Botanical Nutrition

by Rob Seeman official blogger of the health food movement


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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 :

WHOLE EARTH RADIO Episode 3


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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.

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Whole Earth Radio : The Truth About the Amazon / Whole Foods Merger

Didn’t I tell you something big was coming in the world of natural products folks? It is HERE. Now, I’m not just talking about the advent of my new podcast WHOLE EARTH RADIO (which, by my estimation, is preeettty big news)

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WHOLE EARTH RADIO ON FACEBOOK

I’m talking, of course, about the recently announced intention of internet etail giant AMAZON to acquire the country’s largest health food market WHOLE FOODS.  Pretty big huh?

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What will this mean for the customers, employees and business partners of Whole Foods? Only The Shadow knows… but I’m certainly willing to give you my two cents and that’s what I’ve done here on the premiere edition of Whole Earth Radio

Listen now to this amazing in-depth report WHOLE EARTH RADIO EPISODE #1


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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.


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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.

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You see, Alkalize 55 is a dietary supplement I have been lucky enough to have a hand in developing.  To be totally transparent it is the NAME I have mainly to take credit for. As part of the Medicatrix naturae consortium which developed the product, my greatest contribution was helping to create a name and presentation that people would remember (and of course with a good deal of significance!)  The credit really 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.geodesic mineral_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 http://www.livingorganicearth.com

 


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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!


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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.