By Dr. Mercola

While the beta-agonist drug Zilmax (Zilpaterol) has been used to promote muscle growth in American-grown cattle since 2007, news of the dramatic adverse effects of this drug didn't hit mainstream news—and hence public consciousness—until late last year.1

In early August, 2013, Tyson Food Inc issued a statement saying it would no longer purchase Zilmax-fed cattle for slaughter due to animal welfare concerns.2 The company had noticed that many of the cows that had been fed the drug had trouble walking. The cattle also displayed other behavioral issues.

Since then, Cargill Inc. has also decided to reject Zilmax-fed cattle until it is confident that any animal welfare issues associated with the drug have been resolved.

Merck, the maker of the drug, initially said it would halt US and Canadian sales of Zilmax, pending company research and review. It wasn't long however before Merck announced it had no plans to discontinue the product,3 saying the company stands behind the safety of the drug.

At present, Merck does not need approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to return Zilmax to market, as the FDA has not taken any action against the drug.

Agricultural drug use has become a major health concern for animals and humans alike, and in my view, organic, grass-fed meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really the only type of meat worth eating, if you want to maintain good health. 

It is important to understand that grass-fed animals not only produce better eggs, milk & meat - but the return to native perennial grasses is key to future.  We destroyed most of the grasslands and replaced them with monocultures like corn and soy.   We then produce hydrogenated vegetable oil and high fructose corn syrup for human consumption, and use much of the remainder for feed in concentrated animal feeding operations.

The grasslands act very much like forests, while deforestation is very well known the destruction of grasslands have similar effects.  Perennial grass farming produces more nutritious products, while work in a perfect cycle with nature.

 

Special Report Reveals Shocking Side Effects of Zilmax

Beta-agonist drugs such as Zilmax belong to a class of non-hormone drugs used as a growth promoter in livestock. As a class, beta-agonist drugs have been used in US cattle production since 2003. 

They're fed to cattle in the weeks prior to slaughter to increase weight by as much as 30 pounds of lean meat per cow. Due to the short window between administration of the drug and slaughter, as much as 20 percent of it may remain in the meat you buy. A recent special report by Reuters4 revealed some of the more horrific effects Zilmax has on cattle:

"As cattle trailers that had traveled up to four hours in 95-degree heat began to unload, 15 heifers and steers hobbled down the ramps on August 5, barely able to walk. The reason: the animals had lost their hooves, according to US Department of Agriculture documents reviewed by Reuters...

The next day... two more animals with missing hooves arrived by truck... The animals' feet were 'basically coming apart,' said Keith Belk, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University."

Merck responded to Reuters with a statement saying that:

"Several third-party experts were brought in to evaluate the situation, review the data and identify potential causes for the hoof issue... The findings from the investigation showed that the hoof loss was not due to the fact these animals had received Zilmax."

It would not, however, disclose the identities of these third-party experts; nor would they release any more details on the investigation. According to Reuters, Tyson Foods had noticed "cattle mobility issues" prior to the August 5 and 6 events that spurred the company to refuse Zilmax-fed cattle, but none of them had been quite this severe.

Increased Use of Livestock Drugs Is Cause for Concern

Merck is required by federal law to report all deaths occurring in treated animals, and Food and Drug Administration (FDA) records show at least 285 cattle have unexpectedly died or been euthanized after receiving Zilmax since the drug's introduction in 2007. At least 75 cows lost their hooves and were euthanized within the past two years. Other reported adverse effects in cattle following the administration of Zilmax include:

Stomach ulcers Brain lesions Blindness Lethargy and lameness
Bloody nose Respiratory problems Heart failure Sudden death

 

According to the featured report, it still has not been determined whether Zilmax is responsible for causing all these side effects—some of them so severe that cattle have to be euthanized. Some of the statistics are telling, however. Within the first two years of Zilmax's introduction to market, the number of euthanized cattle skyrocketed; shooting up by 175 percent compared to the pre-Zilmax range.

One working theory is that the drug might compound the adverse effects of ailments associated with confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs), such as acidosis, which results when a cow eats too many grains or sugar. Excessive heat may be another compounding factor, as well as animal genetics.

"Regardless, the episode at the Tyson plant - which hasn't been publicly disclosed until now - is coming to light at a time of growing concern over risks to animal and human health posed by the increased use of pharmaceuticals in food production," Reuters5 says.

"Livestock pharmaceuticals use is expanding as part of the push to produce more meat at lower cost... The cases of hoofless cattle also raise ethical questions about whether the drive by modern agriculture to produce greater volumes of food, as cheaply as possible, is coming at the cost of animal welfare."

Zilmax Banned for Use in Horses Due to Side Effects

Zilmax is already banned for use in horses due to severe side effects, including muscle tremors and rapid heart rates.6 According to a 2008 veterinary case report7 involving three horses that were given Zilmax:

"Within 90 minutes the horses had muscular tremors which began in the skeletal muscles of the neck, shoulder, and foreleg and spread throughout the visible skeletal muscles. Intermittent visible muscular tremors continued for up to 1 week after the initial dose of zilpaterol. They also all had certain changes to their blood chemistry, such as elevated BUN, creatinine, and glucose and mild hyponatremia and hypochloremia... Liver and kidney changes were also noted."

Ractopamine, another beta-agonist, is yet another drug used in the US, even though it's been banned in 160 other countries due to its potential health hazards. The researchers also noted that Zilmax is about 125 times more potent than ractopamine, saying this may be why side effects were overlooked in connection with ractopamine studies.

It's worth noting that, in human medicine, the same class of drugs (beta-agonists) can be found in certain asthma medications, such as Advair. One long-acting beta-agonist called salmeterol was linked to an epidemic of asthma deaths in the 1960s. Weight gain is also a common complaint among Advair users—so much so that the manufacturer has added weight gain to the post-marketing side effects. Other adverse reactions to beta-agonist drugs include increased heart rate, insomnia, headaches, and essential tremor—eerily similar to those experienced by horses. So why wouldn't the drug affect cows in a similar fashion?

Might Beta-Agonists in Meat Pose Human Health Hazards?

