If you received this post via email, click here to get to the web version--especially if pictures don't show up in your email, because you'll basically miss the whole point of this post.
If you received this post via email, click here to get to the web version--especially if pictures don't show up in your email, because you'll basically miss the whole point of this post.
Genetically Modified Crops include Bt (Bacillius thuringiensis) Cotton & Corn, and Herbicide-Tolerant (HT) Soy, Cotton, and Corn. Almost All Soybeans Grown in the United States are Now Genetically Modified.
Data from USDA Reports (Mother Earth News Apr/May 2012)
If you received this post via email, click here, to get to the web version with all the links, & to watch "Genetic Roulette"
GMOs in the Grocery Store? What Does It Mean, Exactly?
A little back-story, to get you started.
“Genetic modification” refers to the manipulation of DNA by humans to change the essential makeup of plants and animals. The technology inserts genetic material from one species into another to give a crop or animal a new quality, such as the ability to produce a pesticide.
These DNA transfers could never occur in nature and are not as precise as proponents make them sound.
Some genetically modified crops have been engineered to include genetic material from BT (Bacillus thuringiensis), a natural bacterium found in soil.
Inserting the Bt genes makes the plant itself produce bacterial toxins, thereby killing the insects that could destroy it. The first GM crop carrying Bt genes, potatoes, were approved in the United States in 1995. Today there are Bt versions of corn, potatoes and cotton.
Roundup-Ready crops — soybeans, corn, canola, sugar beets, cotton, alfalfa and Kentucky bluegrass — have been manipulated to be resistant to glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s broadleaf weedkiller Roundup.
These two GM traits — herbicide resistance and pesticide production — are now pervasive in American agriculture.
The Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service says that, in 2010, as much as 86 percent of corn, up to 90 percent of all soybeans and nearly 93 percent of cotton were GM varieties.
You’re eating genetically modified foods almost daily unless you grow all of your food or always buy organic."
-Robin Mather, "The Threats from Genetically Modified Food," Mother Earth News, April/May 2012-
The pros & cons of GMO food are more than I could begin to tackle in a single blog post.
To get a handle on the concerns with the pervasiveness of GMOs in our food supply--YOU, dear reader, should you choose to accept this assignment--will have do some homework. But, no worries. All the assignments are listed below.
Frankly, the whole GMO issue is something I haven't paid all that much attention to.
That's is--until recently.
The published research into the potential adverse health effects of GMO-foods is on the scant-side, because companies like Monsanto don't have to give out their seeds to be tested. Corporate patent laws protect them from scrutiny.
But, reports from respected physicians, veterinarians, botanists, agriculture researchers, policy makers, government scientists, and farmers present a whole laundry list of worrisome side effects:
So, how is it possible that there is so little published research on the long-term effects of GMOs on human & animal health, considering that GMO-seeds now totally dominate the farming industry?
Turns out, the FDA allowed Monsanta to conduct its own research prior to approval of GMO seeds in the 1990's. That's right! No independent investigators. Monsanto did their own research in-house. And none of the studies were long-term, which would be necessary to show any connection to cancer, birth defects, or reproductive disorders. In fact, there was only one human feeding study conducted, prior to approval of Round-Up ready soy seeds.
The FDA policy commissioner at the time of GMO approval was Michael R. Taylor, who had previous ties to Monsanto as their legal counsel--and has had a revolving door of positions between Monsanto, King & Spalding, a law firm representing Monsanto, & the FDA. Right now, he's the FDA's "Food Safety Czar".
"As the system now stands, biotech companies bring their own research to the government body overseeing their proposed products. The agency may be the US Dept. of Agriculture, the federal Food and Drug Administration or the Environmental Protection Agency.
These government bodies do no independent studies on the safety and efficacy of the proposed products. Instead, they rely strictly on the research conducted by the companies.
"We don’t have the whole picture. That’s no accident. Multibillion-dollar agricultural corporations, including Monsanto and Syngenta, have restricted independent research on their genetically-engineered crops,” wrote Doug Gurion-Sherman of the Union of Concerned Scientists in a February 2011 Los Angeles Times op-ed piece.
“They have often refused to provide independent scientists with seeds, or they’ve set restrictive conditions that severely limit research options.”
Honestly, the whole corporations-versus-consumer-versus-the-FDA-&-the-USDA controversy is so shrouded with secrecy & accusations that it's hard to get a bottom line on the real risks of GMOs to our health & our environment.
My bottom line: I'm not a GMO fan. I'm concerned. I'm going to make every effort to avoid the stuff. Why wait until it's too late?
Why Not Watch Jeffrey M. Smith's Documentary, "Genetic Roulette: The Gamble of Our Lives" and Decide About GMO's for Yourself?
Do Not Miss This One!!! It's a worthwhile investment of 1 hr and 24 mins. And besides, it's free online from Sept. 15-22nd only. So don't put this off for too long.
You'll find the link to this disturbing documentary, here. Sorry, I couldn't insert it into the post.
The Lab Rat & I watched "Genetic Roulette" last night. It's a new documentary that "reveals the serious health impacts of genetically engineered foods in our diets." No coincidence that its release is timed to the upcoming California Proposition 37 to label GMOs in food.
Which foods are GMO--unless otherwise labeled?
Soy (I only buy non-GMO)
Corn (not popcorn)
Cottonseed (for oil)
Canola (for oil)
Sugar beets (for sugar)
Yellow crookneck squash
Alfalfa (for hay)
All of the foods listed above (or their derivatives, like corn syrup, etc), are genetically modified (GMO) if they were grown in the US & are not labeled organic or non-GMO.
Organic foods are all non-GMO.
"Prop 37 isn’t a ban on foods containing genetically engineered material; it’s a right-to-know law.
Big Food is worried that this is the thin edge of the wedge, and I (Bittman) hope they’re right. If we win the right to know what’s in processed food, we might be inclined to demand to know how other food is produced. (You might think of Prop 37 as the anti-ag-gag law.) If genetically engineered food is so terrific, persuade us; if it’s not, well, fine. In any case, it should be up to us to buy it or not, but first we have to know what it is.
I (Bittman) want to know — quite technically, in all the detail available — how my food is produced, and I’m far from alone. We’d be able to make saner choices, and those choices would greatly affect Big Food’s ability to freely use genetically manipulated materials, an almost unlimited assortment of drugs and inhumane and environmentally destructive animal-production methods."
The Murky Money Story Behind the Funding for the Stanford Organic Food Study
This one's a real EYE-OPENER!! If you haven't read it already, be sure to read Linda Watson's piece, "Stanford Organic Study: Should You Take It with a Grain of Salt (Slide Show) in the September 12, 2012 Huffington Post.
Just follow the corporate money trail on the recent Archives of Internal Medicine Stanford study that found "no huge benefits" to eating organic produce. How naive of me!!
