Mustard Greens and Seeds Offer Potent Health Benefits


By Dr. Mercola

Eating plenty of vegetables can help reduce your risk for many chronic diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, stroke and certain cancers. For example, one 2010 study found that eating just one extra serving of leafy greens a day reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 percent.1

Fresh vegetables are a nutritional cornerstone, as most are very low in calories and net carbs while being high in beneficial fiber,2 vitamins and minerals. Vegetables also contain a wide variety of antioxidants and other disease-fighting compounds.

Phytochemicals found in plants have potent anti-inflammatory capacity and some even help in the elimination of carcinogens. Other plant chemicals regulate the rate at which your cells reproduce, remove old cells and maintain DNA.

Leafy greens, thanks to their high fiber content, also activate a gene called T-bet, which is essential for producing vital immune cells in the lining of your digestive tract.3

These immune cells, called innate lymphoid cells (ILCs), help maintain balance between immunity and inflammation in your body and produce interleukin-22 (IL-22), a hormone that helps protect your body from pathogenic bacteria.

ILCs even help resolve cancerous lesions and prevent the development of bowel cancers and other inflammatory diseases.

For Better Health, Eat More Veggies

Studies have repeatedly shown that people with higher vegetable intake have:

Lower risks of high blood pressure and stroke Lower risks of certain types of cancer Reduced risk of kidney stones and bone loss
Higher scores on cognitive tests Higher antioxidant levels Lower biomarkers for oxidative stress
Lower risk for Alzheimer’s disease4 Lower risk for eye diseases Fewer digestive problems

That said, some veggies are more beneficial than others. Kale, for example, has gained vegetable VIP status, in large part thanks to its 3-to-1 carbohydrate-to-protein ratio. This is an exceptionally high amount of protein for any vegetable, resulting in kale being viewed as “vegetarian beef.”

Like meat, kale contains all nine essential amino acids needed to form the proteins within the human body, plus nine other non-essential ones for a total of 18.

Unlike meat it does not have these amino acids in a high concentration. This makes it far more difficult to consume excess protein, which we know can activate mTOR and accelerate aging and chronic degenerative diseases. It also contains more omega-3than omega-6, which is almost unheard of in nature.

Mustard — The New ‘King of Greens’?

More recently, mustard greens (of which there are several popular varieties5,6) have been gaining in favor. Mustard is a relative of cabbage, broccoli and radishes.

Like kale and collard greens, steamed mustard greens have potent cholesterol-lowering ability, courtesy of its ability to bind bile acids. Bile acids are composed of cholesterol, so this binding activity helps reduce your cholesterol level by boosting excretion.

Mustard Greens’ Claim to Fame: Cancer Protection

Mustard greens are also high in glucosinolate, a plant chemical that your body converts into isothiocyanates (ITCs), which have anti-cancer properties. In fact, studies suggest cancer protection is a primary benefit of mustard greens. According to The World’s Healthiest Foods:7

“All cruciferous vegetables have long been known to contain glucosinolates, but it’s recent research that’s made us realize how valuable mustard greens are in this regard.

The cancer protection we get from mustard greens may be largely related to two special glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: sinigrin and gluconasturtiian.

Sinigrin can be converted into allyl-isothiocyanate (AITC) and gluconasturtiian can be converted into phenethyl-isothiocyanate (PEITC). Both AITC and PEITC have well-documented cancer-preventive and anti-inflammatory properties.”

In addition to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant activity, mustard greens also help protect against cancer by supporting your body’s detoxification systems.8 Some of the nutrients in mustard help boost phase 1 detoxification while sulfur-containing compounds aid phase 2 detoxification.

Nutritional Information

Steamed mustard greens also have an impressive nutritional profile, providing a whopping 922 percent of your RDI for vitamin K, 96 percent of your vitamin A, and 47 percent of your vitamin C per cup (140 grams). Mustard also contain a number of valuable antioxidant compounds, such as:

  • Hydroxycinnamic acid, shown to inhibit human lung adenocarcinoma cells and effectively combating multiple-drug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It also has antimalarial activity9 and much more
  • Quercetin, an important free radical fighter10
  • Isorhamnetin, shown to induce apoptosis (cell death) in certain cancer cells. It may also have particular benefits for inflammatory skin conditions11
  • Kaempferol, which has hypoglycemic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, cardioprotective and neuroprotective effects, and more.12

Ideally, you’ll want to incorporate 1.5 cups of mustard greens into your meals at least two to three times per week. An even better goal would be 2 cups, four to five times a week, although you could mix it up by including other cruciferous veggies as well.

Mustard Seeds Have Medicinal Qualities Too

Every part of the mustard plant can be used, including the roots, seeds and leaves. The seeds in particular have a long history of use in Chinese medicine.

Abscesses, bronchitis, asthma, colds, rheumatism, toothaches, aches and pains, bladder inflammation, ulcers and various gastrointestinal ailments are among the many historical uses of mustard seed, often in the form of a mustard plaster or poultice, which is applied topically.13,14

Historically, mustard was also used in baths to alleviate inflammation, as it helps increase blood flow.

Mustard seeds — which are commonly used to make the condiment you recognize as “mustard” — are a good source of phosphorous, iron, calcium, zinc, magnesium and manganese.

Gwen Stewart, author of “The Healing Garden,” provides a couple of recipes for making your own mustard condiment in this referenced article.15 I’ve also provided a recipe below.

The seeds can also be sprouted. For instructions, check out’s growing instructions for mustard seeds.16 Tips for growing mustard plants are provided by Mother Earth Living.17

A note of caution: Some states view mustard as an invasive weed and have imposed restrictions on where and how you’re allowed to grow it, so be sure to check with your County Extension agent to find out if any restrictions apply before you plant them in your garden.

How to Make Your Own Mustard From Scratch

Here’s a basic mustard recipe by Paleo Leap,18 which can be tweaked based on your own taste preferences by adding other seasonings and herbs to it.

Basic Mustard Recipe

1/2 cup mustard powder

1/2 cup water

Sea salt to taste

Optional: fresh parsley, chopped

Optional: fresh basil, chopped

Optional: lemon or lime zest

Optional: 1 to 2 tablespoons of your choice of vinegar

In a bowl, combine mustard powder and water and mix until smooth. Add parsley, basil, lemon or lime zest and/or vinegar, if using. Let the mustard rest for 15 minutes before using.

You can also find a whole-grain mustard recipe on the Paleo Leap website,19 which uses yellow and brown whole mustard seeds instead of mustard powder. It’s a bit more involved, as the whole seeds need to be soaked overnight before you can use them. You also need a food processor to turn it into a paste.

Boost Nutritional Value Through Fermentation

Inflammation from bacterial endotoxins may be a factor helping to drive the obesity epidemic. Sugar and processed foods can quickly make the “friendly” microbe community in your gut unfriendly — even downright hostile. When dysbiosis occurs, bacteria release noxious byproducts called endotoxins. Endotoxins increase the permeability of your gut wall (leaky gut syndrome) and make their way into your bloodstream, triggering system wide inflammation.

To counter or prevent this chain of events you need to avoid sugary foods and regularly reseed your gut with healthy bacteria, and one of the best ways to do that is to eat fermented vegetables. In addition to helping break down and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from your body, beneficial gut bacteria perform a number of other important functions as well, including:

  • Mineral absorption, and producing nutrients such as B vitamins and vitamin K2 (vitamin K2 and vitamin D are necessary for integrating calcium into your bones and keeping it out of your arteries, thereby reducing your risk for coronary artery disease and stroke)
  • Preventing obesity and diabetes, and regulating dietary fat absorption
  • Lowering your risk for cancer
  • Improving your mood and mental health

Like most other vegetables, you can easily ferment or pickle mustard greens at home. C?iChua is Vietnamese pickled mustard greens. Its sour and spicy flavor works well with a variety of dishes. The following recipe is from For step-by-step instructions, please see the original article:20

Vietnamese Pickled Mustard Greens

2 1/2 pounds of mustard greens

4 stalks green onions

1 1/2 tablespoons pickling salt

4 Thai bird’s eye chiles (or 2 serrano peppers)

(Optional brine)

2 cups water

1 tablespoon pickling salt

Have You Tried Mustard Greens Yet?

Mustard greens and sprouted mustard seeds can be eaten in a number of ways. Simply toss them into your salad, or add as a steamed or sautéed side dish, for example. Most of the mustard used for greens are the brown-seeded variety, which is spicier and zestier than some of the others.

Sautéing, braising or steaming the leaves will cut some of the bitterness. The sprouts can also be mixed into smoothies. For a slow-cooked Indian-style Sarson ka Saag (pureed greens) dish, see Many other recipes can be found online as well.

Sources and References

How to Nourish Your Gut with Food

Note: this is an except form the book, Effortless Healing“, page 164, by Dr. Joseph Mercola. I recommend you get a copy!

How to Get Your Gut Flora Back in Balance

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

Consistently reseeding your gut with healthy bacteria may be crucial for help in the prevention of virtually all disease, as well as from coughs, colds, and flus; autoimmune disorders, psychiatric disturbances, and even cancer. The good news is that improving the health of your digestive system is a simple, straight forward process of achieving the right balance of good and bad gut bacteria. It’s a matter of moving the right bacteria, in the right amounts, into permanent residence in your digestive tract.  And doing that is very nearly effortless, you avoid sugars,chlorinated water, and processed foods, and you eat more fermented foods.  In addition to being delicious, fermented foods have the added benefit of being powerful healers, that you can create on your own with minimal investment and energy.

Simply eating more fermented foods is the best way to optimize your digestive health. Be sure to eat the traditionally made unpasteurized versions.  Healthy choices include fermented shredded vegetables and fermented unpasteurized dairy like yogurt and kefir. Ideally you would make your yogurt or kefir yourself as most commercial versions are loaded with sugar and artificial flavors and sweeteners and low in beneficial bacteria.

Environmental Signs Suggest Atrazine Is Becoming a Serious Health Threat


By Dr. Mercola

Atrazine, which was approved for use in 1958, is the second most commonly used herbicide in the U.S. More than 73 million pounds of it are applied to golf courses, lawns and food crops each year.1 As just one example of its prevalence, as much as 80 percent of all the herbicides used in Vermont are atrazine-based.

Meanwhile, Europe banned atrazine in 2005 due to suspected health concerns and environmental damage, including the high risk of water contamination.

Indeed, research clearly shows that atrazine has a potent “gender-bending” impact on marine life, including fish, alligators, turtles and frogs, and many scientists suspect it may be equally harmful for humans.

Most recently, testing reveals a shocking 85 percent of male smallmouth bass in 19 American wildlife refuges, including the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge located near the U.S. and Canada border, are carrying eggs.

Gender-Bending Chemicals Are Turning Male Fish Into Females

In other words, a vast majority of the male fish are turning into females, and the primary culprits are estrogenic compounds such as those found in birth control pills, bisphenol A (BPA, a chemical used in plastic) and the herbicide atrazine.

Smallmouth bass are known to be very sensitive to pollutants, hence researchers use them as an “indicator species” when evaluating the ecological impact of environmental pollutants. In the case of water pollution with endocrine disrupting chemicals, the situation appears severe.

The lowest incidence of feminization or intersex in the wildlife refuges tested was 60 percent. The highest was 100.2

While some fish species are hermaphrodites, meaning they can change sex in order to protect the continuation of the species, non-hermaphroditic fish that turn into females do not contribute to species survival. On the contrary, it contributes to sterility.

By lowering immune function, this type of endocrine disruption also contributes to infections, diseases and die-offs. According to National Geographic:3

“Over the past decade, feminized male fish have been discovered in 37 species in lakes and rivers throughout North America, Europe and other parts of the world.

Experts say the new discovery in protected wildlife refuges is worrisome because it suggests that pollution may be even more pervasive than previously thought.

‘There are no truly untouched areas. I think the take away here is that everything we do, everything we use or put on the land, ends up in the water at some point,’ says Luke Iwanowicz, a U.S. Geological Survey fish researcher … who led the wildlife refuge study.”

Intersex prevalence among largemouth bass at these 19 sites were about 27 percent, and in previous testing done at eight U.S. river basins, including the Mississippi, Rio Grande and Columbia Rivers, about 33 percent of male smallmouth bass had changed gender.

Atrazine Is a Common Pollutant in Drinking Water

Perhaps most disturbing is the fact that in wildlife refuges, there are no identifiable sources of the contamination, which means the pollutants are spreading into the environment far more readily and/or in ways currently unknown.

This in turn raises serious questions about the extent of human exposure, and the potential effects of such exposure. As noted in the featured article:4

“Exposures to endocrine disrupting chemicals in drinking water, food and household products have been linked to health problems in people too, including reduced fertility, developmental delays in children and some cancers.”

In fact, as far as pesticides go, atrazine is the one most commonly found pesticide in U.S. drinking water. In 2012, Syngenta AG and its U.S. subsidiary were ordered to pay $105 million to filter the chemical out of Midwestern community water treatment operations providing drinking water to 52 million Americans.5,6

The legal proceedings revealed that as many as 1 in 6 Americans were drinking atrazine-contaminated water. The $105 million settlement was really just a drop in the bucket when compared to the actual cost of filtering this chemical.

In 2010, the plaintiffs’ attorney, Stephen Tillery, said the 16 cities included in the original lawsuit had already spent about $350 million to filter it out. Since 2012, at least 1,085 other compensation claims over atrazine contamination have been filed against Syngenta, suggesting the problem is incredibly widespread.7

Atrazine Linked to Harm in Humans

The legal limit for atrazine in drinking water, set by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), is 3 parts per billion (ppb). This is the equivalent of three drops in an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

Syngenta and other atrazine proponents insist that atrazine is safe for the simple fact that it’s been used for over 50 years, but mounting research suggests otherwise. For example:

  • Research has linked atrazine exposure in utero to impaired sexual development in young boys, causing genital deformations, including microphallus (micropenis)
  • The evidence also suggests atrazine exposure may contribute to a number of different cancers, specifically ovarian cancer, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, hairy-cell leukemia and thyroid cancer8,9,10
  • Elevated concentrations of atrazine in drinking water have been associated with abdominal birth defects, including gastroschisis (in which the baby’s intestines stick outside of the baby’s body) and others
  • Animal research also suggests long-term exposure to atrazine may induce insulin resistance and weight gain by lowering energy metabolism11
  • Endocrine disrupting chemicals like atrazine are also implicated in lowered fertility and infertility12

EPA’s New Risk Assessment Acknowledges Serious Hazards

On June 6, 2016, the EPA released a new risk assessment for atrazine.13 Its current view of the chemical suggests the agency might lower allowable levels and issue tighter regulatory limits on the chemical. There’s even the possibility of an eventual ban.

The risk assessment concluded the chemical may cause reproductive harm to mammals, fish and birds, with the level of concern surpassed nearly 200-fold using real-world scenarios for mammals. (An EPA “level of concern” describes the threshold above which a chemical may be expected to cause harm.)