According to Randox Food Diagnostics,8 which has created tests for Zilmax residue in beef, use of beta-agonists prior to slaughter is of particular concern "as this poses a risk to the consumer and may result in consumer toxicity." Research findings to this effect include:

  • A 2003 study in Analytica Chimica Acta:9 residue behaviour of Zilmax in urine, plasma, muscle, liver, kidney, and retina of cattle and pig was assessed. Two heifers and 16 pigs were treated with Zilmax and slaughtered after withdrawal times varying from 1 to 10 days. The drug was detectable at each point of time examined in all matrices except plasma after a withdrawal period of 10 days. It's worth noting that in the US, the recommended market window is three to 10 days after discontinuing Zilmax10
  • A 2006 study11 on residues of Zilmax  in sheep found detectable levels in liver and muscle tissues up to nine days after discontinuation of the drug

Even before it was approved, scientists expressed concerns that beta-agonists might result in increased cardiovascular risk for consumers.12 According to an article published in the Journal of Animal Science in 1998:13

"The use of highly active beta-agonists as growth promoters is not appropriate because of the potential hazard for human and animal health, as was recently concluded at the scientific Conference on Growth Promotion in Meat Production (Nov. 1995, Brussels)."

Not All Meat Is Created Equal

I believe the movement toward ethical and sustainable meat eating is an important one, both in terms of animal welfare and human health. Agricultural drug use is indeed becoming a major health concern for animals and humans alike, courtesy of factory farming methods where efficiency and low cost is the primary objective.

Besides beta-agonist drugs like Zilmax and Ractopamine (the latter of which, by the way, is banned in 160 countries), animals raised in American confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) are also typically given a number of other drugs, including antibiotics and hormones.

You are essentially getting a concoction of drugs in every piece of meat you eat. The routine use of antibiotics alone now poses a significant threat to human health, as it has spawned a dramatic rise in antibiotic-resistant disease. Instead of their natural diet, which is plain grass, CAFO cattle are also fed a wholly unnatural diet consisting of pesticide-laden and oftentimes genetically engineered (GE) grains—primarilyGE corn and soy.

Organic, grass-fed and finished meat that is humanely raised and butchered is really about the only type of meat that is healthy to eat. By purchasing your meat from smaller farms that raise their animals in a humane fashion, according to organic principles, you're promoting the proliferation of such farms, which in the end will benefit everyone, including all the animals.

I've also previously written about the atrocities that take place in some U.S. CAFOs, where filthy, crowded conditions are the norm, and I think most people would agree that such animal abuse is inexcusable, even if they're "only" being raised for food. It would be foolish to think that the end result—the meat from these animals—would have any major health benefits.

In fact, the differences between CAFO beef and organic grass-fed beef are so vast; you're really talking about two different animals, and two separate industries with entirely different farming practices and environmental impact. The latter also tends to favor far more humane butchering practices, which is also a very important part of "ethical meat."

Rethink Your Shopping Habits, to Protect Your Family's Health

Whether you do so for ethical, environmental, or health reasons — or all of the above -- the closer you can get to the "backyard barnyard," the better. Ideally, you'll want to get all your animal products, including meat, chicken and eggs, from smaller community farms with free-ranging animals that are organically fed and locally marketed. This is the way food has been raised and distributed for centuries... before it was corrupted by politics, corporate greed, and the blaring arrogance of the food industry.

You can do this not only by visiting the farm directly, if you have one nearby, but also by taking part in farmer's markets and community-supported agriculture programs. The following organizations can also help you locate farm-fresh foods in your local area, raised in a humane, sustainable manner:

  1. Local Harvest -- This Web site will help you find farmers' markets, family farms, and other sources of sustainably grown food in your area where you can buy produce, grass-fed meats, and many other goodies.
  2. Farmers' Markets -- A national listing of farmers' markets.
  3. Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals -- The Eat Well Guide is a free online directory of sustainably raised meat, poultry, dairy, and eggs from farms, stores, restaurants, inns, and hotels, and online outlets in the United States and Canada.
  4. Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) -- CISA is dedicated to sustaining agriculture and promoting the products of small farms.
  5. FoodRoutes -- The FoodRoutes "Find Good Food" map can help you connect with local farmers to find the freshest, tastiest food possible. On their interactive map, you can find a listing for local farmers, CSAs, and markets near you.





Related Articles:

  Zilmax: Slaughterhouse Observations Raise New Concerns about This Growth-Promoting Drug

  Ractopamine: The Meat Additive Banned Almost Everywhere But America

  Beef Burgers Made of Horse Meat and Salmonella Outbreak from Ground Beef -- The Unsavory Truth of Rising Food Fraud and Contamination

 Comments (39)

By Dr. Mercola

You’re probably well-familiarized with my controversial stance on fructose. Compelling evidence shows that fructose is, by far, more harmful to your health than other sugars—especially when it’s removed from whole fruits and highly processed and genetically modified, such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) found in most processed foods.

I’ve also, as a general rule, warned you of eating too much fruit, as many fruits can be quite high in fructose.

This has caused some confusion and consternation among many readers, as fruit has long been promoted as an important part of a healthy diet. That said, there are considerations to take into account when it comes to fruit consumption—some of which are dependent on your individual and specific circumstances.

I will seek to clarify some of these points here. I believe there’s more than compelling evidence supporting the concept that high-fructose diets are a primary factor that is responsible for most chronic disease; insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes and obesity in those who eat a highly processed food diet..

I’ve long urged those struggling with these health issues, or who have hypertension, heart disease or cancer, to pay extra-careful attention to the fructose content of whole fruit in addition to other sources of fructose. Now, recent research indicates that some fruits may in fact be protective against type 2 diabetes.

Can You Reduce Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes with Your Fruit Choices?

According to a new analysis of three cohort studies, published in the British Medical Journal,1 whole fruits—particularly blueberries, grapes, prunes and apples—may in fact reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes. Conversely, consumption of fruit juices was associated with greater risk. According to senior author Qi Sun, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health:2

"While fruits are recommended as a measure for diabetes prevention, previous studies have found mixed results for total fruit consumption. Our findings provide novel evidence suggesting that certain fruits may be especially beneficial for lowering diabetes risk."

The researchers analyzed the dietary records of nearly 190,000 people who had participated in three studies from 1984 to 2008. None of the participants were diagnosed with diabetes, cardiovascular disease or cancer at the outset of the studies.

They found that those who ate blueberries, grapes and apples at least twice a week were up to 23 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes, compared to those who ate these fruits once a month or less.

