|Healthy Over 50|
|Your Health Profile|
|Body Mass Index|
|Body Fat Calc.|
|Herbs and Spices|
|News & Views|
|Topics by Index|
|Sites of Interest|
|Tell Your Story|
Frankenstein's Monster Has Secretly Been Unleashed Among Us
If America's Healthcare System Is So Successful, Why Are There So Many Drug Stores Dotting the Landscape?
The Alarming Protein Deficiency Among Seniors
Become An Informed American
Exercise Caution With Any Exercise Program
Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Do You Want a Toned and Tight Midsection?
There's Nothing Wrong With Eating Red Meat (if it's the right kind)
To Tell the Truth
My Tribute to John Kemper
Is Your Food Making You Sick?
Do Your Food Research
Americans Are Being Used As "Lab Rats" For GM Foods
Real Food For This Traditional Holiday (Thanksgiving Day)
Frankenstein's Monster Has Secretly Been Unleashed Among Us
In the book called Frankenstein, author Mary Shelley described an artificial man created by Victor Frankenstein who eventually goes on a destructive path of murder. Sadly, the population at large didn't know that a killer had been unleashed among them.
Frankenstein was fiction created by an imaginative and fertile mind. But something has been unleashed upon an unsuspecting humanity that is potentially more destructive than the fictional Frankenstein monster. That "something" is known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs.
Unfortunately, genetic modification is not a work of fiction. It is a cold, hard, and scientific fact. GMOs are silently and invisibly tearing their way through the majority of Americans. Scientists can only speculate what medical horrors are being created and, for now, lying dormant.
In the 20th century, Frankenstein's monster has been replaced by GMOs and Victor Frankenstein is the Monsanto Corporation. Monsanto is the creator of the artificial sweetener aspartame, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and dioxin, more popularly known as Agent Orange, the defoliating chemical used in Vietnam.
All of Monsanto's chemicals have proven deadly and extremely harmful to human life. PCBs are toxic and can cause sexual, skeletal, and mental developmental issues. Americans who served in Vietnam reported Agent Orange as causing skin rashes, breathing difficulties, various cancers, and birth defects in kids. Aspartame has been implicated in causing cancer and obesity.
In Mary Shelley's novel, Victor Frankenstein wasn't evil. He didn't create the monster to kill. However the monster itself turned out to be evil. Likewise I wouldn't go so far as to say that Monsanto is evil although it has evil intentions. But its various creations are definitely evil.
Once upon a time, prior to 1980, the United States Patent and Trademark Office did not grant patents on seeds; the reason is that they viewed seeds as life forms with too many variables to be patented.
But in 1980 the United States allowed for seeds to be patented.
Since the 1980s, Monsanto has globally dominated the genetic modification of seeds. Farmers who buy Monsanto's Roundup Ready seeds have to sign an agreement in which they promise not to save seed produced after each harvest for replanting, or sell it to other farmers. They are forced to buy seed annually from Monsanto.
Roundup is an herbicide used to kill weeds. The active ingredient in Roundup is glyphosate which was developed and patented in the 1970s by Monsanto. Monsanto makes seeds genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate.
Just as Frankenstein's monster roamed unchecked among the people, likewise genetically modified (GM) crops. Up to 90 percent of all major U.S. grown crops are GM. They can be used in human and animal food without any safety testing whatsoever or labeling of any kind.
Because genetically engineered crops are patentable, Monsanto can legally discourage third party testing and research. As a matter of fact, they have severely restricted independent research and have adamantly refused to give seeds to independent researchers.
All of this falls under U.S. law which protects a company's "proprietary" formulations and processes.
The Los Angeles Times has this to say:
"Agricultural companies defend their stonewalling by saying that unrestricted research could make them vulnerable to lawsuits if an experiment somehow leads to harm, or that it could give competitors unfair insight into their products. But it's likely that the companies fear something else as well: An experiment could reveal that a genetically engineered product is hazardous or doesn't perform as promised."
GM crops include corn, soybeans, canola, cottonseed, alfalfa (as of 2011), and sugar beets. These food items are currently found in approximately 80 percent of all U.S. grocery store items.
But what is the concept of genetic engineering? Simply put it is taking DNA from one organism and placing it into another organism to produce a desired effect or outcome.
Monsanto defines GMOs thusly: "Plants or animals that have had their genetic makeup altered to exhibit traits that are not naturally theirs."
Here's an example. The Arctic flounder can withstand freezing temperatures - tomatoes can't. Freezing temperatures can devastate a tomato crop.
In order to prevent farmers from losing money from ruined crops, scientists can take DNA from the Arctic flounder and put it into tomato crops to give them the ability to survive frigid temperatures. What, you may ask yourself, is the harm in that?
GM has been given "carte blanche" status; they have been declared as GRAS (generally recognized as safe.) This is despite the fact NO studies have been undertaken to prove their safety. But there exists plenty of studies showing the dangers they pose to laboratory animals.
Here is a listing of some of the results of GM foods in laboratory animals, and what some farmers have noticed in the field:
The alarming side effects of GM doesn't end here. It has been found to create environmental problems too.
Weeds are developing a toleration for Roundup; Roundup-resistant weeds are forcing farmers to use ever-increasing amounts of the deadly chemical. There has been cross pollination between GM and non-GM crops. This situation could spell the end of the organic industry.
An example of cross pollination and contamination occurred in Hawaii. In 2004 widespread contamination of papaya crops by GM varieties was reported. Even seed stocks sold as conventional were discovered to be contaminated, and which threatened the existence of organic papaya.
There is the contamination of waterways by Cry1AB, a specific type of Bt toxin from GM crops. GM also is responsible for the creation of never seen before pest problems.
In China, cotton that was genetically modified to poison an insect pest (the boll worm) has been found to cause a dramatic increase in the number of other pests. Mirid bugs which had been a minor nuisance in northern China have multiplied 12-fold since 1997.
The United States has not escaped Roundup side effects. It has created a plethora of what has been called superweeds. At present there are 10 different species of superweeds resistant to Roundup, and spread over 22 states and millions of crop acres.
I associate GMOs with the skull and crossbones. As a symbol of danger or something very harmful, it effectively communicates that genetically modified foods and products should be avoided at all costs.
Did you know that GMOs are banned in Europe, and have been for over ten years? Its true. And the way it is done is simple. It was just a matter of educating the consumer.
The likelihood of the American government sponsoring consumer education regarding GMOs is about as likely as me winning the lottery. Unfortunately there is a mass conflict of interest between corporations like Monsanto and the FDA.
Products which contain GMOs are not even required to be labeled. The only way for you as a consumer to avoid them is to buy strictly organic. The overwhelming majority of processed food are made from soy or corn - or maybe even both. Over 90 percent of both crops are genetically modified.
Unfortunately, GMOs are not limited to processed foods. You will inevitably ingest them from dairy products and conventionally raised meat. All products from dairy cows which are treated with the genetically modified growth hormone rBGH need to be avoided.
Factory farmed meat which is the conventional meat you will find in your local supermarket should be avoided too. The animals are fed GM grain. Aspartame is derived from GM microorganisms.
The genetic engineering of plants and animals began in the mid '70s. Back then scientists thought that characteristics of organisms are hardwired in their genome. However, geneticists soon discovered that the genome is dynamic and fluid. It was utterly impossible to predict what might happen, and completely beyond the geneticist's ability to engineer a desired result.
Scientists who had hoped that genetic engineering would be the solution to food shortages and global hunger were in for a rude awakening. What is known is that:
When all is said and done, there are some things which should be left in the hands of God. Cloning is one and genetic modification is another. Scientists who "mess" around in God's province are playing God.
I don't consider GM or cloning to be science. It is a blatant attempt to usurp God's authority which is what Victor Frankenstein did in Mary Shelley's novel.
Nothing good will ever come about when man reaches into God's province.
There was a line used by the character played by Jeff Goldblum in the 1994 movie Jurassic Park which is appropriate to genetic engineering. When genetic engineers cloned dinosaurs, they proceeded full speed ahead because they were technically able.
Jeff Goldblum said something to the effect that, "...just because they could, they didn't stop to ask if they should."
Since the government isn't doing anything to protect its citizens, we have to take matters into our own hands. Become educated as to the truth about genetic modification. And never forget, companies like Monsanto are profit driven. Their only concern is the bottom line - not you or your family's well being.
This link will take you to a website where you can download a guide which lists what foods to avoid. It is located in the left column right above the Toothsoap ad. You can also view this video explaining GMOs.
The Arctic Apple
Food biotechnology innovations are proceeding at breakneck speed despite travelling in the dark. I consider that irresponsible and potentially dangerous. Now it's genetically modified apples.
