Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Chemical Additive Of The Week - Sodium Nitrite (Nitrate)

As a food additive, it prevents growth of Clostridium botulinum, the bacterium which causes botulism. It also alters the color of preserved fish and meats. In the European Union it may be used only as a mixture with salt containing at most 0.6% sodium nitrite. It has the E number E250. Potassium nitrite (E249) is used in the same way. - Sodium Nitrite Profile

A principal concern about sodium nitrite is the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in meats containing sodium nitrite when meat is charred or overcooked. Such carcinogenic nitrosamines can be formed from the reaction of nitrite with secondary amines under acidic conditions (such as occurs in the human stomach) as well as during the curing process used to preserve meats. Dietary sources of nitrosamines include US cured meats preserved with sodium nitrite as well as the dried salted fish eaten in Japan. -  International Journal of Epidemiology

Consuming processed meats increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. - University Of Hawaii 

Nitrosamines are produced from nitrites and secondary amines, which often occur in the form of proteins. Their formation can occur only under certain conditions, including strongly acidic conditions such as that of the human stomach. High temperatures, as in frying, can also enhance the formation of nitrosamines. - Nitrosamine Formation

Children who eat processed meats like bacon, hot dogs and sausage are 74 percent more likely to develop leukemia than children who avoid such processed meats and eat more vegetables. - BMC Cancer

A study determined that a high intake of processed meat may increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by up to 41 percent. - University Of Oslo 

The USDA actually tried to ban sodium nitrite from the food supply back in the 1970's, but it was overruled by the meat industry which knew that the chemical made meat look visually more appealing and therefore increased sales of processed meat products. Despite causing cancer. - Natural News 

Why Organic Grass Fed Beef & Dairy Can Be Good For You (in moderation) PT. Three

Almost half the meat and poultry sold in the US is likely to be contaminated by highly dangerous bacteria, according to research published this month (April 2011) in the scientific journal. - Clinical Infectious Diseases. 

Densely-stocked industrial farms, where food animals are steadily fed low doses of antibiotics are ideal breeding grounds for drug-resistant bacteria that move from animals to humans. - Clinical Infectious Diseases. 

Feeding cattle their natural diet of grass instead of grain greatly reduces the risk of disease transmission. Why? First, it keeps the overall bacteria count low. Second, it prevents the bacteria from becoming acid resistant. Acid-resistant bacteria are far more likely to survive the acidity of our normal digestive juices and cause disease. - Why Grass Fed Is Best

In December, 2003, tissues from a cow from a Washington State confinement dairy tested positive for BSE or mad cow disease.   The cow contracted BSE by being fed meat and bone meal made from other cattle that were infected with BSE. This was common practice in the U.S. until 1997. - Eat Wild 

The reason for the greater persistence of E. coli from grain-fed cattle, the researchers speculated, is that feeding grain to cattle makes their digestive tracts abnormally acidic. Over time, the E. coli in their systems become acclimated to this acid environment. When we ingest them, a high percentage will survive the acid shock of our digestive juices. By contrast, few E. coli from grass-fed cattle will survive because they have not become acid-resistant. - Russell, Diez-Gonzalez 

Australians have discovered that raising cattle on pasture reduced their risk of carrying a bacteria called "campylobacter." Fifty-eight percent of the cattle raised in a feedlot carried the bacteria, but only two percent of those raised and finished on pasture. Campylobacter bacteria can cause fever, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, headache, and muscle pain. Most cases are mild, but it can be life-threatening if other diseases such as cancer or liver disease are present. - Bailey, G. D., B. A. Vanselow 

A report shown that about 70 percent of all antibiotics made in the United States now go to fattening up livestock. In the mid-1980s, 16 million pounds of antibiotics were used in livestock production. Twenty-five million pounds are being used today. - Union Of Concerned Scientists 

On January 1, 2006, the European Union banned the feeding of all antibiotics and related drugs to livestock for growth promotion purposes. The sweeping new policy follows up a 1998 ban on the feeding of antibiotics that are valuable in human medicine to livestock for growth promotion. Now, no antibiotics can be used in European livestock for growth promotion purposes. - Union Of Concerned Scientists

Animals raised in factory farms are given diets designed to boost their productivity and lower costs. The main ingredients are genetically modified grain and soy that are kept at artificially low prices by government subsidies. To further cut costs, the feed may also contain “by-product feedstuff” such as municipal garbage, stale pastry, chicken feathers, and candy. Until 1997, U.S. cattle were also being fed meat that had been trimmed from other cattle, in effect turning herbivores into carnivores. This unnatural practice is believed to be the underlying cause of BSE or “mad cow disease.” - Eat Wild

Animal products labeled as “organic” were fed only organic feeds which did not contain slaughterhouse wastes, antibiotics, or genetically modified (GMO) grains. The animals were also given access to the outdoors and exercise. However, organic does not mean the animals were pastured. For example, much of our organic beef and milk comes from cows that did not graze on grass. 

Organic Grass Fed Beef seems to be the way to get the cleanest most disease free meat.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

The Fruit Of The Week - Blackberries

Fruit Information:
Sweet, succulent blackberries are summer delicacies in the northern temperate regions. As in raspberries, they grow on shrubs known as brambles in the vast rosaceae family bush berries. The plant is native to Europe and now grown at a commercial scale from North America, particularly in the USA, to as far as Siberia.
Binomially, the plant is a small perennial shrub belonging to the family Rosaceae, of the genus: Rubus. Botanical name: Rubus fruticosus. - Nutrition & You 

Folklore in the UK holds that blackberries should not be picked after Old Michaelmas Day (11 October) as the devil has claimed them, having left a mark on the leaves by urinating on them. There is some value behind this legend as wetter and cooler weather often allows the fruit to become infected by various molds such as Botryotinia which give the fruit an unpleasant look and may be toxic. - Michaelmas History & Traditions

Nutritional Benefits: 
Blackberries contain Xylitol, a low-calorie sugar substitute presents in the fruit fibers, absorbs more slowly than sugar, and does not contribute to high blood sugar levels. - Nutrition & You

Xylitol is a “tooth-friendly”, nonfermentable sugar alcohol. - Edwardsson S, Birkhed D, Mejare B

Xylitol has a plaque-reducing effect and suggests the compound, having some chemical properties similar to sucrose, attracts and then "starves" harmful micro-organisms, allowing the mouth to remineralize damaged teeth with less interruption. - Tanzer, JM 

Absorbed more slowly than sugar, Xylitol does not contribute to high blood sugar levels or the resulting hyperglycemia caused by insufficient insulin response. - Marti N, Funes LL, Saura D, Micol V

Xylitol also has potential as a treatment for osteoporosis. A group of Finnish researchers has found dietary xylitol prevents weakening of bones in laboratory rats, and actually improves bone density. - Mattila PT, Svanberg MJ, Jämsä T, Knuuttila ML 

