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living a healthy lifestyle

Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health.
(Featured on CNN)

When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, there was no obesity epidemic, and children were not developing old-age maladies such as heart disease. Cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism were virtually unheard of. Living a healthy lifestyle was a lot easier. More...

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Health Editorial For Those Concerned About A Healthy Lifestyle

These Two Nutrients Will Solve the Majority of Your Existing and Potential Health Problems
Dr. Oz Under Fire
Early 20th Century Food in the 21st Century--Retro is Better
Truth Should Not Have to be Legislated
Scared ... into Quitting Smoking!
Conventional Oncology Is A Failure!
In This Age of Technological and Medical Miracles, Cancer Rates Are Still On The Rise
How to Get More Nutritional "Bang" For Your Hard-Earned Buck
What Am I Supposed to Eat?
'Fess Up
America's Modern Food Agenda (hidden in plain sight)
In retrospect - The Neighborhood Drug Store
Growing older without going downhill

These Two Nutrients Will Solve the Majority of Your Existing and Potential Health Problems

Uncontrolled Technology

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, and continuing through the Technological Revolution and Information Age, and into the mind-blowing science of the 21st century, there has been an unwanted but ever-present companion alongside of technological and medical advancement. This companion is many times only discovered after many people develop serious health issues and suffer, or tragically, die.

This companion was never planned. Many times it was an unforeseen and unplanned consequence of technological innovation. But sometimes it resulted from unwise management or actions by mankind. When change comes about by a willful disregard for nature, and many times a planned rejection of nature, negative consequences will always arise.

What is this companion? It is chronic disease. Look at what the 21st century has brought along with amazing technology and medical advances: global obesity, increased cancer and heart disease, escalating Alzheimer's disease, osteoporosis, ADD (attention deficit disorder), ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), autism, depression, and others.

Take for example what happened in the 1970s. Science mistakenly believed that saturated fat was the cause of America's escalating heart disease crisis. So what did the medical establishment recommend? Cut back or eliminate things like red meat and butter, and replace them with vegetable oil and margarine. All of a sudden, after decades of beef and butter on America's breakfast and dinner tables, cow products became public enemy number one.

Now grain in general and corn in particular were king. Vegetable oil and a low-fat diet were seen as cures for heart disease. And what was the consequence? Heart disease continued unabated and America saw the birth of the obesity epidemic. A 'scientific' innovation which was thought would accomplish the demise of heart disease not only did not cure heart disease, but caused the birth of a scourge which is at the foundation of so much chronic disease.

Also around that time, the meat industry thought that they could improve on nature. Towards that goal they devised CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation.) This innovation was brought about to increase 'efficiency.'

Cows, pigs, and chickens were kept confined for the greater part of their lives in overcrowded pens and enclosures. They were fed 'food' unnatural to their diet like grain and animal parts. And because the meat industry wanted to maximize profits, the animals were given hormones to increase their growth and milk production.

Since CAFO inherently breeds disease and extreme discomfort and injury to the animals, they were constantly given antibiotics to combat sickness. And the human consequence for this modern advancement? Disease and negative hormonal shifts in humans. The pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics are passed along from the animals and into our meats, butter, and milk.

Score another point for scientific advancement!

And what is America's answer to these chronic diseases brought on by advancing technology? Is it the removal of the cause? Or maybe working alongside of nature so that it would be a win-win situation? No. Neither one.

America's solution to chronic disease brought along by technology is symptom treatment by pharmaceuticals. And what is the consequence of pharmaceutical drugs? Secondary health problems. Look at the Vioxx fiasco. A pharmaceutical drug was devised to lower cholesterol levels. This drug caused the injury and deaths of thousands of innocent people who were led astray by the hype and credentials of the drug cartels.

Those who survived Vioxx now have medical problems which their doctors attempt to solve by prescribing yet other pharmaceutical drugs.

The chronic diseases which Americans, and those citizens of other countries who are heavily influenced by American technology, are saddled with drastically reduced nutrient levels. And this is a direct result of 20th and 21st century advancements.

Two nutrients in particular are of paramount importance. These nutrients were found in abundance in Americans of early to mid-20th century and earlier. Their demise was caused as much by misinformation and profiteering as by attempting to out-do nature.

The two nutrients are in my estimation the two most crucial that a person could have. If I had to recommend just two nutrients--they would be vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids.

The Sunshine Vitamin

Find all the health benefits of vitamin D here.

Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin. That's because it is not a true vitamin. The best source of vitamin D is not any food or liquid, but the sun itself. But since medical science (there you have it--20th century ignorance masquerading as science) has demonized the sun, the majority of Americans are terrified of it.

Medical science would have you believe that the sun is the major cause of skin cancer. That is simply not true. (This article will reveal the truth about what's really behind the escalating cases of skin cancer.)

The reasons that most Americans are suffering from sub-optimal vitamin D levels are: (1) inadequate sun exposure (due to sunscreens, indoors too much, location on globe) and to a much lesser extent (2) inadequate food intake. Realistically, the only factors that can be easily changed are sunscreens and being cooped up indoors.

For all intents and purposes we cannot easily change where we live. For people who live in the northern United States, inadequate sunshine is the norm from September through mid-April. In global terms, if you live above 30 degrees northern latitude or below 30 degrees southern latitude, your sun exposure is limited and not enough for its health benefits. You must supplement. Find your latitude here.

Be advised that sunny and hot weather is not necessarily an indication of adequate amounts of UVB rays from the sun.

Vitamin D levels can drop as much as 50 percent in the winter months. This affects your immune system tremendously. This is the reason why this season is called the cold and flu season. With a suffering immune system, you don't have adequate immune protection to fight the common cold or the flu.

If global vitamin D levels were at optimal levels, 600,000 cases of breast and colorectal cancer could be prevented (150,000 total in the United States alone.) Vitamin D would prevent chronic diseases that claim close to one million lives annually.

What makes vitamin D so powerful and effective is the fact that the entire human body contains receptors that respond to vitamin D. Almost every one of your cells has these receptors. They are found from your brain to your bones.

Optimal vitamin D levels helps to prevent as many as 16 different cancers from developing. These cancers include pancreatic, lung, beast, ovarian, prostate, and colon. Vitamin D influences heart disease, diabetes, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, osteoporosis, colds and the flu too.

Seemingly every day medical science is discovering a sickness or disease which adequate levels of vitamin D can prevent.

UVB rays from the sun produces up to 80 percent of the vitamin D your body needs. This form of vitamin D is D3 or cholecalciferol.

The only recourse you have if you are not located in the sunshine latitudes of the globe is to supplement or get access to a safe tanning bed.

The only downside to supplementing with vitamin D3 is it by-passes your body's natural feedback system. Vitamin D is fat-soluble. That means that you can build up an excess of it. This can be harmful. UVB rays from the sun and from tanning beds which mimic the sun can not build up to dangerous levels in your body. Your innate feedback system kicks in.

It is recommended that you have your vitamin D levels checked every so often when you supplement. Read this article to find out the test you should ask for, and what your optimum level of vitamin D should be.

The Fatty Acid You Can't Do Without

The second nutrient which most Americans are deficient in is omega-3 fatty acid. There are several factors which influences low omega-3 levels. The factor which has the greatest impact is the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. It is important that you receive enough omega-6. Unfortunately though, almost everyone gets too much.

Omega-6 is in grains like corn, soybean, canola, and sunflower. The primary feed of CAFO which is also known as factory farm, is grain. Chickens, cattle, and pigs are all fed grain. Even farmed fish are given grain.

All of your conventionally sourced meat, milk, eggs, and butter comes from grain-fed animals. In addition, your vegetable oils comes from grain. Grain is composed of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Omega-6 comes from the seeds of plants.

The ideal balance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids should be from 1:1 to 2:1. It has been estimated that the typical American diet supplies ratios anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1. The switch to vegetable oil precipitated the tremendous increase in omega-6 consumption.

According to the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), America's daily consumption of omega-6s more than doubled--going from approximately 7 grams to 18. The AMA (American Heart Association says that heart disease has risen in parallel with the rise in consumption of seed fats (omega-6s.)

A great portion of your brain is composed of omega-3 fatty acids. They help children who have learning disabilities, reduce prison violence, and improve a person's daily mood. Omega-3s lower the risk of developing heart disease, arthritis, and several forms of cancer.

Technology--But Not At Your Health's Expense

Can technology and optimum health co-exist? Yes they can. But we can't wait for big business to do it. They are driven by profit and have the help of the government behind them. But you as an individual can persuade the meat, milk, and pharmaceutical industries to be more environmentally- and human health-friendly. You can withdraw your support from them by refusing to purchase factory-farmed meat, milk, butter, and eggs.

