Musings: Protecting Our Food Supply
“The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.” — Ann Wigmore
Known as the “mother of living foods,” Ann Wigmore was an early pioneer advocating holistic health remedies and a whole foods diet. A Lithuanian immigrant arriving in America in 1925, Ann settled in Massachusetts, eventually marrying and raising her family here. By 1955 and in poor health, she began using plants and wheatgrass to successfully heal herself of her ailments, and spent the next 35 years promoting natural healing through her famous Boston Hippocrates Health Institute and Ann Wigmore Foundation.
Yes, it is true. Food is medicine and your diet can kill you or cure you. According to TheCancerProject.org, a project of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, “what we eat and how we treat our bodies on a daily basis have a very powerful effect on our health and quality of life.” Numerous studies, most notably The China Study (2005, BenBella Books) by nutritionist T. Colin Campbell, which produced 8000 statistically significant associations between various dietary factors and disease, document the superpowers of very ordinary foods to reverse and heal even so-called incurable diseases and conditions.
According to Campbell, we all have cancer cells that surface in our bodies from time to time. Consuming lots of animal protein (meat, eggs, dairy) alters the mix of hormones and enzyme activity in our bodies, causing inflammation and an acidic environment — the ideal conditions for cancer to thrive. Eating a plant-based diet provides loads of antioxidants that are crucial for neutralizing cancer-causing free radicals in the body.
Despite the irrefutable conclusions of these studies and the mountains of anecdotal evidence supporting the common sense “miracle” of healing through food, conventional medicine continues to offer only one route for disease treatment — drugs, radiation and surgery, along with their unpleasant and potentially lethal side effects— while ridiculing alternative treatment options as wishful thinking.
In fact, a living food diet regimen along with prescribed cleansing treatments and nutritional supplements can not only reverse disease, but actually strengthen the body in the process. While no treatment works for everyone, every time, most diseases are problems of toxicity in the body and malnutrition. The overall health of Americans would improve dramatically, tens of thousands of lives could be saved, and billions of dollars could be invested in boosting the health of people instead of fighting disease if nutritional cures became our first line of defense and treatment in healthcare, rather than drugs and surgery.
Concerns About GMOs
While Americans have only begun to grasp the significance of the diet-health connection, a more ominous threat to our health lurks in the genetically modified organisms (GMOs) that have already flooded our food supply. Almost all soy and corn is now genetically modified and GM alfalfa was just approved by the government for wholesale, unrestricted use. Since alfalfa is a main source of feed for cows, eventually most dairy and eggs will be genetically modified as well. All our supermarket-bought meat is raised on GMO feed.
According to herbalist Guido Masé of the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, a recent article in The Atlantic1 confirms the worst suspicions that have surrounded GMO foods from the start.
“The central dogma of biology has always taught that information flows only one way from DNA to RNA and eventually creates our physical beings. We are now finding that this flow of information is actually a two-way street: material from food can affect whether pieces of our DNA are active or not.
“About ten years ago, researchers discovered small pieces of RNA, known as microRNA, which bind to, and potentially disable genetic instructions. Interestingly, the binding site is on areas that don’t hold instructions for making protein, but rather on areas researchers have called ‘junk’ — sequences that might actually be finely tuned receptors for information from food. What this means is that what we consume can affect our genetic expression in unpredictable ways and these changes can be passed on to our offspring.”
Just ask the honeybees. In 2007 the term Colony Collapse Disorder was coined when honeybees in 24 U.S. states began disappearing and worker bees failed to return to the hive. Scientists have scrambled since then to analyze the problem and find a solution.
Most signs point to pesticide use as the most likely culprit, particularly a group of pesticides called neoniconotinoids, many of which are banned in Europe, but used extensively in the US on genetically engineered corn. While GMO-industry leader Monsanto’s website claims “There is no need to test the safety of DNA introduced into GM crops,” a good look at what’s happened to the honeybees should be warning enough about the recklessness of this assumption. Suffice it to say that virtually everything you put into (or onto) your body can either help or hinder your genetically encoded instructions for health and healing.
Like anything, you get what you pay for. Good food, healthy food, food free of pesticides and GMOs is more valuable and costs more to produce than industrial farmed produce, meat and dairy. Is the extra cost of high quality food worth the price of good medicine? The choice is yours. Imagine how healthy we’d be as a nation if government subsidies went to organic farmers working to ensure a healthy food and soil supply for their local communities, rather than to agribusinesses pumping out the biggest profits for themselves. In the meantime, I’m taking the advice of organic farmer Julie Rawson to learn more about growing food in harmony with nature and get to work growing it in my own backyard.
Carol Bedrosian is the publisher of Spirit of Change holistic magazine. Visit www.spiritofchange.org.
1. “The Very Real Danger of Genetically Modified Foods,” by Ari LeVaux, http://m.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/01/the-very-real-danger-of-genetically-modified-foods/251051/
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