Friday, July 23, 2010

Got {Raw} Milk

Great interview and intro to Raw Milk - Dr. Mercola interviewing raw milk producer and expert Mark McAfee - go to Youtube for full series.

One fascinating fact McAfee shared was the bizarre birth of pasteurization:

To meet the soaring demand for spirits, distilleries soon sprang up in most
major cities. In one of the most bizarre twists of entrepreneurial insight, some
brilliant soul thought it would be fun (and profitable) to confine cows adjacent
to the distillery and feed them with the hot, reeking swill left over from the
spirit-making process.

As you might guess, the effects of distillery dairy
milk were abominable, and for many of those drinking it, amounted to a virtual
death sentence. Confined to filthy, manure-filled pens, the unfortunate cows
gave a pale, bluish milk so poor in quality, it couldn't even be used for making
butter or cheese. Add sick workers with dirty hands, diseased animals and any
number of contaminants in unsanitary milk pails and you had a recipe for
Lacking its usual ability to protect itself, and with a basic
understanding of germs or microbes decades away, the easily contaminated
"pseudo-milk" was fed to babies by their unwitting mothers. In New York City
during 1870 alone, infant mortality rocketed to around 20% and stayed there for
many more years

Check it out on

Raw milk, according to McAffee, requires a great deal more sanitation and attention to creating a healthy environment for the cow. Milk intended for pasteurization is not necessarily safe to drink raw because the cows are often not raised in a very sanitary situation and the assumption is that the resulting contamination will be handled during the pasteurization process.

So once again, we see a common theme - good, healthy food is labor intensive so it's easier to just set up massive dairies, boil out the contaminants and mass distribute. Unfortunately only 6 states allow the sale of raw milk and those found violating the rules are often the subject of heavy handed 'sting' operations. And while the health benefits of raw milk are significant, the government is siding with 'big dairy' and fear mongering abounds.

More information can be found at: and

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Meatgate: Grist Articles

Two-thirds of hamburgers consumed in the U.S. contain a filler made of scraps [often referred to as 'Pink Slime'] from the slaughterhouse floor, which are ground into a paste and washed with ammonia. If that sounds gross, get this: despite the chemical bath, the filler still often carries E. coli and other nasty pathogens.

The above quote is from a great series of articles at on the perils of commercially produced meat. If you need to motivate yourself to lay off fast food, I think you'll find the information most helpful!

Meat Wagon - Click Here to View

Commercial/fast food meat is controlled by giant agribusineses like Cargill where squeezing every cent of profit trumps food safety. They don't care how gross it is, as long as it passes muster w/the USDA, it's business as usual.

A better alternative is eat a mainly plant based diet and find local farmers offering naturally raised animal products:

Local Harvest
Eat Wild
(Check out my sidebar on local grocers offering these products as well)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Everything You Need to Know about GMO's Video

Here's a great new video posted at Dr. Mercola's site. It's a speech by GMO activist Michael Taylor, author of the book Seeds of Deception.

If you are new to the whole GMO issue, I highly recommend that you check out this video and the website below. Genetically modified crops are not safe. If you consume fast food, processed food,  and non-organic Corn, Soybeans, Canola, or Cottonseed products, chances are you are consuming these dangerous substances.

Everything You HAVE TO KNOW about Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods from Jeffrey Smith on Vimeo.

**Click here for more information on GMO's and for a free buying guide to avoiding GMO's**

Highlights of the video:
- We are at a 'tipping point' in terms of convincing consumers to avoid GMO's
- When offered GM foods, animals will refuse it. Animals allowed to graze on GM crops have actually died
- Studies have shown long term detrimental effects of GM foods
- GMO's create massive collateral damage environmentally and in the human body
- GMO's do scary things to genes and cells

Key points of avoiding GMO's:
1. Buy Organic - Organic producers are not allowed to use GMOs
2. Look for "Non-GMO" Labels
3. Avoid At-Risk Ingredients including: Corn, Soybeans, Canola, Cottonseed

**Click here for more information on GMO's and for a free buying guide to avoiding GMO's**

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Factory Farmed Meat: Fast Food Beef 'Disinfected' with Ammonia

From Natural comes yet another expose on the perils of factory farmed meat. This time, we discover that ammonia is used to 'disinfect' meat scraps from e-coli so they can be sold to fast food joints. Folks, this is more proof of the USDA's rather warped perspective on food safety. (See my other articles on meat by clicking "Meat/Factory Farming" in the labels section of the bottom of the post).

