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 Edwin Y. Endo, OD Optometrists, Associates & Interns

We are the leading Provider in Eye Care and highly regarded professional Optometry establishment in honolulu for the entire family where Quality eye exams are Affordable with Excellence. Diplomate,  Board Certified Optometrists, Eye Doctor near you

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How Teeth Whitening Can Damage Your Teeth

Link  Teeth whitening treatments may cause permanent damage to enamel, and the risks may increase with each use. To reduce enamel damage, avoid peroxide-based whiteners and talk to your dentist about fluoride remineralization treatments. Consider getting your teeth whitened by a trained professional or using a whitening toothpaste, which removes surface stains without peroxide. 

4 Tips for Healthy Vision as We Age

Link   Proper eye care can help delay the progression of age-related eye conditions and protect vision. In addition to knowing your family history and getting regular eye exams, it may help to block the sun and other damaging light, keep eyes hydrated and eat foods that will improve their health. Let's look at what we can do.

Men's Marijuana Use Linked to Elevated Miscarriage Risk

Link   The risk for spontaneous abortion was nearly twofold higher when expectant fathers used marijuana at least once a week than when they did not use marijuana. There was no increased risk when fathers used marijuana less than once a week.

These 21 states are raising their minimum wage for 2020

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Twenty-one states are increasing their minimum wage for the new year with workers from Arizona to Vermont set to see an increase.

As Keith Mestrich, CEO of Amalgamated Bank and a fan of the wage hike noted on Yahoo Finance’s YFi PM, “It's going to be a really happy holiday for a lot of people around the country.”

Fourteen states have wage increases that are set to go into effect on Jan. 1 or Dec. 31. Seven more states — Alaska, Florida, Minnesota, Montana, Ohio, South Dakota, and Vermont — have automatic cost-of-living adjustments that will take effect on Jan. 1. Three more states and the District of Columbia have wage increases scheduled to take effect over the course of 2020.

The federal minimum wage, by contrast, has been fixed at $7.25 an hour since 2009 and workers in 21 states remain at that minimum. Two states — Wyoming and Georgia — have a state minimum wage below the federal level, but workers there are entitled to the federal minimum wage unless their employer is not covered by the federal Fair Labor Standards Act.

Credit: David Foster/Yahoo Finance

A national debate over the minimum wage

Democrats passed a bill this summer in the House of Representatives to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. As expected, the bill has not been taken up the Senate.

Nevertheless, a variety of states have passed legislation to gradually raise their state minimum wages. Connecticut will reach a $15 minimum wage by 2023. A few areas, notably New York City and the District of Columbia, are set to have $15-an-hour minimum wages in 2020.

New York Times analysis of the effective national minimum wage — an average across all federal, state and local minimum wage laws — found a rate of $11.80 an hour in 2019. According to the Times, “this is probably the highest minimum wage in American history,” adjusted for inflation.

The Democratic case to business leaders for higher minimum wages increases boils down to this: it’s not going to be as bad as you think. As Rep. Bobby Scott, who led the effort for the House bill, put it in an interview with Yahoo Finance’s Jessica Smith: “They'll have to adjust, but they're adjusting every year anyway.”

15 Things That Determine Who Gets Cancer

17 Signs Your Body Is Too Acidic (And What To Do)

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Is your body too acidic? Many people have never even considered this question. The pH of our bodies is enormously important to our health, yet we hardly ever give it a second thought. Here’s why you should care…

The optimal condition for your body is a balanced environment that is not too acidic and not overly alkaline. If your body is overly acidic, you may be more susceptible to certain illnesses. You may also become deficient in certain nutrients. This is because when the body is too acidic, the body may need to take minerals such as calcium, potassium and sodium from your bones to neutralize the acid. This can put your body under a lot of strain.

Because of the prevalence of the Western diet and an inactive lifestyle, many people today are somewhat acidic. If your acidity gets extreme, it is known as acidosis — a condition which requires urgent medical attention. If it is mild, you may not notice a problem at first, until you find yourself feeling worse and worse in unexpected ways. 

