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Forum Post: Is this 'Healthy' Plant Wrecking your Health?

Posted 10 years ago on Oct. 18, 2013, 11:15 a.m. EST by LeoYo (5909)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Is this 'Healthy' Plant Wrecking your Health?

Doctors explain exactly how modern wheat could be making you ill.

By Leah Zerbe


Is wheat bad for you? You wouldn't think so, given the advice you hear to load up on whole grains. In today's world, whole-wheat spaghetti is heralded as a healthy alternative to white pasta, with organic, sprouted wheat bread the choice for health-conscious sandwiches. But the truth is, modern wheat -- all of it -- could be eating away at your health, according to a growing number of doctors.

In a recent opinion piece in the Integrative Medicine: A Clinician's Journal, the editor-in-chief of the publication, Joseph Pizzorno, ND, outlines some of the groundbreaking research on the detrimental health effects of wheat. Much of this research is a credit to an award-winning doctor, pioneering wheat and celiac disease researcher Alessio Fasano, MD, clinical professor of medicine and founder of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research.

Through his work, Dr. Fasano has demonstrated that most -- perhaps all -- people develop increased intestinal permeability when exposed to the gliadin protein of wheat, explains cardiologist William Davis, MD, author of the New York Times best seller Wheat Belly. "This is the first step towards experiencing autoimmune diseases, the 75 conditions unique to humans, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, polymyalgia rheumatica, and many others -- many, perhaps all, getting their start with wheat consumption," Dr. Davis says. "Consumption of wheat underlies an astounding amount of autoimmune disease."

Humans have been eating wheat for about 10,000 years. But the situation became much worse in the 1980s when the new high-yield, semi-dwarf strains created by geneticists were introduced into the food supply, says Dr. Davis. (They aren't genetically modified, just intensely crossbred using methods that wouldn't normally occur in nature.) That, Dr. Davis says, is when we saw an increase in calorie intake due to the appetite-stimulating effects of the new forms of gliadin protein in wheat, increased intestinal permeability due to this same gliadin protein, along with increases in autoimmune conditions, increased intestinal toxicity from changed forms of the wheat germ agglutinin protein, and increased allergies due to new proteins changed by these genetics efforts. "This highlights a fundamental problem in agribusiness: A crop can be changed -- dramatically, even using extreme or bizarre techniques -- but questions regarding continued safety for human consumption are never raised," Dr. Davis notes. "These crops are just sold, no questions asked."

And wheat is everywhere -- hiding out in the majority of processed foods, including taco seasoning, frozen dinners, salad dressings, roasted nuts, sauces, and even licorice. Today, many Americans consume wheat as the source for 50, 60, or even 70 percent of their calories, an extremely "unnatural and perverse situation," Dr. Davis notes. "I would argue that the incorporation of wheat in virtually all processed foods is no mistake," Dr. Davis says. "I believe that smart food scientists figured this out years ago, understanding that the new gliadin proteins of wheat stimulated appetite. Rather than warn us, they put it in everything. You eat more, they sell more."

More Than a Gluten Thing

Asked if he could bust one wheat myth, Dr. Davis says he wants people to know that even if they are not gluten sensitive or living with celiac disease, consuming wheat is still not a health-conscious move. Why? Even people living free of these conditions are still susceptible to the gliadin-induced effects on intestinal permeability, the increased appetite gliadin sparks, the bowel toxicity from wheat germ agglutinin, and the sky-high blood sugars from the amylopectin A of wheat, among other issues. "It is misleading to view wheat as nothing more than a vehicle for gluten; as you can see, wheat is much more than just gluten.

Eating Wheat: A Modern Experiment

When you look at the time humans spent on Earth and break it into percentages, it's pretty easy to see we're in uncharted waters when it comes to eating wheat. "Wheat was not part of the diet for the first 99.6 percent of the time we have inhabited this earth; in terms of evolutionary time, wheat was added only 0.4 percent of the time ago," Dr. Davis explains. "And it was bad enough when we first added it, as humans developed rampant tooth decay, facial deformities, iron deficiency, and other health problems. The situation was simply magnified with the modern habit of allowing wheat to dominate the diet and the changes introduced into the wheat plant by geneticists who thought they were doing the world some good."



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[-] 3 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

This isn't even Monsanto. It's just general business as usual, profiting at the expense of the public's health.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 10 years ago

I wonder how this affects wheatgrass.

I'm off the gluten trip. Last loaf of bread I bought is still in the freezer four months later.

[-] 2 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

These are great sources for making nutritional food evaluations.