You can also make yourself sick-proof by exercising and eating organic produce and grass-fed meat. Once you get yourself healthy you will achieve a healthy body weight, and find your health issues disappearing. This will allow you to wean yourself off the expensive and dangerous medications you are currently on.

Only recently has the government begun correcting the mistake made in the 1970s with hydrogenation--trans fats. The culprit for the unhealthy levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol was once placed on saturated fat. It is still getting a bad rap. Trans fats are now banned by a few city governments.

As is not surprising with anything the government sponsors, trans fats has a loop-hole. Processed food producers are allowed to claim zero trans fats if a serving on their product has less than a half a gram.

Here is how you can avoid trans fats; don't eat any processed food; if you're not willing to go that far, read the ingredient list. If you see the word hydrogenated, it contains trans fats.

America's sick-care system is built on a foundation of unhealthy food, pharmaceutical drugs, a broken health care system, and government agency collaborators. Food and health care forms a vicious cycle. You get sick from the processed food and are prescribed pharmaceutical drugs. These drugs have multiple side effects which produce other medical conditions for which you are prescribed even more drugs. In the meantime you continue eating the food that initially produced your chronic illness or got you sick in the first place.

This sad and dark scenario is a win/lose proposition. The health care, pharmaceutical and food industries win, and you lose.

You have to take charge of your own health. I guarantee that no one else will.

Dr. Oz Under Fire

I don't think there is a more well-known and famous doctor in America than Dr. Mehmet Oz -- Dr. Oz for short. His fame and popularity grew from his many appearances on the Ophrah Winfrey show.

Dr. Oz now has his very own show, and it is enormously popular. The show averages 3.7 million viewers a day. He also has a website.

Dr. Mehmet Oz is a respected cardiologist (heart specialist.) What makes him unique is that he doesn't confine his topics to heart health. He tackles nutrition as well as sex and child care. Dr. Oz's views are respected by millions of people all across America.

By and large, Dr. Oz doesn't buck the conventional medical paradigm. But lately he is seeing his share of critics. Dr. Oz believes Americans should be given all medical alternatives, and not just what traditional medicine validates.

Dr. Oz has invited doctors on his show who advocate alternative health solutions. These solutions or approaches are shunned by the established medical establishment.

For instance, he once had a doctor on his show who believed that baking soda can cure cancer. His website endorses a group which teaches 'unproven' autism treatments.

Dr. Oz refused to answer his critics according to an article published on the website However his spokespersons say Dr. Oz's mission is to give his audience information from different perspectives -- not just from the entrenched medical establishment.

Whereas I was once critical of Dr. Oz for just merely advocating conventional medical practices, I now applaud his open mindedness. He is at least willing to look at alternative medical approaches. Showing all views allows people to make up their own minds. This is truly the democratic way. Allow all perspectives and let the people draw their own conclusions.

"The purpose of the [web]site is to provide users with as much information as possible and allow the users to differentiate between what they find helpful and what they do not," says Oz's spokespersons.

A good example of what is angering some medical critics concerns the rotavirus vaccine. In Oz's guild called YOU: Having a Baby, he and co-author express concern about whether rotavirus vaccines cause intussusception, a rare intestinal complication.

The guide suggest that parents "opt out of this one until more data are available -- unless your child is in daycare or other high-risk circumstances..."

I take my hat off to Dr. Oz and his co-author. Even though those vaccines are recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the World Health Organization, there may be, and frequently is, behind the scenes partnerships with pharmaceutical conglomerates. Money is a powerful motivator.

There is compelling evidence that the vaccination schedule for babies is too aggressive, and leads to negative health risks. Dr. Oz describes as 'reasonable' an alternate vaccine schedule which is in favor with many parents who believe that their children are given too many vaccines too fast.

Dr. Oz has even had Dr. Joseph Mercola, an alternative medicine practitioner, on his show (The Dr. Oz Show.) As you may be aware of, this site promotes Dr. Mercola's products and practices.

Joseph Elijah Barrett

Early 20th Century Food in the 21st Century--Retro is Better

(Photo left: class picture was taken in 1960 or thereabouts; food technology then was superior to that of our 21st century.)

There is no question that technology has grown by leaps and bounds in the last 60 years. There were no cell phones, video games, iPods, internet, surround sound, cable or satellite TV, laptops or home computers of any kind in 1950.

The few computers that did exist were confined to research laboratories and were room-sized monstrosities with hundreds of vacuum tubes. Consumer televisions were in their infancy, and they were only black and white sets with screen sizes under 15 inches.

Although a few homes had television sets back then, most didn't. My father finally saved enough money to buy a set on which I remember watching Howdy Doody.

Not only was electronics technology in its infancy in 1950, but so was food technology. Factory farms, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate, genetically modified organisms, cloning, and synthetic hormones did not exist back then. Neither did you have an obesity crisis, runaway cancer and heart disease, and men, women, and even infants with unnatural levels of toxic chemicals in their bodies.

Poultry and beef came from animals that grazed outdoors 60 years ago, and ate what God designed them to eat. And the meat then was not owned and raised by huge food conglomerates concerned only with their bottom line. And where consumer safety was at risk because their meat was given hormones to accelerate growth and milk production, and antibiotics to combat sickness caused by unsanitary and overcrowded conditions.

Whereas the independent family farm is almost nonexistent today, it flourished back then. Farmers used traditional methods to raise their animals. They worked hard and took pride in their work.

Unfortunately the path of food technology did not parallel the path of electronics technology. Scientific innovations were introduced to food production which placed human and animal health at risk due to unforeseen complications.

Normally time introduces better ways of doing things which does not harm us. Not so with food technology though. Electronics technology improved phenomenally and benefited mankind, food technology on the other hand produced food which compromises your health.

Of course food technologists, scientists, and manufacturers do not see food today as causing disease. They believe that unproven technologies such as cloning, genetically modified ingredients, and CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation), also known as factory farming, is harmless.

The degenerating results of food technology has a cascading effect. It causes obesity and chronic disease. And chronic disease is not confined to adults either. It reaches the most vulnerable segments of our society--the unborn and infants.

All age groups are now facing health issues which were not even dreamed of 60 years ago. And what is America's solution to this medical nightmare which is unique to the late 20th century and extending into the 21st century? Pharmaceutical drugs and weight loss surgery.

Pharmaceutical drugs and weight loss surgery are not evil in and of themselves. But they become a danger because they are (1) often the first medical solution offered and (2) they do not address the root cause of the problem. They become mere band-aids covering the problem which is then allowed to remain.

Medications often have a list of devastating side effects which mushroom into other medical issues. These issues are then 'resolved' by prescribing yet more pharmaceuticals. America's medical paradigm is a win-lose situation. Pharmaceutical and food companies win and the consumer loses.

21st century medicine in America is all about profit. Obscene amounts of money are to be had in 'treating' disease with drugs and weight loss surgery. It is a vicious circle in which the food industry provides a lifetime patient for the health industry. In the meantime sick patients continue eating processed and technology-driven food which perpetuates their illness and guarantees they will never get well.

Radio and television in the 1950s were free of pharmaceutical drug advertising. The only 'drug' commercial I remember seeing in those early years was Bufferin for headaches. And then there was Speedy for the Alka-Seltzer commercials. But that was it.

But a headache is a legitimate symptom. Today the pharmaceutical industry is guilty of disease mongering, manufacturing diseases for which they provide drugs to treat.

Not everything advertised in those early days was good--I'm not saying that. Cigarette smoking was responsible for millions of cancer cases and eventual death--including that of my baby sister.

Although cigarette smoking is now recognized for the danger it poses and has been pulled from the airwaves, it has been replaced by foods and technologies now viewed as harmless. And this is without long-term studies proving their safety.

Today you will not view one commercial-driven program on network television without seeing an advertisement for drugs for insomnia, restless leg syndrome, cholesterol, depression, and diabetes. Or weight loss programs for America's 67 percent overweight population.

Neither will you see commercials encouraging viewers, or listeners in the case of radios, to eat vegetables or grass-fed or free-ranged meat. Do you remember the Green Giant commercials for vegetables?

Family eating practices were different 60 years ago too. For the most part, breakfast and dinner were eaten at home. The only exception was lunch. As a small child I can remember seeing high school students drinking sodas and eating sandwiches bought from the corner delicatessen. (We lived within sight of Lincoln High School in Jersey City.)

But other students either brought their lunches to school or did as I did--went home to eat.

I must add however that even the sandwiches from the corner delicatessen then were healthier than the food that is purchased from today's fast food restaurants. There were no concerns about trans fats, meat from sick farm animals, artificial sweeteners, and genetically modified ingredients.

