1

Five Healthiest Late Summer Produce Picks

We have handpicked some of the tastiest, healthiest fruits and vegetables for your late-summer feast and for year-round health benefits.

Summer is not yet over. These fresh fruits and vegetables are in season in late summer, offering big bursts of flavor and optimum nutrition. Take a peek into our late-summer produce list for a taste of the outstanding health benefits before the season ends.

1. Tomatoes

Whether turned into soup, roasted, pickled, or added to your homemade bruschetta, tomatoes rarely run out of use in a busy kitchen. However, they are also popular for being one of the richest sources of lycopene in the Western world.

Lycopene is a naturally occurring red carotenoid that offers the rich pigment of tomatoes, watermelon, and other fruits. It has been extensively probed for over 70 years if more than 2,000 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 4,000 other publications on the subject are any indication.[i]

Scientists have long attributed the association of tomatoes with reduced cancer and cardiovascular disease to the lycopene, primarily because of its antioxidant properties.[ii]

In a study, researchers speculated on the link between lycopene and a lower incidence of cardiovascular conditions.[iii] They looked at the effect of lycopene and tomatoes on oxidized LDL cholesterol, finding a modest benefit against oxidative stress affecting LDL cholesterol levels. They also probed three tomato studies and one lycopene study finding improved HDL cholesterol.

2. Cucumbers

The saying “cool as a cucumber” couldn’t be any more accurate, particularly on sweltering August days when everybody needs something refreshing. You’ll find here a cool cucumber and avocado soup recipe for those relentlessly warm days.

Cucumbers won’t get left behind when it comes to health perks. They have high water content and are in fact made up of 96% water.[iv] Low-calorie and extremely hydrating, cucumber can also help slash the excess pounds: an analysis of 13 studies involving 3,628 people associated foods with high water and low-calorie content with a significant reduction in body weight.[v]

In an animal study examining the impact of plants on blood sugar, cucumbers also surfaced as an effective weapon to reduce and keep sugar levels under control.[vi]

3. Bell Peppers

A cousin of the well-loved tomato in the nightshade family, bell peppers are a popular pick for easy summer salads, the favorite stuffed green pepper, and as part of side dishes during steak and fajita nights. They are not only a hearty addition to summer meals but also rich in antioxidants whether in green, yellow, orange, or red sweet varieties.[vii]

Lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are abundant in orange and yellow peppers, help improve eye health.[viii] Bell peppers’ exceptionally high vitamin C content also helps increase iron absorption from the gut.[ix],[x]

4. Melons

A refreshing summer treat, melons such as cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew are part of the Cucurbitaceae family along with cucumber. Cantaloupe is known by different names including mush melon, muskmelon, and rockmelon.

Melons are rich in vitamin A, offering 299.13 micrograms (mcg) or 33% of the recommended dietary intake (RDI) in a 177 gram (g) serving.[xi] They are also chock full of vitamin C in every serving, packing 65 milligrams (mg) or 72% of the RDI.

Vitamin C, along with fiber, potassium, and choline, support cardiovascular wellness. Potassium, which is plenty at 473 mg or 10% of the RDI in the same serving, can help reduce blood pressure and keep it at healthy levels.

As a good source of folate providing 8% of the RDI, melons may also help maintain strong bones, as folate is essential in breaking down homocysteine — increased levels of which have been tied to decreased bone mineral density.[xii]

5. Berries

What would warm late-summer days be like without the colors and tangy taste of berries in sorbets, puddings, and easy salads? This group is deemed one of the healthiest on the planet, mainly because they are loaded with antioxidants for keeping free radicals and the cell damage and oxidative stress they cause at bay.[xiii]

In a study, blueberries, blackberries, as well as raspberries, had the highest antioxidant activity among common fruits, right next to the pomegranate.[xiv] Harvard researchers noted that consuming three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries weekly can lower the risk of heart attacks in women.[xv]

Based on their examination of 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 as part of the Nurses’ Health Study II, they concluded that at least three servings of the berries every week can slash heart attack risk by as much as one-third. Berries are also considered effective brain protectors and cancer fighters.

Find a rich collection of scientific findings on fruits and vegetables on the GreenMedInfo.com database and have a fresh feast on your table as summer draws to a close.

For full references please use the source link below.

By GreenMedInfo Research Group | Natural Blaze




Organic Food Has Become Mainstream But Still Has Room To Grow

Organic vegetables at the Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, Goleta, Calif.
Citizen of the Planet/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Kathleen Merrigan, Arizona State University

CC BY-ND

Organic food once was viewed as a niche category for health nuts and hippies, but today it’s a routine choice for millions of Americans. For years following passage of the Organic Foods Production Act of 1990, which established national organic standards, consumers had to seek out organic products at food co-ops and farmers markets. Today over half of organic sales are in conventional grocery store chains, club stores and supercenters; Walmart, Costco, Kroger, Target and Safeway are the top five organic retailers.

Surveys show that 82% of Americans buy some organic food, and availability has improved. So why do overall organic sales add up to a mere 6% of all food sold in the U.S.? And since organic farming has many benefits, including conserving soil and water and reducing use of synthetic chemicals, can its share grow?

One issue is price. On average, organic food costs 20% more than conventionally produced food. Even hardcore organic shoppers like me sometimes bypass it due to cost.

Some budget-constrained shoppers may restrict their organic purchases to foods they are especially concerned about, such as fruits and vegetables. Organic produce carries far fewer pesticide residues than conventionally grown versions.

Price matters, but let’s dig deeper. Increasing organic food’s market share will require growing larger quantities and more diverse organic products. This will require more organic farmers than the U.S. currently has.

There are some 2 million farms in the U.S.. Of them, only 16,585 are organic – less then 1%. They occupy 5.5 million acres, which is a small fraction of overall U.S. agricultural land. Roughly two-thirds of U.S. farmland is dedicated to growing animal feed and biofuel feedstocks like corn and soybeans, rather than food for people.

In my view, converting more agricultural land to organic food production should be a national goal. Organic farmers produce healthy food, promote soil health and protect watersheds. Ruminant animals like dairy cows when raised organically must graze on pasture for at least 120 days each year, which reduces their methane emissions.

The list of climate and environmental benefits associated with organic is long. Organic farming consumes 45% less energy than conventional production, mainly because it doesn’t use nitrogen fertilizers. And it emits 40% less greenhouse gases because organic farmers practice crop rotation, use cover crops and composting, and eliminate fossil fuel-based inputs.

The vast majority of organic farms are small or midsized, both in terms of gross sales and acreage. Organic farmers are younger on average than conventional farmers.

Starting small makes sense for beginning farmers, and organic price premiums allow them to survive on smaller plots of land. But first they need to go through a tough three-year transition period to cleanse the land.

During this time they are ineligible to label products as organic, but must follow organic standards, including forgoing use of harmful chemicals and learning how to manage ecosystem processes. This typically results in short-term yield declines. Many farmers fail along the way.

The transition period is just one of many challenges for organic farmers. Greater federal government support could help. In a recent report, Arizona State University’s Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, which I direct, identified actions the Biden administration can take within existing budgets and laws to realize the untapped promise of organic agriculture.

Current USDA assistance for organic producers is paltry, especially given the billions of dollars that the agency spends annually in support of agriculture. Two-thirds of farm subsidy dollars go to the top 10% richest farms.

Our report recommends dedicating 6% of USDA spending to supporting the organic sector, a figure that reflects its market share. As an example, in 2020 the agency spent about $55 million on research directly pertinent to organic agriculture within its $3.6 billion Research, Education and Economics mission area. A 6% share of that budget would be $218 million for developing things like better ways of controlling pests by using natural predators instead of chemical pesticides.

Organic food’s higher price includes costs associated with practices like forgoing use of harmful pesticides and improving animal welfare. A growing number of food systems scholars and practitioners are calling for use of a methodology called True Cost Accounting, which they believe reveals the full costs and benefits of food production.

[Over 100,000 readers rely on The Conversation’s newsletter to understand the world. Sign up today.]

According to an analysis by the Rockefeller Foundation, American consumers spend $1.1 trillion yearly on food, but the true cost of that food is $3.2 trillion when all impacts like water pollution and farmworker health are factored in. Looked at through a True Cost Accounting lens, I see organic as a good deal.The Conversation

Kathleen Merrigan, Executive Director, Swette Center for Sustainable Food Systems, Arizona State University

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.




Is Meal Delivery Worth It? 5 Things to Consider Before Signing Up

In the past, when talking about meal delivery services, most people would be referring to fast food take-out, ordered over the phone and delivered to your doorstep in all its unhealthy glory.

Today, things have changed significantly, and a new era of health-conscious companies have arisen to cater to Millennials and Gen Z-ers with ingredient boxes that allow you to prepare meals at home without needing to face the hassle of a grocery store visit.

There are tons of subscription-based meal delivery brands out there for people who want that ideal combo of convenience, sustainability and calorie-considerate recipes, so what do you need to know prior to committing to a particular service?

Image Source: Pixabay

Price is important

When comparing meal delivery services, the first thing to think about is pricing. This is best calculated on a per-meal basis, as obviously you need to match this to your allotted budget and make sure that you are comfortable with the costs involved.

You will of course be paying more than if you simply purchased the ingredients yourself, but there are some advantages that fall in favor of meal delivery providers; namely that the exact amounts of items that you need will be supplied, so you will not be left with an excess of anything. This reduces waste and means that the additional expense could be justified.

Commitment terms are varied

Another crucial talking point of any meal delivery service is the kind of commitment you are expected to make when you sign up.

The best of the bunch will let you either pause your subscription and skip over certain weeks, or even cancel outright without having to pay anything extra. This is not universally the case, so always read the small print to avoid ending up trapped by a service that you no longer enjoy.

The free trials and offers for new customers are a good way of taking services for a test drive without needing to commit, so also keep an eye out for introductory deals.

Sustainability is a concern

There are all sorts of caveats that come with using meal delivery services from the perspective of sustainability. From the sourcing of the ingredients to the recyclability of the packaging to the carbon footprint of the delivery, these are all aspects which might sway you one way or the other.

Luckily the top rated services are pretty transparent about their efforts to improve sustainability, with some being explicitly ethical, ensuring that all ingredients are organic and sourced as sensitively as possible. If this is high on your wishlist of features, look out for it.

Choice is key

You might be worried that meal delivery services will end up sending you the same handful of recipes and ingredients week after week, but this is another area in which the major players have thankfully managed to innovate as the industry has evolved.

Most will allow you to select from a range of different menus, not only according to your own tastes and preferences, but also along the lines of any dietary requirements you might have. Getting dairy-free and gluten-free meal kits delivered is straightforward in a lot of cases, for example.

Complexity is relevant

Last on the list of things to look out for when dipping your toe into the world of meal delivery services is the complexity of the recipes and menus that they supply.

Some will be designed for home chefs who have a flair for cooking and do not mind getting their hands dirty or spending more time in the kitchen, while others are aimed at those who put speed and convenience first.

If in doubt, check out independent reviews and get word of mouth recommendations to narrow down your options.




New Book Explores Hidden Costs of Broken Food System

By Food Tank | The Defender

“True Cost Accounting for Food: Balancing the Scale,” addresses the unseen costs of a broken food system. The new book suggests that a better food system is possible if the true cost of food is taken into account during every step of the supply chain, from farm to rubbish bin and beyond.

“True Cost Accounting for Food” provides a new lens through which to understand the social, human, economic, and environmental costs of food. True cost accounting is a holistic food system assessment tool intended to illuminate and measure the flows, externalities, and dependencies of the food system, both negative and positive.

Edited by Dr. Lauren Baker, Paula Daniels, and Dr. Barbara Gemmill-Herren, the book begins with an introduction from the trio that details the myriad factors that true cost accounting encompasses.

“Behind all the food that we eat is a vast realm of unaccounted for interactions: the diversion of water from rivers; the extraction of nutrients from the soil; the discharge of pollutants to air and water; the exaction of labor to grow, manage, pick, and package; the release of carbon dioxide to transport and deliver; and so on,” they write.

