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October 2005 after the first frost and summer grasses had turned brown.  The growth of winter grasses was delayed by the drought.

Columns

This is the Home Page for our quick-read nutritional health column. If you have a local newspaper that might want to carry it, let us know or pass the link onto them. Also, don't be shy about sharing our columns with friends.

Staying Rational

Column #240

We’re all at risk and it’s not just the virus. There’s no question that this pandemic fiasco has turned our domestic world upside down. That’s in spite of the fact that, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “The United States was ranked the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019.” The assessment involved a list of 195 countries.

Over all the 324-page report didn’t paint an encouraging picture of global readiness. It concluded that “National health security is fundamentally weak around the world,” and that “No country is fully prepared for epidemics or pandemics, and every country has important gaps to address.”1

So here we are with a COVID-19 pandemic that is having ramifications that reach far beyond just making people sick. As it progressed “gaps” were exposed everywhere. As for who is at greatest risk from the disease, the March 24, 2020, Bloomberg article titled: “99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says” spells out what we’ve known from the getgo. Most deaths are associated with older people who are saddled with one or more chronic diseases. That underscores what we must personally do to protect ourselves. Obviously chronic conditions endanger longevity in more ways than we can imagine. What’s good to know is that chronic conditions are highly associated with unhealthy diets—which we can control.2

Overkill

Column #239

Even before President Trump said we were at war against an invisible enemy, I had started this column with: “Our country is on a war footing just like many other countries all around the globe. What makes this so difficult is that there’s more than one front in this war."

The first battle is with a highly contagious virus. It could potentially kill up to 7% of those infected even though 93% of the known cases are being classified as mild. The second war involves job loses and business closings which have many financial analysts and economists concerned. The third war is internal. Will Americans close ranks?

A Perfect Storm

Column #238

When you’re in for a rough ride, the cowboys will tell ya, “Pull your hat down.”

If the politicians, government health officials, and newscasters haven’t scared the bejesus out of you yet, then you’re tone deaf. It seems that some of them are hellbent on shutting down the entire economy—the private sector economy that is. It’s as if they don’t realize the importance of people working and what that means to their survival. I sometimes wonder, have some players literally created a panic that may be far more costly than the virus?

Many more people are certain to come down with COVID-19 in the next few weeks. As we all know, people over 65 with chronic conditions have to be especially vigilant. It’s far less dangerous for most younger people. On the other hand COVID-19 is deadly for anyone with serious chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, lung disease (including asthma), liver disease, and other autoimmune issues all of which can be addressed with diet. (Of course, that’s why you’re reading this column.) It’s especially dangerous to smokers. When elders catch the virus about 15% of them will die. I believe the death rate is much higher for folks over 80 with chronic conditions.

Online Shopping & Virus Risks

Column #237

The abundance of scary news about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus has really panicked a lot of people into taking cautionary steps toward lowering their risk of infection. In spite of all the precautions, more than likely COVID-19 will continue to spread for awhile with every single case being reported. But since it’s getting late in the virus season, COVID-19 may not end up being as bad as the flu bug that hits our country every year as winter sets in. According to a February 21, 2020, “U.S. News & World Report” article, the domestic 2019-2020 influenza season had infected 26 million people (out of a population of 327 million) with flu symptoms, roughly 250,000 were hospitalized, and 14,000 died.1 2

Currently COVID-19 infections and deaths in the USA are way lower than what’s normal for the flu virus. We hope it stays that way and the approaching warmer weather works to everyone’s advantage. But for now we must remain very vigilant which means taking care of ourselves as explained in my column titled “Coronavirus Immunity.” In it I explain how to improve personal immunity. It’s of paramount importance for not only resisting COVID-19 but for reducing the risk of nearly all chronic diseases and even the flu.3

42% Vote to Ban Beef!

Column #236

If you want to retain your right to make your own decisions about what you eat, it’s time you became somewhat of an activist. In spite of science there are ideologues out there who think they know what’s best for you and the planet. Alarmingly, some of their ideas are very destructive. In spite of that they are making inroads with the masses like you can’t imagine and, if the trend continues with the activists turning the world upside down, the health of mankind will be far worse off in the future than it is now.

The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582, is the sixth oldest university in the English-speaking world and one of Scotland's ancient universities. It has five main campuses in the city of Edinburgh, with many of the buildings in the historic Old Town belonging to the university. Long ago it earned a reputation for being the chief intellectual center during the Age of Enlightenment which helped give Edinburgh the nickname of the Athens of the North. Now it’s ranked 20th in the world by the 2020 QS World University Rankings. Consequently, I assume the students have above average intellects . . . or do they?

