Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Can Pesticides Cause ADHD? Study Says Pesticide May Contribute to ADHD, But More Research Needed

A study published today in the Journal of Pediatrics says that one type of pesticide commonly used on fruits and vegetables may be contributing to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD.
Exposure to pesticides may be linked to attention deficit disorder.

Researchers took urine from over 1,000 participants ages 8 to 15 and analyzed it for pesticides. 119 of the children had symptoms of ADHD. Those with the highest concentration of pesticides were more likely to have the disorder, according to the study.

"It's consistent with other studies that have looked at organophosphate pesticides and have found that exposure of children to organophosphates in early life can cause brain injury. This study builds on those other studies," said Dr. Philip Landrigan, chairman of the Department of Community and Preventive Medicine at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York.
-ABC News

Thursday, May 13, 2010


American Cancer Society Trivializes Cancer Risks: Blatant Conflicts of Interest

CPC CHICAGO, IL, May 7, 2010 --/WORLD-WIRE/-- The May 6 report by the President's Cancer Panel is well-documented. It warns of scientific evidence on avoidable causes of cancer from exposure to carcinogens in air, water, consumer products, and the workplace. It also warns of hormonal risks from exposure to Bisphenol-A (BPA) and other toxic plastic contaminants, says Samuel S. Epstein, M.D., Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition (CPC).

Concerns on avoidable causes of cancer have been summarized in a January 23, 2009 Cancer Prevention Coalition press release, endorsed by 20 leading scientists and public policy experts, who urged that President Obama's cancer plan should prioritize prevention. These concerns were further detailed in a June 15, 2009 press release. Warnings of the risks of BPA are also detailed in a May 6, 2010 CPC release.

Some of the more startling realities in the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) and the "non-profit" American Cancer Society's (ACS) long-standing failure to prevent a very wide range of cancers are illustrated by their soaring increases from 1975 to 2005.

These include:

* Malignant melanoma of the skin in adults has increased by 168 percent due to the use of sunscreens in childhood that fail to block long wave ultraviolet light;

* Thyroid cancer has increased by 124 percent due in large part to ionizing radiation;

* Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma has increased 76 percent due mostly to phenoxy herbicides; and phenylenediamine hair dyes;

* Testicular cancer has increased by 49 percent due to pesticides; hormonal ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products; and estrogen residues in meat;

* Childhood leukemia has increased by 55 percent due to ionizing radiation; domestic pesticides; nitrite preservatives in meats, particularly hot dogs; and parental exposures to occupational carcinogens;

* Ovary cancer (mortality) for women over the age of 65 has increased by 47 percent in African American women and 13 percent in Caucasian women due to genital use of talc powder;

* Breast cancer has increased 17 percent due to a wide range of factors. These include: birth control pills; estrogen replacement therapy; toxic hormonal ingredients in cosmetics and personal care products; diagnostic radiation; and routine premenopausal mammography, with a cumulative breast dose exposure of up to about five rads over ten years.

Criticisms by the American Cancer Society that the President's Cancer Panel's report exaggerates avoidable cancer risks, reflect reckless indifference, besides narrow self-interest, warns Dr. Epstein.

In 1993, the nation's leading charity watch dog, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, warned against the transfer of money from the public purse to the private hands of the American Cancer Society. The Chronicle also warned that, "The ACS is more interested in accumulating wealth than saving lives."

These warnings are fully supported by the track record of the ACS for well over the last four decades.

* 1971: The ACS refused to testify at Congressional hearings requiring FDA to ban the intramuscular injection of diethylstilbestrol, a synthetic estrogenic hormone, to fatten cattle, prior to their entry into feedlots prior to slaughter, despite unequivocal evidence of its carcinogenicity, and the cancer risks of eating hormonal meat. Not surprisingly, U.S. meat is outlawed by most nations worldwide.

* 1977: The ACS opposed regulating black or dark brown hair dyes, based on paraphenylenediamine, in spite of clear evidence of its risks of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, besides other cancers.

* 1978: Tony Mazzocchi, then senior international union labor representative, protested that "Occupational safety standards have received no support from the ACS." This has resulted in the increasing incidence of a wide range of avoidable cancers.

* 1978: Congressman Paul Rogers censured ACS for its failure to support the Clean Air Act in order to protect interests of the automobile industry.

* 1982: The ACS adopted restrictive cancer policies, rejecting evidence based on standard rodent tests, which are widely accepted by governmental agencies worldwide and also by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

* 1984: The ACS created the industry-funded October National Breast Cancer Awareness Month to falsely assure women that "early (mammography) detection results in a cure nearly 100 percent of the time." Responding to question, ACS admitted: "Mammography today is a lucrative [and] highly competitive business." Also, the Awareness Month ignores substantial information on avoidable causes of breast cancer.

* 1992: The ACS supported the Chlorine Institute in defending the continued use of carcinogenic chlorinated pesticides, despite their environmental persistence and carcinogenicity.

* 1993: Anticipating the Public Broadcast Service (PBS) Frontline special "In Our Children's Food," the ACS trivialized pesticides as a cause of childhood cancer and charged PBS with "junk science." The ACS went further by questioning, "Can we afford the PBS?"

* 1994: The ACS published a highly flawed study designed to trivialize cancer risks from the use of dark hair dyes.

* 1998: The ACS allocated $330,000, under 1 percent of its then $680 million budget, to claimed research on environmental cancer.

* 1999: The ACS trivialized risks of breast, colon and prostate cancers from consumption of rBGH genetically modified milk. Not surprisingly, U.S. milk is outlawed by most nations worldwide.

* 2002: The ACS announced its active participation in the "Look Good...Feel Better Program," launched in 1989 by the Cosmetic Toiletry and Fragrance Association, to "help women cancer patients restore their appearance and self-image following chemotherapy and radiation treatment." This program was partnered by a wide range of leading cosmetics industries, which recklessly, if not criminally, failed to disclose information on the carcinogenic, and other toxic ingredients in their products donated to unsuspecting women.

* 2002: The ACS reassured the nation that carcinogenicity exposures from dietary pesticides, "toxic waste in dump sites, "ionizing radiation from "closely controlled" nuclear power plants, and non-ionizing radiation, are all "at such low levels that cancer risks are negligible." ACS indifference to cancer prevention became further embedded in national cancer policy, following the appointment of Dr. Andrew von Eschenbach, ACS Past President-Elect, as NCI Director.

* 2005: The ACS indifference to cancer prevention other than smoking, remains unchanged, despite the escalating incidence of cancer, and its $ billion budget.

The ACS's indifference to cancer prevention also reflects major conflicts of interest with regard to public relations, Dr. Epstein emphasizes.


* 1998-2000: PR for the ACS was handled by Shandwick International, whose major clients included R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Holdings.

* 2000-2002: PR for the ACS was handled by Edelman Public Relations, whose major clients included Brown & Williamson Tobacco Company, and the Altria Group, the parent company of Philip Morris, Kraft, and fast food and soft drink beverage companies. All these companies were promptly dismissed once this information was revealed by the CPC.


The ACS's indifference to cancer prevention reflects major industry funding. ACS has received contributions in excess of $100,000 from a wide range of "Excalibur Donors," many of whom continue to manufacture carcinogenic products, points out Dr. Epstein.

These include:

* Petrochemical companies (DuPont; BP; and Pennzoil)
* Industrial waste companies (BFI Waste Systems)
* Junk food companies (Wendy's International; McDonalds's; Unilever/Best Foods; and Coca-Cola)
* Big Pharma (AstraZenceca; Bristol Myers Squibb; GlaxoSmithKline; Merck & Company; and Novartis)
* Biotech companies (Amgen; and Genentech)
* Cosmetic companies (Christian Dior; Avon; Revlon; Elizabeth Arden; and Estee Lauder)
* Auto companies (Nissan; General Motors)

Nevertheless, warns Dr. Epstein, in spite of this long-standing track record of flagrant conflicts of interest, as reported in the December 8, 2009 New York Times, the ACS responded that it "holds itself to the highest standards of transparency and public accountability."

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D. is professor emeritus of Environmental and Occupational Medicine at the University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health; Chairman of the Cancer Prevention Coalition; The 2005 Albert Schweitzer Golden Grand Medalist for International Contributions to Cancer Prevention; and author of over 270 scientific articles and 20 books on the causes and prevention of cancer, including the groundbreaking The Politics of Cancer (1979), Cancer-Gate: How To Win The Losing Cancer War (2005, Baywood Publishing), and Toxic Beauty (2009, BenBella Books).

To read Dr. Epstein's columns in the Huffington Post, go to: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/samuel-s-epstein

Samuel S. Epstein, M.D.
Chairman, Cancer Prevention Coalition
Professor emeritus Environmental & Occupational Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago School of Public Health
Chicago, Illinois
Tel: 312-996-2297
Email: epstein@uic.edu
Please join CPC on Facebook

Friday, April 16, 2010

Russia says genetically modified foods are harmful

Apr 16, 2010 17:26 Moscow Time
Vegetables. © Flickr.com/marcusjroberts/CC-BY-NC

Russia has started the annual Days of Defence against Environmental Hazards from the 15th of April to the 5th of June with the announcement of sensational results of an independent work of research. Scientists have proved that Genetically Modified Organisms are harmful for mammals. The researchers discovered that animals that eat GM foodstuffs lose their ability to reproduce. Campbell hamsters that have a fast reproduction rate were fed for two years with ordinary soya beans, which are widely used in agriculture and those contain different percentages of GM organisms. Another group of hamsters, the control group, was fed with pure soya, which was found with great difficulty in Serbia because 95 percent of soya in the world is transgenic.

Concerning the experiment carried out jointly by the National Association for Gene Security and the Institute of Ecological and Evolutional Problems, Dr. Alexei Surov has this to say. “We selected several groups of hamsters, kept them in pairs in cells and gave them ordinary food as always,” says Alexei Surov. “We did not add anything for one group but the other was fed with soya that contained no GM components, while the third group with some content of Genetically Modified Organisms and the fourth one with increased amount of GMO. We monitored their behavior and how they gain weight and when they give birth to their cubs. Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly. When we got some of their cubs we formed the new pairs of the third generation. We failed to get cubs from these pairs, which were fed with GM foodstuffs. It was proved that these pairs lost their ability to give birth to their cubs,” Dr. Alexei Surov said.

Another surprise was discovered by scientists in hamsters of the third generation. Hair grew in the mouth of the animals that took part in the experiment. It’s unclear why this happened. The researchers cannot understand why a programme of destruction is launched when animals take GMO foodstuffs. They say that this can be neutralized only by stopping to eat these foods. Consequently, scientists suggest imposing a ban on the use of GM foods until they are tested for their bio-security. The results of Russian scientists coincide with those of their colleagues from France and Austria. For one, when scientist proved that GM maize was harmful for mammals, France banned immediately its production and sale. The scientists who carried out the experiment say that it’s too early to make far-reaching conclusions about the health hazards of the GMO. They insist that there is a need to carry out comprehensive research. They suggest implementing the project, “Safety Gene Technology” at the innovation centre, “Skolkovo” which is being set up near Moscow.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Shocking Sugar Content of Common Food Products

By: Dr.Mercola

This Summer Tomato blog offers many eye-opening facts on the sugar content of common foods.

