Tag Archives: genetically modified

Father’s Day Weekend

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We had a lovely weekend weather-wise. Friday night we went to a Summer Tracks concert. Originally, we were going to the movies to see Men In Black III but dinner went late so we went to the concert instead. While we only saw the headliner, The StereoFidelics they kicked butt and it was a most excellent show plus we caught up with a number of friends. But it was serendipitous because we ran into one couple we’d not seen for a few months. He’s an excellent musician and I told him of a song my guitarist & I are working on, Anna Nalick’s Breathe and we made plans to get together with the gang for a jam.

I’m so glad we saw him, so full of joy and enjoying the fine music at the concert, because I just learned today that he passed away on Sunday. How fickle is life, only 58, in good (supposedly) health and very much in love with life and his wife. No one yet knows the reason. If dinner hadn’t been late, we’d have gone to the movies and not the concert and I wouldn’t have seen him…

Saturday we went tubing and canoeing on the Green River and then finally went to see MIB III at the theater in town.

Father’s Day started out with my only-on-special-occasions Dutch Apple Pancake for breakfast. Then we went to a local indoor flea market where I found a really cool tablecloth & 6 napkins in dark blue with a gold foil Egyptian motif. I got the cloth for a covering for my work desk in the home office, so teh napkins were a very pleasant extra. Dinner was a chicken and vegetable stew over  potatoes mashed with sour cream & cream cheese with homemade artisan bread. I’d recorded the first Sherlock Homes movie with Robert Downey Jr. and we watched that with some homemade coffee ice cream.

All-in-all a perfect weekend, except for learning about my friend today.

I’m looking at some photos I took over the weekend and am sharing them here. I’m looking at the ice cream, bread and Dutch Apple Pancake and I’m looking at these lovely veggies and fruits coming on in our garden and I’m thinking it might be a good time to fore go the bread-y and sugar-y stuff and jump back on a juice-fest!

The soybeans are from organic seed. Studies with GMO soybeans are flat out scary! So, since I love edamame, I found a source, Wannamakers for organic seed and they are just one state over in South Carolina.

The beautiful shiny orange mushroom is from the Ganoderma family,and is also known as reishi a highly respected medicinal mushroom. Some say Reishi can cure cancer, HIV and a whole host of other dire illnesses. Most of these claims come from people selling reishi pills. In my opinion, these mushrooms, dried and taken in tea form somewhat consistently, will significantly benefit the immune system and support other aspects of the body to effectively keep itself in good health. Again, just my opinion.

Picked beets, kale and green beans to have in my juice tomorrow morning.

Do me a favor – Tell all your family and friends how much you love and appreciate them, right now. Life is fickle and all we have is right now. I’m going to get off the computer and pick up a harmonica, then I’m gonna get the dog and go hiking. I’m going to live in a way I’ll have no regrets.

 

 

7 Ways to Beat the Food Addictions

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Throughout the course of my generation, the US food industry has been as insidious in addicting us to food as the tobacco industry was in the prior generation.

Commercial farming is focused on producing commodities, largely three crops: corn, soy and wheat. All other fruits and vegetable are considered “specialty” crops.

Seed for the greatest percentage of the big three is patented and controlled by Monsanto. They are patented because the seed is genetically modified (GMO) to make the plant almost invulnerable to herbicides  by introducing herbicides into their very DNA. The resulting plant produced is infused with herbicide and then we are paying top dollar to eat it.

Around the globe man existed for thousands of years on wheat and soy – now they are the top allergens in children and adults. The number afflicted with allergies to “staple” foods has  doubled almost yearly since GMO foods were introduced, as has the rise in autism, yet our government agencies see no correlation…

This post by Mike Geary, The CORN, SOY, and WHEAT Monopoly is an excellent read, but I’m focusing on the following (excerpted from his blog):

By “derivatives” of corn, soy, and wheat, this means the food additives such as:

  • high fructose corn syrup (HFCS)
  • corn oil
  • soybean oil (hydrogenated or plain refined)
  • soy protein
  • refined wheat flour
  • hundreds of other food additives such as maltodextrin, corn or wheat starch, soy lecithin, mono and diglycerides, etc, etc

It is these derivatives that are literally killing us. Not only are we constantly eating because our bodies are desperate for nutrition, HFCS and refined flours are literally addictive, as addictive as tobacco or cocaine.

