Thursday, September 27, 2012

Why 'YES' to Proposition 37 is important to all of us

There is something very important coming to a vote this November election, and it isn't which of the two clueless pawns currently in the running will become the next president of the United States.  It's called Proposition 37 'The right to know' and voting yes to this will give consumers the right to know what's in their food, primarily whether or not it contains GM (genetically modified) or GE (genetically engineered) ingredients.

Although this is up for vote in California and not nationwide, a win in the largest state for producing and selling organic products would surely set the tone for the rest of the country.  And even if you're not a California resident you can still donate to the cause.  

It's amazing to me (but not surprising) the amount of money the opposition is spending to blind the consumer.  This isn't a vote as to whether or not GE foods should exist (and they should NOT) but instead it's a vote to ensure proper labeling so we the consumer can have the choice to buy or not to buy.

The top five contributors to the opposition are Monsanto (the industry leader in genetic engineering as well as the maker of the pesticide/herbicide RoundUp), Dupont and DOW (Chemical companies with their dirty hands covered in Agriscience), Bayer (a pharmaceutical company), and BASF (a chemical company), all of which lead the pack with a mind boggling amounts of money being spent in this campaign to blind and poison the consumer. 

E.I. Dupont De Nemours & Co.
DOW Agrisciences
Bayer Cropscience
BASF Plant Science
Pepsico, Inc.
Nestle USA
Coca-Cola North America
Conagra Foods
General Mills
Syngenta Corporation
Del Monte Foods
Kellogg Company
Hershey Company
The J.M. Smucker Company
Council for Biotechnology Information
Grocery Manufacturers Association
Hormel Foods
Bumble Bee Foods
Ocean Spray Cranberries
Sara Lee
Bimbo Bakeries
Pioneer Hi-Bred International
Pinnacle Foods
Dean Foods Company
Biotechnology Industry Organization
Campbell's Soup
McCormick & Company
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
Rich Products Corporation
Cargill, Inc.
Dole Packaged Foods
Knouse Foods Cooperative
Mars Food North America

They are pushing hard with adds trying to convince the consumer that GE foods are no different if not better than their non-GMO counterparts.  But if this were true then why not spend the money educating the public and then trusting that they will make the right choice at the check-out. . .  The reason is the "right choice" is NON-GMO!  And they know it!

When more than 40 other nations around the globe either require labeling of or ban the sale of GE and GM foods, the question you should ask yourself is why in the "land of the free" don't WE have the right to choose?

Unfortunately the opposition doesn't make it easy for the average ill-informed consumer especially when, those at the top of the list who currently control our food industry (a product of factory farming), have such deep pockets and political influence making it easy to sway our government, our medical community, the media, and ultimately our nation in their direction.

Do the research, educate yourself, and make the right HEALTHY choice.  Say 'YES' because you do have the right to know!

I still believe the best way to win the fight against our current food industry (factory farming, industrial pharming, Agriscience, call it what you will) is to support your local organic farmer.  Buy only local sustainably farmed foods when possible; organic produce and pastured meats, dairy, and eggs.  Make sure all packaged goods are organic and specifically say NON-GMO on the label.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another reason to avoid store bought milk!

I just can't resist the urge to comment on a news article such as this one, and I can't help but wonder if when they made the movie 'Dumb and Dumber" they weren't basing it on people like this...

Cattle enjoying sweet life amid corn shortages

In reading just the first few paragraphs it becomes apparent that the poor desperate and naive dairy farmer as well as 'Ki Fanning', a nutritionist with apparently no real nutritional background nor common sense for that matter, are both extremely misguided and unfortunately a product of factory farming at its worst.  

The gist of the article is; with the price of corn so high because of shortages due to the drought this year, farmers are desperately searching for alternative feed choices for their cattle aside from the obvious (grass).  So what have they turned to?  Sprinkles!  Yes you heard me correctly and it doesn't stop there.  Apparently it's Halloween for cows with their baskets full of "cookies, gummy worms, marshmallows, fruit loops, orange peels, even dried cranberries..."

