables
  • fermented foods such as homemade yogurt, kefir, and sauerkraut (for live culture and probiotic delivery)
  • healthy fats such as coconut oil, fish oil from a healthy source and/or cod liver oil, real butter from grass-fed animals, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, lard from healthy sources (grass-fed meats), beef and chicken tallow
  • raw nuts and seeds
If your digestion is bogged down by processed and refined foods, it will affect your entire body and health. Because of this, the functions of digestion are the very foundations of good health. When you keep all the components of health in balance with proper foods, your body can keep itself free of degenerative disease and illness. Through many years of abuse, many people have damaged their digestion and health to the extent that it is necessary to take drastic measures of detoxification, alteration of diet and lifestyle, and heavy supplementation with whole-foods based, organically-sourced dietary supplements to bring health back to normal.

For more information your diet and disease, read this informative article on Agriculture Society.

For more information on dietary guidelines, visit The Weston A. Price Foundation for a wealth of great nutritional information that will transform your health.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

What's the Word on Safe Seafood Choices?

Do you pay attention to making safe seafood choices in your diet? If not, you should be aware that a great deal of seafood contains certain toxins and heavy metals which are harmful to your health. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a list of safe seafood choices which are updated every six months. Because of overfishing and careless fishing practices, our oceans, sealife and environment have been put in danger of being not only contaminated but considerably damaged by the greed and overpopulation of humans.

Seafood provide an important source of Omega 3s, protein, and other nutrients vital to health. But there are definitely healthier and safer choices to make, as opposed to many that are not as healthy. Knowing which of these are superior is important. The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a list for all regions in the United States, including Hawaii. For more information on these important choices, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium web site.

For more information about safe seafood choices, visit the Organic Consumers Association.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Food and Soda Companies Returning to Sugar in Their Products

Do you drink carbonated sodas and pop? One of the biggest soda companies has plans to revert their soda beverages and pops back to sugar in an attempt to convince consumers that their drinks will now be healthier than their previous versions with artificial sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, and saccharine. PepsiCo will shortly be releasing what it calls a "Throwback" line of drinks in an attempt to recapture their image with a younger, more hip demographic. Pepsi has already released similar products in other countries - Pepsi Raw in the United Kingdom and Pepsi Retro in Mexico.

In a similar effort, Log Cabin, manufacturer of "maple syrups" is also replacing their previously containing HFCS products with sugar. Because high fructose corn syrup has been under the radar for so many years as a dangerous substance that causes myriad health issues, the now less-demonized sugar is once again taking its rightful seat on the throne in processed foods.

The fact is, sugar is just as unhealthy to consume as HFCS. The other matter is that our culture has become so accustomed to having foods and drinks sweetened and filled with artificial flavors and chemicals, we cannot possibly fathom the idea of something standing alone on its own flavor. Bottled waters are now commonly filled with various kinds of sweeteners - from sucralose to dextrose to fructose - and high fructose corn syrup. Essentially, all of these sweeteners are not safe to consume - just like sugar. All have high glycemic indexes and raise the blood sugar significantly and quickly, and allow it to drop down just as rapidly. And in the meantime, when you are eating sugar, your body ceases to burn fat. Is it any wonder obesity is so rampant?

Folks, don't be fooled by this severe marketing tactic! Once again, these companies couldn't care less about your health - it's all about the profit margin. Don't fall victim to their schemes and attempts to reel you back in if you've abandoned their products. Stick to real, traditional foods for everything you eat. Most mainstream companies that sell packaged foods don't sell healthy food; they are simply trying to deceive the consumer in order to get you hooked on something else you'll become addicted to and can't live without - and your health is the thing that will suffer - but certainly not their pocketbooks. Remember that besides being bad for your health, processed and packaged foods are also expensive, which translates into being bad for your pocketbook as well.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Protect the Rights of Consumers and Farmers - Stop The USDA's plan for NAIS

Are you familiar with the NAIS (National Animal Identification System)? If you aren't, you soon will be. If you currently own livestock, are planning to own livestock, or eat meat, dairy, or meat-by products, you will be affected by this measure.

