Let Food Be Thy Medicine

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(calm music) – I want to open with aquote from Thomas Edison. He said the doctor of thefuture will no longer treat the human frame with drugs,but rather it will cure and present preventdisease with nutrition. Are we there yet? – We’re on route. – So tell us about what you do at the Center for Integrative Health and Center for Integrative Nutrition. – So at the centers we have a broad based set of integrativeapproaches to healthcare. The one that I’mparticularly passionate about among all of these, well I’mpassionate about all of them, but particularly aboutnutrition and food as medicine.And we’ve been developing programs, clinical programs, researchprograms, educational programs, community outreach on alllevels to try and really help create what we think isthe medicine of the future, which is actually themedicine of the ancient past. – Yeah, Hippocrates said it best, right? – And Hippocrates probably learned it from ancient Chinese medicineand Ayurvedic medicine. So this has very, very deep roots. – It’s a perfect lead in. Tellus about Ayurvedic medicine. I know you’re a medical doctor, a Western medical certified doctor but you also have a big focuson Ayurvedic medicine. And not necessarily everyone understands or knows what that means. – So yeah, I did mymedical training in the conventional Western medical model, and then got out into practice. I’m board certified in family medicine. So I practiced for many years, and realized I didn’treally have all the tools that I needed to help people. And my parents are from India.And so I knew a little bit about Ayurveda. I thought it was kind of homeremedies and things like that. Somewhere when I decided to learn a different way of helping people heal, Ayurveda really resonated with me. It’s a mind, body, spiritapproach to medicine. So it’s a thousands of yearold health and healing system. So it’s a verycomprehensive healing system that incorporates many,many different modalities. But really the foundationin Ayurveda is that food is your medicine,and digesting your food. And so there are lots ofquotes and different sayings in Ayurveda about how important it is to eat properly and have good digestion. And that’s the core of your health. And then everything else is complimentary. But it’s a really richmedical healing system, that’s really based onprevention as well as the root.And then there are lots of treatments for health conditions when they happen. But really the principlesare based on prevention, and empowering peopleto be their own healers. That’s The thing that Ithink that interested me when you and I first chattedis that Western medicine often deals with thesymptoms of the problem, you’re treating the symptoms. Whereas Ayurveda wouldsay that’s number six, and we go back and start at step one. And I think that’s really fascinating, thinking about prevention,or perhaps if you’re on a certain trajectory it doesn’t mean that you’re predestined to end up there. You can take steps in yourdiet, and your activity, and eliminating toxinsand so on to change that. And I think that’s really fascinating. Now tell us a little bit about what you do at the Gerson Institute. – Okay, at the Gerson Institutewe’re a local nonprofit. We have another anniversaryactually celebrating. We’re 40 years old this year. And we were developed as an education and training and informationand referral agency for the work to support people that would like to follow Dr.Gerson’s work. He was trained as an internist. He was a neurosurgeon. He was a soil scientist in his own right. And he even, for a period of time, served as the agricultural consultant to the Prussian government at that time, and also the Bavarian government before he came to theUnited States in the ’30s. And he originally developedthe Gerson therapy to treat his own migraine headaches. And he did that through adiet elimination program. And then that progressed anddeveloped to his using it to treat skin tuberculosis at that time, and then developed intopulmonary tuberculosis. And soon after that, hewas asked to also try it for cancer, which he refused at first, because he said I know nothingabout that, and this is so.But he was starting to realize that he had a systemic program here. He came from the attitudeand the concept of totality. So he looked at everything. He looked at the air qualityissues, the water issues, besides the nutrition, ithad to be fresh organic. He developed of course,individual protocols for people. But there were similarities. And some of the basics werejust like salt restriction, potassium enhancement, somenatural supplementation, protein restrictioninitially and developed, continued to develop the program to treat very seriously ill people. So that’s, we’re now trainingdoctors around the world in cyberspace and thetele education program, and expanding our abilityto help more people.So it’s very exciting to see the interest coming from everywhere. Not just that it’snecessary to eat healthy, but that it can really beused as a treatment for very, very serious illnessesto bring the body back into total balance, and to move to a vibrancy, and a vitality of life. – It’s been said that a food can either be the bestmedicine, or the slowest poison. And so we have a little yin and yang on this panel today totalk about both sides of that coin, because it’s important. As we talk about what you should choose, maybe sometimes we have to talk about what you should not choose, anddepending on the discipline, or the focus that that answer may vary.But I want to use it as a segueto my friend, Zen over here to talk about the work that you do, Zen. – Oh, thank you so much. Well, I’m Zen Honeycuttfor Moms Across America. We’re a national coalitionof unstoppable moms. And our motto is EmpoweredMoms, Healthy Kids. And we raise awarenessabout GMOs and toxins, all kinds of toxins fromall kinds of exposure.And we offer GMO-freeand organic solutions. And through supporting local leadership, we are creating healthycommunities together in collaboration with manydifferent organizations. And that means offering free materials, supplies, training, talking points to go to City Council, orjoin into 4th of July parades, or to reach out to your fooddirector at your school. And so I’m very excited toconnect with people from all across the country,and now around the world. We have Mothers Across the World as well. And to see the results thatchildren are getting better. Our children are the mostvulnerable to these toxins, and they are getting betterby changes through diet. In fact my three sons, who were in the back,are examples of that. They had life threatening allergies. My son almost died frompecans in a stuffing on Thanksgiving, and also autism symptoms, asthma and autoimmune issues.And all of them have recovered through using food in their diet, eating organic, taking care of the gut biome, which I’m sure we’ll talk about. And so I know that wecan do this as a country. We can recover ourchildren and our families, and we can turn around the food industry, and the health in our country. – Thank you. I know, John you also havesome background in GMO. That’s in generally yourscientific expertise, but you also have a laboratory. Tell me a little bit about what it is that the laboratory does. What is it testing for, andhow does it work, and why? How does it relate to what she’s doing? – Oh, very good. What the Health ResearchInstitute is designed to do, is to create transparencyin the food system so that everybody can make betterchoices about the food they eat. That has to do with the good things, the nutritional aspects,and also the bad things, the pesticides, the GMOs,all of those sorts of things, the have the metals that might be there. And so what we do is we carry out testing, which then is used byorganizations, such as Zen’s, and many others around the US to inform the public about these issues.And our belief are, andwe’re very confident of this, is that when moms anddads have better knowledge about the quality of their food they can, and they will make better choices about what they feed to their families. And that is going tohave a cascading effect all the way through the food system. It creates demand for better food. And ultimately farmers are goingto need to figure out ways. They’re very creative and innovative, and ingenious individuals.And they’re gonna figureout ways to produce food without these nasty chemicalsthat harm our physiology, and produce food that isactually higher in nutritional value, because both of thosecan be really measured, and connected with thepractices of agriculture. So that’s what we’re working on. Healthy soil, healthyfood, healthy people. – So we’re dealing bothwith the soil microbiome, the gut microbiome, andsort of all of the effects that can have positive and or negative, in terms of overall health. Now, since we’re in the dirt, maybe we ought to go tothe farmer on the panel. Tell us a little bit about how you got into farming from your last career. – So my name is Stephanie Norton. I’m the founding farmer of Dickinson Farm.This is nothing that my husbandand I ever expected to do. Nowhere we expected to be. If I follow my originallife plan right now, I would be finishing up inKuwait and heading back. I went to a deployment. Just prior, in our predeployment workups, I was on Sycomine Islandand I got bit by a tick. Military medical system is amazing if you’ve been shot, or have a broken leg. But anything else, they reallydon’t know how to deal with. So the medical systemlooked at me and said well, you