Today’s big food and agriculture companies work hard to protect their images. Companies like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, and Monsanto spend a lot of time and money diverting attention away from negative science related to their products and associating themselves with groups that promote healthy food and families. For a long time, those tactics appeared to be working; but several of this year’s developments suggest that they may not work for much longer. In fact, you might say that 2015 was the year transparency re-entered the picture. Here’s a timeline of what happened. March Read
Are you aware that in the United States, nearly 40% of the food produced is tossed into the trash? As it makes its way to the landfill, 795 million people in the world wonder where their next meal will come from. It’s ridiculous – as well as disheartening, which is why activists around the planet are doing their part to help reduce food waste and feed others with the discarded scraps. This is exactly what Adam Smith, founder of The Real Junk Food Project, is doing in Armley, Leeds. The social entrepreneur has created an empire of ‘social cafes’ through which to cook up stews, casseroles, soups and cakes with the unwanted products from supermarkets, independent grocers, and food banks. Read
More than half of U.S. states are poorly prepared to respond to infectious disease outbreaks, a new report says. Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C. did not pass muster for preventing, detecting, diagnosing and responding to such outbreaks, researchers found. They added that the United States must boost efforts to protect Americans from new threats such as Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) and antibiotic-resistant superbugs, along with resurging diseases such as tuberculosis, whooping cough and gonorrhea. Read
When it comes to sexual education, American schools are failing. There’s no nice way to put this: Sex education in the United States sucks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released new data today showing that fewer than half of high schools and only a fifth of middle schools teach all 16 sex education topics recommended by the agency. In a country where nearly half of teens report having had sex and nearly a quarter of new HIV infections occur among people under 25, that’s a dangerous level of ignorance to perpetuate. Dr. Stephanie Zaza, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, told The Daily Beast that, in comparison to findings from previous years, this year’s data shows a “mostly flat” trend, or “a lack of increase in the topics being taught in schools throughout the country.” In other words, it’s not getting better. Read
Monsanto claims that GMO farming will support farmers while fighting climate change and drought, but they are in fact a major cause of the problem. Their products are creating the very problem they seek to solve and no amount of denial or PR will hide this from the public for much longer. GMOs are genetically engineered with DNA from foreign species, bacteria, promoters or silencers of RNA. GMO crops are nearly 90 percent engineered to resist herbicides and pesticides. More and more chemical cocktails are being sprayed on our food than ever. These chemicals often do not dry, wash or cook off. They have not been tested for safety in conjunction with each-other and the “safety studies” presented to the regulatory agencies are paid for by the chemical companies who stand to profit from them. Read
This looks like a humble black work boot with a filthy white sock over it. But it actually is a secret weapon in the fight against salmonella, a microscopic bacteria that can make people sick. Danish farmers wear socks over their work boots when they’re in chicken houses to gather samples of the manure, which is tested for salmonella. Credit: Courtesy of Birgitte Helwigh It’s one of many things farmers in Denmark have started doing since surging human illnesses prompted the country to no longer tolerate the bacteria in its chicken. It’s pretty simple: Danish farmers wear the socks over their boots when they’re in chicken houses to gather samples of the bacteria in the chickens’ poop. Read
Why is it that populations from specific geographical locations around the world thrive in terms of health and wellness while others do so poorly? Here are 15 secrets across the globe that may make you reconsider your approach to your daily routine. 1. THAILAND Thai food is among the spiciest in the world. Past research suggested that spicing food with chilies can lower blood pressure in people with that condition, reduce blood cholesterol and ease the tendency for dangerous blood clots to form. Hot peppers raise your metabolism, and spicing up your daily diet with some red pepper can also curb appetite, especially for those who don’t normally eat the popular spice, according to research from Purdue University. The real benefit of food with a little zing is that it slows your eating, says James Hill, PhD, past president of the American Society for Nutrition. “Americans eat too fast,” he says. “By the time your body signals that it’s full, you’ve overeaten. Eating slower is a good weight-loss strategy, and making food spicier is an easy way to do it.” Read
Today Show: Chi
Guest Speaker: Victor Reyes http://livelifewell.co/
Victor Reyes is the founder of LiveLifeWell.co, and an active Health and Wellness Life Coach. He is also a practitioner and instructor of Bio-energy Healing, Qi-Gong (Chi Kung), and various other aspects of life-wellness.
The main focus at LiveLifeWell.co, is to promote life-wellness, and to provide its’ members and visitors with information, and simple techniques and tools, that will inspire them to seek and maintain a lifestyle of wellness and well-being.
Good health is derived from a state of well-being in which all of the components of the person are healthy and in balance with each other. We are in essence, chemical energy beings. In order to achieve good health, the energy system, known as life-force, which exists within and around us, must be flowing and well-balanced. This life-force energy system is known around the world by many different names. For example, it’s known as Chi in China, Ki in Japan, Prana in India, Ankh in Egypt, etc. Life-force energy may have different names and descriptions, but it’s all the same thing. The energy must flow unhampered, or the body becomes ill. It’s relatively easy for a person to feel their own life-force energy, and to ensure that it’s flowing properly.
Over the last few years, health advocacy has challenged harmful food production technologies while promoting sustainable alternatives. Multiple tools and strategies have included litigation, legal petitions for rulemaking, legal support for various sustainable agriculture and food safety constituencies, policy initiatives, public education, grassroots organizing, and media outreach. In response, the food industry has ramped up its public relations efforts to reassure the public that our food system is ‘healthy and safe.’ They have formed groups that appear to benefit the public, and they often appear to represent farmers or consumers. However, their sneaky tactics are actually funded by powerful industry players – like Monsanto – who don’t truly care about public health. Therefore, it’s important to understand who these groups are and what their ultimate goals are. Read
Lucy Marston is the Field Vegetable and CSA Manager at Hawthorne Valley Farm – a 400-acre certified biodynamic farm in the Hudson Valley. She grows for a 300 member CSA, on site farm store and 5 weekly farmers markets in NYC. Lucy came to Hawthorne Valley Farm as an apprentice looking to learn how to farm and then moved up to manage their production vegetable operation, which she has been doing for the past 3 seasons. Before coming to production farming she worked in farm-based education in Connecticut and California.