Archive for the ‘Food Policy’ Category

Is your Vitamin C on GMO’s

Photo: ZUMA Press

GMO’s in the news

I haven’t had a news update lately, there’s a lot to share!

Did you know that your Vitamin C is  most likely made from GMO  corn?

For more than a year now, supplements manufacturers have watched quietly as

an angry chorus has risen up against genetically modified organisms. So far,

though, GMO questions have stayed planted in the produce and grocery

sections of natural products stores.

But now one small but vocal retailer concerned about GMOs in the environment

has started asking his supplements suppliers if there are GMOs in the

vitamin C he sells. The answers he says he’s gotten have ranged from “we

don’t think so but we don’t know for sure” to “probably.” That’s not good

enough for Joe Lemieux, owner of the 2,500-square-foot Go To Health store in

Brooksville, Fla.

“People think that health food stores are a kind of haven from things like

GMOs,” Lemieux said. “That’s why this issue is so explosive, because I can’t

tell them that the vitamin C is made without GMOs.” He’s not saying the

products are unsafe, but he says that genetically modified crops are bad for

the environment, and the agriculture business needs to get that message from

consumers and retailers, which is why he’s taking a stand in his store.

Lemieux still stocks vitamin C but is telling his own customers not to buy

the products, and he’s letting others in the industry know about his

boycott–through word-of-mouth and a Web site that deals with organic

issues–until someone can make a non-GMO vitamin C.

You can read the rest, here:

And there are a few brands of Non-GMO vitamin C

Source Naturals is making one:

As is Cardiovascular Research. We’ve been using this one:;jsessionid=RNFEKMT4BSUM4CQUC4YFAGIKCQL00UNE?id=CV-1041

China rejects U.S. corn cargo, citing GMOs

China has rejected a cargo of U.S. corn after finding it contained an unsanctioned genetically modified strain, two sources familiar with the situation said on Friday.

“China only allows 11 varieties of GM corn to be imported to the country, and the cargo was found with GM material outside the 11 varieties,” said one source, who declined to be identified.

“The animal and plant quarantine department has barred it from entering China,” the source said. He said it was supplied by a Japanese trading house.

The cargo of 50,000-60,000 tonnes was shipped to a port in the China’s southern province of Guangdong in September. The problem was detected only in October, the same source said.

China’s first ever rejection of a U.S. corn cargo, if confirmed, risks deepening a trade spat with the United States and a bigger diplomatic row with Japan.

Top 10 ways to avoid GMOs

Maria Rodale explains how to stay away from genetically modified organisms.

This month, October, is Non-GMO Month. I find most people are really confused about what a GMO is and where GMOs are found. Some people tend to think that GMO seeds are similar to the type of hybridization that has been going on amongst gardeners for centuries. Not true! The type of genetic modification that happens to create GMO seeds involves the forceful insertion of things like E.coli genes or genes that produce glyphosphate (an herbicide) or cause Roundup resistance (allowing farmers to dump more Roundup onto the plants) into corn and soybeans and cotton.

GMOs exist for one reason only: for the chemical companies who make them to enable themselves to sell more chemicals to farmers. Do not, I repeat, do not fall for any marketing sales efforts that claim GMOs will help feed the world and save farmers from drought. It’s a lie!!!!

And remember, as I write in “Organic Manifesto,” the only safety testing on humans or animals for GMOs is happening right now, on you, on your kids, and on farm animals around the world. Early results are showing everything from digestive failure to kidney and liver failure and accelerated aging. Terrible stuff.

Here are 10 ways to avoid GMOs:

1. Buy USDA-certified organic food. It is currently the only official way you can avoid GMOs, since GMOs are not allowed to be used according to USDA organic regulations. THANK YOU, GOVERNMENT! (For once!)

2. Avoid all nonorganic soy products like the plague. That means things like nonorganic veggie burgers, tofu, tempeh, edamame, and miso products.

3. Don’t buy anything that claims to be “non-dairy” that isn’t organic. Soy is used to create everything from Cool Whip to Coffee-Mate…in addition to the obvious non-dairy soy treats in your health-food store freezer. Yup, they are filled with GMOs, too.

4. Don’t buy or eat anything with corn in it that isn’t organic. That means corn chips, cereals with corn (or soy, for that matter), or even corn bread!

5. At all costs, eliminate high-fructose corn syrup (a.k.a. “corn sugar”) from your diet. It is just an excuse for chemical companies to convince farmers they can keep growing GMO corn and poisoning you and your family.

6. Avoid biofuels and ethanol; they’re a toxic GMO festival. No one seems to care if corn is poisoned if it’s just going to drive our cars. Problem is, we are all being poisoned by it.

Read the rest here:

We just finished the first ever Non-GMO month in October. Let’s make it a Non-GMO year!

Read more, great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

What is the matter with the FDA

What is the matter with the FDA?

We’ve been drinking raw milk and eating raw milk cheese for years. We love it and it’s been very good for our health. I make kefir out of raw milk and I’ve made cheese on occasion as well. Thousands of people in my state drink raw milk legally and we are thriving, healthy and not getting sick. There are many other states where it’s legal as well, so what is going on?

It seems like Big Ag,  and the large milk companies,  are getting threatened by all the people who are clamoring for REAL FOOD.  And it also seems like the FDA is more invested in protecting big Ag, then they are in protecting us.  They are supposed to work for us, the American people!

We are tired of over processed junk and want to feed our families real food, from real farmers. The FDA is fine with allowing us to eat genetically modified food – food that’s not been proven safe – and won’t even allow us labeling.  They’re fine with High Fructose Corn Syrup (soon to possibly be called Corn Sugar) and vegetable oils that have been processed using toxic chemicals, and they’re even fine with us eating raw fish.  How come we can go eat sushi, raw fish, in every Japanese restaurant in the country but the FDA is cracking down on Raw Milk and Raw Milk products?  Do you want to only be able to buy meat that’s been cooked? What right do they have to insert themselves into our food choices like this.  Even if you don’t drink raw milk, this issue is important to everyone.

They talk about the dangers but we’ve been drinking raw milk for years, from a good farmer who tests his milk and we’ve never gotten sick.  People around the world drink raw milk and have for thousands of years.  Raw Milk is dangerous when the cows are raised in CAFO’s, or Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations, and fed genetically engineered grain – which has never been tested as safe for human consumption –  and given antibiotics because the conditions are so unsanitary. Any food you eat has potential dangers. Like the recent outbreaks of Salmonella in Peanut butter.

If you are raising cattle on grass and using good practices, raw milk is very healthful and delicious as well. We see news stories about food related illnesses in the news all the time and it’s very rare to ever see a story about raw milk. Raw milk is legal in California, where I live. I buy it in my local store. We’re a big state. If raw milk was so terrible people would be getting sick and we’re not.

Here’s a great article about raw milk:

Drink it raw  – Why is unprocessed milk the only illegal food in North Carolina?

by Suzanne Nelson

The FDA has been raiding farmers and buying clubs for NO reason in the past month.

Here’s an article about the raid at a private buying club in Venice, CA.

Raw-food raid highlights a hunger

Some people balk at restrictions on selling unprocessed milk and other foods. ‘How can we not have the freedom to choose what we eat?’ one says. Regulators say the rules exist for safety and fairness.

And two farmers have recently been seriously harassed to the point where they are in danger of being put out of business.

The first is Joe and Denise Dixon, owner of Morningland Dairy whose cheese was one of the products taken from the Rawsome club raid.

The second just happened this week.

Another FDA Cheese Bust: Award-winning Artisan Raw Cheese Producer in Washington State.

