Sunday, September 28, 2008

Health Lesson #2 (Organic Food)

MONDAY, JUNE 09, 2008 02:12 PM

Here is the official USDA Organic symbol. This is how you know it is organic. Other foods can claim organic ingredients, but cannot say they are organic which means the food as well as the entire process was organic. Whole Foods had orange stickers on their produce to tell you it is organic also.

We planted my garden so I can pick my own organic veggies from my backyard.

Thank you Kevin, dad, Ann, Paige, Grandma and Grandpa for helping.

I'm up at Panera with the rest of the people in Rochester Hills using their air conditioning, internet and outlets. Yesterday Kevin and I went to the Tigers game with our friends Joe and Megan. After the game there was this crazy storm that went across the state of Michigan. Maybe a Tornado hit maybe not. Lots of trees were blown over. 138,000 houses in Michigan are without power and we're one of them. On top of no energy, it is REALLY hot and REALLY muggy. I guess I wasn't the only one who thought of going up to Panera to charge the computer and cell phones. This guy is sharing an outlet with me. We're taking turns.
Anyway, we're going to the Dave Matthews Band concert tonight. I'm pretty excited. That's a good way to beat the heat.
Okay, the other day I wrote Hippocrates Lesson #2 which is on organic food. Here we go....

Hippocrates Lesson #2
Organic Food

This will be tough to read if you don’t buy organic food
Some facts about the organic process:
* Post WWII brought about the use of pesticides and artificial chemical fertilizers
* Foods are certified organic if they say USDA Organic
* USDA standards require:
- That the land not be treated with any toxic chemicals and fertilizers for 3 years prior to certification
- There must be a detailed record of methods and materials used in growing
- That the use of genetic engineering, irradiation and sewage sludge is prohibited
- That soil fertility and crop nutrients must be managed through tillage and cultivation practices
Here is what we are missing from our food if we buy organic…..
1. Pesticides
* At least 19 major chemicals in pesticides used on US crops are associated with disrupting human hormones
* Of the 25 most commonly used pesticides, 5 are toxic to the nervous system, 18 are harmful to the skin eyes and lungs, half are comprised with cancer causing chemicals, 17 cause genetic damage, and 10 are harmful to reproductive organs
* Over 98% of sprayed insecticides reach destinations other than their target species including air water and food.
* In the US, pesticides are found to pollute every stream and 90% of wells sampled in a study by US geological Survey
* Some of these pesticides can accumulate and bioconcentrate up to 70,000 times their original concentrations. They basically do the opposite of decompose; they get stronger.
* USDA estimates that 20% of endangered species are killed off by pesticides each year
* In a research study by the FDA and USDA, they sampled over 100,000 foods to determine the most highly contaminated foods which are meat, dairy, strawberries, apples, tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, coffee, peaches, grapes, celery, and bell peppers. (I would recommend buying these foods organic)
Last thing I have to say about pesticides is think about it…if they kill insects which are made of cells just like us; imagine what it is doing to our cells in our bodies.

2. Artificial Fertilizer
* Destroys earthworms and beneficial microorganisms
* Nitrogen fertilizer losses get into waterways which can lead to nutrient loading and oxygen depletion of large bodies of water. Too much artificial fertilizer nitrogen in our land and water basically kills it. An example of this lies in the Mississippi Valley Basin, where years of fertilizer nitrogen loading resulted in a hypoxic “dead zone” off the Gulf of Mexico the size of New Jersey. Look up pictures of this. It’s crazy. Nothing lives there and it’s the size of New Jersey. This huge region of water literally cannot support any life because it is so low on oxygen.
* The synthetic fertilizers decrease vitamin C in food
* A study by the Seattle Times Paper has found that many companies add hazardous waste and radioactive waste to their fertilizers.

3. Sewage Sludge (this is gross)
* This is a semisolid mixture of bacteria and virus laden organic matter, toxic metals, synthetic chemicals and solids removed from domestic and industrial waste water at sewage treatment plants (poop) that is used for crops by farmers
* This contains over 60,000 toxic substances and chemical compounds
* Here is what happens with our sewage at the plants: 42% is detoxified of hazardous components through biodegradation. 25% escapes into the atmosphere, 19% is discharged into lakes and streams, and the remaining 14% (about 28 million pounds per year) become sewage sludge that farmers use for crops
* The cheapest way to dispose of sewage sludge is to spread it on farms and fields.
* Sewage sludge has a fancy name for it called “biosolids” (to make it sound better). The WEF lobby association for US sewage work close with the EPA to persuade farmers that “biosolids” are beneficial fertilizers. I honestly wonder what their explanation is.

