Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Foods to avoid by Dr. Mercola

Here is a wonderful article from Dr. Mercola on foods to avoid and why. One note about cans and BPA. We buy ALL of our canned goods from Eden Foods. They have a wide array of canned tomatoes, beans, etc. and they are the only manufacturer that I know of that uses cans without BPA. And we buy Eden Foods (and other organic and healthy foods and products) through Azure Standard www.azurestandard.com. Buying by the case once a month saves money and hey, every little bit counts!

Food Matters asked seven experts a simple question: “What foods do you avoid?” Here are some of their eye-opening responses:

Canned Tomatoes

An endocrinologist won’t go near canned tomatoes -- the cans are lined with a resin containing BPA, and tomatoes are especially dangerous because their acid breaks the BPA down in dangerous amounts.

Conventional Beef

Conventional cattle are fed grain, corn and soy to make them fat, even though studies show that grass-fed beef is higher in important vitamins, minerals and heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory fats.

Microwave Popcorn

Perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) lines microwave popcorn bags, and when they are heated the compound, which has been linked to infertility, leaches onto the food.

Conventional Potatoes

Non-organic potatoes are heavily sprayed with herbicides, pesticides and fungicides -- many potato growers don’t eat the potatoes they sell, but instead they grow their own separate plots without all the chemicals.

Farmed Salmon

Farmed salmon are stuffed into pens and fed chicken feathers and pellets. A scientific study on fish contamination showed high levels of carcinogens such as DDT and PCBs.

Conventional Milk

Dairy cows are fed growth hormones to maximize milk production, which results in increased incidence of udder infection and pus in the milk.

Conventional Apples

Apples are heavily and frequently doused with pesticides -- pesticides that have been linked to Parkinson’s.

To find out more about these dangerous foods, click on the link below.
Food Matters May 12, 2011

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

The seven supermarket foods featured by Food Matters all belong on the list of foods to avoid, for sure—although I wouldn't limit fruits to avoid to conventional apples.

I recommend checking out the Environmental Working Group's Shopper's Guide to Pesticides, which lists fruits and vegetables that contain the highest and lowest amounts of pesticides, as many are far more contaminated than apples. After all, you can peel an apple, but berries, for example, cannot be rid of pesticides, and many berries are heavily sprayed. I'd also like to add a few more foods to this list, effectively turning it into a Dirty Dozen list of foods to avoid when shopping at your local grocery store.

Genetically Modified Foods
Make no mistake about it; genetically modified (GM) foods may be one of the absolute most dangerous aspects of our food supply today. I strongly recommend avoiding ALL GM foods.

Since over 90 percent of all corn grown in the US is GM corn, and over 95 percent all soy is GM soy, this means that EVERY processed food you encounter at your local supermarket that does not bear the "USDA Organic" label likely contains one or more GM components.

To avoid GM foods, first memorize the following list of well-known and oft-used GM crops:

Corn Canola Alfalfa (New GM crop as of 2011)
Soy Cottonseed Sugar derived from sugar beets

The following fresh produce are also commonly GM:

•Crookneck squash
•Hawaiian papaya
To effectively avoid GM foods, you need to avoid all products that list corn, soy, canola, and any of their derivatives as an ingredient, unless it's labeled USDA 100% Organic.

I also recommend downloading the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology, for more information about specific brands and products that do not use GM ingredients. You can also get the guide as a free iPhone application. It's available in the iTunes store—just search for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

It is important to remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal. This seal assures that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. Many health food stores carry these products.

Please understand that unless you're buying all organic food, or grow your own veggies and raise your own livestock, or at the very least buy all whole foods (even if conventionally grown) and cook everything from scratch, chances are you're consuming GM foods every single day... What ultimate impact these GM foods will have on your health is still unknown, but increased disease, infertility and birth defects appear to be on the top of the list of most likely side effects.

Additional exceedingly health-harming ingredients that you're bound to get in excess if you consume processed foods, soda, and other sweetened beverages, is fructose—typically in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS).

Evidence is mounting that excess sugar, and fructose in particular, is the primary factor causing not just obesity, but also chronic and lethal disease. In fact, I am convinced that fructose is one of the leading causes of a great deal of needless suffering from poor health and premature death.

