Genes Are Not The Problem, It’s The Food Genius

Prevent Disease
by Karen Foster

Two-thirds of disease would vanish if society could revert to the way it did certain things just 100 years ago. The emphasis on faulty genes is misplaced and a misguided attempt to cast blame on a culture that has lost its way in terms of survival. Genes are not the problem since their products are largely dependent on lifestyle choices. Our quality of food, activity levels and family structure is essentially killing this generation of human beings.

Our food supply has been completely adulterated over the past few decades alone, more drastically than during any other time in history. Although our genes have hardly changed, our culture has been transformed almost beyond recognition during the past ten thousand years, especially in the last century. We have strayed so far from our ancestral diets and lifestyles that the human metabolism has been unable to adapt and modern diseases have flourished.

Food is the raw material for our cells and even our very thoughts could not have arisen without these building blocks. Food even controls the very expression of our genes. We are connected to our food and where it comes from in ways that we have not yet fathomed. The ‘prophylactic’ removal of of body parts due to what is considered faulty genes is a disturbingly popular trend, and despite the lack of scientific evidence for the effectiveness of this approach, it is increasingly being celebrated in the mainstream media and medical establishments as a reasonable choice. But genes are not the problem…it’s the food!

Ancient peoples and even isolated hunter-gatherer cultures that still exist today ate wild, fresh foods in their natural state with minimal processing and certainly without synthetic chemicals. Their lifestyles were also very different from ours. They cooperated as family units to source and prepare food and with that came a level of activity that does not exist today. They did not suffer the same rates of degenerative diseases that plague modern society.

The majority of food we spend our money on is packaged, processed, sweetened, chemically-altered and genetically modified foods. It may resemble food, but it certainly is not real food. It is virtually devoid of nutrients. Food manufacturers oftentimes must add vitamins and minerals that have been lost during the processing back into the food. Enriched flour is really just refined flour that has had a few nutrients re-added to it, but not enough to make any food made from this nutritionally worthy. Enriched vitamins and minerals are artificial and unrecognizable by the body as nutrients that can be assimilated.

These synthetic vitamins and minerals, usually isolated from their natural forms, act more like anti-nutrients than nutrients in these foods, adding to the body’s chemical burden. Modern methods of food preparation and processing have effectively depleted many nutrients and co-factors necessary for the absorption and utilization of foods that in order for the body to process these modern foods, it must use its own store of nutrients.

When talking about our food system, we are referring to everything from the farm to the plate–food production, harvesting, processing, marketing and distribution. Industrialization describes the increasing tendency of economists, policymakers and agribusiness companies to treat farms as rural factories, with off-farm inputs (energy, antibiotics, synthetic fertilizers, genetically modified seed) marshaled in the service of producing caloric energy (feed corn and starches, soybeans and refined flour). Industrialization also describes a system in which economic return is paramount–more important than concern for the public’s health, the potential health effects of pesticide exposure, the long-term resilience of the land where crops are grown, and the methods by which food is processed and delivered.

Most of the calories we consume come from the added fats, sugars and refined grains commonly found in highly processed foods and junk foods. These specific types ofl calories have overwhelmingly come from genetically modified sources including corn (corn starches, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, feed corn fed to livestock), soybeans (soy proteins, vegetable oils, salad oils, partially hydrogenated oils, and fryer oils in fast-food restaurants) and wheat (refined flour) which has been defined as the perfect chronic poison by experts. These three crops account for the vast majority of crop acreage planted in the United States.

Factory farms and monoculture are responsible for most of the food that makes it to your plate. Consider factory farms — the animals from these operations are given massive doses of drugs not only to stave off disease in such conditions but to increase their growth as well. They are fed unnatural diets and have little or no access to their natural environment leaving them prone to disease and suffering. Their meat is unhealthy and should not even be considered fit for human consumption. Agriculture has been around for thousands of years, but the way it exists now is a far cry from what has existed before this modern age. Intensive farming and monoculture has left our soil depleted resulting in poor quality plant foods, which then affect the nutrient composition of animal foods. Also, with today’s technology, we are able to manipulate the genes of plants and animals, something that nowhere near resembles selective breeding techniques used by our ancestors.

