January 24, 2017

How to Eat Allergy Free

by Amanda Box, N.D.

The phrase, “You are what you eat,” rings true for thousands, if not millions, of people.

  • For some, gluten makes their joints ache.
  • Eating soy from Chinese take-out leaves many with a bloated abdomen.f
  • Chemical additives in nearly every snack food give many people explosive migraines.

Your body becomes, or rather manifests, daily what you eat. You might not even realize the association; so many people live in such a constant state of discomfort, they don’t even remember what healthy feels like!

Food allergies and food sensitivities are a common culprit behind many of life’s discomforts, aches, and pains. Instead of addressing possible food allergies or intolerances, we often run to the doctor looking for a pill to fix what ails us. The problem with drugs is they rarely ever fix the root issue, which in this case is a food you’re eating.

Instead, prescriptions and OTC drugs attempt to mask symptoms… and many times don’t even work that well.  Our society is constantly taking pills for symptoms of food allergies and intolerances! Just take a look at the drugs that can often be eliminated from someone’s regime just by excluding a particular food!

  • eliminate drugs with particular foods_2Antacids
  • Antidiarrheals
  • Laxatives
  • Anti-gas drugs
  • Anti-inflammatories
  • Pain killers

Many of these drugs are completely unnecessary once food allergies and sensitivities are identified and taken out of one’s diet. Once again, the pathway to healing your body is through the foods we eat…and don’t eat.

Identifying Food Allergies and Sensitivities

Like I mentioned earlier, many people have been in discomfort for so long that they don’t know what normal feels like. Living with uncontrolled symptoms of food allergies or sensitivities includes suffering with:

  • Digestive issues
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Asthma
  • Skin issues
  • And more

These issues may ultimately stem from a food their body does not tolerate.

Food allergies are a direct immune response by IgE antibodies in our body. If these antibodies spot a particular offending food protein in the blood, then they send the body into attack mode. Symptoms can range from tingling in the mouth to anaphylactic shock.

From a conventional approach, the focus on a healthy diet is maintaining a healthy weight, avoiding fatty foods, and counting calories. However, an alternative approach focuses not only on foods that contribute to a healthy weight, but also foods that are high in nutrition and, in this case, foods that are common culprits in food allergy or sensitivity reactions in the body.

A common principle in alternative medicine is that everyone’s body is different. There is no one-size-fits-all healthy diet. What works well for one person, can be disruptive to another.

You see this principle in Ayurvedic medicine which divides people into Vata, Pitta, and Kapha types; Chinese medicine that divides people into Ying and Yang types; the Blood type diet which divides people into A, B, AB and O types; the nutritional typing diet that divides people into carbohydrate, protein, and mixed types; and the list goes on.

Food sensitivities and food allergies can be common among certain “types” of people. Differences in metabolism, blood type, and other genetic factors play a role in our body’s response to different foods.

Food allergies are often a genetic trait and can be passed down through generations. Many times if a parent has an allergy, then their child may have the allergy, as well. Sometimes it may not manifest as severely and because of this, can often go unnoticed. However, just because you don’t go into anaphylactic shock when you eat peanuts, although your father does, doesn’t mean you don’t have a peanut allergy. Your symptoms may be more mild or atypical.

Many children who have asthma or skin issues, like eczema, have a food allergy. Food allergies can worsen with age and these children often grow into adults who struggle with autoimmune diseases and extreme digestive disorders from years of chronic inflammation. Often, these people have never thought to attribute their health problems to what they are eating

Identifying possible food allergies starts by knowing the most common culprits. There are 8 foods that attribute to 90% of food allergies:

  • Peanuts
  • Tree nuts
  • Milk
  • Egg
  • Wheat
  • Soy
  • Fish
  • Shellfish

Food sensitivities, on the other hand, don’t produce the severe immune reactions that food allergies can. Though some food sensitivities can manifest mild allergic responses, most are slower to react and are not life threatening.

However, food sensitivities are far more common than food allergies. I believe this is due partially to the rise in manufactured and lab created foods. Our bodies do not process these pseudo-foods like real all-natural foods. Lab created chemicals may be disguised as food, but our bodies keenly know the difference.

GMO foods have exacerbated food intolerances, as well. Genetically modified food products have proven to cause damage to the intestinal lining, cause imbalances in gut flora, and leave chemical residues in the body.[1]

Though the following 5 foods make up the majority of food sensitivity cases, it is important to note that almost anything can be the culprit. Starting with an elimination diet is truly the best way to identify the true offender of the bloating, irritable bowel, migraines, headaches, runny nose and general “feeling under the weather” symptoms you may have been experiencing. Excluding these foods from your diet is the best tool for determining food intolerances and sensitivities.

1. Wheat (Gluten)

Gluten intolerance has recently got enough attention that it has become trendy to go “Gluten-Free.” People are jumping on the bandwagon because gluten-free is now associated with being healthy. People just can’t deny the fact that they feel much better when they remove gluten from their diet.

