Tag Archives: gmo

7 Reasons Your Amazing Real Food Diet Isn’t Working

Cleaning up your diet is a great place to start, but even if you’ve quit eating junk food and drinking sodas and started cooking real food at home you still might not be feeling as fabulous as you’d like. That may be because there are still toxins lurking in your life. Find these toxins and clean them out and your clean-eating diet will work much better.

Dr. Louisa Williams, author of Radical Medicine: Cutting-Edge Natural Therapies That Treat the Root Causes of Disease, gave an all-day lecture at the Wise Traditions 2013 Convention in Atlanta. (I blogged about the convention here, here and here.) Dr. Williams listed seven areas where our modern lives have created obstacles to real health.

1. Chemicals in our soil and water.  Pesticides, insecticides and herbicides linger in soil and hazardous_chemicalsseep into our groundwater, oceans and rivers; and they stick around a long time. Even though PCBs were banned in 1976, but almost 40 years later they are still found all over the world. Now Round-up, the most popular weed killer in the U.S., can be measured in farm soil 30 years after the last spraying.

2. Mercury amalgam fillings. These “silver” fillings can be found in the mouth of nearly ever baby-boomer. They were cheap, easy and fast to put in. After years of study they are finally being phased out for mercury-free alternatives.

3. Increased mandatory injection of vaccines. In 1950 the number of vaccinations given was seven per child spaced out over several years. As of 2013 American children are given up to 69 per child from birth through college. Most of these come in multiples given within the first few years of the child’s life. Enough research has accumulated that shows the current vaccine schedule should be re-evaluated, vaccines account for the most adverse drug reactions. Giving multiple drugs at one time raises even greater risk.

4. EMF stress. Electromagnetic Fields can be natural or man-made. It is the man-made fields that are so prevalent and strong they can disrupt our sleep and even our cell growth. Sources include power lines, electrical transformers, machines, appliances, broadcasting technologies and mobile devices.

5. GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms).  Nearly all of the soy, corn, canola and cottonseed grown is genetically modified.  As the list of GMO foods grows so does the list of adverse side-effects. I’ve written several articles about concerns over GMOs. You can find them here, here,  and here.

6. Prescription Drug Advertising. In 1997 the United States became the first of only two countries in the whole world to allow direct-to-consumer advertising, as well as celebrity endorsement, of drugs only available by a doctor’s prescription. It is perfectly legal for pharmaceutical companies to hire talented marketing firms to manipulate the general public into desiring prescription drugs.

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Pew Charitable Trust

7. Widespread Use of Antibiotics. Handing out antibiotics like clowns tossing candy in a parade is only part of the problem that has caused the World Health Organization to say that antibiotic resistance is now a bigger crisis than Aids threatening to turn back the clock on modern medicine. An even bigger cause of these superbugs is the flagrant administration of antibiotics in animal feed.  Instead of improving the inhumane, crowded, disgusting living conditions of beef, pork and chicken the industrial agricultural system pours on larger and larger doses of antibiotics trying to keep the animals healthy long enough to make it to slaughter.

Until we can clean up these seven major areas of toxicity in our own lives we aren’t going to be able to achieve the best health for ourselves and our families.

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Hybrid vs. GMO – What is the Difference?

I’ve been hearing lately that people are confused about what it means exactly to be GMO and how that is different from being hybridized. I’m posting this in hopes of clearing up that confusion. Please let me know in the comments if you still have questions.

Think back to elementary school science class about how we classify all living things. We start with the very broadest of categories, called Kingdoms, and then get narrower and narrower, until we reach one single living thing. For example here’s the classification for a cow:   Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Chordata, Class Mammalia, Order Artiodactyla, Family Bovidae, Genus Bos, Species Bos taurus or Cow

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Bos taurus or Cow

In nature things cannot reproduce with other things that are not closely related. Usually this means they have to at least be the same Species or the same Genus. So even if two things are in the same Kingdom, Phylum, or Class they cannot breed together. This is why we don’t have Minotaurs, Centaurs or Hippogriffs roaming around.

 

 

Hybrid

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Cockapoo

 

A Toyota Prius is a hybrid car. It combines features from gas and electric cars to create a new kind of car that can use both fuels. A hybrid living thing is a lot like the Prius. Two different, but closely-related, organisms reproduce to make a new offspring. This happens in nature when a Blue-winged warbler mates with a Gold-winged warbler and they have little baby Lawrence warbler chicks, hybrids between the Blue and Gold. People can facilitate hybrids like when a Cocker Spaniel is bred with a poodle to make designer puppies called Cockapoos. In each case, whether bird or dog, the organisms are close enough that they can reproduce without surgical or technological help. Hybridizing techniques have been used for centuries to make more beautiful roses, hardier tomatoes, and fluffier sheep, and a whole lot more.