The hallmark of any system is that–for better or for worse–it functions as a complex whole, making it impossible to easily divorce one part from another. The plethora of problems in and related to our food system do not exist in isolation. They are intimately connected. Put another way, the healthfulness of our food, the health of the natural world (the soil, water, bacteria and genetic resources that gives rise to it), and the health of our patients cannot be considered apart from one another.

More than 60% of disease would vanish if we would start focusing on food as our medicine. We don’t have to live in a medicated world, but we certainly choose to even though there are natural counterparts to almost every prescribed drug in the world. At one time, it was thought that cancer was a “disease of civilization,” belonging to much the same causal domain as “neurasthenia” and diabetes, the former a nervous weakness believed to be brought about by the stress of modern life and the latter a condition produced by bad diet and indolence. It turns out all may be true since our food convenience is at the root of our health woes.

But we cannot place all the blame on food manufacturers because we play a part in the food system. We demand convenience and cheaper foods and that’s what we got. We must examine the cultural and socio-economic factors that spurred the demand for convenience foods. For example, considering the busy lives most people have nowadays, it often becomes difficult to prepare homemade meals for the family (much less yourself) every breakfast, lunch and dinner. It ultimately boils down to our priorities. If we place high priority on our health and understand that what we eat determines and shapes not just our physical characteristics but also our personalities as well, we’d all take what we eat much more seriously.

We have an abundance of food that is easily accessible at any time of the day whereas our ancestors did not have this luxury. They hunted and gathered their food and farmed later on, allowing nature to do most of the work but they also expended a certain amount of energy in food preparation. The family meal may be more important than ever and mothers play a critical role. Researchers speculate that maternal attitudes towards the importance of family meals may reflect a broader respect for good nutrition. This might extend to practices such as keeping healthy foods in the house or limiting the amount of times their children can eat “junk food.” People who are more concerned about family meals are also more concerned about nutrition.

We have lost the family connection at it all starts there. A higher incidence of family meals is associated with a better nutrient intake and healthier meals. If we want to reverse the disease trend and stimulate a health trend, we must transform the food supply to one that relies on fresh nutrient dense foods free from chemical alteration, from start to finish, and place a greater emphasis on family which fosters a dependence on health rather than sickness.

Top US Brand of Children’s Vitamins Contains Aspartame, GMOs, & Other Hazardous Chemicals

GreenMedInfo
by Sayer Ji

The #1 Children’s Vitamin Brand in the US contains ingredients that most parents would never intentionally expose their children to, so why aren’t more opting for healthier alternatives?

Kids vitamins are supposed to be healthy, right? Well then, what’s going on with Flintstones Vitamins, which proudly claims to be “Pediatricians’ #1 Choice”? Produced by the global pharmaceutical corporation Bayer, this wildly success brand features a shocking list of unhealthy ingredients, including:

Aspartame
Cupric Oxide
Coal tar artificial coloring agents (FD&C Blue #2, Red #40, Yellow #6)
Zinc Oxide
Sorbitol
Ferrous Fumarate
Hydrogenated Oil (Soybean)
GMO Corn starch

On Bayer Health Science’s Flintstones product page designed for healthcare professionals they lead into the product description with the following tidbit of information:

82% of kids aren’t eating all of their veggies. Without enough vegetables, kids may not be getting all of the nutrients they need.

References: 1. Lorson BA, Melgar-Quinonez HR, Taylor CA. Correlates of fruit and vegetable intakes in US children. J Am Diet Assoc. 2009;109(3):474-478.

The implication? That Flintstones vitamins somehow fill this nutritional void. But let’s look a little closer at some of these presumably healthy ingredients….