4. Bioenginerring or GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms)
“The way it is, is the way it was meant to be”
* This is a radical new technology that forces genetic information across the protective species barrier in an unnatural way
* Genes from one species are inserted into another. For example, genes from the artic flounder which has “antifreeze” properties may be spliced into a tomato so that the tomato is resistant to frost damage
* 71% of all genetically modified crops were engineered to be herbicide resistant so that a field can be sprayed with chemicals and everything will die except the resistant crop.
* Monsanto Corporation is one of the world’s largest chemical companies and the most aggressive promoter of genetic engineering. In 1990 they manufactured saccharin the artificial sweetener. They also produce BGH which is the hormone injected into animals to make them bulk up fast and produce more milk. They also make Roundup. Everything they manufacture kills human cells. Phil Angell, the Director of Corporate communication at Monsanto was quoted saying” Monsanto should not have to vouch for the safety of biotech food, our interest is in selling as much of it as possible” Nice.
* 78% of processed foods have genetically modified ingredients
* The most common genetic engineering is splicing chemical pesticides into crops so the chemicals cannot be washed off or reduced by peeling skin. The pesticides are actually in the crop not on the crop.
* Six main products that are genetically modified are...Corn, soy, rice, wheat, Canola and cottonseed oil
I could go on and on about this, but I recommend you look it up if you are interested.
So basically the main thing they do with genetic engineering is they engineer our crops to be resistant to things that would normally cause them to die, like pesticides, herbicides and antibiotics. But here is the thing, we (our bodies) have not been genetically altered to be resistant to these things and we go and consume pesticides and herbicides. Another genetic engineering trick they do is in the laboratory they make a crop DNA and with a gene gun put it into embryonic plants. They are then grown in antibiotics. Only a small few live, the ones that are antibiotic resistant. So those are the ones farmers grow, then they throw a bunch of antibiotics on them and the plants live through it (which a normal plant wouldn’t) because they now have the DNA to do so. Hope that makes sense.

5. Ionizing Radiation
* It’s basically putting our food through radiation
* Is intended to extend shelf life, pasteurize and sterilize food.
* This became classified as a “process” and only additives require testing and not processes
* Molecules become reactive and form free radicals from this. Free radicals cause cancer.
* Vitamins are destroyed through this process
* This increases production of some extremely potent carcinogenic toxins

6. Synthetic Growth Hormones
* These are just bad bad bad
* Men now have an excess of estrogen in their bodies from consuming too much meat and dairy with synthetic hormones
* These hormones get injected into cows and chickens to make them produce more milk, eggs and grow big fast
* The estrogen in these hormones is similar to the bad type of estrogen which makes certain breast, ovarian and prostate cancers grow faster. Like my cancer.
* That is why the first foods recommended to buy organic is meat and dairy
So this is a bunch of gloom and doom about our food. I wish all the food companies were out there looking out for our best interest, but they are only concerned with their profit margin. Like the stupid Monsanto guy I quoted.

Here is a better way to look at it
By choosing organic food you embrace…
Healthy Environment – air water and land
Healthy future generations – so there won’t be any more dead zones for our children
Healthy farming – better soil for crops to grow in
Healthy Body – More vitamins and minerals are in organic food. For example, organic food contains 27% more vitamin C than conventional food Also antioxidants are much higher in organic food. Organic corn has 58% more antioxidants than conventional corn.

More positive notes…
During the past decade, U.S. organic sales have grown 20% or more annually. (That’s huge) Organic food and beverage sales are estimated to have topped $15 billion in 2004 up from $3.5 billion in 1997. Sales are projected to more than double by 2009.
I know it costs more, but just remember to treat every purchase you make is like it is a vote saying I do not want to buy food that is not good for my cells. As we all buy more the prices will go down.

Homework for everyone: Look up the dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. There is your proof that artificial fertilizer kills.
Hope this wasn't oo heavy.

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