Yes, fresh organic food is better!

organic pesticide

Is it really worthwhile to spent more money on locally grown organic fruits and vegetables than non-organic fruits and vegetables?  The answer is a resounding “YES!”  Organic grown foods have significantly more vitamins, antioxidants and secondary metabolites such as phenolic compounds than non-organic foods. These compounds provide protective health benefits and lower the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, type two diabetes, hypertension and many other chronic health conditions (Romagnolo & Selmin, 2017; Wilson et al., 2017; Oliveira et al., 2013; Surh & Na, 2008).  We are what we eat–we can pay for it now and optimize our health or pay more later when our health has been compromised.

The three reasons why fresh organic food is better are:

  1. Fresh foods lengthen lifespan.
  2. Organic foods have more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and secondary metabolites than non-organic foods.
  3. Organic foods reduce exposure to harmful neurotoxic and carcinogenic pesticide and herbicides residues.

Background

With the advent of chemical fertilizers farmers increased crop yields while the abundant food became less nutritious.  The synthetic fertilizers do not add back all the necessary minerals and other nutrients that the plants extract from the soil while growing.  Modern chemical fertilizers only replace three components–Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium–of the hundred of components necessary for nutritious food. Nitrogen (N) which promotes leaf growth; Phosphorus (P which development of roots, flowers, seeds, fruit; and Potassium (K) which promotes strong stem growth, movement of water in plants, promotion of flowering and fruiting. These are great to make the  larger and more abundant fruits and vegetables; however, the soil is more and more depleted of the other micro-nutrients and minerals that are necessary for the plants to produce vitamins and anti-oxidants. Our industrial farming is raping the soils for quick growth and profit while reducing the soil fertility for future generations.  Organic farms have much better soils and more soil microbial activity than non-organic farm soils which have been poisoned by pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and chemical fertilizers (Mader, 2002; Gomiero et al, 2011). For a superb review of Sustainable Vs. Conventional Agriculture see the web article: https://you.stonybrook.edu/environment/sustainable-vs-conventional-agriculture/

1. Fresh young foods lengthen lifespan. Old foods may be less nutritious than young food. Recent experiments with yeast, flies and mice discovered that when these organisms were fed old versus young food (e.g., mice were diets containing the skeletal muscle of old or young deer), the organisms’ lifespan was shortened by 18% for yeast, 13% for flies, and 13% for mice (Lee et al., 2017).  Organic foods such as potatoes, bananas and raisins improves fertility, enhances survival during starvation and decreases long term mortality for fruit flies(Chhabra et al, 2013). See Live longer, enhance fertility and increase stress resistance: Eat organic foods. https://peperperspective.com/2013/04/21/live-longer-enhance-fertility-and-increase-stress-resistance-eat-organic-foods/

In addition, eating lots of fruits and vegetables decreases our risk of dying from cancer and heart disease. In a superb meta-analysis of 95 studies, Dr. Dagfinn Aune from the School of Public Health, Imperial College London, found that people who ate ten portions of fruits and vegetable per day were a third less likely to die than those who ate none (Aune et al, 2017).  Thus, eat lots of  fresh and organic fruits and vegetables from local sources that is not aged because of transport.

2. Organic foods have more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and secondary metabolites than non-organic foods. Numerous studies have found that fresh organic fruits and vegetables have more vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and secondary metabolites than non-organic ones.  For example, organic tomatoes contain 57 per cent more vitamin C than non-organic ones (Oliveira et al 2013) or organic milk has more beneficial polyunsaturated fats non-organic milk (Wills, 2017; Butler et al, 2011). Over the last 50 years key nutrients of fruits and vegetables have declined. In a survey of 43 crops of fruits and vegetables, Davis, Epp, &  Riordan, (2004) found a significant decrease of  vitamins and minerals in foods grown in the 1950s as compared to 1999 as shown in Figure 1 (Lambert, 2015).slide-1-redrawn-from-davis

Figure 1. Change in vitamins and minerals from 1950 to 1999. From: Davis, D. R., Epp, M. D., & Riordan, H. D. (2004). Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999Journal of the American College of Nutrition23(6), 669-682.