 

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism)

A Genetically Modified Organism is a living thing, whether plant, bacteria, insect or animal, whose genetic material has been altered using technology through genetic engineering techniques. Perhaps a better name more clearly expressing this combination of genetically unrelated things would be trans-genic . This biotech process produces a completely new living organism with novel genetic material. These completely modern organisms cannot happen without technological intervention because they combine two unrelated things.

hippogriff

hippogriff

 

Like the mythological Hippogriff that combined lion and eagle to create something entirely its own new being, the biotechnology that combines genetically unrelated organisms has created a new population of seemingly mythical creatures. So far GMO technology has produced combinations of such unrelated organisms as corn with jellyfish, sugarcane with human, corn with hepatitis virus, soybean with soil bacteria, canola with bay tree, spiders with goats, fish with strawberries, corn with bacteria, and pigs with jellyfish.

When foreign DNA invades your body, as when a cold virus tries to live in your nose, you automatically launch an attack to get rid of it. The watery eyes, the runny nose, all that mucus – that’s your body trying to evict the invaders. The genes of all living things naturally guard against foreign DNA. As we discussed at the beginning of this article, unless two things are closely related, their DNA does not willingly combine. In order to create trans-genic GMO it requires outside intervention, special technology; and truthfully this technology isn’t all that precise.

To insert foreign DNA into a non-compliant organism requires drastic measures. We use gene guns with DNA-coated ammunition and shoot them at cells; we use electric shocks to tear holes into cells to stick in the new DNA; we use viruses to “infect” cells with new DNA. Out of thousands of bombarded cells only a few get successfully re-engineered.

We are still learning about genetic expression and the environment’s effect on our genes. The field of epigenetics is in its infancy. We do know every living thing is connected by the vast web of life. Not only are there unknown consequences to altering living things by tampering with their genes, but the natural environment is also at risk.  A trans-genic plant produces pollen that blows on the wind; insects chew these plants and are then eaten by other animals; small animals live in the fields and nest among the roots of these plants. A GMO fish swims away with its new genetic material sharing it with other fish as it mates, and sharing it with the animal that eats it for supper.

We already know that pollen from GMO corn carried by the wind has landed on milkweed plants killing off monarch butterfly larvae who were eating the pollen-coated milkweed. The monarch butterfly already has “Near Threatened” status. This surely won’t help its recovery.

When plants and animals used as food are genetically modified, it can also change their nutritional profile.  It can give them too much or too little of certain nutrients, or even create new kinds of proteins that have never been in our food supply. This affects the animals and people that eat them. Safety testing has been left up to the companies that produce these GMO foods. The FDA does not do independent testing. Some in the scientific community are now taking it on themselves to test GMOs and are finding toxins, allergens and nutritional problems to be just the tip of the iceberg.

For more about GMOs go here or here or here. This blog is being posted on the Sunday Social Blog Hop.

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3 Reasons to Rethink Trust

Everyday we put our trust in things. We trust the coffeemaker to come on when we add coffee and flip the switch.  We trust the stoplights to function properly so some people have to stop while others can go. We trust our car to get us where we need to go. But sometimes we trust in the wrong things. We trust in the front of the cereal box to tell us the truth. We trust in government regulatory agencies to make decisions that are in our best interest. We trust in pharmaceutical and biotech companies to adequately test their products.

Proverbs 3:5-10 Struck a chord with me last year and I began mulling all of this over. The scriptures say this:    Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops; 10 then your barns will be filled to overflowing, and your vats will brim over with new wine.

We are trusting in the wrong things. When we spend our money on something as essential to the life and health of our family as our food we cannot blindly trust companies who are “wise in their own ways”.

There is no government regulation on the words “all natural” and anyone can use them.  Farmers can spray pesticides, herbicides and use crops genetically modified to produce their own pesticide within the whole plant including the part we eat. Food processors can spray fumigants, solvents and other toxins on the ingredients. They can add a dozen different kinds of highly processed sugar and rancid oils, but as long as they originally came from something natural, even though it’s GMO, then it can be called natural on the label.

The government makes laws that appear to protect us such as the one requiring trans fats to be labeled, but then they allow the food processing companies to exploit the loopholes. So we can have a label that says “0g of trans fat” when a quick look at the ingredients reveals partially and fully hydrogenated oils, mono- and di-glycerides which are all trans fats. According to Fooducate “if the amount of trans-fat in a product is less than half a gram per serving, manufacturers can round it down to 0. But even 0.49g or trans-fat is bad for you. And don’t even get us started on the actual consumption versus the tiny serving size.”

Our current Deputy Commissioner for Foods at the FDA, Michael Taylor, held the job as public policy adviser for GMO biotech giant Monsanto before taking the office with the FDA. Now he is in charge of approving drugs and foods that come from his former employer. This happens a lot.  Researchers for biotech companies submit scientific reports for review by the FDA and then, before the review happens, they get hired by the FDA and end up reviewing their own research for approval.

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a view inside my freezer

I want to have “health for my body and nourishment for my bones” like the verses in Proverbs proclaim. One way I am doing this is by trusting God’s real food over the packaged and altered foods lining many grocery store shelves. When you look in my pantry, my deep freeze, my refrigerator you won’t see many processed foods at all. Most everything is just a single ingredient such as frozen blueberries, sprouted organic cornmeal, grassfed ground beef, or raw almonds ready to be processed into something to eat by my own hands. When I do buy processed foods I am careful to read the ingredient list not trusting the manufacturer’s claims. I use smartphone apps like Find Real Food and Fooducate.   These help me identify if something has hidden GMOs or MSG or anything else that’s not real.

