Saturday, August 15, 2015

3 days in Boston.

Recently I spent three days outside of Boston with GMO labeling leaders from almost every state in the USA.  Everyone was there for the same purpose:  To learn strategies which they can take home and implement in their states to get GMO labeling laws passed. Although the DARK Act, recently passed by the House of Representatives,  was discussed, it was never considered something that would impede our progress.

To inspire us further, a few days later, CT's own Senator Richard Blumenthal  held a press conference where he declared: "As far as I'm concerned, the Dark Act is dead on Arrival in the Senate!... We will drive a stake through the heart of the DARK Act." He is a true hero who cares more about the rights of his constituents than lining his pockets with bribes.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Another response to Jane Brody and her tainted opinion on GMO Labeling

Here is another editorial response to a post by Jane Brody that did not make it into the New York Times.  Leila Baroody, the author, nails it with great references.

At the end of her 6/9/15 Personal Health column entitled Fear, Not Fact, Behind GMO Labeling, I was glad to see Jane Brody finally ask “Are there risks to GMO’s that scientists have yet to discover?”  Ms. Brody needed to add independent science apart from industry-biased science to her data discovery to find there are plenty of already documented genetic engineering risks to humans, animals, soils, waters, whole ecosystems and to genomes as well. GMO technology was prematurely released as a result of political decision making, against FDA scientist warnings asking for further risk assessment.
There is no scientific consensus on GMO safety and that is why consumers need standardized GMO labeling. Or Ms. Brody should have simply asked citizens from “Right to Know” and GMO Labeling Groups from around the country why they are demanding GMO labeling.  Or discussed it with other non-industry scientists away from conflicts such as Dr. Sheldon Krimsky, head of the Council for Responsible Genetics, found here. Or done a literature review here,  and searched other journals to find independent studies which revealed why most of the world’s major economies require GMO labeling.

Recently retired EPA Sr. Scientist, Dr. Ramon Seidler, has publicly spoken out against genetically modified foods and increasing use of pesticides with GM crops. “From the risk assessment, economic, and legal perspectives there are many issues. There is a mixture of unfilled promises, concerns over litigation resulting from cross pollination and seed commingling events, and a disappointment that crop management practices have had significant negative impacts upon environmental bio safety.All of these side effects are happening despite no yield or production advantages of GE crops over traditional crops. There are also major concerns over whether the increased use of pesticides on our food crops have impacts upon the human population.” Full article

Leila Baroody


Thursday, June 18, 2015

Response to NYT Post by Jane Brody

Since my letter to the editor did not make it into the NYT, not surprising, I decided to share it here!

Jane Brody’s book was the first book I read on nutrition, and it was what incentivized me to go into dietetics in 1984. 

Needless to say I was very disappointed when Brody’s recent column, “Fear, Not Facts behind GMO Labeling,” (6/9/15) was called to my attention.  As a practicing dietitian for almost 30 years observing patient responses from dietary adjustments, it is my opinion that genetically engineered foods and the pesticides that accompany more than 90% of such foods are a very risky business, especially when consumed by children with developing immune systems.

Current World Health Organization’s (WHO) findings have generated even more controversy over FDA’s declaration of GMO foods’ GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) classification.  (In May, the WHO classified glyphosate as a "probable carcinogen" in humans and carcinogenic to animals.) Further, the vast majority of GMO food produced in the US is used for animal feed and biofuel, in addition to highly processed food ingredients embedded in our food supply, many of which contribute to our nation’s obesity epidemic. 

The proposed USDA’s “voluntary certification program” will not give consumers the confidence or transparency they need to make informed decisions, especially in light of budgetary cutbacks and existing underfunded inspection programs. Plus, we already have the Non-GMO Project Verified program that is independently 3rd party verified. However this program only covers foods from companies which have applied for such certification.   And, most important, our USDA’s organic seal is the best choice for consumers who want to avoid GMO ingredients. 
 Requiring mandatory national GMO labeling such as in  the CT labeling law : “this product may contain ingredients  produced with Genetic Engineering";  is a much more forthcoming way to share critical information that  Americans need to make informed decisions for their families.

If the public truly has a “poor understanding of the science behind GMOs,” let legitimately sourced science prove food safety, through long term, peer-reviewed, and most importantly, independent studies. Long term studies have not been done in the US.  Most studies that show safety are done by the manufacturers or affiliated parties and have conflicts of interest. Over 300 independent scientists and scholars have declared that scientific consensus does not exist on GMO safety  ( )

Most US citizens have no idea that the FDA doesn’t conduct food safety studies; FDA has outsourced this extremely important safety function to food and biotech interests. Additionally, FDA lacks resources to conduct vital food safety or continuing verification inspections. 

Lastly, the golden rice and GMO salmon technologies have been fraught with failures and problems. In golden rice, peer-reviewed studies are lacking to confirm the absorption of beta carotene or its conversion to vitamin A.  Regarding GMO salmon, in the absence of a GMO animal regulatory structure at the time of application to FDA, the salmon was regulated as a “New Animal Drug Application.” Continued dosing of antibiotics was apparently needed to maintain animal health and weight until of sufficient marketable growth for human consumption.

