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Ghosts, Gouls, and Soy Lovin’ Fools

Happy Halloween!  Today is not only Halloween, but also the end of Breast Cancer Awareness month.  So I thought I’d celebrate the day by helping you avoid treats that trick – and cause breast cancer.  As well as a host of other health problems.  I’m talking about soy, that omnipresent ingredient that’s in 80% of processed foods, the bean that’s been touted as the miracle crop that can feed the hungry, the protein-rich savior of vegetarians and protein shake fanatics across the nation.  There’s a dark side to soy though, and it’s time to expose the darkest of health food hoaxes.

If you make any attempt at a healthy lifestyle, chances are you’ve included veggie burgers, tofu, or protein bars or shakes in your diet.  If you’re lactose intolerant, soy milk was probably a blessing for your breakfast.  If you’re a mother who doesn’t have the time to breast feed, you’re probably feeding your baby a soy-based formula.  Soy has become THE food of the 21st century due to its cheap production costs and seemingly endless health benefits; this is just the sort of crop Big Ag loves, and soy food sales therefore increased from $300 million to $4 billion from 1992 to 2006, according to the Soyfoods Association of North America.  It is a staple of Asian cooking, and everyone knows Asians are smarter and more fit than Americans.  Soy must be super fabulous, right?  Wrong!  All of the so-called benefits of soy are actually quite the opposite, and the amount of antinutrients and harmful hormones far outweigh the protein content.  Not all soy is bad, however.  Asians eat fermented soy, and the fermentation process breaks down all the toxins that wreak havoc on your body.  Foods like soy sauce, tempeh, miso, and natto are fermented, which means that the shroud of toxins standing between their nutrients and your body is broken down.

But then why is soy hailed as such a healthy food?  Both the American Cancer Society and BreastCancer.org claim that the isoflavones (phytoestrogens, or plant estrogens) in soy help reduce your risk of breast cancer.  Soy is also recommended for women suffering from menopause effects, as the phytoestrogens can supposedly balance out a woman’s hormones.  The truth, however, is the exact opposite.  One 100mg serving of soy contains the amount of estrogen found in one high dose birth control pill, and such a high amount of estrogen can not only cause breast cancer, but reproductive cancers, birth defects, infertility, early puberty, and feminine qualities in men.  Furthermore, the antibutrients found in soy can lead to ADD/ADHD, severe gastrointestinal issues, food allergies, thyroid disruption, and immune system failure.  And it gets even better!  91% of the soy grown in the US is GMO soy, and you know how wonderful GMOs are.  Not only is non-organic soy teeming with both naturally occurring toxins AND genetically modified toxins, but it’s contaminated with pesticides and aluminum from the acid-washes used to process the beans.  (The processing required to turn soybeans into hydrolyzed vegetable protein also produces glutamate – the G in MSG – and aspartate – a component of aspartame – which are excitotoxins that literally cause your brain cells to explode.  Like… BOOM.)

Not all hope is lost.  Like I said, fermented soy is not so scary.  In fact, it’s a good source of nutrients and can in fact help ward off cancer.  Soy is the best food source of vitamin K, though your body can’t access it with all those unfermented toxins blocking its absorption.  Vitamin K is necessary for calcium utilization and therefore helps prevent osteoporosis and cardivascular disease.  It’s also great for blood health – it’s named after “koagulation” –  and the enzyme nattokinase, which is derived from natto, is the most effective method for dissolving blood clots.  It is indeed a good source of protein, but that is another nutrient that is only made available once all the antinutrients are dissolved.

Soy can be a great component of a healthy diet, but only if it is fermented.  The fermentation process breaks down the toxins and phytoestrogens that cause so many problems for our bodies – and it makes it tastier too!  So stock up on some tempeh and natto and check out these resources for more info on soy:
The Dark Side of Soy
-Dr. Mercola’s “The Truth About Soy Foods”
-Dr. Mercola’s updated article “Newest Research on Why You Should Avoid Soy”
-Kaayla Daniel’s book The Whole Soy Story (I definitely recommend this if you’re a vegetarian or someone who needs more convincing to avoid soy)

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Tis the Season to be Sick, But We Won’t Fall For Big Pharma’s Trick!

