Doctor's Note

Why does the meat industry inject phosphate additives? See my last video, Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola.

Other concerning additives used by the meat industry include asthma-type drugs (Ractopamine in Pork), bacteria-eating viruses (Viral Meat Spray), larvae (Maggot Meat Spray), Arsenic in Chicken, nitrosamines (Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat), and antibiotics (Drug Residues in Meat).

What does Campylobacter do? See Poultry and Paralysis. How is it legal to sell meat contaminated with food poisoning bacteria? See Unsafe at Any Feed and Salmonella in Chicken & Turkey: Deadly But Not Illegal.

Since phosphate additives don’t have to be listed on the nutrition label, how do you avoid them? I’m glad you asked—all in my next video, How to Avoid Phosphate Additives.

For more context, check out my associated blog post: Phosphate Additives in Chicken Banned Elsewhere.

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  • Adrien

    My family just eat poultry today for lunch, arguing that butter was good for health and meat necessary for human. And all around me, rheumatoid arthritis, breast cancer, stroke, type 2 diabete, diverticulosis, constipation, heart disease, and so on. And off course, they don’t listen to me.
    What can I say ? What can I do ?

    • Joy

      The best thing you can do is be a good role model for them. Don’t lecture them. Purchase healthy food, prepare healthy food, eat a healthy diet for yourself, and provide healthy choices for your family. If they ask you why you eat the way you do, simply tell them, without any emotion or lecturing.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Tell them that a Doctor (Me) asked you to sit down with your family and watch the documentary Forks Over Knives together. It’s very well done and appeals to nearly everyone and is available on Netflix and free on Hulu.

      That way if they don’t like the information they can “hate” the doctor and not you!

      Then if they find that interesting have them watch the most profound one hour lecture I have come across, “Uprooting the leading causes of Death” by Dr. Greger.

      These to sources provide stellar, eye-opening information that few can ignore!
      Hope this helps.

      • Untoured

        I tend to get politely interested in the M.D.’s hanging around sites like this, partially just to see how they come to their position, and partially to know what sort of specialties in medicine are represented. Your name choice indicates some specialty that connects with blood flow, but if you didn’t mind telling, I’d be interested in knowing your area of expertise more exactly.

        The one fly in the ointment about FoK is that it did get pretty lukewarm reviews. It’s professionally done, no doubt, but it competes in a fairly large space of professionally done documentaries aiming to get the viewer to behave with better purpose. Whether or not the weak critical reception is a reflection of poor production, cognitive dissonance in the critic, or the anticipation of a biased audience, we can anticipate that a fairly high proportion of people will disagree that the documentary was well done and trustworthy and motivating.

        • Veganrunner

          Untoured have you viewed F over K or are you commenting on the reviews only? Did you like it? I found Food Inc a real eye opener. Have you seen that?

          • Untoured

            I’ve considered viewing FoK but the main barrier so far has been the relative inconvenience of non-freeness since I don’t use netflix. Hemo said to look at hulu and I just tried that yesterday but full service of the documentary is not available, only trailers.

            Haven’t seen Food Inc yet either, but I did view a short BBC series on the history of marketing processed foods some time ago, which may have covered somewhat similar ground.

          • Thea

            Untoured: Have you checked your local library? Just a thought. I think Forks Over Knives is very worth seeing.

          • Untoured

            Looks like it’s in the library, so I’ll probably get around to it eventually. The money for a youtube purchase would be no permanent barrier, anyway, except one of convenience. Part of the issue is that I’ve already spent time with the broad thesis that a wfpb diet is worthwhile for long term health, and accept that general position, to the point where b12 supplementation will become a necessary part of how I will be playing the dietary game, and I’m already playing that way. So I don’t have so much to gain by examining another argument pro because it’s not likely to radically redefine my own behavior to reach further benefits. I have a casual interest in nutrition of course but in terms of my life, I want my investigations in the subject to not consume too much time, and to be well-chosen, in the sense that they further refine my understanding of how foods relate to health, or they give me something with the authority to convince others or at least plant the seeds of change.

            A (sort-of) Christmas present for my father may be to get him off a ‘low carb’+exercise approach to lifestyle, so that’s my biggest focus for the tools to make a convincing argument on a nutritional topic. I want to be authoritative without seeming overly zealous, myself, or insistent about conversion to veganism. Many of my particular views about particular aspects of diet may be wrong, even though I think I have enough to weigh in on the unhealthfulness of his dietary strategy. My hope is that it would be sufficient to get him thinking and reevaluating his position, because I think he didn’t go about the process of informing himself very thoroughly to begin with; rather he was just motivating himself to be persistent in keeping to the general plan, to do it in a relatively healthy and convenient fashion.