“When we shine a light on these interactions it becomes clear that a 99¢ hamburger costs all of us a lot more than the dollar placed by a consumer into the hands of a cashier.”

True cost accounting is a “new economics of food and a new relationship with the land and the food that we eat, starting with a holistic view of a system out of balance and ending with a new approach to business and integrated reporting,” the editors conclude.

The book’s chapters are written by a diverse group of experts, including farmers, researchers, scientists, lawyers, and other experts. Authors include Nadia El-Hage Scialabba of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, Patrick Holden of the Sustainable Food Trust, and Saru Jayaraman of One Fair Wage.

One assertion throughout the book is that true cost accounting can be used as an economic tool to research and incentivize sustainable agricultural practices.

Chapter 2, titled “Cotton in Egypt: Assisting Decision-Makers to Understand Costs and Benefits,” by Helmy Abouleish, Thoraya Seada, and Nadine Greiss, details a 2020 study that compares the price of conventional versus organic farming in Egypt — a country with extreme soil erosion and drought.

“Organic food is in fact already cheaper to produce than conventional products, if the externalized costs for pollution, CO2 emissions, energy, and water consumption are considered,” Abouleish, Seada, and Greiss write. “These are currently transferred to society or future generations, but if they would appear on supermarket bills, this would be evident to everyone.”

Similarly, chapter 9 explores how a true cost accounting approach may help encourage almond growers in Central California to use regenerative farming practices.

In “Foster Healthy Soils in California: Farmer Motivations and Barriers,” Authors Joanna Ory and Alastair Iles explain that the upfront cost of purchasing, planting, and growing cover crops often dissuades farmers from using the technique. Less than 5% of intensive vegetable farmers along with the Central California coast use cover crops.

The authors argue that growers are unaware of, or don’t understand, the environmental, social, and economic benefits of cover crops. They point to improved bee health, erosion control, water filtration, carbon storage, reduced use of synthetic fertilizers, and the prevention of soil health degradation. More information — and incentivizing policies — could lead to a greater uptake of sustainable agriculture practices.

Limited knowledge about the costs and benefits of the agriculture industry also impacts shoppers.

Consumers are often unaware that for every dollar they spend on food, they pay an additional dollar in hidden costs, authors Patrick Holden and Adele Jones write. Those costs can crop up as taxes to clean up polluted waterways, or as environmental degradation that will affect future generations to come.

The book also highlights success stories of communities that have learned how to price commodities holistically.

The book’s collaborators see “True Cost Accounting for Food,” as a powerful resource for food systems change, containing solutions like sustainability investing and agricultural subsidy reform. True cost accounting “has the transformative potential to amplify the positive benefits of food systems,” editor Lauren Baker tells Food Tank.

Originally published by Food Tank.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.




Urban Farmers Believe They Have Key to Solve Violent Crime

By Tyler Durden | Zero Hedge

While the Biden administration is on a crusade to ban guns as they say firearms are the culprit to the upswing in violence across major metro areas, there’s one neighborhood in St. Louis, Missouri, which has one of the highest homicides rates in the country, is experimenting with “urban farming” as a way to lessen food insecurity that may result in less crime.

According to St. Louis Public Radio (STLPR), Tyrean Lewis, founder of Heru Urban Farming, is planting vegetable gardens in neighborhoods where children don’t have enough healthy food to eat.

Lewis is also a health teacher who has seen it all. Some of his students have been locked up for petty crimes, while others have been jailed for shootings. He constantly hears gunshots around his home, and on average, his neighborhood records 3 to 4 homicides yearly.

“I mean, that’s normal to some people and unfortunately to me,” he said.

Researchers say a host of factors contribute to a city’s gun violence problem — what they define as deficits in social determinants of health such as income, housing, healthy living environments and quality education.

And food insecurity.

Lacking a complex nutritional diet can harm brain development in childhood, according to public health experts. That can cause later problems dealing with peers, handling authority and responding to situations of extreme stress.

The problems facing areas that experience gun violence are many, Lewis acknowledges, but he has also seen the impact that food can have.

“I’ve seen the difference in kids when they get a meal and when they don’t get a meal, how they behave and how they focus in school,” he said. “So I truly believe that’s all connected.”

Nearly 70% of the city’s 271 homicides last year occurred in low income census tracts without access to a grocery store or supermarket for at least half a mile, according to a Kansas City Star analysis of federal data and police reports.

Fifty-two of the killings occurred in just eight census tracts on the north side of the city with no grocery store for a mile.

St. Louis leads the state in gun violence and for most of the past decade ranked No. 1 for food insecurity — the lack of reliable access to healthy food. –STLPR

Lewis’ Heru Urban Farming is helping to build a “grassroots ecosystem of Black urban growers, farmers markets, entrepreneurs and community leaders,” said STLPR. In recent years, urban farming has sprouted across St. Louis, allowing folks to access fresh produce.

His mission is to rebuild communities from the bottom up and allow them to become “self-sustaining” with an abundance of healthy food.

People are now tilling and planting on vacant lots, backyards, and school gardens across the metro area as they find ways to rebuild their communities after Democrats and offshoring jobs to China have wrecked local economies over multiple decades.

St. Louis is not the only city with high rates of homicides where urban agriculture programs are springing up. Urban gardens have been spotted across Baltimore City with goals to increase food access, reduce vacant blight, and create new opportunities for education and employment.

Instead of eating junk from corner stores and gas stations, perhaps healthy food is a novel plan to restore inner-city communities by first decreasing food scarcity and, second, allowing access to more nutrient-rich foods that increase brain development.

Though small plots of land in urban areas might not feed an entire neighborhood – and perhaps public/private investments in indoor vertical farming should be made for these communities.




10 Foods to Cut Out to Prevent and Treat Arthritis


Introduction

If you have arthritis, then you may be looking for some of the best home remedies for arthritis.

Learning some of the best exercises and considering the best joint pain supplements will help you manage your pain. This, in turn, will allow you to get back to living your best life and let you do the things you enjoy again.

Trying things like essential oils for arthritis may also be beneficial.

Also, it’s not just about making sure that you’re putting the right foods into your body. There are also some foods that you should be avoiding.

Read on to learn more about what you definitely shouldn’t be putting into your body if you have arthritis.

What Exactly Is Arthritis and What Are the Causes?

The term arthritis refers to a range of conditions. There are several different types, including rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis.

What arthritis refers to, in general, is inflammation of the joints in your body. This inflammation can cause pain and stiffness. Further, arthritis can be caused by aging, infection, or injury.

Arthritis Remedies

Exercise

If you have arthritis, then performing exercises that build strength in your joints will help protect them from further damage. Exercise is one of the best joint pain treatments.

Try Supplements

There are lots of supplements available on the market. Do your research and look into the best joint pain supplements available.

Something like Arthrozene may be beneficial. Arthrozene Reviews are generally positive and show that this may be helpful for those looking to reduce joint pain.

Try Essential Oils

Some oils may help those struggling with arthritis. Essential oils for arthritis include eucalyptus, lavender, evening primrose, and turmeric.

Eat Right

Just like there are foods you should avoid, there are also foods that you should aim to include in your daily diet. Look for edibles that contain antioxidants, like blueberries, and protein-based foods, like fish and lentils. A healthy diet is one of the best home remedies for arthritis. 

10 Foods to Avoid If You Have Arthritis

1. You can include salt in your diet. While salt is an important mineral, too much of it can exacerbate your symptoms and even increase your risk of developing rheumatoid arthritis if it’s not something you already struggle with.

Look for low-sodium foods and make sure that there’s no salt added. And don’t worry, there are still plenty of spices and herbs that you can use to add a little flavor to your meals.

2. Fried Foods. As delicious as they are, you’re going to want to be careful around any types of fried foods. Generally, they are dredged in oils that are high in saturated fats. These fats can trigger inflammation, so it’s best to avoid them. Also, many fried foods contain other ingredients that might lead to inflammation. These include bread, salt, and sugar.

3. Soda is chock-full of sugar, which can be a huge trigger for inflammation. Studies posit that drinking soda can trigger rheumatoid arthritis and inflammation in women. For this reason, it’s your safest bet to cut soda out of your diet.

Instead, go for a refreshing glass of water. Water is sugar-free and staying hydrated will help keep your joints lubricated.

4. Baked Goods. As sad as it is, you’re going to want to decrease the number of baked goods you’re eating if you’re suffering from arthritis. Not only do they often contain sugar, but they also frequently contain trans fats, which can stimulate inflammation.

It doesn’t mean you have to cut baked goods out entirely. It’s just that you’re going to want to eat them less frequently.

5. Full-Fat Cheese. Who doesn’t love cheese? Cheddar, Havarti, mozzarella… unfortunately, most cheeses contain saturated fats, which can trigger inflammation. Full-fat cheese can also lead to heart disease, so it’s best to avoid these cheeses as much as you can.

6. You were probably encouraged to drink a lot of milk as a kid—and for good reason. Milk contains calcium, which can help strengthen your bones. But, as we get older, many of us lose the ability to properly digest milk. Because the substance so hard on our bodies, it leads to inflammation. So, while milk is great for kids to drink, you might want to swap it out for something easier to digest as you advance in age.

7. Canned Foods. Some canned foods are perfectly fine to eat. However, you should be aware of the sodium and sugar content in many of these foods. Canned fruit, especially, can be very high in added sugar. Make sure to read the label on your canned goods, and look for the ones, which are low in salt and sugar to avoid eating anything that might trigger inflammation.

8. Who doesn’t love sharing a bottle of wine on date night, or drinking beer in the backyard on a hot summer day? Unfortunately, alcohol may not be great for those with arthritis.

It’s important to be mindful when you’re consuming alcohol. A small amount of red wine may be beneficial, but overall, you should try to drink as little as possible.

9. Gluten is a certain kind of protein that you’ll find in wheat, rye, and barley. It provides grain products with the structure that you’re familiar with. However, it can stimulate the inflammatory process. If you have arthritis, do your best to consume less gluten, or if possible, avoid it.

10. Red Meat. While it’s perfectly fine to enjoy a nice steak once in a while, don’t make eating red meat a habit. This type of meat tends to be pretty high in fat, which, as we know, will trigger inflammation. Eating too much red meat can also lead to other health problems. Instead, go for lean white meats like chicken, or consider eating more fish.

Conclusion

Arthritis is a difficult and frustrating condition. It’s important to find the right joint pain treatments, like getting exercises, trying supplements, and eating right.

Make sure to avoid the above foods as much as you can. You should also consider supplements like Arthrozene. Read up on Arthrozene Reviews to see what other users are saying, and speak to your doctor to determine if a supplement like this is right for you.




Gardening Advice from Indigenous Food Growers

Giant zucchini result from excellent soil and lots of care in the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s 2-acre garden in 2017.
PHOTO FROM THE CHEYENNE RIVER YOUTH PROJECT 

By Stephanie Woodard | Yes Magazine

Many Americans are now experiencing an erratic food supply for the first time. Among COVID-19’s disruptions are bare supermarket shelves and items available yesterday but nowhere to be found today. As you seek ways to replace them, you can look to Native gardens for ideas and inspiration.

“Working in a garden develops your relationship to the land,” says Aubrey Skye, a Hunkpapa Lakota gardener. “Our ancestors understood that. Look at the old pictures. It’s etched on their faces. When you understand it as well, a sense of scarcity and insecurity transforms into a feeling of abundance and control—something we all need these days.” For several years, Skye ran a CDC-sponsored gardening program on Standing Rock, a reservation that straddles North and South Dakota. He created hundreds of productive plots, large and small, for fellow tribal members.

Tribes’ food-scarcity problems developed after signing treaties with the United States in the 18th and 19th centuries. Under these agreements, tribes typically transferred land to the federal government in return for education, health care, and other services. The diminished tribal homelands that resulted, along with continual federal efforts to decrease Native land holdings, severely restricted the hunting, fishing, and other activities with which tribes had fed their people since time immemorial. To force tribes onto reservations, Skye adds, the United States purposely destroyed critical food sources, such as the huge buffalo herds that once roamed the Plains.