ASPARTAME

Aspartame is a synthetic combination of the amino acids aspartic acid and l-phenylalanine, and is known to convert into highly toxic methanol and formaldehyde in the body. Aspartame has been linked to over 40 adverse health effects in the biomedical literature, and has been shown to exhibit both neurotoxicity and carcinogenicity. What business does a chemical like this have doing in a children’s vitamin, especially when non-toxic, non-synthetic non-nutritive sweeteners like stevia already exist?

CUPRIC OXIDE

Next, let’s look closer at Cupric Oxide, 2mg of which is included in each serving of Flinstone’s Complete chewable vitamins as a presumably ‘nutritional’ source of ‘copper,’ supplying “100% of the Daily Value (Ages 4+), according to Flintstones Vitamins Web site’s Nutritional Info.

But what is Cupric Oxide? A nutrient or a chemical?

According to the European Union’s Dangerous Substance Directive, one of the main EU laws concerning chemical safety, Cupric Oxide is listed as a Hazardous substance, classified as both “Harmful (XN)” and “Dangerous for the environment” (N). Consider that it has industrial applications as a pigment in ceramics, and as a chemical in the production of rayon fabric and dry cell batteries. In may be technically correct to call it a mineral, but should it be listed as a nutrient in a children’s vitamin? We think not.

COAL TAR ARTIFICIAL COLORING AGENTS

A well-known side effect of using synthetic dyes is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. For direct access to study abstracts on this topic view our Food Coloring research page. There is also indication that the neurotoxicity of artificial food coloring agents increase when combined with aspartame, making the combination of ingredients in Flintstones even more concerning.


ZINC OXIDE

Each serving of Flinstones Complete Chewable vitamins contain 12 mg of zinc oxide, which the manufacturer claims delivers 75% of the Daily Value to children 2 & 3 years of age. Widely used as a sun protection factor (SPF) in sunscreens, The EU’s Dangerous Substance Directive classifies it as an environmental Hazard, “Dangerous for the environment (N).” How it can be dangerous to the environment, but not for humans ingesting it, escapes me. One thing is for sure, if one is to ingest supplemental zinc, or market it for use by children, it makes much more sense using a form that is organically bound (i.e. ‘chelated’) to an amino acid like glycine, as it will be more bioavailable and less toxic.

SORBITOL

Sorbitol is a synthetic sugar substitute which is classified as a sugar alcohol. It can be argued that it has no place in the human diet, much less in a child’s. The ingestion of higher amounts have been linked to gastrointestinal disturbances from abdominal pain to more serious conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome.

FERROUS FUMARATE

The one clear warning on the Flinstone’s Web site concerns this chemical. While it is impossible to die from consuming iron from food, e.g. spinach, ferrous fumarate is an industrial mineral and not found in nature as food. In fact, ferrous fumarate is so toxic that accidental overdose of products containing this form is “a leading cause of fatal poisoning in children under 6.” The manufacturer further warns:

Keep this product out of reach of children. In case of accidental overdose, call a doctor or poison control center immediately.

HYDROGENATED SOYBEAN OIL

Finding hydrogenated oil in anything marketed to children is absolutely unacceptable. These semi-synthetic fatty acids incorporate into our tissues and have been linked to over a dozen adverse health effects, from coronary artery disease to cancer, violent behavior to fatty liver disease.

GMO CORN STARCH

While it can be argued that the amount of GMO corn starch in this product is negligible, even irrelevant, we disagree. It is important to hold accountable brands that refuse to label their products honestly, especially when they contain ingredients that have been produced through genetic modification. The ‘vitamin C’ listed as ascorbic acid in Flintstones is likely also produced from GMO corn. Let’s remember that Bayer’s Ag-biotech division, Bayer CropScience, poured $381,600 of cash into defeating the proposition 37 GMO labeling bill in California. Parents have a right to protect their children against the well-known dangers of genetically modified foods and the agrichemicals that contaminate them, don’t they? GMO corn starch is GMO, plain and simple. We’d appreciate it if Bayer would label their “vitamins” accordingly.