            The thing about chronically developed disease is that there is a relatively large window of time to inform yourself, so I’d be satisfied just to reopen his mind to the topic now that his enthusiasm for the diet may be flagging. I don’t want to close his mind on this topic though, no matter whether it’s his irrationality or mine or both that does it. That would be the worst outcome since it looks like he is slowly returning to a more ‘moderately’ meaty diet without my meddling. If he officially announces going ‘off’ the low-carb in the near future, then that would also clearly be a good time to add a little bit of my viewpoint to the discussion, so I wouldn’t want to spoil that potential opportunity.

          • Dan

            Untoured, a book I am reading now called ‘The Pleasure Trap’ by Doug Lisle and Alan Goldhamer has been very beneficial in terms of understanding the predicament we are in with the modern western diet and why we should move to a plant-based diet. It’s written for the educated reader. Doug Lisle is the psychologist with the McDougall program.

          • Untoured

            Thanks for the recommendations, Dan.

          • Thea

            Untoured: I fully understand about not wanting to spend all your free time studying nutrition. It makes sense to want to put the time you do put into learning about nutrition to try to get the most “bang for you buck.”

            I’m thinking that Forks Over Knives would be great for your father more than for you. Not everyone, but lots of people find the movie compelling. So, it might do the job.

            Of course, just being a good role model yourself and as you say, not pushing your father too hard, are also good strategies. Best of luck to you both.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          Cardiology and Family Medicine

          • Untoured

            Thanks kindly.

          • Family Medicine with additional training in quality improvement and medical management. I got interested after having success with my type 2 diabetic patients. That led to giving talks on the prevention and reversal of chronic conditions. Another documentary that is informative is Processed People. If you can’t find at the public library you might check any Vegan or Vegetarian Groups in town. They often show the films at meetings… at least in my town.

    • Toxins
    • b00mer

      I have used my birthday as leverage to get certain close loved ones to watch something with me or on their own as my birthday “gift” (what others have suggested: FoK, Uprooting, Apple a Day). It’s hard to argue with the birthday girl! :)

  • Seann

    This is a good reason to buy chicken (if you eat chicken) from your local, sustainable farmer so you know what goes (and doesn’t go) into raising and processing the chicken.

    • MilkisPoison .

      According to one study, chicken may harbor a cancer causing virus:

      I don t want my vegetables grown in chicken feces or other byproducts, let alone eating it.

      • Dan


      • Seann

        I agree there are many issues with chickens and meat in many cases. I almost always eat meat that is beyond organic, so I don’t have to worry the issues with factory farmed meat.

        I consider studies objectively, how we interpret studies and conclusions we make, how many variables were involved and were they taken into consideration or not, methodology, who funded the study, independent research and peer reviewing, etc. It’s a complicated topic so I always like to get different viewpoints and interpretations of studies and research that is done.

        I understand vegans and vegetarians viewpoint and have no problem with people not eating meat. I also support my sustainable and ethical ranchers and farmers based on all the information available to me.

        • MilkisPoison .

          If chicken and other meat contain cancer causing viruses as the research above suggests, “organic” or “beyond organic” is not going to help you much.

          • Seann

            Depends on what sources you are getting the information. Does all chicken contain viruses that cause cancer? Is all chicken bad for you? It depends on what chicken you are eating. Not all chickens are raised and processed the same. And a lot of studies that analyze chicken do not separate out the factory farm vs the sustainable farmed chickens.

          • Toxins
          • Seann

            I’m not convinced that cholesterol is as bad as we originally thought. I know most people on here are against eating meat and support the cholesterol argument. Inflammation in the artery wall should be considered as the issue we should be focused on.

            Also, if people are worried about inflammation they should reduce processed foods. How much inflammation would you get from a bowl of processed grain cereal coated with sugar vs a piece of 6 oz wild game. And what benefits do each have.

            Most foods have pros and cons. Different meats have pros and cons, different vegetables and fruits do too.

          • Toxins

            I would encrouage you to view the links with a neutral view rather then read what I titled them as and jump to conclusions.

            Having high cholesterol is the only factor needed to cause heart disease.

            According to the national academy of science,
            “Given the capability of all tissues to synthesize sufficient amounts of cholesterol for their metabolic and structural needs, there is no evidence for a biological requirement for dietary cholesterol. Therefore, neither an Adequate Intake nor a Recommended Dietary Allowance is set for cholesterol. There is much evidence to indicate a positive linear trend between cholesterol intake and low density lipoprotein cholesterol concentration, and therefore increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). A Tolerable Upper Intake Level is not set for cholesterol because any incremental increase in cholesterol intake increases CHD risk.”