Signs your body may be too acidic

  • You feel fatigued, even when you’ve had enough sleep.
  • You feel depressed or have a hard time enjoying things that you used to.
  • You find yourself especially irritable for no discernable reason.
  • You feel like you cannot focus or have “brain fog” often.
  • You frequently develop infections, colds and flus.
  • Your skin is dry, even in the warmer months.
  • You have acne or other skin problems.
  • You have hormonal imbalance issues.
  • You frequently develop yeast infections.
  • You feel like your digestion is sluggish, or frequently experience constipation or diarrhea.
  • You find yourself becoming short of breath often.
  • You frequently experience joint pain.
  • You often experience headaches.
  • You experience chronic allergies or sinus pain.
  • You suffer from chronic pain that is not due to an injury or a medical condition.
  • Your neck often feels stiff or sore.
  • You have sensitive gums and teeth.

If you find you are experiencing multiple symptoms on this list, it’s time to check your pH. You can either have this done by a health professional or you can do it yourself at home. If you’re going the DIY route, you can purchase pH test strips that use your saliva or urine. If you get a reading lower than 6.5, your body is too acidic.

If your pH reading is significantly lower than 6.5, you may have a more serious case of acidosis. If this is the case, make an appointment to see your doctor as soon as you can. If the reading is 6.5 or slightly lower, you may be able to combat the problem at home (although it never hurts to visit a health professional you trust, just to be safe).

Here is how to get your body back in balance:

Quit eating processed foods

Cut out processed food if your body is acidic.
Cut out processed food if your body is acidic.

These are often acidic, and seriously, they’re not doing any of your body’s systems any good. Processed foods include fast food, boxed meals and many packaged products. If there are more than five ingredients on the label, you’re better off skipping it. Make a commitment to cooking nutritious meals made from fresh ingredients at home. This is one of the most important things you can do for your pH and your overall health.

Stop eating so much sugar

It is best to eliminate the refined sugar in your diet altogether. This definitely means no soda (super acidification powers in those fizzy, sugary drinks). If you need to sweeten your meals and beverages, use coconut crystals, raw honey or unprocessed stevia leaves instead. Just remember, moderation is important for these natural sweeteners.

Stay away from artificial sweeteners

They may promote acidity, and they’re also terrible for your health. Essentially the artificial sweeteners in soda, coffee and flavored drinks trick your body. Consuming them often may even lead to metabolic syndrome.

Cut down on the coffee

While coffee itself has a lot of health benefits, it can also be acidic on your system. If you’re struggling with mild acidosis, it may be best to quit the coffee for a while, or at least cut down. Try to replace your coffee habit with herbal tea. Green tea is great and red rooibos tea is a delicious option which does not contain caffeine. You can also try these great energy-boosting smoothies

Get white flour out of your diet

When your body is acidic, eating white flour doesn't help.
When your body is acidic, eating white flour doesn’t help.

White flour is heavily processed and stripped of its nutritious compounds. Try these great gluten-free flours for a healthy alternative. 

Reduce your consumption of both dairy and meat

While these can be healthy (especially when organic and grass-fed), they can also be acidic. Either eliminate them for a while until your body is back to a healthy pH or cut down. Double up on vegetables and fresh fruits instead.

Eat your veggies

Many fruits and vegetables have an alkalizing effect on your body, so make sure you’re getting an ample amount of them. These include dark green, leafy vegetables like kale, arugula, spinach, Swiss chard and collard greens, along with lemons, carrots, beets, turnips, cayenne peppers and garlic.

Drink lots of water

Make sure you’re getting at least eight glasses each and every day. Proper hydration is key to getting your body back into balance.

Take steps to reduce your stress

Meditation, yoga and tai chi are all wonderful practices that can help you greatly with your stress relief quest. Make room in your schedule to unwind and do the things you love to do.

Exercise

Sedentary behavior may contribute to acidity, so make sure you get moving and stay moving. Start by taking a walk every day. Next, add a routine that includes strength training three times per week. You could also take a class in a fun activity that you’ve always wanted to learn, like dancing or kickboxing.

Don’t smoke

If your body is too acidic, it's best to quit smoking

If you still do, quit. Cigarettes are great for promoting a toxic environment in your body. 

Take supplements

Talk to a health professional you trust about the possibility of supplementing with magnesium or calcium, if needed.

If you follow these steps, you should soon find that your body is becoming less acidic. Take a pH test every couple of weeks to chart your progress. If your pH does not go down into a healthy range, or if your symptoms are persisting, it’s time to go see a health professional you trust.