I find this quite surprising as, grapes and apples are particularly high in fructose (as you can see in the chart below). It’s unclear why the authors observed this benefit here but it’s likely that the phytonutrients found in the apples and grapes are more than compensate for any potential fructose toxicity.

Antioxidants and other phytonutrients combat inflammation, which is a hallmark of diabetes and most other chronic disease. Similarly, blueberries, which are much lower in fructose, have in other studies also been found to be of benefit for diabetics primarily due to their high antioxidant content.

One antioxidant in particular, called quercetin, could potentially help explain some of the results. Apples for example, while high in fructose, contains this flavonoid, which actually blocks some of the fructose metabolism according to expert Dr. Richard Johnson. If you haven't done so yet, I recommend viewing my "What Are Apples Good For?" information page for a listing of even more benefits of apples.

Red grapes, plums and many different berries, including blueberries. also contain quercetin. I have scheduled an interview with Dr. Johnson, in which we’ll delve into this at greater depth. So keep your eye out for that interview, which should be out before year end, if you want to learn more.

Don’t Be Fooled By Fruit Juices and Smoothies

In comparison, the featured study found that those who drank one or more servings of fruit juice each day had a 21 percent higher risk for type 2 diabetes compared to the others. This is a really important point, and I’ve often highlighted the potential harm of drinking fruit juices.

You’re simply getting FAR too much fructose, not to mention the rarely mentioned methanol toxicity in any preserved juice. Furthermore, while whole fruits do contain fructose, they’re also rich in fiber, antioxidants, and a vast array of health-promoting phytochemicals.

Fruit juices, especially not pasteurized, commercially-available fruit juices have virtually none of these phytonutrients. The fiber in the whole fruits also plays a large in protecting you from a rapid and exaggerated rise in blood sugar. The fiber slows the rate at which sugar is absorbed into your bloodstream.

This also applies to fruit smoothies, which are often touted as a convenient strategy to boost your fruit and veggie intake. Unfortunately, they too contain excessive amounts of fructose, and perhaps even added sugars on top of that. As reported by the Guardian:3

“In the UK, Coca-Cola owns Innocent Smoothies while PepsiCo has Tropicana. Launching Tropicana smoothies in 2008, Pepsi's sales pitch was that the drink would help the nation to reach its five a day fruit and vegetable target.

"Smoothies are one of the easiest ways to boost daily fruit intake as each 250ml portion contains the equivalent of two fruit portions," it said at the time.

However, Popkin [professor at the department of nutrition at the University of North Carolina] says the five a day advice needs to change. Drink vegetable juice, he says, but not fruit juice. "Think of eating one orange or two and getting filled," he said. "Now think of drinking a smoothie with six oranges and two hours later it does not affect how much you eat.

The entire literature shows that we feel full from drinking beverages like smoothies but it does not affect our overall food intake, whereas eating an orange does. So pulped-up smoothies do nothing good for us but do give us the same amount of sugar as four to six oranges or a large coke. It is deceiving."

Revisiting Fruit Consumption

I recently interviewed Dr. Brian Clement of the Hippocrates Institute, where they teach raw veganism. Interestingly enough, they also strongly advise most people avoid eating fruits. One of the primary reasons for their stand against fruits is because of the hybridization of fruits, which has made them up to 50 times sweeter than their ancient ancestors. Many fruits have been selectively and purposely bred for increased sweetness, which has also resulted in reduced phytochemical content. This hybridization and subsequent deterioration of healthful nutrition in whole foods was highlighted in a New York Times4 article published earlier this summer.

The dramatically increased fructose content of otherwise natural and “wholesome” fruits is the primary problem with high fruit consumption, and this is why I’m leery of very high-fruit diets.

Many of the most beneficial phytonutrients found in fruits actually have a bitter, sour or astringent taste, but to satisfy the palate, farmers have, throughout time, opted to selectively breed the sweetest varieties. Today, the “candification” of food is being taken to a whole new level, and if you’re stuck on the idea that all fruit is good for you, you may end up in a real metabolic pickle... For example, according to a recent report in the Los Angeles Times,5 one fruit breeder has created a type of grape called the Cotton Candy grape, which is absolutely bound to be just as problematic as any other junk food!

“Bite into one of these green globes and the taste triggers the unmistakable sensation of eating a puffy, pink ball of spun sugar,” the article states. “By marrying select traits across thousands of nameless trial grapes, Cain and other breeders have developed patented varieties that pack enough sugar they may as well be Skittles on the vine. That's no accident. "We're competing against candy bars and cookies," said Cain, 62, a former scientist at the US Department of Agriculture who now heads research at privately owned International Fruit Genetics in Bakersfield.”

In light of these issues, let me restate my recommendations on fruit and fructose consumption as simply as possible:

  1. If you’re insulin- or leptin resistant (are overweight, diabetic, hypertensive, or have high cholesterol), which includes about 80 percent of Americans, then it would be advisable for you to limit your fruit intake. As a general rule, I recommend limiting your fructose intake to a maximum of 15 grams of fructose per day from ALL sources, including whole fruit.
  2. If you are not insulin/leptin resistant, (are normal weight without diabetes, hypertension or high cholesterol) and regularly engage in strenuous physical activity or manual labor, then higher fructose intake is unlikely to cause any health problems. In this case, you can probably eat more fruit without giving it much thought.
  3. However if you are in category two above you might benefit from a further refinement. Fruit will still increase your blood sugar and many experts believe this will increase your protein glycosylation. So my approach is to consume the fruit typically after a workout as your body will use the sugar as fuel rather than raise your blood sugar.
  4. Additionally ,if you’re an endurance athlete, you can probably get away with eating fairly large amounts of fruits, since your body will use most of the glucose during exercise, so it won’t be stored as fat. (That said, I still believe athletes would be well-advised to consider becoming fat adapted rather than relying on quick sugars. This is outside the scope of this article, however, so for more information, please see this previous article).
  5. If you’re still unsure of just how stringent you need to be, get your uric acid levels checked, and use that as a guide. I’ll review this in more detail in the section below.

Using Your Uric Acid Level as a Marker for Fructose Toxicity

I’ve previously interviewed Dr. Richard Johnson about his research into the health dangers of fructose, specifically how fructose causes high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes, revealed in his excellent book, The Sugar Fix. He’s also the chief of the division of kidney disease and hypertension at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Johnson’s research suggests that your uric acid levels can be effectively used as a marker for fructose toxicity; meaning, an indicator of just how significant of an impact fructose has on your individual body and health. As such, it can help you gauge just how careful you need to be in your food selections.