The Vegetable Of The Week - Bok Choy

Vegetable Information:
Bok Choy or leafy Chinese cabbage is one of the popular mainland crop in China, Philippines, Vietnam and other oriental regions; nonetheless this humble brassica family vegetable has gained popularity even in the western world for its sweet, succulent nutritious stalks. It is also named as pe-tsai, pak choi, petsay, white celery mustard, Chinese white cabbage…etc. Scientific name: Brassica campestris L. - Nutrition & You

The Ming Dynasty pharmacologist Li Shizhen studied the Chinese cabbage for its medicinal qualities. Before this time the Chinese cabbage was largely confined to the Yangtze River Delta region. The Chinese cabbage as it is known today is very similar to a variant cultivated in Zhejiang around the 14th century. During the following centuries, it became popular in northern China and the northern harvest soon exceeded the southern one. Northern cabbages were exported along the Grand Canal of China to Zhejiang and as far south as Guangdong.
They were introduced to Korea, where it became the staple vegetable for making kimchi. In the early 20th century, it was taken to Japan by returning soldiers who had fought in China during the Russo-Japanese War. The Chinese cabbage is now commonly found in markets throughout the world. - History Of Bok Choy

Nutritional Benefits: 
Bok Choy is very good source of Vitamin K, provides about 38% of RDA levels. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone metabolism by promoting osteotrophic activity in bone cells. Therefore, enough vitamin K in the diet makes your bone stronger, healthier and delay osteoporosis. Further, vitamin-K also has established role in curing Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain. - Nutrition & You 

Vitamin K is an essential nutrient necessary for blood clotting - it regulates normal blood clotting by helping the body transport calcium. - Dr. Weil

Vitamin K helps in proper malfunctioning of the hormones at right time for having regular periods, which will help in reducing menstrual pain. 
Vitamin K plays an important role in blood sugar regulation. Pancreas makes insulin and contains second highest content of Vitamin K of body. - Organic Facts

Studies have shown that Vitamin K may help fight hepatocellular carcinoma, a type of liver cancer. - Dr. Mercola 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Connecticut Has Entered The Fight For Mandatory GMO Labeling

HARTFORD, Conn. — Consumers at Connecticut grocery stores would be able to know if genetically engineered foods are in the merchandise mix under a bill state lawmakers are considering to require the labeling of such foods.
Neither the federal government nor any state currently has a labeling requirement that applies to all genetically modified foods. Connecticut is among nearly 20 states considering a labeling mandate amid health concerns that supporters of the legislation have raised about such foods.
Connecticut's legislation would require clear labeling on any food sold in the state that is completely or partially produced with genetic engineering.
Rep. Richard Roy, D-Milford, said he introduced the legislation due to public concern over the issue. Roy co-chairs the state Environment Committee, which heard from supporters and opponents of the bill at a hearing Wednesday.

Roy said his bill has gained bipartisan support, and he expects the committee to pass it, although its fate after is unclear.
"We're not taking a stance on whether GMOs (genetically modified organisms) are good or bad," said Roy. "What we're saying is that we have a right to know what we're putting in our bodies."
Proponents of the legislation say that genetically engineered foods pose allergy and other health risks and that the labels will increase safety for consumers.
Analiese Paik, who runs the Fairfield Green Food Guide website and testified in favor of the labels, said that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to produce a scientific study on whether or not genetically modified foods are safe.
Paik pointed to a recent Canadian study that found toxins from genetically engineered corn circulating in the bloodstream of women. 
"The burden of proof is on the FDA to prove that it's safe," she said.
U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman R. Andre Bell, said the USDA, FDA and Environmental Protection Agency regulate genetically engineered crops to ensure they are safe to eat and grow.
Opponents of the proposed legislation, including grocery stores and farmers, say they disagree with Paik's claims and argue that genetically engineered food has been long-studied and is proven to be safe.
Brian Kennedy, a spokesman from the Grocery Manufacturers Association, said in a statement that "a special declaration on the food label would...not provide any additional useful information."
FDA spokeswoman Siobhan DeLancey said that genetically modified foods, as a class, pose no greater health risks than traditional foods. She said that genetically modified crops must meet regulatory standards and may undergo a voluntary consultation to ensure they are safe.

DeLancey said that while there are currently no genetically modified animal-based products on the market, they undergo substantial testing to ensure they are safe, as well.
She said the FDA has the authority to label products only when there is a material difference affecting things like nutritional values.
Henry Talmage, executive director of the Connecticut Farm Bureau, said that adding labels to genetically engineered foods would be costly for farmers and complicate selling products over state lines. He said that organic and GMO-free certified farmers currently have the option to label their products as such, making the bill's mandatory label proposal redundant.

While the legislation looks to add labels, it does not require genetically engineered ingredients to be listed or identified. Additionally, the label would not be placed on foods from animals that were fed genetically engineered crops or fast food.
Under the proposed legislation, genetically engineered foods include any food that is unnaturally produced by altering genetic material.
Growing genetically engineered crops is attractive to farmers because they are modified to resist insects and tolerate herbicides. According to USDA data, the growth of genetically engineered crops has increased tremendously since their commercial introduction in 1996.
Between 1996 and 2011, growth rates for genetically engineered soybeans that are herbicide tolerant rose from less than 10 to 94 percent. Likewise, the rates for genetically engineered cotton and corn have risen around 70 percent across the board.

In recent years, many states have pushed to require clear labeling of genetically engineered products. Earlier this month, a California bill calling for labeling of genetically engineered salmon narrowly failed to pass a committee vote.
Connecticut is among 18 states that are considering labeling requirements for genetically modified foods, said Scott Hendrick, a spokesman for the National Conference of State Legislatures. He said Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and New Hampshire are among surrounding states that are currently considering similar legislation.
Although no states require all genetically engineered food to be labeled, Alaska has a law requiring the labeling of genetically engineered fish, Hendrick said.
At the federal level, Congress is reviewing legislation in both the House of Representatives and Senate requiring labels on genetically engineered fish. The House is also reviewing legislation that calls for mandatory labeling of all genetically modified foods.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's office is reviewing the legislation, his spokesman, Andrew Doba, said.
-Associated Press

Has The US & Europe Signed A Historic Organic Trade Agreement Recently?

EU's Agriculture and Rural Development agency signed an equivalency agreement with the US Department of Agriculture to jointly promote strong organic programs, protect organic standards, enhance cooperation, and facilitate trade in organic products.

The arrangement will expand market access for organic producers and companies by reducing duplicative requirements and certification costs on both sides of the ocean while continuing to protect organic integrity.

"This monumental agreement will further create organic jobs in the growing and healthy U.S. organic sector, spark additional market growth, and be mutually beneficial to farmers both in the United States and European Union as well as to consumers
who choose organic products," says Christine Bushway, Executive Director and CEO of the U.S.-based Organic Trade Association. "Equivalence with the EU will be an historic game changer."

