Archive for August, 2006

How the FDA, Corn, and Oil are Killing People

Put aside your purely sentimentalist views about corn, including your ideal Sunday dinner on the farm. Corn is in everything we eat…from meat to cereals to drinks to coffee, from breads to pasta, from the McDonald’s meal you grab in the drive-through to so-called “organic” eggs. In fact, in the average grocery store, of more than 45,000 “foods”, a quarter are comprised of some type of corn. The use of so much corn has driven up the amount of petroleum needed to transport it by millions of barrels per year.

Corn is not a bad plant, but it is indigestible in most forms you will find it in, unless it has been grown organically and soaked or sprouted – and most of the corn you will buy on the market is a far cry from this natural condition. Why then, is it being used in foods we eat, and why so pervasively? In Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, we are told in expert detail how the oil and corn industries together with the FDA are largely responsible for damage to the environment as well as many major health problems in modern society.

Each bushel of industrial corn grown, Pollan notes, uses the equivalent of up to a third of a gallon of oil. Some of the oil products evaporate and acidify rain; some seep into the water table; some wash into rivers, affecting drinking water and poisoning marine ecosystems. The industrial logic also means vast farms that grow only corn. When the price of corn drops, the solution, the farmer hopes, is to plant more corn for next year. The paradoxical result? While farmers earn less, there’s an over-supply of cheap corn, and that means finding ever more ways to use it up.

This disturbing truth supports the idea that we are a community of sick and starving people who do not receive adequate nutritional support to keep our bodies functioning properly and feeling well. Corn and other carbohydrate-based crops are processed beyond recognition to produce many of the foods we eat. We have completely lost touch with consuming whole, real foods that humans need to be healthy and are a junk-food, convenience-based nation.

What about chips, crackers, pasta, bagels, and most bread products on the market? You will read the labels and will be told by a good number of them that they are “whole grains”.  A majority of these staple items contain processed, enriched flours and corn as primary ingredients. These products are not whole grains and they are not healthy to eat. Natural farming takes a back seat to factory and industrialized processes which destroy the integrity of whole foods that are a necessity to people and animals alike. Have we been lied to? You bet.

The FDA has approved the license to sell and consumption of all these foods that are killing us and causing an enormous rise in the cost of health care, oil, and many products that we use and depend on every day. Most significantly, our health conditions are in serious jeopardy with heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer among the top five reasons for death – all greatly contributed to by the power of the FDA and these bloated industries’ abilities to affect the content of the food we eat.

Go to Amazon.com and read reviews on Michael Pollan’s book, see a short clip from Bill Maher’s show interviewing Pollan, and then decide for yourself whether or not you are ready for a change in lifestyle.

It is inconceivable that in a world where corn is so plentiful and readily available that it is not used more pervasively as an alternative fuel to oil. Unfortunately, there are politicians, special interest groups, and lobbyists working night and day to prevent this from occurring. Many people would have us believe that removing corn from the food supply would actually cause mass starvation and loss of industry jobs. How can this be true when the corn most people buy is not really food in the first place? Farmers could still continue to make a living growing corn for fuel alternatives just as they do now harvesting it for food.

Want to find out what most of the cattle in the United States eat on the feedlots in which they are raised?

For more information about corn as a viable and renewable source of fuel for our everyday lives, visit The New Farm and learn about how useful this crop can be.

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Vote Sunny Genz…State of Idaho Representative

I received the following mail today from my friend Sunny Genz, an amazing person who I believe in and is running for State Representative this coming election year. Please read!

Dear Friends,

I am the candidate with a greater vision. Some of you may know this about me, but many of the voters do not. In order to be successful in the November election, I need your support. I will have to send mail to the 16,000+ people in my district. I need to have literature to leave with them when I visit their homes. I would like to have yard signs available for my supporters. As you know, political campaigns are not publicly funded, but must rely on private donations from individuals. I will need to raise thousands of dollars to meet my campaign goals.

