Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Congress Approves Weakened Organic Standards

The New 'Organic' Dairy Farm

The Original and Still Sometimes Organic Family Farm

I have just returned from my annual trek of 'stuffing my brain with new knowledge' during the preceding weekend's American Herbalists Guild's 2005 Conference in Portland, Oregon.

And while many of the uninformed or biased think herbalists sit around listening to the scheduled lecturers as they wave weeds around in the air doing a dance onstage, that illusion couldn't be further from the truth.

Over half of the presenters are Naturopathic Physicians and/or Medical Doctors. All have years of tradition and practice behind their teachings. And all are very concerned about human health and the current state of medicine in America and throughout the world. I'll talk about herbs in the coming weeks but here is your most important bit of information to contemplate for today.

There were three main issues that kept cropping up over the three day symposium. Diabetes, cancer, and flu.

Here's your take-away in one sentence: All ARE effected by what you put in your mouth.

YOU have MAJOR CONTROL over these diseases and how they affect YOU. And your family. And while this was an herbal symposium, we view FOOD as the first line of DEFENSE in keeping your body healthy. We view FOOD AS MEDCINE.

Let's start with diabetes. If you are overweight by more than 15 pounds, chances are EXCELLENT that you are pre-diabetic or diabetic NOW. You should change your diet to a 'diabetic' diet, NOW. Period. There are no excuses.

We're talking low carb diet, with lots of colorful vegetables and a few fruits. PERIOD. Dinner should mean cooking at least one FRESH vegetable (which is rarely CORN). Protein is VERY important. Are you getting enough protein? There is tons of information out there on 'diabetic' diets. Go find it and then do it.

I'd also like to say that a healthy diet means you DO have an occasional 'treat.' Preferably DARK chocolate -- very HIGH in antioxidantes. An occasional desert is good for the soul. But remember, diabetes will take you down the path of heart disease and vision loss, with other complications are too numerous to mention this minute. You must eat smart. The first goal is to eat smart, not to have dessert.

Exercise is also VERY important. You should be walking at least 30 minutes PER DAY. Even it it's in 10 minute increments! And weight-bearing exercise a few times per week. The more MUSCLE you have, the less fat you have. The less fat you have, the less ESTROGEN you're storing. The less ESTROGEN you're storing, the less cancer-risk you have. This is valid for men also.

It's what's going into your mouth!!! And who is making that choice for you? YOU!!

Let's move on to cancer. Sadly, you must now get an education in FOOD to eat healthy. We're still in the 'you are what you eat' arena, but, it gets WAY more confusing in this building.

So, let's start with body weight (again). The less body weight you have the fewer cells there are to have a chance to go cancerous. That's a good start. Then the more complete and TRUE food you put in your body, the better it functions and the fewer chemicals it has to deal with.

The amount of plastic IN OUR FOOD AND WATER is incredible. NEVER cook food or water in plastic in the microwave. Try not to store food in plastic. Plastic leeches into our food. PERIOD.

To make a simplistic picture of plastic and your body: the plastics in our food turn into chemicals in our body that BIND at receptor sites on cells in your body that are supposed to only accept hormonal chemicals. If 'plastic' 'chemicals' are attaching to those sites, the hormones can't latch on because the site is full. One hormone influences other hormones. Hormones cascade with other hormones. So, if one hormone is off, it often triggers an 'incorrect' flow of others.

Thus, everything from your estrogen level to thyroid to INSULIN to etc....... gets off balance. This is very serious in adults and horrendous in children....because it changes how they GROW. Body and brain. Try for NO plastics. It's hard, but doable. Plastic water bottles are the WORST!!!

On another note, our food 'looks' good but has less nutrients than years before because it's not grown in soil with those nutrients to suck up. It's grown with petrol chemicals and fertilizers. Our food is no longer nutritional in many ways anymore.

