FutureCeuticals Direct- Your Trusted Source for Innovative and Effective Nutritional Products

December 26, 2012 – Momence, IL

Who is FutureCeuticals Direct?

FutureCeuticals Direct, a division of FutureCeuticals, Inc.(previously known as Oathealth.com) began in 2007 as a way for consumers to purchase innovative and effective nutritional supplements directly from us, the manufacturer. In 2007, the oathealth.com website was launched to educate consumers on and make available Nutrim®, Oat β-Glucan rich oat bran for Lowering Cholesterol NaturallyNutrim® has gained many followers over the years and continues to be our #1 selling product.

Our next product, FruiteX-B®, was launched in 2010, after a pilot study released reporting 79% increased joint flexibility and 66% greater knee comfort after taking FruiteX-B® for 7 days. In 2011, Ultimate Foods Green Drink Mix and Mighty Crunch healthy, freeze-dried fruit snacks were added to the product list.

Where is FutureCeuticals Direct Headed?

In 2012, we put those products, along with many others, “under one roof” by launching www.futureceuticalsdirect.com/store.  Now, in 2013, we anticipate adding new products from among FutureCeutical’s many patented, trademarked and proprietary products.  We also strive to provide information supporting our customers’ efforts to live a healthier life.  As always, we are dedicated to providing great products and a great customer experience!

FutureCeuticals Direct’s NEW Website Packed with GREAT Features

New Store Features include:

  1. Streamlined, Easy Checkout
  2. Improved Order Tracking
  3. All Products on ONE Site
  4. Loyalty and Referral Rewards ($$ towards future orders!)
  5. International Shipping (Coming in 2013!)

As a courtesy to our Oathealth.com customers, a basic account has been set up on www.futureceuticalsdirect.com/store -all that is required to access it is a password reset.  Log in with the email address used with your Oathealth.com account.  Please click here to learn how to reset your FutureCeuticals Direct account password.

To receive e-mail updates on FutureCeuticals Direct’s monthly promotions subscribe here.

You can also connect with FutureCeuticals Direct on Facebook by liking our page here.

“25 Days of Christmas Contest” to Raise Awareness of Illinois Food Products

 

Illinois Department of Agriculture encourages public to “buy local” 

*SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – To increase awareness about Illinois food products this holiday season, the Illinois Department of Agriculture will sponsor a 25 Days of Christmas Contest beginning Dec. 1One winner will be selected randomly each day from the department’s Facebook and Twitter fans and will receive the Illinois food product(s) featured that day.

“I’d encourage anyone looking for a unique gift to consider giving an Illinois food product,” Agriculture Director Bob Flider said. “Illinois is a leading food processing state and offers a wide assortment of delicious items to choose from.  Plus, every purchase helps not only our agriculture industry, but also our state economy.”

To be eligible, individuals must join the department’s Facebook page or follow the agency on Twitter.  Individuals must be 21 years old to win gifts donated by Illinois wine companies.

Last year, the department launched a similar promotion called the 12 Days of Christmas.  Due to its overwhelming success and the number of Illinois companies volunteering this year to participate, the contest was expanded to 25 days.

Prizes for the contest are being provided by the following Illinois companies:

  • Forsee Vineyards & Winery, Coffeen – a $20 gift certificate, enough to enjoy one of the winery’s 15 Illinois grown and produced wines, plus take home a wine-related gift or souvenir.
  • eSutras Organics, Chicago – Holiday Baking and Teas Gift Basket.
  • Sleepy Creek Vineyards, Fairmount – gift certificate for a one night stay at the Sleepy Creek Vineyards Bed & Breakfast.
  • Two Fat Guys Gourmet Sauces, McHenry – one jar of Spicy BBQ Sauce, one can koozie, one ceramic coffee mug and one jar opener.
  • Honey Wafer Baking Company, Crestwood – one, 24 ct. case of Honey Wafers.
  • Illinois Pork Producers/Raber Packing, Peoria – The Illinois State Fair Pork Package:  six butterfly chops, eight American chops, ten pork burgers and one, custom BBQ spice from Raber Packing.
  • Vienna Beef, Chicago – Chicago Style Hot Dog Kit:  16 Hot dogs, 16 poppy seed buns, celery salt, Plochman’s Yellow Mustard and bright green relish.
  • Ying’s Kitchen, Gurnee – four unique sauces from Ying’s Kitchen and a cookbook.
  • One Hot Cookie, Murphysboro – a $50 gift package that includes a holiday tin filled with an assortment of homemade cookies, handmade chocolates, famous Baptist peanut rolls and gourmet brownies, plus samples of specialty coffee, hot chocolates and spiced cider.
  • The Popcorn Factory, Lake Forest – Snowy Night Sampler:  nine seasonal favorites in one charming gift box. Sampler includes three flavors of premium popcorn (Drizzled Caramel, Cheese and White Cheddar), chocolate chip cookies, vanilla snowflake mini pretzels, honey roasted peanuts, foil-wrapped chocolates, foil-wrapped hard candies and pecan-Caramel Pixies®.
  • Simply Native Nursery, Alexis – a $35 gift certificate for plants.
  • Lifeway Kefir, Morton Grove – an assortment of holiday kefir flavors and favorites, including gingerbread, cranberry crème brulee and pumpkin spice.
  • Simply Appetizers, Algonquin  – a three-pack of Simply Appetizers salsa (mild, medium and hot).
  • Galena Cellars, Galena – a $25 gift card to be used in any of its three tasting rooms.
  • Black Swan Gourmet BBQ Sauce, Dundee – three bottles of Black Swan’s famous BBQ sauce (sweet, medium and “Kiss of Fire”).
  • Country Lights Soy Candles, Leland – two, 12 oz. soy candles. The winner may choose the fragrance.
  • Diva Chocolates & Confections Inc., Skokie – a holiday gift sampler including handmade artisan caramels made with fresh cream, natural vanilla and roasted sea salt, handmade artisan caramels with dark chocolate covertures, handmade French Honey Nougat sweetened with clover honey and packed with roasted whole almonds, dried Montmorency cherries and salted pistachios and one artisan, limited-edition, jam or jelly (chef’s choice).
  • Grandpa G’s, Hamilton – two Grandpa G’s Trio of Sauces (jalapeno mustard, catsup and raspberry syrup).
  • Sweet Margy Toffee Confections, Chicago – gift basket with delicious, hand-crafted dark chocolate Bark’n Toffee (wonderful dark chocolate embedded with bits of toffee and almonds) and hand-dipped Toffee Grahams (crackers dipped in toffee to keep them nice and crunchy and then dipped in dark chocolate and drizzled with milk chocolate).
  • Julie’s Corner Store, Lacon– one pound of homemade fudge in a Christmas-themed tin.
  • Chicago Bulls Gimme That Hot Sauce Baby, Chicago – four-pack of hot sauce.
  • Dutch Farms, Chicago – an attractive Dutch farms camo cap, six, 8-ounce bars of mild cheddar cheese and six, 8-ounce bars of pepper jack cheese.
  • FutureCeuticals [Direct], Momence – Nutrim Holiday Survival Kit.  Nutrim is a USDA-developed, 100% natural, oat, beta-glucan super-food that helps lower cholesterol naturally.  The survival kit includes a 120-serving can of Nutrim, a Holiday Recipe Book and Nutrim Catalyst (a salt-free seasoning).
  • Majave Sauce, Berwyn – one case (12 bottles) of Majave Hot Sauce.
  • Champion Pizza, Hebron – 12 frozen pizzas shipped directly to the winner! Champion Pizza produces handmade frozen pizza with 100% natural ingredients and no preservatives.

To sign up for the 25 Days of Christmas Contest, visit and “like” the Illinois Department of Agriculture Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/IllinoisDepartmentofAgriculture or sign up to follow the department’s Twitter account at https://twitter.com/#!/ILAgMarkets.

For more information about the contest, please contact Jennifer Tirey, Bureau Chief of Marketing, Promotion and Grants, at (217) 782-8146 or visit the department’s home page for a complete listing of Illinois Products at www.agriculture.illinois.gov.

Like FutureCeuticals Direct on Facebook and Share Your Story!

*Press Release provided by Illinois Department of Agriculture for Marketing Use.


The Conclusion of A Daughter’s Journey to Help Save her Mother’s Life: Results – 106 drop in LDL Cholesterol

November 1, 2012 – The results are finally in  . . . Cecile dropped an amazing 106 points in her LDL cholesterol in 3 months taking Nutrim®.  She took the challenge and followed through and had success.  This journey has sparked something inside for Cecile that is motivating her to make additional healthy lifestyle changes that not only affect her cholesterol levels and heart health but, also  her health in general.  Watch the video as Cecile reveals the following:

  • Amazing Before and After Cholesterol Test Scores from the Home Access Test kit and Her Latest Doctor’s Visit
  • Improved Lifestyle Changes Promoting her Overall Health-Quit Smoking!
  • Ways Cecile Used Nutrim®

As we now wrap up the beginning of Cecile’s journey to lower her cholesterol naturally by using Nutrim® – 100% natural oat β-Glucan super food, you can’t help but wonder what’s next . . .