In the midst of supposed "pandemics" such as the Swine Flu, plans to make this measure mandatory (currently it is a voluntary choice) have been in the works for some time (since 2005), and we are headed toward yet another bill soon to become a law which will strip citizens of their rights. According to Mary Zanoni, PhD., (Executive Director of Farm for Life) this plan, headed up by Secretary of State Tom Vilsack who has been working with Big Agribusiness giants such as Monsanto, National Pork Producers, and Cargill Meats will "drive small producers out of the market, will make people abandon raising animals for their own food, will invade Americans’ personal privacy to a degree never before tolerated, will violate the religious freedom of Americans whose beliefs make it impossible for them to comply, and will erase the last vestiges of animal welfare from the production of animal foods".

All the details of this costly, imposing, and limiting system can be read at Poultry Press. Basically, if you own even one animal - horse, cow, pig, sheep, chicken, or any type of livestock, you must adhere to a very strict plan to manage the animal by registering it with the USDA and tracking it according to their requirements including the following:
  • each animal is assigned a 15-digit number in the form of a tag or microchip
  • could include collecting DNA from each individual animal
  • owner will be required to report the following for each animal: date of birth, each time animal enters or exits the property, application of every animal's I.D. tag, each time tags are lost or replaced, when animals die or go missing(must be reported within 24 hours)
Third "parties" such as veterinarians are required identify animals they treat or "sight" which are not tagged and report them to the USDA. This applies whether you are raising the animals for food to sell or only for your own self and family. There will be no exceptions. If you do not comply, the USDA will exercise "enforcement" against you (St., p. 7; Plan, p. 17).

The costs associated with implementating NAIS protocols are incidental for CAFOs and smaller factory farms. These facilities currently use computer technology for systems monitoring purposes. Smaller farms will be hardest hit as each individual animal will be required to have a tag. It is estimated that tracking one animal through a small farming environment will be equal to the cost of monitoring a thousand animals on the premises of a factory farm. This is because in the factory environment, all animals moving through a chain of production at once can be issued a single number - whereas on a smaller farm, each animal must be counted as one and issued a separate number entirely.

Does this feel a bit like Nazi Germany? It should!

This system is supposed to keep animal disease under control, but in reality, this is just another government program that will cost taxpayers more money, erode personal rights, and essentially wipe small, sustainable farmers and individual farmers off the map. Such impositions upon small business owners and individual citizens will prove too costly and difficult to maintain, and the USDA is counting on this as a way to "eliminate disease and illness" from the world of farming and agriculture. Of course, the real enemies in all of this are the factory farms working hand in hand with the government and USDA, who refuse to make mandatory passing necessary legislation about raising animals in sanitary and sustainable conditions.

When innoculatory vaccinations were issued in 1976, people paid the price after various individuals became paralyzed and experienced other permanent side-effects. This is yet one more thinly-veiled execution of "controlling" disease and is another method of supporting Big Ag and Big Pharma. These entities don't really intend to keep citizens from getting sick, and if you believe that, you are just being deceived. Where are the discussions about prevention? You won't hear them from the mainstream news media or the CDC because too much power and money is at stake. If you believe these events to be the big hoaxes they are, please visit Agriculture Society and read our open letter to the President and Congress about the necessity for prevention and real nutrition for proper maintenance of both our health care systems and our health.

Make no mistake, these new regulations will move toward effectively removing all sustainable and small farming operations, and seek to take away our rights to healthy, safe food.

Please, consumers, farmers, and anyone who cares about health and agriculture: PLEASE,
AS urges you to take action and raise your voice about this important issue - the future of our ability to procure healthy food for ourselves and our families is at serious stake!

To sign a petition against this measure, visit Petition2Congress.

For more information about this system, visit the Organic Consumer's Association .