(NaturalNews) If you're in the beef business, what do you do with all the extra cow parts and trimmings that have traditionally been sold off for use in pet food? You scrape them together into a pink mass, inject them with a chemical to kill the e.coli, and sell them to fast food restaurants to make into hamburgers.
That's what's been happening all across the USA with beef sold to McDonald's, Burger King, school lunches and other fast food restaurants, according to a New York Times article. The beef is injected with ammonia, a chemical commonly used in glass cleaning and window cleaning products.
This is all fine with the USDA, which endorses the procedure as a way to make the hamburger beef "safe" enough to eat. Ammonia kills e.coli, you see, and the USDA doesn't seem to be concerned with the fact that people are eating ammonia in their hamburgers.........

Fascinating. So you can inject a beef product with a chemical found in glass cleaning products and simply call it a "processing agent" -- with the full permission and approval of the USDA, no less! Does anyone doubt any longer how deeply embedded the USDA is with the beef industry?

Friday, January 1, 2010

Review of Natalia Rose's Raw Detox Diet and Detox for Women

Long time no hear, Happy New Year! How about a book review to kick off 2010?

I'd read Natalia Rose's books a while back but the info kind of got 'lost in the the shuffle'. I was a tad skeptical at first but I've just met a health practitioner who went from tired, depressed and miserable to feeling great using her regime.

The Raw Food Detox Diet is sort of a raw foods book but sort of not. Rose's main focus is digestibility and colon health. Unlike 100% raw advocates, Rose nixes overreliance on heavy, hard to digest 'raw' items like nuts and seeds in favor of lighter cooked fare (steamed veggies, fish and baked root vegetables).

In order to succeed on this plan, which is more of a lifestyle change than a quickie diet you have to be willing accomodate the following:

1) Move toward green juices and fruit in the AM. This will require the purchase of a juicer. Alternatively, if you have a high speed blender like a Vitamix or Blendtec you can strain the juice in a nut milk bag (I've had good luck with this except for 'juicing' carrots).

2) Be willing to not mix the following food groups in the same meal:
- Starches (beans/grains/starchy root vegetables)
- Animal protein (meat/cheese)
- Nuts and Dried Fruits
- Fresh fruits (which she recommends eating alone)
- Veggies mix w/all of the above and the author is a fan of copious green salads

3) Eat 'light to heavy' - this means the heaviest food gets eaten for dinner and easier to digest foods get eaten first in the meal.

The Raw Food Detox Diet is the most flexible of her books. She has a quiz that puts readers in one of five levels, one being a super clean raw foods regime and five being a total beginner.

Detox for Women is a variation on the above designed for women with yeast overgrowth. This plan is a lot more restrictive in that she recommends avoiding beans, grains, soy (hard to digest) and sweet fruits and natural sweeteners (feeds yeast) for 30 days.

For non-vegans, Rose recommends Alta Dena Raw Goat Cheese or raw sheep's milk cheese if that is not available. Since I wrote this article, Bexley Coop, Calumet Coop and Raisin Rack have started carrying it. Oddly enough Whole Foods only carries one gourmet brand at about $20 a pount. You can also check out for a local heirloom dairy that makes this type of cheese. Rose also nixes meat that is factory farmed in favor of organic and seafood so again, you may have to hit Whole Foods or LocalHarvest in search of alternatives to your local grocery store fare.

I did find food bill climbing on Rose's program. Juicing uses a lot of organic produce and the plan is also big on salads. Beans and grains would be a cheap way to balance this out but she doesn't recommend them due to digestibility issues. Exceptions would be: millet, buckwheat and quinoa and sprouted grain bread.

