Important announcement : Andrew Weil Integrative Medicine Center releases FAQ on whole food and nutritional supplements related to coronavirus COVID-19

If you are familiar with Botanical Nutrition, you know that we don’t sell anything. There is no sales pitch here, and while I work in the natural products industry – everything expressed here is my personal opinion, or at least my personal take on the facts. I do not claim to represent any company directly, nor have the statements I make here been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

I make that disclaimer because I’m writing today about an important announcement from the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine, which is publicly available and linked here. In it Weil and the center talk about some nutritional supplements, some of which are recommended for potentially preventing coronavirus, and some which he mentions are contraindicated in case of active Covid-19 infection.

I would encourage you to read what Dr. Weil and his team has to say for yourself, and draw your own conclusions, but for ease of reference I will paraphrase a few of the observations he makes in this FAQ. They discuss a number of things, including some dietary supplements : medicinal mushrooms (mycelia), vitamin D3, NAC (n-acetyl cysteine), Spirulina and Elder berry.

Specifically the distinction is made that Elder berry is recommended if you are trying to prevent viral infection such as coronavirus. But, if you have the disease Covid-19 the Weil center states “to minimize the possibility that elderberry could aggravate the inflammatory “cytokine storm” associated with the more severe COVID-19 infections, it is recommended to stop elderberry at the first signs of infection (fever, cough, sore throat) and/or if you test positive for the virus.”

This will be upsetting to some, and others will disagree, but I am reminded of one of the key tenets of natural medicine “Primer nocer coctum”, – First, do no harm. If we have any doubts about using something that could cause harm, we should look elsewhere. I highly recommend you read the Weil center document in its entirety.

Similarly, the center advises that if you have covid-19 (again an important distinction meaning you’re not just a healthy person looking to PREVENT getting infected) you should discontinue Vitamin D. The rest of us, in fact SHOULD KEEP TAKING our Vitamin D (arguably, along with our Elder berry, medicinal mushrooms/mycelia, etc.) to keep from getting stick.

Another distinction made by Dr Weil is that medicinal mushrooms in the form of mycelia, a holistic preparation of the mushroom life cycle, is same to take – even in the presence of the disease. However, he specifically discourages taking polysaccharide extracts of the fruiting body in the same situation.

If you’d like to hear more of my take on it, or just see what the heck I’ve got in that funny blue drink… check out my latest video below. Thanks for listening and feel free to comment. I’m not afraid to debate or discuss, but please be respectful and keep the previous disclaimers in mind. God bless and godspeede….

Natural cardiologist recommends Alkalize 55 to reverse heart disease

Let’s put this right up front – there is no one miracle cure to prevent or reverse heart disease, or really any disease.

So when world-renowned NMD cardiologist Dr. Decker Weiss says “That’s the secret guys – get alkaline!” what is he really saying? He’s telling you that body is a natural healer – IF we give it the right nutrients and maintain the right balance in our bodies.  Diet and lifestyle are not just tools for health, they are the natural means of keeping our bodies in balance.

Heart foods.jpg

Dr. Weiss also recommends Alkalize 55, a unique nutritional supplement made by the Food Movement, to help maintain the crucial acid-alkaline balance.  Alkalize 55 is a blend of two main components 1) a prebiotic triple-fermented dmeter-certfiied biodynamic foods formulated by macrobiotic legend Dr Michio Kushi and 2)a complex black mineral extract containg humic acid, fluvic acid and over 80 ultra trace mineral elements.  There is no other formula this unique, and this effective in helping the body achieve homeostasis.

ALKALIZE 55 small thumb

Click the above image to find out more about Alkalize 55.

I’ve previously written quite a bit about Alkalize 55, as I’m quite proud of this formula our collective efforts have produced.  Think of it as a combination of the benefits of Willard Water, combined with a micro dose of a macrobiotic plate of many colors.  Made with foods biodynamically grown in the paradise known as Brazil, on the Anew farm.

One of the single most interesting components of the Whole Earth Mineral blend in Alkalize 55  is fulvic acid which is also recommended by noted medical expert Dr Josh Axe for a wide variety of health issues.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be talking more about alkalinity and how to achieve it.  I’m lucky enough to have acquired a wealth of information from Dr Michio Kushi and others in the macrobiotic movement during my time as a book/supplement buyer at the legendary Doug Brendle‘s Natural Health Superstore in Winston-Salem, NC, now doing business as A&S Health Foods, the brainchild of another SouthEastern retail legend, Mr Bill Grady.

Me, personally, I’m a free-thinker, raised by a single-mother PhD psychologist.  I think the way that we can best achieve the best of our human potential is to A) tap into the power of nature that surrounds us and B) always use critical thinking.  In this case, my critical thinking led me to formulate Alkalize 55 from two of the most powerful natural complexes in the toolbox.

Once sold exclusively in Doctor’s offices through Medicatrix Naturae, the Food Movement has taken on the mission of selling this fascinating healing complex in health food stores around the country.  While online sales are a reality in the modern world, health food stores also serve as community centers for natural health information.

If you are unable to get to a local health food store you can purchase Alkalize 55 from the Food Movement here.


What are bioactive dietary supplements?

When it comes to nutritional supplements like herbs, vitamins or super foods – you hear a lot of terms thrown around.  So what does the food movement mean when it says that it sells ‘bioactive dietary supplements’?


In part, it means that the form the supplements in question are in is a form that can be readily used by the body for maximum benefit.  Take for example vitamin D.  This essential vitamin is available in more than one form, but in published research only D3 (cholecalciferol) shows consistently beneficial and usable levels in the human body.

The Food Movement was one of the first companies to sell plant-based cholecalciferol in the US health food store market.

But cholecalciferol is just one type of bioactive nutrient.  Ultra trace minerals from natural organic matter (humates) are another type of bioactive nutrient the Food Movement sells – making a broad spectrum of minerals available to the body is a very usable and absorbable form.  Being bound to fulvic acid (a form of humic acid) and a host of mineral co-factors makes these compounds very bioactive in the body.

The Food Movement has also developed a number of products which are supplements made from a combination of super foods and fulvic minerals.  Alkalize 55 is made from triple-fermented foods and humic fulvic minerals, while a new combination of minerals and organic Pomegranate is coming very soon.

Should I take Zeolite with humic fulvic minerals?

Perhaps this is a question you have asked yourself. Perhaps you’ve never heard of Zeolite and you’re asking “Rob, what the heck is that?” In any case, I’d like to share with you some of the benefits of taking Zeolite – particularly in a liquid form with humic acid, fulvic acid and over 70 naturally occurring trace minerals.

The above information is taken from a 2018 article in the journal Frontiers in Pharmacology. Now, I have to tell you, I have worked with supplements for a long time, and as a general rule THERE ARE NO MIRACLE CURES. (Except maybe faith, clean water, and consistent good sleep). Nonetheless – our bodies require tons of essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals, and other elements to maintain our good health naturally.

Zeolites are natural mineral compounds that are generally formed as a result of volcanic activity. When lava or volcanic ash meets up with ground water outside the volcano, the results are unique alumino-silicate minerals (containing, as they name implies, organic aluminum and silica) that have a very unique cage-like structure. There are many kinds of Zeolites, but they kind of mineral typicaly used in supplements is called Clinoptilolite.

Taking Zeolite in combination with humic fulvic trace minerals (such as the Black Earth Zeolite product The Food Movement Co. developed 10 years ago) may also give you a distinct advantage, not just because the organic acids humic and fulvic help with absorption acting as a ‘chaperone’ into the cells (evidence suggests they do) but also because of the BROAD SPECTRUM of micronutrient trace minerals in the humates the product is extracted from.

Another nice thing about Zeolite Clinpotilolite is that it has a great safety profile. And when you use a brand like Black Earth Zeolite, you know you are taking a product that is third party tested, and manufactured according to GMP standards in the USA.

Acid-base balance and gender : what role does the X chromosome play in pH balance and inflammation?

Heady little topic for a scientific mini-review, eh? To me, ever since discovering macrobiotics in my teenage years (thank you to the Kushis for rescuing from Standard American junk food diet!) acid-alkaline balance has been a key point of consideration.

Yet, there are still some non-believers, incredibly. As crucial a mechanism as acid-base balance and regulation is for the cells of our body, some otherwise learned people seem to rebuke this theory out of hand, which is strange to me to say the least. To be sure, I myself will be diving in more on this in the coming days as it is as important as ever.

So when researcher George Jacques Casimir et al publish a study called “The Acid-Base Balance and Gender in Inflammation: A Mini-Review” you’d think they might really get some people thinking? Check out the abstract here at pub med for yourself.

The paper asks some interesting questions, and gives back some interesting data as well.

“Although pH influences multiple immunological functions, gender differences in acid-base balance have been poorly investigated. In this review, we provide an update on gender differences in human susceptibility to inflammatory diseases. We additionally discuss the potential impact of acid-base balance on the gender bias of the inflammatory response in view of our recent observation that girls present higher neutrophilic inflammation and lower pH with a trend toward better prognosis in severe sepsis. We also highlight the potent role played by endothelial cells in gender differences of inflammation through activation of proton-sensing G protein-coupled receptors.”

Why is this safe food-based dietary supplement {REDACTED}?



In fact, it has but not to feel that the reaction to the Food Movement’s Fulvic Pom has been unfairly politicized.

So, it’s no surprise that the product Fulvic Pom, made by the Food Movement Company from Chicago, was targeted by the huge multi-national when they discovered the supplement was based on anti-viral research originally published in the journal Vaccine.

The truth, however, is that Fulvic Pom is a very safe combination of organic Pomegranate juice powder and humic fulvic trace minerals. There is absolutely no reason the supplement should be banned from Amazon, even if the research on the powerful combination’s anti-viral activities were originally published in a journal on Vaccine research.

In fact, this is the kind of internet censorship, and blacklisting of products that challenge the status quo, that has many concerned. All the more reason that discerning consumers should support independent health food stores instead of corporate giants like Amazon, further consolidating their power and their ability to stifle free speech and shut down products (and points-of-view) that they deem unacceptable!

Independent health food stores, and alternative medical practitioners, across the country – and the world – carry Fulvic Pom because there is no other supplement like it. There are other antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, herbals nutraceuticals – but how many other have been proven to contain EVNCs ‘ Enveloped Virus Neutralizing Compounds.’

The truth is that Pomegranate is known to be a highly beneficial super food! Humic fulvic ‘black Earth’ minerals are a highly bioavailable source of trace nutrients and electrolytes. Together they are no available in this powerful supplement Fulvic Pom.

Dietary supplements like Fulvic Pom aren’t sold to treat or prevent disease, but broad spectrum nutrition such as this can provide a truly wide range of benefits. While medical journals may publish research on every day food medicine, such as these, the truth is that food is a powerful way to potentially change our health outcomes.

The scientific and traditional origins of Black Earth Silver : from ancient paleolakes to the health food store and a “new” and improved colloidal silver

Khar Lake (Ulaagchin’s Black Lake), located in the Zavkhan province of Mongolia, is rich in humic acid, colloidal silver and many other minerals and has been used for healing for ages.

The Food Movement Company is an eco-conscious bioactive food supplement manufacturer in the U.S. that has brought many unique products to market, as well as helping to serve many great causes as part of their food movement mission.

One of the totally unique products they began selling to natural health practitioners (and eventually important community health food stores) is called Black Earth Silver – a unique combination of humic fulvic minerals and nano-colloidal silver.

Black Earth Silver from the Food Movement, a combination of humic fulvic minerals and
nanocolloidal silver

But the research on the efficacy of such a combination actually has roots in the ancient traditions of Mongolia and their humic-mineral rich healing mud in areas such as the “Black Lake” of Ulaagchin, Khar Lake in the Zavkahn province. A remnant of the ancient ‘paleolakes’ from thousands of years ago, the lake has been found to contain high levels of Humic Acid and associated trace minerals.

Because of its high levels of unique black minerals this lake has been used for centuries as a source of healing compounds. In recent years, Mongolian and Russian scientific researchers have had the advanced idea of combining these black humic minerals with nano-colloidal silver for enhanced effects.

In 2012 a study was published in Mongolian Journal of Chemistry, based on analysis of a type of HA (Humic Acid) rich organic matter known as “Mongolian healing mud”.  The researchers wrote “The resultant  HA/Ag (silver)  hybrid composite  could  be  essential  to  improve  the properties of HA  preparations because of Ag’s antibacterial  properties  and  the  enhanced solubility of the product”

            In 2016, researchers from the Russian Academy of Sciences and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences published a study called “A New Humic Acid Preparation with Addition of Silver Nanoparticles”.[1] 

            The researchers concluded “Aggregate resistant of colloidal system is defined by several parameters including small particles solvation and repulsion of electrical statistic force. It is certain that HA (Humic Acid) polyanions in aqueous solution react with positively charged Ag (Silver). This interaction could result in coagulation of the system. However, the colloid system was stable in the given ratios ofHA:Ag. This showed that HA functional groups occupy all possible coordination positions on the surface of metal nanoparticles. HA associates to the nanoparticle surface and increases the hydrophilic character of products; this will sustain its stability in aqueous solution.”

            This explains, in part, the interaction between Humic Acid and Silver in solution.  The Humic Acid and Silver nanoparticles combine in a stable way allowing them both to stay in solution, and the unique benefits of this mineral combination.

[1] Alexandrova, G.P. et al TY A New Humic Acid Preparation with Addition of Silver Nanoparticles

DO  – 10.1007/978-94-007-5634-2_142 JO  – Functions of Natural Organic Matter in Changing Environment

Fermented foods and black earth minerals for a healthy microbiome : Alkalize 55

Probiotics are a well-researched part of a natural health regimen. Due to their increased popularity, they are now being added to everything from snack foods to protein supplements.

Do you realize, of just as great, if not even greater, significance to the health of the microbiome – are whole foods? Probiotics are one part of a healthy micro-biome, but to do their job in the gut they also require fiber from food, and also micronutrients from foods as well as supplements to fill in the gaps in our intake (which studies show can be substantial!). More and more health experts are realizing that we need to reach even further to grasp the true nature of balance in the human microbiome.

Post-biotic metabolites from fermented foods can be key. Fermentation happens in our gut with proper bacterial balance and the presence of key nutrients and co-factors. An important strategy is to give our body the needed building blocks.

In the Mind-Gut Connection, author Emeran Mayer, MD explores some of these ideas surrounding the discoveries about the human microbiome. In the book the Dr. recounts some of his specifc experience helping individuals deal with digestive and systemic health problems using whole foods, probiotics, and post-biotic metabolites.

Alkalize 55 contains unique post-biotic metabolites that can have a profound effect on human health.* Alkalize 55 is made from 55 triple-fermented biodynamically grown foods formulated by the late Dr. Michio Kushi, and over 70 ultra trace minerals bound to black earth humic and fulvic acid. The combination is a powerhouse of whole food fermented plant and mineral nutrition to help rebuild your body from the inside.*

*These statements have not evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to prevent or treat disease.

Stuart Tomc’s quarantine reading (and viewing) list

Yesterday I helped to make April magically disappear – by having a great conversation with an old friend. Stuart Tomc has been somewhat of a legend in the natural products realm, being a world-renowned speaker and educator for companies like North American Herb & Spice, Nordic Naturals and currently with the market leader in CBD products, Cannavest Sciences Inc (CVSI).

Subscribe to the Whole Earth YouTube channel to get the full interview.

I’ll be uploading the epic conversation soon – it is nearly 1:40 in length – but first I wanted to create this blog post to index some of the reading and viewing material that came up in our conversation. Stuart is a really eclectic thinker and I always find it interesting to hear what he has been diving into.

We started off talking about the 800 lb gorilla in the room – the current Covid-19 outbreak and subsuquent quarantine. Stuart has been listening to TWiV – this Week in Virology, which has recently become a very popular podcast! I find it very eye-opening, and as much as I am suffering corona-talk burnout, this really gives a great into the science behind the pandemic scene.

Click here for the amazing podcast on — This Week in Virology

Some other recommended reading (and viewing) from Stuart :

David Hoffman and the case against reality

The Ahuman Manifesto

The Art of Living by Epictetus

and he really wanted to make sure I included this video, a recording of a 1950s phonorecord of inspirational thoughts (some would say the birth of the self improvement movement) from Earl Nightingale.

Stay tuned for the full conversation and to here us jawing about the natural medicine scene, the future of food, nutrition, science, philosophy and more.

Is 5G technology safe? A look at the scientific concerns around the world

Anti-5G protesters in Switzerland

The current environment in the US is far from ideal. Most states are under shelter-in-place orders, with only essential workers allowed to go to work, and social distancing guidelines keeping most of us from socializing as we normally would. There are many negative side effects of this : and one of them has been that everyone has turned increasingly to social media, a double edge sword in many ways, and the general anxiety and agitation many of us feel is coming across in many different ways. This is the perfect storm for all kinds of conspiracy theories to flourish, as we grasp to get a handle on a situation that is largely out of our control.

A number of theories abound about 5G technology, the next generation of cellular communications, including as a cause of coronavirus/Covid-19. Personally, I find that idea to be completely without merit – having seen zero evidence of this other than YouTube videos, some from ‘Doctors’ who turn out to be fake, espousing ideas like “viruses are fake, and not contagious” something that must be a shock to any microbiologist. In fact, I have wondered if beyond getting attention and profiting from YouTube monetization if some of this might be actually be intentionally spread as disinformation – hoping to obscure any real discussion about 5G, and in particular Millimeter Wave technology. That is {the kind of ‘fake news’ conspiracy possibility}I find quite plausible.

At any rate, my goal here is to reframe the discussion – trying my best to exclude the paranoid thinking and unreasonable correlations. But still, to ask the question, has 5G been shown to be safe?

To take the full view, I started with those saying that it IS safe. No surprise here, the technology companies behind the technology say that it is. (Have you ever had a company, other than tobacco, tell you they were selling you something unsafe?)

The International Commission on Non‐Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) is a scientific group based in Germany that has international responsibility for setting guidelines for the safety of radio wave broadcasting. In response to 5G, the group updated their guidelines for the first time in many years, but still believes that the level of exposure falls well below an unsafe level.

Dr Eric von Rongen, the chair of the ICNIRP recently told the UK’s the Guardian “We know parts of the community are concerned about the safety of 5G and we hope the updated guidelines will help put people at ease. The guidelines have been developed after a thorough review of all relevant scientific literature, scientific workshops and an extensive public consultation process. They provide protection against all scientifically substantiated adverse health effects due to [electromagnetic field] exposure in the 100 kHz to 300 GHz range.”

There is no shortage of opposition from scientists who disagree with the findings of the ICNIRP, but none perhaps as succinct as a paper published earlier this year in the journal Molecular and Clinical Oncology titled “Appeals that matter or not on a moratorium on the deployment of the fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation”

In this paper authors Hardell and Nyberg specifically rebutt the findings of the ICNIRP, and describe what they see as the European Union’s failure to act “The fifth generation, 5G, for microwave radiation is about to be implemented worldwide in spite of no comprehensive investigations of the potential risks to human health and the environment. In an appeal sent to the EU in September, 2017 currently >260 scientists and medical doctors requested for a moratorium on the deployment of 5G until the health risks associated with this new technology have been fully investigated by industry-independent scientists. The appeal and four rebuttals to the EU over a period of >2 years, have not achieved any positive response from the EU to date. Unfortunately, decision makers seem to be uninformed or even misinformed about the risks. EU officials rely on the opinions of individuals within the ICNIRP and the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR), most of whom have ties to the industry. They seem to dominate evaluating bodies and refute risks. It is important that these circumstances are described. In this article, the warnings on the health risks associated with RF presented in the 5G appeal and the letters to the EU Health Commissioner since September, 2017 and the authors’ rebuttals are summarized. The responses from the EU seem to have thus far prioritized industry profits to the detriment of human health and the environment.”

Another study published in the International Journal of Environmental Research Public Health entitled 5G Wireless Communication and Health Effects-A Pragmatic Review Based on Available Studies Regarding 6 to 100 GHz reviewed 94 published studies and concluded “The available studies do not provide adequate and sufficient information for a meaningful safety assessment, or for the question about non-thermal effects. There is a need for research regarding local heat developments on small surfaces, e.g., skin or the eye, and on any environmental impact. Our quality analysis shows that for future studies to be useful for safety assessment, design and implementation need to be significantly improved.”

In summary, the jury may still be out on whether 5G is safe. So, the next question we might ask is ‘why isn’t sufficient testing being done?’ When the next wave of technology rolls out – 6G, 7G – will better designed studies be done and will scientists’ concerns be listened to? These are questions to be treated with seriousness, in my opinion, and to be carefully parsed apart away from paranoia, propaganda and disinformation. Like many environmental health concerns, we may be right in feeling that we should be as careful as we are in measures such as social distancing, as we are in examining the health effects of new technologies. You just can never be too careful, can you?

Why does the BBC publish unsubstantiated lies about natural food medicine and Covid-19?

[For best results read this article in an angry John Oliver voice]

You can probably read the frustration in my mind based on the title of this post. I’m not going to apologize, I’m just going to tell it like it is.

A friend, who happens to work in the pharmaceutical industry, recently forwarded me an article. Here’s a link to it. To be clear these are the unsubstantiated lies I was referring to in the title.

In a nutshell this piece of garbage references “snake oil salesmen” from the early 20th century (contrasted with the ‘highly reputable’ – and, ironically, mostly naturally derived – Vicks VapoRub) and then tries to tell you that companies selling natural products today are doing the same thing. It is incredibly poorly written, and acts as if there was no such things as science – just vaccines which are good and natural products which are snake oil. If there was ever an example of intellectually dishonest sensationalistic ‘journalism’ – this is it.

If you want GOOD information (that which is actually written by people who practice medicine and know what they’re talking about based on clinical practice and science) on natural medicine and Covid-19, may I direct you to The Weill Center FAQ


Here’s a prime quote from the BBC article “Forget kombucha and trendy vitamin supplements – they are nothing more than magic potions for the modern age.”

Okay well, let’s start with a reality check. There are literally thousands of studies substantiating various vitamins. I mean, the very reason that scientists DISCOVERED vitamins was because they were proven to be essential for various biological processes. So, other than the complete ambiquity of what a ‘trendy’ vitamin supplement is, this statement is completely FALSE.

And I could literally spend all day proving that statement. But, for once, let me not send you a weblink. Let me recommend a book. If you really want to learn whether or not natural medicine can benefit the immune system, as well as the entire human body, start with this book.

But just for the sake of the argument -let’s take a bottle of Kombucha, just for example (never mind the health promoting vitamins, minerals, plant derivatives etc. we could dive into) and work backwards on this statement that it is ‘snake oil’.

I’m drinking a bottle of GTs Kombucha right now, and this label indicates the drink has a probiotic strain called Baccilus coagulans, Reishi mushrooms, Chaga mushrooms, and Turkey Tail mushrooms. If the author of the BBC article is correct and this is a “magic potion” (which I am interpreting to mean – not actually a magic potion, but like children’s fairy tales something that has no assumed validity in the real world)…. there will CERTAINLY be no published scientific research on any of the ingredients in this magic potion, right?

So, I’ll do a simply pubmed search on Reishi, to begin with… and… look at this screen shot ! I mean, there are literally too many to name. The amount of research on the ingredients in this “magic potion” are just overwhelming. A number of them dealing with Cancer and chemotherapy support. That’s just ONE ingredient in ONE magic potion. I’m starting to wonder whether this BBC writer is an idiot or a liar or both.

So, I think you get the point. Suffice to say, there is plenty of good credible scientific research on Bacillus coagulans, Chaga, Turkey tail and MANY MANY other natural support mechanisms. I mean, that is literally the entire reason I started this blog.

What I find frustrating is that in the flow of information, more and more of it these days, things are not necessarily becoming clearer. With all this information flying around we should all be getting smarter by the minute! Why is that not happening?!

The answer, I believe, is that we are continually held back by people lying to us. Lying is very different than being wrong. Being wrong is okay, in fact, it is VERY GOOD as it means your critical thinking is on track and you have a belief system that allows you to identify mistakes and corrects them. So, I’m left with a question I can’t answer : why is the BBC lying to us about Covid-19 and natural medicine?

What are nature’s best kept secrets for a healthy immune system? The secret may be in traditional food-based supplements.

Lots of people look to support their immune system naturally, using high quality nutritional and food-based supplements. Is there a scientific basis for this? What supplements should you be taking?

Omega-3 fatty acids EPA & DHA are essential for human health, and are very often low in modern diets. A 2017 study called “High DHA Fish Oil Linked to Immune Boost in Humans” published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that fish oil rich in these Omega-3s may help to modulate B lymphocytes in the human body.

