Genetically Modified Foods

February 29, 2012

Mercola.com has a very good run down on the state of genetically modified foods.  Also The Bill Gates Foundation has gotten in bed with Monsanto, which cannot be a good sign.

(NaturalNews) After it was exposed that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the philanthropic brainchild of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, purchased 500,000 shares in Monsanto back in 2010 valued at more than $23 million, it became abundantly clear that this so-called benevolent charity is up to something other than eradicating disease and feeding the world’s poor (http://www.guardian.co.uk). It turns out that the Gates family legacy has long been one of trying to dominate and control the world’s systems, including in the areas of technology, medicine, and now agriculture.

The Gates Foundation, aka the tax-exempt Gates Family Trust, is currently in the process of spending billions of dollars in the name of humanitarianism to establish a global food monopoly dominated by genetically-modified (GM) crops and seeds. And based on the Gates family’s history of involvement in world affairs, it appears that one of its main goals besides simply establishing corporate control of the world’s food supply is to reduce the world’s population by a significant amount in the process.

Here is the article on GM foods by mercola.com.  Labeling GM foods is a no-brainer except for the people in government who are in bed with Monsanto.  Obama promised to label GM foods and has not done so.

The One and Only Way You Can Tell if a Food is GMO-Free

Posted By Dr. Mercola | February 29 2012 | 23,491 views

Story at-a-glance

  • Vermont has recently introduced bill H.722, requiring labeling of foods containing genetically engineered ingredients. Such products would also be prohibited from using advertising or promotional material that states or implies that the food is “natural”. If passed, the bill will take effect in 2014
  • Other US states pushing for mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods include California, Michigan and Washington
  • Mandatory labeling of GM foods is becoming even more important to counteract laws that prevent anti-GMO efforts. So far, 14 US states have passed laws to protect the unabated expansion of GM seed use. Pending legislation in Michigan now also seeks to prohibit local governments from passing ordinances that impede or prohibit the use of GM seeds of all kinds

By Dr. Mercola

A bill has recently been introduced in the Vermont state legislature that would require food to be labeled as genetically engineered if it is entirely or partially produced with genetically engineered ingredients.

If passed, the bill, H.722, also known as the ‘VT Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act’ i, will take effect in 2014.

The bill also forbids any such food from using advertising or promotional material that states or implies that the food is:

  • “natural”
  • “naturally made”
  • “naturally grown”
  • “all natural,” or
  • Any words of similar meaning

According to the language of the bill, it would require:

“… in the case of a raw agricultural commodity, on the package offered for retail sale … the clear and conspicuous words, ‘genetically engineered’ on the front of the package … [or] on a label appearing on the retail store shelf or bin in which such commodity is displayed for sale.

… in the case of any processed food, in clear and conspicuous language on the front or back of the package … the words, ‘partially produced with genetic engineering’ or ‘may be partially produced with genetic engineering'”. ii

More U.S. States Starting to Demand Labeling of GM Foods

Finally we’re starting to see some real opposition against genetically engineered foods in general, and unlabeled GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) in particular, in the U.S.! Aside from this Vermont bill, California, Michigan and Washington are also working on ballot initiatives to get mandatory labeling of genetically modified (GM) foods in their states. Vermont takes it a step further though, as the legislation would effectively also end phony “all natural” claims for products that in actuality contain wholly unnatural, GMOs.

Personally, I believe GM foods must be banned entirely, but labeling is the most efficient way to achieve this. Since 85 percent of the public will refuse to buy foods they know to be genetically modified, this will effectively eliminate them from the market just the way it was done in Europe.

Sheer ignorance on the part of American consumers has allowed Monsanto and other biotech companies to saturate the market with their genetically altered wares. And misuse of the “all natural” label has only made matters worse. According to a 2010 Hartman Group poll, more than 60 percent of consumers erroneously believe that the “natural” label implies or suggests the absence of GM ingredients, but that is sadly NOT the case… In fact, at the current time, the ONLY label that can protect you against GM ingredients is the USDA 100% Organic label.

After reading the Cornucopia Institutes’ 2011 report Cereal Crimesiii, many, including myself, were shocked to discover some of their favorite natural and even some organic brands were using GM ingredients! For example, natural products that contained 100 percent genetically modified grains included:

Kashi® Mother’s® Nutritious Living® General Mills Kix®
GoLean® Bumpers® Hi-Lo®

Two breakfast cereal products that are currently enrolled in the Non-GMO Project, Barbara’s Bakery’s Puffins and Whole Foods’ 365® Corn Flakes, contained more than 50 percent GM corn. Meanwhile, the control, Nature’s Path® USDA certified organic corn flakes, contained only trace amounts of GM contamination (less than 0.5 percent). Another sign that American consumers are getting fed up with being stonewalled on the GMO labeling issue is the fact that lawsuits are starting to crop up, accusing food manufacturers of deceptive and misleading practices over their “all natural” claims. Here are just a couple of recent examples:

  • Frito-Lay is being sued by a New York consumer over their ‘all natural’ snacks that are actually made using GM ingredients, such as Tostitos and SunChipsiv
  • On August 31, 2011, a class action lawsuit was filed against Kellogg/Kashi® for allegedly misleading consumers with its “natural” claims. One Kashi® product in particular, GoLean® Shakes, is composed almost entirely of synthetic and unnaturally processed ingredients, according to the plaintiff

Why We MUST Insist on Mandatory Labeling of GM Foods

As I said earlier, mandatory labeling may be the only way to stop the proliferation of GM foods in the U.S. because while GM seeds are banned in several European countries such as Hungary, Germany and Ireland, in the United States, certain states are passing legislation that protects the use of GM seeds and allows for unabated expansion! At present, no less than 14 states have passed such legislation. Michigan’s Senate Bill 777v, if passed, would make that 15. The Michigan bill would prevent anti-GMO laws, and would remove “any authority local governments may have to adopt and enforce ordinances that prohibit or regulate the labeling, sale, storage, transportation, distribution, use, or planting of agricultural, vegetable, flower or forest tree seeds.”

