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Dr. Gregory Pais, ND
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Home arrow Naturopathic News arrow Issue #16 - January 2004
Issue #16 - January 2004

Welcome to the first 2004 issue of Naturopathic News, issue #16. It’s my goal to help you find natural solutions to health problems. This newsletter is one way to do that. The more educated you are about your health options the better able you will be to take control of your health. Any feedback in the form of comments, letters to the editor, success stories, etc., is appreciated.

If you think any of your friends or family would be interested in this material, just send me their email address. For all those who have told me how much they appreciate this newsletter, thank you for the kind words.

HOMEOPATHY

An excellent homeopath that I know, Dr. Susan Beal, pointed out to me that I haven’t written very much about homeopathy in my newsletters. To rectify this situation I will be discussing the fundamental aspects of homeopathy over the next few months. I welcome your participation in this dialogue.

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that was developed 200 years ago by a German physician, Dr. Samuel Hahnemann. Based on the principle that “Like Cures Like”, it is radically different from conventional or allopathic medicine. According to a 1990 report by the World Health Organization it is the 2nd most used form of medicine in the world, trailing only Traditional Chinese Medicine in the number of people who utilize it. There are many reasons why this is the case.

Homeopathy is very effective. One needs to look no further than US hospital records from the time of the 1918 flu epidemic to observe this efficacy. The mortality rate for allopathic treatment of the flu was 30%, while the mortality rate for homeopathic treatment was 1% or less.

Homeopathy is as safe as it is effective. Unlike allopathic drugs like aspirin, which can cause Reyes Syndrome (a potentially fatal illness) in young children, there are no blanket cautions against its use in children. The pharmaceutical preparation of a homeopathic remedy involves the serial dilution of the source material. Often past the point of there being any remaining physical molecule of the original substance. Thus poisons such as arsenic and toxins such as snake venom can be given homeopathically.

Homeopathic medicines are available over the counter as they were written into law when the FDA was formed. Though you will see the words homeopathy or homeopathic commonly used people often confuse it with herbal medicine or other treatments. There are three additional principles that underlie the practice of homeopathy and differentiate it from all other therapies. These are the single remedy, the minimum dose, and the potentized remedy. We’ll cover these and other concepts in the next newsletter.

 

DO YOU WANT SOME GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD WITH THAT?

Genetically engineered foods, or Frankenfoods as they are often called, are ubiquitous in the American food system. When polled only about one-quarter of Americans report having eaten genetically modified food. However, if you randomly pick an item off your grocery store’s shelves, you have a 70 percent chance of picking a food with genetically modified (GM) ingredients.

If more Americans were aware of this fact, the polls would certainly turn out differently, but Americans are kept largely in the dark about GM products, and most are not aware they are eating these foods because there are no labeling requirements for GM foods. This, despite the fact that there have been no studies done with humans to show what happens when genetically modified foods are consumed, and a July 2003 ABC News Poll found that 92 percent of Americans want mandatory labels on GM foods.

Even more problematic is the fact that genetically modified organisms are not easily contained. This is obvious since the Star Link controversy where it was discovered that genetically engineered corn had accidentally been introduced into the food supply. One way to resist these widely untested, experimental organisms is by not purchasing GM products. This is a daunting task considering the extent to which GM products have already saturated the American market.

There are, however, several ways to reduce your chances of eating GM foods.

 

Buy Organic

Buying organic is currently the best way to ensure that your food has not been genetically modified. By definition, food that is certified organic must be:

  • Free from all GM organisms
  • Produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers
  • From an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs

However, GM crops are becoming more and more prevalent, and the spread of GM seeds and pollen is a major concern. Even organic products may be contaminated with traces of GM elements that have been spread by wind or insects such as bees.

Read Labels

GM soybeans and corn make up the largest portion of genetically engineered crops. When looking at a product label, if any of the following ingredients are listed there’s a good chance it has come from GM corn or soy (unless it’s listed as organic):

Corn Derivatives

  • corn flour and meal
  • fructose and fructose syrup (unless specified non-corn)
  • corn syrup
  • malt
  • baking powder (corn starch is the usual filler)
  • malt syrup
  • malt extract
  • monosodium glutamate
  • maltodextrin
  • sorbitol
  • mono- and diglycerides
  • starch
  • food starch
  • modified food starch
  • confectioner's sugar
  • dextrin
  • vitamins that do not state "corn-free"

 

Soy Derivatives

  • most miso
  • soy sauce
  • tamari
  • textured vegetable protein
  • teriyaki marinades
  • tofu
  • soy beverages
  • soy protein isolate or protein isolate
  • tempeh
  • shoyu
  • lecithin or soy lecithin
  • many non-stick sprays rely on soy lecithin
  • bread
  • pastry
  • margarine
  • mayonnaise and salad dressings may include lecithin

There are many other products that may contain GM soy or corn derivatives (or GM vegetable oil). Some of these products include:

  • infant formula
  • salad dressing
  • bread
  • cereal
  • hamburgers and hot dogs
  • margarine
  • mayonnaise
  • crackers
  • cookies
  • chocolate
  • candy
  • fried foods
  • chips
  • veggie burgers
  • meat substitutes
  • ice cream
  • frozen yogurt
  • tofu
  • tamari
  • soy sauce
  • soy cheese
  • tomato sauce
  • protein powder
  • baking powder
  • alcohol
  • vanilla
  • powdered sugar
  • peanut butter
  • enriched flour and pasta
  • Non-food items include cosmetics, soaps, detergents, shampoo, and bubble bath


Aside from corn and soy, other GM foods grown in the United States include cotton, canola, squash and papaya.


Look at Produce Stickers

Those little stickers on fruit and vegetables contain different PLU codes depending on whether the fruit was conventionally grown, organically grown, or genetically engineered. The PLU code for conventionally grown fruit consists of four numbers, organically grown fruit five numbers prefaced by the number 9, and GM fruit five numbers prefaced by the number 8.

For example:
Conventionally grown PLU: 1022
Organically grown PLU: 91022
Genetically modified PLU: 81022


Avoid Processed Foods

About 70 percent of all processed foods contain genetically modified ingredients, and the food manufacturers themselves often don’t know for sure whether their products contain GM elements. There are many reasons why processed foods are not optimal for your health—for instance they often contain trans fat, acrylamide and little nutritional value--so avoiding them will not only help you to cut back on the amount of GM foods you are consuming, but will also boost your health.


GP: I highly recommend that you let your representatives know that you don’t want these foods for you or your children. A great resource is The True Food Network, at

http://www.truefoodnow.org/shoppersguide/ They maintain a printable shopping guide as well as other resources for the identification and avoidance of genetically engineered foods.

 

USDA BANS DOWNER CATTLE FROM HUMAN FOOD

On December 30, 2003 U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said the government was banning downer cattle—animals too sick or injured to walk on their own at the slaughter plant—from being used as food for humans.

Veneman told a news conference the Agriculture Department would continue its "aggressive surveillance" of cattle for neurological ailments that could signal mad cow disease. Meat from those animals cannot be sold until tests show they are free of mad cow disease, she said.

As a precaution, Veneman said, processors would be barred from using the brains, eyes and small intestines of cattle in human food. Also, there will be a new regulation to ensure spinal tissue does not enter human meat products as a result of using sophisticated meat recovery systems that scrape tiny bits of meat off the bones of a carcass.

Packing plants will be barred from using air injection stunning to kill cattle as another precaution. In that method, an air-injection rifle is used to stun cattle before they are killed.  However, the injection of air into the brain can cause emboli of nervous system tissue throughout the body.

There are an estimated 150,000-200,000 downer cattle out of 35 million slaughtered each year in the United States. A meat industry official said the new restrictions might prompt slaughterhouses to refuse to accept downer cattle. That would impair USDA's mad-cow surveillance system, which relies on spotting suspect animals at slaughter. "The practical reality is most plants will say 'no downers'," the meat official said. The USDA is investigating the cause of the first U.S. case of mad cow disease. The disease was found in a Holstein dairy cow in Washington State late December.


GP: You may think that the system is working well when you read this. However, a study by the Center for Public Integrity, a D.C. watchdog group, found that only 43% of all meat products recalled by their manufacturers from 1990-1997 was recovered. Unsuspecting consumers ate the rest of the meat, some 17 million pounds. Yet Congress fought off efforts during that time to get the authority to issue mandatory recalls of contaminated meat.

Grass-fed, organic beef anyone?

 

STARTING BAD HABITS YOUNG

A survey of 3,000 children aged four to 24 months revealed that U.S. infants are eating many of the same junk foods as their parents. Researchers found that infants are eating few fruits and vegetables and are instead eating diets laden with candy, soft drinks and junk food.

They found that:

  • French fries are the most popular vegetable eaten by children aged 19 to 24 months
  • About 25 percent of children did not eat any healthy vegetables on the day of the survey
  • Most infants between 19 and 24 months old ate sweets at least once a day
  • Infants seven months and older are being given soft drinks in their bottles

Yahoo News October 25, 2003


GP: It is disheartening to read that parents are feeding their young children junk food and soft drinks despite what they do to your health. What’s really ridiculous here is that French fries are actually classified as vegetables. French fries are, in fact, the most popular vegetable eaten by children 19 to 24 months old, as the article says. This is absolutely amazing considering that they are one of the most toxic foods known to man. Equally as discouraging is that French fries make up one-third of teens' vegetable intake.

 

TECHNOLOGICAL TIMES

You know you are living in the year 2004 when:

  1. Your reason for not staying in touch with family is because they do not have e-mail.
  2. You have a list of 15 phone numbers to reach your family of three.
  3. Your grandmother asks you to send her a JPEG file of your newborn so she can create a screen saver.
  4. You pull up in your own driveway and use your cell phone to see if anyone is home.
  5. Every commercial on television has a web site address at the bottom of the screen.
  6. You buy a computer and 3 months later it's out of date and sells for half the price you paid.
  7. Leaving the house without your cell phone, which you didn't have the first 20 or 30 (or 60) years of your life, is now a cause for panic and you turn around to go get it.
  8. Using real money, instead of credit or debit, to make a purchase would be a hassle and take planning.
  9. You just tried to enter your password on the microwave.
  10. You consider second-day air delivery painfully slow.
  11. Your dining room table is now your flat filing cabinet.
  12. Your idea of being organized is multiple-colored Post-it notes.
  13. You hear most of your jokes via e-mail instead of in person.
  14. You get an extra phone line so you can get phone calls.
  15. You disconnect from the Internet and get this awful feeling, as if you just pulled the plug on a loved one.
  16. You get up in the morning and go online before eating breakfast.
  17. You wake up at 2 AM to go to the bathroom and check your E-mail on your way back to bed.
  18. You start tilting your head sideways to smile. :)
  19. You're reading this and nodding and laughing.
  20. Even worse; you know exactly who you are going to forward this to...

Stay warm during these days of sub-zero temperatures and blustery snowstorms,

Gregory Pais, ND, DHANP