She writes:

"Refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrup are considered by many experts to be the biggest contributors to obesity and poor health in Western civilization.

In her book What To Eat, Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition at NYU, suggests that any food that contains more than 15 grams of sugar per serving is closer to dessert than anything else."

Here is a partial list of the foods Summer Tomato posted:


Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut -- 10 grams

Ben & Jerry’s vanilla ice cream -- 16 grams

Starbucks caffè latte grande (16 oz) -- 17 grams

Subway 6″ sweet onion teriyaki chicken sandwich -- 17 grams

Yoplait original yogurt -- 27 grams

Vitamin Water (20 oz bottle) -- 33 g

Oscar Mayer Lunchables crackers, turkey & American cheese -- 36 grams

Coca-Cola Classic 12 oz can -- 39 grams

California Pizza Kitchen Thai chicken salad -- 45 g

Jamba Juice blackberry bliss 16 oz -- 49 g

Odwalla SuperFood 450 ml bottle -- 50 g

Starbucks caffe vanilla frappuccino grande (16 oz) -- 58 g

Summer Tomato March 25, 2010

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

Modern science has shown that the obesity epidemic isn’t simply about lack of self-control, but rather a phenomenon driven by biochemical changes that have altered the way your body regulates energy.

What has caused these biochemical changes to occur on such a mass scale?

Well, the list above is a big part of the explanation.

It’s hard to imagine, but a vast array of modern processed foods contain more sugar than a glazed doughnut! Sugar in some form is present in nearly every packaged product, from spaghetti sauce, salad dressing, and peanut butter, to mayonnaise and ketchup, just to name a few.

This outrageously excessive sugar consumption has caused people’s appetite regulation system to go awry. Leptin, the hormone responsible for satiety, isn’t working properly anymore in a majority of people.

It has now become clear that limiting sugar – and fructose in particular -- in your diet is a key to longevity for a number of reasons.

For example, according to Dr. Richard Johnson, author of The Sugar Fix, about 25 percent of all Americans consume over ½ a pound of added sugars a day, and this statistic dovetails nicely with the statistics showing that one in four Americans is either pre-diabetic or has type 2 diabetes.

Diabetics have, on average, a reduced lifespan of about 15 years.

How Sugar Can Make or Break Your Health

Your blood glucose levels rise slightly every time you eat. This is natural. However, excessive sugar consumption will typically cause your blood glucose levels to become excessively elevated and then stay that way.

It is a well proven fact that sugar increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones. This can lead to:

* High blood pressure and high cholesterol
* Heart disease
* Diabetes
* Weight gain
* Premature aging

One of the puzzle pieces you need to understand in order to really see the correlation between heart disease and sugar consumption is that dietary sugar raises your small, dense LDL cholesterol levels. This is the type of cholesterol that correlates with heart disease. Dietary fat, on the other hand, raises your large, buoyant LDL, which is harmless.

Turns out the “conventional wisdom” to avoid dietary fat to avoid heart disease has led millions astray by focusing on the entirely wrong food. If you want to reduce your risk of heart disease, you simply must curb your sugar consumption.

And today, this dietary vigilance needs to begin more or less from birth. Even infant formulas and jarred baby food contains excessive amounts of sugar and high fructose corn syrup!

As your child grows, savvy marketing wizards would have you believe that feeding your child cereal each morning is a recipe for good health. But nothing could be further from the truth… On average, just one serving of a typical children’s breakfast cereal equates to more than 90 percent of the daily sugar intake for sedentary girls aged 9 to 13.

Regardless of the “healthy fiber” content of the cereal, consuming that much sugar is not going to promote good long-term health.

For adults struggling with weight- and health problems, the anti-fat craze has created an entire new breed of high-risk diet foods.

Reducing fat content in food tends to make it taste bland, and so sugar was added to low-fat foods to improve palatability -- in the form of either HFCS or sucrose. This is one of the absolute worst combinations for your health…

Please understand, the health dangers of sugar on human physiology are certain, and the evidence that fructose is the WORST of the bunch is growing. (For an in-depth review of the particulars that make fructose even more damaging than regular sugar, please review this recent article.)

Simple sugars have been observed to aggravate asthma, exacerbate mental illness, cause mood swings, provoke personality changes and aggression, nourish nervous disorders, cause diabetes and speed up heart disease, grow gallstones, cause hypertension and arthritis, and that’s just the beginning.

In short, excessive sugar consumption, and fructose in particular, will kill you prematurely, one way or another.

Avoiding sugar, on the other hand, will help you control your insulin and leptin levels, which will help you to feel and look younger, longer.

What Can You Do About Those Sugar Cravings?

Interestingly, and well worth remembering, is that cravings for candy, junk food or fast food, and excessive hunger are likely connected and caused by the near identical mechanisms.

Refined sugar is in and of itself more addictive than cocaine, but that does not fully explain the phenomenon of being hungry or having food cravings even though you’ve just eaten.

This is where the hormone leptin – also known as the “obesity hormone” -- comes into play again.

Leptin appears to reduce cravings for sweet foods by targeting taste receptors on the tongue. Therefore, it is possible that a lack of leptin, or your body's failure to respond to the hormone due to leptin-resistance or defects in your leptin receptors, may contribute to the so-called 'sweet tooth' that affects so many people.

Leptin, which is produced by your fat cells, is an integral part of your weight regulation. When fat cells are “full,” leptin sends signals to your brain to reduce hunger so you can stop eating.

However, once you become leptin-resistant, your brain can no longer hear these signals, and so the sensation of hunger is not shut down. This typically leads to overeating and gaining excessive amounts of weight.

How to Right Your Biochemistry Again

You become leptin resistant in the same way you become insulin resistant, meaning most people do not have insufficient amounts of leptin, but rather too much.

So, how do you reduce your leptin levels and regain your leptin sensitivity?

As discussed above, limiting your sugar intake is a given. But in addition to that, one of the most effective ways to reduce your leptin levels is through physical exercise. It’s true, diet and exercise really do go hand-in-hand if you want to get your body back into homeostasis and optimize your health.

Sugar Guidelines and Acceptable Sugar Alternatives

Ideally, I recommend that you avoid sugar as much as possible. This is especially important if you are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

I realize you don’t live in a perfect world, and following rigid dietary guidelines is not always practical or even possible. However, cutting out sodas, sweetened beverages of all kinds, and limiting your consumption of processed foods will take you a very long way, and is something most people can do.

These are the most common sources of more or less hidden sugar, so by avoiding them, you can significantly reduce your sugar consumption.

As a standard guideline, I strongly recommend you limit your fructose consumption to 25 grams per day, and limit your fructose from fruit to 15 grams per day. This is to account for the inevitable hidden sources of sugar or fructose you will consume during an average day.

For a convenient list of the fructose content of various fruits, please see this previous article that also discusses fruit consumption in more detail.

Lastly, if you want to use an added sweetener occasionally, this is what I recommend:

1. Use the herb stevia, flavored versions are particularly helpful and tend not to have the bitter aftertaste. French vanilla and English toffee are two of my favorites.
2. Use organic cane sugar in moderation
3. Use organic raw honey in moderation

Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than sugar and HFCS.

I also do not recommend agave syrup since most forms are a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose. Your blood sugar will spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS. Agave has gained meteoric popularity due to a great marketing campaign, but any health benefits present in the original agave plant are typically processed away.

For more information about agave, please see my previous in-depth report on this topic.

Likewise, honey is very high in fructose. Although its fructose content varies, it typically contains about the same amount as HFCS, or more. So even though honey contains many other beneficial nutrients, you’ll want to use honey very sparingly.

Aside from the herb Stevia, perhaps your safest sugar alternative is to use pure glucose.

You can buy pure glucose (dextrose) as a sweetener for about $1 a pound. It is only 70 percent as sweet as sucrose, so you’ll end up using a bit more of it for the same amount of sweetness, making it slightly more expensive than sucrose—but still well worth it for your health as it has ZERO grams of fructose. Remember, glucose can be used directly by every cell in your body and as such is far safer than the metabolic poison fructose.

It should be apparent by now that if you want to be healthy, you simply must get used to reading labels, which I’ve addressed in many previous articles, and become familiar with the sugar and fructose content of everything you eat.

MPs listen to Canadians ahead of industry on GM Crops

Groups applaud MPs for moving Bill C-474 to Committee for study

Ottawa. Thursday, April 15, 2010 – Last night, Parliament passed Private Members Bill C-474 through second reading, in spite of intense pressure from the biotech industry. The Bill, which would require analysis of potential harm to export markets before the sale of new genetically modified (GM) seeds, will now be studied by the House of Commons Agriculture Committee.

“Finally MPs are taking steps to protect farmers from the economic chaos that GM crops can cause,” said Terry Boehm, President of the National Farmers Union, “GM contamination has already seriously damaged major export markets for Canadian flax farmers and would threaten the markets for our alfalfa and wheat growers."

The NDP and Bloc Quebecois supports the Bill and last night Liberal Party MPs voted to allow the Bill to go to this next stage. The Conservative Party strongly opposes the Bill, though two B.C. Conservative MPs voted in favour. The Bill was introduced by Alex Atamanenko, NDP Agriculture Critic and MP for B.C. Southern Interior.

“Last night, the majority of MPs listened to Canadians instead of the biotech industry,” said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, “MPs will now have the opportunity to study and debate this Bill. We are witnessing the first substantive debate in Parliament over the negative impacts of GM crops.”

The biotech industry lobbied vigorously to stop the upcoming debate at Committee. Yet the strength of public and farmer concern over GM crops was apparent to MPs. Over 9000 thousand letters were sent from constituents in the past month asking MPs to support the Bill. At least 6 MPs were also presented with petitions.

Bill C-474 was supported by the National Farmers Union, which urged Parliamentarians and all Canadians, to support the Bill. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture took a cautious stance in favour of moving the Bill forward, to encourage debate at Committee.

“The current GM flax contamination crisis shows the value of this Bill. And the threat of GM alfalfa has made the Bill an urgent necessity,” said Sharratt. Canadian flax export markets closed in October 2009 when GM contamination was detected.

“We will not stand by and watch farmers struggle alone against the corporate juggernaut of biotechnology,” said Sharratt, “The time when Canadians are expected to accept GM crops without question, is over.”

For more information: Terry Boehm, National Farmers Union, 306 255 2880; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, 613 241 2267 ext.6. C

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

ANH-USA Victory! Supplements Are Exempted From Codex Language in Food Safety Bill

Alliance for Natural Health

The FDA Food Modernization Act (S. 510), also referred to as the “Food Safety” bill, has been modified to exempt dietary supplements from language that otherwise creates a slippery slope toward U.S. harmonization with Codex Alimentarius. ANH-USA worked to protect the natural health community from this dangerous provision that threatened access to high quality, therapeutic supplement doses by working with key senators to modify the language, now for the second time.