Abundant lifeways were decimated. Starvation and death ensued. Massacres, such as Wounded Knee and Sand Creek, killed additional American Indians, as did force removals from homelands, with the Cherokee Trail of Tears and the Navajo Long Walk among the best-known. The injustices continue today. Oil and gas pipelines, mines, industrial animal farms, and other projects may be sited to imperil tribal lands rather than those of other peoples. Poverty, limited health care, and, in some areas, lack of running water for frequent anti-virus hand-washing, means the COVID-19 pandemic has hit certain tribes, notably the Navajo Nation, hard.

Growing Strength

Incessant disasters have created economic and social burdens, including hunger, that fall heavily on children. “These tragedies are so hard on kids,” says the Cheyenne River Youth Project’s director Julie Garreau. The project is on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation, in South Dakota, just south of Standing Rock. “Don’t ever let people tell you children don’t know what’s going on,” she says. “The pandemic is creating enormous additional stress, beyond what they were already struggling with.”

Her program works to make up the difference. With its 2.5-acre garden, café, gym, and library, the organization has long provided children with good food and a safe place to learn and have fun. Now that tribal children are sheltering at home, the youth project’s garden and the sack meals her organization delivers ensure that, at the very least, they have healthy food each day, says Garreau, who is a tribal member.

“I’m so grateful,” she says. “We’re a nonprofit, and our funders contacted us—we didn’t go to them—and gave us support for meals with a hot entrée, juice, and a healthy snack like fruit or nuts. We started driving around in our pickup with food for 35 kids, then 50, then 75.” The youth project is working to get the word out. “We hope to reach 250 kids,” Garreau says.

Dream of Wild Health also focuses on the youth as it restores the multitribal urban-Indian community of Minneapolis and St. Paul to physical well-being and a spiritual relationship to the Earth. “We grow leaders and seeds,” says Community Outreach and Culture Teacher Hope Flanagan, who is Seneca. “An urban upbringing can mean our youth lose track of our old way of walking on this Earth.” Dream of Wild Health helps the children relearn this knowledge, she says.

In the process, the group’s activities help the community reclaim food sovereignty—ready access to healthy, affordable, culturally appropriate food—according to Executive Director Neely Snyder, a St. Croix Chippewa tribal member. Dream of Wild Health meets this need by distributing crops that it grows on its nearby 30-acre farm: It participates in a farmers market, delivers household shares of farm produce to locations in Native neighborhoods of both Minneapolis and St. Paul, and partners with other community organizations, such as the Minneapolis American Indian Center.

“Gardens represent so much more.”

Since the COVID-19 challenges began, innovation has been key. To continue to offer chef-led cooking lessons for youth, yet maintain social distance, Dream of Wild Health delivers ingredients to the children’s homes and runs the program via a video link. Virtual activities have proven popular. When a seed-saving and sacred medicines workshop moved online, the typical 40- to 50-person audience for a live event burgeoned to some 220, Snyder says.

To grow real crops in a real garden requires getting out on the land—with a difference nowadays. This summer, Skye anticipates, reservation gardeners will either work alone or in groups practicing social distancing. Dream of Wild Health farmers is figuring out how student interns, whom they call Garden Warriors, can work on the group’s farm and maintain distance.

While gardening, Skye says, tribal gardeners will put into action traditional practices that arise from close observations of nature and the belief that humans, plants, animals, and other aspects of the natural world form a mutually reliant community. We are all related, Skye says. “Gardening and eating food you’ve raised give you a direct connection to Mother Earth.”

Gardeners are necessarily optimists. At a time when our world is so dangerous, a garden is a place of refuge. “We will come out of this crisis,” Garreau said in an email. “To do so, we must not stop planning and planting.” Taking cues from Native gardening practices can help even novice gardeners get growing in these difficult circumstances.

Follow Indigenous gardeners’ advice to grow your own plot, however small or experimental. At a time when stay-at-home orders continue to try and keep populations healthy, Garreau sums up the importance of sinking your hands into the soil: “Gardens represent so much more,” Garreau continued. “Food, yes, but a belief in our future. Gardens represent resiliency, strength, wellness, culture.”

1. Plot Your Success

Experienced gardeners may be comfortable planting big fields of their favorite crops. Skye has a nearly 1-acre plot just downhill from his Standing Rock home. But if this is your gardening debut—as it was for some tribal members he provided with gardens through the CDC project—ensure success by starting small. Try a few pots or raised beds, or perhaps a small in-ground plot, with easy-to-grow plants, he says. Good options might be tomatoes, peppers, green beans, radishes, summer and winter squash, onions, or leafy greens. “Don’t bite off more than you can chew!” Skye quips.

2. Cultivate Plant Friendships

Many American gardeners know about the Three Sisters—in the celebrated trio, cornstalks serve as trellises for beans, which in turn fix nitrogen (fertilizer), while big, flat squash leaves conserve soil moisture and keep down weeds. Such plant groupings, also called companion plants, are expressions of cooperation and sharing, says the Mohawk director of the Traditional Native American Farmers Association, Clayton Brascoupé. “Your garden should be like a healthy forest, which has trees of various sizes,” he says. “Look at nature, and figure out combinations that mimic it.”

In his gardens at Tesuque Pueblo, north of Santa Fe, you can see peas twining up corn plants and basil rising above the broad, flat leaves of watermelon. “Experiment!” he says. “Plants can surprise you. One year, we discovered that garbanzos and corn really enjoy each other.”

3. Make Room for Hard-working Beauties

Embellish your garden with colorful flowers, particularly those native to your area. “They attract bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other pollinators,” says Skye, adding that pollinators are an integral part of a plant’s life cycle. “Without them, the harvest wouldn’t happen, and we would be looking at extreme food shortages, not just occasional gaps. By giving pollinators flowers they like, we support them, just as they support us.”

4. Keep Crops Cozy

Got a plant that’s struggling? Give it a rock! Brascoupé explains that in Southwest Native gardens, rocks are commonly set next to seedlings or plants that need help. They act as heat sinks, smoothing out day-night temperature variations as they soak up the sun’s heat and release it in the evening’s chill. The practice may have been more widespread, he says, appearing as far north as Iroquois gardens in the U.S. Northeast. It makes sense, he says; in a cold region, rocks protect seedlings from unexpected early-season frost.

5. Source Materials Locally and For Free

For no-cost drip irrigation, Brascoupé uses a fine needle to poke a hole in the neck of clean soda-pop bottles or milk jugs. He then fills the containers with water, replaces their caps, and pushes their pierced necks into the soil.

Conserve soil moisture and keep weeds down by surrounding the plants with mulching materials that would otherwise have been discarded. People spend time and money getting rid of cardboard, shredded office paper, lawn clippings, and leaves, Brascoupé says. “Tell neighbors, ‘I can take that off your hands.’ Build human relationships.”

6. Embrace Dandelions

Don’t banish dandelions. Welcome these supposed weeds! Their leaves are delicious and nutritious, and their taproots break up hardened soil, I learned from Native gardeners. My New York City backyard used to be so compacted, little grew there. I tried scattering dandelion seeds around the yard. They grew and blossomed, and soon earthworms moved in. The soil became soft, friable, and plant-friendly. Earthworms are at it 24-7, working on your behalf, according to Skye. “What more could you ask for?” he says.

7. Include Healing Herbs

Skye has a small medicine-wheel garden by his home, where he delights in growing echinacea, chamomile, comfrey, and other medicinals from seed he saves from one year to the next. Such circular plots are traditionally places to grow herbs, thereby experience their delectable flavors and the natural healing they promote.

8. Save your Seeds

At the end of the season, save the seeds of plants that thrived—and that you enjoyed—in your garden. You can help ensure your future food supply and if you include unusual or heritage varieties, do your part to sustain biodiversity.

Seed-saving preserves history as well, Skye says. He called seeds time capsules. “We Native people have always saved them. As we plant, and save, and replant, the seeds go through all we are going through, the good times and the bad.” The Dream of Wild Health seed collection, for example, includes a Cherokee family’s gift of corn that survived the tribe’s deadly Trail of Tears, a forced march that displaced their ancestors from their original homelands.

Today, danger confronts all of us on this Earth. “We were already facing climate change, and now there is the pandemic,” Skye says. The seeds will always be there, to provide both food and a spiritual connection to the Earth, he says. “They are how we will survive.”

Garreau echoes this sentiment: “When we come out of this terrible pandemic, we will have learned to be stronger. We will be invincible.”

STEPHANIE WOODARD is an award-winning journalist who writes on human rights and culture with a focus on Native American issues. She is the author of American Apartheid: The Native American Struggle for Self-Determination and Inclusion.



Eating To Boost Your Immunity According to Your Main Chakra

By Cyndi Dale 

Our immune system is like the Holy Grail for our health and happiness. That’s because about 80 percent of our immune health is linked to our microbiome or the “gut-brain” that operates as our digestive, emotional, and stress center.

You can see why it’s so important to select foods that will boost your digestive system. 

But that’s not so easy to do, is it? It seems like there are more diets than there are foods in the grocery stores. It turns out that there is a trick to figuring out which foodstuffs will boost your immune system. 

It lies in your chakra system.  

Chakras are subtle energy centers along the spine (think yoga) that manage every part of our lives. However, we each have one major chakra through which our true personality expresses. 

Every chakra is linked to a specific endocrine gland and requires different foods to be healthy. That means if you stoke that chakra and its related gland with its best-case foods, you’ll aid your immune system—while you’re supporting your inner self. 

To help you pinpoint your major chakra, I’ve developed a simple quiz that outlines the traits of each of the seven, in-body chakras. Select the list of traits that best describe you. Next, match your chakra number in the Answer Key. Then read the chakra descriptions and the types of food required for assuring an amazing immune system. 

(Quiz)

Select one of the following seven lists that best describes your personality:

a) Emotive. Colorful. Playful. When your feelings are sluggish, so is your health.

b) Romantic. Heart-based. Interactive. Have you noticed? You get sick less often when you’re in love or feeling loveable.

c) Aesthetic. Pictorial. Perceptive. When you feel attractive, you’re naturally healthier.

d) Intellectual. Organized.  Structured. Your health spirals when your schedule is out of control.

e) Devoted. Meditative. Harmonious. When you’re in flow spiritually, you’re hale and hearty.

f) Busy. Active. Productive. You move too fast to get sick—until you’re felled like a tree in the forest. Crash.

g) Thoughtful. Verbal. Musical. If you’ve enough new ideas to ponder, you hardly get sick. Bored? You seem to catch everything.