Here’s a great article about why the media is not covering the FDA’s action by the brilliant David E. Gumpert,

Here’s a great article about raw milk by Pete Kennedy of the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund,

What can we do? We all need to chip in, to protect our farmers and our food choices, join the Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund:

We, the people,  need to protect our access to healthy food, as the FDA seems to have no interest in doing it for us.

I am one outraged mom!


Read more posts about this issue at Farm Freedom Friday here:

Read more, great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more, great, Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Zombie Cattle

Zombie Cattle? GMO Meat Grown in a Vat? No Way!

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat







photo credit:,

I celebrate the fantastic taste, texture and nutrient-dense qualities of grassfed meat, taken from animals eating the living grass they were meant to eat, roaming the pasture as they were intended to do. I have hoped and prayed for the day when all meat is grassfed; when the feedlot and the factory meat are abandoned for the disaster they turned out to be; when GMO feed is abandoned, along with all GMOs; and we go back to obeying nature’s laws by eating real meat.

The powers that be have different plans. They have already put cloned cattle in the food chain, with no labeling. They are taking the cells from dead cattle and cloning them to create zombie cattle that are literally raised from the dead.

They have developed a way of creating “meat” in a vat full of chemicals, possibly with GMO modification, “meat,” that, like Frankenstein, must be electrified before use.

Nobody knows how the human body will respond to these products, and we are all guinea pigs once again, without our consent. Do you want to be a guinea pig? I do not.

This month is No GMO month. We must be wary of the latest artificial abominations created, and aware of what they are so we can have the choice to avoid them.

Cloned Meat? No thanks!

Most Americans want no part of cloned meat. We know instinctively that this is contrary to the laws of nature, that this type of meat was never eaten before, not once in the history of our planet.

Cloned animals have been reported to have many health problems and abnormalities. Traditional peoples would not eat a sick or abnormal animal. But our protectors in the government have decided that meat from cloned cattle is substantially the same as other meat, and have pronounced it safe. Just because it is safe does not mean that it is best, or even desirable.

The way cloned cattle are usually created is unusual and abnormal, to say the least. Carcasses of dead cattle are examined for the perceived quality of the meat. If the meat is considered to be superior, cells are taken from the dead flesh, cloned in a laboratory, and used to create cattle. Cattle that are literally raised from the dead. To be honest, this creeps me out.

Because the process is expensive at this point, cloned cattle are created for breeding purposes. It is estimated that there are approximately 1,000 cloned cattle in American herds. When their breeding days are over, it is expected that they will be turned into meat. Our protectors do not require that meat from cloned cattle be labeled.

Since cloned cattle are used for breeding, they will pass many of their qualities into other cattle which will actually be bred the normal way. This meat also is not required to be labeled.

It is also likely that the cloning process could become much cheaper over time. If it becomes cheap enough, we could see the day when all beef comes from cattle that are cloned.

Fortunately, many ranchers and at least one major market chain have rejected cloned meat.

Now, more than ever, it is important to know where your meat comes from—unless you want to take a chance that you will be eating cloned meat.

Frankenmeat Grown in a Vat? No, No, NO!

The British Royal Society, an organization of scientists, reported that a way of growing meat in a vat has been developed. One writer even claimed that this vat-grown “meat” is needed “to feed the world.”

I find it very interesting that almost every GMO plant, artificial food, and technological process that modifies food from its natural state is justified by the claim that we need it “to feed the world” The real purpose of these changes is to make more money.

I find the creation of this Frankenmeat to be even more disgusting than cloning the dead. While all the details of the process are not disclosed, the creation involves putting pork tissue in a vat with chemicals, quite possibly including genetically modified substances, which results in a “meat” that has been described as having a texture similar to undercooked eggs.

Now comes the fun part. Remember those old movies where Frankenstein was brought to life by throwing a switch, which caused a huge electrical charge to bring him to life? Well, vat-grown “meat” also gets an electrical charge, a charge strong enough to change its texture into something that is described as similar to scallops.

Okay, we have pork tissue dumped in a vat with a bunch of chemicals and other substances that cause it to grow and expand into a runny egg like mass, which is then electrocuted, and served as food? Does anybody in the world seriously want to eat that?

Does anybody know what this substance, which has never been eaten in all of human history, could do to our bodies?

Do you want to be a guinea pig to test this artificial abomination? I sure don’t.

We Need the Natural Pastured Meat Our Ancestors Have Eaten for Thousands of Years, Not Frankenmeat

We have a much better alternative. We can eat the meat of pastured animals, who eat the plants and grasses they were meant to eat, living in the pasture as nature intended. Animals who breed and reproduce the natural way, rather than being created in a laboratory or a vat. Our bodies have evolved to use this natural food, which our ancestors have eaten for thousands and thousands of years. Our bodies are genetically programmed to thrive on this fine meat and its fat, which provides a wonderful foundation for nourishing our systems. Meat animals can be pastured on land that will not support the growing of crops, and the cropland that is used to grow plants for the feedlot could be used to grow crops for humans.

What We Can Do

We can demand that our representatives pass laws that will require full labeling and disclosure of all meat from cloned animals, and all meat descended from cloned animals. We can let all our food providers know that we will not purchase any meat that is cloned. We can demand that they provide natural, grassfed, and grass finished meat.

And we can let it be known that we will not purchase any so called meat grown in a vat.

Dr. Weston A. Price, the greatest nutritional researcher who ever walked the earth, said that “Life in all its fullness is nature’s laws obeyed.” We must get back to obeying the laws of nature, which govern our bodies and the natural food that nourishes them. Let us eat the food that nature has provided for us and reject the artificial products of the laboratory and vat. If we do so, we will thrive.

Read more, great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

You can visit Stan’s terrific website here:

Here’s a link to Stan’s wonderful book, Tender Grassfed Meat. I use it all the time and highly recommend it. Mom

Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

Here’s another article that Jeffrey gave us permission to share, in his wonderful speaker training.

Moms – if you are feeding your babies soy formula – it IS GMO – read the below.

Non-GMO day is this coming Sunday – lets all call the companies that make baby formula and tell them that we DON’T want GMOs – genetically modified soybeans –  in baby formula:

Mead Johnson makes Enfamil, Pregestimil, Nutramigen, and Nutramigen AA – 1-847-832-2420

Abbott Labs Ross division makes Similac, Isomil, Alimentum, and EleCare (800) 551-5838

Nestlé the largest producer of formula in the world, makes Good Start; owns Gerber, 1-800-284-9488


Genetically Modified Soy Linked to Sterility, Infant Mortality

By Jeffrey M. Smith

April 20, 2010

“This study was just routine,” said Russian biologist Alexey V. Surov, in what could end up as the understatement of this century. Surov and his colleagues set out to discover if Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) soy, grown on 91% of US soybean fields, leads to problems in growth or reproduction. What he discovered may uproot a multi-billion dollar industry.

After feeding hamsters for two years over three generations, those on the GM diet, and especially the group on the maximum GM soy diet, showed devastating results. By the third generation, most GM soy-fed hamsters lost the ability to have babies. They also suffered slower growth, and a high mortality rate among the pups.

And if this isn’t shocking enough, some in the third generation even had hair growing inside their mouths—a phenomenon rarely seen, but apparently more prevalent among hamsters eating GM soy.

The study, jointly conducted by Surov’s Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences and the National Association for Gene Security, is expected to be published in three months (July 2010)—so the technical details will have to wait. But Surov sketched out the basic set up for me in an email.

He used Campbell hamsters, with a fast reproduction rate, divided into 4 groups. All were fed a normal diet, but one was without any soy, another had non-GM soy, a third used GM soy, and a fourth contained higher amounts of GM soy. They used 5 pairs of hamsters per group, each of which produced 7-8 litters, totally 140 animals.

Surov told The Voice of Russia,

“Originally, everything went smoothly. However, we noticed quite a serious effect when we selected new pairs from their cubs and continued to feed them as before. These pairs’ growth rate was slower and reached their sexual maturity slowly.”

