Health News
The Weight of the Nation: To Win We Have to Lose PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, June 11, 2016

"The weight of the nation is out of control, but we can fix that."  That is the resounding message of a four-part documentary series airing on HBO. The turning point at which our nation stands today, is not that much different from where I stood twenty years ago.

In April 1992, I was literally brought to my knees by a savage awareness that processed foods were killing me.  I had been overweight since childhood, and by the time I was thirty, I had dieted my way into seemingly permanent obesity.  Carrying 210 pounds on my 4'10" petite body frame, I was twice the normal weight for someone my height.

At that time, the words of one of the experts featured in The Weight of the Nation, were true for me as well: "Obesity is the biggest threat to the health and welfare of this country.  It's not only about health; it's about survival and well-being."  After a harrowing hiking experience, I understood that for me, weight loss was more about my survival than anything else.  I decided to make healthy eating the single most important thing in my life without exception.  One bite at a time, I studiously removed processed foods from my life and replaced them with the real foods our body is designed to eat. In April of this year, I tallied twenty years of sustaining a 100-pound weight loss. The details of how I changed my life (and how you can change yours) are in my book The Science of Skinny.

As I mark this milestone anniversary, I can't help but feel an odd sense of irony. In the two decades that I have kept my weight off, obesity has become a chronic illness in the U.S. that has reached epidemic proportions.  While I have continued to keep processed foods out of my life, the food industry has been adding more to everyone else's.  Weight gain used to be a matter of eating too much food, and for some people that is still the case.  But for many, especially children, the weight gain of today is characterized by forces no pre-1990's glutton ever had to contend with.  Highly refined carbohydrates, processed cooking oils, and an unbelievable myriad of food additives have been linked to unforeseen and powerful chemical reactions in the body and brain, inducing obesity at rapid and alarming rates.

In September 2011, researchers at the University of California Irvine published research that found that the types of oils used in starchy foods such as French fries and potato chips trigger the body to produce natural marijuana-like chemicals called endocannabinoids. Endocannabinoids make these foods irresistible and stimulate a biological mechanism that encourages gluttonous behavior.  In other words, when you eat foods cooked in these types of processed cooking oils, your body is hijacked to get the munchies in much the same way people do when they smoke marijuana.

In 1968, Dr. John Olney discovered that monosodium glutamate (MSG) creates a biochemical disturbance that triples the amount of insulin the pancreas creates, leading to a change in metabolism and fat storing mechanisms inducing obesity in a very short amount of time. The obesity-effect of MSG is so reproducible that scientists purposefully use MSG to induce obesity in laboratory animals to study the effects of obesity and diabetes.  These are only two examples of how food additives and food processing wreak havoc on our normal body chemistry.  Regular consumption of refined sugar and high fructose corn syrup create different, yet equally devastating, routes to quick obesity.  The synergistic effect has not been studied, but we can see that this type of obesity is aggressive, stubborn, and more deadly than ever. The rates of diabetes, heart disease, and cancer also have risen dramatically over the last two decades.

The Weight of the Nation should be required viewing by every American, because as another expert featured in the film says, "All of us have to be part of the solution to reduce obesity." Perhaps that is why HBO has made all four parts of the documentary available for viewing on their website for free.  You don't have to be an HBO subscriber to see it.  Click here to go to The Weight of the Nation webpage.

I found the documentary not just informative, but inspiring and touching as well.  Each part features case studies, interviews with leading experts, and individuals and their families struggling with obesity. Part One, CONSEQUENCES, lays out the scope of the obesity epidemic and explores the serious health consequences of being overweight or obese.  This is where we hear all the staggering statistics that have been ignored thus far.  But we also get to see the individual human side of the problem.  Asked to describe life as an obese person, more than one interviewee honestly shared their sense of isolation and limitation.  "It's like I'm in some kind of prison," one said. I strongly related to that statement, as I often felt imprisoned by my weight, and separate from other people on many levels.  Consequently, I always felt lonely even in a crowded room.

Some also feel they've been deceived by the food industry and the government, led to believe that their consumption of snack foods, sugary cereals, sodas and juices too, is safe and even desirable, that such choices don't have deleterious consequences, either immediate or delayed. After all, the marketing of such foods is legal, as are the use of food additives, which are supposedly "safe".