While this type of legislation sounds like crazy nonsense to normal people, such bills are essentially bought and paid for through the millions of dollars Monsanto and other biotech companies spend lobbying the U.S. government each year. In the first quarter of 2011 alone, Monsanto spent $1.4 million on lobbying the federal government — a drop from a year earlier, when they spent $2.5 million during the same quarter.

Their efforts of persuasion are also made infinitely easier by the fact that an ever growing list of former Monsanto employees are now in positions of power within the federal government.

Learn More about Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

Due to lack of labeling, many Americans are still unfamiliar with what GM foods are. We have a plan to change that, and I urge you to participate and to continue learning more about GM foods and helping your friends and family do the same.

To start, please print out and use the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, created by the Institute for Responsible Technology. Share it with your friends and family, and post it to your social networks. You can also download a free iPhone application, available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.

Your BEST strategy, however, is to simply buy USDA 100% Organic products whenever possible, (as these do not permit GM ingredients) or buy whole fresh produce and meat from local farmers. The majority of the GMO’s you’re exposed to are via processed foods, so by cooking from scratch with whole foods, you can be sure you’re not inadvertently consuming something laced with GM ingredients. When you do purchase processed food, avoid products containing anything related to corn or soy that are not 100 percent organic, as any foods containing these two non-organic ingredients are virtually guaranteed to contain genetically engineered ingredients, as well as toxic herbicide residues.

To learn more about GM foods, I highly recommend the following films and lectures:

Your Opportunity to Eliminate Genetically Engineered Foods from the U.S.

In 2007, then-Presidential candidate Obama promised to “immediately” require GM labeling if elected. So far, nothing of the sort has transpired.

Labeling of genetically engineered food is way overdue… Here’s how you can get involved to rectify the situation:

  • Whether you live in California or not, please donate money to this historic effort
  • Talk to organic producers and stores and ask them to actively support the California Ballot. It may be the only chance we have to label genetically engineered foods.
  • Distribute WIDELY the Non-GMO Shopping Guide to help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.
  • For timely updates, please join the Organic Consumers Association on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.
  • Look for in-depth coverage of the issue at the Institute for Responsible Technology, subscribe to Spilling the Beans, and check out their Facebook or Twitter.

In the meantime, the simplest way to avoid genetically engineered foods is to buy whole, certified organic foods. By definition, foods that are certified organic must never intentionally use genetically engineered organisms, must be produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and come from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Additionally, grass-fed beef will not have been fed genetically engineered corn feed, although now that genetically engineered alfalfa is approved, grass-fed will not always mean they animals have not consumed genetically engineered feeds.vi

Be assured that what happens in California will affect the remainder of the U.S., so please support this important state initiative, even if you do not live there!

Donate Today!

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Wheat Fattens and worse

February 29, 2012

First, sorry for the light blogging.  TuneUp 2012 screwed up one of my hard drives and Windows, so I had to spend the rest of the weekend repairing them.  Then I got the flu.

I have heard recently that wheat promotes weight gain.  I knew that it was suspect but here is a detailed explanation of exactly why from Mark Hyman.

http://drhyman.com/blog/2012/02/13/three-hidden-ways-wheat-makes-you-fat/

Yes, gluten is a real problem.  But the problem is not just gluten.  In fact, there are three major hidden reasons that wheat products, not just gluten (along with sugar in all its forms) is the major contributor to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia, depression and so many other modern ills.

This is why there are now 30% more obese than undernourished in the world, and why globally chronic lifestyle and dietary driven disease kills more than twice as many people as infectious disease.  These non-communicable chronic diseases will cost our global economy $47 trillion over the next 20 years.

Sadly, this tsunami of chronic illness is increasingly caused by eating our beloved diet staple, bread, the staff of life, and all the wheat products hidden in everything from soups to vodka to lipstick to envelope adhesive.

The biggest problem is wheat, the major source of gluten in our diet.  But wheat weaves it misery through many mechanisms, not just the gluten!    The history of wheat parallels the history of chronic disease and obesity across the world.  Supermarkets today contain walls of wheat and corn disguised in literally hundreds of thousands of different food- like products, or FrankenFoods.  Each American now consumes about 55 pounds of wheat flour every year.

It is not just the amount but also the hidden components of wheat that drive weight gain and disease.  This is not the wheat your great-grandmother used to bake her bread.  It is FrankenWheat – a scientifically engineered food product developed in the last 50 years.

