Posts Tagged vegetables
by: Kelsey Coy
July 24, 2012
For the eighth year in a row, the Environmental Watch Group (EWG) has published an updated ‘shopper’s guide’ based on a comprehensive analysis of government pesticide testing data of 45 different fruit and vegetables. The guide includes the ‘dirty dozen:’ the twelve foods most commonly contaminated with pesticides, as well as the ‘clean fifteen:’ the fifteen least contaminated foods. This year the dirty dozen also includes a ‘plus’ category, warning about two foods containing particularly concerning organophospates, insecticides that are known reproductive and neurotoxins. The use of organophosphates have been significantly reduced in the past decade, but is yet to be banned, and this year, a number of crops still tested positive. The journal Environmental Health Perspectives contains 25 articles published in the past week analyzing and discussing the dangers or organophosphates in our food supply.
Also new this year, researchers investigated the pesticide content of 190 samples of baby food, with rather alarming results.
As the EWG simply and frankly reminds us, ‘Pesticides are toxic by design. They are created expressly to kill living organisms — insects, plants, and fungi that are considered “pests.” Many pesticides pose health dangers to people. These risks have been established by independent research scientists and physicians across the world.” The U.S. and international government agencies have linked pesticides to health problems spanning brain and nervous system toxicity, cancer, hormonal disruption and skin, eye and lung irritation. However, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under pressure from The American Crop Protection Association, largely representative of the pesticide industry, has failed to apply adequate protective measures in regulating our food supply. One might well ask whether it is wiser to protect a country’s crops or its population.
The Dirty Dozen
Without further ado, the dirty dozen:
- Sweet bell peppers
- Nectarines (imported)
- Blueberries (domestic)
Plus 2 more to add to the dirty dozen:
- Green beans
- Kale/Collard Greens
Going into a little more detail for the dirty dozen, 100 percent of imported nectarines tested positive for pesticides, as well as 98% of apples and 96% of plums. Grapes had 15 pesticides in a single sample, while blueberries and strawberries each had 13. As an entire category, grape samples contained 64 different pesticides; bell peppers had 88 different residues, cucumbers 81 and lettuce 78.
The Clean Fifteen
And the clean fifteen:
- Sweet corn
- Sweet peas
- Cantaloupe (domestic)
- Sweet Potatoes
Highlights of the clean fifteen include pineapples, in which fewer than 10% of samples contained pesticides, mangoes and kiwis, both of which were completely free of pesticides more than 75% of the time, and watermelon and domestic cantaloupe over 60% of the time. Among vegetables, no samples of sweet corn and onions had more than one pesticide and more than 90% of cabbage, asparagus, sweet peas, eggplant and sweet potato samples contained no more than one pesticide.
One additional concern to consider: sweet corn, although it may contain less pesticide residues, is quite commonly genetically modified in the U.S. While genetically modified organisms (GMO) are banned or significantly restricted in Australia, Japan and throughout the European Union, the industry is still at large in the U.S., and no labeling is required by the federal government. For this reason, it is recommended that sweet corn consumption also be limited to organic.
Among baby food, green beans and pears were especially disturbing: almost 10% of green beans contained the organophosphate methamidiphos in amounts that could easily increase risk for brain and nervous system damage in infants consuming a four-ounce serving of green beans on a regular basis. 92% of pear samples tested positive for at least one pesticide and over a quarter of samples contained five or more, including iprodione, categorized by the EPA as a probable human carcinogen, and not registered for use on pears. In fact, the presence of iprodione in pears of any kind constitutes a violation of FDA regulations and the federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act.
While there is no question that Americans need to eat more fruits and vegetables, it’s worth taking an extra step to make sure that produce is delivering the nutrition it’s supposed to, and nothing it’s not. Pause for a moment. Want some neurotoxins with that salad? I didn’t think so.
by: Dr. Veronique Desaulniers
July 21, 2012
The human body’s entire metabolic process depends on one critical factor – the pH of the plasma fluids. The pH scale is very simple. The lower the readings on the pH scale are acidic and the higher readings are more alkaline. Through homeostasis, the body maintains a healthy plasma pH of 7.4. Although the pH of the body will fluctuate with meals, exercise, stress, hormones and sleep, a healthy and balanced saliva pH should be between 7.0 to 7.5.
A simple principle to apply concerning health and disease is that a low pH creates an environment conducive to disease and a higher, alkaline pH promotes health.
There are key factors that can create an acidic environment in the body:
- Eating acidic foods such as meats, dairy, sugar and refined grains
- Extreme physical exertion
- Emotional and mental stress
When the scales tip in favor of an acidic micro-environment, a domino effect is created. Toxins are not properly excreted which creates a favorable environment for pathogens such as bacteria, viruses and yeasts to thrive. Also, prolonged irritation of the cell membrane from environmental carcinogens blocks the intake of much needed oxygen. When the cell lacks oxygen it creates lactic acid and becomes acidic. This creates the perfect environment for cancer cells to develop and multiply.
