Truth in labeling?

This label on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese from the U.K. was brought to my attention by Wheat Belly Facebook follower Jennifer.

While the warning about effects on “activity and attention in children” was meant to warn parents about the potential effects of yellow food coloring, the label nonetheless rings so painfully true.

While we know that food colorings have been associated with impaired attention and learning, as well as heightened impulsiveness, in susceptible children, we also know that wheat consumption triggers similar phenomena in adults.

It’s all about the gliadin protein in wheat, degraded in the gastrointestinal tract to small polypeptides, small enough to penetrate into the brain and affect behavior. Gliadin-derived polypeptides can distort “activity and attention in children,” but also cause mania in bipolar illness, paranoia and hallucinations in paranoid schizophrenics, food obsessions in people prone to binge eating disorder and bulimia, and appetite stimulation and mind “fog” in people without these susceptibilities.

If food companies were indeed required to provide a label revealing such effects on their foods, foods that are the product of extreme and sometimes bizarre methods to introduce novel genetic changes, well, they might have to add: Consume this food at your own risk.

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  1. Somewhat related to this….I attended a “gluten-free” support group/club in my community yesterday. The facilitator had us divide into groups of 3 to 4 to 5 according to our “diagnosis” or time of exclusion of gluten. We were to give our stories then speak of concerns and/or successes since eating differently. Two of us had read the W.B. book from which we’d decided to change. Two had celiac, with one person who reacts violently when exposed.
    Twice, maybe more, the other W.B. lady and I told these women “you HAVE to get the book and read it!!!!!” They were saying how they thought they were eating properly BUT were still affected. I mentioned how gluten is in EVERYTHING (or nearly so) today. That processed foods, even the supposed G.F items were NOT their friend. I wish we could have told this to the whole room. That said, the facilitator wants whomever wants to to send her “their story” via e-mail and she will post them on the club’s website. Teaching—one person at a time!!!!

    • My grandson was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in May. He refused to eat gluten free after he felt better. All some he pretty much ate what he wanted , but kept losing weight. First week of school he had a horrible attack. Now is is reading labels and eating controlled portions, but he is 6/4 and weighs 135 with a 28 inch waist. He also is pretty much a vegetarian, only meat he will eat is chicken. He hate vegetables even when I disguise them. He will drink protein shakes if they are chocolate and do not have chunks. I am at a lost as what to make this 16 year old who is starving. He will eat things breaded in the gluten free flour. I make him muffins and pancakes, but I am running out of ideas. Help.

      • Susan Fox

        Hi Susan, This was a dilemma for me too when I first quit eating wheat. Eventually I figured it out thanks to Dr. Davis. I use his Wheat Belly Cookbook (and give it to friends and family as a gift) for many of my recipes. The pizza dough recipe is great. I add more mozzarella to mine and use fresh chopped garlic (and no onion powder). It’s so good I make the crust just for snacks and add grated reggiano parmesan on top before I bake it. It’s scrumptious! (Don’t use a pre-grated cheese except Kirkland brand grated reggiano if you don’t grate your own because many pre-grated cheeses have a gluten coating.)
        The biscuit recipe is great too and I also add more cheese to it. And there are many other great recipes in the book.
        If he likes veggies put them in his scrambled eggs. I saute them for a few minutes in either olive or coconut oil. And just veggies alone sauteed in coconut oil are delicious! has gluten free almond meal/flour and many other gluten-free foods.
        I hope this little bit helps. You’ll gradually figure it out if you keep reading about it and trying Dr. Davis’ recipes. I know I eat all I want and never go hungry. It’s different now though since I don’t have cravings like I did with wheat and sugar. I feel great and hope your son and your family does too.

  2. Tyrannocaster

    I note the inclusion on “Made from genetically modified wheat” – you’d NEVER see labeling like that in the USA. I thought actual GMO wheat was a fairytale (well, except for that *supposedly* rogue patch found in Oregon) ; wheat has already been so modified via so called “conventional” means, perhaps this is their tacit admission of just how far they’ve mucked it about.