Jolly ‘ole Saint Flu Shot is knocking on your door, putting signs up in your pharmacies, even squeezing his commercials into your favorite TV shows.  His elves even dress up in doctor’s coats and try to convince you to receive his gifts, hiding their toxic contents behind warnings of deadly viruses and serious illness.  He’s as crafty as a fox, and he has all the money and resources of Big Pharma behind him.  But truth and trust in Mother Nature’s wisdom will keep you safe from his poison, so long as you stay away from his prickling fingers!

But if doctors tell you to get a flu shot, you should… right?  That’s the philosophy in my family, anyway.  Every year about this time, I get a call from my mother saying she just got her flu shot and now she’s sick.  And every year I try to tell her not to get one, and she ignores me, because I can’t possibly know more than a doctor.  But I’m not on Big Pharma’s payroll, and so I don’t have to push their drugs on the trusting, uninformed public.  And the bottom line is that you should never, ever trust vaccines – of any sort.  Infant vaccines are a matter of personal choice, but any holistic health practitioner will tell you that no one of any age should ever get a flu shot.  And here’s why:

Vaccine Ingredients (CDC)
Aluminum: added as adjuvants to help the vaccine stimulate a better response. Adjuvants help promote an earlier, more potent response, and more persistent immune response to the vaccine.  (Aluminum is a heavy metal that can accumulate in the tissues of several organs, disrupting calcium absorption, stunting growth, and causing osteoporosis.  When aluminum is deposited in the brain, it can cause neurological problems similar to alzheimers or dementia.)
-Antibiotics: added to some vaccines to prevent the growth of germs (bacteria) during production and storage of the vaccine.  (Antibiotics wreak havoc on the gut, destroying the good bacteria necessary for nutrient absorption and leaving the gut vulnerable to infection.  Their overuse has also lead to the development of superbugs, antibiotic-resistant bacteria that present a huge danger.)
-Egg protein: found in influenza and yellow fever vaccines, which are prepared using chicken eggs. Ordinarily, persons who are able to eat eggs or egg products safely can receive these vaccines.  (Flu vaccines are made by incubating strains of the virus in chicken eggs, then “inactivating” them with formaldehyde.  Not only is there no guarantee that the flu strain used is the strain you’ll come in contact with, but injecting a person with even a small amount of flu virus seems just a tad counter-intuitive to me.)
-Formaldehyde: used to inactivate bacterial products for toxoid vaccines, these are vaccines that use an inactive bacterial toxin to produce immunity. It is also used to kill unwanted viruses and bacteria that might contaminate the vaccine during production. (Most of us have used this highly toxic chemical in high school frog dissections, and we probably never imagined our doctors would be injecting that foul-smelling liquid into our blood.  Not only because formaldehyde is used to preserve dead bodies, but because it causes serious damage to the gastrointestinal tract, causing ulcers, inflammation, diarrhea, and even hemorraging.)
-Monosodium glutamate (MSG) and 2-phenoxy-ethanol: used as stabilizers in a few vaccines to help the vaccine remain unchanged when the vaccine is exposed to heat, light, acidity, or humidity.  (Monosodium Glutamate, like many artificial sweetners, is an “excitotoxin,” a category of toxins that literally excite your cells until they’re damaged or explode.  Moreover, the G in MSG, glutamate, is a man-made version of glutamic acid, a necessary neurotransmitter used by the brain for several functions; when the brain gobbles up the wrong one, it leads to widespread cell damage and neurological problems.  PhenoxyEthanol is a common preservative in cosmetics and medications, one that the FDA admitted in a 2008 press release “can depress the central nervous system and may cause vomiting and diarrhea, which can lead to dehydration in infants.”  So they go and inject it directly into their bloodstream.)
-Thimerosal: a mercury-containing preservative that is added to vials of vaccine that contain more than one dose to prevent contamination and growth of potentially harmful bacteria.  (I don’t even know where to start.  Mercury has severely debilitating effects on the nervous system, muscular system, gastrointestinal tract, and just about every organ in our bodies.  You wouldn’t eat fish contaminated with mercury, so why let someone pump it directly into your body?)