It is interesting to note that high EPA & DHA cold water fish, and the extracted fish oil, have been relied on in places like Norway as a natural food/wellness provision for generations. This scientific validation of EPA & DHA fish oil is truly an example of science finally catching up to traditional food medicine!

Another study in the British Journal of Nutrition called “Immune Parameters Improved in Response to Fish Oil”  found that fish oil Omega-3 supplementation could improve a number of immune function markers as opposed to strength traninig exercise. It was found that fish oil supplementation could improve markers of both innate (zymosan phagocytosis, lysosomal volume, superoxide anion, peroxide of hydrogen) and acquired immunity (cluster of differentiation 4 (CD4), CD8, TNF-α, interferon-γ (IFN-γ), IL-2, IL-6 and IL-10 produced by lymphocytes). It was found that supplementation with fish oil improved these immune markers in the body, but strength training did not.

Another traditional food medicine is mushrooms/mycelia. You may have eaten Shittake fruiting bodies in your food without realizing you were taking in powerful medicine as well as a yummy food ingredient. The same goes for Maitake, Lion’s Mane and many other traditional food mushrooms/mycelia. Science is also finding that these mushrooms may have much to offer our immune system.

Well-known mycologist and star of the film “Fantastic Fungi” Paul Stamets was one of the most requested guests on the Joe Rogan Experience. Check out the fascinating interview here.

A 2017 meta-analysis published in the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms called “Medicinal Mushrooms in Human Clinical Studies. Part I. Anticancer, Oncoimmunological, and Immunomodulatory Activities: A Review” found “Numerous bioactive polysaccharides or polysaccharide-protein complexes from [medicinal mushrooms] seem to enhance innate and cell-mediated immune responses, and they exhibit antitumor activities in animals and humans. While the mechanism of their antitumor actions is still not completely understood, stimulation and modulation of key host immune responses by these mushroom compounds seems to be central. “

What other natural immune-boosting and balancing natural food supplements are there? Well you could peruse some of my previous writings in this blog on Pomegranate , Miso and Moringa. The truth is nature has a cornucopia of health-supporting foods, supporting immune response and the whole body. Start incorporating these foods into your diet, and check out the highest quality possible supplements in their categories and shop in a health food store!

Two great natural ways to kill enveloped viruses (such as coronavirus).


You would have to been living under a rock to not know you should be washing your hands with hot water and soap, and also using alcohol-based hand sanitizer, even when there isn’t an international outbreak of cornoavirus that causes Covid-19.

But did you know one reason alcohol is so effective is that it neutralizes the envelope around such virulent strains? That envelope is the main reason these viruses are so hard for the immune system to kill. Alcohol in hand sanitizer is high enough alcohol by volume (higher than alcohol such as consumed recreationally) that it breaks through that envelope the virus uses to protect itself from our bodies’ white blood cells and general immune system.

A molecule of the SARS-coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Beneath those spikes is a protective envelope that makes viruses such as this especially hard to kill.

Another way is with natural foods, particularly colorful and phenol-rich foods such as pomegranate, elder berries, and even other more common berries such as black berry, blue berry and most edible berries. Research shows that these foods and specific herbs have not just general antioxidant and immune-supporting benefits, some of their are specifically anti-viral.

Pomegranate in particular has been show to be a food (dare I say “super” food?) that can be an effective immune support supplement, and so are wonderful beverages like polyphenol-rich green tea and red wine.

A combination of fulvic acid and pomegranate juice was researched in the Journal Vaccine, in an article called “Genetic diversity-independent neutralization of pandemic viruses (e.g. HIV), potentially pandemic (e.g. H5N1 strain of influenza) and carcinogenic (e.g. HBV and HCV) viruses and possible agents of bioterrorism (variola) by enveloped virus neutralizing compounds (EVNCs).” That’s a mouthful huh? Interestingly the study, from 2008, focused on enveloped SARS and coronaviruses as well.

To see the published research click here.

The Peace Meal : Plant Based Green Protein to Help the World

Recently the Food Movement Company of Illinois released a new product, an organic whole food plant based protein powder. The Peace Meal – Multi Green Protein contains protein in the form of hemp, pea, brown rice and sacha inchi protein, as well as organic alfalfa, barley, and wheat grass.

Additionally, the Peace Meal Multi Green Protein sales help to raise money for Peace Possible, an incredible charity started by natural health luminary Dr. Decker Weiss. In this way, we can feel good in a holistic way – by nourishing our bodies and helping to make a positive contribution to the world.

This is the mission of the Food Movement. To make a connection between the way we eat, they way we live and the impact our decisions have on the world. Together we are a movement for positive social change.

These whole foods contain not just protein – but a wide variety of vitamins, minerals and powerful phytonutrients like chlorophyll and essential fatty acids.

The Food Movement Green Protein is available now at a very reasonable $19.99, making it an affordable whole food supplement than anyone can incorporate into their daily regimen. It blends very easily into your favorite smoothie. Check out the video below for an interesting recipe using Jack Fruit and Avocado!

Thank you for supporting the Food Movement and Peace Possible!

ONE MACA – rainbow of super food nutrition *exclusive* to your local health food store – and here’s why!

ONE MACA is here – the Food Movement brings you a rainbow of organic Maca root from Peru. What is the story behind this blend?

When the Food Movement began 8 long years ago, we started importing organic red and black Maca, specific super food ecotypes American consumers had not often seen. Our success since that time has been based on partnering with brick-and-mortar independent stores.

As always, the Food Movement gives part of our profits to worthy activist groups (aka charities). One of the most important by far that we partner with is Peace Possible. This is a movement, not a cult or an organization – we are people rationally speaking our mind and acting on the values we are called upon by our creator to share, just as the founding fathers of this great country were.

Now, we are proud to finally offer a virtual “no-brainer” – a combination blend of equal parts red, black and yellow organic Maca root grown and traditionally sun-dried in Peru.

To celebrate our partnership with health food stores, we will be offering our a smaller 8 oz jar exclusively in health food stores.

One World. One Love. One Maca.

The reason – we want people to come into their health food stores as we all did in this movement, as younger people, to be part of a community. Talk to the people that work there, experience the other products. Think about your food choices. Talk about the world.

If you want to know about some of the science behind Maca, and the difference in the colors or ecotypes, you can check out this post I wrote in the “old days” of 2013 lol…

One note – when you combine the colors of Maca – you get the colors that Steel Pulse sang about, “Rally round the flag – rally round the red, gold black and green” (The green is the tops of the plants). It is nice imagery, and gives us all a nice feeling, as Maca does. And energy to fight the good fight. Be blessed, and be kind.

One Love. One Heart. One Maca.

Boneless Broth : Moringa Miso quinoa bowl recipe

This is a super easy recipe and is my go-to trick for preparing Moringa Miso.  I generally cook a fair amount of quinoa and keep it in the fridge.  So the first ingredient in this recipe is 1 cup of COOKED quinoa.  You could easily substitute brown rice if you don’t like quinoa.

The other bit of preparation is the vegetable stock, or you can substitute water.  Again, I keep an extra large mason jar of this pre-made in the fridge.  Vegetable stock is easy.  You just save the water from when you steam veggies, or take your leftover vegetable bits and boil them in some water, strain out the veggie bits, and voila – vegetable stock.  This is a valuable commodity and I’ll go into depth about this at a later juncture.

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1 cup COOKED organic quinoa (I used a mixed variety of red, white, etc.)

3/4 cup vegetable stock or purified water

1 tablespoon Boneless Broth Moringa Miso powder from the Food Movement

Bring the veggie stock, or water, almost to boil (just want to get the liquid good and hot) in a small sauce pan on the stove. Add the cooked quinoa, and remove the heat. After about 2 minutes, add the tablespoon of Moringa Miso powder, transfer to a soup bowl and eat when cool enough.

Possible upgrades:

  • your favorite herbs and spices – I love to add a dash of cumin and coriander, or some fresh cilantro
  • more seaweed – the Boneless Broth contains Dulse already, you’ll see those nutritious flakes in every bite – consider also adding some Nori flakes, or any other seaweed for more minerals and micronutrients
  • hot sauce – I put this in almost everything but Miso, and my cabinet is full of them. The other day just for the heck of it I added to this recipe a local habanero sauce and wooooooooo! I was glad I did.
  • ALSO – the Boneless Broth – Moringa Miso powder is offered for convenience. But some hardcore Miso connoisseurs like to make their own, or even just like to keep the fresh Miso paste in their fridge at all times.  In this case you could use 1 tablespoon of your Miso paste and 1 tablespoon of Moringa powder.  I’ve been meaning to make it that way (what I did before we had the BB product)

Look for more recipes coming up with this unique combination.  We’re also launching a smaller more kitchen-friendly size of Boneless Broth this Fall, so stay tuned for that.  Enjoy!

Fulvic Minerals and Pomegranate Juice : A Powerful Combination for Good Health

Researchers and health experts are always looking for synergistic combinations of natural health agents that may work together in a powerful way. Fulvic acid and Pomegranate Juice are two substances that have been well researched individually, and have also been shown to work together synergistically.


Analysis published in the journal Vaccine found that a combination of Fulvic acid and Pomegranate juice contained EVNCs – enveloped-virus neutralizing compounds, which can be effective in helping the body to neurtralize especially strong and potentially deadly viruses.

Researchers wrote  “Pomegranate juice was previously reported to inactivate HIV and further shown by our group to inactivate influenza, herpes viruses and poxviruses. A formulation consisting of fulvic acid, a complex mixture of compounds was previously reported to render vaccinia virus, HIV and SARS virus non-infectious.

“Recently, both fulvic acid and pomegranate juice have been shown to inactivate genetically diverse strains of influenza including H5N1, further confirming the broad spectrum nature of these agents.” Vaccine. 2008 Jun 6;26(24):3055-8. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2007.12.008. Epub 2007 Dec 26. In the same way these researchers identified anti-viral activity in both fulvic acid and pomegranate, other studies have shown both to have positive effects on sexual function.

In a study published in the Journal of Urology, it was found that Pomegranate Juice may also help with Erectile Dysfunction. “Long-term Pomegranate Juice intake increased intracavernous blood flow, improved erectile response and smooth muscle relaxation in Erectile Dysfunction and control groups while having no significant effect on NOS (nitric oxide synthase) expression. Pomegranate Juice intake prevented erectile tissue fibrosis in the Erectile Dysfunction group.”J Urol. 2005;174(1):386-93.

Food Movement to donate 100% of proceeds on World Hunger Day

On May 28th, the world will celebrate World Hunger Day, to try and help eliminate starvation around the globe.brown hands

The Food Movement Company will donate 100% of proceeds recouped form sales on its website on that day.

We encourage others to celebrate World Hunger Day and start to address these issues.

learn about WORLD HUNGER DAY. Many organizations are participating in this great day.

Read about the day in the LA TIMES.

Sacred Lotus offers relaxation and focus from the plant world


The Sacred Lotus (Nelumbo nucifera), some times misnomered as a water Lilly, is sacred to the religions of Buddhism, Jainism, Hinduism, Bahá’í and is mentioned in the Bible when the Lord speaks to Job. It is widely considered to be a symbol of divine perfection. It is one of only two aquatic plants in the family Nelumbonaceae.  It is the national flower of both India and Vietnam.

While many parts of the plant can be used as food and medicine, special regard is given to the dried stamens, which are traditionally made into a tea known in Chinese medicine as  liánhuā cha.  The plant contains alkaloids including lotusine, demethyl coclaurine, neferin, and nuciferine.

Another point of clarification comes in differentiating Sacred Lotus from Blue Lotus (Nymphaea Caerulea), which actually is a water Lilly.  Both are commonly made into tea, and increasingly in the United States, are some times smoked by users to achieve what are described as “mystical effects” which can some times be sedative or euphoric.  Others  report a sense of relaxed mental clarity.

One herb shop I came across boasts “The stamen from the pink lotus flower is the most potent part. Inducing deep relaxation and feelings of bliss, [Sacred Lotus Stamen] is perfect to unwind after a long day.”  Personally, I do find the effects very noticable – and while not quite ‘mystical’ (then again I am making tea, not smoking it….) and would compare it to other great nervines tonic herbs like Passion Flower or Skullcap – perhaps with a little more pizazz.  Give it a try yourself and find some inner calm!  Perfect before yoga. 🙂

For a limited time you can try it at 25% off at the Food Movement.





Why plant-based DHA and EPA Omega-3 are vitally important

Since arguably the beginning of time, humankind has pursued a plant-based diet to some extent. It should come as no surprise that today, still, more and more people choose a more-or-less plant-based diet as their primary eating style. Still, there are certain nutritional requirements that are – as experts say – to be classed as “non-negotiable”, that is – to say, our bodies’ requirement for them can not be substituted with other nutrients.

A prime example of this type of essential nutrients are the fatty acids EPA and DHA. While they are found primarily in cold-water fatty fish, they do occur elsewhere in nature. For those who don’t eat or fish-derived products, there is still an undebatable need to achieve intake of DHA and EPA, and not just shorter-chain fatty acids such as ALA found in Avocados, Flax and other plants.

Nordic Naturals was one of the first companies to come out with a high-quality plant-based Omega-3 supplement with BOTH DHA and EPA, in meaningful amounts. Known and trusted by Doctors and others for over 20 years, their release of Algae Omega marked a turning point in nutritional supplementation for vegans and others eating a primarily plant-based diet.

EPA & DHA are essential nutrients, and a deficiency in these specific Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids is a problem of epidemic scale. A growing body of scientific research continues to support the idea that Omega-3 is essential for protecting the body’s many different systems from conditions ranging from Cancer to Diabetes and beyond. Whether you get the from fish, or from algae, these are nutrients that every single one of us literally can’t live without.

Is a savory super food mushroom combination healthier than bone broth?

Are you looking for a way to get a nutritious broth that is plant-based? Enter Boneless Broth a nutritious blend of fermented food, complete plant protein and certified organic sea vegetables that packs a healthy punch.  It is tasty, warming, and invigorating – a synergy of taste that many have raved about.


Ever since The Food Movement’s  Boneless Broth launched, we’ve been getting feedback from vegans, and other kinds of eaters, who love the savory nutritious Moringa Miso taste.  Many have said, why don’t you add mushrooms – a known source of super food nutrients and ‘umami’ taste?  The answer is – one man, Paul Stamets, and his brand, Host Defense (part of his Fungi Perfecti company), have done mushrooms so perfectly – there is little to be improved upon.

So we at the Food Movement so as we advise others to do – we soup up our broth with freeze-dried mycelia from Host Defense, and add it to the delicious Boneless Broth Moringa Miso.  My favorite combination is simple :

1 tablespoon Boneless Broth Moringa Miso

3 capsules of freeze-dried Mycelia

add to at least 6 oz. of warm (but not boiling water)

I first worked with Paul Stamets’ mushrooms and mycelia during my time at the Eclectic Institute, founded by the late Dr. Ed K Alstat (God rest).  They truly are the best in the world, and today his brand Host Defense bring mushroom health to many across the world.

We’ve been adding Stamets 7 to our Boneless Broth from the beginning… simply by opening capsules of the fresh freeze-dried mycelia or even drops of the Stamets 7 extract.  But now, I am so excited to announce that to try this amazing taste combination you no longer have to open those pullulan caps with your fingers. That’s right…. it is coming…

Screen Shot 2019-02-08 at 10.15.20 PMSoon you will be able to add Stamets 7, the amazing blend of 7 medicinal mushrooms formulated by Paul Stamets to any of your kitchen creations (including the savory Boneless Broth) because next month Host Defense is launching the famous Stamets 7 formula as a powdered super food!  There are other mushrooms out there, but none is like Host Defense.

Paul Stamets designed this blend of seven mushroom species (Royal Sun Blazei, Cordyceps, Reishi, Maitake, Lion’s Mane, Chaga and Mesima) to support general immunity.* Many use Stamets 7® as a functional food multiple for maintaining peak performance and health.*


Coming next month, Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense will be offering Stamets 7 as a freeze-dried organic mycelial powder, along with 6 other innovative mushroom powders.  The mushroom revolution has just begun!

How can fermented foods and ultra trace mineral compounds alkalize your body?

In natural health in general, and whole food approaches in particular, one idea is that “more is not always better.” That is to say, there is an upper limit for most things – although with food it often comes down to total macronutrients rather than micronutrients.  Alkalize 55, the unique dietary supplement developed in part by Dr Michio Kushi and the Food Movement/Medicatrix consortium, combines 55 different fermented biodynamic whole foods with over 70 ultra trace minerals from the Earth.

55 foods

So in this case – the “more” is not in terms of the amount of any ONE nutrient – rather, it is in the extremely broad range of phytonutrients and organic minerals.  The trace minerals and fermented food nutrients work together to help synergistically balance your body, pH as well as in other areas such as energy and stress.

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I wrote about the 55 different fermented foods in ALKALIZE 55 in a previous edition of the blog.  Dr Kushi was genius in his predictions of whole food medicine, and in partnering with the Anew biodynamic (dmeter certified, no less) farm in Brazil, he truly helped make ALKALIZE 55 a unique product.

I’ll be writing more about the science of alkalizing your body through fermented foods and mineral micornutrients, so check back and check #alkalize55 for more info.

What are the 55 triple-fermented foods in Alkalize 55?

Alkalize 55 from the Food Movement has been receiving rave reviews since it was originally released to the general public in 2011.  Formulated in conjunction with the work of the late Dr Michio Kushi and the Anew farm in Brazil, originally sold to natural health practitioners through the Medicatrix Naturae consortium, the original formula is once again available in health food stores everywhere!

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Dr Kushi’s purpose was to encapsulate the power of macrobiotics (a dietary philosophy based on balancing acid-alkaline states within the body) in an easily accessible dietary supplement.  Alkalize 55 brings you these important biodynamic foods alongside powerful living organic earth minerals.

Many folks have asked us – what are the 55 triple-fermented foods in this incredible and unique formula (which also contains humic fulvic minerals from the Earth)? Well here for the first time on the internet, I am publishing that list of foods is an easily searchable format and with information on each ingredient. 

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Acerola – Prized for an exceptionally high vitamin C level (immune function), acerola provides an essential nutritional boost to a macrobiotic diet. After fermentation, vitamin C and high Vitamin A (growth, skin, cancer) levels are preserved. Vitamin C is also vital to bone health. The carotenoid vitamin A provides cancer protection, including stomach cancer. A metabolite of vitamin A (Retinaldehyde), inhibits fat cell formation and increases insulin sensitivity.

Anis – This ancient spice is noted for its subtle smell and taste. High levels of potassium and prebiotic fiber are concentrated during fermentation. Significant levels of phosphorous, calcium, and iron are also present. The seed contains a variety of polyphenol called phenylpropanoids with antiinflammatory properties. The major oil content is anethol which is a phytoestrogen. Traditional medicine uses it for colds and flu.

Apple – A macrobiotically favored, temperate climate fruit, the fermented apple retains its cholesterol-lowering sterols and prebiotic insoluble fiber. Moderate amounts of minerals such as calcium and potassium are concentrated during fermentation, aiding their absorbability. The triterpenoids in apple peel have anti-cancer effects in liver, breast, and colon cancers, and help protect against neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Avocado – Avocado is a temperate climate fruit, preferred in macrobiotics. Fermentation conserves a high and healthy oil content, of low saturated fat, very high monounsaturated fat, and significant polyunsaturated fat. Some prebiotic fiber complements a significant potassium (blood pressure regulation, and muscle contractions) and folate level. Vitamin A adds to cancer protection, and zinc intake is vital to immune function.

Azuki Bean – Found in the temperate climates preferred by macrobiotics, this legume retains its high probiotic fiber when fermented. As a significant protein source it is complemented by carbohydrates in the appropriate ratio. Azuki beans also provide very high potassium (cells, nerves) levels, plus significant amounts of iron (blood health), calcium (bone health), magnesium (enzymes, bones, muscles), folate (birth defects), and zinc (reproductive health).

Barley – Containing high levels of prebiotic fiber, barley is a macrobiotically preferred temperate grain. Fermentation retains its impressively high content of potassium (cells, nerves), phosporous (bones, cells), zinc (reproductive health, insulin production), copper (blood cells, bones), manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles), and selenium (immune system, cholesterol control). Barley also contains significant folate. When eaten in sufficient quantity, the vegetable protein/cereal fiber combination in Barley can lower high blood pressure risk by 40-50%.

Black Bean – Grown in macrobiotic temperate climates, this legume has very high probiotic fiber which remains in preB (Prebiotics) after fermentation. The high protein level in these beans includes exceptional content of the essential amino acid tryptophan (a key precursor to serotonin in the brain), plus manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles), magnesium (bone), and vitamin B1 (carbohydrate metabolism). Valuable phosphorous (energy, bone, teeth, cells) and iron (blood health) are also present.

Black Sesame – Pound for pound, this seed contains a remarkable range of nutrients in high proportions, all favored in macrobiotic foods. In addition to extremely high prebiotic fiber, fermentation retains high poly and mono unsaturated oils, calcium (bone health), phosphorous (bones, cells), potassium (cells, nerves), zinc (reproductive health, insulin production), copper (blood cells, bones), manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles), and folate (DNA, birth defects).

Brazil Nut – A warm climate nut, with macrobiotically “yin” effects. When fermented, very high, hearth-healthy, mono- and polyunsaturated oil content is concentrated. In addition, this valuable food contains high levels of the scarce element selenium (antioxidant enzymes, immunity, heart muscle) plus magnesium (bone formation and maintenance), and vitamin B1 (metabolism, energy).

Brown Rice – A primary macrobiotic food, brown rice is high in prebiotic fiber. Also retained during fermentation are high levels of phosporous, potassium and magnesium. Significant calcium, zinc, and manganese are also present, helping balance the mineral/protein ratio. Brown rice has a healthful balance of protein and carbohydrate. The combination of cereal fiber and protein in brown rice significantly reduces hypertension risk.

Cabbage – Suited to a temperate climate, cabbage is a favored macrobiotic food. This leafy green retains its high level of vitamin C (immunity) and folate (DNA, birth defects) after fermentation. Modest amounts of minerals potassium (cellular and nervous system), zinc (reproductive health, insulin production), copper (blood cell and bone formation), and manganese (enzyme, bone, and muscle formation) are also present. Significant levels of cholesterol-reducing plant sterols are found as well.

Carambora (Star Fruit) – Tropically-grown and macrobiotically “yin”, when fermented, carambora retains a high level of vitamin C (immunity) and modest amounts of potassium (cellular and nervous system), phosphorous (blood pressure, muscle contractions), and folate (DNA, birth defects). The yellow pigment phytonutrient in this fruit also has significant antioxidant effects.

Carrot – Grown in the temperate climates favored in macrobiotics, carrots retain their exceptionally high levels of vitamin A (growth, skin, vision) and cholesterol-lowering sterols after fermentation. Prebiotic fiber is present in significant quantities, together with postassium (cells, nerves), zinc (reproduction and insulin), copper (blood cells and bones), and manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles).

Cashew Nut – A warm environment nut, having macrobiotically “yin” effects. Fermentation concentrates the very high content of heart-healthy oil oleic acid (cholesterol-lowering), as well as high levels of vitamin B1 (metabolism, energy), B6 (protein metabolism, brain function), magnesium (bone), phosphorous (blood pressure, muscle contractions), and zinc (reproductive health, insulin production).

Cassava – Tropically grown, and “yin” in macrobiotic terms, cassava has high prebiotic fiber content which is retained after fermentation. A very high carbohydrate level is complemented by modest protein content which features a wide range of amino acids. Vitamin C (immunity) is present in large amounts, as are potassium (cellular and nervous system), and folate (DNA, birth defects).

Chick Pea – A legume preferred in macrobiotics, chick peas have high levels of both prebiotic fiber and vegetable protein, a powerful combination found to significantly reduce cholesterol levels. Fermentation also concentrates its mostly unsaturated fat (heart health), significant calcium (bone health), and high phosphorous (blood pressure, muscle contractions), magnesium (bone), zinc (reproduction, insulin), and folate (DNA, birth defects).

Chicory Root – Found in the macrobiotically-favored temperate regions, this root has exceptionally high levels of the prebiotic oligosaccharide fiber inulin. This non-caloric sweetener also boosts beneficial intestinal bacteria when fermented in the gut. The short chain fatty acids produced are important energy sources and reduce intestinal cancer risk. Modest amounts of potassium (cellular and nervous system), and calcium (bone health) are also present.