have a plane to catch, and we have a deployment to go on.So 10 months in another country, I was at Guantanamo Bay dealingwith the detention centers. There were days that I couldn’t walk. If I stayed standingI could stay standing, but anytime I laid down to go to sleep, I couldn’t really move my body. And it just kept ongetting worse and worse. I came home and the attitude then was now I couldfigure out what was going on. So I got bounced around toa whole bunch of doctors, and then finally landedwith a misdiagnosis, which landed me with an amazing doctor.So I’m very thankful I had a misdiagnosis of ankylosing spondylitisand the attitude was, it’s okay ’cause it’ll stop hurting when your spine fuses together. So we ended up with an amazingdoctor here in San Diego, who was considered the bestfor ankylosing spondylitis, and was gonna give me somewhat of a life. That day I could walk slightly. And I came in and hesaid, you don’t have it. Pretty sure I know what you do have.We’re just gonna take some blood, and we’ll talk in a month. And in that month I got married.We went on our honeymoon. And, I’m gonna tear up, about a week after we get the diagnosis,and that day I was told for the next two years, you’regonna be in an I.V. chair. And we’re gonna start today. And I said no no, no no.I’m on active duty military.I have to run up, I have totell my unit. I can’t do this. And the attitude wasyou’ll be here Monday, or you’ll be in a hospital. I had, my bacterial load was active. Typically in remission for lyme, your bacteria load is about less than 200. And mine was 27,000.So I was a Petri dish. Undiagnosed in my tissues, my bone marrow.And we started I.V. therapy. And his thing, he’s an amazing doctor, but he said you’re gonna be mad. You’re gonna go home anddo whatever sailors do. You’re gonna drink, you’re gonna smoke, whatever you gonna do,but I’m gonna tell you if you watch what you’re doing, and you don’t inflameyour body anything more than what lyme is already doing, the medicine will workbetter, it’ll work quicker, and you won’t destroy yourself anymore. Because I’m gonna kill your immune system. I’m gonna kill everything in you to get rid of this bacteria. So if you do this, it’ll help you. And he’s like, take a week,be angry. I’ll see you Monday. And we spent about threemonths dealing with other, we did CSAs, we tried a personal chef, we tried all these things.And as a military family, wewere like we’re gonna go broke. There’s no way. My husband was on duty at nights, and taking me to treatment during the day. And out of desperation I was finally like, I said to my doctor, if I go vegetarian and just grow my own food, can I do that? Will you tell me? I don’tknow how to be a vegetarian. Can you tell me what I haveto eat to get through this? And his answer was, you think you want to spend your time nothere, growing your own food. And I was like yeah, that’spersonal, completely rational. He was like, don’t let her kill herself. Do whatever you’re gonna do. And my husband, and my cousins, and my dad built me some raised beds thatI could sit on the edge of. And in the evenings and weekends, I grew my own food with no experience. I’m from Orange County, my husband’s LA.And we, it turned out very well. – You started a new program this year. – We did. – Tell us about pharmacy. I love this. – So with this we’ve been, we started farming in ’14,we went to market in ’16. And then last year we were,I was talking with nurse. And just how are you? How’s the community? That type of thing. And when we were talking, I was like yeah, we’re selling to ourcommunity, our neighbors.And she reminded me, in theway that best nurses do, that your community is the people that sat next to you fortwo years in an I.V. chair. Your community is the people that, that had the same struggles. And don’t forget that those people still sit there every day. And new people still fill their chairs. And they’re who need your food. And we grow 100% heirloom. We don’t take anythingthat’s past World War II. We only use very, verylittle organic pesticides. And that’s when it’s just,the load is too high, and we’re gonna lose the whole farm. And in four years, the only thing that we’ve sprayed is organic copper. And we’re really considerate of that, for my health and our customers’ health. So after thinking about it,and I reached out to Christina. We had worked together before,and she does amazing work with heirloom greensand heirloom vegetables, and they do cook differently,and she can work with them.And I was like hey, Iwant to do this thing. I want to get our foodin front of patients. And everything from the,I just got my diagnosis and I can’t even standup to cook for myself, to the hey, I’m doing welland I want to get back to cooking for my family,and everything in between. So we launched it, and it’s been amazing. – Thank you. Let me ask you something, Gordon. It’s been my understanding for a long time that nutrition wasn’t sort of part of the required curriculumfor medical doctors. Is that still the case? – It’s changing, although gradually. – Seems a little counterintuitive. I’m just a lay person, but. (laughing) – We got training inbiochemical nutrition. We all had to learn how to recite the Krebs cycle forwardsand backwards 16 times. But that has no clinicalpractical application. It’s found its way a little bit. They’re teaching maybe a little more about the epidemiology, thenutritional epidemiology of heart disease, diabetes,some of the chronic diseases.- So how food relates tothose specific conditions. Don’t eat this, eat that. – In some quarters it’s just lip service. In others there is an effort to try and ingrain it into whatpeople do in practice. – [Michelle] How does thatdiffer from what you do? – We are fully focused on using food, either as an adjunct or as thesole therapy for any patient, for any health conditionthat comes in the door. – You have somethingthat I’ve seen, a pyramid of what’s called, or what youcall, the therapeutic order. Most of us who’ve been tothe doctor, had a condition, we know that typically we’retold to take this medicine, and/or potentially havethis invasive procedure. That’s not where youstart. Where do you start? – So years ago when my dad was sick, when he had developed cancer, trying to find a way to help him.And his doctors at JohnsHopkins told my family that he would likelydie in less than a year. I realized Western medicinedidn’t have the answer. And I just started searching, reading on the old microfilm machines in the bowels of JohnsHopkins medical library. And I came across- – They still have those.They do don’t they? – I’m dating myself here. – Me too, it’s okay. – My eyes bugged out when Iread the story of a physician who had healed himself ofadvanced prostate cancer through a major change in his diet. And he was as skeptical as anybody, but he had this experience. And I found out him, met him, and met a community of folkswho are doing similar things. Part of me thought thatthis is some kind of a strange cult that I’m slipping into, people who claim to be able to use food to treat all these diseases. And yet, when I startedto change my own diet to have a support formy dad, I realized wow, I’m feeling better than ever in my life.And I then learned that all ofthe chronic health conditions that we’re facing, the epidemic diseases as well as the chronicones like heart disease, diabetes, and cancer all havestrong nutritional links, strong dietary factors. – It seems that food issomehow involved with the top two to three killersthat we know of, diseases. How’s that differ, or isthat similar to your work? – Yeah, absolutely. Again, it starts with thedigestion and the food. – What about digestion? ‘Cause that’s a specificfocus in Ayurveda. Tell us about that. – Yeah, it’s very interesting because although food is themost important factor. And in fact, I think Ihad sent you the quote. There’s an ancient proverb, and this is thousands of years old.When the diet is wrong,then medicine is of no use. When diet is correct, thenmedicine is of no need. So there is this philosophythat you have to eat properly. However, and we see this quite a bit, there are a lot of people who are eating what’s considered the right foods. And in Ayurveda we all havedifferent mind, body types. So I think that’s wherepeople struggle a bit- – No one size fits all. – Exactly, yeah. And you really have to lookat everyone as an individual. The food should be organic, and non GMO, and from nature, and all of those things. And then how you prepareit is very important as to how you’re gonna digest it.