July 18, 2017
It has been six weeks since checking in and I have no apologies. Considering the horrendous news that our country is slowly turning toward a tyrannous autocracy, there have been many letters to write, petitions to sign, emails to answer, and the important task of getting our own lives in order.
We have all heard the bad news ad infinitum, and many of us, by now, have probably found a nice sand hole in which to put our heads…which is very nearly what I’ve done Understanding what is happening and keeping one’s balance is a challenge, so I find myself rigorously building my own parallel universe where the inhabitants remind me every day that there is light at the end of this tunnel. Good people… plants …. soil, and a meditation on who we are….who I am…
And I am seeing that perhaps those that would like us to share the hole they are digging are, in the end, being bent by their own misanthropy and are forced to think about cooperation. After all, cooperation is how this current civilization manifested, in spite of the times we have tried so hard to prove otherwise. Co-operation got us up and running and it is the only thing that will allow us to thrive.
I won’t go on…this is supposed to be about food. But indirectly it is. Every political decision affects our quality of life and health. Food is a big word. It encompasses the compassion and support we give each other, and the answers to our questions about life as well as our material needs. So let’s talk about what feeds us well as evolving human beings in this present civilization. And do inhabit your parallel universe, but pay attention and let your voice be heard.
The Positive Things in Life
First, summer is really here.
Second, I can’t recommend gardening enough. When the world is too much, a pleasant ride in the hammock to clear my head before I walk to the meadow to admire the lush golden growth of thigh high grasses, and I fantasize a chair that will almost disappear in the waving seed heads, while the sun beats down on my thirsty body.
And this year my experiment with crop covers is paying off. I have three beds with peas, carrots, cabbages, lettuces, kale, chard, tomatoes, eggplant and basil. I began early and left the covers on until the plants were up and established. By the time the rain had stopped entirely I could judge whether it was going to be a cold night or a too hot day and adjust everything. A bit like dressing children for school. My ‘bush’ peas are three feet tall…cabbages heading, tomatoes blossoming out, lettuces happy to not bolt. And I am SO grateful, not just for the food, but for the respite from a crazy world.
I have been Jonesing for easily accessible fruit and now I have two columnar apple trees which are bearing, one fig, two Persian mulberries, blueberries, raspberries taking time off, and tea plants which I am slowly reclaiming from the gophers. The columnar apples are a bit tricky. They produce copious blossoms on a short stem, and then proceed to drop most of the little apples they have formed, until about four or five get enough headway to stay on the stem. ‘June drop’, apparently is typical. I’ve also experienced May and July drop. I think in the future I might try a dwarf fruit tree. I’ve heard that Asian Pears are a good bet for the Pacific NW. If you don’t like their taste, particularly, just peel them. It makes a big difference in their sweetness.
The Hidden Life of Life….
Speaking of communication with plants and Earth, I’ve just read a wonderful book given to me by a friend called The Hidden Life of Trees, by Peter Wohlleben. Wohlleben is a German forester who has studied his particular patch of responsibility for forty years. Europe, having decimated most of their forests, has had to rethink many ways of understanding and living with nature. This is an excellent book which is a convincing description of the interactions of living things. Of course, it is descriptive of trees and climate and related biological systems. But it is a great metaphor for the web that we live in and how everything we do affects that web. It’s a great read, and an important one if you know any foresters.
Another book, Martin Marten, by Brian Doyle. This will give wings to any broken heart or soul, bending under the weight of human folly and greed. Doyle, our famous Northwest writer, in residence in many of our souls, is also known for Mink River and The Plover. If you’ve read them, you’ll know what kind of magic and love of humanity to expect. But there is a bitter sweet twist to this, I believe, his final story. He has recently died at a very young age. His book seems to be a final paean to the strength of the human heart, and I found myself wanting a copy by my bedside, like the Gideon Bible. Except that Gideon is not as good at reminding me that life is good if you make it so, and that human beings at their best, love and cooperate with each other producing the magic in our lives that makes us want to go forward, whatever the circumstances.
Third, once again our little town is moving toward a larger , more permanent Farmer’s Market with more vendors. Our committee is, well yes, committed. And we have the blessings of the City and the aid and comfort of interested and interesting people, as well as the enthusiasm of our future farmers. So by 2018 we hope to have bridged the obstructions that we have met in the past. The people on this team are exceptional, and I believe we’re going to get there.