(Answer Key)

See the answer key below to determine your major chakra and the label best describing the related personality. Then use the tips provided to pep up that immune system.

a) The Second Chakra-Creative. Found in the abdomen, this orange chakra is governed by the ovaries or testes. Maintain hormonal balance by selecting hormone-free and organic foods and food combine, putting together a healthy fat, protein, and carb for every meal. Feeling slothful? Consider cutting out the gluten and cow dairy. Cook with nutritional carbs like quinoa or brown rice and try Greek yogurt with lots of probiotics. Veggies and fruit are your best friends, as well as fatty fish or plant-based proteins like beans and legumes.

b) The Fourth Chakra-Relator. Ahh, love. Your health is directly tied to your heart, the endocrine gland related to this chest-based green chakra. Eat as the Mediterranean as possible. Those good fats, like avocado or olive oil, drizzled on lean proteins and plenty of whole grains. Throw in ample amounts of veggies and fruits and a bit of robust seasoning, and you’re in. As a Realtor, it’s equally important to focus on energies like Faith, Hope, Truth, and Love. A diet of loving emotions improves your immune system.

c) The Sixth Chakra-Visualizer. This brow-based purple center is also called the Third Eye. It operates through the pituitary, known as the master gland. Help your hormones by following a diet replete with fish, eggs, fruits, and nuts. Throw in leafy veggies, and partner carbs with proteins. Consider making breakfast your biggest meal and eating dinner at least three hours before bedtime. A dark chocolate snack aids your inner vision, and you can balance blood sugar with a little apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, and fenugreek.

d) The Third Chakra-Thinker. Located in the solar plexus, this yellow chakra is pancreas-based. This supremely sensitive organ rules your blood sugar, making your cravings swing. Stay even with “mini-meals.” Eat several small meals a day, each combining healthy fat, protein, and carb. Refrain from high-fat foods and simple sugars and choose foods like bran, beans, and veggies. Select fruits with digestive enzymes, like papaya and pineapple, and maybe drizzle with probiotic yogurt. 

e) The Seventh Chakra-Spiritualist. Pure white radiates from this top-of-the-head chakra, located in the pineal gland. Go for a balanced diet, with fish, poultry, or a vegan alternative paired with complex carbs. Round out with healthy fats, fruits, and veggies, and try tryptophan-rich foods found in turkey and salmon. This amino acid converts to serotonin in the pineal gland. (Think good mood!) Overall, choose alkaline foods, like chives, cucumbers, onions, peppers, and sweet potatoes. And oh. Get sunshine! Otherwise, you’ll be SAD (have Seasonal Affective Disorder).

f) The First Chakra-Manifestor. Those tiny adrenals linked to the hip-based, red first chakra afficiando are sure powerful! Keep yourself from burnout by fueling yourself with hormone-free proteins. Limit your fruit and go for the greens and high-glycemic carbs. Please, try and eat breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks. Then you won’t reach for those Snickers bars. Fermented foods will aid your digestion and lucky you, a pinch of salt every so often is A-okay. Another tip? Think of lots of minerals and vitamins!

g) The Fifth Chakra-Communicator. Eat for your throat-based, blue chakra and thyroid gland with lots of veggies, fruits, and lean meats, and moderate those grains. Good-bye inflammatory foods, like gluten or cow dairy, and know that you’re super sensitive to toxins and chemicals. Hello, free-range, wild-caught, organic, etc. Consider avoiding goitrogens, compounds in foods like soy and raw cabbage, and broccoli, while eating with minerals in mind. (Smoothie, anyone?)

If you want to know which exercises the best suit the five out-of-body chakras featured in my co-authored book, Chakras, Food, and You, take a look there! 

Cyndi Dale is an internationally renowned master energy healer and the co-author of Chakras, Food and You. www.CyndiDale.com 




Vandana Shiva: Bill Gates’ Book “How to Avoid Climate Disaster” is RUBBISH | Interview with Russell Brand | Article by Dr. Mercola

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Big Tech is driving a new wave of colonization in the name of sustainability and “net-zero” carbon emissions
  • Tech billionaire Bill Gates, now the largest owner of farmland in the U.S., is at the root of the problem, pushing technology as the only mechanism to save the world, and in so doing denying real solutions
  • Shiva calls Gates’ book, “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster,” which pushes for the elimination of age-old farming traditions and widespread adoption of fake meat, “rubbish”
  • According to Shiva, in order to force the world to accept this new food and agricultural system, new conditionalities are being created through net-zero “nature-based” solutions, which will only further destroy indigenous people and small farmers
  • Net-zero does not mean zero emissions, Shiva says; it means the rich polluters will continue to pollute and also grab the land and resources of those who have not polluted

Vandana Shiva is a brilliant mind calling for inhabitants of the Earth to unite against forces that are threatening to destroy the planet, in part via a new wave of colonization in the name of sustainability.

Tech billionaire Bill Gates, now the largest owner of farmland in the U.S.,1 is at the root of the problem, pushing technology as the only mechanism to save the world, and in so doing denying real solutions. This path is not accidental but carefully orchestrated to amass wealth, power and control, while making all but the elite subservient.

In my interview with Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., she spoke about Gates Ag One,2 which is headquartered in St. Louis, Missouri, where Monsanto is also headquartered.

“Gates Ag One is one [type of] agriculture for the whole world, organized top-down. He’s written about it. We have a whole section on it in our new report,3 ‘Gates to a Global Empire,'” she said. This includes digital farming, in which farmers are surveilled and mined for their agricultural data, which is then repackaged and sold back to them.

Bill Gates’ New Book Is ‘Rubbish’

In the above Under the Skin podcast with Russel Brand, Shiva takes aim at Gates’ book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need,” which was released in February 20214 — calling it “rubbish:”5

“Just by chance I was reading the rubbish in Bill Gates’ new book. I normally don’t read rubbish but when they want to be rulers through rubbish, I read it. And it’s lovely because he says the greenhouse gases from factory farms are not because of factory farms and putting animals in prisons … it’s because the cows were the problem. They had four stomachs and the four stomachs make the methane.”

The reason cows in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) emit methane that smells is because they’re fed an unnatural diet of grains and placed in crowded quarters. It’s not a natural phenomenon. It’s a man-made one. “You walk behind a good cow on a grazing pasture, she’s not stinking,” Shiva said.6

The strong recommendation to replace beef with fake meat is also made in Gates’ book7 — another example of replacing a whole, natural food with something engineered, heavily processed, and fake. It all stems from an overreaching theme of arrogance and the desire for recolonization and a global empire.

The idea is to imply or create an environment in which, survival isn’t possible without technology. “It is a denial of the richness of agroecological pieces of knowledge and practices that are resurging around the world,” according to one of Navdanya’s reports.8

Shiva founded Navdanya, a nonprofit organization promoting biodiversity, organic farming, and seed saving, in 1994. She has also traveled the globe to warn other countries, including Africa, about plans to displace rural farmers so investors can turn the land into industrial farms to export the commodities.

Gates’ book talks about eliminating age-old farming traditions, which Shiva believes must be protected. Speaking with Brand, Shiva said:9

“He [Gates] has put the Indian plow that has existed for 10,000 years and says this primitive technology must go. I call this, as the future technology, a partnership between our bodies, the body of the Earth, and the body of the animals — realizing that we are not masters but we are there to serve through what Gandhi called bread labor, the labor of our body in the service of the Earth, in the service of community.

So we are for sure at an epic moment where everything wrong is being given a new life just at the time when the world was waking up … I think this is happening … because of arrogance … we’ve destroyed every international law, we’ve destroyed all democracy, we have locked people into fear … you know, the British empire had that arrogance.” 

Breaking the Sacred Relationship With Food

Industrialization started the process of severing humans’ age-old connections to their food and the land on which it’s grown. “Now, with digitalization,” Shiva said, “they would like to end it forever.”10 Tech giants, in an effort to drive home digital agriculture, are working to reduce life to software11 while advancing digital surveillance systems.

So far, Shiva’s organization has managed to prevent Gates from introducing a seed surveillance startup, where farmers would not be allowed to grow seeds unless approved by Gates’ surveillance system. The data mining, Shiva says, is needed because they don’t actually know agriculture.

This is why Gates finances the policing of farmers. He needs to mine their data to learn how farming is actually done. In countering the tech giants’ attempts to remove humans’ sacred relationship to food, Shiva states we can fight back by remembering and focusing on a few essential principles:12

  • Food is the currency of life
  • The highest duty is to grow and give food in abundance
  • The worst sin is to let someone go hungry in your neighborhood, not grow food, and, worse, sell bad food

“We’ve got to bring to the center of our everyday life the rituals that make life sacred,” Shiva said. “Our breath … breath is what connects us to the world … water connects us to the world. Food connects us to the world.”13

‘Net Zero’ Nonsense

Gates has been vocal that achieving “net-zero” emissions will be the “most amazing thing humanity has ever done.”14 By 2030, he’s pushing for drastic, fundamental changes, including widespread consumption of fake meat, adoption of next-generation nuclear energy, and growing a fungus as a new type of nutritional protein.15

The deadline Gates has given to reach net-zero emissions is 2050,16 likely because he wants to realize his global vision during his lifetime. But according to Shiva, in order to force the world to accept this new food and agricultural system, new conditionalities are being created through net-zero “nature-based” solutions. Navdanya’s report, “Earth Democracy: Connecting Rights of Mother Earth to Human Rights and Well-Being of All,” explains:17

“If ‘feeding the world’ through chemicals and dwarf varieties bred for chemicals was the false narrative created to impose the Green Revolution, the new false narrative is ‘sustainability’ and ‘saving the planet.’ In the new ‘net zero’ world, farmers will not be respected and rewarded as custodians of the land and caregivers, as Annadatas, the providers of our food and health.

They will not be paid a fair and just price for growing healthy food through ecological processes, which protect and regenerate the farming systems as a whole.

They will be paid for linear extraction of fragments of the ecological functions of the system, which can be tied to the new ‘net zero’ false climate solution based on a fake calculus, fake science allowing continued emissions while taking control over the land of indigenous people and small farmers.

‘Net Zero’ is a new strategy to get rid of small farmers in first through ‘digital farming’ and ‘farming without farmers’ and then through the burden of fake carbon accounting.

Carbon offsets and the new accounting trick of ‘net zero’ does not mean zero emissions. It means the rich polluters will continue to pollute and also grab the land and resources of those who have not polluted — indigenous people and small farmers — for carbon offsets.”

Gates already alluded to this double-standard in responding to those who criticized him for the hypocrisy of being a serious polluter himself, with a 66,000 square-foot mansion, a private jet, 242,000 acres of farmland, and investments in fossil fuel-dependent industries such as airlines, heavy machinery, and cars.18

This pollution is acceptable, Gates said, because, “I am offsetting my carbon emissions by buying clean aviation fuel, and funding carbon capture and funding low-cost housing projects to use electricity instead of natural gas.”19

Carbon Colonization and Carbon Slavery

Carbon colonization and carbon slavery are two terms being used to explain the reality behind carbon trade, which is being regarded by Big Tech as the next big opportunity, Shiva says.20 Carbon trade refers to the buying and selling of credits that allow a company to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide,21 but by buying up credits from nonpolluters, the industry can continue to pollute.

Technocracy is also a resource-based economic system, which is why the World Economic Forum talks about the creation of “sustainable digital finance,”22 a carbon-based economy and carbon credit trading.23 As explained on its website:24

“Digital finance refers to the integration of big data, artificial intelligence (AI), mobile platforms, blockchain and the Internet of things (IoT) in the provision of financial services. Sustainable finance refers to financial services integrating environmental, social and governance (ESG) criteria into the business or investment decisions.

When combined, sustainable digital finance can take advantage of emerging technologies to analyze data, power investment decisions and grow jobs in sectors supporting a transition to a low-carbon economy.”

As Navdanya’s report explains, however, this will ultimately further remove the rights of small farmers, who will be forced into a new form of data slavery:25

“A global ‘seal’ of approval based on fake science, fake economics of maximizing profits through extraction will create new data slavery for farmers. Instead of using their own heads and cocreating with the Earth, they will be forced to buy ‘Big Data.’ Instead of obeying the laws of Mother Earth, they will be forced to obey algorithms created by Big Tech and Big Ag.”

Focusing solely on carbon reductionism also misses the point that “forests, lands, ecosystems are so much more than the carbon stored in them,” and putting conditionalities on small farmers will only make environmental injustices worse. The report adds:26

“Conditionalities under any condition violate democratic principles and human rights. Farmers are guided by Earth care. The culture of Earth care needs to be respected and rewarded because it is centered on rights of the Earth and rights of all her children … Conditionalities put on the nonpolluters by the polluters who want to continue to pollute is unjust and ecologically, morally and ethically bankrupt.”

