Human health begins in the soil. Hear the fascinating details from Dr. Zach Bush, a former cancer researcher, as interviewed by Dr. Joseph Mercola. Dr. Bush started teaching his patients how to garden and change their diets to get well. Enjoy!
Doctor: “Food has nothing to do with your disease.”
Your internal voice: “That can’t be right. Heart disease, diabetes, cancer, high blood pressure, and many other problems are caused by junk food.”
Lesson: Listen to your internal voice. Your doctor most likely has no nutritional training, and therefore has no platform to make such an obviously flawed statement.
With thanks to Dr. Peter Osborne, an excellent functional medicine doctor (one who seeks the cause of problems) based near Houston, Texas.
I want to share what has been happening with me lately that may impact you or someone you know. I’ve been recovering from toxic mold exposure.
I never thought much about mold. It was just an annoying thing I had to clean off of leather items, like my saddle. Come to find out, 1 in 4 people are genetically susceptible to mold biotoxin illness. (“Lucky me”, the 1 in 4.) That means they cannot clear from their bodies the biotoxins that molds put off.
The biggest source of toxic mold is water-damaged buildings. The US government claims that 1 in 2 buildings in the US is water-damaged. This was the case for my illness. Living in a humid environment tends to further compound matters. You may not be able to see or smell the mold, but it can still make you gravely ill. I hope you can realize the enormity of the issue.
These biotoxins create havoc by poisoning the body, causing inflammation throughout the body systems. Symptoms are extremely variable depending on the other genetics and how well the various body systems can defend themselves. Headaches, fatigue, brain fog, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea are probably the most common symptoms, but there are many others. Most doctors don’t have a clue as to the cause of the condition, and write it off as some other disease or that it is all in one’s head.
My symptoms were unusual and none of the many doctors, holistic or conventional, I have seen through the years have understood the cause. Yes, I was tested for many things, including allergies. It was not that and, yes, the allergy doctor concluded that it was “in my head”. Not!
More than one doctor offered me chemotherapy to suppress my immune system. I told them “No! I want to determine and remedy the cause, not just suppress my immune system so it won’t react.”
Another doctor prescribed oral, broad-spectrum antibiotics. I told her I didn’t want to further impair my intestinal flora.
You really have to be your own advocate!
Fortunately, some functional medicine doctors do understand mold illness. However, good luck trying to get health insurance companies to pay for office visits or tests ordered by functional medicine doctors.
The genius researcher who has uncovered the truths about mold biotoxin illness is Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker. He has an extensive testing and treatment protocol. He no longer sees patients, but is training a growing number of physicians, who are listed on his website, www.survivingmold.com.
Mold biotoxin illness is not a new illness, but the incidence has increased with changes in building materials and construction. With the effort to cut energy costs we now have “tight building syndrome”, which results in a greater concentration of indoor air pollution due to less air exchange. In 1969, mold-retardant paints were introduced. Just as antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains have developed due to the overuse of antibiotics, super-toxic molds have developed due to the use of mold-resistant paints. What happens is that the organisms that aren’t killed develop more resistance over subsequent generations. They proliferate because their weaker competitors have been killed off by the agent (mold-retardant paint or antibiotic).
The same thing can be seen in agriculture. When nature is in balance, it is a self-regulating system, and life is good. When humans interfere in the system with toxic agents, good and bad aspects of the system, i.e. microbes or insects, are all impacted, with the bad becoming more prevalent over time due to the resulting selection and lack of competition.
I am delighted to report that I am feeling much better now that I moved to a drier location, cleaned or discarded everything I own (while wearing a mold remediation mask), and got some truly helpful medication. Yes, mold remediation is a huge undertaking.
Now I am happily back to my regular work of helping to grow the best foods ever!
Here’s a video by Dr. Stephanie Seneff, a professor from MIT who also lives in Hawaii part of the year. She has done amazing research on the effects of glyphosate (the main active ingredient in Roundup© herbicide, the world’s biggest selling chemical). In this video she discusses its connection to major health problems. People have been led to believe that Roundup© is safe, however it is now known to be an endocrine disruptor in parts per trillion! The manufacturer, Monsanto, hid animal studies which resulted in cancer, but the data has now surfaced. The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared glyphosate a probable human carcinogen–classified “probable” due to the lack of human studies.
Dr. Seneff has a lot more videos on YouTube and published scientific papers alerting people of the dangers and how to overcome the problems. One of the main things is to eat organically grown foods that are nutrient dense and free of toxic agricultural chemicals. By definition, organic foods are GMO-free. Just avoiding GMOs is not enough because even many non-GMO crops like wheat, other grains, beans, etc. are sprayed with Roundup© just prior to harvest. Roundup© is systemic, which means it can’t be washed off the food. Meat and dairy animals in our country are mainly fed GMO feeds with high levels of glyphosate. This comes through to the consumers of the meat and dairy products. Even fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds can be contaminated.
Also, don’t use Roundup© in your yard! Members of my community are working to stop the roadside spraying of this chemical by the county. Many countries have already banned its use entirely. It needs to be banned worldwide!