Traditionally bred foods are not tested, because they are bred naturally and have been shepherded over generations; they have naturally evolved with the environment over time.  .
What consumers don’t understand is that most GMO crops have been genetically engineered to survive spraying with herbicides, and have created an explosion of herbicide resistant weeds, treated with yet more herbicides, which end up in our food, water and bodies.  

We have witnessed increasing rates of auto-immune diseases, allergies, cancers, and autism in the US, since GE foods have entered the food supply.  While association can’t prove causality, we have to question how genetically engineered crops, and their associated herbicides have contributed to our health problems. Introducing unnatural gene traits into our food and bodies adds multi dimensional safety risks, including increased potential for allergic reaction.  The insertion of antibiotic markers, required to identify which gene traits take hold in the novel GMO foods, increases our vulnerability to antibiotic resistance.

In her column, Brody stated, “A legitimate safety concern involves delayed deleterious effects of genetically modified products on consumers…”   and suggests “continued monitoring of their effects is essential…”  Yet how can we monitor without labeling and tracking?  Clearly, mandatory GMO labeling is necessary to properly assess adverse reactions.

Thanks to Leila Baroody for helping me write this and fellow dietitian warriors for their support and edits: M.H., J.S., C.M., and J.L.  I am so fortunate to know you all, and the world is lucky to have us defending it!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Lentil soup kicked up a nutritional notch with Liquid Hope

There was not much to choose from in the refrigerator or pantry for tonight's dinner.  But the last thing I felt like doing after a long work day was to get back in the car and go to the grocery store.

 Since I had some organic sausage in the freezer, I decided to make some lentil soup, I LOVE the combination of lentils and sausage or kielbasa!   With only carrots and onions as available veggies, the taste was a little boring.  That's when I remembered that I had a sample bag of Liquid Hope in the pantry. (Liquid Hope is a tube feeding formula made with REAL FOOD, that is organic and filled with good nutrients, like garbanzo beans, peas, carrots, quinoa, brown rice, broccoli, almond butter, kale, garlic, tumeric, and ginger.) It is  plant based, dairy free, gluten free, soy free, corn free, non-GMO and packaged in a BPA free pouch - See more at: 

It was delicious.  Most people won't have Liquid Hope in their pantry, but I hope this will encourage readers to be creative.  Lots of us will have things like almonds or almond butter (pureed almonds) and a can of garbanzo beans in the pantry - why not add them to soup? Turmeric is a  super-spice that acts and an anti-inflammatory, antibiotic, antioxidant, pain reliever, improves brain function, and may help prevent heart disease and cancer.  Source

Soup is such an economical way to nourish your family! I hope you enjoy your own variation of this recipe. Have fun!!!
                                                                   Lentil Soup

2 cups sprouted organic lentils. (sprouting enhances nutrient uptake and organic lentils are a must since conventional lentils are sprayed with a cancer -causing herbicide to dry them out just before harvesting!)
6 cups filtered water
1 package organic sausage or kielbasa, cut into small bite-sized pieces
4 carrots,  cut into small bite-sized pieces
1 onion, chopped
1 pouch of Liquid Hope
salt, pepper, and spices from the garden (basil, thyme, rosemary)

Boil lentils in water.  In a separate pan, cook sausage and onions together, slowly, until the onions are sweet. Add to the lentil mixture. Add carrots and Liquid Hope and let simmer - the longer the better. Season with salt, pepper, and spices.



Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Eating organically on a Budget