In summary, Bayer’s Flintstone’s vitamin brand is far from a natural product, and the consumer should be aware of the unintended, adverse health effects that may occur as a result of using it.

Frankenapple: Bad News No Matter How You Slice It

Organic Consumers Association
by Katherine Paul and Ronnie Cummins

Thanks to the biotech industry’s relentless quest to control our food, McDonald’s, Burger King and even school cafeterias will soon be able to serve up apples that won’t turn brown when they’re sliced or bitten into. A new, almost entirely untested genetic modification technology, called RNA interference, or double strand RNA (dsRNA), is responsible for this new food miracle. Scientists warn that this genetic manipulation poses health risks, as the manipulated RNA gets into our digestive systems and bloodstreams. The biotech industry claims otherwise.

Of course, like any non-organic apple, the new GMO Arctic® Apple will be drenched in toxic pesticide residues, untested by the U.S. Food & Drug Association (FDA) and likely unlabeled. And of course these shiny new high-tech apples will be cheap, priced considerably lower than a pesticide-free, nutrient-dense, old-fashioned organic apple that turns a little brown after you slice it up.

When the Biotech Industry Organization gathers next week in Chicago for the 2013 BIO International Convention, BIOTECanada will present its “Gold Leaf Award for Early Stage Agriculture” to Okanagan Specialty Fruits, Inc. (OSF), purveyor of the Arctic® Apple, slated for approval in the U.S. this year. We hate to upset the biotech apple cart, but a pesticide-intensive GMO apple, produced through a risky manipulation of RNA, doesn’t deserve a place on our grocery shelves, much less in the agriculture hall of fame.

That said, the Arctic “Frankenapple” is expected to be approved this year by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), responsible for protecting agriculture from pests and diseases. It does not require approval by the FDA, which is responsible for human food and animal feed.

Just one more bad apple

Apples, that is, apples that haven’t been certified organic, already are on the list of Should-Be-Forbidden fruits. They reliably top the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list, for both the volume and the stunning array of pesticides consistently found on them. According to the Pesticide Action Network’s analysis of the most recent USDA data, apples tested positive for 42 pesticides, including organophosphate and pyrethroid pesticides. Both are endocrine disruptors, both have suspected neurological effects, and both are considered especially toxic for children. (Organophosphates are the basis for nerve gases used in chemical warfare, and have been linked to the development of ADHD in kids.)

Given the grim report card of non-organic apples, some might say it really doesn’t make any difference if we start tinkering with the apple’s genetic RNA. After all, unlike the case with GMO corn or salmon, scientists aren’t injecting pesticides or genes from foreign plants or animals into the genes of apples to create the Frankenapple. While most existing genetically engineered plants are designed to make new proteins, the Arctic Apple is engineered to produce a form of genetic information called double-stranded RNA (dsRNA). The new dsRNA alters the way genes are expressed. The result, in the Arctic Apple’s case, is a new double strand of RNA that genetically “silences” the apple’s ability to produce polyphenol oxidase, an enzyme that causes the apple to turn brown when it’s exposed to oxygen.

Harmless? The biotech industry, OSF and some scientists say yes. But others, including Professor Jack Heinemann (University of Canterbury, New Zealand), Sarah Agapito-Tenfen (from Santa Catarina University in Brazil) and Judy Carman (Flinders University in South Australia), say that dsRNA manipulation is untested, and therefore inherently risky. Recent research has shown that dsRNAs can transfer from plants to humans and other animals through food. The biotech industry has always claimed that genetically engineered DNA or RNA is destroyed by human digestion, eliminating the danger of these mutant organisms damaging human genes or human health. But many biotech scientists say otherwise. They point to evidence that the manipulated RNA finds its way into our digestive systems and bloodstreams, potentially damaging or silencing vital human genes.