It is my prayer that many more people can become aware of the dangers of misplaced trust as it relates to the food our families eat. I have only scratched the surface with what I’ve written here today. I hope to explore more on this topic in future blogs. I’d also love to hear what you are doing to trust in the Lord with all your heart as you go about your daily life! Please leave me a comment below!

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A farmer trusting the honesty of his customers “please put money in box”

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Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Coming Soon to a Town Near You

Last week I was asked to be a guest and local food representative for the Peace & Justice Initiatives Conversations Week at Valencia College in Orlando.  The college spent the week discussing various hot topics related to Justice including local food and sustainability. I set up a table full of free information and answered questions about the Weston A Price Foundation and our local chapter’s activities. They had several movies showing throughout the day including Genetic Roulette and Food, Inc. After the evening showing of Food, Inc. there was a panel discussion with five of us from the local food community. In the middle of our discussion we had the good fortune to be joined by Genetic Roulette’s author, Jeffrey Smith, via Skype.  Jeffrey was in the Florida Keys working with the local government and concerned citizens debating whether or not they should allow Oxitec, a British biotech company, to release millions of experimental genetically engineered mosquitoes into the Florida Keys.

Jeffrey Smith was there to testify in front of a control board. The GE mosquitoes have already been released in the Cayman Islands, Malaysia and Brazil. The purpose behind the experiment was to reduce Dengue Fever, a virus spread by mosquito bites that results in painful joints, rash and other symptoms but is rarely fatal.  According to a TED Talk video from Oxitech’s website the company is concerned about their product’s effect on the environment and they “don’t want to do anything we can’t undo.”  They really should have called Jeffrey Smith BEFORE the experiments were done and before the initial release into the environment. He had quite a list of concerns to ask Oxitec, some of which they had not yet considered.

mosquitoThe genetically engineered (GE) mosquito is supposed to be only male and carries a special genetically modified DNA strand in its genes that causes all the offspring to die. In theory the GE males mate with the wild females who then lay their eggs which hatch and then promptly die. When it works, the Dengue Fever-carrying mosquito population can be reduced up to 80%. As you can guess, however, it doesn’t always work the way it’s supposed to. It turns out the GE gene is stable in the lab, but once released many mosquitoes are living instead of dying. It just so happens that exposure to the antibiotic tetracycline causes the GE gene to fail and the offspring to survive instead of die off. Thanks to the industrial animal feeding industry, tetracycline can be found just about anywhere there are factory-farmed chickens, including in bowls of dog food (made from chicken) left outside in the neighborhoods where GE mosquitoes have been released. In addition, not all of the mosquitoes are male. In reality one or two in every thousand are females fully capable of reproducing offspring with who knows what kind of altered DNA.

When the scientists at the University of Florida asked to review Oxitec’s data and run their own tests before the bugs were released, Oxitec said “no” because it was patented material. No transparency in something as serious as this and I think I would complain too, just like the UF scientists are doing!  Not only will they not let outside tests be run, they are only just now checking to see if the GE protein is transmitted in the saliva of the GE bugs. When a mosquito bites someone the saliva is the transmitter for the various diseases, and saliva is made up of protein.  The altered proteins in the DNA of the GE mosquito are also of concern to Smith. There is a slight chance that this altered DNA could cause other portions of the mosquito DNA to change possibly releasing some heretofore unknown virus or disease that, given the right circumstances, could have a devastating effect on humans.

All of this is so crazy, it sounds like something out of Jurassic Park, but unfortunately it is real and it is happening right on our doorstep! Companies have been altering organisms in laboratories for years hoping for biotech solutions to the world’s problems. To quote fellow panel member Richard Kann, “Franken-Science is a very dangerous thing. We have no idea what the results of this type of genetic engineering might produce.”  Please support Jeffrey Smith’s work at the Institute for Responsible Technology, stay informed, and write or call your local politicians.

Wise Traditions 2013 Day Three Synopsis

My apologies for taking so long to get this last blog up. As soon as the final session was over on Sunday we had to jump in the car and head home. For me that was two days of car travel,supergold kvass zukay but then once back home I turned right back around and started on another trip out west to visit more family. I’m writing this now from a hotel room in Tulsa. It’s kind of crazy to go from a weekend of fabulously healthy, farm fresh food for three meals a day straight into the food deserts of the airports and life on the road. I’m thankful to have found Zukay Live Foods Super Gold spicy beet kvass at the Tulsa Whole Foods yesterday. Dr. Mercola said one serving of fermented vegetables (this kvass qualifies for that!) is equal to a whole bottle of probiotic supplements.  Ok, on to my synopsis of the final day’s sessions….