Cinnamon – A tree bark-derived seasoning and highly valued since antiquity, this tropical spice retains significant prebiotic fiber after fermentation. It has been shown to impressively reduce levels of blood glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol. The spice is also known for positive effects on digestion, insulin activity, and blood pressure, and for antibacterial and antifungal properties.

Cloves – A spice used macrobiotically to increase “yang,” it retains a high prebiotic fiber content after fermentation. Also present at high levels are manganese, potassium, plant sterols, vitamin C, the B vitamin niacin, calcium, and iron. Significant quantities of vitamin A and magnesium are also found. The essential oils, mainly eugenol, and flavanols such as kaempferol, have important antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties.

Corn (Yellow) – A temperate grain, corn has the preferred macrobiotic ratio of protein to carbohydrate. Although low in some amino acids, fermentation concentrates its minerals and prebiotic fiber, together with contributions of folate (DNA, birth defects) and essential minerals zinc (reproductive health, insulin production), copper (blood cells, bones) and manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles).

Couve-Manteiga – Found in temperate regions, and closely related to collards, it is favored in macrobiotics. Following fermentation, couve-manteiga provides a favorable protein to carbohydrate ratio, and high amounts of vitamin A (immunity, vision). Calcium (bone health) content is highly bioavailable in this plant, as are modest levels of potassium (cellular and nervous systems) and magnesium (bone health).

Ginger – A traditional Chinese medicine and a spice introduced early to Western Europe, it contributes significant prebiotic fiber and its essential oils following fermentation. This rhizome is more effective than popular drug remedies in preventing motion sickness, due possibly to its high content of volatile oils and phenols. These constituents are also believed to contribute antiiflammatory effects.

Green Bell Pepper – Cutlivated in both tropical and temperate areas, peppers are noted for their high vitamin C content (immunity, antioxidant status) of over two times RDA. The caroteniod vitamin A (immunity, vision) is also present at 100% of RDA. Moderate amounts of prebiotic fiber, folic acid (DNA, birth defects), and sterols (cholesterol control) are also concentrated after fermentation.

Jalo Bean – A legume grown in temperate climates, jalo bean has its high prebiotic fiber content concentrated during fermentation. High protein and starch components are present in a macrobiotics-appropriate ratio. The legume is also noted for very high potassium levels (cells, nerves), plus significant amounts of iron (blood health), calcium (bone health), magnesium (enzymes, bones, muscles), folate (birth defects), and zinc (reproductive health).

Kiwifruit – Found in the macrobiotically-preferred temperate climates, kiwifruit when fermented are distinguished by high levels of vitamin C (immune system), vitamin E (powerful antioxidant from food sources), and B1 (carbohydrate metabolism, brain, nerve, and heart function). They also provide significant amounts of prebiotic fiber. Kiwifruit possess the unusual protein-dissolving enzyme actinidin which assists protein breakdown during digestion.

Lemon – With a significant vitamin C content, lemons add nutritional value to a macrobiotic diet. Fermentation preserves vitamin C (immunity) and citric acid, which assists in metabolism and as an antioxidant. Nutritional value is also provided by calcium (bone health), potassium (cellular and nervous system), and vitamin A content (skin, growth, cancer, fat formation). Like other citrus fruits, lemons contain flavones which counteract free radical-caused DNA damage. Scavenging free radicals reduce Alzheimer disease risk.

Lentil – An important temperate region legume and macrobiotic food, lentils are a leading source for plant protein, and retain their high carbohydrate, folate, and prebiotic fiber content after fermentation. Significant levels of phosphorous (bone and cell formation), potassium (cellular and nervous system), zinc (reproductive health and insulin production), copper (blood cell and bone formation), and manganese, (enzyme, bone, and muscle formation) are also present. Served with grains, they provide all the essential amino acids.

Mango – From warmer climates, and macrobiotically “yin,”when fermented provide high levels of vitamin A due to high carotenoid content. This contributes to reduced fat cell formation and improved insulin sensitivity from highly bioavailable carotenoids. Mango’s moderate amounts of calcium, phosphorous, postassium and vitamin C, are retained after fermentation, and add to its nutritional benefits.

Melon – A “yin” fruit in macrobiotics, melons are noted for retaining significant vitamin A (growth, skin, cancer, fat formation, insulin sensitivity) after being fermented. Valuable minerals such as magnesium (enzymes, bones, muscles), phosphorous (bones, cells), and potassium (cells, nerves) are also present. Significant vitamin C (immunity) and cholesterol-reducing plant sterols remain available for absorption from this valuable fruit.

Millet – One of the very few alkalinizing grains, millet outdoes the major macrobiotic food brown rice in some B vitamins, copper and iron. A good source of prebiotic fiber, after fermentation this grain also provides significant magnesium, (metabolism, bones, nerves) zinc (growth, healing, immunity), copper (blood cells, bones), manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles), selenium (immunity, heart function), niacin (energy production), and folate (DNA, birth defects).

Oat – One of the very few alkalinizing grains, millet outdoes the major macrobiotic food brown rice in some B vitamins, copper and iron. A good source of prebiotic fiber, after fermentation this grain also provides significant magnesium, (metabolism, bones, nerves) zinc (growth, healing, immunity), copper (blood cells, bones), manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles), selenium (immunity, heart function), niacin (energy production), and folate (DNA, birth defects).

Orange – In macrobiotic terms, a “yin” tropical fruit, which when fermented concentrates its high levels of calcium and folate. Significant sterol content contributes to cholesterol lowering effects. Like other citrus fruits, oranges contain flavones which counteract free radical-caused DNA damage. Scavenging free radicals reduces Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disease risk.

Passion Fruit – Grown in temperate areas, this fruit contains significant prebiotic fiber after fermentation, together with a high level of vitamin C (immunity), potassium (cellular and nervous system), B vitamin niacin (energy production), and significant carotenoid vitamin A (vision, immunity).

Peas – A temperate region legume favored in macrobiotics, peas contribute significant prebiotic fiber and high vitamin C value. Fermentation concentrates the potassium (cells, nerves), calcium (bones), folate (DNA, birth defects), and vitamin A (growth, skin, cancer, fat formation, insulin sensitivity) content. This nourishing food also provides carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin which improve the cardiovascular system and boost NK cells vital to the immune system.

Pear – A temperate climate fruit, Pear fits the macrobiotic preference, and when fermented retains significant sterol content for cholesterol control, plus prebiotic fiber. Pears also contribute significant vitamin A (for growth, skin, vision), some vitamin C (immune system), plus minerals like calcium (bone thealth), magnesium, (metabolism, bones, nerves), phosphorous (bones, cells), and postassium (cells, nerves). In common with other fruits, pears’ vitamin and mineral content improve bone health and reduce osteoporisis risk.

Pineapple/Banana/Papaya/Guava – A group of macrobiotically “yin” tropical fruits, which, when fermented concentrates their high levels of calcium (bone), potassium (cells, nerves), vitamins C (immunity) and A (growth, skin, cancer, fat formation, insulin sensitivity), plus prebiotic fiber (intestinal health). These fruits also contribute important levels of sterols which lower cholesterol.

Plum – A temperate climate food, favored in macrobiotic diets, when fermented, plums retain their modest levels of phosporous, potassium, and vitamins C and A. Plums contribute useful amounts of choesterol-lowering sterols. The highly pigmented red skinned and red fleshed varieties contain healthful polyphenols which counter the destructive superoxide anion radical. They also help prevent oxidative damage to fats in brain cells and LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream, a main cause of heart disease.

Pumpkin – A macrobiotically-preferred vegetable, when fermented, pumpkin contributes high levels of vitamin A. This provides cataract protection and reduces risk of some cancers. A metabolite of A vitamin also discourages fat cell formation and reduces insulin resistance. Pumpkin has significant amounts of potassium (cellular and nervous system) and cholesterol-lowering sterols.

Red Grape – Found in the temperate, macrobiotically preferred climates, and fermented by man for thousands of years, grapes have unique nutritional characteristics. The powerful antioxidant phytonutrients resveratrol, lupeol, and pterostilibene are effective against prostate and lung cancer cells by inhibiting cancer cell proliferation. These antioxidants also reduce blood fat oxidation by scavenging oxidants. Prebiotic grape fiber is shown to significantly reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.

Roxinho Bean – Found in the temperate climates preferred in macrobiotics, roxinho beans have high levels of prebiotic fiber which remains after fermentation. A very high protein content complements carbohydrate in the right ratio. Other significant nutritional features are very high potassium levels (cells, nerves), plus significant amounts of iron (blood health), calcium (bone health), magnesium (enzymes, bones, muscles), folate (birth defects), and zinc (reproductive health).

Rye – An ideal macrobiotic, temperate region grain, rye retains high protein levels after fermentation. Rye has very high prebiotic fiber, and a favorable carbohydrate to protein ratio. Rye has significant phosporous (bones and cells), potassium (cells and nerves), zinc (reproduction and insulin), manganese (enzymes, bones, muscles), selenium (immune system and cholesterol control), and niacin (energy production). Consumed with legumes like beans and lentils, rye provides complete protein.

Sacred Lotus – The lotus root is very rich in prebiotic dietary fiber, which is retained after fermentation. It also contains significant vitamin C, potassium, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, copper, and manganese and is low in saturated fat. Lotus seeds have antioxidant activity similar to vitamin E, as well as a high polyphenol content which imparts vigorous free radical scavenging activity.

Seaweed – An alkalinizing food, it has very high iodine content, protecting the thyroid gland. The high mineral content is concentrated after fermentation, and includes calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous, magnesium iron, zinc, copper, and manganese. The high protein content represents a wide amino acid variety. Also present is the B vitamin complex and vitamins C and E. Overall seaweed has a beneficial alkalizing effect.

Soy Beans – A major source of protein in the macrobiotic diet, soy beans provide a wide range of amino acids which are preserved during fermentation. Also present in high amounts are calcium, and sterols. Significant levels of phosphorous (bones and cells), vitamin C (immune system), vitamin A (growth, skin, vision), and niacin (energy) are found, together with prebiotic fiber. In fermented form, soy isoflavones (having weak estrogen-like action) are absorbed by the body over twice as quickly as isoflavones in regular soy milk.

Spring Water -Over one hundred years ago, Japanese scientists discovered why some sake fermenters, using the same processes and amounts of ingredients, produced much more sake per batch. Why? Because the fermentation continued for a longer time, extracting more from the same ingredients. The main reason? The purity of the water. The more pure the water used in the fermentation, the more sake that was produced. The bonus was that the purest water produced the best flavor. And, even better, the purer the water, the less anti-nutrients that were produced.

The water used in Alkalize 55 is the purest on the planet. This, in part, explains why it is the slowest, longest fermentation anywhere, and why it produces no known anti-nutrients. Plus, it is full of flavor.

Sugar Beet – Located in macrobiotically-favored temperate regions, sugar beet fermentation concentrates its high sugar content. Prebiotic fiber is also retained. It is a significant source of folate, vitamin C (immunity), iron (anemia), magnesium (metabolism), phosphorus (bones, teeth), and potassium (cell function).

Sweet Potato – Grown in temperate areas, and preferred in macrobiotics, this vegetable retains its extremely high vitamin A content when fermented. This carotenoid (vitamin A) reduces risk of cataract and some cancers, and its metabolites discourage fat cell formation while improving insulin sensitivity. Also present in it are significant levels of potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, vitamin C, folic acid, and sterols.

Tomato – Found in temperate climates, which is favored in the macrobiotic diet, when fermented, tomatoes retain a high lycopene level which acts as a powerful antioxidant and offers protection against prostate cancer. Tomatoes also have significant cholesterol-reducing sterol, and cateract/cancer reducing caroteinoid/vitamin A content. This in addition to significant potassium level (cellular and nervous system).

Turnip – Found in a markedly temperate habitat, turnip is preferred in macrobiotics. A favorable protein to carbohydrate ratio remains after fermentation, along with prebiotic fiber. Cholesterol-lowering plant sterols are also well represented, as well as very high carotenoid vitamin A (vision, immunity) and vitamin C (immunity). Significant levels of vitamin B6 (protein metabolism), folate (DNA, birth defects), copper (blood cells/vessels, bones, immunity), and iron (blood health) are also present.

Watermelon – A temperate region fruit, strongly preferred in macrobiotics, watermellon is distinguished by a very high vitamin A level after fermentation. This confers protection from cataract and some cancers while reducing fat cell formation and insulin resistance. The red pigment of the flesh is shown to be a powerful antioxidant. Moderate levels of sterols add to its cholesterol-lowering effects.

West Indian Lemon Grass – Noted for a high concentration of citral oil, which imparts a lemon flavor and aroma. Citral also has powerful antimicrobial properties which are concentrated after fermentation. A folk remedy for stomach and intestinal problems, lemon grass is also used as an antidepressant.

Yerba Mate – A traditional mildly stimulating drink from subtropical South America, yerba mate contains low levels of alkaloids similar to coffee and cocoa (caffeine, theophylene, theobromine), together with modest amounts of potassium, manganese, and magnesium. In traditional form, the drink promotes focus and alertness in a calming manner without jitteryness. A stimulating effect on the heart muscle has been noted.

Zedoary – An aromatic bitter spice grown in the tropics it is rarely found in the West. After fermentation, it imparts its bile flow influence. The major terpenoid, sesquiterpine, has an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effect, complementing significant tannin (antiviral, antibacterial, anti-parasitic, anticancer) and flavonoid (antioxidants) polyphenol content.


Why do I need Vegan Vitamin D3?

yoga sunshine

Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) is the bioactive form of the essential nutrient Vitamin D.  For years it was only available as a derivative from sheep’s wool lanolin.  Since 2011 the Food Movement has been offering this essential nutrient in a plant-based form, making Vegan Vitamin D3 a reality!

While your body does make its own D3 in response to exposure to natural sunlight, this amount is negated by sunscreen, busy lifestyles and less than optimal metabolism.  Scientific studies have uncovered a much greater need for supplementation with Vitamin D3 than realized before.

Omega Research, a third party resource, published scientific studies on the benefits of D3. They group, this research into categories of benefit : Bone Health/Falls/Fractures, Cancer, General, Immune Health, Deficiency/Insufficiency,  and Lung Health / Bronchial.


Who thought of that? Looking back at the original Garden Burger

I’m a food geek, I’ll admit it.  And all food geeks have fetishes. Mine is veggie burgers. I’m no longer strictly vegan (sorry internet!) but lately Impossible and Beyond burgers have been my weakness. (Stay tuned for really cool innovations from the Food Movement).


While there have been cool and innovative additions to this category, it is interesting to look back at the original Garden Burger – developed by Paul Wenner in his vegetarian restaurant the Gardenhouse in Gresham, Oregon.

When Gardenburger launched, it essentially created the category of veggie burger.  While it does contain cheese, and was therefore inaccessible to vegans, much as the Moringstar Farms products contained eggs, this was a first in American cuisine. This was the invention of the veggie burger as a commercially viable product!

384941-veggieburgers-gardenburger-original.jpgGardenburger today

In 2012, Wenner launched the Gardenbar, which was documented in The Mail Tribune as Paul Wenner “reinventing himself.”  Paul’s current LinkedIn profile has recently announced”I have a new line of products that I am finishing up this year that will be kicked off with a movie,an informercial, a TV show, and a new book. GardenChef Paul™”

Alkalize 55 benefits humankind as a revolutionary new supplement

ALKALIZE 55 2.jpgBefore macrobiotic pioneer Dr Michio Kushi left the planet and his physical body, he had one last mission he wanted to complete.  He and his family, including his wife Aveline, had started schools, restaurants and stores – written countless texts – and forever changed the course of the investigation of the connection between diet and disease.

Dr. Kushi saw many companies selling “whole food” supplements that were in TRUTH anything but.  He wanted to try to ferment and concentrate the most healing foods on Earth to make a “daily fermented food supplement” that would compliment a multivitamin, probiotic, and other daily nutritional supplements as a strategy for better health.

The Food Movement Company was able to collaborate with the Kushis before Michio’s passing to create a humic/fulvic mineral supplement made with the 55 biodynamic triple-fermented super foods created through Kushi’s work.   The result was Alkalize 55, a daily dose of food and minerals from the Earth designed to promote the health of the microbiome and prolong/enhance human life.   Today the original formula is again available on Amazon, from the Food Movement and in health food stores everywhere.

Today, the original formula is once again being sold in over 400+ independent health food stores (website coming soon!) and direct to consumers at The Food Movement. 

Inbetween this writer’s efforts relaunching Alkalize 55 to the people, I have also been been finalizing a comprehensive book on the subject of humic fulvic minerals and human health – LIVING ORGANIC EARTH – a small part of the research for which is represented on the blog  The goal is, as it always has been with true health food folks, to make the world a better place. The revolution, as the people say, has to start somewhere.

There are some controversies around ‘the alkaline diet’ but part of the confusion there centers around a book written by a specific doctor who acted in some suspect ways.  

Support Your Local Health Foods Store!

Are you tired of Whole Amazon – tired of paying too much for a diminishing selection of natural items? Tired of seeing small businesses go under in this increasingly multinational economy?

local health foo s

A great way to start making a difference in your own health, as well as the health of your local independent economy, is to support you local health food store.  I’ll be talking about this more on the next episode of my podcast Whole Earth Radio as well.

I’ve been working in the natural products industry for about 23 years, and living in the Chicago area for about 18.  I’m really lucky that in the Chicago area we have great stores like Fruitful Yield, Southtown Health Foods, Life Spring Health Foods, and the wonderful Midwest natural foods market Fresh Thyme Farmers Market (check out their supplement selection – totally legit with a great selection of CBD!).

There are so many reasons to support your local stores – JOBS! Number one. Jobs of people you may actually KNOW, and can certainly TALK TO in person. REAL people! That’s one thing you DO NOT get with Amazon my friends.

One more thing I’ll leave you with my friends — if you haven’t read this book, it certainly applies to ALL kinds of local retail. And local business.  Support them when you have a choice.  If you don’t, none of us may have a choice in the future.

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How does nano colloidal humic fulvic silver support digestive health?

Many of you may be familiar with using colloidal silver to support immune health.  It is known as a potent anti-bacterial, in use in medicine for over 100 years.  It was a staple of the Eclectic and Physiomedical physicians of Western natural medicine, or as it was known then, just – medicine.

However, when we examine the importance of a nano colloidal silver compound in a base of humic fulvic minerals, as is presented in the Food Movement’s Whole Earth Silver, we see that there is quite a wide range of potential benefit – and one of the major systems that can be positively impacted is the digestive tract.

Colloidal silver by itself is known as a potent anti-bacterial and anti-viral compound.* Humic fulvic minerals have been demonstrated to have these same properties, but also positively contribute to acid-alkaline balance within the human microbiome.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) it is observed that all health, both good and bad, starts in the gut. This is why modern medicine has increasingly focused on probiotic strains, as well as diet in general as a great predictor of health outcomes.  Taking care of our insides is taking care of our whole self.

Nano colloidal silver in a base of humic fulvic minerals is a great way to support digestive balance.  Taking Whole Earth Silver before meals supports acid-alkaline balance, and helps minimize the body’s susceptibility to infection.*

Try Whole Earth Silver today!



*These statements have not been evaluated by FDA and this product is not meant to prevent, treat or cure disease.

Is coconut oil bad for your heart?

Coconut oil is bad for your heart? Have you heard this one?

The short answer : no, not really.  It may actually be good for your heart because it raises HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol – the kind that can REDUCE your risk of cardiac disease.

First of all – human beings are often by nature contrarian.  I mean, it is good to question things we hear.  But every time something comes out as GOOD for you – there seems to be an inherent backlash – “WAIT! maybe not. It will actually KILL you.” The truth is usually somewhere in the middle and much more complex than the clickbait.

Coconut with jars of coconut oil and cosmetic cream on wooden ba

So it goes with coconut oil. It is insanely popular, being high in MCTs (medium-chain triglycerides) which researchers have known for decades to be an efficient source of metabolic fuel, moreso than many other fats.  It is also high in compounds like lauric and caprylic acids which can be anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and generally beneficial to your health.

Recently a Harvard medical doctor made news telling people that Coconut oil is bad for you (I believe the words were “Pure Poison!”) – because it is high in saturated fat.  #1 that is old news and #2, again, the truth is much more complex.

But first, let’s look at science, and not just my, or some Harvard doctor’s opinion.

Whether or not saturated fat is the cause of heart conditions like CHF (congestive heart failure) is up for debate.  One thing that is not up for debate, as far as I know, is that bad cholesterol LDL increases your risk of a heart attack.  HDL or good cholesterol, decreases your risk of heart attack – by 4 times more than LDL increases it.  So, quite simply, raising HDL is a better strategy for heart health than lowering LDL.

One study, published in the journal Nutricion Hospital in 2015, found that patients with CAD (coronary artery disease) when treated with extra virgin coconut oil increased HDL-C and reduced other disease biomarkers. Another study on pre-menopausal women also found “Dietary coconut oil intake was positively associated with high density lipoprotein cholesterol especially among pre-menopausal women, suggesting that coconut oil intake is associated with beneficial lipid profiles. ”  There are other studies supporting coconut oil raising HDL, but you get the point.

Now, let’s look to a study that questions the health impact of coconut oil. Actually, this one isn’t even a study, it is a meta-analysis of 8 clinical trials and 13 observational studies. The researchers noted that ” The effect of coconut consumption on the ratio of total cholesterol to high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was often not examined.” (You think that might be important based on the importance of HDL versus LDL cholesterol?)

The researchers then concluded “Observational evidence suggests that consumption of coconut flesh or squeezed coconut in the context of traditional dietary patterns does not lead to adverse cardiovascular outcomes. However, due to large differences in dietary and lifestyle patterns, these findings cannot be applied to a typical Western diet. Overall, the weight of the evidence from intervention studies to date suggests that replacing coconut oil with cis unsaturated fats would alter blood lipid profiles in a manner consistent with a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.”

Except that raising HDL shows a reduction in risk factors for cardiovascular disease.  The above is what you would call a “highly interpretive” meta-analysis.  Sure, some unsaturated plant oils don’t affect cholesterol very much at all – but it is soooo important to look at HDL:total cholesterol ratios.  If someone tells you that your cholesterol has gone up and they don’t tell you what type of cholesterol, they really haven’t told you much at all.

No food is “GOOD” or “BAD” – these are highly subjective and limited terms.  The real analysis comes when you look at your overall diet.  To be sure, for most people, coconut oil – especially when used in place of other saturated fats, like butter or lard – is better for your heart and for your overall cholesterol levels. Still, the American Heart Association takes the opposite view, and recommends replacing it with unsaturated plant oils.

One thing to remember – the main thing to look at is your overall diet.  If you don’t eat a lot of saturated fats (the kind in meat and other animal products) you probably don’t need to worry about the small amount you’re getting from coconut oil.  If you have high cholesterol and are trying to manage it, you might want to choose unsaturated vegetable oils. But if you are a vegetarian or low-fat omnivore and cholesterol isn’t a major concern, the HDL boost from coconut oil is just as likely to benefit your health as any small increase in LDL cholesterol.  The healthy part really comes from a balanced diet, which coconut oil surely CAN be a part of.  All things in moderation.  Anyone who tells you it is “pure poison” is being dishonestly hyperbolic. I expected more from Harvard!




Black Maca – a unique phenotype of super food for maximized human performance

I’m a huge fan of Maca root.  It really is one of the most energizing foods (other than things that contain stimulants, like the caffeine in coffee or theobromine in chocolate) and it is also a powerful adaptogen (balancing substance).  Some times called the “Ginseng of super foods” it helps combat fatigue, is an aphrodisiac, and is chock-full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.


Some years ago, our company The Food Movement started importing a couple of unique phenotypes of Maca root, specifically the Red and Black Maca, from Peru where it is exclusively grown. (Maca needs the high-altitude and rich volcanic soil in the Andes mountains to truly thrive).

People always ask me – what is the difference between these varieties? And companies who market the cheaper varieties (mostly conventional Yellow Maca or gelatinized powders) sometimes claim there is NO difference between different ecotypes of Maca.  Well, I can offer my opinion all day long, but when people start making assertions that are just plain false, I find a good way to balance out these differences in information is to turn to the science.

CAN BLACK MACA IMPROVE YOUR … mood? energy levels? blood sugar levels? libido? overall health status?

In this post, I want to look specifically at Black Maca. A very interesting study compared the effects of Black and Red Maca in otherwise healthy individuals.  They found some differences in chemistry, in that the levels of fatty acids and macamides (more on this in a minute) were higher in Black Maca, while the inhibitory neurotransmitter GABA dominated in the Red.   Both varieties resulted in improvement in mood, energy, and health status, and reduced CMS score (chronic mountain sickness which occurs at high altitudes) but only the Black Maca reduced blood glucose.