How Wheat (and Gluten) Triggers Weight Gain, Prediabetes, Diabetes and More

This new modern wheat may look like wheat, but it is different in three important ways that all drive obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, dementia and more.

  1. It contains a Super Starch – amylopectin A that is super fattening.
  2. It contains a form of Super Gluten that is super-inflammatory.
  3. It contains forms of a Super Drug that is super-addictive and makes you crave and eat more.

The Super Starch

The Bible says, “Give us this day our daily bread”.  Eating bread is nearly a religious commandment. But the Einkorn, heirloom, Biblical wheat of our ancestors is something modern humans never eat.

Instead, we eat dwarf wheat, the product of genetic manipulation and hybridization that created short, stubby, hardy, high yielding wheat plants with much higher amounts of starch and gluten and many more chromosomes coding for all sorts of new odd proteins.  The man who engineered this modern wheat won the Nobel Prize – it promised to feed millions of starving around the world.  Well, it has, and it has made them fat and sick.

The first major difference of this dwarf wheat is that it contains very high levels of a super starch called amylopectin A.  This is how we get big fluffy Wonder Bread and Cinnabons.

Here’s the downside.  Two slices of whole wheat bread now raise your blood sugar more than two tablespoons of table sugar.

There is no difference between whole wheat and white flour here.  The biggest scam perpetrated on the unsuspecting public is the inclusion of “whole grains” in many processed foods full of sugar and wheat giving the food a virtuous glow.  The best way to avoid foods that are bad for you is to stay away from foods with health claims on the label.  They are usually hiding something bad.

In people with diabetes, both white and whole grain bread raises blood sugar levels 70 to 120 mg/dl over starting levels.  We know that foods with a high glycemic index make people store belly fat, trigger hidden fires of inflammation in the body, and give you a fatty liver leading the whole cascade of obesity, pre-diabetes and diabetes.  This problem now affects every other American and is the major driver of nearly all chronic disease and most our health care costs. Diabetes now sucks up one in three Medicare dollars.

The Super Gluten

Not only does this dwarf, FrankenWheat, contain the super starch, but it also contains super gluten which is much more likely to create inflammation in the body. And in addition to a host of inflammatory and chronic diseases caused by gluten, it causes obesity and diabetes.

Gluten is that sticky protein in wheat that holds bread together and makes it rise.  The old fourteen chromosome containing Einkorn wheat codes for the small number of gluten proteins and those that it does produce are the least likely to trigger celiac disease and inflammation. The new dwarf wheat contains twenty-eight or twice as many chromosomes and produces a large variety of gluten proteins, including the ones most likely to cause celiac disease….

Celiac Disease: The First Problem

Celiac disease and gluten related problems has been increasing and now affects at least 21 million Americans and perhaps many millions more.  And 99% of people who have problems with gluten or wheat are NOT currently diagnosed.

Ninety eight percent of people with celiac have a genetic predisposition known as HLA DQ2 or DQ8, which occurs in 30% of the population.  But even though our genes haven’t changed, we have seen a dramatic increase in celiac disease in the last 50 years because of some environmental trigger.

In a recent study comparing blood samples taken 50 years ago from 10,000 young Air Force recruits to samples taken recently from 10,000 people, researchers found something quite remarkable. There has been a real 400 percent increase in celiac disease over the last 50 years (3).   And that’s just the full-blown disease affecting about 1 in 100 people, or about 3 million Americans. We used to think that this only was diagnosed in children with bloated bellies, weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.  But now we know it can be triggered (based on a genetic susceptibility) at any age and without ANY digestive symptoms.  The inflammation triggered by celiac disease can drive insulin resistance, weight gain and diabetes, just like any inflammatory trigger – and I have seen this over and over in my patients.

Gluten and Gut Inflammation: The Second Problem

But there are two ways other than celiac disease in which wheat appears to be a problem.

The second way gluten causes inflammation is through a low-grade autoimmune reaction to gluten. Your immune system creates low-level antibodies to gluten but doesn’t create full blown celiac disease.  In fact 7% of the population, 21 million, has these anti-gliadin antibodies.   These antibodies were also found in 18% of people with autism and 20% of those with schizophrenia.

A major study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, hidden gluten sensitivity (elevated antibodies without full blown celiac disease) was shown to increase risk of death by 35 to 75 percent, mostly by causing heart disease and cancer.(4)   Just by this mechanism alone over 20 million Americans are at risk for heart attack, obesity, cancer and death.

How does eating gluten cause inflammation, heart disease, obesity, diabetes and cancer?

Most of the increased risk occurs when gluten triggers inflammation that spreads like a fire throughout your whole body.  It damages the gut lining. Then all the bugs and partially digested food particles inside your intestine get across the gut barrier and are exposed your immune system, 60% of which lies right under the surface of the one cell thick layer of cells lining your gut or small intestine.  If you spread out the lining of your gut it would equal the surface area of a tennis court.  Your immune system starts attacking these foreign proteins leading to systemic inflammation that then causes heart disease, dementia, cancer, diabetes and more.

Dr. Alessio Fasano, a celiac expert from the University of Maryland School of Medicine discovered a protein made in the intestine called “zonulin” that is increased by exposure to gluten (5).   Zonulin breaks up the tight junctions or cement between the intestinal cells that normally protect your immune system from bugs and foreign proteins in food leaking across the intestinal barrier. If you have a “leaky gut” you will get inflammation throughout your whole body and a whole list of symptoms and diseases.

