Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Want to Be of Service? Put Healthy Food in the Mouths of People Who Need It!

According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization statistics from 2010 to 2012, an estimated 870 million people are undernourished. That is a lot of people that don't have access to healthy food, one out of every eight people in fact. (http://www.worldhunger.org/articles/Learn/world%20hunger%20facts%202002.htm). Being of service to help supply healthy food to those who need it is something I am able to do through the company I am affiliated with. The GIVE program that started back in 1992 began with sharing a portion of the AFA bluegreen algae harvested from Klammath Lake each year with people and animals around the world that don't have access to healthy food. From there this program has grown to supporting impoverished and undernourished children, adults, and animals in such places as Belarus, the Dominican Republic, Ghana, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Kenya, the Philippines and Tibet, as well as North and Central America.

How We Help
The Home Office team and individual teams of Associates have been providing whole superfood products for years to people in North America, around the world, natural disaster survivors, and overseas troops in war zones that are in need of healthy food. The GIVE programs are designed to do more than that however. These projects provide nutritional and financial contributions designed to have a positive, sustainable impact on the lives of people in need by nourishing them on every level and empowering them through personal and local economic growth. In addition to programs that address the world hunger problem, GIVE initiatives also provide shelter, training, support and education for youth, survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence, and abused wildlife, exotic and farm animals.

So are we making a difference? Let's take the example of a study done in Nicaragua and let you decide for yourself. This study began by looking at the fact that malnutrition affects a great many children and families in Nicaragua. More than half of the deaths of children there are due to malnourishment. Malnourishment in children also causes school problems such as lack of ability to focus, poor attendance, participation and performance. The Nicaragua Report from 1995, reports the effects of AFA bluegreen algae on the nutritional status and school performance of 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders in Nicaragua. 1 gram of an AFA supplement was given to a group of these students everyday for six months. The study observed and charted physical appearance, nutritional status, school attendance, behavior and academic performance. At the end of the six month period, the children being fed AFA bluegreen alage showed significant improvement in all areas, while the children in the control group continued to show worsened conditions.

How You Can Help
The Nicaragua Report is one example that shows how providing malnourished people with AFA bluegreen algae provides them a healthy food source for energy, protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and the antioxidant properties that can help support good health. Our company now is offering an opportunity for you to help in the fight against world hunger. The idea operates on the basis of creating a product line that will provide the best natural nutrition to those that need it the most. These products will be convenient, delicious, able to be consumed by any age group and under any circumstance. The icing on this cake is that these products will also be commissionable so that Associates with the company can build their own businesses while donating products that help feed the world. The first product available in this line that can be purchased now by Associates or by anyone for donation is an instant breakfast cereal mix that not only is full of superior nutrition with a broad range of amino acids, minerals, high quality fiber, micronutrients and daily needed vitamins, but also includes a serving of AFA bluegreen alage mixed in. It can be mixed with either hot or cold water, juice or milk. When you purchase one of these meal packs, it will be shipped directly to Feeding America which distributes them to hungry Americans through a network of food banks.

It seems like there are so many complicated issues we face today. World hunger is one that we can do something about that is quick and easy through the GIVE programs. Just think how much healthy food we could provide for malnourished children and adults if we all made a commitment to donate at least one of these cereal meal packs every month. If you are looking for a way to give to others and want to help serve by feeding the hungry, we invite you to join us by purchasing a GIVE meal pack today.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

Image courtesy of photostock / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Can Supplements Reduce the Cost of Sustainable Food?

We have all noticed our food bills rising and as we turn to buying organic and sustainable food, this isn't predicted to change. To get premium nutrition and stretch your food budget, supplementing your diet with high quality whole food supplements can help. Aphanizomenon flos-aquae , AFA bluegreen algae is one of Earth's first foods, regenerates itself quickly and has been used as a plant based supplement to the human diet for thousands of years. You may know that AFA bluegreen algae is rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, essential fatty acids, and other micronutrients, but let's take a look at specifically a few of the benefits algae can provide us with.