- [Michelle] Whether it’s raw or cooked? – Raw or cooked, and alsothere’s this principle of the six tastes in Ayurveda. In Western medicine,it’s very reductionist. We look at this one food and we say oh, that’s carbohydrate, that’s bad. But if you eat it with themicronutrients that you need, and spices, and they don’thave to be hot spices, but just savory spices, that’s what helps you digest that food. So there’s this concept of how you’re going to digest the food. Are you optimizing your digestion? And a lot of the foods are all about, now we know with science, which has been reallyfun to do the science, that a lot of these healthy foods are shifting the microbiome. And they do most of the digesting for us. But in Ayurveda again,it’s the six tastes. So we focus on macronutrients, which is what we learnedin medical school, carbohydrates, fats, proteins,how much do you need of that? Those are the energy foods,and they’re important.But that’s one taste in Ayurveda. And the other five are allabout the micronutrients, and what you’re puttingin your food to support your own digestive process,so that you don’t have to take other things tohelp you digest your food. You’re optimizing your internalmechanisms for healing. And so when you combinea little bit of sour, and a little bit of salt, and the pungent, and then the bitter and astringent, those are all the micronutrients,then your body will- – This is all to improve digestion. – It helps you to improve the digestion so that you can extract thenutrients from the food. And also there’s this concept of synergy even in food science now where when you, one plus one doesn’t just equal two.One plus one can equal 10, if you’re combiningfoods in the right way. There’s this concept of food synergy. So I think that’s whatthese and a lot of other traditional healing systems recognize when a lot of ethnic cooking naturally has a lot of these flavors all mixed together. And that’s what my mom did. She just knew what to put in the food. She didn’t necessarilyknow it as a scientist, but she was a food scientist,right in the kitchen. And so any food you made,you knew what to put in it. And then in my analytical mind, now I look at all these recipes, and I’m like oh yeah, it’s got all- – There’s a reason for it. – Yeah, and it’s interestingtoo that each of those tastes has a very specificpurpose of what it’s doing in your body to help you digest. Because again, otherwiseyou can eat healthy food and still not digest it, absorb it, use the micronutrients theway they’re meant to be used. And so it’s very, itcan be very complicated.It’s a very sophisticatedsort of science, but honestly it’s the easiest way I everfound to figure out how to eat. And it’s fun. I taught my kids, theseare all the six tastes. And then we would lookat our food and say, did we miss one of the tastes? And sometimes you just haveto add one little thing, and it makes it a complete meal. And that’s, again, optimizingyour internal healing.Because Ayurveda’s all about using what your body already knows what to do, but things have justgotten in the way of it. Maybe you’re not giving your body what it needs to do the healing process. And again, food is key in that process. But also optimizing the internal mechanisms that we have for healing. So we, Gordon and I talkeda minute before the show. I brought a couple of kale salads. and I forgot that he had told me that it would be best tocook some of the kale. I could have one raw kale salad, and one partially cooked kale salad. Because a lot of peoplecan’t digest raw kale. I’m a big kale fan. I knowno one likes to admit that. But then you had a veryspecific answer as to why it is.And so I was thinkingabout, as you were talking, that people think I can’teat that good ingredient. But it might be they can eat it raw, or they can’t eat it cooked. Tell us a little bit about that, because you were justtalking about that earlier. – This really gets to whatSheila was talking about, what Dr. Patel was talkingabout, about the digestion.There’s a concept in Chinese medicine referred to as the digestive fire. And they call it agniin Ayurvedic medicine. And it really is talkingabout the ability of the body to extract the good things from food, the nutritional components,the healing properties, and to expel the waste product, and to do that smoothly and easily. And when we get sick, thatability starts to weaken.And we end up not fully nourished, and not able to easily eliminate, and holding onto toxin and waste. And so the most foundationalthing you can do is to strengthen the agni, it’s to build up the digestive fire. And sometimes when people’sdigestion is very weak, you have to cook your food ina vessel outside of the body. You put the digestive fire into it, in essence predigesting it a little bit, so that then your weakenedpower of digestion can be aided by your cooking method. – That’s also true of fermentingand sprouting, as well. Those are sort of predigested foods, are easier to for thebody to assimilate, right? – Correct. – A little bit of breaking the food down before you ingest itcan help then the body, so it doesn’t have to do as much. And then as that agni gets stronger, then you may find you can eat things that you couldn’t eat whenit was not so strong. Although there are somepeople, again in Ayurveda that just naturally don’tdigest raw foods very well. And there are these kind ofdifferent mind body types.And that might not be so good for them if they try to do that,so it’s very interesting. – I thought you raised somethingvery interesting earlier, Anita, when you were talkingabout one of the things you do at Gerson isreduced protein intake. And I know from my own research that Americans on average eatabout five times more protein than the World HealthOrganization recommends, and still twice as much asour own USDA recommends, nevermind that we also waste 40%. But importantly, I’m curious about that.Because protein is one of those things that for some people is harder to digest. So tell me why that’s partof what you do at Gerson. – Yeah, let me put it in thecontext first of the fact that the majority of our patientsare very seriously ill. And I just want to commentfirst about food, too. On the Gerson therapy, cooking methods are a very big part of it. And the food is cooked veryslow and low, and waterless. And a lot of peopleexperience it as being mushy, but that’s that purpose of,it’s not only what you eat it’s what’s important,is what you assimilate. And therefore, for a body that is stressed and already compromised to have that, like you say, predigestion done by that.So the protein is a temporary restriction during at least the firstsix weeks of the therapy. Because we’re trying tomount in that patient, some healing reactionsand some strong detoxing. And then by protein, we meanafter six weeks there could be, for some people it could beshorter, it could be longer introducing organic low fat yogurt, or some lentils, that typeof thing, so it’s still- – That’s an importantpoint, when we say protein we always tend to thinkof animal products. But there are lots of vegetablesthat have protein as well.- That’s right. Yeah, and then also on the therapy, it’s a tremendous amount of food. If a person’s able totolerate the full regime, we were talking about this last night, it’s 20 pounds a day offresh organic produce, but about 15 to 16 pounds of that is because there’s suchan intense juicing regime. And so four carrot juices a day, four carrot apple juices aday, and four green juices. The remainder of that isstill for three meals. – This is very different when, from you and I we talked alittle bit about official medical food, as used in Western medicine.And what that is versuswhat she’s talking about. Tell us what medical food is, not within your practice, but in general. – Well generally it’s very precise, chemically definedcompositions, supplemental foods that are given to peoplewith a very precise, usually FDA approved definition in mind. – [Michelle] But bot real food, then, powders, supplements, liquids. – They’re almost the diametricopposite of real food. – It’s sort of one ofthose ironies, isn’t it, that medical food in themedical profession is not food? It’s sort of like how vegetables, under the farm bill,are specialty products.It’s one of these thingsthat sort of boggles my mind. So yeah. – Honestly, the most healingfoods are the plants. The other foods that, and it’s not that you have to be 100%vegetarian, although there’s a huge amount of data that shows that a whole food plant baseddiet is the healthiest diet, as far as prevention ofchronic illness, et cetera. But if you do have somesort of animal proteins, that should be a small part ofyour diet, it’s energy food. But all of the healingfoods are plant based. It’s nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruits, a lot of the things that people think they have to cut out for reasonsthat really are just myths. That’s where the healing foods are.And we need energy foods of course, which can be from plants as well. But it’s very interesting, the balance in the typical American dietis swayed way over to meat. – This seems, I think a lot of people feel sometimes overwhelmed by the information, and the sources of information. How do I know what choices to make? What’s right for me or my family? Is there an easy fix, or an easy source? Where does, and anybody please. Where does one go if they sayI want to do the right thing? And we’re not talking about diets, and short term restrictions, except maybe in the case of fasting. But how do I know whether I’m eating the things that are goodfor me, or bad for me? – It is so individual. Because, for instance, I wasdirected to the GAPS diet when my son’s had severe allergies, but one son was allergic to eggs. The other son was allergic to nuts. And the gaps diet has alot of almonds and eggs, and so that just wasn’t gonna work for us.So I first looked ateliminating the processed foods, taking things away, theprocessed foods, the sodas, and the chips, and all ofthe processed junk foods. And adding in fermented foods, because that’s somethingI could easily do. And with the fermented foods,I had to give some gold stars for a little bit with my sonto get sauerkraut into him. But after a while it becamea habit at dinner, yes. So they are used to now eating sauerkraut with dinner almost every day. And one tablespoon of sauerkraut has a trillion good bacteria in it. And that’s something that’s a shift for a lot of Americans to think about. We think of bacteria as a negative thing. And we really do needto reintroduce this idea of the bacteria and themicrobiome