Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement


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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.


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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