It is no wonder as it is estimated that nearly 1 out of 2 people may suffer with some level of gluten intolerance.[2] This is a staggering statistic and may explain the rise in digestive disturbances, mental disorders like depression and anxiety, and attention disorders like ADD.

Gluten itself is very difficult to digest and can cause inflammation in the intestinal tract, regardless of a gluten allergy or sensitivity.  Autoimmune diseases like Hashimoto’s and diabetes can also result from gliadin, a gluten protein similar in structure to some of our body’s tissues.

Most people have no idea that gluten is the culprit behind their health problems until they remove it from their diet. Removing gluten can result in surprisingly pleasant side-effects like weight loss or a reduction in pain. Thankfully, there are many gluten-free options now available at most grocery stores. However, I recommend staying away from gluten-free products that substitute with corn, as it is a high allergen food, as well.

2. Dairy

Even with the rise in gluten sensitivities, dairy still remains the most common of all food intolerances. Lactose intolerance occurs when there is a lack of the enzyme lactase, which leaves lactose sugar undigested. As a result, bacteria in the gut breaks down the lactose sugar instead, causing a plethora of digestive upsets. Although lactose intolerance is a common cause of dairy sensitivity, there are other contributors, as well.

The modern practices of pasteurization and homogenization may be contributing to dairy intolerance. Pasteurization kills the natural enzymes present in milk that help with digestion.  Homogenization reduces molecules in milk to a size small enough to bypass digestion. These tiny protein molecules can end up in your bloodstream causing inflammation and increased mucus production.

  • If you are dairy sensitive, then you may find that you can tolerate raw milk products because they are not pasteurized or homogenized.
  • Oftentimes, cultured dairy like yogurt is better tolerated as well, because the fermentation process breaks down lactose sugar in the milk.
  • Eliminating dairy is best with lactose sensitivity, but supplementing with an enzyme containing lactase can also be helpful when consuming dairy products.

3. Corn

Today’s corn isn’t what it used to be. Most corn is now genetically modified to produce it’s own pesticides in order to create higher yields. Though this may seem like a valiant endeavor…

Changing the natural genetic makeup of corn has made it less like a food and more like a poison. Click to Tweet.

The pesticide that GMO corn produces called Bacillus thuringiensis, or Bt, can cause allergic responses throughout the body along with a host of other potential health problems including anemia, high blood sugar, and cancer![3] It is likely this GMO corn is the reason behind the spike in corn sensitivities and other food sensitivities, as well. GMO foods can aggravate food sensitivities by causing damage to the intestinal wall and disrupting the bacterial balance in the gut.

Corn sensitivities can produce symptoms like:

  • Foggy thinking
  • Angry behavior
  • Headaches
  • And fatigue

It is hard to avoid corn because it hides in everything from ketchup to toothpaste. Look out for ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, corn oil (vegetable oil typically has corn oil), and maltodextrin. These are all corn products that people often overlook because they hide in the ingredient list.

 4. Soy

Soy is another genetically modified food that causes food intolerance for many people. Soy is my #1 enemy because I suffer from severe soy sensitivity. I noticed this shortly after entering the world of natural health while drinking daily soy protein shakes. I personally suffered from extreme abdominal pain, gas, bloating, and constipation. Other symptoms of soy intolerance may include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Indigestion
  • Skin rashes
  • And headaches

Soy is a legume; therefore, it can accompany sensitivities to other legumes like beans and peanuts.

I personally don’t believe soy is fit for human consumption and it is far from a health food. It is difficult to digest, blocks the absorption of important minerals, and has hormone-like qualities. Like corn, soy is in nearly everything. Reading ingredient lists is important in eliminating soy from your diet.

5. Eggs

Eggs, the egg whites in particular, are a common food sensitivity. Egg whites contain naturally occurring enzyme inhibitors that can actually block enzymes in our digestive tract from doing their job. Undigested protein from eggs can then cause:

  • Digestive disturbances (nausea, abdominal pain, vomiting or diarrhea)
  • Hives or eczema
  • Itchy, red, watery eyes
  • Wheezing, coughing, or runny nose
  • Swelling of lips, tongue, or face
  • And can even leak through the gut and into the bloodstream inciting an immune response.

6. Food Additives

Food additives are used to sweeten, enhance flavor, brighten color, and extend the shelf life of nearly all processed and fast foods. Because these are not truly food, but lab manufactured chemicals, our bodies often react unpleasantly. The most common food additives include:

  • Artificial Colors (Red #40 is the most allergenic)
  • Artificial Flavors (MSG in particular)
  • Artificial Sweeteners (aspartame, sucralose, saccharin)
  • Preservatives (Nitrates, Nitrites, and Sulfides)

Many people suffer full-blown allergic reactions breaking out in hives or having asthma attacks upon ingesting different food additives. MSG is known to cause severe migraines and artificial sweeteners can even cause symptoms of MS! Even if you aren’t having any outward physical reactions to these additives, I recommend eliminating them from your diet.

Food additives can contribute to diseases like Alzheimer’s and cancer, so staying away from them is always a wise choice.[4] Click to Tweet.