Eating organically is more expensive, and the sticker shock can be painful.  Moreover, once you get used to it, (and once you know how unhealthy “conventional” food can be) it is impossible to go back.   There are lots of ways that people can eat organically, while saving a small amount of money, which can lead to significant savings over time.
  • My two favorite things to do, and to tell others to do, are to make lots of soup; and decrease portion sizes of meat, but choose the best quality – organic grass-fed or pasture-fed animal products.
  • Next, eat beans!! Filled with fiber (to satisfy hunger and keep you full for hours,) protein, and carbs for energy, these little gifts add small amounts of calcium, iron, B vitamins, folate, phosphorus, magnesium, and zinc.  Dried beans should be organic, because they are one of the foods that the EPA allows to be sprayed with glyphosate, for quicker drying and ripening.  Glyphosate was recently classified as a “probable carcinogen” by the World Health Organization.  The healthiest way to eat beans is to soak them; it removes phytic acid – an anti-nutrient.
  • Buy what’s in season, and locally available.  Usually less expensive, local foods are a smarter and cheaper choice because they don’t need to be transported from far away.  If this intrigues you, read the book called Animal Vegetable Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver.  It’s a true story about a family that lives off the land for a year.  Great read!
  • You can also join a CSA.  Here’s how to find one near you.
  • Make a rule in your house: If you want a treat, you have to make it yourself! Have all the ingredients in your house ready to make desserts.  Benefit: Your children will learn how to cook and bake.  There are so many wonderful recipes to discover. And almost any recipe can be transformed into a healthy one: by buying organic ingredients and cutting the sugar by 1/3.  If you replace the fat called for in the recipe with coconut oil, you can use ¼ less than what the original recipe calls for. (So if the recipe calls for a cup of oil, use ¾ of a cup of coconut oil.)
  • Grown herbs in pots on a windowsill or deck. Save them, dry them out in a dehydrator or convection oven and you can use them all year long.
  • Websites to discover:
  •  This delivery service brings bulk items to you once per month. It’s like a delivery from Whole Foods except at a much lower cost!
  • Find an organic farm that produces meat, dairy, and eggs the way nature intended at  Expensive meat can be stretched by making a stir-fry, instead of serving a portion of meat on each plate with vegetables on the side.
  • Set a budget and plan meals each week.  You will only buy the ingredients you need and eliminate the desire to buy extras or go out to eat. (This takes so much discipline!)  Recommended book to help you do this: Wildly Affordable Organic, by Linda Watson.
  • You don’t need to be completely organic!  Know what foods are GMO, what common foods are sprayed with glyphosate, and which are heavily sprayed with pesticides and will absorb a lot of those chemicals.
Some foods allowed to be sprayed with glyphosate include: oats, wheat, dried beans, sugar cane, and tea.
See for a list of the dirty dozen and the clean 15.
  • Join your favorite company’s social media pages for special coupons and deals.  Also, remember that most stores take each other’s coupons, so make sure to ask.
  • Did you know you can freeze butter?  When it is on sale, buy and freeze it until needed. Favorite: Organic Pastures Grass Fed Butter.
  • Double or triple recipes when cooking and freeze meals for the future. (Use glass, not plastic.)
  • Grind up bread ends in a blender and freeze to use for bread crumbs when called for in a recipe.
  • Be a vegetarian for breakfast and lunch, and feel entitled to spend more on the best quality animal products for dinner.
  • Use a whole chicken instead of buying parts separately. NEVER throw the carcass away. Put it in a pot or crock pot and make bone broth; a truly medicinal food. ( )
  • Pre-washed foods cost more and need to be washed anyway!
  • Be the last one to leave the farmer’s market; they often lower prices at the end, so that they don’t have to bring things back to the farm.
  • Look the farmer in the eye and ask about their spraying practices and use of GMO seeds. Some farmers don’t use pesticides or grow GMOs, but also don’t seek the USDA label because it is so expensive. The paperwork and bureaucracy required to use the label aren’t worth it to many farmers. As long as you are satisfied with the farmer’s answer, you can buy produce that is not labeled organic.
  • Grow your own food!  It doesn’t matter how little property you have. Here is a guide to help you get started:
  • Bring your own food while traveling.  (You can check a cooler!)
  • Keep organic tea bags in your wallet and ask for hot water when traveling, instead of buying a cup of tea for $4-$6.
  • When you buy berries, soak them in water with a little vinegar. It removes the mold spores and the berries will last much longer.
  • Line refrigerator drawers with paper towels to absorb moisture, so produce will last longer.
  • Save the pulp from juicing to put into soups and stews.
  • Splurge on the best quality coffee and tea and make it yourself in the morning.  Sometimes you can find great options at Marshalls and TJ Maxx!
  • We own several Zero Water Filters – approximately $30 on Amazon or at Target.  This filter is an inexpensive way to get the bleach, arsenic, lawn pesticides and fluoride out of your water. (They don’t market it as an effective way to remove fluoride, but if you call the company, they will tell you that it removes 95% of it).
  • Sites that give coupons on the internet include:
Online shopping:
While many think that eating healthfully and organically is beyond their means, it is quite possible with a little extra effort.  If you follow these suggestions, and take the process slowly; eventually it will become second nature.  

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure

Just because you have been told your blood pressure is high, doesn't mean you must go on medication.  Here are some suggestions that will help to lower blood pressure naturally and holistically:

Hibiscus Tea     

Studies show that consuming the leaves and flowers of the hibiscus plant can lower blood pressure as well as some medications.  Compounds in the plant may act similarly to anti hypertension medications called ACE inhibitors.There are a variety of reasons why this tea may lower blood pressure. It can open the arteries, it acts as a diuretic, and may slow the release of hormones that make blood vessels constrict. 

 I recommend 1-3 cups of "Hibiscus sabdariffa" per day to control blood pressure (Most studies used three cups.)  Source    Also, please use ORGANIC tea of any kind, since most conventional tea is sprayed with glyphosate, to dry it out. (Glyphosate is a probable carcinogen, as classified by the World Health Organization in April, 2015). Let it steep for 5 -10 minutes.  When the weather is warm, try making iced hibiscus tea, and add grated fresh ginger and honey.

Co Q 10 Supplementation  

     Co Q 10 increases energy to the heart muscle. Source  Levels decrease as we age and are depleted by cholesterol lowering drugs including statins and red rice yeast.  60-100 mg per day may improve diastolic function and support blood pressure.  If you are on a statin drug, (or red rice yeast) you may want to take a higher dose of Co Q 10, but it is a good idea to consult a naturopathic physician who is familiar with this supplement.

     Foods that contain Co Q 10 include beef, fish, poultry, peanuts, and sesame.  I recommend grass fed beef and pasture raised poultry, wild caught fish (preferably not from the Pacific, since the Fukishima radiation leak) and ORGANIC peanuts.