A Canadian-based company named Okanagan Specialty Fruits has come up with what it calls the Arctic apple - a genetically modified apple that doesn't brown.
Apples and other fruits such as avocados and bananas naturally brown when bruised, exposed to oxygen, or simply ages (goes rotten.) Scientists at Okanagan Specialty Fruits have found a way to circumvent that process.
An enzyme called polyphenol oxidase (PPO) naturally occurs in plants, fungi, bacteria, and even animals. A chemical reaction is initiated between the apple's polyphenol oxidase and phenolics which changes the apple's flesh brownish when it is exposed to oxygen or injured.
Scientists replace the apple's PPO producing genes with low-PPO-producing versions removed from other apples.
The Arctic Apple website says:
"No frankenfood here, folks - just apples, now with suppressed PPO to stop enzymatic browning" (www.arcticapples.com.)
I beg to differ. This is frankenfood. In order to achieve a certain food trait, scientists remove specific genes from a plant or animal or fish and place it into another plant, animal, or fish.
This is exactly what Dr. Frankenstein did in Mary Shelly's novel Frankenstein. He took parts from corpses and created something unnatural and monstrous.
Although genetic modification may seem to be completely harmless, animal studies don't bear that out. And remember, there are no long term human studies for people eating genetically modified fruit, fish, or meat.
Dr. Al Sears has the following concern:
"Arctic Apple insists they only changed one part of the apple's DNA. But that doesn't mean other things weren't compromised in the process. A former Monsanto employee working on GMO (GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism) cotton discovered other proteins - besides the ones they wanted altered - had been changed in the DNA of cotton. And these new proteins could be toxic to human and animals..." (Doctor's House Call. April 14, 2012. Meet FrankenApple.)
Without long-term, peer-reviewed studies, nothing can be taken for granted. Although researchers and scientists like to think they have all the bases covered, God's creation is a lot more complex and adaptive then human intelligence can ever imagine.
Arctic apples are now going through a deregulation process in the United States. Okanagan Specialty Fruits thinks this review process will conclude sometime by mid-2013. They then project that small quantities of this apple to be available for consumer purchase by 2014/2015.
Read carefully Frankenstein's Monster Has Secretly Been Unleashed Among Us
. It is important that you know the whole truth behind genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Your health, and that of your family
is at stake.
Source: Arctic Apples.com
If America's Healthcare System Is So Successful, Why Are There So Many Drug Stores Dotting the Landscape?
As I lay in bed last night (0ctober 12, 2011), a sudden thought entered my mind. I remembered the corner drugstore I grew up with in Jersey City, New Jersey.
That neighborhood drug store stood on the corner of Harrison Avenue and Monticello Avenue throughout the '50s and '60s.
And now - 50 years later - there are several drug stores in the same neighborhood!
But, they are not limited to that neighborhood. The very same pattern has repeated itself in neighborhood after neighborhood - city after city - all across our nation.
Folks, we have been bamboozled, duped, tricked, hoodwinked, deceived, tricked, had the wool pulled over our eyes, flimflammed, misled, fooled - Okay, you get the point.
If the healthcare system has made great strides in the fight against chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes, and these diseases are effectively being eliminated, why have American drug stores multiplied like rabbits on steroids?
And not only has there been an exponential increase in drug stores, but they are ALL doing very well profit-wise. Something is wrong - something is VERY WRONG with this picture!
And this isn't even the BIG picture. Not only do we have the drug store chains like Walgreens, Rite Aid, CVS, and Eckerds, but supermarkets like Pathmark and ShopRite have their very own drug departments!
You'd expect that a transition from the 20th century to the 21st century would bring along cures for the diseases that these drug stores are supplying medications for. In theory, we should require less drug stores, not more.
Look what technological advances have done for the cellphone. It has been so miniaturized that it can literally fit in one ear.
And my laptop is so powerful that the largest room-sized computer of the '70s - or several of them strung together - couldn't dream of even partially matching it for speed and memory.
But the most important advance of all - that of health care - needs an extraordinary increase of drug stores in order to sell the pharmaceuticals needed to "treat" afflictions plaguing modern society?
That does not compute! And not only does it not compute, but the powerful and global pharmaceutical cartels orchestrated the status quo, and unbeknownst to us - the duped public - are behind the scenes pulling the strings.
To make certain that the media-fed public knows about every pharmaceutical drug that is on the market, or soon coming down the pike, the industry spends millions upon millions of advertising dollars so that they can be shown on 24/7 cable and satellite television.
Back in the day all I saw on television was an occasional Bayer aspirin commercial, or Anacin for headache relief, or who could forget ole Speedy for Alka Seltzer?
But now you have "hard-core" pharmaceuticals for depression, restless leg syndrome, high cholesterol, insomnia, ad infinitum!
Because of the pharmaceutical industry, many people have bought into the "pill-for-an-ill" mentality. Instead of locating and curing the cause of an illness or other medical event, we eagerly seek for a "band-aid."
The band aid approach merely treats the symptom or symptoms while leaving the cause to continue to dominate.
Of course this is how Big Pharma wants it; they are guaranteed a lifelong customer who will not only continue with that medication, but due to side effects, be placed on several other medications to counteract the side effects of the first one.
So! Is America's healthcare system a rousing success? Well that depends on who you ask. Like beauty, success is in the eye of the beholder.
For the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare in general, it is a success story with a Cinderella ending. But for Joe and Jane Average citizen, it is a dismal failure.
We who are victims of this shameless hoax are paying a severe price. And that price is a never-ending descent into ever-worsening health.
You can break this cycle of theft of health and wealth. Stop being a drug dependent source of revenue for Big Pharma, and take control of your health.
Learn all you can about the by and large man-made causes of disease by eating only whole foods, organic produce, and green-fed meat and dairy.
Naturally that means you AVOID factory-farmed sourced meat and dairy (conventionally-raised.) Eliminate most if not all calorically-dense but nutritionally-sparse processed foods.
Undertake an exercise program that includes interval training (other names it is known by are high intensity interval training, Peak 8 training, or PACE.)
Keep stress under control and get plenty of sleep; this is necessary to avoid sleep deprivation which is characteristic of so many Americans.
The Alarming Protein Deficiency Among Seniors
(Image right: the flexed bicep of a 50-year old senior - me!) Do you realize that every cell in your body requires protein? And since the body doesn't store it, protein needs to be replenished every day.
Muscles, hair, skin, and connective tissue are made of protein.
Adequate protein isn't just necessary for athletes such as bodybuilders and powerlifters, but senior citizens need it too. With increasing years comes decreasing muscle mass.
Between 16 and 27 percent of older Americans consume less than the standard recommended daily allowance of protein. The USDA's guideline recommends 56 grams of protein; the standard recommended protein intake is 50 to 60 grams for men and women.
MedlinePlus estimates that as much as 50 percent of the elderly don't get enough dietary protein.
PEM (protein energy malnutrition), also known as protein-calorie malnutrition, is the term used to describe insufficient protein consumption.
As you age, your appetite naturally begins to lessen. PEM is often seen in nursing home residents. (It is also seen in young children living at home with financially strapped parents.)
Fifty percent of all surgical and 48 percent of all hospital patients are affected by PEM.
Your body naturally begins to lose lean body weight (muscle) at about the fourth decade of age, and this process accelerates at age 75. An average of 5 percent muscle mass is lost every 10 years after the age of 35.
Age related muscle loss is known as sarcopenia. It has serious long-term health consequences.
Insufficient protein intake leads to a weakened immune system, delayed wound healing, and weak and thin bones. As a matter of fact, most hip fractures are the direct result of atrophied muscles.
PEM is the reason so many American seniors suffer quality of life issues. They are dependent on assisted living arrangements. Or, worst case scenario, they have to be placed in a nursing facility.
PEM or sarcopenia can be turned around with eating more protein. Americans, including its seniors, consume too many calories from grains (whole grains included.)
Grain intake whether from rice (brown as well as white), breads (even stone-ground whole wheat), pasta, and cereal should be drastically reduced. Replace most of your grains with quality sources of protein.
Good sources of protein are beef from organic, grass-fed cows and organic, free-ranged poultry (chicken and turkey.) Eggs are a good protein source too.
Dairy products such as raw cheese and milk are good. Avoid pasteurized milk at all costs; if available, drink raw milk only.
I recommend you buy your beef and raw cheese from Beyond Organic. Unlike meat and cheese from your typical supermarket, the animals are not only humanely treated, but they are biblically slaughtered. They are 100 percent organic and free-ranged.