Beating any addiction is hard and these 7 tips I’m going to share have been helpful to me in combating my food addiction.

1. Stop eating at junk food places

There is nothing healthy there, no matter what the commercials are telling you. Even if something is low calorie, it has no substantive nutrition. Salads are contaminated with preservatives, salad dressings are contaminated with the above derivatives. Stop. Don’t taper off, just stop.

2. Stop shopping in the center aisles of the grocery store

Most of the offerings in the center aisles are processed foods, even the canned vegetables and many packaged vegetarian foods. Be a label reader. Avoid any products with more than 7-ingredients and avoid every thing with HFCS, soy or hydrogenated anything. Avoid any product with more than 200 mgs Sodium. Take the time to read a label, it’s much quicker than sitting in the doctor’s office reading a lame out of date magazine or waiting for your prescription at the pharmacy…

3. Be accountable to someone

Find a friend or loved one to go on the journey to beat the addiction of food with you. Everything is more fun with a friend and you’ll be less likely to succumb to the call of the pasta if you are not alone.

4. Exercise

Any exercise is better than no exercise. Endorphins are released when we exercise, and endorphins makes us feel better. When we feel better we are less likely to munch. Again, get a buddy to exercise with – its more fun! My exercise buddy is my dog. If you don’t have a dog, maybe you could offer to walk a neighbor’s pet or better yet, go to your local animal shelter and help walk and socialize their dogs. A socialized and calm dog is much easier adopted!

5. Get a Bag of Tricks

Keep some distractions handy – crossword puzzle, sudoku, drawing or painting supplies, cards with words of inspiration, pictures of fashions you’d like to wear or places you’d like to go. Get you mind off the craving and engaged in something else.

6. Drink a glass of water

Aw, you knew this one was coming! When we are addicted to food, much of that food is high in sodium and dehydrates the body. Drinking a glass of water helps to nip the craving in the bud with the added benefit of helping to flush and hydrate our cells. Think water is boring? Try these recipes for water (yes, recipes…)

7. Become an Expert

The more you understand the what , how and whys of food addiction and the food industry’s involvement, the more ammunition you have to win mastery over the addiction. Read books, watch movies like Forks over Knives, Weight of the Nation, Food Matters. Once you understand the nature (or rather the lack of nature) of what you are eating and craving you just might decide to make a different choice.

Leaders Leading

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Ultimate Reset – Day 3 of 21

So far so good, the eating plan is easier to follow for me  – Herb likes his food really wet/moist; lots of sauces, gravies and butter on everything. He’s convinced there is a lot of melted butter on the breakfast toast in the picture. On the other hand, he was amazed that he didn’t miss the huge glob of tartar sauce on the broiled salmon. We eat salmon & steel head trout often and he always makes up a big batch of mayo-based tartar sauce. Last night I made the brown rice & black beans in one 6-inch corn tortilla. Herb was dubious and thought, based on the picture, it was a snack. The tortilla with the homemade salsa & guacamole and lemon kale turned out to be a filling treat! He liked the colors and flavors and said he’d like that again for tonight. We’ll see. They say it is okay to substitute meals within the same week’s plan.

One of my problems is portion control. I sometimes joke, I eat well but I eat a lot! So I’m amazed that these lesser portions are filling me up.  Herb says a lot of that is the 12-oz water half hour before every meal. But hey – it’s all good!

Okay, update out of the way, today’s blog topic is politicians getting on the fitness bandwagon.

Mike Huckabee, former Governor of Arkansas. Diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2003, he lost 110 pounds. Barely two years later, he completed four marathons!

Tony Horton’s P90x is but one of the fitness programs I represent as a  Beachbody coach. And I’m thrilled to see our leaders getting in shape.

It is really cool when they go beyond  a personal journey to make it a challenge for their contemporaries, staff or public, too! And two articles within the last week caught my eye. One in Kentucky involved the entire General assembly.

It started out as a discussion on how to get a handle on obesity when a 2010 report showed that Kentucky ranked third in childhood obesity and seventh in adult obesity. Also, Kentucky is one of eight states with an overall obesity rate of more than 30 percent. The two biggest losers? One Democrat and one Republican, naturally! You can read more about it here.

Another between two Washington State mayors has them carrying on the tradition of a friendly sports rivalry between the two towns.  Both plan to make use of convenient local walking and hiking trails. Here is the beginning of their story.

