By Dr. Mercola
If you’ve never heard about ketamine, you’re not alone. Scores of people had never heard the word until Bloomberg broke the story June 22, 2017, revealing that ketamine had shown up in Sanderson Farms’ so-called “100 percent natural” chicken, arguably the most popular meat in America.
Some who’ve heard of ketamine may include veterinarians, psychiatrists and people in the club scene who like to walk on the edgy (read: sketchy) side, as ketamine is known for delivering hallucinogenic effects. Testing also revealed other, and some even worse substances, and consumer advocacy groups don’t intend to sit still for it. In fact, a new lawsuit has been initiated by consumer advocacy groups due to the company’s use of the word “natural” in its advertising. Bloomberg explains:
“The consumer groups contend that Sanderson Farms “doses its chickens” but don’t explain why. Ketamine might be used to sedate the animals during transport or before slaughter. The consumer groups want Sanderson to concede it violated false advertising laws and pay for a corrective ad campaign.”1
Some consumers may feel it’s not a big deal, what with all the other questionable ingredients in foods nowadays, but that’s where they’d be wrong. As Drug.com explains, ketamine (pronounced kee’-ta-meen) is an anesthesia that “works in the brain to inhibit painful sensations.”2 It’s prescribed by psychiatrists for depressed patients and by dentists as an anesthetic. A partial list of disturbing side effects include:
- Drowsiness, light-headedness or headache for as long as 24 hours
- Its effects are more pronounced and worse with alcohol or certain medications
- Changes in behavior, mental state or mood, confusion and/or hallucinations, which “usually” go away within 24 hours
- Use in pregnant or breast-feeding women, elderly patients or children under 16 is not advised as they may be more sensitive, which is considered unsafe
- Nausea or vomiting, severe allergic reactions, difficulty breathing, chest tightness, swelling of your mouth, face, lips or tongue, frequent or painful urination, double vision, involuntary muscle movements and more
Is it too much to ask, when a company touts its food as natural, for consumers to expect it to be true?
Sanderson Farms’ Chicken Has a Wide Distributorship
“Natural” is a term used very loosely in terms of foods available for sale. The tests conducted by the National Residue Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) scrutinizes thousands of meat and poultry product samples every year for this very reason.
Using the Freedom of Information Act, several entities, including Friends of the Earth (FoE), the Organic Consumers Association (OCA) and the Center for Food Safety (CFS), obtained FSIS test results and subsequently filed a complaint in federal court June 22, 2017. FoE notes that Sanderson Farms reported 2016 sales of $2.816 billion, and that the company sells chicken:
“Under its own brand name and private labels, through retail stores such as Shaw’s, Albertsons, Food 4 Less, Foods Co, WinCo Foods and others. Sanderson chicken is also distributed to institutions, and is sold to casual dining outlets, such as Arby’s, Darden Restaurants (which owns Olive Garden, Longhorn Steakhouse, Yardhouse, Capitol Grill and others), Dairy Queen and Chili’s.3
Conducting inspections at 69 Sanderson Farms locations in North Carolina, Louisiana, Texas, Georgia and Mississippi between November 2015 and November 2016, FSIS tested products and found questionable residue during 33 percent of their visits; 49 times, samples returned residues deemed something other than “100 percent natural.” For its part, the company maintains:
“While Sanderson Farms generally does not comment on pending litigation, we can unequivocally state that Sanderson Farms does not administer the antibiotics, other chemicals and pesticides, or ‘other pharmaceuticals’ listed in the complaint with one exception. To suggest otherwise is irresponsible.
Our veterinarians do from time to time prescribe penicillin in FDA approved doses to treat sick flocks, and our withdrawal times far exceed FDA guidelines out of an abundance of caution. Most all of the drugs and chemicals cited in the complaint are not approved for use in broilers, and some would be lethal to chickens.”
While many of the biggest chicken producers are actively taking steps to reduce antibiotic use in their operations, Sanderson doesn’t think it’s necessary. Sanderson Farms’ president and CEO Lampkin Butts says no credible science leads the company to believe they’re causing antibiotic resistance in humans, and that raising chickens without antibiotics would lead to higher mortality rates.
They’d also need to build more barns for more room between birds, and more corn, water, soybean meal and electricity, when “sustainability is all about using less of everything.”4
Hallucinogen Just One of Many Potentially Toxic Substances Found
According to Bloomberg, the ketamine detection exceeded the USDA’s maximum of 20 parts per billion (ppb), so officials used testing methods typically used for beef and pork; since ketamine is not an approved substance for use in poultry, valid testing methods haven’t been developed. However, further testing may be done with a method devised specifically for poultry.
Ketamine wasn’t the only problematic substance found in Sanderson Farms’ chicken. Besides 82 instances of “unconfirmed residues,” including pesticides, plaintiffs’ claim other troubling materials found at the plants were identified, according to Bloomberg and Meat and Poultry:
- Eleven antibiotics were found; five samples showed chloramphenicol, a powerful antibiotic that can trigger bone marrow suppression in humans, prohibited for use in animals that will become food (in fact, authorities can seize such products immediately); and six instances of amoxicillin, known as a “medically important for humans” not approved in poultry and, again, tested using beef methods
- Three samples revealed desethylene ciprofloxacin, a metabolite of ciprofloxacin, also a “medically important antibiotic for humans;” prednisone, a steroid; ketoprofren, an anti-inflammatory drug; and butorphanol, an opioid analgesic
- The pesticides abamectin and Emamectin were detected using testing methods that apply to pork
- Two substances banned in chicken production included the synthetic growth hormones melengestrol acetate and the beta agonist ractopamine
- Three instances of penicillin residue were detected, for which the residue regulatory limit is zero
Semantics: What ‘All Natural’ Denotes
Perhaps one reason groups representing consumers are incensed enough to sue Sanderson Farms is because the company hawks its wares, as it were, in advertising pieces calling attention not so due to their chicken’s great taste, but how natural it is.
Folksy, flannel shirt-wearing spokesmen face the camera and chat in a 2016 commercial about how disingenuous it is for other chicken producers to “trick” customers into paying more money by labeling their products “raised without antibiotics,” when in fact, the second fellow drawls, “by federal law, all chickens must be clear of antibiotics before they leave the farm.” The takeaway? “Don’t fall for the hype.”
Another Sanderson Farms “good, honest chicken” commercial from 2017 (see above) throws in canned laughter when the guys discuss how “fancy marketing” labels that say “no added hormones or steroids” mislead people. “It’s funny because it’s illegal to give chickens added hormones and steroids,” one guy says.
Ironically, one of the substances found in the company’s chicken was the synthetic hormone melengestrol acetate. Meanwhile, the whole idea of natural denotes safe and free from drugs and pesticide residues. Bloomberg notes:
“FSIS can take enforcement action including levying fines or closing facilities. Multiple violations land a company on the Residue Repeat Violator List. Many of these products use the word natural as part of their labeling and advertising.”5
OCA’s international director, Ronnie Cummins, stated:
“Consumers should be alarmed that any food they eat contains steroids, recreational or anti-inflammatory drugs, or antibiotics prohibited for use in livestock — much less that these foods are falsely advertised and labeled ‘100% Natural.’
Sanderson’s advertising claims are egregiously misleading to consumers, and unfair to competitors. The organic and free-range poultry sector would be growing much more rapidly if consumers knew the truth about Sanderson’s products and false advertising.“6
The Fine Print for Chicken Producers, Government Entities and Consumers
According to Bloomberg, antibiotic use in agriculture is under heavy fire from public health activists because of its alleged link to “growing antibiotic resistance,” but adds that “Sanderson stands by the practice.”7
While the USDA declined comment (as it’s the USDA, not the FDA, that regulates poultry) regarding whether any forthcoming action against Sanderson Farms can be expected from FSIS’ findings, the company itself emphatically stated its intention to fight the lawsuit and, meanwhile, to continue its ad campaigns. Meat and Poultry reported part of the company’s response:
“We will vigorously defend this lawsuit, and will take specific steps to make sure our position is clear. We will also continue our advertising campaign to educate consumers on our position regarding the judicious use of FDA-approved medicines to treat sick chickens and to prevent disease in our flocks. Such use is consistent with our animal welfare obligations to the animals under our care, our environmental sustainability efforts and our obligations regarding food safety.”8
Proving that the consumers who filed suit were actually fooled by advertising and false labels is going to be an uphill battle, according to food law litigators. They maintain there needs to be evidence that consumers bought the products because they thought it was free of the chemicals mentioned in the commercials, and that they wouldn’t have purchased it if they’d known.
But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has shown concern regarding antibiotics’ use in animal husbandry, saying it’s contributing to the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Its 2013 report links two of 18 antibiotic-resistant bacterium to the use of antibiotics in animals.9
Concern regarding antibiotic-resistant bacteria on meat and poultry is because it can cause disease, says CDC director of the division of foodborne, waterborne and environmental diseases, Dr. Robert Tauxe, as animal research worldwide shows that when antibiotics are used in animals that produce food, it has a negative impact on public health; it can make people very sick. FoE’s deputy director of food and technology Kari Hamerschlag says:
“Drugs in our chicken is anything but natural. This scandal is a wake-up call to all the consumers who want healthier meat. The widespread presence of drugs in Sanderson Farms chicken reflects the excessive use of antibiotics and other chemicals used to keep animals alive in the filthy, inhumane, factory-farm conditions in which the birds are raised.”10
Why Do Companies Insist on Putting Such Additives in Their Products?