[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Lead & Arsenic in Rice Grown All Over the World


April 11, 2013

A recent study reveals that unsafe amounts of lead are found in rice grown in Asia, Europe and South America. Minnesotans should eat rice in moderation to avoid ingesting toxic levels, and also beware of sources of rice.

High amounts of arsenic is also known to be a problem with rice grown all over the world, according to a well-known 2011 report by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

How does arsenic and lead get into the rice?

Arsenic and lead occur naturally to some extent in the soil, but excess amounts can be from man made pollution. The pollution gets into the ground water, which runs through the soil.

According to Andrew Meharg from Aberdeen University, arsenic transfers from soil to rice about 10 times more efficiently than to other grain crops. Lead is also easily taken up by rice.

For more information about this, see this informative article by EHS (Environmental Health Sciences) on how arsenic collects in top soil and contaminates rice.

What levels or arsenic and lead is unsafe to ingest?

The safe levels of arsenic set for by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) is still a hotly debated issue, as some believe that the EPA has conflicting interests of corporations funding the agency versus protecting public health. For water, anything over 10 ppb (parts per billion) is unsafe to drink. However, many feel that this is double what the limit should be.

Lead, which causes brain damage in children and is also deadly to the elderly in high amounts, is common in water due to lead pipes being so prevalent in the plumbing infrastructure. The FDA currently does not have a standard for unsafe amounts of lead in rice. For information about lead in your water, get a copy of your city water report, also known as the Consumer Confidence Report. More and more, consumers are becoming very conscious about what they buy, where the food or products are made, and how the companies align with their core values. This is called conscious consumerism, and entails being aware and awake when it comes to what is bought.

Conscious living, then, entails being aware of choices that affect your health. Lifestyle choices, buying habits, and health and nutrition are all important in the scheme of conscious living. Brown rice is the most nutritious, but be careful of the source.

Minnesotans can also decide to support the local economy of the state and buy Minnesota Wild Rice, which is technically not a rice but rather a wild grass and is highly nutritious and tasty.

[-] 0 points by GirlFriday (17435) 10 years ago

In this case, you're both......amiright?

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Meat So Cheap You Could Die

Sunday, 20 October 2013 12:38 By Jill Richardson, Other Words | Op-Ed


Even under normal conditions, as the latest tainted chicken scare illustrates, we're giving food safety short shrift.

Thanks to the shutdown, the government is doing less to protect Americans from foodborne pathogens and deal with the aftermath of outbreaks.

The timing couldn’t be worse.

Ten days after the shutdown began, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that 317 people in 20 states and Puerto Rico had confirmed cases of salmonella from Foster Farms chicken. Although 42 percent of them had to be hospitalized, thankfully none had died by that point.

The CDC had to bring 30 furloughed employees in its foodborne division back to work to cope with the Foster Farms situation. The Food and Drug Administration has furloughed the majority of its 1,602 investigators.

But even under normal conditions, as the latest tainted chicken scare illustrates, food safety gets short shrift.

The first known salmonella cases from this latest bout of bad chicken occurred in March. They continued through at least late September. That means consumers bought and ate contaminated meat for at least seven months before they learned that something might be amiss.

Since it takes a few weeks to report and confirm a new case, it’s likely more people will get sick than the early numbers indicated. The CDC didn’t announce the discovery of this outbreak until October 7. How many people still have tainted chicken in their freezer and plan to eat it in the future? Do you?

This salmonella strain is resistant to several commonly prescribed antibiotics. What happens when your doctor can’t help you because the drugs no longer work?

This problem isn’t limited to Foster Farms. We regularly experience salmonella and E. coli outbreaks. Americans get sick and die from food they eat every single year. When many outbreaks sicken hundreds of people in numerous states, we have a flawed system. Food safety lawyer Bill Marler recently posted a long list of antibiotic-resistant salmonella outbreaks on Food Safety News. Nearly every single year, cases come to light after making consumers sick. His list, which doesn’t take into account outbreaks from E. coli and other pathogens, is long and disturbing.

The vast majority of America’s chickens and hogs are raised in the crowded, filthy conditions of factory farms, officially termed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations. Beef cattle begin their lives on idyllic ranches, grazing alongside their mothers. They spend their last year or so jammed into outdoor feedlots.

But meat contamination doesn’t happen during the animal’s life. Producing meat in an unhealthy environment might breed pathogens in the animals’ intestinal tracts and their manure. If the animals are constantly given low doses of antibiotics, as is the norm in our country, this environment can produce antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The pathogens don’t typically reach the meat until they’re slaughtered. During processing, meat may come in contact with bacteria from manure or the contents of an intestinal tract. That happens often enough. Otherwise, we wouldn’t see nationwide salmonella outbreaks so frequently.