The most worrisome provision of the bill initially required the Food and Drug Agency (FDA) to recommend that U.S. foreign Herbal supplementstrading partners harmonize with Codex. This odd language was no doubt very intentional. How could we recommend harmonization to other countries if we rejected it for the U.S.? So in effect we were committing ourselves to a much more restrictive regulatory regime for supplements.

As the Senate moved forward with the Food Safety bill, Senator Harkin (D-IA), committee chair, working closely with Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT), promised to see what could be done to make absolutely clear this legislation was not intended to impact our access to dietary supplements. At that time, Senator Harkin modified the Codex provision, asking the FDA to consider “whether and how” to recommend U.S. foreign trading partners harmonize. This was a very important change and a tremendous show of support from both Senators, but we were still concerned that the inclusion of Codex language in the bill could be used to support future U.S. harmonization with Codex standards on dietary supplements.

ANH-USA worked with our allies in the Senate over the past several months to include additional language providing stronger protection for supplements. New language has now been added specifically stating, “Nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the regulation of dietary supplements.”

The Codex Alimentarius was initially developed to establish international food safety standards and regulate ingredients of food products. However, there is great concern that if the U.S. harmonizes with Codex standards, which are expected to follow Europe’s increasing ban on supplements, our access to supplements will be lost and even our food standards may be compromised. Although ANH-USA considers the new exemption a huge victory, it only applies to dietary supplements. The U.S. is still at risk of harmonization with other Codex food standards.

ANH-USA is especially grateful to Senators Harkin and Hatch for their leadership, continued dedication to the natural health community, and most recently, their show of support protecting our supplements from Codex harmonization. The Senate is expected to take up the Food Safety bill any day now. As the legislative process moves forward we will keep our members up to date on our efforts and where appropriate, we’ll ask for your help to protect supplements from increased government intrusion. The House version of the Food Safety bill, already passed, is especially worrisome. We will continue to make every effort, with your help, to ensure that the House version does not become law.

Monday, April 12, 2010

If mainstream medicine really works, why are Americans so unhealthy?

If mainstream medicine really works, why are Americans so unhealthy?

KFC set to unleash bunless Double Down sandwich on America

Michael Bolen
Yahoo! Canada
First there was the Double Big Mac. Then came the Baconator. Now KFC is triumphantly laying claim to the World's meatiest and - in our opinion - most nutritionally-challenged sandwich. Their recipe? Two strips of bacon, two slices of cheese and a healthy dollop of the Colonel's Sauce all sandwiched between (insert drum roll please) two thick and juicy filets of deep-fried chicken.

That's right, this sandwich is so serious it doesn't need a bun. But don't think the lack of carbs means this sandwich will be slimming.

Weighing in at 540 calories the fast-food innovation packs 32g of fat and nearly 1400mg of sodium. Too be fair, that's barely half of the Baconator's 970 calories and 60g of fat, but what the Double Down lacks in calories it makes up for in sheer audacity. To sandwich three types of fat between two slabs of fat required an almost heroic disregard for the current trend toward healthy eating. That said, KFC isn't trying to market this artery-clogger to the health conscious.

The ad for the Double Down features hungry young men complaining about the lack of filling fast-food fare on the market - as if longing for a new chicken champion. The product was originally tested on a select midwestern audience - so the fast food purveyor clearly isn't expecting to find fans amongst the L.A. hot yoga crowd. But for those who do want to try the new creation, but lack the requisite death wish, KFC is offering a grilled version.

If you're wondering how one goes about consuming the double down, have no fear, KFC has thought of everything. Both versions come lovingly wrapped in a paper sheath. Not everybody, however, is concerned with making the sandwich easy to eat. Some adventurous fast foodies have already begun experimenting with the bunless burger. Behold: the Double Double Down.

In an attempt to garner goodwill ahead of the Sandwich's April 12 U.S. release, KFC is donating "unneeded" buns to food banks around the nation. Although this seems dangerously reminiscent of donating muffin stumps, it would probably be even more vindictive to force the actual sandwich upon America's homeless and hungry. Unfortunately, there is still no word on whether the Double Down is coming to Canada, but considering the hype it seems likely we won't have to wait long.

Regardless of the danger the Double Down poses to our arterial well-being, the sandwich is generating unprecedented buzz on both sides of the border. KFC doesn't usually advertise a product ahead of release, but the fast-food giant made an exception because it wanted "fans to have time to arrange their schedules in advance" in order to try the "legendary sandwich." And while the "legendary" moniker may be a bit hasty, it does seem safe to say that this culinary trailblazer will be sparking conversation, and indigestion, for months to come.

Friday, March 26, 2010

To Any of my Devoted Readers

Thank you for following my blog, I am in the middle of a home renovation/new job so I will not be posting too much for the next few weeks. Please check back at a later date for new posts.

Thanks again everyone!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Judge in California Could Halt Planting of Genetically Modified Soybeans - Salem-News.Com

Judge in California Could Halt Planting of Genetically Modified Soybeans - Salem-News.Com

Enviropig info...yuck!


Fury as Brussels authorises GM potatoes

BRUSSELS (AFP) - The European Commission on Tuesday approved the cultivation of genetically-modified potatoes, prompting an angry response from environmental campaign groups and two EU member governments.

Austria said it was planning an immediate ban on the potatoes' cultivation, while Italy's agriculture minister slammed the commission's decision and vowed to defend "traditional agriculture and citizens' health".

The first approval of genetically modified foods in Europe for 12 years was criticised by Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth as a threat to human health, though the Amflora potatoes developed by German chemical giant BASF will not be for human consumption.

A spokeswoman for Austria's health ministry told AFP: "(Health) Minister Alois Stoeger is preparing a document banning the cultivation of genetically-modified potatoes."

The minister was going to "immediately issue a national cultivation ban," according to the ministry.

The EU Commission also allowed three GM maize products to be placed on the European market, though not grown in Europe.

Modified vegetables and cereals have long been a matter of fierce debate in Europe and the commission stressed that the Amflora would only be for "industrial use" including animal feed.

Italian Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia said he opposed the Commission's ruling.

"Not only are we against this decision, but we want to underscore that we will not allow the questioning of member states' sovereignty on this matter. On our part, we will continue to defend and safeguard traditional agriculture and citizens' health," he said.

Before the potato, only MON 810, a strain of genetically modified maize made by Monsanto, has been authorised for cultivation in Europe since 1998.

The EU Commission said its latest decision was "based on a considerable volume of sound science" and stressed the GM potatoes would be cultivated at a distance from ordinary crops.

"Responsible innovation will be my guiding principle when dealing with innovative technologies," EU Health and Consumer Policy Commissioner John Dalli said.

"After an extensive and thorough review of the five pending GM files, it became clear to me that there were no new scientific issues that merited further assessment," he added.

The EU's food safety agency has said the Amflora potato, designed to produce industrial starch for use in areas such as paper making, is safe for all uses.

But the potato contains a marker gene which is resistant to antibiotics, fuelling fears over the risks of contamination for conventional varieties.

Greenpeace said Dalli's decision flew in the face of science, public opinion and EU law.

"It is shocking that one of the Commission?s first official acts is to authorise a GM crop that puts the environment and public health at risk," Greenpeace spokesman Marco Contiero said.

Friends of the Earth said there was no guarantee the antibiotic-resistant element would not enter the good chain.

"The new commissioner whose job is to protect consumers has in one of his first decisions ignored public opinion and safety concerns to please the world?s biggest chemical company," said spokeswoman Heike Moldenhauer.

BASF, on its website, said it was "delighted" by the decision "after waiting for more than 13 years," for EU approval.

"We hope, that this decision is a milestone for further innovative products that will promote a competitive and sustainable agriculture in Europe," said board member Stefan Marcinowski.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Amaranth Porridge Recipe

After reading Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry, I stopped buying even organic cereal and started looking for alternative breakfast choices. I bought some Red Mill 7 grain cereal, have been making smoothies and the latest Amaranth Porridge. I bought some amaranth from the bulk store to try it because we will be including it in the garden this summer. The recipe turned out great so here it is:

1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup amaranth
one organic apple, peeled and chopped
one teaspoon cinnamon

Bring to boil all four ingredients. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Serve topped with milk, hemp seed, slivered almonds, or your choice of toppings.

Yields two servings.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Victory- GM Wheat Rejected in 26 Countries

GM Wheat rejected by 233 Consumer, Farmer Groups in 26 Countries
CNW Group, 9 February 2010

OTTAWA, MONTREAL, WASHINGTON, TOKYO and SYDNEY - 233 consumer and farmer groups in 26 countries have joined the "Definitive Global Rejection of GM Wheat" statement to stop the commercialization of genetically modified (GM) wheat and remind the biotechnology corporation Monsanto that genetically modifying this major crop is not acceptable to farmers or consumers. (1)

The 233 groups signed the rejection statement first launched by 15 Australian, Canadian and U.S. farmer and consumer groups in June 2009.

"Canadian farmers have just lost their export sales to Europe and other markets because of GM flax contamination from a GM variety deregistered a decade ago and never even sold. Our current experience with GM flax contamination clearly illustrates the crippling losses Canadian farmers will suffer if GM wheat is introduced," said Terry Boehm, a flax and wheat farmer and President of the National Farmers Union in Canada. "Flax is yet another warning that once a GM crop is introduced, contamination is inevitable."

In July 2009, Monsanto announced new research into GM wheat and industry groups kicked their promotion of GM wheat into high gear. "Widespread farmer and consumer resistance defeated GM wheat in 2004 and this global rejection remains strong, as demonstrated by today's statement," said Lucy Sharratt, Coordinator of the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network.

"In 2004, a coalition of Japanese consumer and food industry groups delivered a petition to the Governments of Canada and the U.S. urging them not to introduce GM wheat. Today, consumer rejection of GM wheat in Japan is just as strong as ever. 80 organizations in Japan have already signed the rejection statement," said Keisuke Amagasa of the Tokyo-based No! GMO Campaign. "A large majority of consumers here in Japan are voicing their strong opposition to the cultivation of GM wheat. We see strong opposition from all sectors of society."

Japan's flour companies are also rejecting GM wheat, echoing consumer opposition. In a statement released today, the Flour Miller's Association of Japan wrote to the No! GMO Campaign indicating its opposition.

"Under the present circumstances, with all the doubts about safety and the environment that the consumers in Japan have, including the effect on the human body from GM foods, GM wheat is included among the items that are not acceptable for the Japanese market," Kadota Masaaki, senior managing director of the Flour Miller's Association wrote to the No! GMO Campaign.