For fish and birds, atrazine exceeded the level of concern by 62- and 22-fold, respectively. A number of organizations, including the Organic Consumers Association14 (OCA) and Beyond Pesticides,15 created petitions urging Americans to push for a complete ban on atrazine. As noted by Beyond Pesticides:

“In July, California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) announced that atrazine, its chemical cousins propazine and simazine, and its breakdown triazine compounds would be added to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause reproductive toxicity for purposes of the state’s Proposition 65. The evidence is clear. Atrazine harms wildlife, persists in soils and moves easily through waterways.”


Big Ag Fights to Keep Atrazine

The EPA’s public comment period ended on October 5. Time will tell whether the agency will take appropriate measures to protect environmental and human health from this pernicious endocrine disruptor. Not surprisingly, the pesticide and agriculture industries are up in arms over the EPA’s new assessment.

ChemChina, which has bid to acquire Syngenta, said the EPA’s report “contains numerous data and methodological errors and needs to be corrected.”16 The Iowa Corn Growers Association has also spoken out against the report, saying it would “effectively ban the product from most uses” if finalized as currently written. As noted by Journal Sentinel:17

“Farm groups, including the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association, the Cooperative Network, Wisconsin Pork Association, Midwest Food Processors, the Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau Federation and the Wisconsin Soybean Association, have asked farmers to contact the EPA and urge the agency to reconsider its position …

‘For more than 50 years, atrazine has been a safe and effective crop protection tool to control the spread of resistant weeds and improve crop yields. … EPA’s action would drive up the cost of production to Wisconsin corn growers and would reduce our yields,’ said Casey Kelleher, president of the Wisconsin Corn Growers Association.”


Harmful Toxin or Conservation Aid?

A ban on atrazine would be the BEST scenario for farmers and consumers alike, yet some farm groups have gone so far as to say the EPA’s plan to limit atrazine’s use would actually HARM the environment! According to Tom Liebe, president and CEO of Cooperative Network, an alliance of co-ops in Wisconsin and Minnesota:18

“Atrazine plays an important role in conservation tillage,19,20 a farming practice that reduces soil erosion and runoff. An atrazine ban would require more soil tillage to control profit-robbing weeds and will be a net-negative for the environment.”

Conservation tillage refers to the practice of applying atrazine to suppress or kill leftover vegetation in the field before the new planting season. The use of the chemical allows farmers to till the soil less, which reduces soil erosion and related problems. As explained by Penn State’s introduction to weed management for conservation tillage systems:21

“An important benefit of tillage is weed control. In conservation tillage agriculture, the grower relies on the same weed management practices as in more conventional tillage systems but eliminates most or all of the tillage operations. Therefore, in limited tillage systems, there is greater dependence on cultural and chemical control options …

Chemical weed control remains an important pest management tactic in reduced-tillage agriculture. Regardless of how effective cultural control strategies are, herbicides provide a way to manage weeds successfully with little or no tillage … Chemical approaches are based on timing of herbicide application and include burndown, soil residual, and postemergence treatments.”


True Regenerative Farming Is Non-Toxic

The idea that a toxin like atrazine would somehow be necessary for environmental conservation is ludicrous of course, and this is a perfect example of spinning a negative into a positive by appealing to people’s growing concern about the harm being done by conventional agriculture.

Some conventional farmers also worry that increased restrictions on atrazine might result in lower yields and loss of income at a time when crop prices are already at a record low. While financial concerns are valid, at some point the greater good really must come into the equation, and when it comes to atrazine, that time is now.

There are other, far safer ways to reduce soil erosion and chemical runoff than using atrazine. Besides chemical application, strategies that facilitate no-till farming include:22

  • Crop rotation
  • Pasture cropping
  • Use of livestock on the land
  • Mulching

Non-Toxic No-Till Can Work Just as Well

This lecture by Gabe Brown, who is an international leader in soil health and sustainable farming techniques, describes processes that help build healthy soils and the importance of no-till. By 2012, Brown’s family farm, which consists of 5,400 acres in North Dakota, had reduced its herbicide use by 75 percent.

His intention is to eliminate it entirely by introducing other weed control techniques. Importantly, from a financial perspective, by cutting input costs, Brown has decreased his production costs, which has resulted in higher profits.

How this was accomplished is described in the Brown’s Ranch no-till case study published by the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service in October 2012.23 I’ve also interviewed Brown on his techniques, which you can read about in my previous article, “How to Regenerate Soil Using Cover Crops and Regenerative Land Management.”

The take-home message is that you do not need toxins to farm profitably. Atrazine, which like DDT and PCBs is chlorine-based, can persist in soil for 22 years!24 Considering the clear danger it poses to marine life, and the impact it might have on human health over time, it’s unconscionable to suggest atrazine is a farming necessity or a critical conservation aid. It is a toxic pollutant that threatens the entire food chain.

How to Protect Yourself From Atrazine and Other Pesticides

According to data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 75 percent of the U.S. population has detectable levels of pesticides in their urine, and unless you’re a farmer, your diet is one of the most likely routes of exposure, along with your drinking water.25

Eating organic is one of the best ways to lower your overall pesticide burden. The largest study26 of its kind found that people who “often or always” ate organic food had 65 percent lower levels of pesticide residues compared to those who ate the least amount of organic produce. Organic produce also had, on average, 180 times lower pesticide content than conventional produce.27

If you need to prioritize, refer to the Dirty Dozen list and buy organic as much as possible when you’re choosing foods that are listed as the most-contaminated. If you shop at farmers markets, which I strongly recommend, you can also ask the farmer directly about pesticide usage.

It’s possible to find produce that is not certified organic that may still have a lower pesticide burden than typical conventional produce depending on the farmer. So if you can’t find organic produce, look for a local farmer who has eliminated pesticide use (or uses a minimal amount of such chemicals).

Filtering Your Tap Water Is Important to Reduce Atrazine Exposure

As mentioned, atrazine is the most commonly detected pesticide in U.S. water supplies, so I recommend filtering your tap water — both for drinking and bathing. To remove atrazine, make sure the filter is certified to remove it. Fortunately, since it is a relatively large organic molecule it is easily filtered by a quality carbon filter. As noted by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):28

“Consumers should make sure that the filter they choose is certified by NSF International to meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Standard 53 for VOC (volatile organic compounds) reduction and therefore capable of significantly reducing many health-related contaminants, including atrazine and other pesticides.”

Finally, if you know you have been exposed to pesticides, eat fermented foods like kimchi. The lactic acid bacteria formed during the fermentation of kimchi may actually help your body break down pesticides. In addition, there is some evidence that the antioxidant lycopene, found in watermelon, tomatoes, red bell peppers and more, may protect against some of atrazine’s toxic effects.29

Sources and References

Blaming Donald Trump for the Inevitable Economic Collapse

Bulletin!!!        Bulletin!!!                Bulletin!!!

Though this is not health related.  I wanted to get this information to as many people as possible. Watch this video from Mike Adams, The Health Ranger.

At one level, many globalists actually want Donald Trump to be elected President so they can BLAME HIM for the economic collapse they’ve barely held back for eight years.


How First Lady’s Organic Garden Became a Junk Food Campaign


By Dr. Mercola

Mere months after President Obama came into office, first lady Michelle Obama launched an organic garden project at the White House, complete with a composting system and beehives. Early on she also helped establish a farmers market one block from the White House.

During a recent White House Kitchen Garden dedication ceremony, the first lady reminisced about those early days, saying:1

“… [W]e started thinking about the challenges that many families faced, so many other families were facing the same things that we were, trying to raise healthy kids.

And many of us didn’t understand the impact that the food we ate was having on our bodies, on our kids’ bodies, or how we felt. Like we just didn’t have the right information, or we didn’t have the time that we needed to buy and prepare healthy food for our families.

So I had this crazy idea that what if we planted a garden on the White House lawn to start a conversation about where our food comes from and how it impacts our children’s health.

Well, fast-forward to spring of 2009 — Barack actually won … and that’s when we decided to move forward on this idea of planting a garden.”


Who Shut Down the White House Promotion of Local Organics?

As Mrs. Obama mentions later on in her speech, many were opposed to the idea of an organic garden in the White House, and even more so to having a first lady focused on organic food and organic gardening as a source of health.

What she doesn’t mention is who exactly comprised the opposition. If you’re unfamiliar with this part of American history, it was primarily the agricultural and processed food industries raising a ruckus.

This was in response to her invitation to dialogue about the importance of healthy eating and her promotion of local and organic foods. In a March 2009 letter to President Obama, the Mid America CropLife Association wrote:2

“Fresh foods grown conventionally are wholesome and flavorful yet more economical. Local and conventional farming is not mutually exclusive.

If Americans were still required to farm to support their family’s basic food and fiber needs, would the U.S. have been leaders in the advancement of science, communication, education, medicine, transportation and the arts?”

In a Diane Rehm Show interview that same month, Bob Young, an economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation said:3

“We have no problem with this [organic] concept. But understand that you’re making lifestyle choices here about how you want your food produced. Fine. But don’t denigrate the other approaches to food production.”


Organics Branded as ‘Elitist’ in Effort to Subdue Popularity

Others called the idea of organic gardening “charming” but impractical, due to the seasonality of different food items. In 2012, a number of media articles suddenly cropped up, in which they referred to organics as an “elitist lifestyle choice.”

A spokesman for the American Council on Science and Health (ASCH) went so far as calling the Obamas “organic limousine liberals.”4 Clearly, it was a poorly shrouded effort to quell the rising tide of organic food enthusiasts.5

It was also quite clear that the White House organic garden was a point of contention, not because it was there, but because the first lady was implying that organic foods are healthier. A growing fear among food companies was that her enthusiasm might begin to color agricultural policy.

First Lady Pressured to Accept Benefits of Crop Protection Products

In May 2009, Tom Philpott wrote about how the Mid America CropLife Association stepped up its pressure on the first lady by urging its members to share the benefits of conventional agriculture with her through a letter writing campaign. According to Philpott, CropLife told its members:6

“What message does [a White House organic garden] send to the non-farming public about an important and integral part of growing safe and abundant crops to feed and clothe the world — crop protection products?

I hope that you will take a moment to consider how important that message is to your livelihood, your passion for agriculture, and your growers’ future — and send your own letter, sharing the benefits of modern, conventional agriculture.

Help allay any fears by providing a specific example of how what you do on a daily basis, including custom application and/or the sale of crop protection products and fertilizers, has saved a crop and/or improved yields to benefit more Americans.”

“Crop protection products” — that’s the industry’s term for what the rest of us call pesticides and toxic chemicals.7 According to the chemical industry, crops would suffer dramatic losses without these chemicals, and have positioned them as a farming necessity.

Nothing could be further from the truth, of course, as you can grow healthy, thriving plants without any pesticides at all, provided you’re using appropriate support strategies. I’ve detailed many of these strategies in previous regenerative agriculture articles.

How Big Food Hijacked and Destroyed Obama’s Organic Campaign

In February 2010, Michelle Obama launched the “Let’s Move” campaign, which by then had turned into something quite different from her original stance, which had been focused on raising awareness about the impact of food on health and the importance of organics.

Instead, the “Let’s Move” campaign focused on “solving the challenge of childhood obesity” — primarily by getting kids to exercise more.

Riding on the coat tails of this public health campaign were messages promoting the ridiculous and clearly flawed “energy balance” model, promoted by the Global Energy Balance Network — an industry front group secretly funded by Coca-Cola.8

The aim of this group, which has since been disbanded,9 was to minimize and obfuscate the scientific evidence showing that sugar (and sweet beverages in particular) are a majorcontributor to obesity and diseases associated with insulin resistance, such as diabetes.

Arguing for more exercise is a good thing, but not when you’re placing the sole focus on exercise and making people think you can exercise your way out of a high-sugar diet. The fact is, your diet can make or break your exercise efforts. Not the other way around.

Food Industry Legislation Falls by the Wayside

The “Let’s Move” campaign also put an end to the first lady’s push for food industry legislation. As noted by Think Progress in 2013:10

“Let’s Move” has deliberately veered away from pushing actual legislation, instead focusing on personal responsibility in nutrition and fitness. That’s a very different approach than the one Mrs. Obama took during the inception of her fight against childhood obesity.

In 2010, the first lady gave a fiery speech at a Grocery Manufacturers Association [GMA] conference, arguing that changing personal habits won’t work if big companies like Kraft and General Mills continue to target children with misleading ads for sugary, fatty food:

‘This is a shared responsibility … And we need you not just to tweak around the edges, but to entirely rethink the products that you’re offering, the information that you provide about these products, and how you market those products to our children.

That starts with … ramping up your efforts to reformulate your products … so that they have less fat, salt, and sugar, and more of the nutrients that our kids need.

As a mom, I know it is my responsibility … ?to raise my kids. But what does it mean when so many parents are finding that their best efforts are undermined by an avalanche of advertisements aimed at their kids? And what are these ads teaching kids about food and nutrition? That it’s good to have salty, sugary food and snacks every day — ?breakfast, lunch and dinner?'”


Not Even an Organic-Friendly President Could Rein in Big Food

In a recent New York Times article,11 Michael Pollan expertly details the subversive influence of Big Food on Obama’s presidency. Our broken food system contributes to many of our most pressing problems, including but not limited to health care costs, energy dependence, greenhouse gas emissions, antibiotic resistance and food safety. Yet the power of Big Food, in large part due to the centralization and monopolization that has occurred, effectively blocks any and all attempts at positive change.

There can be no denying that our current food system is undermining public health and is a major contributor to environmental destruction and pollution, and while on the presidential campaign trail, Barrack Obama appeared very supportive of regenerative agriculture, and seemed in favor of agricultural reform.

“In ways small and large, Obama left the distinct impression during the campaign that he grasped the food movement’s critique of the food system and shared its aspirations for reforming it,” Pollan writes.

Obama promised to label genetically modified organisms (GMOs), for example — a promise that was never fulfilled during his eight years in office. He also promised to address pollution from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) by bringing them under the authority of the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts — another campaign promise left unfulfilled, and there’s reason to suspect that industry pressure was at play in both instances.

Obama’s Big Food Antitrust Initiative Went Nowhere

When Obama first took office, the new administration did launch an antitrust initiative, investigating potentially anticompetitive practices within several food sectors, including the poultry, dairy, cattle and seed industries.

“… [R]anchers and farmers testified to the abuses they suffered at the hands of the small number of companies to which they were forced to sell, often on unfavorable terms. In many regions … there were so few buyers for cattle that the big four meatpackers were able to dictate prices, impose unfair contracts and simply refuse to buy from ranchers who spoke out.

Chicken farmers testified about how they had been reduced to sharecroppers by the industry’s contract system. Companies like Tyson and Perdue make farmers sign contracts under which the companies supply the chicks and feed and then decide how much to pay for the finished chickens based on secret formulas; farmers who object or who refuse any processor demands … no longer receive chicks, effectively putting them out of business.”

After months of investigation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) proposed new regulations to level the playing field for producers. The proposed rules specifically addressed legal recourse, making it easier for producers to sue packers for unfair practices.

Producers who complained or sued would also gain additional protection from retaliation under the new rules. The proposed legislation infuriated the meat industry, and after an intense lobbying campaign, the legislation was successfully squashed.

The antitrust initiative was also quietly dropped and never received any further attention, despite farmers’ testimonies clearly having established that anticompetitive behavior was commonplace. As noted by Pollan:

“Obama had launched the most serious government challenge to the power of Big Food since Teddy Roosevelt went after the Meat Trust a century ago, but in the face of opposition it simply evaporated.”


