Category Archives: Organics

Drug-Free Burgers?


You’ve heard the pundits talk about a drug-free society. But what about a drug-free hamburger?

As health officials sound the alarm about antibiotic resistance caused by the overuse of antibiotics in meat production, a few fast-food chains are taking steps to clean up their acts. But overall, when it comes to getting antibiotics out of their supply chains, the fast-food restaurant industry gets a failing grade, according to a new report compiled by Friends of the Earth, Natural Resources Defense Council, Consumers Union, FACT, Center for Food Safety and Keep Antibiotics Working.

The report, Chain Reaction, includes a scorecard on the top 10 fast-food chains. The only two chains to earn an A grade? Panera Bread and Chipotle Mexican Grill. (Chipotle was attacked by the media earlier this year, for announcing plans to go GMO-free. OCA National Director defended Chipotle’s decision to heed consumer demand for GMO-free food).

According to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control, each year in the U.S., at least 2 million people become infected with bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics, and at least 23,000 people die each year as a direct result of these infections.

Antibiotic-resistance is largely attributed to the routine use of sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics on factory farms. The factory farm industry says the antibiotics are needed to prevent disease—partly true, as animals confined indoors in cramped, inhumane conditions, are more susceptible to disease. But it’s widely known that industry uses the drugs to grow bigger animals, faster.

It’s been nearly two years since the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced a plan to curb the routine use of sub-therapeutic doses of antibiotics to treat and fatten up livestock on factory farms. But the mostly voluntary, loophole-riddled “plan” falls far short of what scientists say is needed to stop the spread of antibiotic-resistant superbugs that now pose a real and widespread danger to public health.

It’s clear that the FDA isn’t going to regulate away the problem. So who will solve it?

You. By not buying any meat that comes from factory farms. And by encouraging your fast-food restaurant-going friends to at least choose brands that are rejecting meat from animals pumped full of antibiotics.

Read the report

More here

Organic Farmers Suffer 77-Fold Increase In Lost Revenue From GMO Contamination In Last 3 Years


By: Justin Gardner, The Free Thought Project |

Monsanto has many weapons in its arsenal when it comes to eliminating competition from non-GMO and organic farmers. After more than two decades of pushing their products onto US farmland with purposely flawed safety studies, the sheer presence of genetically modified crops poses an existential threat to the business of traditional and organic farming.

A new report has come out showing the extraordinary costs that non-GMO and organic farmers incur from GMO contamination of their crops.

“Results from the newest USDA survey indicate that of the farmers who chose to answer the question, 92 had experienced monetary loss between 2011 and 2014 averaging approximately $66,395 per farmer during that timeframe. Overall, GMO presence cost organic farmers at least $6.1 million over four years. This figure is 77 times that reported during the 2006 to 2011 timeframe—a staggering increase.”

The USDA conducted its first survey this year of the financial losses suffered by non-GMO and organic farmers from contamination. They did so at the urging of rights groups such as Food and Water Watch, who conducted their own survey in 2013.

That report found that one in three farmers had dealt with GMO contamination, causing many buyer rejections at a median cost of $4,500 each rejection. Considering the 77-fold increase in financial burden since previous years, it is clear that the biotech industry is pushing their competition toward financial ruin.

But genetic contamination is only half the story. The USDA’s report excludes losses incurred from pesticide drift, which occurs when crops such as Monsanto’s “RoundUp Ready” corn are sprayed and the chemical drifts onto nearby fields. This will become a bigger burden as more chemical–resistant GMO crops are approved by friendly federal agencies.

“Regarding drift issues, one farmer we surveyed wrote, ‘my only problem comes from drift when commercial chemical sprayers spray on a windy day and the spray drifts across the road or buffer strip to kill my alfalfa or other crops. I call the company and complain but they have never compensated me for my loss as of yet.’ Regarding dicamba, another farmer wrote, ‘I’m more concerned with spray drift—especially with the effort to release Banvel-resistant soybeans. Everyone knows how volatile that chemical can be—not only to organic farmers but all farmers and home owners.’ Even Roundup, considered to be less harmful and less prone to drift than 2,4-D and dicamba has been a huge problem for organic growers. One farmer wrote, ‘in the last 16 years I have had three instances where spray drift has affected my fields. All three times it was Roundup. It has totaled $65,000 and I have had to start the three-year transition process [for organic certification] all over., Not only has spray drift negatively affected relationships between neighbors, it has resulted in organic farmers being forced to take some areas of their farm out of organic production completely.”

All of these burdens—from wind-driven pollen contamination to post-harvest seed/grain mixing to pesticide drift—are borne by the victimized farmers. They must establish buffers or adopt delayed planting regimens, and they alone bear the financial cost of rejected crops.

Meanwhile, biotech companies enjoy regulatory and financial support from their co-conspirators in federal departments, as they slowly grind the competition to dust.

Adding insult to injury, last year Monsanto persuaded their friends at the Supreme Court (including former Monsanto attorney Clarence Thomas) to grant Monsanto the ability to sue farmers whose fields are inadvertently contaminated with GMO material.

The results of these attacks on multiple fronts are being seen, with the number of organic farms decreasing over the past few years.

Extreme Raw-Fooding: The Final Word On Food As Medicine

By: Noah James Hittner |
© 2014 Personal Training on the Net—Republished with permission by Personal Training on the Net:


Defining: “Optimal Physical Health”

Regardless of whether our discussion is about athletics and fitness, or health and wellness, the undeniable fact of the matter is this:

Our bodies are—and can only be—made-up of what we consume.
We are built out of the food we eat.
It’s that simple.

The profound nature of this fact is matched only by its simplicity. And, it begs a question:

How high quality of a heart, or a lung, or a quadricep, or a transverse abdominis, or a brain, or blood, ligament or tendon can a body produce when fed a steady diet of Coca-Cola, Doritos, McDonald’s and Miller Lite?

Think about it. Everything we consume is involved in the creation of our bodies…everything. High quality in—high quality out. Action—reaction.

Choice—consequence. It is basic physics. In short: As the quality of our food increases/decreases, so increases/decreases the quality of our bodies.

And so, it really just makes sense that as the food we eat becomes more and more refined—we become less and less hardy. In turn, we develop all manner of disease.
What does not make sense, however, is that rather than looking to the building blocks (i.e. our nutrition) as the general cause of our physical state, we have blamed a few mysterious dark forces, such as our genetics/family history (EX: Cancer is in my genes), or a thing called “the germ” (EX: I caught my disease from someone else).

The body is literally programmed for success. So let’s be honest with ourselves…would we use Silly Putty to create the foundation of a skyscraper? As ridiculous of an over-exaggeration as that may sound, it’s not far off. Why are so many people so sick? Think about your circle of people…really think about it. Do you really believe it is supposed to be this way?

Of course there are other factors at play here, such as our environment and physical activity—both of which have profound effects on our health. But this article will focus primarily on the nutritional aspect to optimal physical health, as my experience has shown me that a vast majority of people have never been presented with the kind of information that I’ll be sharing here; making it, in my humble opinion, paramount.

Speaking of which, just what does “optimal physical health” mean anyway? It’s fairly easy to assume we all have the same meaning for that phrase. Yet, in my experience, it’s very likely that we do not. Thus, I think that it’s crucially important to mention that before we can agree on what circumstances create optimal physical health (the target)—we must first agree on what it means in the first place (the location of the target).

For the sake of this article, I will define optimal physical heath, and a few other terms here:

Optimal Physical Health: A physically disease-free state.

Raw Food: A food in whole form and not subjected to extreme temps/heating/cooking, pasteurization, homogenization, irradiation, freezing, chemical processing, and the like.

Extreme: Not commonly held or accepted as normal by societal standards.

Now, obviously that definition of optimal physical health is a tall order—a near impossible one by my estimation—as even healing requires the presence of some disease. Thus, to reiterate, this definition serves only as a basis for communication—so that all of you understand my agenda as you read on. The definition above does not imply that you or I ever achieve it. It only communicates an intention so that the dialogue can be as free of assumption(s) as possible.


The Basics of “Extreme” Raw-Fooding

Look, it’s pretty simple: Cooking, pasteurizing, irradiating, freezing, and the adding of chemicals—denatures food, period. (This includes the processing of “nutritional supplements.”) Once food is denatured, it is vastly inferior from a nutritional perspective. “The following analogy applies to many nutrients, including fats and minerals that are destroyed by cooking and other food-treatments: Clay is malleable, pliable, and able to foster growth of bacteria and plants. When fired, clay becomes hardened and life-deprived. When cooked, nutrients in food become hardened and life-deprived.”(2)

Thus, the processing and subsequent consumption of our once fresh, raw foods—whether we are dealing with meat, vegetables, dairy products, or what have you—inevitably leads to disease in two all-encompassing ways:

1. Consuming cooked foods weakens the body via the creation and buildup of toxic residues.
2. But perhaps more profoundly, cooked foods simply do not contain the adequate nutritional value needed for our bodies to mitigate the rampant ground, water and air pollution that we face every day. Without the right kinds of live, raw nutrition present to deal with that pollution, our bodies become collectors of it.

The two factors above lead to the diseases of today: diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s, cancer, heart disease and countless others. What it boils down to is that raw foods are more bio-available. In fact, the nutrients in the ideal raw foods are 100% bioavailable. Meaning: All of the nutrients are utilizable. They have more life to offer, more energy…more “value,” if you will. That said, it could be suggested that, relatively speaking, where chronic disease is present, overall food value has been low.

So just what are we getting into here? Right about now, your mind is probably asking one or both of these two questions:

1. Is this about Vegetarianism? And/or…
2. What about germs & bacteria?

Both are very reasonable trains of thought. For now, I’ll simply address question #1: This article is absolutely not about vegetarianism. Yup, we’re taking about raw meat, with no exceptions. Question #2 will be addressed a bit later.