He selected new pairs from each group, which generated another 39 litters. There were 52 pups born to the control group and 78 to the non-GM soy group. In the GM soy group, however, only 40 pups were born. And of these, 25% died. This was a fivefold higher death rate than the 5% seen among the controls. Of the hamsters that ate high GM soy content, only a single female hamster gave birth. She had 16 pups; about 20% died.

Surov said “The low numbers in F2 [third generation] showed that many animals were sterile.”

The published paper will also include measurements of organ size for the third generation animals, including testes, spleen, uterus, etc. And if the team can raise sufficient funds, they will also analyze hormone levels in collected blood samples.

Hair Growing in the Mouth

Earlier this year, Surov co-authored a paper in Doklady Biological Sciences showing that in rare instances, hair grows inside recessed pouches in the mouths of hamsters.

“Some of these pouches contained single hairs; others, thick bundles of colorless or pigmented hairs reaching as high as the chewing surface of the teeth. Sometimes, the tooth row was surrounded with a regular brush of hair bundles on both sides. The hairs grew vertically and had sharp ends, often covered with lumps of a mucous.”

(The photos of these hair bundles are truly disgusting. Trust me, or look for yourself.)

At the conclusion of the study, the authors surmise that such an astounding defect may be due to the diet of hamsters raised in the laboratory. They write, “This pathology may be exacerbated by elements of the food that are absent in natural food, such as genetically modified (GM) ingredients (GM soybean or maize meal) or contaminants (pesticides, mycotoxins, heavy metals, etc.).” Indeed, the number of hairy mouthed hamsters was much higher among the third generation of GM soy fed animals than anywhere Surov had seen before.

Preliminary, but Ominous

Surov warns against jumping to early conclusions. He said, “It is quite possible that the GMO does not cause these effects by itself.” Surov wants to make the analysis of the feed components a priority, to discover just what is causing the effect and how.

In addition to the GMOs, it could be contaminants, he said, or higher herbicide residues, such as Roundup. There is in fact much higher levels of Roundup on these beans; they’re called “Roundup Ready.” Bacterial genes are forced into their DNA so that the plants can tolerate Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide. Therefore, GM soy always carries the double threat of higher herbicide content, couple with any side effects of genetic engineering.

Years of Reproductive Disorders from GMO-Feed

Surov’s hamsters are just the latest animals to suffer from reproductive disorders after consuming GMOs. In 2005, Irina Ermakova, also with the Russian National Academy of Sciences, reported that more than half the babies from mother rats fed GM soy died within three weeks. This was also five times higher than the 10% death rate of the non-GMO soy group. The babies in the GM group were also smaller (see photo) and could not reproduce.

In a telling coincidence, after Ermakova’s feeding trials, her laboratory started feeding all the rats in the facility a commercial rat chow using GM soy. Within two months, the infant mortality facility-wide reached 55%.

When Ermakova fed male rats GM soy, their testicles changed from the normal pink to dark blue! Italian scientists similarly found changes in mice testes (PDF), including damaged young sperm cells. Furthermore, the DNA of embryos from parent mice fed GM soy functioned differently.

An Austrian government study published in November 2008 showed that the more GM corn was fed to mice, the fewer the babies they had (PDF), and the smaller the babies were.

Central Iowa Farmer Jerry Rosman also had trouble with pigs and cows becoming sterile. Some of his pigs even had false pregnancies or gave birth to bags of water. After months of investigations and testing, he finally traced the problem to GM corn feed. Every time a newspaper, magazine, or TV show reported Jerry’s problems, he would receive calls from more farmers complaining of livestock sterility on their farm, linked to GM corn.

Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine accidentally discovered that rats raised on corncob bedding “neither breed nor exhibit reproductive behavior.” Tests on the corn material revealed two compounds that stopped the sexual cycle in females “at concentrations approximately two-hundredfold lower than classical phytoestrogens.” One compound also curtailed male sexual behavior and both substances contributed to the growth of breast and prostate cancer cell cultures. Researchers found that the amount of the substances varied with GM corn varieties. The crushed corncob used at Baylor was likely shipped from central Iowa, near the farm of Jerry Rosman and others complaining of sterile livestock.

In Haryana, India, a team of investigating veterinarians report that buffalo consuming GM cottonseed suffer from infertility, as well as frequent abortions, premature deliveries, and prolapsed uteruses. Many adult and young buffalo have also died mysteriously.

Denial, Attack and Canceled Follow-up

Scientists who discover adverse findings from GMOs are regularly attacked, ridiculed, denied funding, and even fired. When Ermakova reported the high infant mortality among GM soy fed offspring, for example, she appealed to the scientific community to repeat and verify her preliminary results. She also sought additional funds to analyze preserved organs. Instead, she was attacked and vilified. Samples were stolen from her lab, papers were burnt on her desk, and she said that her boss, under pressure from his boss, told her to stop doing any more GMO research. No one has yet repeated Ermakova’s simple, inexpensive studies.

In an attempt to offer her sympathy, one of her colleagues suggested that maybe the GM soy will solve the over population problem!

Surov reports that so far, he has not been under any pressure.

Opting Out of the Massive GMO Feeding Experiment

Without detailed tests, no one can pinpoint exactly what is causing the reproductive travesties in Russian hamsters and rats, Italian and Austrian mice, and livestock in India and America. And we can only speculate about the relationship between the introduction of genetically modified foods in 1996, and the corresponding upsurge in low birth weight babies, infertility, and other problems among the US population. But many scientists, physicians, and concerned citizens don’t think that the public should remain the lab animals for the biotech industry’s massive uncontrolled experiment.

Alexey Surov says, “We have no right to use GMOs until we understand the possible adverse effects, not only to ourselves but to future generations as well. We definitely need fully detailed studies to clarify this. Any type of contamination has to be tested before we consume it, and GMO is just one of them.”

To learn more about the health dangers of GMOs, and what you can do to help end the genetic engineering of our food supply, visit

To learn how to choose healthier non-GMO brands, visit

International bestselling author and filmmaker Jeffrey Smith is the leading spokesperson on the health dangers of genetically modified (GM) foods. His first book, Seeds of Deception, is the world’s bestselling and #1 rated book on the topic. His second, Genetic Roulette: The Documented Health Risks of Genetically Engineered Foods, provides overwhelming evidence that GMOs are unsafe and should never have been introduced. Mr. Smith is the executive director of the Institute for Responsible Technology, whose Campaign for Healthier Eating in America is designed to create the tipping point of consumer rejection of GMOs, forcing them out of our food supply.

Below’s a link to Jeffrey’s must read, Genetic Roulette:

Read more, great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Fresh Thoughts on Fresh Food

Today we have a wonderful guest post by Edwin Shank – Mom

Hello Friends,

Okay, so last week’s Fresh Thoughts on Fresh Food stirred your thinking a little.  Many of you liked it and passed it on to friends, but some of you had further questions… questions particularly about the ‘building of immunity’ approach to health instead of ‘kill all bacteria’ approach to health. Permit me to explain a little further.

As I stated last week, these are my answers, not necessarily the answer or your answers.

Let’s start with an analogy. According to the CDC, there are nearly 3800 drowning deaths per year in USA. That works out to a little more than 10 deaths by drowning per day. For every death caused by drowning there are another 4 near-drownings involving hospitalization, and many times permanent brain damage.

These are sobering facts. This is reality for some families somewhere in America every day. It is only normal for parents and others who care for the health and well being of our communities to ask the obvious question. What can we do to protect ourselves and our loved ones from a similar tragedy?

