In the United States, it’s estimated that 30 percent of adults and 66 percent of adolescents are regularly sleep-deprived. This isn’t just a minor inconvenience: staying awake can cause serious bodily harm. Claudia Aguirre shows what happens to your body and brain when you skip sleep.
Our hard-wired stress response is designed to gives us the quick burst of heightened alertness and energy needed to perform our best. But stress isn’t all good. When activated too long or too often, stress can damage virtually every part of our body. Sharon Horesh Bergquist gives us a look at what goes on inside our body when we are chronically stressed.
Thanks to TED.
You’ve probably heard about the gluten-free diet. Those who have a gluten allergy or sensitivity, and even those who avoid it just in case have sworn off products containing gluten, including wheat. But some evidence shows that it may not be gluten that Americans should be worried about when it comes to wheat. The real culprit is far worse.
The protocol for wheat harvesting in the United States is to drench the wheat field with an herbicide called Roundup several days before the harvesters work through the fields, as dead wheat plants are easier on the farm equipment and allow for an earlier, easier and bigger harvest. Roundup and other herbicides contain a deadly active ingredient to wheat and barley known as glyphosate. It has been used pre-harvest from as early as 1980, and has become a routine drying agent 7-10 days before harvest.
Dr. Stephanie Seneff of MIT has studied the issue in-depth and has even presented her findings at nutrition conferences. She found that desiccating non-organic wheat crops with glyphosate just before harvest was so popular by the 1990s that most of the non-organic wheat in the United States has become contaminated with it. She explained that when you expose wheat to a toxic chemical such as glyphosate, it releases more seeds, which results in a slightly greater yield.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 99% of drum wheat, 97% of spring wheat and 61% of winter wheat had been treated with herbicides as of 2012. This shows a dramatic increase over the past two decades. Durum wheat has shown an 88% increase, spring wheat has shown a 91% increase and winter wheat has shown a 47% increased since 1998.
Farmers use Roundup to kill their wheat plants and allow an earlier and more plentiful harvest, but the practice is not licensed. Consumers are eating products made from wheat flour that undoubtedly contain traces of Roundup. This practice is common in other countries as well, but some are beginning to see the dangers. In the Netherlands, the use of Roundup is completely banned.
While The Farmers Are Profiting, Consumer Health Is Suffering
The herbicide industry maintains that glyphosate is minimally toxic to humans, but research published in the journal Entropy shows exactly how glyphosate disrupts physiology. The active ingredient in Roundup lethally disrupts the important pathway found in beneficial gut microbes, responsible for the synthesis of critical amino acids. Friendly gut bacteria — probiotics — play a critical role in keeping the body healthy. Gut bacteria aid in digestion, synthesize vitamins and strengthen the immune system. Research has found that Roundup significantly disrupts this process.
Glyphosate also inhibits the enzymes produced by the gut microbiome, which are critical to detoxifying chemical compounds that the body is exposed to. Humans exposed to glyphosate through the use of Roundup become even more vulnerable to the damaging effects of other chemicals and environmental toxins they may encounter.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Comment
Last year, a panel from the World Health Organization (WHO) came to the conclusion that glyphosate, the main chemical component of Monsanto’s popular weed killer commercially known as RoundUp, was a “probable carcinogen.” Their decision was based on the mounting scientific evidence that proved the chemical caused cancer in lab animals, in addition to countless other conditions.
When artist Salvatore Iaconesi was diagnosed with brain cancer, he refused to be a passive patient — which, he points out, means “one who waits.” So he hacked his brain scans, posted them online, and invited a global community to pitch in on a “cure.” This sometimes meant medical advice, and it sometimes meant art, music, emotional support — from more than half a million people.
When we choose the types of foods that we eat, we are often thinking about what would be the healthiest choices for our bodies.
While this is perfectly acceptable and the best thing we can be doing for our own health, it is also important to consider the impact our food choices are having on the planet.