Real-World Outcomes of Selective Laser Trabeculoplasty in the UK

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TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

  • In a population of patients who had undergone selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT), the authors found initial response to treatment at 6 months in the majority of patients; however, the majority had failed (inadequate IOP reduction requiring increase in glaucoma medications or additional surgery) by 2 years. In addition, results suggest that SLT is more effective in eyes with higher pressures versus eyes with normal-tension glaucoma.
  • These results may help inform the selection of patients for whom SLT therapy is appropriate.

– Kathleen F. Freeman, OD

The Truth About Candida

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By: Cat Ebeling, RN, MSN-PHN, co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

What is Candida?

As we should know by now, our bodies are host to a variety of yeasts and bacteria. Some of them healthy and some not so healthy. Candida is one of those yeasts—or fungus that normally lives in our bodies. The most common form of candida is candida albicans.

Candida is the most common types of fungus in the human body. Certain health conditions can cause the yeast to grow out of control and at that point, candida can cause a variety of unwanted symptoms. It’s generally harmless, but an overgrowth of this fungus can lead to a yeast infection.

Candida lives primarily in areas like the mouth, skin, fingernails, digestive tract, toenails, rectum and vagina. When candida grows out of control in these areas, it is called “candidiasis”. Overgrowth in the mouth can cause a condition called “thrush”. Overgrowth in the vaginal tract is generally called “vaginal candidiasis”.

Rarely, for some people with compromised immune function, candida can grow out of control and become systemic.

What Causes Yeast Infections?

Yeasts like candida, generally kept in check by our immune system and by healthy bacteria in our bodies. However, antibiotics can kill off all the beneficial bacteria that would hold candida back, opening the door for unregulated candida growth. Candida is a very opportunistic fungus, so it grows where the environment is best for it. That includes the mouth, the vagina, and the digestive tract where it is warm, moist, and dark.

Other things that can contribute to the unchecked growth of candida include high blood sugar—as in people with diabetes, people with suppressed immune function—as in those who may be undergoing chemo for cancer treatments, and even high estrogen levels. People with celiac disease or types of gluten sensitivity and food allergies often suffer from an overgrowth in their digestive systems as well, as the gut microbiome is often ‘off’.

The most common cause of yeast overgrowth is a diet high in sugar and carbohydrates and low in healthy fiber and vegetables. This contributes to higher than normal blood sugar levels, which actually feed candida. Higher blood sugar contributes to an overgrowth in the digestive system, leading to a condition called “dysbiosis”. An overgrowth in the digestive system can actually cause cravings for more carbs and sugar, leading to the theory that the candida organisms themselves can actually control our cravings.

This study shows that cutting back on sugar and refined carbohydrates can actually help lower the chances of yeast infections in women.

Several other health and lifestyle practices can lead to an increased incidence of yeast infections.

These include:

• Taking antibiotics
• Eating a diet high in sugar and refined carbs
• High alcohol intake
• A weakened immune system
• Dysbiosis (overgrowth of bad bacteria and yeasts) in digestive system
• Food allergies and gluten sensitivity
• Taking oral contraceptives
• Diabetes
• High stress levels

How Would I Know if I Have a Yeast Infection?

Yeast infections are pretty obvious, and you will have a feeling of fatigue, brain fog and just general malaise. There are also some claims that yeast infections can lead to joint aches, increased food allergies due to intestinal permeability, migraines, and food cravings, but these claims have not been scientifically researched.

Let’s take a look at some of the other signs of candida overgrowth:

1. Fatigue and Brain Fog

One of the most common symptoms of candida overgrowth is brain fog and fatigue. Brain fog and fatigue can be attributed to a variety of causes, including food allergies, environmental allergies, not enough sleep, high blood sugar and several other health issues.

But when tied with any of the above risk factors, like antibiotic use, brain fog and fatigue may be attributable to candida. Overgrowth of candida can also create nutritional deficiencies and malabsorption of important nutrients, including vitamin B6, which is essential to the creation of energy. Other deficiencies caused by overgrowth of candida include magnesium and essential fatty acids. Prolonged candidiasis can lead to other issues with fatigue including chronic fatigue syndrome. This study shows a possible connection of yeast to chronic fatigue syndrome.