I began the morning in a packed house to hear Dr. Joe Mercola. As usual, he was engaging and funny and had lots of good ideas. His loosely-organized talk on the failed drug system of conventional medicine was really an overview of his own recipe to take control of your own health. He had 12 bullet points with accompanying power point photo illustrations. I’ll list them here, but if you’ve spent any time on his website you are probably familiar with many already. The title of the talk could also be “Optimize Your Gut Flora”.  1. No sugar (you knew this was important!) 2. Reduce grains (or for the bold, eliminate grains entirely) 3. Eat lots of good vegetables and sprouts 4. Eat fermented vegetables, learn to ferment your own vegetables and fruits. We surprised Joe on this one…he said for anyone who had ever made their own fermented vegetables to raise their hand. Pretty much the whole room held hands high, and he was blown away. Said he’d never talked to an audience where the vast majority were fermenters much less even knew about it. This is when he told us that a 2-3oz serving of fermented vegetables has 100 trillion beneficial bacteria and is equal to an entire bottle of probiotic supplements. 6. Grow and eat your own sprouts. He recommends sprouting in soil rather than just in a sprouting dish. Sprouts have 30x the nutrients as the mature vegetable with sunflower seed sprouts being the highest. There are directions on his website on how to sprout using trays of soil. Takes about 5 days from start to finish. 7. Drink pure water. He said this was a good “gateway” first step for anyone wanting to begin the journey to health. 8. Eat a HIGH FAT diet. Especially for anyone who is currently insulin or leptin resistant he recommends using intermittent fasting techniques and converting to a fat-adapted diet rather than a glucose-burning diet. On the topic of fat-burning and eating high fat (good fats like coconut oil, butter) that insulin and leptin resistance lead to heart disease and cancer. Another moment of surprise for Dr. Mercola came when he asked anyone who has had a heart attack to raise their hand. In the packed auditorium of several hundred people only one person raised their hand – Mercola was stunned saying he attributed the low heart attack count to our healthy WAPF diets. 9. Exercise was next. Cardio, sitting killshe says, is not the most efficient. Better exercise is one that activates fast twitch muscles such as the Peak 8 training program. Great photo from this segment was a picture of a comfy chair with the caption “sitting kills”. 10. Grounding or Earthing – going barefoot on the earth or ocean activating a free flow of electrons to replicate natural principles to help naturally thin your blood. 11. Keep cell phones off and away from your body. 12. Small initiatives can make a big differences: say no to GMOs, Fluoride removal from city water supplies, ban mercury in dentistry, and the National Vaccine Information Center.

From Mercola I went upstairs to a more intimate classroom area to hear Dr. Deborah Gordon speak about Preventing Breast Cancer. This class was packed full of information, so much so that I want to do a more in-depth blog just on this topic. So what I give you here is just the surface of the deep pool.  First of all it is important to know that Prevention does not equal  Detection. 68% of women actually think mammograms prevent breast cancer. The industry claims they are the only way, but in reality there are many things you can do to help prevent breast cancer (and all cancers).  Prevention can come both before and after a diagnosis of breast cancer. It is important to know your personal risk factor. The Cancer.gov website has a Breast Cancer Risk Assessment Tool you can use to start with. Don’t stop there. Know about all the risk factors. Things like family history, age, race, age of menstruation/menopause, age of first full-term pregnancy, and breastfeeding all play a role. We have all heard of BRCA genes and while genetics themselves are fixed the epigenetics are modifiable. This means the environment we live in and the lifestyle we live. Exposure to radiation, carcinogens, toxic hormone modifiers and other substances are all risk factors we can lower or eliminate by lifestyle choices. Biggest is with food, personal care products, our homes and our lives. Keep cell phones away from your body and NEVER carry them in your bra! Choose organic foods and non-toxic cosmetics and cleaners. Parabens in deodorants are big cancer offenders. Use the EWG’s Skin Deep website to find good products. Never put anything on your skin you can’t safely eat. Sleep in a completely dark room, exercise – especially intense exercise for better hormone/metabolism/insulin. Have a little red wine – One 6oz serving per day at most. Manage your stress! Stress hormones kept low allow all your other glands to operate optimally! Eliminate sugar – many cancers are dependent on sugar, but humans are not. Vitamin D, probiotics, fermented foods, iodine, selenium, turmeric are all good. Statins double the risk of breast cancer.

