Crop yields for major crops such as apples, blueberries, and cherries across the U.S. are being limited by a lack of pollinators due to the decline of the wild bee population, according to new research, which was the most comprehensive study of its kind. Researchers noted that as most of the world’s crops depend on honeybees and wild bees for pollination; declines in both populations also raise a concern about global food security.
“We found that many crops are pollination-limited, meaning crop production would be higher if crop flowers received more pollination,” said senior author Rachael Winfree, a professor in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources in the School of Environmental and Biological Sciences at Rutgers University-New Brunswick.
The research is said to be the most comprehensive study of its kind to date.
“We also found that honey bees and wild bees provided similar amounts of pollination overall,” she added.
“Managing habitat for native bee species and/or stocking more honey bees would boost pollination levels and could increase crop production.”
Pollination by wild and managed insects is crucial for most crops, including those essential for food security. In the U.S., the production of crops that depend on pollinators produces more than 50 billion dollars a year.
Recent evidence shows that European honeybees and some native wild bee species are declining. Scientists gathered data on insect pollination of crop flowers and yields at 131 farms across the U.S. and British Columbia in Canada.
Image credit: Flickr
The yields included apples, highbush blueberries, sweet cherries, tart cherries, almond, watermelon, and pumpkin. Crops that showed evidence of being limited by pollination were apples, sweet cherries, tart cherries, and blueberries, indicating that yields are lower than what they would be with full pollination. Wild bees and honey bees provided the same amount of pollinations for most crops.
The yearly production value of wild pollinators for all seven crops was approximately 1.5 billion dollars in the U.S. The value of wild bee pollination for all crops dependent on pollinator would be much greater, the researchers said.
“Our findings show that pollinator declines could translate directly into decreased yields for most of the crops studied.”
The results indicate that adopting practices that conserve wild bees– like enhancing wildflowers and using managed pollinators other than honey bees– may possibly boost yields. Meanwhile, increasing investment in honey bee colonies would be another alternative.
Crop production in the USA is frequently limited by a lack of pollinators – Reilly, J. R. et al. – Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences – DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2020.0922
Most of the world’s crops depend on pollinators, so declines in both managed and wild bees raise concerns about food security. However, the degree to which insect pollination is actually limiting current crop production is poorly understood, as is the role of wild species (as opposed to managed honeybees) in pollinating crops, particularly in intensive production areas. We established a nationwide study to assess the extent of pollinator limitation in seven crops at 131 locations situated across major crop-producing areas of the USA. We found that five out of seven crops showed evidence of pollinator limitation. Wild bees and honeybees provided comparable amounts of pollination for most crops, even in agriculturally intensive regions. We estimated the nationwide annual production value of wild pollinators to the seven crops we studied at over $1.5 billion; the value of wild bee pollination of all pollinator-dependent crops would be much greater. Our findings show that pollinator declines could translate directly into decreased yields or production for most of the crops studied, and that wild species contribute substantially to the pollination of most study crops in major crop-producing regions.
With nutrition and wellness information omnipresent, it is important that we follow our inner guide and discover what works for us as individuals.
Forget about the Glycemic Index
We are so saturated with information. With stimulus. With advice. With authoritative edicts on health. A chain of gurus have come before me seeking to guide patients into the light of wellness. People are blinded by it, however. They feel confused, skeptical, and disenfranchised. And then they default to consensus and conformity around FDA standards of disease-care. There is a better way.
It involves awakening your inner guru. Getting in touch with your own inner compass.
This is necessary because there is no one just like you out there. No one has walked your path, accumulated your exposures. Grown and changed in response in quite the same way.
Modern medicine doesn’t acknowledge the vital importance of biochemical individuality. About how we are a unique collective of organisms, an ecology within that is connected to an environment without like a snowflake in a winter sky.
So, it only stands to reason that we would interact with our environments uniquely, and support ourselves through nature in a personal way. Nutrition is, perhaps, our most intimate dance with the living ecosystem of this planet.
Weston A. Price tried to tell us about individualized diets. Francis Pottenger tried to tell us about individualized diets. Dr. Nick Gonzalez tried to tell us about individualized diet. They were, in many ways, speaking a Truth that we weren’t quite ready to receive.
This is because we have been programmed, for decades to believe in an automated universe – one that could be explained neatly through scientific cause and effect – and one that interfaced with our robotic bodies in predictable ways. In this model, nature is “mostly stupid” as Alan Watts would say, in that it could be easily mastered and put in its place of subservience. Germs are tedious annoyances out to get us. Diseases are mistakes. Medications and vaccines are applied to one and all. And food is caloric fuel for our body machines.
When you look at food as part of our relationship with the living world beyond our skin, you understand that it is information, energetic, and complex in ways that we don’t have mechanisms to understand. This is why reductionist concepts like the “glycemic index” have always struck me as a misguided construct.
Now we have a brilliant study, perhaps one of the first of its kind, that decimates this false flag of nutrition consciousness. Published in Cell, an Israeli group of researchers followed 800 people with a prescribed diet for one week, assessing biological parameters from blood sugar to their microbiota. What they uncovered was a clear signal of Truth: the same foods affect different people differently!
Even obese, diabetic patients following formal dietary recommendations for a “healthy diet” found surprising information on the effects of foods such as tomatoes on their blood sugar. Of course, we know that there is more to the benefits of a diet than its benevolent relationship to blood sugar. We know that microbiota have a meaningful role in the metabolism and impact of foods on the body, and that food can directly impact the microbiota, enhancing strains required for its digestion.
We also know that the autonomic nervous system and associated individualized differences in pancreatic innervation can dictate whether one person thrives on a high carb (whole food) diet and another tanks on it. I’ll never forget the feeling of shattered nutrition dogma when Dr. Gonzalez discussed with me a patient of his whose insulin-dependent diabetes had resolved on a prescribed high carb vegetarian diet complete with multiple glasses of carrot juice daily. (We will be publishing this case soon!)
“Measuring such a large cohort without any prejudice really enlightened us on how inaccurate we all were about one of the most basic concepts of our existence, which is what we eat and how we integrate nutrition into our daily life.”
Because nutrition is one of the most basic concepts, our confusion is emblematic of how far we have come from intuitive living. This is why, the most profound healing involves a transformation of consciousness, a reclaiming of agency, a connectedness to the inner and out communities we thrive with, and a relationship to intuition.
I ask my patients, after 30 days of a whole foods, organic diet, to begin to observe their preferences for pastured red meat, fruit, and leafy greens. This observation requires mindfulness around eating and a daily practice of meditation (even a couple of minutes!) to clear the clutter so that you can actually feel what is best rather than reacting from your head. Because you are your own best healer.