Chlorophyll, the natural phytochemical creating the green pigment in plants, stimulates liver function and excretion of bile, strengthens immunity, and detoxifies chemical pollutants. Numerous studies indicate that chlorophyll has anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic properties as well as antioxidant effects that combat damage from carcinogens.

Phycocyanin, the blue pigment in blue green algae, provides antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and is particularly effective working with chlorophyll.

Beta Carotene and Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an antioxidant nutrient that comes from foods with beta-carotene. The body takes beta-carotene from foods and converts it into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the vitamins that helps keep skin healthy and your skin is your body's first line of defense in the immune system for keeping out bacteria and viruses.The beta carotene and chlorophyll in blue-green algae also help strengthen the intestinal wall, so proteins and other food particles can't slip into the bloodstream and vitamin A has been shown to help reduce elevated LDL oxidation in those with diabetes and is essential for good vision and cell growth.

Omega-3 Fatty Acid
Omega-3 fatty acid has a variety of health benefits and is essential for brain and nervous system health. It has been shown to help with cardiovascular health, depression, cognitive health, hydrating skin and reducing wrinkles, reducing triglyceride levels, reducing inflammation and may improve blood pressure. Omega-3 fatty acids form the cell membranes that cover neurons and other cell organs and are also the main ingredient in your synapses and dendrites, which are the connections between your neurons. To be healthy, you need 3 to 4 times as many omega-3's as omega-6's, but most Americans get a lot more omega-6's than omega-3's. AFA bluegreen algae has the exact ratio of fatty acids the human body needs.

Amino Acids
Bluegreen algae has 20 different amino acids including carnitine, phenylalanine, and tyrosine. Amino acids found in AFA are the building blocks of healthy nerve cells and neurotransmitters vital for proper brain function. It has all the raw ingredients our bodies need to produce carnitine which transports fat molecules across the cell membrane, so the cell can metabolize the fat and give us energy. Phenylethylamine, or PEA, has been shown to elevate the mood, decrease appetite, regulate neurons, and reduce stress. Tyrosine, a precursor to thyroxin, is a hormone associated with reducing symptoms of depression, help decrease food cravings and elevates mood.

Vitamin B-12
B-12 is one of the vitamins that help us relax, soothes our nerves and helps us deal with stress. When we are stressed, we tend to use up our body's supply of B vitamins just when we need them most and need to replace them. It also is essential to brain function, the nervous system, blood formation, metabolism of cells, and energy production. B-12 has also been reported to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering homocysteine levels.

Vitamin K
Vitamin K must come from diet as our bodies do not create the amount we need. It can help strengthen blood vessels, boost the immune system, is important in blood coagulation, helps the body absorb calcium and bone metabolism.

AFA bluegreen algae has a variety of important minerals a healthy body needs including calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, and zinc. Calcium of course is essential for bone health. Magnesium is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions, maintaining muscle function, blood pressure, blood sugar levels and for immune system health. Manganese is important for bone health, healing wounds and to activate enzymes in metabolism. Phosphorus contributes to bone health, cell membranes, activating hormones and for producing and storing energy. Potassium is important for proper functioning of cells, muscles, neurons, heart, fluid balance and excreting toxins. The body needs zinc to support the immune system and to make proteins and DNA.

Trace Minerals
Another benefit of AFA bluegreen alage is the trace minerals it provides such as copper and chromium. Copper helps the body produce energy, metabolize iron, assists central nervous system reaction and antioxidant properties. Chromium supports the functions of insulin and may help lower blood lipid levels.

That's a lot of benefit from taking a few capsules or tablets to supplement your sustainable food diet. AFA bluegreen algae is the perfect way to get the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids your body needs to stay healthy. Buying organic sustainable food is the healthiest way to go. Offsetting the cost with high quality bluegreen algae is the smart way to stretch your sustainable food grocery budget.