Here’s the thing: While regularly making some of us sick, our system yields dirt-cheap meat. These days, chicken costs as little as $1.50 per pound. By comparison, small farmers I know who humanely raise chickens outdoors, without antibiotics, charge $4 or $5 per pound. Until we decide that safe food is worth paying more for our meat, we’ll experience foodborne illness outbreaks on a regular basis. Higher prices would probably make us eat a bit less of it, which would be great for our health and boost life expectancy. Americans eat more meat than the people of any country in the world except for tiny Luxembourg.

We can tinker with our system in minor ways, perhaps requiring slaughterhouses to use new sanitation techniques. We could ban some drugs given to livestock and poultry, or maybe develop a new one or two. We can station more inspectors in slaughterhouses. But as long as we continue to raise agricultural animals with the sole goals of reducing consumer prices and maximizing corporate profits, our system will keep making Americans sick and even killing them in salmonella and E. Coli outbreaks.

Do you believe that cheap meat is good enough to die for?

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by Builder (4202) 10 years ago

There are three standards of meat available in our Australian stores; Grain-fed, Grass-fed, and Organic. Give people a choice, and label food properly.

[-] 1 points by LeoYo (5909) 10 years ago

Seven Horrifying Things About the Chicken You Eat

Sunday, 20 October 2013 11:31 By Martha Rosenberg, AlterNet | Report


Many people eat only chicken to avoid the health and environmental questions surrounding red meat. Yet the track record of US chicken may be worse.

Could there be anything worse for the chicken industry than this month's outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella that hospitalized 42 percent of everyone who got it—almost 300 in 18 states?

Yes. The government also announced that China has been cleared to process chickens for the US dinner plate and that all but one of arsenic compounds no one even knew they were eatinghave been removed from US poultry production. Thanks for that. Also this month, some food researchers have revealed the true recipe for chicken "nuggets"…just in time for Halloween.

Many people have decided to eat only chicken to avoid the health, environmental, worker and humane questions surrounding red meat. Yet the track record of US chicken in these areas is no better than red meat—and may be worse.

Here are some things you should really know about your chicken.

  1. Extreme Salmonella

Do you remember the joke "denial is not a river in Egypt"?

Well "Heidelberg" is not a charismatic city in Germany when you're talking about food. It is a monster version of salmonella, some strains of which are resistant to seven antibiotics, says Christopher Braden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention division of foodborne diseases.

Thirteen percent of people affected by the current outbreak have salmonella septicemia, a serious, life-threatening, whole-body inflammation, says Braden. The contamination stems from "fecal material on carcasses, poor sanitary dressing practices, insanitary food contact surfaces, insanitary nonfood contact surfaces, and direct product contamination," says the USDA. That about covers it. The California-based Foster Farms, believed to be the source of the outbreak, has had salmonella problems for a decade says Food Poisoning News. Nor has the government shut them down, even now.

Salmonella is a "naturally occurring bacteria," says the USDA and hence allowed in food—but we are supposed to cook chicken and other products to at least 165°F to kill it and other microbial freeloaders. But Caroline Smith DeWaal of the Center for Science in the Public Interest disagrees with the government's leniency. Salmonella strains like Heidelberg “are too hot for consumers to handle in their kitchens,” she told USA Today.

  1. E. Coli

Just because chicken has salmonella doesn't mean it doesn't also have E. coli! Eighty-seven percent of chicken carcasses test positive for E. coli before they are sent to stores, reports Salon. E. coli is considered more dangerous than salmonella by the USDA and was one of the reasons Russia banned 19 US poultry producers in 2008 (along with US arsenic residues). Antibiotic-resistant E. coli traces were found in samples of raw conventional chicken, chickens "raised without antibiotics" and kosher chicken purchased in New York City in April.

The highest E. coli incidence was, surprisingly, found in the kosher chicken. Last year, researchers writing in Emerging Infectious Diseasesreported that E. coli in chicken is genetically closer to human E. coli than E. coli in beef and pork samples and could put people at risk for urinary tract infections when they are exposed to it because of its similarity.