One consequence that was not pointed out, but one that I would have liked to see, is the way science and researchers deal with the effects of food additives on our biochemistry.  For instance, the researchers who discovered that fatty foods create natural chemicals in our bodies called endocannabinoids that make us want to eat more, suggested that the findings open up the door for the development of a new drug that would block the receptor sites for endocannabinoids, to stop the overeating mechanism.  Rather than encouraging people to stop eating foods made with processed cooking oils, they want to create a drug that allows people to continue eating foods that damage their health!

Part Two, CHOICES, explores ways to address the obesity problem and what science has shown about how to lose weight, maintain weight loss and prevent weight gain. Several approaches are documented, including one called "Mindful Eating" that is being studied at the University of California San Francisco.  Mindful eating means paying attention to what and when you eat, learning to make choices based on actual hunger and learning to value the quality of your food.  In my opinion, mindful eating is an important good beginning, but one must also know how processed foods hijack your ability to even discern whether or not you are hungry.  Learning to value the quality of your food also means learning to value yourself: a more important factor in weight loss than anything else.

As many can attest, losing the weight is the easy part. The hard part is that you have to change your lifestyle for the rest of your life if you want to keep it off. People such as myself who have kept weight off for many years, will tell you that many behavioral, social, eating and thinking patterns had to be permanently altered.   The documentary makes a consistent basic argument to those who want to lose weight: educate yourself and act on what you learn. I couldn't agree more.

Part Three, CHILDREN IN CRISIS, documents the damage obesity is doing to our nation's children. Through individual stories, this part describes how the strong forces at work in our society are causing children to consume too many calories and expend too little energy; tackling subjects from school lunches to the decline of physical education, the demise of school recess and the marketing of unhealthy food to children. The multibillion-dollar food and advertising industries, and public officials are highly criticized for not only failing to fix the problem but actually making it worse.

Today's children are likely the first generation of children who are going to have a shorter life expectancy than their parents.  NIH director Francis Collins warns, "If you were told your child was at risk for cancer, that would get your attention. If you were told your child is at risk for some sort of brain disease, that would get your attention. Well, obesity ought to be on that list."

We can no longer call obesity a matter of personal responsibility.  When children as young as 6 months old are obese, it is not their fault.  They are living in a toxic food environment, and the environment needs to change just as much as each individual and family needs to take responsibility for their own health, despite the environment.

Part Four, CHALLENGES, examines the major driving forces causing the obesity epidemic, including agriculture, economics, evolutionary biology, food marketing, racial and socioeconomic disparities, physical inactivity, American food culture, and the strong influence of the food and beverage industry.  Almost every aspect of our lives is threatened, and the first step toward ending the damage is learning how to fight back.

"Weight of the Nation" encourages viewers to feel responsible for their own lives and to make informed choices.  It is filled with provocative and sometimes scary information. But the most empowering take-away in the series is that the nation's weight crisis can be reversed. So, for that matter, can an individual's weight crisis.  I reversed my weight crisis.  You can too.


"The Weight of the Nation," HBO,

David Wiegand, "The Weight of the Nation" review; Obesity Crisis,,  May 10, 2012,

Cynthia Fuchs, 'Weight of the Nation' Is a Call to Action,, May 14, 2012,

This is Your Brain on Sugar PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Wednesday, June 08, 2016


For the first time, a study has shown how a diet consistently high in fructose slows brain function, hampering memory and learning.  Could this be the reason for the rise in learning disabilities in children and memory loss in adults?

The study out of UCLA, published in the May 15, 2012 edition of Journal of Physiology, illustrates that what you eat affects how you think.  "Eating a high-fructose diet over the long term alters your brain's ability to learn and remember information" said Fernando Gomez-Pinilla, a professor of neurosurgery at UCLA, and one of the researchers of the study.  "But adding omega-3 fatty acids to your meals can help minimize the damage" he said.

What is a high fructose diet?  Drinking just two sodas a day provides about 50 grams (25 grams in each 12 ounce can) of fructose a day. The UCLA team zeroed in on high-fructose corn syrup, an inexpensive liquid six times sweeter than cane sugar.  Other sources of fructose in the American diet include cane sugar, beet sugar, fruit juices, and agave nectar. These sweeteners are widely added to processed foods, including sodas, yogurt, breads, condiments, applesauce and baby food. The average American consumes roughly 40 pounds of high-fructose corn syrup per year,and about 47 pounds of cane sugar per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  That's a high fructose diet!  It is much more than what the human body is designed to handle.