Fish Oil Supplementation

     Fish oil  is high in omega 3 fatty acids, and may help to   decrease  blood pressure. It can also help to reduce blood fats called triglycerides, which may curtail the development of plaque in the artery walls. 
Other benefits of fish oil supplementation include a lower chance of developing an abnormal heart rhythm, decreased likelihood of having a stroke or heart attack, and less chance of sudden cardiac death in people with heart disease  Source

     I recommend 1/2 teaspoon -1 teaspoon of liquid fish oil, flavored with lemon, daily. (Most research indicates 3 grams/day is an adequate dosage. There are 5 grams in a teaspoon.) Make sure it is extremely clean – from a reputable company that tests for mercury and other toxic metals and doesn't add any genetically engineered oils.  It should also be sourced from wild caught cold water fish.

Magnesium Supplementation

      Magnesium levels have been found to be consistently low in individuals with hypertension. Source  Foods high in magnesium include: coffee, fish sauce, leafy greens, cocoa, nuts and seeds, avocado, dark chocolate, dairy products. (Except for avocado, with its thick skin, organic sources are recommended.) 

     Best sources include bananas, oranges, tomatoes, and potatoes. (Organic sources are recommended.)


     Best sources include dairy products, sardines, and dark green leafies. (Organic sources are recommended.)
     Note: Himalayan pink salt contains calcium, magnesium, potassium and iodine, as well as sodium, and is a much healthier alternative than common table salt to enhance food’s flavors. Remember that most processed foods are very high in cheap quality salt that has been stripped of most trace minerals and bleached.

     Other supplements that may improve blood pressure include D- ribose and L-carnitine, grape seed extract, hawthorn berry, and resveratrol,  according to Dr. Steven Sinatra, an integrative cardiologist.Source

A Low Carbohydrate, Anti-inflammatory Diet

     Avoid sugar, and limit foods that convert to sugar, like flour (even whole grain!) pasta, potatoes, and rice.  100% fruit juice should be watered down. (i.e. 1 -2 tablespoons of juice to 1 cup purified seltzer water.)

     I recommend a diet that includes lots of healthy fats to keep you satisfied and control blood sugar. Healthy fats include avocados, avocado oil,  olives, olive oil, nuts, coconut, coconut oil, pasture-raised, organic butter, and full fat organic, grass-fed dairy and meat.  Also, include LOTS of vegetables and fruits. Any whole grains should be eaten in VERY small quantities, as they cause an increase in insulin production which causes weight gain, inflammation, and insulin resistance.


     Helps the blood vessels to dilate/relax, which decreases blood pressure.


     Emotional stress causes oxidative damage and increases blood pressure. It is very important to learn how to give the mind a rest! Concentrated breathing and yoga  can decrease blood pressure considerably.

Walking Barefoot on Grass, Sand, and Concrete

     This is called grounding or earthing. Electrons enter the body through the feet and can decrease oxidative stress, limiting inflammation.  This can help to thin the blood and balance cortisol which is too high during times of stress. Source
 It is important that the grass is not sprayed with pesticides!


     Eat a diet high in fiber that is free of pesticides! Foods like cilantro and organic strawberries help to remove toxic metals from the body.  Sweating, from exercise or time spent in a sauna, helps to remove impurities from the body. Source

Medical Disclaimer: Information provided in this email is for informational purposes only. The information is a result of years of practice and experience by Beth Beisel, R.D.LLC. However, this information is NOT intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional, or any information contained on or in any product.

Do not use the information provided in this email for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your health care provider promptly. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this email.

Information provided in this email and the use of any products or services related to this email by you does not create a dietitian-patient relationship between you and Beth Beisel, R.D., LLC. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act

Today, in support of Senator Richard Blumenthal’s federal bill to label genetically engineered organisms, we attended his press conference.  Senator Blumenthal has introduced a fair federal GMO labeling bill that would require mandatory labeling and would counter the "DARK Act" which would NOT require mandatory labeling and would pre-empt the states rights to require mandatory labeling.

90% of Americans want the right that 64 other countries give their citizens, TRANSPARENCY.  The opposition to GMO labeling is counting on congress to do its dirty work.  What has become known as the “DARK Act” (Deny Americans Right to Know), looks like an industry wish list: pre-emption of current and future state GMO labeling laws and codifying the failed voluntary labeling system that has been in existence since 2001. It also gives more power to the FDA (aka Michael Taylor from Monsanto) to insure the “safety” of our food…  If the "DARK Act" passes, the CT GMO labeling law will become obsolete.  Also, foods that are genetically engineered will be legally allowed to be labeled as “natural.”

Senator Blumenthal’s bill, The Genetically Engineered Food Right-to-Know Act would require the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to label GE food and foods containing GE ingredients. This bill is modeled after CT’s law. Senator Blumenthal is fighting for our right to know at the federal level, but if the opposition succeeds in passing the "DARK Act", it will shut down his efforts.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Cilantro Pesto!!!

Last week, we had a family party and served “make your own soft tacos,” (or “taco salad” for those who avoid wheat/carbs.)  It was a big hit for everyone, from Nanny (grandma) to baby cousin, Tommy.