For more information about taking action on this critical issue, visit Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund.

For more information, visit Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance.

To see what the USDA is planning for this measure, visit the USDA site.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Frequently Made Mistakes About Nutrition

Are you guilty of making these mistakes when judging whether something you want to eat is healthy? Find out - here's our list:
  • Do you eat low-fat or non-fat foods?
  • Do you count calories?
  • Do you believe lean meats are healthy to eat, while red meat is not?
  • Believe saturated fats and cholesterol are bad for your heart?
  • Eat soy products to improve your health?
  • Maintain a vegan diet?
  • Eat boxed cereals because the labels read "low-fat", or "high-fiber" or "all-natural"?
  • Believe eggs and butter are bad for your health?
  • Choose vegetable oils because you have been told they are healthy to consume (canola, cottonseed, soybean, corn, safflower oils)?
  • Take synthetic vitamin/mineral/dietary supplements to "fill in the gaps"?
  • Pay no attention to organic produce because conventional is "cheaper" and it doesn't really make a difference?
  • Eat processed foods such as enriched breads, crackers, cereals, bagels, English Muffins, pretzels, rice cakes, tortillas, croissants because you believe they are low-fat and healthy?
  • Eat highly-processed lunch meats, sausages, hot dogs and other similar items?
  • Eat products containing hydrolyzed proteins or protein powder?
  • Buy "food" and "protein" bars because you believe they are an acceptable substitute for a real, balanced meal?
  • Buy factory-produced eggs and industrially-produced meat from your local chain grocery store?
Consider each of these and think about how you respond nutritionally to each. Check back tomorrow for a discussion of the answers you came up with.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

What's the Word On Agriculture and Health, Mr. President?

With so many food issues at stake affecting our health, you would think it would be somewhere near the top of the list for our President to take more seriously the dire health care conditions in which we are situated, that are all-encompassing and have ripple effects on everything and everyone.

What's happened in the first 100 days? Sure, Michelle Obama took the initiative to install an organic garden on the White House Lawn. Then there's the well-intentioned economic stimulus package, promising the following for the environmental sector -$62.2 billion in direct spending on green initiatives and $20 billion in green tax incentives, including money for renewable energy, efficiency, improved energy transmission, smart-grid technology, low-income housing retrofits, rail transit, and green jobs training.

The administration also laid out its first budget to include an additional $15 billion in investments in energy and efficiency projects, with a clause to increase funding for rail – on top of the $8 billion for Amtrak in the stimulus. The plan was to create a “world-class passenger rail system” across the nation.

One of the most notable allocations on the budget was a cap-and-trade plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 83 percent below 2005 levels by 2050. Unfortunately, this initiative was rejected by the Senate. But those of us on the green side still hoped against hope that this action would prove just how intent the Obama administration was about making climate change issues a priority.

That's a great start, but isn't there more that can, and should be done? The answer is a resounding YES!

Food activists are accustomed to having to take a number when it comes to important issues being accounted for by the general public and government - even in the face of obesity and diabetes epidemics being at an all-time high, food safety issue after issue, questionable quality of school lunches served to children, the deficit in farming and rural populations, national and world hunger issues, and our unshakeable dependence upon petroleum and its affect on our food supply - while many viable alternatives and resources exist which continue to be untapped, unrecognized, and under-utilized.

In the last few years, we've noticed how food safety problems continue to mount as recall after recall occurs to make us even more suspicious of our food sources. In February of 2008, we watched as the media blazed with news headlines detailing the horrific ordeal of the largest meat recall in history of 143 millions pounds of meat, followed by the tomato and peanut butter recalls, and rice and wheat shortages. Then America was faced with the threat of deadly pathogens originating from the food supply, in the form of MRSA (from hogs in the Midwest), and once again, the Swine Flu which has been connected to Smithfield Farms in Vera Cruz, Mexico. This may be only the beginning if our policy makers and decision makers don't step up to the plate and put the hammer down. As these crises continue to crop up, we wonder if there is an end to in sight this insatiable, sickening lust for industrial food and the devastating, long-standing effects that result.