Researchers in the journal Andrologia compared extracts of Black and Yellow Maca to try and raise the sperm count in adult mice.  They found that “Black maca administration resulted in higher concentration of sperm count in epididymis and vas deferens compared to yellow maca. ”

Black Maca sale.jpg

One customer writing to TFMC commented “I feel like a new man taking the Food Movement Black Maca.  One tablespoon a day got me feeling good and having more energy, but when I started adding 2 or more to my smoothie — woooooo! I was hooked.  I’ll be ordering at least once a month from now on.”

There is much more research on Maca root, but I’ve given you just a couple of the studies comparing the different ecotypes of Maca. So, when someone says there is “no difference” between different kinds of Maca, they are quite misinformed according to the published research.

Which type is best for you? Only you can answer that – lately I have found very good effects from mixing more than one kind.  The really amazing benefits of what I like to call The Maca Trifecta (red, black and yellow combined) is something to be experienced.

The health benefits of humic fulvic Zeolite

Have you heard of the powerful nutritional supplement Zeolite?  You may be asking – what is this, and what can it do for me? Well, many health experts recommend Zeolite because it has a unique cage-like structure which allows it to trap and neutralize pollutants in the body.

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Internet health expert Doctor Nick Zyrowski has called Zeolite “the most effective detoxification” supplement available today.

And he’s not alone! Dr Gabriel Cousens has used liquid Zeolite to treat many patients, and has written the following :

In my research to develop a detoxification system for prospective mothers, I recently learned about a naturally occurring mineral called zeolite, which has a unique, negatively charged, crystalline structure.
Zeolite is formed from the fusion of lava and ocean water, and combines all four elements. I feel that zeolite is an alchemical gift from God. It has been used for more than 800 years in Asia as a remedy for overall health and well-being, and is on the FDA’s GRAS list (generally recognized as safe). Zeolite is available commercially in a purified, activated form, in the zeolite product.”

Dr. Cousens continues :

“The results of research on zeolite are very impressive:
Zeolite appears to prevent and may become an important treatment for cancer. In one study, 78 percent of the 65 participants with terminal cancer (many types) are now in complete remission for 12 months (LifeLink Pharmaceuticals, 2005, currently not published).
“It has a chelation-like effect in removing heavy metals (particularly lead, mercury, cadmium, and arsenic), pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, and other toxins from the body, shown in a study of miners at Duke University. These toxins are strongly correlated with the occurrence of a wide range of diseases, including cancers and neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, autism, and dementia.
“Zeolite also improves liver function, indirectly improving elimination of pesticides, herbicides, and xeno-estrogens.

“Zeolite appears to block viral replication, and may prove to be a potent anti-viral and general remedy for all viruses. To date, 40 anecdotal cases of herpes zoster have reportedly been healed.
“Preliminary anecdotal case studies suggest that it may help alleviate rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and hepatitis C as well as the common cold and flu.

“Zeolite’s binding power was proven during the Chernobyl disaster, when tons of it were used to remove radioactive cesium and strontium-90 before they contaminated local water systems.

“Zeolite creates a natural buffer in the system by establishing an optimal pH level (between 7.35 and 7.45), which in turn activates healthy brain function and a strong immune system.” *

Black Earth Zeolite, sold by the Food Movement Company, combines liquid Zeolite into a base of humic fulvic minerals.  The combination of organic acids and minerals makes for a very safe detoxification agent that is extremely safe, and effective in neutralizing toxins and contributing to a more alkaline pH in the blood stream.

*These quotations are from Dr. Gabriel Cousens, MD, renowned medical authority and author.  They are not intended to endorse any specific product and are not intended by the author of this article to treat, cure or mitigate disease.

Brain power? The most powerful nootropic supplement stack – ever.

Okay, I know this a bit of a cliffhanger, but I have the most powerful nootropic supplement stack -ever, and I’m not going to share it with you. Yet.

That’s right, you ask, “How, Rob, can you run your businesses, write this amazing blog, record your ever-entertaining podcast, and still find time for your two beautiful kids?”

The truth is – I’d be curled in a ball in the corner without some serious help from nutritional supplements.  I eat well, I exercise – but there is no substitute for some of the high power supplements I’m taking.

The great thing is, it is all natural.  I don’t overdo anything.  All of the potencies and dosages of the supplements I take, from vitamins and minerals to medicinal mushrooms, all well-researched. Believe me! I’ve been doing this for a minute.

Now I have something I want to share with the world, and it is my nootropic super stack.  Take just two of these supplement formulas and your brain is ON FIRE with neurogenesis and increase memory functioning. Take the entire stack and you’re going to be truly amazed.

This is nothing I’m selling, nothing proprietary – just products you find in your local (please. please. shop local, folks) health food store.  And I hate to do the cliffhanger thing but I’m so excited I just want to hold back… a little bit longer…

Discover the super stack on the next episode of Whole Earth Radio.

Peace and love – Rob

The Return of Alkalize 55

UPDATE AUGUST 29, 2018 : IT IS HERE! Alkalize 55 is in house and shipping to all of our independent health food store customers. That’s right. Amazon is not in the picture.

While you can order Alkalize 55 directly from the Food Movement Company link here we are encouraging you to purchase it directly from your LOCAL health food store.


It is almost here.  It has been almost two years since we have produced a bottle of Alkalize 55 at the Food Movement Company in Illinois.  The requests for more have been constant. I’m not bragging, I’m actually reflecting sadly – because having to turn people away from a product that has helped them is heartbreaking.

When we first launched Alkalize 55, the product was marketed to health practitioners exclusively.  Medicatrix Naturae was a sister company of TFMC, and many doctors and other healers latched onto the combination of fermented foods and humic fulvic minerals instantly.

Just as the Ancient Greek Paracelsus added back mineral ash to his spagyric extracts to recapture the earth elements, the addition of humic fulvic minerals to fermented super foods brings forth a synergy of energies.  The wholeness of the person being treated is better addressed by a holistic formulation, and one that is food based and also has ultra trace minerals.

Basic RGB

Sparing you the details of the business complications that have prevented us from making this formula – suffice to say that it is soon to be available again.  We hope by July 1st to have this amazing formula back in stock.  I’m sure we will do some cool promotion to celebrate its arrival, and more will be posted here for sure.

Maybe a giveaway contest, what do you think?

Living Organic Earth : humic fulvic minerals and human health

Hi there, I have a new book coming out and I wanted to make a post about it just to communicate with the world prior to its release.  I’m not trying to get rich off of this, I’m really just trying to uplift the consciousness of the world in some small way.

The subject of this book is natural organic matter (NOM) in as much as it is a source of humates, which are conjugates of humic acid (and its more specific component fulvic acid).  I have to tell you this subject has been absolutely fascinating for me for years now, and it never stops being so.

One reason is that these substances are potentially so beneficial to humankind. Another reason is that I think they are important in a way that gives us possible insights to the world around us.


For some time I have been maintaining a blog called Living Organic Earth, documenting some of the exciting scientific research on this subject.  From this point, I have received contact from everyone from Russian humate scientists to extra terrestrial enthusiasts to Naturopathic Doctors.

Although this book is devoted primarily to humates, I have also devoted chapters to colloidal silver and also to zeolite.  These are similarly esoteric mineral subjects that are potentially of great benefit to human health, but are also somewhat mysterious and magical.

When I say mysterious and magical, please do not think that I mean that they have not been scientifically researched. Quite the opposite.  In the same way that quantum physics can, in this writer’s humble opinion, be mysterious and magical – so are these quantum minerals.

Much of what I have posted in the blog Living Organic Earth are actually scientific articles.  Some of these entries are essentially my own research notes, giving me a link to the studies that make up the basis of the synthesis I have put together within the pages of the finished manuscript.  So, in this way, the blog and the book are quite different.  Feel free to e-mail your thoughts and questions at


Can Zeolite help improve your health through detoxification?

Many health practitioners have sought a nutritional supplement that can aid the body’s natural detoxification processes.  Diet and exercise are key, but one ancient mineral supplement getting a lot of attention is Zeolite.

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The Food Movement’s Black Earth Zeolite is an excellent form of this unique nutrient, providing Zeolite free of heavy metals, and in a base of humic fulvic minerals.  The liquid form is convenient, easy to use, and in many ways superior to the powdered clay Zeolite which can sometimes contain excessive levels of lead and aluminum.*

An article in the journal Nutrition Hospitliaria entitled “Zeolite: “the magic stone”; main nutritional, environmental, experimental and clinical fields of application” researchers noted “The detoxificant role of zeolites is already evident in the agro industrial and in the zoothecnical fields. While the hospital diffusion as a potential coadjutant of toxic chemotherapy appears to be the most relevant clinical use of zeolite. However it is important to de- monstrate that zeolite does not interfere with the ab- sorption of chemotherapy drugs and does not reduce the bioaivalability.”

Zeolite education 1

Used by many health practitioners with thousands, successfully, we bring this ancient health secret to you with good intentions aiming to help you take your life in a positive direction.  You don’t have to go to a healing retreat to uncover this ancient secret today.



*These statements have not been evaluated by FDA. This product is not intended to prevent, treat or mitigate disease. See you health practitioner if you feel that you have a medical condition.  Sold as a dietary supplement.

The Plant-Based Alternative to Bone Broth is…

Dr Axe, noted internet guru recently wrote the following on bone broth, “For thousands of years, there have been traditional foods like fermented vegetables and cultured dairy that have been touted for their health benefits. But one common healing food that is now being recognized — so trendy that it’s a staple of the Paleo diet and even bone broth shops exist now! — for its incredible health benefits is bone broth. Why? Because bone broth benefits are numerous and extensive.”

Dr Axe goes on to talk about the benefits of bone broth to

Treat leaky gut syndrome
Overcome food intolerances and allergies
Improve joint health
Reduce cellulite
Boost immune system

Now, all that may be well and good, but if you are a vegan, or even a pescitarian, boiling bones as part of your nutritional regimen is out of the question. Right? So is there an alternative to bone broth that is plant-based?

Earlier this year the Food Movement Co., long-running vegan functional foods company, came out with a product called Boneless Broth. The first flavor is Moringa Miso, and somewhat coincidentally with our opening quote – it is made from fermented foods and other nutrient-dense plants.  The formula combines fermented organic Soy (Miso), organic Moringa leaves and organic Dulse seaweed.


So, can this plant-based alternative address some of the problems that folks are using bone broth to try and overcome?  Some of these may be hard to tell (not aware of any clinical research on reducing cellulite with bone broth) but the benefits to the digestive, immune and other body systems from Boneless Broth will come from the nutrients packed into these fermented and raw super foods.

Moringa has been called ‘the Miracle Tree’ and is used for many many health conditions throughout the world, and most importantly as a nutritive super vegetable. Researchers writing in the journal Food Science and Human Wellness observed, “Every part of M. oleifera is a storehouse of important nutrients and antinutrients. The leaves of M. oleifera are rich in minerals like calcium, potassium, zinc, magnesium, iron and copper [2]. Vitamins like beta-carotene of vitamin A, vitamin B such as folic acid, pyridoxine and nicotinic acid, vitamin C, D and E also present in M. oleifera[8]. Phytochemicals such as tannins, sterols, terpenoids, flavonoids, saponins, anthraquinones, alkaloids and reducing sugar present along with anti-cancerous agents like glucosinolates, isothiocyanates, glycoside compounds and glycerol-1-9-octadecanoate.”

With all of the rich nutrition packed into Moringa, it is hardly surprising that it has been researched as a super food (functional food) to help with many different health conditions. I’ve written about Moringa for years in my blog, since the Food Movement starting importing this rare food from around the world.

The next ingredient in Boneless Broth is organic freeze-dried Miso powder. Have you ever eaten in a sushi or traditional Japanese restaurant? Chances are you’ve had Miso soup.  But did you know it has some amazing health benefits as well?

Miso owes it’s highly satisfying savory taste to the interaction between protein phytochemicals called glutamates, and their interaction with various other peptides.  In fermentation the components of the original soy bean are transformed, made digestible, and given that unique “Umami” taste.

Studies indicate that Miso may lower blood pressure through the activation of the body’s dopamine pathways, may help to prevent stroke,  and to even protect against cancer and radiation exposure.

There is a definite connection between Miso’s unique properties, the Umami taste, and the presence of unique glutamates and peptides formed by fermentation.  In addition, the savory flavor may bet activating part of our pallet and our brain that is missing when we concentrate only on salty and sweet foods.

Writing about Miso, the bone broth guru Dr Axe says this “Eating miso in its most powerful, healing form — miso soup — is an easy way to improve digestion. Beneficial probiotics found in miso help combat digestive issues caused by an imbalance in gut bacteria, including constipation, diarrhea, gas, bloating and IBS. Probiotics are even beneficial for people suffering from serious conditions like food allergies, candida viruses, ulcerative colitis and leaky gut syndrome.”

So there you have it from the bone broth guru himself – Miso can help improve digestion.  Now, marketing a dietary supplement, companies can’t legally make claims like this about a product. But a Doctor, writing about whole organic foods as medicine, can feel free to make the above statement whereas a food company could not. Interesting paradox in a way, isn’t it?

It is also important that there are many different compounds in Miso formed by fermentation.  Because of the delicate probiotic nutrient nature of these plant chemicals, we recommend using HOT but not boiling water. (Boneless Broth can also be consumed cold).

Now the final ingredient in Boneless Broth is a seaweed called Dulse and it has a wonderful flavor and is loaded with minerals and even protein.  This seaweed is traditionally paired with Miso, and gives a great taste as well as an important nutritional boost.  How many of your favorite foods can you say that about? (Hopefully – lots!)

The feedback to Boneless Broth as a plant-based alternative to bone broth has been really great so far.  My hope would be that it can be so much more, in that a broad spectrum of nutrients (as presented in Moringa Miso) can provide a broad spectrum of benefit.  Look at Moringa or Miso individually and you will find research on a wide variety of health benefits from liver function, kidney function, digestive function, blood sugar balance and many stops inbetween.  What you start to see is that eating nutritive whole, fermented, raw, functional foods is an excellent strategy to protecting your most important asset – your health.  No bones about it.


Did colloidal silver really turn a man blue?

A few years ago if you even mentioned colloidal silver, you would instantly start to get this amazing story about a crazy looking blue man.  The story goes that he turned that way from using colloidal silver. So, is that true?

In a word, no.


There is a man who looks like Papa Smurf that has made the rounds of the talk show circuit. People have been talking about him for years, citing his case an example of why you shouldn’t take popular natural remedy colloidal silver. One website published this year, says that it is all a hoax.

The Blue Man story became a major media disinformation event which was produced by a public relations firm and paid for by a pharmaceutical interest. The purpose of this campaign was to scare the public away from using colloidal silver products.


Turns out the man’s name is Paul Karason.  That’s him right there! Well, how did he get to be so blue?

The website offers this analysis, “ The fact is that Paul has a condition called argyria that turns the skin a blue-gray color. He got this condition by taking his homemade silver compound that was mostly a highly concentrated ionic silver solution. When he prepared the solution he believed he was making colloidal silver. He was not making colloidal silver. To make the solution even more dangerous, he added salt to the brew and then used electrolysis to make a high concentration of silver chloride with large particles which is well known to cause argyria. He further applied the compound to his skin causing him to become an internal and external photographic plate. To finish himself off, he used a tanning bed to “fix” the silver in his body. The moral of the story is to know the difference between true colloidal silver and ionic silver or silver proteins, and don’t try to make either at home! (True colloidal silver cannot be made at home.)

If you do use colloidal silver, I recommend using nano-colloidal silver that you buy in your health food store. Not some dangerous crap you make in your bathtub which is not even colloidal. If you really want to check out an effective praoduct – you can take a product like Black Earth Silver from the Food Movement which also includes humic acid, fulvic acid and over 70 trace minerals.

But nano silver is really interesting. According to one group of researchers in China, writing a meta-analysis (synthesis based on previous studies) “Recently, Nano Silver Particles have become of intense interest in biomedical applications because of their antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory activity.5,6

Research done in Mongolia (inspired by the healing elements found in the the ‘Black lakes’ throughout Asian mountain ranges) also showed that colloidal Silver and Humic Acid (found in the Humates in the Black Lakes traditionally used for healing) had a synergistic effect.  Research published in the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology  found that “the toxicity of [Silver Nanoparticles] to a bacterial model (Shewanella oneidensis MR-1) decreases most significantly in the presence of sulfur- and nitrogen-rich NOM. Our data suggest that the rate of AgNP aggregation and dissolution in aquatic environments containing NOM will depend on the chemical composition of the NOM, and that the toxicity of [Nanocolloidal Silver] to aquatic microorganisms is controlled primarily by the extent of nanoparticle dissolution.”

But if you do ask the medical mainstream about silver, they probably won’t talk to you about research on NSPs.  They’ll say stuff like the NIH website says :

  • Silver has no known function or benefits in the body when taken by mouth.
  • Silver is not a nutritionally essential mineral or a useful dietary supplement.
  • People may be exposed to silver, usually in tiny amounts, through air, water, and food, and in certain activities such as jewelry-making or soldering.

Well, thanks, that’s a really great idea! Instead of a health supplement I will just suck on a soldering gun for a while. Or focus on the tiny amounts I get in the air. How’s that working for you?

Meanwhile, if you check in with a natural-oriented doctor like Dr Josh Axe, popular internet guru, he will tell you that it is very beneficial. In addition to the research I mentioned earlier, he also talks about successful use of colloidal silver in treating pneumonia, sinusitis, pink eye and other conditions.

“You may come across many warnings about it causing an irreversible condition called argyria (when people turn blue). However, this is caused by misuse not of true colloidal silver, but through other cheaper products marketed as colloidal silver, such as ionic silver or silver protein,” writes Dr Axe.”

“One point to consider is that, because colloidal silver is such a potent antibacterial agent, you should be sure to supplement with probiotics during use to be sure that you maintain a proper balance of microflora.”

Because based on research on the microbiome and mood, if you don’t – you may wind up feeling blue.  But if you buy a reputable colloidal silver you won’t be turning blue.

Can humic acid minerals and zeolite help to detoxify your body?

Unique trace mineral compounds known as humates contain humic acid, a specific type of humic acid called fulvic acid, and also as many as 72 micro-nutrient trace minerals.

A growing body of research into these substances suggests that they may have great benefit for human health!

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Researchers in Phytotherapy Research found that “The anti-inflammatory action of potassium humate can be contributed to the inhibition of the release of inflammatory-related cytokines, an adhesion molecule, oxidants and components of the complement system.”

The complement system is a part of the innate immune system that “enhances (complements) the ability of antibodies and phagocytic cells to clear microbes and damaged cells from an organism, promotes inflammation, and attacks the pathogen’s cell membrane”

Other studies have examined the role of humic and fulvic mineral compounds as effective immuno-stimulants, anti-carcinogenics and chelating agents for detoxification of heavy metals.  Another compound that has been researched for these purposes is Zeolite.

For more information on emerging studies visit




Introducing Boneless Broth – the plant-based super food instant health drink!

Folks, over at the Food Movement we are ringing in the New Year in a really special way! We are soon unveiling our brand new Boneless Broth product line, with our first recipe – Boneless Broth Moringa Miso.

boneless broth 2

‘Lots of us try to add some nutritional benefit to our lives by supplementing with super foods. There are lots of good ones out there; but this new Boneless Broth formula combines three heavy-hitters for a trifecta of souper foods!

Our new formula contains

-freeze-dried organic Red Miso (made from non-GMO soy beans)

-organic Moringa oleifera leaf (known as the ‘Miracle Tree’)

-organic Dulse flakes – a treasure trove of ocean nutrition in the form of a delicious seaweed that has been called “bacon of the sea” for its savory, meaty flavor

What you get is an amazing instant soup mix dietary supplement; that is to say you are getting complete proteins, minerals, antioxidants – and lots of unique constituents like the dipocolonic acid in Miso that makes it a powerful detoxifying food!  This is a daily nutritional supplement made 100% from organic food.

And – get ready for this – it contains no sugar.  It is naturally savory, full of umami flavor – if you will, and deeply satisfying.  It is a great way to start and end your day, and for anywhere inbetween.

Check out our special introductory offer on Boneless Broth Moringa Miso

Beta-caryophyllene cannabinoid research continues to show benefit

You may have read my previous post about BCP (Beta-caryophyllene) a natural cannabinoid (cousin of CBD) found naturally-occurring not just in Hemp, but in many foods such as celery, black pepper and maca root.  Well, you may be interested to know that a continuing and growing body of research shows new and different benefits to human health!


This has been one of my most popular blog entries of late, due to some emerging science on the importance on beta-caryophyllene.  Many of you will know that recently the leading company, the Hemp Movement, discontinued CBD and threw their lot in with Plus CBD made by CV Sciences. BCP is also a phytocannabinoid, and a growing body of scientific research indicates that it is a novel compound we should examine as well.

A very recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Neuroscience found that BCP “BCP alleviates ischemic brain damage potentially by inhibiting necroptotic neuronal death and inflammatory response. This study suggests a novel application for BCP as a neuroprotective agent.”

Another recent study found BCP helpful in non-alcoholic hepatitis.  Researchers concluded that the “antioxidant effect of BCP might suppressed the damage of hepatocytes caused by oxidative stress and following inflammation and fibrosis.”  Hepatocytes are cells in the liver that are damaged in hepatitis progression.


You may have read in my first post how I talked about BCP affecting both CB-1 and CB-2 receptors; the two major switches in the human ECS or endo-cannabionoid system.

Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in an article entitled “Beta-caryophyllene is a dietary cannabinoid”, Gertsch et al write “The psychoactive cannabinoids from Cannabis sativa L. and the arachidonic acid-derived endocannabinoids are nonselective natural ligands for cannabinoid receptor type 1 (CB1) and CB2 receptors. Although the CB1 receptor is responsible for the psychomodulatory effects, activation of the CB2 receptor is a potential therapeutic strategy for the treatment of inflammation, pain, atherosclerosis, and osteoporosis. Here, we report that the widespread plant volatile (E)-β-caryophyllene [(E)-BCP] selectively binds to the CB2 receptor (K i = 155 ± 4 nM) and that it is a functional CB2 agonist. Intriguingly, (E)-BCP is a common constituent of the essential oils of numerous spice and food plants and a major component in Cannabis.”



What makes Miso the ultimate umami souper food?

Miso is the most prevalent form of fermented food in the world, traditionally made from fermented soybeans, aspergillus oryzae culture (koji) and salt.  Other ingredients are frequently incorporated such as grains, sea vegetables, mushrooms and scallions.

Miso is a traditional soup which has been popular in Japan for hundreds of years, and is linked back to origins in China in the 3rd century BCE  and another fermented food called Hishio.

Food Movement Miso

Have you ever eaten in a sushi or traditional Japanese restaurant? Chances are you’ve had Miso soup.  But did you know it has some amazing health benefits as well?

Miso owes it’s highly satisfying savory taste to the interaction between protein phytochemicals called glutamates, and their interaction with various other peptides.  In fermentation the components of the original soy bean are transformed, made digestible, and given that unique “Umami” taste.

Studies indicate that Miso may lower blood pressure through the activation of the body’s dopamine pathways, may help to prevent stroke,  and to even protect against cancer and radiation exposure.

There is a definite connection between Miso’s unique properties, the Umami taste, and the presence of unique glutamates and peptides formed by fermentation.  In addition, the savory flavor may bet activating part of our pallet and our brain that is missing when we concentrate only on salty and sweet foods. USA, LLC

Discover blue magic (for your tea and your body) : Butterfly Pea flower tea

Butterfly-Pea-Flower-tea---TFMAhh the magic of nature.  It is truly everywhere we look, if we are looking with the right vision. Is it not?

There are many kinds of amazing and colorful flowers that are made into herbal teas; but one stands alone as a truly unique specimen – until recently rarely seen in the US – and that is Butterfly Pea Flower tea.

The Butterfly Pea flower (Clitoria ternatea) is native to many South Asian countries, including Thailand, Malaysia and Burma.  It has a number of very interesting properties – including its wide range use as a traditional medicinal herb in the Ayurvedic tradition. Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham tells us that in Ayurveda it is considered to be something that “ameliorates the wrath of the god of karma,” as well as a pleasant and commonly enjoyed herbal tea.

One of the most instantly apparent novel things about the tea has earned it the nickname the “color changing tea” – because of just that! Depending on the pH of a solution, whether it is very acid or alkaline, a tea made from the flowers of Butterfly pea can change very much in color.  When extracted in purified water it is a rich blue, then by simply adding lemon juice (with a very acidic pH) we can see the tea make a dramatic shift to bright purple!

