Year: 2009

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

We wish for all of you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

In this newsletter we will continue to discuss some of the key points from Dr. Eric Holt-Gimenez’s (Executive Director of Food First) talk given in Seattle on November 30, 2009—and in particular, how we can truly end hunger in our world!

When we started the newsletter series back in September of 2008, the numbers of starving people in the world were said to be at around 800 million. Recently, as Eric informed us in his lecture, the World Bank’s 2009 calculations determined the number to be at 1.4 billion!!!

Last week we learned that the source of our starvation problem must be placed at the feet of the corporate food regime—the consortium that controls our modern food system worldwide. The corporate food regime is defined by Dr. Holt-Gimenez as “all of the institutions and all of the rules that control our food from farm to fork—the WTO, the USDA, the World Bank, the IMF, the FAO. They set the rules that control our food. On top of that you have the transnational corporations who tell the institutions what rules they need—Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, Bunge, Wall Mart, Tesco, Safeway and the rest of the agro-industrialized complex.” Lets remember that all these entities emanate from the Global North in collusion with the US and European governments. Through their grand agendas such as the Green Revolution that began in the 60s to the present with the Second Green Revolution (AGRA), the peasantry of the Global South has been bowled over, driven into poverty and starvation.

Dr. Holt-Gimenez shared with us that when he went down to South America ten years ago, he found groups of peasants who were fighting back. They weren’t sitting around passively as the corporate food system destroyed their livelihood and their food system. He worked with a group call Campesino a Campesino—a movement of farmer helping farmer to regain their old way of sustainable agriculture as taught through the modern scientific principles of Agroecology. (Both Dohrea and I have written about this group, so we were happy to hear more good news in regard to their work!)

Agroecology is the alternative to the Green revolution. As a last ditch effort the peasant farmers decided to give sustainable agriculture another try. They revived their traditional systems and improved upon them through small-scale experimentation using modern agro-ecological farming methods. It worked and spread throughout Latin America, the Caribbean, and Cuba where it really took off. Then it moved into Africa, Asia and Indonesia. Peasants in the South are now reclaiming their land, employing sustainable organic agricultural techniques, feeding their families and setting up farmers markets. The question is whether it can work on a larger scale to feed the billions. The answer is that it can.

Eric explains: “When I went to South America the farmers had been on the tread mill of the Green Revolution with the pesticides and the herbicide and the chemical fertilizers for about 10 years. And, they were broke. Their yields were decreasing each year and they had destroyed the soil and they needed to use more and more of herbicides and pesticides and fertilizers.

They produced about a ton of corn per hector. That is very low. The average around the world is about three, and in the US if you pump it up, is about ten. When the Global South farmers switched over to sustainable agriculture and added organic material to their soil and conserved the rainwater so it didn’t run down the hill in the gullies, they immediately saw increases of production of 100, 200 and 300%. We now have some of the driest places in Mexico under sustainable technology producing five tons. See our June 17th Newsletter on Permaculture- click on the video clips, they are amazing.

So what is this myth that sustainable agriculture produces less? It comes from our country. It comes from us because in the US we make the land over-produce by pumping it full of fertilizers and herbicides and pesticides and water. It produces more than the actual capacity of the land. If you take away all the artificial ingredients you will drop from 7 or 8 tons to the natural carrying capacity of the land which is 4 or 5 tons.”

Eric asserts that in the Global North you get a drop in production when you take away the inputs (chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides), but in the Global South it is the opposite. You get an increase in production when you take the inputs away. This is where it counts because the Global South is where most of the farmers are and they produce one-half of the world’s food. If you want to double the amount of food produced, go sustainable in the South. Eric maintains you could double production with the billion farmers in the South in one year by going sustainable and organic. It is where our hope lies.

In a study conducted by the University of Michigan, 300 examples were looked at—comparing sustainable agriculture to conventional agriculture around the world. They found that organic agriculture could feed the world easily now, and continue on twenty years from now as population grows. Particularly because of the advantages it has in the Global South where you get tremendous increases by shifting over to sustainable agriculture.

The United Nations carried out a study in Africa and found the same thing: there was improvement on traditional agriculture that used organic materials. They got 100s of folds increases in yields. Organic agriculture lowers costs and invigorates local economies. They also found that villages that practiced organic sustainable agriculture had healthier economies. Creating sustainable local agriculture is the first step into creating sustainable local businesses, ending poverty and ending hunger. This is the good new.