I’m not just talking about my mother, because in this last video, she spells it out pretty clear that she intends on taking Nutrim® whether I am employed with the manufacturer or not.

But honestly, what IS next?  You may be reading this, holding your recent high cholesterol test scores, thinking this very same thought.  And I’m here to relay a message: “There is really no excuse.”

The words below are taken from an editorial article published in our company publication, Inside Nutrition (Winter 2012),  by one of our company’s executives, John Hunter:

We want to lose weight but only if we can do it by eating whatever we want whenever we want it.  We’re eating whatever we want whenever we want it.  We’re addicted to sugar, salt, and fat.  Our attitudes are similar to a child who stomps his feet and says, ‘I don’t wanna drink my milk.’ Yet, secretly, we hate the way we look, we hate the way we feel and we’re terrified of getting old . . . heart disease, cancer, and, (possibly the worse of all), dementia.

Despite all of this time, most of us keep telling ourselves that there is time. ‘Everything will be alright if I start next week, next month, next year, after my daughter graduates, after I get that raise . . .’

 Sorry, pal, time has run out.

 With what we know today about food, life-style and nutrition, there is absolutely NO REASON, (and yes, he’s shouting), for any of us to continue doing what we’ve been doing to ourselves. Good nutrition, knowledge of what will keep you healthy, and prevention are more easily attained today than at any point in our history.  We’re idiots if we don’t take advantage of [these] opportunities.  

Do you remember what I talked about in our very first blog together introducing our Nutrim® Video Series with Cecile? The clock’s ticking, so don’t let time run out like it did for my father because honestly, “There IS no excuse.”

cholesterol results chart

Cecile's Cholesterol Test Results Indicate 106 Drop in LDL "Bad" Cholesterol

Weeks 6: Lowering Cholesterol Naturally using Nutrim: Quick & Easy Results – Home Cholesterol Test Kit

October 15, 2012 – One of the most-asked questions I receive when speaking to new Nutrim customers over the phone is . . . “how long must I use Nutrim before I can see results in my cholesterol levels?“  My response to them is this  . . . “Although individual results may vary, most of our customers report seeing results within the first 4-6 weeks.“  So why should these recommendations be any different for my mom?  I know many of you who have been following her journey are very anxious to see if she’s been successful in lowering her cholesterol naturally.

We provided my mom with a Home Access Cholesterol Test kit.  The user provides a blood sample, fills out some personal information, mails the sample to the company in a pre-paid envelope, and within 7-10 business days accesses the results online or over the phone.

What Cecile Likes about the Home Cholesterol Test Kit:

  • Did not have issues with taking the blood sample-just a simple finger stick.
  • Really Simple to Use with Prepaid Postage
  • Convenient and Quick Method to access Results while taking Nutrim

The next stop, our last in this Nutrim Journey Series . . . Cecile’s Results!

Read Cecile’s Journey from the beginning here.

Weeks 3 & 4: Lowering Cholesterol Naturally using Nutrim: Moving Forward towards Healthy Lifestyle Changes

October 3, 2012 – My mom continues to have a great momentum with her Nutrim regimen.  She continues to experience peak energy levels regardless of small pitfalls like not making enough effort to increase her water in-take. Cecile continues to become creative in the kitchen with Nutrim as she introduces more of the oat beta glucan powder into her cooking.  Find out other ways my mom tried Nutrim this week by watching below!

Cecile’s Nutrim Benefits this Week:

While watching my mom go through her Nutrim challenge, I too have been striving to make small lifestyle changes to better adapt to the healthier culture of my company, FutureCeuticals.  I purchased a 32 oz., Green, Tritan- BPA-free water bottle. In the mornings, I fill it all the way to top keeping in my personal, daily goal of drinking at least 1-32 oz. bottle of water Monday through Friday.  If I succeed, it calculates to 160 oz. of water per week.  Why is it so much easier for me to adapt a change like drinking more water during the workday?  For the last couple of videos, we have heard my mom discuss her lack of success in drinking water.
Have you ever been faced with the challenge of needing to drink more water?  If you’ve succeeded, how did you do it?