The Four Horsemen of Agriculture Atrocities

How is it that an industry can so easily get even the highest office in the nation to back down when faced with such a clear pattern of malfeasance and wrongdoing? According to Pollan:

“In order to follow the eight-year drama starring Big Food and both Obamas … it’s important to know what Big Food is. Simply put, it is the $1.5 trillion industry that grows, rears, slaughters, processes, imports, packages and retails most of the food Americans eat.”

The four proverbial horsemen that make up our food system are:

  1. Industrial agriculture or “Big Ag”: growers of commodity crops, plus seed and chemical companies
  2. CAFOs
  3. Food processors
  4. Food retailers and fast food franchises

As noted by Pollan:

“Each of these sectors is dominated by a remarkably small number of gigantic firms. According to one traditional yardstick, an industry is deemed excessively concentrated when the top four companies in it control more than 40 percent of the market.

In the case of food and agriculture, that percentage is exceeded in beef slaughter (82 percent of steers and heifers), chicken processing (53 percent), corn and soy processing (roughly 85 percent), pesticides (62 percent) and seeds (58 percent). Bayer’s planned acquisition of Monsanto promises to increase concentration in both the seed and agrochemical markets.”

Not only do all of these industry sectors have powerful lobbying organizations working on their behalf, they also have a large number offront groups secretly pushing the industry’s agenda under various other guises. And, while these industries are sometimes at loggerheads, they all have one common enemy: The local and organic food movement.

One of the primary reasons why change is so difficult is because when these “four horsemen of agriculture” join forces, they form one formidable entity — one that Pollan refers to as “Big Food.” The local and organic food movements, on the other hand, are nowhere near as powerful or organized. As noted by Pollan:

“Whenever the Obamas seriously poked at Big Food, they were quickly outlobbied and outgunned. Why? Because the food movement still barely exists as a political force in Washington. It doesn’t yet have the organization or the troops to light up a White House or congressional switchboard when one of its issues is at stake.”


How Big Food Undermined First Lady’s Efforts to Clean Up Food Marketing to Kids

Pollan mentions Scott Faber, who in 2010 — at the time of Mrs. Obama’s impassioned GMA speech in which she in no uncertain terms implored the food industry to clean up its act to protect children’s health — was the chief lobbyist for the GMA. In a shocking twist, earlier this year Faber was hired by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) to represent the organic industry during closed doors negotiations with Congress to undermine the GMO labeling effort.12

“The obesity epidemic ‘had put a bull’s-eye on the food industry’s back,’ Faber explained. Here was a chance to remove it, with the first lady’s help,” Pollan writes.

“[T]he industry adopted a clever two-track strategy to deal with the challenge laid down by the first lady. On a very public track, industry leaders engaged the foundation that she formed, the Partnership for a Healthier America, in negotiating a series of private-sector partnerships — a series of voluntary efforts that the industry hoped would help avert new regulations …

Supermarket retailers pledged to promote more healthful foods in their stores, like fresh produce … Food makers pledged to reduce harmful ingredients in processed food, like salt and sugar, while boosting healthy ingredients, like whole grains …

Michelle Obama has celebrated these partnerships as significant achievements, but do they match the ambitions of her 2010 speech, with its call for industry to do more than “tweak around the edges” and instead to “entirely rethink the products you’re offering”? …

[M]aking junk food incrementally less junky is a dubious achievement at best. It tends to obscure the more important distinction between processed food of any kind and whole foods.  What began as a cultural conversation about gardens and farmers markets and real food became a conversation about improved packaged foods, a shift in emphasis that surely served the interests of Big Food.

While it can be argued that this was simply a concession to reality — because most Americans eat processed foods most of the time — to give up on real food so fast was to give up a lot.”


Scott Faber Takes Pride in Efforts That Destroy Children’s Health

Big Food even derailed Mrs. Obama’s efforts to implement voluntary guidelines for marketing foods to children, and Farber was instrumental in this industry coup as well. The guidelines, which set standards for salt, sugar and fat in processed foods marketed to kids, were “a turning point” for the food industry,

Faber told Pollan, because even though they were voluntary, they could potentially give certain popular kid foods a bad rap. The GMA decided to face the administration head on — and won without so much as a fight.

“Faber … told me he was ‘frankly surprised the administration never came back with a revised set of guidelines.’ Evidently the White House had lost its stomach for this particular fight. That wasn’t the only one, either. In the years after, Big Food scored a series of victories over even the most reasonable attempts to rein in its excesses.” 

Those successes include but are not limited to:

  • Preventing CAFOs from being regulated like other polluting industries
  • Preventing antibiotics from being regulated out of agriculture
  • Undermining the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act by getting Congress to refuse its reauthorization
  • Circumventing the inclusion of CAFOs and agriculture as industries to be regulated under new, more stringent pollution standards aimed at lowering greenhouse gas emissions
  • Preventing the labeling of GMOs

With clear evidence that processed junk food is responsible for childhood obesity and related health problems, Faber seems proud of his successful efforts to ensure that junk food manufacturers can continue to manipulate children with their cartoon marketing style. And as the health of Americans keep declining, he seems proud of his ability to influence politicians to ensure that toxic foods remain the status quo.

Circumventing Big Food

Big Food is a formidable opponent. There’s no denying that. But we can still win; we can still steer the agricultural industry toward safer, more sustainable systems. The key is to keep supporting local farmers and choosing fresh, local produce over processed and fast food fare. Every dollar you spend pays not just for a food but for an entire food system.

There’s a tipping point at which the failing system must change or perish, so it’s all a numbers game, really. The more people that buy non-toxic, whole, unprocessed foods, the closer we get to that tipping point. Big Food wields great political power, but our power is our sheer numbers.  If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods: provides lists of farmers known to produce wholesome 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 Foundation

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.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

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.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

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

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 and 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 Fund13also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.14 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available at

Sources and References

Flu Vaccine Effectiveness in Question


By Dr. Mercola

Flu season is rapidly approaching and, with it, constant reminders to get vaccinated. This despite the fact that mounting research suggests this approach to flu prevention may be ill advised for long-term health, and doesn’t actually work in the first place.

In January 2015, U.S. government officials admitted that, in most years, flu shots are, at best, 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing lab confirmed influenza requiring medical care.1

Then, in December 2015, a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) analysis2 of flu vaccine effectiveness revealed that, between 2005 and 2015, the influenza vaccine was less than 50 percent effective more than half of the time.

Flu Vaccine Keeps Missing the Mark

In the 2004/2005 season, the flu vaccine was 10 percent effective. Put another way, 90 percent of the time, it failed.3 During the 2012/2013 flu season, the seasonal flu vaccine was 56 percent effective across all age groups, but only 9 percent effective in seniors.

The 2014/2015 flu vaccine flopped with a mere 18 percent effectiveness rate; 15 percent among children aged 2 to 8, and Fluzone — which delivers FOUR TIMES the normal dose of antigen — was found to lower seniors’ risk of influenza by a modest 24 percent compared to the standard-dose vaccine.4

Undeterred by such stupendous failure rates, the CDC expressed unreserved confidence in the 2015/2016 vaccine. In September 2015, CDC Director Tom Frieden said:5

“Get vaccinated … That’s the best way to protect yourself, your family and your community against flu.”

In the 2015/2016 season, the injectable flu vaccine ended up having a 63 percent effectiveness. However, the popular live virus nasal flu vaccine did not fare nearly as well.

This fall, don’t be surprised if the pressure gets ratcheted up a notch, as health authorities fear the CDC’s recommendation to avoid the nasal spray (FluMist) this year, due to evidence that it failed to provide any protection to children for three years in a row.

“We’re concerned that vaccination rates could be lower this year because the mist isn’t available,” Frieden recently told The Washington Post.6

Also, while flu vaccination rates among children have steadily climbed, vaccination rates among adults over 50 are dropping, which means extra pressure will likely be applied to get more adults to get flu shots this year.

What Recent Science Says About Annual Flu Vaccinations

It seems no matter how poor influenza vaccine effectiveness is, the call to vaccinate remains. But is getting an annual flu shot really “the best way” to protect yourself against influenza? Research frequently tells a very different story. For example, recent studies have shown that:

With each successive annual flu vaccination, the protection afforded by the vaccine appears to diminish.7,8 Research published in 2014 concluded that vaccine-induced protection against influenza was greatest among those who had NOT received a flu shot in the previous five years.9

The flu vaccine may also increase your risk of contracting other, more serious influenza infections.

?Data shows that people who received the seasonal flu vaccine in 2008 hadtwice the risk of getting the H1N1 “swine flu” compared to those who didn’t receive a flu shot.10

?Compared to children who do not get an annual flu vaccine, those who receive influenza vaccinations have a three times higher risk of hospitalization due to influenza.11

Statin drugs — taken by 1 in 4 Americans over the age of 45 — may undermine your immune system’s ability to respond to the flu vaccine.12,13

After vaccination, antibody concentrations were 38 percent to 67 percent lower in statin users over the age of 65, compared to non-statin users of the same age.14Antibody concentrations were also reduced in younger people who took statins.

Independent science reviews have also concluded that flu shots do not appear to prevent influenza or complications of influenza.15,16

Influenza vaccine does not appear to prevent influenza-like-illness (ILI) associated with other types of viruses responsible for about 80 percent of all respiratory or gastrointestinal infections during any given flu season.17,18,19,20

We Need Studies That ‘Cannot’ Be Done in the U.S.

Despite the accumulating scientific evidence AGAINST flu shots being effective, many health authorities insist the evidence is “unclear.” Take Wilbur Chen, an infectious disease expert at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine, for example.

Responding to Canadian findings that flu vaccine effectiveness wanes with repeated vaccinations, he noted that “this has not been replicated by the CDC in the U.S.”21

What Dr. Chen failed to point out was that clinical studies comparing the health outcomes of individuals receiving annual flu vaccines versus those who remain unvaccinated cannot or will not be done in the U.S. for the simple fact that the U.S. recommends everyone get vaccinated every year. As noted by STAT News:22

“Given that policy, it would be unethical for researchers here to randomly assign some people to forgo vaccinations in some years. But experts elsewhere, including in Hong Kong, where influenza circulates year-round, are trying to put together the funding for what would have to be a large, multiyear study.”

FluMist Has Failed to Protect Three Years in a Row

About one-third of annual flu vaccinations given to children in the U.S. have been the live virus nasal spray FluMist, which many pediatricians like to use because it’s needle-free.

In recent years, both the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) went so far as to say the live virus nasal spray version was the preferred influenza vaccine for healthy children between ages 2 to 8 years because early data suggested it worked a little better for them than the inactivated injected vaccine.

Children were given twodoses to inhale initially, so that, theoretically, they would quickly build immunity.23 But the nasal spray flu vaccine has now turned into a failure of epic proportions. During the 2015/2016 flu season, it had a failure rate of 97 percent. As recently reported by STAT News:24

“In late June an expert committee that advises the U.S. government on vaccination policy recommended that the nasal spray vaccine FluMist, which has been used by millions, not be used this season. The reason: Studies conducted by the CDC had shown that for the past three flu seasons the vaccine wasn’t protecting the people who got it.

It’s not clear why … Both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration are working with the company to try to figure out what’s going on … In Canada … data gathered there showed the vaccine was working — though not quite as well as injectable vaccine …”


Live Virus Vaccines Could Potentially Transmit Influenza

While the CDC’s decision to pull FluMist off the American market is based on lack of effectiveness, there are other important considerations when considering use of a live-virus vaccine. The injectable flu vaccine is an inactivated vaccine while the nasal spray contains live, albeit weakened (attenuated) virus. The attenuated virus is intended to stimulate the immune system to fight disease without causing clinical symptoms of severe illness.

However, when you get a live attenuated viral vaccine, you shed live vaccine-strain virus in your body fluids — just like when you get a viral infection and shed virus in your body fluids. So after getting a live-virus vaccine, you can asymptomatically shed and transmit vaccine-strain virus to other people, including immune compromised people, for whom vaccine strain virus infection could cause serious complications.

Live attenuated viral vaccines also have the potential to affect the evolution of viruses, which are constantly recombining with each other, because vaccine-strain live viruses are released into the environment where further mutations can occur.25

Flu Vaccine Associated With Serious Disability

Every vaccine carries a risk of injury or death that can be greater for some people, and the potential risk of suffering flu vaccine complications that result in a permanent disability such as paralysis from Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a risk you need to take into account each time you get a flu shot.

While death and complete disability from influenza vaccine complications may be rare, severe complications and death from seasonal influenza itself are also relatively rare, especially for individuals with healthy immune systems.

So it is wise to weigh the risk of suffering a debilitating side effect from a flu shot relative to the more likely potential of spending a week in bed recovering from a bout with influenza. Most of the deaths attributed to influenza are actually due to complications leading to bacterial pneumonia and, unlike in past centuries, bacterial pneumonia today is often effectively treated with advanced medical care.

As previously noted by Dr. Mark Geier (see video below), who also has a Ph.D. in genetics and spent 10 years of his career at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), GBS is a well-recognized side effect of the influenza vaccine. Even as early as 2003, the CDC recognized the flu vaccine causes an excess of 1.7 cases of GBS per 1 million people vaccinated.26

When the vaccine has an effectiveness of say 10 to 20 percent at best, this vaccine reaction risk is a significant one, even if rare, since your likelihood of actually benefiting from the vaccine at all is so small in terms of being protected against contracting influenza.

Data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) shows GBS is the top injury for which people are receiving vaccine injury compensation, and the flu vaccine is the most common vaccine cited by adults seeking federal vaccine injury compensation awards.27

Geier also notes that a) the number of deaths from influenza number in the hundreds, not thousands, each year (and definitely nowhere near the 36,000 so frequently cited), making it a low-risk disease to vaccinate against, and b) flu vaccines should rightfully be marketed as experimental vaccines, as their constantly changing nature means they cannot meet the legal efficacy and safety requirements for vaccines.

Vaccines Wreak Havoc on Your Immune System

It’s important to realize that vaccines (all vaccines, not just flu vaccines) are immunosuppressive, meaning they suppress your immune system, which may not return to normal for weeks, perhaps months. Here are just some of the ways vaccines impair and alter your immune response:

Some components in vaccines, such as thimerosal (mercury preservative) and aluminum adjuvants, are neurotoxic and may depress your immune and brain function Vaccines can trigger allergic reactions by introducing large foreign protein molecules into your body that have not been properly broken down by your digestive tract (since they are injected)
Lab altered vaccine viruses may further impair your immune response Vaccines may alter your T-cell function, thereby triggering chronic illness
Foreign DNA/RNA from animal tissues can wreak havoc in your body and trigger autoimmunity in some people The flu vaccine may pose an immediate risk to your cardiovascular system, causing abnormalities in arterial function and LDL oxidation that may persist for at least 2 weeks28

How to Protect Yourself Against the Flu Without Vaccination

Health officials now recommend every person over the age of 6 months get an annual flu shot, whether the person is healthy or not, low risk or high. But what will receiving a flu shot every year for decades on end do to your immune system? No one can answer that question because it has never been studied.