There are indirect health consequences, too. Turns out the chemical compound that is shut off in the engineered fruit through RNA manipulation, in order to make it not oxidize or brown, is a chemical compound that also fights off plant pests. What happens when the apple’s ability to fend off insects is compromised? Growers will need to spray greater amounts, of possibly even more toxic pesticides, on a crop already saturated with at least 42 types of pesticides. Those pesticides will eventually find their way into our bodies, either because we ingested the fruit, or breathed the air or drank the water where the pesticides were sprayed.


Testing? What testing?

So what’s the trade-off? Non-organic apple growers will prosper as more moms buy more apples for more kids who will, the industry alleges, be the healthier for it. It makes for a good public relations story, but no matter how you wrap it up or slice it, taking apples that are already saturated in pesticides, and genetically engineering them for purely cosmetic purposes, does not a healthy snack make.

The pro- and anti-GMO movements will debate whether or not the GMO apple is safe for human consumption. The fact is, we’ll never know until they are properly labeled and safety-tested. As with every other GMO food ingredient or product sold in the U.S., the Arctic Apple will undergo no independent safety testing by the FDA or the USDA. Instead, the USDA will rely on OSF’s word that the apple is safe for human consumption. And without any state or federal mandatory GMO labeling laws in place, OSF will not be required to label its Frankenapple, meaning that consumers or children harmed by the dsRNA modified apple will have great difficulty identifying the mutant RNA that harmed them.

The controversy and debate surrounding dsRNA and the Arctic Apple has just begun. But there is no longer any debate about the dangers that pesticides and pesticide residues on non-organic apples pose to humans, whether we directly ingest these toxic residues by eating an apple, or whether we’re exposed to them through contaminated air and groundwater as a result of acres of orchards being sprayed to control increasingly resistant insects and diseases.

What about the argument that a kid eating a few slices of apples can’t consume enough of any one of these pesticides to cause any real risk to their health? Debunked. Recent studies reveal that during apple season, kids exhibit spikes in the level of pesticides found in their urine, spikes that exceed the U.S. government’s “safe levels.” Kids who live in apple-growing regions show even higher spikes. And those 42 varieties of pesticides? The government establishes “safe levels” for each one – but it doesn’t test for the potential effect of ingesting 42 different pesticides, all chemically interacting with each other, and ingested all at once.

From biodiversity to monoculture

How did we get to the point where it takes 42 pesticides to keep an apple crop healthy? Michael Pollan best explains it in his book Botany of Desire. Turns out that apples have an extreme tendency toward something called heterozygosity, which means genetic variability. This trait accounts for how, left to its own devices, the apple can “make itself at home in places as different from one another as New England and New Zealand, Kazakhstan and California.” Pollan writes: “Wherever the apple tree goes, its offspring propose so many different variations on what it means to be an apple – at least five per apple, several thousand per tree – that a couple of these novelties are almost bound to have whatever qualities it takes to prosper in the tree’s adopted home.”

Today, you’d have to visit the apple orchard museum in Geneva, New York, to find all the varieties of apples that used to thrive in the wild. Over time, in our quest to control the taste, texture and appearance of apples, we’ve eliminated all but a relative few varieties. We’ve gone too far, says Pollan. By relying on too few genes for too long, the apple has lost its ability to get along on its own, outdoors.

Enter the agro-chemical companies. According to the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) Agricultural Chemical Use Program, apple growers in states surveyed in 2011 applied carbaryl to 46 percent of their acreage, at an average rate of 1.566 pounds per acre for the crop year; chlorantraniliprole to 45 percent; and chlorpyrifos to 44 percent. Apple growers applied glyphosate isopropylamine salt to 25 percent of acres at an average of 1.604 pounds per acre for the crop year. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The Arctic Apple has been in development for over a decade, the company says. OSF submitted a petition for deregulation to the USDA in May 2010. The USDA, which must hold two public comment periods, concluded the first on Sept. 11, 2011. It’s expected to open the second public comment period this spring or summer, and OSF hopes the GMO apple will be approved for growing and selling in the U.S. this year.