Since all drowning occurs in water, we might quite logically conclude that water is the enemy and that the best preventive would be to prohibit people from getting into water. Make laws. Pass regulations. Establish a Federal Drowning Prevention agency to enforce the laws. The FDP would arrest anyone who dared to violate the law which obviously was established for public welfare.

You see where I’m going with this. The alternative drowning prevention is to learn to swim and to teach your children to swim. The ability to swim makes you and your loved ones practically immune to drowning while avoiding water like the plague only leaves your family more vulnerable. More vulnerable since you can be sure that sometime in your life, in spite of your best attempts, and those of the FDP, you or your children will find yourselves unexpectedly in water without the least idea how to save yourselves.

Swimming does not make one 100% immune to drowning of course, so the FDP will always publicize a few highly emotional stories per year (complete with videos) in which those who were experienced swimmers still drowned. Parents who dared to risk their children’s lives by attempting to teach them to swim could be prosecuted for willful endangerment and their children taken from them. After all, they were willfully, carelessly, callously ignoring data from the CDC which irrefutably documents thousands of deaths per year caused by water.

I know this analogy is not perfect, so don’t drag me through the coals to tell me so, but there are many parallels.

About 5000 people die per year in America of food borne illness. These also are sobering facts.  And it is only normal for parents and others to ask the obvious question. What can we do to protect ourselves?

Many well-meaning people have concluded that bacteria are the enemy and so have set out to kill… set out to sterilize themselves and their environment. Kill all the bacteria! Fight BAC!  Buy Purell… put a dispenser in every room. Get antibacterial soap. Anti-biotics for every sniffle. Outlaw unpasteurized cider. Pasteurize nuts and almonds too. Outlaw raw milk and raw milk cheeses. These foods may contain pathogens!

There is only one problem with these bacteriaphobic actions and reactions. In spite of our best attempts, in spite of living in constant fear of the microbe and in spite of government efforts to pass food safety regulation… If we chose to live this way, we and our children will someday find that a stray bacterium has penetrated into our sterile bubble… and our artificially protected, flabby immune systems will have no defense against it.

The alternative defense against foodborne illness is to embrace bacteria as a part of a larger eco-system within which we humans try to integrate ourselves.  We focus on life instead of killing. Pro-biotic instead of Anti-biotic. This is what raw milk, raw kefir and raw cheese and raw kombucha tea are all about… building immunity and health!  We learn to swim and teach our children to swim.  Instead of fearing the water we relax and enjoy life as God created it!  We embrace living whole foods. Whole foods full of immunity building probiotic bacteria, living foods full of nutrient absorbing living enzymes. Whole living foods full of unadulterated, unprocessed, unmessed-with, cell-nourishing, cell-repairing raw fats and protein.

Only living foods give life. Only living foods full of a diversity of natural microflora from our local, natural environment can provide the education and information that our immune systems desperately need to actually protect us as God designed it.

God has designed the entire eco-system to live in harmony with bacteria. The sooner we drop our hubris and accept this humbling fact the wiser we will be.

God bless you all,

Edwin Shank

FDA Disclosure Statements

•Edwin Shank is an organic dairy and chicken farmer, not a health professional.

•If it is a medical opinion you seek, by all means, call a doctor (maybe two or three!)

•This information is intended to challenge, or even provoke you to explore beyond the conventional food and health system.

•Please Note: Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

You can find Edwin’s website here:  – new website will be up shortly!

Read more, great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more, great Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more, great Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Nanites in Our Food

Nanites in Our Food? Guinea Pigs Again!

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat (Photo credit: *PaysImaginaire*)

Nanites are being added to food, and food packaging. Nanites have even been added to some cooking utensils. There is no labeling requirement. Nanites do not occur in nature. The human body has no experience with nanites, or genetic memory of how to deal with them. At this point, no one knows how nanites will affect human bodies, or the environment. We are guinea pigs once again, without our knowledge or consent.

What Are Nanites?

Nanites are tiny particles of metals or other substances such as silver, iron, nickel, clay, even vitamins, whose tiny size has been created by the manipulation of molecules and atoms. Nanites are very tiny in size. They are much smaller than human cells, being 100 billionth of a meter, or even smaller.

What Is the Purpose of Nanites?

Nanites have many potential uses. Currently, their main use is to kill microorganisms. The FDA has decided to classify silver nanites as a pesticide. Nanites can also be used in agricultural chemicals. Nanites are added to food and food packaging to increase the shelf life of packaged foods, including some beers. The main way they do this is by killing bacteria. Some nanites are used to enhance flavors. Nanites could also be used to modify foods, by means of molecular rather than genetic modification.

Are Nanites Safe to Use in Food?

Nobody really knows. It has not been scientifically proven that nanites are harmful to humans or the environment—but it has not been proven that they will do no harm. Since nanites are designed to kill all microbes, including the beneficial ones, there is concern. In fact, the effect of such nanites could be compared to antibiotics, which are also designed to kill all bacteria, whether harmful or beneficial.

What we do know is that nanites are a product of technology, not nature, and our bodies and the environment have no experience with them and have not evolved to deal with them. Do nanites in food packaging leach into the food? We do not know. Do nanites accumulate in the body and organs? We do not know. Do nanites accumulate in and harm the environment? We do not know.

Which Foods Contain Nanites?

With a few exceptions, the public does not know, and has no way of knowing. The government does not require the labeling of nanites in food or food packaging. With no labeling requirement, it is up to the manufacturer to disclose the presence of nanites in food. To my knowledge, no food has a label that discloses the presence of nanites. The organization Friends of the Earth has published a list of foods that contain nanites, but cautions that the list is incomplete. It is known that the use of nanotechnology in food is believed to substantially increase profits. Even a cursory search of the Internet reveals that there are a number of organizations advocating the use of nanotechnology in all aspects of food production and other manufacturing, holding out the lure of huge profits and benefits. Any packaged, non-organic food could contain nanites, either in the packaging or the food itself, or both. Or it might not. Without a labeling requirement, we just do not know.

How Can I Avoid Eating Nanites?

The same methods used for avoiding GMOs should work for avoiding nanites. Unfortunately, these methods are not 100% effective, but they can really help. I want to avoid nanites, because I do not want myself or my family to be guinea pigs for yet another experiment. I use the following guidelines:

•Avoid processed foods to the extent possible.

•To the extent that processed foods are used, use only organic, preferably packaged in glass, if possible.

•Eat only whole, unmodified foods that are raised without chemicals, organic or the equivalent.

•Eat only grassfed and grass finished meat.

•Eat only pastured dairy, preferably organic or the equivalent.

•Eat only wild fish and seafood.

•Use only traditional cookware, like cast iron, glass, enamel, ceramic, and stainless steel.

•Raise as much of your own food as your circumstances permit. Make your own broth and condiments, again, to the extent it works for you.

•Purchase food from farmers, producers, and companies that are committed to the real food movement, to the extent possible.

•Eat only at restaurants that are committed to avoiding nanites and GMOs in their food.

•If there is a particular food that you want to know about, you can contact the manufacturer and ask if their product contains nanites, either in the product or in the packaging.

We Have a Right to Choose

As human beings, we have a basic right to decide what to put into our bodies. We have a right to decide whether we want to be guinea pigs for nanites, or GMOs, or anything else. The food industry has taken away our freedom of choice by placing unlabeled nanites in our food, and in the food chain. All governments should require that all products that use nanites be clearly labeled, so people can exercise their right to choose. We have a right not to be experimented upon without our informed consent.

Read more great, Fight Back Friday posts here:

Read more great, Pennywise Platter Thursday posts here:

Read more great, Real Food Wednesday posts here:

Stanley has a great website:

You can buy Stan’s wonderful and highly recommended  cookbook here:

Sustainable farming in the news

Some article from the past week. The first one is such a great idea – Mom

Making Family Farms Profitable

In 1959, the U.S. was home to 4.1 million farms. Today, there are just 2.2 million. Some 40% of American farmers are 55 or older, and young people aren’t exactly lining up to replace them. But a new program in North Carolina hopes to make farming a viable career option once again.