Fortunately, there are proactive steps you can take to avoid getting sick during the flu season that do not require getting a flu shot every year. By following these simple guidelines, you can keep your immune system in optimal working order so you’re far less likely to acquire the infection to begin with or, if you do get sick, you will be better prepared to move through it without complications.

Optimize your vitamin D levels. This is one of the absolute best strategies for avoiding infections of all kinds, and research suggests vitamin D deficiency may actually be the true culprit behind the seasonality of the flu — not the flu virus itself.Raising your vitamin D to a therapeutic level of 40 to 60 nanograms per milliliter (ng/ml) is probably the single most important and least expensive action you can take to avoid the flu.
Avoid sugar and processed foods. Sugar impairs the function of your immune system almost immediately, and a healthy immune system is one of the most important keys to fighting off viruses and other pathogenic invaders.
Get plenty of rest. Just like it becomes harder for you to get your daily tasks done if you’re tired, if your body is overly fatigued, it will be harder for it to fight the flu. Be sure to check out my article Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep for some great tips to help you get quality rest.
Address your stress. When stress becomes overwhelming, your body will be less able to fight off the flu and other illness. If you feel stress is taking a toll on your health, consider using an energy psychology tool such as the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT), which is remarkably effective in relieving stress associated with all kinds of events, from work to family to trauma.
Exercise. When you exercise, you increase your circulation and your blood flow throughout your body. The components of your immune system are also better circulated, which means your immune system has a better chance of finding an illness before it spreads.
Take an animal-based omega-3. Increase your intake of healthy and essential fats like the omega-3found in krill oil, which is crucial for maintaining health. Also avoid damaged omega-6 oils and trans fats found in processed foods as they will damage your immune response.
Wash your hands. Washing your hands will decrease your likelihood of spreading a virus to your nose, mouth or other people. Antibacterial soaps are completely unnecessary, however, and cause far more harm than good. Instead, just use a mild, toxin-free soap and warm water.
Use natural immune-boosters. Examples include colloidal silver, oil of oregano and garlic. These have potent antibiotic activity, boosting your body’s ability to fend off harmful bacteria, viruses and protozoa. Unlike pharmaceutical antibiotics, they do not appear to lead to resistance.
Avoid hospitals. Last but not least, I recommend staying clear of hospitals unless you’re having an emergency and need expert medical care, as hospitals are prime breeding grounds for infections of all kinds. The best place to get plenty of rest and recover from illness that is not life-threatening is usually in the comfort of your own home.

Protect Your Right to Informed Consent and Defend Vaccine Exemptions

With all the uncertainty surrounding the safety and efficacy of vaccines, it’s critical to protect your right to make independent health choices and exercise voluntary informed consent to vaccination. It is urgent that everyone in America stand up and fight to protect and expand vaccine informed consent protections in state public health and employment laws. The best way to do this is to get personally involved with your state legislators and educating the leaders in your community.

NVIC Advocacy poster


National vaccine policy recommendations are made at the federal level but vaccine laws are made at the state level. It is at the state level where your action to protect your vaccine choice rights can have the greatest impact.

It is critical for EVERYONE to get involved now in standing up for the legal right to make voluntary vaccine choices in America because those choices are being threatened by lobbyists representing drug companies, medical trade associations, and public health officials, who are trying to persuade legislators to strip all vaccine exemptions from public health laws.

Signing up for NVIC’s free Advocacy Portal at gives you immediate, easy access to your own state legislators on your smart phone or computer so you can make your voice heard. You will be kept up-to-date on the latest state bills threatening your vaccine choice rights and get practical, useful information to help you become an effective vaccine choice advocate in your own community.

Also, when national vaccine issues come up, you will have the up-to-date information and call to action items you need at your fingertips. So please, as your first step, sign up for the NVIC Advocacy Portal.

Share Your Story With the Media and People You Know

If you or a family member has suffered a serious vaccine reaction, injury, or death, please talk about it. If we don’t share information and experiences with one another, everybody feels alone and afraid to speak up. Write a letter to the editor if you have a different perspective on a vaccine story that appears in your local newspaper. Make a call in to a radio talk show that is only presenting one side of the vaccine story.

I must be frank with you; you have to be brave because you might be strongly criticized for daring to talk about the “other side” of the vaccine story. Be prepared for it and have the courage to not back down. Only by sharing our perspective and what we know to be true about vaccination, will the public conversation about vaccination open up so people are not afraid to talk about it.

We cannot allow the drug companies and medical trade associations funded by drug companies or public health officials promoting forced use of a growing list of vaccines to dominate the conversation about vaccination.

The vaccine injured cannot be swept under the carpet and treated like nothing more than “statistically acceptable collateral damage” of national one-size-fits-all mandatory vaccination policies that put way too many people at risk for injury and death. We shouldn’t be treating people like guinea pigs instead of human beings.

Internet Resources Where You Can Learn More

I encourage you to visit the website of the non-profit charity, the National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC), at

  • NVIC Memorial for Vaccine Victims: View descriptions and photos of children and adults, who have suffered vaccine reactions, injuries, and deaths. If you or your child experiences an adverse vaccine event, please consider posting and sharing your story here.
  • If You Vaccinate, Ask 8 Questions: Learn how to recognize vaccine reaction symptoms and prevent vaccine injuries.
  • Vaccine Freedom Wall: View or post descriptions of harassment and sanctions by doctors, employers, and school and health officials for making independent vaccine choices.
  • Vaccine Failure Wall: View or post descriptions about vaccines that have failed to work and protect the vaccinated from disease.

Connect With Your Doctor or Find a New One That Will Listen and Care

If your pediatrician or doctor refuses to provide medical care to you or your child unless you agree to get vaccines you don’t want, I strongly encourage you tohave the courage to find another doctor. Harassment, intimidation, and refusal of medical care is becoming the modus operandi of the medical establishment in an effort to stop the change in attitude of many parents about vaccinations after they become truly educated about health and vaccination. However, there is hope.

At least 15 percent of young doctors recently polled admit that they’re starting to adopt a more individualized approach to vaccinations in direct response to the vaccine safety concerns of parents.

It is good news that there is a growing number of smart young doctors, who prefer to work as partners with parents in making personalized vaccine decisions for children, including delaying vaccinations or giving children fewer vaccines on the same day or continuing to provide medical care for those families, who decline use of one or more vaccines.

So take the time to locate a doctor, who treats you with compassion and respect, and is willing to work with you to do what is right for your child.

Sources and References

How Doughnut Bribes Helped Build America’s Opioid Addiction


By Dr. Mercola

Drug addiction has reached unprecedented levels in the United States. Each year, the U.S. spends more than $51 billion on the war on drugs and, in 2014, more than 1.5 million arrests for drug-related violations were made.1 Of those arrests, 83 percent were for possession only.

The vast majority of drug-related arrests are for marijuana, and 88 percent of those are for possession only. Amazingly, 1 in every 111 adults in the U.S. is incarcerated (the highest incarceration rate in the world).

While nearly half of all U.S. states now allow the medical use of marijuana,2 and 20 have decriminalized marijuana possession and use, the federal government still classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance3,4 — a category reserved for the most addictive and dangerous of drugs, including heroin and LSD.

According to the 1970 Controlled Substances Act, Schedule 1 drugs are defined as those having a “high potential for abuse” and “no acceptable medical use in treatment.”

Yet the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has held a patent for marijuana as a “neural protectant,” claiming it can protect your brain against stroke and trauma, since 2003.5

The War on Drugs Is an Utter Failure

The illogical and hypocritical stance on marijuana is but one way the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) does more harm than good.

Considering the vast majority of drug-related arrests and convictions are for cannabis possession and use, the DEA is acting as a “head hunter” to fill up privately owned prisons with non-violent ganja users, who may or may not be using it for valid medicinal purposes.

Whether used for medical purposes or recreation, marijuana is nowhere near as dangerous as opioids, and addiction to prescription painkillers is spiraling out of control in this country. Yet when it comes to these profitable drugs, the DEA suddenly takes a whole different view on drug addiction.

Speaking about the heroin epidemic at a meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, (see video above) DEA chief Chuck Rosenberg stated we cannot “prosecute or enforce our way out of this mess.” Instead, we need to “do a much better job of getting the word out about how dangerous this stuff is.”

DEA Is Biased in Its War On Drugs

So in Rosenberg’s (and the DEA’s) view, marijuana users are criminals whom they have no qualms about prosecuting and jailing, but when a person is abusing opioid painkillers — from which drug companies profit handsomely — the answer is not criminalization but education. As reported by

“Rosenberg was in Cleveland as his agency is working in tandem with the U.S. Justice Department in launching a multi-faceted effort in treating the overdose epidemic by partnering with local hospitals, rehabilitation clinics and educators to try and inform the public about cutting down on the use of prescription painkillers.

Rosenberg said the agency is also urging doctors across the country to cut down on prescribing unnecessary painkillers to patients, who sometimes end up addicted to the drugs or turn to more dangerous forms of opioids, such as heroin, once their prescriptions end.”

I do not support criminalizing opioid addiction, but it is hypocritical in the extreme to fill for-profit jail cells with marijuana users while saying the same “cannot” work for prescription drug addicts. As noted by

“The revenue from waging the war on drugs has become a significant source of financial support for local law enforcement.

Federal and state funding of the drug war — as well as the property police forces seize as a part of drug raids — have become significant financial supplements to local forces’ budgets …

One of the largest for-profit prison companies, Corrections Corporation of America [CCA], even stated in a regulatory filing that keeping the drug war alive is essential to its success as a business …”


Why DEA Won’t Go After Corporate Drug Pushers

It’s blatantly clear that the DEA does not want to criminalize prescription drug abuse because that would sorely hamper drug companies’ ability to promote and sell painkillers. And that’s really where the parties responsible for the current epidemic of addiction can be found.

Is it any surprise then that, in April 2016, a law was passed that restricts the DEA’s ability to track and charge pharmacies and wholesalers who are expanding the epidemic? Andre Kolodny, director of Physicians for Responsible Opioid Prescribing, and an addiction specialist, responded to this news saying:8

“I’m shocked that Congress and the president would constrain DEA from taking on corporate drug dealers in the midst of the worst addiction epidemic in U.S. history. This law allows opioid distributors to reap enormous profits and operate with impunity at the public’s expense.”

The New Face of Heroin Addiction

Many patients are shocked and surprised to find themselves hooked on opioids after filling a prescription for something simple as a wisdom tooth extraction, sports injury or bout of back pain.

They were not properly warned and educated on how to safely take these drugs, and that stems from drug companies’ deceptive marketing campaigns.

Once their prescription runs out, or can no longer satisfy their habit of use, many end up turning to heroin dealers. It’s cheaper, and works just the same. The video above is just one example of how painkillers end up feeding a longstanding cycle of addiction.9

In August, Cuyahoga County in Ohio had 52 opioid-related deaths. So far this year, the county has recorded more than 500 overdose deaths — more than double that of 2015. Many of these deaths are attributed to street heroin cut with the drug carfentanil, a sedative for large animals like elephants.

Carfentanil is anywhere from 2,500 to 5,000 times more potent than heroin. The drug is so potent it even poses a lethal risk to first responders, should they inhale or absorb a tiny amount while working on the overdose victim. The following graph illustrates opioid overdose deaths by state.

Today, prescriptions of Oxycontin and other painkillers are the primary gateway drugs to heroin and other illicit drugs, and narcotic pain relievers are a primary culprit in opioid overdose deaths. As shown in the graph above, they cause FAR more deaths than heroin. The graphs below offer additional statistics, showing the true scope of the opioid problem.

Doctors are the new drug dealers. Respectable and legal, prescription drugs have an air of safety around them. But they are really no different from heroin. The documentary below details the tragic fate of several young people whose heroin addiction began with a legal prescription and ended in death.

Tech Competition to Combat Heroin Overdoses

In related news, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently launched “The 2016 Naloxone App Competition.”10 The idea is to create a smartphone app to combat opioid overdoses. Tech wizards have until November 7, 2016, to submit their apps. As explained by CNN:11

“The FDA envisions an app that will connect anyone experiencing an opioid overdose with the closest supply of naloxone, a reversal drug.

Naloxone counteracts the effects of heroin, some addictive painkillers and the synthetic opioid fentanyl and is available at pharmacies with a prescription. It is often carried by medical and law enforcement first responders in most states as well as at-risk opioid users and family members. The app is intended to alert these antidote carriers when someone overdoses …

‘With a dramatic increase in the number of opioid overdose deaths in the US, there’s a vital need to harness the power of new technologies to quickly and effectively link individuals experiencing an overdose … with someone who carries and can administer the life-saving medication,’ FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf said in the announcement.”

Again, while the thought is good, the FDA, like the DEA, is missing the mark by ignoring the SOURCE of the problem, which is prescription opioids. Gently asking doctors to ease up on prescriptions is not enough. We don’t need to incarcerate opioid addicts any more than we need to incarcerate marijuana users, but we do need to hold drug companies legally responsible for their products and the deceptive marketing practices that allowed this epidemic to swell out of control.

Opioid Epidemic Is an Undeclared Public Health Emergency

As noted in a recent STAT News article,12 the opioid epidemic really should be declared a public health emergency in order to mobilize the needed resources to address the situation.

“Congress took a first step toward responding to this expanding epidemic by passing, nearly unanimously, theComprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act13 this summer. This $181 million act was designed to fund a wide range of activities essential to turning the tide on opioid addiction, including expansion of overdose reversal, recovery and prevention programs …

But since the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act became the law of the land, Congress hasn’t made any money available to turn it into real treatments for real people. Lawmakers looked good by approving the act, but … they never appropriated the money to fund it, rendering the bill and its good intentions effectively useless.”

State of the Union

So what do we have here? We have a DEA that criminalizes marijuana — an effective and safe alternative to addictive and deadly opioid painkillers — and has repeatedly obstructed marijuana rescheduling efforts,14 thereby assuring the continued profitability of law enforcement and private prisons.15

Also, while Rosenberg has stated that “no drug product made from marijuana has yet been shown to be safe and effective,” going so far as to refer to the concept of medical marijuana as “a joke,” two synthetic tetrahydrocannabinols (THC) medicines — Marinol and Cesamer — recently received FDA approval for sale as patented drugs.

THC is a subclass of cannabinoids, the general category of active chemical compounds found in marijuana. Cannabidiols (CBD) is another subclass.16 Some cannabinoids are psychoactive, whereas others are not. THC is the most psychoactive, the one that produces the “high” associated with smoking pot.

Cannabinoids produce biological effects because, just like opiates interacting with your opiate receptors, cannabinoids interact with specific receptors located in your cell membranes. The approval of these drugs alone should be sufficient to prove marijuana has medical applications.

