Archive for Vegetarian

Food helps all cancers and diseases

salad

This tasty apple and turkey salad with sunflower seeds was purchased at Sweet Tomatoes in Phoenix, Arizona and can be useful in fighting cancer and other diseases (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

A previous article was written about how food helps cure Leiomyosarcoma.  All the treatments discussed in that article can also be applied to other cancers.  Food has always been a source of curing many diseases like digestive disorders and the flu.  Foods used to help cure all different kinds of cancer have been a very hot topic.  David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD created a website that chronicles his fight with a brain tumor and the diet change and foods he consumed to cure his cancer.  CureZone.com is another website dedicated to finding alternatives to medication and they have a specific page called “Foods That Heal.”  In 1921, Dr. Wiley wrote, “…that food would be the future, not drugs.” Eating to Prevent or Cure Disease is an article written about how foods can be used to cure certain digestive diseases.

citrus

Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, which helps the immune system fight diseases and cancer (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Dr. Peter D’Adamo is thinking progressively by creating diets that center around a person’s blood type.  It says on the website, “Blood Type O thrives on a lean, high protein diet.  Blood Type A thrives on a primarily vegetarian diet.  Blood Type B thrives on a mixed diet of meat, fish and dairy.  Blood Type AB thrives on a modified vegetarian diet.”  Having a diet centered on what is good for the body will help a patient with any disease.  Nutritionists, doctors, and naturopathic doctors can help people cure whatever disease they have, but the average person can start with a healthier diet on their own.

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The Green Goddess Nursery is the place for outdoor living spaces

egg supplies

The Green Goddess Nursery sells plenty of supplies for the Big Green Egg in North Phoenix, AZ (Photo By: Christina Thompson 2012).

One of the great places to shop for desert and greenhouse plants is The Green Goddess Nursery located in North Phoenix, Arizona.  Its location is on Bell Road between 40th Street and Tatum Boulevard.  They are open seven days a week, Monday-Friday 7am-5pm and 8am-5pm, Saturdays and Sundays.  This is a strictly local business, which provides great customer service and helps customers design the best outdoor living space for their homes.  They also provide customers with the option to follow them on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook.  They also have a company blog and they offer coupons to their patrons and new comers on their website.  One product they offer to outdoor cooking and kitchen enthusiasts is the Big Green Egg, an oven, a smoker, and a grill all in one.  “Grilling Prickly Pear cactus is one preparation for it,” says Green Goddess Nursery Manager, Aaron Grimm.

mini egg

This Mini Green Egg is available for purchase at The Green Goddess Nursery and great for small spaces in Phoenix (Photo By: Christina Thompson 2012).

This place has something for everyone in the North Phoenix and Scottsdale location.  Shop and buy local, as always.

 

cacti

These Prickly Pear cactus are available, along with many other cacti at The Green Goddess Nursery in North Phoenix, AZ (Photo By: Christina Thompson 2012).

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Survey and movie about Leiomyosarcoma being helped by food

spices

Fancy That on Facebook provided this great picture showing five great cancer fighting spices to help you cook healthier to fight your cancer (Photo Courtesy of Nutrition Solution Lifestyle 2012).

The movie introduced my thesis topic to the world with pictures and a narrative.  It also got me involved with communities on Facebook about this topic.  The Leiomyosarcoma Awareness page on Facebook is one that I am currently involved in and have been asked, “What kind of diet can I follow to help me?”  This is a great question that will be addressed through interviews with a Nutritionist and a Naturopathic Doctor.

 

food fight

These are the results for, “Which foods do you think will help fight cancer?” This clearly shows that people think that a change in diet involving these foods will help them fight, cure and prevent LMS and other cancers (Photo Courtesy of Survey Monkey 2012).

Dr. Oz offers an article on his site written by Dr. William Li about what you should buy to help prevent and cure cancer at the grocery store every week.  His list offers items such as leafy greens, specialty cooking oils, and fish.  Once again, The Cancer Cure Foundation offers a more extensive list that I took a lot of information from for my survey.  A poll was also created on Facebook and people who took it, said out of having to have chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and just changing their diet to cure/prevent cancer, they would change their diet.  This is really important information too.  All these ideas will be discussed with an Oncologist, who may give me the answer that the first three options I listed, maybe the only true way to fight cancer.  It is great that I make sure to get all sides of this story.

 

LMS ?

81.3% of people surveyed did not know about LMS before I presented a topic on it. It is one of the rarest cancers out there, so it is not surprising that many of you did not know about it (Photo Courtesy of SurveyMonkey 2012).