"We're not talking about naturally occurring fructose in fruits, which also contain important antioxidants," explained Gomez-Pinilla.  "We're concerned about high-fructose corn syrup that is added to manufactured food products as a sweetener and preservative."

While earlier research has revealed how fructose harms the body through its role in diabetes, obesity and fatty liver, this study is the first to uncover how the sweetener influences the brain. 

The UCLA team studied two groups of rats. The animals were fed standard rat chow and trained on a maze twice daily for five days before starting the experiment.  The team tested how well the rats were able to navigate the maze, which contained numerous holes but only one exit. The scientists placed visual landmarks in the maze to help the rats learn and remember the way.

During the six week experiment, both groups consumed a fructose solution as drinking water for six weeks. The second group also received omega-3 fatty acids in the form of flaxseed oil and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which protects against damage to the synapses -- the chemical connections between brain cells that enable memory and learning.

Six weeks later, the researchers tested the rats' ability to recall the route and escape the maze. What they saw surprised them.

"The second group of rats navigated the maze much faster than the rats that did not receive omega-3 fatty acids," Gomez-Pinilla said. "The DHA-deprived animals were slower, and their brains showed a decline in synaptic activity. Their brain cells had trouble signaling each other, disrupting the rats' ability to think clearly and recall the route they'd learned six weeks earlier."

"DHA is essential for synaptic function -- brain cells' ability to transmit signals to one another," Gomez-Pinilla said. "This is the mechanism that makes learning and memory possible. Our bodies can't produce enough omega-3 fat, so it must be supplemented through our diet."

The DHA-deprived rats also developed signs of resistance to insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar and regulates synaptic function in the brain. A closer look at the rats' brain tissue suggested that insulin had lost much of its power to influence the brain cells.

"Because insulin can penetrate the blood-brain barrier, the hormone may signal neurons to trigger reactions that disrupt learning and cause memory loss," Gomez-Pinilla said.

He suspects that fructose is the culprit behind the DHA-deficient rats' brain dysfunction. Eating too much fructose could block insulin's ability to regulate how cells use and store sugar for the energy required for processing thoughts and emotions.

"Insulin is important in the body for controlling blood sugar, but it may play a different role in the brain, where insulin appears to disturb memory and learning," he said. "Our study shows that a high-fructose diet harms the brain as well as the body. This is something new."

"Our findings suggest that consuming omega-3 regularly protects the brain against fructose's harmful effects," said Gomez-Pinilla. "It's like saving money in the bank. You want to build a reserve for your brain to tap when it requires extra fuel to fight off future diseases."

While I am in complete agreement with the consumption of omega-3's, I don't think the take-away here should that a person can throw caution to the wind and indulge sugary foods on a regular basis thinking that it's okay to do so as long as they also pop a fish oil capsule along with it.

The consumption of sugar, fructose in particular, is far reaching and has many other documented health effects, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.

The main finding of this study is that the list of health problems and serious diseases associated with fructose consumption keep mounting.  We should all seek to remove sugar from our foods.


This is Your Brain on Sugar: Study Shows High Fructose Diet Sabotages Learning, Memory.  Science Daily, May 15, 2012.

Amazing Avocadoes Aid Weight Loss, Not Weight Gain! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, June 04, 2016

Avocados are high in fat, but they're not fattening.  In fact, avocadoes are one of the best foods for weight loss because they contain key nutrients that help stabilize blood sugar, lower the secretion of insulin, and increase metabolism.