The agricultural industry is the biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in the world, accounting for between 19-29% off all global greenhouse gas emissions. Livestock production (including transportation and feed) accounts for a staggering 80% of the sector’s emissions. That’s more than the emissions for all planes, trucks, cars and boats combined!
Did you know that it takes 15,415 litres of water to produce just 1kg of beef? To put this into perspective, it takes the same amount of water to produce an average-sized steak as it does to have 105 showers!!
In case you’re scared to keep reading, thinking this will be an article trying to convince you to “Go Vegan!”, swap every bit of steak for tofu, or persuade you into thinking tempeh bacon tastes better than the real deal – fear not!
We have, however, discovered a pretty awesome App that’s all about educating us on the environmental impact of our food choices and offering a fun challenge, along with handy solutions along the way.
This App Is Called ‘Less Meat, Less Heat’
Mark Pershin, Founder and CEO of ‘Less Meat, Less Heat’ explains how the App focuses on encouraging users to take “The Climatarian Challenge”. Each person is given 8,000 carbon points, which is equivalent to 80 kg of carbon dioxide emissions, to last them 30 days. At every meal, you are encouraged to log what you have eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner along with the portion sizes, then the carbon footprint of the meal is subtracted from your credits.
The Goal Is To Stay Within The Carbon Budget Over The 30 Days
Professor Richard Eckard from the University of Melbourne explains that being able to choose our diet is a privilege, as a majority of the world’s population do not have free choice due to food insecurity. However, we are the ones who also have the power to change the health of the planet for the better.
So What’s The Solution?
It’s safe to say that if our diets don’t change, the planet sure will. And sadly, this isn’t something to celebrate.
The Solution Is Simple
You can either steer clear of all animal products altogether OR you can simply reduce the amount of animal products you are eating.
Does the idea of meat-free meals seem foreign to you? Here’s another solution. If you predominantly eat beef, try making the change to chicken or fish. This way you will still get to consume animal protein without such a large carbon footprint being produced. It’s all about making small changes to help the sustainability of the planet (and it may even increase your dietary variety, too!)
What’s Being Done On A Global Scale?
On December 12, 2015 at the COP21 Climate Conference in Paris, the Paris Agreement was formed. At this conference, all countries agreed to work to limit global temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius by 2050. Given the grave risks involved, 1.5 degrees Celsius was the ultimate goal. Sadly, livestock alone could pass this limit by 2030.
Just when you thought global warming was too big of an issue to deal with as an individual – think again. The choices that you make every day impact significantly on our planet.
Each year 200,000 people die from medical errors in American hospitals. There are a number of reasons for these mistakes, but everyone agrees the number would be much lower if doctors shared records. In this Internet age, we assume doctors anywhere can pull up our charts, but the truth is most have no way to do this.
At first glance, it might be an obvious conclusion that since many clinical practices use computers to record information and to look up past records, and since hospitals also use computers to look up information, these clinical practices must be exchanging data among themselves and among hospitals in the region. Unfortunately, while this has been a dream for many decades, it has yet to be fully realised in the United States. This process, known as health information exchange, is an absolutely critical though uncommonly available process up until very recently — and even then only in some locations.
It is extremely challenging, although not the least bit because of technical issues. Rather it is because patients do not ask for it, not all clinicians believe they need it, no one is willing to pay for it, and because some of the basic standards to connect one system to another are adopted by one system but not the other.
Like many of the major advances in this country and in the world, these standards are a critical part of the equation. There are people all over the country working to achieve this, and they are slowly making progress. Like the Union Pacific Railroad, the moonshot, the automated teller machine, and a number of large national projects, health information exchange is a complex project that will take years to complete.
No Matter Where scratches the surface of these complex issues that have been dealt with in recent times by a number of private foundations, public/private partnerships, and public entities, and uncovers the tragic, hidden cost on the lives of millions of Americans.
Thanks to Food Matters TV, for alerting me to this film.