In the U.S., a recent report from the Western Organization of Resource Councils, a network of seven community farmer, rancher and consumer organizations, shows that U.S. wheat prices could fall by 40 percent or more if industry efforts to develop GM wheat succeed. (2)

"U.S. family farmers will do everything to protect our wheat from Monsanto and we do not accept that any corporation has the right to patents on life, including seeds," said Dena Hoff from the National Family Farm Coalition in the U.S. "GM wheat would contaminate our crops and food supply, and put an end to organic grain production. Farmers in the U.S. have already rejected GM wheat and Monsanto is sorely mistaken if they think farmers will ever accept GM wheat."

"The big push is on from Monsanto to pave the way for GM wheat but the reality is that strong and widespread opposition from farmers and consumers in Australia and across the world is here to stay," said Laura Kelly from Greenpeace Australia Pacific.


(1) The list of signatories to the "Definitive Global Rejection of Genetically Modified Wheat" statement can be viewed at http://www.cban.ca/globalstopGMwheat

(2) "A Review of the Potential Market Impacts of Commercializing GM Wheat in the U.S." January 2010, Western Organization of Resource Councils, http://www.worc.org/GM-Wheat

For further information:

In Canada:
Terry Boehm, National Farmers Union Canada, (in Paris) 33 144 84 7250; Lucy Sharratt, Canadian Biotechnology Action Network, (613) 241-2267 ext. 6, info@cban.caThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

In Tokyo:
Michiyo Koketsu, NO! GMO Campaign, 81 3 5155 4756, office@gmo-iranai.orgThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; Ryoko Shimizu, Policy Research Institute for the Civil Sector, 81 90 6001 0495, ryoko-s@prics.netThis e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ;

In the US:
Kathy Ozer, National Family Farm Coalition, (202) 543-5675;

In Australia:
Laura Kelly, Greenpeace Australia Pacific, (61) 040741 4572

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mastronardi to add non-GMO seal to packaging

by Ashley Bentley
KINGSVILLE, Ontario — Mastronardi Produce plans to start using a seal on its packaging later this year that identifies its products as non-genetically modified organisms.

Although GMO use in greenhouse vegetable growing is not commonplace, consumers don’t necessarily understand which products come from genetically-modified seeds and “want to know black and white that our products are non-GMO,” said Joseph Darden, vice president of food safety for Mastronardi.

“It wasn’t retail-driven — just a response to the consumer questions from our Web site,” said Chris Veillon, director of marketing. “People don’t know how you can produce the same tomato time and time again.”

The answer comes down to the greenhouse growing method, Paul Mastronardi said.

“It’s a closed environment, no outside elements, that allows us to produce great-looking fruit with reliable production, all with the safest food safety program,” Mastronardi said.

Mastronardi identifies itself as the first in the industry to be certified by the Non-GMO Project, a non-profit group of manufacturers, retailers, processors, distributors, farmers, seed companies and consumers set to make information about GMO products more accessible, according to its site.

Of the eight fruit and vegetable companies in the program, Mastronardi is the only one with fresh produce.

Hurry Up Spring!

Is it really only February 9th? I am itching to start the garden. Yesterday we started our peppers, cucumbers and tomato plants. I am a few weeks early but I couldn't wait. This year will be a learning experience because we will be growing Quinoa and Amaranth. I have read that Quinoa and Amaranth are easy, hardy plants to grow which is comforting. I am also interested in finding some quality organic blueberry bushes to line the back fence. Anyone have an Ontario source on this, it would be greatly appreciated.

Monday, February 8, 2010

New Nephew Causes Serious Cooking Spree

I went to my sisters this weekend to help out while the new parents managed a bit of personal time and filled up the fridge with prepared food by cooking all day Saturday. Well, actually I started Friday making brownies for the older kids. Then carrot cake, chickpea kale and potato soup, curried lentils with peas and cauliflower, and two broccoli-cheddar quiches for dinner. Everything turned out awesome! (All ingredients were organic as usual) If anyone wants the best carrot cake recipe ever,or any of the other dishes, just let me know!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dole, Monsanto, and the GMO – genetically-modified food war

Monsanto Company through a June 23, 2009 press release announced a “collaboration agreement” with Dole Fresh Vegetables, Inc. “to develop new products that will enhance consumer vegetable choices.” Brace for the next round in the GMO War that has been raging for over a decade.

The Monsanto-Dole agreement is for five years of collaboration with a focus on developing new versions of spinach, cauliflower, broccoli, and lettuce. Their goal is to “improve” the taste, texture, flavor, aroma, and even the nutrition of these foods. Monsanto brings expertise in making rapid advances in agricultural development to the table, while Dole excels in marketing the fruit of big agriculture to the public. Pun intended.

Genetically-modified food (GM), also known as genetically-modified organisms (GMO) has become a battleground between “natural” food proponents and the big agriculture “biotech” business. As with all battles of this type, there is bound to be plenty of misinformation and exaggeration on both sides, and with accusations flying it can be difficult to detect the sane and thoughtful voices among them. The issue is complex and worthy of study.

Monsanto is firmly in the biotech camp, with a stated commitment to the development of modern agricultural practices to increase crop production, thereby conserving resources. Dole has taken some steps to straddle the fence with consumers by offering organic prepackaged salad greens, pineapples, and bananas, along with their traditionally grown produce. It will be interesting to see what if any effect this move to produce new versions of vegetables will have on Dole’s organic consumers.

Monsanto is a dominant player in the development and advancement of biotech agricultural methods and is closely watched by opponents to the genetic engineering of food. Perhaps for this reason, Monsanto spokeswoman Riddhi Trivedi-St. Clair was quick to state that this agreement between Monsanto and Dole will involve breeding research and will not involve the genetic engineering that Monsanto employs with its herbicides, soybean, and corn products. According to Ian Sherr of Reuters in his article, Monsanto, Dole to collaborate on veggies, this is one more step in Monsanto's efforts to expand the vegetable segment of their business.

Mary Ann Lien

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

How to Avoid Genetically Modified Foods


One Woman's Story

This is my true story, nothing altered. These are facts as they relate to my experience, my opinions based on what I have read and felt. I am relating them to warn other young health-conscious women who are unwittingly harming themselves and so that what I went through and what I am going through has some purpose. It would make what I have gone through worth something and not in vain.

In 1989 I graduated from high school in a small town in Texas and couldn't wait to hit the big college city so I could begin to live my own life. One of the changes I wanted to make was to eat healthier. My family wasn't big on tofu, yoghurt or fruits. I also didn't want to gain the freshman 15. Once I moved to health-conscious Austin, Texas with its parks, hike and bike trails, and health food stores, I began to fortify my body with the best and healthiest foods I could find. Tofu was the main ingredient in every healthy dish and I bought soy milk almost every day because it was better than milk. I used it for everything from cereal to smoothies or just to drink for a quick snack. I bought soy muffins, miso soup with tofu, soybeans, soybean sprouts, etc. All the literature in all the health and fitness magazines said that soy protected you against everything from heart disease to breast cancer. It was the magical isoflavones, it was the estrogen-like hormones that all worked to help you stay young and healthy

But I wasn't that healthy. I looked great, I was working out all the time, but my menstrual cycle was off. At 20 I started taking birth control pills to regulate my menstrual cycle. One brand would work for a few months but then I would become irregular again. The doctors kept switching the brands and assuring me that I'd find the one that would work. In addition to this I began to suffer from painful periods. I began to get puffy--not fat, I wasn't gaining weight, just getting rounder. It was as though I was losing my muscle tone. I wasn't looking as good as I had before, despite all my exercising. I began to suffer from fits of depression and get hot flashes. I mistook all this for PMS since my periods were irregular. I had no way of knowing when I was going to begin my period.

Now, I had started using soy when I was 19. The onset of these problems quickly began at 20. By the time I was 25 my periods were so bad I couldn't walk. The birth control pills never made them regular or less painful so I decided to stop taking them. I went on like this for another two years until I realized my pain wasn't normal. In 1998, when I was 27 years old, my gynecologist found two cysts in my uterus. Both were the size of tennis balls. I was scared to death! I went through surgery to have them removed and thank God they were benign. The gynecologist told me to go back on birth control pills. I didn't. In 1998 he discovered a lump in my breast. Again I went through surgery and again it was benign.

It was in November, 2000 that my glands swelled up and my gums became inflamed. Thinking I had a tooth infection I went to the dentist who told me that my teeth were not the problem. After a dose of antibiotics the swelling still did not go down. At this point I could feel a tiny nodule on the right side of my neck. No one else could feel it. I told my mother I had thyroid trouble. This was based only on a hunch. She, along with others in my family, said I was being silly. No one in the family suffered from thyroid trouble. What's a thyroid?" was what my friends would say.

Going on a hunch I saw a specialist who diagnosed me with Papillary Thyroid Carcinoma. After a series of tests he told me it was cancer. My fiance and I sat stunned. I was dreading another operation but so far every lump had been benign. We were not prepared and I was so scared. We scheduled surgery right away. The specialist told us that it would only be after the operation that a pathologist would be able to tell us for sure if it was cancer. They found a tumor on my right lobe composed of irregular cells and another smaller tumor growing on the left, so the entire thyroid was removed. No harm was done to my vocal chords, no harm to my parathyroids but I now had an ugly scar and would be dependent on thyroid hormones the rest of my life. They told me that after undergoing radioactive iodine I would be safe and assured me that I could live a long life.

After treatment I began to search for the cause of all these problems. An x-ray I had done at age 8 was under suspicion, as was stress--everything got blamed on stress, genes, maybe that time I tried to smoke a cigarette (I was never a smoker but tried once), maybe that summer when I was 25 and began to drink vodka and try mixed drinks ( I was never one for alcohol but wanted to know what the hype was about). I began to look for esoteric reasons like not being spiritual enough. I never once thought it could be all the soy I had consumed for nearly ten years. After all, soy is healthy. I never drank soft drinks, and even when I was under excruciating pain, never took aspirin or headache medications. Maybe it was birth control pills.

I came upon a web page that linked thyroid problems to soy intake and the conspiracy of soy marketed as a health food when in fact it is only a toxic by-product of the vegetable oil industry. This was insane, I thought. After all, the health and fitness magazines had said nothing about soy being harmful. I visited an herbalist who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer in 1985. She informed me that soy was the culprit. She was a health-conscious individual who in her twenties fortified her diet with soy. A few years after that she had to have a hysterectomy due to cysts and other uterine problems. A few months later another acquaintance who had consumed soy came down with thyroid cancer. She was 27. A girl in England I met through the internet in a thyroid cancer forum had just undergone surgery and she was only 19. What was going on???? The research said that thyroid cancer was more common in older women, age 50 or older. It was said to be genetic or the result of nuclear fallout like in Chernobyl.