For many middle-class families, choosing to eat well is a financial decision as well as a health decision. When fast-food chains offer 99-cents meals and buying produce for a home-cooked meal can cost a lot more than one dollar, convenience and cost make fast food a colossal temptation. So how can you get the most out of your produce? Well, one way is to use all of the plant, instead of letting it rot or throwing a lot of it out. It may surprise you to discover that most seeds, skins and greens inside and surrounding a plant are actually edible. Here we will show you how to stop throwing money down the drain and maximize the potential of your produce.
How often do you throw away the peel of your oranges after eating the fruit? Did you know that you can use the zest to sweeten curries, salads and muffins? The same is true with lemons and limes. Lemon zest is great for adding a fruity acidity to meals and for heightening flavors. Lime zest is especially good in Latin cuisine. You can even make candied fruit peels by taking a lemon, lime or orange peel and boiling it in water with organic cane or coconut sugar.Skins
Most people know that you can eat apple or pear skins, but what else can you eat? Peach, pineapple and apricot skins are high in vitamin C and are safe for regular consumption. Watermelon rind is also really good for you. It’s very tart, but contains high amounts of the amino acid citrulline, which can boost blood flow, reduce blood pressure and promote overall cardiovascular health. Mango skins should also not be tossed out. They are high in antioxidants and phytochemicals. Peanut skins are also high in antioxidants and can improve cardiovascular health. Vegetable skins that pack a punch of nutrition include sweet potato skins, yellow squash skins and zucchini skins.
Pineapple seeds are relatively small and can be eaten. When making a smoothie, many people will spit out the blackberry seeds. Resist the urge and you’ll reap the benefits from omega-3 fatty acids, protein, fiber, carotenoids and antioxidants. Watermelon seeds are also high in nutrients, including zinc, fiber, vitamin B, beta carotene, lycopene, iron, protein, phosphorus, potassium and unsaturated fats. Cantaloupe seeds have been enjoyed as a healthy snack in Iran and China for centuries. They are high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, iron, copper, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamins A, B6, B12, D, E and K. Next time you roast pumpkin or spaghetti squash, save the seeds and toast them later.
Kids that are raised to eat healthily often enjoy picking peas from their pods, but did you know you can actually eat the pods? Snap peas and snow peas are both podded legumes that can be eaten whole. Broad beans and their pods can also be eaten whole. Almonds are another plant-based protein that can be eaten whole. When almonds are green and covered in fur, you can eat the whole thing, including the shell. Another protein that you can eat whole is the hemp seed. You can buy them shelled for a softer, nutty texture, or enjoy them whole and reap the benefits of the added crunch and fiber.
When people think of leafy greens, they typically think of the conventional lettuces available in the supermarket. Little do they know how many nutritionally-dense greens they are throwing away. The tops of carrots, sweet potatoes, celery and leeks are packed with vitamins and minerals.
You can easily save money by making a salad with these or adding them to a stew. Leek leaves help prevent oxidative damage to our cells. Carrot tops are high in vitamins A, B6, C and K and are loaded with minerals as well. Sweet potato greens are harder to come by in a grocery store, but if you grow sweet potatoes, eat the greens too.
Squash leaves are also often neglected. Celery greens are perhaps the easiest to incorporate if you love celery. That’s because the greens actually taste like celery too!
On the flip side, many people will only use the greens on the ends of some foods and throw away the stalk. Parsley and cilantro are delicious greens that are used in many Latin and Mediterranean dishes. Unfortunately, the stalks are often thrown out when they also contain the same nutrients and flavors as the leaves. Broccoli and cauliflower are other examples.
People love the florets but are less enthusiastic about the stalks, which contain the same vitamins and minerals as the florets. If you don’t like the texture, soften them up by boiling them, steaming them or adding them to a soup or stew.
Wasting food is wasting money. Thinking outside the box can help you find new ways to get the most out of your food so you can save money and live better. What are some ways you have thought outside the box when preparing produce? Share your ideas below.
We live in a society where our relationship to things outside of ourselves seems far more important than our relationship to ourselves.
We pride ourselves on our families, our jobs, our labels and our outward expressions in the world. Not only do these matter, but they can often be sincere expressions of who we really are.
However, for most women our connection with ourselves often comes last, if it even exists at all. As we wake up each morning and catapult ourselves into the busyness of our days, we carry very little regard for the many ways we disconnect from ourselves.
Our connection with ourselves best serves as the foundation of our lives, with all else extending from there. We are the source from which our own life unfurls from.
The following are 18 ways many of us dampen, cut off and even destroy a connection with ourselves. My guess is that we are all on this list somewhere, my hope is that by reflecting on ourselves we will begin to transform the disconnection into a connection.
1) Being everywhere but here.
Presence is that thing we don’t often use even though it’s always available to us. Worry, fear, and our projection of the future tends to disconnect us from the experience we are having right now. Come back as often as you can by simply saying, “this moment.”
2) Our relationship to our body.
The body in which you exist is beautiful. So beautiful, in fact, it is sacred. Many of us have been disassociated with our bodies or associated only in a painful way. Sometimes we can feel as though our bodies are letting us down. But more likely we are letting our bodies down, by undervaluing our body or obsessing over it. Embodiment is the connection. Live within your body.
3) Being a spinster with sleep.
Sleeping is a daily gift of restoration and our time of dreams. We must make our sleeping hours sacred, giving ourselves just what we need to wake rested each morning.
4) Making food a fool.
Rushing food, under eating, over-stuffing, following the “best” way to eat. etc. Food is very simply our fuel. When we fill our gas tanks we don’t put $1 in there because we’re worried the car will be too heavy, and we don’t keep filling the tank until the gas flows over because we are trying to soothe and distract the car from its feelings.
I’m not trying to sincerely compare our bodies to a car; I’m just making the point that we are far more complex than a vehicle—we have a spirit, emotions and a worth that can’t be destroyed. Food is fuel to help our bodies both survive and thrive. The food our body requests may not look like the diet we think we need to eat. It looks like giving our bodies what they need. It looks like hydrating completely. It looks like eating just what you need to feel satisfied. And it looks like leaving rigid behind.
5) Missing the importance of menstruation.
Our menstrual cycles are incredible revealers of our health, our moods and our burdens. Our relationship with menstruation can reveal our relationship with our bodies. Our cycles are cyclical gifts to help us rest, restore and release each month. Learning to appreciate this mini rhythm of nature that lives inside of us can do wonders for connecting us to ourselves.
6) Hormonal birth control.
Our bodies, when hormonally balanced, are a biological beauty. Taking artificial hormones each day to trick our bodies into pregnancy does such tremendous damage to our body’s wisdom. It creates an artificial atmosphere, hides the symptoms that reveal imbalance and damages the natural rhythm of a woman’s body.
7) Trying to prove our worth.
Worth is inherent. There is no one to prove anything to. We really are enough exactly as we are.
8) Prioritizing things that are not important to us.