I believed the article's disclaimer: "The authors received no external funding for this study." But, who funds Stanford's Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, & who funded the researchers' study?
"A simple look at FSI's 2011 annual report shows that it is funded by Cargill and others who have a strong financial interest in Monsanto, McDonalds, Walmart, and other businesses that profit from industrial food practices.
Before you head out to the market, check out this slide show (in Watson's Huff Post article) to see how the Stanford Institute that funded the study gets its money and to see some of the other reasons to choose organic when you can. Tell us which ones you would take with a grain of salt."
Check out: "Uneasy Allies in the Grocery Aisle," by Stephanie Strom, September 13, 2012, New York Times. Get a better handle on the key players fighting the GMO-Labeling California ballot issue, Proposition 37.
The whole "organic food" & pro-non-GMO story gets even more complicated. Look who's funding the huge anti-GMO labeling campaign to defeat proposition 37 in California? Along with Monsanto & DuPont are a whole lot of organic food companies who are now owned by big corporations.
The Corporate Seed Connection
What Do You Think?
Are GMOs Something to Be Concerned About
Are Consumer Fears Based on Anectdotal Evidence & Shaky Science?
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On Thursday, my husband forwarded this to me at work.
The message: What were you thinking when you added this to our Netflix queue? Another loser movie?
Me: Not me. You must have added it! You probably heard about it from one of your gardening magazines or when you were doing research for your insect presentation. Why would I order a movie about bees?
Lab Rat: Definitely not me! You added it.
Turns out--it was me. As I wrote this post, I realized I added it months ago from a recommendation by Frederic & Mary Brussat.
Saturday Afternoon - Sitting in Our Lush Sunny Backyard
We grabbed books, the newspaper, and sank into lounge chairs to enjoy the sun and the quiet of the late afternoon. Son #2 enjoyed a Green Smoothie along with Chex Mix--a old-time favorite comfort snack of his.
It was peaceful, relaxing, delightful. But, not completely silent.
Lab Rat: What's that noise? Do you hear it?
Me: Yeah. What's that noise? It's so loud.
Lab Rat: Bees. Honey Bees. Don't worry, they won't bother you a bit. They're just busy at work.
Sunday Evening: We Watched the Queen of the Sun
Beekeeper and healer Sara Mapelli performs with 12,000 bees in a scene from Queen of the Sun
"Queen of Sun explores the varied reasons for colony collapse while providing a road map for combating it: the eradication of monoculture farming, abandoning the use of pesticides that end up harming bees more than the pests they're meant to eradicate, and stopping migratory beekeeping that truck bees all over the country, killing millions in transit and stressing the colonies."
The honey bees had us completely under their spell for 1 1/2 hours!
I still had no idea which of us had added The Queen of the Sun to our Netflix queue--but, what a winner this documentary was.
Beauty, science, nature, spirituality, gentle caretaking, man's misguided interference and a serious warning to the world. An ancient insect is now in peril.
If you're a gardener. If you love flowers. If you love fruit. If you're intrigued by the intricate symbiotic nature of nature. If you have concerns about pesticides--add Alzheimer's for bees to your worry list. If you want to know how genetically-modified (GMO) seeds are made--and what their impact might be on our environment & future food production--this will be an eye-opener. If you had no idea how miles and miles of fields planted only with one crop--like, corn and soybeans--can harm bees--you'll find out. If you had no idea that bee hives are now trucked thousands of miles in order to pollinate crops--and even bees are being fed high-fructose corn syrup. Or that there's such a thing as artificial insemination for Queen Bees--and there's a price to pay for messing with Queen's sex life!
You'll want to watch this movie.
But, is it boring and dry? Another gloom and movie, that should have been called, "Bee-pocalypse"?
Not at all! Gorgeous flowers. Some zany characters. Fascinating beekeepers & scenery from Italy, France, New Zealand, Oregon, and even the Bronx. An entomologist. A physicist. Biologists. And your eyes will be opened.
The honey bees are our canaries in the coal mine!
And they're telling us something.
If You Don't See the Trailer on Your Screen Click Here
"QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? is a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis from the award-winning director of THE REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.
Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this alarming and ultimately uplifting film weaves together a dramatic story of the heart-felt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers around the world.
This spellbinding film explores the long-term causes that have led to one of our most urgent global food crises, illuminating the deep link between humans and bees.
The story unveils 10,000 years of beekeeping, highlighting how that historic and sacred relationship has been lost. Inspiring and entertaining, QUEEN OF THE SUN uncovers the problems and solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature."
-The Queen of the Sun website-
Go to the documentary's website, to learn more!
Don't Just Take My Word About How Good This Movie Is
“A remarkable documentary that's also one of the most beautiful nature films I've seen.”
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
“Revelatory! Honey has never looked so delicious. Or so precious.”
Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times - Critic’s Pick
"Visually sumptuous...lovingly shot, near-psychedelic imagery, which serves as an unusually visceral reminder of the rich variety in nature—and what’s at stake if bees bug out for good, Village Voice
“An inspiring documentary, one of the best films of 2011.” Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
“A creative exploration of the global honeybee crisis replete with remarkable nature cinematography, some eccentric characters and yet another powerful argument for organic, sustainable agriculture in balance with nature.” -Alissa Simon, Variety
"Bee Movie is no B Movie. Whether or not you like honey on your morning muffin, you ought to be concerned with the health of the nation's bees." -Walter Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
“Colony Collapse Disorder should be a planetary wake up call akin to Rachel Carson’s 1960s pesticide expose Silent Spring.” David Lamble, Bay Area Reporter
“Beautifully blends poetry and science to tell the story of what may be the most important co-evolutionary bond on Earth… Queen of the Sun's optimistic tone suggests solutions will flower from the seeds of new perspectives.” - Rick Marianetti, The Examiner
“I never thought that a documentary about honeybees would make me both laugh and cry-but filmmaker Taggart Siegel’s Queen of the Sun is one such film.” -Dennis Hartley, Hullabaloo
You can watch the movie here, for $4.99.
Or buy the video.
Or order it from Netflix, like we did.
Or borrow it from your library.
I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
I'm trying to convince the Lab Rat to become a beekeeper. He's thinking about it.
Big Vegan's Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettucine - Is It an Immune Booster Shot?
If you received this post via email, click here to get to the web version--there are videos you won't see in your email.
My husband & I returned from a jam-packed wonderful Wellness Forum Weekend late on Sunday afternoon. After 3 days of sitting, listening, and taking pages of notes I was glad to be home. And I was so happy that we had a big pot of Sweet Potato Spinach Soup in the fridge for dinner.