2. Recurring Vaginal, Genital or Urinary Tract Infections

It is true that candida is normally found in most women’s vaginal tracts, but in some, it grows out of control. It is estimated that at least 75% of all women will have at least one vaginal yeast infection in their lifetime, and most of those have more than one recurrence.

Yeast infections don’t just happen to women, they can also occur in men, and get transferred back and forth from sexual partners.

Symptoms of vaginal yeast infections include redness and itching, along with a thick, white or yellowish, cheesy discharge from the vagina. In men, there are little to no symptoms. Candida infections can also cause painful intercourse, and vaginal candidiasis can worsen with intercourse, as seminal fluid contains nutrients that candida feed on.

Candida can also cause urinary tract infections as well, especially with a prolonged or recurrent vaginal yeast infections. Candida infections can also be very common for those with indwelling catheters.

3. Oral Thrush

Since candida is an opportunistic organism and likes warm, moist areas of the body like mucous membranes, it can grow out of control in the mouth and throat as well. This is called “thrush.”

Thrush generally occurs in newborns, the elderly, and those with weakened immune system, such as people undergoing chemotherapy or radiation. People with certain types of dental work or dentures can also get thrush more easily.

Thrush looks like reddened, sore areas with bumpy white patches on the tongue, inside the cheeks, on the gums, tonsils or the throat. The mouth may be sensitive and sore and can bleed easily. Often the tongue can be red and swollen as well with a thick white coating. In particularly bad cases, the thrush can spread down the throat making swallowing and even breathing difficult.

4. Digestive Issues and Intestinal Permeability

Healthy gut bacteria and a healthy balance of beneficial bacteria in the gut is massively important to our health overall, and the health of our digestive system. Gut bacteria also play a role in digesting and breaking down foods including starches, fiber, and some sugar.

An imbalance of gut bacteria and an overgrowth of harmful bacteria and yeasts can create unhealthy issues within the digestive system. When yeasts and bacteria in your gut become unbalanced, you can experience digestive issues, including constipation, diarrhea, nausea, gas, cramps and bloating.

Some studies have shown that overgrowth of candida in the digestive tract may be associated with chronic diseases such as ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease, and IBD (Irritable Bowel Disease).

Severe candida overgrowth in the intestines can also cause increased intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome), an increase in food allergies, and even systemic candida infections as the micro-holes in the gut can allow candida to escape into the bloodstream.

5. Sinusitis

Many adults have chronically inflamed sinuses. This can be due to ongoing allergies either in the environment or the diet, but also can be due to candida. The nasal passages and sinuses are another warm, moist mucous membrane area of the body that can allow candida to grow out of control, given the proper circumstances. Common symptoms include a runny nose, nasal congestion, loss of smell and headaches.

Most sinus infections are short lived and caused by either a bacterial or viral infection, and often clear up with medication, but many long-term sinus issues are believed to be fungal infections.

This study by the Mayo Clinic looked at a group of 210 individuals with chronic sinus infections and found that 96% of them actually had fungi in their mucus. While antibiotics are the usual line of treatment for acute sinus infections, they would most certainly make a chronic fungal infection worse. If you have recurring sinus infections or an infection that lasts longer than a month, you may have a candida infection.

6. Skin and Nail Infections

Bacteria on the skin and nails also help to keep candida from growing out of control. But certain conditions can make it more conducive for candida to grow on the skin or nails. Candida yeasts also like to grow on the skin and nails in warmer, moist conditions, which is why a yeast infection can often occur on the feet, between the toes. Armpits and the groin can also foster yeasts readily as well.

In men, it is called “jock itch”, in babies, it is diaper rash. On the feet it is often called “athlete’s foot”. Candida can also grow in the folds of skin of obese people and babies.

Antibacterial soaps can encourage the growth of yeast infections, as do warm, moist, dark areas of the skin. Candida can also contribute to ringworm and toenail fungus as well.

Babies who may be taking antibiotics for an ear infection or other illness, may experience a candida diaper rash.

Candida infections on the skin result in itchy, blotchy red areas, while candida infections in the nails can cause the nail to pull away from the bed of the nail, look white, gray or yellow. The nail itself becomes crumbly and loses its integrity.