Walk through your day in your mind. So much of it is filled with the tidyings and necessaries of life—so much so that we often don’t get to the things that are most important to us. What’s interesting is that if we start our days with what is most important, then we often store up excess energy that can easily and lovingly guide us through our day as we tend to the more mundane tasks of life.
9) Not being smart with our smartphones.
We have addicted ourselves to these mini computers that we never leave at home, never turn off, and sleep with next to our beds. For most people, their smartphone is the very first thing and the very last thing they look at each day. We are so fascinated with other people’s lives that we forget to connect with our own. First place to smarten up? No phones in our bedrooms!
10) Being way too hard on ourselves.
Watch, for one day, and notice how many times we tell ourselves we could have done something better, faster, wiser or sooner, or that we should have done something.
11) Not giving ourselves what we need.
For most women, we come last. We meet the needs of everyone else and if we have anything left over we guiltily share it with ourselves. Not such a great equation.
12) Interrupting intuition.
Let go. Let go. Let go. Controlling cuts off that part of ourselves that communicates with our inner knowing.
13) Not following the rhythms of nature.
As women we are intricately connected to the rhythms of nature. As mentioned above, menstruation is a monthly expression of that rhythm in our body. Spending time outdoors is critical to ground us and connect us with the vastness of our existence. Get outside to connect with the messages nature will give you and the energy she will fill you with.
14) People pleasing.
Look at the calendar and to-do list for the week and notice how many things are on there to please someone else. Make adjustments and fill those spots with a few things to please yourself.
Sigh. The biggest and most challenging disconnection we battle. It feeds many of the other things listed here. It is soul sucking, anxiety inducing, and the quickest way to live a life half-assed.
16) Staying too safe.
We get so comfortable with the way life is and settle in deep to the safety of being there. This has no choice but to stunt and drown dreams—often the very things we’d hear an urging to do if we were connected with ourselves.
17) Seeking balance.
Balance is a fallacy. You cannot find it because it doesn’t exist. At least not in the sense we are seeking it. We cannot, nor ever will be able to, give an equal amount of time to all the things that are important to us. Life is much more complex and beautiful than that. We must live life so fully that giving equally to it all doesn’t matter because we give so completely to what matters at the moment.
18) Limiting joy.
Too many of us are not making time for the thing that most lights us up. Why does joy get put last? Because we are so disconnected with ourselves we don’t realize the value, the importance and the sacredness of ourselves and how necessary joy truly is to our well-being.
Source: “18 Ways Women are Disconnected from Themselves,” from elephantjournal.com, by Falan Storm
Amy’s Kitchen, Inc. has volunteered to recall roughly 74,000 cases of products identified by the code dates and manufacturing codes listed in this notice. Amy’s Kitchen was notified by one of their organic spinach suppliers that Amy’s may have received a batch of spinach infected with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Consuming food with the presence of this bacterium can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in mostly children and the elderly. In fact, 20-30% of infections are reported to result in death. Infection can also cause serious pregnancy complications such as miscarriage and stillbirth.
The products were distributed nationwide in the U.S. and Canada. Amy’s is not aware of any illness complaints at this moment and is taking these steps as a precautionary measure due to the recall notice they received from their supplier.
Customers who have purchased the products identified in the chart below are urged to dispose of them or return them to the store where they were purchased for an exchange/full refund. Customers may also call Amy’s Kitchen at (707) 781-7535 [Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. (Pacific)].
In today’s society, our grocery stores have become a means for obtaining more than just common food. The grocery store is, in fact, a place of competition: of store against store, brand against brand and, strangely enough, labels against the consumer.
Of all the messages we receive during our time at the grocery store, which are, admittedly, more like bombardments on our neurological processes, there is one message that tends to call to us more insistently than the rest. It’s the message that dictates how and when we consume our food, dispose of our food, and come back to the store to replace our food.
Think about it: the expiration date, sell by date, manufactured on date, etc., can stand as the deciding factor between taking that scoop of mayonnaise and using it on your deli sandwich or throwing the whole container in the trash.
What Your Labels Aren’t Telling You
The truth, however, isn’t exactly in the label. Recent studies from the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic, in conjunction with the Natural Resources Defense Council, suggest that the dated imprints on our food labels are one of the leading factors in food waste in America. According to the study, a misinterpretation of the expiration dates on food is causing Americans a loss of both money and provisions – provisions which, if used correctly, could have helped in the fight against hunger.
What this means for you as the consumer is that the date on the package is merely a guideline to be used to help you determine the freshness and longevity of the product. It does not mean that the egg carton that has yesterday’s date on it needs to hit the trashcan instead of being used.
Decoding the Terms
As the dates on your food are not strictly regulated, except in the case of baby formula, many of the terms that companies tend to use can seem to contradict one another or get muddled into a transmogrification of food terminology resembling an alien script that no one can hope to decode.
So, to help you decode, here are a few of the most common terms and what they really mean:
Sell by – If you see “Sell By” on a food carton, recognize that this date is meant more for the store carrying the product than for you as the consumer. The date refers to the last day that the product should be placed upon the shelf as required or requested by the manufacturing company. It doesn’t mean that the product has gone bad or is no longer safe to consume. However, your best bet is to simply reach for the product in the back, as most stores tend to place the newest batches behind the ones with upcoming sell by dates.
Best if used on or before – Dates with this terminology are, in many cases, flexible. All this means is that the quality of freshness in taste and consistency that the manufacturer wants to provide to the consumer is at its peak if used on or before that date. The product is still safe for consuming after the date, but the consumer may notice a slight alteration in the taste of the product. Something akin to an A+ going to an A or A-.
Use by – The “Use By” date is another quality control measurement that is determined by the manufacturer. It is, as you may have guessed, the final date that the company wishes the food to be consumed by to retain their level of desired quality. It, too, has nothing really to do with the safety of consuming the food after that date.
To further help you decipher when and how to safely consume your food, check out this great article from Star Lawrence at WebMD. Lawrence does an excellent job going through expiration date terminology in more detail, as well as explaining food safety tips and how long items generally last once you’ve purchased them.
In short, the dates on your food have very little to do with any sort of federally regulated safety requirements or health care laws, but instead refer to what companies have determined to be the best “shelf life” of their product in terms of consistency in taste and freshness.
By being aware of the varying terminology, American consumers can greatly decrease confusion resulting from expiration dates and can become more efficient in their consumption, thus providing America with lower costs in food waste and production.
Everyone is complaining about sky high food prices. Why are they going nuts? The fault is mostly due to harsh weather conditions of drought, vicious storms, floods, soggy soil, hail, frost and ice, and ferocious winds. Escalating extremes have beaten fruits, vegetables and farm animals to death around the world and we’re paying for it – literally. In the last 3 years, America was slammed with 32 multi-billion dollar disasters that for the most part, hit during crop-growing seasons. The 2012 Drought / Heatwave alone took a $30 billion bite out of peoples’ pockets.