Raw Meat

First, let’s briefly discuss the consumption of meat, in general. It has been found that we—as a species—have the digestive juices most resembling that of a carnivore’s. It is a scientific fact that we—as a species—do not have the intestines or gizzards of herbivores. “Our Intestines are 2 ½ times shorter than most herbivores. We have only one stomach, while herbivores have 2-4 stomachs. Herbivores have nearly 60,000 times more enzymes than we have to disassemble cellulose (plant fiber) to obtain the fat and proteins from vegetation and grain. Vegetable fiber passes through an herbivore’s digestive system in about 48 hours. In our digestive tracts, vegetables complete their journey in 24 hours. Only a fraction of the cellulose is digested. Sixty-five percent of the protein and fat are undigested.”(2)

You see, it seems that humans are designed to eat meat. This observation is not made to discredit any ethical or moral argument. It is simply an observation of scientific fact. And, that said, we can choose from there. Yet, if our agenda is indeed optimal physical health (as defined above), then eating meat takes on a new degree of relevance.

The myth of “the Germ:”

The most obvious concern with raw meat consumption is the scare of food poisoning by way of “the germ.” Again, a reasonable concern. But just what is this villain? Think about it for a moment. We’re talking about bacteria, right? Unfortunately, there is big money to be made in “Germ Warfare.” Which means it is very profitable for the conventional medical/pharmaceutical establishment to have the masses believe that bacteria (and other so-called “germs,” such as virus and fungus), are the creators and causes of all manner of illness. Quite literally, the opposite is true. And, I’ll not only offer a bit of research, but also some of my own practical application and experience to prove that to you…once and for all.

Excerpted from Vonderplanitz’s book, The Recipe for Living Without Disease, consider the following passage about Louis Pasteur and Dr. Antoine Bechamp’s conflicting contentions about microbes and disease…

In the 1870’s, Louis Pasteur proved that heat-processing slowed food spoilage and lengthened the shelf life of mold-damaged wine. He saved vineyard owners from financial loss and ruin, but he condemned wine drinkers to seasons of toxic wine produced from unhealthy crops of grapes.

Pasteur presumed that fungus and bacteria caused disease. He failed to realize that an unhealthy crop succumbed to fungus and molds. Rather than looking to enrich the soil to generate healthy grapes, he attacked the fungus and mold that were symptoms of the unhealthy crop. Diseases, he surmised, originate from constant types of microbes attacking the body from outside.

Contrary to Pasteur, his contemporary, Dr. Antoine Bechamp, 1816-1908, claimed that disease originates from within the body because of the destruction of cellular integrity by toxic food and pollution. He contended that all microbes were beneficial, some for cleansing, some for maintenance and others for regeneration, but that none were responsible for causing disease.

I suppose that because we are a warring society, we ignored Bechamp and embraced Pasteur. Maybe it was easier for us to believe that we could recognize and battle invading forces rather than consider changing our life styles. Regardless, modern medicine’s justification for microbial wars is based on speculation, fear and pseudoscience.

Louis Pasteur made the “germ theory” famous but he killed it on his deathbed. Many reports said that some of his dying words were:

Pathogens are not the problem. The environment in which and on which pathogens feed is the problem of disease.

That means that the cause of disease is the quality of our air, food and all substances with which we come in contact.(2)

Essentially, what this all means is that the advertised contention of the conventional modern-medical machine that microbes cause disease by attacking the body from the outside is motivated absolutely by profit margins—not by science, nor a promise of health and wellness. You see, if suddenly we were all generally and independently well, an enormous economic flux would quickly ensue.

The reality here, is that bacteria are essential for digestion, as it has been found that 80-90% of digestion is bacterial!(4) And yet, modern medicine continues to wage a war on them!

But perhaps a more profound consideration is this: Bacteria, fungus, virus and others act as the body’s janitors. And let’s REALLY GET THIS POINT HERE… These little creatures CLEAN HOUSE. They perform the vital task of removing dead and toxic garbage from the body via colds, flus, and the like. They are symbionts, working with us—not against us—for the mutual benefit and betterment of the organism as a whole…our body. “They appear as a response, not as the cause. ‘Pathogens’ respond to decay within the body, reversing or preventing disease that is more serious. They are the first stage of the cure, the cleansing stage. Eliminating pathogens, such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli, and parasites forces decaying tissue to remain in the body, endangering the inner body environment. Our bodies gradually get sicker.”(2)

To blame these little critters for creating some kind of disease could be likened to this analogy: When I was a kid in school, every now and then a student would get sick and, unable to reach the restroom in time, would inevitably vomit in the hallway. Well, shortly thereafter, we would all hear that familiar “ding” noise over the PA, which was a signal to the janitor to come and clean the mess. Basically, blaming microbes for disease in the body would be like coming out into that hallway, and upon observing that janitor cleaning the mess, promptly blaming him for it. It quite literally makes no sense.

But, like most things in life, the proof is in the pudding. So here’s your proof: I’ve been involved with this brand of raw fooding for over six years now. Part of my own personal journey toward optimum physical health has involved the consumption of what I like to call raw “cultured” meat as a natural and powerfully effective probiotic. Let me be frank with you about what this means: I regularly consume carefully, intentionally rotted-raw meats (also known as “High Meat”), as a potent means to build and maintain a healthy bacterial flora in my body. This has involved the consumption of 9-month-old raw high-chicken, and my current batch of 2 ½ -YEAR-old raw high-beef. Never, let me repeat, never have I experienced any type of food poisoning…only the benefit of cleaner, clearer digestion and a more clearly focused mind.

A quick word about Food-Poisoning:

What it boils down to is, “the belief that raw food causes bacterial food-poisoning is nonscientific myth and hysteria. All epidemic food-poisoning that has occurred was caused by bacteria feeding on cooked food. The bacteria feeding on cooked and/or chemically treated food develops disease and mutates. The mutant/diseased bacteria excrete volatile toxins that cause poisoning…”(1) Thus, with a sense of irony, it seems that even bacteria get sick when they eat cooked food.

How does it taste?

So, all emotion and squeamishness aside, it makes sense, does it not? Being 100% bioavailable, raw meat provides awesome, live nutrition with which the body can thwart disease and build robust health. Yet, at the end of the day, perhaps the biggest concern is taste…right? I can say with great confidence that there are endless recipe options specifically for raw meat eaters, that when combined with appropriate/natural marination, offer delicious flavor and pleasant texture. (For more information about the consumption of raw meat, raw meat recipes, as well as more information on germ theory, see references 1 and 2 below.)


Raw Fat

The low-fat craze that has seemed to endure for so long is founded in nothing connected to the reality of optimal physical health. In this man’s humble opinion, this notion—that fat is generally unhealthy—is once again, nothing more than a product of stigma, marketing and economy…nothing more.

Raw fats—such as those found in raw dairy (butter, cream, milk, cheese), raw meats, raw eggs, and raw avocados—are absolutely essential to optimal physical health. Above all, on our highly polluted planet, raw fats are the primary macronutrient that protects us from toxicity by binding with—and escorting—toxins from the body. “In an ideal healthy world, we would not need such an abundance of fat. In our civilized, polluted, disease-ridden world, we need an abundance of fat.”(2)
Fats also lubricate the body and provide an efficient source of energy. For this, and other reasons, raw fat is arguably the most important nutrient—the most necessary nutrient—that we consume.

A quick word about Raw Dairy:

The debate about dairy has gone on long enough. The only debate that really needs to take place concerns dairy processing. Once again, the equation is simple: UNprocessed, NON-homogenized, NON-pasteurized milk, cream, cheese, and butter from healthy cows provides profound, vital nutrition with which the human body can strengthen, fuel, protect and rejuvenate itself (with rare exceptions to those who are sensitive to even raw dairy). I was unable to drink pasteurized milk when I was young. It would upset my digestive system, sometimes sending me urgently to the restroom. Now, years later, I consume gallons of whole, full-fat, organic, raw milk every month, experiencing only an increasingly hardy brand of health. (For more information about the consumption of raw fats and dairy, see references 1 & 2 below.)


Raw Vegetable Juice

Eating whole, raw vegetables on a primarily cooked-food diet has been found to prevent constipation by countering the putrefaction that can occur with cooked foods in our digestive tract. That said, as stated in Part 1, we simply do not have the kind of digestive system that can make good, efficient use of plant-based food. Furthermore, on a raw diet, frequent consumption of raw vegetables hinders the body’s digestive abilities by creating an over-alkaline state.

Therefore, the best way to receive/supplement the beneficial enzymes, vitamins and minerals from vegetation is via juicing. Juicing has become necessary in regards to achieving optimal physical health because these nutrients are often lost or damaged in foods due to depleted soils and food transport, as well as being drained from our bodies after years of eating cooked foods.

I consume roughly 16 ounces of vegetable juice daily, first thing in the morning. On days when I don’t consume the juice, I notice fluctuations in what is normally smooth and consistent energy. (For more information on vegetable juicing, as well as specifics on what/how to juice, please see references 1 & 2 below.)



Raw fooding in the manner described in this article naturally hydrates the body because, “raw food contains from 55% to 92% H20 that is 92-100% cellularly utilizable. Water that is not in raw food has no active ions, electrolytes nor minerals bound with nutrients. It must have all 3 properties or it is only 10% cellularly utilizable.”(2) In terms of optimal physical health, eating/consuming raw foods like raw milk, raw vegetable juices and raw tomatoes provide the fats, minerals, enzymes, vitamins and electrolytes that the body needs in order to hydrate properly.

Furthermore, in cases of severe thirst, raw fats like raw butter/cream have been found to be very effective; suggesting that, “rather than dehydrated, we are delipidated. That means we are deficient in the raw fats that can properly lubricate us. Our thirst is more for raw fat than for H2O.”(2) Remember what was said in Section 3: “…raw fat is arguably the most important nutrient—the most necessary nutrient—that we consume.” (For more information on water and hydration, as well as hydration formula recipes, please see references 1 & 2 below.)


A Nutritional Revolution

Why hasn’t EVERYONE heard about this!?