It is more than disappointing see repeated instances of both President Obama and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack failing to recognize agriculture issues as being intimatedly connected with the massive health care issues faced in our nation, as well as energy and environmental policies. In March after more recalls of 1500 peanut-butter containing products, the President announced the formation of a Food Safety Working Group (FSWG). "In the end, food safety is something I take seriously, not just as your president, but as a parent,” Mr. Obama said in his weekly radio and Internet address. Obama promised that with the inception of this new watch dog, his administration would finally begin to deal with the many problems due to lack of accountability and responsibility in food safety. Yet, ever since then, nary has a word been spoke.

Just as our article featured on the main Agriculture Society page discusses, the President has not acknowledged that to fix food safety issues which will stick, it is imperative that the current administration address underlying food system issues that are embedded in our manufacturing, production, political, and most importantly, agricultural systems, before anything else - without neglecting our heavy reliance on petroleum and petroleum by-products (which includes thousands and thousands of toxic food items on the market that people consume).

So what's next? We need to raise our voices and let our administration and President know that we won't be silent about these issues! Please become active and help make a difference. Visit Agriculture Society to read an open letter to the President and Congress about how preventative health care is absolutely essential and must include action in the agricultural, educational, and insurance sectors.

You can also sign an important petition on the Prescription for Change web site to show your support and intent. When you go to this site, there is a form letter which you can edit; make certain to mention something in this letter about preventative health care, addressing agricultural and food safety concerns, and emphasize how just how much these factors impact the effectiveness of our total health care in the United States. This correspondence will go directly to your local representatives according to the zip code you enter.

Alternatively, you can go straight to The White House and write a letter to The President.

This post is linked in Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please check out all the other informative posts on this site.

Fight Back Pain Naturally

Do you suffer from back pain? Four out of five adults suffer chronic back pain, and the causes are numerous. Remember that your back is one of the major components of your body, and as such, can not only affect other parts of your body, but can in turn be affected by other parts of your body as well.

Consider psychological therapy

According to Dennis Turk, Ph.D., a professor of anesthesiology and pain research at the University of Washington in Seattle, patients with chronic pain sometimes fail to recognize the value of psychological treatments because they’ve been set up to expect a cure.

“Even the latest and greatest treatments don’t cure people with chronic pain,” he said. “Psychological interventions are not cures, but they do reduce pain and improve function and they are important components in the treatment of people with chronic pain.”

Turk added that psychological interventions are also cost-effective when compared to other treatments for chronic low back pain — a key finding, considering that estimates for treatment-related costs range from $20 billion to $80 billion a year in the United States.
“Surgery, opioids, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulators, implantable drug delivery systems — every one of those particular alternatives is much more expensive and has poorer or at best equal outcomes compared to rehabilitation programs that include psychological components,” said Turk. “The paradox is that, despite data on the effectiveness of psychological interventions, insurers are less willing to pay for them.”

The bottom line is, back pain is a symptom of something going awry in the body, and the cause and cure could be as many as a dozen different things. Before considering expensive surgery and drugs that will likely mask the problem and just cover it up, think about the following alternatives:
  • Much back pain is caused by repetitive motions or being sedentary in one place for an extended period of time - such as sitting at a desk all day long. Make sure you get up and walk around once an hour for a few minutes. Take a break or part of your lunch break each day and go for a brisk walk outside. Atrophy of muscles, tendons, and joints occurs with there are long periods of sedation. Proper blood flow to affected areas is also impeded due to inactivity. This causes stiffness, weakness, loss of circulation, and eventually inflammation.
  • Perform stretching and back exercises daily.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eliminate refined sugars and processed foods (including breads, boxed cereals, pastas, crackers, bagels, pretzels, etc., all of which are enriched and extruded).
  • Drink plenty of filtered water. Eat organic vegetables, fruits, raw nuts, raw cheeses, grass-fed meats, and safe source fish.
  • Get plenty of rest.
  • If you have too many things to do each day, reprioritize your schedule and let things go that are pushing you over your limit of time, energy, and available sanity with which to deal.
  • Obtain moderate exercise several times per week, such as brisk walking, hiking, bicycling, or some organized activity such as yoga, pilates, or martial arts.
  • If back pain persists, consider a natural approach such as acupuncture, body work, massage, or chiropractic care. These treatments work with your body and help to move it in the direction of healing rather than concealing the problem at hand, and actually boost your body's ability to deal with the handicap and heal itself more effectively.
  • Don't jump into the drugs and surgery option until you have tried all of these remedies together for an extended period of time. Many doctors are quick to recommend surgery or drugs which may not solve the problem.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dehyration Nation

