Tuesday, July 07, 2009 by: Sherry Baker, Health Sciences Editor
(NaturalNews) According to a new study by scientists at Rhode Island Hospital, millions of Americans could be at risk of serious and even fatal diseases because of chemicals used to fertilizer and to preserve food. Scientists have found a strong link between increasing levels of nitrates and nitrites in our food supply and increasing death rates from Alzheimer’s, diabetes mellitus and Parkinson’s disease.
The research, just published in theJournal of Alzheimer’s Disease, investigated trends in death rates due to diseases associated with advancing age. They found convincing parallels between age adjusted rises in mortality from certain illnesses — Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and diabetes — and the steadily increasing human exposure to nitrates, nitrites and nitrosamines through processed and preserved foods as well as fertilizers.
Suzanne de la Monte, MD, MPH, of Rhode Island Hospital, and her research team suggest that the exposure to these chemicals is playing a direct role in the cause, development and effects of the pandemic of these diseases. “Because of the similar trending in nearly all age groups within each disease category, this indicates that these overall trends are not due to an aging population. This relatively short time interval for such dramatic increases in death rates associated with these diseases is more consistent with exposure-related causes rather than genetic changes,” Dr. de la Monte explained in a statement to the media. “Moreover, the strikingly higher and climbing mortality rates in older age brackets suggest that aging and/or longer durations of exposure have greater impacts on progression and severity of these diseases.”
Nitrites and nitrates belong to a class of chemicals called nitrosamines that are created by a chemical reaction between nitrites or other proteins. They’ve long been shown to be harmful to both humans and animals. In fact, more than 90 percent of nitrosamines have been shown in tests to be carcinogens. However, they are allowed to be freely added to the US food supply. In fact, if you pick up a processed food package such as luncheon meat or bacon, certain beers and some cheese products, you are likely to find that they contain these chemicals. In addition, exposure to nitrates and nitrites are widely found in fertilizers, pesticides and cosmetics. Exposure also occurs through the manufacturing and processing of rubber and latex products.
Nitrosamines are problematic because they become reactive at the cellular level and that means they can alter gene expression and cause DNA damage. The new research suggests that the cellular alterations that occur as a result of nitrosamine exposure create a process much like accelerated aging in the body and that could spur on the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Type 2 diabetes mellitus.
“All of these diseases are associated with increased insulin resistance and DNA damage. Their prevalence rates have all increased radically over the past several decades and show no sign of plateau. Because there has been a relatively short time interval associated with the dramatic shift in disease incidence and prevalence rates, we believe this is due to exposure-related rather than genetic etiologies,” Dr. de la Monte stated.
For the study, the researchers graphed and analyzed mortality rates and compared them with increasing age for each disease. Next the scientists looked at the growth of the US population and the annual use and consumption of nitrite-containing fertilizers, annual sales at popular fast food chains (which carry nitrate and nitrate containing foods), sales for a major meat processing company, and consumption of grain (often fertilized with nitrates). For a control, the research team also looked at statistics on the consumption of watermelon and cantaloupe — foods that not typically associated with nitrate or nitrite exposure.
The results show that while nitrogen-containing fertilizer consumption increased by 230 percent between 1955 and 2005, its usage doubled between 1960 and 1980 — and that’s the time period just before the insulin-resistant epidemics of type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease began. What’s more, the investigators also found fast food chain and the meat processing company sales increased more than eight fold from 1970 to 2005, and grain consumption increased five-fold. That means the US population has been exposed to dramatic increase in foods loaded with nitrates and nitrites.
Bottom line: the researchers think the increased prevalence rates of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and diabetes cannot be explained on the basis of gene mutations and, instead, are examples of toxin exposure-related disease.“If this hypothesis is correct, potential solutions include eliminating the use of nitrites and nitrates in food processing, preservation and agriculture; taking steps to prevent the formation of nitrosamines and employing safe and effective measures to detoxify food and water before human consumption,” Dr. de la Monte, who is a professor of pathology and lab medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, said in a press statement.
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About the author
Sherry Baker is a widely published writer whose work has appeared in Newsweek, Health, the Atlanta Journal and Constitution, Yoga Journal, Optometry, Atlanta, Arthritis Today, Natural Healing Newsletter, OMNI, UCLA’s “Healthy Years” newsletter, Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s “Focus on Health Aging” newsletter, the Cleveland Clinic’s “Men’s Health Advisor” newsletter and many others.
Saturday, April 04, 2009 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Bottled water across the country contains a wide variety of toxic substances, according to laboratory tests conducted by the Environmental Working Group (EWG).
“Our tests strongly indicate that the purity of bottled water cannot be trusted,” the study authors write. “Given the industry’s refusal to make available data to support their claims of superiority, consumer confidence in the purity of bottled water is simply not justified.”
Researchers conducted comprehensive tests at the renowned University of Iowa Hygienic Laboratory on 10 leading bottled water brands, purchased from retailers in nine states and the District of Columbia (D.C.). A total of 38 toxic pollutants were detected altogether, with each brand containing an average of eight. Chemicals detected included fluoride, byproducts of chlorine-based disinfection, caffeine, pharmaceutical drugs, fertilizer residue, plasticizers, solvents, fuel propellants, arsenic, other minerals and heavy metals, and radioactive isotopes. Four brands also contained bacteria.
More than a third of the chemicals detected are not regulated by the bottled water industry. Voluntary industry standards regulate the following two-thirds, but water purchased in five states and in D.C. contained levels of some carcinogens in excess of even the industry’s standards.
“In other words, this bottled water was chemically indistinguishable from tap water,” the authors write. “But with promotional campaigns saturated with images of mountain springs, and prices 1,900 times the price of tap water, consumers are clearly led to believe that they are buying a product that has been purified to a level beyond the water that comes out of the garden hose.”
Further analysis at the University of Missouri found that when applied to breast cancer cells, one brand of water led to a 78 percent increase in proliferation rate compared with untreated cells. The addition of estrogen-blocking chemicals noticeably reduced this effect.
“Though this result is considered a modest effect relative to the potency of some other industrial chemicals … the sheer volume of bottled water people consume elevates the health significance of the finding,” the researchers write.
The researchers were unable to determine if estrogen-mimics in the water came from the water itself or had leached out of the plastic bottle.
In accordance with standard scientific practice, the report does not name the brands tested. Exceptions were made for the brands Sam’s Choice (Wal-Mart) and Acadia (Giant), however, which contained toxin levels high enough to violate California law.
Samples of both brands tested positive for trihalomethanes, which have been linked to reproductive disorders and cancer. The chemicals form when water disinfectants react with pollution. The water also contained bromodichloromethane, a carcinogen regulated under California law. In response, EWG is preparing a lawsuit against Wal-Mart to require that Sam’s Choice water contain the legally required notice: “WARNING: This product contains a chemical known to the State of California to cause cancer.”
Acadia-brand water is not sold in California.
Bottled water purchased from these brands also exceeded the bottled water industry’s voluntary standards.
“The bottled water industry boasts that its internal regulations are stricter than the FDA bottled water regulations,” the researchers write, “but voluntary standards that companies are failing to meet are of little use.”
EWG notes that while municipal water companies are required to test tap water yearly and disclose the results, there is no comparable requirement for the bottled water industry. Bottled water companies do not have to test their water or reveal the results when they do; they are not even required to tell consumers where the water came from or how it has been treated. A separate EWG survey of 228 bottled water brands found that less than half revealed their water’s source or treatment history in their promotional materials.
Other problems with bottled water, EWG says, include its high price (an average of $3.79 per gallon, compared with $0.002 for tap water) and its environmental impacts. In the United States, the manufacture of plastic bottles requires 15 billion barrels of oil per year, the report notes, and only one-fifth of bottles used are even recycled. Many bottled waters are extracted from natural sources such as streams and aquifers, placing an increased strain on those communal resources.
The report recommends that information about the source of all bottled water and any treatment techniques used on it be made available to the public, along with the results of any tests for contamination.
“Currently there is a double standard: Where tap water suppliers provide information to consumers on contaminants, filtration techniques, and source water; bottled water companies do not,” the report says. “This double standard must be eliminated immediately; bottled water should conform to the same right-to-know standards as tap water.”
Noting that bottled water consumption has doubled in the last decade, the authors recommend that consumers worried about toxins instead use home filtration systems, which cost only about $0.31 per gallon, or even $0.25 per day for a whole-house filter. Whole-house filters also remove contaminants from non-drinking water sources such as showers, preventing toxins from volatizing into the air.
Finally, the authors call for immediate action to protect surface and groundwater sources nationwide.
“Some Americans turn to bottled water in part because they distrust the quality of their tap water,” the report says. “And sometimes this is for good reason. Some drinking water (tap and bottled) is grossly polluted at its source — in rivers, streams, and underground aquifers fouled by decades of wastes that generations of political and business leaders have dismissed, ignored, and left for others to solve.”
Sources for this story include:www.ewg.org.
Thursday, February 19, 2009 by: Jim Dee
(NaturalNews)This is part one of a three-part interview with Myra Goodman, co-founder, along with her husband Drew, of Earthbound Farm, which is perhaps the most well-known name in organic produce in America. With this article, we kick off an exciting, ongoing“Know the Growers”series, in which we will be interviewing organic farmers around the world.
JIM:Today I’m here with Myra Goodman, who is a co-founder, along with her husband Drew, of Earthbound Farm, which is perhaps the most well-known name in organic produce in America. Earthbound’s certified organic produce – more than 100 product varieties – is available in more than 75% of supermarkets nationwide. That’s an incredible achievement, Myra, especially considering that you guys started with a couple of acres of berries in California in the 1980s. So, for those who don’t know, can you give us a brief history of how a farm makes the transition from providing berries and greens to some local restaurants all the way up to providing organic food to 75% of the supermarkets in the whole country?
MYRA:I think the interesting thing about Earthbound Farm’s history is that Drew and I started on a little two-acre raspberry farm in the 80s, when baby vegetables and baby lettuce were just getting popular, kind of when Northern California was influencing culinary trends with Chez Panisse and a few select restaurants. And, because we had such a little farm, we looked for things that we could harvest quickly and plant a lot of. That’s how we landed on the little baby greens. And our company’s history is really locked into the fact that we were the first people to put prewashed salads in a bag. We were growing these baby greens for local restaurants – just little heads and little bunches of arugula and mizuna and other exotic greens. And for our personal use, we were cutting batches and washing and drying them and putting them in ziplock bags so they were ready for us to use at the end of a long day of work on the farm. We always thought they’d be a great product, and so we started marketing that product in 1986 when all you really saw in the supermarkets were iceberg lettuce and a little red leaf, green leaf, and romaine.
The real reason we started getting so much distribution early on was because we had a product that was gourmet – these baby greens. The only way to make that kind of mix available to consumers was to have them premixed in a bag. Then there was the convenience of them being prewashed, and they reall/y just happened to be organic. People weren’t really buying them because they were organic. And so that’s really how our company grew so quickly before there was that much knowledge about organics or interest in organics.
JIM:And now salad bags are ubiquitous!
MYRA:Yeah, and it’s one of those things that’s such an ingrained part of everyday life. My kids find it hard to imagine life without it. I tell them when I was in college, I had to type on a typewriter and use whiteout. They can’t believe there wasn’t a computer; there was no spell-check; there were no cell phones; there was no Internet; there was no packaged salad – you had to wash your lettuce. And those baby greens… people had never really seen them. They were really just served in a few high-end, white-tablecloth restaurants. And so we were really pioneers, not just in organics, but also in specialty salads and packaged salads. Because we were such a small operation, we were able to put those baby greens in a bag and have shelf life without the really sophisticated gas-flush technology that you need for chopped iceberg lettuce, which will brown quickly at the cut edge..
JIM:Did you say “gas flush”?
MYRA:Yes, gas flush. Which is really a nitrogen flush. When you are packaging chopped mature iceberg or chopped mature romaine, the cut edges get brown when they’re exposed to oxygen (oxidation). You’ll see that if you chop iceberg or romaine at home too far in advance of serving your salad. So there are these machines that suck the oxygen out of the bag and replace it with nitrogen, which prevents the browning. Since the baby greens were whole leaves and only had the little teeny cut on the bottom, we didn’t need the nitrogen flush and we were able to do bagged salads before all that technology was ever developed.