The Elimination Diet

Following an elimination diet is the best way to identify which foods you may be allergic or sensitive to. Although allergy testing is available, it can often be unreliable and should always be followed with an elimination diet for confirmation. Food sensitivity testing is often inaccurate, as well. Following an elimination diet will take planning, time, and will power. However, its reliability is worth the time in identifying the root behind the discomfort you have been dealing with.

There are varying forms of the elimination diet; however, they all follow the same basic premise. In order to identify food allergies and sensitivities, you must follow this diet without cheating for 7-15 days! This is extremely important because during this time you will be cleansing the residues from the offending foods out of your body.

After the 7-15 day period, you will then begin adding back a new food every other day (if you have no reaction), and waiting a third day if you do react to a particular food. Keeping a food journal is very important. You must document how your body responds both when you begin the diet and when you start introducing foods back into your diet. Take note of things like:

  • Energy level
  • Digestive discomforts
  • Frequency of bowel movements
  • Skin texture
  • Pain

Foods to avoid :

  • Refined sugar
  • Peanut oil, soybean oil, corn oil, vegetable oil
  • Processed foods, commercially prepared condiments, food additives
  • Fatty meats like beef, pork, & veal
  • Alcohol and caffeinated beverages, chocolate & cocoa
  • Yeast
  • Soy & peanuts
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes, potatoes & corn
  • All gluten, wheat, spelt, kamut, oats, rye, barley, malt
  • All dairy products, eggs, cheese, butter, yogurt, milk, ice cream, creamer, whey & casein
  • Modified food starch, corn starch, corn syrup
  • Sulfites in dried fruits, balsamic vinegar, pickles, frozen fruit juices, olives, fresh shrimp, shredded coconut, canned foods

What to eat:

  • Brown rice, quinoa, millet, buckwheat, tapioca, amaranth, teff (½ cup a day)
  • All organic fresh fruit except citrus
  • All organic fresh vegetables (except no corn and regular potatoes)
  • Sweet potatoes & yams
  • Organic poultry & fish
  • Beans & legumes
  • Nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds
  • Organic coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil
  • Stevia
  • Spices without additives, apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sea salt, black pepper, fresh crushed garlic
  • Reverse osmosis water, club soda, plain rice milk (unsweetened), non-caffeinated herbal teas

Though your food choices may seem limited, there are ways to keep you satisfied. Below are a couple recipes you can use during the elimination diet. They are both delicious.

turkey meatballs and zucchiniTurkey Meatballs with Zucchini Noodles

Meatballs:

  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 Tbsp thym
  • 1 Tsp basil
  • 1 Tsp sea sal
  • 1 lb ground turkey

Directions: Preheat a skillet on medium heat and add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Combine all the above ingredients in a bowl mixing well with your hands. Begin forming into balls and drop into the skillet. Turn the meatballs to brown on each side. Cook through and serve over noodles. Recipe below.

Zucchini Noodles:

Using a vegetable peeler, shred zucchini into noodle-like pieces. You can serve these noodles raw, or cook them in boiling water for 1 minute and then drain. Season noodles with salt and toss with olive oil.

Even dessert can be delicious on an elimination diet! Below is a recipe for ice cream that has only 3 ingredients!

Strawberry Banana Ice cream

  • 3 ingredient ice cream2 bananas, peeled & sliced
  • 1 cup frozen organic strawberries
  • ¼ Tsp vanilla extract

Directions

Spray a plate or baking sheet lightly with cooking spray. Place sliced bananas on one side of the baking sheet. Set in freezer until frozen. In a food processor or blender, blend the frozen bananas until smooth and creamy. Add strawberries and vanilla to blended bananas and process just until incorporated into the banana.

Serve immediately or place in a freezer-safe container and place in freezer until firm. If serving after freezing, remove from freezer 5-10 minutes before serving to allow ice cream to soften.

Identifying food allergies and sensitivities truly is the first step in the direction towards a normal, healthy life.  The results will be more energy, better concentration, clearer skin, proper digestion and less pain. Don’t let something you eat steal your life any longer! Take back your life and find relief by committing to the elimination diet and pinpointing food culprits that are negatively affecting your health.

 

 

Amanda Box, N.D.Amanda Box is a Traditional  Naturopath and a graduate of Clayton College of Natural Health. She’s been in the health and wellness industry for over 12 years and currently practices naturopathic consulting in the Kansas City, Missouri area.  Her passion is helping others achieve wellness of the whole person – mind, body, and spirit. If you don’t have a good local naturopathic practitioner to turn to for your personal needs, Amanda does phone consultations! She can help you with weight loss, detox/cleansing, acute and chronic illnesses, skin and body care, grocery shopping, pantry overhauls, and more! Visit her blog “My Life in a Healthnut Shell” at http://amandabox.blogspot.com/ for contact info.