According to the latest research in this area, the safest range of uric acid is between 3 and 5.5 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl), and there appears to be a steady relationship between uric acid levels and blood pressure and cardiovascular risk, even down to the range of 3 to 4 mg/dl. What this means is that if you have a level of 4 mg/dl for men and 3.5 mg/dl for women, you probably are at a very low risk for fructose toxicity and can be more liberal with the fructose limits given above. The higher your uric acid though, the more you need to limit, or even avoid, fructose until your uric acid level normalizes.

Using this biochemical marker, I came to realize that I am particularly sensitive to fructose, and that it’s best for me, personally, to keep my fructose consumption as low as possible. This is most likely due to genetics and would explain why most of my paternal relatives have, or have died from, diabetes. That side of the family is probably particularly sensitive to fructose. Dr. Johnson has developed a program to help people optimize their uric acid levels, and the key step in this program is complete elimination of fructose, until your levels are within the ideal range of 3-5.5 mg/dl.

Helpful Fructose Chart for Common Fruits

Again, most people will need to limit your fructose to 25 grams of fructose per day from all sources, or less, while endurance athletes could have more. The chart below is excerpted from Dr. Johnson’s book, The Sugar Fix, which contains more details on the fructose content of common foods. His latest book, The Fat Switch, also gives further details on HOW fructose impacts your body, contributing to excess weight and chronic health problems.

Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Limes 1 medium 0
Lemons 1 medium 0.6
Cranberries 1 cup 0.7
Passion fruit 1 medium 0.9
Prune 1 medium 1.2
Apricot 1 medium 1.3
Guava 2 medium 2.2
Date (Deglet Noor style) 1 medium 2.6
Cantaloupe 1/8 of med. melon 2.8
Raspberries 1 cup 3.0
Clementine 1 medium 3.4
Kiwifruit 1 medium 3.4
Blackberries 1 cup 3.5
Star fruit 1 medium 3.6
Cherries, sweet 10 3.8
Strawberries 1 cup 3.8
Cherries, sour 1 cup 4.0
Pineapple 1 slice
(3.5" x .75")
4.0
Grapefruit, pink or red 1/2 medium 4.3
Fruit Serving Size Grams of Fructose
Boysenberries 1 cup 4.6
Tangerine/mandarin orange 1 medium 4.8
Nectarine 1 medium 5.4
Peach 1 medium 5.9
Orange (navel) 1 medium 6.1
Papaya 1/2 medium 6.3
Honeydew 1/8 of med. melon 6.7
Banana 1 medium 7.1
Blueberries 1 cup 7.4
Date (Medjool) 1 medium 7.7
Apple (composite) 1 medium 9.5
Persimmon 1 medium 10.6
Watermelon 1/16 med. melon 11.3
Pear 1 medium 11.8
Raisins 1/4 cup 12.3
Grapes, seedless (green or red) 1 cup 12.4
Mango 1/2 medium 16.2
Apricots, dried 1 cup 16.4
Figs, dried 1 cup 23.0

What About Fruit Juices?

One of the profound highlights revealed in the featured study was the dramatic difference in health outcome between eating whole fruits versus drinking fruit juice. It’s important to realize that fruit juice typically contains very high concentrations of fructose, which will cause your insulin to spike and may counter the benefits of the antioxidants.

Previous studies have already clearly demonstrated that drinking large amounts of fruit juice dramatically increases your risk of obesity. Children are at particular risk here, since so many children are given juice whenever they’re thirsty instead of plain water. For example, research has revealed that 3- and 4-year-olds who carry extra weight and drink just one to two sweet drinks a day double their risk of becoming seriously overweight just one year later.

Furthermore, when buying commercial fruit juice, you need to check the label, as the majority of fruit juices contain high fructose corn syrup and artificial flavors in addition to concentrated fruit juice. That said, even freshly squeezed fruit juice can contain about eight full teaspoons of fructose per eight-ounce glass! So, as a general rule, it’s wise for most to severely restrict your consumption of fruit juice, especially if your uric acid is above the ideals recommended. Also, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease or cancer, you’d be best off avoiding fruit juices altogether until you’ve normalized your uric acid and insulin levels.

Within Certain Limits, Fruit is OK for Most People

Going back to the issue of genetic variability, it seems that some people may be able to process fructose more efficiently, and the key to assess this susceptibility to fructose damage lies in evaluating your uric acid levels. I believe this is an ideal way for most people to personalize the recommendations on fructose intake.

Aside from that, I believe most will benefit from restricting their fructose to 25 grams a day; and as little as 15 grams a day if you’re diabetic or have chronic health issues. This includes fructose from whole fruits. So I’m not advocating fruit avoidance for everyone; I’m simply placing fruit in the category of a fructose-rich food that needs to be included when you’re calculating your fructose intake.

If you choose low-fructose fruits, such as blueberries, you can eat more of it than if you choose a fruit high in fructose. Other low-fructose fruits include fresh apricots, lemons, limes, passion fruit, plums and raspberries. Also remember that avocado is actually a fruit too. It’s very low in fructose, and high in healthful fat, making it an excellent choice. Endurance athletes and others who engage in strenuous activities and who are neither overweight nor have chronic health issues probably do not need to concern themselves too much with their fruit consumption however.





Related Articles:

  Latest News on Fructose

  Surprising Health Hazards Associated with All-Fruit Diet

  Fructose Watch: The 9 Healthiest Fruits You Can Eat

 Comments (172)

By Dr. Mercola

The United States is the number one per capita consumer of corn in the world. As expounded in books like The Omnivore's Dilemma by Michael Pollan, high-fructose corn syrup and other corn-derivatives work their way into nearly every kind of processed food on the market.

In the US, corn is one of the top four most heavily subsidized food crops, so farmers have every reason to plant plenty of it.

Unfortunately, since corn is a grain, it breaks down to sugar very rapidly and typically increases your insulin resistance if regularly consumed. Elevated insulin levels in turn are linked to most chronic degenerative diseases, including everything from obesity and diabetes to premature aging.

Making matters worse, the vast majority of American-grown corn is also genetically engineered (GE) to produce Bt toxin (a pesticide that kills bugs by making their stomachs explode), which is then consumed by you.