MYRA:So, that was more sophisticated technology that didn’t even exist back when we started.
JIM:So, it was pure demand that drove the growth of your company? Everyone just fell in love with these bags of salads and…
MYRA:Yes, it was demand for something specialty and something convenient. It just happened to be organic. I think a very small percentage of people were buying our products because they were organic. So, what was interesting for us was that, at first, it was a very gourmet, kind of fringe product. It was like truffle oil or something really high-end. And, as these salads got more popular over time and you started seeing them more and more in restaurants, people started seeking them out because they’re so pretty and so nutritious and they’re so delicious. Then there started to be a lot of competition in the salad world; people who were doing the iceberg salads and romaine salads started doing the baby greens salads. But by then, there was so much demand growing for organic products that organic really became our competitive advantage, and we could survive with all these larger producers distributing baby greens. So, as these supermarkets started bringing in the Fresh Express and the Dole and kind of the big conventional salad guys, they kept us in because we were organic and they were seeing that there was a demand for organic.
MYRA:It was the fact that we started with those baby greens that enabled us to grow to be big enough and develop strong enough distribution so that, when interest in organic really started to flourish, we were positioned to fill the demand for that in a way that worked for national supermarket chains.
JIM:It seems like the growth curve is still on its way up, isn’t it?
MYRA:It is. The growth has slowed, I think, a lot because the category is maturing. So while the dollar amount of growth every year is still significant, when you look at it based on a percentage of the total it’s smaller. The growth curve isn’t as steep. But, we’re still seeing really healthy growth in organic salads and we’re not seeing growth in conventional salads. So, organic is definitely making headway.
JIM:I really do want to focus in on the organic side of things. So, let me ask you about the word organic. First, what does it mean to you and your husband and, by extension, to Earthbound the term “organic.” If you imagine that there are at least a few definitions, kind of the “letter of the law” versus the “spirit of the law.” So, what’s the legal meaning of “organic” to you, and then what does Earthbound do, if anything, to take that further: for example, with additional commitments to principles that organic consumers hold dear to their hearts?
MYRA:I don’t see that there are many definitions of organic. I’m comfortable with the USDA definition of organic. Organic is a farming system. There are agricultural principles and agricultural laws involved in what makes something organic. And it’s all about relying on natural systems and natural inputs to keep your soil healthy in order to keep your plants healthy. I think that when you start having conversations like “If something is shipped across the country, is it really organic?”; I don’t believe that that question is appropriate. If something is grown organically, it is organic, regardless of how it’s distributed. Now, is it as environmentally friendly a product if it was shipped across the country? Well it might not be as environmentally friendly because there was all that fuel involved and that transportation. But that doesn’t make it less organic. The amount of miles it traveled does not impact the fact that it is organic.
JIM:What’s the certification like at an organization as large as Earthbound Farm with all of these different farms? How does that work?
MYRA:The process of certification is fairly standard. It is a process that verifies that you are really farming according to the letter of the law. A lot of it is verifying your recordkeeping – ensuring that you have documented all of your inputs, that you can trace your inputs back to the supplier. It’s important that there is accountability and that you can really verify that something you’re selling as organic was truly produced organically. The auditors come and they also do a physical inspection. They look around and see if what you’re doing is consistent with your documentation. But, in our company, we have a Quality, Food Safety, and Organic Integrity department constantly in the field working with all of our growers, looking at the documentation and looking in the fields and making sure that there are no issues in terms of quality, food safety, or organic integrity. So, we don’t just wait for the once-a-year inspection of our certifying agency. It’s ongoing vigilance and [a] program of monitoring our growers as well, and giving them assistance, helping them problem solve.
JIM:What kinds of problems happen? Is it mostly procedural things that you have to stay on top of? I think of that department almost like an internal audit organization within a finance company that sort of does the audit before the outside auditors come in… What kinds of things do your internal people do? Do they get out in the soil and do testing and that sort of thing?
MYRA:We do a lot of testing ourselves, and then we demand third-party verification testing. With that whole fertilizer scam [(that story that theSacramento Beedid *) about a fertilizer company that was adding some artificial nitrogen and all these growers, including ourselves, were buying it and we didn't know about it)], we stay on top of those issues and try to get ahead of them. Since that came up, we are demanding that all of our growers who use any liquid fertilizers get third-party testing of their fertilizers, so we’ll catch any suspect fertilizer in the future. But I don’t think this is a widespread problem; I really don’t think there is a lot of cheating going on in organic. I think organic growers are incredibly committed. And they know that the organic consumers are the ones that are the most educated and are most concerned with how their food is produced, and that there is absolutely no room for any of that. But, an incident like this makes us feel we need that extra level of vigilance.
[*Note:See "Organic farms unknowingly used a synthetic fertilizer" by Jim Downing of the Sacramento Bee. Browse to:http://www.sacbee.com/capitolandcal....]
JIM:Here’s an easy organic farming newbie question for you, but maybe you can tailor it to Earthbound’s situation… For things like pest control, there are a number of well-known options available to the organic farmer – from spraying nontoxic sprays to bringing in good bugs to eat all of the bad bugs. What kinds of things do you do on that front?
MYRA:There are a few things that are important to know when you talk about Earthbound as one of the larger farms. First, we have 150 different growers farming for us, and our farms are anywhere from five acres to 680 acres. It’s not one contiguous big farm. This is our 25th anniversary and we’ve been farming organically a long time – different farms and different crops. One thing that we have really learned is that these organic farming principles are scale neutral; you need to do the same things on your five-acre farm as you need to do on your 680-acre farm or it won’t be successful. The people who try and cut corners and allocate, for example, smaller beneficial habitats for their beneficial insects, find it doesn’t work. There’s too much pest damage. We’ve learned that you must follow these principles that organic farmers use.
Let’s take pest control, for example. One of the best practices that all organic farmers follow, no matter what size, is crop rotation. That helps us both with pest avoidance and diseases because, if you’re planting the same crop in the same place over and over, you’re not only depleting the same nutrients and letting diseases build up, but you’re letting all of those pests know that – hey, I can count on there being a corn crop here; I can count on there being a tomato crop here. And those pests are going to build up. So, crop rotation is very important. That’s one of the first things we do. The other thing, which you already mentioned, is the beneficial insects. But, you know, you can’t just have a field of romaine, and then release some lady bugs and take care of your pests that way. They might eat some of the aphids and the aphid larvae right then, but then these lady bugs are all going to fly away.
So, one of the reasons why organic farming is more expensive is we devote some of our valuable land to plant what we call host crops, which are crops that serve two purposes. One is that they provide a home for all the beneficial insects so they’ll hang out there, and it also provides the pest insects with an alternative food source. So, there might be some different plants in there that they might be happy to eat instead of eating your crop. We have these beneficial habitats going on in our fields and then there are also some things that we can spray. But there’s nothing that we can spray that’s anywhere near as effective as those harsh chemical insecticides that conventional farmers have. So, really, we practice avoidance as much as we can.
About the author
Active members of the raw and living foods community, Wendi and Jim Dee founded Pure Jeevan in 2006 to help raise awareness of this optimally nutritious and health-giving lifestyle. Since launching Pure Jeevan (see http://www.PureJeevan.com), they have organized retreats, given public presentations, hosted raw food meetups, and maintained an extensive online presence through their blog (http://www.PureJeeevan.com/blog), their directory (http://www.AllRawDirectory.com) and through considerable community involvement both online and in person.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008 by: Mike Donkers
(NaturalNews) After the turn of the previous century there was a lot of experimentation with mono cultures. By that is meant growing only one field crop, e.g. corn or wheat. This is a principle that goes against nature, which works with ecosystems based on synergy and complex wholes, whereby plants work together and support one another. Some plants root deeper than others, allowing them to uptake minerals from underneath the topsoil. When these plants die, their rich mineral content in turn fertilizes the soil. This is how nature creates her own cycle. On natural grasslands you will always find clover and herb species. Clover gets its minerals from deep inside the ground and the herbs fulfill a healing role in the ecosystem.
Mono cultures meant the end of the use of natural ecosystems in agriculture. In order to achieve higher yields faster, nitrogen-based fertilizer was developed. Encouraged by the success of nitrogen bombs in the First World War, scientists were led to develop nitrogen-based fertilizer for agricultural purposes. The funding came from petrochemical companies whose goal it was to make the national and international economy entirely dependent on gas and other fossil fuels. It is not surprising, therefore, that these powerful companies enjoy warm ties with the arms industry. Oil is a major waster of fossil fuels and many wars have been fought over oil. The Iraq war comes to mind as a recent example.
Seen in this light, chemical weaponry as the inspiration for modern agriculture doesn’t seem such a strange concept. The scientists were told to figure out the minimum amount of elements to achieve plant growth. The idea was to maximize profits with minimal means. The NPK method was the result. The letters N, P, and K stand for three elements: nitrogen (N), phosporus (P), and potassium (K). Using only these three elements, it was not only possible to grow crops but also to do it at a very fast pace.
Through a clever propaganda campaign, a dependency was created on these synthetically produced fossil-fuel based variations, to which the chemical companies held the patent. Mono cultures and artificial fertilizer were hailed as the solution for the world food problem. No longer would anyone have to be hungry because we were now able to grow food on a massive scale. Who wouldn’t want that? These days, however, we are seeing food and oil prices rising, and food and oil getting scarce. The world hunger problem has never been resolved, while the petrochemical companies have only gotten richer and more powerful.
Most readers here are aware that our soils have become depleted and acidified. How this came to be is not known to everyone, however. Let’s continue with our history lesson. Though the NPK method was capable of producing large-scale mono cultures, the health of these crops left a lot to be desired. It appeared fast growth was not healthy growth, as these crops were attacked by mother nature’s cleanup crew: insects, fungi, ‘weeds’, viruses, and other pathogens, among which cancer. Mother nature simply does not allow large concentrations of weak organisms to survive.
The scientists looked again to the weapons industry to find something with which to battle these ‘pests’ and other unwanted garbage men of mother nature. These became the infamous pesticides, fungicides, herbicides, and other ‘cides’. Their origin? Nerve gas. Originally they were nothing but diluted nerve gas (by now it may not surprise you to find out that the basis of chemo therapy is actually mustard gas).
By selling farmers artificial fertilizer to grow their crops and pesticides to fight off unwanted intruders, a disastrous cycle was created, which can only be described with yet another ‘cide’: nutricide, the killing of nutrients. Crops grown in this manner are mere holograms: from the outside they may look like food, but in reality these weakened, pumped-up crops lack nutritional content.
The one-sidedness of mono cultures and artificial fertilizer as well as the destructive nature of pesticides have brought about a serious depletion of our soils’ mineral content. By replacing mother nature’s rich menu of minerals with only three synthetic elements and by ‘treating’ crops with highly toxic pesticides at various growth stages, soils have been poisoned and exhausted. Humans and animals eating these crops will experience the same poisoning and exhaustion.
It’s not as if we couldn’t have known. In the 1930s, Congress had an official investigation done into NPK-based agricultural practices. The report, which came out in 1936, had alarming conclusions and has become known as Senate Document 264. It warned about a health crisis of unprecedented proportions if these practices were to continue. The highly powerful chemical industry managed to successfully lobby lawmakers, however, and through bribes got a majority of senators on their side. Document 264 was subsequently disregarded.
NPK farming and the pharmaceutical industry was then allowed to thrive. So was the incidence of cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other modern welfare diseases which followed as a result. Thus a system was created in which people were first made sick with non-nutritional, toxic foods, after which the same companies presented the ‘solution’ with medicines manufactured by their pharmaceutical branches. Chemical ‘treatment’ from the cradle to the grave. Why have we allowed to let it come this far in 100 years’ time? We are now living the health crisis Senate Document 264 warned us about.