Students and those in the work force who brought their lunches from home did so in brown paper bags. Remember those? There weren't plastic bags back then. And sandwiches were wrapped in waxed paper, not aluminum foil. This is the era which we get the term brown-bagging it from. It means to bring meals from home.

Today you will find a McDonalds, Burger King, White Castle, Quick Check, Wendy's, and dozens of other fast food restaurants and food marts inundating our communities. They virtually did not exist in the 50s.

Although the 50s had its share of fast food eateries, they were few and far between. And many such as Wendy's and Taco Bell did not even exist.

In addition to the glut of fast food restaurants, there are thousands of upscale ethnic eateries. More Americans eat outside the home than in any other period of history. Eat-at-home families are rare today.

Just as there were far fewer fast food restaurants 60 years ago, there were fewer upscale restaurants too. And the culture then was such that for a family to eat outside the home was a treat rather than an everyday event. Our family never did.

My father worked as a dental laboratory messenger in the early 60s. He would take me and maybe another one of my brothers to help him. My father would drive to the dentists in various cities and we would run up and down the stairs to make deliveries to the dentists.

Instead of eating breakfast at home, sometimes my father would stop for hamburgers at White Castle. But we would always bring lunch from home. This was as much an economic issue as it was anything else.

Meals prepared at home are inherently healthier than those purchased outside the home whether 60 years ago or today. The consumer does not have access to monosodium glutamate, trans fats, or high fructose corn syrup--chemicals which are health-threatening.

Meals prepared 60 years ago were cooked on a stove or in an oven. The microwave oven was not on the market then. We now know that it changes the molecular structure of food. Microwaved food can cause disease as serious as cancer to develop.

There is now a growing movement to bring the state of food back to its healthy origins. This movement is being driven by programs aired on public television such as PBS (Public Broadcasting System) and alternative lifestyle websites such as this one.

In the case of food, retro is better. The 21st century continues to market products masquerading as food. This is all in the name of convenience and progress.

We can't recapture all of the quality food that was available 60 years ago however. For instance the soil then contained far more nutrients than it does today. That means the vitamin/mineral content of fruits and vegetables is not as high.

We can though buy locally and organically-grown produce, and meat from animals that are free-grazed. This will eliminate ingesting toxic pesticides and herbicides. And eating animals that are free-grazed means not consuming hormones and antibiotics from sick animals.

Studies have shown that organic produce contain higher levels of nutrients than non organic produce. Animals that are free-grazed have lower levels of saturated fat and a greater content of good fat like CLA (conjugated linoleic acid).

Going retro also requires buying basic food items and not pre-packaged meals. It means preparing meals from scratch like my mother did in the 50s and 60s. We didn't have instant this and instant that. We had real oatmeal and real potatoes. We didn't have pre-made biscuits which were simply heated in an oven or microwave. My mother made biscuits from flour, eggs, and milk. I'm talking about real food.

We were not afraid to eat plenty of butter and eggs 60 years ago. Neither did we shun red meat. Today doctors and food scientists caution people to eliminate these foods altogether, or eat them sparingly.

We now know that eggs are not the cholesterol trap that medical experts said they were. Butter will not clog your arteries putting you at risk for heart disease. And red meat, as long as it comes from free-grazed and organically raised animals, is completely healthy and safe.

I admit that I wouldn't want to have to do without the internet, computers, and surround sound. But I can do without what passes for food today. As far as nutrition, my health, and longevity is concerned--retro is better.

Truth Should Not Have to be Legislated

Recently the Court of Appeals struck down Ohio's ban against labeling hormone-free dairy products as such. Ohio was one of the last states holding out against truth in labeling.

Since when should it be made a court decision whether a company can place the truth about its product on a label? There are laws against placing false claims on labels. But if a product lives up to its claims, no law in America should be able to stop food distributors from placing those claims on a label.

The FDA (Food and Drug Agency) claimed that it found no difference between milk from hormone treated cows and those that were hormone-free. Let's ignore for the moment if that decision was in any way influenced by big money interests in the dairy industry. The decision should in no way place restrictions on whether a dairy concern can claim that its product is hormone-free if it is truly hormone-free.

Today's consumer (you are one of them) demands food that is free of pesticides, growth hormones, genetically-modified organisms, antibiotics, and artificial ingredients. He is more educated due to the freedom of the internet, and the many alternative health doctors and nutritionists who are making their voices heard.

And that demand is making itself heard in the organic and grass-fed food industries. Consumers are spending billions of dollars for organic produce, meat, dairy products, and supplements. They are no longer willing to jeopardize their health by consuming a steady diet of processed food and Mickey Ds.

More and more health enthusiasts are discovering alternative health and lifestyle websites like this one. They realize that their health is important and that it is cheaper in the long run to invest in it.

But in order to make informed decisions, you need to become a label detective. You demand hormone-free dairy products because you realize that there is a difference between milk from a cow given hormones and one that is hormone-free -- despite what the FDA believes.

But if you are not given the information needed to make an informed decision it is like playing Russian roulette. You go to your local supermarket to buy a gallon of milk. But state law prevents a company from labeling its hormone-free dairy products as hormone -free. This company is at a disadvantage because you can't make a distinction between its product and all the others.

Ohio's Court of Appeals' decision was a victory not only for Ohio residents, but for healthy lifestyle advocates everywhere. Despite setbacks, we are yet making strides towards being able to have a choice.

But why, you may ask, are there laws against making truthful claims in the first place? I can summarize the answer in one word -- money. The dairy and meat industries make huge profits by pumping cows full of hormones. They don't want any competition.

These industries have deep pockets with which they influence the law making process through lobbyists. Their only concern is the bottom line and not your health.

But you are not left standing on the sidelines powerless. We can tell these industries that we will not accept substandard and chemically-laced products. We do that simply by refusing to buy pasteurized and hormone containing dairy products. They will soon get the message.

Scared ... into Quitting Smoking!

If you have followed my health editorials, you know how I feel about cigarette smoking. I lost my baby sister Sandy to lung cancer which was directly attributable to cigarettes. I hate cigarettes, and the manufacturers who advertise and sell them.

I recently came upon an article posted by AOL News entitled 'Feds Want Corpses, Rotting Teeth on Cigarette Packages.' The federal agency is the FDA.

I don't rate the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) high on my most liked and respected list. They are too cozy with pharmaceutical companies who promote synthetic prescription medication as opposed to natural, health alternatives.

But the FDA is the government agency which is leading the effort to place graphic images and text warnings onto cigarette packages. I applaud them for this effort.

Here is the background for these warnings. A law was passed last year (2009) which gave the FDA the power to regulate tobacco products. Cigarettes cannot be sold in the United States after October 22, 2012 without graphic warning labels.

The FDA is proposing a two-pronged attack against cigarette smoking -- a graphic warning and a text warning. The FDA is not pulling any punches in its efforts to derail smoking. They want to literally scare smokers into quitting.

The public will be allowed to have input into choosing the warnings from among a pool of several proposed graphic and text warnings. According to the Washington Post, the new warnings will cover over a half of the front and back of the cigarette package, and 20 percent of the top of each cigarette advertisement. ABC News says nine designs will be chosen by June, 2011.

You can see the proposed designs on the FDA website.

I don't know how effective this new quit smoking campaign will be. But at least it's a bold, new step.

My sister heard from me and others in my family about the dangers of smoking. She was told that smoking leads to cancer, PAD (peripheral artery disease), and other chronic diseases. We often pleaded with her to stop smoking. Nothing worked. I have no way of knowing if this new campaign would have been effective in Sandy's case.

I have another sister, Anna, who smoked. I once asked her if she wanted to stop -- she replied that she did not. One thing I do know is that a person has to have a desire to stop smoking if the effort is to have any chance of success.

About two months ago Anna decided to stop smoking. She bought a patch and has been smoke-free for two months.

This is an aggressive move by the FDA, and commendable. It shows that they are sincere in convincing smokers to quit, and willing to pull out all stops in order to accomplish it.

Although many people have quit or are in the process of quitting, there is yet a sizeable market for cigarettes. This market is primarily composed of young people.

Cigarette manufacturers cannot claim any credit for the drop in smoking. They have not voluntarily instituted a quit-smoking campaign. (What company that is in business to make money would voluntarily, or out of humanitarian reasons, embark on a program that would negatively affect its profits?

Legislation and hefty fines have literally forced cigarette manufacturers to allocate money to educate the public about the dangers of smoking. They have lost tens of billions of dollars in class action lawsuits.

The reason I detest cigarette manufacturers so much is that they knew about the dangers -- not the potential dangers -- but the dangers of long term smoking. Their research goal was to find a delivery mechanism for nicotine. Manufacturers sought addiction for the consumers of their products.