Why is there an increase in disease from gluten in the last 50 years?

It is because, as I described earlier, the dwarf wheat grown in this country has changed the quality and type of gluten proteins in wheat, creating much higher gluten content and many more of the gluten proteins that cause celiac disease and autoimmune antibodies.

Combine that with the damage our guts have suffered from our diet, environment, lifestyle, and medication use, and you have the perfect storm for gluten intolerance. This super gluten crosses our leaky guts and gets exposed to our immune system. Our immune system reacts as if gluten was something foreign and sets off the fires of inflammation in an attempt to eliminate it. However, this inflammation is not selective, so it begins to attack our cells—leading to diabesity and other inflammatory diseases.

Damage to the gastrointestinal tract from overuse of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil or Aleve, and acid-blocking drugs like Prilosec or Nexium, combined with our low-fiber, high-sugar diet, leads to the development of celiac disease and gluten intolerance or sensitivity and the resultant inflammation. That is why elimination of gluten and food allergens or sensitivities can be a powerful way to prevent and reverse diabesity and so many other chronic diseases.

The Super Drug

Not only does wheat contain super starch and super gluten – making it super fattening and super inflammatory, but it also contains a super drug that makes you crazy, hungry and addicted.

When processed by your digestion, the proteins in wheat are converted into shorter proteins, “polypeptides”, called “exorphins”.  They are like the endorphins you get from a runner’s high and bind to the opioid receptors in the brain, making you high, and addicted just like a heroin addict.  These wheat polypeptides are absorbed into the bloodstream and get right across the blood brain barrier.  They are called “gluteomorphins” after “gluten” and “morphine”.

These super drugs can cause multiple problems including schizophrenia and autism. But they also cause addictive eating behavior including cravings and bingeing.  No one binges on broccoli, but they binge on cookies or cake.  Even more alarming is the fact that you can block these food cravings and addictive eating behaviors and reduce calorie intake by giving the same drug we use in the emergency room to block heroin or morphine in an overdose called naloxone.  Binge eaters ate nearly 30% less food when given this drug.

Bottom line: wheat is an addictive appetite stimulant.

How to Beat the Wheat, and Lose the Weight

First you should get tested to see if you have a more serious wheat or gluten problem.

If you meet any of these criteria then you should do a six-week 100% gluten free diet trial to see how you feel.  If you have 3 out of 5 criteria, you should be gluten free for life.

Dr. Hyman also get into the realities of cholesterol and how the public has been lead to falsely believe that all cholesterol is bad.

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What Rights Should We Give to Animals?

February 23, 2012

This is a thought provoking article from Care2.  Where do we draw the line.

Declare ‘Human’ Rights For Dolpins & Whales, Scientists Urge

128 comments Declare ‘Human’ Rights For  Dolpins & Whales, Scientists Urge

A session this week at the world’s largest annual science conference presented the case for considering whales and dolphins as non-human persons, with basic rights to life, liberty and well-being. The session at the American Associaton for the Advancement of Science considered the ethical and policy implications of recent advances in scientific understanding of the intelligence and behavior of cetaceans (whales, dolphins and porpoises.) and urged support for the Declaration of Rights for Cetaceans, originally proposed in 2010.

Proponents of the Declaration point to the advanced intelligence of cetaceans. The session description reads: “A variety of scientific studies have found that whales and dolphins are capable of advanced cognitive abilities (such as problem-solving, artificial “language” comprehension, and complex social behavior), indicating that these cetaceans are far more intellectually and emotionally sophisticated than previously thought.” The participants presented multiple examples of cetaceans acting with empathy, cooperation, and self awareness.

One of the presenters, Dr. Lori Marino, outlined the ramification of recognizing cetacean “personhood” as it relates to whaling: “Once you shift from seeing a being as a property, a commodity, a resource, to a person, an autonomous entity that has a right to life on his or her own terms, the whole framework shifts.. this is not about harvesting resources, this is about murder.”

The Declaration has a long road to any kind of passage or world recognition, and faces stiff opposition from the whaling industry, from marine parks or facilities that keep whales, dolphins and porpoises in captivity, and from some religious groups who object to equating animal species with humans.

Caveats and Precedents
A case might be made that there are pressing concerns to preserve and expand human rights in the world. Canada’s National Post quotes a spokesperson of the Archdiocese of Vancouver, when asked about the declaration: “I sometimes wonder whether we’ve got our priorities mixed up when we treat animals and the environment with more respect than human beings. There are billions of people around the world who deserve our attention.” Opponents seem to assume that compassion is a zero sum game, as if extending rights to one group means there’s less to go around for everyone else.

However, extending the concept of personhood beyond human individuals is a fraught action, as we have seen in the U.S. case, Citizens United. By declaring that corporations are persons, the Supreme Court unleashed a torrent of corporate funding into an already cash-engorged political system. If the concept of personhood can be extended to corporations, surely the case could be made that dolphins are at least as human as Exxon Mobil or Monsanto.
Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/declare-human-rights-for-dolpins-whales-scientists-urge.html#ixzz1nFJl1uBI


Ron Paul sums it up well

February 23, 2012

Ron Paul makes a lot of good points.  First that Santorum is far from being an ideal conservative candidate, and how all the other Republican candidates represent more of the same with little real change in sight.