Since the 1970s these same chemical giants have been genetically engineering crops in order to gain patents on ‘new’ seeds whose genetic structure has been altered. Monsanto, which gave us Agent Orange and DDT, is leading this dangerous game. For years, they have been buying up seed stocks in order to genetically modify and patent them. There is no patent on nature, but nature reworked can, in fact, be patented. There is nothing natural about GMOs as only through pathogens such as viruses and cancer cells are they able to penetrate cells to alter their gene structure.
Monsanto is taking this idea even further. Monsanto’s seeds are ‘Roundup ready’, i.e. they are resistant to their feared Roundup pesticide. You read it right, the seeds have been manipulated in such a way that crops cannot grow without being sprayed with Roundup, making the pesticide the fertilizer! Monsanto also has the technology to insert a so-called ‘suicide gene’ into their seeds, so that farmers can get only one harvest out of them, forcing farmers to buy new seeds each year. One cannot imagine a greater dependence on an industry which not only aims to control our energy reserves, but our food reserves as well.
The solution lies in the solution. For this, we need to turn to the sea. Maynard Murray was an ear, nose and throat doctor who worried about the worsening health of the average American, particularly cancer, which was a new but growing phenomenon at the time. He came up with the unusual idea of applying diluted sea water to the soil. His reasoning was as follows: in an unpolluted sea environment there is no disease, and plant and animal life gets to live at least twice as long as on land; there is no place richer in minerals than the sea, it’s the ‘soup of life’. There are 92 minerals and trace elements in sea water and 84 in sea salt, the supply is endless and there’s no patent. I suppose by now you know why this is not practiced on a large scale.
Murray achieved spectacular results and tests showed his crops contained considerably more vitamins and minerals. He wrote a book about it in 1976, entitled Sea Energy Agriculture. Don Jansen, a student of Maynard Murray’s, cured his Dad’s cancer with ocean-grown wheatgrass. Wheatgrass contains a spectacular 70% of chlorophyll. Chlorophyll has a magnesium base and is 98% identical to hemoglobin, the protein responsible for building red blood cells and oxygen transport through the blood. Interestingly enough, sea water is also 98% identical to blood.
By growing wheatgrass using sea minerals and drinking the juice, you are offering two plasmas to the blood in liquid form. Sea minerals and chlorophyll are also alkalizing. In order to keep the doctor away it is essential that we mineralize and alkalize ourselves on a daily basis. Minerals and chlorophyll are the building blocks of life and contain life-giving solar and water energy, as well as RNA and DNA information. 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by sea water and the 30% land mass we live on is predominantly covered by green plants, most notably grass. Nature offers it to us on a platter, but what’s right in front of you is usually the first thing you overlook.
What’s good for the soil is good for us, is good for plants, is good for animals. We are all one and share more genetic information than we think. Humans possess more fungal genes than human genes. No wonder the polysaccharides in such medicinal mushrooms as reishi, shiitake, maitake, and kawaratake ward off cancer in humans! It is therefore essential that we are good to nature and work together with her. We have taken the culture out of agriculture. If we’re not good to our soils, we’re also not good to our own ‘soils’, our liver and intestines. There’s a direct parallel with nature. Chemicals don’t heal, only nature does.
About the author
Mike Donkers is an English teacher from the Netherlands who started taking care of his own health in October 2006 because doctors couldn’t help him. His interest in the connection between food and health has led to more in-depth research, particularly in the role sea minerals can have in the regeneration of cells. He is also a self-taught guitarist and singer. He is the songwriter and frontman of his own band, The Mellotones (www.nubluz.com).
Friday, October 24, 2008 by: Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D.
(NaturalNews) You’ve seen the labels before. You’ve heard the buzz in your grocery store aisles. Organic! Grass fed! But what is that anyway? And does it really matter if you buy organic or grass fed products?
Let’s start with what makes something “organic”. Organic refers to the agricultural process used to produce food and fiber. All kinds of agriculture products are produced organically, including produce, grains, meat, dairy, eggs, fibers, flowers and processed food products. Organic food is produced without using most conventional pesticides, petroleum- or sewage-sludge based fertilizers, bioengineering or ionizing radiation. Organic meat, poultry, eggs and dairy products come from animals that are given no antibiotics or growth hormones. Before a product can be labeled “organic”, an inspector visits the farm where the food is produced to make sure that the farm meets the USDA’s strict standards.
But why choose organic over the standard fair found in your average grocery stores? Let’s look at how organic farming differs from conventional farming in the methods used to grow crops.
* Where traditional farmers apply chemical fertilizers to the soil to grow their crops, organic farmers feed and build soil with natural fertilizer.
* Traditional farmers use insecticides to get rid of insects and disease, while organic farmers use natural methods such as insect predators and barriers for this purpose.
* Traditional farmers control weed growth by applying synthetic herbicides, but organic farmers use crop rotation, tillage, hand weeding, cover crops and mulches to control weeds.
The result is that conventionally grown food is often tainted with chemical residues, which can be harmful to humans. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) considers 60% of herbicides, 90% of fungicides and 30% of insecticides to be carcinogenic. Human exposure to pesticides can lead to a host of other problems as well, including neurotoxicity, disruption of the endocrine system (hormones), immune suppression and could affect the male reproduction function or lead to miscarriages in women.
Additionally, conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce. On average, conventional produce hasonly83% of the nutrients of organic produce. Studies have revealed significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops. For easy access to organic nutrients, try perfectlyhealthy Mega Greens plus MSM. It includes certified organic greens to provide you the nutrients that you are missing in your food as well as helping you balance your pH Levels.
When it comes to meat and poultry, you may have heard the term “grass fed”, but what does that mean? No antibiotics, growth hormones, fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides are used when raising grass fed animals. Parasites are controlled primarily through preventative measures such as rotational grazing, balanced diet, sanitary housing, and stress reduction. The result? A nutritionally superior food source containing less fat, fewer calories, more beta carotene, a lower risk of e-coli and more Conjugated Linoleic Acids (CLAs), which block tumor growth, reduce obesity, reduce the risk of diabetes and stimulate the immune system.
The meat from grass fed animals is also 2 to 5 times higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids belong to a group of polyunsaturated fats called essential fatty acids because they are necessary to life and health, yet we cannot make them in the body — they must be obtained from the diet. Like all fats, omega-3s provide energy. Their caloric value is similar to other fats and oils, but unlike saturated fats, they have important health roles. These fatty acids are fundamental molecules in the structure and activity of the membranes of all cells throughout the body and hold highly specialized functions in neurological tissues, especially the brain and retina. Because of their role in cell membranes, omega-3s are essential for the formation of new tissue and are therefore important for development and growth. They also play a major role in the prevention and management of certain diseases and chronic conditions.
In these modern times that we are living in, we are faced with daily bombardment from toxins in our water, our air, the products that we use, and especially our food. By buying organic and grass fed products, you are taking charge of your health and making a conscious choice to care about your future and wellbeing. With all of the dangers that we are forced to confront, make your dinner table a safe haven for your family and loved ones. I have gathered a few of my favorite organic recipes and provided them for you to indulge in. Why not treat the special people in your life to a meal to live for, rather than a meal to die for?
Roasted Turkey- Serves 15 to 20 people
* Organic Cornbread Turkey Sausage Stuffing with Apples (recipe follows)
* 1 organic turkey, 18 to 22 pounds (Shelton)
* 2 large oranges, cut into halves
* ¼ pound (1 ½ sticks) organic sweet butter at room temperature
* salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* paprika, to taste
* 4 tablespoons olive oil
Wash the turkey well, inspecting for pinfeathers, and chop off the wing tips, reserving them for later use with giblets in gravy or stock. Dry the turkey inside and out with a kitchen towel. Squeeze the juice from the 2 oranges all over the outside of the bird and rub into the cavity to re-freshen. Salt and pepper the cavity to taste. Fill the turkey with the stuffing, not packing too tightly. Sew up the cavity or close with small trussing skewers. Rub the outside of the turkey all over with 1 stick of the softened butter and sprinkle generously with salt, pepper and paprika. Drape the turkey with cheesecloth. Place turkey, breast side up, on a rack in a roasting pan. Four to five hours before is scheduled, place the turkey in a preheated 325 degree oven. Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter with 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan. Lift the cheesecloth from the turkey and baste every 30 minutes, first with butter and oil mixture and later with the turkey’s own juices.*
Roast for 3½ to 4¼ hours or until the thigh juices run clear yellow when pricked with a skewer. There should be no traces of pinkness. The drumstick will move easily in the socket when the turkey is done. When the turkey is done, remove to a heated platter and cover with foil. The turkey should stand 30 minutes before carving. Remove stuffing into a bowl. If there is any additional from the recipe, bake it in a covered casserole in a 350 degree oven, covered with foil, for one half hour before serving.
* For a moist bird, frequent basting is essential, so don’t forget! Baste every 30 minutes—breast and legs should be a lovely golden color.
Organic Cornbread-Sausage Stuffing with Apples- Enough stuffing for a 20-pound turkey, to make 12 to 14 portions
* 12 tablespoons (1½ sticks) organic sweet butter
* 2½ cups finely chopped yellow onions
* 3 tart apples, cored and chunked; do not peel
* 1 pound lightly seasoned organic turkey sausage (a vegetarian breakfast sausage with sage is best)
* 3 cups coarsely crumbled organic cornbread (preferably homemade)
* 3 cups coarsely crumbled Eizeil bread
* 3 cups coarsely crumbled French bread
* 2 teaspoons dried thyme
* 1 teaspoon dried sage
* salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* ½ cup chopped Italian parsley
* 1½ cups shelled pecan halves
Melt half of the butter in a skillet. Add chopped onions and cook over medium heat, partially covered, until tender and lightly colored, about 25 minutes. Transfer onions and butter to a large mixing bowl. Melt remaining butter in the same skillet. Add apple chunks and cook over high heat until lightly colored but not mushy. Transfer apples and butter to the mixing bowl. Crumble the sausage into the skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring, until lightly browned. With a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to the mixing bowl. Add remaining ingredients to the ingredients in the mixing bowl and combine gently. Cool completely before stuffing the bird.
Arugula and Sweet Red Pepper Salad- Serves 6
* 2 packages of organic baby greens
* 2 bunches of arugula
* 1 pound fresh mushrooms
* 3 large sweet red peppers
* Balsamic Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
* 1 can organic heart of palms
Discard outer leaves of lettuce; separate and rinse the inner leaves and dry thoroughly. Remove arugula leaves from their stems, rinse, and dry thoroughly. Remove stems from the mushrooms and wipe each mushroom cap with a damp paper towel or cloth. Cut away the stems and ribs of the red peppers; discard the seeds. Slice peppers into fine julienne. Slice heart of palms into rows.
To assemble, tear the lettuce leaves into bite-size pieces and combine with the arugula. Divide among 6 chilled salad plates. Slice mushrooms and sprinkle evenly over greens. Arrange red pepper julienne and heart of palms over mushrooms. Drizzle each plate with Balsamic Vinaigrette and serve immediately.
Balsamic Vinaigrette- Makes about 1¼ cups
* 1 garlic clove, unpeeled
* 1 tablespoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
* 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar*
* salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 1 cup best-quality olive oil
Cut garlic clove into halves and rub the cut sides over the inner surface of a small bowl. Reserve the garlic. Whisk mustard and vinegar together in the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Dribble oil into the bowl in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly, until dressing is creamy and thickened and all the oil has been incorporated. Taste and correct seasoning. Add reserved pieces of garlic; cover the bowl and let the dressing stand at room temperature until you need it. Remove garlic and re-whisk the dressing if necessary before using.
Green Beans and Celery- Serves 6
* 1½ lb green beans, trimmed
* ¼ cup unsalted butter or ¼ cup olive oil
* 1 cup sliced yellow onion
* 4 large celery stalks, cut on the diagonal into strips ¼ inch wide
* 1 cup sliced toasted almonds, optional
* salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring a large saucepan three-fourths full of salted water to a boil. Add the green beans and boil until tender-crisp, 3-5 minutes. Drain, immerse in ice water to stop the cooking and drain again. Pat dry with paper towels and cut into 2-inch lengths. Set aside.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, melt the butter or warm the oil. Add the onion and sauté, stirring, until tender and translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add the celery, raise the heat slightly and stir and toss for 3-4 minutes. Add the green beans and almonds (if using) and heat to serving temperature. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to a warmed dish and serve immediately.