[1] http://www.anh-usa.org/genetically-engineered-food-alters-our-digestive-systems/
[2] http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11944/5-symptoms-of-gluten-sensitivity-you-probably-dont-know-about.html
[3] http://www.responsibletechnology.org/fraud/rigged-studies/Genetically-Modified-Corn-Study-Reveals-Health-Damage-and-Cover-up-June-2005
[4] http://eatthis.menshealth.com/slideshow/print-list/186430

 

4 Reasons Why Allergies Are Attacking Our Health

by Sarah Stanley

No doubt you know someone with allergies. It seems like everywhere we turn another child is suffering from a peanut, soy or dairy allergy, and one more person has suddenly become gluten intolerant. According to Food Allergy, 15 million Americans suffer from allergies; 1 in 13 children (under the age of 18) suffers from allergies.

So, what is going on? Could there be a connection between our body, the food we eat and the products we use on a daily basis? You bet! Let’s discover the 4 reasons why allergies, and food allergies in general, are increasing in number and most importantly, what we can do about them.

1) Antibiotics

4 reasons why allergies are attacking our healthAntibiotics are being prescribed at alarming rate; it’s no wonder our poor bodies are reacting the way they are. Did you know that 80% of our immune system lives in our gut? Antibiotics not only kill the bad germs in our gut, but they kill the precious good germs, too. They weaken the immune system and make it harder for our bodies to fight infection, illness and yes, even all types of allergies.

One researcher, Gary Huffnagle, has linked the rise of antibiotics to the increase in asthma. While asthma can be linked to a number of causes (such as nutrition and dust), there is a correlation between diagnosing asthma and over-prescribing antibiotics. So as antibiotic use has increased, so has asthma. In fact, asthma has increased 160% in the last 20 years![1]

Another thing to remember is that prescription antibiotics only kill bacteria, but do not work for viral health ailments, including the common cold, flu and even ear infections.

What’s even more alarming is that over-prescribing antibiotic drugs is causing an epidemic of antibiotic resistance. A report from the CDC stated,

“Each year in the United States, at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections. Many more people die from other conditions that were complicated by an antibiotic-resistant infection.” This is indeed a cause for great concern.

Additionally, the CDC also states that antibiotics are a concern and parents should work with doctors to treat their children safely and effectively.  Antibiotics do affect our health and could be one of the reasons why we are seeing a massive rise in allergies.

2) Anti-bacterial Products

You most likely used antibacterial products today. You probably think using antibacterial soap is a good thing killing all those germs, right? Well, not exactly. One of the main ingredients in antibacterial products is triclosan. It’s also in many commercial beauty & skin care products.

Triclosan blocks the essential fatty acids in the bacterial cells, effectively killing the germs. Unfortunately, the bacteria that manage to survive the triclosan attack actually mutate into a new strain to resist this chemical. What’s really interesting is what happens next.

How Stuff Works describes it like this:

Some antibacterial agents go after the same physiology of bacteria that prescription antibiotics do. This means that if a particular strain of bacteria develops a resistance to an antibacterial agent in a household cleaner, it will also be resistant to similar attacks from prescription antibiotics. Microbiologists call this cross-resistance.”

Remember, germs aren’t all bad! We need them to survive. However, the immune system needs to keep them in their proper place.  It’s how our body fights fevers, infections and illnesses.

What is the connection between anti-bacterial products and allergies? Glad you asked! From the time a baby is born, they are born into an environmental flora of all sorts of germs. These bacteria, yeasts, and viruses can be found everywhere from dirt to countertops; most of these microbes are harmless.

It’s also important to note that this flora helps us digest food and fight off bad bacteria. Our body has two specific cells (T-H1 and T-H2), which prevent us from dying if someone should sneeze near us or if we cut our toe. To work properly, T-H1 and T-H2 must come in contact with microbes and allergens.  Your immune system coming in contact with the germs is how your body builds its defense so you don’t die when someone coughs on you!

But sadly, our homes are filled with many antibacterial cleaners and soaps, giving our young children no defense to fight off disease and causing our precious little ones to be diagnosed with allergies. Sanitizing our homes, hands and world is not such a good thing and our health is taking a direct hit. Allergies are a direct result.

3) GMOs

It’s not just prescription antibiotics that are causing many food allergies; it’s also GMO antibiotics found in meat and dairy. With genetic modification (basically telling God that what He created is not good) happening all around us, our health is declining and allergies are increasing.

Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) are organisms that have been changed using genetic engineering techniques. Some plants like corn have even been modified to produce their own pesticide. Because these have never been in the human food supply before, diseases and health problems are skyrocketing. From infertility to sterility, to allergies to cancer, the effects of GMOs are dangerous and very scary not just for humans but for the health of our earth, soil, plants, animals, air, and water.[2]

Organic Consumers conducted a few tests on allergies and GMOs and this is what they found:

Soy allergies soared by 50% in the UK, right after GM soy was introduced; GM soy also contains an unexpected allergen-type protein not found in natural soy; the level of one known soy allergen is as much as 7-times higher in cooked GM soy compared to non-GM soy.”