Many people have not heard of Leiomyosarcoma (LMS) before I brought it up.  I am like most of you, I did not know about it until my mother was diagnosed with it 10 years ago and had to have surgery to remove it.  She like most people with LMS only have the surgery option.  She has it again for the second time and is looking for a better alternative like changing her diet.  The most common forms of cancer that people know about are breast, ovarian, liver, lung, skin, testicular, prostate, colon, and leukemia.  There are plenty of others that people know about, but these are always in the news.

Friend/fam cancer

14 out of 16 people have had cancer themselves or know someone with cancer (Photo Courtesy of SurveyMonkey 2012).

My goal is to show that LMS, which is a rare cancer, can be treated by a simple change in diet.  This information could be applied to other cancers, both rare and widely known.  Most everyone either has cancer themselves or knows someone coping with it.  I want to be the journalistic voice that provides answers to all of you.

rare cancer

93.8% of you want to know if cancer, especially rare cancers can be cured by a change in diet (Photo Courtesy of SurveyMonkey 2012).

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Leiomyosarcoma and food to help with cancer are new concepts to a lot of people

 

Leiomyosarcoma was first diagnosed in 1994 according to a Case Study done by the University of Ontario.  Many people are not familiar with this disease as it is very rare that people even have it.  This cancer only accounts for 5%-10% of all soft tissue sarcomasThe Cancer Cure Foundation has provided a list of foods that people can eat to both, prevent or cure cancer.  Below is a survey that I would like people to take to help me understand the need for this article and what people actually know about this cancer and food to help prevent or cure cancer.  This research is important because it will provide a gauge to help me with future articles and other articles on the topic.  Leiomyosarcoma awareness is important, especially for females because it can be found in the uterus.  Prevention and cure of any cancer is important, but the severity of this cancer and the only option is to currently remove it.  Hopefully my research will help show that food can help cure and prevent this cancer.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey, the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

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Local Arizona honey sold at Farmers Markets

Mesquite Honey

Absolutely Delightful Mesquite Honey available at the Roadrunner Park Farmers Market on Saturdays (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Desert Wild Flower Honey

Absolutely Delightful Desert Wild Flower Honey available at the Roadrunner Park Farmers Market on Saturdays (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

The desert southwest is certainly the last place some people would think of as a place that produces honey.  The National Honey Board says, “The color and flavor of honey differ depending on the bees’ nectar source (the blossoms).  In fact, there are more than 300 unique kinds of honey in the United States, originating from such diverse floral sources as Clover, Eucalyptus and Orange Blossoms.  In general, lighter colored honeys are mild in flavor, while darker honeys are usually more robust in flavor.”  There are some distinct pollen sources in Arizona.  One company called Absolutely Delightful Honey offers, “Uniquely delicious, natural flavors to include orange blossom, alfalfa, mesquite, desert wild flower, Flagstaff wild flower, catsclaw and camelthorn. From time to time we get small batches of rare honeys like prickly pear or staghorn (cholla) cactus honey.”  They are found at four Phoenix-area farmers markets throughout the week.  The Benefits of Honey website says, “Honey is a great natural source of carbohydrates which provide strength and energy to our bodies. Honey is known for its effectiveness in instantly boosting the performance, endurance and reduce muscle fatigue of athletes.” One way to incorporate this energy booster into a diet is to use it as a substitute for sugar.  It could be added to teas to make them sweeter and to pastries for a great unique flavor.

Clover Honey

Clover Honey available at any health food store like Sprouts or Whole Foods Market (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Alfalfa Blossom Honey

Alfalfa Blossom Honey available at any health food store like Sprouts or Whole Foods Market (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

Honey is a great product for everyone to eat.  Just make sure if someone is allergic to bees, not to include the honeycomb in their honey.  The desert southwest has honey distinctive to the area, but so does honey that is produced in other parts of the country and around the world.  It is like people can go on adventures just by tasting honey.

Absolutely Delightful Logo

Absolutely Delightful Local Arizona Honey available at four Phoenix-area farmers markets over the week (Photo by Christina Thompson 2012).