Third up was a lecture called “Failed Promises-Flawed Science” from retired Col. Dr. Huber, Professor Emeritus Purdue University. Dr. Huber’s research into GMOs is legendary and stretches back 20 years or more to the inception of the biotech industry. This was another lecture that deserves its own blog post (or two or three). For this lecture he focused mainly on the herbicide glyphosate, brand name “Round Up”, used in GMO agriculture. Setting aside the actual GMO plants we learned that glyphosate on its own was a huge problem. It is a chelator of all cations, inhibits enzymes, shuts down the shikimate pathway (which I wrote about here), is a strong antibiotic (glyphosate was first marketed as an antibiotic before being used as an herbicide), and accumulates in shoot, root and reproductive tissues, accumulates in the soils, is toxic to beneficial soil organisms and just all-around nasty. Because of widespread glyphosate usage we are now seeing re-emergence of old diseases as well as brand new ones. Things like Corynespora Root Rot, Goss’ Wilt of Corn, Take-All of Wheat and Sudden Death Syndrome are all plaguing farmers now. It only takes 1/2 oz per ACRE of glyphosate to damage crops with low vigor, lower yields, and lower mineral values. Even after 30 years the glyphosate is still present in fields – it doesn’t go away. Now on to the crops themselves….There is a reduction in the nutrients from 13%-52% in RoundUp Ready (RR) crops. It takes extra fertilizer and micronutrients just to get these crops out of the ground. Animals fed GMO feed struggle due to nutrient deficiencies directly as a result of deficient feed plants. RR plants have a high amount of formaldehyde and contain at least 13% glyphosate within the plant itself. Mice and squirrels will ignore GMO feed corn due to the formaldehyde content. 80% of the beef livers from commercially raised and slaughtered cows have to be thrown away directly due to the premature aging from the GMO feed. 20% of all pregnancies in commercially raised dairy cattle are lost due to insufficiencies in the feed.  Erosion of the stomach and intestines from GMO soy and corn reproduce symptoms of autism in herds of animals eating GMO feed. When the GMO feed is removed the symptoms go away. Glyphosate presents long-term toxicity to liver, kidney and tissues and is a long-term carcinogen. Refining oils from GMO crops (soy, canola) concentrates this effect. We even have a new disease called Morgellan’s disease linked to GMOs.

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buchi was a sponsor for Wise Traditions

The last session of the day was Kombucha and Cancer Therapies – Historic and Modern from Kombucha Kamp found Hannah Crum. Hannah’s bubbly personality spilled out like effervescent kombucha bringing a joyful tone to the serious topic of cancer.  Something I knew but forgot was that kombucha is not a lacto-fermented beverage like kefir or kvass. Instead it is an acetic acid ferment similar to apple cider vinegar. Vinegar is about 5% acetic acid while kombucha is a more drinkable 1%.  Hannah repeated what Deborah Gordon said about cancer being caused by environmental factors such as diet, toxins, lack of exercise and radiation.  Much of the research done on kombucha is from other countries where kombucha consumption is more the norm than it is in the US.  Stalin urged research on kombucha in the 1800s because he feared getting cancer. His scientists discovered a population in Russia living near an asbestos mine that should have been sick but instead the people were healthy – they drank kombucha. Dr. Rudolf Sklenar in Germany used kombucha to prevent cancer as well as treat and cure it using daily protocols of probiotics and kombucha. More recent research shows promise using kombucha to help heal diabetes, to repair kidneys from exposure to toxins such as carcinogenic solvents, to lower levels of radiation poisoning and to reduce human cancer cell activity. Hannah gave an in depth look at all the good things in kombucha from polyphenols to healing acids, and talked about how kombucha is a “gateway ferment”. People who are new to fermented foods often like kombucha just because it’s fizzy and it tastes good, but they keep drinking it because it makes them feel good.

 

Next year Wise Traditions 2014 will be in Indianapolis – I hope you can attend!

 

 

Money Money Money

money clip artWatch a half hour of television and you will see evidence of some of the richest pseudo-nations in the world. PepsiCo just posted 3rd quarter earnings of $1.19 BILLION dollars! Billion – with a B – dollars! And that’s just their earnings – their actual 3rd quarter sales were SIXTEEN BILLION DOLLARS!  Pepsi’s yearly earnings make them worth more than nearly 60% of the world’s countries.  WalMart’s revenues, earning $22 Billion in net sales last year, are larger than Sweden’s GDP.

PepsiCo and WalMart are just the tip of the iceberg. Mars, Soyjoy, Kellog, General MIlls, Coca-Cola, Abbott, McNeil, Unilever, Hersheys and Aramark total $470 BILLION DOLLARS in revenue. Biotech giant Monsanto reported earning $2.4 BILLION last year. What do we know about the role of money in this world today? Those with the most money can wield the most power.  A perfect example came just yesterday (November 5, 2013) when the state of Washington set a record for most money raised for an initiative campaign in the history of the state. More than $21.4 million was spent to defeat mandatory GMO labeling in Washington.  The final vote was 54% against labeling to 45% for labeling. The individuals sponsoring “Vote Yes” spent $6.3 million.  However that $21.4 Million represented less than .005% of the profits available to the giant corporations opposing the initiative.

Yes, we know money talks. Money is power. We also know “some people, eager for money, GMO supporters and opposers croppedhave wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the ADA) is the go-to organization for health and nutrition information and policy from the government. They are the credentialing agency for anyone becoming a Registered Dietitian. They work directly with state and federal legislators in forming public policy regarding nutrition, Medicare, food safety and more.  Yet the corporate sponsorship of the Academy is nearly identical to the list of companies making major contributions to defeat GMO labeling in both Washington and earlier in California.  The money behind the dietary policy makers for our country comes from Abbott Nutrition (makers of Ensure and Similac), Coca-Cola, the National Dairy Council (confinement cows fed bakery waste), Kelloggs (world’s leading producer of cereal and convenience food), McCormick, PepsiCo, SoyJoy, and Unilever (Country Crock, I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter, etc.).