The novelty of its vibrant blue (and various other hues) color aside, Butterfly Pea Flower tea has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic medicine.  It is also increasingly being validated by modern scientific exploration.  The plant pigments that make it colorful also make it highly antioxidant, with a higher ORAC value than many plants.  However, the magic doesn’t just stop there.

A 2008 article in the Journal of Pharmacology found that it has been “used for centuries as a memory enhancer, nootropic, antistress, anxiolytic, antidepressant, anticonvulsant, tranquilizing and sedative agent.”  Researchers also concluded that its extracts “possess a wide range of pharmacological activities including antimicrobial, antipyretic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, diuretic, local anesthetic, antidiabetic, insecticidal, blood platelet aggregation-inhibiting and for use as a vascular smooth muscle relaxing properties.”

Dr Al Sears has written about the herb, called Bunga telang in Bali, and its use in traditional Bali herbal medicine for memory, for eye problems, and even for serious diseases like cancer. It is one of the only plants that contains a chemical called cyclotides. Researchers in the journal Oncology Letters have even researched cyclotides from Butterfly Pea flower tea against certain kinds of drug-resistant lung cancer.

Much more than just a color-changing novelty used in cocktails or food (although that is pretty nifty huh?) behind that magic BLUE color we find that Butterfly Pea Flower tea may have some impressive benefits for the body – and the mind.

In India, scientists have demonstrated that treatment with just 100 mg. of Butterfly Pea flower extract can increase acetyl-choline. The researchers stated “increase in ACh content in their hippocampus may be the neurochemical basis for their improved learning and memory.” Acetyl choline is an essential neurotransmitter and a major factor in central nervous system functioning.

New Study Investigates Probiotic Strains in Iranian Pickled Vegetables

A new study published in the journal GMS Hygiene and Infection Control (there’s one to throw out on your coffee table…) identified probiotic strains found in fermented vegetable pickles in Iran.

Iranian Pickled Vegetables

Dallal Soltan et al wrote “The results of this study showed that the dominant LAB in traditional Persian pickled vegetables are L. plantarum, L. brevis, L. pentosus, L. casei, L. paracasei, and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. Moreover, L. plantarum was recognized as a probiotic species in pickled vegetables. The raw data obtained from this study can be used in the pickling industry to improve the nutritional value of products.”

Many of these strains have been researched for their efficacy in improving human health outcomes.  The pickle you save may be your own!

うま味 Umami : the Fifth Taste of Super Foods

Umami, known as the fifth taste, is a Japanese word うま味 meaning “pleasant savory taste.” Are you falling into the American taste trap of too much salty, too much sweet and not enough of anything else? Well, don’t fast forward by bitter or pungent, either… but you really will benefit from exploring the savory protein flavor known as Umami.

boneless broth mushroom bowl

In 1908 Japanese scientist Kikunae Ikeda coined the term for his discoveries around the taste by combining the words for Umai うまい meaning delicious and mi 味 meaning taste. In 1985 Umami was recognized as the scientific term for the taste of amino acid compounds called glutamates, and nucleotides.

We now know through the work of scientists studying Umami that this taste has its own unique receptors in the human palette.  Before this discovery in the early 21st century it was largely considered to be an enhancement to other flavors or tastes. Certain amino acids, such as glutamate, react with certain nucleotides to greatly intensify the perception of this taste. Research indicates that when the Umami taste is already exhibited in glutamate rich foods, the nucleotide inosinate can increase the Umami by a factor of 8.

An article in Popular Science observes, “All those strong-flavored, highly concentrated foods, like anchovies, prosciutto, Parmesan, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, fish sauce, Marmite, blue cheese, miso: those are the ones that are packed with available glutamate.”

I have long been a fan of vegetable broths and soup stocks as a way to get lots of nutrition (and healing comfort) into the body in a tasty way.  One of the most savory broths is Miso, a traditional Japanese fermentation generally made from soybeans and aspergillus oryzae (Koji) and some times other ingredients such as seaweed, barley, or rice.  Miso is also one of the most Umami foods, and correspondingly – one of the richest dietary sources of Glutamate.

Glutamate is a neurotransmitter which is one of the most abundant molecules, and most common excitatory neurotransmitters, in the brain.  It is also a precursor to the inhibitory neurotransmitter amino acid GABA, which is often found to one of the greatest factors in relaxation and mental focus.  The metabolism of glutamate is critical to both excitatory and inhibitory neurotransmitters.

Glutamate is also used by the body to help excrete excess nitrogen, and to produce energy as part of the citric acid cycle, being involved in the metabolism of pyruvate and alpha-ket o glutamic acid.  This process is an intrinsic part of the creation of energy at a cellular level.

The taste of Umami, whether from a rich seaweed miso broth, from fermented fish, or from mushrooms, can be correlated with not just delicious taste; but potentially also great health benefits.  A small number of individuals may have an allergic reaction to glutamate rich foods, and to glutamate rich food additives such as MSG (mono-s odium glutamate) which is sometimes added to foods as an intense flavor enhancer. For the majority of us, glutamate rich foods can be an important way to get our savory souper foods!

Whole Earth Radio Episode 3

So you say you want a revolution? The battle for the heart and soul of natural living rages on.  Which side are you on and which side will you choose?  The ensuing battle isn’t just about how we SHOP, it is about how we LIVE – and in result about the fate of our PLANET.  What more important revolution could there possibly be? All right! All right!

Listen to Whole Earth Radio now :


Moringa : Super Foods Best Kept Secret

Have you heard of Moringa, known as ‘the Miracle Tree’? If not, you’re not alone – but this may be a super food you really want to look into.  Known as the “miracle tree”, it may be one of the best kept secrets in health food in the US – but its impact has been felt all around the world.


The plant, latin binomial Moringa oleifera, is native to India, and is now grown on many continents.

The Food Movement began importing Moringa in 2011, and since that time demand and presence in the US natural marketplace has steadily grown.  One of the reasons for this is that of all the ‘green foods’ one can choose as a supplement – Moringa has some really unique phytochemical benefits beyond the usual suspects of chlorophyll and vitamins.  The leaves provide a source of complete protein, and are an unusually rich source of nutrition.

A 2017 review in the Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine concluded ” ..due to its high nutritional value and several medicinal properties, this tree may act as a nutritional and medical alternative for socially neglected populations.”

moringa facts

Another review in the journal Phytotherapy Research found that “A rapidly growing number of published studies have shown that aqueous, hydroalcohol, or alcohol extracts of M. oleifera leaves possess a wide range of additional biological activities including antioxidant, tissue protective (liver, kidneys, heart, testes, and lungs), analgesic, antiulcer, antihypertensive, radioprotective, and immunomodulatory actions. A wide variety of polyphenols and phenolic acids as well as flavonoids, glucosinolates, and possibly alkaloids is believed to be responsible for the observed effects. ”

Due to these unique properties it has been labeled “the miracle tree” and groups like Trees for Life have planted millions of the plant across starvation-ravaged African nations.  In addition to providing nutrition and medicine from the leaves and pods, the seeds of the Moringa tree can also be used to purify brackish water and are recommended for such purposes by the World Health Organization.

The Food Movement has sought to combine these benefits – the unique health-giving properties of the tree – along with the beneficial social and environmental impact; by selling organic Moringa in the US to raise money for groups like Trees for Life.  Whether your interest is in Moringa’s ability to combat hunger and lack of clean drinking water on a global scale; or if you’re just looking for health benefits for yourself – Moringa can be a true miracle.


Dulse Sea Vegetable : Amazing Nutrition from the Ocean

Let me just say this – if you’re not eating sea veggies you are missing out.  We talk a lot about super foods; but I can say with absolute certainty there are few foods that rival the nutritional benefits from seaweed.

There are many varieties of sea veggies; Kelp, Nori, Wakame, Irish Moss – the list goes on and on.  Some of them are savory and slightly sweet, others more bitter or earthy tasting.  One of the most beneficial kinds of sea vegetable for my money is Dulse (Palmaria palmata) a vegetable that grows in the North regions of the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans.


Dulse has a really nice umami sort of taste to it, and some folks even use it as a plant-based substitute for Bacon flavoring.  Ever tried a DLT (Dulse, lettuce and tomato) sandwich?  Try it and you might be surprised.

In addition to being a very flavorful food, Dulse has a host of health benefits.  Like all sea veggies, it contains a wide variety of beneficial trace minerals, including energizing electrolytes and the essential nutrient Iodine.  A growing body of research suggests that Americans may be largely deficient in Iodine, some even going so far as to label the deficiency a public health crisis.

But it isn’t just the minerals, like Iodine, that Dulse contains.  Scientific research published in the journal Food Research International indicates that the phycobiliproteins and chlorophyll in Dulse contribute to an anti-inflammatory effect.  Inflammation is one of the leading cause of negative health outcomes, and a major contributor to pain and discomfort in the body.

Another study showed that these same compounds in Dulse can inhibit ACE (angiotensin-converting enzyme).  The Mayo Clinic says this about ACE inhibitors “Angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors help relax blood vessels. ACE inhibitors prevent an enzyme in your body from producing angiotensin II, a substance in your body that narrows your blood vessels and releases hormones that can raise your blood pressure. This narrowing can cause high blood pressure and force your heart to work harder.”

When you add a sea vegetable like Dulse into your diet, you aren’t just satisfying your taste buds – you also satisfy your hunger (iodine being a major factor in normal thyroid function), you are re-energizing your entire system with trace mineral nutrients that work on every level of the human body to help promote balance.  You’re also quite possibly helping to relax blood vessels and fight inflammation at a cellular level.

In short – if you don’t have Dulse in your cupboard, you might be missing out!

Whole Earth Radio : Episode 2

Did you say you wanted a free radio show (podcast as it were) that talks all about natural health, the environment and the inter-connectedness of it all?  Join me as I explore the Philosophy of Health in a rambling, gambling journey through life in general.


And if you don’t have time to listen to the whole episode, make sure you check out some various ways to Save the Monarch Butterfly 

Whole Earth Radio Episode 2

Study shows Moringa, Soy & Mushroom soup powder higher in nutrients than other soup powders

The journal Food Science & Nutrition recently published interesting study from India, as it shows the practical applications of three ‘super foods’ as a whole food soup mix.  Cooked Moringa & Soy were combined with a few other ingredients (corn starch, salt and preservative).  The study, entitled Formulation and nutritional evaluation of a healthy vegetable soup powder supplemented with soy flour, mushroom, and moringa leaf, is linked here.

Moringa The Food Movement

Compared to other soup powders, this combination of super foods (they used the highly beneficial Oyster mushrooms) was found to have thee “Highest content of vitamin D, minerals, protein, and fiber” as well as Vitamin C.



Start Your Day with Humic Fulvic Minerals

Bulletproof coffee – stand back. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve been known to put a little coconut oil in my coffee. It’s actually a great idea. But lately I’ve been starting my day with a dose of electrolyte minerals and I’ve been really impressed with the results!

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Humic acid, and its related metabolite fulvic acid, have been increasingly researched for their beneficial health effects. It is no secret that the abundance of trace minerals found in connection with humic fulvates are beneficial and energizing. They even kind of look like coffee! Talk about the doctrine of signature; I don’t know how I missed this combination that has been right in front of my face.


I’ve been adding a tablespoon per cup of coffee. It is fine to heat the minerals, but I have found it works best to add it in to the java once it has been brewed.  The same way humic and fulvic acid can boost absorption of nutrients, minerals and botanicals – they can do for you and your morning caffeine beverage. You could even go crazy and add the minerals AND the coconut oil to your morning elixir. Have fun with it!

This month Whole Earth Minerals humic fulvic trace mineral blend is on sale at the Food Movement for just $29.99.


Mushrooms Can Give Bees A Chance

For a number of years, Paul Stamets – the world’s preeminent mycologist (and prototype for Star Trek’s new Lieutenant Stamets Space Mycologist) has been working on solving the problem of colony collapse.  This is a major problem, as our whole ecosphere depends on bees.


A couple of years ago NPR addressed his work in an article titled Could A Mushroom Save the Honeybee? The answer, thankfully, is – yes.

Paul has been working on saving the human race with mushrooms for many years.  His synthesis of the research on mushrooms and the support of the human immune system has led to military research, public initiatives and the formation of Fungi Perfecti – a company best known for their Host Defense organic mushroom nutritional supplement line.

The takeaway for many natural enthusiasts is this – the answer has always been here. Look to the natural world for the solution, and we will quite often find – it has been right under our proverbial noses.


Watch this amazing video!


Bioavailable Curcumin and the Brain

Eating yellow Curry every day, say researchers, may make you smarter.  This is in part because of a root called Turmeric which contains a group of compounds referred to as Curcumin.

In the natural business we often hear it said; while Curcumin (technically not one compound but a series of curcuminoid polyphenols) is the most active component of noted herbal healer Turmeric root (scientific name Curcuma longa) it is very poorly absorbed.


Researchers can measure blood levels of curcumin, demethoxycurcumin, and total curcuminoids following oral supplementation in order to test the bioavailability of various forms of Curcumin supplementation.

In fact, there are many forms of “absorption enhanced” Curcumin on the market – some of which show little benefit when actually tested in humans.  Because whole Turmeric root has a diverse range of natural compounds, not just Curcumin, whole root may not give much absorption of curcuminoid polyphenols.  Researchers attribute this to poor solubility in water, leading to poor absorption.

A solid lipid Curcumin formulation called Longvida is generating lots of interest after several successful clinical trials.  Longvida, a patented form of Curcumin, was developed in concert with UCLA neuroscientists. Not only is this form of Curcumin better absorbed than other extracts, it has shown some specific neurological benefits.  Lead researcher Katherine Cox has written a very interesting article about the study in The Conversation in which she writes

“Our placebo-controlled, double-blind study examined the effects of 80mg of the lipid-conjugated curcumin in a cohort of healthy older people. For full transparency, note the study was funded by a grant from the company that makes the extract – though it had no input into the design, interpretation or publication of the study.

“We randomly allocated 60 participants (with mean age 69 years) to receive curcumin capsules (the intervention) or a matching placebo (a dummy). Neither group knew whether they were receiving curcumin or a placebo.

“The volunteers underwent a training day to familiarise themselves with the computerised cognitive and mood tests. Then they undertook the tests before taking the capsule, then one and three hours after a single dose. They underwent testing at the same three time points following 28 days on curcumin or placebo.”

The study was published in the journal Psychopharmacology in 2015.  In that paper, the researchers also concluded “A significant acute-on-chronic treatment effect on alertness and contentedness was also observed. Curcumin was associated with significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol and had no effect on hematological safety measures.” That’s right – not only can it improve alertness and happiness; it may just improve your serum cholesterol levels.


Nordic Naturals, long a natural products industry leader in well-researched and effective nutrients, has recently released their Omega Memory product which combines the special Longvida Curcumin used in the above clinical study along with other ingredients shown to support memory – Phosphatidylcholine and Huperzine A, an extract from Chinese Club moss (Huperza serrata) which has been shown to to inhibit acetyl-choline esterase, a process which can improve memory and recall.  Last but not least the formula also contains 1000 mg of Omega-3 EPA & DHA rich fish oil which has been shown to be of great in benefits in literally thousands of published studies.

Want to find out if Longvida clinically-researched Curcumin will have the same effect on your brain as it did in the scientific study?  Trying Omega Memory with Curcumin from Nordic Naturals; not only are you receiving the same bioavailable Curcumin used in the actual clinical trial – you’re also getting efficacious doses of Huperzine A, Phosphatidyl Choline and the #1 selling (and most bioavailable) fish oil in the world – Nordic Naturals Omega 3.

Food Movement Fights Hunger Globally and Locally

The Food Movement Co is an Illinois-based company manufacturing and distributing organic super foods and bioactive dietary supplements.  Part of the Food Movement’s mission is also to donate to hunger relief groups.


In 2015, for the first time, the Food Movement decided to support both a local group (Chicago Food Depository) and Trees for Life, a group working globally to stop famine in Africa and other important locations.  Every purchase you make from the Food Movement  helps to support this mission.

For more information on the important work behind these groups and visit them online and find out how you can further support their work.  Long live the Food Movement!

Alkalize 55 : Honoring a founding father of Macrobiotics

December 28, 2014 the world lost one of the founding fathers of Macrobiotics (a system of plant-based eating based on promoting balance within the body) in Dr. Michio Kushi.  Dr. Kushi will forever be remembered as someone who worked hard to leave the world a better place than he found it.  Learn about his work with the Kushi Institute here. Truly an astounding and impressive legacy for his family, friends, students and admirers to consider.  Along with his wife Aveline, and many supporters, he truly made a lasting impact on the worldwide natural health movement.


While he was still alive, Dr Kushi’s work on fermented foods helped lead to the development of the supplement Alkalize 55.  All of us at the Food Movement are very proud to continue to honor his legacy with his unique combination of biodynamic fermented foods preB.

In keeping with his important work on macrobiotics, preB is made from 55 biodynamically grown foods which are triple-fermented in a unique process. All of the foods are grown on the Diemeter-certified Anew farm in Brazil.  The Food Movement combines these with unique humic fulvate trace minerals to activate this truly dynamic formula for promoting pH balance within the body.


To learn more about Dr. Kushi’s work and the principles behind Alkalize 55 in under 2 minutes, check out this interesting video. Do all that you can to start leading a great life today!  Thank you Dr. Kushi for all of your amazing work.


The Movement Awakens

I haven’t written much here lately, as it has proved to be a busier year than I could have previously imagined.  The Central Midwest (and indeed the entire US!) is seeing some tremendous growth in natural markets and we’re all thankful for this continued progress in bringing people healthy and organic food and supplements.WEMLacuma

Lucuma by Marika Malkerson for the food movement co. 2015

The Food Movement has seen some tremendous growth this year, but I mostly wanted to give a shoutout to artist Marika Malkerson who has done lots of fantastic botanical artwork for us.  The image of super fruit Lucuma is just one example of her tremendous contribution and her husband is an amazing emcee as well!  You can expect to see this on THM’s Hempfit Vanilla Lucuma protein coming very soon.

I have a huge backlog of research to write about, and I’m promising myself to delve into that in 2016.  Until then – eat better, feel better and leave the world a better place than you found it.  Happy Holidays to all – regardless of your faith (or lack thereof).  We all have much to be grateful for.


Medical experts : Don’t eat raw mushrooms!


Well-respected medical expert Andrew Weil, MD tells his readers you should NEVER eat raw mushrooms.  Not only are the fruiting body (what most people know as a ‘mushroom’) walls made up of a tough to digest fiber called chitin, they also contains small amounts of toxins that are destroyed when mushrooms are cooked.

“Because of these concerns and because they offer little in the way of improving health, common button mushrooms are best avoided. But the types eaten in Asia—shiitake, maitake, oyster mushrooms, and enoki—provide a range of health benefits,” says Weill.

Weill also mentions in the above article that he takes a couple of blends from Paul Stamets’ Host Defense product line, which also include the above mentioned species of mycelia as well as others.  Many of these mushrooms are of immense physical benefits to humans, often when consumed in the mycelial form.

Just this week, the world’s foremost mycologist Paul Stamets also released a statement on easting raw mushroom fruiting bodies and, frankly, why you shouldn’t. Not surprisingly his sentiments echo many of Weill’s statements.

In answer to the question “Should you eat raw mushrooms?” Paul had this to say :

“No, absolutely not! Raw mushrooms are largely indigestible because of their tough cell walls, mainly composed
of chitin.”

Dr Stamets continues, “Raw mushrooms and raw mycelium may pose potential health hazards from harmful pathogens and heat sensitive toxins—causing gastrointestinal irritation and allergic reactions, such as skin rashes.”

Dr Stamets own medicinal product lines, Fungi Perfecti and Host Defense, are made with mushroom mycelia (and fruiting bodies) which are heat treated “to activate and unlock the nutritional compounds and ensure their bioavailability.”

How does diet affect Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis? Up the Omega-3

The title of this blog entry is an obvious question for anyone seeking natural solutions to health challenges.  In natural medicine, we often take it is a base assumption that changing diet will have impact on health outcomes.  The way in which specific dietary changes will affect body systems, however, is not always clear particularly when there is pathology such as in autoimmune and chronic inflammatory conditions.hand_pain


One study done in Germany about 10 years looked at Mediterranean diet or extended fasting in patients with FM or RA and found no changes in intestinal microflora or secretory immunoglobulin A (a endogenous inflammatory compound).  This may not tell us all that we need to know about these pathologies and their relation to diet, but it gives us some food for thought.  Would anyone else like to see a followup study with natural anti-inflammatories or even probiotic supplementation?

One interesting Korean study found that EPA & DHA Omega-3s (fish oil) supplementation in Rheumatoid Arthritis sufferers helped them to lower their dosage of NSAIDS (Non-steroidal anti-inlammatory drugs such as Ibuprofen, etc.).  While this is far from a dietary ‘cure’ for RA, it could be of immense benefit because of the myriad health benefits of Omega-3, as well as the decreased load on the liver when NSAID dosage required is lowered.

Another study in the International journal Rheumatology found that a vegetarian diet along with fish oil supplementation could greatly reduce symptoms for RA sufferers. “A diet low in arachidonic acid ameliorates clinical signs of inflammation in patients with RA and augments the beneficial effect of fish oil supplementation” found the researchers.

AHPA responds to NY Attorney General’s big box supplements slam


On Monday, the NY Times reported that the New York Attorney General’s office had accused four major retailers (Walgreen’s Wal-Mart, Target and GNC) of having adulterated and useless (or potentially harmful) products on their shelves.  The paper of record reported that “The authorities said they had conducted tests on top-selling store brands of herbal supplements at four national retailers — GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart — and found that four out of five of the products did not contain any of the herbs on their labels. The tests showed that pills labeled medicinal herbs often contained little more than cheap fillers like powdered rice, asparagus and houseplants, and in some cases substances that could be dangerous to those with allergies.”

This could be attributed to what many in the natural products industry had already believed – that the products carried under the brand of big box retailers like Wal-Mart might be less than stellar quality.  The unfortunate reality might also be that this could have negative ramifications for other companies as well.

Today the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) responded publicly to the charges from the NY State Attorney’s office by saying “the New York State Attorney General used an inadequate and unproven analytical method to test herbal supplement products at the core of the State’s allegations that several retailers are selling adulterated and/or mislabeled herbal dietary supplements. The results of this analysis, therefore, cannot be considered valid. According to AHPA Chief Science Officer Maged Sharaf, Ph.D., the New York State Attorney General and the laboratory that conducted the analysis relied on an analytical technology that does not have the capacity to reach the degree of certainty represented by the State in its accusations.”

While this is clearly an evolving case, it underscores the need for consumers to support high quality natural products supplements that use the kind of rigors in keeping with GMP.  Read more about AHPA’s response here.

Obama proposal ends FDA’s authority over dietary supplements


Stop the press! Under a new proposal put forth by the Obama administration this week

“The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could stand to lose all of its authority to regulate food products, potentially including dietary supplements….”

Wow! Talk about a game changer. Or should I say – POTENTIAL game changer.  More to be revealed….

RAPS on Obama’s new proposal

Polyphenol-rich whole food supplement and Prostate Cancer : a double-blind placebo-controlled study

This scientific study comes to us from the journal Prostate Cancer and Prostatic Disease, and it is an amazing validation of the ‘whole food’ approach to healing.  To cut to the chase; this supplement consisted of equal parts (of 100 mg each per dosage) of Broccoli, Pomegranate, Turmeric and Green Tea taken 2x per day. To make it even more inspiring they didn’t use standardized Curcumin they used whole Turmeric (Curcuma longa) root as any self-respecting Hindu chef or Western herbalist would do.


The average age of the men in this study was 74, and the researchers concluded “This study found a significant short-term, favourable effect on the percentage rise in PSA in men managed with AS and WW following ingestion of this well-tolerated, specific blend of concentrated foods. Its influence on decision-making suggests that this intervention is clinically meaningful, but further trials will evaluate longer term clinical effects, and other makers of disease progression.”

In the meantime, as has been said so many times before, what in the world do you have to lose by including these amazingly healthful foods in your daily diet? Why would anyone over the age of 30 NOT be eating Broccoli, Turmeric, Pomegranates and drinking Green Tea (not to mention a long list of other health foods you can find easily sprinkled around this very blog).  If you think they haven’t been proven as effective preventive measures then you just haven’t been reading the right stuff on the internet. Try going here instead.