It's not bad enough that these products consisting of sugar and chemicals cause disease in omnivores (humans), but to feed them to ruminants (cows)...

Quick lesson, an omnivorous diet consists of multiple food sources (animal protein, animal fat, herbs, vegetables, fruit, nuts, etc.), but a ruminant, a unique type of herbivore, can only safely digest one type of food... GRASS!  It's the whole reason their digestive system consists of a multiple compartment stomach including its own fermentation tank (the rumen), to allow for healthy efficient digestion of cellulose (plant matter).  Incorrect diet is one of the main reasons factory farming results in animals being fed so many antibiotics as part of their diet.  The majority of  their poor unhealthy diet is grain (corn) not herbs as nature intended.  This causes inflammation within their stomach(s), kills the healthy bacteria within their rumen necessary for digestion, and leads to sickness and disease.

And if all of this can be caused by the almighty grain, which chemically speaking is basically glucose, then imagine what pure refined toxic sugar will do?

Most disturbing by far though is this quote by a supposed nutritionist...

"Everybody is looking for alternatives," said Ki Fanning, a nutritionist with Great Plains Livestock Consulting in Eagle, Nebraska. "It's kind of funny the first time you see it but it works well. The big advantage to that is you can turn something you normally throw away into something that can be consumed. The amazing thing about a ruminant, a cow, you can take those type of ingredients and turn them into food."

I think the scarecrow had more brains then this guy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

How to stay healthy this flu season without the help of big pharma

With shorter days getting shorter by the minute and colder temperatures riding the coattails of autumn, it's only natural that images of your fevered sniffly achy self pathetically lying in bed or on the couch with a thermometer sticking out of  your mouth become more frequent, but haunting?  It doesn't have to be so.

So how then do you stay healthy when all those around you are willingly overdosing on cold and or flu medicine as if they had stock in the very pharmaceutical companies pushing these drugs?

Well for starters don't panic.  A healthy immune system is an amazing and surprisingly intelligent fighting machine.  It's the kind of thing all of the great Sci Fi  films are made of...  It learns, remembers, and attacks with precision strikes!  It has however one critical flaw, to learn and remember it has to first actually be exposed to... and therein lies the problem.

We have become a society of 'live unhealthy and let big pharma take care of the rest'... Who needs a working immune system when there is a shot, pill, or elixir just waiting to be had?  Well, if avoiding sickness and disease is your intention then the answer is you do!

I will share with you my secrets but first you should know it really is not a secret at all, and I really can't take any credit for it because much of it (that of which is not common sense or trial and error learned) is based on others research that I've simply picked up along the way.  So without further ado...

  1. Maintain a healthy diet.  A rule of thumb should be if it promotes a healthy gut (digestive system) and inhibits inflammation (NOT promotes inflammation) while satisfying your inner carnivorous need for pastured animal protein, animal fat, and animal fat soluble vitamins, then it's a healthy diet. I recommend incorporating unpasteurized fermented foods such as sauerkraut and kefir into your diet, while avoiding gluten and minimizing grains as they are high in omega-6 which promotes inflammation.
  2. Get some sun.  I am using sun as a synonym for Vit D, with the understanding that the sun is the healthiest most efficient and most natural source of 'D' available.  Avoid sun screen!
  3. Exercise regularly.  My favorite exercise is hiking or running (barefoot) OUTSIDE on NATURAL surfaces.  Not only do you get the basic cardiovascular benefits of exercise as well as fresh air and sunlight, you also get the added benefit of 'grounding' and natural healing from barefoot contact with the earth due to the naturally occurring magnetic fields.  
  4. Get sufficient rest.  Sleep is important period; no way around it, and insomnia or any chronic sleeping issues is a sure sign of unhealthier things to come. 
  5. Take only good quality supplements.  Your best bet are whole food supplements when possible.  I take a fermented cod liver oil for omega-3 with the added benefit of vitamin D, A and K.  I also take a wild greens powder supplement which is loaded with vitamins and antioxidants.
  6. Eat local sustainably farmed meats, dairy, eggs, and veggies.  Most anything else you buy is a product of factory farming (grain fed, omega-3 deficient, antibiotic/hormone inoculated) animals.
  7. Make sure any store bought foods are organic non-GMO.
  8. Don't use pharmaceuticals!  Over-the-counter or Rx, and this includes vaccinations.
  9. Don't use antibacterial soaps!
  10. Avoid hospitals when possible.  For that matter avoid doctors as well...
  11. Use only organic or chemical free products for all your hygiene needs.   This means fluoride free, sulfate free toothpaste.  Your dentist may tell you otherwise but if you do the research you will see that fluoridation of all types (drinking water or topical) is toxic not to mention fluoridated water is  byproduct of the phosphate chemical fertilizer industry!
  12. Use only plant based chemical free (organic if possible) household cleaning products.
  13. Practice some sort of meditation.  A stress free life is a healthy life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Don't let your pediatrician bully you into unnecessary vaccinations