Strange factoid: Both of us are used to eating so much food at home, that we both lost weight on the meals served in the hotel--in just 2 1/2 days. I was disappointed that Chef Del wasn't able to prepare the meals, as he did last year. He's an amazing chef. This was a hotel's version of plant-based fare.
Biggest surprise: I got to meet some HHLL readers who attended the conference and introduced themselves to me. This was so much fun for me--delightful--and totally unexpected! It was a pleasure to meet, talk, and compare notes with everyone. I met readers from Florida, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Idaho, California, and Connecticut. Hope I'm not leaving anyone out. Thank you so much for taking the time to introduce yourselves and stopping by to chat. I only regret that we couldn't talk longer.
Lots to report on what I learned at the conference. But, you'll have to wait until later in the week.
The most practical "I can take-this-back-home-and-use-it" information came from:
Thanksgiving is Around the Corner! Let's Talk Recipes for the Holiday Weekend
Thanksgiving is fast approaching--and I just have to share three new recipes that have knocked-my-socks-off since returning home on Sunday! And it's only Tuesday! You just might want to try them out on your guests over the long holiday weekend.
The Janice Stanger Research Connection to These Recipes
According to some of the research presented by Janice Stanger at the Wellness Forum's Fall Conference, each of these recipes brings a little something to the table when it comes to giving us an immune-boost.
Janice Stanger's Myth-Buster #9 - Chicken Soup Is the Best Food If You Have a Cold, But It's Not Because of the Chicken!
Check out the title of the study Stanger shared with us. It was published in 2000 in the prestigious respiratory medicine journal, Chest. And then it was re-published in Chest's 75th year commemorative issue in 2009! This article has been a long-time favorite.
Special Report: Chicken Soup Inhibits Neutrophil Chemotaxis In Vitro (in the test tube or culture dish). Rennard, BO, et al. Chest 118(4):1150-1157, October, 2000. Want to read it? Here it is!
Here's the research behind what makes chicken soup good for the common cold:
Back in 2000, Barbara Rennard & her colleagues tested each component of a special recipe for Grandma's Chicken Soup. One at a time they tested each ingredient of the soup to see which one had the strongest effect on inhibiting the immune response that's responsible for our miserable cold symptoms.
Which ingredient do you think had the most potent effect on inhibiting neutrophil migration?
Turns out, all the anti-inflammatory action of the soup came from its lightly cooked vegetables--not from the chicken. The chicken broth had no benefit at all on inhibiting neutrophil chemotaxis. Zippo. That is...until the vegetables were added to it.
All the benefits of the broth on human immune cells came from the vegetables--and cooking them just 8 minutes was the optimal time--just until they were tender.
Take home message: Don't overcook your vegetables!
"That some interaction takes place during the cooking seems likely as the soup acquires maximal inhibitory activity shortly after adding the first group of vegetables.
While still active, inhibitory activity does decrease slightly during the later stages of the preparation.
The current study demonstrates a statistically significant inhibition of neutrophil chemotaxis by (vegetable) chicken soup in vitro. This was not an "in vivo" (human) trial.
[Just to be perfectly clear] The current study assessed a single measure of the inflammatory response, migration of neutrophils."
If you want an extra immune system boost--Dr. Stanger recommends you think about adding more mushrooms to your meals.
They've got more than 300 compounds that will increase the production of white blood cells and boost your immune system. The #1 mushrooms for boosting immunity are: shiitake, maitake, & reishi, but, even white button mushrooms have recently been shown to have plenty of immune-boosting power. Check out this article, "The Effects of Mushrooms During Inflammation," BMC Immunol. 2009 Feb 20;10:12. You can read it here.
So, here's the interesting way mushrooms work in the presence of disease--they seem to promote an appropriate immune response--inhibiting tumor growth or even destroying disease-causing microbes--but leaving healthy cells or beneficial bacteria alone.
Here's an example:
In a recent study of treatment for gingivitis (gum disease), researchers tested a mushroom extract against mouth bacteria. Then they compared the results to what happens when a commonly used gingival mouthwash, chlorhexidine, is used.
The cholhexidine killed both the gingival-causing bacteria, as well as the benefiical bacteria in the mouth.
The mushrooms, on the other hand, had an appropriate immune response--and killed only the gingival-causing bacteria.
Read the full article here. Ciric, L. et al "In Vitro Assessment of Shiitake Mushroom (Lentinula edodes) Extract for Its Antigingivitis Activity," J Biomed Biotechnol. 2011; 2011: 507908.
As much as I'd like to believe that mushrooms can perform magic on humans, at this point in time, most of the immune-boosting mushroom research is being done in the test tube, the culture dish, or on animals. I checked PubMed, The Natural Standard Database (the authority on integrative medicine , Sloan-Kettering's Integrative Medicine Database, & more).
The results are positive, but we'll have to wait to see the randomized-controlled human trials, for the final word. Personally, I wouldn't be surprised if we see something positive--not as a cure--but as an immune-booster.
As for me, I'm going to add mushrooms whenever I can--they taste great, and I'm betting they're health-promoting.
Looking for some other natural cold or flu-fighting tools to put in your arsenal? Read this HHLL post from 11/09:
And Now for the Recipes!
Immune-Boosting (Maybe In Vitro) Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettucine (from Asbell's Big Vegan)
Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettucine
Creamy Mushroom Sauce for the Fettucine
Browning the Sliced Seitan for the Fettucine
A big thank-you to MLB, a blog reader in Philly who recommended Robin Asbell's Big Vegan to me. So far, everything I've made from it has been amazing. And I only have 348 recipes to go.
We had this for dinner last night and I just couldn't believe how fabulous it was. It's got a dense, rich, and creamy sauce with just a hint of wine & spice. The seitan provides just the right texture & mouth feel--not to mention, it's a huge protein boost.
If you want to get fancy, sprinkle a teaspoon of toasted chopped walnuts on top.
Nutrition facts are for 1/4 of the recipe that includes the walnuts.
Creamy Triple-Mushroom Fettucine wt Walnuts
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
Sweet Potato, Spinach, Fire-Roasted Tomatoes & a Bit of Peanut Butter Soup
Sweet Potato, Spinach, Fire-Roasted Tomatoes and a Bit of Peanut Butter Soup
My husband picked out this recipe from Robin Robertson's Quick-Fix Vegan to try last Thursday night, when I worked late.
This one is definitely going to go on my Go To Quick-Dinner List.
It's got it all. Speed. All the nutrient-dense ingredients. Lots of spice. And it smells heavenly.
I brought some of our left-overs to work yesterday, and every one of the healthy librarians who tasted it gave it a huge thumbs up. I promised them I'd post it today!
Robin Robertson says it serves 4. Don't believe her. We always eat huge portions, and we got at least 6 servings out of it!