CannaVest releases letter to stockholders addressing ‘Hustlers of Hemp’ smear article

CBD (cannabidiol) seems to be such a promising new dietary supplement, especially as a super-critically extracted compound from industrial hemp. The pioneering health food store brand Super Hemp CBD, made with Plus CBD Oil from CannaVest and exclusively distributed by the Food Movement Co. in Illinois, has been very well-received due to the purity and 0.00% THC content of the product.

So, the letter to stockholders and customers just released by CannaVest’s CEO Michael Mona, Jr. may seem somewhat surprising.  In the letter he officially responds to a recently-released smear article titled ‘Hustlers of Hemp’ by saying “Our industry as a whole is subject to numerous attacks, and typically we do not merit such attacks with a response. In this instance, where the quality and safety of our products is attacked, we owe it to our customers and stockholders to respond.” Read the full text of the letter here.

From my work on CBD with the Hemp Movement, I can tell you that Super Hemp CBD, made with Plus CBD Oil is substantiated by very reputable cutting edge testing methods.  This is why we can assure that the product is indeed solvent-free because of the superior super-critical extraction method. Project CBD claims to be a third-party project, but according to Mona’s letter evidence indicates that Project CBD is little more than a marketing ploy by competitive products; in particular some which are marketed through multi-level networking channels or ‘pyramid schemes’; and have be known to slander competitors with similar smear campaigns and dirty business tactics.

In the end, I personally feel that those of us taking the ‘higher road’ of making products which pass credible third-party standards have already risen to the top as the product which belongs in the hands of the discerning consumer or health food store.  In the short run, we give some attention to these attacks by responding.  Ultimately, customers deserve to know the truth and products like Super Hemp CBD with a product that is guaranteed to be safe and legal, as opposed to the ‘whole Cannabis only’ platform which Project CBD claims to represent.  Certainly in the interest of natural medicine, and particularly in states where medical marijuana is not an option, the non-psychoactive CBD seems to hold promise for many families and individuals.


A Brief History of the Hemp Movement in America


Let’s take a minute to look at the numbers. Hemp History Week happens every year from June 1-7th.  With all the renewed focus on this important plant, it is worthwhile to take a moment to explore this interesting history even in the other 51 weeks of the year!  While it is a much more sustainable crop than say, trees being grown for paper mills, Hemp has gotten a bad rap over the last 57 years due to an interesting mix of industry and politics.

Take a look at this Hemp History Timeline on the Hemp History website.  As you can see things start off well in the 1700s with the Declaration of Independence being written on hemp paper, and almost all of the founding fathers growing it.  President Abraham Lincoln uses hemp seed oil to light his house. While ‘Hemp for Victory’ is a rallying cry in World War II, by 1957 Hemp is no longer grown in the US due to “confusion over hemp and drug varieties of the plant, while new government incentives for industry replace natural fibers with plastics, ultimately bankrupting key hemp processors.”

Then in 2004, the Ninth Circuit Court decision in Hemp Industries Association vs. DEA permanently protects sales of hemp foods and body care products in the U.S.  But yet still no Hemp is grown in the US.

Fast forward to 2014 – and we find the Kentucky and Colorado Departments of Agriculture are fighting with the federal government for the right to grow industrial hemp in their states. BACKGROUND HERE Now, just recently we see that the Federal Government and the state of Kentucky have settled their differences, and the state of industrial Hemp appears to be turning a corner.

Say it with me – Hemp Hemp Hooray!  This beneficial source of human nutrition and sustainable industrial applications could just yet be America’s latest bumper crop all over again.

Philosophy is Alive and so is the Ocean (So Eat Seaweed)

Stephen Hawking has recently been quoted as saying “philosophy is dead” (or at least that little machine he speaks through did) and I couldn’t disagree with him more.  Philosophy is alive and well in natural medicine; in order to believe in vis Medicatrix naturae (Latin for “by the healing power of nature”) one must believe in the wisdom of nature.  We may need science to understand more about it; but when we can point to a long tradition of safe use that is a philosophical kind of data (more in the realm of say -ethnobotany) that we should not ignore.

Science seats itself on a lofty perch, the sometimes overly-haughty halls of academia.  While I love a good double-blind study as much as the human or herbalist – give me the good ole common sense parameters derived from hundreds, even thousands, of years of safe and effective use over a narrow study that can be spun and reinterpreted ad nauseum.


One possible victim of that spinful extrapolation is a sea vegetable called Irish Moss, also called carageenan moss, which grows abundantly in the Atlantic ocean. Irish Moss (Chondrus crispus) is a type of red algae, used in traditional cultures as a food and a medicine.  It is also best known commercially as a source for carageenan (a polysaccharide fraction naturally occuring in the plant) to be extracted from.

Carageenan is used in industry as a plant-based alternative to gelatin, and as a thickener and stabilizer in processed food products.  Somewhat alarmingly, in animal studies a high dose of carageenan injected in vivo has been shown to cause severe inflammation.  This kind of animal study data on the carageenan polysaccharides is distrurbing, if not altogether damning.

Irish Moss on the other hand, is now being condemened – apparently based almost solely conjecture from scientists – because it contains carageenan.  This seems to me to be a leap of faith that defies both philosophy and science; and a big extrapolation that is contradicted by thousands of years of cultural use of Irish Moss.  It is what is commonly knows as discarding the baby along with the bath water.

In Ireland (not surprisingly) Irish Moss is mixed with whiskey and spices to make a type of pudding.  In Jamaica it is used medicinally as an aphrodisiac.  In Venezuela it is boiled in milk and used a home remedy for sore throat and chest congestion.

These traditional uses support the huge difference between Irish moss and carageenan.  It would be presumptuous to assume that a food with hundreds if not thousands of years of culinary and medicinal use is in fact dangerous and worth avoiding.  We need to learn how to properly weigh the information in modern scientific analysis, rather than being reactive to it.  Always put food first.

Asian demand for Maca root disrupts international natural products trade

It really pains me to type that title, folks. I’m a big fan of Maca.  It is one of the best ‘tonic’ super foods – meaning that it is safe enough to eat every day and provides continual body strengthening benefits.  It is a member of the Cabbage family that only grows in the Andes mountains on the coast of South America.

When the Food Movement project first began bringing Red and Black Lepidium preuvianum (Maca root) from Peru into the US health food store market, I was ecstatic that we were able to bring this international superstar to folks at a fair price, and were able to work with our supplier partners to obtain verifiable certified organic plants in a raw form.  Now international demand has pushed prices sky high and made good materials more scarce.

So here’s the long a short of it; if you see a Maca you like on the shelves right now – especially at prices consistent with what they were earlier in the year – buy it all.  If you liked Maca at $13.99 for an 8 oz (retail price on TFM Red Maca before the recent disruption) you can expect to buy quite a bit more as the overall market absorbs supply-side price increases of 400 to 500%!

Consider this recent report from America TV

While price increases can cause problems for retail and wholesale suppliers, as well as importers (not to mention consumers!) the real problem may end up being one of supply. For a crop that only grows properly in a certain part of the world, there can be only a certain amount of supply without sacrificing quality.  At this moment I’d rather pay too much for Maca than have none at all!  It seems that it may be the only option we have.

As far as blaming Asian markets for this problem – if anyone is to blame it  might just be the Chinese government.  Because they had state-controlled limits on birth rates, recently lifted, their people were not concerned with procreating at the rate they are in the free world.  China’s one-child policy from 1979 to 2009 may have averted as much as 200 million births, although ethnic minorities within China were not limited by the single child rule and other exceptions were actually made to this limit.  Even so, since the change in China’s family planning policy, their demand for products ranging from Prenatal Vitamins and EFAs to aphrodisiacs such as Maca root, have skyrocketed.  As these pressures impact our global market, we can only do our best to keep our eyes on the prize in regards to sustainability, fair trade principles, and environmental footprint.  Good Maca will likely continue to be available, but we will always struggle with increased levels of inferior products as Maca poaching and other tactics become more profitable than ever.

A brief explanation of Alkalize 55 : fermented foods, alkalinity and cell function within the human body

After selling completely out of Alkalize 55 numerous times, the Food Movement is able to make this amazing food-based supplement available again.  The combination of powerful bioactive minerals, fulvic acid, humic acid and the 55 triple-fermented foods selected by Dr Michio Kushi, all mean a charge of good energy for your body. 

You can also check out the Alkalize 55 plant-based fermented food community on Facebook

Can Humic and Fulvic Acid benefit the immune system?

Humic Acid and Fulvic Acid are unique organic compounds found in nature which have shown promise in scientific research regarding the reduction of heavy metals in the environment, in animals, and more recent research suggests that they may also benefit the human immune system.Virus ENVC

Researcher Dr Richard Laub has published new and interesting approaches to examining these benefits through his work with the National Institutes of Health

In a product like Alkalize 55, or Whole Earth Minerals, the unique humic compounds are found along with 70+ trace minerals which may hold the key to hidden mysteries within the cells of the human body as well.  You can see why some of us are greatly interested in combing humic fulvate minerals with foods, based on the cutting edge research currently going on.

Consider this study entitled “Genetic diversity-independent neutralization of pandemic viruses (e.g. HIV), potentially pandemic (e.g. H5N1 strain of influenza) and carcinogenic (e.g. HBV and HCV) viruses and possible agents of bioterrorism (variola) by enveloped virus neutralizing compounds (EVNCs).” and published in the journal Vaccine, which explores combining fulvic acid with pomegranate as an “enveloped virus neutralizing compound”

DISCLAIMER : These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not meant to imply that any product will prevent or treat disease.

Botanical Nutrition is now


Hello blogosphere! We have left our previous domain in a rather unceremonious fashion.  The Botanical Nutrition blog will now live at, thank your for your continued support.  In the meantime we will do our best to let folks know that the articles that I have written on Maca, Moringa, Vegan Vitamins, EPA/DHA, the food movement in general, plant-based nutrition and all of these important topics will be available for the foreseeable future at

If you have linked to one of my blog articles in the past, that address will now go to a ‘parked domain’ site which is basically useless, and will probably be filled with advertising garbage in the future  You can consider it the virtual equivalent of ‘space junk’. Jocko homo! The deevolution of Botanical Nutrition is here.

New research shows Maca root contains compounds which stimulate the body’s own cannabinoid system

Talk about being on the cutting edge of science here, folks.  Now more than ever, scientists are furiously researching the activity of our body’s own endocannabinoid system (ECS) as a major factor in some very important areas of brain and Central Nervous System functioning.  Now, research by Z Hadju et al published just yesterday shows that Maca root aka Lepidium meyenii or Lepidium peruvianum (yes that amazing Peruvian super food you may have heard me talk about just a little bit) contains compounds which may have important effects on various protein targets in the ECS system.  These compounds, called N-alkylamides (NAAs), have an effect that is described as cannabomimetic.


This is fascinating not just because it gives one more exciting insight (from a thoroughly reductionist standpoint, mind you) of how dynamic plants are.  It is especially timely because it parallels a re-visitation our society and our scientists are having with cannabinoids.  New pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements and brain therapies are being developed around these stunning new developments and the potential for tapping into our body’s own regulation mechanisms.  Which is, clearly, what plant medicines do best because of their own internal regulatory mechanisms and unique things like secondary metabolites.

In an article in the NY TImes, celebrity food author and philosopher Michael Pollan talks about the cannabanoid network “A brain chemical that sharpens the senses, narrows your mental focus, allows you to forget everything extraneous to the task at hand (including physical discomfort and the passage of time) and makes you hungry would seem to be the perfect pharmacological tool for Man…” While this is extremely relevant to research on compounds such as CBD extracted from industrial hemp (and therefore legal in all 50 states) it may apply to many botanicals in different ways, as well as to our body’s own intrinsic production of compounds such as anandamide (named for the Vedic word ananda, meaning bliss).

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In defense of Dr Oz and DSHEA : Nutritional supplements save lives

I’m sure you’ve heard by now about Dr Oz’s recent testimony to Congress.  I won’t ramble on and on about it like comedian John Oliver did (doing what is known in comedic acting circles as a ‘hatchet job’) skewering DSHEA by using Tryptophan scare-facts (even though the Tryptophan contamination was well before current laws or even most of the companies today were around) to allege once again that supplements are “unregulated”.

Dr. Mehmet Oz

You know who regulates supplements? The Food and Drug Administration.  And while some might disagree with me, they actually in my opinion do a fine job of regulating the dietary supplement industry to try and prevent adulteration by unscrupulous companies out to make a quick buck rather than to make your health better.

The truth is this : nutritional supplements save lives.  And while allopathic medicine (presciption pharmaceuticals) are the primary mode of care in this country, many of us would rather try a softer gentler approach of either upping our intake of key essential nutrients or using time-tested (and often, scientifically researched – in other parts of the world) natural remedies to try and support our bodies’ natural healing process.  Oh, and don’t forget food!  Under DSHEA all of these items are protected as something Americans have a right to access – even if they usually aren’t covered by health insurance, although some more progressive plans do allow for spending on supplements.

I’m not saying that every supplement Dr Oz recommends, or that everything he says, is a wise choice.  He is a television personality and his quest to describe to his audience various ‘life hacks’ which he describes as ‘magic’ are – to me, someone I consider fairly reasonable – to be taken with a grain of salt.  If something is clinically shown to increase your metabolism, should he describe the double-blind placebo-controlled research in overly scientific terms? Or, considering his audience, would saying it is ‘magic’ suffice?

David Copperfield Launches His Australian Tour In Sydney

Personally, I would never recommend a weight loss supplement without suggesting any individual address diet and exercise at the same time.  While some supplements do have a positive effect on metabolism vis a vis blood sugar balance, fat metabolism, etc. there is no doubt that especially in this arena diet and exercise will have the greatest impact.  This is what natural medicine should be all about, wholism.

So when someone attacks supplements by going after Dr Oz, I think we all have to take note. We’ve been here before, and before DSHEA, we all had to seriously worry about whether some kind of smear campaign would threaten access to natural medicines.

Certainly it is only realistic to consider that some in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry consider dietary supplements a threat to their business, particularly Monsanto. Interestingly, in case you missed it, last week the Natural News health ranger Mike Adams published a post titled  Senator who attacked Doctor Oz over dietary supplements received over $146,000 in campaign contributions from Big Pharma mega-retailer and Monsanto. Who is playing politics now?


Alkalize 55 : the product formulation and importance of humic fulvate minerals

Sort of a long title for a blog entry isn’t it? Well, admittedly so, but I wanted to let you know specifically what this post is going to be about because it is so important.

ALKALIZE 55 60.1glamour shot

You see, Alkalize 55 is a dietary supplement I have been lucky enough to have a hand in developing. The Medicatrix Naturae consortium has been a key part of the development, working to combine fermented nutrients with humic fulvic minerals. The real credit, however, must go to Dr Michio Kushi and his formulation of over 50 triple-fermented super food ingredients grown on the biodynamic Anew farm in Brazil.

Dr Kushi and his wife Aveline have been leaders in the macrobiotic world for many years.  I consider him to be one of the founding fathers of health food in the modern era, and there can be no doubt that his work has helped countless thousands.  With Alkalize 55 his work on fermented foods and acid-alkaline balance has been encapsulated in supplement form (and in foods) in a way that can help a really broad number of folks who desperately need it.

But what I wanted to focus on, as my wordy title implies, is the other part of Alkalize 55, the over 70 humic/fulvic trace minerals which are so absorbable and potentially beneficial to the human machine.geodesicmineral_wheelsphere_3The above chart shows some of the mineral synergies at work when we take a broad spectrum of trace minerals.  The mineral complex in Alkalize 55 is a proprietary blend called Whole Earth Minerals which is mined from a fresh water source in the United States which is tested for safe levels of heavy metals.

The main point here is that we really need a WHOLE SPECTRUM of trace minerals, rather than just say – large amounts of Zinc or Magnesium.  All of these elements work in concert, so if we upset the balance there can be dire consequences for the body. Having a broad spectrum of trace minerals promotes the type of inter-related mineral synergy you see depicted above.I think that in order to understand this kind of synergy, we have to have a good philosophical understanding of nature and the way things fit together. Just what is synergy? Why do things appear together in nature? Usually there is some purpose.  For example, if humic acid and specifically fulvic acid have a way of breaking oxygen to the cells of the body, and helping to transport waste products out of the cell there must be some reason?  The answer is that these organic acids helped with the transport and assimilation of trace minerals, as well as the removal of dangerous toxins and heavy metals.

In summary, some of the most important dietary supplements are well-known; fish or algae DHA & EPA Omega-3 (more on this soon!), probiotics, digestive enzymes, not to mention vitamins and macro-minerals. Yet a growing body of evidence suggests we should start to focus more on these trace minerals and the way they interact – in the natural world, and in our bodies.  The spectrum of whole foods and humic fulvate minerals in Alkalize 55 can have unique benefits for the human machine – even beyond what we understand about dietary requirements for nutrients and co-factors.

If you want to do more research on humic and fulvic acid you can visit

New research indicates increased CO2 may mean decreased nutritional mineral value

A new study published in the journal Nature this week titled “Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition” indicates that increasing levels of CO2 (such as those predicted to be reached by about mid-century) will result in decreased levels of nutrients Zinc and Iron in crops.

Delhi Daily News, reporting on the new research, commented “An estimated 2 billion people tend to suffer from iron and zinc deficiencies, resulting in 63 million deaths yearly from malnourishment. The reduction in the concentration of these nutrients actually poses a severe threat to mankind related with global warming. ”


Blogger rips Whole Foods for engaging in “pseudoscience”, exposes own ignorance – film at 11

If you’re biased against something, it is easy to make a one-sided attack. Simply bring up whatever negative points exist (don’t all of us have some?) and harp on those. However, when you can’t really find much negative to say and you have to really grasp at straws, that is when you come up with something that is the delightful combination of potentially really offensive and much less than accurate.

Such is the case with pseudo-blogger Michael Schulson’s pathetic stab at Whole Foods (and, assumedly, all they represent – meaning the organic movement and natural medicine in general) entitled “Whole Foods: America’s Temple of Pseudoscience”.  To prove his point, that Whole Foods is the temple of pseudoscience, his over-arching point is a comparison to another bastion of “pseudo-science”, the creationist museum in Kentucky.

First of all, if you choose to believe in creationism, and to visit the museum in Kentucky – hats off to you. I don’t personally identify with those views represented there, but I’m not often in the business of making fun of other people’s beliefs. Mostly because I usually have better more constructive things to do with my time.Whole-Foods-006

When it comes to implying that there is, like creationism, no science and only faith; in natural medicine, the organic movement and all the things this young blogger found in Whole Foods – I have to stop and school the little brother.

He makes a laundry list of things he finds in the aisles of Whole Foods that he believes are ‘pseudo-science’ — including probiotics. To skewer this valuable supplement (used in numerous double-blind placebo-controlled studies) what does he do? Does he search pub med or some other database for research to validate the claims made on Whole Foods shelves? No, he asks an anonymous friend who is a “biologist” (biology student?) who says they are “bulls&*%”. If this isn’t “psuedo-journalism” — I don’t know what is.

If he really wanted to gather scientific information on probiotics, he might have contacted Institut Rosell  who have been doing award-winning research for over 70 years. Yet, instead of using the scientific method to combat ‘pseudo-science’ this blogger instead resorts to unsubstantiated conjecture and poppy cock.  He says a bunch of other stuff that is basically a fairly well-worded version of what his biologist friend referred to, and a degree in science as well.

The internet is an amazing thing. It can open doors to new information, but only if we rationally ask the right questions and start to look outside of our own paradigms and assumptions. This is when the quest for actual intelligence begins.

For the thousands upon thousands who have come to Whole Foods, and other health food stores, seeking an alternative to the American processed way of life, and have found great health – they know that there is science for those who need it, and healing with foods for those who need it too. We human beings have been doing it since Hippocrates (and – truth be told – for thousands of years prior), and I don’t see it going the way of the Edsel any time soon.

White Mulberies : an impressive nutrient-dense super food

If you haven’t yet heard of White Mulberries, botanical name Morus alba, you probably will.  They have recently been getting a lot of attention including an over-the-top proclamation from Dr Oz that these berries will “change peoples’ lives.” !!

You will be happy to know, that there is indeed some science behind these amazing claims. (People, at least here in Chicago, LOVE Dr Oz, and that gives him a lot to live up to, right?)  I decided to delve into the science on White Mulberries to examine what some of the well-documented benefits are.


First, lets look at some of the research that has been done on the potential health benefits of the White Mulberries, the actual fruiting berries. (There is other research done on the leaves for some of the same benefits.) If you want to see an abstract of these studies visit and search for the PMID listed.  These are just a  few of the most interesting studies done on Whilte Mulberries

  1. The juice of the Mulberry fruit may be useful in the prevention of foodborne viral infection.PMID:24350883
  2. Pyrrole alkaloids from the fruit have been shown to activate macrophages, an important part of the immune system.PMID:23164765
  3. Researchers identified a number of antioxidant stilbene compounds in White Mulberries, including resveratrol, oxyresveratrol, and mulberroside A. PMID:24023529
  4. Researchers have also examined the antidabetic and antioxidant effects of a number of phenolic phytochemicals PMID:23936259
  5. Another study indicated that the anthocyanins from White Mulberries fruit prevented diabetes in Zucker diabetic fatty rats. PMID:24137248

In just this handful of studies, you can start to see that these little berries have an amazing amount of antioxidant and health-giving potential. They appear to be able to active macrophage immune cells and may have anti-aging and cell-protective abilities. To add to the total package, the dried berries taste delicious!  They can really satisfy the sweet tooth of even the most jaded junk food junkie.

(DISCLAIMER : This writer does not condone animal testing.  In doing research, we are forced to consider the results of animal testing because it is still valid and relevant.  However, many of these same studies could be done in human volunteers or using in vivo modeling if the scientific system at present wasn’t dead set on continuing to use animal-testing as a mainstay of research.  I believe in my heart of hearts that one day we will progress beyond this methodology.)

Vegan Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) : Myths and Misconceptions

Hey folks, I don’t know where you live, but here in the Midwestern US of A it is about to get a lot less sunny. And you know what that means? Yes, it is once again Vitamin D season.

lichen rock

Now, if you’ve read my blog posts over time you’ve seen me blog about Vegan D3 over the past couple of years.  Back then, an innovative company in the U.K. came out with a lichen-extracted (and therefore animal-free and vegan) form of Vitamin D3 cholecalciferol.  The Food Movement was the first company in North America to bring this unique cruelty-free form of Vitamin D3 into the health food marketplace. Yet still many myths and misconceptions exist so we are going through them one by one today.Vegan-Vitamin-D3_1024x1024

Next time you see a product made with D3 from sheep’s wool lanolin which claims to be 99% vegan (I’m not making this stuff up, folks) please write and tell the nice people how ill-informed they are.  Nothing personal; but misinformation is the enemy. Call them out, give them my e-mail and we will set the record straight.


In terms of dietary supplements this was true up until a couple of years ago.  But research by legendary mycologist Paul Stamets indicates that organic mushrooms also contain active D3, not just D2.  So, there are true ‘food’ sources of D3 out there.  However, if you are facing Vitamin D deficiency (which many more people are than realize) you need a therapeutic dose of at least 1000 IU, perhaps 5000.  So you need a dietary supplement.  Many folks have seen dramatic results using the plant-based Vitashine (TM) form.


Evidence, meaning credible scientific research, suggests that not only does the body prefer D3 (cholecalciferol) to D2 (ergocalciferol), but supplementing with D2 may actually INHIBIT the body’s production of D3.  Think on that one for a moment, manufacturers of products!

While many vegan products contain D2 (ergocalciferol), which is not an animal product, they may not be a viable source of absorbable Vitamin D.

The research on Vitamin D3 is truly staggering. Check out some of the studies on deficiency alone!


You know one thing that blocks vitamin D production? Sunscreen.  Now, I’m not telling you whether or not to wear sunscreen  – but I can also tell you anecdotally that I have talked to many folks who live in sunny areas, get out a fair amount, and have gone to the doctor ( a key factor here) and found their vitamin D levels were low.

You can get a great deal on Vegan D3 capsules here 

Flavokawain B, a unique chalcone from Kava kava (Piper methysticum), shows chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive potential

In a study published in the journal Molecular Cancer in June of this year, a unique compound Flavokawain B (FKB) isolated from Kava Kava (Piper methysticum) was shown to have potential as a chemopreventive and chemotherapeutic agent.

Researchers of the University of California at Irvine Ji, T et al, noted “Taken together, our evidence of apoptosis and cell cycle arrest by FKB treatment with less toxicity than the standard treatments provides an innovative argument for the use of FKB as a chemotherapeutic and chemopreventive compound. In vivo experiments utilizing FKB to reduce tumorigenesis and metastatic potential will be crucial to further justify clinical application.”

