Natural Cures Not Medicine: 09/06/13

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Top 10 Reasons to Bring your Kids to the Farmers Market

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The Farmers Market is a great place to bring your kids for so many reasons! The Farmers Market allows you to provide your family with wholesome, healthy food while supporting your local community at the same time.

Here's the reality- Family farmers need your support! Now that large agribusiness dominates food production in the U.S., small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.

And health-wise, your doing your family a great favor! Much of the food found in grocery stores is highly processed and grown using pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and genetic modification (GMOs). Some of it has been irradiated, waxed, or gassed in transit. These practices may have negative effects on human health. In contrast, most food found at the farmers market is minimally processed, and many of our farmers go to great lengths to grow the most nutritious produce possible by using sustainable techniques, picking produce right before the market, and growing heirloom varieties. (Make sure to ask each farmer about their growing practices. We've found that most sustainable farmers enjoy talking about their love for the soil and the great lengths they go to produce healthy, pesticide free food!)

Top 10 Reasons to Bring your Kids to the Farmers Market


1. Develop healthy emotional eating habits.

One of the biggest myths about emotional eating is that it's prompted by negative feelings. Yes, people often turn to food when they're stressed out, lonely, sad, anxious, or bored.

But emotional eating can be linked to positive feelings too! It's no accident that McDonald's named their kids deal a "Happy Meal"! They do this to form a lifelong emotional bond between being happy and eating at McD's, and it works!

You can beat the fast food marketing guru's at their own game. Simply swap out the fast food and replace it with a fun day at the Farmers Market! Do this on a regular basis and your kids will start to equate healthy real food with those happy family days at the market.

Here's a great article on 7 Steps to Become a Conscious Eater

2. Connect kids with "real food"

There is a huge disconnect between most Americans and their food. For the most part, we've stopped questioning where our food comes from, how it is raised and if it is good for our health. To a large extent, this is why our supermarkets shelves are lined with so many boxes of processed junk. And most of it is Genetically Modified (GMOs). We are the ones buying it so they keep making it!

We can break that cycle with our kids and the Farmers Market provides a great opportunity to further the food connection discussion. It's much more effective when you practice what you preach. Buying from local sustainable farmers reinforces the message.

3. Talk with real farmers 

As you know, kids are naturally curious. This is a good match because farming is really amazing. Think about it: plant seeds in dirt, add water, get vegetables! Of course there's a lot more to it than that.

As we mentioned above, a lot of the farmers we meet are very proud of the work they do and they're very happy to talk about it. With a little coaching (if necessary) you're kids can ask some great questions, like- Why are you a farmer? What's your favorite things to grow? What's that hardest thing to grow? The easiest? Do you use chemicals or pesticides? Why, or why not?

A cool side-effect of this is that the next time you go to the market your kids will remember the farmers. It's great to make new friends, especially when their doing something as important as growing your food.

4. Let them buy their own food

If we really want to teach our kids about the value of real food, they should know how to shop for it

Depending on your kids age(s), give them a few bucks to buy some of their own food to bring home. This in itself is a great learning experience. Will they think long and hard about what to buy? Or will they buy the first thing they see? Learning to shop wisely and consider all the options is a great skill to have.

And let's be honest, if we really want to teach our kids about the value of real food, they should know how to shop for it!

PS- If you have young kids, instead of actually shopping maybe you can just let them give the money to farmer. Little kids (and the farmer) will probably enjoy this!

5. Cook the food you bought at home

Getting kids involved in cooking is great. Basic cooking skills open so many choices for them later in life and alleviate them of the need to buy ready made, highly processed meals. But it's not always easy.

Cooking the food you just bought, or the food THEY just bought if you followed the step above, makes this a whole lot easier. It's the next logical step- "We bought these veggies from the nice farmer, now we get to cook them!"

For snack ideas, check this out: Quick Clean Eating: 40 Non-Processed Snacks for Busy Moms!