being our friend, and something that’snecessary to take care of. So I like to think of, okay first the easy step is to getthe junk out of the house.And if there’s a parentout there that says well, but my kid will only eat these foods. Well, that’s because you’re buying them. We are in charge of what we buy. We are in charge of what’s in our house. We can put healthy food in our house. We can experiment with,you can make healthy chicken nuggets, if it’s organic, free range, pasture raised, all that. And you can also substitutewith other types of foods. So I like to start withreplacing their favorite foods with something that’shealthy, and adding in the fermented foods to help the gut. – Then you can also add them in in small doses to a meal or a dish- – Yes, and you can sneakthem in a sandwich. You can do all kinds ofthings that are fermented- – [Michelle] Sneaky tips on your fight. (laughing) Kefir cheese, and yogurt, organic yogurt, things like that that theydo like, that they will have.You can sneak some goodfermented food in there. – There’s an organizationlocally, Olive Wood Garden. And they bring students in to plant, and then harvest produce. And then there were agroup of volunteer chefs, and I helped on many occasions. And we would teach them, prepare a food using that vegetable they hadjust pulled out of the ground. And a lot of the kidsdidn’t know the vegetables, and didn’t really want to try it. And I remember one of the chefs. Julie Darling would alwayssay there was a one bite rule. You had to take one big bite before you were allowed to say no. And I always think of that when I try to, usually it’s my husband, try to ask him to try something that mightbe green, or has kale in it. So there’s the one bite rule. And then usually ifyou’ve done your job well, then they’ll actually likeit, much to their surprise. I wanted to ask yousomething too, as a followup. Because some of your workhas been really focused on gene expression and howthat’s altered by food, by toxicity, as well as obviously more recently also meditation.But as we’re talking aboutthe way food affects us, most of us think calorie in calorie out, fat, carbohydrate, protein. We’re talking a little bitabout within the family of carbohydrates thereare better and worser. So but tell us about, butthat’s just for this moment, I think oh my goodness, should I eat the Cinnabon or the oatmeal? But more specifically, you talk about how, yeah well, okay sorry, oh we failed, dang. You talk about how it’snot just affecting you at this moment, but in facthow genes express themselves, and this creates a trajectory. Explain that a little bit for people like myself, who are not science people.- So think about food as being, not just thosemacronutrients, the protein, the carbohydrates, the fats. Think of them as intelligence, as information thatinfluences your physiology. And what we’re, so food has that energy, and protein building is a value to it. But it also has this ability to give your physiology signals, move the physiology’s functioningin a better direction. And that’s really whathappens with gene expression, is that you’re altering things so that, and those gene expression effects, the effects on the way that our genes are being expressed can happen in seconds, and then go away in the next few seconds.If you eat that Cinnabon, thereare enzymes, there are genes in your liver that willbe turned on immediately. You will produce enzymesthat will allow you to deal with that Cinnabon, okay. For better or for worse. And it will have to do with accumulation of glycogen, and fat, andall that sort of stuff – So not just affectingyou at that moment, though. You’re creating a future path. – That’s the point thatcomes next, is that when you are eating acertain kind of diet, it affects your functioning, your gene functioning longer term.Has anybody heard the termepigenetics? Epigenetics? What happens with epigenetics is that when there’s a certainimpact on your physiology, the effect of that can actually change the way that your genesare chemically functioning. It doesn’t change the sequenceof the genetic alphabet, but it changes the actualability of that DNA to be turned on, or expressed or not. And this effect can be longterm. In fact, these effects can be inherited, so that if there’s an epigenetic change that occurs as a result of your diet, that can influence your sonor your daughter’s diet.And when they continue, itcan go on to their children. So these effects can be longterm. And of course, they sort of you might, if you don’t continuethe, what would you say? The stimulus that’s giving rise to it, then it falls off in a few generations. But this is something that strongly affects the physiology longterm. And there’s now evidence that this occurs with thepesticides that you eat. Anybody heard of atrazine? Atrazine is one of the mostcommonly used herbicides. It’s used in corn, it’sused in many crops.There’s now research that’sbeen done showing that the effects of atrazineon, this was done in mice. If you feed a mouseatrazine in their diet, and then you look, you willsee changes in their genome. You’ll look at, and behavioral changes. You’ll look at the nextgeneration, those will be there. And you look at the thirdgeneration, and they’ll be there. So this happens both fromthe good things in our diet, and from the bad things.- This is a little heavy and so- – Sorry.- No no, but it’s important. Because we’re looking at our history of our own choices in life, our families, and looking back perhaps. What’s really great aboutfood as medicine is that the choice to change that trajectory can happen as soon as the next meal. So that’s a beautiful thing. And so that’s what you reallyfocus on, and you as well, how to flip from, andavoid some of the toxins, both in the food, on the food, or in the environment generally, and/or how to counteract thatby limiting those toxins, and choosing food for health. – And there’s studies thatshow that within one week, 90% of the pesticidesreduced in a family in Sweden that went organic, andwithin two weeks 100% were out of their system and other body. So it is, it can be done very quickly.- That’s very encouraging, I think. That’s the beauty of it. Maybe you don’t know exactlywhich foods are right for your dosha, for yourbody type, and you might want to do some research onlineor go see a professional. But what you do know is,if you can avoid the bad and shoot for the good, thenyou’re on the right direction. – What you were just describing, Zen, what that says to me is that we have a profound ability to change our health. And that’s probably the most singularly most important thing is noteven worrying so much about pesticides or contaminants,but just simply choosing healthy food, becauseit will be restorative, not quite overnight, but almost so. Within a week, two weeks. We see changes in the pattern of the gut microbiome in a matter of days. And we can influence this- – They did eat organic though. They were purposely avoiding pesticides. – Sure, sure. Oh, I’m not advocatingthat people continue eating even plant foods that are contaminated.- [Zen] Okay, great. – But I mean, but thething is that just simply stopping that, and replacingit with healing foods that help to bind and taketoxins out of the body, and replace them with really good things, can have a profound,almost overnight effect. And with regard to the gut microbiome, we talk a lot about the fermented foods, and I’m a big fan of them. But the singularly mostimportant thing we can do, again, is a whole food plantbased diet that provides the fiber, and the resistance starch that nourishes the microbesthat are already there. It feeds the good guys,and it doesn’t feed, it actually sort of starves, although I don’t want touse the negative term. but it doesn’t feed the opportunistic ones that overgrow and cause so many problems. So just simply, the singularlymost important thing is change your diet in this healthy way. And the effects are profound. – That’s certainly was your experience.This made me think, as we’re talking here, this is your life, this is what you did, and what happened to you. It’s interesting because not, I think a lot of us want to eat healthy. We hear all these things. We hear GMO, non-GMO. We hear organic better than organic. If you’re in the farmingcommunity, some people will tell you that organichas lost its real meaning. All these different kinds of labels that get slapped on everything.We heard them all beforewe started doing this. We shopped organically. When you’re in GuantanamoBay, you shop with whatever’s there, soit’s a little different. But when we even started growing- – [Michelle] No farmers market – Yeah, yeah. We just got our seedsfrom the local seed store. I mean nothing, didn’treally pay attention to how they were grown,and where they came from, and whether or not theywere manually hybridized or any of that, and we were growing. And I was having responses to corn. Which I’m a California kid. I mean three world tacos area part of every college here. And I was having thissevere reaction to corn. I would have a miniseizure, my face would tic. And we’re talking very quickly. And then the next handful ofdays all my joints would be really sore, I’d havetrouble walking again. And it took us awhile to figure it out. And finally I did, justa sensitivity test, not necessarily an allergytest, and it was showing up as number one then, those, corn and plums.And my thought process was, you can’t not eat cornin the United States. It’s in everything, it’s in your medicine, it’s in makeup, it’s literally everywhere. We tried it, and we were getting, the medicine I had to take compounded, and it wasn’t making a difference. And for me, when we talkabout making these changes, there’s kind of the,there’s the perfect world. And then there’s also the, I’m already overwhelmed,I have a diagnosis, I’m just trying to keep my life in order. I just need to knowwhat I have to do today to make sure I get to tomorrow, and then I’ll figure it out tomorrow. And for me, corn was the thing that I was like, this is absurd. I don’t know how I’m gonnado this the rest of my life, and not, and really just live. So I took some time and Iread a lot about heirloom, and heirloom varieties,and how that people that were havingsensitivities, to even wheat, that they were able toeat heirloom varieties and not have a reaction.So I convinced my husband to listen to me. And we planted a smallpatch of heirloom corn. And when we were harvesting it, my dad and I standingthere and we peeled it. And Mike stopped me. When Imet him, he was a paramedic. And he’s like, my job hereis to save. That’s my job. I wear a cape. My job is to save you.If you have a reaction, I don’t ever want to hear corn again. Suck it up, we’re done. And dad and I sat there,and pulled it off, and we’re reading sweetcornjust standing there. And no reaction. And literally, within the next two weeks, we pulled everything out, andwe converted 100% to heirloom. Because it took it from.I’m not a scientist. I don’t have that background. It took it from allthis stuff that we hear, and this group says this,and this group says that. And it took it from this anecdotal, I don’t know who to believe,everybody’s arguing, to the I can tell you if I eat this, my body literally physically reacts in a way people cansee, and it’s negative. And if I eat this, it doesn’t. And that’s that change that even with organic, it’s one step further.And the hard part withorganic is for a lot of years all of the genetic testing for GMO was too expensive for theseagencies to even be doing it. So you have grains that peopleare saying they’re organic, but depending on when youkind of made that transition. California OrganicCert, I’ve spoke to them just this past year and theysaid the tests are cheap. They test every time greencomes into California, because that happens tobe a big thing that’s genetically modified, thatthey’re actually testing it. But the problem is is that,if you’re eating a varietal that is either manually hybridized, and you’re allergic to one part of that. Pluots is a a good example. I’m allergic to plums,so I can’t have plots. I also have some troublewith some of the tree nuts, ’cause that’s all in that family. So if it’s hybridizedwith something to give it a better shelf life, or togive it a different flavor, and you don’t know that,you’re gonna have a reaction. So for me, going completelyorganic, or completely heirloom was the change that madethe huge difference.And trust me, like as any normal. We have people that sayoh, and let me guess. Amazon’s never at your house. And you don’t use toiletpaper, you use cloth, and just all this crazy stuff. And I was like no, Amazon’sat my house every day. It’s the cheapest way to run a farm. And I still eat food that’snot heirloom, that’s life. But I can tell you I canwalk, and I’m not twitching, and I’m not lifting mylegs at the end of the day when I eat the way that Iknow my body needs me to eat. – This is some. Oh sorry, go ahead. – No no, I was just gonna say you bring up a reallyinteresting point also, that we’re always trying to get people to.You can give people guidelines, because we have some informationabout general principles. But it’s about listening to your body. If you eat something, even ifyour sister, or your whoever, spouse says this is reallygood and you should eat it. And your body says no, and ifwe’re listening it’ll tell us, then that’s not right for you. And then you try something else. And you say oh my gosh, Ifeel amazing when I eat this. And then you know that too. And you have to be honest with yourself, because minds can trick us and say, we’re eating our Cinnabonevery day, feeling great. – The Girl Scout Cookie messageis incorrect. Okay, got it. – Yeah, and I do. I tellpeople follow an 80, 20 rule. Because also we add alot of stress by saying I have to 100% of the timeeat this perfect food. And our body’s pretty resilient when we’re out of that really, really sick stage that we can sometimes have that food.But most of your diet should be, like what your body is healthiest with. – The important thingthough, is to not give up. She pursued it, and she wentafter the heirloom corn. You could have just said,that’s it no corn ever again. Like we did with my son, it was no nuts. Once he almost died from nuts. We said no nuts, not ever again. And we were just resigned, and doubtful that anything could change. Until one day he said mom, I wish all my allergies would go away. And I said, me too, buddy. But in my head I was saying,that’s never gonna happen. And then I realized, wait a second, that’s not empowering, that’snot what I’m committed to. What if something could be different? What if there is some otherAyurveda, or some other way to have an opportunity happenand something could happen? So I asked him, wouldyou like to maybe one day eat a slice of pizza at a birthday party, which he couldn’t do at that time.Because we knew a cousinwho had gone gluten free, and eventually she could have it. Once she healed her gut,she could have it later on. And he said, yes. And I said, well thenwould you be my partner? Would you partner meetwith me in your health? Would you drink green drinks, and try alternativemedicines and all that? He said, yes. And I said, then I promise you,you’re going to get better.And that promise, whetheryou do that for yourself, or your spouse, or yourchild is very important. Because then that has you do things you normally would never do. Like when you go to a doctor, and you make that promiseto follow that protocol. You step up and you do things that you normally never would do. So the important thing is to not give up, and to keep trying new things, and to promise somebody elsethat you’re gonna do this.- Well, and the easy answer is not always. What we tend to do issay I can’t eat wheat, or I can’t eat avocados,but let’s remember. What kind is being grown? And is it a very hybridized,modernized version? Or is it a heritage or heirloom variety? Sometimes they call them biblical. On the other hand, and thentherefore how has it grown? Is it grown organically? Is it grown conventionally, and/or GMO, which means that it’s likely to carry a significantly higher toxic load.And of course, then again on top of that, it depends on which kind ofvegetable you’re talking about. I don’t know if you guys are familiar, but Environmental Working Group puts out something called the dirty dozen. And they say look not everybody’s perfect. None of us buys 100% organic all the time, or most of us don’t.And so there are certain foods that are more likelyto carry a toxic load. And these are the onesthey say, buy organic. These other ones, theymight still have it, but they don’t carry quite the toxic load. So again, it’s not sort of a one size fits all on these things. I had a reaction to, anallergic type reaction, white blood cell buildup. So my body constantly felt tired and sick, because it thought it wasfighting these foreign invaders. And once you go througha process to eliminate, and clean, and detoxify, then your body is just sort of focused on itself again, and can move forward insteadof constantly in fight mode. Is that consistent with whatyou experience in your work? – I wanted to just pick up onZen bringing up empowerment. Because we know from theresearch that when people are engaged in their ownhealthcare, even things like monitoring your bloodpressure, your glucose. So what’s any more involvement than your daily preparation of food? And also, I’ve always heard that if you’re trying to makechanges in your life, a lot of people kind ofgo to all or nothing, instead of realizing that ifyou’ll make some small steps, that can make some big differences.If you just go home and getrid of one or two things in your home that you feelis the most destructive, or that you don’t feel good about. The other thing too, is to have a plan. And on Gerson, do we ever have a plan? We tell people exactly every hour what you’re doing, and whatjuice, and what kind of, what meal, and whatthings need to be involved in that meal, and thenwhat you’re gonna do the next day and that kind of thing.But that same thing applies to us in our day to day lives too. Nothing’s any more empoweringthan to literally quote, excuse the pun, step up to the plate, and take care, take charge, take charge. – But for some people it is100%, at least for awhile. Just make that commitment to go 100%. For instance, like gluten, getting gluten or dairy out of your diet. It takes months for thatto come out of your body. So it is important to go 100%as much as you possibly can. And don’t give up. And I do want to add thatmy son did get better. His allergies went froma 19 down to a .2 and so he no longer has lifethreatening allergies to nuts, which typically get worse, not better. And he did that by healing himself. – And I think one of the disservices we do in really conventionalmedicine is disempower people. And I think the worst thingyou can tell a patient is this is what’s going to happen.And I, as an integrativeprovider, I do primary care still. I send people to specialistsif they need certain tests. And then they’ll come back and tell me oh, the GI doctor, they said diethas nothing to do with this. And it’s like oh my gosh. – The GI doctor who focuses on digestion. – The cancer ward that serves donuts. – And they’ll say therheumatologist, or the whoever said that this is what’s goingto happen with this disease. And so I need to do this,medicine or whatever. And not to, I’m kind of on both sides in the sense that I do see what happens when people don’t do anything.And yes, that is true. That would happen if you do nothing. However, if you do thesethings, like change your diet, then you can shift that trajectory. And it doesn’t have look like that. And just giving people that sense that our body is constantly changing, and that every choice wemake affects that change. It’s a dynamic process. It’s not necessarily justyou’re headed down this course. That may be true if you don’tchange what you’re doing. ‘Cause that’s kind ofwhat, how you got here. And so I think just givingpeople that little sense of empowerment and adifferent perspective that this is really a dynamicprocess going on right now. Like we were talking about, the microbiome can shiftin a couple of days. One bite of food you take canshift your gene expression.And then you start to realize wow, I can really affect what’s happening. – I think that sometimes that empowerment is also daunting, because then it means that I have a responsibility as well. And I think these thingsare sometimes in turmoil. Obviously, no one here is saying that anything and everything canbe 100% cured with diet. On the other hand, canyou alter the trajectory that one says that youare on dramatically? I think the answer is clearly yes.You like you want to jump in. – There’s really acontinuum of possibilities. There are some things wherediet, some diseases where diet probably will have amarginal if little effect. It might help your health in other ways, but not necessarily address the disease. On the other hand, there are some diseases on the other end that are diet driven. And some of the mostcommon and important ones are very much on thatend of the continuum. – The top two or three, right? – Yes. You were asking before about the concept that I was gonna mentionabout this therapeutic order. – Oh sure, your pyramid. No no, this is good becausemost of us are used to the sort of Western paradigm, which is what drug do I get, orwhat procedure do I need? Let me keep eating my honeybun or Cinnabon. But no. So how is yours? Yours is very different. You’re very different.- Well, years ago when I studied some of the more ancient healing systems, Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic,it was intuitive to me that you started withfood, food and lifestyle. And you change, you create the conditions for health with these. And then only whenthose aren’t sufficient, do you then go up sort ofthe ladder or the pyramid toward increasinglyinvasive kinds of things. If you’re in a car accident, you go straight to the trauma center. You don’t waste your time with diet, and herbs, and all that.(laughing) – Write that down, folks. – If you’re unconscious, that’s not the time to do psychotherapy. (laughing) Well, actually a calminginfluence is always a good thing. And healthy food, when a person recovers is the first thing after thecrisis has been resolved. So we have to use really good judgment. But in naturopathicmedicine, they came up with this concept called the therapeutic order. And it really holds that diet and lifestyle is the foundation. Most things, before weever even medicalized them, and give them a label, and scare people with all this workup and evaluation, they’ll simply resolve if we change the health conditionsthrough diet and lifestyle. And then if that’s not sufficient, we use targeted naturaltherapeutics, herbs, acupuncture. Allopathic medicine, whenthat’s not sufficient. And then of course- – [Michelle] What’s allopathic medicine? – Allopathic is Western medicine, the way the commonunderstanding of disease or symptom focused, and pharmaceutically or surgically basedinterventions at the forefront.- Well, I think this is really important. We’ve been talking a lotabout how we might use food to deal with a particular problem. But again, if we go back to sort of body fundamentals, and immune system, and gut as the originof the good or the bad. Maybe what we’re doing is we’re creating a lean mean fighting machine, so that when the incoming comes, we’re better able to ward it off. Is that true? It sounds really good. Star Warsy like, but I like it. I mean, that’s so, right? – Children used to play outsidebarefooted on the Earth. They weren’t slathered withthe antibacterial soap. As a kid, I ate dirt. I tasted everything on the farm. My mother would wait, she’dsee me coming down the lane, and she’d wait with agarden hose to hose me down so that I could go in the house, because I would step on anything. I tried to drink waterout of the dog’s bowl. Those kinds of exposure to just those what we’re talking about. And as we know now, it saysin the soil, so in the gut.And so she was very wise in a lot of ways to have given me that freedom. – So your immune system isstronger because of that? – I have a very sturdy immune system, yes. Charlotte, Charlotte Gerson tells me that if she had doneto her body what I did, that she’d been gone a long time ago. And she’s 96 years old, but she’s lived veryclean, eaten very clean. – And if there is acrisis, by living this way we’ve created resilience within ourselves that will help us enormouslyduring that crisis. – That’s what I wanted tohear a little bit more about, because I think that’s,we’re not just talking about.Again, if we think aboutdisease or symptom focus, now we’re backtrackingto young, healthy people. How do we keep them that way and strong? I mean, and how does it dothat? And why does that matter? – We really need to start withhow we educate our children, start with what we are feeding our kids. Maybe that’s the most,singularly most important thing, or place to focus if we want to build a healthy population, healthy society. – So they have had healthyhabits of their own. – And so that for them it’s,they know what a vegetable is. They know where it grows. And then that helps themdevelop their intuition about how to heal themselves,or what they need to do. – And I think that ties intojust lifestyle in general. Are you taking your kids outside, or are they inside all the time? Is there just overstimulation? And stress is a hugefactor with digestion, and how you digest your food, and your immune system, and everything.So when, ’cause we teach meditation and lifestyle in addition to food. Food is a big component. And again, when you’redoing all of these things, and you’re reducing the stress response, and you’re connecting tonature, and all of these things, and teaching your kids how to do that. Again, sometimes things do happen, and we do need medicationsfor things and certain people. But your body’s going to be able to use anything you give it in a much better way when the foundations are there. – It’s important totrust your children too, that they can do much more than a lot of us think that they can do.For instance, my middleson had autism symptoms when he was about eightand a half, a sudden onset of autism symptoms, hitting and yelling, and grades dropped from As down to Ds. And it was not like him. And so I took him to the doctor, and he tested him for fungusand bacteria in his urine. I said, why are you testingfor fungus and bacteria? He said, because oftentimesthe bad gut bacteria can lead to inflammation in the brain, which can lead to behavioral issues. And I thought wow, that’swhat glyphosate does. That’s what’s in Roundup,that’s sprayed in our food. And it occurred to me thatthat son was eating wheat, which is sprayed with glyphosate, or Roundup as a drying agent. It does not wash off. – [Michelle] And not evenGMO, just conventional. – Yeah, it’s not GMO. It’s just, so wheat, wheat,legumes, beans, peas, tea, sugar, oats are highlysprayed with glyphosate as a drying agent, if it’s not organic.And so he was eating thisgluten food, because my other two sons were glutenintolerant but he was not. So he was the only onethat was eating gluten. And at that time we tested,again very important. We tested his urine, and hisurine was eight times higher of glyphosate levels thanwas ever found in Europe. And so there was Roundup in my son. And we realized that weneeded to go strictly organic, and he needed to not eat sugar. And this was betweenThanksgiving and New Year’s. And he promised to dothat. And he did that. And we went strictly organic, 100%. Even the canned chicken,we had to get that out, ’cause that’s not organic. And we did put in probiotics,and colloidal silver.We did have to do a compoundantifungal medicine. But that was $650 a month. So when people tell methey can’t afford organic, I remind them the cost of medicine. It is much more expensive. And then within six weeks weretested him for glyphosate. His levels were no longer detectable, and his autism symptoms weregone, and have never come back. But he did that also by not eating sugar. He made that choice and we trusted that he would do thatin partnership with him.And so I think we needto trust our children and our family members, evenif you have a mom or a dad that you’re like oh, they’renever gonna change their diet. Don’t do that to them. Show them the movies like, “GMO OMG,” or, “Genetic Roulette,” or there’s a great movie out now called, “Modified.” There’s a new movie called,”Secret Ingredients.” It’s all about peoplehealing through food. There’s a movie that’s coming out pretty soon called, “Food Cure,” right? So there’s great educational tools that you can use out there. Just have faith that they willbe inspired by one of them. – I’m glad that you mentionedsome of the desiccation, and the use of glyphosate in that process. ‘Cause I think a lot ofpeople assume that Roundup is only associated with GMO crops, and not conventional crops that aren’t, haven’t been modified towithstand the spraying.But all of these grain crops get sprayed at the end for desiccation. And interestingly, if you’renot aware, you can look at. Food Democracy Now did some testing of basic breakfast cereals. And one of the things thatfor me was most horrific, was to see that of all ofthe cereals they tested, the one that had the singlehighest residual rate of glyphosate was ordinary Cheerios. And I think to myself,what is the one food that every parent inAmerica carries around in a small Ziploc, or Tupperwareto feed to their child? It’s Cheerios. And that hasa really high toxic load. And so there are some foods,and that that’s one of them, that you really may want to payattention to eating organic, if you want to reduce that toxic load, and how it might affect you. – And it’s very important also that vegans and vegetarians understandthat hummus and chickpeas, garbanzo beans had the highestlevels, along with wheat. So if you’re feeding yourchild a plate of chickpeas and hummus, and they haveoatmeal for breakfast, and then they have buckwheatnoodles for dinner, they are eating the highestlevels of glyphosate exposure that you can possibly expose them to.- [Michelle] Unless you buy organic. – Unless you buy organic. So it’s very important to notjust be vegan and vegetarian, if that’s what you’redoing, but to also purchase organic food in order to avoid glyphosate. – I think it’s also important to not put the focus just on glyphosate. I’m not saying it’s ahealthy thing at all. But the same kinds ofdietary changes that will reduce glyphosate, also changethe food in many other ways. When you’re eating refined products, they have a thousand things,including glyphosate perhaps, but also many other negative attributes. And so we can’t just pinit on the glyphosate, and say that’s the evil thing. ‘Cause we’re like the sevenblind men with the elephant, and saying it’s just thetrunk, or it’s just the tail. We really need to think about, and not even focusingon villainizing things, but on focusing in apositive way on what we want, what we want to move toward. And I come back again,like a broken record, to a whole food plant based diet.Not a refined diet but one that is, that has intact colonel wholegrains, not villainizing them because oh, they may contain gluten, or they may containglyphosate or whatever, but because they are richin healing properties that nourish themicrobiome from underneath. Create that balance. Create good gut brain connections. Activate genes in the brain. Change the expression in the brain. The code for neurotransmittersthat make us happy, reduce our stress, reduce our anxiety. So changing the dietarypattern in this way, I think, is really that. I want people to focus in a positive way on what they can do tohelp themselves and not- – [Michelle] Stay on theedges of the grocery store. – Yeah. – Can I just have time?Can I just have time? – I agree with you. Thatreally is the foundation. But in this day and age, we need to look to theseindicators of impurity in our food. And we look at glyphosate as being an indicator of other things.In meat products, thereare also indicators, a few things that you can measure easily that are indicators that youdon’t want to eat that chicken. You want to eat another one. And it’s critical that people be given the ability to make those choices. And Zen talks aboutglyphosate because that’s been an indicator that’s made a big deal, big difference for her family. But we need to go deeper than that.And we need, in a way whatwe’re finding in our work, because we’ve tested hundredsof products at this point. And what we find is that the difference between conventionaland organic is striking. And so by making thechoice of going organic, or growing your own, andespecially even going to the ancient varieties,this making that choice, however you can personallymake it, has a huge effect. And so we can then, from that foundation, begin to make good choicesabout what we eat in there. It’s very important to avoid these things. – I hear, and I agree withwhat you’re saying, John. My concern is that if we focusjust on the negative thing, like ooh stay away from that,in a kind of phobic way. And we don’t put equal or greater emphasis on moving toward healing foods, and thinking about the richness, and focusing on the diversity of taste, and the balance of thefoods and understanding how the healing properties within us, we’re gonna compromise ourability for self healing.So yes, you definitely want to understand the toxic load of foods. And I’m not advocating them in the least. If anything I would, that’s one of the first thingsI warned people against. But I think the emphasisneeds to be a positive one, an affirming one toward life, and foods that are rich and life energy. – This is always an eat this,not that kind of dialogue. And this is a bit of a yinand yang kind of conversation. But of course, we’retalking about all the things that you should eat, andwhat they do to the body, and how they can createa stronger immune system, and how they can deal with evenspecific ailments and so on. You can get down into the weeds, like here’s a food that’sgood for the brain, or the liver, or in has greatnumbers of lysine, great. Or you can sort of focus on Michael Pollan, eat food,mostly greens, not so much.I mean sometimes, I alwayscome back to that again and say that that’s sort of the fundamentals. On the one hand, you don’t want to get, these are important issues,extremely important issues. But you also don’t wantto become fearful of food. I had someone come overthe other day, and said I don’t want to eat your romainelettuce out of your garden. I hear it has E. Coli, and I said well, not this one, I think, I hope. But that’s an importantpoint because we can all focus and agree on eatreal food, not processed food. Okay, step one. And then we can talk aboutwhole, nutritionally dense foods.Great, we all agree. Now, as we get down and we say okay, so then we have organic,conventional, GMO. We probably all agree on whichof those is the best as well. But I think it is sometimesgood to stay here. We don’t want to make peoplefearful of romaine lettuce. I think about that. – But then there is a study. There was a study out recentlythat showed that women who are doing IVF to get pregnant, they were eating fruits and veggies. The ones who ate the fruits and veggies with pesticides on it, hadlower levels of success. So it’s not factual to just sayeat your fruits and veggies. If you really want to be healthy, and to get pregnant, andto have healthy children, it does need to be organic fruits and veggies for the best outcome. – Well actually, Zen, I wouldtotally turn that around and I would put veggies way before fruit, and I would put whole grainsand veggies at the top, because people have a misconception about what is even healthywithin a plant based diet. Fruits are important, especially when it’s theright season for them, but we want to have greater diversity.And when we’re encouraging people to have clean versions of these, and life energy filled versionsof these, we don’t I think. I also wonder when youmentioned people who, women who are undergoing IVF, and didn’t have as good a result. It may have been a function of what was in the fruits and veggies they were eating, or maybe they were missing other things in their diet that were healing. It may have also been thattheir awareness of that was a reflection of other,or lack of awareness of that, was a reflection of other things. Were they more likely to be smoking, to be drinking alcohol, to not exercise? So I think we have tobe careful to say oh, it was their non-organicfruits and veggies that was the cause, when itwas part of a larger pattern. – Well, but when we knowthat there’s pesticides that cause endocrine disruption,and impact fertility.We know that now,especially with glyphosate. So it’s just not factual, I’m just saying, to tell people to eatwhole fruits and vegetables without addressing the issueof pesticides that can. I mean, we have 100 endocrine disruptors in the United States, Sweden allows three. These endocrine disruptorsimpact fertility, sterility. We have, sperm quality level of men now is 50% of what their grandfathers were. We have an issue in the United States. And it is primarilystemming from, I believe, and many doctors believenow, the toxic burden.And that toxic burdenis primarily introduced to our population throughthe food and the water. And that’s coming fromGMO chemical farming. – And other sources, I mean. – That’s the primary. – The point is, thepoint that he’s making. And you guys actually are agreeing, but it’s just that as a legal matter, you can’t point to a singlecause in most instances because our toxic load comes froma variety of sources. Those are two big ones,but there are others. And it’s one of thereasons why, in the law, it’s often hard to provethese kind of cases. – And as a scientist matter,as an epidemiologist, I know that we have tobe careful when we assert this is the cause, that’s the effect, when there are multiple potential causes that are associated with oneanother, that go together.And so we really don’t know. I’m not at all arguing for GMOs, or for toxins in food, quite the contrary. But to say that’s thecause, that’s the effect. I get a little concerned. And I think we may weaken our argument, or the force of what we’re arguing for, because people can find thepotential flaw in the reasoning, and then dismiss everythingelse we’re saying. So I want us to be really strong in our arguments, and really grounded. – Can I put out a unifying concept? That we should be going for nutrient dense foods that are toxin, lacking the toxins that you put- – Lowest toxic load. – And then you’re in good shape. And if you look at, and the key thing. It’s easy to say yes, fruits that are infused with nutrients,and we want all of that. But for the mom or the dad,it’s well, where do I get those? How do I tell if this zucchiniis better than that zucchini? No, no no.Let me finish. The key thing there, is thatwe do have some indicators. There is quite a lot ofresearch out there indicating that organic is more nutrientdense than conventional. And also that organic is lower in these toxins than conventional. And so it’s pretty illogicalto use that as a big guide. It’s not enough. It really isn’t. And this is what you experienced. – Well no, just wait. I just want to go back towat I said a minute ago, about the EnvironmentalWorking Group study, and what they have on their website. Which is, look I thinkwe have to be honest. I think in a perfect worldeating organic 100% of the time, and some people are, but not everyone is. And maybe not everyone has access to that. So for the majority of people,and certainly in some areas, let’s talk about those things,which we should most avoid. And that includes certain foodsover others certain foods. But most importantly,it’s processed foods.So let’s go back to whole foods, and talk about how wholefoods, nutrient dense is the way to sort of create this. – I want to add another attribute, though. And that’s what’s in season, what’s growing in our own backyard. Because if we understand that we’re eating with the seasons,’cause if we eat locally, we’re gonna be doing that more or less. And we understand that plants have life energy and intelligence. We also understand that that changes over the course of time,over the course of the year. The life energy of plants,where is it in the winter? It’s down in the roots. The leaves have come off,the sap has gone down. The life energy is the chi of the plant, and the nutrients follow that. So if we, in the winter are eating the more rooty kinds of things, the more, the stored nuts and grains.And we cook them with fireto make them more digestible. And in the summer we’reeating more leafy things, and fruits at the right time,we’re gonna be naturally going where the nutrients are the most dense. – Ayurveda really focuseson seasonal eating as well. What you eat in the summer, versus the cold or the hot weather. – Absolutely, it can get very, very sophisticated in even whatthe phases of the moon were when you harvest the fruitsand things like that. – That’s sounds like biodynamic now. – Yeah yeah, I mean, andI’ve fully believe it. Again, just to speak tothe whole conversation, the thing I love about Ayurveda is that you’re always going backto the basic principles. And the basic principles, like when we do detoxes and cleanses, because even despite ourbest efforts, we are exposed. We live in a world that in Ayurveda, whatever’s out there is in us as well. Like you were saying your son he, we all have these chemicals in us.And there have beenstudies where we could draw the blood of everyone inthe room, and you’re exposed to things you didn’teven know were in you. Because anything that’shappening out there is our body. In Ayurveda that is our extended body. And when you start talking about that, I think it brings a littlebit of social consciousness and social awarenessto supporting organic, and supporting how we’retreating the environment. Not necessarily for a selfish purpose, but kind of in a way,because that is our body.And so that’s going to affect us. When we’re cleansing, wesay we’re doing two things. We’re taking out whatisn’t serving the body, and we’re bringing inwhat it needs to heal. And so those are tworeally basic principles. And that’s, again,speaking to all of this, is we want to removewhat’s not serving us, and what’s creating disease, and blocking our natural pathways. And we want to bring in nutrientrich food that’s natural. So we always go back to nature. So again, whether it’s thecycles and the seasons, or whether it’s producingfood as naturally as you can, meaning not putting things on there, these are like the core principles. And if you can just havethat in your awareness, and just be aware everytime you’re choosing food, chances are you’re going to be much more on that side of making thebest choices for your health. – I think as a culture, we tend to be. San Diego is great. Wehave a lot of farms here. You can- – The more farms per capitathan anywhere in America, folks.- You can go to a farmer’smarket, I think, every day of the week except Monday,is how, last time, I read it? I think Monday is the, orthe one that has the least- – There’s even a farmer’smarket here on campus, just down that grassy area. – So we have that, butwe’re also culturally really disconnected from our food. We don’t know our farmer. We think local means California. So if I’m gonna get carrotsfrom central California, and that’s local, but Ican’t get grapes from Baja, because that’s out ofcountry, and that’s not local. We’re disconnected. We’remissing something major. When I have people ask me, when we have figs ready and they say, how many days do I haveto wait to eat these? And the first time I was asked, I was like what are you talking about? You eat them whenever you want. And the answer was no, I alwaysget them when they’re hard, and I have to wait till they get soft. And I’m like, oh by the way,figs don’t ripen off the tree.They’re going rotten, eat them. (laughing) We’re disconnected from that. – [Michelle] Well, that’s similar. – Yeah. Texture’s kind of different, but. We’re disconnected from that part of it. And then there’s also some information that’s been out there that says millennial generation isthe generation that has, it’s something like less than30% actually know how to cook. And there’s no desire to. So it’s not like they’re refusing. It’s just that there’s no desire to. It’s a different kind of generation. And they’re not doing that. All of those things meanthat like it or not, we’re falling on processedfoods in some fashion. They may be better processedfoods because they organic. But that part of it,if all people could do, and when we have, I stillgo to treatment every day. I’m back in treatment. I wasin remission for 18 months. I started back in treatment, actually the day Christinaand I launched Pharmacy, which just was the mostironic thing in the world. But I was there.So I sit, and get significantly less medicines than I didthe first time around, actually very, very little. But that means everydaysince we launched it, I’m talking to the other patients, and talking to people in areal world life scenario. How we all eat, and how we want to eat is probably the best of the best. And then there’s life. And their answer is I don’tknow how to cook that. I don’t know how to break down garlic. I don’t know how to make yogurt. I don’t how to do all of these things. So if I could make that one change. So if I could get rid of the 12 items that I should never buy conventional, and only buy organic, what are those? And so I agree with that,I agree that there’s these baby steps that have to get there. And then you realize things,like you eat a tomato that’s from your local farmer, and that’s the best tomatothat you’ll ever have.- The ugly one that’s got appendages. – And to me those are theinstant gratifications. So you have somebody that goes, well I get this, and I’mused to getting that. Or, I always just get whatever yogurt, and it says organic and it’s okay. And then they start to kind ofgo more to those whole foods. And they’re like oh, Ican actually make yogurt, or I can make my own pasta sauce, and get closer towards that. – I think part of what’s needed here, is to draw on both sides of the brain. The scientific reductionistside is very important for making sure we’redoing things carefully. But we also want to unleashthe artist, our intuition. We want to get in tune withthe natural rhythms of nature, because that’s telling uswhere the nutrients are. It’s not one juxtaposed against the other. It helps us to understand,and to deepen our healing.- Well, we’re about out of time. And I just sort of want toclose with a final thought. It’s something my husband often says. There’s a lot of informationthat’s been imparted today from the sort of 30,000 view perspective, and down into the weeds on the positive, and on the potential negatives. And I guess he likes to saythat you should never let the perfect be the enemyof the good enough. And we all have to make the steps, and take the steps thatwe’re ready and able to make at this point in our life. And hopefully heading toward perfection, and on a right trajectory. But we all do the best we can. Listen, keep this conversation alive. We will continue to engage.We’ll bring in the panelists.Just hashtag FoodAsMedicineon Twitter, and/or Facebook. And we’ll, we want to keep this going, because I think this is fundamentally the most fundamental buildingblock of our own health. And as it turns out, the health of our communities,and the environment. Thank you for coming. Bye, bye folks on Facebook. (audience applauding) (calm music).

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