    • > I note the inclusion on “Made from genetically modified wheat” –
      > you’d NEVER see labeling like that in the USA.
      > I thought actual GMO wheat was a fairytale …

      It all depends on whether you’re using the dictionary definition of GM or Monsanto’s. The dictionary would cover the recklessly random gene insertion that was done for wheat since 1960. The grain industry, however, wants to hijack the dictionary, and restrict GMO to mean “explicit gene insertion”, which is not in any intentionally marketed wheat yet.

  3. Deena

    That is actually an American product, not a British/EU manufactured product.
    Such ‘food’ – I use the term loosely :) has only very recently started to be imported to us here in the UK.
    US military bases will have had American food products on sale for many years, but in general in UK food shops we aren’t used to seeing such products that have been imported from the USA. We don’t have GM farming here (yet) hence the strict labelling the EU insists on for imported foods. Well, what I mean is we don’t grow any GM crops – yet- but as you can see, GM products are now being imported to us. And GM soy is being used to feed our farm livestock. I imagine GM grains will be next and it will be hard for us to find grass fed meat in the future.

  4. Neicee

    I remember some time back where my husband picked up the wrong veggie on his way home. Instead of fresh he picked up a BirdsEye package of frozen peas with a butter sauce. Needless to say, it was anything but real butter. The list is long on the labeling and makes you swear to never eat anything from the freezer section of the grocery store, just in case. I was appalled because it’s scary.

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      I remember when one of the large frozen food companies came out with the “butter sauce” on their veggies. My parents never bought it because these contained many mystery ingredients even then, but at least most of these ingredients were recognizable. We prepared our veggies with our own spices. Fast forward 30-50 years and the frozen foods have expanded in quantity and variety. Very convenient. Very expensive. Very unhealthy. Now, most ingredients are unrecognizable chemicals which also promote stable storage and enhance presentation. When Sara Lee developed their frozen baked goods, these tasted like real cakes and they were made with basic ingredients. Now, as part of a huge conglomerate. they are made with nearly all chemicals and taste that way. More profitable for the company, not healthy for us to eat.

      This entire scenario frightens me too because our children and grandchildren are being groomed to develop all the illness at an earlier and earlier age that are placing the economic strain on our medical services and insurance. Heart conditions, Alzheimer’s, diabetes are no longer old peoples ailments. Crippling, life threatening allergies in grade school. How can sickly, malnourished people compete on a global scale?

      • Laura B.

        Frozen foods don’t have to have the sauce or added ingredients. It’s a matter of reading labels. If a frozen vegetable, for example is ONLY the vegetable, then it’s not likely to be bad, unless it’s one prone to be “modified’. I rarely ever buy frozen produce, mainly because fresh is available and our food budget at home does NOT include purchasing meat (we eat “vegetarian-style”). Personally, I wonder how long it will be before people realize that MEATS just might contain elements of those GMO grains, particularly corn–which is WIDELY recognized as a standard GMO crop.

        In the discussion on this page, the main focus seems to be the problem of wheat and health issues associated with it. I have problems with corn–which is in EVERYTHING. I almost never see anyone bashing CORN, but look how it’s grown! I live in the middle of the “corn belt” (one of the midwestern, agricultural states), and I know that the extreme pesticide use and the intense marketing of GMO corn and soy crops to farmers is widespread. CORN-derived food and food by-products appear in EVERYTHING, and probably even more ubiquitously than wheat-based food products.

        CORN is every bit as much of a menace to human health and well-being as wheat and wheat-gluten are. It’s just that the “sensitivity” to corn has yet to hit the public’s awareness. I hope it does soon!

        • Unterderlaterne

          Unterderlaterne says:

          September 21, 2013 at 2:26 am

          Sorry about the long *introduction* LOL, I did not have the link to the business week article, so I had to cut and paste, I have-no idea how I managed to get it so wrong! WE NEED A N *EDIT* BUTTON!