6. Introduce new foods

Face it, some kids are just picky eaters. The 3 steps above may have a profound effect on their willingness to even TRY something new, right? Let's go through this- We met the farmer, learned about how they grew this, we bought it, we took it home and now we cooked it. It's just natural to want to taste it!

7. Learn about nutrition

For older kids, the Farmers Market provides an opportunity to learn about nutrition and why real foods are so important to maintain a healthy body. If your kids compete in sports, you can teach them why nutrients will make them better athletes. Even if they don't play sports they can understand that real food is packed with vitamins and minerals that make them stronger, smarter and healthier.

Additionally you'll be able to choose non-GMO foods and support non-GMO farmers.

8. Get away from the screens

TV screens, computer screens, iPad screens, phone screens- ARghhhh! Yes, I know you are reading this on a screen (unless somebody printed it for you). Screens are awesome but they have their time and place. Food has a huge impact on childhood obesity but at the same time most kids are on their butts too many hours per day.

Do we really have to watch Lion King one more time? The Farmers Market is a great excuse to bust away from the TV, or Xbox or Facebook, Instagram, - whatever, and get some fresh air.

9. Family bonding

A trip to the Farmers Market provides a great way to spend time together as a family. It's easy to enjoy each others company when you're doing something healthy. With little kids you can play fun games like finding food that's different colors or shapes. With older kids try a scavenger hunt and offer a family prize if the goal is hit.

It may take a little work (and a bribe or two) but the market can be a fun family outing. Who knows, you may end up creating one of those fond memories that your kids can carry and pass on to their kids. How great would that be!

10. Teach the importance of community

The growing number of farmers markets in the United States gives us hope. They serve not only as a way for people to purchase local food but also as a chance for them to connect with others within their communities. Buying local promotes a sense of pride in you home town.

Farmers markets allow you to teach your kids that they can make a difference by voting with their dollars. When you shop at a large grocery store chain, a fraction of your dollars stay local. Supporting local farmers keeps the money in your community where it can be reinvested for the good of the town.

Ready to find some farmers markets?

Here's a great farmers market directory to help you. It's like Yelp, but only for locally grown food!

 Enter your zip code or the name of your city at Eat Local Grown

How To Grow An Organic Salad Garden For The Whole Family

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A bowl of fresh salad greens is always a welcome addition for dinner. Growing your own lettuce is a snap. You will get the freshest, tastiest and most nutritious greens, and you can have a constant supply for many months out of the year.
Image: Real Farmacy

A small raised bed is ideal for this. It will be cleaner, easier to maintain and harvest, and provide the best soil conditions for plants. Patio containers do well enough, but they dry out faster than a garden bed. The bigger the container, the better.

The optimal size bed for a salad garden is 4’ x 4’ square, which allows for easy reach from all sides. This area should provide plenty of salad greens for a small family.

Many things can be used to frame the bed, from straw bales to cinder blocks to wood to rock edging. It should be at least 8” tall. Try to find a locally-produced source of high quality garden soil with compost, worm castings, or well-rotted manure mixed in. A bit of organic granular fertilizer  will help too. Bagged garden soil from the big box stores is not ideal, being a lifeless substrate suffused with chemical fertilizers.
Locate the salad garden in a spot that gets at least six hours of direct sunlight and is close to a source of water. If you’re in a hot climate, try to give it some afternoon shade. Do not put landscape fabric underneath the bed, as this will impede beneficial earthworms and prevent natural soil mixing. Cardboard can be laid over grass, which will smother vegetation but decompose fairly quickly and add organic matter.

Now, on to planting the salad garden. Leaf lettuce is ideal for the home gardener with little space, because you can keep picking the outer leaves and it keeps growing. While head lettuce is great, it takes longer to mature, is more finicky, and is harvested once.

Try to find leaf lettuce varieties that are recommended for your climate. Plant a couple of different types, such as Buttercrunch and Romaine lettuce, which will give you different textures. Include a red leafed variety for a color splash.