This question alone could have an article many times this size dedicated to it. The simple answer is: Follow the money. If everyone on the planet suddenly embraced their health in this radically independent manner, the economies of the conventional medical establishment, the current healthcare systems, the pharmaceutical companies, and others…would collapse, quickly. Those financial interests are being protected by not revealing this kind of healthcare information to the masses. Combine that with the knowledge that most medical doctors have studied only 0-16 hours of nutrition in their medical schooling(2), and the picture that’s painted quickly becomes one of self-reliance.

But here’s the good news: Now, you know.

Anything is possible:

What this nutritional revolution seems to be suggesting is this: Generally speaking, there may be no diseases by conventional standards (i.e. occurring by way of random, chaotic chance, or poor genes). Perhaps, there are only the consequences of a certain series of choices. And, that said, my own education as well as over six years of practical application with this nutritional technology has led me to believe, quite literally, that anything is possible—anything can be healed.

Prior to passing away this past August, nutritional pioneer, Aajonus Vonderplanitz had absolutely incredible success treating terminal cancer patients (and so many other serious, chronic illnesses), with nothing more than raw foods. His success rate with all but two types of cancer was around 90%! That’s correct, I said 90%! That means no pills, no shots, no supplements, no radiation…just raw whole foods, in the right combinations and quantities, as generally described in his two books shown as references 1 and 2 below.

Imagine the implications that a diet this rich in fresh, live, energy-giving, disease-thwarting nutrients could have on one’s average workday, or on an athlete’s performance, or on someone’s fitness goals, or on our ability to be involved parents and partners! The implications are endless, and limited only by the choices we make.

In over six years of this style of “extreme” raw fooding I’ve eliminated my hay fever allergy, vastly improved my eyesight, naturally dissolved a tumor in my left leg, seen the end of seasonal depression, resolved my chronic low back pain, and experienced an increase in my mental focus so profound that I’ve been able to write and self-publish 3 books (working on a 4th now), self-record/produce 3 musical albums, perform in front of hundreds, launch and maintain a website, travel across the world, and do it all while, at times, working as much as 60-80 hours/week. People…this is real.

On a quick side note, it’s crucial to mention that consuming raw foods that are also organic (or better), greatly supports our journey toward optimal physical health because they are typically produced without the use of many chemicals that cause great toxicity/disease in the body (pesticides, herbicides, etc.).

Finally, it should also be noted that this article represents an extremely over-simplified version of the full raw-food picture. The references below represent over 40 years of study and application. For anyone interested in the version of optimal physical health portrayed in this article—I highly recommend the two books below (references 1 and 2), as a great starting point.


1. Vonderplanitz, A. (2005). We Want to Live—The Primal Diet (Expanded and revised in 2005). Los Angeles, CA: Carnelian Bay Castle Press, LLC. Pg. 229-30.
2. Vonderplanitz, A. (2002). The Recipe for Living Without Disease. Los Angeles, CA: Carnelian Bay Castle Press, LLC. Pg. 21, 34, 35, 151, 156, 162-3, 164, 179.
3. Vonderplanitz, A. (2 May 2009) Live Lecture.
4. Vonderplanitz, A. (24 April 2010) Live Lecture.
5. Aajonus Vonderplanitz’s website:

Noah James Hittner is an independent Author and Musician from rural Wisconsin who has appeared on both radio and network television. His books and music inspire the mind and warm the heart. To contact Noah, or explore more of his work, visit:

Conventional Ground Beef Is Three Times More Likely To Contain Antibiotic-Resistant Fecal Bacteria Than Grass-Fed Beef

By: Dr. Mercola |

Factory farming methods produce a number of side effects that can threaten your health and even your life. Contamination with disease-causing fecal bacteria is one of them.

To combat foodborne illness, the food industry has created solutions that further worsen matters — sterilization methods such as high heat, chemicals (chlorine-based or lactic acid washes, for example), and/or radiation are all common industry attempts to “sterilize” your food before it reaches the store.

Yet the central issue remains unaddressed, which is the lack of hygiene standards in the raising, slaughtering, and processing of the animals.

A large percentage of meat products become contaminated when the animals’ intestines are punctured and stool spills onto the meat being processed.

This is the real problem — not undercooking, as properly processed healthy meat will not harm you if it’s undercooked because it will not be contaminated with fecal bacteria.

In 2011, researchers found about half of all meats and poultry sold in grocery stores were contaminated with drug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, the bacteria that causes most staph infections.

Now, a new Consumer Report study1,2,3,4,5 warns ALL store-bought ground beef contains fecal bacteria, and factory farmed beef often contains dangerous antibiotic-resistant bacteria as well.

Ground Beef Accounts for Most E. Coli Outbreaks

As reported by Consumer Reports:

“Just before the July 4 holiday this year, 13.5 tons of ground beef and steak destined for restaurants and other food-service operations were recalled on a single day because of possible contamination with… E. coli O157:H7.

That particular bacterial strain can release a toxin that damages the lining of the intestine, often leading to abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and in some cases, life-threatening kidney damage…

Between 2003 and 2012, there were almost 80 outbreaks of E. coli O157 due to tainted beef, sickening 1,144 people, putting 316 in the hospital, and killing five. Ground beef was the source of the majority of those outbreaks.”

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) epidemiologist Hannah Gould, food poisoning is vastly underreported. The CDC estimates that for every reported case of E. coli O157, another 26 incidences go unreported.

Beef is also a common cause of salmonella outbreaks.

Why Ground Beef Is So Unsafe

Ground beef tends to be far more problematic than solid cuts of meat, and the reason for this is that in the latter the bacteria tend to remain on the surface of the meat. Once you cook it, most of the bacteria are destroyed.

When the meat is ground, however, those same bacteria get mixed throughout the meat, contaminating all of it. So if you like your hamburger on the rare side, the pathogens may still be alive and well in the center of the beef patty.

Another contributing factor is the fact that in the making of ground beef, meat from a number of animals is mixed together, and all you need is for one contaminated animal to affect a very large batch of meat.

Moreover, as noted by the featured article:

“Ground beef (like other ground meats) can also go through several grinding steps at processing plants and in stores, providing more opportunities for cross-contamination to occur. And then there’s the way home cooks handle raw ground beef: kneading it with bare hands to form burger patties or a meatloaf.

Unless you’re scrupulous about washing your hands thoroughly afterward, bacteria can remain and contaminate everything you touch — from the surfaces in your kitchen to other foods you are preparing.”

CAFO Ground Beef versus Organic Ground Beef

Consumer Reports purchased 300 packages (totaling 458 pounds) of ground beef from 103 stores in 26 cities across the US. As reported in the featured article:

“We bought all types of ground beef: conventional — the most common type of beef sold… [and] beef that was raised in more sustainable ways, which have important implications for food safety and animal welfare.

At a minimum, sustainably produced beef was raised without antibiotics.

Even better are organic and grass-fed methods. Organic cattle are not given antibiotics or other drugs, and they are fed organic feed. Grass-fed cattle usually don’t get antibiotics, and they spend their lives on pasture, not feedlots.”

The beef samples (181 conventionally raised, 116 more sustainably produced, including organic grass-fed) were then analyzed for the presence of five types of disease-causing bacteria:

  • Clostridium perfringens
  • E. coli (including O157 and six other toxin-producing strains)
  • Enterococcus
  • Salmonella
  • Staphylococcus aureus

The samples were also put through secondary testing to ascertain whether the bacteria were resistant to antibiotics used in human medicine. Their results showed that:

  • 100 percent of all ground beef samples contained bacteria associated with fecal contamination (enterococcus and/or nontoxin-producing E. coli). In humans, these bacteria can cause blood or urinary tract infections
  • Nearly 20 percent contained Clostridium perfringens, a bacteria responsible for an estimated one million cases of food poisoning each year in the US
  • 10 percent contained a toxin-producing strain of Staphylococcus aureus, which cannot be destroyed even with thorough cooking
  • One percent contained salmonella, which is responsible for an estimated 1.2 million illnesses and 450 deaths in the US each year
  • Three of the conventional samples had methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which kills nearly 19,000 people each year.6, 7 None of the sustainably raised beef samples contained MRSA

Organically Raised Beef Is Safer; Grass-Fed Is Best

Overall, beef from animals raised in confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) was more likely to be contaminated with bacteria, including antibiotic-resistant bacteria, compared to beef from sustainably raised animals. According to Consumer Reports:

“… 18 percent of conventional beef samples were contaminated with superbugs — the dangerous bacteria that are resistant to three or more classes of antibiotics — compared with just nine percent of beef from samples that were sustainably produced…But the biggest difference we found was between conventional and grass-fed beef. Just six percent of [grass-fed] samples contained superbugs…

‘We know that sustainable methods are better for the environment and more humane to animals. But our tests also show that these methods can produce ground beef that poses fewer public health risks… We suggest that you choose what’s labeled ‘grass-fed organic beef’ whenever you can,’ Rangan says.”

Urvashi Rangan, executive director of the Center for Food Safety and Sustainability at Consumer Reports also noted that:8

“This study is significant, because it’s among the largest scientific studies to show that sustainable methods of raising cattle can produce cleaner and safer ground beef.”

Read full article

10 Delicious Ideas For Preserving Tomatoes


The best part of late summer is the glorious tomatoes. Once you’ve eaten all of the BLTs that you can hold, it’s time to start preserving tomatoes for later.  Here are 10 delicious ways to prolong that taste of summer throughout the year.

Dried Tomatoes Packed in Oil

To dry tomatoes, slice them to about 1/4 inch thick and lay them on dehydrator sheets. (If you have a different type of dehydrator, you can buy netting by the roll and cut sheets to fit your unit.) If you want, you can sprinkle them with Italian herbs. like basil and oregano. Dry them for about 8 hours at 140 degrees. Place them in a dry, sanitized jar and cover them with olive oil. Food safety experts recommend that this be stored in the refrigerator.

Dried Tomato Powder

Follow the directions above, but dehydrate the slices until they are crisp and brittle. Allow the dried tomatoes to cool, then, using a food processor (I use my Ninja kitchen system) turn them into a powder.  This stores a lot of tomato nutrition in a very small space. Tomato powder can be added to soups and sauces for a bump in flavor and vitamins.