Baked Butternut Squash with Apples and Maple Syrup- Serves 12
* 2 ½ to 2 ¾ pounds butternut squash, peeled, quartered length-wise, seeded, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
* 2 pounds medium-size tart green apples, peeled, quartered, cored, cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices (about 6 cups)
* ½ cup dried currants
* ground nutmeg
* ½ cup pure maple syrup
* ¼ cup butter (½ stick), cut into pieces
* 1½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook squash in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Combine squash, apples, currants in 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dish. Season generously with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Combine maple syrup, butter and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan. Whisk over low heat until butter melts. Pour syrup over squash mixture and toss to coat evenly.
Bake until squash and apples are very tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes.
Cranberry-Tangerine Conserve- Serves 6
* Finely grated zest of 3-4 tangerines
* 2 cups fresh tangerine juice
* 1 cup Xylitol natural sweetener or raw Turbano sugar
* ½ teaspoon ground ginger
* ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 4 cups cranberries
In a sauce pan over high heat, combine the tangerine zest, 1 ½ cups of the tangerine juice, Xylitol or Turbano, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the Xylitol or Turbano sugar. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Add the cranberries and cook until the berries pop and the mixture starts to bubble, 5-7 minutes longer.
Stir in the remaining ½ cup tangerine juice and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the cranberries are tender and the juices are syrupy but not too thick, 10-15 minutes. The syrup will continue to thicken as the conserve cools.
Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and let cool. Serve at room temperature.
Pears in Raspberry Sauce- Serves 6
* 3 firm Bosc or Bartlett pears
* ¼ cup organic raspberry jam or jelly
* Juice of 1 orange (or ½ cup orange juice)
* Pinch ground cinnamon or nutmeg
* Pinch salt
* 2 tablespoons mirin or white wine (optional)
* Fresh raspberries, strawberries and fresh mint leaves, for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the pears in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Place the pears sliced side down in a baking dish. Combine jam or jelly, juice, cinnamon or nutmeg, salt, and mirin, wine, and pour over pears. Cover the dish with foil or a lid, and bake until the pears are soft when pierced with a fork, about 30 minutes. To serve, turn the pears over and spoon some raspberry sauce over them. Garnish with berries and mint.
For products that I developed and recommend visit (www.perfectlyhealthy.net) .
About the author
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. has specialized in Integrative Medicine for over twenty years, using conventional and natural methods to determine and discover the “root of the cause” in her clinic, Center for New Medicine in Irvine, California, each and every day. Many people come in to the clinic from all over the world with severe chronic illnesses that conventional medical protocols have been unsuccessful treating. She realized early on that she can truly change lives through education as well as treatment protocols.
Leigh Erin Connealy, M.D. and her medical staff strives to look at the whole person while exploring the effects and relationships among nutrition, psychological and social factors, environmental effects and personal attunement. Out of frustration of trying to find the right products to help her patients she formulated the perfectlyhealthy brand of products. All perfectlyhealthy products are clinically tested. For more information on recommended products, please visitwww.perfectlyhealthy.netorwww.perfectlyhealthy.com.
Monday, October 13, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The world is faced with a global fertilizer shortage, experts say, placing even more strain on food prices.
In the last few decades, an increasing reliance on industrial fertilizers has led to surging demands for the largely fossil-fuel-based products. Between 1996 and 2008 alone, fertilizer increased by 56 percent in less industrialized nations and 31 percent worldwide.
The bulk of this increased demand comes from rising meat consumption in the less industrialized world, as more people adopt a Western diet. Coupled with the recent push to devote more land to production of biofuels, the cultivation of more grain as animal feed has placed pressure on existing fertilizer production infrastructure, and a shortage has been anticipated since at least 2003.
Due to a limited supply being outstripped by demand, synthetic fertilizer prices have increased nearly threefold in the last year alone. Some Midwest dealers have experienced supply problems, leading them to restrict how much fertilizer each customer can purchase.
“If you want 10,000 tons, they’ll sell you 5,000 today, maybe 3,000,” said Iowa fertilizer dealer W. Scott Tinsman Jr. “The rubber band is stretched really far.”
Rising prices have placed an incredible financial strain on companies that subsidize their farmers’ fertilizer. In India, for example, the yearly fertilizer subsidy has increased from $4 billion in 2004-05 to an estimated $22 billion this year.
Fertilizer producers are building more than 50 new factories to eliminate the shortage, but analysts say that the supply problem will rear its head again in the long term. Because synthetic fertilizers are based heavily on fossil fuels, shortages in oil will eventually make themselves felt in the fertilizer industry. In addition, the negative ecological and health consequences of industrial fertilizer, such as creating massive “dead zones” in oceans around the world, will only worsen with increasing use.
A recent report by the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) recommended that people consume more local food and that farmers use more natural farming techniques, including non-industrial fertilizers.
Sources for this story include: biz.yahoo.com.
Saturday, August 02, 2008 by: Barbara L. Minton
(NaturalNews) The global food crisis won’t go away any time soon. Capitalism has the average consumer by the belly. Amid growing signs of famine and outrage, the entire chain of commodities and resources of the world are now being cornered by giant corporations. Farmland, water, fertilizer, seed, energy, and most of the basic necessities of life are falling under corporate control, providing increased wealth and power to the ruling elite while the rest of humanity struggles.
Commodity scarcity in India was recently reflected in the need to distribute fertilizer from the police station in Hingoli. Now police have to control the lines that form outside of dealer outlets, because the dealers won’t open for business otherwise. Without this intervention there would be no fertilizer for the planting that must take place before the rain comes. In Akola and Nanded, police involvement is also needed. Agriculture officers have fled their work places to escape angry farmers. In Karnataka, a farmer was shot dead during protests, while farmers stormed meetings and set up road blocks in other districts.
Despite the success of the genetically engineered Bt cotton crops, the trend in India is now back to soybeans because they cost less to grow and need less fertilizer than cotton.
And it’s not just fertilizer that is scarce. Seeds are also in short supply which is being blamed on agitation that has interfered with freight train traffic. However, the shortfall in seeds is 60 percent, a level more indicative of corporate intervention to drive up prices than the actions of powerless farmers.
As farmers fume, theWall Street Journalheralds the whopping 42 percent jump in the fiscal third quarter profits of huge agriculture giant Archer-Daniels Midland. This increase includes a sevenfold rise in new income in units that store, transport and grade grains such as wheat, corn and soybeans.
The soaring profits of fertilizer maker Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan are reflected in the parabolic movement of its stock price from a yearly low of $70.35 to its current price of $238.22 per share. Shares of fertilizer and animal feed producer Mosaic Corp. have risen from a yearly low of $32.50 to a current price of $159.38.
Similar windfall profits are reported by GMO seed and herbicide king Monsanto whose last quarterly earnings surged by 45%.
Some onlookers blame the financial speculators for driving up the prices of commodities related to agriculture as wealthy investors have piled on looking to cash in on the rising stock prices. And in many ways, today’s commodity market resembles the dot.com boom seen at the turn of the century, as well as the housing boom now in the throws of its bust.
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission recently held a hearing to investigate the role that index funds and hedge funds are playing in driving up the prices of agricultural commodities. Total public fund investment in corn, soybean, wheat, cattle and hogs has risen by 37 billion dollars since 2006. This figure does not include the huge investments of hedge funds which don’t have to make such disclosure. It also doesn’t include the massive world wide investments in farmland made by the wealthy.
The corporate spin is that these investments are helpful to humanity because they will ultimately result in increased food production at a time of rising world demand. They cite the need for increased corporate profits to invest in and develop new technologies that will help farmers improve productivity. This is how GMO seeds are being driven down the throats of farmers, who are told that the modified seeds can squeeze even more yield from each acre of planting.
India has joined other developing countries in the decision to invest less in agriculture as advised by the World Bank-IMF, whose agenda has been to discourage crops for domestic consumption while encouraging production to spur export driven growth. This advice coupled with corporate sponsored deregulation has paved the way for corporate control of the farming process from seed to market. Research and development that was once the domain of universities has also fallen into corporate control.
Farmers in India are caught in a credit crunch. Even if they are able to get the needed fertilizer, they will not have the credit to pay for it. With no increase in farmer income, larger loans are not advanced. The outlook for the small farmer there is much the same as it was in the U.S. thirty years ago, during the height of the small farms falling to big agribusiness.
Corporations blame food shortages and rising prices on the people of China and India whose burgeoning income from manufacturing has allowed the average worker to increase both the amount and quality of his food consumption. But for the corporations, the increased demand for food is a guarantee of super profits to come.
Of course the other commodity you can’t get along without is water, which is now the focus of huge multinational companies seeking to privatize water world wide, perhaps even patent it as Monsanto did with seeds. The fight over water may bring chaos, conflict and misery on a scale never seen before as corporations and governments go so far as to grab the wells from under people’s houses.
And then there’s oil. To produce chemical fertilizer you must make use of fossil fuel. So rising oil prices and rising food prices are joined at the hip. The behavior of corporations in the oil business has been so egregious that there is talk of a windfall profits tax here and abroad.
No, the food crisis will not go away anytime soon. North Korea, Burma and Western Sudan are currently feeling a real threat of starvation while western governments manipulated by corporations continue to promote the diversion of food into biofuels to further exacerbate the upward movement in food prices. Almost all U.S. corn production between 2004 and 2007 has gone into the production of ethanol. European production of ethanol has more than tripled during the same period. This has led to a fall off in grains relative to overall demand which is not a market phenomenon but is the direct result of the government sponsored, corporate backed programs. This comes at the expense of people looking for something to eat, particularly the world’s poor who are now effectively priced out of the food market.
P. Sainath,The Hindu, “Fertilizing profit, sowing misery”
Bogdan C. Enache,China Confidential, “Biofuels and the threat of starvation”
About the author
Barbara is a school psychologist, a published author in the area of personal finance, a breast cancer survivor using “alternative” treatments, a born existentialist, and a student of nature and all things natural.
Thursday, July 10, 2008 by: Mike Donkers
(NaturalNews) Based on my other two articles on sea minerals here on NaturalNews, (http://www.naturalnews.com/022278.html) and (http://www.naturalnews.com/022309.html) , I have received a lot of questions from readers on how to make a Sole and how to ocean-farm. In this article I attempt to teach you in plain English how to do so. I can be reached at email@example.com if you have any further questions.
Sea Minerals as Building Blocks
Minerals are the building blocks of life. The sea is the ‘primal soup’ from which all life on earth originates. There is no place on earth with a higher concentration of minerals than the sea. Sea water covers 70% of the planet’s surface. Animal and plant life thrive in an unpolluted sea environment, so much so that a double life span is easily reached compared to life on land, and in perfect health. This is because disease is the result of mineral shortages and acidification and this does not naturally occur in a sea environment. If it does occur, man is to blame, not nature.
Sea minerals as a plasma
All cellular life comes from the sea. Blood has been shown to be 98% identical to sea water. The only difference is that sea water needs an extra molecule of magnesium, whereas blood needs an extra molecule of iron (hence the red color of blood). When a sea water dilution comes in contact with blood, however, the magnesium is converted into iron, making the transition 100%. Thus sea water should be seen as a plasma.
Chlorophyll as a plasma
Photosynthesis is the interaction of sunlight and water. This forms the basis of all plant life. This too began in the sea. Chlorophyll is the product of photosynthesis and led to green, one-celled organisms. These washed onto land and led to plant life. People and animals not only share a genetic link with the sea but also with green plants, as chlorophyll is 98% identical to blood. Chlorophyll, too, has a magnesium core while iron forms the basis for blood. The conversion of magnesium in chlorophyll to iron is once again complete once this comes into contact with blood. Like sea water, chlorophyll is therefore a plasma and is sometimes referred to as the ‘blood of the plant’.
