Tagged with "health"
Avoiding Gluten Good For Everyone, Study Confirms Tags: Health Human Interest

Sayer Ji, Green Med Info

If listening to your body has lead you to identify gluten as a health problem and you feel better after removing it, a new study adds to an already extensive body of research  that the rapidly expanding gluten free movement is not a fad as critics claim. 

The gluten free (GF) movement has taken on powerful momentum in the past few years, with GF labeled products estimated to balloon to about 7 billion dollars globally by 2019. And so, with any popular dietary pattern promising beneficial changes in health and well-being, as well as challenging both centuries old beliefs in the value of wheat and their producer’s and manufacturer’s bottom line, the growing popularity and perceive health benefits of the GF diet is destined to cause controversy and backlash, as evidenced by recent mainstream reporting:

A new study, however, provides sound evidence that one does not need to have classically defined celiac disease (i.e. validated by HLA DQ2/8 gene tests and intestinal biopsy) in order to benefit from going gluten free. In fact, this is why the gluten free movement is so popular: most people who opt out of eating gluten feel better when they abstain, worse when they partake. But medical professionals, wheat industry spokespersons and even some friendly to advocating for natural, evidence-based alternatives like Dr. Greger, think the case against eating wheat is overblown, if not downright fraudulent.

What The New Gluten Study Revealed

The new study published in the journal Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology titled, “Small Amounts of Gluten in Subjects with Suspected Nonceliac Gluten Sensitivity: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Cross-Over Trial,” aimed to add insight into the “debate over the existence of non celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) – intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms in response to ingestion of gluten-containing foods by people without celiac disease or wheat allergy.”


A Italian group of researchers conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over trial to determine the effects of administration of low doses of gluten to subjects with suspected non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

The study method was described as follows:

“We enrolled 61 adults without celiac disease or wheat allergy who believe ingestion of gluten-containing food to be the cause of their intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms. Participants were randomly assigned to groups given either 4.375 g/day gluten or rice starch (placebo) for 1 week, each via gastro-soluble capsules. After a 1 week of gluten-free diet, participants crossed over to the other group. The primary outcome was the change in overall (intestinal and extra-intestinal) symptoms, determined by established scoring systems, between gluten and placebo intake. A secondary outcome was the change in individual symptom scores between gluten vs placebo.”

The results clearly showed adverse effects after re-introduction of gluten following the 1 week withdrawal period:

“According to the per-protocol analysis of data from the 59 patients who completed the trial, intake of gluten significantly increased overall symptoms compared with placebo (P=.034). Abdominal bloating (P=.040) and pain (P=.047), among the intestinal symptoms, and foggy mind (P=.019), depression (P=.020), and aphthous stomatitis (P=.025), among the extra-intestinal symptoms, were significantly more severe when subjects received gluten than placebo.”

The authors concluded:

“In a cross-over trial of subjects with suspected NCGS, the severity of overall symptoms increased significantly during 1 week of intake of small amounts of gluten, compared with placebo.”

Gluten Avoidance Is An Evidence-Based, Precautionary Dietary Approach

If you have followed our work related to wheat, first with my essay ‘The Dark Side of Wheat,” and second with the ongoing research indexing project to ascertain signals in the accumulating data on wheat and gluten consumption and its adverse effects, we have identified over 200 adverse health issues related to wheat and/or its components (e.g. gluten, wheat lectin), only a small portion of which are specific to those with classical celiac disease. What this means is that the weight of evidence argues for a precautionary approach to including this grain in the diet. The truth is: gluten free options today abound, and the point is to do more than just substitute out gluten-containing foods for others containing processed non-gluten containing grains. Look to the ancestral diet – which is largely if not entirely grain free – for deeper guidance. This approach, which is highly bio-individualized, focuses on foods your ancestors would have hunted or foraged long before the advent of agrarian civilizations approximately 10,000 years ago, none of which included cooked grains (seeds) from the cereal grasses as a source of food, or animal husbandry related products such as cow’s milk and cheese.

For additional research on the adverse effects of gluten to physical and mental health, visit the Gluten Research center page on Greenmedinfo.com.