For the past three years drought has decimated Texas cattle herds by over 2 million head. Now California’s cattle are getting smacked. This is small potatoes by comparison, but last year South Dakota lost 30,000 head – frozen in a single November blizzard. Our neighbor to the south, Mexico, lost 1.7 million head in 2011 due to drought. There are other cattle losses as well, but there’s not time to document them all.
It used to be that cattle herds took about 3 years to replenish. Experts stated this week it could take the rest of this decade – 6 years – to rebuild America’s beef and dairy livestock. That’s double the norm. Meanwhile, food prices continue to ramp up. That’s if no more catastrophes descend. How much do you want to bet on a lucky break? In the first 3 months of this year, 1/3 of the U.S. is in USDA-declared crop disaster areas.
Gas prices are moving up again with Brent Crude kissing a $100/barrel yesterday. It costs more money to move produce, dairy and meat from farmer to fork. Also, more countries are eating better so farmers ship more food to other nations. This puts a squeeze on our supply. Then there’s the idiocy of bio-fuels, which takes another bite from food stocks. However, the most direct and dire cause of rising food prices is unquestionably weather disasters.
Having your own garden helps counteract rocketing food prices. All you need is a bit of space, some know-how and a little time. Frankly, I’d rather be outside messing in the garden, soaking up the Sun, doing what we can to provide in the face of Nature’s fury, and helping plants spring to life than read depressing news. It’s like my girlfriend’s phone recording: “Hey, I’m out playing in the dirt. Leave a message!”
You don’t need to have this much space dedicated to veggies. Generally speaking, all that is needed is one 4×4 bed for salad greens and one 4×4 bed for vegetables for each adult. See? It requires little space for the basics. However, in light of ever-darkening current events, worsening weather and escalating grocery prices, we’re taking out our own food insurance for pennies on the dollar. Since the world is now a global food store, everyone’s pain is our pain and we all feel it at the grocery store. If you’re a newbie gardener or are bleary-eyed from reading news, here’s a look at our layout for this year’s crops.
DESIGNING YOUR GARDEN GOLD
Stan and I practice what we preach and have greatly expanded our veggie gardens this year. In fact, from 8 years ago, they’ve doubled in size. Some of the harvest will be canned, some frozen, some eaten fresh, some given to friends and some taken to the homeless shelter. Nothing will go to waste. We see hard times coming this year and having an ample garden is one way to fight back.
Image: This year we really concentrated on what we like to eat and grow just that. Figures 1, 2 and 3 show the layout of this year’s gardens. We’ve expanded them considerably in light of much higher food prices. It will save money in the long run. See the first article in this series, How to Beat Coming Killer Food Shortages. Since we grow organically, we won’t fall victim to repeated fruit and veggie recalls due to E. Coli, listeria and salmonella contamination. Numbers in red are the weeks that successive crops will be planted.
For example, the first lettuce, carrot, radish and spinach seeds were sown on March 29. Second crop will be planted April 12 and the 3rd crop on April 26. For radishes, since they only take about a month to harvest, the 4th planting on May 10 will go where the March 29 seeds were and so on. For peas and other lettuces, we’ll plant for Fall crops.
THINK WITH THE BRAIN, NOT THE BELLY
Last year, we had tons too many tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini and ended up giving away more than half of everything. Neighbors were happy to help us with this!
We still have plenty of Jalapeños, Serranos and Big Jim/Nu Mex in the freezer from 2013, so this year, the garden will just grow Santa Fe chilies.
Bell Peppers have a ton of uses whether they’re eaten fresh or grilled or included in salads, omelettes and kabobs. Extras at the end of season can be Ziplocked and frozen to make colorful tasty additions to soups and stews.
Zucchinis over-produce for our use, so there will be just a couple of seedlings planted. Since we adore baked Acorn and Butternut squash we’ve allowed for plenty. They store for months and are super versatile.
My favorite method is to slice them in half lengthwise, scoop out the seed goo, add a bit of butter, white wine and seasoning like Lawry’s or even better, Red Robin. The flavor of a little sweet wine mixed with a hint of Red Robin zing? Yum. Bake them in water about 1/3 of the way up the squash until fork-tender. Baste occasionally. A clone for Red Robin Seasoning goes like this:
Red Robin Seasoning
3 tablespoons salt
1 tablespoon instant tomato soup mix (Knorr tomato with basil works great)
2 teaspoons chili powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Combine the ingredients in a small bowl and stir well. Store in a covered container. Makes 1/3 cup.
Stan is a major fan of small watermelons, so we’re planting a bunch of Sugar Babies. Ditto for Holly on cantaloupe. The best ever is grown just a few miles away – Rocky Ford. Yes, this is the same ‘loupe involved in the 2011 listeria outbreak. Regardless, they are the sweetest cantaloupes on the planet. To be clear, Jensen Farms in Holly, Colorado that was responsible for the listeria drama is not the same as Rocky Ford Grower’s Assn. They are 100 miles apart. To further confuse things, Rocky Ford is both a place and the name of these luscious ‘loupes.
Image: The dotted line represents two different growing areas. The two ‘old beds’ on the left are out by the orchard and the two ‘new beds’ are about 50 feet off the back deck.
We love Snap and Snow Peas and Green Beans and have been known to munch them straight off the vine. 🙂 Plus, they freeze well. Since beans and peas are something we consume regularly, we’re planting a bunch.
And then there’s Pinto Beans. Stan and I must have Hispanic roots somewhere “in another life” because Tex-Mex is our favorite food bar none. Nothing beats a hair-raising, nosebleed-bitingly flavorful bit of really southern tucker. This brings us to that weird patch of cilantro in Figure 1. It is integral to many Tex-Mex meals. This stuff simply won’t die out. It grew throughout winter with no water in sub-freezing temps. So for its faithfulness, we let it live, otherwise I’d dig up this herb and replace it with a veggie.
TIP: Spices can take up as much room as veggies. Economically speaking, it’s more cost-effective to buy them in bulk from Tone’s and save your space for fruits and vegetables. Besides Tone’s for dried bulk buys, check McCormick, Frontier Natural Products Co-op, Monterey Bay Spice Company and My Spice Sage. We’ve purchased most of ours from the first three, not the last two. However, nothing beats the fragrance and flavor of fresh herbs and spices.
KNOW WHEN TO FOLD ‘EM
Four years ago, we put in an asparagus bed with 47 crowns. You’d think that’d be plenty and then some. Mistakenly we thought multiple varieties would be clever. Not so. The Martha Washington, Jersey Giant and Jersey Knights were ready at different times. Some were thicker and some thinner, which meant they steamed at different times. There wasn’t a single instance when more than 4 or 5 stalks were ready to harvest simultaneously. Not exactly a side dish for 2. It was a nice stalk here, 2 more there. Since we live in the high desert, it was a perpetual uphill fight to get them going productively, like pushing a boulder along with a toothpick. Plus, you’re not supposed to harvest the first year’s crop. More waiting. Florence, a town just 30 minutes west of us, has them growing wild by the Arkansas River. When our neighbor lived there his mom sent Jerry nightly to pick all they needed – for free. Lucky dog!