Rose's clientele are Manhattan's Upper East Siders; she's not writing from the perspective of someone who lives in a small town with only a WalMart to rely on. She lists some websites for various specialty foods she adores but financially strapped folks stuck in the boonies may not find that they share the same perspective on how easy it is to adopt the program.

On the other hand Rose is not into supplements and 'superfoods' so someone following her plan wouldn't have to fork over a lot of cash for that kind of stuff, which believe me can be super pricey.

How do I personally feel after following Rose's guidelines (albeit loosely)? I really have to say that I'm feeling better. The feeling of being lighter and more energized is a lot stronger than when I was eating a bunch of food and not food combining. I've come to use her 'green lemonade' as a staple of my diet. On the other hand, I found myself getting too hung up on rules about what combines with what. So I have to say she's onto something and her program is worth trying but it's not worth becoming fanatical about.

--------------LOCAL Resources-------------
Whole Foods - Organic baby salad greens are $6 a pound (although you can get them at Walmart and Krogrer too). They also sell the Nu Naturals Stevia Rose recommends (esp in Detox for Women). Whole Foods also has a good source of greens in the Winter (although farmer's markets are vastly preferable when open - see sidebar links for various options).

Trader Joes - has great prices on bags of lemons and avocados + various salad fixings. They also have some raw sheep milk cheese at decent prices. See sidebar for links to area stores.

Bexley Coop, Calumet Food Coop and Raisin Rack - now stock raw goat milk cheese.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Factory Farmed Meat: E Coli Burgers and Chicken Poo

As if yesterday's post wasn't enough now I'm reading confirmation that livestock cows are fed chicken poo. Worse yet, the USDA is allowing E-Coli Tainted Meat to be cooked and resold in the form of pre-cooked meat products. Can anyone say eeeewww?!

ABC News Story
Imagine a ton of freshly ground beef. The company in charge of processing this meat finds out during a routine test that it is contaminated with E. coli. They record the test results, which are read by a government inspector, who acknowledges that the meat is indeed tainted.

Tainted ground beef has killed at least one and sickened more than two dozen. You might think that this beef would be headed straight for the garbage bin. But in many cases, this meat is instead cooked, prepared and packaged as a pre-cooked hamburger patty that you pick up from the grocery store. And it's all completely legal.
Below is more confirmation that feeding animal poo to livestock is a widely accepted practice. Why? Because it's cheaper than the food God designed them to eat and the meat industry is completely in denial about what livestock eat and how it affects your body. All the care about is cheap meat and bigger profit margins.

LA Times Article
'Farmers feed 1 million to 2 million tons of poultry litter to their cattle annually, according to FDA.
estimates...Using the litter -- which includes feces, spilled chicken feed, feathers and poultry farm detritus -- increases the risk of cows becoming infected with bovine spongiform encephalopathy, or mad cow disease, said Michael Hansen, a senior scientist at Consumers Union.

That's because the spilled chicken feed and the feces contain tissue from ruminants -- cows and sheep, among other mammals. The disease is transmitted through feeding ruminant remains to cattle.

"It takes a very small quantity of ruminant protein, even just 1 milligram, to cause an infection," said Steve Roach, public health program director with Food Animal Concerns Trust, a Chicago-based animal welfare group that is part of the coalition.

The beef industry claims that this is not an issue? What?????? So they can save money by feeding cows chicken poop contaminated with God knows what?

More Links:

Feces Farming Resource Guide
Though the practice of recycling animal waste can be documented back to the mid 1900's in the United States, its use has escalated dramatically since the turn of this century....some countries like the United States have regulations which define “organic” livestock as animals which cannot be fed feces.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Factory Farmed Meat: You are what {they} eat

I'm listening to Kevin Gianni of Renegade Health interview vegetarian activist and former cattle rancher Howard Lyman on the perils of factory farmed meat.

Next time you are tempted to chow on fast food or buy some cheapo meat at the supermarket, consider what these animals are FED. It's really eye opening and totally disgusting.