How much protein should seniors get daily? Strive for 1 gram of protein for every pound of lean body weight (lean body weight= your total weight minus your body fat weight.)
There are scales on the market that measure fat weight as well as total body weight.
Become An Informed American
As time marches on, life seems to become a lot more complicated. Technology seems to be overwhelming us with information overload and disastrous side effects.
For instance, wireless technology has brought along an unforeseen downside - negative health consequences from devices such as cell phones and other wireless wonders. The danger is linked to the electromagnetic field (EMF) these gadgets generate.
Many studies show that EMFs can cause such biological harm as cancer, behavioral changes, genetic abnormalities, sleeping disorders, and more.
Severe health problems are not just caused by electronics technology either. Chronic disease has also been associated with food technology such as cloning, genetically modified organisms, and artificial sweeteners and colors.
These "technological" innovations have been responsible for escalating rates of cancer, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, diabetes, hypertension, and more.
Type 2 diabetes was once known as adult onset diabetes (in people aged 40 and over.) Not any more. Now it is increasingly being discovered in children.
Cancer and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) rates are rising among America's children too.
When I was in grammar and high school, most of my classmates were slender and of normal weight. But many of today's school children are overweight and obese. (Sadly, many toddlers are overweight too.)
(My grammar class photo (left) was taken sometime during the early '60s. The only student who could remotely be considered overweight is the one I circled in red. But in today's social climate, she would be considered "small!")
Casual observation by the average citizen will signal that something is not quite right on the health scene. More and more dialysis centers and pharmacies like Rite Aid and Walgreens are opening.
Medical authorities tell us that if present trends continue, there will many more cancer, obesity, diabetes, ADHD, and many other chronic disease diagnoses in the future.
Chances are high that you or someone very close to you will be diagnosed with a chronic disease in the near future. The only way to prevent that from happening, or to lower the risk considerably, is to live a healthy lifestyle.
Conventional health care is squarely seated in "treatment." This is what is taught in medical schools, and what is practiced by hospitals and health care centers across the country.
America's medical paradigm is wholly supported by the powerful pharmaceutical industry. They not only influence medical schools, but employ sales reps to "teach" doctors about the latest medications.
The pharmaceutical industry have strong lobbyists in Washington. They don't mind spending millions of dollars in their never-ending efforts to maintain the status quo.
But did you know that America's medical treatment paradigm does not work in your favor?
You know the old saying, "there are two sides to every story." This truism applies to health care too.
But unfortunately forces are at work to keep you focused on just one side - that of treatment. Standard treatment for cancer is either chemotherapy (poison), radiation (burn), or surgery (cut); standard treatment for heart disease, diabetes, or Alzheimer's disease is prescription medication.
These standard methods are focused on treatment, not cure. If you cure a patient, you forever lose that patient. But if you merely treat disease symptoms, you have a patient for life.
You can see that treatment makes perfect financial sense. No business or profession, including the medical profession, wants to go out of business.
You and your family don't have to fall prey to conventional medical treatment. There is another product of our technical revolution that will open your eyes to the other side of the coin.
This product is known as the internet - the world-wide web. It is not subject to the control or whims of either the government or the pharmaceutical industry.
The flip side of conventional or traditional medicine is alternative medicine.
Alternative medicine uses protocols such as natural nutrients, hydrotherapy, traditional Chinese medicine (TCM,) and many others instead of pharmaceutical drugs or the cut, burn, and poison treatment of cancer.
Many of the doctors who use alternative protocols believe in holistic treatment. They recognize that the body is not just a collection of separate physical parts but rather a cohesive whole comprising the mental, emotional, and spiritual too.
Formerly practitioners of conventional treatment, many doctors who embrace alternative medicine are open-minded. They have escaped the one-sided medical education they received in medical school.
They don't rely on what they have been taught and the continual "brainwashing" techniques of pharmaceutical company sales reps. The word "cure" is in their vocabulary, and not "treatment" only.
I think back to my baby sister who succumbed to lung cancer two years ago. Her doctor was a typical medical school grad who only knew and practiced what he was taught.
His only goal was to keep my sister alive for as long as possible. The possibility of her being cured did not enter his mind.
My sister's doctor prescribed an endless round of chemotherapy, and then chemo coupled with radiation. I am not criticizing or ridiculing this doctor. I merely point out that alternative protocols may have saved her life (there is no guarantee of course.)
You owe it to yourself to not limit medical care to "treatment." Use the unshackled internet to explore alternative solutions.
Become an informed patient. It is your life and wellbeing - not your doctor's.
There are cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's and heart disease cures out there. Of course the pharmaceutical companies and traditional healthcare would rather have you remain ignorant to them.
My pastor recently died from pancreatic cancer. At first he received conventional treatment in a local hospital.
His wife became disillusioned with the treatment and decided to remove him from that setting, and the conventional care he was receiving.
My sister had told her about her doctor who practiced alternative, holistic medicine. My pastor's wife put him under this doctor's care.
Unfortunately it was too late. But the point is that my pastor's wife opened her mind to an alternative to conventional medicine.
You too can become equally open minded. Be informed through the internet.
Keep in mind that doctors are not demi-gods. They are human just like you and have limited, not unlimited, knowledge.
You want to have every available tool at your disposal that can possibly cure your medical issue and not just "treat" its symptom(s). This almost always means going beyond your average doctor's myopic view.
The only way America's dismal healthcare system can be improved is for Americans to demand the treatment of their choice, and not settle for what the powers that be dictate. The only way for that to happen is for you, Joe or Jane average citizen, to become informed.
Exercise Caution With Any Exercise Program
Today (January 23, 2012) CNN ran a story entitled, How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body, which recently appeared in the New York Times. The article focused on a side of yoga that many people rarely hear of - injuries.
According to the article, many people have suffered yoga-related injuries. The author of the New York Times article frequently cites and gives the real life experience of Glenn Black, a yoga instructor who has 40 years teaching experience.
"Yoga is for people in good physical condition. Or it can be used therapeutically. It's controversial to say, but it really shouldn't be used for a general class," says Glenn Black (How Yoga Can Wreck Your Body; New York Times article.)
The New York Times article gives a few actual cases of people suffering sometimes debilitating injuries originating from the practice of yoga. The injuries ranged from nerve damage to strokes.
As always, current experts are interviewed by CNN for their take on a particular story. The general consensus by the yoga instructors interviewed was that the story was unduly biased toward the negative aspects of yoga.
I, however, found the story to be balanced and not at all alarmist. It merely pointed out the consequences that could happen to anyone in any sport or exercise routine.
As the article stated, any preexisting injury can be aggravated by attempting to perform certain yoga poses. And anyone could injure himself by not exercising (pun intended) caution in any type of exercise - whether it be yoga, cardio, weightlifting, or even walking at a brisk pace.
I have over 30 years of bodybuilding experience; and I would be the first to tell you that you can seriously injure yourself if certain precautions are not taken.
I permanently injured my lower back by lifting weights. But I can't blame bodybuilding or weightlifting for my injury. It was due to my use of improper technique.
My lower back injury resulted specifically from doing squats. It is very easy to hurt yourself doing squats if you are not very careful with form and technique.
Your abdominals (core) should be tight, and your lower back straight. Your natural spine curvature should not be exaggerated. And your descent into the squatting position should be controlled and in a straight line.
No one should be doing squats with a preexisting lower back injury. The very nature of the squat will place stress on it.
And as with any exercise, care should be taken to warm up thoroughly. Initially your muscles and joints are cold and stiff. You need to get blood circulating in them before they are placed under any kind of stress.
I also would strongly advise that any beginner in any sport or exercise seek counsel from a knowledgeable person. As with bodybuilding or weightlifting, there are many certified trainers to show the correct way to perform any exercise.
And even with a qualified teacher, not everyone will be able to perform every yoga exercise or bodybuilding exercise. Know your limitations and work around them. But regardless of what any trainer or teacher tells you, if you are unable to perform a certain movement - don't try to do it!
As with anything else, exercise or a sport program can be taken to the extreme. The yoga article pointed out that some practitioners took certain poses to extreme levels. This was done by bending or twisting their necks or backs to the point where blood flow was restricted or cut off, or nerve damage occurred.
Be cautious in any exercise program! Be certain to warm up thoroughly and know your body. The older you get, the less your body is able to do. A 60 year old like myself cannot do what a 20-year old can do.
In closing, let me drive home the point that there is nothing inherently wrong with yoga. Doing it slowly and cautiously and right will certainly eliminate any chance of injury.
Use wisdom, and don't let your ego get the best of you.
Old MacDonald Had A Farm
Remember the nursery rhyme which says old MacDonald had a farm, EE-I, EE-I, O? This kiddie favorite was published in 1917. Unfortunately, growing numbers of MacDonalds are losing their farms to giant corporate interests.