There is just too much money at stake here for the largest licensing, certification, registrationpuppets on string credentialing agency in the U.S. to be promoting advice that places their sponsors in a bad light. The agency’s budget is several million dollars each year. So the ongoing dogma of “eat lean protein, fat-free dairy, vegetable oils and plenty of grains” isn’t going to stop anytime soon. As Zoe Harcombe once said “If you demonize REAL food, people will HAVE to eat non-real food.” Which is what appears to be happening more and more and more.

What They Don’t Know CAN Hurt YOU!

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what they don't know can hurt you

One of the main arguments proponents of GMO crops give is that they are just as safe as regular crops. Possibly one of the most well-known of the GMO crops are those that are “Roundup Ready”, meaning farmers can spray their fields with the herbicide Round-Up (chemical name glyphosate) and it won’t kill the crops, only the weeds.  This works because the plants have been modified to resist the active ingredient in the herbicide.  The genetic engineers who developed this technology say it is totally safe for humans because they are not plants. Sounds logical? On the surface yes, but since we really encourage critical thinking here at Well Fed Family we aren’t going to take something just on the surface – we ask questions and dig a little deeper!

Here is what a simple search of Wikipedia revealed. Normally I tend not to trust Wikipedia with highly controversial topics simply because either side of the issue can come in and rewrite evidence they don’t agree with. GMO-related posts on Wikipedia are constantly changing depending on who gets hold of them that day. However the following quote is actually fact-based. It tells the mechanism that makes a plant Round-Up Ready.

“One of the most famous kinds of GM crops are “Roundup Ready”, or glyphosate-resistant. Glyphosate, (the active ingredient in Roundup) kills plants by interfering with the shikimate pathway in plants, which is essential for the synthesis of the aromatic amino acids phenylalanine, tyrosine and tryptophan. More specifically, glyphosate inhibits the enzyme 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (EPSPS).

The shikimate pathway is not present in animals, which instead obtain aromatic amino acids from their diet.”

gut and liverSo again, on the surface it sounds fine. We aren’t plants, we don’t have a shikimate pathway. We get our amino acids from the food we eat.  We can eat GMO crops that have been heavily sprayed with glyphosate and it won’t matter one bit – what do you think?  Well think about this – our gut flora, the trillions of microorganisms living in symbiosis within our digestive tract, DO have shikimate pathways. They DO need this pathway functioning in order to make essential amino acids for their survival. When we eat foods doused in glyphosate/Round-Up we ARE harming our                                                                                    gut bacteria!

Let’s dig a little deeper – not only does glyphosate/Round-Up kill our gut bacteria, it also shuts down our own body’s production of CYP (cytochrome P450) enzymes.  CYP enzymes are critical to our ability to detoxify foreign substances that enter our body whether through food, drink, medicines or vaccines. This leaves us more vulnerable to inflammation of all kinds when we can’t detoxify dangerous substances.

Many if not most of the diseases we face today are directly related to the deteriorating health of our gut flora and our inability to overcome inflammation.  Everything from Alzheimer’s to cancer, diabetes to heart disease, depression to digestive disorders can be linked to either or both of these key areas.

Just because we are not plants doesn’t mean eating herbicide, or eating crops designed to GMO verificationbe heavily sprayed by herbicides, is a safe thing to do.  Look for the Non-GMO Project Verified logo on packages. Purchase organic whenever possible to avoid food sprayed with glyphosate.

 

 What are YOU doing to avoid GMOs in your family’s food supply? Leave us a comment here. Tweet this post to spread the word!

This was shared with Wellness Wednesday.

3 Important Questions To Ask Before You Eat

 

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Wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to know whether or not something was healthy to eat or not? There are so many people and organizations and agencies and companies telling us to eat this and not that, or to avoid this and emphasize that, or this is bad and that is good, or… well, you know what I’m talking about!

I remember the first time I heard someone say “Fat isn’t bad, it’s important.” I’d spent years deciphering how to read fat grams and figure daily fat percentages in what was apparently a futile exercise in how to be less healthy rather than more healthy. Now 7 years later and I still meet people every day who think they’re being healthy when they drink skim milk, make egg white omelets or choose fat-free sugar-free yogurt over bacon.  (Bacon!)  I wish I’d known about these three important questions years ago. It would have made me think more critically not only about what I was eating but also about the dietary misinformation being hyped all the time.  But I’m telling you and now you will be equipped to make much better choices than I did for so long!

Question #1 – Is what I am eating actually food?not food

Why, you ask, would we eat something that WASN’T food?  Seriously – people do it ALL.  THE. TIME.  There are things currently in our food supply that were never meant to be food in the first place. But somehow they made it in there. Things like artificial colors (made from petroleum!), artificial flavorings (and even the natural flavorings aren’t so great – beaver glands anyone?), artificial sweeteners (neurotoxins linked to all kinds of diseases), and chemical preservatives (proven to cause hyperactivity among other things).  Azodicarbonamide (banned in Europe for stimulating asthma it gives us miracle bread that stays soft and never molds ever), sodium hexametaphosphate (in your frosted flakes, and also in the cardboard box itself, this one can damage kidneys, heart and decalcify your bones), dimethylpolysiloxane (in your contact lenses and shampoo, but in your chicken nuggets too?!) – those are just a few of the thousands and thousands of additives people eat every day that are not food. Most of them are GRAS (Generally Recognized As Safe) which is a status our government awards ingredients if less than a certain percentage of people get sick right away. Long term consumption studies? Forget it. GRAS status gets awarded in just a few months. It takes years before people figure out there may be a problem.