Here's a summary of the scientific findings about the virtues of avocados and how eating them can help you lose weight:

  • Although 90 percent of the calories in avocados come from fat, the fat is the healthy unprocessed monounsaturated type, which speeds up the basal metabolic rate and helps you to burn more energy (calories).  Monounsaturated fat also helps lower bad cholesterol.
  • The fats in avocados are part of a "perfect package" food, accompanied by essential nutrients that help our body better absorb the fats and use them for energy. 
  • Research clearly indicates that monounsaturated fat exerts beneficial effects on how your body uses blood sugar.  Keeping blood sugar stable is the key to weight loss. High blood sugar leads to diabetes and obesity.
  • In addition to its fat, avocado contains a unique weight loss friendly carbohydrate called mannoheptulose, which reduces the amount of insulin the body produces.  When the body produces too much insulin, it creates insulin resistance, which forces the body to store blood sugar as fat rather than using it for energy.  Avocados are the only known food to contain mannoheptulose.
  • Avocados contain the vitamins and minerals of green vegetables and the protein of meat.  They contribute nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients, including vitamin A (the potent antioxidant), B vitamins including folate, lutein (a phytonutrient important for the eyes), magnesium, and 60 percent more potassium than bananas.
  • One medium-size avocado contains a whopping 15 grams of fiber, making it one of the most fiber-rich fruits on the planet. Diets high in fiber also help to stabilize blood sugar levels, which aids in weight loss.
  • Avocados are high in a phytochemical called beta-sitosterol, that reduces the amount of cholesterol absorbed from foods, so despite its high fat content, the avocado is an excellent cholesterol buster.
  • According to a study in Brisbane, Australia, eating avocados daily for three weeks improved blood cholesterol levels and reduced weight in middle-aged women better than a low-fat diet did. The daily amount of avocado ranged from ½ avocado for small women to 1½ for large women. Including avocadoes daily reduced total cholesterol by 8 percent and improved the women's good HDL-cholesterol ratio by 15 percent. The Australian study not only reported that eating either half or a whole avocado per day for a month succeeded in lowering cholesterol levels, but at the same time most people in the study lost weight.

Avocados are wonderful in salads, but they can also be mashed into guacamole dip for veggies, and used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and in tuna salad, chicken salad or egg salad. Avocados can also be a great addition to smoothies, and you can even use them to make a creamy chocolate mousse!


The Avocado and Human Nutrition, Bob Bergh Department of Botany and Plant Sciences, University of California,, "Lowering Cholesterol with Avocado

Amazing Tepary Beans PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Tepary-Beans1Of all the commonly consumed plant foods eaten worldwide, no other food has a more health-supportive nutrient profile than beans.  They contain nearly equal amounts of both protein and fiber—a unique combination rarely found in other plant foods. This magical protein-fiber combination, coupled with beans’ high antioxidant content, has been shown to be a very powerful food weapon against many of today’s common diseases.

But there is one bean that rises above the rest.  The Tepary Bean (pronounced TEP-AR-EE) is highly superior in nutritional content and disease fighting powers than other beans.  They have been featured as a key dietary component in diabetes research on Native American populations whose incidence of type 2 diabetes is the highest in the nation.  Also, recent studies from the U.S. and Mexico suggest that tepary beans are useful for treating cancer, and they could be ten times more effective than chemotherapy.1  

Almost Extinct


You may have never heard of a Tepary bean.  Neither had I up until about 8 years ago.  That’s because it’s an ancient variety of bean that almost became extinct.  Tepary beans were once an important part of the traditional diet of the Native American Indians of the southwest.  Just before WWII, the federal government re-routed the water supply away from their land toward the farms and homes of white settlers. As a result they had no way to grow their own traditional foods (beans, squash, watermelon, pumpkins, wheat, and other plant foods). Their fields dried up, so the government stepped in and provided them with sacks of white flour, sugar, lard, canned foods, peanut butter and other commercially processed foods.   During that time, tepary beans vanished from their culture.

But recently, tepary beans and other native foods have been reintroduced into the southwestern Arizona Native American diets as researchers have discovered that they have unique qualities for combating diabetes that other beans don’t have.  Tepary beans have a higher protein content than common beans such as pinto, kidney, and navy, as well as higher levels of oil, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus, and potassium.


Superior Health Benefits


The benefits, which are also found in a few more familiar foods like oat bran and okra, stem primarily from two characteristics: their high content of soluble fibers that form edible gels, gums and mucilages, and a type of starch called amylose that is digested very slowly. The combined effect is to prevent wide swings in blood sugar, slow down the digestive process and promote satiety. Because of their fiber, tepary beans have the lowest glycemic index (the rate at which a food raises blood sugar levels) of all beans.  The pinto beans that the federal government gives to the Indians (along with lard, refined wheat flour, sugar, coffee and processed cereals) are far more rapidly digested than tepary beans. 