America is losing more and more of the MacDonald type farms. These were the once plentiful family farms which provided fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as dairy products and meat, to family tables across the land.
According to Sustainabletable.org, there were about 7 million family farms dotting the American landscape in the 1930s. That number has shrunk to approximately 2 million today. Of that number, only about 565,000 are family businesses.
In 1965 Look magazine quoted experts saying that by 1980 there may only be one million farms left.
Yes - old MacDonald had a farm!
I think ever-growing numbers of Americans are looking for a return to the farming practices of yesteryear. Realizing the dangers posed by conventional farming practices, people want a return to the simple life.
The simple life of the small family farm offers fresh vegetables grown without pesticides and genetically-modified organisms. The produce is locally-grown and the methods used are sustainable.
Farm-fresh food quality can be found in today's farmers' markets and CSA (community supported agriculture.) The produce is locally grown which makes all the difference in the world.
In addition to pesticide-free produce, the old time family farms of MacDonald raised healthy chickens, pigs, and cows that enjoyed rich pastureland and plenty of sunshine and fresh air. Yes - back then Elsie the cow was indeed contented!
Not today. Not with the factory-style practices of the Agribusiness conglomerates. Cows and other animals are treated like inanimate, metal pieces on a conveyor belt.
These animals which are bound for your dinner table are fed everything from road kill, sawdust, and genetically modified corn and soy to shredded newspaper and processed sewage. To combat the disease caused by being crammed in pens like sardines in tin cans, they are given antibiotics.
According to 2002 census figures from the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture), corporate owned farms grew by over 46 percent between the years 1974 and 2002.
America needs to return to the MacDonald farms of bygone days. In order to stop the seemingly endless outbreak of food poisoning, Agribusiness needs to be either reformed, or driven out of business.
You can be instrumental in accomplishing one or the other. Support your local farm by buying produce from farmer's markets or CSA.
Do You Want a Toned and Tight Midsection?
How would you like to have a toned and tight abdominal region like this (yours truly about 27 years ago)? Those rock-hard abs look like armored plating which could repel bullets.
Although I am now 60 years old, and my midsection doesn't look quite like it did then, it is still toned and will remain so as long as I conscientiously exercise and limit fat producing caloric intake.
Despite what some commercial ads and late night infomercials would lead you to believe, it takes more than just crunches and sit-ups to achieve chiseled abs.
First let me dispel the myth that a person can target one specific area of the body for fat loss (spot reducing.) Studies have proven that spot reducing will not work.
It is true however that almost everyone has the ability to lose body fat; this loss will be from the abdominal region before anywhere else in the body, and more fat will be lost from the upper body in proportion to the lower body area.
That's just the nature of how your physical body works.
Scientific studies, along with my personal 30 plus years of bodybuilding experience, shows that the following three parameters are necessary to produce sustainable weight loss which will lead to a toned and tight midsection:
I have mentioned two key phrases towards producing a toned midsection: sustainable and lifestyle change. It is a fact that any fad diet will lead to weight loss in the beginning. But the nature of these hundreds of diets inevitably lead to a plateau.
Fat loss will level off, and because the diet is contrary to what will ultimately satisfy your body, you fall off the wagon - so to speak. In other words, the diet cannot be sustained because it is unnatural.
As many hundreds of thousands of dieters have discovered over the years, will power alone is not enough to sustain dieting. You may be faithful for awhile, some longer than others, but at the end of the day, you will crash and burn.
Of the three factors that I listed above necessary for successful tummy toning, strong compulsion for a change in lifestyle is mandatory. It begins in the mind.
Before I became successful at packing pounds of solid muscle on my naturally slim frame (I am a natural ectomorph), I first determined within myself that I wanted to achieve it. It mattered to me what people thought when they looked at me.
I was dissatisfied with my "skinny" body too. And it didn't help that I was being called "skinny." The motivation was there to make a change in my appearance.
Once I altered my mindset, it became easy to take the necessary steps to gain muscular body weight. I got up early in the morning, or after a day of work, and trekked to the gym. There I lifted hundreds of pounds of weight a week to stimulate muscle growth.
I then ate a huge number of calories needed for weight gain.
It worked! I began my bodybuilding program weighing a paltry 150 pounds at my present height of 5 feet, 10 inches. I began to seriously lift weights in 1978 when I was 27 years old.
In a few years time I managed to pack on over 50 pounds of solid muscle. (It is easier and faster to gain fat weight, but it is harder and takes longer to build quality lean body mass.)
Though many of you reading this don't have a weight gain problem, the approach I used to achieve my objective is identical to the approach you will need to achieve yours - a toned tummy.
Diet and Exercise
I combined diet and exercise because doing one without the other is like trying to row with one oar. It is true though that nutrition (diet) is about 80 percent of the equation. But exercise is necessary towards a disease-free life and a greater amount of calorie-burning lean body mass (muscle.)
Successful weight loss in order to achieve a toned midsection goes contrary to what you may be hearing and reading. You don't have to give up eating your favorite foods. You don't have to avoid steak and eggs, or butter on your pancakes.
You just have to substitute conventional, supermarket foods with certified organic and pastured-raised meat, poultry, eggs, and butter. If you drink milk, skip the fat-free and low-fat varieties. As a matter of fact, skip pasteurized milk altogether. Try to locate and drink raw milk.
Avoid eating as much processed foods as possible. They are loaded with artificial sweeteners, especially high fructose corn syrup. These sweeteners disrupt your body's hormones which regulate hunger and a feeling of fullness.
Add more farm-fresh vegetables purchased from local farmer's markets to your menu. Eat more home-cooked meals as opposed to constantly eating out. The typical home-cooked meal is a lot more nutritious than any pricey restaurant dish.
By following these simple steps, you will dramatically increase the amount of fiber and protein in your diet. These nutrients will fill you up so that you will not want the calorie-dense processed food that will pack on pounds of useless body fat.
The government will not subsidize healthy fruit and vegetable farming. That funding is reserved for genetically modified wheat, corn, and soy. You'd be surprised how much food and drink contain these grains and their derivatives.
Ever notice how many of your local supermarket shelves are taken up by breakfast cereals, potato chips and pretzels, and pastries and candies of all shapes, sizes, and colors? Add to this the all ready prepared foods like macaroni and cheese and others too numerous to mention.
Stay away from all of these. Prepare your meals at home from scratch. And yes. It is okay to indulge in ice cream and cheese cake and that chocolate you just can't do without. Just don't over do it.
If you need help in obtaining a toned tummy, you might want to check out this webpage and video.
There's Nothing Wrong With Eating Red Meat
(if it's the right kind)
There is a lot of misinformation circulating in America concerning meat - especially red meat. Health authorities tell us to limit our consumption of red meat while others say stay away from it altogether.
But what the government fails to mention is that there are two classes of red meat - conventionally-raised, i.e. CAFO, and naturally-raised. What separates these two processes makes all the difference in the world.
All of the negative press that you hear today about red meat is limited to conventionally-raised and processed meat. Almost every study, if not every study, performed to date has been done on the predominantly available red meat found in your local supermarket (factory-farmed red meat.)
If you are familiar with how your conventional meat is sourced, you will not be surprised of the negative health effects. The cows are treated like non-living machine parts. They are crammed in large buildings, away from natural sunlight and fresh air.
Prior to the 1950s, before the factory-farmed system (also known as confined animal feeding operations, CAFO), cattle roamed pastureland. By the 1970s, this natural system was replaced by CAFO. Seventy-five percent of American cattle are trapped in this system.
The conditions are so deplorable that cows are susceptible to disease. In order to fight the inevitable consequence of the unnatural living conditions, the animals are given antibiotics. They are also given growth hormones to pump up their weight before slaughter.
Pesticide-laced grain (mostly corn) forms the major part of cattle's diet. These poor creatures are also fed sawdust mixed with ammonia, shredded newspaper, processed sewage, and other inedible garbage such as road kill. This trash is mixed with insecticides, antibiotics and synthetic hormones.
The natural food diet of cattle is grass. Grain, much of which is genetically modified, is injurious to the animal's digestive system - causing trauma.
Trace amounts of antibiotics and synthetic hormones are stored in the cow's fat. No effort is made to remove these chemicals before slaughter, and they wind up in the meat you purchase at the local grocery store.
Also keep in mind that the majority of the corn grown in America is genetically modified (GM); studies have shown that GM ingredients cause cancer in laboratory animals.
Laboratory rats who were given a GM potato to eat developed potentially pre-cancerous cell growth, damaged immune systems, smaller brains, livers, and testicles, and partial atrophy of the liver.