But more importantly he mentions how this whole birth control debate is silly and distracting.  Of course the media and our political class love it, because it involves sex, which Americans find endlessly fascinating, and it is a distracting and divisive issue.  Much better to have people on the left and right exhausting themselves in a never ending battle over cultural issues, while allowing the elite to go about their business of robbing the country undisturbed.  Divide and conquer.  Get the people worked up about birth control (or gay marriage, or abortion) and they will not have mental energy left over to worry about corruption.

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In examining the Republican race, voters have shifted from one “savior” candidate to another (Bauchman, Caine, Gingrich, Santorum…) only to discard him once reality sets in.  They rightly are not enthused about Romney, because he represents more of the same.  The odd thing is that the perfect conservative candidate has been staring them in the face since 2008, and yet Ron Paul is not the front runner.  Ron Paul is what people are looking for, and yet he is largely ignored.  I know that the media has done its best to marginalize him, but people need to wake up and not just get their thinking points from what is spoon fed them by the corrupt mainstream media.

As for me I am voting for Ron Paul, and if he is not the Rep. nomination, then I am voting for a third party candidate.  No way and I going to support Obama, and Romney offers little better.  If i had to force rank between the two, I would choose Romney simply because there is the slim chance that he may do things OK.  Obama has already shown me his corruption and incompetence.  However, I have a choice and it is Ron Paul or a third candidate for me.  I recommend that you think about doing likewise.  My 2 cents.


Why the Euro is inherently problematic

February 23, 2012

The following from Mish Shedlock explains why the Euro has a lot of inherent problems that are not going away soon.  The whole Euro project was rushed and based on little more than idealism, optimism and hope.  The assumption 12 years ago that centuries of distinct-and often antagonistic-cultures and languages within Europe would melt away in short order was little more than wishful thinking.  I can tell you that the vast majority of Spanish people speak only Spanish and would not want to live anywhere except where they were born and grew up.  Only a very small elite is cosmopolitan and comfortable outside of Spain.  Many Spanish don´t even want to leave their region.

Please consider some pertinent snips from A Primer on the Euro Break-Up by Jonathan Tepper of Variant Perception.
THE NEED TO EXIT: A ONE SIZE FITS ALL MONETARY POLICY

Europe exemplifies a situation unfavourable to a common currency. It is composed of separate nations, speaking different languages, with different customs, and having citizens feeling far greater loyalty and attachment to their own country than to a common market or to the idea of Europe.

Professor Milton Friedman, The Times, November 19, 1997

Before the euro was created, Robert Mundell wrote about what made an optimal currency area. It is a groundbreaking work that won him a Nobel Prize. He wrote that a currency area is optimal when it has:

1. Mobility of capital and labor – Money and people have to be willing and able to move from one part of the currency area to another.
2. Flexibility of wages and prices – Prices need to be able to move downwards, not just upwards.
3. Similar business cycles – Countries should experience expansions and recessions at the same time (technically this is referred to as “symmetry” of economic shocks).
4. Fiscal transfers to cushion the blows of recession to any region – If one part of the currency area is doing poorly, the central government can step in and transfer money from other regions.

Europe has almost none of these characteristics. Very bluntly, that means it is not a good currency area.

The United States is a good currency union. It has the same coins and money in Alaska as it does in Florida and the same in California as it does in Maine. If you look at economic shocks, the United States absorbs them pretty well. If someone was unemployed in southern California in the early 1990s after the end of the Cold War defense cutbacks, or in Texas in the early 1980s after the oil boom turned to bust, they could pack their bags and go to a state that is growing. That is exactly what happened.

This doesn’t happen in Europe. Greeks don’t pack up and move to Finland. Greeks don’t speak Finnish. And if Americans had stayed in California or Texas, they would have received fiscal transfers from the central government to cushion the blow. There is no central European government that can make fiscal transfers. So the United States works because it has mobility of labor and capital, as well as fiscal shock absorbers.

The fundamental flaw of the euro is that it provides one monetary policy for the entire euro area. This has led towards wildly divergent real effective exchange rates and has produced asset bubbles. …


Carbs and sugar make you fat, sick and old

February 23, 2012

Below is a very interesting article by Dr Mercola from mercola.com, explaining why sugar-and especially fructose-is so unhealthy.  Click on the image detail why sugars are  bad and fat has been unfairly given a bad name.

Why Limiting Sugar is Key for Longevity

Limiting sugar in your diet is a well-known key to longevity, because of all the molecules capable of inflicting damage in your body, sugar molecules are probably the most damaging of all. Fructose in particular is an extremely potent pro-inflammatory agent that creates AGEs and speeds up the aging process. It also promotes the kind of dangerous growth of fat cells around your vital organs that are the hallmark of diabetes and heart disease. In one study on fructose, 16 volunteers on a controlled diet including high levels of fructose produced new fat cells around their heart, liver and other digestive organs in just 10 weeks!

Sugar/fructose also increases your insulin and leptin levels and decreases receptor sensitivity for both of these vital hormones, and this is another major factor of premature aging and age-related chronic degenerative diseases such as heart disease. Keep in mind that while it’s perfectly normal for your blood sugar levels to rise slightly after every meal, it is not natural or healthy when your blood sugar levels become excessively elevated and stay that way.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what will happen if you’re eating like the stereotypical American, who consumes a staggering 2.5 pounds of sugar a week on average!