We have a Congress that supports the epidemic by legally restricting the DEA’s ability to pursue corporate drug dealers. Moreover, former DEA chief Michele Leonhart 17 was harshly criticized for opposing the legalization of marijuana — so much so, President Obama was petitioned18 to have her removed for her anti-marijuana stance. Yet her replacement, Rosenberg, is following in the exact same footsteps!19

We have the FDA searching for high-tech solutions to get the overdose-reversal drug Narcan20 (naloxone) into the hands of drug addicts while approving more addictive painkillers. In 2013, the FDA issued a strong warning against the use of opioids to control pain. On the very same day, the agency approved Zohydro, a drug that has five to 10 times the potential for abuse. Two years later, the FDA approved the use of opioids in children as young as 11!21

Of course, on both ends of the epidemic, we have drug companies cashing in. In 2012, $9.38 billion worth of painkillers were sold in the U.S. OxyContin alone accounted for $2.81 billion in sales.22 Meanwhile, that same year, Amphastar Pharmaceuticals (the sole maker of the nasal-spray Narcan), began what appears to be a clear case of price gouging, raising its prices by as much as 100 percent.

Protecting Opioid Profits by Banning Herbal Alternatives

It appears no serious efforts are really being made on the behalf of the federal government to crack down on deceptive and manipulative drug company marketing. No real effort is put into minimizing the availability of opioids. Perhaps worst of all, no consideration is given to alternatives that are FAR safer and just as effective; marijuana being one of them.

Were marijuana decriminalized nationwide, the drug industry clearly would take a big hit. Not only would people have access to a far less expensive, more effective and natural version of synthetic THC drugs selling at a premium, many would also turn to marijuana to relieve their aches, pains, nausea, sleep problems, anxiety, depression and even cancer instead of using opioids and other expensive and potentially dangerous drugs.

No wonder drug companies are fighting to shut down the legalization of marijuana in order to maintain their drug monopoly. What’s reprehensible is that the U.S. government is siding with the drug industry rather than doing what is best for the public health.

DEA Criminalizes Pain Relieving Herbal Tea

Besides marijuana, the DEA recently cracked down on the herb kratom, which is related to the coffee plant. The herb has garnered a loyal underground following of people using it to wean off opioids and relieve pain in lieu of these potent and addictive drugs. In late August, the DEA announced a plan to place kratom into a Schedule I controlled substance category, the same category as marijuana. Kratom users are incensed, and for good reason. As reported by Kaiser Health News:23

“In a YouTube video, a veteran shakes a bottle he says contains prescription opioids he has been given for pain. ‘This,’ he says, ‘is not Schedule I.’ ‘Do I seem angry?’ he continues, ‘Yes. Because you’re taking away a right that I fought for.

When I did my tour in Iraq, I fought for my right to be in America and be able to help myself, to cure myself. I’m not talking about snorting cocaine, shooting up heroin, I’m not even talking about puffing a joint. I’m talking about brewing some tea leaves, having a sip and feeling better’ … People have uploaded hundreds of videos talking about why they drink or swallow kratom pills — veterans coping with PTSD, recovering alcoholics [and] people with fibromyalgia.”

A petition24 to maintain kratom’s legal status has nearly 137,000 signatures as of this writing. The DEA has also received an “unexpected” number of phone calls from people opposing the Schedule I classification. According to DEA spokesman Melving Patterson, the reason for the strict classification is “concern for public safety,” as 660 calls to poison control centers involving kratom were received between January 2010 and December 2015.

Fifteen deaths between 2014 and 2016 have also been attributed to kratom (although kratom defenders are quick to point out that these deaths were the result of mixing the herb with other drugs).25 The DEA’s justification is about as illogical as it gets. About 14,000 Americans died from overdosing on prescription opioids in 2014.26 Yet agencies like the DEA, FDA and HHS are fighting against marijuana and kratom!

How can seven or eight deaths a year compare to the tragedy of losing 14,000? While every death is tragic, when you’re talking about public health, wouldn’t it make sense to opt for the lesser evil or, in this case, the substance that causes the LEAST amount of harm? The hypocritical nature of this state of affairs is a clear sign that these federal agencies have ceased working for the public good.

The classification is also frustrating to researchers who believe, from initial testing prior to the ruling by the DEA, that kratom may hold the key to a non-addictive painkiller or even a route for treating addiction. They found the ingredients activated just the pain relief receptors and not the secondary receptors responsible for the deadly side effects from opioids, such as respiratory depression.27

Although also addictive in nature, kratom effectively treats withdrawal symptoms from heroin without life-threatening side effects, and has been useful in treating chronic pain without the potentially lethal effects of opioid overdoses.28 Side effects include headache and nausea.29

The Making of a Blockbuster Drug

Use of the opioid prescription painkiller OxyContin has been a primary driving force behind the addiction epidemic.30 The maker of OxyContin, Purdue Pharmaceuticals, manufactured the demand for the drug, and the epidemic, by falsely claiming the risk of addiction was “extremely small,”31 and/or had less potential for abuse compared to short-acting opioids.

Both claims are false. In a recent STAT News report,32 David Armstrong also reveals the role the global healthcare company Abbott Laboratories played in creating a demand for this dangerous drug.

“The pharmaceutical sales representatives from … Abbott Laboratories had a problem,” Armstrong writes. “No matter what they tried, they couldn’t get the attention of an orthopedic surgeon to convince him to prescribe the potent painkiller OxyContin … That is, until the staff let them in on a secret: ‘We were told by his nurses and office staff that the best way to capture his attention and develop our relationship was through junk food,’ the sales reps wrote in an internal memo.

The next week, one of the Abbott representatives showed up with a sheet cake box filled with doughnuts and snack cakes arranged to spell out the word ‘OxyContin.’ The gambit worked.

The surgeon listened to the sales talk, and every week after that, the Abbott sales personnel visited the doctor to ask him to switch at least three patients to OxyContin from other painkillers. The doughnut ploy, highlighted in a trove of internal documents obtained by STAT, shows the lengths to which Abbott went to hook in doctors and make OxyContin a billion-dollar blockbuster …

Purdue Pharma LP, the Connecticut company that developed OxyContin, has been vilified for planting the seeds of today’s opioid crisis … But the role of Abbott in pushing the drug has largely escaped notice. The documents reveal it was a crucial partner in the aggressive — and misleading — selling of OxyContin during its first decade on the market.


Doctors Are Easily and Often Manipulated

The documents, which were part of a legal case brought by West Virginia against Purdue and Abbott for the inappropriate marketing of OxyContin, reveal Abbott’s drug representatives were clearly instructed to downplay the risk of addiction. They were also taught to make other claims “that had no scientific basis,” Armstrong writes.

Purdue even agreed to indemnify Abbott from any legal expenses associated with its efforts to sell the drug — that’s how important a role Abbott Labs played in Purdue’s scheme.

Aside from the occasional doughnut ploy — which actually won the Abbot sales rep in question the “best OxyContin sales success story” award — Abbott’s drug reps also used techniques such as taking doctors to their favorite takeout restaurant or bookstore, where they would “detail” the doctor — i.e., present the selling points of the drug — while waiting to pay.

Bringing lunches, cookies or snacks are also common strategies aimed at getting on the good side of doctors, nurses and other personnel that might influence a doctor’s prescription habits. Then there were the business strategies aimed at the sales force itself. Armstrong writes:

“Abbott heavily incentivized its sales staff to push OxyContin, offering $20,000 cash prizes and luxury vacations to top performers.

Their almost religious zeal to sell the drug is evident in the wide use of terminology from the Middle Ages Crusades: Sales reps were called ‘royal crusaders’ and ‘knights’ in internal documents, and they were supervised by the ‘Royal Court of OxyContin’ — executives referred to in memos as the ‘Wizard of OxyContin,’ ‘Supreme Sovereign of Pain Management’ and the ‘Empress of Analgesia.'”

The head of pain care sales, Jerry Eichhorn, was the ‘King of Pain’ and signed memos simply as ‘King.’ ‘As you continue to carry the OxyContin banner onto the field of battle, it’s important to keep highlighting OxyContin benefits to your doctors,’ Abbott urged its sales staff in a memo contained in the court records.'”


Treating Pain Without Drugs

Considering the risks, I would urge you to consider other options before resorting to an opioid painkiller. It’s especially important to avoid opioids when trying to address long-term chronic pain, as your body builds a tolerance to the drug. Over time, you’ll require greater doses at more frequent intervals to achieve the same pain relief, which is a recipe for disaster and could have lethal consequences.

Together with addiction and tolerance, opioids have not lived up to the promises manufacturers have made. There are many non-drug and dietary alternatives that may help manage your pain. You can learn more about these non-drug options in my previous articles, “Astounding Amounts: Opioid Epidemic Filling up Morgues” and “Prescription Painkillers Lack Evidence of Safety and Effectiveness for Long-Term Use.”

Sources and References

How One Man Is Destroying Our Health and Environment


By Dr. Mercola

high medical cost

Sometimes you read or hear someone in power say something so illogical and narrow-minded that it really crystallizes the reasons why the United States is in such dire straits when it comes to health.

Secretary of Agriculture, head of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Tom Vilsack, recently made such a statement. As reported by Politico:1

“There’s been a lot of griping from some corners about the impact of large-scale industrial agriculture on the environment and its sustainability, and Vilsack is tired of it.

In remarks to the GreenGov Symposium … the secretary said critics of conventional farming should understand the role they play in that system as consumers.

Americans spend about 10 percent of their income on food, thanks to the U.S. agricultural system, while residents of other developed countries spend 20 percent. For those in developing countries, the outlay is 50 percent.

As a result of U.S. farmers and the efficiencies of large-scale farms, Americans have more money in their pockets for things like housing, education and luxuries like vacations, Vilsack said.”

In other words, shut up about sustainability and just be happy there’s plenty of cheap food to be had. What’s so crazy about a statement like this is the miniscule view it takes on a subject that has extraordinarily vast ramifications for human health and future generations.

The High Cost of Cheap Food

Our current agricultural model has an array of hidden costs. It takes a toll on workers and residents in farming areas, wildlife, soil, air and water supplies; it depletes natural resources that are non-renewable or slow to renew, and dumps toxins into what remains.

Ultimately, it takes a toll on the health of those who consume this denatured, contaminated and ultra-processed food, and it threatens the very ability to continue growing food in the future.

We’re not even talking about some far distant future that is easy to ignore. We’re talking about a mere 20 to 60 years in the future! According to various scientific predictions:

  • Within 60 years, the world’s topsoil may be completely lost.2
  • Potable water is quickly being depleted and becoming increasingly scarce.
  • By 2050, antibiotic-resistant infections — a health crisis directly attributable to industrial farming — may kill 10 million people worldwide each year.3
  • Phosphorus, needed for fertilizer, may soon be completely depleted.4 Modern fertilizer consists of varying amounts of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K). Both phosphorus and potassium, neither of which can be synthesized, are becoming increasingly sparse.5

According to the Global Phosphorus Research Initiative (GPRI),6 we could hit “peak phosphorus” as early as 2030. Without these fertilizer ingredients, the entire world would quickly be in trouble. Phosphorus in particular is critical for healthy plant growth.

The only way to do without these fertilizers is to radically alter the way we farm the land. Using regenerative farming methods, fertilizer use becomes less of a rate-limiting factor.

Yet Vilsack is “tired” of hearing about how industrial farming hurts the planet and its inhabitants, and he wants Americans to pipe down and thank the gods of efficiency we can afford to take vacations with the money we save on food.

Low Food Prices, High Medical Costs

Never mind the fact that Americans have the lowest health rating7 in the developed world thanks to this industrial, processed diet, and the fact that we have the most expensive health care system in the world, even though it ranks 37th in terms of quality.8

Cheap food is no bargain when it makes you and your children chronically ill. Nearly 38 percent of American adults9 and 17 percent of children and adolescents10 are obese, and this alone costs the U.S. health care system up to $210 billion each year.11

That could pay for a lot of organic veggies, yet using Vilsack’s reasoning, you should be happy that cheap food affords you to pay for your ill health.

Cheap food is no bargain when it leads to the permanent “vacation” that is premature death either, at least not for the surviving family members who have to bear the loss of a loved one.

Remarkably, while the global maternal mortality rate has improved, falling by more than one-third in the past 15 years, the U.S. is one of the few countries that buck that auspicious trend. Since 1990, the maternal death rate in the U.S. has actually RISEN by more than 50 percent, according to the latest statistics.12

Hidden Costs Abound

Vilsack also stays mum on the fact that your tax dollars are used to:

Subsidize all this cheap corn, soy and wheat grown by industrial farms — the basic ingredients of cheap processed food — as well as meat and dairy from concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs).

Over the past 15 years, more than $96 billion in agricultural subsidies have been handed out to industrial farmers who pollute the environment and contribute to the destruction of the ecosystem,13 all in the name of efficiency.

Promote biotech propaganda that falsely assures you genetically engineered (GE) foods are a boon to farmers and the food system and pose no safety concern.14,15,16

Provide industry farmers with crop insurance. Last year, this price tag came to a whopping $14 billion. Virtually all U.S. corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton crops are insured under this program, and as noted by Bloomberg:17

“The arrangement is a good deal for everyone but taxpayers. The government pays 18 approved insurance companies to run the program, pays farmers to buy coverage and pays the bills if losses exceed predetermined limits …

Unlike direct farm aid payments, which are capped at $40,000 per farm, there is no limit on crop insurance subsidies … The heavily-discounted insurance incentivizes farmers to cultivate marginal acres that may or may not be fertile. And the program’s been vulnerable to fraud …”


Pay Now or Pay Later

By using your tax dollars to prop up the industrial farming system, it falsely makes the food appear inexpensive when in reality you’re paying for it in other ways and in other places than your grocery store.

Agricultural subsidies are just one portion of the hidden costs you pay. There’s also environmental cleanups, such as the removal of nitrates from drinking water, lakes and rivers. And then, of course, there are health care costs.

Thanks to policies that oversupply our markets with GE corn and soy, the federal government has greatly contributed to the creation of health issues that can be directly attributed to ingredients like corn syrup and soybean oil, including obesity, diabetes, immune dysfunction and autoimmune diseases, reproductive problems, heart disease, dementia and cancer.

Glyphosate, which is used in particularly high amounts on GE crops like corn and soy, and on conventional wheat, makes these basic processed food ingredients even more hazardous. In addition to being a probable human carcinogen, glyphosate promotes nutritional deficiencies by immobilizing certain nutrients.

It also enhances systemic toxicity by disrupting microbial function throughout our body and raises the damaging effects of other food-borne chemicals and environmental toxins by shutting down detoxifying enzymes. It also decimates cellular communication by damaging cellular tight junctions.

In Vilsack’s eyes, none of these factors are worthy of attention, apparently. It’s really a travesty when you consider that this “shut up and be grateful” rhetoric is coming from one of our top agricultural leaders. Vilsack was even in the running for vice president as Hillary Clinton’s running mate.18,19

Imagine, a man with this simplistically one-sided view on something as holistic as food was under consideration for the second most powerful position in the United States.

Who Does Vilsack Work for, Really?

Unfortunately, Vilsack is in a position to do plenty of damage as is. The former Biotech Governor of the Year wants the White House to create an administrator-level food council to “coordinate the activities of the 15 different federal agencies that address agricultural and food issues.”20 The problem with this idea should be obvious to anyone familiar with the shortcomings and failings of these food- and agricultural-related agencies.

What we really need is a system that weeds out conflicts of interest and prevents private corporations from running our federal agencies. Vilsack is but one in a long list of people who are working both sides.