            According to the editor in chief of the American Journal of Cardiology
            “As shown in Figure 1, most of the risk factors do not in themselves cause atherosclerosis [heart disease]…The atherosclerotic risk factors showing that the only factor required to cause atherosclerosis is cholesterol.”

            Also, “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be expected once baseline dietary cholesterol was >400-500 mg/d. People desiring maximal reduction of serum cholesterol by dietary means may have to reduce their dietary cholesterol to minimal levels (<100-150 mg/d) to observe modest serum cholesterol reductions while persons eating a diet relatively rich in cholesterol would be expected to experience little change in serum cholesterol after adding even large amounts of cholesterol to their diet."

            So lets not debate whimsical thinking or false ideas that cholesterol is negligible. Chronic low grade inflammation is the primary underlying cause of nearly all chronic disease. Endotoxemia has important implications in this regard.

            Nobody here is advocating sugary cereal. The message is to consume whole, unrefined plant foods.

          • Seann

            Thanks for all the info.

            What do you think about this argument?

            My intent is to consider other viewpoints, and consider there could be other factors that are just as important.

          • reformed eater

            THe latest Am Heart Assoc/NIH recommendations are to lower LDL as much as tolerated. Perhaps you will be one of the lucky ones who are either unaffected or die fast. Prepare for that so you don’t saddle your family with end stage issues.

      • CastaNefasta

        Cattle, pigs, and sheep…read better next time no poultry listed.

    • Toxins

      Based on the available evidence, even organic chicken should generally be avoided.

  • Catherine J Frompovich

    Consistently, you impress with food facts MDs and RDs should know and disseminate in order to practice “preventive medicine”, which many consider only to be medical tests, Xrays, etc. I congratulate you for the work you do in bringing such information to the forefront. However, the real problem, as I see it, is that those who should be implementing food and nutrition facts and information, e.g., the medical profession in educating both medical students and healthcare consumers and the food processing industry, in particular, tend to ignore it. Thank you for what you do.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.

    This really should be an expose on Dateline, or 60 Minutes!!!!!!
    Thank you for bringing this to the forefront of information. I wish I knew some gutsy producers at CBS or NBC to take this on.
    It’s ludicrous that our FDA sits idly by and lets this stuff happen.
    Big business is BAD business!
    Creating jobs is important but doing it at the humans and animals expense is reprehensible!
    My rant for the day.

    • Teresa

      Rant on!

  • Dan

    I am also having difficulty counseling my patients in my office to go plant-based. What is the best short video clip of Dr Greger’s to show them? I often only have 10-15 minutes max to do anything with them.
    Ironically, the new AHA/ACC guidelines on lifestyle modification for patients with cardiovascular risk factors that were released today don’t even mention vegetarian or vegan or plant-based diets. The systematic reviews behind these guidelines actually did look for studies on these diets but they come out with the guideline to eat more poultry and low fat dairy!!!

    • Darryl

      I thought Dr. Ornish’s approach (outlined in The Spectrum and a couple of presentations from last year) has a lot of merit from the point of patient compliance. He ranks foods by their propensity to cause disease, and empowers his patients to choose their own health outcomes. Avoiding the demonstrably worst foods is likely to slow progression, while cutting out progressively lesser harm-ranked foods is likely to halt or perhaps reverse disease.

      Perhaps the decisive argument would then come from frankly describing the efficacy and side effects of drugs or surgical interventions. Or little known symptoms: my last animal-product was eaten the day I watched Dr. Essylstein describe multi-infarct dementia (much scarier to me than fatal heart attack).

      • Dan

        Darryl, are any of these videos short but sweet (say 5 min MAX)?

        Another thing I was thinking, based on what you said, is to develop a one pager listing all the current medical interventions for cancer and heart disease and stroke, their point estimate relative risk reductions, and comparing that with what Ornish achieved in terms of CV events in his landmark ‘Lifestyle Heart Trial’. I think that would blow them away as patients definitely prefer relative risk reductions to absolutely risk reductions.

        • Darryl

          Alas, those Ornish talks aren’t presentations for patients, but instead 40-50 minute talks to health management & sales rep conferences. In the book Ornish presents a list of foods (much prettier than mine here summarizing my takeaways from a year’s reading), but also takes hundreds of pages to lay out the rationale. I’m sure it could be condensed, and I’d like to see any handouts for the Multisite Cardiac Lifestyle trials.