Do you drink enough water every day? Are you substituting water for other drinks like coffee, tea, soda pop, "power" drinks, juices, or other processed beverages? Or, is your schedule so busy that you find you are going too long without drinking water? This perpetual cycle of drinking beverages which dehydrate you more and then not getting enough pure water daily can actually be the culprit of numerous health problems such as circulation, digestion, blood pressure, and kidney dysfunction.

Here are some guidelines and things to remember in order to keep yourself hydrated:
  • A good rule of thumb is to check the color of your urine. If your urine is any color other than light yellow, you are dehydrated and need more water. There is an old saying about drinking 8 glasses of water daily, and this works for some people. However, not everyone needs the same amount of water daily, so always use the urine test to determine if you are receiving enough fluids. If you are taking a multi-vitamin, especially one with B2 (Riboflavin), your urine will be colored bright yellow.
  • Avoid drinking all your water at once. It is better to have a container of water on hand at all times and sip than to try and catch up after hours and hours with no liquid and drink it all down at once.
  • Use a glass or metal container for your water. Plastic can leech into your water, and especially if it has been sitting for a long period of time or in a place that could potentially become hot, such as outside or in a car. Save glass bottles from products you purchase or find some good stainless steel containers from the store for storing water. As a suggestions, if you purchase water from a local source and use your own bottles, store it in glass bottles and dispense from a ceramic water container with a spout.
  • Don't buy bottled water. Most bottled waters are in plastic containers, and there is usually no way to verify the actual source of the water (there are exceptions, of course). Many bottled waters are simply tap water. Tap water contains many impurities, chemicals, and toxins from various substances that get into the water as well as others that are leeched in from the water treatment process such as iron, chlorine, fluoride, arsenic, mercury, ingredients from medications people take, and many others. Bottled water is also costly and when bottles are discarded, a very small percentage of those are actually recycled and end up in landfills - which damage the environment.
  • Avoid using distilled water for drinking. Distilled water has poor ionization, pH, polarization and oxidation potentials. Drinking distilled water can also rapidly deplete minerals from the body.
  • Even if you are drinking enough water, you could still be dehydrated. This is because most water does not contain minerals, and mineral loss is one of the major causes of dehyrdation. One way to assure you are getting minerals daily is to visit a knowledgeable health care practitioner who can determine your mineral balance. He or she can recommend a mineral supplement to take which can bring your mineral levels to optimal, which greatly improves health. Most mineral supplements do not have to be taken indefinitely; once your body rebuilds it's mineral supply up, you can discontinue the supplement.
  • Another way to keep mineral levels up is to buy a good quality product such as Electrolyte Stamina. This great tasting, "fizzing" drink (powder that you add to water) contains Stevia and comes in several flavors with over 1220 mg of Vitamin C, 72 trace elements and minerals, is high in Potassium, is a great antioxidant, and contains all major electrolytes.
  • Use a water filter that you can put on your tap. One of the best systems you can purchase is Kangen, a perfect alkaline, anti-oxidant containing water which properly filters out all impurities. Another good water filtration system is PUR Ultimate Faucet Mount and GE Smart Water (as recommended by Dr. Mercola).