Freezing Tomatoes

Tomatoes can be frozen whole, in the skin.  Wash the tomatoes in a sink full of baking soda and water, then rinse them well. Place them in a gallon sized freezer bag, and then place the bags on a cookie sheet in the freezer to allow them to freeze nice and flat for ease of storage. When it’s time to use them, place the bag in a bowl on the counter to thaw. The skins will come right off with a gentle pull and your tomatoes are ready to use.

Prepping Tomatoes for Canning or Cooking

This article gives you the how-to for prepping tomatoes for canning. Below, find a few quick recipes for canning your tomatoes and some links to other, more involved recipes.

Canning a Simple Tomato Sauce

This thin puree is as simple as running your tomatoes through the blender, and possibly adding some garlic, onions, and salt to them.  It can be used as a base for soup, chili, spaghetti sauce, enchilada sauce, or any other purpose that requires crushed tomatoes.  I like to can this because it’s pretty neutral and can be used in so many different recipes throughout the year.

I didn’t give measurements because this simple sauce can be made from any amount of tomatoes that you happen to lay hands upon. It is also a great way to use up soft or overripe tomatoes quickly.


  • Peeled tomatoes (any variety)
  • 1/2 a small onion per jar
  • 1 clove of garlic per jar
  • Sea salt or canning salt to taste
  • 1 tsp. of lemon juice per quart jar


  1. Peel tomatoes and place them directly into the bowl of your food processor or pitcher of your blender. Approximately 3 cups of unprocessed tomato will fill a quart jar. If you’re using onions and garlic, add those to the food processor at the same time.
  2. Use the pulse option on your processor until the mixture reaches your desired consistency.
  3. Pour this into a sanitized quart jar.
  4. Repeat until you have a canner load of sauce.
  5. Add a dash of salt to each jar. If you are water bath canning, add 2 tbsp of lemon juice to each jar. If you are pressure canning, the lemon juice is not necessary.
  6. In a water bath canner, process your sauce for 40 minutes at sea level, adjusting for altitude.  Alternatively, you can process the sauce in your pressure canner for 25 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for altitude.

Straining Tomatoes for Less Waste

Instead of cooking tomatoes down for hours and letting all of that goodness just evaporate, I decided to use the same method that I use for pectin-free jam-making with some of my tomato products.

When processing tomatoes for marinara, salsa, and ketchup, cut down the cooking time and preserve the extra liquid for a vegetable broth base for soup or cooking rice.

Puree your tomatoes, then pour the puree into a lined colander that is resting over a large stockpot. (I use a flour sack towel for lining the colander.)

Let it drain anywhere from 2 hours to overnight. The longer it drains, of course, the less liquid will remain in the sauce.  The liquid that drains off can then be processed as a tomato broth for soup.

You’ll be left with thick tomato-ey goodness that doesn’t require a half-day of cooking to reach the proper consistency.

Canning Tomato Broth

  1. Strain your liquid as described above.
  2. Pour this into a sanitized quart jar.
  3. Add a dash of salt to each jar. If you are water bath canning, add 2 tbsp of lemon juice to each jar. If you are pressure canning, the lemon juice is not necessary.
  4. In a water bath canner, process your broth for 40 minutes at sea level, adjusting for altitude.  Alternatively, you can process the broth in your pressure canner for 20 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, adjusting for altitude.


The liquid will separate and you will have tomato “sediment” at the bottom. (See the photo) This is perfectly normal. Just shake the jar before using it to mix the liquid and the pulp. This broth can be used as a base for soup, in place of liquid for cooking meat in the crock pot, or for cooking rice.

More Tomato Canning Recipes

Marinara Sauce

Barbecue Sauce

Taco Sauce



For even more recipes, check out my canning website and my canning cookbook.

Recommended products

I use the following products when preserving tomatoes. (You probably already have many of these in your kitchen!)

The Organic Canner

Excelsteel 16 Quart Stainless Steel Stockpot

Ninja Mega Kitchen System

Presto 23-Quart Pressure Canner

Roma Food Mill

Granite Ware Water Bath Canner

Flour Sack Towels

Stainless Steel Colander

Excalibur Dehydrator

How do you preserve tomatoes?

What is your favorite way to preserve tomatoes? Share in the comments below!

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author ofThe Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

California School District Serves Organic Meals


The scientific and world community know GMOs harm human health. So why does Washington and other governments permit their use – and in America, ban labeling, suppressing vital consumer information?

Ecowatch asked: “What if we could feed our students the nutritious, delicious and sustainably sourced food they truly deserve?”

Sausalito, California Marin City School District is the nation’s first one offering “100 percent organic and non-GMO” foods to children. Why aren’t all US school districts doing the same thing?

Why aren’t only foods and ingredients safe to eat allowed to be sold in America? The Conscious Kitchen says it’s dedicated to a systematic transformation of school dining, to the health and well being of our children, and to a thriving future for our planet.”

It’s contracted to supply meals for Marin County’s Bayside MLK Jr Academy and Willow Creek Academy.

The student-led Turning Green global movement for “conscious living” and a healthy planet launched the project in August 2013 – together with Cavallo Point Lodge, Sausalito Marin City School District, Whole Foods Market and Good Earth Natural Foods.

Ecowatch said since initiated, “the program saw a steep decrease in disciplinary cases, increased attendance and a greater sense of community.”

Turning Green founder Judi Shils said “(s)tudents everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins. Not only does this program far exceed USDA nutritional standards, but it ties the health of our children to the health of our planet. It’s the first program to say that fundamentally, you cannot have one without the other.”

Offering children safe, nutritious, toxin-free foods, is the best way to develop their young bodies and promote health.

Conscious Kitchen-supplied schools accompany their meals with nutrition and gardening education. It explains the dangers of GMO consumption.

It uses the acronym FLOSN to explain foods it supplies – Fresh, Local, Organic, Seasonal and Non-GMO. What if every food supplier in America operated by the same standard?

Imagine a food supply fit to eat. Imagine the way it was long ago before agribusiness became dominant – mass marketing toxins masquerading as wholesome, nutritious foods.

Cavallo Point Lodge’s consulting chef for The Conscious Kitchen. Justin Everett, says “(b)y embracing fresh, local, organic, non-GMO food, this program successfully disrupts the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, heat and serve meals that dominate school kitchens” – junk foods unfit to eat by anyone.

The Conscious Kitchen says foods are safest, best and of highest nutritional value when come “straight from farm to fork.” It uses no processed, preserved or frozen ingredients. Above all, no GMO or chemically contaminated foods and ingredients.

It calls its policy “a no-exceptions rule.” Imagine if governments operated by the same standard. Imagine a healthy America – not one plagued by epidemic levels of illness, obesity, depression and other public health issues.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago and can be reached at [email protected]. His new book is titled “How Wall Street Fleeces America: Privatized Banking, Government Collusion and Class War”. Visit his blog site at

No Yard? No Problem! You Can STILL Grow Food!


Everyone is talking about growing their own food. Lots of people are starting backyard gardens, filling pots on balconies and patios, and even starting little farms in the suburbs.

But not everyone has outdoor space. What if you are living in an apartment and have no place to even put a pot for a tomato plant? Does this mean you are completely at the mercy of other people if you want fresh food?

No!  There are quite a few things you can do to produce your own food, even without a backyard or patio.

Here are two solutions that will work for nearly anyone, anywhere.

Windowsill garden

If you have a sunny windowsill, you can grow herbs and greens. Plants with shallow root systems can thrive in a small pot.

  • Garlic Greens: Plant individual cloves of garlic, pointy side up.  Once they grow, you can snip off the greens and use them like chives or green onion tops.
  • Microgreens: In a shallow tray filled with about 2 inches of damp potting soil, sprinkle seeds like radish, kale, Swiss chard, beet, basil, and dill. Add a thin layer of soil on top of the seeds. Place them in a sunny window, but a cool place (about 70 degrees Fahrenheit) and mist them with water once or twice per day.  Harvest when they are about 2 inches tall by snipping off the leaves with scissors. (Leaving the roots intact will allow for more harvests in the future)
  • Green Onions:  Plant green onions in a shallow pot. Place them in a sunny windowsill and keep them evenly watered. When the plant is about 4-6 inches tall, they can be harvested in full, including the white bulb at the bottom.
  • Lettuce: Lettuce seeds require similar conditions to microgreens, but need to be planted a bit deeper and further apart.  Use a planter with good drainage and place holes about 4 inches apart. Sprinkle a few seeds in each hole. In about 3 weeks, thin the plants, leaving the largest seedling.  When it’s time to harvest, take the outer leaves only to allow for repeat harvests.
  • Herbs: A warm, sun-filled window sill is the perfect habitat for herbs like chives, basil, rosemary, parsley, mint, and thyme. Look for pots with good drainage that are at least 6 inches deep.  Keep the herbs moist initially but after they’ve sprouted and begun to get leaves, they prefer slightly dryer soil.  Harvest by clipping the leaves on an as-needed basis.


Sprouting can take a dormant seed and turn it into a nutritional powerhouse in a couple of weeks.

In her book, The Pantry Primer, Daisy Luther explains how to sprout seeds:

Probably the very most common sprout container is a Mason jar with a screen over the top. However, this isn’t the simplest method.

There are inexpensive trays that are specially made for sprouting darned near anything successfully. My set up is a stack of trays that measure 5×6.  You can stack as many of them as you want to. 

The tray’s bottom is made of small holes for drainage. The process couldn’t be simpler.