The Organic Consumers Association will hold a press conference and set up a picket line at the Biotechnology Industry Organization Convention in Chicago, at Noon on April 23, to protest OSF’s GMO apple.

Related:  Poison Apples: “Organic” Fruit can be Tainted by Antibiotics until Fall 2014

6 Proofs Food Makers Don’t Care About Children (or You)

Natural Society
by Elizabeth Renter

If follow natural healing along with some truth news, you know all too well that processed and fast food giants care very little about the weight and overall wellbeing of children. As a health-conscious parent, you must fight tooth and nail to counteract the bombardment of advertising and marketing tricks these companies use to ensure their health-compromising products sell. But this is more than a parental issue, as unhealthy kids are everyone’s responsibility.

So, just how do food makers encourage ill health and obesity among the youngest of us? There are several ways. And all of it begins with marketing.

According to the Prevention Institute, fast food companies spend more than $5 million each day targeting kids with unhealthy foods. The food and beverage industry as a whole spends more than $2 billion each year on marketing to children. And these commercials, print ads, and colorful boxes aren’t being used to sell healthful foods.

Just 6 Ways the Food Industry is Hurting Our Children

Television advertisements for food directly affect a child’s food intake. Scientists found that a group of children eating in front of a television show with food advertisements ate 50% more calories than those who didn’t have any commercials. They determined that at this rate, the commercials could lead to a 10-pound weight gain throughout the course of a year.

The food industry invade the schools. School systems often aren’t necessarily wealthy, and when a giant corporation offers to help in exchange for advertising or vending machines, it’s hard for these educational institutions to pass up the offer. As a result, your child is targeted everywhere they go.

Despite pledging to do better, the companies simply don’t. A 2011 review of such pledges and promises made by food companies found that these vows are largely empty and fail to protect children at all. One recent pledge (sort of) brought forth by Coca-Cola deals with the company’s claims of fighting obesity and bettering the nation by offering low-calorie and sugar-free products. But in reality, they are fueling obesity and feeding disease with some of the most popular beverages on the planet.
About 98% of food advertisements that children see are for products that are high in fat, sugar, or sodium.

Food makers know that people identify them with nurturing. At a young age, American children identify food labels and company names with comforting feelings and these food companies seek to capitalize on this through feel-good commercials and filling foods devoid of nutritional integrity. This is equally true with the presentation of various symbols and characters such as the McDonald’s golden arches or Toucan Sam.

Using words like “wholesome”, “made with natural ingredients”, and “part of a good diet” are used despite having no real meaning. These words make parents feel like the prepackaged and prepared foods aren’t that bad after all, that they can feel okay about giving their children a meal in a box.

Food makers don’t care about children. They care about their bottom line. If they truly cared about health, we would see free toys offered with fruits and vegetables and exciting, high budget commercials for whole, natural foods. But we don’t.

Because the food makers could care less, it’s up to parents and role models to take the reins. If your child watches television, at least make them mute the commercials and do your best to fight the misinformation your child might be receiving from web-ads, billboards, food product placement in stores, and even their teachers.

Dead, Lifeless Food


FDA aims to sterilize our food through the Food Safety Modernization Act

Food Riot Radio
by Brad Jordan

After two years of delay, the Food Safety Modernization Act is finally about to go into effect. The FDA is moving forward with rules that are supposed to make food in the United States the safest in the world.

Hailed as the most sweeping overhaul of farm and food policy since the Great Depression, some fear the law will actually make our food supply less safe by regulating small, organic farmers out of business and leaving it in the hands of a few mega farmers and processors.

