Time again to get caught up on news that affects us all.

Headline: Russia Bans American Meat Because of Additive. It’s a good bet you’re eating ractopamine with your pork, beef or turkey. What’s that, you say? What the hell is ractopamine? Let’s start by pointing out that it’s banned for use in food production in 160 countries around the world, including the entire European Union, Russia, Taiwan and China. And we all know how low China sets the bar when it comes to food safety. Why the ban? Consider the drug handling warning: “Not for use in humans. Individuals with cardiovascular disease should exercise special caution to avoid exposure. Use protective clothing, impervious gloves, protective eye wear, and a NIOSH-approved dust mask.” In other words, don’t get any on ya! But our FDA says it’s okay if we eat it? And they’ve approved ractopamine in pork since 1999, beef since 2003 and turkey since 2008. Did you know that? I didn’t know that. And I pay attention to stuff like that. The good news for me is that my farmer doesn’t use any of that sort of poison. I know exactly what his animals eat.

What you dont know CAN hurt you. Why don’t we know this kinda stuff? Why does it take an international incident for us to find out about junk we’re secretly fed in our commercial food? US industrial meat producers are using the controversial drug, ractopamine hydrochloride, as a growth stimulator in pigs, cows and turkeys. It adds body weight and boosts profit. Tests find it in meat you eat. And, yes, it does have side effects. In fact, the FDA approved its use in animals based on studies presented by the manufacturer. Gee, think maybe they were biased? They tested it on exactly six humans. It ended up only five because one had to withdraw because it was causing dangerous rhythms in his heartbeat.

So Russia bans import of all US meat until the US agrees to certify it ractopamine-free. That ain’t gonna happen. It’s used in 80 percent of pigs in the US and producers aren’t about to part with the extra couple bucks of hot carcass weight it provides. Yet Canada and Brazil, both big users of ractopamine, agreed to follow Russia’s request.

Health blows and economic woes. Look, our stupid agricultural policies are becoming stupid economic policies and increasing our trade deficit. The list of US domestic products banned by outside countries grows almost daily — foods, cosmetics, chemicals and more. Of course, the White House says it’s a trade war that Russia is pursuing, “protectionism” they call it. Well, yes, in a way it is protectionism: They’re trying to protect the health of their citizens. Can 160 countries, including our good friends in Europe, be totally wrong on this and only the US is right? Doubtful. Bottom line is, anyone eating industrial meat is getting fed a bunch of bull with their bull. You’re eating stuff you don’t even know is in your food. Your only solution is to get your food from someone you can trust and it ain’t the FDA, that’s for sure. If you want real food, clean food, it’s easier than you may think.

Headline: Yoga Combats Heart Problem. This is no surprise. Cardiologist Dean Ornish promoted that idea decades ago with his Heart Disease Reversal Program. Yet another study recently found that specific yoga movements and poses help deter a condition known as atrial fibrillation. According to the research, published in a cardiology journal, gentle, easy yoga asanas decreased the onset of symptoms by 50 percent. Fittingly, yoga instructor Susie Amendola, here in Omaha, is the National Director of Stress Management for the Ornish program. (DoYogaNow.com)

Headline: Eating Habits Affect Sleep. Okay, this is something that nearly every traditional medical model throughout time has counseled, from ayurveda to Chinese medicine to Native American. However, it is University of Pennsylvania medical school researchers to make it sensible for our Western minds. The body has an internal daily (diurnal) clock. There are optimum times to eat during the day and optimum foods to eat at those times. This is documented in Vedic information from millennia ago.

Headline: “Nebraska Farmers Arrested at White House Protest.” How would you like someone tearing up your house to run a train track through? Well, the concept of Eminent Domain allows for seizure of property for the public good. But does the “public good” include the Keystone Pipeline? Enough people believe that it doesn’t to make it highly suspect and questionable. So some Nebraska farmers were just arrested outside the White House for protesting the Keystone traveling through their farms. And the pipeline may go through our state without us having a say-so. The farmers were in good company, too: Robert Kennedy, Jr., Julian Bond, actress Darryl Hannah and Bill McKibben were joined by Nebraska farmers Abbi Kleinschmit, (she’s fifth generation farmer,) Randy Thompson, James Tarnick and others. At this point, when it comes to Keystone, it’s either part of the problem or part of the solution. There is nothing “renewable energy” about tar sands.

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 HeartlandHealing.com for more information.

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