‘The Universe Is Divine’

According to the ancient Vedas, the universe is divine, and everything therein — even the smallest grass — is an expression of the divine. “When I go to villages,” Shiva told Brand, “women will do sacred ceremonies with indigenous seed. They will never use a hybrid seed for a sacred ceremony … It’s quite amazing. No one told them, but they have that understanding of integrity and what the sacred means. It means to treat without violation.”27

The universe exists for the well-being of all, but her gifts must be enjoyed without greed, Shiva explained. Taking more than your share is theft, and will only backfire. The solution to true sustainability doesn’t lie with new technology but is relying on the natural “technology” that is the universe:28

“It is by learning from the Earth that we can regenerate the Earth. We have to become students of Mother Earth, not try and dominate her. When we practice agriculture in unison with the Earth’s ecological processes aligned with the ecological laws of nature and the Earth, we evolve an agriculture of care for the land, for the soil. We participate in the process of regenerating the seed and biodiversity, soil and water.”




The Regenerative Ability Of Stem Cells Is Boosted By Fasting

By Karen Foster | Prevent Disease

As people age, their intestinal stem cells begin to lose their ability to regenerate. These stem cells are the source for all new intestinal cells, so this decline can make it more difficult to recover from gastrointestinal infections or other conditions that affect the intestine. This age-related loss of stem cell function can be reversed by a 24-hour fast, according to a new study from MIT biologists. The researchers found that fasting dramatically improves stem cells’ ability to regenerate.

Intermittent fasting allows the body to use fat as it’s primary source of energy instead of sugar and there are many benefits.

In fasting mice, cells begin breaking down fatty acids instead of glucose, a change that stimulates the stem cells to become more regenerative. The researchers found that they could also boost regeneration with a molecule that activates the same metabolic switch. Such an intervention could potentially help older people recovering from GI infections or cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, the researchers say.

“Fasting has many effects in the intestine, which include boosting regeneration as well as potential uses in any type of ailment that impinges on the intestine, such as infections or cancers,” says Omer Yilmaz, an MIT assistant professor of biology, a member of the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, and one of the senior authors of the study. “Understanding how fasting improves overall health, including the role of adult stem cells in intestinal regeneration, in repair, and in aging, is a fundamental interest of my laboratory.”

David Sabatini, an MIT professor of biology and member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and the Koch Institute, is also a senior author of the paper, which appears in the May 3 issue of Cell Stem Cell.

“This study provided evidence that fasting induces a metabolic switch in the intestinal stem cells, from utilizing carbohydrates to burning fat,” Sabatini says. “Interestingly, switching these cells to fatty acid oxidation enhanced their function significantly. Pharmacological targeting of this pathway may provide a therapeutic opportunity to improve tissue homeostasis in age-associated pathologies.”

The paper’s lead authors are Whitehead Institute postdoc Maria Mihaylova and Koch Institute postdoc Chia-Wei Cheng.

Boosting Regeneration

For many decades, scientists have known that low caloric intake is linked with enhanced longevity in humans and other organisms. Yilmaz and his colleagues were interested in exploring how fasting exerts its effects at the molecular level, specifically in the intestine.

Intestinal stem cells are responsible for maintaining the lining of the intestine, which typically renews itself every five days. When an injury or infection occurs, stem cells are key to repairing any damage. As people age, the regenerative abilities of these intestinal stem cells decline, so it takes longer for the intestine to recover.

“Intestinal stem cells are the workhorses of the intestine that give rise to more stem cells and to all of the various differentiated cell types of the intestine. Notably, during aging, intestinal stem function declines, which impairs the ability of the intestine to repair itself after damage,” Yilmaz says. “In this line of investigation, we focused on understanding how a 24-hour fast enhances the function of young and old intestinal stem cells.”

After mice fasted for 24 hours, the researchers removed intestinal stem cells and grew them in a culture dish, allowing them to determine whether the cells can give rise to “mini-intestines” known as organoids.

The researchers found that stem cells from the fasting mice doubled their regenerative capacity.

“It was very obvious that fasting had this really immense effect on the ability of intestinal crypts to form more organoids, which is stem-cell-driven,” Mihaylova says. “This was something that we saw in both the young mice and the aged mice, and we really wanted to understand the molecular mechanisms driving this.”

Metabolic Switch

Further studies, including sequencing the messenger RNA of stem cells from the mice that fasted, revealed that fasting induces cells to switch from their usual metabolism, which burns carbohydrates such as sugars, to metabolizing fatty acids. This switch occurs through the activation of transcription factors called PPARs, which turn on many genes that are involved in metabolizing fatty acids.

The researchers found that if they turned off this pathway, fasting could no longer boost regeneration. They now plan to study how this metabolic switch provokes stem cells to enhance their regenerative abilities.

They also found that they could reproduce the beneficial effects of fasting by treating mice with a molecule that mimics the effects of PPARs. “That was also very surprising,” Cheng says. “Just activating one metabolic pathway is sufficient to reverse certain age phenotypes.”

Jared Rutter, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Utah School of Medicine, described the findings as “interesting and important.”

“This paper shows that fasting causes a metabolic change in the stem cells that reside in this organ and thereby changes their behavior to promote more cell division. In a beautiful set of experiments, the authors subvert the system by causing those metabolic changes without fasting and see similar effects,” says Rutter, who was not involved in the research. “This work fits into a rapidly growing field that is demonstrating that nutrition and metabolism has profound effects on the behavior of cells and this can predispose for human disease.”

The findings suggest that drug treatment could stimulate regeneration without requiring patients to fast, which is difficult for most people. One group that could benefit from such treatment is cancer patients who are receiving chemotherapy, which often harms intestinal cells. It could also benefit older people who experience intestinal infections or other gastrointestinal disorders that can damage the lining of the intestine.

The researchers plan to explore the potential effectiveness of such treatments, and they also hope to study whether fasting affects regenerative abilities in stem cells in other types of tissue.

Read more great articles at Prevent Disease.




Guess What’s Been Named Herb of the Year for 2021

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Each year the International Herb Association names an Herb of the Year that has outstanding medicinal, culinary or decorative characteristics. Parsley is the Herb of the Year in 2021
  • The plant is native to the Mediterranean regions. It is easy to grow and rich in 29 flavonoid glycosides with significant antioxidant activity that may cross the blood-brain barrier and reduce cognitive impairment
  • Parsley has anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antidiabetic, antiviral, and hepatoprotective activities
  • Parsley extract may be a valuable addition as a cosmetic ingredient with skin-brightening and antiaging effects
  • The herb has antidepressant-like and anxiolytic properties that researchers found may be better than drugs. Other benefits include high levels of vitamin K and diuretic action

Each year the International Herb Association1 names the Herb of the Year, and for 2021 it is parsley (Petroselinum crispum). Parsley is from the Apiaceae family, which also includes caraway, coriander, cumin, and celery.2 The plants grow best in hardiness zones 2 to 11, reaching a height of up to 1 foot and spreading 1 foot across.3 When left to flower, the plants produce small green-yellow flowers.

Parsley is considered an herb. The word herb refers to the green part of a plant used to season and flavor food. For example, spinach is green but is a vegetable because it is a food and not a flavoring. Parsley is green but used as a flavoring and so it’s an herb.

Herbs are known for their fragrance and aromatic properties.4 In many cases, herbs have been a part of natural and traditional medicines for decades. There is also an essential difference between what is classified as a spice and what is an herb. It boils down to what part of the plant you are using.

For example, an herb is the green part of the plant, whereas using dried bark, roots or seeds would be considered a spice. Using herbs in your cooking adds a richer flavor to your foods. Some recipes call for dried herbs and others for fresh. This is not interchangeable since the process of drying changes the flavor profile.

Dried herbs may be used during the cooking process, but fresh herbs are often added at the end of your meal preparation.

Parsley Named Herb of the Year

National Herb Week was established in 1991 by the International Herb Association (IHA).5 It is celebrated each year in the week before Mother’s Day, which in many parts of the U.S. marks the beginning of the gardening season.

The purpose of National Herb Week is to bring national attention to the many available herbs used in the kitchen and grown in gardens. Since 1995, Herb of the Year has been used to highlight National Herb Week. The IHA’s Horticultural committee chooses the herb based on the plant meeting two of three criteria.

The criteria include having outstanding characteristics in medicine, cooking, or as a decorative plant. Every year, the IHA publishes a book on the selected herb in which members contribute material that may range from botanical information to how to use the plant. For 2021, the IHA chose parsley.6

There are three varieties of parsley.7 Crispum has curly leaves and looks a little like moss. Neapolitanum is better known as Italian parsley and has a stronger flavor and flat leaves. Tuberosum was developed in the last 200 years and is grown for the flavor of the roots.

Parsley is native to the Mediterranean region where it was cultivated for more than 2,000 years. Some historians believe the Roman Emperor Charles the Great popularized the herb since it grew all over his property.8

Parsley is one of the most common fresh herbs used in the U.S. and for decades has been used as a garnish in restaurants.9 The ancient Greeks and Romans used it more in ceremonies than in the kitchen. Ultimately, the taste of the plant depends on the soil in which it grows and climate conditions.

Parsley is easy to grow in well-drained soil. The plant prefers cool summer climates but must be protected as the temperature drops. The flat-leaf variety is colder- and drought-tolerant than the curly leaf.10 Container plants can overwinter indoors and provide fresh parsley during the winter months.

Health Benefits of Flavonoid Glycosides

Parsley is more than just a pretty face. The leaves and stems are rich in flavonoid glycosides that have demonstrated significant antioxidant activity.11 One chemical analysis of Petroselinum crispum leaves and apiin identified 29 flavonoid glycosides.12 Apiin13 is a natural diglycoside of apigenin. This is a flavone, which is one of six subclasses of flavonoids.14

In a study, the water extract of parsley contained 90% pure apigenin and a high content of phenolics and total flavonoids with high antioxidant activity.15 Analysis also found high amounts of quercetin in the parsley extract.

In the lab, the extract demonstrated a low level of toxicity and high dose-dependent antioxidant potential. Apiin, the major compound found in parsley, had significant antioxidant activity on cells placed under oxidative stress. The researchers conclude this data suggests it is likely the antioxidant activity is related to all compounds found in the plant.16

Dietary flavonoids are naturally found in vegetables, fruits, wine, tea, and chocolate. The high bioavailability is a major contributor to the biological activities,17 which include antioxidant, anticancer, antitumor, and hepatoprotective effects.18 Other biological effects can include antidiabetic, antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal activity.

Many of the effects seem to be related to modulating cell signaling cascades. There is some limited evidence that the anti-inflammation and antioxidant activity in flavonoids have an influence on neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Animal model studies have demonstrated that flavonoids can cross the blood-brain barrier, helping to reduce cognitive impairment during normal and pathological aging.19 Plants use flavonoids to combat environmental stress, regulate cell growth and attract pollinating insects.

Anti-Inflammatory Benefits of Parsley

Your body uses acute and intermittent increases in inflammation to fight physical injury and infection. However, chronic inflammation can lead to several of the leading causes of death in the U.S.,20 including cardiovascular disease, cancer, chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease.21,22

Infections, poor diet, exposure to toxins, psychological stress, and physical inactivity all contribute to a rising level of chronic inflammation. There are several lifestyle choices you can make that help reduce the risk of chronic inflammation, and therefore may reduce your risk of chronic disease. Among those are your food choices.

Plants have been a part of cultural medicinal practices for centuries. Traditionally, parsley has been used to treat cardiac disease, kidney disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.23 More recently, scientists have found it has a positive effect on female infertility.

A recent study24 published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology sought to evaluate the acute toxicity and anti-inflammatory activity of parsley extract in an animal model. The researchers also measured the animals’ estrogen levels, protein, and cholesterol.

Using a polyphenolic fraction, the researchers investigated subacute toxicity measuring weight and later a histopathological examination of the kidneys and liver. The results showed the extract did not negatively impact the liver or kidneys of the animals and did show:25

“… remarkable anti-inflammatory activity, as well as significant estrogenic effect compared to negative control.” And concluded, “This study provides a scope of the potential use of Petroselinum sativum Hoffm. extracts in counteracting female infertility issues.”