As a food and agricultural leader, his endorsement of an ultra-processed diet is sickening in more ways than one. These subsidized junk foods are a primary driver of obesity, diabetes, heart disease and cancer. These potent killers are all related to a nutrition-poor, processed food diet.

The fact of the matter is, if taxpayer dollars were used to subsidize healthy whole foods like organic fruits and vegetables, more people would be able to afford them, people would be healthier in general, and health care costs would plummet. And that gets to the heart of the matter, because many of the same corporations that profit from toxic agriculture also profit from your ill health.

Take Syngenta, for example. Up until the year 2000, Syngenta not only produced atrazine — a toxic pesticide that triggers overproduction of estrogen, thereby raising your risk of breast cancer — but also letrozol, a chemical that blocks estrogen production and is used as a treatment for breast cancer. So, simultaneously, Syngenta was selling an agricultural chemical that promotes cancer, and a drug that treats it.

Now, drug and chemical giant Bayer stands poised to merge with leading GE seed and chemical company Monsanto, creating a corporate behemoth that will have everything to gain from perpetuating a toxic food system. And based on Vilsack’s history as a staunch defender and promoter of GE crops,21 he’s unlikely to do anything to so much as slow it down.

Crop Subsidies Feed CAFO Industry — and Drug Resistance

The same corn and soy subsidies that plague our health are the foundation for the CAFO production of meat and dairy. By feeding cattle this species-inappropriate diet, they promote disease in the animals, and to counteract that, they routinely feed the cattle antibiotics. This in turn promotes drug-resistant bacteria, which now threatens human health like never before. The antibiotic “apocalypse” is nearing, yet no affirmative action is being taken to stop it. Why?

Nearly 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U.S. are used in agriculture, yet many in the CAFO industry still quibble about lack of evidence. In the meantime, conservative estimates suggest 2 million Americans contract drug-resistant infections each year and at least 23,000 die as a result.22 Yet Vilsack wants to remind you that, thanks to industrial farming, you “only” have to spend 10 percent of your paycheck on food, and for that, you should be grateful!

Medical researchers have issued warnings about rising antibiotic resistance for decades, but it wasn’t until economists began crunching the numbers that world leaders really began taking notice. Facing an estimated global cost of $100 trillion by 2050, the United Nations (UN) is now stepping in to fight antibiotic resistance in a historic declaration. As reported by NPR:23

“The U.N.’s declaration requires countries to come up with a two-year plan to protect the potency of antibiotics. Countries need to create ways to monitor the use of antibiotics in medicine and agriculture, start curbing that use and begin developing new antibiotics that work. After two years, the U.N.’s secretary-general will assess each country’s plan and check to make sure each is making progress.”


Can You Afford Eating a Factory Farmed Diet?

What price can you place on all these various forms of destruction, really? By the time you add up farm subsidies, crop insurance subsidies, biotech promotion paid by taxes, environmental cleanups and water treatment, health care costs for chronic disease and antibiotic resistance, you’re definitely looking at far more than 10 percent of your income.

Consider this: As of 2013, health care spending averaged out to nearly $9,100 per capita in the U.S.24 What percentage of your income does that amount to? I believe it is crucial to understand that this cost is heavily influenced by diet, so when calculating what you can and cannot “afford,” you really should include an estimate of future health care costs.

Could you still afford to eat junk food today if you knew with a fair amount of certainty that you will get diabetes from it? Diabetics incur average medical expenditures of about $13,700 per year.25 How does that figure fit into your current food budget? Vilsack’s obnoxious statement does not take this into account, but you’d be wise not to fall for his simplistic view of the matter.

What Value Do We Place on Our Environment?

Agricultural chemicals like pesticides are responsible for ecocide, killing soil microbes, bees, butterflies, amphibians and birds. Synthetic fertilizers like anhydrous ammonia, and mined fertilizer like phosphorus from Morocco and Florida, spawn algae blooms and pollute waterways, destroying tropical fresh waters and estuaries into the ocean.

Overusing weed killers like Roundup (the active ingredient of which is glyphosate) on Roundup-resistant GE crops has led to resistant weeds and serious environmental damage. According to the largest study26 of pesticide use on GE crops to date, farmers who plant herbicide-resistant GE crops use 28 percent more herbicides than non-GE farmers. The main reason for the increase is to control weeds that have developed resistance to the herbicide. According to Sustainable Pulse:27

“Ciliberto and his colleagues measured the overall environmental impact of the changes in chemical use that have resulted from the adoption of genetically modified crops, using a measure called the environmental impact quotient, or EIQ, to account for chemicals’ impact on farmworkers, consumers and the environment …

[T]he adoption of genetically modified soybeans correlated with a massive negative impact on the environment as increased herbicide use also increased contamination of local ecosystems.”

How can we justify this kind of environmental destruction in the name of efficient food production? In the end, we cannot survive without a thriving ecosystem, as we are part of it. If the ecosystem falls apart, humanity goes down with it, so environmental activism is really a call to self-preservation.

It’s not about hugging trees and placing plants and animals over humans. It’s understanding that we cannot survive very long without them, and the quicker plants and animals die, the quicker we’re destined to follow in their tracks.

Besides environmental destruction, increased pesticide use also has financial ramifications for farmers. Some say the cost of GE seeds and pesticides have gotten so high, they’re now operating at or near a loss.28,29 Who benefits from this toxic system? Primarily the makers of GE seeds and pesticides. And this is the system Vilsack defends, while being “annoyed” with those who point out the obvious dangers of letting the industrial farming business continue as usual.

Another surprising responsibility Vilsack shoulders is to oversee the White House administration’s response to the opioid addiction epidemic. In a recent Washington Post article,30 Vilsack shares his “four-pillar plan to revitalize struggling rural economies” that have been hard-hit not just by agricultural woes but drug addiction as well.

To get rural economies back on track, he suggests investing in organic farming, eco-tourism, biofuels and bio-based manufacturing. However, while that may sound like an endorsement of organic agriculture, it’s likely little more than a token gesture, and it’s interesting how this comment is showing up in an article about his response to drug addiction, while his agricultural agenda is so heavily biased toward biotech and chemical agriculture.

Meanwhile, there’s no mention of the real cause of the opioid epidemic — prescription narcotics that have been falsely marketed as safe with low addiction potential.

Florida Groundwater Contaminated With Radioactive Fertilizer

According to a recent report by Mother Jones,31 a fertilizer company mining for phosphate in central Florida caused a 45-foot-wide sinkhole, depositing an estimated 215 million gallons of radioactive water into the aquifer below. This is just one example of the devastating side effects of our chemical-dependent farming system.

“This strange event has everything to do with your food,” Tom Philpott points out. “That’s because the breach occurred in … Bone Valley, one of the world’s most productive and valuable stores of phosphate rock,32 the feedstock for phosphate fertilizer … Florida’s phosphate deposits … provide about 75 percent of the nation’s supply of phosphate fertilizer and about 25 percent of the world supply.

They’re essentially ecological sacrifice zones … For every ton of product, the process generates five tons of a waste product called phosphogypsum, which contains low levels of radiation as well as a range of toxic heavy metals … In Florida … it has been accumulating in huge piles known as gyp stacks …

And it was on one of the gyp stacks that the sinkhole formed, unleashing that vast pond of tainted water … The sinkhole just east of Tampa Bay is a spectacular reminder of phosphate mining’s high ecological price tag.”

The public was not notified of the contamination until two weeks after the event, and Robert Brinkmann, a professor of geology and environmental sustainability at Hofstra University, suspects removing the contaminated water from the aquifer will be a significant challenge.33 It can spread through the subterranean water system, shaped much like Swiss cheese, very quickly. Moreover, the Florida aquifer system also stretches into Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and South Carolina.

Radioactive Fertilizer Implicated in Lung Cancer

The radioactive compound found in calcium phosphate fertilizers is polonium-210 — a chemically toxic34 and highly radioactive element35 that releases alpha particles as it decays. While alpha particles cannot penetrate deeply into your body, they can cause serious damage to cells they do come into contact with.

Calcium phosphate fertilizers are commonly used on food crops and tobacco fields, and it was actually research into the toxicity of tobacco that led to the finding that this low-grade radioactivity may be contributing to cancer.

It’s well-recognized that smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer. However, while it may seem obvious that added chemicals would be prime culprits, research suggests polonium may be a much bigger contributor. In turn, this suggests radioactive fertilizer could potentially pose a hazard within our food supply as well.

Research suggests radiation from these fertilizers are what causes the most lung damage and is the primary cause of cancer in smokers.36,37,38 In fact, polonium is the only component of cigarette smoke shown to produce cancer in laboratory animals.39 According to a 2009 study,40 a person who smokes 1.5 packs of cigarettes per day receives an 8,000 millirem (mrem) radiation dose to the bronchial epithelium each year, which equals a radiation dose to the skin from 300 chest x-rays.

Radioactive Phosphates May Cause More Harm Than Previously Suspected

According to a 2011 report in Nicotine and Tobacco Research,41 radioactivity in tobacco comes from two sources: the atmosphere and uptake through soil rich in calcium phosphate fertilizer contaminated with polonium phosphates. Phosphate fertilizer ore contains 50 to 150 parts per million (ppm) of natural uranium.42 Secret internal documents obtained from the major tobacco industries in 1998 reveal the industry was well aware of the presence of this radioactive element in cigarettes as early as 1959:

“Acid wash was discovered in 1980 to be highly effectively in removing polonium-210 from the tobacco leaves; however, the industry avoided its use for concerns that acid media would ionize nicotine converting it into a poorly absorbable form into the brain of smokers thus depriving them of the much sought after instant ‘nicotine kick’ sensation,” the researchers noted.

The report concluded that “the evidence of lung cancer risk caused by cigarette smoke radioactivity is compelling enough to warrant its removal.” Now, if tobacco leaves become a source of cancer-causing radioactivity due to the fertilizers used, what about food grown with these phosphate fertilizers?

Polonium may also be present in fluoridated water, courtesy of the fluorosilicic acid commonly used. Uranium and radium are two known carcinogens found in fluorosilicic acid used for water fluoridation, and polonium-210 is 1 of 2 decay products of uranium. Furthermore, polonium decays into stable lead-206, which also has significant health risks — especially in children — and research has indeed shown that drinking fluoridated water increases lead absorption in your body.

Meat and Dairy — Sources of Mild Radiation?

A CNN article43 from 2012 addressed the health effects of polonium when the radioactive element was being investigated as a potential cause in the death of Yasser Arafat, the former leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization. According to their report:

“If you ingest polonium-210, about 50 percent to 90 percent of the substance will exit the body through feces, according to a fact sheet from Argonne National Laboratory. What is left will enter the bloodstream. About 45 percent of polonium ingested gets into the spleen, kidneys and liver, and 10 percent is deposited in the bone marrow.

Granted, food-borne polonium may be absorbed and react differently in your body than that in tobacco smoke. Still, as stated by the International Atomic Energy Agency,44 internal exposure, which is more or less the only dangerous form, occurs primarily through food, water and inhaling contaminated air. So it’s quite possible you might be exposed to greater levels of this (and other) radioactive elements than was previously thought, through the aggressive use of phosphate fertilizers in food production.

There is in fact some research suggesting this may be the case. According to a report by the Florida Institute of Phosphate Research,45 American meat products and dairy may expose your organs to radiation doses equivalent to the dose received by smokers via cigarette smoke!

Phosphate Fertilizers Also Impact Gut Health

While we may not be able to estimate the potential cancer risk from foods grown with contaminated phosphate fertilizers, research has shown that dietary calcium phosphate has a detrimental effect on your gut health. According to a 2002 study in the Journal of Nutrition:46

“Most Gram-positive bacteria are susceptible to the bactericidal action of fatty acids and bile acids. Because dietary calcium phosphate (CaP(i)) lowers the intestinal concentration of these antimicrobial agents, high CaP(i) intake may enhance intestinal colonization of Gram-positive pathogens and the subsequent pathogenesis.”

Interestingly, the adverse effect of dietary calcium phosphate was found to be dependent on the type of dietary fat consumed. In rats given diets containing corn oil (a staple in processed foods), the calcium phosphate stimulated colonization of pathogenic bacteria, whereas this adverse effect was not found in animals given a diet with milk fat.

There are many drawbacks to conventional fertilizers, and radioactive food can perhaps be added to that list (with or without radioactive fallout from Japan, which is a whole other story). While modern agricultural methods may appear to be the most cost effective and efficient strategy at first glance, it quickly becomes one of the costliest ways to produce food once you take into account the environmental and human health consequences.

Vilsack — A Major Promoter and Defender of Toxic Agriculture

It takes a special kind of person to endorse such obvious human and environmental destruction (and I haven’t even touched on how pesticides decimate bee and butterfly populations, upon which one-third of our food supply depend for their crucial pollination services47). Vilsack’s history, and recent comments, show he’s just that kind of person.

Not surprisingly, in 2001, when Vilsack was Governor of Iowa, the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) named him Governor of the Year to honor his contributions to and promotion of the industry.”48

The fact of the matter is the cheap foods Vilsack promotes and defends have very real costs. The U.S. farm bill promotes obesity, and by 2030, the CDC predicts HALF of all Americans will be obese, costing the health care system $550 billion over the following two decades.49 Based on the evidence, it seems clear that Vilsack is just another puppet of the masters that are corrupting Congress.

The American Farm Bureau

Just like the USDA, the American Farm Bureau, which has positioned itself as a grassroots organization that supports farmers, is another faction of the Big Ag system. When small farmers are pitted against CAFOs, the Farm Bureau typically sides with the industrial farmers, leaving family farmers to fend for themselves. As previously reported by The Nation:50

“From California to New York, the Farm Bureau leads the charge for industrial-scale food production. It opposes the labeling of genetically engineered food, animal welfare reform and environmental regulation. In Washington, its well-funded team of lobbyists and lawyers seeks to undermine the federal Clean Water Act and the Clean Air Act, opposing pesticide restrictions and increased scrutiny of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution from CAFOs …”


How the Meat Lobby Beefs Up Your Dinner

Americans love beef, and the meat industry admits it has worked long and hard to create and maintain Americas love affair with juicy steaks. As a side effect, other industries benefit as well, including fertilizer companies, pesticide producers, seed companies and drug companies, the latter of which provide veterinary drugs and antibiotics. As recently noted by Salon Magazine:51

“According to the American Meat Institute, the industry’s primary trade organization: ‘Meat and poultry industry impacts firms in all 509 sectors of the U.S. economy … The meat and poultry industry’s economic ripple effect generates $864.2 billion annually to the U.S. economy, or roughly 6 percent of the entire GDP’ …

To make certain you keep eating meat, the industry levies almost a tax on products sold, known as beef and pork checkoffs. In the U.S. each beef producer pays $1 per bovine head at the time the animal is sold … Between 1987 and 2013, the U.S. beef checkoff collected $1.2 billion … money that is used ‘to increase domestic and/or international demand for beef’ — in the words of the industry itself …

When Americans ask, ‘What’s for dinner?’ most will automatically reply: ‘Beef.’ That’s hardly a surprise. Back in 1992 the industry spent $42 million of beef checkoff money spreading the slogan ‘Beef. It’s What’s for Dinner.’