 

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Pets need natural, organic food as much as humans

Primal Dog Treats

“These are Primal Dog Treats available at Pet Planets in Arizona and Canada” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

People are starting to have better diets consisting of holistic, natural, organic foods and it is improving their health.  Why shouldn’t pets have the same opportunity?  Plenty of pet food companies have risen to this new movement in pet food.  Horizon Pet Nutrition out of Canada has four sub-companies and believes, “…in having locally sourced ingredients, being environmentally sustainable, and being a globally trusted company.”  Another company out of Canada, Champion Pet Foods, also has two sub-companies (Acana and Orijen), and they believe, “Quality is never outsourced and to nourish as nature intended.”  A US company called Petropics makes wet food diets for cats and dogs called, “Tiki Cat and Tiki Dog.”  There is a page on the company’s website that describes the illnesses that the food helps to alleviate including, “…diabetes, obesity, cancer, urinary tract infections…”

Neve cat

“This is Peggy Thompson’s cat, Neve (Italian for snow) at her home in Cincinnati, Ohio” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

The illnesses listed above seem to be the top four biggest maladies that have accompanied the poor diets being brought on by poor quality pet food.  “My daughter and I have three cats,” said cat owner, Peggy Thompson.  “We used to have four, but our poor little Neve died suddenly last month due to cancer and poor nutrition from commercial pet food for many years.  Our veterinarian recommended we put the other three on a natural, organic diet so we can keep them healthy.”

Tiki Dog Food

“This is all-natural Tiki Dog wet food available at Pet Planets in Arizona and Canada” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

Where do you find healthy pet food?

small mammal food

“This is some natural rabbit and guinea pig food that is available at Pet Planet stores in Arizona and Canada” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

In the Phoenix area and in Canada, there is a store called Pet Planet that is delivering a variety of natural, organic pet food products to people daily.   Kristin Jensen of Pet Planet said, “Although we mainly offer only natural, organic cat and dog food, we have natural food for pet birds, small mammals, and reptiles.”  Another place to find healthy pet food is Whole Foods Marketlocated across the US, Canada, and even the UK.

People seem to be caring about what their pets eat as much as what they eat.  The trend will hopefully continue for companion pets and extend to small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish.  People want their pets to be happy and healthy and now the right pet foods are being manufactured to accomplish that.

Arcana dog food

“These are just two of the flavors of Arcana dog food available at Pet Planet stores” (Photo by: Christina Thompson 2012).

 

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Meatless Mondays

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Food labeling is important for everyone’s health and well-being

Everyone knows about the labels on food and why it is the most important information that consumers can get about what they are eating.  Consumers are not the only ones reading product labels, so are the chefs preparing the food in restaurants.  Everyone is looking out for each other when it comes to food.

Why is it important for chefs to read the labels?

Food labeling has come under a lot of scrutiny.  It was even brought up in a court case against McDonalds.  A statement in the case read, “Thus Congress provided that essentially all packaged foods sold at retail shall be appropriately labeled and their contents described.”  A chef needs to know what is in their food because although it may not seem like, restaurants are food retailers and nutritional information is important.  Chef Margaret Thompson said, “I always ask about food allergies before I make my menus for private parties.  I want my customers to be happy with their food and know every piece of nutritional information that I can give them.  It is important for their safety and my reputation that proper food labeling is taken.”

There is a company called Monsanto that is producing Genetically Modified food crops and has therefore been put under condemnation because they do not want to label their products as such.  They were recently issued a court-ordered mandate to remove a genetically engineered sugar beet crop.  Not only is Monsanto being put under examination for their GM foods, but so is all food labeling.  The Center for Science in the Public Interest released a report addressing the problem with food labels.  “Problems with food labels can be broken down into three basic categories:  the Nutrition Facts Panel needs to be improved, ingredient labels need to be modernized, and Health-related claims need more stringent regulation.”  Chef Margaret said, “I know the labels on the food are not the best.  I research as much as I can to make an informed decision on the products I buy for customers.  I also petition the FDA and other government organizations to reform product labels to give all consumers the best possible information.”

So what do chefs serve, if labels are not correct?

“My restaurant (Lime Covington) serves only local organic products,” said Gina Puopolo, Executive Chef/Owner of the Covington, Kentucky restaurant.  “I don’t buy pre-packaged ingredients; I make them from scratch, so I know everything that goes into my food.” There are plenty of nutritional facts that chefs have to look at especially when it comes to food allergies.  One of the biggest allergies that chefs are dealing with now is wheat allergies, which has brought about the whole gluten-free movement. Chef Gina said, “I used to serve corn tortillas, but I changed to flour and our burritos can be made with lettuce for people with gluten allergies.”

Learning how to reading and understand food labels is important because after all, knowledge is power.  Everyone must do their part to change by being educated consumers and take the time to contact the proper agencies to bring about food label reform.  Chefs are only a small part of a bigger consumer picture.

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Fruit and veggie farming battle

Every produce consumer is a part of the debate about organic food because it is in every grocery store, mega mart, and produce stand.  It is up to consumer preference to what they purchase: organic fruits and vegetables or conventionally grown fruits and vegetables.

Organic vs. Conventionally Farmed

Dragonfruit

Conventionally farmed dragonfruit taken at a local grocery store (photo by Christina Thompson 2011).