“So what exactly is the government going to do to make our food safer?” I was wondering the other day. While I hoped for the labeling of GMO’s and the removal and the word “natural” from products that aren’t natural, I knew the FDA would come up with an idea like putting port-a-potties with sinks in the middle of farm fields. And sure enough, that’s exactly what they did. With that, they also want food heated at higher temperatures to kill any bacteria that may be present, good or bad, and a host of other ill-conceived ideas that will prevent us from accessing nutrient-dense foods.

I recently spoke with Judith McGeary, founder of Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the rights of independent farmers, ranchers, and homesteaders. Judith is also an attorney, a farmer, and a Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader in Austin, Texas.

McGeary has been following the Food Safety Modernization Act since it was first proposed a couple of years ago. Initially she feared the coming food safety regulations would be so costly for small farmers that they’d go out of business. Since then, farms with less than half a million dollars in annual sales have been exempted from the legislation.

But after reviewing the FDA’s proposed rules, she is still leery for several reasons.

Pay up, I’ll protect you

First, half a million dollars in sales might sound like a lot, but farmers only keep 10 to 15 percent of that in profits. That means it could cost farmers making as little as $50,000 a year as much as $10,000 annually to comply with the new rules. That’s a fifth of their income eaten up by regulation.

Second, the state, with all its power, could wave its magic wand and declare an “outbreak or emergency” and “un”exempt farmers earning even less than $50,000.

Third, on top of the cost in dollars, the law will cost farmers time. Farmers, especially small farmers who can’t afford legal counsel, don’t have time to mull through and comply with 1200 pages of new rules and regulations, many of which are vague and poorly written. Tracking the origin and destination of every crop sold, for example, isn’t going to benefit the farmer or the consumer of local foods. It may help the government hire another unnecessary worker to come and check the farmers’ books though, so why not?

As if filling out paperwork wasn’t bad enough, the agency wants to tell farmers what they can and cannot use to fertilize their crops, right down to the type of compost they can use.

“The FDA seems to be scared of anything that was ever part of an animal. If you don’t follow their instructions to the letter, which includes extensive documentation of how the compost was made, you have to treat compost — including worm castings — as if it were raw animal manure and wait 9 months in between putting the compost down and harvesting the crop. In practice, this is a death knell for the use of many types of compost, which are vital to growing food sustainably,” McGeary said.

This intrusive, restrictive approach to compost is a stark contrast to the agency’s attitude about the spraying of toxic chemicals on food, which doesn’t seem to concern it much at all.

What does all this mean for consumers? Well, expect local, sustainable food prices to go up. Thanks FDA, for making their lives harder and mine more expensive.

If it’s alive, they want it dead

The FDA’s solution to eliminating any possibility of dangerous pathogens is to kill everything. In addition to pasteurizing juices and other processed and packaged foods, the agency would like all “fresh” fruits and vegetables to be irradiated. Yes, that means zapped with radiation. While potentially killing deadly bacteria, this process also kills living enzymes and good bacteria that help build our immune systems. Is this what consumers really want? A bunch of irradiated bags of lettuce that have gone through a giant processing plant, leaving green leaves stripped of the nutrients they once contained? I for one, don’t.

It seems, as usual, the government is making things worse instead of better. A simple way to curb contamination would be to stop subsidizing the mega farms that are causing the problem. Let the free markets figure it out. I think I know what type of farm would win. The local, sustainable farmers have more incentive to do what is right for the consumer and the environment, because they rely on the consumer – not government subsidies – for their paychecks.

If more people took ownership of themselves, and the food they were eating, we wouldn’t need government officials intervening. Yes, that means, getting up off of your ass and visiting the farmer, or at least giving him a call to discuss how your food is being made. If more consumers started talking to their farmers directly and holding them accountable, they’d have more of an incentive to provide good quality, nutrient-dense foods. I mean if I walked on to the farm and saw chemicals being sprayed on the crops, I wouldn’t buy his products. If, after talking to a few people who worked on the farm, I learned the smell in the air was coming from a shit lagoon up around the bend, I wouldn’t buy his products. See where I’m going?