My mom also mentioned mixing Nutrim with Farina along with adding a few tablespoons of sugar to create flavor.  In my opinion, adding the sugar could be counter-effective to lowering cholesterol naturally while taking Nutrim.  So I decided to ask my co-worker Joe (our local BioMedical Health expert), what my could mom could do to the Nutrim + Farina that can add some flavor without tipping the heart health scales.

Here is what Joe says regarding add-flavor dependency:

We all need to break free from our heavy dependence on sweet taste to offer enjoyment from food. This means cutting down on all sweeteners.  I like raw, unrefined honey and      maple syrup as good alternatives to adding refined sugar because they can offer some other benefits. Even evaporated cane juice crystals, brown sugar or turbinado sugar can be ok since they are not as refined. Stevia can also be used in combo with these other sweeteners to boost sweetness and cut out some sugar.

One main point and goal could be to start using less and less to get our palettes to readjust to the subtle flavors food offers. It has almost become a competition between companies to add salt, fat and sugar to food in order to make food taste good. The whole process happened slowly overtime, but now we depend on the sweet taste too much.  It ends up masking the other, subtle flavors in food. Slowly decreasing the addition of salt, fat, and sugar will help you readjust your palette, so that you won’t even miss as much to get the same enjoyment.

Got a question for Joe?  Call Customer Service at (800) 862-0438  Monday-Friday from 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m to speak with him!

Week 2: Lowering Cholesterol Naturally using Nutrim-My Mom Cut Out Her Sleeping Pill

September 6, 2012 – My mom’s overall experience with Nutrim is shaping up as she perks up with LOTS of energy after experiencing a minor pitfall during week 1.  She is shifting out of her comfort zone of just mixing the Nutrim powder in liquid by testing out other quick and easy ways to get her daily 2 scoops. Find out the other ways my mom tried Nutrim this week by watching below!

Cecile’s Nutrim Benefits this Week:


It’s only week 2 and She’s shouting Nutrim from the Rooftops!

I was completely shocked when week 2 came.  My mom insisted on knowing ways she could recommend Nutrim to friends, co-workers, and family members.  She didn’t need a low cholesterol test score to help her move forward in full-force sharing her recent positive experiences with our product, Nutrim.  Nevertheless, improved cholesterol test results are sometimes the necessary motivator for people to share their story, but not with my mom.  The increase in energy, regularities of her bowel movements, and lack of after-taste is what keeps her moving forward with this product.  She also continuously mentions how “champion race horses eat oats too”!

My Mother Believes Water is Connected to Weight Loss

In addition to lowering her cholesterol naturally, a small struggle she has been facing stems from being able to cut down (and cut-out caffeine) in an effort to up the water in her diet.  As a teenager, I found it hard to reconcile myself with “mother knows best”!  But lately, it’s been hard to ignore my mother as she continues to go on about the importance water and its benefits–transports nutrients throughout our body.  These constant reminders  from her make me realize that drinking diet soda does not equal weight loss.  Just some food (or drink) for thought!  Since starting Nutrim, my mom has been trading in the cans of Diet Coke for a water bottle and Nutrim2Go tablets.

Nutrim Surprises Her by its Versatility

In the video, my mom talks about several ways she has personally tried Nutrim.  She has mixed it in juice, coffee creamer, yogurt, and eggs.  As mentioned in her first week, she dove into using a heart-healthier version of butter.  Nutrim was originally developed by the USDA as a fat-replacer so adding it to butter makes sense.  My personal goal in support of my Mother’s Nutrim journey is to try and encourage her to substitute Nutrim for ingredients like flour, sour cream, butter, and mayonnaise.  I believe that the more times she fits Nutrim into her day; the more successful her next cholesterol test will be.

Week 1: My Mother’s Journey to Lower Cholesterol Naturally with Nutrim

August 23, 2012 – Hello again!  Last week, I unveiled our very close and personal Nutrim Video Series by introducing you to my mother, Cecile.  She has graciously allowed us to record and publish her personal journey towards lowering her cholesterol naturally and achieving healthy weight loss and maintenance.

Pluses about her Nutrim experience so far are:

  • Transforming her butter into a healthier version using Nutrim (The grand-kids refer to it as Grandma’s “special butter”!)
  • No longer feels compelled to buy energy drinks to get through her work day.
  • More Energy, Feeling Better, NO AFTER-TASTE!! (“The greatest thing about this product!”)