Today I found out that yet another acquaintance--another health-conscious individual--just found out she has thyroid cancer and she is 29. I got on the internet and found breast cancer linked to the radioactive iodine given during treatment. This didn't seem true. As fearful as I am of anything nuclear, the treatment has been given for over 150 years. Breast cancer is linked to estrogen. What mimics estrogen in the female body? SOY! I am not a scientist nor a doctor but I know my body. I knew that there were changes going on and I did search for clues as to why, but I never suspected soy because until now I never once found a single article that stated soy could be dangerous. Evening primrose oil I heard taken in large amounts, vitamin A, C and E can make tumors grow if taken in large dosages, MSG, even tuna is harmful but never once SOY. Women who took soy prior to thyroid problems will continue to take it after if they are not aware of what soy actually does, what it contains and how it reacts in the female body. I think this is the reason that women with thyroid cancer often develop breast cancer later.

Now it all makes sense. If you trace the problems I have had, they are all related to hormones. Taking birth control pills I believe only added more hormones to my body that I didn't need. I believe it was the fruit, no smoking, no drinking, exercise and veggies that kept my first surgeries benign. I wasn't as lucky the last time.

My co-worker is big into soy and I see her losing hair and gaining weight despite a walking workout during her break and after work, and apples and oranges for lunch. She just had cysts removed from her uterus too. I warn her to stay off the soy. I refer her to websites but until it is on the evening news on all four networks, women will suffer. I say what I can but at the Christmas potluck every dish contained soy in one form or another. It's now the staple of the new American diet--eat right, eat for health, eat to ward off cancer, AND IT'S SOY!

Back in 1994 I did have my thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) checked, again on a hunch. I was suffering from lethargic days, fits of depression, feeling off, and mild digestive problems. My TSH was a 6. A good physician, taking into account my symptoms, would have explored this. We are not always blessed with good physicians. Many don't know what a thyroid gland is, what it does or even where it is, and they miss important signs.

By the way, today I have normal periods even though I am not on birth control pills and even though I have had to change my dosage of thyroid hormone since the thyroidectomy. I do not touch soy, haven't for two years.

Dear readers, please use my story in any way you can. There are so many young girls who are consuming soy because they think they are taking care of themselves, and women taking soy because they want to be healthy. It is so unfair that the information about the dangers of soy isn't more widely circulated. It is sad. Health is wealth and until 1998 no matter how badly things went--car breaking down, bills, bad dates--I felt comforted in that I had my health. There are many out there who feel this way and it is a terrible blow when you realize you are not as healthy as you thought and that the information that you depended on was wrong.

This article appeared in Wise Traditions in Food, Farming and the Healing Arts, the quarterly magazine of the Weston A. Price Foundation, Spring 2002.

Gerber toddler meal given 'Salt Lick' award for high sodium content

By The Canadian Press

TORONTO - Gerber, one of the best-known names in baby food, has been named this year's recipient of the "Salt Lick Award" due to the high sodium content in one of its prepared meals for toddlers.

The Canadian Stroke Network and the Advanced Foods & Materials Network chose Gerber Graduates Lil' Entrees because the product line's Chicken & Pasta Wheel Pickups dinner contains 550 mg of sodium - more than half a toddler's adequate daily intake of 1,000 mg.

The organizations say the amount of sodium in the prepared food is equivalent to that contained in two medium orders of McDonald's french fries. McDonald's Canada website says a medium order of fries contains 270 mg of sodium.

Yet labelling on the Gerber Graduates meal says it is "appropriate for children one year or older" and is "specially made for toddlers." Two other Gerber meals for toddlers also received dishonourable mentions for high salt content.

"There is a concern that eating too much sodium in childhood can lead to a preference for salty foods and, consequently, an increased risk of disease as an adult," Dr. Kevin Willis, who leads efforts by the Canadian Stroke Network to raise awareness of the dangers of excessive sodium intake, said in a release.

A high-sodium diet increases blood pressure. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for stroke, heart and kidney disease, and dementia. Too much dietary salt has also been linked to osteoporosis, asthma, stomach cancer and obesity.

A spokesman for Nestle, which owns Gerber, said reducing sodium "to an acceptable level" in the brand's six toddler meals is a key priority.

"Current packages of Gerber 'Lil Entrees overstate the sodium level as they include the sodium contained in the brine (liquid) surrounding the vegetables, which is not consumed," Dr. Andrea Papamandjaris, head of Nestle's medical and scientific unit, said Tuesday in an emailed statement. "The package includes instructions to drain the brine before serving."

The brine accounts for 19 to 33 per cent of the sodium, depending on the recipe, said Papamandjaris, noting that new packaging showing sodium levels only for the consumed food will be on store shelves in July.

Health Canada's Sodium Working Group, appointed in 2007, is developing a salt-reduction strategy for Canadians, which will include voluntary reductions of sodium in processed foods.

But the Stroke and Advanced Foods networks say some industry officials have responded to calls for less sodium by saying such cuts are difficult because Canadians have a taste for salty foods.

The two networks suggest that craving for salt is likely programmed early in life - in part by the food industry itself.

"One-year-olds do not demand salt in their food," said Dr. Charlene Elliott of the University of Calgary, who is studying the marketing of children's food.

Food companies are "totally playing into adult conceptions of a meal," said Elliott, adding that unfortunately "there is a presumed halo effect around baby and toddler foods because people expect these foods to be held to higher standards."

The two networks, which studied the ingredients in popular baby and toddler foods to determine salt content, found some popular brands have no added sodium.

The list of toddler meals considered to have excessive sodium includes:

-Gerber Graduates for Toddlers Lil' Entrees, Macaroni and cheese with peas and carrots: 520 mg per serving.

-Parent's Choice (Wal-Mart brand) My Little Meals, Shells & Cheese with Frankfurters: 520 mg per serving.

-Gerber Graduates for Toddlers Lil' Entrees, Cheese Ravioli in Tomato Sauce with carrots, peas and corn: 480 mg per serving.

-Heinz Toddler Vegetables, Beef & Pasta Casserole: 470 mg per jar.

-Heinz Toddler Beef Stroganoff: 420 mg per jar.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Rude Awakening

A wise customer wanted to find out if the corn nuts she was eating were from genetically modified (GM) corn. She emailed the company and got a shocking reply. It began:

"Thank you for your contact. We are not aware of any GMO free corn in the U.S. We feel it is a ridiculous concern based on very poor science."

The email, reproduced at the blog of Kelly the Kitchen Kop, even recommended:

". . . if these concerns are truly important to you, you may be better served at a health food store.

We appreciate your patronage.

The Customer Support Team,

American Importing Co., Inc."

Talk about being opinionated and misinformed.

There's overwhelming evidence showing that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) are unsafe. And there are plenty of sources for non-GMO corn.

Did this email get you angry? Are you thinking about flooding the company's email with hostile missives? I had another idea.

I phoned the company owner.

I figured that although the email's author was clearly misled, I also knew all about Monsanto and the other devious corporations that dis-informed him—and how they skillfully depict GMO critics as ridiculous and unscientific.

When I got President Andy on the phone and asked if his products were genetically modified (GM), it didn't take me long to realize that he was almost certainly the author of his company's tactless email. He launched into a diatribe blasting GMOs as the most misconceived issue in the entire food industry.

As I took notes documenting his string of incorrect statements, (no, there is no GMO wheat yet, same with apples; no there was not a massive death of monarch butterflies in Europe), he heard my keyboard tapping and stopped momentarily to ask who I was. I told him that I was a leading spokesperson on the dangers of GMOs, that I wrote the world's bestselling book on the subject, and that I was doing a blog based on an email response sent by his customer service.

That didn't slow him down in the least. Andy continued his rant, which literally went on for 12 minutes. I was impressed.

When he finally ran out of steam, I decided to begin my response by agreeing with him—that we certainly do need to apply real science on this issue. Then I told him the truth.

I told Andy of concerns by FDA scientists that GMOs might create serious, hard-to-detect health hazards, and how Monsanto's man placed at the top of the agency ignored and covered-up the warnings. As a result, the FDA lets GMOs onto the market without any required safety tests.

I told Andy that I worked with more than 30 scientists to document 65 health risks of GMOs for my book Genetic Roulette, which cites peer-reviewed science, industry research, and medical investigations, among its 1100+ endnotes.

I told Andy about the American Academy of Environmental Medicine's condemnation of GMOs, and their prescription of non-GMO diets for all patients. And how this renowned physician's organization linked GMOs to infertility, immune system dysfunction, gastrointestinal problems, organ damage, and disruption of insulin and cholesterol regulation.

And I told Andy how the same corporations that fed him the lie that GMOs are safe, fired and gagged scientists who discovered that they're not.

Now Andy was impressed.

And he realized he had been duped—that the information given to him and others in the food industry had been "filtered" by those earning profits from GMOs. He said that the science that I presented was not getting to the executives in the food industry, to people like him who want to give customers healthy food.

Andy was again on a roll, but with a different agenda. He now urged me to get in front of the decision makers in the food industry, and he even offered to help make it happen.

I told Andy that I was impressed by his passion, which he had unleashed on me like a fire hose at the beginning of the call. And I knew that once armed with the real evidence against GMOs, he could use that same passion and make a big difference.

Andy committed to order and read Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods. And while waiting for it to arrive, he and his colleagues will review my keynote speech online, Everything You HAVE TO KNOW About Genetically Modified Foods.

Before we hung up, Andy thanked me over and over for not being reactive to his initial onslaught, and for staying with him and leading him through the science.

I now have a new friend. And I am reminded again about the importance of educating leaders in the food industry as part of our campaign to rid the food supply of GMOs.

If you know a food company executive, please take the time to send him or her a link to the online video presentation, to the article showing that doctors now prescribe non-GMO diets, and to a summary of the GMO health risks. It's time well spent.

And if they run a very large food company, please introduce me. I'm on a roll.

Safe eating.
Jeffrey Smith
Author and Founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology

Healthy Child Healthy World: The Top 10 Toxic Products You Don’t Need

It's become so common in our culture to assume we need things - a lot of things. Over-consumption is not only a strain on our bank accounts and environment, it can also be harmful to our health. Whether there's a warning label or not (usually not), many of the things we buy have associated health risks.

Here are ten toxic products, in no particular order, that you don't need. And, once you read about them, you probably won't want them either. Be aware that different homes may have different products that are more toxic than these. This is just a basic list of some of the most commonly purchased products that are almost entirely unnecessary, but pose significant risks.

1. Air fresheners: Most air fresheners mask odors with a synthetic fragrance or numb your sense of smell with chemical anesthetics. But, they do nothing to eliminate the source of the odor. Also, aerosol air fresheners spew out tiny droplets of chemicals that are easily inhaled into the lungs. Instead, ventilate well and choose natural deodorizers, such as zeolite or baking soda, which contain minerals that absorb odors. How to Freshen Indoor Air Naturally includes recipes for other homemade remedies. Plants are also helpful for purifying your indoor air.

2. Drain, oven and toilet bowl cleaners: Yes, three products instead of one, but they all fit under the category of cleaners - and these are the three nastiest. Corrosive or caustic cleaners, such as the lye and acids found in drain cleaners, oven cleaners and acid-based toilet bowl cleaners, are the most dangerous cleaning products because they burn skin, eyes and internal tissue easily.

