Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Whitewash Book Could Get Monsanto’s Roundup Glyphosate Banned Forever

There is a chemical that likely causes cancer being sprayed on 80% of the food in this country and residues have been found in popular foods like Cheerios and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream.

This chemical is Roundup Weedkiller (Glyphosate) made by Monsanto.

Even though the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer deemed glyphosate probably carcinogenic to humans, Roundup has NOT been banned. This chemical continues to be used on food crops, parks, playgrounds, and by homeowners everywhere. Glyphosate is now so rampant in our environment that it’s found in honey, cereals, meat, drinking water, breast milk, infant formula, chips, cookies, air samples… the list goes on. 

Since our regulatory agencies are not taking action, this carcinogen continues to proliferate and is contaminating virtually all of the food that we and our children are eating. It’s maddening! Some food brands are taking notice – Ben & Jerry’s recently announced that they’re launching glyphosate-free ice cream by 2020 and other brands are getting certified as glyphosate residue free. This is a huge step in helping to clean up our food supply, but much more needs to be done.

How do we get Roundup BANNED and out of our food?

My dear friend Carey Gillam expertly delves into this issue in her new must-read (and courageous!) book, Whitewash: The Story of a Weed Killer, Cancer, and the Corruption of Science. Just as Rachel Carson started the environmental revolution which led to getting the dangerous pesticide DDT banned over 40 years ago, I believe Carey’s book will have the same impact on our world.

You’ll find Carey’s information very well researched with a wealth of evidence, full of references and background material. I plan to keep this on my bookshelf to use as a reference. In her book, she breaks down how Monsanto has been able to keep Roundup on the market for decades, despite the dangers it presents to our health and environment. She covers…

  • Stories of families who have lost loved ones to Non-Hodgkin lymphoma and their pending lawsuits against Monsanto.
  • How the science behind glyphosate has been manipulated and distorted by Monsanto.
  • Secret communications which influenced top ranking officials at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
  • What the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) are doing, and NOT doing, about Roundup in our food.
  • How certain scientists and front groups are doing the bidding for Monsanto under the cloak of independence.
  • How food production and nutrient value has been negatively impacted by Roundup.
  • The demise of monarch butterflies.
  • How we can move back to a more balanced and safer place for ourselves and our families.

We have allowed Monsanto to poison us for too long.

Monsanto and big chemical companies may have money and great influence, but as consumers, WE have the greatest power of all. The public at large may not be paying attention now… spraying Roundup in their yards and eating Roundup-Ready GMOs but books like this can open up their eyes so they stop buying and using these products. The public needs to know the truth about what is going on – and it’s up to us to spread the word!

Pick up your copy of Whitewash here or at your local bookstore – Buy and share this book with EVERYONE you know!

Carey goes where most journalists don’t dare to go. In my own experience, I know it takes guts to stand up to billion dollar corporations. It also takes an Army! The vicious attacks can be relentless, and I could never do this work without you by my side. I urge you to pick up a copy of Whitewash and maybe one or two extra to give as gifts to your loved ones. 

Each person we reach with this message is one step closer to taking back our food, our planet, and our health. Thank you for your voice!

Xo,

Vani

 

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Enzyme Supplements: Uses, Suggestions, and Alternatives

Enzyme word cloud conceptFew would disagree that a Primal way of life advocates simplicity above all else. Healthy foods, strategic movement, and an aversion to stress bordering on obsession.

This “simple is good” mentality works swimmingly most of the time. Aligning our lifestyle to our evolved biology allows us to achieve a modern semblance of that all-important homeostasis, and I generally see no reason to tinker if it ain’t broke.

But, unfortunately, it’s not always black and white….

Monoculture continues to favor size and sexiness over nutrient density in our agricultural system, making it harder for us to extract the vitamins and minerals we need from the food we eat. And these days, life tends to include more sitting and stress than we can always fend off, regardless of our good strategies and intentions. 

This leads to something of a dilemma: subsist on simplicity and shake your head at the non-purists, or supplement to fill in the gaps of your otherwise stellar Primal pursuits. Digestive enzymes are one such gap filler, boosting digestive efficiency and ensuring greater nutrient absorption.

I’ve mentioned enzyme supplements on occasion in the past, and plenty of Primal folks have raised questions about them from time to time.

The Big Picture on Enzyme Purpose

Enzymes can be grouped into three broad categories: digestive enzymes, metabolic enzymes, and food-based enzymes. Digestive enzymes, the types you’ll see as enzyme supplements in your supermarket or health store, receive the lion’s share of our attention. As you can probably imagine from the name, they catalyze the breakdown of food into smaller, more absorbable molecules. 

The enzyme supplements you buy in-store are copies of the enzymes your body produces in-house. The pancreas is where most of the enzyme production takes place, but there’s also a decent amount released in saliva and in the stomach. These enzymes facilitate the biochemical reactions in the GI tract that physically enable the body to utilize the nutrients we eat, helping to save energy in the process.

Whereas digestive enzymes spend their days outside of cells, metabolic enzymes work their magic from inside cell walls. Once again, the pancreas is where it’s at for metabolic enzyme production, whereupon they set to work ensuring cell replenishment and reproduction.

The final frontier for enzymes is those that aren’t produced inside the body at all, but are in fact present in the foods we eat. When you hear raw food advocates talking about how heating consumables destroys the enzymes in those foods, these are the enzymes they’re defending. And they’re not wrong: raw foods contain far more enzymes than those that have been fried, baked, grilled or nuked. 

Many nutritionists in this camp believe that the majority of the food we eat should be raw, purely based on the premise that these food-based enzymes really give the digestive system a helping hand. Consuming more of these enzymes eases the pressure on internal enzyme production, ensuring more efficient digestion and preventing depletion of metabolic enzymes in the pancreas. I don’t offer this to say you shouldn’t ever cook your food (I’m not a raw food advocate and enjoy a mix of cooked/uncooked food each day.), but it does illuminate the power of enzymes for digestive health and nutrient absorption.

When It All Goes Wrong

Most people who switch over to paleo or Primal assume that their digestive issues will melt away, never to return again. The problem is, they’re generally transitioning from a diet steeped in ultra-heated, ultra processed foods with virtually no intact enzymes.

As a result, their systems bear the burden and exhaustion of low food-based enzyme input, chronically elevated cortisol, food intolerances, GI inflammation, and perhaps low stomach acid. Throw in an autoimmune disease and almost guaranteed gut inflammation, and their digestive health will undoubtedly be less than ideal. 

In response, enzyme supplementation might be an effective strategy for those who struggle with digestion, particularly in the transition to a healthy, whole foods, Primal diet. 

Where Enzymes Can Help

Researchers have uncovered a whopping 3000 or so varieties of enzyme, but those same folks humbly admit there may be as many 50,000 still to uncover.

Exogenous (a.k.a. lab-created and orally-supplemented) enzymes have been used to good effect in treating lactose intolerance and celiac disease, regulating testosterone, and plenty more besides. In many cases, patients who supplemented with digestive enzymes to treat a given malaise were able to wean themselves off enzyme supplementation after a time and continue on their way, symptom free.

Surprisingly, many of these same enzymes have also demonstrated the impressive ability to speed recovery and muscle damage after intense exercise, lower inflammation, and ease pain. But that’s a whole new kettle of fish and one which merits its own dedicated post.

In any case, these were specific digestive enzyme supplementations for clearly-defined health problems. Things get a little murkier when examining the average consumer suffering from the odd bout of gas or less-than-ideal stool.

As is always the case, everyone is somewhat different.

First, know that certain enzymes fulfill different roles in the GI tract. The big players are:

  • Protease, for breaking down protein
  • Lipase, for fats
  • Amylase, for carbs
  • Cellulase, for fiber
  • Lactase, for lactose
  • Maltase, for conversion of complex sugars to glucose
  • Sucrase, for most other sugars
  • Phytase, for B-vitamin conversion and all-round digestive goodness

That’s a lot to take in, and there’s more nuance to it. Nonetheless, if you wanted to apply it 100% literally, it could look like this…. 

Eating more fatty meat these days but not feeling like it’s settling well? Maybe step up the protease and lipase supplementation. Suspect you have lactose intolerance? Lactase enzyme supplementation might be just the ticket. Not sure what your problem is, but your stomach doesn’t seem to appreciate food right now? A broad-spectrum enzyme supplement containing all of the above is probably your best bet. 

But let me stress—I don’t believe enzyme supplementation should be a stand-in for personal experimentation with dietary particulars. The fact is, some of us do better without certain items in our diets, lactose being one. Others may be able to eat a little of everything but thrive more with adjusted proportions. Enzyme supplementation, particularly as a short-term strategy, can be one tool in your dietary attunement.

Personally, if you’re not able to drill down and identify your digestive Achilles heel but want to give enzymes a go, I’d probably try the broad spectrum approach. Even if you don’t necessarily need to top up concentrations of a certain enzyme in your GI, short-term enzyme supplementation isn’t likely to produce any side effects. Find a supplement that offers decent levels of the enzymatic big players along with betaine HCL, which can aid stomach acidification and hence improve digestion, and you might actually look forward to meals again.

It’s also worth knowing that your enzyme supplement in question could be sourced from one or more of 4 “parents”: plant, animal, bacteria and fungus. Because they’re cheaper to produce and a whole lot less volatile, fungal and bacterial enzyme sources are many times more common than those from plant and animal sources.

That being said, certain plant enzymes like papain and bromelain are now gaining popularity—likely in part because they’re more marketable, but also because they have a wider pH tolerance. Animal-derived enzymes have also historically been used to good effect in the treatment of certain disorders, most notably pancreatic insufficiency.

Unless you can find a plant enzyme supplement that ensures fortification from the ravages of stomach acid via a good enteric coating, fungal enzymes are a good bet.

Dosage and Quality Considerations

Toxicity

As far as supplements go, orally administered enzymes are pretty darn safe. Toxicity complications usually don’t arise unless a person is repeatedly knocking back well over the recommended dosage, and even then the side effects are typically limited to gastrointestinal upset. Robb Wolf has mentioned that in times of GI distress, he’d start off at a dosage 6 capsules (3 times the usual recommended dose) then work his way back down. I’ve talked to others, particularly those who’ve had a gall bladder removed, who take much more than that without issue. That said, there’s no reason to take more than you truly need for the results you want. 

Most cases of enzyme supplementation gone wrong can usually be traced back to extreme food sensitivities: classic examples include allergic reactions to porcine substances, bromelain or Aspergillus species. This probably comes back more to the quality of the enzyme supplement producer than the enzymes themselves, whereby shoddy QA/QC might not catch metabolites and by-products that could adversely react with the consumer…all the more reason to seek out a reputable brand.

Stability

Products that offer enzyme supplements from sources that are pH-tolerant and less likely to become denatured in harsh environments can negate the need for enteric coatings and are generally more stable in any case. As mentioned earlier, certain plant-sourced enzymes like papain can tolerate a wider pH range, but fungal enzymes are generally more resistant, have a broader spectrum of application, and don’t rely on enteric coatings to do their thing.

As an aside, if you’ve set your sights on a more fragile plant or animal-sourced enzyme, choosing a product that contains decent amounts of betaine HCL may be a good bet: the HCL helps your stomach to maintain consistently low pH levels, which should ensure the enzyme coating remains intact.

Potency

This is where things get a little complicated. Virtually all supplements (with perhaps the exception of probiotic cultures) are based on a weight-defined system, be that milligrams (mg), micrograms (mcg) or otherwise. This makes sense when it comes to vitamins and minerals, as weight is directly proportional to the amount of the compound in question.

Not so with enzyme supplements. As Ben Greenfield has said, enzymes are more accurately measured by units of activity and potency rather than unit weight. With this in mind, judging the potency of an enzyme blend can be achieved not by noting how many milligrams there are of each strain, but how many Food Chemical Codex (FCC) units each strain presents. Common FCC units of measurement include HUT (Hemoglobin Unit Tyrosine base) and USP (United States Pharmocopia).

Compare FCC units of individual enzymes (i.e. protease, lipase, etc.) to get an idea of which is most potent. But remember that potency doesn’t always imply quality, and that starting at a lower dose then working your way up is probably a wise course of action.

Additives

Back to simplicity. You likely know the drill for seeking out high quality supplements: avoid those undesirable “other ingredients” like gluten, dairy, cornstarch, soy and ambiguous compounds like “tablet coating.” Those with suspected food allergies should be pickier with these additives than others, and don’t be afraid to shop around.

Digestive Enzyme Alternatives

I’ve certainly got no issue with enzyme supplementation (I include a digestive enzyme formula in the Primal Master Formula), but if you’re looking for alternatives then there are plenty of options.

As I mentioned earlier, aiming for more food from raw sources is a critical part of realigning your digestive efficiency. But within that raw food spectrum are certain enzymatic powerhouses that could provide an alternative almost as powerful as dedicated enzyme supplements.

Papaya and pineapple, as the respective sources for the enzymes papain and bromelain, are a good start. Both papain and bromelain are proteolytic enzymes that efficiently break down long-chain proteins into simpler forms, making their parent fruits a good choice for the average Primal meat-eater. Other potent sources of plant-based enzymes include kiwifruit, avocado, and raw honey. Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil also purportedly aid internal enzyme production.

I haven’t seen enough evidence to support the claim that raw meat and raw dairy products provide digestive enzymes that our own body can utilize, but there are other reasons why it might be worth giving either a shot anyway.

Beyond enzyme-rich foods, there are other easy steps you can take to support your body’s enzyme production and to streamline digestion in general. As you already know, leafy greens should be a significant part of each day’s Primal vegetable intake, but here’s another reason to give yourself a generous heaping: those greens contain ample cellulose, which attaches to toxic bile and keeps it moving out the back door. Cinnamon, or so the research would have us believe, performs a similar bile acid-binding role.

If general digestive upset is your problem, upping your bone broth consumption is also probably a good idea. The proline and glycine present (especially if you make your own extra-strong batches at home or use a quality collagen supplement) help to alleviate inflammation in the GI tract and regulate digestion, while the ample nutrients in a good cup of broth help to restock your reserves and rebuild damaged intestinal walls.

Finally, if your digestive issues are being caused by low stomach acid (this is more common than you think), you can try using a betaine HCL supplement short-term or employ natural alternatives if you prefer. Try 1-2 tablespoons of either raw apple cider vinegar or fresh-squeezed lemon juice in a glass of water before meals to stimulate your stomach’s digestive juices and minimize gaseousness post-feast.

And, of course, don’t forget ample prebiotic and probiotic sources in your diet for overall gut biome health. 

Thanks for reading, everyone. Do you supplement with enzymes? What’s been your experience with them? Any particular products or blends you’d recommend? Be sure to share your thoughts below.

The post Enzyme Supplements: Uses, Suggestions, and Alternatives appeared first on Mark's Daily Apple.



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Autumn Salad with Zesty Mustard Dressing

This post is sponsored by Dietz & Watson.

I recently traveled to Washington, DC, for a special dinner with Dietz & Watson. (I mentioned it in my post a few weeks ago.)

…Scroll down to see how you can enter a competition to win a seat at the same table!

Choose the table.

Dietz & Watson is hosting this series of special dinners all over the country to encourage people to #ChooseTheTable. So many of us eat while driving, standing up, during our kids’ activities and more. Yet, many of us know the social and mental benefits of stopping to enjoy a good meal. While that might not be possible every day, the more we make the effort, the better off we will be.

This year we have been making much more of an effort to #ChooseTheTable with Mazen, especially as our family has transitioned. I can say with confidence that we are all happier when we eat together.

In honor of choosing the table, Dietz & Watson is partnering with local chefs in select cities to create multi-course dinners using their meats and cheeses. Our dinner was at Kapnos with Chef George Pagonis. (You may have seen him on Top Chef!)

We had four courses using Dietz & Watson ingredients. My favorite of them all were the chef’s Arancini (aka rice balls). They were filled with parmesan, mozzarella, tomato, basil, and the Dietz & Wastson soppressata. It reminded me of pepperoni pizza as a fried ball, it was so delicious!

Enter the competition.

Four randomly selected winners, plus a guest for each, will get to experience this exact same creative dinner with Chef Pagonis at Kapnos. The event will be held on November 7, and while travel is not included, entries are open to everyone between now and October 24.  Here’s where you can enter! 

Try Dietz & Watson products at home.

I was so inspired by our dinner. I procured a selection of Dietz & Watson cheeses – plus that flavorful soppressata – to create an Autumn-themed salad at home. I got more than I needed to try some new things. Let me tell you, the Blue Jack cheese is incredible! It’s like a blue cheese in sliced form, and it has been epic on sandwiches and burgers lately.

I also love the Zesty Honey Mustard for my homemade salad dressings, and that inspired the dressing for this salad. It’s about one heaped teaspoon of mustard, plus 2 tablespoons of herbed olive oil, 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, and pinches of garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Since figs and apples are the fruits of the season, I added those to my salad – plus baby spinach, honey-toasted almonds, and the Dietz and Watson Cranberry Goat Cheese.

The sopressata provided richness!

I imagine this combo would be great as a salad, as pictured, or as a sandwich with layers of thinly sliced meat, goat cheese, apple, and fig.

Food has a magical power to bring people together. They say that “hunger is the best sauce” and similarly, I think food is a great conversation starter. Many wonderful connections have been made over meals, and sitting down to a delicious meal remains one of my all-time favorite ways to relax and unwind. (Also: wine!) Food doesn’t taste as good when you have to chow it down standing at the counter or eat with crumbs falling in your lap in a car. Whenever possible, set the table, light a candle, use cloth napkins, use the fancy flatware, and make mealtime as special as possible.

What are some ways where you choose the table?

Thank you to Dietz & Watson for sponsoring this post. Don’t forget to enter to win a seat at the table! 

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