That list is straight off the CDC’s website.  Even without my comments, just seeing those ingredients should scare you right out of your pants.  How about the fact that many pharmacy employees are actually given incentives to sell the most flu shots?  Talk about fattening up for the winter, Big Pharma!  Instead of falling into their flu season trap, stock up on some natural remedies that have been trusted for centuries.  Mother Earth News has the best list of cold remedies, all formaldehyde-free!  Here are some of their recommended flu-fighters:
-Water:  The best remedy for congestion, whether it’s nasal or in your chest, is warm water.  Herbal teas and steamy showers help your body get rid of all that mucus that’s clogging your head.  Mother Earth recommends adding antimicrobial herbs, such as eucalyptus, thyme, rosemary, or peppermint to a hot bath or even a pot of boiling water and breathing in the vapors.
-Supplements: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, and zinc are essential for a healthy immune system.  They won’t do much to battle the actual virus, but they give your immune system a boost, giving it the extra energy it needs to do the fighting.
-Echinacea: This miracle herb is great for boosting your immune system as well as healing respiratory infections.  It can shorten the duration and severity of colds, but people with O blood types should use with caution.  It’s listed in Dr. Peter D’Adamo’s Blood Type Diet as an “avoid” for Os, but I’m an O and I’ve used it with no adverse reaction.
-Elderberry:  Another herb that’s popular for treating colds and flus, and the product that I like is Nature’s Way Sambucus syrup.
-Ginseng & Eleuthro (Siberian ginseng):  Good for respiratory infections
-Licorice root: This herb is anti-inflammatory, good for sore throats, antispasmodic (helps reduce coughing), and expectorant (helps rid the body of mucus).  However, don’t take licorice for more than four to six weeks — it causes your kidneys to retain water and sodium and lose potassium. Don’t take it at all if you’re pregnant, have high blood pressure or low blood potassium, or take a potassium depleting diuretic.  Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat tea is made with licorice root, and it’s the best sore throat remedy I’ve found.

Since it’s sometimes hard to decide between all the different herbs recommended, I always keep 3 things on hand for cold season: zinc, colloidal silver (which is antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiviral… in short, a miracle cure for everything), and Boiron’s homeopathic cold medicine oscillococcinum.  You can’t go wrong with these at your side.  So keep your mercury and your formaldehyde, Saint Flu Shot.  I’ll stick with Mother Nature instead.

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In GMO Land, Halloween Comes Everyday!

Happy Non-GMO Month, fellow Frankenfood Fighters!  With Prop 37 (the label GMO bill) on the November ballot in California, the entire nation has been witness to the battle between real food lovers and Big Ag.  This makes Prop 37 even more fabulous, because all this pro- and anti-GMO campaigning has drawn a lot of attention to this issue and clued a lot of people in on the fact that this is an issue.  Even political comedian and talk show host Bill Maher has entered the GMO debate.  (If you’ve never seen his show, I highly recommend it.  Check it out on HBO or on HBO’s website.)  He’s talked a little about the subject with the new Hulk Mark Ruffalo, and last week he sat down with Gary Hirshberg, co-founder of Stonyfield Farms and chair of Just Label It.  To sum up Maher’s pov: “Fucking Monsanto…  I mean, on a scale of 10 to 11, evil being 10, fucking evil being 11, they’re an 11.”  Bill Maher, I love you.

But let’s get serious, because this issue is serious.  In my opinion, the GMO debate is one of the most important political/social debates of our lifetime, possibly of both the past and present century.  Although I’ve talked about the dangers of GMOs before, I want to get a little more in depth, seeing as how October is Non-GMO Month.  For those of you who know GMOs are bad but aren’t exactly sure why, listen up.  GMOs are generally created to allow crops to be more resistant to herbicides and pesticides, and sometimes to produce these chemicals themselves.  This is done by splicing genes from animals or other plants into the crops rather than cross-breeding species naturally.  So basically, GMOs exists so that “fucking evil” companies like Monsanto, Dow, and Dupont can sell you seeds that are resistant to chemical herbicides and pesticides sold by, shockingly, the same companies.  So not only is the food they produced GMOed, but it’s laden with pesticides that cause sterility, birth defects, and cancer… Not to mention all the awful environmental effects, such as groundwater contamination, animal exposure, bee colony destruction, organic crop contamination…  Sorry for all the ellipses, but these lists could take up a lot of html.