Vaccinations are always a hot topic especially this time of year when children are back in school.  Unfortunately many parents put way too much blind faith in their pediatrician to make this very personal and very important decision for them.  A decision that could just as easily cause a serious life altering and in some cases fatal reaction; one that would surely leave the parents asking why?   How?

Fortunately there are many parents out there that do the research, understand the risks (often higher than the "reward"), and choose to say no when it comes to vaccinations.  Or at the very least they go into the decision with enough facts to make smart choices as to which vaccination they will allow their child to have.

I often bight my tongue when it comes to topics like this one, because I do not have children of my own, but with all of the testimonials out there and all of the documented cases of "harmless vaccinations" going very very wrong, I see no reason why I can't chime in on the side of these concerned parents. 

Since the very first vaccinations were given (small pox and rabies) severe life altering side-effects have followed, and with the scary and very creditable link between many vaccination and autism, concerned mothers have been fighting tooth and nail for the right to say NO!

I urge you, as a concerned parent, to do the research and don't be afraid to question your child's pediatrician.  It is important to remember that vaccinations, like any drug, are a very profit driven market within the pharmaceutical industry.   The same pharmaceutical companies that are constantly in a vicious competition with one another as they race to get their product on the market first, regardless of the consequences.  They (pharmaceutical companies) have the deep pockets to act first and pay later. 

If you don't believe me, just do a quick online search regarding lawsuits against pharmaceutical companies by the FDA due to a laundry list of illegal and despicable practices.  Trust me a few deaths and a few fines are a drop in the bucket compared to the billions of dollars in profit they get for getting their product out first.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time to Can!

It's that time of year again, when the tomatoes in your garden or at your local organic farm stand are hanging out just begging to be picked or purchased before they go bad.  So what better to do with all those tomatoes than to can them for use over those long cold winter months when those red tomato looking imposters line the store shelves... they may look like that juicy summertime friend you're yearning for, but trust me they are not!

And if your garden hasn't produced enough worthy of canning, try and find a local farm stand or farmers market where you can purchase the older softer ones for a bit of a price break.  This time of year farmers are usually more than willing to give you a break if you buy them in bulk and help them unload the seasons bounty.

Happy Canning!

Friday, September 7, 2012

Factory farming promotes disease!

In a natural untouched setting you have herbivores, the grazers of the world, tending to our perennial prairie land pastures eating herbs and fertilizing the soil all while miraculously turning cellulose (plant matter) into edible fat and protein for all of the many carnivorous and omnivorous creatures that can't.  You then have nature's cleanup crew, flocks of omnivorous foul, closely tailing the heard scratching through the dung left behind looking for any edible insect that might be on their menu.  And finally you have nature's way of balancing out just the right amount of herbivores per square acre... carnivores.  Without these meat / animal-fat craving creatures of the world (and this includes the omnivorous human), the land would quickly be overrun by plant eaters resulting in a landscape of barren desert waist land due to over grazing, and ultimately leading to many starving animals dependent upon this otherwise healthy fertile soil.