How to Treat Candidiasis

The standard medical treatment for candida overgrowth is antifungals. Antifungals can be topical for the skin and nails, suppositories for vaginitis, or taken internally for severe digestive overgrowth or systemic candida infections. Many conventional medications for candida can be especially harsh, with unwelcome side effects, including liver dysfunction and have to be monitored carefully.

Candidiasis is generally not considered life threatening, unless the immune system is severely compromised as it is in people who are on cancer treatments, or those with immune disorders such as AIDS.

A better, more gentle treatment is to try an anti-candida diet to treat the underlying cause in the gut. Eliminating all sugars, grain-based carbohydrates and fruit is a good start. In addition, it is recommended to avoid lactose in dairy products, fruit, and any foods you may be sensitive or allergic to. For those who are gluten sensitive, candida overgrowth is fairly easy to treat by eliminating gluten and slowing the inflammation and immune reaction in the digestive system.

By eliminating grain based carbohydrates, all added sugars, fruits and fruit juice—as well as high yeast drinks such as beer and wine, you help to starve the candida yeasts.

Certain foods and drinks actually are proven to encourage growth of beneficial bacteria and kill off candida, including:

• Taheebo or Pau d’arco tea–Pau d’arco actually contains two primary active ingredients, lapachol and beta-lapachone. These two natural chemicals are what make it effective against bacteria, fungi, yeasts, viruses and even parasites. Lapachol is known to not only kill many different types of fungi, bacteria and yeasts—like candida, but it also lowers inflammation.

• Garlic—Garlic contains the powerful substance, allicin, which is an antifungal. It has been shown to be active against candida yeasts in animal and test tube studies.

• Coconut oil—Coconut oil contains a substance called lauric acid which is toxic to candida cells.

• Turmeric and Curcumin—curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric can kill or reduce candida growth as well as reduce any accompanying inflammation that may occur with a yeast infection.

• Aloe vera—Aloe vera gel is effective for use against oral thrush, inhibiting the growth of candida and soothing sore inflamed oral tissue as well.

• Pomegranate—Plant compounds in pomegranate peel are beneficial against candida yeasts as well but care must exercised as most pomegranate juice you purchase in the store may have added sugars or other fruit juices, helping to encourage candida growth.

• Kombucha tea—Rich in tea antioxidants, acetic acid and a plethora of beneficial bacteria, kombucha makes an excellent drink to encourage growth of helpful bacteria, as well as working to kill off candida.

• Apple Cider Vinegar— ACV works as both an antibacterial and antifungal agent. A very recent study found that undiluted ACV can prevent the growth of candida. It appears this opportunistic fungus does not get along well with ACV, but more research is necessary to determine if it is because it makes the body less receptive to candida or that it actually kills the candida.

Unfortunately, dietary changes may not always do the trick, in which case conventional antifungal medications often seem to be the only other choice. However, there are several natural antifungal treatments that work well against candida—without the harmful side effects.

Some of the most effective natural treatments include grapefruit seed extract, oregano oil capsules and clove oil. One of my favorite supplements that not only kills off candida, but also other harmful parasites is a product called Intestibal, which contains oregano oil, clove, ginger, wormwood and evening primrose oils.

It’s important to keep in mind, when combating candida, there can be a candida ‘die-off’ reaction as the candida cells break open and release a toxin which can sometimes make you feel worse for a short time.

Sticking to a low carb diet of unprocessed foods, avoiding grains, gluten and dairy and steering far away from any foods containing sugar will go a long way to helping you avoid annoying candida overgrowth. Always check with your doctor before starting any supplements to be sure they do not interfere with any other medications or health conditions.   

Fake Meat vs Real Meat

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By: Cat Ebeling, BSN, co-author of the best-sellers:  The Fat Burning KitchenThe Top 101 Foods that Fight Aging & The Diabetes Fix

Fake meat sales are soaring, thanks to a couple of new product offerings out there that look and supposedly taste like real meat. Are they better for the planet? Are they better for our health?

Once upon a time there was only Tofurky and Gardenburgers to eat instead of meat. Now ‘fake meat’ is the new trendy food at restaurants that even include TGI Fridays and White Castle.

Fake meat sales have grown because of the growing interest in lessening the environmental impact of climate change, due in part, say the ardent vegans, by the concentrated animal factory operations (CAFO’s) that plague the countryside of the United States and other industrialized countries.