I know personally from what I have observed from my sisters that smokers are not responsible for their addiction. Cigarette manufacturers have perfected their product. For a certain class of smokers, the addiction is so strong, so all-encompassing, that though they are shown irrefutable proof that cigarettes kill, they cannot find the willpower to at least want to stop.

Not even the price of a pack of cigarettes is enough to influence a smoker's decision to quit. America is experiencing a financial crisis which is affecting nearly every aspect of its life. But a confirmed smoker will find the money to continue feeding his tobacco habit. It is sad -- so sad.

Manufacturers of tobacco products are responsible for the deaths of millions of Americans, and the chronic illness of millions others.

Conventional Oncology Is A Failure!

I am sitting in my bedroom/office writing this editorial about three days after Elizabeth Edwards passed away of cancer. She was the wife of former presidential candidate John Edwards.

Elizabeth died after enduring six years of toxic chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs are derived from deadly chemical weapons used in World War I.

And true to form, after these treatments failed to stop the progression of the disease, Elizabeth's doctors threw up their hands and said that there is no more that could be done.

Reading about Mrs. Edwards' ordeal is deja vu for me. I sat helplessly by while my baby sister's oncologist put her through useless chemotherapy and radiation treatments last year.

Like Mrs. Edwards' oncologist, my sister Sandy's oncologist never mentioned the fact that cancer could be cured -- or the fact that there are alternative treatments and cures. This is a crime and a sin.

When the oncologist has exhausted his arsenal of cut, burn, and poison (surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy) in the attempt to disarm cancer, the patient (or shall I say victim) is relegated to hospice. This is the procedure where he is discharged from the hospital under the announcement that nothing more can be done.

The cancer patient then has but two choices. He can go to a private facility to be kept under the care of professionals. There he is treated with dignity and made as comfortable as possible. We decided that a hospice would be best or Sandy.

The second choice is for the cancer patient to return home to die. There they are under the care of the family together with maybe a paid caregiver. Elizabeth Edwards chose to go home.

Originally diagnosed with breast cancer, Elizabeth's cancer metastasized (spread) to her bones in 2007. As it was with Sandy, despite the ongoing treatment, Elizabeth's cancer continued to spread. It finally reached her spine, skull and legs.

The sad thing about Mrs. Edwards' and Sandy's death at the hands of conventional cancer therapy is that they are among the many victims -- famous and not so famous -- who could have had a chance of a cure. Among the past notable victims are Farah Fawcett, Patrick Swayze, and Michael Landon.

And now I have learned that another celebrity has fallen prey to failed cancer treatment protocol -- famed singer Aretha Franklin. I grew up listening to Aretha.

The news media says that she has pancreatic cancer. According to reports, Aretha has undergone surgery. Reportedly her cancer is termed "incurable" and "advanced." Aretha's doctors have given her less than a year to live.

Unfortunately, Aretha had age and race working against her. Among the risk factors for this type of cancer are being African-American, and a diagnosis is frequently made when in the 70s and 80s. Aretha is 68 years old.

Like the rich and poor and the famous and ordinary who have preceded her, Aretha's oncologist has failed to mention alternative treatments.

When treated with conventional cancer protocols, patients with pancreatic cancer have a 35 percent five-year survival rate. In the United States, 43,000 people are diagnosed with pancreatic cancer annually; of that number, 37,000 succumb to the disease.

My wife's childhood friend has been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She is 70 years old. Unlike Aretha Franklin, her cancer is not in an advanced stage. She however has refused to undergo surgery.

It is unfortunate that many Americans regard doctors as almost Godlike. They are seen as infallible and all-knowing. As such, their recommendations and pronouncements are looked upon as final and undisputable truth.

A great many Americans are ingrained in the tradition of the doctor, and he is almost never questioned. Alternative procedures are by and large unknown. That means alternative treatments are almost never requested due to lack of knowledge. It is therefore a veritable sin to disregard the tradition of established medicine.

Conventional medical practice has set itself up as the ultimate authority on all matters concerning health. It tolerates nothing which deviates from standard practice. Certainly nothing that will threaten the lucrative profits realized by the pharmaceutical industry. Whether you realize it or not, these multi-billion dollar, multi-national cartels control our country's healthcare system.

Alternative medicine is a huge threat to conventional medicine. Imagine if you will cures for all types of cancer. Even the deadly pancreatic cancer. Well you don't have to imagine; they are available right now.

Any natural cure of cancer, or any other chronic disease such as heart disease or diabetes, will mean the loss of billions upon billions of dollars. The reason? Cured patients have no more need for expensive toxic treatments and prescription medications.

America's current healthcare system ('healthcare' is a misnomer if I ever heard one) operates by keeping the sick dependent on it. This is done by merely "treating" a cancer patient and not curing him. Surgery, radiation, and chemo bring in hundreds of millions of dollars a year.

Whether the treatment puts the cancer into remission or not, it does nothing to strengthen to body and immune system. Therefore it is very likely that the cancer will return sometime in the future. The system cannot be allowed to lose that valuable income stream after all.

The Bible says that "the love of money is the root of all evil.... One of the greatest realizations of this truth can be seen in the pharmaceutical industry and the health care system. It is in their best interest, and that of their pocketbooks, to keep the status quo.

Proven alternative cancer cures cannot be allowed to become mainstream knowledge. That would turn the healthcare system on its ear and most certainly bankrupt it.

But rampant greed cannot reign unchecked in a system where two protocols can legally operate -- conventional and alternative. You can take a part in making that happen.

You have a right to a level playing field. Especially where your life is concerned. This can only come about through knowledge. Only with knowledge can an informed decision be made.

No one has to allow a money-hungry system keep them from a cancer cure. Notice I said cure and not "treatment."

beating cancer

In This Age of Technological and Medical Miracles, Cancer Rates Are Still On The Rise

It is six days before the year 2011 and electronics technology is progressing at warp speed. The year 2010 saw the introduction of 3-D TV into the consumer market.

The latter part of this decade saw the demise of analog broadcast television, and the government implementation of digital broadcasts; the television itself has become wafer-thin. Cell phones have become so compact that some models are designed to be worn in your ear.

Why, you would be justified in asking yourself, hasn't there been this much progress in conquering cancer?

Ah-ha! In the words of Shakespeare, "There is the rub."

Technology and the rush to bring new and innovative products to the consumer market is in large measure part of the problem. They have had the unintended effect of directly and indirectly making conditions ripe for cancer.

I've heard some authorities say that it isn't necessarily true that more people are developing cancer, but it is just that people are living longer.

Cancer doesn't develop overnight. It takes maybe 20 to 25 years for the disease to manifest itself. And with longer lives, the odds of cancer developing in an individual becomes greater.

I am not convinced that this is the major reason for the upsurge and continuing rise of cancer rates. Conventional medicine doesn't want to face the obvious. Rising cancer rates are in large measure technology-driven.

Studies have shown that cancer rates have risen dramatically across all age groups. This fact alone nullifies the contention that longer lives are the reason. Cancer is now the leading cause of death for all Americans under the age of 85. One out of every two men and one out of every three women will develop cancer at some point in their lives.

We are constantly learning through the media of famous singers, actors, and sports and political figures being stricken with cancer. And, sad to say, it strikes close to home too. I have two acquaintances who are battling cancer right now. And I have known many who have died from the disease. I am sure you too know someone who has the disease.

Based on the studies I have read, I believe that escalating cancer rates can be linked to the following:

  • The thousands of chemicals which have been developed as direct products or as byproducts of industrial processes (some have tested positive in animal studies for being carcinogenic; the majority of chemicals developed every year remain untested.)
  • Declining mineral and vitamin content in American soil produces nutrient-deficient crops. It now takes many times the servings of fruits and vegetables to get the same amount of cancer-fighting nutrients that our parents and grandparents got in one serving.
  • Technology has blind-sided us. Cell phones, 24/7 cable and satellite, surround sound, video games, and the internet have replaced recreation, exercise, and outdoor play.
  • By and large, America's healthcare system relies on treatment of symptoms rather than finding and eliminating the cause (oncology relies on the big three to "treat" cancer: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy; alternative cures are frequently discouraged and not covered by insurance policies.)
  • The imbalance of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids; although we need both, the ratio is crucial. The typical American now gets anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1 omega-6s to omega-3s.
  • Inadequate sun exposure. The lion's share of vitamin D comes from the sun.

Toxic Chemicals in the Food, Water, and Air

The air we breathe, the food we eat, and the water we drink and bathe in are literally saturated with toxic chemicals -- toxic, carcinogenic (cancer-causing) chemicals.