Rutherford County, N.C., has one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation. Yet some 6000 families own between 5 and 20 acres of land, and chefs in nearby Charlotte, N.C., are in need of fresh produce for their restaurants. Timothy Will, a retired telecommunications analyst, helped wire the region for broadband Internet access and set up an online ordering system—Farmers Fresh Market—that lets Charlotte chefs place orders directly with Appalachian farmers. Next, he convinced the locals to grow more exotic items like lacinato kale and purple beans. (“They’d never seen beans like that before,” Will laughs. “Here, beans are green.”) Two years later, Farmers Fresh Market counts 90 local farmers among its members.

In addition to teaching farmers computing skills and converting a vacant plot into a demonstration garden, Will and his colleagues have introduced sustainable agriculture courses for adults and high school students. “It’s kind of a resurrection of our history,” says Lindy Abrams, a 25-year-old who, after losing her job and enrolling in Will’s adult-education class, now grows vegetables and salad greens on land her granddad once farmed. “People are really excited.”

— Jocelyn C. Zuckerman


Why Big Ag Won’t Feed the World

by Josh Viertel

A year ago I sat in a room at the Earth Institute at Columbia surrounded by executives from big food companies. One of them, I believe from Unilever, clicked to a slide that read “The solution to global hunger is to turn malnutrition into a market opportunity.” The audience—global development practitioners and academics and other executives—nodded and dutifully wrote it down in their notebooks; I shuddered. The experience stayed with me and I haven’t gotten over it. Last month, I had a flashback.

On a Tuesday evening I sat in a room on the 44th floor of a building in the financial district of lower Manhattan with representatives from General Mills, Monsanto, Dean Foods, Deutsche Bank, and the Rainforest Alliance. We were there to speak to institutional investors—the hedge fund managers, bankers, and others who invest in big food companies—about sustainability and food. In particular, we were there to talk about how sustainability and hunger issues may give these companies both exposure to risk and access to opportunity.

    At first glance, these answers make both Monsanto and Deutsche Bank look virtuous. But they rest on a false premise.

It was not your average sustainable food panel discussion. Reflecting back on it, three things jump out at me. The first was a false premise that is taken for fact. The false premise:

Both Deutsche Bank and Monsanto made it clear that they are basing their business strategy on answering a simple question: How will we feed the world in 2050, when the population reaches over 9 billion and global warming puts massive strains on our resources? The answer for Deutsche Bank: increase yields by investing in industrial agriculture in the developing world, with an emphasis on technology; put lots of capital into rural land to shift subsistence and local market agricultures to commodity export agriculture. The answer for Monsanto: increase yields by decreasing resource dependence using genetically modified crops.

At first glance, these answers make both Monsanto and Deutsche Bank look virtuous. But they rest on a false premise: “There will be over 9 billion people by 2050. We have less than 7 billion today, and people go hungry. We need to increase food production if we are going to feed them.” Indeed, there will be over 9 billion people by 2050, and indeed, with less than 7 billion today, people still go hungry. But we don’t need to increase crop yields to feed these people. In 2008, globally, we grew enough food to feed over 11 billion people. We grew 4,000 calories per day per person—roughly twice what people need to eat.

Eric Holt Gimenez, of Food First (The Institute for Food and Development Policy) put it eloquently in a conversation earlier last year: “In 2008 more food was grown than ever before in history. In 2008 more people were obese than ever before in history. In 2008 more profit was made by food companies than ever before in history. And in 2008 more people went hungry than ever before in history.”

Hunger is not a global production problem. It is a global justice problem. We need to increase global equity, not global yields. There may be profit to be made in exporting our high-tech, input-reliant, greenhouse-gas-emitting agricultural systems to the developing world. But let us not pretend it will solve global hunger or address climate change. After all, high-tech, input-reliant, commodity agricultural is a major cause of global hunger and climate change.

So what changes are necessary for us to feed the world? In 2005, the World Bank, the FAO and the UNDP brought together 400 leading natural and social scientists, representatives from government (including the U.S.), private sector and non-governmental organizations to ask how we would feed the world in 2050. It’s called the IAASTD report, and it just came out last year.

The scientists concluded that genetically modified crops and chemical agriculture had failed to show much promise in feeding the world. They won’t be a big part of the solution. Instead, tomorrow’s agriculture will need to be much more regionally controlled and locally adapted, and will need a diversity of approaches to meet the challenges of climate change and resource scarcity. The result is a farming system that uses water frugally, sequesters carbon, and doesn’t require external inputs.

A study by the Union of Concerned Scientists called Failure to Yield found that genetically modified crops have not delivered on increased yields. In fact, nearly all of the gains in yields over the last two decades can be attributed to other practices. Vast tracts of rainforest are indeed being cut down to plant commodity crops, particularly soy. This deforestation isn’t happening because the varieties are old, unimproved, and not intensive. These are acres of chemically farmed, genetically modified crops.

The IAASTD concluded that if we want to feed the world, we need regional ownership and control, locally adapted varieties and practices, and farmers to grow for subsistence and local markets—and we don’t need export commodities.

“So,” I said to the institutional investors, “I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news.” The good news is that feeding the world in 2050 is completely possible; these solutions are within reach. The bad news is that there isn’t a ton of money to be made by a small number of companies in doing it. You can make money investing in technology and putting great gobs of capital into rural land that currently doesn’t have it, but you will likely be exacerbating climate change and global hunger, not fixing it.”

This, of course, gets to the heart of what it means to help.

When I was a little boy, my dad was building a tool shed in our back yard. It looked like fun, and I had always wanted to use a hammer. I wandered out to help him as he sawed a two-by-four. I picked up a hammer and some nails and started pounding them, without any particular plan, into a piece of wood. My dad looked over at me and said, “Josh. Tell me, what are you doing?” “I’m helping.” I responded, completely sincerely. He gently explained to me that if you want to help, first you have to ask the people you want to help what they need. In this case, he told me, he could really use someone to sit on the sawhorse to hold down the piece of wood he was trying to saw, so it didn’t bounce all over the place. When I protested that that wasn’t nearly as fun as pounding nails, he agreed with me.

“You are welcome to pound nails into that board,” he explained. “Just don’t pretend you are helping me build this shed.” Yes, global hunger is a market opportunity; some corporations will make money treating it as such. But it in so doing they are about as likely to end hunger as seven-year-old me was to build a shed by pounding nails into a piece of plywood.


Save the Planet: Eat More Beef


Grass feeding required Cattle on this Hardwick, Mass., farm grow not

on feedlots but in pastures, where their grazing helps keep carbon

dioxide in the ground

On a farm in coastal Maine, a barn is going up. Right now it’s little

more than a concrete slab and some wooden beams, but when it’s

finished, the barn will provide winter shelter for up to six cows and

a few head of sheep. None of this would be remarkable if it weren’t

for the fact that the people building the barn are two of the most

highly regarded organic-vegetable farmers in the country: Eliot

Coleman wrote the bible of organic farming, The New Organic Grower,

and Barbara Damrosch is the Washington Post’s gardening columnist. At

a time when a growing number of environmental activists are calling

for an end to eating meat, this veggie-centric power couple is

beginning to raise it. “Why?” asks Coleman, tromping through the mud

on his way toward a greenhouse bursting with December turnips.

“Because I care about the fate of the planet.”