And an Honorable Mention goes to Senator Claire McGaskill of Missouri who lost 50 pounds in 6 months through sensible exercise and change of eating habits. Your can read her story here.

These stories have me so jazzed because when our leaders lead by example and understand themselves what works and what doesn’t and how hard it is to start, but how good success feels, then maybe we’ll see some sensible changes in our govenment at all levels. Especially when they become more aware of what is healthy to eat and the dangers of processed and GMO foods.

How to Win a GMO Debate: 10 Facts Why GM Food is Bad

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by December 12, 2011 5:03 pm

How to Win a GMO Debate: 10 Facts Why GM Food is Bad

It’s happened to the best of us. The topic of genetically modified (GM) food and crops comes up and someone somewhere starts spewing a spate of pro-GMO rhetoric like, “GM food is the only way to feed the poor! GM crops benefit farmers! GM food and crops are safe!” and we are left with a stammering retort of, “but, but, no, but, uhm, no!”

Next time be prepared by bolstering your argument with these 10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs, courtesy of international bestselling author and GMO expert Jeffrey Smith from The Institute for Responsible Technology (IRT). This list of ten facts and supporting text clearly explain just how serious a threat GM food and crops pose to our personal health as well as the health of the planet.

1. GMOs are unhealthy.
The American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) urges doctors to prescribe non-GMO diets for all patients. They cite animal studies showing organ damage, gastrointestinal and immune system disorders, accelerated aging, and infertility. Human studies show how genetically modified (GM) food can leave material behind inside us, possibly causing long-term problems. Genes inserted into GM soy, for example, can transfer into the DNA of bacteria living inside us, and that the toxic insecticide produced by GM corn was found in the blood of pregnant women and their unborn fetuses.

Numerous health problems increased after GMOs were introduced in 1996. The percentage of Americans with three or more chronic illnesses jumped from 7% to 13% in just 9 years; food allergies skyrocketed, and disorders such as autism, reproductive disorders, digestive problems, and others are on the rise. Although there is not sufficient research to confirm that GMOs are a contributing factor, doctors groups such as the AAEM tell us not to wait before we start protecting ourselves, and especially our children who are most at risk.

The American Public Health Association and American Nurses Association are among many medical groups that condemn the use of GM bovine growth hormone, because the milk from treated cows has more of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1)―which is linked to cancer.

2. GMOs contaminate―forever.
GMOs cross pollinate and their seeds can travel. It is impossible to fully clean up our contaminated gene pool. Self-propagating GMO pollution will outlast the effects of global warming and nuclear waste. The potential impact is huge, threatening the health of future generations. GMO contamination has also caused economic losses for organic and non-GMO farmers who often struggle to keep their crops pure.

3. GMOs increase herbicide use.
Most GM crops are engineered to be “herbicide tolerant”―they defy deadly weed killer. Monsanto, for example, sells Roundup Ready crops, designed to survive applications of their Roundup herbicide.

Between 1996 and 2008, US farmers sprayed an extra 383 million pounds of herbicide on GMOs. Overuse of Roundup results in “superweeds,” resistant to the herbicide. This is causing farmers to use even more toxic herbicides every year. Not only does this create environmental harm, GM foods contain higher residues of toxic herbicides. Roundup, for example, is linked with sterility, hormone disruption, birth defects, and cancer.

4. Genetic engineering creates dangerous side effects.
By mixing genes from totally unrelated species, genetic engineering unleashes a host of unpredictable side effects. Moreover, irrespective of the type of genes that are inserted, the very process of creating a GM plant can result in massive collateral damage that produces new toxins, allergens, carcinogens, and nutritional deficiencies.

5. Government oversight is dangerously lax.
Most of the health and environmental risks of GMOs are ignored by governments’ superficial regulations and safety assessments. The reason for this tragedy is largely political. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), for example, doesn’t require a single safety study, does not mandate labeling of GMOs, and allows companies to put their GM foods onto the market without even notifying the agency. Their justification was the claim that they had no information showing that GM foods were substantially different. But this was a lie. Secret agency memos made public by a lawsuit show that the overwhelming consensus even among the FDA’s own scientists was that GMOs can create unpredictable, hard-to-detect side effects. They urged long-term safety studies. But the White House had instructed the FDA to promote biotechnology, and the agency official in charge of policy was Michael Taylor, Monsanto’s former attorney, later their vice president. He’s now the US Food Safety Czar.