Moving Toward a Healthy Lifestyle with Nutrim

I’ve probably watched this video at least 3 or 4 times since its original recording. What if you were watching my Nutrim journey?  How would one suggest I fit Nutrim into a schedule consisting of balancing a 40 hours/week job, online graduate work, a 6 year old participating in soccer, softball, and dance (all in the same fall season), managing a house, and maintaining a (sane) relationship with my husband.

Scheduling the Second Scoop

Like any new user, my mom spent much of her first week just making sure she got used to adding Nutrim into her schedule. Mixing the powder into her morning juice before work was easy enough.  But, 75% of my mother’s workday revolves around sitting in the car traveling back and forth to meetings.  What’s to stop her from grabbing a double cheeseburger at the drive-thru?

Nutrim Can Go Anywhere My Mom Goes

When I initially found out that on Wednesday of her first week my mom had a problem fitting in the second scoop, it made sense to recommend the Nutrim2go chewable tablets.  In the convenient chewable, tablet form Nutrim2Go can be taken anywhere-so my mom will never miss her second serving of oat beta glucan.  So now, during the workday, with her water bottle in tow, she chews 2 tablets every couple of hours eventually taking 8 tablets (One Serving of Nutrim = 1 Scoop of Powder OR 8 Nutrim2Go Tablets) becoming a sensible and doable plan for my mom.

A Daughter’s Journey to Help Save her Mother’s Life

August 10, 2012 – July 2008 was unlike any summer month I had ever experienced. After agonizing for almost four long weeks, I was being rushed into emergency surgery from the Hospital’s ER with the diagnosis of an aggravated hernia. I didn’t realize it at the time, but recovering in a hospital was the least of my worries.

My mother, sister, and boyfriend had all been to visit me in the ICU, but there was one visitor missing.  Hours passed before I discovered who my next ICU visitor was . . . the Kankakee County Coroner’s office??? My hospital room was the last number dialed on my father’s cell phone, which emergency workers fished from a car wreck boiling down the last memories of my father to a voice heard over a 2 minute phone call.  He was calling to say that he was driving down to see me and visit his grandchildren. That phone call would be the last time I would speak to my father – EVER.

The Daily Journal reported “the driver [being] southbound on I-57 near the Bradley-Bourbonnais interchange at 12:09 p.m. when the vehicle crossed the median strip, crossed the northbound lanes, ran through a fence and hit a crane” (“Two Killed…” 2008).

Later, it was revealed that what took the life of my father was not the accident itself, but what transpired seconds before the accident took place.  Charles J., 57, suffered a heart attack that caused him to lose control of his vehicle (Byrns 2008).   Yes, a HEART ATTACK!  The coroner’s prognosis completely blind-sided our family. And yes, we knew for years that our father was not a true picture of health.  However, there was never any indication of heart disease, other than knowing that his father had died of a heart attack at the golden age of 50. My father’s primary cause of death, as indicated on his death certificate, was Atherosclerosis.  I learned that you could develop this condition due to: elevated levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, high blood pressure, and cigarette smoking.

Last month marked, the 4th “angel-versary”, of my father’s horrific passing from Coronary Heart Disease.  When I landed a job working at FutureCeuticals Direct in 2011, and found out that they were on the brink of expanding the distribution of their heart-health product, Nutrim, which helps lower cholesterol naturally; I knew this had to be a sign from above.  With one parent gone, I only have one left—my mother.  This weekly video series will document a Nutrim–beginner’s journey–starring my mother, Cecile.

To listen to Cecile’s story, watch below.

Video Highlights:
Name:  Cecile
Gender: Female  Age: 58
Marital Status:  Widowed (4 years)
Occupation:  Nurse, (30 years)
Youngest of 5 siblings (1 male, 4 females)
Cholesterol Total: 265; LDL:183; HDL: 61
Gained 22 lbs over past year; weighs 220.

Family History: 
Mother died at age 57 – suffered from chronic hypertension- issues with cholesterol unknown.
Father at age 79 – died of massive heart attack with no prior heart conditions known.
1 Brother; age: 65- 2 yrs ago suffered a 5 bypass coronary; 90% occluded due to high cholesterol.
1 Sister; age: 62 currently suffering from chronic hypertension on-going for the past 20 years and has a history of high cholesterol.