  1. Arsenic

"What Was Arsenic Doing in Our Chicken, Anyway?" asked a Bloomberg article after the FDA reported the end of all but one poultry arsenic product this month, four years after the Center for Food Safety filed a petition. The agency announced that the Center's petition to have the approvals of arsenic-containing poultry feed revoked had become "moot" after the "sponsors of those drugs requested that FDA withdraw the approvals for those products." One of the four compounds, nitarsone, is still on the market while the FDA reviews its safety.

Why are birds fed arsenic? It has been approved in poultry feed for years to control parasites, promote weight gain and improve feed efficiency and "pigmentation." A 2013 study in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives found detectable levels of arsenic in chicken from grocery stores in 10 American cities, including organic chickens.

Nor is arsenic the only unwanted chemical guest. Looking at feathers of factory farmed birds, researchers have also found evidence of caffeine and the active ingredients in Tylenol, Benadryl and Prozac reports the New York Times'Nicholas Kristof. The caffeine is supposed to keep chickens awake so they eat more, while Benadryl, Tylenol and Prozac are supposed to reduce their anxiety so their meat doesn't get tough, says Kristof.

  1. Antibiotics

Where do antibiotic-resistant salmonella and E. coli in chicken come from? Is that a trick question? More than 70 percent of US antibiotics go to livestock—more than 29 million pounds of antibiotics a year—which of course creates antibiotic resistance. The antibiotic-resistant pathogens aren't just a risk to food, they're a risk to farm workers. Ellen Silbergeld, professor of environmental health sciences at Johns Hopkins' Bloomberg School of Public Health, found 63 percent of the chicken workers at one plant had been colonized by Campylobacter jejuni, a germ that is the second leading cause of gastrointestinal disease in the US. One hundred percent of people living near the plant but not working there who were tested had Campylobacter jejuni too.

In 2008, the USDA caught chicken giant Tyson Foods claiming "no antibiotics" in its ads and labels while brazenly using the human antibiotic gentamicin as "standard practice" in its chickens. Tyson has been charged with other scourges affecting Big Chicken, such as cruelty to animals, paying smugglers to transport illegal workers, and violating the Clean Water Act. Tyson was also investigated for bribing veterinarians in Mexico, but never charged.

  1. Chicken Yuckets

No one has ever thought chicken nuggets were actually good for you. Last year, the Daily Mail reported a girl who lived on only McDonald's Chicken McNuggets collapsed and was diagnosed with anemia and inflamed veins on her tongue. Now, some researchers writing in the American Journal of Medicine have revealed new facts about the mystery meat. Some nuggets that were examined were a mix of fat, blood vessels and nervesincluding cells that line the skin and internal organs. Other nuggets were mostly fat, cartilage and bone with only 40 percent muscle meat.

A few years ago, CNN revealed that Chicken McNuggets in the US contain an anti-foaming agent called dimethylpolysiloxane found in Silly Putty and the petroleum-based preservative tBHQ also called tertiary butylhydroquinone. After the American Journal of Medicine article, Mother Jones' Tom Philpott asked Tyson about the wholesomeness of its Fun Nuggets. Tyson referred him to the National Chicken Council, which said, "Chicken nuggets are an excellent source of protein, especially for kids who might be picky eaters."

  1. Chicken From China

Put the words "food" and "China" together and many people think of the 1,950 cats and 2,200 dogs who perished from China-produced pet food a few years ago and the Asian melamine milk scandals that plague Asian countries. Still the takeover of Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui, the biggest takeover of a US company, shows our food future is being shaped by China—and chicken is no exception. Many missed the announcement that the Obama administration has approved chicken processed in China to be sold in the US without a country-of-origin label. The chickens will be raised and slaughtered in USDA-approved US or Canada operations, but sent to China for processing (which is called "labor-intensive") and sent back to the US. The savings in farming out the labor is apparently greater than the cost of shipping the chickens both to and from China—though no one is talking about the carbon footprint. Nor is anyone talking about how the chickens will be preserved during their overseas voyages and how old they will be when they finally get to the dinner table. No USDA officials will be onsite at the Chinese chicken processing plants which will, instead, "self-verify" their quality as plants are increasingly doing here. The National Chicken Council says the processed chicken will have "increased inspection upon entry into the United States” and that substandard exporters will be disqualified. Whew.