About the author:

Sayer Ji1 Lime Juice Could Save 100s of Thousands of Lives Each YearSayer Ji is an author, educator, Steering Committee Member of the Global GMO-Free Coalition (GGFC), advisory board member of the National Health Federation, and the founder of GreenMedInfo.com – an open access, evidence-based resource supporting natural and integrative modalities. His writings have been published and referenced widely in print and online, including Truthout, Mercola.com, The Journal of Gluten Sensitivity, New York Times and The Well Being Journal.

In 1995 Sayer received a BA degree in Philosophy from Rutgers University, where he studied under the American philosopher Dr. Bruce W. Wilshire, with a focus on the philosophy of science. In 1996, following residency at the Zen Mountain Monastery in upstate New York, he embarked on a 5 year journey of service as a counsellor-teacher and wilderness therapy specialist for various organizations that serve underprivileged and/or adjudicated populations. Since 2003, Sayer has served as a patient advocate and an educator and consultant for the natural health and wellness field.


How To Easily Create Your Own Food Security Tags: Activism Community Empowerment Health Preparedness

by The Yardener

Grow Food Not Lawns


If you’re fed up reading labels in the grocery store trying to find some real food that won’t kill you, I feel your pain. Not to worry, there is a solution and it’s awesome. The truth is, you don’t need to depend on food corporations or the government to keep you healthy. Why would you want to anyways?

All you need is a bit of space (provided you don’t live in a cave, in which case you’d have to settle on button mushrooms). Even if you have a small apartment or a small yard you can still grow quite a bit of food. You can even grow tomatoes in a small studio apartment. For those of you that have a moderate to large sized yard, follow suit on the picture story below. This is how to create REAL health security. It’s time to stop consuming and start producing!


It started with eight 6’x4? raised beds with 1″x10″x10′ reclaimed redwood barn siding.



The beds were lined with cardboard, sprayed down with a hose, and then filled with fresh compost.


Many seeds were sown directly, some were germinated in a backyard hoop cloche.



Setting up an irrigation system might be a little extra work, but it sure paid off quick! If you’re strapped for cash a typical sprinkler from your garden center will suffice. Or if you have a little extra money, investing in soaker hoses is well worth it too.



The pathways were covered in cardboard and wood chips.



Cinder blocks were filled with compost and used as a border to contain wood chips. Lavender, rosemary, thyme, and basil were planted in them to create a honey bee sanctuary. Planting a border of fragrant herbs is always a good way to deter pests.



Some beautiful arugula came first. By supplying plenty of nitrogen and pinching off flower buds as they appear, arugula’s harvest can become quite continual. The buds go great in salads too!


Next came the spinach, which too benefited from the nitrogen rich compost.


And beautiful beets.


The radishes shot up quickly.


And plenty of carrots.


The loose medium produced some great results. One major advantage to raised beds is that the lack of foot traffic keeps the soil loose. Perfect for root vegetables!



The peas came in nicely. A bit of extra magnesium will do wonders. Add a bit of epsom salt to your soil before planting and supplement 1 tablespoon epsom per gallon of water as feed every now and then. It’s also important to keep phosphorus levels under control. Too much and the plant is unable to absorb the vital magnesium required for vigorous growth. (That’s the P in N P K)



The harvest became overwhelming.


This sign was installed by the sidewalk, next to a box filled with extras. The neighborhood ate an unbelievable amount of zucchini. I love this. If a few people on every block grew some food, there would be more than enough for every one.




Occupy Warsaw: Polish Farmers Create Clandestine City Camp
Tags: Activism Empowerment GMO food Health

Julian Rose

Something rather remarkable is happening in the middle of Poland’s capital, Warsaw, and it’s not exactly a capital city spectacle. In fact, rather the opposite.

Tucked-away under a line of trees, opposite the Prime Minister’s Palace in Central Warsaw, is a small ramshackle camp, comprising two tents, a Second World War wood fired mobile cooking apparatus, some chairs and benches, a pile of logs and a number of banners, posters and logos.

This is ‘Green City’ a symbolic and actual site of occupation by farmers fighting to save their livelihood and way of life. At the time of writing, it is in its 28th day of existence – and it isn’t planning on going anywhere, in spite of the fact that it is illegal and suffering under a daily fine imposed by the Polish government. A fine which is, in many ways, a small replication of what is happening on a much bigger scale to farming communities throughout the European Economic Community and beyond.