Studies now show that, contrary to industry assurances, this built-in Bt toxin survives the journey through your digestive system, and can make you allergic to a wide range of substances. This is in stark contrast to naturally produced Bt toxin which is rapidly broken down in the environment and never makes it to your stomach.

As Corn Became King, a Fast-Food Nation Was Born

The featured documentary, King Corn1, follows two college buddies, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, as they set out to learn more about corn—how it’s grown, and how it ends up in so many of our foods. As stated in the film’s synopsis:

“With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat—and how we farm.”

Far from providing us with critical nutrition, US agricultural policies contribute to the declining health of Americans and worsens the out-of-control obesity epidemic. Current farm subsidies bring you high-fructose corn syrup, fast food, junk food, corn-fed beef raised in CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), monoculture, and a host of other contributors to our unhealthful contemporary diet.

And as stated in the film, were you to grow corn without these government assistance payments, you’d be virtually guaranteed to lose money. The farm subsidies are what’s keeping the wheel of this cheap food ingredient rolling. In short, as stated in a recent research paper2:

“Government-issued payments have skewed agricultural markets toward the overproduction of commodities that are the basic ingredients of processed, energy-dense foods.”

Do You Know How Much Corn You’re Eating Every Day?

A conservative estimate3 of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) consumption suggests Americans over the age of two consume an average of 132 calories a day from HFCS, with the top 20 percent of consumers ingesting an average of 316 calories from HFCS daily. This is bound to have significant health consequences.

For an excellent scientific analysis on fructose, I suggest reading the report titled: "Fructose, Weight Gain, and the Insulin Resistance Syndrome,4" published in one of my favorite nutritional journals, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. It will open your eyes to some of the major problems associated with this sweetener. Other statistics included in the film include the following:

  • Over the past 15 years, taxpayers have paid corn farmers more than $77 billion in subsidies; yes that is billion with a “b”
  • More than 75 percent of farm subsidies are paid to a mere 10 percent of America’s farmers
  • Since the late 1970s, the real price of fruits and vegetables have risen by 30 percent, while the price for soda has decreased by 34 percent

According to a 2011 report5 by the non-profit U.S. PIRG called “Apples to Twinkies,” each year, your tax dollars (in the form of agricultural subsidies) would allow you to buy 19 Twinkies, but less than a quarter of one red delicious apple!

So far, public health officials have had little to say about any of this, yet it seems quite clear that they should. The US farm subsidy program is completely upside down, subsidizing junk food in one federal office, while across the hall another department is funding an anti-obesity campaign. This hypocrisy shows just how broken and wasteful our regulatory system really is.

Worst of all, the farm bill creates a negative feedback loop that perpetuates the highly profitable standard American diet, so the US government is, in essence, subsidizing obesity and chronic disease. With the 2013 Farm Bill set to be finalized by the end of September 2013, this could be a key time to implement important policy changes in the near future.

Redesigning the System Could Help Fight Obesity and Protect the Environment

The time is ripe for change, and redesigning the system could help move us toward economic, and nutritional, recovery. If we're going to subsidize farmers, let's subsidize in a way that helps restore the health of American citizens and our land—programs that might just pay for themselves by the reduction in healthcare costs they bring about. Two years ago, Mark Brittman of the New York Times6 argued that subsidy money could easily be redirected toward helping smaller farmers to compete in the marketplace in a number of ways. For example, funds could be redirected toward:

  • Funding research and innovation in sustainable agriculture
  • Providing incentives to attract new farmers
  • Saving farmland from development
  • Assisting farmers who grow currently unsubsidized fruits and vegetables, while providing incentives for monoculture commodity farmers (corn, soy, wheat, rice) to convert some of their operations to more desirable foods
  • Leveling the playing field so that medium-sized farms can more favorably compete with agribusiness as suppliers for local supermarkets

FoodCorps—Turning Corn Fields Into School Gardens

King Corn co-creator Curt Ellis is also Co-Founder and Executive Director of the national nonprofit organization FoodCorps, which came up with the ingenious idea of turning acres of corn into school gardens:

“FoodCorps recruits leaders for a year of full-time public service in high-obesity, limited-resource public schools. Service members deliver food and nutrition education that teaches kids what healthy food is, build and tend school gardens that engage children and parents in growing fresh food in the schoolyard, and team up with farmers and chefs to get healthy, high-quality ingredients into school lunch.”

Since mid-August 2012, FoodCorps has started 411 garden projects in 10 states with the help of close to 3,300 community volunteers, and have harvested nearly 29,600 pounds of fresh produce for local schools. To learn more about the program, please see the FoodCorps website.7

Help Support Small Farms with a Farm Bill That Works

If you don't like the idea of your tax dollars lining the pockets of wealthy corporations that flood the market with sugary beverages and processed foods laden with HFCS, join forces with organizations that are actively working for positive change. Here are three different actions you can take:

  • The Environmental Working Group has started a petition urging Congress to enact a Farm Bill that protects family farmers who help us protect the environment and public health. Take a moment to sign it now.
  • Sign up with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition to keep abreast of news and action alerts relating to the 2013 Farm Bill.
  • Join Food Democracy Now, an organization co-founded by King Corn director Aaron Woolf.

Of course, you can also voice your opinion every day by voting with your wallet and supporting small family farms in your area. Even if it means buying just one or two items at your local farmers market, instead of the big box store, those little purchases add up.

Say no to junk food producers by not buying it, and return to a diet of real, whole foods—fresh organic produce, meats from animals raised sustainably on pasture, without cruelty, and raw organic milk and eggs. Eating this way will earn you a long, healthy life—whereas the typical American diet may set you on the path toward obesity and chronic disease.





Related Articles:

  Dangerous Toxins From Genetically Modified Corn Found in Blood of Women and Fetuses

  Do You Have ANY Idea How Absurd U.S. Farm Subsidies Are?

  The Root Cause of Excess Flab Almost Everyone Ignores

 Comments (71)

By Dr. Mercola

Fast Food, Fat Profits gives a quick overview of what’s wrong with the US food industry, and how its inherent design virtually guarantees a sick, overweight population.

From food deserts and cheap fast food to soda that’s marketed directly to children and a revolving door between food agencies and the government, the system is very much stacked against healthy eating... and healthy people.