I have made it easy for you to donate to the “Sunny for A Brighter Future” campaign.
I have a paypal account so you can contribute online with a credit card. All you need to do is reply to this message and specify the amount you would like to contribute. (If the amount is $50 or more you will need to include your home address for my records.) You will be sent an invoice for your desired amount via email. (Maximum of $1000) Please open the email and in just a few clicks your donation is complete. Only reply to this email if you are making a donation (sunnydawnfreeman@gmail.com). If you want to send well wishes or personal comments, please compose a new email. Know that I am grateful for all of you, with or without a contribution!

For those of you who do not already know: I am a proud Democrat running for Seat12B in the Idaho State House of Representatives.

Another way you can help my campaign locally is with a letter to the editor (Idaho Press Tribune or The Statesman). Thank you for your support!

Here is the greater vision I had in mind when I awoke this morning:

We will create a world that works for everyone. We will let go of old thinking. Idaho will be known as the state that leads by example. We will create communities that are sustainable, loving and compassionate.

We will utilize new technologies to move forward into the next century. We will do this knowing that the only real limitations are those we hold in our minds. We will shift our thinking to allow for the change to unfold in a way that all can embrace. Change is good, and inevitable. “We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi

Our attachment to excess material wealth will fall away as we learn to appreciate the greater gifts this world has to offer. Our communities will be cooperative and inclusive. Each and every individual will have opportunities to develop their potential, and the power of human potential is so great, we have only to tap it to discover the greatness. Knowledge will be shared freely and those who wish to learn will not be denied due to lack of financial wealth. We will understand the absurdity of withholding information, and will grow to understand that knowledge is the greatest wealth, one that is meant to be shared. We will discover that schools without walls have their place in our new society. Children will be allowed to explore their world, to learn and grow in a more natural way. To spend time in the outdoors and with elders sharing stories and ideas. We will create learning resource centers where there are no standards or grades, but the passion for learning can be embraced by those who seek knowledge, wisdom, and hands-on experience. We will embrace our humanity and love of learning in a flexible, non-judgmental, and non-compartmentalized way that the current educational approach does not typically allow.

How will we create a greater society you ask? We will begin by building green. That means in a way that is in harmony with the natural world. There is great integrity in being in balance with the environment. We will realize we are not separate from the living world in which we inhabit, but a part of the system. We are organic beings and we will come to understand the natural flow of organic material, to us, and from us, in a beautiful cycle of life. We will not only build green with energy efficient designs and sustainable non-toxic materials, but we will utilize renewable energy sources such as wind power and solar power. We will begin to drive electric vehicles that are sensible and safe. We will utilize human power in a way that enhances our health and well being. We will create a network of paths that flow smoothly throughout our community, allowing easy access for all.

We will create community gardens that are in harmony with the natural setting. We can conserve our water with drip irrigation systems and grow a variety of diverse plants, knowing that biodiversity among agricultural crops helps to ensure healthier biota. We will learn from the wisdom of other human cultures, and as information begins to flow freely without a monetary attachment, all will benefit. We will create community centers where safe food storage and food preparation classes will be held and community cooking and food sharing will take place. We will trade seeds rather than buying seeds from big corporations such as Monsanto. We will learn to grow without dependence on fertilizers that are petroleum based, as we raise our food organically, and enrich the soil with compost.

We will eat food that is not heavily processed; without additives, preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. We will not consume the great amounts of saturated fats that are clogging our arteries in today’s lifestyle; but will learn the value of healthy eating and will understand how to nourish our bodies in ways that enhance our quality of life, rather than diminish it. Our wellness clinics will be accessible to everyone. Their will be dietitians, massage therapists, exercise physiologists, naturopaths, herbologists, energy specialists utilizing practices such as reiki and acupuncture, as well as doctors trained in western medicine.

We will create a justice system that utilizes mediation and peaceful resolution practices. We will practice restorative justice. We will release the many who are imprisoned in this country for use, possession or sale of illegal substances. We will address substance abuse in a way that is compassionate and practical. We will not label these people criminals, but will instead offer compassionate and effective means of rehabilitation in order to free them from their addictions.