Bt toxin is the primary GMO antibiotic and used in corn, soy and potatoes. It is now known that the Bt toxin gene can insert itself from your food into your own gut bacteria, making you a Bt toxin factory.  While the company that makes this has assured us that it isn’t toxic to humans, recent studies indicate that Bt toxin can affect our red blood cells and immune system.[3]

The hormones found in milk may also play a role with allergies.  Robyn O’Brien, founder of Allergy Kids, writes:

 “[rBST & rBGH] seems to be hazardous to the cows. The package itself warns of such bovine problems as ‘increases in cystic ovaries and disorders of the uterus’, ‘decreases in gestation length and birth weight of calves,’ and ‘increased risk of clinical mastitis.’ Mastitis is a painful type of udder infection that causes cows to pump out bacteria and pus along with milk, requiring treatment with antibiotics and other meds that can end up in the milk.”

And how much of this “milk” (if you can call it that!) is poured into glasses without much thought? More than I care to imagine. So not only are antibiotics being over prescribed, but we’re drinking them on top of it. No wonder why we’re in an allergy crisis!

Our bodies were not created to digest foreign genes, which ultimately alter our DNA!

4) Processed Food-like Products

How else is our food supply attacking our health? By hiding in processed, food-like products.

Now that you know a little bit about GMOs, you understand just how important it is to eat real (organic food). Processed products (generally known as Big Food) are filled with GMO ingredients: corn, HFCS (High Fructose Corn Syrup), soy, MSG, and countless other additives that don’t have to be labeled as GMO ingredients.

Which brings us to ask this question, so what can we do to prevent allergies? Or if you currently have them, what can you do to help your body fight them?

Here Are 7 Anti-Allergy Tips to Remember

7 Anti-Allergy Tips

1) Eat organic food.

If you consume meats and dairy, choose organic. The best way to avoid GMOs is to always buy organic foods (and also look for the non-GMO label). Some raw milk drinkers have lower ranges of allergies and asthma.

2) Use regular soap (not anti-bacterial).

Also, avoid foaming soaps (even some natural ones contain toxic ingredients). Dr. Bronner’s is a good choice.

3) Avoid any products that say “antibacterial” or “sanitizer” on them.

This includes all forms of hand sanitizer (gels, liquids, sprays, etc.). Again, Dr. Bronner’s is a wonderful option.

4) Switch to eco-friendly household cleaners.

A few I recommend are Eco-Me, Seventh Generation, Vermont Soap Company and Dr. Bronner’s has so many wonderful uses!

5) Commit to using only natural beauty & skin care products.

Nourish Organics, SKINourishment, and Balanced Guru are some of my personal favorites.

 6) Take probiotics.

It’s no surprise our immune system is under attack, so taking daily probiotics will help build a strong immune system! You can start the day with a morning elixir and eat plenty of pre & probiotic real foods such as kefir, raw sauerkraut (refrigerated, not shelf stable), kombucha, spirulina or chlorella, blue-green algae, Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar (important note: do not use commercial ACV).

Bananas, garlic, chicory root, dandelion greens (all in raw, organic form) are fantastic sources of prebiotics. Garden of Life has a complete line of digestive enzymes and probiotics.

 7) Eat what God made.

Bottom line to take away, if God didn’t make it, then don’t eat it! This means avoiding not just food and drink, but also skin care and household cleaners. Be extra diligent about reading labels and if an ingredient doesn’t make sense, avoid it.

Allergies of all kinds don’t have to be a part our life and especially future generations to come. This is why prevention is so important! By being a little more relaxed about “germs” and more careful about we eat, drink, clean our homes with, and slather on our skin, allergies can be prevented.

The 7 tips above are a great place to get started in living a lifestyle of prevention. By being proactive with preventative measures, allergies might not plague you unnecessarily anymore! And future generations will thank you for preventing allergies for them.

 

 

SarahStanleySarah Stanley is a wellness educator, endurance athlete, speaker, author, and founder of #wellnesschat & {wellprint}. Passionate about healthy living Sarah lives what she speaks about, practicing a whole foods, plant-based lifestyle that fuels her ultrarunning adventures. Her goal is to empower others to be knowledgeable about what they put in & on their body so they can live healthy, disease-free and happy life. She’s been featured in SELF, SHAPE, Ladies’ Home Journal and Washingtonian. Find Sarah on Twitter (@SarahStanley)G+ (+SarahStanley) and visit SarahStanleyInspired.com to start your wellness journey today

 

 


[1] http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn5047-antibiotics-linked-to-huge-rise-in-allergies.html#.U0SBG61dXjN
[2] http://www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_11361.cfm
[3] http://www.gmoevidence.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/JHTD-1-104.pdf

 

GMO Foods Pros and Cons

By Dr. Scott Saunders, M.D.

There is certainly a lot of hype over GMOs.  We have so many people yelling about how it will save the human race from starvation, while others scream that it will completely destroy us!  How are we to know for sure whether foods that are genetically modified are safe and healthy?