Several Versatile Varieties


There are two main varieties of tepary beans: the brown tepary bean has a rich, earthy flavor, while the white beans have a slightly sweet flavor. The beans look a little like a flattened black-eyed pea. The white ones cook up creamy. The brown ones are best simmered like pinto beans. They go beautifully with cumin, and with garlic and coconut oil and chilies as well as with pungent herbs such as sage, bay, oregano and thyme. Basically, they go best with the seasonings indigenous to the Southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. 


Basic Cooking Instructions


Tepary beans take about 3 hours to cook after soaking them for about 8 hours. They can be used in bean salad, pureed for dips, used in cassoulets or stews or in place of any other dry bean.

Tepary beans are typically available at Farmer’s markets throughout southern Arizona, however they can also be purchased online at

To cook, rinse beans with water, pick out an discard any stones or broken pieces, place beans in a large pot and cover with water (8 cups of water of one cup of beans) and add 1 teaspoon of salt. Partially cover and cook until tender, about two to four hours. Once cooked, they will double in volume. The cooked beans can be frozen and store well in the refrigerator for up to one week  (leave them in the cooking liquid). Delicious in bean salads, chili and dips.


Crock Pot Instructions


Tepary beans are perfect for the crock pot. The long slow cooking brings out the sweetness of the bean and makes a delicious broth. Pick through the beans removing any stones or cracked pieces. Rinse in water to remove any dust. Add the 2 cups of dried beans and 1 teaspoon of salt and fill your crock pot with water almost to the top. Cover and cook on high approximately 8 to 12 hours or until the beans are soft but not falling apart. Yields about 4 cups of cooked beans.



1 Josue López-Martinez, Ana Luisa Castañeda-Cuevas, Lorena Yllescas-Gasca, et al, Cytotoxic Effect of a Tepary Bean (Phaseolus acutifolius) Lectin on Human Cancer Cell Lines, The Journal of the Federation of American Societies, 2008;22:1136.4.,

The Most Important Food Fight of Our Time PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dee McCaffrey, CDC   
Saturday, May 28, 2016



GMO Labeling – Your Right to Know

GMO Label RallyIn November, California voters have a powerful decision to make.  It could be one of the most important decisions in history regarding our health and the health of future generations.   If passed, California Proposition 37 will require food manufacturers to clearly label food and drinks containing ingredients that derive from genetically engineered, or genetically modified organisms (called GMOs).  GMOs are plants or animals whose DNA has been manipulated by scientists in an effort to speed up growth or make plants more resistant to pests.

According to official surveys, more than 90 percent of Americans support mandatory labeling of foods containing GMOs.  Food activists have been fighting for twenty years to get U.S food companies to do this.  Why?  Because we have a basic right to know what’s in our food.  But the more important reason is that GMOs are scary.  They have changed the very essence of real whole natural foods, and have turned them into substances that are foreign to our bodies.  What’s even more scary is that they have never been tested for human safety. 

If you’ve ever wondered why so many people suffer from food sensitivities and allergies, it’s because our food supply has undergone a recent radical change.  In the mid-1990’s, new food proteins were engineered and introduced into our food supply, unannounced and untested on humans and animals. In an effort to increase production and profits for food manufacturers, scientists articifially insert bacteria, viruses and other genes into the  DNA of soy, corn, canola, and many other foods. A genetically engineered growth hormone, rBGH (recombinant bovine growth hormone) is used on dairy cows. 


These unlabeled genetically modified foods carry a high risk of triggering life-threatening allergic  reactions, and evidence collected over the past decade now suggests that they are contributing to higher allergy rates. Milk is the number one food allergen in the U.S.  Soy and corn allergies rank right behind it.  GMOs have been linked to the alarming increases in allergies, A.D.H.D, cancer, asthma and obesity.


An allergic reaction to food occurs when your body reacts to a food protein as a foreign invader (just like a virus or bacteria), which triggers an inflammatory response.  GMOs contain foreign proteins that have never been in our foods prior to the mid 1990’s.  That explains why adults who never had food allergies when they were younger, now have them.  And it explains why one out of seventeen children now have some form of food allergy.


In 1991, there was overwhelming consensus among scientists at the FDA that GMO foods were substantially different and could create unpredictable, unsafe, and hard-to-detect allergens, toxins, diseases, and nutritional problems. The scientists urged the agency to require long-term safety studies, including human studies, to protect the public.