Is it true that organically grown fruits and vegetables are better nutritionally?  A CNN Article gave people some insight on this issue.  It said, “A few small studies have shown that some organic foods contain higher nutrient levels than conventional ones. For example, a recent study showed that organic ketchup had 57 percent more of the antioxidant lycopene than regular ketchup.”

Lenons

Meyer Organic Lemons taken at The Fresh Market (a strictly whole-food) grocery store (photo by Christina Thompson 2011).

In an article posted by Grist about this debate they studied strawberry crops.  “The study design was both careful and comprehensive in scope. The strawberries were grown on 13 conventional and 13 organic fields, with organic/conventional field pairs located adjacently in order to control for soil type and weather patterns. The data was drawn from repeated harvests over a two-year period, and the strawberries were picked, transported, and stored under identical conditions to replicate retail practices. And just as farming is a complex business, scientists contributing to the study range from soil and food scientists to genetics experts and statistics specialists, who analyzed 31 soil properties, soil DNA, and the relative taste and nutritional quality of three strawberry varieties in California.  The results are pretty convincing: organic strawberries are healthier, tastier, and better for the soil than conventional strawberries.”

The bottom line

Peas

These organic peas were bought at a local farmers' market (photo by Christina Thompson 2010).

The Grist article also offers this, “Its findings only apply to strawberries — but they do point the way to the kind of research that can, and should, be done with other crops as well.”  The studied only offered that strawberry crops are better organically for us.  The CNN article has Charles Benbrook, a Ph.D. scientist with The Organic Center saying, “Read labels and look at each product in its own right. An organic potato chip may contain as many calories and saturated fat grams as a conventional chip. The price premiums associated with processed organic food are not as great as the premiums charged for organic whole foods.”  In the article too, they have Professor Alan McHughen, Ph.D. of botany and plant sciences at the University of California, Riverside with this understanding, “Focus on foods’ benefit to your immediate environment — i.e. your body — first.  A good diet means variety, balance, and moderation, regardless of the farming method that produced the food.”

Sea beans

These delicious sea beans were found at a local grocer, but not in the organic section (photo by Christina Thompson 2011).

There really is some difference to organic and conventional farming, but other things maybe added to the organic food to make it worse for you then conventionally farmed produce.  Like Benbrook says, “Read labels!!”

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National beef cattle loss increases Cincinnati beef prices

Recently, there have been many articles and news segments about the loss of beef cattle in the United States and an increase in the price of beef because of it.  There are pretty specific reasons why America lost beef cattle and it has affected citizens in Cincinnati, but some relief is available for consumers.

Why did U.S. lose beef cattle?

USA Today got America talking about the beef cattle loss.  Ranchers in Texas, Oklahoma and other states had a lack of grass and water to feed their cattle because of a drought. The crisis added to a long-term trend of ranchers thinning their herds because of the soaring price of corn, which is the primary food source of beef cattle.

With the loss of beef cattle, not only have beef prices increased, so have the prices of poultry, pork, and seafood.

How did it affect Cincinnati?

Locally, Meijer, Remke/Biggs, and Kroger have had to deal with the increase in beef prices as well. Don Troescher, meat manager of the Woodlawn, Ohio, Kroger store, said, “We have had lower retail sales because of this issue.  We have to mark down a lot of beef products, especially steaks.”  This seems to be the trend going on across America, not just in Cincinnati.  Kroger is trying to make the customers happy with affordable “meat upgrades, where we add seasoning to some of the cuts,” Troescher said.

Is there any kind of relief?

If “beef is what’s for dinner,” then Troescher suggests buying value packs, value cuts (English roast, sirloins, and Chuck), and ground beef are the best choices for the price.  Monetary relief will only come in the form of eating less beef.  While going completely vegetarian/vegan may be well above what most consumers are willing to do, there are some healthy alternatives.

MSN Money offers these helpful hints to cut back the buying of beef.

  • Try having “Meatless Mondays.”
  • Find inspiration from meat dishes from other countries, where meat intake is less.
  • Use meat as a flavor additive.
  • Decrease the size of meat portions. Go for a 6-ounce steak instead of a larger size.  Create healthier side dishes to fill up on.
  • Look for vegetarian recipes and find hearty ones that work.
  • Use half as much meat in recipes and use filler such as beans in chili to get more protein.
HBCSteer

Highland Beef Cattle Steer used for some of Cincinnati's beef intake (photo by Christina M. Thompson 2010).

Troescher, who has worked in the Meat Department at Kroger for 35 years, said, “I have never seen a trend like this before!  I expect the meat prices to keep rising in our country.”

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