And while I would LOVE to be 100% organic all the time, it's not going to happen. I'm still going to eat pizza. And Creme Brulee. (Hi Michelle!) But, I try to aim for 50% organic in what I consume most of the time. And especially on dairy because of its high fat content. And, cancer; cancer just loves those fat cells in my body. Plus, I don't want blood in my milk, so the manufacturing processes are important.

Which is why I started this grip. The TRUTH is not the TRUTH anymore. Just because it says 'organic' doesn't mean 'organic' anymore. Big Money will always want your non-health. Because that is how they will take your money. Even the Organic Trade Organization, while the name is nice, is NOT on your side if you want food with NO, let me repeat that, NO chemicals, additives, etc. in your food. Have you ever heard anybody say that added chemicals are heathful? They may say they protect the FOOD, but they never say they protect you.

You JUST wanted broccoli right? Well, you don't get just broccoli anymore. Sorry. BIG FOODS are going to make it easy and cheap for them to feed you. And then, when you get sick, you're theirs forever though health bills. And even if you WANT organic food, sorry. We're going to make you pay an arm and a leg to get REAL food, and then, we're still going to add chemicals in. Cause it's our way; Big Food is always followed by Big Medicine.

REMEMBER, you're going to have to hunt for real foods and pay attention to what you're buying. BUT THAT IS WHAT YOU MUST DO. PAY attention and learn about what you are putting in your body. You can either pay attention and pay money now, or you can pay attention and pay money later. It's just a matter of who you want to benefit from your time and money. YOU? Or big business FOOD and HEALTH companies?

Bottom-line? Your health and your money: you will pay now and pay later. It's just WHO do you want to pay? Finding reputable food and health companies is now work; but it can be done.

And, back to cancer: Now you must not only EAT SMART..you must supplement your diet. Because 95% of America is MAGNISUM deficient. And Omega-3 deficient. (These are just TWO of the many deficiencies I'll discuss today. Did you know that 95% of cancer patients are ZINC deficient?) It's NOT in our food anymore!! There are LOTS of vitamins and minerals we need to ingest and absorb to have HEALTHY functioning bodies that are just NOT in our food anymore!! You MUST LEARN to eat right!!!

And what NOT to eat!! Like ANY SAMLON that is farm-raised. PERIOD. And since we're losing our salmon stocks, most salmon you see in the grocery store is farm-raised/full of chemicals. Unless that salmon is going for about $20 a pound and says 'WILD,' chances are it is farm raised. Remember, the pens they raise salmon in are on the sea coast. The salmon is fed dog food and kept where the chemicals from rain-wash run into the oceans with a high concentration of chemicals. You want wild caught only. You've read this all before.

And since wild caught is so expensive and we're running out of salmon as a species anyway, the best you can do on a regular basis is to get HIGH QUALITY FISH OIL in capsules that are refrigerated. NOT off of the shelf at COSTCO or Walgreens. Avoid unrefrigerated fish oil, it goes rancid VERY fast.

Back to cancer. Please, eat a diet that is good for you. FOOD IS MEDICINE. It's best to stay healthy all together. Otherwise, you must deal with the cause of the dis-ease, not just the result of it; high blood sugar, high blood pressure, more weight, loss of energy, poor sleep, headaches, poor skin, etc.

And remember, allopathic doctors will give you a pill to help with the SYMPTOMS, but rarely do they address the issue on what is CAUSING the symptoms.

Case in point: yesterday a dear friend went to their cardiologist for a heart checkup (history of triple heart bypass surgery). This person is at least 30 lbs overweight and over 70 years old. Has been pre-diabetic for the last three years. Mind you, this is a person who is very active, drives and golfs, and is delightedly social! To lose their health, movement and energy would be a true loss!!

The Doc told them that there is a NEW pill coming out soon to take care of their condition of being pre-diabetic with high cholesterol. Did the Doc tell them to get to a diabetic cooking class now? To drop 30 lbs now? To lower the amount of carbs sticking out of their gut NOW? To walk 30 minutes a day NOW?


To not eat white bread? Not eat potatoes? Not eat pasta? To eat real green food, not canned or frozen? Did the doctor mention any of this?