And when you add in other low-quality carb foods such as white bread, sugar, pasta, pastries, cookies, and candy, which also break down to sugar in your body, it’s not so difficult to see why so many Americans are in such poor health.

This type of high-sugar (high-carb) diet is also what’s driving the obesity epidemic—not diets high in fat. An infographic created by Column Five for Massive Health, based on Why We Get Fat by science writer Gary Taubes, explains why. In short, carbs, like fructose and other sugars, destroy your insulin and leptin sensitivity, which in turn causes your cells to accumulate more fat, and makes it more difficult to get rid of the extra weight as well. So, the bottom line is this: If you want to look and feel younger longer, avoid all forms of sugar (including grains) as much as possible!

IMAGE COURTESY OF MASSIVE HEALTH. READ ABOUT THIS INFOGRAPHIC

Glycation 101

Fructose adversely affects your body in a number of ways, but one of the mechanisms that causes significant damage is glycation. As already mentioned, glycation is the process in which sugar bonds with protein to form advanced glycation end products, or AGEs.

This process creates inflammation, which can activate your immune system.

Macrophages are scavenger cells that are part of your immune defense system, and as such they have special receptors for AGEs, aptly called RAGEs (think: raging inflammation). These RAGEs bind to the AGEs in your body and get rid of them. Unfortunately, this defensive process can also cause its fair share of damage. Inside your arteries, for example, the scar tissue created from this process is called plaque.

You really want to limit the AGEs in your body as much as possible, so your immune system won’t have to work so hard to defend against them. As a standard recommendation to limit glycation, I strongly advise keeping your TOTAL fructose consumption below 25 grams per day.

However, most people would be wise to limit their fructose to 15 grams or less, particularly if you have elevated uric acid levels, which can be used as a predictor for fructose toxicity. (For more information on this, please see this previous article.) This includes keeping track of your fructose intake from whole fruits. For additional information about the fructose content of common fruits, please see this helpful fructose chart. I recommend this lower level simply because if you consume processed foods or sweet beverages at all, you’re virtually guaranteed to consume “hidden” sources of fructose.

Fructose Metabolism Basics

Anyone who still insists that “sugar is sugar” is way behind the times… There are in fact major differences in how your body processes different sugars, and it’s important to understand that when you consume fructose, your body packs on pounds at a much higher rate than it does when you consume glucose. The following summary details the main metabolic differences between fructose and glucose to help you understand how fructose can wreak such havoc with your health, and why it’s considerably worse for you than glucose:

  • After eating fructose, nearly all of the metabolic burden rests on your liver. But with glucose, your liver has to break down only 20 percent.
  • Every cell in your body, including your brain, utilizes glucose. Therefore, much of it is “burned up” immediately after you consume it. By contrast, fructose is primarily converted into free fatty acids (FFAs), VLDL (the damaging form of cholesterol), and triglycerides, which get stored as fat.
  • The fatty acids created during fructose metabolism accumulate as fat droplets in your liver and skeletal muscle tissues, causing insulin resistance and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Insulin resistance progresses to metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
  • Fructose is the most lipophilic carbohydrate. In other words, fructose converts to activated glycerol (g-3-p), which is directly used to turn FFAs into triglycerides. The more g-3-p you have, the more fat you store. Glucose does not do this.
  • When you eat 120 calories of glucose, less than one calorie is stored as fat. 120 calories of fructose results in 40 calories being stored as fat. Fructose is essentially largely converted into fat!
  • The metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which triggers your “fat switch,” causing you to gain more weight.
  • Glucose does not do this, as it suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin and stimulates leptin, which suppresses your appetite. Fructose has no effect on ghrelin and interferes with your brain’s communication with leptin, resulting in overeating.

How to Tame Your Sugar Cravings

As mentioned earlier, I recommend that you avoid as much sugar as possible. Do your best to keep your fructose consumption below 15-25 grams a day. This is especially important if you are overweight or have diabetes, high cholesterol, or high blood pressure.

Sugar is highly addictive, so cutting down can be a real challenge for some, especially if you’re consuming very high amounts. If you’re struggling with sugar addiction, I highly recommend trying an energy psychology technique called Turbo Tapping, which has helped many “soda addicts” kick their sweet habit. If you still want to use a sweetener occasionally, here’s what I recommend in lieu of sugar:

  1. Use the sweet herb stevia.
  2. Use organic cane sugar in moderation.
  3. Use organic raw honey in moderation.
  4. Avoid ALL artificial sweeteners, which can damage your health even more quickly than fructose.
  5. Avoid agave syrup since it is a highly processed sap that is almost all fructose. Your blood sugar will spike just as it would if you were consuming regular sugar or HFCS. Agave’s meteoric rise in popularity is due to a great marketing campaign, but any health benefits present in the original agave plant are processed out.

The Anti-Aging Lifestyle

Of all the healthy lifestyle strategies I know of that can have a significant impact on your longevity, normalizing your insulin and leptin levels is probably the most important. Cutting out sugar and grains and increasing exercise are two effective ways to accomplish that.