But, we forgot to serve the cilantro L Luckily, I discovered it before it went bad, and decided to make some pesto with it.  It is so delicious; I am eating it by the spoonful, but will be serving it this weekend over fish or on black bean pasta. It will be a good spread on bread, instead of mayonnaise, in a turkey sandwich too.

My favorite thing about cilantro is that it is a chelator. It binds with metals and escorts them out of the body.  So it is a great thing to have with large fish, like tuna, sword fish, or sea bass, because it will chelate with the mercury from the fish and remove it from you!


Big bunch of cilantro, leaves and stems

¼ cup olive oil (make sure it is REAL 100% olive oil. I get non gmo project verified or organic to be safe.)

½ tsp Himalayan pink salt

1 cup toasted pine nuts

You can include cheese, like parmesan; I didn’t because I thought I would freeze the pesto…. but there is no way it will last long enough to bother freezing!

Whirl it in a blender or food processor, until it is a smooth paste. 

Monday, March 23, 2015

Some interesting Facts about FLUORIDE that you might not know:

This essay was written and compiled by the ConnFACT board of directors.
ConnFACT (Connecticut Families Against Chemical Trespass) is advocating to have the mandate to fluoridate water lifted, so that towns can choose for themselves if they want to fluoridate the water.

1)  Fluoride is the ONLY chemical added to our water for the purpose of medical treatment.  Fluoride is NOT an essential nutrient.  

2)  The dose cannot be controlled as fluoride goes to everyone regardless of age, health or vulnerability with no warnings.  Infants, young children and people with kidney issues & thyroid issues are at much higher risk than others. ,

3)  The level of fluoride in a mother's breast milk is very low.  Essentially a bottle fed baby consuming fluoridated water can get up to 200 - 300 times more fluoride than one who is breast-fed. In 2011, NY State Health Dept warned mothers against using fluoridated water for bottle fed babies.   

4)  The fluoride added to our water is a toxic waste product (pollution) that we are buying from the phosphate fertilizer industry, not the pharmaceutical grade fluoride that is in other dental products.  These companies would actually have to pay to dispose of this waste, if water companies were not purchasing it.

5)  There has never been a single randomized clinical trial to demonstrate fluoridation's effectiveness or safety.  Dentists along with the CDC make the claim that fluoridation is "one of the top public health achievements of the 20th century."  But ask them for the studies that PROVE this to be the case. A 2007 review in a British Medical Journal reveals that there is a lack of strong evidence showing the effectiveness of fluoride's benefits for dental caries 
Furthermore, a study that tracked fluoride exposure among 600 children in Iowa in 2009 showed there is no significant link between fluoride exposure and tooth decay.   

6)  In 1999, even the CDC acknowledged that the mechanism of fluoride's benefits is topical, not systemic.  So why are we all forced to drink fluoride in our water?  Do we ingest shampoo to clean our hair?  Here are some studies that indicate fluoride's main benefits are topical:

7)  Data from the World Health Organization shows that tooth decay is no lower in fluoridated communities versus non-fluoridated communities. 

8)  In 2010, the CDC reported that 41% of adolescents had dental fluorosis, a mottling of tooth enamel, which may be an indicator of wider systemic damage from children being over-exposed to fluoride. 

9) Fluoride may damage the brain – recent studies from China and a Harvard meta-analysis funded by the NIH conclude that water fluoridation significantly lowers IQ in children and should be considered a neurotoxin.  Very recently (in the spring of 2014), Dr. Philip Landigran, the Director of the Children’s Environmental Health Center at Mt. Sinai, and a Professor from Harvard, added fluoride to the list of top neurotoxins as noted here in a prestigious medical journal.  Here is an abstract of the study  And here it appears in The Lancet  There was a lot of press given to this finding.,

10)  There are plenty of risks with fluoride when ingested.  These risks include lowered thyroid function, skeletal fluorosis, bone damage and possible links to bone cancer.

11)  Low income families are penalized by fluoridation as their nutritional status may not equip them with the ability to handle fluoride like those with stronger nutritional status.  Furthermore, they are often unable to pay for filtration systems or bottled, purified water.  How are they to avoid fluoridated water when feeding bottle-fed babies?

12)  As key health studies have not been conducted, more scientists, doctors and dentists are questioning and opposing the practice of fluoridation.  So why aren't we using the precautionary principle with fluoridation?  This review article in The Scientific World Journal does a great job outlining the human health effects of fluoride. 

13)  More communities in North America and the world are opting to get the fluoride out of their water.  Since 2010 over 50 communities in North America have rejected water fluoridation.   Also, earlier this year, Israel banned fluoridation for the entire country.

14)  Dentists can certainly make the claim that people should come in for topical fluoride treatments and/or use fluoridated toothpaste IF the fluoride is removed from our municipal water.