In the name of progress, the food industry has implemented processes which have imperiled rather than helped our health. Our crops are sprayed with toxic pesticides and herbicides in order to keep "pests" at bay. Meat suppliers have put in place factory-style innovations in order to reduce the time to slaughter, and maximize profits.

The FDA (Food and Drug Agency) and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) teamed up to test over 10,000 food samples. Their objective was to find the level of carcinogens in America's food supply. Test results show conclusively that pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and neurotoxins (chemicals linked to brain damage) permeate the food supply.

Many of the fruits and vegetables are sprayed with not one or two, but sometimes well over 20 different pesticides! And keep in mind, the great majority of these chemicals have never undergone testing to determine whether they are safe. Many are associated in animal studies with cancers and other diseases.

This level of food contamination was not present 50 years ago. One reason is that the chemicals had not yet been invented. Another reason is that more people bought more locally-grown, fresh fruit and vegetables.

Fifty to sixty years ago when I was growing up, there were many more outdoor fruit and vegetable vendors. There weren't the number of Shop-Rites, A&Ps, Pathmarks, and other large-chain supermarkets that you see today where produce is shipped from hundreds and even thousands of miles away.

And it wasn't until the '70s when factory farming was introduced. This system displaced for the most part animals having continual access to outdoor grazing until time of slaughter.

They are now "herded" into factories where they are kept in overcrowded pens. This intense confinement not only stresses the animals out, but they become ill. They are also brutalized due to conditions resulting from severe overcrowding.

The animals are given antibiotics to combat disease; they are also given steroid and other hormones to speed up their growth. Instead of their natural diet, they are fed pesticide-laced grain and even "road kill."

The meat that you buy in your local supermarket contains high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, hormones, and antibiotics. You ingest these chemicals with every bite. In reality, conventional (non-organic, non-grass-fed) meat comes from sick and diseased animals.

This shocking and inhumane practice continues until today. So much for 21st century progress in the food industry.

Sixteen studies link prostrate cancer to pasteurized dairy products. Dairy products come from sick cows which are given bovine growth hormone. A study suggests that children who consume a lot of dairy products (milk, cheese, ice cream) have an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer once they become adults.

One ubiquitous chemical which is indirectly linked to cancer is high fructose corn syrup. High fructose corn syrup is dirt cheap to manufacture and it is present in almost every food product. It has been linked to America's escalating obesity rate which itself promotes cancer.

High fructose corn syrup was developed around 1970. When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, it was nonexistent as was rampant obesity. Since then, high fructose corn syrup use has skyrocketed. USDA statistics tells us that the use of this sweetener has increased a staggering 10,673 percent between 1970 and 2005!

Nutrient Depleted Soil

Fruit and vegetables contain antioxidants and other phytosterols which fight free radical damage. When these nutrients are missing, or in diminished quantities, your health suffers.

A study conducted by the American College of Nutrition looked at 13 nutrients in 43 crops grown from the years 1950 through 1999. They found that veggies that were eaten by our grandparents were a lot more nutritious than those currently sitting on supermarket shelves.

Here is a part of the disturbing findings:

  • You would need to eat 80 cups of spinach to get the amount of iron from one cup grown 50 years ago
  • A Rutgers University study shows that you would need to eat 19 ears of corn in order to get the nutritional value from one ear grown in 1940
  • The wheat that our grandparents ate contained more than double the protein of today's wheat

Vegetables in the 1950s were 50 percent more nutritious than their modern day counterparts according to data from the USDA

It is safe to say that most Americans today are getting no where near the nutrient content from fruit and vegetables that were available 50 to 60 years ago. And even if the number of servings that the government currently recommends were being met, it would not come close to matching the nutrients that were present then.

A study which was published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that phytosterols in the diet plays an important role in the prevention and treatment of cancer. They have already been established as being able to reduce cholesterol levels 8 to 17 percent.

Phytosterols may turn on an enzyme that causes cancer cells to die. Scientific trials have shown that they may potentially prevent cancers of the stomach, ovaries, lungs, and breasts.

Adequate nutrition is a powerful asset against the threat of cancer. We had a lot more 50 years ago which is one reason why cancer rates were lower then.

Blinded-Sided By Technology

There is no question that Americans in general are less active now than they were 50 years ago. Our inactive and sedentary lifestyles are an indirect result of technology.

When I was growing up there were no cell phones, video games, satellite and cable television, and internet. These 21st century diversions devour a large chunk of time leaving little to none for physical activity.

Since these technological marvels didn't exist 50 years ago, there was nothing to keep us from playing outdoors. (Not that our parents would have allowed us to sit around inside.) Not only did we spend a lot of time outdoors, we also soaked up a lot of sunlight in the spring and summers months.

Fifty years ago, physical education was mandatory in schools. And we got graded for it. Nowadays physical education is nonexistent in the public school system.

An article in the Health for Life study in the March 26, 2007 issue of Newsweek revealed that the person who doesn't exercise raises his risk of developing colon cancer by 40 percent. Exercise also lowers estrogen levels; studies have linked high levels to breast cancer.

Modern conveniences have made many Americans lazy. Fifty years ago more of our common, day-to-day activities involved manual labor. Today, machines have relieved us of these activities.

Failed Healthcare System

Sad to say that if cancer does develop in an individual, the current healthcare system recognizes only three options: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or any combination thereof. Most oncologists are unaware of proven alternative cures. They have been for the most part indoctrinated into conventional medicine which is controlled by a broken healthcare system and pharmaceutical cartels whose only concern is the huge profits their drugs generate.

Not once did my sister's oncologist suggest an alternative procedure to treat her lung cancer; not once did he even use the word "cure." And that is not surprising. His stated objective was to diminish her suffering, but not to cure her.

Oncologists know full well that the conventional medical approach to cancer -- surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy -- doesn't cure it. Neither do "vested" interests want to cure cancer. A cancer cure would affect the enormous profits now being realized by only treating patients.

Over the decades, many cures for cancer have been discovered. Many protocols have been put in place to strengthen the patient's immune system, and to put naturally-derived nutrients into the body for the stated purpose of curing the disease.

Omega-3 to Omega-6 Imbalance

Both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids are necessary to good health; but their balance is equally critical. Prior to the introduction of vegetable oils into the American diet, the ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 was much closer to the ideal of 1:1. Now some sources have placed the ratio anywhere from 20:1 to 50:1 in favor of omega-6.

We're consuming way too much omega-6 fatty acids, and it is helping to drive the obesity epidemic!

Several years ago the Associated Press stated obesity is the leading cause of cancer. The report states that 1 in 12 newly diagnosed cases of cancer are attributable to unhealthy weight.

In the United States, the National Cancer Institute says that being overweight and obese causes up to 14 percent of the cancer deaths in men and 20 percent in women.

Laurence Kolonel, MD, PhD, Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and AICR (American Institute for Cancer Research) expert panel member says:

"We now know that carrying excess body fat plays a central role in many of the most common cancers. And its clearer than ever that obesity's impact is felt before, during, and after cancer. It increases risk, makes treatment more difficult and shortens survival."

A study conducted in 2007 looked at the consumption of omega-3s/omega-6s versus survival rates of laboratory rats bred to develop prostate cancer. The group which was fed a ratio of 1:1 had a 60 percent survival rate; the group fed a ratio of 40:1 had a zero survival rate.

A UCLA (University of California at Los Angeles) study found that PSA levels and prostate cancer growth rates lessened when omega-6/omega-3 ratios were closer to the ideal.

Vegetable oils were introduced when error-laden studies determined that saturated fat was responsible for America's obesity epidemic. During the '60s and '70s, the percentage of Americans overweight hovered between 13 and 14 percent. By the 1980s, the percentage jumped by 8 percent.

In January, 1977 a Senate committee chaired by George McGovern published Dietary Goals for the United States. It advised that Americans significantly cut their intake of fat in order to abate an epidemic of the 'killer disease' (heart disease) supposedly sweeping the country.

The NIH (National Institute of Health) strongly recommended that all Americans over the age of 2 eat less fat, i.e., go on a low-fat diet. This is the period which saw the introduction of vegetable oils and a glut of low-fat products. The growth of America's obesity rate paralleled the consumption of large amounts of omega-6 fatty acids through vegetable oils and low-fat food products.

Clearly there were no technological food improvements going into the 21st century to reduce cancer risk. As a matter of fact, where protection against chronic disease is concerned, food technology was much better 50 years ago.

Inadequate Sun Exposure

Vitamin D is another major cancer-fighting nutrient which is woefully lacking in sufficient quantity. One reason is that medical authorities are scaring the American public into avoiding the sun because of skin cancer. The sunscreen industry is in collusion with conventional healthcare too.

The scare tactics are meant to hide the truth about the necessity of adequate sunlight. And the blind application of toxic chemical-laden sunscreen lotion makes a bad situation worse.