And each individual team (herbivore, carnivore, and omnivore) on this common playing field holds a very important and distinct role dictated by these simple dietary constraints, better yet efficiencies; herbivores eat herbs, carnivores eat herbivorous animal fat and protein, and omnivores consume both.  And despite each players unique role in this game of sustainability, the very thing that sets each apart from the other (their gut) holds one very important commonality spanning them all; a healthy gut dependent upon healthy bacterial environment provides a healthy immune system, and ultimately a healthy relatively disease free existence.  

Despite the resilience of this healthy highly efficient zero-waist system we humans have figured out how to throw a very destructive wrench into this otherwise perfect running machine, and at such a startlingly damaging rate.  Disease is not natural, not at the frequency and efficiency at which it now wreaks havoc on our bodies and our world, and yet we have managed to make life threatening diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases a devastating and regular occurrence in our lives. 

The healthy balanced gut of a mammal is paradise for (healthy) bacteria, trillions of them, and the tasks they perform (braking down our food so we can utilize its nutrients) is probably the most important job within the body.  Without balanced and efficient digestion, inflammation wreaks havoc on the stomach lining and intestinal walls changing the gut environment from 'friendly bacteria' to 'harmful bacteria' severely compromising the immune system allowing disease to follow. 

So who would think that among these three very distinct digestive groups of mammals (herbivore, carnivore, omnivore) that one common food would be poisoning them all, but it's true!  Grains are not naturally on the  menu for any of these groups of mammals, and yet with the advent of factory farming it has become a major food source for all.  In this unnatural unsustainable unhealthy farming model (factory farming) we feed cheap GMO grains to cattle (herbivores) as well as pigs and chickens (omnivores), depriving them of what they naturally need to survive a healthy disease free life.  Hence the heavy use of antibiotics within factory farming.  And we (omnivores) as well as our carnivorous pets (cats and dogs) are not immune to this poisoning. In fact we get it from all sides.  For humans, we make whole grains an important part of our diets because that's what we've been told is healthy, and any animal protein we do eat is from unhealthy omega-6 rich (grain fed) meat, dairy, and eggs. And as for our pets just look at the ingredients on the package of food (poison) that your feeding them... not only are grains on there in one way shape or form, if they're not the first ingredient they're almost always in the top 5.  And even if you feed them "grain-free" food, unless the animal protein listed comes from organic pastured meats they're still getting their share of poisoning just as we are. 

Grains are high in omega-6 which promotes inflammation, they spike insulin levels due to their glucose content, and  are very difficult to digest.

There is a solution to this global problem that is factory farming... local organic non-GMO sustainable farming!  When we allow animals to eat what nature intended, the result is a healthy relatively disease free life.  This goes for herbivores, carnivores, and omnivores alike.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Unexpected Garden: part 3

Our unexpected garden, or as we like to call it our "Chicken Garden", has yielded an amazing amount of vegetables this growing season, and all without planting one single seed.  We have harvested more than 40 zucchini, countless tomatoes with more on the way, corn (which goes back to the chickens), and some peppers, all of which are a product of composting and hard working chickens.  So with the season winding down I can't help but wonder... can I reproduce this next year?

The truth is I can't think of a single reason why not!

Not only has this truly organic sustainable "non mechanically tilled" garden been bountiful beyond my wildest dreams, it has required no pre-thought, no preparation, and not one minute of my time prior to the season.  And these are the biggest reasons (with my copious spare time leading the way) that I have not, up until this year's garden, had one of my own.  Between tending to the chickens and any chicken related issues as well as house projects, I have always found it easier to leave the fresh organic local produce to the organic farm stand down the road from us.  That is until now.

So as this year's summer crop ripens its last fruit and as Mother Nature changes her wardrobe from summer's many shades of green to the many fiery shades of autumn, I will do my best to do my part as I set the foundation for next year's chicken garden.  I will move the coop back to its Fall/Winter location currently occupied by the garden, allowing the chickens to forage and naturally till the land.  And with the coop of course will come this year's compost which has blanketed the bottom of the coop all spring and summer, and with it the seeds for next year's crop. 

I admit there will be more preparation and forethought (on my part) this year going into next, but I can't help but think it will all be well worth it in the end!

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