So Now To The News
Here’s some good news for women who are concerned about osteoporosis. You may have heard that drinking coffee in quantity leaches calcium from your bones. Now Vivian Goldstein, who has had a website addressing natural alternatives to AMA type solutions, tells us that drinking tea strengthens bones. I’m going to reprint her article here. She has a free newsletter which is rich in scientific detail about the dangers of taking osteoporosis drugs and the efficacy of a good PH balanced diet. She has been on the web for years and has helped a lot of women, from what I can see. But see for yourself: https://saveourbones.com/program/
Here is a copy of her newsletter article:
“Discovered in 2737 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen Nung, this 5,000-year-old beverage is steeped in history. As legend has it, the skilled ruler was boiling water as was customarily done to render it safe to drink. While boiling the water, a dead leaf fell into the pot. The emperor drank the beverage and thoroughly enjoyed it, and thus, tea was born.
You might be surprised to learn that tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water, and for good reason. In addition to its numerous health benefits, tea plants are rich in flavonoids that have been scientifically proven to strengthen bones.
Further confirming the important role tea plays in bone health, a recently published Australian study shows that drinking tea can reduce the risk of bone fractures by 30 to 40 percent.
So, grab a cup of tea, find a comfy seat, and click the link below to learn about how and why tea reduces the risk of fractures, the best teas for bone health, and much more:
Warmest regards, Vivian”
Here, in its entirety, is another example of her work:
By Vivian Goldschmidt, MA
Scientifically Proven: Cyanidin In These Fruits Inhibits Osteoclasts, Increases Osteoblasts And Much More!
Today you’ll discover that some of the most powerful bone builders are natural substances found in healthful foods. Discovering and learning which nutrients are most effective at building and renewing bone, and then enjoying the foods that contain them, delivers targeted nutrition that is the basis for the Save Our Bones Program’s drug-free approach.
This post is about such a key nutrient. It’s a powerful, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant polyphenol called cyanidin, and research reveals that it has the remarkable ability to inhibit the differentiation of osteoclasts (the cells that tear down bone) while increasing the differentiation of osteoblasts (bone-building cells), and much more.
I’d like to begin by taking a closer look at cyanidin itself, and the scientific studies about this powerful nutrient.
Cyanidin is a water-soluble pigment that belongs to a class of antioxidants known as anthocyanins. Interestingly, cyanidin’s color varies depending on the acid content of its environment. For example, in a very acidic solution, cyanidin appears red. In more alkaline solutions, it appears blue.
Not surprisingly, the highest concentrations of cyanidin are found in the skins and peels of certain colorful fruits, where it’s joined with sugar molecules to form cyanidin 3-O-beta-Glucoside. We’ll take a look at those fruits soon, because first, I’d like to review…
Why Antioxidants Are Vital For Building Bone
Polyphenols are completely overlooked by the Medical Establishment, yet without them, your bones can’t rejuvenate. Referred to as “undercover bone-builders” in the Save Our Bones Program, antioxidants like cyanidin protect your bones from the very real damage caused by free radicals (aka reactive oxygen species).
Oxidation is a process not unlike rust, with normal cellular metabolism resulting in the damage of approximately one to two percent of cells. These cells have an unpaired electron, making them free radicals that steal an electron from other cells, rendering them damaged as well.
Antioxidants stop this chain reaction and free up the bones to undergo the remodeling process, which is the key to reversing osteoporosis. Supported by current research, antioxidants cannot be overlooked in the fight against osteoporosis.
When considered alongside additional research, it’s evident that cyanidin’s ability to protect bone mineral density is due in large part to cyanidin’s role in cellular differentiation, which we’re going to take a look at more closely in the following study.
Cyanidin And Bone Remodeling: How It Regulates The Process On A Cellular Level
The body manufacturers osteoclasts (to remove old bone) and osteoblasts (to build new bone) from cells called haematopoietic progenitor cells, or stem cells. Various factors are involved in determining what type of cell the stem cells develop into. For osteoblasts and osteoclasts, factors called macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF) and RANK Ligand (RANKL) “decide” what each cell will become by activating various intracellular signaling pathways.
By activating these pathways, M-CSF and RANKL regulate the expression of osteoclast- and osteoblast-specific genes. Cyanidin plays a key role in this process, as a brand-new study reveals.
Researchers investigated the role of cyanidin “in the differentiation of bone-association cells and its underlying mechanism.”1 They found that in various applications, cyanidin (C3G) reduced and/or inhibited the differentiation and activation of osteoclasts. In addition, an activator effect was observed with regard to osteoblast differentiation. Considering the body of research, scientists concluded that,
“…these results strongly suggest that C3G has a dual role in bone metabolism, as an effective inhibitor of osteoclast differentiation but also as an activator of osteoblast differentiation. Therefore, C3G may be used as a potent preventive or therapeutic agent for bone-related diseases, such as osteoporosis…” 1
The mechanism by which cyanidin does this is by inhibiting a “receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL)-mediated osteoclast differentiation and formation…and downregulated the expression of osteoclast differentiation marker genes.”1 In other words, cyanidin plays a role in the natural regulation of osteoclasts in the process of bone remodeling, inhibiting a key RANKL receptor at the appropriate time.