If your meals consist of $1 burgers and super-size drinks, your diet may be cheap, but it is also excessively high in grains, sugars, and factory-farmed meats. This is a recipe for obesity, diabetes and heart disease, just to name a few of the conditions that commonly befall those who consume "the Standard American Diet."

Why Is a Fast-Food Meal Cheaper Than Healthy Food?

Many people realize that they can get a value meal at numerous fast-food restaurants for far less money than it takes to purchase foods to make a healthy meal for their family.

Adding to the problem, many on the most limited food budgets, such as those who receive food assistance dollars, live in "food deserts" – areas without grocery stores, and perhaps only a convenience store or a fast-food restaurant where they can purchase their food.

While it’s certainly possible to eat healthy on a limited budget, this first requires that you understand what constitutes a healthy meal, and then that you have access to such foods, which is not always the case.

Meanwhile, instead of ensuring that all Americans have access to healthy foods, the US government is actively supporting a diet that consists of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), soybean oil, corn oil and grain-fed cattle, a direct result of their flawed farm subsidy system.

The junk foods are made even cheaper through the use of unhealthy filler ingredients and preservatives that prevent spoiling, with the end result being that the very worst foods for your health are often significantly cheaper to buy.

Kids Are Eating Turkey Sandwiches with 100 Other Ingredients...

Perhaps nowhere are the problems with the food system more apparent than in US schools, where kids are served processed food products that only vaguely resemble actual fresh food. In Fast Food, Fat Profits, one chef is shocked to see that turkey sandwiches slated for the next school lunch contain 100 ingredients!

What this cocktail of chemicals is ultimately doing to our population is difficult to pin down, but food additives like preservatives, artificial flavors and colors and MSG have already been linked to behavioral problems, ADHD and cancer, among other conditions. But, again, many assume that the burger from a fast-food joint is equivalent to one they’d make in their own kitchen... a far cry from reality.

For instance, the McRib sandwich from McDonald’s, described as pork, barbecue sauce, slivered onions and tart pickles, served on a hoagie style bun, actually contains more than 70 ingredients and even the ‘pork’ allegedly consists of restructured meat product (made from all the less expensive innards and castoffs from the pig).

Unfortunately, some parents are unaware that feeding their kids fast-food meals is like feeding them a chemistry experiment, or they are simply lured in by the low prices and tasty (albeit artificial and addictive) flavors.

The Revolving Door Between the Food Industry and the Government Is Ever Turning

Many Americans also believe, mistakenly, that food sold on US soil must be good for them, or else the state and federal regulatory agencies would be taking action. But this ideal is laughable when those same government officials work for the very food companies they are supposed to be regulating.

Take, for instance, John Bode, a Washington attorney who served on the Senate Agriculture Committee staff and held three presidential appointments at the Agriculture Department. He became president and CEO of the Corn Refiners Association in May of this year.

Then there’s Catherine Woteki, US Department of Agriculture (USDA) chief scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education, and Economics, who previously served as Global Director of Scientific Affairs for Mars, Inc. Michael Taylor, a former vice president of public policy and chief lobbyist at Monsanto Company, who became the deputy commissioner for foods at the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is yet another example.

There are other close connections that most of the public isn’t aware of either. Dairy Management, which also includes the National Dairy Council, has been aggressively marketing cheese to restaurant chains in efforts to increase sales. But we’re not talking about simply promoting consumption of a piece of cheddar cheese or a block of Gouda... this includes fast-food restaurants selling junk-food products like:

  • Pizza Hut's Cheesy Bites pizza
  • Wendy's dual Double Melt sandwich concept
  • Burger King's Cheesy Angus Bacon cheeseburger and TenderCrisp chicken sandwich (both of which contained three slices of cheese plus a "cheesy sauce")

In other words, the government is not your ally here. They are working alongside fast-food giants like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Wendy’s and others to get you to eat more of their junk-food products, which happen to contain lots of (highly processed) cheese!

Should Soda Be Banned from Food Stamp Programs?

Most Americans are drinking far too much soda and other sugary drinks, a key culprit in rising rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes and related conditions. Some brands, like Chubby’s from the Caribbean, are even marketed directly to children (and feature bottles designed to fit in a small child’s hand).

But, as the video highlighted, now a group of health associations, physicians and nutrition experts are calling for pilot programs that would restrict the purchase of sugary drinks by people using the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). This is already done for alcohol and tobacco, but the move to regulate what types of food and drinks a person is able to buy is new territory.

Increasing regulations like these may not be the solution, however, especially if the money spent on soda is simply put toward more heavily processed foods. While farmer’s markets do occasionally make it into the ghetto (and some do accept food stamps), the farmer's market is an occasional institution, operating just one day a week. Fast-food franchises, on the other hand, pump out low-nutrient fare seven days a week, 365 days a year.

While it's possible to make the healthy choice, under these conditions, it's not easy.

There’s no denying, of course, that processed foods, whether soda or potato chips, will eat up your grocery budget in the blink of an eye, and will cause disease in the long-term. In reality, any money spent on junk food is a waste, and purging these items from your grocery list is the first step to eating right on a budget. Some of the healthiest foods are incredibly affordable, even under $1 a serving, such as:

  • Raw organic milk
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Two cage-free organic eggs
  • Avocado, berries and broccoli
  • Home-grown sunflower sprouts
  • Fermented foods you make at home

What’s the Real Cost of Eating Cheap Food?

Fast Food, Fat Profits highlights what is arguably one of the most disturbing health trends of the 21st century – the fact that today’s generation may be the first to live a shorter lifespan than their parents, and this is a direct result of too much cheap (nutrient-deficient and toxin-laden) food. Avoiding processed food requires a change in mindset, which is not always an easy task. It CAN be done, however. Rather than looking at processed foods as a convenience that tastes good or saves money, try thinking of it as:

  • Extra calories that will harm your body
  • A toxic concoction of foreign chemicals and artificial flavors that will lead to disease
  • A waste of your money
  • Likely to lead to increased health care bills for you and your family
  • Not something to give to children, whose bodies are still developing and therefore are both much more susceptible to cancer and in greater need of nutrients

Your goal should be to strive for 90 percent non-processed, whole food. Not only will you enjoy the health benefits—especially if you buy mostly organic—but you'll also get the satisfaction of knowing exactly what you're putting into your body, and that in and of itself can be a great feeling. It may cost more to eat this way, but then again it might not. (And in the long run the amount it will save you in the long run is immeasurable.)

