Recent revelations relating to health Food shortages and rationing The recent report from the United States Department of Agriculture detailing Nebraska’s farming output as of September 2010 notes corn harvest is down and prices are up significantly. The price of corn jumped from $3.18 per bushel in 2009 to $4.40 per bushel in 2010, a gain of nearly 40 percent. Shoppers may have noticed corn they bought for the table didn’t cost more, however. That’s correct, because we’re not talking about corn fit for human consumption. The only corn that really matters to agribusiness is commodity corn — the kind fed to livestock, turned into ethanol or chemically treated to become junk food. Boil an ear of that variety of corn and you’ll have the worst tasting meal of the month. Demand for meat is driving the cost of corn higher. That means the cost of producing meat is rising. Americans are addicted to cheap energy and cheap meat. Both may be disappearing soon enough. Meat prices are rising at record pace, now with the highest increases since the 1980s. Meat prices are up 14 percent and still rising. Add to that the news that the federal government wants to increase the subsidy to industrialized corn production by increasing the percentage of ethanol allowed in gasoline at the pump and there is a spiral of cost increases affecting food at the core of the standard American diet. The real price to you and me is the continued ravaging of topsoil and farmland by industrial farming methods to produce crops to feed our unnatural consumption of energy and meat. Related sources: Meat prices,; Corn prices, Americans avoiding flu shots You can tell it’s a full-on sell job: There are signs in front of Walgreens, Wal-Marts and grocery stores everywhere. Retailers want to cash in on the 25 bucks they can get for poking you with a needle. Strip clubs in Florida want a piece of the action and some locations even offer drive-through jabs. Forget all the studies reporting flu shots have little to no impact on keeping us safe from influenza. If the shot is so good, why do they work so hard to sell us on it? Apparently the high-pressure sales job isn’t working so well. A recent survey by the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases found that half of Americans surveyed say they won’t get a flu shot this year. In a subset of the poll, only 45 percent of those surveyed who are high risk for flu say they’ll get poked. That means over half of the high risk group won’t get the shot. One in three healthcare workers say they’ll not get the vaccine. And what about workplace pressures? At some companies, human resources and supervisory personnel along with management are pushing employees to get the shot, even offering the shot onsite. How is a recommendation to get a flu shot that comes from a lay management person not “practicing medicine without a license?” Even the mainstream Centers for Disease Control admits most Americans (over 62 percent) are immune to the H1N1 virus. And the majority of those are immune because of natural immunity. Related source: American system causes earlier death rate In 1950, the United States ranked fifth in the world for life expectancy. By 2010 the ranking plummeted to 49. What happened? Scientific analysis finds it isn’t because we are obese, though we are the fattest nation on earth. It’s not because we smoke or eat junk food. It’s not because we are the most violent and murderous nation and it’s not because we kill 40,000 yearly on the road. No, the culprit in our low life expectancy is our healthcare system, according to a study by Peter Muennig and Sherry Glied of Columbia University. Our American healthcare system is badly broken. It may not be fixable. The quality of care has fallen so drastically that study authors “speculate that the nature of our health care system — specifically, its reliance on unregulated fee-for-service and specialty care — may explain both the increased spending and the relative deterioration in survival.” The industry seems bent on selling us everything possible regardless of whether it is useful (see, “Futile Screening of Terminally Ill Cancer Patients” at or even if it’s bad for us. Related news source: Osteoporosis medicine causes bone breaks I was surprised that a very intelligent, financially well-off and aware female friend did not know about this. She has osteoporosis and was considering a popular medication on her doctor’s recommendation. If you know someone who is following Sally Field’s advice and taking the medication Boniva, tell them about this news: The FDA has ordered makers of the drugs Boniva, Fosamax, Reclast, Actonel to include a stern warning on labels, advising that use of the drug may cause an unusual kind of thighbone fracture. Field, the former “Flying Nun,” is the high-profile shill for the Boniva version of a class of drugs called bisphosphonates. Let your friends know before they’re in a body cast. There are better ways to strengthen bones and it’s not drugs or milk. Related source: Get a massage to fight the flu? No one denies a healthy and strong immune system is a great way to enter the so-called “flu season.” So do yourself a favor and get a massage. That’s right. It’s well documented that therapeutic massage has a host of healthful benefits — too numerous and redundant to list here — and now comes specific scientific proof that even one massage produces enough immune system benefit to show up on simple blood tests. Cedars Sinai researchers Mark Rapaport, MD, Pamela Schettler, PhD, and Catherine Bresee, MS conducted studies on massage and drew blood samples at regular intervals. They found significant markers that indicated even one massage improved immune system function. I’d say it’s time to book that rubdown. Related source: So don’t lose this news and pass it on to a friend. Be well.

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