15)  There are more dentists today who question the practice of fluoridating our municipal water although most still buy into the ADA's claim that water fluoridation is "the greatest public health achievement of the 20th century."  This is based on information from 60 years ago.  Here is an article written in a journal by a dentist and Principal Dental Officer who was a very strong advocate for fluoridation and had even published articles about the great benefits of fluoridation, who now admits that he was wrong.   Do the risks outweigh the benefits?  It is estimated that only 2% of our municipal water is used for drinking purposes and with that there is extremely limited topical exposure of the teeth…does it really make sense, and is it ethical, to fluoridate our municipal water?

Thursday, March 5, 2015

What Lies Ahead as Biotech Prepares to Take Over the World's Food Supply

19 years ago, the biotechnology industry took control of the major US cash crops, including, corn, soy, canola, and sugar beets.  94% of those crops grown in the U.S. are now genetically engineered to be tolerant of Roundup (glyphosate), filled with Bt Toxin (which makes a worm's stomach explode) or both.

Recently, GE russet potatoes and apples were approved by the USDA - the agency that oversees agriculture in the United States, to keep our food "safe."

Now, more than ever, we need to get labeling laws passed.  The presence of these foods is expected to grow dramatically!

Here is a list of GMO crops being developed: apples, barley, bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cherries, chili peppers, coffee, cranberries, cucumber, flax, grapefruit, kiwi, lentils, lettuce, melons, mustard, oats, olives, onions, peanuts, pears, peas, persimmons, pineapple, popcorn, radishes, strawberries, sugar cane, sunflower, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, walnuts and watercress.(1)(2)

19 years ago, internal scientists in the FDA noted that genetic engineering may introduce new toxins and allergens. Their observations however, were suppressed by FDA administrators (2). Without labeling, it is impossible to track any possible impacts on human health, and once these breeds are out they can't be recalled. For these reasons and many more, it is imperative now, more than ever, that we demand GMO labeling. As more farmers hear these demands, and as consumers boycott GE food, we will stop the proliferation of these new "items" into our food supply by chemical companies. This experiment on our bodies and especially our children's bodies, will only stop if we demand labeling and push the market to respond to our preferences. Don't expect your federal government to do it for you; your health and best interests are not as important as corporate profits and the economy.

1) Dagoberto, Martin,  Citizens For GMO Labeling, "A Case for Urgent State Action on Food Labeling Transparency," March, 2015.
2)  Sesana, Laura, "EPA raises levels of glyphosate residue allowed in food,"  The Washington Times, July 5, 2013.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Why GMOs in baby food and infant formula should be labeled

 Written/submitted Testimony In support of HB 6798 – An act requiring labeling of baby food and infant formula containing genetically engineered organisms.
February 24, 2015

Senator Bartolomeo, Representative Urban & Members of the Committee on Children: My name is Beth Beisel, and this is the fourth legislative session that I have come to testify in support of a GMO labeling bill, as a representative of GMO Free CT, a grassroots campaign that led CT to become the first state in the country to pass a GMO labeling law. This particular bill resonates with me because I am a mother, but as a nutrition professional, I know that infants and children are especially vulnerable to GMOs and the pesticides they contain.

Since 1996, when genetically modified foods were introduced into the food supply without our knowledge or consent, an entire generation has evolved.

Today’s children are the first to be raised on food that is started in the laboratory of a chemical company, and grown in a field where water, soil, sediment, air, and the very crops that go into most processed foods are contaminated with chemicals. These processed foods include infant formula, and baby food.

Most adults do not remember classmates having allergies to food, yet today there is barely a classroom in America that doesn't have at least one student with a food allergy, often a severe or potentially fatal food allergy.

According to the CDC, food allergies among children increased by 18% between 1997 and 2007. (Keep in mind that GMOs were first allowed on the market in 1996.) In addition, a study released by the CDC in 2013 claimed that food allergies among children increased by approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011.

Treating food allergies costs $25 billion per year in the US alone! (Gupta R, et al. The high economic burden of childhood food allergy in the United States. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol, 2012; 109: A1-A162.)

Evidence is anecdotal – we can’t prove that GMOs and their pesticides are the cause of food allergies, but once we have labeling, we will have a better shot at proving it.

Children are most vulnerable to GMOs and the pesticides they are contaminated with because their macro and micro nutrient needs are higher during infancy and childhood than at any other stage of development. During growth, rapid cell division requires much higher amounts of protein, calories, and nutrients. The average adult requires 25-30 grams per kilogram of body weight; a baby (1-3 years old) requires more than three times as much, and an infant requires four times as many calories per kilogram of body weight as an adult! This means that infants and children are consuming at least 1/3 –1/2 as many gmos and glyphosate as adults, in much smaller, developing bodies.

A multitude of health problems have been linked to glyphosate and/or Roundup. 
2) The Myths of Safe Pesticides. By Andre Leu, president of the International Federation of Agriculture Movements, 2014.

Infant formula is a chemically developed substance made primarily from derivatives of genetically engineered corn, and soy. This means that the first food many infants ingest comes from a plant that has its own pesticide number. Every kernel of genetically engineered corn is made to express a deadly toxin, which causes a rootworm’s stomach to explode. Each type of genetically engineered corn is registered with the EPA. Soy and sugar beets are genetically engineered to withstand the application of unprecedented levels of herbicides like Roundup which contains glyphosate and is genotoxic. (A toxic agent that damages DNA molecules in genes, causing mutations, tumors, etc.)