No. Here, take this pill. Sad. But true. No wonder a body can walk around but not be healthful. Survive, but not be healthy.

Ok, and lastly, the Flu. It's coming. If you don't GET the flu, you don't have to RECOVER from the flu. (Or the secondary INFECTIONS that are usually what KILL you.) To help your body fight off the flu, so you don't EVEN get it, you're immune system has to be in TOP NOTCH fighting order. How do you get it there? EAT SMART. And exercise a little. BUILD your immune system by building your body.

A huge BOOST for your immune system? Stay FAR away from white sugar. Yes, it's in everything. Stay away from it. It depresses the immune system. High Fructose Corn Syrup too. Depresses the immune system. STOP eating it.

So, here we are again. FOOD IS MEDICINE. You ARE affected by what you put in your mouth. YOU have CONTROL over these diseases and how they affect YOU. And your family. Control your food, control your environment and control your stress levels. You have the power. Or you can give it away.

These are NOT either/or situations, there are always varying degrees of control. Don't stop doing what your doctor is telling you to do. But start learning about other ways to take control and be healthy yourself. And ask your doctor questions about other options are available concerning what you want to manage. And remember, it's the Pharmaceutical companies that educate your doctor about drugs. So educate yourself about those drugs too. There is tons of pro/con information on WEBMD, etc. about those drugs.

I support integrated medicine. I believe we should pick the best of each tradition available. I will not throw out one form of medical knowledge for another. I want to learn and use the best in all forms of healing.

Learn what effects YOUR universe. Spend some of your time learning the truth. Occasionally, turn off the TV and go learn about your health. Go to the library. Discern between crap and truth for your health and your families. And always follow the money. That will tell you who has true control and whether that control is wise or not. And remember, not everything that is advertised is TRUE!! Even in health food stores. And now (as before) in our labeling practices. Be vigilant!

Consumers Union Derides Dark-of-Night Weakening of Organic Law

YONKERS, NY -- Consumers Union, non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, is deeply disappointed with the Agricultural Appropriations Conference Committee’s
weakening of the organic label, which was done without any public input.

The decision to allow synthetic (chemically derived) ingredients—some without careful, independent review—was made even after members of Congress heard from more than 325,000 of their constituents and more than 200 organic companies opposing this very action.

“The real losers today are America’s organic consumers who do not expect food labeled as "organic" to contain artificial (or synthetic) ingredients. Consumers Union will be mounting a widespread public education campaign to help consumers look for additional, meaningful labels on organic food products, such as ‘no-synthetics used’ or ‘100% grass fed’, so that they get the most value for the premium price they are willing to pay,” says Dr. Urvashi Rangan, Senior Scientist and Policy Analyst at Consumers Union.

The amendment added by the Agricultural Appropriations Conference Committee was aggressively pushed by the Organic Trade Association. The amendment overturned Harvey vs. Johanns, a recent court decision that upheld the organic law by barring the use of synthetic ingredients in the non-organic portion of food labeled “organic.” These are food products that must be made with at least 95% organic material but can have 5% non-organic ingredients.

“While consumers don’t get to vote in the halls of Congress, they do get to vote in the marketplace where the success of “organic” is ultimately dependent on consumer confidence in the integrity of the label. We’ll be doing everything in our power to educate consumers on which organic product lines deserve this trust—and which ones don’t,” adds Rangan.

In the meantime, I'd guess you're better off staying away from mass-produced organic foods if you really want to avoid any synthetic ingredients. And if the food companies don't want to label chemicals in 'organic' food, just follow that line of thought out to the logical conclusion of just what things are in non-organic foods that they don't want to tell you about?

"Wanting everything in life to be perfect before you take action
is like wanting to reach a destination without travel."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Cutie: Well I could not have summed up the conference better than that!!! Go treat yourself to a creme brulee (just kidding!) Big hugs. Michelle

2:50 PM  
Blogger Heather said...

You have no idea how much I needed to read every single word of that.

Thank you.

1:29 PM  

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