It is best to grow leaf lettuce from seed. Simply sow three seeds every six inches and cover with a very thin sprinkling of soil. Lettuce seeds need to “see the sunlight” to sprout. Water lightly every day.  They will take 10-14 days to sprout, but once they begin growing it won’t be long before harvest time. Pick the outer leaves and let the plants keep growing.

And finally, time your plantings 3 weeks apart for an extended harvest. Plant the northern half of the bed first, then plant the southern half three weeks later. Plant in a diamond pattern (3 seeds 6 inches apart) for optimal use of space.

If the lettuce goes from dark green to light green, fertilize with organic fish emulsion every couple of weeks. To add some diversity to your salad, plant long-lasting kale or Swiss chard in the “back” (the northern side) of the bed. Perhaps set aside one row for radish, which sprouts and grows quickly, for a spicy crunch in the salad.


How to get the Benefits of Soy without the Health Risks

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Who hasn’t heard of the marvels of soy? The marketing bandwagon has touted soy as the next perfect health food for decades. In fact, its health benefits have been aggressively pushed in advertisements on national TV.
And from 1992 to 2006, soy food sales increased from $300 million to nearly $4 billion!i That just goes to show that soy has fast become synonymous with healthy eating.
But could something that sounds so healthy be actually dangerous? Before you take another bite of tofu and another gulp of flavored soy milk, we believe you should read another side of the soy story. Read the report How to Get the Benefits of Soy Without All the Health Risks.


Asians consume large amounts of soy, that’s why they lead long, healthy lives.

The report How to Get the Benefits of Soy Without All the Health Risks tells you that they are consuming far less soy than Americans! In fact a Japanese man consumes about 2 teaspoons of soy in a day, far less than Americans, who guzzle soy milk by the gallons and have substituted meat with processed tofu (so they can feel that they’re not missing out). Find out why moderation is actually the key to the Asians’ healthy diet.

Modern soy foods have the same benefits as traditionally fermented soy.

Most modern soy food from soy milk to soy burgers are processed, which means they contain natural toxins called “antinutrients”. Learn what these antinutrients can do to your health and how much danger they pose. Learn why traditional, fermented soy disposes of these natural toxins to make for “healthy soy”.

Soy formula is safe for infants.

Learn how mega doses of phytoestrogens in soy formulas are putting your infant’s normal sexual development at risk. The report How to Get the Benefits of Soy Without All the Health Risks will show you why your infant should be off soy formulas! You’d be shocked to know that you are feeding your baby with 5 birth control pills worth of estrogen with soy infant formulas. Just imagine how that much estrogen can mess up your baby’s sexual development.

How Dangerous Is Soy?

Soy is no laughing matter. Aside from containing antinutrients which are natural toxins, it has a number of alarming compounds that may put your total health in peril.
  • Soy contains goitrogens which lead to depressed thyroid function.
  • It also contains phytates which prevent absorption of life enhancing minerals.
  • It is also loaded with phytoestrogens which sometimes block the hormone estrogen and have adverse effects on human tissues!
These are only a few of soy’s hidden dangers. Read the report How to Get the Benefits of Soy Without All the Health Risks and you will be alarmed at how long you have been in the dark!
You will also be shocked that you have actually put yourself in danger of diseases that you had hoped to avoid by eating soy. Read on about a sampling of health effects that non-fermented soy puts you at risk for!
  • Breast Cancer
  • Brain Damage
  • Infant Abnormalities
These are just a few of the alarming health conditions mentioned in the report among many others.

If There’s Unhealthy Soy, There’s Also Healthy Soy

But soy is not the Total Health Enemy it’s cut out to be – if it is fermented! Find out what fermented soy products will be better for your health. Learn about vitamin K2 (the forgotten vitamin) found in these recommended fermented soy products:
tempehmiso soupnattosoy sauce
Find out how vitamin K2 promotes heart health and gently redirects calcium back to your “bone bank”. Discover that K2 is slowly emerging as a key vitamin to fight the signs of aging. Learn how to benefit from “soy” without the health risks that non-fermented soy brings.