Researchers from two universities in Korea26 also analyzed the ethanol extract of parsley as an ingredient in functional cosmetics. They sought to verify the anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and skin-brightening effects of the parsley extract, including the polyphenol and total flavonoid content. Laboratory studies showed no cytotoxicity and researchers concluded the evidence suggested:27

“Parsley extracts have remarkable anti-oxidant effects and are valuable as a cosmetics ingredient with anti-inflammatory, skin-brightening, and anti-aging effects.”

An earlier study28 of parsley ethanol extract evaluated the anti-inflammatory and antihepatotoxic activity in an animal model when hepatic damage was induced. Later, histopathological tests on the liver were carried out. Results of the experiment showed the flavonoids, tannins, and/or triterpenoids offered significant protection against hepatic damage.

Parsley May Help Reduce Anxiety and Depression

Estimates of the percentage of the population experiencing depression or anxiety disorders included 6.68% of adult Americans experiencing anxiety in 201829 and 4.7% of the population with regular feelings of depression in 2019.30 These numbers rose dramatically in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A systematic review of the literature31 found the prevalence of stress was 29.6%, anxiety 31.9%, and depression 33.7%. Researchers concluded COVID-19 had an impact on mental health and it was essential to develop interventions for vulnerable groups.

In a paper published in 202132 researchers sought to evaluate the effects parsley extract may have on anxiety and depression, with an aim to help in the treatment of these disorders. The researchers wrote that depression and anxiety are generally treated with chemical psychotropic medications that may cause unwanted side effects.

The intent was to investigate medicinal plants that may offer safe and effective therapeutic treatment options with fewer side effects. Parsley was investigated for its potential anxiolytic and antidepressant activities to find if there was a correlation with the known antioxidant activity.

In an animal model, the researchers used several chemical and functional tests to determine the anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and antioxidant activity. They concluded:33

“Parsley, a daily used culinary herb worldwide, presents enormous health benefits and through this study, it has been shown to have a remarkable antidepressant-like and anxiolytic activity, even better than classic drugs, especially with the dose of 100 mg/kg.

In the search for an effective medicine with fewer or almost no side effect, this plant could be a well-placed alternative. This work encourages its daily consumption as well as its development to a well-established phytomedicine.”

Another active component to parsley is myristicin, which researchers have demonstrated has potential chemopreventive actions.34 The same substance is also found in high amounts of nutmeg.35 Research using myristicin derived from nutmeg demonstrated anxiolytic effects in rats.36

More Benefits From Adding Parsley to Your Diet

Green leafy vegetables, such as parsley, contain vitamin K1, also known as phylloquinone.37 Just 10 sprigs of parsley deliver over the recommended daily value for vitamin K.38 Your body uses vitamin K to move calcium out of your bloodstream and into your bones.

Low levels of vitamin K are associated with a higher risk of bone fracture. A recent literature review39 found people with the highest levels of vitamin K had 22% fewer bone fractures than those with low levels.

Vitamin K is a fat-soluble vitamin your body uses in blood clotting and a variety of other cellular functions. One paper published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition40 sought to determine if there is an association between vitamin K, cardiovascular disease, and all-cause mortality.

The data we gathered from the Framingham Offspring study and included 3,891 men and women. Although there is an association between vitamin K and vascular health, the data from this study did not show an association between low levels and cardiovascular disease.

There was, however, a link between low levels and all-cause mortality, since those with low levels were more likely to die within 13 years,41 representing a 19% increased risk.42 Ten sprigs of parsley also have 22% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C.43

The combination of vitamin C and the anti-inflammatory effects of parsley may offer some protection to people who have rheumatoid arthritis. Findings presented in the Annals of Rheumatic Diseases44 focused on individuals who developed inflammatory polyarthritis. Researchers found those who ate the lowest amount of foods rich in vitamin C were three times more likely to develop arthritis.

Parsley also has a diuretic effect.45 Animal models demonstrate this effect may be mediated through the cellular sodium-potassium pump, leading to a reduction in the absorption of both minerals and thus to an increase in osmotic water flow and diuresis.

Since vitamin K is fat-soluble, it’s best to eat your parsley with foods that have healthy fat, such as pastured and organically grown meat and dairy products. This increases absorption. Eating foods rich in vitamin K, such as parsley, is the best way to consume vitamin K1.




What Happens to Your Body When You Eat Gluten?

By Dr. Joseph Mercola | mercola.com

STORY AT-A-GLANCE

  • Gluten is a protein that’s made of glutenin and gliadin molecules that form an elastic band in the presence of water
  • Gluten intolerance is a condition wherein a person’s immune system responds abnormally to gluten. It may often be confused with celiac disease (another gluten-related disorder) or simply thought of as a wheat allergy
  • A gluten-free diet is an important resource for combating gluten-related disorders. Extreme vigilance is only likely if you have celiac disease since exposure to gluten can cause sickness and threaten your health in the long run

The word “gluten” has become such a buzzword in recent years, most likely because of the sudden popularity of the gluten-free diet that’s been endorsed by famous personalities. Before you consider trying this diet, read this page first to learn about gluten, and how it can negatively impact your body and health in the long run.

What Is Gluten?

A type of protein, gluten is composed of glutenin and gliadin molecules that form an elastic bond when mixed with water. Gluten is highly noted for its adhesive abilities that can maintain a compact structure for holding bread and cakes together, and providing a spongier texture. This ability isn’t surprising, considering that the word “gluten” is derived from the Latin word for “glue.”

While it does wonders for these foods, the same cannot be said for your body. Research has shown that gluten can be quite harmful to you because of the vast range of complications it might cause (more on this to come in a while).

What Does Gluten Do to Your Body?

A major caveat linked to gluten is its tendency to impede proper nutrient breakdown and absorption from foods, regardless if they have gluten or not. This may prevent proper digestion because excess gluten leads to the formation of a glued-together constipating lump in the gut.

Afterward, the undigested gluten prompts the immune system to attack the villi, or the fingerlike projections lining your small intestine.1 This may lead to side effects such as diarrhea or constipation, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Excessive gluten consumption and further small intestine damage and inflammation may predispose a person to nutrient malabsorption, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, osteoporosis, other neurological or psychological diseases, and complications linked to the skin, liver, joints, nervous system and more.

What Are the Types of Food That Contain Gluten?

Gluten is predominantly found in whole grains like rye, barley, triticale, and oats; in wheat varieties like spelled, Kamut, farro, durum; and in other products like bulgar and semolina.2 Wheat-based flours and byproducts that also contain high quantities of this protein include:3,4,5,6

Wheat-Based Flours Wheat Byproducts
White flour Pasta
Whole wheat flour Couscous
Graham flour Bread, bread crumbs and croutons
Triticale Flour tortillas
Wheat germ Cookies, cakes, muffins, and pastries
Wheat Bran Cereal
Crackers
Beer
Gravy, dressings, and sauces
Conventional oats (these have a high chance of being contaminated during the growing, harvesting or processing stages

If there’s another compelling reason why you shouldn’t eat processed foods, it’s because these items often contain gluten. Here are examples of foods with gluten, even though they’re not made from grains:7,8

  • Processed broth and bouillon cubes9
  • Fried foods
  • Candies
  • Lunch meats and hot dogs
  • Cold cuts
  • Dumplings
  • Self-basting poultry
  • Crab cakes
  • Imitation fish
  • Seasoned rice10
  • Matzo
  • Modified food starch11
  • Salad dressings
  • Seasoned chips and other seasoned snack foods
  • Processed yogurt12
  • Ice cream cones

Even worse, manufacturers deceive customers by “hiding” gluten products like wheat under other names in food labels, such as 13,14

  • Malts
  • Starches and other derivatives
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Hydrolyzed wheat protein15
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)

Common Signs of a ‘Gluten Allergy’ You Should Watch Out For

Consuming too much gluten can prompt various complications, such as a gluten allergy, wherein the immune system produces “weapons” to combat gluten in your system. However, a gluten allergy is not to be confused with gluten intolerance, gluten sensitivity16 or celiac disease.17

It is quite similar to other food allergies since these are all responses to a particular allergen. Some of the most common gluten allergy symptoms are:

  • Coughing
  • Nasal congestion
  • Sneezing
  • Tightness of throat
  • Asthma
  • Tingling
  • Itching
  • Tongue and/or throat swelling
  • A metallic taste in your mouth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Muscle spasms
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

As the book “Gluten-Free Cooking for Dummies” further highlights, a gluten allergy may lead to adverse effects such as anaphylaxis or an anaphylactic shock that may affect different organs. People may experience agitation, hives, breathing problems, reduced blood pressure levels, fainting or even death, if the reaction is very severe.18

Warning Signs of Gluten Intolerance

Should the immune system have an unusual response to gluten in your system, then it might be a sign that you have a gluten intolerance.19 Sometimes it can be mistaken for celiac disease (another gluten-related disorder) or a wheat allergy.20 The root cause of gluten intolerance is not fully understood, although it has been linked to the digestive system, compared to celiac disease where a genetic link has been found.21

Typical gluten intolerance symptoms include bloating, belly pain, diarrhea, tiredness and a general feeling of being unwell. Someone with a gluten intolerance might also experience these indicators, although these are less frequent and already affect areas beyond the gut:

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Anxiety
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Numbness

If you or someone you know experiences any of these symptoms seek medical attention immediately. This will help you determine whether you have gluten intolerance or if the symptoms occur because of other health reasons. This greatly applies if you or someone you know has severe belly pain. An extreme stomachache is not a sign of gluten intolerance, so it might be due to another potentially devastating disease that may require immediate treatment.

Having gut-related symptoms checked immediately may be helpful too, as numerous conditions that target the gut can overlap with other diseases. Fortunately, these can be examined during a checkup and your doctor may rule out other causes. Take note that symptoms of gluten intolerance are generally similar to those of celiac disease, although the reactions that people with these conditions experience aren’t identical.

To diagnose gluten intolerance, it’s important that you continue eating your usual meals, especially if it’s abundant in foods with gluten. This could help the doctor determine the main cause of the symptoms. An inaccurate diagnosis might occur if the patient decides to stop eating gluten-loaded foods prior to, or during, a consultation.22

Common Indicators of Gluten Sensitivity

In various studies, gluten sensitivity is also called non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) as celiac disease patients are sensitive to gluten too. The difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac disease is that the former may be triggered not just by wheat, but by other grains like rye and barley, too, as these grains are known to have the glutenin and gliadin proteins (or protein fragments) also found in wheat.23

Typical symptoms of gluten sensitivity include nausea, skin irritation, bloating and gas, brain fog, and fatigue. However, these indicators can widely vary and may also occur alongside gynecologic conditions, lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome.24

Because there is no specific laboratory test for gluten sensitivity, your physician will have to rule out other possible causes. In some cases, patients may need to be checked for wheat allergy or celiac disease. Should test results be negative, a gluten-free diet may be advised.25 However, if any of the aforementioned tests deliver positive results, then you may want to continue eating gluten-rich foods for a more accurate diagnosis.26

Why a Gluten-Free Diet Works

A gluten-free diet is an important course of action for combating gluten-related disorders, and picking gluten-free foods is the first step in doing so. Because there are foods that are incorrectly labeled “gluten-free,” it may be quite tricky at first to select the correct items.

A set of guidelines on proper gluten-free labeling standards released in 2013 by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) may help. The organization states that for a food product to bear the gluten-free label and be considered such, it must be:

  • Naturally gluten-free — Rice, non-GMO corn, quinoa, sorghum, flax and amaranth seed are naturally gluten-free grains.
  • Refined to remove gluten — Gluten must be removed from any gluten-containing grain. As such, the final product should not contain more than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten.