Imagine that humans are fed a low cost 'protein powder'. Justification for the powder is that it's cheap and can feed the planet. Now imagine discovering that this powder contains the remains of diseased hospital patients, recycled plastic, hormones, drugs and fecal material from the city sewer system. Makers of the powder claim that it doesn't really matter where the protein came from and that they are doing the world a favor by inventing something that could feed the planet cheaply. They have a powerful lobby in place to keep that protein powder as part of the nation's food supply. People keep buying the protein powder because the company just lists 'protein byproducts' on the label and they can't believe the government would sell them anything that wasn't safe.

You would be disgusted, outraged and violated. Yet, this kind of stuff is routinely fed to the factory farmed livestock who end up on your dinner table.

Note: if you read the article and are as disgusted as I am please know that there are safer alternatives if you still want to eat some meat and cheese. Chemfree/organic grassfed products are the safest bet and support small local farmers. In Ohio you can find great products like Heini's Cheese, Hartzler Dairy, Snowville Creamery and other small, local operations. Many of these can be found in health or gourmet oriented stores and at local farmers markets.

Material below quoted or paraphrased from a Union of Concerned Scientists Article

Same Species Meat
Although cows technically can't be fed cows due to mad cow disease it still creeps in. It's perfectly legal to feed dead animals to livestock, (whom God created to be herbivores).

Diseased Animals
Including roadkill, dead deer and your euthanized pets left at medical clinics, and 'downer' animals too sick to stand on their own. Yep, even if Fido had cancer and was pumped full of meds, his body can legally be dumped right back into the nation's food supply.

Feathers, Hair, Skin, Hooves, and Blood
"Rendered feathers, hair, skin, hooves, blood, and intestines can also be found in feed, often under catch-all categories like 'animal protein products.'" Blood is a major carrier of disease. Even back in the Old Testament, Jewish law required the blood to be drained from the flesh of any ritually slaughtered animal. Guess they had more sense back then.

Manure and Other Animal Waste
"Feed for any food animal can contain cattle manure, swine waste, and poultry litter. This waste may contain drugs such as antibiotics and hormones that have passed unchanged through the animals' bodies.

The poultry litter that is fed to cattle contains rendered cattle parts in the form of digested poultry feed and spilled poultry feed. This is another loophole that may allow mad cow agents to infect healthy cattle."

"Many animals need roughage to move food through their digestive systems. But instead of using plant-based roughage, animal factories often turn to pellets made from plastics to compensate for the lack of natural fiber in the factory feed." My comment: this is like cheaping out and feeding your Grandmother plastic pellets instead of Metamucil.

Drugs and Chemicals
"...Animals at animal factories often receive antibiotics to promote faster growth and to compensate for crowded, stressful, and unsanitary living conditions. An estimated 13.5 million pounds of antibiotics—the same classes of antibiotics used in human medicine—are routinely added to animal feed or water. This routine, nontherapeutic use of antibiotics speeds the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which can infect humans as well as animals. Antibiotic resistance is a pressing public health problem that costs the U.S. economy billions of dollars each year.

Some of the antimicrobials used to control parasites and promote growth in poultry contain arsenic, a known human carcinogen. Arsenic can be found in meat or can contaminate human water supplies through runoff from factory farms."

Unhealthy Amounts of Grains
"While grain may sound like a healthful food, the excessive quantities fed to some animals are not. This is especially true for cattle, which are natural grass eaters. Their digestive systems are not designed to handle the large amounts of corn they receive at feedlots. As a result of this corn-rich diet, feedlot cattle can suffer significant health problems, including excessively acidic digestive systems and liver abscesses. Grain-induced health problems, in turn, ramp up the need for drugs."

Eat Wild: Organic Grassfed Meat (essay on byproducts fed to factory farmed livestock
This is a great site because it allows you to find local sources of organic grassfed meat. Cows and sheep were designed to be herbivores so organic grass fed livestock is as close to nature as you can get. Because the animals are out grazing in the pasture they are also able to enjoy their natural God given environment.

Technical Article on animal byproducts and other nasties in feed

American Grassfed Association