      • Neicee

        Barbara in New Jersey, I remember back in the early sixties when my mother was finally convinced to use corn oil. Then margarine, and converted over to using all sorts of new ‘healthy’ products. The food was not as tasty as before but she stuck to her beliefs that the evidence was so strong she kept using them. Oh, and more flour products and less meat too. More canned vegetables during the winter as well. It wasn’t long before I had some issues with cereals and the obligatory toast at breakfast. My dad suddenly had to deal with a bleeding ulcer. My aunt in SF started to show signs of arthritis. They all left this world way too soon as their health had plummeted by the eighties. Now, I see all of my cousins and their children struggling with weight and intestinal diseases. When my daughter was working for an orthodontist in the early nineties they ran a study of their young patients. More than half of them were on Ritalin. I can’t imagine now how bad it is for the children now trying to cope with misguided parents, many of whom are vegetarians but don’t follow a strict diet to ensure adequate nourishment.

        • Barbara in New Jersey

          Right on Neicee!

          It is hard enough to watch our parents and their peer get sick and then wither away because of bad nutritional advice. To see this in the younger generations is horrifying.

          I can only hope that the bubble of bad nutrition and contaminated, non nourishing foods will soon burst. Hopefully this will happen before this country is bankrupted by social and health services programs. What a high price to pay for pizza, candy, cookies and chips.

  5. Susan Luk

    We have been on the Wheat Belly now for about 1 month… love it, no cravings OMG! I am not loosing as fast as my husband but I think that is usual… since we are both in the weight loss phase… some of the recipes I have looked at (not your cookbook) call for “whey protein powder” but when I look at the ingredients, they either have some form of wheat or sucrose or both… can you help me out here… it is very expensive and I only need 1/4 cup, don’t mind buying it but I am being very careful to not hinder the weight loss. Thanks.

  6. Unterderlaterne

    This is lengthy but interesting and scary!


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    Fri, Sep 20, 2013 at 9:05 PM

    Fri, 9:05 PM

    Message starred

    honey scam

    FROM f schlatter TO You

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    Fromf schlatter


    Interesting article from Business Week

    The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History

    By Susan Berfield Business Week September 19, 2013

    The Honey Launderers: Uncovering the Largest Food Fraud in U.S. History

    Magnus von Buddenbrock and Stefanie Giesselbach arrived in Chicago in 2006 full of hope. He was 30, she was 28, and they had both won their first overseas assignments at ALW Food Group, a family-owned food-trading company based in Hamburg. Von Buddenbrock had joined ALW—the initials stand for its founder, Alfred L. Wolff—four years earlier after earning a degree in marketing and international business, and he was expert in the buying and selling of gum arabic, a key ingredient in candy and soft drinks. Giesselbach had started at ALW as a 19-year-old apprentice. She worked hard, learned quickly, spoke five languages, and within three years had become the company’s first female product manager. Her specialty was honey. When the two colleagues began their new jobs in a small fourth-floor office a few blocks from Millennium Park in downtown Chicago, ALW’s business was growing, and all they saw was opportunity.

    On March 24, 2008, von Buddenbrock came to the office around 8:30 a.m., as usual. He was expecting a quiet day: It was a holiday in Germany, and his bosses there had the day off. Giesselbach was on holiday, too; she had returned to Germany to visit her family and boyfriend. Sometime around 10 a.m., von Buddenbrock heard a commotion in the reception area and went to have a look. A half-dozen armed federal agents, all wearing bulletproof vests, had stormed in. “They made a good show, coming in with full force,” he recalls. “It was pretty scary.”

    The agents asked if anybody was hiding anywhere, then separated von Buddenbrock and his assistant, the only two employees there. Agents brought von Buddenbrock into a conference room, where they questioned him about ALW’s honey business. After a couple of hours they left, taking with them stacks of paper files, copies of computer hard drives, and samples of honey.

    STORY: The Great Canadian Maple Syrup Heist

    Giesselbach returned from Germany three days later. Her flight was about to land at O’Hare when the crew announced that everyone would have to show their passports at the gate. As Giesselbach walked off the plane, federal agents pulled her aside. She, too, answered their questions about ALW’s honey shipments. After an hour, they let her leave. The agents, from the U.S. Department of Commerce and the Department of Homeland Security, had begun to uncover a plot by ALW to import millions of pounds of cheap honey from China by disguising its origins.