If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.

Image courtesy of New Earth

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

What Exactly is Sustainable Food?

Sustainable food comes from practices of sustainable agriculture which is all part of the sustainable living model. We have covered some of the components of sustainable living in previous blog articles and today will be concentrating on just sustainable food and sustainable agriculture.

Sustainable Food From Sustainable Agriculture Practices
Sustainable agriculture is a way of producing food that takes into consideration natural ecological systems, efficient use of natural resources, reduced energy use, practices that provide food that does not damage human health or the environment, that supports local economy, and that has a positive long-term effect on communities. According to the University of California's Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program sustainable agriculture is "the stewardship of both natural and human resources" (http://homeguides.sfgate.com/sustainable-food-mean-79598.html). When Congress passed the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, it defined sustainable agriculture as a system of using production practices in growing plants and animals for food and fiber that enhances natural resources. Kevin Rabinovitch, Global Sustainability Director of Mars Incorporated sums it all up by stating, "The necessity of industry collaboration is clear as we consider the inherent complexity of managing biology-based production systems. That's why Mars has joined the Sustainable Food Lab."  (http://www.sustainablefoodlab.org/). If you think integrating these type of practices sounds like a tall order, check out some of the sources listed at the end of this article to see what many organizations are already doing to move sustainable agriculture forward and how you can get involved and start using sustainable food for yourself and your family.

Sustainable Agriculture versus Industrial Agriculture or Factory Farming
Most of the food consumed by us today is produced with industrial agricultural practices or through factory farming. Sustainable agriculture practices include crop rotation for controlling disease and pests, using compost and other natural nitrogen sources, soil conservation, and protection of clean water and air resources. Sustainable agriculture works with nature instead of against it which allows for the production of healthier foods, reduction of pollution, reduced damage to the environment including climate change, and a reduction in depletion of natural resources. Using these types of practices to produce sustainable food also involves a movement from consuming processed foods to consuming fresh, local meat, fruits and vegetables in season. This can be incorporated in a variety of ways from supporting farmer's markets and joining CSAs to getting involved with a community garden, starting a rooftop or window box garden, or having your own home garden. Another interesting idea that has come forward is using vertical farming in which tower-like greenhouses or vertical inclines are used for food production rather than large industrial plants or factories.

With industrial or factory farming practices, the goal is to produce more quantity of food rather than quality food. The long-term effects of these practices on the environment, natural resources and the community are not a priority consideration. You are no doubt familiar with the treatment and conditions that exist for animals in factory farm situations and how unsanitary and inhumane they can be. Sustainable farming practices in regards to animals ensure they are provided for with non-chemically grown feed, that they are allowed access to conditions that support their natural behavior (ie. – chickens have room to peck the ground), and there is not an overpopulation of animals in the space available. Whereas industrial agriculture uses such practices as pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, and petroleum based fertilizers, sustainable agriculture uses organic practices to replace these.

How You Can Get Involved with Sustainable Food
There are ways you can get involved with supporting and providing sustainable food for yourself and your family right now without having to wait for sustainable agriculture practices to become the mainstream. One really good reason to do this is that food related illnesses affect 325,000 people yearly to the point that they require hospitalization. This is according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (http://gracelinks.org/media/pdf/three_easy_steps_to_sustainability_ho_20090922.pdf). Then of course there are the added benefits of reducing your carbon footprint, reducing damage to the earth and its environment, supporting your local economy, supporting humane treatment of animals raised for food, and preserving natural resources. Here are some ways we can all get involved with sustainable food now.

1. Get the Facts About Your Food – Most of us shop around, check out reviews and collect a lot of information before making a purchase for something like a car or a new entertainment system. Is the food you eat any less important? Start asking questions about where the food you buy comes from, read labels to see what is in it, find out what type of farming practices were involved in the production, then pick one food you normally buy at your grocery store and make the decision to only buy that one food out of the organic section or from a local organic farmer. As you start asking questions and making changes in your food buying habits, you not only educate yourself and start yourself towards sustainable food consumption, but also model this for others in your community and possibly get other consumers as well as businesses to start thinking about these issues and making it a priority.

2. Join in Meatless Monday – You may have heard of the Meatless Monday movement (www.MeatlessMonday.com). This movement encourages people to pick one day a week to commit to having meals that contain no meat. In this country the average person eats about 8.4 ounces of meat a day whereas the recommended daily allowance is 5.5 ounces (http://gracelinks.org/media/pdf/ten_steps_to_eating_sustainable_ho_20090416.pdf).The idea behind eating less meat is that it is not only healthier for you, but also has a positive environmental effect due to the practices utilized in producing the meat sources we currently have the most access to. If you are a meat eater, start finding local sources of meat and animal produced food products or at least find sources that are grass fed and humanely treated animals. For example, personally after reading about battery hens and seeing pictures of them, I absolutely cannot enjoy eating an egg that did not come from a cage-free hen.

3. Supplement Your Diet for Extra Nutrition – Taking whole food supplements can help get you the most nutrition out of the food you eat, help stretch your food budget, and provide the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, fatty acids and proteins you need to stay healthy. For example, taking digestive enzymes helps you absorb more nutrients from the food you eat. Then probiotics like acidophilus and bifidus help your body process and digest the foods you eat and keep them moving through the digestive system. The AFA bluegreen algae we recommend definitely follows sustainable living practices and is a sustainable food source. It comes from a unique eco-system in southern Oregon, fed by pure lake and mountain spring waters and is nourished by the rich mineral content of the volcanic soil found there. This wild bluegreen algae is abundant, edible and sustainable. Once harvested it regenerates itself quickly, no pesticides are needed, it must have pure water to live and grow so pure water is a must and it is a basic whole food nutrition source. This algae is a simple, full-spectrum, whole food nutrition straight from nature, harvested and packaged in accordance with sustainable living practices.

Don't wait around for sustainable food sources to come to you. Get proactive about what you eat and start finding ways to engage in sustainable living now. Not only will your body thank you, but so will the planet and future generations.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.
Image courtesy of moggara12 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Curious about Sustainable Food But Not Sure What it Is?

Sustainable is a word we hear a lot today and most of us would agree it's a positive concept, but what exactly is sustainable food and how we can incorporate it into our already busy lives?

Sustainable Living
First of all to understand about sustainable food, we have to understand the principle behind sustainable living. This is a lifestyle of recognizing the connection and relationship between all living things and protecting our natural resources. I'm sure you are familiar with the term "carbon footprint". People engaged in sustainable living are conscious of the resources they use in areas such as food production, energy usage, and transportation and strive to use sources that are renewable. They are also aware of the impact that what they do has on other ecosystems and parts of the network. This philosophy extends not only to food sources and energy, but to systems such as education, land use, community structure and social issues. In a sense everything is looked at in terms of how it is connected to other things and the impact what is being done has on those other areas. It follows the pattern and cycles of natural eco-systems in nature and strives to keep them in balance.

Sustainable Food
Sustainable food would therefore be eating food sources that take the sustainable living model into account. We have to look first at how the food we eat is produced. Is it being produced in a way that the water table is affected by heavy irrigation? Are pesticides being used causing environmental damage of chemical runoff? Is the land itself being damaged with soil erosion and disturbing other ecological systems? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then these are not sustainable food sources. Now look at how the food you eat is being transported, how does it get to your grocery store? Does transporting the food involve using a lot of fossil fuels? Is the air being affected with excess pollution from carbon emissions? If yes, then again, these are not sustainable food sources. Another consideration is how the food is packaged and what resources are involved with creating the packaging, transporting it and disposing of that packaging. Sustainable food would deal with these types of problems by using local food sources that use sustainable farming methods that would protect the land, water and air. This supports local farmers thus giving a boost to local economies and reduces the use of fossil fuel and carbon emissions resulting from transporting over long distances. Sustainable food practices also supports growing vegetables and fruits that are in season for that area. That reduces the use of greenhouses and extra resources needed to support that type of agriculture.

Benefits of Sustainable Food
By getting local seasonal produce, people would be consuming fresher fruits and vegetables. The need for chemicals used to preserve produce for long distance transportation would not be necessary. If the time from field to store was reduced by selling locally, more farmers could engage in organic farming which is more in keeping with the sustainable living model. Foods in season can be frozen, vacuum sealed, canned, pickled or dehydrated for use in off season. This eliminates the need for additives and preservatives that you know aren't healthy, but have been necessary for long distance transportation and long shelf life in grocery stores.

Even though we have been concentrating on sustainable food sources of fruits and vegetables, we aren't suggesting that everyone has to become vegetarian in this model. Production of meat sources face many of the same problems in transportation, processing and damage to land, air and water resources. A sustainable eating model may consider cutting down on the amount of meat eaten and/or simply buying meat locally. Consumption of animal foods from animals that are wild, free range or grass fed not only creates a healthier source, but also one in tune with the sustainable food model.

Sustainable Food Sources
People who live in more rural areas often already have access to the space to have a home garden or to local farms to buy produce, meats and dairy foods. But what about the city dwellers? With a little thinking and planning, this model can work even for the city folk. Community gardens, farmer's markets, landscaping yards with vegetable plants and fruits trees and bushes and CSA's are all ways to create sustainable food sources within cities. In some instances some of these solutions would mean changing zoning laws and educating people, but that type of networking is what sustainable living is all about.

AFA Bluegreen Algae as a Sustainable Food
The AFA bluegreen algae we recommend definitely follows sustainable living practices and is a sustainable food source. It comes from a unique eco-system in southern Oregon, fed by pure lake and mountain spring waters and is nourished by the rich mineral content of the volcanic soil found there. This wild bluegreen algae is abundant, edible and sustainable. Once harvested it regenerates itself quickly, no pesticides are needed, it must have pure water to live and grow so pure water is a must and it is a basic whole food nutrition source. The company packages all the products in recyclable packaging and even the packing peanuts are from recyclable materials that leave no carbon footprint. It also has implemented programs that help feed impoverished, malnourished and hungry people around the world in sustainable ways providing them with increased fatty acids, lean proteins and amino acids that support the body with a profile that is 97% similar to mother's milk.

Algae is at the foundation of the food chain and involved in producing 70% of the earth's oxygen. It captures sunlight through photosynthesis and folds its energy into edible compounds that our body releases as sunshine in our cells. Simple, full-spectrum, whole food nutrition straight from nature, harvested and packaged in accordance with sustainable living practices. Now that's what I call a sustainable food!

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.
Image courtesy of amenic181 / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Thursday, May 1, 2014

What is the Paleo Diet?

Good question, what is the Paleo Diet? Have you heard about this type of diet and do you understand the principles behind it enough to know if it is right for you? According to proponents of the paleo diet, you can lose weight without exercise or counting calories and lessen the risks of major health problems. It proposes that we return to eating the types of foods that were consumed in the times of the hunter gatherer or prehistoric times. That means eating the very freshest foods you can get from animal sources, the freshest vegetables you can get, fruits that are in season, healthy fats and some nuts and seeds. Here are some guidelines from what we've learned about the Paleo diet if you are considering making the switch.

What Is the Paleo Diet All About?
On the Paleo diet everything is made from scratch and processed foods are not allowed which means you'll be spending more time in the kitchen preparing food. Keeping with the hunter gatherer type menu, wheat as well as other grains, dairy (with the exception of butter), legumes, refined sugars, salt, fruit juices and refined vegetable oils like Canola are not included consumed. What you will be eating is a lot of fresh meat, fish, fruits, vegetables and healthy fats. The meats and fiber from fruits and veggies will keep you feeling full so that you are not prone to overeating in this eating plan.

If you are committed to a vegetarian or vegan diet, the Paleo diet is not for you. According to Loren Cordain, PhD, author of the book The Paleo Diet, meat, seafood, and eggs are stressed as being protein sources for this diet and vegetarian proteins like beans and legumes are not included in the paleo diet food list. Lifestyle changes are a part of the philosophy behind the Paleo Diet in addition to the changes in eating habits. These include only eating when you feel hungry instead of by the clock, getting the maximum amount of sleep possible, getting rid of stress, and limiting exercise to short periods a few times during the week. Some sources also encourage taking supplements to get vitamin D, iodine, and probiotics.

What Is the Paleo Diet? – The Role of Protein
The Paleo Diet is a high protein diet. The recommended protein type is from animal sources. This includes meat, fish and eggs. Some sources that support the Paleo Diet encourage eating fatty cuts of red meat and organs like liver instead of concentrating on only lean meats like poultry, pork and fish. The explanation behind this is that lean meats provide more protein than the body can metabolize. Protein is seen as a source for growth and repair in the body and not as a fuel for energy. Energy production in this diet is dependent on carbs and fats.

What Is the Paleo Diet? – The Role of Fiber
Fresh vegetables and fruits are another staple of the Paleo diet. If you absolutely can't get fresh then go with frozen. These will provide the carbohydrates needed for energy production. Vegetables can be cooked or raw and starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes are encouraged. Carbs such as cereals, grains, beans, legumes, and rice are not on the list of acceptable paleo diet foods.

What Is the Paleo Diet? – The Role of Fats
Monounsaturated fats and saturated fats are also important components of the Paleo diet. They are used for energy production and other body functions. Coconut oil and butter would be the fats of choice for cooking and olive oil and avocado oil are good choices for eating on foods rather than for cooking. Nuts are another good source of fats that are encouraged, especially those with lots of omega-3 fatty acids and not much omega-6 fatty acids. Hydrogenated oils of any kind or degree are not allowed which would include margarine, corn oil, vegetable shortening, canola oil, peanut oil and sunflower oil just to name a few.

AFA Bluegreen Algae and The Paleo Diet
Based on what we have learned, both forms of AFA bluegreen algae: whole algae and heart of the algae with the cell wall removed, we think are a good fit for the Paleo diet. They provide lean proteins and high quality fats plus glycogen from the cell wall of the whole algae. Glycogen is the fuel that is stored in our livers and converted to glucose when we need a quick burst of energy. In a cave man, the liver would use glycogen any time the "fight or flight" response was triggered. In today's times our bodies need glycogen when we are under stress or need a quick energy fix. The best sources of glycogen are meats including liver and properly processed blue-green algae from Klamath Lake. The cell wall of the whole algae is made up of glycogen that your body can use right away. AFA blue-green algae also contains easily assimilated nutrients including: essential fatty acids, active enzymes, vitamins, amino acids, minerals, trace minerals, proteins, complex sugars, and phytonutrients that provide your body with nutrients it can use for increased daily energy. The form of algae with the cell wall removed is small enough to slip through the blood brain barrier to feed hungry brain cells and help with mental clarity and stamina. And while I'm pretty sure our cave dwelling ancestors didn't have access to algae supplements, consider that algae is the fundamental basis of the entire food chain - the foundational nutrient source for creating and renewing all life on earth. That definitely sounds like it fits in with a prehistoric menu.

I hope you now have enough information to decide if the Paleo diet is for you or not. If you find you are drawn to it, then we encourage you to do some more in depth research and consult your healthcare provider to make sure it will meet your individual needs and be safe for you. The main thing is to find a diet, a program, a lifestyle or whatever works for you to help you stay as healthy as you can possibly be.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader. Also, check out the free health resources or order blue-green algae products  on our website.
Image courtesy of Anusorn P nachol / FreeDigitalPhotos.net