Back to Real Life

So, I’ve been a bit MIA the past couple of months.  See, I just returned from a vacation to Italy and France and most of my free time in the weeks leading up to the trip were planning the 2 weeks we were going to be there.  But, I’m back now and more inspired than ever to keep on pursuing true health.

Leading up to the trip, I was a bit anxious about all the weight I was going to gain from eating so many carbs.  That wasn’t going to stop me from enjoying all the pasta, pizza, gelato, tiramisu and wine “when in Rome,” but I figured I would just have to work extra hard when I returned to be healthier.  So, when I was there, I did just that.  I splurged at meals, opting for wine at lunch and dinner, eating an afternoon gelato every day, and having my share of fresh pasta in search of the best ever.

What surprised me, though, is that I somehow ended up losing weight on the trip.  More importantly, while we were there and when I returned, I felt great – nearly pain-free, full of energy, and just an overall feeling of healthy.  On a normal basis, I am so focused on what I eat and put into my body, but only very slowly do I feel like I am seeing the results for my health that I want.   I go on vacation for two weeks and eat whatever I want (and have the best time doing so), and I see results immediately.  As I’ve returned and reflected about what made that possible, I’ve had a few thoughts that I wanted to share.

Fresh Ingredients, Made-From-Scratch Food

Every day, Italian home cooks and chefs go to the market to get fresh meat and fresh vegetables for the meals they will prepare that day.  While we were staying in Tuscany, we cooked dinner every night in our home and visited the market several times that week.  The stores there weren’t like ours where fresh ingredients remain only on two of the outer sides of the store, with the bulk of food on shelves or in freezers. They had large produce sections, cheese and meat counters (mozzarella and prosciutto galore!), a large selection of fresh pasta, non-homogenized milk & cream and a bakery with breads baked that day.  There were no pre-prepared desserts, very little freezer space and the eggs were so fresh they didn’t even have to be refrigerated.

We took a cooking class in Italy on how to make fresh pasta and learned thirteen different pasta sauces.  Let me first say, if you ever go to Italy – do this!  It really was one of my most favorite experiences and taught us so much more about the culture we were visiting.  Plus, it was the best meal of the trip!  My brother blogged about the details here if you’d like to read more about it.  It was incredible to go behind-the-scenes with a chef who cooks for his restaurant daily and learn his authentic recipes.  He told us about how he visits the local farmer’s market daily to get fresh seafood, meat, eggs, fruits and vegetables.  We started by chopping lots of fresh produce and then throwing it in pots on the stove with plenty of locally grown & produced olive oil.  The sauces were all made from fresh veggies and tomatoes, real cream, pancetta, and lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese.  One of the best parts was that he had his pots of fresh herbs right on the kitchen counter and would pick them straight off the plant, tear them up and throw them in the pots as we cooked.  The pasta was simply made from unbleached flour, fresh eggs and chopped spinach or tomato paste was added for different coloring/flavoring.  Every ingredient was simple and fresh.  Every item was hand-made.  We are just missing that here.

While we were only in Paris a few days, I certainly enjoyed every bit of French food while I could.  I had some delicious meals where you could really taste the flavor because of how they were prepared.  The french onion soup was made with gelatin-rich bone broth and you could taste how long it had been simmering to infuse nutrients.  Roasted chicken was always served on the bone and in its own gravy.  One night, we went to a place that made traditional crepes, made gluten-free with buckwheat as they should be – phenomenal!

Non-Toxic, Real Food

I attribute a lot of how healthy we stayed during our trip to the fact that the food was made from real ingredients.  There were no preservatives in the bread and fresh pasta.  The preservative potassium bromate (aka bromated flour) that’s often found in our foods here in the U.S. isn’t added there, so doesn’t pose a risk to your health.   They use olive oil or butter for all cooking, and you won’t find hydrogenated vegetable oil in processed foods either – those are made with coconut or palm oil.  That alone makes such a difference in the amount of free-radicals people are exposed to.  It’s amazing how foods that are sold both there and here are made so differently – The ketchup I got with my french fries in Paris contained no high-fructose corn sryup; it was made with real tomatoes and sugar.  We even bought m&m’s at the airport that were made with coconut oil!  I’m now wishing I had bought more…

And you certainly won’t find any toxic food dyes or artifcial coloring in the foods.  All the gelato we enjoyed was flavored and colored with real fruits; there were no bright, unrealistic colors to attract customers.  And GMOs are strictly regulated there and mostly banned in both Italy and France.  Produce is grown by farmers who sell it at local markets, chicken and cattle are allowed to graze freely on the range and not fed growth-stimulating hormones, and fish are actually caught in sea instead of farmed.  All of the chemicals that we eat in our food cause us to gain weight as our bodies are literally starving of nutrients.  And they make us feel terrible as we suffer from leaky gut syndrome and develop food allergies we may not even realize.  If you are curious to read more, here’s an interesting list of lots of things we eat constantly in the US that’s banned in other countries across the world due to health effects.

