Link found between food allergies and farm antibiotics

All the more reason, when at all possible, to eat organic meat…

Food allergies affect an estimated 15 million Americans, including one in 13 children. Statistics indicate something strange is afoot, as food allergies in children rose by 50 percent between 1997 and 2011 alone.

Similarly, in Great Britain one in three people are allergic to something, be it pollen, dust mites, or food. Previous research has drawn parallels between the rise in allergies and increased antibiotic and antimicrobial use. One study showed exposure to antibiotics early in life increased the risk of eczema in children by 40 percent.

Other research has shown how genetically engineered foods and the use of the agricultural herbicide glyphosate destroys gut bacteria, thereby promoting allergies.

According to one recent study, common gut bacteria called Clostridia specifically help prevent sensitization to food allergens. In short, by destroying gut bacteria and altering your microbiome, agricultural chemicals like glyphosate can play a significant role in creating food allergies.

Antibiotic Pesticides Can Cause Allergic Reactions

But glyphosate is not the only culprit. Part of what makes glyphosate so harmful is the fact that it has antibiotic action, and antibiotics are also part of other pesticides, fungicides, and herbicides.

Researchers now claim to have identified the first case in which a serious allergic reaction was traced to an antibiotic pesticide. In this case, a 10-year old girl suffered a severe allergic reaction to blueberry pie.

The culprit turned out to be a streptomycin-containing pesticide that had been applied to the blueberries. According to lead author Dr. Anne Des Roches, this is “the first report that links an allergic reaction to fruits treated with antibiotic pesticides.”

As noted by allergist Dr. James Sublett, “This is a very rare allergic reaction. Nevertheless, it’s something allergists need to be aware of and that emergency room personnel may need to know about in order to help determine where anaphylactic reactions may arise.”

He goes on to recommend that anyone at risk of allergies should carry epinephrine, and know how to use it. While that’s certainly good advice for acute reactions, it’s not really an ideal long-term answer.

Truly, anyone suffering from food sensitivities or allergies would be wise to reconsider the kinds of foods they eat, and I don’t mean simply avoiding foods known to cause a reaction. Ultimately, your best bet is to switch to an all-organic diet.

This is particularly important for young children and pregnant women, but I really believe this is the answer for everyone, whether you’re prone to allergies or not.

Making Healthier Choices Can Reduce Your Allergy Risk

If you are eating any factory farmed and mass-processed meats, you are not only getting antibiotics but also many bacteria that are resistant to them. And if the meat is not cooked properly you can become infected with these antibiotic resistant bugs. The only way to avoid antibiotics in your food is to make sure you’re eating organic produce and organically-raised, grass-fed or pastured meats and animal products.

Along with cultured or fermented foods, eating plenty of whole, unprocessed, unsweetened foods will also optimize your gut microbiome. (You may also want to consider a high-potency probiotic supplement, but realize that there is no substitute for the real food.) To source pure, healthful meats and fresh produce, your best option is to get to know a local farmer who uses non-toxic farming methods. If you live in an urban area, there are increasing numbers of community-supported agriculture programs available that offer access to healthy, locally grown foods even if you live in the heart of the city.

Resources to Find Healthy Food on Any Budget

Being able to find high-quality meat is such an important issue for me personally that I’ve made connections with sources I know provide high-quality organic grass-fed beef and free-range chicken, both of which you can find in my online store. You can eliminate the shipping charges, however, if you find a trusted farmer locally. If you live in the US, the following organizations can also help you locate farm-fresh foods:

Weston Price Foundation, Local Harvest, Farmers’ Markets, Eat Well Guide: Wholesome Food from Healthy Animals, Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA), and FoodRoutes.

Even the underprivileged may be able to obtain fresh, locally-grown produce at their local food pantry, provided the food pantry accepts fresh food donations. Tens of millions of home gardeners throw away food from their gardens while their neighbors go hungry.

AmpleHarvest.org addresses the twin problems of hunger and food waste by connecting growers and gardeners with local food pantries. While there’s no guarantee that donated produce will be organic, many gardeners do employ organic principles.

AmpleHarvest.org’s database will tell you where the nearest food pantry accepting fresh foods is. AmpleHarvest.org launched in 2009, and today has a database of nearly 7,000 participating food pantries across the nation—one out of every five food pantries has signed up. It’s a fantastic resource that has the potential to change the lives of many who simply cannot afford to buy fresh produce.

