“[I]t is the responsibility of those of us fortunate enough to exercise choice to ask whether this is the way the world should be going.”
--Charles Clover, from “The End of The Line,” as quoted in “Rightous Porkchop” (by Nicolette Hahn Niman).
The folks at the Pesticide Action Network of North America are a small organization who make it abundantly clear why, if you are eating strawberries, you should pretty much always and exclusively buy organic and local--and also why we all need to agitate for change on a national level.
“..On Thursday, December 30th, Earthjustice and California Rural Legal Assistance filed [a] lawsuit on behalf of PAN, United Farm Workers, Californians for Pesticide Reform, Pesticide Watch, Worksafe, Communities and Children Advocates Against Pesticide Poisoning and farmworkers Jose Hidalgo Ramon and Zeferino Estrada. The suit challenges the December 20 Dept. of Pesticide Regulation approval of methyl iodide [to replace the recently banned methyl bromide] on the grounds that it violates a suite of California environmental and public health laws.
“Our suit makes two firm requests of the Governor:
“1. Reverse the recent approval of methyl iodide as a soil fumigant pesticide. This new pesticide should not be used in California agriculture. Period.
“2. Direct your agency staff to create a Methyl Bromide Alternatives Research and Implementation Plan for California. Rather than replacing methyl bromide with an expensive, difficult-to-use pesticide called 'one of the most toxic chemicals on earth' by scientists, we seek the creation of a plan by November 2011 that lays out a suite of alternatives that are economically viable for strawberry growers, while healthy and safe for Californians. Many farmers, large and small, are already growing strawberries without relying on fumigant pesticides like methyl bromide or methyl iodide. We are calling for coordinated action to make these options publically available to all farmers...”
Just in case you need to turn your excess bison into pemmican, here's a clearly illustrated site.
Here's another theory on why dairy consumption seems to negatively affect some people, even if the milk is raw:
“...The trouble is that we have 'the wrong kind of cows'. It seems the black and white cows — Holsteins and Friesians — generally give milk that contains a small but significant amount of beta-casein type A1, which behaves like an opiate and which epidemiological studies have implicated in heart disease, Type 1 diabetes, autism and schizophrenia. ...[this introduction to the topic by] Dr. Thomas Cowan, co-founder of the Weston A. Price Foundation...”
This article appears to pertain to the importance of breastfeeding, but the comments at the bottom (plus the author's replies) discuss everything from constipation to fecal transfers to baby colic to acne/folliculitis to anti-inflammatory diets to chronic disease treatment. Also check out the author's comment regarding a theory on why women get morning sickness--the most plausible I've yet heard. Also, I made a comment (unrelated to morning sickness), so you should read mine. :)
http://www.blog.sethroberts.net/2010/08/24/asthma-and-probiotics/ This is a short blog post detailing an asthmatic who is successfully and scientifically treating his symptoms using probiotics (also check out the fascinating comments, particularly the one about the anti-spasmodic effects of abdominal muscle strengthening).
Also, to compare asthma theories, check out Natasha Campbell-McBride's: http://www.lifeisapalindrome.com/content/part-two-gaps-and-autoimmunity…
Then, explore why humming might be a good thing to support resperatory health:
Also, check out Set Roberts blog in general (I plan to do so when I have a lot of free time), which is dedicated to Self-Experimentation and the Scientific Method. This post concerns the temperature of showers, and whether this affects brain functioning.
Here's a personal account of healing from Chrohn's using the specific carbohydrate diet, by an artist and mountain-biker from Canada. His story is interesting because he tried so many conventional medical treatments and drugs first, before finding the SCD, and because he consulted with Elaine Gottschall herself, before she died. Also intriguing is how his Crohn's onset was sudden, at age 35, and was preceded by a routine dental procedure.
More on Fecal Transplants: http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57795/
I am most intrigued by the final paragraphs, describing how this is a tried and true procedure in veterinary science--they've been doing transplants to heal other sick animals for years!
“...Borody did his first fecal transplant back in the mid 1980s, when he was confronted with one of the most difficult cases he had seen at the time: a woman who had vacationed at Fiji and had developed an incurable colitis through an unknown pathogen.
“While searching the literature for alternative treatments, he stumbled upon a paper published in 1958 in the journal Surgery that described four cases in which a similar condition was cured by infusing the inflamed guts of the patients with fecal samples from healthy donors. 'So I looked at the method and I kind of made up the rest of it,' Borody said.