Prior to factory-farming, cattle was raised on open ranges. They ate the food that God made them to eat - grass, forbs, etc. And of course, they had unlimited access to fresh air and sunlight.
Without exaggeration, the meat you buy today is from sick and stressed out animals. It's no wonder a consistent diet of it is linked to heart disease and cancer.
On the other side of the coin however is free-ranged, organically (naturally) raised animals. Animals have been raised this way from biblical times until the 1970s. Sacrificing animal health and welfare for modern-day efficiency and profit is a relatively new development.
Even eggs from pasture-raised hens are many times more nutritious than eggs from commercially produced eggs. Researchers have documented the following differences between commercially-raised hens and free-ranged hens. Eggs from free-ranged hens have:
Whether commercially produced red meat or eggs and dairy products, free-ranged is the way to go. It is natural, safe, and healthy. It's a win-win-win situation. You win, the animals win, and the farmer wins.
You win because you are feeding yourself and your family nutritious food. Red meat and dairy products from free-ranged animals supply less cholesterol and saturated fat and much more healthy fats. And believe it or not, these products will keep you at a healthy body weight. They will also keep you and your family disease-free.
The animals win because they are raised in a stress-free environment. They are also fed their natural diet, and as a consequence, are not prone to unnatural disease and sickness.
Finally, the farmer wins because in the long run, the consumer will buy exclusively from him. In the short term, he is contributing to a healthy environment and raising animals he can be proud of. And since more and more consumers are becoming informed, will earn a greater market share and profit.
To Tell the Truth
Truth is a hard commodity to find today. It seems that almost everyone has an agenda in which it is necessary to deviate from the truth in order to accomplish it. This includes the politician running for office or a manufacturer selling a product or the dairy industry telling us that milk is necessary for good health.
It seems we need a program like the once popular game show To Tell the Truth - first aired in 1956 - to get at the truth. When information is being withheld, studies manipulated, or facts cherry picked, the truth is being withheld - or at least kept out of view.
Certain agendas run rampant in the food industry and in healthcare. For instance, because of strong lobbying by the dairy industry and millions of advertising dollars for the "Got milk?" commercial, Americans are brainwashed into believing milk is the answer to osteoporosis and overall health.
Conventional healthcare and the pharmaceutical industry suppress alternative cancer cures and therapies. Truth is hidden and camouflaged whenever tactics are used to promote one protocol and suppress any alternative.
Agribusiness too is guilty of skirting the truth in its program to promote grains as necessary to good nutrition. Nutritional and health authorities are on board with agribusiness in the media blitz of grains, including whole, to the American public. Simultaneously, high protein sources like steak and eggs are made the enemy by associating them with high cholesterol and contributing to heart disease.
"Big Agribusiness companies want you to eat more of their grains, but to get you to do it, first they had to convince you that what you'd been eating up until then was deadly, and that grains are the answer" (Doctor's House Call; Al Sears, MD. April 18, 2012)
In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Eggs from pasture-raised chickens and meat from free-ranged cattle are teeming with hunger satiating protein, good fats, and other vital nutrients your body craves. Grain on the other hand contains phytic acid which prevents the body from absorbing calcium, magnesium, iron, copper and zinc.
You may ask yourself the question, "What about whole grains? Aren't they good for you?"
The truth of the matter is that grain - whether whole or processed - promote insulin resistance as well as block vital nutrients from being absorbed. Insulin resistance from the overconsumption of grain, processed food, and soft drinks is a major factor in escalating obesity in the United States.
If you refuse to give up eating grains entirely, you may want to consider eating sprouted grain. The sprouting process not only dramatically reduces the phytic acid content, but enhances nutrient density. Sprouted grain has more protein and a lower glycemic rating too.
(This website - nourished kitchen.com - gives step by step instructions on how to sprout grains.)
I too at one time was an advocate of dumping processed grain, and replacing it with whole grain. My father ate whole grain in the form of stone ground whole wheat bread and denounced white, i.e., processed, bread. He often told me that back in the day (early 1900s) white bread was used as glue to hang wall paper.
But through the course of time I discovered articles by natural health advocates like Dr. Joseph Mercola and Al Sears, M.D. who wrote contrary views of grain. They revealed the other side of the coin. There exist facts about grain which are kept hidden by food manufacturers and mainstream health authorities.
If you follow the links in this editorial and a few subsequent links, you will see that I wrote positively about whole grain. But when I wrote those articles, I didn't know the "whole" (pun intended) truth about whole grain.
Now that I am aware of the other side of grain - the side that agribusiness companies don't want you to know about - I write this editorial to you.
Take a minute to think about how much grain you eat on a daily basis. On a typical day you may eat a bowl of cereal, bread in the form of toast or for a Subway sandwich, or maybe even a bun for a burger or hotdog. Or you may drive to a Dunkin' Donuts and buy any of dozens of sweet treats. You may also snack on a seemingly endless variety of cereal and protein bars.
Lunch and dinner may consist of some form of pasta whether it be macaroni and cheese or spaghetti and meatballs. And let's not forget the crackers, cookies, pastries, and rolls.
That's a lot of grain!
The key to supplying your body with the nutrients it is looking for, and to satisfy those hunger pangs, is to give it plenty of protein and vegetables. Protein from free-ranged animals (cow and buffalo) is full of omega-3 fatty acids, saturated fat, and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA.)
Protein from pasture-raised poultry like chicken and turkey is good too. And don't forget wild fish like salmon, mackerel, or sardines.
And contrary to what is commonly being broadcast through the media, your best source of fiber is vegetables, not grain. Vegetables don't contain substances which inhibit nutrient absorption.
Adequate protein is necessary to put your body in a fat-burning mode. Whether you are an athlete or not, it is crucial to get enough protein in your diet. The recommended daily allowance for children and adults doesn't even come close.
Get at least one gram of protein for each pound of lean bodyweight (weight of bone, water, and muscle - not fat.)
My Tribute to John Kemper
(Photo left: John Kemper (July 31, 1944 - June 13, 2012). Courtesy Iron Man Magazine, June 15, 2012 (Lonnie Teper). John Kemper)
As many of this site's readers know, I am a bodybuilder and have been one since 1978. I can honestly say that no one has influenced me as much as John Kemper has.
Let me share the story of how I came to meet John. Believe it or not, I first began lifting weights in my East Orange apartment living room. I soon outgrew the amount of weight I could safely store there (I lived on the 7th floor.)
I joined a gym in Linden near where I once lived. It was named Guys and Dolls. I had a membership there for a couple of years. Guys and Dolls though had limitations.
It was these limitations which prompted me to find another gym. Guys and Dolls had separate days for men and women. It wasn't so much that there was no co-mingling between men and women as much as I couldn't train precisely when I could and wanted to.
The gym lacked the flexibility in training days I desired.
I don't remember how I initially found out about Diamond Gym, but I did and decided to call to find out membership rates.
When I called, John Kemper answered. This was 1981 or 1982. It was probably closer to 1982.
After John quoted his membership rates, I remember thinking them too high (compared to what I paid at Guys and Dolls.)
I asked John why his membership rates were so high (so I thought then). I forget his reply, but the rest is what they say, history.
I joined Diamond Gym shortly thereafter and have never looked back.
One day after joining the gym, I was driving to the post office during lunch hour. To my amazement, I heard John Kemper being interviewed on a local radio station.
John told the story of some people who came to the gym looking to get "free" weights. They didn't understand that free weight meant dumbbells and barbells as opposed to machines. It didn't mean weight that was being given away by the gym at no cost.
The next time I saw John, I told him that I had heard his interview. He told me that the story was true.
In my youthful enthusiasm - I was 31 years old - I decided to enter the Mr. New Jersey Bodybuilding show. That was to be my very first amateur competition.
Thinking back now, I know I wasn't ready to enter such a top ranked competition. When I informed John, he didn't discourage me, but wished me luck.
That was John Kemper.
Back in the day, as it is today, Diamond Gym was very popular. It enjoys the enviable reputation of being a "hardcore" bodybuilding gym. This is a no nonsense, train or go home gym.
That reputation is due solely to its founder, John Kemper. John was "old school" and a serious believer in hard training with heavy iron.
Although founder and former owner (Diamond Gym is now owned by Dwayne McDaniels), John Kemper was not a laid back executive limiting himself to administrative work. He was in the trenches with paying members "pumping iron."
One day I trained legs with John. Every now and then I would either "cheat" or do an incomplete rep. John would have none of that. He chastised me.