6. The biotech industry uses “tobacco science” to claim product safety.

Biotech companies like Monsanto told us that Agent Orange, PCBs, and DDT were safe. They are now using the same type of superficial, rigged research to try and convince us that GMOs are safe. Independent scientists, however, have caught the spin-masters red-handed, demonstrating without doubt how industry-funded research is designed to avoid finding problems, and how adverse findings are distorted or denied.

7. Independent research and reporting is attacked and suppressed.
Scientists who discover problems with GMOs have been attacked, gagged, fired, threatened, and denied funding. The journal Nature acknowledged that a “large block of scientists . . . denigrate research by other legitimate scientists in a knee-jerk, partisan, emotional way that is not helpful in advancing knowledge.” Attempts by media to expose problems are also often censored.

8. GMOs harm the environment.
GM crops and their associated herbicides can harm birds, insects, amphibians, marine ecosystems, and soil organisms. They reduce bio-diversity, pollute water resources, and are unsustainable. For example, GM crops are eliminating habitat for monarch butterflies, whose populations are down 50% in the US. Roundup herbicide has been shown to cause birth defects in amphibians, embryonic deaths and endocrine disruptions, and organ damage in animals even at very low doses. GM canola has been found growing wild in North Dakota and California, threatening to pass on its herbicide tolerant genes on to weeds.

9. GMOs do not increase yields, and work against feeding a hungry world.
Whereas sustainable non-GMO agricultural methods used in developing countries have conclusively resulted in yield increases of 79% and higher, GMOs do not, on average, increase yields at all. This was evident in the Union of Concerned Scientists’ 2009 report Failure to Yield―the definitive study to date on GM crops and yield.

The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) report, authored by more than 400 scientists and backed by 58 governments, stated that GM crop yields were “highly variable” and in some cases, “yields declined.” The report noted, “Assessment of the technology lags behind its development, information is anecdotal and contradictory, and uncertainty about possible benefits and damage is unavoidable.” They determined that the current GMOs have nothing to offer the goals of reducing hunger and poverty, improving nutrition, health and rural livelihoods, and facilitating social and environmental sustainability.
On the contrary, GMOs divert money and resources that would otherwise be spent on more safe, reliable, and appropriate technologies.

10. By avoiding GMOs, you contribute to the coming tipping point of consumer rejection, forcing them out of our food supply.
Because GMOs give no consumer benefits, if even a small percentage of us start rejecting brands that contain them, GM ingredients will become a marketing liability. Food companies will kick them out. In Europe, for example, the tipping point was achieved in 1999, just after a high profile GMO safety scandal hit the papers and alerted citizens to the potential dangers. In the US, a consumer rebellion against GM bovine growth hormone has also reached a tipping point, kicked the cow drug out of dairy products by Wal-Mart, Starbucks, Dannon, Yoplait, and most of America’s dairies.

Jeffrey M. Smith is the director of the Institute for Responsible Technology and is one of the world’s leading advocates against GM foods. His book Seeds of Deception is rated the number one book on the subject and has had a substantial influence on public perception and even legislation. Smith has reached tens of millions of people through hundreds of media interviews. He is also the author of Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods.

CBS 60 Minutes – Sugar, The Toxic Truth

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TurboJam day 5 of 28

Just yesterday I was writing about the food industry and the correlation of GMO foods to sicknesses and I also touched on sugar toxicity and then last night 60 Minutes did a segment on it. The segment talked not only about how bad sugar is to the body but also about how difficult it is to break the sugar connection because of its addictive qualities. No wonder beating the cravings to overeat are so hard.

More and more people are starting to wake up to the fact that we all need to THINK about what we are eating and what’s in it.

Some experts are saying sugar should be regulated as a controlled substance as are tobacco and alcohol.

On the one hand I believe people have the free will to make their own choices, good or bad. But they have to be informed. We all know a fatty cheeseburger will make you fat. Yet it is not so well known that fat free processed foods are often loaded with sugar and empty calories.

We do not think about sugar being in bread, pasta sauces, canned soups and even canned vegetables, but it often is, in surprising amounts. This is why reading labels is soooo important. It is beyond obvious that the US food industry does not concern itself with our health, nor does the FDA, so we have to do it ourselves.