Do Not Be Conned by Marketing Ploys

You have been unknowing victims of a massive marketing ploy for years. And for purposes of “profit” your health has been put at risk. We are here to inform you on how to keep the dangers of soy away from your family and avoid eating more soy. But bear in mind, though you may become eventually convinced to avoid soy products altogether, you also unwittingly find soy in your meat extenders, even in the oil used to fry your food! Find out how to protect yourself further from the unseen dangers of soy.
  • Learn how to become an adept label reader.
  • The FDA has enforced rules that require food companies to inform consumers about what goes in their food.
  • Know what tips there are to totally avoid non-fermented soy foods.

Sources: and 

Revealed: More Than 5000 Children’s Products Contain Toxic Chemicals

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Corporations spend untold millions on complex marketing campaigns, targeting the subconscious primal emotions of you and your children so you feel compelled to buy their products. But it takes a state law to pry out the more dangerous information about these same products.
Image: Real Farmacy

The Washington Toxics Coalition and Safer States compiled a report detailing the toxic chemicals used in children’s products, based on information provided by manufacturers In compliance with Washington State’s “Children’s Safe Products Act of 2008.” Reporting requirements began in 2012, giving us information that was previously unavailable to the public.

Washington State developed a list of 66 “Chemicals of High Concern to Children.” 41 of these chemicals were reported in more than 5,000 products. Retailers include Walmart, Gap, Gymboree, H & M, J. C. Penney, and Claire’s.

A variety of chemicals linked to cancer, hormone disruption and reproductive problems were reported such as phthalates and solvents, as well as toxic metals like cadmium and mercury. Products containing these chemicals include clothing, footwear, toys, games, jewelry, accessories, baby products, furniture, bedding, arts and crafts supplies and personal care products. SEE THE FULL REPORT HERE

All of this begs the question: Why are retailers still putting known toxic chemicals in children’s products? Children are more susceptible to the effects of toxins. With the billions in profits and millions spent on other avenues like marketing, isn’t it possible to make a toy with no toxic chemicals or metals?

Supposed “safe standards” set by federal regulators hardly ease the concerns of parents who are familiar with the corruption in agencies like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA didn’t even ban bisphenol A (BPA) in baby bottles until the industry suggested it after already abandoning its use.
“Safe standards” applied to one particular item do not account for accumulation in the body over time or toxic effects that may arise when combined with other chemical exposures.

For example, research has shown that phthalates build up in the body.  Several European countries have banned the use of phthalates in children’s products based on sound science. Yet U.S. manufacturers pretend this body of evidence does not exist and continue putting our kids’ health in jeopardy.

There is a campaign called Mind the Store, spearheaded by Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, that urges the top ten retailers to eliminate the use of toxic chemicals in consumer products. Support them and support a healthier future.

Justin Gardener,

The Cancer Causing Metal Millions of Us Have Eaten, Worn and Injected

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                     Written By:SAYER JI, FOUNDER