Are You Trying to Eat Healthy on a Budget?

While it may not be immediately obvious for people who have grown up relying on ready-made, pre-packaged foods and snacks, you can replace those foods with something equally satisfying that will support, rather than wreck, your health. This requires some strategy, especially if you're working with a tight budget, but it can be done:

  1. Identify a Person to Prepare Meals. Someone has to invest some time in the kitchen. It will be necessary for either you, your spouse, or perhaps someone in your family prepare the meals from locally grown healthful foods. This includes packing lunches for your kids to take to school.
  2. Become resourceful: This is an area where your grandmother can be a wealth of information, as how to use up every morsel of food and stretch out a good meal was common knowledge to generations past. Seek to get back to the basics of cooking – using the bones from a roast chicken to make stock for a pot of soup, extending a Sunday roast to use for weekday dinners, learning how to make hearty stews from inexpensive cuts of meat, using up leftovers and so on.
  3. Plan your meals: If you fail to plan you are planning to fail. This is essential, as you will need to be prepared for mealtimes in advance to be successful. Ideally, this will involve scouting out your local farmer's markets for in-season produce that is priced to sell, and planning your meals accordingly, but you can also use this same premise with supermarket sales.
  4. You can generally plan a week of meals at a time, make sure you have all ingredients necessary on hand, and then do any prep work you can ahead of time so that dinner is easy to prepare if you're short on time in the evenings.

    It is no mystery that you will be eating lunch around noon every day so rather than rely on fast food at work, before you go to bed make a plan as to what you are going to take to work the next day. This is a marvelous simple strategy that will let you eat healthier, especially if you take healthy food from home in to work.

  5. Avoid food waste: According to a study published in the journal PloS One,1 Americans waste an estimated 1,400 calories of food per person, each and every day. The two steps above will help you to mitigate food waste in your home. You may also have seen my article titled "14 Ways to Save Money on Groceries." Among those tips are suggestions for keeping your groceries fresher, longer, and I suggest reviewing those tips now.
  6. Buy organic animal foods. The most important foods to buy organic are animal, not vegetable, products (meat, eggs, butter, etc.), because animal foods tend to concentrate pesticides in higher amounts. If you cannot afford to buy all of your food organic, opt for organic animal foods first.
  7. Keep costs down on grass-fed beef. Pasture-finished beef is far healthier than grain-fed beef (which I don't recommend consuming). To keep cost down, look for inexpensive roasts or ground meat. You may also save money by buying an entire side of beef (or splitting one with two or three other families), if you have enough freezer space to store it.
  8. Buy in bulk when non-perishable items go on sale. If you are fortunate to live near a buyer's club or a co-op, you may also be able to take advantage of buying by the pound from bins, saving both you and the supplier the cost of expensive packaging.
  9. Frequent farmer's markets or grow your own produce. You may be surprised to find out that by going directly to the source you can get amazingly healthy, locally grown, organic food for less than you can find at your supermarket. This gives you the best of both worlds: food that is grown near to you, cutting down on its carbon footprint and giving you optimal freshness, as well as grown without chemicals, genetically modified seeds, and other potential toxins.

Just as restaurants are able to keep their costs down by getting food directly from a supplier, you, too, can take advantage of a direct farm-to-consumer relationship, either on an individual basis or by joining a food coop in your area. Many farmer's markets are now accepting food stamps, so this is an opportunity most everyone can join in on.





Related Articles:

  “Food Babe” – A Woman on a Mission to Change the Food Industry, and How You Can Too

  Is it Possible to Eat Healthy on a Food Stamp Budget?

  The Root Cause of Excess Flab Almost Everyone Ignores

 Comments (99)

By Dr. Mercola

Agricultural policies in the US are contributing to the poor health of Americans, and, specifically, government-issued agricultural subsidies are worsening the US obesity epidemic, concluded a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.1

At the root of the issue?

Government-issued payments have skewed agricultural markets toward the overproduction of commodities that are the basic ingredients of processed, energy-dense foods,” the researchers wrote.

This includes corn, wheat, soybeans and rice, which are the top four most heavily subsidized foods.

By subsidizing these, particularly corn and soy, the US government is actively supporting a diet that consists of these grains in their processed form, namely high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), soybean oil, and grain-fed cattle – all of which are now well-known contributors to obesity and chronic diseases.

Despite this widespread knowledge, public health officials have had little to say about this agricultural practice, yet it seems quite clear that they should. With the 2013 Farm Bill set to be finalized by the end of September 2013, this could be a key time to implement important policy changes in the near future.

The Farm Subsidy Program Is Junk — Literally

The US farm subsidy program is upside down, subsidizing junk food in one federal office, while across the hall another department is funding an anti-obesity campaign. This hypocrisy shows just how broken and wasteful our regulatory system really is.

Farm subsidies bring you high-fructose corn syrup, fast food, junk food, CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations), monoculture, and a host of other contributors to our unhealthful contemporary diet.

Why would a farmer choose to plant lettuce or Swiss chard when the government will essentially "insure" their corn crops, paying them back if the market prices fall below a set floor price? Likewise with wheat and soybeans, the second and third most heavily subsidized crops, respectively.

Most of them wouldn't… and that's why the US diet is so heavily loaded with foods based on the surplus, nutritionally devoid crops of corn, wheat and soy. One of the effects of the farm bill is creating a negative feedback loop that perpetuates the highly profitable standard American diet. The US government is, in essence, subsidizing obesity and chronic disease!

As the new study reported:2

“American agricultural policy has traditionally failed to offer incentives or support for fruit and vegetable production. Farmers are penalized for growing specialty crops (such as fruits and vegetables)

If they have received federal farm payments to grow other crops. In other words, federal farm subsidies promote unsustainable agriculture while also failing to reward good stewardship.

Further, although farmers may generate higher marketplace revenue from fresh produce, substantially lower economic security makes growing fruits and vegetables a risky proposition in an already risky industry.”

Just Eight Crops Make Up Virtually All of US Cropland

If you’ve ever wondered why corn and soy products are so ubiquitous not only in US processed foods but as feed for livestock, including cattle, you need look no further than the makeup of US cropland. It’s reported:3

“In 2004, 96% of U.S. cropland was dominated by the eight main commodity crops: corn (30%); soybeans (29%); wheat (23%); cotton (5%); sorghum (3%); barley (2%); oats (2%); and rice (1%).