I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but “caveat emptor” is still alive and well.  “Buyer beware” rules the market and we must be informed of all that we buy.  Information is still our best protection from all the toxic scams that are devised to take our money and give us only poor health in return.  I want to get past the hype and look only at the evidence.

GMO kidney damage by flickr Hey Paul StudiosThe GMO Home Case Study

My first experience with the GMO debate came from my wife.  She noticed that our youngest child acted very differently when he ate corn, but not when he ate organic corn.  I was skeptical, until I was home one day when he was given some non-organic corn by a neighbor.  The five-year-old child was literally “climbing the walls!”  He could not keep still!  I had seen many meth addicts act the same way, so I was shocked that our child would be doing this!  I even recorded it on video because the change in behavior was so drastic.

I started doing some research and found, at first, that GMO producers and the FDA were assuring everyone that GMO food was just like organic crops – but better, because the farmers didn’t have to spray for insects or weed their fields.  However, as I dug deeper, I began to see a different picture in the case surrounding GMOs.

Few GMO Studies Beyond 90 Days

Most of the “reassurance” that the FDA and GMO producers offer is based on results from 90-day studies.  That is, nobody died in three months — so it must be safe.  This isn’t very reassuring to me, because I know that it may take much longer than that to produce illness from food. I wanted some real science behind the safety of GMOs, so I went to non-industry studies.

GMOs Can Cause Liver and Kidney Disease

First, I went to studies on animals, because they may give us clues to what may happen in a human.  In 2010, a meta-analysis of 19 rats fed GMO soy and GMO corn found that 30-43% of the rats developed liver and/or kidney disease, compared to those who were not fed with GMOs.

I have read thousands of studies over the years, and the percentage ( 30-43%) of rats developing liver or kidney disease is very alarming.

Most pharmaceutical medicines are only approved on a less-than-10% (<10%) margin over placebo. This means GMO products have been approved despite the lack of rigorous safety assessments for GM crops and with the likelihood of organ damage. Wouldn’t you raise questions regarding GMO approval if it led to organ failure?

I’m not a fan of applying associated symptoms as a cause, so I wanted to know why liver and/or kidney disease might be a threat to humans. Before medical school, I was a microbiologist doing molecular biology and genetic engineering, so deciphering the biologically significant data was right up my alley.

GMO Gene Transfer

One of the most convincing arguments against GMO foods is the fact that

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Genetically Modified Organisms…Does God Need Help?

By Michael Tyrrell

As I begin writing on the patio, I glance at the thermometer and it reads 72 degrees outside! Meanwhile, the weather channel is talking about yet another snowstorm on the East coast (Nemo) that will dump two feet of snow in New England… Yes, I am happy to be called a Floridian!

With that said, I pray your New Year is off to a healthy start! This month’s topic, Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), is one hot subject!  I am sure I may hack off a few people in the process, but at least hear me out to the end.

Under Attack

God AlmightyThis publication is read internationally, so this next statement need only apply to my fellow Americans. As I am an ordained minister, I can tell you whole-heartedly that many of the uiteedoms, beliefs — and even our Nations Constitution — are under attack. There is currently a push to undermine our great country’s God fearing resolve by deeming our foundational beliefs as antiquated, obsolete, close-minded or out of touch.

With that said, whenever a citizen’s rights are infringed upon, freedom is diluted. Even the term “politically correct speech,” is a subtle way of saying, “You can’t speak your mind,” which is a gross infringement of our first amendment right to freedom of speech! Well I, for one, never being at a loss for words (or passion), refuse to be pulled off center by bourgeois, uber-liberal, secular humanistic manipulation in layman’s terms. I call them as I see them!

Playing God

GMOs are genetically modified organisms… even the name should raise a red flag, or at least make one a trifle skeptical. Man altering God’s design? Gee… that sounds familiar! Someone is actually believing they can improve upon — or even top God Almighty!

“You said in your heart, ‘I will ascend to heaven, I will raise my throne ABOVE the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of the assembly, on the utmost heights of the SACRED mountain (Zion). I will ascend above the tops of the clouds, I will make MYSELF like the Most (Almighty) High.’” Isaiah 14:13-14

Make no mistake. Pride is always at the root of this type of thinking and not far behind lies a lust for power, money and control.

The term, Playing God, has become quite popular in the last decade. First, because of stem cell research and now GMOs. There are plenty of arguments both pro and con on the subject of genetically modified organisms. This article will be unashamedly con!

I would ask you to keep one truth in the forefront of your mind as we continue:

God is eternal and infinite; man is temporal and finite. 

Therefore, being that God is eternal and sees the end from the beginning, it stands to reason that His unlimited proximity trumps man’s limited linear perspective every time!

God operates out of unquestionable genius, while man hypothesizes from human wisdom, which is at best an educated guess.

Recently, in preparation for the upcoming flu season, our brightest and best scientists, biologists, doctors and infectious disease specialists “forecasted” where they believed the flu would originate. They tried to predict what strain it would be and what vaccine would be most effective. How did they do? The consortium of big brains missed it by a mile — so much that they started prescribing an older medicine, Tamiflu instead…which had no effect whatsoever!