Sea minerals and chlorophyll as healers
Disease is caused by a shortage of minerals, which causes acidification. With the exception of a few, all minerals are alkalizing. In order to combat disease and acidification, alkalization and mineralization is key. Since sea water and green plants both have the very alkaline magnesium as a base, these are vital in fighting disease. Magnesium is the mineral of life.
Sea minerals and chlorophyll have the capacity to regenerate all cellular life. Sea minerals enrich the soil and plants with all necessary minerals and trace elements, the building blocks of life, in exactly the right proportions and composition. They provide the information and energy that cells need to regenerate by alkalizing and mineralizing the environment of the cells. This approach is therefore pro-life, not anti-disease. Sea minerals and chlorophyll help the organism maintain and regain its health. Ocean-grown plants can have the same effect on humans and animals who eat these plants.
Sea minerals as fertilizer
When sea minerals serve as plant food, the plants and soil take up more minerals and trace elements than they would get from any other type of fertilizer, including organic fertilizer. All of the earth’s elements, both known and unknown, can be found in sea water. Scientists have so far been able to identify 92 elements in sea water and 84 in unrefined sea salt.
Thus it makes perfect sense to use diluted sea minerals on the 30% land mass on which we live. Contrary to a healthy sea environment, there is more disease, aging, shortening of life spans and cell degeneration on land. By working with dilutions which are so extreme you can hardly taste the salt, there will be no salinization of the plants and soil, so the minerals can be used to their full advantage to help crops develop, grow and build up resistance.
Disease is acidification. Sea minerals alkalize and mineralize the soil, which makes for a healthy soil and soil life. Insects, fungi and other pathogens only clean up weaker crops and will not touch ocean-grown crops or the crops will show remarkable resistance to these micro-organisms. Weeds often thrive on slightly acidic soils and they will also stay away. Insecticides, fungicides and herbicides are then no longer needed. These chemicals have a highly acidic effect and will only deprive the soil and soil life of vital nutrients because they don’t work with nature but against it. The same is true for artificial fertilizer and non-composted organic fertilizer. Sea minerals are a natural alternative which allows you to work with the building blocks of life and in perfect harmony with nature.
Sea minerals and grass
No other crop is more receptive to sea minerals than grass. Grass grows in all places and at all times, it grows on everything and nothing. It is the predominant species of green plant on the 30% land mass we live on and it is a true survivor. Give grass the pure life force of sea minerals and it will take up every single mineral. Other plants make their own selection from the ‘menu’ served up by sea minerals, but grass loves them all. It is often thought that many plants, most notably grass, cannot grow without nitrogen. Though nitrogen promotes rapid growth, an excess of nitrogen does not feed the plants nor does it promote real health.
Good food means good health, it is the fuel that keeps the engine running smoothly. Sea minerals act as nutrients because of their alkalizing and mineralizing nature, keeping disease and acidification at bay. The plant’s natural immune system is boosted in this way. Plants need minerals. They will get their nitrogen in other ways, just like they do their carbon and sulphur, as these naturally occur in the atmosphere (air, rainwater). These are life-giving substances and so are sea minerals.
Sea minerals not only promote fast growth, but above all healthy growth. In no other crop is this more visible than grass. Even if the difference between ocean-grown grass and grass fertilized in other ways is not immediately visible, any grazing animal will immediately select ocean-grown grass when given the choice, because the animal instinctively knows ocean-grown grass has more nutritional value. Ocean-grown grass contains a balanced complex of minerals and trace elements as well as large amounts of chlorophyll. This is good for the grass and the grazer. The milk and meat of these animals is good for us humans. Thus a cycle is established which literally starts at the root.
How to ocean farm
First, I make a Sole. Here is how I do it:
Take a glass container (a bottle or a jar) with a lid on it so you can screw the container tight and shake the contents without spilling. Cover the bottom with Celtic sea salt (the grey, unrefined kind) or Himalaya salt. Fill the container with good-quality water, either spring water, mineral water or filtered tap water. Shake the contents until the salt has completely dissolved. If you have coarse salt, this could take up to 24 hours and you may have to shake several times. Once the salt has dissolved repeat the process, adding more and more salt until the water is completely saturated and there are salt crystals at the bottom which will no longer dissolve. You now have concentrated sea salt water or Himalaya water, otherwise known as Sole, referring to water and sunlight, ‘liquid sunlight’.
The next thing you need to get is a TDS meter. These are available on the web. This gives you the ability to measure exactly the salt content of the solution you are working with in parts per million (ppm). To ocean-grow most plants you can use a solution of 2000 ppm. This comes to about 4 teaspoons of Sole per quart of water. Be sure to measure the TDS (total dissolved solids) content. You can use one type of Sole to get up to 2000 ppm, in which case I recommend Celtic Sea Salt. If you want to combine it with a good rock salt, I recommend Himalaya Salt.
I start out with soaking the seeds for 24 hours in a 2000 ppm solution as well as treating the soil with the same solution. This way both the seeds and the soil get a head start. When I plant the seeds I cover them with a thin top layer of soil, which I also spray with a 2000 ppm solution. This will give the seeds and soil a nice damp start, but not too damp.
The second thing you need to figure out is how often to apply a solution. My golden rule is to not overdo it. I reapply the solution by spraying when the soil is nearly dry, thus giving the seeds and soil minimal nutrition. This strengthens them because they have to make the most of what I give them, plus I create conditions which are not too moist, which feeds fungi. You can harvest at any stage in growth, but of course the plant will be at its most energetic and nutritious when it is young.
If you want to experiment with the salt tolerance of certain crops, go by your intuition and listen to what the plants are telling you. For example, if they develop yellow or brown leaves, back down on the salt and give them water only to water down the solution you have applied. This will not kill or harm the plant permanently and you will be able to figure out the right dose.
I prefer to grow outdoors in indirect sunlight, even in winter time (growth will be slower then). You can also choose to grow without soil (hydroponics), indoors or outdoors. I have discovered I am a soil guy. In soil, fewer applications of ocean solution are necessary because the soil fixes the minerals and, because they are salts, the soil and plants will use water more economically.
When growing outdoors make sure you reapply an ocean solution after heavy rainfall, as rainfall causes the minerals to wash back out to sea. Do this on a dry day. A few drops of rain will not be so bad, in fact they will help to push the minerals deeper into the soil and closer to the roots. Once again, use your intuition.
What is really essential is the quality of the water in which you make the solution. Use living water, do not go for distilled or reverse-osmosis water as this is dead water. Use either filtered tap water or spring or mineral water, preferably at its natural temperature of 39 degrees Fahrenheit (4 degrees Celsius). Don’t go over 48 Fahrenheit (9 degrees Celsius) as the water will lose its strength and vitality. This is according to the teachings of Viktor Schauberger.
Make sure you also farm with the right intention, one of love (do not farm if you are in a foul mood!). Check on the plants and soil every day, even if they do not yet need solution. Your loving attention alone will make the plants want to grow for you.
The great thing about all this is you are farming in harmony with nature because you are listening to what she has to tell you. There is no better and more energetic or spiritual therapy than that, in my view. By getting closer in contact with nature you are getting closer to your own nature.
About the author
Mike Donkers is an English teacher from the Netherlands who started taking care of his own health in October 2006 because doctors couldn’t help him. His interest in the connection between food and health has led to more in-depth research, particularly in the role sea minerals can have in the regeneration of cells. He is also a self-taught guitarist and singer. He is the songwriter and frontman of his own band, The Mellotones (www.nubluz.com).
Friday, May 09, 2008 by: Mark Sircus Ac., OMD
(NaturalNews) The latest government study shows a staggering 68% of Americans do not consume the recommended daily intake of magnesium. Even more frightening are data from this study showing that 19% of Americans do not consume even half of the government’s recommended daily intake of magnesium.(1) This article is an excerpt from the book “Transdermal Magnesium Therapy” by Mark Sircus AC., OMD.
‘Studies show that as many as half of all Americans do not consume enough magnesium. Magnesium deficits have been tied to allergies, asthma, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, heart disease, muscle cramps and other conditions.’(2) – Massachusetts Institute of Technology
One of the great challenges in medicine today is to understand the complexity of causes that leads to the breakdown of health and the formation of serious disease. There are so many factors that simultaneously impinge on our physical systems that it is truly a daunting task to ascertain what is causing what. During this past century the physical environment that surrounds us has gotten incredibly toxic and even the food most people eat acts to destroy rather than nourish. There are people and organizations that hide behind this complexity of causes thus making it impossible to prove anymore what is harming our children and us, what is causing autism, why certain kids fall down dead after being vaccinated and others not.
Magnesium deficiency is a health problem of first cause. Magnesium is a nutritional element that is dangerously low today. Because of its essential role as a foundational building block of cell physiology, we have a huge health problem that allopathic medicine is dragging its feet to address. Populations in the first world are dangerously deficient and are actually starving for magnesium. Doctors are missing a huge opportunity to help their patients when they ignore the increasing deficiency of magnesium in them. We are familiar with the malnourishment of third world populations and do not expect to see this in the west. The clinical impact of magnesium deficiency is huge and can be tied into the majority of clinical situations.
Almost two years ago, I wrote a Tale of Two Hammers about the situation in Africa where populations were being decimated because mass vaccine programs were being administered to malnourished populations whose immune systems were already compromised. Little did I dream then of a similar situation in the west with the majority of the population being malnourished in magnesium.
Food contamination is a growing problem and now an acknowledged risk to young children and adults alike. It does not take too much to see that the safety thresholds for toddlers have been drastically breached by the air they breathe, the water they drink, by the medicines and vaccines administered to them from the medical establishment, by mercury put in their mouths, and clearly by the cocktails of chemicals in food.
At least 2,800 substances have been recognized as food additives by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These are used to make foods more attractive, to make foods tastier, and to increase the grocery shelf life.
The Pesticide Action Network’s (U.K.) analysis reveals a diverse cocktail of chemicals in food. “Mostly, but not always, below legal limit, 65 per cent of them are recognized hazards to health: 35 per cent are suspected cancer-causing chemicals, 12 per cent are hormone-disrupting chemicals, and 41 per cent are acutely toxic.” Because magnesium is so important for the removal of toxic substances from the body, its lack makes us even more vulnerable to food contamination. According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, if you have a magnesium deficiency and regularly use aspartame, the toxicity is magnified and can result in headaches and migraines.
More and more people are becoming aware of the chemical rape of our children but what few are conscious of is the decreasing value of vitamins, minerals and proteins in the food we all eat. On one side we are being poisoned and on the other we are being deprived of the very nutrition necessary to resist all the different toxicities we are being confronted with. Then, on top of everything else, our systems have to navigate through further deficiencies brought on by allopathic drugs that are used too often. And when we use chelators, we have to deal with the fact that important minerals are reduced even further.
These drugs/substances lead to these specific nutrient deficiencies:
* Antibiotics – Vitamin A, B-12, C, E, K, Biotin, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium
* Chelators – Copper, Iron, Magnesium, Zinc
* Anticonvulsants – Vitamin B-2, B-12, C, F, K, Folic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium
* Antidiabetics (Oral) – Vitamin B-2, B-12, C, D, Folic Acid
* Antihistamines – Vitamin C
* Aspirin – Calcium, Folic Acid, Iron, Potassium, C, B Complex
Dr. Matthias Rath says that, “Almost all the prescription drugs currently taken by millions of people lead to a gradual depletion of vitamins and other essential cellular nutrients in the body. Drugs are generally synthetic, non-natural substances that we absorb in our bodies. Our bodies recognize these synthetic drugs as “toxic,” just like any other non-natural substance. Thus, all synthetic drugs have to be “detoxified” by the liver in order to eliminate them from our bodies. This detoxification process requires magnesium and vitamin C and other cellular nutrients as cofactors. Many of these essential nutrients are used up in biological (enzymatic) reactions during this detoxification process. One of the most common ways for eliminating drugs from our bodies is called hydroxylation.” The strongest “hydroxylating agent” in our bodies is vitamin C, which is literally destroyed during this detoxification process. Thus, long-term use of many synthetic prescription drugs leads to chronic vitamin depletion in the body, a form of early scurvy and the onset of cardiovascular disease.”