          • Dan

            Thanks, Darryl. I’m certain those talks are extremely edifying, and I plan to watch those in the near future. I will keep looking for the ‘one’ short video or documentary that will help the undifferentiated patient change their mindset about “meat-centric diets” vs “plant-centric diets”. I work in a vascular medicine clinic so it shouldn’t be too hard to come up with something.

          • Dan

            Wow, Darryl, I like your handout! I agree with 99% of it and only differ on the issue of MUFA. I come at this from two points-of-view/sources of evidence. The first is that Jenkins at the University of Toronto has long been using almonds as part of a “portfolio diet” to lower cholesterol, and has shown results as good as some of the moderate-strength statins in terms of LDL-lowering.

            Second is that PREDIMED pretty much put the nail in the coffin that MUFA is bad for us. Although the study has flaws (Ornish and Esselstyn aver the fact that the control group was not at all fat-reduced), the interesting thing is the dramatic reduction in stroke with randomization to either nuts or extra virgin olive oil. I do not slather either in my diet due to calorie control, but the amount of evidence supporting these two interventions is pretty immense. You’ve said you weren’t impressed with PREDIMED, but in my view, it largely backs up the dramatic findings from the Lyon diet trial (de Lorgeril et al).

            Med diet differs from a strict plant-based diet in a couple key aspects — much more fish, encourages poultry (instead of red meat), and allows low-fat dairy. On the other hand, no butter or red meat, and encourages lots of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, legumes, etc. In addition, many plant-based diet plans eschew nuts and seeds, as well as their products (nut and seed oils/butters). The omega-3 : omega-6 ratio is probably most optimal on a Mediterranean Diet plan, not that I am advocating consumption of poultry, fish or dairy. Instead, I would like to take what I see as the best elements of the Mediterranean Diet and merge them into a plant-based diet, while still remaining vegan. In other words, reasonable, judicious amounts of nuts, seeds and olive oil. Red wine, by the way, is also encouraged in the Mediterranean Diet but I view that as a personal choice and not something that should be blanket-promoted for health purposes.

          • Untoured

            The predimed study didn’t impress me much either, from the standpoint of determining what dietary patterns are optimal. If the groups were nearly matched in terms of fat intake and saturated fat, you can probably make a good guess as to the quality of the carb and protein foods that replaced fat in the control group. The guidance given to the control to simply ‘reduce fat’ and nothing else reflects this problem, as does the special attention to ensure compliance and behavior change in the intervention groups. The study was pretty flawed for comparing a high-fat meditteranean pattern against a strong low-fat contender for the control, and the gifting of nuts and olive oil reflect the industry ties behind the study design and implementation.

          • Dan

            Untoured, thanks for your input on PREDIMED. A couple random thoughts:

            1) I don’t think the control group was ever meant to be a comparison of a high fat mediterranean diet with a strong low-fat contender; instead, the control group was more the standard dietary recommendation to moderate your fat content. It is in the range recommended for the Mediterranean Diet, and more or less represents ‘usual care’ or ‘attention control’ condition.

            2) Unfortunately, there was contamination of the comparison of dietary patterns in that the active treatment groups got alot more attention than the control group, but an analysis done by the authors after they fixed this problem by ‘re-attending’ their control group showed that there was no difference in the relative risk for events before or after they repaired the issue. Still, it’s undesirable and I don’t know the power of the interaction test that they used to test secular trends.

            3) Just because industry provided some financial support does not mean the trial is necessarily biased towards industry. The investigators went around the world before doing this trial (according to the NY Times), asking for the best possible advice from people at Harvard and other centers on nutritional trial design. I would prefer to give them the benefit of the doubt with respect to their academic integrity than merely impugn their motives because the California Nut Council gave them some funds or some nuts — after all, the Council provided their support not knowing what the trial result would be, and it equally could have shown a disastrous increase in stroke for high nut fat use.

            4) I don’t look at predimed in isolation but against the very large backdrop of trials of the Mediterranean Diet (including the Lyon trial by de Lorgeril) and multiple high quality cohorts from the Med basin.

            I’m not sure why plant lovers don’t like this trial. The two interventions tested – extra virgin olive oil and tree nuts – are not exactly high on the list of carnivore diets and aren’t meat products. Yes meat was consumed as a background in both trials but did not differ between groups significantly. This may be why the trial has been ignored by vegetarians and vegans; as well it breaks with the very low fat plant-based diet plan (Ornish, Esselstyn, McDougall, etc), in that the two active interventions are both high in fat, albeit good quality fats (MUFA and PUFA).