  • Rinse your seeds. Remove any little bits and pieces that aren’t seeds, like stems, twigs, pebbles, etc. (Think about rinsing beans before you soak them and pulling out the yucky bits– this is the same thing!)  Use a mesh sieve and rinse the seeds until the water runs clear.
  • Soak your seeds. Generally, 1 part seeds to 3 parts water is a good ratio. Each type of seed has different soaking time requirements, so you’ll have to look this up based on what type of seeds you are sprouting. If you are getting this information online, it’s a good idea to write down your times and any special instructions on your seed container. Most seeds soak for 8-12 hours.
  • Skim off floaters. If you have any seeds floating on top of the water, give them a gentle push to see if they sink down with their buddies. If they float back up to the top, skim them off and discard them.
  • Rinse your seeds. Sprouting isn’t extremely high maintenance because the “crop” is small.  However, 2-3 times per day, you have to rinse your seeds.  This only takes a few minutes. Use cool water – not cold – just cool.  org recommends using high water pressure to oxygenate your seeds. I like the sprayer on my kitchen sink for this purpose. In very hot weather, use the coldest water that comes from your taps.
  • Drain your seeds. It’s vitally important to drain your seeds well each time you rinse. Excess water will cause mold or mildew. I usually shake the seeds in their tray to remove as much water as I can.
  • Let them sprout. For the next 3 days, continue rinsing and draining your seeds 2-3 times per day. Be sure to put them in a place with good circulation. Seeds need to breathe too.  If you can safely put them outside, they’ll get great circulation there. Mine live on the kitchen counter with the ceiling fan on.  Don’t close them up in a cupboard if you want an abundant crop of seeds.
  • Photosynthesize your seeds. After 3 days of rinsing and draining, now it’s time for the fun part: watching them become green!  If you haven’t been exposing them to light, now is the time.  Don’t put them in hot, direct sunlight.  They only need a bit of indirect light. It doesn’t take much light at all for them to green right up. I’ve read that even fluorescent lighting will do the trick, but I always use sunshine.
  • Continue rinsing and draining. You’ll continue the rinsing and draining process described above for 2-3 more days, at which point most of your sprouts will have sweet little green leaves.
  • Remove the hulls. On the last day before harvesting your sprouts, you need to remove the seed hulls. The hull is the hard exterior of the seed that split open when the seed began to germinate. To remove them, put your mass of sprouts into a big bowl of cool water and loosen them up with your fingers.  The hulls will rise to the top and can be discarded or put on the compost pile.  Swoosh your sprouts around in the bowl to get all of the hulls out.
  • Do one more rinse and drain cycle. Let your hull-less sprouts go through one more cycle before you harvest them
  • Harvest and eat sprouts. Rinse the sprouts one last time and drain them very thoroughly before putting them in the refrigerator.  Put them in a closed container and eat them within 3-5 days.

What can be sprouted? Nearly anything, but especially delicious are beans, peas, radishes, broccoli, and grains, like barley, oats, and wheat.

Sprouted seeds are delicious eaten raw.  Top salads, sandwiches, and wraps with sprouts for a big bump in nutrition.

Bean sprouts are heavier and denser.  They stand up to light steaming and can be added to a stir-fry for the last couple of minutes over the heat.  Don’t overcook them or they will be gummy and unappetizing.

Sprouted grains can be steamed lightly, then topped with milk, fruit, and maple syrup for a hot breakfast. They can also be added to baked goods to increase the nutritional content.

Anyone can increase sustainability

Don’t let anyone tell you that you must have acreage in the country to increase your personal sustainability. As long as you’re creative and refuse to be discouraged, you’ll be surprised to learn how much of your own food you can produce anywhere you happen to hang your hat.

Do you grow food indoors? Share your ideas in the comments below to inspire others!

Tess Pennington is the editor for After joining the Dallas chapter of the American Red Cross in 1999, Tess worked as an Armed Forces Emergency Services Center specialist and is well versed in emergency and disaster management and response. Tess is the author of The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals. When a catastrophic collapse cripples society, grocery store shelves will empty within days. But by following Tess’s tips for stocking, organizing, and maintaining a proper emergency food supply, your family will have plenty to eat for weeks, months, or even years.

Meet The Nation’s First School District To Serve 100% Organic Meals


“This program successfully disrupts the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, heat and serve meals that dominate school kitchens.”

When schools in California’s Sausalito Marin City District return to session this August, they will be the first in the nation to serve their students 100 percent organic meals, sustainably sourced and free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

More than 500 students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy in Marin City and Willow Creek Academy in Sausalito will eat fresh, local food year-round, thanks to a partnership with the Conscious Kitchen, a project of the environmental education nonprofit Turning Green.

“Students everywhere are vulnerable to pesticide residues and unsafe environmental toxins,” Turning Green founder Judi Shils said on Tuesday. “Not only does this program far exceed USDA nutritional standards, but it ties the health of our children to the health of our planet. It’s the first program to say that fundamentally, you cannot have one without the other.”

The organization says meals will be accompanied by nutrition and gardening education. The Conscious Kitchen previously served 156 students at Bayside MLK Jr. Academy, where it first tested the program starting in August 2013. Over the course of two years, the founders said, disciplinary cases decreased and attendance increased.

Moreover, the program will address the controversial issue of GMOs in school food. As environmental news outlet EcoWatch reports:

While the long-term effects of GMOs are still uncertain, a growing body of evidence links them to a variety of health risks and environmental damage. An estimated 80 percent of items on most supermarket shelves contain GMOs, and they are ubiquitous in school food programs.

Nutritional experts have long pointed out that food and beverages in schools have a long-term impact on children’s health and well-being. The 2010 Healthy and Hunger Free Kids Act required schools in the U.S. to update their meal provisions to meet new USDA nutritional standards and offer more whole wheat products, fresh fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins to children who receive subsidized school lunches.

But as the Berkeley-based nutritional nonprofit The Edible Schoolyard Project explains, it is equally important to prioritize food education.

“Schools that incorporate an integrated approach to edible education—combining local, seasonal food procurement strategies with hands-on lessons taught in the classroom, kitchen, and garden—are far more likely to sustain healthy school meal initiatives,” said Liza Siegler, the organization’s head of partnerships and engagement.

As Justin Everett, consulting chef with the Conscious Kitchen, explained on Tuesday, “By embracing fresh, local, organic, non-GMO food, this program successfully disrupts the cycle of unhealthy, pre-packaged, heat and serve meals that dominate school kitchens.


7 Health Benefits Of Organic Peppers


You already know that peppers add great taste to your favorite dishes. You might not know what superior healing agents organic peppers can be and how much they can promote your health. I’d like to tell you just how much delicious organic hot peppers can do for you.

Plant compounds called capsaicinoids create the heat in peppers when it touches your mucous membranes.

Different peppers produce a slightly different burn, from mild to very hot. The hottest peppers of the genus capsaicin, such as cayenne and jalapeño peppers, produce a sensation of fire in your mouth.

When that fire hits, your mouth sends a signal to your brain which releases natural pain relievers and endorphins. It’s good to go for the burn, but do so in moderation.

Cayenne is a very popular hot pepper. Its long pod and biting seeds boost fiery flavor and support your immune system too. Specifically, the vitamin A, or beta-carotene, in cayenne and other organic peppers protects your digestive system and wards off infections.

Fresh or lightly cooked red peppers such as cayenne also contain vitamins E, C, and B complex vitamins.

Health Benefits of Organic Peppers

Capsaicin rich cayenne and other hot peppers help to:

  1. Reduce Redness and Swelling You can potentially redness and swelling from sore muscles and bones with the natural properties in organic peppers.
  2. Ease the Common Cold Organic peppers clear out congested mucus membranes in the nose and lungs and cause sweating which is one way your body eliminates toxins.
  3. Soothe and Balance Your Stomach Added to your diet, organic peppers help improve digestion by stimulating the flow of stomach secretions and eliminating the discomfort of excess gas.
  4. Support Blood Circulation Hot peppers such as cayenne stimulate blood flow naturally.
  5. Promote Healthy Lipid Profiles Acting as a thinning agent, organic peppers help dissolve fibrin, the insoluble protein that builds up in your blood vessels which might cause blood clots.
  6. Control Your Weight By activating your digestion, organic hot peppers can reduce your appetite by making you feel full faster.
  7. Function as an Anti-oxidant The beta-carotene in cayenne and other organic peppers works as an antioxidant that counteracts the damage caused by free radicals.

One of the hottest peppers, the small, red-hot habanero, provides exceptional health benefits, too. The oils in these peppers put fiery heat and flavor into Tex-Mex dishes while doing some amazing things for your overall health.

In addition to the benefits listed above, habanero peppers can also help:

  • Trigger endorphins
  • Lower triglycerides
  • Supports circulation
  • Promotes normal, balanced blood pressure
  • Fight potential heart disease

Green, bullet-shaped jalapeños are medium-hot peppers, and they also offer all the health giving advantages of the hotter capsaicin rich peppers, with a slightly milder flavor.

Not So Hot Peppers

Very mild and sweet organic peppers have plenty of health benefits, too. Dark green poblanos and red, green, and yellow bell peppers offer the benefits of high fiber, and they’re low in fat, calories, and sodium.

These peppers are great replacements for salt in your diet, and they offer the bonus of boosting your metabolism to burn fat.

Note: Eating hot peppers in excess may irritate your intestinal tract, from top to bottom, so practice restraint. Also, handle the hotter peppers carefully because the heat can transfer from your fingers to your nose and eyes, causing discomfort.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

10 Benefits Of Organic Coconut Oil


Although it is a 90% saturated fat, organic coconut oil contains medium-chain fatty acids (MCFAs) that can improve your health in many ways. One of the smartest choices of good fat you can add to your diet is organic virgin coconut oil. Yes, coconut oil.

First of all, organic coconut oil is very stable to cook with because it withstands high temperatures without heat damage. If you switch your cooking oil to organic coconut oil, you can start improving your health right away.

coconut oilWhat’s more, you can easily digest the MCFAs in coconut oil. So, it’s a lot easier on your system than other oils. Plus, these hard-working fatty acids are immediately converted into energy rather than being stored in your body as fat. Overall, MCFAs help to boost your metabolism, which is a great help to any weight loss program.

Considered a functional food, organic coconut oil is now being recognized by the medical community as a powerful tool against immune system related diseases. Several studies have been done on its effectiveness in this area, and much research is currently underway concerning the incredible nutritional value of pure organic virgin coconut oil.