(Newer versions of these crops contain both Bt toxin, AND tolerate herbicide application.) Studies show that glyphosate, when combined with “inert” ingredients, like those used in formulating Roundup, becomes up to one thousand times more potent than glyphosate alone.

Major Pesticides Are More Toxic to Human Cells Than Their Declared Active Principles

Infants do not have a fully developed immune system, nor is their blood brain barrier established. In Canada, BT toxin – used in GE corn, was found in the blood of pregnant women and in their unborn babies.

Maternal and fetal exposure to pesticides associated to genetically modified foods in Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada.

Peer reviewed medical literature demonstrates that animals exposed to genetically engineered foods develop smaller livers and brains, as well as infertility and cancerous tumors. The biotechnology industry claims that these foods are safe – but our government has NEVER proven them safe. Human safety testing has never been conducted. In fact, science is not part of the FDA approval process . Any ‘test’ summaries provided to the FDA are voluntary. The FDA's 1992 GE safety policy stands today, “Ultimately, it is the food producer who is responsible for assuring safety.”[1]Yet Monsanto contends, “Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food. Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA’s job.” FDA Statement of Policy: Foods Derived from New Plant Varieties (GMO Policy) Federal Register, Volume 57, Page 129, 1992 2 - Phillip Angell, Monsanto’s Director of Corporate Communications,New York Times Magazine, October 25,1998

Despite what you will hear from the opposition today, no scientific consensus on GMO safety exists.


I strongly urge you to pass this bill and put babies before corporate profits.

Thank you!

Friday, February 20, 2015

Correlation Does Not Mean Causation: And How Labeling Can Help.

Last Month, the following graph appeared on twitter. It seems a little ridiculous, which I believe was the original author’s intent – to show that correlation does not always prove causation.

People have been eating organic food since the beginning of time. It was called “food.” Autism incidence has increased dramatically since GMOs and the chemicals they are engineered to resist were introduced into our food supply.  An increasing number of people are purchasing “organic” food as they learn that conventional food may contain contaminants such as glyphosate, neonicotinoids, 2,4-D (a component of Agent Orange,) atrazine, gluphosinate, dicamba, and other chemicals.

We can’t prove that the increase in sales of organic food has anything to do with the rise in autism, which is the point, I believe that the original author was trying to make: coincidental data does not prove causation.

There are no studies indicating that organic food causes autism.  However, over 1,800 scientific references including studies, surveys, and analyses suggest various adverse impacts and potential adverse impacts of genetically engineered (GE/GMO) crops, foods and related pesticides.

The rise in organic food sales has nothing to do with the rise in the autism rate, and everything to do with the growing awareness of food contamination. This contamination of our food and water is causing toxins to get lodged in our bodies where they slowly degrade our health and take away our lives. Here is an interesting article indicating that 80% of American parents report purchasing organic foods, and why.

From birth (through formula or breast milk containing chemicals) until we’re on our death beds (where we are often given “supplemental nutrition,”) we are being exposed to such toxins.

Once GMOs are labeled, we will be able to more easily trace intakes of GMOs and their corresponding chemicals as they relate to autism and other chronic disease. Once GMOs are labeled, we may be able to prove that, in a given case, correlation does indeed prove causation.  Once GMOs are labeled, we may finally be able to hold the companies who have been altering our food accountable and liable.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Healthy GMO Free Snacks

Healthy GMO Free Snacks

  • Air popped organic popcorn with melted organic butter or popped in coconut oil 
  • Hummus on organic crackers, celery, or carrots 
    • Hummus is usually made with soy or canola oil, so if you can’t find it made with olive oil, buy organic hummus 
  • Any homemade cookie or muffin 
    • You can usually cut the fat by ½ and the sugar by 1/3 – and always substitute organic whole wheat pastry flour
    • Depending on what it is, you can add chopped apricots, cranberries, carrots or berries for extra vitamins and fiber 
  • Sunflower or pumpkin seeds 
    • Make sure they’re roasted dry, without oil 
  • Yogurt or a smoothie.
    • Whole milk yogurt tastes much better, makes us feel full for longer, and doesn't let sugar enter the bloodstream so rapidly. Organic dairy products, like Stonyfield Farm, are free of GMO's antibiotics, growth hormones, and high fructose corn syrup.
  • Pretzels, made with organic flour, water, and salt, with an organic cheese stick 
  • Carrots with organic ranch dressing 
  • Hard boiled organic, pasture- raised egg 
  • Organic Apple sauce 
  • Organic peanut, almond, cashew butter on organic apples or bananas 
  • Nuts
    • Preferably dry roasted, rather than roasted in cheap oils like cottonseed, a highly pesticided, genetically modified oil. 

Note: Both trans fat and high fructose corn syrup (now called "fructose" - thanks to a "pass" from the feds) are man-made substances that provide huge profits for the food industry. They are cheap, and have a much longer shelf life than “real food” alternatives. But they are harmful to our bodies, in the long term.

Only when the consumer stops buying these foods, will the industry stop using them.