Movement

The first city on our trip was Rome.  We stayed in Centro Storico, right by the Piazza Navona.  A great location literally right in the middle of all the major sides, but not easily accessible public transportation.  So we quickly learned that we would be walking everywhere.  We started both days we were there with a 30-minute walk to our tours of the Vatican and Colosseum/Ancient Rome and continued to do lots and lots of walking.  As we visited towns across Tuscany, many people don’t have cars and simply walk everywhere.  They walk to the market each day, they walk to work.  In one town we visited, Lucca, everyone rides bikes, both leisurely around town and athletically through the countryside.  We rode around the top of the town wall – a beautiful experience.  In Venice, you walk everywhere to avoid expensive boat rides and the locals were always out walking their pups.  Walking miles a day certainly put me into better shape than I have been in a long time.  And miraculously, my back pain ceased and my recently painful achilles tendon, finally stretched out instead of cramped under a desk all day, hasn’t bothered me  since.  Funny how all the pain that typically prevents me from exercise is really what cures it.

Biking in Lucca

Less Stress

According to WebMD, 75-90% of all doctor’s office visits are for stress-related ailments and complaints.  As a society, we are really harming our bodies by putting ourselves under too much stress.  Stress causes us to experience back and neck pain, affects our hormones and causes us to gain weight.  One thing the Italians have right is how to live a less stressful life.  They take their time in the mornings enjoying a cafe with breakfast.  They go to work for a few hours and then take an afternoon break to relax and eat lunch with friends or family, before returning to work for a few hours in the afternoon/evening.  Meals are an experience and people take their time eating, enjoying each other’s company and partaking in plenty of wine.  Disclaimer for any “health people” ready to judge: I am aware that wine is alcohol and therefore toxic to your body, but there’s a lot to say for how a glass or two helps take the edge off the day and provide stress relief.  We had some pretty crazy driving experiences around Italy (especially up the switchbacks on the steep hill to our house in Tuscany) and at the end of the day, a glass of champagne certainly helped take the stress away.

Obviously, I was on vacation and away from my job (recently rated #5 on the most stressful jobs list, by the way!), so that certainly helped my stress level.  But, it was more than that…  I wasn’t watching tv or constantly on my phone checking email, instagram or facebook.  I was out exploring, taking walks, enjoying art and taking in the beauty of God’s creation.  I was cooking for my family each night, feeling inspired by the local ingredients and creating delicious new recipes.  And, then, I sat with my family to enjoy the food over conversation around the dinner table, uninterrupted by phones or our busy lives.  How often does that happen in our lives anymore?  It’s the focus on relationships, talking about life and decompressing from the day over a great meal and glass of wine that helps put things in perspective and remember what’s really important: not stressing over life, but appreciating our blessings.

Back to Real Life

So now that I’ve convinced you myself to move to Italy, I have to remember that wineries and beautiful hills are just a short drive away (on much easier roads)!  But, really, although the hurdles to health that I returned to can sometimes be overwhelming and discouraging, I can lead a healthier life.  I’m inspired to…

  • Shop at local farmer’s markets.  Meet the people who grow real food and who have a passion for providing real nourishment to their customers.  Invest in them and the hard work they do every day.
  • Use real ingredients and keep my recipes simple.  Make things from scratch that have true flavor and are full of nutrients.
  • Enjoy cooking again.  I no longer want to dread cooking dinner when I get home from a long day at work.  I want to remember that God’s gifted me with the ability to create delicious, healthy dishes for my family and see it as a way to express my creativity.
  • Take more walks. Enjoy the beautiful Texas weather & landscape, meet my neighbors, and keep my puppy happy as she’s so enjoyed our walking adventures since I returned.
  • Host more dinner parties to enjoy good food and good wine with friends.
  • Sit at the table to eat with my husband more often instead of on the couch.  No phones allowed.
  • Leave the stress of work at the office.  Give thanks for all my blessings daily and put things back in perspective.

Salute!

Paninis and Wine from a street cafe in Florence

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Doctored – Healthcare or Sick Care?