Ever since the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization released a 2006

report that attributed 18% of the world’s man-made greenhouse-gas

emissions to livestock – more, the report noted, than what’s produced

by transportation – livestock has taken an increasingly hard rap. At

first, it was just vegetarian groups that used the U.N.’s findings as

evidence for the superiority of an all-plant diet. But since then, a

broader range of environmentalists has taken up the cause. At a

recent European Parliament hearing titled “Global Warming and Food

Policy: Less Meat=Less Heat,” Rajendra Pachauri, chairman of the

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, argued that reducing meat

consumption is a “simple, effective and short-term delivery measure

in which everybody could contribute” to emissions reductions.

And of all the animals that humans eat, none are held more

responsible for climate change than the ones that moo. Cows not only

consume more energy-intensive feed than other livestock; they also

produce more methane – a powerful greenhouse gas – than other animals

do. “If your primary concern is to curb emissions, you shouldn’t be

eating beef,” says Nathan Pelletier, an ecological economist at

Dalhousie University in Halifax, N.S., noting that cows produce 13 to

30 lb. of carbon dioxide per pound of meat.

So how can Coleman and Damrosch believe that adding livestock to

their farm will help the planet? Cattleman Ridge Shinn has the

answer. On a wintry Saturday at his farm in Hardwick, Mass., he is

out in his pastures encouraging a herd of plump Devon cows to move to

a grassy new paddock. Over the course of a year, his 100 cattle will

rotate across 175 acres four or five times. “Conventional cattle

raising is like mining,” he says. “It’s unsustainable, because you’re

just taking without putting anything back. But when you rotate cattle

on grass, you change the equation. You put back more than you take.”

(See the top 10 scientific discoveries of 2009.)t works like this:

grass is a perennial. Rotate cattle and other ruminants across

pastures full of it, and the animals’ grazing will cut the blades –

which spurs new growth – while their trampling helps work manure and

other decaying organic matter into the soil, turning it into rich

humus. The plant’s roots also help maintain soil health by retaining

water and microbes. And healthy soil keeps carbon dioxide underground

and out of the atmosphere.

Compare that with the estimated 99% of U.S. beef cattle that live out

their last months on feedlots, where they are stuffed with corn and

soybeans. In the past few decades, the growth of these concentrated

animal-feeding operations has resulted in millions of acres of

grassland being abandoned or converted – along with vast swaths of

forest – into profitable cropland for livestock feed. “Much of the

carbon footprint of beef comes from growing grain to feed the

animals, which requires fossil-fuel-based fertilizers, pesticides,

transportation,” says Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore’s

Dilemma. “Grass-fed beef has a much lighter carbon footprint.”

Indeed, although grass-fed cattle may produce more methane than

conventional ones (high-fiber plants are harder to digest than

cereals, as anyone who has felt the gastric effects of eating

broccoli or cabbage can attest), their net emissions are lower

because they help the soil sequester carbon.

From Vermont, where veal and dairy farmer Abe Collins is developing

software designed to help farmers foster carbon-rich topsoil quickly,

to Denmark, where Thomas Harttung’s Aarstiderne farm grazes 150 head

of cattle, a vanguard of small farmers are trying to get the word out

about how much more eco-friendly they are than factory farming. “If

you suspend a cow in the air with buckets of grain, then it’s a bad

guy,” Harttung explains. “But if you put it where it belongs – on

grass – that cow becomes not just carbon-neutral but

carbon-negative.” Collins goes even further. “With proper management,

pastoralists, ranchers and farmers could achieve a 2% increase in

soil-carbon levels on existing agricultural, grazing and desert lands

over the next two decades,” he estimates. Some researchers

hypothesize that just a 1% increase (over, admittedly, vast acreages)

could be enough to capture the total equivalent of the world’s

greenhouse-gas emissions.

This math works out in part because farmers like Shinn don’t use

fertilizers or pesticides to maintain their pastures and need no

energy to produce what their animals eat other than what they get

free from the sun. Furthermore, pasturing frequently uses land that

would otherwise be unproductive. “I’d like to see someone try to

raise soybeans here,” he says, gesturing toward the rocky, sloping

fields around him.

By many standards, pastured beef is healthier. That’s certainly the

case for the animals involved; grass feeding obviates the antibiotics

that feedlots are forced to administer in order to prevent the

acidosis that occurs when cows are fed grain. But it also appears to

be true for people who eat cows. Compared with conventional beef,

grass-fed is lower in saturated fat and higher in omega-3s, the

heart-healthy fatty acids found in salmon.

But not everyone is sold on its superiority. In addition to citing

grass-fed meat’s higher price tag – Shinn’s ground beef ends up

retailing for about $7 a pound, more than twice the price of

conventional beef – feedlot producers say that only through their

economies of scale can the industry produce enough meat to satisfy

demand, especially for a growing population. These critics note that

because grass is less caloric than grain, it takes two to three years

to get a pastured cow to slaughter weight, whereas a feedlot animal

requires only 14 months. “Not only does it take fewer animals on a

feedlot to produce the same amount of meat,” says Tamara Thies, chief

environmental counsel for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association

(which contests the U.N.’s 18% figure), “but because they grow so

quickly, they have less chance to produce greenhouse gases.”

To Allan Savory, the economies-of-scale mentality ignores the role

that grass-fed herbivores can play in fighting climate change. A

former wildlife conservationist in Zimbabwe, Savory once blamed

overgrazing for desertification. “I was prepared to shoot every

bloody rancher in the country,” he recalls. But through rotational

grazing of large herds of ruminants, he found he could reverse land

degradation, turning dead soil into thriving grassland.

Like him, Coleman now scoffs at the environmentalist vogue for

vilifying meat eating. “The idea that giving up meat is the solution

for the world’s ills is ridiculous,” he says at his Maine farm. “A

vegetarian eating tofu made in a factory from soybeans grown in

Brazil is responsible for a lot more CO than I am.” A

lifetime raising vegetables year-round has taught him to value the

elegance of natural systems. Once he and Damrosch have brought in

their livestock, they’ll “be able to use the manure to feed the

plants, and the plant waste to feed the animals,” he says. “And even

though we can’t eat the grass, we’ll be turning it into something we



Read more great Fight Back Friday posts here:

Three Approved GMOs Linked to Organ Damage

Three Approved GMOs Linked to Organ Damage

by Rady Ananda

In what is being described as the first ever and most comprehensive study of the effects of genetically modified foods on mammalian health, researchers have linked organ damage with consumption of Monsanto’s GM maize.

All three varieties of GM corn, Mon 810, Mon 863 and NK 603, were approved for consumption by US, European and several other national food safety authorities. Made public by European authorities in 2005, Monsanto’s confidential raw data of its 2002 feeding trials on rats that these researchers analyzed is the same data, ironically, that was used to approve them in different parts of the world.

The Committee of Research and Information on Genetic Engineering (CRIIGEN) and Universities of Caen and Rouen studied Monsanto’s 90-day feeding trials data of insecticide producing Mon 810, Mon 863 and Roundup® herbicide absorbing NK 603 varieties of GM maize.

The data “clearly underlines adverse impacts on kidneys and liver, the dietary detoxifying organs, as well as different levels of damages to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and haematopoietic system,” reported Gilles-Eric Séralini, a molecular biologist at the University of Caen.

Although different levels of adverse impact on vital organs were noticed between the three GMOs, the 2009 research shows specific effects associated with consumption of each GMO, differentiated by sex and dose.

Their December 2009 study appears in the International Journal of Biological Sciences (IJBS). This latest study conforms with a 2007 analysis by CRIIGEN on Mon 863, published in Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, using the same data.

Monsanto rejected the 2007 conclusions, stating: “The analyses conducted by these authors are not consistent with what has been traditionally accepted for use by regulatory toxicologists for analysis of rat toxicology data.”1

In an email to me, Séralini explained that their study goes beyond Monsanto’s analysis by exploring the sex-differentiated health effects on mammals, which Doull, et al. ignored:

“Our study contradicts Monsanto conclusions because Monsanto systematically neglects significant health effects in mammals that are different in males and females eating GMOs, or not proportional to the dose. This is a very serious mistake, dramatic for public health. This is the major conclusion revealed by our work, the only careful reanalysis of Monsanto crude statistical data.”