As for its effectiveness, consider this quote from the industry’s own website: ‘In the minds of the many consumers hearing that question [‘What’s for dinner?’], a dominant answer has been planted: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner. Not just planted, in fact. Watered, nourished and cared for over the past two decades.'”

Beef May Be Inexpensive, But You’re Paying for It Elsewhere

Between 1995 and 2012, American taxpayers supported the beef industry with $4.1 billion in farm subsidies. When you add in feed grain subsidies and other indirect costs, the total cost to subsidize meat, fish, eggs and dairy balloons to $38 billion ANNUALLY.52 As stated before, while the food APPEARS inexpensive, it really isn’t, because you’re paying for it through subsidies generated by taxes.

The crux of the problem is that if subsidies are reduced, prices in the store go up and consumption goes down. As noted by Salon: “Studies show that on average, a 10 percent increase in beef ‘s price means about a 7.5 percent decrease in consumption.” So in essence, this toxic and destructive farming system is kept in place primarily because of greed.

Industrial farming is all about selling high quantities, and by subsidizing CAFOs with your tax dollars, you’re fooled into thinking you’re getting a great deal, when in fact you’re paying hidden costs and supporting a system that is destroying your health at the same time. In my book, that’s no cause for celebration, and contrary to what Vilsack says, it’s nothing to be grateful for.

CAFO Lobby Combats All Attempts to Minimize Destructive Impact of Factory Farms

What’s worse, the CAFO lobby has successfully fought off virtually all attempts to reduce their destructive impact.53 In short, they don’t care that industrial farms pollute soil and water, reduce air quality, or promote drug-resistant disease. But they’re clinging to an unsustainable model, and unsustainable models can never last. The question is, will it change before or after a massive crisis has been reached?

According to Robert Martin, executive director of the Pew Commission’s 2008 report, “Putting Meat on the Table: Industrial Farm Animal Production in America” — which raised serious concerns about the way livestock farming is done in the U.S., noting that things are getting WORSE, not better — believes that in order for true reform to occur, the people must demand it.54

U.S. taxpayers are funding a fake low price to keep us drowning in soy and corn, much of which isn’t even used as food, but for “green” fuel,55 and when this lobbyist-blown bubble finally bursts, farmers are bound to suffer, as the value of their farmland will drop as well.

Signs of trouble are already brewing. According to a recent article in Equities,56 the price of corn has dropped 62 percent since 2012, and a 70 percent crash is expected. Wheat and soybeans have also dropped by 61 and 52 percent respectively. So far, the value of farmland has dropped by about 12 percent, but is predicted to fall by more than 60 percent sometime in the early 2020s.57

The Real Cost of Cheap Food Is Immeasurable

So what is the real cost of cheap food? If you take both human and environmental health into account, it’s immeasurable, because what price can you put, really, on premature death due to poor health? What dollar amount can you place on the destruction of farmland and pollution of water? What’s the cost of killing a large percentage of the pollinators that are such an integral part of our food system?

Most family farms have been lost to industrial-scale facilities and government mandates have consolidated food processing, ostensibly to ensure food safety. In reality, all this consolidation RAISES the risk of foodborne illness. By shipping animals hundreds of miles to industrial processing lines, local economies have also been eliminated.

Politicians and industry lobbyists love to talk about how this industrialized, consolidated system has made food safer and less expensive, when in reality it’s all about controlling the food system through price fixing, and by controlling the food, they control the people, and that includes you and me.

Holistic systems of inputs and outputs have been turned into industrial disintegration sites. Farms mine the land and water, taking until it’s gone. As a result, we have less wildlife, less soil abundance, more monocultures, more pollution and more illness. Truly, you cannot separate food production from health and medicine, because they are so intricately intertwined. Lack of investment in high quality food leads to higher medical expenditures, both on an individual and global scale.

Reclaim Your Health and Food Independence

Big Ag is acting just like Big Tobacco did back in its heyday, corrupting Congress to allow them to continue business as usual, which includes prematurely killing people and causing completely unnecessary suffering in more ways than one. Retired federal judge H. Lee Sarokin presided over tobacco litigation for 10 years. He recently commented on the up-and-coming e-cigarette industry, restating his former position on the tobacco industry that led to his being removed from such cases:58

“All too often in the choice between the physical health of consumers and the financial well-being of business, concealment is chosen over disclosure, sales over safety, and money over morality. Who are these persons who knowingly and secretly decide to put the buying public at risk solely for the purpose of making profits and who believe that illness and death of consumers is an appropriate cost of their own prosperity!”

His comments ring true for industrial farming as well. Just like the tobacco industry, Big Ag is an industry- and federal agency-created system that does not support environmental and human health. It is built on greed and control, and Vilsack is nothing but a hired “hitman” for industrial pharming — a conglomerate of chemical, biotech and pharmaceutical interests.

Boycott the System

It is time for disobedience. It is time to boycott the system. Stop aiding their stranglehold on our food by supporting regenerative agriculture, grass-fed and organic farming instead. Buy local. Even better, get to know your farmers and buy directly from them. We have to end the subsidizing of overproduction of junk food ingredients like corn and soy, which feed this degenerative, consolidated system and promotes waste, pollution and ill health.

Vilsack, as a leader of nutrition and agriculture, has a moral and ethical responsibility to do right by the people he serves — you. Yet his entire career has been spent promoting and covering for purveyors of disease. He is not a true leader of the agricultural industry. He’s a puppet of the chemical and biotechnology industries, which have no regard for health aside from the health of their own bottom lines.

According to Vilsack, consolidated, industrial-scale farming is what allows Americans to afford other necessities like housing and education, along with “luxuries like vacations.” In this article, I’ve highlighted a number of issues that expose just how flawed his position is.

Not only are you paying exorbitant hidden costs for low grocery store prices, what little money you save on groceries today, you’ll end up paying in healthcare costs later on. A food system set up to support a for-profit healthcare system is not a source for gratitude, and as head of the USDA, Vilsack really should understand this truth.

Where to Find Healthy Food

In these times, it’s really important to realize that how and where you buy your food matters. Not just for your own health, but for the health of your local community and the world at large as well. Regenerative farming can only flourish if there’s enough demand for their products. Conversely, the industrial system can only survive as long as people keep buying theirs.

While many grocery stores now carry organic foods, it’s preferable to source yours from local growers whenever possible, as much of the organic food sold in grocery stores is imported. If you live in the U.S., the following organizations can help you locate farm-fresh foods: provides lists of farmers known to produce wholesome 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 Foundation

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.

Grassfed Exchange

The Grassfed Exchange has a listing of producers selling organic and grass-fed meats across the U.S.

Local Harvest

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.

Farmers Markets

A national listing of farmers markets.

Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals

The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.

Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA)

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

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- and 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 Fund59 also provides a state-by-state review of raw milk laws.60 California residents can also find raw milk retailers using the store locator available a

Sources and References

Stopping the Cure: Why Cancer Research isn’t Focused On the True Cause of Cancer


By Tony Isaacs


Since the war on cancer was declared half a century ago, hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured into cancer research. However, despite annual pronouncements of cures and breakthroughs that are just around the corner, all that research has failed to keep the incidence of cancer from continuing to increase. Most of the small reductions in cancer deaths are due mostly to earlier detection which increases five year survival rates – the yardstickconventional medicine uses to determine success.

There is a very good explanation for why cancer research has failed so badly…

It has been directed away from the true main cause of most cancer – toxins. In early years, such misdirection could be partially explained by the lack of understanding about the nature and causes of cancer. In recent decades, however, cancer research has been directed away from toxins even as the evidence has mounted that toxins are indeed the primary cause of cancer. The reasons for misdirecting cancer research are two-fold:

  1. Covering up the culpability of those who produce toxins and sell toxic products
  2. Greed on the part of mainstream medicine and others who profit from cancer

As an example of the way cancer causes are covered up and the greed that drives the cancer industry, consider the marketing of “pink.” Many of the companies who are part of the hugely publicized Breast Cancer Awareness Movement (BCAM) sell pink-themed products which contain cancer causing toxins.

The Great Pink “Cancer Cover-Up”

There has been a huge effort for many decades to direct attention away from toxins. If toxins were recognized as primary causers of cancer, this would focus attention on the industries which produce toxins as well as the companies whose products contain toxins.

Consequently, many of those who cause cancer have joined together to direct research away from toxins and towards such outdated areas as genetic cancer causes. To make sure they keep the spotlight off toxins, cancer-causing companies have endeavored to place representatives in key positions in both government agencies and non-profit organizations. Such agencies and organizations include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement.

The evidence is overwhelming that the primary cause of cancer is environmental, and thus preventable. Yet the National Cancer Institute refuses to acknowledge toxins as a major cause. It consistently understated the connection, maintaining that only 6% of all cancer cases stem from environmental and occupational carcinogens.

In 2010, the President’s Cancer Panel provided strong confirmation thatexposure to toxic chemicals is an important and under-recognized risk factor for cancer. Right on cue, the industry-influenced American Cancer Society attempted to refute the panel’s conclusions. Both the NCI and the American Cancer Society, like other cancer agencies and organizations, continue to cling to the outdated and disputed theory that genetics are the main cause of cancer.

As Naturopathic Doctor Loretta Lanphier reported in “Genetic Cancer Theory Disproven Yet Continues to be Propagated,” a succession of scientific findings beginning with studies conducted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries led scientists to suggest that cancer is genetic and is caused by a sequence of DNA mutations in the gene. Coupled with this research was the discovery of the oncogene by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT’s) Dr. Robert A. Weinberg. The well reported nature of these findings began the spark of the widespread belief that cancer is in fact genetic, which continues to this day.

Dr. Lanphier also reported, “As you may have not heard, Dr. Weinberg reversed his original theory twelve years ago after discovering that less than one DNA base in a million appeared to have been miscopied, concluding that not enough defect existed to cause cell mutation. His exact words: ‘Something was very wrong. The notion that a cancer developed through the successive activation of a series of oncogenes had lost its link to reality.’

More recently, in 2005, the directors of the world’s largest cancer research center in Houston, Texas, announced that cancer’s prime cause is not genetic. Despite the magnitude of these reports, they’ve been widely overlooked by the mainstream media.”

There is no greater example of the great cancer cover-up than the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement. BCAM was created by the Imperial Chemical Company, since bought out by AstraZeneca, which was recognized at the time of the inception of the BCAM as the second largest producers of carcinogens in the United States. Imperial Chemical was soon joined by chemical companies, cosmetic companies, food companies, and others whose products caused or contained cancer-causing toxins. BCAM has endeavored to keep the focus off toxins since the very beginning, including directing research almost solely towards genetics.


How Greed Drives the Cancer Industry

The cancer industry has grown to be a financial Goliath worth hundreds of billions of dollars in profits each year. Included in this industry, of course, are all the doctors, nurses, hospitals, labs, technicians, hospices, chemotherapy drug makers, and X-Ray machine and film makers. But the cancer industry also includes huge salaries, perks, and other expenses in numerous government agencies and non-profit organizations. The inescapable reality is that all those profits, salaries, and perks can only be maintained, much less increased, if we do NOT find a cure for cancer.

Non-Biased Cancer Research and Prevention Organizations

Although they receive a small pittance compared to the money spent on mainstream cancer research, there are cancer organizations out there who appear to be independent of ulterior influences and are working to actually make a difference. A partial list includes:


When you look at how cancer research continues to be misdirected to this very day – despite all the evidence about what really causes cancer – there is an obvious conclusion. The failure to direct efforts towards finding a cure for cancerhas been deliberate. As with mainstream medicine in general, greed and profits are foremost and our health takes a distant second place. It does not appear that this will change any time soon, so those of us who care will just have to keep spreading the truth as far and wide as we can.

This information is being suppressed from you by the mainstream media and the medical establishment. Be notified each week when cutting-edge articles are added by clicking here. You’ll be glad you did.

Article Summary

  • In the past 50 years hundreds of billions of dollars have been poured into cancer research. However all that research has failed to keep the incidence of cancer from continuing to increase.
  • There is a very good explanation for why cancer research has failed so badly… it has been directed away from the true main cause of most cancer – toxins.
  • If toxins were recognized as primary causers of cancer, this would focus attention on the industries which produce toxins as well as the companies whose products contain toxins.
  • To ensure the spotlight is kept off toxins, cancer-causing companies have placed representatives in key positions in both government agencies and non-profit organizations. These include the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society (ACS), and the Breast Cancer Awareness Movement.
  • The cancer industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. The inescapable reality is that all those profits, salaries, and perks can only be maintained if we do NOT find a cure for cancer.
  • There are cancer organizations out there who appear to be independent of ulterior influences and are working to actually make a difference. A partial list includes:
    • The Independent Cancer Research Foundation
    • The Annie Appleseed Project
    • The Cancer Prevention Coalition
    • The Breast Cancer Fund
  • Those of us who care more about people than profits need to keep spreading the truth as far and wide as we can.

Sources and References

Tony Isaacs is a member of the National Health Federation and the American Botanical Council who is a natural health advocate and researcher and the author of books and articles about natural health including Cancer’s Natural Enemy. Mr. Isaacs articles are featured at The Truth About Cancer, the Health Science Institute’s Healthiertalk website, CureZone, the Crusador, Health Secrets, the Cancer Tutor, the Silver Bulletin, the New Zealand Journal of Natural Health and several other venues. Mr. Isaacs also has The Best Years in Life website which helps people avoid prescription drugs and mainstream managed illness and live longer, healthier and happier lives naturally. In addition, he hosts the Yahoo Oleandersoup Health group of over 3500 members and the CureZone Ask Tony Isaacs – Featuring Luella May forum. Mr. Isaacs and his partner Luella May host The Best Years in Life Radio Show every Wednesday evening on BlogTalk Radio.

Conditions Shown to Benefit From a Ketogenic Diet


By Dr. Mercola

Obesity and top killers such as diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s and cancer have something significant in common — they’re all rooted in insulin and leptin resistance.

In other words, the underlying problem is metabolic dysfunction that develops as a result of consuming too many net carbohydrates (total carbs minus fiber) and/or protein. Sugars found in processed foods and grains are the primary culprits, and the standard American diet is chockfull of both.

Once you develop insulin and leptin resistance, it triggers biochemical cascades that not only make your body hold on to fat, but produce inflammation and cellular damage as well.

Hence, whether you’re struggling with weight and/or chronic health issues, the treatment protocols are the same. This is good news, as it significantly simplifies your approach to improving your health. You won’t need a different set of strategies to address each condition.

In short, by optimizing your metabolic and mitochondrial function, you set yourself squarely on the path to better health. So how do you correct these metabolic imbalances? Your diet is key. The timing of your meals can also play an important role.

Nutritional Ketosis May Be Key for Optimal Health

By eating a healthy high-fat, low-carbohydrate and low- to moderate-protein diet, you enter into what is known as nutritional ketosis: a state in which your body burns fat as its primary fuel rather than glucose (sugar). Mounting research suggests nutritional ketosis is the answer to a long list of health problems, starting with obesity.

In fact, emerging scientific evidence suggests a high-fat, low-net carb and low- to moderate-protein diet (in other words, a diet that keeps you in nutritional ketosis) is ideal for most people.

In fact, endurance athletes are turning away from conventional high-carb strategies and adopting this way of eating because it boosts physical stamina and endurance.