    Americans consume more honey than anyone else in the world, nearly 400 million pounds every year. About half of that is used by food companies in cereals, bread, cookies, and all sorts of other processed food. Some 60 percent of the honey is imported from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, and other trading partners. Almost none comes from China. After U.S. beekeepers accused Chinese companies of selling their honey at artificially low prices, the government imposed import duties in 2001 that as much as tripled the price of Chinese honey. Since then, little enters from China legally.

    Von Buddenbrock and Giesselbach continued to cooperate with the investigators, according to court documents. In September 2010, though, the junior executives were formally accused of helping ALW perpetuate a sprawling $80 million food fraud, the largest in U.S. history. Andrew Boutros, assistant U.S. attorney in Chicago, had put together the case: Eight other ALW executives, including Alexander Wolff, the chief executive officer, and a Chinese honey broker, were indicted on charges alleging a global conspiracy to illegally import Chinese honey going back to 2002. Most of the accused executives live in Germany and, for now, remain beyond the reach of the U.S. justice system. They are on Interpol’s list of wanted people. U.S. lawyers for ALW declined to comment.

    In the spring of 2006, as Giesselbach, who declined requests for an interview, was preparing for her job in Chicago, she started receiving e-mail updates about various shipments of honey moving through ports around the world. According to court documents, one on May 3 was titled “Loesungmoeglichkeiten,” or “Solution possibilities.” During a rare inspection, U.S. customs agents had become suspicious about six shipping containers of honey headed for ALW’s customers. The honey came from China but had been labeled Korean White Honey.

    BLOG: To Revive Honey Bees, Europe Proposes a Pesticide Ban

    The broker, a small-time businessman from Taiwan named Michael Fan, had already received advice from ALW about how to get Chinese honey into the U.S. ALW executives had told him to ship his honey in black drums since the Chinese usually used green ones. And they had reminded him that the “taste should be better than regular mainland material.” Chinese honey was often harvested early and dried by machine rather than bees. This allowed the bees to produce more honey, but the honey often had an odor and taste similar to sauerkraut. Fan was told to mix sugar and syrup into the honey in Taiwan to dull the pungent flavor.

    After Fan’s honey shipment was confiscated, an ALW executive wrote to Giesselbach and her colleagues: “I request that all recipients not to write e-mail about this topic. Please OVER THE TELEPHONE and in German! Thank you!”

    Nonetheless, Giesselbach and executives in Hamburg, Hong Kong, and Beijing continued to use e-mail for sensitive discussions about the mislabeled honey. When Yan Yong Xiang, an established honey broker from China they called the “famous Mr. Non Stop Smoker,” was due to visit Chicago, Giesselbach received an e-mail. “Topic: we do not say he is shipping the fake stuff. But we can tell him that he should be careful on this topic + antibiotics.” E-mails mention falsifying reports from a German lab, creating fake documents for U.S. customs agents, finding new ways to pass Chinese honey through other countries, and setting up a Chinese company that would be eligible to apply for lower tariffs. Giesselbach comes across as accommodating, unquestioning, and adept.

    STORY: Hawaii’s Massive Molasses Spill Could End a Sweet Export Trade

    ALW relied on a network of brokers from China and Taiwan, who shipped honey from China to India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Russia, South Korea, Mongolia, Thailand, Taiwan, and the Philippines. The 50-gallon drums would be relabeled in these countries and sent on to the U.S. Often the honey was filtered to remove the pollen, which could help identify its origin. Some of the honey was adulterated with rice sugar, molasses, or fructose syrup.

    In a few cases the honey was contaminated with the residue of antibiotics banned in the U.S. In late 2006 an ALW customer rejected part of Order 995, three container loads of “Polish Light Amber,” valued at $85,000. Testing revealed one container was contaminated with chloramphenicol, an antibiotic the U.S. bans from food. Chinese beekeepers use chloramphenicol to prevent Foulbrood disease, which is widespread and destructive. A deal was made to sell the contaminated honey at a big discount to another customer in Texas, a processor that sold honey to food companies. According to court documents, ALW executives called Honey Holding the “garbage can” for the company’s willingness to buy what others would not. Giesselbach followed up with Honey Holding, noting “quality as discussed.” The contaminated container was delivered on Dec. 14, 2006.

