In this Issue:

"All-Natural" vs. Organic Food Labels;
What's the Difference?

You'll usually pay a premium price for foods with these labels;
make sure you get the quality you're paying for.

Time to Check your Vitamin D Levels
This is the time of year that your vitamin D blood levels are
at their lowest. How do you know what yours are?

Take a Stand Against GM Agriculture
Latest evidence of the harm that GM agriculture is doing
to your food and the environment.

"All-Natural" vs. Organic Food Labels
What's the Difference?

You'll usually pay a premium price for these;
make sure you get the quality you're paying for.

More and more, you'll see food products in your store promoted as containing "all-natural" ingredients. About 15 percent of new food and drink products in the USA are being marketed with this type of labeling. Often, these products come with a premium price tag, giving you the impression that you're getting a higher-quality and more nutritious product.

The other most common label used to distinguish premium-quality food products is the "USDA Organic" seal. Surveys indicate that the majority of the food-buying public thinks that "organic" and "natural" are synonymous. Many other consumers believe that "all-natural" is just as good, or even better, than "organic." If you want the highest quality food for your money, you'll want to know how to interpret the labels so you can choose the best foods without getting ripped off.

My article this month will address all your questions and give you the information you need to make wise buying decisions:

  • What does the "all-natural" label really mean?
  • Is it worth paying more to buy natural or organic?
  • What important information do nutritional labels leave out?
  • What difference does it make when something is labeled organic?
  • How can you avoid pesticides and GM (genetically-modified) ingredients?
  • Which brand names can I trust to have honest ingredients, and which only pretend to be wholesome and natural?

What Can You Do
to Ensure the Quality of Your Food?

If we had adequate oversight and enforcement of laws that regulate the handling and production of our food supply, we might have a reason to trust that our food is safe and wholesome. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The FDA and the USDA aren't doing their jobs; they're more interested in protecting the profits of their corporate friends than they are in protecting your health. They're notoriously lax when it comes to regulating corporate factory farms and food production facilities, allowing companies to create substandard food, and then market it as healthier. It falls on independent whistleblowers to keep our food supply and environment safe from predatory forces that are systematically harming them.

The Cornucopia Institute is one such organization. They have published a comprehensive, 48-page report on common practices in the packaged cereal market, with loads of graphs and charts to illustrate the deceptive practices of the food industry in regards to "natural" labels.

You can find out which name brands you can trust, and which are only fronts for big corporations that don't have any investment in providing you with truly healthy food. The report also reveals how prices compare between conventional, natural and organic varieties.

To read the full article and download a copy of the Cornucopia Institute's 48-page report on the natural foods industry, go to Natural vs. Organic.

You'll find some of my other favorite activist organizations in the right hand column of any page on my website. Please support them in any way you can; make a donation or use their website to send petitions to elected officials and other decision makers. They've created the form letters for you; all you have to do is provide your contact information and send them off; it literally takes a minute or less. The future of our food supply is at stake.

Your Vitamin D Levels Plummet in Winter

Vitamin D has been shown in many recent studies to be one of the most important nutrients we need. Sun exposure has always been our primary source of vitamin D; it's produced by your skin from exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight. However, throughout most of the world (including virtually all of the USA) it's impossible to get any vitamin D between October through April, due to the fact that the sun's rays are too weak. This may be the primary cause for the increase of flu in the winter, since vitamin D plays a critical role in the strength of your immune system.

"We estimate that vitamin D deficiency is
the most common medical condition in the world."

Dr. Michael F. Holick,
Vitamin D expert

How do you know if you're vitamin D deficient? The only sure way is to get a Vitamin D Blood Test. This may be covered by your insurance, but often is not done as part of a basic physical.

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Alternatively, you test your vitamin D levels right at home by joining the GrassrootsHealth D*Action Study. When you join D*action, you agree to test your vitamin D levels twice a year during a five-year program, and share your health status to demonstrate the public health impact of vitamin D. There is a $60 fee (considerable below what most labs would charge) every 6 months, which includes the test kits and reports on your progress.

You will get an email every six months reminding you that it's time for your next test and survey. To join now, please follow this link:

GrassrootsHealth D*Action Study

Negative Reports on Vitamin D in the News.

You may have noticed a series of stories in the mainstream media regarding recent Vitamin D studies that dismissed any significant benefits of vitamin D supplementation. Here is a sampling of some headlines that appeared:

Benefits of Vitamin D May Be Overblown
Are You Taking Too Much Vitamin D?
Are the Benefits of Vitamin D Overhyped?

The truth is that virtually all of the nutritional studies you hear about in the mainstream media are deeply flawed. Seldom is there enough information given for you to determine whether there's any validity to the conclusions.

There are two fundamental flaws almost all of these nutritional studies have. Almost always, these studies isolate one or two distinct nutrients and measure their effect on a given condition. The supplements used are inevitably made from artificial sources, not natural ones, although they usually don't tell you this. Natural and synthetic versions of most nutrients are not the same thing. In some cases they may be "chemically" identical, but even then, they are almost always structurally different. They are not interchangeable. The only value in testing synthetic nutrients is to prove that they don't work as well as their natural counterparts.

In addition, an isolated nutrient will usually not work well without the presence of another key component. In nature, natural substances do not exist in isolation. Pharmaceutical drugs are designed in a laboratory to work by themselves, but testing a natural substance in isolation excludes all of the benefits of interrelatedness with other nutrients, hormones, enzymes, etc. that make those substances work. These types of studies provide an inaccurate picture, and should be ignored.

Read more about vitamin D:

Causes of Vitamin D Deficiency

Symptoms of Vitamin D Deficiency

Health Benefits of Vitamin D

It's Time to Take a Stand
Against GM Agriculture

It's becoming more and more apparent that Monsanto's reckless experiment with genetically-modified agriculture is causing unacceptable health hazards. New studies have revealed extensive contamination of drinking water with the herbicide glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup), which is used in conjunction with GM crops.

The list of health effects caused by exposure to glyphosate is truly frightening. If those weren't bad enough, the overuse of Roundup has led to the spread of superweeds and superbugs that have developed a resistance to it. Left unchecked, GM agriculture is a real threat to the world's food supply.

Did you know that over 70% of the
processed foods on your grocery shelves
already contain GM ingredients?

Let's make 2012 the year that we tell Monsanto NO to GMOs. It's really easy! With the help of the Organic Consumers Association, you can voice your objections to your congressman and others in Washington in no more than a minute (even faster for future petitions if you choose to have your contact information saved).

Click on the link to go to the OCA website and
Tell the EPA to Ban Glyphosate!

See also my page on Are Genetically-Modified Foods Safe?

Roundup Weedkiller: Monsanto's New 'Agent Orange'?

10 Reasons to Avoid GMOs

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That's all for this issue!
I hope you enjoyed reading my newsletter,
and found the information useful.
Have a great month!

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