Experts are now saying that chemicals in commercially available sunscreens are to blame for the escalating skin cancer. The harmful chemicals identified include allergy-creating PABA, benzophenone-3, homosalate, octyl-methoxycinnamate (OMC) and 4-methyl-benzylidene camphor (4-MBC.) One chemical, octyl-methoxycinnamate, was found to kill mouse cells in laboratory studies even when administered in low doses.

Although vitamin D can be obtained from your diet, the best way to get it is through sun exposure. And the darker your skin, the more sun exposure you need.

It is possible to receive too much vitamin D through supplementation; it can build up to toxic levels. However, getting vitamin D through sun exposure avoids getting too much. Your body has a natural feedback system in place. It shuts down sunlight to vitamin D conversion when it has received enough sunlight.

Although when I was growing up sunscreens did exist (I remember the Coppertone commercials,) there was no widespread media message by the healthcare system to avoid or limit sun exposure.

As children we played all day in the sun; we did not confine ourselves indoors watching 24/7 satellite/cable television or surfing the web endlessly or playing exercise-deadening video games. Why? Because they didn't exist. Thank God!

Two new meta-analysis studies (meta-analysis combines data from multiple reports) showed that people with the highest levels of vitamin D had the lowest risk of breast cancer. A study has shown that 600 IUs (international units) of vitamin D is sufficient to lower the risk of pancreatic cancer by 41 percent.

Although the current recommended daily allowance of vitamin D is 400 IUs (international units), a recent study found that by raising the amount considerably will reduce the risk of developing colon cancer by 50 percent. Edward Gorham, Ph.D., a research epidemiologist with the Naval Health Research Center in San Diego, found from his studies that 1,000 IUs to 2,000 IUs of vitamin D daily will achieve this 50 percent reduction of colon cancer risk.


Because of (a) increasing amounts of toxic chemicals in our food, water, and air (b) declining nutrient content of the soil (c) runaway technology (d) broken and stagnant healthcare system (e) omega-6/omega-3 imbalance and (f) inadequate sunlight exposure, cancer rates are increasing with no end in sight.

In the 1970s then President Richard Nixon declared a war on cancer. I think the thought of the time was that cancer was due to one overriding factor. It is not! And it is not that simple.

In order to bring our escalating cancer rates to a screeching halt, ALL of the issues I brought up have to be addressed. And it won't be easy. There are many vested interests that don't want things to change.

Our healthcare system in general, the pharmaceutical cartels, the sunscreen industry, and others stand to lose billions upon billions of dollars if people were permanently cured of cancer, or prevented the scourge from ever developing.

What can you as an individual do to prevent ever getting cancer? Or if you already have been diagnosed with it, what can you do to cure yourself?

Get enough sun exposure without sunscreen lotion. Remember, the darker you are, the longer you need to be exposed. Don't expose yourself to the point of getting burned though. Vitamin D is absolutely essential to not only preventing cancer, but other chronic diseases such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, tuberculosis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBS,) Alzheimer's and many others.

If you live in a part of the country where adequate sun exposure is not possible -- supplement. Eat vitamin D rich foods such as liver, egg yolks, and fatty fish like salmon and cod.

You need to eat more rich sources of omega 3 fatty acids. The best source is krill oil. Stop using vegetable oils and cook with organic, extra-virgin coconut oil. Eat grass-fed, free-ranged organic meat and wild salmon. You can also supplement. Avoid at all costs factory-farmed meat. You also need to eat minimally processed, natural foods. These foods should be organic and as close to nature as possible.

Exercise is a MUST to defeat or prevent cancer; resistance or strength training is good. You can also incorporate interval training. Leading a sedentary life is just inviting cancer to gain a foothold.

Eat locally-grown or organic fresh fruits and vegetables.

Seek alternative cancer therapy if you have or develop cancer. These therapies are used with the objective of curing the disease. If I ever developed cancer, I will avoid AT ALL COSTS conventional treatment (chemo, surgery, and radiation.) They are useless in and of themselves.

Keep your weight in a normal and healthy range; if you are currently overweight, develop an exercise program and change your eating habits.

How to Get More Nutritional "Bang" For Your Hard-Earned Buck

I don't think anyone would disagree that we are experiencing a stressful and difficult financial climate. And it has forced us to stretch our dollar or peso or yen to its limit. We are literally trying to buy more with less.

At the same time, more and more people are becoming concerned about their health. Greater numbers of Americans are jumping on the exercise bandwagon and making healthier food choices.

There has been a huge upsurge in purchases being made at farmer's markets and stores such as Whole Foods and Trade Joes. People are choosing locally-grown and organic produce over fruits and vegetables grown with dozens of pesticides and shipped from hundreds or even thousands of miles away.

And I think more people are seeing the health value of buying meat from organic, pasture-fed cows. There are small, family-owned farms who raise their chickens and cows the "old-fashioned" way. They allow their animals to roam outside eating food that God designed them to eat. Meat from these animals are naturally hormone-free, antibiotic-free, and pesticide-free. And, just as important, they are stress-free and disease-free.

The same cannot be said for conventionally-raised (factory-farmed) animals. America's escalating health issues can in part be traced to eating this diseased meat.

Although in the short-term you may have to pay more for these healthier alternatives, you will save big time in the long-term. How? By not falling prey to chronic disease which most likely will be treated by expensive prescription medication(s), doctor visits, and lost income due to sick leave.

Studies have proved that organic produce is more nutritious than conventionally-raised produce. But even organically-raised produce cannot match the nutrient content of produce grown just 50 years ago.

The average mineral content of vegetables such as cabbage and spinach has dropped over 80 percent over the last 50 years! You'd have to eat 10 servings of spinach in order to get the amount of vitamins and minerals in one serving in 1950.

Gigantic commercial growers of today use powerful fertilizers which practically sterilize the soil.

Another reason nutrient content is down dramatically is that commercial growers are planting produce in areas of inadequate size. This causes what is known as the dilution effect. There are just not enough micronutrients to go around.

But there are ways that you the consumer can maximize the nutrients that your body can extract from the food you eat. And this has the effect of maximizing the value of every food dollar spent.

Studies have shown that back pepper contains an alkaloid which helps your body absorb nutrients from food. Ths alkaloid is known as piperine.

Piperine increases the bioavailability of nutrients from foods and supplements in the body. It blocks several enzymes responsible for metabolizing nutritional substances, stimulates amino-acid transporters in the intestinal lining, inhibits removal of substances from cells so they continue to be available for use, and decreases the intestinal activity allowing more of the substances to enter the body in active form.

I use pepper liberally on my food. I pour it on my raw vegetables along with extra-virgin olive oil. I use it on my meat and fish too.

The other way to get more nutrients from your food is to eat it raw. Your body has a much easier time digesting uncooked food. This is due to the fact that raw food's enzymes are present. Heat can destroy these enzymes making it difficult or impossible for your body to digest food (Read about a raw foods diet.)

I eat all of my vegetables raw; I also eat raw eggs a-la Rocky. I eat as much raw almonds, cashews, pecans, and walnuts as I can.

The only food I cannot eat completely raw is meat. I don't however eat steaks well-done anymore.

When you combine pepper and raw foods with a severely-curtailed or completely eliminated processed food diet you are maximizing your food dollar.

If you are prefer to eat your food cooked, keep the temperature below 120 degrees fahrenreit; doing this will keep valuable enzymes intact. And if frying is your preference for some foods, don't use vegetable oil. Use instead coconut oil. The heat will not destroy its nutrients as it will other oils including olive.

What Am I Supposed to Eat?

The 21st century has arrived and has brought along with it mind-blowing technologies. 3D television and accompanying surround sound components have reached the consumer. Analog technology which has been in place since the invention of the radio has been forever replaced by digital technology. There are iPads, iPods, and iPhones galore, and flat-screen TVs are getting even flatter.

But, sadly, everything is not "peaches and cream." Food technology has not delivered improvements in health benefits to address the increase in obesity and chronic disease. Heart disease, cancer, autism, obesity, and so many other health disorders should be on the decrease, but are not.

Although new innovations and processes have been implemented in food manufacturing, many have a negative health impact. This is unlike electronics technology where the results are by and large beneficial.

But it should be noted that even some electronics technology has negative health consequences. Most notable is the cancer producing EMF (electromagnetic field) associated with cell phones and cell towers.

Untested and Harmful Food Technologies

Inventions like cloning and genetically modified organisms have not been rigorously tested in a laboratory enviroment, and yet they are being marketed to the public. Cancers and other chronic diseases take years to manifest themselves, and many times they are the consequence. Unfortunately, food producers are not required to delay marketing a new process for as long as it takes in order to determine if the food is safe for human consumption.