    Von Buddenbrock’s introduction to the honey-laundering scheme came months after he’d settled into Chicago. In the spring of 2007 he was getting ready to take over the U.S. operation from a university friend, Thomas Marten. They talked about the business every other week for a couple of hours over dinner. One night at an Italian restaurant near their office, Marten told von Buddenbrock about ALW’s mislabeling Chinese honey to avoid the high tariffs. “The conversation started normally,” says von Buddenbrock. “Then he started talking about honey. I always took notes in all our meetings, and I tried to take notes then. He told me I shouldn’t. I was surprised and a bit shocked about what I was hearing. We were talking about something criminal, and some people imagine meeting undercover, in a shady garage.” They were out in the open, eating pasta. Marten could not be reached for comment.

    STORY: Miami Heist: The Brink’s Money Plane Job’s Messy Aftermath

    Von Buddenbrock took over from Marten in August 2007. The raid on the ALW office on North Wabash Avenue occurred seven months later, after U.S. honey producers had warned Commerce and Homeland Security that companies might be smuggling in cheap Chinese honey. Low prices made them suspicious. So did the large amount of honey suddenly coming from Indonesia, Malaysia, and India—more, in total, than those countries historically produced.

    Although the illicit honey never posed a public health threat, the ease with which the German company maneuvered suggests how vulnerable the food supply chain is to potential danger. “People don’t know what they’re eating,” says Karen Everstine, a research associate at the National Center for Food Protection and Defense. The honey business is only one example of an uncontrolled market. “We don’t know how it works, and we have to know how it works if we want to be able to identify hazards.”

    After they were questioned in March 2008, von Buddenbrock and Giesselbach continued to work for ALW. “We didn’t know what direction this was going to go,” says von Buddenbrock. “I was considering leaving, but I thought this might actually be a good opportunity for me.” If ALW got out of the honey business, he could focus on selling the products he knew more about. The ALW executives in Hamburg, he notes, kept in touch by e-mail but for obvious reasons no longer traveled to the U.S. Giesselbach, meanwhile, arranged to return to ALW’s Hamburg office; it’s not clear if she was being sent home by the company. Her flight to Germany was on Friday, May 23.

    STORY: For People Who Wished They Liked Scotch, Dewar’s Adds Honey

    Von Buddenbrock drove her to O’Hare, hugged her goodbye beside the curb, and got back in his car. It was late afternoon, the beginning of Memorial Day weekend, and he called his assistant to see if he needed to return to the office. While he was on the phone, an unmarked Chevy Impala drove up behind him. Officials shouted for him to pull over, arrested him, and drove him to a downtown Chicago courthouse where Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, federal prosecutors, and his lawyer were waiting. About 20 minutes later, Giesselbach was brought in. She had been arrested before she checked in for her flight. “We were not allowed to talk, but I could see on her face that she was shocked,” says von Buddenbrock. “We were both in complete disbelief.”

    Von Buddenbrock had also booked a flight to Germany for the following week; he planned to attend a friend’s wedding and return to Chicago. “I think that made the agents nervous,” he says. “At that point they didn’t know the complexity of the scheme. They probably thought No. 1 and No. 2 are leaving the country.”

    He and Giesselbach were charged with conspiring to import honey from China that was mislabeled and adulterated. They were taken next door to the Metropolitan Correctional Center, where they turned over their belongings, put on orange jumpsuits, and waited. “I was tense and nervous,” says von Buddenbrock. “But I managed to get along. I speak Spanish. I like soccer.” He played Monopoly with someone’s contraband dice. He got to know Joey Lombardo, the mafia boss. “He gave me a recommendation for an Italian restaurant.”

    Back in Hamburg, Wolff told local newspaper Abendblatt: “The accusations against us are unfounded, and we will fight them with every legal means.”

    On Monday, June 2, agents seized thousands more files from ALW’s office. Later that month, Giesselbach and von Buddenbrock were released after posting bond and continued to cooperate. “At first we didn’t have any clue how big it was,” says Gary Hartwig, the ICE special agent in Chicago in charge of the investigation.