Tyson Foods Inc., by far the leading poultry company in the U.S., top producer Perdue Farms Inc.,11 and Butterball LLC have all initiated processes to raise chickens without antibiotics, and they make no “no antibiotics ever” promises. However, more than 50 percent of Perdue’s flocks receive no antibiotics at all, and Tyson has pledged that by September 2017, it will largely eliminate antibiotics used to treat humans from its chicken operations, The New York Times notes.12
Sanderson Farms isn’t the only company to use the word “natural” as part of its shtick. General Mills Inc. was called out by the same group of attorneys (Richman Law Group) when glyphosate showed up in what was purported to be 100 percent natural granola bars.
Hormel Foods Corp. is also under legal scrutiny as its line of deli meats, Natural Choice, is made with not-natural ingredients, including pork from pigs raised using both synthetic growth promoters and antibiotics. Both cases are still pending and both continue to deny doing anything wrong.
It’s no secret that many Americans are waking up to the fact that simply going to the store, buying groceries and eating them, isn’t working well at all because of all the hair-raising toxins and other unsavory elements so-called foods are laced with. As there’s an absence of a specifically worded definition of what constitutes “natural,” especially in light of a slew of lawsuits alleging gross misrepresentation in advertising, in 2015 the USDA asked the public for its collective opinion.
Nearly 7,000 people responded, and that’s a good thing — it’s hard to say what the USDA would have done had it been only 10 or 12. But it stood by its policy that natural in regard to food means “nothing artificial or synthetic” or containing substances, including added color, “that would not normally be expected to be in that food.”13 Still, the regulations are so vague, Bloomberg suggests that even chicken nuggets would fly under USDA definitions:
“Unlike foods regulated by the FDA, those under USDA rules need approval for label claims such as “100 percent natural,” so lawsuits that tried to challenge such claims would likely be met with successful preemption arguments, citing that pre-market blessing from USDA.”
While many people find it cumbersome to be so vigilant over the foods they bring home for, it’s never been more important to do so.
By Dr. Mercola
Amazon recently announced its intention to acquire Whole Foods Market, a $13.7 billion deal that has food manufacturers quaking in their boots. As noted by Fortune,1 “grocery stocks took a nosedive” following the announcement.
Also noted by Fortune, just as Amazon changed the way books are printed and sold “by forcing publishers, authors and everybody else along the book supply chain to cut their costs,” the food industry may now face the same disruptions and challenges — challenges bound to likely severely deteriorate, compromise and dilute organic foods and standards even further.
After all, Amazon’s stated goal is to “be Earth’s most customer centric company … a place where people can … find … anything they might want to buy …”2 In other words, Amazon’s ultimate aim is to get a piece of every single economic pie there is. Ingeniously, by buying Whole Foods, Amazon is not buying a retailer. Rather, it’s buying a customer for its advanced commerce and logistics, with an eye on replacing Instacart and United Natural Foods.3
“The overlooked asset Amazon gets in the deal is Whole Foods’ 365 house brand — one of the most coveted in the organic and natural space, private label and otherwise,” Forbes adds. “A Piper Jaffray survey last spring found that 365 is customers’ favorite organic-food brand, ahead of premium names like Kellogg’s-owned Kashi and General Mills’ Annie’s.
The 365 brand is virtually unavailable online, but that will change if Amazon is smart about it. ‘The opportunity to use the 365 brand as a mainstay of their online offering is really profound,’ says Bernstein analyst Alexia Howard. ‘It puts a huge amount of pressure on branded food sales.'”
Speed and Convenience Versus Quality and Sustainability
The allure of instant gratification and convenience is ever present in today’s world. Unfortunately, when it comes to food, speed and convenience is anathema to quality and sustainability. Sure, many will probably greet the news of Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods as a good thing. Now you can order organic foods with a single click and have it delivered right to your doorstep. In reality, however, this mentality presents a number of problems.
Ironically, while we think home delivery is a fabulous outgrowth of modern technology, 100 years ago grocery home-delivery was commonplace. The milk man would drop off milk bottles and pick up the empties, for example. The major problem today is that virtually no one, and certainly not Amazon, is picking up the discarded packaging, so we’ve actually taken a step backward.
You may not realize it but Instacart4 is also doing home deliveries from grocers all over the U.S., including Whole Foods, so Amazon is hardly revolutionizing the food delivery concept. A major drawback of this potential acquisition is that while slightly better processed foods will be more conveniently available — which may be beneficial if you live in an area where good grocers are scarce or nonexistent — foods in general nearly always decline in quality when industrialization enters the picture.
Online shopping for organic foods also creates an enormous barrier between consumers and farmers. One of the best ways to ensure you’re getting high quality food is to get to know the grower. Establishing and nurturing such relationships, and really getting to understand where your food comes from and how it’s grown, puts “soul” back into the food, nourishes the spirit and strengthens community bonds.
Industrialization Inevitably Leads to Decline in Quality and Compromises Sustainability
When a food system becomes highly automated, quality invariably declines. We’ve already seen this with the popularization of organic foods sold through grocery stores. These foods are rarely locally grown. Instead, the majority is imported, and there’s no telling what you’re getting, really. As reported by The Washington Post,5 millions of pounds of soybeans and corn imported from Turkey, bearing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “USDA Organic” seal, were recently found to be non-organic.
Turkey is one of the primary exporters of organic goods to the U.S., and the shipments in question represented about 7 percent of the total annual organic corn imports to the U.S. and 4 percent of the organic soybean imports. The Washington Post adds:
“After the story appeared, one of the nation’s largest organic inspection agencies, CCOF, issued a notice to its clients indicating that it ‘lacks confidence in the organic status of foreign grain.’ The agency instituted rules requiring that organic grain shipments be traceable back to growers.”
Unfortunately, food fraud is commonplace, and virtually impossible to keep up with. Once one loophole is closed, another springs open. The organic industry is now putting together an anti-fraud taskforce, organized by the Organic Trade Association, but many American farmers growing organics have few hopes it will protect them from cheap, fraudulent imports, which have plagued the organic industry for well over a decade. As noted in a 2005 article by the Organic Consumers Association:6
“Advocates tout organic food as a salvation for small U.S. farms. But more and more, organic food isn’t American at all … Companies are cutting costs by importing not only bananas and coffee but also all-American commodities like soybeans, fruits and vegetables … A major U.S. organic grain supplier, Clarkson Grain Co. … has lost 25 percent of its soybean business during the past year because of surging imports from China and South America …
One of the most popular brands of organic soy milk, Silk, is now made in part with imported soybeans. Organic Valley, a Wisconsin-based farmer cooperative, imports some of its beef from Australia. Cascadian Farm, a major name in organic frozen produce that started out buying commodities in the Pacific Northwest, now buys many of its fruits and vegetables from overseas.”
It’s the Green Revolution All Over Again
Little has changed over the years. If you find organic tomatoes in January, they’re probably from Mexico,7 a country where explosive growth of organic tomato cultivation has left locals struggling with dwindling water supplies. In some areas, wells have dried up completely. This is yet another hidden price of cheap commodities, organic or not. Basically, what we’re seeing now is an extension and tragic repeat of the “Green Revolution” that took place in the 1930s.
A little more than a century ago, all food was organic. Synthetic pesticides and fertilizers were not used. Aside from traditional culturing and fermenting, there were no processed foods to speak of. All of that changed with the advent of synthetic fertilizers, chemical pesticides and herbicides and the industrialization of agriculture, which consolidated dozens of small farms into mega-entities.
This demanded dramatic changes to the infrastructure of the food industry as a whole, and what we ended up with was a food system where food is produced in larger quantities by fewer farms, and is then processed and distributed all over the world. Such a system not only demands that shortcuts be taken to keep costs under control, but also requires most of the food to be processed for extended shelf life.
Today, the vast majority of the money spent on food is spent on processed foods, and the health ramifications are clearly seen in rising obesity and disease statistics. We’re now seeing the same process occurring in the certified organic food industry. The initial intent to bring back real food, grown by contentious farmers focused on quality and environmental sustainability, is quickly morphing into just another processed food niche. While the ingredients may contain fewer chemicals and toxic additives, the end result is the same.
Large multinational corporations are gobbling up small organic brands, forcing them back into the corporate agriculture system where everything is big, power is concentrated, shortcuts are the status quo, quality is questionable and the intentions to build strong food-secure communities, improved food safety and environmental regeneration all fall by the wayside.
Many Organic Milk Brands Provide None of the Organic Benefits
Efficiency and cost savings rule the day in any industrialized food system, and when these criteria are predominate, quality automatically gets downgraded. You simply cannot grow the best foods at the quickest and lowest price. A perfect example of this is the dairy industry, where industrialized organic milk has diluted the value of the entire organic dairy industry.