I remember John training for the 1987 NPC (National Physique Committee) Master's National Championship. I caught him in a short-sleeved shirt a couple of weeks out from the show. The veins in his arms looked liked well-fed snakes.
I commented that he was still competing. John replied with something like, "that's what it is all about." John was 47 then.
Back in the '80s, John ran his annual Diamond Gym Show. It was always held at the New Jersey shore. These shows were staged with all the pomp and ceremony of any state or regional show.
I entered a couple of those shows. There were always a fair amount of Diamond Gym competitors at those shows.
I entered my last amateur competition in 2001. It was the over 35 class at the Mr. New Jersey Bodybuilding show. I was 49 years old.
As at all shows, many photographs were taken.
A couple of years after the show as I walked into Diamond Gym, I ran into John Kemper. He told me that he had my photo up on the wall. John Kemper has photos of bodybuilding luminaries like Arnold Schwarzenegger in every room.
He also has photos of home-bred champs like Johnnie Morant and other members who train there. I followed John as he tried to remember exactly where he had placed my photo.
John Kemper had hung my photo in the main room. I was surprised, flabbergasted, and honored. John had saw something in a 49 year old competitor who by the way had not placed in any show, that he posted his picture for all to see.
Again, that was John Kemper - a rare breed.
I wrote a book in 2007 named Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health. I asked several people to endorse it. John Kemper was one.
John obliged. Although I had to remind him a few times, he came through. Here's John's endorsement:
"Thank you for spreading the word of the complete concept of a healthy mind, body, and spirit."
That was John Kemper.
John was truly committed and would go out of his way to help anybody. He was inspirational, and I will miss him.
John was "laid back". I never knew anything to phase him. Although I must admit that he was a little upset when someone accidentally drove their car through Diamond Gym's front entrance. But he took it in stride.
In my early years at Diamond I trained in the evening. John was "minding the store" then.
One particular period of time, my finances were low and I couldn't pay my membership. John would kind of overlook it and still let me train.
Shirley Kemper though was a different story. It was either pay or go home. Naturally I would try to avoid her and show up when John was there.
This is my tribute to John. I know all who knew him have similar memories and tributes.
Ahhh - to be able to go back in time to return to simpler days. You remember those days. Schools didn't have or need security guards and metal detectors. Kids didn't walk around armed and plan mass school killings. Children were brought up by their parents to respect adults.
Back in the day families ate dinner together - at home, not at Mickey Ds or Burger King. They also talked more because they didn't have the distraction of cell phones, video games, the Internet, and 24/7 cable or satellite television.
And because we didn't have a glut of fast food restaurants on every other block, breakfast, lunch, and dinner were mostly eaten at home.
The food was home cooked and a lot more nutritious than today's food. It also didn't make you sick.
When I was growing up in the 50s and early 60s, there were no high fructose corn syrup, genetically modified organisms (GMOs), trans fats, and monosodium glutamate. Meat came from animals raised on real, honest to goodness farms. Poultry, pigs, and cows were raised outdoors to graze on pastureland - not confined to restricted enclosures to wallow in their own urine and feces.
Farms were family owned and pride was taken in the care of the animals. They were fed their natural diet and were not given hormones and antibiotics to fatten them up.
(To learn more about how living in the 50s and earlier was healthier for you, order a copy of my book Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health).
You may accuse me of being an old 'stick-in-the-mud', old school, old fashioned, or maybe even an idealist or romanticist. And you'd be right. I miss the simplicity and relative safety of those days.
Sadly the good old days are long since gone - never to be experienced again.
Our 21st century food supply is largely composed of artificial sweeteners, preservatives, and colors; meat comes from animals raised in enclosed buildings, packed like sardines. They are fed pesticide-laced grain like corn and soy. And in order to command a higher price, they are given antibiotics and hormones to make them fat before they are slaughtered. Antibiotics are also administered in order to fight infections caused by the inhumane condiitons in which they are raised.
Not only is the grain tainted with pesticides, it is genetically modified too.
You can't escape GMOs by eating just fish either. A lot of fish is "farmed" and fed genetically modified (GM) grain.
Most of the food you eat today is in reality "fake" food. It is made of ingredients (more aptly called chemicals) concocted in a chemistry lab. It bears little resemblance to the food you ate growing up in the 30s, 40s, and 50s to early 60s.
Sure it tastes good. But taste isn't and never will be an indication that the food is good for you. Food chemists put monosodium glutamate in food to give it an irresistable taste. However monosodium glutamate can lead to serious health issues.
America's food supply is largely in the hands of huge bio-agricultural companies like Monsanto who can flood the market with new food technology bypassing human safety testing. This is how it is with GMOs. There has been no scientific study for GMOs proving they are safe for human consumption.
But there are dozens of animal studies showing they negatively affect health. Animals' gastrointestinal systems are attacked and the immune system is triggered. Animals age faster and their organs attacked.
Despite this, Monsanto tells the public that genetically modified organisms pose no danger. For proof, they point to in-house studies.
Surely they must believe either the American public doesn't care, or worse, is stupid.
No person in his right mind will take a company's word at face value when they conduct a study themselves and not allow a third party to examine it. Keep in mind that billions of dollars are at stake.
And as a point of record, a third party did examine a study conducted by Monsanto. A French toxicologist looked at Monsanto's data and found that laboratory rats fed GM corn suffered toxic effects.
So much for Monsanto's credibility!
The only way to be certain that GMOs pose no danger to human health is to have a unbiased study under controlled conditions done. And Monsanto shouldn't be the company performing the study. A third party with no ties - financial or otherwise - to Monsanto should do it.
Listen to what the former president of the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM), Dr. Robin Bernhoft, stated when the AAEM called for a moritorium on GMOs in 2009:
"...[the academy] recommends that all physicians should prescribe non-genetically modified food for all patients, and that we should educate all of our patients on the potential health dangers, and known health dangers of GMO food" (Smith, Jeffrey M.,n.d.)
Many doctors and nutritionists are reporting that their patients and clients are experiencing restored health upon being put on non-GMO diets.
People are reporting being cured from irritable bowel disease and recovering from thinning hair, cold hands and feet, and congestion. Others reported losing weight and being cured of colitis after eating non-GMO foods.
Children are benefiting from GMO free foods too. One no longer suffers from migraine headaches and asthma. Depression is also reported to be eradicated.
Depending on the person and condition, relief can be experienced in as little as a few days for allergies to 4 to 6 weeks for more serious illnesses.
In order to avoid GMOs, you have to eat an organic diet. Look for food products which are USDA Organic certified. By law they can't contain any GM ingredient or any pesticide or herbicide. Those products bearing the USDA Organic seal can be either 100% organic or certified organic (must contain at least 95% organic ingredients).
It has been estimated that GM ingredients are in 70 percent of all processed food. Certainly any ingredient derived from corn or soy is in all probability genetically modified. This includes the sweetener high fructose corn sugar found in products as diverse as ketchup, fruit juice, and sodas (diet and regular). Add to that baked goods like chips and low fat products and you include all the food that make up the standard American diet (SAD).
Despite all the evidence to the contrary, Wal-Mart has decided to sell GM sweet corn. And this was after receiving a petition signed by 463,000 consumers to reject it!
In contrast to the brazen attitude displayed by Wal-Mart, Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and General Mills have publically stated they would not carry or use the corn.
My take on Wal-Mart's "we do as we please attitude" is that they think that their sheer size and market share has lulled them into a belief that the public will support them despite what their concerns are. Don't let them get away with it.
Wal-Mart obviously doesn't care about consumer health and well-being. Their only concern is the bottom line. Wal-Mart's worth on Wall Street has given them a "God complex". I think founder Sam Walton would be ashamed of his family's stance.
I refuse to purchase anything from Wal-Mart. This is my way of protesting their unconcern about my well-being.
Don't allow food retailers or producers or bio-agricultural conglomerates to profit at your and your family's expense. They could care less if GM ingredients make you overweight, infertile, depressed, asthmatic or cause you to develop irritable bowel disease or colitis or even cancer.Sources: Knight Ridder/Tribune. (August 3, 2012). Wal-Mart to sell genetically modified sweet corn [Chicago Tribune]. Retrieved from http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/news/article.asp?
Do Your Food Research
Sad to say but in these times you can't trust the government to look after your interests and you can't take anything for granted - especially when it comes to your food.
It's unfortunate but the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) and the FDA (Food and Drug Agency) seem to have closer ties to giant food corporations and the pharmaceutical industry than they do to the public. Instead of watching the consumers' back, these agencies appear to be watchdogs of the interests of the meat, food, and pharmaceutical industries.
As an example, I am very fond of nuts - especially almonds and cashews. Recently I have been buying almonds every week.