We will encourage and support the development of companies that create products that contribute to a sustainable society. For example; businesses that create human powered vehicles or renewable energy technology will be valued, and non-profit service based community organizations will be enhanced. Here in Idaho I believe we could create a productive industry with the use of industrial hemp. We have the land to grow the raw material to produce cloth, paper, and rope. We could open paper mills, textile mills, and clothing companies. People in the community could work reasonable hours, no more than 6 per day. I believe people need more time to spend with their families and time to enjoy life through recreation and social activities. Non-profit organizations will be supported, allowing them to value their staff and more commonly pay stipends, rather than relying so heavily on volunteers. Everyone will have the opportunity to contribute to their community in a meaningful way. Everyone will compensated fairly for their contributions.

We will teach our children peace, not violence. Plato said that what we show our children; they become. We will choose to show them beauty. I am so disappointed that I am raising my children in a society that produces games that simulate mass murder, movies that demonstrate violent and murderous acts on a grand scale, and a federal administration that advocates the use of heavy artillery and high tech weaponry to inflict death, destruction and devastation on other human societies who share our planet. If we show our children violence, they will learn to be violent. If we train our children to kill, they will become killers. If we teach them the value of cooperation and sharing they will learn to practice these virtues. If we treat them with respect, they will learn to respect themselves and others. If we allow them the freedom to grow and blossom into their own unique expressions of the divine, they will share with us their unique gifts and talents and the world will become a much more beautiful place.

We need to first shift our thinking. We need to recognize and understand our own power to create our world. We must understand that we reap what we sow. It is done unto us as we believe. If we believe in a world that is full of the wonder, joy, and peace, and know that this world is possible, so shall we manifest our world. A world that excludes no one! A world that is full of compassion, love and happiness, a world that we all deserve. Please do not limit yourself with negative thinking. We have the power to choose the future for ourselves. Each one of us is precious! We are all valuable. Each one of us has power, and together we can do it. Si se prede. Opportunity, options, and optimism! Sunny for a Brighter Future!

Peace and Love,
Sunny Freeman-Genz

I swear I will not dishonor my soul with hatred, but offer myself humbly as a guardian of nature, as a healer of misery, as a messenger of wonder, as an architect of peace.
–Diane Ackerman

This is the way of Peace: Overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth, and hatred with love. — Peace Pilgrim

It isn’t enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn’t enough to believe in it. One must work at it. — Eleanor Roosevelt

www.votesunny.org

www.thepeacealliance.org

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Why Buy Local?

Although Globalization may be the wave of the future, it is not the best choice for health. Here’s why…

Let’s say it’s winter time and you are in the grocery store looking for fresh vegetables and fruits. In many regions, a good variety of produce is not readily available and so the method of bringing in tomatoes or oranges in during the cold months is to ship them from different parts of the world who can grow these plants year-round. Why would this be a problem? One reason is that having to ship all these foods all over the globe uses up more fuel. This drives up the price of petrol and pollutes the environment. Another issue is that in shipping these fruits and vegetables all over the globe, merchants are finding that much produce is perishing more quickly than they are able to turn a profit. In order to make sure their produce does not perish before it makes its arrival in the store, many decide to grow plants in an altered environment where the plant has been modified somehow to survive days of travel and stocking on the grocery store shelf. Is it safe to eat “altered” food?

In addition to genetically and otherwise modified foods, toxins and pollution from shipment and travel adversely affect the produce being sent. If these toxins and chemicals affect the produce, does it affect your health? Indeed. Eating local produce cuts down on toxins and pollution on fruits and vegetables because the food has traveled less distance to get to your table. That’s a happy thought.

The notion of eating fruits and vegetables in season is also becoming more and more understood by local communities. In season varieties allow the local farms to receive your support when you buy, reduces pollution from shipment, and provides the opportunity to try new foods and seasonal recipes that you may have otherwise overlooked. It tastes better too! Buying in season is more sustainable and better for your health as during different times of the year, your body needs different types of foods. Those needs come and go with the season, and thus eating in season makes health sense.

In Idaho, many crops do not grow in the winter time. So the shipping of produce from many other locations is something grocery stores do in order to provide a full menu for their customers. But, many local farmers are now using winter green houses and hot houses. This should reduce the need to ship in from other locations. Unfortunately, the demand of customers dictates that we have anything we want anytime we want it. Thus, the stores are shipping in anything and everything all the time.