          • Untoured

            I don’t impugn academic integrity with impunity just because of industry connections, but bias is bias and it shapes research, whatever the source. The effect is compounded when money is involved to motivate motivated reasoning in design and implementation and reporting. Everyone has bias but to differing degrees, and in science it’s important to correct for it as much as possible even as our abilities to investigate the literature of even one study are limited in time.

            The reason why I have a problem with the monograph is that it doesn’t adequately examine the flaws in the study design or the problems in statistical confounding and statistical power. It wants to downplay them so that the media can claim that high fat is not so bad because a ‘low-fat’ group failed, so that one can cheerfullly use the benefits of a pattern that advised the increased intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes and olive oil relative to a control as a basis for claiming that olive oil was what did it; note that the questionable inference from large between variance in OO to the conclusion that OO probably explains most of the between group inference is set very carefully in the conclusion of the monograph, while the contrary details are left unexamined within the supplemental appendix. This is pretty profound bias.

            I clearly have no profound problem with saying that a more intensive multifaceted intervention toward a med pattern works a lot better than merely advising low fat intake and shutting the door to your office, at least for the med pattern specified here, which redistributes fats away from animal sources and toward plants and marine n-3, doesn’t appreciably increase fat, and reduces the protein derived from meat. Note how even the main way they advised the addition of OO (as ‘sofrito’) helps to confound the increased OO with increased fruit&veg. Out of a sample population at high risk of heart disease at baseline, a med pattern group does better when compared to a group that doesn’t change their eating pattern appreciably in the direction of a whole-food diet and which doesn’t decrease their intake of meat. I think the Lyon trial supports this sort of conclusion as well, but I fail to see what inference should come out of PREDIMED as earth-shattering news, or as much-needed confirmation of a hypothesis which was before in doubt.

            Perhaps there is some important inference that we can make from PREDIMED though, and I’m just not expert enough to see it.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      Unless patients from their hearts really want to impower themselves and really want to make a change, I am very pessimistic about informing them that there is another way. I have spend hours trying to inform close relatives about a WFPB diet instead of drugs without any luck. Dr. Ornish also thought that a big change would come after his results in the early 1990s, but also experienced that there is another dimension than information. Information is not enough.

      • Dan

        Plantstrong, when I used to coach patients to carb-restrict (which I don’t do anymore, thank god!), I did have some people who had dramatic success and really improved their diet and lots huge amounts of weight, with concomitant increases in biomarkers. So it all depends on the patient. The ratio is probably 80:20. At least I have informed them – they can take the information and do what they want with it. A short video clip can often “speak a 1000 words”, just like a picture does.

        I often think about how dramatic things happened after Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth” – the power of a movie to effect change. Or how “Schindler’s List” really raised awareness about the holocaust for a generation who never gave it much thought. I think that is why people like Dr Greger still give presentations to the public; if they felt it was hopeless, with zero benefit to anyone out there, I think they would pretty much give up.

        But in general I agree with you that people have to be ready to make a change.

    • Susan

      What made me make the change from eating meat to going vegan was fracturing my spine and having severe pain as a result. I read Dr. Neal Barnard’s book, Foods That Fight Pain and decided it was worth a try. As a result of staying away from potential trigger foods, I lost 65 pounds, my blood cholesterol returned to normal –bad cholesterol at 100 down from 300, heart murmur disappeared, had lots of energy, joints no longer hurt. Pain in my spine has disappeared. Plus, since that time in 2012, I’ve been engaging in Pilates with private lessons 3 hours each week and walking on a treadmill (street walking alone with a total hip and total knee replacement is too scary. I do have osteoporosis which is another good reason for eating vegan!

      As for a movie, I think Food Inc., while not short, is very powerful and a reason for many people to change how they eat. Here is the Truth about Your Food with Food Inc. film maker Robert Kenner, which is on youtube.

      • Dan

        Susan, I want to congratulate you on the way you’ve taken control of your health and reverse all those problems through your diet. I wish I heard more stories like this from my own patients. With education and knowledge, we are truly empowered! Kudos to you!

        • Susan

          Thank you, Dr. Dan.

          I have shared information within Dr. Barnard’s book with a variety of patients enrolled in the Wellness program where I used to take physical therapy to let them know it is not just for back pain, but various pains that the body experiences, including cancer. However, most people would rather take a “pill” or injection than change their diet. Some people even left the Wellness program because of the message I (as a Wellness enrollee) shared. And, I was asked by the owners not to share the information, even though I felt passionate about the changes I experienced.