 Cecile’s Personal Goals while taking Nutrim: lower cholesterol naturally, lose weight, gain energy, avoid side effects and be able to live a long life without taking prescription meds.

Citation:
“Two Killed in Interstate 57 Crash.” E-Editions. Daily Journal, 1 Aug. 2008. Web. 25 July 2012. <http://daily-journal.com/archives/dj/display.php?id=424991>.
Byrns, Bill. “Grassy Medians Meant to Contain Accidents Have a Fatal Flaw.” E-Editions. Daily Journal, 6 Sept. 2008. Web. 25 July 2012. <http://daily-journal.com/archives/dj/display.php?id=424991>.

Federal food safety regulation a slippery slope: Part II- Small Local Farmers vs Large Agribusiness

One Size Fits all Regulation

More centralized power for food safety may sound great in a world where I can buy a food item with 100 ingredients, grown in 100 separate counties, states, and countries and that has been process in 100 different counties, states and countries.  But what if I want to buy an apple from the farmer down the street?  Should they be subject to the same rules and regulations as corporate factory farms that sell food items that end up in millions of products all over the world.

While we do need to stop large companies from carelessly contaminating our food, we also need to consider the dramatic difference in the types of farming that are done in America.  It is important to keep our food safe, especially when it passes through many hands.  But what if food just passes from one set of hands to the next.  Should both small, local farmers and larger corporate farmers be required to follow the same federal food safety regulations.

Current examples of large scale food safety regulation generally don’t do enough to protect us from pathogenic microbes from food mass produced on multimillion dollar corporate farm operations.  But these same regulations may be overkill for a small farmer who sells his produce locally.

“Raw” Pasteurized Almonds vs Raw Almonds

Almonds in the US are a great example of how large scale regulation in the end actually benefits large farmers by potentially destroying small farmers.

In the name of food safety, almonds sold in the US must be pasteurized.    All pasteurized almonds are cooked which can destroy beneficial properties or they are chemically processed using a probable human carcinogen.  After they go through either of these processes they are then labeled raw.  I guess one part of the pasteurized almond regulation that I don’t understand is that I thought the word raw meant not cooked or processed.  Who wants to live in a society where words lose all meaning?  Since only roadside stands are exempt from pasteurization, almost all US almond farmers are encouraged to lie by calling their almonds raw.

Not only do we have mandatory regulations creating less healthy almonds in the US but the pasteurization equipment is so expensive that it could easily bankrupt a small or medium sized farmer.  $1,000,000+ in pasteurization equipment either puts smaller farmers out of business or makes them subject to the larger almond farmers that can afford the equipment.  Sounds like a lose-lose situation for small and medium sized almond farmers.  This is a shame since small and medium sized farmers are our strongest hope for real healthy food in the future.

Rewarding the Culprit

All of this pasteurization regulation, that is putting stress on small almond farmers, is the result of 2 outbreaks of salmonella in North America.  The only outbreak that occurred in the US was from the largest supplier of pistachios and almonds in the world.  The ironic part of this story is requiring both small and large farmers to pasteurize their almonds actually help the companies that are having trouble with these outbreaks.  By putting a burden on the small and medium sized farmers that is similar to larger corporate farmers, you end up wiping out the competition for the large farmers, thereby opening us up to more safety issues in the future.

It sounds counter intuitive to say new safety regulations can increase safety issues in the future, but if new regulations wipe out small farmers that is exactly what we’ll get.  It will not be impossible for small farmers to keep up with regulations but it will mean they will have a harder time competing.  Eventually small farmers will not be able to keep up and will be forced out of business.

Who do You want in Charge of Your Food Safety

It is important to also remember that new regulations will just put a quality control person in charge of food safety.  This person can be so separated from the end consumer that their motivation will not necessarily be safety, but it will be to keep their job.  When the local farmer, who coaches the local little league team, is in charge of quality control of food safety there is more of a direct desire to see that food is safe for the end user.

Why Federal food safety regulation is a slippery slope: Part I- Safe Food vs. Healthy Food

The senate is trying to push through a bill that would increase the power of the FDA to be able to control food that is grown by farmers.  This food safety bill is in response to multiple food recalls on beef, eggs, and even spinach.  If you have seen news on any of these recalls you would probably not question the need for a federal food safety bill.  I would say there are 2 questions that need to asked before we would pass such sweeping legislation: 1) what affect does federal food safety regulation have on the health of our food and 2) what affect does federal food safety regulation have on the health of small, local farmers?