Organic coconut oil is highly nutritious and contains a superior disease fighting fatty acid called lauric acid. It is also rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals.

The best kind to get is organic raw unprocessed extra virgin coconut oil. This will assure you that your product is unrefined, certified organic by USDA standards, and contains no added chemicals or genetically modified additives.

You’ll also know your organic coconut oil is made only from fresh coconuts and is a solid at room temperature. The Philippines is the world’s largest exporter of organic coconut oil.

10 Benefits of Organic Coconut Oil:

  1. Keep You Healthy and Slim You can help boost and regulate your metabolism to keep your weight under control with this wonder oil.
  2. Support Your Immune System Organic coconut oil is jam-packed with lauric acid, the immune supporting nutrient.
  3. Promote Heart Health Packed full of healthy fats that are good for your heart, organic coconut oil is a great addition to your daily diet.
  4. Give You Instant Energy Organic coconut oil can help you feel less fatigued and require less sleep by stimulating your metabolism. It can also enhance athletic performance.
  5. Support Healthy Thyroid Function Organic coconut oil helps to stimulate the activity and proper functioning of this important gland which provides energy, supports the health of your skin and metabolism, and keeps your moods in balance.
  6. Help Keep Your Skin Youthful, Smooth & Healthy Looking Using organic virgin coconut oil as a lotion will help improve your skin, hair, and nails due to its moisturizing and smoothing effects that also promote elasticity.
  7. Increase Cell Regeneration When your metabolic rate increases, your cell regeneration speeds up, too. This means that your body will more quickly replace old cells with newer, healthier cells.
  8. Promote Anti-Viral, Anti-Fungal, and Anti-Bacterial Activity Teeming with lauric acid, organic coconut oil possesses abundant natural agents that may reduce fungus, bacteria and the viruses that cause influenza, herpes, and other illnesses.
  9. Improve Insulin Secretion This helps to better utilize glucose to balance insulin output which can help relieve the symptoms and reduce the health risks associated with diabetes.
  10. Protect Your Body from Disease Organic coconut oil may help protect your body from cell damaging free radicals.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

New Report Takes Cheap-Shot At Organic Foods With “Recall” Scare


A new “report” of data intended to be used as propaganda, in this case against foods that are NOT genetically modified, a company called Stericycle has produced data that it says proves organic food recalls are up. The news of the report, of course was recently spread by the U.S. corporate media as a subtle propaganda campaign to directly condemn organic foods in hopes to offsetting consumer growing confidence and demand for organics. All no doubt to the delight and support of GMO food producers like Monsanto.

No one should be surprised by this, considering that Stericyle, a “global” publicly traded company who also owns Bio Systems, is also the U.S.’s leading company for ‘sharps management’ services. In other words Stericyle profits immensely from selling needle and syringe disposal plastic containers to hospitals globally! This statement is from their own site:

“Today, we operate in Asia, Europe, North America, and South America, and employ more than 18,000 people worldwide. Our primary business in each of these markets focuses on providing integrated solutions for the management of medical wastes.”

It is thus in their interest for people to use hospitals and remain sick since they are deeply intertwined with the profits surrounding hospitals and sickness.

It is no wonder therefore that Stericycle would play such a central role in putting out information that ignores the overall insignificance of this data because overall when you take into account the full picture- that when you consider the markedly increase in demand for organic foods, the recalls have actually not changed at all. The Organic Trade Association has already come out and flatly called out the lies put out by Stericycle. Senior Director Gwendolyn Wyard has stated;

“A key point to keep in mind is that an overall increase in organic recalls between 2012 and 2015 would not be surprising — not because organic food is less safe, but because of the dramatic increase in organic food sales and purchases that we’ve been seeing in this country,”

Vice President of Stericycle, Kevin Pollack quietly admits that the reason for the rise in recalls is “partly” because of the enormous increase in the demand for organic foods. Despite this quiet admission Pollack goes on to spread organic food psyop phobia stating:

“What’s striking is that since 2012, all organic recalls have been driven by bacterial contamination, like salmonella, listeria and hepatitis A, rather than a problem with a label,” … “This is a fairly serious and really important issue because a lot of consumers just aren’t aware of it.”

And just like that, Pollack leaves it to the U.S. corporate media to spread the propaganda from there. The propaganda here is subtle and transparent to anyone not paying attention, but is quite obvious to anyone who is. The message being conveyed here is that genetically modified foods are somehow safer than organic foods and that organic (non-GMO) foods are becoming increasingly “dangerous”!

Let’s consider a few things. Let’s all remove our Orwellian hats for a moment. First, there is no such thing per-se as “organic” food. We all call it organic, but more importantly it’s natural and it’s real. Everything else that is not real, natural or organic is fake, genetically modified, synthetic, or not real. Sadly the GMO psyop is so deep today that the control system has everyone thinking that genetically modifying things is a normal thing to do and somehow not genetically modifying things open you up to danger, illness, death and destruction.

Pro-GMO Psyop Stages

As we review the first level of this secret pro-GMO psyop we consider that the first intent of this propaganda piece is to make that “weird” special category of food called “organics” seem like it perhaps doesn’t belong in our world. It’s the culprit of bacterial spreading and it is therefore a problem for humanity. Organic foods are being painted as somehow bad for you.

The second level of this pro-GMO psyop is that once the problem is offered- “organic foods are responsible for spreading bacteria”- then we must come up with a solution. That solution of course, not mentioned here is to perhaps cut down on organics, or maybe get rid of them all together. The replacement problem-solving food of course is genetically modified foods, the one with the tiny microscopic labels that no one can read with the paragraph sized list of ingredients of things most of us can’t pronounce.

The third level of this pro-GMO psyop is that nowhere in these corporate media stories or in the issued report are the dangers of GMO foods mentioned. Let’s not forget that GMO foods are banned in many countries and for good reason. That’s because genetically modified foods are dangerous. Yet these dangers are completely ignored to the delight of Monsanto, Syngenta and other GMO giants.

Health and safety is not something to debate. I would rather risk a self-limited bacterial infection which a healthy immune system can take on, than to alter my DNA and ingest a cancer-causing and other chronic human disease-causing food. The fact is that outside of nature’s natural “organic” foods there are no safe choices. The truth they don’t want you to know is that all GMOs should be banned forever. This is about science, health, common sense and morality.

The controllers layer these deceptions and then point you in the opposite direction. So instead of looking at the GMO problem they want everyone instead fearing organic foods.

Have you considered that perhaps this is the very early stages of a future aggressive campaign against organic foods? Have you considered that perhaps this is a propaganda beta-test to see how people react to the story? I believe this is very possible. These subtle stories usually grow in size later on. Perhaps later on they’ll stage a massive “out-break” to be blamed on “organics”. The public would then be forced (vaccine-style) to eat GMO foods. Imagine that!

Remember the measles outbreak psyop of 2014? We all saw how it morphed into forced vaccination bills (SB277) in states like California, which if it sticks will surely be a template for an attempt at a federal mandatory bill. Don’t forget the measles story came out in small sections for months throughout 2014. The mainstream media kept trying different angles on it. Then by the end of the year they switched from Measles to Ebola and gauged everyone’s reaction on that. Before you knew it they employed Hollywood celebrity mocking “anti-vaxxers”, funded several “pro-vaccine” campaigns and the rest is history.

So don’t be fooled by subtle seemingly innocent stories about a new “report” that suggests that organics food recalls are up and how “serious” this is. This is just propaganda from the same people who have given us many other recent “studies”, new “data”, and “reports” always spinning the narrative sometimes slowly, sometimes more aggressively toward the profit of choice.

We should all be aware by now that essentially all scientific research of  medical claims are absolutely “untrustable and fraudulent“. Especially when we observe the synchronistical spread of these study results by the mainstream media only to later on observe that these study conclusions seem to always have political or corporate profit ramifications.

So nothing should surprise us from the empire that tells us that a “new study” shows cancer is just “bad luck“. Or that everything needs to be genetically controlled instead of considering the environmental factor like eating healthy and pursuing a healthy lifestyle so that you can minimize your trips to the doctor and not waste so much money on hospital bills.


Eating healthy I believe is the most important thing you can do to dump doctors and expensive tyrannical medical-hospital systems out of your life. Health begins during conception, continues after birth and then throughout your life. This is why it is so important to avoid anything that is unnatural as much as possible.

Don’t let a multi-trillion dollar vaccine maker or pharmaceutical company tell you their GMO food, drug or vaccine is “safe”. They only tell you that because “safe” claims means trillions $$ of dollars for them especially if they can get government to force you to take their product.

Aside from pursuing personal health as a token of self ownership and self-responsibility, let’s continue to pursue solutions in the form of inter-dependence. Share health knowledge with one another and help make healthy foods available to one another. If you can now is the time to grow your own food and become familiar with what medicinal values organic foods have. The most important goal is to boost your immune system and thus strive to make government’s medical tyrannical system obsolete since many diseases are based on functional compromise of the body and a depleted, improperly working immune systems.

I believe doctors including many medical doctors will eventually go to where the demand is, given that most of them are well meaning and in their hearts are committed to evidence-based medicine. Many of them will begin to see the greater agenda at play and there are many signs this is already happening.

Ultimately, health is an individual thing and there is no other topic that requires self accountability and responsibility than your own health. As always it starts with you. Eating healthy organic food is one of the easiest and most powerful and effective things people can do to start dumping the control system. It’s no wonder they are slowly preparing their propaganda for what appears to be a long but eventually losing battle.

Bernie Suarez is a revolutionary writer with a background in medicine, psychology, and information technology. He has written numerous articles over the years about freedom, government corruption and conspiracies, and solutions. A former host of the 9/11 Freefall radio show, Bernie is also the creator of the Truth and Art TV projectwhere he shares articles and videos about issues that raise our consciousness and offer solutions to our current problems. His efforts are designed to encourage others to joyfully stand for truth, to expose government tactics of propaganda, fear and deception, and to address the psychology of dealing with the rising new world order. He is also a former U.S. Marine who believes it is our duty to stand for and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. A peace activist, he believes information and awareness is the first step toward being free from enslavement from the globalist control system which now threatens humanity. He believes love conquers all fear and it is up to each and every one of us to manifest the solutions and the change that you want to see in this world, because doing this is the very thing that will ensure victory and restoration of the human race from the rising global enslavement system, and will offer hope to future generations.

