Honeychick Homestead

Homestead, Health, and Happiness

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An Important Story – Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation

One thing at the 2015 National Heirloom Exposition that left a lasting impression was Mathieu Asselin’s photography display – Monsanto: A Photographic Investigation.

When I first learned about GMO’s (genetically modified organisms) in the late 1990’s, I didn’t know much about real food, but what I did know is that GMO’s didn’t sound “right” to me. The idea of fish DNA being injected into a tomato sounded weird, and definitely didn’t seem like it was a good thing. Thankfully, that tomato never made it to the supermarket, but all other kinds of genetically modified foods have, and are still being sold and consumed today.

I don’t think many realize Monsanto was the manufacture of PCB’s and Agent Orange and I think most know how horrible those chemicals were! It doesn’t make any sense to allow a  company responsible for making such terrible, poisonous products to make chemicals that are sprayed a majority of U.S. food supply, genetically modify our food, and patent seeds. They say their products are “safe” but their behavior in the past makes it difficult for me to believe they are being 100% transparent about their products.

I tried my best to get good pictures but some Mathieu’s photo displays were tall, so I’m sorry if the quality isn’t that great!  There were also captions for every picture, which I’ve retyped them for the few photos I’m sharing.

I hope after seeing these photos, you’ll think twice buying food at grocery stores and other retailers that sell conventional, non-organic food. It almost always contains GMO’s and the fruits and vegetables have been sprayed with Round Up, or another pesticide.

I wrote two posts that can help you access healthy, quality food throughout the United States, to read them click here and here. You can also visit Environmental Working Group’s page to view their very helpful dirty dozen and clean fifteen shopping lists.

I truly believe we can make a difference by voting with our dollars and support local farmers who grow food with integrity without using GMO’s or pesticides. It’s so important for your health, the health of future generations, and for the health of the planet.



This is a magazine ad from 1943 touting the benefits of saccharin. Notice it says one of the main ingredients of saccharin is coal-tar. No wonder it was pulled from the market for being carcinogenic

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Wheat – What’s good about it? What’s bad about it?

My first presentation at The 2015 Heirloom Exposition was an interesting talk by Robert M. Quinn, who is a farmer with a PhD. He is passionate about ancient wheat and sharing why he believes we need to get back to growing wheat that focuses on high nutrition, instead of high yields. He believes our society is well fed but not well nourished. I totally agree!

He previously used conventional farming methods to grow modern wheat and realized he was spending his entire  farm subsidy check on herbicides. When he switched to organic farming methods, he saved money! He believes it’s important that we return to building healthy, mineral rich soil that feeds the plants and makes the food more nutritious for us. You can find out more on his website kamut.com

He posed some good questions, like, “Why daily bread become deadly?” and “Are wheat and gluten-free diets a fad?”

Robert pointed out that many can’t eat modern wheat but they tolerate ancient wheat; and when you look at the data, truly only 1% of the population has Celiac disease and roughly 12-20% have wheat sensitivity. Some studies suggest the issue may really a sensitively to glyphosate, the main ingredient in Round Up, which is used heavily on conventional wheat. This all made sense, since I’ve learned similar information during my first session at Bauman College.

Here’s a few of the things that have changed in the past 50 years when it comes to growing and producing wheat, he believes these issues also could be contributing to wheat and gluten sensitivity.

The seed, the way it’s grown, they way it is processed, and how we eat it is now all based on high-speed, low-cost production. He shared that beginning in the 70’s the goal for wheat farming was increased yields, more resistance to disease and bugs and to quickly increase the size of the bread loaf.

We now have harder bran with more protein but antioxidants have been subtracted, so it is a less resistant starch and it seems modern wheat now causes inflammation.

He suggested that one of the main problems is the changes that were made to the modern wheat  seed, and also believes high-speed processing is an issue. Modern bread is made very quickly and usually has fast rising yeast and/or extra gluten added to quickly produce a loaf of bread. Fifty years ago, bread making was a slower process that often used a sourdough starter that helped pre-digest the flour making it easier for us to digest. This process does take longer but the result is a healthier and more nutritious bread.

His recommended solution is that we avoid modern wheat and change focus from high yield to high nutrition

Robert felt it was important to address some criticism regarding his decision to trademark the name “kamut” because many people claim he’s doing the same things as Monsanto. Here’s how their trademark is different from Monsanto.

They claim no ownership of grain take full responsibility of product

They charge farmers nothing to use the product

They requires farmers to be organic to use the product

They provide an organic field advisor as no cost

They will show organic agriculture will feed the world

The will show their organic farms will help heal earth

His farm has partnered with two universities in Italy, The University of Bologna and University of Florence. They spend roughly $300,000 of their budget on research, which is a very small amount compared to most major research firms. Their research efforts look for small subtle differences in the grain that make huge differences to the body.  They’ve completed 1 rat study and 5 human studies, you can read more about their studies here.

He briefly shared some of the surprising findings of their research comparing ancient wheat (kamut) to modern wheat (a mix of white and wheat bread). Their human studies typically use 30-40 people and the results are consistent, even though they use a small pool of people.

Their first human study focused on a group at risk for cardiovascular disease but otherwise healthy.  This was a double-blind study that lasted 16 weeks, for 8 weeks the subjects ate recipes prepared with modern wheat and then the following 8 weeks ate the same recipes prepared with ancient wheat.

What they found was ancient wheat reduced cardiovascular disease risk, lowered their LDL cholesterol by 8%, and their blood contained threes times as much potassium and magnesium. It also showed oxidative stress reduced by ancient wheat and their cytokines markers showed signs of decreased inflammation.

Another human study involved people who had Irritable Bowel Syndrome, they chose IBS because it affects roughly 20% of US population, this was another 16 week, double-blind study.

While consuming ancient wheat they experienced less abdominal pain, less bloating, with these two symptoms almost disappearing after 6 weeks. Their bowel movements improved and at the end of 6 weeks all participated had at least one bowel movement a day.

The last study he shared included individuals with cardiovascular disease, all participates had a history of at least one heart attack, and all were taking statins to lower their cholesterol.

The professor conducting the study didn’t think they would see any improvements because of their health history. They were surprised to see reductions of cholesterol, glucose and insulin levels. The magnesium levels in their blood increased by 3%, tests showed less oxidative stress, and significant reduction of TNF cytokines by 34%.

The reduction in TNF cytokines is amazing!  TNF cytokines are cell signaling proteins that are involved in systemic inflammation in the body, and the disregulation of TNF production which has been suggested to cause many diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s, IBS and depression.

Robert and the research team recently completed diabetic study, are currently working on a study of gut microflora and microbiota, and are planing future studies of dementia and obesity. The research team believes it’s more that just wheat that is causing issues and that modern grains, even in small amounts, can switch certain genes on or off, creating inflammation.

Robert’s goal is to encourage farmers to replace modern wheat with new land made of mixtures of anti-inflammatory ancient wheat and grains, plant new land worldwide with ancient wheat, and to no longer plant patented seed.

He feels strongly that gluten isn’t the problem and believes replacing modern wheat and high-speed food production with ancient wheat and slower food production would be a major help to those suffering from wheat and gluten intolerance and sensitivities. He ended his presentation by encouraging everyone to “Go organic!”

What do you think? Is modern wheat the real culprit of increased sensitivities or are other things to blame? Share with me in the comments.

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Incredible Edible Eggs!

Eggs are one of my favorite, nourishing foods! They were featured as a food the day in one of my Foundations of Nutrition chapters and it made me love them even more! 

When selecting eggs, it’s very important to try to buy eggs from pasture raised hens. The nutrient profile of their eggs is so much better than those from factory raised hens. Pasture raised hens have access to their natural diet of grass, weeds, bugs and grubs along with access to sun, which increases the vitamin D content of the eggs. They also aren’t  confined to a small pen their entire life. 

Here’s more infomation about this “egg-cellent” food 🙂

Eggs are very nutrient-dense, the yolk has nearly every nutrient humans need! The egg white has very little in the way of nutrients and contains an “anti-nutrient” called avidin.

Avidin is a glycoprotein that binds to the B vitamin biotin, preventing its absorption. Biotin is necessary for fatty acid synthesis,  blood sugar maintenance, and is very important during pregnancy when biotin status declines.

Bauman College, Weston A. Price Foundation and other real food researchers recommend against consuming raw egg whites because of avidin. The raw egg white also contains inhibitors of the digestive enzyme trypsin. Avidin and trypsin are both destroyed by heat.

Eggs contain a trace amount of carbs and no fiber. One medium egg has roughly 75 calories, 6.5 grams of protein, 212 milligrams of cholesterol, 5.8 grams of fat, 1.7 grams of  saturated, 2.3 grams of mono-saturated and .9 gram of poly-saturated.

The vitamin and mineral profile of one egg is amazing, it contains:

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K2
  • Vitamin D
  • All B vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, choline, biotin, and folic acid. 
  • The minerals include calcium, magneiusm, iron, zinc, copper, phosphorus, selenium, sulfur, and iodine.

Choline is the star of the B vitamins. The average U.S. diet provides about 300 milligrams of choline per day – less than the recommended amount for an adult woman (425 milligrams) or an adult man (550 milligrams). One egg provides over 100 milligrams of choline!

Dr. Ed Bauman and other researchers believe dietary and blood cholesterol are not directly associated. Instead, they believe blood cholesterol levels are controlled by genetics, insulin and stress. Dr. Bauman says we “shouldn’t be phobic of egg cholesterol.”

If you like to learn more about why cholesterol isn’t “evil” I highly recommend reading the research being done by Chris Masterjohn PhD.

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Love Your Liver – Part 1

The digestive physiology section I completed in school was very interesting to me. I learned even more about why a diet of real, unprocessed food is key to maintaining good health and longevity. One of my assignments was to put together information about a digestive organ of my choice. I chose the liver because Lyme affected my liver function and as I changed my diet it began to heal. When I got proper treatment for Lyme, that also helped my liver heal. I hope you enjoy this three-day series about how to love your liver.

Love your liver part 1