As a result, as of June 1, certified organic products can move freely between the US and EU. The EU will recognize the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) as equivalent to the EU Organic Program and allow products produced and certified as meeting USDA NOP standards to be marketed as organic in the EU. 
Likewise, the US will allow European products produced and certified under the EU Organic Program to be marketed as organic in the US.

The agreement is limited to organic products of U.S. or EU origin produced, processed or packaged within these jurisdictions. Additionally, both programs have agreed to exchange information on animal welfare issues, and on methods to avoid contamination of organic products from genetically modified organisms.
General country labeling requirements must still be met.

Canada just began enforcing its organic foods law last year, after approving an organic foods certification process in 2009. That year, Canada and the U.S. announced the world's first organic equivalency agreement, allowing for trade of organic products between the two countries.

In June 2011, the EU added Canada to its "third country list," recognizing Canadian organic products and certification as valid for import into the EU. - Sustainable Business

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Chemical Additive Of The Week - FD&C Artificial Colors

Chemical Information:
Coal tar dyes are synthetic dyes, once derived from coal tar which are currently derived from petroleum sources.  Coal tar dyes are used in foods, cosmetics and personal care products, such as hair dyes, shampoos and deodorants, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, and textiles.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has been regulating color additives used in food, drugs and cosmetics since the early 1900s. - Chemical Encyclopedia

In the United States, FD&C numbers (which indicate that the FDA has approved the colorant for use in foods, drugs and cosmetics) are given to approved synthetic food dyes that do not exist in nature, while in the European Union, E numbers are used for all additives, both synthetic and natural, that are approved in food applications. - Food Ingredients & Colors

In the USA, the following seven artificial colorings are permitted in food (the most common in bold) as of 2007: 

FD&C Blue No. 1 – Brilliant Blue FCF, E133 (blue shade) 
FD&C Blue No. 2 – Indigotine, E132 (indigo shade) 
FD&C Green No. 3 – Fast Green FCF, E143 (turquoise shade) 
FD&C Red No. 40 – Allura Red AC, E129 (red shade) 
FD&C Red No. 3 – Erythrosine, E127 (pink shade) 
FD&C Yellow No. 5 – Tartrazine, E102 (yellow shade) 
FD&C Yellow No. 6 – Sunset Yellow FCF, E110 (orange shade)

The above are known as "primary colors"; when they are mixed to produce other colors, those colors are then known as "secondary colors". 

The following dyes are only allowed by the FDA for specific limited applications:
Orange B (red shade) - allowed only for use in hot dog and sausage casings.
Citrus Red 2 (orange shade) - allowed only for use to color orange peels. - Food Coloring

Reported Health Effects: 
Blue #1 (Brilliant Blue)
An unpublished study suggested the possibility that Blue 1 caused kidney tumors in mice. What it's in: Baked goods, beverages, desert powders, candies, cereal, drugs, and other products.

Blue #2 (Indigo Carmine)
Causes a statistically significant incidence of tumors, particularly brain gliomas, in male rats. What it's in: Colored beverages, candies, pet food, & other food and drugs.

Citrus Red #2
It's toxic to rodents at modest levels and caused tumors of the urinary bladder and possibly other organs. What it's in: Skins of Florida oranges.

Green #3 (Fast Green) 
Caused significant increases in bladder and testes tumors in male rats. What it's in: Drugs, personal care products, cosmetic products except in eye area, candies, beverages, ice cream, sorbet; ingested drugs, lipsticks, and externally applied cosmetics.

Red #3 (Erythrosine)
Recognized in 1990 by the FDA as a thyroid carcinogen in animals and is banned in cosmetics and externally applied drugs. What it's in: Sausage casings, oral medication, maraschino cherries, baked goods, candies.

Red #40 (Allura Red)
This is the most-widely used and consumed dye. It may accelerate the appearance of immune-system tumors in mice. It also causes hypersensitivity (allergy-like) reactions in some consumers and might trigger hyperactivity in children. What it's in: Beverages, bakery goods, dessert powders, candies, cereals, foods, drugs, and cosmetics.

Yellow #5 (Tartrazine)
Yellow 5 causes sometimes-severe hypersensitivity reactions and might trigger hyperactivity and other behavioral effects in children. What it's in: Pet foods, numerous bakery goods, beverages, dessert powders, candies, cereals, gelatin desserts, and many other foods, as well as pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

Yellow #6 (Sunset Yellow)
Caused adrenal tumors in animals and occasionally causes severe hypersensitivity reactions. What it's in: Color bakery goods, cereals, beverages, dessert powders, candies, gelatin deserts, sausage, cosmetics and drugs. - Mercola 

The Vegetable Of The Week - Bell (Sweet) Pepper

Vegetable Information: 
Bell pepper or sweet pepper is the most popular of the chili peppers in the Capsicum annum family. It is a fruit pod of small perennial shrub in the nightshade or solanaceae family, of the genus, capsicum. Scientific name: Capsicum annum. - Nutrition & You
Peppers are native to Mexico, Central America and northern South America. Pepper seeds were later carried to Spain in 1493 and from there spread to other European, African and Asian countries. Today, China is the world's largest pepper producer in the world, followed by Mexico. Bell peppers are botanically fruits, but are generally considered in culinary contexts to be vegetables. - History of Peppers
The lack of capsaicin in bell peppers is due to a recessive form of a gene that eliminates capsaicin and, consequently, the "hot" taste usually associated with the rest of the Capsicum genus. - Worlds Healthiest Foods

Nutritional Information:
Bell Peppers contain good amounts of Vitamin A. 100 g of sweet pepper has 3131 IU or 101% of vitamin A. - Nutrition & You
Vitamin A or retinol is a fat soluble vitamin, which plays an important role in ensuring healthy eyes and bone development. Vitamin A deficiency is the most important cause of blindness among children. Vitamin A can prevent night blindness and dry eye and ensure clear vision. 
Vitamin A helps to cut down excess sebum production in the skin thereby reducing the risks of acne. It also reinforces the protective tissue of the skin thereby enhancing the overall health and vitality of the skin surface. Vitamin A is essential for the proper maintenance of the skin tissues and mucous membranes. It flushes out the toxins of your body and cleanses the system by virtue of its antioxidant properties.
Vitamin A prevents the formation of urinary calculi due to the formation of calcium phosphate. It also helps to keep the lining of the urinary tract in shape thereby reducing the recurring chances of stones. - Organic Facts

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Fruit Of The Week - Banana

Fruit Information: 
Southeast Asian farmers first domesticated bananas. Recent archaeological and palaeoenvironmental evidence at Kuk Swamp in the Western Highlands Province of Papua New Guinea suggests that banana cultivation there goes back to at least 5000 BCE, and possibly to 8000 BCE. It is likely that other species were later and independently domesticated elsewhere in southeast Asia. Southeast Asia is the region of primary diversity of the banana. Areas of secondary diversity are found in Africa, indicating a long history of banana cultivation in the region. - Tracing antiquity of banana cultivation in Papua New Guinea 

All widely cultivated bananas today descend from the two wild bananas Musa acuminata and Musa balbisiana. While the original wild bananas contained large seeds, diploid or polyploid cultivars (some being hybrids) with tiny seeds are preferred for human raw fruit consumption. These are propagated asexually from offshoots. The plant is allowed to produce 2 shoots at a time; a larger one for immediate fruiting and a smaller "sucker" or "follower" to produce fruit in 6–8 months. The life of a banana plantation is 25 years or longer.