If in having a practical, usable garden, some things are just too difficult and expensive to cultivate, yell calf rope! Enough already! This year, the asparagus patch now holds melons, cucumbers, broccoli and celery.
CHANGE FOR THE BETTER, NOT OBAMA’S “HOPE & CHANGE”
Don’t be surprised if, over the years, your garden beds morph. This is what we started with in 2007: 6 – 4×4-foot beds. The strawberry bed is history. They didn’t produce enough at the same time (like the asparagus) to warrant the space. Unless you have time every week to cut off runners, the bed soon becomes an overgrown, tangled mess. For fruit, these plants were replaced by raspberry, blueberry, grape and elderberry bushes on a berm not pictured. Also in the fruit department are 15 trees consisting of varieties of apple, peach, plum, pear and cherry.
Photo: In eight years our gardens have changed considerably and doubled in size.
The cedar beds (pictured above) didn’t weather well in Colorado’s high altitude and strong UV. Gone are the chicken wire walls and cages. Where the 4 – 4×4 beds were on the left are now 2 – 4×4’s and 1 – 4×8. The two decorative brick beds on the right have morphed into two more 4×8’s. Our total bed space is this: 4 – 4×4’s, 4 – 4×8’s and one goofy-sized 6×7. We use recycled plastic and natural fiber board raised beds from Frame-It-All with nifty animal barriers. They also sell very cool attachable greenhouse tops and trellises.
The image below of a Frame-It-All 4×8 bed is their older model for the animal barrier. Now where “A” is, it has a cap like on “B”. This allows for multiple 2-foot additions of animal barriers – in case you have tall invaders! Numerous other companies manufacture similar raised bed kits. We just happened to land on Frame It All and stuck with them for continuity. You can also build your own as detailed in Garden Gold.
All of our beds are 12″ deep, which makes rotating crops no problem. If you use only a 4″ or 6″ high board, which holds just 3-5 inches of Super Soil, it makes growing potatoes, carrots and some other root veggies nearly impossible, so it greatly cuts down on the ability to rotate crops. With extra depth, there is always flexibility. It’s vital that crops are rotated yearly to naturally prevent bug infestations. Not every bug likes the same veggie so if they’ve visited cauliflower one year, next year’s crop of cauliflower needs to go in a different area. This is one of the main natural preventative techniques used by organic farmers.
SIDEBAR TIP: Also changed is the 500-gallon propane tank pictured above. No, it’s not gone. When natural gas was made available to our area, we chose to go with it. However, we’ve kept the propane tank – always filled – for back-up fuel. In the event of a prolonged power outage – as in months – gas appliances can be switched back to propane. You can’t believe how much less expensive it is to refill your BBQ canisters from this big tank. It’s always available so if you’re cooking and the 20-gallon BBQ tank is unexpectedly empty, it’s easy-peasy-cheapy to fill up.
Back to gardening. Areas around the beds are now grassed in. That, combined with the Chinese bio-intensive growing method of planting everything close together keeps weeds at bay as there’s no place for them to take root. In case you’ve read our accounts and saw this video of massive tumbleweed issues in southern Colorado, it’s best not to give their seeds a place to land. It’s also easier on the feet and knees than surrounding beds with sharp, decorative rock. All it takes is a quick go with the Weedeater to keep grass in line.
Last updated on March 4, 2014 at 12:00 am EDT by in5d Alternative News
by Michelle Walling, CHLC
There are many suggestions and directives offered in the spiritual community about the foods a person should eat in order to raise their vibration. In comparing the various suggestions to what people actually eat, it is clear that eating habits of lightworkers are as individual and varied as their personalities. It is becoming harder each day to obtain affordable healthy food as the majority of food available is tainted in one way or another. Is there really a “right” way of eating on the spiritual path and if so how can we obtain what we need in order to survive?
The answer has many viewpoints and variables. First, it is important to know that every single person’s body on this planet is different, and therefore has different food requirements. Second, it is possible that some people are simply born of a high vibration and/or metabolism and can eat whatever they want without gaining weight or affecting their vibration level. Third, once a person changes their level of vibration, the body’s food needs and tolerances will change. Finally, the fourth thing to explore is that our DNA activation will render these choices obsolete.
Different strokes for different folks
When we were choosing the body we would inhabit before incarnating, we knew of our parent’s bloodlines and DNA, tracing all the way back through our grandparents and great grandparents. The eating habits of our ancestors are ingrained in our biological pattern. It is possible that this lineage could even go beyond Earth incarnations. The food requirements for our bodies could be influenced by these lineages and can also be changed through changes that we make in our diets that could affect our children and their children.
It is also highly likely that as we go through the changes of the times, we may begin to tune into “past life” characteristics of eating. All of the sudden we may begin to have an affinity for a food that we either never liked before or that we had never even heard of.
High vibrational humans and superhuman metabolism
There are people on this planet that are able to carry more particles of light of their oversoul in their body than others. Some of these people are here simply to “be” and are raising the vibrational level of the planet as well as the collective human consciousness. Because they carry more particles than the average human, their food needs would be different than the average human.
Some of these people have a very high metabolism that may be because of their vibrational level or may be inherited in their genes. These people seem to be able to eat whatever they want to in moderation without having an effect on their vibrational level and/or their weight. While metabolism may not be always linked to vibrational level, it is definitely a bonus when a high vibrational level causes superhuman metabolism.
Your current vibration can make a difference in food tolerance
Everyone is vibrating at a different frequency. Some people who are vibrating at a lower frequency may require a low vibrational diet in order to feel comfortable and satisfied. As the planet raises her vibrational level, the vibrational level of her inhabitants will rise. This may cause some people to have digestion troubles and diarrhea, gas, and bloating after eating lower vibrational foods such as beef, pork, and processed foods with no life in them.
Some people vibrating at a higher vibrational level may not be able to absorb low vibrational foods and require a very specific high vibrational raw or vegetarian diet. Some people that vibrate at a very high level have learned how to program their bodies through intention to be super waste machines that very efficiently dispose of anything that is not beneficial, allowing them to eat some things that others on a spiritual path simply cannot tolerate.
The majority consensus is that in order to raise your vibration level in the body, raw and organic foods such as fruits and vegetables can be used as a tool in starting up the super body computer. While some people need to follow this kind of diet in order to raise their vibrational level, others seem to be born ready to ascend and have no problem with food tolerances. Most people find themselves in the category of unhealthy eating habits most of their lives and changing their eating habits was the first step in defogging their brain and decalcifying their pineal gland.