But to truly optimize your longevity and slow down the clock, your entire lifestyle needs to be taken into account. So, here are the rest of my top “anti-aging” recommendations. Incorporating these healthy lifestyle guidelines will help set you squarely on the path to optimal health and give you the best shot at living a much longer life:

  • Learn how to effectively cope with stress– Stress has a direct impact on inflammation, which in turn underlies many of the chronic diseases that kill people prematurely every day, so developing effective coping mechanisms is a major longevity-promoting factor.Meditation, prayer, physical activity and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium. I also strongly believe in using energy psychology tools such as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) to address deeper, oftentimes hidden emotional problems.
  • Eat a healthy diet focused on whole, ideally organic, foods – My nutrition plan, based on natural whole foods, is your first step toward increasing your chances of living a longer, healthier life.
  • Optimize Your Vitamin D Levels. This is another very powerful and inexpensive intervention that can have profound benefits on your health. In the summer you can do this for free by careful and safe sun exposure. In the winter a therapeutic level of oral vitamin D can be achieved with an oral supplement (around 8,000 units of vitamin D3 a day for most adults)
  • Animal based omega-3 fats – Correcting the ratio of omega-3 to healthful omega-6 fats is a strong factor in helping you live longer. This typically means increasing your intake of animal based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil, while decreasing your intake of damaged omega-6 fats (think trans fats).I do not, however, recommend the new prescription strength fish oil medication, sold under the name Lovaza. Don’t be fooled by their “all-natural” PR campaign. This is actually a drug to treat very high triglyceride levels. However, as with most other drugs, Lovaza comes with potentially dangerous side effects that you would not experience with a natural fish oil or krill oil supplement. Side effects include flu-like symptoms, infections, back pain, skin rashes, upset stomach, taste changes, digestive issues, chest pain, migraines and respiratory problems!

    Additionally, new research strongly suggests that 500 mg of krill oil is more potent and far less expensive.

  • Get your antioxidants from foods –Good sources include blueberries, cranberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, beans, and artichokes.
  • Use coconut oil – Another excellent anti-aging food is coconut oil, known to reduce your risk of heart disease and lower your cholesterol, among other things. In fact, it’s doubly beneficial because it can be both eaten and applied directly to your skin. Coconut oil can be used in place of other oils, margarine, butter, or shortening, and can be used for all your cooking needs.
  • Get your resveratrol naturally– Resveratrol is one of the forerunners in the anti-aging pill race, but more than likely, by the time they’ve manipulated it into a synthetic pill (like the fish oil discussed above), it won’t be healthy for you.Although resveratrol is the antioxidant found in red wine, I can’t recommend drinking wine in the hopes of extending your life because alcohol is a neurotoxin that can poison your brain and harm your body’s delicate hormonal balance. Instead, get your resveratrol from natural sources, such as whole grape skins and seeds, raspberries, mulberries, and peanuts.
  • Exercise regularly and smartly — Studies repeatedly show that regular, moderate-to-vigorous exercise can help prevent or delay your onset of hypertension, obesity, heart disease, osteoporosis, and the falls that lead to hip fracture. Although a lifetime of regular exercise is ideal, it’s never too late to start. It’s been shown that even individuals in their 70’s can substantially increase both strength and endurance with exercise.High-intensity, interval training can also increase longevity as this specific style of training promotes human growth hormone production – yet another aspect of the longevity puzzle.
  • Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible – This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
  • Avoid pharmaceutical drugs – Pharmaceutical drugs kill thousands of people prematurely every year – as an expected side effect of the action of the drug. And, if you adhere to a healthy lifestyle, you most likely will never need any of them in the first place.

Reference:


Related Links:

  ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ Makes The Worms’ Lifespan Go Down


The Truth About Milk

February 23, 2012

This a good video explaining how the USDA food pyramid is full of holes and misleading, designed more to protect industry profits than promote genuine healthy eating habits.  He also explains why milk is a dubious food, despite the propaganda machine´s best efforts.

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Here is an interesting article from Natural News.  Pasteurized milk can afford to be filthy because they cook it, while raw milk producers need to be clean because anything bad in it will go directly to consumers.  Normal milk is really a totally debased product, watered down, and full of pathogens, hormones, antibiotics, GM food, and a whole bunch of cruelty to boot.

naturalnews.com printable article

Originally published February 22 2012

Pasteurized milk 150 times more contaminated with blood, pus and feces than fresh milk – videos the CDC won’t show you

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) The vaccine-pushing, disease scare-mongering agency known as the CDC has put out a stunning piece of propaganda attacking fresh milk (raw dairy), claiming it is “150 times more dangerous” than pasteurized milk. This is all part of their anti-American agenda to crush food freedom and criminalize fundamental farming practices upon which this very nation was founded. (Yes, George Washington and the founding fathers drank raw milk, grew hemp and even smoked a little weed as medicine.)

But what the CDC won’t dare reveal to the public is the far more horrifying truth: Pasteurized dairy is produced in the dirtiest milk factories imaginable, where blood, pus, e.coli and other truly dangerous pathogens are routinely bottled into milk containers and fed to consumers.

That’s the whole point of pasteurization, you see: To kill everything that might be alive in their ultra-dirty milk. The real purpose of pasteurization is not to simply “make milk safe” as is claimed by the CDC, but rather to allow the dairy industry to operate DIRTY. It’s so much easier to just cook the crap out of the milk (yes, there’s fecal matter in it) than to clean up their operations, get it?