Question #2 – Is the food I am eating as close as possible to the way God created it?michelangelo fingers

Example 1: at least a dozen or more steps and several chemical solvents plus high heat and pressure are needed to take rapeseed and turn it into a bottle of canola oil.  Butter can be made in two or three steps depending on whether you want salted or unsalted, cultured or sweet. Children can make butter.  Canola oil is highly altered. Butter is something that could happen to cream accidentally if you whipped it too much.  Refining foods is generally just a bad idea. Refined white flour, refined sugars, refined salt, refined oils – all the important vitamins, minerals and enzymes are stripped away making these items into something harmful rather than healthful.

GMO (Genetically Modified Organism) is a biggie, too.  In the wild you will never see a salmon mate with a tomato. You will never find bacillus thuringiensis cross pollinating with corn. Plants and animals just don’t breed with each other. However you can shoot the DNA from one organism into the cells of another by using a particle accelerator to create a sort of Frankenstein creature.  These biotech plants are now in our food supply. Many folks are calling them Frankenfoods. Unfortunately you can’t just turn a package over and read the ingredient list to find GMOs like you can find (and avoid) trans fat or artificial colors. There’s no law requiring the labeling of GMOs yet. Buying organic or looking for the Non-GMO Verified seal are the only ways to be sure.

Question #3 – Does this food cause a problem for me?oreos and rats

A recent study showed us that Oreos are more addictive than cocaine. (Did we need a study to tell us this?) We already know white sugar and white flour are addictive. The same is true for MSG (monodsodium glutamate) and aspartame. We can also have cravings and addictions for foods to which we are actually allergic! Gluten and lactose are biggies in that respect. They can act like opium in our blood and brain and cause physical addiction and cravings for people who are actually sensitive to it and shouldn’t be eating it. Oddly enough digestive discomfort is not one of the primary symptoms of gluten or dairy sensitivity. Usually it shows up as headaches or sinus infections or even arthritis or brain fog.  If you eliminate the food for a week or two and find your unexplained aches and pains going away, or your mental alertness returning then you’ve probably discovered a food sensitivity.

I hope these three easy questions will help you on your journey to good health. Let me know how you do when you try them out. I think they are an easy way to teach kids how to make good choices too! Share with us how you make good choices. Leave a comment here or on Facebook

 

 

Great Customer Service Response from Branfords Originals Sauces Company!

Branford BBQ sauceI had made a quick trip into Whole Foods the week of July 4th and made an impulse purchase. I bought two bottles of Branfords Originals BBQ Sauce. They were on sale BOGO and I needed a sauce for the BBQ spareribs we were having. I did a big “no-no” in buying it…I didn’t read the label! BUT – and here’s my big excuse – I WAS AT WHOLE FOODS! I let my guard down thinking “Hey, It’s Whole Foods. They’ve already scoped out these products right? It can’t be that bad…”  Because they say things like “Our goal at Whole Foods Market is to provide informed consumer choice with regard to genetically engineered ingredients (also known as GMOs or Genetically Modified Organisms). Clearly labeled products enable shoppers who want to avoid foods made with GMOs to do so.”

So we used the sauce. It was delicious! We scarfed down every last one of those spareribs and used nearly an entire bottle of the Branfords BBQ sauce. Did I mention it was good? That evening as I was cleaning up I stopped for a minute to read the back of the sauce bottle.  Ketchup, sugar, garlic, vinegar…the twelfth ingredient down jumped out at me…soy protein! My antenna went up – GMO alert! I pulled out my iPhone, fired up the Fooducate app (I’m mad at them now, but that’s another story) and scanned the barcode.  Strike out! The product was too new to be in their database. Next step: write the company.  They were easy to find on the internet. Here’s my letter:

Hello,
I purchased two bottles of original BBQ sauce today and we used one with our 4th of July cookout. Belatedly I noticed soy protein as one of your ingredients. I need to know if it is GMO soy or not. We like your sauce but will not purchase any more if you are using GMO ingredients. We can get GMO anytime, we’d rather have a quality non-GMO choice to buy instead!
Thanks for your consideration.
Sincerely,
Lee Burdett

Nearly two weeks passed and I’d just about forgotten the incident. The unopened second bottle of branfordsoriginals-picturesauce was hiding behind the vinegars in my pantry. Then I sat down this afternoon to check my email and discovered a reply from the company owner, Everardo Branford! His response could be a template for all business owners and customer service employees around the country!