Studies conducted at the University of Bari in Italy clearly demonstrated that a hallmark of all tumors, regardless of their origin or background, is their acidic environment. In fact, tumor progression increased with an acidic pH and hypoxia, or a low oxygen level.
July 19, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
by: John Phillip
[NaturalNews] Few people give much thought to their pancreas, the small digestive organ that is located behind the stomach and functions to release digestive enzymes to break down food. Acute pancreatitis is a serious, potentially life-threatening disease that occurs when those enzymes begin to eat the pancreas itself. Pancreatitis leads to pancreatic exhaustion and is associated with a significant increase in the risk of developing pancreatic cancer.
Researchers from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden have published the result of a cohort of studies in the journal Gut (an International Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology) that explains how a vegetable-rich diet is protective against non-gallstone related acute pancreatitis. The study was the first broad population-based research body to investigate how vegetables and fruits influence the risk of developing pancreatitis and indirectly, the future risk of pancreatic cancer.
Four daily servings of vegetables cuts risk of pancreatitis in half
Study researchers examined the dietary habits of 80,000 Swedes for a period of 11 years via a standard questionnaire to determine vegetable and fruit consumption patterns. The goal of the research was to gain a better understanding of a possible connection between antioxidant levels, which are affected by diet, and an increased risk of acute pancreatitis. Over the 11 years, 320 participants developed cases of acute pancreatitis that weren’t connected to gallstones, which are a common cause of the disease.
After adjusting their statistics for various factors, the researchers found that those who ate more than four servings of vegetables a day were 44 percent less likely to develop acute pancreatitis than those who ate less than one serving of vegetables a day. Lead researcher, Dr. Viktor Oskarsson commented “A significant inverse association between vegetable consumption and risk of non-gallstone-related acute pancreatitis was observed; the risk declined in a linear dose-response fashion for every additional serving per day.”
It is interesting to note that the researchers found no association with the amount of fruit consumed and the risk of acute pancreatitis. The researchers suspect antioxidants in vegetables helped prevent the condition, while fructose in fruits may weaken the protective effect. Also of note, overweight people and those who consumed more than one alcoholic drink per day appeared to get the most positive benefit from eating a lot of vegetables. Although this study found that four daily servings of vegetables lowered risk of pancreatitis by 44 percent, nutrition scientists regularly recommend consuming a minimum of five to nine servings each day to optimize protection from chronic disease.
Sources for this article include:
by: Pat Robinson
July 11, 2012
Fortunately, natural substances are being researched for their therapeutic value for our immune health. “Superbugs” develop due to repeated, frequent and multiple different antibiotic prescriptions. Plant products have historically been consumed and utilized for their anti-microbial and holistic benefits. Here are 38 natural substances which indicate potential benefit for people with HIV.
- Whey protein concentrate supplementation can stimulate glutathione synthesis and, possibly, decrease the occurence of associated co-infections.
- Curcumin is an effective treatment for HIV-associated diarrhea.
- A polyphenol and antioxidant rich fruit and vegetable concentrate has therapeutic value in HIV patients due to enhanced proliferation, which could restore disturbances in T-cell homeostasis.
- Neem leaf extract safely increases CD4 cell levels in patients with HIV/AIDS.
- Selenium supplementation suppresses the progression of HIV-1 viral burden and improves CD4 count.
- Cinnamomum zeylanicum has therapeutic activity in HIV-associated oral candidiasis.
- Elderberry, green tea and cinnamon extracts rich in certain flavonoid compounds were shown to block HIV-1 entry and infection.
- Licorice contains the compound glycyrrhizin which has significantly inhibits HIV replicationin the peripheral blood mononuclear cells from HIV-seropositive patients.
- Sumac (Rhus chinensis) contains compounds with anti-HIV activity.
- Lactoferrin (from milk) may inhibit HIV virus infection in children.
- The use of Alternanthera pungens herb tea by HIV-infected patients may lead to significant increase T lymphocytes and decrease in biomarkers of oxidative stress, and might help in theprevention of the opportunist diseases.
- Plasma antioxidant capacity can be increased by long-term ingestion of polyphenols fromfruit juices or fruit-vegetable-concentrate in HIV-seropositive patients.
- American ginseng reduces oxidative stress in patients taking the antiviral medication zidovudine without altering drug pharmacokinetics.
- Korean ginseng improves treatment outcomes in HIV-infected patients on antiretroviral therapy.
- Glycyrrhiza uralensis (TCM herb) improves immune function in HIV-infected patients.
- Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) has therapeutic activity as an ajunct to HIV/AIDS management.
by: Elizabeth Renter
July 11, 2012
Want to know how to avoid dementia? Just change your diet. Once again, science is substantiating what many of us already know—that diet can prevent disease, and that fruits and vegetables provide a far reaching range of benefits—specifically, that a group of compounds within produce could help protect people from Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia.