The biggest challenge set up for us today is to eat 100% organic. Although there are some successful communities providing mostly organic fruits and vegetable, there are chemtrails being sprayed in the air which settles in the gardens and are found in our soil. Watering the gardens with tap water from the cities allows for fluoride and other chemicals to settle into the gardens. Processed foods contain harmful chemicals mostly designed to keep the pineal gland blocked and to make the body carry excess weight, as the fat cells protect the body by carrying the toxins within them as a shield. Most of these chemicals and toxins are also collected in the lining of our intestines until the body can find a way to expel them.
Fasting mostly involves going without food for a certain period of time depending on the results the person wishes to obtain and the reason for the fast. For the most part fasting is a great way to clear the intestines of toxins. It also helps the mind to be able to connect with the spiritual planes easier. However fasting could be dangerous for some people that require food based on their genetic makeup, and these people may require a different type of fasting where they eat more liquid foods and drink a lot of water. Some people who are here to ground the energies into the planet need to stay grounded with food every day. So again the level and type of fasting is very individual and is not for everyone, although many people use this tool at least once on their spiritual path.
Vegetarians vs. animal consumers
It is important to withhold judgment about those who choose vegetarianism or those who choose to eat animals. It is equally important not to tell someone they should eat only vegetables or that is ok for another to eat animals. The observation among the spiritual community is that there are a large growing number of vegetarians and this number will continue to rise as the body raises in vibration.
When people ingest an animal, the animal joins with the human and gets to be a part of the human experience. All animals have consciousness and it has been said that some animals that are raised specifically for human consumption know this and are willing to serve in this way. The human also takes on the experience of the animal to a certain extent, depending on the factors mentioned previously with spiritual attainment and awareness. Animals that are raised organically and with loving intentions for human consumption are the best choice if animals are to be eaten.
Another controversial point raised about animal consumption is that if an animal has been suddenly or tragically killed and eaten by a human, then the person can take on that fear vibration. The same goes for animals that are raised in terrible environments that would constitute abuse due to neglect and overcrowding. Blessing your animal food, giving gratitude to the animal, and intending to clear this energy and raise its vibrational level can alleviate the detrimental effects of ingesting that energy.
Fifth dimensional eating
As humans ascend into a fifth dimensional consciousness, the act of consuming of animals will likely change. For one thing, it would be hard to kill an animal once people become aware that all animals have a consciousness and can communicate. Intentional killing of animals of any kind will probably not exist in the fifth dimension. Those that choose to eat in the fifth dimension will be able to grow organic live foods and/or will be able to replicate it with technology. Thankfully we will be able to recreate a cheeseburger if we are craving a cheeseburger in the fifth dimension. Obviously it will be void of hormones, toxins, and chemicals, and could actually have more nutrients than a cheeseburger ever had before. Is this the real definition of “cheeseburger in paradise”?
Fifth dimensional eating will be for pleasure and will probably consist of a mix of fruits, vegetables, nuts, smoothies, and juices. As one decides to leave earth in their bodies to visit other planets, a lighter diet will automatically be desired as some planets in our galaxy vibrate above the fifth dimension. Most beings live on the prana life force and occasionally only eat for pleasure and for social occasions such as honoring those visitors from earth.
Why body weights vary
One thing that causes a person to be “too fat”, “too skinny” or “just right” can be linked to our genetics. If our great grandparents were potato farmers, for example, we may have a tendency to not only crave potatoes, but require them physically as well as psychologically because of the imprint we carry in our DNA.
Our upbringing as a child has a lot to do with our mind’s programming when it comes to eating. If we grew up eating meat and potatoes then we have entrained our brain to expect meat and potatoes for dinner. If our parents always served three meals a day then our brains will instruct our stomachs to look for that next meal and to sometimes panic or cause our blood sugar to crash when we do not have that fuel we are used to. The same rules apply to those that grew up eating out and having the opportunity to eat enough food for two or three people.
De-programming the brain can solve overeating problems, anorexia, and can help the mind learn to hear what the body wants to eat. When we begin to eat what our bodies need we begin to feel better and have more energy to exercise if that is what our body needs in order to be “just right”. When we reach this goal, the amount of pounds we weigh becomes insignificant.
Interference from dark forces
There is another observation that applies to a smaller portion of the population but should be mentioned here because it is something that will not be diagnosed by a physician. Interference from darker forces on this planet can cause extreme fluctuations in a person’s health and weight. Interference is only possible with the presence of fear in the human energy field. Such interference tied to food and health may cause an inability to eat or a tendency to overeat, and in both cases the overall goal of the interference may be death. Massive swelling in the body can occur as a defense to negative energy or devices placed in the body. Basic metaphysical and spiritual practices of love, raising your vibration, prayer, and intention are the first places to start with this type of interference and in some cases it is best to seek professional help if the symptoms persist.
Disease and the alkaline body
Dis-ease in the emotional body can manifest in the physical body in many forms. Cancer, Lyme Disease, Arthritis, and heart disease are just a few examples of diseases that can manifest out of blocked energies in the casual bodies. Studies show that cancer simply cannot survive in an alkaline body. Some doctors fail to prescribe an alkaline diet before beginning radiation or chemotherapy or before performing surgery.
It is not surprising that fifth dimensional dining would probably mirror an alkaline diet in order to maintain the optimum vibrational resonance.
How to listen to your body
The only way to make sure you are providing what food is best for your body during your spiritual journey is to listen to your body. One of the easiest ways is to pay attention to your cravings. Apparently if your body is craving a gallon of ice cream, one would need to question if there is an emotional issue tied to the craving. In this case you might be surprised that you body may actually need something in a small amount of a certain ingredient of ice cream if indeed the craving is not tied to an emotional issue. Generally speaking, paying attention to cravings with discernment and without judgment will help you decide what to eat as your body is telling you what nutrients it needs at the time.
Another great way of listening to your body is to pay attention to the way it reacts to the foods you eat. Gas, bloating, brain fog, diarrhea, constipation, and fatigue can all be some symptoms of eating the wrong foods for your body’s current needs. For example, if you hear your body telling you that you need strawberry ice cream, perhaps it is craving strawberries and milk or cream. Many wonderful nutrients can be derived from both, but after eating your strawberry ice cream, you get awful gas and bloating. Did that mean that you didn’t need the vitamin C from the strawberries or vitamin D from the cream? Maybe in the future you could try making homemade strawberry ice cream or a homemade strawberry smoothie made with organic ingredients and stevia. Perhaps the additives, sugar, or hormones in the ice cream would have caused the symptoms.
On the other hand, if you find that you get bursts of energy and brain clarity from certain foods then be sure to keep those foods in your kitchen. Pay attention to certain foods can satisfy you and make you happy as they release endorphins in your brain that stimulate a positive emotional response. If you get this type of response from eating something that you would normally consider bad for you then maybeyour body needed a little treat! When it comes to treats, the general rule of everything in moderation helps to keep your cravings in check.