This year’s flu, with whooping cough like symptoms, reached epidemic proportions in the U.S. It ran its course with no real help from the medical community; they can only guess what will happen when they “play God.”

Yet, God always sees the end from the beginning, an obvious advantage. By the time you find this article in Home Cures That Work, you will undoubtedly read other outstanding pieces by my fellow contributors on GMOs that will offer definitive information on history, effects on the body, alternatives and even delicious recipes offering GMO alternatives. (By the way, I have personally experienced Grandma’s cooking…totally legit!) So, I will stay in my lane this month and offer an experiential look from a spiritual lens with a few “real life” stories to inspire — or infuriate you!

“Controlling” Life

As I mentioned previously, I live in Florida (South Florida) where on a good day you can smell Castro’s cigars! LOL! My wife Lillian and I live near the Everglades, a natural wetlands that should never have been built on, industrialized or inhabited by man. It was a thriving ecosystem of its own that organically helped stabilize the aquifer, flora and fauna balance in the state of Florida. Here are just a few facts about this amazing organic wetland, the Everglades:

  • It is the largest single marsh system in the U.S.
  • Contains a vast spectrum of aquatic birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, including 56 federally listed endangered species.
  • Regulates the water flow.

The reason I am sharing facts about the Everglades with you is to make you soberly aware of the devastating consequences when man tries to circumvent or amend God’s handiwork. As I am sure you are aware, the Amazon rainforest is in dire straits due primarily to over-forestation from man’s hands. The consequences of man’s impact on the land is catastrophic.

Here in the Everglades, after big sugar industries set up shop, the pristine waters were polluted and filled with phosphorous and mercury, dramatically affecting south Florida.

Every time the Army Corp of Engineers would try to solve one problem, two more would spring up in its place. Here are two examples:

  1. Monsanto Evil by flickr live w mcsBecause the delicate ecosystem was compromised, the alligator mating season was altered, thus increasing their population. So, the Army Corp Of Engineers imported a very aggressive South American crocodile known as the Cayman (Caiman) to knock back the alligator population. Unfortunately, the Cayman liked the Florida gators so much they mated with them, creating 1,200 pound monster Crockogators! This “Frankenscience” or “Humpty Dumpty” syndrome, as I call it, ALWAYS has a downside. Now that you have an example of how fauna can be impacted by one human “miscalculation,” let’s look at the flora.
  2. Because of a severe drought, which affected the Everglades flora, the Army Corp Of Engineers imported Melaleuca trees to fill in the gaps. The Melaleuca trees are from Australia where they grow wild. But, when they were planted in the Everglades, they quickly overgrew and wiped out several indigenous Florida shrubs. Then, they cross pollinated the Melaleuca with other plants creating a flowering hybrid plant that 90% of the south Florida residents (including pets) are extremely allergic to — and growing out of control!

Obviously, I could go into great detail on the total impact of man’s destruction of the Everglades by playing God, but that would keep me from mentioning public enemy #1: Monsanto.

Monsanto: Sprouting Evil

The company Monsanto has been around since 1901. Today, Monsanto is the world’s largest seed company, a genetically engineered seed company whose crops account for over 91% of the total GMO crops planted worldwide. They started as a chemical company producing herbicides, prescription pharmaceutical drugs and artificial sweeteners. Here are a few of their products:

  • PCBs
  • DDT
  • Dioxin
  • Agent orange

Monsanto’s original claim to fame was sodium saccharin, an artificial carcinogenic sweetener known as NutraSweet. Later, they would develop other artificial sweeteners linked to cancer known as aspartame and Equal. In 1997, Monsanto sold off their chemical business to pursue “Life sciences,” or what we call Biotechnology.

Monsanto created their flagship “Round Up Ready” GMO seeds and the result is globally shocking. If you want to do more research on Monsanto, then you can readily investigate their dark side and global impact by going to google and read facts about Monsanto.

I am going to finish this article by sharing one of my passions, raising Monarch butterflies and how Monsanto has single handedly wiped out half of the Monarch population with their lethal man made seeds.

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GMO Debate in 6 Points

By Rob Leighton

Genetics – is about unraveling the secret code of life itself.

Genetic engineering’ –  is about real people altering that code.

In the field of medical science, genetic engineering approach offers magnificent potential for conquering disease. Scientists around the world are using the tools of genetic engineering  to identify exciting new ways to prevent  and treat all manners of disease and disability, from cancer and Type I diabetes to arthritis, heart disease, paralysis and dementia.  This promise has generated wide support for continued research, development and commercialization of drugs, test and procedures built upon genetic engineering.

Say no to GMO

As we move from medical research to agriculture, however, a debate of genetic engineer is raging.

On one side, advocates see the promise in genetically modified plants and animals.  Collectively known as genetically modified organism (GMO), the advocates argue that GMOs offer the best prospect for feeding the growing world population.  Terminating GMO introductions, the advocates argue, would lead to millions, if not billions, of starving people. They point to the “Round-up Ready” soy bean seed to support their claim, a genetically modified seed that allows for less herbicides to be used and increases production.

