Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Land O'... Corn?

As my wife and I were driving back from the organic winery we frequent we noticed a Land O'Lakes farm, something we never noticed before; what we didn't notice ironically enough were any cows. Oh there was plenty of land with plenty of corn fields, but not a cow in sight.

I find it funny that a farm which supplies butter to this monstrosity of a corporation uses its fields to grow corn, which ultimately will go to feeding hungry cows.

For a company that supposedly started out as a small cooperative with big new ideas about producing butter, I wonder if they ever thought they would be just another large corporation supporting the corn industry and a nation of unhealthy cows... And people!

If butter is on your weekly grocery list, then wouldn't it make good healthy sense to know that the butter you buy is coming from a working sustainable dairy farm instead of acres and acres of corn field with a few cows tucked away somewhere?

Do yourself a favor and support local organic sustainable farming!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Collards and Carrots

A headline in today's health news reads "Collards and carrots may ward of breast cancer", and other than the fact that it should read "WILL" ward off cancer I am happy to see such studies being done by the medical community.

The high carotene content in such vegetables such as carrots, collards, spinach, and kale to name a few is the number one reason these foods are so important to a healthy diet (see Carotenes are the Fountain of Youth), and despite the fact that it takes the medical community forever to figure out what the naturopathic community has known for some time now, it is indeed promising to just to know the research is being done.

The unfortunate thing is nowhere in the article "collards and carrots..." do they even mention the word carotene, and as a matter of fact they say more research must be done to confirm vegetable's cancer-staving powers, but at least the research is being done!

In the mean time, while the medical community is doing more research, do yourself a favor and get your daily dose of this natural cancer fighting superstar... Carotene!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Processing Equals Disaster

With recent headlines like Frozen veggies recalled over glass shard risk or Texas food factory closed, packaged produce recalled I think it only helps drive home the point that food processing, on any level, is an accident waiting to happen; or worse yet death, which is already the case with the Texas food factory... 5 deaths already reported!

For the Texas factory the recall is on fresh cut fruits and vegetables, packaged and sealed and distributed to, get this, restaurants, hospitals and schools!

Can't we buy our fruits and vegetables straight from our local organic farm, where we the buyer actually has an "in person" relationship with the farmer? Where we the buyer brings home this fresh organic produce and then cuts and packages them ourselves?

It is said that in a country that is supposed to be so advanced, that the food industry can be so screwed up, to the point where those that dare venture beyond their local farm for food must approach any aisle of their local grocery store with a "buyer beware" cloud looming overhead.

Sad but true!

Be smart; choose to live a healthy lifestyle! Choose a healthy diet (consisting mainly) of fresh local organic unprocessed foods!

Even if you have to drive an hour or so to the nearest "local organic farm", doesn't it beat the alternative?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Is Cancer a Man-Made Disease?

There are many arguments on either side of this question; with some showing little if any signs of cancer in ancient humans leading to a link between cancer and modern human industrialized society, while others argue that ancient humans rarely lived beyond their 30's which explains the low almost zero rate of cancer within their society.

Michael Zimmerman, a researcher from the University of Villanova, argues this theory saying that "Cancer nowadays is largely caused by man-made environmental factors such as pollution and diet." He goes on to say, "In industrialized societies, cancer is second only to cardiovascular disease as a cause of death, but in ancient times, it was extremely rare".

He follows this up by saying, "There is nothing in the natural environment that can cause cancer."

I must say it was nice to see someone within the research community voice such conclusions publicly, and I just can't fathom why the majority of researchers within the medical community can't grasp this notion. It is an indisputable documented fact that prior to being "infected" by the cancer causing ways of the modern western world, societies of humans existed living well into their hundreds; I'm talking 120's and 130's... to us that's unheard of! But to people from Vilcabamba Valley high within the Andes Mountains (just as one example) this was the norm.

This to me rebuts the theory that we suffer from cancer more than our ancient ancestors did simply because we live longer. As man evolved some stayed within small remote communities out of sight from the rest of the world, and some became the industrial society we live in today where man-made pollution and toxins are the norm; and it's this branch that lives with cancer as an epidemic.

The best we can do is to live the healthiest life we can; that means fresh organic fruits and vegetables, natural organic whole grains and legumes, and grass fed meats and free-range eggs. It means limit your exposure to anything toxic; household chemicals and cleaners, cosmetics, soaps, toothpastes, etc.

It's your life; choose to live a long one!

If you would like to read more about Michael Zimmerman's findings, click on "Cancer is a man-made disease, controversial study claims".