Micronutrient content of the average diet in industrialized countries is declining.
Cheryl Long and Lynn Keiley, writing for Mother Earth News(3), tell us that “American agribusiness is producing more food than ever before, but the evidence is building that the vitamins and minerals in that food are declining. For example, eggs from free-range hens contain up to 30 percent more vitamin E, 50 percent more folic acid and 30 percent more vitamin B-12 than factory eggs. Most of our food now comes from large-scale producers who rely on chemical fertilizers, pesticides and animal drugs, and inhumane confinement animal production. In agribusiness, the main emphasis is on getting the highest possible yields and profits; nutrient content (and flavor) are, at best, second thoughts. This shift in production methods is clearly giving us less nutritious eggs and meat. Beef from cattle raised in feedlots on growth hormones and high-grain diets has lower levels of vitamins E, A, D and beta carotene, and twice as much fat, as grass-fed beef.” Health writer Jo Robinson has done groundbreaking work on this subject (4) making us critically aware of the importance of the conditions in which our crops, meat and dairy are raised.
Data from: Smith, G.C. “Dietary supplementation of vitamin E to cattle to improve shelf life and case life of beef for domestic and international markets.” Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado
We humans are not getting the minerals we need because modem agricultural methods, including widespread use of N P K fertilizer, over farming, loss of protective ground cover and trees, and lack of humus have made soils vulnerable to erosion. The result is a reduced nutrient content of crops. N P K fertilizer is highly acidic. It disrupts the pH (acid/alkaline) balance of the soil, as does acid rain. Acid conditions destroy soil microorganisms. It is the job of these microorganisms to transmute soil minerals into a form that is usable by plants. In the absence of these microbes, these minerals become locked up, unavailable to the plant. Stimulated by the N P K fertilizer, the plant grows, but it is deficient in vital trace minerals. In the absence of trace minerals, plants take up heavy metals (such as aluminum, mercury and lead) from the soil. Between 1950 and 1975, the calcium content in one cup of rice dropped 21 percent, and iron fell by 28.6 percent.
When trace minerals are scarce in plant bodies they become scarce in human bodies.
Dr. Scott Whitaker, in his book MediSin, tells us how highly unfortunate it is that the modern day farmer has been persuaded to use monoculture, artificial fertilization, pesticides, and herbicides. “The end result of our domestic food production has been ‘quantity’ rather than ‘quality’. The human body can thrive on fruits and vegetables that are grown on vital rich soil but not on soil that is artificially pumped up with chemicals.” Thus today hardly anyone can eat enough fruits and vegetables to supply his or her body with the mineral salts required for perfect health.
It is crucial that doctors and parents recognize that from poor soil comes poor food, deficient in minerals and vitamins.
Dr. Nan Kathryn Fuchs, author of The Nutrition Detective, says that, “Our diets today are very different from those of our ancestors though our bodies remain similar. Thousands of years ago, our ancestors ate foods high in magnesium and low in calcium. Because calcium supplies were scarce and the need for this vital mineral was great, it was effectively stored by the body. Magnesium, on the other hand, was abundant and readily available, in the form of nuts, seeds, grains, and vegetables, and did not need to be stored internally. Our bodies still retain calcium and not magnesium although we tend to eat much more dairy than our ancestors. In addition, our sugar and alcohol consumption is higher than theirs, and both sugar and alcohol increase magnesium excretion through the urine. Our grains, originally high in magnesium, have been refined, which means that the nutrient is lost in the refining process. The quality of our soil has deteriorated as well, due to the use of fertilizers that contain large amounts of potassium a magnesium antagonist. This results in foods lower in magnesium than ever before.”
‘We need an average of 200 milligrams more magnesium than we get from the average diet.’ – Dr. Mildred Seelig, President of the American College of Nutrition
The food supply has been steadily becoming magnesium-poor since 1909:(5)
* 1909 intake – 408 mg/day
* 1949 intake – 368 mg/day
* 1980 intake – 349 mg/day
* 1985 intake – 323 mg/day (men)
* 1985 intake – 228 mg/day (women)
There has been a steep decline of dietary magnesium in the United States, from a high of almost 500 mg/day at the turn of the last century to barely 175-225 mg/day today.(6) The National Academy of Sciences has determined that most Americans are magnesium deficient, with men obtaining only about 80 percent of their daily needs with women fairing even worse obtaining about 70 percent of their needs.(7)
‘Magnesium is the most important mineral to man and all living organisms.’(8) – Dr. Jerry Aikawa
The magnesium content of refined foods is usually very low. Whole-wheat bread, for example, has twice as much magnesium as white bread because the magnesium-rich germ and bran are removed when white flour is processed. Magnesium deficiency is more likely in those who eat a processed-food diet; in people who cook or boil all foods, especially vegetables; in those who drink soft water (water deficient in minerals) and in people who eat food grown in magnesium-deficient soil, where synthetic fertilizers containing no magnesium are often used.
Deficiency is also more common when magnesium absorption is decreased, such as after burns, serious injuries, or surgery and in patients with diabetes, liver disease, or intestinal malabsorption problems. Also, deficiencies develop when magnesium elimination is increased, which it is in people who use alcohol, caffeine, or excess sugar, or who take diuretics or birth control pills. We can add to this list vaccines because they offer a traumatic insult to the body that has to be defended against and that defense gobbles up both magnesium and vitamin C.
Other drugs that cause loss of body magnesium:
* Beta-adrenergic agonists (for asthma)
* Corticosteroids (CS) (for asthma)
* Theophylline (for asthma)
* Phosphates (found in cola drinks)
The nutrient content of foods can no longer be relied upon. The effects of stress, intense physical activity, or the use of certain medications cause magnesium deficiency.
Since magnesium is abundant in the environment, it is generally assumed that magnesium deficiency is not a problem but nothing could be further from the truth. Because magnesium in certain forms is not easily absorbed and because no classical symptoms exist that point to magnesium’s causal role in disease, the problem of its deficiency is readily masked. Many are the conditions that reduce total body magnesium and increase magnesium requirements. With nutritional values declining quickly and chemical toxicity in our bodies raising rapidly, our children and we are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Data indicate that subsets of the population may be unusually susceptible to the toxic effects of fluoride and its compounds. These populations include the elderly, people with magnesium
deficiency, and people with cardiovascular and kidney problems.(9)
Several studies have reported that increasing calcium in the diet significantly reduces the absorption of magnesium. Calcium intakes above 2.6 grams per day may reduce the uptake and utilization of magnesium by the body and excessive calcium intakes may increase magnesium requirements. In addition, diarrhea (any cause), extreme athletic physical training, sodas (especially cola type sodas, both diet and regular), sodium (high salt intake), stress (physical and mental — anything that activates a person’s fight or flight reaction), and intense sweating all diminish magnesium levels.
Magnesium deficiency at a cellular level where it counts is not easy to diagnose, as serum magnesium levels do not correlate to muscle or cellular magnesium levels. Instead of trying difficult tissue magnesium analysis to find out if your health problems may be due to low magnesium levels, it is much easier and more effective just to take more magnesium and see what happens. Caution is necessary only in cases of renal deficiency.
Green vegetables such as spinach are good sources of magnesium because the center of the chlorophyll molecule (which gives these vegetables their color) contains magnesium. Since 1981, Life Extension (10) has recommended high-potency magnesium supplements, because magnesium is the most deficient mineral in the American diet. In the early 1980s, the Life Extension Foundation was criticized by mainstream doctors for recommending high doses of magnesium relative to calcium. They even had their magnesium supplements seized by the FDA because they presented evidence that this mineral could help prevent heart attack.
‘An excess of a toxic metal and/or a relative deficiency of a nutritional element can be found as significant contributors to every disease.’ – Dr. Gary Gordon
William Faloon from Life Extension says, “With all the research linking low magnesium intake with high cardiovascular risks, this low-cost mineral would appear to be a simple way to counter today’s heart attack and stroke epidemic. Unfortunately, magnesium is so cheap that virtually no one is promoting it as a lifesaving mineral.”
There is no substitute for magnesium; it’s as close as a metal comes to being as necessary as air.
1. King D, Mainous A 3rd, Geesey M, Woolson R. Dietary magnesium and C-reactive protein levels. J Am Coll Nutr. 2005 Jun 24(3):166-71.
3. Is Agrobusiness Making Food Less Nutritious? (http://www.motherearthnews.com)
5. Paul Mason. Violence Prevention through Magnesium-Rich Water. Healthy Water Association. (http://www.mgwater.com/cyalettr.shtml)
6. Altura BM, Introduction: importance of Mg in physiology and medicine and the need for íon selective electrodes. Scand J Cliin Lab Invest Suppl, vol. 217, pp. 5-9, 1994
7. Institute of Medicine, Dietary Reference Intake for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 1997
8. Aikawa LK, Magnesium: Its Biological Significance, CRC Press, Boca Raton, Fl, 1981
9. U.S. Dept. of Health, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Division of Toxicology, December 16, 1991. (http://www.mgwater.com/fluoride.shtml)
About the author
Mark A. Sircus Ac., OMD, is director of the International Medical Veritas Association (IMVA) http://www.imva.info/. Dr. Sircus was trained in acupuncture and oriental medicine at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Sante Fe, N.M., and in the School of Traditional Medicine of New England in Boston. He served at the Central Public Hospital of Pochutla, in México, and was awarded the title of doctor of oriental medicine for his work. He was one of the first nationally certified acupuncturists in the United States. Dr. Sircus’s IMVA is dedicated to unifying the various disciplines in medicine with the goal of creating a new dawn in healthcare.
He is particularly concerned about the effect vaccinations have on vulnerable infants and is identifying the common thread of many toxic agents that are dramatically threatening present and future generations of children. His book The Terror of Pediatric Medicine is a free e-book one can read. Dr. Sircus is a most prolific and courageous writer and one can read through hundreds of pages on his various web sites.
He has most recently released his Survival Medicine for the 21st Century compendium (2,200 page ebook) and just released the Winning the War Against Cancer book. Dr. Sircus is a pioneer in the area of natural detoxification and chelation of toxic chemicals and heavy metals. He is also a champion of the medicinal value of minerals and is fathering in a new medical approach that uses sea water and different concentrates taken from it for health and healing. Transdermal Magnesium Therapy, his first published work, offers a stunning breakthrough in medicine, an entirely new way to supplement magnesium that naturally increases DHEA levels, brings cellular magnesium levels up quickly, relieves pain, brings down blood pressure and pushes cell physiology in a positive direction. Magnesium chloride delivered transdermally brings a quick release from a broad range of conditions.
International Medical Veritas Association:http://www.imva.info/
Friday, February 01, 2008 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Runoff from industrial farming and ranching appears to be the ultimate cause behind the surge in deformities among North American frogs in the past several decades, according to a new study published in theProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The problem of frog deformity in North America is only one part of a global decline in amphibian populations that is increasingly alarmist biologists and conservationists. One of the apparent causes for the decline is that an increasing number of frogs are improperly developing out of the tadpole stage.
“We continue to see malformed amphibians all over the place, and yet very little is being done to address those questions or even understand them,” said lead researcher Pieter Johnson of the University of Colorado at Boulder.
“You can get five or six extra limbs. You can get no hind limbs. You can get all kinds of really bizarre, sick and twisted stuff.”
Johnson’s team created 36 artificial ponds in Wisconsin, to which they added snails and frog tadpoles. To some ponds, they also added nitrogen and phosphorus — nutrients commonly found in fertilizer and animal waste. In these ponds, the researchers observed a great increase in the population of both snails and the eggs of microscopic parasites called trematodes, along with a higher rate of trematode infection in the frogs.
In nature, trematodes infect snails and reproduce in their bodies. The parasites are then expelled into the water, where they infect frog tadpoles and burrow into the spots where their limbs are developing. Often, this leads to deformities in those spots. When the deformed frogs are eaten by birds, the parasites are defecated back into the environment.
Nitrogen and phosphorus runoff from agriculture have long been known to lead to explosive algae growth. This growth provides more food and habitat for aquatic snails, thus beginning the chain that leads to frog deformities.