Thanks to pasteurization, conventional (non-organic, non-raw) dairy operators have no need to thoroughly wash their milking machines, no need to sterilize any milk containers, no need to wash their hands, and no need to maintain a clean milking environment whatsoever. It’s just total filth with festering diseased animals dying on the floor and being physically abused by the corporate dairy operators (see video links, below).

Dairy cows are routinely abused and left to suffer in total filth

Want to know how conventional (pasteurized) dairy cows are really treated? Here’s something the CDC won’t show you.

Watch this highly disturbing video of dairy cows being kicked, tortured, abused and injured by conventional dairy workers. This was filmed with an undercover spy cam (WARNING: DISTURBING IMAGERY):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kUmtSONLhOc

When you buy pasteurized milk at the grocery store, you are supporting an industry that tortures cows and produces a dirty, filthy product!

Of course, the dairy industry would much rather force everybody to pasteurize their milk and outlaw clean raw dairy than to clean up their own act. That’s the whole point of the CDC going after raw dairy: To destroy the raw dairy industry and force everyone to drink dirty, contaminated pasteurized milk that’s extracted from tortured cows.

Here are some other short videos you may want to view (WARNING):

Dairy Cow Abuse – “Mercy For Animals” hidden camera in New York:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdiwZKsrgdA

The disgusting treatment of (conventional) dairy cows:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzS8p727gvM

Dairy cows with injuries and infections:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrMj0oBdyWs

ABC Nightline – Dairy farm abuse:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIRshcfNLDk

So get it through your heads, folks: If you buy pasteurized, homogenized milk, you are supporting an industry of filth, torture, infected animals and dirty, dirty milk.

Blood, pus, bacteria and fecal matter – drink up, kiddies!

The reason all that milk has to be pasteurized is because it’s strongly contaminated with:

• blood
• pus
• bacteria
• fecal matter

In addition, conventional dairy cows are:

• Pumped full of bovine growth hormones
• Fed masses of antibiotics
• Fed tons of GMOs such as corn and soy
• Heavily contaminated with chemical pesticides

That’s what you get when you buy “Pasteurized” milk. Plus the feces in the milk, of course.

So the next time somebody gets mad at you in bumper-to-bumper traffic and they scream out the window: “EAT SH*T!” just hand them a glass of pasteurized milk. Let them drink it, huh?

The cleanest milk in the world? RAW, fresh milk!

You want to see a super clean dairy operation? Go to a raw dairy farm and check out their operation. It’s the cleanest, most pristine dairy operation you’ll ever find. And why? Because it has to be. If you want to produce clean, fresh dairy without pasteurization, you have to run a super clean facility with healthy cows, stringent cleanliness practices and a commitment to producing wholesome food.

Only raw milk dairies have this kind of commitment to cleanliness.

View this powerful comparison between pasteurized milk and raw milk:
http://organicpastures.com/whyraw.html

In fact, if you took a gallon of unpasteurized milk from a conventional dairy and you compared it to a gallon of unpasteurized milk from a quality-certified raw milk dairy, I have no doubt you would find that the conventional dairy has at least 150 times the level of blood, pus, feces and dangerous bacteria (if not more).

In contrast, raw milk from a reputable dairy operation such as Organic Pastures (www.OrganicPastures.com) is the cleanest milk on the planet, bar none. Sure, it has friendly bacteria in it, but that bacteria is good for you — it’s probiotics. The CDC, of course, is so clueless about infectious disease that they hate ALL bacteria and want to destroy them all with chemicals or heat.

The CDC won’t dare discuss any of this, however. Instead, the CDC has resorted to what can only be called a raw milk fear mongering campaign using the exact same tactic they used to promote vaccine sales by pushing false swine flu fear.

The only thing dirtier than pasteurized milk, it seems, is the CDC itself, which has degraded from a once-respected group of actual scientists to a cabal of junk science fear mongerers and political prostitutes who drop trow and bend over for Big Business (Big Pharma, Big Dairy, etc.) at every opportunity. Instead of doing something important to stop the spread of infectious disease (like promoting vitamin D, immune-boosting nutrition and improved sanitation), the CDC is now a total sellout to the interests of the corporate giants who feed us filth and call it food.

So it’s no surprise to see the CDC promoting pasteurized milk — the very product whose digestive enzymes have been destroyed so that it causes allergic reactions in those who consume it.

Pasteurized, homogenized milk also promotes heart disease, obesity, autoimmune disorders, constipation, sinus congestion and many other chronic health conditions. It is the perfect food for the uninformed masses who the U.S. government seems to be trying to keep in a state of lifelong disease and medical enslavement.

Keep reading NaturalNews to learn more about what’s wrong with conventional pasteurized dairy products. We’re working on several articles covering this topic.

And remember:

Pasteurized milk is so disgustingly dirty that if they didn’t kill everything in it with heat, the liquid would probably kill YOU.

Sources for this story include:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/feb/21/feds-fresh-milk-150-t…

http://organicpastures.com/

www.RealMilk.com

www.WestonAPrice.org

http://www.themeatrix.com/ exposes the reality of today´s modern industrial “farm”.