But in spite of the protests, the warnings were not heeded by the FDA, which was under orders by the White House to promote biotechnology. As a result, GMOs—such as soybeans, corn, cottonseed, and rapeseeds (canola) that have had bacterial genes forced into their DNA—entered our foods without any required safety evaluations.


GMO Crops percentageAs crazy as it sounds, there have never been any human clinical trials on the effects of GMOs on our health, and not many long-term animal-feeding studies either, so we are largely in the dark about their effect on living creatures.


In 2009, the American Academy of Environmental Medicine (AAEM) stated, “Several animal studies indicate serious health risks associated with genetically modified (GM) food,” including infertility, immune problems, accelerated aging, faulty insulin regulation, and changes in major organs and the gastrointestinal system. The AAEM has asked physicians to advise all patients to avoid GM foods.

Has your doctor ever told you to avoid GMO foods??  Probably not.  That’s why California’s Proposition 37 is so important.

Because GMOs have never been tested to determine their safety, and because so many health issues have arisen since their introduction, more than 40 of the world’s wealthiest countries, including Japan, China, and a host of European countries already label genetically engineered foods. GMOs are deeply unpopular in Europe, which has banned many genetically engineered crops and has strict labeling rules for those that are used.  India’s government is the most recent to come on board: beginning in January 2013, food products containing genetically modified ingredients will be required to carry a “GM” tag.  The United States and Canada are the only two developed countries in the world that do not require labeling of GMO foods.



Processed foods in general can contribute to allergies for a number of different reasons. Most processed foods contain a variety of food colorings, flavors, preservatives, and other additives can have powerful and unforeseen chemical reactions in our body. But those chemicals are clearly listed on ingredient labels, and if you’re tying to avoid them, all you have to do is become a devoted ingredient list reader. GMOs are a more insidious heaUSDAOrganicLogo green and whitelth hazard because therNonGMOProjectseale are no labeling requirements in this country.

Good News: Organic is Not GMO and some Companies Voluntarily Label their Products

The USDA National Organic Program strictly prohibits the use of GMOs in any food carrying the USDA Organic Seal.  So if your food carries the organic seal, you know it’s not made with GMOs.  Organic growers and many other food companies have begun to take matters into their own hands, and are voluntarily labeling their products with a Non-GMO Project seal verifying that their foods do not contain genetically modified ingredients.  But all food companies should be required to let us know about GMO ingredients.

GMO Top FoodsWhere do GMO’s show up?


 Everywhere! It is estimated that genetically modified ingredients are found in 80 percent of the U.S. food supply.  They’re in non-organic foods that contain the following:

Sugar: if the product is made in North America and lists “sugar” as an ingredient (and NOT pure cane sugar), then it is almost certainly a combination of sugar from both sugar cane and GMO sugar beets.

Dairy Products:  if the milk comes from cows injected with GM bovine growth hormone, then it’s GMO.  This means milk, cheese, yogurt, whey, ice cream and food ingredients that come from GMO milk.    If it’s not labeled organic, or Non-GMO Project verified, look for labels stating No rbGH, rbST, or artificial hormones.

Corn, Soy, Canola, Cottonseed:These are the four major GMO crops.  Soy shows up in protein bars, meal replacement shakes, baby food, infant formula, soy mik and dairy alternatives.  Corn is used to make foods additives, sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, crystalline fructose, and even the “natural” sweeteners erythritol and xylitol.  It is also used to make xanthan gum, MSG  and artificial sweeteners.  Canola oil  and soybean oil are used in thousands of foods, including salad dressings, margarines, snack foods, and frozen foods. Many vitamins and supplements use corn and soy derivatives.



A Fight Worth FightingGMO prop37-poster

Real-food activists have been fighting for two decades to force U.S. Food companies to tell consumers when their products are made with genetically modified organisms.  This California ballot initiative is potentially their most promising offensive to date.  If Proposition 37 passes, California would become the first state in the nation to require GMO labeling on a host of food products commonly found on grocery store shelves, from breakfast cereals to baby food, sodas and tofu.


But the company that has the patents on the GMO seeds (Monsanto), and the food manufacturers that use GMO ingredients are fighting back hard.  Very hard.  Foodmakers, like carmakers, know that what starts in California has a fair chance of becoming the national law, or at least the national norm.