3, Organic foods reduce exposure to harmful neurotoxic and carcinogenic pesticide and herbicides residues. Even though, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) state that pesticide residues left in or on food are safe and non-toxic and have no health consequences, I have my doubts! Human beings accumulate pesticides just like tuna fish accumulates mercury—frequent ingesting of very low levels of pesticide and herbicide residue may result in long term harmful effects and these long term risks have not been assessed. Most pesticides are toxic chemicals and were developed to kill agricultural pests — living organisms.  Remember human beings are living organisms. The actual risk for chronic low level exposure is probably unknown; since,  the EPA pesticide residue limits are the result of a political compromise between scientific findings and lobbying from agricultural and chemical industries (Portney, 1992).  Organic diets expose consumers to fewer pesticides associated with human disease (Forman et al, 2012).

Adopt the precautionary principle which states, that if there is a suspected risk of herbicides/pesticides causing harm to the public, or to the environment, in the absence of scientific consensus, the burden of proof that it is not harmful falls on those recommending the use of these substances (Read & O’Riordan, 2017).  Thus, eat fresh locally produced organic foods to optimize health.

References

Aune, D.,  Giovannucci, D.,  Boffetta, P.,  Fadnes, L.T.,  Keum, N., Norat, T.,  Greenwood, D.C.,  Riboli, E.,  Vatten, L.J., & Tonstad, S. ( 2017). Fruit and vegetable intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease, total cancer and all-cause mortality—a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies. International Journal of Epidemiology, 46(3), 1029–1056, https://doi.org/10.1093/ije/dyw319

Butler, G. Stergiadis, s., Seal, C., Eyre, M., & Leifert, C. (2011). Fat composition of organic and conventional retail milk in northeast England. Journal of Dairy Science. 94(1), 24-36.http://dx.doi.org/10.3168/jds.2010-3331

Davis, D. R., Epp, M. D., & Riordan, H. D. (2004). Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999Journal of the American College of Nutrition23(6), 669-682. http://www.chelationmedicalcenter.com/!_articles/Changes%20in%20USDA%20Food%20Composition%20Data%20for%2043%20Garden%20Crops%201950%20to%201999.pdf

Chhabra R, Kolli S, Bauer JH (2013) Organically Grown Food Provides Health Benefits to Drosophila melanogaster. PLoS ONE 8(1): e52988. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0052988 

Gomiero, T.; Pimentel, D.; Paoletti, M. G. (2011). Environmental Impact of Different Agricultural Management Practices: Conventional Vs. Organic Agriculture. Critical Reviews in Plant Sciences, 30(1-2), 95-124; http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/07352689.2011.554355#tabModule 

Lambert, C. (2015). If Food really better from the farm gate than super market shelf? New Scientist.228(3043), 33-37.

Lee, G., Kaya, A., Avanesov, A.S., Podolskiy, D.I., Song, E.J., Go, D-M., Jin, G-D., Hwang, J.Y., Kim, E.B., Kim, D-Y., & Gladyshev, V.N. (2017). Age-associated molecular changes are deleterious and may modulate life span through diet.Science Advances, 3(2), e1601833  DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601833

Mader, P., Fliebbach, A., Dubois, D., Gunst, L., Fried, P., & Niggli, U. (2002). Soil Fertility and Biodiversity in Organic Farming. Science, 296, 1694-1697. DOI: 10.1126/science.1071148

Oliveira, A.B., Moura, C.F.H., Gomes-Filho, E., Marco, C.A., Urban, L., & Miranda, M.R.A. (2013). The Impact of Organic Farming on Quality of Tomatoes Is Associated to Increased Oxidative Stress during Fruit Development. PLoS ONE, 8(2): e56354. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0056354