Beyond insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes, there are a number of applications for nutritional ketosis, including as a treatment for seizures, especially in kids who are unresponsive to drugs, and in neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. Cancer is another area where ketogenic diets show great promise.

Other benefits include fewer hunger pangs and a dramatic drop in food cravings once you’ve made the shift from burning sugar to burning fat as your primary fuel. Being an efficient fat burner may also boost your longevity. Researchers have identified about a dozen genes associated with longevity.

According to Jeff Volek, Ph.D., a registered dietitian and professor in the Human Science Department at Ohio State University, who has done enormous work in the field of high-fat, low-carbohydrate diets and has authored several books on this topic, the primary function of one of these genes is to cripple the degradation of branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), such as leucine.

Preventing this degradation can help preserve your muscle mass.1 BCAAs have other benefits as well: In a number of studies involving middle-aged animal models, adding BCAAs increased muscle and cardiac mitochondrial biogenesis (the creation of new mitochondria), improving both health span and longevity.

Interestingly, BCAAs are very similar in structure to ketones — energy molecules created by your liver from fats — and ketones seem to be preferentially metabolized.

In other words, ketones spare those branched-chain amino acids, leaving higher levels of them in circulation while also helping you retain muscle mass and promoting longevity.

Ketones — A Healthy, Clean-Burning Fuel

The primary reason that so many people are overweight and/or in poor health these days is that the Westernized diet is overloaded with non-fiber carbs as the primary fuel, which in turn inhibit your body’s ability to access and burn body fat.

High-quality fats, meanwhile, are a far preferable fuel, as they are utilized far more efficiently than carbs. When you burn fat as your primary fuel, your respiratory quotient (the amount of oxygen you need) typically goes down,2 which is a sign that your metabolism is running more efficiently.

How to Enter Into Nutritional Ketosis

The most efficient way to train your body to use fat for fuel is to remove most of the sugars and starches from your diet, and that’s true for everyone, whether you’re an elite athlete or a sedentary diabetic. At the same time, you’ll want to replace those carbs with healthy fats.

A dietary intake of about 50 grams or less per day of net carbs while also keeping protein low-to-moderate is usually low enough to allow you to make the shift to nutritional ketosis (the metabolic state associated with an increased production of ketones in your liver; i.e., the biological reflection of being able to burn fat).

This is only a generalization, as each person responds to foods in a different way. Some people can enter into full ketosis while eating as much as 70 to 80 grams of non-fiber carbs. Others, especially if you’re insulin resistant or have type 2 diabetes, may require less than 40 grams, or even as little as 30 grams per day, to get there.

To find your personal carb target, it’s important to measure not just your blood glucose but also your ketones, which can be done either through urine, breath or blood.

This will give you an objective measure of whether or not you’re truly in ketosis, rather than just relying on counting the grams of carbohydrates you consume. Nutritional ketosis is defined as blood ketones that stay in the range of 0.5 to 3.0 millimoles per liter (mmol/L).

That said, using a nutrient tracker will radically improve your ability to understand how much and what kind of foods help you to keep to your ketogenic diet nutrient targets while also helping you to assess the nutrient value of your food choices.

My first choice is That’s my upgrade to the basic Cronometer nutrient tracker, and the default is set to macronutrient levels that will support nutritional ketosis.

Avoid Milk and Consider MCT Oil

Aside from added sugars and grains, it is best to avoid milk for the time being, as it can be difficult to stay in ketosis if you eat or drink a lot of it.

The galactose in milk is a carbohydrate and you can easily exceed your net carb allotment by drinking a single glass of milk. Casein, the primary protein in milk, can also trigger or contribute to inflammation.

When you keep net carbs low, your body switches to burning fat for fuel and your liver begins to convert some of that fat into ketone bodies. This is endogenous production, meaning that they are made by your body from your fat stores or from the fats in the foods that you eat.

You can boost your level of ketones by taking them in supplement form, but these exogenous ketones (made in a lab, not in your body) are not likely to be as beneficial unless you are already “low carb.” Food oils such as medium chain triglyceride (MCT) coconut oil can also be used to mildly increase ketone levels.

Ketogenic Diet Has Long Track Record of Use for Epileptic Seizures

Authority Nutrition reviews 15 health conditions shown to respond favorably to a ketogenic diet,3 and that’s likely a short list.

Based on my understanding of mitochondrial health and metabolic function, a vast majority of health conditions could fall into this category. One of the conditions for which a ketogenic diet has the longest and best documented track record is epilepsy.

This diet has been effectively used to treat drug resistant epileptic seizures since the 1920s,4 and studies have confirmed it’s helpful for both children and adults.

In my view, it would be wise to implement a ketogenic diet as a first-line therapy, but in conventional medicine, it’s typically not considered or recommended unless the patient fails to respond to medication.

Even then, this conversation may have to be initiated by the patient, or the parent of a child with seizures. As noted in the featured article:5

“Research shows that seizures typically improve in about 50 percent of epilepsy patients who follow the classic ketogenic diet. This is also known as a 4:1 ketogenic diet because it provides four times as much fat as protein and carbs combined.

The modified Atkins diet (MAD) is based on a considerably less restrictive 1:1 ratio of fat to protein and carbs. It has been shown to be equally effective for seizure control in most adults and children older than two years of age.”

Nutritional Ketosis Improves Your Brain Health

Your brain will work better in general when burning fat rather than glucose, as fat has been shown to be both neurotherapeutic and neuroprotective. While fats are unable to cross the blood brain barrier, ketones, being water-soluble fats, can cross it and feed your brain. They also appear to lower markers of systemic inflammation, such as IL-6 and others. Many times, improved cognition and mental acuity are among the first things people notice when entering nutritional ketosis.

Ketones are the preferred source of energy for your brain in general, but especially for those affected by diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and maybe even ALS, because in these diseases certain neurons have become insulin resistant or have lost the ability to efficiently utilize glucose, which causes the neurons to die off. When ketones are present, these neurons have a better chance of surviving and thriving.

In one study, Parkinson’s patients who followed a 4-to-1 ketogenic diet experienced, on average, a 43 percent improvement in their symptoms after one month.6 For Alzheimer’s, supplementing with MCT oil appears to be particularly beneficial.7,8

Studies also support the use of nutritional ketosis for autism. As noted in the featured article, “Autism shares some features with epilepsy, and many people with autism experience seizures related to the over-excitement of brain cells.” Research shows nutritional ketosis helps dampen this excessive activity; in one pilot study,9 a majority of autistic children showed improvement after following a cyclical ketogenic diet for six months.

Unlike blood glucose, blood ketones do not stimulate an insulin surge. They also do not need insulin to help them cross cell membranes, including neuronal membranes. Instead, they use simple diffusion, so they can even enter cells that have become insulin resistant. This is likely one of the reasons nutritional ketosis works so well for a variety of neurological problems and diseases. It even shows promise for:

  • Migraine headaches: Following a ketogenic diet for four weeks has been shown to reduce migraine frequency and lower the use of pain medication.10,11
  • Traumatic brain injuries: Animal studies suggest it can help reduce brain swelling, improve motor function and speed up recovery, although it appears more effective in the young than the old. Human studies still need to validate these findings.12

Metabolic Conditions Improve on Ketogenic Diet

Nutritional ketosis is also indicated for obesity, metabolic syndrome (prediabetes) and diabetes. This is not surprising, considering the fact that one of its beneficial effects is correcting insulin resistance. If you meet at least three of the following criteria, you may be diagnosed with metabolic syndrome: abdominal obesity, elevated triglycerides, low HDL cholesterol, high blood pressure and/or elevated fasting blood sugar. Nutritional ketosis has been shown to improve most of these.

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), which is strongly associated with obesity, type 2 diabetes and metabolic syndrome, has also been shown to improve on a low-carb diet high in healthy fats. In one study,13 obese men diagnosed with metabolic syndrome and NAFLD showed significant improvement in their weight, blood pressure, liver enzymes and liver fat after four months on a ketogenic diet; 21 percent completely resolved their NAFLD.

Glycogen storage disease (GSD) and glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1) deficiency syndrome are two other conditions for which a ketogenic diet is a literal life saver. GSD is characterized by a lack of an enzyme that helps store glucose as glycogen or break glycogen down into glucose. The exact form of the disease depends on which enzyme in question that’s lacking. As noted by Authority Nutrition:

“GSD patients are often advised to consume high-carb foods at frequent intervals so glucose is always available to the body. However, early research suggests that a ketogenic diet may benefit people with some forms of GSD, [for example] GSD III, also known as Forbes-Cori disease … [and] GSD V, also known as McArdle disease … “

In GLUT1 deficiency syndrome (a rare genetic disease), you lack a protein that helps shuttle blood sugar into your brain. Seizures and impaired motor skills are two common symptoms that typically manifest shortly after birth. The benefit of a ketogenic diet is quite apparent in this case, as ketones do not need this protein in order to enter your brain. Hence ketones are an ideal fuel for GLUT1 deficient people, allowing their brains to function more normally.

Hormonal and Nervous System Disorders May Improve on Ketogenic Diet

Your hormone regulation and nervous system may also benefit from being an effective fat burner. Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and multiple sclerosis (MS) are two conditions that appear to respond well to this switch in primary fuel. PCOS, which puts women at an increased risk of developing insulin resistance, diabetes, infertility, coronary artery syndrome, lipid disorders (such as elevated cholesterol and high blood pressure) and possibly breast cancer, is characterized by:

  • Hyperinsulinemia (insulin resistance with elevated serum insulin levels)
  • Increased androgen (male hormone) production, causing facial hair and/or acne
  • The complete or almost complete lack of ovulation
  • Obesity

In one study,14 women diagnosed with PCOS who followed a ketogenic diet for six months lost an average of 12 percent of their body weight and reduced their fasting insulin by an average of 54 percent. Levels of sex hormones also showed improvement, and 2 of the 11 women were able to get pregnant despite a history of infertility.

MS, an autoimmune disease, results in damage to the myelin sheath (the protective nerve covering), causing symptoms such as numbness, loss of balance and declining motor function, as well as vision and memory problems. As noted in the featured article: “One study15 of MS in a mouse model found that a ketogenic diet suppressed inflammatory markers. The reduced inflammation led to improvements in memory, learning and physical function.”

Nutritional Ketosis May Be the Key to Cancer Prevention

Cancer is a devastating disease, and today it’s hard to find anyone whose life hasn’t been affected in some way by this disease. In fact, it’s become one of the leading causes of death around the world. What’s worse, the medical profession is largely ignorant of the fact that most cancers are rooted in metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction, and hence the conventional prevention recommendations do little to nothing to quell the tide of cancer diagnoses.

It is my belief, as well as that of many of the experts I have interviewed, that over 90 percent of cancer cases are either preventable or treatable. The key is recognizing that cancer is really a mitochondrial metabolic disease, rooted in poor diet choices combined with a toxic lifestyle.

Viewing cancer as a metabolic disease — opposed to a disease of damaged DNA, which is a downstream effect of mitochondrial dysfunction — gives us the power to control this dysfunction by carefully choosing foods and nutrients and employing strategies that help optimize the biochemical pathways that suppress cancer growth while simultaneously stimulating mechanisms to push it into remission.

Nutritional ketosis has received a lot of attention by cancer researchers in recent years, and many studies show it has great potential not just as a form of cancer prevention but also treatment — in combination with other treatments such as chemotherapy and radiation.16 Research is looking at whether non-toxic metabolic therapies and drug cocktails may be just as effective, with less toxicity.

In fact, according to Dr. Thomas Seyfried, who is one of the leading academic researchers of nutritional interventions for cancer, the mechanism by which the ketogenic diet manages cancer is far clearer and more readily understood than the way the ketogenic diet manages epileptic seizures. This is ironic considering that it’s barely recognized, let alone applied, within oncology circles, while it’s been an accepted treatment for epilepsy since the 1920s.

The central premise is that since cancer cells need glucose and insulin to thrive, lowering the glucose level in your blood though carb and protein restriction literally starves the cancer cells. Additionally, low protein intake tends to dampen the mTOR pathway that is often responsible for accelerating cell proliferation.

Correcting Metabolic Dysfunction and Optimizing Mitochondrial Health Paves the Way for a Long, Healthy Life

I have come to recognize that mitochondrial dysfunction is at the core of what is causing your system to go haywire. You have thousands of mitochondria in nearly all of your cells and they generate around 90 percent of the energy you need for health and survival.

When large numbers of them cease to function properly, your body can no longer function as intended, setting you up for developing any number of diseases. For some, it may manifest as diabetes or heart disease; in others, it shows up as cancer or some form of neurodegenerative disease.

The remedy lies in optimizing your mitochondrial function and correcting the metabolic dysfunctions of insulin and leptin resistance. Here, we have focused on the benefits of a ketogenic diet, which means eating foods high in healthy fats, with moderate protein and low net carbs (think non-fiber carbs).

The choices you make in dietary fats are really critical, as fatty acids contribute to the formation of cellular membranes, and it’s virtually impossible to have optimal biological function with impaired cell membranes. So dietary fat serves two purposes; first, as a fuel, but also as the building blocks for the structural components of your body.

Most Americans unknowingly consume large quantities of harmful fats, like processed vegetable oils, which contribute to your deterioration over time. So when I talk about dietary fats, I’m referring to natural, unprocessed fat, found in whole foods like seeds, nuts, butter, olives, avocado, coconut oil, raw cacao or cacao butter. But also remember that MCT oil has some great health benefits as well.

Other Strategies That Promote Healthy Fat Burning

Two other strategies that will help you make the transition from burning sugar to burning fat as your primary fuel are:

Extended or intermittent fasting, such as Peak Fasting. Intermittent fasting is an alternative to extended fasts. While I used to recommend skipping breakfast and making lunch your first meal, I eventually learned that for most, skipping dinner is a far more effective strategy.

This is because you are the least metabolically active while you are sleeping, so the last thing you want to do is add fuel you don’t need in the evening. Doing so will simply generate excess dangerous free radicals.

However, this may be enormously challenging for most people to implement. It’s easy for most people in nutritional ketosis to skip breakfast because they’re not hungry anyway but skipping dinner may seem more like a hardship. Most people view breakfast as an obligation and dinner as more of a social event. If you can’t skip dinner, allow at least three to six hours between this last meal and bedtime.

The challenge then becomes to determine the most appropriate time to eat your breakfast. I wear a 24-hour glucose monitor and I have learned that I can pin-point the ideal time to break my fast by tracking my glucose. You can, too, even without this specialized monitor. Simply measure your glucose at regular intervals in the morning, and when you notice your glucose level rising, even though you haven’t eaten, it’s a sign you’re undergoing gluconeogenesis.

Basically, your body is starting to break down protein (muscle), turning it into glucose. This is not a healthy process, so when this occurs, you’ll want to eat something to avoid muscle degeneration. In my experience, that will typically occur after 16 hours of fasting or so, although it’s highly individual. If you’re a competitive athlete, this strategy may not be appropriate, but it could work for most average people.

Exercising is a great way to increase mitochondrial repair and regeneration as it is a potent stimulus of PGC1 alpha which is likely the most potent stimulus in your body for mitochondrial biogenesis.

Sources and References