Extreme vigilance is only likely if you have celiac disease since exposure to gluten can cause sickness and threaten your health in the long run. What’s great about a gluten-free diet is that nearly everyone can benefit from it, whether you have a gluten intolerance or not. Grains, even whole sprouted varieties, tend to cause many problems because of the following factors:

  • Wheat hybridization
  • Gluten
  • Other wheat proteins
  • Fructans
  • Milling or baking process
  • Glyphosate contamination

Grains have high net carbs, so removing them from your diet can help improve mitochondrial function. Taking care of your mitochondrial health is important if you want to reduce your risk for problems linked to insulin resistance, such as being overweight and having high blood pressure levels, as well as diseases like Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Prior to beginning a gluten-free diet, consult a dietitian or health expert who can give advice on how to effectively avoid foods with gluten while eating a healthy and balanced diet.27

Best Foods to Eat if Following a Gluten-Free Diet

Once you’re given the go-signal to try a gluten-free diet, stock up on these natural and unprocessed foods:28,29

  • Beans (provided that you try to sprout and/or ferment your beans to reduce its lectin content, which may negatively impact your health in the long run)
  • Seeds (chia, pumpkin or sunflower)
  • Nuts (pecans, macadamias or walnuts)
  • Organic and pasture-raised eggs
  • Organic and grass-fed meats that aren’t breaded, batter-coated or marinated
  • Fish (wild-caught Alaskan salmon, sardines, anchovies, and herring) that aren’t breaded, batter-coated or marinated
  • Organically grown, GMO-free fruits and vegetables
  • Raw, grass-fed milk or yogurt
  • Healthy fat sources (raw grass-fed butter, coconuts and coconut oil, olives and olive oil, and avocados)

If you think to go on a gluten-free diet limits eating choices and preparations, you’d be surprised to know that it won’t. Type “gluten-free recipes” on a search engine and you’ll see a wide variety of gluten-free recipes, ranging from savory to sweet. A good and delicious example is this Coconut Flour Almond Meal Pancakes Recipe from MindBodyGreen:30

Coconut Flour Almond Meal Pancakes Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Dr. Mercola’s coconut flour

1/3 cup almond meal

1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

4 organic, pastured eggs

1 tablespoon Dr. Mercola’s coconut oil, melted

1/3 cup raw cow’s milk or coconut milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

A pinch of Dr. Mercola’s Himalayan salt

1 to 2 tablespoons organic, raw grass-fed butter, plus more for serving

Pure maple syrup to drizzle (optional)

Cooking Directions

1. In a large bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: the coconut flour, almond meal, baking powder, and salt.

2. Slowly whisk in the wet ingredients: the eggs, coconut oil, milk, and vanilla. Mix until the batter is smooth. (If it feels a little dry, add more milk until it reaches the consistency you’re after).

3. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt, then add scoops of batter (about a 1/4 cup each) for silver dollar pancakes. Cook for about a minute on each side until golden brown. Slather with butter and drizzle maple syrup as desired.

This recipe makes about 16 small pancakes.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Additional Reminders When Following a Gluten-Free Diet

Gluten-Free & More magazine highlights these important tips for people who are following a gluten-free diet:31

  • Read labels carefully — Knowing how to read labels properly will greatly help if you’re following a gluten-free diet. Ideally, never assume something is gluten-free even if the word “gluten” isn’t anywhere in the list.32 As mentioned earlier, some manufacturers purposely use other names to hide gluten in their products.
  • If you’re in doubt, don’t buy the product — If you cannot verify that the product is free of grains, don’t buy or eat it at all. The same principle applies if you cannot find an ingredients list on the product.
  • Remember that being wheat-free doesn’t automatically make a food gluten-free — This is because spelled, rye or barley-based ingredients, all of which contain gluten, may be used in products with a wheat-free label on them.
  • Introduce new foods slowly — Ensure that you incorporate only one new food at a time, and take note of symptoms before adding another item.
  • Be a “food detective” — Call, email or write a letter to a food manufacturer to verify a product’s ingredients. Take note of the ingredient and the lot number of the food. Once you are in touch with a representative, clearly state your concerns and be persistent, polite and patient.

Read more great articles at mercola.com




Bill Gates’ Scary Recipe for How to Feed the World

By Stacy Malkan | The Defender

If Bill Gates has his way, the food in our future will little resemble what’s on our plates today. Gates and his agribusiness industry partners are proposing to transform our food and how it is produced.

To the techno-food industrialists, hunger and climate change are problems to be solved with data and engineering. The core ingredients of their revolutionary plan: genetic engineering — and patenting — of everything from seeds and food animals, to microbes in the soil, to the processes we use to make food. Local food cultures and traditional diets could fade away as food production moves indoors to labs that cultivate fake meat and ultra-processed foods.

Gates says rich countries should shift entirely to synthetic beef. And he has the intellectual property rights to sell them. As a food that can help fix the climate, Gates touts the Impossible Burger, a plant-based patty made from genetically engineered soy and textured with engineered yeast. Its manufacturer, the Gates-funded Impossible Foods, has two dozen patents and more than 100 patents pending to artificially replicate cheese, beef, and chicken and permeate these products with manufactured flavors, scents, and textures.

Ginkgo Bioworks, a Gates-backed start-up that makes “custom organisms,” just went public in a $17.5 billion deal. The company uses its “cell programming” technology to genetically engineer flavors and scents into commercial strains of engineered yeast and bacteria to create “natural” ingredients, including vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and flavors for ultra-processed foods.

According to its investor presentation, Ginkgo plans to create up to 20,000 engineered “cell programs” (it now has five) for food products and many other uses. Axios reports that the company plans to charge customers to use its “biological platform” like Amazon charges for its data center, and will take royalties like apps in the Apple Store. Ginkgo’s customers, the investor pitch makes clear, are not consumers or farmers, but rather the world’s largest chemical, food and pharmaceutical companies.

If techno-food products are not high on most consumers’ shopping lists, this is a menu investors can get behind. The market for genetically engineered products has the potential to reach $2-4 trillion in the next 20 years. And Bill and Melinda Gates are positioned to reap the rewards. The Gates back “a multitude of agrifood tech startups,” reports AgFunder News, either through private investment vehicles or through the Gates Foundation Trust, which funds the foundation’s charitable activities.

Gates and the tech start-ups pitch their products as solutions for our most challenging environmental and social issues. But are they really?

Doubling down on monocultures 

Gates’ “winning strategy for food and farming,” according to a recent Fortune magazine article by Shawn Tully, “is finding ways for farmers to produce more corn and soybeans on every acre … while substantially lowering carbon emissions.” Gates believes that “genetically modified seeds and chemical herbicides, in the right doses — and not land-intensive organic farming — are crucial to curbing carbon emissions.”

Since 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has spent over $5 billion on efforts to transform African agriculture — its flagship program, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa, works to transition farmers to high-input industrial agriculture and scale-up markets for commercial seeds and agrichemicals. Gates says these methods can boost production and lift farmers out of poverty.

Many critics, including African faith leaders and hundreds of civil society groups around the world, say the foundation’s agricultural development strategies are failing to deliver on promises and benefitting multinational corporations over small farmers and communities in Africa. The foundation did not respond to our requests for comment.

“Gates has influenced the direction of agriculture to benefit the corporates,” said Million Belay, Coordinator of Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, a coalition of 50 Africa-based groups. “His foundation has contributed hugely in weakening our seed, biosafety, and agrichemical related regulations … it will take years to undo what they have done.”

Gates also influence how governments and academic institutions think about the future of agriculture in Africa, Belay said. “The narrative now is you need to use agrichemicals, high-yield varieties, GMOs, and a host of other farm management techniques to feed yourself,” he said. “It will also take years to convince our elites the future is agroecology. As one of the richest and powerful people on the planet, the doors of our governments are open (to Gates) while it is ajar for African citizens. He has to be called out and has to change direction.”

Leading experts in food security and nutrition are calling for a paradigm shift away from green revolution-style industrial agriculture and toward agroecology, which promotes biodiversity instead of monocultures, integrates animals to rebuild soils, and advocates for political and economic reforms to address inequities and social divisions. Diversified agroecological systems are more resilient, they say, and have a greater capacity to recover from disturbances including extreme weather events, pests, and disease.

Recent science shows that chemical-intensive industrial agriculture is a key driver of climate change, soil erosion, and the worldwide decline of insects. Corn and soy monocultures are especially problematic; they deplete the soil and rely on synthetic fertilizers that emit nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere. These are problems Bill Gates is hoping technology can fix.

A climate solution?

Fortune describes Gates’ plans to intensify corn and soy products as a “pivotal campaign in the war against global warming.” How so? Syngenta, the world’s second-largest agrichemical company, is “deploying big data, gene editing, DNA analysis and other groundbreaking technologies in pursuit of growing bumper harvests while lowering CO2.” Bayer, the leading chemical and seed firm, is making a similar pitch, and claims its new sustainability technologies will “empower 100 million smallholder farmers around the world.”

For 30 years, agrichemical companies promised GMOs could feed the poor and help small farmers, but it hasn’t yet worked out that way. Most GMO crops in the ground today are engineered to survive weed-killing chemicals or kill insects. While these crops provided short-term benefits to farmers, they provided no benefits to consumers, nor did they deliver on promises to boost yields but they did increase herbicide use. Evidence now indicates the crops are failing as weeds and bugs evolve around the technology.

As a solution to meet the climate crisis, and enable “sustainable intensification” of industrial agriculture, Gates and Bayer point to experimental projects to genetically engineer microbes to fix nitrogen to plants. “If these approaches work,” Gates writes in his climate book, “they’ll dramatically reduce the need for fertilizer and all the emissions it’s responsible for.” In 2017, Ginkgo Bioworks teamed up with Bayer to launch JoynBio, a microbe company that is working to create self-fertilizing plants.

This, too, is a promise Bayer has made before. As far back as 1897, Bayer promoted a product that could reportedly assimilate atmospheric nitrogen, according to Mark Finlay, a history professor at Armstrong Atlantic State University. Bayer said its product could “conceivably make all agricultural lands permanently fertile,” Finlay wrote in a 2015 book about the history of agriculture. “Although early results were disappointing, many popular press writers hailed the potential of this discovery.”

GMO 2.0: genome-editing 

Gates is an evangelist for genetically engineered foods. He predicts that “GMOs will end starvation in Africa” and GMOs can “end world hunger by 2030.” If the first generation of GMO crops failed to deliver on these hopes, Gates believes new genetic engineering methods will get us there.

With CRISPR-Cas9 and other “genome-editing” techniques, scientists can now add or delete strands of DNA, or turn genes on or off, to produce specific traits in plants or animals — as if writing computer code. Examples include mushrooms that are “edited” to resist browning, “terminator cattle” bred to father only male offspring or harmless strains of E Coli converted to antioxidant factories.

Gene-editing techniques, and especially CRISPR, are efficient but unpredictable. Studies show the CRISPR process can create unexpected mutations including DNA damage and other off-target effects. In 2019, a plan to release CRISPR-edited “hornless cows” to Brazil was scrapped after a U.S. government researcher discovered the cattle had two antibiotic-resistance genes that weren’t supposed to be there. The Recombinetics, Inc. cows were the “poster animals of the gene-editing revolution,” according to MIT Technology Review until the “major screw-up in their DNA” came to light. The company’s researchers missed the extra DNA in their own studies; they reported, incorrectly, that the animals were “free of off-target effects.”

Genetic engineering, including genome editing, “has unpredictable outcomes,” says Michael Antoniou, a molecular geneticist at King’s College in London. “You don’t know in advance what the consequences are of the GM transformation process … and because you don’t know, the only way to evaluate safety is generical,” Antoniou said. “You basically need to conduct a long-term feeding trial in animals and see what happens … and that’s just not going on anywhere in the world for regulatory purposes, at all.”

Nevertheless, experiments continue on important crops and food animals. Gates Foundation has spent over $40 million on projects to genetically engineer dairy cows, with hopes of creating the “perfect” cow. Acceligen (a division of Recombinetics) is working with a Gates Foundation grant to engineer multiple traits into dairy cows to maximize productivity and durability in hot climates.

The foundation is also a leading funder of gene drive experiments that can force an engineered trait through a species. This month in the Florida Keys, the Gates Foundation-backed company Oxitec released 144,000 mosquitoes engineered to eliminate females in a disease-carrying species. Proposed agricultural uses for gene drives include reversing herbicide tolerance in plants, suppressing weeds, and eradicating agricultural pests. What could possibly go wrong?