This has become a very big food fight.  It’s a people’s movement against big corporations, and it’s one of the most important food fights of our time. 


Those who want to see the measure passed are people like you and me who are passionate about healthy and organic food.  The big and small natural food companies that you have come to trust to provide you with high quality food products are also behind the initiative. To date they have raised $2.8 million on campaign efforts. Scores of individuals have made $100 donations, but most of the money is coming from organic businesses such as Nature's Path Foods and Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Dr. Joseph Mercola, the controversial holistic health activist from Illinois (and one of my heroes), has kicked in $800,000!  Yay Dr. Mercola!

But opponents to the measure have raised $25 million, about nine times as much. Almost all of the nearly $25 million has come from a variety of chemical, seed and processed-food companies, including Coca-Cola, General Mills, Nestle, and PepsiCo. General Mills alone has given $500,000, and Monsanto, the leading producer of GMO seeds, has given $4.2 million, the largest donation.  They’re still gathering donations, and could reach up to $50 million.


An Unfortunate Predicament


There’s something else that upsetting to me, and may be to you also.  Some of the natural food companies that you have come to know and love, are actually owned by big processed food companies.  One of my favorites, Larabar, is one of them. A few years back, Larabar was acquired by General Mills. Now General Mills is giving big bucks to fight against what Larabar-type people stand for. Some of my other favorites—Muir Glen, Cascadian Farms, and Santa Cruz Organic have also been bought out by the opposition in recent years.

This has left me in a quandary.  I stand against GMOs and I support GMO labeling. These companies that I have recommended and supported in the past are now on the side of food manufacturers who want to continue to keep consumers in the dark.

I am sure that the people at Larabar and Muir Glen would certainly want GMO’s labeled, but when they assimilated into a larger company that didn’t share their ideals, the possibility for this quandary arose.  They made their decision, and now I can’t support them.  I won’t be buying their products anymore.  It’s a difficult decision to make, but I have the right to know if GMO’s are in my food, and I can’t support any company that is fighting against that basic right.

We Can’t Wait For Legislation, We Have to Act Now


 Even if you don’t live in California and won’t have the opportunity to vote on this important proposition, you and those you love will be affected.  Because “As Goes in California, As Goes the Nation.”  We will either be given the freedom to know what’s in our foods so we can make educated choices, or we will continue to be silently poisoned by the food industry.

Whether you have food sensitivities or not, avoiding processed and GMO foods should be a priority.  We can’t wait for legislation.  We must begin to act in our own self interest.  You can begin by signing our petition asking the FDA to ban the most egregious food additives—many of which are made from GMO ingredients.

Also, an organization called has already gathered over one million signatures on their petition asking the FDA to label GMO foods.  Theirs is a separate effort from the California proposition, and one of the ways you can act if you’re not a Californian.  To make your voice heard, click here.

If you don't already have a copy of the Non-GMO Shopping Guide, please print one out and refer to it often. It can help you identify and avoid foods with GMOs. Also remember to look for products (including organic products) that feature the Non-GMO Project Verified Seal to be sure that at-risk ingredients have been tested for GMO content. You can also download the free iPhone application that is available in the iTunes store. You can find it by searching for ShopNoGMO in the applications.


When possible, buy your fresh produce and meat from local farmers who have committed to using non-GMO seeds and avoid processed non-organic foods as much as possible, as again these are virtually 100-percent guaranteed to contain GMO ingredients.

It may sound exaggerated, but genetically modified foods are, from my perception, one of the most significant health threats of our time.  We are living in a food experiment and we are all the guinea pigs.  The experiment is not going well, and is threatening the very sustainability of the human race. Everything you can do to avoid GMOs is a step toward saving humankind.

If you want to learn more about GMO's, you can read my three-part article on GMOs (Just Say No to GMO's part 1, part 2, and part 3).

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Page 6 of 14


Nutritional Advice That Made Sense JohnBogumill

Within eight weeks I went from 215 to 180 pounds. I know that this is a plan for life - and, it is a very good life.Read More


Her Plan Made So Much Sense Kathy Kopack
As a certified personal trainer, I found it embarrassing that I could not lose those extra pounds of middle-age fat.