Dear customer, first I will like to apologize for the delay in responding to your question I have been researching with my bottling company to ensure the correct response to your inquiry. The product is a gmo product only by one ingredients and that ingredient is soy the type of brand that we have been using is a gmo, with that said you have brought this to our attention and we have decided not to use this particular brand in our products. We will search for a organic non gmo soy to replace the one previously use. We take pride in the products that we make so we are moving to produce non gmo products.
Thank you for taking the time to point out this issue and for helping us produce a healthier sauce.

How awesome is that? Big applause and high fives all around for Branfords Originals!

 

GMO verification

GMOs – What Are They? What Do We Need To Know?

Sterility and reproductive disorders, immune system malfunction and allergies, accelerated aging, gastro-intestinal disorders, organ damage, insulin dysregulation, increased aggression and anxiety,  and chronic inflammation. What does this list represent? It appears to be a list of rising health issues plaguing the United States.  But it is not.  In fact it is a list of the most common side effects found in lab animals fed GMOs. What are GMOs?  Genetically Modified Organisms are created in biotech laboratories.  Scientists take genes from two non-related organisms and force them to combine with one another. Examples created include combining fish and tomatoes, puppies and seaweed, and pigs and worms. As you see these organisms would never normally combine in nature. They are transgenic organisms.

The most common Genetically Modified Organisms are soybeans, canola, cotton and field corn modified to resist being killed by the herbicide glyphosate, also known as Round-UP; or  modified to create their own pesticide through gene combination with a bacteria called bacillus thuringiensis, also known as Bt.  Round-Up resistant crops can be sprayed with herbicides which kill the weeds around them but not the crops themselves. Bt crops don’t need to be sprayed for pests at all as every cell of those crops makes its own pesticide which bursts open the stomachs of any insect who takes a bite.candy molecules 6

While this sounds like an amazing breakthrough for farmers you need to go back to the top of the page and read once again the side effects caused when these genetically modified crops are actually eaten. Some of the most recent and compelling evidence against GMOs as food comes from a team of scientists in France led by Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini http://gmoseralini.org/en/  .

GMOs were given FDA approval in 1996 when the government gave a mandate to promote biotechnology.  Since that time there have been many crops quietly approved for commercial production including soybeans, corn, cotton, canola, alfalfa, zucchini, yellow crookneck squash and sugar beets. There are dozens more crops in the experimental stage just waiting for commercial approval. In addition to plants there are now genetically modified salmon swimming in developmental tanks and ponds just waiting their release. Even more GMO crops are already in use which manufacture specific pharmaceutical drugs for use by drug companies.

Frightening health consequences aside, there are more problems associated with GMOs and their relationship to the worldwide environment. Plants cross-pollinate. So any normal plant nearby to GMO plants will be contaminated with GMO pollen. Nearly all of the heirloom varieties of corn grown in Mexico are now contaminated with GMO corn.  Imagine what could happen if pharmaceutical-producing plants cross pollinate into the food supply and people begin consuming prescription drugs which they do not need!  The pesticides produced within GMO crops are much stronger than regular pesticides and studies have shown they can contaminate nearby streams and rivers in the same way as if the fields had been sprayed with conventional pesticides. Plants can’t discriminate between beneficial insects and harmful ones. A bee or butterfly drinking the nectar or eating the pollen of a GMO plant will also suffer the same fate as a caterpillar eating the ears of corn.

More problems arise with Round-Up and the Bt toxin. If you’ve ever done the simple experiment withcarnation and food coloring celery or a white carnation placed in a glass of food coloring you know that anything sprayed on plants will be taken up into that plant.  Round-Up, in addition to being a powerful broad-spectrum herbicide, is also a broad-spectrum antibiotic! It kills gut bacteria, particularly the beneficial gut bacteria allowing the toxic ones to overgrow.  Round-Up is also a broad-spectrum chelator of minerals. It binds to the important trace minerals in our food stopping them from being digested and instead flushes them out of our bodies. Bt pesticide toxin doesn’t just limit itself to insect stomachs, it also pokes holes in human cell walls and explodes them too.

 

jurassic park ellie sattler“You never had control, that’s the illusion! I was overwhelmed by the power of this place. But I made a mistake, too, I didn’t have enough respect for that power and it’s out now. The only thing that matters now are the people we love….they’re out there where people are dying.” -Dr. Ellie Sattler Jurassic Park 1993

 

 

If your meat is eating GMO food then you are eating it too. The toxic effects of GMO foods have been shown to carry through the food chain. Problems compound over time and with each generation eating GMO foods.  Even the rise of gluten intolerance over the last 15 years has now been linked to GMO foods in spite of the fact that there is no commercially available GMO wheat. The genetic pollution from cross pollination and self-propagation in the wild, as well as the harmful physical effects to human health make GMOs possibly the biggest environmental issue worldwide simply because once these organisms have been released they are out of our control – and people we love will be dying. http://www.responsibletechnology.org/gmo-dangers/dangers-to-the-environment

What can you do?  Vote for mandatory GMO labeling laws at state and national levels, vote with GMO verificationyour wallet by purchasing only non-GMO verified foods, download the Fooducate app for iPhone and Android at http://www.fooducate.com/ and use it to scan items at the grocery store to identify those with GMO ingredients, put your family on a GMO-free diet