The Good

The best news this week is that the annual Mystic Fest is Saturday and Sunday at the Ramada, 72nd & Grover. Free admission. Don’t miss it.

Exercise Beats Pills. Great news we can all celebrate, and somehow, everyone knows is true. This was no small research study reported by the British Medical Journal. It involved over 340,000 patients. From the findings, researchers concluded that moderate exercise of only 2.5 hours weekly was equal to medications for heart disease and outperformed prescription drugs used on stroke patients. The study was done in England where sadly, exercise is on the decline and prescriptions are on the increase. There was an average of 17.7 prescriptions for every man, woman and child in England (2010 figures). Even when exercise is better, cheaper and more effective, patients choose drugs with life-threatening side effects.

Chipotle Takes on Industrial Food — Again. Who doesn’t love a Chipotle burrito? I know people who, the first thing upon landing in a city on a business trip, look for the nearest Chipotle (Chris?). But not only is Chipotle an honorable supporter of local and wholesome ingredients providing amazingly tasty fast food but they also produce some great educational pieces that are both entertaining and informative. Their newest animated video, titled “The Scarecrow,” has nearly seven million YouTube views. Chipotle is real about real food.

Marijuana Stops Lung Cancer. A Harvard study found that the active ingredient in marijuana, Delta-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cuts tumor growth in common lung cancer in half and significantly reduces the ability of the cancer to spread. It’s another case of science noting the natural healing powers of the green pharmacy that grows around us.

The Bad

Bayer Resorts to “Bee-washing”. We’ve heard of “whitewashing” and “greenwashing” — trying to paint a pretty picture when one doesn’t exist. Covering up ill intentions with false good ones or making an ecologically unsound corporation appear to be “green.” Well, Bayer Crop Science and the other big pesticide producers are a main cause of our disappearing honeybees. They produce a pesticide that is so devastating to bees it has been banned by the European Union. Now, in an effort to look like the “good guys,” Bayer is spending a pittance in a PR move by building what they call the Bayer Bee Care Center. Their story is that they are working to find the cause of the dwindling bee population. Their scientists say the varroa mite is a likely suspect. Right. The mite is indeed deadly to bees but it has been around for centuries and has never affected bee populations to the current extent. But neonicotinoids, pesticides made by Bayer Crop Science and others, are new and have proven disastrous to bees. For Bayer to say they are looking into honeybee disappearance is like WW II Germany saying they’re fixing a plumbing malfunction at prison camp showers. C’mon guys.

The Ugly

Pink Slime oozes back into schools. Remember that brouhaha? Pink slime is the stuff from the last dregs of a cow carcass. Imagine jumbling up skulls, spines, skins, bones — you name it — the stuff that is left. Then imagine cooking it down into a bubbling blob of animal fat, bone and protein. Then mechanically spinning it so the protein part is separated out, coloring it pink, washing it with ammonia in a (sometimes successful) attempt to eliminate the horrible bacteria and pathogens and then calling it “lean finely textured beef.” A USDA microbiologist was the one who named it what he thought it looked like: pink slime, saying that it was not “meat” and was actually “salvage”. Up to 70 percent of the burgers in the U.S. were made with pink slime. When its origin and makeup hit the media a couple years ago, public disgust motivated school systems to cancel orders. Who wouldn’t? Well, the beef industry quietly kept making the stuff and while we weren’t looking, school systems began ordering pink slime again. It’s back in school lunches, store-bought hamburger and fast foods. Yuck.

$17 Mil in Big Food Payola Fights Food Freedom. Initiative 522 is a proposed law on the ballot November 5 in the state of Washington. It would require manufacturers to simply label whether a food contains genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Heck, we label calories, red #3, sugar, fat, salt and so on. Why not tell shoppers they are buying a bacteria gene inserted into their corn chips? No big deal, right? Well, it’s a big deal to the chemical companies that patent GMOs and the food giants that use their processed ingredients because people may not want fish genes in their tomatoes. The Big Five (Monsanto, Syngenta, DuPont, Dow and Bayer) are among the usual suspect donors fighting transparency. The Grocery Manufacturers Association leads with $7.2 million on behalf of its members like Pepsi, General Mills, Coca-Cola, Kraft, Starbucks and… Microsoft? Bill Gates is an unapologetic supporter of Monsanto and GMOs, proof that being rich does not equal being intelligent.

Be well.

Heartland Healing is a New Age polemic describing alternatives to conventional methods of healing the body, mind and planet. It is provided as information and entertainment, certainly not medical advice. It is not an endorsement of any particular therapy, either by the writer or The Reader. Visit for more information.

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