This is great news, as it also is much less toxic than less natural chemotherapy agents, report the researchers.

For anyone taking a Kava kava supplement, this doesn’t necessarily mean that your product will prevent cancer – few products are even assayed for their FKB content.  It is encouraging to see, however, that some natural products may have side benefits – rather than side effects!

Which kind of Maca is right for me? US consumers enjoy a rainbow of super food options

big maca root

Maca root, used for centuries in Central and South America, has become increasingly popular in the U.S.  Personally I believe the reason that it is becoming popular is because it has energizing health benefits you can really feel! I don’t mean ‘energizing’ in that it contains caffeine or other stimulants, because it doesn’t.  Maca root provides energy because it is an adaptogen, and in particular it can help to balance our endocrine system which manages hormones in the body.

In recent months a wider variety of Maca root has come to market here, expanding to the culture use of different varieties or ecotypes – Red Maca, Black Maca and the more common Yellow Maca, as well as more specific varieties.  The color refers to the outside of the root hypocotyl (that bulbous stem which looks sort of like a radish); the inside of the plant is usually sort of tan or beige in color.

Scientific research has compared the activities of these different phenotypes of Maca and found that in addition to different appearances, they also have different chemical makeup and properties. I have provided the PMID numbers after the studies mentioned so that you can do your own research on PubMed if you choose.

Red Maca – There is a doctor in Chicago who has had great success recommending Red Maca specifically for women with menopause.  This is not surprising considering Maca’s strongest ability to balance hormones with its natural and safe steroidal saponins. Studies have also indicated that it specifically works to protect the prostate where there is dysfunction.

Black Maca – Black Maca is well-known as an aphrodisiac, and has been shown in studies to be the strongest spermatogenic.  This may be useful for women trying to conceive a child, as well as their partner, to know!

Yellow Maca – This is the most widely available type of Maca, and like the others, has been studied for promoting endocrine system (endogeneous hormones) balance.

How do they compare?  Researchers at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Herediam in Lima Peru found that both Black and Red Maca could be protective of the uterus without having an estrogenic effect. (PMID:20616517)  The same researchers found that Red Maca reduced prostate size and zinc volume in animals with BPH (enlarged prostate). (PMID:2176218).  In another study, researchers found that both Black and Yellow Maca, but not Red Maca, could increase the production of sperm. (PMID:17683465)

In another research review, the overall experimental results were summarized this way “There are different types of maca with different colors ranging from white to black. We have studied the pharmacological effects of 3 types; yellow, black, and red maca. Evidence from experimental studies indicates effects of maca on nutrition, fertility, memory, and mood. Black maca has better effects on sperm production than yellow maca which has only moderate effects. Red maca, however, has no effect on sperm production. However, red maca has been shown to reduce prostate size in rats in which prostate hyperplasia had been induced with testosterone enanthate; yellow maca has shown moderate effects here, whereas black maca has not shown any effects. Randomized clinical trials have shown that maca has favorable effects on energy and mood, may decrease anxiety and improve sexual desire.” (PMID:20090350)

All of this evidence supports the idea that, while there is difference between the different ecotypes; Red, Black and Yellow Maca are all adaptogenic foods which can be used by anyone.  Remember Maca is traditionally used as a FOOD, and we should think of it as a FOOD first. This is not a drug in the pharmacological sense. One may favor the results from taking a certain variety, and many anecdotal reports from super food users support this.  For anyone looking for better health, and hormonal balance, the best Maca is the one you personally enjoy the most. Cheers!

Moringa documentary drives home ‘The Miracle Tree’s contribution to hunger relief

When I think of ‘food medicine’ (and the arbitrary distinction between what is ‘food’ and ‘medicine’ in the West, as opposed to in the East) I often think of Moringa.  You may know of it because of its reputation as a high source of vitamins and minerals. In fact the freeze-dried biodynamic Medicatrix Moringa has as much Calcium gram for gram as many Calcium isolated supplements such as Calcium Carbonate! Yet it is in a whole plant form and arguably more beneficial, if only because of the broad range of phytonutrients a whole plant can offer.

The video below drives home an important aspect of the plant – its role in alleviating hunger and other afflictions in Africa and other parts of the world.  While the West suffers from diseases of excess, mother Africa still struggles with the fundamentals of survival.  Moringa may be part of the solution for both. Watch the video if you get the chance and support our friends at Trees of Life. Tell them the food movement sent you!

Antioxidants don’t work? Polyphenol hormesis at the gates of dawn

Americans love simple answers.  This fact breeds such rampant intellectual dishonesty, and audacious marketing follies, all because our greatest loyalty seems to be to our short attention span.

To my mind – there is nothing wrong with, in the words of Malcolm X “talking to everyone in a language they can easily understand.” However, the practice of oversimplification can lead lead us to dumb things down so much as to miss the point entirely.  Especially if the truth is, and it usually is, a nuanced and multi-dimensional intangible object subject to vastly different interpretations and perceptions.


I spend a lot of time hanging out in health food stores, and one of the most interesting things in the world to me is to hear the interpretations of natural health science put forth in popular media and echoed back from consumers.  In some ways, it is like that old game ‘Telephone”. Almost regardless of whether or not what was said originally was accurate or meaningful, the end result often won’t be.

Earlier this year Scientific American ran an article with a headline on the cover about The Antioxidant Myth.  The article by Melinda Wenner Moyer dramatically purports to tell us that “the antioxidant theory of aging is dead.”  The article talks about the research Dr David Gems and others have done that turns some of science’s ideas about antioxidants on its ear, so to speak. That is to say, some of the research suggests (but certainly is not conclusive) that oxidative reactions (the cause of oxidative damage, and long thought to be a central cause of aging) may not actually be a central cause of aging.

The editors summarize ”

  • For decades researchers assumed that highly reactive molecules called free radicals caused aging by damaging cells and thus undermining the functioning of tissues and organs.
  • Recent experiments, however, show that increases in certain free radicals in mice and worms correlate with longer life span. Indeed, in some circumstances, free radicals seem to signal cellular repair networks.”

This to me is really interesting, but it is a BIG jump to make the extrapolation that third leap which they do “If these results are confirmed, they may suggest that taking antioxidants in the form of vitamins or other supplements can do more harm than good in otherwise healthy individuals.”

I wonder if they would go so far as to make the equation seem really ridiculous and imply that, because of the genetically-modified earthworms we shouldn’t eat healthy antioxidant foods? I mean, there is still a TON of other research out there showing the cell protective benefits of antioxidant vitamins, both as supplements and in their natural food form.  I personally tend to have a bias towards the food form, but this really isn’t the point. At stake here is the very operational assumption that would explain the benefits of antioxidants of any kind – or is it?

Perhaps the problem is we’re asking the wrong questions.  If we look at it from a common sense naturalist perspective which presumes that one of our greatest skills is the ability to adapt and evolve; we may come to a different conclusion entirely. Small amounts of oxidative stress may actually correlate with longevity, but this doesn’t negate the fact that oxidative damage within cells and tissues is a reality.

To me, the more cutting edge theory here is not that “antioxidants don’t work” but rather “we are really just beginning to understand how they work”.

Dr. V. Calabrese et al published a paper a few years ago which explained The Hormetic Role of Dietary Antixoidants in Free Radical-Related Diseases “Regular consumption of cruciferous vegetables or spices is associated with a reduced incidence of cancer and reduction of markers for neurodegenerative damage. Furthermore, greater health benefit may be obtained from raw as opposed to cooked vegetables. Nutritional interventions, by increasing dietary intake of fruits and vegetables, can retard and even reverse age-related declines in brain function and cognitive performance. The mechanisms through which such dietary supplementation may diminish free radical-related diseases is related to their ability to reduce the formation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, along with the up-regulation of vitagenes, such as members of the heat shock protein (Hsp) family, heme oxygenase-1 and Hsp70.”

However the real clincher comes at the last “However, excessive nutritional supplementation (i.e., high doses) can have negative consequences through the generation of more reactive and harmful intermediates with pathological consequences.”

Sounds to me like a greater argument than ever for reopening the books on ‘whole herbs’ and ‘whole foods’ versus highly processed laboratory antioxidants. Do we want scientists to study whether highly purified isolates and extracts have beneficial effects, or how antioxidants behave in a complex food matrix? Not that these isolates may not have their place, but it may be something that in the future will be viewed as completely separate from nutrition. Perhaps we need to cultivate a ‘dietary theory on antioxidants’ which takes into account the inherent wisdom of nature and eating a true whole food diet.  Before we tell people to ‘put away their antioxidants’ we ought to take note of the immense benefit of food-like doses of these nutrients and the incredibly complex interactions to consider.  If you ask me, I’m not really opposed to aging anyways.  As long as I’m healthy while I’m aging, why not let nature take its course? Now how is that for turning a theory on its ear?

High-Altitude Peruvian Maca Higher in Actives than Differently Cultivated Maca

I once had a teacher who liked to point out that almost everything in life is a “multi-variable equation”.  Few things exist in isolation. We can choose to consider only a limited set of variables, but we have to always consider that there may be many more factors at work than we can know.

Plants are no exception, and research continually reminds us of how dynamic plants truly are.  In any given metabolic process, many different variables exist.  Changing just one or a few of them can make great differences in the end yield.


A recent study from the Czech Republic validates this idea, to me, by demonstrating that Maca root grown in high altitudes in Peru is higher in certain actives than those cultivated in a totally different climate, and in a greenhouse.

In this study done in association with the Czech University of Life Sciences, researchers found that Maca cultivated in the Czech Republic in various environments was lower in macamides.  The researchers observed ” The study proved that maca produced much less macamides (quality markers of maca products) under mild climatic conditions of the Czech Republic then in its original environment, wind-blown rocky areas in high plateau of Peru (Kilham, 2000).”

They also observed that the storage organ of the plant was much smaller, and the plants grown in a greenhouse were less vital than those grown in a field.

So, one could observe that for Maca, life is not simple.  If we want the best Maca with the most biological activity, we will have to look to the ancient traditions which have evolved around this plant in its natural home in Peru.  Factors such as altitude, climate and others have a great effect on growth process.  We always have to consider, however, that there may be many other unseen forces at work as well.  Life is almost always a ‘multi-variable equation.’

Why Americans Are Still Omega-3 Deficient, and ‘Death by Omega-6 Overload’ Is A Bigger Problem Than We Ever Imagined : Become a Fast Learner

Omega-3 essential fatty acids have achieved the coveted status of “household words” in American life.  You’d have to have been living under a rock to be unaware of their importance, as industry rushes to add DHA to orange juice and Omega-3 eggs are offered to the masses as a valuable dietary item.  Still more advanced consumers realize the need for a dietary supplement, and are then forced to wade through a barrage of science (of varying degrees of validity) courtesy of manufacturers touting the benefits of their proprietary product.  The underlying problem remains that Omega-3 intake doesn’t exist in a vacuum; our needs for omega-3 are definitely tied to our intake of omega-6 EFAs.

Probably no one understands this better than Dr Bill Lands.Dr_Lands_Fish_Oil_expertHe has authored over 250 papers on Omega essential fatty acids and the widely heralded text book Fish, Omega-3 and Human Health. When I had the pleasure of meeting Dr Lands (through Stuart Tomc of Nordic Naturals) I was immediately impressed by his sincerity and modesty as much as by the huge scope of his personal research.

In a paper titled “Using 3–6 differences in essential fatty acids rather than 3/6 ratios gives useful food balance scores” Dr Lands describes how he and computer specialist Etienne Lamoreaux developed a calculator for helping individuals calculate the true Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance in their diet.  The key is in the total amount of omega-6 in the diet relative to the total amount of omega-3.  Using their calculations it is easy to see how, even if we are adding some Omega-3 rich foods and even supplements to our diet, the number of n-3 EFAs required is driven ever higher by the omnipresence of omega-6s in our diet.

“Not me!” the healthy consumer may say, “I eat well and I don’t eat lots of processed foods or Parkay.”  This is a great first response! It shows that overall dietary awareness has led us to minimize obvious Omega-6 Overload added to processed foods in our food supply, but what about the intrinsic Omega-6 content of otherwise healthy whole foods?  Dr Lands paper gives us a nice way to evaluate foods giving them a total number determining their 3-6 difference.

For example, he cites the following examples :

Cereals Grains and Pastas -3

Poultry Products -11

Legumes -9

Fish & Seafoods +30

These are obviously broad groupings of data, but it may be useful to look at things in this context.  If we are to ever reach a positive number, or even get to Omega-neutral status, we are either going to have to make enormous changes in our diet, or increase our intake of Omega-3 essential fatty acids much more than we all ready have.  Most seafood, particularly farm-raised fish, isn’t that high in Omega-3. It really comes down to cold water fish, and some types of fish carry heavy-metal warnings which make overconsumption of them unadvisable.

In order to fully understand the importance of Dr Lands data, you will need to calculate the specifics of the diet you are eating, which is broken down individually on the Fast Learner calculator. You may be surprised just how much Omega-6 you are getting. Here is a weblink to their Fast Learner calculator.  Add it up and you may be well surprised! More than likely the answer may be that you need to up your intake of Omega-3 and you will not be able to do it with diet alone.  There are many reasons for this, but one is that even those on a ‘healthy diet’ are subject to changes in the overall environment.  I know very few omnivores subsisting on grass-fed meat and diary, and many vegans rely on Omega-3 from ALA which is more poorly absorbed.

In case you need more motivation to become a fast learner, here is a piece of information that science has brought us.  Omega-6 Overload may contribute to our risk of mortality. Also known as death. So, not only do we need to Eat the n-3; we also need to Nix the n-6! (Excluding GLA, by the way, which is the ANTI-INFLAMMATORY n-6 from Borage and Evening Primrose … have I confused you yet?)

Here’s the big fat idea : some of the so-called good fats we’ve been eating as Americans have been greatly contributing to the amount of inflammation in our bodies. And that folks, is a huge part of the disease process, not to mention physical pain, discomfort and decreasing mental acuity. Thankfully, we don’t have to suffer, we have the benefit of all this science. Which is, by the way, really just validating the traditional diets which have contributed to the longevity of many of our ancestors in different cultures.


In my opinion, the best way for most people to overcome ‘Death by Omega-6 Overload’, and their relative Omega-3 deficiency, is by supplementing with Nordic Naturals’ Omega-3 fish oil.   I personally have been taking their cod liver oil for years, and have raised two exceptionally healthy children on it.  I am a great believer in Arctic-D, a natural triglyceride fish oil which Nordic makes enhanced with natural vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol) the more bioactive form of this nutrient.  For many years I have been eating a mostly plant diet, loaded with super foods, and I will tell you that most seeds, legumes and nuts are LOADED with Omega-6. This doesn’t mean they are bad, mind you. I still eat them, only now I have increased my all ready high Omega-3 intake to offset the information from Fast Learner.

Nordic Naturals also recently unveiled a line of vegetarian products including Algae Omega, with a vegan source of EPA and DHA.  Dietary sources of ALA require conversion in the liver, while most fats (including our anti-inflammatory SUPER HEROES EPA & DHA) go to work in the endocrine system right away.  This makes Algae Omega vastly superior to plant-based Omega-3 such as the EFAs found in Chia, Flax, Sacha Inchi, etc.

Whatever your dietary philosophy or practical considerations, remember this — you may not be getting enough Omega-3. More than likely you are getting too much Omega-6. Do the math. It may take a little paradigm-shifting to process the information fully, but change is good my friends. Change is good. Because when we stop changing, we are surely headed in the wrong direction.

Now my good friends Stuart Tomc and Eliza Leggatt from Nordic Naturals have really summarized the evolution of the Omega-3 vs. Omega-6 conundrum very well in The Essential Debate.    Published in the February 2013 SupplySide Insights Tomc and Leggatt cite specific credible evidence, including Dr Christopher Ramsden’s recent re-exploration of the Sydney Diet Heart Study data to make their case, as does Dr Lands, that we need to ‘NIX THE SIX’. In other words, lets stop eating a pro-inflammatory diet, and start on a balanced diet that includes sufficient levels of Omega-3 to keep the inflammation gang in check!  We need balance on a cellular level as much as we do anywhere else.

Here’s to a Healthy and Happy 2013!


I just wanted to take this opportunity to reflect on what an amazing year 2012 has been!  As with every year, there is a lot to be thankful for; many lessons learned and prospects for the future.

I know I have said it many times before, but I continually feel privileged to be able to work in the natural products industry; thanks to all of you for putting up with me! On that same note, I’m equally thankful for good friends and family and for the continued ability to occupy some small space on the exciting party that is Spaceship Earth.

This year has been an exciting one full of exciting projects – and next year promises to just get more exciting!

Chris Kilham, the famed Medicine Hunter, posted the following on his Facebook page today and I thought I’d share it here, as it is as well written as any paraphrased version I could construct. It also sums up the way I feel about many of you.

As this calendar year comes to a close and another readies to open, I’d like to thank all the people who care about the world and about humanity, life on our fragile planet, and the well-being of all. Despite overwhelming odds, indifference, war, greed, hatred, stupidity and venal pursuits, lots of people get up every single day caring about life. To all of you, I salute you and am deeply grateful for your presence and companionship on this small orb. Peace to all.”

Happy New Year’s y’all – see you in 2013. Thanks for continuing to care about life! May God bless you all.

New Humates and Biomineralization blog!

New Humates and Biomineralization blog!

It is in its rough stages, but Living Organic Earth is now up.  Because Whole Earth Minerals is somewhat of an obscure subject at this point, LOE is presented as a third-party blog to bridge the gap between good scientific literature on the subject and commercial products. All efforts like this are needed, much as they are with something like botanical medicine, to ‘rise above’ the sometimes heavy-handed marketing which can distract from a truly beneficial new type of supplement.

Whole Earth Minerals : humates, humic acid and fulvic acid for the benefit of humankind

It seems an auspicious date, 12/12/12 as it were, to unveil the genesis of Whole Earth Minerals.  After much research, two groups I have worked with have finally formed an alliance through Medicatrix Naturae and the release of Whole Earth Minerals, a complex of humates, humic acid, fulvic acid and 72 biominerals is upon us.WEMinerals-large

Like much emergent science, the subject matter is esoteric.  The playing field is crowded with multi-level marketing claims and polluted products; yet the underlying truth is that humates represent a series of compounds which are very beneficial to the human body. How best to bring them to the people?

Well, in natural medicine the first rule is Primer Nocer Noctum, or first do no harm. I have to tell you that when I and my associates first started investigating humates, we came into contact with some material that was utterly polluted.  Amazingly, some people believe you can pull organic mineral deposits out of the ground without any purification or processing and serve them to people! This, my friends, is blatantly irresponsible and dangerous.

At long last we have found a raw material that meets our standards (including the standards of California’s Proposition 61!) and are moving forward with our dietary supplement Whole Earth Minerals. It is an exciting time to be part of this new science connecting us with this ancient living organic material.

There is so much to write on this subject that we have created a blog, Living Organic Earth, which will be filled with information on humates, humic acid, fulvic acid and trace minerals in the days to come.  I will say this; the research on humates is compelling, yet a great deal of misinformation (like this) exists out there.  The truth is this may be one supplement we can’t afford not to pay attention to.

Dr Oz Defends Monsanto


If you work in the natural products industry, you may have mixed feelings about TV personality Dr Oz.  I personally am thankful for the attention he has brought to nutritional supplements, but I often find myself forced to take issue with his seemingly infinite wisdom. (One 400 mg capsule of Moringa? Would you eat 400 mg of Spinach? But, I digress…)

The latest from Dr Oz may truly shock you and make the late Rachel Carson roll over in her grave.  While seemingly all of the civilized world has come out against GMOs (and Monsanto in particular), Dr Oz has chosen to speak out in favor of genetically-modified organisms, saying they are the same as Organic.  See his comments here.

gmo protest chicago

Meanwhile the nation of Peru has recently passed a 10 year ban on GMOs. For further reference, here is a list of countries that have banned GMOs unlike the United States which has inexplicably sided with the interests of big business rather than the interests of the general health of the American people.

In fact, the lack of required GMO labeling in the US lends a lot of credibility to the Organic movement.  At least someone is required to demonstrate that their food has not been genetically-modified, if only the growers and processors of Organic food.

I will say this; while I respect the right of others to disagree or to believe that genetic modifications to food are not harmful, I hope that Dr Oz will be taken to task for his broad statements in favor of GMOs.  One of the largest arguments against GMOs is that there is VERY LITTLE research into what their actual effects on the human body are.

For 8 other reasons to avoid GMOs catch the foodie buzz at Organic Authority.

Moringa : Whole Leaf Super Food Nutrition

Moringa oleifera is  a tree native to the southern foothills of the Himalayas in northwestern India and widely cultivated in Africa, Central and South America, Sri Lanka, India, Mexico, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Moringa The Food Movement

I’ve been really interested in Moringa for a number of years. It has quite a reputation internationally as one of the world’s most nutritious foods. As an herbalist, I’ve been intrigued by the possibilities of a food that offers so much benefit to anyone ingesting it, and also hope to those looking for dynamic botanical solutions to the problems of world hunger.  There are so many aspects of Moringa oleifera to consider.  For now, we are looking primarily at the leaf as a dynamic source of nutrition, though the ‘drumstick’ fruit pods are  very commonly eaten as well.  The roots and the seeds, when harvested, provide other diverse benefits.

This is an extremely important plant! It is a complete protein, contains a good deal of nutrients including calcium, iron, magnesium, is a complete protein source and contains many different vitamins and unique phytochemicals.  It would be ridiculous to ‘standardize’ or extract this plant, it is a leaf vegetable used across the world for many years.

Yet it has been virtually absent from the U.S. market. Unfortunately what little I myself have found on the market has been of very low quality.  As I’ve worked with the Food Movement to find a premium raw  material internationally (which we have finally secured – more on that to come) I have come to appreciate why it is so easy to get it wrong with Moringa.

(The Food Movement biodynamic freeze-dried Moringa whole leaf powder will be available here in September.)

Initially, suppliers of Ayurvedic herbs would offer Moringa leaf powder at a surprisingly low price.  Then, we found that some suppliers would only offer it as an extract, because the fresh raw material was often easily contaminated with potentially harmful microbes.  I myself believe that the only preparation one should consider is the whole leaf.  It is, after all, a food.

There is definite misinformation out there causing some to consider something other than whole leaf Moringa.  Just look to the wiki page on Moringa oleifera and you find this nugget of (mis)information

“Some of the calcium in moringa leaves is bound as crystals of calcium oxalate[14] which may inhibit calcium availability to the body. It is not clear whether the calculation of the reported amount of calcium in moringa leaves includes such non-bioavailable calcium.”

However, the reference they provide only documents that Moringa contains calcium oxalate (which it does, and many plant sources of calcium do) not that calcium oxalate is a non-bioavailable calcium. A study published in 1999 in The Journal of Nutrition found that calcium oxalate indeed was a bioavailable form of calcium. The researchers concluded “Thus, calcium bound as a small, neutral, calcium salt such as calcium oxalate does not have to be dissociated prior to absorption. Possibly other small compounds would be similarly absorbed. These results alter our current understanding of calcium bioavailability from foods and therapeutic agents.”

Anybody good at doing wikipedia edits?  I believe many people who have a negative opinion of calcium in plants as “non-bioavailable” would benefit from seeing this study.

Oh, and if the waters weren’t all ready murky enough for you… now Dr Oz has entered the arena…

Stay tuned to this bat channel for more examinations of the many healing aspects of Moringa to come.  Harvest time is now!

Good Health : The Revolution Starts Within

We live in an era of icons.  At the popular intersection of social media and marketing, the line between truth and advertising is blurrier than ever.  Diet fads pass through the slipstream of TV culture, yet how many onlookers make lasting changes to their health and their lifestyle because of daytime talk shows or tabloid articles?

It can be frustrating when we see folks come running based on a ‘celebrity’ opinion.  I don’t care how much I trust any one person’s opinion, in this day and age, why wouldn’t all of us be fact-checking and doing our own independent research? Especially regarding things we’re going to be putting in our bodies.

In short, after years of being involved in the business of making people healthier (widely known as the natural products industry) I have learned to truly value third-party information.  Not just because in the US the law (i.e. DSHEA) requires it; but because critical thinking does.

Informed consumers must have access to a variety of information, and never exclusively that of manufacturers.  When the marketplace is dominated by information that is generated for-profit, the impartiality of potentially good science is overshadowed by an extremely biased natural healthcare market.  As John Lennon (and Generation X) once said “Just gimme some truth!”