This is true even if in short-term animal studies tumors and other health abnormalities develop. This has certainly been the case in cloning and GMOs.

With each passing year, more and more unproven food technology is used by manufacturers to make products that will be sold to an unsuspecting public. And as this technology becomes more prevalent, direct from nature foods are becoming lost in the media blitz for ready-to-eat processed food.

Farmers markets today originate from the fruit and vegetable stands and pushcarts of the era I grew up in. Remember the scene from The Godfather where Vito Corleone, played by Marlon Brando, buys fruit from a stand and is then shot multiple times? I grew up with vegetable stands like that.

This produce was farm fresh and locally grown. Now much of our produce is 'pesticided' and herbicided' to death, and flown in from other countries.

Genetically modified produce is one of the more dangerous food technologies being forced upon consumers. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has given GMOs (genetically modified organisms) the status of GRAS (generally recognized as safe.)

This is despite the fact that laboratory research has revealed that animals fed genetically modified food have developed cancer. As a matter of fact, animals instinctively recognize GMOs and refuse to eat it. They literally have to be force-fed.

Home cooking using basic food ingredients is fast becoming a lost art. The 21st century has ushered in a faltering economy where the average American has to work harder and longer. This leaves little time to prepare healthy, home-cooked meals for the family.

You may be asking yourself, "what has all of this to do with the topic -- 'What am I supposed to eat?'"

Well, that question invariably arises when I give lectures on health and nutrition. I stress that cloned and genetically modified foods, fast foods, artificial sweeteners and preservatives, monosodium glutamate, unfermented soy products, factory-farmed meats, and man-made trans fats should be avoided.

This covers the huge variety of processed foods that you will find in the inner aisles of your favorite supermarket. It also covers some but not all of the produce -- fruit and vegetables.

All Is Not Lost

I know that there seems to be very little left that can be eaten. Perhaps you, little many people who I talk to, are frustrated and confused. You are concerned about your long-term health, and that of your family. You want to know what is there left to eat?

Contrary to what you may now think, there is plenty of good healthy food that you can eat. You may have to find a local farm from which you can purchase pasture-raised meat and raw milk and butter. And most of your produce can be bought from farmer's markets which are cropping up all over.

Processed food is food which is stripped of vital nutrients. An example is wheat which is processed into white, lifeless flour. Other examples are products which use margarine instead of healthy butter, and condiments, breads, and pre-packaged foods loaded with chemicals whose names you need a Ph.D to pronounce.

I recently explained to my step-father that the sweets he craves so much contain chemicals which are used to preserve, color, and give a satisfactory taste to. I then reminded him that home-made pastries in the early days had only a few ingredients.

When my mother baked birthday cakes back in the 50s and early 60s, she used only a handful of ingredients. These ingredients were basically natural and included milk, eggs, flour, and sugar.

Contrast those basic ingredients with the list of ingredients of any Entemann pastry. There are so many chemicals listed that they occupy several lines. You are getting artificial sweeteners, partially hydrogenated and/or hydrogenated oils, and possibly several genetically modified grains.

Let Healthy Eating Be a Process

'Fess Up!

If the Justice Department has its way, major cigarette manufacturers will be made to confess publically that they lied about their products. In addition, they would foot the bill for admitting the known health dangers of cigarettes.

The government has a 12 year old lawsuit against Big Tobacco. As part of this lawsuit, the Justice Department has 14 corrective statements that it wants Big Tobacco to admit in a media campaign.

One "corrective" statement cigarette manufacturers would be forced to admit is: "A federal court is requiring tobacco companies to tell the truth about cigarette smoking. Here's the truth: ... Smoking kills 1,200 Americans. Every day."

Another proposed government statement is: "We falsely marketed low tar and light cigarettes as less harmful than regular cigarettes to keep people smoking and sustain our profits."

Here are a few more government-proposed 'fess up or come clean admissions:

"For decades, we denied that we controlled the level of nicotine delivered in cigarettes. Here's the truth. ... We control nicotine delivery to create and sustain smokers' addiction, because that's how we keep customers coming back."

"We told Congress under oath that we believed nicotine is not addictive. We told you that smoking is not an addiction and all it takes to quit is willpower. Here's the truth: Smoking is very addictive. And it's not easy to quit."

"Just because lights and low tar cigarettes feel smoother, that doesn't mean they are any better for you. Light cigarettes can deliver the same amounts of tar and nicotine as regular cigarettes."

U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler gave the Justice department permission to place their admission of the cigarette industry's statements of wrongdoing in the public record. She wants the manufacturers to pay for corrective statements in both print and brodcast medias out of their own pockets.

Judge Kessler has not made a final decision on the exact wording of the statements, where they are to be placed, or the duration.

Philip Morris USA, maker of Marlboro, the nation's top-selling cigarette brand, has said that it agrees with the overwhelming medical and scientific consensus that cigarette smoking is addictive and causes lung cancer, heart disease and other serious diseases in smokers.

But they also stressed that they would be prepared to fight back if the Justice Department is unwilling to ease up on its hard, "take no prisoners" [my words] approach to public admission.

To the Justice department's proposed action against lying Big Tobacco I say, "Hallelujah!"

Sandra BarrettYou see, I lost my baby sister Sandy (Photo: right) to cigarette manufacturers and their blatant lies - all in the name of the "almighty buck."

This proposed action is a long time coming and I wholeheartedly agree with it. Cigarette smokers are by-and-large helpless against the science and marketing ability Big Tobacco once enjoyed. They have made billions of dollars over the years on human suffering through their deadly tobacco products.

In a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887, John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, a historian and moralist wrote: "Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely..."

This was true of Big Tobacco back in the mid to late 20th century. That power however, came from the excessive wealth that was generated from cigarettes. In the cigarette manufacturers case, 'Money corrupts, and absolute money corrupts absolutely.

Big Tobacco exemplified the Biblical truth that ...the LOVE of money is the root of all evil."

Sandy and the hundreds of millions globally were helpless victims of lies and shameless greed. I have no doubt that those directly responsible for that blatant deception will suffer eternal torment in the depths of hell.

America's Modern Food Agenda (hidden in plain sight)

I know it is the nature of man to explore, study, and seek to improve the way things are done. We should strive to find through science and technology better ways to transport ourselves, do a given job, or to feed more people.

Seeking better methods and improving processes applies to the food industry too. But, unlike manufacturing jobs, transportation, or computer technology, an additional factor should be taken into consideration - the short and long term effect on human health.

The quality of our food determines whether our bodies will be able to fight infectious and chronic diseases like cancers, heart disease, influenza. Will the food supply the raw materials required to repair, build, and maintain cells? And, more importantly, is it something that the body recognizes?

Your body recognizes whole food based derivatives such as the natural sweetener stevia and vitamins. It doesn't, however, recognize microwaved food in which the molecules are rearranged, or high fructose corn syrup or aspartame.

Unfortunately, those are not the questions being asked by global food manufacturing conglomerates. Their corporate agenda appears to be cornering the market on specific products and making huge profits.

And to further that agenda, food manufacturers resort to deceptive and manipulative tactics. Anything to keep the public in the dark about the true nature of their products.

Shocking accussations? Yes. But true nevertheless.

Consider the factory-farming of cows, chickens, and pigs. Look behind the veil of GMOs (genetically modified organisms.) Or how about "super-glued" meat being deceptively marketed as prime cuts?

And this is not to mention the tons of artificial sweeteners (high fructose corn syrup, aspartame, sucralose) added to almost all processed foods.

Although there are hundreds of studies revealing the negative health effects of these modern food technologies, manufacturers plow full steam ahead regardless. And they are aided and abetted by government agencies charged with protecting the consumer. The pursuit of the "almighty buck" allows no conscience or concern.

And as far as peer-reviewed or disturbing animal studies are concerned, the European Union (EU) takes a slightly different approach than the United States. These studies dictate their course of action on behalf of their citizens.

The European Union has banned meat glue and genetically modified organisms altogether. Apparently they are concerned about their citizens. Doesn't say much for our government does it?

And these dastardly practices seem to be ubiquitous. The alert consumer has to search high and low and very carefully for food that isn't "fake" or artificial. Not only does he have to be nutrition-label saavy, he also has to be part detective. The consumer must determine the practices of the farmer in regards to how he raises his animals and grows his crops.

Alas for the simpler times of by-gone days. I am talking about pre-GMOs, pre-super glued meat, pre-factory farming, pre-artificial sweeteners, pre-pesticides and herbicides, and on and on and on.

Today's food is guaranteed to put the average consumer on a one way track to long term health problems, and a life-long customer of the pharmaceutical industry through prescription drugs.