Monday, April 27, 2009

Outbreak of Swine Flu Linked to Smithfield Factory Farms

Are you worried about contracting the Swine Flu? It is definitely a cause for concern, but it is one that should be thoroughly understood in regard to its origins. Unfortunately, one of the culprits of this disease is once again being connected to a factory farm source. This virus is being described as a combination between avian (bird), swine, and human strain of flu. So far, 1000 people in the U.S. and Mexico have been infected, with 68 left dead. This outbreak is being heralded by health officials as easily capable of reaching global pandemic proportions.

It is well-known from media reports that the facilities where the pigs from these operations are housed have open lagoons of swine waste which are creating massive pollution from the stench to enormous clouds of flies overhead to water contamination - all of which are responsible for causing positive development of implacable pathogens.

"According to physicians from the state of Vera Cruz and the Mexican health agency IMSS, the epidemic's vector could be the clouds of flies created by hog CAFOs and the manure lagoons where the U.S.-Mexican company (Smithfield's Granjas Carroll subsidiary) through tons of manure."

The outbreak originated in Vera Cruz, Mexico where an enormous hog-producing operation resides. Smithfield Foods owns this subsidiary and reports on their web site to produce 950,000 hogs annually.

Although controversy exists about exactly how the virus is spread, some sources say it cannot be contracted from consuming the meat and that it must be spread through human-to-human contamination. Some say otherwise. However, as with MRSA, this virus has been found to reside in the body environments of both humans and pigs:

"One of the first clues that pigs could infect people with MRSA came in the Netherlands in 2004, when a young woman tested positive for a new strain of MRSA, called ST398. The family lived on a farm, so public health authorities swept in — and found that three family members, three co-workers and 8 of 10 pigs tested all carried MRSA."

Now this same strain of MRSA has also been found in the United States. A new study by Tara Smith, a University of Iowa epidemiologist, found that 45 percent of pig farmers she sampled carried MRSA, as did 49 percent of the hogs tested."

With the MRSA virus, experts repeatedly directed consumers to wash hands after preparing and cooking raw pork. They also assured us that eating this possibly infected pork meat would be perfectly safe to do as long as it was properly cooked. What kind of nonsense is this logic, and realistically, why should the Swine Flu virus be any different? Do you really want to prepare or consume pork from an unknown source that could possibly contain the Swine Flu virus or MRSA bacteria?

Even if, without a doubt, this virus is NOT spread from actually consuming the meat from pigs, there is irrefutable evidence at hand which proves that this virus originated within a factory farm environment in the first place. Doesn't this say something about our insatiable appetite for meat and having it at any cost? Doesn't it say something about the almighty dollar being placed above the well-being and health of human beings, animals, and the environment?

The best prevention for any virus or flu - this pandemic threat being no different - is by healthy lifestyle choices which include taking extreme care to have proper nutrition and good, clean, sustainable sources of food. It is nearly impossible for anyone to contract such viruses or bacteria from animals raised in healthy, sustainable environments.

Not until human beings understand the horrific and far-reaching repercussions of raising animals in factory farm environments for food will the passage of such lethal viruses and bacteria come to a halt.

For an informative article about the dangers of industrially-produced animal products on human health and the environment, visit The Sustainable Table.

For a recent article about the connection between the factory farm environment and Swine Flu, visit Grist.

For more information on Swine Flu outbreaks, visit Swine Flu Outbreak News.

Friday, April 24, 2009

How to Stop Cavities in Their Tracks!