Cultivated bananas are parthenocarpic, which makes them sterile and unable to produce viable seeds. Lacking seeds, propagation typically involves farmers removing and transplanting part of the underground stem (called a corm). Usually this is done by carefully removing a sucker (a vertical shoot that develops from the base of the banana pseudostem) with some roots intact. However, small sympodial corms, representing not yet elongated suckers, are easier to transplant and can be left out of the ground for up to 2 weeks; they require minimal care and can be shipped in bulk. -  The Unfortunate Sex Life of the Banana

Nutritional Benefits: 
Bananas are a very good source of Vitamin B6
At least one preliminary study has found that this vitamin may increase dream vividness or the ability to recall dreams. It is thought that this effect may be due to the role this vitamin plays in the conversion of tryptophan to serotonin. There is anecdotal evidence suggesting supplemental Vitamin B6 may be associated with lucid dreaming. - Effects of pyridoxine on dreaming: a preliminary study. Perceptual & Motor Skills 

Vitamin B6 has a role in preventing heart disease. Without enough pyridoxine, a compound called homocysteine builds up in the body. Homocysteine damages blood vessel linings, setting the stage for plaque buildup when the body tries to heal the damage. Vitamin B6 prevents this buildup, thereby reducing the risk of heart attack. Pyridoxine lowers blood pressure and blood cholesterol levels and keeps blood platelets from sticking together. All of these properties work to keep heart disease at bay. - Benefits of Vitamin B6 

Some studies suggest that the vitamin B6-magnesium combination can also help attention deficit disorder, citing improvements in hyperactivity, hyperemotivity/aggressiveness and improved school attention. - Attention deficit hyperactivity disorders. Magnesium Research

Some Of The Health Benefits Of Honey

The nutritional and medicinal qualities of honey have been documented since ancient times in the Vedas, Greek, Roman, Christian, Islamic and other faiths and cultures. Physicians of ancient times, such as Aristotle (384–322 BC), Aristoxenus (320 BC) Hippocrates, Porphyry, Cornelius Celsus (early first century AD) and Dioscorides (c. 50 AD), and Arab physicians El Mad Joussy and El Basry, have referred to the healing qualities of honey. - The History of Honey

The fascinating process of making honey begins when the bees feast on flowers, collecting the flower nectar in their mouths. This nectar then mixes with special enzymes in the bees' saliva, an alchemical process that turns it into honey. The bees carry the honey back to the hive where they deposit it into the cells of the hive's walls. The fluttering of their wings provides the necessary ventilation to reduce the moisture's content making it ready for consumption. - WH Foods

While cane-sugar and starches, as already intimated, must undergo during digestion a process of inversion which changes them into grape and fruit-sugars, in honey this is already accomplished because it has been predigested by the bees, inverted and concentrated. This saves the stomach additional labor. - Honey Health 

Weight Loss
Though honey has more calories than sugar, honey when consumed with warm water helps in digesting the fat stored in your body. Similarly honey and lemon juice and honey and cinnamon help in reducing weight. - Organic Facts

Improving Athletic Performance 
Recent research has shown that honey is an excellent ergogenic aid and helps in boosting the performance of athletes. Honey facilitates in maintaining blood sugar levels, muscle recuperation and glycogen restoration after a workout. - Organic Facts

Anti-Bacterial Properties 
Scientists have revealed that honey has powerful anti-bacterial properties on at least sixty species of bacteria, and unlike antibiotics, which are often useless against certain types of bacteria, honey is non-toxic and has strong effects. -  The Honey Prescription: The Amazing Power of Honey As Medicine 

Nutritional Benefits 
The composition of honey includes sugars such as glucose & fructose and also minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, sodium chlorine, sulphur, iron & phosphate. Depending on the quality of the nectar and pollen, the vitamins contained in honey are B1, B2, C, B6, B5 & B3. - Health Benefits Of Honey  

Refined Honey 
Most of the honey eaten today has been heavily processed.  Like most foods that have been chemically refined, many of the healthful benefits have been reduced or eliminated. Commercial honey is often treated with an excessive heating process that can destroy some of the critical natural enzymes, vitamins, and minerals. Processing of honey also filters out many vital phytonutrients found in raw honey, products that exist in nature in the hive.  - Mercola
Try to buy Raw honey or at least Organic honey.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

The EPA Pesticide Usage for 2007 Released in 2011

EPA Releases Report Containing Latest Estimates of Pesticide Use in the United States 

For Release: February 17, 2011

EPA's report, Pesticides Industry Sales and Usage: 2006 and 2007 Market Estimates, is available at http://www.epa.gov/opp00001/pestsales/. This report contains the latest estimates of agricultural and nonagricultural pesticide use in the United States. It illustrates graphically historical trends and levels of use over the last 20 years. Also included are data on imports, exports, and pesticide producers and users. The report contains statistics on pesticide sales and usage based on available information taken from Agency records of registrations, USDA surveys of pesticide use, and other public and proprietary sources. Highlights include:
In the United States, pesticide sales were approximately $12.5 billion at the user level, which accounted for 32% of the nearly $40 billion world market in 2007.Pesticide use in the United States was 1.1 billion pounds in 2007, or 22% of the world estimate of 5.2 billion pounds of pesticide use.
Total pounds of U.S. pesticide use decreased by approximately 8% from 1.2 to 1.1 billion pounds from 2000 to 2007.
Use of conventional pesticides decreased about 3% from 2002 to 2007 and 11% from 1997 to 2007.
Approximately 857 million pounds of conventional pesticide active ingredient were applied in 2007.
Organophosphate insecticide use decreased about 44% from 2002 to 2007, 63% from 2000 to 2007, and 55% from 1997 to 2007.
About 33 million pounds of organophosphate insecticides were applied in 2007.
Eighty percent of all U.S. pesticide use was in agriculture.
Herbicides remained the most widely used type of pesticide in the agricultural market sector.
Among the top 10 pesticides used in terms of pounds applied in the agricultural market were the herbicides glyphosate, atrazine, metolachlor-s, acetochlor, 2,4-D, and pendimethalin, and the fumigants metam sodium, dichloropropene, methyl bromide, and chloropicrin.
Herbicides were also the most widely used type of pesticide in the home and garden and industrial, commercial, and governmental market sectors, and the herbicides 2,4-D and glyphosate were the most widely used active ingredients. - EPA 

The Organic "Food Stamp Challenge"

Frugal Living: Take the 'Food Stamp Challenge'
By Shellie Bailey-Shah
Kari Patterson is a mom and self-proclaimed penny pincher who values eating well.  
One year ago, she watched the documentary, Food, Inc. It showed a family struggling to buy fresh fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. The mother in the movie said it was cheaper to buy fast food hamburgers rather than a head of broccoli.  
“I just thought that this is wrong that real food is actually more expensive than Cheetos,” said Patterson.
That’s when she challenged herself to buy wholesome food on a food stamp budget - around $275 per month.
“That first month, we came in at $186,” said Patterson.
How did she do it? Patterson said she uses four simple strategies.