Now, that’s adults – what about kids? Obesity is considered epidemic by the CDC but there are no laws making adults (parents, schools, stores, restaurants, etc.) accountable for what they make available to the children. Adults can smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol, but everyone knows if you buy/sell alcohol or cigarettes to minors there are serious legal consequences – business can lose licenses or even be closed down.

If we as adults do not “police” ourselves and the minors we are responsible for, the government must step in – so let’s do the right thing. Vote with our pocketbooks to hurt their pocketbooks – let the food industry know we’re not buying the genetically/chemically altered meat, seafood and produce they’re selling us. Demand healthy, organic nutrient dense food and that’s what they’ll produce, but its got to start with us, the consumers.

GMO = Sickness?

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TurboJam Day 4 of 28

I recently reconnected with a friend of mine from my childhood. She was telling me that another friend of ours and her husband had both endured serious cancer. My friend, herself, was battling lupus, breast & ovary cancer. She feels food is making us sick.

 I, too, believe all the genetically modified foods and chemically laden beef, poultry & pork from the US food industry is what is making so many sick. Man thrived on wheat for hundreds of thousands of years. Since Monsanto’s been genetically altering wheat, soy & corn the rate of people in the US suffering from celiac disease and other problems digesting wheat has doubled every year since 1974 (!)

Birth rates are down while birth defects and autism are up.

Robin O’Brien does an excellent job relating the rise of childhood food allergies to GMO and altered dairy and meat products in this video:


All of Europe and many other countries have banned  or severely limited GMO and products made from GMO because they say studies haven’t shown they are safe.

The US says studies haven’t shown they are harmful (sounds like what we heard for decades about cigarettes, eh?)

Not to mention how the food industry is addicting people to sugar having the same effect on the brain as heroin. No wonder obesity is so prevalent. And with it comes diabetes, heart disease – it just breaks my heart that our leaders care so little for humanity, care so much for the quick but dirty dollar.

Don’t they know they could be so much happier if they all helped everyone to reach their potential? We all were meant to help each other – the healthier & happier I am the happier & healthier I want everyone else to be.

Reboot 30 – Day 15

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When i was growing up, back in the days of the dinosaurs and peace, love & beads, maybe one kid in the whole school had any kind of food allergy, most likely seafood, and maybe one or two had asthma. Now in our advanced society, a substantial percentage of kids in each class has at least one life threatening food allery and asthma.

According to the folks like the Journal of American Medicine Association (JAMA) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) that track this kind of thing, food allergies in children has tripled from 15% to 40% in the past decade and asthma has increased 50% in that same 10 years.

Can’t bring cupcakes or cookies to a bake sale anymore – wasssup wid dat? Wheat, what nurished man for thousands of years, is now one of the top allergens? Gluten intolerance is four times more common than it was in the 1950s.  

Childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years and 68% of the overall population of America is obese. Another chilling fact is the number of people dying as a result of being overweight more than doubling in less than a decade. And that’s middle aged people. Obesity is fast becoming a bigger health issue than smoking.

Is it really as simple as people eating more and exercising less? I don’t think so. I think it is a double whammy of what they are eating.

Whammy number one is a systemic allergic reaction to the introduction of genetically modified food into our food chain.The scientific research and studies showing GM food is “sustanially equivalent” to natural food and not bad for us reminds me of the scientific community producing studies showing tobacco was not bad for us and did not cause cancer. Studies I’ve seen seem to indicate a direct link between the herbicidal protien manipulations of GMOs to how protien sensitivites cause allergic reations in people. Allergies, especially in grownups, are not necessarily an immediate reaction, but one whose severity increases with exposure over time.

Whammy number two is sugar addiction. Makes you want to eat & drink more processed junk. You’d think more sugar would be more energy, but it actually has the opposit effect.

These whammies are designed to keep the body from getting the full nutrition and energy it needs. They work on the brain invoking depression and indifference – I’m getting fat so I’m getting sad so I’ll eat ’cause that gives me a sugar spike high, but it doesn’t last because I am fat and I’m sad so I’ll eat – viscous, viscious cycle

Do we really have to wait until more people die and become sick and the evidence is beyond overwhelming to do something about processed and GM food? People can choose not to buy and smoke ciagrettes. When we see an ear of corn in our grocers there is no way to tell if that corn is the product of genetically modified organisms (GMO).

The way Monsanto is trying to control all seed production and distribution in the world is the subject for a different post…