This 1974 documentary by G. Edward Griffin explains the hypothesis that cancer is a ”deficiency disease” that is brought about by the absence of Nitrilocides from Vitamin B-17 in people’s diets, and it shows evidence that a related medical treatment known as Laetrile is able to often cure cancers that have already started. Various issues are discussed including an explanation of the theory, evidence of the treatment being effective including case histories, and an explanation of ulterior motives causing the medical establishment to inappropriately be opposed to such treatment.
Thanks to G Edward Griffin.
During her PhD, Dr Carla Brown investigated protein antibiotics isolated from gut bacteria termed bacteriocins. This area of research is extremely important due to the problem of antibiotic resistance. Bacteriocins represent an ideal class of novel antibiotics as they are highly potent and species-specific – therefore do not elicit broad spectrum killing that is a major contributor to the spread of resistance. As part of her research, and funded by the Institute of Infection, Immunity and Inflammation at University of Glasgow, Carla collaborated with Siam Colvine, Christopher Cook (Little City Pictures) and Steven Cook (Little City Pictures) to produce an innovative film to educate the public on the damaging effect resistant bacteria are having on antibiotics. The team used dance and art to convey the message and hence make the scientific content more accessible to the public.
The documentary Meat: The Truth is the first major project undertaken by the Nicolaas G Pierson Foundation. Meat: The Truth is a high-profile documentary, presented by Marianne Thieme, which forms an addendum to earlier films that have been made about climate change. Although such films have convincingly succeeded in drawing public attention to the issue of global warming, they have repeatedly ignored one of the most important causes of climate change, namely: intensive livestock production. Meat: The Truth, has drawn attention to this by demonstrating that livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emissions worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together.
Thanks to The Nicolaas G Pierson Foundation.
Before you think this is an exaggeration, please watch both of the following videos. The truth is far more frightening than even the worst of the headlines suggest. You will miss the NHS when it is gone forever.
Professor Allyson Pollock spoke about the NHS Reinstatement Bill to the public in Oxford in October 2014, at a meeting organised by the Green Party. This is the speech uncut. Pollock is behind the NHS Reinstatement Bill as a response to privatisation.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Library: November, 2014.
Corporate interests rather than patient care is driving reform in today’s NHS and will divert money away from you. And the media are failing to tell you this.
This film is radical. With over a dozen NHS insiders as my witnesses, I tell the alarming story of how the health service as we know it has been quietly abolished. Almost without our noticing, it’s been replaced by a system modelled on the US in which care is delivered by profit-maximising companies that charge patients for treatment which is anyway to be restricted and reduced.
One medical reporter the film-maker knows claims that health reporting today is so poor because few journalists have real sources inside the NHS. Well, this film has a riot of medical sources – including one professor, two consultant radiologists, a cancer expert, a public interest lawyer, and several outspoken GPs. What they all say will be shocking, unusual and brave. Our doctors really strike back in this one.
I shine a torch on what some doctors see as a glaring omission in the national psyche. I have identified a powerful group of figures within the NHS who are alarmed by the public’s lack of awareness about the abolition of their NHS. This film follows their arguments right the way up to the Health Secretary’s relinquishing of responsibility for the nation’s health, and argues that it must be reversed. This film also takes you on a personal journey to a national theme that has massive implications for us all. It reveals a hidden agenda that’s already having disastrous effects. According to one senior consultant: ‘It’s like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank’. Each of the insiders speak to us intimately, as if we’re patients in the consulting room. These doctors are people simply doing their jobs by putting their patients’ interests, which are also the viewers’ interests, first.
What perhaps surprises us most is how efficiency and quality drop. Or, perilously, how close we are to falling forever down a pitiless US-style empty well of no-bucks-no-care. Though the diagnosis remains bleak, the strength of the characters at the film’s disposal should give us surprising hope, casting flashes of light across an otherwise bleak landscape. The style of the film is intimate, hand-held scrupulousness. Interviews take place in discreet corners of hospitals, surgeries and streets, the images at times elevated by a powerful soundtrack, leaving the viewer with an overall admiration for the doctors’ speaking out, combined with anger at what’s happening.
The Health-Care Survivor’s Library: January, 2015.