True organic grass fed milk has been repeatedly shown to be higher in many nutrients, including vitamin E, beta-carotene and beneficial conjugated linoleic acid, but an investigative report by The Washington Post reveals some organic dairies are merely concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in disguise, selling milk for higher prices while not actually giving you anything that is substantially different from non-organic milk.8,9,10
Ironically, Whole Foods’ 365 brand organic milk, popular as it may be, is indistinguishable from conventional milk. According to Whole Foods Market online:
“365 Organic Everyday Value Milk is produced by the nation’s leading cooperative of organic family farmers who promote regional farm diversity and economic stability. During their entire lives, the cows producing our organic milk will receive only 100 [percent] certified organic feed and are never fed antibiotics or artificial growth hormones. The co-op’s farmers are dedicated to practices such as pasturing and allowing animals to express their natural behaviors.”11
While that sounds all good and well, The Washington Post’s tests revealed the 365 Everyday Value Milk ranked “at the bottom for the fats associated with grass feeding and at the top for the fat associated with conventional feeding.”
Conscious Capitalism Makes a U-Turn
The idea that Whole Foods, with Amazon at its helm, will be able to retain its focus on sustainability and organic quality is questionable at best. This is unfortunate indeed. Whole Foods may not have done everything right all the time, but there’s no doubt it helped popularize healthier, more natural and responsibly-grown foods. As noted by Slate Magazine:12
“[Whole Foods] sold organic foods long before any major supermarket chain thought it was worthwhile, and it’s thrived in part by defying the grocery industry’s insistence on centralized distribution and standardization. Now the organic supermarket pioneer will be owned by one of the most brutally efficient and standardized retailers in the world, a company with a relentless focus on selling things cheaper and faster …
[I]t signals the end of a dream for … the entire organic food business. With more than 400 locations, Whole Foods has long ruled the organic marketplace. But unlike any other national retailer, it claims to be rooted in environmentalism … [W]ith its sale to Amazon, a company with a poor environmental track record, questionable labor practices and limited experience selling organic food, Whole Foods has lost any credible link to its countercultural roots.
Whatever Whole Foods will be able to say about itself now, it will be much harder for it to maintain its do-gooder image … With its relentless efficiency standards, Amazon is poised to radically transform not only the pioneering organic chain but the entire brick-and-mortar grocery business.”
Online Giant Vies to Cash in on Taxpayer Subsidies
An even bigger play by Amazon that has retailers bracing for impact is the fact that the online giant will soon be accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. As noted by Politico:13
“… SNAP recipients can’t currently use their benefits to buy groceries online, but it appears increasingly likely that they’ll be able to in the not-too-distant future. The Department of Agriculture is preparing to roll out 10 pilots that will allow some SNAP customers to use their electronic benefit transfer, or EBT, cards with online retailers — a trial called for in the 2014 farm bill that some view as the stepping stone to bringing SNAP fully online and into the 21st century.
In January, Amazon was selected as one of the companies to conduct one of the pilots across three states — New York, New Jersey and Maryland — but what the company is now doing outside of that effort is raising eyebrows in Washington … Amazon recently rolled out a special 45 percent discount on Amazon Prime membership for anyone in the U.S. who has an EBT card …
Retailers … see the move as a shrewd way for Amazon to build business with SNAP-eligible customers to capitalize if — or, rather, when — EBT becomes redeemable online. But Amazon’s play also raises all sort of questions about the future of SNAP retailing.”
When Will Amazon Face Its Enormous Cardboard Waste Problem?
Convenience has yet another dark side: Cardboard and packing refuse is turning into a major problem as more and more people rely on online purchases for every minor want and need. The main recycling plant in San Francisco alone collects 100 tons of cardboard per day. As noted in a New York Times article published last year:14
“A handful of scientists and policy makers are … grappling with the long-term environmental effect of an economy that runs increasingly on gotta-have-it-now gratification … Overall, the $350 billion e-commerce industry has doubled in the last five years, with Amazon setting the pace.
Its Prime membership service has grown to more than 50 million subscribers, by one estimate. (And … Prime Now, can ‘get customers pretty much anything in minutes,’ its website says). ‘There’s a whole fleet of trucks circulating through neighborhoods nonstop,’ said Dan Sperling, the founding director of the Institute of Transportation Studies at the University of California, Davis, and the transportation expert on the California Air Resources Board.
He also is overseeing a new statewide task force of trucking companies and government officials trying to reduce overall emissions from freight deliveries, including for e-commerce … ‘From a sustainability perspective, we’re heading in the wrong direction,’ he said.”
Star Tribune15 has also highlighted the issue of mounting cardboard waste. Amazon claims it uses a special software to select an appropriately-sized box for any given item, and Amazon boxes can be used to ship donations to Goodwill free of charge — a feature under its “Give Back Box” program — but such strategies hardly make a dent in the overall deluge of cardboard being generated by online sales. For all its logistics savvy, Amazon has yet to invent a better system where repeat customers can return boxes for reuse.
These strategies also do nothing to address the growing traffic generated by delivery cars and trucks. As noted by Ardeshir Faghri, professor of civil engineering at the University of Delaware, online shopping is a primary culprit in the increase in emissions. “Online shopping has not helped the environment. It has made it worse,” he told The New York Times.16
‘Competition Is for Losers’
Competition protects consumers from a number of troublesome consequences. Unfortunately, monopolization is the name of today’s game. “Competition is for losers,” said Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal,17 expressing what appears to be a general sentiment among many multinational corporations. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, a mere 10 percent of public companies generate 80 percent of all profits worldwide.
Between 1997 and 2013, the number of listed companies in the U.S. dropped by half, from 6,797 to 3,485. Of these, internet- and cellular-based corporations rule the roost. Amazon, not surprisingly, is among them. In a special report on the downsides of corporate consolidations, “Why Giants Thrive,” The Economist writes:18
“Regulation inevitably imposes a disproportionate burden on smaller companies because compliance has a high fixed cost. Nicole and Mark Crain, of Lafayette College, calculate that the cost per employee of federal regulatory compliance is $10,585 for businesses with 19 or fewer employees but only $7,755 for companies with 500 or more.
Younger companies also suffer more from regulation because they have less experience of dealing with it. Sarbanes-Oxley imposed a particularly heavy burden on smaller public companies … The JOBS act of 2012 exempted small businesses from some of the more onerous requirements of the legislation, but the number of startups and IPOs in America remains at disappointingly low levels.”
Where Are We Going? And Do We Really Want to End Up There?
Many organic enthusiasts believe Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is an overall bad idea — not for Amazon, clearly, but for Americans in general, our environment and our food system. We’ve fought long and hard to change the status quo, and Americans have awoken to the fact that health and food are inseparable. You cannot eat junk and expect to be well. Unfortunately, the allure of convenience is ever-present.
By turning Whole Foods into an Amazon entity, we stand to lose quite a bit of ground. We don’t need more organic processed foods, which is what will work best in Amazon’s business model. We need farmers to grow more fresh foods. We also need to get closer to the source of our food, not further away from it, which is exactly what online shopping will accomplish. Lastly, we need to go beyond organic certification, as USDA certification is becoming increasingly watered down by industrial interests.
Ideally, grow some of your own food. There’s no better way to ensure quality and freshness, since you have full control from planting to harvest. Gardening also has well-recognized physical, emotional and even spiritual benefits. During World War II, the government called on Americans to plant “victory gardens” to supply their own fruits and vegetables. Nearly 20 million Americans planted produce in every nook and cranny they could find, from rooftops and empty lots to their own backyards.
In all, they grew 40 percent of the produce in the U.S. during that time. The way things are going, you’d be wise to start a victory garden of your own. If you’ve never tended a garden before, start small. Sprouts are an excellent place to begin, as they’re easy and inexpensive to grow, and deliver superior nutrition.
Your next best option is to get to know your local farmers and buy from them directly. Farmers markets are an excellent place to shop as well. If you live in the U.S., the organizations listed below can help you locate farm-fresh foods.
Ideally, look for foods certified by the American Grassfed Association (AGA) and the Demeter Association. The former certifies grass fed animal products; the latter offers biodynamic certification. The path forward seems inevitable — organic quality is being sacrificed for the sake of convenience and profitability. Biodynamic certification and grass fed certification are superior certifications that ensure not only healthy food but superior environmental protections as well.
The goal of the American Grassfed Association is to promote the grass fed industry through government relations, research, concept marketing and public education.
Their website also allows you to search for AGA approved producers certified according to strict standards that include being raised on a diet of 100 percent forage; raised on pasture and never confined to a feedlot; never treated with antibiotics or hormones; born and raised on American family farms.
EatWild.com provides lists of farmers known to produce raw dairy products as well as grass fed beef and other farm-fresh produce (although not all are certified organic). Here you can also find information about local farmers markets, as well as local stores and restaurants that sell grass fed products.
Weston A. Price has local chapters in most states, and many of them are connected with buying clubs in which you can easily purchase organic foods, including grass fed raw dairy products like milk and butter.
The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass fed meats across the U.S.
This website will help you find farmers markets, family farms and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass fed meats and many other goodies.
A national listing of farmers markets.