Our food is the primary reason for the explosion in obesity, Alzheimer's disease, heart disease, and cancer. Scientists tells us that this generation of children are destined to precede their parents in death. And it's all due to lifestyle choices of which food is a major factor.

The only thing food manufacturers recognize is consumer spending. As long as they keep their true agenda hidden through conflict of interest with government agencies (the fox is guarding the henhouse) things will remain status quo - nothing will change.

The consumer must become enlightened and demand change. That can only be done through their purse strings. Refuse to buy this health destroying, laboratory-devised "food" and the manufacturer will stop marketing it.

Right now food manufacturers have no incentive to change. Why should they? Their profit margins are literally exploding and show no signs of slowing down.

What can you as an individual do? Take time out of your busy schedule and prepare meals at home. Buy more fruits and vegetables replacing junk foods (cereals, baked goods such as potato chips and store bought cakes.) Find a local farmer who allows his animals to freely range outdoors (grass-fed and free-ranged.)

Shop only the outer peripheral of your local supermaket where the produce is located. All junk, snack, and processed foods are located in the inner section.

In retrospect - The Neighborhood Drug Store

Yesterday (Friday May 27, 2011) I had a medical exam performed at a local Care Station. The medical receptionist began asking questions in order to get my vital information. One of the questions she asked was, "What is the name of your pharmacy?"

I answered frankly, and with a slight smile, that I don't take any medication.

I smiled because not only did she not get an expected and anticipated answer, but she naturally assumed that everybody is on some kind of medication.

And I don't necessarily mean everyone who stops by a Care Station, but EVERY, or almost every, American.

You'd think that all Americans are on at least one prescription drug, or one OTC (over-the-counter) medication.

Never in my entire life have I seen so many drug stores or pharmacies. Stores like Walgreens, Rite-Aid, Eckerd, CVS, and Genovese seem to proliferate like rabbits.

And the amazing thing about these ubiquitous drug stores is the fact that they are all doing well financially.

You'd think that the sheer number and brutal competition would eliminate all but the most robust. But such is not the situation.

Not only are they all doing well, but there doesn't seem to be enough of them!

And it doesn't stop there. Major supermarkets like ShopRite and Pathmark have drug departments. And they are doing well. (I don't see them being phased out because of all the Rite-Aids or CVSes!)

It is a sad reality that America's sickness and chronic disease rate have so skyrocketed, and the prevailing media exposure has Americans believing that pharmaceuticals are the only answer, we naturally flock to medication as the answer.

Whenever my wife experiences any type of medical abnormality, she immediately calls her doctor for a prescription drug. And that sadly is the rule rather than the exception for the majority of Americans.

Back in the day when I was growing up, there were no CVSes or Rite-Aids or Walgreens. There was only the local, neighborhood drug store.

Growing up in the early '50s to mid '60s in Jersey City, New Jersey, there was only one drug store in our neighborhood. And that drug store was located on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Monticello Avenue - right up the street from where we lived.

And to be honest with you, I don't recall our family ever being dependent on pharmaceuticals. My father believed in eating healthy and regularly visited the health food store. One of his favorite radio programs was Carlton Fredericks (1910 - 1987) on WOR.

Carlton Fredericks was a nutritionist who pioneered the way for many of today's alternate nutritionists and medical doctors.

I can tell you in one word what has generated the seemingly exponential increase in chronic disease - technology!

Unfortunately with technology comes processes which unintentionally produce environmental pollutants. But there are so-called innovations themselves which generate and spread disease.

A good example of this is factory-farmed meat or CAFO (concenrated animal feeding operations.) This process has made red meat and daily products like milk and cheese lifeless and full of hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics.

Technology has also made dirty electricity and produced electromagnetic (EMF) radiation from wireless devices like cell phones and laptop computers.

Technology is also responsible for getting millions of Americans out of the sun. How? We are so preoccupied with 24/7 television, video games, cell phones and texting that we remain sheltered in our homes. And when we finally do go out, we slather our bodies with chemical-laden sunscreens.

The result? Escalating cancers, obesity, heart disease, autism, diabetes, and other chronic disease.

When Americans go to their physicians and doctors, they are prescribed pharmaceuticals which themselves cause side effects such as heart problems and cancers.

In the meantime we are eating foods literally saturated with artificial colors, preservatives, and sweeteners. I use the word 'food' lightly because any and all nutrients have been processed out of it.

Unfortunately, America's medical protocol is to diagnose and then prescribe the medication to alleviate the disease symptoms. Finding a cure is an after-thought and prevention is barely given the time of day.

You see, cures and prevention will upset the financial aspirations of the pharmaceutical giants, food industry, insurance companies, and the health-care industry. Their profits ate built on you being - and remaining - sick.

As long as this paradigm remains true, the local neighborhood drug store will remain a distant memory. Pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens - like obesity and cancer- will continue to grow.

Growing older without going downhill

I remember when I became eligible to become an AARP member; it was 2001 when I turned 50.

Being the eldest of ten siblings, I naturally was the first to hit the big 5-OH - the half century mark.

My brothers and sisters all called to congratulate me for having reached 50 years of age. And as we are basically ten stairsteps (a child born every year,) I saw one of my siblings turn 50 over the next several years.

Another decade has passed and I will reach another milestone this October - my 60th birthday. I am looking forward to this birthday even more excitedly than I did my 50th. I have no idea why though.

I am still in good health at this stage of my life. I am prescription and non-prescription medication-free, and take no over-the-counter drugs. I presently have no health issues.

To be totally honest with you, I don't even get an occassional headache or stomach-ache.

Part of my exemplary health is due no doubt to my being physically active. I began jogging in the early '70s and started strength training on a consistent basis in 1978.

The body changes for the worse when it reaches the chronological age of 50. The metabolism and hormones which fire at peak efficiency in your youth start to slow down and become sluggish.

A healthy lifestyle is a proven way to overturn the ravages of age. This lifestyle includes nutrition - and what has been missing from the American way of life for decades - exercise.

Pamela Peeke, M.D., a University of Maryland researcher and author of Body for Life for Women (Rodale, 2005,) says:

"So many of what we thought were symptoms of aging, are actually symptoms of disuse ... Our bodies are built for obsolenscence after 50. Up to 50 you can get away with not exercising; after that, you start paying the price."

The primary part of the body which undergoes the greatest amount of disuse with age are the muscles. The time- tested cliche, use it or lose it, is particularly true.

"Unless you do resistance exercise - strength training with weights or elastic bands - you lose six pounds of muscle a decade," says Wayne Westcott, Ph.D., the highly respected fitness research director at the South Shore YMCA in Quincy, Massachusetts.

Muscle loss or atrophy is the natural consequence of a sedentary lifestyle when you reach midlife. At the same time your muscle shrinks, fat builds up.

This is the reason why many senior citizens lose mobility and wind up in nursing homes. Loss of muscle equates to loss of strength and sturdy bones. Balance also is lost, and seniors consequently fall and break their hips.

Lack of exercise coupled with aging results in aged-related diseases too. There is an increased risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.

Did you realize that strength training for only 20 minutes a day, two or threee times a week will build three pounds of muscle and increase your metabolism by 7 percent? It will!

The new muscle will boost your metabolism thereby burning more calories. It will also reduce your blood pressure making it easier for your body to use glucose from blood. (The increase in glucose utilization is 25 percent.)

Bone mass will increase anywhere from 1 to 3 percent, and gastrointestinal efficiency shoots up by 55 percent. Says Westcott, "It's like going from a four-cylinder engine to a six."

Here are some additional perks from exercise:

  • reduces your risk of dying in the next eight years by 40 percent
  • improves brain functioning
  • slashes risk of developing Alzheimer's disease by up to 60 percent
  • blunts symptoms of depression

Westcott cites a study conducted by his organization; it used nineteen men and women from a nursing home located in Orange City, Florida. The average age was 89 and most of them used wheelchairs.

The study participants did ten minutes of strength training a week. After only 14 weeks, almost everyone was out of their wheelchairs. One woman was even able to return to living independently.

Dr. Westcott put his father on a strength training program when he was 82 years old. At six feet tall he weighed only 124 pounds, under tremendous stress from his wife's death.

After a year and a half, Dr. Westcott's father added 24 pounds of lean muscle to his frame. At 97, he's stronger than many people half his age!

I don't know about you, but I am really inspired by Dr. Westcott's father. I have firsthand knowledge of the power of strength or weight training.

At Diamond Gym where I train (Maplewood, New Jersey,) there is a man by the name of Gene who lifts weights. He is in his mid-80s and has been training for about 50 years. There is another member who is in his 90s and still trains. By the way, he is married to a woman in her 40s!

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