You may notice that many suggestions contain saturated fat, like butter and cheese. Saturated fat is a much healthier alternative to trans fat (partially hydrogenated oil) and if the dairy products are organic, they are GM free. It is important, however, to limit portion size. Too much of anything can be unhealthy. Look at your child’s fist; this is about the size of her/his stomach.

It is actually easy to control portion size when you eat some “real” fat, because it is more satisfying. It gives a feeling of fullness, which lasts, and prevents the rapid rise, and fall, of blood sugar caused by eating carbohydrate alone.

Did you know that the presence of fat in the small intestine produces hormones that prevent hunger contractions?

Monday, February 16, 2015

Healthy (GMO Free) Snack Recipes

Chocolate Chip Cookies

This recipe makes a lot of dough. You can keep it in the refrigerator and make a few every day, so that they are warm from the oven. (Added benefit – portion control!) If the batter is too dry/hard when you remove it from the refrigerator, let them sit at room temperature, then roll into balls and pat down with the palm of your hand. This recipe provides about ½ as much fat and 2/3 as much sugar as traditional chocolate chip cookies.

2 sticks softened organic butter (or 1 stick butter and 1/3 cup coconut oil)
1 cup granulated organic sugar
1 cup organic brown sugar
2 tsp organic vanilla
4 organic (pasture fed if possible) eggs
4 ½ cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking soda (non-gmo)
½ tsp. salt
1 bag organic chocolate chips or chocolate bar chopped up
1 cup chopped walnuts

Beat softened butter with sugar in large mixing bowl. Add eggs and vanilla; beat until smooth. Sift together the dry ingredients and mix with butter mixture. Add chips and nuts. Bake @ 350 for 12 minutes.

Pumpkin Muffins

These are extremely high in beta-carotene – which turns to Vitamin A in the body and is an anti-oxidant (fights cell damaging free radicals.) They are delicious with cream cheese frosting and can be called “cupcakes” for birthday parties. Kids love them! Please make your own frosting – canned frosting is a trans fat BOMB.

4 organic eggs
1 cup organic sugar
½ cup organic melted butter or avocado oil, or grapeseed oil, or coconut oil.
16 oz. canned pumpkin
2 cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp GMO free baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt
½ cup GMO free chocolate chips (optional, in lieu of frosting)

Beat eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until light and fluffy. Add dry ingredients and mix thoroughly. Fills about 24 muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

“Healthier” Frosting

Bakery-made and store bought cupcakes, as well as donuts, and canned frosting, are loaded with trans fat, and GMOs which are not recognized by the cells in our body as food. Trans fat, or partially hydrogenated oil, in any amount, promotes the development of chronic disease, and overweight/obesity. Also, don't forget "sugar" is 50% GM sugar beets, drowned in Round Up.

1 pound organic confectionery sugar
½ stick melted or room temperature organic butter (not margarine)
1 teaspoon organic vanilla
3-4 teaspoons organic milk

Mix first three ingredients together, slowly add milk, while beating with electric mixer, until desired consistency is obtained.

Banana Bread
¼ cup organic butter
½ cup organic brown sugar
1 organic egg, beaten
1 cup organic oatmeal or bran, uncooked
4-5 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp organic vanilla
1 ½ cups organic whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp GMO free baking powder
½ tsp GMO Free baking soda
½ cup chopped nuts

Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Stir in cereal, bananas and vanilla. Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl and add to first mixture. Stir just until flour is moistened. Pour batter into buttered or sprayed loaf pan. Bake at 350 x 1 hour, or until bread tests done.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup

The wind is howling and blowing snow around our house in CT.  We have three feet of snow piled up from a succession of recent storms.  Our white mailbox is barely visible; just the red flag shows.  But there is nothing I LOVE more than being hunkered down and making nourishing food for my family.

Here's a hearty soup recipe to make and enjoy during a blizzard or any time.  Bonus - it has lots of cancer fighting ingredients!

Cauliflower and Roasted Garlic Soup

  • 2 cups homemade chicken broth
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 head garlic
  • 1 can organic full fat coconut milk (preferably in a BPA- free can)
  • Organic fire roasted sausage
  • Sauteed organic kale
  • Salt, pepper, turmeric to taste
Cut the cauliflower into small pieces and cook it in the chicken broth until soft.  Meanwhile, slice the top off of the head of garlic. (It's okay to leave on the outer paper-like skin). Drizzle olive oil over it and wrap it in foil or place it in a garlic roaster.  Bake at 350 until it is soft and mushy, for about 1/2 hour.

Add the garlic to the broth/cauliflower combo by squeezing it into the broth. Discard the garlic shell. Add coconut milk.

Blend the soup with an immersion blender, blender, or food processor. 

Remove the stems from the washed kale, and saute until soft. Add cut up sausage to the kale and saute until it is lightly browned. Combine with the broth mixture.  Season with salt and pepper to taste, and as much turmeric as you can; it is a miracle spice! (More on that at another time.)

If you have trouble with oxalic acid, limit the turmeric and use Lacinato kale.

There are a lot of options here to add flavor and texture. It's okay to be creative! Next time I might try adding chopped roasted tomatoes to this soup.