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Archive | Eco-Living & Health

Interview: Journalist, Author Joanna Blythman Cracks the Code of Processed Foods and Marketing

The Dark Side of Food

Joanna joanna-blythman-photo_c-alan-peebles-rights-clearedBlythman’s most recent book, Swallow This, is one of the best ever written about the plague of manufactured food that has afflicted us for lo, these many years. Balancing outrage with a supple command of the facts and a razor wit, Blythman’s book offers an eminently accessible and lucid account of what makes manufactured food different from real food, as well as the myriad methods manufacturers and retailers keep trying to put one over even on the most conscientious food shoppers. All of us, even if we avoid it religiously, have to live with the consequences of soaring health care budgets and life in a society where incredible numbers of people rarely cook and eat dinner together as people did for many centuries. It turns out Blythman has been hiding in plain sight in the British press for many years, accessible to Americans only via newspaper and magazine websites until the publication of Swallow This, the first of her many books to cross the pond. Born in Glasgow, the daughter of Scottish activist and songwriter Morris Blythman, she has won many awards for her writing, including a 2007 Good Housekeeping award for Outstanding Contribution to Food. She regularly appears on broadcast media in the U.K. as well as in the columns of The Guardian and other outlets.

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Interview: Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride Discusses the Science behind GAPS, Modern Nutrition Woes

Healing the Body and Mind Through the Gut

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBrideAcres U.S.A. is North America’s monthly magazine of ecological agriculture. Each month we conduct an in-depth interview with a thought leader. The following interview appeared in our April 2016 issue and was too important not to share widely.

Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride is a warm, gracious woman with a revolutionary mission — helping people to heal their minds and bodies and avoid a wide array of disorders and illnesses by focusing on supporting gut health. The experience of having a child with autism propelled her to look beyond the confines of conventional medicine and to become a medical pioneer. She is best known for the GAPS Nutritional Protocol. GAPS is the acronym for both Gut and Psychology Syndrome and Gut and Physiology Syndrome. Campbell-McBride graduated with Honors as a medical doctor in Russia in 1984 and later received a graduate degree in Neurology. After working as a neurologist and a neurosurgeon for a total of eight years, she started a family and moved to England. During that time she developed her theories on the relationship between neurological disorders and nutrition, and completed a second graduate degree in Human Nutrition at Sheffield University, UK. In 2000 she started the Cambridge Nutrition Clinic, where she specializes in nutritional approaches to treat learning disabilities and other psychological disorders, as well as digestive and immune disorders, in both children and adults.

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Joel Salatin: Communicating Ecological Eating

This article first appeared in the February 2016 issue of Acres U.S.A.

Six Key Messages for Consumer Outreach


by Joel Salatin

Joel Salatin believes ecological farmers must constantly teach consumers ecological eating.As farmers, we enjoy conversations about soil, water, animal husbandry, horticulture and every other kind of production nuance. That’s as it should be. But all of this production is meaningless without someone to use it.

Obviously the industrial food system has a lot of users. Whether those users are lazy, ignorant, evil or just plain unconscious is anybody’s guess. But if we’re ever going to get ecological farming more widely practiced, we obviously need more ecological eaters.

How do we move ecological farming forward fastest? Is it by converting farmers, or converting people who buy our stuff? Certainly both need attention, but I’ll submit that we don’t put enough responsibility on customers. While we farmers shoulder the brunt of accusations regarding depleted soils, tasteless food, animal abuse and pathogen-laden fare, by and large consumers escape with excuses. Continue Reading →

Interview: Author, Activist Sally Fallon Morell Talks Deep Nutrition, Changing Attitudes

Sally Fallon MorellSally Fallon Morell apparently taps secret energy sources not available to most of us. A human dynamo of sorts, she advances the cause of traditional foods as a chef, cookbook author, polemicist, activist and nutrition researcher.

She was inspired in the early 1970s by the work of Weston A. Price (1870-1948), who travelled the world studying the diets and health profiles of native peoples, concluding that a diet rich in animal fats and containing the protective factors found in foodstuffs such as cod liver oil, liver and eggs make for robust children who grow up to benefit from a high immunity to illness. Continue Reading →

Interview: Failure to Protect the People — Advocate, Author Steven Druker Explores the Uncontrolled Experiment of GMOs in Our Food Supply

Steven Druker Interview

Steven Druker

Steven Druker interviewed by: Chris Walters


What are genetically engineered foods doing to us? The most chilling thing about the decades-long uncontrolled experiment in mass consumption of food disrupted at the cellular level is that we cannot know — that’s why the term “uncontrolled experiment” is actually an oxymoron. The “massive enterprise to reconfigure the genetic core of the world’s food supply,” as attorney and activist Steven Druker describes it, amounts to a train wreck of historically unprecedented proportions. Law, ethics and science lie smoldering on the tracks while hundreds of scientists and journalists who ought to know better contribute tirelessly to what may be the greatest disinformation campaign since Edward Bernays invented public relations almost a century ago. As the man whose lawsuit against the FDA at the end of the ’90s shook loose piles of incriminating documents, Steven Druker plays a crucial role in the fight against this great mistake. His new book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, combines the genres of memoir, policy paper, legal history and scientific primer to arrive at something like a definitive account of the GMO wars. As he recalls, policy warrior was a role history thrust upon him. Druker majored in philosophy at the University of California at Berkeley, where he received a special award for Outstanding Accomplishment and went on to earn his Juris Doctor from U.C. Berkeley. He was elected to both the Law Review and the legal honor society. Not too many years later, biotechnology intervened, and nothing was ever the same.


 

ACRES U.S.A. This book comes at the end of a long road for you. Where did it begin? Continue Reading →

Book Review: Tales from the Industrial Pork Complex

Pig Tales Book Review

Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for Sustainable Meat by Barry Estabrook

Book Review:  Pig Tales: An Omnivore’s Quest for
Sustainable Meat

by Barry Estabrook, review by Chris Walters

“One Iowa pig accosted her owner in a pasture, and through grunts and nudges, led him to a barn where she had just given birth. The farmer assumed she was showing off her brood, but when he turned to leave after congratulating her on her nice piglets, she blocked his way, then walked over to her automatic watering spigot. She activated it, but no water came out. Even though he had never touched the spigot in her presence, the sow knew he would be able to fix it.”

Barry Estabrook’s previous book told the story of tomatoes, a source of nutrition with no observable capacity for learning. Despite the horrors of the labor abuses documented in that work (Tomatoland), and despite the arguably more egregious labor abuses documented here in the chapters on slaughterhouse workers, it is the pigs themselves that raise the stakes in Pig Tales. Described by a researcher as roughly equivalent to a bright three-year-old toddler, pigs generate anecdotes like the one above all the time. Their high level of sentience, illustrated by their feats of memory and intuition, throw into bold relief the ill treatment they’ve received at the hands of people. Putting to one side the matter of killing and eating them, for centuries we heaped opprobrium on pigs merely because they like to roll in dirt, a habit that makes sense, it’s more or less in their natural context. Nevertheless understandable that we made their name synonymous with slothful, disgusting behavior. When we really added gross injury to insult was the last few years, when we devised novel and innovative ways of torturing them. Continue Reading →