According to the American Soybean Association, 70% of the fats and oils consumed by Americans are soy oil, found primarily in cooking oils, baking, and frying fats. A large percentage of cropland is cultivated on a 2-year rotation that favors soy one year and corn the next, another purported contributor to obesity.

A conservative estimate of high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) consumption suggests a daily average of 132 calories for all Americans aged > 2 years, with the top 20% of consumers ingesting an average of 316 calories from HFCS per day.

Another important contribution of grains and oilseeds to the prevalence of obesity is their use as feed for livestock… As grain-fed livestock contribute to the oversupply of the commodities required to feed them, the harmful effects of grain and oilseed production are as widespread as they are indirect.”

Farm Subsidies Favor Large Corporate Farms, Force Small Farms Out of Business

Many are under the mistaken impression that farm subsidies are beneficial to small farmers, allowing them to stay afloat in years of poor harvests. Yet commodity subsidies are overwhelmingly going out to a select few mega farms -- not to the small farmers who need them most! In fact, the broken farm subsidy system is responsible for not only encouraging monoculture but also for putting many small farmers out of business -- while corporate-owned mega-farms grow ever larger.

Researchers continued:4

“Subsidies also have resulted in fewer farms and diminished agricultural diversity. Large farms often devote their entire capital and experience to producing one or two commodities, leaving smaller players to be regularly winnowed out at the profit of corporate farms and contractors. In 2001, large farms, which constitute 7% of the total, received 45% of federal subsidies, whereas small farms, constituting 76% of the total, received 14% of total payments.

Between 2003 and 2007, the top 10% of subsidized farmers received an annual average of $68,030, whereas the bottom 80% averaged $2312. Disproportionately allocated subsidies have contributed to forcing hundreds of small, biodiverse farms out of business at the profit of industrialized food processing.”

Farm Subsidies Are No Longer a Needs-Based System

While farm subsidies initially were created to protect staple crops during times of war, reduce crop surpluses and provide monetary support to farmers when crop prices fell, today mega-farms receive subsidies whether they need them or not. The transition away from a needs-based system came in 1996, when lawmakers developed a "market transition" payment system for farmers.

The idea was to phase out the subsidies over a seven-year transition period, during which farmers would receive an annual fixed cash payment based upon the number of acres on the farm (these direct payments were given as long as the land was not developed -- even if nothing was planted). Of course, this ensures that the largest farms also receive the largest payments, and contrary to its original intent, the payments have not declined annually nor has the program gone away.  As the Environmental Working Group (EWG) explained:5

The industrial agriculture lobby has been defending the controversial “direct payment” form of taxpayer-funded subsidies ever since they were first authorized. These fixed, automatic checks go out every year to the largest growers of commodity crops, such as corn and cotton, whether farmers need them or not and despite the fact that farm household income has eclipsed average U.S. household income. Farm income for the largest operations, in particular, has soared sky high.”

And if you thought this all couldn't get any more outrageous… it can, as it's been revealed that under this absurd system, even dead farmers have received payments from the government. So have non-farmers who moved into residential areas that once were farmland, along with wealthy farmers who have received annual payments even when they are no longer growing the subsidized crop.

To Put It All in Perspective, Check Out Peter Jennings’ Classic Video

A classic video on the US government's fatally flawed agricultural subsidy programs, and how they affect your nutritional choices and health, is "How to Get Fat Without Really Trying" with Peter Jennings. Although it's several years old and Peter has passed away, the video still speaks the truth because virtually nothing has changed. If anything, the situation has, sadly, actually worsened.

Redesigning the System Could Help Fight Obesity and Protect the Environment

The time is ripe for change, and redesigning the system could help move us toward economic, and nutritional, recovery. The money is already there, but if we're going to subsidize, let's subsidize in a way that helps restore the health of our citizens and our land—programs that might just pay for themselves by the reduction in healthcare costs they bring about. The researchers noted:6

“A redesign of the subsidy system, rather than its elimination, is likely to yield more sustainable changes in the agricultural industry. Such revision could take the form of decoupling income supports from program-specific crops, and rewards for agricultural diversification.

The trickle-down effect of providing increased government support to farms growing sustainable, bio-diverse crops would not only help farmers reap greater economic benefits (as fruits and vegetables are among the products with the highest farm-retail value) but would contribute to large-scale efforts to address obesity by increasing the availability of fresh produce. Overall, government and public health activists should support policies that help disincentivize monocultural overproduction, not policies that fuel it.”

It sounds so logical, so obvious, doesn’t it? Yet it is the exact opposite of what is currently being done with farm subsidies. Mark Brittman of the New York Times similarly argued, back in 2011, that subsidy money, which is already IN the budget, could be redirected toward helping smaller farmers to compete in the marketplace.7 The money could be redirected, for example, in the following ways:

  • Funding research and innovation in sustainable agriculture
  • Providing incentives to attract new farmers
  • Saving farmland from development
  • Assisting farmers who grow currently unsubsidized fruits and vegetables, while providing incentives for monoculture commodity farmers (corn, soy, wheat, rice) to convert some of their operations to more desirable foods
  • Leveling the playing field so that medium-sized farms can more favorably compete with agribusiness as suppliers for local supermarkets

Help Support Small Farms with a Farm Bill That Works

If you don't like the idea of your tax dollars lining the pockets of wealthy corporations that flood the market with sugary sodas, soybean oil and corn chips, now is the time to speak up. The Environmental Working Group has started a petition urging Congress to enact a Farm Bill that protects family farmers who help us protect the environment and public health, and you can sign it now.

But remember, you can also voice your opinion every day by voting with your wallet. Support small family farms in your area. Even if it means buying just one or two items at your local farmers market, instead of the big box store, those little purchases add up.

Return to a diet of real, whole foods—fresh organic produce, meats from animals raised sustainably on pasture, without cruelty, and raw organic milk and eggs. Say no to junk food producers by not buying it. Eating this way will earn you a long, healthy life—whereas the typical American diet may set you on the path toward obesity and chronic disease.



Sources:


Related Articles:

  Do You Have ANY Idea How Absurd U.S. Farm Subsidies Are?

  The Root Cause of Excess Flab Almost Everyone Ignores

  The 9 Foods the U.S. Government is Paying You to Eat

 Comments (33)

Next Page →