Monday, July 10, 2006 by: NaturalNews
Goji Berries Inc.(http://www.gojiberries.us) announced today that it now carries seaweed fertilizer, a valuable addition to an organic garden. Seaweed fertilizer imparts new life to the soil stripped of the natural minerals by commercial farming.
If you wish to plant and grow Goji berry plants, you must keep in mind that a plant cannot produce minerals unless these essential nutrients are derived from the soil, air, or water available to them. Linus Pauling, 2-time Nobel Prize laureate has said, “Virtually every sickness, illness, and disease can be traced to the lack of at least one or more important minerals in one’s diet.”
Ascophyllum Nodosum powdered extract comes from pristine waters off the shores of Nova Scotia in the Atlantic seas. This seaweed possesses, among other things, over 60 macro and trace minerals, essential for optimal health. Goji plants can produce vitamins and antioxidants from the atmosphere, but they are incapable of producing minerals unless they are delivered via the soil and water delivery systems.
“Thisfertilizerextract also has the propensity of helping the plants to develop stronger and healthier root systems, fortifying them against disease and fungal invasion, and aiding the plants to produce more robust crops,” reported Jeni Bachelder, president of Goji Berries US.
“Our seaweed fertilizer contains over 60 macro and trace minerals, 12 vitamins, 21 amino acids, and 33-35% total fibers, higher than the levels in most other plants. The alginates in this fertilizer also help plants resist disease and stimulate more vigorous root system development and plant growth as well,” she added.
About GojiBerries.us: Goji Berries US is the online store where you can order Goji berries, Goji juice and Goji seeds in small and wholesale quantities at very competitive rates. These are directly imported from the Tibetan Himalayas and help to improve your vigor and energy levels with the rich antioxidant properties.
Sunday, November 23, 2003
by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger
Editor of NaturalNews.com
It’s an outrage: the EPA says farmers can spread human waste sludge on their crops, regardless of what’s in the sludge. And with the general public putting all sorts of toxic ingredients into their own bodies in terms of personal care products loaded with toxic chemicals and cancer-causing food additives like sodium nitrite, there’s tremendous cause for concern. And this doesn’t even mention the outrageous number of prescription drugs and drug chemicals being put into peoples’ bodies that end up in thesewage sludge. This sludge has measurable levels of antidepressantdrugs, for one thing.
All this is insanity. It’s bad enough that people fill their bodies with highlytoxicfood ingredients, but it’s even worse thatthe EPAallows farmers to spread this on theircropsand, ultimately, allow it right back into thefood supply. Doesn’t anybody realize that we are poisoning ourselves in this way? There’s no concern for humanhealthhere: just pure profits. Anything that can make crops grow faster and improve yields is embraced by corporatefarmersand government regulators, regardless of the health implications for the general public.
It’s all one more reason to buy organic foods andorganic producewhenever possible.
Friday, December 03, 2010 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Rising demand for food — especially meat — is taking a bigger and bigger toll on the planet, analysts are warning.
The most recent sign of trouble was the August 19 headline, “Australian mining giant launches hostile $40 billion takeover bid for world’s largest potash supplier.”
Potash, also known as potassium carbonate, is a mineral salt and a critical ingredient in synthetic fertilizers. Rising demand for food has led to a dramatic rise in prices for the commodity.
There is very little arable land left uncultivated on the planet, yet the world’s population continues to rise — meaning that more people must be fed from food grown on the same amount of land. Making matters even worse is the ongoing worldwide shift to a Western diet, characterized by high levels meat consumption. Since it takes 7 kilograms of grain to produce just a single kilogram of meat, this creates an even higher pressure for high crop yields — and thus for fertilizer.
Potash can either be produced by burning down broadleaf forests, or it can be mined from pre-existing deposits in the earth. Yet these deposits are finite, and as demand for fertilizer continues to boom, they will start to dwindle.
“The potash story is very significant,” said Tim Lang of City University, London. “This is an attempt at a commodity grab. The price of potash will rise and, with it, the price of food. Right now agriculture is like a junkie, hooked on things like potash and oil.”
Petroleum is a critical component in producing the nitrogen that is also needed for fertilizer. But many analysts point out that there is another path to food security.
“If the challenge is about future soil fertility and human health, we can develop a system based on nutrient recycling,” Lang said. “Humans need to become part of the cycle, literally, using recycled sewage to restore fertility to the land. At the moment we drain it out to sea — it could be used to increase yield and health of crops.”
Sources for this story include:http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodandd….
Wednesday, December 22, 2010 by: Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) Long the standard used in supposed “science-based” agriculture, chemical fertilizers have largely become the norm in modern farming. But these synthetic and man-made varieties are becoming increasingly more expensive and difficult to obtain, which is driving many farmers back to good, old-fashioned animal manure.
Before commercial agriculture techniques gained widespread use, farmers used composted animal manure to replenish soil nutrients and increase crop yields. Today, the vast majority of large-scale farming operations use commercial fertilizers like mined phosphorus, a necessary but non-renewable fertilizer, and ammonium polyphosphate, a synthetic phosphorus fertilizer that has become highly expensive.
But dwindling resources and rising costs could be shifting the fertilizer industry away from synthetic and mined sources and towards simple, renewable animal sources. After all, manure from healthy animals that has been properly composted naturally contains high levels of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, beneficial microbes, aerobic bacteria and fungi essential for soil building, and calcium — all of which result in amazing produce.
A recent story inThe Atlanticexplains that many commercial farmers are turning to animal manure instead of expensive commercial fertilizers that actually deplete soil health over time. What many are realizing is that they actually need natural, organic matter like animal manure to replenish soil and grow healthy, nutritious crops.
And it is not only animal manure that benefits soil. Plant waste and other organic matter, as long as it is not tainted with heavy metals and other toxic material, is perfect compost material for cropland. It will continually renew the integrity of soil and provide crops with vital nutrients year after year.
Unfortunately, many of the animals raised commercially in the U.S. are tainted with genetically-modified (GM) feed, growth hormones and antibiotics, and improper living conditions, all of which produce manure that is not exactly pure. But hopefully shifting demand will continue to improve the quality of animal manure and perpetuate its use as a viable, organic and renewable source of soil fertilizer.
Sources for this story include:
Monday, February 28, 2011 by: Ronnie Cummins
(NaturalNews) More and more consumers and corporations are touting the benefits of “local” foods, often described as “sustainable,” “healthy,” or “natural.” According to the trade publication, Sustainable Food News, “local” as a marketing claim, has grown by 15 percent from 2009 to 2010, and it’s likely that number will increase in the coming year. (1) Even supermarket giant and junk food purveyor Wal-Mart, with total sales in 2009 of $405 billion, has jumped on the bandwagon. It has pledged to reduce food miles and increase its purchase of “local” fruits and vegetables to include 9 percent of its produce by 2015. (2)
Those who espouse local food are now called “locavores.” But, beyond the greenwashing and co-opting of the term by Wal-Mart, the supermarket chains, and factory farms and feedlots, what does “local” food and farming really mean? What is the impact of non-organic local food and farming on public health, nutrition, soil, water, marine life, biodiversity, and climate?
Jessica Prentice coined the term “locavore” for World Environment Day in 2005 to promote local eating, and local consumption in general. Her goal was to challenge people to obtain as much food as possible from within a one hundred mile radius. Her success was more than she imagined. In 2007 the New Oxford American Dictionary selected “locavore” as its word of the year. Local had arrived!
Then, highly respected author Barbara Kingsolver published Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, emphasizing the value of eating locally, and the concept spread like wildfire. (3) While the eat local/buy local concept is increasingly popular, looking beyond the label or the marketing claims, it is obvious that “local” is a rather fuzzy concept, lacking in most cases a concrete definition or a set of principles and guidelines.
By contrast, the organic system of food production has legal definitions, a handbook of rules, permitted and prohibited substances, acceptable practices, an inspection process, and labels to guide consumers. Local has none of these guidelines, rules, inspections or protections. It has the cachet of popularity without any guarantee of safety or sustainability.
Some chemical farmers, and even poultry, egg, pork, dairy, or beef operators feeding their animals genetically modified (GMO) grains, claim that local is better than organic, because it stimulates the local economy and reduces the distance (food miles) that food travels between the farm or feedlot and your table. But does so-called local farming, utilizing toxic pesticides, GMO seeds and feed, chemical fertilizers, and animal drugs mean that the food is safe and sustainable? Obviously not. We believe that there shouldn’t have to be a choice between local and safe organic; but rather that consumers should look for food that is not only local or regionally produced, but food that is also organic and therefore safe and sustainable. Local and chemical, or local using GMO seeds and feed, is nothing more than greenwashing. Organic and local is the new gold standard!
The locavore phenomenon brings up several important concerns including: food miles, chemically grown food, greenhouse gas emissions, factory farming, genetically engineered animal feed, and the value of organic labeling. All of these crucial issues relate to the central question: what should be in your market basket?
Does Local Mean Safe?
Despite the increasing popularity of the eat-local movement, many people do not understand that “local” does not necessarily mean that food is organic or even safe. Chemically grown foods produced locally may be cheaper than organic and may aid the local economy, but they pollute the ground water, kill the soil food web, decrease the soil’s ability to sequester climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases, broadcast pesticides into the air, poison farmworkers, and incrementally poison consumers with toxic residues on their foods. “Local” pesticides, GMOs, and chemical fertilizers are just as poisonous as those used in California, Mexico, Chile, or China.
Frequently, local chemical farmers claim that they only use “less toxic” pesticides or herbicides such as Monsanto’s Roundup. Unfortunately, “less toxic” is a dangerously relative term! Roundup is a powerful weed-killer, and is now sprayed so heavily on the nation’s 150 million acres of genetically engineered crops that it is poisoning our water supplies, killing the soil, and creating superweeds that can only be killed with super-toxic herbicides such as 2,4 D, arsenic and paraquat. Farmers in the U.S. have used everything from arsenic, lead, cyanide, fluorine, DDT, and nerve poisons since the 1860s, and they still use massive amounts. More than 80 percent of all the pesticides currently used in vegetable, fruit, and flower production are nerve poisons that were used on insects and also on concentration camp victims during the first and second World Wars.
Organophosphate pesticides or nerve poisons have been linked to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) in children. Organophosphate nerve poisons were found in the urine and saliva of Seattle preschool children who were eating conventional (chemical) and local food. When the kids stopped eating chemical food and ate organic food the organophosphates disappeared from their saliva and urine. When the children returned to the chemical diet, the nerve poisons showed up in their urine and saliva again. (4) Nerve poisons, whether they are used on foods that are locally, nationally, or internationally produced and distributed, are dangerous hazards, especially for growing children and at-risk populations. They need to be driven off the market as soon as possible.
Does “Pesticide Free” Mean Safe or Sustainable?
Often, growers at farmers markets will say, “I don’t use pesticides, I only use chemical fertilizers.” Sadly, what many people do not realize is that chemical fertilizers are extremely hazardous. A high percentage of these fertilizers seep into our wells and municipal drinking water, or else run off into our streams, rivers, and finally end up in the ocean. Two-thirds of the nation’s drinking water is contaminated with hazardous levels of nitrogen fertilizer. Non-organic farmers and feedlot operators are literally poisoning us and our children with the collateral damage of chemical fertilizers. High nitrogen and phosphorous levels in rivers and oceans kill fish and other marine wildlife. When this enormous amount of excess nitrogen enters the ocean it causes dead zones and oceanic acidification.
Some “pesticide free” growers will argue that since they only use chemical fertilizers, their produce is cleaner. Their food may not have high pesticide residues. But, remind them that “cleaner” isn’t clean! And inform your local chemical farmer that their toxic fertilizer is polluting our drinking water, trashing the oceans, killing the soil’s ability to sequester greenhouse gases, destabilizing the nitrogen cycle of plants, and emitting billions of pounds of deadly greenhouse gases every year.
Synthetic nitrogen fertilizer is perhaps the most potent greenhouse gas emitter in the U.S. To produce each pound of fertilizer, 6.6 pounds of nitrous oxide (N2O) are emitted. Nitrous oxide accounts for a full ten percent of all climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases.
