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 Irradiation, Cats, and Doublespeak: Researchers Reinvent Reality

Gaia Health

To paraphrase Art Linkletter’s comment about children, Researchers say the darndest things! To promote a recent study involving irradiation of food, cats, and neurological damage, the study’s author and promoter has resorted to doublespeak. He claims:

Irradiated food causes neurological damage in cats, but that has no bearing on humans.

In other words: What happens in cats has nothing to do with humans.

Cats can heal from the neurological damage, so humans may be able to heal from neurological damage, too.

In other words: What happens in cats has everything to do with humans.

Research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences(1), reports that cats were fed irradiated food because it’s known to cause neurological damage, specifically demyelination, resulting in neurological dysfunction, including movement disorders, vision loss and paralysis. Withdrawal of the irradiated food resulted in slow recovery of the protective myelin cover, along with recovery of lost functions.

Study author and promoter, Ian Duncan, said:

We think it is extremely unlikely that [irradiated food] could become a human health problem. We think it is species specific.

That’s magical thinking, based on nothing but a desire for the statement to be true. Nor does Duncan explain why he also believes that the opposite is true, that cats’ ability to heal from such nerve damage may apply to humans.

Demyelination of nerves is a hallmark of multiple sclerosis. This study holds out a big dollop of hope for MS sufferers, since it had previously been assumed that, once gone, the myelin sheath could not be rebuilt and nerve damage is irreversible.

Of course, the researchers are not assuming that humans will spontaneously heal themselves of multiple sclerosis. They are, instead, going to push for more research to find drugs that do for human nerves what cats can do for themselves.

With the logic the researchers use to relate cats and humans, though, one must wonder about the likelihood of anything beneficial coming out of such research.

Well, on second thought, there are a couple of benefits. Just imagine the amount of money that will be funneled to researchers! If they come up with something—no matter how dubious—that they claim will benefit multiple sclerosis sufferers, just think of how much money Big Pharma might rake in—not to mention how much doctors will make by pushing the pills!

Messages that we can take from this nonsense:

Until proven otherwise, it’s likely reasonable to assume that the support for any mainstream medical claim is pseudo science.

Claims that irradiated food is safe are surely untrue. The fact that cats were given irradiated food for the purpose of causing neurological damage clearly demonstrates that researchers are fully aware of the danger associated with it.

When modern medicine says that something is so, don’t assume it’s true. Claims are made using the guise of science, but often have no basis in evidence.

Finally, don’t ever forget that researchers trying to justify and obtain research funding can be subject to magical thinking, including the ability to spew two contradictory and mutually exclusive ideas at one go:

What happens in cats has nothing to do with humans.

What happens in cats has everything to do with humans.

How can we possibly trust the results of researchers who can spout such nonsense?

Irradiation of Food Induces Radioactivity: Government Claims That It Doesn’t Are Lies

Gaia Health

We are routinely told that irradiation can’t possibly make food radioactive. It’s a lie.

The official stance of both the US and UK, that radiation is not induced by the process, is false. It is, in fact, an outright lie. It has been understood for decades that irradiation of food renders it radioactive. The question isn’t whether it happens. The question is how serious the health risk is.

The fact that food irradiation carries significant and well-documented danger to health should have resulted in it being stopped before it was ever implemented. That it hasn’t tells us all we need to know about the purpose of our regulatory agencies.

Ultimately, though, what’s more upsetting is learning that we’ve been outright lied to about the most fearful aspect of food irradiation. Radioactivity is induced by it.

Documentation for Irradiation-Induced Radioactivity

No less an authority than the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has clearly documented that irradiation of food induces radioactivity. Medical journals have documented it. The FDA regulates the acceptable amount of induced radiation in food packaging, all the while claiming that the food itself isn’t affected!

While documenting that irradiation induces radioactivity in food, the IAEA’s report(1) tries to diminish its significance by comparing it with background radiation. However, it isn’t a matter of one or the other, background radiation or irradiation-induced radiation. It’s the sum of both that matters—not to mention other sources that should be added in, such as medical test devices and airport scanners. They are all additive.

Another problem is that food is ingested. Foods that have become more radioactive through irradiation are taken into the body and become part of the cellular makeup. Therefore, the effects of irradiation-induced radiation in foods may be worse than other sources.

Should We Be Concerned About Irradiation-Induced Radioactivity in Food?

Exactly how bad is irradiation-induced food radioactivity? That’s a good question—one that is studiously ignored by the powers-that-be. After all, it’s rather difficult to do research on something when the official stance is that the problem doesn’t exist.

Of course, we do know that many studies documenting harm from irradiated foods have been done. Interestingly, much of that harm tends to coincide with the sort of damage done by radiation.

FDA Once Banned Irradiation

In 1968, the FDA ended the practice of irradiating bacon for military personnel after learning that lab animals fed irradiated food died early and suffered from a rare cancer, other tumors, reproductive problems and inadequate weight gain. All of these are associated with radiation exposure…yet the FDA now says that irradiation doesn’t harm foods or make them radioactive.

EPA’s Gambit

This is the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) answer to the question(2), Can irradiation make food radioactive?

No. Food does not come in contact with radioactive material during food irradiation, and cannot be contaminated this way. Radiation that is too energetic, however, can disrupt the energy balance in the nuclei of food atoms, making them unstable (radioactive). This is known as induced radioactivity.

Electron and x-ray beams can be energetic enough to induce radioactivity. To prevent induced radioactivity, FDA limits the energy of the radiation from these sources to less than 4 mega-electron volts. Radiation from cobalt-60 sources is not energetic enough to induce radioactivity.

Isn’t that cute? First, the EPA answers with an unequivocal no, stating that food “cannot be contaminated this way”. Then, they go on to describe two methods that can induce radioactivity, while claiming that the FDA’s limits prevent it from happening. But, that simply is not true. The IAEA’s report clarifies that fact.

Irradiation Methods

There are three methods of irradiating food: gamma rays, x-rays, and electron beams. At first glance, it would seem that electron beams and x-rays would be preferable, since they are not radioactive. The issue, though, isn’t whether the tool used to irradiate foods is radioactive, but whether it results in radioactivity in the food. Remarkably, there is some information to indicate that x-rays produce more radiation in food than the other methods.

Comparisons between irradiation methods can be difficult. Further complicating things is that different elements in foods react differently. Iodine, for example, is a necessary nutrient that is easily made radioactive, and is the element on which most emphasis is placed. Because different foods respond in different ways, absolute conclusions about all foods and all methods of irradiation can’t be made. However, some generalities can be drawn.

A paper entitled Report on the Safety and Wholesomeness of Irradiated Foods (The Report) was produced in 1985 by the Advisory Committee on Irradiated and Novel Foods, a UK agency. It was reviewed by the Organic Consumers Association (OCA), which concluded the following:

The Report clearly stated that gamma rays and high-speed electrons can induce radioactivity in food.

Read more here