National Geographic explorer, Dan Buettner, studied long-lived communities around the world to determine best practices for longevity. His book, Blue Zones: 9 Lessons for Living Longer, was released in 2008, and became a national best-seller. Then he worked to implement the practices in various places and measure the successes. He reports the outcomes in his latest book, The Blue Zones Solution: Eating and Living Like the World’s Healthiest People.
Blue Zone community projects are starting all across America, with three kicking off here in Hawaii. Two of these three communities are located on the Big Island in Hilo and Waimea (Kamuela). The celebratory starting day was October 17 for the Big Island Blue Zone projects. Fun and educational activities and booths were followed by Dan Buettner’s presentation and book signing.
So what are the 9 Lessons (or what he calls the Power 9)?
- Move naturally. He especially emphasized vegetable gardening!
- Purpose. Why you wake up in the morning.
- Downshift. Release stress. Connecting with the Earth in the garden is one great way!
- 80 percent rule. Stop eating when your stomach is 80% full.
- Plant slant. More beans and vegetables, and only small amounts of meat about once a week.
- Wine @ 5. One to two glasses of wine with friends and/or food.
- Right Tribe. Social circle that supports healthy habits.
- Community. Attend weekly faith-based services.
- Loved ones first. Life partners and keeping family close together.
The Future of Food Additives
According to a new report from Packages Facts, a Rockville, MD-based market research publisher, consumers are driving a change in the reliance on synthetic and artificial ingredients in food products. “Food Additives: The U.S. Market” claims that more natural ingredients are going to replace the artificial ingredients that have been used consistently for over 50 years.
Research chemist John Mark Carter has concerns about the issues with stability and standardization when it comes to natural ingredients. “The trend toward more ‘natural’ ingredients is strong in the US and EU, where consumers can afford to choose more expensive products. But in addition to economics, there are two significant problems with these materials. One is their relatively low stability. Processed ingredients usually exhibit better shelf life, because impurities that accelerate spoilage are removed. The other problem is a lack of standardization. Naturally derived ingredients are usually variable mixtures of active ingredients with other materials. The active ingredients are rarely assayed and often poorly characterized.”
Dr. Jana Bogs, an independent researcher and consultant shares her perspective. “As consumers become more aware of nutrition in this information age, they want better quality products. Natural products are more ‘user friendly’ in the body than synthetics. Nature provides nutrients complexed in food form, the complexity of which is not able to be duplicated synthetically. One example is vitamin C from food sources which include a myriad of synergistic phytonutrients.”
She provides another example. “Consider the intake of calcium from food instead of from ground-up rocks. People were not meant to eat rocks. The calcium from rock sources, while ‘natural,’ is NOT natural as food for humans. This ‘rock source’ calcium ends up calcifying soft tissue–Aging!–instead of being utilized properly. Humans were meant to get calcium from foods. My work involves increasing calcium content (and other nutrients) in foods naturally through an enhanced growing process which starts with balancing soil nutrients.”
Aftan Romanczak, an expert in restaurant chain research and development, says, “The change to natural ingredients will always be dictated by supply and cost. Who will certify quality and supply? Not the FDA. Government regulatory budgets are stretched thin now and ineffective.”
Romanczak explains that changes depend largely on customer response. “How much are consumers willing to spend? The current products on the market are not cheap. The natural ingredient market will mimic the economy and increases or decreases in disposable dollars. Artificial ingredients will evolve into more effective synthetic compounds and the advances in nanotechnology will be the driver.”
Health foods and beverages marketing expert, Ninad Deshmukh, agrees, “The entire replacement of artificial ingredients in food products is not going to happen though I would be very glad to see such a day! The reasons include product cost, taste, and appearance- all continue to matter to the majority of the world’s population.”
What about the demands of health conscious customers in other countries? Deshmukh says, “Definitely people who are health conscious, care about earth and having money to afford will definitely drive the demand for natural ingredients. I have been involved with health food products manufacturing and marketing in India for the last 11 years and found that there is a niche market, though it’s growing. Price and taste still play a major role in choosing health food products for majority in India, where I am based.”
Color continues to be a critical factor in food appeal and marketability. The growth in color additives has been due to a transition from artificial colors to natural colors, with cost and formulation issues a critical area within the natural color additives market. However, consumer concern appears to be the fundamental factor in terms of the future of food additives.
As a Thank You for your support (in many ways besides voting for me in the Transformation Contest), my gift to you is a copy of my new book–Beyond Organic…Growing for Maximum Nutrition. It’s on Amazon.com. Just click this link:
(You have the option of reading my book on a Kindle device or on your computer with download of a free app available at Amazon.)
This free book offer is only available Sunday, August 4 through Tuesday, August 6, after that it is $9.99. Feel free to share it with friends. The more people who download my book and write favorable reviews, the more my book will go up in the ratings and be easily found.
Mahalo (Thank You) for your interest and support!