Read, R.  and O’Riordan, T. (2017). The Precautionary Principle Under Fire.  Environment-Science and policy for sustainable development.  September-October. http://www.environmentmagazine.org/Archives/Back%20Issues/2017/September-October%202017/precautionary-principle-full.html

Romagnolo, D. F. & Selmin, O.L. (2017). Mediterranean Diet and Prevention of Chronic Diseases. Nutr Today. 2017 Sep;52(5):208-222. doi: 10.1097/NT.0000000000000228. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29051674

Surh, Y.J., Na, H.K. (2008). NF-κB and Nrf2 as prime molecular targets for chemoprevention and cytoprotection with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytochemicals. Genes & Nut 2: 313–317.

Wills, A. (2017). There is evidence organic food is more nutritious. New Scientist,3114, p53.

Wilson, L.F., Antonsson, A., Green, A.C., Jordan, S.J., Kendall, B.J., Nagle, C.M., Neale, R.E., Olsen, C.M., Webb, P.M., & Whiteman, D.C. (2017). How many cancer cases and deaths are potentially preventable? Estimates for Australia in 2013. Int J Cancer. 2017 Oct 6. doi: 10.1002/ijc.31088https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28983918

 


Read The case against sugar

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Albert Schweitzer began working in equatorial lowlands of West Africa in 1913. He was astonished to encounter no cases of cancer among the thousands of native patients he saw each year. However, as the natives [took to] living more and more after the manner of the whites, cancer in his patient population became ever more frequent (Taubes, 2016, pp 257).

Wise elders, grand parents or statesmen have been  traditional roles for aging adults. Wisdom transforming into Alzheimer’s disease does not compute (Peper, 2014).

In 1960’s Surgeon Captain T. L. Cleave proposed that common western diseases (diabetes, colon cancer, ischemic heart disease, gallstones, obesity, diverticulosis, and dental carries), to which I would add Alzheimer’s disease, autoimmune diseases and allergies, could not be due primarily to genetic factors but to new factors in the environment to which man had not yet had time to adapt (Cleaves et al, 1969). As he states, “One such factor was the processing of food which resulted in the consumption of large quantities of pure sugar and starch.  This led to disease because man was evolutionary adjusted to eating smaller amounts of carbohydrates intimately mixed with fiber and protein.”

Clinicians and epidemiologist have consistently reported that none western cultures, whether the Masai in Africa, the Inuit in Northern Canada, the Japanese in Japan, or the Native American, had very low incidences of these western diseases. Yet, when these people adapted a western diet of highly refined carbohydrates and sugar the prevalence of these diseases increased and approached the incidence in western cultures (Burkitt & Trowell, 1975; Taubes, 2016).

Historically these illness were initially observed in the ruling class.  The affluent class was privileged and tended to eat more refined carbohydrates and sugars (white bread, cakes, pastries and sugar in coffee and tea). It is only recently that this class effect is reversed. Lower economic classes tend have a higher prevalence of these western diseases.  Affluent people can afford and often eat low processed organic foods while economically disadvantaged people cannot afford low processed foods and instead eat predominantly highly processed carbohydrate and refined foods.

Highly refined processed foods and sugar–not fats–are  significant risk factors for the development diabetes and cardiovascular disease and mortality (Imamura et al, 2015; Taubes, 2016; Yang et al, 2014) . What is not as well known is that some cancers and Alzheimer’s disease also correlates with the increase intake of refined carbohydrates and sugar (Das, 2015; Kandimalla et al, 2016; Peper, 2014).

It is highly likely that the increase in beta-amyloid protein plagues in the brain is not the cause of the Alzheimer’s but the brain’s defense mechanism to protect it from the fluctuating high insulin and glucose levels. A high sugar and simple carbohydrate diet are risk factors for inflammatory diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and metabolic syndrome.  These inflammatory diseases are recognized as a precursor for Alzheimer’s. Alzheimer’s is sometimes described as Type 3 diabetes (Kandimalla et al, 2016; Steen et al, 2005).