I used to be sick… really sick, all the time. I’ve seen dozens of doctors throughout my life and popped too many prescription pills to remember, trying to get better. But y’all, for the first time ever, I feel great.  And I haven’t seen a doctor in years now, or taken medication.  Coincidence?  It certainly doesn’t seem that way to me…

Before I begin my summary/commentary of the documentary Doctored, I want to be clear that it (and this blog) is meant to inform and raise awareness, not offend.  This documentary is an exposé on the business of medicine and the harm it’s caused to many people, including me; it’s not an attack on the healthcare professionals who work with the best of intentions to heal and save people’s lives.  I sincerely hope you’ve had a very different experience from mine, but I know that many of you have not.  This documentary really helped me understand they why behind it all and I feel compelled to share it with those of you who are/have been as frustrated as me with the lack of answers.

Modern western medicine came about to get rid of “quacks” who were scamming people into dangerous treatments.  It was created to give regulation and science to the methods of healing people. Morris Fishbein, the American Medical Association’s Executive Director from 1924 to 1949 felt that only doctors should treat people, but he was also clear that “Medicine is a profession; it must never become a business or a trade, never the subservient tool of a governmental bureaucracy.”  Unfortunately, the healthcare industry is now a far cry from that.  

Medicine is sick care, not health care. 8 out of 10 people will die of a chronic illness.  These illnesses are treated with medication that may fix the symptoms but ultimately sustains the problem, rather than healing it. Let’s be honest: if drugs cured us, then we would stop spending money. According to the World Health Organization, the United States spends more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.2%), than any other nation (according to 2011 figures, the most recent I could find).  Approximately 98% of the advertising revenue for medical journals in the United States is provided by pharmaceutical companies.  This seems like a slight conflict of interest to me.

“Medical school doesn’t teach doctors to address the root of the problem.  It teaches doctors to treat the problem.  It’s a practical science with practical aims… medicine is different from other sciences because more than being a science, it is first and foremost a business.”

– Dr. Cate Shanahan on her disillusionment with the industry of medicine and her desire & reason to become a doctor in Deep Nutrition

In my experience, the physicians that I have seen couldn’t figure out my problems.  Unfortunately, rather than trying to figure out why I was sick, they came up with ideas and prescribed medication to see if it worked.  But I got worse, not better.  And often, I was diagnosing myself.  Isn’t a doctor supposed to tell you what medication you need rather than you seeing a commercial, then going to the doctor to say you have the symptoms and need that pill?  When we are sick, we want the shortest route to the quickest fix.  And too often, so do our busy doctors.  The easy answer? Medicine.

Over the past year, I have seen dramatic healing by visiting my new chiropractor regularly.  I used to suffer from back and shoulder/neck/hip/foot/leg pain daily, (honestly, almost constantly).  Through regular adjustments and sticking to an anti-inflammatory diet, I have seen 95% improvement in my pain frequency and intensity.  It is simply remarkable and life changing.  What I have found incredible about fixing my spine is how much it also affects your overall nervous system and your brain, and thus the health of my body as a whole. Could the problem be that doctors just aren’t taking a hands-on (literally) approach with their patients anymore?  

Now, you’re considered a quack if you don’t prescribe drugs.  Doctors who try to help someone naturally, like chiropractors, are often considered quacks because they are trying to help their patients while avoiding the dangerous and potentially fatal side effects of medication.  Every year, 125,000 people die of properly prescribed drugs.  I am surprised that number isn’t higher, since I’ve personally known 3 people in the past 5 years fall victim to it. But pharmaceutical companies are never charged with murder.  Rather, the (vicious for us) profitable cycle continues.  I talk to people all the time who are on one medication for one issue and then on 3 more to combat the side effects of that medication. How many of you can relate?

Now time for the real controversy: the epidemic of cancer as the ultimate example of medicine as a business.  This documentary tells a couple of compelling stories about the governments efforts to fight possible cures for cancer (FDA vs Dr. Burzynski’s antineoplaston therapy) and promote chemotherapy/radiation (Utah prosecuted the parents of Parker Jensen for refusing to treat their young son with chemo after his tumor was surgically removed).  Think about it: if there was a cure for cancer, there would be lots of people without jobs.  That’s all I’ll say about that topic… please, watch it for yourself.