          The Cajun diet is horrid. It is high in both animal and transfat, low in healthy vegetables and fruit, high in sugar. The results of their behavior is diabetes, cancers, neurological damage and more. But they refuse to change the way they have always eaten and tell me I need to pray more often. It’s their way of expressing their denial that diet is what is causing their health problems. Many of the men and women in the pool are well over 300 pounds and continued with their toxic lifestyle.

          Just the thought of a neurosurgeon who was too obese to continue practicing surgery and opted instead to inject his patients with corticosteroids in their spine every few months for pain, made me search for another solution. I read at the National Library of Medicine (HSDB) that corticosteroids had been linked to osteoporosis. Did this physician choose to hide this from his patients because he made a living keeping his patients on drugs? He criticized me for opting to use diet and vitamins/minerals instead of using his drugs.
          I bit my tongue instead of saying what I wanted to him.

          • Dan

            Susan, you will find (as you have) that the modern medical establishment is extremely resistant to non-mainstream practices like plant-based nutrition to treat a wide spectrum of diseases. I’ve been called a ‘wackaloon’ for stating that the modern western diet is responsible for the wide spectrum of civilizational diseases of affluence that our distant ancestors never experienced (even those who lived to a ‘ripe old age’).

            Good for you for having the courage to question the health recommendations you were given and going to the literature to read up on injectable steroids! I would far prefer my patients with chronic pain read Dr. Barnard’s book and implement a natural whole plant foods diet than become addicted to NSAIDs, opioids and steroid injections for the rest of their lives while their bodies continue to deteriorate on a meat and processed food diet. I am going to recommend this book to those with chronic pain. Thanks for sharing your anecdote with me, and I believe this is how real change happens.

          • Susan

            I had two checkups recently with two different physicians. My local GP, ordered full blood work expecting problems and found none. He said whatever I’m doing, to keep doing it.
            My “surgeon” whom I requested after falling badly and fracturing my pelvis just before Thanksgiving, said after seeing my X-ray less than one month from the onset of the fracture:
            “I’d expect to see new bone growing within 3 months, but not 3 weeks.”
            Upon studying another X-ray last week (one month after the second x-ray), he said, “You are totally healed.” Whatever you are doing, keep doing it!”
            I told him that I was eating only certified organic, and a whole food plant based diet. I no longer eat vegetable type oils like olive or canola. But, occasionally eat olives in my salads. I select whole foods that have one ingredient only that are grown by the organic method. And, I take very seriously what Don Huber, Ph.D. soil and plant pathologist and microbiologist has said about herbicides being mineral chelators. Even if something is labeled organic, it may not be regulated by this USDA-FDA as such, and I use my common sense over empty words. If my body tells me that something doesn’t feel correct, I avoid purchasing it repeatedly.
            This happened with bananas recently. When my esophagus burned as the “USDA certified organic Del Monte banana” went down. I now avoid Del Monte, a company who contributed to the Right NOT to Know if GMO’s are in our food campaigns in California and Washington state.
            I have purchased raised beds, which are 4 feet off the ground, and am planning to grow much of my own food, which will be easier with vegan. My diet will simply not be as varied as it was prior to herbicide resistant agriculture.

          • JacquieRN

            That is fantastic to hear thanks for sharing your story and insights.

          • Susan

            :-) Thank you for your feedback, Jacquie

      • Veganrunner

        Susan I also watched Food Inc with my family when it first came out. It was an eye opener and my son loves to shock his teenage friends who come over to view it.

    • Veganrunner

      As a physical therapist I am able to spend more time with my patients then you. And I have found that over time most will make changes in the diet. The most important thing is simply bringing the subject up. Most MDs don’t even do that.

    • Unfortunately health care professionals don’t have the time needed even if they have the basic knowledge of the studies. In my last years of practice I was working for an organization where the American Diabetic Assn. diet was being taught. The best suggestion is to tailor your interventions to the patients goals and fears. For type two diabetes I found Neal Barnard’s book on Reversing Diabetes particularly helpful.. for fat loss the best references are Jeff Novick’s Calorie Density CD and Doug Lisles presentation,How to lose weight without losing your mind. Follow up visits are important as patients get to different locations in their journey.Getting others in your organizations to support your efforts can be very beneficial. BTW in my quality improvement training we reviewed the literature that shows that Expert Consensus Panels are not a good way to come up with reliable guidelines.