Jana D. Bogs, MS, PhD
People in the organic industry are on a passionate mission to make the world a better place. It’s not a profession one enters just for the money–it’s about doing things right. Organic farmers feel good about what they grow, organic product companies feel good about what they produce, and consumers feel good about using these products. A lot of people are aware and concerned about the planet, so buying organic is helping them do something.
Besides feeling good emotionally, organic products help people feel good physically because they contain fewer toxic chemicals. That starts in the field with the farmer not having to “suit up” with a full body suit and a gas mask to spray toxic chemicals. Farming can be fun again! Scientific studies prove that children fed organic food have significantly fewer toxic chemicals in their blood. As cancer rates rise, consumers look for ways to decrease their personal toxic loads. The extra cost is absolutely justified, and the buying public votes “organic” with their dollars.
Other scientific studies show increased levels of antioxidants in organically-grown foods. Again, this appeals to the health conscious consumers. This quest for greater nutrient density is being answered by researchers such as myself who are moving “beyond (just) organic” to nutrient enhancement of food crops. This is accomplished through careful testing of soil and plants, and then supplying the plants with optimal nutrition so they can express their potentials. These nutrient-rich plants, in turn, supply us with outstanding quality food. Nutritionally-enhanced vegetables can have up to 10 times the mineral content of typical produce. This naturally-enhanced “beyond organic” food is the next big wave in the organic industry!
In 2009, total US organic sales for food and non-food products were $26.6 billion and growing. With mass market retailers increasing their offerings of organics, where might the industry be headed?
The US organic products industry has seen strong growth over the years and should expect to see continued growth, says Peter Leighton, an expert and recognized leader in the areas of consumer products, nutraceuticals, and human nutrition. “In spite of weak economic conditions, the category remains vibrant,” he explains. “There are a host of drivers that fuel this growth, but the critical component is the acceleration of scale. As demand increases for organic products, more organic inputs are allocated, thereby reducing the endpoint costs for consumers.” This, in turn, fuels greater growth.
Environmental issues are increasingly playing a strong role in that growth, notes Leighton. “More data is demonstrating the value of sustainable agricultural practices and the health and environmental benefits of natural pesticides,” he says. While to date one of the greatest consumer triggers for organic products has been the health halo of the products, increasingly the industry will see environmental and ecological triggers driving consumer action, as these have a much more significant point of differentiation.
Carlos-AgNet, an expert in organic product lines and a consultant to organic companies and certification groups, says that the saving grace for the organics industry is a decade’s old demand that has seen supply increases. “This demand is providing unprecedented opportunity for those that can develop a retail organic product,” says Carlos-AgNet. “The industry has recently seen an explosion of beverages and beauty products.”
One of the challenges that Carlos-AgNet sees for the organics industry is the certification process. “Basic standards for organic certification receive a wide interpretation within the national standard and between countries, which inhibits trade in international products, such as food and textiles,” he says. New product areas in the organics industry bring with them a new generation of standards that are difficult for producers to sort out. Instead, cosmetic and food manufacturers are choosing voluntary or non-organic standards, such as natural, to avoid having to go through the national organic standards.
“The US market is decades behind Europe in organics and agriculture transformation,” says Carlos-AgNet. “A real threat to US producers could be the replacement of US producers of agricultural products with those from more advanced agricultural economies.” He states that this shift may not affect the US organic retail market.
Dr. Jana Bogs is looking beyond organics to the next step the industry might take to increase nutrition in organic fruits and vegetables and natural ingredients. Bogs is an expert in food science, horticulture, nutrition, and agriculture.
“Several scientific studies have shown significant decreases in nutrient density in fruits and vegetables over the past half century,” Bogs says. “There is a lot more research to be done, but we currently have enough knowledge to produce significantly higher quality produce at the current time. Some producers understand how to grow beyond-organic foods, but they need a better marketing system.” She adds that food and nutrition supplement companies who are looking to capture a larger percentage of the market would do well to look into these optimally-grown foods.
Dr. Jana Bogs, nutritionist/horticulturist, gave a well-attended presentation sponsored by Sustainable Kohala on “Gardening for Greater Nutrition” in February. From comments received, it was evident that the information was very much appreciated by attendees. Many people said they wanted to attend, but just couldn’t make it that night. Others, who would have liked to attend, heard about it after the fact. So, Artesia, in Hawi, is sponsoring Dr. Bogs to speak on the same topic again, Sunday, April 10 at 3pm.
This free presentation is all about “creating health from the soil up”. Come learn about how the way we grow food affects its nutrient content, flavor, shelf life, and even pest resistance!
See how growing in a “Beyond Organic” way can help plants express their genetic potentials, providing us with life-enhancing nutrients so we can express our genetic potentials.
Dr. Bogs will give a powerpoint presentation (approximately 1 ½ hours), followed by a question/answer session. This event is free and open to the public. Artesia, a beautiful setting, is located at 55-3584 Kaauhuhu Road (the transfer station road) in Hawi. When going mauka, Artesia is just before the transfer station, on the opposite (right) side of the road. Look for survey tape streamers on a tree out front. Contact Dr. Bogs at 938-9888 for more information.