Nutrition Facts are for a heaping two-cup serving made with Better'n Peanut Butter & no crushed peanuts
Based on using Better'n Peanut Butter & no chopped nuts
Quick-Fix Vegan 2 cup serving
Enlightened Sweet Potato Spinach Soup
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
Cynthia Lair's Protein-Packed French Lentil Dijon Sandwich Spread/Dip with Chipotle
French Lentil Dijon Spead/Dip Ingredients
French Lentil Dijon Dip - OK It's Not Much to Look At - But It Really Tastes Delicious
French Lentil Dijon Sandwich Spread with Roasted Red Peppers
My son & daughter-in-law's friend, natural foods chef Eli, of "Eat with Eli", brought over her favorite cookbook as a gift, to celebrate the arrival of their new baby girl in October. Cynthia Lair's Feeding the Whole Family. Recipes for Babies, Young Children & Their Parents. Sasquatch Books, 2008.
Cynthia is a cooking instructor at Bastyr University in Seattle and she has a quirky/funny cooking video website called: Cookus Interruptus, How to Cook Fresh Local Whole Foods Despite Life's Interruptions. It's really a blast (with a title like that!)--and even though Cynthia doesn't cook exactly as I do--she's got some excellent cooking tips, techniques, information, & recipes on her site. Check it out.
Now, back to the French Lentil Dijon recipe.
This recipe just jumped out at me when I leafed through Lair's cookbook. It takes all of ten minutes to prepare--and it's star ingredient is French Lentils--one of the best beans out there. High in taste, iron, protein, the amino acid lysine, and fiber. This dip is loaded with flavor & keeps in the fridge for about a week.
I've served it as a dip, and a sandwich spread. Add a little avocado, tomato, lettuce, sprouts, & roasted red pepper and it can't be beat for a fast nutritious lunch. It's last minute pantry food.
I've since shared it with my kids, the healthy librarians at work, and some of my friends--and now with you. But thank Cynthia Lair, not me.
Everyone seems to add their own special flair to it. Mary, the librarian added the chipotle, and I'm now adding it to mine! Snez added a green onion.
Warning: You must use French Lentils. Not brown. Not red. Only French. If you're lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe's, use their already steamed, long-shelf-life lentils that come in a light blue box. You'll find them either in the produce or the meat & cheese refrigerated cases. These are French, and they really speed up the prep time.
Last thing: It really works best to make this in a processor, although a VitaMix will also work--it's just harder to clean out.
Get a copy of the recipe on one page here. Note: When I made this on 11/22/11 I noticed I had forgotten a key ingredient--1 tablespoon of lower-sodium tamari (or soy sauce)--and I didn't mention that the pepper in the recipe was ONLY if you weren't using the chipolte. Sorry, if I ruined anyone's recipe! My recipe has now been corrected--and it tastes delicious!
Nutrition info is based on three servings for the recipe
French Lentil Dijon Sandwich Spread
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
Movies for Grown-Ups - Two I've Recently Seen That I Can't Stop Thinking About
Click Here to Get the Trailer If You Don't See It on Your Screen
In a Better World
Click Here to Get the Trailer If You Don't See It on Your Screen
Three Recipes on My Tentative Thanksgiving Menu
These three were recommended by MLB in Philly. She LOVES the mushroom soup, and the waldorf salad. She hasn't tried the chocolate-pumpkin bread pudding, but the NYT's Tara Parker-Pope swears by it.
Roasted Triple Mushroom Soup--Nix on the olive oil and sour cream. Use vegetable broth.
Chloe Coscarelli's Chocolate-Pumpkin Bread Pudding--I'll use faux coconut milk, not sure whether I'll use sugar or maple syrup.
What has happened to us? Despite the most advanced medical technology in the world, we are sicker than ever by nearly every measure.Two out of every three of us are overweight. Cases of diabetes are exploding, especially amongst our younger population.
About half of us are taking at least one prescription drug. Major medical operations have become routine, helping to drive health care costs to astronomical levels.Heart disease, cancer and stroke are the country’s three leading causes of death, even though billions are spent each year to “battle” these very conditions. Millions suffer from a host of other degenerative diseases.
Could it be there’s a single solution to all of these problems? A solution so comprehensive but so utterly straightforward, that it’s mind-boggling that more of us haven’t taken it seriously?
-Forks Over Knives, a documentary that explores the evidence of "food as medicine", coming March 11, 2011-
If you received this post via email, Click Here to get to the web version & all the links.
For my 1/29/11 updated post about the film when I saw it at a "Big Screen" sneak preview--click here
I can say this wholeheartedly. When this movie comes out this summer, make sure you see it.
My whole view of what constitutes a healthy diet turned upside-down two years ago when Dr. T. Colin Campbell presented a lecture on "Can Medical Practice Tolerate Nutritional Intervention?" at the major medical center where I work. To read "T. Colin Campbell Pays a Visit: Does This Mean I Have to Become a Vegan?"
Four months later I just happened upon a NPR-affiliate's interview with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn about the prevention and reversal of heart disease. Click here to read: "Yes, You Can Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, But Are You Up for the Challenge? Let Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Convince You"
Their evidence speaks for itself. A whole-foods plant-based diet can prevent, and often undo all the damage that our "too-rich diets of affluence" have caused: obesity, heart disease, type-2 diabetes, many cancers, hypertension, strokes, and osteoporosis.
Campbell & Esselstyn were both born in the early 1930's. They both grew up on farms. Eating beef and drinking milk was what they knew. But by the 1980's both men, one a Cornell University research scientist and the chair of the division of Nutritional Sciences, and the other, a Cleveland Clinic surgeon, had turned their backs on their past, and were advocating a whole-food plant-based diet.
For Campbell--getting enough animal protein--enough milk and meat was important to good health. Back then he believed milk was nature's most perfect food. In fact, his original research was on the optimal feed for animals. But, he's a scientist--so in spite of his background and his original biases, when all the evidence started pointing in the direction of animal protein as the cause of many of our chronic diseases, he set out to investigate--first to the Philippines to find out why so many children there were mysteriously being diagnosed with liver cancer, then by conducting numerous laboratory studies on the effects of animal protein on cancer, and finally traveling to China, to conduct the largest "living human laboratory" epidemiologic study ever designed.
Campbell's conclusion: There is not one single mechanism in a plant-based diet that is responsible for its health promoting effects. It's not about individual nutrients. It's the 100,000 chemicals from plant foods that work together synergistically that bring about good health. Good nutrition supported by exercise, water, and sunshine is greater than the sum of its parts. It's a biological symphony.
-T. Colin Campbell, from Forks Over Knives-
"People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease...People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest and tended to avoid chronic disease. These results could not be ignored."
"I know of nothing else in medicine that can come close to what a plant-based diet can do."
"I can say this with a great deal of confidence. Our national authorities are simply excluding this concept of nutrition from the debate in order to protect the status quo. If everyone would do this, we'd cut health care costs by 70-85%."