Waste Nothing
Patterson tries to use the whole food.
“Could you filet that for me,” asked Patterson on a recent stop at the grocery store fish counter. “I would love to keep the spine for stock.”
She does the same with chicken, making her own soup stock. 
Most grocery store butchers will cut up your meat and fish for free, saving you the mess.

Freeze Seasonal Produce 
When we visited Patterson in November, she was swimming in zucchinis.  
She shreds them, sticks them into one cup-sized plastic bags and puts them in the freezer. When she cooks, she simply tosses the defrosted veggies into soups and casseroles. The kids never know that they’re eating vegetables.
Patterson says if you find organic produce for under $1 per pound, consider it a good deal and stock up.

Avoid the convenience food trap
Inside Patterson’s pantry, you won’t find any cereal boxes. Instead she has bulk organic oatmeal.
“Tons and tons of oatmeal, bought on sale, organic, at New Seasons for 75-cents a pound,” boasted Patterson. “About $8 covers the whole month.” 

Know Your Family’s Food Intake
Finally, Patterson says know just how much food your family eats, so you can maximize good deals.
“I just bought as many as I could use until the expiration date of May 22,” said Patterson, showing us several blocks of Tillamook Cheese, purchased on sale for $4 instead of $7. 

She does the same with eggs.
“Organic eggs are usually $3.69 for a dozen at Trader Joes,” said Patterson. She got her eggs on sale for $2.50 per dozen. She bought ten dozen, because that's how many eggs her family eats in a month.
By shopping and meal planning intentionally, Patterson proves your family can eat well for less than $200 per month. - Katu.com

Why Organic Grass Fed Beef & Dairy Can Be Good For You (in moderation) PT. Two

Conjugated Linoleic Acid: 
Meat and dairy products from grass-fed cows are the richest known source of another type of good fat called "conjugated linoleic acid" or CLA. When ruminants are raised on fresh pasture alone, their products contain from three to five times more CLA than products from animals fed conventional diets. (A steak from the most marbled grass-fed animals will have the most CLA ,as much of the CLA is stored in fat cells.) - Conjugated linoleic acid. A powerful anti-carcinogen from animal fat sources. - Conjugated linoleic acid content of milk from cows fed different diets.

Animal studies show that as little as 0.5 percent CLA in your diet could reduce tumors by over 50 percent, in Cancers of the Breast, Colorectal, Lung, Skin, & Stomach. - Mercola

CLA’s actions actually mimic the effect of synthetic diabetic drugs. Testing on mice with type 2 diabetes have shown CLA to improve insulin action and reduce circulating glucose. Even better, the early results from human trials are just as positive, when consuming CLA for longer than eight weeks. - Mercola

Research with humans has shown that CLA has been beneficial in lowering body fat, with even greater improvement in those who combine exercise with dietary intake of CLA. Animal research has been even more promising, with significant improvements seen in both reducing body fat and in increasing lean body mass. - Mercola 

Short-term trials showed that conjugated linoleic acid may reduce body fat mass and increase lean body mass. - American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 

Studies have shown that CLA could possibly be able to affect and treat some types of diabetes. According to Dr. Martha Belury at Purdue University and Dr. John Vandel Heuvel at Penn State University, CLA normalizes impaired glucose tolerance in non insulin-dependent diabetes. In earlier experiments by Houseknecht et. al., it was observed that CLA and troglitazone reversed the symptoms of diabetes in a specific diabetic animal model. Effects included decreased triglycerides, insulin and leptin, and improved glucose utilization. Belury and Vanden Heuvel conclude that CLA may represent an important agent for the treatment of Type II diabetes. - Belury MA, Mahon A, Banni S., Khan SA & Heuvel JPV 

The Chemical Additive Of The Week - BHA & BHT

Chemical Information: 
BHA is generally used to keep fats from becoming rancid. It is also used as a yeast de-foaming agent. BHA is found in butter, meats, cereals, chewing gum, baked goods, snack foods, dehydrated potatoes, and beer. It is also found in animal feed, food packaging, cosmetics, rubber products, and petroleum products.

BHT also prevents oxidative rancidity of fats. It is used to preserve food odor, color, and flavor. Many packaging materials incorporate BHT. It is also added directly to shortening, cereals, and other foods containing fats and oils. 

Health Effects:
"...Specific toxic effects to the lung have only been observed with BHT. The other described toxic effects of BHA and BHT are less characteristic and often occur only after high dosage and long-term treatment. However, BHA induces in animals tumours of the forestomach, which are dose dependent, whereas BHT induces liver tumours in long-term experiments. ... all published findings agree with the fact that BHA and BHT are tumour promoters. In contrast to BHA and BHT, vitamin E is not carcinogenic." - Kahl R, Kappus 

"The chronic ingestion of .5% butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA) or butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) by pregnant mice and their offspring resulted in a variety of behavioral changes. Compared to controls, BHA-treated offspring showed increased exploration, decreased sleeping, decreased self-grooming, slower learning, and a decreased orientation reflex. BHT-treated offspring showed decreased sleeping, increased social and isolation-induced aggression, and a severe deficit in learning." - Stokes, JD & Scudder, CL 

BHA is considered by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be generally recognized as safe when the antioxidant content does not exceed 0.02% by weight of the food’s total fat or oil content. - Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition  
The International Agency for Research on Cancer classifies BHA as a possible human carcinogen. - IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans
The European Commission on Endocrine Disruption has also listed BHA as a Category 1 priority substance, based on evidence that it interferes with hormone function. - Study on Enhancing the Endocrine Disrupter Priority List with a Focus on Low Production Volume Chemicals

The Fruit Of The Week - Apricot

Fruit Information:
Sweet, fragrant rich, golden-orange apricot fruits are another summer delicacies of Asian origin. These much-prized fruits were first brought to Europe by Greeks who called them as “golden eggs of the sun”. Today, the most important commercially producing countries are Turkey, Iran, Italy, France, Spain, Syria, Greece, and China. Botanically, the fruit is closely related to peaches and nectarine, sharing with them in the broader Rosaceae family of fruit trees in the genus, Prunus. Scientific name: Prunus armenia. - Nutrition & You

Nutritional Benefits:
Apricots contains high amounts of the antioxidant beta cryptoxanthin.  
In the human body, cryptoxanthin is converted to vitamin A (retinol) and is, therefore, considered a provitamin A. As with other carotenoids, cryptoxanthin is an antioxidant and may help prevent free radical damage to cells and DNA, as well as stimulate the repair of oxidative damage to DNA. - Carcinogenesis