Many conventional health "experts," contend that sugar and fructose in moderation is perfectly okay and part of a normal "healthy" diet.

I couldn't disagree more.

The central issue behind my vigorous objection to this stance is that fructose is now used in virtually all processed foods (whether you'd suspect the food would contain a sweetener or not). Case in point: the number one source of calories in the US is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the form of soda!

Now, if you're able to keep your total fructose consumption below 25 grams per day then it's not going to cause any major health issues. Unfortunately, while this is theoretically possible, precious few people are actually doing that. Cutting out a few desserts will not make a big difference if you're still eating a "standard American diet"—in fact, I've previously written about how various foods and beverages contain far more sugar than a glazed doughnut.

Because of the prevalence of HFCS in foods and beverages, the average person now consumes 1/3 of a pound of sugar EVERY DAY, which is five ounces or 150 grams, half of which is fructose. That's 300 percent more than the amount that will trigger biochemical havoc.

Remember that is the AVERAGE; many actually consume more than twice that amount.

For more details about the health dangers of fructose and my recommendations, please see my recent article Eliminate This ONE Ingredient and Watch Your Health Soar.

Artificial Sweeteners
Once you've made the decision to drastically cut down on sugar and fructose, please do NOT make the mistake of replacing it with artificially sweetened foods and beverages. It's important to understand that these are toxic substances that can wreak havoc in your body.

Artificial sweeteners, just like fructose, are also extremely prevalent in processed foods. Aspartame, for example, can be found in more than 6,000 products.

Not only have studies shown that "diet" foods and drinks ruin your body's ability to count calories, boosting your risk of weight gain, but they've also been associated with a slew of negative health effects, such as intestinal damage, diabetes, brain damage, pre-term delivery and cancer, just to name a few of the more serious ramifications. Acesulfame potassium (or Acesulfame-K) is yet another artificial sweetener, which has been linked to kidney tumors.

Diet Water
Plain, pure water is by far the most healthful beverage you can conceive of. You need water in order to survive. However, slick marketing campaigns have managed to turn an essential part of your diet into a pure disaster... Leave it to the food and beverage industry to find a way to turn perfectly healthful water into a toxic slurry.

I'm talking about flavored water, "zero calorie" water, and so-called "enhanced" or "functional" water products.

For example, the latest water enhancement product to hit the market is called MiO, which is a mixture of two artificial sweeteners, three dyes, one preservative, and propylene glycol (PG)—a solvent that can potentially result in cell mutations and skin, liver, and kidney damage, if ingested in high enough amounts.

I recently completed a special report on this and related water products, which will be posted shortly.

If you aren't already an avid label reader, it's time you became one, lest you fall prey to these clever marketing ploys. Enhanced waters have become an enormously lucrative business as people have begun to abandon soda for what they believe are better alternatives.

Avoid being fooled!

Because in addition to artificial sweeteners and dyes, these enhanced water products can also contain enormous amounts of sugar and fructose, adding to the numerous health problems caused by excessive fructose consumption.

For example, Glaceau VitaminWater (made by the Coca-Cola Company) has a whopping 33 grams of sugar per 20-ounce bottle, which is only 6 grams less than a can of Coke. Additionally, the fructose found in VitaminWater is the worst possible kind—crystalline fructose—which is even more damaging to your health than high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Crystalline fructose is 99 percent fructose, whereas HFCS is only 55 percent fructose!

Clearly, any type of water but PLAIN purified water is NOT going to improve your health, and should be avoided entirely.

Processed Meats
Lastly, processed meats, such as hot dogs, deli meats, bacon, and pepperoni contain dangerous compounds, which put them squarely on the list of foods to avoid or eliminate entirely. These compounds include:

•Heterocyclic amines (HCAs): a potent carcinogen, which is created when meat or fish is cooked at high temperatures.
•Sodium nitrite: a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor to processed and cured meats.
•Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form.
•Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
This recommendation is backed up by a recent report commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). The review, which evaluated the findings of more than 7,000 clinical studies, was funded by money raised from the general public, so the findings were not influenced by vested interests. It's also the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is "safe."