At Green City, a name affectionately bequeathed upon the camp site by local Warsaw well-wishers, the fourth shift is taking place. A group of thirty farmers is replacing another similar sized group which has been ‘in residence’ for the last week.


A huddle of farmers gather around as hot vegetable soup is served from the wood fired dispenser. Conversations break-out with supporters who arrive sporadically with gifts of food and other items. In amongst the protesting farmers is Edward Kosmal, the owner of a mixed family farm in Zachodniopomorskie Province in North West Poland, and leader of the resistance to the ‘land grabs’ that are taking place there.

A strongly built, quiet and thoughtful man, Kosmal has resolutely refused to give-in to government intransigence and deafness to the farmer’s calls for fair treatment. His emergence as farmer’s leader is both welcome and necessary. A steady and determined hand on the helm is critical to the staying- power of this grass roots uprising which has already been hailed as the single largest farmers protest to have ever taken place in Poland.

In February, six thousand farmers marched through central Warsaw to the very spot where the ‘Green City’ now stands. Its inauguration took place on that day.

On the other side of the road from the camp, a military police officer stands impassively in front of the main entrance to the Prime Minister’s vast Palace. Other police patrol slowly up and down, keeping a wary eye on the activities that bubble up at the Green City camp site.

One such activity is the birth of the ‘Academy of Self Sufficiency and Health’, a series of workshops, slide shows and films, demonstrating the practical techniques of self-sufficiency – and offered by enthusiastic  farmers and their supporters – who strongly oppose the globalisation of food and farming under vast transnational agribusiness corporations.

Corporations that cream-off any profits to be made in the agriculture sector so as to enlarge their empires at the expense of the small and medium sized family farmers who uphold the traditions of good land management practices and nourishing, wholesome foods. Foods that will not be found on the shelves of the ubiquitous super and hypermarkets that have come to dominate Polish society, in just the same way as they have in North America and  Western Europe.

The farmers who squat down beside a log fire, a welcome source of warmth during the cold Polish nights, listen to the talks with a growing curiosity. They are here because the land that they and their families wish to farm, in perpetuity, is being stolen from under their feet.

Stolen by a government that is more interested in the profits to be made by selling-off its prime agricultural land to the highest foreign bidder, than retaining it for indigenous farmers to ply their trade and keep the nation fed with the ‘real foods’ that Poland is famous for. These farmers are not prepared to see their lives ruined by short-term profit hunters.

They have been steadily stepping-up their protests for three years now. Blocking the government land agencies responsible for doing the deals that undermine their futures.

In the streets of Szczecin, a large market town in Zachodniopomorskie Province, farmers picket the main regional land agency, while on surrounding roads their tractors have kept-up a regular convoy, Polish flags fluttering from their cabs and poster messages stuck in the windows. The public is broadly with them. Eighty percent of the land area in some regions of Zachodniopomorskie have already been sold-off, according to Edward Kosmal. Another farmer added “I woke up in the morning to find I had Danish and German neighbours.”

Some seventy percent of citizens of Szczecin have come out in support. They see what’s happening and fear a total take-over – once the buying of Polish farmland by foreigners becomes legal in 2016.

With the support of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside, the farmers added two further demands to the Polish government: establish a proper, legally enforced ban of GM crops and seeds and end the exceptionally harsh regulations that demand registration, licensing and separate processing premises before any farmhouse foods can be legally sold to the Polish public.

Then there are further demands, made by hard-pressed farmers from East Poland, that they be compensated for deeply unfair historical milk quota allocations that have left many dairy farmers with no internal demand for their dairy products, as cheap imports pour in from Western European Countries with two or three times higher quota allocations.

There are also demands for proper land inheritance regulations and compensation for being victims of the Russian embargo of Polish and EU foods. An embargo established as a counter to the EU penalising Russia for illicit actions that it accused Putin of carrying out in Ukraine.

Uncontrolled wild pig damage to large areas of crops is yet another problem that has negatively impacted upon farmers’ incomes. In Poland, farmers cannot carry guns and all hunting and vermin control is carried out by government employed registered gamekeepers.

Edward Kosmal explained how nearly all farmers in his area (and it’s broadly true across Poland) are heavily in debt to the banks they took out loans with, so as to purchase modern tractors and other farm equipment suitable for the commercial farming enterprises they were encouraged to undertake when Poland joined the EU in 2004.