"The major message from the China Study--is the only message--a plant-food-based diet, mainly cereal grains, vegetables & fruit, and very little animal food, is always associated with lower mortality of certain cancers, stroke, and coronary heart disease."
--Dr.Junshi Chen, Senior Research Professor, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Beijing, China, and co-investigator of the "China Study" with Dr. T. Colin Campbell-
For Esselstyn--trained as a surgeon, and trained to treat disease by cutting it out--he chose to specialize in breast cancer surgery. But in the 1980's he was "increasingly disillusioned by what he was not doing-- never curing the underlying disease, never doing anything to help prevent it in the next unsuspecting victim".
That led him to delve into the research of populations with low incidences of breast & prostate cancer--and then on to populations with low incidences of heart disease--and then noticing the dramatic rise and fall of heart disease in war-time Norway when the Germans commandeered all of Norway's beef & dairy cattle for their own troops. He connected the dots--to the inescapable conclusion that animal protein was disease-causing, while plant protein was not. The result turned into the initiation of the longest-running study (over 20 years) of heart disease reversal based on a diet devoid of animal protein--just beans, legumes, whole grains, vegetables, and fruit--hold the oil, please.
"Some people think the "diet" is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme."
"The elephant in the room when we talk about stents and bypass surgery--those procedures don't protect from new heart attacks. Stents & bypasses are used to treat large arterial blockages. Yet according to many research studies only a small percentage of heart attacks are caused by the largest build-up of plaque. The rest are caused by the more numerous newer blockages that are far more inflamed and much more likely to rupture than the larger older, more stable plaques. So this is why those procedures don't treat the disease. They are treating the symptoms."
--Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn--
Why do I personally find the work and message of Campbell and Esselstyn so compelling?
If you don't have the time to read Dr. T. Colin Campbell's The China Study and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn's Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, do yourself a huge favor & go see this film. For me, Forks Over Knives did what these books could not.
Yep, I know this sounds like snake-oil, but let the evidence speak for itself. Two years ago I made the switch over to plant-based and now it's just part of my routine. I can't see any reason to go back.
The Real-Time Health Turn-Around of Lee Fulkerson, Joey of Tampa, and SanDera of Cleveland
To be honest, I'm a skeptic at heart. I never fall for magical transformations with pills, supplements, or diets. I need to see the scientific evidence. And I need to understand the mechanism behind how something works.
But, for me, absolutely nothing beats the triple punch of: scientific evidence, understanding the mechanism of action, and seeing a real person's successful transformation.Meet Lee Fulkerson, the writer and director of Forks Over Knives
Weight: 211 pounds (was 231 pounds)
Blood Pressure: 112/70 (was 142/82)
Resting heart rate: 60 (was 92)
Total Cholesterol: 154 (was 241)
LDL: 80 (was 157)
CRP (marker of inflammation) 2.8 (was 6)
He's not on any medications, and his health risks are now significantly reduced--just by changing his diet.Meet Joey, owner of a landscape company in Tampa, FL
Weight: he's lost an additional 28 pounds--his before and after pictures are nothing short of amazing
Medical complaints: 26 out of his 27 medical complaints are gone
CRP: down to normal
Blood sugar: they are down, and continue to come down daily
Cholesterol: in the normal range, and less than when he was on medication
Blood Pressure: it's now normal, and even on medication it was elevated
He's off all of his medications, his numbers continue to improve. He looks almost unrecognizable from a mere 22 weeks ago. He feels energetic, and in control of his health.Meet SanDera, a mother of 5 in her 30's who works for a diabetes out-patient clinic.
Forks over Knives Trailer (click here if you don't see the video)
For more information on this upcoming documentary go the Forks Over Knives website
Keep an eye out for Forks Over Knives opening this summer. It's sure to stir up some controversy.
"The greatest gift that you could possibly give to your family--you can make them aware of this incredible power to avoid life's most painful events. You just don't have to have those kinds of events."
-Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn-
1. Nitric oxide is absolutely essential to vascular health--a finding that won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1998.2. It relaxes blood vessels, selectively boosting blood flow to the organs that need it. It prevents white blood cells and platelets from becoming sticky, and starting the buildup of vascular plaque. It lowers blood pressure.
3. But with every meal of processed oil, dairy or meat we eat, within minutes there is damage & injury to the "life jackets" of our vascular health--which is the single layer of endothelial cells that line all of our blood vessels.
4. The essential building block for nitric oxide production is an amino acid that is found in rich supply in plant foods.
5. And what can you eat to insure that your endothelial cells will have the raw materials to produce this healing nitric oxide? Beans & leafy greens. Load up on kale, collards, Swiss chard, bok choy, & beans and you will be well on your way to healing the linings of your blood vessels.
6. Dr. Esselstyn's patients who adopted a strictly plant-based diet brought about rapid restoration of their endothelial cells' capacity to manufacture nitric oxide--and restore circulation.
-Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease-
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Lately, I've been craving Swiss chard. It's in my shopping cart every time I go to the grocery store--and believe me--I go to the grocery store a lot.
Provencal Greens soup--made with just Swiss chard, dandelion greens, leeks, and vegetable broth. Can't get enough of it. Click here for the recipe
So when I saw Martha Rose Shulman's recipe for a Sardine and Chard Gratin in the New York Times on March 29, 2010 I knew I was going to give it a try.
Now that was a pretty crazy thing for me to do--because number one: I've never let a sardine pass my lips, ever! Sardines were my dad's all-time favorite food--but as a kid, their fishy smell and the whole slimy look of canned sardines sent me running out of the kitchen. And number two: I rarely eat fish these days.
And for years I wouldn't give Swiss chard the time of day, either! My father-in-law LOVED Swiss chard, and grew it in his summer garden before he retired to Florida. He was always trying to get me try his chard. Never even took a single bite.
Now it's always in my fridge, and I blend it into Green smoothies, saute it with garlic, and use it anyway I can think of. Love it. If only my father-in-law could see me now.
As soon as I read that Martha Rose Shulman's gorgeous gratin would take 3 pounds of Swiss chard to make--I was bound and determined to give it a try--in spite of those sardines.
My dad and my father-in-law both died from massive strokes--long before we knew a thing about nitric oxide, Swiss chard, or omega 3s. If only they had known what we know now.
I made my chard gratin when Passover ended--and I could top it with bread crumbs.
Two days after we enjoyed the Swiss chard gratin I came across this article published last January in the Journal of the American Geriatric Society, with a most appropriate title: "Impaired Endothelial Nitric Oxide Bioavailability: A Common Link Between Aging, Hypertension, and Atherogenesis?" So does this mean that you're only as young as your nitric oxide supply holds out?