The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, hotels and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
The FoodRoutes “Find Good Food” map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs and markets near you.
The Cornucopia Institute maintains web-based tools rating all certified organic brands of eggs, dairy products and other commodities, based on their ethical sourcing and authentic farming practices separating CAFO “organic” production from authentic organic practices.
If you’re still unsure of where to find raw milk, check out Raw-Milk-Facts.com and RealMilk.com. They can tell you what the status is for legality in your state, and provide a listing of raw dairy farms in your area. The Farm to Consumer Legal Defense Fund19 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.20 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at www.OrganicPastures.com.
[Take note, pill popping America: More than 3 decades ago Iatrogenic Illness (caused by doctors, hospitals and medications) was made public but nobody seemed to care. TMR]
by Jon Rappoport
July 4, 2017
You can have Obamacare. Or you can take the current Republican re-do. Have you read it? Do you know exactly what’s in it? Of course not.
I can tell you this. Every possible healthcare bill has the same flaw. It’s called death. I’ll explain in a moment.
But first I want to mention that, for the past decade, as a working reporter, I’ve taken many actions to put a piece of medical information in front of mainstream news media, and they won’t bite. No matter what. I’ve published the information, backed it up seven ways from Sunday, and it doesn’t matter. No dice.
Here it is. Again. Every year, like clockwork, the US medical system kills 225,000 people. That’s a mainstream conclusion. A conservative conclusion. By extrapolation, that means the US medical system kills 2.25 MILLION people per decade.
Therefore, any new law that places more Americans inside the medical system through insurance plans will increase those death numbers. The death numbers will rise to new heights.
Where does the 225,000 death figure come from? A review in the July 26, 2000, Journal of the American Medical Association, titled: “Is US Health really the Best in the World?” The author was Dr. Barbara Starfield, a revered public health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.
When I interviewed her in 2009, not long before her death, I asked whether the federal government was doing anything to comprehensively fix the medical horror show, and whether any official from the government had approached her to consult on that fix. To both questions, she emphatically answered: “NO.”
In her Journal review, Starfield broke down the ongoing medical tragedy this way: annually, 106,000 Americans die from the effects of correctly prescribed, FDA approved, medicines. 119,000 Americans die as a result of mistreatment and errors in hospitals.
Again, it doesn’t matter what kind of national health insurance plan you prefer. As long as it puts more Americans under the umbrella of the medical system, the death figures will rise.
Starfield was not the only person to blow the whistle. I’ll give you two more examples.
Consider this article, “The Epidemic of Sickness and Death from Prescription Drugs.” The author is Donald Light, who teaches at Rowan University, and is the 2013 recipient of ASA’s [American Sociological Association’s] Distinguished Career Award for the Practice of Sociology. Light is a founding fellow of the Center for Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2013, he was a fellow at the Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics at Harvard. He is a Lokey Visiting Professor at Stanford University.
Donald Light: “Epidemiologically, appropriately prescribed, prescription drugs are the fourth leading cause of death, tied with stroke at about 2,460 deaths each week in the United States. About 330,000 patients die each year from prescription drugs in the United States and Europe. They [the drugs] cause an epidemic of about 20 times more hospitalizations [than the deaths: 6.6 million hospitalizations annually], as well as falls, road accidents, and [annually] about 80 million medically minor problems such as pains, discomforts, and dysfunctions that hobble productivity or the ability to care for others. Deaths and adverse effects from overmedication, errors, and self-medication would increase these figures.” (ASA publication, “Footnotes,” November 2014)
One more. The journal citation is: BMJ June 7, 2012 (BMJ 2012:344:e3989), “Anticoagulants cause the most serious adverse events, finds US analysis.” Author, Jeanne Lenzer.
Lenzer refers to a report by the Institute for Safe Medication Practices: “It calculated that in 2011 prescription drugs were associated with two to four million people in the US experiencing ‘serious, disabling, or fatal injuries, including 128,000 deaths.'”
The report called this “one of the most significant perils to humans resulting from human activity.”
- One in 5 American deaths is associated with obesity and more than 5 in 10 Americans struggle with chronic illness. As of 2014, the obesity rate among adults over the age of 20 was just shy of 38 percent
- Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., the rate of obese teens has quadrupled from 5 to 20.5 percent and nearly 9 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds are now obese
- The global obesity rate among adults is now estimated to be 1 in 10, or 1 in 12, depending on the source. When you factor in those who are overweight but not obese, 3 in 10 are affected
According to research published in 2013, 1 in 5 American deaths is associated with obesity,1 and the younger you are, the greater obesity’s influence on your mortality. Considering one-third of American children between the ages of 2 and 19 are now overweight or obese, chronic disease and mortality rates will likely climb dramatically in coming decades as the health of these youths begins to fail.
Since 1980, childhood obesity rates have tripled in the U.S., the rate of obese teens has quadrupled from 5 to 20.5 percent, and nearly 9 percent of 2- to 5-year-olds are now obese.2 As of 2014, the obesity rate among adults over 20 was just shy of 38 percent, costing the U.S. medical system $190 billion annually.
In December 2011, severe obesity was included as a qualifying disability under the American With Disabilities Act, further raising the cost of obesity on society as a whole. Being overweight during pregnancy also increases the risk of birth defects, recent research warns, and the more obese the mother, the greater the risk.4,5
More than half of all Americans also struggle with chronic illness6 — a truly shocking statistic when you consider modern health care is supposed to be the best mankind has ever been privy to. It really says a lot about the influence lifestyle wields on your health, and the price we pay for convenience.
Obesity — A Greater Health Threat Than Smoking
Data collected from tens of thousands of Canadians confirms obesity surpasses smoking in terms of creating ill health, and Dutch researchers recently predicted obesity and inactivity will overtake smoking as a leading cause of cancer deaths specifically.7 Processed foods shoulder the greatest blame for this trend. Many children are raised on fast food from the time they’re able to eat solid foods, and are given sugary sodas and juices at even younger ages. As recently noted by Bruce Y. Lee in a Forbes op-ed:8
“The human population is in desperate need of an intervention … the kind organized by your friends when you don’t realize how bad your problem has gotten and need to be confronted about it … How much more convincing do people really need? Continuing to gather more evidence without taking much more action is like continuing to check the water level while your toilet is overflowing without even reaching for the plunger.
In both cases, the result will be messy. The latest additions to what has become a growing mound of scientific evidence are the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Obesity Update 2017 report9 and a just published study in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).”
1 in 10 Adults Worldwide Is Obese
According to the OECD, the global obesity rate among adults is now 1 in 10, or 10 percent.10,11,12 In 2015, excess weight accounted for 4 million deaths worldwide (just over 7 percent). Thirty-nine percent of people who died from cardiovascular disease were overweight but not obese, prompting a warning that health problems are not relegated to obesity. Carrying even a modest amount of excess weight can have a significant impact on your health.
The NEJM study13 reviewed over 1,000 published studies and data from more than 170 countries, looking to extrapolate and measure health effects associated with different body mass indexes (BMI). This study presents an even grimmer picture, showing a total of 12 percent of adults, globally, are obese, and 5 percent of all children.
When you factor in those who are overweight but not obese, the global rate is about 30 percent. Echoing previous studies, these results suggest there are now more overweight people in the world than there are underweight ones.14 No less than 73 countries have seen obesity rates double since 1980. Disturbingly, but not surprisingly, obesity rates are increasing much faster among children than adults. Lee continues:15
“The study also quantified the high amount of suffering caused by obesity using a measure called disability-adjusted life-years … which is the number of years lost to impaired function. All of this is not simply because people have gotten lazier or are making worse decisions.
With such ‘big’ numbers, something greater is amiss. Too many countries now have broken systems (e.g., too much garbage in food, too much garbage everywhere maybe affecting our metabolism, too much garbage on the internet, television, in our jobs and in our daily lives to keep us from eating well, exercising and sleeping) with the U.S. leading the way.
And not enough people are doing anything to change these systems … [T]he Trump administration has proposed massive cuts to scientific and public health funding and rolling back [Michelle Obama’s] healthy school lunch initiatives, which may be like throwing more toilet paper into an overflowing toilet …”
BMI Is a Poor Metric of Health
Most studies, including those above, use BMI to determine whether an individual is of normal or excessive weight. A BMI of 25 to 30 is considered overweight; anything over 30 is obese. Your BMI is arrived at by dividing your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. The problem is, this method fails to differentiate between muscle and fat tissue. It also doesn’t take into account the actual distribution of body fat on your physical frame.
As noted in a recent Popular Science article,16 “… [B]elly fat might be hidden on your 6-foot, 2-inch frame, but it could still contribute to problems that kill you.” We now know that excess visceral fat — the fat that accumulates around your internal organs — is far more hazardous to your health than subcutaneous fat (the more noticeable fat found just under your skin).
The danger of visceral fat is related to the release of proteins and hormones that can cause inflammation, which in turn can damage arteries and enter your liver, and affect how your body breaks down sugars and fats. Two tests that give you a far better idea of your body composition and health risk are your waist-to-hip ratio and your height-to-waist ratio.17
Either one will be far more accurate than BMI. As noted in a 2015 study,18 men with normal BMI but central obesity (fat centralized around the midsection) had TWICE the mortality risk of men considered obese according to their BMI but who had no central obesity.