With big celebrities like Leonard di Caprio promoting companies that make fake meat like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger, droves of people are now purchasing these meat alternatives in hopes of improving both their own health and the planet’s health. And, besides plant-derived meat alternatives, veggie burgers are now facing competition from the real thing—sort of—lab-grown meat. Yes, ‘real’ meat that does not come from an animal. Grown in a lab instead.

But really, are these ‘meats’ good for you—or the planet?

Remember tofu? Every vegan’s favorite meat-substitute. While generally tasteless on its own, tofu absorbed flavors and seasoning to adapt to most any recipe. (Soy products have been shown to not be healthy for you).

Attempts to make meat substitutes have been around forever, but growing increase in demand has increased the products that are now available. Fast forward to today, when plant-based meat is far more sophisticated—looking more and tasting more like the real thing.

Companies like Beyond Meat and Impossible Burger have utilized new research to make their products even more meat-like. Other meatless ‘meat’ companies include Gardein, Tofurky (yes, it’s still around), Fieldroast, Lightlife, Morningstar, Trader Joe’s, and Target’s own brand, Simply Balanced.

Beyond Meat worked with scientists at the University of Missouri to develop pea proteins and other plant-based proteins, along with things like beet juice to create that ‘bloody’ look like a real juicy burger.

Impossible Foods was actually founded by a biologist who has attempted to copy the juice that a real burger contains. Impossible Foods does this by using a type of plant-based ‘blood’ from soy, which has drawn some criticism. More on that later.

Aside from these plant-based meats that are emerging, a new technology has been brewing in a lab. Lab-grown meats are a complex scientific technology to re-create real meat, in a lab. Lab meat is actually grown from cell tissues harvested from real meat. However, growing a group of cells in a laboratory is far different that raising an animal with meat, so the lab meat products are still a work in progress.

One clean meat startup created a single cultured meatball at a cost of around $18,000 a pound. It’s unlikely it will make it to your grocery store shelves for a while yet, although the cost of production is rapidly decreasing as more and more “clean meat” companies appear. A couple companies in the race now predict they may have ‘real’ affordable lab meat by 2020.

So what exactly are we eating when we eat these meat substitutes?

When I eat grass-fed/grass-finished burger raised on an organic farm, I know exactly what I am getting. But eating plant-based manufactured ‘meat’ is a whole different story, and these foods don’t seem exactly like health foods either.

While I cannot list every single ingredient in all the plant-based substitute meats, the (new improved) ingredients of one of the most popular meat-substitutes include: water, soy protein concentrate, coconut oil, sunflower oil, natural flavors, potato protein, methylcellulose, yeast extract, cultured dextrose, food starch modified, soy leghemoglobin, salt, soy protein isolate, vitamins and minerals. How ‘natural’ is that?

Soy has been controversial for our health for a number of years. Why? Well for one, if it is not organic, it has been doused with glyphosate just days before harvest, and no doubt you are getting a load of that toxic substance as soon as you bite into that meatless burger.

Soy also contains goitrogens which block thyroid function, phytates which prevent mineral absorption, and phytoestrogens which can cause natural estrogen to go awry in the body.

Now let’s address the other controversial ingredient in fake meat—leghemoglobulin, which also comes from soy. This is the stuff they put in the Impossible Burger to look and taste like blood.

The key ingredient, designed to look like real blood, actually does not meet the basic FDA, Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS) status. This soy ‘heme’ is a bio-engineered protein additive that adds the meat-like taste and color. This GMO product is something that we as humans have never eaten before. Impossible Foods recognizes that SLH has never been widespread in the human diet in a natural or genetically engineered form.

According to this article in Huffpost (Aug, 2017) and several other news articles, Impossible Foods admitted that up to a quarter of the ‘heme’ ingredient in the burgers was also composed of 46 “unexpected” animal proteins, some of which have been identified and none that have been assessed for safety as of yet.

Impossible Foods put this genetically engineered product on the market even though the company has admitted to the FDA that it had not conducted safety tests. Despite the FDA’s warnings, Impossible Foods went ahead and started selling the Impossible Burger in 2016.