"Chronological age should no longer be viewed as an irreversible cardiovascular risk factor. The concept of "vascular age" may be a more useful construct in determining vascular risk.
Accelerated vascular aging and the "age related" vascular disease processes of hypertension and atherosclerosis are associated with impaired endothelial nitric oxide bioavailability at relatively early stages.
Pharmacotherapeutic intervention aimed at improving endothelial nitric oxide bioavailability has the potential to alter these related disease process."
And who says you need a drug to improve endothelial nitric oxide bioavailability? A plant-based-diet with plenty of Swiss chard, kale, collards, bok choy, legumes, and beans does a fine job--without the side-effects! Just ask Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. if you don't believe me.
As for the Gratin--it was everything Martha Rose Shulman had promised:
"This is unbelievably easy to make and so delicious I can hardly believe it's made with sardines from a can. The recipe is a simplified version of a traditional Provencal dish made with fresh sardines and spinach You can easily throw this dish together on a weeknight."
For the vegans who are reading this--please forgive me for the sardine slip-up. That's what happens when you're "veganish". I still do occasionally eat fish--about once every-other-month. Blame it on my 8 day Passover fast from beans, grains, legumes, and rice. I needed some protein.
But honestly, I loved those sardines! I truly am my father's daughter. And eating them made me think of him and put a big smile on my face! Sis--have you ever tasted sardines?
And I know I will also lose points for including a recipe that requires a bit of olive oil to give it a true Provencal taste. And I'm sure it could be left out.
There's no denying that cold-water fish contain heart healthy omega-3s that have been shown to lower triglycerides, decrease inflammation, as well as reduce the risks of heart disease, stroke, and hypertension. And even the Environmental Defense Fund puts sardines into the "eco-best category. Because they are lower on the food chain they have less contaminants.
This dish is dedicated to my Dad who loved sardines, and my father-in-law who loved Swiss chard. And now I finally understand why.
Dad's Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratin
adapted from a recipe by Martha Rose Shulman
1 3.5-ounce can boneless, skinless sardines packed in olive oil (Martha recommends 2 cans of oil-packed--no need)
1 3.5-ounce can boneless, skinless sardines packed in water
2 1/2 to 3 pounds Swiss chard (about 3 bunches) stemmed--but leave a few inches of stem intact--and wash carefully
1-3 tsp. of olive oil--your choice (Martha uses 1 TBS.)
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 to 4 garlic cloves, minced
1 TBS. fresh thyme leaves, roughly chopped (or 1 tsp dry)
1/2 cup low-fat unsweetened soy milk
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup fresh or dry whole grain bread crumbs.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Lightly spray a 2-quart gratin or baking dish. (I used a 10 inch square baking dish) Drain the sardines over a bowl, and separate them into fillets. Set the oil aside.
2. While the chard is still wet from washing, heat a large, heavy skillet over high heat. Working in batches, pile a few handfuls into the pan and stir until the chard begins to wilt. Cover the pan for a minute, then uncover and stir the greens until they have wilted. As each batch collapses, transfer it to a bowl. When you have wilted all of the chard, rinse briefly with cold water, squeeze out excess water and chop medium-fine.
3. Either heat the olive oil (not the oil from the sardines) (or use 1/4 cup of vegetable broth in lieu of oil) in the skillet over medium heat, and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until tender, about five minutes. Add a generous pinch of salt, stir in the garlic and thyme, and cook, stirring, until fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Add the chopped, wilted chard and salt and pepper to taste. Stir together for one minute until everything is blended. Add the milk, and stir together for about one minute until you no longer see liquid in the pan. Remove from the heat. Taste, and adjust salt and pepper.
4. Spread half the greens in the bottom of the baking dish. Top with the sardine fillets in one layer. Drizzle a tablespoon or less of the oil from the can over the sardines (or skip this all together), then top with the remaining greens in an even layer. In a small bowl, mix the breadcrumbs well with a small amount of oil--either the reserved sardine oil or fresh olive oil, before sprinkling the crumbs over the chard.
5. Place in the oven, and bake 15 minutes until sizzling. Serve hot or warm.
Yield: Serves four to six.
Advance preparation: You can assemble this up to a day ahead of baking. Keep well covered in the refrigerator.
Nutritional count is based on 4 servings per recipe.
The Healthy Librarian's
Dad's Sardine and Swiss Chard Gratine
Serving Size: 1 serving
|Amount Per Serving|
"About twenty years ago, researchers found the missing link.
They discovered that colorful plant foods in their natural state were also rich in thousands of compounds with important health properties for humans—phytochemicals.
Only by eating an assortment of natural foods that are micronutrient-rich can you get enough of these compounds to protect yourself from the common diseases that afflict Americans."
-Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of "Eat to Live-
If you've received this via email, click here to get to the web version with all the links!
On the long drive to New York City 2 weeks ago I brought along some light reading and listening material to fill my time:
A magazine, a popular book, and a podcast. End result: I increased my understanding of the benefits of antioxidants and organic produce, I learned the best way to eat my fruits and veggies (who knew?), and I now have Glassman's terrific cheat sheet for plotting a way to get her recommended 30,000 ORAC points a day--it's an easy method to make sure I get the most bang for my nutritional buck.
Because of my car ride "entertainment"--O, NPR, & the O2 Diet--I've added, subtracted, and rejiggered some of my daily diet routines. I've added 3 cups of green tea, for one--and I'm following up tough work-outs with an antioxidant-rich smoothie & extra sleep. Plus, I'm making an effort to include lots of cinnamon, curcumin, and oregano into my cooking.
Lots of info to share--so I'll just cover the "what's new to me" highlights.
NIna Planck is both a food writer, and an advocate of "real food", farmer's markets, and organic produce. She wrote her article in O in response to a report released last year by the British Food Standards Agency that pronounced organic food to be no more nutritious than the conventional variety. Organic advocates claimed the report was flawed, incomplete, and biased.
Here's Planck's case for organic produce:
My eye-opening finding from Planck's article: How Using No Pesticides Increases the Antioxidant Content of Fruits & Vegetables
"A lack of pesticide exposure is an important reason organic produce has higher levels of beneficial antioxidants like vitamin C--which fight the free radicals implicated in aging, cancer, and heart disease.
Antioxidants are actually part of a plant's own defenses. In fruits and vegetables, these bitter elements help fend off attacks by bugs and fungi.
Organic crops contain more of these compounds because they have to work harder to protect themselves--with no man-made pesticides to the rescue.
In addition, organic produce is free of synthetic nitrogen fertilizer, which can also weaken plants' health. Nitrogen produces a watery, sugary cell sap that compromises the plant's ability to build its immune system.Plants that come to rely on the chemical can no longer fend off pests naturally. Crops that are treated with the synthetic fertilizer also have overly leafy growth and poor flavor, as farmers have long known. That's because the plants' natural immune system of antioxidants is what makes produce aromatic and savory.