But I just learned that almonds, even those labeled "Raw", undergo mandatory processing to prevent salmonella contamination.
I try to incorporate as much organic food as financially possible into my diet. And due to the fact that many companies utilize deceptive labeling, I don't take packaged claims such as "natural", "all-natural", or even "organic" at face value.
I instinctively avoid ALL conventionally processed meat because it is contaminated with GMOs, pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. I therefore look carefully for meat labeled "free ranged", "pastured-raised" or meat that has the USDA Organic seal seal on it.
So even though the meat may not have an USDA organic seal on it I don't automatically dismiss it. The fact that it is free-ranged or pastured-raised carries weight too.
But I don't stop there. I look for the manufacturer and check his website.
Let me give you an example. My wife bought a steak which was labeled Nature's Reserve; it stated that it was free-ranged. The label also stated that the meat contained no added hormones or antibiotics.
I went to the website to find out exactly how Nature's Reserve cares for their animals and processes the meat after slaughtering.
Each animal is tagged and tracked. Farmers who supply the meat must be members of the Farm Assured Namibian Meat Scheme. They adhere to very strict standards which doesn't allow any unnatural practices (factory farming - also known as CAFO.)
The only reason Nature's Reserve doesn't have the USDA Organic seal is because the meat is processed in Europe. My research bears out the fact that the meat is everything that the label claims.
I buy ground beef and bison from domestic meat supplier Organic Prairie too. Since this company is located in the United States, it bears the USDA Organic seal.
Not willing to take even the label's word, I went to their website. What I found delighted me.
Organic Prairie goes beyond the USDA's rather strict organic standard. That standard states that the animal must have access to pasture but doesn't stipulate the length of time or what it can be fed.
But Organic Prairie's standard is the following:
"Because of their commitment to working in harmony with nature, Organic Prairie producers prefer to provide their animals with as much pasture as they can. The Cooperative's own production standards require that ruminant (grass-eating) animals have access to well-managed pasture as a significant portion of their feed whenever it is in season - a minimum of 3 months in most regions" (Organic Prairie website.)
It took me only a few minutes in each instance to check out the manufacturer's website. But now I have a clear conscience as to how the animal was raised prior to slaughter and therefore the product's quality afterwards.
In order to improve your health and that of your family, take time to carefully read all food labels; stay away from processed food as much as possible. Go to the manufacturer's website. See what their philosophy is and their processing procedures.
Look for the USDA Organic seal or free-ranged or pasture-raised on the label. If one or the other is not there, don't buy it. And even if it is take the next step. Check the manufacturer's website.
Americans Are Being Used As "Lab Rats" For GM Foods
"As a scientist, actively working in the field [of GMO], I find that it is very very unfair to use our fellow citizens as
guinea pigs," Arpad Pusztai, Ph.D.
(Source: The Doctor Within)
How would you react if someone informed you that you will be used as a human guinea pig in a science experiment? And what if I were to further inform you that you had no choice in the matter?
You would be up in arms wouldn't you?
Well, prepare to be shocked, horrified, and made downright mad! You ARE currently being used as a "lab rat" (guinea pig) in an ongoing food science experiment. This experiment has been going on since early 1994.
What Are You Feeding Me?
Now that I have your attention, let me tell you what I am talking about. I am referring to genetically modified (GM) foods.
Monsanto is genetically engineering crops that are able to withstand their popular herbicide Roundup; they are known as Roundup-Ready. Farmers can spray Roundup on their fields and only the pests will be affected (unfortunately in the long term, this isn't true).
Bioengineers are also creating new food products by fusing flounder genes with tomatoes, firefly genes with corn, moth genes with potatoes, and arctic char genes with strawberries! Yum-yum.
The first commercially produced GM food made available to the public was the Flavr Savr tomato in May, 1994. It was declared to be safe by the FDA (Food and Drug Administration).
The FDA is "alledgedly" the government watchdog agency charged with protecting the American public from potentially dangerous foods and drugs. I say "alledgedly" because they have failed pitifully.
FDA scientists were wary and cautious about genetically modified organisms (GMOs). They informed their superiors that long-term safety studies should be implemented before giving GMOs the "green light".
These scientists warned their bosses within the FDA over and over again that GM foods can create hard-to-detect and unpredictable side effects. Unforeseen medical problems could include allergies, toxins (poisons), new diseases, and nutritional problems.
Their pleads however fell on deaf ears and the powers-to-be in the FDA gave GM foods GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status.
Genetically modified foods have been in the American market for 18 years now (from 1994 to 2012). But the quantity of GM foods has multiplied geometically.
Look at the breakdown of GM crops grown in the United States:
Approximately 86% of all processed foods sold in local supermarkets contain GMOs! The largest demographic who buys consumer products is the mother.
Do me a favor. Go to the pantry or your refrigerator shelf and read the ingredient label on your "low-fat" mayo or peanut butter or potato chips. Chances are that one of the ingredients is some form of corn (like high fructose corn syrup) or corn syrup or a vegetable oil like soybean or canola. Corn and soybean or their many derivatives are prime ingredients in numerous products.
I looked in my pantry and refrigerator. I discovered cereal, crackers, ketchup, salad dressings, and grape jelly which contain some form of corn or soybean or both.
Of course not only processed foods are genetically modified. Packaged corn and corn on the cob are both GM. So is one of America's favorite snack foods - popcorn. You'll find soy or some derivative in the popular soy milk or the many vegetarian foods on the market like veggie burgers.
But there is another statistic that you should be aware of. About 87 million American consumers believe that GM foods are unsafe; 159 million Americans say that they would not purchase GM foods if given the choice.
Who Is Behind GM Food?
But, as Shakespeare says in Hamlet, "there's the rub" (difficulty). The giant biotech industry don't want you to know which foods contain GM ingredients.
And who are these biotech giants who are using Americans as "lab rats" without our permission? Monsanto, Dow Chemical, Dupont, Aventis, and Syngenta. These five companies control upwards of 85% of our food! The money hungry biotech industry want to control the entire food chain - from the seed to the table.
Naturally these biotech giants wouldn't wield so much power if they weren't aided and abetted by the government. The FDA is working in collusion with these companies.
There is a powerful factor which is motivating the biotech industry to keep you in the dark about the dangers of GM food - MONEY! Just follow the money trail; there are billions of dollars at stake and if you think that these companies are going to voluntarily disclose which of their products contain GM ingredients than you you must believe in the Easter bunny too.
In the 1987 movie Wall Street, the character Gordon Gekko (played by Micheal Douglas) says that "money never sleeps". Money also talks. The biotech industry has deep pockets and liberally spends to have lobbyists protect their interests.
The Biotech Industry Is Fighting to Keep You Ignorant
The Big 5 biotech industries are fighting tooth-and-nail to perpetuate their empire. Right now they are concentrating their efforts in California.
California has an initiative on the November, 2012 ballot called Proposition 37 (the Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act). Voters have the opportunity to pass a law requiring manufacturers to label all GM products. If passed, it will become effective in 2014.
I guess I don't have to tell you that the biotech industry as well as food manufacturers are investing heavily in order to defeat this initiative.
The largest of the biotech industries, Monsanto, has invested over $7,000,000 to date; DuPont Pioneer has invested $2,441,500.
A lot is at stake. If Proposition 37 passes in California, it will very likely filter down into every other state (California has the 8th largest economy in the world). Like power-hungry leaders clawing and grasping to hang onto power, the biotech, pesticide, and processed food companies are desperately holding on for dear life.
A Lesson From History
Americans need to take a lesson from history. The bioengineering of GMOs is the new cigarette battle.
The cigarette industry generated billions of dollars from their product. It was heavily promoted in the movie industry and in the medical field. Doctors smoked and the television ads led Americans to believe that cigarettes had some sort of health benefit.
In the meantime, the cigarette industry had performed studies of their product and specifically of nicotine. The studies showed that nicotine was highly addictive. Of course these test results were never made public.
Smokers developed lung cancer and other illnesses and died. Executives of seven major cigarette manufacturers lied before Congress about the addictiveness of nicotine.
Other than the television cigarette commercials of the '50s and '60s, DDT was declared to be safe when it first was introduced as was Agent Orange which was heavily used in Vietnam. GMOs is the latest money-maker to be declared to be safe by lying corporate profiteers.
When so much money is involved and a choice has to be made, profits will always be chosen over human health and life.
Very Real and Troublesome Health Problems
As mentioned earlier, there has never been a long-term human health study to find out the ramifications of eating GM food. But there have been plenty of animal trials.
