From The Blog

Four years, 19 countries, and 24 experts in anthropology, medicine, ecology, and health have exposed the roots of our DNA and how to prevent the modern world from making you sick.

The health of our planet and ourselves has reached a critical point. Planet Earth is choking on chemicals and so are we. Most of us aren’t even close to the healthy vitality of our African ancestors.

Can we get back what we’ve lost? Well.org founder and creator of the Origins film, Pedram Shojai thinks so, but we need to act.

“It is on us to bring balance,” Shojai narrates in the one hour and 40 minute film.

In Origins, Shojai and his team take a journey to the African bush to reconnect with our ancestors. He finds people still very much in touch with nature and animals completely connected with our planet.

How do we get this back? First, we have to recognize where we’ve gone wrong – which is what Origins has set out to educate about.

“Are we hearing the alarm calls or are we ignoring our natural intelligence?” Shojai asks.

The health of our planet is deeply intertwined with our own health. The chemicals flooding our environment are also flooding us.

“The toxicity of our planet is really a big part of what is causing humanity to be so sick,” says one of the film’s interviewees, cardiologist and author Dr. Alejandro Junger.

Not only are the chemicals and toxins harming us, but so are all the unnatural, packaged foods that our bodies simply don’t know how to process. And the more science learns about the human body, the more it realizes the importance of the microbiome, or the inner ecosystem of natural bacteria in the gut, as the head of the immune system response – an immune system that has been greatly affected by overuse of antibiotics. Antibiotics kill all bacteria, including the good kind.

So yes, the state of our planet and bodies are in need of some positive changes. The film offers ways to get there, including things like fermented foods that help build that microbiome back up. Meditation not only soothes us but helps wake up higher reasoning levels in our brains to make better decisions. There are solutions and Origins and well.org are helping open the dialogue to bring these solutions to everyone.

In this Daily Show special report, Jon Stewart and Aasif Mandvi find out that greedy farmers have threatened the livelihood of Monsanto’s heroic patent attorneys. Spoiler alert: It’s hilarious! (Apologies for the 30 second ad.)

Monsanto tells us that their products are about the best thing to come along since sliced bread. For years they’ve been promising that Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) would reduce pesticide use, increase yields, reduce water consumption, and offer foods that are more tasty and more nutritious.

I wish they were right.

But in the 20 years since GMO crops first came on the market, studies have found that they have led to higher pesticide use, and no meaningful improvement in flavornutrition, yield or water requirements. Instead, what they’ve created are plants that are engineered to withstand massive dosing of toxic herbicides, and plants that function as living pesticide factories. Monsanto’s Bt. corn, for example, is actually registered with the EPA as a pesticide.

With concern about GMOs and other changes to our increasingly toxic food supply growing fast, and with deaths from cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and other lifestyle and environment-related illness continuing to mount, more and more people are demanding to know the truth about our food.

In response, the 200,000+ member Food Revolution Network is offering a free online Food Revolution Summit. From April 25-May 3, some of the top food experts on the planet will be providing insights and clear calls to action in this teleseminar that is also being broadcast without charge on the Internet. Speakers include Paul McCartney, Tony Robbins, Michael Pollan, “Food Babe” Vani Hari, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Vandana Shiva, and many more.

Monsanto, McDonald’s, and Coca-Cola probably aren’t too happy about the prospect of tens of thousands of thousands of people getting informed and mobilized. But if you love life, safe food, and the truth, then you might want to check it out and sign up for free here.

Big beef is having a cow over this.

The USDA and the US Department of Health & Human Services are updating their dietary guidelines, as they do every 5 years.

But this time, as far Big Beef is concerned, something has gone terribly wrong.

It all started innocently enough, when the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee decided to recommend that the guidelines include, for the first time, sustainability in their recommendations. If the U.S. government did indeed recommend food that is good for both our health and the environment, the impact would be felt in schools and other government facilities across the country – and across our entire food system. It might also be good for the future of our planet.

Why? Because livestock production, and most especially industrialized beef production, is responsible for 15% of global carbon emissions. Halve your meat intake, and you could cut your diet-driven carbon footprint by more than 35 percent. Go vegan, and the difference could be 60%.

In drought-ravaged California, water is part of any sustainability equation. And here again, the livestock industry is not happy with the data. A quarter of the state’s entire water budget is used to produce meat and dairy. Stunningly, California’s livestock industry uses more water than all the homes, businesses and government in the state combined. And even with all that water, California still imports most of the meat consumed in the state.

One thing California exports is Alfalfa. And alfalfa is a thirsty crop. California, it turns out, exports more than 100 billion gallons of water per year in the form of alfalfa to countries like China, who use it for livestock feed. How much sense does it make, in a state that is facing a devastating water crisis, to in effect ship away more than three times enough water to meet the needs of every household in the city of San Francisco, so China can eat more beef?

Want to conserve water? Since it takes 1,799 gallons of water to produce a single pound of grain-fed beef, it turns out that, if you want to save water, reducing industrialized beef consumption could be the most powerful single step you can take.

Meat consumption in the United States has already fallen by more than 15% in the last 10 years. But in January, the Washington Post said that including sustainability in dietary guidelines could be the meat industry’s worst nightmare. An article on Nasdaq.com titled “How The ‘Death Of Meat’ Could Impact Your Portfolio” urged investors to think twice about holding long positions in meat industry stocks, stating that “investors shouldn’t underestimate the potential effect of this on the meat industry.”

And sure enough, when the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans Committee released its recommendations on February 19, the committee stated that: “Consistent evidence indicates that… a dietary pattern that is higher in plant-based foods… and lower in animal-based foods is more health promoting and is associated with lesser environmental impact (GHG emissions and energy, land, and water use).”

The industry, of course, isn’t taking all this lying down. Not with hundreds of billions of dollars on the line. A recent headline on FOX News reads, “Beef producers say Obama is trying to kill their industry.”

The North American Meat Institute and National Cattlemen’s Beef Association have each issued statements denouncing any suggestion that environmental impact should dictate dietary guidelines. Having apparently decided that any attempt to convince researchers that meat was environmentally benign would be fruitless, they are now trying to assert that the committee has overstepped its bounds.

While the dietary guidelines committee was charged specifically with looking at food and health, there is a decidedly strong rationale for including sustainability in the picture. Our environment does, after all, dramatically impact our health — as well as our ability to grow the food we need to provide for an expanding human population. In an increasingly hungry world, it matters a great deal that we use about 8 times as much land grow food for animals as we do to grow food for humans.

Between now and the fall, the USDA and the Department of Health & Human Services will be evaluating the committee’s recommendations, and deciding how they’ll actually translate into official government policy. The lobbyists will be out in full force, and there’s no telling whether or not government officials will ultimately heed the recommendations of the independent experts on the committee they created. (To add your voice saying whether or not you think sustainability recommendations should be included in the report, submit a comment between now and May 8, here.)

Whatever the ultimate policy outcome, the environmental impact of our food choices is getting more attention than ever.

And while the industrialized beef industry might not like that one bit, it just might be good news for our planet.

Want to get the real truth and critical insights about how what you eat impacts your health and your world? Join Paul McCartney, Michael Pollan, Dr. Mark Hyman, Tony Robbins, Dr. Joel Furhman, and 20 more leading food experts in the Food Revolution Summit. You’ll find out about how industry propaganda is misleading the public and sickening millions. And you’ll discover what you can do to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your world. Find out more here.