By Dr. Mercola

Happy Moon Festival!

I just received this email from Feng Shui Shopper and it brought me many good memories.  First, that of my old neighbors who had a side business during August and September of making mooncakes late into the night.  Their kitchen was right outside of our bedroom.  While I love mooncakes and the symbolism of this harvest moon, I used to dread the time of year when we would hear the sound of chopping and pots banging late into the night.  The second memory that came up was that of my beloved Chinese herb teacher, Dr. Zhang. For many of the hundreds of herbs he taught us, he would tell us a story to go with it which was both entertaining and made it easier to remember the functions of the herbs.  He said I reminded him of the lady on the moon because I used to wear my hair on top of my head as she does in the picture above.

Moon Goddess Chang-e

Tonight is a very special full moon. Some say it’s the most magical moon of the year. While enjoying the festival hang lanterns, eat some cake with your significant other and make a wish! (Moon cakes if you can get them – round cookies or pastries with filling will do.) Place mirrors outside in the moonlight to empower your divine feminine energy. The magical full moon of the ‘Chinese Moon Lantern Festival’ is tonight!

The festival celebrates three fundamental concepts which are closely tied to one another:

• Gathering, such as family and friends coming together, or harvesting crops
• Thanksgiving, to give thanks for the harvest, or for harmonious unions
• Praying (asking for conceptual or material satisfaction), such as for babies, a spouse, beauty, longevity, or for a good future

“Under the spell of the mid-autumn full moon, lovers are drawn irresistibly together.” Traditionally it is also a night to express strong yearnings toward your home and to think of family members who live far away.

Goddess Chang’e and the Jade Rabbit

According to tradition, the Rabbit pounds medicinal herbs, with a mortar and pestle, for the gods. Some say that the Jade Rabbit is another embodiment of Chang’e herself. The dark areas at the top of the full moon may be seen as the figure of a rabbit. The animal’s ears point to the upper right while, at the left, are two large circular areas representing its head and body.

In this legend, three fairy sages transformed themselves into pitiful old men and begged for food from a fox, a monkey and a hare. The fox and the monkey both had food to give to the old men but the hare, empty-handed, jumped into a blazing fire to offer his own flesh instead. The sages were so touched by the hare’s sacrifice and act of kindness that they inducted him into the Moon Palace where he became the “Jade Rabbit.”

Enjoy!

In Chinese tradition lanterns represent guidance, and are considered signposts for guests and spirits of ancestors, to guide them to the lunar celebrations.

Taoist Medical Advice For Fall

utumn is a part of natures cycle that follows the completeness of Summer and transitions to drying up/brittleness and death. This is an important part of the cycle prior to resting of Winter and then rebirth or sprouting of Spring. Autumn is often known as harvest time or killing time. It provides the opportunity to harvest all the fruit and vegetables and take in the bounty.

This time of year you can eat a little more (good foods) and pack on “your fat” for the winter. You will see this as the same pattern in the animal kingdom. When eating additional foods, you may experience difficultly with digestion.  In this case, eating a little fermented foods items will support the digestion.

Weather begins to become drier leading to dryness in the throat and lungs. This  dryness also takes away the yin Qi.

To support your Qi through this season you may add in the following foods:  duck, daikon radish, apples, pears. These are yin nourishing foods to offset the dryness. It is also advisable to eat a small amount of sour foods such as vinegar, this will help promote the Liver Qi to benefit the Lungs.

As the season mirrors our bodies, this is a good time to practice Qigong to harvest and boost your energy.

As stated about, this seasons Qi is a drying and withering reflecting natures cycle of decline. What does this mean for our wellness? The Yang Qi begins to move inward to heat up and protect underground.  Our Yang Qi (Wei Qi-Defensive Qi or Immune System) moves from the surface toward the internal. This is a reason for catching colds/flu easily and why we should not bother our  Yang Qi.

So how do you not waste or bother your Yang Qi?

Some sample suggestions:

1. Shower/bathe less – no more than 3 times per week (especially not a sauna – excess sweat)
2. No excessive sweating during exercise
3. Go to bed earlier and get up later (with the sunrise)
4. Do not restrict eating to lose weight – store a little fat (with healthy food not extra sweets)
5. Eat more daikon and pear in the evenings

With healing Qi, from Master Liu He.