  1. Cruelty to Animals

Chemicals, cost cutting and outsourcing labor take a toll on the birds whose lives and deaths are increasingly inhumane. Chickens were once slaughtered at 14 weeks when they weighed about two pounds but by 2001, they were being slaughtered at seven weeks when they weighed between four and six pounds Today they are even bigger and their lives shorter. In fact, chickens are now grown so quickly, if humans grew as fast, we’d weigh 349 pounds by our second birthday. As a result, chickens have constant bone disease, live in chronic pain and perish from eerie, factory-farm related diseases. "Good birds on their sides or breasts, scattered in a random fashion in the pen also usually are considered to be dead from flip-over," says Poultry News. "Diagnosis is supported by the full GI tract (particularly the full intestine); the large, pale liver; the large, normal bursa; the contracted ventricles and dilated, blood-filled atria; the lung congestion and edema; and the lack of pathological lesions." Assembly lines move so fast in today's chicken slaughterhouses, poultry workers, the government and even the chicken industry admit that the birds break their own bones in struggling to escape the uncaring death that the pursuit of cheap meat forces on them.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license.

[-] 1 points by Renneye (3874) 10 years ago

Yes!!! Wow, Leo! Thank you!

Wheat is now a 'known neurotoxin'. A NEUROTOXIN. Would we ingest a milli-drop of arsenic every day? Of course not.

This is a slow insidious global poisoning. And many doctors believe it is responsible for the reason that people, for the first time in history, are dying at an earlier age than the generation before them...and will continue to do so. Also, that diabetes and asthma would be virtually eradicated if wheat were taken out of our food supply. It's hard to believe, but wheat was not meant for human consumption. Wheat is dangerous for most animals as well.

No! Wheat is NOT a healthy plant for consumption. But, it IS however, tied into national 'food guides' as being healthy by billion dollar corporations. More ruling elite getting wealthy while causing damage to the human race. How utterly unlike them.

The wheat industry have been aware for quite some time how harmful wheat is to health. But that would stand to reason. For a long time the wheat corporations were owned by some of the same families that owned the banks. Keep us sick, and profiting from us...both from selling us what causes the illness, then from the pharmaceuticals to 'treat' the illnesses.

Another type of grain must replace wheat for consumption and wheat crops used for something else. Perhaps, biofuel?

Every disease or condition experiences 'some' improvement once going gluten free.













Gluten Testing; http://brainhealthbook.com/gluten-brain-nervous-system/

Wheat Belly blog;



[-] 0 points by Builder (4202) 10 years ago

That's a lot of links to peruse.

I see a common theme of gluten, though, and wheatgrass contains none. It is also safe for coeliacs to drink, so I think I'm safe there. I drink lots of it.

(quote) The nutritional content of Wheatgrass juice include a high variety of concentrated Vitamins and Minerals, Amino acids, Chlorophyll, and living enzymes, is a natural source of Omega 3, and has alkaline effect on the body . Wheatgrass Juice is a vegetarian source of protein with no fat or cholesterol. Vitamins Wheat Grass Juice contains vitamins B, C, E, and carotene (Vitamin A).

Vitamin A is needed to prevent weak or brittle bones, night blindness, and dry skin.

Vitamin E is needed for good eyesight, normal growth and reproduction.

Vitamin B is the anti-stress vitamin. The more stress we are under the more of this vitamin is needed. Vitamin B helps the digestive system, the adrenal glands and is essential for normal brain and body formation.

Vitamin C is important for the health of the skin, teeth, gums, eyes, muscles and joints.

Vitamin E is an anti- oxidant, prevents muscle degeneration, sterility, slow healing of wounds and infections and helps the heart. The vitamin E in Wheatgrass Juice is 10 times more easily assimilated by the body that synthetic Vitamin E.(unquote)

[-] 2 points by Devonshire (81) from Norwich, VT 10 years ago

And vitamin D which also comes from the sun (the best source) is another good vitamin to take in the winter when there is not as much daylight. In northern climates, or for people who live in smog proned areas... or for people who work inside all day, it is epecially important to take as it helps to prevent depression as well as having many other benefits including maintaing a healthy weight and helping the body absorb calcium.


And again, I also have a tincture bottle with powdered cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, cardamom, and vanila extract (liquid). Some of those increase your apetite supposedly though, but all those spices are supposed to have good health benefits. Anyway, I put a squeeze or two in my coffee every morning which is often sweetened with honey.


My basic rule is, eat healthy at home, and don't worry about it so much when you go out to eat, which I rarely do.

[-] 2 points by Devonshire (81) from Norwich, VT 10 years ago

Tumeric is a wonderful spice that has a whole range of health benefits as does cayenne and garlic. I used to buy it in a tincture, but now put the powder of all three spices in the little tincture bottle..and add a little vodka. The alcohol gets it into your bloodstream quicker I've heard. You may have to make the bottom of the tincture a little wider by carefully grinding it down on smooth concrete or on fine sand paper.