There are many organizations which serve as objective mediators for various modalities; the Council on Responsible Nutrition with supplements, and the American Herbal Products Association with botanicals, have represented their constituents well in the public forum.  Yet there seems to be far less advocacy for natural medicine as a whole; less advocacy for access to various modalities and alternatives for end users.

I myself have come to the conclusion, that while much learning is community-driven, the widest part of the path to sustained good health is personal and individual. Hence the revolution from within; because in seeking good health there is no diet ’revolution’ or one-size-fits all solution, other than that which starts from within each of us.

Sometimes in exploring natural medicine we get hung up on certain traditions.  Western herbalists sometime struggle with the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine which are so different in diagnosis and direction than they are used to.  Ayurveda deals primarily in body types or doshas which are a foreign concept to others.  Every tradition has some kind of natural medicine which finds a way to turn the light energy of plants into the healing energy of food.  The underlying principle which every tradition must connect with is the human body’s own intinsic desire to continually seek homeostasis.

Our bodies are natural healers. We must all find balance, by any means necessary. And oh yeah… the revolution still will not be televised.

Vegan vitamin D-3 really does exist!


The internet is an interesting place.  Nowadays we can point and click quicker than ever (anyone remember dial up?) to find the answer to our latest trivia question, settle intellectual debates or just find out where we are.

However, some things don’t change THAT fast.  Take for example the new Vegan Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) recently launched by the Food Movement.  The U.S. manufacturer of Vegan D3 (made with a source material, Vitashine, made from Lichen and produced in the U.K.) is presently available, and represents the first truly verified plant-based vitamin D3 available.

Just do a Google search for vegan and vegetarian newsgroups and you can find lots of (assumedly, well-meaning) people asserting “there is NO SUCH THING as Vegan D-3”. (In their defense, up until recently there was not). Still, the amount of misinformation being spread on news groups includes ‘facts’ like these. “Even if the D3 was vegan, the capsule would not be.” Umm, vegetarian capsules were invented about 20 years ago? Are people really unaware of this?

The truth is out there, The Food Movement Vegan D-3 was recently reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (I’ve lived there and, trust me, if any place in the U.S. needs good Vitamin D it is Seattle!)

Up until recently, the only form of commercially available animal-free vitamin D was D-2 (ergocalciferol) which is derived from yeast, yet has been shown in scientific studies to be poorly absorbed.  The active form D-3 (cholecalciferol) was only available from sheep’s wool lanolin or fish. (I have also seen people online mistakenly reporting that cholecalciferol is “made from sheep’s intestines”.  I have seen zero evidence to support this, and I think it is based on a distortion of the facts about the lanolin version.)  There is also much debate about the mushroom-based form of D-3 which is sold by only one manufacturer and offers no independent verification of their product.

So, vegans and vegetarians, spread the word.  Vegan D3 is here.  Check your local health food store (they still need your support) or if necessary check Amazon.

For information on Vegan D3 directly from The Food Movement, click here

FDA Agrees to Change NDI Draft Guidelines : Cheers Go Up from the Rooftops!

The Natural Products Industry collectively breathed a sigh of relief today as the Food and Drug Administration announced that it would revisit and revise the New Dietary Ingredients draft guidance it had put forth nearly a year ago.The NDI draft guidance the FDA had drafted in 2011 has been very controversial, in part because it was expected to render many commonly available dietary supplements illegal unless they complied with unrealistic requirements set forth by the government.

According to a statement issued by New Hope 360 “FDA has agreed to issue a new, revised New Dietary Ingredients draft guidance after a top-level meeting including Sens. Tom Harkin and Orrin Hatch and Commissioner Margaret Hamburg.”

“It is deeply gratifying to hear that FDA has decided to rethink its approach to good guidance on this important element of DSHEA,” said Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association. “We look forward to working more closely with the agency in the development of the kind of guidance that is needed by the supplement trade to ensure compliance with this important safety feature of the law.”

“It would be premature for industry to celebrate, but we should be buoyant,” said Steve Mister, president and CEO of the Council for Responsible Nutrition. “This is an indication that FDA has heard the industry and will work with the industry.”

Bold New Botanical Beverages

Hey! If you spend half your life in the aisles of health food stores like I do (yes, even on vacation) you may have that certain sensation when you spot something NEW that you want to try, and potentially share with others, on the shelves.  Sometimes these discoveries may also come through travel, business connections or just through plain old happenstance. It is always really exciting to find something new you haven’t seen before.

I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the really cool botanical beverages I have come across of late (and yes these will be family friendly soft drinks here folks, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for Dandelion wine and fine Hoppy microbrews…)

Since we all know how important it is to stay hydrated, Coconut Water has become really popular. It has a wonderful refreshing sweet taste, and lots of natural electrolytes to recharge your system.  But what kind of Coconut Water are people getting?  I’m here to tell you that the best product I have come across on the market is Harmless Harvest‘s 100% Raw Coconut Water


I met these folks at Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim earlier this year. Really nice people and a really wonderful unique product.  Best Coconut Water on the market in my opinion.  A little goes a long way, and your body feels naturally refreshed with just an 8 oz. bottle.

Another really cool line of beverages I came across recently in Northern California Whole Foods is by Drinkwell Softers.  Made by the folks at Eatwell Farm in Dixon, CA their beverages start with organic yogurt whey to which they add sugar, filtered water and flavor ingredients in the form of botanical hydrosols.

They come in four flavors Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Rose Geranium and Rosemary.  The botanicals are from Eatwell Farm, and they nicely compliment the tart living flavor of the yogurt whey.  If you’re a fan of kombucha or other fermented soft drinks, you really should give these a try.

Speaking of Komubcha, if you are a fan of this beverage you have no doubt become familiar with GT Dave’s.  If you haven’t tried it yet, you have to go out and find their new flavor Third Eye Chai.  The wonderful blend of traditional Chai botanicals is a great way to spice up your day, and like all GT’s products contains wonderful healing probiotics, enzymes, acetic acid, l-Theanine and many other synergistic microcomponents that work together in harmony.

Until next time … be well and stay hydrated!

The Food Movement to Release Plant-Based Vitamin D-3 to US Health Food Stores

Vitamin D is an essential nutrient which has become more and more popular in recent years as a nutritional supplement.  However, those following a pure vegetarian (vegan) diet have been left out in the cold because all of the vitamin D-3 (cholecalciferol) on the U.S. market is derived from animal sources (either fish oil or sheep’s wool lanolin.)  Those looking for a non-animal-derived vitamin D have been forced to accept vitamin D-2, which has been shown to be much less bioavailable to the human body.

The Food Movement Co., based in the Chicago, IL area, has announced that they will soon release one of the first completely vegan vitamin D-3 products.  Plans to produce a 5,000 i.u. 60 softgel capsule and 1,000 i.u. 120 spray bottle are currently under way.

The vitamin D-3 is derived sustainably from a unique Lichen species found high in the mountains of Asia.  This product is very unique, and represents a hallmark for those following a pure vegetarian diet and seeking greater health. For more information on the various health benefits of vitamin D-3 check here.

The Food Movement has a mission to bring human beings greater health through nutrient-dense plant foods.  Additionally, their agenda is to alleviate hunger and to encourage environmental sustainability and greater biodiversity.

High Vibrational Foods

If you’ve been exploring natural health and healthy eating principles, you may have come across recommendations that you eat “high vibrational foods.”  It is an interesting turn of phrase, causing one to wonder perhaps what frequency the REST of our diet is vibrating at?  And what precisely does this mean?

One thing we can infer rather quickly is that high vibrational foods are full of good energy.  If we’re moving UP, we are ascending into higher levels of understanding and higher levels of behavior, including what foods we eat.  A subject like this would seem to unify the ideas of spiritual practice and proper nutrition.

Yet, as with anything physical, there has to be some empirical answer.  What are high vibrational foods exactly?

Author Lorraine Shea identifies high vibrational foods as  those which grows close to the sun and are packed with nutrients.  She also identifies Raw Cacao, Goji Berries, nuts as well as some meats.

Susan Lavery, writing for noted Cancer survivor Lance Armstrong-founded Livestrong foundation also lists Organically grown food as top of the list of things which are high vibrational.  This is consistant with the observation that pesticides and other chemicals which are toxic to the body can lower the body’s natural vitality and therefore the body’s overall vibration.  She quotes wellness coach Kathleen Kalil who opines, “When we eat high-vibrational foods, our energy is high and our life force is strong. We have better focus, emotional balance, and plentiful energy to handle whatever the day brings.”

These are probably not new pieces of information to you, dear reader, that you should be seeking out organic nutrient-dense foods!  However, the quantum metaphor of “high vibrational foods” does bring into focus some other areas of interest, such as how food can remain vital as best as possible, and how to talk about the energy of foods beyond the gross measure of kilocalories and marker compounds.

So, it is interesting – once we have discovered some examples of things which are identified as high vibrational we can see that they are all things which are beneficial to the human body.  Furthermore they are often things which are also beneficial to our environment, such as eating organic and buying local.  In some ways, this frequency thing may be some key to measuring our enlightenment on the path to better health and a higher consciousness.

There seems also to be a connection between the discussion of high vibrational foods, and the use of essential oils.  A Vibrational Blog gives us more on this indicating they have measured Rose oil vibrating at 320 mHz (essentially the top end of the spectrum). Much of this research was based on the work of Bruce Taiinio.

“During his work with plants, soil, and water in his agricultural projects, Bruce Tainio of Tainio Technology invented and built a machine called a BT3 Frequency Monitoring System. This device – modified and perfected over the years – used a highly sensitive sensor to measure bio-electrical frequencies of plant nutrients and essential oils. To summarize how it worked – As a Hertzian wave is generated and travels out from its source, it transfers energy to the objects it passes through. The frequency monitor’s sensor measures the nano voltage of that wave, using the predominant frequency in the megahertz range, filtering out the lower and higher ranges. The BT3 measures the composite frequency of the vibratory emissions in electrical voltage – MHz – of the elements and enzymes remaining in the oils.”

Bruce Tainio has since passed away, and the BT3 is no longer in production.  His legacy appears to live on in an interesting company called Coherent Resources.

Red Maca : Physical Vitality and Hormonal Balance from a Natural Whole Food

People think I’m down on drugs.  It is true, I have been critical of the medical industry, and of ‘big pharma’ hijacking science. But I know there are some pharmaceutical drugs which are important and life-saving; I would never dispute that.

The contrast for me is between the mediocre results most folks get from their pharmaceuticals, say antibiotics, corticosteroids or hormone replacement, without any diet or lifestyle changes.  Conversely, using whole foods as therapeutic agents, we see more general vitality being restored, rather than the body being forced into a limited chemical pathway.  Nowhere is this contrast between isolated chemical and dynamic whole food agent more striking to me than with Maca.

Maca Root, scientific name Lepidium meyenii, has been used in the Andes mountains for thousands of years.  It is a staple food for villagers, as well a reputed medicinal tonic and dynamic endocrine system balancer.  It is a member of the Brassica vegetable family, also shared by Kale, Broccoli, Cabbage, etc.

You may have heard of Maca, or even tried it in smoothies or other preparations.  Perhaps you are one of its devotees, as I am, who starts your morning off with healthy doses of it on a daily basis.  It is really excellent when combined with Raw Cacao… the pungent high notes of the Red Maca combine very nicely with the bitter finish of the raw Cacao (or even regular Cocoa powder).

Researchers at Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia in Lima Peru did research and concluded “Maca is a plant with great potential as an adaptogen and appears to be promising as a nutraceutical in the prevention of several diseases.” When those same researchers tested a variety of Maca, called Red Maca, they found that it was extremely effective for reducing prostate size in animals with an enlarged prostate.

Surprisingly, though, fewer of us in the States are as familiar with Red Maca (Lepidium meyenii), which is known in its native Peru to be among the highest grade of Maca available. If you are interested in ordering certified organic Red Maca from Peru please consider the Food Movement, a company that donates 11% of its sales to hunger relief around the world.

Dating back to the ancient Incans, Maca has been known to increase sexual libido. Published scientific research has demonstrated that of all of the ecotypes of Maca are spermatogenic, meaning that they increase semen quality in males.

Another study done at the Department of Psychology at Massachusetts General Hospital found that Maca root did have a beneficial effect on libido.  The list of published research goes on and on, here, folks.

A study in Australia at Victoria University found that “Preliminary findings show that Lepidium meyenii (Maca)[3 .5 grams per day] reduces psychological symptoms, including anxiety and depression, and lowers measures of sexual dysfunction in postmenopausal women independent of estrogenic and androgenic activity.”

What all of the effects are suggestive of, from a naturopathic point-of-view, is that Maca promotes hormonal balance.  Unlike drugs, or even many nutriceuticals, which can push the body in a specific direction and therefore have only a limited effect.  Maca’s position as a whole food adaptogen gives it a really amazing profile of being very safe to take, yet very effective in correcting hormonal imbalances.

Foods which promote balance in the endocrine system, rather than synthetic hormone replacement therap are inherently safer. Furthermore, because all of the hormones in our body act in a feedback loop, hormone therapy can have the opposite ffect that is desired therapeutically, long term.  If we want to achieve balance in the endocrine system, we would do well to consider a therapeutic food like Red Maca.

Because adaptogenic whole superfoods are nourishing, therefore naturally supporting the body’s own processes, the results of consuming them can be tonifying to the entire body. By giving it the building blocks it needs to reach its own homeostasis, adaptogenic effects do more to benefit more different systems.   Increased energy, vitality, better hormone balance in our bodies, antioxidant protection… these are the kind of ‘side effects’ I think we can all get behind!

The Beauty of Juice Powders – or Why You Can’t Eat Grass

Health food is a lifestyle for a growing number of Americans.  People who aren’t into this lifestyle may have their own connotations of what ‘health food’ means… (food that tastes like cardboard, starving yourself to death, eating weird things).  One thing that is almost instantly associated with the idea of a specialty health food market and the ‘exotic tastes’ of highly nutrient-dense foods is wheat grass juice — and not without good reason.

A recent article at popular website by Susan Lavery cites Wheat grass and other superfoods as ‘high vibrational.’ A recent blog post at calls Wheat Grass “one of the most potently healthy substances on Earth.

Wheat Grass juice has been used extensively to promote health by many Western naturalist pioneers such as Anne Wigmore, Viktor Kulvinskas and many others.  The straight megaton blast of nutrition, and oxygenation via chlorophyll is one that many say they can truly ‘feel’. The benefits beyond that have been explored extensively in both a clinical and experiential manner.

The reason we JUICE wheat grass is simple; we’re not cows.  Cows (in their natural setting) eat grass.  They also have two stomachs and chew their cud all day long.  They also have an enzyme which humans lack called cellulase, which helps them digest the tough cell wall of grasses.  So because we lack these things, the best way to get all of the nutrition from a cereal grass like wheat grass is to juice it.

But juicing is a lot of work (especially juicing wheat grass).  You probably aren’t able to get to the health food store every day for your shot of healthy green goodness.  Many stores at first sold frozen wheat grass juice shots, but these lose a lot of the potency in the fresh juice.  Enzymes start to break down after a very short time unless they are preserved in some manner.

The process of producing a dried juice powder has been an important one in terms of the essential ‘convenience factor’ for the average consumer. If dried cereal grass juice powders can retain the chlorophyll, vitamins, enzymes, minerals and other nutrients in a quick and easy form — the amount of folks able to benefit from this type of super food are only going to increase.  That, after all, really is what we’re trying to do here.

Another cereal grass juice that has been used quite extensively is Barley Grass juice.  There is a great amount of research that Barley Grass juice can be quite beneficial, and can possibly address a number of health conditions, as well as generally promoting good health.

Like Wheat Grass juice, Barley Grass juice has been used for detoxification and health restoration, as well as to help alkalinize the body’s pH (a major factor in restoring and protecting good health in the body).  Green Magma has been a popular science-supported green food supplement for nearly 40 years.

Researcher Bob Terry, Ph. D. reports “Clinical studies performed since 2002 by Dr. Ching-Min Tsai from the Graduate Institute of Nutrition and Food Science at Fu Jen University and the Department of Bioscience Technology at Chung Yuan University (both in Taipei, Taiwan) and colleagues have demonstrated that dietary changes including daily supplementation with Green Magma may provide several important benefits for cardiovascular function.

“Normal blood flow through our bodies is essential for optimal health. While dietary, lifestyle, and genetic factors all play a role in cardiovascular function, dietary changes may offer a relatively convenient means of promoting cardiovascular function, normal blood flow, and enhanced quality of life.”

Other kinds of cereal grasses have additional benefits; Oat Grass juice, Alfalfa Grass juice and others will have unique nutritional profiles.  All of these green grass juices offer chlorophyll rich nutrition in an easily digestible format.  Consider adding some form of cereal grass juice to your daily regimen (not regime, which is something totally different!!).

Arsenic in the Apple Juice? Natural health celebrities face off

Watching my favorite morning news show, Windy City Live, at the gym this morning, I caught an interesting tidbit about a sort of ‘war of words’ between natural health celebrities Dr. Oz and Dr. Gupta.  I just had to laugh.

Apparently, the controversy surrounds reported incidents of high levels of arsenic in Apple Juice.  Now, there is no doubt that contamination, particularly of imported fruit from countries with lower environmental standards, may be an issue.  Dr. Gupta had, apparently, attacked Dr Oz because he felt that the wizard himself may have been trying to “scare parents.” (Hey excuse me, but, as a parent — if this is the ‘scary’ truth; I for one would like to know it!)

I’m disappointed to say, that what neither expert seemed to bring to light is the importance of Organic Agriculture.  That is how we avoid these things! By protecting the integrity of the food supply, gentlemen.  These issues should not be news to you, let’s get focused on the real problem of food being contaminated with chemicals.

(There is also an important distinction between organic and inorganic arsenic, which you can read more about here.)

FDA proposed NDI Guidelines – waiting for DSHEA’s other shoe to drop

If you feel strongly about natural medicine and the natural products industry, you may have some strong feelings about the FDA’s new NDI guidelines draft.  If you’ve been around long enough to remember the original passage of DSHEA, you may remember how vigilantly the Natural Products Industry fought to oppose some of the more unfriendly political maneuvers around that, and how we wound up with what most consider today a fairly reasonable piece of legislation.

However, had we known that we were “waiting for the other shoe to drop” in the form of these new NDI guidelines, we might have stifled some of our cheering.

In fact, if NPI of 1994 had been able to peer into a crystal ball and see how NPI of 2011 was reacting, some would say “they have lost the will to fight.” The vigilant spirit that vehemently opposed attempts to end our freedom to advance natural medicine in the face of a system overwhelmingly biased towards pharmaceutical drugs, appears to have been shaped by a political landscape dominated by apathy.

In fairness, all of the industry trade organizations have offered some response.  Mostly they have asked for an extension of the comment period, whether it be for 12 months or for the Council on Responsible Nutrition’s very modest 45 days, which is what was eventually granted. (Maybe CRN is playing the political game in a way that the FDA favors, or finds it convenient to defer to?)

Don’t get me wrong, the CRN has been an important advocate for Natural Products.  Often their position papers have corrected misinformation that is circulated by the PR firms hired to smear supplements. (Ever notice how those headlines ‘pop up’ every once in a while?)

On September 27th, John Gay of the NPA wrote to NPA members that NDI guidelines “pose some potentially serious challenges for the industry.”  Yet, in the same letter he cautions. “When dealing with a bill in Congress, grassroots opposition can be very powerful. However, in this regulatory guidance process, the FDA is unlikely to give weight to individual comments that simply state opposition, and members of Congress are not disposed to intervene while a regulatory body is accepting public comments.”

I can tell you that many who have been the most active in lobbying for political advances for nutritional supplements do not agree with Mr Gay.  Some have suggested that this is the face of a NPA that wants to appear to the FDA as being very compliant and unobtrusive.  Congress may not intervene, but certainly it is as important as ever to apply the political pressure to see things go the right way.  How naive can we possibly be?

Senator Orrin Hatch, the longtime defender of the Natural Products Industry, is involved the reelection fight of his life and may not be able to save us this time.  Do not be foolish as to believe politics is not played 24-hours a day, even while a comment period is in effect.  Voicing opposition to this guidance is crucial, and political pressure is indeed the only real too we have to oppose this.

In fact, this writer applauds all of the efforts by CRN, NPA, the American Herbal Products Association, and others, to oppose the new NDI draft guidance.  But it is clear that as an industry we have to do more!

Next time I will explore some of the vigilant opposition to this maneuver by the FDA and tell you how some manufacturers are proposing to fight back. Bill Sardi of Knowledge for Health has written a well-crafted detail of some of the impracticalities of NDI guidelines and published them online. We have not yet begun to fight!

The Alliance for Natural Health has created a nifty way to voice opposition online.  What do you have to lose – take a minute and  fill it out.  And if you have time  to contact your congressperson,  I suggest you write a more personal note.  Share with them your personal story in terms of natural health, and how beneficial supplements may have been for you.  You never know who might actually be listening.  If we remain silent we can be 100% guaranteed that no one is.

Guayusa – Natural Balanced Energy from the Rain Forest

Guayusa is a very interesting herbal tea from the Amazon.  When I first started drinking it, I wanted to share it with everyone.  It seems to have so many advantages over coffee or tea, that it is the ideal hot morning caffeine-containing beverage of choice for practically anyone.

It is a bush in the holly family; a cousin of Yerba mate (also known by the scientific Latin binomial Ilex paraguenensis).  It actually contains more caffeine than tea.  Additionally, it contains an alkaloid theobromine which is notably found in Cacao theobroma, better known as Cacao or Chocolate.  Even more intriguing, it contains an amino acid L-theanine which is found in Green Tea, and has been associated with a relaxed state of focused concentration.

Some traditional native shamen say that Guayusa can cause lucid dreaming.  Lucid dreaming is the state where a person is dreaming but they are aware that they are experiencing a dream, and can direct the result.  For this reason it is sometimes called the Watchman’s plant.

Another direct health benefit of Guayusa is that it contains no tannins, and is less acidic than coffee or tea.  This pH balance is very important for promoting an alkaline state in the human body, which is of the utmost importance in influencing our health and state of being.

It does, however, contain antioxidants which can protect the body from dangerous free radicals. It has also been studied for help with blood sugar balance and fighting diabetes.

One interesting misconception about the plant has been that it is an emetic (meaning that it will make you vomit.)  This was clarified in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology which stated that rituals practiced by natives in which Guayusa is consumed in large amounts and then vomited, were a ritual behavior and not due to the presence of any emetic compounds in Guayusa.

This writer does not endorse nor condemn self-induced emesis.  Needless to say, it has little to do with how you may enjoy the tea!

The Body is a Natural Healer

Hey, thanks for checking out my new blog! This has been in the works for a long time.  I’d like to see this space become a resource for information, debate and perhaps inspiration.

What is ‘botanical nutrition’? Essentially, the words mean… nutrition from plants.  You would have to have been under a rock in order to be unaware of the growing body of evidence that EATING MORE PLANTS (and a greater diversity of plants, specifically SUPER FOODS) may be one of the greatest things you can do for your own health.

One of the concepts I have been tossing around with respect to Botanical Nutrition is the idea of ‘diet without dogma’.  This means simply that you can EAT MORE PLANTS (and a greater diversity of plants, specifically super foods) and not necessarily have them be to the exclusion of anything else. You don’t have to go macrobiotic (though I think this is an amazing dietary approach) or raw food vegan (or 30, 40, 50 or 70%) if YOU DON’T CHOOSE TO.  I think this can be an empowering idea to consider, and empowerment to my mind is about 80% of healing.

The body is a natural healer.  We’ve heard it said many times, and it is true.  Drugs don’t heal, even plants don’t heal without the cooperation of the body. And the mind is part of the body, making it all the more necessary to consider a completely holistic approach that addresses mind, body and spirit.

I would encourage you, always, to eat foods that are good for you. Push yourself to find new ways to make it happen. Don’t be SAD (standard American diet) be joyous by exploring more and more the wonderful healing foods nature has provided us with.  This realization in and of itself is a spiritual connection, and a first step to tapping into our body’s innate healing abilities.

As much as ‘natural remedies’ (using herbs, nutrients and other supplements to treat specific conditions) can be very effective; it is also equally (perhaps even moreso) important to consider our every day diet.  YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT. Remember that one?

This morning as I sit down to a breakfast of Oatmeal supplemented with Hemp hearts,Red Maca, and coconut milk –  I’m so grateful for a natural world so full of  healing potential.  Don’t waste your life eating junk food, join us here in this quest for Botanical Nutrition.  How much longer do you want to keep getting sick, and how soon do you want to start feeling energy and vitality?  Stay tuned, kids, the best is yet to come.  Thank you!