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Don't Let Creative Marketing Fool You!

There are many forms of sneaky persuasive misleading tools used by companies in an effort to sell their product. We see it all the time whether it's the wording and or pictures on the products packaging, or the packaging itself for that matter; whether it's a newspaper or magazine ad, a radio commercial, or TV advertisement, it's nothing more than creative marketing and advertising and companies spend millions of dollars for just that.

Don't let this creative marketing fool you!

Trust me when I tell you that Jimmy Dean's microwavable breakfast sausages are not going to wake you up and energize you in the morning, even if a man dressed up in a sun outfit tells you so.

Trust me when I tell you the new Burger King breakfast bowl is not the hardy breakfast a hungry man needs, even if a singing mailman tells you so.

And trust me, America does NOT "Runs on Dunkin"... despite what they tell you!

Do yourself a favor and eat healthy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Organic Diets and the Medical Community

It's not too often when you find doctors within the medical community (western medicine) buying into the benefits of a healthy diet based on food grown/raised using organic sustainable farming methods, so to hear about a doctor who chose to live the (organic) life, for 3 years... practically unheard of, but apparently not unprecedented.

Meet Dr. Alan Greene, a pediatrician who decided not simply to investigate the pros and cons of such an organic lifestyle, but to live it, 100%, for 3 years! He chose three years because that's the amount of time it takes to get a breading animal certified "organic", and figured if that's the rules farmers must comply with than so shall he. Three years of eating nothing but organic foods, whether at home or away; that's how long it would take for him to feel he'd lived up to these same standers set forth by the department of agriculture, for which farmers are strictly held.

So what came of his journey? Well I won't give it all away, but I will say the outcome was positive. Don't take my word for it though, read for yourself...

For Three Years, Every Bite Organic

Monday, October 4, 2010

So Why Does Organic Cost More?

There is no doubt an organic lifestyle costs more than the non-organic heavily processed western diet. It's apparent at any store with just about any organic product, but the disparity between organic meats and non-organic is probably the most eye-catching. But why is this?

You can say that it costs more to do things right, and that ultimately it's cheaper to produce the "garbage" American's have become accustom to calling food, but should this be? Or is it just the label itself "organic" that comes with such a price tag... the stigma that we as a society are conditioned to believe that you have to pay more for better quality.

If you've never read The Omnivore's Dilemma than you may simply accept this reasoning as fact, but no doubt this is a concept that should be questioned, and for me a recent visit to Polyface Farm (the organic sustainable farm in Michael Pollen's book) had done just that. Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm will tell you just the opposite, that in reality it cost more to do things the wrong way rather than to go with flow (of nature).

He says what people fail to take into account, when making this assumption, is all that is behind the scenes; like the many thousands of farmers subsidized by the government yet heavily in debt from the hefty loans necessary to purchase the mega farming equipment used to harvest tons of corn, from genetically engineered seeds that must be purchased every year, and the millions of tons of chemical fertilizers necessary to farm the same infertile land every season, all to grow corn in mass quantities. Or the millions of dollars it costs to transport this crop to the feedlots where it will become the main menu item for our countries mass produced live stock, which will undoubtedly become sick from this poor unhealthy diet requiring antibiotics and constant monitoring by well paid veterinarians. Not to mention the millions spent on removal and disposal of the many casualties in the form of dead livestock, a common fate for a creature treated so inhumanely, which in some form or another will find its way back as food to those "lucky" animals who survive this nightmare. Add to that the millions dollars in crude oil burned in keeping this giant operation running and the stores' shelves packed, and you have a pretty hefty bill.

But why stop there? As you know an unhealthy diet equals an unhealthy person, and that means thousands per family spent in medical bills... every year!

On the other hand an organic sustainable farmer (or grass farmer as Joel says) has nothing below the surface; no men behind the scenes. Just many acres of land farmed by many healthy livestock, each having job a maintaining the property if you will. Nothing but healthy animals (cows, pigs, sheep, chickens, etc.) putting in an honest day's work grazing off of healthy naturally fertilized land. And when done properly, kept tightly herded and rotated religiously at just the right time, first the larger animals like cows sheep and goats filling their stomachs and leaving behind an acre or so of "disturbed" land that this is ready and primed for re-growth and all the natural fertilizer necessary for this to happen. Followed this up with chickens and turkeys ready to feast on the new shoots of grass and the many insects that are hard at work fertilizing the land, and what you have is a self sustained organic farm.

So it's true at the register an organic lifestyle is pricier, but when you look at the whole picture... Which one sounds more expensive to you?

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