“He collected stool from the woman's brother, and after screening it for known pathogens, he stuck it in a blender, added some brine, and filtered it to get rid of any undigested material.
“The stool, now turned into slush, was administered to the patient — who had her gastrointestinal tract previously flushed — via two enemas over the course of two days.
“The results were nothing short of surprising, Borody said. Within days her colitis was gone, never to return.
“The procedure, which has deep roots in veterinary science, has been tried and tested in animals for centuries. Farmers handling livestock have long realized, for example, that indigestion following a change in diet in grazing animals, such as cows, can be treated by feeding the sick cow rumen fluid that has been sucked out of a healthy cow's stomach.”
A comment on this article from a woman on the GAPShealth list:
“We were taught this in vet school in the 80s. Cornell actually kept 2 cows as 'donor' cows for rumen bacteria (as well as other teaching uses). The cows had rumen fisutlas (little doorways) surgically implanted and when we had a sick cow with rumen acidosis, we would uncap the the doorway, reach directly into the rumen, pull out a bucket of rumen contents, and then give it to the sick cow.
“It is also well know in vet med that you can quite quickly kill a pet rabbit by giving it the common antibiotic Amoxicillin (and similar antibiotics). The antibiotic kills the gut flora and the rabbit dies from a 'toxic shock' type syndrome. When we would see rabbits where this drug had been given, we would have some chance to save the rabbit by giving it a slurry or healthy rabbit poo and water.
“My only reluctance in using this in people is knowing where to get healthy poop. So many of us are walking around with severe dysbiosis, parasites etc, it's hard to know that you are getting flora that is
better than what you already have...”
[Also:] The sick cow was given the mixture by stomach tube. The cows would generally be too sick to eat on their own. One thing to remember is that both cow and rabbit digestion is very different than human digestion. The Rumen is the first stomach in the cow and is essentially a very large fermentation vat. The stomach that is most similar to ours is the 4th stomach in the cow. Most of our normal fermentation happens in the colon and not in the stomach. [Note from me--this is the reason why fecal transplants in humans are not administered into our stomachs!!]
“[And] this process wasn't always successful. As has been pointed out, proper bacteria is only part of the health equation and if too many other things were out of balance, the cow would not recover. But in many cases it worked beautifully...”
It's my two cents that one must also consider the condition of the “medium” of the intestine into which the bacterial colony, as it were, is transplanted--as well as the quality of the colony's food supply. It seems to me that fecal transfers are next to useless if patient goes on eating the crappy diet that's supporting the imbalanced flora in the first place.
(Another note from me: I am an open and most-secrets-revealed kind of gal, but even I have some limits to what I will talk about on my website. If you want to hear about my own current experiment with kefir grain implant enemas (today is day #4), you will have to e-mail me privately. :)
I haven't yet finished this article--“How three common probiotic strains affect the expression of hundreds of genes in the gut lining to deliver health benefits”--but the part I did read is fascinating:
“'Probiotic bacteria, specific representatives of bacterial species that are a common part of the human microbiota, are proposed to deliver health benefits to the consumer by modulation of intestinal function through largely unknown molecular mechanisms,' begins a research report by Peter van Baarlen et al., a team of gastroenterologists, nutritionists and genomics researchers in the Netherlands.
“This unique study (a rigorous double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial) adds a great deal to the scientific understanding of those molecular mechanisms. Published in the prestigious Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA, the research involved:
• Feeding a small group of study subjects either a placebo or one of the three best-known probiotic species found in fermented dairy products such as yogurt - Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Lactobacillus rhamnosis. (The doses corresponded roughly with what a consumer would receive in a dairy product or supplement delivering live strains of the specific probiotic.)
• Then actually collecting biopsy samples of the mucosal lining of the small intestine to identify any changes at the molecular/genetic expression level.
• And subjecting the RNA extracted from the biopsy specimens to whole genome expression array analysis.
“What they found was a wealth of data on how the intestine 'perceived' each probiotic species - how each 'induced differential gene-regulatory networks and pathways in the intestinal mucosa.' In fact, the three probiotics influenced the expression of 'several hundred up to thousands of genes,' in the gut lining...”
I don't agree with everything Art Ayers postulates, but this is a credible criticism of Western Medicine:
“Cancer death rates may be finally slowing. Why has it taken so long? Medicine has some cobbled-together treatments for allergies, asthma, Alzheimer’s and atherosclerosis, but all of these are still increasing. Cures and prevention are always ten years away. Something is fundamentally wrong with medicine and the fatal flaw is obvious in the biomedical literature. Causes are not mentioned. Treatments are tested and evaluated. Pharmaceuticals are developed for therapy, not for cures.