* To clean extra-greasy ovens, mix together 1 cup baking soda and 1/4 cup of washing soda, then add enough water to make a paste; apply the paste to oven surfaces and let soak overnight. The next morning, lift off soda mixture and grime; and rinse surfaces well.
* Prevent clogged drains by using hair and food traps.
* To de-grease and sweeten sink and tub drains, pour 1/2 cup of baking soda down drain followed by 1 cup vinegar; let bubble for 15 minutes; rinse with hot water. You might have to repeat the whole procedure more than once. This same mixture can be used prior to scrubbing your toilet bowl to deodorize and scour away grime.

3. Canned food: It's probably shocking to find a food item on a toxic product list, but it's no mistake. Food cans are lined with an epoxy resin that contains bisphenol-A (BPA). Most experts believe this is our main source of exposure to BPA, which has been linked to hormone disruption, obesity, heart disease, and much more. Eden Foods is currently the only company with BPA-free canned foods (other than the canned tomatoes, which they haven't found an adequate substitute for given the acidity of the tomatoes). Opt for fresh, frozen, dried or jarred foods.

4. Pesticides: This is a huge category of products, but they deserve inclusion in their entirety because of how extremely toxic they are. They're made to be. That's how they kill things. But, solving your pest problem may leave you with another problem - residual poisons that linger on surfaces, contaminate air, and get tracked onto carpet from the bottom of shoes. There are so many non-toxic ways to eliminate pests and weeds - next time you need to get on the offense, check out the recommendations at Beyond Pesticides.

5. Dry-cleaning: Okay, it's a service and not a product per se, but the chemical used to do it, perchloroethylene, has been linked to cancer as well as nervous system, kidney, liver and reproductive disorders. Even bringing dry-cleaned clothes home is risky. EPA studies have found that people who reported visiting a dry-cleaning shop showed twice as much perc in their breath, on average, as other people. EPA also found that levels of perc remained elevated in a home for as long as one week after placing newly dry-cleaned clothes in a closet. A Consumers Union study found that people who wear freshly dry-cleaned clothes, like a jacket and shirt, every week over a 40-year period, could inhale enough perc "to measurably increase their risk of cancer" - by as much as 150 times what is considered "negligible risk." Try wet-cleaning, CO2 technology, or even hand-washing.

6. Bottled water: Most people buy bottled water thinking they're avoiding any contaminants that may be present in their tap water. For the most part, they're wrong. Bottled water can be just as, or even more, contaminated than tap water. In fact, some bottled water IS tap water - just packaged (in plastic that can leach chemicals into the water) and over-priced. Also, from manufacture to disposal, bottled water creates an enormous amount of pollution - making our water even less drinkable. Do yourself and the world a favor and invest in a reusable stainless steel water bottle and a water filter.

7. Rubber duckies: How does such a cute toy end up on a toxic product list? When it's made from PVC - the poison plastic. Banned in over 14 countries and the European Union, PVC, also known as vinyl, is still legally sold by U.S. retailers although it threatens environmental and consumer health at every stage of its product life cycle, according to the Center for Health, Environment, and Justice (CHEJ). When it's in your home, PVC can leach phthalates (linked to hormone disruption) and lead (a potent neurotoxicant) - contaminating air, dust, and eventually you. Go PVC-free by reading packages and avoiding the #3 in the chasing arrows symbol (usually found on the bottom of a product). If a plastic is not labeled, call the manufacturer. Learn more.

8. Couch cushions: No, you needn't get rid of all your cushions and consign yourself to a future of discomfort. Just avoid cushions, pillows, and anything with foam labeled as meeting California TB 117, as it is likely to contain toxic fire retardants. These chemicals migrate from the foam to dust to people. In animal research, these chemicals are associated with cancer, birth defects, thyroid disruption, reproductive and neurological disorders such as hyperactivity and mental retardation. Don't worry about increasing your fire risk, data does not show that this standard has resulted in increased fire safety. Look for foam and cushions made with polyester, down, wool, or cotton as they are unlikely to contain toxic fire retardants.

9. Perfume and cologne: Colognes and perfumes may make us more attractive. But mixed in with the colors and scents are a wide variety of unattractive chemicals. Perfumes and fragrances can consist of hundreds of chemicals. Testing of Calvin Klein's Eternity by an independent lab, commissioned by Environmental Health Network (EHN), revealed that the perfume contained over 800 compounds. Among the chemicals of concern is diethyl phthalate (DEP) that is absorbed through the skin and can accumulate in human fat tissue. Phthalates are suspected carcinogens and hormone disruptors that are increasingly being linked to reproductive disorders.

It's not so simple to avoid phthalates by switching products because they are rarely listed on product ingredient labels. Phthalates are claimed as a part of trade secret formulas, and are exempt from federal labeling requirements. Find out if products you currently use contain phthalates and find safer ones on Environmental Working Group's Skin Deep Searchable Product Guide website.

10. Oil-based paints and finishes: There are 300 toxic chemicals and 150 carcinogens potentially present in oil-based paint, according to a John Hopkins University study. Still interested in coating your walls and furniture with this gunk? I hope not. Look for water-based options - ideally those that are low- or no-VOC. You could also explore natural finishes like milk paint and vegetable or wax based wood finishes.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Food Poison Journal


Dirty Secrets of the Food Processing Industry

Written by Sally Fallon

This presentation was given at the annual conference of Consumer Health of Canada, March, 2002.

Mankind has always processed his food; food processing is an activity that is uniquely human. One type of food processing is cooking.

Traditional food processing had two functions: to make food more digestible and to preserve food during times of scarcity. This type of processing resulted in traditional foods like sausage and the old-fashioned meat puddings and haggis. It includes sourdough bread, fermented grain products, cheese and other fermented milk products, pickles, sauerkraut, and beverages--everything from wine and spirits to lacto-fermented soft drinks.

In the past, processing was carried out by farmers and artisans such as bread makers, cheese makers, distillers, millers and so forth. This type of processing resulted in delicious foods and kept the profits on the farm and in the farming communities where it belonged--food processing should be a local cottage industry.

Most importantly, traditional processing enhances or increases the nutrient value of our foods. Traditional bread making neutralizes anti-nutrients in grains to make the minerals more available; lacto-fermentation of cabbage to make sauerkraut increases the levels of vitamin C and many B vitamins many fold; and the making of yoghurt, kefir and similar products from fresh milk makes the nutrients in the milk more available and more digestible.
Industrial Processing

Unfortunately, in modern times we have abandoned local artisanal processing in favor of factory and industrial processing, which actually destroys the nutrients in food rather than increasing them, and makes our food more difficult to digest rather than more digestible. Furthermore, industrial processing depends upon products that have a negative impact on our health, such as sugar, white flour, processed and hydrogenated oils, additives, synthetic vitamins and an extrusion processing of grains. These are the tools of the food processing industry.

Ready for breakfast? Let's have a look at the typical American breakfast of cereal, skim milk and orange juice.
Packaged Cereals

Dry breakfast cereals are produced by a process called extrusion. Cereal makers first create a slurry of the grains and then put them in a machine called an extruder. The grains are forced out of a little hole at high temperature and pressure. Depending on the shape of the hole, the grains are made into little o's, flakes, animal shapes, or shreds (as in Shredded Wheat or Triscuits), or they are puffed (as in puffed rice). A blade slices off each little flake or shape, which is then carried past a nozzle and sprayed with a coating of oil and sugar to seal off the cereal from the ravages of milk and to give it crunch.

In his book Fighting the Food Giants, Paul Stitt has tells us that the extrusion process used for these cereals destroys most of the nutrients in the grains. It destroys the fatty acids; it even destroys the chemical vitamins that are added at the end. The amino acids are rendered very toxic by this process. The amino acid lysine, a crucial nutrient, is especially denatured by extrusion. This is how all the boxed cereals are made, even the ones sold in the health food stores. They are all made in the same way and mostly in the same factories. All dry cereals that come in boxes are extruded cereals.

The only advances made in the extrusion process are those that will cut cost regardless of how these will alter the nutrient content of the product. Cereals are a multi-billion dollar business, one that has created huge fortunes.

With so many people eating breakfast cereals, you might expect to find some studies on the effect of extruded cereals on animals or humans. Yet, there are no published studies at all in the scientific literature.
The Rat Experiments

Let me tell you about two studies which were not published. The first was described by Paul Stitt who wrote about an experiment conducted by a cereal company in which four sets of rats were given special diets. One group received plain whole wheat, water and synthetic vitamins and minerals. A second group received puffed wheat (an extruded cereal), water and the same nutrient solution. A third set was given only water. A fourth set was given nothing but water and chemical nutrients. The rats that received the whole wheat lived over a year on this diet. The rats that got nothing but water and vitamins lived about two months. The animals on water alone lived about a month. But the company's own laboratory study showed that the rats given the vitamins, water and all the puffed wheat they wanted died within two weeks---they died before the rats that got no food at all. It wasn't a matter of the rats dying of malnutrition. Autopsy revealed dysfunction of the pancreas, liver and kidneys and degeneration of the nerves of the spine, all signs of insulin shock.

Results like these suggested that there was something actually very toxic in the puffed wheat itself! Proteins are very similar to certain toxins in molecular structure, and the pressure of the puffing process may produce chemical changes, which turn a nutritious grain into a poisonous substance.

Another unpublished experiment was carried out in the 1960s. Researchers at University of Michigan were given 18 laboratory rats. They were divided into three groups: one group received corn flakes and water; a second group was given the cardboard box that the corn flakes came in and water; the control group received rat chow and water. The rats in the control group remained in good health throughout the experiment. The rats eating the box became lethargic and eventually died of malnutrition. But the rats receiving the corn flakes and water died before the rats that were eating the box! (The last corn flake rat died the day the first box rat died.) But before death, the corn flake rats developed schizophrenic behavior, threw fits, bit each other and finally went into convulsions. The startling conclusion of this study is that there was more nourishment in the box than there was in the corn flakes.

This experiment was actually designed as a joke, but the results were far from funny. The results were never published and similar studies have not been conducted.

Most of America eats this kind of cereal. In fact, the USDA is gloating over the fact that children today get the vast majority of their important nutrients from the nutrients added to these boxed cereals.

Cereals sold in the health food stores are made by the same method. It may come as a shock to you, but these whole grain extruded cereals are probably more dangerous than those sold in the supermarket, because they are higher in protein and it is the proteins in these cereals that are so denatured by this type of processing.