In his concluding remarks Dr. Holt-Gimenez reminded us that the regime controlling our present food system is very powerful and to change the policies of such a force require nothing short of a rising up of the people, saying we won’t take what we are being served anymore. When populations become uncontrollable governments will change. The peasant movement now has over a billion members throughout the world, mostly in the Global South. We in the North need to see how we can form coalitions, to join the cause, to end hunger through organic sustainable farming. Our holistic medical community should be on the frontline of such a movement. Don’t you agree? Why don’t we each make it part of our New Years Resolution to in some way get involved with this cause.

Blessings to you all,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

This past week I have been dialoging with you regarding the placement of the bullet points for our “Therapeutic Foods at a glance page. Some changes were made. More will come. Therapeutic Foods Systemic Support.

The Last Quiz Answer: This amazing creature is a wolverine. The wolverine is remarkably strong for its size. It has been known to kill prey as large as moose, although most typically when these are weakened by winter starvation or caught in deep snow. Armed with powerful jaws, sharp claws, and a thick hide,[12] wolverines may defend kills against larger or more numerous predators.[13] There is at least one published account of a 27-pound wolverine’s attempt to steal a kill from a black bear (adult males weigh 400 to 500 pounds). Wolverines have been known to harass and attempt to intimidate wolves and cougars.

What is Agroecology? Check out this elegant and beautifully designed website.

Dear Friends,


Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

As I promised in last weeks Newsletter, I will share the key points from the lecture Eric Holt-Gimenez, PhD, gave at the University of Washington, Nov 30, 2009, on the tenth anniversary of the WTO Protest in Seattle. The lecture was entitled, Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice. My sharing will be in two parts—the problem and the solution, as Eric illuminated for us. We’ll look at the problem this week and save the solution for next week—Christmas week.

Eric is the Executive Director of Food First Institute for Food and Development Policy and the author of Food Rebellions: Crisis and the Hunger for Justice (2009). He characterized Food First as a “people think and do tank,” and that they “produce information and analysis that amplifies the voices, and help to inform the social movements that are changing our food systems around the world.”

We all saw on the news the food crisis in 2008— food riots around the world in over 40 countries. They were presented on the news as riots of starving, crazed hungry people, chasing after food. Where did all these hungry people come from? The global South—Mexico, Italy, Morocco, Senegal, Indonesia, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Yemen, Egypt, Haiti plus forty more countries!

Why can’t they get food? How is it that people are starving while it is well known that we are producing more than one and one-half times the food necessary for every person on the planet? It wasn’t a lack of food; the world had food price inflation. The food was sitting in warehouses and silos because people didn’t have enough money to buy it.

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has said the surging costs could mean “seven lost years” in the fight against worldwide poverty.

“In just two months,” Zoellick said in his speech, “rice prices have skyrocketed
to near historical levels, rising by around 75 percent globally and more in some markets, with more likely to come. In Bangladesh, a 2-kilogram bag of rice now consumes about half of the daily income of a poor family.”

“The price of wheat has jumped 120 percent in the past year, he said — meaning that the price of a loaf of bread has more than doubled in places where the poor spend as much as 75 percent of their income on food.”

Dr. Holt-Gimenez pointed out that governments were not able to deal with this contradiction that food was there and people didn’t have enough money to buy it. In Haiti, the people didn’t storm the warehouses. They stormed the national palace and drove the Prime Minister off the Island.

What added insult to injury last year was that we had record levels of harvest and at the same time record levels of hunger. We also had record profits in corporations who are part of the monopolies that control our global food system—i.e. ADM (Archer Daniels Midland) profits up 28%, Monsanto (genetic engineering) up 45%, Cargil (fertilizers) up 89% and General Foods (food distribution) up 81%.

What is the problem?

According to Eric there are two causes—the proximate cause and the root cause.

The proximate causes were brought about by climate change (the world wide droughts and floods), the rising meat consumption in China and Brazil, the 5% fall in cereal production, low grain reserves, high oil prices (two times transport costs and three times fertilizer costs), agro-fuels (biofuels) and financial speculation.

Because of our renewable energy targets, we are forced to consume a certain amount of ethanol. Therefore we had a captive market so investors began to invest in agro-fuels, while the industrial agro farmers began to take land out of food production and into bio-fuel production. Companies like ADM horded food, kept grains off the market in order for the price of corn to go up.

But the root causes were never talked about in the news. What are they?

Our food system is in the hands of a few corporations that are monopolies—the Industrial Agri-foods Complex. It is made up of the large grain processors, the seed and genetic engineering companies, and large retailers and distributors. As Eric said, “they control our food from farm to fork”. It has created a highly volatile system, which is very vulnerable to economic and environmental shock.

How did we get here?

The First Step was— The Green Revolution- from 1960 to 1980.

We must go back to the green revolution that started in the 1960s through the 1980s in which the industrial model of food production from the Global North was exported to the Global South. This is with the help of all the agriculture research institutes (universities and government), which we funded by tax dollars. These institutions used tax dollars to go out into the centers of agro biodiversity (in the Global South) and collected seeds from the peasants and then churned out (engineered) hybrid seeds. These high yielding varieties were also high consuming varieties for they produced double what the local varieties could produce, because they were grown closer together. They also required large amounts of fertilizers, and large amounts of water and eventually larger and larger amounts of pesticides.

The poor peasants (as opposed to the rich peasants) could not afford these varieties. They had no access to credit, had no collateral to put up. So it was the larger farmers, the richer farmers who in the first instant benefited from the green revolution all around the world. The smaller farmers were slowly pushed off the bottom land, pushed off the good agricultural land which was dedicated to the green revolution, and pushed out on to the fragile hillsides and into the rain forest perimeters in search for nutrients for subsistence agriculture.

There was an immediate flush of grains around the world, both because of the intensity of industrial production but also because of the extension of the area being farmed by the peasantry. But very quickly, on the hillsides and the forest perimeters where the poor peasants were force to farm, the soil washed away and then nutrients volatilized. They lost organic material, and peasants began to go hungry. They fled to the cities and across boarders looking for work. Over one million Mexicans fled to the US.

It turns out that the green revolution produced as many hungry people as they say they’ve saved.

The Second Step in the establishment of the corporate food regime was the structural adjustment policies that the World Bank and the IMF imposes on the Third World.

Back in the 70s we had an oil crisis. We had inflationary crisis. We had a farm crisis in the US and lost ½ of our farmers to the big Industrial Agri-farms.

A tremendous over production of grains ensued, which caused the price of grain to drop through the floor. Right at the time petroleum became more expensive, and the price farmers were getting for their crops dropped—banks demanded farmers to pay back their loans. Many farmers went out of business. This happened here in the states.

Overseas, countries went bankrupted. Countries that had borrowed heavily for development and could no longer pay off these loans had the World Bank and the IMF stepped in and restructure the loans, but only to pay off the interest and with a caveat.

The Global South was required to restructure their economy. The first thing they had to do was to stop growing food and grow export crops—“because you need dollars.” Also, they were “convinced” to buy their food from the Global North—“We produce lots of it in the US anyway.”

They also said that the Global South countries had to dismantle their tariffs because otherwise Northern grains were not going to be able to get into their country. Tear down protective tariffs.

While they were at that, they also got rid of their grain reserves. (Grain reserves are incredibly important not just in times of scarcity, but to stabilize prices. Because when the price of grains go up, if you have a reserve, the government can just release grain on the market and bring the price down. If the price of grain goes down too low for farmers to make it, the government can buy up the grain and raise the price.) If you get rid of your grain reserves you have no control over price. No control over the market. But that is precisely what the Global North, more particularly; the World Bank and IMF wanted the Global South to depend on the global market. Not on their own markets.

They had to dismantle their marketing boards. These are the boards that control supply.

This was all under the discourse of “Free Trade”—the notion that everybody would eat better if we traded freely around the world. Unfortunately, the comparative advantage of food production was deeply anchored with the US and Europe, and not in the countries of the Global South.

Read more in Dohrea’s research essay on the situation in Africa in our social equity section on our publishing blog

The third and fatal step in the construction of the Industrial Agri-food Complex was the Free Trade Agreements and the WTO.

The free trade agreements, like NAFTA and CAFTA, and the rules governing the WTO signatories cement the structural adjustment policies of the IMF and the World Bank into International Law—into International Treaty that overrides national law.

So now the countries of the global South, even if they wanted to, would not be able to protect their own agriculture because they would be in violation of the WTO.

What are the Results?

The Global South from 1970 -2001 went from 1 billion dollars of food surplus to 11 billion deficit. Industrial agriculture creates 20% of green house gas in the world, and uses 80% of the world’s water. It is the highest polluter in terms of global warming. In the South they have lost 75% of their crop diversity. For example, in the Philippians they used to have 1200 varieties of rice. Today they use 4 or 5. The other seeds, now owned by Monsanto and other institutions are rotting in seed banks. You have to keep these seeds in vivo (keep planting and using them). We are all loosing our global heritage because we can’t plant our indigenous seeds. Farmers everywhere can only get credit to plant Monsanto’s seeds. Biodiversity is essential to survival during climate change, yet a few corporations hold us hostage.

The farmers have been displaced. There have been a steady consolidation of profit and control of the food system within just a handful of monopolies. The green Revolution basically transferred 10 billion dollars of wealth to the US from the Global South with just the production of corn and soy.

A four-year study conducted by 400 scientists, entitled The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD), and ironically sponsored by the World Bank, came out with conclusion that were unfavorable to the World Bank, WTO, Monsanto, the Gates Foundation. The results were tabled because they were contrary to the way the Industrial Agri-food Consortium has operated and is planning to operate in their “development” of Africa under the second green revolution—AGRA.

The conclusion of IAASTD were, “The way the world grows its food will have to change radically to better save the poor and hungry if the world is to cope with growing population and climate change while avoiding social breakdown and environmental collapse.”

Next week we will look at another way. A real solution.

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

As also promised last week, I would have created a one-page Therapeutic Foods Systemic Support. What do you think? Would love your feedback.

The Last Quiz Answer: Last weeks Creature: On average an adult moose stands 6-7 feet high at the shoulders. Males weight around 1400 lbs. The span of their antlers can be up to 6 feet. Though they are not usually aggressive towards humans, in terms of raw numbers, they attack more people than bears and wolves combined.

The Institute for Food and Development Policy/Food First shapes how people think by analyzing the root causes of global hunger, poverty, and ecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working for social change. Check out the Food First website.

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

We like to say that holistic medicine is a merging of the medical philosophies and practices of the East and the West—and it is. I, myself, am a sanyasin, a Zen Buddhist, a Christian; an adept in yoga, macrobiotics and ayurveda, with 30 years of teaching and promoting health through good nutrition, products, laboratories and health practitioners—I am transnational. Without a doubt, in our generation there has been a merging of the East and the West in the practices of holistic medicine, but I have a question for you. What about the merging of the North and the South? I would suggest that this is the 1800 lb moose standing in our livingroom that we of the global North have been culturally blind to. It is the next frontier we must fully embrace to make our world whole, equitable and just.

I love Jon Stewart and his Daily Show, I think that he is “right on” most of the time. However, a few nights ago he interviewed Michael Spector on his new book Denialism. Spector maintains that all the “fear mongering” by the holistic community regarding vaccines and Monsanto is not evidence based, and is counter productive to the important progress they are making. To my amazement Stewart, especially in regarding to the vaccine issue, ate the blue pill. For those of you who haven’t seen the Matrix Movie and don’t know what the blue pill symbolizes I have linked you here to our BioImmersion home page’s clip, The Meatrix, that illuminates the point beautifully. Here also is the clip of the Spector interview. What do you think?

Last week, Monday Nov 30th, I had the opportunity to hear Eric  Holt-Gimenez speak at the University of Washington on his new book, Food Rebellions! Crisis and the Hunger for Justice. I had come across his work as Director of Food First and as a professor at UC Santa Cruz during my research on La Via Campesina (the peasants way) for our June 11th Newsletter. I was very excited to hear Eric’s talk. What I didn’t realize was that I was entering into the middle of a week long gathering commemorating the 10th anniversary of the WTO shudown. The University of Washington auditorium was packed.

The evening was led off by Heather Day, the Director of the Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ)—the organization largely responsible for bringing this evening, the week long conference and the 1999 Seattle WTO protest together. The week’s conference was entitled Global Week of Action/Seattle People’s Summit— WTO+10: Global Justice Forward. Heather thanked us for coming, explaining that CAGJ was a grassroots, membership organization based in Seattle, with three programs: Food Justic Project, AGRA Watch and Trade Justice. CAGJ was founded by Seattle-area activists who helped to organize the historic shutdown of the World Trade  Organization meeting in 1999.

In her opening remarks Heather noted that November 30th 2009 was 10 years to the day of the Seattle Protest, and that on this day the World Trade Organization will host a meeting of its highest decision-making body in Geneva. She reminded us that on Dec 7th, the United Nations Conference on Climate Change launches in Copehagen and thanked us for joining in an effort to harness the spirit of the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle with a renew commitment to justice and a strong message to Wall Street: “People of the planet are not for sale.”

We aim to reflect on and learn from the successes and challenges of our collective victory over the WTO in 1999, and to take action in support of alternatives to corporate power. The anniversary comes at a time when a host of key issues – from global warming and financial restructuring to economic justice and health care – require urgent action. The political climate favors progressive change more than it has for many years, but we know that change will only come when we stand up and demand it. People are ready for change now! The anniversary of Seattle ‘99 provides an inspiring focal point to mobilize our collective call for change.

Eric gave, as expected, a tremendous talk. I will focus next weeks newsletter on his talk. He provided specific examples of how the people of the global South and underserved communities of the industrial North lost control over their food systems (to the global North) and how this led to the systemic vulnerability that underlies today’s crisis. What is the crisis today?

Hunger’s Timeline

    • 1974—500 million hungry people in the developing world. The World Food Conference pledges to eradicate child hunger in 10 years.
    • 1996—830 million hungry people. The World Food Summit pledges to reduce the number of hungry people by half by 2015. (12% of the US population is hungry. US Farm Bill increases food nutrition programs (Food Stamps, Women, Infants and Children in Need) and food banks augment donations of government surplus with locally and industry-donated food.)
    • 2000 Millennium Summit—World leaders pledge to reduce extreme poverty and hunger by half by 2015.
    • 2002—850 million hungry people. The World Food Summit+5 admits to poor progress on the Millennium Development Goals.
    • 2009—1 billion hungry people. The FAO High-Level Conference on World Food Security announces that instead of reducing the ranks of the hungry to 400 million, hunger has increased. The World Bank recalculates ito projections for extreme poverty upwards from 1 billion to 1.4 billion. Over 3 billion people live on about $2 to $5 a day.

These projections were made before the financial crisis engulfed the world.

I look forwarding to sharing with you key points from his talk next week. One of his most important points was when he told us that social change comes about when an uprising of the population overwhelms the controlling forces. And, that is what we the people must do create a social change of paradigmal proportions through our collective rising up.

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

The Therapeutic Foods were put together to Help Your Body. We have 15 different formulas with seven of them containing probiotic organisms. Many of you have asked me for a single page summary sheet, outlining their uses in supporting the various systems of the body. I have been working on that and plan on having that for you in next weeks email.

The Last Quiz Answer: I love this magical animal. It’s around 2 feet tall, 3 feet in length and 23 pounds. They live up to 15 years. Perhaps 1000 exist in the lower 48 states. They are on the endangered list. Lynx are usually solitary, although small groups of lynx may travel and hunt together occasionally. Mating takes place in the late winter and they give birth to two to six kittens once a year. The gestation time of lynx is about 70 days. The young stay with the mother for one more winter, a total of around nine months, before they move out to live on their own as young adults. Lynx will create their dens in crevices or under ledges. They feed on a wide range of animals from white-tailed deer, reindeer, roe deer, small red deer, and chamois, to smaller, more usual prey: snowshoe hares, fish, fox, sheep, pets, squirrels, mice, turkeys and other birds, and goats. They also eat ptarmigan, voles and grouse.

WTO + 10: Global Justice Forward— check out the Seattle People’s Summit schedule of events for the week of Nov 27 to Dec 5th. Take a moment and read the richness of the events offered. Fortunately, I took the time to hear Eric Holt-Gimenez’s talk and get a feel for the people who were there. I must say I am impressed. What’s happening in your neck of the woods?

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

The announcement by the National Institute of Health (NIH) that the NIH Human Microbiome Project (HMP) provides “opportunities to improve human health through monitoring or manipulation of the human microbiome” is a major step forward, merging the holistic approach for building health with mainstream medicine. The HMP requires mainstream
researchers to face the reality that the healthy functioning of the human body is not governed by human cells alone, but is dependent upon a healthy amalgamation of human cells and bacterial cells, collectively expressing proteins, that together orchestrate the proper functioning of the human organism.

Modern, mainstream medical science has been dominated by reductionist thinking, which maintains that an understanding of the parts explains the functioning of the whole. This mode of thought has resulted in many of our medical advances today, but also has fostered the notion that Homo sapiens are separate from their environment. There is another way to look at life, the system’s approach—a holist model that views a human life as intimately connected to all that surrounds it. Reductionist thinking has allowed us to drill down deeply into things and system thinking allows us to connect the dots. Are we now witnessing the convergence of these two paradigms of thought?

The HMP is a five-year project that will be funded at a level of $150 million over that period. It is envisioned that, by the conclusion of the HMP, the project will have created the needed resources (data, technology, computational tools and preliminary analyses of the ethical, legal and social implications of the research) and will have documented enough examples of the microbiome’s importance to human health that support of microbiome research will become a priority in the human disease portfolio of many of the NIH institutes and Centers and of many other funding agencies. If the importance of considering the impact that changes in the normal microbiome can have on health and disease can be demonstrated, it will have the potential to transform medicine. (Authors: NIH HMP Working Group)

Thus far, in regards to the Human Microbiome Project, we have talked about the Jumpstart Phase. Initiated in 2007 with the selection of four large-scale sequencing centers supported by NIH— the Baylor College of Medicine, The Broad Institute, The J. Craig Venter Institute and the Washington University of Medicine—to complete the sequencing of 1000 organisms which will function as the Reference Genome, and to accomplish the metagenomic analysis of six microbiome sites of 250 normal individuals—the skin, the nasophyarynx, the oral cavity, the gastrointestinal tract, the genitouruinary tract and the blood. As of July 2009, roughly 375 bacteria are in draft sequencing pipelines or have been completed and deposited in GenBank, and ¾ of the 250 volunteers (approximately equal numbers of men and women) have been recruited and sampled with planning for collection of a second sampling within the year.

The Second Phase which began in the Spring of 2009, while the Jumpstart Phase continues towards completion, is the awarding of 150 millions dollars in grants to 15 research institutions across the country for Demonstration Projects.

The Demonstration Projects aim to tackle the most important question of the HMP: whether changes in the microbiome can be related to human health and disease. Because of the short time frame of the HMP, the primary goal of these projects is to establish a correlation between microbiome changes and health/disease rather than demonstrate causation. If a project can successfully demonstrate correlation early in the timeline, work to begin to establish causation may be undertaken.

The Fifteen investigator-initiated projects have been funded for an initial one-year pilot phase, during which each investigator will have the opportunity to demonstrate the feasibility of his/her project. At the end of the pilot phase, the subset of the projects that demonstrate the most promise, as judged by peer review, will be scaled up and continued for three additional years.

Here are some of the Demonstration Projects that HMP is supporting:

1. GI Disorders: James Versalovic, PI. (Baylor College of Medicine) “The Human Microbiome in Pediatric Abdominal Pain and Intestinal Inflammation.” This proposal will explore the nature of the human intestinal microbiome in healthy children and children with gastrointestinal disorders. The overall goal is to obtain a robust knowledge-base of the intestinal microbiome in a set of GI disorders that represent a broad spectrum of important disease phenotypes in pediatric gastroenterology. In addition to the detailed clinical assessment of healthy children and children with irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, and inflammatory bowel disease, multiple strategies will be deployed to navigate and understand the nature of the intestinal microbiome in childhood.

2. GI Disorders: Frederic Bushman, PI (University of Pennsylvania) “Diet, Genetic Factors and the Gut Microbiomes in Crohn’s Disease.” We propose to investigate the hypothesis that consistent changes in the human gut microbiome are associated with Crohn’s Disease. The bacteria present in the intestinal tract, probably play a role in the pathogenesis of Crohn’s Disease, but the mechanism remains unclear. In this study, we propose to determine the composition of the gut microbiome associated with Crohn’ Disease while controlling factors known to alter the gut microbiome, such as host genetics and diet. Ultimately, the discoveries from this project may allow physicians to manipulate microbes in the intestine in order to promote health and cure or prevent disease.

3. GI Tract: Claire Fraser-Liggett and Alan Shuldiner, (University Maryland Baltimore) PIs. “The Thrifty Microbiome: The Role of the Gut microbiome in Obesity in the Amish.” Obesity is a major health problem in the US. This project directly addresses the causes of obesity by testing the “Thrifty Microbiome Hypothesis,” which poses that gut microbiome plays a key role in human energy homeostasis. Previous studies have indicated that a difference in the gut microbiome can be found in obese and lean adults.

4. Skin: Martin Blaser, PI. (NYU School of Medicine) “Evaluation of the Cutaneous Microbiome in Psoriasis.” Psoriasis, a chronic disease involving the immune system, affecting more than 7.5 million people in the US. The goal of this study is to examine how changes in the normal cutaneous microbiome may contribute to the disease. The skin microbiome of 75 donors with and without psoriasis will be examined at several taxonomic levels. Additionally, the research will seek to examine whether the immunosuppressive agents used to treat psoriasis alter the microbiome.

5. Vagina: Jacques Ravel and Larry Forney, PIs. (University of Maryland Baltimore) “The Microbial Ecology of Bacterial Vaginosis: A high-Resolution Longitudinal Metagenomic Analysis.” BV is a common condition that is very difficult to control. This project will test the hypothesis that vaginal microbiome dynamics and activities are indicators of risk to BV. 200 women will be examined.

6. Cancer of the GI tract: Zhiheng Pei, PI. “Foregut Microbiome in Development of Esophageal Adenocarcinoma.” Esophageal adenocarcinoma (EA), the type of cancer linked to heartburn due to gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERD), is the fastest rising malignancy in the US. Initial research by the PI’s laboratory has shown that patients carrying particular types of microbiome are more likely to have the early stages of EA than those that do not.

This past week I had the pleasure of interviewing Delphine Saulnier PhD, a member researcher in Dr. James Versalovic’s team at Baylor. Dr. Saulnier shared some very important insights with me resulting from her research that I am excited to share with you in future newsletters.

Trying to keep these emails in bite-sized portions for you.

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

Therapeutic Foods provide a new platform in medicine that is 1000s of years old. I love this little phrase because it encapsulates the Therapeutic Foods concept. I’ll explain: Here is the old part—Let food be your medicine. Lets medicine be your food (Hippocrates- 400BC) — and here’s the new—utilizing modern science to analyse, carefully select and produce real organic whole foods that function as medicine.

We look to nature, history and science with the biosphere providing us our food, history informing us of cuisines that heal and science providing the tools necessary to produce the quality attained in the Therapeutic Foods Line.

The Last Quiz Answer: The wild turkey was Benjamin Franklin’s choice for the United States’s national bird. The noble fowl was a favored food of Native Americans. Yet by the early 20th century, wild turkeys no longer roamed over much of their traditional range. They had been wiped out by hunting and the disappearance of their favored woodland habitat. Wild turkey reintroduction programs began in the 1940s, and the birds were relocated to areas where populations had been decimated but woodlands were recovering. Such efforts worked so well that wild turkeys now live in areas where they may not have occurred when Europeans first reached the Americas. Today, flocks are also found in Hawaii, Europe, and New Zealand.

It is useless to force the rhythms of life. The art of living is about learning how to give time to each and every thing. (Carlo Petrini, founder of Slow Food.) Founded in 1986 in Italy, Slow Food became an international non-profit organization in 1989 and is currently made up of nearly 1000 chapters whose vast network of 80,000 members is the greatest strength of the movement. Anyone can become a member. We are enslaved by speed and have all succumbed to the same insidious virus: Fast Life, which disrupts our habits, pervades the privacy of our homes and forces us to eat Fast Foods. Take the time to check this amazing movement out—click on this link to the Slow Food Compendum. It provides the foundation to right our world.

A Greener BioImmersion Inc.

November 24, 2009

Dear Friends,

Can you name this Beautiful Creature?

As the holidays approach and we are about to celebrate the Thanksgiving Holiday, we would like to thank you, our dear friends, for your dedication and courage in healing, supporting and giving of yourselves to so many people. We thought of you when we designed the Therapeutic Foods, and embraced our overarching theme of Working Together. We all need to come together, recognize our oneness as a world community, correct our ecological practices, and bring about social changes that will create social equity, sustainable economies and environmental quality for all the world’s people.

High-minded goals, of course! Our world, our biosphere, our survival as a species depends on our cooperation at this time, and participating in whatever ways we can—each of us doing our individual part. It begins by focusing on issues in our immediate environment, in our homes, our communities, and cities.

Dohrea and I are slowly adopting habits and practices of a truly green family and company. Slowly, because change is a difficult process. In this great journey, our ordering process is the next step for us to make even greener, and hopefully save energy and resources.

Greener Warehouse and Support Team

We are very excited about our new warehousing facility in Southern California, and its greater ability to get product quickly and efficiently to you. In December we are training and bringing aboard our support team to handle your ordering needs. This will free-up my time to pursue my passion as an educator to teach and bring us together on some of the ecological issues of our day, as I have outlined in our weekly newsletter since Sept. of 2008. My research and educational work in the development of the De-Evolution and the Ecology of the Microbiome has been an important part of my path, and a pleasure to share with all of you. I am planning to start teaching the series and continue the research. What is your New Year resolution?


We have always been the kind of business that considers everyone as a member of the family. Serving you with care and kindness is an imperative with us. We know the hard work you perform every day. The New Year collaborative theme is the additional teamwork we are asking of everyone: Please utilize more the shopping cart! We have built a better and more efficient shopping cart, with a secure ordering process. It is truly exciting! This month you will see great improvements in the whole shopping cart experience. Feel free to call for any help you need, it is always a pleasure hearing from you, and yet, do learn to navigate the shopping cart—as a part of the collective effort to build greener habits. I know! I know! It is difficult to change! I am still learning to check my inbox three times a day… But, our concept of resource conservation helps us to invest more in the product line rather than the infrastructure of the company.

The Greener Ordering Process

Ordering is very easy! For those of you who have not learned the joy of ordering online, lets review the process. It is fun once you learn it.

1. Click on the Ordering Tab on the Bioimmersion Home Page.

2. Click on Log in. Put in your email and password. Click on Sign In.

3. It should say Welcome Back (your name)! You’re in.

4. Click on Products. You will get an alphabetical listing of all the products with their wholesale price.

5. As you add product to your shopping cart an afficient stategy is to fill the cart with the product you want, then go through and change to the qualities you would like of each, and then hit the Update Tab.

6. In checking out when you get to the Shipping Page notice that you have a tab that says Change Address. If you want to have us ship to some location other than your normal ship-to-address, then change the address. The program will save it in the Address Book for future shipments to this customer.

We never include an invoice with our product shipments that come to you, or to your customer. An email will be sent to you immediately upon the completion of your order, which is your invoice. Also they are stored within the My Account Tab of your shopping cart. Just click on My Account and you will see all of your orders, invoices and tracking numbers.

Thanks everyone and Happy Holidays.

Sincerely yours,

Seann Bardell

Clinical Note:

The supportive power of the Blueberry for the brain as demonstrated in this email I received two weeks ago.

Dear Biommersion,

Your Blueberry products, and I do not exaggerate, have been miraculous for me. I have done 3 years worth of Neuroscience Research, 2 of which have been in a laboratory devoted to learning and memory. The Principle Investigator of that laboratory took me aside and said that evidence towards improvement in memory is best for blueberry extract out of all the things on the market. I can attest personally that it has worked for me perfectly and that Biommersion’s brand is by far the best I have tried. I take medication that makes it hard to remember, but after I take my Biommersion freeze dried extract, I very quickly notice that I’m able to recall at normal, and better than normal capacity. I cannot rave about this product enough! I feel that anyone who is noticing cognitive impairment could benefit from Blueberry extract, particularly Bioimmersion’s freeze dried, and anyone who is looking for prevention and added health could speak to their Physician regarding use of the Wild Blueberry Daily. Please get the word out! Please start to advertise! I think you would do a tremendous service to everyone if you would let more people know about the fine qualities of your products and I can personally attest, that it has been a miracle for me.

Thank you very much.


A Loyal Customer from the NorthEast

The Last Quiz Answer: This magnificent prehistoric appearing creature is the Southern Ground-Hornbill. It ranges widely through east and south Africa, with this particular bird being filmed by the Planet Earth team in Tanzania. Fitting in well with our Thanksgiving theme, ground-hornbills are big eaters—mostly carnivorous. They eat insects, grasshoppers, beatles, scorpions and termites. During the dry season, they also eat insect larvae, snails, frogs and toads. Sometimes they eat snakes, lizards, rats, hares, squirrels and tortoises. They will also eat carrion.

Just received this email tonight as I was putting the final touches on my newsletter for tomorrow’s mailing to you. Here it is: Our Food, Our Right takes you on a journey through many of the current food systems’ failures and showcases creative solutions that communities are designing to regain control over their food and the health of their bodies and neighborhoods. Click on it. Check this out!!!