Taking the perspective that foods are significant risk factors for the development of these western diseases, the focus should be on prevention and less on treatment.  The research to develop drugs to treat Alzheimer’s have up till now been unsuccessful despite that the billions spent on attempting to develop new drugs. For example, the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly has spent 3.7 billion dollars over the last decade while the National Institutes of Health spends more than half a billion dollars a year on pursuit of treatment (Coghlan, 2017).

The treatments cost of these western diseases, which at best ameliorate the disorders, is overwhelming.  In the USA, we spent $147 billion to treat obesity and $116 billion to treat diabetes. While the medical costs to treat diabetes for a single patient is about $6000/year or $400,000/lifetime (Pollan, 2009).

As a refined carbohydrates and high sugar diet is a risk factor for western diseases, the focus should be on prevention. Thus, reduce sugar and refined carbohydrates intake and increase high fiber vegetable.  To implement such a simple preventative measure means:

  1. Educate the public about the harm of sugars and refined carbohydrate foods.
  2. Ban advertising of foods that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  3. Reward companies to produce foods low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.
  4. Tax food products high in sugar and refined carbohydrates just as tobacco has been taxed.

I am positive that in the future when we  look back at the 20th and early 21st century, we will be appalled that the government allowed people to poison themselves with sugar and highly refined carbohydrates. Just as we now warn against the harm of tobacco, limit the sales to minors,  and have ongoing public health stop smoking  campaigns.

For much more information, read science writer Gary Taubes superb well researched and engaging book,  The case against sugar. 

cover-case-against-sugar

References:

Burkitt, D.P. & Trowell, H.C. (1975).  Refined carbohydrate foods and disease: Some implications of dietary fibre.  York: Academic Press.

Cleave, T.L., Campbell, G.D., & Painter, N.S. (1969). Diabetes, coronary thrombosis and the saccharine disease, 2nd ed. Bristol, UK: John Wright.

Coghlan, A. 2017). The Alzheimer’s problem. New Scientist, 233(3110), 22-23.

Das, U. N. (2015). Sucrose, fructose, glucose, and their link to metabolic syndrome and cancer. Nutrition31(1), 249-257.

Imamura, F., O’Connor, L., Ye, Z., Mursu, J., Hayashino, Y., Bhupathiraju, S. N., & Forouhi, N. G. (2015). Consumption of sugar sweetened beverages, artificially sweetened beverages, and fruit juice and incidence of type 2 diabetes: systematic review, meta-analysis, and estimation of population attributable fractionBmj351, h3576.

Kandimalla, R., Thirumala, V., & Reddy, P. H. (2016). Is Alzheimer’s disease a Type 3 Diabetes? A critical appraisal. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease.

Peper, E. (2014). Affluenza: Transforming Wisdom into Alzheimer’s Disease with Affluent Malnutrition and Immobility. Neuroconnections, 9(2), 32-35.

Pollan, M. (2009). Big food vs. big insurance. New York Times, September 10, A29.

Steen, E., Terry, B.M.  Rivera, E.J., Cannon, J.L., Neely, T.R., Tavares, R., Xu, X. J., Wands, J.R., & de al Monte, S. M.  (2005). Impaired insulin and insulin-like growth factor expression and signaling mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease-is this type 3 diabetes? Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 7(1), 53-80.

Taubes, G. (2016). The case against sugar. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Yang, Q., Zhang, Z., Gregg, E. W., Flanders, W. D., Merritt, R., & Hu, F. B. (2014). Added sugar intake and cardiovascular diseases mortality among US adultsJAMA internal medicine174(4), 516-524.