Other problems with Monsanto’s conclusions

When testing for drug or pesticide safety, the standard protocol is to use three mammalian species. The subject studies only used rats, yet won GMO approval in more than a dozen nations.

Chronic problems are rarely discovered in 90 days; most often such tests run for up to two years. Tests “lasting longer than three months give more chances to reveal metabolic, nervous, immune, hormonal or cancer diseases,” wrote Seralini et al. in their Doull rebuttal.2

Further, Monsanto’s analysis compared unrelated feeding groups, muddying the results. The June 2009 rebuttal explains, “In order to isolate the effect of the GM transformation process from other variables, it is only valid to compare the GMO … with its isogenic non-GM equivalent.”

The researchers conclude that the raw data from all three GMO studies reveal novel pesticide residues will be present in food and feed and may pose grave health risks to those consuming them.

They have called for “an immediate ban on the import and cultivation of these GMOs and strongly recommend additional long-term (up to two years) and multi-generational animal feeding studies on at least three species to provide true scientifically valid data on the acute and chronic toxic effects of GM crops, feed and foods.”

Human health, of course, is of primary import to us, but ecological effects are also in play. Ninety-nine percent of GMO crops either tolerate or produce insecticide. This may be the reason we see bee colony collapse disorder and massive butterfly deaths. If GMOs are wiping out Earth’s pollinators, they are far more disastrous than the threat they pose to humans and other mammals.


Read more, great, Real Food Friday posts here:

Soy in prison diets prompts lawsuit

Soy in Illinois prison diets prompts lawsuit over health effects

Group says plant protein causes problems for inmates

By Monica Eng

December 21, 2009

Soy-enhanced chili mac, turkey patties with soy, soy-studded country gravy, soy-blend hot dogs, soy-spiked sloppy joes, Polish sausages packed with soy, soy chicken patties.

These aren’t items from the latest vegetarian diet, but rather dishes served over a week at Danville

Correctional Center, according to a recent menu. They’re also the basis of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District

Court this summer by nine plaintiffs who allege that the Illinois Department of Corrections is endangering

the health of the inmates — especially those with allergies, sensitivities and existing gastrointestinal and

thyroid problems — by serving them too much soy.

Tens of thousands of inmates in Illinois prisons are being fed “up to 100 grams” of soy protein a day,

according to the Weston A. Price Foundation, which is funding the lawsuit. The U.S. Food and Drug

Administration recommends consuming about 25 grams of soy protein per day.

Based in Washington, D.C., the foundation promotes the consumption of whole, traditional and

largely unprocessed foods. Foundation president Sally Fallon called the soy diet served in Illinois

prisons “the Tuskegee of the 21st century,” referring to the syphilis experiments performed on

African-Americans from the 1930s to ’70s. “Never before have we had a large population like this being served such a high level of soy with almost no other choice,” she said.

The plaintiffs are “suffering irreparable, actual harm by being forced to continue to eat food that has

too much soy in it,” according to an amended complaint filed in June.

The effects have ranged from acute allergic reactions and heart problems to gastrointestinal distress

and thyroid dysfunction, it says. Fallon said the foundation got involved after inmates from various Illinois facilities contacted her. Last month, the foundation hosted a local panel on the soy issue before its annual national conference in Schaumburg.

The plaintiffs are seeking an injunction that would stop the Department of Corrections from serving

soy in Illinois prisons as well as damages from the prisons’ contracted health care provider.

The department says it started serving soy-enhanced foods in March 2004 as a cost-cutting measure.

But it declined to comment on most aspects of the pending litigation and is awaiting a ruling on its

motion to dismiss the suit.

Nancy Chapman, executive director of the Soyfoods Association of North America, said she doubts

prisoners are consuming as much soy as the foundation alleges. “One hundred grams of any protein from plants or animals would not be economically feasible and would be an enormous load on the kidneys,” Chapman said.

Prison menus indicate inmates are served as many as seven soy-enhanced “meat” entrees a week. But

the foundation contends the inmates consume more soy through cooking oils and soy cheeses as well

as baked products enhanced with soy protein concentrates.

Once the darling of the health-food community, soy — especially non-fermented and genetically

modified soy — has fallen out of favor in some health circles. Last year the American Heart

Association urged the FDA to stop recommending soy as a way to reduce heart disease risk, saying

“direct cardiovascular benefits of soy protein or isoflavones are minimal at best.”

Scientific studies have volleyed back and forth on whether high soy consumption reduces or increases

cancer risk, inhibits mineral absorption and affects sperm concentrations.

But most agree that soy, especially unfermented varieties, can cause problems with the thyroid

function and digestion.

Recommendations vary on how much soy is healthy to consume. The American Dietetic Association

“believes that up to two servings of soy per day for adults could be part of a healthy diet,” said

spokeswoman Christine Gerbstadt. Examples of a serving include a half-cup of edamame, a cup of

soy milk, a half-cup of tofu or a slice of bread in which soy flour is a component.

United Soybean Board consultant and researcher Mark Messina similarly recommends 15 to 20 grams

of soy protein per day. Eating one soy burger (14 grams) and a cup of soy milk (7 grams) would

exceed that level.

Thomas Salonis, a former inmate who is not a plaintiff in the lawsuit, said he nearly passed out in

2008 from gastrointestinal pain at the Hill Correctional Center in Galesburg.

He was diagnosed by a prison doctor as being allergic to soy — one of the eight most common food

allergies in the U.S., according to the FDA.

The doctor even wrote out a note, obtained by the Tribune, saying Salonis was allergic to soy. But the

prison made no changes, according to Salonis. Finally, after a hunger strike, he was offered work that

allowed him to buy instant soup from the commissary for his meals, he said.

The Department of Corrections says it accommodates medical diets but did not provide details as to


At the panel the Weston A. Price Foundation hosted in Rogers Park, Salonis spoke about suffering

soy-induced stomach pain and bloating in prison. “Gas was really an issue,” said Salonis, who was released from prison last fall. “And most of my (cellmates) were real big, and they were like, ‘Hey man you gotta take that somewhere else.’ But I was like, ‘Where am I gonna take it?’ The whole thing was just offensive.”

The legal complaint alleges that tests show all nine plaintiffs have hormone, lipid and enzyme levels

consistent with thyroid damage caused by soy. Messina said soy intake is an issue only for those with

pre-existing thyroid conditions and/or iodine deficiencies. All agree that people with soy allergies

should not eat it.

The foundation says the Department of Corrections obtains most of its soy from Archer Daniels

Midland through its contracts with Central Management Services, which oversees food procurement

for the prisons. ADM said it has a contract to provide texturized vegetable protein and soy protein

concentrates to the department, but neither party would disclose the amounts.

The foundation also contends prisons are serving genetically modified soy, which it says can further

aggravate allergic reactions and mineral absorption.

Research by Monsanto, which developed herbicide-resistant soy, has found that the genetically

modified product has up to 27 percent more of a potential allergen called trypsin inhibitor than other

soy, said Jeffrey Smith, author of “Seeds of Deception,” a book that criticizes genetically modified


ADM said it cannot determine whether the soy products they supply to the Department of Corrections

come from genetically modified beans. The foundation has received nearly 200 letters about soy from prisoners in Illinois, Pennsylvania, New York and Florida, according to Fallon, who urges a return to older food-service models. “Ten years ago many prisoners grew their own food,” she said. “They raised their beef, their chicken,

their vegetables and there was enough left over to sell it on the open market. … We need to go back to

that at prisons all over the country, teach them skills, get them outdoors in the sunlight with animals,

eating real nutritious foods so they can truly be rehabilitated back into society.”