Nitrous oxide is extremely hazardous. It depletes the ozone layer in the upper atmosphere (thereby increasing skin cancer for humans). It increases ozone pollution levels at the ground level (fueling the current epidemic of asthma and respiratory diseases). Poisonous nitrate fertilizers leaching into our rural wells and municipal drinking water supplies (where it combines into a super-toxic brew with pesticides) are a biological time bomb, a major cause of cancer, infertility, hormone disruption, and birth defects.
Perhaps most deadly of all, nitrate fertilizer kills our living soils and soil microorganisms, decreasing their ability to sequester (through plant photosynthesis) excess greenhouse gases in the soil. Even after a century of industrial farmers dumping hundreds of billions of pounds of chemical fertilizers on farmlands, our living soils still contain two to three times as much carbon as the atmosphere, with the practical capacity to clean and safely sequester a considerable amount of greenhouse gases over the next 40 years. In other words, our living soils can save us – but only if we stop the widespread use of nitrate fertilizers, GMO crops, and pesticides, and replace these deadly chemicals and mutant organisms with organic compost, compost tea, and cover crops, augmented by the biological power and fertility generated by organic, carefully planned, high-density rotational grazing of animals.
The energy-intensive manufacturing of nitrate fertilizers requires the use of massive amounts of natural gas, a resource in short supply, that will increasingly be needed to take us through the transition from fossil fuels to alternative energy. We can no longer afford to waste natural gas in order to uphold the profits of Cargill, Monsanto, and Food Inc. We can no longer afford to have chemical-intensive food and farming greenwashed as “local.”
U.S. non-organic farmers used an average of 24 billion, 661 million pounds of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer per year from 1998 to 2007. That means that more than 162 billion, 762 million pounds of nitrous oxide (N2O) are released each year in the process of manufacturing that fertilizer. ( 5) Also released is the CO2 from transporting the fertilizer. Since 70% of synthetic nitrogen is imported, the transportation cost is increasingly higher each year. Beyond production and transportation emissions, enormous quantities of N2O get released when the 24.66 billion pounds of synthetic nitrogen is applied to farmland every year. Nitrous oxide is 310 times more damaging as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Every year, U.S. farmers use enough synthetic nitrogen to fill more than 12,330 railroad boxcars with a capacity of 200,000 pounds each.
Consequently, farmers and supermarkets that tout their products as local and pesticide-free while still using synthetic fertilizers are engaged in greenwashing. Non-organic farms poisoning the environment with chemical fertilizers are a far cry from safe or environmentally friendly, even though they promote themselves as pesticide-free and local.
“Local” Factory Farms and CAFOs: Destroying Public Health and Climate Stability
According to Wal-Mart and Food Inc.’s definition of local (anything produced within a 400-mile radius), meat, dairy, and eggs, reared on a diet of GMO grains, slaughterhouse waste and antibiotics, qualify as “local.” According to the USDA, the majority of the nation’s non-organic meat, dairy and eggs are now produced on massive factory farms, euphemistically called Confined Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). (6) CAFOs are typically overcrowded, filthy, disease-ridden, and inhumane, not only for the hapless animals imprisoned inside their walls, but also for the typically non-union exploited immigrant workers who toil in these hellish facilities. According to the EPA, the legal definition of a CAFO is a farm or a feedlot where large numbers of animals are confined and reared: beef – 1000 head; dairy – 700 head; swine – 2500 pigs weighing more than 55 lbs; poultry – 125,000 broilers or 82,000 laying hens or pullets. (7)
Unfortunately, meat, dairy, or eggs coming from CAFOs in North America are not required by law to be labeled as such. Greenwashing CAFO products as “natural” or “local” is a major source of profits for Wal-Mart, Cargill, Conagra, Perdue, Land O’ Lakes, Kraft, McDonalds, KFC, Monsanto and chemical/GMO farmers and ranchers. Organic consumers, farmers, and retailers need to educate the public about the hazards of factory farms and CAFOs. These animal factories, where GMO feed and drugs are force-fed to most of the nation’s livestock and poultry, are not only poisoning consumers, but are also generating massive amounts of climate-destabilizing greenhouse gases, especially methane, which is 72 times more destructive per ton than CO2. Methane (CH4) pollution is responsible for approximately 14 percent of human-induced global warming.
Where does methane pollution come from? Methane pollution mainly comes from factory farms and the overproduction of non-organic meat, dairy, and eggs; from throwing hundreds of millions of tons of rotting food, paper, and lawn wastes into landfills (instead of composting them for use on farms, ranches, and gardens); and the destruction of wetlands for shrimp and fish farms, industrial agriculture, chemical-intensive rice farming, and urban development or sprawl.
How do we get rid of excess, climate-destabilizing methane? By purchasing organic foods, especially those produced by family farmers and ranchers in our regions, and by increasing consumer awareness that it is unhealthy and inhumane to purchase factory farm foods. It is becoming increasingly clear that buying or consuming meat, dairy, or eggs that come from a factory farm or CAFO is an ethical abomination and a climate crime. While calling for a boycott of factory-farmed products, we must deliver the positive message that the organic, humane, healthy, food-producing small farms and ranches of North America are actually greenhouse gas sequestration centers, arguably our most important allies in cooling off the planet.
Millions of consumers are still in the dark about how “conventional” foods – especially the cheaper brands of animal products, processed, fast, and fake foods – are produced. We must educate the public about the need to fight for Truth-in-Labeling so that CAFO products, derived in great measure from Monsanto’s GMO crops, are no longer greenwashed as “local” or “natural.”
Food Miles and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Food miles are the average miles that food travels from the farm to the consumer. Since more than 80 percent of the U.S. grocery purchases are now processed foods, a huge percentage of the carbon or fossil fuel footprint of industrial agriculture comes from transporting factory farm crops or animals to the processing plant or slaughterhouse and then transporting these processed foods from the processing plant to the dinner table via the supermarket. By reducing the processed foods in our diet we can greatly reduce the food miles or carbon footprint for which our households are responsible, since the shorter the distance food travels, the lower the greenhouse gas emissions.
Part of the locavore ethic is to get people to eat from their own foodshed, to save energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and stimulate the local economy. But real “local” is also about stimulating a return to in-home food preparation, an appreciation for taste, and the joy in cooking – and eating. As folks begin to appreciate the taste of locally grown fresh organic foods, their dependence on processed foods from afar usually dwindles.
The 20 percent of the U.S. diet that is not processed food includes fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products, farm raised meats, eggs, whole grains, cold pressed oils, raw honey, syrup, natural sugars, etc. Though only 20 percent of the total food budget, the sales of non-processed food are huge! Unfortunately, production of non-processed foods is largely regional with production concentrated on the southern half of both coasts and the southwest. So, even a majority of the fresh foods come from afar. This requires lots of trucking and refrigeration to get the food to local markets the across the country.
“Fresh food miles” indeed contribute to the high CO2 emissions from the U.S. food system, but these whole foods are certainly not the major greenhouse gas contributor in our food system. That dubious honor belongs to factory-farmed meat, eggs, and milk, which generate 30 to 50 percent of all of the U.S. greenhouse gases, more than industry and fossil fuels combined. (8)
Fortunately, locally and nationally, farmers have worked out strategies of how to grow fresh foods in the middle of the winter with better technology and a minimum of heat, even in extremely cold places like Maine, Vermont, Minnesota, and Montana. Consequently, farmers and consumers are growing and storing food throughout the year so that they are not responsible for so many food miles on their tables.
Our thesis is that a majority of our food miles could be chopped off if we prepare more of our food from local ingredients. But, that begs another question. What kind of local ingredients?
Chemical and Local versus Organic and Local
Some growers and brokers argue that local, chemically grown is better than fresh organic, because so much that is organic travels long distances from the two coasts. If they are talking about comparing supermarket fresh organic with fresh chemically grown local, we should still choose supermarket organic, because, whether they are used locally or nationally, pesticides and fertilizers are more dangerous and deadly to your health and the health of the environment than chemically-free organic foods transported from outside your local region.
Chemical farmers are not inspected or reprimanded by the federal or state governments as to their use or abuse of pesticides or fertilizers unless there is an accident, whether they are local farmers or factory farmers from California, Florida, or China. The only way the abusers are caught is when there is a fish kill, a labor poisoning, a recall after multiple poisonings, or some other notable injury as a result of a spill, overuse, or carelessness.
By contrast, organic growers are inspected every year and can be inspected at any time the certifying agency or the federal government (USDA) deems it appropriate. These are the rules in California, Vermont, Chile, and all countries that grow and market certified organic products. Because organic farms are inspected (at least once a year), and their soil and water checked for toxins, consumers can be secure that organic products are the safest on the market. Consumers can be confident that organic food does not contain poisonous pesticide residues, did not poison farmworkers, and was not grown with a fertilizer that trashed the soil, the water, the atmosphere, and the oceans.
Organic farming is a set of techniques and strategies that encourage life to come back into the soil and into our food. Chemical fertilizers kill soil life and inhibit the accumulation of organic matter (plant residues in the soil). Organic matter is critical to organic farmers because nutrients cling to organic matter, so the plant roots can efficiently find and mine nutrients and water at those spots.
Organic farmers add nutrients such as lime, rock phosphate, potash, and sulfur in an effort to get the soil balanced so that the maximum amount of all nutrients and water are available to foraging plant roots. This soil-balancing act is a constant process. On light and sandy soils, organic matter must be replaced every year by growing a fertilizer crop and by adding small amounts of compost, which has billions of soil microorganisms. These critters go to work breaking down organic matter and making it available to plant roots while constantly adding to the fertility by defecating the digested organic matter (and they work 24-7, not 9 to 5).
To control pests, organic farmers rotate their crops, so that pests do not build up from continuous monocropping. Instead of toxic pesticides, organic growers use beneficial insects as predators and parasites on pests. They use bacterial sprays for certain worms and beetles. They spray clay on their apples and other fruits. They use insect traps and lures. And they use trap crops that the insects like better than the main crop. They use disease resistant crops that are immune or less prone to disease. And they monitor their fields often so that they can spot problems early.
The Gold Standard: Local and Organic
Local organic food and farming are the gold standard. Organic farmers gladly adhere to a set of regulations, use non-toxic products, and accept the need to be scrutinized by an independent third party inspector. Why? Because regulation of food safety is essential to guaranteeing consumers that the farmer has their health and well being at the center of his or her business plan. The organic regulatory process is neither easy nor happily anticipated by the farmer. But it is necessary! It is our covenant with our customers.
There are no regulations governing “local” chemically grown or GMO-derived food. Anything goes! Nobody is inspecting the farm! Nobody is watching the store! As a customer, you must also be the regulator of non-organic food. Instead of depending on a regulator, you as a customer should ask the “local” growers what they used as a fertilizer source, how they controlled pests and diseases, and what chemicals they used to stimulate yield.
When the local chemical grower tells you that local is better than organic, tell them that they should switch to organic so that you can trust their food to be safe, clean, inspected, and environmentally friendly. Local food is not the gold standard, and may not even be safe. Local-organic is the gold standard.
For related articles and more information, please visit OCA’s Buy Local Campaign page, our Resource Center on Organics, and our Millions Against Monsanto Campaign page.
1. Sustainable Food News, November 12, 2010http://www.sustainablefoodnews.com
2. Hightower, Jim, Other Words, Dec. 8, 2010, “Meet Your New Neighborhood Food Market”http://www.otherwords.org/articles/….
3. Kingsolver, Barbara, et. al 2007 Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life. Harper-Collins, May 2007
4. Curl, Cynthia L., Fenske, Richard A., Elgethun, Kai. 2010 Organophosphorus Pesticide Exposure of Urban and Suburban Preschool Children with Organic and Conventional Diets. Department of Environmental Health, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.
5. Fertilizer Use Statistics, 1998-2007 . National Agricultural Statistical Service, United States Department of Agriculture.
6. “Factory Farm Nation,” Food and Water Watch, 2010,http://www.factoryfarmmap.org
8. Goodland, Robert and Anhang, Jeffery, 2009 Livestock and Climate Change. World Watch Magazine. November 1.
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