Our food is not the same as 50 years ago

Our food should be our medicine and our medicine should be our food.– Hippocrates

Agribusiness appears to have overlooked Hippocrates’ advice in the quest for profits and quantity over quality. Over the last 50 years key nutrients of fruits and vegetables have declined. In a survey of 43 crops of fruits and vegetables, Davis, Epp, &  Riordan, (2004) found a significant decrease of  vitamins and minerals in foods grown in the 1950s as compared to now as shown in Figure 1 (Lambert, 2015).slide-1-redrawn-from-davis

Figure 1. Change in vitamins and minerals from 1950 to 1999. From: Davis, D. R., Epp, M. D., & Riordan, H. D. (2004). Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(6), 669-682.

Not only are there fewer nutrients present in our fruits and vegetables, it is also laced/contaminated with pesticides and herbicides such as glyphosate.  Glyphosate is the weedkiller, Roundup, produced by Monsanto and is now found in almost all non-organic foods as shown in Figure 2.slide2a-foods-with-glyphosate

Figure 2.  Example of foods tested for the presence of glyphosate. Reproduced with permission from  https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf

We are ingesting very low levels of glyphosate in most of our foods which may contribute to the development of illness. On March 20, 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)–the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization–classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). Glyphosate also affects our immune system and the healthy bacteria in our gut. Thus, I strongly recommend avoiding glyphosate and other types of herbicide and pesticide contaminated foods. By eating an organic food diet you can reduce pesticide and herbicide exposure by 90%.  Unless you eat only organic foods, you will ingest more pesticides and herbicides at levels unacceptable by the European Union standards  as shown  in Figure 3.

slide3a-eu-versus-usa-glyphosate

Figure 3. Different allowable daily intake levels of glyphosate in the European Union as compared to the United States.  Reproduced with permission from  https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf

Read the article Glyphosate: Unsafe on any plate: Alarming levels of Monstao’s gyphosate found in popular American foods. It describes the scientific evidence that at even at  ultra-low levels of glyphosate e.g. 0.1 parts per billions (ppb) harm to human health could begin and how much of the foods contain glyphosate.  The Executive Summary is reproduced with permission below:

Executive Summary

A leading FDA-registered food safety testing laboratory has found extremely high levels of the pesticide glyphosate in some of America’s most popular food products. Glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup, is the most heavily used chemical weedkiller in food and agricultural production in human history, as a result of the widespread adoption of genetically engineered crops now grown on more than 175 million acres in the United States (U.S.) and more than 440 million acres around the globe.

New scientific evidence shows that probable harm to human health could begin at ultra-low levels of glyphosate e.g. 0.1 parts per billions (ppb). Popular foods tested for glyphosate measured between 289.47 ppb and at levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb. The testing and analysis was performed by Anresco Laboratories, San Francisco, an FDA registered laboratory that has performed expert food safety testing since 1943.

The laboratory found that well-known products tested for glyphosate, Original Cheerios, for example, measured levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb. Other high levels of glyphosate were found in familiar products such as Oreos, Doritos, and Ritz Crackers, among 29 foods tested. Currently, U.S. regulators allow a very high level of daily glyphosate residue in America’s food. The acceptable daily intake (ADI) limit is set at 1.75 milligrams per kilogram of bodyweight per day (written 1.75 mg/kg bw/day) in the U.S., versus a more cautious 0.3 mg/kg bw/day in the European Union. Tolerances have been set through the submission of corporate-sponsored studies and industry influence on the regulatory process.

New research shows that Roundup causes liver and kidney damage in rats as reflected in changes in the functions of 4,000 genes at only 0.05 parts per billion (ppb) glyphosate equivalent indicating damage.2 Additional studies have found that levels as low as 10 ppb can have toxic effects on the livers of fish and cause significant damage to the livers and kidneys of rats at 700 ppb, which is the allowable level of glyphosate found in U.S. drinking water.