Two Tests to Evaluate Your Health Risks
To determine your height-to-waist ratio,19 measure your height and your waist circumference with a measuring tape. Your waist circumference should be less than half of your height. Having a height-to-waist ratio of at least 2-to-1 is associated with longer life expectancy and a lower risk of inflammation, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.20
Your waist-to-hip ratio has the added benefit of giving you a better idea of the actual distribution of fat on your body. Having an apple shaped body is indicative of carrying more harmful visceral fat, which is associated with an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes. Carrying more fat around your hips and buttocks, on the other hand, is associated with lower health risks as this subcutaneous fat is not nearly as harmful as the fat around your internal organs.
That said, some body types may render this technique less than perfect as well. For example, women who are very thin and “straight” (i.e., don’t have an hourglass figure) may end up in a higher risk category than is warranted. In such cases, you may want to measure both your height-to-waist and your waist-to-hip ratio to get a better idea of your overall risk.
To determine your waist-to-hip ratio, get a tape measure and record your waist and hip circumference. Then divide your waist circumference by your hip circumference. For a more thorough demonstration, please see the video above.
|Waist to Hip Ratio||Men||Women|
|Moderate Risk||0.96-0.99||0.81 – 0.84|
Food Policies Have Worsened Obesity Epidemic
Government policies have contributed to the growing obesity epidemic in a number of different ways, starting with the issuing of flawed dietary guidelines. Hand in hand with that you have agricultural subsidies promoting the growing of junk food ingredients rather than healthy fruits and vegetables, and the subsidizing of factory farms rather than smaller family-run farms. The U.S. government is even funding consumer outreach and education programs to promote acceptance of genetically engineered foods.21
Government policies have also made it far easier for minorities to open fast-food franchises rather than grocery stores, thereby contributing to the growing problem of “food deserts” — areas where all you can find are fast-food joints and gas station fare.
One of the reasons why fast-food franchises are given preference for Small Business Administration (SBA) Equal Opportunity Loans is because they have a far greater profit margin; a fast-food restaurant can have a profit margin as high as 6 percent, whereas a grocery store typically only has a profit margin of 1 percent, so loans are more likely to be repaid.
As noted in a recent NPR article reviewing professor Chin Jou’s book, “Super Sizing Urban America: How Inner Cities Got Fast Food With Government Help”:22
“‘African-American consumption of fast food today is not a function of any longstanding preferences for fast food,’ Jou told NPR … She says that it’s a consequence of ‘targeted relentless marketing,’ as well as historic developments like the [SBA] loan program and high unemployment rates among African-Americans …
Fast-food companies, which had saturated their original markets of roadside stops and suburbs, needed expansion in order to grow profits. Reaching out to potential African-American franchisees was their roadmap to success. In fact, fast-food companies couldn’t open restaurants in many urban areas without them …
Jou quotes Brady Keys, former NFL football player turned franchisee, who put it more bluntly: ‘They [fast-food corporations] know that doing business in my area is hell. There’s cutting, shooting, killing. So they say, we really don’t want to do this ourselves, so why don’t we get this black cat over here and franchise him?'”
Fried Potatoes Double Risk of Early Death
There’s simply no doubt that processed foods are at the very heart of the obesity problem. The risks of a processed food diet, high in added sugars, harmful fats and synthetic ingredients have been demonstrated in numerous studies. Most recently, a study23,24published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition warns that eating fried potatoes more than twice a week can double your risk of an early death, compared to not eating fried potatoes at all.
The researchers believe this is due to the cooking oil, which is high in trans fat. As noted by author Nicola Veronese, trans fat raises LDL cholesterol, a risk factor in cardiovascular disease. Vegetable oils also degrade into toxic oxidation products when heated, including aldehydes, which are highly inflammatory and have been implicated in heart disease and Alzheimer’s.
Cooking oils are also a source of damaged omega-6 fats, and a lopsided ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 is yet another contributing factor to obesity. Studies show a connection between the consumption of omega-3 fats and a decrease in fatty tissue development, along with increases in beneficial brown fat and weight loss, while eating too many omega-6s promotes fatty white tissue and chronic inflammation, two of the biggest red flags indicating obesity.
Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats, when taken in large amounts, also cannot be burned for fuel. Instead, they’re incorporated into cellular and mitochondrial membranes. Here, they become highly susceptible to oxidative damage, which ultimately damages your metabolic machinery. Not surprisingly, the National Potato Council has rebuffed the findings, saying that “it is very much a stretch to brand fried potatoes, or any other form of potato, as unhealthy.”25
When it’s at proper levels in the body, candida is a fungus that aids with nutrient absorption and digestion. But when candida overproduces, watch out! It can then become a serious concern that causes a wide variety of negative and serious health problems and may force you to search for a candida diet.
A yeast-free candida diet is one of the best ways to reduce and eliminate candida symptoms, but what exactly do you need to eliminate from your diet? Read on and I’ll tell you exactly what to take out of your diet and what to add in to get rid of candida for good!
The Candida Diet
Candidiasis, commonly referred to as “candida,” is a fungal infection that can affect men and women of all ages in various parts of the body. It most commonly occurs in the mouth, ears, nose, toenails, fingernails, gastrointestinal tract and vagina. Possible symptoms are comprise a true laundry list ranging from bad breath to persistent heartburn to arthritis. Due to its many and varied symptoms, candida is often ignored, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
If you have candida or know someone who does, the good news is that there are many candida natural treatments. The main natural treatment is a change in your diet to discourage the overgrowth of yeast. Before embarking on your new diet, though, it’s a good idea to start with a candida cleanse to help rid the body of excess candida through the flushing of the digestive tract.
You have two options for a cleanse: a liquids-only cleanse or a more gentle cleanse with food. You can also start with the step one cleanse and then move to the step two cleanse.
Cleansing Step 1: Liquids-Only Candida Cleanse (Duration 1–2 Days)
Start by making a vegetable broth from organic onions, garlic, celery, kale, sea salt and pure water. Let simmer and strain. Discard the vegetables and refrigerate the broth.
Throughout the day, sip on warm broth. It’s imperative that you drink lots of water to help your body expel all the toxins in your system. While this is not a long-term cleanse, it can be repeated as needed every few weeks. It can also be used as a jump-start to the food cleanse below.
Cleansing Step 2: Steamed Vegetables (Duration 3–5 Days)
By eliminating grains, sugars, fruits, starches and alcohol from your diet for three to five days, you can make great headway in your fight against candida overgrowth.
You should mostly eat fresh, organic vegetables that have been steamed. For this cleanse stage, keep away from any starchy vegetables like carrots, radishes, beets, sweet potatoes and white potatoes, which may contribute to sugar levels and feed the candida. Continue to drink plenty of pure water, a minimum of 72 ounces per day, to help flush the candida and byproducts from your system.
During this time, no more than once a day, you can eat salads made from leafy greens (like romaine) or bitter greens (like chard) and topped with just a bit of coconut oil and apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice).
During either of the candida cleanses above, you can use bentonite clay to help surround the toxins and efficiently remove them from your system.
Once you’re done with the cleansing stage, you can then move on to an antifungal diet that doesn’t just discourage candida — it helps your body get rid of candida for good! Here are the dietary steps I recommend to have you on the path to being candida-free:
Diet Step 1: Remove the Problem Foods
First and foremost, you need to continue to remove the foods from your diet that literally feed the candida and encourage it to flourish in your body. The top offenders include sugar, white flour, yeast and alcohol. These items are believed to promote candida overgrowth. If you avoid eating sugar and white flour, then you will easily cut out most processed foods, which tend to be higher in calories and unhealthy ingredients and low in nutrition.
Avoiding sugar in all of its various forms is truly key to fighting candida. The candida yeast cells need sugar to build their cell walls, expand their colonies and switch into their more virulent, fungal form. This is why a low-sugar diet is such a necessary part of your candida treatment. If you need some help, here’s how to kick your sugar addiction.
Going forward, you want your diet to be centered on vegetables, high-quality protein foods, and gluten-free grains like brown rice and millet. Avoiding fruit at this time is also commonly recommended because even though fruit is very healthy, it does get turned into sugar in the body.
In terms of vegetables, you also want to avoid these somewhat sweet, starchy varieties: potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams, beets, peas and parsnips. These vegetables are banned from a strict anti-candida diet because of their high carbohydrate content, but they’re certainly nutrient-dense and can be reintroduced later on in your treatment.
Diet Step 2: Up the Intake of Candida Killers & Boost Your Immune System
You want to make sure you include the items from my top 10 list below on a daily basis, including apple cider vinegar, sauerkraut and other fermented vegetables, green veggies and green drinks, coconut oil, Manuka honey, garlic, ground chia and flaxseeds, unsweetened cranberry juice, cultured dairy, as well as spices like turmeric and cinnamon.
How long do I need to eat like this?