How to Avoid Dementia with Food
Dr. Robert Williams of Kings College in London spoke at the British Pharmacological Society’s Summer Meeting a few years ago highlighting the potential benefits of flavonoids found in vegetables, fruits and red wine. The research shows how to avoid dementia and related diseases through simple dietary changes, with these flavonoids being able delay the onset of Alzheimer’s.
He says his own research has countered many previously held beliefs that such antioxidants were broken down by the body before they could have any beneficial effect on the brain. Also, some clinical trials on other antioxidants showed little benefits on dementia symptoms or prevention, further boosting skepticism.
He says, however, that flavonoids don’t only act as antioxidants, but “exert their biological effects through other mechanisms,” according to Phys.org. Limited studies looking at the effects of green tea flavonoids and those found in grapes can potentially reduce brain pathology and even possibly improve cognition.
Dr. Williams’ research has focused on a specific flavonoid, known as epicatechin.
“We have found that epicatechin protects brain cells from damage but through a mechanism unrelated to its antioxidant activity and shown in laboratory tests that it can also reduce some aspects of Alzheimer’s disease pathology…This is interesting because epicatechin and its breakdown products are measurable in the bloodstream of humans for a number of hours after ingestion and it is one of the relatively few flavonoids known to access the brain suggesting it has the potential to be bioactive in humans.”
His research is admittedly limited at this time and Dr. Williams says that further research is needed to better know what specifically is causing the protective effect.
“The challenge now is to identify the single flavonoid or combination of flavonoids that exert the most positive effects and to define the mechanisms of action and optimal quantity required before embarking on clinical trials to treat their effectiveness in dementia.”
Not only is fruit and vegetables consumption the answer for how to avoid dementia, but consuming these foods could also make you more attractive.
This isn’t the only research to suggest that Alzheimer’s and diet could be linked, or at least that diet could have positive effects on the symptoms of dementia.
Small West Yorkshire town aims to be first town with food self-sufficiency by growing all its own vegetables
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
By: PF Louis
[NaturalNews] Different local authorities throughout the USA have been harassing homeowners for growing veggies or herbs in their front lawns. But in the small town of Todmorden, England, a grass-roots food movement has been started by one woman who grew veggies in her front yard and let neighbors pick them free.
It took six months before neighbors and passers-by got the notion that Mary Clear’s lowered fence and signs encouraging people to pick veggies from her lawn was for real. Mary, a 56 year old grandmother, kicked off a scheme thought up with local Bear Cafe owner Pam Warhurst and others to engage in local guerrilla agriculture.
Soon, others joined in and they called the movement Incredible Edible. Now this small community has 70 large, raised beds flourishing with fruits and vegetables, all of which are there for others to take from without paying.
Even the Todmorden police station has a few of those beds on its premises. The police also allow others to come and pick from them. It’s a high profile setting that lets others know it is okay to grow your own in Todmorden. (Source 1 below)
Mary and Pam realize that Incredible Edible isn’t up to feeding all 15,000 residents of Todmorden yet. But their goal is to achieve that level of self sufficiency by 2018. They’re working on getting more involved with growing veggies and fruits with a grass roots free educational system to help others learn how to plant and nurture communal food gardens.
So far, there has been no government financial support or interference with Incredible Edible, which has even sprouted up in another British town, Somerset. (Source 2 below)
It appears that USA community bureaucracies are number one in harassing homeowners who grow veggies or herbs in their yards. (http://www.naturalnews.com)
Local agricultural sustainability seeds elsewhere
Somehow, the seeds of improving urban planning to incorporate sustainable local and regional agriculture are being cultivated by various non-profit NGOs (non-government organizations) throughout North America and elsewhere. There are many of them, all apparently isolated from each other.
However, the USDA has promoted a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program as a network for like minded community farmers and farms to connect with local consumers willing to bear the financial burden of farming with various local farms.
From CSA literature: CSA is not about cheap food, which is usually neither nourishing nor grown with care of the environment in mind. CSA is about each of us being responsible. We encourage you to compare prices of a share at your local CSA to the supermarket’s “cheap food.” (Source 3 below)
Although American Big Ag representatives and government officials want to dismiss it as communist propaganda, Cuba rebounded from mother Russia’s collapse with urban farm gardens on small urban lots and campesinos’ (small rural farmers) sustainable agricultural efforts. (Source 4 below)
Now that they’re back on their feet with lots of organic home grown foods, American Big Ag and biotech industries are trying to get into Cuba with their misleading statistics of high crop production. Hopefully Cuban officials won’t be influenced by those carpet baggers.
A large scale international study has confirmed the obvious: Small local/regional organic, sustainable farming is better suited for feeding the world than Big Ag’s “green revolution” or biotech GMOs. The USA was one of the few nations that refused to endorse the initial 2008 UN study. (Source 5 below)
An updated UN report on agro-ecology and the right to food is available on pdf here (http://www.srfood.org).
This is a struggle of wise little foodies against evil mercenary giants.