The documentary ends with a commentary on how the health of a nation is in direct correlation to health of it’s soil.  Our minerals and nutrients come from the soil where are food is grown and animals graze; we need active and alive food to stay active and alive.  As I’ve mentioned before, GMOs and pesticide-ridden food are now pervasive in our grocery stores. In fact, since GMOs  were introduced, the instances of autoimmune diseases have increased 400%!  It’s more important than ever to pay extra special attention to your diet and where your food comes from as a cure for your health.

To close, Doctored emphasizes the hope that with more patients pushing for real answers, healthcare is, in many cases, becoming more patient-centered and doctors are now collaborating with holistic practitioners for alternative healing methods.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet, and in the cause and prevention of disease.”

– Thomas Edison

Soy it ain’t so…

No more soy!

Thanks to the marketing efforts of the soy industry in the U.S. (we are the top producer of soy, contributing around 35% of the world supply), we’ve been deceived into thinking that soy is a phenomenal health food. It’s supposed to be heart-healthy and keep you young. Vegetarians rely on it as a protein source. It’s a widely available alternative for those with lactose intolerance. And the Japanese, whose diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world, have eaten it for years. Unfortunately, the truth is that it’s cheap, easy to process, and therefore has great margins for making money, hence the pervasive marketing. Even worse, it’s toxic to our bodies when not prepared or grown appropriately. Bad news is that the toxic kind is how it’s currently produced and consumed by all of us today.

Soybeans contain two chemicals, goitrogens and phytoestrogens, that affect your thyroid and sex hormones. Traditionally, the Japanese would soak and ferment the soybeans before using them, which neutralizes these harmful chemicals and creates tasty and healthful miso, tofu, etc. But now, in commercially made soy products (even in many of those organically grown), the fermentation process is skipped because it’s cheaper & quicker to do so; instead it is hydrolyzed, a process that does not remove the toxins. So the soy sauce, soy milk, infant formulas, soy protein bars, tofu and most processed products you buy in stores and eat at restaurants are passing those chemicals straight to your body. These chemicals cause thyroid (regulates growth, metabolism and energy levels) issues, like hyper/hypothyroidism and thyroid & pancreatic cancer, as well as reproductive organ problems for both men and women. Soy is also one of the most common allergens, especially among infants and toddlers.

In addition to the fact that already-present chemicals are not removed, the toxic solvent hexane (a chemical by-product of gasoline refining) is used to process soy proteins. Hexane can cause cancer, birth defects, reproductive issues, and adverse effects on the environment.

Even worse, 90% of soybeans are genetically modified, a serious health issue I discussed at length here. The GMO quality of these beans only adds to the health effects, now being linked to sterility and infant mortality.

Seeing a trend here? I don’t know about you, but when I learned about all this, I was immediately motivated to remove soy from my diet. Personally, I saw amazing changes in some hormonal issues I was suffering from within just a few weeks (starting with getting rid of my daily soy-protein bars at breakfast). Here’s a few suggestions to get you started:

  • When shopping, go for fresh foods instead of processed items. If you do buy packaged (even organic), look at the ingredients label and avoid these substances: soy, soy protein (isolate/hydrolyzed), soy lecithin, hydrolyzed plant/vegetable protein, monoglycerides, MSG, and soybean oil
  • If you are lactose-intolerant or vegetarian, go for cashew, almond or, my favorite, coconut milk. I find that unsweetened, full fat coconut milk tastes the most similar and works in recipes as an easy substitute – plus it makes delicious and healthy whipped cream!
  • Start your babies off right – most infant formulas contain GM soy. Breast-feeding is best, but if you must use formula, you will have to make your own, find a local goat farm for milk, or participate in a milk sharing program. Unfortunately, there are no soy-free options available for sale in the United States, but you can import from Europe (Holle brand in Germany).
  • Attention meat eaters: many fast food restaurants put soy flour and soy protein in their meat and buns, among other things…
  • Lastly, you can still enjoy those tasty Asian dishes with traditionally fermented soy sauce instead. I have found it at every grocery store I’ve visited and I actually like the taste better. Here’s one brand to try.  Or, you can use coconut aminos, which has a very similar taste and is completely soy-free.

I’d love to know… Is this the first you’ve heard about the dangers of soy? Will you try removing it from your diet?