Beta-cryptoxanthin seems to reduce the risk of lung cancer and colon cancer. Studies have demonstrated that beta-cryptoxanthin can reduce the risk of lung cancer by more than 30 per cent. Researchers believe that the anti-cancer effect is linked to the antioxidant effect of beta-cryptoxanthin, but also to a specific expression of a gene that protects cells from becoming cancerous. Other studies showed that beta-cryptoxanthin reduces risk for rheumatoid arthritis by 41 per cent. - Phytochemicals

The Vegetable Of The Week - Asparagus

Vegetable Information:

Asparagus has been revered by ancient Greek and Romans as a prized delicacy. One of the oldest recorded vegetables, it is thought to have originated along the coastal regions of eastern Mediterranean and Asia Minor areas. Botanically this herbaceous perennial plant belongs to the liliaceae family, of the genus, A. officinalis. - Nutrition & You

Nutritional Benefits: 
Asparagus has good levels of dietary fiber. Dietary fiber helps control constipation conditions, decrease bad, "LDL" cholesterol levels by binding to it in the intestines, and regulates blood sugar levels. In addition, high fiber diet helps prevent colon-rectal cancer risks by preventing toxic compounds in the food from absorption. - Nutrition & You

The Folate and B vitamins found in Asparagus helps keep your cardiovascular system functioning properly. These same vitamins including choline and pantothenic acid can also help regulate blood sugar by metabolizing sugar and starch. - Fat Burning Furnace

Scientific studies have shown that adequate consumption of folates in the diet during the pre-conception period and during early pregnancy helps prevent neural tube defects in newborns. - Nutrition & You

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What Is The Seed Emergency?

The Seed Emergency by

The seed is the first link in the food chain and seed sovereignty is the foundation of food sovereignty. If farmers do not have their own seeds or access to open pollinated varieties that they can save, improve and exchange, they have no seed sovereignty and consequently no food sovereignty. The deepening agrarian and food crisis has its roots in changes in the seed supply system, and the erosion of seed diversity and seed sovereignty.

Seed sovereignty includes the farmer’s rights to save, breed and exchange seeds, to have access to diverse open source seeds which can be saved – and which are not patented, genetically modified, owned or controlled by emerging seed giants. It is based on reclaiming seeds and biodiversity as commons and public good.

The past twenty years have seen a very rapid erosion of seed diversity and seed sovereignty, and the concentration of the control over seeds by a very small number of giant corporations. In 1995, when the UN organised the Plant Genetic Resources Conference in Leipzig, it was reported that 75 per cent of all agricultural biodiversity had disappeared because of the introduction of “modern” varieties, which are always cultivated as monocultures. Since then, the erosion has accelerated.

The introduction of the Trade Related Intellectual Property Rights Agreement of the World Trade Organisation has accelerated the spread of genetically engineered seeds – which can be patented – and for which royalties can be collected. Navdanya was started in response to the introduction of these patents on seeds in the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - a forerunner to the WTO about which a Monsanto representative later stated: “In drafting these agreements, we were the patient, diagnostician [and] physician all in one.” Corporations defined a problem – and for them the problem was farmers saving seeds. They offered a solution, and the solution was to make it illegal for farmers to save seed by introducing patents and intellectual property rights [PDF] on those very seeds. As a result, acreage under GM corn, soya, canola, cotton has increased dramatically.

Threats to seed sovereignty
Besides displacing and destroying diversity, patented GMO seeds are also undermining seed sovereignty. Across the world, new seed laws are being introduced which enforce compulsory registration of seeds, thus making it impossible for small farmers to grow their own diversity, and forcing them into dependency on giant seed corporations. Corporations are also patenting climate resilient seeds evolved by farmers - thus robbing farmers of using their own seeds and knowledge for climate adaptation.

Another threat to seed sovereignty is genetic contamination. India has lost its cotton seeds because of contamination from Bt Cotton – a strain engineered to contain the pesticide Bacillus thuringiensis bacterium. Canada has lost its canola seed because of contamination from Roundup Ready canola. And Mexico has lost its corn due to contamination from Bt Cotton.

After contamination, biotech seed corporations sue farmers with patent infringement cases, as happened in the case of Percy Schmeiser. That is why more than 80 groups came together and filed a case to prevent Monsanto from suing farmers whose seed had been contaminated.

As a farmer’s seed supply is eroded, and farmers become dependent on patented GMO seed, the result is debt. India, the home of cotton, has lost its cotton seed diversity and cotton seed sovereignty. Some 95 per cent of the country’s cotton seed is now controlled by Monsanto – and the debt trap created by being forced to buy seed every year with royalty payments has pushed hundreds of thousands of farmers to suicide; of the 250,000 farmer suicides, the majority are in the cotton belt.

Seeding control
Even as the disappearance of biodiversity and seed sovereignty creates a major crisis for agriculture and food security, corporations are pushing governments to use public money to destroy the public seed supply and replace it with unreliable non-renewable, patented seed – which must be bought each and every year.

In Europe, the 1994 regulation for protection of plant varieties forces farmers to make a “compulsory voluntary contribution” to seed companies. The terms themselves are contradictory. What is compulsory cannot be voluntary.

In France, a law was passed in November 2011, which makes royalty payments compulsory. As Agriculture Minister Bruna Le Marie stated: “Seeds can be longer be royalty free, as is currently the case.” Of the 5,000 or so cultivated plant varieties, 600 are protected by certificate in France, and these account for 99 per cent of the varieties grown by farmers.

The “compulsory voluntary contribution”, in other words a royalty, is justified on grounds that “a fee is paid to certificate holders [seed companies] to sustain funding of research and efforts to improve genetic resources”.

Monsanto pirates biodiversity and genetic resources from farming communities, as it did in the case of a wheat biopiracy case fought by Navdanya with Greenpeace, and climate resilient crops and brinjal (also known as aubergine or eggplant) varieties for Bt Brinjal. As Monsanto states, “it draws from a collection of germ-plasm that is unparalleled in history” and “mines the diversity in this genetic library to develop elite seeds faster than ever before”.

In effect, what is taking place is the enclosure of the genetic commons of our biodiversity and the intellectual commons of public breeding by farming communities and public institutions. And the GMO seeds Monsanto is offering are failing. This is not “improvement” of genetic resources, but degradation. This is not innovation but piracy.

For example, the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) – being pushed by the Gates Foundation – is a major assault on Africa’s seed sovereignty.

The 2009 US Global Food Security Act [PDF] also called the Lugar-Casey Act [PDF], “A bill to authorise appropriations for fiscal years 2010 through 2014 to provide assistance to foreign countries to promote food security, to stimulate rural economies, and to improve emergency response to food crisis, to amend the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and for other purposes”.

The amendment to the Foreign Assistance Act would “include research on bio-technological advances appropriate to local ecological conditions, including genetically modified technology”. The $ 7.7bn that goes with the bill would go to benefit Monsanto to push GM seeds.