Credible independent, peer-reviewed scientific evidence now shows that the levels of harm to human health could begin at the ultra-low levels of 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) of glyphosate. These groundbreaking new findings that one of the most iconic cereals in U.S. contains levels as high as 1,125.3 ppb should be a wake-up call for all Americans regarding unacceptable levels of pesticide residues in our nation’s food. These findings are especially troubling, considering that the latest independent scientific evidence, during which a team of international scientists re-evaluated the same data previously used by regulators, calls for a much lower ADI to be set at 0.025 mg/ kg of bodyweight per day or “12 times lower than the ADI”6 currently set in Europe and 70 times lower than the level currently allowed by the EPA in the United States. It’s important for individuals and parents to understand that glyphosate contamination cannot be removed by washing and is not broken down by cooking or baking. Glyphosate residues can remain stable in food for a year or more, even if the foods are frozen or processed.

The testing and analysis was performed at the request of FOOD DEMOCRACY NOW!, in coordination with THE DETOX PROJECT, which gathered additional scientific evidence from around the world and included a compendium of independent research on glyphosate that contains Anresco Laboratory’s findings. Based on this new information, FOOD DEMOCRACY NOW! is calling for a federal investigation into the likely harmful effects of glyphosate on human health and the environment and is also seeking an investigation into the relationships between the regulators and the regulated industries, which has resulted in the public being exposed to levels of glyphosate which scientific studies show can be damaging to human health.

The complete article with references can be downloaded from: https://s3.amazonaws.com/media.fooddemocracynow.org/images/FDN_Glyphosate_FoodTesting_Report_p2016.pdf

References:

Davis, D. R., Epp, M. D., & Riordan, H. D. (2004). Changes in USDA food composition data for 43 garden crops, 1950 to 1999. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 23(6), 669-682. http://www.chelationmedicalcenter.com/!_articles/Changes%20in%20USDA%20Food%20Composition%20Data%20for%2043%20Garden%20Crops%201950%20to%201999.pdf

Lambert, C. (2015). If Food really better from the farm gate than super market shelf? New Scientist.228(3043), 33-37.


Doctor Mike Evans: What’s the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101

A healthy diet is much more than just focusing on a single food. People focus so often on adding one type of food or eliminating another such as, “Don’t eat ice cream!”, “Eat chia seeds.” “No red meat.” In almost all cases, it is not just one thing, instead a healthy diet is embedded in awareness and healthy life style choices. Watch the superb common sense white board video presentation by Doctor Mike Evans, What’s the Best Diet? Healthy Eating 101. In this short presentation, he summarizes the best practices known. Implement his approach and your health will significantly improve.


Understanding marketing to doctors, food waste and sugar consumption through humor

The Last Week Tonight Show with John Oliver is a superb presentation of the problems and solutions about our health and food systems. Using humor, John William Oliver hosts the weekly HBO program on Sundays at 11pm and provides superb documentation of the corruption and marketing strategies that often negatively affect our health, diet and budget.
For evidence based–yet humorous–reporting watch the following episodes;
Marketing to Doctors (HBO). Pharmaceutical companies spend billions of dollars marketing drugs to doctors (published on Feb 8, 2015).

Food Waste (HBO). Producers, sellers, and consumers waste tons of food. John Oliver discusses the shocking amount of food we don’t eat (published on Jul 19, 2015).

Sugar (HBO). Sugar. It’s in everything!
Is it good for us? Well, the sugar industry thinks so (published on Oct 26, 2014).

For additional information, see the following blogs:

What the food companies forgot to tell you: For the sake of profits we promote metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes

Be aware of evolutionary/environmental traps

Over diagnosed: Should I have more tests?


What the food companies forgot to tell you: For the sake of profits we promote metabolic syndrome, obesity and diabetes

Should  a five year old be responsible for being obese?

Drinking diet sodas increases the urge to eat more!

Sugar is more addicting than cocaine!

Calories from sugar are NOT the same as calories from other types of foods.