    “They were extremely sophisticated and intelligent in some ways, but so sloppy in other ways. What do they think—no one can translate German?”

    ALW soon closed its U.S. operations and cut off contact with Giesselbach and von Buddenbrock. “ALW had such a nice scheme that functioned so well for a while,” says T. Markus Funk, an internal investigations and white-collar defense partner at Perkins Coie who was a federal prosecutor in Chicago when the ALW investigation began. “They were extremely sophisticated and intelligent in some ways, but so sloppy in other ways. What do they think—no one can translate German?”

    In Germany, Giesselbach’s parents pleaded with ALW to help their daughter, but “the company cowardly abandoned their young employee without any help when she was in dire straits,” her father, Frank, says in an e-mail. One ICE agent called Giesselbach a marionette; the puppet master was Wolff. “I feel that Stefanie and Magnus got the rough end of the pineapple,” says Funk.

    Giesselbach and von Buddenbrock each pleaded guilty to one count of fraud in the spring of 2012. According to Giesselbach’s plea agreement, between November 2006, when she arrived in Chicago, and May 2008, when she was arrested, as much as 90 percent of all honey imported into the U.S. by ALW was “falsely declared as to its country of origin.”

    In February 2010, Wolff & Olsen, the century-old conglomerate that owned ALW, sold it to a Hamburg company called Norevo. According to an affidavit by one of the ICE agents, the sale was a sham; a former ALW executive assured customers in the U.S. by e-mail that after the sale was complete it would be “business as usual.” The transaction price was not disclosed. Norevo replied to a request for comment with a statement that had been posted on its website in March 2010. It concludes: “Within the frame of this acquisition, as legally required, the whole staff [of ALW] was taken over by Norevo, allowing for the business continuity of the company.”

    Giesselbach went to jail. For one year and one day, she was Prisoner 22604-424 at Hazelton, a federal penitentiary in Bruceton Mills, W. Va. In a sentencing memo, Giesselbach’s lawyer wrote of his client: “She was living her youthful dream of international travel and business; under those circumstances she ignored her good judgment and went along with her predecessor’s scheme knowing it was wrong.” Giesselbach was released on Sept. 8 and is being deported. Von Buddenbrock was put under home confinement in Chicago for six months. His last day in an ankle bracelet was Friday, March 8. On the Monday after that, he self-deported. “I was relieved and happy, but I wasn’t sure what’s going to come,” he says. He’s settling back into life in Germany. “At the beginning it was a bad, lone wolf, so to speak,” he says. “Later, digging deeper the government found it was more than just ALW. A lot of people were doing it. It was an open secret.”

    A second phase of the investigation began in 2011, when Homeland Security agents approached Honey Holding, ALW’s “garbage can,” and one of the biggest suppliers of honey to U.S. food companies. In “Project Honeygate,” as agents called it, Homeland Security had an agent work undercover for a full year as a director of procurement at Honey Holding.

    In February 2013, the Department of Justice accused Honey Holding, as well as a company called Groeb Farms and several honey brokers, of evading $180 million in tariffs. Five people pleaded guilty to fraud, including one executive at Honey Holding, who was given a six-month sentence. Honey Holding and Groeb Farms entered into deferred prosecution agreements, which require them to follow a strict code of conduct and to continue cooperating with the investigation.

    When it announced the deferred prosecution agreement, Groeb Farms, which is based in Onsted, Mich., said it dismissed two executives who created fake documents and lied to the board of directors even as the company’s own audits raised concerns that honey was being illegally imported. “Everything we are doing at Groeb Farms this year has been to ensure the integrity of our supply chain,” Rolf Richter, the company’s new CEO, said via e-mail. Groeb Farms paid a $2 million fine.

    In a statement on its website, Honey Holding says it accepted full responsibility and that in its settlement “there will be neither admission of guilt nor finding of guilt.” The company, now called Honey Solutions, is paying its $1 million fine in installments

    • Barbara in New Jersey


      Thanks for posting!