An article in Forbes, titled “Why Uncle Sam Supports Franken Foods”, shows how agribusiness is the only sector in which US has a positive trade balance. Hence the push for GMOs because they bring royalties to the US. However, royalties for Monsanto are based on debt, suicidal farmers and the disappearance of biodiversity worldwide.

Under the US Global Food Security Act, Nepal signed an agreement with USAID and Monsanto. This led to massive protests across the country. India was forced to allow patents on seeds through the first dispute brought by the US against India in the WTO. Since 2004, India has also been trying to introduce a Seed Act which would require farmers to register their own seeds and take licenses. This in effect would force farmers from using their indigenous seed varieties. By creating a Seed Satyagraha - a non-cooperation movement in Gandhi’s footsteps, handing over hundreds of thousands of signatures to the prime minister, and working with parliament – we have so far prevented the Seed Law from being introduced.

India has signed a US-India Knowledge Initiative in Agriculture, with Monsanto on the Board. Individual states are also being pressured to sign agreements with Monsanto. One example is the Monsanto-Rajasthan Memorandum of Understanding, under which Monsanto would get intellectual property rights to all genetic resources, and to carry out research on indigenous seeds. It took a campaign by Navdanya and a “Monsanto Quit India” Bija Yatra ["seed pilgrimage"] to force the government of Rajasthan to cancel the MOU.

This asymmetric pressure of Monsanto on the US government, and the joint pressure of both on the governments across the world, is a major threat to the future of seeds, the future of food and the future of democracy. - TheIndypendent.org 

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The #EatOrganic Film List

Food Inc. 
Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

Food Beware 
Food Beware begins with a visit to a small village in France, where the town's mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic and locally grown. It then talks to a wide variety of people with differing perspectives to find common ground - children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers and the victims of illnesses themselves. Revealed in these moving and often surprising conversations are the abuses of the food industry, the competing interests of agribusiness and public health, the challenges and rewards of safe food production, and the practical, sustainable solutions that we can all take part in. Food Beware is food for thought - and a blueprint for a growing revolution.

The Future Of Food
The Future of Food is a 2004 American documentary film which makes an in-depth investigation into unlabelled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have made their way onto grocery stores in the United States for the past decade. In addition to the US there is a focus on Canada and Mexico.

Food Matters is a 2008 documentary film about nutrition, exploring malnutrition and cancer causes. The film is presented in the style of a documentary, containing interviews, animations, and footage of various therapies and practices. The film presents the thesis that a selective diet can play a key role in treating a range of health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression, often without the need of medical treatment. Furthermore, it tends to label the medical industry as a "sickness industry" profiting from sickness as opposed to health, and goes up to the point of accusing the medical and pharmaceutical industries of a conspiracy to perpetuate poor health, and thus, maximise their profit.

Forks Over Knives
Forks Over Knives is a 2011 American documentary film directed by Lee Fulkerson, an American independent filmmaker. The film examines the "profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods," principally by tracing the careers and research of American physician Caldwell Esselstyn and professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell

King Corn
King Corn is a feature documentary film released in October 2007 following college friends Ian Cheney and Curtis Ellis (directed by Aaron Woolf) as they move from Boston to Greene, Iowa to grow and farm an acre of corn. In the process, Cheney and Ellis examine the role that the increasing production of corn has had for American society, spotlighting the role of government subsidies in encouraging the huge amount of corn grown

Fed Up
Fed Up! tackles the increasingly important issue of genetically modified foods with an uncommon balance of humor and depth, answering prevalent questions about the genetic engineering of common foods, the development of modern agribusiness, the threat of genetic pollution, and many other topics with an entertaining yet informative approach. The award-winning
documentary features in-depth interviews with distinguished scientists and experts. Fed Up! also addresses environmentally sound alternatives to agribusiness and industrial food, introducing viewers to Bay Area organic farmers, community supported agriculture organizations (CSAs) and food advocates who propose more sustainable approaches.

Deconstructing Supper
Renowned chef John Bishop leads viewers on an eye-opening and engaging journey into the billion-dollar battle to control global food production. Starting with a gourmet meal in his five-star restaurant, Bishop travels the world—from farmer's fields to biotech laboratories to supermarket aisles—on a personal quest to find out what our food choices are.

Life Running Out Of Control
GMOs are Genetically Modified Organisms which have made their debut in plants like corn and soybean, but are now in animals for consumption. The controversy of corporations owning "life-forms" and pushing GMOs in 3rd world countries comes to a head in India and Canada in this film. The battle between the corporations and the farmers/naturalists is in full swing with the corporations saying they are improving upon Nature with size and resistance to disease of the new organism. Farmers and naturalist activists say this is not as simple as an Oil spill where eventually the harm from the spill will be overcome by time's healing powers. GMOs on the other hand may destroy the very ecosystem forever, because these new lifeforms replicate as does all life.

Ingredients: The Local Food Movement Takes Root is a 2009 documentary film about the shortcomings of America's industrialized food system against a rising local food movement, whose proponents are shrinking the gap between farmland and dinner table. The film is directed by Robert Bates, produced by Brian Kimmel (The Kitchen Sessions with Charlie Trotter) and narrated by actress Bebe Neuwirth.
Chefs Alice Waters, Peter Hoffman, Kathy Whims, and Greg Higgins share their views as growers, restaurateurs, and consumers around the country, from Willamette Valley, Oregon to the urban food desert Harlem, New York, discuss their methods for bringing food production back home. Other participants from the Portland, Oregon area include Will Newman (Oregon Sustainable Agriculture Land Trust co-founder) and wife Susan Clark of Natural Harvest Farm, Ken Gordon of Kenny & Zuke's Delicatessen, and his wife permaculturist Leslee Lewis.

Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn't end well- with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn't far behind. FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD is an inspiring film that chronicles Joe's personal mission to regain his health. With doctors and conventional medicines unable to help long-term, Joe turns to the only option left, the body's ability to heal itself. He trades in the junk food and hits the road with juicer and generator in tow, vowing only to drink fresh fruit and vegetable juice for the next 60 days. Across 3,000 miles Joe has one goal in mind: To get off his pills and achieve a balanced lifestyle. While talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it's at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well. What emerges is nothing short of amazing - an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.

Whats On Your Plate?
What's On Your Plate is a witty and provocative documentary produced and directed by award-winning Catherine Gund about kids and food politics. Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.