So what exactly do GMOs do to our bodies?  If you visit Monsanto’s website and watch their charming “Who We Are” video, you would think that GMO crops are the tools we need to save the world.  But in reality, genetically modified foods come with a long list of side effects.  In his well-known paper “The Genetic Engineering of Food and the Failure of Science” published in 2009, agro-ecologist Don Lotter admitted that:

The promoter gene used in genetically engineered crops, the cauliflower mosaic virus, is a powerful promoter of inter-species gene exchange. Scientists thought it would be denatured in our digestive system, but it’s not. It has been shown to promote the transfer of transgenes from GM foods to the bacteria within our digestive system, which are responsible for 80% of our immune system function; they are enormously important. This is a huge flaw, but not even the biggest in crop transgenics.
Organic Cosumers Organization

One of our nation’s leading crops, soy, is almost exclusively GMO.  Ninety percent of soy grown in the US is genetically modified, and, along with the disastrous side effects of soy’s high estrogen levels, these crops lead to infertility, accelerated aging, immune system impairment, birth defects, asthma, allergies (seasonal and food), and cancer, to name a few.  The fact that scares me the most about this is that the vast majority of processed food contains soy, whether it’s soybean oil, soy lecithin, or soy protein.  Read the label; everything from kids cereal to canned soups to vegetarian products contains soy.  Even the meat – what do you think they feed those poor animals in CAFOs?  Soy and corn, the GMO superproducts.  Recently, they’ve also been feedin corn to rats in order to test Monsanto’s new super-improved GMO sweet corn.  If animal testing itself doesn’t make you sick to your stomach, I hope these pictures do.  Because Monsanto’s new corn, genetically modified and teeming with Roundup, produces not only grotesque tumors, but severe liver and kidney damage, reproductive cancers, respiratory problems, and death.  I’d like my dinner with a side of tumors, please.  If you want to read more on this study, published by the University of Caen in the Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal, check out the article on NaturalNews.com.

Now here’s the big question: what do we do about this?  Unfortunately, appealing to the federal government won’t help, because many of the the top officials in the FDA, USDA, and CDC are former Monsanto or Big Ag employees.  For example, in 2009 Obama appointed Mike Taylor the current Chief Deputy of Foods, the leader of the FDA.  In Bill Maher’s words, this dude is “fucking evil;” for nearly a decade, Taylor was Monsanto’s leading lawyer and chief adviser.  He was the man with the plan when Monsanto started developing their recombinant bovine growth hormone, or rBGH.  Yes, our new FDA chief was the mastermind behind the label on dairy products stating (falsely) that milk from cows treated with rBGH is no different from milk from untreated cows.  This was Monsanto’s way of hiding the horrendous side effects of rBGH, for Mike Taylor’s brilliant scheme passed a law requiring that statement to appear on any product that listed rBGH as an additive.  This man is now leading the FDA, the organization that approves and disapproves food for human consumption, and there are dozens of others placed strategically throughout the government.

What, then, is the answer?  Eating organic ensures that you avoid GMOs, but not everyone can afford that – and there are lots of products out there that don’t use GMOs but don’t advertise that.  That’s why Prop 37 is so important.  Forcing companies to label whether or not their products contain GMOs gives us the information we need to choose while also bringing us a step closer to banning GMOs completely.  While those of us who don’t live in California can’t vote on the bill, what passes in Cali usually makes its way across the nation.  So by supporting Prop 37 – financially, socially, on Facebook, on your blog, with your friends – you’re supporting everyone’s right to know.

Happy Non-GMO Month!!

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Recipe Book: Nachos Creativos

When I have a surplus of veggies in my fridge that need to be used before they’re doomed to the compost pile, I usually throw them into a stir fry.  But since it’s football season, we had the idea to make some “nachos creativos” the last time we cleaned out the fridge.  The result: fig, home-made sundried tomatoes (which are actually pretty simple, if time consuming), vegetarian chicken, goat cheese, and smoked cheddar nachos with blue corn and avocado tortilla chips.  Yum!  We’ve cranked out a few batches of nachos creativos in the past, and some of our favorite toppings include avacado, roasted tomatillos, okra, home-made salsa, refried beans, and Quorn vegetarian chicken strips or ground beef.  Pop them in the oven for about 10 minutes or eat them plain for a healthful, yummy snack.  The more toppings, the more taste – and nutrition.