Genetic engineering, similarly, offers the potential for creating more nutritious foods with fewer resources to cultivate and are more able to resist attack from pest and weather. They applaud the development of GMO “golden rice,” a more nutritious type of rice that could potentially prevent vitamin A deficiency among millions of children around the world.

On the other side of the debate, critics believe that genetically modified plants and animals pose environmental and health threats that are too scary to risk.  They remind us of the “law of unintended consequences” that says even the best researched and most rigorously tested solution will inevitably result in something we could not anticipate.  For example,

  • Will the release of one type of GMO plant lead to the death of the honey bee so important for the success of countless crops?
  • Will the wind-borne pollen for GMO corn cause environmental problems in the oceans?
  • Will a GMO chicken bred for faster growth become a host to a killer flu virus?

So, what’s right? Are GMOs worth the known and unknown risk?

Let’s start with one basic understanding.  Every scientific breakthrough and every change in technology, comes with both promise and risk. What’s miraculous about humanity is that we have found ways to use our knowledge to build a better world.  Yes, some inventions have proven destructive, in terms of wars, the environment and the climate, communities and our health.  But step-by-step, we have found ways to extract  more benefits from the continued progress of knowledge. More and more people can enjoy a better life, with more certainty about food and shelter, education and self-realization and an extend life span.

But there is more to this debate than simply being pro-GMO or anti-GMOGenetic engineering has a few basic issues:

  1. GMO Debate in 6 PointsLet’s stay focused on the problem not the solution.   GMO is not the only way to feed the world’s growing population. Over 200 years ago, English philosopher Thomas Malthus predicated wide-spread starvation due to growing population.  Malthus was proven wrong – no GMO needed.  In the 1960s and 1970s, a new group of doubters emerged, believing in the limits to growth in agriculture.  The “green revolution” proved them wrong and relied on better seed. Even though they relied on additional fertilizer and pesticides, no GMO was needed.
  2. But let us also recognize that over the past centuries, humanity has fundamentally altered the genetic make-up of life.  We have called it selective breeding. We carefully chose to breed certain animals or cross pollinate certain plants to diminish the loss of some desirable traits or lead to the expression of some undesirable traits.  For example, by breeding only dogs with hips above the breed average, they will move toward better (tighter) hips from one generation to the next. This has profoundly affected the “gene pool.”
  3. The mass introduction of new genetic materials also is not new.   For two millennia, men and women have transported plants and animals from one continent to another.  This “genetic transport” has resulted in very tragic outcomes.  Europeans brought small pox to the new world, and within a generation, caused the death of tens of millions of native Americans.  Today, we face the challenges of invasive species in lakes and in our forests. as well as the rapid worldwide dissemination of new flu viruses.  Yet, “genetic transport” also delivered huge benefits in countless ways. For example, chocolate, coffee and many of our vegetables (broccoli, carrots, onions, eggplant and many more) originating in other countries are now readily available and commonplace in America.
  4. Let GMO information be clear and easy to obtain. There are many people who want to know if the foods they eat are GMO-free.  They should have a right to this information.  Currently, this can be regulated with food labeling. The first would have that any foods containing GMO-based ingredients list a “contains GMO.”   People are organizing at all levels of government – local, state, and Federal – to enact legislation that would mandate this disclosure.
  5. And consider this, even some long time GMO critics are rethinking their position. Why?  Because the see GMO as useful for addressing another concern – climate change and global warming. They see GMOs as ways to move agriculture away from a petroleum-based industry with a high carbon foot print.
  6. But also consider this!  There are powerful companies that see tremendous profit from GMOs. However, they do not incur the health risk that could result from a wide scale implementation. They see dollar signs. Instead, we reap the health risks.

So, here is where the debate needs to center.  Let’s keep the focus on who incurs the risks and who gets the rewards?  Put another way, the whole question of being pro-GMO or anti-GMO is in many ways a bad one.

The better question is: What crop, with what modification, for what purpose and made by whom?

Yes, it’s a complex question, but one that requires oversight by our courts, our regulators and meaningful discussions in our political process.

 

Rob Leighton from Kardea NutritionRob is known as a food passionisto and life’s magic moments occur over meals with family and friends. He happily wanders the aisles of gourmet food stores, farmers’ markets and ethnic delicatessens, preferring to end the day with a good cookbook. Rob brings a career as an executive in food and nutrition to reduce his cholesterol levels to the point where no medications are necessary. He wrote The Kardea Gourmet, Smart & Delicious Eating for a Healthy Heart, with Mayo Clinic-trained cardiologist, Dr. Richard Collins, also known as the Cooking Cardiologist. Rob is the founder of Kardea Nutrition. Kardea, which means heart in Greek, combines a love food with a deep knowledge on how to use the best natural solutions to support heart health. Kardea Nutrition offers a scrumptious offer on their raved snack bars packed full of nutrition: Kardea Gourmet Book & 4 Bar Sampler.

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