The Beautiful Truth
A troubled 15-year-old boy attempting to cope with the recent death of his mother sets out to research Dr. Max Gerson's claims of a diet that can cure cancer as his first assignment for home-schooling in this documentary from filmmaker Steve Kroschel (Avalanche, Dying to Have Known). Garrett is a boy who has always been close to nature. He lives on a reserve with a menagerie of orphaned animals, and over the years he's become especially sensitive to the nutritional needs of the diet-sensitive animals he's charged with caring for. When Garrett's mother suffers a tragic and untimely death, the boy falls into a dangerous downward spiral and nearly flunks out of school. Increasingly concerned for Garrett's well-being and determined to strengthen their bond despite the many challenges on the horizon, his father makes the decision to begin home-schooling the distressed teen. Garrett's first assignment: study a controversial book written by Dr. Max Gerson, a physician who claims to have discovered a diet that's capable of curing cancer. Is Dr. Gerson's therapy truly the legitimate, alternative cure it appears to be? In order to find out the truth behind this long-suppressed treatment, Garrett interviews not only Dr. Gerson's family members, but various doctors, skeptics, and cancer patients as well. His studies completed and his findings revelatory, Garrett now sets out to tell the entire world about The Gerson Miracle. 

The Gerson Miracle
In 1928, Dr. Max Gerson, a German-Jewish researcher, stumbled upon a therapy that has cured tens of thousands of people worldwide since then, including patients's previously thought incurable by their doctors. For the first time, this film chronicles the epic true story of Gerson's miracle.

Dying To Know
In Dying To Have Known, filmmaker Steve Kroschel went on a 52-day journey to find evidence to the effectiveness of the Gerson Therapy – a long-suppressed natural cancer cure.
His travels take him across both the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans, from upstate New York to San Diego to Alaska, from Japan and Holland to Spain and Mexico. In the end, he presents the testimonies of patients, scientists, surgeons and nutritionists who testify to the therapy’s efficacy in curing cancer and other degenerative diseases, and presents the hard scientific proof to back up their claims. You will hear from a Japanese medical school professor who cured himself of liver cancer over 15 years ago, a lymphoma patient who was diagnosed as terminal over 50 years ago as well as noted critics of this world-renowned healing method who dismiss it out of hand as pure quackery. So the question that remains is, Why is this powerful curative therapy still suppressed, more than 75 years after it was clearly proven to cure degenerative disease? The viewers are left to decide for themselves.

A River Of Waste
A heart-stopping new documentary, A River Of Waste exposes a huge health and environmental scandal in our modern industrial system of meat and poultry production.  The damage documented in today's factory farms far exceeds the damage that was depicted in Upton Sinclair's novel, The Jungle, a book written over 100 years ago. Some scientists have gone so far as to call the condemned current factory farm practices as "mini Chernobyls."

Sick Around America
As the worsening economy leads to massive job losses—potentially forcing millions more Americans to go without health insurance Frontline travels the country examining the nation's broken health care system and explores the need for a fundamental overhaul. Veteran Frontline producer Jon Palfreman dissects the private insurance system, a system that not only fails to cover 46 million Americans but also leaves millions more underinsured and at risk of bankruptcy.

Sick Around The World
It's no secret that the subject of health care is a hot-button issue in the United States, but would it be possible to improve our health care system by looking to other countries for inspiration? This is the question asked by T.R. Reid, a veteran foreign correspondent for The Washington Post and a concerned American who has taken it upon himself to explore out the most effective health care systems from capitalist democracies across the world. In this documentary, Reid travels to the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Taiwan, and Switzerland in order to contrast and compare their health care systems what that of the United States'. The result is an eye-opening look at the many ways in which a country can care for its citizens. In Germany, the country often credited with creating the concept of a universal health care system, the rich help to pay for the poor and the healthy contribute to cover the ill. But while this system may seem ideal to some, it does get a bit more complicated: Medical providers must negotiate standard coverage process with the government on an annual basis, and doctors in Germany only earn between half and two-thirds the incomes of their U.S. counterparts. Japan boasts the world's best health care statistics, but citizens are ordered by law to purchase health insurance and insurers aren't allowed to make a profit. As Reid makes his way around the world, he begins to wonder if the U.S. couldn't take a tip from Taiwan - a country that looked offshore for inspiration on creating a more effective national healthcare system.

Generation RX
For decades, scores of doctors, government officials, journalists, and others have extolled the benefits of psychiatric medicines for children. GENERATION RX presents "the rest of the story" and unveils how this era of unprecedented change in Western culture really occurred - and what price has been paid by our society. International award-winning filmmaker Kevin P. Miller (Let Truth Be The Bias, The Promised Land) "delivers a jaw-dropping emotional ride," and "weaves a terrifying tale of criminal conspiracy, the mass abandonment of medical ethics, and the routine betrayal of an entire generation." By employing the expertise of internationally respected professionals from the fields of medicine, ethics, journalism, and academia, GENERATION RX investigates collusion between drug companies and their regulatory watchdogs at the FDA and focuses on the powerful stories of real families who followed the advice of their doctors - and faced devastating consequences for doing so. GENERATION RX is a film about families who confronted horror and found nowhere to turn for help - and how scores of children have been caught in the vortex of mind-bending drugs at the earliest stages of their growth and development. This powerful documentary also questions whether we have forced millions of children onto pharmaceutical drugs for commercial rather than scientific reasons. Ultimately, Generation RX may help parents decide whether the perceived benefits of these medications outweigh the serious risks to children.

The Vaccine War
In The Vaccine War, Frontline lays bare the science of vaccine safety and examines the increasingly bitter debate between the public health establishment and a formidable populist coalition of parents, celebrities, politicians and activists who are armed with the latest social media tools -- including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter -- and are determined to resist pressure from the medical and public health establishments to vaccinate, despite established scientific consensus about vaccine safety.

Save The Farm
Save The Farm tells the story of the largest urban farm in the United States, 14-acres sitting right in the middle of South Central Los Angeles. For 14 years over 350 families had cultivated this farm, feeding themselves and thousands in their community local organic food. When the city sells it to a developer in a closed-door meeting, activists and celebrities stage an 11th hour tree sit to save the farm. As the 5-year anniversary of the eviction approaches, director Michael Kuehnert demonstrates how a local community can come together to fight to save a farm they have come to depend on for their survival.

Nicaraguan Laborers are paying a high price to get cheap bananas onto the world's tables, and a lawyer Juan Dominguez wants to do something about it.

Food Fight
Discover the problems in today's food system in this profile of Chef Alice Water' efforts to promote local, organic and sustainable agriculture.

The Medicated Child
This fascinating program from PBS's Frontline series explores the increasingly frequent prescription of behavior modifying medication for children.

With the beef industry focused cutting manufacturing costs, this eye opening documentary investigates the health dangers posed by feedlot raised beef.

Hungry For Change
This documentary exposes shocking secrets he diet, weight loss, and food industries use to keep consumers coming back for more.

Forks Over Knives Extended Interviews
This companion to the acclaimed documentary about veganism includes additional footage of expert interviews, covering several them in greater depth.

This documentary follows three meat and cheese loving new yorkers who argue to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks in an effort to get healthier.

This provocative documentary tells the story of farms that were providing safe, healthy foods to their communities but were forced to stop.

Genetic Chile
This illuminating documentary sizes up the state of genetically modified foods by zooming in on the prized New Mexico Chili Pepper, a poster child for both genetic engineering advocates and opponents of the practice.