Reducing and elimination of tooth decay is less about treatments and more about prevention. Plenty of people brush their teeth regularly with fluoride and still get cavities and dental decay. If you want to keep dental caries out of your mouth, here are some suggestions that if adhered to, really work:

  • Eliminate refined sugars from your diet.
  • Eliminate processed foods from your diet.
  • Eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, organic preferably.
  • Eat healthy meats and dairy products such as naturally-raised, organic, grass-fed meats, safe seafood choices such as as salmon, raw dairy products from a healthy source like grass-fed milk, cheeses, creams, and butter
  • Make your own sprouted, soaked, and fermented foods at home such as kefir, yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, Kombucha, soaked grains that you would use for home-made cereals, and nuts.
  • Make sure you are getting enough fiber
  • Be certain to get enough essential fatty acids (such as with healthy meats, eggs, milk, and fish)
  • Take a good probiotic daily - consult with a knowledgeable health care practitioner. Make sure your probiotic contains at least 9 strains and has over 10 billion bacteria.
  • Brush your teeth and floss at least twice daily with a good quality, natural toothpaste that contains all-natural ingredients and no fluoride. Alternatively, you can make your own toothpaste with essential oils, baking soda, or peroxide (make sure you use food grade).
Your diet and lifestyle have everything to do with your overall health picture, including your dental condition. Eating a healthy diet can leave you with healthy teeth and gums, and help to avoid trips to the dentist for fillings, root canals, and other unpleasant, costly procedures.

This post is linked to on Food Renegade's Fight Back Fridays Carnival. Please have a look at the other great food and health posts there.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

What's the Word on Safe Seafood Choices?

Do you pay attention to making safe seafood choices in your diet? If not, you should be aware that a great deal of seafood contains certain toxins and heavy metals which are harmful to your health. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a list of safe seafood choices which are updated every six months. Because of overfishing and careless fishing practices, our oceans, sealife and environment have been put in danger of being not only contaminated but considerably damaged by the greed and overpopulation of humans.

Seafood provide an important source of Omega 3s, protein, and other nutrients vital to health. But there are definitely healthier and safer choices to make, as opposed to many that are not as healthy. Knowing which of these are superior is important. The Monterey Bay Aquarium provides a list for all regions in the United States, including Hawaii. For more information on these important choices, visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium web site.

For more information about safe seafood choices, visit the Organic Consumers Association.

Good Nutrition and Allergies

Do you suffer from allergies? Many people do, and the normal course of action for allergies is to load up on prescription drugs and over-the-counter medication. But did you know that most allergies are due to a response by our immune systems caused by over-stimulation - that is, too many irritants in the body at once? It's true. By elimination of various allergens affecting the body's environment, you will decrease the immune system response to factors like seasonal allergies. It's that simple. Here's why:

When seasonal allergies flare up in the spring or fall, your body is over-reacting to foreign substances in the air which normally should be benign - pollen, dust, grass seeds, and other naturally-occurring substances. Your body is already "busy" trying to protect itself against other substances, such as foreign bacteria and viruses, and the food you are eating - many common foods are the culprit:
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Pasteurized dairy
  • Nuts
  • Corn
  • Other processed foods
Most of these foods are incredibly processed - and in addition, have the added component of being covered in pesticides and other chemicals, are irradiated, and even genetically-modified. All of these factors greatly contribute to the body's allergic and inflammatory response to toxic and unwanted substances.

When the pollen comes, it's just the straw that broke the camel's back - or the final tipping point. You become congested, your nose drips, your eyes water, you may even develop secondary sinus infections or respiratory ailments.

So what's the solution? Try removing all processed foods from your diet and see what happens.
Wait a week or two, and then gradually add back in replacements for these foods that are whole:
  • Sprouted, soaked, whole grains in place of processed ones
  • Raw dairy from a clean, organic source for pasteurized dairy
  • Grass-fed, natural meats and eggs for commercially and industrially-raised ones
  • If you aren't eating it already, start having a serving or two a week of safe-source fish (check the guide for current safe selections in your area).
  • Organic fruits and vegetables for conventionally-produced ones
  • Raw foods like nuts, fermented foods like real, homemade yogurt or kefir instead of store-bought, processed, pasteurized selections
  • Natural fats like olive oil, coconut oil, pumpkin seed oil, flax oil, avocado oil, or walnut oil
Natural foods and good nutrition always support the body's ability to fight off infections and disease, and allergic responses are no different. Make a lasting change today and see if it doesn't make a difference in your allergies and eliminate your need to buy expensive drugs that are harmful to your health, and which only cover up the problem.