The Benefits Of Organic Hemp Milk


Though its name might be a bit misleading, organic hemp milk is a perfectly legal, not to mention healthy, alternative for vegetarians or non vegetarians. Produced from the seeds of the hemp plant, this milk has only begun to be sold in the United States within the past few years.

One concern that people have about organic hemp milk is that it might contain some of the chemical THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is found in marijuana. Rest assured that this ingredient is not present or associated with hemp milk.

Another concern is that the hemp seeds must be imported since it’s currently not legal to grow the hemp plant in the US. Some hemp milk producers have to rely on obtaining hemp seeds from farmers in Canada or Europe, where the growth of hemp plants for oil or milk is perfectly legal.

Health Benefits of Organic Hemp Milk

Organic hemp milk is also a great alternative to toxic cow’s milk and those who cannot consume dairy because of dietary issues.

One 8-Ounce glass contains the following healthy nutrients:

  • 900mg Omega-3 Fatty Acid
  • 2800mg Omega-6 Fatty Acid
  • All 10 Essential Amino Acids
  • 4 grams of Digestible Protein
  • 46% of RDA of Calcium
  • 0% Cholesterol
  • Potassium
  • Phosphorous
  • Riboflavin

How To Make Your Own Organic Hemp Milk!

Combine the water and the Shelled Hemp Seeds in a blender. Use more water to achieve a skim milk consistency and less water to produce a heavier cream consistency of the milk.

Turn blender on high for 2-3 minutes, or until you reach your desired consistency. (I use the VitaMix™ brand blender)

After blending you can sweeten the milk by adding: raw honey, or Organic Vanilla. Blend again to mix sweetener. You can drink it thick or strain it through cheese cloth to remove the large seed particles. The seed pulp can then be used as an excellent body scrub, facial mask or compost.


  • 1 cup hemp seeds (shelled)
  • 5-6 cups of purified water
  • Natural Sweetener, such as Raw Honey

Recipe Makes: 6-7 cups and will stay fresh for 3 days in the refrigerator in a sealed glass container (use a mason jar). Shake well before each use.

Parents: This is a very easy way to supplement a good source of organic protein, Omega-6 & Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids in your child’s diet.

Organic shelled hemp seeds can be purchased online. (I personally use or

Other Things You Need To Know About Organic Hemp Milk

It can be purchased in plain, vanilla, or chocolate flavors, and the boxes they are packaged in do not have to be refrigerated until after you open them. There are now multiple stores selling multiple brands, so if you are a consumer who prefers to stick to organic products, you should not have too much difficulty finding them.

Plain organic hemp milk contains no sugar, no cholesterol, and is free of soy and gluten. For many people, these factors make it an obvious choice for an abundant source of vital nutrients. The essential fatty acids, vitamins & nutrients that are contained in organic hemp milk provide a wide variety of health benefits.

Hemp Milk Benefits Include:

  • Strengthened Immune System
  • Clear, Healthy Skin, Hair and Nails
  • Strong, Healthy Heart
  • Increased Mental Capacity

NOTE: As with anything, you should always conduct a sufficient amount of research on any products that you are considering trying. There are actually quite a few different brands available on the market, and not all of them are made with organic ingredients.

Try to get in the habit of reading product labels on everything, not just food and beverage items. When you regularly read ingredients of the things you and your family are using or consuming, you will develop a greater understanding of labeling practices and what to look for to be safe.

Organic hemp milk may very well be the best alternative for those of you who either do not like cow’s milk, suffer from lactose intolerance, or are vegans. While the taste of it may be something that you have to adjust to, you might just find that you actually prefer it to any of the other milk products you have tried.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

The Health Benefits Of Avocados


Avocados are native to Central and South America and have been cultivated since approximately 8,000 B.C. By the mid-1800s, they had been introduced to Asia and Jamaica, but they did not arrive in the United States until the early 20th century. California and Florida produce most of the avocados grown in the USA with other commercial producers existing in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.

Guacamole is a popular way to enjoy avocados and this delicious food contain other ingredients besides avocados that offer some surprising health benefits.

Ingredients in Organic Guacamole

  • Organic Avocado – Contains Lutein (a carotenoid along with Vitamin E), Magnesium, and monounsaturated (healthy) fats. Avocado helps fight cancer of the mouth, breast, and prostate, and improves skin tone. It also improves absorption of nutrients in other foods.
  • Himalayan Crystal Salt – Stabilizes blood sugar levels and regulates heart beat. Himalayan salt also improves absorption and cell communication, and relieves the sinuses and lungs.
  • Organic Lime Juice – Contains potassium and supports the immune system. It also helps to cleanse the blood and liver.
  • Organic Cilantro – Contains several antioxidants, and is a natural deodorizer. It relieves nausea, bloating, urinary tract infections, and indigestion. Consumption of cilantro also helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and has properties that make it beneficial against harmful organisms.
  • Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil – Helps balance systemic redness and swelling, also promotes healthy blood pressure. It helps to increase metabolism, and supports health of the ovaries and breasts.
  • Raw Organic Apple Cider Vinegar – Once lauded by Hippocrates, apple cider vinegar (raw & unfiltered) helps countless health ailments. It strengthens the immune system, improves metabolism and stamina, and provides relief for sore throats. I personally recommend Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar.
  • Organic Cumin – A natural antioxidant that supports the liver, promotes digestion, and vitalizes the immune system.
  • Organic Garlic – An antioxidant that may lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and helps to cleanse the liver. Garlic has unique benefits whether consumed raw, cooked, or aged. It also contains unique properties that make it an excellent fighter against stomach cancer.
  • Organic Lemon Juice (fresh) – May aid the body in removing gallstones when mixed with olive oil, relieves stomach discomfort, and may help reduce the risk of developing arthritis, atherosclerosis, diabetes, and kidney stones.
  • Organic Onion – Onions contain an antioxidant called Quercetin, which is a flavonoid. They also contain Vitamin E, Potassium, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, and Fiber. Onions are known to relieve congestion and allergy symptoms, and help to reduce cholesterol. In addition, they remove heavy metals from the body, and help fight cancer of the lungs, bladder, ovaries, and breast.
  • Organic Pepper – Pepper contains an antioxidant called Capsaicin, which relieves congestion, headaches, allergies, colitis, ulcers, and discomfort. Eating peppers can aid with blood clotting, cholesterol reduction, and the rate of stroke. Peppers also increase metabolism.

Tips for Buying Organic Avocados

Look for avocados that are slightly soft, but without dark sunken spots or cracks. Tree ripened avocados generally have a better flavor and can be identified by their slight neck. California avocados usually have a richer taste than avocados grown in Florida. Be sure that you only purchase avocados that have a dark green skin, light and bright skin is a sign the avocado is not ripe.

Organic Guacamole Recipe

Guacamole Recipe

  • 2 ripe, medium organic avocados
  • Juice from 1 organic Lime (to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh organic cilantro
  • ½ Tsp organic olive oil
  • ½ Tsp raw organic apple cider vinegar
  • Juice from 1 organic lemon
  • ½ Tsp organic Cumin
  • 2 cloves organic Garlic
  • ¼ cup finely chopped organic onion
  • ¼ Tsp freshly ground organic pepper
  • ¼-½ Tsp finely ground Himalayan Crystal Salt (to taste)

Peel avocados and remove the pit. Dice avocado; mince garlic cloves; chop onion and cilantro. Squeeze your lemon and lime and grind your pepper as needed. Combine all your ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Toss well instead of mixing, to maintain the chunky consistency.

Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, DACBN, DCBCN, DABFM has studied natural healing methods for over 20 years and now teaches individuals and practitioners all around the world. He no longer sees patients but solely concentrates on spreading the word of health and wellness to the global community. Under his leadership, Global Healing Center, Inc. has earned recognition as one of the largest alternative, natural and organic health resources on the Internet.

Pesticide Drift Threatens Organic Farms

 Organic farmer Margot McMillen holds a grape leaf damaged by pesticide drift on her farm, Terra Bella Farm, in central Missouri.      Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Organic farmer Margot McMillen holds a grape leaf damaged by pesticide drift on her farm, Terra Bella Farm, in central Missouri.
Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Chert Hollow Farm sits nestled between rows of tall trees and a nearby stream in central Missouri. Eric and Joanna Reuter have been running the organic farm since 2006. That means they don’t plant genetically modified crops and can only use a few approved kinds of chemicals and fertilizers.

“We’ve traditionally raised about an acre and a half of pretty intensively managed produce, so it’s a very productive acre and a half,” Eric Reuter says.

Their neighbors grow acres of conventional corn and soybeans, and they mostly got along. That is until one July evening in 2014. Joanna Reuter was transplanting some broccoli when a sound caught her attention.

“I basically heard this loud noise,” she says. “It was coming north to south, and I basically yelled, ‘What the ‘beep’ is that?’ “

They spotted a crop duster passing unusually close to their property. Shortly after experiencing headaches and irritation, they knew the wind had blown something chemical onto their land. Without knowing what it was, they were left in the lurch, with a big asterisk on the authenticity of their organic crops.

“We were concerned about how do we properly market ourselves, because we feel very strongly about openness and honesty,” Eric Reuter says. “We felt a little odd about marketing farm shares and such for the next year as a sustainable, chemical-free farm.”

They’ve opted not to sell their produce this year and hope the contaminated soil will rebound for next year. It’s a big hit for their small business.

And for the crop duster? He received a warning letter. The farm next door did not respond to my requests for an interview.

“We’re more susceptible to that kind of contamination than we thought,” Eric Reuter says. “And that raises the stakes significantly for a farm like ours.”

In the U.S., farmers use nearly 900 million pounds of pesticides every year to protect their crops from weeds and insects. Sometimes those chemicals drift to neighboring property, which can ruin crops on organic farms.