1HI_woehm0Q.movieposter

As you are reaching for another diet soda, low fat yogurt, or low calorie dessert, you are compromising your health by increasing the risk for metabolic syndrome, diabetes and obesity. The artificial sugar substitutes increase feeling of hunger and encourage you to eat more while the low fat foods are made more appetizing by adding sugar (Lustig, 2012; Lustig et al, 2012).  As sugar is more addicting than cocaine (Ahmed et al, 2013; Lenoir et al, 2013), how can you assign personal responsibility to young child who is obese with the statement, “You are responsible for being fat and for eating too much sugar laced foods!”  Watch the superb documentary, Fed Up,  based upon impeccable science. It explores America’s obesity epidemic and the food industry’s role in aggravating it. It systematically shows that everything we’ve been told about food and exercise especially by the food industry and federal government for the past 30 years is dead wrong. The documentary can easily be viewed from streaming video services such as Google Play, Netflix, or Amazon Prime Instant Video.

For the impact of sugar on health and the myth of self-responsibility, watch the 2013 TEDxBermuda talk, Sugar–the elephant in the kitchen, by Robert Lustig, MD, Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, University of California, San Francisco.

The movie, Fed UP, and Professor Lustig’s 2013Ted talk serve as a call to action to take control of the foods we serve and eat. Support policies to promote food health:

  • Increase local taxes on every soft drink sold and use the income to support public health.
  • Demand that schools and public institutions serve children real food and not sugar laced fast foods.
  • Support policies that prohibit sales of soft drinks to minors just as alcohol is prohibited to minors.
  • Eliminate all soft drinks from public institutions and work sites just as smoking is prohibited.

References

Ahmed, S. H., Guillem, K., & Vandaele, Y. (2013). Sugar addiction: pushing the drug-sugar analogy to the limit. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition & Metabolic Care, 16(4), 434-439.http://journals.lww.com/co-clinicalnutrition/Abstract/2013/07000/Sugar_addiction___pushing_the_drug_sugar_analogy.11.aspx

Fed Up.(2014). American documentary film directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig.http://fedupmovie.com/#/page/home

Fowler, S. P., Williams, K., Resendez, R. G., Hunt, K. J., Hazuda, H. P., & Stern, M. P. (2008). Fueling the Obesity Epidemic?Artificially Sweetened Beverage Use and Long‐term Weight Gain. Obesity, 16(8), 1894-1900.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1038/oby.2008.284/full

Lenoir, M., Serre, F., Cantin, L., & Ahmed, S. H. (2007). Intense sweetness surpasses cocaine reward. PloS one, 2(8), e698.http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0000698

Lustig, R. H. (2012). Fat chance: beating the odds against sugar, processed food, obesity, and disease. Penguin.

Lustig, R. H., Schmidt, L. A., & Brindis, C. D. (2012). Public health: The toxic truth about sugar. Nature, 482(7383), 27-29.http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v482/n7383/full/482027a.html


Update on Roundup® (glyphosate)-Now classified as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A)

My previous blog, Are herbicides a cause for allergies, immune incompetence and ADHD? focused on the health risks associated with  the herbicide Roundup® (glyphosate) as a possible contributing factor for allergies, immune incompetence and ADHD. The danger of using glyphosate may even be worse!

On March 20, 2015, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC)–the specialized cancer agency of the World Health Organization–classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans (Group 2A). Thus, I strongly recommend avoiding glyphosate and other types of herbicide and pesticide contaminated foods. Use the precautionary principle and eat only organic foods.

The IARC defines the category Group 2A as follows: The agent is probably carcinogenic to humans. This category is used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals. Limited evidence means that a positive association has been observed between exposure to the agent and cancer but that other explanations for the observations (called chance, bias, or confounding) could not be ruled out. This category is also used when there is limited evidence of carcinogenicity in humans and strong data on how the agent causes cancer.