Aluminum is considered by most health authorities perfectly acceptable to eat, wear as an antiperspirant, and inject into your body as a vaccine adjuvant, but new research indicates it has cancer-causing properties, even at levels 100,000 times lower than found in certain consumer products.
A concerning new study published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistrydemonstrates clearly that exposure to aluminum can increase migratory and invasive properties of human breast cancer cells.  This has extremely important implications, because mortality from breast cancer is caused by the spread of the tumor and not from the presence of the primary tumor in the breast itself.  This profound difference, in fact, is why a groundbreaking new NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE COMMISSIONED EXPERT PANEL recently called for the complete reclassification of some types of non-progressive ‘breast cancer’ and ‘prostate cancer’ as essentially benign lesions – bittersweet news for the millions who were already misdiagnosed/overdiagnosed and mistreated/overtreated for‘CANCER’ OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS.  
Another recent relevant study, also published in the Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, found increased levels of ALUMINUM in noninvasively collected nipple aspirate fluids from 19 breast cancer patients compared with 16 healthy control subjects. The researchers commented on their findings: “In addition to emerging evidence, our results support the possible involvement of aluminium ions in oxidative and inflammatory status perturbations of breast cancer microenvironment, suggesting aluminium accumulation in breast microenvironment as a possible risk factor for oxidative/inflammatory phenotype of breast cells.”[1]
A key implication of this research is that the common ingestion (food additive), injection (as a vaccine adjuvant), and topical application (antiperspirant) of forms of aluminum may be contributing to the burgeoning cancer epidemic in exposed populations. Given this possibility, the further use of aluminum in foods, cosmetics and drugs should be halted until adequate risk assessments can be made thoroughly proving its safety.  (Since we do not use the precautionary principle to guide risk assessments and their regulation in the US, instead opting for a chemical and drug-industry favoring “weight of evidence” standard, this likely will not happen; however, we can use this information to apply the precautionary principle in our own lives)
When it comes to aluminum’s presence in ANTIPERSPIRANT FORMULAS, a very concerning study published last year in the Journal of Applied Toxicology identified the primary form of aluminum used in underarm cosmetics – aluminum chloride – as capable of altering breast cancer cells in a way indicative of ‘neoplastic transformation,’ or, the transformation of a healthy cell into a cancerous one:
“These results suggest that aluminium is not generically mutagenic, but similar to an activated oncogene [cancer-causing gene], it induces proliferation stress, DSBs and senescence in normal mammary epithelial cells; and that long-term exposure to AlCl(3) generates and selects for cells able to bypass p53/p21(Waf1) -mediated cellular senescence. Our observations do not formally identify aluminium as a breast carcinogen, but challenge the safety ascribed to its widespread use in underarm cosmetics.”
Even more disturbing was their finding that these changes, which included “contact inhibition and anchorage-independent growth” (two markers of malignancy), were caused by concentrations “…up to 100 000-fold lowerthan those found in antiperspirants, and in the range of those recently measured in the human breast.”[2]
This new study dovetails with recent research demonstrating that aluminum binds to cellular estrogen receptors, indicating it may disrupt and/or drive proliferation within hormone-sensitive tissues. One research team coined a new term – “METALLOESTROGEN” – to describe an entirely new class of metal-basedENDOCRINE DISRUPTERS, including aluminum, antimony, arsenite, barium, cadmium, chromium (Cr(II)), cobalt, copper, lead, mercury, nickel, selenite, tin and vanadate. This reclassification of what were formerly perceived to be hormonally inert substances should help to alert consumers to the significant health risk associated with the use of ‘unnatural’ products containing these elements.
While there is little extant animal research demonstrating aluminum’s cancer causing properties, which is why it has not yet been classified with respect to carcinogenicity, “aluminum production” has been classified as carcinogenic to humans by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC).[3]  There is also a 2011 study published in the Journal of Applied Toxicology that foundALUMINUM CONTENT IS HIGHER IN NIPPLE ASPIRATE FLUID OF BREAST CANCER-AFFECTED WOMEN VERSUS HEALTHY CONTROLS.
Aluminum, of course, is widely distributed within our environment (reaching, at present, the highest level in documented history), and has even been implicated in ATMOSPHERIC AEROSOLS (i.e. geoengineering/ ‘chemtrails’); which, incidentally, may be one reason why our soils are becoming saturated with the metal to levels toxic to plants, and why biotech corporations are presently working on developing ALUMINUM-TOLERANT GM plants.
Because our regulators consider ALUMINUM PERFECTLY  ’SAFE TO EAT,’ apply topically, and INJECT INTO OUR BODIES to “IMPROVE NATURAL IMMUNITY,” the emerging view of aluminum as possessing cancer-causing effects will put additional responsibility on consumers to educate themselves and make choices to protect themselves from avoidable exposure.


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