Although conventional farms can also get hit with unwanted pesticides, it’s the $40 billion organic industry that’s most vulnerable. As more organic farms pop up, these kinds of disputes will only be more common.

Kaci Buhl of the National Pesticide Information Center says there’s no clear picture of how common pesticide drift is for the nearly 20,000 organic farms nationwide.

“The data would get better, and possibly resource allocation would increase, if there was more consistent reporting,” she says.

Each state’s agency responsible for handling pesticide-drift investigations — typically, it’s the state agriculture department or the equivalent — deals with the probes differently.

Organic farmers Margot McMillen and Julie Wheeler check on their tomato plants. They moved the plants into a greenhouse to protect them from pesticide drift.  Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Organic farmers Margot McMillen and Julie Wheeler check on their tomato plants. They moved the plants into a greenhouse to protect them from pesticide drift. Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Organic farmers Margot McMillen and Julie Wheeler check on their tomato plants. They moved the plants into a greenhouse to protect them from pesticide drift.

Kristofor Husted/Harvest Public Media

Missouri Department of Agriculture spokesperson Sarah Alsegar says the department does its best, but is sometimes limited by the turnaround time of lab analysis, as well as gathering records from the pesticide applicators in the region.

That’s why the organic industry is pushing for national regulations that prioritize drift investigations and consider stricter penalties for negligent farms. Farmers say investigations into chemical drift can drag on for months, and penalties vary.

“Once we do have a federal approach to pesticide drift, I suspect we’ll be a lot more coordinated in our responses, and potentially, have better prevention strategies and more timely reaction to events when they do occur,” says Nate Lewis with the Organic Trade Association.

Lewis says that drift needs to remain on the forefront of policy efforts, especially as organic acreage grows and farmers become more aware of pesticide drift. Currently, there is no federal policy outlining pesticide drift investigations or recourse.

Paul Schlegel with the American Farm Bureau Federation says unless the drift problem escalates, the current state regulatory system that handles drift incidents works. The focus should be on improving education and drift-reduction technology.

“I think you would probably find in the organic sector as whole, there’s a greater reluctance to accept pesticides as a whole,” he says.

Ultimately, he says, pesticides are part of the food production landscape all farms just have to navigate.

Recently, organic farmer Margot McMillen was traipsing through her muddy farmland, about 25 miles from Chert Hollow. At her farm, called Terra Bella Farm in central Missouri, she grows all sorts of vegetables.

While scanning her crops after a recent rain, she noticed some possible pesticide damage on her grape vines.

“This curling of the leaf is real characteristic, and there’s a real thinness of that leaf,” she says, cradling the leaf in her hand. “To me they look like little fists (saying), ‘Help, help.'”

McMillen is all too familiar with curled up foliage. She says in 2014, pesticide drift destroyed $25,000 worth of her tomatoes. The state agriculture department confirmed drift occurred, but couldn’t identify the culprit.

Even if her contaminated produce had survived, it was no longer sellable as organic. Pesticide drift puts McMillen and much of the organic industry in a tough spot.

“It’s so out of our hands,” she says.

This year, she says, she’s been forced to grow her plants “defensively.” Large bushes now block the wind from the road. She moved crops over a hillcrest, away from other farms, and moved the tomatoes inside the greenhouse.

“Everybody (who) doesn’t use [pesticides] is running into this problem,” she says.

McMillen says she knows her farm is still vulnerable. She says a federal policy would help, but planting defensively — even through it’s not foolproof — is the best she can do for now.

Source: NPR

This story comes to us from Harvest Public Media, a public radio reporting collaboration that focuses on agriculture and food production.

Organic Crops: Lower Heavy Metals, Higher Antioxidants

Fresh organic vegetables on a table close up

By: Easther Crain | Rodale’s Organic Life –

Share this with friends and family that are still on the fence.

Ever since the USDA Organic label began showing up on some food labels in the early 2000s, a debate has raged over whether crops grown without chemical additives and fertilizers rack up more nutrition than their conventional counterparts. Now, a new review of 343 previous studies throws its support behind the pro-organic side. Researchers writing in the British Journal of Nutrition found that organic crops and products made with them (such as cereal) pack 17 percent more antioxidants on average—with levels of some subtypes of antioxidants as much as 69 percent higher. The research team also reported four times more pesticide residue on non-organic foods, as well as significantly lower amounts of some toxic metals in the organic-grown items.

Sounds like the debate is settled then—consuming foods certified organic is the way to go. Not so fast. The researchers cite previous studies showing that antioxidants are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, and other chronic conditions, yet they’re stopping short of advising that consumers make a permanent switch to the organic aisle. “This study demonstrates that choosing food produced according to organic standards can lead to increased intake of nutritionally desirable antioxidants and reduced exposure to toxic heavy metals,” wrote lead author Carlo Leifert, a professor at Newcastle University in England. “This constitutes an important addition to the information currently available to consumers, which until now has been confusing and in many cases is conflicting.” Still, the authors add that more research needs to be done on whether the boost in antioxidants translates into better health.

In the meantime, choosing food higher in nutrients and lower in toxic chemicals certainly can’t hurt. For more information on food that’s contaminated with the most pesticides, check out the foods on the latest dirty dozen list.

This article was originally published on Women’s Health.

Backyard Chickens Must Be Registered In North Carolina “For Your Own Safety”


There isn’t much that feels more self-reliant than going out to your backyard hen house to get fresh eggs for breakfast.  There’s no need for USDA approval, you know what your hens have been eating, and you don’t have to pay a premium price and hope that the farm who raised the chickens that laid those grocery store eggs actually treated the hens humanely.  Bonus points if the bacon you fry up comes from a local farm, and bonus BONUS points if you raised that little piggie yourself. Raising backyard chickens is incredibly rewarding.

It’s pure freedom, this control over your own food.

Of course, until you have to register your chickens. Then, as food freedom activist Joel Salatin says, “Everything I want to do is illegal.”

With so many people moving towards self-reliance, you had to know it was only a matter of time before the government got involved.

And now they have. But don’t worry, it’s all for your own good.

In North Carolina, the state’s Department of Agriculture wants to protect you against the avian flu. So regardless of the number of chickens you have, you must register for a state farm ID number as of August 1, 2015. Surprisingly, this if free. Not surprisingly, this is mandatory.

Up until the recent avian flu fear, farm registration was voluntary. Now, even families with two or three hens in a nifty little moveable chicken tractor in the backyard must register.

According to State Veterinarian (who knew there was a State Veterinarian?) Doug Meckes, this is vital. “In planning our response for highly pathogenic avian influenza, one problem we’ve come across is that we can’t protect birds that we don’t know exist. We need to know where poultry are located so we can properly protect commercial and backyard flocks.”

Chicken owners must fill out a FORM LIKE THIS and declare all of their animals. According to the state’s website, this won’t be used for any other purpose than health tracking. “Information gathered through registration will be used solely for animal health purposes. This critical data will provide animal health officials with necessary contact information in case of an animal health concern and help identify animals and premises that may have been affected.”

Of course, I figure once you register your chickens, they’re no longer really your chickens. The state is just letting you use them. Think back to Michigan, a couple of years ago, when a farmer was forced to destroy his heritage pigs because the state said so. Who can forget the shepherd in Canada whose beloved sheep were thought to be a threat and summarily destroyed? Personally, I’d prefer that my chickens remain happy little libertarian chickens, footloose, fancy free-ranging, and unfettered by a license.

Given the history of any type of registration (cough *guns* cough), is it any stretch of the imagination whatsoever to think your backyard chickens or your small homestead will not become vulnerable to some kind of future “public safety” mandate? Don’t you think they could be subject to seizure or execution based on the whims of the state? And what do you think will happen to families who don’t register their chickens? Do you really honestly feel safer with the state knowing your business? Am I going to have to write an article about stealth chicken keeping to aid and abet wannabe backyard chicken bootleggers?

While this is presented to the public as a way to keep everyone healthy, don’t be fooled. It’s “game on” in the war against self-reliance.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor who lives in a small village in the Pacific Northwestern area of the United States. She is the author of The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy writes about healthy prepping, homesteading adventures, and the pursuit of liberty and food freedom. Daisy is a co-founder of the website Nutritional Anarchy, which focuses on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter, and you can email her at [email protected]

Rodale: 30 years Of Comparative Data Reveal Organic Farm Yields Match Conventional

organic farm

(Permaculture magazine) Is organic farming more resilient, higher yielding, more energy efficient and more profitable? The Rodale Institute’s latest report of a 30 year trial says it is. Read the full report free here.

The Farming Systems Trial (FST)® at Rodale Institute is America’s longest running, side-by-side comparison of organic and chemical agriculture. Started in 1981 to study what happens during the transition from chemical to organic agriculture, the FST surprised a food community that still scoffed at organic practices. After an initial decline in yields during the first few years of transition, the organic system soon rebounded to match or surpass the conventional system. Over time, FST became a comparison between the long term potential of the two systems.

After a 30 year side-by-side trial, the Rodale report shows:

Organic yields match conventional yields.
Organic outperforms conventional in years of drought.
Organic farming systems build rather than deplete soil organic matter, making it a more sustainable system.
Organic farming uses 45% less energy and is more efficient.
Conventional systems produce 40% more greenhouse gases.
Organic farming systems are more profitable than conventional.

Although the Rodale Institute Farming Systems Trial is America’s longest-running side-by-side comparison of organic versus conventional farming, a number of universities have established long-term trials over the years. Between them all, they know that organic agriculture is more profitable, builds more soil fertility over time, and can yield just as much as conventional systems.

“As we face uncertain and extreme weather patterns, growing scarcity and expense of oil, lack of water, and a growing population, we will require farming systems that can adapt, withstand or even mitigate these problems while producing healthy, nourishing food. After more than 30 years of side-by-side research in our Farming Systems Trial (FST), Rodale Institute has demonstrated that organic farming is better equipped to feed us now and well into the ever changing future.”

You can read the full Farming Systems Trial Report free HERE.