In order to have success with the candida diet, it will take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. It really depends on the individual and a few key variables:
- how strictly you follow this diet
- the intake and effectiveness of probiotics and antifungals
- the severity of your candida
Diet Step 3: Reintroducing Off-Limit Foods
Once you’re free of your candida symptoms and the candida itself, then what? As I’m sure you guessed, going back to your old habits and ways of eating will likely just bring the candida back all over again. However, you can gradually reintroduce certain foods into your new candida diet.
Low-sugar fruits like green apples are a great example of a smart choice. If the reintroduced foods don’t cause flare-ups of candida symptoms, you can move on to reintroducing more foods that you have been avoiding. I recommend doing this reintroduction slowly and one item at a time.
Top Candida Diet Foods
Here are some of the foods you should eat on the candida diet.
1. Apple Cider Vinegar
2. Sauerkraut & Fermented Foods
Fermented foods like sauerkraut and kimchi contain microflora that help protect the intestines. Regular consumption can help improve the immune system, making the body less hospitable for candida. (2)
3. Green Veggies & Green Drinks
Leafy green vegetables help alkalize the body, which fights against the acidic nature of yeast overgrowth. Greens contain no sugars but high amounts of magnesium that naturally detox the body, vitamin C to build the immune system, chlorophyll to cleanse the body, B vitamins to energize the body and iron to give the body full support. (3)
4. Coconut Oil
We know that sugar feeds candida. That’s why it’s important to use different sweeteners, and stevia is the perfect choice for those on a candida diet. Not only is stevia an antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antibiotic agent, but also helps balance the pancreas, which is often comprised when someone has candida. (5)
7. Ground Flaxseeds & Chia Seeds
8. Unsweetened Cranberry Juice
Cranberry juice without added sugar helps to correct the pH levels of urine, helping to prevent the overgrowth of fungi like candida. (8)
9. Cultured Dairy
10. Spices like Turmeric & Cinnamon
Turmeric contains an active component called curcumin that has been shown to completely inhibit the growth of Candida Albicans (as well as lots of other fungal strains). (10) Cinnamon can heal oral thrush because studies have shown that people who supplement with cinnamon generally suffer from less candida overgrowth than those who don’t.
11. Cooked Vegetables
Non-starchy, cooked vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus provide valuable nutrients that fight candida. (11)
12. Organic Meat
Protein plays a key role in candida. If you get your protein from factory farmed meats, you could actually feed candida, while foods high in healthy fats and protein protect against candida. (12) That’s why it’s so important to consume only organic, free-range meat.
13. Bone Broth
Bone broth benefits so many different aspects of our health, and you can add treating candida to the list. In fact it’s one of the best food sources to destroy candida due to its positive effects on gut health.
14. Pau D’arco Tea
Pau d’arco tea is probably the No. 1 thing to add to your candida diet. It helps the body fight candida the natural way. That’s because it has antifungal compounds like lapachol, which has been shown to combat candida. (13)
Foods to Avoid on the Candida Diet
Here are the foods to avoid on the candida diet. (14)
1. Sugar & Sugar Alternatives
These sweet items feed yeast, so you should avoid them at all costs.
2. Fruit & Fruit Juice
Even though fruit is generally healthy, it’s high in sugar and can make candida worse.
Most alcohol contains yeast so it’s not surprising that it produces more of it when consumed and should be avoided.
Grains break down into sugar and can feed candida, yeast and bad bacteria.
All types of vinegar should be avoided with candida overgrowth, except for apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is the only vinegar that provides an alkalizing benefit for the body and actually causes candida to die.
Peanuts can often carry mold, which only encourages the growth of candida. Plus, the peanut allergy is one of the most common food allergies on the planet, providing another reason to avoid peanuts.
Unless it’s fermented, you ideally want to avoid dairy at least in the early stages of your cleansing. Milk contains lactose, which is a sugar.
8. Food Intolerances
Some yeast infections are due to food allergies. Try to avoid foods that cause negative reactions of any kind. If you think you have a food allergy or sensitivity, try an elimination diet to figure out what foods are causing intolerances.
Other foods to avoid include:
- Dried Fruits
- Ice Drinks
Best Essential Oils for Candida
Some of the best oils to fight candida are:
- oregano oil
- myrrh oil
- lavender oil
These five all help to kill a variety of parasites and fungi, including candida, in the body. Lavender oil also inhibits the growth of candida and is effective at preventing the spread of the infection. (15, 16)
By mixing a couple of drops of clove oil or lavender oil with coconut oil during your cleanse, you can help to kill off the offending candida. However, since these essential oils are powerful, they should only be taken internally for 10 days or less. For oral thrush, you can use three drops of clove oil with one tablespoon of coconut oil and swish the mixture in your mouth for 20 minutes. This oil pulling is excellent for killing candida and overall detoxification of the body.
Top 5 Candida Supplements
- Probiotics (50 billion units daily): Will give your body healthy bacteria, which can help reduce the presence of yeast.
- Oregano oil (2 drops 3 times daily for 7 days then stop): Oregano oil is naturally antibacterial and antifungal.
- Garlic (2 caps or cloves daily): Helps fight fungal infections and boost the immune system.
- Vitamin C (1,000 milligrams, 3 time daily): Boosts immune function and helps fight off infections.
- Grapefruit seed extract (200 milligrams, 2–3 times per day): This herb has specific properties to fight candida.
In addition, you can use the following herbs to treat candida:
- olive leaf
A 2003 study out of Israel proved that olive leaf extracts have an antimicrobial effect against bacteria and fungi. Olive leaf extracts killed almost all bacteria tested, including dermatophytes (causing infections on the skin, hair and nails), candida albicans (an agent of oral and genital infections) and Escherichia coli cells (bacteria found in the lower intestine). (17)
Candida Diet Recipes
You definitely want to eat a mix of raw, fermented and cooked vegetables while on the candida diet. When it comes to recipes, you of course want ones that leave out all of the candida-promoting foods above while including as many of the candida killers as possible.
One recipe that I absolutely love is for kimchi, a traditional fermented probiotic food that is a staple Korean side dish. If you follow my Homemade Kimchi Recipe then you will have one delicious, high-quality fermented vegetable on hand at all times.
This Green Detox Machine Juice Recipe is another perfect inclusion for any anti-candida diet.
Another great recipe to try includes three candida busters: garlic, coconut oil and kale. Check out this Sauteed Kale Salad Recipe.
Candida Risk Factors, Causes & Symptoms
Candidiasis is a fungal infection caused by yeasts that belong to the genus Candida. There are over 20 species of candida yeasts that can cause infection in humans. The most common one is Candida albicans, a single-celled fungus that’s always present in the genital and intestinal tracts. Candida yeasts normally live on the skin and mucous membranes without causing infection, but overgrowth of these organisms can cause problematic symptoms to develop in the body.
Some candida risk factors include having diabetes, undergoing conventional cancer treatments and treating asthma with corticosteroid inhalants. Some women find that birth control pills seam to instigate yeast infections — and even long after the initial infection is gone, once they start taking the birth control pills again, candida can take root.
According to the National Candida Center, there are are about a dozen recognized causes of intestinal dysbiosis (or dysfunction of the microbiome or inner ecology) and candida overgrowth, including (18):
- Poor diet
- Prescription drugs, especially antibiotics
- Alcohol consumption
- Hormone imbalance
- Tap water
- Digestive problems
- Environmental molds and chemicals
- Toxic metals and food chemicals
- Immune deficiency (like having AIDS or cancer)
Do you ever experience any of these health issues?
- Cravings for sweets
- Bad breath
- White coat on tongue
- Brain fog
- Hormone imbalance
- Joint pain
- Loss of sex drive
- Chronic sinus and allergy issues
- Digestive problems (gas and bloating)
- Weak immune system
If so, these are just some of the signs that you may have candida. Symptoms can worsen in damp or moldy environments or after consumption of food containing sugar or yeast. If left untreated, candida will weaken the immune system, allowing more serious disease to take hold.
Precautions: Possible Candida Die-Off Symptoms
Rapidly killing off candida in your body creates a metabolic reaction that releases over 70 different toxins into your body. Sounds pretty intense, right? Well before you get scared off, what you may or may not have to deal with as a result of candida die-off is definitely preferable to what you have to deal with if you let the candida continue to internally flourish.
Symptoms that show the candida cleanse and the candida diet are working include:
- Impaired brain function
- Intestinal distress, including bloating, gas, constipation and nausea
- Sweating and fever
- Sinus infection
- Skin breakouts (not limited to face)
- Typical flu-like symptoms
These symptoms usually clear up in seven to 10 days. The candida is leaving your body, and within just a few weeks, you will notice an increase in energy and focus, as well as relief from other symptoms you have experienced. So when you start to experience candida die-off symptoms, it’s time to celebrate because you are on your way to better health!
After your symptoms have subsided and you have completed the cleanse and the candida diet, you should continue eating a diet that’s high in protein and high-fiber vegetables, and limit grains, fruits, sugar and high-starch vegetables like white potatoes. Continue to consume fermented vegetables and kefir to help your body stay in balance and keep the candida at bay.
If you have chronic or unusually persistent candida infections, you should consult your health care provider. This could be a sign of an underlying illness, such as diabetes or immune system dysfunction, which makes for an environment more conducive to the growth of candida.