      The Chinese certainly are noted for their less than ethical ways of doing business. When it comes to purchasing food, I don’t buy anything imported from China because it is almost always inferior quality and raised or processed in the most unsanitary conditions. Just remember where all these new and deadly viruses surface.

      The more print these scandals get, the better off we are. While the bubble has not burst yet, more and more Americans are rejecting what our government tells us to eat and what our doctors prescribe for us to in order to maintain our “healthy whole grain” diet that is making us all sick.

  7. Unterderlaterne

    Sorry about the long *introduction* LOL, I did not have the link to the business week article, so I had to cut and paste, I have-no idea how I managed to get it so wrong! WE NEED A N *EDIT* BUTTON!

  8. Unterderlaterne

    We just had the GARLIC FESTIVAL in GILROY, roughly one hour from San Francisco , the largest producer of garlic in the USA! The produce manager at Safeway just told me that a good amount of the garlic that they sell comes from China! But nobody knows of course ! I find it outrageous!

    • > … a good amount of the garlic that they sell comes from China!

      Everyone needs to be careful about food from China.
      Anyone who doesn’t think so, has a very short memory:
      Part of that entry: “In a teleconference with reporters on 1 May [2007], officials from the FDA and U.S. Department of Agriculture said between 2.5 and 3 million people in the United States had consumed chickens that had consumed feed containing contaminated vegetable protein from China.”

      A significant percentage of Chinese suppliers will ship whatever they think they can get away with. We see it in my day job (ag machinery).

      Country of origin is crucial consumer information, and the food industry is fighting efforts to mandate such labeling even though it’s routine in hardgoods. It may not even happen after the first big human die-off from contaminated Chinese food. It’s up to us to demand this information at the store. Start a garden if you haven’t already.

      • Maggie

        I live in Hong Kong and people come across the border from the Chinese Mainland to buy food items here. Yep! Even the Chinese don’t want to eat Chinese food products if they can help it!

  9. Rich

    I am thinking of a different warning label.
    You have been hit by a bio-chemical weapon. If you experience symptoms, such as lack of concentration, disorientation and or nausea, seek immediate medical attention from a non-mainstrem practioner.

  10. Carol

    This is the first part of an article from yesterday’s NYTtimes. I thought it was very telling about how our minds work when we try to restrict calories. I think most of us who have given up on wheat and other grains don’t have the kind of problems described in the article. In other words, those cookies in the middle of the table would not distract us in any way, shape or form.

    The Mental Strain of Making Do With Less
    Published: September 21, 2013

    DIETS don’t just reduce weight, they can reduce mental capacity. In other words, dieting can make you dumber.

    Understanding why this is the case can illuminate a range of experiences, including something as far removed from voluntary calorie restriction as the ordeal of outright poverty.

    Imagine that you are attending a late-afternoon meeting. Someone brings in a plate of cookies and places them on the other side of the conference table. Ten minutes later you realize you’ve processed only half of what has been said.

    Why? Only half of your mind was in the meeting. The other half was with the cookies: “Should I have one? I worked out yesterday. I deserve it. No, I should be good.”

    That cookie threatened to strain your waistline. It succeeded in straining your mind.

    This can happen even with no cookie in sight. Dieters conjure their own cookies: psychologists find that dieters have spontaneous self-generated cravings at a much higher rate than nondieters. And these cravings are not the dieters’ only distraction. Diets force trade-offs: If you eat the cookie, should you skip the appetizer at dinner? But that restaurant looked so good!

    Many diets also require constant calculations to determine calorie counts. All this clogs up the brain. Psychologists measure the impact of this clogging on various tasks: logical and spatial reasoning, self-control, problem solving, and absorption and retention of new information. Together these tasks measure “bandwidth,” the resource that underlies all higher-order mental activity. Inevitably, dieters do worse than nondieters on all these tasks; they have less bandwidth.

    One particularly clever study went further. It tested how dieters and nondieters reacted to eating a chocolate bar. Even though the bar provided calories, eating it widened the bandwidth gap between dieters and nondieters. Nondieters ate and moved on, but dieters started wondering how to make up for the calories they had just ingested or, even more fundamentally, pondered, “Why did I eat the bar?”