In part I of this blog series we will answer the question 1) what affect does federal food regulation have on the health of our food.

Does Safe Food= Compromised Freedom, Unhealthy Food

Judging on how food safety has been viewed so far in this country it seems the only safe food is food that has been stripped of anything that can sustain life.  It’s easy to keep food safe when you process the food so much that not even bugs will eat it.   I think if food safety people had their way we wouldn’t grow food in dirt anymore because it’s just too dirty.

I agree that the food landscape has changed dramatically in the last 100 years and needs new legislation to help deal with those changes.  But what about those farmers who grow food the way we did before the industrial revolution?  Should they be subject to the same laws as agribusiness, factory farming done by corporations?   As in other regulations that promote safety, will federal food safety regulation compromise our freedoms as Americans.  I am especially concerned about our freedom to have access to healthy foods.

Let’s take a look at one of the oldest food safety regulations and how it has affected health and the freedom to access healthy foods.

Pasteurized Milk as a Model

Originally used to kill off pathogenic microbes and extend shelf life; pasteurized milk is now consumed by almost every citizen in the US.  Only 150 years ago, everyone on the planet was drinking raw milk.  Today, if I want to get a glass of raw milk in Illinois; I need to own part of a cow or goat.  Neither grocer nor farmer can sell it to me.

Now, I do understand that we need regulation on pasteurized milk if we want people in the cities to have it, but what if I have a farmer friend next door.  Can’t I buy a gallon from him every week without risking him or myself with legal ramifications?  Today pasteurization of milk is so much the norm that few would question its “benefits” for society.  But can the pasteurization of milk have negative effects on health?

During pasteurization the bacteria in milk are destroyed, this includes the good bacteria that are beneficial for human health.  Based on how much milk we drink, milk could be one of the best sources of good bacteria, probiotics, in the diet.  We also are consuming less of other sources of good bacteria, such as raw foods and fermented foods.

Couple the disconnection with raw foods that we have as Americans with medications designed to destroy bacteria in the body, and we have opened ourselves up to a plethora of digestive health issue.  To top that off we add antibacterials to the food we eat and the water we drink.  The hope for healthy bacteria in the system is all but crushed, and now we face an era of poor digestion and immune health, both of which are improved by good bacteria.

We don’t think about it much now, but pasteurized milk is truly a case of both infringement on our freedom to have access to healthy food and a destruction of beneficial properties that make food healthy.  Now I can’t have access to milk with naturally occurring probiotics and I have to go to my local health food store and pay for probiotics.

We alter food so it doesn’t “kill” us or make us sick but we destroy its medicinal properties.  So much for let your food be your medicine.

Keeping Food Safety in Perspective

Speaking of medicine, did you know that pharmaceuticals that are taken as prescribed kill over 20x as many people as food-borne illness.  Over 100,000 people die every year due to properly taking their medication.  This doesn’t include medical errors or drug abuse, nor does it take into account the other side effects of medications.

We are more scared of healing foods than we are of deadly medicines.  We will destroy or remove beneficial portions of food that promote health for the sake of possible pathogens that are primarily an issue at large manufacturing facilities and factory style farms.  We are moving toward a model of replacing healthy food with safe food.  If a food loses its disease fighting properties is it safe?  If a food is “safe” according to food regulators does that mean it will help us fight disease?

So we remove or destroy the disease fighting properties of food and take deadly poisons for our medicine.  This all just seems a bit too ironic.

Dangerous Food Additives

I also find it ironic when we legally mandate that beneficial properties of food be destroyed but in the same system it is completely legal to add in dangerous chemicals to our food that increase our risk for disease.   Let’s take trans fat for an example.  We now know that this type of fat is the only one proven to increase heart disease, even though fat in general takes the blame.  Trans fat also has been shown to increase the incidence of  certain types of cancer.  The criminal act of adding trans fat to food goes unpunished while local and federal agents with guns drawn are stopping people from selling wholesome, raw milk.

Healthy and Safe Food

One important key to moving forward with safer foods should be to consider how a  food increases health and decreases the risk for disease.  Part of that equation is making sure food does not contain dangerous microbes.  But the food safety picture is incomplete if we are not taking into consideration the effects of food safety processing on the risk for disease and effects on overall health.  We are a very intelligent society.  You would think we could control the adulteration of food without limiting people’s freedom to access healthy food.

Be on the lookout for part II of this series when we talk about the effects of federal food safety regulations on small farmers.