What are GMOs? A Review of Genetic Roulette

Is it just me, or does America seem to be getting sicker? I don’t remember so many kids having autism or food allergies when I was a kid.  And it certainly seems like infertility problems have skyrocketed in my lifetime.  Apparently, I’m not crazy, because, in fact, since the mid 90s, the number of Americans suffering from at least 3 chronic illnesses has nearly doubled. Oh, and the infant mortality rate is increasing, even though we are supposed to have better medical care and technology than ever.  So, what’s changed?  A few months ago, I watched a documentary (and did some research of my own) that opened my eyes to an interesting coincidence, pointing to what has changed in our environment that could be causing these health epidemics in America. Genetic Roulette, directed by Jeffrey Smith, won AwareGuide’s Top Transformational Film of 2012 award – to get the word out about the film, they are making it available to watch for FREE, this week only (through Feb 10), hereGenetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives may be the best documentary I’ve seen. It’s filled with testimonies from farmers & moms and facts & explanations from experts to back up everything it claims.  I’m going to give an overview of the film, but I’ll never do it justice.  So make time for about 80 minutes this week to sit down and watch; I promise you won’t regret it.

So what’s the coincidence?  It was the switch from eating whole foods to scientifically altered foods – the increase in Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs). GMOs were created by putting the DNA from one species into another to get benefits from both.  For our food and farming purposes, this means creating a seed that makes a plant produce its own pesticide or making it pesticide resistant so that farmers have an easier time fighting off bugs and weeks.  It sounds like a great idea, except that it’s all a science experiment in genetic alteration, resulting in mutations and unpredictable side effects, creating toxins, allergens, carcinogens and triggering inflammation.  It creates a new genetic sequence that our body doesn’t recognize as food and so attacks the foreign object.  Wait, so how did all this get approved by the FDA?

I love me a good government conspiracy theory, but get the facts on this one: The FDA has claimed overwhelming consensus from scientists that GMOs are safe since 1992, but when internal memos were released to the public during a lawsuit, it was discovered that their research staff actually expressed health and safety concerns about GMOs.  Unfortunately, their concerns were ignored because the FDA Deputy Commissioner, Michael Taylor, was also a former attorney & Vice President at Monsanto Chemical Company, the company that manufactures and sells GMO seeds to farmers.  And Michael Taylor’s not the only commercial GM advocate that’s been appointed to a high government position in charge of our safety (ahem, Dept of Agriculture).  Actually, the FDA doesn’t regulate these seeds; they ask these companies to do their own studies and remind them of obligation to provide safe food to the public. If you’re not familiar with Monsanto, they’re the same company that said Agent Orange & DDT were safe – do you trust them?   Unfortunately, companies are motivated by money, so when they perform their own studies, the statistics are likely skewed to get the product to market faster.  Often they are too short to identify cancer, birth defects, and infertility effects.

Interestingly, independent studies (those not funded by companies making money from GMO foods – look carefully when you research) show that since GMO corn and soy started increasing in farms in 1996, America has seen a huge rise in problems with the gut – inflammatory bowel disease, gastrointestinal disease, Chrohn’s disease, chronic constipation, reflux.  For your reference, today, about 88% of corn and 94% of soy is GMO; while you may not think you eat a lot of corn or hate soy milk, the products of corn and soy are in almost every processed, pre-packaged food item that you eat.  Oh, and there seems to be a shared rise in diabetes, autism, alzheimer’s, heart attacks, thyroid issues, allergies, and autoimmune diseases as well.

The movie covers a variety of topics, each building upon the last… here’s a taste of what you’ll learn:

  • Insecticide in Food: The BT toxin used in GM corn & cotton is designed to break open the stomachs of insects to kill them.  Seems to do the same to us, making our intestines leaky and allowing food to enter the body before our flora have a chance to respond.  Stat: A Canadian study found BT toxin in the blood of 93% of pregnant women sampled.
  • Intestinal Damage: Many diseases on the rise are connected to intestinal permeability – the food is leaking into body and we are creating antibodies to those foods, naturally developing food intolerances & allergies.
  • Allergies: Food allergies are on the rise today due to intestinal damage.  Although the allergic reactions to certain foods may not reverse, symptoms decreased when prescribed a high-quality, organic, non-GMO diet. I don’t want to be the mom who said: “What have I done to my children?  What did I unknowingly consent to?”
  • Autism: The rate is sky-rocketing and one of the main health issues autistic people have are intestinal.  Parents have seen great results switching to a non-GMO diet.  Not saying this is the cause, but I certainly wouldn’t risk it.
  • RoundUp: Monsanto’s best selling herbicide to kill weeds is based on glyphosate, which steals nutrients.  Plants treated with RoundUp will have reduction in available nutrients, so the animals eating it become weak and sick… and then we eat the plants and animals, making us weak and sick. When you are deficient in essential trace minerals and nutrients, diseases worsen and can become impossible to cure.
  • Birth Defects: Workers on farms sprayed with RoundUp suffered birth defects.  Lab animals suffered severe birth defects and fertility problems from GMO soy; by the 3rd generation, some rats even lost the ability to have babies.
  • Mystery Organism:  When researching the epidemic of livestock fertility problems, scientists found a NEW, unidentified organism with similar properties of fungus in a miscarried fetus.  These livestock are eating high concentrations of roundup sprayed on corn & soy and GM alfalfa hay.
  • Cancer from Dairy:  Scientists use the E.Coli bacteria to produce a hormone to increase metabolism and milk production in cows.  Unfortunately, this causes painful mastitis in the udders, meaning more antibiotics and bovine growth hormone (rGBH) in the milk.  IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor), found in these hormones, is known to cause cancer, especially in milk-duct tissues.  After studies showed a 55-60% increase in breast cancer for women over 50, rGBH was finally banned in many countries outside of the US, though some American companies have stopped using it.  Even several Monsanto scientists admit they won’t drink non-organic milk.
  • Kids & GMOs: Kids grow fast and have a higher metabolic rate, so they eat more and need more nutrition from their food. Their immune system is also under development, making them more susceptible to toxins.  And epigenetics has proved that pregnant women can pass many of these toxins onto their babies.
  • Infant Formula: Most formulas have rGBH dairy and GM corn in them, and the soy-based ones have GM soy.  Babies are the most vulnerable of all to these toxins.
  • Why GMOs? They say it’s the best way to “feed the world.”  But really, we are using chemicals that cost more money, require more work and destroy the soil. “Just because science can do something, does that mean it should?”
  • GMO Myths:
    • Increases Yield (seeds are not sustainable; organic outperforms in droughts; all independent studies prove not economically better)
    • Increases Exports (we’ve lost 99% of corn exports to Europe)
    • Reduces Need for Herbacide (after few years, weeds change and no resistance; more pesticides applied to GMOs than conventional)
    • The government and scientists have reviewed and approved (Many scientists who have spoken up or disagreed with GMOs in the past have been attacked and had their reputations destroyed.)
  • Lastly, a few farmer testimonies:
    • GMOs in India – When BT toxin took over cottonseed industry, thousands of field workers & farmers complained of skin allergies & rashes and animals grazing on BT toxin fields got sick and died. BT cotton is unpredictable and when crops failed, farmers went into debt, creating a huge suicide increase – BT cotton farmer suicides account for 75% of the country’s suicide rate.
    • GMOs in South Africa – GM corn fed to cows and pigs had reproductive failure, pneumonia and cannibalistic tendencies; problems disappeared after weeks on non-GMO and then when ran out of seeds and started using GM seeds again, the symptoms reappeared in 60 days. All 50-60 farmers on a GM corn farm ate the corn 3 times per day; they suffered from severe headaches, flu like symptoms, and a few died; sickness cleared up after removing GM corn, then returned when GM corn used again.
    • GMOs in America – A miniature steer ranch started on GMO corn to save money and the cattle began to bloat up and die; they also became really irritated and angry. Another pig ranch reported that their pigs were happier and healthier, eating more, calmer, and incurred less medical costs after only 3 days just by switching to non-GMO corn feed.  Later, the conception and liter rates increased and birth defects decreased.

My favorite quote in the movie is when an expert refers to GM science as “tobacco science.”  For years, everyone (and their mom) smoked cigarettes, even pregnant women, without any idea that it caused cancer and birth defects.  These tobacco companies were allowed to self regulate until enough scientists and medical professionals spoke out to prove otherwise, causing a tipping point.  It finally forced the government to require companies to put warning labels on packages and advertisements.  I’m hoping that we are nearing a similar tipping point for GMOs.  People have the right to know what these products are doing to their bodies.  If you get a chance, vote for required GMO labels on all food, and pray that someday we’ll live in a world where our kids won’t grow up with commercials for high-fructose corn (syrup) flakes all over tv.

But, friends, there is hope!  Studies have shown that many health problems reversed when GMOs were taken out of the diet. So how can you avoid GMOs?  The main offenders are: Soy, Corn, Cottonseed (oil), Canola (oil), Sugar Beets (sugar), Papaya, Zuchinni, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Alfalfa, and Aspertame.  But ingredient labels can be confusing and indirect, so it’s best to look for the Non-GMO Project Verified label.  You can even find an easy shopping guide, or download the phone app here.


Have you ever heard of GMOs?  Will you watch the documentary?