Alternatives might include adjusting our consumption of certain types of produce during times of the year when they are not locally available. Some people make use of the available produce during peak seasons by canning, jarring, drying, or freezing their food. Although these activities take a little more time and effort, you are conserving in many ways by making use of the available produce when it is fresh and preserving it safely for later use.

Today on NPR this very topic is being discussed. For more information about why shipping produce around the globe can be harmful, go check out Talk of The Nation’s dialogue on Science Friday about Eating Local, Thinking Global .

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What Is Going on in the World?

There is so much to do and see in our world…technology, media, events, concerts, shows, movies, video games, parties, book signings. How do we balance it all out? How do we decide what is important? What are our priorities?

Is health a priority in our lives? Many of us think health is very important and that it is a big priority. But there is much debate and information about health that is conflicting and confusing. I created this web site in order to try and provide as much accurate information as possible about alternatives in nutrition, health and medicine, which I research on a continual basis. I believe it is paramount to present truthful data about what is going on in these fields. And it is my hope that I will accomplish that here.

In our world, much emphasis is placed upon being healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. But the term ‘healthy lifestyle’ is often misused and even misrepresented. Even worse, at every turn we find things in our world that make living a healthy lifestyle difficult – or downright impossible. As an example, many people believe, because they have been told by dieticians, doctors, or even magazines and newspapers that low-fat or non-fat is healthy. The public has been duped by many fast-food corporations such as McDonald’s and Burger King that their “healthier” choice menu items are actually good for you to eat. But the fact is, none of this food is good for any of us.

Much of our food supply is polluted, genetically-altered, scientifically manipulated, or chemically-enhanced, yet we are told by the media, food growers, food companies, health professionals, and even our own government that these substances are not only okay to consume, but healthy! This should raise a red flag. When you consider just how unnaturally much of our food choices are produced, it should make you suspicious of health claims being made by these different groups. Why are they making these claims? Could it be that the main objective behind selling these products is not to make people healthy but to drive up profit margins? Just by doing some research, you will be blown away with what you learn about our food and what it means to eat a truly nutritious meal. You can be sure we will cover these topics on this web site.

It is my hope that this web site will open the eyes of consumers and those interested in improving their health and their environment. Many things we read are simply incorrect, even though the author of the document or article may seem informed or sincere. How do we assimilate all the information and decide what is true and what is false? The answer is, simply, that we cannot be certain that anything we read is accurate. But, when people make an effort to validate their opinions and points of view via research and empirical observation, the chances of that information being true is a lot more likely. That is precisely what I have done with information I research. I give it the test of being proven somehow by being my own guinea pig or by observing what happens over time first hand to someone else. So you can take what I say for whatever you want. But, the choice is yours. Do you feel as though the choices you’ve made for your health are really working? Why or why not? I cannot fully express how frustrated I have been in talking with people, countless individuals, who tell me that they feel their choices in health have not been good ones. If people are receptive, I make suggestions to them to try and then determine whether they notice a viable improvement. What have they got to lose? What they’ve been doing, they tell me, hasn’t worked.

From my own experience, following the advice of traditional medical doctors for the health problems I’ve had has generally not worked. This is why I do what do now. I believe this is why I am enjoying better health today. It is my instinct that many natural and alternative health and medical therapies are useful and beneficial over modern methods because I’ve witnessed such dramatic change in myself as well as others firsthand. Many of the alternative and natural remedies are tried and true, and have been around for centuries or even millennia. By contrast, only some new technologies, procedures, and medications are truly harmless and promote better health after they are implemented. Any prescription medication you take, for example, has side-effects. Sure, you may die if you don’t take the medication. But why is your body in that condition in the first place? It’s not because your body needs the medication. Your body is in need of healing. Some people’s bodies are so polluted and so toxic that the damage is irreversable; it’s true. But many people can benefit immensely from natural and alternative medical and health treatments. And they aren’t even aware of it. The traditional health industry and the FDA make certain of it.

Come join Agriculture Society. For a better way of life. In the coming weeks and months much content will be added to this web site including articles, resource links, and general information to help you on your path to better health. Cheers.

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