A previous analysis by the WCRF found that eating just one sausage a day raises your risk of developing bowel cancer by 20 percent, and other studies have found that processed meats increase your risk of:

•Colon cancer by 50 percent
•Bladder cancer by 59 percent
•Stomach cancer by 38 percent
•Pancreatic cancer by 67 percent
Processed meats may also increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). If you absolutely want or need a hot dog or other processed meats once in awhile, you can reduce your risk by:

•Looking for "uncured" varieties that contain NO nitrates
•Choosing varieties that say 100% beef, 100% chicken, etc. This is the only way to know that the meat is from a single species and does not include byproducts (like chicken skin or chicken fat or other parts)
•Avoiding any meat that contains MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavor or artificial color
Ideally, purchase sausages and other processed meats from a small, local farmer who can tell you exactly what's in their products.

Monday, May 16, 2011

GMO-based bug threatens US food supply

As Scooby Doo would say "Rut Roh!". Read this latest article from the wonderful Alison Rose Levy.

Connecting the Dots: Novel GMO-Based Bug Threatens U.S. Food Supplies
Posted: 05/16/11 02:20 PM ET A newly discovered pathogen, visible only under an electron microscope, is destroying plants and undermining the health of livestock -- thereby posing a deadly risk to the U.S. food supply, a senior plant pathologist warned USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack.

In a January 2010 letter to Vilsack, (a former Iowa governor and agribusiness champion, appointed by President Obama) Dr. Don Huber advised caution in introducing additional GMO crops. But just weeks later, the USDA approved expansion of GMO crops to include alfalfa, the most widespread animal feed crop. The unnamed bug already runs rampant in current GMO Roundup Ready baseline food crops (corn and soy), and spreads from there to the animals who feed on them, says Huber, a Professor Emeritus at Purdue University. In addition to his thirty-five years in academic science, Huber is also a retired Colonel, who evaluated natural and manmade biological threats, including germ warfare and disease outbreaks for the military.

The GMO Roundup Ready crops are designed to be used with the Monsanto herbicide, Roundup, a glyphosate that leads to severe micronutrient deficiencies in soil that scientists now say are leading to increased crop failure. Scientists have detected a higher prevalence of the opportunistic pathogen in the depleted glyphosate treated soil. It is also found in higher rates in the livestock that feed off of the Roundup crops. Infertility and spontaneous abortion are on the rise within these cattle and dairy populations, with infertility at 20% and a 45% abortion incidence in certain animals. "It's infectious to cattle, pigs, poultry and horses, and will kill a fertilized egg," says Huber in one of a series of video interviews posted on YouTube. "It can readily reproduce, and it's compatible with other organisms." Watch the video here.

In his January 2011 letter, Huber cautioned against expanding GMO into alfalfa, which he characterizes as "the number one forage crop" that nourishes livestock. "Why place it in jeopardy?" Huber asked in the series of videos, predicting that, "In five years you won't have anything but Roundup Ready alfalfa. If we see a new organism which makes it a hazard to animal survival -- what's the urgency?"

Organic farmers have sued Monsanto preemptively to protect themselves from legal action from the GMO producer when the GMO alfalfa contaminates organic seed, which cannot be prevented once GMO alfalfa is planted. Food Democracy Now is circulating a letter asking President Obama and Secretary Vilsack to "halt the sale and planting of Monsanto's recently approved Roundup Ready® GMO alfalfa and sugar beets until independent, peer-reviewed studies can be conducted to determine whether or not these products pose a threat to plant, animal and human health."

Connecting the Dots from personal health to our total health environment. Subscribe for free to make your voice heard for health, food, water, and the environment at: www.healthjournalistblog.com and on Facebook.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Are YOU a real foodie??