It all starts with food

After reading Harry Brown’s book this weekend, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World, I realize bold action is required in order for change to occur in our lives. So, if you’re eating irritated, chemically fabricated, pre-packaged foods, take action today, and start eating nutrient dense, non-processed, whole foods. Visualize how it will feel and taste eating homemade stews made from real bone stock, butter from freshly milked grass-fed cows, and pasture raised chicken eggs cooked in lard on your cast iron skillet. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If you can’t visualize how fantastic these foods will taste, visualize a Lean Cuisine cooking away in your microwave, with its rubber stamped FDA approval. Then ask yourself if bold action is required. Is it time for a change? Is it time to eat free or die?

If your answer is yes to any of the following, do some research, find out where you can get raw milk (email me, if you have to) and pasture-raised chicken eggs. Once you have these items, take a deep breath, and realize your life is about to change. Crack open an egg and disregard the white that surrounds the golden orange yolk, and put that yolk in a blender, add another if you’re feeling wild. Pour in a couple cups of fresh, grass fed, milk from your bottle, where the cream sits a couple inches on top. Blend up some of nature’s most perfect foods.

Now, pour that concoction into a glass and walk in front of mirror. Put on a podcast from foodriotradio.com. I recommend the Mark Baker interview, for extra inspiration. Now look at yourself, with your beady little eyes. Realize this is the beginning. This is the first day of the rest of your life. Grab that glass with both hands because they’ll be sweaty and you’ll be anxious and you don’t want to drop what you’ve worked so hard for. Throw that drink back and take a big swallow. Set it down and look at yourself again. See the sparkle in your eye? Feel the change taking place in your body? Now you feel the power of food. It feels good, doesn’t it? You feel alive for the first time in years. The awakening has occurred. You’ve been baptized into the real food movement. Now go spread the word to others and grow the revolution because its message is finally here. Freedom baby, freedom.

Listen to Brad’s interview with Judith McGeary here.

Food Manufacturers are Fraudulently Diluting High-Quality Food with Inferior Quality Junk

Washington’s Blog

In a predictable trend, food manufacturers are fraudulently diluting high-quality food with inferior quality items.  As ABC News reports:

A new scientific examination by the non-profit food fraud detectives the U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP), discovered rising numbers of fake ingredients in products from olive oil to spices to fruit juice.


“Food products are not always what they purport to be,” Markus Lipp, senior director for Food Standards for the independent lab in Maryland, told ABC News.


In a new database to be released Wednesday, and obtained exclusively by ABC News today, USP warns consumers, the FDA and manufacturers that the amount of food fraud they found is up by 60 percent this year.

In addition, 70% of all ground beef was found to contain “pink slime”.

Butchers use “meat glue” to create “bigger” cuts of beef, chicken, lamb and fish, even though it leads to much higher levels of food poisoning:

British hamburgers were found to contain horse meat and pork … and it could happen in the U.S. as well.

Indeed, modern red meat is arguably not really meat at all.

And selling genetically modified food without labeling them as such is arguably food fraud as well, since a large majority of Americans want genetically modified foods to be labeled, genetically engineered foods have been linked to obesity, cancer, liver failure, infertility and all sorts of other diseases (brief videos here and here), and the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t even test the safety of such foods.

Bad Policy Made Food Fraud Predictable

This trend was predictable because food manufacturers have been trying to hide food inflation in various ways.

The inflation in food prices, in turn, has been caused by quantitative easing – printed in an attempt to hide bank fraud – and the use of the printed money for wild speculation by the big banks has driven up food and related commodity prices.

And – instead of fighting for safer food – the Department of Justice and FDA often target whistleblowers and do everything they can to cover up wrongdoing. The Department of Agriculture is no better. And the Feds are treating people who expose abuse in factory farms as potential terrorists … and the states want the same power.