Coronavirus Immunity

Column #235

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus is a highly contagious and deadly virus for which there is no known cure and no vaccine. Coronaviruses make up a large family of viruses that are common in many different species of animals, including camels, cattle, cats, and bats. Rarely do animal coronaviruses infect people and then spread between people. But COVID-19 does.

What makes this virus so dangerous is that when people are infected only their personal immunity stands between them and death. This is why our personal immunity is so critically important and knowing how to keep it in tiptop shape should be on everyone’s bucket list. But first, some background.1

Social-Media Micro Influencers

Column #234

Do your health food information sources provide sound, fundamentally researched information or are they simply advertising messengers? There are four basic media types: print, broadcast, outdoor, and Internet. In many cases it’s really easy to pick out their advertisements. But in an appalling number of cases presentations are advertisements pretending to be news, announcements, or heartfelt advice. Often these deceptive advertisements aren’t truthful. Sure, they use motivating keywords and half truths but messages like that can be very misleading.

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of marketing/advertising messages bombarding us daily. As an example I’ll briefly mention politics because, just like health food, it’s a contentious topic of interest.

You’ve Been Lied to: Methane & Cows

Column #233

The story about cows causing global warming by belching methane gas is just one of the lies being told by the activists that pound the don't-eat-meat drum. The list of detractors also includes the plant-based “imitation meat” companies. To me, other than their message being a slower death, their malicious and ignorant messages are just like Jim Jones telling his followers to “drink the cool aid.”

Carbon is a natural element on Earth and elsewhere in the universe. Earth’s carbon load has been the same since the Earth formed. Over time, the carbon atoms relocated and recombined over and over again. This constant shifting resulted in major changes to the Earth’s atmosphere, biosphere, and surface.

The Earth started as a ball of hot gases, then, after the Earth cooled, a solid crust developed as well as a primitive atmosphere. More carbon dioxide (CO2) was released to the atmosphere through volcanic eruptions. Then biological activities began developing, evolving, and expanding. As biological production exploded over the last billion years, much of the atmospheric CO2 was absorbed by plants and animals and buried in ocean sediments.1

Omega-3 EFAs & Being GREEN

Column #232

It was 222 years ago when Thomas Robert Malthus published his economic theories that scared the pants off everyone. What he famously predicted, which was based on his sound logic, was that the improving living standards of that era would inevitably be reversed as the geometric growth of the world’s population would be restricted by arithmetically growing food production. In other words the world’s human population was going to outgrow its food production and end up poverty stricken.1 2

The elders in our society are quite used to the demagoguery regarding the end of life as we know it. In the 1950s it was the certainty of nuclear war with Russia. In the 1970s there were predictions that oil would soon be priceless because the world’s petroleum reserves were rapidly being depleted. It was said that America would never again be able to produce enough fossil fuel to satisfy its own needs. The same end-of-oil argument surfaced again in 2000. Ironically, both times many geologists were saying there’s a lot more oil yet to be discovered. Today, there’s an oil glut!3

Also in the 1970s, because the world’s temperature had flatlined for 40 years, many mainstream media outlets were publicizing fears of global cooling. That really worried people because fossil fuel was a rapidly disappearing resource and colder temperatures would reduce food production. Yes, the media had people worried sick about global cooling while at the same time the majority of climatologists were actually predicting a continuation of the global warming trend that dated back to 1880. By 2019 the world’s average temperature was about 1.7°F higher than in the 1970s.4 5

Organ Meats = Abundant Nutrients

Column #231

For the most part Americans do not care for naturally strong-flavored food. What they prefer is naturally sweet food or naturally bland food they can doctor up to their liking. They are literally hooked on flavorings (spices, herbs, salt, sweeteners) and crunch. Therefore they’re often turned off when tasting naturally strong-flavored foods (for instance grass-fed or Omega-3 meats, seafood, kale, collards, and such) which taste testers say are gamy, grassy, fishy flavored.1 2

What people don’t understand is that bland foods are not only light on nutrients but often their nutrients aren’t properly balanced for optimal human body function. Of course the vast majority of Americans don’t really care about that. They just assume that a balanced diet of bland food (smothered with flavorings) will eventually provide all the nutrients their bodies require. Unfortunately, as documented by our country’s epidemic of chronic diseases, that so-called “balanced diet” approach doesn’t work.