Systemic risk 

One of the world’s foremost experts on probability and uncertainty, Nassim Taleb, considered that question — What could go wrong with GMOs? — for a 2014 paper he wrote with colleagues at the New York University School of Engineering. The authors analyzed GMOs in the context of what they called a “non-naive” view of the Precautionary Principle. They concluded: “GMOs represent a public risk of global harm” and should be subject to “severe limits.”

The Precautionary Principle states that if an action has a suspected risk of causing severe harm to the public domain, the action should not be taken in the absence of scientific near-certainty about its safety. The authors believe it “should be evoked only in extreme situations” when the potential harm is systemic and the consequences widespread and irreversible; they said GMOs “fall squarely” within this criteria.

Among the systemic risks they cited: GMOs have the propensity to spread uncontrollably, with irreversible system-wide effects and unknown downsides. The ecological impacts are not tested empirically — and therefore not understood — before the technologies are released. The researchers noted two factors that contribute to systemic risk: the engineered genetic modifications and the monocultures in which they grow.

“Instead of a long history of evolutionary selection, these modifications rely not just on naive engineering strategies that do not appropriately consider risk in complex environments, but also explicitly reductionist approaches that ignore unintended consequences,” the researchers said. “Labeling the GMO approach “scientific” betrays a very poor — indeed warped — understanding of probabilistic payoffs and risk management.”

Taleb summed up their conclusions in a 2015 New York Times op-ed:

“The GMO experiment carried out in real-time and with our entire food and ecological system as its laboratory, is perhaps the greatest case of human hubris ever. It creates yet another systemic, “too big to fail’ enterprise — but one for which no bailouts will be possible when it fails.”

Monopoly Bill 

If Gates’ plans for the food system make little sense from equity or ecological perspective, they are logical from the point of view of an economic monopolist.

“As the former CEO and largest shareholder of Microsoft, you might think that Bill Gates is a capitalist, but that’s not exactly the case,” Megan Tompkins-Stange, a scholar of philanthropy at the University of Michigan, told The Ink. “Gates’ version of capitalism would better be called monopolistic. He has consistently sought to distort free markets in order to advance his own corporation’s accumulation of wealth, power, and preeminence.”

These ideologies led to the recent controversy over COVID-19 vaccines, in which Gates’ insistence on patents may have impeded vaccine access for the world’s poor. The incident raised concerns about the powerful influence Gates wields over vital issues involving public health. As Timothy Schwab wrote in The Nation, “It is increasingly urgent to ask if Gates’s multiple roles in the pandemic — as a charity, a business, an investor and a lobbyist — are about philanthropy and giving away money, or about taking control and exercising power — monopoly power.”

Gates is playing all the same roles in our food system. “Gates has placed his investment bets in many of the key places in this emerging corporate narrative about what the food system needs: gene drives, geoengineering, fake meat, digital agriculture, carbon sequestration,” says Jim Thomas from the ETC Group, which investigates corporate concentration in the food industry. “Clearly he is set to benefit from these changes, plus his Foundation funding supports all this.”

Agribusiness companies are deploying digital apps on farms around the world to gather data on all aspects of farming: soil health, product inputs, weather, cropping patterns, and more, including genetic information on the world’s most important seeds and livestock and knowledge indigenous farmers have developed over thousands of years. All this data to be owned and controlled by corporations, run through AI algorithms, and sold back to farmers with “prescriptions” for how to farm and which corporate products to buy, with little transparency or explanation.

The hyper-consolidated food and agriculture system has already brought numerous negative consequences to farmers and consumers. A 2019 report by the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems documents how corporate concentration has squeezed farmer incomes, eroded their choices, narrowed the scope of innovation, and escalated public health and environmental risks. The corporate drive to control Big Data, IPES said, “stands to exacerbate existing power imbalances, dependencies, and barriers to entry across the agri-food sector.”

Gates Ag One 

Impatient with the creeping progress of the techno-food revolution, the Gates Foundation last year launched a new tax-exempt nonprofit that “seeks to accelerate the development of innovations supported by the foundation’s Agricultural Development team” in two of the fastest-growing regions in the world: sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

The new “ag-tech startup” will “work with partners from the public and private sector to commercialize resilient, yield-enhancing seeds and traits.” It is located in St. Louis, Missouri, former home of Monsanto and current hub of leading chemical and seed firms, and headed up by Joe Cornelius, the former managing director of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition at Bayer CropSciences. As if to underscore that uniformity and centralized control are core goals of the effort, the new nonprofit is called “Gates Ag One.”

Farm of the future?

In 2019, Cargill (a partner of Ginkgo Bioworks) opened a $50 million factory in Lincoln, Nebraska. The plant manufactures EverSweet, a substance that tastes like the sweetener stevia. To produce it, Cargill combines genetically engineered yeast with sugar molecules to mimic the taste of stevia.

Consumers would not know this by reading the website or looking at the package; the company artfully describes the process as a “centuries-old technique” involving “fermentation.” It markets EverSweet as “non-artificial.”

Cargill also pitches the product as “sustainably produced,” presumably because it moves stevia production off the land, in places like Paraguay where small farmers have been cultivating stevia for generations. But the feedstock for engineered foods made in Cargill’s new plant has to come from somewhere. Cargill would not tell us what it uses for feedstock, but the factory’s location in Nebraska offers a clue: it is surrounded by mono-crops of GMO corn and soy.

Originally published by U.S. Right to Know.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Children’s Health Defense.




Top Scientist Exposes the Real Dangers of Milk: It ‘Turns on Cancer’ and ‘Leaches Calcium from Your Bones’

By Alex Pietrowski | Waking Times

The dairy industry is big business, and globally is ‘expected to generate revenues worth USD 442.32 billion in 2019,’ while the U.S. dairy industry spends up to a billion dollars a year in advertising. With so much money on the line and the continual push by dairy advertisers, it’s difficult to convince people that drinking milk is another one of the false promises of the modern food problem.

So, does milk really do a body good, as the popular advertising campaign suggests?

According to American biochemist Dr. T. Colin Campbell, milk is one of the most harmful foods we are consuming, and he has the scientific research to back up this claim. Warning people that milk ‘turns on cancer’ and ‘leeches calcium from your bones,’ Dr. Campbell is well-known for his influential book, The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health. Based on a 20-year long study conducted by the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine, Cornell University, and the University of Oxford, The China Study documents serious negative implications of consuming milk.

“The China Study examines the link between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart diseasediabetesbreast cancerprostate cancer, and bowel cancer.[3] The authors conclude that people who eat a predominantly whole-food, plant-based diet—avoiding animal products as a main source of nutrition, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese, and milk, and reducing their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates—will escape, reduce, or reverse the development of numerous diseases.” [Source]

The study is exceptionally damning to the dairy industry, and while some would like to dismiss Dr. Campbell’s work, his prestigious and influential career gives us good reason to pay attention. Here’s a short snippet from his bio:

For more than forty years, Dr. T. Colin Campbell has been at the forefront of nutrition research. His legacy, the China Project, is the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted. Dr. Campbell is a professor Emeritus at Cornell University and is most well-known for co-authoring the bestselling book The China Study with his son, Thomas Campbell, MD. In addition to his long and outstanding career as an author, scientific researcher, and Cornell professor, Dr. Campbell has been featured in several documentary films. He is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online internationally-recognized Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate. [Source]

Honing in the main protein found in cow’s milk, casein, Campbell makes the case that it is a serious carcinogen that is having major consequences for public health in America and around the world. Casein

“Casein is the most relevant chemical carcinogen ever identified, make no mistake about it. – Dr. Colin Campbell

What does he base this on?

“What I did during the early part of my career was nothing more than what traditional science would suggest. I made the observation that diets presumably higher in animal protein were associated with liver cancer in the Philippines. When coupled with the extraordinary report from India showing that casein fed to experimental rats at the usual levels of intake dramatically promoted liver cancer, it prompted my 27-year-long study The China Project, of how this effect worked. We did dozens of experiments to see if this was true and, further, how it worked.” ~Dr. Colin Campbell, The China Study

It’s interesting to note that the dairy industry has been telling us for decades that milk is good for the bones because it is full of calcium. But, not unlike the water fluoridation scam, which claims to prevent dental fluorosis but is actually causing it, Campbell says that milk actually makes your bones weaker by leaching calcium from them.

“One thing animal protein does is trigger metabolic acidosis. This happens when the body produces too much acid and becomes very acidic, which can be caused by multiple things, including the absorption of casein found in animal protein. Casein makes up almost 90 percent of the protein in a cow’s milk. When the body experiences this type of acidosis, it actually forces the body to compensate by leaching calcium from the bones to help neutralize the increased acidity. Over time, all of this can have severe and detrimental effects on bone health, and studies have shown this.” [Source]

Regarding casein, along with whey, it is one of the two proteins found in milk, although the body digests each in very different ways.

“There are two types of protein found in dairy products: casein and whey protein. Thirty-eight percent of the solid matter in milk is made of protein. Of that total protein, 80 percent is casein and 20 percent is whey. Cheese is made mostly of casein, where most of the liquid whey found in milk has been filtered or strained out. But all dairy products contain casein, not just cheese. The difference between whey and casein is how they’re digested and how they react in the body.

Because casein digests so slowly, natural morphine-like substances in casein known as casomorphins, act like opiates in the body as they enter the bloodstream. Just minutes after you eat a dairy-based food, the casein protein begins to break down. This releases the drug-like casomorphins, which attach to opiate receptors in the brain and cause severe addictions to dairy products (hence the reason they keep people coming back for more.) Casomorphinstrigger such an addictive response that they’ve been compared to heroin in terms of their strength to cause food addictions and mood disorders.

Casein’s slow digestion rate also puts great strain on the digestive system. Dr. Frank Lipman (an Integrative and Functional Medical expert), explains that the body has an extremely difficult time breaking down casein. Dr. Lipman says that common symptoms of dairy sensitivity due to casein are: excess mucus production, respiratory problems and digestive problems like constipation, gas, bloating, and/or diarrhea. Dairy intolerance is also known to cause skin issues like acne, rashes, and redness or irritation.” [Source]

The following talk by Dr. Campbell discusses in greater detail the dangers of casein.

According to Dr. Campbell’s research, the consumption of casein appears to act almost like an ‘on switch for cancer,’ perhaps contributing in a major way to the cancer epidemic we see today.

“What we learned along the way is that we could turn on and turn off cancer. Turn it on by increasing casein consumption, turn it off by decreasing it or replacing it with plant protein. That was a really exciting thing that we could take nutrition and turn cancer on and off, I mean that, that was pretty startling.” ~Dr. Colin Campbell

The primary reason for this, as Dr. Campbell states, is that the consumption of casein protein tends to create an acidic condition in the body, known as metabolic acidosis, which is widely known to be a primary driver of a litany of diseases and poor health conditions and has even been called a precursor to cancer. Informed nutritionists and holistic physicians have for years been highlighting the importance of eating alkaline foods and working to eliminate the consumption of acidic foods.

A clip from the documentary Forks Over Knives discusses the link between excessive casein consumption, acidosis, and disease.

Is human health is dependent on the consumption of dairy products, or are we better off without them? As big as the dairy industry is, it is not at all difficult to understand that information countering the narrative milk does a body good would be unwelcome to those who make their living on dairy.

About the Author

Alex Pietrowski is an artist and writer concerned with preserving good health and the basic freedom to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. He is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Alex is an avid student of Yoga and life.

This article (Top Scientist Exposes the Real Dangers of Milk: It ‘Turns on Cancer’ and ‘Leaches Calcium from Your Bones’originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Alex Pietrowski and WakingTimes.com




The Wild Effect of Vitamin D on Aging & Longevity | Thomas DeLauer

Source: Thomas DeLauer

Thomas DeLauer talks about the wild effect Vitamin D has on longevity and aging.