Some allergies are caused by foods as the body’s way of telling us what it does not want. Hives, nasal drainage, sneezing, and mucus are all symptoms of allergic reactions to foods that can oftentimes be mis-diagnosed as hay fever or “seasonal allergies” are treated with medication to alleviate such symptoms. By paying attention to what you are eating when these symptoms arise, a process of elimination can help narrow down what your body may be rejecting.
Speak to your cells and try to listen to what they have to say. It is highly unlikely that your body would lead you astray in eating anything harmful but you have to also pay attention to how it reacts to eliminate unnecessary ingredients that may be harmful. It is also unlikely that your body would ever truly ask you to eat a gallon of ice cream, so discernment in hearing the consciousness of your cells is needed in order to do it a favor by eating what it needs to be optimized.
Until a person learns to gauge what their body needs, an old rule of thumb that can be followed is “you are what you eat”. High vibrational, live foods such as fruits and vegetables generally end up being the best bet and anything else that isn’t alive requires energy to break it down into the useful ingredients and the neutral and harmful ones.
Societal influences have brought guilt into play when it comes to making food choices. It is possible that we have moved to a vibration level on the planet that will allow for discernment based on the body’s reaction. In the past, our bodies had months or even years to adjust to the raise in vibration of the planet. The quickening of the vibrational levels has immensely increased which will place stress on the body if attention has not been given to it previously. The foods your body needed a year, month, or even a day ago may change very quickly as the cells in our bodies are also changing very quickly.
Many foods once deemed bad for you by so called experts are now being brought back into our awareness to have certain beneficial effects on the body. Potatoes, coffee, and sea salt are a few examples of foods that were once seen as the ultimate food sin, which means that they might be really good for you!
Hang on until the DNA activation and shift
The observation of the spiritual community reveals the quest to keep the physical body alive until the “shift” of the planet into the fifth dimension. There is something to be said about being happy eating what makes you feel good. Some people sadly follow fad diets and daily dietary suggestions from government funded organizations, a physicians, or spiritual gurus out to make a buck. There is a fine line between what other people recommend vs. what your body may need. This is an example of walking the fine line between the third and the fifth dimensional boundaries when trying to manifest the New Earth and a new body.
You are the one on control of your body. When the veil is lifted and we move into a fifth dimensional way of living, having to make food choices based on avoiding toxins or chemicals will be a thing of the past. Basic survival needs will be taken care of and food can once again be a pleasure and can be a social event of giving and receiving.
Some people are here in this incarnation to be true spiritual leaders and may need to follow a strict high vibrational diet. Some people are in the middle and need a mixture of live foods and supplemental staples along with a little guilty pleasure. Some people simply came to earth to enjoy the experience of life as a human and can be either unaffected by various foods or may have chosen a food detriment as an exit point when it is time for them to go.
Listening to someone else rather than listening to what your body is trying to tell you will give your power away by ignoring the best tool we have for discernment. The answers can always be found within and with practice we can also use the body to discern truth in our outside world. Respecting your cells and organs as living beings with consciousness and the ability to communicate can catapult you along your spiritual journey.
When you love yourself and your body you are taking care of the one thing that many beings in our Universe do not have. The fifth dimensional human body will have the capability to allow travel all over the Universe and will be able to withstand many different vibrational levels. If more people really knew about the upcoming capability of our New Earth bodies, they would immediately take care of their vehicle and would give it the love and food it needs to survive into the new vibrations.
About the author: Michelle Walling is a Certified Holistic Life Coach.
The bane of health, chronic inflammation, is at the root of most disease. Cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular troubles and periodontal issues are all influenced by an overactive inflammatory response.
Fortunately, we have a powerful ally against inflammation residing in our kitchen. Through select foods and dietary adjustments, we can subdue this unruly beast and create a solid foundation for a healthy future.
The Primary Culprit: Poor Food Choices
Inflammation is the body’s natural response to injury, helping to heal damage throughout the system. And yet, this mechanism can lead to serious illness when left unchecked.
Dietary choices are the number one trigger for an exaggerated inflammatory reaction – especially sugary, high-glycemic and processed carbohydrates. Poor-quality fats like those found in meat and dairy, as well as trans fats in refined vegetable oils, are also problematic.
In the scholarly paper “Control of Systemic Inflammation and Chronic Diseases – The Use of Turmeric and Curcuminoids”, researcher Stig Bengmark observes:
“The world suffers an epidemic of both critical illness (CI) and chronic diseases (ChDs), and both groups of diseases increase from year to year, and have done so for several decades. It is strongly associated to the modern, so-called Western, lifestyle: stress, lack of exercise, abuse of tobacco and alcohol, and the transition from natural unprocessed foods to processed, calorie-condensed, and heat-treated foods.
“There is a strong association between reduced intake of plant fibers and plant antioxidants and increased consumption of industrially produced and processed products especially dairy, refined sugars, and starch products and ChDs. Heating up foods such as milk (pasteurization) and production and storage of milk powder produce large amounts of advanced glycation end products (AGEs) and advanced lipid oxidation end products (ALEs), known as potent inducers of inflammation.”
Be that as it may, just as the diet can exacerbate inflammation, specific foods can also heal it.
A number of foods offer exceptional protection against inflammatory reactions. For instance, sulfur compounds found in garlic, and polyphenol antioxidants in green tea, both successfully discourage excessive inflammation. 
Golden-hued turmeric is another example. In laboratory tests, the anti-inflammatory characteristics of turmeric are effective in mitigating skin, lung and neurodegenerative disorders, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, cataracts and intestinal diseases. 
Healthy fats are also important. As an outstanding source of omega-3 fatty acids, sardines, fish oil supplements and wild-caught salmon, or vegetarian options like hemp seed, flaxseed and walnuts, provide the building blocks for healthy inflammation levels.  Moreover, oleic acid in olive oil supplies a good measure of anti-inflammatory omega-9 fatty acids. 
Don’t forget to add a bit of spice to your life. Over 25 years of research on ginger has established the herb as one of the foremost anti-inflammatory foods around. A study in the Journal of Medicinal Food discovered that two ginger extracts, Zingiber officinale and Alpina galanga, inhibit several genes responsible for inflammatory reactions. 
And Karen Lamphere, MS, CN, recommends a dash of heat. “Some of the most potent anti-inflammatory vegetables are peppers and the spices derived from them, such as cayenne pepper. All chili peppers include capsaicin (the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has), which is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes.”
Over and above dietary choices, lifestyle options such as reducing stress, detoxifying and exercising regularly contribute to lower inflammation levels too. In the end, sidestepping the risks of this silent killer is a straightforward daily task when armed with whole foods and healthy habits.