Final Thoughts on the Candida Diet
I really hope my suggestions help you to be candida-free in the very near future. With discipline and perseverance, you can rid your body of fungus and lead a much healthier life. Just remember:
- Candida is unfortunately a very common problem for many people.
- Symptoms of candida are often ignored, undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
- An antifungal diet can reduce and eliminate candida and its unpleasant symptoms.
- Some of the diet changes might end up needing to be long term if reintroduction of certain foods isn’t successful.
- Your improved health and energy levels will be well worth any food or drink that you might miss.
- In general, it will always be best for your overall health to avoid sugary and processed foods. Real, whole, living foods are your best bet, always!
- Comparing vaccination rates in 34 developed nations revealed a significant correlation between infant mortality rates and the number of vaccine doses infants receive. The U.S. requires the most vaccines and has the highest infant mortality
- Research shows the more vaccines an infant receives simultaneously, the greater their risk of being hospitalized or dying compared to those receiving fewer vaccines
- The earlier in infancy a child is vaccinated, the greater their risk of being hospitalized or dying compared to children receiving the same vaccines at a later time
By Dr. Mercola
Vaccines: Are they safe? Are they effective? To help answer those questions is Neil Z. Miller,1 a medical research journalist and director of the Thinktwice Global Vaccine Institute.
Miller has investigated vaccines for three decades and written several books on the subject, including “Vaccines: Are They Really Safe and Effective?,” “Vaccine Safety Manual for Concerned Families and Health Practitioners” and, most recently, “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers.”
“Miller’s Review,” published in 2016, is a magnificent piece of work. In it, he reviews the concern about vaccine safety and efficacy raised by 400 peer-reviewed published studies. The book doesn’t review studies that support vaccination (almost all of which are funded by the industry and the government, by the way) as those studies are available on the CDC website.
“I got started when my own children were born … over 30 years ago … When my wife was pregnant, I felt I had to do due diligence about vaccines. I have to be honest, though. Before I even started to research vaccines, my wife and I pretty much knew intuitively that we were not going to inject our children with vaccines.
When I give lectures, I often tell people, ‘How can you expect to achieve health by injecting healthy children with toxic substances?’ I intuitively knew that … but still felt an obligation to do my due diligence and to do the research,” Miller says.
“The thing is that when I do things, I do them pretty thoroughly … I was doing my research at medical libraries. I was gathering everything and I started to collate it and coordinate it … People started to find out about the information I had organized. They were asking me about vaccines even way back then. I organized it into a booklet. I started to share that with people. Everything snowballed from that first booklet.”
Don’t Believe the ‘There’s No Evidence’ Argument
“Miller’s Review” was created in response to the common refrain that “there are no studies showing vaccines are unsafe or ineffective.”
“I hear this often,” Miller says. “Parents come to me all the time, saying, ‘My doctor told me that vaccines are safe and there are no studies that prove [otherwise].’ I’ve been doing the research for 30 years. I know of literally thousands of studies that document [concerns]. My books all document [those] studies.”
“Miller’s Review” is unique in that it summarizes 400 studies in bullet points with direct quotes from the study — with one study per page — plus citations so that you can find and read the study in full should you decide to do so. All of the studies are published in peer-reviewed journals and indexed by the National Library of Medicine.
“These are valid studies by valid researchers in many journals that people have heard about — The Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, all the mainstream journals (and some of the smaller journals, but they’re still valid peer-reviewed studies) that show there are problems with vaccines: There are safety problems, there are efficacy problems.
They’re all in one place so that people, like doctors, can get this information all in one convenient place. This book has been very effective with medical doctors. When medical doctors who are on the fence, or who are pro-vaccine, get this book and read it, I hear back from parents that their doctor is no longer pressuring them to get the vaccines.
Their doctor is now respecting their decisions to not vaccinate or to go to some sort of alternative vaccine schedule if that’s the choice these parents make …
I am all about having uncensored, unfettered access to all of the available information out there about vaccines. Not just what your medical doctor wants you to know. Not just what the pharmaceutical companies want you to know and not just what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is telling doctors to share with their patients.
I want [parents] to be absolutely free to make a decision whether or not they want to vaccinate their children … It’s really a human rights issue. It’s really about the mandatory aspect of vaccines. I think all vaccines are problematic. I think this not just based on my own feelings, but based on the evidence I’ve researched over the years.”
Uninformed Decision-Making Is Part of the Problem
Ultimately, every parent will make a decision about whether or not to vaccinate. The problem is, most of the time, it’s an uninformed decision. An issue brought up in some of his earlier books is that there’s been a deliberate misinformation campaign aimed at making you believe vaccines are far more effective than they actually are.
For example, disease incidence data is used to suggest vaccines have dramatically reduced the incidence of a given disease, when in fact the disease rate had already declined by 90 percent, or more in some cases, before a vaccine was ever available. Measles has been problematic in developing nations, mostly because of malnutrition, vitamin A deficiency, lack of clean water, sanitation and quick access to medical care. As these measures are addressed, the mortality from measles declines on its own.
Vitamin A appears particularly important, and studies sponsored by the World Health Organization (WHO) have confirmed that high doses of vitamin A supplementation protect children against complications and death associated with the disease.
“By the time the measles vaccine was introduced in the United States in 1963, by the late 1950s, the mortality rate from measles had drastically dropped. This was due to the [fact] that the population had gained protection against the more dangerous ravages of the disease. This happens with a lot of different diseases.
In my book, I’ve got many different types of graphs and illustrations to help the reader understand the main points I’m making … [M]any of these graphs show that these diseases were declining significantly on their own, well before vaccines were introduced.
For example, scarlet fever. Where did scarlet fever go? Why don’t we see cases of scarlet fever when we didn’t have mass vaccinations with a scarlet fever vaccine? That’s an important point to be made.”
Many Childhood Diseases Are Protective Against Cancer
Another significant point is there are dozens of studies demonstrating that contracting certain childhood diseases actually protects you against various types of cancer later in life — everything from melanoma to leukemia.
It’s important to realize that when you have a naturally-acquired infection, you’re really exercising your immune system quite profoundly, developing authentic, lifelong immunity in the process, which is radically different from the type of artificial and temporary immunity you get from a vaccine.
One of the reasons for this is because vaccines stimulate a completely different part of your immune system than does fighting off a naturally-acquired infection. There’s even evidence suggesting childhood diseases help protect against future heart disease.
“[A] Japanese study … looked at over 100,000 men and women of elderly age. They looked back at their history of catching these common childhood illnesses. Did they catch chickenpox, rubella, measles and mumps? What they found was it’s actually protective against heart disease.
You’re protected against heart attacks and various types of arteriosclerotic disease of the artery systems. It’s protecting the arterial system so that you are protected not only — when you catch these diseases — from cancers, but from heart disease, heart attacks and strokes as well … There are different theories on why that takes place. But the important thing is that study after study confirms that it takes place.”
Vaccines Create Problematic Mutations
Another vaccine-related problem that many are completely unaware of is the fact that vaccines cause mutations in the disease-bearing microorganisms, much in the same way antibiotics cause bacteria to mutate. The diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis vaccine (DTaP), for example, has caused the pertussis microorganism, Bordetella pertussis, to mutate and evade the vaccine. The same thing happened with the pneumococcal vaccine and the Haemophilus influenzae type B vaccine.
“They’re finding, for example, when you’ve got a vaccine that targets only certain strains of disease where multiple strains are actually causing the disease, the vaccine is pretty effective at reducing the incidence of disease from that particular strain. But what happens is the other strains come and take their place … They come back even stronger.
That’s what [happened] with Prevnar, a vaccine for pneumococcus, pneumococcal disease. All infants that receive vaccines according to the CDC’s standard immunization schedule receive a pneumococcal vaccine at 2, 4 and 6 months of age. That vaccine only targeted seven strains. Pneumococcal has 90 different strains capable of causing pneumococcal disease.
They were pretty effective at reducing the amount of disease caused by the pneumococcal strains targeted by the vaccine. But what happened within just a few short years, the other strains became more prevalent … taking the place of the original strains [and] they became more virulent.
They came out with a new vaccine in 2010 … to deal with the vaccine losing its efficacy because of what I just explained. The new vaccine included the original seven strains plus six additional strains, the ones that were causing most of the pneumococcal disease now. Within two years of the new upgraded, updated pneumococcal vaccine, the strains had already mutated … “
Tragically, parents are being blamed and harassed for many of these vaccine failures. Parents are being told that if you don’t vaccinate your kids, you are responsible for spreading the disease. That’s the idea the CDC, the medical industry and the pharmaceutical industry are promoting.
However, if you actually read the studies, you’ll find what the scientists know —the real problem is evolutionary adaptation. Dr. Meryl Nass expounded on this issue in a 2013 interview. The microorganisms adapt. “What’s happened with pertussis [is] the pertussis microorganism has changed. It’s now not only become more virulent; it’s become more prevalent,” Miller explains. “It’s evaded the actual vaccine.”