I Rave About This Plan ColleenPolitiAFTERsmall

I was referred to Dee for treatment of my arthritis by a doctor whose arthritis was helped from following Dee's Plan. *Everyone is unique, so results may vary.Read More


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  • "Healthy Food, Healthy Planet."

    Marie-France H.,
    Palmetto, FL

  • "How dare our government allow the makers of our food supply to poison us."

    Catherine W.,
    Cumberland, WI

  • "Thank you for taking a real stand on health!"

    Whitney H.,
    Fort Worth, TX

  • "It is time the government stopped selling out "we the people" to businesses."

    Pamela I.,
    Cropwell, AL

  • "Keep up the good work."

    Geanine H.,
    Sacramento, CA

  • "I am so ready to sign this petition."

    Jean D.,
    Toms River, NJ

  • "Humanity's inalienable right to the natural, unadulterated foods given by the Creator is more important than the greed of food, drug and chemical corporations."

    Chavah A.,
    Taos, NM

  • "TOO MANY UNNATURAL SUBSTANCES = TOO MANY CANCERS!!...Unless a change is made to the laws, food manufacturers will continue to poison us with WHATEVER IT TAKES TO MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS THEY CAN!! Time to stop the insanity."

    Karen G.,
    Henrietta, NY

  • "I find it a travesty that in what used to be one of the richest countries in the world we have such a poorly regulated food supply."

    Julie S.,
    Birch Run, MI

  • "Best of luck with this important petition!"

    Scott E.,
    Cheshire, CT

  • "Thanks for keeping us informed! We need a watch dog over our food supply!"

    Cindy M.,
    Raleigh, NC

  • "Every single person should take the time to prepare healthy, nutritious meals for their families every day! ... Drag those kids and your spouse into the kitchen and create together!!"

    Ellen F.H.,
    Colton, OR

  • "Obesity is an epidemic in this country. Let's mandate healthy eating and stop poisoning our citizens."

    Tim W.,
    Ventura, CA

  • "This processed food is the killer for all human beings."

    Hadassah E.,
    Florida City, FL

  • "Have been on the no preservatives diet for 3 months now and have lost 10 pounds! I feel great!"

    Sallie G.,
    Conway, SC

  • "I have a chronic illness so it is very important to me that our food does not have toxins in it."

    Susie H.,
    Monroe, WI

  • "I am just now learning (about) all the stuff that is being put in our food. I am so shocked."

    Verna W.,
    Las Vegas, NV

  • "The U.K. & other countries get it right because they care. It's a disgrace that the U.S. doesn't use safe ingredients."

    Janice E.,
    Glendale, AZ

  • "As someone who struggles with weight, I would like to be proactive, not only in my own life, but also in the lives of others, which is why I decided to be a part of this petition. Thank you for informing me."

    Tekoa S.,
    Fullerton, CA

  • "What a positive change it has made in my life!"

    Judy E.,
    Sun City, AZ

  • "Everyone has a right to clean, clear, un-adulterated foods. It is not a privilege but a RIGHT!!"

    Ramana and Neil K.,
    Plano, TX

  • "Awareness is the beginning of change...thank you for your diligence in keeping us informed!"

    Elizabeth D.,
    Ft Worth, TX

  • "Let us as individuals take charge of our own health by making our food supply safe."

    Deborah Y.,
    Phoenix, AZ

  • "Thank you for your devotion to this issue."

    Silvia S.,
    Riverside, CA

  • "I think the government has to start to have the health and welfare of the people at heart. Putting chemicals and dangerous preservatives in our food is not in anyone's best interest."

    Diane W.,
    West Lawn, PA

  • "It is criminal and outrageous what's being done to our food here in America....It is your job to protect us, and STOP this greed-driven abuse NOW! Take a stand for the health of your citizens and their families, or remove yourself from office.

    Douglas G.
    Goleta, CA

  • "Processed food has made me sick ... I feel better since I don't eat it anymore."

    Mary Ann B.,
    Oak View, CA

  • "We must take action to protect our health."

    Delores W.,
    Kansas City, MO

  • "Being a nutritionist with a PHD, it is my goal to assist as many individuals as possible to live a healthy lifestyle. As more and more issues with health arise, it is evident that the foods we are consuming has toxic effects on us."

    Brenda B.,
    Mesa, AZ


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