The body has to regulate osteoclast activity, or else too much bone would be shed. Amazingly, cyanidin is part of that natural process. But when the pharmaceutical industry produces synthetic drugs that artificially manipulate osteoclast activity – drugs like the popular bisphosphonate alternative, Prolia – then the trouble starts (more on this later.)
Foods Rich In Cyanidin
Here are the foods with the highest concentrations of cyanidin, many of which are Foundation Foods on the Save Our Bones Program.
Raw black olives
A colorful fruit salad would be a fantastic way to enjoy these cyanidin-rich foods, or as a delicious topping for plain yogurt. And while it’s not a fruit, dark chocolate is a good source of cyanidin; try grating it over fruit or yogurt and discover a delicious way to add to the antioxidant content of the dish.
If you’re following the Program, then you’re familiar with various scrumptious ways to pack antioxidants into your diet, because antioxidants are absolutely crucial for rejuvenating bones.
Prolia: A Dangerous RANKL Manipulator
The Medical Establishment touts Prolia as a “safer” alternative to bisphosphonates. But Prolia is far from safe. It works by mimicking a cytokine called osteoprotegerin, which binds to RANKL and prevents its interaction with RANK receptors on the surface of osteoblast cells. Essentially, it renders osteoclasts inactive.
There, of course, is the problem. For healthy bone remodeling, osteoclasts must be active. The body naturally regulates their activity in the presence of good nutrition, as shown earlier.
That’s not the only problem with Prolia. Its list of side effects is disturbing, including osteonecrosis of the jaw, serious infections of the ears, bladder, or lower abdomen, and an unsettling warning from the manufacturer: it is “unknown” whether the long-term use of Prolia causes slow healing of broken bones or “unusual fractures.”
The Save Our Bones Program Takes A 100% Drug-Free Approach
Instead of relying on the artificial manipulation of prescription drugs, the Save Our Bones Program makes use of targeted nutrition, among other things, as this post illustrates. It simply means that diet and easy lifestyle changes are all it takes to enjoy youthful, strong bones without risking debilitating side effects.
Stop Worrying About Your Bone Loss
1Park, K.H., et al. “Dual Role of Cyanidin-3-glucoside on the Differentiatio of Bone Cells.” Journal of Dental Research. September 8, 2015. Pii: 0022034515604620. Web. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26350961
So that’s “all she wrote” for now. I hope to keep better tabs on the world of food, and the parallel universe in which evolution takes a turn for the better. And I am happy to receive your news and suggestions to share with others.~admin
Back From a Long Vacation
Real Food Coop News morphed into Real Food News when our co-op, regrettably, closed. Good intentions pave the road to…well you know where…as the saying goes. And it was my intention to continue this blog. Without the vitality of the co-op behind me, my time was taken up with other issues, and mea culpa, I dropped the ball. Things have taken another turn toward the vital, as we all know. And here I am, not wanting to report the bad news, but willing to take on the state of our food economy as I’m finding it, for the sake of getting out the facts …those pesky things. I will share anything that encourages us to find the beauty, comfort and importance of gardening and farming. We are part of nature and this is a wonderful way to renew that connection on a daily basis…. But I will post those other, more prickly, items that make us aware of our limitations and our successes as gardeners and farmers.
For my own part, whether anyone believes in climate change, or not, I find my life increasingly affected by patterns of change which made identifiable gardening difficult last summer. The permutations of spring, summer and fall had me confused. And winter! Would the rain never stop!
I said to a friend a few years ago that in this now present future, we would need green houses to grow food successfully, even in our temperate climate. He disagreed…climate change was going to warm things up. But apparently, climate change doesn’t just mean a warming climate. It also means changes in the jet stream which make our weather patterns unpredictable. So this spring I have been building mini green houses over my garden beds to keep the cold nights and the long rainy days off my plants. We get an occasional day of sun and longer daylight hours to make us think we are headed for summer. But ‘impermanence’ once again raises our awareness, and many of us no longer count on a regular planting season.
So this is going to be a different world, I think. And knowing whether we can get the foods we count on in season will be important for us. Creating Farmer’s Markets to support local farms is important. Raising your own food, on whatever small or large scale, beats back the health issues inherent in eating processed food. Knowing how to save your seeds instead of using sterile GMO seed. Knowing who caches seeds which are being taken out of circulation by corporate monopolies….. We can fortify our food needs by paying attention to these issues and supporting each others effort.
I hope you’ll bear with me again and perhaps find some information relevant to your lives, in these continuing pages. And I hope you will share your good news and good ideas with me. Good gardening!