Herd Immunity Cannot Be Achieved Through Immunizations
Another core argument for mass vaccinations is achieving herd immunity. Miller believes, and I agree with this belief that herd immunity may never be achieved through vaccination because high vaccination rates encourage the evolution of more severe disease-causing agents. In a vaccinated population, the virulence increases due to selective pressure, as the pathogen is strengthened and adapts in its fight for survival against the vaccine.
Meanwhile, in an unvaccinated population, the environment actually promotes lowered virulence, as the pathogen does not want to kill its host. A wise pathogen is one that’s able to infect many hosts without killing them, because when the host dies, the pathogen loses the environment upon which its own survival depends.
However, once the disease organism mutates and becomes more virulent within the vaccinated population, it raises the stakes not only among the vaccinated but also among the unvaccinated, who are now faced with a far more virulent foe than normal.
“In terms of herd immunity, you not only have … this selective pressure that’s keeping you from being able to achieve herd immunity (because the microorganisms are always attempting to evade the vaccine), but pertussis vaccine is only 60 percent effective. That’s with the best estimates. And that’s only for a couple of years.
Studies show that even after three, four or five years, you’re back to almost no efficacy whatsoever, almost back to the pre-vaccine period.
How can you expect to achieve herd immunity with a vaccine that is only 60 percent effective? You can vaccinate 100 percent of the population and you cannot achieve herd immunity with a vaccine that is only 60 percent effective. Influenza vaccines — many years, these vaccines are not good matches for the circulating virus — so you have zero percent efficacy. In the best years, you only have 30, 40 or 50 percent efficacy.”
Studies Show Vaccinations Increase Infant Mortality
One of the tenets of conventional medicine is that if you vaccinate a population, everyone is going to be healthier. There will be less disease. But when you compare vaccination rates and health statistics, you find the converse is actually true. This is some of the most compelling information Miller shares in his book.
For example, when comparing vaccination rates in 34 developed nations, they found a significant correlation between infant mortality rates and the number of vaccine doses infants received. Developed nations like the United States that require the most vaccines tend to have the highest infant mortality. You can read this study here.2
“I’m the lead author on that study, actually. My co-author was Gary Goldman [Ph.D., who] worked for the CDC for seven years. He quit when he found that the CDC was not allowing anything detrimental [to get out]. Goldman found problems with the chickenpox vaccine and wanted to publish that data. The CDC said, ‘We’re not going to allow you to do that.’ That’s when Goldman quit …
Goldman and I did two peer-reviewed studies … The children in the United States are required — if they follow the CDC’s immunization schedule — to receive the most vaccines in the developed world, actually throughout the world. Globally. Twenty-six vaccines. Other developed nations require less.
Some nations only require 12 vaccines — Switzerland, Sweden, Iceland and other European nations — yet they have better infant mortality rates. That’s what our study looked at. [V]accines are promoted as being lifesaving. They’re given to children to protect them against dying from infectious diseases.
We gathered all the immunization schedules from the 34 nations [and found] the United States had the 34th worst infant mortality rate … It had the worst. Thirty-three nations in the developed world had better infant mortality rates. We did the study and we found what many people would find to be a counterintuitive relationship.
We found a statistically significant relationship. There was a direct correlation between the number of vaccines that a nation required for their infants and the infant mortality rate. The more vaccines that a nation required, the worse the infant mortality rate.”
Why Is This Not Front-Page News?
Many naïvely believe that if all of this is true, if vaccines truly were doing more harm than good, it would be front-page news. The reason you rarely if ever hear anything about studies such as this one is because the vaccine industry has an iron grip on the information being publicly disseminated. Collusion between federal regulatory agencies, the government and the industry is just one of several hurdles preventing this kind of information from being widely known.
You have individuals like Dr. Julie Gerberding, who headed up the CDC and was in charge of infectious disease recommendations for seven years before moving on to become president of Merck Vaccines, one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world. That’s just one of many dozens of examples of this revolving door, which in turn has led to the breakdown of true science-based medicine.
“We have a serious problem where top scientists admit that they drop data points from studies that they’ve been influenced by the people who are funding their studies to sometimes not publish the study because it didn’t come up with the results they wanted, and so on,” Miller says.
“We have a serious problem with the pharmaceutical industry controlling which studies get published. Also, there’s a serious problem because the pharmaceutical companies are controlling the advertising dollars that go out to the major media.
Mainstream media makes approximately 70 percent of its income from pharmaceutical ads. They do not want to publish or promote anything, even in their newscasts that would be critical of vaccines because it could compromise their potential to keep bringing in these millions of dollars they make every year from the pharmaceutical companies.”
The greatest, most serious problem we currently face is the concerted push to mandate vaccines and eliminate personal belief exemptions. For example, to go to school in California, you now have to be fully vaccinated. No exemptions are allowed, which is really a violation of human rights.
Giving Multiple Simultaneous Vaccines Is Extremely Risky, Study Shows
The second study3 Miller and Goldman published analyzed nearly 40,000 reports of infants who suffered adverse reactions after vaccines. Here, they found that infants given the most vaccines were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die compared to those who received fewer vaccines.
It’s worth noting that this data was obtained from the vaccine adverse event reporting system (VAERS) database, a passive reporting system, and that research has confirmed passive reporting systems underreport by 50 to 1.
What this means is that when you find one report in VAERS, you have to multiply that by 50 to get closer to reality because, on average, only 1 in 50 adverse events are ever reported. Doctors have a legal obligation to report side effects to VAERS, but they don’t, and there are no ramifications for failure to make a report. Parents can also make a report to the database, and I encourage all parents to do so, should your child experience a vaccine reaction.
At present, VAERS has over 500,000 reports of adverse reactions to vaccines, and every year, more than 30,000 new reports are added to it. Miller and Goldman downloaded this database and created a program to extract all the reports involving infants. In all, they extracted the reports of 38,000 infants who experienced an adverse reaction following the receipt of one or more vaccines.
They then created a program that was able to determine the number of vaccines each infant had received before suffering an adverse reaction, and stratified the reports by the number of vaccines (anywhere from one to eight) the infants had received simultaneously before the reaction took place. They specifically honed in on serious adverse reactions requiring hospitalization or that led to death. Here’s what they found:
- Infants who received three vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving their vaccines than children who received two vaccines at the same time
- Infants who received four vaccines simultaneously were statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who received three or two vaccines, and so on all the way up to eight vaccines
- Children who received eight vaccines simultaneously were “off-the-charts” statistically and significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die after receiving those vaccines
- Children who received vaccines at an earlier age were significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who receive those vaccines at a later age
Childhood Vaccination Schedule Is Based on Convenience, Not Science or Safety
As noted by Miller:
“The industry, the CDC and Dr. Paul Offit tell us that you can take multiple vaccines. Offit said you could theoretically take 10,000 vaccines at one time; that an infant can be exposed to that many pathogens simultaneously without hurting the child. The CDC’s immunization schedule requires that children receive eight vaccines at 2 months of age, eight vaccines at 4 months of age and eight vaccines at 6 months of age.
I ask parents, ‘When did you ever take eight drugs at the same time? … If you did take eight drugs at the same time, would you think it was more likely that you would or would not have an adverse reaction?’ Because toxicologists know that the more drugs you take at the same time, the more potential for some kind of a synergistic or additive toxicity … What this study confirms is that it’s a dangerous practice to give multiple vaccines simultaneously.
The CDC has put together a schedule based on convenience. They say ‘[G]ive eight vaccines at 2 months, give eight more vaccines at 4 months and give eight more booster shots at 6 months’ because it’s convenient. They’re afraid that parents will not come to the pediatrician again and again and again if they have to keep coming back for more vaccines, so they get multiple [shots all at once].
They said, ‘We’re going to make this schedule based on convenience.’ Not based on evidence. Not based on science. There’s nothing scientific about the CDC’s recommended immunization schedule. We’ve shown it with our study …
We also showed that children who received vaccines at an earlier age are statistically significantly more likely to be hospitalized or die than children who receive it at a later age. We divided it up to children who receive their vaccines in the first 6 months of age versus children who receive their vaccines in the last six months of infancy.
Again, off-the-charts statistically significant, it’s much more dangerous to give younger infants multiple vaccines than to give older infants multiple vaccines. This makes sense because they’re giving the same dose to a newborn or a baby that might be 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12 pounds at 2 months of age versus a child who might be 15 or 17 pounds … at a later age.”
You can find “Miller’s Review of Critical Vaccine Studies: 400 Important Scientific Papers Summarized for Parents and Researchers” on ThinkTwice.com. This book is an invaluable resource for parents who want to do their due diligence before making up their mind about whether or not to vaccinate their children. On his website, you will also find his other books, along with studies and publications relating to vaccine safety and efficacy concerns.
Another resource is the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC). NVIC is leading the charge when it comes to educating the public about efforts to impose mandatory vaccinations, and how to preserve our health freedoms on the local, state and federal levels.
Ultimately, everyone will have to make a choice about vaccinations. They key is to make it an informed one — to understand and weigh the potential risks and benefits. To do that, you need access to both sides of the debate, and Miller has done us all a great favor by making the largely hidden side of the equation more readily accessible.