The advice came from Government Advice Offices for farmers, which espouses the ‘restructuring’ of farms so as to fit the typical Western European agribusiness model. The one based on a drive for increased exports with its attendant knock-on effect of more monocultural farming practices, higher synthetic fertilizer applications, more pesticides and ever bigger and more expensive farm machinery.

The financial pressures that this aggressive push for higher export revenue puts on farmers who have borrowed heavily in order to fulfil these recommendations – are ubiquitous throughout farming communities from one end of the world to another. They hardly ever lead to sustained higher incomes to the farmer, as costs regularly outweigh returns and (in Europe) only EU subsidies keep the farms from bankruptcy.

In the UK, this situation has led to one farmer taking his life every two weeks, rather than witness his life’s work taken away by the bank to whom his farm is indebted. In Poland, the subsidies are smaller, in accordance with the size of the farms, but also due to the fact that they are only paid at 50% percent of the rate received in Western Europe.

Back at Green City’s Academy of Self-Sufficiency and Health, the discussion comes around to this global debacle that Polish farmers now find themselves swept-up in. Poland’s EU membership and pro EU government mean that officialdom fully espouses the capitalist neo-liberal free-trade model. The model that leads to globalised factory farming regimes supplying the dominant supermarket chains – while simultaneously decimating the health and diversity of the natural environment with their vast sterile monocultures.

One can appreciate why there are some intensely serious expressions on the faces of the participating farmers. After all, Poland remains one of the last bastions in Europe of large numbers of small scale, semi self-sufficient farmsteads. Still around one million with an average size of just seven hectares.

Farms that are synonymous with the non-commercialised, low input and bio diverse characteristics of pre EU agriculture. The typical self-sufficient family farms that have been trampled on by the European Union’s utterly insensitive common agricultural policy (CAP).

Now those who followed the government’s advice to expand and intensify their commercial activities – the hallmark of ‘restructured’ EU farming incentives – are faced by the unpalatable probability that their bank loan supported expansion efforts have simply driven them onto a tread-mill. A tread-mill which renders them permanent slaves to the corporate/ government/ Brussels ‘Troika’, and ensures that the independence they once enjoyed – has become a rapidly fading dream.

But maybe this is not, after all, the end of the story. The spontaneous arrival at Green City of the clandestine Academy of Self-Sufficiency and Health, has brought into focus a new/old vision that just could be exactly what the doctor ordered; not just for Poland, but for struggling farmers everywhere: a renewed commitment to supplying the nation, the region and the local community   with home grown ‘real foods’, produced by time honoured methods that bring genuine health back to the soils, plants, animals and humans that are the true beneficiaries of a caring and benign approach. An approach that gets the nation off the chemical, GMO and synthetic food killer fixes that threaten to achieve complete dominance of the globalized food chain.

Have we arrived at a turning point? One which exposes the failed model of the profit driven, tax payer subsidised, monocultural madness that has brought mankind to the edge of a cliff – beyond which lies complete ruination?

Two weeks ago, in early March, ICPPC leaders Jadwiga Lopata and Julian Rose, delivered two loaves of ‘legal’ chemically enriched ‘USA style’ plastic wrapped white bread to Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. A week earlier, accompanied by the Solidarity Farmer’s Union chief, they had offered her a basket of ‘illegal’ real farm food’ with a letter demanding a change to the regulation that criminalises such foods and the farmers that produce them.

The USA style white loaves were a reward for her failure to respond. They were accompanied by a letter explaining this, signed by ICPPC’s President.

We aren’t giving-up. Spring sunshine is replacing the cold grey days of winter. Soon the farmers will have to return to the fields to plant their crops.

But the resistance will not come to an end. We’re all in it for the long-term. The Academy of Self-Sufficiency and Health, planted as it is at the heart of this resistance camp, will bring into all our minds the possibility of a life in which we are no longer slaves to the insentient and power obsessed Brussels, corporate, government cabal; but become once again independent farmers, supporting and supported by the communities in which we grow and share our real farm foods.



Julian Rose is an early pioneer of UK organic farming, an author, activist and President of The International Coalition to Protect the Polish Countryside. His acclaimed book ‘In Defence of Life’ is available from www.amazon.com and book stores, as well as from Julian’s website www.julianrose.info


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