When Fallon hears from families of soy-sensitive inmates, she urges them to send their incarcerated

relatives money so they can purchase foods from the commissary.

“We recommend sardines, summer sausage and, of all things, SPAM,” said Fallon, who usually

advocates eating chemical-free meat from pastured animals. “They supply good protein, stable fats,

vitamins A and D, and good minerals. They are in general very nutritious foods and provide just what

they are missing in their prison diet.” Fallon said the foundation also is concerned about the growing use of soy in institutions serving children and the elderly.

“Illinois has a pilot program to bring this kind of diet to the schools, to growing children,” she said.

Indeed, Chicago Public Schools menus incorporate soy-based texturized vegetable protein into their

meat products and regularly serve doughnuts made with soy flour. Despite the alleged suffering of inmates, Fallon says the diet in Illinois prisons presents an opportunity “to see what happens when you feed people soy with no other choices. This situation has brought it out into the open.”

[email protected]

Soy in Illinois prison diets prompts lawsuit over health effects – …

Real Food Heals

Real Food Heals—How I Used Real Food to Restore My Health

By Stanley A. Fishman, Author of Tender Grassfed Meat

I was about to see “The Doctor” after surviving an asthma attack that almost killed me. The news was grim. The Doctor spoke with total confidence and authority as he pronounced my death sentence. I had severe COPD and emphysema. My lungs had suffered severe damage—damage so severe that they would never get better. In fact, they would get worse. I could slow the deterioration somewhat by taking heavy doses of steroids, which would have “side effects.” But this would only slow down the inevitable. Maybe I could get a lung transplant, but the waiting list was long. The anti-rejection drugs I would have to take would lower my immunity, and I was already having trouble fighting off frequent respiratory infections, even with antibiotics.

Eleven years later, I am healthier than I have ever been in my life. Asthma is no longer a problem. Actually, nothing is a problem. I have not taken any medication (prescription, or over-the-counter), for over five years. The lungs that would never heal—work fine.

After The Doctor pronounced sentence, I walked to my car. The short walk left me exhausted. I sat and thought. After much life experience, I had come to realize that we are often invited to participate in certain “dramas” that are common to our society. I had also learned that we often have the power to refuse to take part in the “drama,” and take another path. The Doctor had invited me to participate in an emphysema “drama.” The script was clear. I would get sicker and weaker, as the drugs that gave me temporary relief destroyed my body. I would suffer for a few years, turn into a complete invalid, and then die in some crummy hospital, struggling to breathe as the medication no longer worked. My family would suffer emotionally. It would be so sad, so tragic. I decided right there and then that I would have no part of that “drama.” I would reject it completely, and take another path.

But how? I had been brought up to believe in The Doctor. The Doctor was never wrong. The Doctor knew everything there was to know about health and sickness, life and death. The Doctor was to be obeyed completely, because he or she was The Doctor. But I had learned something about doctors in my years as an attorney. Many of them did great harm to their patients, through ignorance, harmful medical practices, carelessness, greed, exhaustion, or all of the above. Very often they did not know what to do.

I Had to Find Another Way

My great strength as an attorney was research. I decided I would use that ability to find another way. I had a client who had been trying for years to get me interested in alternative medicine. I would start there.

It was hard at first. For a while, I had to stop working. I had to sleep in a chair. (Luckily it was a very comfortable, huge, overstuffed armchair.) I could not climb stairs, or blow out a candle. It was a struggle to get out of bed. Every time I caught a cold or flu, it turned into bronchitis or pneumonia. I had various skin, digestive, and sinus problems. But things got better. I took as little medication as I could, despite the orders of The Doctor to take medication every day. I refused to take steroids. I tried a number of alternative remedies. Some helped, many were useless, and a few made things worse. I stuck with what worked and discarded the rest.

Several years later, my health had improved and stabilized. I could work, though not as much as I wanted. The asthma was not very active, unless I caught a cold. I could live a somewhat normal life. I had learned how to control asthma attacks without medication. But I still got bronchitis or pneumonia every time I got a cold or flu. Several times a year I had to resort to antibiotics, which dealt with the infection, but did great damage to my digestive system. I could not exercise. I could not climb stairs. I could not blow out a candle. I was exhausted most of the time. I still had various skin and digestive problems. I still had sinus problems. I would get depressed about my health. My hearing and eyesight had deteriorated, and I had almost no sense of smell. And I was not getting better.

My client got me to subscribe to an alternative doctor’s newsletter. One of his newsletters had a short summary of the research of Dr. Weston A. Price. And it had a reference to the Weston A. Price Foundation. I felt a thrill, as if I somehow knew that this was the answer. And it was.

Dr. Price Taught the Benefit of Real Food

I consider Dr. Price’s research to be the single most important scientific discovery ever made. Some of his most important findings were:

People who only eat traditional foods that have been valued and used for thousands of years do not have chronic disease. They do not have cancer, heart disease, asthma, tooth decay, diabetes, or any of the other diseases that plague modern life. They have no crime. They are calm and cheerful. They are fertile, and free of birth defects. People who eat modern processed, adulterated and chemicalized foods are vulnerable to every one of these chronic diseases, are often depressed or violent, and suffer from even more illnesses.

I spent many hours on the website of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I bought Nourishing Traditions and read it cover to cover. I learned the wisdom of Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig, and others. I learned what to eat and what not to eat. I learned how to avoid toxic foods, oils, and cooking utensils. I learned of the blessings of lacto-fermented foods, and how to make some of them.

How I Changed My Diet

I stopped eating processed foods, unless they were organic. I stopped eating fast food. I gave up all soft drinks, including the cokes I used to drink every day. I stopped using polyunsaturated vegetable oils, and switched to traditional saturated fats. I avoided all unfermented soy. I gave up desserts and reduced my consumption of sweeteners to almost nothing. I started to eat pastured butter, pure organic milk, yogurt, and cheese, organic vegetables, lacto-fermented vegetables such as real sauerkraut, homemade bone broths, and hormone-free meats, including hormone-free liver, and other organ meats. I got a reverse osmosis system to purify our water. I avoided chemical toxins as much as I could. And my body slowly started to heal.

Then I got a cold and developed bronchitis. But I felt a strength and confidence in my body that I just did not have before. I drank a lot of homemade bone broth and got well. No antibiotics! Since that day, I have never taken any kind of medication. To paraphrase Hippocrates of Cos, the greatest of ancient physicians—my medicine was my food and my food was my medicine.

The final step was when I switched to grassfed meat and fat. Unfortunately, I ruined the first grassfed meat I cooked. It was tough and terrible. I put my research skills to work once again. I learned how traditional peoples cooked grassfed meat, and through trial and error, adapted their methods to the modern kitchen. This research became the basis of my cookbook, Tender Grassfed Meat: Traditional Ways to Cook Healthy Meat. Once I got grassfed meat to taste great, we switched completely to grassfed and grass finished meat. Every part of my body began to regenerate. I could feel it.

After years of eating only real food, every chronic illness I had is gone. I have no symptoms of anything. I sleep well, and wake up full of energy every morning, eager for the joys of the day. I am cheerful and optimistic. My eyesight and hearing have improved greatly, and my sense of smell has returned. I can easily climb stairs, blow out candles, leap out of bed, and do everything I could before I got sick. I have a powerful immune system that fights off everything.

Real food restored my health. Real food maintains my health.

I am not a doctor, and the above is not intended to be medical advice. The above is a description of how I improved my health with real food.

Thank you Stan for another wonderful post.  You can buy Stan’s cookbook at Amazon, link below. It’s one of my most used cookbooks – Mom