In other words, a healthy plant makes a healthy meal--and a tastier one."
Bottom Line: Plants do a better job of building up their own immune systems with antioxidants to fight of disease, fungus, and pests when they're grow organically--without synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
I don't usually buy organic--but Planck's article is making me rethink that habit.
What I Learned From NPR's "Your Health" Podcast, "The Nutrient Detectives--How Do They Know?"
1. The Beta-Carotene Fat Connection: (Yes--I already mentioned this in the olive oil post) To best absorb antioxidant carotenoids we need a little fat in the form of some nuts, seeds, or olive oil when we eat our fruits & vegetables--according to Wendy White, a professor Human Nutrition at Iowa State University.
Carotenoids are the pigments responsible for red-, yellow- and orange-colored fruits and vegetables. And carotenoids are also found in dark green vegetables such as spinach. The compounds convert to Vitamin A in the body, and studies have found that carotenoids have antioxidant activity which may help protect our cells from damage caused by free radicals.
Human studies have linked high consumption of fruits and vegetables to reduced risk of cancer. White's salad study at Iowa State found that volunteers who ate full-fat dressing absorbed the most beta-carotene. The reduced-fat dressing eaters had substantially less absorption of beta-carotene. And the fat-free dressing salad eaters had no absorption of the beta-carotenes. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2004 Aug;80(2):396-403.
"When we chew a salad, we often don't do an efficient job of crushing every cell; about 70-90% of the cells are not broken open. As a result most of the valuable nutrients contained within those cells never enter our bloodstream and are lost.
An even more efficient way to ensure you receive these needed nutrients is using a blender (think VitaMix) to puree raw, leafy greens. The blending process aids your body in the work of breaking down and assimilating nutrients. It guarantees that a higher percentage of nutrients will be absorbed into your bloodstream."
-Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Eat For Health-
3. Raw Isn't Always Better. Heat isn't always destructive to antioxidants. When it comes to absorbing fruits & vegetables with beta-carotene and lycopene--think carrots and tomatoes--cooking actually aids absorption, because it softens the plant material, and releases their nutrients. It just so happens that lycopene & beta-carotene are very stable antioxidants that aren't harmed by heat.
4. What's the best cooking method to retain antioxidants? According to a recent study in the Journal of Food Science click here microwaving is the winner when it comes to preserving nutrients--because it's mild, quick, and it preserves the water soluble nutrients like vitamin C & B. Boiling is the worst method--water is definitely not the cook's "best friend".
5. Measuring the antioxidant content of fruits & vegetables at the USDA Research Center in Beltsville Maryland. James Harnly is the guy who measures the phytonutrients for the USDA ORAC Index--using a complicated freezing, drying, grinding, liquid chromatography process. It turns out--and most of us already know this--the fruits and vegetables with the highest antioxidant content are blueberries for their flavonoids; the Brassica family vegetables, like kale, cauliflower, and broccoli; the deep purple vegetables like eggplant for their anthocyanins; and apples for the flavonols in their skin.
According to Harnly, when it comes to most fruits--the flavonoids are mostly in their skins--think apple & orange peels. Whatever you do--don't throw away the peels. Although researchers know that antioxidants are beneficial, how they work to prevent and neutralize free-radical damage is still an unknown. Harnly guesses that it will likely turn out to be part of some sophisticated cascading effect going on in the body--that needs antioxidants to get started.
Using Keri Glassman's O2 Diet and Her ORAC Lists to Fine-Tune Your Diet
I just happened upon Glassman's book while browsing the New Book shelf at my local public library. She's a registered dietitian with a New York City nutrition practice, and she's also a nutrition contributor to the CBS Early Show.
What's the ORAC Index anyway? The ORAC Index was developed by the U. S. Department of Agriculture with the help of the top nutrition scientists in the country. It ranks 277 foods by antioxidant content--their ability to either destroy or neutralize disease-causing free radicals. Since oxidative stress caused by free radicals is likely to be one of the factors which plays an important role in the development of chronic and degenerative diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, and neuronal degeneration--the ORAC Index is definitely a number to pay attention to when choosing your foods. Click here for the USDA ORAC Index Fact Sheet
But if you took a look at the USDA's ORAC Index of foods you would scratch your head and wonder, "OK, so now what am I supposed to do with this?" It definitely ranks the foods--but all the foods are ranked using a quantity of 100 grams--a meaningless measurement--nothing close to normal people portions. It doesn't give us a clue about how to compare blueberries to apples to spinach in terms of portion size. But Glassman spells it all out.
Keri Glassman made the ORAC Index usable because she took the USDA numbers and converted them into ounces and then converted them into normal people portions. Thank you, Keri Glassman!
I love her game plan of using the ORAC Index points to shoot for 30,000 points a day to make sure you're eating a variety of "high-achieving" fruits, vegetables, legumes, carbohydrates, beverages, and spices everyday.
Why 30,000 Points a Day, You Ask? Here's What Glassman Has to Say:
"Researchers have just begun to scratch the surface of antioxidant research; there are now literally hundreds of studies linking antioxidant-rich foods to better health, including everything from reduced heart disease to a decreased likelihood of cancer.
And while taking too many antioxidant supplements in pill form may be harmful, there's absolutely no downside to consuming more nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables. Although the current recommendations are that we eat between 3,000 and 5,000 ORAC points a day for optimum health, why not get all you can?
Eating 30,000 ORAC points will boost the antioxidant power of your blood at least 10 to 25% percent according to some of the original ORAC research. Click here
Don't forget that you still need to eat a balanced diet. Sure you could get to 30,000 easily on nothing but artichokes, blueberries, and hot cocoa. But that's not a balanced diet, and you'd be cheating yourself out of the wide variety of nutrients out there."
Easiest way to reach 30,000 points a day?