I couldn't help but laugh as I read through this going "yep, yep, yep that too!". I think many of my friends who read this blog are going to be able to relate too. Happy Tuesday! ;)

From www.healthhomehappy.com

You Might Be A Real Foodie If…
By Cara, on July 26th, 2010

You might be a real foodie if…

You leave milk out on the counter overnight… on purpose
You know what CLO stands for
You have a giant container of vinegar in your bathroom
Mason jars are your drinking glasses - Anyone who knows me KNOWS this is true! ;)
Your blood pressure raises when you hear public service announcements about anything health related
You’re more likely to recommend an elimination diet than a medication
You get excited talking about mushrooms
You have a ‘milk pool’ rather than a car pool
You’ve taken pictures of your children with the cows that make the milk they drink.
You ferment.
You buy your fats in gallon (or 5 gallon!) buckets
You can smell the ammonia in conventional beef
You shop for clothes at Good Will in order to be able to afford grassfed beef
From others:

You just might be a real foodie if…

You have jars of homemade whey in your refrigerator…and you use them. (Mira)
You know the best place to purchase bulk herbs to make your own pregnancy tea. (April)
You have actual conversations with the people who provide you with eggs, milk, pastured chickens, vegetables, etc. (Laurie)
You lie awake at night brainstorming where you could construct housing for dairy goats. (Julia)
You have more concoctions brewing on the kitchen counter than the average high school science lab. (Julia)
You can’t enjoy a good meal at a restaurant because you’re assessing the pesticide load of the veggies, stressing over how the meat and dairy animals were raised, and bemoaning which ingredients would be soooo much better if only they were lacto-fermented. (Julia)
You think of a shot as having your daily dose of beet kvass (Patricia)
You actually cry over *raw* spilled milk. (Kat)
You can never keep up with all the egg whites accumulating in your fridge. (Kat) I use them for this cake! We make it at least once a week now
Skim milk is what you feed to your pets or garden after you make butter for yourself. (Kat)
You personally know the farmer who raises the meat/fowl and grows the produce you feed your family. (Linda)
People ask why you make everything from scratch and “Why can’t you just buy it??” (Audrey)
Your friends and family wonder why you’re not fat with all the butter, lard, and bacon grease you use. (Audrey)
The farmers market is the highlight of your week during the summer. (Audrey)
You get asked frequently “Why don’t you just take medication for it?” (Audrey)
You’re always trying to find a way to sneak in more butter, cream, cultured dairy, or, really, anything that’s been fermented. (Audrey)
Your friends are afraid to eat the food you prepare because you tell them of the benefits of all the ‘live’ food and how proud you are of all the ‘bugs’ in it! (Nadine)
You’re on the hunt for “vintage” cookbooks where all they HAD to cook with was REAL food! (Cindy)
Your child sees farm animals and instead of saying, “Aw, how cute!” he says, “Yum!” and licks his lips. (Jenny)
Your child makes up little songs about ferments- “komubucha, komucha, COOOOOMMMMMMMEandgititBUCHA!” (Barb)
Your first question when you go to a restaurant is, “Do you have real butter? Are you SURE it’s real?” (Kelly)
You design your house/remodel/look for a house with fermenting in mind! I have decided I must had a culturing / fermentation center either in the kitchen or the walk in pantry. (Pam)
You get excited about raw butter and you leave it to warm on the counter. (Alex)
You comment on how lovely your mother is and you mean your Kombucha scoby! (Alex)
You have a love affair with your cast iron skillet and treat it like a child! (Alex)
You will go to (almost) any lengths to procur raw dairy for your family (Alex)
You own at least one chest freezer. (Ann Marie)
All you want for your birthday is a grain mill. (Ann Marie)
You have a bucket of coconut oil the size of Montana. (Ann Marie)
You consider the fermenting capabilities of just about any cylindrical container you come across. (Barb)
Other people look in your fridge and can’t find anything to eat… because they don’t recognize anything (Meike)
Friends and family ask you if they’re gonna get sick if they eat our food because they see so much sitting out on the counter(Meike)
Your kids know how each veggie came to be and that eggs come from the “CHICKEN BUTT” in the backyard (Diana)
You have chicken feet simmering in a crock pot on your counter, along with necks and bones and other social discards! (Tina)
You are brainstorming how to create a root cellar! (Tina)
You realize you’ve completely flipped your budget, that most goes to the farmer’s market and only a small share to the actual grocery. (Tina)
Your grocery store receipt has zero tax on it. That’s because you didn’t buy anything processed, there’s no tax on real food. (Mira)
you try to convince your friends and family to eat more good fat! (Jen Marie)
you wish you had two crock pots, two blenders, two BOSCH mixers, and a never ending supply of widemouth mason jars. (Jen Marie)

This is all in fun, my friends! Please don’t be offended. And I’d love you to join in in the comments section! How do you know someone might be a real foodie? Which ones can you identify with?