There are no published studies on the effects of these extruded grains on animals or humans, but I did find one study in a literature search that described the microscopic effects of extrusion on the proteins. "Zeins," which comprise the majority of proteins in corn, are located in spherical organelles called protein bodies. During extrusion, these protein bodies are completely disrupted and deformed. The extrusion process breaks down the organelles, disperses the proteins and the proteins become toxic. When they are disrupted in this way, you have absolute chaos in your food, and it can result in a disruption of the nervous system.
Old-Fashioned Porridge

So what are you going to have for breakfast? We need to go back to the old fashioned porridges, as I explain in Nourishing Traditions. These porridges should be soaked overnight in an acid medium to get rid of the anti-nutrients. Soaking will neutralize the tannins, complex proteins, enzyme inhibitors and phytic acid. You soak the grains in warm water with one tablespoon of something acidic like whey, yoghurt, lemon juice or vinegar. The next morning, the porridge cooks in about a minute. Of course, you eat your porridge with butter or cream like our grandparents did. The nutrients in the fats are needed to absorb the nutrients in the grains. That was one of the great lessons of Weston Price, that without the vitamins present in animal fats (vitamins A and D), you cannot assimilate minerals and other vitamins. You can be taking mineral supplements, drinking green juices or eating organic food until it comes out your ears, but you cannot absorb the minerals in your food without vitamins A and D that are exclusively found in the animal fats.

The minute you start to process your milk, you destroy Mother Nature's perfect food. You can live exclusively on raw milk, especially milk from nature's sacred animal, the cow. We have no sense of the sacredness of our animals today. Instead, we have an industrial system of agriculture that puts our dairy cows inside on cement all their lives and gives them foods that cows are not designed to eat—grain, soy, citrus peel cake and bakery waste. These modern cows produce huge amounts of watery milk which is very low in fat.

Milk from these industrial cows is then shipped to a milk factory. Emily Green wrote an excellent article in the LA Times, August 2000 about milk processing. Milk processing plants are big, big factories where visitors are not allowed. Lots can go wrong in these factories. The largest milk poisoning in American history occurred in 1985 where more than 197,000 people across three states were sickened after a "pasteurization failure" at an Illinois bottling plant.

Inside the plants all you can see is stainless steel. Inside that machinery, milk shipped from the farm is completely remade. First it is separated in centrifuges into fat, protein and various other solids and liquids. Once segregated, these are reconstituted to set levels for whole, low-fat and no-fat milks; in other words, the milk is reconstituted to be completely uniform. Of the reconstituted milks, whole milk will most closely approximate original cow's milk. The butterfat left over will go into butter, cream, cheese, toppings and ice cream. The dairy industry loves to sell low fat milk and skim milk because they can make a lot more money from the butterfat when consumers buy it as ice cream. When they remove the fat to make reduced fat milks, they replace the fat with powdered milk concentrate, which is formed by high temperature spray drying. All reduced-fat milks have dried skim milk added to give them body, although this ingredient is not usually on the labels. The result is a very high-protein, lowfat product. Because the body uses up many nutrients to assimilate protein—especially the nutrients contained in animal fat—such doctored milk can quickly lead to nutrient deficiencies.

The milk is then pasteurized at 161 degrees F by rushing it past superheated stainless steel plates. If the temperature is 200 degrees the milk is called ultrapasteurized. This will have a distinct cooked milk taste but it is sterile and can be sold on the grocery shelf. In other words, they don't even have to keep it cool. The bugs won't touch it. It does not require refrigeration. As it is cooked, the milk is also homogenized by a pressure treatment that breaks down the fat globules so the milk won't separate. Once processed, the milk will last for weeks, not just days.
Milk Allergies

Many people, particularly our children, cannot tolerate the stuff that we are calling milk that is sold in the grocery shelves. And you can see why. It starts with cows in confinement, cows fed feed that cows are not designed to digest, and then it goes into these factories for dismantlement and reconfiguration.

The protein compounds in milk have many important roles, including protection against pathogens, enhancement of the immune system and carrier systems for nutrients. However, like the proteins in grains, the proteins in milk are complex, three-dimensional molecules that are very fragile. The pasteurization process deforms and denatures these proteins. When we drink pasteurized milk, the body mounts an immune response instead of deriving instant nourishment.

Numerous animal studies in the 1930s and 1940s showed the superiority of raw milk over pasteurized in building strong bone, healthy organs and a strong nervous system.

Fortunately what we call real milk, that is full-fat milk from pasture-fed cows, milk that is not pasteurized, processed or homogenized, is becoming more available. Parents are discovering just how healthy and happy their children can be when they drink raw milk instead of pasteurized. (See realmilk.com for sources.)
Powdered Milk

A note on the production of skim milk powder: liquid milk is forced through a tiny hole at high pressure, and then blown out into the air. This causes a lot of nitrates to form and the cholesterol in the milk is oxidized. Those of you who are familiar with my work know that cholesterol is your best friend; you don't have to worry about natural cholesterol in your food; however, you do not want to eat oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol contributes to the buildup of plaque in the arteries, to atherosclerosis. So when you drink reduced-fat milk thinking that it will help you avoid heart disease, you are actually consuming oxidized cholesterol, which initiates the process of heart disease.
Orange Juice

Now let's turn to the orange juice in this supposedly healthy breakfast. It is quite shocking what turns up in a literature search on orange juice processing.

A quote from Processed and Prepared Foods states that "a new orange juice processing plant is completely automated and can process up to 1,800 tons of oranges per day to produce frozen concentrate, single strength juice, oil extracted from the peel, and cattle feed."

In the processing, the whole orange is put into the machine. Enzymes are added to get as much oil as possible out of the skin. Oranges are a very heavily sprayed crop. These sprays are cholinesterase inhibitors, which are real neurotoxins. When they put the oranges in the vats and squeeze them, all those pesticides go into the juice.

What about the orange peel used for cattle feed? The dried left-over citrus peel is processed into cakes which are still loaded with cholinesterase inhibitors and organophosphates. Mark Purdey in England has shown these neurotoxins are correlated with "Mad Cow Disease" (Bovine Spongiform Encephalitis or BSE). The use of organophosphates either as a spray on the cows or in their feed is one of the causes of the degeneration of the brain and nervous system in the cow and if these components are doing this to the nervous system of the cow, there's a possibility they are doing this to you also. In fact, a study carried out in Hawaii found that consumption of fruit and fruit juices was the number one dietary factor for the development of Alzheimer's disease. The researchers speculated that the real culprit was the pesticides used in fruit—and concentrated in the juices due to modern processing techniques.

The FDA has decreed that we can no longer buy raw juice, because it might be a source of pathogens. But it might surprise you to know that they have found fungus that is resistant to pressure and heat in the processed juices. One study found that 17% of Nigerian packages of orange juice and 20% of mango and tomato juices contained heat resistant fungi. They also found E. coli in the orange juice that was pressure resistant and had survived pasteurization. So there is plenty of danger from contamination from pasteurized juices.

In one study, heat-treated and acid-hydrolyzed orange juice was tested for mutagenic activity. The authors hypothesized that the heating process produces intermediate products, which under test conditions, give rise to mutagenicity, and cytotoxicity. In other words you have got cancer-causing compounds in your orange juice. In another study, gel filtration and high performance liquid chromatography were used to obtain mutagenic fractions from heated orange juice.

Another study shows just how toxic and damaging these juices are to teeth. They found that rats had more tooth decay from these commercial juices than they did from soda pop, which is loaded with sugar.

One more thing about processed orange juice. Have you ever wondered why processed orange juice stays cloudy, why the solids do not settle? This is because soy protein combined with soluble pectin is added, and this keeps the juice permanently cloudy. It might be interesting to know, for those of you who are allergic to soy.
Artificial Flavors vs. Nutritious Homemade Broths and Sauces Based on Natural Nourishing Broths

In the past, all traditional cultures made use of bones to make broth. They recognized the fact that broth was very nutritious. Science tells us that bone broths supply minerals and other nutrients, including gelatin, which aids digestion, in addition to imparting wonderful flavors to our food.

Before the advent of processed food, we made bone broth—beef broth, chicken broth and fish broth—and we used these broths to make delicious soups, sauces and gravies. When we made sauce or gravy at home, we used the good drippings from the meat, added some flour, and then added homemade broth.

Processed soup bases and sauces contain artificial meat-like flavors because it is too expensive for the industry to make real broth. Instead, they take short cuts, which means that consumers are shortchanged. When the homemade stocks were pushed out by the cheap substitutes, an important source of minerals disappeared from the American diet. The thickening effects of gelatin could be mimicked with emulsifiers, but of course, the health benefits were lost. And gelatin is a very healthy thing to have in your diet. It helps you digest your food properly and has been shown to be useful in many digestive disorders. According to a South American proverb, "Good broth resurrects the dead."
Artificial Flavorings, Hydrolyzed Protein, and MSG

Research on gelatin and natural broths came to an end in the 1950s when food companies discovered how to induce Maillard reactions and produce meat-like flavors in the laboratory. In a General Foods Company report issued in 1947, chemists predicted that almost all natural flavors would soon be chemically synthesized. Following the Second World War food companies discovered monosodium glutamate (MSG), a food ingredient the Japanese had invented in 1908 to enhance food flavors, including meat-like flavors. Humans actually have receptors on the tongue for glutamate—it is the protein in food that the human body recognizes as meat. Unfortunately, the free glutamic acid in MSG has a very different effect in the body than the natural glutamic acid in food, one that is harmful, especially to the nervous system. Any protein can be hydrolyzed to produce a base containing MSG, but the usual source is soy. When the industry learned how to make the flavor of meat in the laboratory using inexpensive proteins from grains and legumes, the door was opened to a flood of new products including bullion cubes, dehydrated soup mixes, sauce mixes, TV dinners, and condiments with a meat-flavored base.

The fast food industry could not exist without MSG and other artificial meat flavors to make secret sauces and spice mixes that beguile the consumer into eating bland and tasteless food. The sauces in processed foods are basically MSG, water, thickeners and emulsifiers and some caramel coloring. Your tongue is tricked into thinking that it is getting something nutritious when it is getting nothing at all except some very toxic substances. Even the dressings, the Worcestershire sauce, rice mixes, dehydrated soups, all of these and anything that has a meat-like taste has MSG in it. Almost all canned soups and stews contain MSG, and the "hydrolyzed protein" bases often contain MSG in very large amounts

So-called "homemade soup" in most restaurants is usually made by adding water to a powdered soup-base or soup cubes and then adding chopped vegetables, etc. Even things like lobster bisque and sauces in the seafood restaurants are full of these artificial flavors. It's all profit based. The industry even finds it too costly to just use a little onion and garlic for flavoring, so they are using the artificial flavors instead.

Most of the vegetarian foods are loaded with these flavorings. The list of ingredients in vegetarian hamburgers, hot dogs, bacon, baloney, etc. may include hydrolyzed protein and other "natural" flavorings. Soy foods contain large amounts of MSG as it is formed during processing. MSG is also formed during the spray drying of milk, so it is in reduced-fat milk because spray dried milk is added to these products.
MSG Labelling

As I point out in my various workshops, the three most toxic additives in our food supply are MSG, hydrolyzed protein, and aspartame, and the first two are in all of these secret sauces with "natural flavors." Anything that you buy that says "spices" or "natural flavors" contains MSG! The industry avoids putting MSG on the label by putting MSG in spice mixes, and if the mix is less than 50% MSG, manufacturers don't have to put it on the label. You may have noticed that that phrase "No MSG" has actually disappeared. That's because MSG is in all the spice mixes. Even Bragg's "Liquid Aminos" had to take "No MSG" off their label.
Health Problems with MSG

The industry has known about the health problems caused by MSG for a long time. In 1957 scientists found that mice became blind and obese when MSG was administered by feeding tube. In 1969, MSG-induced lesions were found in the hypothalamus region of the brain. Subsequent studies all pointed in the same direction. MSG is a neurotoxic substance that causes a wide range of reactions, from temporary headaches to permanent brain damage. We have a huge increase in Alzheimer's, brain cancer, seizures, multiple sclerosis, and diseases of the nervous system, and one of the chief reasons is these flavorings in our food. MSG is also associated with violent behavior.

Most surprisingly, MSG causes obesity! In laboratory experiments on obese rats, scientists induce obesity by feeding the animals MSG!

Ninety-five percent of processed foods contain MSG, and as you may know, in the late 1950s it was added to baby food. After some congressional hearings on this subject, the industry told us they had taken it out of the baby food, but they didn't really remove it. They just called it by another name--hydrolyzed protein. I recommend that everyone read the book Excitotoxins, by Dr. Russell Blaylock. He describes how the nerve cells either disintegrate or shrivel up in the presence of free glutamic acid, that is, MSG, if it gets past the blood-brain barrier. The glutamates in MSG are absorbed directly from the mouth to the brain. Some investigators believe that the great increase in violence in this country is due, not to sugar, but to the huge increase in the use of MSG in the food which began in the late 1950's, and particularly because it was put in baby food in very large amounts.
A Quintessential Imitation Food

To give an example of how the food industry thinks, consider this description of artificial bacon, taken from a food processing magazine: "Here is an engineered meat product which looks, cooks, and tastes like bacon, but is formed and laminated by a co-extrusion process. It is made from a mixture of pork, beef, sugar, salt, MSG, and smoked flavor and has a number of advantages. It shrinks very little in cooking; holds its shape and color well; contains twice the protein and half the fat of bacon; costs less than bacon and the processed product does not delaminate." Isn't that nice to know? Of course, now they have figured out how to do this without any meat at all by using soy. The real question is, not whether this fake product will delaminate, but whether in fact it will support life.
Fats and Oils

The last fifty years have seen a huge increase in the consumption of processed vegetable oils, and a concurrent decline in the consumption of animal fats. These oils look clean and bright on the grocers shelves, but a description of vegetable oil processing reveals the true nature of these products.

Oil processing begins with the extraction of crude vegetable oils from the seeds, a process that requires high temperatures and pressures, and often involves a hexane solvent. By the way, these oils start out loaded with pesticides. The steps involved in processing include caustic refining, bleaching, deodorizing, filtering, and removing saturates to make the oils more liquid. Most of these steps involve heat and produce toxic breakdown products known as free radicals. Free radicals cause cancer. When we cook with these oils, more free radicals are formed. These vegetable oils which look clean and have no smell are actually completely denatured and carcinogenic.

Manufacturers cannot use liquid oils in baked goods or frying, and they are not spreadable. So to harden the liquid vegetable oils to make margarine and shortening, they put the oils through a process called partial hydrogenation. To make margarine or shortening, first the oil is extracted under high temperature and pressure, and the remaining fraction of oil is removed with hexane solvents. Then the oils are steam cleaned, a process that removes all the vitamins and anti-oxidants, but of course, the solvents and the pesticides remain. These oils are then mixed with a nickel catalyst and put into a huge high-pressure, high-temperature reactor. What goes into the reactor is a liquid, but what comes out of that reactor is a semi-solid that looks like grey cottage cheese and smells terrible. Emulsifiers are mixed in to smooth out the lumps. The product is then steam cleaned a second time to get rid of the horrible smell. Then it is bleached to get rid of the grey color. At this point, the product can be used as vegetable shortening.

To make margarine, they add artificial flavors and synthetic vitamins. You may be comforted to know that manufacturers are not allowed to add a synthetic color to margarine. So they add annatto or some other natural coloring. It is then packaged in blocks and tubs. Advertising promotes this garbage as a health food.
Trans Fats in Hydrogenated Oils

Trans fatty acids are the type of fat molecules produced by the process called "partial hydrogenation," which rearranges the hydrogen atoms in an unsaturated fatty acid to produce a fat that is solid at room temperature.

Natural saturated fatty acids are straight molecules that pack together easily so they tend to be solid at room temperature. In a saturated fatty acid, each carbon atom is joined to two hydrogen atoms. The hydrogen atoms are arranged in pairs, thus creating electron clouds. Our cell membranes are composed of billions of fatty acids; chemical reactions occur in the cell membranes at sites where two hydrogen molecules form electron clouds.

Natural unsaturated fatty acids, such as oleic acid, tend to be liquid at room temperature. They have two or more hydrogen atoms missing where the carbons are double bonded together, but the remaining hydrogen atoms at the double bond are paired on the same side—called the cis configuration—forming an electron cloud where reactions can take place in the cell membrane.

During the process of partial hydrogenation, one of the hydrogen atoms in a pair is moved to the other side of the molecule, forming a trans fatty acid, such as elaidic acid—trans means "across." This causes the molecules to straighten out so that they pack together easily and form a solid fat at room temperature. Unfortunately, when these trans fatty acids are incorporated into the cell membrane, they are missing the hydrogen pairs needed for chemical reactions to occur. The result is dysfunction and chaos on the cellular level.

All of the margarines, shortenings, spreads, even low-trans spreads contain trans fats plus many other artificial ingredients. In the groceries stores there is just a little bit of space for the butter because all the high-profit margarine foods have totally invaded the food supply. Virtually all packaged or processed foods contain trans fatty acids. They're in all the chips and crackers, and they now use them for French fries. The industry used to fry the fries in beef tallow, which is a very safe fat, and gave a little extra profit for the cattlemen, but they have lost that market now. Today French fries are fried in partially hydrogenated soybean oil.

It used to be that when you made desserts for your kids, at least they contained butter, eggs, cream and nuts and other healthy ingredients--all good wholesome foods. Now the industry can imitate the butter, eggs and cream, so most desserts end up being mostly sugar, partially hydrogenated oils and a long list of artificial ingredients.
Problems with Hydrogenated Oils

Many, many diseases have been associated with the consumption of trans fatty acids, such as heart disease, cancer, digestive disorders and degeneration of joints and tendons (which is why we have so many hip replacements today). Trans fats are associated with auto-immune disease, skin problems, growth problems in children and learning disabilities. The only reason that we are eating this stuff is because we have been told that the competing fats and oils--butter, lard, tallow and suet, coconut oil and palm oil--are bad for us and cause heart disease. This message is nothing but industry propaganda to get us to buy substitutes.
Processed Food Affects Fertility and Facial Structure

Weston A. Price discovered that as children eat these processed foods, with each generation, the facial structure becomes more and more narrow. Healthy faces should be broad. They should have perfectly straight teeth and no cavities. When you are eating real foods, nutrient-dense foods, you get the complete and perfect expression of the genetic potential. And that genetic potential, that gift from the Creator to all of us, is perfection. We were given a perfect blueprint. Whether or not the body temple is built according to the blueprint depends on our wisdom in food choices. When primitive societies abandoned their traditional diet and began to eat processed foods, the next generation had narrowed facial structure and was much more susceptible to diseases of every sort.

We know from animal studies that if you continue a deficient diet for three generations, reproduction ceases and that's what we're seeing now. About 25% of our couples are infertile, and if we don't go back to a diet that produces good facial structure and good health, the human race will simply die out.
Factory Food Preparation--Is Your Food Made by Caring Hands?

Artificial flavors and preservatives are made by chemical companies in factories; they are not being made by the loving hands of a cook. All the artificial ingredients added to the food help the rich get richer and the general public get sicker. The industry has completely processed the life out of the food and then as a concession to the public, thrown in a handful of artificial nutrients. Can you imagine what kind of feeling, what kind of radiation comes from that factory food?
Spiritual Food Preparation--Made with Love

I'd like to end with a wonderful quote about cooking from an esoteric source: "If a woman could see the sparks of light going forth from her fingertips when she is cooking, and the substance of light that goes into the food she handles, she would be amazed to see how much of herself she charges into the meals that she prepares for her family and friends. It is one of the most important and least understood activities of life, that the radiation and feeling that go into the preparation of food affect everyone who partakes of it. And this activity should be unhurried, peaceful, and happy because the substance of the lifestream performing the service flows into that food and is eaten, and actually becomes part of the energy of the receiver. It would be better that an individual did not eat at all than to eat food that has been prepared under a feeling of anger, apathy, resentment, depression, or any outward pressure." (Maha Chohan, Electrons)

Think of the vibration that in all this food that is made in factories. Nourishing foods starts with the way we farm---the farmer who farms with wisdom and love for the land, the dairyman who farms with love for his animals, the cheese maker who makes cheese with the love of her craft, the baker who bakes with the love of the final product, the beverage maker who makes the type of delicious and nutritious beverage that should be produced in every town and hamlet. Traditional processing puts not only good nutrition, but the vibration of love into our food.

To continue with our quote. "The energy goes into the food and when it is eaten by the receiver actually blesses the receiver. That is why the advanced spiritual teachers of the East never eat food prepared by anyone other than their own chelas (disciples). The person preparing the food may be the only one in the household who is spiritually advanced (this is often the case). An active charge of happiness, purity, and peace will pour forth into the food from him, and this pours forth into the other members of the family and blesses them. There are more ways than one of allowing the Spirit of God to enter the flesh of man."

So I hope that from what I have shown you, you will turn away from godless food. Someone from the family needs to get back in the kitchen. It doesn't mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen, but you need to spend some time in the kitchen preparing food with love, food that has been grown with love and prepared with wisdom and love. If no one in the family has time to go into the kitchen and prepare food, you need to sit down and rethink how you are spending your time because there is simply no other way to get nourishing foods into our children.

The situation is really very critical. If we don't return to good eating practices one mouth at a time, one meal at a time, one farm at a time, preparing our own food and preparing it properly, there is not going to be another generation.

About the Author

Sally Fallon MorellSally Fallon Morell is the author of Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats (with Mary G. Enig, PhD), a well-researched, thought-provoking guide to traditional foods with a startling message: Animal fats and cholesterol are not villains but vital factors in the diet, necessary for normal growth, proper function of the brain and nervous system, protection from disease and optimum energy levels. She joined forces with Enig again to write Eat Fat, Lose Fat, and has authored numerous articles on the subject of diet and health. The President of the Weston A. Price Foundation and founder of A Campaign for Real Milk, Sally is also a journalist, chef, nutrition researcher, homemaker, and community activist. Her four healthy children were raised on whole foods including butter, cream, eggs and meat.