Americans are slowly realizing that food sold in the US doesn’t just taste different than foods sold in other countries, it’s created differently. Sadly, many U.S. foods are BANNED in Europe — and for good reason. Take a look at the plummeting health of Americans; what role might toxic foods play in our skyrocketing disease rates?
Farm-raised fish is usually fed an unnatural diet of genetically engineered (GE) grains, antibiotics and chemicals unsafe for humans. To mask the resulting grayish flesh, they’re given toxic and potentially eyesight-damaging synthetic astaxanthin.
To determine wild from farm-raised salmon (sold in most restaurants), wild sockeye gets its red color from natural astaxanthin and carotenoids. The white “fat strips” are thin, meaning it’s lean. Pale pink fish and wide fat marks are a sign of farmed salmon.
Avoid “Atlantic Salmon.” Look for “Alaskan” or “sockeye,” which is illegal to farm and has very high astaxanthin concentrations.
Where it’s banned: Australia and New Zealand
#2: Genetically Engineered Papaya
Most Hawaiian papaya is genetically engineered to be ringspot virus-resistant. But research shows animals fed GE foods like corn and soy suffer intestinal damage, multiple-organ damage, massive tumors, birth defects, premature death and/or nearly complete sterility by the third generation. Dangers to humans are unknown.
Where it’s banned: The European Union
#3: Ractopamine-Tainted Meat
About 45 percent of US pigs, 30 percent of cattle and an unknown percentage of turkeys are plumped with the asthma drug ractopamine before slaughter. Up to 20 percent of ractopamine is still there when you buy it.
Since 1998, more than 1,700 US pork lovers have been “poisoned” this way. For this very health threat, ractopamine-laced meats are banned in 160 different countries! Russia issued a ban on US meat imports, effective February 11, 2013, until it’s certified ractopamine-free. In animals, it’s linked to reducedreproductive function, increased mastitis and increased death. It damages the human cardiovascular system and may cause hyperactivity, chromosomal abnormalities and behavioral changes. Currently, US meats aren’t even tested for it.
Where it’s banned: 160 countries across Europe, Russia, mainland China and Republic of China (Taiwan).
#4: Flame Retardant Drinks
Mountain Dew and other drinks in the US contain the synthetic chemical brominated vegetable oil (BVO), originally patented as a flame retardant.
BVO bioaccumulates in human tissue and breast milk; animal studies report reproductive and behavioral problems. Bromine alters the central nervous and endocrine systems and promotes iodine deficiency, causing skin rashes, acne, loss of appetite, fatigue and cardiac arrhythmias. The featured article explains:
“The FDA has flip-flopped on BVO’s safety, originally classifying it as ‘generally recognized as safe,’ but reversing that call, now defining it as an ‘interim food additive,’ a category reserved for possibly questionable substances used in food.”
Where it’s banned: Europe and Japan
#5: Processed Foods and Artificial Food Dyes
More than 3,000 preservatives, flavorings and colors are added to US foods, many of which are banned in other countries. The featured article noted:
“Boxed Mac & Cheese, cheddar flavored crackers, Jell-O and many kids’ cereals contain red 40, yellow 5, yellow 6 and/or blue 2 … (which) can cause behavioral problems as well as cancer, birth defects and other health problems in laboratory animals. Red 40 and yellow 6 are also suspected of causing an allergy-like hypersensitivity reaction in children. The Center for Science in the Public Interest reports that some dyes are also “contaminated with known carcinogens.”
In countries where these food dyes are banned, companies like Kraft employ natural colorants like paprika extract and beetroot.
Where it’s banned: Norway and Austria. Britain advised companies against using food dyes by the end of 2009. The European Union requires a warning notice on most foods containing dyes.
#6: Arsenic-Laced Chicken
Arsenic-based drugs are approved in US-produced animal feed because they cause animals to grow quicker and meats products to look pinker and “fresher.” The FDA says arsenic-based drugs are safe safe because they contain organic arsenic … But organic arsenic can turn into inorganic arsenic, run through contaminated manure and leach into drinking water.
The European Union has never approved using arsenic in animal feed; US environmental groups have sued the FDA to remove them.
Where it’s banned: The European Union
#7: Bread with Potassium Bromate
Bread, hamburger and hotdog buns are “enriched” with potassium bromate, or bromide, linked to kidney and nervous system damage, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal discomfort and cancer.
While commercial baking companies claim it renders dough more tolerable to bread hooks, Pepperidge Farm and others use only unbromated flour without experiencing “structural problems.”
Where it’s banned: Canada, China and the EU
Olestra, or Olean, created by Procter & Gamble, is a calorie- and cholesterol-free fat substitute in fat-free snacks like chips and french fries. Three years ago, Time Magazinenamed it one of the worst 50 inventions ever. MSN noted:
“Not only did a 2011 study from Purdue University conclude rats fed potato chips made with Olean gained weight … several reports of adverse intestinal reactions to the fake fat include diarrhea, cramps and leaky bowels. And because it interferes with the absorption of fat soluble vitamins such as A, D, E and K, the FDA requires these vitamins be added to any product made with Olean or olestra.”
Where it’s banned: The UK and Canada
#9: Preservatives BHA and BHT
BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) are common preservatives in foods like cereal, nut mixes, chewing gum, butter spread, meat and beer. The National Toxicology Program’s 2011 Report on Carcinogens says BHA may trigger allergic reactions and hyperactivity and “is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen.”
Where it’s banned: Both are banned in parts of the European Union and Japan; the UK doesn’t allow BHA in infant foods.
#10: Milk and Dairy Products Made with rBGH
Recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), a synthetic version of natural bovine hormone is injected into cows to increase milk production. Monsanto developed it from genetically engineered E. coli bacteria, marketed as “Posilac.”
But it’s banned in at least 30 other nations. Why? It converts normal tissue cells into cancerous ones, increasing colorectal, prostate and breast cancer risks. Among other diseases, injected cows suffer exorbitant rates of mastitis, contaminating milk with pus and antibiotics.
In 1997, two Fox-affiliate investigative journalists, Jane Akre and Steve Wilson attempted to expose thedangers of rBGH, but lawyers for Monsanto – a major advertiser with the Florida network – sent letters promising “dire consequences” if the story aired.
In 1999, the United Nations Safety Agency ruled unanimously not to endorse rBGH milk, resulting in an international ban on US milk.
The Cancer Prevention Coalition, trying for years to affect a dairy industry ban of rBGH, resubmitting apetition to FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg in January 2010, but the FDA sticks to its false position that rBGH-treated milk is no different than milk from untreated cows.
Action: Look for products labeled “rBGH-free” or “No rBGH.”
Where it’s banned: Australia, New Zealand, Israel, EU and Canada
Take Control of Your Health with REAL Food
If you value your health, avoid foods containing harmful ingredients and ditch processed foods entirely – even if they are permitted in the US. Opt for fresh whole foods, organic, grass-fed/pasture-raised beef and poultry, dairy products and eggs.