      • Thea

        Dr. Forrester: I just wanted to let you know that I have appreciated all your comments, but most especially the ones telling us about Doug Lisle’s presentation and Jeff’s DVDs. I have found both to be very, very helpful. (I know you are having a different conversation with Dan, but I saw your post and wanted to make sure I thanked you before I forgot.) Thank you!

        • You are welcome. It is nice to work with a supportive group on the NF Team. Have a nice holiday season coming up. Best wishes.

      • Dan

        “Unfortunately health care professionals don’t have the time needed even if they have the basic knowledge of the studies. ”

        I couldn’t agree more. In 15-30 minutes, I conduct a detailed history (including recording medications and OTC supplement use), perform a physical examination, review old records, evaluate laboratory and ultrasound tests, request further testing, answer questions, AND document all this information on the patient medical record. I have neither the training nor the time to do detailed dietary counselling, though I have started using handouts as an adjunct to the clinical visit. What I really need is a dedicated nutritionist, but my hospital does not have one for the unit where I work (the days of outpatient nutritionists are long gone in my setting, except for very specialized programs like dialysis care).

        I will check out Lisle’s presentation. Thank you for that!

        • Other resources which I have found helpful have been Dr. Esselstyn’s book plus the free PCRM downloadable booklets… The Vegetarian Starter Kit and Nutrition for Kids. Depending on the financial aspects of your practice group visits can be useful. Dr. McDougall’s website is very helpful. He has posted articles on just about every issue facing primary care physicians on his website. I often recommend specific articles to patients depending on their conditions… hypertension, reflux, type two diabetes… all free and referenced. Good luck.

          • Dan

            Totally. I’ve seen “vegetarian starter kit” and downloaded it. It’s in colour but translates well to black and white. I’ve also been using a colleague’s handout which is full of recipes (that’s half the battle done right there, for my patients). I will check out Dr. McDougall’s site. I watched Doug Lisle’s talk last night and was extremely impressed. It explained a lot to me. Thank you again, Don!

    • Toxins

      Maybe you can make a take home cd or link them to for the Uproooting the Leading Cause of death video. It is a concise, and compelling one.

      Perhaps something they can view at home?

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    I think that a more appropriate name for chicken juice is carcasse juice, because that is what it is, fluid from a rotting carcasse….and of course your body needs that to thrive….

  • M85

    “poultry is considered an arterial toxin” 0:51,
    nice lapsus! I agree…

  • mark

    Apparently the USDA is going to allow China to export processed cooked chicken to the US. Probably because China’s exports have pristine a health & safety record. Sheesh!

  • Stephanie

    Darryl, I have a hard time swallowing your recommendation on canola oil over olive oil. Canola is from the GMO rapeseed plant. Modified for high yield and pest control. Olive oil has been shown in many studies to have therapeutic value. Just look at any study based on the Mediterranean diet. Which coincidentally favors lots of veggies over meats.

    • Darryl

      I have issues with the ecological effects of agricultural monocultures, oligopolistic practices of seed IP companies, and think children should be educated and the public should be informed about GM content of foods. On the other hand, I’m outside the anti-GMO echo chamber, and think the technology should be assessed on a case by case basis. Most GM is currently just two genes: glyphosate-resistant EPSPS, which appears harmless (and beneficial in terms of no-till/soil conservation and reducing use of more harmful herbicides); and Bt insecticidal enterotoxins, which I’m less comfortable with, but on the other hand are liberally applied to organic crops, too. Some current GM crops like β-carotene enriched Golden Rice appear to offer tremendous boons to preventing developing world blindness, while projects in the pipeline adding LCPUFA pathways to oilseeds could offer the benefits of EPA/DHA without overfishing or expensive algal oils. As someone depressingly familiar with projected consequences of climate change this century, I believe more drought resistant grains from both conventional breeding and GM will be critical to averting famine.

      I strongly recommend former anti-GMO activist and current climate journalist Mark Lyna’s blog posts on GM.

      If you are personally concerned about the roughly 26% of canola that is GM (just glyphosate-resistant, no Bt as yet), organic canola oil is available. Seed oil refining for cooking oils also generally removes water-soluble proteins like EPSPS and their substrates.

      My preference for canola over olive oil arises from its lower saturated fat content (6% vs. 12%), its more attractive n-6/n-3 ratio (2.6 vs 7), and also its lower monounsaturated content (56% vs 78%). See Degirolamo & Rudel 2010, and Vogel et al. 2000, and note the use of canola in the Lyon Heart Health Study. Minor constituents of virgin olive oil like oleacein and oleuropein likely have benefits through upregulating cellular stress responses, but frankly other phytochemicals like cruciferous vegetables and green tea appear considerably more effective. Ultimately, no cooking oil has the benefits of the high n-3 levels of flax, hemp or walnut oil, but unfortunately these aren’t heat stable.