    In other words, diets do not just strain bandwidth because they leave us hungry. They have psychological, not just physiological, effects.

    The basic insight extends well beyond the experience of calorie counting. Something similar happens whenever we make do with less, as when we feel that we have too little time, or too little money. Just as the cookie tugs at the dieter, a looming deadline preoccupies a busy person, and the prospect of a painful rent payment shatters the peace of the poor. Just as dieters constantly track food, the hyper-busy track each minute and the poor track each dollar.

  11. JillOz

    Dr Davis,

    re the recipe and health benefits challenge you posted on the FB page:
    Pan-fried/steamed lamb with onions, salt pepper, garlic, cooked in coconut oil and bit of cream cheese. Place sizzling lamb onto plate, add onions on the top.
    Add a dollop of avocado (+pepper, lemon juice, olive oil), artichokes and tomato (a little salt).
    Total yum!

    Benefits of wheat-free:
    No more vertigo in the car,
    greater ability to move,
    clearer brain,
    stronger mentally and emotionally
    Sinuses lessened
    When I need my medication it actually WORKS!
    (though still learning about that! :()
    more energy
    no feelings of heat flashes (used to have some, no more!!)

  12. Denise

    Dr. Davis,

    My husband I have been wheat free since 1/1/2013. Thank you for all the great information on the dangers of wheat. My husband has lost 30 pounds and now weighs 200 pounds and stands at 6’2″. He is almost 63 and very active. We walk 2 miles a day, bike 5 miles and usually swim a mile every other day when we can. The pool has been closed for the last month though. Yesterday while on vacation at “the Happiest Place on Earth”, Disneyland, spending six hours walking and going on rides, drinking lots of water and resting we decided it was time to leave. We went to get some dinner, Chicken. . During our meal my husband complained of a rapid pulse rate. We returned to our hotel and he still was complaining so I called the paramedics. They arrived took vitals of BP 156/96, pulse 160, blood sugar 78. They told me to take him to the hospital. While at the hospital they gave him two does of Adenosine and monitored him for awhile. Doctor said my husband has SVT and Hypokalemia. They discharged him from ER with a prescription for Metoprolol and gave him potassium, which was at 3.4 MMOL/L. I guess our question to you is as a cardiologist what are your thoughts? He also had a similar episode last March which also included being dehydrated. Recommended foods high in potassium are of course whole grain cereals and breads, fresh fruit. Yikes!!!

    P.S. my husband has been on Norvasc for several years and no other medication.

    Thanks for any input you can offer.

    • This may be a more suitable question for Dr. Davis’ other site, Track Your Plaque; see link at page bottom. Note: subscription site, and I’m not a member.

      > … been on Norvasc for several years and no other medication.

      Given the weight loss and healthy diet, what are the indications that this drug is still necessary? A quick look at Wiki says that palpitations are a common side effect of Amlodipine, and tachycardia is only a bit less common.

      > Recommended foods high in potassium are of course …

      Are you taking any supplements at all? Modern humans need to review their micronutrient status periodically. Certainly have a look at:

      • Denise


        He has been taking all the supplements and coconut oil as well. So, it sounds like the Norvasc could be causing the problem?! He’s been on it for decades. Even with the still elevated BP, perhaps he should gradually reduce his dose and get off of it? We are at the pharmacy now and “they” do not show the side effect you stated above. Any help or advice would be a appreciated. HT8a

        • Keeping in mind that I am not a doctor, and have therefore already told you more than I know …

          > He has been taking all the supplements …

          That’s pretty vague. I would expect, for example, for a naturopath or functional medicine doc to inquire specifically about B3 (Niacin) intake, which is often the try-this-first treatment for high BP.

          > So, it sounds like the Norvasc could be causing the
          > problem?! … We are at the pharmacy now and
          > “they” do not show the side effect you stated above.

          Both side effects are easily found in a web search for side effects of Norvasc or Amlodipine. The pharmacy clerk might need to read beyond the Pfizer promotional literature.

          It is estimated that only 5% of adverse reactions to drugs ever get reported.