(Part of Real Food Wednesday)

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The effect of diet on health and disease

This will not be news to many of you in the field of biomed or who have healed your children and yourselves of many illness thanks to major changes to your diet. There is such a thing as epigenetics or how our environment impacts our gene expression. In a nutshell, what we are exposed to and what we eat tells our body which genes to turn on and off, including genes that predispose us to cancer. That is why not EVERYONE in the same family gets cancer. And for those of you who seem to think that cancer is random, like getting your number pulled in the lottery, well you may want to read up a little more. What we put into and on our bodies matters. And for those of you who say "Oh I can eat gluten or XYZ food, it doesn't bother me." Really??? Do you have signs of chronic inflammation? Do you have ezcema? Do you have allergies, arthritis, or other auto-immune issues? If you answered yes, you may want to look at your diet. For every person those food intolerances will be different too but I think there is so little thought about what food goes into our body these days.

Never have we had more processed and nutritionally VOID foods as we do now. And MANY people have reactions to foods that they are not associating with foods. You have to do some testing or do an elimination trial to really see what's going on, maybe some muscle testing. To just say "It doesn't bother me" because you do not swell up and turn blue is like sticking your head in the sand. You have to go out of your way to feed your body in a healthy manner. But when we understand what an impact it has on us developing diseases down the road, especially cancer, doesn't it seem like it is worth it? Maybe I am jaded these days. I have had to keep my trap shut because I cannot change everyone's mind and many people don't WANT to change. It is hard when I see children already going down that path to ill health.

Someone who has not been on this journey cannot understand what I have seen just in my child and my family. If I did not consider that diet could impact my son's brain function and health and I took what my standard pediatrician said, good God where would he be today???? Probably STILL nonverbal, probably STILL not sleeping, ezcema, chronic gut issues, he's probably be on a allergy pill and a steroid cream and all the other phamraceutical "bandaids" we throw on something to mask the true breakdown in our body. And we are so thankful that we did look outside of the box, found Dr. Woeller and thus began this journey of understanding more about health in general but healing our son's Autism. What I continue to learn from Dr. Woeller astounds me when I look back at where I started and how much I have changed. We have been blessed to find both him and our pediatrician, Dr. Carrie Rittling, who blend the traditional medical model and alternative medicine so beautifully. So please read the article below, maybe it will be something useful to you or someone you know and care about.

This article is from www.organicauthority.com and written by Jill Ettinger.


New Study Suggests Food May Play Larger Role in Health than Genetics
April 30th, 2011 - Jill Ettinger

It was Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, who made the simple observation more than 2,000 years ago: “Let thy food be thy medicine”. And now, there seems to be a good deal of science to back him up.

An article published in the journal, Biochemical Pharmacology, presents significant findings connecting the dots between food and nutrition choices as it relates to disease prevention, treatment and reduction.

Inflammation is often the source of many common illnesses including heart disease, arthritis, allergies, obesity and even certain types of cancer. While scientists have known for some time that diet plays a role in inflammation, they have also long thought genetics significantly impacted the risks of developing these health issues.

The team of researchers who conducted this recent study now suggest that while certain conditions are in fact genetic, it’s likely not as many as we think. Specifically, chronic health problems are often a result of our environment and lifestyle habits, which affect genetic behavior altering how an individual ‘s genes respond to certain stimuli.

These changes, because they’re not inherent to the genes, means they can be prevented, treated and even reversed through particular changes in diet and lifestyle habits as well as with the help of some drugs.

Inflammation can be reduced through removing certain items from the diet such as alcohol, red meat, excessive sugar and salt, and adding in whole grains, beans and fresh fruits and vegetables, specifically those grown organically, which not only reduces the risk of contact with disease-causing pesticides and fertilizers, and genetically modified ingredients, but organic foods have an average antioxidant capacity that is 25 percent higher than non-organic options.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger