Trump Administration Removing Putting Chocolate Milk Back In School Lunches

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is rolling back the Hunger-Free Kids Act championed by Former First Lady Michelle Obama.

The plan to deregulate the school lunch program was first brought up in a press conference in May of 2017. Sonny Perdue, the Agriculture Secretary at that time, said the decision was not an attempt to reduce nutritional standards.

We’re not winding back any standards at all. We are just slowing down the process.”

“This is not reducing the nutritional standards whatsoever.”

Perdue said that children would be more likely to avoid nutritious foods altogether if they weren’t given more options. And if that’s not dumb enough for you, he also said:

I wouldn’t be as big as I am today without chocolate milk.”

The former Georgia governor was joined by Senate Agriculture Chairman Pat Roberts at an elementary school in Leesburg, VA. who also gave us a ridiculous quote:

Try eating a biscuit made with whole grains. It just doesn’t work!”

The Trump administration says they are trying to reduce “unnecessary regulatory burdens” across the federal government.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama initiated the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act as part of her campaign against obesity. The program made some minor improvements in school lunches but it also had some misguided rules as well, and while overall it was not making school lunches healthy, it was a pretty big step in the right direction. Now we are taking a step back to give more control to big business to dictate what our kids eat. But if any of these people knew what they were doing they would know that the fat is not the problem with chocolate milk, it’s the sugar, and the milk itself.

The Trump administration is putting politics before children’s health in ways worse than were expected.” – The Center for Science in the Public Interest




The European Union To Ban Single-Use Plastics By 2021

European Union lawmakers recently voted 571 to 53 for a complete ban on 10 single-use plastics including plates, cutlery, straws, balloon sticks, cotton buds straws, cutlery, and coffee stirrers. These plastic products are said to have readily available alternatives. Other plastics not included in the ban were said to have no alternatives available, but will still have to be reduced by 25% in each country by 2025 and will have to be recycled at a rate of 90%. The EU recycles only a quarter of the plastic waste it produces yearly.

The rules also state that at least 50% of lost or abandoned fishing gear containing plastic is retrieved. Fishing gear accounts for 27% of the waste found on Europe’s beaches.

Amendments were tacked on for cigarette filters. Cigarette manufacturers will have to reduce their plastic waste by 50% by 2025 and 80% by 2030.

We have adopted the most ambitious legislation against single-use plastics. It is up to us now to stay the course in the upcoming negotiations with the Council, due to start as early as November. Today’s vote paves the way to a forthcoming and ambitious directive. It is essential in order to protect the marine environment and reduce the costs of environmental damage attributed to plastic pollution in Europe, estimated at 22 billion euros by 2030.” – Frédérique Ries

The EU’s final rules still need to be approved in talks with member states. Some of the states are indicating resistance, stating that it would be too difficult to implement the changes.

Related: How to Detox From Plastics and Other Endocrine Disruptors
Image credit: Single-use plastics: are you #ReadyToChange?




Five Ways To Reduce Depression and Improve Your Mental State

When the body is healthy, the brain is healthy. If the brain is impaired it’s pretty difficult to enjoy life. Do not underestimate how your health affects your mind!

For those suffering from depression, there’s situational depression and there’s chronic depression. Situational depression is generally triggered by a traumatic incident like losing a loved one or being unable to find work. Chronic depression often starts with situational depression, but it can also just seem to come out of nowhere. Either way, eliminating depression is much harder and often impossible without a healthy brain. For many who do not address health, the best they can hope for is situational happiness, where sadness or anxiety is the norm and outside influences are needed to trigger positive feelings. Addiction is common for such people.

Contents

Eat Right: Healthy Gut = Healthy Brain

A healthy gut is necessary to break down food, assimilate nutrients, balance hormones, and supply beneficial microflora throughout the body that keeps pathogenic activity from proliferating. An unhealthy gut prohibits proper nutrient assimilation, causes hormonal imbalances, and leaks unhealthy, infectious microbes and undigested food into the body. Pathogens, undigested food particles, hormonal imbalance, and a lack of proper nutrition balance all lead to inflammation.

If the body is inflamed, the brain is inflamed. Studies have shown that people with depression have higher levels of inflammatory markers compared to people who are not depressed. Chronically higher levels of inflammation due to medical illnesses are also associated with higher rates of depression.

Poor diet hurts brain function in other ways too. The refined sugars found in most processed foods spike insulin and trigger the release of inflammatory cytokines.  Pesticides, herbicides, artificial colors and flavors, and other chemicals cause problems in many different ways as well. Each and every toxic ingredient harms our health in multiple ways, which is the nature of toxins. But, gut health usually is the best indicator of overall health.

You can inhibit some of the effects of depression with drugs, for a while, but to truly be well one must heal the gut. Healing the gut requires lots of raw vegetables and herbs along with the elimination of pharmaceuticals and other drugs, as well as refined and processed foods. For more on that check out How To Heal Your Gut.

Related: Sugar Leads To Depression

Foods That Fight Depression

This is where articles typically go over the benefits of salmon, fresh whole fruits and vegetables, leafy grains, nuts, chocolate, oysters, etc. Readers are expected to pick out a few of their favorite foods that made the list and starting eating more of those foods in a futile attempt to feel better about their lives.

It doesn’t work that way.

Salads are the best thing anyone can eat to heal the gut and the entire body (except for those rare exceptions when someone suffers from things like histamine intolerance, but still, the goal for anyone healing from chronic disease should be to get on daily salads, even if one cannot start off that way). We’re not just talking about lettuce and carrot shreds. Salads should have at least ten vegetables and a few herbs. This article has a recipe for the kind of salads we’re talking about. Other than that, focus on whole foods and diversity. And don’t let corporations make your food for you.

In a nutshell, eat salads, eat whole foods, avoid processed and refined foods, make your own food.

Related: Stop Eating Like That and Start Eating Like This – Your Guide to Homeostasis Through Diet

Squats and Other Exercises

We were meant to squat. And the great thing about squats is you can do them almost anywhere. In nature we squatted to hide, to defecate, to pick things up, and we squatted instead of sitting. In paleo times, if you couldn’t squat you probably wouldn’t be around much longer.

Squatting helps massage and activate organ and glandular function, releases positive hormones, aligns the spine, and helps to get the lymphatic system moving. If you can’t squat, try assisted squats to work on the range of motion, and try “get-ups”, which are done by laying on the ground and getting up. Alternate sides and alternate legs being used each time.

Other exercises that are good for alleviating depression include:

  • Running: We are also meant to run. The human body should be squatting and running every day. Studies show that aerobic exercise is often as effective as anti-depressants for treating depression. And if you manage to achieve that “runner’s high” you’ll want it again and again.
  • Hiking In the Woods: Getting outdoors and in nature for some time has also been shown in studies to match or exceed anti-depressants for treating depression. While you’re out there, do some earthing.
  • Yoga: Studies also show yoga can alleviate depression. We can’t recommend Yoga with Adriene enough.
  • Resistance Training: Weightlifting and other forms of resistance training have much less research regarding the benefits for depression, but the little bit of research that has been done looks promising. And anyone who can put more than their body weight on their back to squat can attest to how amazing it feels.
  • HITT: If you want to squeeze the most out of the least amount of time, you can’t beat high-intensity interval training. Try it once and you’ll know why it’s a good routine for alleviating depression.
Related: Running Without Knee Pain

Breathe

Most of us are rapid, shallow breathers. We raise our shoulders, pull in our diaphragm, and take a breath that fills only the top portion of our lungs.

When you breathe properly, your diaphragm, your stomach, and your ribcage expand, not the pectoral area. Fully exhaling is important, too. Remember, you are breathing in oxygen-rich air and releasing carbon dioxide and toxins.

Proper breathing dramatically increases stamina and mental clarity, elevates your mood, and helps the body detoxify more efficiently (more toxins are released through breathing than through the pores, urination, and defecation combined).

Supplements For Depression

If you’re looking at supplements to replace a healthy diet, that’s going to work only a little better than skipping exercise for a protein shake. Supplements can certainly help improve symptoms but without the right diet, true health cannot be achieved.

That said, chronic depression indicates a deficiency in the body and pathogenic activity. Most people who suffer from chronic depression also suffer from an abundance of Candida. In fact, most people who suffer from chronic anything have too much Candida. For anything regarding yeast, mold, or fungi, we recommend SF722, second only to a healthy diet with lots of salad.  For more on that, see How Candida Leads to Depression.

Probiotics

As stated earlier, healthy gut microbiome is imperative to brain health. Our symbiotic bacteria play a key role in nutrient assimilation, hormone production, immune system functionality, and science has just discovered that our gut bacteria also resides in our brain!

Probiotics can help bring the gut into homeostasis and can help keep pathogenic microbes from flourishing. Probiotics are anti-inflammatory, and some studies have indicated that probiotics may alleviate depression. Be careful though. Don’t just pick up any cheap probiotic and expect good results. A high-quality probiotic along with a prebiotic diet (raw vegetables) can help build a healthy gut biome, while a cheap probiotic can actually feed pathogens and do more harm than good.

Fatty Acids

Our brain is 60% fat. Our brain, gut, and whole body need a variety of fats to function properly. We need saturated fats, monounsaturated fats (omega 9s), and polyunsaturated fats (omega 6s, 3s). A typical western diet is heavy in trans fats and rancid fats which cause inflammation. Some people don’t get enough fats and most people get too many of the wrong types of fats.

A large Norwegian study showed that people who regularly consumed cod liver oil were about 30% less likely to show signs of depression. The longer the participants took cod liver oil, the less likely they were to have high levels of depression. In another study with 49 patients who had a history of harming themselves, study subjects were randomly assigned to receive either 1200 mg EPA and 900 mg DHA, or a placebo. Both groups also received counseling. The study lasted 12 weeks. In the end, the group receiving the fat supplementation improved significantly more than the placebo group.

Many other studies have shown promise in treating depression and anxiety and other mental health disorders with beneficial fat supplementation. It’s best to get your healthy fats through a healthy diet but supplementation can help speed up healing and have an almost immediate reduction in inflammation and brain health.

Tryptophan (5-HTP and L-tryptophan)

Tryptophan is an essential amino acid because it can’t be produced by our body. We need it for anabolic processes and the production of various hormones, including serotonin, and the liver can synthesize niacin from tryptophan. So there’s a lot of competition for tryptophan. For those who are low in serotonin, supplementation may help (but low serotonin levels are an indication of poor gut health). Several studies have shown that low tryptophan levels can lead to a depressive state and cause anxiety.

5-HTP is generally recommended over l-tryptophan because it crosses the blood-brain barrier and gets converted into serotonin more efficiently than l-tryptophan. Studies have shown greater results in alleviating depression with 5-HTP supplementation.

Selenium

A study looked at selenium and depression with a total of 978 young adults aged 17 to 25. Participants filled out a questionnaire to track their mood daily for two weeks to determine their levels of depression. Blood tests were done to determine their selenium levels. The results showed that when selenium levels are too low or too high depressive symptoms were much more likely. The study also showed that lower concentrations of selenium were found to be more detrimental than higher levels.

Vitamin D

Many studies have shown a link between vitamin D deficiency and depression. People with low vitamin D were at a much greater risk of depression. We recommend daily access to sunlight. For those with whom it’s not possible to get enough sunlight, and for those who are overweight, vitamin D supplementation makes sense.

B Vitamin Complex

According to some experts, one of the common causes of chronic depression is a lack of or imbalance of B vitamins. Vitamins B3, B6, B9, and B12 are all known to be imperative for proper brain health and hormone production. Taking just one B vitamin for a long period of time can cause an imbalance that can be more detrimental to health than being low in most or all Bs. Poor B vitamin assimilation is a sign of poor gut health.

Ashwagandha

Laboratory rats were administered imipramine (a common anti-depressant medication) or ashwagandha. The results were almost identical. In another study, ashwagandha was also found to work as well as diazepam with depression and anxiety caused by social isolation. Ashwagandha is an effective anti-depressant without the serious side effects that medication comes with.

Eleuthero

Eleuthero has a mild sedative effect and supports the adrenals and inhibits stress hormones. While this herb can be a godsend to some, it also can be overstimulating and is contraindicated in some people, especially those with very high blood pressure.

Holy Basil

Holy basil is well known for its ability to reduce inflammation, stress, and anxiety and it can help manage depression. Research has shown that holy basil decreases the amount of cortisol released during stressful events.

Maca Root

Maca root has been shown to help reduce depression and anxiety. A study compared postmenopausal women who took maca root versus those who took a placebo. The study revealed a significant reduction in anxiety, depression, and sexual dysfunction after Maca consumption.

St. John’s Wort

Dubbed “nature’s antidepressant,” St. John’s wort is a very popular alternative to antidepressant medication for those dealing with depression. Multiple studies have shown that this herb can be as effective as medication for mild to moderate depression. It could likely help with severe depression as well but there have not been enough studies done on this yet.

Conclusion

No medications will work to treat chronic depression forever, and the same is true for supplements. There are also many different nutrient deficiencies that can lead to depression. Taking one or two supplements may help for a little while, but the root cause will not be addressed without lifestyle changes. If you suffer from depression, stop letting corporations make your food for you, heal your gut, get outside, and put in the hard work to get well. I know that’s easier said than done. I’ve been there. I’m prone to depression and I’ve had some catastrophic loses in my life. I recommend baby steps. And for me, personally, I found the products below to be most helpful. But again, gut health is paramount! Be sure to check out How To Heal Your Gut.

Recommended Products



How the Gut Microbiome affects the Brain and Mind (video)

The gut microbiota is a huge topic and has some very significant implications for health and nutrition.

Especially considering the Gut Microbiome is the big topic in health and science recently, you may know that not all microbes are bad. While there are pathogenic microbes like these just mentioned, at all times there are 500 to 1000 different species of bacteria in the human body. And the importance of their function is becoming more apparent as we learn new things about them.

However, it’s hard to picture how tiny microbes in our gut contribute to our day to day cognition and brain function. In the case of rocky mountain spotted fever it may not be surprising that the introduction of a deadly pathogen could induce drastic changes in a person’s mental state. However, the relationship between the microbes normally residing in the gut and how our brain operates becomes apparent when we take them out.

Related: How To Heal Your Gut

A 2012 paper by Dr. Derrick MacFabe describes what happens when rats are injected with something called Propionic Acid or PPA. The PPA injection provoked peculiar changes in the rats’ brains like neuroinflammation, increased oxidative stress, and glutathione depletion. The rats also displayed abnormal movements, repetitive interests, cognitive deficits, and impaired social interactions. Basically, the results of this injection were very similar to autism spectrum disorders. And, PPA is a fermentation product of bacteria, namely Desulfovibrio, Bacteroidetes and Clostridia. It was found that patients with autism have many more species of the clostridium bacteria and have high levels of PPA in their feces.

Several reports from parents say that their children were developing normally until they received antibiotics for upper respiratory or ear infections. It’s estimated that in one third of patients, autism doesn’t show up until around 18 to 24 months. According to Dr.

Sydney Finegold , antibiotics wipe out or suppress several organisms in the gut, but Clostridia is one of the ones that persists.

Click here to download the full transcription.




How To Stop a UTIs & Yeast Infections Naturally, and How To Prevent Them From Reoccurring

The urinary tract includes the bladder, kidneys, ureters, and urethra. It’s said that UTIs occur much more often in women and usually affect the bladder and urethra, though minor kidney infections are much more prevalent than people realize. Kidney infections often come and go with minor to major lower back pain and very slow, darker colored urination. Diarrhea is a sign of a more serious kidneys infection (fluids are forced out door #2). Gas, bloating, and a stiff lower back is a sign of slow kidney function which may be an indicator of more serious problems to come.

Women may be especially prone to bladder UTIs because they have shorter urethras, which allow bacteria easier access to the bladder, and the female anatomy makes UTI’s and yeast infections easier to contract through sex.

Bladder infections are usually caused by a type of E. coli, a bacteria commonly found in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. However, sometimes other microbes are responsible.

An unhealthy gut microbiome leads to most UTIs and yeast infections. If there isn’t enough of a variety of beneficial bacteria, including lactobacillus, to balance the E. coli, the risk of UTIs increases. Minor kidney infections are also often caused or amplified slow kidney function due to swollen reproductive systems putting pressure on the kidneys (swollen prostates and PMS can cause this). Other common UTI and yeast infection risk factors and causes include:

  • Dehydration
  • Feminine products
  • Antibiotics
  • Sex
  • Holding in urine for too long
  • Hormone shifts
  • High blood sugar or uncontrolled diabetes
  • Kidney stones
  • Contact with stool
  • Contraception
  • Soda
  • Smoking
  • Gluten
  • Poor diet

UTIs vs. Yeast Infections

We are avoiding using the V word so as not to trigger social media blocks, but when we are talking about yeast infections here we are speaking of v____ infections. But, you can have a fungal infection anywhere in the urinary tract as well, and bacterial infections of the urinary tract are an indication of a gut with unhealthy microbiome and an abundance of Candida.

Relayed: Best Supplements To Kill Candida and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Fungal Infections

UTIs and yeast infections are different infections. Their symptoms may be in the same general area, but they’re distinct. Bladder infections can often lead to yeast infections, but so can conventional UTI treatments. UTI symptoms typically affect urination. They may cause darker, cloudy urine, slower urination, more frequent urination, and a burning sensation during urination. Yeast infections cause pain and itchiness in the affected area, and yeast infections typically produce a thick, milky discharge. Sometimes white patches or red hives can also coat the surrounding area.

How To Eliminate A UTI

In a healthy gut, there are many kinds of bacteria that could become pathogenic if left to their own devices, but a healthy gut maintains homeostasis through diversity. The E. coli that reside in a healthy gut, the same ones that can cause a urinary tract infection, aren’t the same E. coli that cause food poisoning. One key difference is that E. coli from factory farms are resistant to acidity, but our normal gut E. coli bacteria, as well as Candida and most other fungal infections, don’t do well with acidity. This is one reason why cranberry juice is so high up on the following list. Cranberry juice also has tannins that kill urinary infections, and cranberry has anti-inflammatory properties. An infected urinary tract is inflamed, swollen, and constricted, and cranberry juice can help open up the system.

But even more important than cranberry juice is staying hydrated. Cut out the juices and sodas and drink lots of water. Most people who get regular urinary tract infections do not drink enough water.

Diet To Prevent and Help Treat UTIs and Yeast Infections

Diet alone can eventually eliminate a UTI or yeast infection, but without cranberry juice or supplements it is likely to take considerable time. For most people, I recommend this recipe.

Cranberry Lemonade

  • 1 cup of organic cranberry juice, not from concentrate
  • 3 organic fresh lemons, juiced
  • Liquid Stevia (to taste)
  • Cayenne (optional, to taste)

Mix the ingredients with a half gallon of water. For daily drinking, I would double the water, but to eliminate UTIs I recommend more concentrated.

I also recommend Lakewood cranberry juice, which can be found at most health food stores and lots of grocery stores. Lemons should be organic if possible and freshly squeezed.

I do not recommend Trader Joes cranberry juice. There is something wrong with that juice. Also, don’t be fooled by cranberry blends or sweetened cranberry juice – these will exacerbate the problem.

Related: Inexpensive, Easy Detox – The One Gallon Challenge

Salads

Not just any salad, this salad needs to be very diverse and big! Vegetables of at least 10 different kinds should be included, and be sure to throw in lots of garlic too. Eating these types of salads regularly will increase the beneficial bacterial diversification in the gut which will radically enhance immune system functionality. Here’s a recipe.

Supplements For UTIs

SF722 – This supplement is an acid that helps eliminate Candida in the gut, kills fungal infections fast, and can also help kill other pathogens that are susceptible to acidity, like the E. coli that commonly caused UTIs.

D-Mannose – D-Mannose is related to glucose and derived from cranberries, peaches, and other berries. It can enhance the effectiveness of cranberry juice.

Probiotic – For yeast infections, see the probiotic below that is specifically formulated for the v___ area.

Berberine – This is a potent antimicrobial. Once you quit taking this, it’s probably a good idea to keep taking probiotics for at least another week.

Vitamin C -Vitamin C enhances the immune system, improves liver function, and inhibits the growth of E. coli. Vitamin C also acidifies the urine, limiting bacteria growth. Vitamin C does come in supplement form, but, for most people, a better way to increase your vitamin C intake is with the aforementioned salads and cranberry lemonade.

Supplements For Yeast Infections

SF722

Vitamin C

Undecyn – This has berberine, betaine hydrochloride, and calcium undecylenate, which help balance the body’s flora.

Woman’s Probiotic – Specifically formulated to help colonize the v____ tract.

Conclusion

If UTI’s or yeast infections are common, or if antibiotics have been used recently, check out How To Heal The Gut. If urination is slow or difficult, or if lower back pain is present, or if diarrhea is present, I also recommend something that I once heard called a “kidney flush.” If you have a partner for this, have them use a hand (the middle knuckles work well for this) to push on you about an inch below the belly button with approximately 15-35 pounds of pressure. You don’t want to bruise the area, but you do want to force some of the stagnant fluid to move through the urinary tract. Do this for about a two to five minutes, several times a day. You can also, if tall enough, pull yourself against the corner of a kitchen counter, or use weights. This is my favorite technique. Lay down and put something heavy on your abdomen, an inch below the belly button, and use your arms to modulate the weight. My wife, who weighs 160 lbs, used a 25-pound barbell plate and I have used a 45-pound plate – I weigh 220 lbs. An inch below the belly button is approximate. Find the spot below the belly button where it is most sensitive, where you feel most bloated, and then apply pressure, gently at first, increasing gradually until you reach your ideal pressure, and then keep it there for about two to five minutes. You should feel the need to urinate soon after, followed with back-pain relief.




Autism Prevalence Now 1 in 40 US Kids, According To New Study

Remember when it was one in sixty? The CDC reported one in fifty-nine children were diagnosed with autism last year using data from 2014. But now a new study based on the 2016 National Survey of Children’s Health estimates that the number of children with autism spectrum disorder has grown to one in forty children (2.5%). The new study indicates this disorder now effects an estimated 1.5 million U.S. kids between the ages of 3 to 17. Parents that were included reported their child had received a diagnosis of autism spectrum disorder and stated that the child currently had the condition.

It’s important to note that the ways these two studies gathered information is different. The new study relies on parents to report their information. The information is not validated by medical records. The CDC report did validate such claims. CNN got an emailed quote from Thomas Frazier, chief science officer of Autism Speaks. He was not involved in the new report.

Prevalence is not growing that rapidly, although the CDC’s data suggests it is still growing. What is happening is that these studies use methods that are a bit more liberal and inclusive than the CDC’s methods,” Frazier said, adding that he prefers the CDC’s numbers but understands “that they are likely a bit conservative.” – Thomas Frazier

Many within the natural health community believe that vaccines are to blame for the ever-increasing percentage of children with autism or Aspergers. There is a correlation. Even so, it’s important to note the increase in autism rates also correlates with glyphosate use and circumcision. Poor gut health appears to be a common factor as well.

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Why Romaine Lettuce and Spinach Keep Trying To Kill Us, and What We Can Do About It

Last week the news told us to throw out your romaine lettuce. Food-safety investigators traced the recent romaine lettuce E. coli outbreak to growing fields in California, but regulators still say it’s unsafe to eat the leafy green in 10 states including New York. As a result of this, the FDA is interested in creating a new labeling standard that would require companies to show where their lettuce comes from. Let’s take a look at Food Poisoning and its link to factory farming, and then we’ll go over supplements that can kill food born pathogens.

E. Coli, Salmonella, and Other Foodborne Illnesses

The foodborne agents causing death the majority of deaths are Salmonella (31%), Listeria (28%), Toxoplasma (21%), Norwalklike Virus (7%), Campylobacter (6%), and STEC E. coli (4%) (Meade 1999).”

For most of these agents, the clinical case fatality rate from foodborne infection is less than 1% but note that for Listeria and Toxoplasma the clinical case fatality rate is 20%. Note also that these averages obscure strong relationships between important factors, such as age and co-morbidity, and disease risk. – John M. Gay

Not all E. coli is bad. You probably have more than one kind of E. coli in your gut right now. It’s a normal part of our healthy bacteria, and they help us digest food, amongst other things. E. coli O157:H7, on the other hand, is pathogenic and can cause bloody diarrhea, sometimes cause kidney failure, and even death.

Recommended: Best Supplements To Kill Candida and Everything Else You Ever Wanted To Know About Fungal Infections

E. coli cause disease when the bacteria produces a toxin called Shiga toxin. These bacteria are called “Shiga toxin-producing E. coli,” or STEC for short. O157 is the most common STEC identified in the U.S.

When you hear news reports about outbreaks of E. coli infections, they are usually talking about E. coli O157.” – CDC

The CDC estimates that STEC causes 265,000 illness, 3,600 hospitalizations, and 30 deaths yearly in the U.S.

Trump’s FDA, responding to pressure from the farm industry, delayed the water-testing rules for at least four more years.

E. coli O157:H7 is believed to have evolved from E. coli O55:H7. That strain is also resistant to antibiotics and acidity and can be pathogenic, but O157 is more antibiotic resistant, more able to resist acidity, and more likely to make us sick. Antibiotic resistance allows the bacteria to not just survive, but to thrive in an environment where antibiotics are being administered. The reason for this is when you wipe out competing microbes, the few survivors can proliferate. Factory farming is likely to blame for much the E. coli in our lettuce, and it’s possible that the O157 variant wouldn’t even exist without factory farming.

E. Coli O157:H7 doesn’t always make us sick, but people with weaker immune systems are much more susceptible.

And there’s also the well-known bacteria, salmonella, which is said to be the most common cause of foodborne illness in the U.S. There are actually more than 2,000 different types of salmonella bacteria and these bacteria can cause several types of infection. Most often, these bacteria cause gastroenteritis, but they can also cause typhoid fever, a more serious infection.

Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium subtype DT104 appears to be the most likely Salmonella to give us serious trouble, It’s drug-resistant and becoming more and more widespread both in the U.S. and internationally. Again, we have factory farming to blame.

The CDC says that Salmonella is responsible for approximately 1.2 million illnesses a year in the United States, with 23,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths. Most people infected with Salmonella develop diarrhea, fever, and abdominal cramps. The illness typically runs for 4 to 7 days, and most recover without treatment. Stomach acid tends to destroy Salmonella. One must consume a large amount of the bacteria for an infection to develop unless people have a deficiency of stomach acid. This makes those on acid-indigestion medications more susceptible.

We also have factory farming to thank for many of the Campylobacter outbreaks. Though it’s not commonly reported, Campylobacter bacteria infects an estimated 2.4 million people yearly, making it one of the most common foodborne illnesses, according to the CDC. It’s generally mild and often unnoticed but it can occasionally kill those with weak immune systems. Campylobacter lives in the intestinal tract of birds and can be transmitted from bird to bird through common drinking water and feces contact.

Norovirus, Toxoplasmosis, and Listeria round out the five most common culprits of food poisoning in America. Noroviruses and Toxoplasmosis aren’t infections that can be tied to factory farming. Listeria doesn’t have a mutated cousin that we can blame factory farming for, but just like with other foodborne infections, poor food handling, and poor animal welfare standards do play a large part, and factory farming is often responsible for contaminating produce with Listeria.

When medical researchers at the University of Minnesota took more than 1,000 food samples from multiple retail markets, they found evidence of fecal contamination in 69% of the pork and beef and 92% of the poultry samples. Nine out of ten chicken carcasses in the store may be contaminated with fecal matter. And half of the poultry samples were contaminated with the UTI-causing E. coli bacteria.” – Dr. Michael Greger

How Factory Farming Is Poisoning Our Vegetables

We believe that raw fruits, vegetables, and herbs are absolutely critical to achieving great health, especially when one is attempting to heal from disease. But the CDC reports that around half of all foodborne illnesses are actually caused by raw produce. How does this happen?

Cattle, pig, and poultry factories dump millions of gallons of putrefying waste into massive open-air cesspools, which leak and contaminate nearby water sources used for irrigating crops. That’s one of the most common ways that a deadly fecal pathogen like Salmonella and E. coli O157:H7 can end up contaminating our spinach.

Produce farmers weren’t required to test their irrigation water for pathogens like E. coli or Salmonella. But in 2011, after several high-profile disease outbreaks, Congress ordered a program requiring produce growers to begin testing their water under rules crafted by the Obama administration’s Food and Drug Administration. The program was just about to go into effect when Trump’s FDA, responding to pressure from the farm industry, delayed the water-testing rules for at least four more years. This decision was made six months ago.

On November 26th, the FDA announced that it had traced an E. coli outbreak in romaine lettuce back to growing regions in parts of central and northern California. A previous outbreak was traced back to Yuma farms in California, which were voluntarily testing their water for pathogens. Most of California’s farmers are now testing for pathogens in their water sources. It’s likely that the most recent contamination comes from a farm or farms that have been testing their water.

Villaneva and Gary Waugaman said the monthly testing is not foolproof; it minimizes, but doesn’t eliminate, the risks. Also, pathogens from livestock and other animals can get into crops from wind, dust and other means.” – Dirty Farm Water Is making Us Sick

It appears that even when the water is clean, local animals may be picking up pathogens from animal farms and depositing them into the produce farms.

How To Avoid Food Poisoning

Smaller farms are usually a safer bet but by no means is this a guarantee against foodborne pathogens. We recommend getting to know your local farmers at your local farmer’s markets. Ask questions.

Take steps to avoid cross-contamination. This is likely to be one of the biggest reasons people get sick from food pathogens. For example, researchers at the University of Arizona found more fecal bacteria in household kitchens than they found swabbing the toilets. The bacteria was found in dish towels, rags, sponges, and on the sink drains and cutting boards.

Many of the experts are recommending that everyone be sure to cook all of their vegetables and herbs. This may increase safety but it ignores long-term health. We don’t have an easy answer for this issue. We advise, first and foremost, to stay healthy! A healthy gut has a wide array of bacteria that can make it very difficult for pathogens to take over. A healthy gut provides the entire body with beneficial bacteria that work as part of our immune system, which limits pathogenic activity throughout the entire body. Strong stomach acid makes it very hard for salmonella and many other pathogens to even get to the gut. You need a healthy digestive system to fend off pathogens. And the way one develops a robust, healthy digestive system is, in large part, by eating a lot of raw fresh vegetables and herbs. Therein lies the catch. It’s almost as is Big Pharma designed factory farms. That’s not the case, but it is too convenient that the government entities telling us how to eat are basically bought off by the drug companies while they make recommendations that don’t take our long-term health into consideration.

Related: How To Heal Your Gut

Supplements For Food Poisoning

I recommend 100% pure cranberry juice to have on hand at all times. For anything kidney related, real unadulterated cranberry juice is a godsend. Cranberry juice can help alleviate UTIs, cramping, and diarrhea.

My favorite antibacterial, antifungal, antiparasitic, and antiviral supplement is Berberine. Many studies show how potent this herb is, and there have even been a few studies regarding its efficacy on foodborne pathogens, and it looks promising. I have taken it, personally, when I had minor food poisoning and it seemed to get rid of it quickly. I took ten of the 500mg capsules. My friend, who also ate at the same restaurant and suffered the same gastroenteritis did not opt for the naturopathic approach and did not fare so well. But, I also had a healthier gut to begin with.

Other options, which should be in every natural-based medicine cabinet, include activated charcoal (I recommend this Intestinal Detox which has activated charcoal in it), oil of oregano, and a mushroom complex (the first one on that list is my favorite). It’s also a good idea to take a probiotic before and after eating at restaurants or anytime you could catch a foodborne pathogen. Activated charcoal is also used in hospitals for food poisoning. It will attach to toxins and allow your body to flush them out easily. oil of oregano and the mushroom complex are strong antimicrobials, though Berberine is even stronger. A probiotic can help digest food and make it much more difficult for pathogens to colonize.

Takeaways

The most important thing we can do is stay healthy (or get healthy), and vote with our wallets. Get to know your local farmer’s markets, get to know the farmers, and START GROWING YOUR OWN FOOD! If you don’t have any space for a garden, start growing sprouts.

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