A new study just broke which even shocked the mainstream news media. Rats - the animal, not us human "lab rats" - who were fed GM corn along with trace amounts of Roundup fertilizer developed horrific tumors. These animals suffered widespread organ damage and premature death too. (Google "new GM study" and you will see disturbing pictures of rats with gigantic tumors).
I'll admit that I am no bioengineer or anything like that, but I suspect that if GM food produced those results in live rats, then humans will develop some type of negative health effect. It may not be the same effect the rats suffered, but I guarantee that GM food won't build strong muscles and lengthen your life.
My point is this. If there is no long-term human health study anywhere on the planet, than GMOs should be suspect. It is immoral and scientifically indefensible to allow anything to given to humans which has produced damaging effects in laboratory animals.
The protocol of good science is the following: (a) animal trials conducted under a reasonable length of time (b) study should be peer-reviewed and then proceed to step (b). Step B is a carefully controlled and conducted human trial with safety protocols in place.
This human trial should be peer-reviewed and conducted over a lengthy time period. After all, you are dealing with human life.
Oh, I forgot to mention one more thing. These studies (animal and human) should be carried out by a third party in order to avoid conflicts of interest.
Every country which has allowed GM seeds has seen cattle die and develop tumors or fertility problems. As a matter of fact, scientists have found identical health problems in humans as discovered in lab animals, livestock, and pets which have been fed GM food.
It has also been noticed that if given the choice, animals will NOT eat food which has been genetically modified!
That bit of information should set an alarm off in your brain. We have been consuming pounds of GM food for 18 years and are told that the fertility rate is declining, and that digestive disorders, asthma, allergies, cancers, autoimmune disorders are on the rise.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to strongly suspect that GM foods may be the problem. If you were to graph the rate of chronic health disorders which occurred after GM foods were introduced in the mid '90s, you would see a trend spiralling upwards.
Technology Is Supposed to Help Us, Not Hurt Us
It's the 21st century and yet cancer, heart disease, food allergies, autoimmune diseases, ADHD, obesity, and other diseases are not merely plaguing us, but seem to be on the rise. Back in the day there were no obese toddlers or children with type 2 diabetes.
Something is wrong - terribly wrong!
Americans are being victimized by powerful food and agriculture interests who are in cahoots with the federal government. And it is being done without our consent.
Have you ever wondered why so many of your friends and family are dying from cancer and heart disease? And look at the size Americans are attaining. Toddlers to adults are much larger than their counterparts in the '50s, '60s, and even '70s.
It's all in the food and it's not your fault. You had no idea that you were a "lab rat" consuming tasty and visually appealing foods from your neighborhood grocery store.
Let me ask you another question. Are you or your children suffering from a health issue which your doctor cannot diagnose? It may be a food allergy or some autoimmune disease or Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease or maybe migraine headaches?
What Can I do?
Naturalpathic doctors and doctors who believe in alternative medicine have made a great discovery. Patients who are taken off all GM foods find that their health problems disappear.
You don't have to continue to be a victim of the biotech industry. Don't buy any more products containing GM ingredients. (You can download a GMO pocket guide or view a list by manufacturer by product of GM products; look in left column).
This is not going to be an easy task because GMOs are so pervasive in America (the European Union, Australia, New Zealand, and Japan are some of the countries outlawing GMOs).
In addition to the tons of processed food involved, meat, eggs, and dairy products will have to be avoided. These products typically come from cows, pigs, and poultry fed GM grain such as corn and soy. Even farmed fish are fed GM grain.
Buy meat, eggs, and dairy products which have been certified USDA Organic. Genetically modified ingredients are not allowed in
Sources: Genetically Modified Food
Institute For Responsible Technology
The Doctors Within
In 1887, John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, more popularly known as Lord Acton, wrote the following in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton:
"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men" (www.phrases.org.uk.com)
This truism also applies to corporations. No corporation exemplies this famous statement more than Monsanto, the biotech giant which is at the forefront of the genetic engineering of cotton and food seeds.
Monsanto is a United States based multinational, agricultural biotechnology company. It is the world's largest producer of genetically engineered seed.
Monsanto's business model reveals that it wishes to control the agricultural market regardless of the harm it does to farmers and consumers, and on a global basis, the environment.
Listen to scientist and activist Vandana Shiva's indictment against Monsanto:
"MONSANTO is establishing its empire in the agricultural sector in India at the cost of democracy and ecology. This has once again been proven by the manner in which Monsanto began trials of its genetically engineered crops in India. Even the governments of the states where the trials were being carried out were kept in the dark by Monsanto and the Department of Biotechnology" (Shiva, V. N.D., para. 1,2, Monsanto's genetic engineering trials in India are dangerous and anti-democratic, Third World Network.)
The farmer suicide crisis in India is a good example of the results of Monsanto's business practices. Over the last 16 years, 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide. That works out to approximately one suicide every thirty minutes. (The majority of the suicides are carried out by drinking pesticides.)
The reason so many farmers are committing suicide is because of insurmountable indebtedness. This tragic trend began in the 1970s when hybrid seeds were used. The seeds came along with promises of better harvests.
However the hybrid seeds needed chemical fertilizers and insecticides. These chemicals negatively affected the vitality of the soil and eventually the increased harvest declined.
The situation has become worse with the introduction of Monsanto's BT cotton seed. In contrast to conventional seed, genetically engineered seed cannot be saved and shared from season to season but must be constantly repurchased.
Another little known fact is that engineered seed require additional water and expensive chemicals.
There seems to be light at the end of the tunnel though. Mail Online India has reported that a panel of experts who were appointed by the Supreme Court of India have recommended placing a 10-year moratorium on all trials of genetically engineered foods and the cessation of all field trials currently in place.
You too can play a part in stopping Monsanto's power-mad desire for total seed and food control. This can happen by becoming knowledgeable of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and making it mandatory that all products containing them be labeled.
Proposition 37 is coming up for a vote in California on November 6, 2012. Although if you don't live in California you can't vote,
you can make a financial donation to fund education to make Californians aware. Monsanto and other companies who will profit by Proposition 37's
defeat are literally spending millions of dollars to keep Americans ignorant.
Third World Network
Real Food For This Traditional Holiday (Thanksgiving Day)
In the autumn of 1621, the Pilgrims and their new found friends, the Wampanoag Indians, sat down for the very first thanksgiving. This feast lasted for three days.
The Pilgrims were thankful for arriving at Plymouth and gaining a foothold in the new land. They had endured unbelievable hardships on the trip from England and more once they arrived in the new land. Despite their numbers being decimated, they were thankful to God for bringing them safely there, and providing them with friendly natives.
The Wampanoags, led by Massasoit, taught the Pilgrims how to hunt and grow food. The menu during the three days of feasting included venison, roast duck, goose, turkey, clams, eels, corn bread, hasty pudding, leeks, water cress, wild plums, and dried berries.
This first Thanksgiving feast had real food. It was all natural and not tampered with by man seeking to "improve" it.
It can honestly be said that the feast on the first Thanksgiving Day was home cooked.
Fast forward almost 400 years. Real food is becoming hard to come by. Unsuspecting Americans are rapidly losing the option of being able to purchase food which hasn't been concocted in a laboratory.
The food that is available to us today is loaded with artificial colorings, artificial flavors, artificial presevatives, genetically modified organisms, artificial sweeteners, monosodium glutamate, pesticides, hormones, and antibotics.
And to compound the problem, home cooking has become a thing of the past. We now buy prepared food platters which just has to be placed into the oven or a microwave to warm up.
We need to go back to our traditional Thanksgiving Day of home food preparation and good family fellowship. What needs to be lost is eating out or buying prepared meals for the family. Healthwise there is no substitute for home cooking.
My mother would prepare and cook meals at home during the holidays (Thanksgiving and Christmas.) That was the norm and not the exception back in the '50s and '60s.
Our kitchen would be filled with the mouth-watering aroma of baking macaronic and cheese, roasting turkey, and three- layered cakes. When it was time to eat, my father would bless the table and carve the turkey.
The entire family, my father and mother and all ten offspring, would sit down and enjoy a splendid meal. (We always ate dinner as a family and not only on the holidays.)
Believe it or not, but eating at home has tremendous health benefits. For one, many but not all of the chemicals present in store bought, packaged food is eliminated. Many of today's chronic diseases can be traced to the food we eat.
Home cooking has been shown to make a dent in obesity rates too. Home cooked meals can be made even more healthier by buying organic to maximize the naturalness and nutrient content and to minimize the synthetic aspect of food.
Retro is clearly preferred in celebrating Thanksgiving Day in the 21st century. Fake food can never compete with real food in respect to health, nutrients, and flavor.
Have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving Day.Healthy living > Editorial (page 1) > Editorial (page 3)