For an informative article on the health and financial implications of food allergies and sensitivities, visit the main Agriculture Society resource site.

For more information about specific nutritional components and nutrients which can help allergies, as well as those to avoid, visit Natural Ways.

This post is linked to on Kelly the Kitchen Cop's site, please visit this wonderful resource and view some of the other great blogs that are featured on Real Food Wednesdays.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

April is Autism Awareness Month

Do you have a child who suffers from or do you know a child with autism? Have you ever wondered just how a child becomes autistic? Many people have had this same curiosity, and for years the medical community has chosen to treat autism as a disease with medication. Does medication really solve the problems of autism? Some people say no, and in the case of Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey, parents of son Evan, their journey into finding out what causes autism and the cure they discovered may be quite surprising.

According to McCarthy, when their son was diagnosed with "the disease" some years ago, the community was not very open to looking at alternative measures for their son's illness. It was all about medication and drugs. But when McCarthy and Carrey decided to take another path, they learned some very interesting things - if they removed as many toxins as they possibly could from their son's food, environment, and so on, a magical thing happened - his symptoms began to disappear. Soon, doctors and medical professionals were renegotiating on the original diagnosis and stating that their son never had autism. How could this be?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, autism is a debilitating disorder suffered by 1 in 150 kids, making it more common than childhood cancer, diabetes and AIDS combined. Many people don't realize that in the last 20 years, vaccination rates have more than tripled. In the 80s children were required to 10 vaccines by age 5. Today, they are administered 36 immunizations in most cases by age 2. It is beginning to seem as though the vaccine campaign is turning into one of the biggest money-making schemes in existence - with little to no consideration on actual prevention.

Proponents of this notion don't believe autism is caused by vaccines alone - but rather that vaccinations are, in many cases, a final tipping point that sends young bodies already in turmoil overload from toxins and irritants from their environment and diet into overdrive. To make a real difference and effect a reversal of autism, considerations would be to:

  • alter the schedule of vaccines
  • reduce the number of shots given
  • eliminate certain ingredients that could be toxic to some children (the major ingredient in vaccinations for removal would be thimerosol).

There would certainly be a chance that some children could still react even if all these steps were taken. But with the overwhelming amount of chemicals and toxins in the environment, food, and drugs and the success achieved by numerous parents who have tried removal of these substances when nothing else worked, it seems a mute point not to make a change.

Jenny McCarthy's web site, lists the four most critical items which need to be addressed to reduce symptoms of autism:

1. Bring down the toxin load
2. Help the gut heal by detoxification, supplementation, and elimination of irritants
3. Increase nutrients in the diet
4. Remove heavy metals and other toxins which can exacerbate and feed symptoms

These suggestions are also offered to parents of autistic children:

  • Remove casein (dairy) and gluten (wheat) from the diet
  • Remove any other food allergens from the diet
  • Eliminate processed foods and refined sugars including but not limited to trans fatty acids, MSG, artificial colors/flavors preservatives, and other excitotoxins, nitrates, aspartame, Nutrasweet, and anything you cannot pronounce or do not know what it is
  • Eliminate the use of fluoride toothpaste
  • Make certain your child's diet includes Omega 3 essential fatty acids in the form of something such as cod liver oil. Good dietary sources include organic, raw dairy, grass-fed meats, safe deep sea fish such as salmon, and ground flaxseeds
  • Make sure your child's diet includes foods (fermented foods such as kefir, natto, kimchi, real yogurt, raw milk, raw cheese, raw butter, raw cream) with friendly bacteria and/or probiotics

For more on the movement that is attempting to "green" vaccines and for additional information about how widespread autism has become and what you can do about it, visit Jenny McCarthy's web site: