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Saturday, June 25, 2016

What is Your Antibiotics IQ?

The Quickly Changing World of Antibiotics

Well, if you haven't been following along about the state of antibiotic resistance in the world today... it's time to do your homework!
The "superbugs" are here.  But don't let the media fool you - antibiotic resistance isn't about a handful of "superbugs."  Any bacteria can develop resistance to our antibiotics.  And as it turns out, they already have.
It's odd that this story is still so surprising to so many people.  The inventor of modern antibiotics himself actually told us this would happen, if we misused them.  Long before "superbugs" were making any headlines, Sir Alexander Fleming had this to say shortly after he accepted the Nobel Prize for developing penicillin...
"The microbes are educated to resist penicillin and a host of penicillin-fast organisms is bred out...  In such cases the thoughtless person playing with penicillin is morally responsible for the death of the man who finally succumbs to infection with the penicillin–resistant organism. I hope this evil can be averted."
Uh... I've got some bad news, Dr. Fleming.
Read more: Treating Infections Without Antibiotics

What is Your Antibiotics IQ?

We put together this nifty quiz so that you can gauge your knowledge about antibiotic resistance against the general population.
These 10 questions will show whether or not you've been paying attention, and more importantly, whether or not you know the basic facts that you need to know in order to make the best decisions for yourself and your loved ones.  Take the quiz by clicking on the banner below:

Pass or Fail?

Don't worry if you didn't ace the quiz on your first attempt.  There's some technical stuff, and a lot of numbers to remember.
You can always come brush up on the basics here at The Grow Network.  For starters, check out Marjory's article 23,000 People Will Die This Year... and the follow-up Antimicrobial Resistance in the News.  And if those two are too depressing for you, there's a bit of positive news to be found here: A New View of Life on Earth - The National Microbiome Initiative.
And we'd love to hear your feedback on the quiz.  If you have thoughts or comments, share them with us using the comments at the bottom of this blog post, down below.

Food Security: Could You Grow Your Own?

 When Will Dinner Be Ready?

This is a serious question: How long does it take to grow your own food?  There's no easy answer, but give it a little thought.  If you woke up tomorrow and the grocery store was empty, how long would it take before you could provide food for your family to eat?
Let's assume that you're an accomplished gardener.  You have good soil and you know what to do, but you're starting from scratch...
You can grow some radishes in about 30 days.  About 70 days for carrots.  You could have some tomatoes in about 100 days.  Now, if you wanted to eat a chicken, we're talking about more like 4 or 5 months - and make it 6 months if you want eggs.
So, starting from scratch, an accomplished gardener could whip up a tasty salad in about 3 months.  The bad news?  It only takes 40 days to starve to death.

What's My Point?

Venezuela is undergoing a catastrophic food shortage right now.  It's as bad as it gets - the total collapse of a food system that relied heavily on imports.  The grocery stores have already been ransacked, the people are starving, and food shipments are being transported under armed guard.
Amid this overwhelming and life-threatening crisis, the government has formally advised its people that they should begin to grow their own food and raise their own chickens.  Can you imagine that?
Even if you're an expert, gardening takes a lot of time.  Now let's assume that you're not an expert.  Now you're someone who has never before planted a single seed...
Read more: Are You Prepared for Peak Chicken?

How Long Does it Really Take to Grow Food?

Developing a rich soil that produces consistently might take you a few years, depending on what you start with.  Tack on another few years to learn the basics about when you should plant and when you should harvest.  In the meantime, you'll also need to learn about pest and disease management, nutrient deficiencies, pollination, crop rotation... the list goes on.
How long does it really take to grow food?  The short answer is... it takes a lifetime.  Ask an old-timer with a thriving garden how long it would take them to show you what they know, and there's a fair chance they'll throw their head back and laugh out loud.
For someone who has never sunk a shovel into the ground to consistently produce food on their own would take several years, at least.
Read more: 10 Reasons to Garden NOW

Is Your Food Security At Risk?

Regardless of the type of government or the people in power, any population that relies on imports for its food supply could be the next Venezuela.  Any number of scenarios could disrupt the supply and leave the importer without food.  When you rely on food imports, you accept the risk that tomorrow's food shipment might not show up... for any reason.
So the question for each of us becomes, "Does my country rely on food imports?"  If you live in the United States, the answer is clearly yes.  The U.S. imports more food than any other country on earth, followed by China, Germany, Japan, and the UK.
I'm sure that some people will call this fear mongering, but my intent is just the opposite.  I hope that people won't just look the other way and pretend that this could never happen to us.  Instead, we should take a good long look at the situation, learn from it, and begin to make changes in our own lives to take responsibility for our own food security.

1: Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation.  New York Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/20/world/americas/venezuelans-ransack-stores-as-hunger-stalks-crumbling-nation.html?ribbon-ad-idx=4&rref=world&smid=pl-share&_r=0&version=SlideCard-12&slideshowTitle=A%20Hungry%20Nation&currentSlide=12&entrySlide=1&module=ArrowsNav&contentCollection=Americas&action=swipe&region=FixedRight&pgtype=article)
2: Food shortages take toll on Venezuelans' diet.  The Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/may/24/venezuela-crisis-basic-food-shortages)
3: The Science of Starvation: How long can humans survive without food or water?  Public Library of Science (http://blogs.plos.org/obesitypanacea/2011/05/13/the-science-of-starvation-how-long-can-humans-survive-without-food-or-water/)
4: Countries Most Dependent On Others For Food.  WorldAtlas (http://www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-countries-importing-the-most-food-in-the-world.html)

New Evidence of Multiple Participants in Orlando Shooting

How to Handle School Shootings

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

They Never Get Sick, They Don’t Know About Cancer: Live to 120 years, THIS IS THEIR SECRET!

Many of us have heard about the tiny population known as the Hunzas who live in the Northern part of India.
These people are believed to be the healthiest, longest-lived, and happiest people on the Earth.
They bath in cold water and give birth do babies at the age of 65.

The Hunza people don’t eat imported foods and they produce their own food .
They always consume raw vegetables and fruits, nuts, dried apricots, many different cereals (millet, buckwheat and barley), legumes and rarely cheese, milk and eggs, and they never eat snacks.
The Hunza people walk all day and they eat a little. 
 You should also know that the Hunza people, in a period of 2 to 4 months, don’t eat anything.
They just drink juice of dried apricot. Well, this is part of their tradition and they all respect it.
The Hunza people are usually fasting in the period when their fruits are not ready yet.
Some medical experts claim that this fasting period and their diet is the main reason why they have healthy life and why they live so long .
The high amounts of apricots keep them safe from tumor and cancer appearance.
This is because the apricot seeds are rich with the B-17 compound, which is powerful anti-cancer agent.
Some reports have shown that some Hunza people lived up to 160 years.
They always look young and their women can give birth at 65.
According to a story, published in 1984, about Said Abdul Mbundu, from the Hunza people who’ve arrived in London and the security officers at the airport were shocked when they saw that he was born in 1832.

Panicked Brits Rush To Buy Gold Bars

While we have to wait two more days to find if the scaremongering behind Brexit's "Remain" campaign has succeeded in terrifying enough residents to vote against exiting the EU, one group has been delighted by a Breferendum that has been defined by fear, terror and even more fear: sellers of gold and personal safes.
According to the Telegraph, worried British savers (yes, they still exist in this time of QE and age of NIRP) are scrambling to buy gold bars and "stuffing them in safes at home, data suggests, as fears mount that a Brexit-induced financial meltdown could be just around the corner."
The paper cites Google search data for the term "home safe" which is running 61% higher than the level at which it peaked in November 2008, the point of the financial crisis, and is now higher than at any point since. In other words, whether intended or not, locals are more terrified of the outcome of Thursday's vote than the near-collapse of the financial system in the aftermath of Lehmans' failure.

Google searches for "home safes" are at their highest point since the financial crash
Royal Mint, Britain's official producer of gold and silver coins and bars, said sales have soared by 32% over the past month, with customers rushing to buy sovereign and Britannia bullion coins and signature gold bars in particular. While our readers hardly need an explanation, the Telegraph notes that "in the event of a major meltdown it is common for savers and professional investors buy physical gold and silver to protect their assets, as historically the value of precious metals rises, as the value of stocks and shares falls."
But it gets better: ever the opportunists, the newspaper cites "experts" who warned that buying gold bars to store them at home is "nonsense" and instead investors who wish to preserve their nest-eggs "would be better off investing in gold investment funds, which offer better value for money."
Ben Yearsley, investment director at Wealth Club, a financial advice firm, said: "Gold bars are very poor value for money and you run the risk of losing them or having them stolen at home. If you're going to buy precious metal you might as well buy a gold or silver investment fund, where you will get much better value for money due to economies of scale."
You read that right: the end of British civilization as we know it may be at hand, at least according to David Cameron, and financial advisors are, well, advising to buy not physical gold - which may be "lost" or "stolen" but rather gold buy gold ETFs: supposedly there "you will get much better value due to economies of scale."
It was not clear what the hell that statement means, but it sure is hilarious. Yes: please invest in paper gold which will be promptly corzined in a worst case scenario, when ETFs suddenly realize there is no actual deliverable, and stay away from evil physical.
Because it could get lost.
Idiots aside, Laith Khalaf, a senior analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, Britain's biggest stockbroker said that "gold has been a popular choice recently as markets have been worrying about the prospects of global economy, and gold works as a store of value, and a hedge against catastrophe." Or just the outcome David Cameron is certain will be unleashed if more people vote to leave the EU on Thursday.
So buy gold if you listen to David Cameron, just please don't buy physical: it's not like London vaults have any of it left: "the Royal Mint also recently announced a new service which
allows the purchase of gold bars in personal pensions, which probably
generated some interest in the yellow metal, though a cheaper way to
access the market is through a gold exchange traded fund."

The GMO fraud

The GMO fraud

Although genetic engineering receives disproportionate attention, traditional crop breeders have been more successful at raising yields.

Monsanto has succeeded in subverting virtually every mainstream news outlet and academic plant science program in the US. Those it has not bought off, it has terrorized into silence.
Of the handful of legitimate scientists who have published research questioning the safety of GMOs more than one has had their careers ruined by pressures imposed by the company and its agents.
Add to this a choir of high profile “useful idiots” like Silicon Valley venture capitalist Marc Andreessen, Shark Tank TV star Kevin O’Leary, and celebrity physicist Neal deGrasse Tyson who despite having zero training in plant science use their high profiles to publicly disparage anyone who questions Montanto’s claims.
What this all add up to is this: Instead of facts about GMOs we receive an endless barrage of deliberate falsehoods.

But what about increase in productivity?

The claim Monsanto trumpets  – which is repeated endlessly by the news media and know-nothing celebrities – is that GMOs deliver greater yields that are necessary for “feeding a hungry plant.”
This is a pretty strong argument for Monsanto.
After all, how doctrinaire and hardhearted would you have to be to sit well-fed and comfortable in a modern economy and take food from the mouths of hungry people by blocking technology?
There’s just one problem with this unchallenged Monsanto claim: It’s total and complete bullshit.
GMO technology has demonstrated itself to be markedly inferior in producing increased crop yields versus millennia-old, proven and safe forms of traditional plant breeding.
Why isn’t this basic fact of plant science well known?
There’s nothing complicated about these facts:
GMO: unproven, potentially dangerous, backed by thuggish behavior on the part of an entity with a criminal track record – and ineffective.
Traditional plant breeding: tested over millennia and proven safe and effective in increasing crop yields.
The scientific study on this came out in 2009 to resounding new media silence silence.
Or you can cut to the bottom line:
No currently available GE varieties enhance the intrinsic yield of any crops. The intrinsic yields of corn and soybeans did rise during the twentieth century, but not as a result of GE traits. Rather, they were due to successes in traditional breeding.

But there’s more

GMO is not only untested, potentially hazardous and ineffective in increasing yields, it’s also markedly inferior in the area of creating plants that are resistant to variations in weather. You know, “climate change”, the phenomenon that has the world in a panic.
Regardless on where you stand on this “sky is falling” topic, one fact is clear: Weather is not always a friend to farmers and climate patterns can and do change dramatically.
We need plants that can adapt to these changes.
Does the “advanced technology” of GMO help with this very real and very serious problem?
Answer: Not in the slightest.
Here’s the bottom line from the expert on this subject:
“While (traditional) plant breeding continues to meet important challenges like improving drought tolerance, improving nitrogen fertilizer efficiency, or increasing yield, genetic engineering has contributed little or nothing.”
Plant scientist Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman’s made this case in 2014 – again to resounding news media silence:

Let’s get this straight

Here are the takeaways from all this.
Please share them widely because for all practical purposes they’re a State Secret:
1. GMO is markedly inferior to traditional plant breeding techniques when it comes to increasing crop yields
2. Traditional plant breeding has repeatedly demonstrated massive effectiveness in the area of developing drought resistant crops. GMO technology has contributed nothing in this area
3. In spite of these realities, the vast majority of public crop research money is being spent to promote the GMO agenda of companies like Monsanto
4. The news media does nothing to make these simple facts known to the public
5. You’re probably getting this information for the first time – along with up to 50,000 other readers – from a blog run on a (very) part time basis by someone who has to work to support himself in other arenas while there are literally thousands of people whose full time job it is to make information like this available to the public.
What’s wrong with this picture?
A lot.
Note: I wish I could say that Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman’s current employer The Center for Food Safety helped us with the preparation of this article. Six requests for an interview – all responded to by their PR department with “we’ll get back to you” – yielded nothing.
Perversely, the most detailed study on the effectiveness of traditional plant breeding vs. GMO technology is only available to people willing and able to pay “Nature: The Weekly Journal of Science” for access to it.
If you like to eat at least once or twice a day, and like to see your fellow human beings do so as well, you should be outraged by this. I know I am.