Great tips from the O2 Diet
A Sampling of the O2 Diet's ORAC Index Points
Glassman's book has a full list of the ORAC points of common foods by serving size, and she generously makes these lists available on her website. Click here for the ORAC point guide. Click here for the ORAC calculator
Top Foods in the ORAC Index
Fruit/ Serving/ ORAC Value
Blueberries 1 c= 9,700
Cranberries (raw) 1 c= 9,600
Red Delicious apple 1= 7,800
Blackberries 1 c= 7,700
Granny Smith apple 1= 7,100
Raspberries 1 c= 6,000
Strawberries 1 c= 5,400
Gala apple 1= 5,200
Pear 1= 5,200
Fuji apple 1= 4,700
Dried Fruit/ Serving/ ORAC Value
Cranberries, dried 2 Tbsp= 2,100
Prunes 3= 1,900
Currants 2 Tbsp= 1,100
Raisins 2 Tbsp= 600
Starch/ Cereal Serving/ ORAC Value
Oat bran flakes 3⁄4 c= 800
Popcorn, air-popped 5 c= 700
Instant oatmeal 1 packet= 600
Wheat germ 3 Tbsp= —
Pumpernickel bread 1 slice= 500
Oat nut bread 1 slice= 400
Whole grain/seven-grain bread 1 slice= 400
Sweet potato with skin 1 medium= 2,400
Red potato with skin 1 small= 1,800
White potato with skin 1⁄2 medium= 1,600
Russet potato with skin 1⁄2 medium= 1,500
Corn 3⁄4 c= 700
Butternut squash 1 c= 600
Pumpkin 1 c= 600
Peas 3⁄4 c= 400
Black beans 1⁄2 c= 7,800
Kidney beans 1⁄2 c= 7,800
Lentils 1⁄2 c= 7,500
Pinto beans 1⁄2 c= 7,000
Black-eyed peas 1⁄2 c= 3,600
Chickpeas 1⁄2 c= 800
Split peas 1⁄2 c= 500
Vegetable/ Serving/ORAC Value
Artichoke hearts 1⁄2 c= 7,900
Broccoli rabe 1 bunch= 6,800
Red cabbage (cooked) 1⁄2 c= 2,400
Radish (raw) 1 c= 2,000
Broccoli (cooked) 1⁄2 c= 1,900
Kale (raw) 1 c= 1,770
Onion (raw) 1 c= 1,600
Red cabbage (raw) 1 c= 1,600
Asparagus (cooked) 1⁄2 c= 1,500
Green bell peppers (raw) 1 c= 1,400
Salsa 1⁄2 c= 1,300
Spinach (cooked) 1⁄2 c= 1,300
Broccoli (raw) 1 c= 1,200
Red bell peppers (raw) 1 c= 1,200
Brussels sprouts (cooked) 1⁄2 c= 980
Carrots (raw) 1 c= 900
Tomato sauce 1/2 c= 900
Black beans (or black bean soup) 1 c= 15,600
Kidney beans 1 c= 15,600
Pinto beans 1 c= 15,000
Lentils 1 c= 14,000
Black-eyed peas 1 c= 7,300
Edamame (soybeans) 3⁄4 c= 5,400
Chickpeas 1 c= 1,700
Split peas 1 c= 1,000
Hummus 4 Tbsp= 400
Pecans 8 halves= 2,500
Walnuts 7 halves= 1,900
Hazelnuts 8= 1,000
Pistachios 18= 1,000
Avocado 1⁄4= 700
Guacamole 2 Tbsp= 700
Almonds 10= 500
Almond butter 2 tsp= 500
Peanuts 15= 500
Peanut butter 2 tsp= 500
Cashews 8= 200
Wine (Incorporate alcohol as a conscious indulgence.)
Sangria (See recipe on page 98 of the O2 Diet) 4 oz= 11,900
Cabernet 5 oz= 7,400
Red 5 oz= 5,700
Rosé 5 oz= 1,500
White 5 oz= 600
Tea (Drink up—no calories here!)
Green tea 1 c= 3,000
Black tea 1 c= 2,700
Other herbal teas 1 c= —
Juice (to be consumed in lieu of whole fruit)
Blueberry juice 1⁄2 c= 3,600
Pomegranate juice 1⁄2 c= 2,900
Concord grape juice 1⁄2 c= 2,900
Prune juice 1⁄2 c= 2,600
Red grape juice 1⁄2 c= 2,300
Cranberry–Concord grape juice 1⁄2 c= 1,800
White grapefruit juice 1⁄2 c= 1,500
Cranberry juice 1⁄2 c= 1,100
White grape juice 1⁄2 c= 1,000
Orange juice 1⁄2 c= 900
Cinnamon, ground 1 tsp= 7,000
Cloves, ground 1 tsp= 6,600
Oregano, dried 1 tsp= 3,600
Turmeric, ground 1 tsp= 3,500
Cumin seed 1 tsp= 1,600
Curry powder 1 tsp= 1,000
Mustard seed, yellow 1 tsp= 1,000
Chili powder 1 tsp= 600
Pepper, black 1 tsp= 600
Basil, dried 1 tsp= 500
Ginger, ground 1 tsp= 500
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA.
Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment.
We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually.
We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults.
Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma, In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising—and often shocking truths—about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.
David Edelstein of New York Magazine Says It Best
David's experience echoes mine 100%. Do No Miss This Movie!
"After an hour and a half of sighing, wincing, and clucking over the manifold outrages portrayed in Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc.,
I gave up the thought of “reviewing” the documentary and decided,
instead, to exhort you:
See it. Bring your kids if you have them. Bring someone else’s kids if you don’t.
The message is nothing new if you’ve read Eric Schlosser’s Fast Food Nation or Michael Pollan’s The Omnivore’s Dilemma (both are in the film). But every frame makes you choke on your popcorn—if for no other reason than the focus on government-underwritten corn and the companies who put it into everything from soda to Midol to the gassy, E. coli–ridden bellies of factory-farmed cows.
The sheer scale of the movie is mind-blowing—it touches on every aspect of modern life. It’s the documentary equivalent of The Matrix: It shows us how we’re living in a simulacrum (a sham--a vague likeness), fed by machines run by larger machines with names like Monsanto, Perdue, Tyson, and the handful of other corporations that make everything.
We humans can win, but we should hurry, before Monsanto makes a time machine and sends back a Terminator to get rid of Schlosser and Pollan." — David Edelstein
A Snapshot of the Images I Will Never Forget
"Behind America’s dollar hamburgers and 72-ounce sodas is a key ingredient that quietly fuels our fast-food nation: corn. In KING CORN , recent college graduates Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis leave the east coast for rural Iowa, where they decide to grow an acre of the nation’s most powerful crop.
Alarmed by signs of America’s bulging waistlines, the filmmakers
arrive in the Midwest enthusiastic about their new endeavor. For their
farm-to-be, they choose a tiny town in Floyd, County, Iowa—a place
that, coincidentally, both Ian and Curt’s great-grandfathers called
home three generations ago. They lease an acre of land from a skeptical
landlord, fill out a pile of paperwork to sign up for subsidies and
discover the U.S. government will pay them 28 dollars for their acre.
Ian and Curt start the spring by injecting ammonia fertilizer, which
promises to increase crop production four-fold. Then it’s planting
time. With a rented high-tech tractor, they set 31,000 seeds in the
ground in just 18 minutes. Their corn has also been genetically
modified for another yield-increasing characteristic: herbicide
resistance. When the seedlings sprout from Iowa’s black dirt, Ian and
Curt apply a powerful herbicide to ensure that only their corn will
thrive on their acre......" Read more about the film on the PBS Independent Lens Web Site