“Examination of medical websites reveals a public interested in why they get sick, but there is no explanation. There is a recent tendency connected to the concept of personal medical solutions, to attribute sickness to the unique genetics of the individual. Certainly there are some molecular genetic diseases, but this obscures the issue. In most cases the genetics only gives a predisposition. Biomedical research does not pursue why some people get the disease and others with the same genes do not.
“The research literature shows abundant evidence that various diets and lifestyles dominate the outcome in health, but the medical industry fails to apply these factors. Why should someone spend a lifetime on drugs, if two weeks of intensive diet/lifestyle therapy provides a cure? Is a surgical intervention preferable over a gut flora exchange?
“There is compelling evidence that chronic inflammation due to diet and lifestyle is the foundation for most degenerative and autoimmune diseases, and yet simple changes to avoid or eliminate inflammation are not emphasized by doctors to prevent or cure most diseases. It is quite possible to design a one-size-fits-all primary treatment for all diseases, an 'Anti-inflammatory Shock Treatment.' It would be a two week controlled diet and exercise program that provided the anti-inflammatory benefits of controlled carbohydrates, adequate protein, balanced omega-3/6 fatty acids, anti-oxidants, vitamins, exercise and meditation. Careful control of probiotic gut flora would be a priority. This system could be designed based on current research and would be generally applicable. The prescribed system for each patient would match severity of the disease with intensity of the anti-inflammatory intervention...”
A blog reader comments: “...I was listening to an interview with Gary Taubes discussing the reception of his book 'Good Calories Bad Calories'. Total indifference. He was BEGGING researchers to read it. He and the interviewer went on to discuss the repercussions of the medical establishment ADMITTING that the advice they have foisted on the public is not only wrong, but that that advice has caused untold death and disease.
“Medicine doesn't have enough courage. I also think this is related to the 'Doctor as God' syndrome, which, as a longtime nurse, I am well acquainted with...”
Dr. Ayers responded: “I think that the biggest problem with medicine, is that it doesn't do what people expect or think it is doing. People think that doctors listen to their problems and are sincerely interested in helping to improve their lives. In reality, it is closer to prostitution in which a service is provided and only an illusion of care is paid for and provided. It is telling that doctors do not follow up on their diagnosis and treatment plans. They are uninterested in knowing if the patient improves.
“Vitamin D deficiencies, for example, are rampant and dangerous, but doctors seldom check. When they identify a deficiency they prescribe supplements that are insufficient to cure the deficiency and never measure again to discover if the patient is still deficient. This is totally bizarre when doctors are chastised for routinely ordering tests that are unnecessary.
“This points out that patients have made doctors the way that they are by respecting their degree and not requiring performance in healing. It is enough for most patients to just unburden themselves of their complaints and receive a laying on of hands. Knowledge and common sense is not required.
“Patients are shocked when they have a bad outcome and sue as a result. Patients don't take responsibility for their own health, but pay doctors to accept that responsibility.
“Fortunately for doctors, the pharmaceutical industry and patients, most people benefit from the natural ability of their bodies to heal, so little competence is required. This is also why so many drugs don't actually work -- anti-depressants are a documented example. The question is why patients pay so much for a system that doesn't work...”
After this, a doctor posted a comment: “I [am] maybe your outlier. I am a neurosurgeon who focuses in on spine issues. Over the last three yrs the focus of my practiced has changed dramatically to prevention diet exercise smoking prevention and I really get deep into metabolism. The line I use now with patients is this......My job as a doc is deliver you good health care. It is your job to make the healthy choices. If the decisions are congruent on both sides this will be a profitable relationship. You will also be glad to hear I began getting Vit D levels and estrogen and Testosterone levels on most patients and I have just completed an article that I think will shake up my field when and if it gets published in Spine. I will [keep] my eye on you but I would strongly recommend that you dont paint us all with a broad brush. There are many of us out there fighting the dogma and the policy of the food industry and pharma industry. --Dr. K”
Dr. Ayers responds:
“Dr. K, Some of my best friends are MDs... No, that's not actually true, but I have encouraged a lot of my best students to go into medicine to become healers.
“I have great respect for MDs who actually try to cure rather than just treat their patients and I realize that standard practice makes seeking a cure problematical.”
“...I am supportive of healers, but a critic of the medical business model.”
Okay, enough to read for now!!