      • Susan

        I have stopped eating ALL canola oil, since the majority if genetically engineered to tolerant massive amounts of Roundup. Look at the studies that are coming in from around the world on GMO’s in corn and soy, and what affect these herbicides or GMO’s have on all animals species, including humans. Go to

        Dr. Don Huber, professor emeritus from Purdue University whose area of training is soil borne diseases, microbial ecology, and host-parasite relationships. At Purdue, he taught plant pathology, soil microbiology, those micro-ecological interactions as they relate to plant disease. Dr. Huber has said that Roundup is the most chronically toxic herbicide known and should never have been permitted in the first place. It is used all over the world for a variety of things with propaganda on its “safety.”

        I avoid all food crops grown with gmo’s and especially herbicides, because as Dr. Huber has said either here or in other interviews, “All herbicides are mineral chelators. They work by binding the minerals in the soil and making them Unavailable to the plant, or the animals and people eating the plants.

        Perhaps, my avoidance has paid off thus far, because after fracturing my pelvis (due to a bad fall just before Thanksgiving), within 3 weeks from the onset of the fracture, I was already growing bone, according to the X-ray as interpreted by my physician. He had never seen that before in anyone. I told him I was carefully selecting vegetables, fruits and seeds and nuts high in calcium, magnesium, boron and other bone building nutrients, AND, ONLY EATING foods from with the ORGANIC METHOD.

        My physician said that whatever I’m doing, to keep it up! I appreciate the guidance I’ve received from this website.

        There is a transcript of the interview at:

        • Darryl

          Good for you.

          At least 4 brands of organic non-GMO canola oil are available.

          I personally share the opinion of American Association for the Advancement of Science, the World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the British Royal Society, and every other respected organization, that current GM crops pose no greater risk than non-GM crops.

          For nutrition, social and environmental reasons, I’d prefer the best of both worlds: nutritionally enhanced GMO foods (like Golden Rice and high EPA/DHA transgenic flax), pursued in the public sector and distributed at nominal cost to farmers (as with Golden Rice), using low chemical input methods borrowed from the sustainable side of organic agriculture.

          Organic crops that find their way to grocery wholesale are almost invariably grown on high chemical input factory farms. This kind of organic is arguably worse for the environment, as higher application rates of less selective and arguably more toxic compounds are required, and yields are about 20% lower requiring more tilled land. We’re probably not going to see widespread sustainable, but labor intensive practices (crop rotation, integrated pest management, companion planting) in large scale organic agriculture so long as energy inputs are so much cheaper than labor.

          I’m not particularly impressed by either Joe Mercola or Don Huber.

    • Susan

      While the rhetoric is that GMO rapeseed is modified for higher yield, there is no proof that the higher yield of any GMO plant has occurred. In the USA, most GMO crops in the Federal Register, are modified to resist Roundup or other herbicide spraying, such as Roundup Ready Canola, Roundup Ready Soy, Roundup Ready and Bt corn, Roundup Ready Sugar Beets, Roundup Ready Alfalfa. ALL these seeds have been patented and are owned by Monsanto.

      “The oil from the rape plant was used for industrial purposes…And the real problem with the name of rapeseed “rapeseed oil” is that the oil was so toxic that the FDA banned it for human consumption in 1956.”

      Learn more:

      • Darryl

        Mustard oil has been the preferred cooking oil in Bengali and Nepalese cuisine for centuries. Its up to 42% erucic acid (vs the 0.5 to 1% in canola). We humans do a much better job digesting erucic acid than other species, so the myocardial lipidosis seen in rats and nursling pigs has never been documented in humans. The high consumption of mustard oil through much of the Indian subcontinent makes for a rather large human cohort for this adverse effect to have been missed.

        One consequence of the FDA ban that mustard oil is available in bottles labeled “for external use only”. A small obstacle for traditional consumers and those who enjoy mustard oil’s pungency.

  • Jo Ann Ivey

    No meat or dairy for me for a long time. And loving it! Will pass this info along to my grown sons. Off topic request DR. GREGER, but could you point me to where I would find the info for how many cardiac events/heart attacks were documented in the Framingham Heart Study for those people with cholesterol/LDL levels below a specific figure? Thanks.

    • Susan

      Obesity as an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease: a 26-year follow-up of participants in the Framingham Heart Study by H B Hubert; M Feinleib;
      P M McNamara; W P Castelli