Uhh, please pass the REAL grass-fed beef burger…

What about some of the other meat substitutes? While they may not have the controversial GMO soy ingredient in them, most of them are highly processed foods, with lots of filler ingredients like wheat protein (gluten), starches and fillers, pea protein, isolated soy protein, natural and artificial flavors (no one knows WHAT these are), salt, sugars, and MSG. Honestly, those are not healthy ingredients, they are processed food ingredients, and many of those have their own health risks.

While Beyond Meat and Impossible Foods meats have similar amounts of protein, they are full of other UN-natural ingredients. I honestly don’t understand the thought process of wanting to eat a processed fake meat instead of real meat from a grass-fed cow or pasture-raised chicken.

Granted, I understand some of the reasoning to avoid the conventionally-raised, drug-filled, cruelly treated, polluting, CAFO meat from cattle or poultry. And to some extent, eating fake meat gets around some of the methane, CO2 emissions, and toxic runoff issues that surround CAFO meat.

However, synthetic biology has its own issues. What about this new lab-grown meat, otherwise known as “clean meat”. This is ‘Frankenburger’ for sure!

Lab-grown meat comes from stem cells from an animal’s muscle tissue, combined with a serum (usually from the fetuses of dead cows). After the cells are fed sugar and salts, they begin to grow into actual muscle fibers. Sometimes fat tissue is added to the meat to make it seem more ‘real’.

Yes, this so-called ‘clean meat’ is possibly better for the environment and uses less land and water, and the lab-grown meat producers say it will help to provide a solution to the need for meat for a growing population. Little is known about lab-grown meat at this point however; it thus far is extremely expensive to produce.

And what about nutrition? Certainly, meat grown in a petri dish cannot offer the natural health benefits that grass-fed meat does.

While large-scale industrial meat production takes its toll on our health, and the health of the earth, sustainable alternative do exist. Cattle that graze on land that is unusable for crops actually improve the soil quality of the earth by fertilizing it as they graze.

Compare that to all the industrial processing and packaging that goes into a fake meat like Impossible Burger. Mono-cropped grains, pesticides and fertilizers that destroy the natural, living soil, and fossil fuels that are used for large-scale farming and processing, along with factories to produce it, trucks and trains to transport it, and packaging of cardboard, ink and plastic.

If you can get away from CAFO meats, you will find that grass-fed, pastured-raised meats and poultry offer you far more NATURAL nutrition in a one-ingredient product. Naturally-raised meats contain far more healthy omega 3 fats, cancer-fighting conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), real bioavailable heme iron, vitamin A, and health-promoting antioxidants than grain-fed, unhealthy CAFO meat and poultry.

While some think the primary goal of avoiding meat is to stop the suffering of animals, compare a diet of grass-fed meat, dairy and pasture-raised chickens that eat a natural diet based on naturally-growing grass from un-tilled, naturally fertilized soil, that allows other animals to thrive as well.

Animals like gophers, snakes, toads, mice, rabbits, birds, insects, worms, grubs, and fish still live on this land that is alive. Cattle and chickens graze on the grass, leaving behind manure that goes back into the soil and nourishes it.

Compare this to mono-cropped fields, cleared of all natural plants, grasses, weeds, trees and animals, covered in artificial fertilizers, herbicides with genetically modified grains and watered with irrigated soil from a depleted river. Is this natural? Is this humane?

There is much that goes into this equation, and livestock get much of the blame, as do meat-eaters. Eating high-tech, manufactured, processed fake meat will not save us, our health, or the planet.

Here is a great quote from Dana Perls in an article published the The Medium, criticizing food tech:

“Instead of investing in risky new food technologies that are potential problems masquerading as solutions, shouldn’t we be investing in proven, beneficial, regenerative agriculture and transparent, organic food that consumers are actually demanding?”

A big part of the issue here is that we, as a whole, seem to have a total disconnect from nature. We humans are part of nature, and learning to eat NATURALLY, in a more sustainable way, is the answer. Not technologically-created food.

Amount of Running and Association With Risk of All-Cause, Cardiovascular, and Cancer Mortality

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TAKE-HOME MESSAGE

  • A review and meta-analysis of 14 studies found a reduction in all-cause, cardiovascular, and cancer mortality in patients who run or jog (HR, 0.73; HR, 0.7; and HR, 0.77). This relationship did not change with higher or lower amounts of running.
  • Running is good. Exercise is good. Participating in some form of exercise that increases the heart rate provides benefit. 
– Andrea Dotson, MD

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